When arguing with 'bots, use a 'bot

By Phil Plait | November 4, 2010 1:00 pm

I see a lot of the same, tired, and totally wrong arguments about global warming over and over again whenever I write about it. "The other planets are warming!", "In the 70s scientists said the Earth was cooling!", "The climate scientists were caught faking their data!"

Wrong, wrong, and wrong. It’s almost as if the people making so much noise against the idea of global warming are robots, just repeating their arguments in the hope — sadly, probably correctly — that people will be swayed by repetition.

Software developer Nigel Leck feels the same way, so he created a ‘bot for Twitter that scans for key words used by climate change denialists and tweets automatic rebuttals to the most common "arguments". It’s pretty awesome: it posts a short, pithy debunking with a link to sites for more detail. The ‘bot is called AI_AGW and you can follow it on Twitter (note: it tweets a lot).

Pretty sweet idea! Now we just need one for homeopaths, anti-vaxxers, 2012ers, creationists, chiropractors, UFOers…


Tip o’ the thermometer to Jennifer Lynn Hachigian and many others.

Comments (203)

  1. …and moonhoaxers, and those folks who pop up every August to tell us Mars is going to be as big as the Moon.

  2. mother of pearl! I had the hardest time convincing my co-workers that Mars was not leaving it’s orbit to give us a show!

    shoe size for IQ’s…. grrrrrrr

  3. Jeff

    “Wrong, wrong, and wrong. It’s almost as if the people making so much noise against the idea of global warming are robots, just repeating their arguments in the hope — sadly, probably correctly — that people will be swayed by repetition”

    not too surprising, in the 20th century Charles Peirce identified various ways people learn to “think”, ours here of course is a type of scientific methodology, but there is also the method of tenacity, which means that people follow authority irregardless of the logic. I’m afraid global warming has invoked the demons of tenacity.

  4. NAW

    Well the 2012ers ought to shut up in a couple of years. At least most of them. The rest will just come up with a new date.

  5. Leo

    We could also use a bot for all the 2012 nonsense. The latest has to do with NASA being accused of covering up the approach of Nibiru. In a reworking of Immanuel Velikovsky’s b.s. it is claimed that Planet X is hidden in the clouds of Neptune and due to arrive in December of 2012. At one site a nasty name calling fight broke out between moon landing deniers and those who believe Hoagland’s fairy tale about Apollo astronauts finding structures on the moon. It is like watching patients in a mental hospital dispute each others hallucinations.

  6. QuietDesperation

    I have to say Obama disappointed on this front with the India (and elsewhere) trip. Forget the debate over cost. How many ships and airplanes? Cripes! And there’s was something about building a tunnel somewhere just for this trip? Haven’t had time to corroborate that one.

    This could have been a good opportunity to promote green alternatives in a high profile diplomatic mission. Set up full telepresence rooms in Washington and all the places where he had planned to go. And then maintain the rooms afterward. Keep doing that until every country has one. You save fuel and have a sophisticated modern network connecting all world leaders. Conferences between any group of nations could be set up with a few mouse clicks. Oh, just make me the IT Czar already, Mr. President!

  7. QuietDesperation

    Well the 2012ers ought to shut up in a couple of years. At least most of them. The rest will just come up with a new date.

    2013

    ‘Cuz its gots the 13 in it!!! ZOMG!

  8. Oli

    Dear Mr. Plait,

    While I agree that global warming is happening, I personally think that we need to do more research before we can be sure that we, human beings, are causing it.
    You are an intelligent man, a scientist: you’ll know like no other that things have to be thoroughly proven before they can be named as a fact.
    The way you attack climate change “denialists” makes you look rather like a medieval priest: “those people disagree with me, ergo they must burn”. Not only is this rather unkind, it also makes you look immature and dumb, which you most certainly are not.

    While I have absolutely no problems with what you are telling people here (it is based on loads of research, unlike astrology and the likes which are complete bull), please, please refrain yourself from drawing conclusions too quickly and from calling people names. It would suit you much more.

    Yours,
    A sceptical soon-to-be-scientist.

  9. Mark

    @4 NAW

    Well I’m hoping 2012 is real because I don’t feel like arguing with those people anymore about why it (or any other doomsday date) is not real. :D

  10. Mark

    @8 Oli

    Honestly, how much more research can we possible do to show it’s human caused? There are decades of research already.

  11. Gary

    Fight spam with spam? Pretty sophomoric, actually.

  12. Ron

    “In the 70s scientists said the Earth was cooling!”, You say that’s wrong.

    Actually, that was right and you’re wrong. I grew up in the ’70′s and the scientists did say the Earth was cooling. They said every day, just like you say the earth is getting warmer.

    Maybe they were wrong. Maybe they were right. I don’t know. But they did say it.

    Denying it doesn’t mean it’s not true.

  13. Oli

    @10. Mark: There were tens of decades of research proving that God existed. However, you are a great illustration for my point: the sheer aggressiveness with which people seem to react to others that are sceptical about global warming. Sure it can be annoying if you have to repeatedly say something to someone and they still don’t want to listen, but really… The Earth warming a couple of degrees just because we’re burning fossil fuels? Seems a bit too much for me. Sure we’re contributing to global warming and we should try to emit less greenhouse gases (I hate how people always say CO2 and forget about other compounds like CH4 that also contribute to the effect), but I think that at least a good part of it is caused by external forces.

  14. Cheyenne

    Isn’t this actually a pretty dumb idea? Isn’t the next thing going to be another bot put out by people on the other side? Then there will just be messages bouncing back and forth mindlessly? I gave up on Twitter a long time ago because 95% of tweets are basically junk. This just increases that.

  15. Doug Little

    but I think that at least a good part of it is caused by external forces

    As an almost scientist I hope you have some data or a source to back that assertion up.

  16. TBRP

    @13 Oli: Okay, why don’t you tell us what data the scientists need to get in order to convince you that AGW is the more accurate theory?

  17. Mark

    @ Oli

    If you interpreted my response as aggressive it wasn’t meant that way at all. I’m hardly an illustration for your point.

    Tens of decades of research “proving” God existed? I highly doubt it. In fact, I am 100% sure that it in no way proved anything other than certain people have limited understanding of what proof is.

    I feel like you haven’t read enough about all that entails global warming from this statement: “Just because we’re burning fossil fuels?” It’s not just because we’re burning them. It’s the amount we’re burning combined with the rate of deforestation (amongst other things) that is having a global impact. It’s not like America is the only large nation consuming and burning. See: China, India.

    If you truly are a budding scientist then I believe you will understand once you get through some of your core coursework in college and develop a greater sense of the world around you. No worries.

  18. Tim

    @Oli

    There’s also a history of human behavior directly affecting the Earth. Ozone layer, the near-extinction of Bald Eagles, etc. We’ve only had cars for ~110 years. And we weren’t exactly checking our effects on the enivroment back in the 19th century. It’s most likely true.

    Forgive the others, Oli, but some people can get oversensitive to what could be trolling. I know you’re not, but you could’ve been.

  19. Michel

    If this keeps up the internet will be taken over by bots and people not talking but starting up more bots which will evoke a ready response by more bots.
    etc etc

  20. If someone builds the spreadsheet(s) of keywords matched up with what they want posted as a response with links, I can build the bot — our company does twitter automation as a side project.

    send it to my name at devfarm.com …

  21. OtherRob

    Perhaps a link to this comic is in order. It’s got some NSFW language, so beware.

  22. Daniel J. Andrews

    Oli…CO2 from fossil fuels leaves a distinct isotopic “fingerprint”. They know how much CO2 comes from our fossil fuels and how much comes from other sources. Plus, rising CO2 levels themselves leave their own fingerprints. See
    skepticalscience.com/10-Indicators-of-a-Human-Fingerprint-on-Climate-Change.html

    And to see how they know CO2 is causing warming, see
    skepticalscience.com/How-do-we-know-CO2-is-causing-warming.html

    Re: CH4 vs CO2. CH4 has less residence time in the atmosphere. CO2 emitted today will reside in the atmosphere for a very very long time. There is also approximately 200x more CO2 in the atmosphere than methane, which contributes about 28% of the warming of CO2. See
    skepticalscience.com/methane-and-global-warming.htm
    ———————————————–

    Ron–Phil is right. The ice age in the 70s meme was debunked. Do not confuse what you read in the popular media with what most scientists were actually saying. See
    skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s.htm

    If you doubt this, go check the journals yourself. For another link, see Peter Sinclair’s video on this topic here:
    youtube.com/watch?v=XB3S0fnOr0M&feature=related
    Again, check those references for yourself.

    Also recommend, What we know about climate change, for a 10 minute overview. It also mentions CO2 fingerprints.
    youtube.com/watch?v=w9SGw75pVas&feature=related

    Both of you (Oli and Ron) knowingly or unknowingly repeated debunked memes Phil was talking about. Oli, since you’re a soon-to-be-scientist, you will definitely want to see what the science says yourself, not what some ideologue or Faux News parroting head tells you the science says. Good searching and learning to you, and best wishes on obtaining your goal.

  23. Daffy

    Oli, your not-so-veiled-implications that AGW scientists are following a religion were about as subtle as a rhino at a ballet. Which also, as far as I am concerned, eliminates any shred of credibility you might have had on the issue.

  24. felix

    Why do you lump UFOers in with those other idiots? No scientist can prove that aliens don’t exist or that they have not visited Earth. Also, UFOers are harmless, unlike the rest of the list.

  25. This same argument is going on after every such article or blog post. People believe what they like, and what suits their comfort levels; that’s nothing new. I am starting to think our species going extinct wouldn’t be the worst thing after all, LOL.

    If you ignore the climate change data, you’re desperately, DESPERATELY trying NOT to see it. But hey, let’s bury our brain cells in the sand and say that global warming is fake — does that make our contributions to pollution harmless? Does that make the giant trash heaps in the oceans all right?

    Earth is going to shrug us off and start all over again anyway. The fact that we are clearly helping her along is rather humorous icing on the cake.

  26. Daniel J. Andrews

    Just found this video on Where Climate Myths Come From.
    boingboing.net/2010/11/04/where-climate-myths.html#_login

    He tracks down 3 myths to show how in each case the people propagating the myth take the actual science out of context, misquote it, or selectively quote it to make it say the opposite of what it actually is saying.

    I’ll have to check his other climate videos now.

  27. @Ron (#12),

    No, only Newsweek published an article in the 70s that they got horribly wrong (WOW, the media was wrong?). It was based on a small number of papers (7 I think) that only used a data set that spanned 30 years. Even back in the 70s, the vast preponderance of climate papers were talking about global warming (140 I think). There were some that talked about nuclear winter, but that’s an entirelly different thing, and has no relevance in the global climate change debate.

  28. Oli

    Hmm, seems like I need to do some work on my wording. By “proving that God existed” I do not at all mean to imply that God actually exists (because He doesn’t ._.), I just meant that saying people have been researching something for years does not make it any more or less true.

    Mark, I don’t mean to say that you are an aggressive person or anything (once again I should have formulated that a bit more clear I guess), I just meant how for some reason everyone always responds to climate change sceptics. Specifically, Mr. Plait’s response: continually bashing them in blog posts. No offense Phil, you’re a great blogger, but sometimes the way you’re always correcting climate change denialists (there’s a difference between denialists, who do not want to believe, and sceptics, who do not believe because of the [in their eyes] lack of evidence), sometimes even implying that these people are just dumb. You’re right, but they will only use this as “proof” that you are wrong.

    I don’t have the articles about whether we are or are not causing global warming on hand (that single sentence just killed my entire argument, but that’s okay). While there is a lot of evidence for what you’re all saying, there is some material worth the read that isn’t so sure.

    And Daffy, that’s not what I am implying, seriously. That’d be utter bull.

    English is sadly not my mother language, so sometimes I struggle a bit to get my point across. Good to see that there’s so much discussion though.

    Whew, talk about tl;dr.

  29. Deep Thought

    @ Daniel J. Andrews # 21

    Mr. Andrews I hate to say it but Ron in fact is at least partially correct, global cooling was thought to be happening at the time. The American Museum of Natural History up until recently had a passage about it until it updated its ice age section to reflect current science. See this article: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/09/smithsonian-global-cooling.php But, like updates to the standard model or the periodic table and everything else, global climate models and predictions evolved and better science won out. It’s not good to deny that global cooling is what was thought for a while, one just needs to acknowledge that like all science, climate science is improving all the time and the better science finally won out.

  30. L Nettles

    “But, like updates to the standard model or the periodic table and everything else, global climate models and predictions evolved and better science won out.”

    So how do you know that the “new science” is any better than the old science? What is the test? Did the new science predict the last 10 years?

    and here is the link to the 1974 CIA analysis http://www.climatemonitor.it/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/1974.pdf

  31. frankenstein monster

    wow. that is like the Turing test only in reverse. If a provably un-intelligent bot can refute all your arguments by a simple algorithm , then I would say, that that proves conclusively, that you are have no more capacity for thought than the bot and should therefore be stripped of any rights a sentient being usually enjoys.

  32. CW

    #6 – if you’re referring to Obama’s trip to India that people are saying will cost $200 million dollars a day, it’s amazing that anyone would even think that it could be true.

  33. John

    @Oli

    You appear to see yourself as a “skeptic” rather than a “denialist” but relying a few, unnamed and likely cherry-picked pop-sci articles kinda refutes that. Your argument: “I know that nearly all reputable climate scientists agree, but what about that 1%? Plus, I read something on Red State that said it’s a hoax. So, who to believe?” That’s not skepticism. That’s denialism.

    Skepticism doesn’t automatically mean, “Not believing something that most people do.” Sometimes it does (when talking about religion) and sometimes it doesn’t. You’re throwing out denialist tropes left and right, so if you really want to be a skeptic, you’re going to have to shape up. Comparing scientific consensus to religious certainty, “Just asking questions” defense (aka JAQing Off), tone trolling, etc… come on.

  34. suyts

    Oh my. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/070228-mars-warming.html

    Then there’s the book Holdren wrote, just use google, and then you’re going to tell me that losing original data isn’t faking the data or arbitrarily altering the data, changing historical temps ect. isn’t faking the data. Fine, just check out the raw vs. adjusted data for Lincoln Va. I only give this as an example because my browser is on the story as we speak. There are, of course, hundreds of other examples of such “adjustments”.
    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/cgi-bin/broker?id=444909&_PROGRAM=prog.gplot_meanclim_mon_yr2009.sas&_SERVICE=default&param=TMEAN&minyear=1960&maxyear=2009

    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/cgi-bin/broker?id=444909&_PROGRAM=prog.gplot_meanclim_mon_yr2009.sas&_SERVICE=default&param=TMEANRAW&minyear=1960&maxyear=2009

    Nope, no faking data there. Just like my elementary science textbooks weren’t full of the looming ice age alarmism, just like Mars hadn’t warmed.

    This is an example of why many lend no credence to science and science journalism. Why deny such things occurred? Only through honest discourse will anything ever get done about our climate.

  35. Keith Bowden

    I remember cooling mentioned in articles in the ’70s as well as warming (more cooling) – but I wasn’t as analytical/skeptical then and don’t recall details other than concerns over pollution in general. (I think the flow went smog/soot-block sun-cooling, but I don’t really remember more than the images of traffic james and smoke stacks).

    Of course, how much research and accuracy were the stories in My Weekly Reader, Dynamite and Bananas supposed to be? :)

    In fairness to Oli, I think you were quite clear in what you wrote (I think I read everything as you intended), but sometimes things can be interpreted differently in the cold text of the internet. Plus, everyone is so used to trolls – even here on BA – that sometimes things can just be read wrong.

    But rest assured, the data are there, and I’m sure you’ll be able to process it as you research. For my part, I think that you’ve been polite, reasoned and open, which is all annyone needs to be in a civilized discussion. (Not that I think anyone’s been nasty in their responses to you, I just wanted to give my two cents.)

  36. amphiox

    Oli, go review the evidence. Go read the papers. If you do not have the expertise to understand them and assess their validity, find a summary from someone who does. Phil has done all of this.

    Not another word from you this subject until you do, if you want to retain any credibility at all.

  37. Oli

    John, a denialist does not want to know the truth. I do; in my opinion there isn’t enough evidence to prove that we’re the only cause for global warming. By Red State, do you mean the blog? (had to use wikipedia to look it up but I’m not sure whether that’s really what you meant)
    What I mean by “skeptic” is someone who does not believe everything they read, but looks at the data himself and then decides.
    I’m not trolling – I don’t want attention. I want to ask Phil if he could please be a bit less aggressive when he talks about climate change denialism.

    Amphiox, we’re all mature people, surely we can discuss a subject like this without needing to resort to telling someone they can’t talk about it?

    Keith, thanks =)

  38. gopher65

    Keith Bowden: Actually, that whole “smog blocks the sun and causes global cooling” thing isn’t entirely wrong. Fine particulate matter, like the smoke that comes out of unfiltered coal power plants, does indeed cause the surface of the Earth to cool in a dramatic way. In fact, part of the current increased warming trend we’re seeing is the result of “clean coal” initiatives in industrialized countries over the past several decades.

    Or, to put it another way, part of the reason why we’re seeing a sharp increase in the rate of warming is because particulate pollution was partially mitigating an increase in the greenhouse effect. When that fine particulate matter stopped being spewed out (as much) the global increase in temperature became much easier to spot.

    Which isn’t to say that particulate pollution is good; I’d say it’s worse for us than moderate increases in temperature.

  39. While I like the idea of the bot, what’s the point in making people believe?

    A billion Chinese people want to live a first world lifestyle and don’t care how they get it. Ditto a billion Indians.

    Lets hope the deniers are right.

  40. James

    Oh good. I was getting tired of correcting a lot of the mundane denialist trash. It’s amazing how often one hears “the planet used to be warmer when humans weren’t around!” put forth like it’s the magic bullet against AGW. The whole anti-science movement viciously attacks Climate scientists and accuses them of being a worldwide conspiracy and then cries foul when people fight back?

    It boggles the mind.

  41. gopher65

    Oli: No one (reasonable) is claiming that there is proof that humans are the *only* cause of warming. There is evidence that at least some portion of the global increase in temperature that we’re seeing is caused by humans. The debate (among reasonable people) is no longer “is warming happening”, but rather “how much of the warming are humans responsible for, and how do we control and decrease our contribution to that warming”.

  42. Steve Metzler

    35. suyts Says:

    Only through honest discourse will anything ever get done about our climate.

    And your idea of honest discourse is… to accuse *all the scientists* from *many diverse fields and countries* who have worked on analysing the AGW problem for the *past several decades* of being engaged in a massive, cleverly coordinated conspiracy to fake all the data? Gah! There goes another hypocrisy meter [tosses it over his shoulder]

  43. Oli

    Gopher, that’s pretty much what I’m saying: many people claim that we are the sole cause for global warming, and I think that we are only in part the cause.

  44. Steve

    The sad part to all this, and the unsaid truth, is that in order to reverse the effects the population would have to decline to 19th century population levels, while using about 20% of the current amount of energy consumption. In other words, tyrannical birth control policies and lack of power, modern technology, research, and medicine. By the time you’re finished skeptics will not be welcomed anymore as ignorance overcomes rational thought once again. Welcome to the dark ages.

    You can’t replace the current fossil fuel energy consumption with wind and solar. Nuclear is too political and no one wants it near them. There is really no large scale power production technology on the horizon that fully replaces fossil fuels. Blame whoever you want for this, it’s still the truth. I’ve worked in power generation design and operation for over 20 years and there’s nothing to replace what we already have. Coal power plants are 50% of US energy production. Nuclear is 20%, the rest gas and oil with some solar and wind thrown in. What do you replace that 50% number with?

    It really doesn’t help that Dr. Plait takes the tactic of holding his hands up to his ears, and yells “nyeh nyeh nyeh I can’t hear you.” Maybe there’s a third way. Are you willing to accept the precept that we can ignore climate change for a while until new technologies are ready for distribution on a wide scale that don’t produce CO2 as a byproduct? If not, then good luck.

  45. MartinM

    many people claim that we are the sole cause for global warming

    Name three.

  46. MartinM

    …you’re going to tell me that losing original data isn’t faking the data

    No, of course it bloody well isn’t.

    …or arbitrarily altering the data, changing historical temps ect. isn’t faking the data.

    Arbitrarily altering data might count as faking. Good job nobody does that.

  47. Phil is as wrong on this topic as an army of astrologers convinced of replacing vaccines with UFO-inspired homeopathy. The only thing the chatbot demonstrates is that it’s pretty easy to imitate an AGW believer, and that brains or critical thinking are not needed to believe in AGW. Actually, one does rather well without brains or critical thinking, if one wants to believe in AGW.

    Suffice it to say that no moon hoax debunker, no astrology debunker, no creationism debunker ever dreamed of building anything like a chatbot…

    So the end result is that from today onwards, every time I will discuss with a fervent AGW believer, one of those people that think that it is a scandal to ask any question about AGW, then I will have to wonder if I am talking to a human being or to a chatbot. And it will be very, very hard to tell. 8-)

  48. Steve Metzler

    44. Oli Says:

    Gopher, that’s pretty much what I’m saying: many people claim that we are the sole cause for global warming, and I think that we are only in part the cause.

    But that part is a *primary* part. An important distinction.

    Global average temps are currently rising at about 0.12C per decade, and that rate of increase hasn’t happened through natural causes for the past couple of thousand years. Nothing else that isn’t cyclical, like solar irradiation, has changed much in Earth’s recent history, except us – and the industrial revolution that led to increased use of fossil fuels.

    Did you even bother to read that article that Daniel linked to in post #22:

    10 Indicators of a Human Fingerprint on Climate Change

    and follow some of the references? If you really want to start learning about the science behind climate change, this is a good place to start:

    Spencer Weart’s: The Discovery of Global Warming – A History

  49. Steve Metzler

    45. Steve Says:

    Are you willing to accept the precept that we can ignore climate change for a while until new technologies are ready for distribution on a wide scale that don’t produce CO2 as a byproduct? If not, then good luck.

    I’m with you on the fact that renewables are nowhere near where they need to be in terms of economy and scale in order to replace coal. But they’re never going to get there unless we give private industry the incentive to develop them! Meanwhile, the U.S. is *subsidising the fossil fuel industry*. How in the heck is that helping the situation? Instead, we need something like Hansen’s proposed Fee and Dividend, to begin providing a source of funds to stimulate research of renewables. Google it if you are not already familiar with the concept.

    I’m not one of those people who assumes we can make the change to renewables overnight. Not by a long shot (I’m an electrical engineer). But if we don’t start now, we will just keep postponing the inevitable until it is too late to do anything meaningful.

  50. Steve Huntwork

    Fix the damn data and insure that it is of the best quality possible.

    If we need new satellites to provide a better source of data, then fund them.

    Insure that newer quality instruments have a sufficient time overlap, so that the historical data can be compared with them.

    Never adjust historical data records, unless you can prove that there was a problem with that specific instrument. And, the problem with that instrument’s calibration is known with a high degree of confidence.

    There is nothing wrong with laboratory calibration of a specific thermometer obtain from a museum and adjusting all others of that same make and model for a known and documented error in the original calibration.

    For something as important to the scientific community as this, software quality insurance is an absolute must. Some professor or graduate student hacking together some crude software can no longer be allowed.

    All raw and processed data must be open to anyone with an interest on the subject. Hiding you data or software can no longer be tolerated.

    DATA QUALITY IS VITAL!

    Until then, Phil will classify what I post as “electronic noise”, but that is his failure and not mine.

    Quit acting like defense lawyers for a guilty client and help improve the quality of the data. Why is that so scary for you?

  51. James

    “The only thing the chatbot demonstrates is that it’s pretty easy to imitate an AGW believer, and that brains or critical thinking are not needed to believe in AGW.”

    Or it means your side’s arguments have become so predictable and repetitive that a script is sufficient for addressing them.

  52. Whoever fights bots should see to it that in the process he does not become a bot. And when you gaze long into an abyss of stoopid, teh stoopid will also gaze into you.

    – Friedrich Nietzsche (paraphrased)

  53. Brad

    Maybe he can make a wikibot now that William Connolley is out of a job:

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/12/18/370719.aspx

  54. Jeremy

    While I can understand the appeal of replying to rote, mindless criticism with rote, automatic rebuttals the fact is that bot spam is bot spam. Being a purveyor of bot spam pretty much destroys ones credibility automatically, no matter the topic.

  55. Daniel J. Andrews

    Steve…strawman much? What makes you think all of that all of the above isn’t being done already? Just because it comes up with an answer you don’t like doesn’t make the data crappy or scientists sloppy. If it was done wrong, you can bet other scientists have done it better or corrected it, and published. If it was done right, you can bet other scientists have tried to improve upon it, and published. That’s how science works.

    You can see for yourself actually. Here is all that data you think is “hidden” (that is another denier meme, by the way, or “electronic noise”).

    realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/

    These are the data from different sources. Satellite, ocean, weather balloons, land-based readings, from all over the world. You can find models in there too. Run your own trends. Many people have already done it. If you need help, check Tamino’s blog Open Mind for ideas on how to get started. Another good source is Ron Broberg’s The Whiteboard.

    All this data from many independent sources are telling the same story: That the world is warming, that the climate is changing. Odds of the data sets telling the same story if it wasn’t actually happening are extremely remote.

    However, if you want to get rid off all that data above then go ahead. There would still be overwhelming evidence of global warming. Ice melt dates, peak glacier flow, freeze times, flower blooming times, fish spawning times, over 90% of glaciers retreating, insect hatch, retreat of alpine ecosystems, insect outbreaks, etc. Over 27,000 sets of observational data all telling the same story there too. Here’s the link to the abstract published in Nature, and you should still be able to find the full paper online somewhere.
    Attributing physical and biological impacts to anthropogenic climate change
    nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7193/full/nature06937.html

    Significant changes in physical and biological systems are occurring on all continents and in most oceans, with a concentration of available data in Europe and North America. Most of these changes are in the direction expected with warming temperature. Here we show that these changes in natural systems since at least 1970 are occurring in regions of observed temperature increases, and that these temperature increases at continental scales cannot be explained by natural climate variations alone….

    People don’t realize just how much evidence there is from so many different sources. Finding fault in any one data set (or even all data sets such as temperature readings) will not topple anything.

    Edit: If you do want to prove global warming wrong, then here is what you have to do. climatesight.org/2010/02/16/how-to-prove-global-warming-wrong/

    As Kate points out, the Nobel Prize will be probably be yours if you succeed. I’m sure there’s enough money floating around from vested interests that would be happy to back the Nobel Prize winning team that disproves global warming.

  56. Bryan

    “Pretty sweet idea! Now we just need one for homeopaths, anti-vaxxers, 2012ers, creationists, chiropractors, UFOers…”

    Nuclear power concern trolls. They’re a big thorn in my side. I wonder if his bot is open sauce?

  57. Astrofiend

    32. frankenstein monster Says:
    November 4th, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Brilliant!

  58. Steve Huntwork

    @56:

    Once again, you have totally missed the point about data quality. Why is that concept so hard to explain?

    A thermometer is a very simple instrument which is easy to calibrate. When someone recorded the temperature for a specific day, then that was the actual temperature at that specific date and time.

    If that specific thermometer’s make and model is know to have a calibration error, then that would be a valid adjustment.

    When I review the historical database of temperature measurements in the United States, some of those readings were obtained and written by myself.

    How dare anyone “adjust” my historical records without a very valid reason which can be documented in a laboratory.

    What part of “DATA QUALITY” do you not understand?

    And most important of all:

    Why are you so afraid of creating a new system to insure that both the software and data are of the highest quality possible?

  59. frankenstein monster

    If that specific thermometer’s make and model is know to have a calibration error, then that would be a valid adjustment.

    Anything a thermometer can measure without calibration is its own temperature.

    If you try to measure something else, you will need at least minimal calibration because in the real world there is rarely a zero thermal gradient between the thing measured, and the thermometer itself.

    And climatologists generally tend to be interested in the air temperature, not in the thermometer temperature.

    Why are you so afraid of creating a new system to insure that both the software and data are of the highest quality possible?

    because it would mean years of delay ?

  60. MartinM

    How dare anyone “adjust” my historical records without a very valid reason which can be documented in a laboratory.

    You don’t actually know what the adjustments are for, do you?

  61. Geophysicist

    OK, I’ll get my views out of the way up front, so that you can ad hominem ignore my opinion as nuts. I am skeptical of the magnitude of anthropogenic global warming. My concerns however, revolve around the political dimensions of this issue. There are nutters on all sides of the argument, from out and out denialism to aggressive catastrophism. The truth which lies somewhere in the middle is being obscured, and name calling by either side does nothing to credit the science. I am not convinced that the net effects of global warming will be detrimental. I recall not long ago, Russia considering geoengineering projects to increase the temperatures in Siberia for example. In Australia, the green ideology has been completely hijacked by those with a totalitarian agenda. Any action undertaken by humanity in an attempt to deliberately alter the climate MUST be shown to be both effective, and in the best interest of humanity as a whole. Until this can be done, I wish that clowns on both sides of the debate would just shut up and keep doing research.
    /rant

  62. Steve Huntwork

    @60: “because it would mean years of delay ?”

    Well, the sooner we get started, then the sooner any arguments about data quality control can be answered with confidence.

    @61: “You don’t actually know what the adjustments are for, do you?”

    That Sir, is exactly the problem. Nobody knows what adjustments have been made and why.

    As astronomers, we would never tolerate “adjusting” historical data to prove that the Hubble Constant changes over time. Without quality control of the data, we would never trust any software that manipulated the spectroscopic records for specific Quasars or Galaxies, without a darn good reason.

    Any alteration of the historical data by software would be closely inspected, and any manipulations of the raw data would have to be very well justified.

    To me, this has always been a debate about spectroscopy and data quality.

  63. Eric

    I’d love to hear Phil’s take on Judith Curry in one of these posts. While I suspect he takes a certain amount of glee with taunting denialists, he seems to be missing the plain fact that alarmists are losing the P.R. war.

  64. Steve Metzler

    Steve Huntwork:

    Not *that* old saw again:

    Fiction: Surface Temperatures are Unreliable (UHI)

    When Anthony Watts’ hand-picked 70 stations are used to plot the U.S. surface temperature trend, you get the *same results* as when all 1200+ stations are used. This denier canard is also covered by Peter Sinclair in one of his Climate Denial Crock of the Week videos:

    Watts Up With Watts?

  65. MartinM

    That Sir, is exactly the problem. Nobody knows what adjustments have been made and why.

    Nobody who hasn’t bothered to read the relevant literature, certainly.

  66. Luis Dias

    And so the dumbification of the internet continues, with people clapping the existence of bot fights. I mean, for christ sake. If you don’t like arguing with certain kinds of people, don’t. don’t. You can do it, if you really want to. Are you some kind of an addicted freak? Now, to say that you are “tired” of debating loons, and that the best response is to create a bot is the silliest, stupidest thing you said in weeks. This merely contributes to the garbage piling. I guess it is no different from trying to answer yourself to the questions, since you also dream of a set of predetermined answers against “skeptic points” from the other aisle. In short, you dream of a state of existence where you don’t have to think ever again, and if a computer does that for you, then great.

    This is sheer bullying. Luckily for me, I never used Twitter. It’s for bot people, anyways.

  67. Steve Huntwork

    @66: Obviously you are not an astronomer who has ever tried to adjust for the telleric lines in spectroscopy.

    Sad, but perhaps your reply was generated by a computer.

    Demand quality control of both the data and software. This is all that I have ever asked for.

  68. Steve Metzler

    63. Geophysicist Says:

    Any action undertaken by humanity in an attempt to deliberately alter the climate MUST be shown to be both effective, and in the best interest of humanity as a whole. Until this can be done, I wish that clowns on both sides of the debate would just shut up and keep doing research.

    But in the reality that some of us inhabit, there’s only one side that can be observed to be doing any actual scientific research.

  69. Anon

    @21: A lot of folks are quoting that xkcd comic. I think this one’s more appropriate: http://xkcd.com/386/

  70. Steve Huntwork

    But in the reality that some of us inhabit, there’s only one side that can be observed to be (funded by the Federal government) and doing any actual scientific research.

    Minor little detail that you forgot to mention…

  71. me

    @71
    erm…. are all the climatologists who support the idea of AGW funded by the USA federal government? Cos I thought there were other countries too. I’m sure I live in one of them.

    and why are oil companies like chevron, bp and exxon-mobile in on this conspiracy and supporting the claims of the scientists with their public statements?

    answers, preferably in crayon, to be delivered to the masonic lodge by noon tomorrow.

  72. me

    @ “And so the dumbification of the internet continues, with people clapping the existence of bot fights.”

    oh come on, it’s a turing test version of robot wars, what’s not to like?

  73. Who's the bot?

    “In the 70s scientists said the Earth was cooling!”

    Actually they called it “The coming ice age”. And it did really happen.

  74. Who's the bot?

    “tweets automatic rebuttals”

    Hmmm…. who’s the bot?

  75. Paul in Sweden

    Looking forward to the United Nations IPCC COP16 Bazaar in Mexico.

    :)

  76. Michelle

    I can never stand by the use of any kind of spam bot.

  77. Steve Huntwork

    This discussion is so “last decade”…

    Did you not get the memo that the current fad for the destruction of humans on Earth is now how the oceans will become acid?

    Oh, and the other hot fad today is about the destruction of the diversity of species…

    Someone my age has seen this over and over his entire life. Any fad science, will eventually be proven wrong.

    The people who earn an income by spreading fear, will move onto the next fad.

    Personally, it does get rather tedious…

  78. So, if the deniers bot triggers the scientist bot, and the scientist bot triggers their bot, won’t it just become an never ending loop of bot triggering bot triggering bot… It’ll be like when Captain Kirk trapped Norman in a logic loop.

  79. me

    @79
    acid thingy you are referring to is presumably the increase in sea acidity from absorbing CO2.
    not sure how that is a particularly separate issue or a current fad for the destruction of humans on earth.

    as for the popular concern with the reduction of biodiversity being a ‘fad’, it has been a pretty consistent one for well over half a century now.

    I do love your picture of the world. Presumably all the climatologists in it are busy retraining in nanotechnology so that they can earn an income from popularising grey-goo scenarios when the whole climate thing blows over.

  80. Steve Huntwork

    I have noticed (VERY STRONGLY) that nobody has suggested ways to improve the quality of our environmental data, the archival of historical records, or the software used to process this data.

    Instead, I have been challeged for daring to question the quality of the data!

    That alone, has verified almost everything that I have been trying to say for months now on this subject.

    DATA QUALITY IS VITAL!

  81. Paul in Sweden

    @Steve 82.

    The IAC has made specific recommendations regarding the well known problems of data integrity, transparency(reviewer comments, etc) & the general quality of the UN IPCC assessment reports. It has been stated that it is possible that the IAC recommendations may be followed for the IPCC Sixth assessment report(should the IPCC still exist) but the IPCC preconceived conclusions regarding “Climate Science” co-joined with the need to gather supporting gray references do not allow time for the recognized essential reforms to be enacted within the IPCC AR5 report time line.

    Instead of publishing a current and full understanding of “Climate Science” — a concession some have suggested is that the 2014 IPCC AR5 be published in both English and French on perforated rolled biodegradable septic tank safe paper.

  82. lelnguye

    @Steve Huntwork … here’s a novel idea – why don’t you make a list of your own suggestions to improve “data quality” since you, apparently, believe there’s something wrong with the data and you seem really concerned about it.

    then perhaps you could go on the internet or to the nearest library to look if those suggestions have already been used or are currently being implemented. If they aren’t then you can write letters of concern to the scientists, your local newspaper, congressman, etc … and if no one listens to you then you could come back here and provide your analysis and we can judge for ourselves if you were rightly or wrongly ignored

    until then, please provide a reason why you think that the “data quality” is somehow compromised or untrustworthy … evidence would be nice as well …

  83. me

    “I have noticed (VERY STRONGLY)”
    wooo!

    “that nobody has suggested ways to improve the quality of our environmental data”
    i dunno… build more meterological stations mebb? seems obvious but those scientists might have overlooked it.

    “the archival of historical records”
    investment in museums and public libraries I believe is the classic approach.

    “or the software used to process this data.”
    avoid vista.

    There. Happy now?

  84. QuietDesperation

    33. CW Says: #6 – if you’re referring to Obama’s trip to India that people are saying will cost $200 million dollars a day, it’s amazing that anyone would even think that it could be true.

    Yes, I know. The value was estimated by some Indian official who clearly didn’t understand exchange rates or something.

    *I* was talking about the carbon footprint of the trip. I even said to forget the debate over cost.

    I was hoping to have a more interesting discussion instead of another “he said she said” global warming snipefest, but, alas, I was powerless to do so.

  85. Oli

    C’mon guys, you’re acting like we’ll all die if sea levels rise a lot. Those who don’t believe in it will be washed away, those who do will save themselves.

  86. me

    most poetic course of action in that situation, would be to kill a survivalist and nick all their stuff…

  87. Cusp

    Some people did says the Earth was cooling in the 1970s

    Even wikipedia says some did

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_cooling

  88. Philip Finck

    Hmmmm……..

    As a scientist who has co-authored in Nature there is by far enough evidence to raise questions in my mind with respect to AGW. Any scientist who listens to the claims being made by some of the `fore-most’ scientists in this field (sarc>) should be skeptical. If not they are not scientists. They lack the fundamental requirement of `being skeptical’, questioning, demanding reliable data and transparency. The concept that the `science is settled’ is fundamentally flawed and demonstrates a leaning to pseudoscience and belief. And yes, I have read the literature!

    This is not a question of is it warming, or cooling. Despite the claims of AGWers, the evidence indicates that this happens on time periods of days, years, decades, centuries, and millenia ……. however I would not claim that the `science is settled’ on this point. Never!

    When I read articles such as the above I question the authors scientific credentials. I certainly would not hire that individual to lecture in a university. I would expect, and demand higher standards. You are not a scientist… you are a journalist.

  89. Nigel Depledge

    Oli (8) said:

    The way you attack climate change “denialists” makes you look rather like a medieval priest: “those people disagree with me, ergo they must burn”. Not only is this rather unkind, it also makes you look immature and dumb, which you most certainly are not.

    You have fallen for a common trap that the AGW-deniers have used all-too-successfully. The research has been done. 20 years ago, we’weren’t really sure. Now, we are as sure as we can be about anything.

    The evidence is there in the scientific literature for anyone to review (well, anyone with access to a decent library). The people who disagree that AGW is the result of human activity are not disagreeing with Phil, or with a few scientists – instead, they are disagreeing with reality.

    Unfortunately for them, in this game reality always trumps everything else. Continued denial in the face of overwhelming evidence is an indication of either (a) cynical manipulation of the media to win votes, or (b) ignorance coupled to faith in an authority who does not deserve that faith.

  90. Nigel Depledge

    Ron (12) said:

    “In the 70s scientists said the Earth was cooling!”, You say that’s wrong.

    Actually, that was right and you’re wrong. I grew up in the ’70’s and the scientists did say the Earth was cooling. They said every day, just like you say the earth is getting warmer.

    Maybe they were wrong. Maybe they were right. I don’t know. But they did say it.

    Denying it doesn’t mean it’s not true.

    Actually, in the ’70s, the Earth was cooling, because of all the sulphate aerosols we were producing. That doesn’t mean it isn’t warming now (and it is warming now. In fact, there was an underlying trend of warming in the ’70s that you can see if you correct for the effect of the sulphates).

    However, I think Phil was trying to point out that this fails as an argument against AGW.

  91. Nigel Depledge

    Oli (13) said:

    Sure we’re contributing to global warming and we should try to emit less greenhouse gases (I hate how people always say CO2 and forget about other compounds like CH4 that also contribute to the effect), but I think that at least a good part of it is caused by external forces.

    Such as what?

    Do you think the climatologists haven’t tried looking for other causes? If so, why?

    And, even if the current GW is wholly natural, since it has the potential to have a huge impact on the way in which we humans live, and since we have the power to do something about it, does it not make sense to do as much as we can to prevent it anyway?

  92. Nigel Depledge

    Felix (24) said:

    Why do you lump UFOers in with those other idiots? No scientist can prove that aliens don’t exist or that they have not visited Earth.

    And no-one claims to.

    However, we can show that the assumption “UFOs = alien spaceships” is irrational and utterly without foundation.

    Also, UFOers are harmless, unlike the rest of the list.

    Define “harmless”.

    Personally, I think the wide-eyed credulity of the mass media is harmful in and of itself, and the “UFOs = alien spaceships” nonsense is one more mechanism through which it is propagated.

  93. Nigel Depledge

    Oli (29) said:

    Hmm, seems like I need to do some work on my wording. By “proving that God existed” I do not at all mean to imply that God actually exists (because He doesn’t ._.), I just meant that saying people have been researching something for years does not make it any more or less true.

    While this is true in and of itself, it doesn’t actually say very much.

    All of the arguments that were made to “prove” the existence of god were flawed (yes, Rev Paley, I’m lookin’ at you!).

    You have shifted the focus on to the amount of research done, instead of where it should be – on the quality of that research, and of the arguments and data that come from it.

    The point that respondents to your original comment were making is that the research you suggest is needed has been done.

  94. Nigel Depledge

    I said (89):

    Actually, in the ’70s, the Earth was cooling,…

    Having read a few more of the comments, I realise I may have made a mistake here. It looks like I may have conflated the cooling effect of the sulphate aerosols (that mitigated global warming in the ’70s) with actual global cooling. My bad.

  95. Nigel Depledge

    Suyts (35) regurgitated:

    Then there’s the book Holdren wrote, just use google, and then you’re going to tell me that losing original data isn’t faking the data or arbitrarily altering the data, changing historical temps ect. isn’t faking the data. Fine, just check out the raw vs. adjusted data for Lincoln Va.. . .

    [urls omitted]

    Nope, no faking data there. Just like my elementary science textbooks weren’t full of the looming ice age alarmism, just like Mars hadn’t warmed.

    I have two questions for you, which should occur to anyone critically observing the data you linked to:

    (1) In what way do the data for a single location relate to global average temperature?
    (2) What correction has been done, and why?

    Presumably, before you posted those links, you went back to the original papers and reviewed the way in which the data had been treated. Care to share that with the rest of us?

    Or are you content to cherry pick and ignore anything that might upset your worldview?

  96. Dunc

    C’mon guys, you’re acting like we’ll all die if sea levels rise a lot. Those who don’t believe in it will be washed away, those who do will save themselves.

    Really large scale population movements never involve any problems!

    Look, you can’t have a billion or so (mostly desperately poor) people just up and move without causing some friction. That sort of thing usually leads to war and genocide. Then there’s the minor fact that all the infrastructure people rely on to stay alive (housing, power grids, water supply, sewerage treatment, transport, etc) isn’t exactly portable. Add in the loss of a significant proportion of the best agricultural land, and you’re looking at a fairly nasty scenario.

  97. Nigel Depledge

    Oli (38) said:

    John, a denialist does not want to know the truth. I do; in my opinion there isn’t enough evidence to prove that we’re the only cause for global warming.

    That’s what Michael Behe says about evolution (i.e. that there is not sufficient evidence to convince him). What makes you different?

  98. Nigel Depledge

    Gopher65 (42) said (and Oli (44) agreed):

    Oli: No one (reasonable) is claiming that there is proof that humans are the *only* cause of warming. There is evidence that at least some portion of the global increase in temperature that we’re seeing is caused by humans. The debate (among reasonable people) is no longer “is warming happening”, but rather “how much of the warming are humans responsible for, and how do we control and decrease our contribution to that warming”.

    IIUC, it has been established that human activities are the principal cause of the current warming trend.

    We are certainly responsible for the unprecendented rate of the current trend.

  99. Rick

    @Philip Finck- I’m sure Michael Mann, another scientist that has been co-authored in Nature would disagree with most everything you say and has the relevant credibility to the field of climatology that you obviously lack based on your arguments. You need to address the data with more data or appropriate re-analysis of available sets if your argument from authority is to be taken seriously. I’m sure Nature would welcome another submission from you.

  100. Spence

    Here we are, with a golden opportunity for climate science to put their own house in order with Professor Judith Curry giving a last ditch opportunity to get climatologists to stop acting like advocates and start acting like scientists again.

    And the best Phil can come up with is a childish rendition of the same old false dichotomy, “consensus good, skeptics baa-aaa-aaad”, and cheerleading bot wars. Great advert for science there, Phil.

    Last time I posted at this blog, it was to point out a high school error in the science of a blog post. I seem to remember you hand waving about looking into it later. Did you ever fix that, Phil? I’m guessing “not”.

  101. Nemesis

    @24

    “Why do you lump UFOers in with those other idiots? No scientist can prove that aliens don’t exist or that they have not visited Earth. Also, UFOers are harmless, unlike the rest of the list.”

    UFO”logists” spread and proliferate a fear of the unproven, unprovable, unknown. That’s a bad thing. Spending time and money researching them is frivolous, because the only people who research extraterrestrial UFO’s and ghosts are people who believe in them. Outsiders aren’t accepted. That certainly leads to a biased interpretation of data.

    If UFOlogists dedicated their “vast” scientific knowledge to a study that could benefit mankind, like, saaay- reverse engineering one of the “spaceships” they’ve found, then maybe they’d get some respect. As of now, all they do is photoshop pictures of the horizon. Not good for anyone.

  102. Nemesis

    @101. Spence

    You act like trying to limit waste and carbon emissions is a bad thing. Until we know that pollution doesn’t cause global warming, we should assume it does. Or do you think increased atmospheric pollution will actually stop global warming? If so, try getting funded for your research. Or, you could quit acting like you know it all.

  103. Spence

    “You act like trying to limit waste and carbon emissions is a bad thing.”

    That’s policy, and I didn’t mention policy once in my comment. I just referred to the science.

    I guess you have difficulty in distinguishing the two. They are quite separate, and the failure of people to understand the difference is what got us in this mess in the first place.

  104. Oli

    @98. Dunc: Sarcasm (=

    But let’s change the subject of this discussion a bit: we know quite sure (one can never be completely sure with measurements as local as Antarctic ice, but they’re our best shot, I guess) that the Earth is warming up a few degrees. That’ll make sea levels rise about half a metre I believe. If the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland melt as fast as we think they will, they could contribute another couple of meters to that rise (hate how people cry about arctic sea ice disappearing; that makes the sea level go down ._.). Most people think that we humans are the primary cause for the problem, I think we’re at most secondary or tertiary.

    Anyway, how are we going to fight it? Stopping emitting gases like NOx, CO2 and CH4 would be great, but that’ll never happen – companies and people will just find loopholes in laws to emit anyway.
    I’d say just build more dams and dykes. Sounds silly, and we’ll need some very strong dykes, but it wouldn’t be impossible. What would you people suggest?

  105. MartinM

    I just referred to the science.

    No, you didn’t.

  106. Spence

    MartinM:

    Looks like a bot response to me. Let’s see if I can better it:

    Yes, I did.

    Hmm, okay this bot-style of debate isn’t going to get us anywhere. If you disagree with Curry’s writing on climate science, why not take her up on it? She has a blog now. Knock yourself out.

  107. Dunc

    @98. Dunc: Sarcasm (=

    Fair enough. Unfortunately, there’s a form of Poe’s Law which applies to AGW debates.

    Most people think that we humans are the primary cause for the problem, I think we’re at most secondary or tertiary.

    Based on what, exactly? Gut instinct? Common Sense? The Proceedings Of The Royal Society Of Blokes I Met Down The Pub?

    Anyway, how are we going to fight it? Stopping emitting gases like NOx, CO2 and CH4 would be great, but that’ll never happen – companies and people will just find loopholes in laws to emit anyway.

    People said the same about CFCs. Heck, they said the same about slavery. Just because you don’t think it’s going to happen doesn’t mean it isn’t. But, speaking personally, I think you’re probably right on that point.

    I’d say just build more dams and dykes. Sounds silly, and we’ll need some very strong dykes, but it wouldn’t be impossible.

    You can’t build dykes around entire countries – rivers still need to flow to the sea. Then there’s the small matter of where all the money is going to come from, and the fact that hard flood defences actually make matters worse on the rare occasions when they are over-topped.

    What would you people suggest?

    Who’s “you people”? I’ve got nothing to suggest. I think we’re going to do to ourselves more-or-less what the Easter Islanders did, only on a planetary scale. I can only hope I’m wrong.

  108. Spence

    “I think we’re going to do to ourselves more-or-less what the Easter Islanders did, only on a planetary scale.”

    The Easter Island indigenous population were decimated by the slave trade and smallpox.

    Which of those two do you think likely to recur “on a planetary scale”? Certainly not smallpox!

  109. MartinM

    If you disagree with Curry’s writing on climate science, why not take her up on it? She has a blog now. Knock yourself out.

    I feel no particular need to reinvent the wheel.

    I’d ask if you actually have any intention of saying something meaningful about the science, but since you’re apparently under the impression that you’ve already done so, there doesn’t seem to be much point.

  110. Roald A

    I believe I have a question that the ‘bot is incapable of answering, about those saying skeptic scientists are corrupted by big coal & oil companies. It is widely quoted a ‘1991-era internal coal industry memo’ is the smoking gun evidence against skeptic scientists. However, the memo in its complete context is never seen anywhere on the internet, nor in any of the dozen or so books that quotes a couple of fragmented strategy sentence from it. Why is that?

  111. Dunc

    The Easter Island indigenous population were decimated by the slave trade and smallpox.

    I was referring to the earlier population collapse between 1300 and 1600 due to deforestation.

    Pick any other example of civilisational collapse due to ecological degradation if you prefer – there’s plenty to choose from.

  112. Nigel Depledge

    Spence (102) said:

    Here we are, with a golden opportunity for climate science to put their own house in order with Professor Judith Curry giving a last ditch opportunity to get climatologists to stop acting like advocates and start acting like scientists again.

    And the best Phil can come up with is a childish rendition of the same old false dichotomy, “consensus good, skeptics baa-aaa-aaad”, and cheerleading bot wars. Great advert for science there, Phil.

    Last time I posted at this blog, it was to point out a high school error in the science of a blog post. I seem to remember you hand waving about looking into it later. Did you ever fix that, Phil? I’m guessing “not”.

    [Emphasis added]

    Spence (105) said:

    I just referred to the science.

    Martin M (107) said:

    No, you didn’t.

    I think I’ll call QED just here. Spence, I didn’t see you referring to actual science anywhere in your comment. Rather, it looked a lot like childish whining.

    Giving you the benefit of the doubt, you have assunmed that every reader of your is familiar with the exact context of what you were talking about.

  113. Messier Tidy Upper

    @102. Spence Says:

    cheerleading bot wars.

    Now *that* sounds like a great idea! Where are these robot cheerleaders, what genius invented them? ;-)

    Are they like dance wars? ;-)

    A real Artificial Intelligence that could answer all our questions and solve our problems would truly be awesome. :-)

    Where’s Asimov’s Multivac when you need it? :-)

    I don’t think this is it – yet. Wonder whether it will pass the Turing test or prove effective?

    Still let the battle of computer bot intelligence and natural stupidity commence.

    [Cue "Kirk Vs pon farr Spock" battle music - Stravinsky I gather? ;-) ]

  114. Spence

    Goodness, MartinM talks more than three words and can use google!

    I was talking about boundary between science and advocacy, which is:

    1. Not climate policy, that is something different
    2. Not detailed climate science

    But it *is* about the science. You seem to be struggling with the distinction. At least you’re not alone.

    You seem to want a discussion on the actual science itself, which is laughable. Comments in a blog post are no place to discuss the details of climate science, it just descends into farce. I think there must be of the order of millions of pieces of evidence that support that hypothesis.

    If you want to understand the science, start with the literature, not blog comments. If you feel like publishing, start by publishing a falsification of some of the criticisms of climate science conducted by the ITIA group. I’ve seen lots of debate on blogs about this, but nothing in the literature. As I said: knock yourself out. Go publish.

    That said, given the quality of the “rebuttals” of Curry’s position, I won’t hold my breath.

  115. Gary Ansorge

    12. Ron

    Global cooling was an ASSUMPTION in the early ’70s, because historically, inter glacial periods lasted eight to ten thousand years and it’s been about ten thousand years since the last ice age ended so we SHOULD be entering another ice age but examination of temperature data indicated the exact opposite.

    Then we started trying to figure out WHY there was such a data disagreement with our assumption.

    Glad to see my ‘bot reference(from the saturn post; http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/mimssbits/25964/?nlid=3722) ended up being a new post.

    Gary 7

  116. Nigel Depledge

    Dunc (109) said:

    The Proceedings Of The Royal Society Of Blokes I Met Down The Pub?

    Hey, that’s my favourite journal! ;-)

  117. Spence

    Nigel:

    My point was that arguing bots is an epic fail regarding science.

    That seems to me to be a point about science, not about policy.

    I appreciate that point went straight over your head (and several others it seems). I guess understanding is not an algorithmic process, after all. I will try and stick to simpler points on this blog in the future, to allow you folk to keep up.

  118. MartinM

    I believe I have a question that the ‘bot is incapable of answering, about those saying skeptic scientists are corrupted by big coal & oil companies. It is widely quoted a ‘1991-era internal coal industry memo’ is the smoking gun evidence against skeptic scientists. However, the memo in its complete context is never seen anywhere on the internet, nor in any of the dozen or so books that quotes a couple of fragmented strategy sentence from it. Why is that?

    Despite the remarkable lack of detail you provided, it still took me less than five minutes to find this. Specifically what ‘context’ do you allege is missing?

  119. Messier Tidy Upper

    @110. Spence :

    Here’s some suggested reading for you :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collapse:_How_Societies_Choose_to_Fail_or_Succeed

    & everyone else really come to think of it. :-)

    @35. suyts Says:

    Nope, no faking data there. Just like my elementary science textbooks weren’t full of the looming ice age alarmism, just like Mars hadn’t warmed.

    Wow. Thanks for mentioning the ole “warming Mars” canard – it enables me to point you to one of my fave Youtube videoclips :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSXgiml5UwM&p=029130BFDC78FA33

    So thanks for giving me the excuse. ;-)

    PS. Which elementary science books *precisely* were “full of the looming ice age alarmism” you mentioned? Could you please cite, say, three examples with authors-titles-dates and the specifics of the texts in question?

    Also, would you want your doctor or the guy building your house / workplace etc .. using (a) textbook(s) or manual(s) that’s 30, no, yikes, make that now *40* years out of date rather than relying on the current versions? If not, then why demand that of climatologists? :roll:

    ***

    Of course, the downside to this new bot is there is already such uncertainty over the real identity & /or seriousness of folks online.

  120. Spence

    Dunc:

    Pretty much all of the evidence suggests the Easter Island population was stable between 1300 and the arrival of Europeans in the 1700s.

    And no, computer models are not “evidence”. When evidence and models disagree, the models need revising, not the evidence.

    See here for example:

    It also appears that the islanders began building moai and ahu soon after reaching the island. The human population probably reached a maximum of about 3,000, perhaps a bit higher, around 1350 A.D. and remained fairly stable until the arrival of Europeans. The environmental limitations of Rapa Nui would have kept the population from growing much larger. By the time Roggeveen arrived in 1722, most of the island’s trees were gone, but deforestation did not trigger societal collapse, as Diamond and others have argued.

    Quite right. The slave trade and smallpox triggered the population collapse in the 1800s, not before.

  121. Dunc

    @121: Fine, pick a different example then (the Classic Maya collapse, perhaps). Or are you saying that because the Easter Islanders may not have suffered a population collapse due to ecological degradation, that such a scenario is impossible?

    Arguing against a specific example used to illustration a concept is not an argument against the concept itself, and I always feel that focussing on examples rather than concepts is a sign that you’re flailing.

  122. Spence

    “Or are you saying that because the Easter Islanders may not have suffered a population collapse due to ecological degradation, that such a scenario is impossible?”

    Read this.

    You were the one that raised Easter Island, not me. If you want to back down and use a different example, go for it.

  123. Dunc

    You were the one that raised Easter Island, not me.

    In an entirely off-hand, irrelevant, and tangential manner, yes. You were the one who decided to focus on it as if it were in any way significant.

    If you want to back down and use a different example, go for it.

    I just did: the Classic Maya collapse. Although, as with all such things, nothing is absolutely certain and there are a number of interacting factors involved, of which ecological degradation is only one.

    None of this is in anyway significant to the issue at hand though. Nice thread derail, well done.

  124. suyts

    @97. Nigel Depledge Says:
    November 5th, 2010 at 7:00 am
    Suyts (35) regurgitated:

    Spam much? You’re a hoot! First, you accuse me of cherry picking when you engaged in the very same act! Perhaps it wasn’t an honest mistake of excluding my very next statement ..“I only give this as an example because my browser is on the story as we speak. There are, of course, hundreds of other examples of such “adjustments”.”…. And perhaps it was it is honestly a difficulty for you to contextualize properly. I don’t know why they arbitrarily and consistently adjust recent temps upwards and past temps downwards, or how much that effects the global average. My links and comments were in response to the article printed.

    Let’s review, shall we? The article posits that it is incorrect to state other planets are/were warming, when quite clearly this occurs. See my link. It also posits it is incorrect to state scientists were concerned with global cooling. I showed where that is a blatant falsehood. For the lazy and people who simply don’t wish to see the truth, go here, http://www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=873 It is quite clear that many scientists, including the president’s science czar were indeed concerned with global cooling. Lastly, the article posits that it isn’t correct that scientists have been caught mucking with the numbers. I happened to have my browser open in yet another example of creative mathematics. But I didn’t have to use that as an example, one can easily recount other sagas of scientific malfeasance, such as the “hottest” ever claim by GISS for the years 1998 and 2005 when neither year attained the heat of 1934,…… until 1934 was adjusted downward.

    I wasn’t making a general statement about the AGW/climate change/disruption debate, but rather specifically pointing out where the writer of this article is patently, blatantly, obviously incorrect. It would be my sincere hope that whoever programs the bot can come up with more believable arguments than this writer, because if this is the best the alarmists can do, the discussion is over.

  125. Dave

    Bots or people will not sway my point of view through repetition. I believe climate change to be part of nature’s order (and nature will mandate our extintion someday), yet man’s involvement has not been proven to my satisfaction. Those of you who mistakenly believe your critical thinking superior to all others can go play bot wars all day with the rest of the passionate yet unscientific.

  126. Steve Metzler

    90. Philip Finck

    When I read articles such as the above I question the authors scientific credentials. I certainly would not hire that individual to lecture in a university. I would expect, and demand higher standards. You are not a scientist… you are a journalist.

    Way to demonstrate that you’ve never read anything else on this blog before posting. Either that, or I call Poe on you being a scientist, or at least one that’s published anything in the last 30 years. A person trained in the scientific method, as you claim to be, would at least have the wherewithal to read the ‘About Bad Astronomy’ blurb over there in the right-hand column before questioning Phil’s credentials.

    Not every post on a science-oriented blog has to deal with science, BTW. It wouldn’t hurt to read this:

    Politics, science, me and thee

  127. suyts

    @121. Messier Tidy Upper Says:
    Cute video, but that doesn’t invalidate the link I posted, thanks for not addressing that at all, I suppose its easier to look the other way and pretend it isn’t happening than to have to confront you’re own beliefs.

    Regarding the prior generation’s climate alarmist topic, “the looming ice age”, I think you’re missing the point. No, I don’t wish climate scientists to use the old alarmist books of old, they’ve pretty much been invalidated. As to proof these existed, as you can imagine, invalidated science isn’t digitally reproduced much, but some excellent sleuths have been able to uncover this http://www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=873 . This casts some pretty good light on the latest attempted history revision by the alarmist crowd. Ouch! I’m sure more will turn up if the alarmist keep up with the Orwellian history twist. Maybe you guys and girls should use other sources than just skeptical science, they seem to be getting more wrong than right lately. The point is to bringing these old and invalidated theories to light isn’t to suggest we use them as sources of knowledge but rather to illustrate the fallibility of the science gods. Oddly, the alleged causes of the current warming are strikingly similar to the alleged causes of the past cooling. Maybe we can learn more from that beautiful tidbit?

  128. Steve Metzler

    106. Oli Says:

    But let’s change the subject of this discussion a bit: we know quite sure (one can never be completely sure with measurements as local as Antarctic ice, but they’re our best shot, I guess) that the Earth is warming up a few degrees. That’ll make sea levels rise about half a metre I believe. If the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland melt as fast as we think they will, they could contribute another couple of meters to that rise (hate how people cry about arctic sea ice disappearing; that makes the sea level go down ._.). Most people thinkclimatologists agree that we humans are the primary cause for the problem, I think we’re at most secondary or tertiary.

    FTFY. And… why do people always focus on the sea level rise aspect of AGW? That’s going to be one of the problems alright, but before that, say in about 40 – 50 years time when the CO2 concentration first doubles from pre-industrial levels, there are very likely going to be massive crop failures when temperatures and rainfall patterns change enough to wreck the ‘sweet spot’ in the major crop growing areas that we rely on to feed the world. You can’t just up and move your crops to keep up with drastically changing weather patterns. And this will happen just as the world population is hitting the 9 billion mark. That ought to be ‘fun’.

  129. QuietDesperation

    the Classic Maya collapse

    Which they brought back after consumers soundly rejected the New Maya collapse.

    You can’t just up and move your crops

    Yeah… yeah… hmm… you don’t really “move” crops so much as “plant new seeds somewhere else.”

  130. QuietDesperation

    The Easter Island indigenous population were decimated by the slave trade and smallpox.
    Which of those two do you think likely to recur “on a planetary scale”? Certainly not smallpox!

    Interstellar slave trade, of course. Especially when I become the UN alien ambassador.

    What?

    Oh, I’d sell you lot out in a heartbeat for an FTL starship, a harem of alien babes in the complete rainbow of colors and an account with the galactic empire equivalent of ten billion dollars. Cheap for what they will be getting.

    And I’ll laugh as you are driven into the work pits on some nameless deep mining world, YOUR ENDLESS TWITTERING SILENCED FOREVER! MA HA HA HA HAA! :-P

  131. @ 131. QuietDesperation

    That’s the best thing said in this thread so far.

  132. QuietDesperation

    If the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland melt as fast as we think they will, they could contribute another couple of meters to that rise

    Not a problem. I’ve already accounted for it in the designs for my offshore Fortress of Smoldering Hate.

    You know… should the whole UN alien ambassador thing not work out.

    I’ve got British Petroleum checking the blueprints, so no worries.

  133. Looks like the bot can’t detect sarcasm.

  134. me

    I’m going to invade your fortress of smouldering hate and fill it with lop-eared bunny wabbits.
    MWAHAHAHAHAHAGAHACHACHACHCH..cough

  135. Steve Metzler

    Yeah… yeah… hmm… you don’t really “move” crops so much as “plant new seeds somewhere else.”

    Congrats, you scored a cheap point there. Would you like to play again?

    Anything will do to derail a serious conversation, right?

    ETA: looks like Finck @90 was a drive-by. Typical.

  136. Ron

    112. Gary.

    This is the exact quote from Phil:

    “In the 70s scientists said the Earth was cooling!”

    Phil said that was wrong. No, Phil is wrong. I was in school every year of the 70′s. The scientists did indeed say the Earth was cooling. I’m not personally saying that’s true. What I’m saying is, the scientists did say that.

    To say anything else is a complete lie. As a scientist, Phil has the obligation to support the truth of an issue, even if he doesn’t believ in it personally. The truth is, once again, that scientists said the Earth was cooling in the 70′s.

    If it wasn’t actually cooling, thats fine. That doesn’t give Phil the right to say the scientists didn’t say it when indeed they did say it. That’s not an arugment for or against Global Warming. It’s a statement about accepting the truth of the situation, and not distorting that truth to support his own opinion.

    Oddly, that is the same thing the Climate Gate scientists were accused of. Denying an actual recorded fact to support you opposite opinion, I would have to belive, is something not allowed in the scientific community.

  137. James

    @138

    Who are “The Scientists”? There were certainly some scientists who thought we’d see Global Cooling but Climate Warming was still the more strongly supported prediction.

    Greenman addresses this issue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XB3S0fnOr0M

  138. AJ in CA

    Epic!! I love this idea. Using an extremely limited form of artificial intelligence to interfere with extremely limited human intelligence :P
    If you’re going to try to present rational arguments to a brick wall, it at least makes sense to have a bot do all the soul-killing grunt work!

  139. Chris Winter

    Oli wrote (#29): “English is sadly not my mother language, so sometimes I struggle a bit to get my point across. Good to see that there’s so much discussion though.”

    Oli, the place to start your reading is at Skeptical Science.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/

    They’re in the process of translating their material into other languages. It’s a volunteer effort, so you’ll know it’s not moving at warp speed, but it’s getting there.

  140. AJ in CA

    Heck, even the 70s is a ways back to go to poke holes in contemporary hypotheses. Even if global cooling WAS widely predicted (which I doubt), it makes me wonder how far back we’re allowed to go, here. Can we ignore the findings of astronomers because of the theory of a static universe? How about phlogiston, physicists? Explain that one! :P

  141. Gavin Flower

    There is no competent research that suggests that any type of god exists.

    If you look carefully at any attempted argument to prove the existence of a god, you will find that they are fallacious.

  142. Chris Winter

    Philip Finck wrote (#90):

    “As a scientist who has co-authored in Nature there is by far enough evidence to raise questions in my mind with respect to AGW. Any scientist who listens to the claims being made by some of the `fore-most’ scientists in this field (sarc>) should be skeptical. If not they are not scientists. They lack the fundamental requirement of `being skeptical’, questioning, demanding reliable data and transparency. The concept that the `science is settled’ is fundamentally flawed and demonstrates a leaning to pseudoscience and belief. And yes, I have read the literature!”

    This is perhaps the second most prevalent indicator of misunderstanding making the rounds today. (The first is “It’s only a theory.”)

    When someone who accepts the mainstream view of climate change says the science is settled, that does not mean every detail has been worked out. It means the basics of the argument are well supported by observations. Those include about fifty years’ worth of CO2 and temperature measurements, as well as records of a host of effects including the melting of glaciers, lengthening of growing seasons, movement of species, and more.

    All of this lends weight to the central idea that the CO2 we are adding to the atmosphere is the major (not the only) cause of the current warming. From this it follows that if we keep adding CO2, it is likely that in fifty or a hundred years we will have a climate that is far less pleasant than today’s.

    “This is not a question of is it warming, or cooling.”

    No? Then what is the question?

    “Despite the claims of AGWers, the evidence indicates that this happens on time periods of days, years, decades, centuries, and millennia… however I would not claim that the `science is settled’ on this point. Never!”

    You’ll have to explain what you mean there.

    “When I read articles such as the above I question the authors scientific credentials. I certainly would not hire that individual to lecture in a university. I would expect, and demand higher standards. You are not a scientist… you are a journalist.”

    I’ve heard Dr. Plait lecture. He is both competent and entertaining.

  143. Chris Winter

    Spence wrote (#102): “Here we are, with a golden opportunity for climate science to put their own house in order with Professor Judith Curry giving a last ditch opportunity to get climatologists to stop acting like advocates and start acting like scientists again.”

    Has it occurred to you that these scientists you refer to obliquely might have been doing what you call “acting like scientists” all along?

    And that a few of them are speaking out now, “acting like advocates,” to counter those who advocate what they understand better than most is dangerous inaction?

    Certain interest groups have been advocating no action on climate change for decades now. It’s hard to avoid the suspicion that your protest arises from discomfort at the scientists’ advocacy, while you are perfectly content with the other, older sort.

  144. Chris Winter

    Referring to MartinM, Spence wrote (#116): “You seem to want a discussion on the actual science itself, which is laughable. Comments in a blog post are no place to discuss the details of climate science, it just descends into farce. I think there must be of the order of millions of pieces of evidence that support that hypothesis.”

    Yes, and a million pieces (roughly speaking) of evidence that refute it.

    It depends on who’s doing the discussing.

  145. Chris Winter

    Suyts wrote (#129): “As to proof these existed, as you can imagine, invalidated science isn’t digitally reproduced much, but some excellent sleuths have been able to uncover this (URL snipped).”

    Wow, that must have required real sleuthing acumen. Who’s the Sherlock? ;-)

    “This casts some pretty good light on the latest attempted history revision by the alarmist crowd. Ouch! I’m sure more will turn up if the alarmist keep up with the Orwellian history twist. Maybe you guys and girls should use other sources than just skeptical science, they seem to be getting more wrong than right lately. The point is to bringing these old and invalidated theories to light isn’t to suggest we use them as sources of knowledge but rather to illustrate the fallibility of the science gods. Oddly, the alleged causes of the current warming are strikingly similar to the alleged causes of the past cooling. Maybe we can learn more from that beautiful tidbit?”

    What lesson would you say this “beautiful tidbit” imparts — that because John Holdren’s speculation in a forty-year-old book did not prove out, none of today’s climate science can be trusted? That’s what it sounds like to me. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Yes, I did look at the page you linked. Holdren was clearly speculating about where then-extant conditions might lead, if they persisted. You have the right to view that as alarmism, but don’t be surprised if none of the regulars here give you much credence.

  146. Chris Winter

    QuietDesparation wrote (#134): “I’ve got British Petroleum checking the blueprints, so no worries.”

    Better be careful: They’ll have you in a summer bungalow on Novaya Zemlya with only a wood-burning furnace for heat.

  147. Chris Winter

    Just to clarify the situation regarding scientists and cooling in the 1970s:

    The American Meteorological Society looked back on this period in 2008. Their published report in online: http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2008BAMS2370.1

    They found 7 papers supporting cooling, 44 supporting warming — but none predicted an ice age, and neither cooling nor warming achieved consensus status.

    There certainly was coverage of cooling in the popular press of the time. But the press, then as now, covers all sorts of things with varying degrees of credibility.

    “Thirty-four warships?!?!” :-)

  148. Suyts

    146. Chris Winter Says:
    November 5th, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Suyts wrote (#129): “As to proof these existed, as you can imagine, invalidated science isn’t digitally reproduced much, but some excellent sleuths have been able to uncover this http://www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=873 ” (link unsipped) ;-) …… Oddly, the alleged causes of the current warming are strikingly similar to the alleged causes of the past cooling.”

    You said, What lesson would you say this “beautiful tidbit” imparts — that because John Holdren’s speculation in a forty-year-old book did not prove out, none of today’s climate science can be trusted? That’s what it sounds like to me. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Yes, I did look at the page you linked. Holdren was clearly speculating about where then-extant conditions might lead, if they persisted. You have the right to view that as alarmism, but don’t be surprised if none of the regulars here give you much credence.”

    I’m not suggesting climate science can’t be trusted any more than any other advocacy. I simply pointed out the advocacy. Any science should and must be viewed critically and skeptically. No, I’m not here to change any minds of the “regulars”, as far as their views in the validity of current climate science. I mostly wanted to set straight the lie the writer of this article wrote. In each of her assertions, they were blatantly wrong. I don’t know how old most here are, but in my elementary education, (60s and 70s) I was constantly confronted with the drone of the impending, looming ice age. I can understand if some people wish (such as Holdren) they’d never said such lunacy, but it doesn’t benefit anyone to attempt to revise history, regardless of the cause.

    BTW, can anyone tell me why the U.S. was so moved to ban aerosols back then? Yeh, the ozone layer, but what was the underlying fear of what was going to happen without a proper ozone layer?

  149. The bot appears to violate Twitters terms of service for API use.

    If it tweeted on something I said (highly unlikely, I hung around with too many climate scientisits in the 1990′s to have many doubts left, and think twitter is largely a load of incoherent noise) I’d hit the spam button and move on.

    Bots can be useful for this sort of thing if people are merely seeking information. The Debian #irc channel has a very simple but useful list of facts stored in bot called “#dpkg” and I always make a point of asking it first (after Google, but before any humans are bothered with my ignorance). Uninvited responses from “dumb” machines are rude, and I’d take some convincing it is likely to be effective.

    There is also enough thoughtless and pointless babble on the topic of AGW, as noted by the 100+ off topic responses above.

    When the machines are better than us on making these kinds of calls, well then I’ll revise my judgement based on the evidence. Rather than more facts I suspect we need a bot that is persuasive, since anyone seeking the climate science or the data has very few obstructions these days. Certainly easier to get climate science and data than it is to get original science and data on drug trials which is often locked away behind pay-walls (and in a few cases drug company safes).

  150. Daniel J. Andrews

    I’m not suggesting climate science can’t be trusted any more than any other advocacy. I simply pointed out the advocacy.

    But what are they advocating? When more than 97% of relevant experts and every academic and professional science organization in the world tell us warming is unequivocal and that we likely (to very likely) are responsible, I, for one, am inclined to listen: It is a unified agreement, a consensus, that bridges language, culture, political systems, feuds and personal differences. [please no-one trot out the zombie arguments "science doesn't work by consensus" (think gravity, plate tectonics, etc) or "there is no consensus"].

    Why would anyone listen to the very small minority who might have some difference of opinion on the subject? Would anyone–aside from the LimBecks of the world–chew Brand X gum if 2 out of a 100 dentists around the world told you it would not rot your teeth, and 98 out of a 100 said it would very likely rot your teeth?

    BTW, can anyone tell me why the U.S. was so moved to ban aerosols back then? Yeh, the ozone layer, but what was the underlying fear of what was going to happen without a proper ozone layer?

    The ozone layer (technically not a layer, IIRC) absorbs 95 percent and more of the sun’s UV rays. UV rays are high energy rays and damage tissue (sunburn, genetic damage, increases in skin cancer due to genetic damage, increases in eye damage, cataracts etc). Damage like that wouldn’t just affect humans but whole ecosystems.

    CFCs (chloroflurorcarbons) used in aerosols found there way into the upper atmosphere where the chlorine interacted with the ozone and depleted it. This was widely considered to be a bad thing in the light (ha) of more UV rays getting through to the earth’s surface.

    The Montreal Protocol phasing out CFCs was a stellar (ha again) example of international cooperation. People who ran around shouting conspiracy, scientific corruption, not enough evidence, no consensus (e.g. Heartland Institute, professional shill S. Fred Singer) were pretty much ignored as cranks/industry spokespeople/front groups who also thought tobacco smoke didn’t cause cancer, asbestos didn’t cause cancer, acid rain didn’t exist or was from natural sources so we didn’t need to regulate pollution, etc.

    Nowadays, I doubt something like The Montreal Protocol would get passed. Or the U.S. would opt out of it or sabotage it , as the cranks there have moved into the political system.

    The same people, the same PR groups, the same industries who told you smoking won’t cause cancer, that acid rain was natural, that CFCs won’t deplete the ozone, that asbestos isn’t implicated in cancer are now telling you things like…

    1. CO2 isn’t a greenhouse gas.
    2. CO2 is a greenhouse gas but it isn’t increasing.
    3. CO2 is increasing but from volcanoes so warming is natural.
    4. It isn’t CO2 but the sun.
    5. It isn’t the sun but cosmic rays
    6. It isn’t cosmic rays but orbital parameters (every 1500 years; nay-nay, every 500 years)
    7. It isn’t any of the above, but it is natural, we just need to find out what.
    8. It is most of the above.
    9. It never was warming. Ok, it was warming, but now it is cooling.
    10. Temperature records are corrupt/they’ve hidden the data so we don’t know.
    11. It is warming, we are responsible, but warming is desirable.
    12. Trust us. We know what we’re talking about. Contradictions? What contradictions? Have a cigarette and relax.
    chickenhead.com/truth/1950s.html :)

    Get your science from the scientists, from the relevant experts in that field. If you won’t, then you need to ask yourself why? Are you really a closet-conspiracist who thinks the experts worldwide are suddenly incompetent in their chosen field? Or simultaneously corrupted? Why do you not trust the experts from every country, but trust the word of local non-experts?

    There is an astronomically slim chance that all the experts in the world are wrong (nothing is 100% certain in science), but if they are all wrong then what do you think the chances are that some non-expert working alone in his retirement or after his day job will be right?

    Especially when that non-expert has a recorded history of lying for various industries and think-tanks dedicated to some ideological or political cause. Or especially when that non-expert misquotes real science papers and claims they say the opposite of what they actually say. And especially when that non-expert keeps trotting out claims that contradict each other. And extra especially when they keep regurgitating arguments that are blatantly provably incontrovertibly wrong.

  151. TheBlackCat

    It reminds me of a quote. The quote is about evolution, but it applies just as well to global warming denialists:

    Those who cavalierly reject the Theory of Evolution as not being adequately supported by facts, seem to forget that their own theory is supported by no facts at all
    -Herbert Spencer

  152. Brycemeister

    This mildly angers me (really really mildly-mostly it amuses me) in a few ways. First, we have the oh so wonderful how many angels can dance on the head of a pin going around and around. I don’t know, as for climate-hey, I’m just a guy, alright? But I know this-arguing never gets a damn thing done. So, if we can fix it, then get to fixin’. If we can’t fix, but can adapt, let’s use our big brains and start working on people based solutions – cuz the global climate sure as heck aint gonna wait around for us to decide on the veracity of what we think we’re seeing. Phil Plait is a scientist? Hey, Phil, shut up and get to work, you’re beating a dead horse. You prove nothing by standing around barking about how awful some thing is going to be. Oh, and by the way, awful? Perhaps I may be of some assistance in that regards – ye olde weather has been bloody awful since, well, most of forever. And it’s gonna get more awful, and quite possibly in some not so expected ways.

    A bot? Gads, that’s the height of laziness, it’s pathetic. I believe that the goal of science is education. A bot? People turn it off, like they do commercials. This guy can’t even be bothered to pull his weight in his own battles! In my family, at the dinner table, we would have knuckle busting, intelligent arguments, and we had people with all kinds of beliefs, all kinds of ideas-big family. And there was one rule: you gonna state something, don’t matter how old you aren’t, you better be prepared to back that statement up, and you better be prepared to be as capable of intelligent discourse as you can possibly manage. We may have yelled, we sometimes talked all at once, we dug in so hard, the dinner was cold, and we’re still going at it. And never a fist fight. The only time an otherwise brutal father never punished us with beatings, were those moments.

    A bot? What a wuss. Applause, for a man who can’t stand his own ground? No. You want to prove AGW? Stop blowing bubbles. (Bad Brains.). I don’t care if he’s right. Might well be. But he isn’t going to prove anything by not standing up for the research. And you, Phil Plait, aren’t going to prove anything with name-calling. That isn’t science.

  153. Mike

    @ 154

    Is this a comedy post? I would like to know before I award you the Most Hilarious Thing I’ve Read All Day award.

  154. TheBlackCat

    But I know this-arguing never gets a damn thing done. So, if we can fix it, then get to fixin’. If we can’t fix, but can adapt, let’s use our big brains and start working on people based solutions – cuz the global climate sure as heck aint gonna wait around for us to decide on the veracity of what we think we’re seeing.

    Wonderful idea. So how, exactly, do we convince people to fix something when they don’t believe there is a problem in the first place? Yeah, it’s great that the scientific community is convinced, but those who actually control the money are not.

    In my family, at the dinner table, we would have knuckle busting, intelligent arguments, and we had people with all kinds of beliefs, all kinds of ideas-big family.

    The problem is that we are not dealing with “intelligent arguments”, we are dealing with lies and obfuscation. We are dealing with ideas that were disproven 100 years ago. They have nothing new, just the same tired, old, cliched, long-debunked arguments. We are dealing with a handful of arguments copied and pasted over and over again with no concern whatsoever for the truth.

    A bot? People turn it off, like they do commercials.

    They didn’t, because they didn’t realize they were dealing with a bot. They even got in long arguments with it. That’s the level of discussion we are dealing with here, that denialists can’t even realize it is a computer debunking their claims. Of course you would know this if you had read the article.

    And there was one rule: you gonna state something, don’t matter how old you aren’t, you better be prepared to back that statement up, and you better be prepared to be as capable of intelligent discourse as you can possibly manage.

    I take it you just read the summary and never actually bothered to read the article, which makes this sentence all the more ironic. The ‘bot does back up what is says, it provides links to the scientific sources backing up the points it makes. And as for intelligence, that is the whole point: a ‘bot is more than intelligent enough to deal with the sorts of arguments denialists make. That alone says a lot about the quality of the denialists’ arguments.

    Applause, for a man who can’t stand his own ground? No.

    Now I know you definitely didn’t read the article. I guess your dad didn’t do a good job of teaching you after all, if you can’t even be bothered to read one article before passing judgement.

    It wasn’t that he “can’t stand his own ground”, it is that he recognized that the arguments were so bad and so repetitive the process of addressing them could be automated.

    It’s no different than robots in an assembly line. It is generally not that people can’t do the same work the robots do, it is just that it is so boring, monotonous, and repetitive that there isn’t any point having humans do it. Let humans occupy their time with things that require some creativity and insight, and leave the boring, repetitive stuff to computers which excel at it. That’s the case with assembly lines and it’s the case with arguing with denialists as well. After twisting the same rivet or debunking the same flawed argument for the 1000th time it gets boring.

    But he isn’t going to prove anything by not standing up for the research.

    Which he did, which you would know if you had read the article.

  155. Xeno

    This thread made me a sad panda.

    I almost chipped in, but realized that it’s just not worth it. People refuse change at the cost of their own sanity. They’ll never actually read the links. They’ll never learn or reconsider.
    The line has been drawn, and all that remains is grandstanding, as we collectively grind to a halt.

    I guess that’s my summation of the issue, and I think it’s fair regardless of which side you pick.

  156. The saddest thing is that, had “discussing by bot” been considered a good idea in the mid-1990′s, there would have been no Bad Astronomer.

  157. TGAP Dad

    I’m delighted to see chiropractors on the list! (Can we also add Osteopaths, please?)
    (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osteopathic_medicine_in_the_United_States)

  158. Steve Metzler

    157. Xeno Says:

    This thread made me a sad panda.

    I almost chipped in, but realized that it’s just not worth it. People refuse change at the cost of their own sanity. They’ll never actually read the links. They’ll never learn or reconsider.
    The line has been drawn, and all that remains is grandstanding, as we collectively grind to a halt.

    I guess that’s my summation of the issue, and I think it’s fair regardless of which side you pick.

    QFT, unfortunately. We debunk the denier canards for the benefit of those who haven’t made their minds up yet. The burning question is, though: what percentage of the population that would bother to read a science blog hasn’t already chosen a side of the fence on this issue?

  159. Charles Sainte Claire P.E. and proud of it

    At the bottom of this list I only want to say AGW is nonsense. Climate changes. Nothing new here except to say warming is good.

  160. Steve Metzler/Xeno : you people sound like if the (Climate) Rapture had already taken place..”it’s just not worth it…the line has been drawn”…are you sure _you_ are on the side of science???

  161. Steve Metzler

    Steve Metzler/Xeno : you people sound like if the (Climate) Rapture had already taken place..”it’s just not worth it…the line has been drawn”…are you sure _you_ are on the side of science???

    OK Maurizio… probably more than you bargained for, but I’m going to let it rip :)

    Here is an equation that not only forecasts CO2 levels into the future, but also backcasts into the past quite well:

    CO2 = 275 + 2^((year-1780)/33.41)

    (cite: Rick Baartman. The 33.41 years there is the rate at which CO2 is currently doubling)

    Assuming that we maintain Business As Usual on the CO2 front, if you plug the year 2055 in there, it comes out to about 575ppm CO2. That’s the doubling from pre-industrial levels of 275 – 280ppm that you keep hearing about.

    The current IPCC projection for the corresponding global average temperature increase for this CO2 doubling is from between 2C to 4.5C, with the expected amount to be about 3C. This figure takes feedbacks like water vapour into account. A lot of the crops we depend on to ‘feed the world’ operate in a nice little sweet spot that would disappear should these conditions prevail. There would be severe drought and catastrophic (sorry about that) crop failures occurring as a result just when the world population is approaching the 9 billion mark. Not going to be a pretty sight.

  162. Zetetic

    My my… I get busy for a few days and I see that Maurizo, who ran away from the last thread, is back.

    are you sure _you_ are on the side of science???

    ROFLMAO! Coming from someone without a single shred of credible supporting position for your position, that is just hilarious!

    Or, have you finally come up with credible supporting evidence that actively contradicts AGW since the last thread you ducked out of? So far your position is still indistinguishable from the YECs and moon landing deniers. You still just try to score rhetorical “points” and try to pick apart the evidence for the other side, while offering nothing of substance yourself.

    Over in the last thread I suggested that those that doubt AGW (and the denialists too) check out the list of anti-AGW arguments to see if their claim had already been refuted. Here is the link again…
    Skeptic Arguments and What the Science Says
    So far nobody on the anti-AGW side has offered anything that wasn’t on list and already refuted. That is why a bot to combat AGW deniers is possible, the anti-AGW side has nothing to actually support its own position, just one refuted attack after another, regurgitated over-and-over no matter how often it gets refuted..

    Too bad oil money can’t buy reality itself, just lies.

    Here on the other hand is more of what the AGW side has, that the anti_AGW side lacks…evidence.
    Climate Change Deniers vs The Consensus

    Hockey stick or hockey league?

    Two more independent studies back the Hockey Stick: Recent global warming is unprecedented in magnitude and speed and cause

    So tell us where is the evidence that actually actively contradicts AGW? Where is you science? Or, are you going to just keep trying to score debate points and cherry-pick what you want?

    To be continued….

  163. Alejandro N

    Mr.Steve Metzler
    i think your post nº163 is pretty silly, apocalytic and worst: unscientific, because you have omitted in your equation a lot of things.
    the principal: do you really think that in 2055 (35 years from now, a generation!!!) we will still using oil us our number one combustible?? (Peak oil aside…) wowww!!!
    if the U.S.A., don’t find one, i’m pretty sure, that a chinese or and hindu will do..

  164. Zetetic

    Oh and look here, it’s not just the overwhelming scientific consensus of the climatologists either, the geologists are finding evidence too….
    Climate change: evidence from the geological record

    ——————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    As to “the Scientists predicted an Ice Age” spin, let’s set aside that just disregarding current evidence just because some scientists may have been wrong about somethings in the past is a logical fallacy (a form of Poisoning the Well and Genetic Fallacy), let’s look at the real facts about that little denialist “Ice Age” assertion….

    While it true that some scientists predicted an ice age, the vast majority of scientific papers at that time were warning about warming, but it was the Ice Age claim that caught media attention.
    Did scientists predict an impending ice age in the 1970s?

    Also, just to put yet another nail in that long debunked falsehood (that the consensus of the scientific community was supporting a coming Ice Age) here is a copy of a memo from the Richard Nixon library. It’s a warning from one Nixon White House (Daniel P. Moyihan) staffer to another (John Ehrlichman ) of the future possibility of global warming on September 17, 1969….
    1969 Global Warming White House Memo

  165. Zetetic

    @ Alejandro N #165:
    Don’t forget about coal, oil sands, etc. all of which are being considered for use by fossil fuel interests. Although I do think that Steve meant it as a simplified example, it’s easy enough to find more detailed analysis. Also even if all CO2 was stopped right away, it will take some time for the environment to return to normal due to the length of the carbon cycle and positive feedback loops.

    Your point about peak oil though does bring up another problem, and another reason to get off of fossil fuels.
    The sooner societies start to remove their dependency on fossil fuels, the cleaner the air will be (for most forms of alternative energy), the longer the remaining oil will last, the slower the Earth will warm, and the more independent the industrialized countries will be from the Middle East. The longer societies put off making a change the more expensive and dramatic any changes due to running out of oil will have to be.

    Again the answer is to lessen, or remove, the dependency on fossil fuels preferably sooner rather than later.

  166. Messier Tidy Upper

    @162. Maurizio Morabito Says:

    Steve Metzler/Xeno : you people sound like if the (Climate) Rapture had already taken place..”

    If the Climate *Rapture* took place wouldn’t that mean all the Real True Faithful Believers in AGW vanished being taken up to heaven to be with Gaia-Jebus while the sinful non-believing Deniers were Left Behind to suffer through the Great Global Warming Tribulations? Just following your analogy there … ;-)

    Here’s another question for you :

    If 98 out of 100 doctors told you that you had a problem then you’d listen to them and take it seriously wouldn’t you?

    Why then do you reject what 98 out of 100 climatologists are telling us and are denying that there is a problem with Anthropogenic Global Warming? How is that situation different?

  167. Nigel Depledge

    Spence (119) said:

    I appreciate that point went straight over your head (and several others it seems).

    Either that, or you failed to allow for the possibility of ambiguity in your comment.

  168. Not sure who Zetetic and Messier Tidy Upper want to converse with. It can’t be me as I am way past making the silly statements they’re attributing to me…perhaps you guys need to find a suitable bot? 8-)
    ========

    Back in the real world…the issue remains: by speaking of non-believers in catastrophic AGW like irrecoverable souls, one is fully into Millenarian/Apocalyptic territory. Perhaps it’d be better to change tune if the goal is to remain into science instead.

    Also: the whole career of a Mr Phil Plait has been based on counteracting anti-science statements as a person, not as a bot. Seeing Phil support this AGW bot is like seeing paper support fire. Hardly a good idea.

    Also: if a bot can replace the average AGWer, well, perhaps the average AGWer can’t argue better than a bot, i.e. better than a mindless chunk of code. Not a wise meme to spread around.

    Anybody wants to talk about these issues? If not, well, ’til next time…

    ps “since the last thread you ducked out of” – this is the stupidest assertion of the year. It’s the internet, not a debating contest, so everyone is free to follow up on a discussion. Or not. And there is no rule saying whoever speaks last, speaks right.

  169. TheBlackCat

    Not sure who Zetetic and Messier Tidy Upper want to converse with. It can’t be me as I am way past making the silly statements they’re attributing to me…perhaps you guys need to find a suitable bot? 8-)

    So you are saying that post 162 was not by you? Impersonating another user is a pretty serious offense, probably grounds for banning. However, trying to pass off your own post as someone impersonating you is also a serious offense, and may also be grounds for banning. So I’ll ask again: did you make post 162?

    Back in the real world…the issue remains: by speaking of non-believers in catastrophic AGW like irrecoverable souls, one is fully into Millenarian/Apocalyptic territory. Perhaps it’d be better to change tune if the goal is to remain into science instead.

    There is a big difference between “irrecoverable souls” and “won’t be convinced by any amount of evidence”. The first is a value judgeement, the second is an empirical statement. In fact I’ve talked to many denialists who have said no possible amount of evidence would convince them, and many, many others who have refused to tell me what sort of possible evidence would convince them.

    No one is saying that all denialists cannot be convinced by the evidence, but the fact that many cannot be is based on their own statement to this effect.

    Why don’t you tell us, what sort of evidence would convince you AGW is real? It has to be evidence that is actually possible to collect.

    Also: the whole career of a Mr Phil Plait has been based on counteracting anti-science statements as a person, not as a bot. Seeing Phil support this AGW bot is like seeing paper support fire. Hardly a good idea.

    First, someone has to write the refutations. Second, the bot can only work on short statements. And bots can’t write books or do TV shows yet. So I think Phil is safe for now.

    Also: if a bot can replace the average AGWer, well, perhaps the average AGWer can’t argue better than a bot, i.e. better than a mindless chunk of code. Not a wise meme to spread around.

    Your missing the point. It isn’t that a ‘bot can replace the average AGWer, especially considering it the AGWers who are out there gathering all the evidence. The point is that a ‘bot is all that is need edto refute the average denialist. I strongly suspect the person who made that bot could present better arguments than the bot could, the point is that he didn’t need to, the denialist arguments are so terrible and repetitive that it doesn’t take even the slightest shred of intelligence to refute them, you just need to look up the proper answer in a database.

    Anybody wants to talk about these issues? If not, well, ’til next time…

    We would much rather talk about the science, but since you obviously have no interest whatsoever in the science then I guess this will have to suffice.

    ps “since the last thread you ducked out of” – this is the stupidest assertion of the year. It’s the internet, not a debating contest, so everyone is free to follow up on a discussion. Or not. And there is no rule saying whoever speaks last, speaks right.

    So you respond to this, meaning you did read Zetetic’s post, but you completely ignore his question about whether you have even the slightest shred of evidence backing up your position?

    You may think that by ignoring Zetetic’s question you could avoid it, but you answered it nonetheless.

  170. TheBlackCat: Both Zetetic and MTU have pretended that I was discussing things I was evidently not. That’s why I am not sure whom they want to talk to. A question like “If 98 out of 100 doctors told you that you had a problem then you’d listen to them and take it seriously wouldn’t you?” has nothing, nada, zilch, zero to do with what I wrote. It’s like they’re out there looking to talk to some kind of “denialist golem” of their own invention, not to me.

    And Xeno had said earlier (157): “The line has been drawn, and all that remains is grandstanding, as we collectively grind to a halt”. This is what I call the apocalyptic/rapture frame of mind. They _are_ “saying that all denialists cannot be convinced by the evidence”. The “big difference” you mention then, you should argue it with Xeno, not me.

    “what sort of evidence would convince you AGW is real?”: how many times do I have to repeat that I am convinced that AGW is real? It’s even in the About section of my blog. But no, the average AGWer can’t comprehend that some people could be convinced that AGW is real, and still ask questions, and still remain unconvinced that _catastrophic_ AGW is real.

    And BTW, to convince me that catastrophic AGW is real, all I need is for something catastrophic to happen. Given that mainstream climatology doesn’t expect that for 10 or maybe 20 years, I guess I’ll have to wait 8-P

    “I think Phil is safe for now”. Phil might be, but no budding BadClimatologist is, anymore.

    “a ‘bot is all that is need edto refute the average denialist”. You can only argue about your side. It’s illogical/naive/childish to pretend that any “refutation” is happening, unless recognized by the other side.

    “whether you have even the slightest shred of evidence backing up your position”. What position? Who knows? Who cares? Certainly, Zetetic doesn’t care. He talks to a caricature, not to me. Why should I care then?

  171. AJ in CA

    Mr Morabito: “Also: the whole career of a Mr Phil Plait has been based on counteracting anti-science statements as a person, not as a bot. Seeing Phil support this AGW bot is like seeing paper support fire. Hardly a good idea.”

    Heh, that did make me stop and think. As others have said, I don’t think Phil’s job is in danger anytime soon, but there’s definitely something to be said for thoughtful, human discussion, which is rare enough on the intertubes as it is.

    As far as AGW vs catastrophic AGW, I think scientists are in a bit of a pickle there. On one hand, their hard data shows warming, but not the long-term effects, so there’s still guesswork about that, and no one wants to be the boy who cried wolf. Policy-making isn’t even what scientists are good at.
    On the other hand, if there’s even a POSSIBILITY that tens of millions of people will starve to death, it seems wise to plan for the worst, doesn’t it?

  172. TheBlackCat

    Both Zetetic and MTU have pretended that I was discussing things I was evidently not. That’s why I am not sure whom they want to talk to.

    I’m not seeing that. You need to be more specific.

    A question like “If 98 out of 100 doctors told you that you had a problem then you’d listen to them and take it seriously wouldn’t you?” has nothing, nada, zilch, zero to do with what I wrote. It’s like they’re out there looking to talk to some kind of “denialist golem” of their own invention, not to me.

    No, it doesn’t, nor did he ever claim it did. In fact to me it seemed pretty clear that the question was not intended to be a response to that particular question, rather a more general question about your approach. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a legitimate question.

    And Xeno had said earlier (157): “The line has been drawn, and all that remains is grandstanding, as we collectively grind to a halt”. This is what I call the apocalyptic/rapture frame of mind. They _are_ “saying that all denialists cannot be convinced by the evidence”. The “big difference” you mention then, you should argue it with Xeno, not me.

    Talk about not replying to what the person actually said. Did you miss Xeno’s very next sentence?

    I guess that’s my summation of the issue, and I think it’s fair regardless of which side you pick.

    So Xeno was clearly accusing both sides of this, not just denialists.

    “what sort of evidence would convince you AGW is real?”: how many times do I have to repeat that I am convinced that AGW is real? It’s even in the About section of my blog.

    You mean the “About” section that is right next to the post labeled “Why AGW Is Logically Impossible”? You mean the about section where you quote someone else, but don’t actually state what your own opinion is? The about section that says nothing about whether the current warming is caused by humans? The about section that claims that it has not been determined the greenhouse gasses are even “a major cause of the warming”, not to mention the major cause? That about section?

    I should add that the question “If 98 out of 100 doctors told you that you had a problem then you’d listen to them and take it seriously wouldn’t you?” exactly matches what is practically the only statement by you in the entire About section, namely this: “I do not “believe” in the IPCC, in the AGU, in the Hadley Centre, in 2,500 scientists and experts, in Svensmark, in Lindzen, in Crichton, in yourself, in SciAm, in American Scientist, in any skeptic or AGW believer.” So for someone who seems to put such prominence on that page, you sure seem to lack any interest in defending it.

    But no, the average AGWer can’t comprehend that some people could be convinced that AGW is real, and still ask questions, and still remain unconvinced that _catastrophic_ AGW is real.

    I have yet to see such a person, but I suppose it is possible.

  173. Zetetic

    Maurizio Morabito @ #171:

    Not sure who Zetetic and Messier Tidy Upper want to converse with. It can’t be me as I am way past making the silly statements they’re attributing to me

    My! You certainly seem to have a problem with misrepresenting what others say don’t you?
    Sometime we are referring to denialists, sometimes we are referring to you, sometime were are referring to others that are anti-AGW but are not “denialists”. You seem to be the one having difficulty making such a distinction.

    In the last thread you seemed to be prone to that as well, this seems to be a pattern for you Maurizio. I guess that’s all you really have when your position isn’t represented by evidence but rather a refusal to accept scientific conclusions (according to you, the consequences of AGW in this case), the only way to continue supporting your position is to keeps scoring rhetorical points.

    You accused Steve @ #162 of not basing a position on science (even though Steve is supporting an evidence backed position) while you have been consistently attacking those that point out that AGW is happening, and apparently supporting an evidence-less position that AGW won’t be so bad.

    That is why I challenged you to provide credible scientific evidence that positively supports your position (that you feel that the AGW side is wrong about), and to those that don’t accept AGW (that it’s due to nature or not occurring). You left the prior thread before demonstrating such evidence or even really clarifying what your position was, and now you are here once again casting false aspersions on others. So I pointed out, yet again, your hypocrisy on that issue. Now I’ll grant that maybe you misinterpreted some of my comments to others on the anti-AGW side as being directed to you, but again that’s your mistake.

    by speaking of non-believers in catastrophic AGW like irrecoverable souls

    As was already explained to you clearly and repeatedly in the last thread, the only “irrecoverable souls” (to use your own words) are the denialists, not those that are still on the fence. That is who most of us are making the pro-AGW arguments to. You know that same people on the fence that you have been arguing that we should be communicating to.

    Why do you not acknowledge that you were wrong about that assertion? Simple, because it would cut into your effort to “score debate points” again.

    As to those that deserve the term “denialist”, the fact remains that there is no way to open such a person’s mind unless they are willing to admit to the possibility that they are wrong. Either way, not publicly discussing the issue (as you suggested in the other thread) will still do nothing to convene them either.

    Perhaps it’d be better to change tune if the goal is to remain into science instead.

    Hence the request for actual evidence that we have been making repeatedly and why we keep citing supporting scientific evidence, unlike the anti-AGW side.
    Odd how you seem to keep ignoring the requests for your evidnce…I wonder why?

    Also: if a bot can replace the average AGWer, well, perhaps the average AGWer can’t argue better than a bot, i.e. better than a mindless chunk of code.

    Still getting it backwards.
    As has been repeatedly pointed out to you (and the others), it is a reflection of how mindless the anti-AGW side has become, just repeating a list of long discredited talking-points. It’s very simple, if the anti-AGW side has nothing but a list discredited arguments that they keep repeating, that that is a problem for the anti-AGW side, not the AGW-is-real side.

    In the last thread I even asked the anti-AGWers to look at the list of discredited anti-AGW arguments to avoid that behavior, apparently they didn’t since it seems to have done little good. Once again, that gets back to why we keep asking for a scientific basis for the anti-AGW side.
    Again, you seem to keep ignoring that little detail.

    ps “since the last thread you ducked out of” – this is the stupidest assertion of the year. It’s the internet, not a debating contest, so everyone is free to follow up on a discussion.

    More false aspersions about others from you, it seems to be compulsive on your part. I never said that you couldn’t leave the thread. But, I found it amusing how you just dropped the conversation, while never addressing any of then points made against you. Nor did you apologizing for misrepresenting the position of others. Yet a few days after the thread had finally died down you still found the time to make a trakback link.

    So are you now ready to address the points raised against you earlier, in the other thread?

    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————

    Maurizio Morabito @ #173:

    TheBlackCat: Both Zetetic and MTU have pretended that I was discussing things I was evidently not.

    No, you’ve just been misrepresenting what others have said again.
    As above, you implied that those on the side backed by science of not being on the side of science (and it’s not the first time you’ve made that assertion) while conveniently ignoring the lack of science on the anti-AGW side.

    It’s like they’re out there looking to talk to some kind of “denialist golem” of their own invention, not to me.

    It’s amusing how someone can whinge endlessly about how other are misrepresenting their position, yet spend so little effort actually clarifying their position. If you don’t clarify your position more, then what else are we to judge your position by than your statements so far?

    how many times do I have to repeat that I am convinced that AGW is real?

    Repeat it?!?!
    That’s the first time you actually said anything like those words in two threads! Yet you have the gall after being deliberately vague about your own position ( but oh-so critical of, putting words “in the mouths of” and generally misrepresenting, everyone that thinks AGW is real) of misrepresenting you?!?!

    Meanwhile your blog also has a tab for “Why AGW Is Logically Impossible” that is nothing more that a list of arguments from incredulity and attempts to discredit the work of others.
    How odd…

    It’s even in the About section of my blog.

    Why should we want to go to your blog to drive up your hit count, when you’re either too lazy, or dishonest, to clearly state your position here? In fact I pointed out that exact same problem in the last thread, and here you are doing it yet again.

    AGWer can’t comprehend that some people could be convinced that AGW is real, and still ask questions, and still remain unconvinced that _catastrophic_ AGW is real.

    Once again you’re making unsupported assumptions about others on the AGW side.

    We’re quite aware of that position, but the science still supports the notion of serious disruption if things continue the way they are. Is there a degree of uncertainty? Yes, there always is when making projections (especially when the warming trend appears to be unprecedented) but even the more conservative of the current estimates (which assume CO2 reduction) aren’t looking harmless. The anti-AGW side, and their oil-funded pundits, aren’t helping there either with their FUD campaigns. So care to tell us how not convincing the public is supposed to convince the public again?

    There are 3 main questions about AGW…
    1) Is it real? The evidence says yes. How odd that for someone that claims to believe that AGW is happening, that you seem to not be making any effort to convince those that have there doubts about the reality of the subject and seem to be defending them.

    2) How bad will it be? This is the one you now claim to have a problem with, and granted it’s the one with the greatest level on uncertainty. Especially since any changes we make now will effect the outcome later. Regardless there is a great deal of evidence that it’s just a question of “How bad will it get?”.

    3) What should be done about it? There are lots of options, but the first requirement is political will/public support. Odd how you want everyone on the AGW side to be quite there, while having no complaints about the anti-AGW side.

    So tell us, since you seem to be consistently deliberately vague on the subject of AGW and it’s consequences, do you have an opposition to trying to control CO2 emissions? Do you object in spite of the other benefits that switching to cleaner energy will entail? If so why? Please tell us here without pushing your blog yet again.

    to convince me that catastrophic AGW is real, all I need is for something catastrophic to happen.

    [sarc]
    Oh great! So in order to convince your that we should prevent a problem from occurring we should just let it happen, and to hell with the consequences. Never mind what is already occurring, or what has happened in the past, the science behind the projections, or the potential cost in both lives and the economy. That will be no problem at all!
    [/sarc]

    Meanwhile the ice keeps melting, malaria is spreading, the ocean’s pH keeps dropping, etc.
    That’s quite an ego you have there Maurizio.

    “whether you have even the slightest shred of evidence backing up your position”. What position? Who knows? Who cares?

    For someone that claims to be championing the side of non-partisan objectivity I would have though that evidence would be of paramount concern to you. How odd that it’s not.

    What position?

    That’s a good question since you seem to be talking out of both side of your mouth.
    While you consistently criticize the AGW-is-real side while being silent on the problems of the anti-AGW side. For those simply point out that AGW is real you’ve labeled them as “alarmists” and told them to stop trying to convince the public that AGW is real. All while at the same time objecting to calling the anti-AGWers that are acting in a denialist manner towards AGW as “denialists”.

    Certainly, Zetetic doesn’t care. He talks to a caricature, not to me.

    No, Maurizio you have been consistently dishonest, vague, condescending, insulting and evasive so far. Your apparently faux “I’m just being objective” act isn’t very convincing.

    I care about those that want to pursue the issue honestly and are concerned with the science. Unfortunately, so far you have shown no such inclination so I’m just pointing it out to others. You have been consistently misrepresenting what others said (and never acknowledged that) and have been critical of just one side, while offering nothing constructive or informative in return.

  174. TheBlackCat

    And BTW, to convince me that catastrophic AGW is real, all I need is for something catastrophic to happen. Given that mainstream climatology doesn’t expect that for 10 or maybe 20 years, I guess I’ll have to wait 8-P

    I somehow missed this the first time through, or you added it after I refreshed. Whatever the case, this puts you firmly in the “no possible evidence can convince me” camp. You get all in a huff when people even imply that there might be people on the denialist side who can’t be convinced by the evidence, yet you readily admit you are too closed-minded to even think about the evidence.

    That, of course, explains why you find it so offensive. You obviously don’t like having your own closed-mindedness pointed out to you.

    Image your response in the Doctor’s office:

    “So, Doctor, is my tumor cancerous or not?”
    “Don’t worry, it isn’t cancerous.”
    “That’s a relief. I’m glad the tests came back negative.”
    “Actually, all the tests came back positive.”
    “But I though you said I don’t have cancer?”
    “You don’t, I don’t believe the tests”
    “Is this the standard opinion amongst oncologists?”
    “No, pretty much every expert in the field trusts the tests.”
    “Except you..”
    “Well, I’m not actually a cancer expert per-se”
    “How much experience do you have with cancer?”
    “If you had it, which you don’t, this would be my first time”.
    “So I suppose at the very least this is based on the medical literature.”
    “No, according to the literature it is a pretty clear-cut case of cancer. But I don’t trust the literature, either.”
    “So what specific reason do you have to conclude that it isn’t cancerous?”
    “I’m not telling.”
    “You can’t give me any reason?”
    “I can tell you that it seems too much of a coincidence that the tumor is growing and becoming irregular-shaped at the same time. ”
    “Isn’t that what cancer is supposed to do?”
    “That is exactly the problem. It is way too much of a coincidence that the tumor is behaving exactly like you would expect a tumor to behave. The probability of that happening by chance is miniscule.”
    “Aren’t there any additional tests we can do that would settle the matter?”
    “I don’t trust any of the tests.”
    “So what would convince you it is cancer?”
    “If the tumor kills you, the I might believe it’s cancer, but even then I can’t be entirely sure it isn’t something else that killed you.”
    “Thanks for your time, Doctor”

  175. Zetetic

    @ TheBlackCat post #177:

    LOL!
    I like that one, but I predict that Maurizio Morabito will do one of five things….
    1) He will ignore it entirely.

    2) He will ignore the subtext of your story, and will instead say that such a situation doesn’t apply to his position since it was the doctor that was denying the cancer, instead of it being a patient disputing the projected progression and malignancy of the disease.

    3) He will try to use it as an example of how the AGW side is being so mean and misrepresenting his position yet again, while still avoiding being specific about said position.

    4) He will try to come up with a “counter story”, that fails to actually match AGW reasoning except in the sense that it matches his seemingly over generalized and stereotyped views of the AGW proponents.

    5) Some combination of #2, #3, and/or #4.

    I still like it though. ;)

  176. I will definitely ignore you, Zetetic. As for the Black Cat, he’s at least tried to figure out what I am actually saying instead of speaking to a ghost.

    One day you might come back with some (short!) comment or answer to the three issues I have raised, then we might or might not have a chat. 8-)
    As “If 98 out of 100 doctors told you that you had a problem then you’d listen to them and take it seriously wouldn’t you?”. Yes. I am taking it seriously enough to dedicate the vast majority of my blogging to it. Only thing, I can’t stand doctors that fudge&bodge their data. Can anybody?

    And can’t stand doctors that suggest the solution is to give up a large chunk of personal freedoms. Benjamin Franklin had that one right.

    ps for the Black Cat…anybody that can’t get the humor in the “Why AGW is a logical impossibility” page, won’t understand any explanation of it either. I’ll keep the in-joke private, thank you.

  177. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ 177. TheBlackCat : LOL. Classic satire there. I like it too :-)

    Shame its so late in the thread, that should be saved & quoted again next time this debate rears its ugly head.

    Also notice how Maurizio Morabito never answered my question asked in comment #168?

    @171. Maurizio Morabito :

    Not sure who Zetetic and Messier Tidy Upper want to converse with. It can’t be me as I am way past making the silly statements they’re attributing to me

    I was having fun & being silly with your line about Climate Rapture in my comment #168 – but I was using a direct quote from your earlier comment :

    ***

    162. Maurizio Morabito Says:
    November 7th, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Steve Metzler/Xeno : you people sound like if the (Climate) Rapture had already taken place..”it’s just not worth it…the line has been drawn”…are you sure _you_ are on the side of science???

    ***

    so, yes, I’m talking to you! :roll:

    BTW. Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’m on the side of the science here. ;-)

    @173. Maurizio Morabito Says:
    November 8th, 2010 at 10:27 am

    TheBlackCat: Both Zetetic and MTU have pretended that I was discussing things I was evidently not. That’s why I am not sure whom they want to talk to. A question like “If 98 out of 100 doctors told you that you had a problem then you’d listen to them and take it seriously wouldn’t you?” has nothing, nada, zilch, zero to do with what I wrote. It’s like they’re out there looking to talk to some kind of “denialist golem” of their own invention, not to me.

    So, why not just answer the flippin’ question then?

    Oh & it has to do with my confusion over whether you accept we have a problem when it comes to Anthropogenic Global Warming here or not. 98% of climatologists are saying that we do. I get the strog impression you vehemently disagree with them.

    how many times do I have to repeat that I am convinced that AGW is real?

    You are convinced AGW is real? Honestly? You certainly haven’t given me that impression in your posts here so far. :roll:

    And BTW, to convince me that catastrophic AGW is real, all I need is for something catastrophic to happen.

    Yeah, when those scientists promise a horrendous global disaster I want to really *see* a need to see a horrendous global disaster before I believe it! ;-)

    What precisely would be “catastrophic” enough for you, Maurizio Morabito? Do tell.

    Also you do realise that if we start getting huge catastrophes it may already be too late to avoid a situation where there are an awful lot more catastrophes – that we could’ve avoided if we’d acted sooner.

    Hmm .. Imagine this : we’re on a train heading for a cliff with the bridge out ahead so let’s just sit tight until we ‘re *over* the edge and only *then* worry about it. Is that really going to be your approach? :-O

    ***
    EDIT to add : Just seen Maurizio Morabito’s comment #179 appear.

  178. Sime

    QuietDesperation @5
    November 4th, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    “I have to say Obama disappointed on this front with the India (and elsewhere) trip. Forget the debate over cost. How many ships and airplanes? Cripes!”

    Er that would be the US right wing media BS machine otherwise known as the “Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda” or German: Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda AKA FOX News…. Get a coffee, sit back and enjoy Rachel Maddow rip em a new one…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBxzMMCokpI&feature=player_embedded

  179. Messier Tidy Upper

    @179. Maurizio Morabito :

    As “If 98 out of 100 doctors told you that you had a problem then you’d listen to them and take it seriously wouldn’t you?”. Yes. I am taking it seriously enough to dedicate the vast majority of my blogging to it. Only thing, I can’t stand doctors that fudge&bodge their data. Can anybody?

    So you are saying that 98 out of 100 doctors / climatologists here are fudging and bodging their data? :roll:

    Really? That’s pretty durn hard to beleive.

    One or two climatologists got it wrong or exaggerated for whatever reasons, maybe but so many? Seriously?

    Do you have any evidence to back up that extraordinary claim there?
    Not including the dead horse of climategate, please as that’s already been thoroughly debunked.

    Thinking of serious – back to the analogy here : 98 out of 100 doctors tell you you’ve got a problem and your response is to seriously blog online saying you still unconvinced that you do have a problem and those doctors must *all* just be lying about it? Wow. :roll:

  180. Sime

    Ron@12

    “In the 70s scientists said the Earth was cooling!”, You say that’s wrong.

    Actually, that was right and you’re wrong. I grew up in the ’70’s and the scientists did say the Earth was cooling. They said every day, just like you say the earth is getting warmer.”

    ====

    Er, no they did NOT. The media did not the scientists and there is a big difference. That particular myth has been debunked more times than a pair of trouser gets removed in a house of disrepute.

    There were some 51 relevant scientific papers written during that decade relating to this issue 44 of which predicted warming 6 cooling the media chose to concentrate on the latter not the scientists.

    In the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) by Thomas Peterson, William Connolley, and John Fleck, which concluded:

    “There was no scientific consensus in the 1970s that the Earth was headed into an imminent ice age. Indeed, the possibility of anthropogenic warming dominated the peer-reviewed literature even then.”

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/11/08/the-global-cooling-myth-dies-again/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/01/the-global-cooling-myth/

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s.htm

  181. Nigel Depledge

    Charles (161) said:

    At the bottom of this list I only want to say AGW is nonsense. Climate changes. Nothing new here except to say warming is good.

    This is childishly simplistic, and quite wrong.

    Or do you think that seeing Manhatten, most of London, most of Belgium, the Netherlands and Bangladesh and large parts of Louisiana and Florida disappear underwater would be a good thing?

    The data unavoidably point to three conclusions:
    (1) GW is happening as it has not since the end of the last ice age;
    (2) Human activity is almost certainly the major cause of the current trend;
    (3) It is certainly a Bad Thing for human society (note: not so much for life in general).

  182. Messier Tidy Upper (182): perfect example you give me. I say “I can’t stand doctors that fudge&bodge their data” and you reply to an imaginary “98 out of 100 doctors / climatologists here are fudging and bodging their data”.

    Pointless, to reply to you any further.

  183. TheBlackCat

    One day you might come back with some (short!) comment or answer to the three issues I have raised, then we might or might not have a chat. 8-)

    I responded to them back in comment 172 and you completely ignored me. You responded to another part of that comment, but totally ignored the part where I addressed all of the points you raised. So you either conveniently missed the 3/4 of the post that dealt with the issues, or you are intentionally ignoring responses to those issues. Zetetic also responded back in post 176. Or are you saying his post is too long for you to be bothered to read?

    anybody that can’t get the humor in the “Why AGW is a logical impossibility” page, won’t understand any explanation of it either. I’ll keep the in-joke private, thank you.

    Ah, yes, the “I was just kidding” defense. Can you really dig any deeper?

    Don’t answer that.

  184. Zetetic

    Maurizio Morabito @ #179:

    I will definitely ignore you, Zetetic.

    That’s OK , you’ve long since demonstrated an inability to be open and honest about the subject(s). As I told you before (in the last thread), my comments are really for others reading the discussion. Perhaps when you’re finally willing to admit your errors and misrepresentations of others we can have a real conversation.

    As for the Black Cat, he’s at least tried to figure out what I am actually saying instead of speaking to a ghost.

    And right away you start with yet more lies. In my last post I made it quite clear that I understood what you claim your position is after you finally stated a very small portion of it for the first time in at least two threads.

    BTW before you continue playing the poor little martyr you might want to re-read my posts, I never actually claimed that you didn’t accept AGW as a whole, I asked you questions about it to ascertain your position in the last thread. Questions which you made a direct point of ignoring. Think I did make such an assertion? Then please feel free to point out exactly where I made such a claim.

    Or, do you think that you’re the first person with an anti-science agenda to join in on a thread attacking and insulting others while being deliberately vague about one’s position, just so later you can cry how others are misrepresenting you? It’s a very old rhetorical trick among those opposing a scientifically based position.

    One day you might come back with some (short!) comment or answer to the three issues I have raised, then we might or might not have a chat.

    I did, but you ignored them too, unless you are referring to some other three issues that you haven’t specified yet. Just as you have ignored all of the other points raised against your statements so far.

    As for the limits of your attention span…. Perhaps if you tried lying less I could keep my replies shorter.

    Only thing, I can’t stand doctors that fudge&bodge their data.

    Yet another claim curiously devoid of specifics… Gee I wonder why?

    And can’t stand doctors that suggest the solution is to give up a large chunk of personal freedoms.

    Even ignoring the fallacy you are committing of Appeal to Consequences, and for Appeal to Emotion, it has been already pointed out to you that’s not expressly true. Especially when many such changes can be made without restricting individual freedoms. As I’ve already stated before, I prefer lees intrusive means to accomplish the same goal, and I prefer using a “carrot” to get people to do the right thing rather than a “stick”.

    Of course in some cases it will come down to the old question of balancing the rights of some against the rights of others, but then you’ve never come close to discussing that subject either. Instead, as usual, you are still projecting your own fears and making blanket assumptions about the AGW side rather than trying to have an actual dialog with us. I even previously asked you questions about your position on the subject, yet you still ignored them too. Perhaps if you had bothered to try and actually discuss the subject rather than making insults and false accusations about others, then we could have had mature discussion on the subject, but that doesn’t seem to be your intent at all.

    ps for the Black Cat…anybody that can’t get the humor in the “Why AGW is a logical impossibility” page, won’t understand any explanation of it either. I’ll keep the in-joke private, thank you.

    And yet your posters seem to think you are being serious, and you aren’t doing anything to correct them. Funny that….but, yes I can see your attempt at “humor” and it makes for an amusing example of projection on your part. It’s a pity that you can’t seem to see the problem that is right in front of you.

    Do you really think that you’re the first denialist (I haven’t actually called you that before, but at this point I think you’ve earned it, at least when it comes to the consequences of AGW) to have resorted to the “I’m just kidding!” defense when you got caught making a stupid argument?

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
    Maurizio Morabito @ #185:

    Pointless, to reply to you any further.

    LOL! Someone asks you to back up your baseless assertions, and so you then decide to just stick your fingers in your ears and play word games rather than answer the simple question.

    Poor Maurizio. Yup, you’re definitely behaving as a denialist.
    Making baseless assertions, not admitting even simple mistakes, not answering direct questions.
    All very typical.

    Thank you for proving that my initial impressions of you (in the last thread) were correct.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    @ TheBlackCat:

    I’ll admit that I’m a bit surprised, it looks like my prediction #1 was the correct one. I would have bet on #5.

  185. Zetetic

    A minor correction to my last post….
    “As for the limits of your attention span…. Perhaps if you tried lying less I could keep my replies shorter.”

    Should have instead been…
    “As for the limits of your attention span…. Perhaps if you tried lying less (and being more open and direct about your position) I could keep my replies shorter.”

    Sorry about leaving that out before.

  186. R7

    Messier Tidy upper says:

    If 98 out of 100 doctors told you that you had a problem then you’d listen to them and take it seriously wouldn’t you?


    Why then do you reject what 98 out of 100 climatologists are telling us and are denying that there is a problem with Anthropogenic Global Warming? How is that situation different?

    Probably because the incentives for doctors are different from climate scientists that are funded by government.

  187. R7

    Correction to my last comment, I referred to private doctors.

  188. Zetetic

    R7 @ #189:

    Probably because the incentives for doctors are different from climate scientists that are funded by government.

    Quite true. A medical doctors job is to be paid by whatever individual or agency is funding him/her to diagnose and treat patients (assuming funding is allowed).

    For climate researchers it’s to determine the truth about the climate as determined by the evidence. That is what they are paid for, whether they get the results they thought they would find, or not. While stepping on political toes may get a report to be “reworded” the way to kill one’s long term scientific carrier is to conduct bad science. That is also why reports supporting AGW are routinely suppressed or “edited” by administrations with deep ties to fossil fuels (i.e. the last few Bush administrations in the USA). Of course there are a wide range independent researchers from around the world that all come to the same conclusion with multiple independent line of evidence, so one administration’s tampering does little to stop the advance of scientific climate knowledge even with the opposition of some administrations in some governments.

    I wonder which is more plausible….

    1) That AGW is real, as is determined by multiple lines of independent evidence from multiple fields of science (and with people of diverse political views) from around the world, and as was predicted by physics long before climatological evidence came to light. Also, that they are trying to inform the public out of concern for the future if trends continue as they have been according to the best available evidence. Meanwhile the anti-AGW side has been unable to provide any credible evidence that contradicts AGW (in spite of lots of fossil fuel money and decades of opportunity to do so) because there is no such credible evidence that actually contradicts AGW. So instead the fossil fuel industry spends money on FUD campaigns run by think-tanks and publicized by politicians and friendly members of the media.

    -or-
    2) That there is a world wide cabal made of the overwhelming majority of climate researchers, and researchers in a wide range of other fields, that are conspiring with politicians to to present evidence for AGW, and it’s consequences. All for the benefit of politicians that for little reason want to waste money on projects that have little direct benefit to them and will usually not have any real payoff until after those politicians are long out of office, even though there are plenty of other projects governments could be wasting money on that would be more directly beneficial to political carriers. Also, that these same scientists are trying to advance such a conspiracy in spite of opposition from many political administrations (i.e. Ken Cuccinelli) and numerous death threats from the public. Apparently this cabal is also so powerful that in spite of the vast amounts of money, media connections, and power in the fossil fuel industry, they (the cabal) have been completely able to thwart any research over the last few decades to show that AGW isn’t happening and/or poses no risk. (Odd isn’t it how this alleged cabal is similar to the ones that are alleged to be hiding evidence of the Biblical account of Creation, hiding proof of extraterrestrial visitation, that vaccines cause autism, and so on? Or of how little evidence there is for this alleged group?)

    Personally, I’m betting that choice #1 is the more plausible explanation. While many in the anti-AGW side apparently thinks that number #2 is more plausible.

  189. Nigel Depledge

    R7 (190) said:

    Correction to my last comment, I referred to private doctors.

    So, presumably, then, you argument fails when applied in a country in which most of the doctors are government-funded. Say, a country with a National Health Service.

    Here in the UK, I can see the validity of MTU’s analogy despite most doctors being paid by the government.

    The task of the doctor is still to diagnose the illness and either provide the best care available or give the best advice available.

    The task of a climatologist is still to determine the truth about what the climate is doing, and provide the best advice that they can. This is what they are doing.

    Many climatologists are unhappy with the IPCC because its reports are so cautious. The data that the scientists find is telling them that things are likely to be worse than the IPCC is saying. The IPCC publishes only what it believes to be rock-solid supported information, with perhaps one or two noted exceptions. The general message is sound, and founded on good science.

  190. Nigel Depledge

    Maurizio Morabito (179) said:

    I will definitely ignore you, Zetetic.

    This statement is an oxymoron.

    . . .
    As “If 98 out of 100 doctors told you that you had a problem then you’d listen to them and take it seriously wouldn’t you?”. Yes. I am taking it seriously enough to dedicate the vast majority of my blogging to it.

    So, you believe climatologists enough to take the issue “seriously”, but you refuse to believe the data they have accumulated? In what universe does that make sense?

    Only thing, I can’t stand doctors that fudge&bodge their data. Can anybody?

    Well, duh, no. But how is this relevant to anything?

    And can’t stand doctors that suggest the solution is to give up a large chunk of personal freedoms. Benjamin Franklin had that one right.

    So, you consider yourself to have the right to ruin the planet for everyone else? Egocentric much?

    ps for the Black Cat…anybody that can’t get the humor in the “Why AGW is a logical impossibility” page, won’t understand any explanation of it either. I’ll keep the in-joke private, thank you.

    IOW, you have no defence for whatever absurdities are expounded on that page.

  191. R7

    Nigel Depledge says:

    The task of the doctor is still to diagnose the illness and either provide the best care available or give the best advice available.

    A government doctor maybe tasked to provide the best care available, but does he have the incentive to do so?

  192. TheBlackCat

    No less so than a private doctor, since they are still competing for patients. Insurance companies, which are really who is paying private doctors, certainly don’t have any incentive whatsoever to guarantee the best care available, they have an incentive to provide the cheapest or no care. On the other hand private doctors have an incentive to provide the most expensive care. Whether government-funded doctors do depends somewhat on how they are paid.

  193. R7

    TheBlackCat says:

    No less so than a private doctor, since they are still competing for patients

    I doubt the incentives for doctors in the British NHS (a monopoly for most patients) will be the same as competing private doctors. A government monopoly will also have different incentives and protections against lawsuits than competing private companies.

  194. Zetetic

    @ R7:

    Sorry, but all of which has what exactly to do with the scientific evidence from multiple fields, using multiple lines of investigation, from countries from around the world, all pointing to the same general conclusion with no credible contradicting evidence? Also, doing so in spite of both political opposition and public death threats.

  195. TheBlackCat (#186): I didn’t say “I was kidding”. In fact, I can’t see how the “AGW is a logical impossibility” page can be interpreted as “kidding”. I said that some people “can’t get the humor” in that page (and in fact, you can’t), and humor is to kidding what gold is to pyrite (this at least should be common knowledge).

    So looks like it is your turn now _not_ to reply to what I _actually_ write, but to _invent_ all sorts of _pretty stupid_ concepts and _arbitrarily_ assign them to me. All more the reason to move on to some other web page, rather than waste time in writing something that you guys will twist beyond recognition.

    Please do yourselves a favor and stop playing with your own self-made straw men.

  196. Zetetic

    Oh dear.
    With the way Maurizio can’t clearly say anything and never responds to actual questions and points, soon there will no one left for him to respond to.

    Still more rhetorical games, and egotistical insults, but nothing of any substance from Maurizio.

    Nice of you to at least admit (through implication) that you do think your inane little “Why AGW is a logical impossibility” is in fact serious. Especially after you had earlier tried to play it down.

    What’s the matter Marurizio? Are you having trouble keeps your lies and evasions straight? You could try being honest and forthcoming for a change, it’s much easier.

    Oh, but then you couldn’t play the poor beleaguered martyr anymore, could you?

  197. TheBlackCat

    So looks like it is your turn now _not_ to reply to what I _actually_ write, but to _invent_ all sorts of _pretty stupid_ concepts and _arbitrarily_ assign them to me.

    Sorry, I assumed you were saying something that was actually relevant to the discussion rather than something that had absolutely not point whatsoever. I am very sorry for giving you the benefit of the doubt, I assure you it is a mistake I will not make again.

    To refresh your memory, you claimed that it was clear from your “about” page that you accepted AGW. I pointed out that your about page was right next to a page saying that AGW as logically impossible. Your reply was that I wasn’t getting the humor. I assumed that since that was written as a direct reply to my earlier post, you intended it to be a reply to that post. You’ve made it clear now that you were just obfuscating so you didn’t have to deal with the painfully obvious contradiction, but I foolishly assumed you actually intended to respond to my point. The only way I could see, and the only way I can still see, that your post could be even the slightest bit of a response to mine was if the logical contradiction page was a joke.

    I should add that I am not the only one who interpreted your post that way. It seems others also foolishly assumed you would act in good faith.

    Have you ever considered the possibility that maybe the reason that everybody seems to get the wrong idea about what you are saying is because you aren’t being clear? You assume everyone else is trying to misrepresent you, but I can tell you that at least for me I am doing my best to understand what your position, but you are acting so evasive it is impossible to figure out what you actually think about just about anything.

  198. “because you aren’t being clear?”

    Well, it’s my blog after all so if I want to spend my night writing gibberish, who should care? But then when I intervene in a discussion, and the people that bother replying do so by twisting what I mean to say and jumping to straw-men at once, rather than trying to engage and figure out if they have misunderstood, pardon, if I misexpressed myself, then my decision to dis-engage at once makes perfect sense…considering also that some of my interlocutors (Zetetic) cling to such idiotic ideas as “if you don’t reply, you have no arguments”, something that would have left us all still posting on Usenet about threads opened 15 years ago, if true.

  199. TheBlackCat

    Well, it’s my blog after all so if I want to spend my night writing gibberish, who should care?

    If you don’t care, why do you keep complaining about it? You are the one who told us to use your blog to determine what your position is, but that is impossible since your blog is self-contradictory.

    But then when I intervene in a discussion, and the people that bother replying do so by twisting what I mean to say and jumping to straw-men at once

    Once again, they didn’t jump to straw-men, they drew the best conclusion they could given your outright refusal to actually specify what your position actually is. You still haven’t told us what your position is.

    if I misexpressed myself, then my decision to dis-engage at once makes perfect sense…

    Perhaps to you, to me it would make much more sense that I would clarify my position and answer questions asked of me. If someone doesn’t understand me, I don’t run away I try to explain myself better. But that’s just me.

    considering also that some of my interlocutors (Zetetic) cling to such idiotic ideas as “if you don’t reply, you have no arguments”, something that would have left us all still posting on Usenet about threads opened 15 years ago, if true.

    No, he clings to the idea that “if you reply, but refuse to post any arguments despite repeated requests to do so, the most likely reason is that you have no arguments”. There is a big difference between not replying at all, and replying but ignoring questions.

  200. Zetetic

    Maurizio Morabito @ #201:

    considering also that some of my interlocutors (Zetetic) cling to such idiotic ideas as “if you don’t reply, you have no arguments”

    Because they must be super secret arguments that you can only hint at but never really tell us…right? Actually, I never said that you don’t have any arguments, just apparently not any good ones.

    Funny how you come here and start immediately insulting everyone, not admitting that you were wrong when it was clearly pointed out to you (repeatedly). Yet in spite of your claims that you have valid position it takes you several posts over two threads to even begin to barely describe what the position is, since you’re too busy throwing around insults and false accusations while being a vague as possible, all while playing the poor little martyr.

    So, please tell us Maurizio, if you really think that the subject of CAGW is so important that you’ve devoted a blog to it…What exactly do you have that actually supports your contention that CAGW isn’t real?

    We’ve been asking you to support your position for a while but all we keep getting is more hot air.

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