Interesting debate

| March 16, 2011 @ 3:25 pm | 34 Replies

As untimely as it is (part of my problem with this to begin with), there is now a “debate” going on between me and Dan Satterfield regarding a post he made about Japan’s nuclear disaster where he brought up global warming.  You can see it here.

I’d rather blog readers not comment over there, since it is more of a scientist’s discussion right now.  But, I’d love to see comments here.


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  1. zaba says:

    It’s a moot point, call it global warming, climate change or the natural cycle. It’s too late. The world will experience gradually worsening weather changes for the foreseeable future.

  2. Gary says:

    Satterfield seems to have his facts (almost) straight about something he knows nothing about, a nuclear power accident. Then, in the last paragraphs when the subject becomes closer to his field of study, he goes into political agenda and completely loses credibility.

    “None of these people seem to have any science training…”? This is an incredible statement. I have some training in nuclear science and the operations of a nuclear plant, yet I do not propose to tell him that he should not be commenting on a subject in that he has no familiarity or knowledge.
    Climate scientists can be just as wrong and confused as nuclear scientists.

    Satterfield’s “arrogance” does not endear me to his point of view, as if he is the only intelligent person in the room, and the rest of us who doubt the AGW hypothesis are fools and bumpkins. In my opinion and observation, the proponents of AGW seem to be the ones dealing in “politics”.

  3. Emily says:

    Go get ’em, Coleman!

  4. Thomas says:

    Excellent rebuttal Dr. Coleman. I especially liked your first comment on going from scientist to activist. I grew up in north Alabama and would watch Dan Satterfield do the weather up there. It is something of a running joke amongst people from the area the Satterfield is a big sensationalist so it comes as no surprise he would be sounding the doom and gloom over a spectre like global warming from human use of fossil fuel.

  5. Brandon in Atlanta says:

    You should take over weatherbrains one night and have a one on one debate (be nice though) with Mr. Satterfield.

    I for one found good points between both of you. Would love to “hear” more about this between both of you without the horn!

  6. Chris M. says:

    Sensationalism- Dan knows all about it. Ever since he took his global warming position public- I’ve turned him off- for weather and science.

  7. Rhett says:

    Excellent work, Dr Coleman. Like a previous poster, I lived for a time in northern Alabama (UNA ’97) and watched Satterfield. The worse the weather, the more silly he became. His follow-ups to your rebuttal are petulant, to put it mildly.

    He’s just another idealogue who prefers manipulated and selective psuedo-science to logic, reason, and common sense.

  8. Greg says:

    It will be interesting in 5 or 10 years when the CO rates start declining due to the normal cycles of life to see how Mr. Satterfield continues to defend his “scientific” political position.

  9. townrunner says:

    Why don’t we just plant more trees….. 🙂

  10. Will says:

    Satterfield looks like Alfalfa…

  11. Wayne Ingram says:

    I say plant a bunch of cannibus (The male non getting high type, for those who object) which grows at a much, much faster rate than trees.
    Wayne On The Lake (Weiss)

  12. Hypotenuse says:

    Interesting comments. I thought Satterfield made more points in the debate. Most readers here (myself included) have never actually read any of the pertinent scientific papers, so we’re just judging from representations of them in the popular media. And most likely we’re picking the conclusions that best fit our world view.

    Looking at a few basic points (which are nicely summarized at the following NASA site), it’s hard to deny that changes are occurring—dramatic and measurable ones.

    Whether they are natural (and possibly one way), cyclical, or man made isn’t immediately clear, although the ol’ hockey stick graph is certainly provocative. And there are feedback effects not mentioned there. For example, melting permafrost across the tundra are releasing large amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas more potent than CO2.

    In my opinion, the burden has now shifted to the anthropogenic global warming critics to present an alternative. If human activity isn’t to blame, what is? Claiming it’s natural or cyclical no longer enough. What’s driving it?

    Too bad the Orbiting Carbon Observatory and Glory both failed. They might have provided some real answers.

  13. JP says:

    Your post on THIS blog about his post on THAT BLOG is sort of hypocritical. You accuse Satterfield (of whom I know absolutely nothing about) of turning the debate into something political, yet that’s essentially what you’re doing here. That blog is, as you suggest, for scientists. This blog is, as I see it, for keeping track of the weather. By virtue of you pointing this blogs readers to your post on that blog, you’re essentially disseminating your political opinion. I don’t think that belongs here.

  14. Ruth Lovell says:

    I think when I lived in Alabama, my uncle used to say “You just can’t match wits with an unarmed person”.

    Or aqnother way to put it–You shouldn’t be trying to have a real intellectual conversation with a person who is intellectually challenged.

    Anther way to put it “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear’.
    After reading his comments, I have come to the conclusion that
    it is obvious he is an mentally unarmed,intellectually challenged, sows _ _ _ .

  15. Mark says:

    Do I think the World is warming, I don’t know. Do I think we will ever be of fossil fuels? Not a chance. What I do know is, we humans are not taking very good care of the planet God gave us. The Bible is by NO MEANS a scientific book, but it does say “God will bring to ruin, those ruining the earth.” (Rev. 11:18) The only hope we have is for God’s Kingdom to begin ruling here on the earth. Then whatever He wants us to do will DEFINATELY not harm the earth.

  16. Jon says:

    Satterfield employs typical leftist logic. First, argue that “the science is settled” in favor of your preferred position. When, as expected, Dr. Coleman notes that, no, the science is anything BUT settled in that direction, Satterfield retorts that John Christy and other climate scientists of his view are not “real scientists.” Well, wait, but John Christy is a climatologist, and thus more of a climate scientist than Satterfield, right? No, says Satterfield, because Christy and company hold the “wrong” position, thus they cannot “really” be scientists. Amazing how when the terms are thus defined, suddenly these debates are “settled.”

  17. Brad Baughan says:

    I am not a climatologist, nuclear physicist, meteorologists, politician nor an English major but I would like to inject my two cents! I did not see in your post where reactor #3 at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant uses a different fuel than the other reactors on site. It’s what’s known as mox fuel. About 6 percent of the fuel rods in reactor #3 or mox which is mixed-oxide” (MOX) fuel, which contains plutonium as well as uranium. You know as well as I when you add plutonium in the mix, which by way has a half life of 24,000 years and just one minute particle of plutonium inhaled in the lungs would kill you in a day or two. With that being said we do not know what truths or lies are being told about the 6 reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant or the other plants that hardly mentioned. Anyways plutonium is a different ballgame it could affect Japan and surrounding areas for 10,000 years and yes if and only if a large amount drifted across the pacific that could spell double trouble. Regardless if the mox fuel melted down and released plutonium a large area of Japan will be uninhabitable for a long time. And on a side note about the argument on energy policies is neither here nor there. I for one know we need a change, it could have been done long ago just like a lot of things in the U.S. It all boils to down to roughly two things its called greed on one hand and being spoiled on the other. We need to come together as a nation and world and use something we have lost its call good old fashion common sense! But I fear that is a dirty word here in America.

  18. Hypotenuse says:

    @Jon – That’s a horrible misrepresentation of the debate, which was refreshingly free of ad hominem attacks. At no point did Satterfield question Christy’s credentials as a scientist. He quoted another climate researcher, Benjamin Santer of Lawrence Livermore Labs, who disagreed with his testimony, with a great deal of specificity. I have know idea who’s right, but the claims of both sides have been laid out for verification.

  19. Jaa says:

    Isn’t Satterfield thr one that claimed “cows lie down before rain” or ” If you see cows laying down it’s going to rain.” something real scientific heh…

  20. Casey says:

    I’m surprised Dan Scatterbrain didn’t randomly throw in a star/planet comment. I recently moved within his viewing area (from ABC 33/40s area) and I miss you guys terribly! He will be covering a tornado warning on TV and facebooking about some abnormal microorganism they found at the North Pole at the same time. Always so random with his thoughts and quick to post things without thinking. If you look at his facebook posts from the last 2 days, he’s talking about radiation levels and he’s constantly flipping back and forth correcting himself.

  21. GoldwingDave says:

    Sorry, there are too many big words in the debate for me to understand. 🙂

  22. Brandon in Atlanta says:

    Need to leave the political and religious stuff OUT of this debate or the debate will simply go no where.
    I’m a Christian man but what have I always been told NOT to bring up at the dinner table? Religion and politics is something I personally have always found interest in and love reading into these topics but these topics need to stay OUT of this debate. Scientist are not Christian, Muslim, Buddist, Republican, Democrat or Libertarian. Allow yourself to indulge in Science and open your mind to different points and form yours from what you have already learned. Don’t let religion and politics contaminate the scientific debate.

    If you don’t agree with GW on the level of some, that does make you a Republican bible thumper and if you agree with GW and agree with others who consider it a crisis, this does not make you a leftist atheist.

    Get back to the science and leave the political/religious garbage out of it!

  23. Jason says:

    These same global warming people also believe we came from monkeys. By the way hypotenuse…. NASA is government funded. No gov. money – no Nasa. What findings do you expect them to come up with? Just because it is from NASA doesn’t make it fact.

  24. Mike says:

    I’d rather blog readers not comment over there, since it is more of a scientist’s discussion right now. But, I’d love to see comments here. I thought this was the U.S.A. ? I will post where I feel like it. You can`t win an argument or make a point when your telling regular weather nerds what to do with there posts and comments. Your becoming part of the problem now.

  25. Dave says:

    Drop Dan on the reactor and let him see how safe it is. He can tell them to get used to it.
    I have 0% concern over warming. Genesis 8, 24; While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter and day and night shall not cease.

  26. brad baughan says:

    I would like to see Dan will really hold plutonium in his hand from his response on the scientists blog.
    That is precisely my point,not one ounce of common one seems to care or possess this quality anymore

  27. PineTar says:

    I tried to post with them science fellers and they bumped me twice. Hang in there with them brad. they demand paragraphs rather than meaningful comments it seems. their editor/monitor has one critical eye.

  28. pine tar says:

    News! Radiation levels rising in California. Do not buy milk, lettice, or anything else from California. That strontium 90 is bad for your liver and bones.

    Run for the cave.

  29. Mike says:

    Thumbs up on Jon’s post.

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