How core values influence belief in global warming

by Dr. Ed Berry, Daily Inter Lake, Montana, Sunday, August 15, 2010 (Page C7)

Morrie Shechtman gave a talk in Kalispell on August 6 illustrating how core values differ between liberals and conservatives. The one value that stood out to me was that liberals tend to consider themselves as “fragile” while conservatives tend to consider themselves as “self-reliant.”

This is why liberals favor more government programs to save them from their fragility, while conservatives prefer government to get out of their way.

I reflected upon the fact that global warming believers side with the ecological assumption that our climate is “fragile” while those who use real science do not assign such values to nature. This “fragile” assumption, of course, is exactly what they conclude about the climate. In other words, their conclusion is the same as their assumption. Kind of looks like circular reasoning.

This prompted me to ask Morrie,

“Is it possible the reason more liberals than conservatives “believe” in global warming is because liberals assign their personal core value of being “fragile” to our climate?”

Morrie agreed with this connection and said this is why facts do not matter to global warming believers. Humans will naturally reject any fact that contradicts one of their core values.

We can’t have a rational discussion about science when our opponents believe their position as a religion. Washington DC is  powered by people who believe the liberal religion. Isn’t this what choosing a Supreme Court justice is all about? Values?

This is why science realists can get nowhere attempting to convince true believers of global warming of their fallacy. We are not dealing with rational thought, as required if we are playing the game of science. We are dealing with a religious belief.

How did liberals get this way?

I talked to the Tea Party group in Missoula on August 10. Each time I give a talk about climate change and politics, I learn more about people’s interests. This time, people were very much interested in discussing political options. This led to our university problem, so I will fill you in on what some Tea Party folks are concerned about.

Liberalism is being pushed in our schools and universities.

Our schools and universities have become experts at instilling their desired beliefs into the minds of their students by making the belief become a core value. At the University of Montana (which is the roaches nest of liberal politics in Montana), the university president, a historian by education, made the statement:

“We have plenty of evidence that the climate is changing. I’m 100 percent sure it’s man-caused.”

He was not happy to simply live with his own personal belief. He decided to force his personal belief on the students. So he implemented a program to brainwash students, saying,

“We signed … the sustainability initiative to integrate sustainability into the curriculum and … the educational experience.”

He established an Office of Sustainability, which runs the university “Greening UM” Climate Action Plan and the Sustainability Campus Committee. He established programs to address climate change, like the Forum for Living with Appropriate Technology, Alternative Transportation, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a community to help “green” the campus, and a Sustainability Pledge for all students to sign to commit to reducing their environmental footprint.

Can you say “brainwashing?”

He thereby implemented the United Nations Agenda 21 with its Green Earth Worship Religion on the university campus and forced it upon all the students.

According to our First Amendment, this is unconstitutional.

This Sustainability brainwashing program is way outside the bounds of a public university charter. The president not only forced a religion on the students, he strongly influenced politics to favor liberals, and conservatives are paying for it.

Meanwhile, the university is totally lacking in teaching true atmospheric science and nuclear power technology, to name just two subjects that should be taught.

Yet, far too many conservatives, “fat, dumb, and happy” as the saying goes, have sat still for this enormous attack on their beliefs, their values, their freedom, and their politics.

Many Republicans think their university president is a “good guy” and we should just accept what he does. After all, he makes the social scenes. I say to these Republicans, you will never achieve your political goals if you cannot separate friendship from politics, or a position of power from your political enemy. You are defeating yourselves when you ignore attacks on your conservative values. You have been punched in the face and you have done nothing about it. No wonder liberals run Montana. Democrats play hardball and Republicans play softball.

Well, the current president is retiring …

so he can relax and enjoy driving his carbon-dioxide-producing motor home and the fat retirement pay he will get for so nobly doing his job of brainwashing Montana students.

A selection committee has found a replacement. Their selection criteria pretty much says the next president will be like the last one. Voters had no input on the selection of the president which is arguably the most important political position in the state.

The method of controlling the university is about to change.

The only way to produce the necessary force for change is to vote Republicans back into control. Therefore, I am encouraging Montanan’s (and all Americans) to vote for only Republicans in November and to dump every Democrat on the ballot.

Did I not just say Republicans were about half our problem? Yes I did.

Let’s get realistic: The Democrats are puppets of George Soros and third parties cannot win.

The Democrats are the purveyors of the UN green agenda. They work as a team. They are owned by George Soros who wants to destroy America. Democrats may think they are being good, but they are our enemy because they represent core values that will destroy America.

On the other hand, you don’t win a war by deserting the ship and the Republican Party is the only ship in town.

I know many Republicans running for State and local offices. They are the best of the best in the state Republican Party. They are honest and represent the core values of the conservatives and the Tea Party. They are ready to take on the federal government. They are ready to tax the feds for the property the feds control in Montana, among other things. They are the best citizens we will ever find to represent us. We must elect them.

Are there good independents running also?

Yes there are. But we have to deal with reality again. The Democrats will come out in force for their candidates. They will not be splitting their votes. Republicans cannot afford to split their votes between a Republican and an otherwise good independent. The political risk is too high. At the state level it is essential to have as many Republicans as possible in order to control the committees. Independents will not help.

I know good people who have run as independents or in a third party. This is not personal, but I hope next time you run in the Republican races. This is the only way you can succeed in helping your own political goals.

The single most important race in Montana is Bill Gallagher (Republican) for Public Service Commissioner. We must vote for him.


Reply to Edwin Berry

by Jerry Elwood, Daily Inter Lake, Montana, Sunday, Aug 29, 2010

[Includes comments inserted in brackets by Ed Berry]

This is in response to Ed Berry’s absurd argument in his Aug 15, 2010, Guest Opinion that the basis for the difference between those who believe in “global warming” and those who don’t stems largely from contrasting differences between the core values of liberals (who Berry claims tend to believe for irrational reasons) and conservatives (who he claims tends not to believe for reasons based apparently on some unspecified “real science.”

I will also comment on his opinions about the issue of sustainability and his concerns about this issue being included in the curriculum at one of the state universities in Montana to, according to him, “brainwash” students about what he refers to as a liberal concept.

First, let’s look at Berry’s nonsensical opinion that belief in global warming is largely a liberal idea and a “liberal religion” and is not based upon “real science.” His unsupported assertions are, on all counts, ridiculous when he suggests that liberals are “global warming believers” because they consider themselves “fragile” and believe, therefore, that the climate is also, and reject all facts to the contrary.

The “fragility” of climate, by which Berry presumably means the sensitivity of climate to any imposed forcing, has nothing to do with the core values of people, be they liberal or conservative. Climate sensitivity is a well-accepted term commonly used by scientists to characterize the response of the climate system to an imposed change in the Earth’s radiation balance [he is confusing radiation balance with heat balance]. Climate changes in response to imposed changes in the radiation balance are well documented (

Any such imposed change in this balance is referred to as climate forcing and can be natural, human-induced, or both. Climate sensitivity is most commonly expressed as the equilibrium global mean surface temperature change that would occur if carbon dioxide concentrations were to be sustained at double their pre-industrial value.

In presenting is argument, Berry implies a dichotomy about climate sensitivity or “fragility” that is false, namely that the climate is either sensitive or it isn’t. In fact, what matters is how sensitive the Earth’s climate system is to a given amount of imposed forcing. The current best estimate of the range of equilibrium climate sensitivity is 1.7 to 4.2 degrees Celsius (3 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit) and is unlikely to be less than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) In other words, if the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere were allowed [he assumes CO2 is under our control] to increase to 560 parts per million (ppm) – the pre-industrial level was about 280 ppm and the current concentration is 390 ppm and is increasing – and that concentration was sustained long enough [Well, how long?] for the climate to equilibrate to the resulting forcing, the global surface temperature would increase by 1.7 to 4.2 degrees  Celsius relative to that observed at the beginning of the industrial age.

Further, climate sensitivity greater than the estimated maximum cannot be ruled out. This estimated range of climate sensitivity is constrained by both observations of climate responses to imposed forcings in the past using paleoclimate and historical climate data and by the results from modeling experiments in which sensitivity is estimated by simulating the response of climate to different forcing scenarios using global climate models. There is no scientific evidence from any of these studies [models do not produce evidence] that the climate sensitivity is zero, which is contrary to what Berry implies about the climate not being “fragile” or sensitive.

It is a mystery what “real science” Berry is reading and relying on that tells him the climate is not sensitive to imposed forcing and that global warming is not occurring. [burden of proof is on him] If this so-called “real science” is correct, then how does he explain why or how the climate has changed in the past, why does it undergo large seasonal changes every year over most of the globe, and why has the global climate changed over the past century if the climate is not, to use Berry’s term, “fragile.” Where is his “real science” that explains what would seem to be a contradiction?

The answer to this seeming contradiction is that the climate is sensitive to imposed forcing and the underlying physical basis for this sensitivity is well-understood scientifically and well-documented. Every place on Earth experiences some seasonal changes in climate and this seasonal variation is driven by the seasonal variation in the amount of solar radiation that enters the Earth’s atmosphere and reaches the Earth’s surface [he admits solar changes are important]. Montana residents experience large seasonal changes in temperature every year when our local and regional climate goes in and out of what is in effect a mini-ice age from summer to winter and back. These seasonal climate changes are a direct result of the sensitivity of the Earth’s climate to seasonal changes in solar forcing.

Being a self-reliant conservative won’t change this scientific fact. It also won’t change the fact that since the late 19th century, the global average surface temperature has increased about 0.74 degrees Celsius (1.33 degrees Fahrenheit) and the most pronounced warming has occurred over the past three decades. Seven of the eight warmest years of record have occurred since 2001 and the 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1995 (

A recent report published by the US National Academies of Sciences and Engineering’s National Research Council ( entitled Advancing the Science of Climate Change concluded that “… there is a strong, credible body of evidence, based upon multiple lines of research, documenting that the Earth is warming.” The report also states that “Strong evidence also indicates that the recent warming is largely caused by human activities, especially the release of greenhouse gases through the burning of fossil fuels.”

In other words, the climate system is warming in response to the imposed forcing from increased greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere and this human-induced warming of the globe will continue for many decades and in some cases for many centuries, depending on mitigation actions that human societies take to respond. The core values and “real science” of conservatives like Dr. Berry won’t change these facts [this is a strawman – he misses point].

Lastly, Berry’s suggestion that the issue of environmental sustainability was being integrated into the curriculum at one of the universities in our state to establish a “sustainability brainwashing program” that is “way outside the bounds of a public university charter” is nonsense. He doesn’t appear to have even a rudimentary understanding of either the mission of a public university or the concept of sustainability of our environment and the essential resources it provides.

Since when is it “brainwashing” students by exposing them, and all people for that matter, about the importance and need to manage, conserve, and use the finite resources on our planet on which humans depend in ways that will ensure their sustainability for current and future generations in the face of ever-increasing population growth and resource demands. [he  forgot he was asking a question.] Sustainability is neither an anti-capitalist or liberal idea.

Why Berry is so concerned about exposing students to this concept and idea is, to say the least, mind-boggling. He loses all credibility when he goes as far as equating the exposure of students to ideas about sustainability with and infringement of their First Amendment rights. His opinions on global warming and on teaching sustainability are drivel, and conservatives are ill-served if they give them any consideration.


Jerry Elwood

Director, Climate and Change Research Division, U.S. Department of Energy

Dr. Jerry W. Elwood was the Director of the Climate Change Research Division in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science.  The Division is in the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) which is one of the five offices in the Office of Science of DOE that support basic research.

Prior to his appointment as Division Director, Dr Elwood managed DOE’s Program on Ecosystem Research and the National Institute for Global Environmental Change (NIGEC), an academically-based research institute with regional centers that support research relevant to DOE’s mission in climate change research.

Before joining DOE in 1991, he was a Senior Research Staff Member in the Environmental Sciences Division at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory for 23 years.   At ORNL, he conducted environmental and ecological research on a variety of areas, including watershed biogeochemistry and hydrology, nutrient cycling, stream ecology, acidic deposition and its effects on surface waters, and radionuclide cycling.

He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of several professional scientific societies, including the AAAS and the American Geophysical Union. He received his B.S. degree from Montana State University in 1963 and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1968.


Reply to Dr. Jerry Elwood

by Edwin Berry, Daily Inter Lake, August 29, 2010.

We must have patience with Dr. Jerry Elwood. As an ecologist and life-time federal bureaucrat, he is suffering from cause-effect reversal disorder.

Since ecologists don’t study math or physics or philosophy of science, they think if A is correlated with B that A causes B. But what if B causes A? Or what if C causes B and C causes A?

Let’s clarify the issue for Dr. Elwood. Climate is whatever it is. Scientists attempt to determine how climate works. Ecologists, like Elwood, believe doubling carbon dioxide will lead to irreversible damage. Atmospheric physicists say this is rubbish because both history and physics show a higher carbon dioxide concentration will have a negligible effect on climate.

Climate change is a subject of the physical sciences, like physics and meteorology, not ecology. Unfortunately, our government started putting ecologists in charge of climate research.

Elwood says a person is unlikely to apply his core values to his science assumptions. Elwood disagrees with Morrie Shechtman, a nationally known, professional psychotherapist with a master’s degree in cultural history. Elwood, an ecologist, has no expertise in cultural psychotherapy.

Elwood disagrees with thousands of atmospheric physicists who say Al Gore Warming is false. Elwood did not attend the 2008, 2009, or 2010 International Conference on Climate Change to review his opinion with atmospheric physicists. Elwood, an ecologist, does not have expertise in atmospheric physics.

Climate modelers made some critical errors. For example: data show a warmer surface is associated with fewer clouds. Modelers told their models that a warmer surface causes fewer clouds. This reversed cause and effect and made the “model atmosphere” more fragile than the real atmosphere.

The modelers also assumed, incorrectly, carbon dioxide heating would increase water vapor, and more water vapor would cause more heating, which would cause more water vapor, etc. This is a built-in runaway effect that does not square away with nature or common sense. If true then even without carbon dioxide, more water vapor heating would cause more water vapor, etc, and our atmosphere would have self destructed eons ago.

Physicist Freeman Dyson from the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University wrote,

“The models … do not begin to describe the real world that we live in. It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models, than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That is why the climate model experts end up believing in their own models.”

Many who support Al Gore Warming do not understand the scientific method. The burden of proof is on their side. To establish proof they need a testable hypothesis that makes predictions which can be checked against honest data.  To date they have utterly failed. Albert Einstein, who was a master of the scientific method, said,

“It takes many tests to prove I am right but only one to prove I am wrong.”

When Elwood says, referring to model tests, “There is no scientific evidence from any of these studies …” Elwood is confusing models with data. Models do not produce “evidence.” Models are the hypotheses used to make predictions. Data are the evidence.

Elwood is absolutely wrong in saying it requires zero projected temperature increase to be stable. Stability is a function of cooling rate, not temperature. This shows Elwood does not understand the physics of heat transfer in fluids and therefore does not understand the physics of climate change.

Elwood quotes from a 2003 workshop that included a mere 15 scientists, to claim “climate sensitivity” is 1.7 to 4.2 degrees C … as if you really cared. These numbers are straight out of the 2001 UN IPCC Third Assessment Report which has been discredited. Elwood is nine years out of date on climate change.

Elwood did not tell you “climate sensitivity” numbers above 1.0 C come from unproven, climate model “fragility” assumptions, that we have discussed. By contrast, real data show our atmosphere counteracts any CO2 caused heating, thereby reducing the hypothetical 1.0 C increase to an insignificant 0.5 C increase. Al Gore Warming (AGW) is a dead issue.

Elwood did not tell you the scientists in this 2003 workshop expressed a lack of confidence in climate models. The report includes comments like:

Observational studies may confirm negative forcing from increasing low cloud cover. Models may be missing negative feedbacks. Models under-predicted precipitation variations by four. We do not understand what is driving variations in CO2. Natural feedback can lead to large changes in CO2. Global average low cloud cover increased 3.6 percent between 1952 and 1995. It is not clear what is driving this change.

Such comments contradict Elwood’s claim

“the underlying physical basis for climate sensitivity is well-understood scientifically and well-documented.”

Elwood uses incorrect, cherry-picked temperature data and uses it incorrectly. Obviously, climate has warmed since the little ice age, or else we would still be in the little ice age. Up until recently, climate has continued to warm. But this has absolutely nothing to do with AGW.

Elwood thinks warming climate proves Al Gore Warming. This is the logical fallacy of affirming the consequent:

“If AGW is true then climate will get warmer. Climate has gotten warmer. Therefore AGW is true.”

To help you see this illogic, compare this similar argument:

“If Bill Gates owns Fort Knox then Bill Gates is rich. Bill Gates is rich. Therefore, Bill Gates owns Fort Knox.”

Elwood thinks science is governed by authority as he attempts to justify his opinion using the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). He does not understand how the NAS works. The NAS is now a political entity paid by Congress to produce reports favoring Al Gore Warming. Elwood has not learned the fundamental science lesson of the Middle Ages: Copernicus and Galileo were right, and the political authorities were wrong.

Elwood does not understand sustainability. Sustainability was fully revealed at the “Earth Summit” on June 14, 1992, in Rio de Janeiro. The Earth Summit’s action plan is Agenda 21.

Sustainability is based on unscientific, ecological assumptions that climate is fragile, human effects are bad, natural is optimal, and Al Gore Warming is true. A goal is to replace carbon and nuclear energy with renewable energy, e.g., windmills. This fallacious concept has destroyed the economy of Spain and is now depressing other economies, like Montana.

Sustainability is a plan for socialist world government with four key objectives:

  1. End of national sovereignty,
  2. Abolition of private property,
  3. Restructure of the family, and
  4. Limits on personal mobility.

Sustainability is integrating its principles, values, and practices into all aspects of education and learning. The U of Montana has fully cooperated with Agenda 21’s sustainability goals.

The outgoing university president does not understand the difference between ecology and physics. He has climate change being taught in the wrong department, ecology rather than physics. A strong “believer” in Al Gore Warming, he has in his own words, “integrated sustainability into the curriculum and the educational experience.”

This integration goes far beyond what Elwood suggests is “exposure.” Talk to students and you will find the U of Montana is forcing students to believe in sustainability earth-worship religion. This is unconstitutional and outside the bounds of the university charter.

Today’s peer-reviewed scientific literature has decisively destroyed the hypothesis of Al Gore Warming, showing it to be but elementary school physics. One only needs to read the literature. It helps, of course, if the reader has a strong background in physics.

Many physicists, including a Nobel Laureate in physics, say Al Gore Warming is a religion rather than a science. When thousands of physicists, many of whom are recognized as top world physicists, say you are wrong … you are wrong!

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