No Denying the Implied Context for Climate Denier

By Keith Kloor | June 19, 2012 11:53 am

My previous post on Nature’s use of “denier” in a recently published paper has triggered a lively comment thread, including this question to me:

Since you obviously object to the usefulness of the term “˜denier’, would you care to comment on its appropriateness after considering Micha Tomkiewicz“˜s thoughts?

This is in reference to several provocative blog posts by a Holocaust survivor (and physics professor) who, several months ago, asked:

But what about climate change deniers? Can we really compare the two, the Holocaust and climate change? Does this have anything to do with science?

Shortly after this appeared, I did have some thoughts on the heated debate over the meaning of climate “denier,” and cobbled them together in a post for another site. For reasons that I won’t divulge (it’s complicated), that post never appeared. But now seems like a good time to put it up here:

A frequent lament of climate campaigners is that “disinformation” from contrarians and ideologues opposed to any action on global warming continues to muddy the larger public conversation.  The stalled politics (in the U.S. and several other countries) frustrates many who regard climate change as an existential threat to future generations. Much of their ire, rightly or wrongly, is often directed at fossil fuel interests, conservative think tanks, and climate skeptics.

So it’s not surprising that a recent  forum at Penn State University was devoted to the climate “disinformation campaign.” The first speaker, Donald Brown, a climate ethicist at Penn State, argued that the last 25 years of potential action have been lost because of deliberate “disinformation” from the aforementioned. The continuation of such tactics led Brown to suggest:

I think we should encourage a conversation whether this is some kind of new crime against humanity. It is really evil stuff. It is nasty.

Predictably, this lit up various precincts of the climate blogosphere. Never mind that Brown was essentially repeating something he’d already written a few years earlier.

There are others who want to move the climate conversation on to this same highly charged moral terrain. For instance, just weeks after the Penn State forum, Micha Tomkiewicz, a Brooklyn college physics professor, triggered a firestorm after he explicitly associated  denial of climate change with denial of the Holocaust. Most (if not all) climate commentators studiously avoid making such a direct comparison. Some shy away from using the “denier” label altogether because of the connotation.

What was especially striking about Tomkiewicz’s use of it is his personal history: He is a Holocaust survivor. He invoked his personal history while also saying that global warming today might result in the “potential genocide of billions of people.” Thus, denial of climate change, he argued, was akin to “a self-inflicted genocide.”

In a follow-up post Tomkiewicz elaborated:

But, of course, I am using the term “denier” to make a point.  In 1933, very few people believed that Hitler would seriously try to accomplish what he preached and almost no one could imagine the consequences of his deadly reign.  Although there was evidence available ““ Hitler was clear about what he wanted to do in Mein Kampf ““ why did people not pay attention?  These “deniers” might as well have been called skeptics in their day.

I make my “climate change denier” claim for one reason.  It’s easy today to teach students to condemn the Holocaust, but it’s much more difficult to teach them how to try to prevent future genocides.  There are different kinds of genocides and they don’t repeat themselves; they come to us in different ways.  I am not suggesting that the Holocaust is just like climate change.  But what I am suggesting is that it’s hard to see a genocide ““ any genocide ““ coming.  The future is hard to predict, but we can see this one coming.  This genocide is of our own making, and it will effect everyone, not just one group or country.

This line of reasoning takes climate rhetoric to a new level. Judging by the varied responses from across the environment/climate-concerned spectrum, most people are not going there. [Perhaps the editors at Nature should take note.]

Others reject the validity of the moral equivalence frame altogether. Mark Hoofnagle at his Denialism blog (his subject is the phenomena of denial as it relates to all science-related issues) wrote:

I do not think that a moral comparison need be made between holocaust deniers and climate change denialists. The only comparison needed is between their tactics, which are dishonest and intellectually bankrupt”¦The comparison between climate denialists and other denialists should come from the fact that they argue the exact same way, and it should end there. Holocaust denial and climate change denial share many features, as does evolution denialism, HIV/AIDS denialism, vaccine crankery, 9/11 trutherism etc., that is they use rhetorical tricks to deny a body of evidence that contradicts an ideological position.

This most recent clash over labels and Holocaust/climate change analogies is reminiscent of the controversy stirred up by NASA climate scientist James Hansen’s provocative metaphorical statement in 2007:

If we cannot stop the building of more coal-fired power plants, those coal trains will be death trains “” no less gruesome than if they were boxcars headed to crematoria, loaded with uncountable irreplaceable species.

As Andrew Revkin noted  at the time, scientists and environmental campaigners have for several decades “been on an ongoing quest for imagery and analogies sufficiently jarring to focus public attention on global warming.”

Today, that quest remains just as elusive and contentious as ever.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    thanks for the post Keith. Now could you anwser the question ;) ?

  • Michael Larkin

    Blast, Keith, immediately after I made a post to your last thread, you posted there to say that you’d started this thread. So I hope you will forgive me if I re-post below.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    As if it would make any difference to you?

  • Michael Larkin

    Picking up signals from some newly-discovered planet, we become aware that some sort of highly polarised argument is in progress. We’re not quite sure what it’s about, but it’s apparent that one side, A, enjoys the support of the majority of the elites, although opposition from the other side, B, may be numerically comparable.

    We note that many A’s use denigratory pejoratives, and increasingly, believe that the B’s are mentally afflicted: in fact, in need of psychological remediation. Whilst it’s true that many B’s think of A’s in similar ways, since A’s are generally supported by the elites, and elites hold the power, the situation isn’t completely symmetrical.

    Eventually, we discover that the argument is about an issue that is thought of as being scientific. How strange, we think. If it’s about a scientific issue, then we wouldn’t expect the use of pejoratives and invective to try to win the argument–but rather, rational, sober debate. We’re tending to conclude, on balance, that whatever the issue is, it’s almost certainly still moot.

    Of course, we have the luxury of living on a planet where all our great arguments, particularly in the realm of science, are pursued in an utterly rational way. It’s so very hard for us to understand how and why events are unfolding on that distant planet in the way they are. We can only hope that in the fullness of time, its people will evolve as far as we have.

    Some of our investigators claim to have been picking up a few signals from a third group, C. These investigators believe that the C’s actually are showing signs of evolution to our level. If so, we can only wish them well and hope we can one day accept all their planet’s peoples into our Galactic Federation of Rational Sentient Beings.

  • Keith Kloor

    Marlowe (1)

    This post answers your question to my satisfaction. I’m sorry if it’s not to yours, but I’m also not surprised.

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    I’ve always followed the Mark Hoofnagle definition of denialism and deniers (as comments on this blog, Curry’s, and others, can attest to). I am aware that there are individuals who would prefer to make the analogy to Holocaust deniers explicit, as well as many who do not. I
    think that the word denial and thus the label of denier is unquestionably at work in many non-Holocaust-related spheres, and I do not think it appropriate to cede the use of the word in all
    non-Holocaust-invoking connotations. To do so verges on the Orwellian.

    That being said, I tend not to lead with denier but rather with scare quotes around “skeptic”, but denialism is a term I use without apology.

    I do think it’s important to discriminate between the process of denialism and its hallmarks and simply writing of anyone with different policy preferences as “deniers”. It’s certainly conceivable for someone to accept the mainstream scientific conclusions regarding climate change, or the safety of nuclear power, or some other topic and still reject a policy outcome on non-scientific (e.g. economic, socio-political) grounds.

    Basically, Tomkiewicz is welcome to his own opinion and use of whatever language he wants, but his preferences shouldn’t be used to those who have used terminology with an objective, consistent justification preceding his or similar.

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    Basically, Tomkiewicz is welcome to his own opinion and use of whatever
    language he wants, but his preferences shouldn’t be used to blugeon those who
    have used terminology with an objective, consistent justification
    preceding his or similar.

  • Michael Larkin

    I’d add that if Tomkiewicz, the holocaust survivor, is correct in believing that CAGW is a reality, then his argument might have merit.

    But that’s the whole point: we do not know if his belief is correct. Suppose in an alternate reality, Hitler, Mein Kampf nothwithstanding, hadn’t actually behaved the way he had. We only know that he did after the fact.

    Like so many on the orthodox side, he assumes the truth of what he asserts: in circular fashion, he begs the question. Of course, if he and they are right, then everything he says makes sense. There is also the converse assumption, made by the other side, that their belief is correct. And if they are, everything they say also makes sense.

    If the side that is wrong wins the day, then policies will be enacted that result in unnecessary human suffering. Both sides can be perfectly sincere, equally concerned about humanity and the environment, but from the standpoint of someone like myself who simply doesn’t know, what I would like to see is rational, sober discussion.

    I do not see this. And I have to say, I am not encouraged by the behaviour of players in this debate. This is why I call mayself a cynic more than a skeptic. Regardless of who’s right or wrong, the mode of engagement stinks. It precludes rationalism, and results in disengagement.

    My bet is that the issue will only be resolved when the climate itself pronounces the verdict.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    The proper challenge is:

    1. Define denier. Be concrete, specific. To be a denier, one must…

    2. Provide examples. Thingsbreak has called me a denier countless times. What do I say, think, write that satisfies that definition? I’d use Marlowe Johnson as an example, but one never knows if he’s sober.If I’m not the appropriate test case, pick another. Steve McIntyre gets called a denier. What has he written that satisfies the definition given in number 1 above?

    Failure to follow such a protocol might leave observers with the impression that ‘denier’ is a term of convenience used to denigrate opponents by associating them with skinheads who deny the Holocaust.

    If you want your pathetic plaything, earn it.

  • Keith Kloor

    Tom (9)

    Try not to be self-referential in a way that dredges up previous blog battles in comment threads that others will have no context for. Please, can we all try to avoid personalizing this?

  • huxley

    Keith: Thanks. That’s an excellent summary of the history of “denier” in the climate debate.

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    @Michael Larkin,

    For what it’s worth, many people in the “convinced” camp will tell you that not only has “a rational, sober discussion” taken place (as much as it ever does in any science), but it did so over decades (and decades ago), and that “the climate itself is and has been pronouncing the verdict” largely in one direction.

    You are obviously free to disagree that this is what has transpired, but a reading of The Discovery of Global Warming, The Warming Papers, etc. tend to support that is has.

    Also, when you say: “If the side that is wrong wins the day, then policies will be enacted that result in unnecessary human suffering” the risk of “unnecessary suffering” in question appears to me to be wildly asymmetrical. Given that there are many reasons to transition away from the most carbon-intensive fossil fuels even ignoring their climatic impact, and the fact that should we find out that the climate system works nothing like the evidence we’ve amassed over the past dozen or so decades suggests it does, the coal will still be available to burn and mitigation legislation can be jettisoned. Which is not to say that there is zero harm in rapidly transitioning away from carbon-intensive infrastructure on the timescales of relevance to avert the more severe climatic consequences if those consequences miraculously were to never manifest.

    I agree the hypothetical risk is non-zero, though I would argue it would be small given many other factors in play.

  • Jarmo

    I think it is a great illusion that skeptics (or deniers for some) have had any impact on energy policies or use of coal. In Europe, we have had carbon trading, energy efficiency policies etc. Studies say emissions have been outsourced to China and developing countries. Negligible results.

    Take a look at what is happening in Rio right now (Much Ado about Nothing). Just countries haggling and nobody willing to give in. And not a skeptic in sight…. just environmentally concerned governments that embrace IPCC canon. Why don’t they adopt aggressive mitigation measures right away??

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Keith, I don’t care about personalities in this at all, which is why I offered Mac as a possible example. I don’t care if we use thingsbreak. I don’t care if we use BBD or Marlowe.What is an agreed definition of denier, and what are examples of denialism in the field?I don’t believe a definition exists and I think ‘examples’ are drawn from parts of writings from different sources, taken out of context and presented as a patchwork composite of a phenomenon that I doubt exists to any great extent in this conversation. Certainly on this weblog, probably in the blogosphere as a whole.What is denial in the context of climate change? Where are the examples?

  • BBD

    Because there are so many bloody vested interests in the way it’s almost impossible to do anything. Because the US has be policy-paralysed by special interest lobbying. Because that provides the entire of the rest of the world with the perfect excuse to do nothing.

    Etc.

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    “Thingsbreak has called me a denier countless times.”

    Of course this is a complete and utter fabrication. You’re free to try to back it up in a forum other than this one of your choosing (respecting Keith’s preference to not foul up the comments here).

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    No personalities, no personal history.What is denial?What are examples?

  • TanGeng

    Denier is about as useful in constructive discussion as Liberal, Right-wing, Serious, and other sorts of label-based rhetorical tactics.  People roll with these sorts of tactics in other areas, but seem to be squeamish about the extreme use of Denier.  If we go to extreme labeling, guess this might be like labeling Obama a Communist or something like that. I’m mostly disappointed that the debate has devolved into a sort of identity politics.The openness of comparing climate change denialism and Holocaust
    denialism has become more prominent with several instances of open
    invocation.  But it might just be an artifact of how fast the
    blogosphere propagates stuff like that now. I think it’s a double edge
    sword. Some people will take real offense to that comparison and think
    that it cheapens the Holocaust just as much as it invoke that level of
    disgust.  Pretty much you’d have to think that the risks of climate
    change are on the level of genocide in order to accept the comparison
    and that just doesn’t work for everyone.
    The better comparisons are easily other scientific debates such as AIDs virus. Probabilistically, the conventional scientific theories should be given benefit of the doubt and are more often right than wrong, but there are several examples where the opposition is correct. The heliocentric idea and Galileo is one prominent examples of scientific minorities being correct in the end. Contemporary and highly exemplary austronomers such as Tycho could not wrap their head around the idea of inertial frames (see Tycho’s geo-heliocentric models) and could not fathom the distance of stars and the apparent lack of parallax. Galileo never did rebut Tycho.

  • Keith Kloor

    See, this exactly what I didn’t want to happen–the tit for tat triggered by an accusation based on something that supposedly happened on a blog thread way in the past.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    For my part, I apologize, Keith–no more personalities from me. But I still want a definition and examples given by those who use the term.

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    I apologize if my response seemed like “tit for tat”. I thought I did a decent job of briefly denying a false claim made about me in this thread while advocating that further discussion be taken elsewhere. Please feel free to delete my comment (provided the false accusation is similarly deleted).

  • Jarmo

    #15,

    Look at Denmark: world leader in wind power, electricity prices 30 eurocents per kWh, gasoline 1.70 euros a liter (8 US$ a gallon). No vested fossil fuel interests.

    And they still produce 70% of their energy with fossil fuels. What’s wrong with this equation?

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    @Jarmo

    What’s wrong with this equation?

    It’s not an apple-to-oranges comparison, for one. Climate denialism, public opinion, fossil fuel interests, and political action are not one simple variable.

    It’s entirely possible to have a nation that suffers from little climate denial to pursue carbon-intensive policy. It’s also entirely possible for a country with partisan climate denialism to completely reject energy policies that the current denialist partisans championed years before, guaranteeing no action.

    For what it’s worth, Denmark not only does not have much climate denialism, and little denialism involved in political partisanship, it also has an energy policy that is attempting to reach 100% renewable energy by mid-century.

  • Keith Kloor

    Tom (17)

    This ground was tread several years ago in a post I wrote and in the thread–where I also provided several links for some context.

  • Jarmo

    #23,

    Or might it be that getting rid of fossil fuels is much harder to do than expected? That denialism or lack of it has very little practical value?

  • BBD

    Then why do it?

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    @Jarmo:

    might it be that getting rid of fossil fuels is much harder to do than expected?

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear?

    The apples and oranges part comes in when one nation is wracked with denialist partisanship at the highest political levels and isn’t even attempting to “get rid of fossil fuels” (quite the opposite), whereas the other nation has no such denialist partisanship and is actively pursuing a policy to divest itself completely from fossil fuels. Whether or not Denmark will be successful remains to be seen, but it’s incredibly misleading to imply that their energy policy trajectory is not enormously different than the US’s.

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    It occurs to me that perhaps people like Jarmo think that those in the climate concerned camp believe that transitioning to clean energy will be an instantaneous phenomena that will be entirely effortless.

    If so, I’m afraid you’ve been taken in by a strawman. The transition to clean energy will take several decades minimally, and this point is harped on year after year by the climate concerned. The inertia in our energy policy is one of the main reasons why the timescales proposed for changing policy might appear to be much more rapid than those of the climate system itself.

    In order to avoid a given outcome by say 2100, we have to start making changes a heck of a lot sooner than 2099.

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    @BBD:

    Then why do it?

    Well, there’s a great deal of social science available pointing to motivated reasoning, reliance on elites that exhibit increasing partisanship, etc.

    One might further note that the influence of certain industries and ideological anti-regulatory interests has significantly shifted the acceptable positions of the elites who partisans cue off of so much so that Nixon or Bush Sr. would be impeached for being closet communists. That gobsmacking reversals (the individual health care mandate, carbon tax/cap and trade, etc.) on policy that inevitably align to protect a status quo have become routine.

    But to suggest that such interests have anything to do with the partisan denialism in US populations is of course absurd and uncivil, and furthermore a former MTV game show host hates vaccines, so both sides are equally bad. Or something.

  • huxley

    So what now? Do we “cry havoc and let slip the [polemical] dogs of war”? Do we want the climate debate waged as an intellectual streetfight? (Perhaps we are already there.)

    I too can think of juicy terms of abuse for my opponents that I could defend as “accurate.” Most of the shriller orthodox deny the misconduct of Climategate. Are they not, then, “deniers”?

    I do take offense at the term, “denier” (and “denalist” for that matter) as a nasty debating trick but I hardly lose sleep over it.

    ***

    However, I have never gotten a response to my question: “What do the orthodox believe they get from using the D-word?”

    I can understand that the D-word gives the speaker a self-righteous rush and hearing the D-word promotes group unity among the orthodox against the “denier” Other. That’s standard in cults, politics and wars.

    But does this advance the climate agenda by persuading more people to join the orthodox in a scientific movement? I have my doubts.

    The Nature authors are rightly concerned that climate change has become locked into the ongoing culture war. IMO using the D-word further cements climate change to the culture war and heats up that war.

    Is this what the orthodox want?

  • Tom C

    “Denier” and “creationist” are just rhetorical strategies in the political game, which is all that CAGW is.  Another rhetorical strategy on full display in the last two threads is responding to skepticism over overblown claims of catastrophe (which is all that we “deniers” are really doing) by citing overwhelming consensus for something that is trivially true (increasing CO2 will lead to warming).  Until the advocates jettison this deception no amount of rhetoric will win the populace over.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #28,

    There is a broader range of thought on the sceptic side regarding policy, as well. One school of thought says that we ought to wait until getting definitive information before acting, which will presumably occur some time over the next couple of decades as temperature start to go up again if your lot are right, at which point the next generation of energy build will be nuclear – or solar if it’s cheaper by then. The current power stations will probably last 30-40 years, so we’d be talking about transitioning between 2030 and 2050. Another says that solar power will probably get cheaper than fossil fuels by around the same timeframe, so we would transition anyway. That sounds a lot like your plan, give or take a couple of decades.

    But when people propose such ideas, we get told that “we have only x months left to avert disaster!” and similar sensational deadlines, all of them within a matter of a few years, and that delaying for decades is simply unacceptable. What do you think?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    thingsbreak and jarmo, how would taking either side of the issues you are discussing (decarbonization and relative progress of different nations) lead to one party calling another a denier of anything?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    What does a denier deny to be a denier?

  • Anteros

    A point that seems to have been missed here is that for all the (often justified) frustration that economic interests etc are apparently ‘blocking’ sensible policy by their disinformation, there are equally motivated people on both sides.

    Whether something is ‘disinformation’ quite often depends on one’s own prejudices. The essay in Time magazine by Brian Walsh claiming that 2012 is on target to be the ‘hottest ever’ is to my mind disinformation. It is false and motivated by ideology. It is the spreading of something that isn’t just not true, but untrue. It’s the same disinformation as those who say because there has been little warming for over a decade somehow AGW has stopped.

    I think it is reasonable to see some balance between those (say) fossil fuel lobbying disinformers on the one hand and the ideologically-driven exaggerators on the other for whom humanity is a cancer and all it’s activities a blight.

    I most certainly understand the frustration of the climate-concerned who think that somehow the public have been denied the ‘truth’. But I also understand the frustration of people witnessing brazen alarmism motivated by ideology. Climate concerned people tend to not see or not worry about the many who use AGW – which they care little about – to push for political or ideological agendas. That they do so is unsurprising but leads them to misunderstand the vehemence of many ‘sceptics’ who otherwise are completely comfortable with the consensus science.

    As I have tried to do recently, I think it is critical to differentiate between fact and value; science and world-view; subjective and objective (as far as it is possible).

    Joe Romm will call anyone a denier who disagrees with his policy choices – including ‘warmists’ like Pielke Jr and Lomborg. To me this is very different to using the denier term for people who claim the earth is flat, or that AGW isn’t real.

    I agree with Tom Fuller that if you want to call someone a denier, it would be reasonable to ask you for a rough definition and then we can see whether that accusation is justified.

  • BBD

    Here we go again. Anyone who cares can see all this dealt with on the previous thread.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    BBD: What is a denier?

  • BBD

    Someone who argues that the mainstream scientific view of CC is ‘alarmist’ or wrong or a conspiracy or a fraud or otherwise mistaken or overblown.

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    @Nullius in Verba:

    There is a broader range of thought on the sceptic side regarding policy, as well.

    Of course. I have already acknowledged that there are people that accept the mainstream scientific conclusions of anthropogenic warming but do not favor a given policy outcome for other reasons.

    One school of thought says that we ought to wait until getting definitive information before acting

    One of the hallmarks of denialism, per the Hoofnagle definition, is impossible expectations. The “definitive information” precondition sounds rife for such potential abuse.

    which will presumably occur some time over the next couple of decades as temperature start to go up again if your lot are right

    I’m sorry, what do you mean “up again”? Are you under the impression that the warming trend unerlying the natural variability of ENSO, volcanism, and solar variability has meaningfully stopped or even slowed down?

    at which point the next generation of energy build will be nuclear ““ or solar if it’s cheaper by then.

    Unless the full costs of using different energy sources are considered when comparing prices, it’s a little unfair to call one thing “cheap” relative to another, don’t you think?

    The current power stations will probably last 30-40 years, so we’d be talking about transitioning between 2030 and 2050. Another says that solar power will probably get cheaper than fossil fuels by around the same timeframe, so we would transition anyway.

    It’s incredibly naive to believe that if we wait until “the next couple of decades” to make a change in our energy policy, that this will result in keeping us below already designated target thresholds. Simply bringing alternative energy online does not displace an equal amount of carbon-intensive energy. You can’t just hope for market parity absent considering the externalities of carbon-intensive fuels and assume that this will result in limiting emissions to a given threshold.

    That sounds a lot like your plan, give or take a couple of decades.

    It does and it doesn’t. Unlike the case wherein we remove climate-related externalities on carbon energy prices, we do not have the ability to “unburn” the coal. Also, the “wait and see for a few decades” has already taken place in the real world, and the answer has been pretty unequivocal.

    But when people propose such ideas, we get told that “we have only x months left to avert disaster!” and similar sensational deadlines, all of them within a matter of a few years, and that delaying for decades is simply unacceptable.

    It’s not a matter of “x months left to avert disaster”. It’s a matter of “prolonging this transition will result in needless costs and suffering”.

    What do you think?

    We have committed ourselves to some future mix of mitigation, adaptation, and suffering. How much of each is up to us. What we are doing now is planning to experience maximum suffering.

    I was assured that not even the rabid partisans in the present political climate would refuse common sense, co-benefit steps to transition to clean energy, but this is exactly what we’re seeing.

    To ask me to believe that the same people who once supported cap and trade but now call anthropogenic warming a myth will be on board with doing something meaningful about climate after several more decades of entrenching carbon intensive infrastructure is asking me to be either incredibly optimistic or perversely naive.

    But I suppose in times like these I have to at least pretend to be the former, even if that makes me the latter.

  • huxley

    My impression too is that “denier/denialist” speakers do not agree on the term’s usage.

    Some limit the D-word strictly to those who deny the greenhouse effect. Some to those who deny warming. Some to those who deny anthropogenic warming. Some to those who deny dangerous risks to AGW. And some use it globally to those who deny any aspect of the climate change agenda.

    I join Tom Fuller and Anteros in requesting a definition of “denier.”

  • BBD

    Yes huxley. Of course you and Tom and Anteros would all love to divert off down some pointless definitional rabbit hole. Unfortunately, we all know perfectly well what the working definition of denier is when we are dealing with climate science and public policy.

    And they call me a troll… :-)

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    BBD, you wrote: “Someone who argues that the mainstream scientific view of CC is “˜alarmist’ or wrong or a conspiracy or a fraud or otherwise mistaken or overblown.”Does that make someone who believes the sensitivity of the atmosphere to a doubling of concentrations of CO2 is 1.5 is equivalent to someone who denies the Holocaust occurred?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Thingsbreak, you wrote this in 2010: “Denialism is really defined by the way in which people engage in misrepresentation and selective reading of facts to justify a position than it is what they themselves profess to believe. As I’ve mentioned several times, Bjorn Lomborg can claim all he wants to not be a climate denialist, but he behaves exactly like one in terms of deliberately misrepresenting evidence in order to downplay the problem.”Do you stand by that definition? Do you think Lomborg is a denier?

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    @Anteros:

    if you want to call someone a denier, it would be reasonable to ask you for a rough definition and then we can see whether that accusation is justified.

    This is the point of distinguishing between denialism and just labeling anyone who favors a given policy outcome a “denier”.

    It’s certainly possible for someone to claim to accept the mainstream scientific conclusions of climate science (and therefore meet the definition of “warmer”/”warmist” or whatever from a Morano perspective, while also engaging in denialism about climate change.

    Denialism is marked by conspiracy, selectivity (cherry-picking), fake experts, impossible expectations (also known as moving goalposts), and general fallacies of logic.

    This is not specific to climate change, and nor is it aimed at a particular political ideology.

    For example, if I make a claim about sea level rise not being something to worry about, and do so using a given method of analysis that arrives at the lowest possible value, and then a few years later make the same claim but use a completely different method of analysis (that also arrives at the lowest possible value), which not only contradicts my previous method of analysis, but using that previous analysis would result in a greater than mainstream-evaluated rate, and acknowledge none of this- I can be engaged in obvious denialism while still paying lip service to the idea of anthropogenic warming.

    If I claim that polar bears will be just fine under warming because they can simply un-evolve to something like their ancestor species, and cite a reference that turns out to say something that says something entirely opposite in tone, I can be engaged in denialism.

    Etc.

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    @Tom Fuller. See above @44. Denialism is a behavior. Lomborg clearly engages in it.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    So, TB, without getting overly involved in personalities, you are saying that a professor of statistics who has publicly stated that climate change is real and a very serious problem is the same as a skinhead who denies the Holocaust occurred.

    Got it.

  • BBD

    Tom

    Does that make someone who believes the sensitivity of the atmosphere to a doubling of concentrations of CO2 is 1.5 is equivalent to someone who denies the Holocaust occurred?

    Not in my book. That’s just false equivalence. But it does mean that they are denying that the most likely value for ECS* to 2xCO2 is ~3C. In other words, they are denying a central hypothesis underpinning the mainstream scientific position. Without any supporting evidence whatsoever, I might add.

    * I’m assuming we are both talking about ECS not TCR. I know you sometimes get confused between the two.

  • Nullius in Verba

    I don’t think it really matters what definition you use, or in what sense it is or isn’t accurate. There are two ends to this debate: one where people like Morano and Delingpole fight dirty with people like Romm and McKibben, and the other where intellectuals like McIntyre and Mureika and Spencer and Lindzen and so on exchange equations with the likes of Held and SoD and Tamsin Edwards and Betts. And there is a full spectrum in between.

    Using the term marks you out as operating down at the scummy end of the pool. It’s a weapon, a rhetorical tactic, used by people who either find it politically useful to fight dirty, or who don’t have any better arguments. It drags everyone else down to the same level – derails detente, polarises positions, tears down civilisation and intellectual respectability and the idea of settling differences through rational discussion. It twists conversations from science or policy into angry name-calling.

    It matters not one whit how you define it – it’s purpose is to act as the spreading yellow stain in the swimming pool of debate. The aim is simply to drive out the opposition by making participation intolerably unpleasant for them.

    It doesn’t work, and in fact generally backfires, but some people keep doing it anyway. It is sufficient to point out what they are doing, and move on. It’s not worth getting distracted.

  • BBD

    nullius

    You and your imaginary symmetrical debate.

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    So, TB, without getting overly involved in personalities, you are saying that a professor of statistics who has publicly stated that climate change is real and a very serious problem is the same as a skinhead who denies the Holocaust occurred.

    Uh, no, not at all, Tom.

    First, I completely reject the claim that using the label “denier” necessarily draws a moral equivalency to Holocaust denial. I do not consider the denial of plate tectonics to be necessarily equivalent to Holocaust denial. I do not consider the deniers of modern cancer medicines in favor of carrot juice colonics necessarily equivalent to Holocaust denial. I’ve made that clear in many other comments on this blog, and said as much @6. If some people want to always invoke that equivalency, that’s their business. That’s not a justification for using their opinion to bludgeon other people who draw no such automatic equivalence.

    Second, I stated that it was probably useful to distinguish between denialism and the blanket label of “denier”.

    Third, but somewhat off the main point, Lomborg’s behavior in obfuscating about sea level rise (using one metric one year, and then a completely different one the next in order to claim the lowest possible rate) is all the more obvious and disgusting as a professor of statistics.

    Got it.

    Clearly not. I’d appreciate if you didn’t misstate my positions- unintentionally or otherwise- so badly. Thanks.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    TB, do you think Ellen Goodman, James Hansen, Eli Rabett and Gavin Schmidt are wrong when they use the term denier as equivalent to a skinhead who thinks the Holocaust never occurred?Do you think you have and are entitled to your own ring-fenced and sanitized definition of the word? Because back in the 60s I knew people who thought they could use the n word legitimately, too.

  • huxley

    thingsbreak: By your usage (conspiracy, cherry picking, fallacies etc.) denialism is just a word for improper argumentation, and it could apply equally to the climate orthodox, although you only use it in one direction.

    So your “denialism” amounts to “my opponents’ arguments which I believe are fallacious” but juiced up with the semantic punch of “denier.”

    That sounds like jargon combined with an emotional appeal, i.e. denialism.

    Why do you need a new word to disagree with people?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    To recapitulate, Thingbreak:

    1. You use a term that offends those to whom it is applied.

    2. You claim the right to do so.

    3. You claim to have a different definition of the insult than others who use it.

    4. You claim the right to apply the definiton ad hoc

    Next I suppose you’ll be saying that some of your best friends are deniers but you wouldn’t want your daughter to marry one.

  • Anteros

    thingsbreak -

    The problem with your definition of denialism is that it quite obviously includes all the disinformers, and cherry-pickers on the ‘climate-concerned’ side too. If Lomborg’s behaviour to you is denialism then sites like SkS are hotbeds of virulent denialism.

    But in a way, that is only to be expected. They are as motivated as Lomborg [actually I would say more motivated] and confess to being in a ‘propaganda war’. So choosing whatever perspective at any moment to create the most extreme (and least honest) effect possible is just straightforward denialism, but entirely predictable.

    If denialism is then just a kind of human behaviour it would be quite reasonable to expect it across political spectra and ideological divides.

    Unless of course you think your lot are all goodies and ‘they’ are all baddies. A bit like BBD does.

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    @Tom Fuller:
    Do you think you have and are entitled to your own ring-fenced and sanitized definition of the word? Because back in the 60s I knew people who thought they could use the n word legitimately, too.

    Seriously?

    Now I remember why I stopped commenting here. Have fun.

  • BBD

    Unless of course you think your lot are all goodies and “˜they’ are all baddies. A bit like BBD does.

    No Anteros, I just insist that we ground our discussions on fact-based reasoning. That derives from the mainstream scientific position (which frankly, you largely deny) not from your opinions and beliefs. 

    Incidentally, can you provide some evidence that SkS is a ‘hotbed of virulent denialism’? This means examples of factually incorrect presentations of the science in articles posted there.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Yes, taking offence and fleeing is easier than answering the questions.

  • BBD

    Oh Tom. Now look what you have done. Another rationalist driven away. If you aren’t careful, you’ll only have me left to play with.

  • BBD

    And I’m *horrible*, aren’t I Tom?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Everybody in the world who uses the term ‘denier’ (except Thingbreak) wants to invoke the association with racist anti-Semites who denied the Holocaust occurred. (Except Thingsbreak. Of course.) But he seems unusually sensitive to anything that might invoke similar associations for his position.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    BBD, you’re just a troll. I’ve participated in variants of this conversation for years. Almost without exception they have been with people who enjoyed acting like jerks but didn’t want to admit to themselves that that is what they were doing.

    Of the two of you, I would have preferred Thingsbreak remain and you leave. At least he isn’t a troll.

  • BBD

    Sticks and stones Tom. You want to try coherent, referenced argument for a change. That works wonders with me. Not really your thing though, is it?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    As you repeatedly protest that you have never had such in this venue, your continued presence pretty much indicates that in fact coherent and referenced argument is not really that important to you. 

    Hence the term troll…

  • Nullius in Verba

    #39, “I have already acknowledged that there are people that accept the mainstream scientific conclusions of anthropogenic warming but do not favor a given policy outcome for other reasons.”

    I was thinking of people who reject the mainstream conclusions but who accept that they might be wrong.

    “One of the hallmarks of denialism, per the Hoofnagle definition, is impossible expectations. The “definitive information” precondition sounds rife for such potential abuse.”

    The alternative proposal of ‘no expectations’ is also rife for potential abuse. I would only require the same level of quality and validation that we already use for other high-value applications. We do it routinely in other areas, so it’s evidently not impossible, but stuff like “What the hell is supposed to happen here? Oh yeah – there is no ‘supposed’, I can make it up. So I have” is not acceptable in questions of such moment. “I’m sorry, what do you mean “up again”? Are you under the impression that the warming trend unerlying the natural variability of ENSO, volcanism, and solar variability has meaningfully stopped or even slowed down?”

    You’re talking about the attribution question, which even the IPCC plaster with caveats and warnings of uncertainty. Analysing the actual observed signal into “an underlying trend” and “noise” requires assumptions about statistical models to be made, and involves complicated issues to do with spurious correlation, long term persistence, unit roots, and other (potentially unknown or unaccounted for) sources of forcing. The “underlying trend” is a purely theoretical construct, and is not directly observable.

    I was talking about actual observations, which are likely to be the only way to resolve the argument. “Unless the full costs of using different energy sources are considered when comparing prices, it’s a little unfair to call one thing “cheap” relative to another, don’t you think?”

    How can you set the right price except through some form of market? By “full costs” I presume you don’t mean actual costs, but projected costs according to a particular point of view, which gets to override everyone elses’s point of view by fiat. It would be like letting the church factor in the full costs of sin, which are infinite of course.

    You can of course set up a market in it if you want to. I suggested a few posts back the idea of investment bonds that paid out at a high interest rate on a certain date if some climate outcome had/had not occurred by then. Whenever people differ in their opinions on the value of something, there is a way of making money out of it, and this is the right way to set a price on climate change. “It’s incredibly naive to believe that if we wait until “the next couple of decades” to make a change in our energy policy, that this will result in keeping us below already designated target thresholds.”

    You’re not going to keep below the already designated target thresholds. As we discussed a few posts back, Nordhaus calculated the costs of this to be far higher than the benefits. There is some benefit to acting now, but the optimum path is at a modest cost for a modest effect. “Also, the “wait and see for a few decades” has already taken place in the real world, and the answer has been pretty unequivocal.”

    It looks quite equivocal to me. “I was assured that not even the rabid partisans in the present political climate would refuse common sense, co-benefit steps to transition to clean energy, but this is exactly what we’re seeing.”

    We’ve said several times now, if you want to transition over the next decade to nuclear power, we’d probably support you. That’s the only feasible or reasonable option available at the moment, and in my view if it was really considered to be a planetary emergency they’d already be doing it. Enough with the ineffective gestures – declare your intention tomorrow to build a thousand next-generation nuclear power stations, one in the centre of every big city, and we might believe you’re serious.

    But when we suggest it, all of a sudden global warming isn’t the overriding priority it was a few minutes ago. They’d rather watch the last Golden Eagle get pureed mucking about with bloody windmills than do anything actually effective about the problem. It’s one of the reasons I doubt their commitment to their cause.

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    If you think you’re interested in “fact-based reasoning” you’re suffering from more delusions than ever.

    So, you assert that I “largely deny” the mainstream scientific position.

    Really?What large parts of the mainstream scientific position do I deny?

    Pray tell – without making stuff up of course.

  • RickA

    Tom Fuller:

    Here are a couple of definitions of denier for your consideration:

    1. A person who denies that the climate changes.

    2. A person who denies that the climate is getting warmer.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    RickA, why wouldn’t the term ignoramus serve just as well for those? I dunno, maybe ignoramus is just as charged as denier–but I doubt it.

  • RickA

    I agree.  It is just that I take the term literally, and when taken that way, those are the definitions I come up with.

    Now, I think of myself as a lukewarmer – and under my definition, a lukewarmer is not a denier.

    I believe that the climate changes over time.

    I believe that the climate is getting warmer.

    I merely question how much of it is due to CO2 and other greenhouse gases, and how much is due to natural variation in the climate.

    I believe that CS is probably around 1.5C – and therefore question the cost/benefit of most of the ideas I have heard to mitigate and adapt.

  • BBD

    Anteros

    You are skipping over things again. Can you provide some evidence that SkS is a “˜hotbed of virulent denialism’? This means examples of factually incorrect presentations of the science in articles posted there.

    Really?What large parts of the mainstream scientific position do I deny?

    Most of it. Or you couldn’t possibly say things like this:

    The exaggerating and doomsaying [about AGW impacts] will be forgotten and the recollection will be how close we were to disaster.

    Or are you now denying that you said this? Or do you no longer stand by this statement? 

    I particularly object to the pretence of reasonableness. You deny the validity of the mainstream scientific position on ECS. But you *pretend* that you are a reasonable man, engaging in fact-based argument.

    I believe the correct term is ‘tone trolling’.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Hi RickA

    Nice to meet a fellow lukewarmer. My guess on sensitivity is 1.9C, but hope you’re right and I’m wrong…

  • BBD

    Tom, where do you get this stuff from? Seriously? Unless you are talking about TCR – you never make it clear and it *matters*.

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    You make the charge that I largely deny mainstream climate science. I ask you for evidence – you provide none.

    You say I deny the validity of the mainstream scientific position on ECS – more falsehoods and fabrications. Are you going to willfully make up that I believe ECS to be between 1 and 2C? You know, like you did before? Just fabricate it out of thin air?

    Doomstering and Catastrophism is not part of the scientific position, so when it doesn’t occur it the science will remain intact but the alarmists will be proven wrong.

    I ask you again – seeing as you’ve made a typically false and scurrilous accusation – provide evidence.

  • BBD

    Anteros

    Read your own words. You *clearly state* that CC is not going to be a problem. That is to deny the mainstream scientific position. Playing childish word games ‘doomstering and catastrophism’ is just diversionary. A straw man. It doesn’t get you off the hook.

    And yes, you are very careful to tone troll without getting into specifics, but you’ve been doing it for so long now that everybody knows where you stand. And its not in line with the scientific consensus. 

    So, are you now content that the consensus best estimate for ECS is ~3C? Or are you still denying the validity of that estimate? Let’s have some specifics out of you.

    Now, can you provide some evidence that SkS is a “˜hotbed of virulent denialism’? This means examples of factually incorrect presentations of the science in articles posted there.

  • BBD

    Anteros

    This is you, in comments on this blog stating unequivocally that you think the consensus is wrong. Do you now deny that you said this?

    What is not even-handed about having your consensus view countered with a sceptical one ie that the consensus is wrong? I think the consensus is wrong ““ why should I not have my voice heard?

    You’ve been careful, but not quite careful enough.

  • DeNihilist

    Ho-Hum

  • Anteros

    BBD -

    Such a pity that you comprehension level isn’t sufficient to read whole sentences.

    To excerpt a sentence from a paragraph may or may or may not misrepresent. To take a sentence and wilfully exclude half the words (and all the sense) is just blatantly and gratuitously dishonest.

    Three times you have dishonestly misrepresented what I said to thingsbreak, which was this    “If Lomborg’s behaviour to you is denialism then sites like SkS are hotbeds of virulent denialism”

    I have added the bolding to aid your comprehension. The sentence is of the form If A, then B. Because you dishonestly quoted half of the sentence you fabricate an assertion – B. So, everything else you make up about what it would need for SkS to be shown to be denialist (in your own choice of definition – completely different to the one thingsbreak was using [do you see how your dishonesty is being unmasked?]) is utterly relevant. Go back and read it again.

    You fabricated that I had a belief that ECS is between 1 and 2C – you just made it up. It was false then, it has been false ever since and it is false now. The IPCC contention that ECS is likely to be between 2 and 4.5C I have always found reasonable. So your accusation doesn’t get any less false and your fabrications don’t get any less dishonest. You really need to understand that my acceptance of the science simply makes me a warmist – a believer in AGW. It doesn’t thereafter make me believe that the world is going to end.

    I most certainly disagree with the social and subjective consensus that CC will be catastrophic or – in your words – a serious problem.

    Which is where your fundamentalism takes over because you think that people who disagree with your doom-mongering are denialists.

    Which is absurd.

  • huxley

    We’ve said several times now, if you want to transition over the next decade to nuclear power, we’d probably support you. That’s the only feasible or reasonable option available at the moment, and in my view if it was really considered to be a planetary emergency they’d already be doing it…. But when we suggest it, all of a sudden global warming isn’t the overriding priority it was a few minutes ago.

    Above is a great bit from NiV @ 64.

    Yes! I may be a denier according to some, but I am sufficiently spooked by AGW and pollution that bringing nuclear power online in a big way makes perfect sense to me.

    But who is blocking that? The same people making the foofaraw about climate change.

    What do climate change people want? Apparently not carbon-free energy.

    There’s a reason that conservative skeptics suspect that climate change is a Trojan Horse for transforming Western Civilization to leftist/green utopian dreams.

  • steven mosher

    Seems pretty simple. I’m in a position where I am asking people who disagree with me to change the way they live. They are requesting that I not use a particular word. Since I believe that changing their minds is important to saving the planet, should I give in and stop using the word? Or, do I continue to waste energy and time and good will by insisting on using the word that I want to use. Heck, I think denier is a perfectly acceptable term, but I don’t use it. Gosh that was such a hard decision. I can’t think of one good reason to use the word. But secretly just between us, I absolute love watching them get their panties in a knot. So there is that pleasure I miss out on. Others here don’t miss out on that pleasure. I think they like to fight over something that really cant be decided.

  • huxley

    I can’t think of one good reason to use the word.

    steven mosher: Your argument makes sense, but I can see using the D-word as a political and psychological calculation:

    * It feels powerful to attack your enemies.
    * It unifies and energizes your group against your enemies.
    * It reinforces your sense of being right.
    * It trumps the need for further debate with enemies, who are now beyond the pale as “deniers”.
    * The confident display of certainty may persuade the undecided.
    * When used at the highest levels, such as Nature, it could reverse the erosion of orthodox influence.
    * It returns the locus of control to your side instead of trusting to the good will and rationality of others, especially your enemies.

    There are many reasons to use the D-word. In fact the temptation must be overwhelming. If it worked it would be a beautiful thing from the orthodox viewpoint.

    I don’t think it will because skeptics have reached a certain critical mass where they can’t be dismissed so easily. Furthermore, since the orthodox’s ultimate strength is rational argument, resorting to smear tactics reduces scientists and their advocates to political operatives for a special interest group.

    (My little secret: I enjoy seeing the orthodox use the D-word because it exposes their desperation, lust for power, and intellectual hypocrisy, thereby, I believe, undermining their influence. It’s also quite pleasurable to watch them squirm when challenged to justify the D-word.)

  • Jarmo

    #28,

    It occurs to me that perhaps people like Jarmo think that those in the climate concerned camp believe that transitioning to clean energy will be an instantaneous phenomena that will be entirely effortless. If so, I’m afraid you’ve been taken in by a strawman. The transition to clean energy will take several decades minimally, and this point is harped on year after year by the climate concerned. 

    Let’s say I think they have totally unrealistic expectations. I think it will take the rest of the century, minimum, with current technology. Climate concerned, such as Greenpeace have claimed it can be done by 2050, simultaneously phasing out nuclear and providing power to 2 more billion people + population growth. I think it is pure fantasy:

    Greenpeace teamed up with more than 30 scientists and engineers from
    universities, institutes and the renewable energy industry to create our Energy
    [R]evolution Scenario. Using only existing technologies, it charts a course by
    which we can get from where we are now, to where we need to be:
    decreasing CO2 emissions after 2015; 95% renewable
    electricity by 2050; a phase out of nuclear power; 12 million jobs by 2030, with
    a third more jobs in the global power supply sector
    than in a business
    as usual scenario. The scenario respects natural limits, decouples growth from
    fossil fuel use, and proposes an investment system in which costs are shared
    fairly under a global climate regime. It also means finally providing
    energy to the two billion people currently without reliable access to energy
    services
    .

    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/features/Our-plan-to-stop-the-oil-95-renewables-by-2050/

    The IPCC copied Greenpeace conclusions and joined the trip to Fantasyland:

    http://www.marklynas.org/2011/06/new-ipcc-error-renewables-report-conclusion-was-dictated-by-greenpeace/

  • BBD

    Anteros

    Funny how you always claim my powers of comprehension are lacking when I catch you out in a lie :-)

    To take a sentence and wilfully exclude half the words (and all the sense) is just blatantly and gratuitously dishonest.

    But I didn’t do that. Here’s what you said:

    The problem with your definition of denialism is that it quite obviously includes all the disinformers, and cherry-pickers on the “˜climate-concerned’ side too. If Lomborg’s behaviour to you is denialism then sites like SkS are hotbeds of virulent denialism.

    This means: ‘SkS are disinformers and cherry-pickers’. I asked you to back this up with examples of SkS articles that misrepresented the science. You couldn’t, of course, so as usual when on the hook you resorted name-calling and bluster.

    Nobody’s fooled. Not even you, which is the thing that matters here.

    The rest of your defensive dishonesty – for now and ever more – can be dealt with very easily:

    What is not even-handed about having your consensus view countered with a sceptical one ie that the consensus is wrong? I think the consensus is wrong ““ why should I not have my voice heard?

    See? You are a tone troll.

    And you *do* deny the mainstream scientific position on the most likely consequences of BAU scenarios later this century:

    I most certainly disagree with the social and subjective consensus that CC will be catastrophic or ““ in your words ““ a serious problem.

    Nice word switch! Love the way you changed ‘a serious problem’ into ‘catastrophic’ and replaced ‘mainstream scientific view’ with ‘social and subjective’. But we’ve been through this. The scientific consensus *isn’t* social and subjective.

    Your exposure as a tone troll is interesting in the light of the discussion about denialism.

    Given the awkward lack of a scientific basis for so-called ‘scepticism’ about AGW and its probable effects later this century, tone trolling is the obvious way forward. It’s stealth denialism. Although as we’ve seen in your case, the true face keeps peeping out despite every care to hide it. A sort of Achilles’ fib.

    I see you are still going on and on about this:

    You fabricated that I had a belief that ECS is between 1 and 2C ““ you just made it up. It was false then, it has been false ever since and it is false now.

    As I have pointed out several times, in order for your no-problem scenario to happen, we need a very low value for climate sensitivity. I simply provided the numbers that you so carefully avoid stating yourself. Your virulent reaction says it all.

    Anyway, what could be simpler than setting the record straight with a definitive statement? At # 73 I asked you to indicate what most likely value for ECS you endorse (value, not range, note). You skipped over that, so I’m asking you again. Let’s have some specifics.

    A refusal to provide specifics of this type is further proof that you are a tone troll.

    It’s high time we got all this out in the open. 

  • BBD

    Steven Mosher @ 78

    The problem is that deniers are not going to change their minds. That’s what makes them deniers as opposed to truly sceptical or undecided.

    Describing what they do accurately is necessary in order to distinguish them and their agenda and their actions from the truly sceptical and undecided.

    The truly sceptical and undecided *benefit* from this exercise in definitional clarity. It helps them understand how things really are.

  • http://www.mutantblog.co.uk andrew adams

    Anteros,
    I most certainly disagree with the social and subjective consensus that CC will be catastrophic or ““ in your words ““ a serious problem.
    So purely for argument’s sake let’s say that on a purely scientific level the mainstream scientific view is correct and that many of the consequences that people such as BBD and myself fear from AGW really are likely to come to pass if GHG emissions are not drastically reduced. So we are likely to see a significant increase in heatwaves, droughts and floods threatening people’s lives and wellbeing and putting severe strains on crop production, low level coastal regions are at severe risk which could result in millions of people being displaced, many milions more could face severe water shortages, ecosystems will come under severe strain leading to the loss of many species, including the oceans as a result of acidification, coral bleaching and other factors. I’m not asking you to accept that these things are certain, or even likely, to occur – merely that there are a great many people who do consider them a serious possibility, and that there is published scientific research to support these claims.
    Hopefully you would concede that to say that this is a “scientific” view, even if you personally disagree about the probability of these things occuring. But apparently to say that such things could be a “serious problem” is profoundly unscientific, it’s a “social and subjective” statement. Well I guess it is in the sense that there may be people out there whose personal subjective view is that they would not be concerned if these things ocurred, but that would surely require a repudiation of the kind of shared values and ethics which we need to function as a society which is virtually sociopathic. And it pretty much makes it impossible to try and draw conclusions from any kind of scientific research, or indeed research from other fields such as economics, which might impact our lives or our society because all we would have is a lot of individuals’ purely social and subjective views which are unscientific and thus no basis for taking any kind of action.

  • BBD

    huxley

    There’s a reason that conservative skeptics suspect that climate change is a Trojan Horse for transforming Western Civilization to leftist/green utopian dreams.

    Or it could just be blowback from decades of anti-nuclear campaigning by ‘environmentalists’.

    It’s not climate science. That’s false equivalence (nullius’ standard mode). Watch out for false equivalence!

    What we’ve got with nuclear is a public policy train wreck. Grim, depressing and bad, certainly, but entirely understandable in historic terms. It’s not evidence of a sinister plot to ‘transform Western Civilization to leftist/green utopian dreams’.

    That’s a conspiracy theory. And only nutters entertain those. Let’s not go there. Let’s demonstrate a bit of intellectual self-respect. Yes, nullius, I’m talking to you too.

  • http://www.mutantblog.co.uk andrew adams

    huxley,I can see using the D-word as a political and psychological calculation:I don’t necessarily disagree with that, or the individual points you make to support it, but surely the same also applies to “alarmist”.

  • BBD

    andrew adams

    I think Monbiot captures it nicely here:

    To dismiss an entire canon of science on the basis of either no evidence or evidence that has already been debunked is to evince an astonishing level of self-belief. It suggests that, by instinct or by birth, you know more about this subject (even if you show no sign of ever having studied it) than the thousands of intelligent people who have spent their lives working on it. Once you have taken that leap of self-belief, once you have arrogated to yourself the authority otherwise vested in science, any faith is then possible. Your own views (and those of the small coterie who share them) become your sole reference points, and are therefore unchallengeable and immutable. You must believe yourself capable of anything. And, in a sense, you probably are.

  • kdk33

    Conspiracy thoeries:  did someone mention fossil fuel funded disinformation campaign?

  • http://www.mutantblog.co.uk andrew adams

    BBD,

    The ease with which some people dismiss scientific papers, or even entire scientific fields, despite having no obvious qualifications to do so, or at least being able to point to critiques by people who are suitably qualified, is indeed depressing.
    I do think there is plenty of room for discussion about future impacts of AGW given the uncertainties involved but Anteros’s objection to us making value judgements about impacts on the lives of millions of people is just bizarre.

  • kdk33

    It’s like watching reruns of Seinfield.  You know that it was interesting once, and you watch for a while out of habit, but eventually you put it on ESPN.

    BTW, does this BBD character have a day job? Perhaps he is independantly wealthy. Or maybe he has a government job.

  • TanGeng

    @andrew adamsSo is it this section:

    I most certainly disagree with the social and subjective consensus that CC will be catastrophic or ““ in your words ““ a serious problem. Which is where your fundamentalism takes over because you think that
    people who disagree with your doom-mongering are denialists.

    that leads to this?

    I do think there is plenty of room for discussion about future impacts
    of AGW given the uncertainties involved but Anteros’s objection to us
    making value judgements about impacts on the lives of millions of people
    is just bizarre.

    Anteros should clarify. I read it as more as a personal disagree on the judgement of CC dangers and taking issue issue with the attempt to constrict opinions to a narrow range around the consensus view. Just like invocation of denialism, there is gratuitous name-calling, but I don’t think that will change and there’s no stopping people on the internet. I guess there are factions that will brook no disagreement on the subject of CC dangers. In such cases, a simple personal opinion is treated exactly like a repudiation of all other possible opinions.

  • BBD

    TG

    Er, no. I repeat: the mainstream scientific position is *not* a social or subjective matter. That is *false equivalence*.

    If you read my response to Anteros you will see that I pull him up for extensive word substitution in furtherance of his false equivalence. Here it is again:

    Nice word switch! Love the way you changed “˜a serious problem’ into “˜catastrophic’ and replaced “˜mainstream scientific view’ with “˜social
    and subjective’. But we’ve been through this. The scientific consensus *isn’t* social and subjective.

    See what he did there? :-)

    In such cases, a simple personal opinion is treated exactly like a repudiation of all other possible opinions.

    In such cases a ‘simple personal opinion’ is treated like tone trolling and false equivalence.  

    Anteros has a great deal to respond to at # 80. Let’s wait and see what he has to say.

  • http://www.mutantblog.co.uk andrew adams

    TG,
    Yes, my comment was a response to the one you quoted, but also others which Anteros has made in the past where he has objected to the use of terms such as “dangerous” as unscientific and purely subjective.
    The fact is there is a large body of research carried out by people who are experts in their particular fields and have not merely pulled the results out of their backsides that considered collectively indicates that although not all of the outcomes of the expected AGW will be negative the balance certainly lies in that direction. I certainly don’t think that the debate should be restricted and the “consensus” position accepted unquestioningly – there are of course large uncertainties (in both directions) and if people want to challenge the conclusions on scientific grounds then fine. But it is simply wrong to dismiss the entire body of research out of hand or to suggest that those who are concerned are making a purely subjective judgement, or that we cannot make certain value judgements about particular scenarios. To do so is as much a “fundamentalist” position as to demonise any dissent from the “consensus” line.

  • http://omnologos.com Maurizio Morabito

    How typical! Faced with a potential colossal problem, humanity ends up discussing the definition of a word.Douglas Adams was right, we’re all from Golgafrincham. Speaking of which, whoever uses the word “denier” evidently doesn’t want to speak with any “denier”, and therefore contributes to preventing the issue moving forward. End of story.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Man I’m sorry I brought this up Keith. What a total waste of time!

  • harrywr2

    #15 Because the US has be policy-paralysed by special interest lobbying.

    Because in the US we overbuilt our base-load generating capacity in the 1970′s and 1980′s we have a whole fleet of coal fired generating capacity in ‘nearly new’ condition.

    If you actually look at the US DOE R&D budgets you will see that the target dates for deploying Small Modular Reactors and NextGen nuclear reactors is 2020 which coincides with anticipated retirements of existing generating capacity.

    If you look at nuclear R&D all the ‘advanced’ reactor designs depend on either super-critical CO2 or super-critical helium heat exchangers which achieve 50+% thermal efficiency, this holds the promise of reducing the cost of nuclear power by 30%. These heat exchangers are just now moving into the ‘advanced evaluation’ stage.

    The comparison to WWII is quite apt. The US and UK did not have the industrial capacity or trained human capital in place in 1936 to wage a ‘successful’ war against Adolph.

    IMHO The much maligned Neville Chamberlain made the right decision…buy as much time as possible in order to prepare for the inevitable war. Of course those who are ignorant as to how long it takes to ‘spin up’ a successful ‘war machine’ would disagree.

    If you read the German History of WWII you would discover that Adoph’s Generals wrongly believed that it would be at least 1948 before the US would have been in a position to enter WWII.

    Sometimes…if you see a lot of hand-waving and no action it’s because someone is buying time for the people who actually design and build things to come up with a solution that actually solves the problem….of course there always has been and always will be those who assign some sort of nonsense conspiracy theory to the exercise of ‘buying time’.

    While the current crop of Gen III+ nuclear reactors addresses many of the safety issues of nuclear power it won’t be until the Gen IV designs that the waste issue is addressed in a manner broadly acceptable to the bulk of the ‘environmentally concerned’.

  • BBD

    MM

    Speaking of which, whoever uses the word “denier” evidently doesn’t want to speak with any “denier”, and therefore contributes to preventing the issue moving forward. End of story.

    See # 82.

  • http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/ Robert Grumbine

    Language is an interesting thing. Not least, when you get hard core about it, it’s amazing that any of us ever communicate with anybody.

    One reason being that, push come to shove, especially outside of areas with narrowly defined meanings and conventions, nobody is carrying the same denotations and connotations around for words or importance of syntactic arrangement (big blue sky vs. blue big sky).

    For me, ‘denier’ has nothing to do with Holocaust, except in a particular case, and much to do with having lived in the US in the 1970s. Those of you old enough can cast your mind back to the pop-psych fads of that era, which included “in denial” as a very common phrase.

    Denier, to me, is someone in denial.Those who deny that there is a greenhouse effect CO2, among others, is a greenhouse gasCO2 levels have risen over the past 200 years

    The reason is human activity, Global Mean surface air temperature has risen over the same period

    The two rises are well-correlatedare in denial. Though the label denier fits such people, I do discourage its use at my blog: Note that I’m not making a causal statement in the last, something that those in denial are reflexively unable to realize.

    There is an excellent correlation; The reason, whether it’s a driving b, b driving a, or c driving both a and b, is a different matter. Those in denial are denying that the correlation is significantly nonzero.

    Naturally, this specific origin for a connotation of ‘denier’ is mine alone as far as I know. But, given the ages of a number of people who have used it, I’ll guess that it has lurked in the back of a number of minds. Then again, it is interesting that a lot of the complaint of the ‘denier’ label comes from quarters that routinely refer to ‘fascists’, ‘nazis’, ‘hitler youth’ and the like.

    When your own language is saturated in such usage, it’s a lot easier to decide that ‘denier’ _must_ be reference to the Holocaust (e.g. Monckton).

    [Robert: I tried to clean up the formatting.//KK]

  • Keith Kloor

    Robert (97) writes: “it is interesting that a lot of the complaint of the “˜denier’ label comes from quarters that routinely refer to “˜fascists’, “˜nazis’, “˜hitler youth’ and the like.”

    I have observed this as well, which is why I don’t take seriously the faux outrage expressed by numerous well known climate skeptics over the use of “denier.”

     

  • http://omnologos.com Maurizio Morabito

    BBD (96): trouble is, I have been classified as “denier” countless times, so I cannot see how the use could be of any benefit to any ‘skeptic’.Keith (98): there is a difference between name-calling and stating one’s opponents will never ever change their minds. In the latter case, jail or death for the ‘deniers’ is implied as only viable solution. In the former, it’s part of the democratic system to have to live with fascists and nazis. Democracy is where the fascists sit in parliament with the democrats, fascism is where the democrats sit in jail whilst the fascists single-handedly run parliament. Democracy means that people who think differently shouldn’t be locked up just because of the way they think. Fascism means the exact opposite.Calling people “deniers” is totally against democracy.

  • http://omnologos.com Maurizio Morabito

    Apologies but the new-lines are not getting through…

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Keith are you suggesting that you don’t take Tom Fuller seriously ;) ?

    The problem is that deniers are not going to change their minds. That’s what makes them deniers as opposed to truly sceptical or undecided.Describing what they do accurately is necessary in order to distinguish them and their agenda and their actions from the truly sceptical and undecided.The truly sceptical and undecided *benefit* from this exercise in definitional clarity. It helps them understand how things really are.

    +1

  • BBD

    MM

    Imagine the miscarriage of intellectual justice if the genuinely sceptical and undecided were lumped in with you.

    Nobody said you should be locked up. Just correctly classified on the basis of unreasonable and unreasoning behaviour exhibited, publicly, over a period of years.

    If it please the court, my exhibit A in this case is here.

    Put the coffee down first.
    :-)

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Have another drink, Marlowe. If your boxed description is accurate there are more deniers on your side of the fence than the skeptical side. But the point is that the term denier is a pseudo-neologism coined in 2005 expressly to associate those in political opposition to an odious group of Brit skinhead racists who denied the Holocaust occurred. People like Robert Grumbine can insist they have a non-political and lexically correct view and usage of the term, but it doesn’t matter if it’s been hijacked to smear those who disagree with you.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Keith, you’ve been around long enough to know that the side that controls the language controls the discussion. That’s why these creeps want to hang onto the term denier. That’s why they invent these circuitous justifications for continuing to insult people.From the day that Albert Gore pronounced ‘the planet has a fever’ the warmist brigade has worked consciously to frame the issue using language and concepts that deligitimized opposition. This is just a legacy fight over framing.To be clear, I’m not talking about climate scientists doing this (although some play happily along). This is the climate crew at NGOs and lobbying organizations who know that fighting through the puffy language of doom decreases the mind space and focus on real life arguments against the idiots who preach 5 meter sea level rise and 10 degrees of warming. The use of the term denier is deliberate. It is intended to hurt and deligitimize. In any other field of human discourse it would be accuratel characterized as hate speech and its users as bigots. Not because of the word–because of its history.

  • Sashka

    I think huxley made excellent points in 79.

    Like Keith, I don’t care about offense (dogs are barking – so what?) but the skeptics shouldn’t underestimate the effectiveness of the weapon that huxley so ably characterized. Remember that the alarmists still (and will) control most of traditional SMI. Their message, however dishonest, has a potential to affect the general public to some extent. It would be good to figure out ways to counter their smear and disinformation campaign.

  • Sashka

    Tom, good comments in 104. You’re a lot more effective when you’re cool if you don’t mind my saying that.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Yeah, I know. That’s why the trolls keep trying to piss me off. It’s a good day for me when they don’t succeed.

  • Sashka

    Somebody made an obvious point recently that we’re not really trying to solve something or agree on anything here. However this blog which is (unlike most) neutral and equally open to both sides could serve as a little model for a bigger public discourse. Assuming that the alarmists want to sell at least part of their agenda to skeptics and unconvinceds they could use this space to hone their message into something more or less agreeable for wider audience. How much of that did we see over the last few years? In my observation, exactly zero. Is in any different in the brave new world outside?

    Anyone can have their own guess about the reasons. But I think it’s hard to argue thta this behavior is counterproductive. In particular because it raises suspicions about their true goals.

  • Tom C

    OK – let’s try a little test case.  BBD and Andrew Adams, you can step forward and represent the rational scientific side of this debate.  Recently, about 40 highly accomplished scientists and astronauts from NASA published a letter complaining about how alarmist AGW pronouncements from NASA had sullied the image of the organization since they were not scientifically based.  OK guys – what are these folks? Deniers, fossils fuel shills, creationists?  Have at it.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Hi Sashka

    My own opinion is that, unlike the climate scientists on whose backs they are riding, the warmist commentariat just doesn’t want to work that hard. I think a lot of it is just intellectual laziness.

    I don’t want to imply that that is limited only to their side–it isn’t. But the warmists just flop their arguments out and demand that you take it or be exiled to denier hell. Very few really engage–they just throw citations out and think their work here is done.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Having seen Tom C’s comment, I want to specifically exempt Andrew Adams from my list of lazies. There are others, too, including people like Thingsbreak, as much as it pains me to say so.

  • Tom C

    Tom Fuller – I don’t know.  A. Adams wrote this above:  “The ease with which some people dismiss scientific papers, or even entire scientific fields, despite having no obvious qualifications to do so, or at least being able to point to critiques by people who are suitably qualified, is indeed depressing.”  Apparently this is aimed at people like me.  Does this include the NASA folks also?  I want to know.

  • BBD

    You lot are so lazy you can’t even be bothered to use Google.

    You are so baselessly self-aggrandising it’s enough to make a cat laugh.

  • BBD

    Does this include the NASA folks also?  I want to know.

    Yes. Spot any credentialled climate scientists among the signatories?

    Thought not. 

    Working for NASA does not make you omniscient.

  • BBD

    Where did the 1.9C figure for climate sensitivity come from Tom? I asked you this 24 hours ago and you are talking again but I don’t see an answer.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    That’s the boring thing about trolls. You answer their questions and they just repeat them. I told you already, BBD. Find another victim.

  • http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/ Robert Grumbine

    Would those of you who decry the ‘denier’ label, and are fond of using labels like ‘warmist’ and ‘alarmist’ please provide the definition and etymology for your terms?  Far as I know, warmist and alarmist are derived from fascist.

  • BBD

    I told you already, BBD.

    Tom, I don’t recall that you did. Perhaps now would be a diplomatic moment for a *straight answer* to a simple question.

    I note that you choose to describe yourself as a ‘victim’ btw. Thanks for confirming my earlier point.

  • Sashka

    @Roger: What is the source of your knowledge on etymology of “warmist”?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    BBD, trolls look for people who will play their game and string them along. I’m not a victim because I refuse to play. Find one who will. I can’t be responsible for your faulty memory. If you don’t remember, make it up. Isn’t that normal for you?Robert Grumbine, is warmist in some way offensive? If so, can you suggest a more anodyne handle? I’d be happy to use it. I do occasionally use ‘alarmist’ when I’m in conversation with someone who uses pejorative language about those they disagree with, but I thought warmist was pretty harmless. I should note that the last time I asked, the replies ranged from ‘sane’ to ‘correct.’ Which didn’t really help much…

  • Sashka

    The problem with people like Adams is that they don’t understand the difference between legitimate scientific research (as a process of trying to figure things out) and linking the results (that are predicated on assumptions and burdened with uncertainties and, possibly, errors) with policy implications. A scientific paper need not be dismissed as a piece of work to be dismissed in terms of its policy implications.

    Suppose (as is the case) we have two climate models implemented by two different but equally respected groups of researchers. One shows CS of 1.5C, the other 6C. Both are examples of potentially good reasearch work. We learned that certain assumptions and implementation decisions lead to such different results. Do we know which one is better? No. What’s the practical outcome (except for guidance for future researchers)? None.

  • Steve Mennie

    Haven’t been by here for awhile…I see the same hot air being exchanged to no avail and once again I have to congratulate BBD on his unflagging attempts to counter the largest of the dollops of horseshit. Marlowe, Thingsbreak and yourself deserve medals. You as well Adam. Carry on!

  • Keith Kloor

    Sashka (121)

    I thought A.Adams raised a good point there. The fact of the matter is that many folks don’t make the kind of distinction you seem to do. They conflate. 

  • BBD

    Thanks Steve.
    :-)

  • huxley

    Far as I know, warmist and alarmist are derived from fascist.

    Robert Grumbine @ 117: That sounds like a stretch. -ist is the common suffix for converting an abstract noun to a member form.

    For the record I call myself a lukewarmist because it provides a reasonable shorthand for my position that is not freighted, so far as I know, with negative connotations.

    When I first started commenting on climate issues I asked around for what the climate folks prefered to be called and no one ever answered.

    I settled on “orthodox” because it is reasonably short, descriptive and neutral. I had been using “climate change proponents” which is long, clumsy, and confusing (the orthodox are not in favor of climate change).

    I consider it good manners and a matter of intellectual integrity to avoid negative labels in addressing others. If one desire civil, constructive debate that’s the way to go.

    However, if one’s aim is political and cultural warfare, the more loaded the terms the better.

    It looks to me like the orthodox want war. I don’t see how that works out well for them in the long run. So far, none of the orthodox will explain their motivation in using the D-word.

    I take it as a bad sign that the D-word is no longer just trash talk in blogs, but is now official jargon blessed by one of the most prestigious science journals in the world.

  • Tom C

    The NASA signatories include men who managed the space program and similar scientific and engineering triumphs.  Do you think they might be in a good position to judge whether conclusions have been reached based on sound science or political advocacy?  Do you think they understand the limitations of computer models?  Do you think they can spot sloppy reasoning and know the difference between a technical fact and a policy position?  Do you think they understand the possibly corrupting influence of huge governement funded research efforts?  Do you think they know something about atmospheric physics and radiation transfer?  Yes to all.  It is not true that one needs to be involved in the specific practice of any discipline to make informed judgments about the broad conclusions reached by a subset of the practioners.

  • BBD

    Tom, if you had the remotest confidence in your claim you would provide a source. That you retreat into evasiveness says it all.

    No doubt Robert Grumbine is having a good chuckle over your pretence of moderation at # 120… which begins with you calling me a troll. Nice work, as ever.

  • BBD

    Tom C

    RTFL. And come up with something more interesting or go to bed. Please.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Sashka, I like Andrew Adams. BBD, not so much. Troll, I have enough confidence not to rise to your bait, which I think is sufficent. Maybe you should talk to someone about your memory. 

  • Sashka

    Sorry if I wasn’t clear enough. I’m not saying that he is a troll. I’m just pointing out that many people who worship the expertise and credentials (qualities that are hard to earn and should be normally respected indeed) don’t understand the limitations. However he may be right in that some of the skeptics tend throw the baby with the bathwater.

  • NewYorkJ

    Mark Hoofnagle has it right.

  • http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/ Robert Grumbine

    * asterisks should be the starts of new paragraphs.* Tom @120 If you insist on using labels for other people, some you could use for me are: scientist, modeller, observationalist, oceanographer, meteorologist, glaciologist, and climatologist.* Consider your offense at feeling like you’re being compared to those who deny the Holocaust, regardless of whether that’s actually what is in those other people’s minds when they say ‘denier’.  It probably does not engender warm fuzzies in others’ minds, mine included, to be labelled by a term whose origin is strictly the connection to fascist — those who committed the Holocaust.* Tom C @126: It _could_ have been that way.  But if you pursue the usage history of ‘warmist’, you’ll find rather few examples where it fails to be directly associated with fascist.  Quite often, including or especially the earliest references, it appears by way of phrases like “warmists are just like the fascists/Nazis”, which makes pretty clear what its intended meaning was and is.  Unlike denier and denial, which predate the holocaust by centuries, warmist’s entire existence is post-Holocaust, indeed entirely post-IPCC 1.* Be all of that as it may, it is simply par for the course for a scientist working on climate to be likened to Nazis, fascists, and so forth.  I’d have to stay entirely in my cave to avoid such.  Which, of course, is the purpose of attacking scientists like that.  But it’s over a decade since I got an actual death threat, so I must be doing something wrong. On the other hand, as Ross McKitrick noted over at climateaudit, “You cannot simultaneously say that you want to promote a debate while equating the other side to terrorists and mass murderers.”  It’s amusing that Heartland, even after that advice, bemoans the lack of people from the ‘other side’ coming to their ‘conferences’.  * Even less likely than debate in such circumstances is discussion.  I prefer the latter. Full description at http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/2008/08/discussion-vs-debate.html

  • BBD

    You are doing yourself a grave disservice again Tom.

  • BBD

    Robert Grumbine

    A side note: the comment editor here is broken, as you can see. To force paragraph breaks, type the comment including bold and italic, then click the blue < > button on the toolbar to switch to html view.

    Place the cursor after each </p> tag and hit Enter twice. The breaks you see will carry through when you submit the comment.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #132,

    The -ist suffix comes frome the Greek istes via the French -iste. Other examples include botanist, violinist, pacifist, psychiatrist, copyist, Buddhist, guitarist, atheist, …

    See here for many, many more.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Hi Robert, I’m happy to use any of those titles, or even your name. However, describing affiliations is a bit tougher. I often use consensus–how do you feel about that?In any event, as I noted above, I am willing to use the appellation of your choice. As you are aware, I believe that the term ‘denier’ has been yanked off the table of polite discourse, even if there were legitimate uses of the term before. Can we agree on labels for our tribes? I’m personally a lukewarmer, although I get lumped in with skeptics, as one size fits all for the consensus team, apparently. Does consensus-holder work for the group you consider yourself a part of?

  • Tom C

    Robert Grumbine – your suggestion that the “warmist” label implies “fascist” is asinine.  Speaking of asinine, please supply the scientific evidence that modest global warming will lead to droughts, floods, etc. (Hint: model projections from unskillful models are not scientific evidence.)

  • Barry Woods

    These 2 links should be fascinating, a very rare joint blogged debate between a phsycologist and a climate change sceptic. Judith had her own thoughts as well.http://talkingclimate.org/understanding-climate-scepticism-a-sceptic-responds/#comments The comments ‘moderated’ away, appear in the comments at Bishop Hillhttp://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2012/6/15/geoff-chambers-talks-to-adam-corner.html (what is irritating, as we find in th emissing comments at Bishop hill) that this is a publically funded blog, by Cardif and Nottingham university Phsycology department, thge factthey are far worse at communicating, than say Mark Lynas, George Monbiot eve, must say something about the field.

  • Barry Woods

    somehow the phsycologist, won’t post criticism that many sceptics are sceptical because of ‘activist’ scientists like Hansen… And himself..He accused me of being personally critical, and posting personal pictures,  that a picture of him waving a placard, as a Green Party candidate at Copenhagen, might make people sceptical.. and his tweets cheering on Gordon Brown, calling people Deniers and luddites.. the fact that the picture was in the public domain, in a green party magazine, seems lost on him.. very naive.Off topic apparently!

  • huxley

    Robert Grumbine @132: At the shock radio and blog level, one can find “eco-fascist,” “global-warmist” and other snappy terms of abuse for the climate orthodox. One can also find similarly pleasant appellations, including “denier,” from the orthodox at the more activist blog levels.

    I see this as trash talk, pure and simple. It has its function in the current political / culture wars. I’m not crazy about it and I won’t use this language, but there it is.

    However, Nature, a top science journal, has made “denier” official jargon. This sets a new and regrettable precedent, if one cares about civil climate debate, that trash talk is now the order of the day from the dreggiest blogs on up to the most esteemed publications in the world.

    I consider this a big step backward.

    What say you? The orthodox understandably don’t want to be labeled “eco-fascist” yet many of them reserve the right to use “denier.” That’s a double-standard.

  • RickA

    BBD:

    You keep focusing on 3C as the consensus value, and treating anybody who won’t agree to that number as a denier. Just for the record – how far from 3C will the global average temperature have to be before you agree that you were wrong, and therefore the consensus value was wrong?

    If it turns out that CS is 1.5C will you admit the consensus value was wrong?

    What about 2.4C?

    What about 4C?

    Feel free to answer both in terms of TCR and ECS, if you wish.

  • BBD

    RickA

    The AR4 most likely value of ~3C ECS for 2xCO2 is not arbitrary. For a review of the methodology behind that best estimate, see Knutti & Hegerl (2008).

    For two very different approaches that also arrive at a most likely value of ~3C for ECS, see Annan & Hargreaves (2006) and Hansen & Sato (2012) Paleoclimate implications for human-made climate change (in press). 

    People dismissive of the ~3C value may simply not understand why it is the mainstream scientific position. Reading will help. It’s also worth remembering that this value dates back to Charney et al. (1979). 

    I’m not going to argue about this with you tonight, or in future. It’s a waste of time. You can read or not. It’s up to you. I think we know what you will do. That’s why I’m not going to discuss this with you any further.

  • BBD
  • BBD
  • BBD
  • andrew adams

    Tom C,I don’t know what I would call those NASA scientists but their letter was just unsubstantiated assertions with zero scientific content. I’m not sure why some of them being accomplished scientists in fields outside climate science makes their views on climate science particularly relevant, astronauts even less so.By the way my earlier comment was not aimed at you. I’m not familiar enough with your views to make a judgement either way.

  • RickA

    I didn’t say it was arbitrary.  I simply want you to put down a marker so we can take the actual ECS and compare it to 3C, to see if you were right or wrong.

    Will you take the entire range and call anything within the range correct?

    If so, why do you not permit people to select a number close to the bottom of the range – but insist on calling them deniers?

  • RickA

    BBD:  You also fail to allow for the possibility that the most likely value of 3C will turn out to be wrong.  I will wait and see what the actual ECS turns out to be.  You have already decided what it will be, and call everybody who disagrees a denier.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Almost 30 years ago, Jule Charney made the first modern estimate of the range of climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2. He took the average from two climate models (2ºC from Suki Manabe at GFDL, 4ºC from Jim Hansen at GISS) to get a mean of 3ºC, added half a degree on either side for the error and produced the canonical 1.5-4.5ºC range which survived unscathed even up to the IPCC TAR (2001) report. 

  • stan

    Am I ‘denier’ if I deny that Mann’s hockey stick is good science? Or if I denied that Gergis’ latest was bad science even before she and Karoly pulled it?  Am I denier if I point out that Jones has used fraudulent data, Rahmstorf and friends butchered their stats in ‘worse than we thought’, Steig produced garbage in Antarctica, Briffa’s magic tree is a scientific joke, the SST wild-ass-guess was a corruption of science, and Monnett’s polar bear study was so bad it would flunk a junior high school science fair?  Am I denier if I point out that a responsible scientific community would have addressed all the quality problems before this work was used to stampede the public?Am I denier for pointing out that the global climate models have some huge glaring errors?

  • stan

    Let’s switch gears a second.  Scientists for Amgen and Bayer showed that 80-90% of the groundbreaking, peer-reviewed cancer and biotech studies that were published in top science journals couldn’t be replicated.  Investigation with the academic researchers who published the studies showed that they were willing to publish studies even when their own work showed that the findings were not true.Question — are those scientists for Amgen and Bayer ‘deniers’ because they debunked badly flawed studies?  Am I a ‘denier’ if I ask a question — how can we be sure that all the peer-reviewed climate studies published in those same prestigious journals are somehow not subject to the same flaws?  What would happen if a group of scientists subjected the climate studies to the same replication efforts that Amgen and Bayer undertook?  And who would be the people working desperately to deny anyone the chance to undertake such a project.Perhaps we should start calling all those who deny the opportunity for genuine science to occur — Deniers.

  • http://hro001.wordpress.com Hilary Ostrov

    @89 kdk33

    It’s like watching reruns of Seinfield.  You know that it was interesting once, and you watch for a while out of habit, but eventually you put it on ESPN.

    BTW, does this BBD character have a day job? [...]

    Don’t know – and can’t honestly say that I really care!  YMMV, but I’ve observed that the performances of this tedious little zealot (and dictator-wannabe) strongly suggest that (unlike Seinfeld) he has a very limited – and highly predictable – response repertoire that he’s quite fond of recyling during the course of his thread hijack attempts!

  • http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/ Robert Grumbine

    Thanks BBD@134.<p>Tom @136:  Using my affiliation would be inappropriate since I never use it myself in the blogosphere, and I don’t speak for my employer, whoever that is.<p>One of the problems, one of the largest, imho, is the insistence on tribal identifiers.  Whether to identify your own tribe, or to label and thereby create an outgroup from yours.  So, no, I don’t have a label for ‘my’ tribe beyond ones like those factual ones I gave.  More significant, perhaps, is that whatever term I came up with for a collective that included me (and, per Groucho, I wouldn’t be a member of a club that would have me) would have no significance to anybody else that you might choose to lump me with.<p>In that vein, I’ll note that nobody has provided any definition for ‘warmist’ or ‘alarmist’.  So the only use is still just namecalling.  I presume that you’d (all who use the terms) consider me to be such, but since few of you have ever read my blog, much less talked to me directly, I’m curious how it is you get to applying that label.<p>And, no, ‘consensus-holder’ does not work for me.  The groups I consider myself part of are ones like I named.  There are various parts of the consensus that I disagree with, so the ‘consensus-holder’ doesn’t work.  Nor does ‘orthodox’ (Huxley), as that’s derived from a different error — treating scientists as religious figures, just another ‘orthodoxy’ wherein one dare not dissent.  Useful for polemics, but not for discussion.<p>Huxley @139: As I said, I don’t use the ‘denier’ label myself and discourage its use by commenters at my blog.  A time or two even deleting a comment for it.  ‘in denial’, I do use.  That Nature allowed a paper to use ‘denier’, I think was wrong.  But my thought and 2 Euros will get you a cup of coffee in the cafe near their office.<p>For the double standards, there is an awful lot of that around.  The people who label scientists as fascists bent on one world order and committing genocide to achieve it are among those crying loudest about being called deniers.  That’s what you’re including as having its function in current culture wars.  I agree that it has a function.  It isn’t a good or healthy function.<p>

  • http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/ Robert Grumbine

    Thanks BBD@134.

    Tom @136: Using my affiliation would be inappropriate since I never use it myself in
    the blogosphere, and I don’t speak for my employer, whoever that is.

    One of the problems, one of the largest, imho, is the insistence on tribal identifiers. Whether to identify your own tribe, or to label and thereby create an outgroup from yours. So, no, I don’t have a label for ‘my’ tribe beyond ones like those factual ones I gave. More significant, perhaps, is that whatever term I came up with for a collective that included me (and, per Groucho, I wouldn’t be a member of a club that would have me) would have no significance to anybody else that you might choose to lump me with.

    In that vein, I’ll note that nobody has provided any definition for ‘warmist’ or ‘alarmist’. So the only use is still just namecalling. I presume that you’d (all who use the terms) consider me to be such, but since few of you have ever read my blog, much less talked to me directly, I’m curious how it is you get to applying that label.

    And, no, ‘consensus-holder’ does not work for me. The groups I consider myself part of are ones like I named. There are various parts of the consensus that I disagree with, so the ‘consensus-holder’ doesn’t work. Nor does ‘orthodox’ (Huxley), as that’s derived from a different error — treating scientists as religious figures, just another ‘orthodoxy’ wherein one dare not dissent. Useful for polemics, but not for discussion.

    Huxley @139:
    As I said, I don’t use the ‘denier’ label myself and discourage its use by commenters at my blog. A time or two even deleting a comment for it. ‘in denial’, I do use. That Nature allowed a paper to use ‘denier’, I think was wrong. But my thought and 2 Euros will get you a cup of coffee in the cafe near their office.

    For the double standards, there is an awful lot of that around. The people who label scientists as fascists bent on one world order and committing genocide to achieve it are among those crying about being called deniers. That’s what you’re including as having its function in current culture wars. I agree that it has a function. It isn’t a good or healthy function.

  • http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/ Robert Grumbine

    Keith, please delete #150.

  • BBD

    RickA

    Your putting words into my mouth is getting rather irritating. I generally refer to people who deny the mainstream scientific position without any supporting scientific argument of their own ‘contrarians’.

    Please stop repeating rubbish.

  • BBD

    Robert Grumbine – welcome to comment editor hell :-)

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Robert, thanks for your clarification. I have visited your blog on occasion and can accept your claim to idiosyncrasy and wish for a ‘no-logo’ approach. I do wish more would do so.

  • BBD

    Hilary

    The teeny flaw in your argument may be that there are a limited number of appropriate responses. My humblest apologies if repetitive ‘challenges’ by other commenters result in those responses being used again and again. Perhaps you could address your concern to others? In the interests of balance :-)

    And thank you for the words of encouragement.

    D xx

  • Sashka

    Here’s my definition, if you insist. Warmist/alarmist is anyone who believes that warming is so dangerous that CO2 mitigation is necessary.

  • andrew adams

    Sashka,The problem with people like Adams is that they don’t understand the difference between legitimate scientific research (as a process of trying to figure things out) and linking the results (that are predicated on assumptions and burdened with uncertainties and, possibly, errors) with policy implications. A scientific paper need not be dismissed as a piece of work to be dismissed in terms of its policy implications.Actually I do understand the difference, and nothing I said implied any particular policies. You mentioned climate sensitivity, well yes we still have a wide range of plausible values – somewhere between 1.5C and 4.5C but as I see it our best estimate, ie around 3C, is both likely enough and serious enough to make relying on the lower end being correct far too risky. And given the challenges involved in reducing emissions and how far we are already down the road, even if we were to enact serious emissions reduction policies tomorrow they will not in themselves be sufficient if CS really is 3C or more – there will also be some adaptation necessary as well. So in terms of emissions reduction policies I don’t think it makes much difference whether the true value if CS turns out to be at the lower or upper end of the scale – the limiting factor is going to be what we can realistically achieve, not how bad we think the problem is, and that still says nothing about which specific policy solutions are desirable or most effective.

  • andrew adams

    Sashka,

    The problem with people like Adams is that they don’t understand the difference between legitimate scientific research (as a process of trying to figure things out) and linking the results (that are predicated on assumptions and burdened with uncertainties and, possibly, errors) with policy implications. A scientific paper need not be dismissed as a piece of work to be dismissed in terms of its policy implications.

    Actually I do understand the difference, and nothing I said implied any particular policies. You mentioned climate sensitivity, well yes we still have a wide range of plausible values ““ somewhere between 1.5C and 4.5C but as I see it our best estimate, ie around 3C, is both likely enough and serious enough to make relying on the lower end being correct far too risky. And given the challenges involved in reducing emissions and how far we are already down the road, even if we were to enact serious emissions reduction policies tomorrow they will not in themselves be sufficient if CS really is 3C or more ““ there will also be some adaptation necessary as well. So in terms of emissions reduction policies I don’t think it makes much difference whether the true value if CS turns out to be at the lower or upper end of the scale ““ the limiting factor is going to be what we can realistically achieve, not how bad we think the problem is, and that still says nothing about which specific policy solutions are desirable or most effective.

  • harrywr2

    159 Andrew Adams well yes we still have a wide range of plausible values ““ somewhere
    between 1.5C and 4.5C but as I see it our best estimate, ie around 3C,
    is both likely enough and serious enough to make relying on the lower
    end being correct far too risky
    The IPCC assigned the word ‘likely’ for the estimate of climate sensitivity between 2.0C and 4.5C. They further defined the word likely as having at least a 66% probability. So the ‘best estimate’ within a range that has a 66% probability has exactly how much probability of being correct?even if we were to enact serious emissions reduction policies tomorrow
    they will not in themselves be sufficient if CS really is 3C or more
    By the year 2020 the world will ‘likely’ have the industrial capacity to build one nuclear power plant per week. Up from 4 per year in 2008.  That is enough capacity to decrease global coal consumption  by 1 billion tons every 4 years.What do ‘policies’ have to do with the logistics of creating industrial capacity besides providing ‘eyewash’ to people who think if we just  ‘pass a law’ industrial capacity will materialize out of thin air?.

  • Sashka

    Hi Andrew, sorry if I misunderstood you. I’m glad that you understand.

    Let me clarify something with you, though. When you say “our best estimate” what exactly do you mean by “our” and by “best”. When you say “likely enough”, could you quantify this? How likely? When you say “serious enough” do you have in mind a dollar figure of damages?

  • http://hro001.wordpress.com Hilary Ostrov

    Re Tomkiewcz …

    Anyone who deliberately chooses “Earth Day” as the birthday – shared with Lenin – of a blog sends my BS detectors into mild-to-medium alert mode.

    So on Apr. 23 – a few weeks  prior to Andrew Revkin deciding (for reasons perhaps best known only to himself) to grant Tomkiewicz his 15 minutes of blogfame – I decided to take a look and see what the man had to say.

    I was not impressed. But, in light of his invitation to:

    “read on, leave comments and let’s start a discussion.”

    Who could resist?! And since Tomkiewicz had ended his maiden post by saying:

    “Thank you for reading this and please let me know what you think.” 

    I politely – but firmly – let him know what I think… Well, in the interest of full disclosure and truth in posting … at least some of what I think!

    Consequently, I really didn’t give Tomkiewicz’s blog much thought after that … until Revkin’s tip ‘o the tumblr, so to speak.

    YMMV, but I’m not inclined to give much credibility to one who asserts (as Tomkiewcz does):

    “Predictions by the Intergovernmental Plan on Climate Change (IPCC) and most scientists, strongly suggest that we may be creating our next genocide ourselves [emphasis added -hro]“

    Fancy that!  The man imagines that the IPCC is a “plan” that (presumably) unless followed, will lead to ‘climate change … genocide’.

    The notion that the consequences of “climate change” are in some way equivalent to “genocide” is simply beyond belief. Furthermore, to my mind, it is strongly indicative of one who has formed his views solely on the basis of activist-advocacy material generated by the likes of WWF or the Sierra Club rather than conclusions he might have reached following careful examination of any primary sources – from both sides of the argument.  Which may well be the case, considering that in a later post he indicates that his book is:

    “anchored on data from organizations such as the World Bank, the Energy Information Administration (EIA), oil company databases (mainly BP), the International Energy Agency (IEA) American and International agencies such as IPCC, NSF, World Bank, etc.”

    But speaking of his book … wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt, I did look for it on Amazon.  It’s very pricey (even the Kindle version) and my recollection of the available sample I had browsed is that it did not yield a sufficient reason to add it to my reading list.

    So, a few days later, I left a second comment in which I noted that other commenters seemed to take exception to my initial observations and (as I recall) also politely questioning whether he was sure he really wanted to sell his book!  There was also a comment from someone recommending that Tomkiewicz simply trash any comments from “deniers”.

    A subsequent visit (perhaps during the tumblr-rush) revealed that Tomkiewicz had evidently decided to follow this advice; but on the bright side, I suppose, he appears to be an equal opportunity trasher – because he had also deleted the comment containing the recommendation!

    On seeing this post of Keith’s, yesterday, I decided to revisit Tomkiewicz’ blog to see if his subsequent writings had improved: they haven’t.  Not only that, but at least one of the well-articulated comments (with which he probably disagreed) had been deleted – while a good number of comments that would have ended up in any experienced blogger’s spamtrap were left intact, in all their shining glory.

    In short … Notwithstanding any and/or all of the above – not to mention his very weak rationalizations – I don’t see why anyone would even consider granting Tomkiewicz a free-pass on his use of the d-word.  Least of all because he is a survivor of the Holocaust.

    IMHO, given his personal history, he – perhaps more than most – should be acutely cognizant of the perils inherent in such disgraceful labelling and in the kind of “censorship” he has chosen to exercise during the course of the “discussion” to which he had invited his readers.

    Nor do I think that his personal history should imbue his opinions with any greater authority – moral or otherwise – than those of any other activist-advocate … or zealot ;-)

  • BBD

    Sashka AND harrywr2

    When you say “our best estimate” what exactly do you mean by “our” and by “best”.

    See # 141 #141 #143# 144

    From # 141:

    People dismissive of the ~3C value may simply not understand why it is the mainstream scientific position. Reading will help. It’s also worth
    remembering that this value dates back to Charney et al. (1979). 

    This thread is about denial. You are – perhaps unwittingly – demonstrating the essential nature of the problem. Never read, never admit that the evidence is compelling, never stop droning out the same old (answered) questions and above all, never admit that you have no scientific case for an alternative. 

    Your opinion, howsoever formed, is scientifically weightless. I know it’s hard to accept one’s own absolute insignificance sometimes, but one has to start somewhere. This would be an ideal first step on the way. 

    If someone as allegedly arrogant as myself can manage to subsume my ego and accept the validity of the scientific consensus, then it cannot be so very hard.

  • BBD

    Tom Fuller @ 148

    Almost 30 years ago, Jule Charney made the first modern estimate of the range of climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2. He took the average from two climate models (2ºC from Suki Manabe at GFDL, 4ºC from Jim Hansen at GISS) to get a mean of 3ºC, added half a degree on either side for the error and produced the canonical 1.5-4.5ºC range which survived unscathed even up to the IPCC TAR (2001) report. 

    You are fond of this snippet I know, so let’s follow it up properly. I’m betting your source is the Wikipedia entry on Climate Sensitivity, which quotes the following excerpt from a 2004 Science Magazine article by Richard Kerr:

    According to Manabe, Charney chose 0.5 °C as a not-unreasonable margin of error, subtracted it from Manabe’s number, and added it to Hansen’s. Thus was born the 1.5 °C-to-4.5 °C range of likely climate sensitivity that has appeared in every greenhouse assessment since

    Nice cherry-pick for introducing the all-important doubt factor (doubt being essential when you have no scientific case). But had you tracked down the Kerr piece and *read it*, you would have discovered some interesting things. First, its title is Three Degrees of Consensus. Second, it demonstrates that *even in 2004* the mainstream scientific position was that the most likely value for ECS was… ~3C. This is how the article ends:

    Most meeting-goers[*] polled by Science generally agreed on a most probable sensitivity of around 3ºC, give or take a half-degree or so. With three complementary approaches – a collection of expert-designed independent models, a thoroughly varied single model, and paleoclimates over a range of time scales””all pointing to sensitivities in the same vicinity, the middle of the canonical range is looking like a good bet. Support for such a strong sensitivity ups the odds that the warming at the end of this century will be dangerous for flora, fauna, and humankind. Charney, it seems, could have said he told us so.

    Let’s revisit AR4 one more time (emphasis added):

    Since the TAR, the levels of scientific understanding and confidence in quantitative estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity have increased substantially. Basing our assessment on a combination of several independent lines of evidence, as summarised in Box 10.2 Figures 1 and 2, including observed climate change and the strength of known feedbacks simulated in GCMs, we conclude that the global mean equilibrium warming for doubling CO2, or “˜equilibrium climate sensitivity’, is likely to lie in the range 2°C to 4.5°C, with a most likely value of about 3°C. Equilibrium climate sensitivity is very likely larger than 1.5°C.

    I hope this dispels any doubt over the integrity of the science that your comment may have intentionally introduced.

    This thread is about denial. There is a strong circumstantial argument that what you did at # 148 was intentional. As I have said from the outset, evidence of intentional or inflexible resistance to the mainstream scientific position can accurately be described as denial. If the cap fits, Tom…

    (*Workshop on Climate Sensitivity of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group I, 26″“29 July 2004, Paris.)

  • http://www.mutantblog.co.uk andrew adams

    Sashka,

    Regarding “our” and “best” I mean this is what is indicated by the various studies of climate sensitivity which have been made over the years. BBD has provided some good references, particularly Knutti and Hegerl which is a good synthesis of various different studies based on different lines of enquiry and Annan and Hargreaves being an interesting approach from a different angle giving a similar result.

    Re “likely enough” I don’t think I can put an actual figure on it. It depends on two different factors – the actual likelihod of this figure being correct and the extent to which one is prepared to take a risk on it being an overestimate, which is in turn informed by one’s views of the likely consequences if it is correct. Based on my own understanding (and I don’t pretend to have any expertise here) if I had to put my money on the true level of CS given current conditions it would be somewhere between 2.5C and 3C so if I was in charge of global strategy on AGW I would work on that basis and allow for the possibility of it being slightly higher. I don’t think it’s necessary to say “I think the chances of it being in that range are x%.”

    I didn’t have a particular dollar figure in mind when I said “serious enough”. There have been studies done, such as Stern, which have tried to put figures on the likely economic costs of AGW, and of mitigation policies, so it is certainly possible to have a discussion on that basis but I think the dangers are much more than just economic, it’s about the impact on the quality of people’s lives and on our planet in ways which can’t necessarily be expressed in economic terms, although I would agree that this does get into areas which are very subjective – how do you put a price on polar bears becoming extinct for example?  

  • http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/ Robert Grumbine

    Tom Fuller @157 Robert, thanks for your clarification. I have visited your blog on occasion and can accept your claim to idiosyncrasy and wish for a “˜no-logo’ approach. I do wish more would do so.

    This isn’t something that I’m idiosyncratic about. It might not be the most common thing around, but I’m far from unique in this preference. If it’s something you’d like to see more people do, start doing it yourself. Don’t put tribal logos on others, especially not logos they don’t use themselves. Don’t ask them to produce labels for you to use (as you did w.r.t. me above). And don’t use them (e.g. ‘lukewarmer’) for yourself either.

    w.r.t. misc. comments above — we see the double-standard in full play. Given a term that might be applied to them, there’s no problem in ignoring 400+ years history of usage, and no problem with wanting their personal usage to be used by everyone else to avoid offending their own feelings. Yet, given a word whose entire history has one association, and is readily verified to do so (you do have to put “warmist” in those double quotes, else you get warmest), suddenly it’s not ok to take the association of words in to account. But this is a word that they use.

    But, insofar as it’s a word they use, it’s also interesting that they refuse to provide any definition for it. Folks, if you use a word that has a well-documented history of use, and don’t intend that meaning, you really should say what it is you mean instead. Else its meaning to be a) namecalling and b) association with fascist stands. Not that my feelings are hurt thereby, it just tells me something about the user.

  • http://www.mutantblog.co.uk andrew adams

    harrywr2,I agree that governments cannot magic industrial capacity into existence but they can make strategic decisions about power generation and if industry knows the demand is there it can build up capacity. 

  • harrywr2

    #168 Andrew Adams

    if industry knows the demand is there it can build up capacity

    Exactly, here is an article by Carl Pope, former Chairman of the Sierra Club outlining why ‘coal is dead’. 

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-19/cheap-coal-is-dead-long-live-renewables-part-1-.html

    Without cheap coal, the post 2020 IPCC emissions scenario’s are not plausible. Mr Pope thinks coal will be replaced with windmills and solar panels. I’ll agree that some windmills and solar panels will be an appropriate part of the future energy mix but nuclear will be required to do the heavy lifting.

    If you want to know whether or not a ‘war is brewing’  listening to various diplomatic pronouncements is not a good guide. Paying attention to whats going on at the ammunition plants is a better guide. The ammunition plants will run 24×7 long before a formal declaration of war.

    To make a large nuclear reactor pressure vessel one needs a 14,000 ton press. Japan,China,South Korea, India and Russia have all expanded their large forging capacity and there is a new press announced in the UK.

  • BBD

    Wow. Hilary is now trashing Tomkiewicz. Looks like no-one is safe ;-)

    So who is this unfortunate chap? From his blog:

    Micha Tomkiewicz, Ph.D., is a professor of physics in the Department of Physics, Brooklyn College, the City University of New York. He is also a professor of physics and chemistry in the School for Graduate Studies of the City University of New York. In addition, he is the director of the Environmental Studies Program at Brooklyn College as well as director of the Electrochemistry Institute at that same institution.

    And who is Hilary Ostrov? From her blog:

    [M]y name is Hilary Ostrov ““ a British born and proudly Canadian bred cat-lover! I’m old enough that I can remember the days when
    discussions amongst civilized people were not infected by the virus of “political correctness”. As a Bridgeplayer, I’ve always believed in calling a spade a spade!

    But Hilary has opinions. These include a rejection of the mainstream scientific position on climate change and an unfounded assertion that Tomkiewicz doesn’t know his stuff:

    Furthermore, to my mind, it is strongly indicative of one who has formed his views solely on the basis of activist-advocacy material generated by the likes of WWF or the Sierra Club rather than conclusions he might have reached following careful examination of any primary sources ““ from both sides of the argument.

    Now what was Tomkiewicz’ job description again? Oh yes, he’s a professor of physics.

    This thread is about denial. To save scrolling, here’s the link again to that very first post on Tomkiewicz’ blog. The one about denial and its consequences.

  • BBD

    harrywr2

    The facts do not seem to support your argument. This is a follow-on from our previous discussions about the invisible hand wafting those CO2 problems away…

    See here for details. Note Andy Revkin in comments (# 3) and follow the link.

    According to the latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy, coal consumption grew 5.4 percent in 2011 and coal production grew by 6.1 percent, giving the resource a 30 percent share of the global energy market. The steep decline in U.S. consumption was offset by a massive increase in the Asia Pacific region, which accounted for all the net growth in 2011.

    That growth in coal consumption was the primary driver of the record levels of global carbon dioxide emissions in 2011, causing a leading energy economist to worry that “the door to a 2°C trajectory is about to close.”

  • Sashka

    Andrew,

    So, you pick a couple of papers and decide that they are the best. You have a right for that opinion but I’d like to alert you to the fact that what’s best for you is not best for me until someone can rationally justify that this is indeed the best. Of course, “our” doesn’t include people who don’t think that K&H is such an important piece of work. When you exclude the dissenters you get a great consensus indeed :)

    I think it’s exactly the opposite to what you said. We cannot have a rational policy discussion until we know that “the chances of it being in that range are x%”.

    Yes, Sterrn did some calculations but he made himself irrelevant (to me at least) by refusing to discount future costs to present thereby dramatically exaggerating the costs. Given that, I don’t believe anything that comes from him.%”.

    It’s true that not everything is quantifiable. But in terms of extinction of species we’ll probably lose a lot more due to ecological pressure of ever growing population than from warming. And BTW I don’t think bears are actually in danger.

  • BBD

    Here we have Sashka still banging on with his *opinion*, but refusing to read, refusing to listen and refusing to understand the meaning of the term scientific consensus. Had he read Knutti & Hegerl, or even the Kerr article linked at # 167 he might have a notion that it refers to the majority view amongst experts who have read all the relevant papers.

    If I were to characterise Sashka’s behaviour as denial, he would doubtless be furious. So I won’t.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Yes you will. You’ll just do it in another comment. Which only you will pay any attention to.

  • BBD

    Tom

    See # 167.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    BBD, see #208.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Butt-hurt as ever eh Tom? Ni! Ni! Ni!

    @BBD

    Not sure if you have access to IEA reports or not, but the latest edition of  Energy Technology Perspectives is well worth the read. For all the ‘lukewarmers’ out there consider this bit:

    Fossil fuels remain dominant and demand continues to grow, locking in high-carbon infrastructure. The World Energy Outlook 2011 showed how the window of opportunity is closing rapidly on achieving the 2DS target. ETP 2012 reinforces this message: the investments made today will determine the energy system that is in place in 2050; therefore, the lack of progress in clean energy is alarming.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Robert Grumbine said above:

    One of the problems, one of the largest, imho, is the insistence on tribal identifiers. Whether to identify your own tribe, or to label and thereby create an outgroup from yours.

    I agree and tried to explore labeling:

    Some notes about labeling.

    See also the YesButDenier tag.

    There is also a relevant Open Thread at Bart’s that deals with this topic, with more or less the same suspicious suspects.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Labeling is bad.

    Except when you label people as deniers.

     I’m pleased the trolls agree on this very serious question.

    They must be very serious people.

  • BBD

    Tom

    # 208… ? Is this the bottom of the barrel? I’ve had some weak stuff out of you before, but really…

    See # 167.

  • BBD

    Marlowe

    And:

    To halve CO2 emissions by 2050, coal demand in the 2DS would need to fall by 45% compared to 2009 (Chapter 8), and even further by 2075 (Chapter 16). Against that background, the current increase in the use of coal for electricity generation is the single most problematic trend in the relationship between energy and climate change.

    Basically we’re scuppered unless CCS works. And [*opinion alert*] I don’t hold high hopes.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    BBD, please see #404. It might be an error message.

  • BBD

    Tom

    A word of advice. When you have nothing to say, stop talking.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    If only we listened to the advice we gave others…

  • BBD

    See # 167.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @BBD

    It’s certainly starting to look that way. Of course maybe i’m just being an ‘alarmist’.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Maybe you’re just being a drunken troll. BBD, my reference was copied and pasted from Real Climate. And I’m certainly aware of other studies since then. But splitting the difference is not indicative of the level of science commonly assumed for sensitivity.

  • BBD

    What reference? You didn’t provide one. Please copy it again. Thanks.

  • BBD

    And Tom, enough of your crap now. Just provide the reference, not an endless stream of childish abuse.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Trolls deserve nothing else. You’re a troll. Use da google to find it. Don’t whine.

  • BBD

    Oh – I think you are trying to be ‘clever’. The reference I have now been waiting for for three days is the one supporting your 1.9C ECS claim.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Your senility is not my problem. Get a memory or take notes.

  • BBD

    Tom, people are reading this.

    It would be better if you just backed up your 1.9C claim – or admitted that you can’t. 

  • BBD

    Tom, my memory is actually rather good. Hadn’t you noticed? I suspect others have. Anteros, for example.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Ain’t nobody but trolls asking. You’re telling me what would be better? Are you speaking ex cathedra from your belly button?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Then ask Anteros. You asked me why I felt 1.9C was the sensitivity. I answered. Once is enough for trolls.

  • BBD

    But splitting the difference is not indicative of the level of science commonly assumed for sensitivity.

    What does this mean, Tom? Are you denying that the most likely value for ECS is ~3C?

  • BBD

    You asked me why I felt 1.9C was the sensitivity. I answered.

    That’s a lie, Tom

  • BBD

    I asked you for a *reference* and you are refusing to provide one.

    Now I want to know why.

    I also want to know if you are denying that the most likely value for ECS is #3C.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    That’s the great thing about a blank slate masquerading as a memory. You can accuse others of lying and effectively lie to yourself. Take your meds, BBD.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    You’re asking me for information after calling me a liar. Examine that, if you will.

  • BBD

    So provide some proof that you aren’t lying Tom. You claim – falsely, I suggest – to have provided a reference for your 1.9C value. So where is it? Give me a comment number.

  • BBD

    I’ve already been through both threads Tom…

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Your problem, not mine.

  • BBD

    Help me out here. What am I missing?

  • Keith Kloor

    I see that this thread (like the other, related one) has degenerated into the muck. Looks it’s time for you both to move on. Let’s shut the cover on this particular bottomless well of insults.

     

  • BBD

    Could you be lying Tom? Might that be the problem here?

  • BBD

    Sorry Keith. Just trying to establish the facts. Which I think has been done. Moving on.

  • Nullius in Verba

    Tom,

    I used to find a certain ironic amusement in using the consensus climate science answer on BBD:

    “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to find something wrong with it?”

    The argument has impeccable credentials from the most authoritative source, and thereby epitomises BBD’s approach to good science, that we should all believe in. It meets the required quality standard for peer-reviewed science at the highest levels, and the foundation of his entire belief system. How can he fail to be satisfied by it?

  • huxley

    Robert Gumbine @169: You seem to be a decent fellow, but your post doesn’t make sense to me nor does it address the issue at hand plus you still have not supported how “warmist” is linked to “fascist” beyond sharing the same suffix.

    Labels are part of how language works. They are necessary shortcuts for communicating. For example I see nothing wrong with labeling someone a creationist or evolutionist, so long as that person does in fact advocate one position or the other.

    What is the alternative? To say each time the set of all scientists { Robert Gumbine, Richard Feynman, …. } who agree that facts, theories, premises { A, B, C … } are true and facts theories, premises {X, Y, Z..} are false?

    No, that’s far too cumbersome.

    Furthermore, language evolves and new labels emerge, e.g. lukewarmist. That’s not a word found in dictionaries yet, but in another ten years perhaps it will be.

    In the meantime, declaring that I am a lukewarmist is a convenient shortcut to convey my position that I accept that the earth has warmed and that anthropogenic carbon emissions are responsible for some of that warming but I am not yet persuaded that this is a huge priority crisis.

    Lukewarmist is not a perfectly neutral label. It sounds kinda goofy and the word is normally associated with liquids, but it’s acceptable enough that I’m not going to kick.

    The problem with “denier” is that it is not at all neutral. It was chosen intentionally by opponents to resonate with “Holocaust denier” thereby casting “deniers” in a most despicable light.

  • BBD

    Nothing

    How can he fail to be satisfied by it?

    In much the same way I can fail to be satisfied with your claim that the ‘science is broken’ in the absence of any evidence for an absolute and absolutely successful conspiracy.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    NiV :)

  • Marlowe Johnson

    It was chosen intentionally by opponents to resonate with “Holocaust denier” thereby casting “deniers” in a most despicable light. 

    no. ‘denier’ is normally used in climate discussions because it *accurately describes* the behaviour of certain individuals and/or groups when confronted with an uncomfortable set of facts.

    That it also sends certain people into fits of apoplectic rage is merely is an incidental benefit :)

  • Sashka

    I cannot remember the name of this Sherlock Holmes story (I was probably 10 when I read it). But here’s the idea. Sherlock figured out the crime and pinned down the subject under the weight of his brilliant logic and deduction method. But the suspect, being a dumb peasant (or something like that) didn’t understand the proof. So he never confessed. Sherlock Holmes lost.

  • huxley

    Marlowe Johnson: Did you not read KK’s article above?

    The D-word hardly sends me into “apoplectic rage”. I object because it is fallacious attempt to poison the well for civil discussion.

    I continue to wonder why, if your side has all the high cards in this debate, they must continue to resort to tricks like the D-word, Climategate, Gleickgate etc.

    This doesn’t strike me as the behavior of confident, reasonable people concerned about the planet and the importance of science.

    Note too, that the more time expended on this discussion, the less time your side has for the climate agenda that is supposed to be so all-fired important.

    Again, why the D-word? Yes, you have communicated your glee in using the word, but do you believe it is effective in persuading people to the climate change cause?

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Huxley,

    I was referring to Fuller not you in case that wasn’t obvious. Further, I don’t have a ‘side’. I have an agenda. It’s pretty simple really. Market externalities suck. We should do our best to eliminate them. Irrational, internally inconsistent, and/or amoral arguments that prevent progress should be exposed, examined, and hopefully discarded. As Keith said in his latest post:

     it would be nice if we could go about this as rationally and clear-eyed as possible. That is made harder by the sewage of disinformation that flows on the internet. 

    Indeed.

    Since Rio+20 is in vogue these days, I thought it might be appropriate to consider a speech made by Severn Suzuki at the Rio conference 20 years ago:

    I’m only a child yet I know if all the money spent on war was spent on ending poverty and finding environmental answers, what a wonderful place this earth would be!At school, even in kindergarten, you teach us to behave in the world. You teach us:1. not to fight with others,2. to work things out,3. to respect others,4. to clean up our mess,5. not to hurt other creatures,6. to share ““ not be greedy.Then why do you go out and do the things you tell us not to do?Do not forget why you’re attending these conferences, who you’re doing this for “” we are your own children. You are deciding what kind of world we will grow up in. Parents should be able to comfort their children by saying “everything going to be alright” , “we’re doing the best we can” and “it’s not the end of the world”.But I don’t think you can say that to us anymore. Are we even on your list of priorities? My father always says “You are what you do, not what you say.”Well, what you do makes me cry at night. You grown ups say you love us. I challenge you, please make your actions reflect your words. Thank you.”

  • harrywr2

    BBD
    Are you denying that the most likely value for ECS is ~3C?
    If I have a range of estimates between 1 and 10…and 5 ends up having a probability of 11% and all the others have a probability less then 11%  then it is the ‘most likely’ probability and would be the ‘best estimate’ within a range that has a 30% change of being wrong altogether.

    It doesn’t make it ‘likely’ that 5 will be the correct number…simply because the probability is some fraction of a percent higher then the others.

    Sorry, the IPCC did not give a probability distribution withing the range of estimates. For all you or I ‘know’ the probability that 3.0C sensitivity being the ‘correct value’ could be 10%.

    If you can find exact wording in the IPCC report where they state that 3.0C has more then a 50% chance of being the ‘correct value’ I’m all ears. They didn’t say it because they can’t say it. The models are ‘all over the lot’.

  • http://hro001.wordpress.com Hilary Ostrov

    @ 208 Keith Kloor

    I see that this thread (like the other, related one) has degenerated into the muck.[...]

    This should come as no surprise – considering that of the 219 comments in this now degenerated thread, 62 bear the signature of a thread-hijacking tedious zealot/dictator-wannabe.  And, just for the record, in the “other, related” thread: of 109 comments, 31 bear his signature.

    But I must say that I did find it rather amusing that the zealot – who has rarely been known to resist appeal to authority (particularly his own, and/or that of those he parrots and/or agree with him, or at least appear to from his perspective … which of course is the only one that counts!) – seems to find some … uh … significance in the fact that Tomkiewicz lists his “academic credentials” on his blog, whereas I don’t.

    Of course, he has very conveniently over-looked the fact that Tomkiewicz’ own faculty profile gives no indication that he’s ever published any peer reviewed articles that pertain to “climate science”.  Nor do his professed areas of expertise suggest that he should have – which may be why neither Tomkiewicz’ work nor mine were cited in the zealot’s (and evidently Tomkiewicz’) Climate Bible (aka AR4).

    But the zealot seems to think that Tomkiewicz’ opinions are more valid than mine.  It is to laugh!  Too bad the zealot also chose to omit any mention of the fact that I:

    “have never been known to suffer fools gladly ““ particularly Israel-bashers and/or Holocaust deniers, to whom I now give fair warning [...]**”

    which immediately followed that which he presumably – but, as is his wont, mistakenly – thought was proving … well … something or other, I suppose. Then again, perhaps he was simply letting us know that his superb mastery of copy and paste remains intact.

    [**Memo to self: consider updating this paragraph to include "thread-hijacking zealots"]

    But I digress …

    The zealot has repeatedly – and consistently – demonstrated that (if I might borrow from and paraphrase Nullius in Verba, earlier in this thread):

    [His] purpose is to act as the spreading yellow stain in the swimming pool of debate. [His] aim is simply to drive out the opposition by making participation intolerably unpleasant for [anyone who would prefer to see a grown-up discussion - rather than watch his childish diversionary antics while he strives to elicit a response along the lines of, 'Yes, sir! Yes, sir! Three bags full!']

    But, speaking of dictator-wannabes and zealots who would make our ‘participation (in real-life) intolerably unpleasant’ …

    Keith, are you planning to do any posts on the material being “debated” during the course of the current carnival in Rio?

    From my reading, it appears that “climate change” as the “greatest threat to the future of the planet [they have decided we want]” – which requires urgent action now, of course – is getting very short shrift, these days.  And, from what I’ve seen so far, what little shrift it’s been getting is all about “climate change finance” and/or “financial mechanisms”.

  • huxley

    Huxley, I was referring to Fuller not you in case that wasn’t obvious.

    Marlowe Johnson @ 218: No. You seem to be confused. In #215 you quoted me directly from my #212. I had every reason to believe you were responding to me.

    The rest of your comment seem so disjointed that, for the time being anyway, I’ll not bother trying to parse you.

  • http://hro001.wordpress.com Hilary Ostrov

    @218 

    “Since Rio+20 is in vogue these days, I thought it might be appropriate to consider a speech made by Severn Suzuki at the Rio conference 20 years ago:”

    And perhaps it might also be appropriate to consider the quasi-official pr̩cis of a speech she delivered more recently (when she returned to Rio). So that we can see how she has matured Рno doubt under the tutelage of her illustrious father.

    Little Miss Severn Suzuki is now known as Ms. Severn Cullis-Suzuki; representing the David Suzuki Foundation, she was among those who were chosen to speak from the deck of the “innovative bridge” during “Sustainable Development Dialogue Days”.

    The topic was “Sustainable Development for Fighting Poverty”. Her reported words of wisdom:

    [Cullis-Suzuki] explained that she continues to help transform society and fight for intergenerational justice. She considered the impact of measuring poverty in terms of money in societies that do not rely on fiscal exchange.[emphasis added -hro]

    Amazing, eh?!  Dad must be so very proud of his progeny.

    And there was another blast from the past delivered – from the deck of this “innovative bridge”, of course – by no less a luminary than Maurice Strong.  His topic was: “Unemployment, Decent Work and Migration”.

    For background and links to source, please see:

    Maurice Strong redux via “innovative bridge” at Rio

  • Peter Lang

    Hillary,#222Further to your comment, assuming you are referring to BBD, he completely destroyed any reasonable and constructive discussion on a recent thread.  However, on that thread he did admit he is Australian (as am I) and a regular inhabiter of BraveNewClimate.I am now guessing, but there is a blogger who also inhabits Jo Nova’s site and has admitted he is a frequent inhabiter of BraveNewClimate.  He was exposed on Jo Nova’s site as being a Labor party elected member of a state parliament or municipal council.  In other words he is an activist for the Labor party, CAGW and carbon pricing (for political survival reasons).  I do not know if BBD is that person, but his posts seem similar.Perhapsd he can tell us who he is.

  • Peter Lang

    My previous comment should have referred to #220 and this bit:This should come as no surprise ““ considering that of the 219 comments in this now degenerated thread, 62 bear the signature of a thread-hijacking tedious zealot/dictator-wannabe.

  • Peter Lang

    Hilary#222“From my reading, it appears that “climate change” as the “greatest threat to the future of the planet [they have decided we want]“ ““ which requires urgent action now, of course ““ is getting very short shrift, these days. “You’re are spot on with that comment.  It seems the CAGW alarmists have gone to water (and gone very quiet).  The Conversation is a left wing academics web site.  It normally has many threads about climate change and conferences like Rio.  And hundreds of comments on the threads.  However, two new threads today are moaning about the failure of Rio, saying we don’t need such conferences any more and proposing better ways to bring the population to is senses.  However, instead of hundreds of comments, the two threads have accumulated three comments, two of which are by me https://theconversation.edu.au/why-the-global-environmental-movement-is-failing-7819  What a joke :)   
      

  • BBD

    harrywr2 @ 219

    Sorry, the IPCC did not give a probability distribution withing the range of estimates. For all you or I “˜know’ the probability that 3.0C sensitivity being the “˜correct value’ could be 10%.

    If you can find exact wording in the IPCC report where they state that 3.0C has more then a 50% chance of being the “˜correct value’ I’m all ears. They didn’t say it because they can’t say it. The models are “˜all over the lot’.

    The models are only one aspect of the investigation. I do keep trying to point this out, but there is a tangible resistance* to the concept.

    If (oh, if) you would just RTFRs repeated endlessly and most recently at # 142, # 143, #144 and # 167 you would see this.

    The point here is that *everything* converges on a most likely value of ~3C. Everything. But if you *will not* read for yourself, you cannot understand what is actually known. Hence these endless, pointless exchanges.

    Look, I appreciate that you might not have the time or inclination to delve too deeply, but at least read some overviews. Start with the Kerr article at # 167, then go to SkS and read through the excellent material there

    I have to say this harry; I’ve earned the right. If you devoted one tenth the time you put in to energy market analysis to improving your understanding of CS we wouldn’t be stuck in this rut. Over to you.

    *This thread is about denial.

  • BBD

    However, on that thread he did admit he is Australian (as am I) and a regular inhabiter of BraveNewClimate

    No I didn’t! I said I was a long time reader of BNC. I’m a Brit!

    And you are a paranoid loon.

  • BBD

    Hilary

    This thread is about denial. You are using it to attempt to smear Tomkiewicz and link to off-topic material on your own blog.

    Who is doing the thread hijacking?

  • Nullius in Verba

    #228,

    The thread is about how use of loaded terms like ‘denier’ is an example of Godwin’s law, and how it discredits and disrupts attempts to persuade or negotiate, but suits the aims of activists at the scummy end of the pool trying to shut down debate.

    Tomkiewicz requires no smearing. He’s a radical eco-activist who tried to use his own history to shield his disgusting use of past atrocities to bash people he doesn’t agree with, and yet hypocritically practices/advocates the same style of censorship and distortion, labelling and persecution that led before to tragedy. He has learnt none of the lessons of history, and so repeats it.

    And by doing so, has provided a truck-load of ammunition to his enemies. The Morano’s of this world love him! Because to those with a high tolerance for it down at the dirty end of the pool, dirt is dirt, and can be flung back.

    If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table.

    #226,

    I’ve just read the Kerr document, and it was disappointing. Models, models, models. Big models on computers, small models for curve-fitting to statistical assumptions.

    Yes, the models, and the opinions of the modellers, seem to be converging on 3 C. But that isn’t empirical evidence. You first have to demonstrate empirically that the models are sufficiently accurate to support this application. You have to show that their infelicities ‘don’t matter’. You have to show they can predict and explain accurately across more dimensions than they have tunable parameters. If they were able, for example, to predict all climate parameters (not just temperature) at a local scale – the mean and variance and skewness, the oscillations and persistence structure.

    You keep on presenting the same sort of material that convinces you, convinced that it therefore ought to convince everyone. You can’t seem to understand how we can not be convinced, just as we cannot understand how you can. We look at the same text and see different things – you the consensus of experts and belief-confirming conclusions, us the lack of empirical evidence and inconsistencies and the weakness of the reasoning. It’s not going to be resolved by repetition, and certainly not by polluting the debate with name-calling.

    But if resolution isn’t your aim, then why not?

  • http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/ Robert Grumbine

    Huxley @212

    Labels that don’t have a particular referent are worse than useless. Nobody has presented a meaning for ‘warmist’ that is anything other than namecalling derived from fascist. As I already mentioned, in fact in the #169 you’re replying to, you can view the entire history of use for ‘warmist’ on a web search. It is overwhelmingly used in conjunction with fascist. And even more so in its earliest uses. At this point, the meaning being well-established, no need to continue saying warmist _and_ fascist by the people who use it, so it’s dropping off.

    Languages indeed evolve. That includes that words evolve to have multiple meanings. A word like ‘denier’, with a 500 year history, is a good candidate for such. That’s part of why it’s so absurd to whine about how ‘denier’ can _only_ mean connection to Holocaust denial. Yet you do that. Sanguine is its own opposite. Sometime look up the meanings of the word ‘dog’. Have some food and drink handy as it’ll take a while in a good dictionary.

    Note, by the way, that I’m inviting you to be a skeptic. Do the search yourself, don’t take my word for it. In the mean time, please provide a definition for ‘warmist’ that is not merely namecalling. Or do you believe that namecalling is a fine purpose, if applied to one group (but, clearly, not if an ambiguous term used for a different one)?

    While complaints are on topic about the use of ‘denier’, be sure to go visit Fred Singer’s SEPP. Fred wrote an article earlier this year dividing the world to three groups — warmists, skeptics (himself as example), and deniers. Most of his article was to complain about the warmists, naturally. But he noted that he could still have a discussion with a warmist. Deniers, on the other hand, he said, he couldn’t. What do you say about climate to someone who denies that CO2 is a greenhouse gas? (His example of denier.) Roy Spencer ran in to exactly that problem over on his blog.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    I point at first paragraph of 229:

    The thread is about how use of loaded terms like “˜denier’ [...] and how it discredits and disrupts attempts to persuade or negotiate, but suits the aims of activists at the scummy end of the pool trying to shut down debate.

    I point at the beginning of the second one in the same comment:

    He’s a radical eco-activist who tried to use his own history to shield his disgusting use of past atrocities to bash people he doesn’t agree with, and yet hypocritically practices/advocates the same style of censorship and distortion, labelling and persecution that led before to tragedy.

    That is all.

    No, not all. A question: do definite descriptions like “persecution that led before to tragedy” trigger Godwin’s law?

  • http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/ Robert Grumbine

    @229 NiV
    What evidence would you accept that the Charney sensitivity of climate to doubled CO2 is 3 C plus or minus X?
    Why do you bother with that figure at all? There’s no chance that greenhouse gas levels will flatten somewhere near 2xCO2e. And Charney sensitivity requires ignoring all the slower responding things in the climate system — oceans, sea ice, ice shelves, ice sheets, permafrost, …. All of which _do_ respond to climate change.
    Climate modellers use it as an easy way to compare models, so I understand their interest. But you’re not a climate modeler, so, again, why bother?

  • Nullius in Verba

    #230,

    I first came across the term “warmist” in the form “global warmist” a few years ago. It wasn’t associated with ‘fascist’, but was simply a short term for “believer in global warming”, used as verbal shorthand. It’s a normal construction in English to convert a characteristic description of an activity or belief to describe its practicers or believers. At the time, the comparison with fascism wasn’t really popular on the sceptic side – the discussion was mainly about their lack of logical reasoning or evidence for their claims of disaster, and is probably more closely related to religious terminology. Sects and schisms are commonly named after their philosophies.

    In recent years it is true that more attention has been paid to the totalitarian aspects of a subset of Green activism. (People do unfortunately confuse totalitarianism – support for the state’s right to regulate every aspect of everyone’s private life – with fascism – which was a form of totalitarian socialism incorporating populist right-wing nationalism to broaden its popularity.) It’s provoked by stuff like “The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy” and similar cases where activists have got impatient with all the restraint. It’s also provoked by certain proposals for legislation and regulation being put forward at the UN and government level. However, in my experience it’s usually directed where the case is unarguable, because even now there is an element of Godwinism to it. The term is applied to radical activists for societal change – not generally to climate scientists.

    And when they do so, they speak directly, and use words that mean what they intend. The word “warmist” just means a believer in global warming, and is intended descriptively. As someone who has long requented places where both sorts of term are used, I’m afraid I’ve no idea what you’re talking about.

  • BBD

    Nothing

    If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound
    the table.

    I’m providing reference argument grounded on the mainstream scientific position. You are pounding the table.

  • BBD

    You keep on presenting the same sort of material that convinces you, convinced that it therefore ought to convince everyone.

    Or looked at another way, this is the ‘material’ from which the mainstream scientific position develops. It convinces the vast majority of credentialled experts who are, professionally, sceptics.

    So there’s something a bit special about you? Well, yes. You are denying the vast body of evidence that points to (for example) an ECS of approximately 3C.

    Good luck with that. Arrogance is fine up to a point. It gets things done and can help fend off nonsense. But too much is a pathology. It renders one unable to parse information objectively.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “What evidence would you accept that the Charney sensitivity of climate to doubled CO2 is 3 C plus or minus X?”

    Newton’s law of gravity was able to explain and predict the motions of the moons and planets to extremely high accuracy over long periods. Quantum mechanics was able to explain and predict the detailed distributions of the behaviour of atoms and photons to extremely high accuracy across a wide range of extreme circumstances. In both examples, they made a convincing case that from a predictive point of view that our understanding of the relevant physics was fairly complete, they could be reliably extended to new circumstances without any major surprises, (and frequently had been), and that all these observations and calculations were open and had been checked many times by people hoping to prove them wrong. Indeed, even today people are still picking at it, testing it, pointing out the flaws and inconsistencies in the hopes of moving the science on.

    Climate models would need to show a similar completeness, a similar explanatory and predictive power. Even if they can’t predict the detailed weather – the atmosphere being chaotic – they ought to be able to explain the detailed climate (the statistical distribution of the weather) at a detailed local scale over all aspects, and the mechanism by which it occurs. And the fact is they still can’t.

    I’m not requiring perfection. Newton’s laws were imperfect, and Newton himself knew it. Aspects of Newtonian gravity were so great an absurdity that he believed no man who has in philosophical matters any competent faculty of thinking could ever fall into it. (Can you think what they might be?) But they were good enough to cover a wide range of circumstances, and we knew the limits of its validity, because we had deliberately set out to find them.

    Today’s climate models are useful tools for seeking understanding, but they’re nothing like good enough to make predictions yet, and even if they were, to make predictions to support decisions of this magnitude, they’d need to be thoroughly documented and validated. And again, the fact is they’re not.

  • BBD

    I’ve just read the Kerr document, and it was disappointing. Models, models, models. Big models on computers, small models for curve-fitting
    to statistical assumptions.

    You missed a bit at # 226:

    The models are only one aspect of the investigation. I do keep trying to point this out, but there is a tangible resistance* to the concept.

    And out comes the strawman on which your entire ‘argument’ rests. Again. As it does *every time* with ‘sceptics’. Models, models, models. This is getting tedious.

    See Hansen & Sato (2012) for an empirical approach that *confirms* modelled estimates. This is only about the tenth time I’ve suggested this.

  • BBD

    Then we could look at known paleoclimate behaviour and attempt to square it with a low value for CS. And those of us given to rational thinking would realise that we were on a hiding to nothing. Those of us determined to advance some weird contrarian agenda would carry on banging the table.

  • BBD

    Arrogance is fine up to a point. It gets things done and can help fend
    off nonsense. But too much is a pathology. It renders one unable to
    parse information objectively.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #237,

    Yes, you said you pointed that out, but Kerr only discusses the output of models (and the opinions of modellers).

  • BBD

    nullius

    You are out of road. Why not retire from posting slightly insane contrarian nonsense on the internet and concentrate on enjoying your retirement?

  • TerryMN

    Robert @230:  Here’s an article from the NY Times ( On Language; Succinctly Spoken), circa 1989 that you may find interesting. The last bit covers warmist, coldist, and staticist.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1989/08/27/magazine/on-language-succinctly-spoken.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm 

  • Nullius in Verba

    #241,
    Why don’t you?

  • BBD

    Because I’m not out of road, nullius.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #244,
    Me neither.

  • BBD

    nullius – you’re beginning to sound like Tom ;-)

    While we’re talking about the omnipresent ‘sceptical’ misrepresentation of the value of models, there is this.

    It took a bit of finding, hence the delay. It’s from a transcript of an interview with Hansen. Both the interview and transcript are available here.

    TH: A lot of these metrics that we develop come from computer models. How should people treat the kind of info that comes from computer climate models?

    Hansen: I think you would have to treat it with a great deal of skepticism. Because if computer models were in fact the principal basis for our concern, then you have to admit that there are still substantial uncertainties as to whether we have all the physics in there, and how accurate we have it. But, in fact, that’s not the principal basis for our concern. It’s the Earth’s history-how the Earth responded in the past to changes in boundary conditions, such as atmospheric composition. Climate models are helpful in interpreting that data, but they’re not the primary source of our understanding.

    TH: Do you think that gets misinterpreted in the media?

    Hansen: Oh, yeah, that’s intentional. The contrarians, the deniers who prefer to continue business as usual, easily recognize that the computer models are our weak point. So they jump all over them and they try to make the people, the public, believe that that’s the source of our knowledge. But, in fact, it’s supplementary. It’s not the basic source of knowledge. We know, for example, from looking at the Earth’s history, that the last time the planet was two degrees Celsius warmer, sea level was 25 meters higher.

    And we have a lot of different examples in the Earth’s history of how climate has changed as the atmospheric composition has changed. So it’s misleading to claim that the climate models are the primary basis of understanding.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #246,

    I’ve looked at the arguments used to support attribution and sensitivity, and they’re all based on models. Hansen can claim they’re not as much as he likes, it doesn’t make it true.

    Sometimes it’s using observations to tune models and then seeing what the models do in different circumstances, sometimes it’s varying the tuning of models to find settings that most closely fit observations, but the models are the basis of all their conclusions, while their conclusions are the basis for the models.

    It’s valid to use models to say “given our current understanding of the climate, this is what we would predict”. It’s not valid to use them to say “our current understanding of the climate is confirmed, because our models only match one aspect of reality when we set the settings according to our understanding”. It’s curve-fitting, confirming the consequent, and circular reasoning. Models do not constitute empirical evidence.

  • BBD

    Ho hum

  • BBD

    Relationship between Zachos curve and CO2 over Cenozoic?

    Termination of glacials under Milankovitch?

    Modern warming and CO2?

    No models required. Just the ability to parse information objectively. The trouble here is that you aren’t doing that. You have some sort of prior commitment which is getting in the way.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    well if NiV @247 isn’t a classic case of denial, I don’t know what is.

  • BBD

    What is that prior commitment nullius? It would be far more productive (and on-topic) to discuss that.

  • BBD

    Heh. We crossed :-)

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Robert Grumbine, you are being cagey in a way that is very unlike you. 

    1. I do not understand from whence the association between warmist and fascist is derived.2. I asked if you would be willing to supply a more innocuous label and you refused. Yet you still seem offended by the use of warmist. If we are not offered a substitute, what then shall we do?

    On another note, you write: “What do you say about climate to someone who denies that CO2 is a greenhouse gas?”

    I have yet to encounter one. In the blogosphere or the real world.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    We could talk about the observed relationship between CO2 concentrations and observed rises in temperatures… Nah. Couldn’t mean anything. Besides! Lags! ECS! All of these things we don’t accurately understand and can’t accurately characterize decisively refute anyone who puts those two trends on a chart.Sadly for those who believe in justice in argumentation, they may well be right–although they certainly haven’t proven it. Much to the surprise of the winner of CAS’s frequent flier program.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #249,

    The causality of the relationship between the Zachos curve and CO2 is well known to be reversed. A satisfactory quantitative interpretation of how each orbital parameter alters climate has not been achieved – the calculated forcing from certain frequency components doesn’t give rise to the temperature signal expected by the models at those frequencies. Linking the modern warming and CO2 is another classic of confusing correlation with causation.

    They extrapolate global temperature from a finite and very limited sample of proxies using models. They calculate forcing to be expected using more models. Paleoclimate data goes in, but the result that comes out cannot be inconsistent with the models by means of which it is interpreted. And all of it excludes consideration of other unknown factors. What’s in the model is all there is; all there can be.

  • BBD

    The causality of the relationship between the Zachos curve and CO2 is well known to be reversed.

    Eh? I think you may have your wires crossed.

    the calculated forcing from certain frequency components doesn’t give rise to the temperature signal expected by the models at those
    frequencies.

    ‘Sceptical’ misrepresentation. Milankovitch theory is considerably more robust than you pretend here. More tonight if you fancy it. I like talking about orbital forcing.

    Linking the modern warming and CO2 is another classic of confusing correlation with causation.

    Sans alternative forcings, I think not. A classic case of ‘sceptic’ denial, yes.

  • Sashka

    @250: I’ll explain. It’s a classic case of skeptical thinking. In fact, “skeptical” is redundant here. There is no other kind.

  • BBD

    @ 255

    Setting aside what I assume was just a simple mistake about the Zachos curve, I’ll simply point out that as far as CO2 under Milankovitch forcing is concerned nobody is arguing that CO2 is anything other than a feedback. So it lags T. But amplifies the initial orbital forcing globally etc. All basic stuff and all uncontroversial.

    So please, let’s not go down the old, long-debunked ‘sceptic’ track into the weeds of ‘CO2-lags-T-therefore-AGW-is-wrong’. Life’s too short. 

    The question to ask about the relationship between T and CO2 across the Cenozoic is which other forcing varied enough to explain the change in T over the period?

  • Tom C

    Robert Grumbine – You asked for some evidence that warmist is not derived from fascist.  TerryMN produced an article written by an expert in language that would suggest warmist comes from the same innoculous suffix that hundreds of other words use.  Care to comment?

  • Tom C

    BBD – Long ago, somewhere in this thread, I brought up the NASA scientists that think Hansen is sullying the reputation of NASA.  You gave me a link to an article that said “they are not climate scientists”.  That is not in the least convincing.  These are highly accomplished persons who have inhabitied the world that straddles academia, applied science, and government.  Their considered judgment is that the state of the science does not warrant the alarmist claims and calls for policy change.  They are much more to be believed than wild-eyed, politically motivated clown troupe that you want us to bow to.

  • Tom C

    BBD – In the paleo record, what do you think causes CO2 to decrease after it reaches a peak?

  • Bobito

    @261 – I think it was due to the appearance of the Goreosaurus…  ;)

  • Nullius in Verba

    #258,

    You didn’t say what aspect of the Zachos curve and CO2 I was supposed to comment on, so I had to guess.

    CO2 may act as a feedback and amplify the temperature change, but it is impossible to tell from just the result by how much. That information has to come from elsewhere.

    It would actually make more sense to talk about the effect of water vapour feedback on glacial cycles – it is the stronger greenhouse gas, and is affected more (and more rapidly) by temperature.

    One of the main assumptions being used here is that global temperature is a simple function of overall forcing. There are other aspects to consider.

    Obvious candidates for alternatives are clouds, currents, circulation patterns, the biosphere, and ocean convection. But it may be something that nobody has thought of – your usual assumption that until somebody offers an alternative that your proposal automatically wins by default is invalid. You can only argue by elimination if you can show that there can be no other alternatives. It is not enough to depend on none having been offered.

  • huxley

    Robert Gambuine @230: Neither Tom F., NiV, nor myself have encountered the “warmist” / “fascist” relationship you claim. Gesturing vaguely at the entire internet is not proof. Please supply specific links.

    I’m not arguing that “denier” can only mean “holocaust denier.” I’m saying that some people use it with exactly that intention — as documented in Keith’s article above — and that is such a vicious usage that I object to it as a term for skeptics in the climate debate.

    It’s also such a vague term that it doesn’t strike me as useful. We all deny *something*. Are we not then all “deniers”? How is that helpful?

    People who deny the earth is round are called “flat earthers” not “deniers.”

    People who deny that CO2 is a greenhouse gas? How about “anti-greenhouse effect” or “sky dragons” (as they are callled at Climate Etc.)?

    You seem to be playing a double game where you object to all labels for your side of the debate, but still defend the use of denier (even if you don’t use it yourself).

  • huxley

    Judith Curry sums up the Nature / “denier” controversy with her usual sharp eye:

    I view this pretty much as the green equivalent of the unabomber billboard. I find this kind of stuff in a high impact journal to be offensive: what was Nature Climate Change thinking when they published this?

    Somebody needs to research the sociology and psychology of people that insist that anyone that does not accept AGW as a rationale for massive CO2 mitigation efforts is a “denier.” The complexity of skepticism (ranging from multiple aspects of the science, to the impacts that can be attributable to AGW and whether or not they are “dangerous” to the policies proposed for CO2 mitigation) seems to be completely missed by all of the “scholars” writing articles about “˜deniers’. The argued point “A sizeable (and growing) proportion of the public in Western democracies deny the existence of anthropogenic climate change” should provide a clue to these people that something is fundamentally wrong with their thinking.

  • BBD

    @ 260

    BBD ““ In the paleo record, what do you think causes CO2 to decrease after it reaches a peak?

    Steady decline of T post peak orbital forcing.

    Cooling ocean is a more efficient CO2 sink and CO2 output from biogenic sources also declines as T falls. Hence low CO2 at glacial maxima (~170ppmv) and high (~ 280) during interglacials (pre-industral values).

  • BBD

    nullius

    You didn’t say what aspect of the Zachos curve and CO2 I was supposed to comment on, so I had to guess.

    All you needed to do was ask for clarification. The original question was: how to explain the relationship between the Zachos curve and CO2 over the Cenozoic.

    I thought that was clear, but it doesn’t matter.

    Here’s Fig. 1 from Hansen & Sato (2012).

    Here’s the relevant text (emphasis added):

    Solar luminosity is increasing on long time scales, as our sun is at an early stage of solar evolution, “burning” hydrogen, forming helium by nuclear fusion, slowly getting brighter. The sun’s brightness increased steadily through the Cenozoic, by about 0.4 percent according to solar physics models (Sackmann et al., 1993). Because Earth absorbs about 240 W/m2 of solar energy, the 0.4 percent increase is a forcing of about 1 W/m2. This small linear increase of forcing, by itself, would have caused a modest global warming through the Cenozoic Era.

    Continent locations affect Earth’s energy balance, as ocean and continent albedos differ. However, most continents were near their present latitudes by the early Cenozoic (Blakey, 2008; Fig. S9 of Hansen et al., 2008). Cloud and atmosphere shielding limit the effect of surface albedo change (Hansen et al., 2005), so this surface climate forcing did not exceed about 1 W/m2.

    In contrast, atmospheric CO2 during the Cenozoic changed from about 1000 ppm in the early Cenozoic (Beerling and Royer, 2011) to as small as 170 ppm during recent ice ages (Luthi et al., 2008). The resulting climate forcing, which can be computed accurately for this CO2 range using formulae in Table 1 of Hansen et al. (2000), exceeds 10 W/m2. CO2 was clearly the dominant climate forcing in the Cenozoic.

    If there is an alternative explanation for the overall shape of the Zachos curve, I have yet to see it. 

    Are you denying the apparent causal relationship exists at all? If so, how do we explain the change in T ~50Ma to present?

  • BBD

    One of the main assumptions being used here is that global temperature is a simple function of overall forcing. There are other aspects to consider.

    Didn’t really say it was. It’s overall forcing *and* feedbacks. Including CO2 which elevated tropospheric temps enough to allow for more WV and an amplified radiative forcing etc.

    Also don’t violate conservation of energy. Natural variation can only get you wiggles, not centennial trends and certainly not a global amplification of a change in summer insolation at 65N. 

    Sorry I’m really rushing here. Apologies if not clear. More in a bit…

  • BBD

    What I’m trying to illustrate here (over the whole thread) is just *how much* has to be denied in order to keep the contrarian show on the road. 

    This is to serve two purposes:

    First, to underline that denial is an accurate description of what contrarians generally do.

    Second, to underline that the bigger picture is even more unkind to the contrarian position than the narrow (and deceptive) focus on models and C20th uncertainty etc.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    In order to maintain the Hansenist doctrine one has to deny that actual warming is about half that predicted by the models, even though CO2 emissions and concentrations have been higher.Luke. Warm.

  • Tom C

    BBD – Thanks for your response in #266.  It confirmed for me that you do not understand what a feedback is.

  • BBD

    ‘Hansenist doctrine’?

    You are making my point for me Tom.

  • BBD

    Tom C

    You are going to have to explain that in a little more detail.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Jam tomorrow, jam next week, but never jam today.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Tom C,

    your question to BBD confirmed to me that your ignorance of paleocliamtology is matched only by your lack of google skills.

    CO2 pre-industrial = feedback.

    CO2 post-industrial = forcing.

  • BBD

    Aww… Marlowe, you spoil-sport :-)

  • Bobito

    @275 – Pardon if my physics are incorrect, but I believe the point is that the feedback wasn’t a strong enough forcing to keep temperatures from going down.

  • huxley

    Actually the topic here concerns the “denier” label and its “holocaust denier” context which Keith summarized well.

    One of the authors of the Nature study, Dr. Paul Bain, has responded to feedback on this point:

    Comments about the use of the “denier” label are a fair criticism. We were focused on the main readership of this journal ““ climate scientists who read Nature journals, most of whom hold the view that anthropogenic climate change is real. It should also be noted that describing skepticism as denial is a term increasingly used in the social science literature on climate change (e.g. in Global Environmental Change, Journal of Environmental Psychology, Routledge Handbook of Climate Change and Society), and is used informally by some within the climate science community. So we were using a term that is known, used, and understood in the target audience, but which we thought involved a stronger negative stereotype (e.g. being anti-environmental, contrarian) than skeptic.

    The good news is that Dr. Bain acknowledges the criticism the “denier” label. The bad news is that horse is out of the barn — “denier” has become accepted terminology with the climate science community.

    This reflects the ideologoical blindness of that community. As Dr. Judith Curry puts it:

    The complexity of skepticism (ranging from multiple aspects of the science, to the impacts that can be attributable to AGW and whether or not they are “dangerous” to the policies proposed for CO2 mitigation) seems to be completely missed by all of the “scholars” writing articles about “˜deniers’.

  • BBD

    Bobito – feedbacks arising from orbital (ie solar) forcing are reduced once orbital forcing passes its peak. It takes thousands of years, but it happens.

  • BBD

    huxley

    The bad news is that horse is out of the barn “” “denier” has become accepted terminology with the climate science community.

    This was my #9 on the previous ‘denier’ thread which segued into this one:

    Perhaps patience is running out in certain quarters.

    You could argue (and I do) that a contrarian becomes a denier once they refuse to accept that their arguments are demonstrably flawed.

  • Bobito

    @279  -  I understand that bit.  The feedback is increased CO2, and it’s due to the orbital forcing causing temp to go up, and when orbital forcing decreases temp decreases thus CO2 decreases due to the cooler oceans absorbing more CO2.  

    But now, we are arguing that CO2 is the forcing causing the temperature to go up.  How can CO2 be a strong enough forcing when it was at similar levels in the past yet temperature decreased?  

    I’m assuming the argument is that Orbital forcing is stronger than CO2 forcing?  Or is my physics by google education failing me… ;)

  • Tom C

    BBD – You wrote “Setting aside what I assume was just a simple mistake about the Zachos curve, I’ll simply point out that as far as CO2 under Milankovitch forcing is concerned nobody is arguing that CO2 is anything other than a feedback.”  If increasing one variable makes another variable increase that is called a “response” not a feedback.

  • Tom C

    MJ -  You wrote

    CO2 pre-industrial = feedback.
    CO2 post-industrial = forcing. 

    If there is a positive feedback associated with increasing CO2 it doesn’t matter what is causing the CO2 to increase, outgassing oceans or outgassing automobiles.

  • BBD

    Bobito

    But now, we are arguing that CO2 is the forcing causing the temperature to go up.  How can CO2 be a strong enough forcing when it was at similar levels in the past yet temperature decreased? 

    What do you mean by ‘at similar levels in the past’? When was it at >350ppmv in the last 10ka?

  • Bobito

    BBD
    I was going farther back

  • BBD

    Your link is giving me a ‘server not found’ but no matter – I was going further back too. See # 267. Slowly falling levels of CO2 correlate with the overall shape of the Zachos curve…

  • Nullius in Verba

    #285,

    was you thinking of something like this?

    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/PageMill_Images/image277.gif

  • Bobito

    How about this one:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vostok_Petit_data.svg

    CO2 levels have been over 280PPM several times (according to the ice core data) yet temperatures still went down.  

    I’m not sure what you are trying to tell me regarding #267.  I said I understand that CO2 goes down as temperature goes down.  I just can’t figure out why temperature goes down when CO2 is so high? 

    Is it because orbital forcing is stronger than CO2 forcing at 280PPM?

  • BBD

    No nullius, I was thinking of this:

    Dana L. Royer (2006) CO2-forced climate thresholds during the Phanerozoic.

    Full pdf.

    Abstract: The correspondence between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and globally averaged surface temperatures in the recent past suggests that this coupling may be of great antiquity. Here, I compare 490 published proxy records of CO2 spanning the Ordovician to Neogene with records of global cool events to evaluate the strength of CO2-temperature coupling over the Phanerozoic (last 542 my). For periods with sufficient CO2 coverage, all cool events are associated with CO2 levels below 1000 ppm. A CO2 threshold of below 500 ppm is suggested for the initiation of widespread, continental glaciations, although this threshold was likely higher during the Paleozoic due to a lower solar luminosity at that time. Also, based on data from the Jurassic and Cretaceous, a CO2 threshold of below 1000 ppm is proposed for the initiation of cool non-glacial conditions. A pervasive, tight correlation between CO2 and temperature is found both at coarse (10 my timescales) and fine resolutions up to the temporal limits of the data set (million-year timescales), indicating that CO2, operating in combination with many other factors such as solar luminosity and paleogeography, has imparted strong control over global temperatures for much of the Phanerozoic.

  • Bobito

    @287 – Thanks for that NIV, but I think the Vostok data demonstrates my quandary most accurately.  CO2 goes up and down, the temperature doesn’t seem to care one bit because I know the temp goes up and down due to Milankovitch cycles.  Is the orbital forcing that powerful that it overwhelms the warming affect of CO2?  Or is CO2 that little of a factor in global temp?

  • BBD

    Bobito

    CO2 levels have been over 280PPM several times (according to the ice core data) yet temperatures still went down.

    Yes, post peak orbital forcing. Obviously (# 266).

    I’m not sure what you are trying to tell me regarding #267.

    The geological carbon cycle and T are demonstrably correlated.

    I said I understand that CO2 goes down as temperature goes down. I just can’t figure out why temperature goes down when CO2 is so high?

    When atmospheric CO2 concentrations are reduced by geological processes over deep time T falls. When aCO2 falls post peak orbital forcing, T falls. Not sure why there is a problem with any of this.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    I believe that it was Gentle Joe Stalin who referred to his fellow Statist (communist, socialist, fascist, collectivist, Gaia-ist, warmist, etc. ““ not a nickel’s worth of difference here”¦.} as a RIGHT winger ““ as in right wing socialist. Because our gentler brands of socialistic murderous lefties here in this country disapproved ““ not of his murdering Jews ““ but of his obscene militaristic brand of NATIONALISM, they proceeded to brand all patriotic Americans as right wingers akin to [let's call him H].

    [H] was a far left radical just like Stalin, Obama, and Pelosi. Let’s not forget that it is leftists who are mass murders.

    http://frontpagemag.com/2012/06/13/socialist-or-fascist/2/#IDComment380019154

  • Bobito

    @291 – I don’t know that there is a problem.  I’m just trying to understand.

    Yes, temp and CO2 go up and down together because the ocean absorbs more CO2 when cooler.  That has nothing to do with the question “How can the temp go down when CO2 is so high?”  Unless the answer is that it’s so weak of a factor in global tempuratures that it has little affect.

    Do you now understand my quandary?

  • BBD

    What I’m trying to illustrate here (over the whole thread) is just *how much* has to be denied in order to keep the contrarian show on the road.

  • BBD

    Nope. And I think you are being a bit cheeky ;-)

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Michael Savage claims that liberalism is a mental disorder:

    You [the warmists] are equivalent of the Lysenkoists. You are the fascists of our time.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lm1mTyhdvA0

  • Keith Kloor

    Okay, those of you who have had problems with this comment software, please go here and/or here and leave comments. Just say what kind of browser you’re using and try to embed a link and make a line break. The web developer will follow along and see if we can fix this thing.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Bobito, your quandary is not something they really want to address. More fun talking about Stalin and contrarians and all that jazz.

  • Bobito

    @294 – Cheeky? Perhaps a bit. ;)  But it is a genuine quandary I have…

    You certainly have no requirement to answer, but if you do know the answer I’d love to hear it.  I’ll try to summarize the question more succinctly:

    Temp goes up and down with the ice ages due to orbital forcing (Milankovitch cycles).

    CO2 goes up and down with the temp due to oceans absorbing more/less CO2 as they heat up/cool down.

    If CO2 is powerful enough to cause warming, how does the temp go back down?  Wouldn’t the temp keep increasing, thus increasing CO2, thus creating a feedback loop that never ends?

  • Sashka

    Bobito, note that CO2 feedback lags forcing by unknown (probably variable) time lag. When the forcing is at peak the feedback is still pre-peak, probably by thousands of years. It peaks when the forcing is some ways down from peak. Whether the forcing is still above average when the feedback peaks we don’t know. It depends. Same story repeats on the way down.

  • Bobito

    @298
    It appears that way Tom.  I just find it hard to believe someone with a high school education could debunk CAGW by looking at a graph on wikipedia… 

  • Bobito

    @300 Thanks, Sashka, but why does the temp go down when CO2 is rising if CO2 causes global warming.  See #299.

  • BBD

    Ho hum.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Past your bedtime.

  • BBD

    Perhaps you are right, Tom, but physics never sleeps :-)

    Bobito is ignoring conservation of energy. CO2 absorbs and re-radiates solar energy. Reduce the orbital/solar forcing, and CO2 has less to play with.

  • BBD

    And the TOA keeps ‘a radiatin.

    Think about it.

  • Bobito

    @305 – Thank you, BBD, that sounds reasonable.  At 280PPM CO2 can’t overcome a reduction in solar forcing.

  • BBD

    Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Sometimes, it’s warmism. Sometimes, it’s environmental activism:

    That’s not to say environmental activists are like Nazis or Kaczynski, but that anti-human and violent ideologies don’t form in a vacuum.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/2012/05/04/climate-wars-reach-new-low/#comment-108097

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Another from Keith’s archives:

    Envrionmental politics is not about facts, science, or the Truth. It is about flag waving, intransigent morally-correct superiority. Which is why so many from Schnlenhuber (sp?) to Krugman to T. Friedman envy fascist China as the superior system because force is needed to “save the planet” and democracy cannot. Anyone reading Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism” is utterly unsurprised by the train-wreck the left has made of environmental correctness today ““ and inability of the Left to sanely handle any falsification of their sacred cows.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/2011/04/19/joe-romm-breaks-media-embargo-kneecaps-nisbet/#comment-58447

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    If people are parading the greatest hits from the past, let’s not forget this. Ian Joliffe responds to Tamino’s attack on McIntyre, imitating Marshall McLuhans’ appearance with Woody Allen in Annie Hall:”Apologies if this is not the correct place to make these comments. I am a complete newcomer to this largely anonymous mode of communication. I’d be grateful if my comments could be displayed wherever it is appropriate for them to appear.It has recently come to my notice that on the following website, http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/03/06/pca-part-4-non-centered-hockey-sticks/ .. , my views have been misrepresented, and I would therefore like to correct any wrong impression that has been given.An apology from the person who wrote the page would be nice.In reacting to Wegman’s criticism of “˜decentred’ PCA, the author says that Wegman is “˜just plain wrong’ and goes on to say “˜You shouldn’t just take my word for it, but you *should* take the word of Ian Jolliffe, one of the world’s foremost experts on PCA, author of a seminal book on the subject. He takes an interesting look at the centering issue in this presentation.’ It is flattering to be recognised as a world expert, and I’d like to think that the final sentence is true, though only “˜toy’ examples were given. However there is a strong implication that I have endorsed “˜decentred PCA’. This is “˜just plain wrong’….It therefore seems crazy that the MBH hockey stick has been given such prominence and that a group of influential climate scientists have doggedly defended a piece of dubious statistics. Misrepresenting the views of an independent scientist does little for their case either.”

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    If people are parading the greatest hits from the past, let’s not forget this. Ian Joliffe responds to Tamino’s attack on McIntyre, imitating Marshall McLuhans’ appearance with Woody Allen in Annie Hall:”Apologies if this is not the correct place to make these comments. I am a complete newcomer to this largely anonymous mode of communication. I’d be grateful if my comments could be displayed wherever it is appropriate for them to appear.It has recently come to my notice that on the (Tamino’s website)… , my views have been misrepresented, and I would therefore like to correct any wrong impression that has been given.An apology from the person who wrote the page would be nice.In reacting to Wegman’s criticism of “˜decentred’ PCA, the author says that Wegman is “˜just plain wrong’ and goes on to say “˜You shouldn’t just take my word for it, but you *should* take the word of Ian Jolliffe, one of the world’s foremost experts on PCA, author of a seminal book on the subject. He takes an interesting look at the centering issue in this presentation.’ It is flattering to be recognised as a world expert, and I’d like to think that the final sentence is true, though only “˜toy’ examples were given. However there is a strong implication that I have endorsed “˜decentred PCA’. This is “˜just plain wrong’”¦.It therefore seems crazy that the MBH hockey stick has been given such prominence and that a group of influential climate scientists have doggedly defended a piece of dubious statistics. Misrepresenting the views of an independent scientist does little for their case either.” 

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Or this, from Keith’s archives on Michael Tobis: “My interest is not in the substance unless Lipo & Hunt make a dramatically more compelling case than they seem able to. My interest remains mostly about what Peiser and E&E have to do with it.”

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    And how about Anna Hayne’s question to Judith Curry?Are you being threatened or blackmailed; either on behalf of you, or on behalf of others (e.g. family members) close to you, including the younger generation(s)? 

  • huxley

    “warmist” / “fascist”

    Finding a speaker who will use those two terms in the same paragraph does not make those terms equivalent or prove that the terms share the same intention or history.

    One can find any number of racists who will alternate between “black” and the N-word, but that does not make those two terms equivalent or prove that they share the same intention or history.

    If it did, that would mean that every time someone says “black” he or she is really saying “n******” and is therefore a racist bigot.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    So after being bombarded with all the news stories about how offensive this term is, and noting that some of the same people doing reporting lambasting Perry over the name of a ranch called “niggerhead” have absolutely no trouble at all calling people like me and the readers of WUWT “deniers” (Think Progress, Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, among others) which is also an ugly and offensive term due to the connection to “holocaust deniers”.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/2011/10/04/the-phony-victim/

    Zeke had it right, on that thread about the Phony Victim.

    Speaking of which, the usual commenters were there.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > Finding a speaker who will use those two terms in the same paragraph does not make those terms equivalent or prove that the terms share the same intention or history.

    Nor is it the point.

    No need for causation either: correlation should be enough.

    You’re being mindframed, folks.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Yes, the usual commenters were there. Like Tom Yulsman: “Excuse me, but being skeptical about the scientific basis for global warming is nowhere near on a par with Holocaust denial. That is an utterly offensive statement “” one that seems to comes up more and more in liberal discourse about climate change. If this is reframing the issue, count me out.”

  • Sashka

    @Bobito, 305

    Don’t give up so fast. Think first. You already know that, everything else being equal, the level of CO2 in atmosphere is a slightly lagged function of the (upper) ocean temperature. Thus when the planet gets warmer the CO2 must go up as well as it is being released from the ocean. Notice that this argument has nothing at all to do with the forcing and feedback loops. This is just a matter of chemial equilibrium between ocean and atmosphere.

    So how can you deal with the observation that CO2 continues to grow when the temps are already falling? Well, there are several possibilities.

    1. There is another source of CO2 apart from the ocean, e.g. volcanoes. Needs proof.
    2. There is some very intereseting process that leads to CO2 release from deep ocean while the upper ocean is already capturing CO2 from the atmosphere. Needs serious explaining.
    3. The data are wrong. Well, exactly what piece of data? What else do we get wrong?

    I don’t really know the answer. Not sure if anybody does. But I know what is NOT the answer.

    It’s a good moment to revisit Milankovitch theory. The way some people like to think about it is as if the planet cyclically gets more or less sunlight. It’s not true. As Wiki or any other source will tell you, Milankovitch cycles control the distribution but not the total amount of incoming heat. For example, when the obliquity increases, the amplitude of the seasonal cycle in insolation increases, with summers in both hemispheres receiving more radiative flux from the Sun, and winters less.

    You might ask why it should lead to glacial cycle? Good question! The answer is: nobody knows. There is no model that can convincingly explain the origination of glacial-interglacial cycles a couple of millions year ago. There is no explanation for 100,000 cycle. There is no numerical model that could explain either the amplitude or the extent of recent glaciation cycles based on the known variation of orbital parameters. In short, Milankovitch is a good story (and it is probably right in some or many details) but it’s NOT like we really know what is going on. As (I hope) you see from above we are still missing major mechanisms that turn cycles on and off. In this larger context the question of CO2 curve not being aligned correctly with temp curve is just one of many.

    As if it’s not enough that we have total of may be a few hundred proxies all over the world we also don’t understand major components of the climate dynamics. That’s why the attempts to derive climate sensitivity from paleo data look so funny.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > Yes, the usual commenters were there. Like Tom Yulsman [...]

    Not if by “there” we are referring to the Phony Victim thread.

    So in response to my comment, the claim might very well be false, notwithstanding the fact that it again breaks a promise made by that Team WUWT’s member.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    In the comment thread of the Phony Victim thread, featuring the captain of Team WUWT, we get a link to another thread, where we can read another shirt ripping session about another analogy:

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/2010/10/29/the-abolition-analogy

    The first “warmist”:

    As a skeptic of a certain type (I wont go into that), I think I feel the same abhorrence that the abolitionists must have, when I see efforts by the warmists to restrict their fellowmen from using their fuel sources.

    The carbonistas are not going to get it ““ it is all a game for them.

    The second:

    The warmists are playing the economy trump card every bit as much as the conservatives.

    The third:

    We don’t really need to speculate over a conspiracy in climate science, when it’s written out in black and white. I realize that the warmists deliberately avoided reading the Climategate emails for themselves. But the rest of humanity is really interested in the truth.

    Let’s try the Dad test:

    Dad, when I grow up, I want to be a warmist!

    Nope. Not good.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Fathers would be equally appalled if children said they grew up to be deniers. Witness IanA:

    The ever-shrill climate deniers trot out the same distortions about the CRU theft. They dribble their World Government paranoia. They quote Curry’s dissembling and anti-science rants (a sad tale about a once competent scientist now only interested in chasing the dollars). All the time, the earth keeps heating up. And the evidence keeps piling up. And the scientists keep telling us there is a problem. Climate change denial a unique form of stupidity. 

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Equally appaled. Exactly.

    Notice how AMac’s framing make that quite clear:

    In 1920, at the cusp of the Volstead Act going into force to begin Prohibition, a Temperance activist could have proclaimed:

    “Just as people look back now and see how obvious a moral evil slavery was ““ but didn’t then “” we are now debating something that in the future will seem equally obvious. In that sense, today’s deniers of the evils of Alcohol will be a little bit analogous to those who said the Civil War wasn’t really about slavery, it was only about state’s rights (emphasis on “˜a little bit’).”

    [...]

    To be clear: I am not proposing replacing one analogy (Abolition) with another (Prohibition). Rather, I am saying that we pick the model whose moral we think we know, and that we think is supportive of our already-held beliefs.

    Even if that’s not a knock-down argument (we tend to choose scientific hypotheses and models the same way and to me AGW is more an health issue than a security issue, while being both), it’s way more interesting to read than shirt-ripping, if you ask me.

  • BBD

    willard

    Thanks for all this. Especially useful to me, a late-comer who missed the fun and needs to catch up.

    I wouldn’t want you to think that your contributions aren’t appreciated :-)

  • BBD

    Sashka @ 319

    So how can you deal with the observation that CO2 continues to grow when the temps are already falling? Well, there are several possibilities.

    It doesn’t behave as you describe. This meme is misleading. CO2 falls broadly in line with decreasing global temperature but it just doesn’t fall as rapidly as *Antartic* temperatures inferred from ice cores eg Vostok.

    Let’s think this through:

    Where is Vostock?

    - It’s in Antarctica.

    Is *Antarctica* an exact proxy for *global* T?

    - No.

    Why not?

    - Because Antarctica isn’t the world. And post peak orbital forcing, the poles cool *faster* than the rest of the planet.  

    Would that explain the apparent lag between CO2 (well mixed globally and linked with T at lower latidudes) and *Antarctic temperature* which is falling *faster* than T at lower latitudes?

    - Yes.

    ****

    It’s a good moment to revisit Milankovitch theory. The way some people like to think about it is as if the planet cyclically gets more or less sunlight. It’s not true. As Wiki or any other source will tell you, Milankovitch cycles control the distribution but not the total amount of incoming heat. For example, when the obliquity increases, the amplitude of the seasonal cycle in insolation increases, with summers in both hemispheres receiving more radiative flux from the Sun, and winters less.

    No problem with that – all standard stuff although to be clear, obliquity amplifies the *high latitude* seasonal cycle.

    But this is going too far:

    You might ask why it should lead to glacial cycle? Good question! The answer is: nobody knows. There is no model that can convincingly explain the origination of glacial-interglacial cycles a couple of millions year ago. There is no explanation for 100,000 cycle.

    Milankovitch theory is routinely misunderstood. The problem is that we all tend to talk about the ’100ka cycle’ when there really isn’t one. The variables are eccentricity (~100ka period), obliquity (~41ka period) and precession (~26ka period). The degree of eccentricity *is itself* variable over a ~400ka period. The result of the head-exploding combination of these four variables is that eccentricity modulates and amplifies the effects of obliquity and precession and does so differently over time. The complex and shifting interplay produces an 82 – 123ka range of spacing between late Pleistocene interglacial peaks.

    Sure there are mysteries aplenty, but that’s not at all the same as suggesting that Milankovitch theory is shaky.

    The possible causes of the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT) about 700ka ago between dominant 41ka obliquity cycles to the quasi-100ka cycle are still being investigated but again, this doesn’t in any way invalidate or even challenge Milankovitch theory.

    To be clear: there is no growing body of work overturning Milankovitch theory and a large and growing body of work strongly supports it. That’s where we are today.

    Heaven forbid I should risk an opinion :-) but it might be time for an interpretation of the bigger picture. Down at the bottom of the Zachos curve CO2 and T are low enough for the formation of a permanent NH ice sheet. This provides a mechanism by which orbital forcing (variation in high latitude summer insolation) can influence ice albedo feedback. Orbitally-paced glacial/interglacial climate shifts are pretty much inevitable.

    Of course if one has a prior commitment, such as a belief in an insensitive climate system, one has to deny the evidence supporting Milankovitch theory as it absolutely requires a moderately sensitive climate system.

    Huybers & Wunsch (2005), emphasis added:

    The 100,000-year timescale in the glacial/interglacial cycles of the late Pleistocene epoch (the past ~700,000 years) is commonly attributed to control by variations in the Earth’s orbit1. This hypothesis has inspired models that depend on the Earth’s obliquity (~ 40,000″‰yr; ~40″‰kyr), orbital eccentricity (~ 100″‰kyr) and precessional (~ 20″‰kyr) fluctuations2, 3, 4, 5, with the emphasis usually on eccentricity and precessional forcing. According to a contrasting hypothesis, the glacial cycles arise primarily because of random internal climate variability6, 7, 8. Taking these two perspectives together, there are currently more than thirty different models of the seven late-Pleistocene glacial cycles9. Here we present a statistical test of the orbital forcing hypothesis, focusing on the rapid deglaciation events known as terminations10, 11. According to our analysis, the null hypothesis that glacial terminations are independent of obliquity can be rejected at the 5% significance level, whereas the corresponding null hypotheses for eccentricity and precession cannot be rejected. The simplest inference consistent with the test results is that the ice sheets terminated every second or third obliquity cycle at times of high obliquity, similar to the original proposal by Milankovitch. We also present simple stochastic and deterministic models that describe the timing of the late-Pleistocene glacial terminations purely in terms of obliquity forcing.

  • Sashka

    Q. Can we explain how could Antarctica get colder while the rest of the world is getting warmer with CO2 content going up?
    A. No. But we can spin some conjectures.

    Q. Is there a 100ky climate cycle?
    A. Yes.

    Q. Can we explain 100ky cycle?
    A. No.

    Q. Could there be 100ky mode of internal variability?
    A. Yes.

    Q. Do we know how it works?
    A. No.

    Q. Do we know why ice sheets terminate in some but all obliquity cycles?
    A. No.

    Q. Do we have hypotheses that could explain everything including kick-start of glacial cycle?
    A. Yes.

    Q. Are these hypotheses validated by physical quantitative modeling of Earth system?
    A. No.

    Q. Can we be sure that we get at least the big picture correctly?
    A. Probably some of it but not all of it.

    Q. What is the state of paleo climatology as a science?
    A. Developing.

    Q. How soon we will figure out missing pieces?
    A. Probably not very soon.

  • BBD

    Q. Can we explain how could Antarctica get colder while the rest of the world is getting warmer with CO2 content going up?

    I repeat: that did not happen. Antarctic T and global T both fell post peak orbital forcing. But Antarctic T fell first, and fell faster.

    Thought I’d made this clear above.

  • BBD

    Q. Could there be 100ky mode of internal variability?
    A. Yes.

    Okay, where did the energy come from? 100ka of cooling between eg Eemian and Holocene, then suddenly ‘internal variability’ triggers a glacial termination?

    How?

  • BBD

    Q. Can we explain 100ky cycle?
    A. No.

    Wrong.

    Q: Have you read and understood the comment at # 325?

    A: Obviously not.

  • BBD

    As I said at # 325, you are denying a robust theory of orbital forcing not because you are interested in or knowledgeable about it, but because you have to. Because it drives a truck through your belief in an insensitive climate system. 

    So Milutin must die!
    :-)

  • Sashka

    Clarification for intellectually challenged: acknowledging significant problems with the hypothesis is not the same as denial. I hope Bobito noticed “it is probably right in some or many details” in 319. Finding two curves being n good agreement proves nothing until a physical model is built.

    When the temps are falling globally, be that at different rates or the same rate, the CO2 must fall as well. Unless there are mistereous sources.

    I don’t know how (nor do I say this is actually the case; I know that the difference between “could” and “is” is too hard for some but what can I do?). Nor does anyone else. That’s the whole point: nobody really knows.

    Explaining the difference between real models of the climate system (such models can verify that the assumed physics does work by solving the right equations) and highly idealized toy models as in Wunsch and many before him, most notably Imbrie, is beyond the scope of blog post comment and is hardly accessible for people without background in science. Independent study is encouraged.

  • BBD

    Clarification for intellectually challenged: acknowledging significant problems with the hypothesis is not the same as denial.

    That is true, but that’s not what you are doing here. You aren’t demonstrating ‘significant problems’ with the theory. You are saying stuff, which is not the same thing at all. 

    And we both know why you are doing it, so there’s no need to be coy ;-)

  • Sashka

    Of course I’m just saying stuff. And it’s so easy to show me wrong. Just find the papers where:

    1. Origination of glacial cycles is explained and confirmed by a physical model.

    2. 100ky frequency is explained.

    3. Glacial cycle is modeled in a GCM where ice sheets advance and terminate.

    4. Increase in CO2 while temps decrease is explained.

    Let Google help you.

  • BBD

    You aren’t demonstrating “˜significant problems’ with the theory. Instead, you are holding up hoops and demanding that I jump through them.

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. #326 needs a closer look.

    Q. Can we explain how could Antarctica get colder while the rest of the world is getting warmer with CO2 content going up?
    A. No. But we can spin some conjectures.

    [False premise: Antarctica didn't get colder whilst the rest of the world was getting warmer. References for this claim?]

    Q. Is there a 100ky climate cycle?
    A. Yes.

    Q. Can we explain 100ky cycle?
    A. No.

    [Yes. Milankovitch theory provides a coherent explanation for the timing of interglacials right down to accounting for the 82 "“ 123ka range of spacing between late Pleistocene interglacial peaks.]

    Q. Could there be 100ky mode of internal variability?
    A. Yes.

    [Perhaps. But what is the physical mechanism? Compare with Milankovitch theory and apply parsimonious reasoning.]

    Q. Do we know how it works?
    A. No.

    [See 'Milankovitch theory'.]

    Q. Do we know why ice sheets terminate in some but all obliquity cycles?
    A. No.

    [Misdirection. The argument these days is about the interplay between eccentricity, obliquity and precession. Not whether these *are* the mechanisms causing glacial terminations at very roughly 100ka intervals.]

    Q. Do we have hypotheses that could explain everything including kick-start of glacial cycle?A. Yes.

    [Well that's encouraging.]

    Q. Are these hypotheses validated by physical quantitative modeling of Earth system?
    A. No.

    [Straw man. Milankovitch theory has been intensively investigated and withstood all scrutiny which is why it forms part of the scientific mainstream position.]

    Q. Can we be sure that we get at least the big picture correctly?
    A. Probably some of it but not all of it.

    [Agreed.]

    Q. What is the state of paleoclimatology as a science?
    A. Developing.

    [Straw man. True of all fields of science and the state of human knowledge as a whole.]

    Q. How soon we will figure out missing pieces?A. Probably not very soon.

    [Do the missing pieces invalidate or seriously challenge the theory? No.]

  • Sashka

    I don’t need references. We need to explain 333-4. And the rest of 333 as well, BTW.

    About the very last line. I don’t know how many times I need to repeat the same thing to get thru. I do think that Milankovitch is mostly correct. The point is this: the fact that we can’t explain (in physical models, e.g. GCMs) how things actually work (see 333) points to the incomplete picture. As long as this is the case nothing coming of paleo can be trusted.

  • Sashka

    Nothing in terms of estimates of CS.

  • Tom C

    You know BBD – I don’t think you really understand how science works.  You have an almost child-like trust that every paper that has been peer-reviewed and published is truth received from on high.   If you think that the intricate behavior of the earth’s climate is well-understood going back millions of years, well…I don’t know what to think.  It really is a sort of fundamentalism. 

  • http://hro001.wordpress.com Hilary Ostrov

    @ Peter Lang 223, 224 & 225 … My apologies for missing your observations and questions amidst the now typically disruptive and diversionary flood of drivel from the resident zealot (whose record, at this point – on this thread alone -includes 106 of 337 comments).

    Based on the times of his “contributions” here and elsewhere, I suspect he is more likely to be a Brit or a Yank than a resident of Oz.

    But could you do me a faour, Peter (or anyone, even the zealot) …

    As I was scrolling through, I noticed that I have been accused of “smearing” Tomkiewicz by some twit who is so lacking in reading comprehension skills that s/he has declared that – in complete ignorance (if not contravention) of Kloor’s choice of topic – this thread is “about denial”

    Could you – or anyone – highlight for me anything in my very few comments [152, 165, 220 & 222] here which might have led this particular commenter – whoever s/he might be – to make such a ludicrous and notably unsubstantiated assertion.

    Thanks.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #338,

    Hilary, BBD has said previously that he is a Brit living in the south-west of England. But I respect everyone’s right to privacy, and don’t encourage efforts to track down and “out” people.  On either side. It’s generally a lead-in to ad hominem, anyway.

    And don’t let BBD wind you up with his assertions. Nobody who matters takes them seriously. And him defending Tomakiewicz’ Godwinisms says a lot more about his position than yours.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Perhaps reading back the comment that “this tedious little zealot (and dictator-wannabe)” commented could substantiate the smears:

    #165

    Re Tomkiewcz “¦

    Anyone who deliberately chooses “Earth Day” as the birthday ““ shared with Lenin ““ of a blog sends my BS detectors into mild-to-medium alert mode.

    [...]

    The notion that the consequences of “climate change” [...] is strongly indicative of one who has formed his views solely on the basis of activist-advocacy material generated by the likes of WWF or the Sierra Club [...]

    But speaking of his book “¦ wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt, I did look for it on Amazon. [...] So, a few days later, I left a second comment in which I noted that other commenters seemed to take exception to my initial observations and (as I recall) also politely questioning whether he was sure he really wanted to sell his book! [...] [O]n the bright side, I suppose, he appears to be an equal opportunity trasher ““ because he had also deleted the comment containing the recommendation!

    [...]

    IMHO, given his personal history, he ““ perhaps more than most ““ should be acutely cognizant of the perils inherent in such disgraceful labelling and in the kind of “censorship” [...]

    Readers could also smell a whiff of a campaign too. Mileage varies, I suppose.

    YMMV too on what consists “disgraceful labeling”, since it seems natural to frown upon the use of the D word and yet use dictators wannabe.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #340,

    Regarding Tomakiewicz, that all seems accurate enough. He did pick Earth Day to start the blog. His views seem more derived from activist-advocacy than physics. And his labelling of sceptics as akin to Holocaust deniers was disgraceful, and he did censor a large number of opposing comments, even when they were phrased politely, and as a survivor of the Holocaust himself he *should* know better. Critical, certainly, but not a smear.

    “Dictator-wannabe” is more arguable – but wasn’t about Tomakiewicz.

    But as you say, different viewpoints have different standards of evidence. It’s not worth getting worked up about.

    Does your last paragraph mean that you *do* frown on the use of the “denier” word? It would be nice to get that clear.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    A smear campaign is an intentional, premeditated effort to undermine an individual’s or group’s reputation, credibility, and character. [...]

    Smear tactics differ from normal discourse or debate in that they do not bear upon the issues or arguments in question. [...]

    Even when the facts behind a smear are shown to lack proper foundation, the tactic is often effective because the target’s reputation is tarnished before the truth is known.

    Smears are also effective in diverting attention away from the matter in question and onto the individual or group. The target of the smear is typically forced to defend his reputation rather than focus on the previous issue.

    Smear tactics are considered by many to be a low, disingenuous form of discourse; they are nevertheless very common.

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

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    A “smear campaign” is a term that loosely means a coordinated effort to attack a person’s character.

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

  • Nullius in Verba

    #342,

    So are Holocaust deniers the subject of a “smear” campaign? Was Hitler?

  • BBD

    Eh, I can feel the love today.

  • BBD

    Okay Sashka, we’ll do it in baby steps.

    Q. Can we explain how could Antarctica get colder while the rest of the world is getting warmer with CO2 content going up?
    A. No. But we can spin some conjectures.

    Antarctica didn’t ‘get colder whilst the rest of the world was getting warmer with CO2 content going up’. This seems to be right at the heart of your position, so it is necessary to establish the validity of the claim.

    Please provide references supporting your assertion. 

    For the third or fourth time of asking.

    Thank you.

  • kdk33

    @337,Yes, Tom.  You seem to have nailed it.

  • BBD

    Yap! Yap! Yap!

  • BBD

    Tom C

    This is amateurish:

    If you think that the intricate behavior of the earth’s climate is well-understood going back millions of years, well”¦I don’t know what to
    think. 

    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!

    Surely you can do better than that?
    ;-)

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    With emphasis:

    Re Tomkiewcz “¦

    Anyone who deliberately chooses “Earth Day” as the birthday ““ shared with Lenin ““ of a blog sends my BS detectors into mild-to-medium alert mode.

    Smear tactics differ from normal discourse or debate in that they do not bear upon the issues or arguments in question. [...]

    Abusive ad hominem (also called personal abuse or personal attacks) usually involves insulting or belittling one’s opponent in order to attack his claim or invalidate his argument, but can also involve pointing out true character flaws or actions that are irrelevant to the opponent’s argument. This is logically fallacious because it relates to the opponent’s personal character, which has nothing to do with the logical merit of the opponent’s argument, whereas mere verbal abuse in the absence of an argument is not ad hominem nor any kind of logical fallacy.

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

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Pity the consensus side is forced to memorize the definition of ad hominem. In order to deploy it effectively.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Earlier, on the same Bat-channel:

    Willard, we have come to a parting of the ways, and none too soon. I will not be responding to any more of your comments.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/2012/05/04/climate-wars-reach-new-low/#comment-108386

  • Sashka

    No, it’s not nearly at the heart. In fact, it’s completely peripheral. But regardless. Suppose the whole world was indeed getting colder. How did it happen that CO2 went up at the same time?

  • BBD

    Sashka, nothing like that happened. As you well know, since you can’t find me any references can you? In fact what happened is as described at the start of # 325. So why should we ‘suppose the whole world was indeed getting colder. How did it happen that CO2 went up at the same time?’

    Why there’s no reason at all. Your ‘point’ about T falling and CO2 rising turns out to be fabricated. Discussing things that didn’t happen in order to bolster your belief that paleoclimate behaviour somehow shows that CO2 has no or only minimal role in climate would be silly, wouldn’t it?

    Let’s face it, you are ust saying stuff. You’ve been doing it since we began this chat on 12 October last year and I fully anticipate that you will continue until the lukewarm and brackish waters close over both our heads :-)

    Shall we leave this nonsense now? I think it’s all been said upthread. Time to save the link for reference and move on…

    See you soon.

  • BBD

    Sashka, sorry, I forgot to ask – can I cut this out and keep it?

    I don’t need references.

    Has to be one of your finest.

  • Sashka

    nothing like that happened

    Oh really? OK, I’ll oblige you with a reference. Please look at the well-know graph:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Co2-temperature-plot.svg

    Focus, for example, on the interval between approximately 280-270ky ago. It is quite clear that the temp (red line) goes down while the CO2 goes up. Are you in denial, BBD?

    It is true that Vostok is not necessarily the proxy for the whole globe. Thus there are two possibilities (apart from assumin exotic sources).

    1. The rest of the world also gets golder but a slower rate. Question (for n-th time): how can that cappen that CO2 grows at the same time?

    2. The rest of the world gets warmer (thus CO2 is released from non-polar oceans). Then the question is how it’s possible for Antarctica got colder while other latitudes got warmer?

    You really don’t see the problem, BBD?

  • BBD

    Sashka

    Antarctic T reconstructed from the Vostok core is local. Obviously. The global response to orbital forcing is lagged. It is also amplified and prolonged by positive feedbacks from CO2, CH4 and water vapour, reduced ice albedo (smaller area of ice sheets) and reduced surface albedo (increased vegetated area darkens the land surface).

    The CO2 measurements from Vostok are a better proxy for global T because CO2 is well mixed and this shows up even in cores from the Antarctic.

    What Vostok shows is a lagged *global* response to orbital forcing: note that spike in Antarctic T at ~290ka. As I said earlier, polar temperatures fall first post peak orbital forcing. As we see here. Then global T and CO2 fall. As we see here.

    This example doesn’t demonstrate a disconnect between *global* T and CO2. It does demonstrate that Antarctic T is not a direct proxy for global T. 

    If you think that paleoclimate demonstrates that CO2 and T are independent, you run into problems. See #267 and #289.

    I couldn’t help noticing that both those comments were apparently written in invisible ink.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #350,

    Oh, is that what was bothering you? Well why didn’t you say so?

    The relationship with Lenin is not a ‘smear’ of Tomakiewicz, but of Earth Day, which as has been long known and commented on, and by a totally remarkable coincidence, was first held on the 100th aniversary of Lenin’s birthday. Gaylord said he hadn’t known, but whether he did or not, a lot of people have since found it peculiarly appropriate anyway.

    The point of mentioning it is of course that it is the sort of gesture a political activist would make, rather than a scientist. The description of Earth Day emphasises the politically radical, activist nature of the event, and is a stereotyped Рeven clich̩d Рobservation for that purpose. But it is quite clearly about Earth Day, not Tomakiewicz.

    Of course, for it to be a smear, you would have to suppose there’s something disreputable about being connected with Lenin. As a hero of the left, one of only a handful to have ever put the left’s policies fully into effect, there are plenty of people who would argue with you about that. You are not, surely, arguing that Lenin was bad?!

    Why, I could almost think this was part of a coordinated and pre-meditated effort to to undermine the reputation, credibility, and character of poor old Vladimir Ilyich Lenin…

  • BBD

    Tomkiewicz

  • Nullius in Verba

    #359,

    Bless you!

  • BBD

    We all do it. I wasn’t being arsey ;-)

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    The relationship with Lenin is not a “˜smear’ of Tomakiewicz, but of Earth Day.

    Guilt by association is transitive, as made explicit by the following quote:

    The point of mentioning it is of course that it is the sort of gesture a political activist would make, rather than a scientist.

    By a remarkable coincidence, this false dilemma clearly explains Hilary’s smears: Tomakiewicz is an activist and a leftist, allegedly because this bears upon his opinion on climate science.

    Adding the other irrelevant detals like Tomakiewicz’ opinion on climate science is not more authoritative than Hilary’s and especially the scholarship campaign in Amazon reviews, we get something that could very well be taken as a smear campaign.

    And to return to Lenin, there are at least 20 reference to Lenin in Keith’s archives. Here’s one that shows the semantic field in which the reference to Lenin can be taken:

    As I recall it [the expression "useful idiots"] was Lenin’s quote. Not that it really matters to your point. The Stalin era word that seems most relevant here is Lysenkoism.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/2011/12/05/are-there-subspecies-of-climate-skeptics/#comment-90480

    Once we establish that smears are simply bad hominems (and not libels, as the Auditor usually dogwhistles) monkey wrenches like these only allow me to pay diligence to a semantic field of gaming theorists.

  • Sashka

    You may be under the impression that you resolved the dilemma posed in 356 and several times before. But you have not. It’s either 1 or 2 (or exotic sources of CO2).

  • BBD

    Sashka

    We can argue over a misinterpretation of a bit of the Vostok data all night but in the morning the relation between CO2 and T over the Cenozoic and the Phanerozoic (#267; # 289) will still be there, as it has always been.

  • Nullius in Verba

    It isn’t guilt by association unless you choose to interpret the association as guilt. I wasn’t interpreting it as guilt when I said it; if you interpret it otherwise, that’s your responsibility.

    The point of the statement is simple – Tomakiewicz’ views on climate change are derived entirely from his activism and the orthodoxy that it subscribes him to, not from any consideration of physics, or of any of the arguments sceptics actually use. He describes an entirely stereotyped idea of sceptic arguments that appears nowhere outside the deranged imaginations of global warming activists. He hasn’t talked to any. He refuses to listen to any.

    There are many indications of this, and the gesture of opening the blog on Earth Day was only the first one noted. He doesn’t know what the IPCC is, and he thinks “most scientists” think the consequences of climate change are equivalent to genocide. This is not someone interested in debating the science. It’s not relevant to whether his views on climate science are correct, but we weren’t talking about that. It’s relevant to the question of whether he should be granted a pass on the use of ‘denier’ – did he intend it as a smear, or a description? As a political activist he most likely intended it to smear.

    I’m impressed at the way you take on the most challenging debating cases. To defend a person who has very definitely smeared me by directly comparing my views to the Nazi genocide, and to do so by accusing us of smearing him by pointing it out – well that’s something that takes the most astounding rhetorical finesse to get away with. Bravo, sir!

  • BBD

    Tomkiewicz.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #366,

    Oh, I see what you mean, now. I’ve been mis-spelling it. Thank you.

  • BBD

    nullius

    The point of the statement is simple ““ Tomakiewicz’ views on climate change are derived entirely from his activism and the orthodoxy that it subscribes him to, not from any consideration of physics, or of any of the arguments sceptics actually use.

    How do you know this?

    And why should Tomkiewicz make reference to ‘sceptical’ arguments?

    This is asymmetrical thinking :-)

  • Nullius in Verba

    #368,

    No, it’s symmetrical thinking where you and Tomkiewicz think only asymmetrical is justified.

    The equivalence of climate scepticism to genocide is not something that can be concluded from physics. And a physicist would have to find out what the counter-arguments actually were before dismissing them, if they were following anything like scientific method.

  • BBD

    I’m not sure you are being fair to Tomkiewicz:

    I make my “climate change denier” claim for one reason.  It’s easy today to teach students to condemn the Holocaust, but it’s much more difficult to teach them how to try to prevent future genocides.  There
    are different kinds of genocides and they don’t repeat themselves; they come to us in different ways.  I am not suggesting that the Holocaust is just like climate change.  But what I am suggesting is that it’s hard
    to see a genocide ““ any genocide ““ coming.  The future is hard to predict, but we can see this one coming.  This genocide is of our own making, and it will effect everyone, not just one group or country.

    Even if people don’t believe this or are skeptical ““ remember Germany as Hitler came to power ““ why don’t we act now?  Why wait?  And what, exactly, are we waiting for anyway?  Are we waiting for “the answer?”  Since, as I’d said earlier, the future is not totally predictable, we
    may never get “the answer.”

  • Dave H

    “The n-word” has cropped up many times in this thread, and it always reminds me of Louis CK:

    [...] when you say
    “the N word” you put the word “nigger” in the listener’s head. That’s what
    saying a word *is*. You say “the N word” and I go “oh she means ‘nigger’”. You’re
    making me say it in my head. Why don’t *you* fuckin’ say it instead and
    take responsibility for the shitty words you wanna say.

    I find the scorched earth offensive on the word “denier” depressing. I mean, some are literally arguing that *nobody* can possibly use the word “denier” without the explicit intent to draw comparisons to the Holocaust, and I find that claim not only flat-out wrong but profoundly offensive. I don’t use the word, but talk like that is an assault on language itself. In a weird twist on Humpty-Dumpty, it is claimed that my meaning is now what you intend it to be, no more and no less.

    I don’t want to say it, but I reserve the right to say it with precisely the meaning I intend, that being the meaning that it has – no more and no less.

    The thing is, the word “denier” has less and less connotations with the holocaust as time goes on. For a whole generation, “holocaust denial” isn’t even a thing – it is something that has no real hold in the public consciousness. The notion that “denier” implicitly means that would be met with blank stares. Rather – after a period where it was attached chiefly to evolution denial – it is now predominantly associated with denial of the established scientific position on climate change. Unsurprising, given that this is the major controversy that seems to be defining this period of time.

    As an aside, perhaps it says something about the typical age of most anti-AGW commenters that they continue to leap to this association from decades ago, rather than the much more widespread and contemporary phenomenon?

    Personally, I find the word warmist and offensive. Also alarmist, and a bazillion others that are just terms of abuse, yet are in regular use. Also, the fabricated acronym CAGW. Also, misuse of the word “skeptic” by those demonstrating a complete lack of skepticism. All of these are loaded terms, and constitute well-poisoning just as much as “denier”.

    Anyone that says otherwise is clearly a fascist.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Yeah, Dave H. That’s why you’re winning.

  • huxley

    No one will answer my question on why the climate community insists on the D-word. It’s not the only word that would suffice — “skeptic” has been fulfilling that function just fine and without alienating people.

    I can only conclude that deep down the climate community believes that it is at war with skeptics and its aim is not to win skeptics over but to crush them as adversaries.

    Well, that’s one way to handle conflict and it can work. But is it a good strategy for climate? Do scientists want to reduce themselves to partisans and political hacks?

    If the climate community wants war, they can have war. As it happens, there already is a war and they are currently on the losing side.

    Is this really a good idea?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Hux, speaking as a committed leftist, I can tell you most leftists should be committed. This is similar to the way we have cut our own throat a thousand times. 

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    It isn’t guilt by association unless you choose to interpret the association as guilt.

    I’m not sure the *you* in that sentence has this much power: language is more intersubjective than that. Take for instance:

    Comparing someone to Hitler isn’t guilt by association unless you choose to interpret the association as guilt.

    Unless one can grant himself the power to claim something like:

    In my view, nothing occurred at Dresden during the war for the simple reason that there *is* no Dresden.

    http://www.revisionism.nl/Dresden/Feedback2.htm

    But a more important matter is to consider the circularity of the claim when we replace “guilt by association” with “smear”:

    It isn’t smear unless *you* choose to interpret the association as a smear.

    Even this trivial looking claim is not sufficient, as we have seen. But to make it necessary, we need to extend the *you*:

    It isn’t smear unless *we* choose to interpret the association as a smear.

    This *we* could include gaming theorists themselves, but they tend to look at consensual processes way beneath their own standing. If successful, such processes would, by an amazing coincidence, compromise their own line of business,

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > “Skeptic” has been fulfilling that function just fine and without alienating people.

    This use of “skeptics” alienates those who pratice skepticism, most of whom should remain skeptical of the use of that label in the AGW debate.

    “Contrarian” or “dissenter” would be better for the most general class.

  • huxley

    Tom Fuller: I used to be a committed leftist, so I’m familiar with the thinking from that side of the fence.

    Within my lifetime the left has done best with the civil rights movement. Their moral high ground was clear and they won the hearts of most Americans. Things changed for the better and most Americans, even in the South, came to agree.

    In that struggle the word, “racist” became a very potent word, and a word which was part of the victory.

    My impression is that the climate community wishes to make “denier” that word in this struggle. I’m sure that much long hard thought has gone on behind the scenes in the choosing of this word, as part of the whole “framing” approach we’ve been hearing from liberals and climate folks for several years now.

    It’s not a bad strategy. The problem, though, is that the civil rights struggle was purely a moral one. There were no scientific questions about whether blacks were human, partly human, or not human. “Racist” was a very crisp, accurate word.

    Not so with “denier” — as you’ve noted. Climate change is far messier than the clear moral choice: since blacks are human, shouldn’t they have the same rights as other humans. With climate change even the IPCC is constantly hedging its language with “likely,” “very likely” etc.

    This is not a clear moral choice, so applying a label derived from “Holocaust denier” to skeptics looks like serious demonization for rank political reasons, which I think backfires on a movement that claims to be based on science and reason.

  • Sashka

    There is no misinterpretation. There is a bit of data that is not explained by the theory. Which means that either the data is wrong or the theory is wrong. Or to be generous – incomplete.

  • huxley

    Today even the “racist” label has lost its power. Whenever people disagree with Obama they are accused of “racism.”

    Those who “deny” Obama are used to this. They understand it to be plain old vicious name-calling in order to squelch debate and delegitimize opposition.

    I doubt the “denier” label is going to work any better.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #371,

    Some newcomers to the debate may use the d-word without realising the context. Some may use it making clear the different sense they mean it, as a way to try to ‘reclaim’ the word, as some black have tried to reclaim the n-word. Frankly, it’s not that nice a word even if you take it to mean generalised irrational denial, but if people have been listening to the propaganda, it’s not surprising if they pick up a distorted impression, and that’s the debate as it is.

    But if you’ve been in the debate long enough to know the context, and the effect it has, and you keep on using it, you are responsible for the effect.

    I’m not saying you shouldn’t. I’m just saying that it puts you in the same part of the pool as the political operators and polemicists, and you’ll get people there who will respond in kind. The conversation degenerates to a bottomless well of tit-for-tat insults, and drive the intelligent away. If that’s what you all want, fine. There are plenty of places on the internet that go for that.

    #375,

    If someone compares you to someone who has been compared to Hitler, but who you both consider a fine person, should you feel insulted?

    It’s partly intent and partly context and convention. That’s why it’s relevant to know if you know the convention.

    #376,

    Disagreeing with it is not the same as being alienated by it.

  • Barry Woods

    Of course theD-word has now become to mean whatever nasty association it is linked to today.. (creationinst, aids denial, etc)  ie climate sceptics are as bad as… insert word. BUT, there is also another earlier meaning, which turns things on its head.  I think if Keith wants that Pullitzer, he could go looking, as the answer (I think) explains the motives of the email leaker, and where environmntalism has gone adrift AND how that Nature paper got published with Denier in it (and more shockingly – believer) A clue is.. who was the first scientist (not politician) to use the phrase ‘climate change denier’ and where did they hear/get that from first.. there was a chnage in the media.. ie a period where global warming denier was used, and it changed around a decade ago.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    [Smear]‘s partly intent and partly context and convention. That’s why it’s relevant to know if you know the convention.

    Agreed, and this is why, while waiting for Godot, intent gets overinterpreted, context overanalyzed, and conventions rationalized.

    In another context:

    Denial may be adaptive during hospitalization for acute coronary disease. We studied the impact of denial in 48 patients referred to a tertiary care center for treatment of unstable angina. Using the Hackett-Cassem Denial Scale, we divided the group into 25 high deniers and 23 low deniers. The two groups were comparable in baseline demographic and social data, coronary risk factors, cardiac history, medical treatment, vital signs, and cardiac catheterization results (number of diseased vessels and ejection fraction). Compared to low deniers, high deniers had half as many episodes of angina during hospitalization (1.3 vs. 2.5; p less than 0.03, t = 2.2, df = 46) and were more likely to reach medical stabilization, i.e., pain free for 36 hr (92% vs. 65%, p less than 0.03, Fisher exact probability test). Intravenous nitroglycerin drips were also required less often in high deniers (32% vs. 78%, p = 0.002, Fisher exact). Two myocardial infarctions and one death occurred, all in low deniers. We conclude that denial independently predicts better medical outcome during acute hospitalization for unstable angina.

    http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/content/51/1/27.short

    Those bloody leftists even have built a scale. Soon enough, it will be a complete phrenology.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    It might be a good time to check one’s blood pressure:

    As previously mentioned, normotensives with a positive family history of hypertension (FH+ normotensives) seem to express fewer emotions, have a noncomplaining attitude, and lack an ability to differentiate feelings (Jorgensen and Houston, 1986). FH+ normotensives manifest greater sympathetically driven cardiovascular reactivity to stressors than normotensives with a negative family history(FH-)(Hastrup et al., 1982; Jorgensen and Houston, 1981; Manuck and Proietti, 1982). Furthermore, it appears that a subgroup of these FH+ normotensives characterized by denial and unwillingness to admit to neurotic feelings or aggressiveness may be responsible for the exhibited exaggerated blood pressure reactivity of FH+ normotensives (Jorgensen and Houston, 1986). This subgroup reported little negative affect in response to experimental stressors in which they exhibited exaggerated blood pressure reactivity, which suggests they deny or suppress their feelings. Denial of negative affect in response to experimental stressors and effects on exaggerated blood pressure reactivity have not been sufficiently studied.

    http://www.workhealth.org/risk/rfbden.html

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    A prescription, with our emphasis:

    The insatiable dependency of “hateful patients” leads to behaviors that group them into four stereotypes: dependent clingers, entitled demanders, manipulative help-rejecters and self-destructive deniers.

    The physician’s negative reactions constitute important clinical data that should facilitate better understanding and more appropriate psychological management for each. Clingers evoke aversion; their care requires limits on expectations for an intense doctor”“patient relationship. Demanders evoke a wish to counterattack; such patients need to have their feelings of total entitlement rechanneled into a partnership that acknowledges their entitlement “” not to unrealistic demands but to good medical care. Help-rejecters evoke depression; “sharing” their pessimism diminishes their notion that losing the symptom implies losing the doctor. Self-destructive deniers evoke feelings of malice; their management requires the physician to lower Faustian expectations of delivering perfect care. (N Engl J Med 298:883″“887, 1978)

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM197804202981605

    Yet another leftist using the D word to “manage” people.

  • Dave H

    @Willard

    Clearly, you think that those that honestly question whether their cardiac-illness related symptoms could have a perfectly benign explanation are little more than jackbooted thugs.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Hmm. Those who have a formal, vested and paid role of authority in relation to those who have paid them for care…
    Yeah, just like the climate situation.

    It’s not that the verb ‘to deny’ should be excised from the lexicon or that synthetic nouns and adjectives returned to sender.

    You’re a jackbooted thug because you act like one. Spraying the word denier around like a dog marking his territory is one, but not the only symptom.

  • BBD

    Eh, Tom, you’re such a contrarian.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    See how easy that is?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    BBD, there’s a discussion of a paper on climae sensitivity over at Judith Curry’s weblog that might be of interest to you.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    ‘jackbooted thug’? 

    Methinks that’s worth 3 drinks at least. Way to step up your game Tom!

  • http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/ Robert Grumbine

    #233 NiV

    ‘believer in global warming’? Like how I’m a ‘believer’ in gravity? The warming of the globe over the past 30-150 years is an observation. By that definition, everybody is either a ‘warmist’, or in denial of reality. Pat Michaels and Tom Fuller join Michael Mann and Jim Hansen as ‘warmists’. If that’s your definition, it’s so broad as to be useless, even for the alleged purpose of innocuous labelling.

    @242 TerryMN:
    Thanks. This does push back the date of origin for the term beyond the 1996 that I was able to find in cursory search. But it doesn’t give us a sighting in the wild. The author gives one meaning, but does not produce a source for original usage, nor is the article concerned with a full description of all usages. He’s taking interest in one definition. Fine for the purposes of his article, but doesn’t give, nor attempt, full etymology.


    AMONG CLIMATOLO-gists, global warming is just one scenario for the unusual atmospheric changes that have been observed throughout the world. Those who accept the global-warming theory are said to take the warmist position.

    It is proper, as well, to speak of coldists. ”Earth’s atmospheric temperature seemed to be cooling from the 1940′s into the 1970′s,” explains Jesse H. Ausubel, an environmental scientist at New York’s Rockefeller University. ”A number of climatologists suggested that the increasing emission of dust and particles into the atmosphere could lead to a new Ice Age. The coldists were in the ascendancy until the cooling trend reversed. In the 1980′s, atmospheric temperature has been rising.”

    He also gets his science history wrong, as there never was a ‘coldist’ ascendency. e.g. The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus

    @253 Tom Fuller

    Usage, see below.
    I suggested, and you seemed to agree in #158, that not using labels would be better. There’s nothing ‘cagey’ about not providing a label to use when you don’t think labelling is constructive. Even so, I provided several labels, e.g. climatologist, that could be used.
    Your experience is surprisingly limited. Fred Singer used that example because he was encountering it. And I do. I’ll soon be posting collections of 20 links for people who deny that a) there is a greenhouse effect b) CO2 is a greenhouse gas c) CO2 levels have risen over the last 200 years … and so on. The only thing that slows down my assembling examples is that I’m requiring them to be original posts, rather than comments anywhere. In the mean time, pursue the term ‘sky dragon’ as used w.r.t. climate. (n.b. it is self-applied to such people)

    @259 TomC
    naturally. Please remember that there is such a thing as a weekend, and some of us do different things then than during the week.

    @264 huxley Butchering my name does not advance the discussion. Tom F, for example, also claims never (_never_?!) to have encountered denial that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Given his claimed (elsewhere) reading, this is not really possible. Hypersensitivity against a term used by _some_ derogatorily against your tribe, and blindness to derogatory usage of a term _by_ (some of) your tribe is perfectly ordinary.

    @373 huxley
    ‘skeptic’ does not work because the people claiming to be so regarding climate almost never are. This includes the people Fred Singer called deniers, even though they call themselves ‘skeptics’.

    One example of warmist being equated to fascist:
    http://www.youtube.com/all_comments?v=lv6g86A3Upc&page=1
    I have a great idea for a real eco-bathroom. Crap in a paper bag and throw it at the nearest warmist/eco-fascist. See, we did evolve from apes!
    guydecervens

    Lovely fellow. Lovely associations for this word some of you are using and claiming is inoffensive.
    Naturally it’d take quite a few examples to make the case solidly to people disposed not to believe such things of a term they use themselves. And I’m not going to impose on Keith’s link policy to that degree. If he’d like a guest post on the topic, then I could have one ready in a week or two. Otherwise, I’ll simply encourage you (all) to hit the net and examine for yourself the usages. Start with the fact (verify for yourself) that ‘warmist’ seldom occurs on web pages that aren’t also saying ‘fascist’. Observe how commonly person a talks about warmist, and person b responds talking about ‘fascist’, or vice versa, and they are not in disagreement with each other.
    And yes, association is important. Words acquire their meanings, or additional meanings, by how they are used and associated. If 80% (approximately correct according to google) of the time that ‘warmist’ is used, it is in conjunction with ‘fascist’, then that does mean that its usage includes fascist in definition. It’s curious that some deny this, as it’s exactly the argument that is being advanced to claim that nobody should use ‘denier’ in talking about climate, even though few actually mean such a connection.

    I’ll note, however, that I’m still among the few who advises against _both_ warmist and denier. Whether you agree about the associations or not, the more fundamental point is one I discussed years ago Labelling instead of thinking. If you want a thoughtful discussion, doing things that avoid thinking is not a plus.

    If you just can’t help yourself about using labels, then I’ll encourage that you use labels that the person/people you’re labelling use for themselves and have moderately clear/specific definitions. ‘sky-dragon’ and ‘lukewarmer’ work well in that way. ‘warmist’, ‘denier’, ‘skeptic’, ‘alarmist’, ‘believer’, … don’t.(while ‘skeptic’ is self-applied, it’s self-applied to everything from denying that there’s a greenhouse effect to questioning whether the satellite record of sea ice is really as good as some people claim, which makes it overbroad to have any use.)

    This is probably my last comment. Probably all of you who don’t believe me regarding the association of warmist with fascist still don’t. But also wouldn’t be changing your mind for any set of examples I could reasonably post in a comment on someone else’s blog. And you’ll probably all go on with using the term warmist, under the banner that _you_ don’t mean connection to fascist, while at the same time decrying the use of ‘denier’ because _some_ of its users mean a connection to Holocaust denial. So be it.

    Those of you who have lead exceedingly sheltered lives and never encountered any sources that denied that there is a greenhouse effect, or that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, etc., should stop by my blog in coming weeks. I’ll be posting collections of primary sources for examples.

  • BBD

    Tom – I always use the terms contrarian or ‘sceptic’ – except when we are discussing denial and denialism. You are making a fake point. Stop with the nonsense.

    WRT the Foster fuss. That’s Nic Lewis claiming something he hasn’t proved and stirring up mischief. Foster must be pretty fed up by now. I’ve been talking briefly to NL elsewhere. I get the impression that even he hasn’t considered that for him to be right F06 would become an outlier. *Everything else* points at ~3C. This very strongly suggests that NL is mistaken.

    I can’t get very worked up about this – except when I think about it in terms of a deliberate and calculatedly misleading attempt to create the *impression* of great uncertainty.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Hi Robert, 

    Thanks for the needed reminder that there are any number of fringe skeptics, something I tend to discount as most of my blog time is spent here and at Bart Verheggen’s place of business. I should have known better as the survey I conducted some years back, where the raw sample skewed heavily towards sites like WUWT, showed that there is no shortage of folks like the one you present here.

    I might point out that a dynamic in evidence here contributes to that. I get called a denier, a term I find repulsive. I know that I am not even a skeptic, let alone a denier. Hence I believe that everyone who is labeled either by the same jerks who called me a denier is falsely accused.

    And yes, I am saying that creating this environment is just as much the result of the consensus brigade as of those way out on the skeptic branch.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Marlowe, looks like you started drinking before reading. I was quoting Dave H. 

  • Marlowe Johnson

    ah fair enough tom. i missed dave h’s comment. no revision to current rules required.

  • Barry Woods

    quote: All the activists grew up and became professional phsycologists….”What this experiment illustrates, though, is that “belief” in climate change is very much what matters. Without belief in climate change, scientific evidence simply bounces off. And it is social views and cultural beliefs that predict climate change denial, not people’s level of knowledge about climate science.” end quote:  this is a seriously scary bit of thinking, given who this guys mentor is.. and a Hansesn, RC connection at that.Pullitzer Keith?Tom, Moshers has been dropping hints at whothe leaker is, Well I’ve got a very good guess at the motivatiion is (that sort of thinking inside the team)

  • Barry Woods

    guy above told a public audience “I’m not a campaigner’  some later tweeted placard carrying greenparty protester at Copenhagen, and his phscology co-author was a yout represenative of an island state…

  • BBD

    Tom

    I get called a denier, a term I find repulsive. I know that I am not even a skeptic, let alone a denier.

    You apparently believe ECS to be 1.9C but are unable to produce a scientific source for this figure, which is of course at odds with the mainstream scientific position. When pressed, you descended into childish evasions and finally a direct lie.

    You claim the mantle of ‘lukewarmer’ on the basis of an unsubstantiated and contrarian belief. This is a convenient camouflage from behind which statements such as ‘I know that I am not even a skeptic, let alone a denier’ emanate along with an incessant attempt to undermine the mainstream scientific position and all its implications.

    I say you are very much a contrarian.

    I think this is what Marlowe and others find so irksome. It certainly irritates me no end.

  • BBD

    # 392 that should be ‘Forest’ not ‘Foster’.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    BBD, I do believe ECS to be 1.9C. I told you why and you evidently were so unhappy that you blocked the memory. 

    And I’m happy to return the favor. Irritating a troll is a duty, but one gets a sense of sober satisfaction after doing so.

  • Sashka

    A nice figure from IPCC (9.20 of AR4 WG1) is reproduced at Curry’s. Should catch the attention of those who pray about 3C sensitivity.

  • BBD

    Sashka, it’s all bollocks. Don’t get too excited. Forest 06 isn’t going to get re-written to show ECS to be ~1C. Whatever Nic Lewis might think.

  • BBD

    Tom, you disgraced yourself over this once. It was distasteful to watch. Don’t do it all over again.

  • Sashka

    I’m not talking about Forest. (Did I say anything about Forest?) I’m talking about about the IPCC figure. Is it bollocks?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    So you’re fashion arbiter as well, BBD? For someone who sings from a one-note hymnal you seem to feel qualified to pronounce on any number of topics. As you don’t seem to have been correct on anything to date, I hope you’ll forgive me if I wear my disgrace lightly for now.

  • BBD

    Tom

    As you don’t seem to have been correct on anything to date

    Why do you say such stupid things? All you do is make yourself look like a dishonest buffoon. What’s the point? 

    When you’ve been caught out badly, the best thing to do is go quiet. For a long time.

  • BBD

    Sashka, AR4 WG1 most likely value for ECS is what?

    Now calm down. It’s just the usual chumming over at JC. Don’t rise to the bait. 

    It’s amusing how ‘sceptics’ (who *think* they are intensely analytical and impossible to fool) will believe anything at all that feeds their belief system.

  • Sashka

    I am calm as always and I don’t give a flying about the IPCC conclusions. But I find this graph (not made by Curry, get it?) curious and potentially thought-provoking (ability to think is required indeed so I’m not holding my breath). Assuming that you can count in single digits, you can confirm for yourself that 5 of 7 curves have pdf peaks (that’s “most likely value” for you) between 1 and 2C. One (Forest 06) peaks at 3C and one (Knutti) is about 4C.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Sorry, Sashka

    It won’t matter to the Hansenist.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Tom here i was thinking you were a middle of the road kind of guy. remind me again why you’re so confident in bucking conventional wisdom that the most likely value for ECS is 1.9C rather than 3.0? Are you a atmospheric physicist in additon to being a quasi-journalist and one time cryptologist? One wonders how you stay so humble…

    As I said to BBD many moons ago…the only *reasonable* position in the absence of relevant expertise is acceptance of consensus opinion of people who *do* have the relevant expertise. this applies to all knowledge claims not just climate science btw… 

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Marlowe, you’re a troll as well, but I’ll tell you and BBD both.

    You drunkenly scribble (after having pawned your jackboots for a pint of cheap vodka): “As I said to BBD many moons ago”¦the only *reasonable* position in the absence of relevant expertise is acceptance of consensus opinion of people who *do* have the relevant expertise.”

    That’s what I did. In an interview with Stephen Schneider he told me that was the minimum ECS we could hope for. In an interview with a highly credentialed but ‘skeptical’ climate scientist, I was told that that was about the maximum we could expect.

    Much in the way Charney split the difference to get to 3C, I took the mini/max from opposing viewpoints as the logical end point.Your characterization of 3.0 as conventional wisdom is only half right. But for you, that’s exceptional performance.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “the only *reasonable* position in the absence of relevant expertise is acceptance of consensus opinion of people who *do* have the relevant expertise.”

    The only reasonable position in the absence of expertise is to say: “I don’t know.”

    How can you tell who has the “relevant expertise” if you have no means of checking?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Aw, shoot. Now I have to take back my clever comment. Both estimates given to me were for total temperature rise this century, not ECS. Sorry!

  • Dave H

    @Tom Fuller

    > I was quoting Dave H.

    And I was paraphrasing your “skinhead” remarks from way, way upthread.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Oh. Well, for the avoidance of doubt: 1. Many from the consensus side consciously try to associate those who disagree with them, using the term denier to specifically associate their policy opponents with anti-Semitic skinheads who deny the Holocaust occurred.2. This in my opinion has made it virtually impossible to use the term denier in a conversation about climate change.3. Many of those who militantly agitate to retain the term seem very much to wish they had jackboots and would like to act like thugs.Unless, like Marlowe, they would just want the boots to sell for a drink.

  • Dave H

    @Robert Grumbine

    Your warmist/fascist association is interesting and warrants study. My own opinion is that warmist is insidious enough as it is without any extra associations. By casually labelling opponents in this way, firstly the “-ist” implies an attachment to an ideology (as in marxist, socialist, communist, fascist). This is strengthened by the repetition and association, reducing a scientifically based standpoint to a simple belief. The ideological framing inherently undermines the scientific basis, leaving the audience with the impression of irrationality on the part of the labelled. Secondly, the prefix “warm” implies that the labelled is in fact seeking warming, that they see the warming as the positive outcome of the belief system! This again ties in to the constant repetition that personal gain is at the root of any implied “fraud” – the “warmist” actively seeks warming to butress their ideological beliefs and fuel, as a reason for their own material gain, and even as a punishment to be rained down upon a human race they clearly hate .

    For all these reasons I find the term repellent on its own terms (likewise, alarmist).

    Denier is equally bad, but I think that the constant insistence that the term gains its power from holocaust associations has been a hugely effective strategy – because the term is in fact far more damaging alone. If one is successfully labelled as a denier,  then their entire belief system is presumed to be based upon a rejection of fact in favour of self-delusion. To attempt to rebut the label on its own terms is difficult – once labelled, continued denial acts as a feedback (hah!). However, the “holocaust” misdirection is fantastically useful – not only does it neatly sidestep having to engage with the accusation of delusion on its own merits, but also it acts as a handy smear, discrediting the labeller for employing such a casually offensive smear. So – warmist and denier are not useful terms if one wants to actually engage in a constructive debate – denier in particular just blows up in your face anyway. However, harping on about how denier is indelibly associated with the holocaust is a tedious and transparent continuation of the above strategy.

    All of this presumes that a constructive debate is actually sought, possible, or even worthwhile, none of which I think is the case.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    DaveH, you neglect to mention that it was specific statements by ‘warmists’ that put the term ‘denier’ beyond the pale.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    “it was specific statements by “˜warmists’ that put the term “˜denier’ beyond the pale.”

    evidence? and while you’re at it, can you clarify the demarcation line separating before and beyond ‘the pale’?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Have a drink, Marlowe. A is A.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    DaveH,

    You neglect to mention that all this shirt rippin’ is one of the many concerns one can use against one’s own side.

    Besides that, I think your comment explains the shirt rippin’ quite well:

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/25899810735

  • Marlowe Johnson

    thanks for preserving Dave’s comment willard. 

    it’s a keeper.

  • Sashka

    @410

    Like it would any difference to you if Tom were an atmospheric physicist. You have highly professional dissenting opinions too: Lindzen, Curry, Singer etc. But you only hear what you want to hear. BTW, on the subject of CS there is consensus even among “mainstream”. Everyone has his own number or range.

    With all respect, in this case I don’t quite agree with NiV in 412. At some point we all have no choice other than to accept the common opinion of experts. How can all but a few people know that Great Fermat or Poincare were proven correctly? How do we know that neutrino exist? The experts say so and we believe.

    I think it could be reasonable to accept the consensus opinion of experts (where it really exists!). But with this should go appropriate measure of humility. If you really don’t understand science then why are you talking about it? To me, the only behavior consistent with faith in consensus is to shut the hell up and listen. Maybe you’ll learn something in the end.

  • Sashka

    Sorry, typo: BTW, on the subject of CS there is NO consensus even among “mainstream”.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #422,

    So how do you know Fermat’s Last Theorem was proved correctly?

    Experts say so. How do you know they are experts?

    Well, other experts agree that they are experts – experts in expertise you might say. But how do you know the expert experts are expert?

    Obviously, experts attest to their expertise – ‘expert expert’ experts. So how…

    Another question – when you asked the experts and they said that Fermat’s Last Theorem has been proved, how many of them say that on the basis of having worked through the proof themselves, and how many do it the same way you do – by listening to what current expert opinion is? And which experts do they listen to, the ones who know, or the ones who are also going by hearsay? By trust?

    Is it possible you could get a paper passed because the reviewers trusted the expertise of the author, published because the journal trusted the expertise of the reviewers, accepted into the IPCC canon because the panel accepted the expertise of the journal, asserted by the scientific establishment because they trust the expertise of the IPCC, and acted on by the public and politicians, because they accept the expertise of the scientific establishment? And for it to get this far without anyone having ever checked any of the actual numbers?

    I ask you, is that a rational world?

    And then when one expert does check the numbers, and finds the result is wrong, should you trust the one expert who says ‘no’, or the thousands who say ‘yes’?

    Would it not be far safer, and far easier to justify, for people who don’t actually know of their own experience and expertise, especially those speaking themselves as experts, to say “I don’t know”?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    I don’t know…

  • BBD

    Tom

    That’s what I did. In an interview with Stephen Schneider he told me that [~3C] was the minimum ECS we could hope for. In an interview with a highly credentialed but “˜skeptical’ climate scientist, I was told that that was about the maximum we could expect.

    That’ll be the problem then. The contrarian incorrectly and without evidence claimed that the most likely value (~3C) was the upper bound. You were bamboozled and it’s hopelessly screwed your odd little calculation. Who was it who told you this anyway? It’s important to know from which fount of unwisdom you’ve been drinking.

    There is absolutely no reason to be cagey about this. And where was the interview published? I would like to read it. There’s absolutely no reason to be evasive about this either.

    Your characterization of 3.0 as conventional wisdom is only half right. But for you, that’s exceptional performance.

    No, it’s the mainstream scientific position. You are saying stuff again, and being offensive into the bargain. Bad idea.

    Eventually Tom, you will work out that irritating me just makes me turn the screws on you harder.

  • BBD

    Saska

    Assuming that you can count in single digits, you can confirm for yourself that 5 of 7 curves have pdf peaks (that’s “most likely value” for you) between 1 and 2C. One (Forest 06) peaks at 3C and one (Knutti) is about 4C.

    The low values are from observationally constrained studies. The problems are: short period under investigation, uncertainty about aerosol negative forcing (itself variable over time), the rate of ocean diffusivity and the degree of noise from natural variation. This is all explained here.

    If you cared enough about the facts to delve a little, you would know this. You would also understand that this is why the *observationally constrained* PDFs tend to yield lower values for ECS as compared with the paleoclimate studies. You would understand that this is understood, and that investigators use multiple approaches – including paleoclimate studies – to reduce overall uncertainty. The net result of the whole process is a *most likely* value of ~3C.

    I don’t think you are in a position to imply that I am either stupid or ill-informed. Shades of our ‘discussion’ over your misinterpretation of the Vostok data and much else besides. Here’s what I said at # 407 but you don’t seem to have absorbed:

    It’s amusing how “˜sceptics’ (who *think* they are intensely analytical and impossible to fool) will believe anything at all that feeds their belief system.

    Finally, this is rubbish:

    BTW, on the subject of CS there is NO consensus even among “mainstream”.

    Were any more evidence required that you were just saying stuff, this would do nicely. 

  • BBD

    Missing AR4 link. Has anyone noticed how *nobody* actually links to the relevant section? It’s weird. Always you get the PDF composite, but never the link to the text itself…

  • BBD

    Yeah nullius, let’s replace everything we *do* know with a great obfuscating cloud of doubt and uncertainty and confusion.

    Now why might we want to do something as self-defeating and downright stupid as that?

    Perhaps because we are a free-market fundamentalist and unable to accept the necessity for regulation in the face of negative externalities? 

    You are so transparent it’s almost funny.

  • Dave H

    @Willard

    Great point, I failed to mention the “sowing dissent amongst your opponents” aspect. It works on so many levels – making your opponent play defence, creating the impression of intolerance and bigotry, while also creating infighting which creates the impression of your opponents being in disarray.

    Like I said before, I don’t wish to apply this particular label myself, but I do find the assertion that the “denier indelibly equals holocaust above all else” meme little more than a cynical ploy. It is a fairy tale that “skeptics” tell each other, and helps shape reality through constant repetition.

    However, I may start being perverse and referring a “skeptic” as a denier, in the sense that their arguments are gossamer-thin and easily shredded, or alternatively that they are basically worthless. Then I can accuse them of jumping to conclusions when they misread my usage of a unit of fabric density or archaic french coinage.

  • Dave H

    When you turn on your tap, water comes out and you drink it – but how do you know it is safe to do so? How do you know what treatments have been applied to that specific volume of water to purify it for your consumption? Should you really take on trust the words of water engineers when they say they apply the processes they do? Do those processes even work? How do those processes work? Who determined that, and should you take that on trust?

    The logical conclusion is that you should take nothing on trust, and only accept conclusion that you have empirically arrived at yourself. Skip a few steps and start with stone-age tools, and then derive a working understanding of the world based solely on personal observation and tools you are able to fashion yourself with no external input. Don’t read books – why would you trust the opinions of others? How can you trust the information they contain? Eventually, once you’ve got past creating sufficient food and shelter to survive on a daily basis, you may find time to start investigating basic chemistry. You’ll have to invent your own systems of language, mathematics, your own theory of the structure of matter etc etc etc.

    You can (hopefully) see how all of this is patently absurd. Human society is built on specialisation, on relying on accumulated knowledge and not reinventing everything individually. You take virtually all aspects of your life on trust, without even thinking about it.

    “I don’t know” is not an appropriate response to the situation you describe, where you have weight of authority and a single outlier, and no personal ability to adjudicate between them. “I don’t know” lends undue weight to that outlier – it is the reflexive doubt response. Do you say “I don’t know” about the shape of the earth, simply because flat-earthers exist? The moon landings? Evolution? Or do you say “on balance of probability, the majority expert opinion is likely to be right”? If you have a thousand doctors telling you that you need lifesaving surgery immediately, and one doctor saying you need to eat oranges and it will clear up on its own, do you throw your hands up and do neither?

    You want to treat one set of expertise as a special case, but your reasons for doing so are circular.

  • harrywr2

    Saska,One (Forest 06) peaks at 3C and one (Knutti) is about 4C..If you go over to Climate Etc apparently Forest has ‘lost the data’.http://judithcurry.com/2012/06/25/questioning-the-forest-et-al-2006-sensitivity-study/Only in climate science would someone argue that the one study where the ‘data has been lost’ is the most valid study.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    BBD, you don’t irritate me. You amuse me. Yes, hiding an article published on the internet… sure… 

    The people at Bishop Hill are creating a memorial to Keith Kloor for taking you off their hands.

    But Keith should consider sharing with the rest of us.

  • BBD

    Tom

    Sigh. Just post the fucking link.

  • BBD

    Dave H

    And yet… As I said some hundreds of comments back and on the previous thread ;-) the essential problem here is in ceding to an unreasonable demand.

    Being unreasonably coerced into not using a perfectly accurate term grants false symmetry, false legitimacy to the ‘sceptic’ position.

    That said, perhaps the best tactic is not to be drawn in in the first place. I call ‘em contrarians and ‘sceptics’…

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    BBD, I already showed you once. If you have no memory and cannot use Google, why should anyone take you seriously?

    And looking at #435, it is clear that nobody should take you seriously. You are resorting to sophistry to claim the continued right to use derogatory language. You come off like Eli Rabett. You can just bugger yourself right off and don’t ask me for the time of day.

    As I have said hundreds of times on this blog and others, those using a term are not those who define what it means when it is injurious. As was shown in previous iterations of this battle over ethnic, racial, religious and political insults. This isn’t new. It is tawdry and tedious. 

    I assume that you, like the other malicious twerps who do so, prefer talking about the correct usage of ‘denier’ because you cannot talk intelligently about climate sensitivity.

  • BBD

    Tom

    My memory is pretty good. It led me to this, from April 13, which is all I can recall you saying on the subject:

    Actually, what you call a “˜guess’ about temperature rise this century (I didn’t say sensitivity”“BBD put those words in my mouth and I should have called him/her on it before) is actually taken from an interview I did with Stephen Schneider and another one with a skeptical climate scientist. Schneider said 2C was the “˜best’ result that was possible for this century and the scientist on the other side of the fence from him said it was the worst. Given that 1.9C is what we’re doing recently in terms of temperature rise, and how it fits with other measurements, that’s what I’m using. In all fairness, I should add that Schneider said we’d have to be really lucky to get away with that small a temperature rise.

    Note: you were hiding the name of the ‘skeptical scientist’ even then, and you didn’t post a link either.

    Now: NAME and LINK Tom. Enough of your tedious bullshit and games. You’ve had your chances and pissed them all away.

  • BBD

    Okay Tom, since you won’t defend your position, I will start making assumptions. You have forfeited any right to object, so please don’t start complaining now.

    You are talking about the interview you did with Christy for the SFE aren’t you? The one where the only comments he makes about climate sensitivity are these:

    J.C. Evidence is building that the sensitivity is less than models assume.

    And (emphasis added – what an interesting choice of words):

    I think we are creating more certainty about the idea that the climate is less sensitive to CO2 than promoted in the past 2 decades.

    In fact Christy was extremely careful *not* to produce a specific estimate for ECS. Wasn’t he Tom?

    Or did I miss that bit? Just like I missed what this ‘evidence’ is that is supposed to show that the ~3C ECS estimate is too high. Me and the rest of the people in the real world. We can go on to discuss the flaws in Christy’s claims about low CS in due course.

    One step at a time.

  • BBD

    Christy really does bear repeating:

    I think we are creating more certainty about the idea that the climate is less sensitive to CO2 than promoted in the past 2 decades.

    It’s all there, really.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    I liked interviewing John Christy. A thorough gentleman. But he’s not the person who supplied me with the 1.9C figure. And to save back and forth, I’m not going to tell you, as I guaranteed the scientist anonymity.Plus, as I said, I wouldn’t give you the time of day. You’re just a bluff old wide boy. Picture Bob Hoskins in Unleashed. ‘Get ‘em!’

  • BBD

    Fine. I reject your claim that anyone told you any such thing. You are lying.

  • BBD

    The reason you have to lie here is that if you give me a name, I will *shred* the claim with close reference to whichever paper (if any) it is based on.

    And you know it.

  • BBD

    I think we are creating more certainty about the idea that the climate is less sensitive to CO2 than promoted in the past 2 decades.

    Oh yes indeedy. Creating more uncertainty. With ample help from Tom Fuller.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    BBD, I do believe ECS to be 1.9C 

    Aw, shoot. Now I have to take back my clever comment. Both estimates given to me were for total temperature rise this century, not ECS. 

     I believe that doubling CO2 concentrations may trap heat in our atmosphere equivalent to 2 degrees Celsius. 

    Liar Liar Pants on Fire!

    The Internet is forever Tom.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Have a drink, Marlowe. I do believe that doubling CO2 concentrations will bring about 2C heating. Both scientists told me what I reported. See how easy that is? Are your hands shaking?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    BBD: ‘Get ‘em!’

  • Tom C

    Keith – Could you do us a favor and create two dedicated posts.  One is where Tom Fuller and BBD could continue to duke it out.  The other would be for BBD to issue anathemas to anyone who dares to question 3 C climate sensitivity.

  • Sashka

    Yes observationally constrained studies have problems. That’s unlike observationally unconstrained studies, paleo, GCMs and what not. Sure, sure.

    You are not ill-informed. You’re mis-informed. That’s not because you haven’t read anything but because you can’t critically process what you’re reading. I don’t know if I can honestly chalk it up to stupidity. After all many highly intelligent people are religious too. But as a practical matter it doesn’t matter. In this respect a committed true believer and an idiot are practically indistinguishable.

    On the subject of 3C concensus: please show me your evidence. I’ve seen one survey at dot Earth which showed lack of consensus. That would be my evidence. What’s yours?

  • BBD

    Tom

    *Nobody* except ‘lukewarmers’ thinks ECS is ~2C. And lukewarmers are just stealth ‘sceptics’. Being a lukewarmer is just saying stuff about ECS which goes against all the evidence we have.

    It is an intellectually untenable position. The only basis for holding it is psychological denial or free market fundamentalism or an ugly combination of the two.

  • BBD

    Sashka

    On the subject of 3C concensus: please show me your evidence. I’ve seen one survey at dot Earth which showed lack of consensus. That would be my
    evidence. What’s yours?

    AR4 WG1 is a review, a summary of the physical science. It contains the following statement of scientific consensus on ECS:

    Since the TAR, the levels of scientific understanding and confidence in quantitative estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity have increased substantially. Basing our assessment on a combination of several independent lines of evidence, as summarised in Box 10.2 Figures 1 and
    2, including observed climate change and the strength of known feedbacks simulated in GCMs, we conclude that the global mean equilibrium warming for doubling CO2, or “˜equilibrium climate sensitivity’, is likely to lie in the range 2°C to 4.5°C, with a most likely value of
    about 3°C.
    Equilibrium climate sensitivity is very likely larger than 1.5°C.

    That was the state of knowledge in 2007. It is the state of knowledge in 2012. If you differ, you can provide the evidence. And very good luck with that.

    You are getting sillier and sillier btw.

  • BBD

    You are not ill-informed. You’re mis-informed. That’s not because you haven’t read anything but because you can’t critically process what you’re reading.

    In a word: bollocks.

  • stan

    BBD seems so certain of so much.  This Duke physicist says that the science isn’t certain at all:”One part of the difficulty is that the Earth is a highly multivariate
    and chaotic driven/open system with complex nonlinear coupling between
    all of its many drivers, and with anything but a regular surface. If one
    tried to actually write “the” partial differential equation for the
    global climate system, it would be a set of coupled
    Navier-Stokes equations with unbelievably nasty nonlinear coupling terms
    “” if one can actually include the physics of the water and carbon
    cycles in the N-S equations at all. It is, quite literally, the most
    difficult problem in mathematical physics we have ever attempted to
    solve or understand! Global Climate Models are children’s toys in comparison to the actual underlying complexity, especially when (as noted) the major drivers setting the baseline behavior are not well understood or quantitatively available.”

  • BBD

    We’re back with the religion vocabulary again (boring, boring, boring):

    anathemas… many highly intelligent people are religious too … committed true believer and an idiot are practically indistinguishable.

    But science is not a religion. Acceptance of the mainstream scientific position is not a religious behaviour. However, misrepresenting it as such is cheap rhetoric.

    Lest we forget.

  • Dave H
  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    DaveH,

    Here’s how David Hume explained the general problem you tried to explain in your last comment:

    All reasonings concerning matter of fact seem to be founded on the relation of Cause and Effect. By means of that relation alone we can go beyond the evidence of our memory and senses. If you were to ask a man, why he believes any matter of fact, which is absent; for instance, that his friend is in the country, or in France; he would give you a reason; and this reason would be some other fact; as a letter received from him, or the knowledge of his former resolutions and promises. A man finding a watch or any other machine in a desert island, would conclude that there had once been men in that island. All our reasonings concerning fact are of the same nature. And here it is constantly supposed that there is a connexion between the present fact and that which is inferred from it. Were there nothing to bind them together, the inference would be entirely precarious. The hearing of an articulate voice and rational discourse in the dark assures us of the presence of some person: Why? because these are the effects of the human make and fabric, and closely connected with it. If we anatomize all the other reasonings of this nature, we shall find that they are founded on the relation of cause and effect, and that this relation is either near or remote, direct or collateral. Heat and light are collateral effects of fire, and the one effect may justly be inferred from the other.

    You will notice that this predicament creates a game space where a contrarian strategy can be set of to creata a path an infinite resistance.

    Here is how Hume tried to solved this predicament for societies:

    There is certainly a probability, which arises from a superiority of chances on any side; and according as this superiority encreases, and surpasses the opposite chances, the probability receives a proportionable encrease, and begets still a higher degree of belief or assent to that side, in which we discover the superiority. If a dye were marked with one figure or number of spots on four sides, and with another figure or number of spots on the two remaining sides, it would be more probable, that the former would turn up than the latter; though, if it had a thousand sides marked in the same manner, and only one side different, the probability would be much higher, and our belief or expectation of the event more steady and secure.

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/9662/9662-h/9662-h.htm

    Even the most skeptical Popperians need to go beyond their idea of falsication to add something like verisimilitude, unless they’re willing to let go of all the preconditions that make their own idea of falsication work.

    In other words, the usual contrarian claptraps rest on an epistemology that is not worth a dénier, as you aptly recall.

    All that remains is gaming theory.

  • Sashka

    NiV: I don’t think we have any disagreements as to how to deal with dissent.

    If you want to draw a distinction between trusting the work that was checked by a few qualified experts vs. the work that wasn’t checked by anybody, or especially the study where the authors refuse to show their data – then we are in agreement again.

    I’m not sure where we disagree.

    harry: yes I saw that. Forest 06 is a garbage bin material until and unless he shows his data.

  • Sashka

    Acceptance of the mainstream scientific position is not a religious behaviour..

    No it isn’t. Arguing about things that you don’t have a first clue about just because it’s a “mainstream scientific position ” is.

  • BBD

    Dave H

    You  know. I know. But those who need to know won’t read the reference.

  • BBD

    Arguing about things that you don’t have a first clue about just because it’s a “mainstream scientific position” is.

    You need to demonstrate that I don’t have the first clue. On this thread all you have done is the opposite. As I said, sillier and sillier.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    BBD, maybe I should start calling you BBC. Notice the unwarranted jump in logic. ‘Stealth skeptics.’ Nice brown shirt you’re wearing, though. What colour star do I get?

  • Sashka

    Even the most skeptical Popperians need to go beyond their idea of falsication to add something like verisimilitude.

    Just because you say so?

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Tom why do you *disagree* with the consensus estimate of 3 C? More importantly, don’t you find it a little odd that the *expert* that supplied you with the 1.9C estimate asked for anonymity? 

  • Sashka

    Here’s a philosophical question for willard: can you prove to a religious idiot that he’s a religious idiot?

  • BBD

    Sashka – I’d be careful about prodding willard if I were you.

    Marlowe – thanks. Exactly. Why indeed ask for anonymity? I provide two scenarios at # 442 and # 443.

    Still waiting for any specific reaction to either. As opposed to the usual name-calling, attempts to delegitimise etc.

  • Tom C

    BBD – In your estimation, is it the “mainstream scientific position” that late 20th century warmth is “unprecedented” in the last 2000 years? 

  • BBD

    TF @ 460

    Notice the unwarranted jump in logic. “˜Stealth skeptics.’ Nice brown shirt you’re wearing, though. What colour star do I get?

    There was no jump in logic, warranted or unwarranted. This is what I said at # 450:

    *Nobody* except “˜lukewarmers’ thinks ECS is ~2C. And lukewarmers are just stealth “˜sceptics’. Being a lukewarmer is just saying stuff about ECS which goes against all the evidence we have.

    It is an intellectually untenable position. The only basis for holding it is psychological denial or free market fundamentalism or an ugly combination of the two.

    No logical jumps there. Lukewarmerism is not scientific; it goes against the scientific consensus without evidential support. So it’s denial, or politics, or a mix of the two. 

    Inferring fascistic/Nazi tendencies in my behaviour from the comment at # 450 most definitely is an ‘unwarranted leap’. Logic doesn’t even come into it.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Oh, I see, BBD. It’s okay for you to associate those who disagree with you with anti-Semitic neo fascists, but turnabout isn’t fair play?As for the science, it’s more lukewarm than 3C. And everybody, even the Hansenists, can see it. Hence the hand-waving and bluster.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Marlowe, if you’re still conscious, it’s not that I strictly believe ECS is 2C or that warming this century will amount to that. I don’t believe anyone knows. So, looking at what the thermometers have told us since 1945, realizing that the largest decadal rise has been 1.9C, that’s as good for a rule of thumb estimate as I need for what I need to say, think or do. 

    It’s high enough to warrant action in the short term. It’s low enough to dispel ridiculous panic and pearl clutching. It matches observations and hasn’t been contradicted by anything at all. Why not 2C?

  • BBD

    The only handwaving and bluster here is coming from you, Tom. Along with the endless tripe about using the perfectly accurate term ‘denier’, eg for someone who denies that the scientific consensus on ECR is valid but cannot produce a scientific argument supporting an alternative position.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Get ‘em.

  • BBD

    Tom, where do you get your ideas from?

    You:

    It’s okay for you to associate those who disagree with you with anti-Semitic neo fascistsMe:

    [Lukewarmerism] is an intellectually untenable position. The only basis for holding
    it is psychological denial or free market fundamentalism or an ugly combination of the two.

    You are utterly finished here. Not a scrap of credibility nor an ounce of goodwill remains.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley, 6th Baronet, of Ancoats, (16 November 1896 ““ 3 December 1980) was an English politician, known principally as the founder of the British Union of Fascists

    After his failure in 1931 Mosley went on a study tour of the ‘new movements’ of Italy’s Benito Mussolini and other fascists, and returned convinced that it was the way forward for him and for Britain 

    Mosley had found problems with disruption of New Party meetings, and instituted a corps of black-uniformed paramilitary stewards, nicknamedblackshirts. The party was frequently involved in violent confrontations, particularly with Communist and Jewish groups and especially in London.

    In 1961 he took part in a debate at University College London about Commonwealth immigration, seconded by a young David Irving.[20]  

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley, 6th Baronet, of Ancoats, (16 November 1896 ““ 3 December 1980) was an English politician, known principally as the founder of the British Union of Fascists. After his failure in 1931 Mosley went on a study tour of the “˜new movements’ of Italy’s Benito Mussolini and other fascists, and returned convinced that it was the way forward for him and for Britain Mosley had found problems with disruption of New Party meetings, and instituted a corps of black-uniformed paramilitary stewards, nicknamedblackshirts. The party was frequently involved in violent confrontations, particularly with Communist and Jewish groups and especially in London.In 1961 he took part in a debate at University College London about Commonwealth immigration, seconded by a young David Irving.

  • Sashka

    You need to demonstrate that I don’t have the first clue..

    Why? You are doing it in every comment yourself. Thanks for your help.

  • Sashka

    How many people signed the statement that you quoted in 451?

  • BBD

    Oh dear. Now for pointing out that you are talking crap I’m Mosley am I?

    I do wish you’d decide which colour shirt I’m supposed to be wearing. 

    As I said Tom, not a scrap of credibility left.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Doesn’t matter what colour. The other trolls say it’s ripped anyhow. Get ‘em!

  • BBD

    Sashka

    How many people signed the statement that you quoted in 451?

    Eh? ~3C as the most likely value for ECS is the scientific consensus. For the hard of thinking, that means that the majority of experts engaged in researching this field agree that this is the most likely value.

    Idiots, especially ill-informed contrarian idiots, don’t matter.

    Meditate on your insignificance. It’s good for the soul.

  • Sashka

    Just because a small group of people declared it scientific consensus it doesn’t make it either scientific or consensus. Leaving the former alone (because you have no idea anyway) let’s focus on latter part that is so dear to your heart. Who actually agrees with this?

  • Nullius in Verba

    #429,

    Yes, let’s replace uncertainty with the leap of faith, in order to get people to sign up to your scheme without having to have anyone check your data.

    #431,

    I’ve got years of experimental results for my tap water. I might be a bit more wary of the tapwater in the Spanish hotel when I’m on holiday…

    There’s a difference between being practical and being rational. Being entirely rational is not practical, so we use heuristics all the time. We assume correlation implies causation, confuse ambiguity with uncertainty, don’t expect clusters, assume past outcomes affect future odds, spot patterns in randomness, assume more expensive means better quality, and that anything in print is true.

    Our brain has masses of cognitive biases, common fallacies, and quick heuristics built in – mainly because they work. Evolution has selected for them because they’re quick and easy to process and sufficiently reliable to get the banana before the other monkey does. They’re practical, but they’re not rational. People generally are a lot less rational than they think they are.

    I agree that irrational beliefs like the Argument ad Verecundiam ad Populam are sometimes a practical necessity, but they’re really no different in kind to belief on tribal ideological grounds. You can’t criticise the one for being irrational and not the other.

    #457,

    I doubt we have any real disagreements. It’s just a matter of emphasis.

    #469,

    Why not say something like: “it’s very likely somewhere between 1 and 6 C, and more likely than not to be between 1.5 and 4.5 C, but nobody knows for sure”? Why do people feel the need to give a precise number?

  • BBD

    Why do people feel the need to give a precise number?

    Because it matters. Which is why people feel the need to deny the validity of the best estimate despite having no scientific case for an alternative value.

  • Nullius in Verba

    There’s no scientific case for any specific value. It’s an unknown. The best you can get is a range – which is exactly why the IPCC give a range.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    NiV, Rule of thumb! Rule of thumb! I want to get rid of the word heuristics… help me in  my lonely campaign for clarity…

  • BBD

    The IPCC provides a range and a most likely value of ~3C.

    Your repeated denial of this is bordering on the farcical. No. It is farcical.

    This is what it has come to.

  • Sashka

    You need to process 480 (among many others).

  • Tom C

    (bumped)
    BBD ““ In your estimation, is it the “mainstream scientific position” that late 20th century warmth is “unprecedented” in the last 2000 years? 

  • Nullius in Verba

    #485,

    I’m not denying it, but it doesn’t mean what you seem to think it means. All “most likely” means is that that’s the mode of the distribution. It doesn’t mean that it is likely to be there.

    If the probability of the numbers 1 to 6 were 0.166, 0.167, 0.168, 0.167, 0.166, 0.166, then it would still be true to say that the “most likely” value was 3, but it would be idiotic to insist that it was the only acceptable answer. It’s only more likely than 2 or 4 by one part in a thousand. The probability of it being wrong is still more than 83%, far higher than the probaility of it being right. The most informative answer, giving the most accurate understanding of the full situation, would be to give the range.

  • http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/ Robert Grumbine

    Tom Fuller @438: I said no such thing, and you putting those words in my mouth is defamatory, and beyond the pale. The last shreds of pretense I could muster for you having any sincere interest in discussion are destroyed. You have also lost any moral standing you might have had to complain about language used to refer to you. Putting that phrase in my mouth for you to label someone else so is, I repeat, beyond the pale. Cowardly as well.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > Being entirely rational is not practical, so we use heuristics all the time.

    Let’s see: chess engines use heuristics all the time, therefore they’re not entirely rational.

    Don’t let yourself be played by this interpretation of the word rational, folks.

    Hint: deductivism.

  • BBD

    nullius

    Stop it. It’s not doing you any good. Most likely value = most likely value = about 3C.

    See Hansen & Sato 2012; Annan & Hargreaves (2006).

    It’s ~3C. Face the facts. End the denial. You’ll feel better straight away.

  • BBD

    Tom C

    Perhaps a more pertinent question would be: is the atmospheric fraction of CO2 and forcing unprecedented over the last 2ka? Ummm…

    And Tom, this isn’t WUWT. Enough of the half-baked nonsense please.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #490,

    Chess engines aren’t entirely rational. Whatever gave you the idea they were?

    #491,

    ‘Most likely value’ != ‘likely value’. It’s unlikely to be 3 C.

  • kdk33

    Holy crap!  BBD.  PDF.  The fun never stops.

  • BBD

    Sashka

    I don’t ‘need’ to do anything. The problem here is that you are in denial, not me.

    I noticed that despite several prods you still haven’t even *acknowledged* the massive great elephant in your room. See # 267 and # 289. 

    Happy trails.

  • BBD

    Keep talking. ‘Most likely value’ still means ‘most likely value’. 

    I’m not even sure if farcical is the correct term. Isn’t a farce supposed to be amusing?

  • BBD

    nullius

    It’s unlikely to be 3 C

    Stop it. About 3C; approximately 3C; ~3C; roughly 3C etc.

    Just stop it. It’s childish and it’s boring.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #497,

    “Somewhere between 1 and 6″ is “approximately 3 C”. For a certain value of “approximately”.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Grumbine: [SNIP] Moral standing? Yeah. Right.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    And the Hansenist conspiracy rolls on… BBD is a real Duracell.

  • BBD

    Since the TAR, the levels of scientific understanding and confidence in quantitative estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity have
    increased substantially. Basing our assessment on a combination of several independent lines of evidence, as summarised in Box 10.2 Figures 1 and 2, including observed climate change and the strength of known feedbacks simulated in GCMs, we conclude that the global mean equilibrium warming for doubling CO2, or “˜equilibrium climate sensitivity’, is likely to lie in the range 2°C to 4.5°C, with a most likely value of about 3°C. Equilibrium climate sensitivity is very likely larger than 1.5°C.

    For me, trying to pretend that this does not mean exactly what it says is as fine an example of denial as anyone could wish for.

    Night night loons.

  • kdk33

    Eveready Bunny.

    And that most likely isn’t even a distribution on observational data.  It’s a “distribution” of model runs – whose only known property is that they are wrong. 

    It’s a guess.  A politically correct guess.  And it keeps the money going.

    and going, and going, and going…

  • Nullius in Verba

    #501,

    “likely” != “most likely”. If you want to say “likely”, and for the IPCC this is only a weak ‘pseudo 1-sigma’ 66% probability, you can only give a range. You can’t give anything narrower and still say “likely”, because it isn’t likely. It’s just “most likely”.

    It means exactly what it says, but you evidently don’t understand what it says.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > Can you prove to a religious idiot that he’s a religious idiot?

    Besides an intervention from his dear ones, one could try:

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/20538624516

    To return to our topic, it’s important to note that people talk about deniers, not to deniers when using the word “denier”. And by “denier”, I do not mean the old French currency. This should be obvious with the example about: the doctor was talking about people who denied their heart condition to other doctors.

    As DaveH observed earlier, that we’re having a conversation should not be taken for granted.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > Chess engines aren’t entirely rational.

    Then “being entirely rational” is just a weasel word that does not mean much:

    In philosophy, rationality is the characteristic of any action, belief, or desire, that makes their choice a necessity.[1] It is a normative concept about the reasoning in the sense that rational people should derive conclusions in a consistent way given the information at disposal. It refers to the conformity of one’s beliefs with one’s reasons to believe, or with one’s actions with one’s reasons for action. However, the term “rationality” tends to be used differently in different disciplines, including specialized discussions of economics, sociology, psychology, and political science. A rational decision is one that is not just reasoned, but is also optimal for achieving a goal or solving a problem.
    Determining optimality for rational behavior requires a quantifiable formulation of the problem, and the making of several key assumptions. When the goal or problem involves making a decision, rationality factors in how much information is available (e.g. complete or incomplete knowledge). Collectively, the formulation and background assumptions are the model within which rationality applies. Illustrating the relativity of rationality: if one accepts a model in which benefiting oneself is optimal, then rationality is equated with behavior that is self-interested to the point of being selfish; whereas if one accepts a model in which benefiting the group is optimal, then purely selfish behavior is deemed irrational. It is thus meaningless to assert rationality without also specifying the background model assumptions describing how the problem is framed and formulated.

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

  • Nullius in Verba

    #505,

    Heuristics (Sorry Tom, “Rules of Thumb”) are not optimal.

  • Dave H

    Oh come on Nullius – you just argued that given an upper and lower bound we cannot say anything of the likelihood of a value lying at particular points in that region. That’s garbage and you know it.

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

    And reposting this again:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/images/Climate_Sensitivity_Summary.gif

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > Heuristics [...] are not optimal.

    Which renders that conception of rationality useless for discussing problems with no proven optimal strategy, as underlined by the second paragraph of the long quote above.

    Interested readers should look for the word “expectation” on the current page to see where that discussion is going.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    NiV, when data is not adequate, rules of thumb must guide us. There are only two real questions in this debate:1. What is the sensitivity of the atmosphere to a doubling of concentrations of CO2? Climate scientists I have spoken to say we will probably not know for between 30 and 50 years.2. Do we need to act before we know? My gut feeling is yes. But can I in good conscience command or advise others based on my gut feeling? 

  • Sashka

    So you cannot back up your “consensus” claim? OK, fine by me.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @509 

    when is an expert consensus not an expert consensus? 1% expert disagreement? 10% disagreement? 49%? Inquiring minds want to know…

    What’s really funny  is that you and your fellow tinfoil hat friends (Hi Tom!) are in denial not just about the nature of the consensus (i.e. 3C ECS) but the very idea that there is in fact an expert consensus to begin with.

  • http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered coby

    @Robert Grumbine in #232 -

    “And Charney sensitivity requires ignoring all the slower responding things in the climate system “” oceans, sea ice, ice shelves, ice sheets, permafrost”

    I thought Charney sensitivity did include sea ice feed backs, ice sheets, no, but sea ice yes…?

  • Sashka

    @509

    You don’t understand that science is not done majority, supermajority or consensus – however defined? You probably do. It’s just your socialist instincts that drive you to this “consensus” opinion.

    For me, it makes no difference what consensus say (let’s define it at 90% for arguments’ sake). Science won’t change. I won’t be unhappy at all if you guys could back up your claims with evidence. Go ahead, prove me wrong. (I offered a different, much more meaningful way to embarrass me in 333 but curiously there are no takers. I wonder why.)

    Can you back it up? Or you want to be in denial wrt the fact that there is no consensus about CS?

  • Sashka

    BBD, what I meant in 480 is that you need to process the feedback and address the arguments if you want to participate in an intelligent discussion. However if you want to continue being a clown and continue sounding off your little echo-chamber then indeed you don’t need to do anything. Things are going just fine for you, don’t they? You’re earning respect, making friends, convincing undecideds, right? Carry on then!

    Hey, I thought of a nice morning prayer for you. Try it, you might like it:

    There is no God but IPCC and Hansen is his prophet.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #507,

    No I didn’t. I just invented an example to illustrate why “most likely” doesn’t mean “likely”, or mean that no other value is acceptable.

    The IPCC give a sort of pseudo-1-sigma interval from 2-4.5 C, if they followed usual scientific practice and gave a 95% interval it would be from around 1 to 6 C. That’s the confidence interval, according to the “scientific mainstream”. I don’t agree with it myself, but we’re discussing here what the mainstream is, and BBD’s view that values like 1.8 C are not within it is outside it.

    It’s not a uniform pdf, but it’s only got a peak at 3 C because they fold in the models as evidence and all the models give around 3 C.

    #508,

    I don’t accept your Wikipedia definition of “rationality” anyway – I was just pointing out that even your own definition agreed with me. It’s your definition that has the problem.

    #509,

    In the face of uncertainty about what’s best, build up your resources and build in flexibility and resilience so that when you do know you can jump more quickly. Work on improving the quality of your information, so you know accurately as much as possible as early as possible, and can jump earlier.

    I think it’s a serious enough question to devote some effort to validating the science. I think building in resilience is a good idea anyway. And I think if they were serious, the obvious immediate step to take would be to go nuclear in a big way, like France did. I find it peculiar that they don’t.

  • BBD

    nullius

    It means exactly what it says, but you evidently don’t understand what it says.

    Oh but I do. As do the people who wrote it. Which is why they gave a most likely value within the range. Which is why I keep referencing H&S12 and A&H06. But since you haven’t read them, you don’t know why I’m not going to concede this point.

    You don’t understand as much as you think you do, and you seem to be making every effort to keep things that way.

    That is textbook denial.

  • BBD

    General heads-up: nullius has found a new ‘proof’ that it’s all a conspiracy:

    And I think if they were serious, the obvious immediate step to take would be to go nuclear in a big way, like France did. I find it peculiar that they don’t.

    This is to ignore the fact that several decades of anti-nuclear activism have been horribly effective and there are real-world consequences. Witness the extreme reluctance (policy paralysis) to embark on what is now an expensive and politically sensitive path to decarbonisation thanks in no small part to cost escalation driven by anti-nuclear activism. And – this is important – note that this has nothing to do with the veracity of the scientific consensus about climate change. Nullius is once again doling out false equivalence.

    I predict we will be hearing this new ‘evidence’ for a global conspiracy a lot more over the summer. Especially as nullius may now have realised that claiming that the absence of any scientific case countering the mainstream position cannot reasonably be ascribed to a perfect conspiracy of suppression. That would be clinical paranoia, obviously.

    ***

    So, first we deny that there is a consensus (Sashka’s failure to understand how science works – 180 degrees wrong on that, Sash). Then we deny that there is a most likely value of ~3C (an act of breathtaking loopiness).

    And then we move on to the climate science is a socialist religion:

    There is no God but IPCC and Hansen is his prophet.

    And a fraud:

    It’s a guess.  A politically correct guess.  And it keeps the money going. and going, and going, and going”¦

    And a conspiracy – see nullius’ latest tinfoil construction above.

    Yes Sashka – it’s all very convincing :-)

  • http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/ Robert Grumbine

    Coby @512:
    You could be right about the current usage of Charney sensitivity. I was thinking about Charney 1979. He couldn’t have included sea ice because at that time, no climate model had somewhat realistic sea ice.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > It’s your definition that has the problem.

    I don’t recall endorsing any definition of rationality, but if I had to choose one, I would try to pick one which (a) does not exclude heuristics from its realm, and (b) can help tackle problems with unknown optimal solutions.

    In other words, I’d try to stay from the whole deductivist conception of knowledge, as it leads to unrealistic (if not impossible) expectations.

    Skeptical tricks should be kept as spiritual exercises. To use them to game arguments lacks honor.

  • Sashka

    Why can’t you be honest just once?

  • BBD

    Sashka

    Assuming # 520 is intended for me, we have a problem.

    Your reference at # 356 on which your ‘argument’ was based is extremely misleading. It plots temperature from the EPICA Dome C core (red) against CO2 from the Vostok core (blue).

    That’s very, very naughty. Although not as naughty as your blatant cherry-pick of this uniquely flawed graph followed by an accusation of dishonesty on my part. That was not clever at all. The internet being forever, as it is.

  • BBD

    The apples with apples Vostok temperature vs Vostok CO2 looks like this

    Everything you say turns out to be nonsense based on a dodgy graph. 

    Did you think I wouldn’t follow this up?

  • harrywr2

    Then we deny that there is a most likely value of ~3C 

    So once again what is the precise probability of the ‘most likely’ value? Does it exceed 50%? How much more likely is 3.0C then 2.0C or 2.5C or 2.9C or 3.1C?

    The ‘most likely’ value in a coin toss of a US 25 cent piece is heads. The coin is not perfectly weighted.

    If you toss it 1,000 times you will end up with maybe 510 heads and 490 tails. Most ‘statisticians’ would say their isn’t a statistical difference between the ‘most likely’ value and ‘least likely’ value.

    We already know how skilled the lead authors at the IPCC were at ‘statistics’ from the nonsense tree ring studies that showed no middle age warming period and no post 1980 warming period either. Of course in an ‘abundance of dishonesty’ they cut off the part that showed no post 1980′s warming period.

    I don’t need to deny their is a ‘most likely’ value…there is however scant evidence that any other value is significantly less likely.

    No…the IPCC stated that that range of likley values was between 2.0 and 4.5 C and the ‘best estimate’ is 3.0C.

    Don’t bother referencing Forster 2006…a study that is ‘not reproducible’ is by definition not ‘science’. Forster failed to archive the data…he doesn’t even have access to it….if he was a business man and lost the records of the same import he would be spending time in prison

  • http://hro001.wordpress.com Hilary Ostrov

    Wow!
    The last time I checked this thread, [338 June
    24th, 2012 at 2:42 am], the thread-jacking zealot had the distinction of having posted 106 of 337 comments.

    There
    are now 523 comments, of which 163 bear the signature and authoritative (well, at least according to him) stomp stamp of the thread-jacking zealot. As my dear old dad often says … “as near as dammit is to swearing”, that’s pretty close to 1/3 of the airtime.

    Why the host of this blog would permit such deprecation (and unfathomable pollution) of the value of his blog is probably best known only to himself. But that aside

    @339 NIV

    don’t let BBD wind you up with his assertions. Nobody who matters takes them seriously. And him defending Tomakiewicz’ Godwinisms says a lot more about his
    position than yours.

    Thank you. I sometimes wonder if the zealot even knows how to wind up a watch, let alone one who finds his “contributions” to discussions to be considerably less than intellectually honest. But, IMHO, it’s always good to ask for a reality check.

    @433 Tom Fuller

    The
    people at Bishop Hill are creating a memorial to Keith Kloor for taking [the zealot] off their hands.

    Shhhh … not a memorial to Kloor (he should live to 120 years) but to his blog which has sustained (you should pardon my use of the word) a thousand cuts (and no doubt more) to its credibility by the apparent free rein (if not downpour!) granted to the tedious thread-jacking
    zealot.

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Collide-a-Scape

Collide-a-Scape is a wide-ranging blog forum that explores issues at the nexus of science, culture and society.

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.

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