May 15, 2009

Are real estate prices declining at the seashore due to global warming?

In Southern California, the closer somebody's house is to the ocean, the more likely they are to passionately believe that global warming will cause the polar ice caps to melt and the oceans to rise. The less affluent folk who live in the high desert don't seem to pay global warming much mind. They've got other troubles to worry about.

Now, you could argue that this is purely rational, but here's the catch: I see no evidence of people behaving as if they believed their beliefs about rising seas. For example, are real estate prices falling faster next to the beach than in the high desert, which you would predict if you believed that people believed their beliefs?

No, very much the opposite. While high desert home prices were dropping by half, Malibu's average home sale price rose from 2007 to 2008. The LA Times recently made a big deal out of the fact that quarterback Carson Palmer had sold his Manhattan Beach place for somewhat less than he paid for it around 2006, as an indicator that the Great Crash was finally hitting the beach, which mostly shows how it hasn't hit beachfront land much yet, even though the conventional wisdom implies that that property won't be there anymore not too far off in the future.

Consider the expensive homes on either side of beautiful El Matador beach out beyond Zuma Beach in far Malibu. The homes to the left of the state park are built on the sand, while the homes on the right are on top of a 100 foot sandstone bluff -- i.e., if the seas really rise ten feet like yesterday's article says, they're coming down. Ka-boom. That clifftop property won't be there anymore. And if the government builds a dyke like in Holland, then you aren't living next to a beach with beautiful crashing waves anymore, you're just living inland.

Something does not compute.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

57 comments:

DataGeek said...

Steve,

Where is your pre-launch post on WolframAlpha?

http://www.wolframalpha.com/index.html

headache said...

Global warming is such a crock. Seriously, who gets worked up about it? Here's my list:

-Hollywood types who need to increase their failing glamour
-Pinko liberals who need alternative libido to impress babes
-babes who are looking for a cause to replace traditional family values with
-scientists looking for more funding
-reporters either too dumb to get the facts straight or needing a topic to whine about and apply pressure on avg. Joe, industry and pols
-politicians who are too lazy to do the work they are voted for and use global warming as a distraction
-international organisations looking to increase their reach
-lately, cynical corporations using global warming to get their hands into subsidies and exploit gullible liberals (see top)
-church leaders who cannot stomach the real gospel

If you look at the list it’s obvious that the only common denominator is that these people do NOT care about the environment. So your observation would prove this out. The more I read about global warming the more I begin wondering what’s really going on in the climate. It’s not as if all the data being produced in the Global Warming hype would be of any use.
NOT care about the environment.

A. S. Redding said...

A not wholly dissimilar cognitive dissonance happened in Australia during the early to mid 1990s, when it looked as though (thanks to the judiciary's social engineering, and a federal government extremely sympathetic to such engineering) indigenous activism on behalf of "Aboriginal land rights" was going to get really nasty. In other words, such activism appeared perfectly capable of destroying the private property rights of Evil Racist Whitey, so that it hardly appeared worthwhile for Evil Racist Whitey to take on a housing mortgage at all.

And yet housing prices continued to climb during that period. Millions of Australians continued to pay irrationally inflated prices for their homes, although the better the home, the more tempting a prospect it automatically was for governmental confiscation on behalf of the putatively disadvantaged Aboriginal "community".

Anyway, common sense of a kind prevailed, more or less, and white Australians no longer live in constant fear of facing the same fate as white Zimbabwean farmers. As for the phrase "Aboriginal land rights" itself, it seems to have died out. I've hardly heard it during the last decade. Let's be grateful for the few bullets we've been able to dodge.

dearieme said...

Well, no-one behaves as if he doesn't believe in Intelligence, but plenty pay lip service to that disbelief.

PeterW said...

It could be very well that beachfront homeowners expect to be dead and gone before sea level rises start mattering. Property values are not just long-term present-value calculations, but are also speculative, as you well know. A near-term rise in prices does not necessarily mean much.

Anthony said...

Up here in NorCal, Alameda is basically a big sand bar in the Bay. Prices are holding up pretty well after they retreated in late 2007, and they didn't retreat nearly so much as they did in neighboring Oakland, which is almost entirely at higher elevations than Alameda.

(Alameda is the exception to the East Bay rule that altitude correlates with income.)

KingM said...

This isn't necessarily true. Most predictions of global warming show it happening decades in the future. In this case, you could think of a real estate purchase on the beach as been a lease-style purchase.

There is plenty of very expensive real estate around the world with fifty or hundred year leases being bought and sold instead of fee simple ownership.

Peter said...

What's the mystery? Very few people really think 20 years down the road, and the kind of people who buy expensive beach houses are looking to impress their peers today. I don't think many wealthy people in California or the Hamptons really think in terms of buying a house that will be in the family for generations, it's all about now. On the other hand if prices in Maine and Cape Cod, where some remnant of Yankee values might be hanging on, aren't dropping that might indicate a little hypocrisy. But of course everyone knows the Federal government will bail these people out if their houses get inundated 20 years from now, so why should property values be effected in any way?

Anonymous said...

Except for a few people on the fringe, very few people are investing their own money as if global warming is a serious threat.

Modern liberalism is about how to invest other peoples' money, not your own.

Anonymous said...

Malibu is probably not the best proxy for the seashore, since a ton of the valuable properties are located behind PCH in the canyons on high ground. The Point Dume development, where every house is valued at $5-10 mil is between the PCH and the water but actually on a bluff about 100 feet above sea level.

There are probably some zipcodes in Venice and Marina that are 100% sea level.

Beastmaster said...

Nice filler material. And why are Laurie David and Barbara Streisand jetting around in G-5s? And why is Al Gore such a darn, heavy user of eeeeelectriciteeeeee? Could it be that they are the crazies and hustlers who exist in a decadent society with massive government and a media and financial system dominated by a tiny, ethnic minority?

Lucius Vorenus said...

Steve Sailer: In Southern California, the closer somebody's house is to the ocean, the more likely they are to passionately believe that global warming will cause the polar ice caps to melt and the oceans to rise... Now, you could argue that this is purely rational, but here's the catch: I see no evidence of people behaving as if they believed their beliefs about rising seas.

Whew - for a second there, I thought I was going to have to chastise you for implying that the earth is actually warming [when, in fact, it's cooling, and cooling at a very alarming rate].

kurt9 said...

Al Gore bought himself a $4 million condo on San Francisco's fisherman's wharf around the same time he was plugging his movie "An Inconvenient Truth". What this tells me is that these people really do not believe in global warming and are simply using it to make money. Indeed, global warming "studies" appears to be a government grant racket, just like NASA and the Tokamak fusion program.

Piper said...

Even people (fools) who believe that global warming will inundate the littoral simultaneously believe (a) it won't happen soon, so there's no reason to give up a comfortable lifestyle; (b) Obama will reverse global warming by creating "green" tax-funded jobs; (c) the government will build a seawall (which proles in Lancaster will pay for via sales taxes); (d) their insurance will cover it; and (e) Bangladesh will drown, not Malibu-- Malibu has cliffs.

coldequation said...

1) Sea levels are only expected to rise a few inches over several decades. That won't really matter in California where altitude rises quickly, but it might in flat places like Miami.

2) The costs will probably be socialized. Either a seawall will be built at taxpayers' expense or people will be paid to move by the government. I got an awesome deal once when the government paid me to move out of a floodplain into a much better place (they paid me $500 to move and paid the substantial rent difference for a year).

Anonymous said...

No one, and I mean no one, in the global warming movement lives as if they really believed in global warming. Al Gore is an energy glutton. James Hansen won't hesitate to jet around the world. The Hollywood elite build bigger mansions and produce bigger and bigger Hollywood movies, all of which use more and more energy.

And Congress? They put forth stupid little plans that wouldn't alter the temperature by 1/10 of 1 percent if anthropogenic global warming were true.

It's all a game. Nobody actually believes it except, perhaps, for the hippie types who march in protests.

Then again, they get to those protests in SUVs and vans.

John Seiler said...

The California Coastal Commission, which voters inflicted on the state in 1970, severely limits development or even alterations on housing along the coast. So prices stay high. In Huntington Beach, the median price for a house still is $500K, down from $670K three years ago. However, the price rise from $200K in 1998 to $500 today tracks pretty closely with the price of gold.

By the way, on "Morning Joe," Scarborough brought up how Ron Paul predicted, in 2003, that Fannie and Freddy were going to go bust, and Greenspan was expanding the money supply at an incredible rate. He noted that some critics said Paul was a racist who didn't want to help poor immigrants get their own homes. Paul was on the show and blamed Keynesianism. YouTube link here: http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/026805.html

Anonymous said...

smash desert: water, what?
none? Prices go down

Lucius Vorenus said...

Hey, speaking of the nonsense which passes as dogma in the pagan religion of "Science" these days, the comments in this Slashdot thread are refreshingly cynical:

Ocean Circulation Doesn't Work As Expected
Friday May 15, @10:56AM
news.slashdot.org

Maybe things aren't quite as bad as the The <EDITED> would have you believe.

Soylent Green Is People said...

Oh yes. The Gaia Fundamentalists; the REAL religious wackos. Commonly found clustered along the shorelines of Western nations, their core belief is the mass culling of homo sapiens [useless eaters] in order to protect Mother Nature i.e. protect the precious earth from the evil known as humanity. Everything follows from that fountainhead of enlightenment.

Funny how, for enviro leaders like [clinical depressive] Ted Turner, the solutions are always very Stalinistic: No Man, No Problem. It's always a good culling of the herd that makes up the bulk of Plan A, Plan B and Plan C.

Earth worship is a twisted death cult. And 'global warming' is a mass gullibility test. Weak minds will submit to anything the Propaganda Ministers send down the pipe and then become infuriated by the independent thinkers [who shame the weak minds and remind the weak minds just how cowardly they really are].

We need to strongly resist these intolerant bastards or we will be marched off to the New Temple and forced to pay their moronic 'carbon taxes'.

Svigor said...

Hmm, status games. The more contradictory beliefs one can juggle in one's head without conflict, the higher one's status? Sort of a proxy for IQ? Sad, pathetic, servile, but a proxy nonetheless?

Lucius Vorenus said...

kurt9: Indeed, global warming "studies" appears to be a government grant racket, just like NASA and the Tokamak fusion program.

Ouch.

I had some really, really close friends who worked on the Tokamak.

Really good guys.

Really good times.

Man I get the melancholy when I think about the old days.

Cossack in a Kilt said...

I think that Steve meant to type "dike" not "dyke."

clem said...

Global warming is such a crock. Seriously, who gets worked up about it? Here's my list:....

-scientists looking for more funding


Also, competent professional scientists who aren't looking for more funding for related research but who simply care about reality, such as Steven Dutch:

The Science and Pseudoscience of Global Warming.

If I had to hazard a guess, headache, I'd wager that your own sources for your opinion on the subject include Anthony Watts and Christopher Monckton. They don't come any more quack-y and scientifically illiterate than that.

@LV: speaking of the nonsense which passes as dogma in the pagan religion of "Science" these days....

Shouldn't you be busy chaining your wife to the stove to ensure that she reproduces at replacement rate? Come on, 2.1!

Better to live in chains than to die for freedom, right, LV? If you ever found a province/state/country, that should be your motto!

-church leaders who cannot stomach the real gospel

Right, you mean the apocalyptic "real gospel" so obviously based from beginning to end on pagan religions! Here's David Thompson, summarizing where your One True Fairy-Tale, Rape-The-Earth-'Cause-God-Will-Fix-It, Externalized-Costs-Be-Damned Religion actually came from:

"The Biblical accounts of Jesus are clearly an amalgam of much older, pre-Christian myths and stories, and often strikingly so. A number of pre-Christian deities, such as Attis and the Persian Sun god Mithras, were also thought to have been born during winter, often of virgin mothers; these deities died and were allegedly reborn or resurrected. Mithras, known also as 'the light of the world,' was supposedly born with shepherds in attendance. Attis was known as 'the lamb of God' and his crucifixion and resurrection were celebrated annually with communions of bread and wine. Predating Attis is the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, whose other names included the word 'easter.' Even Christianity's iconic trademark, the cross, was a symbol of Ishtar's consort Tammuz (and numerous other deities) centuries before it became associated with Jesus."

"Another pre-Christian deity in human form, Dionysus, was also reported to be born of a virgin mother--and in a stable, no less. Dionysus allegedly travelled with an entourage, performing various miracles--among them, turning water into wine. Accused of blasphemy by the religious authorities, Dionysus was tried and executed, before allegedly rising from the grave three days later. All of which predates Jesus' passion story by centuries."

"The 'Madonna and child'--an icon usually thought of as uniquely Christian--can be traced back to the Egyptian cult of Isis and Horus, which, again, predates Christianity by over 1000 years. Likewise, the story of Noah and the flood echoes the fictional flood depicted in the Sumerian novel, The Epic of Gilgamesh, which predates Christianity by some 2000 years. (In Gilgamesh, the gods destroy the ancient Mesopotamian city of Shuruppah in a great flood. But Utnapishtim survives the flood, along with his family and a sampling of animals, by building a great ship. In recognition of his ingenuity, the repentant gods bestow Utnapishtim with immortality.) In terms of its key stories, Christianity is clearly part of a continuum of cults and 'mystery faiths'--an embellished composite retelling of much earlier myths and traditions."

Weak-minded children take such Christianized fairy tales literally.

And you wonder why militant atheists like the libertarian skeptics Penn and Teller are "mean"....

Ted Turner said...

Drown them all.

James B. Shearer said...

As others have noted this isn't particularly irrational. Most of the value of real estate is in the near future. If you assume a 3% discount rate only 22% of the value is over 50 years in the future, only 5% over 100 years in the future. In addition in California much ocean view property is well above sea level. And some sort of government bailout is fairly likely for property destroyed by rising sea levels.

Henry Canaday said...

William Nordhaus at Yale has long been using land prices in different climates to estimate the expected economic costs, if any, of global warming.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, global warming "studies" appears to be a government grant racket, just like NASA and the Tokamak fusion program.

At least those projects might actually produce something useful.

Stopped Clock said...

Dyke is an acceptable alternate spelling.

Anonymous said...

Could be all the Chicken Littles don't really believe their own b.s.. It's trendy to repeat it, but they aren't going to change where they live or how they live.
The Sierra Club/Nature Conservancy types I know create more CO2 more than anyone else -- always having to drive hundreds of miles on the weekend to get closer to nature (go hiking, canoeing, etc.).

Anonymous said...

DataGeek wrote:

"Where is your pre-launch post on WolframAlpha?"

I just checked out Mr. Wolfram's introductory video. Wow. I will be wasting A LOT of time with that thing. Kind of like the nerd's equivalent of the roll out of crack cocaine.

Bob said...

The majority of the value of a perpetual right (as in fee simple ownership) is the right to occupy it in the next 15 years, assuming you use a discount rate of 5%. Even at the Japanese rate of 3% it is still only 25 years. I don't think anyone is talking about 10 feet increases in that timeframe.

If you want actual examples of people worried about global warming for economic reasons, look at the property insurers in Florida, or the people in the Maldives island chain.

The paranoia that global warming is made up is pretty amusing here. The scope of this conspiracy must make the JFK nuts look modest.

I'm sure Lucius here is very much like the handsome and stoic soldier from HBO's Rome rather than the Lone Gunmen dudes from the X-Files:

http://img2.timeinc.net/ew/img/daily/585/lone_l.jpg

steve wood said...

I don't think this is conscious hypocrisy but rather human nature in action.

People don't think about natural disasters when they buy beautiful (or profitable) property. Californians buy houses perched precariously on cliffsides, even though everyone knows a major earthquake is inevitable and will cause many such houses to collapse down the slope.

On the southern and mid-Atlantic coastlines, people pay enormous prices for houses directly on the beach, even though everyone knows that someday a hurricane will wash them away. This is even more incomprehensible than the California situation. Given the rarity of major earthquakes, it's understandable that people ignore the risk. However, some of those Atlantic beach houses wash away EVERY YEAR in storms, tropical or otherwise.

none of the above said...

Yeah, the global warming predictions suggest a very slow rise in sea levels, so I can't see this having any effect.

The people who study this stuff seem to overwhelmingly believe that global warming is happening and is probably caused by human CO2 emissions. Maybe they're all wrong--there are plenty of ways that could happen. But it sure doesn't look like the way to bet.

Instead, when nontechnical people argue against AGW, it always comes off, to me, as the mirror image of nontechnical people arguing against IQ. Basically, if I believed these ideas, I'd have to accept a bunch of policy changes I don't want, therefore these ideas must be false.

none of the above said...

As an aside, it looks to me like nobody mainstream is actually proposing policy changes that make sense, if you believe AGW is a big problem. As a political matter, you have a couple of big problems:

a. The only ready-to-deploy power generation technologies with no CO2 emissions on anything like the scale you care about are nuclear and hydro. Doing either one on a large scale loses you most of your environmentalist allies.

b. If you want to put a dent in CO2 emissions, you need to make it a lot more expensive. A couple years ago, oil was over $100 a barrel and gas was almost $4/gallon, and I'm pretty sure that didn't come anywhere close to decreasing our emissions enough to matter. Putting a $2/gallon gas tax in place will cost you the next election, here in the US. Raising energy prices enough to drop CO2 emissions will lose you elections in every country on Earth.

nsam said...

the reports on copenhagenconsensus.com clearly rank global warming at the bottom of the list, in terms of ROI.

Bill said...

Global warming my rear. We've had colder than average temps all year, and for the last few days moderate rain with highs in the mid 50s and overnight lows around 40. Snoqualmie pass still has four feet of snow, and I don't ever remember that in my lifetime this time of year. It got up into the mid 60s today and it felt hot to me because of how cold this spring has been (last spring was even colder), but the day still turned out to be two degrees colder than average!

The global warming people will tell you that global warming doesn't necessarily translate into warm weather, but I'm not all that convinced by that argument. I really think global warming is the biggest crock we've been sold this decade.

silver said...

For example, are real estate prices falling faster next to the beach than in the high desert, which you would predict if you believed that people believed their beliefs?But these people also believe something can be done to reverse those effects (strangle industry, green energy, windmills etc) so their behavior doesn't necessarily belie their professed beliefs.

Testy the Strike-Out King said...

You're wrong again, Steve, because you're not a club-hopping young stud like me and therefore don't know what's REALLY going on. Let me clue you in.

You see, there's these hot young single women out there with soft blonde hair and supple round breasts and pert pink nipples and long smooth legs that go on forever, an agonizing sweetness I'll never be able to touch, God how I want them....

Anyway, they're afraid of my intellectual fire-power, so they try to hurt me by chasing after black thugs like Tiger Woods and John McWhorter.

Bunch of mean stupid whores who won't give me the time of day, they'll be sorry....

THAT'S why you're wrong about whatever it was you were talking about, Steve.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

And some sort of government bailout is fairly likely for property destroyed by rising sea levels.


Given the amount of coastal land in the US, and its extremely high value, and the huge amount of debt Obama will already have burdened us with, this all seems rather unlikely.

Coastal properties in the Southeastern US may get hit routinely, but none of them 'wash away every year.' I have a substantial number of family members in very vulnerable parts of hurricane country and most sustain only minor damage from even the worst storms. Storm damage can be nasty, but it is very, very random.

As for the fact that much of Malibu is above sea level - all very nice, if you like living on an island. And lots of people do. But it would also crimp the style of a lot of people who choose to live in coastal CA.

I think the real policy question regarding global warming is not how to stop it - if it's anthropogenic, there will be no stopping it (talk to China and India about that) - but exactly how many people from island and low-lying countries we First Worlder's will be required to take in. South Pacific islanders have basically decided that in their case the obligation belongs to Australia and New Zealand (and probably the USA) even though all the genetic data indicates that the ancestors of the Pac Islanders came from Taiwan and (to a lesser extent) Malaysia.

And then there's Bangladesh...

Anonymous said...

"Instead, when nontechnical people argue against AGW, it always comes off, to me, as the mirror image of nontechnical people arguing against IQ."

Actually, I think you have got it backwards. Arguments against IQ and in favor of CAGW are both heavily informed by a hatred of white people and western society.

Anonymous said...

The consideration Steve talks about here has never played an important role in people's decision-making process - not in earthquake-endangered areas, hurricane-threatened regions, places adjacent to volcanoes, what have you.

Knifecatcher said...

“I am a skeptic…Global warming has become a new religion.” - Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.

“Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly….As a scientist I remain skeptical.” - Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology and formerly of NASA who has authored more than 190 studies and has been called “among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years.”

Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” - UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

“The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesn’t listen to others. It doesn’t have open minds… I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists,” - Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University and a board member of the UN-supported International Year of the Planet.

“The models and forecasts of the UN IPCC "are incorrect because they only are based on mathematical models and presented results at scenarios that do not include, for example, solar activity.” - Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, a researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico

“It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming.” - U.S Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA.

“Even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will.” – . Geoffrey G. Duffy, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering of the University of Auckland, NZ.

“After reading [UN IPCC chairman] Pachauri's asinine comment [comparing skeptics to] Flat Earthers, it's hard to remain quiet.” - Climate statistician Dr. William M. Briggs, who specializes in the statistics of forecast evaluation, serves on the American Meteorological Society's Probability and Statistics Committee and is an Associate Editor of Monthly Weather Review.

“For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?" - Geologist Dr. David Gee the chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress who has authored 130 plus peer reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.

“Gore prompted me to start delving into the science again and I quickly found myself solidly in the skeptic camp…Climate models can at best be useful for explaining climate changes after the fact.” - Meteorologist Hajo Smit of Holland, who reversed his belief in man-made warming to become a skeptic, is a former member of the Dutch UN IPCC committee.

“Many [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out quietly (from promoting warming fears), without having their professional careers ruined.” - Atmospheric physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh.

“Creating an ideology pegged to carbon dioxide is a dangerous nonsense…The present alarm on climate change is an instrument of social control, a pretext for major businesses and political battle. It became an ideology, which is concerning.” - Environmental Scientist Professor Delgado Domingos of Portugal, the founder of the Numerical Weather Forecast group, has more than 150 published articles.

“CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another….Every scientist knows this, but it doesn’t pay to say so…Global warming, as a political vehicle, keeps Europeans in the driver’s seat and developing nations walking barefoot.” - Dr. Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University in Japan.

“The [global warming] scaremongering has its justification in the fact that it is something that generates funds.” - Award-winning Paleontologist Dr. Eduardo Tonni, of the Committee for Scientific Research in Buenos Aires and head of the Paleontology Department at the University of La Plata. # #

Ronduck said...

I think the real policy question regarding global warming is not how to stop it...but exactly how many people from island and low-lying countries we First Worlder's will be required to take in.

There is plenty of vacant land in Latin America for the dispossessed peoples of Bangladesh and the Pacific islands, especially in South America. The claim that millions of Bangladeshi's will have "no choice" but to migrate to a White country because global warming may exist is total bull.

Second, global warming is itself complete bullsh@t. It is an organized racket designed to shakedown the productive members of society in order to finance the Left. During the Dark Ages, the Roman church was honest enough to admit it was a religion (which the true believers in GW will not) and just collected tithes to finance its agenda.

Big Bill said...

This guy (Global Warming) Clem is like an advertisement for Stuff Whiter People Like:

"Weak-minded children take such Christianized fairy tales literally."

He is like a living parody of the site: the sneering white college boy contemptuousness, the earth-love, the whole works! I'll be he even dribves a Prius (or a Volvo, if he is poor) and has a cool (>$2500) bicycle.

I just checked the SWPL site to see if it listed "Global Warming" ... and it didn't. I checked for "Militant Atheism" and it didn't have that either. Go figure.

Gene Berman said...

Cossack in a Kilt:

There was a lezzie artist who called herself Mike,
Who, when asked what Old Masters she most especially liked,
Replied with a sneer, "Not van Gogh nor Vermeer
But I love the little lad who kept his finger in the dyke."

See, inspiration lurks in strange places!

James B. Shearer said...

... if it's anthropogenic, there will be no stopping it ... This is not necessarily true. It is possible that there are active countermeasures like injecting dust in the stratosphere that would counterbalance the warming effect from CO2.

steve wood said...

Coastal properties in the Southeastern US may get hit routinely, but none of them 'wash away every year.' You misunderstood, or maybe I was unclear. I didn't mean that any individual property washes away every year, but rather that every year a few, or more, beachfront houses wash into sea somewhere between Cape Cod and South Padre Island. Logically, one would expect this demonstration of potential destruction to depress house prices, much as one might imagine that the certainty of "The Big One" would cause the prices of hillside houses in LA and SF to be lower than those of houses in the flats.

However, it is human nature to ignore these "maybe someday" dangers in favor of a house on the beach or with a great view. Thus, rising house prices on the beach do not signify a lack of belief in AGW but rather an emotional ability to deny something that, intellectually, one knows (or, in the case of AGW "knows") to be possible.

Maximilian said...

Thank you Clem for showing us what it's like to be inside the mind of a global warming true believer. It's not a pretty sight, but at least now we know.

Anonymous said...

Instead, when nontechnical people argue against AGW, it always comes off, to me, as the mirror image of nontechnical people arguing against IQ. Basically, if I believed these ideas, I'd have to accept a bunch of policy changes I don't want, therefore these ideas must be false.



Uh huh. Get back to me when people on the left start acting like they actually believe this stuff. For instance, when Al Gore starts to use less electricity than a small town.

Cossack in a Kilt said...

Gene Berman said:

Inspiration lurks in strange places!

The older I get, the more I see unlikely confluences of thought.

It's not quite at the level of Eco's Foucault's Pendulum, but some strange stuff seems to hang together.

And no WAY I was going to be the first one to use the "finger in the dyke" reference.

Tsoldrin said...

If you simply graph out average yearly temperatures and match up drastic changes with events, you will see that humans definitely CAN effect the climate on a global scale. WWII is a good example... all the frenetic activity drove temps up and then post bomb they plummet. Is more proof needed than that?

Dave Lincoln said...

"If you simply graph out average yearly temperatures and match up drastic changes with events, you will see that humans definitely CAN effect the climate on a global scale. WWII is a good example... all the frenetic activity drove temps up and then post bomb they plummet. Is more proof needed than that?"

Hahaha. Yes, is sure is.

Hey, Tsoldrin, you'd probably make just as good a stockbroker as the next guy. I noticed also that the S+P 500 goes up and down 180 degrees out of phase with the menstrual cycle of the Queen of England. OK, I know sometimes it's a king, but, during those times, it is more based on the menstrual cycle of the singer of the group Queen (also, from England, of course, or my whole investment strategy wouldn't make sense, right?) Yes, I do know Freddie Mercury is dead, but his menstrual period has been extrapolated by my boss at Chase investments.

We still use this strategy, though, remember CORRELATION does not equal CAUSATION! In our investment firm, we couldn't give a crap about that, so long as we're making the big bucks and meeting lots of hot chicks on, ahem, THE STREET. Same as the Global warming/climate steadying people - they don't care either. It's all about the bucks.

Where did you come up with this crap, Tsoldrin?

Dave Lincoln said...

I am really surprised that no commenter has mentioned the "Global Warming Challenge" yet in regards to Steve's post.

What is it?, you say: Very simple. Put your money where your mouth is.So, if you really believe that crap, wouldn't you want to make some money? Selling the house on the California coast is one thing, but you (apparently) know how high sea level will be in 10 or 20 years, right? (I mean, based on the award-winning scientist, D-Student Al Gore's wonderful film, for example). Why not look to Florida, my global-warming believing, short-bus-riding friend?

As a science-minded individual, you should have some geographic knowledge, so you would know that most of Florida, and all of S. Florida, is flat as a pancake. In, fact for many counties, the highest point besides antennae is the crest of some highway bridge.

Were you, the astute, crap-believing, CNN watching idiot, to think a tad further, you would go, "Hey, look at these topo maps! There aren't any contour lines. What??! Oh, I see, the 10 ft. and 20 ft. curves are, like, 3 and 12 miles inland, respectively. Wow, this state is flat as an old supreme-court justice, I mean, pancake!"

For our clever, Daily-Kos-reading, National Geographic-leering, scientist, 3 hours go by, the frapuccino is getting cold, and all of a sudden, a compact-florescent light-bulb flash goes off among his 3 gm (he is in SI units, notice) of brain matter. "Wait, I should buy some land there! 12 miles inland is in the middle of orange groves or just sandy cattle pasture. It's gotta be cheaper than buying at the beach, yet this WILL BE THE BEACH in x years, where x is a value from my latest Al Gore email.

Put your money where your mouth is!

Anonymous said...

--If you simply graph out average yearly temperatures and match up drastic changes with events, you will see that humans definitely CAN effect the climate on a global scale. WWII is a good example... all the frenetic activity drove temps up and then post bomb they plummet. Is more proof needed than that?--

The winter of 44-45 was severe. They US had a brutal cold snap in the late 30's as well. The atomic bombs were dropped in August 6-9, 1945.

dc watcher said...

The people who study this stuff seem to overwhelmingly believe that global warming is happening and is probably caused by human CO2 emissions."

In my recent job in a government library, I had to acquire a lot of books on this subject. The term du jour is not "global warming" but "climate change." That the earth's climate is changing is not in dispute. What is in dispute is the cause--or causes. And while this may be too esoteric for some here, I have listened to astromoners talk about how the entire galaxy is, in fact, warming up.
I think there is evidence that earth's climate is changing, some parts of the earth will have a generally warmer climate. I doubt emissions are the cause. Their effect would seem to be weak and ephemeral and exteriorized. The changes are actually systemic and appear to be happening to other planets in our galaxy.
It's a big universe out there, and we are a part of it.

Dave Lincoln said...

"It's a big universe out there, and we are a part of it."

Speak for yourself, man.