Climate change attacks followup

By Phil Plait | May 20, 2010 7:00 am

earthonfireLast week, I wrote about a second investigation clearing climate change scientists from any wrongdoing in the horrid manufactured controversy of climategate. In that post, and an earlier one, I mentioned that Virginia State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli was starting a witch hunt, investigating the work of scientist Michael Mann while he was at the University of Virginia. Cuccinelli’s actions are transparently driven by political bias; Mann has been shown repeatedly to have worked honestly and above-board.

I’m not the only one who thinks that. Chris Mooney at The Intersection has quotes and links from a scathing Washington Post editorial, condemning Cuccinelli for his actions. And the Post doesn’t hold back, even calling UVa out, telling them to get a spine and stand up to this attack. Chris put up a second post about how scientists themselves have picked up this banner. Oh, and here’s a third post about the AAAS condemning Cuccinelli as well.

Ironically, Cuccinelli claims his investigation is because he thinks tax money was wasted or that Mann defrauded the tax payers… but it’s Cuccinelli’s investigation that’s the true waste of taxpayer money. This attack by him started after Mann was already exonerated, making Cuccinelli’s motives pretty clear. Oh, did I say "ironically"? I meant Orwellian.

On top of the Washington Post’s call, over 250 members of the National Academy of Sciences — the U.S.’s premier and most prestigious organization for science — have publicly condemned these attacks as well:

Many recent assaults on climate science and, more disturbingly, on climate scientists by climate change deniers, are typically driven by special interests or dogma, not by an honest effort to provide an alternative theory that credibly satisfies the evidence.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. I urge everyone to read both the WashPo article and the full statement by the NAS.

And for you deniers who plague the comments of every blog post I make on this topic, loading it with obfuscation, noise, and distraction from the actual topic: these posts by me are not politically driven. In fact, given the opportunities for new businesses and new technology, preventing global climate change should be a major plank of the Republican Party, which claims to stand for such things.

So instead of blindly assaulting me with trivially ridiculous accusations, you might want to examine the motivations behind the political attacks on real science. Many of you claim to be skeptics. Well then, be skeptical, but be real skeptics. I am, and always have been — I’ve examined the claims, the science, and the techniques, and have come to the conclusion that global warming is real, and that humans are overwhelmingly the most likely cause of its recent acceleration.

I know I can say this all I want and it won’t help; the Noise Machine is impervious to logic and reality. But when you read those comments, you might want to keep this image in the back of your mind:

lalalala_ottercanthearyou

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Antiscience, Debunking, Politics, Science

Comments (235)

  1. Richard Wolford

    Can this moron get disbarred, assuming he’s a lawyer? What a waste of time and money, money that could be spent on investing in renewable sources of energy.

  2. Chip

    The Ken Starr of climatgateufactorversy…he thinks it will make his carreer…15 minutes is winding down

  3. BmoreKarl

    if anyone made a disbarrment move against Cuccinelli, the deniers would scream political bias to the heavens. It would sound something like “lalalalala I can’t hear you”

  4. “not by an honest effort to provide an alternative theory that credibly satisfies the evidence.” – This is the point that drives me the most insane. I cannot understand why so many people will focus on the one point that there is no real argument against – That its getting warmer. If they want to argue and come up with some salient evidence that
    a. The current proposed solutions will not have enough affect – compared to cost.
    b. The human element cannot be eliminated effectively and we should look at ways to adapt.
    c. The timeline is much longer than suggested.

    Or any of a host of reasonable topics for discussion. I have no time for people who spend their efforts fighting for things they heard Faux News pundit say and have no reasonable productive solutions to discuss as an alternative. Look into it PEOPLE!

    PS – I am all for lowering carbon emissions, finding alternative energy sources, and assuming a worst case scenario of a short timeline – because all the proposed changes are for the long term benefit of the planet. Changing sooner is better than later.

  5. Cooch is an embarrassment to the state of VA.
    Wait, since the voters elected this maroon, maybe THEY’re the embarrassment…
    Wait, but they ARE the state…
    So it’s VA that’s the embarrassment!
    [groan]
    At least -I- didn’t vote for him.
    Richard Drumm The Astronomy Bum
    in Charlottesville, VA. Yes, VA!

  6. JoeZo

    Cuccinelli is at the forefront of extreme policy.
    He has also advised Virginia’s public colleges and universities to rescind policies that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
    He has even questioned whether passing the Health Care bill was constitutional.

    Cuccinelli has repeatedly claimed that he wants to save the state money, but ignores the fact that he is actually costing the state money with his tilting at windmills.

    I didn’t vote for him either.

  7. John Matthews

    I honestly have never understood the rampant and vociferous denial of global warming. Whether caused solely by man’s blatant disregard for his effects on the climate, by natural causes, or a combination of both, like it or not, it is here.

    I live in Texas, and we’re seeing the effects. A couple of examples would be:

    In my area of the state (Austin area), we’re seeing mourning doves being pretty much completely replaced by white-winged doves, a species historically normally seen further south than here, especially in the fall/winter months.

    It’s also been drier the past few years, including a serious drought last year. Yes I know and understand climate is also cyclic on a smaller scale, but the summers especially have definitely been hotter in recent years. IIRC, I believe the 90′s were the hottest decade on record here, until the 00′s…

  8. Egg

    Another NAS statement just released on 19th May 2010 that not only reaffirms AGW is real but actually starts to tackle what to do about it.:

    http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=05192010

    Of course the “skeptics” will simply play the “well the NAS is just full of biased AGW ‘zealots’” card. I refer to Phil’s image at the bottom of this post :)

  9. UVa still hasn’t gotten on this? Geez. Stop primping the Lawn and block this idiot.

    Last I heard, “UVa has hired a law firm to explore its options, possibly signaling that the university will fight Cuccinelli’s demand.” (http://www2.dailyprogress.com/cdp/news/local/education/article/uva_inquiry_defended_cuccinelli_calls_it_case_of_possible_fraud/56285/ )

  10. David

    I think you meant Orwellianly, or something similar. Sorry to be pedantic but swapping out an adverb for an adjective gave me shivers.

    Keep fighting the good fight.

  11. What does Phil Plait think of Harrison Schmitt? And given the opportunity, how would he interact/debate/exchange views on climate change with the former Astronaut?

  12. Michael

    The Constitutionality of the provision requring Americans to buy health insurance or face a stiff fine might well be rendered unconstitutional by the SCOTUS. You can’t be required to buy homeowner’s insurance if you don’t own a home, or be forced to buy auto insurance if you don’t drive or own a vehicle.

    Again we hear this balderdash about AGW as the average temp of the planet continues to fall. We are far more likely to enter another ice age than be swamped by rising sea levels, etc.

    Every warm period in human history has seen people expand and prosper, while every cold era has seen human populations decrease and suffer. I kinda wish the world was warming up, but alas, it isn’t.

    Cap and Tax is dead for now, and good riddance. The fruits of my labors should be mine, and not redistributed to any other people or country.

  13. Paul

    Phil states: “given the opportunities for new businesses”. Agreed, but how long after someone from the political right pushes this issue, and actually gets the press for it that the left complain about the right being toadies of “big business”?

    As Chip (#2) says: “he thinks it will make his career”. The media and new media focus on the extreme, and rarely report on the middle. Visibility comes with extremism. Has Phil posted anything saying “now, here’s a Republican politician that’s not an idiot”? (There’s got to be at least one out there)

  14. GonzoG

    Kenny Boy is putting on a big dog and pony show for the FAR Right Wing of the Republicans. His pandering ‘attempts’ to enforce their agenda (Constitution and majority public opinion notwithstanding) are going to be bullet points on his stump speech when he runs for Govenor–or worse, becomes Sarah Palin’s 2012 running mate. [Just look at my eye twitch when I even THINK about that possibility.]

  15. Doc

    Shorter Michael: “lalalalala I can’t hear you!”

  16. gss_000

    @12. Michael

    “Again we hear this balderdash about AGW as the average temp of the planet continues to fall.”

    Really? Well, tell that to this report:

    http://www.governancenow.com/views/think-tanks/april-2010-hottest-month-noaa

    April, 2010 – temperatures soared to a new high as the month became the warmest ever in recorded history. A study released by the America’s climate agency the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said, “The combined April global land and ocean average surface temperature was the warmest on record at 14.5°C, which is 0.76°C above the 20th century average of 13.7°C.”

    The report also indicated that combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the warmest from January to April, 2010. According to the report, “The average temperature for the first four months of year 2010 was 13.3 degrees Celsius which is 0.69 degrees above the 20th century average.”

    Not to mention:
    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1990544,00.html
    As a new study found, “the oceans have been warming inexorably since at least 1993, at a rate broadly consistent with what you’d expect from the buildup of greenhouse gases.”

    So all these studies and all these instruments, not models, are lying about warming temps?

  17. Doc

    Rebuttal to Michael:

    1. Come back and tell me this when you’ve got a degree in constitutional law. Even then you’ll be in the extreme minority. Most constitutional scholars say the requirements in the health care reform law are within the bounds of the constitution.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2249288

    2. Reality disagrees with you – the average temperature of the planet is not falling. You’re confusing BS propaganda with science.

    http://www.grist.org/article/global-warming-stopped-in-1998/

    3. Again, reality disagrees with you – global warming will not be a good thing. You’re confusing BS propaganda with science.

    http://www.grist.org/article/whats-wrong-with-warmer-weather/

    4. You’re perfectly willing to enjoy the fruits of your labors without sharing them, as long as you don’t accept the fruits of anyone else’s labors or damage anyone else’s environment. If you don’t wish to play by these rules then please leave the planet.

  18. Terry Henderson

    Your Article Is Total B.S. ; There is No “Man Made” Global Warming; Only Solar Flares Cause Warming. And Mann Is A Prevaricator.

  19. Codeblue

    Michael: These temperatures?

    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2010/05/david_appell_has_a_rather.php

    http://blogs.nature.com/climatefeedback/2010/05/picture_post_hottest_april_eve_1.html

    The last decade was the HOTTEST one in the instrumental record. Anyone who claims the earth’s average surface temperature is falling is lying through their teeth.

  20. Come to think…it’d be nice to hear what everybody on this thread thinks of Harrison Schmitt.

  21. Michel

    New date for end of humanity is set:
    2300
    http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2010/05/earth-2300-too-hot-for-humans.html
    So now it is definite, I´ll quote what Alfred E. Neumann always says: “What me worry”
    And this might explain why so many republicans can´t hear to well:
    http://www.livescience.com/health/viagra-hearing-loss-100518.html

  22. Yousuf

    I don’t care what this idiot attorney-general is doing, the more power to him. A little bit of a reverse witch-hunt on the climate-change alarmists is a good thing, they’ve been the instigators of witch-hunts themselves for too long. Climatologists are not scientists anymore, they are now priests.

  23. Charles

    Michael:

    It’s cooler now than it was 10 months ago!!! The world must be cooling!!!

    On another note, given your statement that warmth = prosperity, tell that to the Great Plains when the amount of arable land cuts in half, and to Bangladesh when the entire country disappears under the waves. Or Mickey Mouse when he has to very quickly evolve into an otter.

  24. Amy J

    @Clarles

    Just think of how much money Disney will make when they start selling beachfront property in Orlando. See? Global warming IS good for the economy. Or something.

  25. Brian

    Eeee…. k. Yeah. Its awesome how much overwhelming data there is to support that GLOBAL WARMING is a reality regardless of cause and people still buy into the BS Propaganda.

    It’s also awesome how much overwhelming data there is to support that said global warming is attributed to green house gases. (IE: Man-made) yet still people buy into the BS Propaganda.

    It’s way mucho super Awesome-o how people take the word of a Fox News correspondent who spends more time in a make up chair then he does actually reading the reports/evidence/gossip column of any science article let alone scientific report then an actual trained scientist.

    In conclusion, it’s not so awesome. If we as a people are this easily led to slaughter, then I say let us die as a species. We don’t deserve evolution.

  26. Harry Tenderson

    My View Is Total B.S. ; There is No “Man Made” Global Warming; Only The Tooth Fairy And The Human Torch Cause Warming. And Mann Is A Scientist, So I Can’t Really Argue With Him On Facts. The Earth Must Be Cooling; I JUst Stuck My Head In The Freezer Compartment Of My Refridgerator For Half An Hour, And Got Frost Bite; Ergo No Global Warming!!!!!!!!

  27. Randy A.

    Those who deny the reality of global climate change are really missing the point.

    Make a table with two rows and two columns. Label the four cells “global warming (GW) is real, and we do something about it,” “GW is real but we don’t do anything,” “GW isn’t real, but we try to stop it anyway,” and “GW isn’t real, and we don’t do anything about it.” Then fill in the cells with the expected results.

    In the cell labeled “GW is real but we don’t do anything,” you should probably add “we are TOTALLY screwed.”

    The interesting cell is the one labeled “GW isn’t real, but we try to stop it anyway.” This is the cell where you would expect to see all the bad things from stopping global climate change. And in truth, there will have to be some expenses and sacrifices. But you will also list things like less pollution, fewer oil spills, better health, less environmental damage, and perhaps more social justice. Plus some things that conservatives would like to see, such as energy independence for the U.S., many opportunities for American businesses, avoiding the financial difficulties of “peak oil”, less appeasement of dictators and 16th century cultures who just happen to be sitting on oil reserves, etc.

    Life is a gamble. So how will you bet? Are you cold hearted enough to bet that global climate change isn’t real, knowing that it’s your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc. who will be left holding the bag? If so, I confess that I don’t know of any word or phrase bad enough to describe you.

    Or will you bet that global warming is real, knowing that even if you are wrong, you get some benefits? And your descendants will have their lives enriched by your decision?

    If you are still not sure, you might want to look up Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31.

  28. Regner Trampedach

    Michael @ 12: “You can’t be required to buy homeowner’s insurance if you don’t own a home, or be forced to buy auto insurance if you don’t drive or own a vehicle.”
    So everybody who drives a car has to have car-insurance, right? I find that very reasonable too.
    Well, last time I checked, most people “drive” a body that can break-down, have accidents, etc.
    therefore requiring health insurance!
    Your argument is a bit self-contradicting, pal.
    – Regner

  29. amphiox

    and to Bangladesh when the entire country disappears under the waves.

    Michael probably thinks Bangladesh is a hoax too. I mean, c’mon, all we ever see of this so-called “Bangladesh” is news reels from pansy liberal media types. And video is so, so easily faked these days.

    And Michael doesn’t care about the Great Plains or this imaginary place called Bangladesh.

    Michael doesn’t even seem to care about Michael-20-years-from-now.

    Michael only cares about Michael-today.

    And Michael? Your labors would bear no fruit at all if not for the supporting infrastructure that the fruit of my labors paid for. If you do not pay your share for these services rendered, then you are a thief.

  30. @ 20 wrote:

    Climatologists are not scientists anymore, they are now priests.

    …sigh…

    I guess that you can include geologists in the priesthood, too.

    Accelerating uplift in the North Atlantic region as an indicator of ice loss
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/ngeo845.html

  31. adam

    And for you deniers who plague the comments of every blog post I make on this topic, loading it with obfuscation, noise, and distraction from the actual topic: these posts by me are not politically driven.

    Marginalization at its finest. No better way to detract from any and all dissent than to call the whole of it a “distracting plague.”

    I’ve examined the claims, the science, and the techniques, and have come to the conclusion that global warming is real, and that humans are overwhelmingly the most likely cause of its recent acceleration.

    Mind sharing that science with the whole class? I would be very interested to examine the same science you have.

    P.S. I should mention that your followers and fellow believers have stated that since I’m not a trained climatologist, I can’t adequately understand the science well enough to make valid criticisms. By the same token, that means you shouldn’t be able to make valid assertions of its truthfulness and must resort to faith in the methods, intentions, politics and morals of the climatologists to whose authority we appeal. Is your faith strong, Phil?

  32. Doug Little

    And here we go again. (Gets the popcorn and a sixpack).

    Climatologists are not scientists anymore, they are now priests.

    I not aware of any molestation charges against climate scientists or a conspiracy to move the scientists around when they are accused of such things. How are they like priests again?

  33. Doug Little

    P.S. I should mention that your followers and fellow believers have stated that since I’m not a trained climatologist, I can’t adequately understand the science well enough to make valid criticisms. By the same token, that means you shouldn’t be able to make valid assertions of its truthfulness and must resort to faith in the methods, intentions, politics and morals of the climatologists to whose authority we appeal. Is your faith strong, Phil?

    Yes that is right, you aren’t a trained climate scientist, and when you dissent against the current consensus you had better darn well know what you are talking about. You either have to come up with a better model of why things are the way they are or have irrefutable evidence that the current models are wrong. So we have agreement with the consensus on one hand, and disagreement on the other, they are not equally valid points of view.

  34. Darth Wader

    Global warming deniers are not skeptics. Skepticism is more than just not believing in something that you don’t want to be true, its a method and an outlook on life. If someone tomorrow provided really good evidence that astrology works I would have to reconsider, although grudgingly. I used to think that UFOs were real and were piloted be extraterrestrial beings. I am now forced, grudgingly to conclude that it is almost certainly not true.

  35. Gord

    @Randy A.

    You need to add a few more boxes to your diagram.

    1) GW is real, and our efforts to change the rate have no measurable effect.

    The worlds economies are ultimately based on pulling carbon out of the ground, and releasing it into the atmosphere at a furious rate. That is our primary energy source, and unfortunately, it is also the cheapest. Therefore, the planet will keep using it as an energy source until there is none left to pull out of the ground.

    You can talk all you want about solar, wind power, etc etc, but that only delays the inevitable, which is that all the carbon has been pulled out of the ground. Maybe if we delay it long enough, any real consequences will be my grandchildrens problem (instead of my childrens?).

    All of the solutions so far seem to hint at us leaving the carbon in the ground, and not touching it, presumable forever. Does anybody honestly think that the we can do that? I am not being cynical here, just facing reality.

    Next diagram in the box:

    2) GW is real, but the consequences are, in sum total, not bad

    All the scenarios painted want to say that the consequences will be very very bad. Looking back at historical values, we can say that the global temp is rising. No arguement. But looking forward, its all rampant speculation. Perhaps one consequence is that food growing areas move closer to the Poles. Sure it might get too warm for Italy to produce super-tuscans (and we have to go back to bad chianti), but they can grow them in France, and Germany might be warm enough to produce a decent red wine.

    I have to admit that this comment stream is the first time that I have heard that all of Bangladesh would be submerged. Prior to this, all the talk was about some South Pacific Islands that apparently nobody cares about. Bangladesh is mostly alluvial plain that got that way through milleniums worth of flooding and silt deposits. Shouldn’t our first presumption be that this process will continue, and as the water level rises, the slit levels will rise to match? The pacific islands will disappear, because geological processes that created them are no longer active. But Bangladeshes process are still active, and it will be fine.

    to summarize my point, these are the two issues that make me feel like being a denier. There has been much scientific discussions about the reality of global warming. But once we get to the consequences and possible solutions, it turns into an emotional, tree-hugger circus.

    Maybe if we had some calm, reasoned, scientifically backed discussion about these points, there would be fewer deniers around.

  36. Yojimbo

    Michael @ 12 who says “… or be forced to buy auto insurance if you don’t drive or own a vehicle” clearly hasn’t spent a lot of time living in California.

    Or, judging by his comments, anywhere else on Earth, for that matter :)

  37. amphiox

    By the same token, that means you shouldn’t be able to make valid assertions of its truthfulness and must resort to faith in the methods, intentions, politics and morals of the climatologists to whose authority we appeal

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. We don’t need to resort to faith. We can test and gather evidence that the methodology which gives the climatologists their authority is valid by assessing how effectively that metholodogy produces reliable information and authorities concerning that information across the general range of topics to which said methodology applies.

    The methodology is called science. And if it works for astronomy, for physics, for chemistry, for biology, for medicine, then it works for climatology, too. Because it is the same method.

    When we trust the consensus in a field in which we are not expert, we are NOT trusting the authority of the experts themselves, we are trusting the validity of the scientific method itself, and this is NOT a question of faith. It is a question of evidence. Mountains and mountains of evidence, accumulated over centuries, and reaffirmed every day, every hour, every minute, every second, when we observe that the technological and intellectual fruits of science (like our cars, computers, hospitals, airplanes, sewage systems, bridges, roads, etc) ACTUALLY WORK.

    If you want to disagree with the consensus, then the onus is on YOU to provide new evidence that either 1. the scientific method underpinning the consensus does not work (good luck with that), or 2. the consensus position has somehow violated the scientific method (good luck with that as well).

  38. adam

    @Doug Little

    Yes that is right, you aren’t a trained climate scientist, and when you dissent against the current consensus you had better darn well know what you are talking about. You either have to come up with a better model of why things are the way they are or have irrefutable evidence that the current models are wrong. So we have agreement with the consensus on one hand, and disagreement on the other, they are not equally valid points of view.

    I’m just not sure I agree with that because the issue on the table is not as cut and dry as you seem to believe, or have been led to believe, I don’t know. Try to put your biases against me down for a moment and try to see things from my perspective. See, the part I find difficult to understand is how scientists will fully admit to a gross lack of understanding about a topic, but the moment it becomes politicized, claim that because their weak grasp is the best we’ve got, we have to start pretending like they actually know what they’re talking about.

    How many papers on climatology have you read? If you read them you see the uncertainty. It’s palpable. It’s substantial. The point is that we don’t know how the climate works. We have ideas and we have theories. But testable, repeatable hypotheses? Precious few. Provable? Nothing, really. Nothing that would warrant measures that injure developing economies and censure the industries therein.

    I see plenty of reason to clean up, to find better, more efficient fuels. Sure. But I’m not afraid of climate change. If it’s happening, we can’t stop it. If we’re the cause, then we’re too late to prevent it. And the consequences? There’s every chance they’ll be as beneficial as they are harmful.

    Want to know the kind of rational, logical, fair climate action I can get behind?

    http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27939/1/HartwellPaper_English_version.pdf

    What I can’t get behind is this fearmongering paranoia about something every scientist with even a single honest bone in his body will admit we barely understand on even a most basic level.

  39. fairuse

    In a nutshell – Weather happens, Climate changes.

    The marketing spin is enough to make me vomit. The political spin is just another move the money around game. Folks should visit the EU site http://europa.eu/ for a dose of information.

  40. Gary

    FWIW, Steve McIntyre who has conclusively demonstrated several major deficiencies (novel statistical methods, mis-used proxies, data selection criteria) in Michael Mann’s research also condemns this political fishing expedition in no uncertain terms: http://climateaudit.org/2010/05/02/cuccinelli-v-mann/ and
    http://climateaudit.org/2010/05/03/the-virginia-statute/

    Phil, I really do wish you would stop slinging the pejorative “denier” label around like it has meaning other than ad hominem attack. Maybe you can’t get the better of your emotions, but honestly, it doesn’t sit well and further distances people from any kind of rapprochement. If you wish to educate people or persuade them to see your side of the issue fairly, then insulting them even peripherally wins no points. How about declaring a moratorium on the word? McIntyre doesn’t resort to name-calling. Why should you?

  41. MartinM

    Mind sharing that science with the whole class?

    Enjoy.

  42. MartinM

    FWIW, Steve McIntyre who has conclusively demonstrated several major deficiencies (novel statistical methods, mis-used proxies, data selection criteria) in Michael Mann’s research…

    Err…no.

  43. Chris Winter

    “Ironically, Cuccinelli claims his investigation is because he thinks tax money was wasted or that Mann defrauded the tax payers…”

    Given that stated motivation, someone should ask him if he’s ever considered investigating Patrick Michaels.

  44. Scott B

    @ 42. MartinM

    Umm…yes.

    Doesn’t invalidate the entire basis of AGW as some would like to claim, but the statement you quoted and so quickly dismissed is 100% true.

  45. MartinM

    Feel free to point out a single ‘major deficiency’ in Mann’s statistical methods, then.

  46. Doug Little

    adam,

    I’m just not sure I agree with that because the issue on the table is not as cut and dry as you seem to believe, or have been led to believe, I don’t know. Try to put your biases against me down for a moment and try to see things from my perspective. See, the part I find difficult to understand is how scientists will fully admit to a gross lack of understanding about a topic, but the moment it becomes politicized, claim that because their weak grasp is the best we’ve got, we have to start pretending like they actually know what they’re talking about.

    So now it’s all a big conspiracy then. The consensus that the climate is warming and humans are one of the causes of this warming is incorrect, right? That’s what you are saying. Oh and congratulations you have passed strawman 101.

    How many papers on climatology have you read? If you read them you see the uncertainty. It’s palpable. It’s substantial

    I don’t need to then read papers, I trust in the scientific method and the current consensus in any particular field of science. If there has been wrong doing on the part of the scientists it eventually gets weeded out. The Climategate scientists have been cleared of any wrongdoing save being a little disorganized, their general conclusion has been supported by other data sets.

    I’m curious, why aren’t you skeptical about other area’s of science as well? I see you haven’t posted on any of the astronomy topics that Phil writes about railing against the science that is discussed.

    If it’s happening, we can’t stop it. If we’re the cause, then we’re too late to prevent it. And the consequences? There’s every chance they’ll be as beneficial as they are harmful.

    A combination of wishful thinking of the highest order and can’t win don’t try.

    Gary, you’re concern is noted.

  47. Phil and all Global Warming “Supporters,”

    I’m a Fox News watching conservative. I also happen to believe in Global Warming. While I lack the scientific skills to understand all the data, I was a student of science and, as such, had an opportunity to speak with many geophysicists and geologists who didn’t, and who had no possible motive to take a stance one way or another. They weren’t doing research funded by anyone with a desire to either prove or disprove climate change.

    Now, most people lack the scientific education necessary to understand the science, and sometimes even the data. For those people, other issues are often a factor in deciding for themselves whether or not GW, or even AGW, is real. They look at things like Al Gore’s rapidly increased wealth, the Chicago Climate Exchange and others who have profited heavily from GW propaganda. (I say propaganda, because that’s what a lot of rhetoric on either side is. I’m divorcing propaganda from actual research.)

    I have to say, the tone of your posts on the subject often doesn’t help. You come across as aloof and condescending, often putting “deniers” in the same category as one might put astrologists and ghost hunters. You routinely make attacks on the Republican party and on conservative news sources such as Fox.

    I appreciate your right to your opinion, and I do disagree with my conservative compatriots on this issue, however I would like you perhaps to question your own motives. Do you write these posts to speak only to the choir, or would you like the chance to change conservative opinion? If the former, then by all means, continue as you have done. If the latter, then perhaps a change in approach is merited.

    I draw your attention to a previously contentious issue in science: the Evolution/Intelligent Design debate. I’m also a firm “believer” in evolution; the science is clearly there. And yet, creationists like those at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, where I live, were able to successfully introduce a controversy that really didn’t even exist in scientific circles. There is large consensus on the GW issue. There was and is even more on the Evolution issue.

    The reason I bring this up is that evolutionary biologists, or at least a handful of them, made a brilliant film called “Flight of the Dodos,” that illustrated the fight to teach actual science in science classrooms. One of the reasons they found they were failing was due to an aloof attitude. (If you haven’t watched this film, you really should.)

    My only point for raising this issue isn’t to criticize you. I think you’re a fine person and a real fighter for science. My concern is that GW policy will not be set by scientists, but by politicians and, subsequently, the people who vote them in or out of office. I think it’s important to reach out to GW deniers in a way that won’t cause reactionary ire. It is, unfortunately, not enough to have science on your side.

    Of course, there will remain some people you will never convince, but your tone often comes across (to me at least) as if you think everyone who disagrees with you is stupid, and I can guarantee that is a tactic that won’t work at all.

  48. Scott B

    @ 45. MartinM

    Sorry for the tl;dr here, but this is shortest summary I can find of the primary issue with Mann’s original “hockey stick”. From the Wegman report pg 28-29:

    “The key issue in dispute is the CFR methodology as used in MBH98 and MBH99. The description of the work in MBH98 is both somewhat obscure and as others have noted incomplete. The essence of the discussion is as follows. Principal component methods are normally structured so that each of the data time series (proxy data series) are centered on their respective means and appropriately scaled. The first principal component attempts to discover the composite series that explains the maximum amount of variance. The second principal component is another composite series that is uncorrelated with the first and that seeks to explain as much of the remaining variance as possible. The third, fourth and so on follow in a similar way. In MBH98/99 the authors make a simple seemingly innocuous and somewhat obscure calibration assumption. Because the instrumental temperature records are only available for a limited window, they use instrumental temperature data from 1902-1995 to calibrate the proxy data set. This would seem reasonable except for the fact that temperatures were rising during this period. So that centering on this period has the effect of making the mean value for any proxy series exhibiting the same increasing trend to be decentered low. Because the proxy series exhibiting the rising trend are decentered, their calculated variance will be larger than their normal variance when calculated based on centered data, and hence they will tend to be selected preferentially as the first principal component. (In fact the effect of this can
    clearly be seen RPC no. 1 in Figure 5 in MBH98.). Thus, in effect, any proxy series that exhibits a rising trend in the calibration period will be preferentially added to the first principal component.

    The centering of the proxy series is a critical factor in using principal components methodology properly. It is not clear that Dr. Mann and his associates even realized that their methodology was faulty at the time of writing the MBH paper. The net effect of the decentering is to preferentially choose the so-called hockey stick shapes.”

    Over the next 8 pages, they demonstrate how Mann’s methods would favor a hockey stick shape by using “proxies” that are simply noise.

  49. Sili

    Chris Mooney at The Intersection has quotes and links from a scathing Washington Post editorial, condemning Cuccinelli for his actions.

    Oh dear, the kiss of death.

    I’m mildly surprised that Mooneybaum hasn’t told Mann to roll over and take it like a man yet.

  50. Doug Little

    conservative news sources such as Fox

    LOL, I guess we have differing ideas on what news is.

    And yet, creationists like those at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, where I live, were able to successfully introduce a controversy that really didn’t even exist in scientific circles

    And then it failed spectacularly when it finally got it’s day in court. Oh and you’re concern is also noted.

  51. Doug,

    Yes, I suppose we do differ on our idea of what news is. Taking your tone, I suppose I could assume you get your news from MSNBC and Media Matters, both of which I consider bunk. Do you actually ever watch Fox, or do you just sneer at it? I certainly don’t agree with everything I see (on any network), but Fox has some truly excellent investigative journalism. Of course, if you dismiss the conservative point of view out of hand, then naturally anyone who has that worldview is inherently wrong.

    Yes, ID failed spectacularly as a “science,” for which I am grateful. The difference between ID/Evolution and Global Warming Exists/Doesn’t Exist is that the former isn’t time sensitive and requires no action. While it definitely matters what reaches students of science, ID doesn’t have a significant environmental impact, as does the anti-GW movement.

    Oh, and I misspoke in my first post. The film is actually called “Flock of Dodos.” Here’s it’s Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flock_of_Dodos

  52. davem

    @35: Gord: “Shouldn’t our first presumption be that this process will continue, and as the water level rises, the slit levels will rise to match?”

    No. We can already see that the land level rise through deposition over MILLIONS of years has not matched the sea level rise over decades. There is no reason to suppose deposition will suddenly increase and make up for it. Only a few weeks ago, an island off the Bangladesh coast disappeared under the sea.

  53. BMcP

    In fact, given the opportunities for new businesses and new technology, preventing global climate change should be a major plank of the Republican Party, which claims to stand for such things.

    I would love for the Republicans to because major torch bearers for alternate energies. The hard truth is our energy needs will continue to grow and we need to develop real answers to this issue. I love to see major opening of nuclear, geothermal, hydro-electrical, solar, wind power plants.

  54. BMcP: Republicans have been in support of nuclear power for ages. I’d drop a link proving this, but that would put my comment into moderation (understandably), and Phil (or whomever moderates) doesn’t seem to be around right now. A quick Google search will show many results for this, though.

  55. Ray

    @51

    Davem, it is highly unlikely that the island was done in by global warming. That is, unless you can show a general rise in sea level of 6.6 feet.

    “During the 1990s, the island was about 6.6 feet above sea level, part of a low-lying delta extremely vulnerable to rising seas.”

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2011432281_island25.html

    Its far more likely that the same cyclonic weather actions that formed the island in 1970 gradually wore it back down.

  56. Steve Huntwork

    Well then, be skeptical, but be real skeptics. I am, and always have been — I’ve examined the claims, the science, and the techniques, and have come to the conclusion that global warming is real, and that humans are overwhelmingly the most likely cause of its recent acceleration.

    Phil, then do so! You claim to have evaluated the science, but all that I have seen from you is an echo from http://www.realclimate.com and other websites with a vested interest.

    Not if, but when you are proven wrong beyond a shadow of doubt, I hope that you are banned for life from ever receiving government research money.

    Play time is over!

    Perhaps State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has jumped the gun, but it is way past time that scientist be held accountable for the quality of their research.

    I am sick and tired of you and others playing “defence attorney” for the guilty parties. If the facts are on your side, there is no reason why any honest scientist would be playing these games.

  57. Gord

    @51:davem: “Only a few weeks ago, an island off the Bangladesh coast disappeared under the sea.”

    I see the news articles all point out that this is due to global warming. But this is exactly the point I was making about credible science about consequences and solutions.

    According to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Current_sea_level_rise, the sea level is rising at a mean rate of 1.8mm per year in the last century, and in the more recent times with more accurate measurements, its reaching 3mm per year.

    The news articles about the Bangladesh island state that it was never more that 2 meters above sea level. However, in the last 100 years, the sea level has risen no more than 300mm. Please note the math: 300 mm vs 2000 mm. The rising ocean did not flood this island. Perhaps the higher water levels caused increased erosion, made it easier for waves to crest over the island, and washed it away. But the rising water levels did not cover this island.

    If deposition cannot keep up, and raise the land levels in Bangladesh, then those people are SCREWED. We intend to continue removing the carbon from the crust, and put it in the air. Until all of it has been released. And alternative energy will not stop that from happening.

    When do we start discussing real solutions? Putting the carbon back in the ground is not credible. Alternative energy is a delay tactic.

    What are we going to do to address the consequences?

  58. Charlie Martin

    Phil, the problem is that the “horrible manufactured controversy” continues because of real malpractice at the very least. I just got back from covering the Fourth International Conference on Climate Change, where, among other things, we saw Dick Lindzen’s paper showing very strong direct observational evidence suggesting that the actual heat balance of the Earth doesn’t reflect the expected behavior in a strong AGW model, and Steve McIntyre’s extended detective work connecting the various attempts to confirm Mann’s work with the increasingly significant attempts to block the release of raw data.

    What’s more, it’s a misstatement verging on the purposeful to claim that these studies have cleared people like Phil Jones of any wrongdoing, since, among other things, they found that the treatment of FOIA requests in UEA probably “represented an offense” — which, translated from the English, means, “probably were worthy of criminal charges”. These reviews also have had a couple of little procedural problems, like the fact that the committees were largely composed of people with a strong verted interest in finding no problems, and neither included critics, nor even took any testimony from critics — most notably Steve McIntyre himself, who, whatever you may think of him, has had his statistical critiques fully confirmed by the Wegman report.

    I realize that this is a religious belief on your part, but you really should strive to look for the underlying science even if it challenges your faith.

  59. Bruce

    Scott@48, that Wegman report was itself discredited (at least, noted as irrelevant):
    http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/08/wegman-barton-hockey-stick-analysis-revealed-as-fatally-flawed-right-wing-anti-science-set-up/
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/07/the-missing-piece-at-the-wegman-hearing/

    And the “hockey stick” pattern has been confirmed in many places:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/09/hey-ya-mal/

    And you probably know that NASA and NOAA say it’s a hot year. And the NAS says we should be worried. And no matter what Lindzen and McIntyre come up with, when we use up all that oil, it’s gone, so we need to learn to live without it anyway.

    Have a nice day!

  60. Muzz

    My knowledge and expertise on this stuff is fairly slight, but I can’t really see how even refuting the hockey stick makes a terrific point about much. It’s one graph combining temperature proxy series. Even if it’s shown to be flawed (and it’s worth noting that it’s been broadly supported on review) it’s only if you suppose it’s all the theory the IPCC has (it isn’t, although the press would have you believe it’s the only thing holding the ‘house of cards’ up. Which is nonsense) or was created to intentionally mislead (it wasn’t, although the that is the so called skeptics angle: a conspiracy to cover up the medieval warm period/ little ice age intentionally, when it would be just as misleading to paint them as gobal phenomena) that there’s all that much that’s interesting about it.

    You have to look at the fuss surrounding it in a conspiratorial light (oh they withheld data, ooh the government got involved, ooh independant confirmation etc) for even its utter refutaton to really destroy AGW theory in any significant way. And it’s far from utterly refuted even in the most severe critiques (and as I said, has been repeated).

    Incidentally, there’s an ‘audit’ of the Wegman report going on over at Deep Climate and Open Mind (you’ll have to dig a bit if you’re interested). I’m not sure what it amounts to yet. Not a complete debunking at this stage. But there’s some interesting stuff they’re turning up about the sausage factory that report was created in.

  61. A few hours have passed and not a single word on how would Phil or any AGW believer handle any debate with Harrison Schmitt, geologist, Astronaut, Moonwalker, and a skeptic of AGW.

    I think we can safely assume that Schmitt, like Phil, has examined the claims, the science, and the techniques. However, Schmitt has come to the conclusion that (see Wikipedia) “[t]he CO2 scare is a red herring”, the “global warming scare is being used as a political tool to increase government control over American lives, incomes and decision-making,” and scientists who might otherwise challenge prevailing views on climate change dare not do so for fear of losing funding.

    I find the very existence of somebody like Schmitt incompatible with Phil’s simplistic climate change view where everybody that disagrees on anything, is a rabid anti-science ignorant denier or worse.

  62. Bruce of Canuckistan

    @58 – Ah, Charlie Martin, of Pajamas Media, the radical-right online opinion site?

    Let’s see what this truly skeptical, science-minded, and objective “science editor” has associated himself with today:

    “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”
    “The Paradox of the Jewish Mind”
    “Fight Illegal Immigration: Buy from Arizona”

    (Ok, so the first three headlines are race-baiting. No worries, moving on…)

    “Join the ‘We’re Not Europe’ Party”
    “Is Chicago China?”
    “Women Come to Blows Over the Burqa in France”
    “The Insane Myth of ‘Renewable’ Energy”
    “Thomas Sowell Takes on ‘Intellectuals’”
    “Why Is It a Slur to Suggest Elena Kagan Is a Lesbian?”
    “UN Determined to Destroy America’s Second Amendment”
    “Liberal Fascism: The [Helvetica] Font”

    Enough said.

  63. locke

    I hope Phil has done the right thing and chastised his alma mater for their part in this travesty. Were it MY alma mater, they’d see no more of my money until they ended this sordid affair.
    On Harrison Schmitt: disappointing, but hardly surprising. His training is in geology, not atmospheric physics, and he is, after all, a life long republican. I’d be surprised if he WAS NOT singing with choir on this.

  64. Stephen

    @62, Maurizio Morabito

    “Harrison Schmitt, geologist, Astronaut, Moonwalker, and a skeptic of AGW.”

    How is being a moonwalker relevent to their understanding of AGW? Is it more important than him being a republican politician or a business consultant?

    I note from the wikipedia page you quoted that he objected to NASA “accelerating research into global climate change through more comprehensive Earth observations”. Sonot someone who thinks we need more research.

  65. No, really, Stephen (#65)…would you mind listing any instance where Schmitt has been guilty of “obfuscation, noise, and distraction from the actual topic”?

    I have still to find any evidence that Phil (or most AGW believers for that matters) has any clue on how to interact with anybody not buying the catastrophical AGW story left, right and center. Maybe, one day…

  66. Stephen

    @66 -
    “would you mind listing any instance where Schmitt has been guilty of “obfuscation, noise, and distraction from the actual topic”?”

    I hadn’t realised Schmitt was one of those “plague the comments of every blog post” Phill makes on this topic.

    However, the quotes you gave – “[t]he CO2 scare is a red herring”, the “global warming scare is being used as a political tool to increase government control over American lives, incomes and decision-making,” and scientists who might otherwise challenge prevailing views on climate change dare not do so for fear of losing funding.”

    seem to fit your request. Politics and conspiricy, not a word of science.

  67. MartinM

    Sorry for the tl;dr here, but this is shortest summary I can find of the primary issue with Mann’s original “hockey stick”. From the Wegman report…

    Yeah. Wegman. It’s an interesting study in how to make technically accurate statements which are hugely misleading. What Wegman (and before that, McIntyre and McKitrick) tell you is that the MBH methodology pulls a ‘hockey stick’ shape into the first PC. What they don’t tell you is that their preferred methodology also produces a hockey stick shape, just not in PC1. It shows up in PC4, IIRC. The actual difference between the two approaches is negligible, if you look at the actual reconstructions, rather than just one PC (or two, in the case of M&M’s ‘reconstruction’).

  68. Daniel J. Andrews

    FWIW, Steve McIntyre who has conclusively demonstrated several major deficiencies (novel statistical methods, mis-used proxies, data selection criteria) in Michael Mann’s research also condemns this political fishing expedition in no uncertain terms,

    Not worth much. Just the usual misinformation. As Peter Sinclair says in his video, there isn’t just a hockey stick, there’s a whole hockey team. Others have already commented on this.

    Rather funny that people like McIntyre (and Pielke, Jr) have spent years misrepresenting, misunderstanding, maybe even outright lying, about these things, and then suddenly they’re all upset that Cucci does this? They’re some of the ones who painted the science community as corrupt and smeared individual scientists in the first place. What did they think was going to happen?

    Re: Wegman. Google “Deep Climate” + “Wegman”. The Wegman report doesn’t have much credibility left now. DC has done a remarkable bit of detective work (several articles, fully cited–you will need to take your time going through it).

  69. Hugh Fisher

    As someone who tries to be rational and skeptical, it’s my opinion that anyone who uses the phrase “climate change” instead of “global warming” deserves to be attacked. And that includes you, Phil.

    Global warming is real. The consequences may be disastrous. We can do something about it.

    “Climate change” occurs every year due to our planet’s elliptical orbit. It occurs over century to thousands of year long periods due to (probably) Milankovich cycles. It occurs at random intervals and with random duration from major volcanic eruptions or even occasional comets.

    The correct skeptical response to “The climate is changing!” is “Well, duh.” As for people protesting “we must stop climate change!”, what the hell are we supposed to do, change the Earth’s orbit into a circle?

    Or on a more practical note, if average global temperatures start cooling again, are we supposed to try and stop that?

    I don’t know whether “climate change” is deliberate spin by global warming disbelievers or fuzzy minded defensiveness, but it’s got to go.

  70. Intended or not, there is currently an ad on this page for alphapub.com, a site full of “interesting” quotes…

  71. DLC

    “not by an honest effort to provide an alternative theory that credibly satisfies the evidence. ”

    In the current climate (pun intended), anyone proposing such had best guard his head.
    I’m not saying there is an alternative theory that credibly satisfied the evidence, but I
    am saying that the issue has become so contentious that anyone proposing an alternative theory would likely be shouted down at first, and have to work hard to be heard.

    Likely enough there is no credible alternative explanation, but I’m open to the possibility.
    I’ve got a hard nose, though. have to show me some quality proofs.

  72. Well said Phil, bravo. Its time more and more people started saying the following:

    “Many of you claim to be skeptics. Well then, be skeptical, but be real skeptics. I am, and always have been — I’ve examined the claims, the science, and the techniques, and have come to the conclusion that global warming is real, and that humans are overwhelmingly the most likely cause of its recent acceleration. I know I can say this all I want and it won’t help; the Noise Machine is impervious to logic and reality.”

    Remove the claims of conspiracy and fraud, and the denial movement is nothing but smoke and mirrors. They have nothing to offer. No alternative theories, no research and no science. All they have is blog posts from WUWT.

    Do they for a minute question the motives of think tanks with direct funding from energy companies? (Follow the money)

    Do they question the obvious falsehoods and distortions by intellectual fraudsters like Monckton?

    In my personal experience, when you start showing them real science – study, after study – which makes it hard to maintain the facade they go quite and never engage in discussion again.

    The reality is too much them. They would prefer to wave away the evidence. They are desperate to make it not so.

    Ultimately, denial is intellectual cowardice.

  73. Pi-needles

    @20. Maurizio Morabito Says:

    Come to think…it’d be nice to hear what everybody on this thread thinks of Harrison Schmitt.

    Harrison Schmidt is a great geologist and a heroic Apollo moonwalker.

    This qualifies him to speak about global climate change & AGW especially *how* precisely?

    Ditto Burt Rutan & other non-climatologically trained celebrities who disagree with the climatological consenus that AGW is real.

    EDITED TO ADD : As I see (#65.) Stephen has already noted.

  74. Pi-needles

    @ 63. Bruce of Canuckistan :

    “Why Is It a Slur to Suggest Elena Kagan Is a Lesbian?”

    Now *that* is actually a good question – it shouldn’t be. Whether Kagan is or isn’t a lesbian shouldn’t mean squat either way. Sexual preference should be totally irrelevent to anything and be strictly a private, personal matter for each individual.

    (Off topic but I just wanted to point that out.)

    @27. Randy A. Says:

    Those who deny the reality of global climate change are really missing the point. Make a table with two rows and two columns. Label the four cells “global warming (GW) is real, and we do something about it,” “GW is real but we don’t do anything,” “GW isn’t real, but we try to stop it anyway,” and “GW isn’t real, and we don’t do anything about it.” Then fill in the cells with the expected results.

    Good analysis – well said. :-)

    I’ll just add :

    In the cell labeled “GW is real but we don’t do anything,” you should probably add “we are TOTALLY screwed.”

    Same applies if we don’t do enough or wait too late.

    Of course, we may not be totally 100% screwed but a lot of damage will be done and people will suffer badly and even lose their lives as a result of our inaction when it could have been avoided and that cannot be considered a good thing by anyone surely?

  75. Lord Rotifer

    adam says:

    “What I can’t get behind is this fearmongering paranoia about something every scientist with even a single honest bone in his body will admit we barely understand on even a most basic level.”

    Dear boy, have you written your devastatingly well researched peer reviewed paper and gotten it published in a decent scientific journal yet?
    I thought not. You really aren’t a fan of real science are you, old bean? We do understand how CO2 basically functions regarding warming an atmosphere. Svante Arrhenius is a name you, and your friend Lonny, should get acquainted with before you make such ignorant statements.

  76. Lord Rotifer

    adam said on the last AGW thread:

    “Oh, and you assume I’m not a scientist. Your assumption is incorrect.”

    “Remember, the burden of proof lies with the claimant …”

    Adam old prune, please elucidate as to your scientific qualifications. I am of the opinion that I will be greatly disappointed by you dodging out the obligation to show us your relevant scientific qualifications, and the peer reviewed papers you have had published recently.

    We’re still waiting for you to tell us what science you practice. Don’t be shy.

  77. Undeniable

    Hmm,

    The first four months of 2010 were the hottest ever recorded? That must be why I had my heating on up until two days ago. Let’s hope the planet doesn’t get any hotter or we won’t be able to dig our way out from under all the snow.

  78. By now it can be ascertained that Phil doesn’t want to talk about Harrison Schmitt. I presume that could have been expected, as it looks pretty much absurd to classify Schmitt as a “denier”.

    In the meanwhile a couple of people have asked what would make Schmitt qualified to speak on the topic. Who knows…perhaps whatever makes Phil too?

    To locke (#63): if we stick to the science, it is never a matter of being right or wrong. Science is a process, not about guessing it right. That is in fact what Phil is accusing all non-catastrophic-AGW-believers to be: “deniers”, i.e. outside of the process of Science.

    Perhaps I should ask him and you about Roy Spencer then.

    From Wikipedia: “climatologist and a Principal Research Scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville, as well as the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. He has served as senior scientist for climate studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.”

    It would be nice to hear how to argue that Spencer is a denier too, hasn’t looked at the claims, doesn’t understand the science, etc etc. Why, perhaps somebody will accuse the whole of the MSFC of being a deniers’ den, and likewise the NASA big cheeses for allowing deniers to be science team leaders on climate-related satellites.

  79. Steve in Dublin

    @Gord #35

    to summarize my point, these are the two issues that make me feel like being a denier. There has been much scientific discussions about the reality of global warming. But once we get to the consequences and possible solutions, it turns into an emotional, tree-hugger circus.

    Maybe if we had some calm, reasoned, scientifically backed discussion about these points, there would be fewer deniers around.

    But this is the problem with a lot of the deniers. They don’t like the solutions to the problem that are being proposed, so they deny that the problem is happening in the first place! FIRST, we need to get everyone (at least a decent bipartisan majority) on the same page to agree that a) global warming is happening, and b) a large part of it is man-made. THEN we can decide what to do about it. But we can’t get everyone on the same page with all the lies and disinformation being spread by the deniers :-

  80. Stephen W

    @77, Maurizio Morabito
    “By now it can be ascertained that Phil doesn’t want to talk about Harrison Schmitt. I presume that could have been expected, as it looks pretty much absurd to classify Schmitt as a “denier”.”

    I have no idea if I’d classify Schmitt as a denier, a skeptic or other. Until you mentioned him I had no interest in his post moon career, but having searched a bit I haven’t found any evidence of him making a genuine contribution to the subject, but he has been quoted as making some rather dubious claims. For example

    “Schmitt said historical documents indicate average temperatures have risen by 1 degree per century since around 1400 A.D., and the rise in carbon dioxide is because of the temperature rise.“

    Even as someone who hasn’t walked on the moon I can see a few problems with that statement.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,493624,00.html

    (Not the most reliable source, but this quote does appear all over the internet and I haven’t found anyone denying it was said.)

  81. Stephen W

    “The first four months of 2010 were the hottest ever recorded? That must be why I had my heating on up until two days ago.”

    The sad thing is that there really are people who think like this. I’m guessing it’s the same reason people will say smoking can’t be bad for you because they had a relative who smoked and lived to be 100.

  82. Steve in Dublin

    @Steve Huntwork #57

    Well then, be skeptical, but be real skeptics. I am, and always have been — I’ve examined the claims, the science, and the techniques, and have come to the conclusion that global warming is real, and that humans are overwhelmingly the most likely cause of its recent acceleration.

    Phil, then do so! You claim to have evaluated the science, but all that I have seen from you is an echo from http://www.realclimate.com and other websites with a vested interest.

    Not if, but when you are proven wrong beyond a shadow of doubt, I hope that you are banned for life from ever receiving government research money.

    This can’t be. Steve Huntwork, long-time BA climate change denier troll, finally agrees that GW is happening and that humans are causing it… oh, wait… but then he’s attacking Phil again in the very next paragraph. Ah, epic <blockquote> fail there Steve. The first paragraph was supposed to be Phil’s words, not yours.

    Trolls should learn to use the tools of their trade better. Won’t make them any more effective, but at least we could figure out what they are trying to say when they leave their droppings splattered all over these blogs.

  83. gss_000

    @59. Charlie Martin

    The Fourth International Conference on Climate Change was run by the Heartland Institute, which is against manmade climate change. Just looking down the list of speakers, I’m not recognizing anyone who are not deniers. Were there any? I’m highly skeptical of any claims based on what this group said.

    Especially as the first thing on the background for the conference is:
    Putting an End to Global Warming Alarmism

  84. @gss_000 please provide your definition of “deniers”. You too appear to have identified “the Truth” with “being alarmist about global warming”.

  85. DrB

    @#59: “I realize that this is a religious belief on your part, but you really should strive to look for the underlying science even if it challenges your faith.”

    Nice try but somehow I don’t think you’ve done enough to get a rise out of Phil. You don’t think he’s ever had someone accuse him of that before? Constant efforts to criticise people for their scientifically-researched understanding and half-arsed attempts to pick out individual errors in data collection do nothing but make it very clear that you have no real argument.

    I’d be embarrassed for you if my strongest emotion wasn’t pity. Who were you covering the “Fourth International Conference on [Promoting] Climate Change [Denialism] ” for? The Fox News fan club magazine?

  86. Another example…just imagine Phil meeting up with that other uberdenier enemy of science (yest it’s sarcasm) called Penn Jillette and starting a tirade of “you obfuscator, you noise-maker, you distractor from the actual topic”. Or maybe not.

  87. Doug Little

    Taking your tone, I suppose I could assume you get your news from MSNBC and Media Matters, both of which I consider bunk.

    And you would be wrong.

    Do you actually ever watch Fox, or do you just sneer at it?

    Yes I go back from time to time. What do you suggest I watch? I’ve found that not only “fair and balanced reporting” is very hard to find there but the validation and promotion of out and out crackpots and their associated movements is very hard to stomach.

  88. Utakata

    They meant to say, “fascist and imbalanced reporting,” Doug Little @ 88…but they made several typos. :)

    It’s been well documented that Penn Jillette is a skeptic in many things Maurizio Morabito @ 87, but when it comes to economics, climate change and second hand smoking, he is not.

  89. Stephen W

    @Maurizio Morabito

    I think you’re making a basic logical mistake.

    When Phill says

    “And for you deniers who plague the comments of every blog post I make on this topic, loading it with obfuscation, noise, and distraction from the actual topic:”

    he is only accusing those deniers post comments here of using “obfuscation” etc. It is not correct to infer from that quote that all deniers do nothing but obfuscate etc.

  90. Doug Little

    And another thing with Fox news that gets my goat is that they actually have the “fair and balanced” tag line. Just the fact that they have to state this is cause for concern, don’t you think? No other news agency has to make a claim like this, they rely on their listeners to make the determination by the strength or weakness of their reporting.

    Oh and I generally rely on the AP for my news.

  91. Messier Tidy Upper

    RE: Harrison Schmitt

    In fairness, geologists generally *do* get an idea from the rocks about climate and how it has changed before over past aeons often very dramatically indeed.

    It is true to say that our Earth has experienced many hothouse and icehouse periods throughout its geological history. Our planet has endured snowball earth epochs, many glacial ice ages where things have been far colder and drier and also many vast spans of millennia when conditions have been far hotter and no ice existed at either pole. The Jurassic and dinosaur era more broadly was one such period.

    Schmitt may not be a qualified climatologist but I do think he still has something to say that is worth listenening to even if you don’t necessarily allow his opinion to over-ride others.

    Also some of the more extreme views from either end of the Global Warming issue spectrum are probably best viewed with a some suspicion and the climategate email about CRU scientists “changing what peer review means” among others is grave cause for concern over whether the science is really all that good or otherwise.

    I’m not sure that I’d agree the scientists in question have genuinely been cleared or whether the enquiry that supposedly cleared them was itself dubious given it was apparently headed by someone who has already made firm statements of committed belief in the AGW idea.

    Certainly in Australia a recent poll – published in The Australian newspaper can’t recall the exact date – found that the general public nolonger take global warming so seriously with 54% either disbleiveing it or thinking we shouldn’t act on it versus 46% who stll believe in AGW or think we should be acting to slow or stop it.

    Those believing in AGW are losing the battle for public opinion & support whether or not they are winning the scientific debate.

    It certainly doesn’t look as though the science is settled or certain and time will tell whether the climatologists predictions are correct or not but at present they’re certainly looking .. murky. :-(

  92. ND

    As a geologist, is Harrison Schmitt looking at a subset of data that is used in climatology?

  93. PaulM

    The “I can’t hear you” picture is particularly appropriate with regard to the way the various “independent” reviews have completely ignored the skeptics.
    As McIntyre says:

    The Oxburgh report ” is a flimsy and embarrassing 5-pages.

    They did not interview me (nor, to my knowledge, any other CRU critics or targets). The committee was announced on March 22 and their “report” is dated April 12 – three weeks end to end – less time than even the Parliamentary Committee. They took no evidence.

  94. John Carter

    Or, as many wise folks now consider, anyone who believes in AGW is either related to Al Gore, or is completely delusional.
    (Or both).
    It just isn’t happening folks.
    Accept it.
    Get over it.
    Move on.

  95. Recent research by Henrik Svensmark and his group at the Danish National
    Space Center points to the real cause of the recent warming trend. In a
    series of experiments on the formation of clouds, these scientists have
    shown that fluctuations in the Sun’s output cause the observed changes in the
    Earth’s temperature.

    In the past, scientists believed the fluctuations in the Sun’s output were
    too small to cause the observed amount of temperature change, hence the need
    to look for other causes like carbon dioxide. However, these new
    experiments show that fluctuations in the Sun’s output are in fact large
    enough, so there is no longer a need to resort to carbon dioxide as the
    cause of the recent warming trend.

    The discovery of the real cause of the recent increase in the Earth’s
    temperature is indeed a convenient truth. It means humans are not to blame
    for the increase. It also means there is absolutely nothing we can, much
    less do, to correct the situation.

    Thomas Laprade
    Thunder Bay, Ont.
    Canada

    http://beforeitsnews.com/news/44/692/Astonishing_Science:_Sun_May_Cause_Global_Warming.html

  96. DataJack

    Chris Barnhart @47: This is an honest question, please don’t be offended. You say you are a “fox News watcher”. You write as thought you were intelligent and well educated. So my question is, why do you watch a news channel that demonstratively lies to you? Is it for the entertainment value?

    The news, the morning show, the evening “opinion” shows, each and every one of these can and have been repeatedly shown to be lying. Everything from misquoting to taking quotes out of context to labeling disgraced GOP politicians as Dems. You can go to Youtube or Jon Stewart’s site right now and find this out for yourself.

    Please do not answer (if you answer at all) by dodging the issue. Saying “Fox lies less then CNN” is not an answer.

    Thanks, and again, I don’t mean to offend.

  97. DataJack

    Thomas Laprade @96 Your lack of understanding of how science works doesn’t mean science suddenly stops working. There are facts:

    The global temperature is rising
    We are adding lots of CO2 into the atmosphere, more than ever before
    CO2 is a greenhouse gas
    The “greenhouse effect” makes planets hotter.

    None of these is in dispute. None. Now, we can formulate a hypothesis to explain these facts, and to make predictions concerning them. But we cannot dismiss them because someone, somewhere, did a study on the Sun’s temperature. Similarly, we cannot dismiss them because someone, somewhere, dislikes the idea of Cap and Trade. Those things are irrelevant to the facts.

    That the sun is producing more energy may also be a fact. (we don’t know, we need more tests). But new facts do not remove existing facts, though they can alter existing hypotheses.

    If we do not disregard our existing facts, and look at all of them, we may get some new conclusions. Such as, “if the sun really is producing more heat then it used to, then increased CO2 in the atmosphere will, irrefutably, make it worse”.

    That is why Venus, though it gets much less energy from the Sun then Mercury, is still far hotter. Because the greenhouse effect is a fact.

    Now, how much hotter we are making the world is open to debate. But to say that your sun study means we no longer have to worry about CO2 in the atmosphere is factually, provably, logically, false.

  98. gss_000

    @85. Maurizio Morabito

    A denier is someone who uses false or misinterpreted facts to prove that global warming isn’t happening is a denier. For instance, anyone who claims temps have decreased in the last decade is a denier. I don’t think everyone who holds the opposite stance is a denier, but I haven’t seen anyone use a scientific argument that hasn’t been disproved yet. The argument in the literature is overwhelmingly in favor of warming. This isn’t because of censorship. This is because the opposing view cannot be proven scientifically.

    Also, if you use the term “alarmist” then you’re a denier. You are just as bad as you claim everyone else is. And this is what I’ve found of deniers. They whine about mistreatment, yet every time I’ve always seen they have attacked just as hard or harder.

    If you actually read anything from the Heartland Institute, you’d see that they are the pure definition of denier. When the National Academy of Science comes out with an 800+ page report and is call partisan, closed minded, and non-objective, that’s a denial’s dream organization.

  99. Steve in Dublin

    What DataJack says.

    We have known that CO2 is a powerful greenhouse gas for about 150 years. Since the 1950′s or so, when we figured out isotopes/radiometric dating, we have been able to determine that the ratio of 13C to 12C in the atmosphere has been changing in exactly the way we expect if the additional carbon is coming from the burning of fossil fuels. That tells us the problem is largely man-made.

    Science: it works, people. Ignore what it’s telling you at your peril.

  100. gss_000

    @96. Thomas Laprade

    Umm…that’s a lunar study you link to and Svensmark isn’t even one of the authors.

    In reality, Svensmark tied his theory to cosmic rays hitting the Earth’s atmosphere which changed the cloud cover and affected arming. Several scientists were able to look at the cloud cover when an event took place and saw no change.

  101. Stephen W

    @96

    “The discovery of the real cause of the recent increase in the Earth’s
    temperature is indeed a convenient truth. It means humans are not to blame
    for the increase. It also means there is absolutely nothing we can, much
    less do, to correct the situation.”

    Wow, you are a skeptic – infering from an article titled “sun _may_ cause global warming.” that we’ve discovered the _real_ cause.

    Are you sure you don’t want to check all Svensmark’s emails first, just to make sure he hasn’t used any tricks? Has he released all his data yet so that McIntye can audit it?

    There’s nothing wrong with exploring alternative possibilities, but I find it suspicious how one sided some peoples skepticisim can be.

    For me, as an interested layman, the biggest problem I have with these sorts of natural solutions, is that it requires an amazing coincidence that the natural proccess started up at exactly the time we expected green house gasses to take effect.

  102. Eric

    Why is there such disconnect when it comes to skepticism of the proposed solutions for global warming? There are a lot of environmental solutions and policies that I wouldn’t mind seeing implemented…but not the caps and carbon trading garbage that is going on in Europe.

    Many people here have implied that they do not support these solutions, and yet they refuse to voice ANY skepticism of them. Why? Is the political ideology really that important to you? Are you willing to let us to be run across the corrupt plains of ineffective legislation just so that you can gloat in a meaningless victory? A “victory” that could actually set us back while taking away resources for local environmental concerns and other global health and poverty issues.

  103. DataJack

    Eric @ 103: The efficacy of Cap & Trade certainly should be investigated before it is implemented. All plans should be, the more so for large programs like this.

    The fact that you call the European C&T garbage shows you might have an agenda. I have found that most Americans who are against C&T are against it for the same reason they were against Universal Health Care – because far right talking heads and dishonest politicians told them to be.

    Precisely what elements of the European implementation are “garbagy”? Do those elements also exist in the proposed U.S. implementation? I have yet to hear any details as to what is wrong with C&T. Frankly, I haven’t seen many details on why it’s a good idea, either.

    If C&T is a bad idea, that has to be demonstrated with proven science. It cannot be labeled a bad idea because of something that “might” happen. It cannot be labeled a bad idea simply because it is an idea from the left. It cannot be labeled a bad idea simply because it is a form of regulation. Regulations cannot be considered bad simply because they are regulations. They must be examined on a case by case basis. Some regulation is good, and needed (“don’t poison our food”), and some regulation is bad, and not needed (“you can only say and write about certain things”).

    Both sides of the debate need to understand this: it is wrong to tie C&T to AGW. Whether or not C&T is a good idea (it might be) has nothing to do with whether or not AWG is happening (it is).

  104. AhmNee

    Peter Taylor of Ethos UK (a prominent ecologist and science policy analyst) has a book out called Chill, A Reassessment of Global Warming Theory. In it he makes a very convincing argument for Solar and Oceanic cycles being the main driver for Global Warming.

    I just found some clips of him on Youtube.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdTfgz_WGtI
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLR95w0qBD0

  105. Stephen W

    101. gss_000

    “Umm…that’s a lunar study you link to and Svensmark isn’t even one of the authors.”

    Good catch. Moreover, the original paper makes no mention of global warming, and there’s no suggestion that fluctuations in the sun’s output caused the warming. Not surprising as the data only covers a 4 year period in the early 70s.

    The most likely cause of the warming was the astronauts disturbing the area – so maybe it’s all a conspiracy by Schmitt.

    http://www.diviner.ucla.edu/docs/2650.pdf

  106. @Stephen W (#90): “he is only accusing those deniers post comments here of using “obfuscation” etc.”

    Could anybody please find any evidence of Phil ever admitting that it is possible to disagree with him about climate change WITHOUT being a denier? Thank you.

    @gss_000 (#99): “A denier is someone who uses false or misinterpreted facts to prove that global warming isn’t happening is a denier [...] if you use the term “alarmist” then you’re a denier”

    You yourself earlier wrote: “Just looking down the list of speakers, I’m not recognizing anyone who are not deniers. Were there any?” – that is against your definition, as for example McIntyre in a saner world would have never been accused of “denying” something he believes himself.

    Then you proceeded to show an example of “denial”, in the slogan “Putting an End to Global Warming Alarmism”. Please make up you mind: it is you the one associating “global warming” to “alarmism”…

  107. No word has yet on Roy Spencer.

    Is it too much to ask everybody participating in this discussion to acknowledge that since Drs Spencer and Schmitt are not figments of anybody’s imagination, it is then possible to disagree with Phil without being a denier, and some very knowledgeable people do just that and not out of ignorance or dishonesty?

    Perhaps it is, too much to ask…

    Let me restate the basic point. I am not arguing about who’s right, rather about who’s put themselves out of the scientific process, within which some people might be right, and others wrong without shouting at each other silly pejoratives.

  108. llewelly

    Phil Plait:

    And for you deniers who plague the comments of every blog post I make on this topic, loading it with obfuscation, noise, and distraction from the actual topic: these posts by me are not politically driven.

    So you admit you are being paid, in suitcases full of money, delivered in the darkest hours of the night, by black helicopters, to write these posts?

  109. llewelly

    103. Eric Says:
    May 21st, 2010 at 12:37 pm :

    Why is there such disconnect when it comes to skepticism of the proposed solutions for global warming? There are a lot of environmental solutions and policies that I wouldn’t mind seeing implemented…but not the caps and carbon trading garbage that is going on in Europe.

    Many people here have implied that they do not support these solutions, and yet they refuse to voice ANY skepticism of them.

    This is not true. James Hansen, and many other climate scientists, have argued that (a) cap and trade (as implemented in Europe) is polluted with offsets that are not really able to offset as much in emissions as claimed, that (b) the caps suggested are way too high, that (c) cap and trade does too little to encourage action by individuals, and thus is inferior to tax-and-dividend, that (d) cap and trade too easily enables shady and unreliable finance traders of the sort who contributed to the real-estate disaster. James Hansen covers this in some depth in his book Storms of My Grandchildren. Among global warming prevention activists, he is not at all alone in arguing that tax-and-dividend is superior to cap-and-trade. But, you see, Hansen’s alternative taxes GHG emitters, and re-distributes that money to those who don’t emit (or, in the early stages, emit less). This tax would steadily increase, and eventually convert to stronger penalties. (In the medium run, GHG emissions must be reduced to zero.) The alternatives to cap-and-trade, actually require more rapid reductions, and preferentially benefit individuals over corporations. Naturally – this makes those opposed to action far less willing to talk about those alternatives. But mostly, the do-nothings want to portray global warming prevention activists as unthinking “religious” robots, and thus pretend there’s insufficient skepticism of cap and trade. It’s yet another straw man.

  110. Steve in Dublin

    @Maurizio Morabito, in too many posts to count

    No word has yet on Roy Spencer.

    Spencer has little credibility. For starters, he’s a creationist. So if he can’t can’t even figure out that evolution is true, what does that say about his ability to espouse the scientific method? Secondly, he’s in the pockets of both the Heartland Institute and the George C. Marshall Institute. Both are right wing think tanks funded by big coal and oil. Thanks for playing, though.

    ETA: I agree that cap & trade is a load of crock that will give industry plenty of outs, and make people who have loads of money to throw around even richer. All the while, it will do little to solve the problem of all that excess carbon in the atmosphere. OTOH, Hansen’s idea of a carbon tax, with obvious incentives for those who consume less, seems like the best idea I’ve heard so far. It appeals to the common good.

  111. Stephen W

    @106 Maurizio Morabito

    “Is it too much to ask everybody participating in this discussion to acknowledge that since Drs Spencer and Schmitt are not figments of anybody’s imagination, it is then possible to disagree with Phil without being a denier, and some very knowledgeable people do just that and not out of ignorance or dishonesty?”

    Is it to much to ask of you that you stop playing word games and actually present some evidence we can debate? Has anyone suggested Spence and Schmitt are imaginary? Has anyone suggested it is not possible to disagree with Phil without being a denier? And why do you think neither Schmitt or Spencer are deniers?

  112. Steve in Dublin (#109): your comment doesn’t make any sense. How can Roy Spencer have “little credibility” whilst being ““climatologist and a Principal Research Scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville, as well as the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite”, and having “served as senior scientist for climate studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.”???

  113. Stephen W (#112)

    I have already restated my point. I am not arguing about who’s right or wrong, so the merits of Schmitt’s views are irrelevant. The question is: have Schmitt and Spencer reached their conclusions by becoming “deniers”, abandoning the scientific process? Obviously, they have not.

    Yet, Phil has suggested there is no way to disagree with him without being a denier. That’s what would transform Schmitt and Spencer into imaginary beings: they cannot exist in Phil’s world view.

    Do you hold similar ideas? Does anybody else?

    Thereafter we can move to more questions of interest beyond the usual, sterile agw vs non-agw exchanges full of mutual accusations. If it is possible to disagree with Phil without being a denier, why can’t we have an OPEN discussion about climate WITHOUT using the word “denier”? Why is all focus given to anybody showing up claiming global warming has stopped because it was cold last night, and there is no interest in reviewing the relative merits of some of the AGW claims? Why is there no attempt whatsoever by warmists and especially catastrophical warmists to find a common ground with the rest of humanity?

    Who gains by constantly throwing fiery. damning speeches at the opposition?

    Talking of which, Phil’s claim that “these posts by me are not politically driven” does sound rather hollow, given that Phil’s phraseology is typical of American politics perhaps since the 1884 “Ma, ma, where’s my pa?” election: yell, yell, and yell again. Breathe in, then start yelling once more. Why, I can’t remember of any US President since Franklin D Roosevelt that hasn’t been portrayed by the opposing Party as the worst human being that ever existed.

  114. Stephen W

    “The question is: have Schmitt and Spencer reached their conclusions by becoming “deniers”, abandoning the scientific process? Obviously, they have not.”

    Not obvious to me.

    “Yet, Phil has suggested there is no way to disagree with him without being a denier.”

    Where?

    “Do you hold similar ideas?”

    Do I think Scmitt and Spencer are imaginary? Unfortunately not.
    Do I think it’s possible to disagree with Phill without being a denier? No.

    “If it is possible to disagree with Phil without being a denier, why can’t we have an OPEN discussion about climate WITHOUT using the word “denier”? ”

    Because it’s a usefull shorthand, and avoids the misuse of the word skeptic. But if you hate the d-word so much what word would you suggest. Also what would you make of someone who compares most envrionmentalists to “holocaust deniers”?

    “Why is all focus given on anybody showing up claiming global warming has stopped because it was cold last night, and there is no interest in reviewing the relative merits of some of the AGW claims?”

    Because there’s so many of them. Because these are the arguments people find most convincing. Because I haven’t noticed many here raising an AGW claim.

    “Why is there no attempt whatsoever by warmists and especially catastrophical warmists to find a common ground with the rest of humanity?”

    So “denier” is out, but “catastrophical warmist” is OK? But you’re engaging in the middle ground fallacy. If some scientists believe the world is round, “sphereists”, and the rest of humanity knows it’s flat there’s little point trying to find common ground.

    “Who gains by constantly throwing fiery. damning speeches at the opposition?”

    Unfortunatly the ones who are throwing damning speeches at the opposition (ie the deniers) seem to be winning. They have the time, resources and knowhow to do it very effectivly. The scientists have real work to do, and are pretty bad at getting their message across. The truth will out in the end, but I expect too late.

  115. Brian Too

    “Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?

    Answer the question Sir! If you have nothing to hide, the truth cannot hurt you…”

    Of the various methods zealots employ, this is one of the scariest. It seems to appeal to moderation, but it conceals the darker truth. If you say no, you’re accused of Lying (that’s what Communists do, right?). If you say yes, Gotcha! If you say you refuse to answer, you are presumed to be hiding a Yes, or at least something incriminating.

    This is the danger of the Cuccinelli gambit. Doubtless he knows this, which makes him venal, or cynical, or opportunistic.

  116. Just your average denier. Dropping by to plague this blog.

    Nice picture at the end there. I’ve set it on my desktop – tiled.
    ;)

  117. Steve in Dublin

    @Maurizio Morabito #113

    Steve in Dublin (#109): your comment doesn’t make any sense. How can Roy Spencer have “little credibility” whilst being ““climatologist and a Principal Research Scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville, as well as the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite”, and having “served as senior scientist for climate studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.”???

    There are always a few scientists on the fringe that disagree with the consensus. But somehow their controversial stuff never makes it into the peer reviewed journals. Instead, it just gets trumpeted around uncritically in the blogosphere and by the press:

    How to cook a graph in three easy lessons

    From that article:

    These days, when global warming inactivists need to trot out somebody with some semblance of scientific credentials (from the dwindling supply who have made themselves available for such purposes), it seems that they increasingly turn to Roy Spencer, a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama. Roy does have a handful of peer-reviewed publications, some of which have quite decent and interesting results in them. However, the thing you have to understand is that what he gets through peer-review is far less threatening to the mainstream picture of anthropogenic global warming than you’d think from the spin he puts on it in press releases, presentations and the blogosphere.

    And the article concludes (because I know you won’t read it. Not for comprehension anyway):

    Now, there’s nothing wrong with making mistakes when pursuing an innovative observational method, but Spencer and Christy sat by for most of a decade allowing — indeed encouraging — the use of their data set as an icon for global warming skeptics. They committed serial errors in the data analysis, but insisted they were right and models and thermometers were wrong. They did little or nothing to root out possible sources of errors, and left it to others to clean up the mess, as has now been done.

  118. Steve in Dublin (#118): you’re becoming a waste of time. What have people whose “controversial stuff never makes it into the peer reviewed journal” got to do with the “U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite”?

    Maybe you should try reading something about Aqua. Hint: it’s still in orbit.

  119. Peter

    Hello !
    I see the noise machine is trying ;)
    So.. do you have something real this time ? You know evidence.

  120. John Varner

    105. AhmNee Says:

    “Peter Taylor of Ethos UK (a prominent ecologist and science policy analyst) has a book out called Chill, A Reassessment of Global Warming Theory. In it he makes a very convincing argument for Solar and Oceanic cycles being the main driver for Global Warming.”

    This comes from a review of one of Taylors’s books.

    “Unbeknown to the Greenpeace board, Taylor and his two brothers augmented their activist research into toxic dumping by using informants who claimed to be adept at … “astral surveillance”. Information ostensibly procured from out-of-the-body experiences and channelling from Pan factored in to protest planning and supposed real-time remote observation of toxic dumping at sea.”
    And there’s more:

    “If we want to know Taylor’s scientific credentials, this is the context in which we might read Taylor’s climate change contrarianism. I further note that “Chill” is published not by a scientifically reputable and relevant publisher but from a house that grew out of the Rudolph Steiner movement. That is not a criticism of Steiner, but it is to suggest that what his movement and way of thinking calls “science” exists in a different universe of discourse to what most physicists, chemists and biologists would call science. ”

    I’m wondering if Taylor got his GW information from Master Koothoomi and Ankh Af Na Khonsu, or maybe Dr Strange in astral form?
    Whatever Chill is, it ain’t peer reviewed by the type of scientist that is relevant to the subject of GW.

  121. Steve in Dublin

    Steve in Dublin (#118):

    you’re becoming a waste of time.

    Maybe you should try reading something about Aqua. Hint: it’s still in orbit.

    Tell that to your grandchildren, 30 years from now. I won’t be here then. Whether or not a satellite is in orbit is not the question. Whether or not we interpret what it is telling us correctly is more to the point, asshat. You never addressed the points in my last post.

  122. AhmNee

    121. John Varner Says:
    “This comes from a review of one of Taylors’s books.”

    Lets take a look at the next review in the list by WJ Davis, Professor Emeritus, University of California and CoAuthor of the First Draft of the Kyoto Protocol.

    “In his review of Taylor’s book, Alister MacIntosh suggests we ignore Taylor’s views because they contravene scientific consensus. On the contrary, Taylor chronicles and exemplifies the absence of consensus among climate scientists. This is as it should be in any scientific discipline, particularly one as immature as climate science. A healthy scientific process absolutely thrives on dissenting evidence to arrive at ever-better (i.e. more predictive) hypotheses. That is how a scientific discipline grows and eventually matures.

    MacIntosh proposes Taylor is an unquallified messenger we should ignore in favor of an “authority” like the IPCC. Had science followed MacIntosh’s advice historically, the earth would still be flat, the center of the universe, and devoid of evolution. Science based on authority, as MacIntosh implicitly advocates, is dogma; science based on evaluation of all relevant evidence, as Taylor urges explicitly and by example, is the essence of the scientific method.

    Why are global warming believers like MacIntosh and many “greens” so fearful of dissenting viewpoints? I helped author the Kyoto Protocol yet treasure Taylor’s carefully marshaled and reasoned evidence precisely because it provides the opportunity for advancing climate science. If there is an effective rejoinder to Taylor’s contrarian climate views, the views of the greens will be correspondingly strengthened; and if not, Taylor gives the opening to modify positions to better reflect the evidence. Isn’t that the aim?”

    I’ve always found it interesting that AGW proponents use the political maneuver of attacking one’s credibility instead of one’s science.

  123. Messier Tidy Upper

    @99. gss_000 Says:

    Also, if you use the term “alarmist” then you’re a denier.

    How about we stop calling each side rude names & look at trying to work out what the scientific objective truth is here?

    For whatever little its worth, my view is that the side that thinks the AGW is real *is* making alarming claims and the side that call themselves skeptics are often denying only *some* of these claims.

    For instance, many AGW skeptics would argue that GW *is* happening but it is due to natural astronomical and geological factors rather than Anthropogenic (human industrial) influences.

    So from an objective point of view the term “Alarmist” for those on the “AGW is real” side is a lot more accurate than the insulting term “denier” is for those on the “hang on,no maybe AGW isn’t real after all “side.

    But hey, could we actually debate the issue on its merits and not resort to politics and name-calling here – and if we can’t – isn’t it perhaps a sign that this issue is a lot more about a polarised ideological political debate than a rational scientific one?

    It also appears that at least some of the “AGW-is-real” mobs claims are and have since been exposed as extreme and exaggerated and even downright inaccurate eg. melting Himalayan glaciers retraction.

  124. Messier Tidy Upper

    @121. John Varner :

    Whatever Chill is, it ain’t peer reviewed by the type of scientist that is relevant to the subject of GW.

    But how *can* it be – if it is true, as said in a famous quote from climategate emails, that “the meaning of peer review has been changed” to suppress and exclude all scientific papers (& worse scientists) that are skeptical of or dissenting from the AGW orthodoxy? :-(

    If a small politically motivated club of “AGW-is-real” climatologists dictate & control what papers and scientists can and can’t be heard then no wonder there is a (false) consensus apparently favouring their side of the story.

    A historic comparison to consider here : In the old Soviet Union everyone incl. scientists who knew better adopted Lysenko-ism with its politically useful “scientific” view – or else they were sent to the gulags or otherwise very harshly punished. Dissenting opinions were not heard – indeed they *couldn’t* be heard until Communism collapsed. Thus for many decades there was a solid “scientific” consensus in Russia behind a Lysenko-ist view. The science was supposedly settled – except of course it wasn’t and it was totally wrong -you just could’nt get the alternative view heard. It didn’t make Lysenko right then & it doesn’t make AGW right now.

    Quite the contrary, their need to take such repressive measures indicates that the science behind AGW is weak and flawed otherwise peer review wouldn’t have to have its meaning changed and the raw data could be shared freely and not go missing or get deleted when people ask to check it.

    I think the major problem here is the politics involved and the consequent partisan polarisation and general lack of sanity that follows.

    Here’s another thing – the “AGW-is-real” side have already lost the political argument.

    In Australia the former opposition leader, Malcolm Turnbull ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_Turnbull ) who was supporting a Rudd govt drive for an Emissions Trading Scheme to be imposed lost his position because of that and was replaced by a new far more popular anti-ETS (dubbed a “great big new tax”) leader Tony Abbott. Not only that but the Rudd govt itself later abandoned the ETS and put off taking any action on GW until after 2012 or later. The Rudd govt is currently trailing in the political polls and may well lose the next election to Abbott who has described climate change as .. um ..somethinmg Ican’t say here equivalent to BS.

    In the USA, the similar Obama cap-&-trade scheme seems doomed with very little if any chance of getting through. Even if it did all it would do would be to hurt the US economy and disadvantage the Western world because China, India & the rest of the world aren’t going to take action either.

    China is taking over as the main economic powerhouse and it is already a huge polluter -perhaps the worst of all – it isn’t going to stop pollutiiong, or hamstring its economy for the sake of the dubious science of modern climatology. For China taking action on GW ranks right down there with treating human beings esp. Tibetans like, well, human beings rather than slaves to be crushed if they step out of line.

    Plus for most of the world – the third world /developing nations – environmental action of any sort is pretty much a luxury they cannot afford. It is easy to be smug and sanctimonious about issues like Global Warming when you have three meals a day and no worries about how you are going to survive the next day or so. If you are in a situation where your kids are starving AGW is of no concern or interest whatsoever.

    The reality is the belivers in taking action against the putative AGW are fighting a lost cause.

    Sad or otherwise the truth is economic interests will almost always override environmental concerns and for the majority of people (in the West -elsewhere its pretty much not even thought of) Environmentalists predicting “something awful if we don’t change our ways” are tuned out & ignored because they’ve been yelling that so long and in such a hyperbolic, exxagerated way.

    So “AGW -is-real” may be a conscenus orthodoxy here but most average people on the street do NOt believe in it anymore and most politicians either definitely do NOT believe it or know that taking any serious political action to stop it is impossible.

    Thus even if the AGW does turn out to be real we are NOT going to take any immediate action for at least the next three-five years and probably longer. If AGW is actually real then we are going to have to either adapt orresort tosome sort of massive planetary engineering – the fix will involve scientific technology and not feel-good lifestyle tokenism or extra laws and taxes. That’s just how it is whether AGW adherents like it or not.

  125. John Varner

    AhmNee Says:

    “I’ve always found it interesting that AGW proponents use the political maneuver of attacking one’s credibility instead of one’s science.”

    If Taylor were in any way serious he’d have published his findings in a reputable peer reviewed journal for climate scientists. Not a woo woo publisher.
    I’ve always found it interesting that deniers use the work of cranks and then expect proper scientists to spend their precious time debunking all that BS.
    Since when has astral projection been legitimate science?

  126. John Varner

    Messier Tidy Upper says:

    “If a small politically motivated club of “AGW-is-real” climatologists dictate & control what papers and scientists can and can’t be heard then no wonder there is a (false) consensus apparently favouring their side of the story. ”

    Can you explain to me how that evil cabal of forced certain flora and fauna to get in on the conspiracy?

    “Quite the contrary, their need to take such repressive measures indicates that the science behind AGW is weak and flawed otherwise peer review wouldn’t have to have its meaning changed and the raw data could be shared freely and not go missing or get deleted when people ask to check it.”

    Written like a true denier. Its a conspiracy by a group of liberal scientists. Ignore all the data and smear the scientists involved.

    “How about we stop calling each side rude names & look at trying to work out what the scientific objective truth is here?
    For whatever little its worth, my view is that the side that thinks the AGW is real *is* making ALARMING claims and the side that call themselves skeptics are often denying only *some* of these claims. ”

    Yes, lets stop calling deniers deniers, cranks and liars and let them get away with their BS. And you can stop calling AGW supporters “alarmists”.

  127. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ ^ John Varner :

    Can you explain to me how the whole “changing the meaning of peer review “ to keep out papers and people we disagree with can just be “innocently” explained away?

    Or how it is okay to (at the very least) threaten to delete the raw data rather than share it with fellow scientists even if they disagree with you?

    you can stop calling AGW supporters “alarmists”.

    What should I call them then? Truth is I do think some of them – a lot actually – are being “Alarmist” in making alarming claims many of which turn out to have little actual basis (or very unclear basis) in reality. Besides if you use an insulting term to slam one side in the debate is it really either surprising or unfair for that other side to respond in kind?

    As for the “BS” of those you’ve insultingly labelled with the perjorative term “deniers” (the correct term is skeptics btw.) what about the Alarmists BS such as quotes inthe IPCC that were straight copies of unsourced, uncited, made up Greenpeace propaganda or those melting Himalayan glaciers that it turns out really weren’t?

    Perhaps there’s BS on both sides here. Maybe its time we took a pause for breath and really closely investigated what is truth and what is exaggerated hyperbole or unfounded scare-mongering speculation here?

    Certainly some of the “AGW-is-real” claims have NOT stood up to close scrutiny and have had to be withdrawn in disgrace.

    Anyhow, as I noted earlier (#125), whether or not AGW is real taxes and laws will NOT be imposed adequaely by enough countries to make a difference so if AGW is happening the only solutions are adaptation and technology not the tax and law ones the AGW-ists seem to prefer. Like it or not.

  128. Messier Tidy Upper

    @126. John Varner Says:

    AhmNee Says: “I’ve always found it interesting that AGW proponents use the political maneuver of attacking one’s credibility instead of one’s science.” If Taylor were in any way serious he’d have published his findings in a reputable “peer reviewed” journal for climate scientists.

    Peer-reviewed by WHO in what fashion?

    The old legitimate way that enables all qualified peers to have a say incl. those who disagree with certain aspects of the AGW idea or the “new” CRU-way where only AGW Commissars or those with the scientifically Politically Correct views get any say and get counted as peers and politically incorrect views and scientists – however valid however inconveniently, even painfully, accurate they may be – are not permitted a fair hearing?

    What does a “reputable peer reviewed journal” mean now given the knowledge that climate “scientists” have changed the meaning of “peer review” to, apparently, mean only “peers who follow the Lysenko-ist AGW-ist line” and whose reputations are looking *very* dodgy indeed right now?

    Frankly, its the stuff published in “reputable” climate science journals that will be veiwed as *less* credible given what we now know of how the climate “scientists” operate ie. squashing and censoring dissenting views.

    Climatologists generally have a very severe image and credibility problem right now.

    If they want to be trusted again they need to address and not deny this problem and part of that means those most responsible for bringing climate science into disrepute should be made accountable and disbarred from further participation and not white-washed and “cleared” by a panel that is itself too partisan and biased to be credible.

    Trust has to be earned – and, once lost, it is very hard to get regained.

    The climatologist community has lost a lot of trust and it isn’t going to be regained without them copping a lot of pain and removing some of the people who caused its problems.

    A less hyperbolic calmer and more moderate approach to the issue of climate change & re-engaging respectfully and honestly with its critics rather than insulting, obstructing and ignoring them would help the field of climatology rebuild its damaged image and trust status too.

  129. Drunken Monkey

    Messier Tidy Upper Says:

    “Climatologists generally have a very severe image and credibility problem right now.

    If they want to be trusted again they need to address and not deny this problem and part of that means those most responsible for bringing climate science into disrepute should be made accountable and disbarred from further participation and not white-washed and “cleared” by a panel that is itself too partisan and biased to be credible.”

    If you have any evidence that the peer review system has been compromised then I suggest you post it right now.
    This is too important to just brush under the carpet. The onus now is on you to come up with the evidence that there is wrongdoing by scientists.

  130. Drunken Monkey

    AhmNee said:

    “I’ve always found it interesting that AGW proponents use the political maneuver of attacking one’s credibility instead of one’s science.”

    Yeah. Thats what Messier tidy upper is doing right now to AGW scientists.

  131. MartinM

    The whole ‘change the meaning of peer review’ thing referred to keeping bad papers that shouldn’t have made it into peer-reviewed journals in the first place out of the IPCC reports. However, it didn’t actually happen. The two papers mentioned in the CRU emails were referenced in AR4.

  132. Uncle Fester

    “A less hyperbolic calmer and more moderate approach to the issue of climate change & re-engaging respectfully and honestly with its critics rather than insulting, obstructing and ignoring them would help the field of climatology rebuild its damaged image and trust status too.”

    The irony it burns!

  133. Sarah Pressman

    MartinM Says:
    May 23rd, 2010 at 12:27 pm
    The whole ‘change the meaning of peer review’ thing referred to keeping bad papers that shouldn’t have made it into peer-reviewed journals in the first place out of the IPCC reports. However, it didn’t actually happen. The two papers mentioned in the CRU emails were referenced in AR4.

    But Martin, it must be a conspiracy! If you destroy the credibility of peer review by smearing it with accusations, then you leave the door open to any crank, liar or denier to publish whatever BS they consider science, and the scientists don’t have any way to stop that.
    Welcome to the world of Kent Hovind, and Spike Psarris, Harun Yahya and William Dembski publishing their rubbish without going through the filter of peer review. Welcome to the age of ignorance.

  134. Steve in Dublin

    Messier Tidy Upper seems to have a thing or two in common with Plutonium. I just blow by posts from both of them. tl;dr all that gibberish.

  135. Steve in Dublin

    About 30 years from now when there are 9 billion people on the planet, and the changing weather patterns brought on by man-made warming have come to pass, and we can’t even begin to feed the global populace… people will look back to these times and wonder why we didn’t do anything.

    Today’s deniers will predictably shout HUBRIS! But if you think that pumping 28 billion tons of C02 into the atmosphere each year has no effect, think again. Nature has her way of throwing that kind of abuse right back in your face. It’s called Reality™.

  136. My mistake…apologies to all…evidently, the otter refusing to listen has been interpreted by the resident catastro-AGWers as an order from Phil itself, to refuse listening to anybody not repeating the tired mantras.

    Obviously, they themselves do not believe there is anything really wrong with the climate. You see, when one is truly concerned about an impending disaster, one doesn’t waste time playing games.

    It’s like with those people holding “the end of the world is nigh” signs. As long as you could see them taking time to eat and drink, you’d know the end of the world couldn’t possibly be THAT nigh…

  137. Stephen W

    “Can you explain to me how the whole “changing the meaning of peer review “ to keep out papers and people we disagree with can just be “innocently” explained away?”

    It would be a lot easier to explian if you didn’t change the quote.

    Assuming the quote you’re actually refering to is

    “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !”

    without any actual knowledge of the context I would explain this as making a joke. That ‘!’ symbol is a bit of a clue.

    But maybe this isn’t the email to which you’re refering. If it isn’t could you provide a link? It would be ironic if you’ve redifined “the meaning of peer review” to “peer-review literature”.

  138. Stephen W

    “You see, when one is truly concerned about an impending disaster, one doesn’t waste time playing games.”

    So you admit you’re just playing games to distract us.

    But you assume I care more about saving the planet then trying to establish the truth. I would argue more, but it’s far too hot.

  139. Steve in Dublin

    Maurizio,

    You never addressed the points I brought up in post #118. Instead, you just keep throwing around Spencer’s academic qualifications as if they somehow contravene the 97% of practising climatologists that agree that global warming is happening, and mankind is a major contributor to it. All this nonsense about there being no consensus is a big, fat lie.

    Spencer has been discredited for over-cooking his data. He’s also in the pocket of the Heartland Institute and the George C. Marshall Institute, two right-wing think tanks funded by big coal and oil.

    But you will conveniently sidestep all these issues, because you have some kind of stupid ideology that won’t allow you to see the reality of what’s happening. For the past 400,000 years (and probably a lot longer than that), CO2 has never been above 280 ppm. Now it’s at almost 390 ppm since the industrial revolution, and it has mankind’s dirty little fingerprints all over it (ratio of 13C to 12C is consistent with the signature of burning fossil fuels, as opposed to naturally occurring CO2).

    Face it, climate change deniers have nothing. Quote mining stolen (or leaked, who cares at this point) e-mails is not doing science. When (more like if) there is a significant amount of peer reviewed literature that contradicts what the climatologists are telling us, then maybe I’ll have another look. But nature must have a say in it too. When the glaciers stop retreating, the arctic ice stops melting, spring isn’t coming earlier every year, the oceans start losing all that heat content, that would cause me to reconsider too. But until then…

  140. Steve in Dublin: for the last time stay please explain what is a “discredited” scientist doing in charge of a major instrument on a major NASA mission. For the rest of your absurdities (eg I have said nothing about consensus) I have no time at all

  141. AhmNee

    140. Steve in Dublin Says:

    “Face it, climate change deniers have nothing. Quote mining stolen (or leaked, who cares at this point) e-mails is not doing science. When (more like if) there is a significant amount of peer reviewed literature that contradicts what the climatologists are telling us, then maybe I’ll have another look.”

    The problem with that is that the “stolen/leaked” emails echoed what mainstream climate scientists that don’t agree with the AGW dogma have been saying for years. That dissent is marginalized, ignored and swept under the rug. That peer review is nigh impossible when the peer reviewed publications won’t publish anything that doesn’t march to the AGW tune.

    Scientists are marginalized for being on the “payroll” of oil or coal if they’ve ever done any work for them but how many AGW supporting scientists are financed by green interests? Do they not have the same conflict of interest and prior commitment that you claim scientists like Richard Lindzen do?

    Hell, some of us ‘deniers’ aren’t even saying that AGW is wrong, just that the science is incomplete, immature and unconvincing. Discussion and debate on the science needs to continue and questions still need to be answered before AGW can be considered the solid scientific conclusion it’s proponents want it to be.

  142. Messier Tidy Upper

    So let’s get this straight :

    The meaning of peer review wasn’t changed?

    The papers and scientists against the AGW hypothesis were published in the peer-reviewed journal?

    That quote about “changing (or redefining) the meaning of peer review” to keep out papers they dislike was all just a joke?

    Really? Honestly? Its not the impression I get.

    Some joke. :roll:

    @138. Stephen W :

    Assuming the quote you’re actually refering to is :

    “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !”

    without any actual knowledge of the context I would explain this as making a joke. That ‘!’ symbol is a bit of a clue.

    Yes, that’s the quote I’m referring to. Since when has an exclaimation mark meant “joke” rather than emphasising or imperatively ordering?

    How can you possibly read that in any way other than an attempt to exclude AGW critics from being heard or published? How does that quote in any way reflect well on the “AGW-is-real” climatologist club? Certainly on face value it seems a pretty blatant attempt at suppressing the other side and preventing them from expressing their thoughts.

    @135. Steve in Dublin Says:

    I just blow by posts from both of them. tl;dr all that gibberish.

    What is that “tl;dr” bit meant to mean there? (Puzzled)

    You’re welcome to skip my posts, Steve-in-Dublin just as I’m free to skip yours – I can’t force you to read my views but looking only at things and comments that confirm or co-incide with your own opinions seems a pretty poor way to learn and interact methinks as well as plain rude.

    @133. Uncle Fester Says:

    “A less hyperbolic calmer and more moderate approach to the issue of climate change & re-engaging respectfully and honestly with its critics rather than insulting, obstructing and ignoring them would help the field of climatology rebuild its damaged image and trust status too.” The irony it burns!

    How is what I said ironic?

    Are you implying that I’ve engaged in hyperbole and been immoderate or lacked calm in my comments here? If so where? I don’t believe I have been other than reasonable here.

    @142. AhmNee : Great post – my thoughts exactly. AGW may not be totally wrong but it certainly seems to have hyped up or exaggerated and there’s an awful lot of politics and advocating policies mixed in with the science. I think it has become a very polarised and political topic and this has been much to the detriment of the actual observations and science conducted.

  143. Maurice Mescaline

    Messier Tidy Upper says:
    “So let’s get this straight :
    The meaning of peer review wasn’t changed?
    The papers and scientists against the AGW hypothesis were published in the peer-reviewed journal?
    That quote about “changing (or redefining) the meaning of peer review” to keep out papers they dislike was all just a joke?”

    Here is the quote you refer to in context:
    “The other paper by MM is just garbage – as you knew. De Freitas again. Pielke is also losing all credibility as well by replying to the mad Finn as well – frequently as I see it. I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !”

    It’s from Phil Jones to Mann and it’s basically complaining about how the anti’s paper is such garbage that there is no way that it should be published in a reputable peer reviewed journal that he was a part of. He’s basically saying something to the effect of…”There’s no way I would allow the journal to publish such sloppy work”.

    The first question to ask yourself Messier, is that even if Jones kept such work out of one journal, what is keeping them from printing it in another journal, or bringing it up in a conference? Answer…nothing, unless it actually is a garbage paper.

    The next question to bring up is something like “Since it’s the journals responsibility to filter out bad work, and since cranks are always trying to get their works published in peer-review to lend it credibility… Would it also be censorship for any other journal to not publish a work they believed was sub-competent garbage?” If you aren’t also a believer in creationism you might want to remember all of the bogus creationists papers that they try to get published in peer-review.

    “Really? Honestly? Its not the impression I get.”

    Take your conspiracy specs off then Messier.

  144. Maurice Mescaline

    AhmNee Says:

    “Hell, some of us ‘deniers’ aren’t even saying that AGW is wrong, just that the science is incomplete, immature and unconvincing. Discussion and debate on the science needs to continue and questions still need to be answered before AGW can be considered the solid scientific conclusion it’s proponents want it to be.”

    This from someone that champions a person that believes in astral projection. You wouldn’t know science if it bit you on the behind.

  145. Wow this blog post is being plagued big time!!

    Perhaps there’s still an AGWer around, of the catastrophic variety that is (there’s plenty of us “lukewarmers” alright, but of course we are labelled as “deniers” for the rest of eternity even if there’s little we disagree with the Plaits of this world about, catastrophes aside).

    So if any catastrophist would like to explain how exactly yelling “lalala I can’t hear you!” will save the planet, I’m here to listen.

  146. Sarah Pressman

    John Varner said

    “I’ve always found it interesting that deniers use the work of cranks and then expect proper scientists to spend their precious time debunking all that BS.
    Since when has astral projection been legitimate science?”

    Good point John.

    Messier tidy upper said:
    “@142. AhmNee : Great post”

    It is a great post, for avoiding answering John’s question. It seems to me that you deniers here just to try to smear and obfuscate and avoid answering any questions put to you.

    AhmNee said:

    “The problem with that is that the STOLEN emails echoed what mainstream climate scientists that don’t agree with the AGW dogma have been saying for years. That dissent is marginalized, ignored and swept under the rug. That peer review is nigh impossible when the peer reviewed publications won’t publish anything that doesn’t march to the AGW tune.”

    Cranks hate it when real scientists reject their BS. Thats the reason why deniers start frothing when peer review gets BS thrown out of respectable science journals . The cranks then have to publish in less than reputable journals, that everyone knows to be lax in peer review. I’m sure Kent Hovind and Ken Ham would agree that they hate peer review as much as the deniers do.

  147. Sarah Pressman

    Maurizio Morabito said:

    “So if any catastrophist would like to explain how exactly yelling “lalala I can’t hear you!” will save the planet, I’m here to listen.”

    Try googling the word “methane”, then read about its properties. What will happen when all the methane under Siberia gets into the atmosphere? Feel free to ignore my question and just go “La la la la I can’t hear you.”

  148. Stephen W

    @143, Messier Tidy Upper

    “So let’s get this straight :
    The meaning of peer review wasn’t changed? “

    Not as far as I’m aware. If it has could you explain what it’s changed to?

    “The papers and scientists against the AGW hypothesis were published in the peer-reviewed journal? “

    I think you are misunderstanding the email. AIUI the papers had been published in peer-reviewed journals.

    “That quote about “changing (or redefining) the meaning of peer review” to keep out papers they dislike was all just a joke? “

    That was a supposition on my part. It’s very difficult to read a confidential email, without context, and know exactly how it was intended to be read. The reason I assume it was a joke is that it would obviously be an impossible task to “redefine what the peer-review literature is”. What is he going to do, go through every dictionary with a felt tip pen? And you’re are still ignoring the main point of your misquote; you say he is going to redefine the meaning of “peer review” but he actually says “peer-review literature”. IOW this isn’t about changing the way peer-review works, it’s about changing what counts as a peer-reviewed paper.

    “Really? Honestly? Its not the impression I get.”

    Maybe we have different senses of humour.

    “Since when has an exclaimation mark meant “joke” rather than emphasising or imperatively ordering?!”

    From wikipedia – “In writing and often subtitles, especially in British English, a (!) symbol (an exclamation mark within parentheses) implies that a character has made an obviously sarcastic comment e.g.: “Ooh, a sarcasm detector. Oh, that’s a really useful invention(!)””
    granted there are no parenthesis, but emails are not necessarily paragons of grammar.

    In general it’s considered bad form to use explanation marks to emphasize humor, but it often is. Maybe the author should be arrested for misuse of punition marks !

    “How can you possibly read that in any way other than an attempt to exclude AGW critics from being heard or published? How does that quote in any way reflect well on the “AGW-is-real” climatologist club? Certainly on face value it seems a pretty blatant attempt at suppressing the other side and preventing them from expressing their thoughts.”

    I don’t think it does reflect well on the author. But in taking one not-very-serious comment, out of context, and in this case rewording it to change the meaning, some people are trying to take one specific ill considered email and turn it into an overarching global conspiracy.

  149. Sarah Pressman – it’s exactly because you are (very) worried about methane in the permafrost, and I am (slightly less) worried about it too, that I do not understand why would you or anybody else spend half a Planck time in futile polemics, scouring the world to label “denier” anybody that doesn’t fully buy your dogmas and actively refusing to listen.

  150. AhmNee

    145. Sarah Pressman Says:

    :”It is a great post, for avoiding answering John’s question. It seems to me that you deniers here just to try to smear and obfuscate and avoid answering any questions put to you.”

    I don’t believe I was responding to a question by John. If you mean, however, the question about Astral Projection regarding Peter Taylor, there’s nothing about astral projection in his book. And if there has been in other books not pertaining to AGW … so what? There are scientists who believe in god, too. An invisible, insubstantial super being that lives in the sky. We don’t hold that against them either as long as they don’t try to mix their personal beliefs into their science. There’s no evidence that Peter Taylor has done so. You’re welcome to point out something from Chill that suggests he has. You might even benefit from taking a look at another point of view by taking a look at Chill.

    :”Cranks hate it when real scientists reject their BS.”

    These scientists certainly didn’t seem like cranks when their names were used as signatories on the IPCC reports, over their objections in some cases. The IPCC workgroups have been showing that there is dissent and a lack of consensus but the science that disagrees with the AGW message is marginalized or ignored when the summaries are written. So who exactly is obfuscating? I hate to keep going back to Richard Lindzen but he’s helped develop some of the scientific methods used to track AGW and he was certainly a respected member of the community … right up to the point he disagreed with the AGW dogma. Lindzen is one of many scientists who’ve been saying that the science is not as clear cut as the AGW bandwagon wants us to believe. Some of whom are still members of the IPCC workgroups. The major “evidence” for AGW is gathered from data over the last 150 years and there is mounting evidence that shows that there are cyclical natural variations in cloud cover, solar output and oceanic oscillations that show that 150 years isn’t enough time to come to the conclusion that you know where climate is headed. Also that these cyclical natural variations have been strong enough to mask the “warming trend” which means that they were strong enough to have caused the trend in the first place.

  151. Steve in Dublin

    @AhmNee #142

    Hell, some of us ‘deniers’ aren’t even saying that AGW is wrong, just that the science is incomplete, immature and unconvincing.

    Climatology is admittedly a new field, but people have been actively working in this area for at least 30 years. That’s a lot of research. And the science is anything but incomplete or unconvincing. That’s just what the disinformation propaganda machine wants you to believe. Big coal and oil are funding dissent and creating fake ‘grassroots’ movements (i.e. astroturfing) just like the tobacco companies did to spread disinformation about the harmful effects of cigarette smoke.

    The fact is, if you remove greenhouse gasses as a climate forcing, then you can’t get any kind of reasonable fit to the measured temperatures:

    Not Computer Models

    The only way you can get natural forcings to account for the rising temperatures is if you cook your numbers like Spencer did.

    Science: it works, people. We depend on science for all the mod cons we have nowadays, but as soon as science tells you something you don’t like, it’s time to shoot the messenger.

  152. Steve in Dublin (#150): there you are, misinforming again. If you really believe Climatology is a new field, where people have been working for “at least 30 years”, I’ve got a bridge to sell to you. Next you’re going to tell us how physicists have been around “at least 100 years”, right?

    Any news on your complaint against NASA for giving important scientific posts to “discredited” scientists?

  153. Steve in Dublin

    @Maurizio Morabito #153

    What? Are you actually trying to deny that scientists haven’t been trying to figure out why the planet has been warming since at least the 1980′s?

    Any news on your complaint against NASA for giving important scientific posts to “discredited” scientists?

    Measuring things from a satellite is one thing, putting a spin on the data that you measure that contradicts what most other climatologists (like 97% of them) are finding is another thing. I suppose you disagree with everything in my post #118? You continually refuse to address the points that are made in post #118. Instead you keep trotting out Spencer’s academic credentials as if that sort of argument from authority means anything.

    Put it another way: do you think that putting 28 *billion* metric tonnes of CO2, a known greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere every year can have no effect on the climate? Seriously? For the past 400,000 years CO2 has never gone above 280 ppm, and now, just since the industrial revolution, it’s at almost 390 ppm *and climbing*. So please explain what ‘natural’ cause there is for this sudden, alarming increase in atmospheric CO2? Go ahead. I’m all ears.

  154. Messier Tidy Upper

    @149. Stephen W & 144. Maurice Mescaline :

    Thanks for your replies and the extra context you’ve provided. That’s genuinely appreciated & does put a bit of a different light on this. :-)

    However, I’m still not sure I’m entirely convinced – & I don’t think I ever had “conspiracy specs” on but you’ve certainly given me something to think about here.

    I think you are misunderstanding the email. AIUI the papers had been published in peer-reviewed journals.

    Sorry not up with the acronym there – what does AIUI mean?

    Maybe I did misunderstand it, its possible I’m mistaken and it wouldn’t be the first time but as you later noted that email doesn’t exactly reflect well & if it means something other than what it seems at face value… well its not too clear for outsiders like me.

    … you’re are still ignoring the main point of your misquote; you say he is going to redefine the meaning of “peer review” but he actually says “peer-review literature”. IOW this isn’t about changing the way peer-review works, it’s about changing what counts as a peer-reviewed paper.

    To be honest, I’m not quite sure I understand the difference here. It still seems like they’re conspiring to keep papers they ideologically disagree with from getting recognised scientifically and that strikes me as a very bad thing.

    Maybe we have different senses of humour.

    Yes almost certainly we do but I struggle to understand how that quote could possibly be considered humourous in *any* way. Perhaps that’s a failure of my imagination but still. :-(

    From wikipedia – “In writing and often subtitles, especially in British English, a (!) symbol (an exclamation mark within parentheses) implies that a character has made an obviously sarcastic comment e.g.: “Ooh, a sarcasm detector. Oh, that’s a really useful invention(!)”” granted there are no parenthesis, but emails are not necessarily paragons of grammar. In general it’s considered bad form to use explanation marks to emphasize humor, but it often is. Maybe the author should be arrested for misuse of punition marks !

    Ok, I didn’t know that. I thought a “sarc” or wink ( ;-) ) emoticon denoted humour &/or sarcasm but then my net-speak isn’t great.

    I don’t think it does reflect well on the author. But in taking one not-very-serious comment, out of context, and in this case rewording it to change the meaning, some people are trying to take one specific ill considered email and turn it into an overarching global conspiracy.

    Problem is it wasn’t just that one single email or quote but rather lots of them – that “peer review literature” one and the “delete the info” and the “travesty we can’t find the warming” and so on .. One or two such examples could be explained away (eg. as the BA did with the use of the word “trick”) but *all* of these “climategate” emails put together? Doesn’t that strike you as adding up to something fishy or a pattern of rather dodgy behaviour on the CRU scientists part? :-(

  155. AhmNee

    150. Steve in Dublin Says:

    :”Climatology is admittedly a new field, but people have been actively working in this area for at least 30 years. That’s a lot of research. And the science is anything but incomplete or unconvincing.”

    Steve, I’d like to say first that I appreciate your comment. I can certainly see how the science can seem complete and convincing to you. I’m not as convinced as you are, unfortunately. Here are some of the reasons why.

    In the example you give, what I’m seeing is the environmental modeling done mathematically without the computer. It’s still the same type of modeling without the fancy machine to run it’s processes. And we can still go back and fourth about how the models don’t account for the lack of heat in the upper atmosphere and how the models have never been able to accurately account for natural variations such as heat distribution through oceanic cycles. If I’m not mistaken, the idea of solar cycles having direct impact is something that’s only recently being given and credibility because it was always thought that the sun didn’t vary enough to have a that kind of impact on global temperature.

    In the example you link the author goes so far as to say that we have “more than a century” of data on climate forcing. The problem with having “more than a century” of data is that some natural cycles are believed to take “more than a century” to complete a single cycle. Another hypothesis is that we’re still on the tail end of the recovery from an ice age centuries ago.The much maligned medieval warm period is discounted by some AGW scientist because the numbers aren’t global and could be the result of regional flux in temperature, the numbers are incomplete because we didn’t have modern measuring systems back then. It at the very least shows that we don’t know a lot about a system that’s almost inconceivably complex. So we study the trends.

    Now a trend is a useful tool. We have to remember, however, that a trend is something you use when the direct links to causality aren’t and can’t be completely known and understood. We use them in economics, for example, because the human factor can’t be completely predicted. It’s an estimate and the further you extend out a trend, the more chance you have of having the trend diverge from observation. We have a “more than a century of data” and I hear the AGW camp trying to extend out a trend to what’s going to happen a century from now. That’s an awful big leap of faith, especially when we can’t agree on the numbers prior to the advent of modern measurement.

    Climate science’s 30 years of research, as you mention, puts it soundly in the category of fledgling science. There’s many more questions to be asked before we can even consider the idea that we know what’s going on.

    What’s the danger, you might ask, why not act upon it ‘just in case’. The danger is that if the emerging oceanic science is correct and the oceans have run out of heat to distribute, we’re on the cusp of global cooling that could last 15-30 years. This during a time where our population is set to double and our excess food supplies are in the northern grain belts. The latter being most susceptible to a prolonged cooling period. What Mr. Taylor suggests in his book is that we look more toward building in an adaptability to our food supplies and increased sustainability so that if it either warms or cools, we aren’t faced with mass starvation either way.

    We also need to help the non-industrial peoples of the world become industrialized and realize the basic necessities such as clean water and power. Studies have shown that industrial nations have many times slower population growth. The tenets of AGW hurt these people by putting hefty barriers between them and the basic conveniences we take for granted.

    Those are my thoughts. I welcome your constructive input.

  156. Steve in Dublin

    @AhmNee #156

    Thanks for keeping the discussion civil. But I’m especially interested in your source for this bit of conjecture:

    The danger is that if the emerging oceanic science is correct and the oceans have run out of heat to distribute, we’re on the cusp of global cooling that could last 15-30 years.

    Because it contradicts everything that I understand about the ocean component of global warming. The majority of the excess energy from the greenhouse effect is being stored in the oceans, much more than in the atmosphere:

    Ocean heat content increases update

    Much of what you say in your post just tries to chip away at the edges of the science, without substantively taking issue with the fact that the globe is warming, and that mankind is a main contributor to that warming. I’m sorry, but I see a lot of what you say as FUD. For instance, solar cycles have been known to affect temperature for quite some time now, and are well accounted for in the models. That is why you need to look for trends over periods of at least 22 years (two complete 11-year solar cycles).

  157. There must be far less understanding of sarcasm in Dublin than I remembered. Oh, the bother.

    Anyway: “discredited” scientists literally lose the “credit” they might have with their peers. Obviously Spencer has lost no credit, since he’s still in charge.

    ps It’s just too bad that Phil, perhaps to avoid stirring up trouble with NASA, is unable to explain if Schmitt and Spencer are “deniers” or not, in his worldview. Let’s wait and see.

  158. Sarah Pressman

    Maurizio Mojito said:

    “Sarah Pressman – it’s exactly because you are (very) worried about methane in the permafrost, and I am (slightly less) worried about it too, that I do not understand why would you or anybody else spend half a Planck time in futile polemics, scouring the world to label “denier” anybody that doesn’t fully buy your dogmas and actively refusing to listen.”

    Maurizio its exactly why you are ignorant of science that you aren’t worried about methane under Siberia and methane clathrates under the oceans being liberated into the atmosphere.
    The polemics you spout are ignorant and the dogmatic ones are folks like you, that whine about the correct label you have been given; that of denier. There are no denier arguments that have stood up to scrutiny. None whatsoever. All you have is the smear technique, you have no science and plenty of pseudoscience, lies and distortions that regularly gets shot down.
    For all your whining witlessness your lack of scientific knowledge leads you into making futile and irrelevant comments and in avoiding questions. Go back to school and get some learning done or get your research published after it has been peer reviewed by some real scientists.

  159. Sarah Pressman

    Messier tidy upper said:

    “Problem is it wasn’t just that one single email or quote but rather lots of them – that “peer review literature” one and the “delete the info” and the “travesty we can’t find the warming” and so on .. One or two such examples could be explained away (eg. as the BA did with the use of the word “trick”) but *all* of these “climategate” emails put together? Doesn’t that strike you as adding up to something fishy or a pattern of rather dodgy behaviour on the CRU scientists part? ”

    Now I know that you’re just here to smear and keep the BS going. All of the stuff you mention above has been explained and it wasn’t to the liking of you conspiracy nutters. Why didn’t you add “hide the decline”? You’re far behind events. Instead of posting your ignorance here you might spend your time constructively by reading the rebuttals of denier conspiracy nutters quote mined stuff that is all over the net.

  160. AhmNee

    @157. Steve in Dublin

    As I understand it, Steve, several oceanic cycles in the North Atlantic are coming into decline (if they aren’t already) at the same time. The actual cooling prediction is made in Chill by Peter Taylor (he sites his sources in the book) and there’s an article in the Sept. 12, 2009 issue of New Scientist that supports the theory though for a shorter time period.

    The ocean does absorb the SW radiation from the sun (directly influenced by cloud cover near the equator, which can block out some of the SW radiation, and in the north, which tends to insulate and keep the radiative energy from escaping into space). When the ocean absorbs that radiation and thereby heat, it goes through a complex series of currents resulting in the cyclic ossilations such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation or Atlantic Multi-decadinal Oscillation. It will take decades for the energy fueling the ocean right now to show up again as those cycles peak once more.

    There’s more to the solar cycle than just the 11 year. The 11 year cycle fluctuates on an 80 year cycle, as I understand, called the Gleissburg Cycle. There is also evidence suggesting there are other cycles at 400 years as well as 1500 and possibly a 5000 year cycle as I understand it. The numbers aren’t agreed upon and it’s still a developing science of course but these are all factors that we don’t understand but definitely have an effect on our climate.

    I find it more credible that natural variation has a greater affect on our climate than does CO2 gas, which is virtually powerless unless you add water vapor forcing and that connection has yet to be proven. If the water vapor turns to cloud it has the opposite effect. An issue that was voiced by Lindzen that hasn’t been refuted to the best of my knowledge.

    Looking forward to continuing this conversation. Time to head home from work.

  161. Sarah Pressman

    AhmNee you mean this Lindzen? What a nice guy he is(sarcasm). Believing in astral projection probably isn’t as bad in comparison.

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/01/11/science-lindzen-debunked-again-positive-negative-feedbacks-clouds-tropics/

    http://climateprogress.org/2009/03/09/richard-lindzen-heartland-denier/

    “I find it more credible that natural variation has a greater affect on our climate than does CO2 gas, which is virtually powerless unless you add water vapor forcing and that connection has yet to be proven. If the water vapor turns to cloud it has the opposite effect. An issue that was voiced by Lindzen that hasn’t been refuted to the best of my knowledge.”

    I look forward to reading your peer reviewed paper, co authored with Lindzen. Good luck getting it past a real peer review. Are you a climate scientist by the way?

  162. Steve in Dublin

    @AhmNee #161

    I see that Sarah beat me to it. Lindzen has been refuted, whether you are willing to admit it or not. There are always going to be a few scientists out there on the fringe. If they can produce some numbers that will make the scientific consensus on this matter sit up and take note, then fair play to them. We’d be delighted to know that digging up all that carbon out of the ground and burning it has absolutely no consequences.

    The reality of it is that the science of AGW has been settled for over a decade. There’s just this big noise machine out there that won’t accept what the science is telling us for ideological reasons.

  163. Stephen W

    @155. Messier Tidy Upper

    “Sorry not up with the acronym there – what does AIUI mean?”

    Sorry, don’t normally do acronyms but was writing in a rush. AIUI = “As I understand it”

    “Yes almost certainly we do but I struggle to understand how that quote could possibly be considered humourous in *any* way. Perhaps that’s a failure of my imagination but still.”

    The problem is it is very difficult to know how to read someone’s private email. Something that may be an obvious joke to the two people involved can fall completely flat when read by anyone not knowing the context. You may be aware that there’s been a case recently in the UK where someone made a twitter post about blowing up an airport. It was obvious to most people that it was a joke but he was prosecuted and fined £1000 for it.

    In any event, when I said it was a joke I wasn’t assuming it was funny ha ha, just that it was a deliberate piece of exaggeration.

    “Problem is it wasn’t just that one single email or quote but rather lots of them – that “peer review literature” one and the “delete the info” and the “travesty we can’t find the warming” and so on .. One or two such examples could be explained away (eg. as the BA did with the use of the word “trick”) but *all* of these “climategate” emails put together? Doesn’t that strike you as adding up to something fishy or a pattern of rather dodgy behaviour on the CRU scientists part?”

    I fail to see how four emails amount to “lots”. All I see is quotes taken out of context, and in some cases changed, people reading them in the most literal way possible or putting the worse possible interpretation on every word. I see those who would prefer not to do anything about global warming at best engaging in confirmation bias, and at worst deliberate propaganda.

    The worst I see in the emails are scientists behaving like people do, letting their emotions show in what they assumed were private emails, saying what they really think about bad science, and occasionally making rash comments. Not complying with FOI was the biggest mistake, but I can easily see why it happened.

  164. AhmNee

    162. Sarah Pressman Says:

    :”Are you a climate scientist by the way?”

    Are you? Certainly you’re not suggesting that you have to be in order to have a meaningful conversation on climate change.

    From what I’ve gathered from your linked articles, the “debunking” deals with low level cloud dissipation from surface temperature. We do live in a marvelously complicated world, don’t we? For example, you’ve seemed to have missed this.

    http://www.theclimatescam.se/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/paltridgearkingpook.pdf

    “Water vapor feedback in climate models is positive mainly because of their roughly constant relative humidity (i.e., increasing q) in the mid-to-upper troposphere as the planet warms. Negative trends in q as found in the NCEP data would imply that long-term water vapor feedback is negative—that it would reduce rather than amplify the response of the climate system to external forcing such as that from increasing atmospheric CO2.”

    163. Steve in Dublin Says:

    :”If they can produce some numbers that will make the scientific consensus on this matter sit up and take note, then fair play to them.”

    If only it were so simple. Climate science is now inexorably tied to politics. There’s too much prior commitment for the dogma to be relaxed which is why you see any dissent marginalized in the IPCC summaries. It’s not that dissent isn’t there in the workgroups. It’s just given no attention or credibility and that leaves a lot of questions that need to be answered unaddressed.

    :”The reality of it is that the science of AGW has been settled for over a decade.”

    What a preposterously unscientific concept. As if there’s any such thing as settled science. And to think there could be anything settled in an area of science where the many of variables are admitted by any climate scientist to be not well understood.

  165. Sarah Pressman (#159)

    Amazingly, you wrote “Maurizio its exactly why you are ignorant of science that you aren’t worried about methane” after quoting me saying that I am “(slightly less) worried about it too”.

    QED.

    You have confused “slightly less” with “not at all”. That’s a good example of climate integralism, where even a slight disagreement is interpreted as fully-fledged apostasy.

    The polemics, the inability to relate to others, the dogmas are evidently all yours. It’s like if the Titanic is going to hit the iceberg, and all you care about is how spotless the crew’s uniforms are.

  166. If Lindzen has been refuted or not, that’s not the point. The point is: has Lindzen (Schmitt, Spencer) been shown as having gone outside of the scientific process?

    Dear folks, there’s too much focus here on guessing it right. That’s definitely not what science is about. To go back to Astronomy, Eddington was very wrong about Chandrasekhar’s work on stellar evolution, but nobody in their right mind would call Eddington a “black hole denier”.

  167. Maurice Mescaline

    Maurizio Morabito Says:

    “If Lindzen has been refuted or not, that’s not the point.”

    Peter Taylor mentions Lindzen here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUUYcfsaSnw

    AhmNee please tell me more about Taylor’s ideas.

  168. Maurice Mescaline

    Maurizio Morabito said

    “Dear folks, there’s too much focus here on guessing it right. That’s definitely not what science is about. To go back to Astronomy, Eddington was very wrong about Chandrasekhar’s work on stellar evolution, but nobody in their right mind would call Eddington a “black hole denier”.”

    Thats a much better analogy than Messier’s Lysenko analogy.

  169. Steve in Dublin

    Maurizio,

    If Lindzen has been refuted or not, that’s not the point. The point is: has Lindzen (Schmitt, Spencer) been shown as having gone outside of the scientific process?

    Remember, this is a science blog. When you come here trotting out the names of virtually the only semi-respectable (by virtue of being scientists, and having published in the peer reviewed literature) contrarians left who disagree with the climatology consensus on AGW, you can expect to run into a bit of flak.

    The scientific process is largely concerned with the peer reviewed literature. Please give us citations for papers by Spencer or Lindzen in the peer reviewed literature that demonstrate that the man-made greenhouse gasses we are pouring into the atmosphere have negligible effect on the climate, and that the warming in the oceans and the atmosphere that are being observed is mostly due to natural cycles, as these people claim. If they actually had a case, then why don’t we see their stuff appearing in prestigious journals like Nature or Science?

    When you’re bucking against the consensus of 97% of the practicing climatologists, you’d better be making a convincing case. They are not. Spencer and Lindzen have been thoroughly trashed (as evidenced by my post #118, which you continually refuse to address, and Sarah’s post #162).

    And, also show me one of these contrarians who isn’t backed by right-wing think tanks like the Heartland Institute. Follow the money. Big coal and oil have hundreds of billion dollars at stake that depends on them being allowed to pull every last ounce of fossil fuel out of the ground. Shareholders in these companies don’t seem to care that we’re destroying our planet at the expense of their short term gain.

  170. Messier Tidy Upper

    @164. Stephen W Says:

    @155. Messier Tidy Upper : “Sorry not up with the acronym there – what does AIUI mean?” Sorry, don’t normally do acronyms but was writing in a rush. AIUI = “As I understand it”

    Thanks – that make sense now. :-)

    I fail to see how four emails amount to “lots”. All I see is quotes taken out of context, and in some cases changed, people reading them in the most literal way possible or putting the worse possible interpretation on every word. I see those who would prefer not to do anything about global warming at best engaging in confirmation bias, and at worst deliberate propaganda. The worst I see in the emails are scientists behaving like people do, letting their emotions show in what they assumed were private emails, saying what they really think about bad science, and occasionally making rash comments. Not complying with FOI was the biggest mistake, but I can easily see why it happened.

    Well *maybe* but I’m not so sure. :-(

    There were a lot more than just four emails and from where I’m looking there does seem to be a suspicious pattern of less than honest and upfront behaviour by the CRU scientists there.

    Something about the AGW science just smells really fishy after that. Perhaps we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

    I suppose time will ultimately tell – like maybe a few decades.

  171. Steve in Dublin (#167): I do hope we are all innocent until proven guilty. Hence do forgive me if I am unable to prove innocence first.

    Perhaps one day Phil himself will explain why would Schmitt, Spencer, Lindzen deserve to be called “deniers” rather than just “wrong”.

  172. AhmNee

    164. Stephen W Says:

    “I fail to see how four emails amount to “lots”. All I see is quotes taken out of context, and in some cases changed, people reading them in the most literal way possible or putting the worse possible interpretation on every word. I see those who would prefer not to do anything about global warming at best engaging in confirmation bias, and at worst deliberate propaganda.”

    Let’s flip this on it’s ear. Perhaps they are indeed simply four emails taken out of context. But they’ve raised concern that the scientific process is being twisted around so that the science fits a preferred conclusion, that being AGW dogma. What I’ve seen from the AGW camp is giving what is at least suspicious behavior a complete pass and feel that if the shoe was on the other foot the AGW camp would be throwing up their hands in disgust.

    Now I understand to a certain extent. The AGW camp is passionate about their cause, they believe wholeheartedly that they’re right and the planet is going to lose it’s ability to sustain us. Because this is such a hot button topic and for some it’s a hard pill to swallow the AGW camp feels it’s important to stay on message all the time so that people don’t lose focus. It takes forever to implement science into political policy anyway so any doubt about the message and measures they feel are essential to be taken and quickly may never happen or at least happen too late. I get that.

    It doesn’t, however, excuse the circumvention of the scientific process. The attempts to marginalize legitimate science that doesn’t agree with your hypothesis and to shut down any discourse on the subject that doesn’t support the dogma. I think it may have started as a benevolent attempt to make sure the “right thing” was done but in my opinion it’s turned into something a little more sinister since. You can’t shut down scientific discourse and try to maintain that your science is sound at the same time. You need dissent to test your science and temper it into something solid. When you’ve done that, you won’t need to prove anything to skeptics or deniers because the science will speak for itself or it will meet with a new theory that tears down the walls of the current one.

    When your science is solid, it may not be understood by all but it will at least make sense. I know it’s simply my opinion but I just don’t see the sense in AGW. I understand the theory. I even agree with certain bits of it. I can’t, however, make sense of the kind of power it wants to give CO2 or it’s claims to understand a system it admittedly doesn’t fully understand some of the major pieces of.

  173. AhmNee

    168. Maurice Mescaline Says:

    :”AhmNee please tell me more about Taylor’s ideas.”

    I hope I can do this justice. To put it in a nutshell, Taylor tries to show in his book that several oceanic cycles that drive global climate all peaked at the same time during a period of excessive solar output. He shows how the ocean cycles may have been fueled by a period of especially cloudless skies in the tropics (which allow the oceans to heat) and cloudy skies in the north and arctic (which actually insulate and keep heat from escaping). He doesn’t discount that CO2 has had a role in things but believes that the actual forcing is more like 80% natural variability and 20% GHG. It’s an interesting read and I found it interesting that Taylor has impeccable green credentials, has never been funded by coal, oil or any of the players that are usually used to discredit people skeptical of the AGW hypothesis.

    He actually popped into a blog that reviewed his book and we got a chance to speak with him there. I’ll provide a link. The thread is closed but there was some very spirited and interesting debate that went on over there.

    http://ccgi.newbery1.plus.com/blog/?p=220

  174. Stephen W

    173. AhmNee

    “But they’ve raised concern that the scientific process is being twisted around so that the science fits a preferred conclusion, that being AGW dogma.”

    They’ve obviously raised concerns in some quarters – but I’d prefer to see some actual evidence. You are making very serious claims here, that scientists are manipulating not just the evidence, but the scientific process, to make the evidence fit a predefined, dogmatic conclusion. Yet the only evidence you have to support this claim are a few emails, none of which actually give any evidence that this is happening.

    “The attempts to marginalize legitimate science that doesn’t agree with your hypothesis and to shut down any discourse on the subject that doesn’t support the dogma.”

    Once again with the d-word! The problem here is that there are always going to be two possibilities. Does a piece of science get marginalized because it’s disagreeing with someone’s hypothesis, or does it get marginalized because it’s bad science? Without a specific example it’s impossible to tell. Do you have an example of a paper that should have passed review but didn’t?

    “You can’t shut down scientific discourse and try to maintain that your science is sound at the same time. You need dissent to test your science and temper it into something solid.”

    I doubt that there isn’t discourse or dissent within climate scientists. Your claim seems like too much of a conspiratorial caricature to be plausible. This same argument gets used by just about every pseudo scientific group who think they are being excluded from the discussion because there’s a cabal operating against them, rather than because their ideas are crap.

    “When you’ve done that, you won’t need to prove anything to skeptics or deniers because the science will speak for itself or it will meet with a new theory that tears down the walls of the current one.”

    I’m sure you know what I’m about to say, but the science does speak for itself but the deniers still deny it.

    “I know it’s simply my opinion but I just don’t see the sense in AGW. I understand the theory. I even agree with certain bits of it. I can’t, however, make sense of the kind of power it wants to give CO2 or it’s claims to understand a system it admittedly doesn’t fully understand some of the major pieces of.”

    I’m not the one to answer technical issues about the science, but I am always puzzled by claims along the lines of “I just don’t see how CO2 could be responsible for so much warming”. This is an argument by personal incredulity, but why is it more difficult to be believe that CO2 can act to make the world warmer than, say, sunspots?

    But your final point expresses what I find most odd about the argument. We have evidence that CO2 will cause warming and we have warming. Doesn’t prove that the CO2 caused the warming or that it’s the only cause, but it would seem common sense to at least consider CO2 as a possible cause of the warming. Then people say there are uncertainties, we don’t understand everything, there may be unknown causes etc; fair enough. But they then use this argument to say that CO2 cannot be the cause, or at least we shouldn’t do anything to reduce CO2 until we can eliminate every other possibility.

    I just don’t see why CO2 is the one thing deniers won’t consider as a possible cause (assuming they don’t have an ulterior motive). Remove everything we know about greenhouse gases, and it would still seem suspicious that the warming started just as CO2 was increasing.

  175. Stephen W

    @166, Maurizio Morabito

    “It’s like if the Titanic is going to hit the iceberg, and all you care about is how spotless the crew’s uniforms are.”

    Nice metaphor. Except of course the alarmists will be going round saying “look we’re about to hit an iceberg, maybe we should change course” and the deniers are saying “stop being alarmists. There’s no proof that we will hit the iceberg. Lets keep going until it’s too late to turn round to be sure.”

  176. Steve in Dublin

    Stephen W,

    You argue very well on the behalf of science. I’m going to take something away from that. While there is a lot of science behind what I say, my posts have this tendency to deteriorate into emotional rants, which detracts from the point I’m trying to get across. I’m going to make a determined effort to stick to the facts in future.

  177. Stephen W (#176): your picture of the alarmists is slightly off. They are going round saying “look we’re about to hit an iceberg” but accompanying it with “We should change course, or else, and you are all damned denier-fools if you don’t think exactly like us to th eletter right here and right now!”.

    The alarmists are therefore making sure nothing gets done, as they slowly but inexhorably alienate the rest of the crew.

  178. Stephen W (#175): “I just don’t see why CO2 is the one thing deniers won’t consider as a possible cause”

    There you are. Are you suggesting that the term “denier” does NOT apply to people that consider CO2 as a possible cause for the warming?

  179. Maurice Mescaline

    AhmNee, I notice that Peter Taylor refers to a “paper” by Lord Monckton, a well known crank, and liar.

    “and there is Monckton’s challenge to the orthodox models in:

    Monckton C (2008) ‘Climate sensitivity reconsidered’ Forum for Physics and Society, American Physical Society, July 2008.”

    Monckton has been shown to be wrong on many things:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfA1LpiYk2o&feature=channel

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjhTrCgVb5U&feature=channel

    The more I read about Taylor the more my alarm bells start ringing. I’m inclined to think he’ll go the way of Ian Plimer when his book is subjected to scientific scrutiny.

  180. Maurice Mescaline

    Stephen W said:

    “I just don’t see why CO2 is the one thing deniers won’t consider as a possible cause (assuming they don’t have an ulterior motive). Remove everything we know about greenhouse gases, and it would still seem suspicious that the warming started just as CO2 was increasing.”

    I agree. Its always something else but CO2, or CO2 warming has little to no effect in their hypotheses. Not forgetting other more powerful GHSs like methane that would be freed by CO2 warming.
    Svante Arrhenius would be spinning in his grave.

  181. Maurice Mescaline

    This review of Peter Taylor’s Shiva’s Rainbow clearly shows Taylor to have profound psychological problems:

    “The merely barmy elevates to the positively wacko when Taylor has a confrontation with his separated wife. In the centrepiece drama of the book, he tells us how a disincarnate guru sends him a vision that she and the children are in danger of being chopped to pieces in a Masonic conspiracy by a crazed Ninja warrior aimed at framing Taylor at the behest of the nuclear industry (p. 132).

    One night, convinced that the attack is imminent, he he goes round to where she lives and wakes her up by throwing stones at the bedroom window. He presses himself upon the family, insisting that it is to provide protection. Alarmed, she calls the police. He lets them arrive, somehow thinking that their being made aware of his fears will be the perfect alibi against the impending frame-up. But instead, the police suggest that perhaps Taylor is using them as an alibi to distract from what he himself might be thinking of doing. Outraged by this suggestion and a remark that suggests that they know about his work, Taylor concludes that these could not have been ordinary constables: it’s all further proof of the Masonic stitch-up (p. 166-70). ”

    And there is more evidence of woo woo tendencies:

    Taylor reveals where he is coming from in his approach to science in an autobiographical self-published book, Shiva’s Rainbow (2006). Much of it concerns his belief that he could augment his campaigning work by occult means. He concludes that plutonium might change the world positively because of the homeopathic effects of its astrological properties. I have also reviewed it on this site giving chapter and verse. A key passage is where he says of his time with Greenpeace:

    And to cap it all off, Taylor’s own words:

    “In truth, in the scientific realms in which I worked, and gained by now, some standing, I was an imposter. I am not a scientist. Apart from my brief survey of tree-hole communities when I successfully correlated insect larvae diversity with circumference and aspect of the hole to the sun, which, in any case, had been done many times before, I have never `done’ science. In my work I have relied certainly upon an understanding of scientific theory and a memory for facts and relationships, and upon an instinct for the hidden and not yet known, but fundamentally I have been a linguist and an actor. My scientific degrees were linguistic exercises in critical review. My performances on television, in public inquiries, on tribunals and commissions, those of an extremely well-briefed lawyer, the ultimate actor. Which is not to say there is no dedication to truth” (pp. 146-7).

    The only science Taylor seems to be into is the pseudo variety.

  182. Stephen W

    @Maurizio Morabito

    “your picture of the alarmists is slightly off. They are going round saying “look we’re about to hit an iceberg” but accompanying it with “We should change course, or else, and you are all damned denier-fools if you don’t think exactly like us to th eletter right here and right now!”.”

    I can’t believe you’re prepared to fight your ground on the deck of the Titanic! Remind me, the real Titanic, what happened? Are you really saying you would risk the ship sinking just because you felt those raising the alarm were being a bit discourteous to those who deny there’s a problem?

    Stephen W: “I just don’t see why CO2 is the one thing deniers won’t consider as a possible cause”

    Maurizio Morabito : “There you are. Are you suggesting that the term “denier” does NOT apply to people that consider CO2 as a possible cause for the warming?”

    You can play with your false syllogisms and word games all you like. It won’t stop us hitting the iceberg.

  183. Stephen W

    @182

    Stephen W: “I just don’t see why CO2 is the one thing deniers won’t consider as a possible cause”

    Maurizio Morabito : “There you are. Are you suggesting that the term “denier” does NOT apply to people that consider CO2 as a possible cause for the warming?”

    Stephen W:“You can play with your false syllogisms and word games all you like. It won’t stop us hitting the iceberg.”

    Sorry about accusing you of using faulty logic there. I can see how my comment could be read as implying that all deniers deny CO2, but I intended it to mean that some AGW deniers deny the role of CO2. So the answer to your question would be: no, it’s entirely possible for some one I’d consider to be an AGW denier to consider CO2 was a possible cause for warming. For instance if they thought that CO2 was all caused by volcanoes.

    My main point however, is that you are getting obsessed by a trivial use of a single word whilst ignoring any actual evidence.

  184. Maurice Mescaline

    Stephen W said:

    “My main point however, is that you are getting obsessed by a trivial use of a single word whilst ignoring any actual evidence.”

    Maurizio, you come across as a concern troll.

    “Wow this blog post is being plagued big time!!”

    Yes, by concern troll deniers like yourself. Now do you have some particular liar, crank pseudoscientist or sloppy debunked scientist to promote?

    Or do you have a hypothesis which shows how brilliant you are in comparison to an entire legion of scientists? Come on, a Nobel prize with your name on it is just waiting for you!

  185. Stephen W (#183): by the look of it, there should be some kind of Facebook-style quiz with, say, 15 questions to answer about various climate claims, and according to the result one would get a certain “degree of denial”, or better yet, a full-pass by answering all questions the way you like the answers to be.

    But however entertaining, that is _not_ science.

    Science is a process. To identify those misusing the process (=those “denying” science), you need to identify where and how they misuse the process. And you can’t do it simply by looking at their conclusions, just as you can’t label Einstein a “quantum physics denier” on the basis of him trying very hard (and very wrongly) to justify different conclusions than the Standard Model.

  186. Maurice (#184): you can call me any name you like, if that’s going to make you feel better. Otherwise, please read #183 and #185.

    As far as I am concerned, I am still trying to extract from any AGW believer here the exact reasons why anybody reaching different conclusions than Phil’s should automatically be labelled a “denier”, however strong their scientific credentials and reputation among peers. I am very interested about this for two reasons: first of all, the excessive use of “denier” is a sign of problems with freedom of expression. Secondly, by mixing up science-as-process with the accidents we call results, there is a risk in perpetrating an idea that is very wrong (see the Eddington and Einstein examples above: you can be “wrong” on an issue simply because you happen to be “wrong” and not because you’ve placed yourself outside of science itself).

    If you have anything to add to that, I am all ears.

  187. Stephen W (#182) (and thank you for #183): “Remind me, the real Titanic, what happened?”

    If we want to stick to the analogy, the alarmists are the ones believing the iceberg is going to be hit (i.e. they cannot assume it is common knowledge).

    Reason and wisdom would suggest that the alarmists would then firmly but openly distribute the news to the rest of the crew, convincing them about what actions to do. In that situation, they should avoid at all cost any grandstanding, insulting, and in general anything that would alienate the others.

    Otherwise, the alarmists will find themselves with two wars to fight: one, against the iceberg, the other, against the unbelievers. What can I say? Good luck with that!

    ps funny isn’t it, there is that hypothesis according to which if the Titanic crew had done nothing and just hit the iceberg head-on, maybe only four or fewer forward compartment would have been flooded, thereby saving everybody on board. Maybe, just maybe, had the officer in charge reviewed the situation with the ship’s designer, instead of acting in quasi-panic steering while braking…

  188. Maurice and Stephen W:

    Take this as another example: some scientists were convinced that light was wave-like, not particle-like. Others were convinced that light was particle-like, not wave-like. Now, following Phil’s logic, the former group would have called the latter one “wave deniers”, and vice-versa would have found themselves labelled “particle deniers”. And to add to the absurdity, as we now know they were both “almost right”, since light is both wave-like and particle-like.

    Science is the process of science, not the results. Science is the _discovery of_ how the world works, not the _detailed listing of_ how the world works. Science is a tool to get nearer to the truth, not an “Encyclopedia of The Truths”. If we don’t agree on that, it’s time to give up.

  189. Maurice Mescaline

    Maurizio said:
    “Take this as another example: some scientists were convinced that light was wave-like, not particle-like. Others were convinced that light was particle-like, not wave-like. Now, following Phil’s logic, the former group would have called the latter one “wave deniers”, and vice-versa would have found themselves labelled “particle deniers”. And to add to the absurdity, as we now know they were both “almost right”, since light is both wave-like and particle-like.”

    Maurizio your analogy fails when you take into consideration that some Exxon supported liars weren’t trying to push their BS about wave/particle duality.

    “Science is the process of science, not the results. Science is the _discovery of_ how the world works, not the _detailed listing of_ how the world works. Science is a tool to get nearer to the truth, not an “Encyclopedia of The Truths”. If we don’t agree on that, it’s time to give up.”

    Please take your medication Maurizio and stop ranting. We all know what science is and what it isn’t. Semantic games aren’t going to help pass bad research, distortions or outright lies past our BS detectors.

  190. Maurice Mescaline

    Don’t you think it is a bit hypocritical to whine about calling certain people “deniers” when you have titles like this on your blog?

    Epidemiology And The Rise Of AGW’s Ugly (Fascist) Head

    http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/epidemiology-and-the-rise-of-agws-ugly-fascist-head/

  191. Stephen W

    @187. Maurizio Morabito

    “I am still trying to extract from any AGW believer here the exact reasons why anybody reaching different conclusions than Phil’s should automatically be labelled a “denier”, however strong their scientific credentials and reputation among peers.”

    Why is calling someone an AGW “believer” better than calling someone an AGW “denier” both can have positive or negative connotations. I guess I’m a believer, if by that you mean I think the evidence supports the theory, but I don’t believe that everyone disagreeing with Phil should automatically be labeled a denier (except in a fairly literal sense). Nor have I noticed any one make this claim except you – so maybe you’re the best person to answer the question.

    Then maybe you could explain exactly what you do believe. For example as a “lukewarmer”, how lukewarm do you think the planet will get? What evidence do you have for this? Would you consider a claim that the earth has warmed by 6 degree since 1400 consistent with “luckwarmisim”, or would you regard that as a “catastrophist” argument?

  192. AhmNee

    175. Stephen W Says:

    :”…I’d prefer to see some actual evidence. You are making very serious claims here, that scientists are manipulating not just the evidence, but the scientific process…”

    I’m not making the accusation that it has happened. I said it has raised concern. It would be very unlikely to be able to prove anything after all from some email conversation. Rather than allay the concerns that were raised, we’ve gotten a smokescreen of “it’s not what you think”, “it’s out of context” and “this is conversation between scientists and you can’t possibly understand it”, to paraphrase. Wouldn’t it be easier and more effective to do what they could to make the process more transparent and go out of the way to show there’s no favoritism being played? At least for a time?

    :”I doubt that there isn’t discourse or dissent within climate scientists. Your claim seems like too much of a conspiratorial caricature to be plausible.”

    I’ll have to come back to this. I can’t thumb through and find those examples here at work. Been spending too much time at work arguing already. ;)

    :”…the science does speak for itself but the deniers still deny it.”

    It certainly seems to speak to you. I’m not so sure when things like, we can’t think of anything else therefore CO2 has to be the answer, are bandied about. The science certainly doesn’t speak for itself, there’s too many not well knowns and we can’t be sures.

    :”Remove everything we know about greenhouse gases, and it would still seem suspicious that the warming started just as CO2 was increasing.”

    Most of the contrary science doesn’t deny that CO2 has a role, we typically just disagree on what that role is. CO2 definitely contributes, it’s just not the driver of climate change. Warming didn’t start increasing “just as” CO2 was increasing. CO2 started increasing as the world started warming. Thus why the industrial revolution, when we started pumping ever large amounts of CO2 into the air, didn’t show a correlative increase in heat. I do, as do most of the skeptics I’ve encountered, believe CO2 plays a part, just not the part AGW claims.

    180. Maurice Mescaline Says:

    :”AhmNee, I notice that Peter Taylor refers to a “paper” by Lord Monckton, a well known crank, and liar.”

    The links were entertaining. Even if you’re right that Monckton is a total old fraud, you assuming guilt by association. Then there are the accusations stemming from a completely unrelated autobiography, wait … no, not even the biography. The paraphrased REVIEWS of the unrelated autobiography printed over half a decade ago. There’s no “woo woo” claims in Taylor’s book and attacking his science for what he may or may not personally believe (completely unrelated to the science) would be like me discounting any science presented by the AGW community that didn’t come from an atheist.

    If you want to go by the reviews, let me remind you of the review by Professor Davis I cited earlier in this thread.

  193. Stephen W

    @193 AhmNee

    “I’m not so sure when things like, we can’t think of anything else therefore CO2 has to be the answer, are bandied about.”

    “Most of the contrary science doesn’t deny that CO2 has a role, we typically just disagree on what that role is. CO2 definitely contributes, it’s just not the driver of climate change.”

    “CO2 started increasing as the world started warming.”

    “Thus why the industrial revolution, when we started pumping ever large amounts of CO2 into the air, didn’t show a correlative increase in heat”

    “I do, as do most of the skeptics I’ve encountered, believe CO2 plays a part, just not the part AGW claims.”

    I’m having a hard time trying to understand exactly what you are saying here. On one hand you are criticising climate scientists for blaming CO2 just because they couldn’t think of anything else (which ignores all the evidence for CO2 being a greenhouse gas, known before the current warming). On the other hand you say most contrarians believe that CO2 definitely contributes to global warming, but on the third hand think the warming caused the CO2, yet you also say that CO2 rose during the industrial revolution despite the lack of warming.

    A couple of questions. Why did the industrial revolution cause CO2 to rise, but not the increase in CO2 output during the 20th century? And if you don’t think CO2 is not driving the warming, what do think is?

  194. Maurice: I fail to see what the actions of Exxon have to do with the continuous process of character assassination against anybody questioning any part of the dogma.

    “We all know what science is”…perhaps you do, but then, if you do, you should show some evidence that you do. In fact, I wouldn’t be able to tell if you do know what science is. So far, all I have seen here is science reduced to a quiz show with “good” vs. “evil” answers. Those providing the “evil” answers get classified as “deniers”, as if that made any sense.

    As for the fascistic aspects shown by some AGW believers (of course, not by _all_ AGW believers), it is there every time an attempt is made to _silence_ the non-believers. Fascism, as I sadly know too well, is characterized by an all-encompassing attitude of us-vs-them, plus the strong urge to disallow freedom of speech.

    You see, I can argue why I use the words I use. I wish you could do the same. Anyway…feel free to use the tired, unsubstantiated accusation of “semantic games” when you have no argument, as concerning the long wave-vs-particle scientific debate.

  195. Stephen W (#192): “Why is calling someone an AGW “believer” better than calling someone an AGW “denier” both can have positive or negative connotations”

    Is there a positive connotation to “denier”? It’d be nice to know…

    “I guess I’m a believer, if by that you mean I think the evidence supports the theory, but I don’t believe that everyone disagreeing with Phil should automatically be labeled a denier (except in a fairly literal sense)”

    Finally! Thanks! (seriously).

    “Nor have I noticed any one make this claim except you – so maybe you’re the best person to answer the question.”

    Well, what do you understand when Phil says we should be “real skeptics”, that he’s examined the evidence, reached his conclusions, and that everybody not following to the letter is an otter yelling “la la la”, i.e. one of those “deniers who plague the comments of every blog post I make on this topic, loading it with obfuscation, noise, and distraction from the actual topic”?

    Where is the space for questioning if the questions are considered a product of the “Noise Machine”?

    “Then maybe you could explain exactly what you do believe. For example as a “lukewarmer”, how lukewarm do you think the planet will get? What evidence do you have for this? Would you consider a claim that the earth has warmed by 6 degree since 1400 consistent with “luckwarmisim”, or would you regard that as a “catastrophist” argument?”

    I have the strong impression, if not the belief, that there has been too much put at stake toward pushing the idea of hugely catastrophical global warming, generating a “scare” with the aim of moving the economy away from fossil fuels. Considering the history of recent “scares” (about which Britain where I live has for some reason always been on the vanguard), a “catastrophical” claim of up to 6C of warming means the most likely upper value is 2C of warming.

    So perhaps the iceberg is not as big as claimed, but..still, it’s out there, and I so wish anybody would be interested in getting our basic knowledge about it right (i.e. devoid of denialism and catastrophism) and some practical solution to deal with it in place (i.e. not based on having to change human nature).

    That’s why it’s so frustrating to have to reason about the huge dissemination of the “denier” label, the topmost “Noise Machine” about climate change, if you ask me.

  196. James Mayeau

    Maurizio : “Considering the history of recent “scares” (about which Britain where I live has for some reason always been on the vanguard), a “catastrophical” claim of up to 6C of warming means the most likely upper value is 2C of warming. ”

    If I recall correctly even the 2C of warming requires some augmentation of the naked CO2 induced warming through a feedback mechanism of some sort.
    The usual figure, quoted even by the IPCC, is 1C for CO2 doubling.
    The “catastrophical” additional warming is supposed to happen because water vapor or lack of reflective ice caps or what have you.

    But this brings up the question why didn’t these “feedbacks” take over during the much warmer times? The MWP and the Roman warm period were 1.5 to 3C warmer then today and the ice cap had receded from the Northern Latitudes of Greenland during the Norse colonization, allowing Vikings to circumnavigate the island and draw maps of their discoveries.

    So that’s two data points. No feedbacks were evident then. Why should I believe there will be some now, or in the near future?
    On Phil’s say so?

    I think I need more then that.

  197. Maurice Mescaline

    AhmNee said:

    “Even if you’re right that Monckton is a total old fraud, you assuming guilt by association. Then there are the accusations stemming from a completely unrelated autobiography, wait … no, not even the biography. The paraphrased REVIEWS of the unrelated autobiography printed over half a decade ago. There’s no “woo woo” claims in Taylor’s book and attacking his science for what he may or may not personally believe (completely unrelated to the science) would be like me discounting any science presented by the AGW community that didn’t come from an atheist.”

    No I’m not assuming “guilt by association”. I’m assuming that Taylor doesn’t research Monckton’s “paper” when it isn’t peer reviewed. He didn’t go on the net and read about how Monckton has lied about his status as a scientific advisor to Maggie Thatcher, and that his paper has serious flaws. Taylor is sloppy on research when it comes to accepting the work of deniers.
    As for Shiva’s Rainbow being unrelated. That is a lie. Its Taylor’s autobiography. And it shows that Taylor is suffering from woo woo syndrome. His science is suspect,and Taylor himself removed advertisement of the book from his own website because he knows that Shiva’s Rainbow is an embarassment to him. Perhaps you’d like to join Taylor in imbibing some homeopathic tinctures of plutonium water because it astrologically represents upheaval and transformation?
    Taylor and you both share the same lax acceptance of cranks and a dislike for real scientists.
    As for Taylor’s book, Chill, I doubt that it will withstand even cursory scientific scrutiny. Time will tell.

  198. Maurice Mescaline

    Maurizio Morabito said:

    “You see, I can argue why I use the words I use. I wish you could do the same. Anyway…feel free to use the tired, unsubstantiated accusation of “semantic games” when you have no argument, as concerning the long wave-vs-particle scientific debate.”

    I don’t want to argue with you too long, as arguing with an idiot for too long blurs the line between who the idiot actually is.
    But if you can’t see what you’re doing I’ll describe it more graphically:

    Maurizio Morabito: “Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”
    And you ignore why we call these folk deniers. Because they’re cranks, liars, prefer pseudoscience to real science. And because if they’re scientists they perform sloppy research that the rest of the scientific world has to correct. But all you have is:

    “Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”

    And you’ll keep trolling Phil’s blog going :

    “Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”

    I bet you go to bed shouting:

    “Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”"Phil called someone a denier, THEY’RE NOT DENIERS!!!BWAAAAAAAAH!!!!”

    Please Maurizio, get some psychiatric help.

  199. Maurice Mescaline

    James Mayeau said:

    “The “catastrophical” additional warming is supposed to happen because water vapor or lack of reflective ice caps or what have you.”

    Do any of you guys know what methane is? Do any of you add that into the amateur climate science that you trot out?

  200. Stephen W

    @196, Maurizio Morabito

    “Is there a positive connotation to “denier”? It’d be nice to know…”

    I’d happily call myself a flat-earth denier or an ID denier. The word only has bad connotation if someone is denying something that is obviously true, or when someone is denying something as a matter of prejudice rather than because of the evidence. In that sense I think the word can have exactly the same issues as the word believer.

    “Well, what do you understand when Phil says we should be “real skeptics”, that he’s examined the evidence, reached his conclusions, and that everybody not following to the letter is an otter yelling “la la la”, i.e. one of those “deniers who plague the comments of every blog post I make on this topic, loading it with obfuscation, noise, and distraction from the actual topic”?”

    What Phil actually said

    “Well then, be skeptical, but be real skeptics. I am, and always have been — I’ve examined the claims, the science, and the techniques, and have come to the conclusion that global warming is real, and that humans are overwhelmingly the most likely cause of its recent acceleration.
    I know I can say this all I want and it won’t help; the Noise Machine is impervious to logic and reality. But when you read those comments, you might want to keep this image in the back of your mind:”

    You’re keep making this bad inference. Saying that deniers will plague the comments does not imply that everyone who disagrees with Phil is a denier. Any more than saying “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” implies that all patriots are scoundrels.

    “Where is the space for questioning if the questions are considered a product of the “Noise Machine”?”

    You could try asking questions that don’t sound like they’re coming from a noise machine.

    “I have the strong impression, if not the belief, that there has been too much put at stake toward pushing the idea of hugely catastrophical global warming, generating a “scare” with the aim of moving the economy away from fossil fuels. Considering the history of recent “scares” (about which Britain where I live has for some reason always been on the vanguard), a “catastrophical” claim of up to 6C of warming means the most likely upper value is 2C of warming.”

    So this all comes down to your “strong impression”? And not a strong impression of the evidence, but a strong impression of a conspiracy to stop people using fossil fuels. Could you give some examples of the scares Britain has been engaged in? By Britain do you mean the government, British scientists, the media?

    When you say “the most likely upper value is 2C of warming”, is this just a hunch or do you have some actual research to back it up?

    “So perhaps the iceberg is not as big as claimed”

    That’s global warming for you.

    “but..still, it’s out there, and I so wish anybody would be interested in getting our basic knowledge about it right (i.e. devoid of denialism and catastrophism) “

    I still don’t know why you think that isn’t what climate scientists are trying to do. The amount of research that has been done on this is staggering and as far as I can tell motiviated by a desire to understand what is happening. I don’t see any evidence that this research is motivated by a desire to scare people. I’m pretty sure that any actual manipulation would have been exposed very quickly (and I don’t mean by quote mining).

  201. AhmNee

    @194. Stephen W.

    Perhaps herein lies the problem. And please correct me if I’m wrong but it seems like you think there can be no gray area. If one doesn’t believe that CO2 is causing global warming, they can’t believe that CO2 is a greenhouse gas or that it contributes to the cycle of warming.

    That’s not the case. I and most of the skeptics I’ve talked with or listened to don’t dispute that:
    CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
    CO2 is likely at a higher concentration in our atmosphere than it has been in a long, long time.
    CO2 plays some role in the cycle of global warming.

    I won’t speak for others so from what I’ve heard and what I understand, I disagree with the idea that:
    CO2′s effect on the environment is enough to be the main driver behind global warming.

    As I’ve mentioned earlier, I have an easier time believing that complex natural variation cycles (oceanic cycles mainly) coupled with an exceptionally powerful solar cycle during a time of atypical cloud cover are more likely the major driving force behind global warming.

    Taylor, for example, believes that the current warming trend is driven 80% natural variation forcing and 20% by GHG forcing. This is made more believable when you consider that the IPCC admits they don’t adequately understand the cycles of natural variability and that the computer models have never been able to accurately reproduce them.

    So, let me ask, what is it about the AGW hypothesis that convinces you it’s correct. Is it your trust in the scientists and the “consensus”? What makes you accept the theory without question?

  202. Maurice Mescaline

    AhmNee said:

    “Taylor, for example, believes that the current warming trend is driven 80% natural variation forcing and 20% by GHG forcing.”

    Peter Taylor says in Shiva’s Rainbow:

    “Plutonium is distributed in homeopathic doses by the bomb tests, such that not a bone on the planet is free of it! Poisonous as it may be in the does around Windscale, as with all homeopathic poisons, may it not also possess healing powers, borne of Plutonic dimension, a preparation for rebirth, an awakener to higher consciousness?” (p. 232)

    What makes you think that it isn’t the “Plutonic dimension” forcing earth’s climate into warming?

  203. Steve in Dublin

    AhmNee (#203):

    So, let me ask, what is it about the AGW hypothesis that convinces you it’s correct. Is it your trust in the scientists and the “consensus”? What makes you accept the theory without question?

    I personally never accepted the consensus scientific view on AGW without question. Actually, I was pretty much agnostic with regard to AGW before ‘Climategate’ broke, and that got me interested in the science behind it. Since then, I have done quite a lot of reading on the subject.

    Whether you use a computer model, or just plain statistics, if you take into account all forcings *except* greenhouse gasses, you don’t get a good fit to the measured global atmospheric temperature. Put back in the greenhouse gasses and, BAM!, perfect fit:

    Not Computer Models

    You don’t dispute that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, right? You don’t dispute that we know the ‘extra’ CO2 (that above 280 ppm) we find in the atmosphere is man-made, right? Because we can tell from the various carbon isotope ratios (no 14C, and different 13C to 12C ratio than for naturally occurring CO2) that this extra CO2 primarily comes from burning fossil fuels.

    Remember, in the past (as determined by ice core samples), CO2 increase followed temperature increase (driven primarily by Milankovitch cycles). But now, because we are artificially injecting CO2 into the system, CO2 increase is leading the temperature increase. Warmer temperatures lead to more water vapour (which, as you know, is an even more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2) in the atmoshpere, which amplifies the effect.

    So that nails it for me. What would it take to convince *you* that mankind is a primary driver for the recent increase in warming?

  204. James Mayeau

    201. Maurice Mescaline Says:

    “Do any of you guys know what methane is? Do any of you add that into the amateur climate science that you trot out?”

    Yes I do know what methane is. Further I know that methane oxidizes into water vapor and co2 when it is released into the atmosphere.

    Do you guys know that Arctic peat bogs are not a new invention, and that this supposed feedback was present and active during the Roman and MWP without ill effect?

    How come warmists always imagine history started the day they were born?

  205. Stephen W

    @203, AhmNee

    “Perhaps herein lies the problem. And please correct me if I’m wrong but it seems like you think there can be no gray area. If one doesn’t believe that CO2 is causing global warming, they can’t believe that CO2 is a greenhouse gas or that it contributes to the cycle of warming.”

    Happy to oblige – you’re wrong! Of course I don’t believe there are no gray areas. You can certainly believe that CO2 is a greenhouse gas but isn’t causing global warming. I’d think you where wrong unless you could demonstrate why, but I could certainly think of possible scenarios. On the other hand I don’t follow your last point. How can something be contributing to the warming cycle but not causing warming? That is a puzzler?

    “So, let me ask, what is it about the AGW hypothesis that convinces you it’s correct. Is it your trust in the scientists and the “consensus”? What makes you accept the theory without question?”

    A good question, if you ignore the final strawman. I would have to say as a first step you are right, as a skeptical layman the primary reason I find the AGW hypothesis convincing is that the majority of experts agree with it. This is a principle I’ve long held, that people who have a lot more knowledge about a subject then I do are more likely to be correct than I am. It’s the same reason I believe in evolution, the moon landings, vaccination or the existence of black holes. All too often I hear people who have read a book or seen a photograph and are now convinced that everyone who has actually studied the subject for years must be wrong.

    Another reason for trusting the consensus on AGW is that the alternatives are not very coherent. If there was a realistic alternative to CO2 as the main driver I would expect the “skeptics” to be able to form their own consensus. Instead I see lots of pet theories which are often as not mutually contradictory. I also feel that if the alternatives were so convincing, there wouldn’t need to be so much quote mining, misquoting, ad hominem, strawman and any other attacks designed to distract from the science. The evidence would speak for itself.

    At a naive level, the main reason I think that AGW is the most plausible explanation is Ockham’s razor. We know CO2, amongst others, is a greenhouse gas. We know CO2 has been increasing as a result of human activity. Theory predicts this would cause warming. We see warming in line with predictions. To claim that something else has a greater effect than greenhouse gasses in the warming requires adding factors. It requires a hypothesis to explain how that something else causes warming, it requires an evidence that that something else is increasing, and it requires explaining why greenhouse gases do not have as much of an effect as predicted. It also requires quite a big coincidence.

    As far as I’m concerned this puts the onus of proof firmly on anyone claiming that something other than GHGs are the main driver of climate change. Yet all I’ve seen in these comments are “maybe”s, or “I don’t believe”s, or “we can’t be certain”s.

    A less naive approach would be to look at the processes scientists use to determine attribution of causes. But the full details would go right over my head, so we are back to trusting scientists again. A recent post on RealClimate convinces me that this is a far more sophisticated process than your “we can’t think of anything else therefore CO2 has to be the answer” caricature.

    One argument that I find convincing against the solar argument is that the stratosphere has been cooling whilst the troposphere warms.

  206. Stephen W

    @AhmNee

    I’d also like to echo the question Steve in Dublin raised in #205 (a much more elegant response than my ramblings). What would convince you that AGW is real?

    I’d also like to ask what convinces you that Peter Taylor is correct?

  207. James Mayeau

    Steve in Dublin says:

    “Whether you use a computer model, or just plain statistics, if you take into account all forcings *except* greenhouse gasses, you don’t get a good fit to the measured global atmospheric temperature. Put back in the greenhouse gasses and, BAM!, perfect fit:”

    See the header graph which compares the Pacific Decadal Oscillation trend, Satellite Global Temperature trend, Solar Activity trend, and CO2 Level trend, then realize he is a troll trying to fool you.

  208. Steve in Dublin

    James Mayeau (#210):

    Heh heh. The ol’ start from 1998 trick. 1998 was a complete anomaly because of the exceptionally large El Niño that kicked in that year, and you should well know that. If you don’t, shame on you, that makes you look even sillier (if that’s possible) for unquestionably lapping up all that nonsense you read on those pseudoscience sites.

    In fact, you need to examine trend lines of at least 22 years in length to get a statistical significance of 95% – the ‘gold standard’ because it means the trend can’t be attributed to pure chance – because that period encompasses 2 complete 11-year solar cycles, which do indeed have an effect on average global temperature.

    And, BTW, calling tamino a troll takes a lot of cheek. He’s a superb statistician.

  209. AhmNee

    205. Steve in Dublin Says:

    :”Whether you use a computer model, or just plain statistics, if you take into account all forcings *except* greenhouse gasses, you don’t get a good fit to the measured global atmospheric temperature. Put back in the greenhouse gasses and, BAM!, perfect fit:”

    Really? If you take in to account all forcings? All of them? Tell me. How did they take into account for natural variability, oceanic heat distribution, the effect of cloud formations when these systems are not well understood and have never been modeled successfully?

    How is it that the IPCC accounts for the masking of the warming trend by natural variability without considering that if it’s powerful enough to mask the entire trend, that it’s powerful enough to have created the trend in the first place?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/04/30/a-look-at-hadcrut-global-temps-and-pdo-with-hodrick-prescott-filtering-applied/

    :”Because we can tell from the various carbon isotope ratios (no 14C, and different 13C to 12C ratio than for naturally occurring CO2) that this extra CO2 primarily comes from burning fossil fuels.”

    Are you sure it’s not from cow farts? (half joking) I think you’re overstating your case there. AGW states that the CO2 put into the atmosphere by man is causing a tipping point that leeches CO2 from the oceans. Does it not?

    http://timeforchange.org/are-cows-cause-of-global-warming-meat-methane-CO2

    :”Warmer temperatures lead to more water vapour (which, as you know, is an even more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2) in the atmoshpere, which amplifies the effect.”

    Except you forget that long term water vapor has a negative net effect.

    http://www.theclimatescam.se/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/paltridgearkingpook.pdf

    207. Stephen W Says:

    :”Happy to oblige – you’re wrong!”

    You enjoyed that far too much.

    :”How can something be contributing to the warming cycle but not causing warming?”

    You’re being deliberately obtuse, right? We’re talking about the “Driving” force of global warming. Just because CO2 has some affect on the climate doesn’t mean it has the power to drive the current warming trends. Even calling it a “Greenhouse Gas” is a misnomer as it doesn’t function in the same manner. CO2 certainly doesn’t have the power to do a thing on it’s own. That’s why AGW needs the added power of water vapor to explain the numbers it gives CO2 forcing. The mechanism for the interaction of CO2 in the upper atmosphere is still a matter for scientific debate. It’s not well understood.

    :”This is a principle I’ve long held, that people who have a lot more knowledge about a subject then I do are more likely to be correct than I am.”

    A quote I once heard when I was young, I can’t remember where, said, “to be truly knowledgeable on a subject, you must be able to argue both side of the issue with equal facility”. It’s a principle I’ve always tried to hold myself to. To me, it means I should question everything, including my own convictions. Constantly. Your principle, in my opinion, is too trusting. Especially when you consider the affect “authority” has on the human psyche. I find it best to be skeptical and make authority prove it’s case to me.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment
    http://www.boingboing.net/2010/05/03/hearing-prayer-shuts.html

    :”At a naive level, the main reason I think that AGW is the most plausible explanation is Ockham’s razor.”

    See, I disagree. The thing that first triggered my skeptic alarms was that I remember learning how complex a system our environment was. That most things in the outside world were incredible difficult to discover because it almost never worked in practice the way it does in the lab. So when the AGW science started mounting with ever increasing amounts of absolute confidence combined with predictions of doom. I got curious. And the more I looked the more I found that “isn’t well know” or had mechanisms that were “not well understood”. I know that computers do what you tell them and the whole rule of Garbage In – Garbage Out. And then I started to hear about how the computer models show that there should be a heating of the upper atmosphere that isn’t present. That the models don’t include oceanic cycles (some have started to try, as I understand it, but it’s not going well) or other manners of natural variables. That some of these natural variables can have better than century long cycles and the global warming hypothesis stands on ~150 years of temperature records. I think if you use Occam’s Razor, the simplest answer is that we have no possible way of knowing for certain. Not at our current level of technology.

    It’s not a coincidence that climate is changing. That’s what it does. That’s what it will always do. If we all got behind AGW and reduced carbon emissions till we were at some idea of a norm … climate would change. Where did they even get the norm that global temperature is measured at? Is 150 years of data enough for us to know what the normal temperature of the planet is? How could it be?

    :”A recent post on RealClimate convinces me that this is a far more sophisticated process than your “we can’t think of anything else therefore CO2 has to be the answer” caricature.”

    Gavin Schmidt is quite a character. I did enjoy reading Real Climate when I first started looking into Global Warming. He really seemed like he was there to educate and help people understand and I felt welcome there even though I didn’t necessarily agree. That seemed to change over time and things there got almost hostile … certainly inhospitable. It’s unfortunate.

    I remember watching the IQ2 debate “Is Global Warming a Crisis?” I remember there being a lot of questions being asked by the against group that I myself had been asking. One being if the science is so sound, why the need for a consensus to bludgeon people with? When Gavin talked about the crisis of global warming, the best he could seem to come up with was flooded basements in Manhattan. And when Philip Stott brought up the research being done on cosmic rays, Gavin raising his voice to say, “they’re wrong!”. I felt genuinely embarrassed for him. How totally unscientific.

    I wish I could remember exactly which scientist said that quote. I can’t remember if it was on AIT or some other.

    209. Stephen W Says:

    :”What would convince you that AGW is real? I’d also like to ask what convinces you that Peter Taylor is correct?”

    I’ve never said that Peter Taylor IS correct. Neither does he, actually, he relates as much in his book. Scientifically he’s open to the possibility he could be wrong but his analysis seems to provide a better, more comprehensive explanation using all the available science. I’m inclined to agree. His explanation seems more convincing, plausible. Still he believes it we’ll be well into the upcoming cooling trend that he suggests is likely on it’s way to convince many. He’s probably correct. Still, he recommends a strategy that builds resilience into our food production so that no matter who is correct, warming or cooling, neither will decimate our food supplies and lead to the massive starvation that could happen either way. And that makes much more sense than following the “precautionary principle” advocated by the AGW camp.

  210. AhmNee

    You know what else would go a long way toward helping to trust the AGW camp is on the right track? A little humility. I don’t think I’ve even heard evolutionists attack intelligent design believers the way warmists attack skeptics. (Is warmist offensive? I wouldn’t think so. As heated as this topic is, it’s tough to tell what’s going to hurt whose feelings. I’m even fine with denier, though I think it’s inaccurate, as long as it isn’t used to shut down discussion.) Any time I hear an evolutionist talk about evolution, even though we have seen it happen in real time in rapidly reproducing bacteria, they say it’s the best theory we have that fits the observational data. I’ve never heard it called settled science or heard about the evolutionary consensus. Not that I haven’t heard the other side called nasty names at one time or another. But about the science, there’s a bit of decorum and humility that seems to be absent from discussion around AGW.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the skeptics don’t mix it up just as well. But on the science, skeptics seem to be pointing out the inconsistencies and holes in the theory. More often advising caution against jumping to conclusions. Warmists just seem to, and this is just my observational opinion, want to beat you over the head with how ‘right’ they are.

    I don’t know. It’s hard not to get jaded over the whole thing.

    I’ve enjoyed the debate so far, however. And I know I still owe you examples of ignoring/marginalizing dissent. If only I got paid to do this …

  211. Maurice Mescaline

    AhmNee wrote:

    “Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the skeptics don’t mix it up just as well. But on the science, skeptics seem to be pointing out the inconsistencies and holes in the theory. More often advising caution against jumping to conclusions. Warmists just seem to, and this is just my observational opinion, want to beat you over the head with how ‘right’ they are.”

    Therein lies the problem. Instead of “pointing out the inconsistencies and holes in the theory”, or rather distorting the work of others and trying to sling mud, they should be doing their own research, so that AGW supporters can laugh at the lack of understanding and sloppy work of denialists.

    “Scientifically he’s open to the possibility he could be wrong but his analysis seems to provide a better, more comprehensive explanation using all the available science.”

    If that were the case why didn’t Peter Taylor submit his publication for peer review? Why is he giving talks on the conspiracy circuit like a crank?

  212. Kamelios

    206. James Mayeau Says:
    May 27th, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    “Yes I do know what methane is. Further I know that methane oxidizes into water vapor and co2 when it is released into the atmosphere.”

    Finally something truthful from a denier.

    “Do you guys know that Arctic peat bogs are not a new invention, and that this supposed feedback was present and active during the Roman and MWP without ill effect? ”

    So tell me how much methane is under Siberia and in clathrates under the oceans?

    “How come warmists always imagine history started the day they were born?”

    Why do deniers always write non sequiters that are straw men?

  213. Stephen W

    @212, AhmNee

    “Even calling it a “Greenhouse Gas” is a misnomer as it doesn’t function in the same manner. CO2 certainly doesn’t have the power to do a thing on it’s own.”

    Could you elaborate on that, or provide a reference? Are you really claiming that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas? Also, how does your claim that you need the added power of water vapor to produce AGW work with you other more dubious claim that water vapor has a negative net effect.

    “So when the AGW science started mounting with ever increasing amounts of absolute confidence combined with predictions of doom.”

    I’d give more credence to your ability to argue things from both sides if you didn’t set up strawmen like this. And you don’t seem to have problems with Taylor’s predictions of gloom.

    I don’t want to put words in your mouth, so correct me if I’m wrong, but your argument against CO2 being the main driver in global warming is that there are unknowns in the system, therefore it’s not possible to model climate exactly, therefore it’s not possible to be certain that CO2 has as much of an effect as the models would suggest, therefore it cannot be the main driver.

    So why are these unknowns not enough to stop you from claiming you “have an easier time believing that complex natural variation cycles (oceanic cycles mainly) coupled with an exceptionally powerful solar cycle during a time of atypical cloud cover are more likely the major driving force behind global warming.”?

    I was hoping for more of an explanation as to why you find Taylor’s hypothesis more convincing than the AGW one. The more I’ve looked into it the less convinced I am that he has a firm grasp of the science. When for instance, he can claim (in May 2008), that “in the last 12 months we’ve seen a drop in global temperatures equal to the rise of the last 50 years”[1] you have to wonder what globe he’s talking about.

    [1]
    about 5:15 into this interview
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUUYcfsaSnw&feature=related

  214. Peter

    I see.. the climate deniers are in full force. Took classes with creationism, it seems.

    Let me some up these deniers’ “though process:”

    Global Warming -> government measures to reduce CO2 emissions. Government intervention is evil. Free market is sacred an holy. Freedom is holy and sacred. -> Global Warming is evil and must be fought.

    Morons.

  215. Jack Black

    Stephen W Says:

    “I’d give more credence to your ability to argue things from both sides if you didn’t set up strawmen like this. And you don’t seem to have problems with Taylor’s predictions of gloom.”

    Taylor mentions several debunked sources to prop up his ideas.

    “On CO2 and doubling:
    One of the most interesting recent papers that has sparked much expert debate is:
    Miskolczi (2007) ‘greenhouse effect in semi-transparent planetary atmospheres’ Quarterly Journal of the Hungarian Meteorological Service, 111 (1) Jan-March 2007, 1-40.
    I believe he is ex-NASA, and he breaks with the orthodox views regarding the water-vapour amplifier.
    For an overall view of the fall off of effectivity with addtional concentration:
    Barratt J (2005) ‘Greenhouse molecules, their spectra and function in the atmosphere’ Energy & Environment, 16, 6, 1040-1046
    and there is Monckton’s challenge to the orthodox models in:
    Monckton C (2008) ‘Climate sensitivity reconsidered’ Forum for Physics and Society, American Physical Society, July 2008.”

    Monckton is debunked here:

    http://bartonpaullevenson.com/Monckton.html

    Miskolczi is debunked here:

    http://bartonpaullevenson.com/Miskolczi.html

    Jack Barrett is part of a dodgey group that shacks up with Exxon:

    http://www.desmogblog.com/jack-barrett

  216. AhmNee

    @216. Stephen W Says:

    :”Could you elaborate on that, or provide a reference? Are you really claiming that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas? Also, how does your claim that you need the added power of water vapor to produce AGW work with you other more dubious claim that water vapor has a negative net effect.”

    You do know the theory behind AGW, right? In a nutshell:

    CO2 heats atmosphere causing water to evaporate.
    Water joins with CO2 to continue heating atmosphere.
    Atmosphere heats oceans which begin to release more CO2.
    Rinse and repeat.

    Even according to AGW, without the water vapor, CO2 doesn’t have the power to cause the kind of warming trend we’re seeing. Thus why the mechanism by which clouds form and create a negative or positive feedback is crucial to the debate.

    I’m not saying CO2 isn’t a greenhouse gas. I’m saying the term greenhouse gas/effect is inaccurate. Reading it again, I can see how it could be misunderstood. I should have been more clear. I don’t think climate scientists on the AGW side disagree that the term is inaccurate. I could be wrong, I suppose. “Greenhouse Effect/Gas” is just an over simplification of the process.

    @216 Stephen W and @215 Kamelios

    “I’d give more credence to your ability to argue things from both sides if you didn’t set up strawmen like this.”
    “Why do deniers always write non sequiters that are straw men?”

    I think you two are so used to calling any argument a “straw man” that you’ve forgotten what one is. Stephen, you certainly can’t contradict that the AGW has had ever increasing amounts of absolute confidence in itself or you’d never call it “settled science”. So you must have a problem with “predictions of doom”. If you think that’s a straw man, you need to look up what “doom” actually means. It’s synonymous with fate and a prediction of doom is probably a little redundant if anything. Not all dooms are bad. AGW theory keeps telling us what’s going to happen in 15, 50, 100 years down the road with glaciers melting and oceans rising among others that are a bit more dubious. If that’s not a prediction of doom (or the fate that we’re in for, if you prefer), I don’t know what is.

    @216 Stephen W Says:

    :”So why are these unknowns not enough to stop you from claiming you “have an easier time believing that complex natural variation cycles (oceanic cycles mainly) coupled with an exceptionally powerful solar cycle during a time of atypical cloud cover are more likely the major driving force behind global warming.”?”

    This is exactly why I believe warmists have forgotten how science works. It’s not a matter of “this theory is right and this theory is wrong”. Science just does not work like that. AGW is a working theory. Even thought I don’t agree with a good portion of the theory, it doesn’t mean that the whole theory is incorrect or that it holds no value. Peter Taylor’s book gives an alternate theory and some parts of that theory make a lot of sense. The problem with the way you’re looking at the science here is that while parts of either theory may be wrong, it doesn’t invalidate the entire theory. If parts of a theory being wrong or unknown invalidated the entire theory, evolution would have been thrown out a long time ago but that’s not how science works. Like evolution, both AGW and Peter Taylor’s theory will continue to change and evolve as new information comes available. As new theories are developed and new discoveries are made parts of both will change and some parts will be invalidated and the theories will become stronger for all the pieces that have been disproven. We may even find that both theories were correct and actually compliment each other. There’s too much focus on what is “right” and what is “wrong”. As Prof. Davis says in his forward of the book, “Taylor raises issues and questions that must be addressed before global warming can be genuinely regarded as ‘truth’, inconvenient or otherwise”. Taylor could very well be wrong, so could AGW. In the mean time, Taylor makes a lot of sense in his recommendation that we should be building resiliency into our food production so that no matter what climate does in the next 15, 50, 100 years, we can avoid starvation while we learn to adapt.

    Back at 175, you took issue with my use of the word “dogma”. I think it’s very poignant that you would do so. You don’t like me talking about what you believe in as if it were a “a system of principles or tenets, as of a church” but you want to treat science in the same way that Intelligent Design proponents do. ID’ers like to say that because the theory of evolution doesn’t give us ALL the answers, it can’t be correct. Well, scientific theories don’t work like religion, that is, in an all or nothing manner. Because you and other warmists seem to want the science to function in an all or nothing manner, it is actually appropriate to refer to it as a dogma. I hope you can see why.

  217. Stephen W

    @219. AhmNee

    “You do know the theory behind AGW, right? In a nutshell:
    CO2 heats atmosphere causing water to evaporate.
    Water joins with CO2 to continue heating atmosphere.
    Atmosphere heats oceans which begin to release more CO2.”

    That pretty much agrees with my, admittedly simplistic, understanding of the process. CO2 warms the planet, feeedbacks warm planet even more. But in the post I was responding to @212 you said “CO2 certainly doesn’t have the power to do a thing on it’s own.”. So do you agree or not with the first point that “CO2 heats atmosphere”?

    “I think you two are so used to calling any argument a “straw man” that you’ve forgotten what one is. Stephen, you certainly can’t contradict that the AGW has had ever increasing amounts of absolute confidence in itself or you’d never call it “settled science”.”

    A straw man argument: claiming that your opponents are claiming something there not so that you can proof the position they don’t hold wrong. As in claiming I called climate change “settled science”. I’ve never made that claim, nor as far as I know has any climate scientist. Science is never settled. As to the statement “the AGW has had ever increasing amounts of absolute confidence in itself” I’m not sure I could contradict it because it doesn’t make any sense. Do you understand what the word “absolute” means? And how can a theory have confidence in itself?

    “So you must have a problem with “predictions of doom”. If you think that’s a straw man, you need to look up what “doom” actually means.”

    Doom can mean lots of things. If you’re implying it means the end of the world that would be a straw man. If you just mean bad things are going to happen, I’d have to agree with that. I’m not sure of a definition of doom that allows “Not all dooms are bad.”, except possibly in the sense that a Christian might say the end of the world was a good thing.

    “This is exactly why I believe warmists have forgotten how science works. It’s not a matter of “this theory is right and this theory is wrong”. Science just does not work like that.”

    Well this is complicated because on one hand I disagree that science doesn’t work on the idea that some theories are right and some wrong. Some theories are definitely wrong, and whilst it might be true that science can never establish a theory is absolutely right, it does try to move as close as possible to determining which ones are most likely to be correct.

    However when it comes to AGW I just don’t have this absolute faith in the theory you keep saying I have. I would say that AGW is currently the best understanding we have. If I had to put an arbitrary figure on my level of confidence, I might say I think it’s 95% likely that current warming is man made. I’d be rather less confident that predictions for the next 100 years will be accurate, because there are far too many unknowns. We could be lucky and some unforeseen feedback will reduce the warming to reasonable levels, we might be unlucky and find we warm much more than anyone predicted, we might even find that negative feedbacks are so large that they plunge the world into a new ice-age.

    The very obvious problem is that whilst there are uncertainties, we need to decide how to deal with the potential problem now. And to me it makes no sense to gamble on an optimistic belief that it’s possible the theory is wrong. The fact that we don’t know how this experiment will end seems a good reason to try to stop it.

    “Back at 175, you took issue with my use of the word “dogma”. I think it’s very poignant that you would do so. You don’t like me talking about what you believe in as if it were a “a system of principles or tenets, as of a church” but you want to treat science in the same way that Intelligent Design proponents do.”

    I don’t like you talking about what I believe in because, you don’t know what I believe in and are putting your own ideas about what you think I should believe in. A tactic ironically reminiscent of creationist arguments.

  218. adam

    @ 77. Lord Rotifer:

    I know this is late, but I just realized the blog screwed up and ate one of my responses. Here’s a quick reply. Again, it doesn’t matter what type of science I practice and I refuse to divulge that information on principle. Suffice it to say that I am college educated and am familiar with the scientific method, research methods, logic, physics and mathematics. And I am not a climatologist, and I am not trained in climate science. If that means that I cannot raise objections or ask questions (which, 6 months on, have yet to be answered by anyone here, by the way) about the science being performed and the way in which it is being performed, then I don’t see how you’re qualified to make assertions about its validity without having faith in a consensus. Which means you are not a skeptic, I am.

    And about that question of faith:

    @ 37. amphiox:

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. We don’t need to resort to faith. We can test and gather evidence that the methodology which gives the climatologists their authority is valid by assessing how
    effectively that metholodogy produces reliable information and authorities concerning that information across the general range of topics to which said methodology applies.

    First of all, my comment was meant as a way of teasing AGW believers, not as an actual claim against the validity of climate science. My objections to climate science have nothing to do with the logic of science in general and everything to do with their admitted lack of understanding about the climate.

    The methodology is called science. And if it works for astronomy, for physics, for chemistry, for biology, for medicine, then it works for climatology, too. Because it is the same method. When we trust the consensus in a field in which we are not expert, we are NOT trusting the authority of the experts themselves, we are trusting the validity of the scientific method itself, and this is NOT a question of faith.

    Well, let’s be clear, your claim of “trusting the validity of the scientific method itself” to indicate something about the truthfulness of some assertion holds no water. It’s a little like saying that I trust my parachute to save me from hitting the ground when I jump out of an airplane. But I think you’ll agree it won’t do jack shit if I don’t pack it right and pull the cord.

    It is a question of evidence. Mountains and mountains of evidence, accumulated over centuries, and reaffirmed every day, every hour, every minute, every second, when we observe that the technological and intellectual fruits of science (like our cars, computers, hospitals, airplanes, sewage systems, bridges, roads, etc) ACTUALLY WORK.

    Sure, I agree, but you’re sort of missing the point I was making. Let me stretch my parachute analogy. I could sit on the ground with a notebook and nothing else and observe ten million people jump out of ten million planes and watch 99% of them float down to the ground without a scratch on them. From the ground, I would have a pretty good idea of what was going on. I would have mountains and mountains of evidence that someone can jump out of a plane and then a parachute opens and then that someone can land safely on the ground. That hardly means I’m ready to hop into the nearest biplane and take a dive. The point is that we lack a certain amount of understanding of the climate that I personally believe warrants the paranoia and alarmism and craptastically short-sighted measures that have been proposed by the AGW alarmist community. We know that CO2 causes climate forcing. How much and on what kind of scale with regards to the entire globe, we don’t know. How the climate itself compensates for this is poorly understood. We also know CO2 levels rise subsequent to warming in addition to prior, further clouding our view. We know the ocean absorbs heat at different rates in different climatic environments. How this relates to the overall global system is poorly understood. We know with some accuracy the earth was warm about 500 years ago, then colder, and now it’s getting warmer again. Before that, the accuracy of our data plummets. Before about 2000 years ago, our picture of the climate is about as clear as a windshield on a freezing morning. We know major (cataclysmic) climate changes take place on multi-millennial cycles, not 500-year or, absurdly, 13-year cycles.

    If you want to disagree with the consensus, then the onus is on YOU to provide new evidence that either 1. the scientific method underpinning the consensus does not work (good luck with that), or 2. the consensus position has somehow violated the scientific method (good luck with that as well).

    No, not really. I’m simply not convinced. Not because I don’t want to believe. I mean honestly, why should I give a crap either way? Whether or not we caused it, I don’t believe there’s anything we can possibly do about stopping the current warming trend (and there’s scientific evidence to back me up on that), so why do I care? I care because I’m interested in consistency, rationality and sense, and I simply don’t see it in AGW alarmism. I’m not convinced because I don’t buy into hype or a consensus simply because there is one. Give me the proof that we’re causing the warming, or least a case with some evidence that we actually understand the climate enough to make outrageous, sweeping claims about it. Then we’ll talk more.

    I’m an AGW agnostic, I guess.

  219. Maurice Mescaline’s #200 is by far the most embarrassing comment I have ever read, anywhere (well, apart from the page where I am shown as part of the Big Conspiracy to Hide the Truth about Chemtrails). So no more words about it.

    Stephen W (#202): “Saying that deniers will plague the comments does not imply that everyone who disagrees with Phil is a denier”

    That’s not what I said. For the last time…Phil wrote: “Well then, be skeptical, but be real skeptics. I am, and always have been — I’ve examined the claims, the science, and the techniques, and have come to the conclusion that global warming is real, and that humans are overwhelmingly the most likely cause of its recent acceleration”

    Please tell me how one could disagree with Phil without being considered a “denier”. Examples would help.

    “Could you give some examples of the scares Britain has been engaged in”

    Y2K, SARS, CJD, Swine Flu, AGW, the works: come to think, I cannot provide any example of scares Britain has _not_ been engaged in…

    “I don’t see any evidence that this research is motivated by a desire to scare people”

    I do not think I have ever made such a claim. Research (and results) should always be kept quite apart from policy opinions and prescriptions.

    ps if you ask “you could explain exactly what you do believe” and then I explain exactly what I do believe, you might try at least to sound less surprised about it 8-)

  220. Stephen W

    @222. Maurizio Morabito
    Good grief, you’re still obsessing over alleged name calling. If you have any valid arguments against the AGW theory you could have made it by now, but instead you insist on whining on about your interpretation of a chance remark by Phil. It’s almost as if you where trying to distract from the actual topic.

    If you had provided a single argument against Phil we would have been able to test whether it was possible to disagree with him without being called a “denier”.


    Phil wrote: “Well then, be skeptical, but be real skeptics. I am, and always have been — I’ve examined the claims, the science, and the techniques, and have come to the conclusion that global warming is real, and that humans are overwhelmingly the most likely cause of its recent acceleration”
    Please tell me how one could disagree with Phil without being considered a “denier”. Examples would help.

    Still having a hard time seeing you point here. How does someone stating the conclusions they’ve come to, and urging people to be skeptical amount to saying “anyone who disagrees with me is a denier.”? And more to the point, why does it matter? Why do you think “denier” is such a terrible word? I note by the way the way you refer to people who disagree with you in your recent blocg post (emphasis mine):

    Unless and until the “Nature” editors will find the courage the publish correspondence such as the below, outside of the usual echo-chambers of close-minded, mantra-repeating, conformist half-thinkers, the most we can expect from the somewhat prestigious journal is incomplete columns:

    Back to post 222,


    “I don’t see any evidence that this research is motivated by a desire to scare people”
    I do not think I have ever made such a claim. Research (and results) should always be kept quite apart from policy opinions and prescriptions.

    I think you did make such a claim in post 196.

    I have the strong impression, if not the belief, that there has been too much put at stake toward pushing the idea of hugely catastrophical global warming, generating a “scare” with the aim of moving the economy away from fossil fuels.

    Maybe I should have said “I don’t see any evidence that this research is motivated by a desire to scare people in order to move the economy from fossil fuels”.


    ps if you ask “you could explain exactly what you do believe” and then I explain exactly what I do believe, you might try at least to sound less surprised about it

    You are right. It really shouldn’t surprise me that you failed to provide any evidence for, or even a definition of “lukewarmism”, but instead offered nothing but your impression of conspiracy, and the view that “a “catastrophical” claim of up to 6C of warming means the most likely upper value is 2C of warming”.

    I was also surprised you didn’t realize the 6 degrees of warming since 1400 was a reference to Harrison Schmitt.

    Schmitt said historical documents indicate average temperatures have risen by 1 degree per century since around 1400 A.D., and the rise in carbon dioxide is because of the temperature rise.

    I’m still not sure if you regard this claim as a “catastrophical” one.

  221. Stephen W (@223)

    If we are discussing a point, it is rather strange to hear one is “obsessing” about it 8-)

  222. AhmNee

    @220 Stephen W Says:

    :”So do you agree or not with the first point that “CO2 heats atmosphere”?”

    Actually, I don’t think anyone disagrees that CO2 heats the atmosphere. Or rather, that CO2 traps shortwave solar radiation which causes the atmosphere to heat, to be accurate. Where the disagreement lies is how much warming can CO2 cause. AGW contends that the CO2/water vapor forcing can account for the majority of the current warming trend. In fact their figures are about opposite of what Taylor posits. The IPCC summaries say that CO2 accounts for ~80% of the warming trend and the remaining ~20% could be due to natural variation.

    :”As in claiming I called climate change “settled science”. I’ve never made that claim, nor as far as I know has any climate scientist.”

    I’ve looked back in the thread and I do apologize. You didn’t say that it’s settled science. It was Steve in Dublin @ 163. “The reality of it is that the science of AGW has been settled for over a decade.” I’ve heard the term settled science bandied around by the AGW camp a lot. You are correct, however, that you specifically didn’t say it.

    :”Do you understand what the word “absolute” means? And how can a theory have confidence in itself?”

    The AGW camp likes to call their belief in their interpretation of the science the “truth”, much like someone calls what they know about their religion. If that’s not an absolute statement, what is? Increasing and absolute don’t seem to go together, sure. How else can you term it when you start with the “truth” and then whenever a study comes out that supports AGW interpretation the confidence level goes up? Still, I guess I could have made my point without the additional adjective. Still, I’m not seeing a straw man.

    :”Doom can mean lots of things. If you’re implying it means the end of the world that would be a straw man. If you just mean bad things are going to happen, I’d have to agree with that. I’m not sure of a definition of doom that allows “Not all dooms are bad.”, except possibly in the sense that a Christian might say the end of the world was a good thing.”

    I’m not entirely certain implying the end of the world is a straw man considering some of the predictions being thrown about. But honestly, we could split hairs even about that. Extinction of man doesn’t actually end the world, etc, etc. Can we agree that it may not have been the best example of a straw man and move on? If you think I’m overstating something, please say so. I very well may be. Calling something a straw man just causes a defense of the statement rather than an examination of it’s merit, human nature being what it is. I’ll endeavor to do the same. It’s more conducive to the ongoing dialog.

    :”Well this is complicated because on one hand I disagree that science doesn’t work on the idea that some theories are right and some wrong.”

    Definitely a solid point. This is where I think the politics come in and start to blur the lines between science and belief in a point of view. There’s an unhelpful focus on what is “right” and “wrong”. Earlier it was stated that because Taylor had cited Monckton it called his science into question. That’s not necessarily the case. Taylor’s conclusions don’t hinge on Monckton’s paper. They may be used to support a theory and that support can be proven questionable without disproving the theory. It would be a different matter entirely if Taylor based his conclusions on Monckton’s paper. That’s not evident, however. If ultimately his conclusions about solar activity are inaccurate, it still doesn’t mean his conclusions about oceanic cycles or cloud feedback. It doesn’t even necessarily mean he’s entirely wrong about the solar cycles or that the theory can’t be adapted to take into account the new and more accurate data.

    Shiva’s Rainbow, or rather, the review thereof has also been used to try to discredit Taylor. Having never read Shiva’s Rainbow, I’m not prepared to argue the merits of that book, obviously. I can say, however, that if Taylor does hold any beliefs in the preternatural, it’s not evident in Chill. Indeed if he does hold such beliefs, as long as he doesn’t base his scientific conclusions on them, who gives a damn? I don’t mean to sound like a broken record but at least a few of the scientists in the IPCC most likely believe in a god, wouldn’t you agree? There’s no more or less evidence for a god than there is for any of the other mysticism that one could believe. As long as that scientist doesn’t come to his conclusions because “god told me so”, we’ll accept the hypothesis and debate it’s scientific merits. I say the same holds true for Taylor should the review of Shiva’s Rainbow be accurate.

    :”I just don’t have this absolute faith in the theory you keep saying I have. I would say that AGW is currently the best understanding we have.”

    I do apologize for the fact that my comments aren’t aimed at just you even when I’ve addressed you specifically. I’m not so sure AGW is the best understanding we have but it’s certainly the theory we’ve put the most resources into. I’m reasonably certain it’s not an entire waste. Even if AGW is proven to overstate the case for CO2′s ability to drive climate change, there’s a lot of valuable data that will have been collected. For me, there seems to be a bit of tunnel vision. Climate science is complicated. There’s not a lot of people who can look at the entirety of it and understand what’s going on. Atmospheric scientists don’t really understand the oceanic science. Oceanic scientist don’t really understand solar science. Each discipline relies on the other for data and has to take the other’s word for it as to it’s accuracy. The IPCC is an attempt to bridge the disciplines but it is a political body before it is a scientific one and suffers from the pre-commitments and biases of it’s politics.

    :”The very obvious problem is that whilst there are uncertainties, we need to decide how to deal with the potential problem now. And to me it makes no sense to gamble on an optimistic belief that it’s possible the theory is wrong. The fact that we don’t know how this experiment will end seems a good reason to try to stop it.”

    This is why I think the suggestion to build resiliency into our food supply is the better option. It covers more than just one possible outcome and has value that reaches beyond the perceived ‘danger’ posed by AGW. Pushing forward with most of the suggested ‘fixes’ for AGW seems to put us in a position where the ‘cure’ is worse than the sickness. Cap and Trade is a scheme that seems solely engineered to make certain people rich. Biomass threatens to take over valuable farmland needed to meet our food needs and from what I understand, would need more growing area to achieve it’s goal than we have on the entire planet. Others want windmills dotting the countryside until you can’t turn around without seeing them. In the meantime, enforcing strict energy policy on 3rd world nations that can least afford it. Kyoto grandfathered in most industrial nations and sought to impose the harshest restrictions on the developing nations. If we’re going to risk our crops and essentially hobble nations whose people die because they don’t have the modern luxuries we take for granted we’d better be a lot more certain our course of action is the correct one. Otherwise, in my opinion, it’s tantamount to the murder of those people who die waiting for clean water, safe ways to cook and heat their ‘homes’, access to modern care and medicines, etc.

    :”I don’t like you talking about what I believe in because, you don’t know what I believe in and are putting your own ideas about what you think I should believe in. A tactic ironically reminiscent of creationist arguments.”

    I really don’t think I’ve been telling you what I think you should believe. Perhaps I’ve been incorrectly surmised what you seem to espouse. Or I’ve incorrectly attributed to you the claims of others. I may have painted too broadly at times in our discussion in an attempt to answer other voices than just yours. Still, I reject the comparison to Creationists as my goal has always been the continuation of discourse and further study of the rational merits of the issue. You won’t find a creationist with those goals. :)

  223. Craig Goodrich

    @102 Stephen —

    … the natural proccess started up at exactly the time we expected green house gasses to take effect …

    Umm, no. Even if we take the GISS or HadCRUT3 temperatures as gospel, the warming trend started around 1850. By general agreement, CO2 started its modern rapid increase right after WW2. The period 1950–1975 was characterized by a slight cooling. The only way the modelers can make their theory accord with the facts is to throw in the right curve-fitting fudge factor and call it “aerosols”, when in fact even the IPCC admits that not only are aerosols “poorly understood”, but even the sign of aerosol influence is in question.

    The anti-Wegman writings above simply display RC’s normal tactic of armwaving, changing the subject, and creating strawmen. The subsequent “confirming papers” (Annan et al. etc.) used the same tendentious proxies as MBH98, carefully excluding, of course, those marked “CENSORED” in the original MBH98 data. Both the Medieval Climate Optimum and the Little Ice Age are too well attested globally (including South Africa, South America, and New Zealand) for any paper, however statistically ingenious, to do away with them. Mann is the principal reason that “climate science” is now widely regarded as an oxymoron; it is obvious, both from his statistical methods and the Climategate correspondence, that whatever he may be doing, it is not science, and clearly borders on criminal fraud. The investigation is both warranted and healthy. (Where, by the way, was all this outrage when Greenpeace requested Pat Michaels’ correspondence from UVA?)

    More than 20 years ago, the sole “evidence” for the facially absurd CO2-driven warming theory was “our models can’t reproduce the warming without CO2.” Now, two decades and $100 billion later, careful reading of the only relevant portion of 4AR — WG1, Ch 9, “Attribution” — reveals that the sole “evidence” is still “our models can’t reproduce the warming without CO2.” This is preposterous, particularly considering that all of the models are based on Hansen’s 70s-era studies of Venus, and that the model is wrong even for Venus.

    And on this basis, we have utterly destroyed millions of acres of countryside, coastline, and wildlife habitat worldwide with totally useless industrial wind plants in a feckless search for “renewable energy.” For half a million years, humans depended on “renewable energy”; life was, as they say, nasty, brutish, and short — as it still is for the African mother cooking her family dinner in the choking smoke from a fire of dried dung, because the local forests were stripped for fuel generations ago. We are doing this, we are told, in the name of “environmentalism.”

    The “green” movement has clearly progressed in recent years from a mild eccentric neurosis to criminal insanity.

  224. Lord Rotifer

    adam said:

    ” If that means that I cannot raise objections or ask questions (which, 6 months on, have yet to be answered by anyone here, by the way) about the science being performed and the way in which it is being performed, then I don’t see how you’re qualified to make assertions about its validity without having faith in a consensus. Which means you are not a skeptic, I am.”

    Again you use your straw man, old bean. No one has said that you can’t object or ask questions about AGW, my dear boy. Yet you insist on hiding behind your straw man, like a mountebank.
    You demand evidence of AGW and call yourself a skeptic. You also call yourself a scientist, yet when someone else demands verifiable evidence of this you merely assert that your word will have to do. Dear boy, are you blind to the fact that there are other skeptics posting on this site? Do the rules of skepticism only apply to everyone else, my lovely boy? Why are you immune to providing verifiable evidence? You are a skeptic aren’t you? Well start behaving like one, my scrumptious lad.

  225. Lord Rotifer

    Maurizio Morabito Says:
    June 6th, 2010 at 5:41 pm
    “Maurice Mescaline’s #200 is by far the most embarrassing comment I have ever read, anywhere (well, apart from the page where I am shown as part of the Big Conspiracy to Hide the Truth about Chemtrails). So no more words about it.”

    Good sir, you are correct. Mescaline’s post was most embarassing. Especially in its over the top mockery of your behaviour, which he/she correctly lampooned. You Maurizio should be feeling most embarassed right now. And if you’re not then that is the source of your problem.

  226. Stephen W

    More than 20 years ago, the sole “evidence” for the facially absurd CO2-driven warming theory was “our models can’t reproduce the warming without CO2.” Now, two decades and $100 billion later, careful reading of the only relevant portion of 4AR — WG1, Ch 9, “Attribution” — reveals that the sole “evidence” is still “our models can’t reproduce the warming without CO2.”

    In much the same way as our sole evidence for gravity is that “our models don’t work if we don’t include gravity.”?

  227. Stephen W

    @225 AhmNee Says

    The AGW camp likes to call their belief in their interpretation of the science the “truth”, much like someone calls what they know about their religion. If that’s not an absolute statement, what is?

    Still, I’m not seeing a straw man.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

    I think point 4 is most appropriate here,


    Inventing a fictitious persona with actions or beliefs which are then criticized, implying that the person represents a group of whom the speaker is critical.

    I don’t think you have provided any evidence that the “AGW camp” call their beliefs the absolute truth.

    I’m not entirely certain implying the end of the world is a straw man considering some of the predictions being thrown about. But honestly, we could split hairs even about that. Extinction of man doesn’t actually end the world, etc, etc. Can we agree that it may not have been the best example of a straw man and move on? If you think I’m overstating something, please say so.

    I think you are overstating the case by talking about the “extinction of man”. I doubt very strongly that AGW will cause the extinction of man, I doubt there are many papers claiming this. At most this is only going to be a slim possibility in the absolute worst case scenarios – but I’m pretty sure this is not going to be a mainstream position.

    Where the disagreement lies is how much warming can CO2 cause. AGW contends that the CO2/water vapor forcing can account for the majority of the current warming trend. In fact their figures are about opposite of what Taylor posits. The IPCC summaries say that CO2 accounts for ~80% of the warming trend and the remaining ~20% could be due to natural variation.

    I’m still not sure why you find Taylor’s work so compelling. Maybe he makes a very convincing case in his book, but it’s difficult to tell given that it hasn’t been peer reviewed, but in all the interviews and reviews the argument seems to be that we’ve all been fooled by an incredible series of coincidences. I find it difficult to see how you can dismiss CO2 on the grounds that we don’t know everything about how the climate works, but not take issue with Taylor forecasting an ice-age on the basis that we can predict when the sun will next go into something like the Maunder Minimum.

    Given that in the interviews available on You Tube he talks about predicting El Niños using Fibonacci numbers, and if I remember correctly, predicts there won’t be any El Niños after 2002, I’m inclined to be more sceptical of his position than that of the AGW consensus.

    This is why I think the suggestion to build resiliency into our food supply is the better option. It covers more than just one possible outcome and has value that reaches beyond the perceived ‘danger’ posed by AGW.

    I think the idea of building resiliency into the food supply is probably a good idea, but I don’t see it as being the main solution for AGW. This will affect rather more than the food supply, and I think prevention is better than cure.

    However, it’s puzzling how you think this will be achieved. Given how difficult it is to make any progress on solving AGW, why do you think that those opposed to cutting CO2 won’t be just as forceful in their opposition to Taylor’s plans, which seem to involve harming the economies of the developed would, cost billions, and are intended to prepare for just the sort of “prophesies of doom” that won’t accept with AGW?

  228. Stephen W

    @225 continued
    AhmNee says

    Still, I reject the comparison to Creationists as my goal has always been the continuation of discourse and further study of the rational merits of the issue. You won’t find a creationist with those goals.

    To be clear, I was comparing your tactics to creationists tactics, not your beliefs, and then only in response to you accusing me of

    … you want to treat science in the same way that Intelligent Design proponents do.

    I don’t think it’s particularly relevant who’s most like a creationist, but i do find the argument interesting. As someone who “believes” both in evolution and AGW I naturally like to compare deniers of both with each other. Most AGW deniers on this blog are also evolutionists, so they accuse AGW believers as being like evolution deniers. Yet if you look at creationists sites where they also deny AGW, they are always saying that AGW is just like evolution.

    I suspect all this means in practice is that we all have our biases, but I can’t help agreeing with the creationists more than you here.

    You like to say that AGW is treated like a religion, well creationists have been saying the same about evolution for years.

    You say your goal is for further study of the issue, so do creationists.

    They might not be opened minded, but they will insist they are and that all they want is for their ideas not to be excluded. “Expelled”, “Teach the controversy” etc.

  229. AhmNee

    @229. Stephen W Says:

    In much the same way as our sole evidence for gravity is that “our models don’t work if we don’t include gravity.”?

    Aw. That’s so sweet. You’ve given the deniers a chance to call a strawman. Of course, you didn’t have to set up such an obvious one. It’s almost like you’re trying to insult our intelligence. Or perhaps point out what a hypocrite looks like through example.

  230. Stephen W

    @233 AhmNee


    In much the same way as our sole evidence for gravity is that “our models don’t work if we don’t include gravity.”?

    Aw. That’s so sweet. You’ve given the deniers a chance to call a strawman. Of course, you didn’t have to set up such an obvious one. It’s almost like you’re trying to insult our intelligence. Or perhaps point out what a hypocrite looks like through example.

    Huh? I was responding to Craig Goodrich @226. I certainly wasn’t trying to imply that all deniers’ arguments are as much of an insult to our intelligence as his.

  231. Morcheeb Sanjay

    #225 posted by AhmNee:

    “Shiva’s Rainbow, or rather, the review thereof has also been used to try to discredit Taylor. Having never read Shiva’s Rainbow, I’m not prepared to argue the merits of that book, obviously. I can say, however, that if Taylor does hold any beliefs in the preternatural, it’s not evident in Chill.”

    Taylor isn’t going to put his wacky beliefs to the fore in a book that has to appear scientifically serious. He isn’t advertising Shiva’s Rainbow on his website either because it is an embarassment to his attempt to look rational.

    ” Indeed if he does hold such beliefs, as long as he doesn’t base his scientific conclusions on them, who gives a damn?”

    How do you know that he isn’t? Taylor isn’t going to leap at the chance to tell you that a bodiless guru told him that AGW isn’t happening is he? What is it about rational scientists that so repels deniers and attracts them to pseudoscience?

    Taylor still holds to his mystical silliness, as shown here:

    http://ccgi.newbery1.plus.com/blog/?p=220&cp=3#comments

    “Of course, none of this is ‘proof’ of a global homeopathic dose of plutonium having an effect – but homeopathy by its nature is not susceptible to scientific methods (a bit like computer predictions of global warming in that regard!).”

    And he is wrong. Science can disprove homeopathy and computer models can use hindcasting to verify their usefulness.

    “And by the way – I have learned to keep an open mind on many things that science institutions pour scorn upon – such as homeopathy. As a well-trained biologist I have seen enough to know it can work (in the treatement of my own children), even though it is beyond our current understanding. ”

    No doubt his bodiless guru understands homeopathy to be beyond the science of us mere mortals.

    In the meantime I think I’ll stick with those scientists that aren’t aided by bodiless gurus.

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