Wednesday, December 23, 2009

[ LETTER ] from Bruce Higgins, Climate Change Letter Writer in Flagstaff, Arizona

[ LETTER TO EDITOR of the Taipei Times in Taiwan in Asia from a letter writer in Arizona state USA who is not a regular reader of the newspaper since he does not live in the country but in this day and age of Internet Time and Internet Access, a print newspaper with a web address and a good news website becomes an international newspaper, and readers anywhere in the world can find articles about issues that interest them via Google searches and RSS feeds, and that is probably how this letter to the editor of a far away newspaper came to be -- and came to be published in the print edition of that newspaper today, too. Long live the Internet, for better or worse, 'til death do us part...]



Dec 24, 3009

Credibility challenged

Dear Editor of the Taipei Times:

Visiting German Professor Bruno Walther in Taipei makes several ad hominem attacks on Danish global warming denialist Bjorn Lomborg in his opinion piece (“Global economy must be rebuilt,” Dec. 21 issue). One of these borders on dishonesty and deserves a challenge, going directly to Walther’s own credibility. He states: “The Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty (DCSD) showed that [a book Lomborg authored] contained deliberately misleading, biased and fabricated data, flawed statistics and misrepresented conclusions, and was thus a clear case of scientific dishonesty contrary to the standards of good scientific practice (www.lomborg-errors.dk).” Note the url address of Walther’s source.

What Dr Walther did not say was that the DCSD report was withdrawn after the committee itself was found to have not documented the very review they supposedly conducted by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation in Denmark. Further, the ministry found the DCSD’s work to be “dissatisfactory,” “completely void of argumentation,” “open to criticism” and “emotional.”

The DCSD was given an opportunity to redo their work but declined to do so.

Surely Dr Walther knows this, since the action was taken in 2003.

Sincerely,

BRUCE HIGGINS
Flagstaff, Arizona
This letter has been viewed 123,256, 274 times.

Bruce Higgins
Owner, Paradigm Planning Resources, LLC
Flagstaff, Arizona Area
Education BS Forest Management & Recreation
3 connections Industry Renewables & Environment


Mr Higgins then writes to a blog in Taiwan saying:

I am the 'Bruce Higgins' who wrote that letter in the Taipei Times.

The ironic thing to me is that, after all the poison spewed by Dr. Walther (and in my view entirely contrary to what people playing on their credentials as PhDs should do), he ends up supporting a central proposal Lomborg has made.

I see others heading this way, as well, after Copenhagen, but my guess is that those who profess most ardently about saving the planet will loose interest in the dirty, mundane (and less expensive) tasks of actually raising the lot of humanity. Much of this movement seems to be fueled by 'joiners' who may not really have any thoughts of their own about the cause, but feel a great hunger for life to matter.

And, as Phil Jones often wrote, "Cheers."

Bruce

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

"This letter has been viewed 123,256, 274 times."

No way!

dan said...

Yes, WAY!

123, 256, 275 times now! Truth!

dan said...

but one question for you Bruce, since you are not in Taiwan, why on Earth did you write a letter to editor to the Taipei Times sicne you do not subscribe to the paper or read it regularly? My guess is you read the Gemran professor's oped by a google search for your own interests and after reading it you deiced to write letter to the newspaper, and that;s cool. it's a new world where enwspaeprse have a global reach now....the Taipei Times often prints loetters from non-readers of the paper who live in London, OZ and now Flagstff. cool. you have made newspaper history. i call these print papers now SNAILPAPERs.....sicne they arrive at our doorsteps each mornign with news that is 12 hours late...haha....but tell me, how did you come acrosos the GErman prof's oped piece at first? DISH!

Anonymous said...

Aw, heck, Dan, I'll bite, even tho' it seems to be only you and I chatting.

I read portions of the Taipei Times a few times a month. My daughter taught English there for a year and I visited in November 2008.

There were a number of Nationalist rallies going on at the time around Peace Park and I found myself quite moved by both the depth of feeling and the good manners of the protesters. (They even waited for crossing lights to come on!) Made me think about the very real threats a tiny democracy faces from a large dictatorship the US is much more interested in playing with - for economic rather than philosophical reasons. Most people here wouldn't have a clue this is even going on, but the Taiwanese are much like the American colonists in the 1700s with their spirit of hard work and their divisions about freedom or not.

As to your blog posting, you are correct that I have an RSS feed that alerted me to the letter I responded to. I'm not sure why this matters however. Dr. Walther is not Taiwanese and his misstatements are not of Asian origin either. If science and fact about this issue are somehow subject to borders then we have truly mixed religion with science. And surely you wouldn't argue that climate change is a local issue; there is virtually nothing Taiwan could do to change its course by even 0.0001 degree nor 0.01 cm of sea level.

Also, I just checked the Times archive and find my original letter was viewed less than 600 times. So, your claim of over 123 million (with only you & I commenting no less!) is spurious. So here is a poser for you: Why does the issue for you seem to be whether letters to the editor come from people in Taiwan rather than factual misstatements by people trading on their PhD's at Taiwanese academic institutions?

Cheers,
Bruce

dan said...

Hi Bruce,

yes, just me and you chatting here. I get two visitors per year, and now 3, including you. so this is a private conversation for sure.

good commeents and actually, i fully agree with you that in this day and age of Internet and online websites, anyone can read any newspaper anywhere, and any reader, no matter where he or she lives, can write a letter to the editor and it is perfectly legit for the editors to publish those letters from overseas readers, because, yes, a reader is a reader, no borders now. I agree. and you had every right to write that good letter taking issue with Dr X's cockamaie BS from his PHD pulpit, i also agreed with your letter. So there! we are on the same page.

I was just joshing you earlier. to make a friend. me age 60. you?

NOW I see your relationship to Taiwan and yes, yr observations about the demonstrators in Taipei were insightful and right on. I love living here just becausse of all that....this is democracy central....still fighting over what it all means.....very interesting to watch.... by the way, are you pro AGW or anti AGW? just curious. If you are anti AGW that's okay, maybe you can read my oped in the Taipei Times last Dedc. 16 about future climate change on this island nation and respoond with a letter to the editor taking me to task for my cockamie ideas.... do it. I like to have these kinds of converstations and letters to the editor are good too. do it

see www.taipeitimes.com for "dan Bloom" dec. 16 issue, editorial page, titled "Imagine Taiwan in the year 2500".....not to worry, i have no PHD or academic cred, just a blogger....and a longtime letter writer worldwide like you. I wrote to you here because i like your spunk. we are brothers! you can find me offline anytime at danbloom AT gmail DOT com

dan said...

here. if it moves you one way or another, do write a letter in opposition to what i said, and send me cc too....i like good debates...DANNY

Published on Taipei Times

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2009/12/16/2003461088

Imagine Taiwan in the year 2500

By Dan Bloom

Wednesday, Dec 16, 2009, Page 8
Two recent articles about climate change (“How much more proof is needed for people to act?” and “Ignoring the future — the psychology of denial,” Dec. 4, page 9) emphasized the importance of facing major issues that will have an impact on the future of the human species. Climate change is indeed an issue that is on everyone’s mind, and while Taiwan seems to be far removed from the experts who recently made their way to Copenhagen to try to hammer out blueprints to prevent global warming from having a Doomsday impact on humankind, Taiwan is also on the front lines of these issues.

Despite most observers’ belief that solutions lie in mitigation, there are a growing number of climatologists and scientists who believe that the A-word — adaptation — must be confronted head-on, too. The fact is — despite the head-in-the-sand protestations of denialists like Marc Morano and Sarah Palin in the US — that we cannot stop climate change or global warming. The Earth’s atmosphere has already passed the tipping point, and in the next 500 years, temperatures and sea levels will rise considerably and millions, even billions, of people from the tropical and temperate zones will be forced to migrate in search of food, fuel and shelter

dan said...

link...one long URL

http://www.taipeitimes.com
/News/editorials/archives/2009/12/16/2003461088

dan said...

well said sir: so true too

There were a number of Nationalist rallies going on at the time around Peace Park and I found myself quite moved by both the depth of feeling and the good manners of the protesters. (They even waited for crossing lights to come on!) Made me think about the very real threats a tiny democracy faces from a large dictatorship the US is much more interested in playing with - for economic rather than philosophical reasons. Most people here wouldn't have a clue this is even going on, but the Taiwanese are much like the American colonists in the 1700s with their spirit of hard work and their divisions about freedom or not.

dan said...

As to your blog posting, you are correct that I have an RSS feed that alerted me to the letter I responded to. JUST GUESSED!

I'm not sure why this matters however. DOES NOT MATTER!

Dr. Walther is not Taiwanese and his misstatements are not of Asian origin either. GOOD POINT

If science and fact about this issue are somehow subject to borders then we have truly mixed religion with science. TRUE.

And surely you wouldn't argue that climate change is a local issue; there is virtually nothing Taiwan could do to change its course by even 0.0001 degree nor 0.01 cm of sea level. TRUE YES YES YES

Also, I just checked the Times archive and find my original letter was viewed less than 600 times. I WAS TEASING YOU. MY DANNY HUMOR. SMILE

So, your claim of over 123 million (with only you & I commenting no less!) is spurious. MORE THAN SPURIOUS. COMPLETELY JOKING.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Dan:

57.

I'm not pro-AGW, because that sounds as if I support more of it. But I do think it is part of what is happening on Earth right now.

Where I generally get off the bus is over what to do about it. Both "everything" and "nothing" are rather silly answers many people seem to support. Fear is a great motivator and both groups use it to their 'advantage'.

Humans have been so successful because we have an incredible power to solve problems and adapt. Those who think we'll just go as other species before us will be as wrong as previous predictions of our demise, I expect. But I am also concerned about know-nothings holding sway - denying (and perhaps more importantly, failing to understand the way of) science and how it can help us on the road ahead. Mix these in with a dash of scientists who fail to understand they cannot be both scientist and advocate. Top it all off with fine, green lucre blended with a desire for power to attract more of the previous three and you have a mass of wasted effort, lots of heat and almost no light.

So I tend to listen to the few calm voices available. Lomborg is one. A few others seem to be coming along now that Copenhagen has dashed their hopes and they are looking for another way. Maybe we'll get a focus on mitigation where needed most (esp.the developing world) and research incentives to make low-GHG tech more economic.

Cheers, Bruce

dan said...

Hi Bruce, my younger brother....

I just had heart attack on Nov. 6, week in the local ICU, great doc and murses , great medical care here,,,,stent in my heart now, ,,,fit as fiddle until.....THE GRIM REAPEr comes calling again...

re your comments above. GOOD AS USUAL ! my comments in CAPS

I'm not pro-AGW, because that sounds as if I support more of it. SMILE

But I do think it is part of what is happening on Earth right now. SIGH.

Where I generally get off the bus is over what to do about it. ME TOO. MY REAX IS TO IMAGINE POLAR CITIES....BUT VERY SPECULATIVE I KNOW

http://pcillu101.blogspot.com


Both "everything" and "nothing" are rather silly answers many people seem to support. BUT WHAT CAN WE DO? I FEAR WE ARE DOOMED DOOMED, but not for another 500 years so there is time to prepare for polar cities..

Fear is a great motivator and both groups use it to their 'advantage'.

I AM NOT WITH FEAR. I AM WITH HOPE.

Humans have been so successful because we have an incredible power to solve problems and adapt. YES YES YES. THATS WHERE MY POLAR CITIES IDEAS COME FROM...

Those who think we'll just go as other species before us will be as wrong as previous predictions of our demise, I expect. 1 MILLION WILL SURVIVE in 2500, 15 billion will die and the 1 million will keep us going...

But I am also concerned about know-nothings holding sway - denying (and perhaps more importantly, failing to understand the way of) science and how it can help us on the road ahead. TELL ME MORE


Mix these in with a dash of scientists who fail to understand they cannot be both scientist and advocate. TRUE

Top it all off with fine, green lucre blended with a desire for power to attract more of the previous three and you have a mass of wasted effort, lots of heat and almost no light. SIGH

So I tend to listen to the few calm voices available. Lomborg is one. YES....

A few others seem to be coming along now that Copenhagen has dashed their hopes and they are looking for another way. I LIKE JAMES LOVELOCK BEST OF ALL


Maybe we'll get a focus on mitigation where needed most (esp.the developing world) and research incentives to make low-GHG tech more economic.
I PRAY FOR US ALL...

dan said...

Hi Bruce, my younger brother....

I just had heart attack on Nov. 6, week in the local ICU, great doc and murses , great medical care here,,,,stent in my heart now, ,,,fit as fiddle until.....THE GRIM REAPEr comes calling again...

re your comments above. GOOD AS USUAL ! my comments in CAPS

I'm not pro-AGW, because that sounds as if I support more of it. SMILE

But I do think it is part of what is happening on Earth right now. SIGH.

Where I generally get off the bus is over what to do about it. ME TOO. MY REAX IS TO IMAGINE POLAR CITIES....BUT VERY SPECULATIVE I KNOW

http://pcillu101.blogspot.com


Both "everything" and "nothing" are rather silly answers many people seem to support. BUT WHAT CAN WE DO? I FEAR WE ARE DOOMED DOOMED, but not for another 500 years so there is time to prepare for polar cities..

Fear is a great motivator and both groups use it to their 'advantage'.

I AM NOT WITH FEAR. I AM WITH HOPE.

Humans have been so successful because we have an incredible power to solve problems and adapt. YES YES YES. THATS WHERE MY POLAR CITIES IDEAS COME FROM...

Those who think we'll just go as other species before us will be as wrong as previous predictions of our demise, I expect. 1 MILLION WILL SURVIVE in 2500, 15 billion will die and the 1 million will keep us going...

But I am also concerned about know-nothings holding sway - denying (and perhaps more importantly, failing to understand the way of) science and how it can help us on the road ahead. TELL ME MORE


Mix these in with a dash of scientists who fail to understand they cannot be both scientist and advocate. TRUE

Top it all off with fine, green lucre blended with a desire for power to attract more of the previous three and you have a mass of wasted effort, lots of heat and almost no light. SIGH

So I tend to listen to the few calm voices available. Lomborg is one. YES....

A few others seem to be coming along now that Copenhagen has dashed their hopes and they are looking for another way. I LIKE JAMES LOVELOCK BEST OF ALL


Maybe we'll get a focus on mitigation where needed most (esp.the developing world) and research incentives to make low-GHG tech more economic.
I PRAY FOR US ALL...