Just call him “Alan Greenspam”

From Grist.com come’s a sign of the times we live in: a virtual arguer.

Nigel Leck got tired of arguing with people who were skeptical about global warming science. Noticing that most of them used the same debunked arguments over and over again, he decided to make a Twitter chatbot to answer them automatically. The bot is named @AI_AGW (the photo is of HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey‘s camera-eye), and every 5 minutes it searches the twitterverse for debunked arguments. When it finds one, it sends a reply with a link to a source that explains the counter-argument.

As SPPI notes

Since the bot became active on May 26, 2010, it has sent out over 40,000 tweets, or an average of more than 240 updates per day!…Leck’s bot is an innovative, yet appalling new tactic in the ongoing campaign by global warming proponents to stifle debate and end discussion of climate science and policy. Spamming Twitter users is a tactic that is likely to backfire…There is nothing internet users find more annoying than trolls using spam to shut down online discussions…

Oh snap! I got one! This last election I received about ten to twenty robocalls for and against candidates or propositions. Now these annoying robos. BTW, the hyperlink takes you to a 9+ minute YouTube video posted by "Potholer."

Talk to the virtual hand.

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Deforestation changes climate not the other way around

3-year Project for One Million Trees to be Planted in Africa’s Mt Elgon Region Begun

Women walking down from Mt. Elgon national park with firewood. Cutting down of trees has led to massive deforestation of Mt. Elgon range in eastern Uganda. Photo: © Charles Akena/IRIN

A three-year project to increase forest cover and help local communities in eastern Uganda reverse the effects of deforestation has begun.

While the project is billed as one to help reverse the effects of climate change (A UK Department for International Development official said: “We very much hope this project will enable the people of Mbale region to provide the rest of the country with a vivid example of how to creatively mitigate against the effects of climate change in a way that also contributes to economic growth.), the actual reason may be more prosaic: deforestation.

Joseph Wesuya, an official of the African Development Initiative – a community organization in Manafwa district – said high population density in the Mt Elgon region had put a lot of pressure on the area’s eco-system. “Our environment is depleting at a fast rate; people are cutting down trees up the mountain, encroaching into wetlands,” he said. “The snow caps high on Mt Elgon are melting and you hardly see frost.”

This pattern mirrors what is happening on Mt Kilimanjaro due to deforestation.

The link between forests and rainfall and runoff have long been known. Forester and soil scientist, Walter Lowdermilk pointed to the link nearly a century ago. In 1923, he and engineer O.J. Todd made a two-thousand-mile survey up into the province of Shaanxi to find why the Yellow River caused trouble. Experts of the day pointed to catastrophic climate change. He found “the country was cut with enormous gullies…I measured one up to six hundred feet deep.” Yet in the midst of this devastation he found island of green. He found “[Buddhist] temple forests which priests had preserved for places of meditation, and managed for growing timber for repairs…there was no erosion of soil within them, that the ground was covered with forest litter and the trees were reproducing themselves naturally, in response to the climate and rainfall of the day.” Here was a clue that clearing of vegetation affected climate. He set out experiments. He conclusion were that “erosion alone was sufficient to account for the decline of a civilization and that we didn’t need to rely on a theory of change of climate.”

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Global warming video provides a partial list of threats

So far global warming will cause (or might cause) over 800 threats. This A-Z video just skims the surface

And while we’re reviewing anthropogenic global warming, over at Climate, Etc  Judith Curry reflects on how we all came to where we are.

[T]he policy cart was put before the scientific horse, justified by the precautionary principle.  Once the [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] treaty was a done deal, the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] and its scientific conclusions were set on a track to become a self fulfilling prophecy.  The entire framing of the IPCC was designed around identifying sufficient evidence so that the human-induced greenhouse warming could be declared unequivocal, and so providing the rationale for developing the political will to implement and enforce carbon stabilization targets.   National and international science programs were funded to support the IPCC objectives.

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