Truth in Advertising?

by Bill Chameides | November 23rd, 2009
posted by Erica Rowell (Editor)

Permalink | 4 comments

A quick look at how some admen in the early 1960s framed the energy equation.

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  1. Ken Towe
    Dec 14, 2009

    A quick look at how some scientists in the early 70s framed the energy equation: In the July 9, 1971 issue of SCIENCE Dr. Stephen Schneider (Climate Project, NCAR) wrote: “as more CO2 is added to the atmosphere, the rate of temperature increase is proportionally less and less, and the increase eventually levels off.” Schneider calculated “If CO2 is augmented by another 10 percent in the next 30 years, the increase in the global temperature may be as small as 0.1° K [0.18° F],” and doubling CO2 would change global temperature by 0.8° K (1.4° F). But today?

    • Bill Chameides
      Dec 21, 2009

      Ken: Schneider (circa 1971) was wrong I believe.

      • Ken Towe
        Dec 22, 2009

        Bill… As Schneider was with NCAR’s Climate Science Project he had great influence and was considered right at that time. But, you missed my point… too subtle? We poke fun at this Humble Oil ad today but it was designed to show that adding CO2 from fossil fuels might help the impending global COOLING concerns. Schneider’s ‘basic physics’ was designed to show that adding CO2 would not help the “dangerously underestimated” cooling much. Less than 40 years later and it is all exactly the reverse today. This history should give us pause…. but apparently it does not. The skeptics then were right. They were scoffed at then, they are scoffed at now. In fact, there are several today who think that Schneider was right back then. Science by consensus has never been a good thing to rely on. Neither has computer simulation, esp. when based on suspect numbers and legitimately debated boundary conditions.

        • Bill Chameides
          Dec 22, 2009

          Ken, I think the part you are missing is that a whole lot of scientific research has occurred in the pasty 40 years using much more advanced instrumentation and satellite sensors that can track the entire globe. Our computational ability to assess the radiative effects of CO2 absorption on the wings of its absorption spectrum has also improved significantly. Does that mean that scientists can not possibly be wrong about climate change today? Of course not. As I have said previously it is a matter of deciding your risk comfort level.

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