Dana1981 asked in EnvironmentGlobal Warming · 1 decade ago

Where do global warming deniers get this idea that AGW realists live lives of excess?

One denier recently asked a question about an article by Pat Sajak (game show host for 'Wheel of Fortune', of all people) suggesting that "True Believers would give up their cars and big homes and truly change the way they live".


A denier answering the question said AGW realists "just want to force others to do things that they are even willing to do." Another said realists don't "practice what they preach."


Where do deniers get this idea that AGW realists live lives of excess and don't practice what they preach? That's certainly not the case for me or any AGW realists I know. I don't own a big home or big car, in fact I rarely even drive a car.

Do deniers really think that all AGW realists live like Al Gore or something?


Karen - go take your own advice and learn a little physics before lecturing people who know more than you about climate science, please.

Update 2:

"What kind of nitwit would give Karen a thumbs up?

jim z - Say it ain't so."

Ouch. Now *that* left a mark!

Update 3:

Yo, jimbo, use your brain for once. Karen isn't saying we can't conclude the warming isn't natural (which we can and have concluded, by the way). She's saying it's hubris to claim that humans could possibly be causing global warming because we're just so darn insignificant.

You got such a ***** from the fact that somebody tried to give me a 'zinger' than you didn't even bother to read what the zinger was. Neither of you answered the question, by the way.

Update 4:

Oh and jim, you claim "We have also had general warming for 300 due to other reasons."

Could you please educate us as to what those "other reasons" are?

21 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Thankyou! i'm getting so sick of hearing that same excuse over and over. that we somehow gobble up more energy than 100 families combined.

    I myself don't drive, i bike or walk. I haven't used an A/C in years, haven't used a dryer in years (hang laundry outside) I buy things that are organic or have no petroleum based ingredients. Most of the lights in the SMALL house are almost always off.

    And most AGW realists are the same way and drive, at most, a hybrid or some tiny car.

    Another all time classic excuse is "well your bike tires/computer keyboard/whathaveyou is made with oil so that means i can have 20 hummers running 24/7 and leave my 5 A/C's on even when i'm not home"

    So because i'm trapped into using oil in some form i have no right to ask for something different?

    To me, both those excuses are just attempts to buy more time. when every argument is exhausted and every "scam" myth is debunked the deniers will just up and say "look, we're gonna destroy this earth so just stfu and try and stop us"

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    BB deleted his question. Seems to happen when answers presented conflict with denier reality.

    "Why don't you go live in a yurt while I fly back and forth between LA and NY a few more dozen times this year and we’ll see what happens?"

    Real helpful suggestion there.

    Pat's analysis went wrong with the 1/3 - 2/3 thing. In reality, 4/5 of the world lives off grid and without advanced technology. Therefore, 1/5 of the world is causing the problem. Of the 1+ billion people in the developed world, 1/3 of them could drop dead tomorrow and the problem would remain.

    The bottom line is that the US, which is 5% of the world's population, uses 25% of the energy.

    He is trying to justify his willful ignorance by transference and blaming others. It's really a microcosm of our societal denial. I will block out anything that conflicts with my established world view and blame you for bringing me contradictory information. It's perverse.

    Here is an analogy that maybe the reactionary right can understand. We have structural deficit problems in the US. We’ve made commitments for Medicare and Social Security that we will never be able honor because expenditures will always outstrip revenue. The only fix is to make sacrifices now - to cut benefits or raise taxes. Or, as our esteemed German friends have pointed out, to never have let yourself get into the situation in the first place.

    We’ve done the same thing with the environment. We’ve spent 100 years building our infrastructure and society in such a way that it has locked us into an energy intensive future. I couldn’t live in the woods if I wanted to. I have to live in a dwelling with an occupancy permit, with sewerage, water, heat and electricity - by law - code and zoning. The only way to fix the problem is to make sacrifices now - to cut energy use or make the investment to convert to clean energy. Or, go back in time 35 years to the first energy crisis and do what was promised – cut our dependence on foreign oil in 10 years. Oh well.

    I wonder, of those 1+ billion, how many are uber consumers who are really, really causing the problem? Or is just living in the developed world enough? I drive a 40mpg car, don't fly, super insulated my house, change all the light bulbs, carefully scrutinize every purchase to avoid non recyclable waste, salvage and store materials for reuse, and joined an organic co-op. Is that enough to make a difference? Personally I don’t think so, but I try to live by example.

    If everyone did this, including business and government, energy use and waste would drop by ½. Of course, the consumer economy would tank.

  • Red E3
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I would have to agree that it is a straw man argument

    That being said the root of this argument probably began with Al Gore and his energy consumption vs George Bush


    One must admit that there is a certain amount of irony here. The Nation’s most powerful proponent vs. the nation’s most powerful skeptic (or denier if you must) with opposite views and opposite actions as well.

    Although not scientific it is a powerful emotional argument. It is not unlike the Preacher who chastises his flock for evil thoughts and is then caught with his pants down.

    Policy is often made on emotion and not empirical truth.

    In society we expect that if you talk the talk you should walk the walk.

    Dana or anyone else on this board who would argue “that’s not how I live” is a moot point.



    Good point

    Let me clarify my position. When I say what Dana and others do is moot, I must admit I was wrong to say that. It does matter. I am sure by his posts that he cares deeply about the subject. I am sure he considers it every day and does his best to act locally and think globally. I might not agree with everything he says but I admire his passion.

    However even as a top contributor on YA he does not shape policy or have the impact of a Al Gore, Pat Sajak or Brad Pitt. These are the folks that are out in front of the televisions. I am pretty sure I am not going to turn on Nightline or Larry King and see Dana as the authority on global warming. These are the folks that are going to be slammed in the straw man argument. Not Dana.

    The point is that most of us do not shape the policy. An Al Gore with his seemingly hypocritical ways is a powerful emotional argument. He is a policy maker and shaker. The man is not an energy hog he is an energy whale. My god over 18,000kwh per month whew.. It would take more than 4.5 years for me to consume as much as Al does in one month. As I pointed out I contend the root of the straw man argument starts with Big Al.

    I am not one to play the denier vs believer argument. I think there are many on the side that there is global warming that live opulent energy lifestyles. I think there are also many that believe global warming is a hoax that live a frugal energy lifestyle.

    The argument is to broad a brush for my tastes.

    Good luck with your remodel. Should you want some advice off line I would be willing to look at your ideas and possibly come up with some suggestions you might not have thought of.

    Source(s): http://rede3.com
  • endpov
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I think you answered this question with your closing remark (question) : Do deniers really think that all AGW realists live like Al Gore or something?

    Yes, it is looking like Al is the poster child for the deniers dubious grievances, although Al and his documentary helped enormously to bring the serious nature of and the denial that exists towards this issue to light.

    Unfortunately, there are a few things that we who are not deniers should address properly, and that is 1) the fact that there are those that are opportunistic and are going to end up bringing their own radical agendas to the discussion table of this serious issue of global warming and climate change and we need to somehow minimize the damage that lunatics like your buddy there, Monkton, could potentially bring to genuine efforts of minimizing damage from global warming and climate change.

    and 2) There are millions and millions of people who really want to be a part of the global movement of helping to preserve and, quite literally, "save", the world if you will. However, the vast majority of these millions who could really make the largest difference are consumers. In other words, they, like you and I, most likely would really like to do more than just change light bulbs from incandescent to progressively more efficient compact flourescents, drive a hybrid vehicle, stop using plastic (PVC) bags and packaging, etc... but there is nothing major that is being presented to these millions that makes it attractive to make the necessary changes. So, at the end of the day, the many people who really do care end up being called everything from wealthy hypocrites to leftist radicals and everything in between (even though most are not), and everything remains "business as usual" until some kind of modern day "pompeii" or "titanic" tragedy wakes everyone up to the fact that something really should be done to halt runaway global warming and climate change - emphasis on the word runaway. I know this sounds alarming, but if that is what it is, then so be it - we need to do something about it ! If something can be done and it is at all possible, then we should really start now (which it appears we have started) and continue until this, our only earth, appears safe from progressing to something beyond what basic living conditions require... Think it can't happen? Let's not find out... And even if you're the only one "ringing the alarm" about the rapidly melting proverbial icebergs dead ahead, you should probably keep ringing the alarm. Imagine if someone had saved the Titanic from hitting that iceberg? That would mean hundreds of lives saved. Well today, it looks like we are on a much larger Titanic called Earth...

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  • 1 decade ago

    While there are probably some exceptions most of the scientists I know drive simple cars lead pretty quite life styles. It is pretty common practice for deniers to try and attack what they call alarmists and they usually try to drag in environmentalists as well.

    I do have to say seeing jim talk about someone else's "doppelganger" is about the funniest thing I've heard in ages, talk about irony.

    But then I'm still trying to figure out what was supposed to have 'left a mark' from karens statement the figure that we occupy anything even remotely close to 25% of the Earths surface is laughable.


    "Why don't you go to a nice school that teaches geology so that you can learn a little, little, little bit about glacial and interglacial periods in earth's history."

    This is just strange, as there is no mention of glacial or interglacial in the above question, and I'm sure from previous answers I've seen from you (Dana), you are well aware of the timing of glacial periods anyway.

    Now someone who actually does know about these things might have mentioned that the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) was 20,000 years ago not 12,000


    You would think even a pretend geologist would know that.

    If you look at the records for the last 3 ice ages it is usual that we take ~5000 years to come out of them and far longer to go back into themas is obvious in the following graph.


    Which always makes me laugh when I see deniers claiming we are going into an ice age because of a mere decade of cooling (even if there actually had been cooling) or because 2008 was cool.

    But you will get those sorts of statements from people pretending to have knowledge or qualifications they clearly don't really possess, won't you Jim.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


    It's probably my fault.

    I own three vehicles.

    First one is a '74 Trans Am with a big old V8 that's been modified to put out north of 400 HP. Of course it doesn't accumulate much mileage. I've owned it for...12 years and have put about 12k miles on it. It had 102k when I bought it.

    Second is an '02 Silvarado 1500 with a 4.8L V8 (the smallest) that is only used when the room or hauling capability is needed (such as dog shows or horse transport). I've owned it for a bit over two years and have put about 5k miles on it. Bought (practically stole, considering the gas prices) it with 170k on it (it was extremely clean and well maintained by a neighbor).

    Third is the daily driver which of course is a little red sporty thing with full power, AC, upgraded stereo, aftermarket alloy rims and ultra high performance tires. It's a '98 4-door Neon with a 2L 4-cyl engine and a 5 spd...and it gets 30+ MPG in the city with the AC running full blast. I've owned it for about eight years and have put about 80k miles on it for a total of 158k on the odometer.

    Other than that, I'm extremely frugal, so wasting electricity isn't something I do at all. Lights are always off to the point of annoying people and while I have three computers, one if off 90+% of the time, the laptop is sleeping 90% of the time and my computer is sleeping maybe 50% of the time. Since I use it for work, though, it's not really avoidable. TV hardly gets watched, phone chargers and the like are on power strips that are rarely on... Remodeling the house to be about twice as energy efficient... Can't think of anything else at the moment. Was up coding late last night and since early this morning...


    >>In society we expect that if you talk the talk you should walk the walk.<< -Red E3

    I think that was the point of the question... That deniers are expecting the realists to give up our evidently opulent lifestyles of academic study and jostling numbers around to make computer models say what we want.

    >>Dana or anyone else on this board who would argue “that’s not how I live” is a moot point.<< -Red E3

    Um... Actually, I thought that was the whole point of the article and the linked question. Thing is that if the conscientious among us gave up more and lived on even a smaller carbon footprint, the deniers would feel perfectly justified then to consume more...since that's their mentality.

    Edit 1.1:

    Thanks for the clarification. I see what you're saying... I don't really watch TV and really couldn't care less about celebrities' opinions most of the time, so I guess I can miss that angle.

    As for the remodel, short-term return on investment is the major concern. The house will be sold within ten years (that being the farthest possibility). Things that I would do in new construction, or in a remodel for a permanent residence aren't in the budget, unfortunately. Like, I'd love to jack the house up and put in a nice ICF foundation and finish off the basement (which trust me would pay for itself over about 30 years) or install solar (the house gets awesome sun, but the resale value of the installation isn't there)... If money wasn't an object in the short term, I'd just do all the upgrades and then keep the property as a rental until the improvements were paid off, even if I just broke even in the end...

    Edit 2:

    >>I don't think many really deny that the planet warms and cools,<< - Fight Tyranny

    They deny that it warms and cools for reasons that are inconvenient to their argument. They deny that it warms due to CO2 and they deny that it cools due to dimming and they will deny that the solar cycle and the Milankovitch cycles expect cooling...

    >>so calling people names just because they don't believe the way you do shows severe immaturity on your part.<<

    What names? "Denier"? That's not a name, that's a label - and a pretty accurate one at that.

    >>Seriously, are you paid to push this AGW nonsense?<<

    Some people care and don't need recompense to express their concerns and attempt to educate others.

    >>I've never seen someone so incensed that everyone doesn't believe in his religion,<<

    That's funny. I guess you don't spend much time analyzing denier responses in this category. Science isn't a religion and listening to what scientists say isn't religious behavior. Discounting science and putting your faith in blogs and Fox News' commentators...now *that* is religious behavior.

    >>but seriously, you really don't need to be such a baby about it.<<

    Huh. Weren't you just bawling about being called names? Poor little thing... I guess you didn't get your nap today.

    I've always said that the second you bring up the maturity of another, you've shown yours.

    >>Everyone doesn't have to believe in the same thing, do they?<<

    Of course not. But if you don't "believe" that 2 + 2 = 4, then the problem doesn't lie with those who try to convince you that it does. You don't have to believe that 2 + 2 = 4 either...but you should be prepared for people to get frustrated when you insist that *they* are the ones that just don't understand arithmetic.

    >>But to answer the question, people get the idea that AGW believers live lives of excess by taking one look at Al Gore's lifestyle.<<

    So if that's the reason, don't you have a problem with that? Do you think that it's right to judge a group of people based on the actions of one, or even a few?

    So then you won't mind it if I insult the entirety of the denier movement every single time that certain persons post supremely idiotic drivel here? It would at least be more justified since deniers tend to completely stand behind what other deniers say, even if it's in direct contradiction with their own claims.

    Oh wait, above you said that realists can't insult deniers...right before you hurled an insult.


  • 1 decade ago

    Where? The same place where they get the idea that the hundred Nobel prizewinners (okay, only 90 of them were actually scientists) who marked 100 years of Nobel prizes by signing a letter warning about global warming are incompetents who don't understand physics.





    Liam: "The El Nina weather systems, which many blame on Global Warming, are caused by water heated by undersea volcanoes off Antarctica." If you can provide good evidence for this extraordinary phenomenon, fame and fortune await you. Links to the evidence please, I'd be extremely interested.

    Fight tyranny: "calling people names just because they don't believe the way you do shows severe immaturity ... but seriously, you really don't need to be such a baby about it." Lol; have you absolutely no sense of the ridiculous?

  • 1 decade ago

    <<Where do global warming deniers get this idea that AGW realists live lives of excess?>>

    In part from you Dana for calling Gore a hypocrite for buying a big house in Monteito.

    And as I pointed out, one does not need air conditioning or heating in that region, so a big house there does not imply increased energy use.


    <<Do deniers really think that all AGW realists live like Al Gore or something?>>

    You did it again!

    Do you really think you are impressing the Deniers by your false "fairness"? Has that worked for you?

    At least the opponents of the Holocaust Deniers do not think they are being moderate and fair by cozying up to the Holocaust Deniers by criticizing Jews for living in big houses.

  • 1 decade ago

    Except for a few non-thinkers who have been deceived by the right-wing talk show hosts, I don't think they really believe that AGW realists live lives of excess. It's just a standard ad hominem fallacy they use without regret for it's deceptive nature.

  • 1 decade ago

    Im a research scientist, i don't have the money to live a life of excess! :). I think the idea gives them something resembling ammunition to attack scientific realists with. If they can turn it into a political / lifestyle issue maybe it will cover up the fact they have zero scientific credibility?

    And Karen, i am a biogeochemist, i have lectured to undergraduates in geology and assure you, it is apparently you who needs to do a little learning. If you actually had a genuine knowledge of geological history you would know that if natural processes were to blame the earth would currently be in a cooling phase. And, the warming we are currently experiencing is occurring at a speed never seen before in the geological record, and that includes when we come out of an ice age. I'm used to stupid questions from students, so feel free to email me any you may have, i hate to see ignorance like yours.


    "Adrian isn't very well versed on geology". Sorry, but considering the garbage that constantly comes in your posts i'm not in the least bit hurt by your opinion. And while of course there are variations around the trend it is very possible to make a good prediction the earth should be cooling right now. Considering the geologic record shows that the Milankovitch cycles and changes in solar output have been the driving force behind the bulk of climate change for a significant time it is not a big leap to do so in fact.

    But once again i have to remind myself, debating you is a fruitless exercise.


    Judging by the frankly laughable drivel your post contains i don't blame you for giving me a thumbs down, i returned the favor. The difference is, i'm giving you one for writing complete scientific nonsense. Do you actually believe that stuff? And if so, can you please send me some links to peer reviewed articles that support your claims? I am available to email.

    Oh, and it doesn't matter how many times you cut and paste this rubbish into the other answers, it still ain't right.

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