Roger Pielke Jr. on FiveThirtyEight and his Climate Critics

By Keith Kloor | July 28, 2014 9:37 am

Earlier in the year, Roger Pielke Jr. was named as a contributing writer for Nate Silver’s newly re-launched FiveThirtyEight site. Shortly after that, Pielke, a climate policy scholar and political scientist at the University of Colorado, in Boulder, published an article at FiveThirtyEight headlined, “Disasters Cost More Than Ever–But Not Because of Climate Change.”

Critics pounced immediately in blogs and on Twitter. That harsh reaction was then reported and commented on at Salon, Huffington Post, Slate, the Columbia Journalism Review, and elsewhere.

I recently conducted a Q & A with Pielke about this episode and the aftermath. The links in my questions are from me. I asked Pielke to provide his own links.

KK: It’s been noted on Twitter that you are not listed on the main contributors page for FiveThirthyEight. Does this mean you no longer write for the site? If so, can you explain what happened?

RPJR: That is correct, I no longer write for 538. Last month, after 538 showed some reluctance in continuing to publish my work, I called up Mike Wilson, the lead editor there, and told him that it was probably best that we part ways. I wished them well in their endeavor going forward. I remain a fan. Since then I have joined up with SportingIntelligence, a UK-based website that focuses on analyses of economic and other quantitative aspects of sport. It’s a great fit. And of course, I continue to publish in places like USA Today and the Financial Times on a wide range of subjects

KK: What do you make of the uproar your FiveThirtyEight piece generated? I know it quickly degenerated into an ugly pile-on, which I and some other journalists found unseemly. But did critics have any legitimate points you want to acknowledge?

RPJR: Well, that first piece was written on a subject that I have written on many times before (and perhaps as much as anyone) – disasters and climate change. The short essay was perfectly consistent with the recent assessments of the IPCC. The fact that some folks didn’t like it was not surprising — most anything on climate change is met with derision by somebody. What was a surprise was the degree to which the negative response to the piece was coordinated among some activist scientists, journalists and social media aficionados. I think that took everyone by surprise. I learned some new things about certain colleagues and journalists — both really good things and some really pathetic things. Seeing a campaign organized to have me fired from 538 also taught me a lesson about the importance of academic tenure.

KK: If you could write the piece over again, what would you do differently, if anything?

RPJR: Looking back, probably the main thing I would do differently would be to simply not write about climate change at 538. When I was originally hired there was actually zero discussion about me focusing on climate or even science, but rather covering a wide range of topics. I made clear to Nate and Mike that I was looking to at least partially escape from the climate change wars by focusing on other issues.  The climate change piece was an obvious place to start even so because the IPCC reports had just been released and the topic is also covered so thoroughly in the peer reviewed literature. Clearly, that judgment was wrong!

KK: Have you and Nate Silver talked about this ordeal? What was his reaction?

RPJR: I have not spoken with or corresponded with Nate since that first piece. Of course, I do wish that 538 had shown a bit more editorial backbone, but hey, it is his operation.  If a widely published academic cannot publish on a subject which he has dozens of peer-reviewed papers and 1000s of citations to his work, what can he write on?  Clearly Nate is a smart guy, and I suspect that he knows very well where the evidence lies on this topic. For me, if the price of playing in the DC-NYC data journalism world is self-censorship for fear of being unpopular, then it is clearly not a good fit for any academic policy scholar.

KK: The condemnation of your 538 piece quickly spiraled into ugly personal broadsides painting you (incorrectly) as a climate skeptic. This happened in various high profile venues, such as Slate. How did you feel when this happened?

RPJR: If you are engaged in public debates on issues that people care passionately about, then you will be called names and worse. It goes with the territory. It is not pleasant of course, but at the same time, it is a pretty strong indication that (a) your arguments matter and (b) people have a hard time countering them on their merits. Even so, it is remarkable to see people like Paul Krugman and John Holdren brazenly make completely false claims in public about my work and my views. That they make such false claims with apparently no consequences says something about the nature of debate surrounding climate.

KK: You say you were surprised by “the degree to which the response to the piece was coordinated among some activist scientists, journalists and social media aficionados.” But this response did not happen in a vacuum, either. For years, your work–or more specifically–pointed statements you’ve made about the climate science establishment–have been heavily criticized by a number of outspoken climate scientists and widely read climate bloggers. Looking back, it appears that animosity directed towards you stems more from sharply-worded commentary on your blog and elsewhere, than your research.

For example, in his recently published book, “Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle Against Climate Change Failed–and What it Means for Our Future,” NYU’s Dale Jamieson wrote about you. Here’s an excerpt that was posted at Salon:

In a 2010 book, Roger Pielke Jr. claimed that “[c]limate science is a fully politicized enterprise, desperately in need of reform if integrity is to be restored and sustained.” “Climategate,” the episode in November 2009 in which thousands of documents were stolen from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, revealed scientists “who saw themselves as much as activists as researchers,”  … “plotting to corrupt the peer review system.” According to Pielke Jr., the theft exposed a “clique of activist scientists” engaged in a “coup against peer review.” He went on to accuse a broad range of scientists and public figures of trying to scare people into taking action on climate change or advocating such scare tactics.

One remarkable feature of Pielke Jr.’s discussion is its shrillness. “Clique,” “coup,” and “plotting” are the kinds of terms usually reserved for organized crime syndicates, terrorist organizations, and other conspiracies against the public good. The repeated use of the word “activist” mobilizes a characteristic trope of right-wing ideologues. The term is typically applied to judges, who like scientists are supposed to be neutral when carrying out their duties, but all too often, on this view, betray their professional responsibilities. Even someone who is sympathetic to the claim that political considerations sometimes find their way into climate science might shrink from Pielke Jr.’s characterization of climate science as “a fully politicized enterprise.”

Perhaps you take issue with how Jamieson has characterized your statements. But even still, he appears to have identified the reasons for much of the animosity towards you that has built up over the years. This is the larger context that I think informs the ugly brouhaha over your 538 piece. What are your thoughts on this?

RPJR:  Anyone following these debates over the years and has observed whose arguments have actually been vindicated will no doubt understand why some of the louder critics of mine have resorted to bitter personal attacks. More generally, however, there is a common strategy of delegitimization used in the climate debates. It seems that labeling someone a “denier” offers a convenient excuse to avoid taking on arguments on their merits and to call for certain voices to be banished.

I’ve known Dale Jamison for about 25 years, dating back to the time that he was a philosophy professor at Colorado and NCAR. I have always got on well with him and learned a lot from him during the years that we were colleagues. I am perfectly comfortable with my claim that parts of the climate science field are indeed “fully politicized.” At the same time, as I have often said, there are many brilliant and hard-working scientists in the field. It just so happens that some of the most fervent ideologues find themselves in positions of authority. I don’t think that this is at all controversial.

What is controversial is the question whether the ends justify the means. That is to say, is the climate issue so important that we should look past issues of scientific integrity among those whose heart is in the right place?  Jamieson suggests that we should:

“I’ve known Roger for a long time, and he’s done a lot of work that I respect. Part of why I called him out in the book is because he’s not a climate change denier. He’s somebody who knows better, but the rhetoric that he’s used against scientists and the exaggerations and the kind of personal fights that he’s gotten into around the issue have really distracted from the broad consensus that actually exists around doing something.”

First, I’m flattered to see that Dale thinks that my views are so influential so as to distract from a broad consensus. I’d just disagree with that conclusion. As I document with evidence in The Climate Fix, there is a very strong and stable consensus in the US and worldwide about doing something on climate. But more generally, should an academic really be measuring his arguments by who they favor in a political debate? Or should I call things like I see them? I’ve chosen to call things as I see them, and I am quite happy with that career choice.

Second, many of the public debates that I have been involved in are associated with efforts to discredit or misrepresent my own academic work. The 538 episode is just one such example. I document in my book an episode when back in 2001 a leading climate scientist asked me to underplay my work for political reasons. Not only do I believe this to be unethical, I also think that it will be  counterproductive for those calling for action. Trying to trick policy makers or the public to believe that – say, disasters are getting worse because of climate change or that we have all the technologies we need for deep decarbonization – will only backfire in the end. I am a big fan of playing it straight with the science, because over the long term that reinforces public trust and leads to more reliable policy recommendations.

KK: I should say that I am in no way excusing or rationalizing the behavior of climate bloggers and others who have previously used slanderous language in an attempt to discredit you. But I guess what I getting at here is this: Do you feel in any way responsible for provoking the deep-seated anger directed at you over the years, which seems to have culminated in this mob-like attack on your reputation after publication of the 538 piece? I  just wonder if you feel like, given the chance to go back in time, might you have phrased your own criticisms of the climate science community differently?

RPJR: It is a fair question. Hindsight is of course 20/20. But let’s say that all the criticisms Jamieson levies are accurate: I have been hard on some climate scientists. I have criticized some of their work in public, and even accused some of exploiting scientific authority for political ends. Sometimes I have used colorful language (“coup against peer review” — though for actual “shrillness” I would point Jamieson over to Joe Romm!). Some people have disagreed with my arguments. I have even been critical of the IPCC at times. Also, I have popularized my work on carbon pricing, decarbonization, energy, disasters, and the politicization of science. My work has occasionally been cited by the bad guys. I have also challenged claims that are seemingly widely accepted, but which my work shows to be wrong. I believe that policy debates deserve a plurality of voices, not a harmonization of views. I do not focus obsessively on the skeptics and deniers.

What part of the above would I change? Not much at all.

To be very clear, it is only a few climate scientists who have engaged in the “mob-like attacks” (it was actually mostly journalists and bloggers). Almost all the feedback I get from colleagues in climate science is overwhelmingly positive. Those climate scientists engaged in the climate debate are all big boys (mostly) and girls. If they cannot take the rough and tumble of public debate, then they should not be in public debate. There is “deep-seate anger” because of colorful language and apparent thin skins? Right. Tell me about it.

Ultimately, what I learned from the 538 episode is how small and insular the community of self-professed “climate hawks” actually is. Sure they made a lot of noise online and got John Stewart’s attention. But that was because of Nate Silver’s fame, not mine. Back in the real world, outside the climate blogosphere and the NY-DC data journalism circle virtually no one knew or much cared about the 538 brouhaha, even within academia. I found that encouraging.

I do wish the 538 folks all the best going forward. They were put in a difficult position. I have no hard feelings. There are some brilliant people there and they will no doubt have some great successes.

But in conclusion, let’s take a step back. Disaster losses continue to increase worldwide. Carbon dioxide continues to accumulate in the atmosphere. The world continues to demand ever more energy. Climate policies in place or proposed are not up to the task. In short, we need more ideas, more debate, more disagreement if we are to make intelligent progress. Efforts to demonize or silence unwelcome voices probably don’t move the dial very far on any of these issues Was this campaign to have me removed from 538 a victory for the climate movement? Was it the right battle to wage? I hope the climate hawks ask themselves these questions.

  • JonFrum

    KK: I should say that I am in no way excusing or rationalizing the behavior of climate bloggers and others who have previously used slanderous language in an attempt to discredit you. But…
    In other words, Kloor IS excusing and rationalizing. Rhetorically, that is what can be called the disingenuous ‘but.’ It acknowledges that the fact are on his opponents side, but….

  • CacheLaPoudre

    Dude was railroaded for having politically incorrect views based on facts.

  • Tom Scharf

    Good interview. It opened up a lot on things I was generally curious about and RPJ was as consistent on this subject as he has always been.

    I’m biased here. Living in Florida the very first thing I looked into about climate was related to spiraling increases in homeowners insurance due to climate models predicting a sharp increase in hurricanes frequency and intensity. It didn’t take long to find RPJ’s blog and the statistical analysis and data on long term trends. There was a distinct difference in the actual trend data and how it was portrayed in the media and the insurance companies were happy to play along.

    It’s always been my opinion that this “extreme events are already worse” meme was going to backfire. It is simply too easy to refute with data, and overstatements abound in the media. You would think credibility matters to some people, just apparently not the self elected climate leaders. Naturally they respond hostilely when their credibility is questioned.

    My guess is RPJ probably single handedly brought sanity to the SREX report. And the latest IPCC AR5 was consistent with the SREX. I do enjoy directly quoting the IPCC every time this debate comes up, turning the consensus tables on its head so to say.

    “Looking back, probably the main thing I would do differently would be to simply not write about climate change at 538″

    …and here is yet another example of the toxicity of the climate debate. Many bloggers and journalists (including KK) has started to de-emphasize their climate coverage. It is easy to see how one would grow tired of playing in this swamp. It is repetitive, hostile, not career enhancing, and has devolved into a mentality of trench warfare using chemical weapons.

    RPJ no longer writing on 538…who actually won here? Nobody. The loser is open scientific debate and science transparency. Diversity is not a prized goal in the climate debate.

    • DavidAppell

      Except climate models don’t predict “a sharp increase in hurricane frequency and intensity.”

      This is from the IPCC 5AR WG1 Ch14 pg 1220:

      “Based on process understanding and agreement in 21st century projections, it is likely that the global frequency of occurrence of tropical cyclones will either decrease or remain essentially unchanged, concurrent with a likely increase in both global mean tropical cyclone maximum wind speed and precipitation rates. The future influence of climate change on tropical cyclones is likely to vary by region, but the specific characteristics of the changes are not yet well quantified and there is low confidence in region-specific projections of frequency and intensity.”

      and

      “There is low confidence in the projections of future changes for the tropical Atlantic, both for the mean and interannual modes, because of systematic errors in model simulations of current climate. The implications for future changes in Atlantic hurricanes and tropical South American and West African precipitation are therefore uncertain.”

      For example, see:

      “Modeled impact of anthropogenic warming on the frequency of intense Atlantic hurricanes.”
      MA Bender MA et al, Science. 2010 Jan 22;327(5964):454-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1180568.

      From the abstract:

      “The model projects nearly a doubling of the frequency of category 4 and 5 storms by the end of the 21st century, despite a decrease in the overall frequency of tropical cyclones….”

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20093471

      • Tom Scharf

        Right, not anymore. I’m totally with you here.

        But they did in 2006 after a couple big hurricane years. They have since correctly walked it back (the data has forced them to…), but surely you remember the “hurricanes will increase in frequency and intensity” times, don’t you? Many people still repeat this.

        AR4:

        “Earlier studies assessed in the TAR showed that future tropical cyclones would likely become more severe with greater wind speeds and more intense precipitation. More recent modelling experiments have addressed possible changes in tropical cyclones in a warmer climate and generally confirmed those earlier results.”

        What I’m specifically referring to is this:

        Florida insurers rely on dubious storm model
        http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20101114/article/11141026

        It’s a bit long, but won the Pulitzer prize for investigative journalism in 2010. The re-insurer RMS dropped historical trends for disaster prediction and started using estimates from climate scientists, including Kerry Emanuel. *** Instant 45% increase in estimated major hurricane strikes ***.

        “In the end, the four scientists came up with four hurricane estimates — similar only in that they were all above the historic average.”

        “Thus, the long-term reality of 0.63 major hurricanes striking the U.S. every year yielded to a prediction of 0.90.”

        Post-mortem is that the decade 2000-2010 ended up being right at the historical average of disaster damage, even given the two horrendous years in mid-decade. Hilariously after 2006 we haven’t even had one major hurricane strike in the US, the Al Gore effect I suppose. What the future holds is uncertain.

        • DavidAppell

          The paragraph below the one you quoted (4AR WG1 CH10 section 10.3.6.3) says:

          “A study with roughly 100-km grid spacing shows a decrease in tropical cyclone frequency globally and in the North Pacific but a regional increase over the North Atlantic and no significant changes in maximum intensity (Sugi et al., 2002). Yoshimura et al. (2006) use the same model but different SST patterns and two different convection schemes, and show a decrease in the global frequency of relatively weak tropical cyclones but no significant change in the frequency of intense storms…. Another global modelling study with roughly a 100-km grid spacing finds a 6% decrease in tropical storms globally and a slight increase in intensity, with both increases and decreases regionally related to the El Niño-like base state response in the tropical Pacific to increased greenhouse gases (McDonald et al., 2005). Another study with the same resolution model indicates decreases in tropical cyclone frequency and intensity but more mean and extreme precipitation from the tropical cyclones simulated in the future in the western north Pacific (Hasegawa and Emori, 2005).”

          Then looking at another class of models, they write (pg 788):

          “Thus, from this category of coarser-grid models that can only represent rudimentary aspects of tropical cyclones, there is
          no consistent evidence for large changes in either frequency or intensity of these models’ representation of tropical cyclones, but there is a consistent response of more intense precipitation from future storms in a warmer climate.”

          From a later paragraph on the same page:

          “In that study, tropical cyclone frequency decreased 30% globally (but increased about 34% in the North Atlantic).”

          Basically the same message: lower frequencies, higher intensities, and an admission there’s a still a lot we don’t know.

          So I don’t see the inconsistency. Or how scientists of the past were supposed to read the minds of scientists of the future.

          • Tom Scharf

            You are preaching to the choir. There is many times a huge disconnect between the summary and the details, and how it is reported in the media.

            In most cases what the scientists say is fine, it is what activists “say the scientists say” is where the wheels usually come off I have found.

            Quoting single studies is the norm, or worst case projections from a single study, etc. is very common.

            You can Google cyclones “more frequent and intense” and you will find endless claims of this variety. Most people have backed away from it in the past 5 years.

            Just 1 of a zillion:
            http://science.time.com/2013/07/09/a-new-study-says-hurricanes-will-get-stronger-and-more-frequent-thanks-to-climate-change/

            Compare the title to the details in the text. Emanuel again. It’s irrelevant what his track record is here. Standard fare.

          • CB

            67% of Arctic sea ice has disappeared in the last 34 years. If you understand this sea ice is keeping sea surface temperatures lower, and if you understand warmer seas cause stronger storms, why wouldn’t you expect an increase in storm strength once Arctic sea ice disappears completely?

          • David Skurnick

            While sea ice extent was shrinking in the Arctic, it was expanding to a record area in the Antarctic. Total sea ice is currently above the long term average. So, would you expect a reduction in Southern Hemisphere typhoons? I don’t recall people making such a prediction.

          • CB

            “While sea ice extent was shrinking in the Arctic, it was expanding to a record area in the Antarctic… would you expect a reduction in Southern Hemisphere typhoons?”

            Yes, sea ice is expanding in the Antarctic because the continent is melting down. Ice is moving from the land to the sea. I would expect a marked increase in typhoon activity once this ice disappears completely.

          • tomandersen

            Why would land based ice in Antarctica melt more with an increase of even 5C (let alone 1). Its cold there.

            The answer is of course that its not shrinking at all, or better put its within measurement error. “Overall, a recent estimate puts Antarctic net mass balance at -71 ± 53 gigatonnes per year”. In human terms that’s 0.

            http://www.antarcticglaciers.org/glaciers-and-climate/antarctic-ice-sheet-surface-mass-balance/

            Its not even clear that Antarctica will add to or subtract from ocean levels over the next 100 years, as increased snowfall will offset melting.

          • S Graves

            Oh please. Cite a single peer reviewed work that predicts that the AIS is going to melt down. There AREN’T ANY!! What absolute made up nonsense.

          • DavidAppell

            You are confusing sea ice extent with volume. In fact, Arctic sea ice volume (or mass) is decreasing about 10 times faster than Antarctic se ice volume is expanding. That means global sea ice is decreasing quite rapidly, and is far below the long-term trend.

          • Michael Stone

            You have bought into a myth spread by the corrupt Anthony Watts followers….

            The freshwater land based ice on Antarctica is rapidly melting now.

            As that freshwater enters the ocean around the continent of Antarctica it caused more winter sea ice to form than normally does as it is not saline as the ocean water is.

            The increased ocean ice during the past three winters is mostly thin and rotten ice and melts off very quickly during it’s short summer season.

            Yes I am aware that a ship was locked in ice there last winter, nothing unusual about that in the Southern Ocean, but the GW deniers try to have a field day with the issue.

            Keep in mind that the Larson B ice shelf broke off of Antarctica in 2003, which was a wakeup call that we were entering a serious global warming trend.

          • David Skurnick

            Michael, here are some responses to your comment.
            1. I said Antarctic ice extent is at a record high. That is a fact, not a myth, regardless of any other characteristics of this ice. Note that ice extent is important because of ice’s reflectivity. Low ice extent in the Arctic tends to increase global warming, since less heat is radiated back. Similarly, high ice extent in the Antarctic tends to decrease GW.
            2. I don’t know what you mean by “GW denier”, but I’m not one. I believe the globe has been warming and that man’s activity has contributed some amount the warming. I believe this is the view of most climate skeptics.
            3. Do you have a link showing that the growth of Antarctic sea ice extent is being caused freshwater melt? In other words, is this a theory or an established fact? Also, did the IPCC or other climatologists predict in advance that Antarctic sea ice would grow to a record level?

          • Michael Stone
          • S Graves

            I just love your “science” resources…Guardian, dailycaller, Slate…what nonsense, Stoner. And you criticize Watts. Geezzzzz….

            Oh…and this is very inconvenient wrt your melt water claim and the increase in Antarctic SI.

            ScienceDaily (Oct. 23, 2012) from a NASA study;

            “Winds off the Ross Ice Shelf are getting stronger and stronger, and that causes the sea ice to be pushed off the coast, which generates areas of open water, polynyas,” said Josefino Comiso, a senior scientist at NASA Goddard. “The larger the coastal polynya, the more ice it produces, because in polynyas the water is in direct contact with the very cold winter atmosphere and rapidly freezes.” As the wind keeps blowing, the ice expands further to the north.”
            Stoner…give these guys a call and get themstraightened out.

          • Swood1000

            As that freshwater enters the ocean around the continent of Antarctica it caused more winter sea ice to form than normally does as it is not saline as the ocean water is.

            Possible, but the IPCC has “low confidence” in that explanation. http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_Chapter10_FINAL.pdf, page 870.

          • CB

            That looks like a good link!

            …but it doesn’t say what you’re pretending it says. Page 870 says this:

            “Anthropogenic forcings are very likely to have contributed to Arctic sea ice loss since 1979″

            http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_Chapter10_FINAL.pdf

            Do you always cite papers that suggest you’re lying?

            Have you any idea how many Climate Deniers behave in this strange fashion?

            If Climate Denialism weren’t a mental disorder, why should this be?

          • Swood1000

            As that freshwater enters the ocean around the continent of Antarctica it caused more winter sea ice to form than normally does as it is not saline as the ocean water is.

            In response to the above, I provided a reference to this IPCC statement:

            There is low confidence in the scientific understanding of the observed increase in Antarctic sea ice extent since 1979 owing to the incomplete and competing scientific explanations for the causes of change and low confidence in estimates of internal variability.

            Then you provided a quote about the Arctic as if that were relevant to the above. Why? What is the “strange fashion”? And what possible meaning could the following have under any view of the matter:

            If Climate Denialism weren’t a mental disorder, why should this be?

          • CB

            My apologies! I didn’t see anything about Antarctic sea ice on that page. Next time you should probably quote the passage you’re referring to.

            The CO₂ we’ve already emitted has set the planet on a course toward the complete meltdown of Greenland, if Earth’s history is any indication… so why are you nitpicking confidence-levels in explanations for Antarctic sea ice instead of acknowledging the problem?

          • Swood1000

            What is the source of that graphic?

          • CB

            “What is the source of that graphic?”

            It’s a paper in Nature called “Convergent Cenozoic CO₂ History”:

            http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v4/n7/full/ngeo1186.html

          • Swood1000

            “Therefore, we conclude that the current decadal mean temperature in Greenland has not exceeded the envelope of natural variability over the past 4000 years…” http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2011GL049444/pdf

            What is the basis for your confidence that the current warming is not similar to what we have seen before?

          • CB

            “What is the basis for your confidence that the current warming is not similar to what we have seen before?”

            Because polar ice caps have never before in Earth’s history been able to withstand levels of CO₂ as high as we are pushing them. Preceding the Quaternary, a spike in CO₂ to just under 400PPM destroyed the ice on Greenland completely:

            http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/researchers-find-3-million-year-old-landscape-beneath-greenland-ice-sheet

          • Swood1000

            Preceding the Quaternary, a spike in CO? to just under 400PPM destroyed the ice on Greenland completely:

            But the link you included with this statement, http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/researchers-find-3-million-year-old-landscape-beneath-greenland-ice-sheet, flatly contradicts this:

            The new discovery indicates that even during the warmest periods since the ice sheet formed, the center of Greenland remained stable. “It’s likely that it did not fully melt at any time,” Bierman said. This allowed a tundra landscape to be locked away, unmodified, under ice through millions of years of global warming and cooling.

            “Some ice sheet models project that the Greenland Ice Sheet completely melted during previous interglacial periods. These data suggest that did not happen,” said co-author Tom Neumann, a cryospheric scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.”

          • CB

            “the link you included to support this statement… flatly contradicts it”

            It might appear that way if you don’t actually read the article. The current Greenland ice sheet formed around 2.7 million years ago because of a drop in CO₂ which briefly peaked to just under 400PPM and then fell again. Their statement is that the ice has been stable since then. You can see the peak in the CO₂ signal which is correlated with an ice-free Greenland in the graph I’ve already given you.

          • Swood1000

            And you never answered my question as to the Vostok data: if CO₂ was responsible for driving temperature up, then how could temperature fall when CO₂ remained at the same levels that supposedly drove temperature up, unless there were some other driver responsible? And if another driver was overpowering the CO₂ and causing temperature to fall, then why do we assume that the other driver did not cause temperature (and CO₂) to rise in the first place?

          • CB

            “how could temperature fall when CO₂ remained at the same levels that supposedly drove temperature up, unless there were some other driver responsible?”

            There are other drivers, of course! This was never in question.

            The question was whether or not the human-caused increase in atmospheric CO₂ from 290PPM before the industrial revolution to 400PPM today can be overridden by other climate drivers, and the answer to that for any reasonable person is a resounding no!

            Here is 800,000 years of CO₂ concentrations from polar ice caps, going back to the oldest significant ice on Earth:

            ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/antarctica/epica_domec/edc-co2-2008.txt

            Find me a single point where CO₂ goes over 400PPM.

            If polar ice caps can withstand CO₂ so high, why don’t they record a single instance of CO₂ so high?

            What does the term “multiple lines of converging evidence” mean?

          • Swood1000

            “What does the term “multiple lines of converging evidence” mean?”

            I think I understand your position to be that the evidence is so powerful that any person who fails to agree that a crisis situation exists must be either irrational, dishonest or ignorant.

            Can you give me your top five facts (or however many you wish) that prove not just warming but a crisis involving imminent catastrophic warming?

          • CB

            “any person who fails to agree that a crisis situation exists must be either irrational, dishonest or ignorant”

            Climate Deniers are suicidally mentally ill. They are actually trying to destroy the ecology they depend on for survival. It’s not possible for people to be ignorant of facts so plain at this point.

            “Can you give me your top five facts (or however many you wish) that prove not just warming but a crisis involving imminent catastrophic warming?”

            I just did. Scroll up.

            Check out quickly Arctic sea ice has moved towards zero if you want a timeline to disaster:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OBCXWAHo5I

          • Swood1000

            “Climate Deniers are suicidally mentally ill.”

            Then why are you here interacting with them? It seems remarkably heartless, like a person who, for his own entertainment, stops periodically to converse with the madman. How do you justify this?

          • CB

            “Then why are you here interacting with them?”

            I am interacting with you because you pose a danger to yourself and others, and I would like you to get better!

            I believe allowing you to air your self-destructive ideas in public helps wake you up to your sickness.

            What do you think? Is it helpful for you to express yourself?

            …or did you not realise you were afflicted?

          • Swood1000

            Here’s another group of papers that estimates the climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO₂ to be in the neighborhood of or less than 1 deg C. Suicidally mentally ill all, along with anyone who allows these papers to raise the slightest doubt?

            Are these people also afflicted? Should they be told about your new therapy technique? Perhaps following the same approach they should be advised to write more papers, in order to “express” themselves and wake up from their sickness. Agreed?

          • Swood1000

            “Climate Deniers are suicidally mentally ill.”

            So you would say that authors of papers like this one: http://www.ecd.bnl.gov/steve/pubs/HeatCapacity.pdf (estimates a warming of 1.1±0.5 deg C for a doubling of CO₂), are not merely in error but are suicidally mentally ill, as is anyone who, for whatever reason, is caused by such a paper to entertain doubts about how imminent global warming is?

          • SkyHunter

            Schwartz is assuming an equilibrium response of 5 years for a century scale forcing. A more reasonable 15-20 years for equilibrium response yields an estimate closer to 3ºC per doubling.

          • Swood1000

            Does this mean that, unlike CB (to whom the original post was addressed), you conclude that Schwartz is merely in error, and not suicidally mentally ill?

          • SkyHunter

            Schwartz does not conclude that he has the correct climate sensitivity estimate. He simply presented a method of estimating climate sensitivity and published his results. So no, I do not believe he is mentally ill. I believe that the people who use his results, without acknowledging the caveats, are suffering from mental illness.

          • Swood1000

            “Schwartz does not conclude that he has the correct climate sensitivity estimate. He simply presented a method of estimating climate sensitivity…”

            So he is presenting a method of estimating climate sensitivity but we cannot infer that he believes his method arrives at a correct estimate of climate sensitivity?

          • SkyHunter

            Obviously you have not read or comprehended the paper you cite. Nor have you read the responses to it.

            Since the various climate responses to forcing vary in lag time from days to centuries, his simple model and single lag constant is not a robust estimate of climate sensitivity.

          • Swood1000

            I believe that the people who use his results, without acknowledging the caveats, are suffering from mental illness.

            Can you point me to his caveats?

          • SkyHunter

            Here an initial attempt is made to determine climate sensitivity through energy balance considerations that are based on the time dependence of GMST and ocean heat content over the period for which instrumental measurements are available

            A potential concern with evaluating global ocean heat capacity as (dH/dt)/(dTs/dt) that is manifested in Figure 2 arises from the relatively large fluctuation in ocean heat content compared to that in the temperature anomaly data series.

            And his margin of error is only one sigma instead of two, not a very robust finding.

            He is attempting to refine the estimate of climate sensitivity. So far he has not succeeded, but I see no reason to poo poo his efforts, or to taut them as proof of low climate sensitivity.

          • Swood1000

            Schwartz apparently revised it upward to 8.5 ± 2.5 years,

            “…corresponding to an equilibrium temperature increase for doubled CO2 of 1.9 ± 1.0 K, somewhat lower than the central estimate of the sensitivity given in the 2007 assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but consistent within the uncertainties of both estimates.” http://www.ecd.bnl.gov/steve/pubs/HeatCapCommentResponse.pdf

            Still off?

          • SkyHunter

            Still not a full equilibrium response from the fast feedbacks.

            Here is the thing, he is using a simple zero dimensional energy balance model and assuming equilibrium response to forcing to be less than 10 years. While it is an interesting exercise, it is not a robust estimate of climate sensitivity.

          • Swood1000

            How does one account for this? Is Schwartz (a) a simpleton, (b) not trying to demonstrate anything objectively useful, (c) a dupe, (d) insane, (e) corrupt, or (f) making reasonable assumptions, though ones different from the ones you would make?

          • SkyHunter

            This is how science is done. Even though his estimate is not robust, he had an idea and he followed through. The community evaluated it and found it lacking. But that doesn’t mean that it was not worth the exercise. It was a intriguing way of looking at climate sensitivity, and is helpful if for no other reason that it demonstrates the limitations of the methodology.

          • Swood1000
          • CB

            We are right out of time for this therapy session.

            Please let me know if I can find you mental health resources in your area.

            Remember, there’s no reason to struggle with suicidal feelings alone and nothing wrong with asking for help if you need it.

          • Swood1000

            We are right out of time for this therapy session.

            I’m sorry I missed the session. However, for the next session could you explain some things to me?

            When I come across numerous studies by erudite scientists that conclude that the climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO₂ is warming of about 1 deg C, and when they say that they reach that conclusion, in part, by observing what the actual result has been of a doubling of CO₂, how do I go about ignoring this?

            And when I read in http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/upload/climate-seminar-transcript.pdf the statement of Dr. William Collins that

            “Now, I am hedging a bet because, to be honest with you, if the hiatus is still going on as of the sixth IPCC report, that report is going to have a large burden on its shoulders walking in the door, because recent literature has shown that the chances of having a hiatus of 20 years are vanishingly small.”

            how do I convince myself that since the existence of a hiatus was contradicted by CB, I must shut my eyes to it if I wish to get well?

          • SkyHunter

            Most of your links are broken, but I am willing to discuss any peer-reviewed paper.

            BENGTSSON SCHWARTZ 2013 is an estimate of the lower bounds of climate sensitivity to be 1.16ºK

            I feel fairly confident that you have not read, nor could you comprehend the citations you copied from a dishonest source, but I would be happy to discuss the details with you.

          • Swood1000

            I fixed the links – shouldn’t have followed each one with a semicolon.

          • Swood1000

            “the citations you copied from a dishonest source”

            Well, at least we’ve moved up from insane. Is the source dishonest because no honest source could conclude that a finding of a sensitivity of 1 degree C could be arrived at legitimately?

          • SkyHunter

            You obviously copy and pasted those links from an internet source who compiled them as ammunition for an info-war.

            There are a few estimates of climate sensitivity that are low, but none that are less than 1ºC. The Planck response alone is 1.2ºC.

            So pick the one you believe presents the strongest case for low climate sensitivity and I will be happy to discuss it.

          • Swood1000

            I feel fairly confident that you have not read, nor could you comprehend the citations you copied…

            I would very much be interested in learning where these papers err. Is there an error that is common to all (or many) of them?

          • SkyHunter

            I just showed you that one of them does not conclude that climate sensitivity is lower than 1ºC. It concludes that the lower boundary of the estimate is greater than 1ºC

          • Swood1000

            “With these data, we obtain best estimates for…equilibrium climate sensitivity [of] 0.54 ± 0.14K…”

            It was 1.16K at the 95% confidence level, and even that was “in the neighborhood of” 1 deg C.

          • SkyHunter

            Why did you cut it off where you did?

            Are you deliberately obfuscating?

            With these data, we obtain best estimates for transient climate sensitivity 0.3990 ±0.07ºK (W m2) and equilibrium climate sensitivity 0.5490 ±0.14 K (W m2),

            For the transient response, (fast feedbacks with short lag times) they conclude (0.3990ºC x 3.7W/m2 = 1.4763ºC)

            For the equilibrium response it is (0.54ºC x 3.7W/m2 = 1.998ºC)

          • Swood1000

            Mea culpa! The site I got this from listed it on one page at 0.54C and on another page at 2C. I have since sent an inquiry to them asking WTF? Maybe there are some uncorrupted/sane personnel handling some of their web pages. But I have some questions for you.

            First, the charge has been made that the higher climate sensitivity figures would have produced much more warming than has been observed, and they simply hypothesize “aerosols” to the extent necessary to produce the observed warming. What is your response?

            Second, do you recognize the existence of a warming “hiatus” and if so (a) doesn’t this suggest that the models are inadequate, and (b) why shouldn’t we wait and see whether there is any actual warming of the kind predicted?

          • SkyHunter

            Aerosols are element that add the most uncertainty to estimates of climate sensitivity. I believe human aerosol emissions are a negative forcing, and explain the radiative imbalance at the top of the atmosphere fairly well, but are only a small element in the overall system.

            The “hiatus” is in the GMST (global mean surface temperature) and lower troposphere. The TOA imbalance is still about 0.5W/m2, the ice is still melting and the oceans are still warming. A slowing in the GMST trend of less than 30 years is statistically insignificant, since the bulk (<90%) of the climates heat is in the oceans.

          • Swood1000

            “A slowing in the GMST trend of less than 30 years is statistically insignificant…”

            Is it 17 or 20 or 30?

            “Our results show that temperature records of at least 17 years in length are required for identifying human effects on global-mean tropospheric temperature.” – B. D. Santer, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2011JD016263/abstract

            “Now, I am hedging a bet because, to be honest with you, if the hiatus is still going on as of the sixth IPCC report, that report is going to have a large burden on its shoulders walking in the door, because recent literature has shown that the chances of having a hiatus of 20 years are vanishingly small.” William Collins, director of the Center at LBNL for Integrative Modeling of the Earth System (CLIMES) at the Lawrence Berkeley National laboratory, and a Lead Author on the Fourth and Fifth Assessment of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/upload/climate-seminar-transcript.pdf, page 92.

          • SkyHunter

            Santer et. al. analyze 32 years of satellite data and determine that they can identify an AGW signal in the lower troposphere with a minimum 17 years of data of the data.

            1) The lower troposphere is heated primarily by sea surface emission. Which means that it is a secondary line of evidence.

            2) Many ocean cycles are 30, 60, or even 100 year cycles.

            3) The past is no predictor of the future, since the last time the oceans warmed this fast was at the beginning of the Holocene.

            There is still a clear warming trend in the GMST. This past June was the hottest June ever, the first half of this year is tied with 2002 as the third warmest six month period,and there is an 80% chance of an El Nino event this fall. This year and the next will make that trend even clearer.

            The oceans are the climates thermal mass. And the oceans are gaining a lot of heat.

            http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content2000m.png

          • Swood1000

            ”A slowing in the GMST trend of less than 30 years is statistically insignificant…”

            Just to clarify, this is contradicted by the statement of Dr. Collins, correct?

          • SkyHunter

            No. Dr. Collins was able to detect the AGW signal in 17 years out of 32, but that does not mean he could so it with a longer dataset.

            So while it is possible, the last 17 years is statistically insignificant, since the margin of error is greater than the signal.

          • Swood1000

            No, Dr. Collins is the one who made the statement about the hiatus going on for 20 years.

            “Now, I am hedging a bet because, to be honest with you, if the hiatus is still going on as of the sixth IPCC report, that report is going to have a large burden on its shoulders walking in the door, because recent literature has shown that the chances of having a hiatus of 20 years are vanishingly small.” William Collins, director of the Center at LBNL for Integrative Modeling of the Earth System (CLIMES) at the Lawrence Berkeley National laboratory, and a Lead Author on the Fourth and Fifth Assessment of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/upload/climate-seminar-transcript.pdf, page 92.

          • SkyHunter

            The 20 year trend is 0.109ºC ±0.101ºC/decade at 2 sigma. Would you consider it to be statistically significant?

            The 30 year trend is 0.167ºC ±0.058ºC/decade at 2 sigma.

            That is a clear and statistically significant trend.

          • Swood1000

            The 20 year trend is 0.109ºC ±0.101ºC/decade at 2 sigma. Would you consider it to be statistically significant?

            My point is that an assertion of statistical insignificance is contradicted by what Dr. Collins said. Maybe he has different numbers in mind, but statistical insignificance would not equate to a “large burden” in the mind of Dr. Collins, don’t you agree?

          • SkyHunter

            I do agree that a 20 year hiatus would be rare, but when the signal is smaller than the margin for error, it is very difficult to argue statistical significance. Therefore, Dr. Collins does not contradict the assertion of 30 years for robust statistical significance. During the last 20 years the trend is about equal to the margin of error, therefore it is not a particularly robust signal. The 25 year trend is 0.152ºC ±0.078ºC/decade, which is statistically significant.

            So while it may be possible to detect the AGW signal in some 17 year periods, a longer dataset reduces the uncertainty. Twenty five years may be sufficient in all cases, but 30 gives one much greater confidence in the results.

          • Swood1000

            Well, clearly your calculations and those of Dr. Collins must be different. Otherwise we are left with Dr. Collins referring to statistical insignificance as a “large burden.” His calculations must result in statistical significance for 20 years, correct?

          • SkyHunter

            Well since we don’t have Dr. Collins calculations… we have no idea what he means by “large burden.”

            I am using a standard calculator and the GISS data, there is not much difference between datasets, but GISS extrapolates to infill under sampled areas with satellite data. I can’t imagine that Dr. Collins is doing anything different.

            There is a new paper just out that attributes the warming in the Atlantic to stronger Trade Winds in Pacific, which could explain why there has been a predominantly negative ENSO cycle.

            http://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/science/atlantic-warming-turbocharges-pacific-trade-winds-0

          • Swood1000

            Do you agree that if the hiatus is still going on as of the sixth IPCC report, that report is going to have a large burden on its shoulders walking in the door?

          • SkyHunter

            Satellites measure incoming and outgoing radiation at the top of the atmosphere. More is coming in than is going out. The Earth is cooled by emission to space. The slowdown in the GMST trend means less emission.

            That longer the pause, the more heat the planet accumulates. I am confident that should such a scenario come to pass, scientists will have an explanation.

          • Swood1000

            I am confident that should such a scenario come to pass, scientists will have an explanation.

            Faith in science is natural. Of course as you know, there are those who feel that, for some people, it has taken on some of the aspects of a religion. http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/ID/2818/Crichton-Environmentalism-is-a-religion.aspx

            But I am having difficulty getting you to answer my question directly. Do you agree with Dr. Collins that, as things stand today, the chances of having a hiatus of 20 years are vanishingly small, or do you disagree with him? It appears that you have been telling me the latter but I would just like to confirm that.

          • Swood1000

            The slowdown in the GMST trend means less emission.

            I don’t follow this. A slowdown in warming would mean greater emission, if emission is responsible, would it not?

            That longer the pause, the more heat the planet accumulates.

            How is this the case? A pause means that the GMST is not increasing. This would be either because (a) not as much heat is getting in through the atmosphere, or (b) more heat is escaping, or (c) the heat is ending up in the ocean. But how can we say: X shows a pause and Y does not. Therefore we know that X is experiencing more heat accumulation than Y.

          • SkyHunter

            If the surface is cooler, it emits less energy. If the incoming energy is the same, there is a greater net accumulation of heat.

            That is not what we are saying. If the surface is emitting less energy, then the troposphere will be cooler. This results in a greater net balance at the top of the atmosphere. Which means that the oceans are taking up the excess energy. This was not one the predicted response, the research data confirms it.

          • Swood1000

            That is not what we are saying. If the surface is emitting less energy, then the troposphere will be cooler. This results in a greater net balance at the top of the atmosphere. Which means that the oceans are taking up the excess energy. This was not only the predicted response, the research data confirms it.

            Can you point me to a study or a discussion on this issue?

          • SkyHunter

            We are discussing it.

            There are many facets here, which do you not understand?

            The upper atmosphere is warmed from the top down, primarily from UV absorption by ozone. The lower atmosphere is warmed from the bottom up by greenhouse gas absorption of IR.

          • Swood1000

            Interesting. Here’s another discussion:  DotEarth

          • SkyHunter

            That is a good discussion, balanced and not hyperbolic. The author himself comments that it is just another piece in a larger puzzle.

          • Swood1000

            “there is an 80% chance of an El Nino event this fall”

            Decreased to 65%. http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/ensodisc.html

          • SkyHunter

            The point is the same, 2014 continues the warming trend. When the ENSO goes predominantly positive, the balance of heat in the atmosphere will increase.

          • Swood1000

            Just an aside.

          • SkyHunter

            aside what?

          • Swood1000

            “The oceans are the climates thermal mass. And the oceans are gaining a lot of heat.”

            “Direct determination of changes in oceanic heat content over the last 20 years are not in conflict with estimates of the radiative forcing, but the uncertainties remain too large to rationalize e.g., the apparent “pause” in warming.” http://ocean.mit.edu/~cwunsch/papersonline/heatcontentchange_26dec2013_ph.pdf

          • SkyHunter

            Scientists are skeptical by nature. Wunsch is simply saying that there are too many uncertainties to draw hard conclusions. Which is why he recently published his research on deep ocean warming. Research that supports the hypothesis that the oceans are taking up most of the energy imbalance at the TOA.

          • Swood1000

            The following is from http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/people/gjohnson/OHCA_1950_2011_final.pdf although that link appears to be broken. There has been a flat trend since 2003.

            http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/presentation3.jpg

            FIG. 4. Time series of annual average global integrals of upper ocean heat content anomaly (1021 J, or ZJ) for (a) 0-100 m, (b) 0-300 m, (c) 0-700 m, and (d) 0-1800 m. Time series are shown using ZIF estimates relative to both ClimArgo (dashed grey lines) and Clim1950 (dashed black lines). Time series are also shown using REP estimate (black solid lines), which are not affected by shifts in the mean climatology (B11). Thin vertical lines denote when the coverage (Fig. 3) reaches 50% for (a) 0-100 m, (b) 100- 300 m, (c) 300-700 m, and (d) 900-1800 m.

            “The authors regard the REP values as the best ones. The vertical bar in Fig 4 above denotes when the coverage reaches 50%. Note that for measurements to 700 m, 50% coverage was reached in 1984. The three different curves represent 3 climatologies based on different assumptions about under sampled or unsampled regions of the ocean. The two main features that strike me in Fig 4 is the sharp increase from 1995-2003, and then the flat trend since 2003. Also the sharp increase is more evident in the whole layer 0-1800 m than in the shallow layers near the surface, but note that 50% coverage was achieved for the layer 900-1800 m only since 2005.” http://judithcurry.com/2014/01/21/ocean-heat-content-uncertainties/

          • SkyHunter

            JC’s blog is not a credible source.

            http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

          • Swood1000

            JC’s blog is not a credible source.

            Why not? You mean you don’t trust that the graphs came from the study?

          • SkyHunter

            But you don’t have the study, so I don’t know how the graphs were created.

            NOAA’s data paints a much different picture, and they are a credible source.

          • Swood1000
          • SkyHunter

            Did you read this?

            “In recent years, from 2004 to 2011, while the upper ocean is not warming, the ocean continues to absorb heat at depth (e.g., Levitus et al. 2012; von Schuckman and Le Traon 2011), here estimated at a rate of 0.56 W m-2 470 when integrating over 0–1800m.

            Why would JC misrepresent Lyman and Johnson if she were being honest?

          • Swood1000

            Which statement of hers is a misrepresentation?

          • SkyHunter

            She said that the only dataset to support ocean sequestration of heat is a reanalysis. Lyman and Johnson 2013′s dataset is observational, not a reanalysis. It directly contradicts her.

            “In recent years, from 2004 to 2011, while the upper ocean is not warming, the ocean continues to absorb heat at depth (e.g., Levitus et al. 2012; von Schuckman and Le Traon 2011), here estimated at a rate of 0.56 W m-2 when integrating over 0–1800 m.”

          • Swood1000

            “The two main features that strike me in Fig 4 is the sharp increase from 1995-2003, and then the flat trend since 2003.”

            So you are disputing that Fig 4 shows a flat trend since 2003?

          • SkyHunter

            Yes, look closely at the time from when they achieved 50% spatial coverage to 1800 meters. There is a clear and steady trend, which they estimate to be 0.57W/m2.

            Figure 4 is scaled to show three different methodologies, not ocean heat content.

            Here is NOAA’s latest chart for objectively looking at ocean heat content.

          • Swood1000

            Table 1 of Lyman & Johnson shows reductions in the 0 – 300 and 0 -700m levels. How does the heat skip these levels and go directly to the bottom?

          • SkyHunter

            Evaporation driven thermohaline circulation. For instance, most of the heat entering the oceans is entering in the tropical Pacific. The Sun is always shining on some part of the tropical Pacific. The trade winds blow the push the warm water west to Indonesia, where it pools, evaporates, and sinks. This happens to all ocean surface water when it is warmed, evaporation increases, and it gets saltier and heavier, so even though warmer, it is heavier than the cooler yet fresher water below.

          • Swood1000

            Wunsch and Heimbach concluded that much less heat is being added to the oceans, compared to claims in previous studies:

            “A total change in heat content, top-to-bottom, is found (discussed below) of approximately 4 x 10²² J in 19 years, for a net heating of 0.2 +-0.1 W/m2, smaller than some published values (e.g., Hansen et al., 2005, 0.86+-0.12 W/m2; Lyman et al., 2010, 0.63+-0.28 W/m2; or von Schuckmann and Le Traon, 2011, 0.55+-0.1 W/m2; but note the differing averaging periods), but indistinguishable from the summary Fig. 14 of Abraham et al. (2013). Perhaps coincidentally, it is similar to the 135-year 700 m depth ocean rate of 0.2+-0.1 W/m2 of Roemmich et al. (2012). On multi-year time-scales accessible with a 20-year record, the present estimate is sensitive in the upper ocean to the prior estimates of atmospheric heat transfers. In contrast, the abyssal ocean response to multi-year surface thermodynamic variability is expected to be confined to small convective regions, boundary regions of baroclinic deformation radius width, and near the equator.”

            “Simple calculations show that the ocean responds, and thus remembers, on time scales of seconds out to thousands of years. When interpreting measurements of changes, any assumption that they have been generated by disturbances from the recent past has to be examined and justified.”

            https://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/slide19.jpg

          • SkyHunter

            Wunsch 2014 is a study of the abyssal ocean. That graph depicts a warming ocean, just like this one.

            JC is using the deceptive eyeballing technique to distort and misrepresent the figure.

            Here is a letter to the editor of the Australian by Carl Wunsch, taking them to task for misrepresenting their work.

            “Understanding the ocean

            THE article by Graham Lloyd will likely leave a mis-impression with many of your readers concerning the substance of our paper that will appear in the Journal of Physical Oceanography (“Puzzle of deep ocean cooling”, 25/7).

            We never assert that global warming and warming of the oceans are not occurring — we do find an ocean warming, particularly in the upper regions.

            Contrary to the implications of Lloyd’s article, parts of the deep ocean are warming, parts are cooling, and although the global abyssal average is negative, the value is tiny in a global warming context.

            Those parts of the abyss that are warming are most directly linked to the surface (as pointed out by Andy Hogg from the ANU).

            Scientifically, we need to better understand what is going on everywhere, and that is an issue oceanographers must address over the next few years — a challenging observational problem that our paper is intended to raise.

            Carl Wunsch, Harvard University and Massachusetts, Institute of Technology”

            They also state:

            “Nonetheless, as with any least squares fit, it is a current “best estimate,” is not claimed to be “correct” in any absolute sense, and is obviously subject to quantitative change. The present solution, in terms of misfits to all of the data (whose numbers are dominated by the meteorological values, altimetry, and Argo), is deemed adequate for analysis.”

          • Swood1000

            “JC is using the deceptive eyeballing technique to distort and misrepresent the figure.”

            The graph JC showed is from Wunsch, page 54, and I didn’t say that Wunsch didn’t show a warming ocean. I said that he showed it warming less rapidly. But he does not show warming in the 2000 to bottom or 3600 to bottom range, and says that

            “the abyssal ocean response to multi-year surface thermodynamic variability is expected to be confined to small convective regions, boundary regions of baroclinic deformation radius width, and near the equator.”

          • SkyHunter

            Right, it takes centuries to millennium for the effects of surface warming to show up in the abyssal ocean He also says that everywhere there is a warming trend in the abyssal it is likely coming from surface warming.

            The bottom line is Wunsch’s work confirms that the ocean is still taking up a lot of heat. And since the paper’s focus was on the abyssal ocean, it is, as he pointed out, doubtful his estimate is correct.

          • Swood1000

            Also this from the same study:

          • SkyHunter

            Where is the study?

            That chart shows a positive energy flux of 0.56W/m2 in the top 1800 meters during the 2004 – 2011 period. How can that be consistent with a flat trend in ocean heat content?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            That the oceans are warming is based on observation. You posted above that ocean cycles can be 30, 60, even 100 year cycles. How uncertain is the knowledge that this current warming is anthropogenic, rather than part of a natural cycle?

          • SkyHunter

            The natural cycles are internal variability. The oceans are warming overall, not just moving heat around.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I understand that from the NOAA graphic. Do we have a good idea for how long, say during the Holocene, the oceans have been warming overall? Looking at this link http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/paleobefore.html helps understand ocean temperatures also? or not?

          • SkyHunter

            How good the understanding is is a matter of opinion, there is much we do not know.

            Here is a good article on the latest research.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Excellent link. Thanks a bunch. I might call you Orion instead of your chosen moniker. Orion… the giant huntsman in Greek mythology whom Zeus placed among the stars.

          • Swood1000

            The “hiatus” is in the GMST (global mean surface temperature) and lower troposphere. The TOA imbalance is still about 0.5W/m2, the ice is still melting and the oceans are still warming.

            But why do we have confidence in the models if the predictions they make are shown to be not reliable?

          • SkyHunter

            They can’t predict what the conditions will be in the future, but they can reproduce the past when fed historical numbers. That they could not predict the extended negative cycle in the ENSO index is no reflection on their skill. They were never intended to predict ENSO cycles.

            Instead of randomly generated values for things like volcanic eruptions, and periodic ocean cycles such as ENSO, AMO, and PDO, use the historical values and the models perform with great skill. Recently a team did just that and reproduced the “hiatus.”

          • Swood1000

            but they can reproduce the past when fed historical numbers

            I thought that they were unable to reproduce the “Medieval Warm Period” or the “Little Ice Age.”

          • SkyHunter

            Why do you think that?

            We don’t have the same amount of historical data that far back, but the models can hindcast quite well. In fact that is how they are tuned and their skill measured.

          • Swood1000

            “Over the MCA alone, however, the effect of forcing is only detectable in about half of the reconstructions considered, and the response to forcing in the models cannot explain the warm conditions around 1000 CE seen in some reconstructions.” – Mann et al., http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00826.1?af=R

          • SkyHunter

            But is it the models, the reconstructions, or a combination of both?

            Mann suggests:

            “The proxy reconstructions tend to show a smaller forced response than is simulated by the models. This discrepancy is shown, at least partly, to be likely associated with the difference in the response to large volcanic eruptions between reconstructions and model simulations.”

          • Swood1000

            But is it the models, the reconstructions, or a combination of both?

            You mean maybe there really was no Medieval Warm Period?

          • SkyHunter

            Not at all, just that some reconstructions perhaps over estimate it’s global impact. It is quite visible in the Greenland ice cores, but not very pronounced in the Antarctic cores.

          • Swood1000

            But you will agree that to the extent that there was a Medieval Warm Period, “the models cannot explain the warm conditions”?

          • SkyHunter

            Some models maybe.

          • Swood1000

            Some models maybe.

            It appears to be models generally.

            “Several of the reconstructions have periods during the LIA that are clearly colder in the reconstructions than in the models; equally, there are several reconstructions that have periods of the MCA which are significantly warmer in the reconstructions than in the model simulations. Neither of these features is present for every reconstruction, however, indicating that there is substantial uncertainty in the level to which the MCA and LIA can be reproduced due to external forcing (see also figure 4b).” http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/homes/ghegerl/Schureretal_JCli.pdf, pp 19-20.

          • Swood1000

            “That they could not predict the extended negative cycle in the ENSO index is no reflection on their skill. They were never intended to predict ENSO cycles.”

            So, climate is too complicated for anyone to expect that models could predict ENSO, AMO and PDO cycles but the models accurately predict and take into consideration every other important variable. Is that your position?

          • Swood1000

            “They can’t predict what the conditions will be in the future…”

            Those who doubt do so for this reason.

          • SkyHunter

            The models are to predict what will happen given a certain scenario. If the scenario is not the same, the projection will not be the same.

          • Swood1000

            But isn’t that the crux of the problem? Whether we call it a “scenario” or future “conditions,” that we have no way of predicting what the scenario will be, so we cannot make accurate predictions?

          • SkyHunter

            I would beg to differ, Hansen’s early models were quite predictive, even with the higher 4W/m2 forcing for doubled CO2, and a higher climate sensitivity.

          • Swood1000

            In Scenario A, Hansen’s predicted temperature increase, from 1988 to 2012, was 0.9ºC, over four times higher than the actual increase of 0.22ºC.

            In Scenario B Hansen’s prediction was 0.75ºC, over three times higher than the actual increase of 0.22ºC.

            Scenario C assumed “a rapid curtailment of trace gas emissions such that the net climate forcing ceases to increase after the year 2000.” http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ha02700w.html He was telling us that if we followed his advice this was going to be the good news. The Scenario C prediction was 0.29ºC, only 31% higher than the actual increase of 0.22ºC. So this one came closest to the truth, but of course there was no curtailment whatsoever of trace gas emissions after the year 2000.

            So I’m not sure I would call this “quite predictive.” More to the point is this graphic:

          • SkyHunter

            Where did you get a GMST increase of 0.22ºC?

            From 1988 to 2014 the trend has been 0.151ºC/decade, for an average increase of 0.3775ºC since 1988. Hansen’s Scenario B projected a warming trend of 0.26ºC/decade.

            Scenario B is the closest to the actual forcing, which is about 16% less, so actual emissions and temperatures are between B and C. Emissions are closer to Scenario B, while temperatures are closer to Scenario C. Hansen was also using the old estimate of 4W/m2 instead of 3.7W/m2, and climate sensitivity in the 1988 model was 4.2ºC. Considering the state of climate knowledge and the limitations of computational horse-power, Hansen’s model performed extremely well. With the updated estimate of forcing at the tropopause of 3.7W/m2 and a climate sensitivity of 3ºC, he would have been almost spot on. We learned more from what was wrong with Hansen’s model than what was right. That is the nature of science.

            BTW- That is tropical mid-troposphere. Hansen’s model output was GMST.

            The tropics between 20N and 20S includes the ENSO region, which has been on a predominantly negative cycle since the 1998 El Nino. Since the troposphere is heated by surface emission, a cooler tropical ocean surface emits less heat, which results in a cooler mid-troposphere temperature.

            Did you wonder why your source cherry-picked that region?

          • Swood1000

            0.22⁰C for 2012 was arrived at by taking the midpoint between GISTEMP and HADCrut4, as plotted on the RealClimate graphic for 1988, and drawing an arrow to the same midpoint for 2012, and subtracting the (estimated) numbers.
            http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/hansen88.jpg

          • SkyHunter

            That is a dishonest way of displaying the data. If he were being honest and objective he would have compared trend lines, not annual anomalies. But then, Watts is a famous liar so it is to be expected.

          • Swood1000

            trend lines, not annual anomalies

            You make a good point. But even if he had done that the scenario A and B trend lines are significantly greater than the average of the GISTEMP and HadCRUT4 trend lines.

            Watts is a famous liar so it is to be expected

            The graphic was actually done by Ira Glickstein but I have heard this said about Watts many times. Do you have any examples that are not mere differences of interpretation but actual lies?

          • SkyHunter

            When one consistently misrepresents the truth, like with that graph, one becomes known as a famous liar.

            And actual emission scenarios are between B and C. The point is, the model performed extremely well considering the state of the science. Had he used a 3.7W/m2 forcing and a climate sensitivity of 3ºC, the projection would have been much closer. The mere fact that the temperature continues to rise while solar activity declines should be your first clue that something is different. That something is the opacity of the atmosphere to IR.

          • Swood1000

            And actual emission scenarios are between B and C.

            But much closer to C.

            Had he used a 3.7W/m2 forcing and a climate sensitivity of 3ºC, the projection would have been much closer.

            That is the same as saying that if the errors his model contained had not been so great the model would not have been off by as much as it was.

          • SkyHunter

            No the actual emissions are closer to B, while the temperature trend is closer to C.

            These were not errors in the model, they were incorrect assumptions input into the model. Assumptions that we now know were incorrect. We learned more from what he got wrong, than what he got right. And he got a lot right, particularly the response to the Pinatubo eruption.

          • Swood1000

            No the actual emissions are closer to B, while the temperature trend is closer to C.

            Not following. The actual emissions, being an average of the GISTEMP and HadCRUT4 points for 2012, are closer to C than to B.

          • SkyHunter

            No. GISS and CRUT are GMST data, not emission and forcing data. The modeler must guess the future emission scenario. Actual emissions are closer to B than C, actual temperatures are closer to C.

          • Swood1000

            That something is the opacity of the atmosphere to IR.

            What about the opacity of the atmosphere to IR?

          • SkyHunter

            It has increased.

          • Swood1000
          • SkyHunter

            That looks to be a graph comparing model runs with the radiosonde and satellite data for the tropical mid-troposphere.

            My guess is the model output is GMST and your source is deceptively comparing it with the tropical mid-troposphere.

            If you look at the map of the globe, you will notice that most of the area between 20N and 20S is ocean. Since the ENSO index has been predominantly negative since 1998, so one would expect the troposphere in the tropics to be cooler.

            Most models do not reproduce this phenomenon, so even if all those model runs were only of the mid-troposphere in the tropics (highly unlikely), it is not a proxy for global warming.

          • Swood1000
          • SkyHunter

            I don’t know the source, looks to me like another misrepresentation of what models do.

          • Swood1000
          • SkyHunter

            Have you noticed that these graphs are sourced from non-scientific sources?

          • Swood1000

            Apparently, this is IPCC AR5 Second Draft Figure 1.4 with annotations.

            red squares are 2012 and 2013 (to date) HadCRUT4. The orange wedge illustrates combined AR4 A1B-A1T projections. The yellow arrows show verified confidence intervals in 2005, 2010 and 2015 digitized from the original AR4 diagram (Figure 10.26) for A1B. Observed values have been outside the AR4 envelope for all but one year since publication of AR4. IPCC authors added a grey envelope around the AR4 envelope, presumably to give rhetorical support for their false claim about models and observations; however, this envelope did not occur in AR4 or any peer reviewed literature.

          • SkyHunter

            I don’t know what you mean about the error bars, but that graph is improperly baselined.

            The baseline should not be 1990.

          • Swood1000

            Another version

          • SkyHunter
          • Swood1000

            My guess is the model output is GMST and your source is deceptively comparing it with the tropical mid-troposphere.

            Actually, the model output is not GMST. See the discussion in the APS CLIMATE CHANGE
            STATEMENT REVIEW WORKSHOP
            ,
            page 347-8

            DR. CHRISTY: Yes. Oh, I mean, they have the surface temperature in them. I don’t have a surface temperature plotted here. DR. KOONIN: I am asking whether the same models reproduce GMST and the error is in the vertical structure, or they also do a bad job on GMST? DR. CHRISTY: It is not as bad as this on GMST. It looks more like this (indicating slide).

            But how does the graph differ from what you thought the reality was?

          • SkyHunter

            If you impose the observed SST, which Christy doesn’t do, the models match observations in the mid-troposphere. Christy even admits he is focusing on this area because it has the signal he is looking for.

          • Swood1000

            If you impose the observed SST…

            What do you mean?

            Christy even admits he is focusing on this area because it has the signal he is looking for.

            He is looking for the hot spot signal.

            DR.CHRISTY: This is the tropics. Huge amount of mass right here. If you want to look at something that has a greenhouse signature from model simulations, that would be the place to do it because it has the biggest signal, the most mass. So, now we are talking about the joules, the most joules of energy that are going toaffect the system. And so right there it’s commonly called the tropical hot spot response in climate models.

          • SkyHunter

            He is measuring the tropical mid-troposphere, it is warmed primarily by surface emission from the ocean. If he were looking to test model accuracy, using the historic SST is a better metric of how well the model reproduces mid-tropospheric temperature.

            The hot spot is where the models predict increased latent heat transport will show up. Recent research suggests that there is more lateral transport than the models are capturing. It has no real bearing on Christies argument since if SST are flat, there is no increase in latent heat transport, so he shouldn’t expect to find one.

          • Swood1000

            If he were looking to test model accuracy, using the historic SST is a better metric of how well the model reproduces mid-tropospheric temperature.

            Not following. Which Wood for Trees graph would you substitute for the circles and squares that Christy used?

          • SkyHunter

            Sorry, for that kind of detailed data you need to access directly. I don’t believe there is anything particularly wrong with Christy’s data. My problem is with his overstating the significance of it.

          • Swood1000

            He is saying that the significance of it is that it shows that the models have significantly over-estimated the amount of warming that we are experiencing. And you are saying that that is not the case because he compared apples and oranges? The data he compared the models with is not as relevant for that purpose as some other data?

          • SkyHunter

            That may be what he is saying, but it is not what he is demonstrating.

            The tropical mid-troposphere (TMT) is warmed predominantly by ocean surface emission of IR. Since the ENSO cycle has been dominated by La Nina for the past 20 years, he should not expect to find any significant warming in the TMT.

            He is going to where one would expect to find a cooling trend based on the historic ENSO index and finding it. Then he is using that fact to exaggerate model uncertainty.

            It is not that he compared apples to oranges, he used model output of TMT temperature, based on random SST projected by the model and compared the observed TMT temperature. The SST in the model projections were much warmer than the observed SST. When you impose the actual SST, the model output is in line with observations. This is to be expected since the TMT is warmed by surface emission.

            Had Christy been objective, he would have imposed the SST in the model runs and compared those to observations. But he was not being objective, he was manufacturing doubt.

            The models do not over-estimate warming in the TMT. They over-estimated how fast the ocean would take up the heat. They failed to predict ENSO cycles. They failed to predict emissions of aerosols in China and India. They failed to predict solar cycle 24, etc. etc. etc.

            This is not a failure of the model however, since the models were never expected to predict such things.

          • Swood1000

            The SST in the model projections were much warmer than the observed SST. When you impose the actual SST, the model output is in line with observations.

            The predictions of TMT were off because the predictions of SST were off. You are saying that the failure to be able to predict the ENSO cycle is not indicative of a general failure of the models and that other predictions should be used for that purpose, not predictions dominated by ENSO factors? Which predictions should be used?

          • SkyHunter

            Yes. That is exactly what I am saying. If you impose the ENSO index on the models, they reproduce the historic GMST trend very closely.

            http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2310.html

            When ENSO is negative, the warm tropical pacific water is blown westward by the trade winds where it mounds up, evaporates, and sinks. When the ENSO is positive the trade winds weaken and the warm water spreads out over the surface warming the troposphere.

          • Swood1000

            So the modelers made a mistake by allowing it to be understood by the general public that their predictions had a granularity of less than 30 years, or a mistake by making such predictions without a more prominent reference to the fine print of assumptions (these predictions assume the following ENSO characteristics, etc.)

          • SkyHunter

            Yes, the scientists who run the models are not particularly good at propaganda. I use propaganda in the neutral sense of communicating a message. Their unexpected opposition on the other hand specializes in public relations, IE propaganda. So they take the uncertainty, exaggerate it, and create a specious narrative that the models are wrong and therefore AGW is a hoax, or at least no big deal.

            Communicating complex concepts to a general public with a 4 second attention span is a daunting task. In fact is was even a major topic of discussion at the 2013 AGU conference.

            We don’t need to know what the cycles are to project a trend because these cycles represent internal variability, not external forcing. They only move heat around, they don’t add to the total except through minor feedbacks. Over time they trend to zero.

            The ENSO region has an outsized effect global temperature. The hiatus period coincides with a predominately negative ENSO period.

          • Swood1000

            “because recent literature has shown that the chances of having a hiatus of 20 years are vanishingly small”

            So Dr. Collins must think that the granularity is 20 years? (I realize that you have not yet gotten over your shock that Dr. Collins could have been so impolitic as to say such a thing with a stenographer present but it’s on the record now and you’re stuck with it.)

          • SkyHunter

            I don’t disagree with Dr. Collins.

            What is your point?

          • Swood1000

            I don’t disagree with Dr. Collins.

            Well that is a surprise. By “granularity” I mean the period of time long enough to have experienced an entire ENSO and/or other cycle so that it couldn’t be said that we have only had the cold part, etc. So then such factors should be a wash and the underlying model prediction (warming) should be seen.

            I thought you were saying that 30 years or longer would be necessary.

          • SkyHunter

            I didn’t just say it, I demonstrated it. But that is irrelevant. The reason it takes so long to detect a trend in the GMST record is because the surface and atmosphere represent a tiny portion of the climate’s thermal mass. There are two better metrics that don’t need a temporally large dataset; ocean heat content and radiative flux at the top of the atmosphere. Ocean heat content because the oceans are 90% of the thermal mass, and TOA radiative flux, because it is a direct measure of the energy coming in and going out.

            Since both of those datasets indicate that the earth has been, and still is accumulating 0.6W/m2, there is no doubt the earth is still warming as predicted by physics.

            Just because the signal is not strong in 5% of the thermal mass does not mean that the earth stopped warming. It means that someone is deliberately using a statistically insignificant results to manufacture doubt.

          • Swood1000

            So Dr. Collins must think that the granularity is not greater than 20 years?

            I don’t disagree with Dr. Collins.

            I thought you were saying that 30 years or longer would be necessary.

            I didn’t just say it, I demonstrated it.

            You said you agreed with Dr. Collins that the granularity is not greater than 20 years, and then said that 30 years would be necessary. It can’t be both.

          • SkyHunter

            I agree that the probability of a hiatus in the GMST of longer than 20 years is unlikely. Not impossible as you seem to be implying, but unlikely.

            ENSO is very unpredictable. In light of that and the fact that we have no recent precedents for a climate being forced by anthropogenic emissions, we don’t really know how these past cycles will respond once forced from their steady state. So we must rely on models. As we both know, models can’t capture all the detail, particularly the ENSO cycles.

            It is not outside the realm of possibility that the current trend of a warming Atlantic strengthening the Trade Winds could lead to a long term La Nina dominated ENSO pattern. Remember, during this hiatus period two global temperature records were set.

          • Swood1000

            Remember, during this hiatus period two global temperature records were set.

            Which ones were those?

          • SkyHunter

            2010 and 2005 are the two warmest years on record.

            In fact 9 of the 10 warmest years on record occurred during the 21st century.

            http://assets.climatecentral.org/images/uploads/gallery/climate-matters-GlobalRecapRanking_sm.jpg

          • Swood1000

            Definitely a poser.

          • SkyHunter

            That is not a global temperature record. It is an extrapolation of the lower troposphere temperature from satellite data in the microwave spectrum. It represents less than 1% of the climate’s thermal mass. And it is the only global dataset with a negative trend.

            Choosing only the outlier because it supports your belief is cherry picking.

          • Swood1000

            I use it because it’s the one I have and because I assume that the others, though they might not show zero warming, will be fairly similar. We are talking about a “hiatus” period, after all.

          • SkyHunter

            Your assumption is incorrect.

            It is the outlier.

          • Swood1000

            We can debate how much warming is shown by the other charts but they all depict a period referred to as a “hiatus” period, a concept that seems to conflict with the notion of these years being the warmest ever.

          • SkyHunter

            You must not quite understand the concept of “hiatus” in this context. The hiatus period is a pause in the GMST trend, in this case a slowing. But this is only the near-surface temperature, a small fraction of the global heat content, with a signal that is overwhelmed by ocean cycles, particularly ENSO. Even though the GMST trend has slowed, it has not stopped. If you use the hybrid dataset that infills under sampled surface areas with satellite data, you get a positive trend of 0.114ºC/decade since 1997.

            Which is why every little El Nino event sets a new GMST record.

          • Swood1000

            What’s the correct set of data to use?

          • SkyHunter

            Now you have reduced it to a ten years hiatus.

            Your cherries are getting smaller.

          • SkyHunter

            The last hiatus was 30 years long. Matches with the MEI, flat when La Nina is predominant, rises sharply when El Nino is predominant.

            http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1941/to:1970/mean:12/plot/gistemp/from:1941/to:1970/trend

            http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1941/mean:12/plot/gistemp/from:1941/trend

          • Swood1000

            I have heard it said by representatives of both sides that over the period when we have had the equivalent of a 70% increase in CO₂ we have had an increase in temperature of 0.7⁰C. (a) is that a number you agree with? (b) if this were true, would it be good evidence that the climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO₂ is 1⁰C?

          • SkyHunter

            Since there is still a 0.6W/m2 imbalance at the TOA, the climate is still being forced, so using current temperature data is misleading since the climate is has not yet achieved a steady state response to the forcing. So to your points.

            a) Temperatures have increased on average 0.85ºC since 1880. using a 30 year lag in response to forcing would mean the temperature today is from the forcing in CO2 in 1985, 345ppm.

            (5.35 ln (400/280) = 1.1168382542W/m2

            A climate sensitivity of 3ºC/doubling yields a climate sensitivity of 0.81ºC per 1W/m2.

            (1.1168382542 x 0.81 = 0.904638986ºC

            So in answer to your question, no, it is not good evidence for a climate sensitivity of 1ºC.

          • Swood1000

            So your calculations are to take into consideration the lag response? If we say that from point A to point B there was a doubling of CO₂, then we could measure the difference in temperatures between which two points in time to discover the climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO₂?

          • SkyHunter

            That has been done in the paleoclimate analysis of climate sensitivity, which is in general agreement with other estimates of 3ºC/doubling.

            In order to measure climate sensitivity for doubling you need to start with a steady state climate, force it with 3.7W/m2 until it again reaches a steady state and then observe the change in temperature.

            Not possible except with climate models.

          • Swood1000

            “The more commonly used measure of climate sensitivity is the so-called CO₂ doubling temperature ΔT₂ₓ, the equilibrium temperature increase that would result from a sustained doubling of atmospheric CO₂. This quantity is related to S as ΔT₂ₓ = F₂ₓS, where F₂ₓ, the forcing by doubled CO₂, is approximately 3.7 W m⁻². Forcing by incremental concentrations of long-lived GHGs over the industrial period (to 2005) is about 2.6 W m⁻² (Fig. 1), which is roughly 70% of F₂ₓ. Such a forcing, together with the IPCC best estimate of ΔT₂ₓ (i.e., 3 K), would thus suggest that the increase in GMST should have been about 2.1 K, well in excess of the observed increase (Solomon et al. 2007) of about 0.8 K (Fig. 2).” http://www.ecd.bnl.gov/steve/pubs/SchwartzJClimate10WhyHasnt.pdf, page 2454

            Schwartz seems to be saying that since the forcing by doubled CO₂ is 3.7 W m⁻², if over a period of time there is an actual forcing of 2.6 W m⁻², since this is 70% of 3.7 W m⁻² one should see 70% of the temperature increase that would be seen on a doubling of CO₂. Am I understanding him correctly?

          • SkyHunter

            No. Look at Figure 1.

            Schwartz is including all LLGHG(long-lived greenhouse gases) in his 2.7W/m2 estimate, CO2, CH4, N2O, and CFC’s. He estimates CO2 forcing as only 1.75W/m2.

            CO2 was ~388ppm when that research was conducted, so using the IPCC forcing equation for CO2 F = 5.35 ln(388/280) solves as 1.74525419W/m2.

          • Swood1000

            Schwartz is including all LLGHG(long-lived greenhouse gases) in his 2.7W/m2 estimate, CO2, CH4, N2O, and CFC’s. He estimates CO2 forcing as only 1.75W/m2.

            Yes, but isn’t he saying this:

            1. the forcing by doubled CO₂ is 3.7 W m⁻²

            2. as a result of a combination of CO₂ and the other LLGHGs, we have achieved a forcing of 2.6 W m⁻², which is 70% of the forcing by doubling CO₂

            3. Since we have 70% of the forcing that we would have by doubling CO₂ we should have 70% of the temperature increase that we would have by doubling CO₂

            How else does he arrive at this statement:

            “…the increase in GMST should have been about 2.1 K…”

          • SkyHunter

            Look again at Figure 1. The total forcing is 1.7W/m2, not 2.6W/m2. Anthropogenic emissions of aerosols is a negative forcing.

            And again, the climate takes long time to reach equilibrium temperature.

          • Swood1000

            How does Schwartz reach the figure of “2.1 K” except as follows:

            1. IPCC said that a doubling of CO₂ would result in a 3 K increase in temperature.

            2. We have had 70% of the forcing that would be involved with a doubling of CO₂.

            3. Therefore we should have a warming of 70% of 3 K, or 2.1 K.

          • SkyHunter

            Read the whole paper, that is not what he is saying.

            The 2.1ºK does not include aerosols.

          • Swood1000

            The 2.1ºK does not include aerosols.

            I understand that. He is saying that we account for the fact that we don’t see a 2.1 K warming by some combination of (a) aerosols and (b) an error in the climate sensitivity assumptions that led us to the conclusion that a doubling of CO₂ would result in a warming of 3 K.

            But he is saying that without an influence by aerosols, and without an error in our sensitivity assumption, we should see a 2.1 K warming.

            If I am wrong about that, what is the 2.1 K figure for?

          • SkyHunter

            That is what he is saying. But since aerosols are present, there is no reason to expect 2.1ºK warming.

          • Swood1000

            But since aerosols are present, there is no reason to expect 2.1ºK warming

            Let me rephrase my original question. Do you agree that if, over the period when we have had the equivalent of a 70% increase in CO₂, we have had an increase in temperature of 0.7⁰C, then absent aerosols this would be good evidence that the climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO₂ is 1⁰C?

          • SkyHunter

            But those conditions do not exist, so why are you asking for such speculation?

            Additionally, there is still the thermal inertia of the climate system to consider.

          • Swood1000

            I am just asking if we agree that if a doubling of CO₂ will result in a warming of X, then 70% of the forcing involved in a doubling of CO₂ will result in a warming of 0.7X.

          • SkyHunter

            Yes, we agree.

          • Swood1000

            My dog says she has waited long enough and it’s time to go to the dog park now. Talk to you later.

          • SkyHunter

            I am a steward for our local park. Dogs are prohibited but we don’t enforce it.

          • Swood1000

            In the summertime I take her to an actual local dog park that has a pond and a dock that she can jump off of. She loves it. In the winter I take her to another local park where dogs are supposed to be on leash ($500 fine) but we live dangerously. That’s why I got a Golden Retriever instead of a Doberman – people don’t call the Sheriff’s office when they see her coming.

          • Swood1000

            Dog park

          • Swood1000

            (0.7÷2.7=0.259ºC)

            In this equation, 0.7 is the increase in temperature? What are the 2.7 and the 0.259?

          • SkyHunter

            The climate sensitivity equation is: (dT = λ*dF)

            dT is change in temperature ºC or more appropriately ºK, since kelvin is an absolute scale, although for our purpose here it doesn’t matter.

            λ is climate sensitivity in ºK per 1W/m2.

            dF is the change in forcing in W/m2.

            0.7ºK is dT

            2.7W/m2 is dF

            I just reversed it.

            (dT ÷ dF = λ

          • Swood1000

            There is apparently an issue involving access to the data that supports published papers dealing with climate change. People use the FOIA to try to force access. Steve McIntyre on climateaudit.org is a great raconteur of these stories, particularly as they relate to Michael Mann. Are scientists justified in withholding their data? If so, what is the justification?

          • SkyHunter

            Scientists were not withholding their data.

            Here is a more objective perspective.

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

          • Swood1000

            Apart from the FOIA issue there have been other instances where scientists were reluctant to disclose their data. Infamously,

            “…We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try to find something wrong with it…” —Dr. Phil Jones, Director of the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University, email to Warwick Hughes, 2004

            Are you not aware of any such reluctance?

          • SkyHunter

            Of course I am aware of it. The denial industry was looking for fodder to feed their misinformation campaign.

            These people are not scientists, they are propagandists.

          • Swood1000

            So what’s the bottom line here? Are they justified in refusing to reveal the data if the people requesting it are heathens who are simply trying to undermine it for ignoble purposes? I can see them refusing to spend any time explaining it to anyone but if the data is valid, and is being relied upon for scientific purposes, I don’t understand how the refusal to disclose it can be justified.

            “In 2007 [Jones] told colleagues that, having seen what McIntyre’s Climate Audit blog was doing, UEA had been turning down FOIA requests associated with the blog. The scientists concerned saw such requests as disrupting the time available for their work, and those making them as nitpicking to suit an agenda rather than trying to advance scientific knowledge.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_Information_requests_to_the_Climatic_Research_Unit

          • SkyHunter

            Not justified, but understandable. When FOIA requests are part of coordinated effort to disrupt public research, as the commission(s) tasked with investigating the incident found, then it is understandable why the scientists would be reluctant to cooperate with people attempting to destroy their careers because they don’t like the results of their research.

          • Swood1000

            Wasn’t this the issue with Michael Mann’s “hockey stick”? According to his detractors he not only would not divulge the actual original data but would not divulge the details of how he calculated his results.

          • SkyHunter

            All of Mann’s work has been released to the public.

            They are still telling lies that the hockey stick has been debunked, when the truth is it has been validated over and over by every global reconstruction since. So I would take what they tell you at CA, WUWT, BT, and JC with a salt mine.

          • Swood1000

            One of the favorite charges made against Mann is the “hide the decline” one, which alleges that he cut off one of his proxies in a way that would not be noticed simply because the proxy was not in harmony with the blade of his hockey stick (removed the last part of the gold line below). What is your view of this? If the proxy conflicted with modern temperature records then why assume that the earlier part of it was valid? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BQpciw8suk

          • SkyHunter

            Keith Briffa documented the decline in 1997/98. Tree growth, especially at higher latitudes, is a good proxy for temperature. However, something happened in the latter half of the 20th century that caused these proxies to diverge around 1960. He warned that use of these proxies would result in an overestimation of past temperature.

            In order to get around the problem, Mann substituted the instrumental record for the proxy data in his reconstruction. It is the instrumental record which is the blade of the hockey stick.

            Since there is no discrepancy with any of the other proxy data, we know that the problem is only with the tree ring proxies after 1960.

          • Swood1000

            You referenced a paper by Craig Loehle but he does not appear to be entirely on-board with Mann et al.:

            Craig Loehle | February 23, 2011 at 10:01 am |

            There are multiple issues, not just a choice of how to present a graph:
            1.Subjective choice of trees/sites for sampling
            2.Post-hoc dropping of “non-responders”
            3.Linear response to temp assumption (which is actually known to be false.) which makes the inverse problem undefined.
            4.Ignoring six sigma outliers like Yamal larch which heavily affect the result
            5.Hiding adverse verification statistics (R-sq of 0.05 means you have nada)
            6.Unjustified weighting (bristlecones 400x others)
            7.Proxies different orientations (+ vs – temp indicator) in different time periods of the recon.
            8.Choosing graph baseline to emphasize post-1980 “warm”
            9.End point padding-even worse with instrumental data
            10.Hiding the decline as discussed above
            11.Thick red line for instrumental data to make it look “hot” and to hide lines underneath that are going down.
            12.Repeated use of “robust”, “similar”, “reliable” with no quantification. http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/22/hiding-the-decline/

          • SkyHunter

            Yes Craig Loehle is a denier. The difference is, I referenced his published research, you referenced his opinion.

            One is supported by evidence, the other by personal bias.

          • Swood1000

            So he’s competent to explain the science underlying the divergence issue but not to evaluate whether Mann handled the issue properly in his study?

          • SkyHunter

            He can say whatever it is he believes on JC’s blog. It is just his opinion unsupported by any credible evidence. If he had credible evidence he would publish it in the journals and discredit Mann. Instead he rants and raves on denier blogs, discrediting himself instead.

          • Swood1000

            just his opinion insuported by any credible evidence

            But that is one of the valuable things about experts: their ability to evaluate facts and give their opinions. His issues 1 through 9 appear to be scientifically based, while issues 11 and 12 seem to depend more on one’s point of view. Do you have a view on his issues 1 – 9?

          • SkyHunter

            He does not prove the accusation 1-9, he just makes them. If he could prove them he would, but he can’t.

            I don’t know what reconstruction he is talking about here, there have been many. All multi-proxy reconstructions have the same shape, whether tree rings are used or not, so his rant about tree rings is irrelevant.

            Science is never correct. Each advancement simply makes us less wrong. I prefer to focus on legitimate criticism that advances science.

          • Swood1000

            And his issue 10 appears to be his evaluation that Mann was not justified in his handling of the proxy in this case.

          • SkyHunter

            But the fact that he is writing in the comment section of a denier blog, instead of responding to the published research should tell you it is not a robust opinion. Remove the tree ring data and you still get the same results.

          • Swood1000

            it is not a robust opinion

            I agree with you there, but then many journals will not give space to such “denier” opinions.

            Remove the tree ring data and you still get the same results.

            But a scientist is not justified in using compromised data or in reporting his results in a misleading way (if that is what he did) just because his results turn out to be valid.

          • SkyHunter

            He did not use compromised data, the tree rings proxies do not diverge until humans start altering the ecosystem. The compromised data is tree ring growth after 1960. Mann truncated the proxy data and substituted the more robust instrumental record. He didn’t hide it, he published it in Nature magazine.

          • Swood1000

            He did not use compromised data, the tree rings proxies do not diverge until humans start altering the ecosystem.

            But the reason for the divergence is all speculation. There is no compelling explanation. That raises both a data integrity issue and a disclosure issue. Can data showing this kind of divergence be relied on? It would seem that Mann should have at least disclosed what he was doing and why.

            The justification for hiding the decline was that somehow there was something different about that data in that time period that made it “bad” data, and so could be dropped. But nothing was ever shown to be the cause, and one can’t simply get rid of data you don’t like without a verified reason. And people can see this clearly. …

            If there is something special about after 1960, why do only some groups of trees show a decline? How do we know which ones will do so –we don’t. http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/22/hiding-the-decline/

          • Swood1000

            He didn’t hide it

            But that’s the allegation: that he not only removed the end of the proxy in order to hide it but also used improper statistical methods in the process:

            Although Mann and others have regularly described his “Nature” trick as nothing more than plotting both instrumental and reconstruction data in the same graphic, the “trick” was more than that: it was, as shown above, the splicing of instrumental data with proxy data prior to smoothing. On one occasion however, Mann implictly conceded the Climate Audit exegesis of his Nature trick, stating in an inline comment at realclimate as follows:

            In some earlier work though (Mann et al, 1999), the boundary condition for the smoothed curve (at 1980) was determined by padding with the mean of the subsequent data (taken from the instrumental record).

            From the precision of the emulation, it appears certain to me that the padding was by the instrumental data (rather than the mean of the subsequent data), but either method involves padding with instrumental data. http://climateaudit.org/2011/03/29/keiths-science-trick-mikes-nature-trick-and-phils-combo/

          • Swood1000

            It appears as if Mann wanted a nice flat hockey stick that contrasted with the stark “blade” in the 20th century. And it appears that he wanted to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period because that would suggest that the current warming was not unprecedented.

            I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data’ …(Briffa, Sep 22, 1999, 0938031546.txt)

            So it appears that he chose his proxies to minimize the MWP.

            One of the consequences of divergence is that past periods warmer than the calibration period can not be reliably estimated-they are suppressed. The the MWP will be underestimated. A second problem is that past responses of trees will be influenced by things like local forest conditions and precip, about which we have not data. This makes them unreliable. http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/22/hiding-the-decline/

          • Swood1000

            McIntyre and McKitrick published a paper, http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/mcintyre_02.pdf, in which they claim that the hockey stick blade was the result of the inclusion of a single group of bristlecone pine chronologies published by Graybill and Idso in 1993 that the original authors had stressed are not proper climate proxies. Without these proxies there is no blade on the hockey stick and the MWP returns. See image below.

            In addition, they found, on Mann’s FTP site, a folder called “CENSORED” which contained the data without the Graybill and Idso bristlecone pines, showing, they say, that Mann had done this experiment himself and knew that the hockey stick shape depended on that one group. http://a-sceptical-mind.com/Documents/McKitrick-hockeystick.pdf

            Did McIntyre and McKitrick find the smoking gun?

          • SkyHunter

            Look, I don’t have time to re-hash the Hockey stick controversy.

            It was the early days of the climate denial industry. Everyone is wise to them now, and they have no credibility within the scientific community.

          • Swood1000

            He didn’t hide it…

            Contrary to claims by various climate scientists, the IPCC Third Assessment Report did not disclose the deletion of the post-1960 values. Nor did it discuss the “divergence problem”. Yes, there had been previous discussion of the problem in the peer-reviewed literature (Briffa et al 1998) – a point made over and over by Gavin Schmidt and others. But not in the IPCC Third Assessment Report. Nor was the deletion of the declining values reported or disclosed in the IPCC Third Assessment Report. http://climateaudit.org/2009/12/10/ipcc-and-the-trick/

          • SkyHunter

            The data was not deleted, and the TAR discusses and references all the literature available on the subject at the time.

            CA is lying about it because they can. They don’t need credibility to make money.

            Several important caveats must be borne in mind when using tree-ring data for palaeoclimate reconstructions. Not least is the intrinsic sampling bias. Tree-ring information is available only in terrestrial regions, so is not available over substantial regions of the globe, and the climate signals contained in tree-ring density or width data reflect a complex biological response to climate forcing. Non-climatic growth trends must be removed from the tree-ring chronology, making it difficult to resolve time-scales longer than the lengths of the constituent chronologies (Briffa, 2000). Furthermore, the biological response to climate forcing may change over time. There is evidence, for example, that high latitude tree-ring density variations have changed in their response to temperature in recent decades, associated with possible non-climatic factors (Briffa et al., 1998a). By contrast, Vaganov et al. (1999) have presented evidence that such changes may actually be climatic and result from the effects of increasing winter precipitation on the starting date of the growing season (see Section 2.7.2.2). Carbon dioxide fertilization may also have an influence, particularly on high-elevation drought-sensitive tree species, although attempts have been made to correct for this effect where appropriate (Mann et al., 1999). Thus climate reconstructions based entirely on tree-ring data are susceptible to several sources of contamination or non-stationarity of response. For these reasons, investigators have increasingly found tree-ring data most useful when supplemented by other types of proxy information in �multi-proxy� estimates of past temperature change (Overpeck et al., 1997; Jones et al., 1998; Mann et al., 1998; 1999; 2000a; 2000b; Crowley and Lowery, 2000).

            http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/068.htm

            Both charts in the TAR indicate the instrumental record.

            http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/images/fig2-20s.gif

            http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/images/fig2-21s.gif

          • SkyHunter

            BTW – I didn’t say I agreed with him, I just thought it only fair to present the issue objectively.

          • Swood1000

            Understood, and I appreciate your willingness to be objective.

          • SkyHunter

            Here is what you are looking for.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockey_stick_controversy#McIntyre_and_McKitrick_2003

            McIntyre downloaded datasets for MBH99 from a ftp server, but could not locate the ftp site for MBH98 datasets and on 8 April wrote to Mann to request this information. Following email exchanges, Mann’s assistant sent the information as text files around 23 April 2003.

          • Swood1000

            Apparently this issue is not unique to this case.

            Unfortunately, we have since found this poor disclosure of data and methods is not an isolated situation in paleoclimatology. Other studies have an even worse record. Steve has contacted numerous paleoclimatologists in search of their data and has a thick file of excuses, dismissals, and brushoffs, along with a few honorable exceptions. Nor is the situation unique to paleoclimatology. Two economists recently took a 1999 edition of the American Economic Review and tried to replicate the empirical papers, only to find most authors unwilling or unable to share their data and command files in a usable format. http://fakeclimate.com/arquivos/Internacional/RossMcKitrick/Stattered.Consensus.Ch2.pdf

          • SkyHunter

            Perhaps, but it is not evidence of a broad conspiracy, as the denier propagandists would like us to believe.

          • Swood1000

            it is not evidence of a broad conspiracy

            Not at all. It is evidence that journals need to require that the data supporting a study be made available to those who wish to see if the data really support the conclusion.

          • SkyHunter

            As someone who works both inside and outside of the system, what you are asking is somewhat naive. But I agree that information should all be open source. Some day when we realize that cooperation is better than competition, that will be a no-brainer. As long as we live in a competitive society where hoarding information brings wealth and power, people will continue to hoard information.

          • Swood1000

            The American Economic Review, at least, now requires it. https://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data.php

          • SkyHunter

            I believe you will find most of them have such a policy. But not all data is public domain. Often it is purchased for use under a non-disclosure agreement.

          • Swood1000

            In your experience, what is the percentage of published studies in which the actual data is made available?

          • Swood1000


            var foo = 'bar';
            alert('foo');

          • Swood1000

            The lower the impact of aerosols the lower the climate sensitivity to CO₂, right?

            “It is concluded that at the sites studied changes in cloud cover rather than anthropogenic aerosols emissions played the major role in determining solar dimming and brightening during the last half century and that there are reasons to suppose that these findings may have wider relevance.” http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013JD021308/abstract

          • SkyHunter

            That is consistent with the findings of this study.

            Here, we provide evidence from observations and numerical modeling of a dramatic aerosol effect on warm clouds. We propose that convective-cloud invigoration by aerosols can be viewed as an extension of the concept of aerosol-limited clouds, where cloud development is limited by the availability of cloud-condensation nuclei. A transition from pristine to slightly polluted atmosphere yields estimated negative forcing of ~15 watts per square meter (cooling), suggesting that a substantial part of this anthropogenic forcing over the oceans occurred at the beginning of the industrial era, when the marine atmosphere experienced such transformation.

            http://www.sciencemag.org/content/344/6188/1143

            Human aerosol emissions invigorate the cloud formation process, so it is not surprising that this group found a change in cloud cover accompanied an change in aerosols.

          • Swood1000

            An argument against clean air laws?

          • SkyHunter

            Not one I would care to make.

          • Swood1000

            So when the study says

            It is concluded that at the sites studied changes in cloud cover rather than anthropogenic aerosols emissions played the major role in determining solar dimming and brightening…

            are you concluding that when they refer to “anthropogenic aerosols” they are not including those aerosols that may have invigorated the cloud formation process?

          • SkyHunter

            They found that change in cloud cover resulted in solar dimming.

            The study I cited concludes that changes in cloud cover were driven by anthropogenic emissions of aerosols.

          • Swood1000

            They found that change in cloud cover resulted in solar dimming.

            A change in cloud cover “rather than” by the effects of anthropogenic aerosols. And you are proposing that they are only including the direct effects of aerosols and not the indirect effects.

          • SkyHunter

            I am not going to purchase their paper, so yes, I am concluding from the abstract that they did not include convective cloud invigoration from aerosols in their study.

          • Swood1000

            rises sharply when El Nino is predominant.

            How much of the rise in temperature as the result of an El Niño is attributable to human-induced climate change?

          • SkyHunter

            That question makes no sense.

          • Swood1000

            Do we see an El Niño as an event that suddenly causes all the heat to be displayed in the atmosphere that had heretofore been swept west and then down into the deep ocean?

          • SkyHunter

            Yes. That is exactly what an El Nino is, a weakening of the trade winds, allowing the warmed surface water to remain at the surface, warming the troposphere through increased thermal emission.

          • Swood1000

            flat when La Nina is predominant, rises sharply when El Nino is predominant

            How do we distinguish between warming caused by El Niño and warming caused by humans?

          • SkyHunter

            El Nino does not cause global warming, it just moves heat around, it is internal variability. Internal variability trends to zero over time, which is why the CO2 signal in the GMST takes decades to achieve statistical significance. The oceans, being spatially larger take less time to produce a statistically significant signal.

          • Swood1000

            If we have an El Niño this year we will experience warming and people will attribute it to global warming. Should the response be that this is not global warming, this is El Niño?

          • SkyHunter

            Yes. The CO2 signal is not visible in the internal variation from the mean. The fact that a weak El Nino will set a new global temperature record is the evidence that the mean is changing. Strong La Nina events do not set record cold global temperatures, yet weak El Nino events do.

          • Swood1000

            Is it impossible that ENSO processes could impact the amount of heat that is retained by the earth?

          • SkyHunter

            ENSO processes definitely impact the amount of heat retained by the earth, only it is La Nina that accumulates heat, and El Nino that sheds it.

          • Swood1000

            ENSO processes definitely impact the amount of heat retained by the earth, only it is La Nina that accumulates heat, and El Nino that sheds it.

            Then do ENSO processes always net out to zero?

          • SkyHunter

            Net warming defined how and over what time frame?

          • Swood1000

            Net warming such that warming caused by ENSO could be termed AGW.

          • SkyHunter

            No. ENSO is just internal variability, the long negative pattern is not that unusual.

            Look at the period from 1940 to 1975.

            http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei.ext/ext.ts.jpg

            AGW is a century scale forcing. The cool cycles damp the warming signal in the GMST record, but since the heat is still accumulating, cooler surface temperatures equal less radiant heat leaving the planet. The cool cycles actually heat the planet more than the warm cycles.

            Here is the most recent chart that only goes back to 1950.

            http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/ts.gif

          • Swood1000

            So has it been determined that since 1870 red minus blue equals zero?

          • SkyHunter

            I doubt it. But it will be close. The monthly data from 1950 on is available for download if you want to analyze it yourself.

            http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/table.html

          • Swood1000

            I imported the numbers into an Excel spreadsheet. All the numbers through June of 2014 sum to 19.884. They have another table here: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei.ext/table.ext.html. The numbers on that table are “normalized” so that they have an average of zero and a standard deviation of “1″. And their total in Excel is actually zero. Do you suppose that the first one contains the raw numbers so that there is actually a net positive?

          • SkyHunter

            Very good. You should be able to see now from the method on analysis that ENSO is internal variability, not a climate forcing. The average is set to zero and the standard deviation is one.

            There are no raw numbers, the 1950 – present MEI is normalized over the 1950 – 1993 period.

          • Swood1000

            If they adjust the numbers so that the average is zero. they’re just artificially forcing red to equal blue?

          • SkyHunter

            They are not adjusting the numbers, they are using a statistical technique to analyze the numbers.

          • Swood1000

            But in one table Dec-Jan 1950 is -1.018. In the other table that same period is -0.941. In the table you sent, each period from 1950 through 1993 totals to zero. Is there no value in knowing whether the raw numbers actually total to zero?

            And what about the fact that the totals for 1871 through 1938 equal -116.998 and the totals for 1939 through 2005 equal +116.998?

          • SkyHunter

            There are no raw numbers per se, the MEI numbers are all extrapolated.

          • Swood1000

            So we can’t know from these numbers whether red plus blue for any period equals zero.

          • SkyHunter

            But these numbers are for analyzing an oscillation, red plus blue is supposed to equal zero.

            El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the most important coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomenon to cause global climate variability on interannual time scales. Here we attempt to monitor ENSO by basing the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) on the six main observed variables over the tropical Pacific. These six variables are: sea-level pressure (P), zonal (U) and meridional (V) components of the surface wind, sea surface temperature (S), surface air temperature (A), and total cloudiness fraction of the sky (C). These observations have been collected and published in ICOADS for many years. The MEI is computed separately for each of twelve sliding bi-monthly seasons (Dec/Jan, Jan/Feb,…, Nov/Dec). After spatially filtering the individual fields into clusters (Wolter, 1987), the MEI is calculated as the first unrotated Principal Component (PC) of all six observed fields combined. This is accomplished by normalizing the total variance of each field first, and then performing the extraction of the first PC on the co-variance matrix of the combined fields (Wolter and Timlin, 1993). In order to keep the MEI comparable, all seasonal values are standardized with respect to each season and to the 1950-93 reference period.

            http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

          • Swood1000

            I took the table from this location: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/rank.html where they ranked each period, with a 1 being the strongest La Niña and 64-65 being the strongest El Niño. I converted them into a zero-based system by subtracting 32 from each number. The years 1950 through 1981 totaled -1234.5. The years 1982 through 2013 totaled 1786.5. More El Niños in recent years?

          • SkyHunter

            These are rankings, not actual indices.

          • Swood1000

            Yes, but the lower the rank the colder that period? If one year averaged a one and another year averaged a 64 you could say that the second year was warmer?

          • SkyHunter

            Well for starters, you have all positive numbers, so simply subtracting 32 normalizes to 1 not zero.

            But irregardless, what is it you are trying to discover?

            The ENSO process increases ocean heat uptake during cool phases, not warm phases. Since the 1998 El Nino, the ENSO cycle has been cool.

          • Swood1000

            But irregardless, what is it you are trying to discover?

            Whether there has been more red since 1982 and more blue before.

          • SkyHunter

            You are looking for a trend in detrended data.

            You need to use this data, since it is normalized over the entire 135 years. Compare 1953- 1982 with 1983-2012.

            And note also that both periods show positive warming trends.

          • Swood1000

            That data only went up to 2005 so I compared 1952-1978 (total -30.831) with 1979-2005 (total 145.522).

            You are looking for a trend in detrended data.

            But in the data that contains rankings suppose we found, for example, that 1950-1981 contained all the lowest rankings (the La Niñas) and that 1982-2013 contained all the highest rankings (the El Niños). Couldn’t we deduce something interesting from that?

          • SkyHunter

            Well we can deduce that El Ninos are associated with warm global temperatures and La Ninas with cool global temperatures, and that ENSO trends reflect GMST trends over short time frames.

          • Swood1000

            And if one span of 31 years had only La Niñas and another span had only El Niños you wouldn’t use that information to explain why one span of years was warmer than the other?

          • SkyHunter

            That explanation ignores the underlying trend. It warmed during La Niñas and it warmed faster during El Niños.

          • Swood1000

            Suppose the underlying trend would cause the second period to be 0.2C⁰ warmer but we find that the second period is 0⁰ warmer. If the second period contained only La Niñas and the first only El Niños then we would have a possible explanation, right?

          • SkyHunter

            Yes. The next step though is to quantify the differences. How much heat is fluctuating in the atmosphere from changing SST in the tropics, and how much is needed to close the heat budget.

          • Swood1000

            So if we look at a ranking of years and find that one period contained more of the high rankings for La Niñas and the other period contained more of the high rankings for El Niños then that would explain at least part of the temperature difference between the two periods?

          • SkyHunter

            Yes.

          • Swood1000

            Actually, I made an error in this calculation. When I corrected it and subtracted 33 from each number I got -1618.5 for 1950-81, and 1402.5 for 82-05. For the hiatus period and the one just before it:

            1982 211.5
            1983 247.5
            1984 -39
            1985 -117
            1986 114
            1987 337
            1988 -120
            1989 -168
            1990 112
            1991 225
            1992 264
            1993 276
            1994 202
            1995 54
            1996 -110
            1997 234
            Total 1723

            1998 89
            1999 -254.5
            2000 -152
            2001 -50
            2002 163
            2003 114
            2004 110
            2005 97
            2006 78
            2007 -99
            2008 -189
            2009 93
            2010 -74
            2011 -234
            2012 44
            2013 -56
            Total -320.5

          • Swood1000

            Is this paper consistent with this statement from AR5?

            It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.

          • SkyHunter

            Yes.

          • SkyHunter
          • Swood1000

            This article relies in part on Cowtan and Way, but in this graphic http://www.met.reading.ac.uk/~ed/bloguploads/UPDATED_11-25.png, even if you accept the methods that Cowtan and Way used, there is very little difference between the blue and the black line. The hiatus is still there.

          • SkyHunter

            Didn’t say it wasn’t there. A new paper by Huber & Knutti has found that from 1998 to 2012, ocean cycles caused about 0.06°C global surface cooling, the sun caused 0.04°C, and volcanoes caused 0.035°C cooling. Add that to the 0.17ºC found in C&W and you have 0.305ºC warming trend, consistent with a 3ºC/doubling climate sensitivity. Internal variability means we will have periods where it warms slower than average, and periods where it warms faster than average. But the average trend over time is consistent.

          • Swood1000

            Do you have a response to this comment by Dr. Richard Betts?

            “Everyone** agrees that we can’t predict the long-term response of the climate to ongoing CO2 rise with great accuracy. It could be large, it could be small. We don’t know.” http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2014/8/22/its-the-atlantic-wot-dunnit.html

          • SkyHunter

            Who does he mean by “everyone?”

            I agree that 1.5℃ – 4.5℃ is not great accuracy, but the most probable equilibrium response will be 3℃.

            It appears he is exaggerating the uncertainty in order to create doubt. Essentially a red herring fallacy.

          • Swood1000

            It appears he is exaggerating the uncertainty in order to create doubt.

            But he appears to be in your camp. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8451756.stm, http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/people/richard-betts

          • SkyHunter

            You are assuming that I have a camp and that said camp cares about the opinions expressed by it’s hypothetical members.

          • Swood1000

            It’s the “97%” camp. This fellow is going to find out, as did Judith Curry and Roger Pielke, Jr., what comes from expressions showing less than full adherence to the party line. At the very least, saying that the long-term climate response “could be small,” without defining that, will be considered an inexcusable providing of ammunition to the enemy, if not a joining of the enemy.

            As MIchael Mann put it in Email 255,

            It seems to me that this “Kinne” character’s words are disingenuous, and he probably supports what De Freitas is trying to do. It seems clear we have to go above him. I think that the community should, as Mike H has previously suggested in this eventuality, terminate its involvement with this journal at all levels–reviewing, editing, and
            submitting, and leave it to wither way into oblivion and disrepute,
            Thanks,
            mike

            “They are making scientific progress more difficult now,” says Willie Soon, a physicist, astronomer and climate researcher at the solar and stellar physics division of the Harvard University-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. “This is a shameful, dark day for science,” he said in an interview with FoxNews.com. http://www.foxnews.com/story/2009/12/01/global-warming-scandal-makes-scientific-progress-more-difficult-experts-say/

            Do you agree with some journals that “skeptic” articles should not be accepted because such articles inherently and of necessity lack credibility?

          • SkyHunter

            Now you are just making a specious argument. That mainstream scientists started pushing back against those employed by the Western Fuels Association is not evidence of scientific misconduct. The fact that Soon’s hypothesis’ have been thoroughly debunked and revealed to be nonsense is not evidence of a scientific conspiracy against deniers.

            It is the logical and predicted outcome as the scientific method exposes the errors and outright fraud from the denier camp.

            All good scientists are skeptics. Deniers are not skeptics, they uncritically accept any evidence that supports their position, and uncritically reject any evidence to the contrary. They are not skeptics, they are deniers, because they must deny the bulk of the evidence in order to maintain their position.

            Research should be accepted on it’s merits only. Some very bad and completely meritless papers are published in marginal science journals all the time. Some even make it into the main science journals.

          • Swood1000

            Deniers are not skeptics, they uncritically accept any evidence that supports their position, and uncritically reject any evidence to the contrary.

            Is it possible to be sceptical of global warming and not be a “denier”?

          • SkyHunter

            Absolutely. But when they repeat denier talking points on their blogs, they self-identify with the science denial industry. And it is an industry, one that is well documented and pre-dates the AGW issue.

          • Swood1000

            they uncritically accept any evidence that supports their position, and uncritically reject any evidence to the contrary

            Most true believers, especially those who see themselves in a war with the infidels, are prejudiced to some degree toward their own position. They have heretofore found their own position to be believable, and contrary information creates cognitive dissonance that is uncomfortable. Those on both sides are guilty of excesses, including rejecting contrary information uncritically.

            What percentage of these scientists would you characterize as deniers?

          • SkyHunter

            These people are not climate scientists. And their statements are climate denier talking points, not scientific arguments, so yes, I would consider them to be climate science deniers.

          • Swood1000

            I’m having trouble distinguishing between the legitimate sceptic and the denier. It seem that if a person says that the urgency of global warming alarmism has not been demonstrated to him you say that he is repeating “denier talking points” and that makes him a denier. Maybe the key is that they “self-identify with the science denial industry.” Where can I find out more about the science denial industry?

          • SkyHunter
          • Swood1000

            I’ll read this.

          • Swood1000

            Well, I read your article. Actually, by “science denial industry” I expected to find more evidence for a conspiracy or at least for these people being on the payroll of the evildoers. Here they were just presented as wrong-headed liars with connections to the oil industry. Also, whenever I read an article that has this tone, no matter who is writing it, I usually assume that much of it is exaggerated or one-sided. I operate the same way when reading any vituperative article, whether or not I support the writer’s position. It’s like listening to a politician talking about the other party. It might be comforting to hear if you support his position but realistically you realize that you’re only hearing one side, that others would describe these events much differently, and that you have to take it with a grain of salt.

          • Swood1000

            those employed by the Western Fuels Association

            This, of course, is an ad hominem argument: Soon’s argument should fail because he is a bad person.

            And doesn’t it cut both ways? The more that global warming alarm is stoked, the more federal funds will be available for various studies.

          • SkyHunter

            Soon’s argument fails on it’s own merits.

            That does not change the fact that Willie Soon’s opinion is bought and paid for by fossil fuel interests.

          • Swood1000

            People motivated by money do not generally become scientists.

            People nevertheless are strongly motivated to become scientists, and conducting studies is a big part of that. It order to conduct a study they need grant money. Studies that find that global warming is a grave national emergency cause more federal grant money to be available. Putting a global warming component into a study will make it eligible for these funds.

          • SkyHunter

            Not really, and it means the scientist would have to research something other than what they are passionate about. It is just not a prime motivating factor.

          • Swood1000

            If there is a great deal of grant money available for studying X, and even more grant money becomes available when there is a finding that X is true, and if there is very little available to study Y, then scientists who are interested in both X and Y will be drawn to X, and encouraged to find that X is true.

          • SkyHunter

            But that is pure conjecture. There is plenty of evidence for the fossil fuel funding of denial. None for your hypothesis.

            Here is the thing. If a scientists says X is true and it turns out X is false, they lose credibility and future funding. The motivation in science is to discover something that no one else has. There is no greater sin in science than being overconfident in tenuous results.

          • Swood1000

            If a scientists says X is true and it turns out X is false, they lose credibility and future funding.

            But if a scientist only says that he proposes to find out if X is true then he does not lose credibility if X turns out not to be true. If, however, by finding that X is true he receives much recognition and acclaim and further funding, then that is a motivation for studying X and for finding that X is true.

            None for your hypothesis.

            But my hypothesis relies only on human nature and common sense. Scientists need funding. They are motivated to do the things necessary to acquire funding. You say that the “denier” scientists are willing to sacrifice their honor for funding but the non-denier scientists are not. I just don’t see how you are able to make that distinction.

          • SkyHunter

            The deniers are not after funding for research, that would mean a lot of hard work. They don’t have to prove a null-hypothesis, just create doubt for the propaganda market.

            The distinction is very clear. One group is still driven by need to know, the other is clearly not.

            Which is why one group is actively doing research, while the other is doing PR work.

          • Swood1000

            the hockey stick is the shape of the data, no matter what global proxies or methodology is used.

            As long as the data does not contain a Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age. But then in a later study, which we already talked about, he acknowledged the existence of a MWP, so I’m not sure what’s going on there. It is alleged that he chose his proxies, and chose his statistical procedures, to eliminate the MWP.

            coincidentally threatened the wealth of some of the most wealthy and powerful private interests that the world has ever known.

            I assume this will be covered in that link you sent me earlier.

          • SkyHunter

            Mann never denied the existence of either the LIA or the MWP. They are both evident in his reconstructions.

          • Swood1000

            He just denied that the temperature during the MWP or LIA would be significantly different from the temperatures of the surrounding periods?

          • Swood1000

            The deniers are not after funding for research, that would mean a lot of hard work.

            Well, either this is true or their scientific work is bought and paid for by the forces of darkness, but not both.

          • SkyHunter

            They don’t have any scientific work to speak of. It is their opinions that are bought and paid for, they don’t need to do research, just manufacture doubt.

          • Swood1000

            Is any scientific work that draws a non-alarmist conclusion by definition of no value?

          • SkyHunter

            I had a conversation with our friend at PopTech a few years ago.

            Most of those papers at PopTech do not dispute the consensus position. Those that do are not credible or peer-reviewed.

            And as for his standard for what constitutes a peer-reviewed journal… One of the papers he listed was actually published in dog astrology journal.

          • Swood1000

            Most of those papers at PopTech do not dispute the consensus position.

            Is it the consensus position that global warming disaster is imminent?

          • SkyHunter

            CAGW is a red herring. Most of the species alive today, including humans, evolved during a much colder climate. I believe the consensus position is that global warming disaster is already underway.

          • Swood1000

            CAGW is a red herring.

            global warming disaster is already underway

            These two statements are contradictory according to my understanding of these terms. CAGW is global warming disaster.

            What is the nature of the disaster about which there is consensus?

          • SkyHunter

            CAGW is denier meme intended to shift the position from AGW isn’t happening, to it won’t be bad.

            Sea levels continuing to rise, droughts and floods intensifying, crop yields falling, ocean acidifying, Not to mention the general stress climate disruption puts on entire ecosystems.

            I can’t think of a single scientist not working for the denier industry in some capacity who believes climate disruption to be benign.

          • Swood1000

            CAGW is denier meme intended to shift the position from AGW isn’t happening, to it won’t be bad.

            You do recognize, don’t you, that there are many people who believe that there is warming going on, and that man has played a significant roll in that, but who believe that it is nothing to worry about?

            And if you lump those people together with the people who believe that severe consequences are in store for us if we don’t change our ways, and then characterize the entire group as believing that severe consequences are in store for us, then that is deceptive.

            I just don’t understand your refusal to see a practical distinction between those who think there is something to worry about and those who don’t.

          • SkyHunter

            Of course I recognize it. I have been studying deniers and the evolution of their arguments for over a decade. Initially, global warming was an artifact of the urban heat island effect, and one volcanic eruption dwarfs human emissions. The denier arguments have evolved, now they admit it is happening but believe it won’t be bad.

            There is no practical distinction. Suicide is suicide.

          • Swood1000

            There is no practical distinction. Suicide is suicide.

            This is the fallacy of equivocation, where I use “distinction” to refer to the difference in the beliefs of two people and you use it to refer to what you believe the result of their actions will be.

            The charge is made that “alarmists” are being intentionally deceptive when they engage in another fallacy of equivocation. They say that 97% of scientists are on-board with AGW, knowing that many of those are not on-board that it is dangerous (or at least have not stated so). But the “alarmists” intentionally use “AGW” in a different sense that includes impending catastrophe, expecting people to think that there is much more support for this than has really been demonstrated.

            I can think of no other reason why you would object to a distinction between AGW and CAGW.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            As for one who is trying also to get to the root (radix, radical) of the matter… the most important focus ought to be assessing cautionary and precautionary risk and selective fitness.

            I learned as an undergrad back in the mid 70′s that two natural cycles (carbon and phosphorus) were becoming imbalanced due to human economic and agricultural activities. Trade and farming are prehistoric activities so, it seems to me, they are inherently interconnected with both risk and fitness… in short… survival.

            If you want to get radical, focus on survival, imo and fwiw.

          • Swood1000

            I have not yet gotten to the point where I believe that our survival is imperiled.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I realize that survival/fitness is not in the forefront of most human animals’ consciousness.

            You are probably aware of extinction level events of the geological past and the current Holocene extinction. You are probably also aware of the collapse of complex societies in the historical past.

            I assume you are aware of the psychological concepts of psychic numbing, being inured to existential threats, and truth/reality being sometimes too hard or painful to bear.

            And then there is the general rule to reserve judgement until sufficient evidence to infer a conclusion is available… but in the case of collapse or extinction most of the time the evidence is after the fact and not based on prescience.

          • Swood1000

            I am also aware that the history of science is replete with examples of mistakes and blunders.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            So you are remaining skeptical of AGW theory based on the mistakes and blunders of the past?

          • Swood1000

            That’s what keeps me from signing on before I see evidence that is distinct from what looks same as past climate variability.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            OK… what sort of “past climate variability” is good enough for you? For approx 800,000 years, up until man-made CO2 emissions from the burning of fossilized/sequestered organic carbon, there has been a natural variability of between 180 and 280 ppm concentration of atmospheric CO2. Now CO2 is at 400 ppm and growing. That CO2 is a potent greenhouse gas and a multiplier of the most potent and predominant greenhouse gas, i.e. water vapor, is good science. Carbon dioxide is a known forcer for climate change based on physics and climate systems science. Or are these facts not in evidence or disputable?

            What sort of evidence is going to be enough for you make a distinction between now and say… when Greenland was ice free? Using that example, are you waiting for an ice free Greenland to be observed by human eyes?

          • Swood1000

            By “climate variability” I was not referring to CO2 variability. I was referring to temperature variability.

            Carbon dioxide is a known forcer for climate change based on physics and climate systems science. Or are these facts not in evidence or disputable?

            That CO2 is a greenhouse gas is not disputable. The dispute concerns what the effect of added CO2 will be on our climate. Will it be minor and benign, or will it be catastrophic?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            When you look at temperature variability are you only looking at GMST, or are you also considering the thermal mass of the oceans?

            Adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. OK. Are you convinced that it will result in warming? cooling? neither warming nor cooling? If you are convinced that the climate system will experience warming will the warming be minor, major, disastrous seems to be your line of questioning.

            Do you think that the science is correct that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 results in a climate sensitivity of approx +3 degrees Celsius? or do you think that this calculation is a major mistake/ blunder? or are you uncertain/undecided?

            Again, I need a link to the graph. Even a picture needs to be put into context.

          • Swood1000

            What sort of evidence is going to be enough for you make a distinction between now and say… when Greenland was ice free?

            Something different from the natural variation we have seen before. And model predictions that come true.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I believe that you misunderstand the nature and purpose of mathematical and computer models. Has not this been explained prior? Or do you just believe the explanation to be uncertain and/or unreliable? Do you believe that computer modeling is supposed to be so reliable as to be able to foretell specific future events/happenings? Specifically what model projections/trends are not coming true. http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models-intermediate.htm

            Again, you are going to have to send a link with the graph. Even though a picture is worth a thousand words… I still need the words and the reference to go along with the picture. Thanks. Additionally do you think facts are unreliable? Do you believe scientists make huge mistakes/blunders while interpreting the facts, the data, the empirical observations associated with climate change? Is it a fact that Greenland is losing ice mass? Has Greenland lost ice mass prior? How is the rate of decline of ice mass different then as compared to now? How do you personally explain natural variation as opposed to anthropogenic variation?

            Did you not post this image to CB or Sky Hunter? Did you get an explanation sufficient for your understanding, or no?

          • Swood1000

            I believe that you misunderstand the nature and purpose of mathematical and computer models.

            Perhaps you could explain it to me. When the models predict a rise in temperature and there is no rise in temperature I begin to lose faith in the process that produced those predictions. And when people say “We know we said that the temperature was going to rise and it didn’t but it will in the future so we need to take incredibly expensive drastic steps to stop it,” I am inclined to want to wait and see if the temperature really does rise before taking those steps.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            What is temperature? If you limit your idea of temperature to GMST and ignore the thermal mass of the oceans, you are not thinking globally. Indeed, many deniers have displayed their irrationality by claiming that to look for the “missing heat” in the oceans is moving the goalposts, when thinking globally necessitates taking into account the thermal mass of the oceans and melting oceanic ice and melting ice caps. GMST is way too narrow of a focus. This is not that complex.

          • Swood1000

            OK, but if the prediction is GMST and there is no increase in GMST but rather it is proposed that the additional heat really occurred but is now undetectable, then one starts to wonder which predictions one it to take seriously and literally.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Where in the literature does climate change and global warming limit itself to GMST?

          • Gary Slabaugh
          • Swood1000

            It has not at all been shown that the deep ocean has heated up an amount equal to account for the hiatus heat. Measuring the temperature changes of the deep ocean is problematic. But if they say that X is going to happen and then X doesn’t happen but they say that Y happened instead, it makes one question the reliability of the process by which they are making these predictions.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Questioning the reliability of the process is fine. Expectations for which such processes are not designed is faulty. To find fault and then use the knowledge of the fault to improve the reliability of the methodology is part of the heuristic. To use fault as proof of failure of the methodology or process is irrational. Unless, of course, one has an agenda to attempt to prove the unreliability of modeling altogether. Then it’s rational AND devious.

          • Swood1000

            To use fault as proof of failure of the methodology or process is irrational.

            Nobody is saying the failure of the models proves that models are useless. What they are saying is that models have not yet shown themselves to be reliable, and so we do not yet rely on them.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            So reliance on business as usual is a pragmatic strategy? To me it’s just an excuse to keep burning fossil fuels with wild abandon and see what the consequences are later. Short sighted and extremely stupid, esp in light of the science. The belief “that models have not yet shown themselves to be reliable” is not true. But it’s a tired and worn out denier meme.

          • Swood1000

            The belief “that models have not yet shown themselves to be reliable” is not true.

            What is your comment about this graphic?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            If you want a fair and balanced perspective, look at the evidence of how well models have performed also. To predominately look at one side of the public debate is to allow confirmation bias over pattern recognition and prejudice to have the loudest voices. A true and independent inquirer spends as much time looking for evidence that he’s wrong as he spends searching for reasons he’s correct. Difficult but not impossible.

            I assumed that you were engaged in free inquiry. I now doubt that my assumption was true. Mea culpa

          • Swood1000

            I assumed that you were engaged in free inquiry.

            I think that the best way of finding the flaws in an argument is to present the argument to somebody who opposes it and hear what he has to say. If I am buying a car and I want to know what is wrong with a certain model, the best way to find out is to ask a salesman for the car’s competition. This is what I am hoping for from you.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            It seems to me that what you are looking for is flaws in the scientific model not in a model of car. This is getting back to the nature of the scientific method and how an autodidact can overcome his/her propensity toward scientific ignorance and what holds an individual back from scientific literacy.

            The nature of argumentation in Western civilization goes all the way back to Platonic forms, pre-Socratic beliefs in powers greater than being virtuous, Aristotle’s episteme and his formalization of logic and his Nicomachean ethics.

            The culmination of Western civilization, its pinnacle, is arguably the modern scientific revolution… with its major successes and minor setbacks and abject failures (I’m talking the development of weapons of mass destruction… not climate science just for emphasis sake).

            There are older aspects of our civilization which seek to make science relativistic and submissive to it’s own prerogatives… such powers as religion and politics and economics. Why else the attack on modern science for ideological gain?

          • Swood1000

            It seems to me that what you are looking for is flaws in the scientific model not in a model of car.

            I don’t think so. The scientific method involves coming up with a theory and then running an experiment to test that theory. If the results do not support the theory then it needs to be revised or discarded.

            The theory is that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere today will act to create a greenhouse effect and heat the earth. We don’t stop just because the theory has been announced. If I say that I wan’t to see the results, that I want to see the actual warming, I am not doubting science or the scientific method. I am doubting a particular scientific theory or the extent of it.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            You want to see the actual warming. OK. Start looking for evidence of warming. Short of becoming a scientist yourself, look at what the scientists are observing. Are the oceans warming? Look for answers at NOAA. Is the GMST rising? Look for answers with the IPCC. Are the polar regions melting? Are glaciers retreating? Look for answers with the scientists who are studying glaciers and the polar regions. Again, look for the evidence. As I posted above… it’s available to all except those who do not wish to see.

            It seems to me that you are not convinced that the scientists have the expertise to explain man-made GHG’s enhancing a naturally occurring greenhouse effect. Hence your mistrust of the scientific model for obtaining knowledge. What is the experiment, anyway? Human beings are using the atmosphere as a dump for the waste gases of burning sequestered organic carbon (fossil fuels) for energy. Let’s observe what happens. That’s the experiment in a nutshell.

            It seems to me that you are not content with observations, though. You seem to want to interpret the observations with the aid of a belief system, viz a pattern of beliefs expressing (often symbolically) the characteristic or prevalent attitudes in a group or culture. You seemingly want to interpret the observations from the perspective of the deniers’ arguments. If that’s your strategy….

            I’m not a very good or credible source though for arguing against the deniers’ arguments. Whatever happened with your dialogue with Sky Hunter? In spite of his brusque manner at times, did you find his arguments convincing, influential, persuasive, benignly manipulating?

          • Swood1000

            I am continuing my dialog with SkyHunter. I find his input very useful.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Formulated any conclusions yet? Still at the wait-and-see & don’t-do-anything-prematurely standstill?

          • Swood1000

            If the people making these predictions have a handle on this then why did they make the predictions shown in that graph?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Trial and error

          • Swood1000

            Fine, but until they can show that their predictions come true more often than not I don’t think that we should be spending trillions of dollars based on them.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I predict that posting links to debunk your comments will probably be a waste of time :-)

          • Gary Slabaugh

            What part of the wait-and-see approach violates the precautionary principle?http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_principle

          • Swood1000

            There are many potential threats. If a large meteor were to strike the earth the results would be much much worse than the worst case global warming scenario. Wouldn’t the avoidance of this danger take precedence if we are using the precautionary principle?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            You misstated the worse case scenario of using sequestered organic carbon as an energy source and dumping the carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Ever heard of runaway greenhouse effect? It happened on Venus. Given a choice between a lifeless planet and a planet hit by a large meteor, how ought human beings approach risk management? Wait and see? Don’t worry about it, because enhanced greenhouse effect could NEVER really result in a Venus-like planet?

          • Swood1000

            Look at the levels of CO2 we have had in the past, up to 25 times the Holocene average, without any runaway warming. Why do you think we will have runaway warming?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I’m not saying that burning 10X the earth’s fossil fuel reserves is feasible, but did your sources include the feed backs from methane hydrates and methane sequestered in permafrost and peat bogs and other sources? From increased concentrations of water vapor? From burning forests?

            So you are saying that the Earth becoming a Venus-like planet is so improbable to not even consider it a worst case scenario? If you recall, I was comparing this worst case scenario with your example of the precautionary principle towards a large meteor impact

          • Swood1000

            “For instance, a “runaway greenhouse effect”—analogous to Venus—appears to have virtually no chance of being induced by anthropogenic activities.” http://www.ipcc.ch/meetings/session31/inf3.pdf

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I brought it up as worst case scenario to compare it with your scenario of a meteor impact.
            Biogenic activities plus feed backs are another story. From what I have read the IPCC is conservative and does not include all possible and probable feed backs in their reports

          • Swood1000

            There is “virtually no chance” of a runaway greenhouse effect. On the other hand, everyone agrees that our planet has been devastated on at least one occasion by a meteor strike. Such strikes happen on a minor scale on a daily basis.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            “Virtually no chance’ as long as feed backs are ignored

          • Swood1000

            Is it a fact that Greenland is losing ice mass?

            Yes

            Has Greenland lost ice mass prior?

            Yes

            How is the rate of decline of ice mass different then as compared to now?

            I don’t know.

            How do you personally explain natural variation as opposed to anthropogenic variation?

            Anthropogenic changes are caused by mankind, although for many anthropogenic changes there is no clear-cut way to tell whether it was that or whether it was a natural variation. One way would be to see if the current change seems to differ significantly from other events in natural history that were clearly natural.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Is mining ancient sunlight in the form of sequestered organic carbon, burning the carbon for source of a cheap energy, disposing of the waste products as greenhouse gases… is this natural? Is this a solid case for altering the climate? Yes, no, undecided?

          • Swood1000

            is this natural?

            No

            Is this a solid case for altering the climate?

            Not yet.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Well… at least you are consistent with the wait and see approach… to actually observe instead of take an educated guess at the results of the experiment human beings are conducting on the climate.

          • Swood1000

            take an educated guess at the results of the experiment human beings are conducting on the climate.

            I think this is the Big Green denial that Naomi Klein was talking about. It’s like an almost cavalier attitude toward an extreme cost, and toward the amount of evidence we need in order to justify that cost.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            What are the “extreme costs” of CO2 emissions presently. I read it estimated at $84 a ton. What have you researched?

          • Swood1000

            I am talking about the cost of CO2 mitigation. Here’s one estimate. Scroll down to the case studies.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            So we ignore damages because mitigation is “too costly.” That’s an ignorant position for anyone to seriously consider

          • Swood1000

            But the point is that it has not been shown that the cost of doing nothing is greater than nothing. But this estimate does deal with those costs.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            It has not been shown to those who do not wish to see

          • Swood1000

            It is all predictions from models whose predictions so far have been flawed. Let’s wait and see what actually happens.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            The do-nothing while we wait-and-see approach is irrational in the face of the science already conducted. Additionally it’s seemingly obvious that your preoccupation with flaws instead of successes, with finding fault instead of knowledge gained, is non-logical. I know it’s a disciplined effort to overcome, i.e. transcend, doubt being confirmed by bias… but it’s possible.

            And there is not a comment I can make or a link I can post which will change deep seated beliefs in a specific pattern recognition system reinforced by confirmation bias. It’s increasingly seemingly obvious that you are expressing the characteristic or prevalent attitude of a particular group or culture.

            There is not anything which can be done from without. The work is inner work.

          • Swood1000

            Again, you are going to have to send a link with the graph.

            It came from this study: http://www.leif.org/EOS/2011GL049444.pdf

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Thanks

          • Swood1000

            Did you not post this image to CB or Sky Hunter? Did you get an explanation sufficient for your understanding, or no?

            I think the response was that this time it’s different.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            What’s different? Natural variation vs man-made emissions?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Do you know the fundamental differences among denial, doubt, and skepticism?

            Is your personal strategy which you might share with others the wait-and-see approach? From your link, do you think it wise to wait until the observed decadal mean temperature in Greenland exceeds the envelope of natural variability over the past 4000 years? Your link also referenced climate model protections, but you have already expressed your lack of confidence in modeling, correct?

            So you really believe this is appropriate risk management? Do you have a contingency plan?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Specifically why is Judith Curry’s blog credible? Her credentials are in research submitted for peer review. Her blog reveals her personal opinions. Could she be trading her scientific credentials for personal credibility? Of course she could. So how do we get to the root of the the question Why? To gain a cult following? Is she channeling Ayn Rand?

            The link you sent me has Judith Curry stating the following:

            I argued [in a 'debate' with Kevin Trenberth] that there are very few facts [with regards to climate science], and that most of what passes for facts in the public debate (emphasis mine) on climate change is: inference from incomplete, inadequate and ambiguous observations; climate models that have been demonstrated not to be useful for most of the applications that they are used for; and theories and hypotheses that are competing with alternative theories and hypotheses.

            J Curry is being disingenuous by deliberately confusing the scientific debate with the political one. The scientific epistemic IS the debate and HAS dealt with and IS continually dealing with a plethora of facts, real data, empirical observations. To imply otherwise is the worst sort of scientific un-professionalism. Shame on her.

            Second, how plausible is it that AGW theory falls into the general category of “this marvelous story of scientific error and breakthrough”? If you are going to be a radical skeptic… it means walking that line between doubt and belief. It means being questioning, seeking, inquiring. It doesn’t mean seizing onto the uncertainty that is inherent in the scientific model. Are you really looking at plausibility skeptically? Only you can know for yourself.

            Finally J Curry winds up her blog post with the implication that Mann ought to be a “good loser” in his defense of the hockey stick. Really?! I mean REALLY?! “The hockey stick graph was further extended and confirmed by Marcott, et al 2013 which used seafloor and lake bed sediment proxies to reconstruct global temperatures over the past 11,300 yrs.” Marcott, S.A.; Shakun, J. D.; Clark, P. U.; Mix, A. C. (8 March 2013), “A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years”, Science 339 (6124): 1198– 1201, doi:10.1126/science.1228026, PMID 23471405

          • Swood1000

            Specifically why is Judith Curry’s blog credible?

            The link I sent you did not require credibility. It was only for the purpose of discussing scientific blunders.

            J Curry is being disingenuous by deliberately confusing the scientific debate with the political one.

            Will you distinguish the scientific and the public debate for me?

            Really?! I mean REALLY?! “The hockey stick graph was further extended and confirmed by Marcott, et al 2013

            Does Marcott show a flat hockey stick with no warm or cold periods? Do you believe that there were no warm or cold periods?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Wait. You link to a blog that you consider neither credible nor lacks credibility? Next time, to avoid confusion, you might link to a direct source (like the book) instead of commentary on a book referencing climate science skepticism (J Curry’s blog). Unless of course you are a fan of Curry.

            The distinguishing feature of the scientific debate and the public debate is at least three fold. First has to do with scientific credentials. Credentials are much more important to scientists than the public grants to itself. Scientific Credentials are earned through hard work and academic scholarship.

          • Swood1000

            Wait. You link to a blog that you consider neither credible nor lacks credibility?

            I said that the link did not require credibility. I did not say that it was not credible. If I had linked to it in order to prove the scientific truth of an assertion then the link would need to be credible. I did not provide the link to prove the truth of anything that I thought you might dispute. Do you dispute that there have been scientific blunders?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Obviously there are ideas expressed in Judith Curry’s blog which are scientifically disputable. Just as obvious, simply because you did not say the link was not credible, does not necessarily conclude that you believe Judith Curry is a credible source for ideas. I would simply prefer straight-forward honesty, not double talk. Do you believe Judith Curry’s blog to be a credible source for ideas about climate science? or do you believe that the blog is not a credible source? or are you neutral? Linking to a source implies that you consider it a credible source, no? Otherwise you would link to a direct source, such as a direct link to the book itself about scientific blunders. The short rule is “Consider the source.”

            I do not dispute that there have been scientific errors of judgement and poor hypothesizing by individual scientists. But the beauty and simplicity of the scientific method is that it’s self correcting. That’s why science is such a massive success story when it comes to progressive knowledge.

            I dispute the idea that scientists participate in “group think.” I have full confidence that those people who make a truth claim that scientists (specifically climate scientists) are engaged in “group think” … those people who make that unjust accusation are themselves engaged in pseudo-science and have motivated reasons to merchandize political or religious doubt about the validity of the scientific methodology itself.

            In fact I consider pseudo-science one of humanity’s most self destructive modern memes. And I consider denial of AGW theory not only suicidally self-destructive, but denial in the guise of skepticism to be pseudo-science. FWIW

          • Swood1000

            I would simply prefer straight-forward honesty, not double talk.

            I’m done interacting with people who must be abusive in order to express themselves. Take care.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Read it in context. Too much use of double negatives not to try to prove a point. It was just getting too convoluted. That’s what I meant by straight forward honesty instead of double talk. Plus I wanted to pin you down on your thinking in terms of what you do and don’t believe. That’s straight forward and requesting honesty too.

            But if you would prefer to leave, that’s fine

          • Swood1000

            Sorry. I had just received the final insult I was going to take from CB and probably overreacted to your post. I have decided that I am no longer going to continue a conversation with anyone who is rude or abusive. Why they insist on engaging in a mud fight is beyond me. And how a person could be so free with the term “liar” and with uninhibited character assassination in response to anyone who disagrees with him or her is a mystery.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I’m sorry too for coming across as rude or abusive. It wasn’t my intent

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Whoa! That’s hardly abusive. Oh well. I guess abuse like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Sorry to hurt your feelings

          • Swood1000

            Do you believe Judith Curry’s blog to be a credible source for ideas about climate science?

            Yes, definitely, although I did not link to it to support any proposition as an authoritative source.

            I dispute the idea that scientists participate in “group think.”

            What is group think?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I suppose then that if J Curry’s blog posting is not authoritative, that you believe that she is making an appeal to reason and logic in her posts. Is this credible? I disputed the blog post on the basis of deliberately confusing the scientific debate from the public debate. For those who believe that there is no essential difference between the two, there is no way that I can disabuse the person from a strongly held belief. Even disabusing a person from a weakly held belief is problematic. This is an area where individuals have to disabuse themselves… which is a loaded idea when dealing with motivated reasoning, cognitive dissonance, self-delusion, denial, psychic numbing, etc. Extremely difficult, but possible.

            How do we discern logic vs irrationality from a non-authoritative source of information? Another delicate question. If I believe you are making a logical argument, I am inured against the believe that you are engaging in logical fallacy. Very problematic, imo.

            Groupthink http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink is an accusation of what’s going on when peer review is cursory and substandard and non-scientific, imo.

          • Swood1000

            I suppose then that if J Curry’s blog posting is not authoritative…

            I thought we already went over this. I can refer you to a website for two reasons. (a) I can tell you to go to the website because there you will find an interesting discussion. (b) I can tell you that my assertion is supported by that website so my assertion is true. In example (a) I am not referring you to it as an authoritative source, but that does not mean that I do not consider it authoritative.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Right. My apologies. I consider J Curry’s blog as neither credible nor authoritative. We can agree to disagree

          • Swood1000

            I consider J Curry’s blog as neither credible nor authoritative.

            Is this something you learned from somebody or something that you determined for yourself?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Both

          • Swood1000

            Is it just that no skeptic blog can be credible or authoritative? Can you point to something from that blog that causes it to lose credibility or authority?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Blogs are usually pushing propaganda, not science. Blogs which push the denier, doubt and excessive uncertainty memes are usually not worth my time. There are enough scientific abstracts and comprehensive reports from the IPCC and other international and national scientific agencies to keep me busy

          • Swood1000

            I disputed the blog post on the basis of deliberately confusing the scientific debate from the public debate.

            You still have not defined the difference between the scientific and public debate. Please do that.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            You don’t seem to understand science-as-epistemology IS the scientific debate. It’s part of becoming scientifically literate, in my opinion. Are you asking me to help you become scientifically literate? I’m dubious :-) The public debate is pretty self explanatory via understanding politics and ethology.

          • Swood1000

            So the scientific debate is: what is the effect on the environment of doubling CO₂? The public debate is: what laws should be enacted with respect to the doubling of CO₂? Is that it?

          • Swood1000

            Groupthink:

            “Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints, by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink

            And why would scientists be immune to groupthink?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Why would scientists be immune? Because science-as-epistemology critically evaluates alternative viewpoints by methodology. Groupthink is pseudo-science

          • Swood1000

            But come now. You know very well that scientists are human and are subject to the same weaknesses as everyone else. The scientific method is a structure designed in part to remove some of these influences but it cannot do so completely. Scientists want to be respected by their peers. They want acclaim, just like everybody else. There are many benefits in being accepted by the group and non-conformity is risky. If you are saying that scientists have transcended human foibles then you are dreaming.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I consider modern science one of the greatest human discoveries of all time. Specifically the scientific method, the scientific model and science as an evolutionary epistemology. Perhaps this is scientism, but I also believe there are comparable and valid methodologies which complement science.

            There is a post-modernist meme that neither capital T Truth nor capital K Knowledge exist. Therefore all small t truth and all small k knowledge is relative and unprovable. The only things which exists are degrees of uncertainty and doubt. I think that a belief system based in postmodernism is inherently non-logical and unwise.

            If some people want to believe in such things, there’s not anything I can do about it. Nor do I want to. To each his own. I happen to believe in Truth and Knowledge and truths and what is known about what is knowable. I happen to believe in such things mostly because of science.

            The men and women who commit to the discipline of science, esp the commitment to the effort of gaining credentials from accredited academies of higher learning, and work their discipline in the quest for knowledge and truths… these men and women have my trust, my respect, my loyalty, and even my love. So, as fellow human beings, with their faults and foibles, I attempt to emulate them as role models. If you want to find fault, that’s your choice.

            If you think that there are better role models, a better methodology, a better model, a better epistemology… that’s your prerogative.

          • Swood1000

            You say that the scientists have your trust, respect, loyalty and love, and that you try to emulate them. And that there are no better role models, better methodology, model, epistemology. All true.

            Then you appear to acknowledge their faults and foibles as human beings but say that despite this you will not find fault.

            You appear to be saying “Although scientists are subject to the same weaknesses as other human beings, I believe that those weaknesses should not be brought up or commented on, nor should any changes to methodology be proposed in order to counter them.”

          • Gary Slabaugh

            No, I did not say I will not find fault. I think that scientists are the cream of the crop when it comes to intelligent and dedicated men and women seeking truth and knowledge. Can you think of better people? Entrepreneurs? Or do you think we are all endowed with equal gifts?

          • Swood1000

            No, I did not say I will not find fault.

            I think you did:

            If you want to find fault, that’s your choice.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Mea culpa. I ought to have said “If you want to focus on fault instead of integrity, then that is your choice.”

            Just as if you want to argue against science and where the science has the most anti-fragile and robust case for making a case for the best of our knowledge in the pursuit of truth and the marginalization of error in terms of justification and falsification.

            It’s becoming increasingly and seemingly clear that your argumentation style is to focus on flaws, faults, contradictions. And that’s a choice. I look at contradiction from the point of the id which, as explained by Freud, “knows nothing of the law that forbids self-contradiction.” The secret workings of the human animal’s mind are logic-stupid and are insouciant to ethics.

            Is my argumentation persuasive? influential? manipulative in a benign manner? Who will be the judge?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Of course the scientists themselves are not immune. It depends on being faithful and true to the scientific method, the scientific model. J Curry, Freeman Dyson, deniers with scientific credentials could be engaged in groupthink with the pseudoscientific denial industry.

            It takes discernment.

          • Swood1000

            I’m assuming it was from Marcott

            No, that graph was not from Marcott. It simply shows the warm and cold periods that were absent from the Mann hockey stick. I asked you if they were also missing in the Marcott study. Are you sceptical of the warm and cold periods?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Then I need to put the graph in context so I can put the warm and cold periods and whether or not they are global or regional into context. In short I need to know where you got the graph and from what study and if it was peer reviewed or if it links to a peer reviewed article

          • Swood1000

            Third, and most importantly, the scientific epistemic IS the debate.

            I don’t see “epistemic” listed anywhere as a noun. Could you define it?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            My mistake. Sometimes I use epistemic as a noun when I ought to use epistemics (functioning as singular) . So the corrected version ought to read “Third, and most importantly, the scientific epistemics IS the debate.” http://www.thefreedictionary.com/epistemics

          • Swood1000

            J Curry is being disingenuous by deliberately confusing the scientific debate with the political one.

            Could you clarify how she confuses the scientific and the public debate?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I need some background information first before I can thoroughly answer your question.

            How do YOU understand the difference between the scientific debate and the public debate?

            How do you believe a scientist with the standing and credentials of Judith Curry would understand “most of what passes for facts in the public debate
            (emphasis mine) on climate change” contrasted with empirical facts as interpreted by qualified and credentialed scientists within the scientific debate?

            Do you believe that you have a solid understanding of how science as an epistemology works? If you believe you have such an understanding, how would you demonstrate that knowledge apart from being a scientist yourself?

          • Swood1000

            How do YOU understand the difference between the scientific debate and the public debate?

            Frankly I don’t understand the distinction you are drawing.

            Do you believe that you have a solid understanding of how science as an epistemology works?

            I do not think that one needs to be an expert in a subject matter in order to be qualified to debate public policy flowing from that subject matter. For example, I don’t understand how nuclear weapons work but I am qualified to participate in the debate about their use.

            Who understands the intricacies of climate models except for a handful of people? So those people are the only ones who can participate in the debate about global warming?

            How does the average person decide such questions? He listens to an assortment of people who claim to be experts. He tries to evaluate their claims to expertise and the comments they make about each other. And if expert A says that X is going to happen and X does not happen, then one does not need any expertise to lose some amount of confidence in expert A.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            If you don’t understand the distinction between science-as-epistemology as the scientific debate and the public debate over policy, I can’t help you more than I have already posted. Such a lack of discernment (apologies) infects one’s thinking with the false meme that science is political.

            You can have a solid understanding without being an expert. Expertise is recognized through the process of gaining credentials. Solid understanding can come from educating yourself. A commitment to a quest for truth helps.

            The intricacies of modeling can be learned also. Just start with the basics and work upwards.

            “How does the average person decide such questions?” By familiarizing him/herself with the scientific mindset. Such as what are the assumptions working scientists take for granted? What are the basic rules of science that a person without credentials can also employ? How do I take a stand on say “How is science utilitarian?meaningful?truth seeking?does truth matter?how does science inform one’s ethical values?” instead of trying to be neutral. In the fight for truth, maybe neutrality is simply not an option. None of this requires expertise. Just commitment.

          • Swood1000

            If you don’t understand the distinction between science-as-epistemology as the scientific debate and the public debate over policy, I can’t help you more than I have already posted. Such a lack of discernment (apologies) infects one’s thinking with the false meme that science is political.

            I frankly have no idea what you are talking about. Please define your terms and be more down to earth.

          • Swood1000

            In the fight for truth, maybe neutrality is simply not an option.

            Can you elaborate on this? Perhaps an example?

          • Swood1000

            Really?! I mean REALLY?!

            If you have not done so, you should at least read a description of these events from the two people who went after Mann. Read the short one from McKitrick, if not the longer one from McIntyre.

            Let me be quick to say that articles like these are inherently one-sided and must be taken with a grain of salt. However you may find them interesting if you have not before heard it from this side.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I prefer a debate among the climate scientists themselves. Neither McKitrick nor McIntyre qualify. Just my preference

          • Swood1000

            But the issue we were discussing was Michael Mann and whether his hockey stick was valid. Certainly anyone with the necessary statistical skill can give an informed opinion on some aspects of this, right?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Of course the statistics can be analyzed thoroughly. From my reading the statistics have been and Mann’s work has been vindicated in the scientific community. Mann’s work continues to be controversial for political and religious motivated reasons. Such as the following from wiki about McKitrick: “McKitrick is a signatory to the Cornwall Alliance’s Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming, which states that “Earth and its ecosystems – created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence – are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting”.

            I’m not as interested in political and religious motivated reasoning as I am in scientific epistemology and epistemics. My limited understanding of human ethology is that religious and political cognitive dissonance places facts and scientific understanding below faith and ideology. Your thoughts?

          • Swood1000

            I think that to say that somebody’s secular argument is not believable because of his religious belief is almost the definition of the ad hominem logical fallacy. If a person makes a logical argument, then evaluate the argument.

            The hockey stick says that there was no Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age. Is that what you think?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Was the MWP and the LIA global or regional? I don’t know. Were they later explained in a vindication of the hockey stick? I don’t know that either. I’m under the impression that both are able to be explained as thoroughly as AGW theory is being explained. If I went do skeptical science and did some digging I might find a link. But I’m more interested in conversation today than trying to prove the truth about part of our natural history.

            And I’m not sure that introducing motivated reasoning or cognitive dissonance is necessarily an ad hominem fallacy. Poking logical holes into an argument hardly invalidates the scientific method, or general theories made possible by that methodology. I’m uncertain that the statistical problems with Mann et al’s hockey stick invalidate Mann et al’s science. Most everything that I have read vindicates Mann. Of course I’m just a member of the public without credentials, perhaps engaging in confirmation bias.

            That’s why I have more confidence in the science than in my own opinions. The scientific methodology and epistemology work. Uninformed opinions of the hoi polloi are generally not trustworthy. Including my own

          • Swood1000

            And
            I’m not sure that introducing motivated reasoning or cognitive dissonance is
            necessarily an ad hominem fallacy.

            But if somebody makes an argument that he claims is logical it is not relevant to respond by pointing to his religion. Respond by pointing out the errors in his logic.

            1 + 1 = 2 regardless of the religion or motivation of the person saying it.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Of course a logical argument stands or falls on its own merit. The same as simple math. But we both know that (1) the scientific study of climate and (2)what to do with scientific knowledge in terms of public policy and (3)public policy decisions being complex in terms of human ethology (def: the study of human behavior and social organization from a biological perspective) and (4) (a)denial, (b) “some truths simply being too hard to face”, (c) psychic numbing in the face of an existential threat… that this algorithm is much more complex than A==A, A=/= notA and 1+1=2.

            If someone is employing a non-scientific expertise (such as statistics or economics… although I’m sure there are plenty of statisticians and economists who make the pretense of being scientists… and I beg the pardon of any anonymous readers who are genuine scientific statisticians)… employing an expertise to merchandize doubt in the public debate, motivated reasoning is part of the analysis… not an ad hominem fallacy. Additionally all truth claims (whether logical or both logical and scientific) ought to be scrutinized looking at #’s 2, 3, 4 above. The scientific epistemics (1) stands on its own, just as math, and logical argumentation stand on their own merit.

            Sometimes the motivated reasoning of #’s 2, 3, 4 above is to discredit #1 with whatever means possible… including scientists themselves selling their credentials. I am puzzled, it’s amystery why a scientist would be willing to sell his/her credentials… lacking the current ability to peer too long into the abyss of the human heart of darkness.

          • Swood1000

            …employing an expertise to merchandize doubt in the public debate, motivated reasoning is part of the analysis… not an ad hominem fallacy.

            What do you mean by “merchandize doubt”? If a person doubts he has a right to communicate that to others. If he does so by making false statements or irrelevant statements designed to trick or confuse, then that should be pointed out. But if a person believes that Michael Mann intentionally followed misleading and questionable procedures then explain to me why he should not relay the facts that form the basis of his opinion?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            If you really desire a thorough knowledge of the history of merchandizing doubt in the public debate about the science (including merchandizing doubt about AGW) see this book. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchants_of_Doubt

            The right to free speech in the public debate also includes the right to be dishonest for entertainment news purposes. Defamation/libel is another issue altogether.

            You wrote “If a person believes….” Is there is an established procedure to determine within degrees of uncertainty whether “what a person believes” is true or false? Sure, based on “the facts.” Which is circular. Empirical facts which are interpreted by holders of specialized knowledge (scientists) vs interpretation presented as pseudo-facts by holders of non-scientific opinion aka belief without evidence. Belief without evidence is pseudo-knowledge and non-factual. (You could try to make the case for doxastic modal logic, but it’s a long shot in this case.) Indeed, a really good definition of knowledge is “justified true belief” with an emphasis on justification. Nothing that followed your “If a person believes….” is justified. And your references to “the facts” are not in evidence. It’s a poor tactic to try to apologize for spreading unreasonable doubt and heightening non-scientific uncertainty. The accusation, simply based on belief, needs to be justified.

          • Swood1000

            If you really desire a thorough knowledge of the history of merchandizing doubt in the public debate about the science (including merchandizing doubt about AGW) see this book. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M

            I read one chapter of it. It is the place to go to read a version of events slanted as much as possible to one side.

          • Swood1000

            But if a person believes that Michael Mann intentionally followed misleading and questionable procedures then explain to me why he should not relay the facts that form the basis of his opinion?

            Nothing that followed your “If a person believes….” is justified.

            What are you talking about? I said that if a person believes X he should state the facts that lead him to believe this. What part if this is not justified?

          • Swood1000

            The right to free speech in the public debate also includes the right to be dishonest for entertainment news purposes.

            Any person can find the truth by demanding that assertions be supported by credible studies or expert opinions.

          • Swood1000

            motivated reasoning is part of the analysis… not an ad hominem fallacy

            This is false. Suppose a person asserts X is true. The person’s motive is relevant only if the person is asking you to take his word for it.
            If the person is showing you evidence that he claims proves that X is true, then the only question is whether or not the evidence proves that X is true. If he is showing you evidence then how is his motive relevant to the truth of X?

          • Swood1000

            And your references to “the facts” are not in evidence.

            What do you mean “not in evidence”?

            It’s a poor tactic to try to apologize for spreading unreasonable doubt and heightening non-scientific uncertainty. The accusation, simply based on belief, needs to be justified.

            Who said anything about spreading doubt simply based on belief? I specifically said he should

            “…relay the facts that form the basis of his opinion…”

          • Swood1000

            Neither McKitrick nor McIntyre qualify

            Why? Why shouldn’t they participate in any part of the debate about which they are scientifically knowledgeable?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Sure they can participate and do participate. It’s simply that they lack the specific scientific credentials to engage in the scientific debate. Their involvement in the public debate seems to be to muddy the waters about the science by using their statistical and economic expertise.

          • Swood1000

            The NAS put together a panel to investigate, referred to as North et al. (2006). According to McKitrick and McIntyre, the following were some of the findings. If these in fact were the findings would it concern you?

            From North et al. (2006) (p. 50, 107):

            • Bristlecone records are sensitive to a variety of environmental conditions other than temperature and should be avoided for climate reconstructions.
            • Mann’s results strongly depend on the bristlecone records.
            • His results are therefore not robust, an important point over and above the lack of statistical significance

            From North et al. (2006) p. 91:

            • Reconstructions can be assessed using a variety of tests, including RE, and the CE (Coefficient of Efficiency) scores.
            • If the CE score is near zero or negative your model is junk.
            • Wahl and Ammann include a Table in which they use Mann’s data and code and compute the test scores that he didn’t report.
            • The CE scores range from near zero to negative, which tells us that Mann’s results were junk.

            From North et al. other pages:

            • (p. 86-87) “McIntyre and McKitrick (2003) demonstrated that under some conditions, the leading principal component can exhibit a spurious trendlike appearance, which could then lead to a spurious trend in the proxy-based reconstruction.”
            • (p. 106) “As part of their statistical methods, Mann et al. used a type of principal component analysis that tends to bias the shape of the reconstructions.” The Report even included its own graphical replication of the artificial hockey stick effect from feeding red noise into Mann’s algorithm (p. 87).
            • (p. 107) The usual RE significance benchmark “is not appropriate.”
            • (p. 107) “Uncertainties of the published reconstructions have been underestimated.”

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Sure these are concerns. Were these specific concerns answered by Mann et al and by other independent statisticians?

            It’s also important to consider the differences between public uncertainty, statistical uncertainty and scientific uncertainty.

            Also of great importance is even math being subject to cognitive dissonance. It was cool to read the book “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahnman about how frequently even professional statisticians make basic statistical errors.

          • Swood1000

            I have not done an intense examination of Mann. Since he has been cleared by various university panels my impression is that there was insufficient evidence of anything that would warrant academic censure. That is governed by the universities and their codes of conduct and standards of evidence.

            However, it does appear to me that he intentionally used the bristlecone pine proxies knowing that without them his hockey stick would not look like a hockey stick. The scientists who published the bristlecone data (Graybill and Idso 1993) had specifically warned that the ring widths should not be used for temperature reconstruction. The NAS said:

            “For periods prior to the 16th century, the Mann et al. (1999) reconstruction that uses this particular principal component analysis technique is strongly dependent on data from the Great Basin region in the western United States. Such issues of robustness need to be taken into account in estimates of statistical uncertainties.”

            It appears that he used questionable proxies and methods in order to arrive at a hockey stick shape. I accept the fact that his procedures were not proven to have crossed the line academically. My impression, though, is that this was far from an objective, disinterested scientific inquiry.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            It appears that [Mann et al] used questionable proxies and methods in order to arrive at a hockey stick shape…. My impression, though, is that this was far from an objective,
            disinterested scientific inquiry. There may actually be a hockey stick
            shape, but I don’t have confidence that it was reliably demonstrated in
            this study.

            Is questionable wrong? What is motivating your impression and what appears to you? Why the lack of confidence? Are you wanting clarification? Do you believe there are justified reasons for doubt? If so, how would you justify your reasoning for the belief in that doubt? How discerning are you about science vs pseudo-science? Why did you not get back to me about your beliefs re the scientific vs the public debate (my questions regarding Judith Curry’s blog)?

            I think questioning is how science is done. Questionable proxies and methods are part of scientific inquiry. The beauty of science is that such proxies and methods can be replicated… not simply criticized to induce doubt. Indeed, critical analysis is part and parcel of scientific justification. That’s why methods and proxies have to pass peer-review muster. Additionally, if the findings by the same methods and proxies cannot be replicated or falsified, it is bogus science. If the replication process results in similar conclusions (within acceptable margins of error), it’s justified. If attempts at replication result in dissimilar findings outside the original’s margins of error, there is scientific reason for doubt; that’s the scientific method in a nutshell, no? (I’m sure I left important things out of the model.)

            Questioning things for clarity vs doubt is part of the scientific debate. Questioning things in order to merchandize doubt within the public debate is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish which depends on non-scientific motivations.

            Something like motivated reasoning (which affects logic, ethics, etc) requires deeper digging into assumptions, subjective biases, prejudices, confirmation bias, pattern recognition. Motivated reasoning can even effect the belief in how ideas as simple as the scientific model or mathematics are justified or lack justification. This is deep stuff, which goes into human behavior, like cognitive dissonance and self-delusion and which illusions are able to be given up for the sake of truth and which illusions cannot be surrendered.

            I believe there is plenty of illusion and delusion which needs to be overcome when a self-styled skeptic, free inquirer (such as myself) is genuinely pursuing truth or whether truth seeking is a lower priority than something else. I think such an observation about myself applies to others as well.

          • Swood1000

            Is questionable wrong?

            If a scientist uses inferior methods for ulterior motives, then that is wrong.

            Do you believe there are justified reasons for doubt?

            If the accusations against him that I have already mentioned are true, then wouldn’t you agree that there are justified reasons for doubt?

            If so, how would you justify your reasoning for the belief in that doubt?

            The NAS said that his study had a problem with robustness and underestimated uncertainty. However, he had said that his findings were robust. Perhaps Michael Mann just doesn’t know what robust is but I think it is more likely that he does.

            How discerning are you about science vs pseudo-science?

            What kind of pseudo-science do you have in mind?

            Why did you not get back to me about your beliefs re the scientific vs the public debate (my questions regarding Judith Curry’s blog)?

            I will.

            The beauty of science is that such proxies and methods can be replicated… not simply criticized to induce doubt.

            You certainly can’t be saying that a scientist intentionally using improper procedures is exonerated if somebody using proper procedures manages to achieve the same result. Are you? The Wegman Report (E. J. Wegman, Scott & Said 2006) said

            While the work of Michael Mann and colleagues presents what appears to be compelling evidence of global temperature change, the criticisms of McIntyre and McKitrick, as well as those of other authors mentioned are indeed valid.

            I am baffled by the claim that the incorrect method doesn’t matter because the answer is correct anyway. Method Wrong + Answer Correct = Bad Science.

            Then you said:

            That’s why methods and proxies have to pass peer-review muster.

            If you think that peer-review is able to provide anything more than the most cursory overview of a study you need to be disabused of that notion. It apparently took US Congressional investigators and the editors of Nature magazine and six years to pry Mann’s data and methodology from him.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            You are assuming facts not in evidence from the following: “inferior methods for ulterior motives”

            “… if accusations… are true… ” Accusations need to be judged for worthiness before either belief or doubt is justified.

            From wiki, keywords: Wegman report – “Barton and U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield requested Edward Wegman to set up a team of statisticians to investigate, and they supported McIntyre and McKitrick’s view that there were statistical failings, although they did not quantify whether there was any significant effect(emphasis mine). They also produced an extensive network analysis which has been discredited by expert opinion and found to have issues of plagiarism.” Then you go about quoting from the Wegman Report. It seems to me that if you are freely inquiring, that you ought to consider criticisms of the report instead of only quoting from the report as if it’s credible source material (like J Curry’s blog). It makes it seem like you have an agenda.

            Quoting from the Wegman report is a horrible example to try to discredit Mann in the public’s mind. A counter example for fairness and balance sake: “The Wegman Report (14 July, 2006) (officially the Committee on Energy and Commerce Report) was a report on the ‘hockey stick’ graph produced by a commission headed by statistician Edward Wegman. It is now remembered as the epitome of global warming denier stupidity, in terms of both its factual errors and its college freshman-level plagiarism from textbooks and Wikipedia.” http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Wegman_Report

            Doubt in Mann et al’s work “validated”? I doubt the doubt, but remain freely inquiring for further clarification.

            That the NAS study does not vindicate Mann: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/06/national-academies-synthesis-report/

            “What kinds of pseudo-science?” If science spent all it’s time debunking pseudo-science, it would have no time for it’s work. The job of debunking pseudo-science unfortunately falls onto the public, mostly. Too bad so much of the public is scientifically illiterate, but there we have it. “Numerous authors, including several scholars, say that various conservative think tanks, corporations and business groups have engaged in deliberate denial of the science of climate change since the 1990s, and some, including the National Center for Science Education, consider climate change denial to be a form of pseudoscience.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_denial

            Looking forward to your specific beliefs detailing the differences between science-as-epistemology being the scientific debate and “what passes for the facts in the public debate” being the political debate.

            Another example of assuming facts not in evidence: “… a scientist intentionally using improper procedures…. incorrect method…” As an online friend of mine (a trained scientist by his/her account) has said: “You can’t rationally discuss the science with someone who doesn’t use logic. With deniers all bets are off.” I’m expecting logic because neither one of us are scientists. Also it’s important to quote in context. The contextomy tactic is not honest communication. You quoting something not in evidence followed by you saying “And then you said” quoting me “That’s why methods and proxies have to pass peer-review muster” However, I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and believe it was an honest mistake.

            Your prejudice against peer review is telling. It seems to imply a belief that science is guilty of “group think”. Any forthcoming conclusions on my part about your objections to (1)peer review and (2)Mann’s data and methodology needs to be put in the context of your still unprovided answers about science-as-epistemology and, more importantly, forthcoming answers to the following questions: (1) “Do you believe that you have a solid understanding of how science as an epistemology works?” (2) “If you believe you have such an understanding, how would you demonstrate that knowledge apart from being a scientist yourself?” (3) “How discerning are you about science vs
            pseudo-science?”

            I’m questioning your motives. I hope that is not rude or abusive of me. In a free and open and honest exchange of ideas I think it’s best to be upfront. You presented yourself as wanting to get to the root (radix, radical) of the matter of the scientific debate.

            The public debate can get into quite opaque areas (motivated reason/cognitive dissonance) where one does not really “know” if the other is being truthful or not. That may be one reason why accusations of “lying” are not uncommon. This is a reply to your comment on a previous post. (I assume you know which one I’m writing about.) I think trust is earned. In order to not be bamboozled, trust is withheld until earned. How trust is earned is a delicate question. How trust is abused is less opaque, but sometimes until too late. I would like to know if you are a truth seeker or trying to justify some other realm other than truth. But how can I know if the truth is forthcoming :-/

          • Swood1000

            The contextomy tactic is not honest communication. You quoting something not in evidence followed by you saying “And then you said” quoting me “That’s why methods and proxies have to pass peer-review muster” However, I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and believe it was an honest mistake.

            “contextomy” is defined as:

            “the practice of misquoting someone by shortening the quotation or by leaving out surrounding words or sentences that would place the quotation in context.” http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/contextomy

            I am not following. How is this contextomy?

          • Swood1000

            You are assuming facts not in evidence from the following: “inferior methods for ulterior motives”

            “… if accusations… are true… ” Accusations need to be judged for worthiness before either belief or doubt is justified.

            You said:

            Is questionable wrong?

            And I replied that if questionable means using inferior methods for ulterior motives, then that is wrong. It does not assume anything. It simply answers your question.

            Then you asked:

            Do you believe there are justified reasons for doubt?

            And I answered that if the accusations are true then there are justified reasons for doubt. This response was intentionally conditional. It does not assume anything but only says that it makes sense to investigate the charges. I next went about justifying my reasoning.

          • Swood1000

            That the NAS study does not vindicate Mann: http://www.realclimate.org/ind

            Can you point out to me where the following NAS statements are addressed:

            • “For periods prior to the 16th century, the Mann et al. (1999) reconstruction that uses this particular principal component analysis technique is strongly dependent on data from the Great Basin region in the western United States. Such issues of robustness need to be taken into account in estimates of statistical uncertainties.”

            • “McIntyre and McKitrick (2003) demonstrated that under some conditions, the leading principal component can exhibit a spurious trendlike appearance, which could then lead to a spurious trend in the proxy-based reconstruction.”

            • “As part of their statistical methods, Mann et al. used a type of principal component analysis that tends to bias the shape of the reconstructions.” The Report even included its own graphical replication of the artificial hockey stick effect from feeding red noise into Mann’s algorithm (p. 87).

            • The usual RE significance benchmark “is not appropriate.”

            • “Uncertainties of the published reconstructions have been underestimated.”

          • Swood1000

            Quoting from the Wegman report is a horrible example to try to discredit Mann in the public’s mind.

            At the House Committee hearings (House Energy and Commerce Committee 2005b), NAS Panel chairman Gerald North and panelist Peter Bloomfield were specifically asked whether they disagreed with the severe criticisms of the Wegman Report.

            CHAIRMAN BARTON. Dr. North, do you dispute the conclusions or the methodology of Dr. Wegman’s report?

            DR. NORTH. No, we don’t. We don’t disagree with their criticism. In fact, pretty much the same thing is said in our report.

            DR. BLOOMFIELD. Our committee reviewed the methodology used by Dr. Mann and his coworkers and we felt that some of the choices they made were inappropriate. We had much the same misgivings about his work that was documented at much greater length by Dr. Wegman.

            WALLACE: “the two reports were complementary, and to the extent that they overlapped, the conclusions were quite consistent.” (Am Stat Assoc.)

          • Swood1000

            Your prejudice against peer review is telling. …your objections to (1)peer review…

            Can you tell me exactly what part of my statement about peer review shows that I object to it or am prejudiced against it? And what part of my statement do you disagree with? Peer review does not involve intense scrutiny of the methods and procedures used. The peer reviewer does an overview, not an investigation.

            British Medical Journal editor Fiona Godlee and colleagues took a paper about to be published in the journal and introduced nine major and five minor deliberate methodological errors. The doctored paper was then sent to 420 peer reviewers. The team discovered that the median number of errors detected by the respondents was a mere two. No one managed to spot more than five deliberate errors and 16% of responders couldn’t find any mistakes at all. Bad news for peer review: this trial suggested that the process doesn’t really increase the quality of published research. Even the authors concluded: “The study paints a rather bleak picture of the effectiveness of peer review.” http://www.labnews.co.uk/features/peer-review/

          • Swood1000

            I’m questioning your motives.

            What motives do you think I could have? And why do motives matter anyway? If I say that the emperor has no clothes what difference does it make what my motive is? The question to be addressed is: does the emperor have clothes?

          • Swood1000

            The public debate can get into quite opaque areas (motivated reason/cognitive dissonance) where one does not really “know” if the other is being truthful or not. That may be one reason why accusations of “lying” are not uncommon.

            No, one always knows whether the other side is being truthful. If you assert X then I ask to be shown a study or an expert opinion to that effect. If you can supply one then you cannot be charged with lying. If you cannot supply one then I simply tell you that I need to be shown some evidence before I’ll accept X. There is no place for a charge of lying because an unsupported assertion simply carries no weight.

            The only place for the charge of lying is where a person misrepresents what a study or expert said, in the hope that the other person won’t himself read the source document.

          • Swood1000

            “It is now remembered as the epitome of global warming denier stupidity…”

            Do you really think that this came from the pen of a person lacking an agenda? How could you post such a quotation and expect it to be accepted as authoritative?

          • Swood1000

            Doubt in Mann et al’s work “validated”? I doubt the doubt, but remain freely inquiring for further clarification.

            What does this refer to?

          • Swood1000

            Wikipedia says:

            “Pseudoscience is a claim, belief or practice which is presented as scientific, but does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status.”

            Can you supply a link to a study or a quotation from one of the major skeptic scientists that demonstrates pseudoscience?

          • Swood1000

            Another example of assuming facts not in evidence: “… a scientist intentionally using improper procedures…. incorrect method…” As an online friend of mine (a trained scientist by his/her account) has said: “You can’t rationally discuss the science with someone who doesn’t use logic. With deniers all bets are off.” I’m expecting logic because neither one of us are scientists.

            Are you saying that I am not being logical? I say that if a scientist uses inferior methods for ulterior motives then that is wrong, and you say that this is not logical?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            You accusing “…a scientist uses inferior methods for ulterior motives…” (1) assumes facts not in evidence which is not logical. (2)An accusation is only as good as the argument which justifies it. I have not seen any justification for the argument. Just a rehashing of the accusation. That’s not logical either. (3) There is no proof of wrong doing, only a hypothetical. Use logic to attempt to prove wrongdoing, which I assume you are attempting. Otherwise it’s simply uniformed opinion.

          • Swood1000

            Consider this statement:

            If a scientist uses inferior methods for ulterior motives then that is wrong.

            Does that statement accuse someone? No, it states the rule by which he people are judged.

            Does that statement assume any fact? No. It says that in the case of certain facts, then a certain conclusion.

            I think you need to more carefully read what I write. I did later on assert some facts (those asserted in the NAS report) but I did not do so here.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            The “If” proposition is accusatory. The “then” conclusion is conditional. “In case of certain facts” is also conditional. I’m reading the entire rule or statement in context of the hockey stick controversy, being aware that context, even with a hypothetical, is important. Are you not making the rule or statement in context of the hockey stick controversy? or are you arguing a hypothetical?

            As I posted earlier see the Caspar Ammann article by searching keywords “Robustness Mann Reconstruction”.

            This is beating a dead horse. Again, can we move onto something more interesting?

          • Swood1000

            This is beating a dead horse. Again, can we move onto something more interesting?

            Sure, but what does “this” refer to? Michael Mann’s hockey stick? Michael Mann? Climate change?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            The hockey stick controversy. Unless you want to argue http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-006-9105-7

          • Swood1000
          • Gary Slabaugh

            Another blog?

          • Swood1000

            …even professional statisticians make basic statistical errors.

            Right but the accusation is that these were not errors and that he knew better.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Then prove the accusation justified using logic. It’s extremely challenging proving such types of accusations because you are getting into motives, i.e. that these were not honest mistakes & “… that he knew better.” It’s like me accusing you of being a denier in the guise of being a skeptic (which I am not… just using it as an example in the public debate). How can I justify that you know better than to behave as a skeptic rather than a denier? I can’t read your mind or plumb the depths of your heart.

            Accusations are cheap. Proving logically that the accusation is justified is labor intensive. That’s why it’s easier to accuse, but not put in the hard work of logical argumentation

          • Swood1000

            Then prove the accusation justified using logic.

            More than once I quoted from the NAS report. I also told you that the NAS report said his findings lacked robustness and that maybe Mann didn’t know what constituted robustness but I think he did. I can’t prove the truth of the statements made in the NAS report. I can only tell you what the were and that they seem believable to me.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            So you admit that you are engaging in mind reading. That’s OK, just not robust :-)

            “Proving the truth” is a tautology. It is part of logic: “A proof is sufficient evidence or an argument for the truth of a proposition.”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_%28truth%29 Did the NAS provide proof that Mann et al’s reconstructions were incompetent, ideologically motivated, used faulty methodology? Nope. What does “lacked robustness” mean to you? I googled Robustness of the Mann reconstruction and found this link “… which leaves entirely unaltered the primary conclusion of Mann, et al…” https://www.academia.edu/7301927/Robustness_of_the_Mann_Bradley_Hughes_reconstruction_of_Northern_Hemisphere_surface_temperatures_Examination_of_criticisms_based_on_the_nature_and_processing_of_proxy_climate_evidence

          • Swood1000

            I also told you that the NAS report said his findings lacked robustness and that maybe Mann didn’t know what constituted robustness but I think he did.

            So you admit that you are engaging in mind reading. That’s OK, just not robust :-)

            By the same logic if I tell you that I believe that a scientist is competent and that he intends the result of his actions you would label that as “mind reading.” Is that correct?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I would say that trying to prove motivation with insufficient evidence is mind reading.

          • Swood1000

            The NAS report said that Mann’s findings lacked robustness. There are only two possibilities: (a) he didn’t know they lacked robustness, which makes him incompetent. (b) he did know they lacked robustness, in which case that is what he intended. I am not concerned about motive, only intent.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            From previous posts you have already judged his intent. On what grounds?

          • Swood1000

            Intent refers to what a person intended to do. Motive refers to why he intended to do it. We are not talking about motive. If Mann’s findings lacked robustness then either he intended that or he did not. If he did not then he is incompetent. If he did, then one is left wondering about his motive.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            One must wonder why Mann et al were targeted not only for the computer hacking, but also for the purpose (the intent) of calling their work into serious doubt. /sarcasm The ulterior economic motive of the merchants of doubt, denial and excessive uncertainty (above and beyond genuine scientific uncertainty) certainly is not to be scrutinized for intent.

          • Swood1000

            The ulterior economic motive of the merchants of doubt, denial and excessive uncertainty (above and beyond genuine scientific uncertainty) certainly is not to be scrutinized for intent.

            Scrutinized for intent, no. We know their intent (to spread doubt, denial and uncertainty). As for motive, we don’t really care what their motive is – only whether their facts are correct.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Remember not to take sentences out of context. I prefaced that sentence of an intent to use sarcasm. The truth of the matter is the meta-goal of spreading doubt, denial, unscientific uncertainty. That meta-goal can be discerned and intent judged… even if motive lies in the secret workings of the mind og the human animal.

            Again you bring up facts which returns us to the scientific debate among those who have the disciplined and specialized knowledge to examine the evidence, the facts, the data, the phenomena vs the generally scientifically illiterate public debate among those who are not particularly well-equipped to judge/discern “whether their facts are correct.”

            For me it comes back to looking for credentials and who has credibility to make a well reasoned argument from the evidence: “Proof is sufficient evidence or an argument for the truth of a proposition.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_(truth)

            Even though science is not engaged in “proving things to a certainty or a 100% probability of truth” science is very much engaged in the justification and falsification of theories… theories built upon the professional examination of natural phenomena, i.e. evidence.

            So again I focus in on the meta-goal of the political and economic and religious ideologues and their followers who have a vested interest in their intention to spread a mistrust in the scientific model.

          • Swood1000

            If one has a knowledge of statistics then why isn’t he qualified to debate the statistical aspects of a study?

            Their involvement in the public debate seems to be to muddy the waters about the science…

            Are you saying that anyone who argues from the skeptical point of view is by definition muddying the water?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Even statistics are subject to motivated reasoning. The point is if the statistical analysis was fundamentally flawed. From my understanding the statistical analysis of Mann et al was fundamentally vindicated.
            http://www.realclimate.org/images/Rutherford_fig2.jpg
            http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/07/the-missing-piece-at-the-wegman-hearing/

            As the article concludes (and I concur) “Can we all get on to something more interesting now?”

          • Swood1000

            What do you regard as more interesting?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            The Mann v Steyn lawsuit :-)

          • Swood1000

            I’m up for that. What are your thoughts?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            It will make little difference. If Mann wins the lawsuit, it will be ignored by the merchants of doubt and by the purveyors of excessive uncertainty. They will just move along with the next news cycle.

            If Mann loses the suit it will be touted by these same merchants and sellers as a great victory for their side and proof/vindication that Mann et al were wrong all along.

          • Swood1000

            I think that Mann was crazy to file a libel lawsuit. It just guaranteed that these comments about him would remain front and center for the foreseeable future, and they have become worse. All the civil liberties organizations seem to have taken the opposite side and are filing legal briefs against him. And it appears that he as done the same thing to Judith Curry. See: Free Speech for Mann, But Not for Thee

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Steyn acting as his own attorney ought to be a circus. I wonder if it’s just a stunt.

          • CB

            lol! Are you serious? Everything Mark Steyn does is a stunt. He’s a professional stunt clown.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            You would know these particulars much more than me. Thanks for the “lol” :-)

          • Swood1000

            I think he just did it for a while until things got serious. He has attorneys now, http://www.steynonline.com/6201/what-kind-of-fool-am-i whose names are on this recent legal filing: http://www.steynonline.com/documents/6514.pdf

            Steyn really does have a pretty good wit, but it’s possible that this can only be appreciated by those who have sympathy for his point of view.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Does pity for Steyn’s point of view count toward him gaining some sympathy?

          • Swood1000

            Also, Steyn can now say whatever he wants in his legal filings and it is privileged – Mann can’t sue him for anything he says there, and it gets picked up and reported by the press.

            I guess the ultimate question is whether the word “fraudulent” necessarily means actual legal fraud and falsehood or whether it is understood to express an opinion that his findings are invalid. If the former, it looks like Mann might have a good case.

            But even if he wins we then get to the question of damages. He recently won a FOIA case and was awarded damages of only $250. http://www.roanoke.com/news/former-uva-climate-scientist-awarded-damages-in-foia-case/article_dbf259e4-dc70-5962-81f3-be4483cbff5f.html This could happen again if the jury is forced to find in his favor but is not in sympathy with him.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Like I said above, I doubt that it will make any significant difference to the merchants of doubt and the purveyors of denial and to the sellers of excessive uncertainty above and beyond the scientific uncertainty acceptable to the bona fide professionals… the scientists who have remained faithful and true to their credentials.

            The genuine seeker, the free inquirer accepts scientific uncertainty. The doubter or the believer may also, but it seems like s/he has already made up her/his mind on the matter. Getting into doubt vs inquiry in going deep down the rabbit hole. Whether one engages in logical fallacy, doubt/faith confirmed by bias, cognitive dissonance, self delusion, denial… it’s challenging to the extreme to see it in oneself. Even when it’s pointed out by others, it’s most often rejected. Welcome to the molten pit of human reality.

          • Swood1000

            Sure, let’s get on to something more interesting.

            However, with respect to statistics, I didn’t see this NAS point addressed (saying that Mann’s reconstruction was no better than the mean):

            “Reconstructions that have poor validation statistics (i.e., low CE) will have correspondingly wide uncertainty bounds, and so can be seen to be unreliable in an objective way. Moreover, a CE statistic close to zero or negative suggests that the reconstruction is no better than the mean, and so its skill for time averages shorter than the validation period will be low. Some recent results reported in Table 1S of Wahl and Ammann (in press) indicate that their reconstruction, which uses the same procedure and full set of proxies used by Mann et al. (1999), gives CE values ranging from 0.103 to –0.215, depending on how far back in time the reconstruction is carried.”

          • Gary Slabaugh

            What’s your point? Are you arguing that Mann et al’s reconstruction being no better than the mean proves incompetence, ulterior motives, a non-robust methodology?

          • Swood1000

            Being “no better than the mean” means that Mann’s reconstruction was no more informative than the simple mean of the data; i.e., no statistical significance. The prediction value is low and the uncertainties are high. As the NAS report put it:

            “Regarding metrics used in the validation step in the reconstruction exercise, two issues have been raised (McIntyre and McKitrick 2003, 2005a,b). One is that the choice of “significance level” for the reduction of error (RE) validation statistic is not appropriate. The other is that different statistics, specifically the coefficient of efficiency (CE) and the squared correlation (r2), should have been used (the various validation statistics are discussed in Chapter 9). Some of these criticisms are more relevant than others, but taken together, they are an important aspect of a more general finding of this committee, which is that uncertainties of the published reconstructions have been underestimated.” NAS Report page 50

            The bristlecone pine proxies should not have been included. Without them there is no hockey stick and verification scores are clearly insignificant. With them the graph shape depends on faulty data and the verification scores are still insignificant.

            “The possibility that increasing tree ring widths in modern times might be driven by increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations, rather than increasing temperatures, was first proposed by LaMarche et al. (1984) for bristlecone pines (Pinus longaeva) in the White Mountains of California. In old age, these trees can assume a “stripbark” form, characterized by a band of trunk that remains alive and continues to grow after the rest of the stem has died. Such trees are sensitive to higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations (Graybill and Idso 1993), possibly because of greater water-use efficiency (Knapp et al. 2001, Bunn et al. 2003) or different carbon partitioning among tree parts (Tang et al. 1999). …”strip-bark’ samples should be avoided for temperature reconstructions…” NAS Report page 50

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Why don’t you quote from Wahl & Ammann?http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-006-9105-7

          • Swood1000

            Don’t follow.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Why link to a blog (a propaganda site) when the Wahl & Ammann report was already available? Did the NAS report judge intent? Maybe you, like the author of the blog, didn’t like the findings of Wahl & Ammann. Did their findings lack robustness too?

          • Swood1000

            Why link to a blog (a propaganda site)…

            The blog just lists all the arguments that have been made against Wahl & Ammann. If you would prefer, I could rephrase and list them here.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            No, I don’t need your paraphrasing. What I would prefer is a scholarly rebuttal by the professionals. You already referenced an oil industry consultant and an economist as giving a scholarly rebuttal to Mann, Bradley, & Hughes… which was then turned into a political circus as detailed by the Wikipedia article on the Wegmen report. Mann et al’s robustness was corroborated by Wahl & Ammann. So if McIntyre & McKitrick are essentially correct and Mann, Bradley, Hughes, Wahl, and Ammann are essentially incorrect… I will need to be linked to scholarly articles, not propaganda or political sites, for clarification. Clear enough?

            I’m simply not interested in propaganda sites and the elements of the political debate whose primary motive and intent is to discredit the science. If the science is wrong, the science will correct it. That’s science. Not the politicians, not the economists, not the oil industry. Does that make sense?

          • Swood1000

            I’m simply not interested in…sites…whose primary motive and intent is to discredit the science. …Does that make sense?

            Yes

          • Gary Slabaugh

            No, I’m saying that merchandizing doubt and manufacturing uncertainty for sometimes opaque and sometimes obvious motivated reasons is NOT being skeptical and is deliberately muddying the water.

            Can statistics be used malevolently?

          • Swood1000

            Willie Soon’s opinion is bought and paid for by fossil fuel interests.

            Is every scientist’s opinion bought and paid for by the interests of those who provide his funding?

          • SkyHunter

            No, but you can trace every prominent one in the media back to industry think tanks and PR organizations.

          • Swood1000

            How do we know that X’s opinion is bought and paid for and that Y’s opinion is not?

          • SkyHunter

            It is a moot point. A bought and paid for opinion could still be a robust opinion. To the scientifically literate though, it is easy to spot an invalid opinion.

            Like for instance; “Natural variability means it will take 150 years to statistically prove AGW.”

            That is nonsense to anyone with more than a casual understanding of statistics. So that person’s opinion is obviously not well grounded in reality. When you couple that with speaking fees and other promotions from the fossil fuel funded PR industry, and it becomes clear that the person is trading their credibility for money.

          • Swood1000

            Like for instance; “Natural variability means it will take 150 years to statistically prove AGW.”

            Dr. Collins believes that a burdensome case against AGW can be made after only 20 years.

          • SkyHunter

            Are you referring to William Collins at Berkeley?

            When did he say a burdensome case could be made against AGW in 20 years?

            “Now, I am hedging a bet because, to be honest with you, if the hiatus is still going on as of the sixth IPCC report, that report is going to have a large burden on its shoulders walking in the door, because recent literature has shown that the chances of having a hiatus of 20 years are vanishingly small.”

            The even more recent literature however suggests that the recent climate, which provides the empirical observations, was still in a somewhat unforced state, still overcoming the inertia. As the system becomes more energetic, it is likely to exhibit unpredictable behavior.

            The hedges Dr. Collins made were, (1) statistically the odds favor a less than 20 year hiatus (1999 – 2018), (2) It is already an area of intense interest, so the burden of explanation would be carried by the published research.

          • Swood1000

            When did he say a burdensome case could be made against AGW in 20 years?

            Yes, he said that in this quote. And your view is either (a) that more recent literature has satisfied the burden, or (b) that you disagree that it should be considered a burden, or (c) that you consider the burden to be slight.

          • SkyHunter

            I don’t believe the hiatus will last that long, but if it does (a) it will not be outside of probability and (b) it will be explained by observations.

          • SkyHunter

            One thing that I would like to point out.

            Research grants are not the same as speaking fees and other public relations fees. That is the major difference between actively researching scientists and the public relations personas like Curry and Pielke Jr.

            What they are doing is public relations propaganda, not science.

          • Swood1000

            But if a scientist suddenly finds himself offered large sums to speak are you saying that the refusal to turn that down proves that his motives are not honorable?

            I heard Richard Lindzen say once that he does public speaking in part because he enjoys it, and enjoys the give and take of it. And I am sure he also enjoys the money, and what’s wrong with that?

          • SkyHunter

            Nothing. But scientists like Lindzen are working for money, not science. Lindzen also helped attack the science showing a link between lung cancer and cigarette smoking.

            http://www.desmogblog.com/richard-lindzen

          • Swood1000

            My understanding is that Lindzen was attacking the connection between secondhand smoke and lung cancer. Can you refer me to any statement in which he questioned the connection between lung cancer and the person smoking?

            But scientists like Lindzen are working for money, not science.

            And we know that how?

          • SkyHunter

            You are right, he didn’t join the PR industry until after the industry lost the fight to deny a link between smoking and lung cancer.

          • Swood1000

            The American Physical Society invited Christy, Curry and Lindzen to participate in their Climate Change Statement Review Workshop. If these are really just corrupt hacks, as you insist, then how could the APS be fooled so badly?

            There could be no question that they wanted no repetition of the resignations that happened after their last statement, such as this one from Harold Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara:

            “It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.”

            But how do you explain that they were willing to sully the name of their august organization with the likes of these people? Is it possible that they are not actually held in low esteem by their peers?

          • SkyHunter

            The APS society invited them because they are the most prestigious skeptics available, and they wanted as full a perspective as possible.

            They don’t care about individual members throwing hissy fits like Lewis. Including three high profile deniers with actual scientific credentials does not tarnish their image, it enhances it. When they basically leave their AGW position statement unchanged, no one can say they ignored the skeptics in their deliberations.

          • Swood1000

            Yes but you say that denying AGW is like denying gravity, and is a symptom of mental imbalance. The APS must not agree because they certainly would not invite in experts to provide the viewpoint that gravity does not exist.

          • SkyHunter

            If you listen very carefully to what they say professionally, they don’t deny AGW. They reserve that for their blogs and op-eds in the Wall Street Journal.

            The give the APS review process credibility with the deniersphere, even though they used quotes from the workshop to make specious arguments.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            You have the patience of Job to explain a host of questions so thoroughly. Cudos

          • SkyHunter

            It isn’t patience. It is contentment. I am content to teach and learn. You don’t really understand something until you can explain it to someone. Explaining is a very important step in the learning process.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Truth. Thanks for the clarification. I’m glad that the teaching and the learning contribute to your joie de vivre.

          • Swood1000

            If you listen very carefully to what they say professionally, they don’t deny AGW.

            This is where we run into the distinction between AGW and CAGW. Lindzen agrees with AGW but says that it is nothing to worry about and may actually be beneficial. He denies CAGW, which is what the issue is about.

            give the APS review process credibility with the deniersphere,

            Why do they need credibility with the deniersphere? This is a premier scientific organization. Are you saying that they are bringing in people they know to be hucksters to advise them on their policy statement? I don’t see them bringing in people who think that the earth was created 6000 years ago to advise them on geological issues even though there appears to be a substantial and vocal group of people out there of that persuasion.

          • SkyHunter

            Lindzen has always had a contrary opinion on a multitude of issues and propagated that opinion loudly. But like much of his research, his opinions have been consistently in error.

            Including the most prominent skeptics is just good science. The more rigorous the challenge, the more robust the conclusion. You are making a false equivalency. The flat-earth society and the creationists are not members of the APS. Nor are their any policy issues at stake over whether or not the earth is 6000 years old. The APS I don’t believe has a position statement on creation vs evolution, but if the do, I am sure they would have included creationists in the review process.

            How could one conduct a thorough review with reviewing all the elements?

            When AGW became a POLIcy issue. It automatically became a POLItical issue. The APS is not immune from political fallout. By having three credentialed figures who are prominent in the deniersphere as part of the review process will also help to diffuse some of the inevitable political blowback when the APS position statement remains relatively unchanged.

            Politics and policy are inseparable. Once in order to understand the politics, you need to understand the policy goals of the vested interests.

            If one or two members of the World’s second largest organization of physicists resign over that… I think the other 50,000 members will get over it.

            RPJR has a doctorate in political science. Here is what the late Stephen Schneider had to say about him.

            Thanks Paul, I guess, never any fun dealing with Roger Jr. I can’t figure him out, except that one consistent pattern emerges-he is a self-aggrandizer who sets up straw men, knocks them down, and takes credit for being the honest broker to explain the mess-and in fact usually adds little new social science to his analysis. I saw him do it at AAAS four years ago and called him on it afterward and he walked off steamed when I told him he just made assertions and that good scientists show empirical evidence. He is not worth arguing about, frankly.

          • Swood1000

            Wasn’t it also Stephen Schneider who said:

            “On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.”

          • SkyHunter

            What do you take away from that?

            I see him quite clearly laying out that when politics and science collide, science must be communicated in a nonscientific manner, because you need broad support to effect policy.

            While he is concerned about the balance between communicating effectively and remaining honest, RPJR, as a political scientist, is only interested in being effective, he has no regard for the truth.

          • Swood1000

            I prefer the news on one page and the editorials on another. On the news page I just want the facts, without modification or embellishment. Certainly opinions can be stated as news. “Dr. X said that in his opinion…” but it must be presented as an opinion.

            If a scientist, in an attempt to influence public policy, communicates a skewed version of the facts or findings, how can the result be anything other than a loss of credibility for himself and for scientists in general?

            When Schneider says “make little mention of any doubts we might have” he is saying that a scientist is justified in delivering, as fact, only the part of the facts that he believes will cause the reader to have the same opinion as he himself has. He is talking about editorializing the news page.

            At the bottom, Schneider thinks that scientists should control public policy. Inconveniently, the voters control public policy, so Schneider feels justified in making the public policy decision but in a stealth way.

            “Therefore, what you’re talking about as a scientist is risk: what can happen multiplied times the odds of it happening. That’s an expert judgment. The average person is not really competent to make such a judgment.” https://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=28859

            It is a cornerstone of our society that the average person is competent to sit in a jury and listen to competing arguments and make a decision. Usually it is enough, in a technical case, to be shown the opinion of highly-regarded experts. But let’s have the decision be made on that basis rather than by limiting the information to be given to the jury.

          • SkyHunter

            That is a very naive perspective of how the court of public opinion works. That is not even how a jury trial works. There are rules of disclosure for evidence, and even certain lines of argument that are not allowed to proceed.

            RPJR and Lindzen both decry that climate science as corrupted by politics. And rightfully so, since they are the ones corrupting science with politics. Then they claim victimhood when called out on it.

            The average person lacks the scientific background to even understand the arguments, let alone decide which is likely correct.

          • Swood1000

            There are rules of disclosure of evidence, and even lines of argument that are allowed to proceed.

            The purpose of the rules of evidence is to keep irrelevant evidence from being introduced in an attempt to get the jury to make a decision for reasons that are not relevant. It is well known that a person can be influenced by inflaming his passions, for example, or by confusing him with a fallacious argument. The role of the judge is to prevent lawyers from using these methods. But there are no rules of evidence that prohibit the introduction of relevant facts that don’t also involve compromising the fact-finding process.

            The average person lacks the scientific background to even understand the arguments, let alone decide which is likely correct.

            Well, does the average person understand the economic and military questions that are at stake in the election of a president or member of congress? Not even slightly. So how do we choose these people?

            As far a public policy scientific questions are concerned, my position is that it is not necessary for people to understand the low-level scientific details. I can support funding for a Center for Disease Control without knowing the first thing about disease. There are people who do know about disease. Let me hear from them about what the risks are, what the costs will be, and what is the likely outcome if we do nothing and if we do something. If there are two experts who disagree let me hear them debate each other. What is your alternative?

          • SkyHunter

            Scientific arguments are very technical and the details are incredibly boring for 99.99% of people.

            If you don’t know any better, and I explain to you the scientific fact that all the energy emitted from the surface of the earth that can be absorbed by CO2 is absorbed in the first 10 meters of the atmosphere, so therefore it is impossible for CO2 to raise the temperature at the surface, because the bandwidth it is active in is already saturated, what are you Joe Public supposed to think?

          • Swood1000

            In the first place, Joe Public doesn’t need to be told any of those details.

            Suppose you’re told that the county engineer recommends a tax increase to pay for upgrades to the sewer system. And let’s suppose you know nothing about how a public sewer system works. You don’t want to know the details. You just want to know why he is recommending this. How serious is the problem he foresees? How likely is it? How expensive is his solution? Will his solution actually solve the problem he is worried about? Do other experts in this area agree? If not, you want to hear their reasons for disagreeing and his responses.

            How else should this situation be handled?Just because a person has technical expertise doesn’t mean that he is more competent to make public policy decisions.

          • SkyHunter

            How is it possible for CO2 to warm the atmosphere if the bandwidth is already saturated in less that 30 feet?

          • Swood1000

            If that is true, and if it is dispositive of the issue, then you will not be faced with any opposition that you could not brush aside easily. Standing on your side of the stage would be a dazzling array of scientists with impeccable credentials and on the other side of the stage would be a rag-tag group whose opinions you could impeach easily. What’s the problem?

          • SkyHunter

            It is true. All of the energy emitted from the surface that can be absorbed by CO2 is absorbed in the first 10 meters. This is a scientific fact.

            How can adding more CO2 possibly make any difference?

          • Swood1000

            How can adding more CO2 possibly make any difference?

            I thought we were talking about whether Joe Public has a role in formulating public policy in an area dominated by technical details. You seem to be saying that, just as a judge will not permit a jury to reach an illogical conclusion neither should Joe Public be presented with a choice where one of the options is impossible or illogical. I agree with that. I do not agree, however, that global warming public policy must be decided by climate scientists just because they are the only ones who understand the underlying science.

            My impression is that you would prefer to decide global warming public policy at a high level by experts, thinking of it as analogous to just solving math equations that could not logically be solved any other way. You would prefer a powerful central authority to establish the “correct” public policy. This authority would severely rein in free enterprise and capitalism, and would impose heavy taxes where necessary to force individuals and companies into certain behaviors deemed necessary. And you would prefer that this be done with little or no input from Joe Public, because you don’t trust Joe Public to understand what is in his best interests.

            But I believe that Joe Public is competent to hear the arguments made by both sides and to correctly decide public policy questions. I have a greater fear of those who would try to exclude Joe Public on the grounds that they know what is good for Joe Public better than he does.

          • SkyHunter

            Can you answer the question?

            If all the energy emitted from the surface that can be absorbed is absorbed in the first 30 feet, how can adding more make a difference?

            Answer the question, then we will discuss policy decisions.

          • Swood1000

            I see. You are saying that only those people who can answer this question are competent to have a voice in the formulation of global warming public policy.

            But that is ridiculous. The experts are experts on the probability and the magnitude of the harm that will come about if we don’t change our GHG policies. But the experts are not unanimous about the probability and magnitude. And they are not experts on the costs. Who is to evaluate whether a proposed solution to a proposed problem is equal to the proposed cost?

            Furthermore, scientists, even when they agree strongly with each, can be wrong. The mainstream climate scientists agreed strongly that there would not be a hiatus but there was one. It is not unreasonable for Joe Public to want to wait and see if these predictions are likely to be valid, given the extreme cost.

          • Swood1000

            If there is more CO2, the energy is absorbed closer to the source.

          • SkyHunter

            Yes, but it is an infinitesimal difference and cannot account for observations. AGW must be a scientific hoax.

          • Swood1000

            Few people claim that AGW is a hoax. It’s CAGW that they’re talking about.

          • SkyHunter

            CAGW is a denier meme. The latest evolution of denial.

            Besides,I just provided with proof AGW is fake.

          • Swood1000

            Frankly, I don’t really follow your point. Could you make it in a more simplified way?

          • SkyHunter

            Since all the energy that can be absorbed by CO2 is absorbed in the first ten meters, and Knut Angstrom proved in 1901 that the CO2 bandwidth was saturated, therefore AGW is a hoax.

          • Swood1000

            Even more simplified, please. Is somebody making this argument?

          • Swood1000

            I see. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument
            But what is your point? Is this the principal “denier” argument?

          • SkyHunter

            The point is, the general public is not scientifically literate enough to defend themselves against disinformation.

            You had to turn to Michael Mann’s blog to find the answer. That should tell you something.

          • Swood1000

            I like that blog. Good explanations of stuff. And I especially like Gavin’s responses. Why do you think that Joe Public won’t turn to that blog for his information?

            the general public is not scientifically literate enough to defend themselves against disinformation

            Wrong! Within 5 minutes I was reading about Miskolczi and then from Roy Spencer’s blog and Judith Curry’s blog how it was all crap. I don’t need to understand the underlying science. I just need to (a) find somebody who does understand it and can explain it to me, and (b) evaluate that person’s bias, expertise, and believability. For purposes of (b) my approach is to see what critics that person has and what they say.

            What’s wrong with that approach? What is the alternative?

          • Swood1000

            Furthermore, if a scientist says that X will happen and X doesn’t happen Joe Public doesn’t need to understand the details of X in order to justifiably lose confidence in that scientist.

          • SkyHunter

            So when Judith Curry says things like:

            Ideas linking changes in the polar vortex to global warming are not supported by any evidence that I find convincing.

            an obvious lie, you no longer trust anything she says right?

            Or when she keeps misrepresenting the IPCC probability distribution.
            http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/08/ipcc-attribution-statements-redux-a-response-to-judith-curry/comment-page-1/

            The argument evolves, but the goal remains the same. Do nothing so Exxon Mobil can keep making money.

          • Swood1000

            an obvious lie

            So the lie is that in fact it is supported by evidence that she finds convincing?

            Or when she keeps misrepresenting the IPCC probability distribution.

            “Misrepresent” of course refers again to a lie. So are you saying that this is not a difference of opinion but that she knows what the truth and is intentionally telling a lie?

          • SkyHunter

            The very physics that creates the polar vortex is the evidence for it’s weakening from global warming.

            She is manufacturing doubt where none exists. Deliberately, on purpose, for money.

          • Swood1000

            She is manufacturing doubt where none exists. Deliberately, on purpose, for money.

            Is this guy doing the same thing? It appears that you believe that sceptics fall into one of only two categories: misled as a result of scientific illiteracy or intentionally dishonest. Is there any other possibility?

            Award-winning Princeton University Physicist Dr. Will Happer rejected the media and some scientists claims that the record U.S. cold is due to man-made global warming. Happer, explained the science in an exclusive interview with Climate Depot. “Polar vortices have been around forever. They have almost nothing to do with more CO2 in the atmosphere,” Happer said in an exclusive interview with Climate Depot. http://www.climatedepot.com/2014/01/07/princeton-physicist-dr-will-happer-refutes-claims-that-global-warming-is-causing-record-cold-polar-vortices-have-been-around-forever-they-have-almost-nothing-to-do-with-more-co2-in-the-atmosphere/

          • SkyHunter

            Happer’s argument is a strawman. Of course polar vortices have been around forever. They are caused by differential in atmospheric height and corrialis effect.

            Do you see how scientific literacy allows me see through his BS?

            Climatedepot is a propaganda outlet, not a scientific resource.

          • Swood1000

            So, since Dr. William Happer does not lack scientific literacy the only other option is moral degeneracy?

          • SkyHunter

            Why should you assume either/or?

          • Swood1000

            That’s the question I am asking. What are the other options? (But I will agree that a person can be scientifically illiterate and morally degenerate at the same time, if that is your point.)

          • SkyHunter

            The world is not black and white. Happer could very well believe what he says, and be scientifically literate. Scientists are not immune to confirmation bias, Happer got his degree in 1964. He is admittedly out of his field, and has no published climate research.

            Scientific literacy helps one dispel BS from the outside, but the BS we tell ourselves is like a super virus. It takes extra effort to expose the deception we perpetrate upon ourselves!

          • Swood1000

            The point is, the general public is not scientifically literate enough to defend themselves against disinformation.

            Would you be kind enough to lay out your proposed solution?

          • SkyHunter

            Scientific literacy.

          • Swood1000

            Can you spell it out? Many members of congress do not have scientific literacy so they will be excluded from participation in the formulation of global warming public policy?

          • SkyHunter

            That is what we elect Congress for is to establish policies governed by laws. Otherwise there is no stability.

            When I answered scientific literacy to your question, I was addressing how to not be susceptible to rhetorical bullshit.

          • Swood1000

            So you are not saying that those without scientific literacy should be excluded from participation in the formulation of global warming public policy?

          • SkyHunter

            I find it quite ironic that the first AGW denier was a Koch.

            Knut Ångström, asked an assistant, Herr J. Koch, to do a simple experiment. He sent infrared radiation through a tube filled with carbon dioxide, containing somewhat less gas in total then would be found in a column of air reaching to the top of the atmosphere. That’s not much, since the concentration in air is only a few hundred parts per million. Herr Koch did his experiments in a 30cm long tube, though 250cm would have been closer to the right length to use to represent the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Herr Koch reported that when he cut the amount of gas in the tube by one-third, the amount of radiation that got through scarcely changed. The American meteorological community was alerted to Ångström’s result in a commentary appearing in the June, 1901 issue of Monthly Weather Review, which used the result to caution “geologists” against adhering to Arrhenius’ wild ideas. – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument#sthash.VyDqTI31.dpuf

          • Swood1000

            Do you think that capitalism is a defective system that needs to be replaced?

          • SkyHunter

            All institutions must grow or become obsolete.

          • Swood1000

            And how should capitalism grow?

          • SkyHunter

            Greed (profit motive) is a great motivator, but it can only take a society so far.

          • Swood1000

            Why can it only take a society so far? Certainly society must put limits on activities that are harmful to society but the capitalist system has been responsible for the incredible rise in the standard of living in the world. Yes, it has also been responsible for negative things such as pollution but why throw out the baby with the bathwater? I know there are those who believe there is no baby, that all human activity is ultimately harmful, and from that point of view a system that provided a less potent reward for innovation would be preferable, but I think they are wrong-headed.

          • SkyHunter

            Who is suggesting we discard the capitalist system?

            Certainly not I. I would start with modest reforms, such as a living wage, and limits to the political influence capital wields in our society.

            I am certainly not suggesting we muzzle their think tanks and propaganda websites, just that we educate our members enough that capital lies are seen for what they are.

          • Swood1000

            limits to the political influence capital wields in our society

            What limits would you put in place?

          • SkyHunter

            I would begin with the reversing the idea that corporations are people, and public financing of all campaigns and making it illegal for lobbyists to do favors in exchange for influence.

          • Swood1000

            I would begin with the reversing the idea that corporations are people

            I assume you are talking about for the purposes of the First Amendment freedom of speech. Is that right? And unions too, right? But the person who operates his business as a sole proprietorship, instead of as a corporation, would still be considered a person for this purpose?

          • SkyHunter

            Money is not speech. I don’t care what the Supreme Court says. Money is not speech.

          • Swood1000

            Money is not speech.

            So a law could be passed saying that no money can be spent to advocate any political issue. You can speak all you want but, for example, you may not drive anywhere to protest because that involves an expense and that is illegal.

          • SkyHunter

            I suppose it could, depends on how absurd lawmakers want to get.

            Capital already has outsized influence on the political system. having laws regulating political spending is no different than having laws to regulate traffic.

          • Swood1000

            Or, if restrictions on spending money are not restrictions on speech, the government could restrict spending money only on certain political issues. For example, the party in power could restrict spending money to support their political opponents.

          • Swood1000

            I would start with modest reforms, such as a living wage

            The CBO estimates that increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers. http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/44995-MinimumWage.pdf

            Is that nevertheless the way to go?

          • SkyHunter

            Yes it is. If a job is not worth a living wage, it is not worth doing. If someone is profiting from the labor of another, their profit should come only after the worker has earned a living wage. Anything else is the equivalent of slavery.

            There is no good reason for not paying a living wage, period. The only reason is for capital to profit from labor.

          • Swood1000

            Real income would decrease, on net, by $17 billion for families whose income would otherwise have been six times the poverty threshold or more, lowering their average family income by 0.4 percent.

            There are those who say that those who are paid minimum wage are typically teenagers, and that the wage increase is paid in part by shifting income from those being paid more. They argue that these entry level jobs really just serve the function of getting people into the job market and that the people who are actually supporting a family need it more. That entry-level jobs should not be seen as a career choice – people should have their sights set on the higher level jobs.

            Also the argument is made that minimum wage works against the minimally educated, low-skilled people because at $7.25 an hour they only have to compete against others who can earn $7.25 an hour. If you increase it to $10.10 an hour they have to compete against those who were earning $10.10 an hour and they won’t be able to do it.

          • SkyHunter

            They say that, but the reality is quite different. Why are you making an argument based on a false premise?

            http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2013.pdf

            Actually the opposite will be the case. Jobs that used to pay $10.10 an hour will now pay more, in order to attract the higher skilled worker.

            Why should a higher skilled worker perform a job requiring a specialized skill set, when they can perform a job for the same amount that does not require a specialized skill set?

          • Swood1000

            They say that, but the reality is quite different.

            But the point you sent me from the CBO link says that real income would decrease, on net, by $17 billion for families whose income would otherwise have been six times the poverty threshold or more. You disagree with this?

          • SkyHunter

            Do I disagree that they said it? Or that their projection will manifest in reality?

            Are you arguing that 900,000 families in poverty should remain there because lifting them out of poverty might cost families with incomes six times or more over the poverty limit 10¢ more for their pizza?

            The CBO is notoriously conservative in their estimates, so when they conclude that the end result is a $2 billion increase in real income. I would wager that the increased spending power of the poor and it’s effect on employment is being underestimated. The actual increase in real income will likely be higher.

          • Swood1000

            Why should a higher skilled worker perform a job requiring a specialized skill set, when they can perform a job for the same amount that does not require a specialized skill set?

            In cases where, because of competition, the business is not able to raise its prices then they will have the same amount of funds as they had before to pay wages. The only way to give more to the lowest group is to either fire some of them or shift the income from those who were earning more.

            Also, jobs requiring greater skill are more interesting than ones that require less skill. If I were an electrician earning X and suddenly I found out that the dishwashers were also earning X it would not make me want to be a dishwasher, although I think I would be very upset if I had been earning X + 10 and now I was only being paid X, in order to make up the difference to the dishwashers.

          • SkyHunter

            Your scenarios are not realistic. A business can always raise it’s prices to remain profitable. If they can’t afford to pay a living wage and remain competitive they will be replaced by competitors who can.

            A dishwasher’s job is easily filled, an electricians is not. There will always be demand for skilled workers.

          • Swood1000

            A business can always raise it’s prices to remain profitable.

            Of course there is no getting around the fact that when you raise the price of something you lower the demand for it. Let’s take putt-putt miniature golf. As you raise the entrance fee fewer and fewer people are going to decide to go play putt-putt. At some point their costs will exceed their revenue and they will not be able to stay in business. If the problem is that you have legislated a high cost of running a putt-putt business nobody is going to be able to run one, and that industry will just die. Is it better for those people to be out of work?

          • SkyHunter

            Would it be such a bad thing if the putt-putt golf industry died?

          • Swood1000

            Aesthetically, no. Economically, for the people who work there, yes.

          • SkyHunter

            The people working there are part of the demographic that will see 900,000 of it’s members lifted out of poverty.

            Are you arguing that because putt-putt employees might lose their job that these 900,000 should remain in poverty?

          • Swood1000

            I am saying that there are costs associated with this. Money doesn’t come out of nowhere. I think there are some people who think that the money will just come out of the pockets of greedy owners but that is a little too glib.

            What about this: the electrician needs a helper. He finds somebody who is looking for a job and who seems bright enough and agrees to sign him on and teach him the craft in exchange for room and board and a small amount of pocket money. Is that OK?

          • SkyHunter

            And the CBO says the CBA is positive, the benefits outweigh the costs.

            Depends. Is the helper covered by insurance?

            A construction site is a hazardous environment. It would be better to pay the helper and then charge him for room and board.

            Easier bookkeeping.

          • Swood1000

            But the point is that you would allow an exception to the minimum wage requirements if the worker is being trained?

          • SkyHunter

            No. If the training is to be considered part of the compensation, let that be a separate transaction.

          • Swood1000

            But my understanding is that this is a part of the problem. That it is illegal to pay less than the minimum wage and so this type of setup is forbidden and people who would have been hired and paid less until they acquired the skill are not given the opportunity because it’s too expensive to hire unproductive people.

          • SkyHunter

            Until it becomes more economically feasible to to pay to train new workers than to try and lure experienced workers from your competitor.

          • Swood1000

            But if a teenager is willing to work for $3 per hour, thinking that after a year he will be qualified to apply for a job paying much more than that, why should we forbid him from doing that?

          • SkyHunter

            Because children should not be exploited.

          • Swood1000

            Let’s assume we are talking about an 18 year old who has finished with school.

          • SkyHunter

            How is he supposed to live on $3 an hour?

          • Swood1000

            (a) that’s his business, or
            (b) with his parents

          • SkyHunter

            No it isn’t just his business. You will pay to subsidize his life in order for his employer to steal his life.

          • Swood1000

            You will pay to subsidize his life in order for his employer to steal his life.

            In that case we have a procedure that allows any person to receive an exemption from the minimum wage law and such persons are not eligible for public assistance. So nobody is subsidizing him. His room and board during this period are coming from his savings or his relatives or his employer. He thinks this is a good deal because it will qualify him for a high-paying job.

            Why did you say it was OK if the electrician’s assistant was earning nothing but not if he is earning $3 per hour. I think they actually do currently have that distinction, making the unpaid intern exempt from the minimum wage law. You would require the person to be unpaid?

          • SkyHunter

            Why should all the responsibility fall on the individual and/or society, to train a person to work for private industry?

            You are assuming the person has a savings, or parents who can help. I do believe that all internships should pay at least a minimum wage, many pay even more. That being said, the experience of working an internship/externship is valuable. I agreed to work an unpaid externship as part of my education and have no regrets.

            But we are not really talking about an 18 year old male in an apprenticeship program, or the teenager at the putt-putt golf course. There are ~76 million minimum wage workers. of those, 61 million are over 25.

            Why should society subsidize their employers by making up the difference between what they are paid and what they need to live?

          • Swood1000

            Why should society subsidize their employers by making up the difference

            I stipulated that those who apply for an exemption are not eligible for public assistance.

            I agreed to work an unpaid externship

            My daughter is currently getting her M. Arch. in Architecture at a school that has a co-op program. She and I have had many discussions about this. She had difficulty finding her first co-op and was finally at a point where she was willing to do it unpaid. However, she found a paid one and because of her schoolwork and references has had no trouble finding paid co-ops since.

            She thinks that architecture firms that don’t pay their interns are the scum of the earth. But there’s a market out there. And the firms who want the best co-ops have to pay them.

            If a young person says that he believes that the value of the education he gets will more than compensate for the lower income, why isn’t that his business, as long as he is not on the public dole?

          • SkyHunter

            I think you are using the exception to define the rule.

            I certainly would not deny someone earning $3 an hour food stamps.

            Unpaid internships while despicable, are really not the big social issue IMO. Closing the gap between the minimum wage and a living wage will do more to maintain economic and social stability than anything else Congress can do.

          • Swood1000

            Here is a letter signed by a bunch of economists (although I see at least one politician here). One of the things they say is:

            “In fact, CBO estimates that less than 20 percent of the workers who would see a wage increase to $10.10 actually live in households that earn less than the federal poverty line.”

            If that is true, then why object if one of these people, of his own free will, wants to trade his services for training. After all, they say that it is exactly the young just starting out who are most affected by increased unemployment.

          • SkyHunter

            They don’t cite supporting research, it is just a list of names as far as I am concerned. The CBO is baseline.

            The idea is not just to get people people above the federal poverty limit for Medicaid, it is to guarantee low skilled workers a living wage in exchange for irreplaceable moments of their time.

          • Swood1000

            …it is to guarantee low skilled workers a living wage…

            Why don’t we just skip the half-measures and make the minimum wage $50 per hour? Happy days for everybody, right?

            Workers with a disabilty may be paid wages less than the federal minimum wage. I presume that you would be in favor of removing this exemption so that these people will earn as much as everyone else?

          • SkyHunter

            Because it is not an arbitrary number, it is based on a reasonable cost of living. Which is IMO about 3 times the poverty limit.

          • Swood1000

            it is based on a reasonable cost of living

            But it is such a pittance! It still leaves them with the wolf at the door. How can you oppose a wage that will give them much more security?

            And what about the workers with a disability? Remove that exemption so that they can earn as much as the others?

          • SkyHunter

            A reasonable cost of living would be enough for savings and retirement. Raising the minimum wage puts upward pressure on other wages, which is why it is phased in. My opinion is that a living wage is 200% of the poverty limit for a family of four. That is about $22.50 an hour. For a family of 2 it is $15 an hour, so $10.10 is not enough, but it is a move in the right direction.

            An economy works best when people have money to spend. Those at 300% of the poverty limit and higher can afford to pay more for goods and services. As demand rises due to the greater and more diverse purchasing power of low wage workers, demand for higher wage jobs will also increase, which will put more upward pressure on skilled wages.

            Eventually the system will achieve a new equilibrium and people will hardly remember how it used to be.

          • Swood1000

            And what about the workers with a disability? Remove that exemption so that they can earn as much as the others?

          • SkyHunter

            No. That is a red herring distraction. Disabled people already receive disability income.

          • Swood1000

            Are you talking about SSI? That is only for people who have limited income. Isn’t that like saying that poor people don’t need a minimum wage because they are eligible for public assistance?

          • SkyHunter

            Society should care for people with disabilities IMO. And people are always free to work as independent contractors on a production basis, disabled or not.

          • Swood1000

            But you claim that the minimum wage should be increased so that those at the bottom of the wage scale will have a larger income. The same logic would apply also to the disabled. You do not apply it to the disabled because you know that it would result in greatly increased unemployment among the disabled.

            However when I suggest that perhaps the tension between higher employment and higher wages should be resolved in favor of higher employment for 18 year olds who receive an exemption after they certify that they are learning a skill and agree that they will be ineligible for public assistance, you say that I am “biased toward business owners, not workers.”

            Do you really think that everyone who questions the wisdom of increasing the minimum wage is doing so out of a desire to favor the business owners over the workers?

          • SkyHunter

            No, that is a strawman. I claim the minimum wage should be increased to a living wage because paying less is immoral.

            The fact that this will also stimulate the economy by improving the spending power of the masses is just a side benefit.

            Too qualify for the reduced disability wage, a person must be legally disabled. That means they are already eligible for disability income. My position is that the disabled don’t need to work, but if they can, and they want to, they should be allowed to work for a reduced wage commensurate with their reduced productivity.

            There is no evidence that your idea would result in higher employment. Apprenticeships are a tiny portion of the minimum wage workforce, so it would have a negligible impact at best.

            Yes. Everyone who questions the wisdom of making the minimum wage a living wage favors capital over labor.

          • Swood1000

            Let me just be clear where you stand. Which of the following do you disagree with:

            1. The minimum wage increases unemployment because some employers determine that the economic benefit to the business of certain positions or employees is less than the cost of the minimum wage.

            2. The higher the minimum wage, the greater the resulting unemployment.

            3. Teenagers and the lowest skilled people are affected the most by this.

            4. The unemployment often results from attrition – replacements are not hired for employees who leave.

            5. If an employer determines that the benefit to the organization from hiring an employee is less than the cost of the employee, then he or she should not hire the employee.

            6. The minimum wage should be raised to the amount deemed necessary to live on without considering the effect on unemployment.

            7. A person should not be permitted to work at a reduced wage in order to gain experience for his resumé because this favors capital over labor but the same person should be permitted to work at no wage because this does not favor capital over labor.

          • SkyHunter

            1. There is no evidence that this is the case. While some employers may eliminate jobs, others increase hiring to meet the increased demand created by the enhanced purchasing power.

            2. No evidence that this occurs. In fact, the evidence suggests otherwise.

            3. Agreed, teenagers and low skilled workers are the ones most effected by minimum wage laws.

            4. People who retire or take another job do not effect unemployment.

            5. Agree.

            6. Disagree. The effect on unemployment is considered, and found to be negligible,

            7. Disagree.

          • Swood1000

            4. People who retire or take another job do not effect unemployment.

            Unless that person is not replaced.

          • Swood1000

            There is no evidence that this is the case.

            It might depend on where we are in the business cycle:

            “In contractions, an increase in the minimum wage is found to have a substantial and very significant negative effect on both white and black teenage employment that is more adverse for black teenagers: a 10% increase in the minimum wage decreases white and black employment by 3.10% and 5.03%, respectively. …In expansions, no significant negative employment effect is found. A 10% increase in the minimum wage is associated with a change of + 0.16% and – 0.58%, respectively for whites and blacks.” http://www.economics.buffalo.edu/contrib/people/faculty/documents/41109minwage.pdf

            Of course the result during an expansion may just be a lower increase in employment than there would otherwise have been.

          • SkyHunter

            The CBO estimates -500,000 jobs and 900,000 lifted out of poverty.

            You are arguing against a strawman. The actual employment numbers show no discernible effects of raising the minimum wage. The bulk of economic studies show that raising the minimum wage has no discernible effect on employment.

            Experts generally agree, raising the minimum wage will have no discernible effect on employment and overwhelmingly agree that the benefits would far outweigh any negative impact on unemployment.

          • Swood1000

            2. The higher the minimum wage, the greater the resulting unemployment.

            2. No evidence that this occurs. In fact, the evidence suggests otherwise.

            Would you agree that a minimum wage of $50 would increase unemployment?

          • SkyHunter

            No.

          • Swood1000

            You’re not maintaining a semblance of actually believing what you are saying. Of course there are many labor intensive businesses who operate on a thin profit margin who would simply be put out of business. Who could doubt it?

          • SkyHunter

            Examples please.

          • Swood1000

            A business employs a room full of people, each of whom sits at a desk and operates a piece of machinery in order to produce a child’s toy. So far they have been able to keep their costs down so that this toy can compete with other toys that are mass-produced entirely by machines. If the labor costs are tripled, however, this product will no longer be able to compete.

          • SkyHunter

            What is the name of this company?

          • Swood1000

            “Typical Labor-Intensive Low Profit Margin Corp.”

          • SkyHunter

            IE, you don’t have an example, you made it up to bolster a weak argument.

          • Swood1000

            Are you saying that you doubt the existence of many labor-intensive businesses having a slim profit margin?

          • SkyHunter

            No. I was simply asking for an example, which you could not provide, so their existence at this point is still speculative.

          • Swood1000

            I see. So you are demanding proof that the tripling of labor costs will require a business to raise the cost of its product, and that there is a limit beyond which the cost cannot be raised and still sell.

          • SkyHunter

            No, I am asking for an example of a company whose costs are primarily labor, whose employees work for minimum wage, that will go under if the minimum wage is incrementally raised to $10.10 an hour over two years.

          • Swood1000

            This is again in the line in which you appeared to deny that raising the minimum wage to $50/hour would increase unemployment.

          • SkyHunter

            Forget about the $50 dollar fantasy and stick with the proposed $10.10 reality.

            The proposed minimum wage bill would raise the minimum wage to $8.20 an hour, beginning on the first day of the third month after the bill is enacted. Giving employers 90 days to prepare for a 95¢ increase in the minimum wage. This will primarily impact fast food industry, though there will be an upward pressure on wages to keep valuable low wage employees.

            One year later; another 95¢. At $9.15 an hour, it will impact clerks, cashiers, maids, etc., with more upward pressure to retain talent.

            Two years later, another 95¢ for $10.10. And thereafter tied to the CPI.

            These are modest increases that will lift a modest 900,000 above the poverty line, with minimal impact on overall employment.

          • Swood1000

            Accountants typically make much more than the minimum wage. These people are paid more because there is a market operating according to supply and demand that requires employers to pay the amount necessary to get the people they need. Are we agreed that the law of supply and demand works properly for the accountants, and that they are paid the correct amount, which depends on the amount of value that they produce?

            Do you think that the market for labor no longer works properly at the low end of the scale, so that, unlike the accountant, absent a minimum wage low-wage workers would be paid less than the value they produce? The minimum wage is then seen as remedying this market defect. Or do you think that the market still works properly but for reasons of social policy we have deemed it necessary for the government to intervene and require that some low-wage workers be paid more than the value that they produce? Of course, raising the minimum wage does not automatically raise the productivity of the worker – the two are independent.

          • SkyHunter

            No, I think accountants are generally underpaid, under appreciated, and complicit in the system that keeps them that way. Raising the minimum wage will also put upward pressure on wages for accountants, since there will be both increased demand and increased competition.

            Your argument assumes what is not in evidence. There is no evidence that minimum wage workers are paid less than the value they produce. And you can’t really provide said evidence because it is all subjective.

            Who determines value and what is the criteria?

            You and I likely have very different ideas about what constitutes value.

            The market is not a Deity, and there is no such thing as a free market. I am not concerned with the market, I am concerned with the people. If one person employs another, they should compensate them for their time with a living wage. If they don’t believe the job is worth a living wage, they should do it themselves, or ask for volunteers, then compensate the volunteers as best they can.

          • Swood1000

            Your argument assumes what is not in evidence. There is no evidence that minimum wage workers are paid less than the value they produce.

            I did not assume this. I gave you an either/or and asked you whether the market works for the low-wage worker. One option said yes and one option said no.

            But my supposition was that in general a free market is a fair way to set the prices of things. Unless the government intervenes it works by way of supply and demand. The seller tries to get as much as he can for the thing he is selling and the buyer tries to pay as little has he can for the thing he is buying. This is what sets prices. It is not a Deity. It is simply the mechanism that has always operated to determine the prices of things. Markets are influenced by many factors, rational and irrational.

            Are you saying that in general you do not believe that markets are the correct way to arrive at the prices of things? Or is that only in the case of the labor market? What causes the accountant to be paid less than he should be paid?

          • SkyHunter

            Workers are always paid less than the wealth they produce. If this were not the case the business would fail.

            The problem with a free market based on supply and demand is that supplies can be manipulated to create demand, and vice versa. (Remember Kenny Boy from ENRON?)

            What a person does for a living is more important than profit. I ran a construction business for years that made very little profit, but everyone had a job with a living wage, including me. I even paid the high school kid working summers double the minimum wage.

            So I guess I am saying that in order for the markets to be fair, they need to be regulated. I consider the minimum/living wage issue to be separate from the market. IMO it is a fundamental moral issue.

            As a society, do we value the individual enough to consider the dignity of a living wage as a right?

          • Swood1000

            Workers are always paid less than the wealth they produce. If this were not the case the business would fail.

            Instead of “value produced” I should have said “value to the employer,” since a market price is determined by the interplay between the value the seller places on the commodity being sold (labor) and the the value that the purchaser places on it.

            As a society, do we value the individual enough to consider the dignity of a living wage a right?

            But before we get to that question, does the market for the services of the computer programmer work properly? Or do you believe that there is something that gives employers an unfair advantage, so that programmers are paid less than they should be paid?

          • SkyHunter

            Employers almost always have an unfair advantage over the individual. The name of the game is Capitalism and Capital always has an advantage in this system.

          • Swood1000

            Capital always has an advantage in this system

            But why do you say that? If I hire a programmer to do some work for me what gives me the advantage when we discuss the amount he is going to charge me?

          • SkyHunter

            If you have no food and no means and I offer you a slice of bread for 8 hours of labor in my fields, and you negotiate for two slices… would you say you made a good deal?

            It doesn’t matter that I have so much bread that most of it will rot before it is eaten, I have successfully kept my labor costs low.

          • Swood1000

            If you have no food and no means and I offer you a slice of bread for 8 hours of labor in my fields, and you negotiate for two slices… would you say you made a good deal?

            Yes but you have described a situation involving a built-in advantage for one side: the seller is starving. Are you saying that a programmer marketing his services is usually starving or for some other reason usually has no choice but to accept what is offered?

            Let’s just consider the typical situation as we expect to see it in the United States today. The programmer is offering to do some programming and the purchaser is offering to pay him, they are negotiating a price and neither is starving (unless you think that programmers are usually starving). What advantage does the purchaser have?

          • SkyHunter

            The purchaser has the advantage of resources. A programmer is often not personally disposed, or trained, to negotiate. So unless the programmer has a good agent, she is likely going to be at disadvantage in every negotiation with a well seasoned business negotiator.

          • Swood1000

            The programmer has his hourly rate that he charges. He just has to tell the employer how many hours it will take and what the total bill will be. If it is a long and complex job he has his attorney to draw up the contract.

            When you were in construction you knew what your costs were going to be and what the uncertainties were and how to allocate risk. Did the purchaser know about those things better than you? And couldn’t you hire an experienced attorney if you needed advice? What disadvantage were you under as a result of the resources of the purchaser?

          • SkyHunter

            Your programmer scenario is for an independent contractor, not an employee.

            I had a framing crew and framed houses. I charged more per square foot than other framers. I remember one occasion where the builder told me that he had another bid for $5000 less then mine. I expressed my regret and tried to hand him back the blue prints. He asked me to rebid the job, I told him I couldn’t and tried to hand him back the prints. Instead of taking the prints, he decided to stick with a known quantity.

            I helped a developer become a gentleman builder. His houses were disasters until he hired me exclusively to frame his houses. He kept me busy for 3 years, never once asked me to lower my price. Once he became successful and no longer dependent on me, he started grinding me down on price. Which was one of the events that helped force me out of business.

            You see, I only started the business because a builder wanted me to frame his houses and offered to bankroll me. I stayed in business because I did good work and provided better conditions for my workers. Once it became a struggle to break even it was no longer satisfying.

          • Swood1000

            Your programmer scenario is for an independent contractor, not an employee.

            But there is no difference between hiring an independent contractor and hiring an employee except that the employee doesn’t typically have a stated ending date. The relative bargaining positions are exactly the same when hiring an employee as when hiring an independent contractor. Independent contractors just have a different legal status for tax purposes.

            Are you saying that the fact that the builder started grinding you down on price demonstrates that the employer has the advantage in this situation?

          • SkyHunter

            Yes, once I had helped him become successful by delivering a quality product, instead of being grateful, he used that success as leverage against me.

          • Swood1000

            But how did that keep you from marketing yourself to others? By that logic all buyers have the advantage because they can refuse to buy except on their terms. But similarly sellers can refuse to sell except on their terms.

          • SkyHunter

            It is all about leverage. When he needed a good framer so that new houses didn’t creak and squeak and were plumb square and level, he accepted my bids without question, because he had no leverage. I offered him a competitive price that allowed him to see a 30% profit on most homes he built.

            Once he had the leverage, he did not return the courtesy. I figured I must either become ruthless or quit. Since I don’t like the price I must pay for ruthlessness, I chose to quit.

          • Swood1000

            But what was the leverage he had? Why was ruthlessness necessary? Why couldn’t you just offer your services at a fair price to someone else?

          • SkyHunter

            Even though the quality of his houses suffered, and the crew he wanted me to bid against took 6 men and a forklift 6 months to frame a house that I planned to frame with 5 men and a forklift in 8-10 weeks, he was in a better position than I was to bargain. He had money and influence, I didn’t. He could afford to lose lots of money and stay in business, I couldn’t.

            I had taken him at his word and committed to do my part.

            What began as subdivision of 450, 2500 – 3000 sq ft, modest homes, turned into 250, 3500 – 700 sqft+, elaborate homes on a golf course. It was the largest and hottest development in the area. During the development phase, before the roads were in, I had to build all the maintenance buildings, so I invested in a full sized 4×4 truck to haul tools and materials off-road. I hired another crew leader and few more carpenters so I could train them to use my methods, so I could be ready to build 3 houses at a time, which was what he determined I would need in order to meet his schedule. As soon as the first foundation was finished, I leased a forklift to have on site. Three crews can efficiently share a forklift if they are in the same sub division. I built the first two houses ahead of schedule, but the next 3 plans were all behind schedule.

            I had to find work. I picked up another house out of the development, which mean’t moving the forklift. Very expensive if you don’t have the capital to own your own equipment, and needs to be done during daylight so I lose it’s productivity for half a day or more.

            The next three houses were still not ready. I am working 60 hour weeks and losing money, so I have to lay men off during a construction boom, while I find another house, ready for framing, and move the forklift again.

            Finally the next house is ready to build, a spec house, based on a basic plan, of much smaller dimensions that we had built before in a less upscale development. Even though we had signed a contract months before, he told me he was unhappy the price, because I had built the same house only smaller for less $$$/sqft.

            The basic plan did not have the more intricate architecture, such as the cantilevered balconies, a bridal staircase, and taller ceilings, etc. Bringing this to his attention however did not sway his opinion one bit. I had leverage at that point, since we already had a signed contract, and held firm.

            I was unaware of confirmation bias, but he exhibited all the symptoms. He had taken the average price/sqft for smaller, more modest homes and plugged it into the larger more intricate homes. Nothing would change his mind. When I finished the house ahead of schedule again, because I have a large productive and expensive crew, it just reconfirmed his bias. I built the bigger more intricate house in the same amount of time I built the smaller version. Except I built the small one with 4 men, and the big one with 8 men and a forklift.

            The next house was over 6000sqft, for a retired major league pitcher. There was a small crew run by two brothers working for another builder. The bid they gave him was about $10,000 less than mine. I couldn’t match it so he gave them the contract. He then told me he was putting everything out for open bid and that I should sharpen my pencil.

            An accountant by trade from a wealthy family, he increased his inherited wealth by acquiring and subdividing farmland near cities and turning it into low density housing. He had a goal. He shared that goal with me and asked me to help him achieve it. Once he had achieved his goal, I was disposable.

            Negotiations are rarely ever equal. One side usually has greater leverage and that side is usually the side with more capital. Capitalism reached it’s apex as a social institution in the 1950′s, as society evolves, the value of capital will decrease as other values grow. But the inequality in negotiations will still remain, the leverage won’t change, just the levers.

          • CB

            Eew…

          • Swood1000

            Negotiations are rarely ever equal. One side usually has greater leverage and that side is usually the side with more capital.

            I still don’t see what his leverage was. If the programmer says that his hourly rate is X, and the employer says that he has found somebody whose hourly rate is .9X who will do the same job in the same amount of time, then that is only leverage if the progammer’s rate is higher than the rates of other programmers with comparable ability. If not, he realizes that the purchaser is willing to also pay the hidden cost of lower quality and he looks for other work. There’s an old saying among programmers: “You can have it inexpensively, quickly and at high quality. Pick any two.”

            If there is a market for a person’s services then he does not have to sell them for less than he can get in the market, regardless of the resources of any one purchaser.

          • SkyHunter

            That old saying predates computer programming.

            Negotiations are rarely if ever equal. If you don’t understand why, I don’t think I can explain it any better.

          • Swood1000

            Negotiations are rarely if ever equal.

            Of course that’s true. The advantage lies on the side of the person who has the thing most desired by the other side. But look, it cannot be denied that if a programmer has a good reputation then there is a market for his services and he doesn’t accept a lower hourly rate just because the person making that offer has more money than the person making another offer. Don’t you agree?

          • Swood1000

            What is your view of this new study http://www.earth-syst-sci-data-discuss.net/7/521/2014/essdd-7-521-2014.html saying that ~83% of man-made CO2 emissions have been absorbed by natural sinks, and that the 65% increase in CO2 emissions was only associated with 0.2C warming since 1990.

          • SkyHunter

            Judging from the abstract, whoever brought it to your attention is misrepresenting the author’s findings.

            5.4GtC into the atmosphere, 2.6GtC into the ocean, and 2.9GtC into the land. That is nearly 50/50, so it appears that the denier sphere is lying about the results before they are even published.

          • Swood1000

            The reasoning goes this way. This paper says that man-made CO2 emissions from fossil-fuels and cement production have increased by 65% since 1990. However, atmospheric levels of CO2 have only increased by 11% since 1990. This means that ~83% of the increase did not show up.

          • SkyHunter

            It is a specious argument, one I doubt is being made by the authors.

            http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1965/to:1990/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:1990/to:2013/trend

            CO2 levels rose ~50 ppm from 1990 – 2013, which is very close to the 65% estimated increase in emissions.

          • Swood1000

            CO2 levels rose ~50 ppm from 1990 – 2013, which is very close to the 65% estimated increase in emissions.

            What do you mean “very close”?

          • SkyHunter

            Look at the graphic. In the 24 years previous, it rose ~30ppm, 50ppm is a 60% increase.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I would say that a living wage is in harmony with the Creator giving all equal persons an unalienable right to life. To not pay a living wage and not recognize it as a right is akin to “theft of life.” FWIW

          • SkyHunter

            My sentiments exactly.

            I don’t begrudge capital it’s profit, that is a primary motivating driver for ingenuity, but profit should come after the welfare of labor.

          • Swood1000

            Or, a factory realizes that it would cost less to completely mechanize its assembly line than it would cost to triple its labor cost.

          • SkyHunter

            Why are calling a 30% increase tripled labor costs?

          • Swood1000

            Actually, going from $7.25/hour to $50/hour is a 690% increase.

          • SkyHunter

            Who besides you has suggested raising the minimum wage to $50?

            You are once again wrestling with a straw man.

          • Swood1000

            We were discussing this question:

            Would you agree that a minimum wage of $50 would increase unemployment?

            No.

          • SkyHunter

            I misread the question. I thought you wrote increase employment.

            These hyperbolic hypothetical scenarios you want to argue are the equivalent of mental masturbation. It might feel good but that is all.

          • Swood1000

            I was merely trying to establish that if you increase the minimum wage a great deal it is quite easy to see how it will result in unemployment. And the unemployment comes about because you are requiring the business to pay more than the benefit it gets from its labor. The same thing will happen even when the difference between wage and the benefit is not quite so stark.

          • SkyHunter

            Unrealistic hypothetical scenarios don’t establish anything.

            Raising the price of a pizza 10¢ is not going to effect pizza sales. Raising it $10 will.

            There is no proposal for a radical jump, the increase is incremental and phased in over time so that the economy has time to adjust.

          • Swood1000

            Unpaid internships should be allowed?

          • SkyHunter

            Yes, if it is part of an educational curriculum.

          • Swood1000

            True or false:

            Raising by law the price of any commodity or service will reduce the quantity that purchasers of that commodity or service wish to purchase.

          • SkyHunter

            True, but it is only one factor and must be weighed against all others, not isolated in a vacuum.

          • Swood1000

            2. No evidence that this occurs. In fact, the evidence suggests otherwise.

            But it looks different if you control for differences between states:

            Controlling for economic performance and other unmeasured state employment trends, Sabia finds that each 10 percent increase in a state’s minimum wage decreased employment for the group by 3.6 percent. And because these employment losses were not accompanied by an increase in school enrollment, they suggest that job loss caused by wage hikes is not offset by long-term productivity gains. http://www.epionline.org/studies/sabia_12-2010.pdf

            Furthermore, that study found that an increase in the minimum wage has no discernible impact on overall GDP and could actually hinder growth in certain low-wage sectors.

          • SkyHunter

            IE, if you cherry pick your facts you can make a study say anything.

          • Swood1000

            Dr. Joseph J. Sabia, who did the study, was an Assistant Professor of Economics at the United States Military Academy at West Point, in New York. This is a top-tier university. Why do you say he was not observing the proper standards?

          • SkyHunter

            Do you think that professors at top tier universities are infallible and immune to confirmation bias?

            He is one of thousands of economists and his opinion is not only an outlier, it does not conform with the facts. Only by slicing and dicing the data is he able to make his case.

            There are hundreds of studies on minimum wage impact on employment and the bulk show no discernible effect.

          • Swood1000

            …they should be allowed to work for a reduced wage commensurate with their reduced productivity.

            That makes sense. But what about others who have reduced productivity? Why do you limit it to the disabled?

            The minimum wage law is most properly described as a law saying that employers must discriminate against people who have low skills. That’s what the law says. The law says that here’s a man who has a skill that would justify a wage of $5 or $6 per hour (adjusted for today), but you may not employ him, it’s illegal, because if you employ him you must pay him $9 per hour. So what’s the result? To employ him at $9 per hour is to engage in charity.

          • SkyHunter

            Ask yourself why you have to dream up these fantasy scenarios to make your case.

          • Swood1000

            What’s a fantasy scenario? It’s exactly the issue. People, the value of whose labor is less than the minimum wage, will not have a job. You recognize that in the case of the disabled but why do you limit it to them?

          • SkyHunter

            You have provided no evidence that a job is not worth a minimum wage, or that there are non-disabled people who cannot produce more than $10.10 an hour, so they are fantasies, not real life conditions.

          • Swood1000

            In order to qualify as intellectually disabled a person has to either not be able to care for himself or have an IQ of less than 60 or have an IQ of 60-70 and have something else wrong. There are plenty of people with an IQ in the 60s or 70s or 80s who have nothing else wrong. What chance is there that such a person would be able to make it through an interview process against normal people? If a normal unskilled person can produce $10.10 an hour of value then this person can likely produce much less than that.

            Or how about the person who had one hand amputated (or has one of many other not-quite-good-enough disabilities) and who is unskilled and uneducated? Do you think that people with issues like these are a rarity?

          • SkyHunter

            Are you suggesting that a person with an IQ of 60 is not capable of flipping burgers, or bagging groceries?

            Why are you so fixated on the disabled?

            It seems to me you are just arguing for the sake of argument. Raising the minimum wage has little impact on overall employment, and people who can’t work can collect welfare. By raising the minimum wage you have more money in the system from higher wages as more people are lifted out of poverty.

          • Swood1000

            Are you suggesting that a person with an IQ of 60 is not capable of flipping burgers, or bagging groceries?

            Such a person can certainly hold these jobs. But such a person cannot compete with a normal person for such jobs. The Kroger’s near me at one point hired people with Down Syndrome as baggers. They did a great job, but it has to be obvious that under most conditions an employer will prefer the person who, for example, is more likely to better handle an emergency or something unexpected, and who is able to relate better with the customers and other employees.

            Why are you so fixated on the disabled?

            When we talk about the most vulnerable, the ones most affected by unemployment, it is the young and those who are not as well endowed with intelligence, education and training. These are the people you apparently have no qualms about sacrificing.

          • SkyHunter

            So how does a lower minimum wage help the most vulnerable compete for limited jobs?

            The same bias toward the smarter, better looking, more competent employee applies no matter what the minimum wage. I am sacrificing no one, hundreds of studies after the fact show that raising the minimum wage has little effect on employment.

            You are suggesting that a million people remain in poverty on the off chance that raising the minimum wage may cost a few jobs for the disabled and low skilled. You are suggesting the working poor make sacrifices for the disabled and low skilled, instead of raising the minimum wage, or taxing the wealthy to care for the disabled and unskilled.

          • SkyHunter

            $10.10 an hour is just above the poverty line, assuming no vacation it is $1750 a month. How is a family of three supposed to thrive on that? Is that really out of poverty?

          • Swood1000

            They don’t cite supporting research, it is just a list of names as far as I am concerned. The CBO is baseline.

            Not sure what you mean but the CBO link I sent you before, http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/44995-MinimumWage.pdf, page 2, says:

            “However, those earnings would not go only to low-income families, because many low-wage workers are not members of low-income families. Just 19 percent of the $31 billion would accrue to families with earnings below the poverty threshold, whereas 29 percent would accrue to families earning more than three times the poverty threshold, CBO estimates.”

          • SkyHunter

            Which means that 71% will go to families under 300% of the poverty line.

            What is your point?

          • SkyHunter

            Your characterization of a higher minimum wage as “legislated high cost of running a putt-putt business” reveals your bias.

          • Swood1000

            What is my bias?

          • SkyHunter

            You can’t see it?

            Increased minimum wage equals legislated high cost of doing business.

            Obviously you are biased toward business owners, not workers.

          • Swood1000

            Obviously you are biased toward business owners, not workers.

            Look, there are many legislated costs of doing business. To say that taxes are a legislated cost of doing business is not to say that there should be no taxes. I was really just referring to the basic economic facts. They ARE (a) legislated (b) costs of doing business. Saying that does not express a preference.

          • SkyHunter

            Wages have been a legislated cost of doing business in America since the Civil War.

          • Swood1000

            Were there minimum wage laws during the Civil War?

          • SkyHunter

            Minimum wage laws are not the only wage laws.

            Are you opposed to minimum wage laws?

          • Swood1000

            Minimum wage laws are not the only wage laws.

            What other wage laws were there during the civil war?

          • SkyHunter

            I don’t know that there were any. Not an area of historical interest to me presently. Slaves were not entitled to a wage, although their owner was entitled to compensation for their labor. That is why I mentioned the Civil War.

          • Swood1000

            How would you rephrase “legislated high cost of running a putt-putt business” in order to remove the bias?

          • SkyHunter

            I don’t see an increase in the minimum wage as a legislated cost of running a business, because it isn’t. I don’t think $10.10 an hour is a living wage, but it is closer than $7.25.

            I would set a three or five year goal to raise the minimum wage every 6 months until it is a living wage tied to the cost of living.

            If a business cannot afford to provide it’s working with a living, it has no business being in business.

          • SkyHunter

            Yeah it was, until a few years ago. Now the new meme is CAGW.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            The CAGW meme? Does this line of doubt go something like: a climate sensitivity of 3 degrees Celsius per doubling of CO2 is or is not cause for genuine alarm? Or does the meme flatly deny the above climate sensitivity? Or does the meme have more variety than I’m mentioning?

          • SkyHunter

            Most deniers use a combination, along with all the old talking points as well. Whatever the argument, the result is the same. Keep burning fossil fuels like there is no tomorrow.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            As you have posted prior, the deniers pose the most destructive threat to our survival (or something to that effect; my apologies if I took too much liberty paraphrasing). The result of the continued merchandizing of doubt will in all likelihood be the status quo remaining perforce.

            To change the subject a bit from the direction of ethology to mythology… what do you think of this conjecture from John N. Gray in The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths

            Modern myths are myths of salvation stated in secular terms. What both kinds of myths have in common is that they answer to a need for meaning that cannot be denied. In order to survive, humans have invented science. Pursued consistently, scientific inquiry acts to undermine myth. But life without myth is impossible, so science has become a channel for myths – chief among them, a myth of salvation through science. When truth is at odds with meaning, it is meaning that wins. Why this should be so is a delicate question. Why is meaning so important? Why do humans need a reason to live? Is it because they could not endure life if they did not believe it contained hidden significance? Or does the demand for meaning come from attaching too much sense to language – from thinking that our lives are books we have not yet learnt to read?

            If this is a conversation going sideways that you would not rather have, that’s fine. Just food for thought and rhetorical questions.

          • SkyHunter

            I read a NY times review.

            The ego is the source of the will to live. We are all born egocentric. This egocentrism extends first to family, then community, then to State, Nation, Religion, ideology, sports teams, etc. It is not rational, it is purely emotional, and distorts our ability to reason.

            Humans don’t need a reason to live, until they have grown to contemplate their place in the universe. It is ironic IMO that in order to find reason in the universe, we must first abandon our sense of self. Once we realize it is not about us, we can start to see the universe from a different perspective.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I suspect there are several paths which teach the abandonment of self. An atheism which isn’t humanistic (or perhaps a humanism which is not anthropocentric and anthropotheistic) might be a couple of paths. Can you conceive of a theism in which the abandonment of self is necessitated?

          • SkyHunter

            All of them. Don’t they all ask you to abandon yourself to a higher power?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Some theists teach union with a higher power. Abandonment of self (I’m assuming this sense of self is epiphenomenenal, while for others it’s solipsistic… the only true reality) leaves our cognitive abilities free to contemplate the nature of reality instead of (in addition to?) human nature. As one deeply interested in human ethology I’m not sure if “human nature” is an impediment or a path to abandoning the sense of self. Maybe discussions of human nature are too anthropocentric and lead to subconscious anthropotheism. Very circular :-/

          • SkyHunter

            All lines are circles in infinity.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            And death’s relationship to infinity? One motivated reason for the preservation of the sense of self is that the ego (a part of personal identity? the whole of it?) naturally fears death. Unless there is a meaningful case to be made that we don’t naturally fear what we don’t understand, e.g. mystery, the unknown, the opaque, the abyss. The ego must at least fear ego death. Maybe the ego cannot comprehend the abandonment of the ego self leading to a more full engagement with life.

            I would like Freud to be part of this conversation. (eye roll) That’s being quite foolishly presumptuous :/

          • SkyHunter

            Once we subdue our fear, we can use it as a tool with which to probe our egos.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            True. Fear is disciplined, not eliminated. Bridled and reined for exploration.

            I like this idea about exploration. <blockbusterFriedrich Nietzsche in “Beyond Good and Evil” holds that only a few people have the fortitude to look in times of distress into what he calls the molten pit of human reality. Most studiously ignore the pit. Artists and philosophers, for Nietzsche, are consumed, however, by an insatiable curiosity, a quest for truth and desire for meaning. They venture down into the bowels of the molten pit. They get as close as they can before the flames and heat drive them back. This intellectual and moral honesty, Nietzsche wrote, comes with a cost. Those singed by the fire of reality become “burnt children,” he wrote, eternal orphans in empires of illusion.

          • SkyHunter

            People without fear are not incredibly bright.

            Fortunately the “burnt children” are not as rare as we once were, although the empires of illusion are still there.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            The metaphor of “burnt children” getting too close to the abyss is quite meaningful to me as is this by Nietzsche: “I praise, I do not reproach, [nihilism's] arrival. I believe it is one of the greatest crises, a moment of the deepest self-reflection of humanity. Whether man recovers from it, whether he becomes master of this crisis, is a question of his strength. It is possible….” (Complete Works Vol. 13)

          • Starfire

            “Meaningless! Meaningless!”
            says the Teacher.
            “Utterly meaningless!
            Everything is meaningless.”
            Ecclesiates 1:2

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Vanity… meaninglessness… absurdity. True? Maybe. Maybe not. I think there is meaning to be discovered in even questioning if life is more meaningful or if life is more absurd. Even the question implies something more than vanity.

            Additionally we struggle with the question – “If life and consciousness are evolutionary and emergent in terms of complexity, and assume that the universe is not teleological (def of teleology: the explanation of phenomena by the purpose they serve rather than by postulated causes), then why the abandonment of self? why being? why becoming?” So then we get to question – “If the assumption of a non-teleological universe is correct, then is life and emergent complexity teleology become manifest? Very cool stuff, imo. Not just esoteric philosophizing… but very much empowering. On good days at least when your a moody blues man ;-)

            We are star stuff, Starfire. We are animated star stuff. We are animated star stuff with consciousness, intelligence & rationality (to a degree), awareness. So what now? What’s next? What do we do with it? Let go of it and embrace emptiness, nothingness, the annihilation of the mental ego, the grace of dying. Maybe. You probably have more experience through meditation that you could teach me, than all the words I try to put into context of some higher purpose onward, lower gaze downward. Nietzsche again: “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.”Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146 (1886).

            I like the idea of balance. The middle way. Navigating, negotiating between a life of awareness and the meaning of death. Between anarchy/chaos and stability/order. Between intimacy in relationship and individual isolation. Between community and alienation. Between liberty/freedom and responsibility/ accountability… even (esp?) accountability to powers greater than our present cognitive tools to uncover, discover these powers.

            Thanks for contributing to the conversation, as always. Apologies for the word salad.

          • Starfire

            My goodness, Gary. What a headfull! For a retired postman, and paratrooper, you are incredibly intelligent. Did you teach yourself all this stuff, or do you have a few Master’s degrees you haven’t mentioned?
            I love the Moody Blues.
            from: “Your Wildest Dreams”
            “And when the music plays
            And when the words are
            Touched with sorrow
            When the music plays
            I hear the sound
            I had to follow
            Once upon a time
            Once beneath the stars
            The universe was ours…”
            It is pretty tough for me to quiet my mind no matter what I try. Buddhism is cool, IMO.
            I like what you say about purpose becoming manifest. I would like to think that I can do something to contribute to the good, in this reality, before moving on. Mindlessness can be good too:)
            Weren’t you working on a piece about some sort of Romanticism? The way you can think and write; I’d say go for the book.
            The weather is spectacular here right now.
            Warm and sunny. Harvesting more tomatoes and hot peppers than I know what to do with. Tried making pickled peppers the other day; and used some of my homemade pepper powder to try to keep my neighbour’s cat from using my garden as it’s toilet;)
            Absurd indeed, my friend.
            Anyway, that’s about the best I can come up with here in reply to all of your musings.
            Hope you’re having a great day. Starfire.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            You are really too kind. From “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere”…
            the words that I remember

            From my childhood still are true

            That there’s none so blind

            As those who will not see

            And to those who lack the courage

            And say it’s dangerous to try

            Well they just don’t know

            That love eternal will not be denied

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Breaking down empires of illusion sounds like a life’s work for Aristotle’s magnanimous paragon of virtue (who also happens to be a burnt child). How’s that for irony! http://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/megalopsychos

          • Swood1000

            “…we lack the emotional and intellectual creativity to shut down the engine of global capitalism.”

            This is what concerns a lot of people. That there are those who are a little too willing to shut down the engine of global capitalism primarily because they believe that

            “The human species, led by white Europeans and Euro-Americans, has been on a 500-year-long planetwide rampage of conquering, plundering, looting, exploiting and polluting the earth…”

            Not everybody is on board with this.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Of course not everyone is board with this. Many people worship the cult as part of the cult. And, of course, not everyone is on board with the idea of capitalism as a cult.

          • Swood1000

            Are you on board with the idea of capitalism as a cult? What kind of cult?

          • Gary Slabaugh
          • Swood1000

            If there were no climate crisis would capitalism be sustainable?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Excellent question. Get back to me on this one. I’m too tired to get into it tonight

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Your “If” proposition makes a comprehensive critique of capitalism problematic. I do not believe, however, that capitalism is sustainable for ethical reasons. (1) Structural violence http://coldtype.net/Assets.12/PDFs/0812.PinkerCrit.pdf as a response to S Pinker’s use of the term “gentle commerce” to describe capitalism (2) capitalism as legal theft. Labour trading blood, sweat, and tears for a wage which is not a living wage is theft of life. Capitalism can force both wage slavery and peonage. (3) economic stratification as a cause for collapse http://www.ara.cat/societat/handy-paper-for-submission-2_ARAFIL20140317_0003.pdf (4) disaster capitalism http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disaster_capitalism
            This being said, I freely admit that I am both prejudiced for capitalism (“I’ve got mine, Jack” mentality and growing up in middle class America) and prejudiced against it. http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/Einstein.htm

            So in some ways I’m still deciding. That’s why AGW and any future economic response to AGW holds sway.

          • Swood1000

            Many people favor socialism precisely because it removes the potent reward for innovation that capitalism provides. They see human innovation as inherently harmful to the environment or as inherently bringing about human misery. It’s basically the thought that humans are evil but we can hobble their activities with socialism and that’s better than nothing.

            I think that there’s no question that the high standard of living in the world today is the result of free enterprise, and without that we would all have a lower standard of living: fewer types of medications, more people without food, less advanced electronics, etc.

            Nor do I think that a socialist world would be a safer world. Socialist countries can be just as militaristic.

            Frankly, I think the best approach is for the government to intervene the smallest amount possible, consistent with public health and safety and a clean environment.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            If you think “the potent reward for innovation” is limited to the capitalistic economic model you are living in fantasy land. And of course the capitalistic economic model has a huge vested interest in continuing to burn fossil fuels with wild abandon, only thinking of short term profit, staying in denial about the environmental and social costs, and continuing to treat labor and the biosphere and the climate as commodities to be exploited.

            I agree that there is a potent reward for exploitation.

            I decided not to respond to the rest of your post, because you began it with such hyperbole.

          • Swood1000

            If you think “the potent reward for innovation” is limited to the capitalistic economic model you are living in fantasy land.

            What is the potent reward for innovation in the socialist economic model?

            And of course the capitalistic economic model has a huge vested interest in continuing to burn fossil fuels with wild abandon, only thinking of short term profit, staying in denial about the environmental and social costs, and continuing to treat labor and the biosphere and the climate as commodities to be exploited.

            How is the socialist model different with respect to the exploiting of labor and the burning of fossil fuels and other environmental costs?

            I decided not to respond to the rest of your post, because you began it with such hyperbole.

            I don’t think it was hyperbole.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Your beginning statement revealed that you have serious prejudices about socialism. What about “promoting the general Welfare” is not socialistic?

            Innovation can be motivated by the joy of discovery, by the stroke of genius, by the flash of inspiration, by the passion to do good, to make the world a better place. It can be motivated by sacrifice. By the heroic quest. It can also be done for the goal of achieving power, wealth, fame. There are probably other examples which have little to do with reward.

          • Swood1000

            Your beginning statement revealed that you have serious prejudices about socialism.

            I wouldn’t really call them prejudices since that refers to forming an opinion with inadequate information.

            What about “promoting the general Welfare” is not socialistic?

            Promoting the general welfare does not have anything to say about private ownership or redistribution of income.

            There are probably other examples which have little to do with reward.

            Look how innovation exploded in China when they adopted a more capitalistic system. Isn’t it obvious that capitalism supplied a crucial ingredient that had been missing?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Socialism, as I advocate it, concerns itself much more with unearned wealth than with income. Socialism, also as I advocate it, makes distinctions between property rights, private property, and the private ownership of the means of production. Capitalism’s commoditization of labor, theft and murder for profit, treating the environment as a waste dump, and its ability to buy governments make it more of a scourge than a benign force for good in the world.

            As a decently wise person once wrote down long ago “No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (wealth regarded as an evil influence or false object of worship and devotion. It was taken by medieval writers as the name of the devil of covetousness, and revived in this sense by Milton.)”

          • Gary Slabaugh

            China and innovation: ignoring failures while extolling successes is irrational. What did China have prior to the adoption of a more capitalistic model? Central planning. Not a good economic model. The socialism I advocate is egalitarian and involves the primacy of localized planning when pragmatic… such as co-ops.

            The socialism I advocate also has a goal to call a Constitutional Convention to re-write the Law criminalizing financial speculation and tightly regulating corporations for the cause of promoting the General Welfare and reviewing corporate charters looking for corporate malfeasance regularly and granting corporate charters on a temporary rather than (for all practical purposes presently) on permanent bases.

            I hold out for a better economic model than both centralized planning and the social political economic and environmental problems associated with capitalism and corporatism.

            I hope Naomi Klein’s new book wakes people up (1) to the association of concentration of capital in the hands of the few (2) to the necessity of a genuine social movement for economic and environmental and political justice (3) to the status quo perforce making an unsustainable future intolerable from the perspective of the environmental limitations.

            The perspective of the environmentalist with a scientific outlook and a socialistic political vision is a rare one. Maybe doomed by inverted totalitarianism.

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

          • Swood1000

            criminalizing financial speculation

            What sorts of things would be criminalized?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            What things about financial speculation ought NOT be criminalized is the better question. It means divorcing “investment” from “speculation” by law. You have a principled problem with that?

          • Swood1000

            Well, it’s obvious that you have become irritated and that this exchange is not productive. Thanks for your ideas though! Take care.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I’m irritated that financial speculation has become synonymous with investment. I’m not, however, irritated with you or your beliefs, your doubts, your assumptions. After all, they make you who you are and who you are likely to become.

          • Swood1000

            I got the impression that you were irritated because many of my views are directly opposed to yours and you believe so strongly that your views are the only reasonable ones that my objections seem like they must be debaters tricks or slight of hand, lacking any substance and not worth the effort to dispute. Or perhaps when I say that I don’t see anything wrong with financial speculation you find that so incomprehensible that you believe I must just be playing games and not be serious.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I’m irritated with the financializaion of this economy… that high risk financial tools are not being adequately analyzed for their utility nor their integrity… but instead are being pawned off as “investment opportunities” to an unsuspecting and gullible public. I’m dismayed at the abject stupidity of the masses to be able to learn from the mistakes of history. And it grieves me to see the level of self deception in action and at play in financial scheming and government bailouts and austerity measures and a lack of stimulus that would benefit the general welfare instead for the benefit of the crooks and cheats … oh wait… /s the job makers end-/s at the top feeding high on the hog.

            I realize that I have little or nothing to contribute to changing the system other than getting involved with and voting third party, complaining about it online, or trying to organize a mass movement… see how well things turned out for this group who tried to change things for the better. http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/whiterose.html

            I suppose what you see as irritability on my part, I see within myself as a sense of despondency, moodiness, and powerlessness. But your side (or at least the side you are advocating) is winning the hearts and the minds and ensuring the continued success of the status quo… so I suppose that the time for argumentation is over and congratulations are in order. Congratulations on your side’s victory. May you live long and prosper to enjoy the spoils of this assault and conquest of nature unto collapse.

          • Swood1000

            …that high risk financial tools are not being adequately analyzed for their utility nor their integrity… but instead are being pawned off as “investment opportunities” to an unsuspecting and gullible public.

            I actually think that part of the blame for this resides with the movement that encourages people to think that the government will protect them from all evil, or to think that there are laws in place that keep bad things from happening so they don’t have to be wary.

            There are laws to protect people from fraud. There are no laws to protect people from old fashioned bad investments and any suggestion that there are just lulls people into a failure to keep their eyes wide open.

            Somebody has some land that he is selling. Is it likely to go up in value or down? If you choose to invest in that land without understanding the risk or the factors that determine market value, well, a fool and his money are soon parted. I want the government to prevent fraud but I don’t want the government involved in evaluating investment opportunities. Everybody knows that the greater the risk the greater the return. If I choose a greater risk then that’s my business. If I invest without taking steps to discover the risk then that’s my fault.

            My father once bought shares in an old mine that somebody claimed was the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. What chance did he think there was that gold would be found? About as much as the chance you have when buying a lottery ticket. But it was fun to dream, and the guy really was looking for gold there. Should that be illegal just because somebody might invest his life’s savings in such a thing?

            May you live long and prosper to enjoy the spoils of this assault and conquest of nature unto collapse.

            A bit melodramatic, perhaps. I am in favor of sound environmental laws. Respected scientists make a prediction that there is going to be catastrophic warming. Respected scientists disagree. We wait and there is no warming. Given the high cost of the proposed solution I am ready to wait a little longer.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            But your conclusion “We wait and there is no warming” is not physically possible. So either the laws of physics are wrong, or your conclusion needs to be revised. So I question your commitment toward being “in favor of sound environmental laws.” It seems contradictory and dissonant.

            But I have seen a few arguments in the blogs even trying to rewrite the laws of physics (so I generally ignore the blogs which have a pseudo scientific agenda) and on internet commentary attempting to use sophistry to justify denial.

            And the wait-and-see approach makes no sense. If the professional and well-respected scientific opinion was split 50-50 it would probably be acceptable risk management to wait. But with the great weight of respected scientists and scientific organizations expressing conservative concern bordering on outright alarm, the doubtful uncertain deniers must employ other cognitive resources than risk management and scientific opinion to bolster the wait-and-see strategy. Those other cognitive resources are extremely dysfunctional, in my opinion.

            But you can’t teach a person not to be dysfunctional who does not first realize that his/her dysfunctionality is a serious and alarming problem in and of itself. So the global society is facing two serious scientific problems, i.e. climate change due to man-made GHG emissions enhancing the natural greenhouse effect AND the human animal’s propensity to ignore invisible and unpleasant consequences of its own ethology.

            Additionally the financialization of the economy is less about government protection, and more about risky financials being redefined as investments. If you prefer that the ideal of “the general welfare” needs to be replaced with the dominant ethos of “let the buyer beware” as you seem to be arguing I’m not interested in arguing this any further. (I’m assuming at this point that you either lean toward or are an adherent of libertarian Tea Party political and economic theory… correct?)

            Finally, your interpretation of government in general about protecting the people from all evil or to prevent bad things from happening is so illogical it doesn’t warrant a response. It’s an informal logical fallacy of argumentum ad absurdum. I wonder if you have done any reading at all about finance from a negative and critical analytical perspective. I also wonder if you have done any simple cursory reading on differences between speculation and investment. I suspect that you already have established beliefs and opinions which are not going to change even as you engage in argumentation. Or maybe this is me projecting and you are the true radical engaging in free inquiry. No way to know.

            I admit that my disdain for financial speculation is predicated upon my aversion to the service of mammon, def as “wealth regarded as an evil influence or false object of worship and devotion. It was taken by medieval writers as the name of the devil of covetousness, and revived in this sense by Milton.”

            Might as well drop the argument of government and economics at this point. It’s not going to provide any meaningful free open honest exchange of ideas. Just opinion.

          • Swood1000

            But your conclusion “We wait and there is no warming” is not physically possible. So either the laws of physics are wrong, or your conclusion needs to be revised.

            What do you mean it is not physically possible? Are you saying that the theory that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere will bring catastrophic warming is necessarily true, as a law of physics?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            How much enhanced greenhouse effect above and beyond the natural greenhouse effect would be “catastrophic” according to the CAGW denialist sites? Up to 800 ppm CO2? 1200ppm? Above?

          • Swood1000

            So either the laws of physics are wrong, or your conclusion needs to be revised.

            Which of the projections in this graph represent the laws of physics?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I’m pretty sure you can argue for doubt, unscientific uncertainty, denial, the wait-and-see approach still for many years. Just not with me.

          • Swood1000

            And the wait-and-see approach makes no sense.

            Well, what is the IPCC predicting will be the result of the wait-and-see approach? In the final AR5 draft the IPCC cut the 30-year projection to 0.3-0.7 Cº, saying the warming is more likely to be at the lower end of the range [equivalent to about 0.4 Cº over 30 years]. If that rate continued till 2100, global warming this century could be as little as 1.3 Cº. This is not catastrophic. The wait-and-see approach does make sense.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            It makes no sense in light of latent heat (the melting of ice) and what’s happening to the world’s oceans. “Scientists called these effects a “deadly trio” that when combined is creating changes in the seas that are unprecedented in the planet’s history. This is their language, not mine. The scientists wrote that each of the earth’s five known mass extinctions was preceded by at least one [part] of the “deadly trio”—acidification, warming and deoxygenation. They warned that ‘the next mass extinction’ of sea life is already under way, the first in some 55 million years.”

          • Swood1000

            I also wonder if you have done any simple cursory reading on differences between speculation and investment.

            What fault do you find with the arguments made in chapter two of Liberalism?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I’m deeply, deeply distrustful of libertarianism. They may have a few good ideas, but I lack the patience to wade through the garbage to find the coins. Sorry, but I’m not interested in arguing the specific points of political and economic beliefs. I think such arguments don’t change minds but only harden already established positions.

            What do you think is the goal or purpose of such argumentation?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I followed with interest your extended Q&A with theghostofjh at the Common Dreams site. What was your overall impression?

            I realize that you left perhaps frustrated over some lack of answers. If I may be so presumptuous, I’ll try to fill in. You wrote

            … but you won’t give the reason. It almost seems as if you are using some form of reasoning or some code of ethics that is not natural but requires a peculiar religion or mysticism.

            I think this was after discussing psychopathy, individual means of production (i.e. growing corn), and mineral rights on a massive scale. Remember?

            This is simply my personal opinion, so consider the source and take it only for what it’s worth for yourself. I think your questioning will only take you so far. Once a conversation delves into the Q&A about (1) the basic beliefs which form the foundation of an ideology (2) philosophical metaphysics (3) mythology, i.e. the mythos (defined as: a story or set of stories relevant to or having a significant truth or meaning for a particular culture, religion, society, or other group) about a person’s subjective reality in relationship to group psychology… once you get into these areas it’s much more likely to encounter a mutual inability to appeal to logic (that is frequent use of logic to reinforce confirmation bias), increased irrationality, and increased emotional immaturity (usually manifest by an appeal to emotion… and remember an appeal to emotion is only as “good” as the man making the appeal… and how do we discern the “goodness” of men?)

            You are very well informed. You also have some well formed opinions, yet you present yourself as a questioner without the answers and unable to play devil’s advocate with yourself. If this is an honest assessment on my part and yours, would it not behoove you to employ the internal philosophical dialectic as you continue to look for answers? Why the emphasis on the external dialectic, the Q&A with others with whose opinions you disagree? Argument for the sake of… what exactly?

            A very opinionated online acquaintance/friend of mine believes you to be “slimy.” How appropriate of a descriptor, as you forgive the pejorative, do you think that is?

          • Swood1000

            Once a conversation delves into the Q&A about (1) the basic beliefs which form the foundation of an ideology… once you get into these areas it’s much more likely to encounter a mutual inability to appeal to logic.

            I don’t think that’s necessarily true. If I think that a person’s position is flawed or is illogical or does not produce the result he is claiming for it I try to find the point at which his position fails. For example, suppose he says that if person A plants and harvests corn and person B does not, it is unjust that person A has corn and person B does not. Then I expect him to state some rule of justice that supports this. If he is unable or unwilling to do so then that is generally the end of the discussion because the person appears to have no rational reason for his position. If he is able to, then perhaps I will need to rethink my assumptions. Or if he says that any mass process of mining or production is wrong, but won’t explain why. That’s the end of the discussion but only because he will not explain his position.

            Some people don’t want to explain their positions at that level. I think you are one of them, and that’s fine. But there are some people who are willing and able to explain their positions rationally and I like to hear such viewpoints.

            yet you present yourself as a questioner without the answers

            I don’t claim to have the final answers but I certainly have my opinions.

            A very opinionated online acquaintance/friend of mine believes you to be “slimy.”

            Oddly, I think that’s CB’s version of a compliment. The term “slimy” appears to refer to a doubter who has some substance behind his or her opinion. Such a person should know better and so the person must be lying. I think she actually believes that. I don’t know the extent to which CB’s coarseness pre-dated her interactions on these blogs or the extent to which she came by it as a result. It would be amusing absent the pathos. But it’s fine with me if she wants to rant and call me “she” and try to insult me. To me, she’s just some sad crazy lady on the street who shouts at passers-by. How she can think that such juvenile behavior can cause others to have a higher opinion of her is a matter she needs to take up with her therapist.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Well… it’s not exactly logical to believe that what applies to an individual applies to a society. And it’s not logical to hypothesize about mass extraction of minerals by mining which is pollution free. So that’s my take on employing logic to confirm subjective bias, preconceived ideas, and prejudice

          • Swood1000

            Well… it’s not exactly logical to believe that what applies to an individual applies to a society.

            Is it too much to ask that a person with this objection should explain the distinction?

            And it’s not logical to hypothesize about mass extraction of minerals by mining which is pollution free.

            Again, if that is the objection then it should be stated as the objection. Then we could discuss why the mining of ore X necessarily involves pollution. Furthermore, it was the MASS aspect of it that was particularly objectionable. Is it unreasonable to ask why doing something in a MASS way is wrong?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            As I alluded to earlier, getting further into explanations will eventually get you into the mythos, another definition being the set of assumptions and beliefs about something. Such beliefs and assumptions are de facto logically defended as true and meaningful, instead of questioned… in my experience and in my opinion. For your first question, getting into the mythos of individualism vs mythos of the human animal as a social creature first, foremost, absolutely… the end of the Q&A would be both participants defending their respective myths, or useful fictions for the purpose of constructing their personal and group subjective reality.

            For your second question, no it’s neither unreasonable not reasonable. Just like it’s neither reasonable nor unreasonable to assume that doing something in a MASS way is right. It’s mythical.

          • Swood1000

            As I alluded to earlier, getting further into explanations will eventually get you into the mythos, another definition being the set of assumptions and beliefs about something.

            Also known as an axiom: something considered true and for which proof is neither required nor available. That’s fine. But if a person considers his assertion to be axiomatic he should say so. Then perhaps I will give my objections, or examples of situations in which his axiom purports to apply but then there is an absurd result. He may not wish to discuss the matter further, in which case we move on.

            For your second question, no it’s neither unreasonable not reasonable. Just like it’s neither reasonable nor unreasonable to assume that doing something in a MASS way is right. It’s mythical.

            If person says that something is bad then I expect him to tell me the harm that it causes. If he cannot then I assume he has not arrived at his beliefs through a logical process and may not be willing to examine them in that light. That’s fine. Each to his own.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Sure. It may be utilitarian for both of us to acknowledge or believe as axiomatic that going deeply into a belief system or ideology or world picture or personal perspective that one is eventually going to encounter instinct (such as the fight or flight response), deeply personal defensiveness, and the id, as explained by Freud… which he himself acknowledged as mythical… the id knowing nothing of the law of self-contradiction. These inner (and I believe mostly secret) workings of the mind are irrational, logic stupid and insouciant to the normative ethics of good and evil, right and wrong. Just my opinion.

          • Swood1000

            If a person expresses a belief that is irrational then one cannot explore that belief through a logical process, but if that belief will logically lead to a result that the person rejects, then one can point that out to him.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Which is, of course, ignoring the id as described by Freud. And where the ego is, the id will be also. To ignore or deny or doubt the axiomatic nature of the id and instincts… and expect a predominant appeal to reason and logic is irrational.

            That’s the beauty and truth, in my opinion, of the dialectic among rationality, irrationality, and non-rationality.

            41O Attic shape! fair attitude! with brede Of marble men and maidens overwrought, With forest branches and the trodden weed; Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral! 45 When old age shall this generation waste, Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st, ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.’
            http://www.bartleby.com/101/625.html

          • Swood1000

            …but if that belief will logically lead to a result that the person rejects, then one can point that out to him.

            Which is, of course, ignoring the id as described by Freud. And where the ego is, the id will be also. To ignore or deny or doubt the axiomatic nature of the id and instincts… and expect a predominant appeal to reason and logic is irrational.

            Yes, it does ignore a person’s id if one points out that the logical consequences of his statement lead to results that he opposes. It is like saying, “I realize that you believe this with all your being, and that the force of this comes directly from your medulla oblongata and may be too powerful for you to overcome intellectually, but reality exists and in the real world this will be the result, whether you are ready to accept it or not. I have given you a logical argument. You can ignore it, you can wish it otherwise, you can fight it, but it will stand until defeated by a different logical argument.”

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Some people don’t want to explain their positions at that level. I think you are one of them, and that’s fine. But there are some people who are willing and able to explain their positions rationally and I like to hear such viewpoints.

            Such a dialogue or dialectic, in order to work, ought to be a free, open, honest, and mutual exchange of ideas. When the Q&A is one-sided, such as you asking many questions to try to get “answers” while claiming that you only have opinions, it’s not an honest exchange. Additionally, when you are less than forthcoming about directly stating your opinions and answering questions put to you, the the exchange is not mutual. Asking for explanations, while not giving your own, was one of the reasons I have been finding our specific exchange unfruitful.

            Finally, you appear unwilling or unable to question your own assumptions, preconceived notions, beliefs and your own opinions. This is the internal dialectic which is the basis for philosophical and scientific skepticism. (1) Question authority, question established opinion (2) Think for yourself (3) Question yourself. Don’t believe something (or doubt something) just because you want to (4) Follow the evidence. Let the evidence take you where it goes, not where you want it to go. If there is not enough evidence, reserve judgement (5) Remember that you could be wrong.

            You are obviously intelligent, well informed, highly opinionated. But you seem to be engaged in commentary only to examine the perspectives of others, not your own. If you were more forthcoming with putting your own viewpoint under questioning, then the dialectic might be fruitful.

          • Swood1000

            Additionally, when you are less than forthcoming about directly stating your opinions and answering questions put to you, then the exchange is not mutual. …If you were more forthcoming with putting your own viewpoint under scrutiny, cross examination, questioning; then the dialectic might be fruitful.

            I’m sorry if I seemed to evade your questions. I was not aware that I was doing that. Please ask away.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Great. You say you are looking for answers. What is the difference for you between an answer and an opinion? Second question: How would BOTH science-as-epistemics (defined: Epistemics is to be distinguished from epistemology in that epistemology is the philosophical theory of knowledge, whereas epistemics signifies the scientific study of knowledge. Epistemics is also compared to Cognitive Science.) AND science-as-epistemology (defined as the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope. Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.) as conducted by professional credentialed scientists with graduate degrees and above from accredited institutes of higher learning putting together a body of knowledge not be the scientific debate completely separate from those of the public who are only scientifically literate enough to talk among ourselves about what that specific body of knowledge means to us? I recognize that the questions are not easy, but the concepts are not that complicated.

          • Swood1000

            What is the difference for you between an answer and an opinion?

            An answer is a response to a question. An opinion is a belief a person has about something that he considers uncertain.

            “How would BOTH science-as-epistemics (defined: Epistemics is to be distinguished from epistemology in that epistemology is the philosophical theory of knowledge, whereas epistemics signifies the scientific study of knowledge. Epistemics is also compared to Cognitive Science.) AND science-as-epistemology (defined as the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope.”

            This is neither a complete sentence nor a complete question.

            “Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.) as conducted by professional credentialed scientists with graduate degrees and above from accredited institutes of higher learning putting together a body of knowledge not be the scientific debate completely separate from those of the public who are only scientifically literate enough to talk among ourselves about what that specific body of knowledge means to us?”

            This is not a complete sentence and is unintelligible.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Your first answer is a bit problematic. If you ask yourself a question, do you form an answer or an opinion? Are examining answers only from questions you ask of others? Are opinions what you form all on your own, in a vacuum? Define certainty, in the context of what you wrote “An opinion is a belief a person has about something that he considers uncertain” and also in the context of justification of belief referenced below. Definitions/explanations in your own words or paraphrasing is fine.

            I was hoping that you could make the connection between mere opinion and justified belief and where an “answer” might fit in. Maybe this link might help. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_justification

            My second question is an compound question. That is a complete sentence, but I admit the grammar might be incorrect with respect to periods within parentheses. Mea culpa about you finding it unintelligible. I’ll try to break it down.

            It is important to try to understand the science itself as a debate among the scientists (described in my question as “professional credentialed scientists with graduate degrees and above from accredited institutes of higher learning putting together a body of knowledge”) as they try to justify a falsifiable theory. The science itself involves… BOTH the epistemics which I defined thus: “Epistemics is to be distinguished from epistemology in that epistemology is the philosophical theory of knowledge, whereas epistemics signifies the scientific study of knowledge. Epistemics is also compared to Cognitive Science”… AND the epistemology which I defined thus: “[Epistemology is] the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope. Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.)

            Once you understand THIS… scientists are essentially separate from the public (although of course we are all only human… that’s a simple tautology) with respect to a high degree of scientific literacy regarding a specific and disciplined area of knowledge… AND THIS… it’s important to understand both the nature of epistemics and the nature of epistemology from the scientific perspective and the scientifically illiterate perspective and from the perspective of those of us in the middle…THEN it becomes increasingly clear, at least to me, that the scientific debate is in another realm from the public debate. So my question to you was (and if I had the software I would diagram the sentence to show you that it was a complete sentence (although “unintelligible”, if not perfectly grammatically correct with respect to parenthetitical inclusions with periods)… my question to you was asking you if you understood the basic differences between a scientific debate and the public debate. In short, the scientists debate among themselves to formulate a scientific theory, to establish a specific body of knowledge based on the scientific method as epistemics and as an epistemology. Then the public debates among ourselves, depending on individual levels of amateur and layperson scientific literacy, as to what that specific body of knowledge means to us. Again, simple but not especially easy to grasp.

            So my follow up question is “How do you understand the difference between the scientific debate and the public debate?”

            A follow up question from an earlier exchange on this article about an article I posted about “burnt children” to Sky Hunter. You expressed objection to Chris Hedges writing:

            The human species, led by white Europeans and Euro-Americans, has been on a 500-year-long planetwide rampage of conquering, plundering, looting, exploiting and polluting the earth—as well as killing the indigenous communities that stood in the way. But the game is up. The technical and scientific forces that created a life of unparalleled luxury—as well as unrivaled military and economic power for a small, global elite—are the forces that now doom us. The mania for ceaseless economic expansion and exploitation has become a curse, a death sentence.

            How would you reconcile your objection to what Hedges wrote to what Frederic Bastiat, the 19th century economist wrote?

            When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.

            Do you think that both Hedges and Bastiat are suffering/suffered ethical impairment? If so, how and why?

            Are these me asking the right questions?

          • Swood1000

            THEN it becomes increasingly clear, at least to me, that the scientific debate is in another realm from the public debate.

            I don’t agree. Theory: “Medication X cures disease Y.” The public need not have the training to be able to understand the mechanism involved but the public can read the report and form an opinion as to whether a valid experiment was performed and whether the results support the theory.

            Perhaps it would be easier if you showed me a paper expounding a scientific theory that you believe is outside the purview of the non-scientist.

            Then the public debates among ourselves, depending on individual levels of amateur and layperson scientific literacy, as to what that specific body of knowledge means to us.

            Yes the public engages in this debate, as do scientists in their role as citizens.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            A logical argument can stand on its own merit.

            Perhaps it would be easier if you showed me a paper expounding a scientific theory that you believe is outside the purview of the non-scientist.

            Let’s just cut to the chase. It seems as if you want a scientific paper that details the differences between scientific literacy and scientific illiteracy and the spectrum in between? Or maybe a scientific paper that examines in detail the differences between science and pseudo-science? Instead of me looking up such papers, why not examine the logical arguments… unless you cannot appeal to logic because your disagreement is axiomatic.

            Your example about the public forming an opinion vs not having the specialized training is what I meant by an amateur/layperson examining specific and disciplined knowledge for meaning to him/her. Even such meaning is usually explained indirectly… such as through a peer reviewed scientific journal or a scientific study. So thank you for corroborating my argument.

            You appear to be insistent that you believe that there is no essential difference between the science and the public’s understanding of the science, between the debate that creates the science and the public debate about the science. Would you say at this point that your beliefs are axiomatic? If not, how would you justify the belief that there is essentially no difference as being probably true? Anecdotal evidence?

          • Swood1000

            Let’s just cut to the chase. It seems as if you want a scientific paper that details the differences between scientific literacy and scientific illiteracy and the spectrum in between? …how would you justify the belief that there is essentially no difference as being probably true?

            You appear to be saying that there are some questions that the public is not competent to consider. Can you show me a scientific paper, the subject matter of which the general public is not competent to consider meaningfully, and so they have no role in the debate concerning it?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Not my position. I think that members of the public can obtain an inferior degree of scientific literacy below the expertise of the professionals. Only the professionals are able to be credentialed to give “expert testimony.” You do understand the difference between expert testimony and informed opinion?

            It appears to me that you are obfuscating about fundamental differences among (1) highly disciplined and specialized scientific literacy as evidenced by the creation of knowledge by the professionals and (2) laypersons and amateurs who attempt general scientific literacy in order to understand the knowledge and how it is created and (3) scientific illiteracy among the masses.

            If you are not obfuscating, mea culpa.

          • Swood1000

            Not my position.

            What do you mean?You say that there is a class of knowledge that the non-expert has no role in considering. If there is, please supply an example. If that is not what you are saying then please correct me.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I provided an example: the difference between expert testimony and informed opinion. You would only be able to provide expert testimony on global warming if you were a credentialed scientist within that specialized discipline. The only important debate within the science is when expert testimony disagrees and contradicts each other. Then consensus among the experts plays a big role, but not the only role. The credibility and plausibility of an expert out of the consensus ought to be as thoroughly examined as the probability that the consensus of experts giving testimony is erroneous.

            You may have definite informed opinions, but it is a far cry from being able to give expert testimony. You have to pay the price to obtain the necessary credentials. You don’t pay the price, you don’t get the credibility. Any problems?

          • Swood1000

            You overlook that the justice system assigns to the jury, not the experts, the job of determining what the facts are. Under the law, there is no area of knowledge that jurors are considered not qualified to consider. Normally a witness is not permitted to state his opinion but must restrict himself to stating the facts that he knows. The exception is the expert.

            Rule 702. Testimony by Expert Witnesses

            A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if:

            (a) the expert’s scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;
            (b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;
            (c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and
            (d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.

            Experts are permitted if their specialized knowledge will help the jury but it is up to the jury to make the final determination. An expert’s testimony can be challenged as to whether the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data, or whether it is the product of reliable principles and methods, or whether the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case. These are all questions for the jury. In other words, it is not ever assumed that the expert’s opinion is the last word. The law assumes that a jury can understand anything that can be understood. We are all the jury with respect to scientific questions. It is our duty to form an opinion and not to abdicate this responsibility to the experts.

          • Swood1000

            You do understand the difference between expert testimony and informed opinion?

            Yes. I also know that experts can differ and that all scientific areas are not equally difficult to grasp.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            So what is the scientific probability that the expert testimony is scientifically uncertain comparing a climate sensitivity of 1.5 degrees C per CO^2 doubling and a climate sensitivity of 3 degrees per CO^2 doubling? Surely you are not saying (1) that you are expert and informed enough to state your scientific opinion and (2) that this is an easy scientific area to grasp… with climate being a highly complex system.

          • Swood1000

            I am a member of the jury. The question posed to the jury is the effect on the climate of a doubling of CO₂.

            First I would like to have the underlying science explained. I would expect the question to be broken down into its component sub-questions, which will not all be equally abstruse. I would expect to be able to grasp the importance of each sub-question and where it fit into the big picture.

            A good vehicle for explaining the science would be the experts. I would like a diversity of experts to be questioned, each as to the basis for his opinion, and as to points of uncertainty. If the testimony of any expert can be impeached, as for example if he does not have a good reputation in the scientific community, or if he stands to gain from the decision going one way, or for any other reason, I would like to know about that. I would like to hear the experts respond to each other. I would expect there to be many areas of agreement and for the testimony to focus on specific areas of disagreement. If an expert is relying on a theory that recently made predictions that did not come true I would like to know that.

            I think that I would be able to understand the scientific questions and would be able to make a decision based the credibility of the evidence.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I guess you are waiting to have all of this explained to you in terms of “answers.” I suppose you are doing the “wait-and-see” for the science to be explained to your satisfaction before the “answers” can be considered “knowledge,” or justified belief, instead of mere opinion. I opine that you are educating yourself by waiting on others to educate you. What is the source of these “others” who are educating you? Do you think a preponderance of “believers” deserve the same plausibility and credibility as a small minority of “doubters.”

            I read with interest “If an expert is relying on a theory that recently made predictions that did not come true…” and tried to apply it to the theory of evolution. Have we seen speciation occur since Darwin’s theory? If predicted speciation did not occur, that would cast his theory into scientific doubt?

            You wrote: “I think that I would be able to understand the scientific questions and would be able to make a decision based on the credibility of the evidence.” You would also be able to continue to ask for more study, claiming that the evidence was not credible. You could also doubt or deny the answers.

          • Swood1000

            I guess you are waiting to have all of this explained to you in terms of “answers.”

            The point I was making was that each of us should be doing what he can to understand the science and to evaluate the positions. I reject your proposal that we have no business trying to consider scientific questions but should leave it to the experts.

            If predicted speciation did not occur, that would cast his theory into scientific doubt?

            If a scientific theory makes a prediction and the prediction does not come about then either there was an error with the experiment or the theory needs to be revised.

            You wrote: “I think that I would be able to understand the scientific questions and would be able to make a decision based on the credibility of the evidence.” You would also be able to continue to ask for more study, claiming that the evidence was not credible. You could also doubt or deny the answers.

            Well, no, because each juror is required to come up with a verdict, although if the jurors cannot agree this can result in a hung jury. But yes, I could certainly doubt or deny one of the sides.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Yes. “Every claim has a nonzero probability of being true or false (unless its being true or false is logically impossible).

            The scientists are doing the credentialed, professional, plausible (from the justification and falsification perspective) work with respect to physical probability. The hoi polloi are dilly dallying with respect to the logical work of epistemic probability.

            Doubt/denial on the one hand. Belief/acceptance on the other hand. Genuine, true, real, authentic questioners/free inquirers are using both physical probability and epistemic probability to decide upon which hand is most convincing. Unfortunately for me, you have not yet made a very convincing argument that you are freely inquiring. Do I misjudge you?

          • Swood1000

            The hoi polloi are dilly dallying with respect to the logical work of epistemic probability/

            Some of the hoy polloi are doing their best to get to the root of the matter, refusing to just abdicate and accept the mainstream scientific opinion.

            Unfortunately for me, you have not yet made a very convincing argument that you are freely inquiring. Do I misjudge you?

            Why is that unfortunate for you?

            I think you are limited by your belief that any freely inquiring person will necessarily come to the same conclusion that you have come to. Since I have not, you believe that I obviously am not freely inquiring.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            “Refusing to… accept the mainstream scientific opinion” may be and probably is suicidal insanity and an ideological pathology. I believe that it’s much more utilitarian to look at suicidal insanity and ideological pathology from the point of view of physical probability and epistemic probability than to look at the probability that mainstream scientific opinion is being fundamentally in error. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe — “We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.” I suppose in your judgement Goethe was a misanthrope too?

            Your point is well taken that I may be limiting myself to the belief that any freely inquiring person would come to the conclusion that the physical probability based on truthful and credible science-as-epistemology and good science-as-methodology and the epistemic probability based on the consensus of climate scientists acting as human beings overwhelmingly favor a very low degree of uncertainty that AGW is real and that AGW even as described by the IPCC requires immediate, though conservative, economic action.

            (1) Warming of the atmosphere and ocean system is unequivocal. Many of the associated impacts such as sea level change (among other metrics) have occurred since 1950 at rates unprecedented in the historical record. (2) There is a clear human influence on the climate (3) It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of observed warming since 1950, with the level of confidence having increased since the fourth report. (4)IPCC pointed out that the longer we wait to reduce our emissions, the more expensive it will become. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPCC_Fifth_Assessment_Report

            Although I might be wrong, my belief in the robustness of the science and the weakness of the scientifically illiterate hoi polloi is reasonable. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doxastic_logic

          • Swood1000

            Johann Wolfgang von Goethe — “We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.” I suppose in your judgement Goethe was a misanthrope too?

            This statement does not evince hatred or mistrust of humankind.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Nope. I don’t hate or mistrust the insane. I highly doubt that of Hedges or Goethe either.
            “In a mad world, only the mad are sane.” ― Akira Kurosawa
            It’s a koan — “a paradoxical anecdote or riddle, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and to provoke enlightenment.”

          • Swood1000

            “Refusing to… accept the mainstream scientific opinion” may be and probably is suicidal insanity and an ideological pathology.

            Yet again you are announcing that the mainstream scientific report is in error as to the short-term consequences of failing to adopt their suggestions. You really shouldn’t be ignoring them in one breath and touting them in the next. It’s confusing.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Not true. I was not stating that the mainstream scientific report is “in error.” I was simply stating that the conservative approach is not necessarily the most true. Just as there are degrees of certainty and uncertainty, there are degrees of truth and error.

            To be conservative is to make an appeal to logic and consensus, not necessarily truth. Sometimes truth is too painful and reality is too hard. To engage in baby steps in order to let the hoi polloi incrementally disengage from comforting, assuring, satisfying illusion (the brainwashing of propaganda and the pacifying influence of civilization) makes logical and credible sense also.

            Then there is also the concept of psychic numbing… give too much discomforting news, create becoming inured.

          • Swood1000

            “Not true. I was not stating that the mainstream scientific report is “in error.” I was simply stating that the conservative approach is not necessarily the most true. Just as there are degrees of certainty and uncertainty, there are degrees of truth and error.

            To be conservative is to make an appeal to logic and consensus, not necessarily truth.”

            I stand corrected. You didn’t say that the report is “in error.” You said that it is “not necessarily truth.” So you are not accusing the IPCC of an error, but rather of a lie.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Your saying they I’m accusing the IPCC of lying is an example of “black and white thinking” which ignores the statement “just as there are degrees of certainty and uncertainty, there are degrees of truth and error.” Try again.

          • Swood1000

            Try again.

            OK:

            So you are not accusing the IPCC of an error, but rather of intentionally making statements that are other than the truth.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Again, you misrepresent the axiomatic statement “just as there are degrees of certainty and uncertainty, there are degrees of truth and error” by putting these words in my mouth “…[the IPCC is] intentionally making statements other than the truth (emphasis mine).”

            Black and white thinking again. Try again

          • Swood1000

            Try again

            OK

            So you are not accusing the IPCC of an error, but rather of making certain statements and ascribing a higher degree of certainty to them than they actually believed that the statements warranted.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I guess that the IPCC errs on the side of conservatism. My guesses have a near zero impact on both the finalized statements of the IPCC and the internal workings of how those statements are constructed. I readily admit that my guesses are based more on subjective reality and epistemic probability than on objective reality and physical probability. I do believe, however, that a robust case can be made from the objective reality and physical probability perspectives that the ethos of academies, institutions, national and international governmental organizations tend to err on the side of the conservative approach. Do you disagree? If so, why?

          • Swood1000

            Try again

            Maybe this one will do it:

            So you are not accusing the IPCC of an error, but rather of making certain statements that are “not necessarily the most true.”

          • Gary Slabaugh

            That will do, with these important caveats. (1) What is “not necessarily the most true” does not correlate well with what is the most “logical, reasonable or rational” when it comes to (a) an appeal to conservativism and (b) appeasing the powers that be. Caveat #2: While painful reality and hard truths trump satisfying, assuring, comforting illusion; there are some illusions which are simply too unbearable to surrender. We all have comfort zones… from individuals to international organizations… which comfort zones cannot bear too much reality. Even our best science has very little precise to say about the nature of reality in my opinion. That’s part of the human condition/the human predicament too. Do you disagree?

          • Swood1000

            If a person or organization, for political reasons, is willing to make statements in one part of a report that are “not necessarily the most true,” what reason do we have for assuming that the person or organization is not doing the same thing in other parts of the report?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            First of all, I guess it’s not only for “political reasons.” As I wrote earlier… it may very well be logical, rational, reasonable organizational behavior. Second, there can be several complex (but not impossibly complicated) factors for analyzing human behavior from the epistemic probability perspective. Third, and most importantly, for discerning between the science and scientific organizations is much like discerning between the science-as-epistemology and beliefs about the science. That’s a very very important distinction to be made. Allow me to explain it from my perspective if you please.

            Scientific epistemology is vastly superior to epistemic probability because beliefs and biases are held in check by the built in mechanisms of the scientific method, the scientific model. When we are dealing with physical probability as elucidated by the method/the model, objective reality, physical laws, what governs phenomena (external to the subjective self) presents the clearest picture of the workings of Nature. Put simplistically… the evidence really can speak for itself. We really can follow the evidence wherever it leads. The evidence is more powerful than beliefs, preconceived notions, prejudices, etc. (We are still free to ignore the evidence, but the consequences of such cognitive behavior are severe and deadly. We have probably evolved survival instincts to be aware of evidence. Empiricism is probably innate.) Subjective relativism comes in at a far distant “also ran” to evolutionary epistemology.

            That it is a scientific organization, the IPCC, we are talking about, whose goal is organizing a scientific body of knowledge based on authentic scientific research… it’s much much less likely that the fruit of the scientific labor is going to get “spun” for political purposes. Perhaps you see this as me “genuflecting” at the altar of mainstream scientific opinion. I see it as the modest observation of scientific integrity. Perhaps you believe scientific integrity to be mythical.

            My observation that the IPCC has scientific integrity while at the same time erring on the side of the conservative approach may come across as me contradicting myself. I don’t think it’s a logical contradiction. Organizations may err, but that does not mean that they lack integrity. As I mentioned earlier, even the most robust scientific theories probably still contain errors. Does that mean that scientific theories lack integrity? I think not. Such “errors” are probably innate to the human animal. The study of human ethology has probably not caught up with my conjecture as to the whys and the wherefores about organizational behavior being conservative. Perhaps it really does come down to the physical law of the conservation of energy being applied to sociobiology. I don’t know.

          • Swood1000

            So if the IPCC is willing to make statements in one part of a report that are “not necessarily the most true,” do we have any reason for assuming that the IPCC is not doing the same thing in other parts of the report, perhaps appeasing a different interest group?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I’ll be afk for a few days. maybe we can pick it up later. I agree that it can be confusing. But it’s been a good exchange so far. Thanks for the dialogue

          • Swood1000

            OK, take care.

          • Swood1000

            “Are opinions what you form all on your own, in a vacuum? Define certainty, in the context of what you wrote “An opinion is a belief a person has about something that he considers uncertain” and also in the context of justification of belief referenced below. Definitions/explanations in your own words or paraphrasing is fine.”

            An opinion can be an informed opinion or an uninformed opinion. If a person believes something without a rational basis for believing it then we are in the realm of religion. A person is justified in his belief to the extent that logical reasons support it and to the extent that logical reasons opposing it do not exist.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            You say “we are in the realm of religion.” I say we are in the realm of myth. Additionally myth is the common mother of religion, rationality, reason, logic. As for “informed opinion” myth is also how we process information on the most basic level, symbolically/metaphorically through language.

            You dodged on “certainty” in the context of “An opinion is a belief a person has about something he considers uncertain.”

            Are you deliberately moving the discussion away from instincts, the id or do you think such things have no place in the dialogue?

          • Swood1000

            You dodged on “certainty” in the context of “An opinion is a belief a person has about something he considers uncertain.”

            Didn’t I answer it? I said:

            A person is justified in his belief to the extent that logical reasons support it and to the extent that logical reasons opposing it do not exist.

            Certainty would be the extent to which a person thinks that his belief is justified.

            Are you deliberately moving the discussion away from instincts, the id or do you think such things have no place in the dialogue?

            What place do you think they have?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            So “certainty” and “uncertainty” are all relativistic and subordinate to thoughts about one’s beliefs? Sure sounds like mythology to me :-)

          • Starfire

            Hi Gary.
            “Three main players carry all of this drama out:
            Id: The seat of our impulses
            Ego: Negotiates with the id, pleases the superego
            Superego: Keeps us on the straight and narrow.”
            Bearing all of this in mind; how can there be any certainty? Just wondering, my friend :o )
            Quote from: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/understanding-the-id-ego-and-superego-in-psycholog.html
            Best, Starfire.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Certainty and non-scientific uncertainty falls squarely into the domain of myth imo. I do make a hard and fast distinction between science and myth from my reading… but I’m afk for a bit so I cannot quote it at length.

            “… science and myth are not one in the same: their methods are different, and so are the needs they serve. But science and myth are alike in being makeshifts that humans erect as shelters from a world they cannot know. The hard and fast distinction between science and other modes of thought that Freud wanted to maintain turns out to be blurred and shifting.” from the book “The Silence of Animals” by John N. Gray

          • Starfire

            Thx for this, my friend,
            Myth is like the story we tell ourselves – about ourselves, and they are true in their own way.
            Science, to me, is more like cold, hard reality. (eg; The Sixth Extinction.) Coming soon to a theater near you;)
            re: John N. Gray. Wow. Liked this:
            “We think our actions express our decisions. But in nearly all of our
            life, willing decides nothing. We cannot wake up or fall asleep,
            remember or forget our dreams, summon or banish our thoughts, by
            deciding to do so. When we greet someone on the street we just act, and
            there is no actor standing behind what we do. Our acts are end points in
            long sequences of unconscious responses. They arise from a structure of
            habits and skills that is almost infinitely complicated. Most of our
            life in enacted without conscious awareness. Nor can it be made
            conscious. No degree of self-awareness can make us self-transparent.”

            I am AFK for now too. See ya later, alligator.

          • Swood1000

            So “certainty” and “uncertainty” are all relativistic and subordinate to thoughts about one’s beliefs? Sure sounds like mythology to me :-)

            I don’t even know what that means. Certainty is a measure of the strength of one’s beliefs. Do you disagree with that?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Yes, I disagree that certainty is the measure of the strength of one’s beliefs. I think certainty is an illusion

          • Swood1000

            Suppose I say, “I am certain that I am sitting in this chair.” Would you say that my certainty is an illusion?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            No, that certainty is not illusive, however it is more outside of the discussion parameters than inside. Allow me to explain if you please.

            Is your physical condition dependent on the strength of your belief that you are sitting in a chair? It’s important not to confuse physical/objective probability with epistemic/subjective probability.

            You might do well to familiarize yourself with fuzzy logic and with Bayes’s Theorum. Here is something axiomatic about Bayes’s:

            Every claim has a nonzero probability of being true or false (unless its being true or false is logically impossible). Explanation: “Not only must we be prepared for uncertainty; we must accept that it’s everywhere, differing only in degree. For anything that’s possible could be true. By ‘possible’ here I mean a claim that is possible in any sense at all [emphasis included](as opposed to a claim that islogically impossible), and by ‘probability’ here I mean ‘epistemic probability,’ which is the probability that we are correct when affirming a claim is true. Setting aside for now what this means or how they’re related, philosophers have recognized two different types of probabilities: physical and epistemic. A physical probability is the probability that an event X [is happening.] An epistemic probability is the probability that our belief that X[is happening] is true.”

            From “Proving History: Bayes’s Theorum…” by Richard Carrier.

            I’m modifying his example. For example the probability that I am inventing right now a satellite system which is orders of magnitude more accurate than the global positioning system is very small (since only a very few people have the skill and the resources to make such a claim). But the probability in my belief that “I am in the process of inventing a system orders of magnitude more accurate than GPS” can still be quite high. All it takes is enough evidence. The former is a physical probability (like your example of sitting in a chair); the latter is epistemic probability (or my counter argument of how much is your certainty dependent upon how strong your belief is that you are sitting in a chair). Carrier then goes on to establish the proper relationship between physical and epistemic probabilities in chapter six of the above referenced book. I hope that this has been of help.

            Certainty (apart from logical impossibility) is illusory in the sense that “certainty is zero probability of being true or false.” It’s non-axiomatic.

          • Swood1000

            In the first place the term “certainty” is not a boolean concept. There are degrees of certainty and of uncertainty. If I say I am uncertain about something that does not mean that I do not have the basis for any opinion whatsoever.

            Suppose I say, “I am sitting in this chair.” And suppose that I am in fact sitting in this chair. The epistemic probability, according to your quote, refers to the probability that my belief that I am sitting in the chair is true. This is an objective determination that can be made by another person. It does not depend at all on how strong my belief is. It only depends on the probability that the belief is true. If I am on some medication that causes me to be uncertain whether I am sitting in this chair, but on the whole I believe that I am, my uncertainty has no bearing on another person’s evaluation of the probability that my belief is correct.

            Certainty (apart from logical impossibility) is illusory in the sense that “certainty is zero probability of being true or false.” It’s non-axiomatic.

            Please explain what you mean by this.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Please justify your belief that “certainty is not a Boolean concept.”

            “This is an objective determination that can be made by another person.” Yep. Evidence. Physical probability.

            Agreeing with you that there are degrees of certainty and uncertainty, I’m defining the illusion of certainty as 100% certainty. The claim that 100% certainty has a nonzero probability of being true or false falls into the realm of the logically impossible. That’s axiomatic. Do you wish to argue an axiom that 100% certainty is not logically impossible? If so, we are simply arguing axioms about logic. Why?

          • Swood1000

            Please justify your belief that “certainty is not a Boolean concept.”

            What I meant was that there are degrees of certainty, not just complete certainty and complete absence of certainty.

            …the latter is epistemic probability (or my counter argument of how much is your certainty dependent upon how strong your belief is that you are sitting in a chair).

            What is your point here?

            Agreeing with you that there are degrees of certainty and uncertainty, I’m defining the illusion of certainty as 100% certainty. The claim that 100% certainty has a nonzero probability of being true or false falls into the realm of the logically impossible. That’s axiomatic. Do you wish to argue an axiom that 100% certainty is not logically impossible? If so, we are simply arguing axioms about logic. Why?

            What is the relevance of this?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            The only point and relevance was distinguishing between physical probability and epistemic probability. I assume that you accept these differences. I also assume that we agree that there is a strong correlation between probability and certainty… between low probability and uncertainty.

          • Swood1000

            I also assume that we agree that there is a strong correlation between probability and certainty… between low probability and uncertainty.

            Both high and low probability are correlated with high certainty. There is a low probability that the earth will leave its orbit soon, and high certainty about this.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            “There is a low probability that the earth will leave its orbit soon, and high certainty about this.” Your first phrase is a double negative… “low probability… will leave” = high probability/high certainty… will stay.

            Point? Relevance?

          • Swood1000

            I also assume that we agree that there is a strong correlation between probability and certainty… between low probability and uncertainty.

            You said there is a strong correlation between low probability and uncertainty. I was disagreeing. There is a strong correlation between low probability and certainty.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Right

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I conjecture that the id and instincts (and where the ego is the id will be also) will remain open ended :-)

          • Swood1000

            I conjecture that the id and instincts (and where the ego is the id will be also) will remain open ended :-)

            Nor do I know what that means. What does it mean for the id and instincts to remain open ended?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            You supplied my quote and then added nothing. I included a smiley face because I thought that you intended the subject of the id and instincts to remain open ended.

          • Swood1000

            This was my intended message:

            Nor do I know what that means. What does it mean for the id and instincts to remain open ended?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            The discussion about id, instincts (and “where the ego is the id will be also”) and how such inner workings of the mind are irrational and illogical and mythical will remain open ended as we discuss what is logical and what isn’t.

            Familiar as to what I wrote above about the id… the inner and secretive workings of the mind are logic stupid — “the id, Freud says, knows nothing of the law that forbids self-contradiction” — and are insouciant to the ethics of right and wrong, good and bad. My thinking is when we attempt to appeal to logic to defend or support our most basic beliefs and assumptions… the thinking becomes mythical, not logical. We are only employing logic to support our personal and group mythology. “Freud is the thinker who poses the question: how can modern humans (sic?) beings live without modern myths?” Much of this was my quoting and paraphrasing from John N. Gray’s The Silence Of Animals: On Progress And other Modern Myths pp 103-4

          • Swood1000

            My thinking is when we attempt to appeal to logic to defend or support our most basic beliefs and assumptions… the thinking becomes mythical, not logical. We are only employing logic to support our personal and group mythology.

            Suppose A plants and harvests corn and B does not, causing A to have more corn than B. If somebody says that this is the wrong outcome and that they should have equal amounts of corn at the end of this, then I ask for a statement of the general principle that governs this situation. Are you saying that we are in the area of myth at this point?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Your supposition is too simplistic. Social factors complicate things, but not overly so. Just as climate change is highly complex, but not impossibly so; human ethology is complex, but not impossibly so as to not be able to be studied socially, politically, economically and environmentally. You also are not providing any evidence as to “why” B does not plant and harvest corn, such as a concept of “division of labor” or other social responsibilities. And we also get into the cultural evolutionary mythos of the agricultural revolution and property rights being evidence of “progress” in human history. So “yes” it seems to me that your simple supposition is created in the area of mythos: a set of beliefs or assumptions about something.

            My interactions with ideological libertarians is that they fall back on the mythos that the reason B did not plant and harvest corn is predicated upon B’s laziness, and that the productive ought not support the indolent. Another part of the capitalistic-libertarian ideological mythos is that profit (that mythic primary driver for motivation, volition, intention, ingenuity, innovation) ought to have a much higher priority than the general welfare of labor… that person A (because of the profit motive) has the unalienable right of property to keep and dispose of his harvest of corn with no regulation whatsoever. The libertarian ideology emphasizes the value of individualism in the social order. I’m not saying that such an over emphasis is good or bad. I’m saying it’s part of the mythos of the ideology and, more usually than not, cannot be argued rationally. Why not? Because basic beliefs or assumptions are usually argued from the id or the id-dominated-ego, not from the super-ego in German das Uber-Ich, or “Over-I” which internalizes the constraints of “civilization” and the Over-I which creates, in Bastiat’s words, the legal system that authorizes “civilization” and the moral code that glorifies “civilization.”

            What is the fate of civilization anyway? For Ralph Waldo Emerson “The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.” I suppose in your estimation Emerson was a misanthrope also.

          • Swood1000

            What is the fate of civilization anyway? For Ralph Waldo Emerson “The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.” I suppose in your estimation Emerson was a misanthrope also.

            I don’t know the context of Emerson’s quote, but it certainly doesn’t have the virulence of the Hedges diatribe. It does not seethe with disgust and contempt concerning human history and the likely future, as the Hedges piece does.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Maybe you just do not have enough compassion and empathy for Hedges’ world picture. Walk in his shoes for a time as a seminary graduate, war correspondent, a foreign bureau chief, his extensive coverage the Israeli-Gaza conflict. Take a good hard painful honest reality walk with him through “sacrifice zones” (key words Hedges Sacco days destruction revolt) and then maybe… just maybe…you might have an inkling of “his virulence, his disgust, and his contempt” for the evil he sees.

            Proverbs 8:13 “The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.” Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” You can make the logical and mythic connection.

          • Swood1000

            Take a good hard painful honest reality walk with him through “sacrifice zones” (key words Hedges Sacco days destruction revolt) and then maybe… just maybe…you might have an inkling of “his virulence, his disgust, and his contempt” for the evil he sees.

            But people confronted constantly with evil and violence sometimes tend to develop a worldview that the world is mostly evil and violent. I don’t deny that he has seen plenty. Maybe I would seethe with disgust and contempt if I had been through what he’s been through. But he thinks mankind is hopeless destined to no good, and I disagree.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Your belief about Hedges that “… he thinks mankind is hopeless destined to no good” has not been justified. In fact it’s directly contradicted by his reference to “burnt children.” Try again

          • Swood1000

            The “burnt children” are victims, right? I didn’t say that Hedges hates or distrusts every single person without exception or has compassion for nobody. I was talking about his overall view of mankind.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            The burnt children are NOT like victims; burnt children are more likecosmic heroes. And they represent the counter-culture; the palliative, meliorating, curative society of healers… the antithesis to “an ideological pathology…” and “civilization” as described by Bastiat.

            If you want to see Hedges’ or Goethe’s or Nietzsche’s big picture perspective of their “overall view of mankind”, then a better approach would be to look for thesis/antithesis/synthesis.

          • Swood1000

            You also are not providing any evidence as to “why” B does not plant and harvest corn…

            Correct. The question was limited to the facts stated. To say that we are already in the area of mythology is to say that you expect people to answer this question yes or no but not have any logical reason for their belief. And even if that is the case, perhaps if a logical argument is presented contrary to their stated view they may change their mind.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            We are also in the area of mythology to answer “maybe” when it comes to an overly simplistic supposition. Even “limited to the facts stated” is mythological when interpreting said facts. That’s my basis for myth being the common mother to religion, poetry, art, science. On the other hand it’s of supreme importance to differentiate between religious myth and scientific myth… just as it’s extremely important to differentiate between physical probability and epistemic probability.

            I continue to affirm that making an appeal to logic is also mythological, esp when people are using all their logical faculties to support and defend subjective and epistemic beliefs and assumptions and axioms. Of course you are also correct that people can change their minds. My observation is that logical argumentation mostly results in people becoming more entrenched in their subjective beliefs, assumptions, axioms… instead of being open to change their minds. That’s the human condition/predicament. Or would you disagree?

          • Swood1000

            the mythos that the reason B did not plant and harvest corn is predicated upon B’s laziness, and that the productive ought not support the indolent.

            I think you have it backwards. I think the reason it is A’s corn is that A produced it. It does not have anything to do with B. And, looking at it from the standpoint of society, we want to encourage the planting and harvesting of corn. Perhaps while A was doing this B was growing wheat. Or perhaps B was shoeing horses and being paid by their owners. These are all productive things that society wants to encourage. If B was being indolent he’s not being punished…he’s just not being rewarded.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            You wrote: “I think the reason it is A’s corn is that A produced it. It does not have anything to do with B.” I agree. As I wrote, it goes into the mythos of private ownership.

            And what is the reward for co-operative and altruistic behavior toward the indolent? Is it better to (1) voluntarily share your private ownership of the fruits of your labor or (2)to be coerced to part with a portion of the fruits of your labor (taxes) for the maintenance of an orderly society or (3) create conditions which force you to defend the fruits of your labor from tax collectors and the hungry (through no fault of their own) and the indolent (through their own laziness). This libertarian utopia where there is no coercion and all charity is voluntary is laudable… but utopian nonetheless. I simply see socialism as being more utilitarian and plausible… especially in light of the excesses and failures of the capitalistic model. But this is getting into mythos again, i.e. the set of assumptions or beliefs about something… in this case utopian libertarianism and capitalism and socialism. Trying to look to the future, what does a capitalistic utopia look like to you? I simply see neo-feudalism. Is my vision obscured?

          • Swood1000

            As I wrote, it goes into the mythos of private ownership.

            Is it a mythos if it can be pointed out how it strengthens society? And there are logical reasons why that is good as well.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            It’s mythos when the beliefs and assumptions are interpreted predominantly by the “group of men in society who create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it” for the purpose of spreading the meme about “how it strengthens society.” It conveniently remains in abject ignorance about the mythos about how it harms society… how private ownership results in social decline and disintegration. It ignores structural violence as well. http://coldtype.net/Assets.12/PDFs/0812.PinkerCrit.pdf

          • Swood1000

            It conveniently remains in abject ignorance about the mythos about how it harms society… how private ownership results in social decline and disintegration. It ignores structural violence as well.

            How does private ownership result in social decline and disintegration?

          • Swood1000

            How would you reconcile your objection to what Hedges wrote to what Frederic Bastiat, the 19th century economist wrote?

            Hedges is proposing a specific instance of the general law that Bastiat stated. I disagree that the actions of mankind as a whole can be characterized as Hedges did, although there are certainly instances people acting that way. I disagree that “plunder as a way of life” is a fitting description of the activities of mankind as a whole.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            But your characterization of Hedges writing about “the actions of mankind as a whole” is not logical. Hedges was writing specifically of Europeans, Euro-Americans, and a global elite.

            Would you say your disagreement that “‘plunder as a way of life’ is a fitting description of the activities of mankind” is axiomatic? Are you laboring under the mythos of “gentle commerce”?

          • Swood1000

            Hedges was writing specifically [edited to add] about the leadership of Europeans, Euro-Americans, and a global elite.

            The human species …has been on a 500-year-long planetwide rampage…

            “The human species” is the subject of the sentence. Yes the human species was “led by white Europeans and Euro-Americans.” But it was the human species that has been on a rampage, according to Hedges.

            Would you say your disagreement that “‘plunder as a way of life’ is a fitting description of the activities of mankind” is axiomatic?

            Not at all. I am certainly open to being shown why this is a fitting description.

            Are you laboring under the mythos of “gentle commerce”?

            Not familiar with that mythos.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            The human species has been on a rampage. Do you think that the Holocene extinction has nothing to do with the human animal?http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v471/n7336/full/nature09678.html%3FWT.ec_id%3DNATURE-..

            The human animal as a super predator, plunderer. http://www.ara.cat/societat/handy-paper-for-submission-2_ARAFIL20140317_0003.pdf

            Gentle commerce vs plunder. http://www.globalresearch.ca/reality-denial-apologetics-for-western-imperial-violence/32066

          • Swood1000

            Yes we have made mistakes. We have stopped many of our former ways of doing things after discovering the consequences.

            This description:

            …a 500-year-long planetwide rampage of conquering, plundering, looting, exploiting and polluting the earth…

            was written by a misanthrope, which I am not. Are you?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I emphatically do not share your judgement of Chris Hedges, that he is a hater of mankind and a cynic and avoids human society.

            Such a characterization is like one of your earlier posts: “How she can think that such juvenile behavior can cause others to have a higher opinion of her is a matter she needs to take up with her therapist.”

          • Swood1000

            Such a characterization is like one of your earlier posts: “How she can think that such juvenile behavior can cause others to have a higher opinion of her is a matter she needs to take up with her therapist.”

            CB keeps referring to me as “she” after I have told her twice that the correct pronoun is “he.” Would you call that juvenile behavior?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Yes, I would call that juvenile behavior… just as I would characterize name calling, i.e. “misanthrope” because you do not share his big picture perspective, the “civilized” version of juvenile behavior

          • Swood1000

            A misanthrope is a person who hates or distrusts humankind. Why isn’t that an accurate description of a person who makes this statement:

            “The human species …has been on a 500-year-long planetwide rampage of conquering, plundering, looting, exploiting and polluting the earth…”

            Does this person not distrust the human species?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Distrust goes deeper into the human condition/the human predicament. Read the entire essay of Hedges in the link I posted, instead of quote mining, and get back to me about Hedges distrusting the human species. Hedges seems to trust “the burnt children” and the quest of the burnt children. Is that hatred? Getting into trustworthiness in general is a pretty good topic also.

            You don’t seem to trust the scientific establishment for your own motivated reasons. You appear (in spite of self-contradicting words to the contrary about you being on the jury) for all practical purposes to already have your mind made up… to have already convinced yourself that the scientific establishment have not already arrived at convincing conclusions. You being distrusting, mistrusting of the scientific consensus is evidenced by your “wait-and-see approach” and that the credibility/plausibility of non-scientific doubt, non-scientific denial, and non-scientific uncertainty is justified. You seem to trust the sources of denial etc more than you trust the credibility of the growing body of knowledge and the scientific consensus. Instead of arguing the science with you, because (1)I think that would be futile and (2) I lack the professional expertise and (3) I’m not yet at the place where I can teach the science… I’m more interested in human ethology… in the “whys?” of human behavior. Who we trust, what we trust also gets into motives, intent, volition, faith, hope, world picture, myth.

          • Swood1000

            Hedges seems to trust “the burnt children” and the quest of the burnt children. Is that hatred?

            I do not see any references to “burnt children” in this piece, although I do see a reference to “those we love, including our children…” Reading the entire essay again I can see that it is a diatribe showing no indication that mankind as a whole is anything other than vile and despicable, and showing no hope that mankind is going to do the right thing.

            He sums it up here:

            “This is what anthropologists call an ideological pathology, a self-destructive belief that causes societies to crash and burn. These societies go on doing things that are really stupid because they can’t change their way of thinking. And that is where we are.”

            This is definitely a person who distrusts the human species.

            in spite of self-contradicting words to the contrary about you being on the jury

            How self-contradicting?

            for all practical purposes to already have your mind made up

            No, I would say that I have heard the scientific theory, I have heard from the other side reasons to doubt it and now we are in the experiment phase: will the things that the theory predicts come true? Let’s run the experiment before we say that the theory has been proven. The IPCC is not predicting catastrophe if we don’t implement the proposed changes immediately, there will be extreme consequences if we do, and we can all point to scientific theories that were strongly held by the mainstream scientific community in the past but were later shown to have been wrong, some with very deadly consequences.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            “The IPCC is not predicting catastrophe…” Yes another triumph for conservatism… and appeasement. Appeasement has had a “better” track record of “very deadly consequences” historically than scientific mistakes. I have a high degree of confidence that the epistemic probability and physical probability of your strategy of conservatism, libertarianism, appeasement to the fossil fuel interests, the wait-and see approach and “Let’s run the experiment…” being a successful strategy in terms of sustainability is very, very low. But then again, it depends on what you teleology is, what your motivated reasons are. Frankly in my opinion the strategy is worse than nauseating.

          • Swood1000

            “The IPCC is not predicting catastrophe…” Yes another triumph for conservatism… and appeasement.

            So you believe what the IPCC says except when you don’t? How do you decide which parts you are going to believe? How are you qualified to question any aspect of an official report of the scientific establishment? How can you question part of the report and then turn around and tell me that it’s wrong for me to question any part of the report?

            Frankly in my opinion the strategy is worse than nauseating.

            Did you ever read The True Believer by Eric Hoffer?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            No, I believe that to err on the side of conservative estimates and engage in appeasement is rational and logical on some level and to a certain degree. However, to err on the side of conservative estimates and appeasement might not be truthful. I’m arguing that the IPCC (like any “civilized” governmental, academic, or institutional body) is inherently conservative and appeases the powers that be.

            You asked: “How can you question part of the report and then turn around and tell me that it’s wrong for me to question any part of the report?” I’m not questioning the report, nor qualifications to question the report. I’m making an observation about the ethos of organizations. Ethos: “the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community as manifested in its beliefs and aspirations.” Certain aspects of the truth about the character of a community are non-rational and non-logical. That’s axiomatic. Arguing it can be fruitless. Just as arguing ethics or discernment can be futile. To me the argument goes beyond good and bad; it’s about sanity and madness.

            Many times the conservative approach and the use of conservative language is to make both an appeal to logic and an appeal to consensus. As my friend says, and I believe it to be so, with denial all bets are off. You cannot make a legitimate appeal to logic&rationality, overcoming cognitive dissonance, confronting magical thinking, begging the avoidance of fanaticism; because those deeply mired in denial have their minds made up. E. Hoffer’s The True Believer mentality applies more to those mired in ideological denial that flies in the face of both physical probability and epistemic probability than those on the side that physical probability and epistemic probability estimates have a very low uncertainty value. “Thus, religious, nationalist and social movements, whether radical or reactionary, tend to attract the same type of followers, behave in the same way and use the same tactics and rhetorical tools. As examples, the book often refers to Communism, Fascism, National Socialism, Christianity, Protestantism, and Islam.” Now it appears (unless I infer incorrectly) that you want to conflate social movements with science. That’s a very slippery slope to science denial. I think that you are already there (in the realm of science denial); given your intelligence, your information, and your ability to form extremely coherent opinions and conjectures. FWIW I also think that your strategies (although they are worse than nauseating) are entirely consistent with science denial. Of course, I could be wrong.

          • Swood1000

            I’m not questioning the report, nor qualifications to question the report.

            Yes you are. You are saying “Paragaraph A does not deserve the same credence as paragraph B. In paragraph A they said that X is true but X is not really true.” Unless the authors told you this, you are simply arrogating to yourself the right to disbelieve what the report said was true.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Nope. It has nothing to do with the internal document. You are putting words in my mouth and mind reading. Read what I wrote again in the context of the conservativism of the IPCC based on its ethos.

          • Swood1000

            You said:

            “I’m arguing that the IPCC …appeases the powers that be.”

            You also said:

            “…to err on the side of conservative estimates and appeasement might not be truthful.”

            Therefore, you are saying that the IPCC might not be truthful. Do I have this wrong?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Parsing words. Name any organization, body, individual who is full of truth and 100% integrity.

            Even science itself (the epistemics and the epistemology) is rightly described as questing for truth (not certainty)… but is not claiming to have found unvarnished truth.

            A rational person allows for scientific uncertainty and that even the best of scientific theories probably contain some errors which still need to be worked out. An irrational person (such as yourself I assume) seizes upon scientific uncertainty and trial&error to make the case for himself (for his internally, secretive, hidden motivated reasons) that the fruit of the scientific method is not trustworthy. Such irrationality in an intelligent person I find reason for shame. It’s an embarrassment on the human race.

          • Swood1000

            Name any organization, body, individual who is full of truth and 100% integrity.

            … but is not claiming to have found unvarnished truth.

            A rational person allows for scientific uncertainty and that even the best of scientific theories probably contain some errors which still need to be worked out.

            But we are not talking about a claim to have found unvarnished truth and we are not talking about scientific uncertainty. We are talking about your assertion that the IPCC knowingly made statements asserting them to be true while knowing them to not be true. This is not the kind of behavior that I would expect from a scientific organization.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            You are correct that no one is making a claim for unvarnished truth, but when we dialogue about “truthfulness” we are getting into that fuzzy area between unvarnished truth and being truthful. Get my drift?

            You are correct that we are not talking about scientific uncertainty, which falls much more squarely in the realm of how the scientific method approaches objective reality and physical probabilities. I guess we are talking about epistemic probability and subjective reality.

            You are mistaken, in my opinion, in that you are misstating my case for the organizational conservative approach toward presenting conflicting ideas about degrees of truth. Science is not monolithic, right? This is in the realm of subjective epistemic probability. It’s not black and white. Agreed? Agreeing on language tends to err on the side of the conservative approach when attempting to construct agreeable language with respect to degrees of truth I conjecture. You may conjecture differently. We seem to be able to agree to disagree on this point.

            If “(t)his is not the kind of behavior that I would expect from a scientific organization”… then I conjecture your expectation toward organizational behavior is mistaken, flawed, irrational, illogical.

            As with all, you are entitled to your opinions. I don’t have a problem with you being opinionated. I try to focus on proving that your argument in favor of your opinion is flawed. When I focus on your opinion instead of your argument, please let me know. It’s a logical fallacy that you might be able to see better than me.

          • Swood1000

            You are correct that no one is making a claim for unvarnished truth, but when we dialogue about “truthfulness” we are getting into that fuzzy area between unvarnished truth and being truthful. Get my drift?

            No

            You are mistaken, in my opinion, in that you are misstating my case for the organizational conservative approach toward presenting conflicting ideas about degrees of truth. Science is not monolithic, right? This is in the realm of subjective epistemic probability. It’s not black and white. Agreed? Agreeing on language tends to err on the side of the conservative approach when attempting to construct agreeable language with respect to degrees of truth I conjecture.

            You are trying to recharacterize what is going on here in order for it to seem less objectionable. You say that “This is in the realm of subjective epistemic probability.”

            “Epistemic probability…represents one’s uncertainty about propositions when one lacks complete knowledge of causative circumstances.” https://lsc.cornell.edu/Sidebars/Stats%20Lab%20PDFs/Topic5.pdf

            You are trying to describe this as if there was a difference of opinion as to what the science showed, and that therefore there was a principled scientific compromise whereby all the parties gave a little in order to reach a result that best represented the consensus scientific views of all the participants.

            But that is not the type of compromise you were originally talking about. Originally, you were talking about a political compromise not a scientific one, that from a scientific standpoint the participants knew better, that they signed off on something that the majority of them disagreed with, and that this was not a principled attempt to reach scientific consensus but was rather a “not necessarily the most true” statement that was made part of the report for purposes of appeasement.

            “The IPCC is not predicting catastrophe…” Yes another triumph for conservatism… and appeasement. Appeasement has had a “better” track record of “very deadly consequences” historically than scientific mistakes.

            “I’m arguing that the IPCC …appeases the powers that be.”

            Your assertion was that the IPCC made a statement that was not completely true, that this was appeasement, a type of activity fraught with “very deadly consequences,” and that they did so in order to placate a “the powers that be.” You cannot now recharacterize this as a principled scientific compromise.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            You cannot now recharacterize this as a principled scientific compromise.

            Yes I can and I did. What part of human behavior being complex (but not impossibly complicated [edited to add] so as to be unable to be examined from a variety of scientific disciplines) is being under-represented?

          • Swood1000

            So you think it is “principled” for a scientist to modify what he reports as the results of his study in order to substitute something that was “not necessarily the most true” in order to appease the powers that be?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            First of all is your above hypothetical question is more about epistemic probability than physical probability? If so, maybe the focus ought to shift to physical probability. What is the physical probability of your question being answered in the affirmative? being negated? Based on the mechanisms of the scientific model keeping beliefs and biases in check, modifying the basic research… even for “principled reasons”… would be unethical, and lack scientific integrity. So I would guess that the physical probability of any such modification would be very low.

            Second, the question confuses individual behavior with social/organizational behavior. It also confuses basic research with how research is organized systematically into a body of knowledge. It also confuses the body of knowledge with how the knowledge is presented by an intergovernmental organization to governments with the overall goal of suggesting policy changes. I assert that not all social/organizational language and behavior can be described as political or putting a political spin on things. On the other hand, a reasonable case could be made for all-linguistics-is-symbolically-political as axiomatic. It depends on how broad of a brush you wish to use to define “political.”

            A third aspect of the question is that every scientist knows by axiom that objective reality is not language-dependent. If he modifies the research using language, his research can be easily falsified and his reputation tarnished.

            Fourth, it would probably also be axiomatic that political language appeases the powers that be. And who are these “powers that be”? I used Bastiat for my definition. Would you prefer another? Be my guest.

          • Swood1000

            First of all is your above hypothetical question is more about epistemic probability than physical probability? …Second, the question confuses individual behavior with social/organizational behavior. …It also confuses basic research with how research is organized systematically into a body of knowledge. It also confuses the body of knowledge with how the knowledge is presented by an intergovernmental organization to governments with the overall goal of suggesting policy changes.

            I don’t know what the practical purpose of these questions/statements could be other than obfuscation.

            I assert that not all social/organizational language and behavior can be described as political or putting a political spin on things.

            Yes, but that is how you described this activity:

            “I’m arguing that the IPCC …appeases the powers that be.”

            An appeasement of the powers that be is clearly a political act.

            Appeasement has had a “better” track record of “very deadly consequences” historically than scientific mistakes.

            And possibly criminal as well, according to you.

            A third aspect of the question is that every scientist knows by axiom that objective reality is not language-dependent. If he modifies the research using language, his research can be easily falsified and his reputation tarnished.

            Are you saying that they didn’t do it because it is a bad thing and they might get caught? Who is going to falsify an estimate of climate sensitivity?

            And who are these “powers that be”?

            This was your phrase but I think it can be defined as “The established government or authority.” http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/the-powers-that-be.html

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I answered your question in my first paragraph. My other points were to show my problems with your hypothetical question. If me pointing out what I see as rational problems with your hypothetical is you labeling the attempt “obfuscation” that’s fine. I disagree, but what else is new?

            You wrote: “An appeasement of the powers that be [the established government or authority... according to your definition] is clearly a political act.” Is it? Are not both of us simply corroborating the postulate or axiom that man is a political animal from different perspectives?

            Second, human beings are by nature political animals, because nature, which does nothing in vain, has equipped them with speech, which enables them to communicate moral concepts such as justice which are formative of the household and city-state.

            http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-politics/supplement3.html

            I like Bastiat’s definition of the powers that be better. I think it corresponds more with human ethology, physical probability and objective reality. “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in society (I add – as evidenced by Hedges’ perspective on the European and American-European plunder of the Americas and with that plunder laying the foundation for modern capitalism and its planetary, technological plunder of living nature), over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” The powers that be: (1) plunder (2) legal system (3) moral code.

            You asked: “Are you saying that they didn’t do it because it is a bad thing and they might get caught? Who is going to falsify an estimate of climate sensitivity?” I’m saying they didn’t do it because it violates their ethical commitment to science. I surmise it would violate their professional principles. It’s highly certain scientists don’t modify research because they are afraid of getting caught. Possible though. Your second question is vague. How are you using the term “falsify”? Are you broadening the discussion to how the theory of climate sensitivity is falsifiable?

          • Swood1000

            You wrote: “An appeasement of the powers that be [the established government or authority... according to your definition] is clearly a political act.” Is it? Are not both of us simply corroborating the postulate or axiom that man is a political animal from different perspectives?

            Possibly, but the fact remains that it is unethical to engage in political activities under some circumstances.

            I’m saying they didn’t do it because it violates their ethical commitment to science.

            You said: “I’m arguing that the IPCC …appeases the powers that be.” Are you now saying that the IPCC does not appease the powers that be, or that doing so is not unethical? If the former, what caused you to change your mind?

            Are you broadening the discussion to how the theory of climate sensitivity is falsifiable?

            No, I’m saying that the fear of having their finding falsified was not a deterrent because this finding was expressed as an estimate of the kind that could not be falsified. At most it could be asserted to be less accurate than some other estimate.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            the fact remains that it is unethical to engage in political activities under some circumstances.

            Not when attempting to propose public policy based on an apolitical conservative scientific consensus.

            Appeasing the-powers-that-be has to do with economic considerations which continue to favor capitalism and the plunder which has become the way of life under a global capitalist economic system, the legal system (by which the IPCC is constituted and authorized) which empowers capitalism, and the moral code which glorifies capitalism. I’d be an uninformed fool to submit that any international organization (of scientists or otherwise) is not ethically influenced by the cultural evolution of economics… of which capitalism is presently predominant.

          • Swood1000

            Here’s the view of one group of scientists:

            Professional Wetlands Scientists
            Code of Ethics and Professional Practice

            1.0 In their interaction with the public, a Professional Wetland Scientist or Wetland Professional In Training shall:

            1.3 Accurately and adequately represent the facts and results of investigations and research and not base decisions on theological or religious beliefs, political pressure or client or supervisor pressure.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            No, I don’t suppose the climate scientists have a fundamentally different code of ethics and professional practice.

            If we cut to the chase, then what portion of climate scientists are (1)predicting near term catastrophe [such as geologically abrupt climate disruption driving an extinction level event as a worst case scenario] vs the portion of climate scientists who (2)appeal to avoiding the suffering that will inevitably accompany adapting to a geologically rapidly changing climate vs the climate scientists who (3)appeal to the economic cost of doing nothing compared to the economic cost of mitigation [Economics has to with what exactly scientifically when advocating for mitigation? If you are going to argue for the inevitable suffering which would accompany climate change mitigation right now, prove it. Prove that it's unaffordable.] vs the portion of climate scientists who (4)are advocating plenty of time for mitigation and that spending a lot of money now would have a highly uncertain mitigating effect vs the portion of climate scientists that (5)argue warming is within natural variability and man-made enhanced greenhouse effect is highly uncertain and therefore need not be mitigated… that man-made enhanced greenhouse effect might actually be benign?

            Take a stab at lumping all individual climate scientists together, or even groups of climate scientists depending on their specific disciplines, and rank them according to my arbitrary and general breakdown… 1 thru 5… if you can. Can you? If you can’t, waiting for some hypothetical poll to be taken might justify your wait-and-see approach. But even then, such a poll would hardly be representative of objective reality or physical probability would it? Or do you put your trust and confidence in polling?

          • Swood1000

            Take a stab at lumping all individual climate scientists together, or even groups of climate scientists depending on their specific disciplines, and rank them according to my arbitrary and general breakdown… 1 thru 5… if you can.

            I don’t have to because we are not faced with that question. You are the one who said:

            “I’m arguing that the IPCC …appeases the powers that be.”

            So we are only talking about the IPCC and the scientists who make the decisions there. And we are only considering what to make of the fact that these scientists reported findings, believing them to be not entirely true, in order to appease the powers that be.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            And we are only considering what to make of the fact that these scientists reported findings, believing them to be not entirely true, in order to appease the powers that be.

            You are playing fast and loose with the word “fact.” Re-read my posts. Guesses and conjectures are prominent. Are you being deliberately obtuse?

            “Believing them not to be entirely true” is being conflated with “erred conservatively based on organizational behavior.” Your conflation is irrational. If I conflated them, I’ve modified my position through argumentation. I’ve already argued it. You are committing the Bulverism logical fallacy. Prove my argument faulty as I attempt to justify my opinion instead of focusing on my opinion. Or admit that you are engaging in logical fallacy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulverism

            “In order to appease the powers that be” is axiomatic upon the postulate “man is a political animal.” That has been argued too. Find fault with the argument, not the opinion.

            All of this discussion, from my perspective, has to do with (A) possible catastrophic consequences of inaction and (B) man-made climate change being a consequence of “unsustainable civilization.” The current “civilization model” is empowered by and the status quo maintained by the powers that be. That’s axiomatic. My perspective and opinion is based on “unsustainable civilization.” I can only guess what the overall perspective of the IPCC is in terms of their own human error. If my perspective and opinion is catastrophic climate change is inevitable… but catastrophe is off the table for the IPCC, I can only conclude that my guesses, perspectives, opinions are #1 not scientific or #2 that my understanding of the science is less erroneous than the IPCC. #2 is highly improbable… so #1 must be the correct choice… unless I’m missing something. And I have no problem whatsoever with #1, because I have never claimed to be a credentialed scientist… only an amateur and a layperson.

            You got a problem with any of this?

          • Swood1000

            You are playing fast and loose with the word “fact.”

            Yes, you are correct. I should not have used the word “fact.” After you accused them of reported findings, believing them to be not entirely true, in order to appease the powers that be, I found myself agreeing with you. I was thinking “Supposing we’re right, what conclusions should we draw?” So what I wrote should be revised as follows:

            So we are only talking about the IPCC and the scientists who make the decisions there. And if our supposition is true that these scientists reported findings, believing them to be not entirely true, in order to appease the powers that be, what do we make of that?

            “Believing them not to be entirely true” is being conflated with “erred conservatively based on organizational behavior.”

            Your assertion was that the IPCC made statements that were not completely true, that this was appeasement, a type of activity fraught with “very deadly consequences,” and that they did so in order to placate a “the powers that be.” Now you are proposing that this means the same thing as “erred conservatively based on organizational behavior,” which is of course false. The first assertion described an unethical activity and the modified meaning is not unethical.

            If I conflated them, I’ve modified my position through argumentation. I’ve already argued it.

            Have you modified your position that the IPCC changed their report in order to appease the powers that be? If so, what is your new position and why do you no longer hold the previous one?

            You are committing the Bulverism logical fallacy. Prove my argument faulty as I attempt to justify my opinion instead of focusing on my opinion.

            What is the argument you are referring to?

            Bulverism is a logical fallacy in which, rather than proving that an argument in favour of an opinion is wrong, a person instead assumes that the opinion is wrong…

            The form of the Bulverism fallacy can be expressed as follows:
            ● You claim that A is true.
            ● Because of B, you personally desire that A should be true.
            ● Therefore, A is false.

            How am I committing the Bulverism fallacy? What opinion am I assuming is wrong?

            “In order to appease the powers that be” is axiomatic upon the postulate “man is a political animal.”

            I don’t know what the point here is. Man is a political animal so man does political things? Fine, but in certain circumstances it is unethical to do those things.

            Find fault with the argument, not the opinion.

            Please differentiate the argument from the opinion so that I can be clear what we are talking about.

            If my perspective and opinion is catastrophic climate change is inevitable… but catastrophe is off the table for the IPCC, I can only conclude that my guesses, perspectives, opinions are #1 not scientific or #2 that my understanding of the science is less erroneous than the IPCC. #2 is highly improbable… so #1 must be the correct choice… unless I’m missing something. And I have no problem whatsoever with #1, because I have never claimed to be a credentialed scientist… only an amateur and a layperson.

            But you did not include #3, your original assertion: that the IPCC is engaging in political appeasement. One does not need to be a scientist to understand political appeasement. But your understanding of the science, which is not inconsiderable, did lead you to suspect that initially. My question is: why did you change your mind? What caused you to conclude that it must not have been appeasement?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I asserted an opinion with respect to the IPCC not being willing to assert that AGW is catastrophic. I asserted “a triumph for appeasing the-powers-that-be and conservatism” as a truth or an opinion to which I’m entitled. My rational duty according to deontological ethics and logical argumentation is to back up my opinion or my truth… at least from my understanding of the Bulverism aspect of logical fallacy, your ethical and logical duty is to find where my reasoning is flawed. Perhaps you have correctly pointed out that I’m stating “truths” or asserting opinions from the id, the part of the psyche that knows nothing of right and wrong and that knows nothing of the logical inconsistency of self-contradiction. Assuming that I’m arguing from the id, making an appeal to reason or rationality or logical self-consistency or conscientious integrity is probably a lost cause. Making an appeal to the Over-I is probably a lost cause also, based on my understanding that the Over-I internalizes the constraints of civilization. If I see civilization as more of the problem and less of the solution (and primitivism as being more solution oriented), I’m consciously attempting to minimize the persuasive influence of the Over-I and maximize being instinctual. Sort of like finding my inner wild man. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_John:_A_Book_About_Men

            Anyway, such discussions might shed light on the ethics of science, the ethics of scientists attempting to agree upon the language of consensus, the ethics of an international scientific agency attempting to organize a body of knowledge, the ethics of said body of knowledge attempting to promote a public policy action plan… or such discussions might provide very little in terms of enlightenment. I don’t know.

            I don’t think that apolitical scientific conservatism or apolitical scientific appeasement to civil governing authority is an example of “politically unethical behavior.” In some cases it simply is human beings acting human. In this case it is science playing an advisory role, not a legislating or a dictatorial role. If science could dictate ethics, then perhaps science could be more revolutionary than conservative. I don’t know about that hypothetical either.

            In the specific case of AGW being non-catastrophic from the perspective of the IPCC, I only have my own opinions about that conclusion. It very well could be that the professionals and the amateurs who are predicting catastrophe due to unmitigated AGW are not behaving rationally in terms of cognitive science or epistemics. It could be that international scientific and academic governing organizations are inherently apolitically conservative and inherently behave submissively to the cultural powers that be. This is an intriguing question to me. I, being an over-opinionated cuss, have my strong subjective biases. The objective part of me must conclude that the question is open-ended. The objective me says that I don’t have a highly certain answer or even a probable answer without reasonable doubt… because my empirical information is incomplete. Therefore the better part is to withhold judgement, other than resort to instinctual and subjectively biased opinion-making.

            As always, thanks for the dialogue.

          • Swood1000

            It would be helpful if you could clear up something that I find confusing. I made the following statement:

            “Your assertion was that the IPCC made a statement that was not completely true, that this was appeasement, a type of activity fraught with “very deadly consequences,” and that they did so in order to placate a “the powers that be.” You cannot now recharacterize this as a principled scientific compromise.”

            In reply you quoted “You cannot now recharacterize this as a principled scientific compromise.” and responded:

            “Yes I can and I did.”

            So, you affirmed your view of the matter as appeasement in order to placate the powers that be. Is this view now ‘inoperative’? And you characterized this as “principled scientific compromise.” Do you still consider such conduct to be principled scientific compromise?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Actually the relationship with (1) human behavior and ethical values (even among professional and credentialed scientists) and (2) a scientific agency organizing a body of knowledge for the express purpose of proposing public policy and (3) appeasing the powers-that-be by way of the inherent conservatism of academic/governing organizations is way too complex for my degree of rational awareness. I’d rather conclude that such complexity is simply part of the human predicament. I’m not prepared to discuss it any further without more research on my part. Without more evidence to support my opinions, I’m simply being a poor communicator.

            To me the IPCC is not science and politics acting together in a “superman” fashion and it’s not a nefarious organization working toward a socialist world order. Judging motivation and intent without insight (and how can anyone rationally discuss insight anyway?!) is probably futile. I’d rather just agree to disagree anyway. I’m no longer interested to attempt to use some mythic “superior rationality” on anyone’s part to attempt to pick brains, asking what is believed or doubted, why such things are believed our doubted, and then rationally arguing justification for what is believed or doubted. I’m simply left questioning and following the evidence when it rationally follows that insufficient experiential data is available. Reserving judgement is the better course presently. Cheers.

            I hope that you can find others online who have a better understanding and better communication ability. Thanks for the discussion.

          • Swood1000

            Take care.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            You take care too. You have challenged me to be more rational… and for that favor I am very appreciative. I have enjoyed our discussion very much, even more so as I try to remember that there are probably excellent reasons that my mere opinions are wrong. Sometimes we learn a lot more from being wrong, than from confirming how correct we are. I’m looking forward to continuing to challenge my cognitive biases.

            I was referred to a web site you might enjoy… especially if you like to be intellectually challenged to become even more rationally mature than you are already displaying. Keep well. http://lesswrong.com/

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I would also characterize organizational behavior squarely in the realm of human ethology, which can be studied from a variety of scientific disciples and which is examined by physical probability. NB my third and most important point about science and belief about science above.

          • Swood1000

            Now it appears (unless I infer incorrectly) that you want to conflate social movements with science.

            No, I am saying that many of the supporters of global warming alarmism exhibit traits that Hoffer described.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Baloney. The global warming denialism industry, the merchants of non-scientific uncertainty exhibit the traits of “true doubt”. Are you asserting that true belief and true doubt are essentially different psychologically?

            Don’t you spend even a smidgen of time being exposed to the idiocy and fanaticism being spouted by those who deny science?

            What a hoot! /s Those who have the temerity to associate physical probability and epistemic probability with global warming as explained by science are alarmist fanatics.

            Oh well, if that’s what you really believe there is nothing that I can post, no article that I can link, no argument based on a appeal to logic that I can make which will influence you or persuade you away from your mythos.

          • Swood1000

            To say that someone is a “true believer” is not to say that what he believes in is wrong. Hoffer was describing a set of characteristics often found in adherents to mass movements in general. He did not single out irrational mass movements.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Maybe you re-read the wrong article or I posted the wrong link. Try using the key words “truth out Hedges myth human progress collapse complex societies.” If I posted the wrong link, mea culpa. If you read the correct article, then in your quote mining and your cognitive dissonance you obviously missed this:

            Friedrich Nietzsche in “Beyond Good and Evil” holds that only a few people have the fortitude to look in times of distress into what he calls the molten pit of human reality. Most studiously ignore the pit. Artists and philosophers, for Nietzsche, are consumed, however, by an insatiable curiosity, a quest for truth and desire for meaning. They venture down into the bowels of the molten pit. They get as close as they can before the flames and heat drive them back. This intellectual and moral honesty, Nietzsche wrote, comes with a cost. Those singed by the fire of reality become “burnt children,” he wrote, eternal orphans in empires of illusion.

            Your missed characterization of the author, quoting and paraphrasing Nietzsche, as “definitely a person who distrusts the human species” is characteristic of your personal and group mythos. For me it’s evidence that far from being an “orphan”, you are more a cheerleader in “empires of illusion.”

            Trying to engage in a dialectic with you about mythos and illusion is fruitless from the epistemic probability perspective. You continue believing that making basic societal, political, economic, environmental changes as we are faced with the threat of man-made global warming and the geological history of abrupt climate change is premature. Worse you conflate the physical probability of the scientific consensus being wrong with “… we can all point to scientific theories that were strongly held by the mainstream scientific community in the past but were later shown to have been wrong…” For me this is all intellectual dishonesty in the guise of scientific uncertainty. AKA denial justified by doubt.

            Q: Why do very intelligent, well informed, strongly opinionated persons believe weird things? A: Because human animals are very successful in employing their intelligence, information gathering and opinion-making to (1) confirm their subjective biases and (2) generate evidence that their preconceived notions are the correct pattern recognition and (3) judge that their prejudices are more true than false and (4) justify their cognitive dissonance. Pity.

            As for me being a misanthrope, I too, with Chris hedges, am loyal to the burnt children, eternal orphans in the empires of illusion rather than being loyal to sociopathy, or as Hedges put it in your quote “… what anthropologists call an ideological pathology, a self-destructive belief that causes societies to crash and burn. These societies go on doing things that are really stupid because they can’t change their way of thinking. And that is where we are.”

            Just a parting word of unsolicited advice on the subject… try to check your cognitive dissonance at the door when we post. I don’t appreciate conflating “societies” with the entire species of the human animal.

          • Swood1000

            Maybe you re-read the wrong article or I posted the wrong link.

            It looks like there is more than one version of that essay out there. I was referring to this one: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_myth_of_human_progress_20130113

            …quoting and paraphrasing Nietzsche, as “definitely a person who distrusts the human species”…

            I don’t see how that is a quote or paraphrase of Nietsche.

            Worse you conflate the physical probability of the scientific consensus being wrong with “… we can all point to scientific theories that were strongly held by the mainstream scientific community in the past but were later shown to have been wrong…”

            My intention was simply to explain my disinclination to join you in your genuflection to the scientific mainstream.

            Q: Why do very intelligent, well informed, strongly opinionated persons believe weird things? A: Because human animals are very successful in employing their intelligence, information gathering and opinion-making to (1) confirm their subjective biases and (2) generate evidence that their preconceived notions are the correct pattern recognition and (3) judge that their prejudices are more true than false and (4) justify their cognitive dissonance. Pity.

            Agree completely, but that’s the human condition.

            Just a parting word of unsolicited advice on the subject… try to check your cognitive dissonance at the door when we post. I don’t appreciate conflating “societies” with the entire species of the human animal.

            In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

            How is this an example of cognitive dissonance?

            “We have to readjust our entire civilization to live in a finite world. But we are not doing it, because we are carrying far too much baggage, too many mythical versions of deliberately distorted history and a deeply ingrained feeling that what being modern is all about is having more. This is what anthropologists call an ideological pathology, a self-destructive belief that causes societies to crash and burn. These societies go on doing things that are really stupid because they can’t change their way of thinking. And that is where we are.” http://www.truthdig.com/report/page2/the_myth_of_human_progress_20130113

            If you read it in context, he was referring to a problem with “our entire civilization.”

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I’m pretty sure that the reference I initially made to the Hedges’ article to Sky Hunter which you commented on a couple of weeks ago included the Nietzsche quote, because I blockquoted the quote to Sky Hunter. Regardless of you referencing another version of the essay on truth dig, I deliberately blockquoted the Nietzsche reference and the truth out version of the essay for you. I purposefully quoted Hedges’ quoting and paraphrasing Nietzsche as a contrary argument to your missed characterization of Hedges as a misanthrope. Instead of arguing the merits of the Niezsche quote on the characterization of Hedges not being a hater of the human species and not being distrustful of human beings… you write “I don’t see how that is a quote or paraphrase of Nietzsche.” What?! That’s unintelligible. Or maybe an argument too difficult to follow. If the latter, that’s unfortunate.

            I wrote:

            Your missed characterization of the author [ETA Hedges], quoting and paraphrasing Nietzsche, as “definitely a person who distrusts the human species” is characteristic of your personal and group mythos. For me it’s evidence that far from being an “orphan”, you are more a cheerleader in “empires of illusion.”

            Are you sticking to your story that the “quote or paraphrase of Nietzsche” did not refer to Hedges’ reference to “burnt children.” It’s the burnt children who Hedges is referring to with compassion and empathy. I’m highly certain that this is not the work of a “hater” or someone who universally distrusts human beings.

            I know that Hedges was referring to “our entire civilization.” Are you unaware of “counter culture”? Are you unaware of the antithesis to “ideological pathology that causes societies to crash and burn”? Are you unaware that the “burnt children… eternal orphans in the empire of illusion” are human beings also? Or does your personal mythos not allow you such awareness? (Gosh, perhaps it doesn’t!)

            As for “My intention was simply to explain my disinclination to join you in your genuflection to the scientific mainstream”… your intention mostly places you otherwise. First, by your use of the term “genuflection”, you are parroting the denier meme that “CAGW is a religion.” Secondly your statement of intent (not motive) puts you squarely with science denial… with those who believe that the process of physical probability arrived at by a consensus of professional, credentialed, post graduates from institutions of higher learning … specially disciplined and trained in critical analysis to observe, interpret, and report on physical phenomena… that the process (aka the scientific method) and the result (justified and falsifiable belief) are untrustworthy. Third, the cognitive dissonance is evidenced by while you self-report that the scientific method is credible, you voice doubt unto denial about the results of the scientific method in the guise that the scientific consensus is not evidence for the epistemic probability of low uncertainty. It would be one thing if the science was new, but the science has been around for a couple of hundred years. http://www.skepticalscience.com/two-centuries-climate-science-1.html Also, the accumulation of scientific knowledge is progressive… linear if not exponential in terms of both growth and accuracy. The epistemic probability of you being a denier motivated by non-scientific doubt becomes more highly certain post after post. How have I missed characterized?

            Additional evidence of cognitive dissonance is my observation that you conflate “societies” with the entire species of the human animal. Are you willing to concede that societies do not constitute the entire species of the human animal? If not, are you willing to embrace socialism as the appropriate ideological economic model under these current social conditions or do you still harbor ideological belief in the mythos of rugged individualism and utopian libertarianism? You quoted the Wikipedia article that cognitive dissonance results when “an individual is…confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.” Are you submitting that you are free of cognitive dissonance? Or that a certain amount of cognitive dissonance is part of the human condition? Or are you explaining that when a person conflates “our entire civilization” with “an ideological pathology, a self-destructive belief that causes societies to crash and burn” with “the entire species of the human animal” that said person is not engaging in cognitive dissonance. Btw, this is my usage of cognitive dissonance theory: “According to the theory, human beings do not deal with conflicting beliefs and perceptions by testing them against facts. They reduce the conflict by reinterpreting facts that challenge the beliefs to which they are most attached. As T.S.Eliot wrote in Burnt Norton, humankind cannot bear very much reality.” John N. Gray’s The Silence of Animals p 72. That’s science denial and non-scientific doubt-unto-denial to a T.

          • Swood1000

            I’m pretty sure that the reference I initially made to the Hedges’ article to Sky Hunter which you commented on a couple of weeks ago included the Nietzsche quote, because I blockquoted the quote to Sky Hunter.

            Perhaps if you had resupplied the link I would not have had to Google it, and come up with a different version.

            Your missed characterization of the author, quoting and paraphrasing Nietzsche, as “definitely a person who distrusts the human species” is characteristic of your personal and group mythos.

            You quoted what I said: “definitely a person who distrusts the human species”. I thought you were saying that I was quoting or paraphrasing Niezche. Now I see that “quoting and paraphrasing” referred to “the author” and not to “Your.” It would have been easier to understand without the comma after “author.”

            However, he is just saying that the “burnt children” are victims in “empires of illusion.” To say that someone distrusts mankind is not to say that he is without compassion for certain individual victims of the activities of mankind.

            Third, the cognitive dissonance is evidenced by while you self-report that the scientific method is credible, you voice doubt unto denial about the results of the scientific method in the guise that the scientific consensus is not evidence for the epistemic probability of low uncertainty.

            Look, there is no dissonance in saying (a) I support the scientific method, and (b) I believe that we do not yet have results that will support that theory.

            Additional evidence of cognitive dissonance is my observation that you conflate “societies” with the entire species of the human animal. Are you willing to concede that societies do not constitute the entire species of the human animal?

            Cognitive dissonance refers to holding two conflicting beliefs. I think you are using it to mean “confused thinking.”

            Or are you explaining that when a person conflates “our entire civilization” with “an ideological pathology, a self-destructive belief that causes societies to crash and burn” with “the entire species of the human animal” that said person is not engaging in cognitive dissonance.

            Right, this is not cognitive dissonance. What are the two beliefs here that are causing psychological conflict for the person who holds them both at the same time? Just say “confused thinking” or “improper associations” or “illogic,” if that is the point you are trying to make.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Sure, I could have resupplied the link, or you could have returned to your original objection to Hedges’ article and accessed the link. It was a simple failure to communicate effectively. No harm, no foul.

            I assumed that you could read my comment in context of the preceding discussion about Hedges. My incorrect punctuation causing you difficulty is more my error than yours I guess. Mea culpa

            Where did Hedges make the inference that “burnt children” are victims? Are orphans “victims”? I see burnt children as persevering in the face of tremendous struggle… as cosmic heroes. How else did Hedges describe this counter culture? Artists and philosophers with an insatiable curiosity, a quest for truth, and the desire for meaning. Is this counter-culture best described as “victims”? This reasoning on your part might be irrational, confused thinking, improper association, and illogical.

            I use “cognitive dissonance theory” (perhaps mistakenly, but perhaps correctly) as a catch all term for your terms… “confused thinking” and “improper associations” and “illogic” … along with irrationality due to motivated reasoning and also when facts conflict with beliefs… or when beliefs about facts conflict with beliefs about beliefs.

            You wrote: “Look, there is no dissonance in saying (a) I support the scientific method, and (b) I believe that we do not yet have results that will support that theory.” My reply is that I have reasonable doubt and uncertainty based on epistemic probability that you genuinely support the scientific method. I’m not saying you are intentionally lying or that you are mentally unstable. I postulate (a) that when you demonstrate with (1) your opinions and (2) the quotes you employ about the science in your posting history with me and others that (b) a reasonable case can be made that you are exhibiting denial traits with respect to the validity of the scientific method (a possibly mistaken inference on my part I admit). Then you claim “I support the scientific method.” If (b) is more true than false, then your claim “I support…” is evidence of cognitive dissonance. I’m pretty certain that you may wish to defend yourself that (1) your opinions and (2) the quotations you employ to establish your opinions as reasonable are not part of the scientific denial realm… that empire of illusion.

            Perhaps you really are just a doubter, someone CB claims is swayed by evidence. Maybe your belief about evidence is that the climate scientists needs more and more and more evidence until, according to your subjective biases, clear conclusions can be formed. Perhaps you are using scientific doubt and scientific trial & error to reinforce being a closeted denier. I don’t know. Who can know the secretive, hidden workings of the internal mind anyway?

          • EthanAllen1

            “I recognize that the questions are not easy, but the concepts are not that complicated.”
            Gary Slabaugh

            “Work is love made visible.” KG
            As Usual,
            EA

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Thanks for noticing. Appreciate you!

          • SkyHunter

            At the end of the first pamphlet they seem to be channeling Thoreau.

            “Do not forget that every people deserves the regime it is willing to endure.”

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Tragic

          • Swood1000

            tightly regulating corporations for the cause of promoting the General Welfare

            Tightly regulating how? Just corporations? What about individuals, limited partnerships, trusts, etc?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Capitalism in general and corporate capitalism specifically must needs be addressed by the supreme Law of the land. Regulations are for the Law to work out. I consider the Law an evolutionary epistemology, as science is also an evolutionary epistemology. Separate but overlapping methodologies. A Constitutional Convention would construct a general framework to establish a new supreme law of the land. Then let the law evolve.

            How have our current laws evolved? http://www.princeton.edu/~mgilens/Gilens%20homepage%20materials/Gilens%20and%20Page/Gilens%20and%20Page%202014-Testing%20Theories%203-7-14.pdf

            Why am I even posting this? Do you read to be educated, or do you read to find things to argue about?

          • Swood1000

            concentration of capital in the hands of the few

            What’s wrong with concentrated capital in the hands of a few? If Tiger Woods makes a million dollars in a golf tournament why shouldn’t he be able to keep it?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            What’s wrong with economic stratification? Here is some research material. http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~ekalnay/pubs/2014-03-18-handy1-paper-draft-safa-motesharrei-rivas-kalnay.pdf

          • Swood1000

            In inverted totalitarianism, every natural resource and every living being is commodified and exploited to collapse as the citizenry are lulled and manipulated into surrendering their liberties and their participation in government through excess consumerism and sensationalism.

            It seems that the solution lies only in restricting freedom. If I want to invent a product and sell it do I have to first get a license that the product is “needed” and that I am not manipulating people into excess consumerism? Apart from harm to the environment, what is the harm caused by inverted totalitarianism?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            “Manipulating people into excess consumerism?” The rule of “Let the buyer beware” is deontological ethics at work in your experience? http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-deontological/ Sorry. Philosophy might be above the pay grade of this commentary. Along perhaps with science, politics, economics and history. [Personal query: How old are you?]

            “Apart from harm to the environment, what is the harm caused by inverted totalitarianism?” Read the entire article, paraphrase the worst aspects of inverted totalitarianism, and then get back with me?

            Or have you no problem with slavery, aka “every living being is commodified and exploited to collapse.”

          • Swood1000

            Central planning. Not a good economic model.

            Is it possible to have a socialist system without central planning?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Is it possible for a socialist economic model without centralized planning? Sure. Is it feasible? Look into it.

            As I posted earlier, argue with someone much more thoroughly educated on the subject if you genuinely want to know. The commentator who shows up on common dreams posting as Maxwell is another great apologist for socialism. I can only recommend books, such as “What Every Environmentalist Needs To Know About Capitalism” by Fred Magdoff & John Bellamy Foster.

          • Swood1000

            “What Every Environmentalist Needs To Know About Capitalism” by Fred Magdoff & John Bellamy Foster.

            Thanks. I’ll keep it in mind.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            you are welcome

          • Swood1000

            the social political economic and environmental problems associated with capitalism

            Why would the environmental problems associated with capitalism not be associated with socialism? What are the social, political and economic problems associated with capitalism?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Because socialism has the potential to learn from the inherent problems of capitalism, including not treating the environment as a commodity.

            You ask “What are the social, political and economic problems associated with capitalism?” Have you not read up on these things yourself? I assumed that you were an autodidact. Mea culpa.

            If you are an autodidact instead of a pupil-seeking-a-teacher, then I suggest that you do some extensive reading on your own which critically analyzes capitalism from the perspective of the socialist. Then you are in the position to make an informed decision on which economic model is more utilitarian for our present circumstances.

            Or are you wanting someone who can argue for socialism so that you can argue for capitalism. If you want a really good argument, then I suggest that you go to the commentary on the website common dreams dot com and look up the poster theghostofjh. You’ll get a thorough argument from him for as long as you like, especially since you prefer civility. The poster is plenty educated, very opinionated, very civil, and eager to enlighten.

          • Swood1000

            Thanks! I sent him a post asking for more information about this ideas. Looks like a real firebrand! Always interested in exploring such views.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            We have had our spirited disagreements, but I respect him nonetheless.

          • Swood1000

            (4) disaster capitalism http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki

            Interesting interview along this line:
            Naomi Klein: Big Green is in denial

          • Gary Slabaugh

            The biggest denial is an unsustainable future without a comprehensive, effective, substantial social, political, economic, environmental paradigm shift. I’m skeptical about human ethology taking up the tasks.

          • Swood1000

            I don’t think you have a realistic view of the hardship that will be caused by the course you have suggested. If you did, then I think you would demand a little more actual proof that there is in fact an impending disaster.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            And the reports about the increased hardship that will caused by the status quo, too-little-too-late, wait-for-proof while continuing to pump out more GHG emissions are denied and ignored. Why? Because of the denier meme that models are unreliable

          • Swood1000
          • Gary Slabaugh

            According to Plato, discussing five types of regimes – aristocracy (rule by the “best”), timocracy (rule by honor), oligarchy (also called plutocracy – rule by the wealthy), democracy (rule by the masses, the mob), and tyranny – the five regimes progressively degenerate starting with aristocracy at the top and tyranny at the bottom. I like the idea of a meritocracy

          • Swood1000

            Meritocracy means rule by those who merit being rulers? I’m on board with that. But where do we find these people?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            In my political arguments, the genuinely meritorious would measure themselves against the ideal and select among themselves who is the most fit… just as if a natural aristocracy could possible work. The best, the most meritorious would not seek rule, but have it thrust upon them. It would be an honour and a duty to serve for the good of the people… not a desire for power.

            It’s nonsense of course. Fictionally it’s sort of like with the super-heroes. Who watches over the Watchmen? I think one of them said “We need to watch over ourselves.” Non-fictionally it’s sort of like John Adams’ observation that if men were angels there would be no need for governments.

            So then we can look into the better angels of our nature vs our inner demons… the human predicament… and get all into social psychology and mental illness. Frankly I’m a traditionalist when it comes to my belief that the human animal is a “cracked vessel.” My hope in luck and contingency is a new and better world.

            I could elaborate on the human condition by quoting some Ralph Waldo Emerson or some Nietzsche about struggle, but it wouldn’t make a difference. But I’ll put in a plug for some good ol’ socialism from the book “What Every Environmentalist Needs To Know About Capitalism” and what needs to be known is that capitalism is not the solution but the problem and “if humanity is going to survive this crisis, it will do so because it has exercised its capacity for human freedom, through social struggle, in order to create a whole new world – in coevolution with the planet.” kindle loc 62

            It’s becoming increasingly clear that in the “social struggle” the political and economic ideological battle lines have been drawn way before the industrial revolution.

            Why am I even writing this?

          • Swood1000

            the genuinely meritorious

            I guess the problem is that people don’t agree on things. What will happen if we do X? What will happen if we do Y? The genuinely meritorious would have to not only be able to accurately predict but would also have to know which values are to be given precedence. A tall order.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            When values are in conflict from an ethical perspective I would encourage synthesis, aka negotiation, dialect. Ideally the Hegelian dialect proposes that a thesis and it’s antithesis can be merged in a synthesis to result in a “higher truth.” Theoretically it would work with less conflicting ethical values as well.

            I think a hierarchy of values is logical also, keeping negotiation in mind. For me the only meta-goal which may or may not be required to be “set in stone” is sustainability from a scientific perspective… unless an even better model for knowledge comes forth from the biological principle identified as “emergent complexity.”

            I don’t put as much stock in prediction as I put in risk assessment, risk management, the precautionary principle more loosely interpreted than strictly… with a degree of prescience based on heuristics (settling for the good enough without holding forth for the optimal much less the perfect).

          • Swood1000

            RPJR, as a political scientist, is only interested in being effective, he has no regard for the truth.

            Is this just another way of saying that you profoundly disagree with him, or do you have an example of him showing disregard for the truth?

          • SkyHunter

            Here is a perfect example of him disregarding the truth.

            He is not interested in communicating the truth here. He is interested in disparaging Hansen.

            He knew that emission scenarios did not begin to diverge significantly until 2000, so there is only a slight difference in forcing from one to the other.

            The real information is in the comments.

          • Swood1000

            Having three credentialed figures who are prominent in the deniersphere as part of the review process will help to diffuse some of the inevitable political blowback when the APS position statement remains relatively unchanged.

            It might not be safe to assume that the APS statement will remain relatively unchanged. Take a look at this WSJ Op-Ed by the Chairman of the APS subcommittee in charge of revising the Climate Change Statement. Some excerpts:

            “We often hear that there is a “scientific consensus” about climate change. But as far as the computer models go, there isn’t a useful consensus at the level of detail relevant to assessing human influences.”

            “Yet a public official reading only the IPCC’s “Summary for Policy Makers” would gain little sense of the extent or implications of these deficiencies. These are fundamental challenges to our understanding of human impacts on the climate, and they should not be dismissed with the mantra that “climate science is settled.”"

            “While the past two decades have seen progress in climate science, the field is not yet mature enough to usefully answer the difficult and important questions being asked of it.”

            “Individuals and countries can legitimately disagree about these matters, so the discussion should not be about “believing” or “denying” the science.”

            Is the APS becoming anti-science?

          • Swood1000

            Nor are there any policy issues at stake over whether or not the earth is 6000 years old. The APS I don’t believe has a position statement on creation vs evolution, but if they do, I am sure they would have included creationists in the review process.

            So you think that creationists were consulted before the APS issued this policy statement, and this one?

          • SkyHunter

            I don’t know. Why don’t you look into it, exhaust all resources, and get back to me with the results.

          • Swood1000

            Somehow it just doesn’t seem likely.

          • Swood1000

            Although if I were betting I might bet that the statement is about to be released and will not go the way that Koonins would prefer.

          • Swood1000

            So can Koonins, in your opinion, still be referenced as a competent and reasonable scientist?

          • Swood1000

            Not impossible as you seem to be implying, but unlikely.

            “Vanishingly small” was not my term. If you don’t disagree with Dr. Collins then you don’t disagree with this term.

          • SkyHunter

            You are splitting hairs. Vanishingly small is not the same as impossible, in fact, it is very similar to unlikely.

          • Swood1000

            OK

          • SkyHunter

            Somewhere in between I would say. If he were being scientific, not just expressing an opinion, he would have given a probability. Because he did not, people can interpret it to mean different things.

            You are just parsing words in order to score an emotional payoff.

            Judging from the historic ENSO index only, I would put the probability of a 20+ year La Nina dominated ENSO at less than 10%. However the historic ENSO record does not record a period where the climate was forced this strongly. Because in the past 2.5 million years the climate has never been forced this strongly except during glacial termination, which is an entirely different steady state climate than the recent climate state. So with this uncertainty in mind I would increase that probability to 10-15%.

          • Swood1000

            You are just parsing words in order to score an emotional payoff.

            I think I am simply insisting on the generally understood meaning of the term, a meaning that you are resisting because of what it is being applied to. Actually, I expected you to reply that Dr. Collins has his opinion but it is not shared by most of his peers. Instead you adopted his term but tried to define it away.

          • SkyHunter

            I never adopted his term. You are parsing again.

            What exactly is it you are hoping to achieve?

          • Swood1000

            I agree that this topic has become tedious.

            I never adopted his term.

            When you said that you do not disagree with him, after he used the term “vanishingly small,” then I concluded that you do not disagree with the term “vanishingly small.” Please strike “adopted” and substitute “did not disagree with.”

            What exactly is it you are hoping to achieve?

            Nothing beyond trying to reconcile and understand what you have said. Every time I think I have it you say something that seems to be inconsistent with what you have said before. And when I point that out you bristle and demand to know my motive.

          • SkyHunter

            Bullshit. I spelled out clearly what I meant many comments ago.

          • Swood1000

            The dictionary definition

          • SkyHunter

            LOL.

            You probably miss the irony here.

            I’m off to volunteer in the park.

          • Swood1000

            You probably miss the irony here.

            It escaped me completely.

          • Swood1000

            OK, I watched the YouTube video. Frankly, the most striking thing to me about it was the absence of any doubt about what “consensus” means. As you know, the skeptics say that they too are among the “97%,” because they say that the polls that are pointed to, such as Cook, included among the “97%” those who agree that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, that we have experienced warming, and that human activities contribute to that warming. But then, they say, this “consensus” is presented as consensus that there is an imminent catastrophe, which is something quite different.

            Are you aware of a study or poll that found a 97% consensus on catastrophic global warming?

          • SkyHunter

            CAGW is not a scientific theory, it is a denier meme. First the deniers argued that global warming was an artifact of the urban heat island effect (UHE). When they could no longer deny that the earth was indeed warming, the argument changed to; the warming is natural, human emissions have no effect. Now it is morphing into; The earth is warming, humans may be contributing, but it won’t be catastrophic. The next evolution of the denier argument will be, OK it is catastrophic, but there is nothing to be done about it.

            Back in the late 80′s and early 90′s when I first heard of global warming, my immediate reaction was that it was another killer bee scare, much ado about nothing. I found the UHE to be a plausible explanation. But then I educated myself, studied physics and the history of the theory with an open mind and realized that the deniers are deliberately lying. They lied about CO2 being saturated, they lied about volcanoes, they lied about the hockey stick, they are lying about the HadCRUT emails, and they are lying about the models.

          • Swood1000

            CAGW is not a scientific theory, it is a denier meme.

            I am not suggesting that it is a theory. I am saying that it is one thing to say that the earth is warming and that man is contributing to this, and it is another thing to say that there is going to be runaway warming, and on which one of these is there 97% consensus?

          • SkyHunter

            The 97% consensus is that the earth is warming and human emissions are the primary cause. That is the definition of AGW.

            CAGW is a subjective not an objective metric, which is why it is unscientific.

            What do you mean by runaway warming?

            That the Earth will become like Venus, or just that possible amplification from other carbon stores, like say clathrate gun in the East Siberian sea.

          • Swood1000

            The 97% consensus is that the earth is warming and human emissions are the primary cause. That is the definition of AGW.

            But the earth can warm a small amount as a result of human activity without any reason to worry. I would like to know the consensus on whether there is reason to worry.

          • Swood1000

            clathrate gun in the East Siberian sea.

            The generally-accepted scientific opinion seems to be that the clathrate gun is not something that we need to worry about.

          • SkyHunter

            Yes it is, but scientific opinion, conservative as it is, changes with new information.

            The Arctic methane data covered on that link is from the last few days.

          • Swood1000

            And the people at Arctic News don’t help their cause by their seeming quickness to find things alarming that most others do not.

          • SkyHunter

            But they do help their cause, they bring more and more people to support their cause. Just like lying about volcanoes emitting more CO2 than humans helps the denier cause. Exaggerating and lying might not do anything for their credibility, but it most certainly helps their cause.

            And since perception is reality in politics, they don’t need credibility.

            Don’t confuse alarmists and deniers with the scientific community. That there is a lot of methane under the sea is a fact. That it is being released at an accelerated rate is a fact. That methane is a potent GHG is a fact.

          • Swood1000

            CAGW is a subjective not an objective metric, which is why it is unscientific.

            Maybe we are using the term differently. To me, AGW includes all warming that is partly caused by human activity. If human activity causes the temperature in the next 100 years to go up by one point this would be AGW, although it’s not something that we want to spend trillions of dollars to try to prevent.

            There is a kind of warming that would be dangerous and destructive, and that we should be willing to spend trillions of dollars to prevent. This is what I think is meant by CAGW.

            Perhaps you believe that there is no such thing as “harmless” AGW because you believe that the effect of the current AGW will be quite severe. But is that belief held by 97% of scientists? That’s my question.

          • SkyHunter

            AGW is anthropogenic global warming, IE human induced global warming.

            It is universally known that disturbance is detrimental to existing life. Life has acclimated to the environment. When you change the environment you stress the life present in the environment.

            Any change in climate is going to be catastrophic since it forces un upheaval as the biosphere responds to the changes.

            I don’t have an answer to your question. If you want an answer then conduct a survey.

          • Swood1000

            Any change in climate is going to be catastrophic since it forces un upheaval as the biosphere responds to the changes.

            But the climate is constantly changing. It has been warming since the end of the last ice age. The biosphere has been responding to changes for billions of years and the result has not always been catastrophic.

          • SkyHunter

            The Earth has been generally cooling for the past 5000 years.

            http://www.realclimate.org/images//Marcott.png

            Where have you been?

          • Swood1000

            Where have you been?

            I just stepped out briefly. The image I had in mind was similar to this one, which seems to be a general warming since the end of the last ice age, and accounting for the rise in the oceans since then.

          • SkyHunter

            That is a schematic, not a proxy reconstruction. Note how smooth the lines are. It is also from the 1970′s, ancient by climate science standards.

            Technically, we are still in an ice age that began two and a half million years ago when Greenland iced over. Some would argue that we have already set up the conditions that will terminate it. The Little Ice Age is a period where negative forcings aligned. The Maunder and Dalton solar minimums occurred, there was an increase in volcanic activity, and CO2 levels dropped 10ppm as the forests in the America’s recovered after the indigenous people were wiped out by European conquest and disease.

          • Swood1000

            The Earth has been generally cooling for the past 5000 years.

            Can we really say that we have a handle on this thing? http://www.news.wisc.edu/23050

          • SkyHunter

            I would believe the proxy evidence over the model assumptions. The Antarctic ice cores, at least before we destroyed the ozone layer, are a good proxy for long term climate trends.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I fully agree. I commend you for taking accountability to thoroughly educate yourself on the subject. You are one of the most balanced and sane voices wrt internet commentary I have come across, not that I’m anyone especially special :-)

          • SkyHunter

            Once I grounded myself in science I could observe human behavior. I am fascinated by how we deceive ourselves. Not just the deniers, but everyone, myself included.

            Our bias even affects our math ability. Mathematical solutions that contradict our beliefs are avoided as readily as any other evidence.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Interesting. I’m too fascinated by motivated reasoning, cognitive dissonance, confirmation bias… all the way to initial assumptions and epistemic/subjective bias. My interest in the psychology is from a philosophical pov, but sometimes I think philosophizing and/or engaging in sophistry as it’s own form of coping against the hard truths and painful reality of existence. FWIW, I’m trying to balance my grounding myself in science with a critical analysis of science-as-ideology. One of my favorite books just read has been “The Science Delusion” by Curtis White. The book description on amazon doesn’t do the book justice imo.

            Fascinating that self delusion even affects mathematical understanding.

            I may have shared this with you prior. If so forgive the redundancy. From the Persian poet Rumi – “Beyond ideas of right doing and wrong doing there is a field. I will meet you there.” Shall we meet there some day?

          • SkyHunter

            I have met quite a number of scientists. The majority I would say are motivated by the belief that we do not understand nature of reality. I mean, the scientific frontier would be rather boring if it were not a great unknown.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I agree. Mystery, even the sense of scientific mystery, is anything but boring. The book by White I mentioned goes into how we human animals see the world metaphorically/symbolically instead of realistically or as you put it, being able to understand the nature of reality. So metaphor becomes a third world picture, in addition to the faith based and the (so called) reality based. Fascinating stuff actually if one is open to questioning the depths of one’s folly.
            This is on my reading list too. Have you heard of it? You probably already understand the premise. Sometimes just reading the book description is good for ideas http://www.amazon.com/dp/0465085970

          • SkyHunter

            I don’t have time to read books much anymore and it is not as easy to curl up and get comfortable with a book as when I was younger. I do most of my reading online, often with multiple sources for the same subject open at once so I can compare.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I have appreciated reading your dialogues about pastured cattle, the vegan diet, government and economics and (of course) climate science. Is human behavior (ethology and ethics) your favorite subject? What about something more deeply metaphysical and/or historically relative? Time wasters in your opinion.

          • SkyHunter

            I am interested in many subjects, but I can’t ignore the fact that I am living through a geologic event that will stand out in the geologic record for all time. Understanding human behavior is the key to changing human behavior. The addict must first understand the nature of addiction before overcoming it.

            I was trained in martial arts in the 1970′s by Dr. Fred Wu. The first Chinese master to teach in the US for money. I can feel Chi, always could. That said, I am an empiricist. I feel something, but I don’t know what it is, I follow methods of the masters, and even though I get results, I have no empirical explanation, and could attribute most results to other possible factors.

            So I don’t dismiss metaphysics, I even practice some professionally, If I can’t qualify and quantify it, it is still a mystery.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I’m not sure how Qi and Tao are related, but this geological and biogenic event human animals are both observing and accountable for is described by Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching: “When man interferes with the Tao, the sky becomes filthy, the earth becomes depleted, the equilibrium crumbles, creatures become extinct.”

            As for addiction, it seems to me that too many humans are addicted to all things “cheap”… polluting on the cheap, cheap water, cheap food, cheap toys, cheap energy, cheap answers, including the cheapening of life itself. We lack the appropriate values. I don’t know how values are empirical. Maybe though I’m being too hard on the species. Maybe this paradigm is simply social conditioning and social conditioning can change. The incentive for change needs to be clarified. Maybe that clarified incentive will be an existential struggle for survival. I just don’t know. (Just writing these words distresses my heart, and how empirical is “writing from the heart”?)

            The mystery for me is “And now what? what’s next?”

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Just to interject… by catastrophic are you predicating it by saying that a 3 degree C increase in warming due to a doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial levels WOULD be catastrophic?
            Does your definition of catastrophic rest on climate sensitivity and feedbacks? Anything catastrophic is in the future, correct?
            AGW theory is based on what is happening today; the future is what MAY happen without mitigation.
            Without mitigation (based on present observations) the options will be adaptation and suffering. Is this “adaptation and suffering” what you mean by catastrophic?
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995507/

          • Swood1000

            Let’s take Richard Lindzen, for example. He says that we can expect about one degree of warming for each doubling of CO₂, and no horrendous feedbacks. His scenario is that it might be a little bit warmer but there are no huge effects from that. No need for adaptation and suffering. This is what I have in mind for non-catastrophic.

            How much direct warming could there be and still be OK? I don’t know, but I would like a consensus poll that distinguishes between those who don’t see a big problem ahead and those who do.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Instead of a consensus poll, a better approach would be a scientific debunking (or challenge if “debunk” is too loaded of a word for you). Or do you not agree? Would you consider a scientific challenge to Lindzen? This link will also link you to other articles. FWIW, I think it’s great that you are educating yourself and testing the ideas. Absolutely great! http://www.skepticalscience.com/Earth-expected-global-warming.htm

          • Swood1000

            I’m fine with a direct debate, where the two participants respond directly to each other. But if A says that what B says is bunk, with no response from B, then that is less valuable to me.

            I think that a consensus poll is useful. But the procedures that have been used in some instances seem to result in a murky understanding of just where those polled stand on the issue: i.e. whether or not there is an emergency situation.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            It would be good then to look at the consensus position among the experts (the climate scientists and those who have logical/reasonable/rational evaluating and critical analytical skills interpreting the conclusions of the climate scientists) especially and most notably with respect to this: climate sensitivity of 3 degrees C per doubling of atmospheric CO2. Especially if you agree that such a climate sensitivity actually IS very, very bad news for the biosphere.

          • Swood1000

            “It would be good then to look at the consensus position among the experts (the climate scientists and those who have logical/reasonable/rational evaluating and critical analytical skills interpreting the conclusions of the climate scientists)…”

            But that’s the question. What is the consensus position on the various questions?

          • Gary Slabaugh

            A direct debate about an interpretation of the science is different from other debates though. As an example a two person debate over whether Jesus of Nazareth was a historical person or whether the character of a messiah figure was constructed from pre-existing myths is fine as a debate. A two person debate about the science of a young earth to conform with biblical literalism vs the science of geology is misleading. It allows the audience of the debate to assume equal credence.

            I think that’s why a thorough understanding of science as an epistemology is so very important. It allows the non-scientist to see the science ITSELF as the scientific debate. How the science is interpreted by non-scientists becomes the initial public debate (or maybe even internal debate with oneself comes first). Just the way I see it.

            Thanks for letting me interject. Thanks esp for you thoughtful replies.

          • Swood1000

            It allows the audience of the debate to assume equal credence.

            I understand that for purposes of mass media that the media sometimes have to take precautions against leaving the impression that a certain point of view is mainstream when it is not. However for myself, I would prefer to be my own guardian. Let two competent people debate on any issue. I would expect the mainstream side to make that fact quite obvious, along with the reasons for it.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            You wrote: “However for myself, I would prefer to be my own guardian.”
            And that’s what you are doing by questioning authority, testing ideas, questioning yourself about your biases, assumptions, beliefs. I commend you. What is your goal, your end purpose… if I may be so bold as to ask such a personal question?

          • Swood1000

            Just trying to get to the root of the matter.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            So you consider yourself a radical (from the Latin radix=root), unless I’m taking the etymology of the word to an extreme. :-)

          • Swood1000

            !!

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Is !! good?

          • Swood1000

            !! is for things that exceed the capacity of the language for expression.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            Groovy :-)

          • Swood1000

            And frankly, debates between experts, outside of my area of expertise, have limited usefulness to me. I understand some things but there is much that is just over my head. For example, have you ever looked at the actual ingredients of a climate model? Should those particular ingredients and the way they are put together simulate the climate? Next question.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I admit that I do not have a thorough enough understanding of the computer modeling process to really have a good informed opinion. But I’ll give it a shot.

            My limited understanding of climate simulation is that the huge amount of known data which is input (so garbage in, garbage out is an unfair criticism) is questionable… (so it allows genuine skepticism about models ability to predict the future… a tool for which they are not designed… as you said they are a simulation)… questionable compared and contrasted with the huge amount of unknown data. So models must be continually adjusted/improved to add more knowns which theoretically reduces the unknowns. Even climate, as highly complex and chaotic a system as it is, has a limited number of drivers and forcers, right?

            I think the most important thing is that attempts at simulating climate is scientific, in that it is an honest attempt to understand earth systems. Whether or not there is enough computing power to exactly (and I realize that this may be a red herring) simulate something as complex and chaotic as climate is open to question. It may even fall into the realm of artificial intelligence. Your thoughts?

          • Swood1000

            Just trying to make headway, inch by inch. SkyHunter is a great resource, despite his occasional crankiness.

          • Gary Slabaugh

            I agree about SH being a great resource. As for headway, you’re lucky. My incremental progress seems to be micron by micron. But I’m assured by good sources that breakthroughs happen

          • Swood1000

            One of the complaints about the Risbey et al. (2014) paper was that they did not identify the four studies that produced the great results. Perhaps it should be possible to figure it out since they did list the 18 they considered.

            But another complaint was that they picked the four best to show that models do a good job, whereas they could have picked the four worst to show that models do a terrible job. And of the 38 climate models in the CMIP5 archive they picked four, dismissing 89% of the models.

          • SkyHunter

            They chose the models that most closely matched the historical ENSO index.

            Which is the point they are making. Models that reproduce the historical ENSO record, or have the historical ENSO index imposed, reproduce the GMST with greater skill.

          • Swood1000

            “This is not a failure of the model however, since the models were never expected to predict such things.”

            “Because ENSO is the dominant mode of climate variability at interannual time scales, the lack of consistency in the model predictions of the response of ENSO to global warming currently limits our confidence in using these predictions to address adaptive societal concerns, such as regional impacts or extremes…” Guilyardi et al. (2009)

            There are those who say that the utter failure of models to be able to simulate sea surface temperature patterns renders them useless. Risbey et al. (2014) found four that seemed to be able to predict the hiatus, and you (and Risbey) suggest that the problem is simply one of being “in phase with observations.” This implies that the models know what they’re doing when they are “in phase with observations.”

            However, Risbey has been criticized on the grounds that even the four models that supposedly were in phase with observations produced sea surface patterns that, while termed “broadly consistent” with the actual patterns, in reality were not similar at all, and the fact that these models seemed to be able to predict the hiatus is considered