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Global_Warming_conference_jul05 by kg6Qvqd

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Richard Farson
Welcome to our conference on the controversial subject of global warming. To
lead us in this discussion are two ILF Fellows who have been following and
contributing to this scientific debate for many years and do not find themselves in
the mainstream of environmentalists' thinking.

Douglas Strain is well known to many of you, having been a key player in our
School of Management and Strategic Studies, and a longtime trustee of WBSI.
Educated in science and technology at Caltech, he worked with a number of
outstanding scientists before becoming the Founding Chairman of
ElectroScientific Industries, a company rated as among the 100 best to work for
in America. George Taylor, his colleague in leadership, is the State Climatologist
for Oregon, and a faculty member at Oregon State University's College of
Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences. He manages the Oregon Climate Service,
the state repository of weather and climate information. The author of more than
200 reports, symposium articles and journal articles, George is past president of
the American Association of State Climatologists. Since we have a number of
well-educated environmentalists in our fellowship, we can expect a most
interesting, illuminating, and possibly uniting dialogue as we examine the facts
and possible interpretations of global climate change.

George Taylor
It‘s an honor to be asked to lead this forum. I look forward to a lively interchange.
Perhaps we can begin by establishing what I consider to be our fundamental
intent: to evaluate the degree to which. ―Anthropogenic Global Warming‖ (AGW)
is impacting and will impact the Earth‘s environment – locally, regionally, and
globally. The key questions seem to be (1) is AGW a current or potential
problem? Why or why not? (2) If it‘s a problem, what should be done about it?

I‘ll tell you my own opinion about AGW. After studying this issue for nearly 20
years, I have come to believe that anthropogenic greenhouse gases have and
will continue to affect climate, with the greatest impacts being warming over high-
latitude continental areas during winter and at night (including Siberia and
Canada). In other areas and seasons, impacts will be much smaller. I believe
further that natural variations in climate have had and will continue to have much
larger influence on climate than human-caused effects. That makes me a
―greenhouse skeptic,‖ according to some people. I will make every effort to be
evenhanded in this forum and not let my own biases get in the way – a tall order!

A good starting point is the list below -- some commonly-held beliefs regarding
AGW, mostly things we read in the media quite a bit. Following are responses to
those ―myths,‖ in the words of Dr. Reid Bryson, Emeritus Professor in
Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences, Geography, and Environmental Studies at the
University of Wisconsin. Dr. Bryson‘s statements were provided by Dr. Fred
Singer of the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP).

Have at it!

   1. The atmospheric warming of the last century is unprecedented and
   2. The warming of the past century was largely anthropogenic in origin.
   3. The most important gas with a "greenhouse" effect is carbon dioxide.
   4. One cannot argue with the computer models that predict the effect of a
      doubling of carbon dioxide or other "greenhouse gases".
   5. Those who take issue with the idea that CO2 causes global warming are
      suggesting that the CO2 measurements are wrong.
   6. It is the consensus of scientists in general that carbon dioxide induced
      warming of the climate is a fact.

  1. There are literally thousands of papers in the scientific literature with data
       that shows that the climate has been changing one way or the other for at
       least a million years.
  2. It is a fact that the warming of the past century was anthropogenic in
       origin, i.e., man-made and due to carbon dioxide emission. Wrong. That
       is a theory for which there is no credible proof. There are a number of
       causes of climatic change, and until all causes other than carbon dioxide
       increase are ruled out, we cannot attribute the change to carbon dioxide
  3. The most important gas with a "greenhouse" effect is carbon dioxide.
       Wrong. Water vapor is at least 100 times as effective as carbon dioxide,
       so small variations in water vapor are more important than large changes
       in carbon dioxide.
  4. To show that the computer models are correct we must show that they
       can at least duplicate the present-day climate. This they cannot do with
       what could be called accuracy by any stretch of the imagination. There are
       studies that show that the average error in modeling present precipitation
       is on the order of 100%, and the error in modeling present temperature is
       about the same size as the predicted change due to a doubling of carbon
       dioxide. For many areas the precipitation error is 300-400 percent.
  5. The CO2 measurements are well done, but the interpretation of them is
       often less than acceptably scientific.
  6. I know of no vote having been taken, and know that if such a vote were
       taken of those who are most vocal about the matter, it would include a
       significant fraction of people who do not know enough about climate to
       have a significant opinion. Taking a vote is a risky way to discover
       scientific truth.
Douglas Strain
I am pleased that we have been able to have George Taylor lead this discussion.
I have read a number of his papers and followed his career in the climate area
and highly recommend careful attention to his input. I am off for some additional
surgery this week so will leave this session largely in his good hands! My warm
regards to all of you!

From today's NY Times, excerpts from an article, ―Deciding How Much Global
Warming Is Too Much‖ by Andrew Revkin

―After a decade of cautious circling, some scientists and policy makers are now
trying to agree on how much warming is too much.

―One possible step toward clarity comes today, as 200 experts from around the
world meet at the invitation of Prime Minister Tony Blair in Exeter for three days
of talks on defining "dangerous climate change" and how to avoid it.

―The researcher running the meeting, Dennis A. Tirpak, formerly of the
Environmental Protection Agency, said that experts always realized it would
take a long time for science's projections to be absorbed by society, but few
thought it would take this long.

"I've always been a believer that science and truth will win out in the end,‘ he
said. ‗But I have a sense we might be running out of time.‘

―It has taken this long not just because the "dangerous" question is complicated,
but because it holds dangers in and of itself. If scientists offer answers, as some
have in recent days, they can be criticized for playing down uncertainties and
intruding into the policy arena. If a politician answers, that creates a yardstick
for measuring later progress or failure.

―It is much easier for everyone simply to call for more research.

―But some experts now say that by the time clear evidence is at hand, calamity
later in the century will be unavoidable. They say fresh findings show that
potentially enormous environmental changes lie ahead.

"I think that the scientific evidence now warrants a new sense of urgency," said
Dr. James E. Hansen, a climate scientist and director of NASA's Goddard
Institute for Space Studies.

―A particular concern is the Arctic. An eight-nation, four-year study concluded in
November that accumulating carbon dioxide and other emissions from human
activities were contributing to the thawing of tundra and the retreat of sea ice.
Recent studies of accelerating flows of ice to the sea in some parts of
Antarctica also point to the prospect of a quickening rise in sea levels in a
warming world. Other scientists point to the prospect of intensified droughts and

―With pressure building for resolution and fresh action, some countries and
groups of experts have tried to define a specific rise in earth's average
temperature that presents unacceptable risks.

―The European Union has set this threshold at 2.5 degrees of additional
warming from current conditions. That was also the danger level chosen last
week by an international task force of scientists, policy experts, business
leaders and elected officials led by Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Republican of
Maine, and Stephen Byers, a Labor Party member of the British Parliament.

―Some scientists have criticized this approach, saying understanding of the
impact of greenhouse gases on the atmosphere remains far too primitive to
manage emissions and thus avoid a particular temperature target.

―Others say the most logical response to the problem is to make societies more
resilient to inherent extremes of climate. "If we just significantly minimize our
vulnerabilities to the extremes which occurred during the last 250 years, we'll be
O.K. for the next 100," said Dr. John Christy, a climate scientist at the University
of Alabama who has long opposed cuts in emissions. As for rising seas, he
said, ‗You've got 100 years to move inland.‘"

Simple denial is obviously motivated by fear of undertaking the necessary
changes in policy and tech. From my own side, I think the sheer interest of trying
is itself not only worthwhile, but would lead to competitive new technologies.

One thing that holds back many of us from fully embracing the problem is the
fuzziness in our knowledge—in particular, feeling a need to know but feeling
ignorant about the range of expected climate changes that might occur without
the anthropogenic effects, a background, against which to overlap the human
causes, and consequences of actions. For example, it feels stupid to slow down
global warming if we might be in for a major global cooling anyway.

And so, my question: Is there a good graphic or verbal summary of the range of
what might happen without humans, and comparisons to what is actually
happening (best guess) through human activity?

 It was about 30 years ago that I saw some published data indicating that long-
term cycles suggest we are near the end of a 10,0000-year window of mild
temperatures after which we will be back to a few thousand years of ice. This is
independent of human activity either helping or hurting the situation. Can
someone update this long-term outlook?

Don Straus just entered a message into our ILF steering committee site,
reminding me of a comment that the distinguished climatologist Walter Orr
Roberts, founding director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in
Boulder, made to us in the early eighties when he was on the faculty of our
School of Management and Strategic Studies, which I'll copy here, in the words
that Don remembers:

"We may not be scientifically accurate about the extent and harm of warming, but
I can't think of any efforts to stop it that wouldn't also be helpful to our society
even if warming itself is not in the immediate future.‖

I wonder if he would still say that. It's more or less the point that Doug just made.
Certainly there are plenty of people who would say that emission control is
harmful to the world economy.

George Taylor
Doug and Dick bring up good points, which are worth addressing. Dick's last
sentence begs a question: do emission controls bring significant harm to the
world economy? Where is the balance point between a clean environment on the
one hand (which everyone would agree is a good thing) and an economy that
can allow people not only to survive, but to prosper?

From what I can tell, a lot depends on the type of emissions being controlled. The
"criteria" air pollutants (CO, NOx, Hydrocarbons, etc.) covered by the Clean Air
Act have raised the price of vehicles, but not enough to hurt sales, and they have
been a boon to the air quality in the US. Automakers and others say CO2 is
much harder to control; in addition, natural emissions of CO2 are much greater
than human emissions, so it's a very complicated issue. And it has been
estimated that the Kyoto Accord would cost $200 Billion in the US ($1 Trillion
worldwide) yet would reduce global temperatures less than 0.1 degrees C.

Given that we don't have unlimited money, we need to ask ourselves how best to
spend what we have. Emission controls or adaptation? Clean water or lower
CO2? Cleaner internal combustion engines or alternative fuels? Or some

I'll close by relating a story told by John Christy, State Climatologist for Alabama.
For several years he was a missionary in Africa. He lived with poor African tribes
who cut down virgin tracts of hardwood forest and used the wood for heating and
fuel. They also burned animal dung. The low-temperature burning caused the
smoke and gases to stay low, near the ground. Many people suffered from
respiratory problems. It occurred to John that an elegant solution existed: provide
the people with electric power and microwave ovens. This would save the forest
and improve the health of the residents. Agree or not, you have to admit that's an
interesting suggestion!

George Taylor
Regarding Raymond's question (1:5), thirty years ago there was fear that an ice
age was imminent. There had been a decline in temperatures since the mid-40s,
and people were saying that "if present trends continue..." we'll be in big trouble.
Several prominent scientists (names available upon request) predicted really bad
futures, with mass starvation likely. Didn't happen.

But the long-term picture DOES look that way. The warmest period in the
Holocene (the current interglacial) occurred 5,000 years ago, and the overall
trends has been downward since then. The upward blip in the last 100 years
brings us back to about where we were 1,000 years ago (following the Little Ice
Age) but is nowhere near where temperatures were in the "Holocene optimum" of
3,000 BC. Most geologists, astronomers, and paleoclimate folks say that an ice
age is coming, though probably not for many, many years.

Bill Ruddiman has suggested that global warming (AGW) began 8,000 years
ago, and staved off an ice age. I've read his papers and heard him in person, and
am not sure if I go along with him or not, but his idea is intriguing:

Can we talk about the melting at the poles and rising oceans? And last night on
Jim Lehrer's program there was an alarming look at coral reefs, with one
prediction that because of global warming they would all be gone, along with the
habitat they provide, in fifty years.

It will be useful but difficult to separate these closely related issues:

    1. What would happen if the pollution caused by people were zero?
    2. Are the health hazards and other costs of pollution independent of climate
       change sufficiently severe as to justify remedial action quite apart from the
       climate issue?
    3. Would the consequences of (1) be so detrimental that we should devise
       strategies to either (a) change them or (b) survive them?
    4. Might the new technology and new jobs associated with either (a) or (b)
       (or both) make the whole undertaking an economic benefit rather than a

Only then can we know the importance of working hard and quickly to reduce
pollution. We may think the answer is obvious, but whatever it is it will have to be
sold to the public at large, and knowing the answers to these questions will help

I am so glad to meet Doug Strain again on line after so many years, and I do so
much miss Walter Orr Roberts in this topic. I am venturing to join, as an

In itself, it is alarming. The conference so far shows that we have a problem on
which the greatest scientists are either at odds, or consider that current science
is too primitive, and so reserve judgment. And in addition, the threats of danger
are fearsome.

Doug, there are two questions which I hope you will discuss. One: why don't we
believe? The other (just as difficult): Why are we so unwilling to change our life-
styles? Our proposed remedies are so trivial compared with the alleged size of
the problem--like our old aunts in Hampstead who thought to improve the water
problems of London by stopping the dripping taps.

Is there is room for Cultural Theory? Should we not recall Aaron Wildavsky's
massive study: 'But Is It True?' which was about the distribution of belief and
skepticism in a population.

Cultural Theory has learnt several things about belief. For one, it doesn‘t depend
much on evidence and logical proof, which means that worries about the
contradictions and ambiguities of scientists are not so important. For another
thing, belief is a delicate, fragile thing.

For another, strong belief is not primarily a matter of individual capacity to have
confidence. It is something that is built up as a side-effect of building satisfying
institutions. It is related to commitment. Difficult for modern persons to develop
the strong beliefs of our forefathers when our societies are based on an
impersonal technology of communication that makes no demands on our
personal commitment. We can leave a job, and no one minds; we can be jobless,
and no one minds. The sense of helplessness and skepticism is pervasive in a
society of isolates. Belief is strong in closed communities, and made stronger by
the opposition from outside.

To know who believes and who doesn't believe, we need to examine forms of
social support and occupational life-styles. We also need to know how belief is
mustered. It will be a matter for surveys and subtle questionnaires.

This line of thought doesn't help, but it takes the pressure off the scientists, and
looks to the WBSI item, 'behavioral sciences'. Grateful for your thoughts as a
scientist on that.
This is not a suggestion for action but rather an idea that, if discussed, might lead
to something better.

Ray: You have posed two sides of what to do about global warming:
            Global warming's potential harm must be halted.
            Fighting global warming's potential harm is a must.

Many years ago when I was a trustee of the New York Science Academy we
were asked to help the city government smooth out a similar fight on the pro and
con elimination of what was then a large New York Naval Station. The city
officials said they did not want to hear lectures from individual "experts" from
each side -- they preferred to have the experts all in one room both to answer
questions from the city officials and to be prepared to reply to the opposing
opinions of the other experts.

There were several results:
   1. It was a fascinating process that most city officials thought were helpful,
   2. Most of the experts hated it and refused to come to another such
   3. The city officials chose not to use much of what they learned but chose
      instead to use an "understanding" of the issues based on the preferences
      of their more important voters.

But that was in the 20th century. In the 21st century there just might be some
preference for trying to understand and come to some agreement based on
probable results.

I am not pretending that this is so. But I am suggesting it might be a worthwhile
experiment to do the following:

      We choose two or more members who have had enough exposure to the
       issue to be our "experts".
      We allow self-choice of our members to be on each side of fighting global
       warming on the one hand and fighting the consequence of trying to slow
       down global warming on the other.
       One of our group is selected to facilitate the discussion to see if we can
       reach an understanding of and preference for a future policy.

Don, there is some sort of disconnect between my #10 and your #12--besides
the pleasure of having Mary Douglas appear in between them <g> --Welcome!

Reading my #10 again, I think I can say it better. Let's try it this way:

It will be useful but difficult to separate these closely related questions:
   1. There are both natural and man-mad causes for climate change. Looking
      only at the natural causes, for the moment, are the consequences for
      mankind serious?
   2. If the answer to (1) is yes, is there anything we can do that might be
      effective enough to change the course of events?
   3. Now, looking at the man-made contributions to the problem, would
      correcting them make a real difference in the answer to #2? Stated more
      simply, are the man-made contributions relatively trivial, or are they
      important in the light of what is going to happen anyway?
   4. Might the new technology and new jobs associated with whatever we can
      and should do make the whole undertaking an economic benefit rather
      than a cost?

Only then can we know the importance of working hard and quickly to reduce
pollution. We may think the answer is obvious, but whatever it is it will have to be
sold to the public at large, and knowing the answers to these questions will help

George Taylor
This is really getting to be fun—and thought-provoking. I too enjoyed Mary's
comments, as well as those of the rest of you. But where to begin?

Maybe with Ray's (#13). Ray, your logic is correct and you ask the right
questions. The only real is problem is getting beyond question 1. The big dispute
in climate science is "what are the natural, and the human, contribution to climate
change?" For the last five years or so the IPCC has framed the answer using the
Mann "Hockey Stick," which suggests that recent warming is unprecedented and
largely of human origin. In the last year the Hockey Stick has been discredited in
at least 3 scientific journal articles (see for example, ttp://
So maybe the human contribution is smaller than IPCC says.

In my experience, folks who evaluate historical data and attempt to create
historical perspectives for current data (such as State Climatologists) are likely to
ascribe much smaller climate influence to human activities than are those who
run climate modelers. So depending on whether you're talking to a "data
evaluator" or a "model runner" you'll get a very different answer to the question.
And that answer to #1 affects all the others.

 When my exceptional friend, Richard Farson, told me of an coming ILF
exchange ―Global Warming: Environmental Crisis?‖ I truly looked forward to the
dialogue. However, at the time of that invitation, I had not yet read Michael
Crichton‘s State of Fear. And, of course, I had not read conference comments
(particularly George‘s 1.1). Now, having read both, I enter this, and within that
context I would like to take a side-step, or better, a 180 degree turn, and start by
―looking backwards.‖

(Michael, if you are reading this—and I hope you are and that we will hear from
you), I start by saying I always enjoy Michael‘s writings…many fabulous things.
My favorite was the writing in Travels, where he gave us his talk intended for the
Pasadena chapter of CSICOP (Committee for Scientific Investigations of Claims
of the Paranormal). And that gives insights into the Michael Crichton mind, and
for these exchanges information helpful in incorporating the important plea of
Mary Douglas that we ―…know who believes and who does not believe…,‖ and

Mary devalues her own observations when she says ―this line of thought does
not help, but it takes pressure off of the scientists.‖ To the contrary, Michael‘s
insights and what Mary proposes helps tremendously! Further, I do not care
about taking pressure off scientists. They created their situation.

I do care about decisions by the people of the planet. Those decisions,
fortunately, will not be made only by scientists.

Back to the script of Michael‘s talk he had planned to give to CSICOP. He
begins by saying ―I do not expect to change anyone‘s point of view by what I am
going to say.‖ Here, I do not, either. But I do hope my experiences in this field
(they go back many years) will contribute to us arriving at a form of consensus on
actions to address the problem of the earth getting hotter (for whatever reason).

Michael talks about ―…the vast literature devoted to ‗courting the muse‘.‖ We
should ―court‖ as we are producing a work of literature that incorporates ―science‖
and goes beyond.

Michael discusses the legitimacy of the phenomena he was addressing and the
practitioners of science. He concludes ―…a portion of working scientists are also
frauds.‖ ―Whether we admit it or not, any person of academic standing holds
certain criteria that govern the kinds of references he will cite in his writing, and
for that matter, the kind of subjects he will write about in the first place.‖

In Comment 1.1 of this conference, George defines himself as ―a greenhouse
skeptic.‖ He presents beliefs (titled statements), which he ascribes to, I guess,
people who are not greenhouse skeptics (me), and then in contrast defines for us
―George‘s‖ reality. He lists six. Later, I would like to address each of the six,
clear-cut observations of ―reality.‖

Michael quotes Bronowski, ―Science, like art, is not a copy of nature but a
recreation of her.‖ And then adds, ―Science offers a picture of the world, but its
picture is not to be confused with the underlying reality itself.‖
Then, to show the difficulty of defining reality, Michael chooses to describe
(serendipitously for us) one ―George,‖ (page 346 of the postscript). Michael‘s
George is an even-tempered man. But then explains why it is impossible to
justify that statement about George.

Michael starts over. George is neat and orderly…but is he always neat and
orderly? After a bit more dialogue, Michael gives up with that description of
George. We go to a George ―usually neat and orderly.‖ No luck.

Finally, George has gray hair. That falls apart with continuing analysis.

So Michael gets mathematically specific with George as six feet tall…but at what
age (e.g., global warming will heat the earth precisely how many degrees)? We
cannot say how tall George is. Michael next tries George as a male…and so on.

Michael then concludes, ―There are two points in this exercise about making
statements about George. The first is that every single statement we make
about George can be contradicted.‖ He explains why. The second point is that
of the statements about George, the most securely held are the least interesting.
―We are on much safer ground describing the simplest aspects.‖

In a later section, however, Michael concedes, ―Science is very good as far as it

Mary Douglas asks us to go beyond such. She points towards a way that could
well yield valuable results from our effort.

I will read Mary‘s comment again tonight, and think again about George…at what

But before that, to close closer to the present, Michael Crichton‘s writing appeals
to me in a number of ways, one of which is as John Steinbeck does. My favorite
writings of Steinbeck‘s are his East of Eden journal, writing about writing, and
The Log from the Sea of Cortez, writing about intellectual dialogue with himself
and with his friend Ed Ricketts…like this one.

Michael‘s Travels, particularly the speech I quoted, is my favorite. And his
author‘s message at the end of The State of Fear makes it onto my listing of
favorites. He bullets 25 statements on his views.

I agree with some and disagree with others. I agree with his 25th.

―Everybody has an agenda, except me.‖

And if I do, I hope I have not yet disclosed it.
A great beginning entry, Carl. You place this in a social, political and
psychological context which I, of course, think is perhaps the best approach to
understanding the phenomenon of global warming. I can't wait for the next
chapter. It seems as if you and all the rest of the participants are entering this
dialogue eager for a confrontation but, at the same time, are willing to learn.

Mary, your questions were directed to Doug, but I hope it's OK if others of us
pursue them. Your comment is so densely packed. I would love it if each
sentence were a paragraph.

Would it be accurate to think of the scientists as a community, being attacked by
disorganized, marginal outsiders, perhaps equally qualified, but nonetheless
marginal by choice? Then the attacks of these marginal outsiders, or at least
their disagreements, simply tighten and strengthen the beliefs of the scientists?
And then, as these beliefs tighten, and the exclusion of the outsiders becomes
more pronounced, the outsiders‘ views harden as well? It must be very difficult
to have published ideas, worked to get grants, devoted two decades of study,
developed a position which one has become known for, and then abandon it in
the light of new evidence. How often does that happen?

Michael Crichton has been vilified, called a menace and a crackpot and treated
as a know-nothing, but he has an M.D. from Harvard, taught anthropology at
Cambridge University, was a Fellow of the Salk Institute (the leading scientific
institute in the biological sciences) and has written about twenty books, most of
them requiring extensive study of some scientific area. But this book has brought
out such ad hominem attacks, I am amazed.

A few days ago, he and I were discussing how some people really enjoy the role
of attempting to clear up misconceptions, and are really good at it. New Yorker
writer Malcolm Gladwell comes to mind. And we have some among our ILF
fellowship. Is this possibly a personality trait?

Another point you make, Mary, is how trivial what we are being asked to do, such
as find alternative energy sources, or even less, conserve energy by driving
smaller cars, compared to the disaster that is being pictured for us, with massive
migration or worse, widespread starvation and permanent flooding of our cities.
But, of course, cutting emissions doesn't seem trivial to the corporations.

To get to the politics of knowledge, who are the short term winners and losers in
this drama? Isn't that what we have to know to be able to understand why we
know what we know about all this? (Isn't that a great sentence?)

George, your pointing to the difference between data analyzers and computer
modelers may be the answer to the conflict.
George Taylor
Dick (1:16), I agree with you about Mary's point—―find alternative energy
sources, or even less, conserve energy." There are lots of good reasons to
reduce our use of fossil fuels. I ride a bicycle to work every day, partly to
conserve resources (it's good for my health, too). Maybe fear of global warming
will coerce people to do what they should be doing anyway...but as a scientist I
separate the science and behavior issues.

(1:17) One problem I see is that scientists have gotten polarized. Now that
climate science is no longer a backwater discipline (frankly, I miss the days when
it was!) and it's gotten tied in to money and politics, it's hard not to take sides. But
AGW is not a black-white issue; there's a lot of gray.

My experience is that, at least in academia, the "warming is a big problem" point
of view is WAY dominant. My intent has been "I'd like to present another side to
this issue" –not so much "I'm right and they're wrong" but "here's another way to
look at things." As a result, I get accused of being "one-sided," but that's only
because I believe the "global warming is a problem" point of view has become
ubiquitous, and there's no need to present that viewpoint. In fact, when I give
public talks I often hear people say "I've never heard this expressed before."

For a good read on the subject of science and scientists, I heartily recommend
Thomas Kuhn's 1962 classic, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. This is
where the idea of a "paradigm shift" originated. Pat Michaels referenced this in
his book The Satanic Gases and showed how it applied to the climate change

Mary Douglas! My, it is good to hear from you again! As usual, your questions
are challenging.

One thing about "science" is that is that "belief" is based on theory backed by
experimental observation. Not too long ago the consensus belief was that the
world was flat—now that is no longer an issue. That the world is round is no
longer just a fact but has become an accepted belief.

The question of climate variation is much more complex and we are just at the
beginning of doing better than the old fashioned "Farmers Almanac" in which
many people still have a "belief.‖

It was not until we got the satellites flying a few years ago that we were able to
make good scientific measurements of the energy derived from the sun and
found it was far larger than expected--some 7,000 times the energy used by
"mankind". These measurements gave a different view of the anthropogenic
effect upon "global warming" but as you well know "belief" is a different process
but as scientists we have our own "belief" that the scientific method will prevail in
the physical world.

I venture an idea about the issue of belief Mary poses, and I borrow from Joseph
Tainter's The Collapse of Complex Societies (and focus on some of what is
implicit in his perspective).

Elites own the infrastructure of basic services in a society: energy, transportation,
banking, arms production. The cost of these tends to rise faster than the increase
in GDP. The difference rapidly eats up surplus. The system overshoots.

Now, even if the elites see the problem coming, they respond not by shifting
belief, but by reinforcing existing ideology *in order to extract the maximum
possible from the current state of technology and institutions*…the idea being
that with the spoils they can ride out the crisis.

Shifting an elite from one mode of production to a new one—in this case the
proposal being more democratic, less environmentally exploitative—is very hard.
I read a Shell memo that said "we will shift when the business model for the
alternative is mature", that is, deliver reliably and monopolistically at least as
much profit, and then we can buy it.‖ But not develop it. A task left unspecified,
and thwarted by Shell policies.

To further complicate the problem anthropologically, the need for an elite to
express status is very strong in human life (and primates in general, and outward
to other species). This need seems even stronger than a desire for long term

―Status leads to elites leads to ownership of infrastructure leads to exploitation of
the population leads to increasing concentration of ownership leads to
unwillingness to consider change.‖

Doug, what's your view on the implications of the factor of 7000?

Here is an interesting episode about change (there are always losers) from
Humboldt's Cosmos by Gerard Helferich:

―On September 8, 1801, the travelers left Bogotá for Quito, nearly five hundred
miles away...Westward, down the Cordillera Oriental the Magdalena Valley.
Navigating narrow, twisting paths cliffs on either side, deep mud underfoot, and
thick vegetation obliterating the light above, they descended through uninhabited
woods and passed the towns of Pandi, Espinal, Contreras, and Ibague. Just as
he had earlier eschewed the easiest route through the rain forest, here Humboldt
forsook the relatively level way through interconnecting river valleys and elected
to climb over the Cordillera Central via the thousand feet, was one of
the most demanding trails in all the Andes. As they ascended through stands of
bamboo, wax palms, and tree ferns, punctuated with orchids, passion flowers,
and fuchsias, the party was struck by driving rains. The animals sank deep in the
mud, and the men's boots were destroyed by bamboo spikes jutting from the
swampy ground.

―The travelers were met by a group of cargueros, Indian porters who eked out a
living by strapping a chair to their back and, walking doubled over and supporting
themselves with a cane, conveyed Spanish mining officials over trails. Humboldt,
the self-proclaimed republican, was infuriated to see such a degrading practice and
to "hear the qualities of human being described in the terms that would be mule,"
such as sure-footedness and an easy gait. Rather than mount the human beasts of
burden he and Bonpland (fellow traveler) elected to walk down the mountain to the
town of Cartego though their feet were bare and bleeding. To Humboldt this was
undoubtedly a noble, democratic deed, but the gesture did not impress the
cargueros; to them, it was just an act of stinginess that deprived them of much-
needed income. In fact the porters were vociferous in their objection to a new road
being built through the mountains, on the grounds that it would rob them of their

I hope we will be successful in going two directions at once in this conference.
On the one hand examining the scientific findings so that we can build an
interpretation that is soundly based, and on the other reframing the questions so
that we examine them from the perspective of the behavioral sciences, as Mary
hopes, so that we can understand the ways in which culture, politics, economics,
psychology and other social phenomena play a role in creating and supporting
belief systems, and indeed shape the interpretations of data. We all like to think
that the scientific method has within it all the necessary safeguards against self-
deception, but that may be a self-deception too.

George Taylor
Carl, in response to 1:15: Note that I didn't define myself as a skeptic. I said
"That makes me a ―greenhouse skeptic,‖ according to some people." And the list
of myths/truths was from Reid Bryson (though it's true that I don't disagree with
them). And I loved the "agenda" statement. At the beginning I debated whether to
tell you my current feelings about AGW or not, and decided on full disclosure. I
would be interested in hearing concise statements on the opinions of the rest of
you concerning this subject.

I write a column for the local paper, "Weather Matters"; it's published every other
week. Whenever I write about climate change, I get letters–most commonly
"warmers blasting a skeptic," so to speak. In July, 2003 I addressed this, as
Weather Matters July 6, 2003
Every time I write about climate change I get e-mails, personal letters, and letters
to the editor, many of them complaining about my ideas. Lately there has been
an especially active period, and. several friends have suggested I respond to
these writers. They‘ve asked me:

Q. Why are these people so upset with you?

A. Some people feel really passionate about climate change, being convinced
that the world is warming because of human activities and that things are going
to get a lot worse unless we do something drastic. I believe that natural variations
in climate are much more significant than the human influence. That makes some
people very angry.

Q. Are you angry with them?

A. No. I think disagreeing about scientific issues is fine. I‘m a firm believer in
freedom of speech. It‘s just disappointing when people resort to name-calling or
ad hominem attacks. One fellow wrote about ―looking behind George Taylor‘s
curtain.‖ He implied that I was hiding truth behind a curtain and dispensing lies
and deception on the outside.

Another writer called me a Luddite. These were bands of men, organized,
masked, anonymous, whose object was to destroy machinery used mostly in the
textile industry in the early stages of the Industrial Revolution. The implication
was that Luddites had an irrational fear and hatred of science and technology.

I‘m very much a computer guy, so it can‘t be that. I ride my bicycle to work every
day. Does that make me a Luddite? What does that have to do with climate?

Then there‘s my Old Nemesis, who laments that our State Climatologist doesn‘t
agree with her, and who spends a lot of time writing to me, writing about me, and
trying to convince my OSU colleagues that I‘m evil. Nem responded to one of my
columns several years ago by starting a petition at OSU accusing me of
―distorting‖ the facts. I don‘t hold a grudge against Nem, but I feel sorry for her
and wish she‘d just get a life!

Q. Are you outside the mainstream of science?

It depends on what you mean by ―mainstream.‖ There are lots of scientists who
believe what the ―warmers‖ say about the human influence on climate. There are
also LOTS of skeptics who believe, as I do, that the human influence is rather
small. This includes the majority of the state climatologists, who are responsible
for assessing long-term trends in their respective states and putting current
events in historical perspective. Many meteorologists have signed statements
like the Leipzig Declaration, Statement by Atmospheric Scientists on Greenhouse
Warming, Heidelberg Appeal, and Oregon Petition opposing global regulations
and economic penalties designed to ―stop global warming.‖ I‘m not alone in my

But science is not about ―majority rules.‖ There have been countless cases in the
past in which a ―popular opinion‖ or ―scientific consensus‖ was wrong. As a
famous scientist once said, "Smart people can come up with very good
explanations for mistaken points of view." That includes me! I may be wrong
about climate change!! I changed my mind once before and if I see enough
evidence I‘ll change my mind again.

For a long time I believed what the ―warmers‖ say. In the early 1990s I started
studying climate change more systematically, and became convinced that the
human influence was much less significant than I had been led to believe.

Q. Are you objective and unbiased in your thinking?

A. Heck, no! I‘m a product of my own experiences, attitudes, and worldview. It
colors everything I see and hear. And whether my detractors admit it or not,
they‘re biased as well. Rather than say ―I‘m right and you‘re wrong‖ or ―I‘m
objective and you‘re biased,‖ I‘d prefer that we say ―I respect your opinion even
though it differs from mine. Let‘s talk about it.‖

Q. Bottom line?

A. Sometimes we get narrowly focused and out of balance, especially when
we‘re driven by a single issue. The older I get, the more I see the wisdom in
―moderation in all things.‖ I try to take a balanced view toward ecology – by
definition, ―the relationship between organisms and their environment.‖ I really
like the following quote:

       ―Ecology is now a household word, but many of those who use it do not
seem aware of the fact that by definition ecology is tied to economics, that man‘s
well-being is tied to his being; that although preservation of an unsullied crystal
stream, a purer atmosphere, a virgin tract of forest, or an unblemished landscape
are noble goals, they are not the noblest; the noblest is to provide man with the
basic stuff of his existence–food and housing, and meaningful work....‖

The author? Senator Al Gore, Sr.

Hullo, Carl and Ray, glad to see you two again. I find myself agreeing with
everybody. That is no good for a lively conference. We are so cool and judicious,
we need to be polarized.
Carl, I always admired your intellectual toughness. But aren't you being too tough
on the scientists? They are working in a century in which it is impossible to get
unified support. First, their funding is wrong, too competitive. Second, the public
is too fragmented. To get a public that swallows what authority tells it, you would
need a society that is totally hierarchised, including the scientists. Is that what we

Geoffrey Lloyd, the Cambridge classicist, made a thought-provoking comparison
of Greek and Chinese science in the 4th century. Each Greek practitioner in
medicine had to finance himself by charging his clients. It was a democratic
society; medical science was competitive, individualistic, and strong in PR. By
total contrast, Chinese science was organized in powerful institutions, generously
subsidised by the state.

Which system produced the best science? Geoffrey Lloyd doesn't say, but there
seems to be a strong case for saying that the Chinese understanding of the
human body was way ahead of the Greek.

David Hull's book, Science as Social Process, is devoted to showing the
independence of science from social pressures, but his historical evidence shows
how much modern science is attracted to work on whatever the biggest research
foundations will support. It stands to reason. We wanted a free market in ideas,
and we got it. We can't be surprised that belief won't be bidden by facts.

George Taylor mentioned 'paradigm change'. Thomas Kuhn suggested that it
can't happen until the dominant generation dies out.

Just like trying to 'describe George', it is difficult to describe modern science.
Richard Rorty saw it as a community, the late Robert Merton as competing
individuals, each claiming desperately to be the first one who discovered
whatever it is.

George Taylor
Mary, I love your writing. I can see why the other folks here regard you so fondly.

(1:28) "George Taylor mentioned 'paradigm change'. Thomas Kuhn suggested
that it can't happen until the dominant generation dies out." Kuhn also said it's
usually younger scientists or people new to the field, who come up with the
"paradigm-breaking" ideas. One example I'd cite would be Alfred Wegener, a
meteorologist (!), who came up with the idea of continental drift. It was soundly
rejected by entrenched scientists for decades; but Wegener proved to be right.
After more than 30 years in a career, at age 57, it may be too late for me—
perhaps my biases are just too deeply ingrained to change. How about the rest of
you—are you able to change your way of thinking, on this issue or others?

Sometimes I wonder who will comprise the "next generation of climate change
thinkers," and what they'll propose. One bright new light in the field is Roger
Pielke, Jr., a young man who has a background in math and political science,
and whose father is state climatologist for Colorado. I urge you to read some of
Roger's writings:
George: Nice bit of writing and thinking in your # 25. I am a trustee of the College
of the Atlantic which, as far as I know, is the only college which states that its
educational process is HUMAN ECOLOGY. I like your definition of ecology and
think you may be interested in mine: THE SPECIALTY OF BEING A

I bring this up as pertinent to Mary‘s #26: "I find myself agreeing with everybody.
That is no good for a lively conference. We are so cool and judicious, we need to
be polarized."

Based on my work as a Human Ecologist I would argue that in today's complex
world there is need for an entry period in any complex discussion where people
refrain from being polarized until there is some agreement on the definition and
facts related to the issue being discussed. If this can be accomplished first, then
the polarized part of the process is likely to be much better.

My colleagues here are tired of my saying this: IT IS NOT EITHER/OR but AND

George: After more than 50 years in a career, at age 83, it may be too late for
me. <g>

Am I able to change my opinions? Hell yes! I do it every day!

Here is what I have learned from being on the road.

1. Everybody has an attitude and nobody has information. It appears that
opinions on the environment are received knowledge. People adopt what they
regard as approved views—views shared with their friends and social group—but
they have no information at all to back up these beliefs. I mean NO information.
Zero. They don't know what global warming is; they don't know how much
warming has occurred; they don't know why any controversy exists about
warming; they don't know that CO2 is not the only greenhouse gas, or the most
important; they don't understand the notion of CO2 driven climate change vs.
other greenhouse gases such as water vapor; they don't know about computer
models of climate and they have never considered any question of the validity or
the verification of such models; they don't know about satellites vs. ground
temperatures; they don't know about urban heat bias; they don't know about
variations in sunpsots...They know...
Nothing at all.
They only know that if you disagree with global warming you must be wrong.
And a bad person besides.

2. People can‘t think about the environment except in political terms. This is
spooky to me, and it gets spookier as time goes on. Every single interviewer
points out that my views agree with the Bush administration. When I say that that
is an accident and that my task is to follow the data, they look askance, as if I am
trying to trick them. They then ask my views on Iraq. Did I support the war? What
has this to do with climate change? Apparently, everything.

      The notion of following the data—the notion that the data is politically
neutral—the notion that science is properly apolitical—the notion that policy may
be political but the underlying knowledge should not be political—these are all
difficult concepts for people in today's polarized world. You can see the struggle
on their faces.

    However, these attitudes are in line with the approach taken by
environmental groups, who have consciously set out to discredit me by terming
me a neocon. (I know this because friends send me copies of internal emails
from within environmental groups.) Apparently these groups can't imagine that
someone could just look at the data, either.

3. People do not know even the most fundamental principles of science. A
German review of my book mentioned that a recent poll of climatologists found
that 75% agreed with global warming and 25% disagreed. I point out to reporters
that those who disagree include full professors at major universities, important
figures in their field.

    The reporters say, "Yes, but the great majority disagrees with you."       I
remind reporters that science is not a popularity contest. It is not a matter of a
vote, like an election. It is a matter of who is more accurate in describing the
world. In science it doesn't matter if 99% of climatologists believe in global
warming, a single investigator can still overturn the majority. The history of
science is in fact the history of a single person overturning the majority.

    To this, reporters and others just look blank.
     And then they say, "Yes, but everybody disagrees with what you are

  4. We have entered an Orwellian world without memory. In my view, one of
the most important reasons for caution and skepticism are the intensity of
conviction about global cooling and the coming ice age that characterized climate
scientists in the 1970s. But this simply can't be made to register with modern
people. The 1970s might as well be the 1870s or the 1770s. The past is merely
boring, like a parade of outmoded fashions. There is no connection between past
and present.

  5. We have People flounder in the assessment of risk. They don't know how
to do it; they have received no education about it; the notion of cost-benefit is
strange and exotic; the notion of cognitive illusions in which 100% safety is
irrationally required strikes them as irrelevant to any discussion. It is clear that
they have never received any sort of training in this area. It makes it difficult to
discuss the allocation of resources or the notion of competing risks that need to
be addressed in a society.

In summary, I experience a widespread joining of ignorance and belief which
yields a close-minded conviction akin to that of fundamentalist religious belief. If I
were not so irrationally optimistic, I might fear greatly for the future. But let's not
consider that.

What should be done to resolve this issue?

I think the furor over future climate only exists because we have no good
mechanisms to verify information. I talk to audiences about the Mann "hockey
stick" graph, a centerpiece of the 2001 Third Assessment Report but now
discredited. In the words of UC physicist Richard Muller, "How could this
happen?" The answer is, because climate research does not receive the kind of
scrutiny we insist upon for drug testing (or think we insist upon.) If we had stiffer
standards climate fears would not now exist in the society, because unverified
models would not be allowed as sources of information for setting policy.

First, what would a double-blind testing of climate models look like? Could it be
done at all?

Second, what would true outside assessment of the field look like? Clearly the
NAS can't do it; they have weaseled out in the past where climate is concerned.
And most likely the outside assessment could not include any academic
scientists at all, because a negative report might have the effect of collapsing the
entire field, now richly funded. What group, then, would do the assessment?
Third, what about labeling? We want our food labeled with its contents clearly
marked. Why not research? Shouldn't we have a stamp that says: "Research
Employing Unverified Computer Model?" Or would that prejudice the reader?

Michael: I have no argument with you with regard to a general ignorance of
global warming by the voting citizen. Or with any number of other issues for that
matter. Your statement was of course well written and interesting.

Where I became disappointed was at the end, following: "What should be done
to resolve this issue?" For our group here, I don't think we are concerned
primarily with better scientific tools for resolving the issue of global warming.
Rather I think it is how to educate citizens with the best information that the
ordinary citizen can understand. This is the major missing ingredient for our
democracy in this, and all other issues of political importance.

Of course, one answer might be: ―Don't trust the average citizen to make good
decisions involving scientific issues.‖ But I would answer this very rational
statement with "I don't trust either the current ways and people where such
decisions are made.‖

Perhaps the average citizen is incapable of reaching good decisions in complex
issues. But if so, then perhaps democracy is also incapable of surviving in the
21st century. But it is my understanding that we are not accepting that statement
and are spending our time and energy here not only in reaching better decisions
ourselves, but in seeking ways for educating the average citizen to do so. Even if
there were better science focused on climate, how should a decision on action be
made and who should make it?

At least that is my chief reason for finding this effort here of great importance.
And why I would hope we will gain new ideas from you within that parameter—
not only better science but better ways of what action(s) to take. At least that is
my personal focus. I have not exchanged these ideas with anyone else.

The idea of an "Unverified Computer Model" is interesting. If man's contribution
to global climate change is set aside, for the moment, as trivial, and we try to
model natural climate change -- an effort that I expect has been undertaken by
many -- how would one go about verifying the model?
It would take awhile, wouldn't it?

George Taylor
Ray - (1:35) It would take a long time and you could never be sure of your
answer. You might get a really good match with measurements, but maybe you
got the right answer for the wrong reasons. And if you were trying to match up
with something like "average global temperature" (what the Hockey Stick shows)
it would be futile--there is no such thing as "average global temperature." There
are an infinite number of averages of weather station data, and these may or
may not be representative of locations in between. Or over the oceans. Or in the

The only way I would even consider a model "calibrated" is if its output were
compared to every available measurement separately. I wouldn't requite it to
match every measurement—measurements can be wrong, too!—but it would
have to do a pretty good job of simulating the overall distribution.

Another problem: climate is a lot more than temperature. There's precipitation.
And winds. And humidity. And snowfall. As tough as temperature is to model, the
others are harder.

I give a lot of public talks (mostly to intelligent lay people). One analogy I use
when someone asks about climate models is like this: suppose I wanted to build
a mathematical model to predict my wife's moods. Cindy and I have been
married for 30 years, so I consider myself a "Cindy expert." I can identify things
that put her in a good mood (a backrub; a cooperative kindergarten class; a visit
from one of our kids; a good night's sleep; an afternoon walk; the day of the week
(Sunday is very good). So I create a mathematical model based on those things
and I measure those variables and her mood for awhile and develop cause-effect
relationships (using multivariate analysis or principal components or wild
guesses). I use those to calibrate my model. I tweak some of the factors so that
the model results match the observed. And then I run the model into the future.

But a couple of problems arise. What if I left out some variables? What if my
assessment of her moods was wrong from the beginning? And what if some of
the key variables cannot be predicted? I don't know in advance if her
kindergartners will behave. Our daughter may pop in at any time. Lots of things
can interrupt sleep. And so on. In the end, all I can really predict is the day of the
week, so my prediction is heavily weighted to that.

Would you trust such a model? I wouldn't! Now substitute "climate" for "Cindy,"
and "CO2" for "day of the week" and "solar radiation, clouds, PDO, etc." for "the
other variable we can't predict," and that's about where climate models are. CO2
dominates, and the other stuff gets left out. With nothing to temper its effects,
CO2's impacts are probably overstated.

Does that make sense?

George Taylor
Don--ref. 1:31: "I like your definition of ecology and think you may be interested
in mine: THE SPECIALTY OF BEING A GENERALIST." Amen. I have a friend
who says "There are two kinds of thinkers in the world: systems thinkers and
piece thinkers." The former are the ones who see patterns and generalities and
"big picture" viewpoints. The latter are the detail people. You and I are in
category 1. And I have a son who's a 2. John is way smarter than me in his field,
but it's a very narrow field. He needs someone like me to show him the relevance
of what he does. But people like him make true breakthroughs in science and
technology and other fields, so I need him. It takes all kinds...

While reading a few days of comments here the words to Merry Minuet popped
into my mind. The song was recorded in the late fifties by the Kingston Trio.

       They're rioting in Africa,. They're starving in Spain.
       There's hurricanes in Florida, and Texas needs rain.
       The whole world is festering with unhappy souls.
       The French hate the Germans. The Germans hate the Poles.
       Italians hate Yugoslavs. South Africans hate the Dutch
       And I don't like anybody very much!
       But we can be tranquil and thankful and proud
       For man's been endowed with a mushroom shaped cloud.
       And we know for certain that some lovely day
       Someone will set the spark off and we will all be blown away.

       They're rioting in Africa. There's strife in Iran.
       What nature doesn't do to us will be done by our fellow man.

I'm a skeptic here. I don't see that either side has nailed anything down. We can
be certain that the climate will change in the future. There are only two
possibilities, it will either get colder or warmer, so whichever you pick, the odds
are 50-50.

More interesting to me is that we are polarized on the issue. I suspect that at
least half the people have no stance on the issue.

There have always been doomsayers and doomnayers, each with their clamoring
Greek chorus. I remember the global freezing claims back in the 70's, but I don't
remember there being such a hullabaloo about it. I don't remember that people
were so angry about their differences of opinion in general, but maybe they were.
Vietnam sure aroused some fierce passions. Do people simply need 'burning
issues' over which they can contend?

I like Donald Straus‘s thought (1.31) that polarized argument should be
postponed ‗til some common basis of agreement has been established. Right!
I am shocked at George Taylor suggesting he may be too old to change his
mind, (1.25), when he is only 57! Crazy!
May I offer an answer from Cultural Theory to Michael's puzzlement (1.33) on
finding that views on the environment are highly politicised? According to this
theory (now discussed fairly internationally) our views of nature are used as kinds
of brickbats for hurling at the opposition in any moral dispute. When hard pressed
by opponents in an important argument, each side will have resorted to its
clinching argument, 'This is how nature is'.

This is the first step in making the environment a political issue; it always has
been, so habitual.

Second, each kind of social organization tends to develop its own collective
'myth' of nature. The myth justifies a way of life, a system of organizing, a theory
of good and bad behaviour.

Third, to go further than that, we, the CT people, have tested it by postulating
four main kinds of social organization each sustained by its distinctive myth of
nature. This formula has been basic to Michael Thompson's work on risk in the
late seventies and eighties. It underpins the work that Aaron Wildavsky and I did
on risk (Risk and Culture, 1983)

Hierarchical society, the myth is that nature is benign, but needs protection.
The society based on competitive individualism has the myth that nature is very
strong, you can do what you like; it always swings back in the end. This is helpful
to the entrepreneur and big business.

The closed sectarian enclave has the myth that nature is fragile, about to
collapse. This is a marvellous weapon for a system that only keeps going by
attacking outsiders for their immorality.

The isolates, who are not caught up into any of the above, don't have any firm
view, mostly skeptical about theories; we call their attitude 'Fatalist'. I see the
whole scenario of State of Fear drawn out in these terms, one reason why I love
the book, and would like to see reviews of it.

More on these lines to come soon.

There is plenty of reason to be skeptical, Kip, but just because temperatures can
only go up or down doesn't mean that you can base your skepticism on your
claim that the odds are 50-50. Those are the odds on a coin toss, but not on
other questions, certainly not on climate. The odds have to be calculated more
like the odds on a horse race, where history, condition, jockey, weather,
competition, etc. are factored in.

Douglas Strain
I have been off line but I see that it is not only the "globe" that is "warming up"!
Going back to 1:4 and Doug Carmichael's plea for a background piece giving a
"feel" for the potential range of change that might be expected with or without
anthropogenic effects, I would cite the chapter 24 on Global Warming in Bjorn
Lomberg's book entitled The Skeptical Environmentalist. I got into this well
researched book last year and it changed my "hat" from green to my hereditary
Scotch plaid! George Taylor probably has a better reference but the content of
this one did change my belief and took away a lot of guilt about my "desecration"
of our environment!

I take your point, Richard, though it seems that with respect to climate we aren't
likely to be much more successful in our wager than if we were to follow the
advice of handicappers on horse races.

We could always apply Cui Bono.

George Taylor
Mary--(1:39): I only suggested that I may be too old to change my mind—mostly
as a teaser and as a way of getting everyone to confront their own biases. It's
never too late old to change one's mind. Besides, I'm a very young 57!

Kip, as I see it, the difficulty in making decisions on global warming comes less
from the inadequacy of climate research than it does from the workings of the
politics of knowledge. Granted, we don't know everything we might like to know,
but to dismiss the pursuit of this knowledge is to give in to the political power. If
we paid as much attention to the social and behavioral problems raised as we do
to the climate sciences, where they conduct literally thousands of studies on this
one subject, we might be less likely to throw in the towel. That's why I think this
conference is valuable: it treats the sociology and politics of knowledge as
equally important to the hard science involved.

Douglas Strain
Our topic is in the news this week! The latest issue of The Economist Feb 5th
cover features "Science, politics and climate change" The article on page 73
opens with a quote from our own Michael Crichton and his book State of Fear.
The two-page article closes with a paragraph titled "The death of
environmentalism?" and ends with "Despite the arrival of Kyoto, the debate and
dissent of recent weeks suggests that the treaty has not produced the world of
self confident greens and smothered critics feared by Dr. Crichton.‖ In fact, the
contrary seems to be true." Our WBSI topic seems to be right on target!

To lend support to the comment Doug just entered, today's NY Times carries a
front page story about the same report, issued last fall by environmentalists
Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus titled "The Death of Environmentalism."
The report suggests that the movement is not meeting its goals. Fuel was added
to this fire by the failure of big spending by major environmental groups such as
the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters to unseat President
Bush. Shellenberger and Nordhaus argue that the effort should be to broaden the
appeal to include other progressive issues. Leading figures in the environmental
movement are critical, of course.

The article raises the subject of Ecopolitics, and plays right into the issues we are
dealing with in this conference. One leading environmentalist, Bill McKibben,
who wrote the classic global warming text, The End of Nature, back in 1989, is

"But Mr. McKibben, who called Mr. Shellenberger and Mr. Nordhaus 'the bad
boys of environmentalism,' said their data showed that the kind of political
support the movement had in the late 1970's had come and gone. 'The political
ecosystem is as real as the physical ecosystem so we might as well deal with it,'
he said."

For the full article click on the URL below:

The Economist article Doug cites is directly targeted on the issues of this
conference and I would urge all to read it. The global warming dispute is, of
course, rather well known and well documented. What seems to me to be
missing in the international debate is a deeper analysis of the ways such
environmental disputes occur and how they might be moderated. The kind of
cultural theory analysis that Mary brings to this conference, as well as analytic
comments made by others here, open the doors to such an understanding of
these disputes. Perhaps it is at that level that we can make the better
contribution. Meanwhile, here is the URL for the Economist article:

 'Oh, to be seventy again!‘ So the octogenarian Count Fontanelle used to exclaim
whenever he saw a pretty woman. I am only 83, and tempted to rebuke George
Taylor for boasting of his youthfulness, to me he seems very young, only 57 and
a very young 57 at that! (1,25, 43). He believes that human intervention is not so
responsible for climate change. It is a change of opinion; he used to believe the
reverse. Was it information that made him change his view, or mature reflection?
Or did he change his friends as his career advanced? Did he find himself in the
Elite who are generally optimistic about being able to get away unharmed?
George, are you old enough not to mind my questioning you? You can now have
a conversation with someone who holds the opposite view, and calmly tell them
that you don't agree but you respect their opinion. This is as provoking to the
local anthropologist as Michael Crichton's belief (1.33) in 'politically neutral data'.

My first question is about anger. Surely the conversation you imagine can only
take place in a situation strictly segregated from everything that matters to you
personally. Could there possibly be some situation in which the disagreement
poses a threat to the things you love?

In that case it won't be any use my reminding you to keep calm. So I am
supporting Michael's statement (1.33) that the extraordinary thing is the heat
generated by the global warming debate itself.
Who feels threatened by the disagreement? What starts skepticism? In this
conference we are being very frank. Douglas Strain almost admits to a sense of
relief when he changed his opinion, becoming a skeptic took away guilt about his
'desecration' of the environment (1.41). I love it; most of us really don't want to
subscribe to terror and disaster. This admission narrows the question.
Not, who feels threatened?
But, who doesn't?
Not, who has a need to feel angry, or hate?
But, who is free of such needs?

The answer must surely involve the eco-skeptics, the ones who feel they can
stay out of the fray, sufficiently secure, uninvolved.

Reading State of Fear slowly again, the person who most grips my imagination is
the comic Professor Hoffman, who won't stop talking about his Ecology of
Thought. He is a crashing bore. He is me in my last comment, the one about four
types of culture arising from four types of organisation. I am going to be very
careful in future, and start again.

 Dick, after reading this conference, and finding myself and my profession in
parody in State of Fear, I have had an idea.

The book is perfectly rounded in its scenario of performers in context of the
nuclear risk debates of the 80's. They can be neatly projected into the book that
Aaron Wildavsky and I wrote, Risk and Culture (1982).

Michael Crichton is in a major way responsible for the way we see our theme.
Moreover, we want to pay him honor. So why don't those of us who have read
this great book make an effort to identify ourselves as characters in it? A gender-
free identification would be nice, Doug Strain as Kenner, the lead person; Dick as
Sarah, general facilitator. I am Prof. Hoffman, (but you won't hustle me off the
stage). I can solve my problems of presentation by relating each belief position to
its cultural setting within the book.

Oh dear! Some of us would have to agree to be the baddies. So perhaps it is not
such a good idea.

I put it back.

George Taylor
Mary--(1:48): By all means, ask me anything you want. If I don't have an answer,
I'll just make something up.

Just kidding. But regarding how my own opinion changed, I spent the first 20
years of my career as an air quality scientist, mostly in southern California. I
didn't think much about climate change, but mostly just went along with what
seemed to be the prevailing view: that human activities impacted climate
significantly. Since I didn't consider myself an expert in the field, I didn't publicly
express an opinion.

In 1989 I moved to Oregon and accepted the job as State Climatologist. I didn't
know much about climate, but had a strong background in computers, had been
involved in service-oriented positions, and had run a small business, so they
hired me. That's when I started studying climate diligently.

In 1992 Pat Michaels published Sound and Fury. I read that and saw a very
different viewpoint on climate change. I began to assess Pat's viewpoint in the
light of what I was seeing in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. The
more I looked, the more I confirmed, in my own mind, what he was saying.

In 1996 I "came out" and gave a seminar in my department on my viewpoint on
climate change. My colleagues treated me like a leper, or a criminal. One said
"George, you're a very dangerous man." Huh? "You give a lot of public talks,
and if you tell people there isn't a problem, they won't do anything." Such as?
"They need to get rid of their SUVs and drive less." Wait a minute, Rick, you
drive a car every day; why don't you ride a bike like I do? "Once everybody else
does, I will, too." Mind you, not every "adversary" is like that, but he's rather
typical of many folks in this community. Most aren‘t as honest as he.

I started writing my newspaper column in 1999. As I wrote earlier, I get plenty of
hate mail when I write about my point of view on climate change. I'm sure
warmers get similar grief from people who think I'm right. Of course, there's no
"right or wrong" in this issue but a lot of shades of gray, but in the minds of many,
on both sides, it's an either/or issue.

Mary, it used to really bother me when people called me names. I WANT people
to like me. But in the last three years I've lost my mother and my father-in-law to
death, gotten cancer myself and survived, seen my mother-in-law get cancer and
survive, and saw my wife almost die after her colon burst six weeks ago. These
things are WAY more important to me than climate change, which pales in

I'm a husband, a father, a Christian, an elder in my church, a surfer, a musician,
a runner, a bicyclist, an artist...and a climatologist. Only a portion of my identity is
wrapped up in my profession.

And I love the quote from the Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Richard Feynman,
paraphrased: "The best scientists are always trying to prove themselves wrong."
If you're able to help me prove myself wrong, you're doing me a favor and
making me a better scientist.

So have at it!

22:39--Mary, I like the idea of playing roles in Michael's book. Maybe we could
break through to an understanding of how to put the sides together. I just wish
everyone had read the book.

I actually have been a character in a couple of Michael's books and movies. I've
been portrayed by Dustin Hoffman and Michael Douglas. Sort of. So I have
already identified myself with a character in Michael's new book. I'm Peter Evans,
the clumsy, wimpish attorney who changes his mind and becomes less of a
villain—even a kind of accidental hero. At least he gets the girl, or so it would
seem. So I can't be Sarah. She is much too effective and disciplined to be me.
And I'm like Peter in the sense that I have less of a commitment to either side in
this dispute than others in this conference, and so it is not all that unsettling to
entertain the opposite position to the one I had been holding.

My favorite character in the book is yours, wild-eyed Prof. Hoffman. He makes
the case not just against anthropogenic global warming, but the state of fear in
which we are continually being held, as a way of governing or manipulating us,
but the fears they sell us are largely unfounded. Terrorism is another good
example. I guess there is reason to fear those who would hold us in fear, but not
the things they scare us with. I think that is Michael's main point, so you get to be
the real hero of the book.

A message from Carl Hodges who reminisced about the impact that climatologist
Walter Orr Roberts had on all of us in WBSI's School of Management and
Strategic Studies. Walt conducted what he called the Climate Club, involving
some of our key participants. Carl emailed me the report Walt and the others
prepared that first opened our eyes to the possibility of CO2 being a factor in
global warming. For those of you who are interested in the history of this and
would like to turn the clock back 22 years, here is the link:

Thank you, Richard and George, for your personal answers. No wonder you
neither of you feel swept by anger about the dire fate of the environment. Neither
of you belong to an enclave.

An enclave is a sect, but not necessarily a religious one. It is a group who are in
the minority, have separated themselves off from the rest of the world. They
start their separatism because they morally disapprove of the mainstream. Once
they have committed themselves to their eccentric principles they are faced with
a problem.

How to keep together? It is difficult to keep the loyalty and muster the support of
any set of people, but if they are cooperating on a daily basis as a small closed
group, it is very much harder than we would think. They tend to make rules about
their behavior to each other. They need to fend off jealousy so they make a rule
of egalitarianism. They are all equal, they need leaders and decisions, but their
first rule has made leadership impossible.

They next start to compete with each other covertly; if they are a religious sect
they can transfer the decision-making to God in various ways (casting lots,
treating the Bible as an oracle, having a totally charismatic leader who cannot be
challenged because he communicates directly with God, and so on). We have
studied many different types of enclaves.

Secular enclaves can cast lots but they can't resort to divine decision-making so
have to find other ways to mask leadership, or do without. They get to be
obsessed by fear of defection of their members, watch each other for signs of
disloyalty, and denounce each other for back-sliding. It becomes a very
uncomfortable place to live in; they wish to love one another and control jealousy,
but neither wish gets much chance in these circumstances.

Has any one here ever been in a closed, idealistic, egalitarian community? If so,
have you stayed with it for long? I would be glad if you could tell us if I have got it

Mary, you're such a pleasure to read.

Whether there really is a problem or not, a lot of people directly depend on there
being one for their income. Scientists, authors, opinion writers, politicians, etc. it
doesn't seem to me very likely they'll suddenly decide there is no problem unless
there is incontrovertible evidence. Not just income, but reputations are at stake.

If there is a problem it seems to me highly unlikely that enough people in the
world will make the kinds of changes in their lives that might delay the onslaught,
let alone prevent it. At least not until the evidence is hitting them right in the face -
and perhaps not even then.

The potential of a global warming problem is, however, a fertile breeding ground
for technological and social change. If we are going to stake out positions in
order to further the conference might we not want to think about what the optimal
tech or social results of the problem are? What opportunities are present in the
simple existence of the problem (whether it is objectively true or not that man is
causing global warming)?

Kip, of course you are quite right. My contribution is to only one stream of our
debate, the other one is crucial.

I just want to say a bit more about why George and Michael get castigated so
harshly when they declare neutrality.

Yes, it is true that some people are professionally dependent on finding problems
to work on. But it is much worse than that for an enclave. Its survival as a high-
principled united body depends on having enemies.

Adopting the posture of defense deflects the envy and anger sizzling inside the
group. The more they provoke attack, the more easily they can convince
members that they are good, saints and even martyrs, and that the mainstream
outside is utterly evil.

Belonging to an enclave leads them to a particularly critical and negative view of
human nature. It also leads them to recruit 'nature' to their cause. Announcing
the imminent demise of nature is a bid to postpone the demise of their
community which is under threat, and which includes wife and children.

George is promoting their agenda every time he sticks his head out with some
news about anthropogenic dangers to the environment being a minute proportion
of natural dangers. It isn't the evidence that is hitting them in the face; the normal
problem of the enclave bothers them more.

Mary's introduction of the idea of enclaves has encouraged me to join this erudite
conversation. I am an enclave member, but never recognized it until now. But
since I am a member, I have a less bitter view of what it is than some of you.
My enclave is composed of multiple ideas. These are: rapid population
increases, increasing use of scientific inventions that make the human use of
space and things more difficult for others while satisfying one's own desires,
increasing spread of wealth from the poor to the very rich, and many others that
any of you can describe.

Members of my enclave are prejudiced to welcome arguments supporting global
warming, efforts to reduce population (yes, even the Chinese one-family
experiment), larger families than two (of course we have three!), and many
similar human activities.

Having confessed the above, I still claim that I have an open mind and that the
perceptions I have just admitted to be just common sense which any reasonable
person would respect. Members of my enclave would admit we are not certain
that we should try to decrease global warming, that we should preach smaller
families, etc. but that to join such movements will do less harm and might do a lot
of good.

Of course, other enclaves have similar convictions. But perhaps if we could
encourage enclave-believers (different from religious or patriotic beliefs) who
might be capable of open discussions, they might be a road towards more
collaborative discussion.

I am not sure how much of the above I really believe. It is all a very new idea for
me. But I thank Mary (even if I am alone in doing so) for igniting me to express it

Don, I am not sure I accept you as being an enclave member.

Your group doesn't seem to have any people in it or any boundaries which they
must cross to speak to the outside. There is no one you suspect of trying to boss
the show, or free-riding on other members' work. It is more like the slippery sands
of a Dune organization than a simple enclave. If my doubting answer doesn't
annoy you, you are certainly not a member of an enclave.

Richard, you chose the nicest person, and yes, I do think that Peter suits you
very well.

About the Walter Roberts Climate Club, what a good idea. Count me in as the
resident amateur.

 Mary: My # 56 was not written with much conviction. As a former member of
Planned Parenthood, I thought I read in your words many similarities to being an
enclave member. And at the same time, there were many related causes, such
as pro-abortion and others that sounded to me like possibly related enclaves.
But I must have missed some important features of enclaves and, with no malice
whatsoever; I withdraw my application for membership :)

The only possibly valid idea I was playing with is that today it would seem that
many genuine enslave members would also be members of a number of related
organizations. If so, does this lead to some new ideas for understanding Global
Warming, and from there to better skills for discussions of Global Warming that
includes opposing enclaves on the issues?

My guess is that the issue creates bonds among people who may not have
associated before but now share a particular view of global warming, even
though there is not necessarily a charismatic leader in the group. Then the
evidence that supports their view becomes shared, with the most extreme
findings becoming the most welcome news, leading to increased polarization of
the issue, and deepening resentment of the opposition. Maybe they begin to act
like an enclave. Why would a smart, interesting, Hispanic Los Angeles Times
columnist who writes about city politics, never science or environmental issues,
feel the need to call Michael Crichton a menace and a crackpot?

I would still like an answer to my question—who are the short term winners and
losers? Obviously, if the warming skeptics are correct, winners are corporations
that don't have to spend billions on emission control and political conservatives
who hate government interference, consumers who don't have to give up their
SUVs. Losers are scientists and environmentalists who have a major financial
interest in maintaining funding for their projects, other nations that have joined
Kyoto, celebrities and leaders who have staked their reputations on warming. I'm
sure there are others.

Clearly, if the ―warmers‖ are correct, in the long term there are big losers, and
some winners, I guess, depending upon where one lives. But it is not clear how
even those blessed with warmer climates for growing, will do well if vast areas of
the earth force massive migration or starvation. Maybe we all lose in the long

 Don, if your 1.56 was inspired by experiences of a Planned Parenthood group, it
could easily become very sectarian. A French colleague is studying social
workers and medics dealing with HIV positive patients, and he reports very clear
symptoms of the enclave mentality: sympathy for the victims of AIDS, obviously,
and resentment and rejection of every one else who has to do with them,
poaching on their preserve, as it were.

I know what it is like in academia too, very exciting and rewarding to be in a little
group of students, followers of a famous but eccentric professor, only respecting
the opinions of those who understand what he and we are doing, contemptuous
of the others in the profession and not deigning to read their articles and not
inviting them to give seminars or be examiners, taking on his feuds... very closed
off intellectually. (That was anthropology some fifty years ago; I don't suppose it
happens in science!).

Another topic has been left dangling, or did I miss the response? It was about
solving the deforestation problem by supplying the African forest-destroyers with
micro-wave ovens. My first reaction was thinking the electricity would be much
too expensive for subsistence farmers. Then I remembered that solar-powered
micro-wave ovens are feasible, and a delightful prospect seemed to open up.
But then I wondered whether these people just cut down forest for the domestic
needs that could be met in this way, in which case they are probably cutting only
a minute proportion of primeval forest (another case of infinitesimal
anthropogenic damage), or whether they earn cash by logging. In that case
microwave cookers would be irrelevant for saving the forest.

Would it be useful to set aside the question of climate warming for a few minutes
and ask if there are other reasons—especially relatively short-term reasons—to
reduce the amount of CO2 and other gasses mankind adds to the environment?
If there are, and if those reasons are important, then the overriding question of
what we should do becomes easier to answer. Doesn't it?

It would then follow that the relevant issue now is: Given the possibility that we
may in some way be contributing to climate change, should we redouble our

Richard asks: 'Why would a smart, interesting, Hispanic Los Angeles Times
columnist who writes about city politics, never science or environmental issues,
feel the need to call Michael Crichton a menace and a crackpot?'

I don't know, but I haven't read his review. Could he be protesting against
suspected racialism in the presentation of savage cannibals in New Guinea? You
said he is Hispanic.

Don asks: 'The only possibly valid idea I was playing with is that today it would
seem that many genuine enslaved members would also be members of a
number of related organizations. If so, does this lead to some new ideas for
understanding Global Warming, and from there to better skills for discussions of
Global Warming that includes opposing enclaves on the issues?'

So glad you said this. You put it so politely. You could reasonably have said that
I am wildly exaggerating from the extreme cases. In reply I can now explain that
the idea of enclavism in cultural theory is essentially based on constructed
dimensions designed to assess the infrastructure for each form of cultural bias.
So the extreme enclave will institute much stronger boundaries keeping the
members from being seduced away from the true beliefs. It is not difficult to list
the boundaries and then test empirically how effective they are in particular
cases. The successful enclave manages to control the information coming into
the group, needs to do that to prevent the pure milk of the word from being
watered down. We find that such a group develops internal pressure to close
itself more and more, even to the point of dysfunction. Your Family Planners
would only count as incipiently enclavist.

The environment and people are connected through mostly economic activities
(which might be in turn embedded in cultural paradigms). Currently business is
rewarded for activities that are not environmentally friendly and indeed reduce
the environment in act and thought.

Could there be a way to motivate a much more robust playfulness, like taking on
CO2, forests, species, and making much of the world a great garden, as creative
design issues that are intrinsically interesting and possibly important….and that
corporations would be sufficiently compensated that a real shift in this direction
could occur?

It is so extraordinary, god as Shakespeare, that eco-logos and eco-nomos,
ecological and economical, both build on the same Greek eco root for home.
How could the logic of the home and the law of the home so diverge? Let's bring
them back working together for the eco we all desire.

Entering a week late and already in love! Mary, your questions and quips have
been so delightful, ironic, informing and mind-altering that I gave up lunch so I
could rush to catch up. And here I enter at the right time too, as the dangling
topic of clean solar ovens for rural Africans leads to a question about commercial
loggers. But before I reflect from my experience with those enclaves, I want to
ask if I am at risk of becoming part of a new enclave, now that I have put Risk
and Culture on my reading list, second only to State of Fear and the Economist
article Dick recommends?

Is there an anthroposocial category for Shape-Shifters?

Since I now have an appointment I cannot miss (picking up my kid at school), I
will save response to specifics in the first 62 postings till tomorrow. But I cannot
help but mention a thought I have now, looking at Michael's picture on the back
of his book --how much of the negative reaction to his book might come from
jealousy that he is so damn handsome? Other than Farson, who has been a pin-
up on countless psychology students' bulletin boards, I don‘t know what the rest
of you fellow enclavers look like. But I can say for certain that I don‘t want to
show up on a panel with Crichton.

Hey—maybe that explains why so many of my conservation colleagues prefer to
hang out with chimpanzees!

To make it worse, Tony, Michael is six feet ten inches tall.

Mary: I thought that there was much more to your interest in enclavism than
many of us have yet to learn. And I suspect that much of it is very pertinent to our
topic: Global Warming. And also to any of the big issues of the day that have
become battle fields for adversarial jousting.

I do hope that you will continue your discussion of enclavism, because your short
paragraph was more a strip-tease than a glimpse of the whole body! But now that
I have been seduced, I WANT MORE!

Here are some preliminary observations (which may be totally wrong) but they
will give you a sketch of why I am so hooked—and possibly where my prejudices
have caused me to misunderstand what you have said.

     - Enclavism is a sickness that fouls up any attempt to understand important
and complex issues.

     - We have also discussed how it has evolved in the case of Global
Warming. How might your skills in understanding enclavism be of help in our
further discussions here?

      - Would a majority of American citizens agree that enclavism is "bad", or on
the other hand are there so many who are "enclaved" that this is a national
sickness that would be difficult to cure. Or, on the other hand, has it become a
virtue that should be nourished?

     - If it is a sickness (for example in Global Warming circles) what tools do we
have to help cure it? As many here know, one of my (possibly "enclaved")
beliefs is that topics like Global Warming can be helped by facilitated discussion.
And possibly helped further with the skills of enclaved specialists.

     - To sum up this long and rambling dump—how can an understanding of
enclavism be used to advantage in these discussions?

George Taylor
I want to encourage all of you to read a piece by Hans von Storch and Nico
Stehr. Hans is a long-time scientist, a confirmed warmer, who has a refreshingly
balanced view on Global Warming. Recently he authored a journal article
exposing the Hockey Stick as incorrect and inappropriate.

Or in the vein of recent submissions, "Hans is no enclave dweller."

George Taylor
Ref 1:68: Oh, and von Storch has a lot to say about State of Fear as well! Now
you must read it!

I‘m curious as to why CO2 has been named the major culprit in global warming.
How much heat does a single human body generate in the course of a day? How
much heat is generated by all the PC‘s in the world? How much heat is
generated by all of the light bulbs, chainsaws, toasters, ovens, airplanes,
turbines, trains, etc? Friction is also a source of heat. Every time you use the
brakes on your car heat is generated.

The increase in heat that is generated daily by humans increased significantly in
the 20th century, and dramatically in the past 30 years, due to population
increase and the proliferation around the globe of electrically operated devices,
and embedded friction.

What is the maximum rate of heat transfer possible from our atmosphere to
space? Is there a way to calculate that? Is there a way to calculate how much
heat is being produced by mankind on a daily basis?

I never see any discussion about these kinds of things when I read about global

As I recall, Kip, Doug Strain said that the sun delivers something like 7,000 times
the energy of all human activity.

Douglas Strain
Mary Douglas, your description of "enclaves" makes it clearer to me why they
nearly always overwhelm our scientific enclave that endeavors to establish our
"beliefs" with "scientific experiments". Does the internal pressure within an
enclave build up as you suggest until the "enclave" self destructs? Do you think
that will happen (maybe is happening) to our "scientific enclave"?

So far in this conference, we have not heard from those ILF Fellows who are
most involved in research on global warming, and who believe strongly in its
anthropogenic nature. How they will respond, and I'm sure they will, can give us
a picture of the dispute in the way it is really being played out. At this point too
many of us in the discussion at this point could be swayed, but if we could
become a microcosm of how the necessary dialogue must take place, perhaps
we will have a model to offer. Are there precautions we can now take to make
this dispute less confrontational?

George Taylor
It's hard to measure, but not insignificant. The best example is a phenomenon
called the "urban heat island" effect, which is a rise in temperature in and above
cities due to various human activities, as well as land use change (more
impervious surface, for example). Studies have been made in places like St
Louis (the Metromex project in the 70s, the first of its kind), Atlanta, and Salt
Lake City. Typical measurements suggest increases of 3-10 deg F compared
with surrounding rural areas.

So one fear that climate folks have is that temperature measurements may be
"contaminated" by local warming which has nothing to do with global change.
Some people try to adjust for urban effects, but it's very difficult; usually it's better
to stick to rural measurements when it comes to determining trends in climate.

One problem arises in countries that are predominantly urban, e.g. Western
Europe. In others there are very few non-urban stations, so it's hard to get a
handle on "background" temperature trends.

In the US, where we're privileged to have a fine long-term climate network
(almost 10,000 stations, many of them rural) the warmest year of the last century
was 1934 and the warmest decade was the 1930s (the 1990s were close). In
many other parts of the world the 1990s were the warmest on record. Is this
difference because of urban contamination in the latter case, or was it real? It's
hard to say, but climate scientists have been debating this issue for some time.

In my own case, I'm very cautious about using data from stations whose history
suggests non-climatic change (a station move, trees cut down, road built, urban
growth), but one has to be very familiar with a location to be able to do that.
Plenty of people who study and predict climate have no sense of quality control
for the measured data they're using.

Isn't the overall climate an ongoing interaction between a variety of locales? How,
for example, can we determine what effect a large urban concentration of heat
might have on a rural area a thousand miles away? Wouldn't the heat generated
by a concentration of activities in a specific area tend to bleed into the area
around it, even be carried by winds to more distant places, etc.? What effect
does a place like LA have on the nearby coastal waters? How much of the heat
produced by humans is stored in bodies of water?
How big a role does atmospheric CO2 consumption by rock weathering play? I've
read that each year soils release 5% of their carbon to the atmosphere as CO2.
This is a quantity 10 times that produced by the burning of fossil fuels. Arctic
tundra, peat and wetland soils are world reservoirs of soil carbon. Methane
Hydrate (CH4 + H2O) (A greenhouse gas) - There is more methane hydrate in
the oceans and arctic soils than all the fossil fuels in the world combined. It is
very pervasive throughout the tundra soil. If the tundra is heated up (by global
warming, for example), the carbon in the soil may become oxidized to CO2 and
there may be the release of methane to the atmosphere from the methane
hydrate in the permafrost. Both CO2 and methane are greenhouse gases. This is
an example of positive feedback, for the greenhouse effect.

Reading this I have the impression that any increase in temperature (regardless
of cause) in areas that contain large amounts tundra, peat or wetlands would
result in an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere.

How can we tell whether or not an increase in atmospheric CO2 is actually the
result of human activity or simply the result of a normal fluctuation in
temperature? Given the number of variables and the complexity of their
interaction how can we determine if any long term modeling is accurate?

Douglas Strain
1:75—Kip, you bring up some very good points that are still under debate. In
some of the NREL sessions I used to attend, a study they did on the location of
their many stations indicated that the "urbanization" of the station locations
contributed most of the observed "warming". Stations remaining in rural areas
showed little if any warming.

Computer simulations bring in a host of other problems that affect their long term

 Ray Alden asks (1.62) what important non-GW reasons we could have for
cutting down CO2? Cycling is good for your health. So is it important to protect
the city cyclists' exposure to asthma from breathing in car exhausts?

Doug Carmichael asks about rewarding the manufacturers for not producing CO2
by inviting them to join a fashionable game, the world is a park; let's have robust
fun, making it beautiful. Sounds to me like a great tourism selling point. But how
to stop the tourists from wanting to travel by air?

I wonder if the future development of mobile phones etc. are going to make it
less necessary to travel? I have met green persons who are vowed never to go
anywhere by air.

We can see some industries that will be damaged if we all took that vow.
Back to Enclaves. I am so happy some people want to know more. But it gets
complicated. Dick, should I put some famous articles into our list, so as not to
encumber this screen too much?

Don Straus has seen that it may be an instrument for attending to the social
organization of opinion, so going deeper into the basis of disagreement.

Is enclavism (sectarianism) a sickness? It can be like that. Can we do without it?

Just because it must find victims to protect, and must blame the mainstream from
which it has separated in acrimony, the enclave has a function for carrying the
conscience of society. When the ancient Chinese government tried to suppress
sects, it only turned them into vagabond heroes of the water margins.

Is it the only or the worst obstacle to honest debate? No, the most destructive of
civil society is the culture known as 'fatalism'. The people who turn into fatalists
have had an experience of society that has left them with no options, no
expectation of ever being able to do anything about their condition, so cynical
about attempts to do good, 'the world is a stitch up'. They can see no resources
that will help them, no one wants their opinion, and they don't have one. This
culture is the most dangerous. The only escape is somehow to join or make a
little sect, so they are the source, the fount, for the stream of converts to sects.

There are four cultures calculated by this means, and the best way for a
community to be is when all the sub-cultures are freely communicating with each

More later, where I will explain the two dimensions which constitute the social
environment of a community.

I've removed the inadvertent duplicate post of the above comment by Mary—Kip

Talking about a form of sickness:

It quickly seems to be very unsystematic to pick on particular 'sick' forms of
culture. That would be to give way to subjective preferences and dislikes. It is
safer to try to fit them into a general range of cultural possibilities. So here goes,
an attempt to make a map of kinds of social organisation.

One dimension (we draw it horizontally from 0 to Plus) goes for the strength of
group as a principle of organisation.
At the zero end it would indicate kinds of social relation in which the individual
expects little support and tolerates little control from others. He/she might belong
to several groups, but none of them would take up too much of his time and
resources. As you (the investigator) move along this dimension towards
maximum group strength, you are scoring points for hereditary membership, for
time spent in group company, attendance at festivals, penalties incurred for
breaking group regulations. As these markers for group strength pile up, you
might come to a community in which there is no life beyond the confines of the

That point of maximum group strength might not be reached in a particular
sample of social units you are looking at.

Your maximum group strength is fixed empirically for the kind of Bayesian world
you are looking at. How much do they stand together? How much can they count
on each other? For how long does their commitment last? You have to devise
your own indicators of group for each set of comparisons you are making.
Likewise, the negative starting point, the zero for no group strength, will be
determined empirically, according to the range of communities you have decided
to compare. It is just a dimension for measuring an aspect of real communities.

The other dimension we call 'structure' or 'grid'. We draw it vertically from the
same zero point as 'group'. It measures all the instituted constraints on the
individual's free action that are not due to group membership. Social class may
control an awful lot, also income, wealth, geography and costs of travel,
education for self or for children. Where grid is very strong, the individual feels
there are no decisions to be made, everything to be done is perfectly clearly
indicated. It simplifies into what scope the individual has for free decisions: if
none, that is high on the grid dimension. At the zero grid on the 2x2 diagram you
can now draw the individual has low marks for group membership and low marks
for social constraint. That defines an environment for the culture of individualism.
It is a culture in which everything has to be negotiated; to survive you need to be
successful in wheeling and dealing. It is one type of ideal market economy. Do I
need to spell out the kind of moral culture that does with it? Or the view of human
nature? Or the view of nature and climate?

Now we have two cultural types, they are defined to be diametrically opposed.
The individualist one is just right for a mercantile economy, and a perfect foil for
the sectarian culture which is also at the bottom of the square space.

The sectarians are at low grid (because they are so egalitarian they don't allow
distinctions to be made among their members) and very strong group.
Along the bottom of the square moving from left to right are strung out an array of
communities which have no social distinctions within, (near to zero grid), and
increasing group strength as they move to the right.

 Now we have two cultural types, they are defined to be diametrically opposed.
The individualist one is just right for a mercantile economy, and a perfect foil for
the sectarian culture which is also at the bottom of the square space.

The sectarians are at low grid (because they are so egalitarian they don't allow
distinctions to be made among their members) and very strong group, as we

Along the bottom of the square moving from left to right are strung out an array of
communities which have no social distinctions within, (starting near to zero grid),
and increasing group strength as they move to the right.

At the end point we find our egalitarian sectarians, the extreme case.

All sorts of questions arise about how people turn up in these sects, what they
were looking for when they joined, how long they stay, and so on.

You may want to read a recent study by G. Almond and E. Sivan on Arab and
Israeli fundamentalist sects, with good statistical backup, designed in these
terms. Also, Strong Religion by Sivan.

If you are not drawing the two dimensions on your pad you are going to hate this.

You should have the top right hand corner uninhabited so far, but obviously the
kind of community that is high on group and high on grid, a complex society to
live in.

It could be a hierarchy, or a bureaucracy. Q.: Why would any one want to live?
A.: it is the best for co-ordination.

And last of all is the society of people who are severely restricted in their contacts
with one another, on the top left. They have no options, hardly any autonomy,
and they don't belong to any group, that is, according to the properties of the
diagram. Are these isolates unhappy?

Not necessarily. Fatalism is a fairly guilt-free culture; they get along at a low level
of coordination.

There is the essence of the cultural theory instrument.

Don Straus asked if the enclave is bound to self-destruct.
I am not sure if the question applies to the isolates; they hardly form a
community, and can bumble along as individuals indefinitely. But yes, the
enclaves can and do self-destruct, sometimes violently. The competitive market
system can destroy itself if it misconstrues its information and so can the
hierarchy if it is so successful in blocking out unwanted information that it dies on
its feet.

By having the map of four variants, you are in a much better position to ask and
answer questions about culture.

Mary, by "park" I did not mean as tourist site, but the inhabitable world, Olmstead
writ large. I notice that Fred Turner, Victor's son, for one has called for a world
park project. I read it yesterday in his Rebirth of Value: Meditations on Beauty,
Ecology, Religion, and Education 1991

Topic Drift: Size of Tsunami
By Tom Paulson
February 9, 2005

―The tsunami that devastated South-East Asia was much bigger than was first
believed, reaching heights of 30 metres, the size of a 10-storey building, and
speeds of 13.7 metres a second.

―Scientists have found evidence in the Indonesian province of Aceh which shows
the world has seriously underestimated the damage tsunamis can wreak.

―The findings bode ill for coastal settlements neighbouring ocean fault lines,
including Australia.‘It's just staggering,‘ said Andrew Moore, one of the
researchers studying the destruction in Aceh.

―The tsunami that struck South-East Asia on December 26, killing at least
250,000 people and displacing millions more, was triggered when two tectonic
plates collided with each other in the Indian Ocean and caused an earthquake
measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale.

―The team found the tsunami's height along the coast south of Banda Aceh, the
area closest to the earthquake and worst hit by the disaster, was about 24
metres above sea level, with ‗run-ups‘ on inland slopes exceeding 30 metres.
The average speed of the waves on shore was 13.7 metres per second.‖

What a splendid brief explanation of cultural theory, Mary, and you did it without
a blackboard! Admittedly we don't know much about the social organization of
the "warmers" or the "skeptics", or even if it is fair to group them under those
terms, but how might you place them on your map? Or are they composed of
individuals and groups from all over your map? And what then might be the
implications for how we could bring about some rapprochement?

George, are the‖warmers‖ and the skeptics clustered at poles, or are they strung
out along a continuum? Is it possible to articulate a middle or third position to
which most or all would subscribe? One rule of conflict resolution is to get the
parties to agree on higher order goals to which both groups can subscribe, and to
achieve those goals they might need to put aside some differences. Could we list
their points of agreement--e.g. belief in the scientific method, possible danger of
global warming, however it is caused, some contribution from humans,
preventative measures worth taking in any case, etc.? And go on from there just
to see how much agreement we could engineer without putting either group out
of business?

Is it necessarily a dispute that we need to resolve, or could it continue beneficially
and indefinitely? Do we want to come down finally on one side or the other? In
our dialogue on abortion it became clear that the dilemma is permanent, both
poles have validity, and there should never be a closing down of the debate
because inevitable developments in science and technology and in social
designs could alter positions sometime in the future. Is global warming, or
climate control, a comparable dilemma? Finally, rather than seeking a curative
solution, one that can bring it under human control, would it make more sense to
seek a coping strategy?

I think Michael's response would be--don't worry about it. It's already in death
throes. People won't even remember global warming eighteen months from now.
Wilfred Beckerman, the Oxford professor who has written a fascinating text on
this issue, "A Poverty of Reason," would join Michael in saying, "Forget about it."
He would argue that the market will take care of it, as it has with resource
depletion and other concerns of environmentalists. On the other hand Jarred
Diamond, author of Collapse, would say that our whole civilization can easily fall
apart almost overnight due to ignoring environmental problems and resource
depletion, as many others have throughout history.

Mary, I hope you won't mind that I've included a graphic representation of your
group grid model here. It's from an online article…
I'd be interested to know where you would place players such as Greenpeace,
Sierra Club, ELF, and EPA. Or better yet, can you give specific examples of
groups in the GW issue and place them in the appropriate area?

I'd also be very interested in knowing more details about how the scoring is done.
I make the assumption, given the scope and longevity of these clusters, that the
species derives benefit in terms of adaptability from this kind of distribution.

I also assume that the boundaries between them are fuzzy, mushy, pliable, and
that there is communication (both public and back door) between the groups.
Thinking about society in terms of these cultural types, I wonder what the driving
negotiation agendas are for them. For example, when A and C or B and D
interact what is each one willing to settle for from the other?

George Taylor
Dick: "George, are the warmers and the skeptics clustered at poles, or are they
strung out along a continuum? Is it possible to articulate a middle or third
position to which most or all would subscribe?" I think they're in a continuum.
One of the unfortunate byproducts of the increasing politicization of science is
that it tends to polarize people—as I described earlier, black/white or either/or.
When things degrade to "we vs. them" thinking things go down the tubes quickly.

Roger Pielke Jr. wrote an article several years ago in the Atlantic that took both
"GW camps" to task. He called them the "chicken littles" and the "pollyannas." He
went on to say that the prudent thing to do was to learn to adapt to weather
extremes; in so doing we automatically adapt to most aspects of climate change.
For example, some folks worry about a few cm of sea level rise, but Atlantic
hurricanes bring storm surges exceeding 10 feet—and we just saw what a
tsunami can do.

Fred Singer wrote a nifty set of talking points—what we climate scientists agree
and disagree on:

  1. Atmospheric GH gas levels are increasing because of human activities.
  2. The GH effect has a real physical basis.
  3. We therefore expect SOME warming to occur as a result of human
  4. But estimates of climate sensitivity range from 0.5 degrees C to about 5
     degrees C. The former is insignificant; the latter could be serious.
  5. Climate is constantly varying as a result of natural fluctuations. The global
     climate warmed by about 0.5 degrees C between 1850 and 1940, cooled
     slightly till 1975, and jumped by about 0.3 degrees C around 1976-77.
     Most of these changes were of natural origin.

 1. Since 1979, global climate has warmed by about 0.3 degrees C, acc. to
    surface data, but by less than 0.1 degrees C acc. to balloon and satellite
 2. These lead to different values of climate sensitivity: about 2.5 to 3.0 from
    GCMs but only 0.5 to 1.0 from atmospheric observations.
 3. Climate models predict increased warming at high latitudes, with max in
    Polar Regions. Observations do not show this.
 4. Climate models predict increasing temperature trends with increasing
    altitude in the troposphere. Observations show the opposite.
 5. Climate modelers claim that natural plus anthropogenic forcing can
    account for the mean global temperature history of the 20th century. But
    opponents cite 3 counter arguments.

  1. By 2050, Kyoto could reduce temperatures by 0.05 degrees C (0.02 if US
  2. GHG stabilization requires 60-80% emission cuts worldwide.
  3. Irregular growth rates of CO2 and CH4 are as yet unexplained (CH4
     mysteriously leveled off 5 years ago, while CO2 continues to rise)
  4. Some major climate forcings are as yet unquantified (e.g., solar radiation,
     aerosols, carbon soot)

  1. Whether the 20th century was warmest in past 1000 years.
  2. Whether shrinking glaciers and sea ice are indicators of greenhouse
  3. Whether sea level rise will accelerate because of GW.
   4. Whether future GW will increase frequency and intensity of tropical and
      extra-tropical storms, floods, droughts, insect-borne epidemics, coral
      death, etc etc.
   5. Whether future GW will cause agricultural and other economic losses.
   6. Whether future GW will weaken Gulf stream and induce a northern
      hemisphere cooling.

Thank you so much for the grid group diagram, Kip, I am grateful. Thanks also
for your questions. I would like to be able to place Greenpeace, Sierra Club, etc.,
in the scatter diagram. But I don't know nearly enough about them.

I can help with constructing sets of indicators for the dimensions, and will try.

First I would like to mention some of the universities where research on cultural
typing is being carried on. They are only a few. This list is off the top of my head,
I haven't looked up details.

In England, the James Martin Institute for Science and Society, in the Said
Business School in the University of Oxford, on global warming and environment.
Director Steve Rayner.

In France, University of Rennes, Brittany, Sociology department, on social
medicine, attitudes to SIDA, Marcel Calvez.

In Sweden, University of Bergen, on method and theory, Michael Thompson.

In the USA, Yale Law School, team led by Dan Kahan, a big national survey on
attitudes to gun law, and race. On their work several back numbers of the
Pennsylvania Law Review.

I can take time and fill out the list, add some more, and give a bibliography. Dick,
where do I put it? The fun part is seeing how these researchers designed their
field of force for their subject.

Dick: a way back you said that our abortion experiment ended by agreeing that
the sides could not come to an agreement. My reading of it is quite different, and,
I believe, important enough to mention here and now.

An important ingredient in any dispute resolution experiment is the process being
used. Our abortion experiment had these:
* Don't rush it. We spent almost 6 months together on line, and an important
part of it was the increased respect for each other that the experimental process
alone engendered.

* At the end THERE WAS agreement—as you state—that the group could not
come to an agreement on ABORTION.

* But there was enough momentum towards agreement so that the participants
stayed together another week or so to move out of the ―box‖ of ABORTION and
seek a solution OUTSIDE of the box.

* The UNANIMOUS agreement was that better and easier-to-get birth control
WOULD reduce abortions and that an effort should be made to get the
government to provide birth control. This was a tremendous movement on the
part of the right-to-life participants to make.

* You will recall that this "partial agreement" was never aired because we had
an agreement that there would be no public airing of our experiment if ANY ONE
OF THE GROUP objected. One of them did object because of her job.

I took up space to recall this because it was such a surprising and important
result. I believe it could only have been accomplished because of the long time
the different leaderships stayed together.

Incidentally, this idea that the abortion group might (or was it should?) accept
greater birth control is just about what Senator Clinton came up with a few weeks

Donald Straus, your example of an impossible-to-agree situation being turned
right round by moving out of the box is very important. Of course I never heard of
it. It had to be secret because of the horrible violence
We used to read of abortion clinics being raided by the Right-to-Life people.
What a triumph. Is it an illusion, or is my impression that the eco-skeptics
dominate in this conference, and the GW believers are either absent or very
quiet? It would be nice to hear from some of them.

'The White Male Effect' credited to cultural variance.

Dan Kahan, Department. of law, Yale University, gave me permission to quote
this abstract of the big survey designed to answer some of the questions we are
interested in.

Research Project on Perceptions of Risk and Danger
Dan M. Kahan, Donald Braman, John Gastil
Paul Slovic, and C.K. Mertz


―Why do women and minorities display greater concern over diverse risks than
do men and whites? Known as the "white male effect," this pattern is well
documented but still imperfectly understood. Differences in education, perceived
vulnerability, and empathy do not seem to account for race and gender variance
in risk perception. This paper identifies another explanation: the status anxiety of
hierarchical and individualistic white males. Douglas and Wildavsky (1982) posit
that risk perceptions derive from cultural evaluations of putatively dangerous
activities. For this reason, perceptions of risk can be expected to vary across
groups that subscribe to competing worldviews. Just as important, risk
perceptions can be expected to vary within cultural groups that prescribe different
social roles for men and women and for whites and minorities. This dynamic, it is
hypothesized, drives the "white male effect," which reflects the posture of
extreme risk skepticism that hierarchical and individualistic white males adopt
when activities integral to their social roles are challenged as dangerous. The
paper presents the results of a large (n = 1800) national survey conducted to test
this theory. It also discusses the implications of these findings for the study and
regulation of risk and for risk communication.‖

Mary, the short answer to what to do about the bibliography you mention is--send
it to me and I'll insert it. But if you want to do it yourself, it isn't all that difficult. If
you can obtain or prepare the bibliography as a Word document, then when you
write a comment in the composition window just click on the paper clip icon
above your writing and that will put you into your browser and you can locate the
bibliography and click on it, attaching it as a URL link at the bottom of your

Yes, the skeptics are dominating the conversation now, but I have talked to a
couple of warmers who fully intend to participate, but I think the nature of the
discussion so far is making them think very carefully about how to enter their

Thanks, George, for that analysis of agreements and disagreements. Seems
that there might be a basis for moving closer together there.

Scoring for Grid and Group. It is more than 20 years old, yet it is my favorite
description of how the social organization can be scored in modern society.
A husband and wife team, David Bloor, a philosopher and mathematician, Celia
Bloor, a sociologist, combined to write a splendid paper for the symposium I
edited, called ―Essays in the Sociology of Perception‖ (Routledge, 1982). If
anyone wants to see the whole paper I will do something about getting it to them.

In 1973 Celia, for her PhD in the sociology of science, had interviewed forty
industrial scientists for testing various hypotheses about the effect of working in
industry on their attitudes to science and nature. Now they scoured through one
and a half thousand pages of notes to try some grid/group hypotheses. I will give
some examples of clues for allocating scientists departments to positions in this
diagram, and summarize them later.

Group and High Grid. Dr. R. was working in a commercial Electronics firm which
was designing a microwave for defence uses. The personal relationships in the
group were very close. Five people, due to be working together for five years.

'They've got a good atmosphere there. I mean, most of the people there are my
friends outside work as well. Really it is just one big, happy club. We go out
drinking together on a Friday afternoon if there's an odd moment and the boss
usually sends us out with a £1 note every so often. We organize Christmas
dinners together, darts matches against other teams. There‘s always a darts
match going on at lunch time, always a group at the pub, there's always another
group going shopping.'

Measuring grid was more difficult. The work itself made pressure to complete
detailed schedules, and a struggle to conform, drawing up plans for quality
assurance, components evaluation, reliability etc. The firm itself was hierarchical,
salaries were related to age not to performance or responsibility, furniture was
graded, e.g. carpet for the senior.

Their views of nature and science fitted their concern with calibration and correct
measurement. Nature was expected to be consistent and regular, the challenge
of science was the old 'key in lock' ideal.

Low Grid, Low Group. Dr. G. was employed in the central research laboratory of
a large electrical concern. Specialist on accurate measurement, as a consultant
on instrumentation he is a resource for the fellow scientists. They all work very
much on their own, must know the others' strong points and take a very
pragmatic view of their relations: who can be useful to me? For cars, television,
welding, etc. or lend me a bit of equipment? Actively trying to collect a following
among clients.

Valued social forms are rules of fairness. The hierarchies are flexible. Salary
doesn't correspond to status.
Nature: emphasis on its irregularities. Nature is not responding to the key that
automatically solves the puzzle, but interacts with the skilled and gifted scientist.

Low Grid, High Group. Dr. M. is a chemist specialising in sodium, working with 6
other scientists on a long term project associated with nuclear reactors. They
help one another, and are conscious of a group identity and boundary. Their
specialism separates them from those who don't understand sodium, how difficult
and dangerous it can be.

This part of the Bloors‘ account is hilarious, the sodium workers are so indignant
against management, and so concerned to keep non-sodium engineers or
chemists out, a wonderful paradigm of sectarianism.
But the tight little team is full of contradictory goals and tendencies... frustrations
which they blame on the manager.

High Grid, Low Group. Dr. L. was a data analyst monitoring and predicting
performance of a nuclear power station. Works on her own, feels very isolated,
hence low group. Also insulated by the pattern of authority, status, age and
discipline. No options, no negotiation, no discussion, hence high grid. Not
regarded as a real scientist, no longer a physicist as when working before in
particle physics, now just a data analyst.

I have had to skimp to make the beautifully observed account short. Next to the
clues for rating industrial scientists.

Having been part of the "Culture of Individualists" all my life, I find myself with a
fluid position on GW at the moment. My greatest fear is that the GW debate is
bathwater which must not be allowed to drown or drain a bunch of very important
babies. Of course if I were a foot taller, I might not harbor such fears!

Seems to me that if agreement on a point-of-no-return were reached, and if that
point is far enough in the future (say 150 years, or so), then our most urgent task
is to de-escalate the debate in ways that maintain the relative strengths of the
diverse enclaves that have been engaged. The global eco-nomic, eco-logic, bio-
logic and bio-synergistic risks of environmental science/conservation being
trashed in toto, and of exploitive development being embraced without restraint
are enormous, if GW bashing erupts.

For example, there are vital immediate and longer term reasons to stop the
invasion and logging of all remaining tropical rain forests, regardless of the part
those ecosystems play in the Global Warming models. During my time
investigating the Conservation and Deforestation Enclaves, I became convinced
that a moratorium on timber cutting was needed and that alternative
developments should be undertaken that would sustain biological, ecological,
and cultural diversity and synergy in and surrounding the remaining forest
ecosystems. I think this fits in the category of "making the world a great garden"
which Doug Carmichael has called for. My reasons and data are individualistic
and idiosyncratic, drawn from diverse and often contradictory enclaves. None
specifically from warmers or anti-warmers.

Anthony Rose (.96) asks how to de-escalate such a debate?

Don Straus at 1.90 thought the Abortion debate was settled by keeping the
'leaderships' talking for so long that they formed a group. I know how to make
such a debate more ferocious: persecute and physically attack the Minority
group. Give them martyrdom and they will never compromise, their following is
secure. By the same token, recipes for peace, don't try to win, agree with the
determined Minority, give them Nobel prizes, pass laws they have asked for.
Then the boundary between them and the others will melt, the membership will
relax, and even lose interest and go home.

So your idea of a strongly applied moratorium on cutting tropical forest would be
just the right thing to do. But how do we compensate the owners of the forests?
Sometimes they are individual chiefs, sometimes the whole group of villages that
live by foraging there, and have been getting some scarce cash through the
logging industry. That is a nice practical problem.

Question still dangling: Why did Anthony Rose want to know about shape-

Is Anthony using the term metaphorically or literally?

From the home page of Earth Liberation Front (E.L.F.)

Because the ELF structure is non-hierarchical, there is no centralized
organization or leadership. There is also no "membership" in the Earth Liberation
Front. In the past, as you can see in the News Archives, individuals have
committed arson and other illegal acts under the ELF name. Individuals who
choose to do actions under the banner of E.L.F. do so only driven by their
personal conscience. These have been individual choices, and are not endorsed,
encouraged, or approved of by the management and participants of this web site.

Does this put them in the culture of isolates?

Also on their site at this time, it is Critically Important that we raise money in
order to save acres of forest. Did you know that as little as Twenty Five Dollars
can purchase an acre of Forest Land? Help Us make a difference by protecting
Forest Lands for all Indigenous People, plants, and Animals. Every day, over
74,000 acres of Forest Are Permanently Lost! ALL Of The Net Profits Generated
Go To Forest Preservation.

Hmm…the cost of purchasing the 74,000 acres lost per day is only $1,850,000 a
day. Perhaps the US government could offer to pay 10% of that and ask the rest
of the 143 Kyoto signatories to cover the rest.

It‘s kind of interesting when you look at
 …to note that Brazil, India and China don't emit any greenhouse pollution. Of
course it shows the same for the USA.


…it says that In order to reduce the alleged impact of human activities on the
climate, the Protocol requires signatories to cut carbon dioxide emissions an
average of 5 percent below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. Developing
nations are exempt from emission reductions.

However, it also notes that Kyoto demands that the United States reduce its
overall greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent, according to Patrick Michaels
of the Cato Institute. According to an NCPA study by Dallas Federal Reserve
economist Stephen Brown, if the United States met Kyoto's standards by 2010,
its gross domestic product (GDP) would be 3.6 to 5.1I percent lower than

A list of LDCs (least developed countries) is available at

I could spend an awful lot of time researching this. But the politics of the issue
seem to me to have a slightly unpleasant odor.

Anthony Rose says: "For example, there are vital immediate and longer term
reasons to stop the invasion and logging of all remaining tropical rain forests,
regardless of the part those ecosystems play in the Global Warming models."

I'd surely like to hear more about this, and about related issues such as energy
consumption, cleaner vehicle emissions, contamination of ground-water, etc. etc.
It's just an impression, but if there are very good reasons for pursuing such goals,
then the side effects of doing so might (or might not) affect global warming -- and
does that really matter? Are we tilting at windmills here?

George Taylor
Ray (1:101)-- "If there are very good reasons for pursuing such goals, then the
side effects of doing so might (or might not) affect global warming—and does that
really matter?"

Do the ends justify the means? Is it okay to stretch the truth, or present only one
side, to accomplish something that is "good"?

Suppose I didn't want my kids to smoke, so I said "if you smoke you will get lung
cancer." That scared them enough so that they didn‘t smoke, which I would say
is a good thing. But later they found out that my statement was an exaggeration.
Wouldn't that damage my reputation with them the next time I told them

Scientists have to be very careful about falling into such a trap, especially when it
comes to making predictions. Otherwise we run the risk of damaging our
credibility even more than it is already (and it appears that in many ways it's been
damaged quite a bit.

George Taylor
"Yes, the skeptics are dominating the conversation now, but I have talked to a
couple of warmers who fully intend to participate, but I think the nature of the
discussion so far is making them think very carefully about how to enter their
ideas." Dick

It's hard for me to recognize the point of view of many of you when it comes to
GLOBAL WARMING. There isn't a lot of arguing or obvious difference of opinion,
so maybe that's an indication that we're on the same page. Or maybe some of
you are intimidated by my hulking presence and rapier-like wit?)

Many messages ago I asked folks to reveal their points of view on this issue. I
hope you will. And I want to encourage any lurking "warmers": speak up, make
statements, and ask questions. Stir the pot. Don‘t let the doggone skeptics hog
the conversation!

Kip asked me about scoring social environments for grid/group rating. I have
copied out a shortened version of Bloor and Bloor's set of cues they developed
for industrial scientists. I think it is a brilliant paper and ought to be better known.
You will realize that you have to create your own list of cues to suit whatever
fields you have decided to compare.
Here goes:

'First you shake the ketchup bottle.
Nothing comes!
And then a lot'll'.
Bloor_Cues..doc Bloor Cues..doc)
As has been stated here several times, when WBSI first discussed global
warming many years ago, the deadlocks over should-we or shouldn't were similar
to the ones we are having here. The closest we came to consensus was similar
to what I perceive to be one here: most of the suggestions for dampening global
warming were "good" for our planet no matter what the impact would be on
global warming.

There were then, and are still here now, those who felt that the impact on our
economy and style of living would be harmed enough to make Global Warming
dampeners a bad idea unless the science of dampening it was surer of itself.

If I am correct that we have come to the same impasse here, wouldn't it be a
good idea to narrow our exchanges to that one question: is the impact of
dampening Global warming too dangerous to make it our national policy? Are
there certain strategies which the Global Warmers would accept? We could put a
limit on this strategy to one week.

Of course I also realize that I am plugging away at an old prejudice of mine:
unless, in email discussions like this, we move towards a simplification of the
issues—even if temporary—we end up with a feeling of frustration.

If some of you feel I am a broken record to bring this up again, please let me
know and you have my apology.

Douglas Strain
It is hard to know how to solve a problem that some of us believe does not exist.
We should put our efforts into the elimination of "pollution" such as "acid rain",
lead pipes in our water systems, improving nutrition world wide, etc. When we
did our "energy symposium" in WBSI's first incarnation, thanks to "Input, Output"
concepts popular at the time, we demonstrated that every time you spend a
dollar for "tangible goods" you commit 20 kwh of "energy". For example, there is
more energy tied up in the car than is ever put through the tank and the
construction of million dollar a mile highways use more energy than even making
the cars! If you really want make a difference, hang onto that
"green" in your pocket book and never even contemplate "going to war"!

I am sending Doug Strain's #106 to my wife and asking if going to Italy can wait
for another summer. More serious, I suspect that all the energy burnt in my trips
to Africa swamps the good those trips and projects accomplished, in terms of
global warming. I can't even say whether or not that energy/expense will be
compensated by a net preservation of "natural" life in central Africa?
Here I raise the deep question—prove it's worth the cost. My graduate work was
in experimental laboratory research where precise control of variables enabled
reasonable assessment and interpretation of results. Then I spent a couple
decades doing organizational R & D, again with an eye towards effectiveness
and quality assurance. So when I see the claims of conservationists and of
timber operators go without investigation or assessment, I get a bit spooked.
That is part of the reason I‘m here, online, and not there playing with life by ear
and gut feel.

But the sound and sense of my research and experience in Africa (and some in
Indonesia) led me to the conclusion about a moratorium on logging posted

Mary and Ray: It appears to me—and I think to most broad-minded observers—
that the cash given to forest dwellers and rural villagers results in a net loss for
them. They not only lose "their" forests for a pittance, they also lose their wildlife
to commercial hunters and their social systems are shaken and often shambled
by outside forces. When the trees are all cut, loggers leave, and the local people
have little or nothing in the bank financially, ecologically or socially. Furthermore,
watershed is destroyed, local species extinctions proliferate, and countless
sustainable forest resources/opportunities are lost. What's more, much of the
exploitation of timber and wildlife is done outside contracts and law, thus
reinforcing a growing social enclave of international and local lawbreakers and
the shift of local community values/ethics/behavior towards self-serving
individuality which is counter to and deadly for the vast majority of Africans who
are not prepared for an "entrepreneur eat entrepreneur world". There are plenty
of small technologies, like solar stoves and fish farms that can be adapted by
these diverse societies to sustain them as they evolve within and around forests
which they themselves protect from excessive, damaging, cruel and
unsustainable exploitation. The trouble is, the World Bank cannot do its massive
money loaning/laundering business on micro-economies. They need global
exploiters and global buyers to ply their trade. In fact they have placed
moratoriums on logging and on timber trading over the past decade, when
pushed. They seem to lift them in 2 to 3 years, as a practice. Just this week they
are lifting a 2 year moratorium on shipping illegally logged timber out of
Cambodia; somehow they decided not to wait for the loggers to complete their
"sustainability plans" or to parse out the illegal wood. Perhaps the rising price of
wood is hurting new home building in southern California too much, so the
bankers are giving some relief to the suffering tract home builders at the expense
of forests and rural communities in Cambodia.

Then there are the zoonotic diseases emerging from unprotected human
intrusion into pristine rain forests. In 1999 I spoke at a CDC conference and
proposed that it was the commercial bush meat hunters butchering and selling
monkey and ape meat that brought SIV>HIV into our global bloodstream. The
scientists at that meeting have gone on to prove this about SIV, and a growing
ledger of other cross-species transmissions.

I'll stop here. This reminds me to get some books out to those who do not have
them. I've already forgotten whom I promised! So again, if you want Consuming
Nature, please send me an email and I will mail a copy to you ASAP.

Post to with your favorite mailing address. My gift ... a
donation to WBSI ILF.

Mary and Kip—by "shape-shifter enclave" I refer to people, like myself, who have
moved among many enclaves serving as researcher, consultant, designer,
documenter and who take on the "look" and some of the values of each group
while involved with them, yet over time become an amalgam (or integration) of
select aspects of all the diverse groups. I do see that this fits into the
Individualistic (non)Enclave ... but perhaps only because this "Type" of person
claims no single group and is informed with the elements of many. So has
research been done on any enclaves that have these migrating, expanding,
transforming processes going on?

I like Don's "one question"—I think it would be very useful to hear from people
who have become very concerned about the overall issue of global warming as
to the question "what are some of the strategies which you might accept" ...
short of continuing to go all out for the Kyoto 43% cutback of US emissions, and
other seemingly untenable demands.

In West Africa a shape-shifter is someone who can turn into a large predatory
animal, like a leopard, and back again. So I was puzzled. If you are asking
whether an angry, militant enclave can change its spots, I think the answer is
yes. Any culture can get stuck and seem unable to change, but most of the time
everything is fluid, changing all the time.

As I suggested earlier, the dominant preoccupation of an enclave's leaders is
how to keep the members from defecting. One thing that can happen is that they
all defect about the same time. That ends it. It might happen if they got rich, a
huge group legacy, perhaps, or a nearby source of funds that might compensate
for the advantages they get from their enclave. I have heard of some Israeli
examples. A real alternative to living within the closed boundaries might draw out
individual members.

The kibbutzim, which did fine as egalitarian enclaves while the children were
small, have a lot of difficulties once they grow up and start to earn cash and
travel. They do shift shape.
And, as I said before, the one thing that stops them from dissolving the group is
persecution, and violent repression. They thrive on being attacked.
You, Anthony, are a self-confessed individualist. No doubt about it. You should
be proud of it. All of us on line together here should declare and be proud of their
own culture. I am a self-declared hierarchist, and it shocks a lot of my friends. But
I will defend it against attack.

Don Straus (on 105): I like your question, 'Which strategies could you accept to
mitigate global warming?' And I like the answer that one of you got from the
Warmer who was driving a car. He said he would give it up and use a bicycle if
everyone else did. That is an extremely powerful thought, and it lays behind the
Kyoto agreement aims. I suppose we would all accept huge sacrifices if everyone
else did. Like in war time.

I am sorry I am coming so late into this dynamic discussion. I have not made it all
the way through the comments yet, so I apologize if my thoughts are out of place.
I finished Michael‘s book last night, much to my relief. It got under my skin. In
fact, it made me livid. It took me the longest time to understand why besides the
obvious. Mary‘s suggestion of identifying with a specific character was the clue.
Initially I identified with Peter Evans, ―Of course there‘s global climate change,
you nincompoop!‖ But as the drama unfolded I became increasingly incensed
that every character that was pro climate change was either corrupt or naively
uni-dimensional in his or her view of it. I found myself very defensive, thinking,
―Not everyone who thinks that global climate change is upon us is lacking facts to
back up their claims. Nor do they all think we are going down in flames – that is a
destructive, has-been notion.‖

What made me furious does not really matter. The fact of interest is that it made
me spitting mad to the point where I could hardly finish the book. This subject
seems to get most people hot under the collar–it is difficult to remain impartial.
Every person I know has an ironclad opinion about it, as State of Fear portrays.
The discomfort I encountered reading the book was completely repaid, however,
by a most provocative notion–the ecology of fashionable ideas. This implies that
ideas have a life all their own, laws of their own. That they have energy and eco-
niches in society. That one idea preys on another. Seen as a system in this
manner, it is little wonder that powerful ideas are so divisive. However, we are
seeing an evolution in environmental ideology, new partnerships and cross-
fertilization of ideas between sectors. To say one is an environmentalist is an
anachronism. The state of our knowledge system is too advanced in one sense
to allow a single, one-sided view of the world.

Mary, so far as I know you can't actually attach a Word.doc file to a post, you
have to convert to plain text first. Anyway, could I impose and ask you to just
email me the document? I'm really quite interested in this.

I'll declare, in the event it isn't obvious, that I am a confirmed individualist.

Anthony, I suspected that was what you meant, but being aware of the
Shamanistic practices Mary mentioned, I thought it best to ask (this after
contemplating where in the group-grid an actual Shamanistic shape shifter might

I spent some time last night thinking about the idea of "giving up" something(s)
for an external agenda. We all hold to and cherish certain things—points of view,
beliefs, opinions, various physical comforts (if we cherish them then we call them
necessities), etc. Whatever we cherish we are loathe giving up. It's easy to see
what others cherish as being of less value than what we ourselves cherish, so it's
easy to ask them to give those things up.

I believe it was George who asked that we state our positions, so perhaps it will
help if I do so. I am not a scientist, so my point of view is more engineering
oriented, but this is where I stand:

1. Climate change is an eventual certainty; the speed and direction are
uncertain. Right now warming is thought more likely than a coming glacial age,
but I'm neutral on that point. We should become better prepared for change.

2. The contribution of mankind toward climate change is real but small in
proportion to natural events, only some of which we might influence either by
changing our own lifestyles or by taking direct action of some sort to slow down
(or speed up) a change that is occurring naturally.

3. A change in climate that is occurring slowly might be influenced by us in
meaningful ways. For example, suppose global warming is proceeding at 0.01
degree annually, and we can do something to slow that rate by 0.001 degree.
That might put off the time of crisis by a generation—not a bad deal!

4. The other good reasons for preserving forests, species, clean air, and clean
water are very persuasive. Some of those things might slow climate change (and
I'm really interested in knowing which of them, and how high the probability) and
therefore should be done, with this slowing as an additional reason. (See #3

Bottom line: I take a very long-term view and want to start now to move in the
right direction.
So interesting—I made a little diagram of all the energizing ideas. But when it
comes down to it, I think that we have missing ideas hinted at. Can society solve
a major problem?

A few years ago I got very involved in Y2K. What fascinated me was that people
had their mind made up, big deal or not, without evidence. And very few were
actually in between, looking for information. The more I worked at it the more I
got invited into major corporations, and then even governments. What I saw were
very senior managers very scared, and spending hundreds of millions in a single
corporation. The efforts were extraordinary. And congress passed legislation
which made any compute investment a y2k maintenance issue, so for tax
purposes there was a lot more spent.

As it got down to the wire I saw senior managers tell staffs to disconnect
suspicious systems, and added "we will not have any problems. Do you hear
me?" That is, do what you must but don't report it.

It was considered wimpy to have a Y2K problem. One company spent $200m on
an approach and then told me *it failed* (by shifting over to SAP, which was then
politically defeated by division VP's), and then announced lower earnings
because of Asian competition.

When Y2K rolled over, many machines had been replaced; many were
disconnected, or run in simplified modes. And immediately the word went out -
very few problems. Implication, it had all been hype.

There are several conclusions.

First, the run-up in spending for IT stopped at January 1 (or shortly thereafter (as
systems were brought back on line, replaced or software had to be reintegrated)
and the DOW started down in January and the NASDAQ in March. I do believe
the current recession is a result.

Second, after it was over, everyone wanted to forget about it. Those who thought
it was going to be a blip had a few weeks of "I told you so" and those who
thought it was big were embarrassed.

But key: much work was done because accountability was inside the
organizations, where the effects were. People would have been seriously blamed
for unsolved problems come January 1st.

Other issues, such as climate change, are external to organizations and have
My own opinion about climate change coming soon...

As an introduction for what you are to read, it will be worth it to glance back at
George Taylor‘s initial comment (1:1), and also my comment (1:15), where I
quote from Michael Crichton‘s author‘s notes of his book State of Fear.

―Everybody has an agenda except me.‖

I did not disclose my agenda in my first comment, but will now begin to do so.

A key (maybe the key) to significant progress in this important dialogue amongst
bright people is in Richard Farson‘s one line question of 1:17:

―Is the…difference between data analyzers and computer modelers the answer
to the conflict?‖ The answer is yes; as long as one incorporates all Mary Douglas
has to offer in a serious review of that difference.

To that end, I would like to offer information on hard working people, over long
periods of time, who ―believe‖ mathematical modeling (today done mostly by
computers) is of value to many topics. We all know that, right? That is, all who
have sat in a Concorde, Boeing 747, or Cessna 150 and looked out at
interactions of the airplane wing with fluids flowing over it, and at the same time
felt the response thereto where their bottom interfaced with the seat. Somebody
modeled those stresses correctly and then did something with the result.

But before moving beyond ―seat of the pants‖ observations, I want to build my
own credibility a little by reporting what I have enjoyed in life, and linking my
efforts to others‘ work, starting with that of our wonderful colleague, Dr. Walter
Orr Roberts

I hope to convince you it is worthwhile to model things when doing so can
improve the odds of a reward for action. Once again, I refer to a Farson
contribution, i.e., 1:40, where Richard addresses Kip‘s skepticism and points out
one should not base a certain action (or, for our case, non-action) on the odds of
an outcome of flipping a coin, but rather ―The odds have to be calculated more
like the odds on a horse race, where history, condition, jockey, weather,
competition, etc. are factored in.‖

Clearly, our Dr. Farson has spent time at the Del Mar race track. So have I.

 My first airplane, a Cessna 182, was purchased when a racehorse I raised,
Bensadream, won a $50,000 purse at Del Mar. That was back in the days when
you could buy a brand new 182, including flying lessons, for a little over $20,000.

 What are the important variables (knowable) in a horse race? Richard has done
a good job of listing most. Richard lists history; I would include breeding there.
And, possibly the most important variable after the horse‘s performance chart is
the record of the horse‘s trainer. Buster Millerick, who was the first trainer for the
owner of Seabiscuit, was my trainer after my father passed away. So, a question
is should Carl know something about gambling on horse races. Did he study
well? Can he mentally model a race to any benefit?

At Turf Paradise in Phoenix, out of every dollar wagered, 14 cents is deducted, of
which half goes to the state of Arizona for being the state, and the other seven
cents go to the owners of the track to be distributed in winnings, paying for the
operation of the track, etc. So, if I bet a dollar and am an average better, I should
expect a return of 86 of my 100 cents wagered. But what if I am more than 14%
better than the person who might bet on the color of the jockey‘s jersey, the
confident look of the trainer, the number of white feet on the horse, what a local
tout whispered in his ear that day, etc.

I believe I am about 25% better. As evidence, my wife Beth (second entry into
that field), has been to the races with me many times, but has never seen me
lose. I ―learned‖ how to mentally model a horse race—who will break on top,
what the conditions of the track will do to late chargers chances, etc.

Also, of course, if I wanted to continue my realities (myths?) that I know what I
am doing at the horse races, even when facing a rare losing streak, I could adopt
a procedure my grandfather used with his grandchildren. To us kids,
Granddaddy Walter seemed to win every race, and we were in awe of his skill.
What Grandfather did was study and select all horses that had any possibility of
winning…sometimes four out of ten; sometimes nine out of ten of the horses
entered, and bet $2 on each of them. Magically, the data presented to the
grandkids of his winnings supported his claims…similar to some (but fortunately
a small number of) scientific reports.

I am convinced with good and continually improved modeling we have the ability
to determine the probability that human activity is a significant factor (I am not
saying only) in global warming. As in my breeding of race horses, I know a bit of
the history, and have done work to show that.

Unfortunately, determining the winner of a horse race is not an adequate analogy
for addressing global warming. But neither is the analogy offered by George in
1:36, about modeling the moods of his wife, Cindy. But perhaps a second
derivative (mathematically speaking) of George‘s analogy would be helpful to
us…that is an analysis of George‘s analysis. But that is for my third comment.

By the way, the link to the reference of Walt Roberts is to provide history for
learning how to respond to Doug Strain‘s observation (1:20) that the energy from
the sun is 7,000 times the energy used by mankind, and Doug Carmichael‘s
question (1:22) as to ―…the implications of the factor of 7,000?‖

That is part of the hard part, next.
Although I expected confrontations to arise almost immediately, I think that the
way we have approached this subject has been highly beneficial, avoiding those
early polarizing confrontations. We are still a discussion group. And I especially
appreciate the careful way people like Carl are introducing their positions.

Jane's pointing out that environmentalism is an anachronism is most helpful--that
there is another perspective from which to view this dilemma. It seems to me
that her phrase, the ecology of fashionable ideas, describes to some extent the
way we have approached global warming in this conference, especially through
Mary's contributions. And the thought that we are too advanced to have a single,
one-sided view is encouraging indeed.

So glad to have you with us, Jane.

Before anything else, a grand salute to Jane Poynter for the first passionate
comment. And yet you remained articulate... Cheers!

In State of Fear, probably most of us identify with Peter Evans, but you reneged
when he reneged on his original global warming conviction. Was there really no
one else in the book for you? Were all the Warmers really painted as evil? I will
have to read it again. If so, no wonder the book and author have been so much
reviled. There is no need to look further.

I loved your last paragraph on the ecology of fashionable ideas. Practically all of
my work as an anthropologist has been to condemn the habit of historians of
ideas to treat ideas as you describe, as if they were autonomous beings which
argue and hit each other, knock each other out, muster support or go under,
sometimes never to arise again. It is like a strip cartoon which has had all the
pictures of human beings cut out and only the balloons left talking to each other.

Anthropologists have a professional interest in connecting the balloons to the
speakers, and trying to know what use they can make of them. Chomsky said
language is for poetry; Wittgenstein tried to establish what is called 'the practical
turn', language and ideas are for practical use. For me, the most effective use of
language and ideas is for holding persons accountable.

Douglass said it (1.114) when he instanced blame. Changes in the ecology of
ideas follow successful blaming and bringing to account. (Could we be allowed to
see your little diagram?)

Anyone who has been blamed for not taking the sufferings of others seriously will
have developed protective devices against bearing blame. We have already
recorded a massive archive of them in this conference. Like questioning the
facts, or saying 'Doing something won't alter the facts'; or 'If we corrected this
injustice it would hurt someone else even more', or 'We need more research'. No
wonder Jane is hopping mad. I am glad she is here.

Kip, you are so kind and protective. I am very grateful and I would send you my
note on scoring grid and group if I had your e-mail address. But it will save time if
I send it to Dick. But many thanks for your trouble.

George Taylor
Carl, I very much enjoyed your description of horse racing. And you're probably
right that a "Cindy model" is not an apt analogy for a "climate model." Actually,
she's much less moody and changeable than climate, which is one reason why
I've held on to her for more than 30 years and have no plans to let her go!

Maybe you or some of the others can help me come up with a better analogy. I
give about 50 public talks a year, and I find analogies really helpful to lay people.
And I get a lot of questions about weather forecast models and climate models.

Recently there was an article about how a British group had "borrowed" 11,000
PCs from folks worldwide to run "the biggest climate model simulation ever."
Each PC ran a version of the climate model, and then the results were pooled.
Someone wondered "can't I just run those climate models myself?" Aside from
the immense number of calculations (which means a simulation would take a
long time), there's the "complexity" issue. A friend likened these models to a
high-performance race car: anyone can drive it, but you have to be a well-trained
driver to get it around the turns and to its destination without crashing or going off
the track. I liked that analogy. So if you all would help me come up with an apt
analogy for weather/climate models I'd be much obliged.

George Taylor
Jane: "To say one is an environmentalist is an anachronism." Agreed! Thank you
for your response. It underscores what I've said here several times: this is a gray
issue, not black and white.

I consider myself a "conservationist" rather than an environmentalist, but that
term carries its own baggage. And I try to avoid terms like "climate skeptic"
because they also carry lots of connotations that may or may not be valid.
They also put up walls between people. The really rewarding things about this
forum to me are to see how few walls exist here. You folks are a delight to
interact with! Oops, sorry—don‘t end a sentence with a preposition—it‘s been a
delight to interact with you folks!

Recently I was a speaker at a conference of CEOs of construction and
architecture firms who spent most of the day listening to high ranking economists
predict the future of the economy. It was apparent to me that the Democrats had
very different projections from the Republicans. I remember remarking that to
understand any economic projection one needed to know a lot about the person
doing the projection--their previous projections, their education, colleagues,
organizational affiliations, funding, political party, school of thought, political
ideology, etc.

I feel the same way about climate projections, and Mary's analysis along with
Jane's use of the term ecology of fashionable ideas gives even more validity to
"consider the source" which I suppose has always been a good idea. But it
competes with the need to examine ideas on their own, separate from the
person, which is a basic tenet of science (the top journals always have blind peer
reviews) and a major point in Michael's book. It also brings up the taboo against
ad hominum analysis. It's a dilemma.

Michael hates that the Germans asked him about his attitude on the Iraq
invasion, indicating that it was completely irrelevant. But ideas exist in clusters,
held together by social science principles (Democrats are more likely to be
environmentalists and vegetarians and Quakers, for example) and if the
Germans were going to evaluate his ideas, maybe it makes complete sense for
them to want to find out if they can trust him not to be carrying forward some
party line. Or, to put it in the terms of this conference, maybe we always need to
know a person's position on the grid. But could that become a tyranny of

Can someone help me with this?

Because it is so relevant to the comment I just made, especially a comment
Mary makes at the end of it, instead of giving you a link to the Bloor grid cues, as
Mary requested of me, I thought I would just print it here in its entirety.

(Bloor, Celia and Bloor, David, 1982, ‗Twenty Industrial Scientists, A Preliminary
Exercise‘, edit. Douglas, Mary, Essays in the Sociology of Perception.)
Routledge, pp.98 -110, (shortened version of Table 4.1)

 1. Group working together, in close proximity etc.
 2. Working with the same people on long-term project
 3. Sharing social activities
 4. Identification with group interests (work-group or firm)
 5. ‗Everybody knows everybody else‘
 6 . Evidence of intermarrying or nepotism
 7. Lots of fringe benefits in the company, incentives to loyalty, (sports
     facilities, bonus schemes
 8 . Evidence of group action to right wrong
  9. Evidence of conflict with other groups, defined by group membership
 10. Evidence of rumours, bitching about other members, conflict within the


   1. Bureaucratic structure, hierarchy of command, tasks and responsibilities
      ascribed, defined channels of communication
   2. No room for manoeuvre in way work is done
   3. Formal monitoring, report writing, formal memos and meetings
   4. Formal salary assessment scheme, salary related to seniority, not merit
   5. Job progression predicted over several years, definite routes to career
   6. Set in traditional ways, change difficult, inertia, buck-passing
   7. Regular hours required
   8. Symbols of status, (e.g. carpets)
   9. Facilities, canteens, toilets, segregated by hierarchy

There follows a list of Minus Cues, Flexibility, free hand in work, monitoring
informal, ‗Salary assessment is individualistic or mysterious‘, much scope for
entrepreneurial activity, strong time pressures.

Researchers decided ‗to give a score of one point for each of these cues, and
then add them up to produce an approximate grid/group rating for each scientist.
The existence of separate cues for high and low grid meant that some people
may score on both. Our response to this was to adopt the arithmetically brutal
convention of giving a positive value to each high-grid cue and a negative value
to each low-grid cue and then add them to get the final grid group rating.
Obviously this whole procedure will not recommend itself to delicate
methodological stomachs.‘

Mary Douglas adds: I don‘t think I am one of the latter, but I do cringe at grid-
group points being assigned to individual persons. The instrument was intended
for assessing social environments, and the scores would identify very distinct
departments in which the individual was working.

In my opinion, human activity has added to the destabilization of the climate, but
the relative power of human action vs. what nature has in store in its ups and
downs is unclear.

Our climate destabilization it‘s what is part of a destabilization that happening
everywhere in all our institutions, because the free flow of information makes all
nodes potentially effective. We can see it in voting where instant polling means
each candidate tries to shift message to co-opt some of the opponents'
supporters... The result is a trend toward equal elections, which means
destabilization. We have created a world at sea with itself, where change is part
of everything, yet little changes. But all is feeling destabilized. Which means it‘s
up to us to create something. Our life, our culture. Otherwise its entropy we need
to live with. Environmental problems are an extension of stupid energy policies
that serve the energy companies. The whole economy is forcing us to have more
people (we require growing economies which mean more consumers), and more
people are pushed, marginalized, into the forests and the waterfronts.

Human life can be seen as a balance between sex and war. At sex we are very
successful as a species, which creates the problem of too many, which means
fights over territories (all species seem to do this, must we be as dumb?). War
and plague balance sex, and our lives are lived out in the space between sex
and war. The forces that crated the wars of the 20th century are still working. The
arms markets are chosen by our leaders in line with the wishes of corporations.
In the space provided, we can work as artists, therapists, managers, owners, and
a few others, beyond working, loving and experiencing; can we expect us to
reach some greater agreement on how to proceed? I think the most telling part of
the conference has been the increase in our understanding that white males are
more optimistic, and want to hold on to current arrangements, because they
benefit the most from them. It is a version of the Collapse of Complex Societies;
that elites own the infrastructure corporations and don't want to let go. The result
will be more of the same, with increasing destruction because of the greater
concentrations of populations. So we must love, be courageous and deepen
ourselves. As Confucius says, "I Listen carefully, try to be of use, and take my
recreation in the arts.‖

So I think our skepticism as a group is more skeptical about our power to do
anything at the larger level (and leaves only to adapt at the more local level)
which is a much larger question that can we do something about global warming.

So to me the question divides: 1.what are the facts about climate, in particular
the balance between human and naturally induced changes, and 2. what is the
future or civil society to provide for better human expectations? I think we can
make progress on both these questions, and some of it is happening right here.

Invitation: This is not the entry referred to in 1:115, i.e. my third contribution, but
rather an Interim Invitation for you to join in doing some background work that will
be helpful for what I present (once polished more) as a possible ―Adequate
Global Warming Analogy‖ (AGWA). I want us to have a common intellectual
image as we bring together diverse views so eloquently expressed in this

Thank you George, for your comments about my horse racing experience, and
the idea of Cindy as a climate model. Actually, I do plan to use a Cindy; not
yours, but rather Cindy the wife of the George, Michael Crichton serendipitously
described for us at the end of his first book, Travels. That George‘s Cindy will be
equally changeable as the climate. If my AGWA works, we can allegorize her, or
use her as our ―muse.‖

But, that is for later.

 For now, all please take a brief look at the material on Walt Roberts referenced
in 1:115, i.e. click here
There you will read of the 60th anniversary of the High Altitude Observatory as it
was celebrated in the year 2000. It talks about a 1940 Harvard graduate student,
Walter R. Roberts, and his doctoral advisor founding a small solar observatory on
the continental divide in Climax, Colorado. It is only two pages, but I ask that you
click links within that page. For those of you who know Walt, you will see a
young version of our Climate Club Leader, Dr. Walter Orr Roberts. Particularly
look at the device Walt built; the western hemisphere‘s first Lyot Coronagraph.

Next, click here
for a look at Sputnik‘s profound effects. Sputnik was an activity of the
International Geophysical Year (IGY), and Walt Roberts was one of those who
caused that to happen. In 1952, Walt and others projected solar storms would
be at a maximum from July 1, 1957 to December 31, 1958, that became the IGY.
Sputnik weighed 183 pounds. Later, the U.S. entered with the Vanguard at 3.5
pounds. Then the Soviets trumped that with Sputnik II, placing the first life in
space, the dog, Laika. I remember listening to radio transmissions of Laika‘s
bark. But I remember more how Sputnik changed my life.

In 1957 I was an undergraduate at the University of Arizona, good in math,
physics, and that kind of stuff. The National Science Foundation decided the way
to answer the Soviets‘ challenge was with education and superior scientific
programs (as an alternative to bombing Soviet launch sites, etc.). I received one
of forty new NSF scholarships to go to the University of Chicago and become an
atmospheric physicist.

Please look briefly at my second scientific paper (1962). Read a couple of lines,
but look at the picture on page 484. Walt Roberts started by measuring activities
of the sun, projecting those activities and helping cause things to happen – the
IGY. I started out at the receiving end of that ―7,000‖, i.e., at the surface of the
earth. I conceived and built the Fluxometer of figure 1.

Mary and Richard, thanks for making that information available. It's a very useful

I have an apology to make to the group. Carl asked me to edit something in his
comment 125 and in the process I erased the link he mentions and everything
that followed it. I'm afraid we're going to have to wait for his assistant to fix it on
Monday. Sorry.

Doug, you always manage to put a larger frame around whatever we are
discussing, and I find your concept compelling. As you suggest, I think we may
have to escalate to a larger idea, a greater goal, if we are going to deal
effectively with the global warming issue. That seems overly ambitious, I know,
but it may not be. We have the idea that we can only bite off what we can chew,
but sometimes it helps to escalate beyond the parameters of the subject under
discussion, and then things can fall into place.

George Taylor
Carl (1:25)—Since I haven't read Travels, I didn't know about the other George
and Cindy. Thanks for agreeing that coming up with an AGWA analogy would be
a worthwhile venture.

Walt Roberts is a giant in my field. I still have a copy of an old National
Geographic containing an article called "We're Doing Something About the
Weather!" that featured him prominently. It's from April 1972. Four months earlier
I had stumbled upon my first job in meteorology, at a private weather consulting
company in Santa Barbara (my hometown). I read that article dozens of times,
trying to learn about this exciting field; I can still see Walt's face, from that article,
in my mind.

Your mention of Walt's link to IGY brought something else to mind. I enjoy
studying the history of science. This helps me keep things in perspective, and
keeps me humble--it's amazing how many scientists have been guilty of holding
tenaciously to absolutely incorrect ideas. I'm really hoping to avoid that.

Early in the 20th century Gilbert Walker, a British mathematician, was trying to
figure out how and why the Indian monsoon fluctuated. Ho noticed an oscillation
of pressure patterns in the tropical South Pacific and suggested that they were
part of a basin-wide oscillation that included the El Niño phenomenon off the
South American coast (and would be large enough, therefore, to affect the Indian
monsoon as well). He published his theories but they were almost completely
rejected by the scientific community. The "consensus view" was that Walker was
totally wrong.

Decades later, IGY launched the first global-scale observation program of the
atmosphere and oceans. Happily, this coincided with a major El Nino. The great
meteorologist Jacob Bjerknes of UCLA associated the oceanic warming of El
Niño, shown clearly in the IGY data, with the pressure changes, weakened trade
winds, and enhanced rainfall of the low-index Southern Oscillation. Bjerknes
knew about Walker's unpopular theory because of his understanding of history,
and he demonstrated that Walker was correct. Later, Walker became "Sir
Gilbert," moving from the slag heap of history to legendary status.

So you had a visionary (Walker), another visionary (Roberts), a meteorologist
with a strong sense of history (Bjerknes), and fortunate timing of a transient
weather event at the most opportune time. That's either a remarkable
coincidence or a case of Providence.

I don't much like the idea of using either of the two Cindy's as a model for our
investigation. They are too subtle. Was it Carl who asked for new metaphors?
What about the forest?

I know of a paper by the biologist, Buzz Hollings, in which he used the forest for
the model of Cultural theory, and I will find it if any one asks. He saw the space
on the diagram for the isolates, (no company, no culture), as the most potentially
creative, because he compared it to the aftermath of a forest fire—a new start for
all vegetation. He worked out the whole scheme.

I heard a double lecture session on Congo forests by Geoffrey Harrison and Igor
de Grained some 30 years ago. They described the different levels of the forest
as ecological niches specialized for different species of flora and fauna, with
different threats and strategies; it was very rich in ideas.

This model has potential for a projection of Michael Crichton's book, State of
Fear. The forest has gamekeepers who try to protect the vulnerable species,
(equivalent to the Greens?) but also to protect the whole area on behalf of the
government (EPA?). What are they protecting, the game for hunters or the
streams for fishing? There are also the foresters who are paid to protect the
trees. Either way, the big loggers and other international companies would be the

And what about the light-hearted picnickers who carelessly leave untended fires,
would they be dangerous intruders on the peaceful forest world? And what about
the forest-dwellers? As for the poachers, if it is a world of trees that needs
protecting, I don't see they do any harm. The most interesting are the poachers
turned game-keepers.

Douglas Strain
I am much indebted to Mary Douglas and Jayne Poynter for introducing the
concept of the "ecology of fashionable ideas"! Certainly such a framework
seems to be more powerful in understanding how decisions are actually made in
our society than our relatively unsuccessful attempts with our "scientific method"
to influence public opinion.
"Global Warming" as a fashionable idea is now apparently to be displaced by the
"Hydrogen Economy" as the next "fashionable idea" to deal with climate change.
Even one of my trusted sources, Technology Review from MIT, is out with a
double page in the March issue.

Listing hydrogen as an example of a way to "mitigate" climate change for the
better. In my view, such a change would bring on more serious problems than it
would cure. Acid rain, additional energy cost to produce the hydrogen, potential
further damage to the "ozone layer" among them. Unfortunately, in my view, it is
likely to succeed as the next big "fashionable idea".

Doug Strain once captured my attention with the idea that the scale of necessary
changes is huge and any proposed change has secondary consequences likely
to be worse than the existing system (this is my paraphrase after a number of
years), and that in particular, every photon hitting the earth did something, and
diverting it through solar panels say, or wind turbines, has effects, like evening
out the distribution of temperatures on the planet, which cuts down winds which
cuts down fertilization which. The main point was, there is already a functioning
system (dysfunctional though it might be) and any change, any, has winners and

Richard, sometimes enlarging the problem is the only way, because the way
problems are defined often leave out the forces that create them, and so a larger
frame is necessary if we are to deal with causes. That means it is actually easier
to solve the problem because the other way, the in the box way, will definitely fail.
Real solutions are probably doing something in a small box, but a small box that
is itself outside the box of normal approaches.

George Taylor
Mary (1:131)—The forest sounds like a good metaphor for the entire GLOBAL
WARMING issue. What I'm really seeking, though, is an analogy for climate
models—using a set of mathematical equations to simulate (and eventually
predict) the behavior of a complex system. I don't know enough about forestry to
know if models like that are used or not.

I know there are engineering models (heat flow in a house, for example, or
aerospace engineering). There are financial models. Are there sociological
models? I assume so, but have no way of knowing.

There must be some good corollaries.

Doug (1:32)—Your comment "any proposed change has secondary
consequences likely to be worse than the existing system" sounds very much like
the theory of "chaos." Lorenz suggested that cause-effect correlations are so
complex and widespread that a very small perturbation can change very large
elements in a system, thus the idea of a butterfly flapping its wings eventually
affecting large-scale storm systems. I don't think I'd take it that far, perhaps
because my own mind cannot grasp something that big and rich. Yet it begs a
different issue: if things are that interconnected, then changing one thing can
have significant (and unforeseen) consequences elsewhere.

Case in point: sulfur dioxide is a "criteria pollutant" and thus subject to controls
under the Clean Air Act. SO2 can cause respiratory problems, and is a precursor
to sulfates, which have been implicated in acid rain issues. So the better we can
control SO2 the better off we are, right? Except that sulfates and other
"aerosols" in the atmosphere reflect sunlight and thus cool the atmosphere (this
happens after major volcanic eruptions, but is also happening all the time
because of human emissions). So the dilemma is, do we restrict SO2
significantly, and risk overall warming (if, indeed, aerosols are suppressing
warming) or do we decide that counteracting global warming is more important
and thus we shouldn't worry about SO2? That is one of many examples I can
think of...

Can we move from science to politics? From solving a problem to coping with a
predicament? From looking in the box to looking out of the box?

The main thing to know about the social sciences is that unlike the physical
sciences they don't lend themselves to engineering solutions. We do have social
engineering, but it is fraught with unintended consequences. And more basically,
in human affairs we can understand a great deal (as Mary's cultural theory
demonstrates) but still not know how to fix the things we are studying. From
thousands of studies, we understand much about how children grow, for
example, but nobody knows how to grow one. The knowledge doesn't easily

Maybe we should pause, take a deep breath, and see if we can think of a way to
put a larger frame around this issue in the way Doug indicated. If we could
make progress in another area in which the differences we are experiencing here
might be lessened because we enlarged our focus that might be an important
contribution. Doug has mentioned a few new perspectives, in his always too brief
and sometimes cryptic way. Doug, can you be more detailed and explicit?

In America we are uniquely confident of finding technological solutions to our
problems. But we now can see that the issue of global warming is not a problem,
but because of the respectable and perhaps equally valid differences in scientific
analysis, has escalated into a political situation, a predicament, a human
dilemma, for which there may be no technological solution. We can only embrace
it, and cope with it, and perhaps lessen its impact by putting it into a larger
scheme of things, formulating a greater vision to which all parties could
subscribe, and which would reduce the fear and the danger.
Richard slipped in while I was writing...

George, I was limiting myself to the photon example. I assume you are right
about SO2. But what are the secondary consequences of suppressing SO2? Like
increasing pressure to move toward nuclear power? You learn in psychoanalysis
not to push down symptoms, because they will recreate themselves with greater
havoc. Better to tame the energy in the light of awareness...

In the human situation, increasing SO2 production is a result of increasing
market for coal, which is a result of population increase. So the reduction of SO2
lets us avoid the population consequences, etc.

Richard, the larger frames in my mind are

   1. Can we solve major problems? How? This is a culture/political question. A
      subset that I like is, is there any way to chose technologies except through
      the way elites use them to enhance their power through military or market

   2. Is human energy use making natural cycles of climate change better or
      worse (do we accelerate or decelerate cooling and or heating from the
      natural cycles?), or just at cross purposes creating more turbulence?
      Global climate change is an interesting one because there are obvious
      winners - such as real estate agents (who make a living off of sales,
      whether the market is going up or down, if number of sales increase).

For the past hour I have been watching Michael Crichton speak to a joint session
of the Joint Brookings Institute/American Enterprise Institute Committee on
Regulation. It is being run on C-Span2, Book Notes. I will try to get a transcript
for this conference, because as you can well imagine, it is quite relevant.

A couple of thoughts as a teaser: Michael believes there should be a firewall
between scientists and policymakers. We need extensive quality control on the
science that applies to the environment, comparable to that which applies to drug
testing--double blind studies, multiple parallel research funded by the
government, etc. And relating to our current thrust, he favors adaptation over
prevention. He quoted Mary's co-author, the late Berkeley professor Aaron
Wildavsky, that prevention favors the elite, adaptation the ordinary people.

 Two cultural factors that are peculiarly American influence this discussion, and
even more, most policymaking. The first I recently mentioned—our confidence in
the technological fix, even though most (except, as Michael notes, the Manhattan
Project and Kennedy's moon shot) don't work. In the matter of environment, we
have far less science in which to place our confidence than we did in those
famous technological achievements.

The other is our penchant for action in the absence of understanding. When I
give a talk in which I raise a number of disturbing issues, the US audiences (not
the Japanese) want to know, "But what do we do on Monday?" We Americans
show little willingness to stew about complicated matters. We want action. We
see everything as a problem to be solved, rather than a continuing dilemma.

Maybe, as is so often desirable in policy matters, we have to go two opposite
directions at once--one, deepen the scientific exploration, with quality controls so
that research will be more believable across various scientific divides, and two,
move away from the intricacies of the global warming policy dispute to an out-of-
the-box approach, to a larger vision.

As an exercise, I have wanted us to explore coping strategies, what Michael calls
adaptation, instead of limiting ourselves to technological fixes. What might it
mean to pay close attention to the environmental changes as they occur, and
then after the fact figure out a way to adjust to them? Sounds foolish, if indeed
we could prepare and prevent, but maybe we can't do either. And as Doug points
out, mostly those technological fixes benefit the wealthy corporations that control
the technology.

Using prediction, a good many alarms have been sounded that didn't materialize.
I think I've sounded some myself. As Mark Twain said, "I've seen a lot of trouble
in my life, but most of it never happened."

To what extent might a crash program in alternate energy development to get us
out of dependence on Middle Eastern oil also contribute to a reduction in the
carbon and other pollutants that have been thought to contribute to global
warming? Or is that also a scientific debate too mired in disagreement and
political payoffs?

Large frameworks and "out-of-the-box" thinking are important and valuable. How
does that square with the concept of "think globally, act locally"? Aren't both
approaches needed, at the same time? It troubles me a bit to hear these
references to technological fixes "that benefit the wealthy corporations that
control the technology". I know there are examples to support this, but
conceptually it seems to me to be unsupportable.

As a general statement, I'm not prepared to accept that "wealthy corporations
control the technology". There are many small, not-wealthy corporations, and
many individuals, that invent and secure patents. Much corporate research, as
individual research, results in "losers", i.e., things that turn out not to work. Let's
not fall into the trap of thinking of all corporations, even large ones, as parasites.
Can anyone think of a way to repeal the notion that corporations are "people"?

George Taylor
One issue I'd like to raise involves the "demonization of CO2"—the idea that
carbon dioxide is bad, bad, bad. But another aspect of this involves the fact that
CO2 acts as an aerial fertilizer for plants. Many, many studies have been done
comparing plant growth and water requirements for various levels of CO2 in the
air (unlike climate modeling, it's really easy to do this scientifically, using
hothouses). Sherwood Idso, formerly with USDA, has been a pioneer in this. He
and his sons run, one of my favorite web sites, mostly because
they have hundreds of experiment results and journal reviews online. Here's a
review of one of their own papers:

Idso, C.D. and Idso, K.E. 2000. Forecasting world food supplies: The impact of
the rising atmospheric CO2 concentration. Technology 7S: 33-56.

As the world's population continues to climb, there is increasing concern about
the sustainability or carrying capacity of the planet; and in making decisions
about long-term research and development policies, movers and shakers from
many sectors of the global economy need to know if there will be sufficient food
fifty years from now to sustain the projected population of the globe. After all, it is
only prudent that we attempt to gain such insight into the human condition (see
our Editorial: Prudence Misapplied), for we all have a stake in the future
progression of man and womankind.

What was done
The authors developed and analyzed a supply-and-demand scenario for food in
the year 2050. Specifically, they identified the plants that currently supply 95% of
the world's food needs and projected historical trends in the productivities of
these crops 50 years into the future. They also evaluated the growth-enhancing
effects of atmospheric CO2 enrichment on these plants and made similar yield
projections based on the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration likely to
have occurred by that future date.

What was learned
The authors determined world population will likely be 51% greater in the year
2050 than it was in 1998, but world food production will be only 37% greater if its
enhanced productivity comes solely as a consequence of anticipated
improvements in agricultural technology and expertise. However, they further
determined that the consequent shortfall in farm production can be overcome—
but just barely—by the additional benefits anticipated to accrue from the aerial
fertilization effect of the expected rise in the air's CO2 content, assuming no
Kyoto-style cutbacks in anthropogenic CO2 emissions.
What it means
In order to avoid the unpalatable consequences of widespread hunger in the
decades ahead—as if there were not enough of it already—it would appear to be
necessary to allow the air's CO2 concentration to rise at an unrestricted rate.
Consequently, efforts designed to discourage CO2 emissions are seen in this
light to be inimical to our future well-being, as well as that of generations yet

Well, that analysis should bring out the opposition! Ray, I haven't read
Wildavsky's book, in which he says that the prevention strategies benefit the elite
and the adaptation strategies benefit the ordinary folk, but I'm sure Mary has, and
I would assume he is referring to the owners of the necessary technology, but
undoubtedly there is more to it.

Mary, in re: ―I know a paper by the biologist, Buzz Hollings, in which he used the
forest for the model of Cultural theory, and I will find it if any one asks.‖ I'd be
very interested in this. Reminds me of the old fashioned use of the word

Richard, I sure hope you can get a transcript - sounds like it would be worth
reading. If history has shown us nothing else, it has clearly shown us that
humans are very adaptable. Perhaps, not infinitely so, but certainly uniquely so.

How much of medicine is focused on prevention? Does preventing the flu result
in our immune systems becoming less adaptable to dealing with variations?
Does preventing change result in people less able to cope with change? Do
people who are less able to cope with change then need or feel that they need
more direction, more control? Isn't that what strict religious systems rely on?

Ray, what do you mean ―Can anyone think of a way to repeal the notion that
corporations are "people"?

Kip: What I meant is that great mischief flows out of the concept that
corporations are "rich", they "pay" taxes, they "cheat" or they are "philanthropic"
(sometimes), etc. These things are true of people; they are not true of the
structures that people use in order to work toward people's goals. There are
some real crooks inside and outside of corporations, but the legal fiction, useful
for some purposes such as limiting liability, that corporations have the virtues and
the faults of people, creates a distortion in public opinion from which is derived
many bad things (not the least of which is income taxes).

Ray, you seem to be arguing that the corporation is a neutral and benign
structure, that it is simply bad apples who create any problems, and that we are
wrong to construe any identity to corporations. My own view is that structures
and environments (forms, if you will) are overwhelmingly determining in human
affairs. How about the terms corporate culture, corporate values, corporate
mentality, corporate politics? Corporations are decidedly partisan politically. And,
as an aside, it was the corporation that insisted it be treated legally as a person.

Mary has been showing us in her comments here, and in the book she wrote,
How Institutions Think, and the book she and Aaron Wildavsky wrote, Risk and
Culture, how the structure of an organization determines the nature of its
planning, decisions and actions.

Richard, I have a couple of comments in response to your teaser from Michael
Crichton's speech: "He believes there should be a firewall between scientists and
policymakers. We need extensive quality control on the science that applies to
the environment, comparable to that which applies to drug testing—double blind
studies, multiple parallel research funded by the government, etc. And relating to
our current thrust, he favors adaptation over prevention. He quoted Mary's co-
author, the late Berkeley professor Aaron Wildavsky, that prevention favors the
elite, adaptation the ordinary people."

I agree, in theory, with the first point. The general public has lost its trust in the
science community because of the politicization of some scientific debate. Global
climate change is an excellent example of this as is the debate over GMOs.
However, the adaptation vs. prevention is an oversimplification. We need both,

I would also like to counter the optimism about CO2 fertilization and food. Yes, it
is well known that CO2 fertilization exists, as we saw in Biosphere 2, and NASA
and greenhouse growers have experimented with for years. Also, the amount of
biomass production per water unit increases. However, there is a good deal of
evidence suggesting that droughts will increase in many deserts around the
world, such as the Sahara, which will also enlarge. While this assertion is
simulation based, it has been validated by increased droughts over the past 30
years in these areas.
The primary problem with food and the hungry today is not global amounts of
food production, but getting the food to those in need. Increased areas with low
or no food production simply increases this problem, no matter how much more
wheat North America might be able to grow.

I believe that treating corporations as people, favored at that, creates entities
which win in competition with humans and increasingly, because of those
advantages (taxes, interest rates, and many others), take a larger share of the
total economy (like playing roulette with 0 and 00, a guaranteed over tie average
gain for the house). The history of this is fairly clear: corporations were created
by nations to do what the nation was not capable of doing, like canals or the east
India Company (slavery and such). The state imposed conditions of social use in
the charters.

There came a time in the late 1800's when corporations began to resist charter
provisions, and especially the imposition of new ones. They argued that a
corporate charter was a contract between parties (state and corporation) and that
a contract could not be changed except by the agreement of both parties, the
corporation assumed to have rights under the 14th amendment, and was a

This has never been really challenged in the courts, but many people are thinking
about it. My own view is that we should reimpose social conditions on the
charters. Let people freely associate, but not use the corporate legal form except
in being willing to take on the additional responsibilities of a charter. This will be a
long struggle. In the meanwhile I think the existence of corporations as having
the status of persons is a DNA shift in the structure of the Constitution that is
cancerous and will kill us all.

Hmm, if corporations aren't people why have they been granted First Amendment
rights - freedom of religion and freedom of expression?

Many questions, most of which I cannot answer:

Dick asks, "How about the terms corporate culture, corporate values, corporate
mentality, corporate politics?" I look at these as shorthand expressions, not to be
taken literally, rather like "The White House said today . . . ―Take corporate
culture as one example. We all know that this is derived from leadership, and is
maintained (or lost) through successive leaders. The famed "HP way" was the
"way" of David Packard and Bill Hewlett, partially preserved even today in the
company now known as Agilent Technologies. Culture, values, and political
influence--all flow from board and executive leadership, not from the corporate
structure itself. (I'm less sure about "corporate mentality".)

I'm sympathetic to Doug's observation that "the existence of corporations as
having the status of persons is a DNA shift in the structure of the Constitution
that is cancerous and will kill us all."
I think we should look on this side discussion as topic drift, unless it is shown to
be relevant to the environment.

I think it is highly relevant to the discussion because the global warming issue is
very much a corporate vs. environmentalist‘s issue. If there is no corporate
posture, if we are dealing only with individual leaders, then we have quite a
different situation in front of us. I think Mary's whole point, as well as the entire
discussion of the politics of knowledge, hinges on the recognition of the influence
of structure on thought and action.

Ray, "the White House said" is an appropriate term, because it is not only the
president speaking, it is that arm of the government.

Is it your belief that people rise to the top of a corporation on merit alone, quite
apart from shared values, and maintain their individuality? How then would you
explain the consistency of political thought among corporate executives? If their
views are shaped by anything, are they not shaped by the corporation? Could
you have become president of Sprint if you were a left wing radical?

I think business is in the driver‘s seat to a large degree. The government can
legislate and regulate, and corporations will still find a way to wiggle out of as
much environmentally beneficial system improvements as they can, unless it
makes business sense in dollars and cents (or whatever currency you would like
to use), and of course, the government can always reverse its regulations as the
Bush administration is attempting to do with numerous policies. The old-
fashioned environmentalist adversarial approach—trying to fine companies or
shame them into acting in such-and-such a way simply because they should—is
what causes the impossible relationship between many groups that call
themselves environmentalists, and business, and the subsequent distrust on
both sides (though I still think there is a place for Greenpeace style shrill
alarmism as it lets the rest of us know where problems are). The sustainable
development movement is attempting to address this problem with its triad of
environment, society and economics, but it is fraught with problems, not the least
of which is a very vague definition of sustainability, and the financial analyses are
shaky at best.

The new paradigm of environmentalism must find room in its definition to ―serve‖
the business community by presenting financially beneficial solutions to
environmental problems. Many pollution challenges have been very successfully
abated by companies embracing solutions that also saved the corporation
money. 3M is building what will be considered one of the greenest factories and
office buildings ever erected that is also somewhere people would want to work,
not because it is environmentally beneficial, but because the financial benefit of
the building has been amply demonstrated to the firm. Carbon credits provide
financial incentives to developing countries to leapfrog technologies.
Politics and legislation have their place, but all the politicking in the world is
useless if there is no buy in from the business community. And let‘s get the
solutions to China quickly!
Well, several points here:

   1. The excessive influence that business -- or big business, at least -- has
      over government policies is a product of our election financing system,
      which is deplorable and inexcusable. It has little to do with corporate
      structure. Business leaders are, for the most part, well-informed intelligent
      people, and as such they should have as much influence on government
      as any others like themselves. (The fact that they control a lot jobs is an
      additional influence.)
   2. "The influence of structure on thought and action" is sufficiently abstract to
      be beyond my ken at the moment. People behave differently in groups
      than as singles, which I acknowledge. People have to work in groups in
      order to accomplish large tasks. So? If there is a connection between
      these facts and the treatment of corporations as virtual people for some
      purposes, it escapes me.
   3. Dick asks: "Is it your belief that people rise to the top of a corporation on
      merit alone, quite apart from shared values, and maintain their

No one achieves leadership entirely on the basis of merit, unless you will include
under the heading of merit the skills of communications, inspiring confidence --
which, by the way, may be influenced by posture, height, weight, hair supply and
color, facial hair, power of voice and accent, etc.—ability to hold up his/her end in
intellectual conversation, etc. If you mean to suggest that rising to the top of a
corporation depends heavily on considerations having nothing to do with the
ability to run the corporation, then I believe the number of cases to be negligible.
This is not to say that those who do rise to the top necessarily share your values
or mine.

Dick again: "How then would you explain the consistency of political thought
among corporate executives?"

First, there are major differences among the political views of corporate
executives. Second, people who have traveled along similar paths to get where
they are should be expected to have quite a bit in common. Third, the distortions
created by treating corporations as virtual people, and the absurdity of our
election financing, (and also of our business/financial reporting) force
corresponding responses from corporate executives. Are their views shaped by
the corporation? No. Their views shape those that are perceived to be held by
the corporation which, of course, has itself no views of anything at all.

Could I have become president of Sprint if I were a left wing radical? Highly
unlikely! Also unlikely if I were a right-wing radical. Ours was a regulated
industry, heavily dependent upon effective working relationships with government
at all levels. Mutual respect was the order of the day, every day...

Jane, now: ―I think that business is in the driver‘s seat to a large degree."
Yes. Election financing again.

". . .corporations will still find a way to wiggle…"
Yes. This is the product of short-term views by investors, reporters, politicians,
and even the public.

When was the last time you read in the media—even The Wall Street Journal—
that "X" corporation had a good year, earning (blank) percent on invested
capital? No, it's always big dollars, or more dollars that in the previous year, etc.,
both of which are irrelevant. Business leaders sometimes have a long-term
sense of the corporate self-interest (not as often as I would like, but sometimes).
More rare by far are those who can afford to express, and act upon, those long-
term views. Whose fault is that?

Yes Ray, a long term awareness of corporate interest, but what about societal? A
captain of industry is supposed to steer his boat through the white water of
history without changing. Not be concerned for the people in the water. And as
we know, chief execs these days play with how short term corporate interest ca
be tied to their own. Carly getting 42m in severance pay from HP when all added
up. Many boards use the logic "we pay our execs at the 75% level of comparable
exec salaries" when of course as they all use this, it drives the price up.

This relates to the environment because we can model US policy based on
understanding the intersection of energy, banking and armaments (and the
support services to them).

Climate change is seen as less important because the consequences for the
environment of energy are so huge. The real link is through agriculture. The
impact of rising energy costs on agriculture, and then the environment probably
outstrips climate change in its human impact. The Idso article posted by George
Taylor points to the complexities of secondary consequences (Idso, C.D. and
Idso, K.E. 2000. Forecasting world food supplies :).

I may have told the story and if so, forgive me for repeating. I met with a friend
who is head of planning for a large oil company. "There is only one game and
that is who sits at the table (of the multinationals/nation states) making the real
decisions. To be at that table takes billions. Our strategy is to get the cash to be
at the table. Everything else we do is tactics."

Thanks, Doug, for expanding on the role of corporations, and to Jane for her
perspective on business.

Ray, yours were good answers to my not-so-good questions. There is much that
you say with which I fully agree. I think the point being missed has to do with
what I would call the power of form. If one were to read only what you have
written in this past exchange, one might think that you regard the corporation as
office space for a cluster of diverse leaders who are relatively free to invent the
directions and actions of the corporation. I don't think it is anything like that, and
my guess is that you don't either. If it were, there wouldn't be so much uniformity
across legally autonomous organizations.

To step aside for a minute from corporations, let's look at education as a
metaphor. We pay a lot of attention to teachers and curriculum, but what a
student learns in school has little to do with teachers or curriculum. Students
learn what is in the form or ritual of education, which is almost impossible to
change, even by a charismatic and reform-minded superintendent. This is true
even though every school district, like every corporation, is theoretically

The same is true for corporations. The nature of hierarchy, patterns of
ownership, systems of reward, concepts of management, criteria of leadership
assessment, power of tradition, effects of regulation, pressures of the market,
measures of profitability, expectations of the community, physical design of the
spaces, policies of taxation, to say nothing of the effects of organization that
Mary outlines, and on and on, (forces which you could list better than I) are
overwhelmingly determining. Leaders can tweak the system, sometimes even
make changes that seem dramatic (that usually fade fast), but the corporation
operates in line with those other forces.

The importance for us in this discussion is that the corporation in America is not
truly free to take a long view of environmental issues. Its major issue with
respect to global warming is that the cost of emission control would jeopardize its
short term profitability. If George and Michael and others are right, the
corporations may be coming down on the right side, but for the wrong reasons. If
Carl and Jane and other ―warmers‖ are right, corporate behavior is disastrous.

So I don't think the issue is only the shameful political campaign funding, or the
legal fiction of the corporation as a person, but it is the enormous financial power
of corporations that cannot be truly self-directing, cannot adopt better
management strategies, cannot exercise a social responsibility that some in the
organization might understand, any more than our failing education system can.

Like education, the immensely powerful American corporation is also failing
society, in the ways that Doug and others have pointed to. And it isn't the fault of
the CEO.
I feel privileged to be able to read this illustrious interchange of the past four or
five days. Brilliant! So intense, informed and inspired are all of you that nobody
stopped to mention chocolate and roses during yesterday's greeting card
celebration of erotic love. Doug came closest with the fiat that "human life can be
seen as a balance between sex and war".

It has been reported that of all the hominoids still alive on earth, the bonobos
engage in the freest sex and are the least inclined towards war. (Note that
bonobo sex is not performed primarily for reproduction—it is performed for
pleasure and tension reduction.)

Conversely, it appears that those human societies which most limit sexual
behavior are the most inclined towards war (e.g., contemporary Islam and
Christian fundamentalists).

The other hominoid groups—chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans, as well as
most humans -- vary along the continuum from HiSex/LoWar (bonobos) to
LoSex/HiWar (fundamentalists). Of course there are political arguments among
so-called scientists over these correlations and their implications for genetic-
energetic-social behavior.

Setting pride and prejudice aside, I wonder what the correlation is between
sexual freedom/satisfaction and the greed/hegemony quotient for corporate
cultures and the executives who lead them.

A post Valentine's Day question!

Tony, I don't know what scientific research exists, if any, on the eroticism of
CEOs, but Christopher Byron has written a book, Testosterone, Inc., (which I
have not read) arguing that celebrity CEOs in particular are characterized by
vanity, greed and sexual indulgence. Our friend Michael Murphy, the founder of
Esalen Institute and one who continually associates with many of society's
leaders, says he notices a high degree of sexual energy (often displayed by
extra-marital affairs) among those men who make the great contributions to our

On a different note, (although it involves sex goddess Marilyn Monroe and a man
who would surely qualify as one with high sexual energy) the death of playwright
Arthur Miller caused many of us to cogitate over the past few days about the
contribution to our society of that literary giant. Bob Herbert's column in The NY
Times reports that Miller felt the individual not only had an abiding moral
responsibility for his or her own behavior, but for the behavior of society as a
whole. For young people seeking a career, he thought there is not enough
"speculating about the wrongs of the world and ideal solutions, something no
employer was interested in, and might even suspect." It continued to bother him
that most people knew little or nothing about the forces manipulating their lives. I
like to think that what we are doing here would please him.

Doug: "Yes Ray, a long term awareness of corporate interest, but what about
societal? A captain of industry is supposed to steer his boat through the white
water of history without changing."

Who says this is what a captain of industry is supposed to do? Adam Smith,
maybe. I've known "captains of industry" who behaved this way, and I've known
others who did not. A corporation cannot thrive in a society that is foundering.
Long term, there is little difference between corporate welfare and public welfare,
although competition between corporations in the same market is a factor that
can be both beneficial and damaging.

I know—those of you who know me well are thinking, "There goes Alden-the-
idealist again . . ." Friends, I was there for 35 years, and a corporate executive
for 25 of them. I knew a few of the legendary "big shots" (e.g. Hal Geneen, Fred
Kappel, John deButts), and I've not been smoking something. <g> The bad
guys are newsworthy, remember, and they get most of the attention.

Dick: In re "the corporation as office space for a cluster of diverse leaders who
are relatively free to invent the directions and actions of the corporation."
Corporations could be like that, and should be. They are not, I know, but the
reasons are faulty corporate governance (which is closely related to financial
reporting and investment strategy, which, in turn is closely related to bad tax
policy) and faulty financing of political campaigns. We rant and rave (present
company excepted) about the symptoms. Who is working to fix the causes?

Dick, your penultimate paragraph is circular reasoning. Okay, enough about
corporations. (I said this once before.) Now let's get back to some of that
Valentine's Day material, Arthur Miller, et al.

One of the conclusions we seem to be arriving at is that there is no meaningful
way to talk about climate change without getting into other issues. The reason
global climate change is a crisis is because 1) the forces that create that crisis
are creating others and 2) as a crisis, it creates a crisis for real people trying to
live their lives and not get turned into road kill.

At times I am just pissed that I chose to be a therapist rather than an
organizational leader. I think I finally know enough to be effective. My consulting
in organizations has led me to focus on companies that want to be successful "in
the economy after this one"—that are creating jobs, not downsizing or
outsourcing, that do not drive other companies into the ground (I think of Whole
Foods that is quite predatory), that take energy and resource use seriously and
follow the Hawken model that all garbage should be useful input to another
system or else don't create it. It‘s hard to find them, but they are there—e.g.,
environmental remediation companies and green community design.

If as a group we seem to be concluding that global warming is not at all such an
obvious crisis, I hope we don't brush off other sides of environmental crises—we
pave over the best agricultural land, force people out of desperation to ransack
the remaining wilderness, fill the air with stuff that‘s bad for us, even if the earth
can handle it.

Most people do not get to live in a beautiful environment, and I think that is

Bucky Fuller once said "We have 6 billion people and the earth: putting them
together is just a design problem." Putting a thousand people into a gated
community of 6000 sq ft homes is not a good design solution. Putting nearly 3
million in 60 square foot rooms in gated communities called jails is really stupid.
Corporate leaders need to realize that corporate leadership is just training ground
for real leadership at the societal level.

George Taylor
Doug: "One of the conclusions we seem to be arriving at is that there is no
meaningful way to talk about climate change without getting into other issues."
It's been fascinating for this newcomer to watch and listen as new topics get
brought up, and as we drift off topic—only to be brought back by Dick or Doug or
someone else. I feel like I'm sitting around the dinner table with a diverse group
of friends. They don't agree all the time, they argue sometimes, but they really
like and respect each other, and are downright fascinating people. This outsider
considers it a true privilege to have been invited to dinner. By the way, what's for

And since Kyoto goes into effect Wednesday, let me ask: are you glad? Sad? Do
you even give a rip? Do you wish the US had signed on?

I love Doug's 1:162! Amen!

What are we going to do about that?

I also love George's "I feel like I'm sitting around the dinner table with a diverse
group of friends." That's the way this is supposed to work. (That reminds me of
a story, but I'll tell it some other time.)
"Do you even give [Kyoto] a rip?" This evening I will go to dinner at a Japanese
restaurant with a group that is gathering to honor the Kyoto treaty, and show off
their fuel-efficient vehicles and other technology. I will be driving my electric car,
of course -- not my hybrid, which I mostly save for longer trips.

This morning I'm refining the physical layout of the solar panels to go on our roof
next month, and (not-incidentally) charge the electric car. (Together with its
predecessor, I've driven locally on electric for 12 years and about 45,000 miles.)

Do I give a rip? You bet!

These excerpts from Bill McKibben, prominent environmentalist, writing about
wind power in this morning's NY Times:

"The planet faces many environmental challenges, but none of them come close
to global warming. In the past month new studies have shown that the trigger
point for severe climate change may be closer than previously thought, and the
possible consequences even more severe. Just to slow the pace of this rapid
warming will require every possible response, from more efficient cars to fewer
sprawling suburbs to more trains to—well, the list is pretty well endless.

―Right now, the choice is between burning fossil fuels and making the transition,
as quickly as possible, to renewable power. There are more than 100 coal-fired
power plants on the drawing board in this country right now; if they are built we
will spew ever more carbon into the atmosphere. And that will endanger not only
the residents of low-lying tropical nations that will be swamped by rising oceans,
but also the residents of the Siamese Pond Wilderness. The birch and beech and
maple that turn this place glorious in the fall won't survive a rapid warming; the
computer modeling for this part of the country, conducted at the University of
New Hampshire, shows that if we continue with business as usual there won't
even be winter as we've known it here by century's end, just one long chilly mud

As if to compensate, the Times runs an article by The New Republic's Gregg
Easterbrook lauding Bush's Clear Skies proposal because he believes its cap
and trade deal on emission control is much more workable than the present
standards that are more demanding over a shorter transition time, but subject to
law suit delays.

Isn't this the problem? McKibben's analysis leaves out, in so far as I see,
warming trigger cooling, and other crises that are larger—water wars, oil wars,
the question of poverty. Just this morning I went with local architect Ross Chaoin
to visit some cottages he is building. OK. Cottages 450-500,000.
How does anyone without equity face this housing market? True, we have 8
billion people at risk to environment. But note he says "may". But we also have
billions at risk to economic, military and health issues. Then there are issues
such as, with more power won‘t we just get more people? Fred Hoyle argued in
his Powers of Ten that he hoped we would not get nuclear fusion power because
it would just take the pressure off the population and we would have more people
and the same stupidities, so the situation would be worse.

McKibben is proceeding with single issues and emotionality. OK for an op-ed
(maybe) but we need more complex thinking capacity (and may have to live with
not getting it.).

George Taylor
McKibben's article touts windmills as the answer. If you've ever driven into Palm
Springs from the west, you know what a mammoth wind farm looks (and sounds)
like. It's hard to ignore. If you've ever driven east from Livermore, CA you've
driven past the Altamont wind farm, whose turbine blades kill several dozen bald
eagles a year.

Wind power may supplement existing power sources, but it'll be a pretty small
fraction—and one that's not without "issues." The problem with this and some
other technologies is that they're "extensive"—lots of space or volume is required
per unit of energy stored or generated. This is true of solar, wind, and even
hydrogen. Fossil fuels, on the other hand, are very concentrated. They're also
relatively cheap. So until prices fall on these, or rise on fossil fuels, it's hard to
imagine a major transition. Tax incentives, or carbon tax?

Of course, a very concentrated source of energy is nuclear power, now widely
used in Europe and Japan. Even cheaper than fossil fuels, too. Safety issues
seem to have been adequately addressed. So what's the problem? If we're going
to transition away from a carbon-based economy, why isn't nuclear being
discussed much as one of the solutions?

I think I know the answer, but wanted to hear from y'all first.

George, you are asking for dessert, but you can't have any until you finish what is
on your plate!! Your jocular request does bring up the question of what kind of a
finish we hope to have on this conference (not that we are there yet). I know that
Doug Strain is interested in using this discussion as a way to avoid other similar
problems on the horizon, such as the move toward a hydrogen economy. Carl
Hodges is going to try to see if he can identify a common core of understanding
upon which we might build better policies. Some might hope that we would be
able to issue a report reflecting some consensus. Perhaps we should try to move
the national debate into the questions of the politics of knowledge, which has
been a major theme of our discussion. Of course the verbatim conference will be
published in the ILF Digest and circulated to media and policymakers. But we
still might think about what other forms our product might take. I always bear in
mind that the first target is the ILF group itself, what we have learned about the
dilemma, and I for one have learned a lot. I would like to figure out a way for all
eighty of the Fellows to share in this learning. Considering all of the
constituencies they influence, I'd settle for that level of impact.

Energy and the environment are important because they affect quality of life, and
the more basic ability to live. If we look at some of the components

  * Food
  * Living space for people, including families, children and communities
  * Quality of surrounding aesthetic (anima mundi) environment (what makes us
        feel good and supports an expansive and meditative mind)
  * Sociability
  * Travel (do we really think 8 billion can travel? What then happens to the
        democratic ideals?)

…and then try to problem solve climate and energy problems with good whole
systems engineering, the problem might not look so out of control. An
engineered/designed environment needs to have a goal other than profit or
sustainability or mere numeric survival.

Douglas Strain
We have been discussing "global warming " in temperature terminology. I think it
might be useful to discuss from a "thermodynamic" point of view as ''energy" is
the forcing function and temperature change is only a partial measure of the
energy input to the system or withdrawal from the system.

Thermodynamics tell us that energy can be delivered by "radiation" (primarily
from the sun in this case) it can be stored in gasses in the form of convection
currents (wind) and by conduction (notably metals and other solids).

Now let us look at the sources of energy in the "greenhouse effect" . First, there
seems to be little question that the primary energy source is the sun by
"radiation" transfer. The "greenhouse effect" seems to have little to do with
conduction in energy transfer which leaves us with "convection" transfer of
energy with the main contributor being some 500 ppm of CO2 in the air. We
know that considerable energy from the sun is involved in cyclones, tornadoes
and milder winds for "wind farms" . The more difficult question is how much of
this energy is transferred to CO2 in the form of temperature increase? The
numbers would suggest a negligible amount although CO2 would have an
advantage because of its spectra in the infrared which would enhance its ability
to absorb energy in that part of the spectrum. It is also hard to justify a "blanket"
of CO2 absorption considering the turbulence of the air. If we look upon
temperature change as a result of energy transfer and not as an energy source it
brings us back to the sun and its exchange of energy with the oceans as the
major source of climate stability.

A new approach to the problem is the move toward the "Hydrogen Economy" as
a solution to the presumed CO2 global warming. As I have indicated before, this
raises a host of new and more difficult problems to solve. More problems than
the continuing development of safe nuclear energy in my judgment but a
complete exposition of that is beyond what I wished to cover today—except to
say that such a move to hydrogen should be done with extreme caution as I
believe it raises more serious problems than it is purported to solve.

I certainly agree that reliance upon a hydrogen economy is, at this point, absurd,
but I'm puzzled by George's inclusion of hydrogen as an example of something
that requires "lots of space or volume …per unit of energy".

I'm pleasantly surprised by George's assertion about nuclear energy that "Safety
issues seem to have been adequately addressed." I thought the ultimate waste
disposal issue was still dominant. Have I missed something? I hope so, because
with that caveat, I like the nuclear approach. (Chernobyl was stupid; Three-mile-
island didn't hurt anyone.)

I'd really like to hear a lot more detail about looking at the whole problem from a
thermodynamics point of view, even though my understanding of the explanation
might run at about 50%. (I didn't do well in that course!)

Here is a start about how Cultural theory could be useful to the debate about
Global Climate change.

We have noticed that the debate is sometimes calm, especially among warming
skeptics, and sometimes passionate and acrimonious. The hate doesn't do any
one any good.

How to explain it? Most communities have a mixture of all four cultural types,
some sections have an individualist culture, and some have a sectarian culture.
Thos are the two we probably need to think about.

The happiest community (on this theory) is one in which every one has a voice.
There will be sections which take responsibility for the whole very seriously. We
used to call their section 'hierarchical', but that word has proved to be a land
mine. They are a set of people whose concern is for the good of the whole
community. Somewhat in the sense of stewardship. The others are just the
isolates, the individuals who have no autonomy, no opportunity for exercising
choice, pushed up grid by the others, or having voluntarily chosen not to
compete, just withdraw.

Now, here goes…

The individualist culture is about free wheeling and dealing, it is concerned with
free play and with justice, but it hasn't many other ethical values. It gives a very
short time span for the past, and for the future.

I remember Walt Roberts saying how surprised he was that so many of the
conference members were not interested in climate change beyond the next ten
years. He fully expected that businessmen from big corporations would be
concerned about what was going to happen to the climate around their business
concerns in the next 50 years ahead. But no, even twenty years was too far off to
engage their interest. I would conclude that they were a bunch of individualists,
because quite a bit of work has been done on cultural influence on time
perception. We really ought to do some more on that.

The people with the long term view, both of past history and of the future, are the
'stewardship' culture working all the time on making property rights for the long
term stick, and in memorializing and remembering past commitments. The
sectarians tend to be millennialist, the drastic future is just round the corner, and
Woe! to those who don't recognize it. The isolates don't have much opinion on
time one way or the other.

These and other interesting differences result from the kinds of societies that are
generating the hopes and anxieties of their members. The members are not
victims of the society (not a case of social determinism of culture) but they are
making it with every decision they take, so they are making the culture that
conforms to the shape of society.

The 'stewards' who have a big stake in making that community stay together and
prosper together are unlikely to try to eject members or exclude their voice. It
would be self-defeating but it happens. So, little sects find themselves
oppressed, and break away from the mainstream.

Then they are trapped by the problems of organization I have mentioned before.
They tend to try to solve them by blackening the name of outsiders, and use their
hostility to stop defection from their own ranks. So the more provoking they can
be, the better for their purposes. This is the basis for acrimonious debates and
mutual dislike between each sect and the rest.

How does the ecology of intellectual fashions work? As soon as the sectarians
have got their idea into the mainstream, if the majority are on their side though
they don't do anything, the sect gains nothing by backing a majority view, so it
shifts to new ground.

Does that work with what you know about these shifts of opinion? What
happened to all the anxiety about nuclear power and liquid natural gas in the

Douglas Strain
Right on again, Mary Douglas! Liquefied natural gas is now a "success" and
provides lots of energy successfully. So we have to move to a "hydrogen
economy". Nuclear energy is producing ten times all the alternative "green"
energy combined so it is time to raise a new "doomsday cry". Your ecology of
"intellectual fashions" at work again!

These excerpts from speeches to the AAAS including one by Tim Barnett, one of
our La Jolla-based experts at Scripps Institution of Oceanography:

Scientists: Global Warming Is Real
Friday, February 18, 2005 Posted: 4:59 AM EST (0959 GMT)

―WASHINGTON (Reuters)—Studies looking at the oceans and melting Arctic ice
leave no room for doubt that it is getting warmer, people are to blame, and the
weather is going to suffer, climate experts have said.

―New computer models that look at ocean temperatures instead of the
atmosphere show the clearest signal yet that global warming is well under way,
Tim Barnett of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography said.

―Speaking at an annual meeting of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science, Barnett said climate models based on air temperatures
are weak because most of the evidence for global warming is not even there.

"The real place to look is in the ocean," Barnett told a news conference.

―His team used millions of temperature readings made by the U.S. National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to calculate Steady Ocean warming.

"‘The debate over whether or not there is a global warming signal is now over, at
least for rational people,‘ he said.

―The report was published one day after the United Nations Kyoto Protocol took
effect, a 141-nation environmental pact the United States government has
spurned for several reasons, including stated doubts about whether global
warming is occurring and is caused by people.
―Barnett urged U.S. officials to reconsider.

‗Could a climate system simply do this on its own? The answer is clearly no,‘
Barnett said.

His team used U.S. government models of solar warming and volcanic warming,
just to see if they could account for the measurements they made. ‗Not a
chance,‘ he said.

―And the effects will be felt far and wide. ‗Anywhere that the major water source
is fed by snow ... or glacial melt,‘ he said.

"The debate is what we are going to do about it.

―Other researchers found clear effects on climate and animals.

―Ruth Curry of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution found that melting ice
was changing the water cycle, which in turn affects ocean currents and,
ultimately, climate.

"As the Earth warms, its water cycle is changing, being pushed out of kilter," she

"Ice is in decline everywhere on the planet."

―‗A circulation system called the Ocean Conveyer Belt is in danger of shutting
down,‘ she said.

―The last time that happened, northern Europe suffered extremely cold winters.

―She said the changes were already causing droughts in the U.S. west.

―‘Greenland's ice cap, which contains enough ice to raise sea levels globally by
23 feet (7 meters), is starting to melt and could collapse suddenly,‘ Curry said.

―Already freshwater is percolating down, lubricating the base and making it more

―Sharon Smith of the University of Miami found melting Arctic ice was taking with
it algae that formed an important base of the food supply for a range of animals.

―And the disappearing ice shelves meant big animals such as walruses, polar
bears and seals were losing their homes.

‗‘In 1997 there was a mass die-off of a bird called the short-tailed shearwater in
the Bering Sea,‘ Smith told the news conference.
―The birds, which migrate from Australia, starved to death for several years
running when warmer waters caused a plankton called a coccolithophore to
bloom in huge numbers, turning the water an opaque turquoise color.

―‗The short-tailed shearwater couldn't see its prey,‘ Smith said.

The curious thing to me is that in the entire quote above, there is only one
sentence addressed to the issue of human contribution to the warming: "‘Could
a climate system simply do this on its own? The answer is clearly no,‘ Barnett

Where is the evidence to support that statement? And if it is there, plain for
Barnett to see, then why doesn't he talk about it? I've no doubt about the fact
and the importance of climate change, but I've got some about the relative
contribution of human and natural causes.

Thanks, Ray for the comment, glad you got there first! It is hard for us NOT TO
BE IN CHARGE as Harlan often reminds us!

I apologize for starting down a pathway in two earlier comments and not
continuing on the trail. I have been in Mexico the last two weeks working on
Seawater Forests to remove five metric tons of carbon per hectare (2.47 acres)
out of the air every year. That five tons is equal to all of the carbon input from ten
Prius automobiles driven an average number of miles per year. Or, if one drives
a Crown Victoria the same miles, a hectare would remove the carbon dioxide
from five full-sized Fords.

I have a story for this dialogue that is too long. I plan to cut it down and put it into
several messages. I hope it will flow and you find it interesting.

The story starts with Dr. Walter Orr Roberts‘ career back in the early 50‘s when
he was a graduate student from Harvard, studying our sun, i.e. measuring
variations in solar flux, predicting sun spots, etc. It continues through Walt‘s life,
and doubles in width where his and my scientific careers overlap. (I ―are‖ an
atmospheric physicist…as cartoon engineers say.) As a graduate student, I
developed a device called a Fluxometer. Placed on the surface of the earth
(whether barren sandy surface such as in an Arizona wash, or a grassy field) it
measured energy and mass fluxes of that surface; e.g. how much energy from
Walt‘s sun passed through the earth‘s atmosphere (part having been reflected,
etc.) and arrived at my device, which measured how much was reflected, how
much absorbed, how much re-radiated (in the infrared wavelengths), how much
used for photosynthesis, how much used to evaporate water coming from plants,

Walt introduced me to plans for the National Center for Atmospheric Research
(NCAR) before it was built. I was there when Walt was selected as Founder
President, sat in on discussions about Ian Pai being the architect, saw the
installation of the first non-military Cray computers at NCAR. Walt showed and
explained to me potential and limitations of modeling the earth, atmospheres. If
Dr. Farson likes, please use part of my ILF contribution (in the mail) to put Walt‘s
299 provocations in an electronic reference library for this conference. Let‘s all
read relevant ones on greenhouse gases, temperature changes, etc. Surely we
must agree there is considerable evidence of knowledge!

I am ―anguished‖ by the suggestion we disregard the contribution of scientific
modeling when trying to understand an environmental problem. I have 40 years
of experience with to rationalize if we were to do so.

Quality modeling seems to work well in designing airplanes. When occasionally
tails of a new design fall off, we do not reject the idea of modeling and revert to
discussing whether birds really fly, and if we could adapt to just walking again.

I have something to say, I just cannot quite figure out how to do so concisely. I
will keep reading and thinking…a lot….Carl

George Taylor
Carl—I for one would very much enjoy perusing the Walt Roberts compendium.
There is much wisdom to be found in those types of references. I am dismayed
that many of my colleagues reject or ignore "old writings" -- say, 20 years or
more in age. I don't know if this is arrogance or ignorance. But I see it a lot.

In my career (my first job in meteorology was in 1971) I have seen a transition
from a situation where a scientist collected data, did the quality control work, ran
models, and published the report, to one where each task has one or more
specialists. Most modelers know very little about measurement, and
measurement folks little about modeling. In the "old" days there were a lot of
well-rounded, versatile scientists, "big picture" people. Maybe they weren't as
"smart" as modern scientists in a particular subject, but they had a broad view of
their science—―wisdom," if you will.

Walt was one of those. The late Bill Quinn of OSU was a pioneer in El Niño
research, and didn't know the first thing about computers, but what a mind! He
really understood the concept of El Niño events.

If you've ever read Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, you may remember the
term "grok." It meant "to understand the essence of something." Walt and folks
like him really "grokked" meteorology. Bill Quinn was able to grok the El Niños.
H.H. Lamb grokked climate history. If you haven‘t read Climate, History, and the
Modern World, I recommend it.

In this increasingly specialized world there are more and more "smart experts"
and fewer and fewer "grokkers." Pity.

Douglas Strain
Carl, I have been waiting for you to come back on line in this conference to
which you have so much to contribute. I was so disturbed to learn of your
successful seawater community in Eritrea come to an end and I await your
further contributions with great interest!

George Taylor
Tim Barnett is at it again (1:175). In the past Barnett tended to view increases as
signs of long-term trends. We know from studying PDO and other long-term
oscillations that strong multi-decadal cyclical behavior exists in oceanic and
atmospheric data. Often these are ignored or smoothed over in analyses.

I apologize in advance for a long post, but I wanted you to get a feel for what
other scientists are saying about this subject. I visited my favorite Web site,, which has a marvelous catalog of journal article reviews. Under
"Ocean Temperatures" I found a bunch of articles that portray "the rest of the
story." For example:

McPhaden, M.J. and Zhang, D. 2004. Pacific Ocean circulation rebounds.
Geophysical Research Letters 31: 10.1029/2004GL020727.

―Since year-to-year fluctuations associated with El Nino and La Nina conditions
can greatly influence the state of earth's climate system, McPhaden and Zhang
compared mean conditions in the eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean
for the six-year period July 1992-June 1998 with the more recent five-year period
July 1998-June 2003 (both of which periods span at least one complete ENSO
warm and cold phase cycle) in order to gain some insight into the relative merits
of these two differing views of the issue, i.e., greenhouse gas-induced warming
vs. decadal-scale warming associated with a regime that switched to cooling in
the late 1990s.

The data and the authors' analyses indicate that "the shallow meriodional
overturning circulation in the tropical Pacific Ocean has rebounded since 1998,
following 25 years of significantly weaker flow." In fact, they say it "has recently
rebounded to levels almost as high as in the 1970s." Thus, the "precise
magnitude of anthropogenic influences will be difficult to extract with confidence
from the instrumental record given the rapidity with which observed warming
trends can be reversed by natural variations."
Bryden, H.L., McDonagh, E.L. and King B.A. 2003. Changes in ocean water
mass properties: Oscillations or trends? Science 300: 2086-2088.

"With so few repeat observations, there has been a tendency to treat any
observed change in water mass properties or circulation as an indicator of ocean
climate change." Nevertheless, they compared five Indian Ocean hydrographic
sections across 32°S that were made in 1936, 1965, 1987, 1995 and 2002.
The results of their study, in the words of the scientists, clearly indicate "there
has been an oscillation in the water mass properties of the upper thermocline
waters with freshening from 1965 to 1987 and then an increase in salinity from
1987 to 2002, with the properties observed in 2002 close to those observed in
1936 and 1965." They further note that these changes demonstrate "there can
be substantial oscillations over decadal time scales," and that "without regular
observations, oceanographers have little understanding of the scales of
variability in water mass properties." Indeed, they note that the most recent
change "almost entirely reverses the observed freshening of mode waters from
the 1960s to 1987 that has been interpreted to be the result of anthropogenic
climate change on the basis of coupled climate models."

Bratcher, A.J. and Giese, B.S. 2002. Tropical Pacific decadal variability and
global warming. Geophysical Research Letters 29: 10.1029/2002GL015191.
This paper "explores the recent record of Southern Hemisphere subsurface
temperature anomalies and whether they may be an indicator of future global
surface air temperature trends."

... "The warming trend in global surface air temperature observed since the late
1970s may soon weaken." Indeed, they report that "conditions present in the
southern tropical Pacific resemble those prior to the 1976 climate shift [after
which the temperature of the region rose by a full 1°C], except with the opposite
sign [our italics]," stating that "a climate shift to pre-1976 conditions could lessen
the warming trend that has existed since 1976."

BTW, IPCC is now saying that the five warmest years have been, in order, 1998,
2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. Notwithstanding that the methods they use for
creating these "global anomalies" are highly suspect, I see something else: a
cooling trend since 1998! Did anyone else notice that?

I guess you're saying that these may be the five warmest years, but each year is
less warm than the year before?

A new Doomsday cry, Doug Strain was asking for. Let me try to suggest what
sort of wrong it will be trying to correct.
If my idea is right, and that the sectarians are cast inevitably as the conscience of
their society, and also they have to give up the current terrors as soon as they
have persuaded the mainstream society to agree with them—then it probably
won't be climatic dangers next time. We will all have accepted and tried to
accommodate those worries. They will certainly come up again. But meanwhile
we will need some new scandal or horror.

Jane just said, the business interest still calls the tune, so the scare will surely
have to be blaming business.

What about an anti-corruption campaign? No! It won't last long enough, too
many of the main stream society will muster to that battle cry, so it won't help the
sectarian leaders to consolidate their dissident groups and lead them out against
the world. And it hasn't got any scientific mystery or technical fascination. We
could too quickly decide what's to be done. It won't do.

Sorry, it was just my first idea. Any suggestions?

George Taylor
To Dick‘s 1:82 --yes. 1998 was the warmest, and the others successively cooler.

Are these air or water temperatures?

Air. They're the "global average" temperature reported by IPCC and others.
Frankly, I think there's no such thing as a "global average"; there are an infinite
number of global averages. And the global average used by IPCC has big
problems, notably contamination from urban heating. But regardless, even if you
take IPCC's global averages as being correct, it's been cooling for 6 years.

Mary, it's a challenge to imagine what might be the next big cause for the
sectarians. Might it be health? It has scientific mystery, technical fascination,
suffering and dying, big money, and human drama. We are spending more and
getting sicker. Drugs are being exposed as two edged swords. The costs of
prescription coverage alone will be almost unaffordable. Doctors make two
million medical mistakes requiring hospitalization each year in the US alone, and
300,000 die. That doesn't include iatrogenic disease which occupies half of the
staff time of any hospital. We are more obese even in the midst of an
increasingly health conscious, gym attending, marathon running society. Might
illness prevention become a cause?

Forget global warming! I'm marching for better nutrition.

Dick, (to your 1.89) Better nutrition won't do well, it is too positive. To catch
attention you need specifiable enemies, a class of people who are already
unpopular, but doing well, too well compared with the rest of us. Green is
positive, yes, and so is environment. But the attack is against the despoilers. So
for your future slogans you need 'Good Nutrition' versus despoilers... Who?
The pharmaceutical companies? Medicine?

Corruption might do better because it is negative, the bad side of decent trading,
against dishonesty.

Anyway, who are we to foretell the next fashion in scandal?

Well, who better than we? I feel you are approaching the development of a
possible predictive formula. You've already given us some insights to it. It helps
in understanding social movements to have some basic misconceptions cleared
up. For example, it benefits one in anticipating liberation movements to realize
that the groups that will seek freedom from oppression are not the ones for whom
we feel sorry, but rather those we think are happy in their place--blacks, women,
children, etc. I'm sure there are similar paradoxes and misconceptions we could
uncover in this exercise.

I was sort of kidding about nutrition because it seems so mild. There are plenty
of bad guys in the health picture, however—not just pharmaceutical companies,
but agribusiness notably. Factory farming, pesticides, genetic modification, etc.
And scientific arguments abound.

Mary has supplied us with a partial bibliography of the work done on cultural
theory, a field that she has led for many years now. She developed and
annotated this one herself, says that it seems long, but isn't nearly as long as the
one under preparation now by others, which includes 800 references.

Here is the link:

Am I right in concluding that so far we are increasingly skeptical about the
primacy of anthropogenic climate change, and also looking at theories of fads in
world concerns? A powerful analytic combination. Where, if this is our path, does
it leave us in where we go next, and also, what is worth doing, besides reading
Lao Tzu?

Douglas Strain
We can stay on a related path in this conference in taking a hard look at the next
BIG THING gathering steam in our "green" world and that is the proposed move
to a HYDROGEN ECONOMY as the "solution" to eliminating CO2 which has
"caused" all our problems. As Linus Pauling proved long ago, the hydrogen bond
to oxygen is much stronger than the hydrogen bond to carbon in CO2 so it takes
a lot of extra electric energy to produce the hydrogen by electricity which still is
primarily fuelled by CO2 producing coal and oil.

Why not just use the "clean" electricity for better purposes rather than wasting it
on hydrogen? Hydrogen can also be derived from natural gas. Again the same
question, why not just use the same amount of gas directly instead of creating
more CO2 by producing hydrogen? Once we have the hydrogen, more problems
arise. Even at high pressures of 10,000 psi, a gallon volume of hydrogen has
only 1% of the energy of a gallon of gasoline. Hydrogen is very explosive at
these storage pressures so how to safely distribute it widely to the public is an
unsolved problem. Even the small quantities of hydrogen presently marketed for
professional use has leakage factors into the air of 20 to 30%. With nitrogen and
oxygen presently in the air, adding hydrogen creates the possibility of nitrous
acids being formed as well as sulfuric acid with residual sulfur. Hydrogen is a
very light gas and could rise to the top of our atmosphere and punch a bigger
hole in the ozone layer And so it goes. The costs of hydrogen fueling stations
and the transportation to service them, not to mention the danger of having a
whole trunkful of this explosive stuff in your own car and getting "rear ended"!
Please let us look before we leap!

Thanks, Mary and Richard, for the bibliography. I'm very interested to hear where
you are going with your line of thought, Mary. I've been thinking about the group
grid across a fairly diverse spectrum of human interaction and find it consistent
and useful. To a large extent my thinking has been confined to understanding
that landscape well enough to successfully negotiate it. You, however, seem to
be suggesting that it can be used in an endeavor.

Doug, the Bhagavad-Gita Gita is always a good read <g>.

George Taylor
Doug Strain (1:194)—You and I have corresponded off-line and talked on the
phone, and I agree with your points about the problems inherent in producing
hydrogen using electrolysis, and storing it. But perhaps American ingenuity will
come to the rescue, once again.

Oregon has put quite a bit of money into nanotechnology. There's a new joint
venture of the three main public universities in Oregon (OSU, U of O and
Portland State) that has created a research center in Corvallis (housed now at
the Hewlett-Packard facility). The director is a friend of mine. Skip says they're
working on a "lunchbox-sized device which would convert a liquid fuel such as
methanol into hydrogen to power an automobile fuel cell." Skip said this process
could make existing fuels twice as efficient and reduce pollution at the same
time. Exciting stuff!

Doug, I agree that reading the conference so far one could only conclude that the
participants are showing increased skepticism about anthropogenic contributions
to global warming. Tomorrow we‘ll get Michael's speech notes and graphs, which
might push us further in that direction. But remember, we still have some experts
who haven't weighed in fully, notably Carl Hodges, who tells me we can expect
more from him.

I suppose that if a report were to come from this discussion, we should be able to
offer some different ways to think about this issue, perhaps indicating a position
which could transform the dispute into a more productive dialogue. Perhaps also
we can suggest a perspective and method of analysis relevant to other related
issues coming up, as Doug Strain proposes. We would deal with the science, of
course, but as you suggest also with the ecology of fashionable ideas, using the
input from Mary and Jane and others. Mary has given us a valuable framework
to analyze the situation, and perhaps over the next week we can offer specific
guidelines to apply in taking the cultural theory approach. Perhaps we can help
some people take a broader perspective toward this and other environmental
concerns. It is my guess that the contribution we can make will be essentially at
the politics of knowledge level, and that might have specific implications for
policymaking in environmental science, and perhaps beyond.

Doug Strain: "Even at high pressures of 10,000 psi, a gallon volume of hydrogen
has only 1% of the energy of a gallon of gasoline."

That amazes me! I wonder how it is possible. I had thought that the energy in
gasoline was derived from the hydrogen bonded within it. Evidently there is more
to the story. I didn't do well in chemistry!

Doug Carmichael, I can't help but feel that if we issued a report from this
conference, after covering the other points already mentioned, it should end with
a concept that would enlarge the scope of our thinking, and suggest a grander
scheme. My guess is that others would agree that because of the
interdependence of forces such as those you mentioned, it may be necessary—
and easier—to rearrange our goals and redesign the system. Then perhaps
some of these other concerns and conflicts will be less troublesome.

Do you think you could outline what something like that might look like?

Douglas Strain
Ray (198)—If the statement about a gallon of gasoline holding much more
energy than compressed hydrogen think "mass". Does it seem reasonable that a
gallon of gasoline would weigh a hundred times more than a gallon of
compressed hydrogen which is one of the lightest gases? That is not the whole
picture but a significant part of it.
I am going back a bit. I am intrigued by Douglass Carmichael's comment (1.151)
that treating corporations as legal persons is dangerous and probably wrong. I
had the idea that being 'incorporated' resulted in being considered legally as a
'person', and that the convention goes way back. I thought that it was a way of
making the corporation answerable at law. Do we have anyone good in the
history of jurisprudence here?

Are we worrying about the answerability of corporations?

Partial response to Mary: Answerable at law is the broad reason. More
specifically, it is to limit the liability of corporate officers. The magnitude of
corporate ventures is much greater than the assets of any one person (perhaps
Bill Gates is an exception), so a claim for damages must be lodged against the
aggregate assets of the corporation rather than against its officers, simply as a
practical matter. Similar reasoning applies to instruments of corporate debt, for
which the assets of the corporation are security.

In many countries, the word "Limited" appears after the corporate name instead
of U.S. practice, which is "Incorporated", as a warning to lenders, suppliers, and
customers. The reference is to limited liability.

I see no way to avoid this necessity. The problem arises when taxing authorities
and the media treat the corporation as if it were a person that "enjoys", "suffers",
etc., or should have "compassion" and other attributes of humans. Everything
except the right to vote, of course. Corporations are taxed largely because the
tax is easier to collect than alternative means. There is very little logic to taxing
the income of corporations, which should be distributed and then taxed as
received by its recipients. But the recipients vote, so the pressure is the other
way around.

Douglass will have a better answer.

There is a book called Corporations by Noel Pharr Davis, printed in about 1900,
so he was closer to the original events than we are. As I recall, his analysis
corporations were always chartered by the state such as the Jesuits when the
Vatican had that status, or the British East India Company. As I recall when the
East India bubble hit, Parliament outlawed such charters for 100 years. The idea
always was that the corporation could do state business that the state was not
well organized to do . The first corporations were the chartered offspring of the
state. In the United States they struggled to break free of legislators' ability to
impose standards, goals, or purposes. It is not that incorporation brought
corporations under the law, but that corporations struggled to get out from the
constraints of law, and have been successful. The argument was that, since the
corporation was a person and therefore had equal rights under the Fourteenth
Amendment , a charter could not be modified except by the agreement of both
parties. The law on this is not so much obscure as never tested . We sort of
drifted into that without realizing that by creating privileged persons they could,
over time, gather up an increasing share of the economy and power. That
corporation owns private property is not only a legal fiction but a misconstruction
of the law. It is wrong to see the corporation as a convention, like a tradition that
emerges in the common law. Its origin was exact and through the use of a
charter. If we had no law of incorporation we still could have the freedom of
assembly of citizens to do what they want, including organizing for a purpose .

But in that case such persons would not have extra rights and freedom from
responsibilities and there would be no extra "persons" as legal factions with
unusual powers . For example corporations are not taxed at the individual rate.
We all think that is reasonable but it means a corporation can hold onto more
wealth longer than a private person. It is not in our habit of thinking and so feels
somewhat counter intuitive to see the very fact of corporations as not only
excessive but dangerous . Ray, you can see how our two points of view are quite
different. If we start with a symptom : that corporations increasingly replace
national sovereignty , which I think is terrible , we should be motivated to look
back at the origin of this weird situation . US law became the world Standard
without much thought.

But this might be an impossible mid course correction. The will to do in a society
on, through corporations, the infrastructure of that society . The cash flow
generated makes questioning this arrangement nearly impossible as elites are
not motivated to look at the total systems costs .

Dick, you asked me to think of drafting some alternative vision . Garden world,
no corporations, much more education, rethinking of sex and war , everyone
striving to do some kind of art. Done. Well, not quite. There is the question of
interest. Who pays, and who gets. What if there were no interest, and people
who held money were thus encouraged to do something with it, build something.
Interest forces growth because we must pay back more than we borrowed.
Where does it come from, that "more"?

That we are learning from primate studies, a new perspective, hardly available
fifty years ago. We know much more about comparative cultures and
comparative religions, and that the cave painters were sophisticated. We are
much more aware, groping thought it still is, of the environment. We have the
opportunity to rethink who we are, and what then should we do.

Useful discussion of corporate history and role.
Doug, can you turn your sentence "Garden world, no corporations, much more
education, rethinking of sex and war, everyone trying to do some kind of art" into
paragraph headings? And how do you answer someone (other than me,
because I believe big changes are easier than small ones) who says you can't
get there from here?

What impresses me about Mary‘s idea of the four culture types (the individual,
the isolate, hierarchy, and the egalitarian) is that it doesn‘t seem to me to be a
‗construct‘, nor is it simply a product of our becoming civilized. Rather, it seems
to me to represent collective displays of basic genetic behaviors. If so, then any
attempt to create a society that doesn‘t allow, or maybe even provide for these
cultural types just won‘t fly. So far as I can tell, the least stable societies (over
time) are those which attempt to completely repress one (or more) of the cultural
types. Usually it‘s the isolates that are first repressed, then the individualists. I
find it hard to imagine a society succeeding over time without relative freedom for
all four types.

A successful society has to be stable enough to survive its own inherent
instability. Too stable, then it stagnates; not stable enough, it fragments. In a
nutshell we can‘t survive by saying ―everybody should…‖ It just doesn‘t work.

Thank you, Doug and Ray, on corporations, very interesting.(1.204-5) You are
wishing for a sweeping change of mood. But Garden World sounds elitist and far
out. It is an urban world that we want to think of as a garden. In a dusty, grimy,
poor part of East London there is an enormously long traffic-blocked road called
'Green Lanes'—it makes me cry! What proportion of people in a city can have
even a patio garden? Do you mean 'Window-box World'?.

Reading on, from what you say, it sounds more like, 'Arts World'. We need the
great painters and Nobel Prize poets to come out of their secluded corners and
lead us. But I bet they won‘t! Perhaps the Nobel committee might lead the way?
Ah, but we are to abolish corporations. Is the Nobel committee a corporation? Or
the Royal house of Sweden?

There is an effective move in England to abolish the Queen's Honours list (so no
chance of becoming Sir Douglass Carmichael). There is a politically correct
mood to deny the past. Even the humble OBE is mooted now to signify 'Order of
British Excellence', instead of Order of the British Empire. It might be the right
mood to make the big persons compete for honours in the new Arts World. Sir
Richard Farson, OAW. or Lord Carmichael,HG (standing for Head Gardener).
(Just a thought.)

Replying to Kip Winsett (1.206) on the dangers of repressing a cultural sector—
we are taking the view of the democratic process as a conversation which is
killed if one voice dominates it, the dreaded monologue, or when two voices
exchange opinions but no one else can get a word in (the club bores). And of
course the isolates are excluded from the word go. Second to go are the
sectarians, their moral protests bid to stop the whole system, so no one likes
them. Individualists and Hierarchs dominate.

I will ask Dick to post on the reserve list an article I did for the World Bank Book,
Culture and Public Action, edit. Rao and Walton(2004). There I protest against
the common assumption in development economics that the poor individuals are
poor because they lack initiative, and the underdeveloped nations are poor
because of their traditional culture. The case to be made is that they lack
initiative because there is no scope for them to use it, they are the excluded
voice in the civic process.

But, Kip, you are jumping to genetic principles too soon. There are social,
economic and political principles based on non-contradiction and feasibility,
which weigh in first.

Culture isn't founded directly on thoughts and values, they are founded on
practicability and power distribution.

Douglas Strain
Mary, you always add a fresh insight to our discussions. I was particularly taken
by your last remark "Culture isn't founded directly on thoughts and values, they
are founded on practicability and power distribution". That puts an extra heavy
burden on those of us who are engineers turned businessmen. Do you think we
are up to it?

I'm happy to share Mary's article with the group. Just click on:

I do like the sound of Sir Richard. I've always had mixed feelings about July 4th,
a bit regretful that we left the British Empire.

Many thanks, Mary, for sharing this article. It has given me a more refined sense
of the parameters of each cultural type. I was drawing conclusions based upon a
slightly different understanding of the words as they pertain to social structure.
The culture of the individual, as you describe it, includes more than I had
understood and the egalitarian seems more limited than I had thought. I can see
very clearly now why my jump to genetics was premature.

Perhaps I'm less a member of the individual culture than I thought! I have the
sense we probably all participate to some degree in all 4 cultures depending
upon situation and context. Looking at the 4 types in action, though, the image is
very dynamic.

The concept of poverty being intrinsically related to the culture seems obvious
now that it's pointed out. As I was reading it occurred to me that even something
as simple as food storage technology can have a very disruptive effect on a
developing culture.

As we try to summarize the nature of our dialogue I would like to invite all of you
to help identify the important points we have made. In well over two hundred
comments, we touched on a lot of ideas, so my apologies for oversimplifying. Let
me start by mentioning some points that occur to me:

Perhaps the main difference between this discussion and others on this subject
was that we made a distinction between assessing the validity of the scientific
methods of the global warming dispute and identifying the cultural influences that
help shape and support that dispute. We used the model of cultural theory
developed by Mary Douglas and her colleagues to show how the issue is framed
differently by the four components of culture--hierarchical, entrepreneurial,
sectarian and isolates—with the sectarian serving as the social conscience, yet
requiring all of the others to create a balanced and functioning society,
preventing it from falling into complete collapse. The main point relevant to our
scientific discussion is that the issue will not be resolved by the science, will not
depend upon proof, but upon the way in which the cultural forces play out.

We described the penalties society imposes on those who challenge the majority
scientific opinions, and the antipathy that develops between the two schools of

We discussed how the politics of knowledge, the ecology of fashionable ideas,
derived from those cultural influences informed, or failed to inform, certain
segments of our society. The faddish nature of the concern possibly
deteriorating over time.

In the questions of appropriate scientific methods, the analysis seemed to settle
on the different levels of concern created by computer modeling as compared to
the historical data analysis ordinarily pursued by climatologists, the former
yielding much more dire predictions, and the latter minimizing the role of
anthropogenic contributions to the potential warming.

Several methods were suggested for verification of the science--double blind
studies, multiple parallel studies supported by government, true outside
assessment, labeling the research for possible corrupting influences.
We tried to use the cultural analysis of the global warming controversy to predict
the ways in which the next major concern, be it social, political, environmental, or
technological, might show itself and be debated. Global poverty became a
possible candidate for that analysis. The challenge is to imagine a way to avoid
the acrimonious dispute that is almost certain to accompany the bringing of that
issue into public awareness.

A call was issued for a strategy to transcend the dilemma by recognizing the
larger forces that influence it—political system, corporate power, property
ownership, urban development, technology, etc.—and designing an overarching
new concept of a healthy society, which, if realized, would make the initial
problem solvable, if not completely avoidable. It suggests going both directions at
once—focusing on verifying the science, but also escalating to a conception of
society that would be nothing short of a paradigm shift, completely reframing the
issue. The likelihood for such a realization was both entertained and challenged.

The idea was put forward that environmentalism as an ideology is an
anachronism—we are already too advanced to hold a single, one-sided view of
the issue.

Some corrections or other points?

We are almost at the end of February, and as I understand, to the end of this
exchange. Also, I read Richard asking for closure considerations.

I am bothered that I have failed to do my part. I tried. In fact, as workload
permitted, I produced more than 20 pages of non-entered comments. I worked
at cutting those down, changed all of them, and threw most away.

I am surprised at myself. I am not normally inhibited when it comes to
contributing to a dialogue. With this one, I am. It has something to do with my
just two years short of half a century committed to addressing environmental
issues…both talking about them and implementing what I see as solutions. That
history led to my instantaneous emotional response when I read George‘s first
comment. I immediately saw, ―felt,‖ probable polarization. Since others have
commented on how it is wonderful polarization has not happened. I am also
happy it has not happened. That may be the one contribution I have made. I
have contributed to the non-polarization of this conference by not stating bluntly
what I believe. Or, if I were to speak in polarization language, I would say
―bluntly what I know.‖ I remained quiet for the first 14 comments, and then
offered number 15. It reflected that I concluded my responses, given the
arrogance of ―years of knowing,‖ should be introduced gently, with a bit of humor,
and attention to being courteous. Those constraints: gentle, humorous, and
courteous have made me almost ―commentless.‖
Why such strong emotions? George‘s personality as revealed from his writing
style is appealing. George surely is a nice guy. I would like to be his friend. I
hope I can, even with my decision to remove my self-imposed constraints. I do
that in response to Dr. Farson‘s comment ―…the other side in contrast to
George‘s view has not really been presented. One of the people who will
champion the other side is Carl Hodges.‖ O.K., Dick.

In George‘s comments, he references a number of people I know, starting in his
first with Reid Bryson. I knew Reid through Walt Roberts, A. Richard Kassander,
James McDonald, Lew Batton, Bill Sellers…the early guys who founded the
Institute of Atmospherics at the University of Arizona in the 50s.

George quotes Bryson, and then through some positioning starts us off, by
definition, that everyone who ―believes‖ in anthropogenic global warming believes
in ―myths.‖ Perhaps that is not bad. Mary can enlighten us beautifully about
cultural myths being important. There could be a myth, for example, that Mother
Nature will come back and bite us (the myth even specifying the anatomical part),
if we are not responsible in our interactions with her.

My start was to explain how today we have sophisticated, valuable computer
models available to us as tools for guidance (please remember that term) as to
where the environment is likely to go given things humans do and continue to do.

Given his prestige (love) with a number of us, I started with Walter Orr Roberts‘
work in the 50s measuring the radiation of the sun, and developing models to
predict its events. I link to Walt‘s work in 1961 with a tool I developed, used at
the earth‘s surface to determine what happened as a result of Walt‘s solar
radiation. I also looked at the fraction of the sun‘s radiation that was reflected
from the top of the atmosphere, and at levels through it. I even named a
racehorse Blue Albedo (George will know Albedo). I studied what radiation
passed through the atmosphere, where it was absorbed, how it was reradiated,
what was the resulting heating at different layers in the atmosphere. At the
surface, I measured what energy was used for evaporation of water, and
particularly evaporation of water through the stomates of plants, evaporation of
water off other surfaces, etc., etc., etc. (by the way, 7,000 has nothing to do with
any of this).

Because of the then new friendship with Walt Roberts, and the fact that the early
planning for the National Center for Atmospheric Research was done at the
University of Arizona, I was there when Walt was selected as its founding
President. I even attended discussions about whether Ian Pai should be the
architect. He was. A great combination—Walt as President, Ian Pai in charge of
beauty—led NCAR to become a world scientific showcase. It attracted the best
and the brightest. I shared Walt‘s excitement when NCAR got powerful Cray
computers; then the only ones outside of the U.S. military. Walt spent time at my
home in Mexico every year, and every visit a topic (after margaritas and oysters)
was the continuing refinement of NCAR computer models. They did interesting
things, including foretelling what would happen with increasing carbon dioxide in
the atmosphere.

Contrary to looking only at CO2 into the atmosphere (as discussions often do),
Walt and I discussed both sides of the equation: carbon dioxide in and carbon
dioxide out of the atmosphere. Walt was thrilled with the idea of greening (in
ecologically sound ways) part of the 40,000 kilometers of desert seacoast with
seawater to increase the ‗carbon out of the atmosphere‘ sides of the equations.
And, while doing that, we would generate wealth for local populations and
environmental enhancement for the entire world.

 Walt Roberts was particularly interested in the fact that models predicted
warming greater at the poles than at the equator. That would reduce the driving
force for and lead to a drop in the strength of the jet streams. Pacific storms that
would normally pass through California and over the Rockies would instead
sometimes ―park‖ over California. California would experience times of unusually
heavy rains for unusually long periods of time.

With weaker jet streams and the surface of the earth warming, models predicted
an increase in hurricanes. The models also predicted increasing variability.
There would be record temperatures, yes; but also there would be periods of
cold. I remember sitting on a hot desert beach talking with Walt over Herradura
Añejo (which became our favorite tequila) about how one day Greenland would
be green. Not in our lifetimes, probably not in our children‘s lifetimes, but in our
grandchildren‘s lifetimes. Walt loved the arctic area. His stories of fishing there,
with Herradura enhancement, developed into mythical attractors for us listening.
When I review arctic ice studies, I have an Herradura for Walt.

Walt died in 1990. I was a founding member of the Board at the Walt Roberts
Institute within NCAR. Walter Orr Roberts spent years of hard, credible, ethical
loving work on behalf of future generations…building models of their
environmental future…as tools.

My interest and study of global warming issues is not limited to scientific literature
or popular movies and newspapers. For example, the swing of businesses from
denying global warming to addressing it fascinates me. Why? Look at the
advertising for most major oil companies today. Even more dramatic is Swiss
Re, the second largest reinsurance company in the world. In 1994, Swiss Re,
concerned with annually increasing cost of insuring against extreme weather,
looked at scenarios for the future:

   ―…it is worth investigating what would happen if a cyclone were to hit
southern England, if it were to snow in Washington for three weeks non-stop or if
Florida were to be hit three times in rapid succession by hurricanes of the
magnitude of Andrew…All these are examples that are by all means possible.‖

                  (Global Warming: Element of Risk, Swiss Re. 1994, p.46)

Heat stress in France.
Four Hurricanes in Florida.
Mud in California.
…a new Kingston Trio song?

I conclude from years of non-trivial (and ethical) study, there is no question that
there is an anthropogenic component of the changes in the composition of the
atmosphere. And, there is no question there are quality, valuable computer
models that foretell concerns we should have about what those changes can
mean. Or to say it differently, there are good computer models generating
valuable ―myths‖ to learn from.

The idea that credible modeling is tackling a problem too complicated to be done
by modeling and to be of value is to me what is sometimes described as a
product from the anatomical part of a male bovine that nature would bite if the
bovine ignored nature‘s warnings…move off the highway stupid. That is what I
gave you ears for. That is a truck about to hit you in the…!

A simple and valuable exercise is to conceptualize a blue ball in space receiving
radiation that fluctuates, passes through the atmosphere of the ball, and impacts
the ―status‖ of the ball as a function of the atmosphere‘s composition. With
increasing carbon dioxide, something happens. A thing people talk about is the
temperatures. Some calculate that it increases with increasing carbon dioxide.
This does not mean that in ―the real world‖ there cannot be events that also affect
the real world atmosphere that are not calculated, and at times counter the
calculated warming due to increased carbon dioxide. There could be a series of
volcanoes hidden at the bottom of the ocean operating for a long period of time
that we have overlooked, and they suddenly stop activity. That reduction in heat
in the ocean could be big enough to mean a cooling of the earth.

The positioning of an event such as that does not falsify the need for us to think
about the CO2/temperature correlation. Today, when a group of world scientists
review computer capabilities, observe physical and biological systems on the
earth, a majority agree with the view I have. That does not mean I arrived at my
view by their vote, or that anybody else has arrived by it that way. When a
minority of the scientists that participated in that review disagrees, it does not
mean I arrived at my view by ignoring them. I arrived at my view of the value of
computer modeling from years of work, more than 50, in the basics of
mathematics, physics, physical observation, and pondering.
With this conference, my pondering of all this ―hockey sticks.‖

How can I be so strong with my belief that computer modeling is valuable when
George, who has published 200 papers and given many talks, proves with his
presentations here that I am wrong? Has he?

George‘s first ―reality‖ says there are literally thousands of papers in scientific
literature with data showing that climate has been changing one way or the other
for at least a million years.

Yes, so? In fact, looking back a million years is somewhat short-sighted when
the earth is 4.5 billion years old, is it not? Change on the earth has been going
on 4,500 times George‘s million years. The modeling we are talking about is for
now and 100 years (one over 45 million of that) or so forward. Yes we are
modeling change. If things were not changing why bother?

George‘s second ―reality‖ states there is no credible proof that warming is
anthropogenic in origin; i.e. man-made due to carbon dioxide emissions. His
explanation of that ―reality‖ is that there are a number of causes of climatic
change, and until all causes other than carbon dioxide increase are ruled out, we
cannot attribute a change to carbon dioxide alone.

Logical? If we see a car off the side of the road with the driver changing a tire,
skid marks behind it, and parts of a radial tire sprawled about the area, could we
say it is likely the car blew a tire and went off the road? We might say so and be
wrong. It could be the driver jut happened to park where a previous car had
blown a tire. He could be changing the tire on his car because he had a slow
leak and just noticed it. However, if we were to encounter a number of similar
car-tire situations, might we ask a question about the performance of a particular
brand of radials when we found all blowouts were of the same brand, even if we
found an example of just a slow leak?

George‘s third ―reality‖ points out that the most important greenhouse gas is not
carbon dioxide. I do not know a single person in the field or any computer model
that ―believes‖ it is. And, one does not have to be in the field. Anyone who has
experienced a feeling of ―difference‖ on a clear night in winter and a cloudy night
in winter, could with only a little pondering could conclude that the absorption of
water (in this case in the form of clouds) is so dramatic you can feel its effect

In his fourth, George says that if computer models are correct, we must show
that they can at least duplicate the present day climate. Who asked them to do
that? Perhaps—for some things—yes, but credibility of the models I reference is
usually based on their ability to predict the past, and how that prediction
increases in ―correctness‖ as a function of knowledge added to the model. They
predict the past well and are getting better.

In his fifth, George says we are doing okay in measuring CO2, but our
interpretation is often less than acceptably scientific. Let‘s discard all those often
not scientific ones, and take the ones that are credible into consideration of our
actions…that is actions in addition to talking.

Six—come on, George, who suggested that a vote of a group is a way to
determine a ―scientific truth?‖ No argument. Especially, let‘s not take a vote
here…at least not now.

Please…but the vote is…?

On the ―other side,‖ I enjoy it when George writes about the history of science.

But back to the ―first side,‖ I suggest caution when it comes to George‘s
interpreting ―data.‖ Are you impressed with his statement in comment 36,
(using George‘s capitalization). He goes on, ―there is an infinite number of
averages of weather station data, and these may or may not be representative of
locations in between, or over the oceans, or over the mountains.‖ True, George.
Having agreed with that, and having agreed that we must take a reasonable time
period if we want to look at trends, were you, the reader, surprised (as I was)
when George proposes (possibly with a smile) that based on only six years of
average global high temperature data (of which he ignores one of the six years)
that there is a cooling trend?

George uses data he selected for a trend that supports his view of things, and
does so with data he says does not exist, over the shortest time frame used in
these exchanges. There was ―non-existent‖ data before ‘98. You do offer a
caveat, ―notwithstanding that the methods they used for creating these global
anomalies are ‗highly suspect.‘ I see something else: a cooling trend since
1998.‖ So from ―non-existent‖ to ―highly suspect‖ is the way to position data to
one‘s side.

George, you confuse me again in comment 88 when Dr. Farson, trying to
balance discussion of the non-existent average temperature asks if there was
something else to be looked at…maybe water temperatures, such as warm water
in coral areas. George: ―Frankly, I think there is no such thing as a ‗global
average,‘ and the global averages used by IPCC has big problems, notably
contamination from urban heating. But regardless, if you take IPCC‘s global
average as correct, it has been cooling for six years.‖ Did that answer Richard‘s
question about water for you?
But let me go back to ―courteous‖ to agree with George (for the sake of a further
comment) that although people keep cranking out those ―average global
temperatures,‖ indeed they do not exist. That is average global temperatures do
not exist. Thus, we might conclude their worthlessness. Right? Remember…

Having agreed average global temperature does not exist, we might ponder for a
moment if any global temperatures really exist, and if not is their non-existence
contained in the word ―global or the word ―temperature.‖ Let‘s start with the word

Temperature is a human construct. One cannot look out and see temperature.
One can see clouds, rain, forests (present or being cut down), but temperature,
no. Some bright people long ago decided to define a new thing, temperature, as
a measurement as something that later came to be considered as the average
energy level of a bunch of something that one might get into the middle of. But
feeling and/or seeing energy is difficult, so we went to things we could see about
energy and temperature; the expansion of something – e.g. mercury in a glass
tube, or the differential expansion of two metals stuck together. We put marks on
the glass as the mercury went up and down, and where the metal bent, etc.

For our mutual visualization here, let‘s take the glass tube with the mercury going
up and down as a function of the average energy of whatever it is that makes up
mercury. Long ago, people defined points where water changes from a solid to a
liquid, from a liquid to a gas, and then divided the distance that the mercury went
up and down between those two conditions. The medical profession took the
mercury thermometer as a tool, and took to putting the end under one‘s tongue –
or in that other location referenced earlier.

From that they concluded a healthy condition is indicated when the thermometer
reaches 98.6º F. Now you go to the doctor because all five of your senses
communicate with your brain. Your hearing seems to be off, your ears are
plugged up: your sense of smell is gone, your nose is dripping; your vision is
blurred; you cannot taste anything; and the tips of your fingers are numb. All of
your five senses are telling you to stop by a doctor‘s office. The doctor places
the glass tube in his selected spot and says, ―Hmmm, you have a temperature of
103° (from one spot?). Never mind, take this pill and go lie down. I will be back.‖
He comes back in a couple hours and places the end of the little glass tube with
the mercury in the one same sport (even though he knows there is lots more of
you there) and says, ―Oh my God, you are above 104°. We are talking about
brain damage here. Let‘s get you cooled down. Step into this cold shower.‖ You
do not like that idea and reply, ―but Doc, I just put this cold wet towel around my
neck. I cannot see my neck, but I can ‗feel‘ that place, and it does not feel hot;
nothing like 104°…are you sure we have the right ‗global‘ temperature to
understand my condition?‖ Doctor‘s response, ―Dammit, get into the shower!‖
The condition of the biosphere (all living things) is more complicated than one
individual. George has correctly pointed out that a thermometer, even at many
spots in the ocean, could have little to do with the average temperature of the
surface of the ocean. They could not tell us the non-existent global temperature
of the ocean. They can tell us the change at their location. Perhaps, all the
temperatures that ever were averaged in all possible ways are inadequate!
Could anything be adequate?

We have five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Maybe it is
necessary to engage all of them to understand the state of the biosphere.
Perhaps we should see where a forest use to be, or where coral is dead; look at
satellite images showing the degree of the ungreening of the earth as wetlands
are cleared and overgrazing occurs, etc. Perhaps we should listen to the Inuits
about declining populations for hunting, and their propensity to fall through ice
that is thinner than they have ever known. Perhaps ―smell‖ pollution of our
communities, taste the blandness of any Eritrean food aid meal, and touch, feel,
a dying child in Darfur, Sudan.

We have the five sensors over the entire globe. There are more than six trillion
individual humans.

I have walked the ―non-existent‖ forest areas of Gujarat, the northwest state of
India. I have seen where hundred year old trees were, but are now totally gone.
I was not surprised by that; I had seen pictures. I was surprised by the 30 ft.
deep holes that had been dug where the trees were so the roots of the trees
could be harvested for firewood. In that case, an additional sensor – non-
existent sensor – the human heart, screamed at me that we have gone astray.
That same sensor had me close Tony Rose‘s Consuming Nature many times
before I could finish sensing it!

These eight comments are too much. Sorry.

Nevertheless, Monday I would like to offer, if Dr. Farson tells me he will tolerate
the use of space, my Acceptable Global Warming Analogy (AGWA).

The setting is a kindergarten class. The class was originally 30 students. It is
now 60 students. The teacher senses something very wrong. She has read
State of Fear. She has to make some tough decisions. And… Dr. Farson?

Of course, Carl. Be our guest. Many thanks for your entries. We very much
need to examine the full spectrum of thought on this issue. Thanks for this
enjoyable and informative input. We look forward to Monday.

While George and Doug and others calculate their responses to Carl, I have a

It's about labeling. Michael suggests that all research publications should carry
labeling that would indicate the commitments, influences, funding, etc. of the
scientist who is making some kind of claim. From this discussion, it is clear that
perhaps the most important label would be his or her standing on our cultural
theory grid. Both Mary and I questioned the ethics of using the grid to identify
individuals. But there are other possible labels that go beyond funding sources--
political party affiliations, for example (the very one that bothered Michael when
queried by the Germans). If we believe that the scientific "proof" will be
secondary to the cultural forces shaping the decisions, what is to be our posture
toward the kind of labeling that really would help us understand how to interpret
the findings?

 The attached comments by journalist Bill Moyers present a dimension we
haven't discussed in this conference, but certainly plays a part in the cultural
picture--the role of believers in the Rapture, the soon-to-come end of the world
when Jesus returns--a group that includes about a third of the US population. It's
an interesting talk: Moyerstranscript.pdf

Carl, I was feeling somewhat 'cheated' that the conference seemed to be winding
down without having a chance to really hear your thoughts on the matter. Very
glad that you put them on the table!

The difficulty from where I sit is that I really have no way to 'know' whether you or
George have the right of it. It's a difficult position. I can decide to have an opinion
as to which of you is right, but I can't avoid knowing that I've simply decided on
an opinion, and that my opinion simply reflects some basic bias I have.

The end result is that I don't "believe" either side, but I modify my behavior
somewhat to err more on the side of caution (i.e., reduce where possible my
contribution to the problem). But, I observe that many people seem utterly
unconcerned and make no effort at all to mitigate their own behavior. I then ask
myself if I am foolishly making unnecessary sacrifices. Then I remind myself that
people, in general, are incredibly stupid, (e.g. overweight, depressed diabetics
who continue to eat too much junk food) so perhaps my sacrifices aren't foolish.

It would be an awful lot easier to deal with if we could somehow know the the
facts of global warming with the same kind of certainty that we know about an
object, that if dropped it will fall to the ground.

Sad that this conference is ending.
It was exciting to hear Carl Hodges on what he would have said if he wasn't
constrained to be gentle, humorous and courteous. But I think he managed all

I am in the same position as Kip, it would have been even more difficult for me if
he had put this loudly and clearly on the table from the start.

Thank you, Dick, for your winding up questions.

From my angle, the thing we leave in the air is the question of corporations.
Thousands of books have been written about them, but none from the Cultural
Theory perspective. Those who claim to belong to the 'individualists' corner
might not like to discover that nothing in their environment encourages them to
think of a long future. The period they tend to live in is NOW.

It could be important for the reception of the scientists' work if we knew how
different arrangements inside a corporation make a difference to the perception
of the long term. By 'arrangements' I mean recruiting policy, hiring and firing, staff
turnover, pension responsibilities, fringe benefits and anything that affects habits
of thinking in the short term.

A side-issue that Dick has raised: 'The concept of poverty being intrinsically
related to the culture seems obvious now that it's pointed out. As I was reading it
occurred to me that even something as simple as food storage technology can
have a very disruptive effect on a developing culture.‘ Yes, it can destroy the
infra-structure of the economy by putting farmers at risk .

The conference has been so active and still good questions remain, such as the
one Mary just posed about corporations, that George, Doug and I have decided
to extend it for at least another week. That will give time for Carl's thoughts to be
completed and responded to, Michael's speech to be entered, and remaining
questions to be addressed.

As to myth, Carl threw me an entry.
Myths are the stories we live by.
Not necessarily false, not at all.

A vote of thanks to George, and to Carl, and to Richard!
It was a great conference. Thanks to everyone.

It would be helpful to me to know if the models upon which scientists rely tell us
how the quantity of CO2 (and other 'problem' gasses as well) generated by
human activity compares with the volume that is generated naturally apart from
human activity. And I mean to include in the "generated" part what I find difficult
to express simply in a sentence, the amount by which the natural absorption of
O2 is diminished by human activity.

I have the impression from Carl's eloquent recent entries that the human
contribution to the problem is known (as well as anything can be known) from the
models, but if he said that plainly, then I was reading too fast.

Like Kip, I'm inclined to act as if what I choose to do matters.

The idea of non-existent data hits me hard. Generalizing about human behavior
is risky work.

Cultural theory is always under colleagues' challenge, rightly enough, because
of inexact formulation, weak inference, for inappropriate scientistic ambition, and
for non-existent data! Studying human behavior to reach any degree of
exactitude would be much more difficult than studying the environment!
 Why do I believe in it so ardently? We, the theorists have been so busy
patching up holes in the theoretical statement that we have put aside the hard
work of data collection. Funding has always been difficult.

I don't believe in all the details, but I do believe in the attempt. It is the most
coherent attempt to relate culture to social structure. And I believe in it because I
am bored by endless speculations on culture that are not theory-driven at all. At
least, this is a serious project. As Aaron Wildavsky used to say, 'Cultural theory
is the best game in town. Such a pity no one is playing it!' He thought that every
nation should set up a cultural audit at set intervals so as to assess where
political disagreements are getting their backing from.

Now Dick suggests a self-audit (1.223).

(Oops! should I have followed Carl and said ―Dr. Farson‖?) I will start thinking up
questions for us to ask ourselves, like one of the Victorian parlor games which
may never have reached the United States, embarrassing games like 'Truth',
'Forfeits', 'Consequences'.

The self-audit is a wonderful idea. I will get going. Thank you, Dick, once again.

Douglas Strain
Carl, it has really been useful to me to get better acquainted with your
outstanding lifetime of work in the environmental arena. I would appreciate your
"take" on the evolving recognition of the oceans having a strong influence on
climate change.
I am sure you are familiar with OTEC and their work on "Ocean Thermal Energy
Conversion". Their net site begins with the following paragraph:

 "The oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth‘s surface. This makes it the
world‘s largest solar energy collector and energy storage system. On an average
day, 23 million square miles of tropical seas absorb an amount of solar radiation
equal in heat content to about 250 billion barrels of oil. If less than one tenth of
one percent of this stored solar energy could be converted into electric power, it
would supply more than 20 times the total amount of electricity consumed in the
United States in any given day."

The figure I quoted earlier was from Lomborg's book in his Chapter 11 on
ENERGY as 7000 times the energy used daily by mankind but he is an avowed
skeptic so his number may be biased. This number from OTEC is 1000 times 20
or 20,000 times the electrical energy consumed by the US in a day—also a very
large number from an advocate of "green" energy. What role did the interaction
of the sun and the oceans play in your computer simulations and what effect do
you believe it had on global warming?

I want to thank you for your generous and thoughtful contributions to this
conference and value what you "really" believe! You know me well enough to
know that you don't need to be "nice" to me!

Herewith a Washington Post opinion piece arguing that rather than being a cost,
the control of emissions by seeking alternative energy sources may increase
corporate profitability:

Benefits of Cutting Emissions
By Michael Northrop
Monday, February 28, 2005; Page A17

―Even as the Kyoto climate protocol becomes a binding international treaty, an
astonishing number of otherwise savvy policymakers continue to think that
incentives and programs to cut greenhouse gas emissions will cost too much,
hamper competition and stifle economic growth. While such reasoning has kept
the United States from mounting any serious response to global warming, others
have not waited for political leadership to point the way. In fact, businesses and
several governments have moved ahead, often aggressively, to constrain carbon
dioxide releases, mostly by using energy more efficiently. In doing so, they are
reaping enhanced profitability and robust growth.

―For example, six companies--IBM, DuPont, BT (British Telecom), Alcan,
NorskeCanada and Bayer—have each reduced emissions by at least 60 percent
since the early 1990s, collectively saving more than $4 billion in the process.
Numerous other smart companies, such as Alcoa, 3M, Kodak, United
Technologies, Lafarge, Shell and BP, have also far exceeded the smaller
reductions envisaged under Kyoto and have saved large sums by using energy
more efficiently.

―National economies are enjoying the benefits of reduced carbon emissions as
well. British Prime Minister Tony Blair recently told the Economist that between
1990 and 2002 Britain trimmed emissions 15 percent, while boosting its economy
36 percent.

―International corporations were among the earliest leaders in reduction efforts.
DuPont, for example, began an ambitious carbon dioxide and energy reduction
program 10 years ago that today has brought greenhouse gas emissions down
70 percent; in the same period, production increased almost 30 percent.

―These carbon-reduction and energy-efficiency measures have produced
significant financial benefits for DuPont. In addition to cumulative energy savings
of more than $2 billion, renewable energy saves $10 million annually over fossil
fuels. DuPont also hopes to realize $40 million in coming years from trading
carbon emissions credits. To underscore its commitment to this new commodities
market, the company became a charter member of the Chicago Climate
Exchange, a pilot program for greenhouse gas emission reduction and trading.

―France-based Lafarge, the world's largest cement manufacturer, typically
produced over 80 million tons of CO 2 a year before setting a reduction target of
20 percent by 2010. (By comparison, all of Switzerland produced 45 million
metric tons of carbon equivalent in 1995.) Through manufacturing modifications,
however, Lafarge has lowered emissions of greenhouse gases nearly 11 percent
from 1990 levels. At the same time, Lafarge is realizing significant cost savings
and strengthening its future competitiveness. This company's example has led to
a working group of the world's leading cement manufacturers intent on curbing
emissions from one of the biggest sources of CO2.

―Among national examples of carbon dioxide reduction, Britain is one of the best.
In addition to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels, it aims to
produce 10 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources, primarily wind,
by 2010. And it hopes to raise this to 20 percent by 2020. The cost of this
transition has been insignificant.

―Britain's lowered emissions and improved economic growth can be attributed in
part to an impressive decrease of 42 percent in CO2 emissions intensity—the
amount of fossil fuel energy required per unit of gross domestic product. By
2050, Britain projects a 60 percent reduction in CO2 emissions at an annual cost
of only 0.01 percent of GDP growth. During the same period, officials expect
national wealth to triple.
―Cities are also finding ways to lower emissions and save money. Toronto has
decreased greenhouse gas releases from municipal facilities by 40 percent and
is saving $2.7 million annually through energy efficiency improvements. In
addition, the city earns $1.5 million annually by selling electricity generated from
methane gas captured at three municipal landfills.

―These businesses and governments are only a handful of the entities that have
realized impressive benefits from initiatives to curb carbon dioxide emissions.
Hundreds of companies and national and local governments have to various
degrees begun to see similar results from their efforts.

―Such impressive results, though, are not enough. Only serious, across-the-
board federal and international policies and programs will solve the problem of
global warming. Unfortunately, concerted action is unlikely to occur as long as
administration officials and some members of Congress continue to use worn-out
arguments against limiting carbon dioxide releases, even as hundreds of
multinational corporations and smaller businesses are proving them wrong.
Meanwhile, these individual initiatives offer valuable insights and lessons for the
path ahead.

―The writer directs the global sustainable development grant-making program at
the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Thanks to everyone for your comments on mine. You have made me feel the
effort was more than worthwhile.

I am committed totally today, so I cannot give extensive answers, but I want to
say a few things.

In 224, Dick talks about Bill Moyers‘ presentation. I share many of Mr. Moyers‘
concerns. The comment about the rapture, to me, goes in the area of concern as
the then Secretary of the Interior Hodel‘s statement about the time scientists with
computer modeling and other capabilities identified the source of the ozone hole.
―People who don‘t stand out in the sun – it doesn‘t affect them,‖ from the article in
The Wall Street Journal, ―Advice on Ozone May Be: Wear Hats and Stand in the
Shade.‖ I felt similar emotions when Richard quoted Dr. John Christy‘s response
to global warming, ―after all, you have 100 years to move inland.‖ I have been on
several nice islands in Tahiti where there is no ―inland.‖

Kip, thanks for your 225. You have given me a nice intro to an analogy I was
going to make anyway, which has to do with calculating things that are difficult
but not impossible. I will use the apple falling from the tree as soon as I can get
to it.
Mary, your comments alone are a reason to read this conference. They are truly
special. I sat across from President Issaias of Eritrea after he had put 13
ministers in prison. I argued with him (few others did) and gave him a copy of
Aaron Wildavsky‘s book Speaking Truth to Power. I wish you had been with me.

In fact, would you go to Eritrea with me the next time I go? Your intellect and
perspective could be just what is needed to change the future of Eritrea, and thus
the future of Africa, and maybe the whole thing. Remember...

For want of a nail, the shoe was lost,
For want of a shoe, the horse was lost,
For want of a horse, the General was lost,
For want of a General, the war was lost.

Ray, thanks for your 230. I will answer you with numbers soon, but to give you
some references, please take a look at my 1993 paper, Reversing the Flow, in
Ambio, the Swedish environmental journal.

Doug, thanks for 233. Yes, I am quite familiar with OTEC. In fact, like George, I
am fascinated with the history of some things, and I read about how the man who
started it all was a Frenchman by the name of Claude back in Cuba. After that
was another guy named Marlon Brando who wanted me to do it with him on that
Island in Tahiti I referred to that will be gone in 100 years. And, of course, I know
about our WBSI colleagues‘ work in Hawaii.

Oceans are indeed huge, comprising about 97.5% of the water on the planet. A
big part of my life has been devoted to developing technologies to use that water
directly for seawater irrigation; i.e., greening, thus addressing wealth creation and
environmental enhancement by tackling such problems as declining fresh water
supply in the face of increasing population, adding new areas of biodiversity, etc.,
etc. and, of course, taking carbon dioxide out of the air. That is in the Ambio
article I referenced for Ray.

You are truly a special group of people. I will be back as soon as I can. –Carl

 I'm happy to report that Michael Crichton has gone to the trouble of preparing for
our conference the notes and graphs used in his speech to the Joint Committee
on Regulation of the Brookings Institution and American Enterprise Institute
(those two seeming different organizations agree on regulation policy). We are
indeed grateful to Michael.

The main point relevant to our scientific discussion is that the issue will not be
resolved by the science, will not depend upon proof, but upon the way in which
the cultural forces play out.
This may very well be true. It may also be that we have to rediscover the
Enlightenment every few generations. Or we may need a brisk round of witch-
burnings and concentration camp ovens before we once again decide that
ascientific solutions are not really such a swell way to make decisions. I know, I
know. It's complex. So is Derrida. Sigh.

We described the penalties society imposes on those who challenge the majority
scientific opinions, and the antipathy that develops between the two schools of

Yep. Probably understated them. It's good we live in a country that tolerates free
speech, isn't it?

We discussed how the politics of knowledge, the ecology of fashionable ideas,
derived from those cultural influences informed, or failed to inform, certain
segments of our society. The faddish nature of the concern possibly deteriorating
over time.


In the questions of appropriate scientific methods, the analysis seemed to settle
on the different levels of concern created by computer modeling as compared to
the historical data analysis ordinarily pursued by climatologists, the former
yielding much more dire predictions, and the latter minimizing the role of
anthropogenic contributions to the potential warming.

This is in my view the core issue. "Global warming" really comes down to how
much you believe the models. Since they have not been verified I think there is
no evidentiary reason to believe them at all. We do not allow drug companies to
vet their own drugs. We know what the result would be. Why do we allow model-
makers to verify their own models, and to conclude...guess what? That the
models are excellent. Duh! Now, it may be that the models really are spot on. In
that case, a nice brisk independent review will reveal that and we can all relax
and get down to the business of supporting Kyoto. But since there is a 400%
variation in outcomes of the models—since of the two models used in the US
study of regional consequences under Clinton‘s administration, one predicted
droughts in the midwest, and the other predicted flooding—since, in short, the
models do not agree with one another it seems like prima facie evidence that
they are not to be trusted. I certainly think that belief in any unverified model is a
matter of religion. And nobody can dispute faith.

Several methods were suggested for verification of the science—double blind
studies, multiple parallel studies supported by government, true outside
assessment, labeling the research for possible corrupting influences.
Extremely important that this happen ASAP. Not just in climate science. In all
science with policy ramifications.

We tried to use the cultural analysis of the global warming controversy to predict
the ways in which the next major concern, be it social, political, environmental, or
technological, might show itself, and might be debated. Global poverty became a
possible candidate for that analysis. The challenge is to imagine a way to avoid
the acrimonious dispute that is almost certain to accompany the bringing of that
issue into public awareness.

Prediction is impossible. I have a nice illustrated lecture that makes the point
better than words. I review images of 30- and 40-year-old predictions of the
future. Very amusing—unless you are in the business of predicting the future.
As for global poverty, it has already been astonishingly reduced, though of
course much remains to do. I wonder whether your group considered the forces
already at work which have done the job so far. It ain't foreign aid!

A call was issued for a strategy to transcend the dilemma by recognizing the
larger forces that influence it--political system, corporate power, property
ownership, urban development, technology, etc.—and designing an overarching
new concept of a healthy society, which, if realized, would make the initial
problem solvable, if not completely avoidable. It suggests going both directions at
once—focusing on verifying the science, but also escalating to a conception of
society that would be nothing short of a paradigm shift, completely reframing the
issue. The likelihood for such a realization was both entertained and challenged.

This is too abstract for me. What is "a healthy society?" Never mind, don't tell me.
In the end, the issue here is really much simpler. I think if you had independent
verification of the models they would fail and the global warming concerns would
collapse at once. Instead of fading away over the next decade or so, as it is my
own prejudice they will. They will go the way of the paperless office and the
friendly atom.

The idea was put forward that environmentalism as an ideology is an
anachronism—that we are already too advanced to hold a single, one-sided view
of the issue.

Correct. Maybe you guys are genuinely advanced. The advocacy groups need
catching-up. Perhaps some of your members can advise them before they
become even more foolish and irrelevant than they are at present.

Some corrections or other points?

No. But thank you.

I do have some added thoughts that I think belong in this discussion.

The first is consideration of confirmation bias, as it relates to this topic and the
way it appears in both journals and in popular press.

The second is the well-known human intolerance of uncertainty. You would think
along with MacCreedy's interest in critical thinking there might be interest in
increasing the human ability to deal with the three-word sentence that reads,
"We Don't Know." Why is everyone so uncomfortable with uncertainty? It makes
no sense, since the world is full of it.

George Taylor
I've been away for a couple days and just caught up with "38 new messages,"
many by Carl with a couple gems from Michael.

Carl, you picked apart my arguments gently and with skill, but like Michael I trust
neither the models nor the process. His example of drug companies vetting their
own products seems to be a good analogy. I appreciate your suggestions to
tread gently on the earth and "err on the side of caution," as Kip says. But often
there's a tradeoff, as we saw in the case of DDT. 150 million excess deaths is a
huge price to pay. Who's hurt by Kyoto? Poor people. Elderly folks on fixed
income. Perhaps unable to afford air conditioning (summer 2003 in Europe

I'm being investigated right now by a Seattle reporter who is convinced that
anyone who is skeptical about global warming must be supported by energy
companies or right-wing think tanks or the Bush Administration. So she has
formally requested a list of all my outside projects for the last 10 years. She'll find
nothing—I came up with my ideas without any help from Exxon, thank you.

But what I'm reminded of is how gentle and civil this dialogue has been. Carl, you
are a true gentleman and I respect you a great deal for the way you have
expressed yourself, especially to me—even when you strenuously disagree with
me. The same goes for the rest of you.

Carl mentioned feeling some strong emotions when I revealed my opinions right
at the start. I debated how to begin, but then I figured nobody really knew me and
I'd start off by letting you know where I stood on this issue; that way you could
temper anything I said with a perspective on what I believe. Rather than be upset
with one of my statements you could just say "Oh, there he goes again..." and
shrug it off. I wish all debates worked that way.

Douglas Strain
I am glad Richard agreed to extend this conference to the end of this week and
released this flood of most interesting material. Closing comments from the rest
of you are most welcome! My thanks to George for taking on this leadership role
on short notice and doing it so well!

I was at a dinner last night with a businessman who is involved with the Scripps
Institution of Oceanography here in La Jolla. He was telling me that he will be
meeting this week with Walter Monk, one of their top scientists, and other
scientists there to figure out a way to get more publicity for their findings with
respect to global warming. He quoted Walter as predicting that there would be a
rise in ocean levels of one to five meters as a result of current warming, probably
closer to one. One would wipe out my favorite city, Venice, if not my own home

One discussion we haven't had is what both sides might agree would be worth
doing anyway, maybe as a way to cope, but might have salutary effects on other

As many of you know I have been an active participant in our ILF discussions,
but an almost total lurker in the current conference. This was not because of a
lack of interest; I found the flow of ideas and opinions to be of great interest, but
well beyond my ability to add significantly.

I have just completed a very superficial count of the participation: 26 total, 4
lurkers who kept up with the flow, and 9 very active.

I congratulate Dick and all of the nine active members. I also hope that the four
or five of us who were largely non-participants but remained attached and
interested will be considered a minor part of an active ILF month.

 << an active ILF month.>>
It has been a good one, all right!

Michael Crichton does not discuss ownership and corporate power in the choice
of tech, yet holds out the possibility of better decisions. . Carl renews my faith
that we know something is going on, but like my very first entry, if I can't separate
out natural changes from trends, how can I evaluate the anthropogenic?

My view is that we are between sex and war, population increasing, which tends
toward more authoritarian governments. The task is governance and culture, and
getting a scientific attitude (more like Crichton's than the environmentalists often
are) while highly desirable, is not doing to well at the moment. Yet the world's
multiple crises are leading to a worldwide awareness that seems rather closer to
common sense than fanaticism. .
But we need flexibility in the face of uncertainty., which is harder as politics drifts
toward centralism (through the supporting pressures and personnel of corporate
power). Michael asks for calm, but all change means winners and losers, and
they will interpret inconclusive evidence to fit existing needs and self serving
policies (the way one look at sulfur data if sulfur emissions reducing equipment
is what you make).

Let‘s take the view that our modern uncertainties are no more than those already
lived through by humans: The unknown army arriving over the horizon, the effect
of climate variability of very weak agricultural societies. plague and religious
wars. The events of the Napoleon's march to Moscow costing five million French
and maybe 15 million Russians. The American Civil War taking out a million.
World Wars I and II costing huge multi-million casualties.

Look at how tiny our current loss to war is. The problem is we are spooked out by
it all. Why? I believe that the march of markets and digitalization, the loss of
relationships, and the centralization of regimes, makes us feel terrible, and we
look for rumor to explain it.

Jared Diamond's Collapse is pretty good. It fits Tainter's The Collapse of
Complex Societies, and the despair in Arnesto's Civilizations. Michael is right, we
need to argue it out, passionately.

A scientific technical culture has in popular imagination been tied to modernism
and tight control. Michael's modern Rome picture shows it, down to the Toga and
the revival of Rome. We do not allow for human feeling, and its repression (as in
much contemporary psychiatry, neurology, and artificial intelligence [see
Mirowski's Machine Dreams: How Economics Became A Cyborg Science]).

 Can we have a popular "democratic' educated technical society? Mary's cultural
quartet moves in a fruitful direction, but so far seems to leave out the task of
providing governance and power, as it absorbs talent and a desire for status. But
she raises the issue in a way that engage real interest. Her sense that corporate
questions may be the connecting thread seems right to me.

Actually it is a great time for scientists, novelists, entrepreneurs, and
anthropologists. But we have lots of works to do, and higher standards to reach.

A message from Harlan Cleveland explains his absence--a long working trip to
Hawaii, followed by a misdiagnosed infection from which he has now recovered
and plans to join us soon. He sent me an article he had written on global
warming for the World Paper, which is available at the following link:

Is that paper of Harlan's really dated last October? It will be good to have him

Michael refers to models used during the Clinton administration this way: Since
of the two models used in the US study of regional consequences, one predicted
droughts in the midwest, and the other predicted flooding—since, in short, the
models do not agree with one another, it seems like prima facie evidence that
they are not to be trusted.

Shouldn't that be any easy statement to either explain or refute? Can someone
comment about it?

Michael, I quite enjoyed your post. This is not surprising—I also enjoy all your
books. I don‘t know if your last comment about saying ―We don‘t know‖ was
serious or tongue in cheek. If you were serious, well, it‘s tough to be a leader if,
when people ask ―where should we go, what should we do?‖ your reply is ―I don‘t
know.‖ Most likely such a leader would soon find himself without followers. I
speculate that some leaders even go so far as to create uncertainty around them
simply in order to have the opportunity to step up and say ―I know, just follow

As I thought about your proposition it occurred to me that considerable fiction
also takes advantage of people‘s fear of uncertainty, treating it in a dramatic and
(sometimes) entertaining fashion. Even classical music and jazz have found
ways to introduce and resolve the tension that uncertainty causes. All in all, fear
of uncertainty may serve humans in a variety of ways–aside from the obvious.

Douglas Strain
Referring to Ray's 246: The "greenhouse effect" is not a good analogy for "global

As Harlan's paper says, a "greenhouse" implies a structure with glass walls and
sides. Glass readily transmits radiant energy from the sun and this energy is
translated into convection energy in the air inside the greenhouse which cannot
escape through the solid glass so the "greenhouse" traps this energy in the
gasses in the air and they pick up kinetic energy and get warmer.

In the real world there is no glass but an envelope of mixed gases we call air
surrounding our planet that is some 60,000 feet thick. Much of the sun‘s energy
is converted into convection currents in this air, which becomes very turbulent as
in cyclones and hurricanes and high winds, hence the interest in "wind farms".
This is a much more complex distribution of energy than in a classic
―greenhouse" and "trapping" of energy by a "global greenhouse" is much too
simplistic an analogy to explain "global temperature change".
The important energy exchange is between the oceans and the sun with the
water providing a "feedback" effect which stabilizes our climate variations.
Planets which do not have water have miserable climates!

George Taylor
Some comments on Mr. Cleveland's piece (245):

"Carbon dioxide, and some other gases too, remain in the atmosphere,
trapping some of the earth‘s heat. They act like the ceiling and walls of a
greenhouse – letting the sun‘s heat in, but letting less and less of it escape."

--Nope. A greenhouse works by suppressing convection. The misnamed
"greenhouse effect" worked because certain gases are trans[parent to sunlight
but resonate at the same frequency as the heat from the earth's surface, thus
warming the atmosphere (by 60 degrees F compared to if there were no

"Half or more of the ―greenhouse effect‖ is produced by emissions of carbon
dioxide from burning fossil fuels."

--Actually, CO2 is responsible for only a small percentage. Water vapor is
responsible for well over 90%.

"The potential damage to agriculture, to river systems, and to low-lying shorelines
was even greater, and maybe sooner, than anyone was talking about."

--I wonder if Mr. Cleveland thinks things have changed that much?

"The other was that large and powerful interests were determined to keep this
uncomfortable subject off the government‘s policy agenda."

--Maybe that was true in 1980, but now it seems (at least to me) that large and
powerful interests are trying to keep it ON the policy agenda. But I suspect
they're different organizations now.

I enter a comment here that has me wondering. I went to bed last night thinking
about Doug‘s comment 248, and George‘s 249.

I also thought about Doug‘s earlier comment when he told me I know him well
enough not to worry over offending him. Actually, things are the reverse for me.
I know so many people here so well, and you are all so special, I do not want to
offend anybody. That includes George, whom know only by reading his
comments. I was mentally composing something starting with Newton modeling.
 But what happened convinced me I must change style. I do not want my new
coach on this to be suspended from tournament play, even though he ―ordered‖ I
go in and commit fouls that are harder than I usually offer.

 I was visited last night by a gorgeous vision. She appeared in my bedroom.
Looking at her, I thought she was of Eritrean ancestry; tall, sharp features – but I
remembered we are all Eritrean at the y-chromosome level, aren‘t we? Maybe I
was wrong.

Then she spoke in a beautiful voice–with that sweet accent I know well–I was

As I remember--:

Carl:   Oh, who are you?

 Vision: I am a representative of the Union of the Scientific Myth Muses…your
representative. I come to help you.

C:      Well, just being here is better than me sleeping, but how?

V:     I brought a guest along; a friend of yours. Dr. Walter Orr Roberts. We
have been watching you. He has some instructions.

Walt: Carl, you have got to gear up. Your contributions to the ILF dialogue are
totally inadequate. Nobody is changing their minds about anything.

C:      I know, Walt, but I am working so hard on other things as well. I have
seven people here helping me get ready to leave Sunday for the most important
presentation of my life.

W:        I know, the President of Mexico is important. It is great you are going to
build seawater forests along the coast of Sonora. But, it is more important that
the intellectual community on this planet get to work on environmental problems
in some sort of unified effort. Write better, and more!

C:      How am I going to do that and all the other?

W:      Quit sleeping. Drink more margaritas, and have Beth get you those
oysters you so generously wrote about in your introduction to my provocations. I
wrote 299 of them! Surely you can write one with effect! Start provocating.

V:      Carl, maybe don‘t quit sleeping, just sleep a little less. I‘ll sing.

C:      Suggestions, Walt?
 W:        Sure, why else would I come here? I have been watching and reading.
And it is clear from the last comments by Doug and George that they are off
track. One slight misquote of me by Harlan, and George has another item to add
to his litany of small corrections, from which he reasons small errors in
mathematical models justify the rejection of the entire field of mathematics! Carl,
tell the group about ―our greenhouse;‖ the Walt and Carl greenhouse.

C:       That one? 100 meters tall, and large enough to put everyone on the
planet in it if we give a half square meter to each human brain? That is a lot to

 W:       Yes. But if you tell it correctly, the telling will correct the incorrect
perceptions of what I talked about. And Carl, for ―management‘s‖ sake at my
place, have an intelligent conversation with Michael Crichton. His beautiful
writings, the stuff we both liked from Travels, his willingness to confront the
scientific establishment…that is all great. And, I enjoyed State of Fear. But
Michael‘s follow on? Michael raised the bar of questions, but some of his ideas
on certifying science will do the opposite…lower it. We will have new characters
that think they know what they are doing, judging those of us who know we do
not know, but still go ahead and try to understand anyway.

C:       Okay, Walt. I will do my best.

W:       Good. ‗ Bye, Carl.

C:       Walt, can you and this gorgeous vision come back and help?

 W:       She will be here any time you need her, Carl. Her name is Creativity.
Just call for her…with your mind open. But, let me help you right now with my
view of you. Carl, your problem is assigning priorities. You are thinking about
ILF activities as an interesting, stimulating thing for you, and important. But you
are underestimating the importance of ILF! There is a group here that can do
good things for the world if they focus on products, and get those products out to
the public. You must contribute to that with this exchange. If you cannot, and if
nothing comes from this that helps correct the mess that exists now vis-à-vis the
discussions on global warming, then forget it. It is then a waste of your time, and
you should go back to just getting ready for the President. I do not think that is
what you should do; you should do both. Everybody in this conference should
think about why they are in it, and what they are going to do with what comes out
of it. Specifically, what is it that will come out of this conference? Describe our
greenhouse so well that the ILF group can mentally sit in our greenhouse and
look up at the Teflon roof with selective coatings that are exactly analogous to
increasing carbon dioxide. When they look around its 30 kilometers to the
nearest wall…no edge effect like Doug refers to, but rather like looking
horizontally for the edge of the atmosphere.
C:     Do you think George will understand when I compare Teflon and Tedlar
with and without selective radiation coatings?

 W:     Carl, George is not the audience for your comments. Describe things so
well that Kip will come and sit inside, and when he walks out, he will know how to
make the decision he wanted. This is not a question of who is right and who is
wrong, but rather: which tools are valid for studying and determining what is right
and wrong? Currently, because of whatever reason—politics, ignorance, too
high a level of fat in our diets—I don‘t know—we‘re losing the future game. Get
in there, play harder, and if you have to, foul some. ‗Bye.

V:     (Humming….)

"C" should have been a novelist! <g>

George: "CO2 is responsible for only a few percent. Water Vapor is responsible
for well over 90%."

I've heard this before, and I don't understand it. The impression persists that
carbon in the atmosphere is the problem, and there's no carbon in H2O. Can
you explain?

Carl makes a lot of interesting points, but one that stands out to me is that the
real scientific argument is over the methods, the tools, not the findings.

Other than the publication of the conference itself, what should be the product of
this conference that Carl calls for, if anything?

The following is from Understanding Powerful Ideas, and How Computers Can
Help by Alan Kay

This "new science" was a relationship between what we can represent (in our
minds and with external media) and "what's out there". As Niels Bohr said;
"Science is not there to tell us about the Universe, but to tell us how we can talk
about the Universe". The three most unusual things about the new science are
(a) it's power of discovery, (b) that it had to give up the concept of "truth" to gain
this power, and (c) that its redefinition of "understanding" is very likely the most
important human invention in history.

I am lost. In coping I am concluding that the global climate meme is a reaction
to the local perception of problems like death of fish in polluted rivers, and runoff
from asphalt, as well as wars, concentration of wealth, and other nasties.
Complaining about global climate is a badly supported logical leap from the real
problems of local environments . Basically, we don't like the shit we see. We go
to the global level because the cause of our problems appears to be large
systems, the government and mega-corporations. But maybe what we have is a
lot of local problems and a long term series of natural variations that require
coping policies, not policy for undoing causes. This leaves us with the political
task of all the local messes we feel so inpatient and impotent to deal with. In this
analysis "global climate change" is a great distraction from the real work of
looking at the impact of large political and economic forces on local problems.
The logic is "big systems, therefore big problems". But the reality might be "big
systems, lots of little problems."

Douglas Strain
Carl, I was pleased to hear of your visit to Mexico and the possibility of
establishing another project on the Sonora Coast of Mexico! I was so
disappointed that the Eritrea project was discontinued. I thought it was very well
conceived and executed. Is there any hope that Mary Douglas can help you
revive it??

When you have a seance with Walt again, give him my fond regards and even
though we may have some "intellectual" differences I am with you both in spirit!

Douglas Strain
Some closing comments on this conference: First, Kip‘s 253 from Kay‘s book.
Lest I leave the impression of being a "computerphobe", I agree with Kay‘s
position if the basic computer mathematics is well understood and related to the
problems to be solved. My lab partner at Cal Tech and later my research director
at ESI came up with a unique computer using a branch of mathematics known as
LaPlace Transforms which was very adept at providing a new language for
investigating "catastrophic failures" in complex systems due to internal
"resonances". This computer identified the reasons why our early booster
rockets were failing at "liftoff" in Von Braun‘s group and why aircraft were
unstable when the jet engines were moved from the wings to the tail by Boeing
and other aircraft companies.

This was a different "language" for describing the problem than that used by the
"Big Iron" of the Cray and proved more productive in revealing situations that
might "self destruct". There is the possibility that our "sun" might self destruct but
I can see little that mankind can do about that! This brings me to Doug
Carmichael‘s 254 with his usual thoughtful observation that we should not let
concern with "global matters" be a distraction from "smaller things" that we can
do something about. I want to thank both Kip and Doug for adding much to the
content of this discussion during this past month.
Finally Michael Crichton‘s contributions, and Dick Farson‘s good efforts to keep
this "herd of cats" going in the same direction supplemented the excellent job
that George Taylor did in leading the group with his backgound in "climate
science". I want to end where I began in saluting the return of Mary Douglas to
our program. I had the pleasure some years ago of sharing one of Bob
Theobald‘s "Futures Conferences" in Spokane for a whole week face to face with
this remarkable woman and she, as usual, has opened new vistas for all of us
during this month. Thank you, Mary Douglas.

Ray, I would like to reply to your 251. It‘s not surprising that you are confused
about why there is even a ―problem‖ of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere when
water vapor is responsible for ―well over 90%‖ of the absorptivity of long radiation
from the surface of the earth, and then its re-radiation back towards the surface,
thus keeping the earth from being so cold we could not live here.

Your confusion comes from the fact that how much water vapor is in the
atmosphere has almost no relationship to the issue of what to think about and do
about increasing carbon dioxide.

Remember my earlier reference to an automobile off to the side of the road,
where there were pieces of blown out tire spread among the skid marks where
the car went off the road? I talked about how it is true we would not be able to
conclude absolutely the tire was the problem from one incident. But suppose
now, after much review, I am absolutely certain the tire is the problem!

Unfortunately, one can still disagree with my conclusion (no matter how many
blown tires) using logic presented in this conference. ―Carl, you‘re wrong! The
weight of a tire, even a new radial one with steel in it, is only 20-30 lbs. An
automobile weighs several thousand pounds! That is 1,000 times the weight of
the tire!‖

Ray, would that convince you to quit thinking about the different qualities
available in radial tires, given you are about to buy one? That is what we are
being asked in this dialogue.

I regret to say we are not moving toward a result of value from our exchanges.
We have this incredible group of people, so bright, and committing time to this
discussion. But the tool here, the ILF dialogue as we are using it, without an
enhancement, is not adequate.

We should ask for additional leadership from Dr. Farson. Think of the
experiences of the WBSI when we gathered people, sat together in a room,
looked eyeball to eyeball, then went home to follow up, came back and went
home again. And, we changed lives…starting with our own.
I propose that Dr. Farson, with help from me (I will call on Walt), schedule two
days of time for all of us in Boulder, Colorado. We will sit in a room at the
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and review the best
computer modeling being done.

What I am talking about is a change in the quality of a radial tire that is causing
wrecks. Should we do something about it, or should we continue to try to
understand what an automobile weighs? Can the weight of an automobile be
determined? Is water vapor in the atmosphere increasing? It can as a function
of temperature. Is that relevant?

I am absolutely convinced that if everybody who has had an input here sat
together, George and I could walk up to the front of the room; we could get flip
charts, data, and lots of coffee; and in two days, we might take everything that
has been done here (some fantastic things), and say to the world,

Michael Crichton has a great idea. There should be somebody that reviews
science. It should be us.

We ILF‘ers are a very special group. We do not want to be institutionalized. We
want to be a group of people who think about things and explain them in such a
way that the public will understand, and we get to work on solving problems.‖

I am hoping, although I am becoming skeptical as to whether it will be possible.

You see, George, I can be a skeptic…that I will be able to describe a mental
greenhouse that is extensive in area, has layers and layers that transmit, absorb,
and reradiate energy, and we can all sit in it mentally, look up, and understand
why scientists (who believe in mathematics) are concerned about the fact that
the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing.
In 249, George says, ―A greenhouse works by suppressing convection. The
misnamed "greenhouse effect" worked because certain gases are transparent to
sunlight but resonate at the same frequency as the heat from the earth's surface,
thus warming the atmosphere (by 60 degrees F compared to if there were no

Think about that. George said that if there were not an atmosphere that had
certain gases in it that absorbed infrared radiation that are at least partially
transparent to short-wave radiation…i.e. the sun‘s at about 0.43 microns–but
absorb long-wave radiation, something on the order to 10 microns, and then re-
radiated that part down to the earth, it would be 60° F cooler. Now, where do you
suppose George got that number? George, you quoted us an average global
temperature for the atmosphere that is 60° cooler than an average global
temperature that does not exist?

For those wondering what I talk about when I mentioned going in and ‗fouling,‘
see this story on Coach Chaney.

Click here to read the Coach Chaney story.

I offer that in case I have been appealing to the wrong audience. Maybe there
are basketball fans out there somewhere. The point of a coach suspending
himself after he told somebody to foul was that he realized he had violated the
boundaries of the game. Basketball is played by certain rules. And you try to
use every tool permitted. But you cannot let the tall guys stand under the basket!

Science is played by rules. If you say that the use of mathematics is legal in this
game, you better well use it if you want to win. If you say mathematics can be
wrong therefore you must leave it out, then, do that. So you say we are going to
go back and wait for the rapture. All who want to do that can. I plan for me,
when the last tree is being cut down, and _ is waiting for _ as quoted in the
reference by the speech by Bill Moyers, to have a bunch of people around
planting 10,000 or so trees for each one being cut down. And I am not saying
tree planting is not divinely inspired. I got this brain from somewhere, and had
the good luck to be part of this conference from somewhere. I cannot derive the
source of either of those mathematically.

While George is walking to the foul line to take his free throws…

 Doctors do not decide you have the flu, cancer, or whatever based only on a
mercury thermometer under your tongue. It is an indicator that there is
something wrong. You have a fever. They might also notice that your left eye is
not opening correctly. They tap your knee and find a lack of reflex.

Michael Crichton did that stuff as an M.D., and decided to do something different.
What he has done differently gives him credentials to do doctoring of the planet
with his communication skills and linkages.

We non-skeptics about global warming use powerful humanly-constructed tools,
computers (mathematics), but we can also look at, smell, and feel the patient!
Look at the September 2004 issue of National Geographic title, ―Global Warning:
Bulletins from a Warmer World‖. Read ―From the Editor‖ on the credits page:

 ―…But we are going to take you all over the world to show you the hard truth as
scientists see it. I can live with some canceled memberships. I‘d have a harder
time looking at myself in the mirror if I didn‘t bring you the biggest story in
geography today.‖ – Bill Allen

How many of those in this group canceled their subscription to National
Geographic? George, do you think National Geographic selected only pictures
that said global warming is real? They have many pictures showing it is not, but
did they hide them from us? Do you believe that? I do not think so. I think what
has happened is people are noticing things, just the way they notice a pain in
their back. They might have ignored it for a time, but finally decided to see a
doctor, a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, or even NCAR.

A number of people here know Christer Salen. He tells me about what he sees in
the fjords of Sweden. There is no doubt in his mind. Without a thermometer of
any sort, he knows things are getting warmer. And he thinks about the
correlation of increasing CO2 and warming.

The rules of this game—scientific confrontation—allow pretty rough play. There
is fouling. Perhaps I have fouled too hard in recent comments. Intentional
fouling gets two free throws and you keep the ball. George?

In the end, although we do not yet know the score, there would be a winner and
a loser; if this were a basketball game. For this dialogue we should all be
winners. No matter how many free throws George gets to take…and makes…I
hope he and I will shake hands in the end. I disagree with Michael‘s course of
action; sit and watch. He thinks the issue of global warming will disappear. I
invite him to walk NCAR with me. And, anyway, Summer is coming.

What a time to join the party -- just when it's over!

I completed today reading all 261 comments, many of them two or three times --
an exercise interrupted by another operation on what was earlier diagnosed as
an infection, but is now declared to be a one-finger attack of gout, which I had
thought was something that attacked people in medieval times who lived too high
on the hog.

With my unaffected fingers, let me record my judgment that this has been one of
the very best WBSI teleconferences ever—and that generalization reaches all
the way back to the early 1980s when I first got involved with WBSI.

I am of course pregnant with comments and even a story or two, coming from a
long association with atmospheric scientists (in helping get the World Weather
Watch started, chairing the Weather Modification Advisory Board, working as an
Aspen Institute colleague of Walt Roberts, serving on the UCAR board in the
1980s, and participating in WBSI. If this conference continues in any form, I am
now more than ready to plunge in, even to try locating myself on that continuum
between "warmers" and "skeptics." But I don't want to dive into an inviting
swimming pool from which the rich and nourishing contents have just been
drained into the archives.

So if it's over, I can only caress the transcript which I've printed out and will
treasure—with the hope that this group will be reincarnated somehow,
somewhere. Meanwhile, I have noted a dozen underlying documents referred to
along the way, and will savor them as well. Thanks to all of you for the
intellectually tasty treat!

First of all, it ain't over, Harlan. We have as long as it takes, because our next
leader is quite flexible about starting times. I announced to our total group of
Fellows that we were extending for at least a week, and that still holds. So
please do dive in. You have much to contribute.

Carl, I can surely understand your frustration, and your belief that if only we were
exposed to the most recent work at NCAR, and gave ourselves a couple of days
to dig into the science in that beautiful I. M. Pei building, we might reach

My guess is that it wouldn't work that way for the reasons we have been
discussing as one of the major themes of this conference--that the issues will not
be resolved through scientific research, if they are ever resolved at all, but
through the interplay of cultural forces. Perhaps a greater scientific
understanding of those forces would allow more influence on policy to come from
the climate science.

I was reading an article today about Albert Einstein and his good friend and
colleague, the mathematician Kurt Godel. As advanced as their contributions
were, in their older years they were ridiculed by their associates at the Princeton
Center for Advanced Study for failing to accept what Heisenberg and others had
made clear—that the world is not independent of our minds. Mary Douglas and
others have now taken that complication a step further and shown how our
understanding of the world is shaped also by the way in which we are socially

It is maddening for scientists to have to cope with the fact that their findings are
being interpreted in the light of such messy human processes. Science after all
should just be a matter of agreeing on the rules of data collection and analysis to
which all scientists subscribe. But here we find those rules insufficient. Our goal
of agreement is frustrated by our membership in groups, by our commitments, by
our histories. I think a major conclusion of this conference is that we must take
those dimensions into consideration as we seek policies that might enable us to
move forward.
I hope we can use the next few days to think about what policies we could
recommend to our leaders. Perhaps we can create a climate of understanding
here that would enable us to experience this conference as somewhat apart from
our basic cultural orientations and institutions, and free us to invent some
sensible approaches, given that the scientists are not likely to agree.

George Taylor
I had to go to the locker room for awhile; I got fouled pretty hard. But that
happens to me a lot when I play. Some people say I don't belong on the court.
Some people say I shouldn't be in the league because I was a walk-on instead of
a draftee. Some people even say I play dirty.

But I know it's just because they want to win so badly, and they think their team is
supposed to win. Sometimes they even reminisce about their coaches... Adolph
Rupp, Hank Iba, John Wooden. And they say things like "Adolph wouldn't like the
way you play the game." Well, maybe not. But Adolph's not here just now. ―

Pretty soon the game will end and I'll go back to my "real" life and the things that
really matter to me: God, my family, my friends. That's who I am—not the guy on
the court. The guy in the green uniform has similar kinds of things that matter to
him. He has hopes and dreams, he laughs, he cries. In many ways he's just like

So I pick myself up, and walk over, and shake his hand. "Nice game," I say. We
walk out side by side.

I don't belong in this group—for lack of both information and experience in the
high science and political levels that most of you who have participated in

But I have had a life-time of experience in seeking consensus - an experience
which began in a world of adversarial collective bargaining and is now trying to
find methods and acceptance of collaborative discussion and a desire to
understand before reverting to old fashioned human desires to win. This new
frontier calls itself FACILITATION - a process which is quite different from the
definition given to it by those who haven't experienced it in one form or another.

Facilitation has moved rapidly beyond where it was when I last acted as a
professional, and I do not claim 20th century expertise in that skill. But to my
surprise, I have not recognized any of our current activists here who seem to
have experienced it first hand.

One small example: the discussion here—which has been correctly described as
among the best—is far from a common UNDERSTANDING of what each other
are saying and accepting. Much of the energy has been spent on winning
acceptance by others with one's own views. A good Facilitator would try to
dampen those efforts and encourage more efforts at understanding different
points of view before swinging back to a human desire to "win".

But Dick (263) indicates that there is still time for effort to seek the basic
messages that have spread themselves out in some 266 entries. So here are, in
proper brevity, two suggestions.

* Try go get a coherent description of the main ideas, beliefs and understandings
(which are not the same as consensus) which are now spread too widely
throughout the record.

* Appoint someone (from the outside if necessary) to "FACILITATE" this effort.

George Taylor
Carl (259): "Now, where do you suppose George got that number? George, you
quoted us an average global temperature for the atmosphere that is 60° cooler
than an average global temperature that does not exist?"

Alistair Fraser of Penn State writes a lot on "bad science." In "Bad Greenhouse"
he talks about misnomers about the greenhouse effect.

I think Fraser would agree that there is no SINGLE average temperature of the
earth, but rather an infinite number of averages. And the difference in
temperature with/without an atmosphere wouldn't be uniform, but would be in the
ballpark of 60 degrees F (let's say between 50 and 70). Here are his words:

"The atmosphere emits radiation for the same reason the Sun does: each has a
finite temperature. So, just as one would be warmer by sitting beside two
fireplaces than one would have been if one fireplace were extinguished, so, one
is warmer by receiving radiation from both the Sun and the atmosphere than one
would be if there were no atmosphere.

"Curiously, the surface of the Earth receives nearly twice as much energy from
the atmosphere as it does from the Sun. Even though the Sun is much hotter, it
does not cover nearly as much of the sky as does the atmosphere. A great deal
of radiation coming from the direction of the Sun does not add up to as much
energy as does the smaller portion of radiation emitted by each portion of the
atmosphere but now coming from the whole sky. (It would take about 90,000
Suns to paper over the whole sky).

"So, it isn't even as if our atmosphere had only a minor influence on the surface
temperature; it has a profound one. In the absence of an atmosphere the Earth
would average about 30 Celsius degrees (about 50 Fahrenheit degrees) lower
than it does at present. Life (as we now know it) could not exist."
Which is the point I was trying to make. He's just more eloquent than I am.

George Taylor
Carl: "George, do you think National Geographic only selected pictures that said
global warming is real." I don't know, but I thought it was a very one-sided

Ray (259): "George: "CO2 is responsible for only a few percent. Water Vapor is
responsible for well over 90%." I've heard this before, and I don't understand it.
The impression persists that carbon in the atmosphere is the problem, and
there's no carbon in H2O. Can you explain?"

Water vapor and CO2 have similar "absorption spectra"; i.e., the wave lengths
they absorb are similar. They absorb very little in the visible spectrum but quite a
lot of infrared.

Water vapor molecules are about 100 times as numerous in the atmosphere as
CO2. In most parts of the world, there is sufficient water vapor to absorb any heat
that emanates from the earth's surface. But water vapor concentrations are
temperature-dependent. The ability of the air to "hold" water vapor goes down
sharply as temperatures drop, so in the coldest air the capacity to hold water is
very low.

That means that the driest air in the planet is the coldest air. Since CO2 does not
decline with lower temperatures, but stays relatively uniform, the ratio of CO2 to
water vapor goes up as the amount of water vapor goes down. It may drop from
100:1 to 20:1 or even 10:1. Thus, CO2's RELATIVE ROLE in greenhouse
warming should be much greater when the air is driest, i.e., coldest: the polar
regions at night and in winter. When scientists talk about the Arctic as the
"canary in the coal mine" they mean that climate change due to enhanced CO2
should be manifest most strongly in those places and at those times.

Interestingly, Antarctic temperatures (except for the Antarctic Peninsula) have
gone down, not up, in the last 30 years. In the Arctic, it has warmed in that time,
but temperatures were as high or higher in the 1903s and 1940s than they are
now*. What we're seeing is not what would be expected if CO2 were a huge
driver of elevated temperatures, and suggests that our understanding of
"greenhouse physics" may be somewhat in error.

Ray: "The impression persists that carbon in the atmosphere is the problem."
Maybe the problem has been overstated, which is the point I've been trying to
make all month. I don't deny CO2's influence, just suggest that it's been

Other references available upon request.
* Polyakov, I., et al., 2002. Trends and Variations in Arctic Climate Systems.
EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, 83, 547-548.

Don, we appreciate your thoughts about facilitation, and would welcome your
efforts to bring about the agreements that you believe possible. Nobody better to
do that than you, and in this case you do seem to have an outsider's position
from which to accomplish that facilitation.

Here is my first effort at an analysis of the agreements and disagreements:

The fundamental disagreement pertains to the question of urgency. Is there a
looming global disaster or is the danger overdrawn?

Also fundamental is the question of whether or not there is any way to prevent a
disaster even if all parties agreed that one is coming.

Both sides seem to agree that there is probably some warming taking place, the
degree to which is uncertain, and estimates differ widely between the two groups.

Both sides seem to agree that the presence of CO2 contributes to this warming,
but again the estimated amount is greatly different between the two groups.

The amount of anthropogenic contribution of CO2 is a point of contention. The
estimated differences range from more than half to negligible.

We have polarized the dispute into two groups, skeptics and warmers, but it may
be more accurate to assume that both groups exist on a continuum of opinion
and disagree among themselves.

There seems to be a fundamental disagreement as to whether long term climate
change can be predicted at all--because climate is different from weather

The validity and power of computer modeling is central to this argument, with the
skeptics doubting the accuracy and the warmers confident in the newer
predictive models.

There is a fundamental difference in coping strategy--the warmers believing in
taking whatever preventative steps we can immediately, such as adopting the
Kyoto protocol, the skeptics suggesting that adaptation might be a more realistic
The groups disagree on the thermodynamics of atmosphere, whether there is a
true "greenhouse effect" or, for an example of the differences, are the outer parts
of atmosphere so chaotic as to not serve as a blanket or ceiling.

Skeptics question the validity of pointing to the fact that a preponderance of
scientists endorse the idea of a looming disaster because that would include
many who are not familiar with climate as a special field of study, and many who
are not even familiar with the basic research.

Can any of you add others?

This comment is for everybody, but first let me say something personal to a new
friend. George, thank you for your excellent elaboration of the basketball
metaphor. Well done!

I will be pleased to shake your hand at the first opportunity. Maybe that will be
when this day‘s game is over, but if sooner, the better. And I will be truly pleased
to shake your hand and say thank you when this game‘s results makes us
eligible for a new kind of tournament that ILF creates; one for the world that really

I met Dr. Richard Farson because of Dr. Walt Roberts. I met Dick at the World
Affairs Conference of the University of Colorado in Boulder down the hill from
Walt‘s NCAR. Then, I had the pleasure of introducing Walt to Dick‘s WBSI in
La Jolla.

Now to a special friend. Dick, you may not be looking broadly enough at the
potential value of a visit of this group, or at least a subgroup of it that includes
you, George, Doug, Michael and me to NCAR. The return to ILF could be great
depending on what results we plan, and how we structure our visit to benefit from
what exists at NCAR. Like the basketball legends George mentioned, Walt‘s
presence is carried on by others at NCAR today.

(By the way, John Wooden was at the University of Arizona last week for a
basketball practice. Wooden is 90-years old. He came to honor our coach, Lute
Olsen, who had just tied Wooden‘s record for most PAC-10 wins. My guess as
to the main reason for the visit is Wooden sees his life‘s work continued in a
quality manner by Lute.) There are good people at NCAR doing that for Walt‘s

Here is a fairly technical link, but everybody please do click on the web page
below and scan a bit of NCAR‘s modeling work.

Click to visit the NCAR Modeling page.
Please do that now, then come back to read the next message.

Looking back, I conclude both George and I did inadequate jobs in preparing a
game plan for this ballgame. That is, as it looks now with the score where it is
and only a few minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

Perhaps in the future, where there is a topic as intense as this, and in advance
(like in a basketball game), we know there will be ―two sides,‖ and the result
wanted is more than just a winner, but other product, it would be good to have
more advance work done. I wish now, when I first learned of this conference and
that Doug and George were going to be the moderators, that I had taken the time
to fly to Oregon and spend time with them.

On the other hand, maybe as a catalyst for moving to a result, this is a start…if
given we go on. Maybe we need a small conference on the conference. How do
we give the world a return on our work?

I go to another bench now, but I want one last shot at the basket. It will be from
well beyond the three-point range. If I make it, there will be an ―aaaaahhhhhhhh‖
from this group. If not...

Carl‘s concluding shot: I agree with Don and WELCOME his facilitation! Maybe
this is still ―me‖—too much on my side…I dictated it before I read Don‘s 265 and
Dick‘s 269. So, still on last attempt at a three.

A Greenhouse as an Analogy for the Greenhouse Effect!

One of the reasons for my intensity in this exchange is I have been in
greenhouses since the 60s. You can visit one, The Land Pavilion at EPCOT.
You saw them in the earlier referenced Ambio article. I fly over countries around
the world now where there are hundreds of thousands of acres of greenhouses
that use the results of the work of the Environmental Research Laboratory. We
modeled their environments ad nauseam!

When Walt and I started talking about ―the greenhouse effect‖ from increasing
carbon dioxide, we sat together and knew what each other were referencing.

Now I wish I had brought more of that understanding here in my first comment.

Comments (well intended) in this conference have added confusion rather than
insight to the metaphor of the greenhouse as earth‘s atmosphere. Some of those
comments are mine.
The greenhouse effect, when I use the term in reference to carbon dioxide, has
to do with a greenhouse‘s ceiling–and its characteristics of selective
transmission, absorption, and reradiation of energy.

Many greenhouses use glass for their ceilings. Everybody here knows you roll
up the glass of your car, keep your arms inside, you do not get sunburned
because the glass does not transmit ultraviolet radiation. And, if you roll up the
glass in the summertime, the sunlight shines through, it is absorbed by the seats
and you and everything else. The reradiation from you, the seats, and the dash
is absorbed by the glass, and approximately half of that is then reradiated from
the glass back inside the car, and the car (inside) gets hot.

We need not talk about whether it is the front, back, or side window of the car.
Matter of fact, except for my feeble example of an automobile blowing a tire, cars
have nothing to do with this conference…except they put out CO2 – as do we
when we exhale.

Imagine now a greenhouse, one as Walt and I discussed.

Our greenhouse is huge–6.25 billion square meters. That is one square meter of
floor space for every person on the planet, plus just a little extra. That means it
will be 2,500 kilometers by 2,500 kilometers (1,500 miles by 1,500 miles). It is 30
meters (100 ft) in height. It has an inflated plastic roof, like many that were
designed and built by the Environmental Research Laboratory. The ceilings are
initially just Teflon – a plastic that lets both long-wave and short-wave radiation
pass through it.

 The greenhouse is constructed, but we are not ready to plant crops. We invite
all of ILF as the first to go inside the greenhouse. We sit in the middle. But we
delegate a small group to go stay outside of the greenhouse, and we talk by
mobile phones.

 Nighttime comes. We have precise temperature measurement capabilities both
inside and outside of the greenhouse. We know the greenhouse is supposed to
stay warm at night; why bother to build one if it does not? So we are surprised
when our greenhouse – this thing we spent so much money on – stays only a
fraction of a degree warmer than outside. Yes, George, there is reduced
convection heat transfer. But the reason this greenhouse is not much warmer
than the outside is its ceiling is not absorbing the long-wave radiation from the
soil and us and then reradiating about one-half back to us. (Convection has
been reduced by the cooling of the air, and us not dancing inside.)

 In the future we will want the greenhouse to be warmer than the outside at night;
how much so depending on the crops we are growing. We know from the design
that we can increase the night temperature by spraying on a chemical that
adheres to the plastic and changes the absorptivity and transmissivity of the
ceiling. We can spray it on top of the plastic, and we can spray it on the bottom.
We can make the plastic behave like glass. The amount we spray can be large
or miniscule. It can be a minor fraction of the thickness of the Teflon, and
certainly a minor fraction of the thickness of glass. But, as thin as it is, it has an

(And, as another aside, even if our ceiling were made of glass, we could spray on
coatings to increase its greenhouse effect. That is, our greenhouse has a
humanly controlled greenhouse effect…no question. We will have things inside:
animals, plants, fans, heaters. We can even raise the ceiling up…and up. We
can plant forests, and we can understand (see, feel, taste, smell, hear, and
measure) the results of what we do.)

We can make an alliance with good businessmen. They are excited because
they can grow completely organic products. Organic today refers to soil,
fertilizers, and pesticides; not air…with its pollution. Our greenhouse has only
clean air. We will makes lots of money, and expand and expand. We will raise
the greenhouse ceiling higher and higher. Ultimately we will raise it all the way to
the top of the atmosphere, and we will expand in all directions!

We will cover the entire earth. We have mountains, rain, snow, hurricanes. Still,
every time we tinker with our success and change the absorptivity of the ceiling,
we notice a change…A change that if we could measure every molecule inside
and average its kinetic energy, we would express as an increase or decrease in

The reference left out of my #260 was from a Bill Moyers speech to accept the
Global Environmental Citizen Award from Harvard University‘s Center for Health
and the Global Environment. He quotes President Reagan‘s first Secretary of
the Interior:

―After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back.‖
                                                    - James Watt

Click here for the whole text.

What James Watt expects would be a phenomenally exciting event, but if that is
the condition of arrival, I‘ll pass. But others may be anxious for the excitement,
perhaps so much that they are not only not stopping somebody from cutting
down the last tree, but are helping to cut it.

Such people, if they exist, please know there are those of us who will be planting
at least 10,000 trees for each last one cut. That is, the ―cutting effect‖ will be
insignificant compared to the ―planting effect.‖ The ―cutting effect‖ will be so
insignificant that it will not even be worth modeling. We will not even have to
think about it, or think of analogies.
It seems to me there are three roads to rapprochement. The first is for each side
to take seriously the data and arguments of the other, and to see which if any
they could embrace, or modify to their liking. The second is to move beyond the
scientific dispute and search for ways, acceptable to both sides, that might
enable us to cope with global warming while meeting other environmental
concerns, all without crippling our economy. The third way, even more difficult
perhaps, would follow Mary Douglas's advice early on and perform a self-audit
based on our own individual cultural positioning, our social commitments that
transcend the particular issue of global warming. It is the latter that we have so
far been most reluctant to try.

Small wonder. Having to admit that we are just not very open to information that
runs counter to our long held positions is almost impossible. It would be like my
having to grudgingly recognize that the recent events in the Middle East seem to
support the approach taken by the neocons in the Bush administration. Of
course, I suspect that things are not going to work out quite the way they hope,
the way we all hope.

Mary suggested a simple way to do it by identifying the character in Michael's
novel, State of Fear, that seems to represent us best. A couple of us tried that. I
identified with Peter Evans, the fellow traveler of environmentalists who was
unwashed in the subject of global warming, but bought into the idea of a looming
disaster because he had been told so often by those he considered experts.

I should know more about global warming than I actually do. In addition to my
forty-six years with WBSI, I've been dean of a school of environmental design
that had on its faculty some strong environmentalists. I've been president of the
International Design Conference in Aspen, the leading forum for discussions of
the designed environment, where these issues were frequently aired. I've been
associated with several other environmentally conscious organizations—on the
board of the American Institute of Architects, president of Esalen Institute and a
Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council. I adored Walt Roberts, and trust my
friend Carl Hodges so much that whenever he calls I just go without question. So
I've been hanging out with these folks most of my life, belonging to various
advocacy groups, voting the Democratic party, and always on the
environmentalists‘ side. But I probably have never read a single basic research
article on the subject of global warming. So when Doug Strain suggested we
tackle global warming and that he had become interested in the questions being
raised by skeptics like George, and offered to introduce me to him, I thought it
was a great idea. But then, while I bought into the prevailing scientific view, I had
no real personal stake in it. My income wasn't dependent upon my position on
that matter. And my friendship with Michael Crichton for many years, knowing
that he was taking the opposing point of view, and having read A Poverty of
Reason, by Wilfred Beckerman, a book that he suggested....well, it seemed like
we might be able to make a contribution if we dug into this subject in an ILF
conference. George agreed to lead it with Doug, and here we are.

So I position myself on the Cultural Theory grid as an individual caught up in all
kinds of socially responsible advocacy groups, challenging, but not hating, the
corporate world, capitalism and the market economy. I can go either way
(maybe both ways?) but I sure have been long in bed with the warmers. I am
Peter Evans.

George: Thank you very much for your explanation in #268. It has helped my
understanding considerably.

Dick: In #269 there might be room for the idea that even if climate warming due
to human activity is doubted by some, there are other deleterious effects from
human activity -- to be found in the water we drink, the air we breathe, the fish we
catch, the soil in which we grow food, etc. It is my impression that the things we
ought to do in order to lessen these problems are the same things that many of
us think ought to be done to reduce the rate of global warming.

I'll exaggerate to make my point: Does global warming matter in the short run? If
we should do these things anyway, can't we agree on what to do even if we do
not agree on the reason?

Carl, in #271: "Maybe we need a small conference on the conference. How do
we give the world a return on our work?‖ That's a good idea! Can we do it? But
right now, we are really doing just fine in this conference!

George Taylor
I'm going to suggest a journal article—very readable and quite fascinating—
which includes some "real world experiments" that I thought of when I read Carl's
"Greenhouse as a Greenhouse" piece (which I very much enjoyed, by the way).
Sherwood Idso worked for many years for the USDA Agricultural Research
Service studying the effects of changing CO2 on plants. Yes, he's a skeptic and
says so in the title--but here he explains why. What I really want you to see are
his real world experiments, which intrigue me. I hope you'll take the time to read
about them.

Someone once said that there are two ways to study climate change—the
"bottom up" and the "top down" approach. The "bottom up" means starting with
fundamental equations of motion, thermodynamics, inertia, Coriolis; toss in
friction, unequal heating, mountains, etc.; and create a mathematical model of
the atmosphere. But what a tough thing to do! As the climate modeler Michael
Schlesinger (UIUC) has said, the earth has 14 scales of motion, from the global
scale down to the molecular; current climate models can only resolve the top
three. The other are, by necessity, ignored.

The "top down" approach involves the belief that observations themselves are
best way of developing knowledge about cause-and-effect relationships that help
us to understand the climate system and to predict changes. That's Idso's
approach (and the one I employ though in past lives I was a modeler myself),
and one he describes very eloquently.

Dick: acting as facilitator for this group is far beyond my current facilities. But
from time to time I will, if you wish, submit a few elementary thoughts based on
my outdated memories of early facilitation experiments. For example, good
facilitation is always on the look-out for thinking outside of the parameters of
recent discussions/arguments.

In our case here, it seems to me that an unspoken, except by inuendo, the
problem is that almost any action to diminish global warming will harm the
present prosperity of very powerful citizens. Assuming that such an attempt
would be technically useful for the next generations but harmful for today's
leaders and therefore stopped, there would be long range harm for future
generations of all populations on our planet. Would a discussion on how to
handle this human, but seldom discussed, problem be of use?

I feel sure that there are better ideas than the above simplistic one for introducing
valid but ignored concerns. But if they were introduced for a trial run, a number of
helpful changes in the discussions leading to new and productive ideas, could

It seems to me that any issue with the potential to affect large numbers of people
needs to examined passionately and objectively. I don‘t see that the persons who
come at the examination from deep held belief and conviction are necessarily
required to be objective. I appreciate that 2 different points of view are being well
championed in this conference both in terms of form and content. One should, in
such a position, play to win because it calls forth one‘s best efforts. If one
believes, with intensity, then one should try to sway the minds of others. Tthat
seems to me to be an obligation that rightly accompanies deeply held belief.

It seems to me that the responsibility for objectivity more correctly resides with
those who don‘t hold to a passionate belief. Such people have, or so I see it, the
obligation to ask hard questions, to require as much proof as possible and to
encourage each side to do its utmost to make its case.

Having said this, I‘d like to inquire of Carl how reliable his greenhouse model is.
When I imagine it, per his request, the first thing that gets my attention is that it is
an object within a landscape. Not only within, but artificially separated from. And
internally lacking the complexity we observe that constitutes the actual
landscape. Are there polar caps, deserts, oceans, lakes, swamps, volcanoes,
mountains, jungles, etc. in this greenhouse? If not, how can we use the model
greenhouse to predict the future of the landscape? If we can build a greenhouse
that incorporates, to scale, the actual environs that constitute the landscape and
that behaves (by which I mean it demonstrates internally generated phenomena
of wind, rain, hurricanes, drought, etc.), on its own, we would then have the
beginnings of the falling apple proof. We could point to it and simply say ―Look,
this is behaving, with no help from me, just the way the landscape does. Now
watch what happens when I artificially increase this or that‖.

That may require an impossible level of proof, but people have some real sense
of history now. We know that men of passion have, in the past, aroused people
to terrible acts of sacrifice and violence. Even a ―true vision‖ can be appropriated
by the unscrupulous to advantage themselves while the rest of us pay an
extraordinary cost. The cost in human life and misery of a belief system can
result in magnitudes of destruction far more devastating than any natural

Clearly I don‘t want my children or grandchildren to suffer harm because we,
today, failed to be concerned. So, I‘ll teach them, by example, the virtue of
moderation. The future isn‘t knowable, except insofar as what we might generally
describe as natural law – the falling apple sort of thing. Such being the case, it
would seem to me that it‘s best to invest resources in coping and adapting
strategies. We can‘t predict every twist and turn that life will throw at us.

Kip: I think your 277 is a brilliant insight into the pros and cons of passion and
objectivity. I favor objectivity and argue that the more we as a civilization
understand science, the stronger the necessity for this choice. We humans can
do more harm AND good with this knowledge today than was possible a century
ago. Rigorous and objective understanding of our powers and the consequence
of using them should, in my opinion, precede passionate action.
But again I don't see this as either/or. I would especially urge that people with the
education and ethics of ILF members should move back and forth between
passion and objectivity and feel comfortable and virtuous in doing so.

George Taylor
I, too, appreciated Kip's #277. "It seems to me that the responsibility for
objectivity more correctly resides with those who don‘t hold to a passionate
belief. Such people have, or so I see it, the obligation to ask hard questions, to
require as much proof as possible and to encourage each side to do its utmost to
make its case." This is a great suggestion. One of my friends has suggested that
we try global warming in something like a court of law. Let the two sides argue
their cases and present evidence, and then let an objective third party group

On the other hand, Michael's suggestion of having both sides represented on
every significant research project makes a lot of sense also. If scientists can work
together and come to agreements among themselves prior to releasing their
results, it would take away the after-the-fact skirmishes that often get bogged
down in political arenas or in the media. When that happens, we're in trouble—
and it happens far too often.

I would like to find a place for myself on the continuum between "historical data
evaluators" and "climate modelers" or, to oversimplify it, between George and
Carl. So I read the whole record of this fascinating conference with the idea that
it would help define me.

If human ecology were what Don Straus suggested (in 1:31)—that is, "the
specialty of being a generalist" –I would jump into that box. But peer reviewers
for ecology journals might not recognize what I write as their meat. Maybe that's
because for some people ecology has become what Mary calls an "enclave," as
in academia.

Mary's wonderful contributions to this conference featured her four culture
categories—using Kip's (1:206) shorthand: individual, isolate, hierarchical, and
egalitarian. They set me to pondering: Where do I fit? I was relieved when she
added (in 1:79) that some folks "belong to several groups, but none take up too
much time." I began to recognize myself. (But I had so much trouble imagining
Mary in love with hierarchy that I'm sending her a copy of my 2002 book of
essays, Nobody in Charge.)

In the end I decided to abandon what Richard (in 1:122) rightly calls "the tyranny
of labeling." Labels work for the analysis of group behavior, but individual
behavior doesn't lend itself to labeling—each of us has multiple loyalties, multiple
role models, indeed multiple personalities.
So I'll turn in a later comment to the puzzle (which I won't claim to have solved) of
how to focus on the "greenhouse" problem. (That greenhouse metaphor has
been criticized here as inaccurately reflecting how the complexity of the global
atmosphere actually works. But the metaphor has "worked" in a different way, by
getting lots of people talking about this subject.)

Harlan: I feel honored that you would jump into the "box" of human ecology if it
were indeed "the specialty of being a generalist". And I agree that if I were
referring to the academic peer review world of human ecology, you might regret
your jump.
But I was referring to a small college in Bar Harbor Maine which was founded
some 30 years ago. It selected as its academic specialty its own version of
Human Ecology which is indeed the continually changing "specialty of being a
generalist". Today it is one of the few colleges which has recognized the
difference between 20th and 21st century educational needs.

(Put Bar Harbor on your summer calendar and I think I might even be able to
convince you to jump back into the box! :}

In his bold, and very useful, summation (1:213), Richard mentioned the comment
by Jane Poynter that "To say one is an environmentalist is an anachronism."
George Taylor picked up on that, saying "I consider myself a 'conservationist'
rather than an environmentalist." But wasn't "conservation" what preceded the
rise of "environment" as a movement, or fad, depending on your angle of vision?
In the early days of the environmental movement, some of the strongest voices
were still talking conservation language: "If it will change nature, let's stop it."

George: Is "conservation" reborn with a 21st century post-environmental
political-action mission?

Don (1:282): Thanks for the clarification on human ecology as a mode of thinking
for career generalists (like me). As you know, I've long defined the executive as
a member of the "get-it-all-together profession." And Bar Harbor in the summer
sounds like a splendid idea!

In trying to learn about global warming (especially from friends and colleagues at
UCAR/NCAR), and in discussing it (several hundred times, I suppose) since the
1970s, I am increasingly bothered by its being cast as a two-sided argument. In
a long experience with public policy, I don't think I've ever come across an issue
which genuinely has only two sides. I once tried for a week, during my time as
an Assistant Secretary of State, to add up the number of sides of every foreign-
policy issue that crossed my desk. The average was 5.3 sides—which only
shows that you can quantify any intuition if you try.

So for us to try to choose sides here between being "warmers" or "skeptics"
strikes me as an exercise in futility. The action-question doesn't have to do with
the whole of future climate variability, but with the aspects of it which organized
human beings can do something about.

To some limited degree we can (a) try to limit global warming, (b) plan adaptive
policies to reduce the unforeseen surprises it may create, and (c) try to learn how
constructively to modify world weather at human command.
(On the last of these, I chaired in the late 1970s a Weather Modification Advisory
Board which came up with a number of good ideas—about cloud seeding,
modifying hurricanes, international legal measures, international cooperation in
atmospheric science research, etc., etc.—which never got beyond a couple of
Congressional hearings, and disappeared without a trace in the Reagan 1980s.
There are still some good ideas there, awaiting a government that's open to
them. The hurricane possibilities, which were developed by a subgroup headed
by our ILF colleague John Craven, are especially worth pursuing.)

On prevention of and adaptation to global warming (these are not either/or), my
guess is that there are important initiatives to be taken—if we can find a
framework in which educated warmers and skeptics can work together on what
is known and knowable about human interventions in our global weather.

Harlan: In 285 you touched on a number of ideas which you discuss in more
detail in Nobody In Charge. In thinking about global warming, as you point out,
there are no either/or good answers. We don't know enough about the subject,
nor on its impact on many other important concerns like geography, different
impacts on different places and styles of living, and of course the changing state
of our scientific knowledge.

When I was active as a labor relations "neutral", the toughest assignments were
disputes over one issue—e.g. wages. But if there were a group of issues, e.g.
wages, vacations, health care—it was much easier to reach an agreement by
juggling different aspects of the dispute into a bag of ideas that lead to a solution.

I thank Dick for telling me the conference has still got a few moments to go, and
inviting me to look:

  'Do you suppose there is a way to address the policy issue the CT raises in this
context? Is there a one sentence, or one paragraph, directive (or advice) that
you would give a GLOBAL WARMING policymaker? Are there steps you would
take if you were president?'

Walt's ghost blessing Carl and George—talk about creativity, and empowering. I
feel blown over by the kind responsiveness to Cultural Theory.

The funny thing is that, though not a scientist, I got a shock from this conference,
and an inspiration too. I'll tell you.

But first a response to Harlan. You fit in all the four categories, and don't spend
much time with any one. So you are Mike Thompson's favourite character, a
Michael invented CT. Before he came along, we had a method, no general
theory. He, along with Aaron Wildavsky, drew the two dimensions and found the
four extreme types at the corners of our diagram, each with its own cultural
justification. But Mike was bothered because we had no place for the Sherpas,
they just didn‘t fit to any of the specifications. This bothered him (Mike is a
climber, he went up the south face of Everest with Chris Bonington's team, and
also up the formidable,never-before-scaled Annapurna, a hero among climbers).
The Himalayan villages which he knew so well as specialized providers of
support for the international climbing teams seemed to have invented a
wonderful formula for dealing with each other and living in peace. Nobody was
allowed to dominate. (Sounds as if I definitely have to read 'Nobody in Charge.
Evidently there is a niche (and a halo) for Harlan. I also suspect Dick, and
Michael Crichton's Peter fit there too).

Now for the revelation this conference gave me.

For your sakes, I went back and reread Water in Nepal by Dipak Gyawali. This is
a brilliant book using cultural theory to disentangle the muddy, corrupt and
power-obsessed politics of Nepal. In that region, national politics is about hydro-
electric power, big dams, small dams, their relative costs, the distribution of
rewards between Pakistan, northern India, China and Nepal. The surprise for me
was that the people who came out of it best, with the right solutions, for justice,
common sense and prosperity, were the people called 'activists'. They were the
very people in the bottom right corner of the diagram I have been calling
'enclaves'. Things have happened, partly IT and communications. They are no
longer shut off from the world, they are in regular communication with other
activists, internationally, so they have backing, they have become powerful.

So the message is not to be afraid of them. Talk to the activists, give them a
voice. Even go so far as to listen to them. Bring them in to the community. We
don't have to play a zero sum game. We want a world in which it is safe to stand
on the fence.

As for why I am a hierarchist, I will ask Dick to post an article I wrote about it,
autobiographical, about my grandmother's house. For me, hierarchy is about
ordering in space and time, not about domination.

Thank you, everyone, for this great conference which has helped me to clear my

Through the years Mary has helped me understand hierarchy very differently
than I had ever before, and the "self-audit" she has made available may do the
same for you. It can be reached by clicking on the link below:'s_house.doc
I just returned from breakfast with Carol Anne Bundy, who was Jonas Salk's
assistant and collaborator on a book they didn't quite complete before his death.
I remember taking her out for a Scotch or two the night Jonas died so we could
commiserate. We reminisced again today about Jonas. His great dream was to
link the two cultures--science and humanities—that C. P. Snow described back in
mid-century. That's why the architectural icon, the Salk Institute designed by
Louis Kahn, is two buildings joined by an open space, a kind of patio or veranda.
The idea was that one building would house biological scientists and the other
scholars from the humanities, and they would converse on the patio. Jonas
wanted an "institute for the study of man". He never got it. He brought Jacob
Bronowski but the scientists never let him bring another. The patio is barren.

But Jonas would love what we are doing in this conference.

Douglas Strain
If you believe global warming has stirred up some controversy in this discussion,
you should look at the latest (March) issue of Proceedings of the IEEE which is
completely devoted to the topic of how to improve our computer simulations of
complex systems. The lead article is entitled "The Earth System Grid:
Supporting the Next Generation of Climate Modeling Research". Of interest to
Carl, the paper lists D.Brown, L. Cinquini, P Fox, J Garcia, R. Markel, D.
Middleton, and G.Strand as contributers from NCAR. You may know some of
them Also represented are coauthors from Oak Ridge, Information Sciences
Institute in Marina del Rey, Livermore National Labs, Argonne National Labs,
Lawrence Berkley Labs and some DOE facilities. Until the "experts" get it all
sorted out, probably we have to say "We Just Don't Know" when it comes to
computer modeling predicting the future climate.

Apparently there is considerable recognition that our computer modeling can be
improved. Crichton's criterion was that the models should accurately predict the
actual climate variations for ten years or better twenty years before they should
be trusted. Maybe this "new generation" of modeling will achieve that. Until then,
the past is probably as good as we can do for predicting the future. Better renew
your subscription to the "Farmers Almanac"(grin).

I don't think we can find the right answer in time to do anything substantial, if the
right answer is warming is real. We need to be doing things before the answer is
clear—but what? It reminds me of Y2K, when most people divided in two groups,
apocalyptic and bump in the road. The reality was, lots going on, and lot's was
done locally (within organizations) to prevent systemic problems.

So it is with warming. If we shift the focus to "what is the best technical future for
humanity?" we might find lots of good answers, and the overall activity of choice
and implementations would subsume global climate change and increase the
flexibility of overall design. Bucky Fuller's "6 billion people and the earth. It is just
a design problem."

The real problem facing us is the development and deployment of technologies.
How, what, who: governance, the technologies themselves, and who does the
work, who benefits, who loses?

The things we ought to do: low pollution, better food systems, fairer equity in
living, a better balance of tech and aesthetics, much better humanistic/technical
education... If we do these, then we will have a smarter system responsive to the
environment, and be able to be smarter about things that might happen, even if it
turns out to be the truth that they would not have.

Doug's 291: "I don't think we can find the right answer in time to do anything
substantial, if the right answer is warming is real." Suppose this question was
posed 20 years ago, when the conditions we have been discussing here were all
much less critical than they are now. Or, even more pertinent, suppose
consideration of these conditions were postponed for another 20 years.

The answers to these and related questions are much less to be found in the
scientific unknowns we have been discussing here and much more related to the
following questions: how much short term sacrifice are we willing to take, and
how will we be able to spread these sacrifices?

Any serious answers will have to include: how long can the planet Earth sustain
ever more human beings consuming ever more food, water and energy? These
and similar questions, as distasteful as they are, really must be addressed before
discussing the best technical fixes. They are the questions that must be
addressed by us Americans because if we are serious about doing something
about global changes we will be the ones that will have to change for the poorer
many of our cherished life styles. But if there were a willingness to address such
programs, the focus of our best scientists and leaders would be much more

The above statements are not "chicken little" exaggerations. I have not attempted
to forecast the rate of changes -- population, water, energy or others. Population
increases may well be reduced greatly in the future, but to reach no growth the
world birth rate must be 2.2 or less. I have not seen any such forecasts.

But if there were not valid concern for the dim future that I, and of course others,
have outlined above, the time spent on trying to reduce environmental damage
will not get the reception it deserves. There are too many sacrifices, especially
for Americans, to implement them.
If we were to address these questions again—and I expect we‘lI believe it would
be a good idea to have either a focus on the need along with the technical details
of how to serve the need.

Harlan: George: Is "conservation" reborn with a 21st century post-environmental
political-action mission?‖

I hesitate to use labels, for myself and for others...and there I go, labeling myself.
So what is a "conservationist?

I read what Douglass said in 291: "The things we ought to do--low pollution,
better food systems, fairer equity in living, a better balance of tech and
aesthetics, much better humanistic/technical education... If we do these, then we
will have a smarter systems responsive to the environment, and able to be
smarter about things that might happen, even if it turns out to be the truth that
they would not have."

That sounds like what I want to do. Tread softly on the earth. Live simply.
Cherish things of nature, but cherish people even more. Ride my bicycle or run to
work instead of driving. Make the earth a better place. Eat healthy foods. Enjoy
my kids. Enjoy my wife. Enjoy my church. Play my guitar. I don't believe I am
able to live up to those goals yet. Too often I get caught up in schedules and
work and worries but it gives me something to work on.

A friend of my daughter's, who considers me sort of a second daddy, said to me
"George, you're a very wise man." She exaggerates, but I think the finest
compliment someone could give me is to call me wise. It's my goal.

And as I read and reread the posts from all of you, I'm reminded again and again
how wise you are. For this wannabe-wise-guy it's been a special joy and privilege
to hang out with y'all and swap stories.

Mary, thanks for making that article available. Your description of the hierarchy
was, well, lovely. To have that experience as the kind of person with whom it
resonates is very appealing. I recognize the attraction as I felt it. I was musing
about the joy of the 'perfect' experience in hierarchy and wishing I might have
had such. Then I came to your observation about Sonia Brownell and realized
that even had such an experience been available to me, I would most likely have
responded as did she. I think we may not all be equally predisposed to be
comfortable in that structure. However, it is of actual value to me to understand
that there is a gentleness inherent in the system and that people for whom that
system works have a genuine personal stake in it - not, as I thought rather
fuzzily, simply an acceptance of it.
One thing about which I wondered, was how important consistency of experience
might be to having a sense of oneself within one of the cultural types. You, for
example, experienced the hierarchy at home and at school. If one were to
experience strong individuality at home, and strong hierarchy at school, how
might such a conflict affect one's sense of belonging in either?

The week after 9/11 I convened a group of fifteen fairly advanced progressive
educated traveled and successful folks for a discussion on making sense of what
had happened. This group met one evening every two weeks for fifteen months.
As we came to a kind of close (not with a bang but a whimper) we concluded *the
world had changed more in fifteen months than we had.* For people like us, in
this conference, we need to keep in mind how rapidly the world is changing, with
consequences for the issues we are discussing.

For example, the spread of blogging is unprecedented. These virtual

check out (corrected link)

…about the tipping point in India. Imagine this kind of networking around new
economies and environmental/human issues. The key in the blogging world
would be to arrive at a widely connected community, leading through being more
strategic and compellingly interesting. My view is that the climate issue will not
be coped with head on, but through dealing with other issues of more immediate
emotional impact, and the environmental problems get solved as a secondary

Doug, I couldn't make that link to radioweblogs work.

Thanks! Corrected. The old case of www not working but http:// does.

George: Your self-description sounds wonderfully Oregonian—even if you didn't
grow up there. My wife Lois did grow up in Salem, and only the chance of our
finding ourselves in the same Federal internship program, in Washington, caused
her to change course and not go back to Willamette University for a law degree.
We've now been married for 63 years, so it must have been a good decision. But
it also means we have always paid special attention to what happens in Oregon,
and I have long known how nice is the adjective "Oregonian."

(The above comment was cleared with Lois!)

George Taylor
Thank you, Harlan. I was born and raised in Santa Barbara, which used to be a
sleepy little beach town until it got discovered by Hollywood. Corvallis, where I
live, is about the same size as the Santa Barbara of my boyhood (50,000). But I
really feel like an Oregonian now, after 16 years here.

Wow, 63 years! Cindy and I just hit 30. Congratulations to you on such success!
In 33 years I hope to say the same thing.

My regards to Lois. And you can tell her that former Oregonians are always
welcome to visit!

Just a note to alert you to the fact that we must bring this conference to a close.
I'm so glad we extended for this extra week or so. It turned out to be well worth it.
So if you have any summaries, evaluations, afterthoughts, unfinished business,
messages, or parting shots, tomorrow, Wednesday, is the time to make them.

Mary, I have read and reread your "Preface" about "My Grandmother's House"
and other assorted hierarchies, including those fascinating all-female hierarchies
in convents. Your "take" on the hierarchies you grew up with parallels intriguingly
what I've learned from living and working in and with government agencies,
international organizations, corporations, universities, and think-tanks.

I would describe that common ground this way: No matter how clearly a
hierarchy is organized, with "recommendations-up-orders-down" the presumed
order-of-the-day, most of the actual work and personal relationships turn out to
be "horizontal," consensual, adaptive. People work mostly with each other, not
"for" each other—otherwise the organization works badly.

Though the word "entrepreneur" has been used to describe private enterprise, I
thought of myself as an entrepreneur when I worked in big bureaucracies.
Indeed, the bigger the bureaucracy and the more complex its activity, the more
seemed to be the need for "entrepreneurs" at every "level" in order to get
anything done at all.

So, as you say, it's not the "up-down" relationships that are dominant -- even
though that's the way it looks to outsiders, who are likely to be over-impressed
with the pyramidal chart on the wall. "Power is so diffused [as you put it] that the
husband, chief, king or Reverend Mother, has little of it. In this sense the orderly
pattern is more consensual than what is known as patriarchal." (Chester
Barnard, an early theorist of public administration, wrote in 1938 about power
being "delegated upward" from subordinates to superiors.)

What puzzles me is not your analysis but your conclusion. Having clearly
described hierarchy as where the action isn't, why would you want to cuddle up
to the hierarchical corner of your four-part matrix -- even if you redefine it as
"about ordering in space and time, not about domination"? (1:287)

George Taylor
Like Harlan, I went back and reread quite a few of the entries, and realized that
during certain periods, when the words were flying fast and thick, I mostly
browsed over the things written; this is partly due to a full-time job and busy life.
Now I'll have a chance to go back and savor your wise words more thoroughly.
And I intend to do that.

I told Dick that I would endeavor to gather the material here and put it in some
kind of archive, though I'm not sure yet what form that will take. Perhaps some of
you have suggestions on how you would like to access the material here. Of
course, we can keep it in the current form, but there are many other possibilities,
including PDFs, linked HTML, and (shudder) hard copy. Any thoughts?

Douglas Strain
Harlan, my thanks to you—once again—for the observation that "people work
mostly "with" each other, not "for" each other". This was my primary discovery in
the development of the now more than 50 years of survival of our company,
Electro Scientific Industries. An interesting outcome was that women
"supervisors" were more successful in encouraging this attitude than men
supervisors. We used to describe it as "mothering" the project rather than "being
in charge" which comes back to your "nobody in charge" philosophy! Women
became the majority of our supervisors and earned their place at all levels of our
"management" with this talent.

I, too, savored Mary Douglas' "My Grandmother‘s House" . As usual, Mary, your
insights added much to this conference!

And it's worth noting that Doug's Electro Scientific Industries was named one of
the 100 best companies to work for in the US.

Just a reminder, this conference, as with all the others we've conducted, will be
available to the ILF Fellows in its entirety in our archives, and soon available to
the public in the ILF Digest. I hope that George, or for that matter any of the rest
of you, will find other avenues for publication as well.

It ain't over till tomorrow morning, but I want to take this opportunity to express
my deep gratitude to George and Doug for their leadership in making this one of
our best conferences ever. I also want to thank all of you who participated in
such wise and helpful ways, and especially to Mary Douglas, Michael Crichton
and Carl Hodges for going to such lengths to make themselves understood.
Understanding is what we traffic in, and there was a lot of it going on in this
conference. I so appreciate the effort everyone made to create such a civil and
friendly dialogue about such a divisive subject. We may not have solved the
global warming dispute, but we surely did contextualize it differently, and
helpfully. I wish every policymaker could read this conference. You can bet we
will do our best to make that happen.

 Let me do what I want to do…which happens to also be the polite thing to do,
and thank everyone who participated in this conference. My special thanks to
Doug and George. You presented a view with which I disagree significantly.
You presented it eloquently, and in a fashion that contributed to what I believe is
a valuable dialogue. And if this style of conversation is coupled with some other
tools, I think the International Leadership Forum can do something special with
all of our efforts.

Having said that, I want to say I did not move towards Doug‘s view of global
warming. I remain convinced, in fact I believe I am certain, that carbon dioxide
added to the earth‘s atmosphere at the rate that we humans are doing, without a
counterbalancing activity, such as greening a lot of the ungreened earth (also
done by humans) is a mistake.

I believe that to use the basic sciences of atmospheric physics, math and
physics, and then the computer capability that leads to our current understanding
today – for example, how cold the earth would be without gases that absorb the
infrared and reradiate – only with the one-sided view of saying we should not feel
any responsibility because our impact is so small, is wrong, wrong, wrong.

(Let me say now that I will not get to see this before it is entered in the
conference. I am dictating it late in the day from Mexico, so if it is a little too
much, please forgive me.)

I tried to use the model of a greenhouse with increasing height to move one
person‘s opinion in one direction. Kip and others asked questions that hinted
perhaps there might have been a bit of that, but not too much. A relatively simple
computer model, the kind that would tell you what the temperature of the earth is
today, what it would be without absorptive gases, etc. says in a straightforward
fashion, increasing carbon dioxide increases temperature. And, to look at the
data of carbon being used by humans through the process of combustion to put
carbon dioxide into the air, correlate that with the measurements of carbon
dioxide on top of mountains, and to me the case is made. But remember, O.J.
Simpson was declared innocent in spite of all kinds of evidence to the contrary.

I do not think we are innocent. Let me show you picture Figure 1 – that is
seawater full of shrimp excrement – going into the Sea of Cortez from one shrimp
Effluent Picture - Sea of Cortez.JPG

When I first met the owner of that shrimp farm, he explained to me that the
oceans were so big his effluent could not possibly be doing anything on a
significant scale. But he is only one shrimp farmer just in the State of Sonora
alone that in their peak season pump an amount of the water out of and back into
the Sea of Cortez equal to what either the upper basin or lower basin states get
to use from the Colorado River. That shrimp farmer changed his mind. I must be
more convincing in person than I am by computer dialogue. He is one joining us
now to instead of putting that seawater into that huge ocean, he will put it on one
little spot; an area four times the size of his shrimp farm, where we will plant

The second and third pictures are of me talking to President Vicente Fox last
Monday, with some quotations of his from a little earlier, the day the Kyoto
Protocol came into effect. I long for his kind of leadership on these issues.

President Fox 1.JPG

President Fox 2.JPG

The fourth picture is my hand holding up a small mangrove tree I grew
hydroponically. It is Conocarpus erectus. You will see the President has one.
The important part about that figure is the below ground (in this case below water
level) mass of the tree is much greater than that above ground.

Conocarpus erectus Hydroponic Example.JPG

Let me add one more, the fifth picture, here are two young Eritreans holding up a
mangrove tree with the roots exposed in Eritrea. Those roots are atmospheric
carbons to be stored in the soil.

Eritrean Mangrove Roots.jpg

Enough re-greening of the earth in huge quantities will impact the rate of the
increase of carbon dioxide, and enough intelligent other activities will dramatically
reduce that rate, and ultimately this atmospheric cycle, in the lakes around your
home or the rivers that run by, will respond to human intelligence correcting over-
dumping into those sectors of nature.

 If I have convinced anybody just a little bit that there is a possibility I could be
correct, let me know. I will plant some trees on your behalf. Perhaps we will
start a trend.
Again, my thanks to everyone. It has truly been an intellectually stimulating little
more than a month.


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