Climategate

By Sean Carroll | December 8, 2009 3:12 pm

I keep meaning to write something substantive about the theft of emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, but my day job does sometime intervene. (Over six hundred postdoc applications in theoretical physics, but not to worry — only about 400 of them are in areas related to my interests.) There are some good discussions at Time and Foreign Policy, and you can’t poke your nose into the science blogosphere without reading someone’s take on the issue.

My own take is: what in the world is the big deal? Indeed, I would go so far as to ask: what could possibly be the big deal? Most of the noise has simply been nonsensical, focusing on misunderstandings of what scientists mean by the word “trick” and similar deep issues. And some people got upset when a dodgy paper was accepted by a journal, and they discussed giving the journal a cold shoulder. Cry me a river.

But I don’t really want to defend the scientists involved, because I’m not informed enough about who they are and what they did. For all I know, they may be very nasty and unethical human beings. (Actually that’s not true; I know Michael Mann, and he’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.) And I see no reason not to do a thorough investigation, and hand out appropriate sanctions if there’s real evidence of wrongdoing.

What baffles me is the idea that this changes the conversation about climate change in any way. This isn’t a case like Jan Hendrik Schon, the rogue physicist who rose to prominence on the basis of falsified data, and was later exposed. The job of monitoring the climate is one that has been taken up by more than just one or two groups of people. There have been thousands of peer-reviewed papers that have provided evidence of global warming. Not to mention common sense; when the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has shot up dramatically over the last century, and the temperature has done the same thing, it takes some willful stubbornness to avoid the obvious conclusion. All of the noise we’re hearing about “Climategate” is based on politics, not on science.

And that’s what really puzzles me. I understand the non-scientific motivations of certain climate denialists; in the abstract, they don’t want to accept that the unfettered actions of capitalism can ever have any deleterious effects, and in the concrete, many of them are paid by oil companies. (See this charming “letter to the American Physical Society,” whose handful of signatories includes “Roger Cohen, former Manager, Strategic Planning, ExxonMobil.”) Those are powerful incentives to ignore the evidence.

But what is the incentive on the other side supposed to be? What exactly is the motivation for the nefarious conspiracy of people who are supposedly plotting to mislead the world about global warming? What do the people counting oysters get out of this?

Are there a lot of people out there who think that scientists as a group (since the vast majority of scientists appreciate the problems of global warming) have knee-jerk reactions against technology and industry? Let me propose another motivation for whatever corners the East Anglia group might have contemplated cutting: they’ve seen the data, they know what’s happening to the planet, and they’re terrified of what the consequences might be. They know that the other side is motivated by non-scientific concerns, and they want to fight back as hard as they can, both for the good of humanity and for the integrity of science. There’s no question that scientists can go overboard, pulling the occasional shenanigans in the pursuit of their less lofty goals. (Like, you know, other human beings.) But nobody wants to believe that we’re facing a looming global ecological catastrophe. They believe it because that’s what the data imply.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Science and Politics
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  • cvj

    It seems they get money to count oysters, to answer your question about what the oyster counters get.

    It seems in general folks don’t describe what hyptheses they are talking about when they use the term “climate change” or “gloabl warming”. Folks labled as “denyers” seem to be argueing over a specific hyothesis, or collection of hypotheses. Not that the Earths climate is changing, to the extent that I read what “denyers” say. In fact, everyone that I talk and read, agrees that the climate is changing, and has always changed.

    What I get the sense of from the CRU emails is that they attempted to hide information covered by an FOI reqest. Oh and they destroyed old data, so you can’t reproduce some of their calculations. The emails themselves should have been released via an FOI, so their leaking to the public via a “hacker” , or insider, isn’t really an issue, that I know of.

    I like to reason about climate hypotheses via the scientific method. So I group things by observations, hypotheses, and experiments conducted to falsify the hypotheses. When I do that, I don’t see many attempts at falsifying some of the hypothese that folks put forward, like that CO2 increases will lead 2 to 11.5 degrees F by 2100. It appears to me that most published research is calculations, aka computer models, and observations. It seems the computer models always predict things that are not observed, at least in part, and so they are not something to take on face value: they need to be falsified via an experiment since they are predicitions.

  • http://www.shaky.com Timon of Athens

    While I agree with your basic point, I feel that some of what you say points to answers to your own questions.

    ” Are there a lot of people out there who think that scientists as a group (since the vast majority of scientists appreciate the problems of global warming) have knee-jerk reactions against technology and industry? ”

    Of course there are, and the fact that you even have to ask the question tells its own story. Most people regard academics as knee-jerk liberals and leftists. We are not a particularly well-trusted group, and many many people think that we would not hesitate to let politics interfere with our research. You can ask whether we deserve such a reputation, but those are the facts.

    A great many people are thinking along these lines: for many years, the left has been declaring that money is bad, consumerism blah blah blah. Global warming looks like a heaven-sent opportunity for the left to get some scientific justification for their moralizing superstitions. It just looks very fishy to a lot of people.

    “They know that the other side is motivated by non-scientific concerns, and they want to fight back as hard as they can, both for the good of humanity and for the integrity of science. ”

    I see. The integrity of science is to be defended by fabricating data. Great.

    I know that the climategate business is a load of nonsense. But it is equally nonsensical to see it as a vast right-wing conspiracy, and in doing so you are just repeating the errors of the denialists. The reason climategate has attracted so much attention is that it confirms the suspicions that a *lot* of people have about academics as a class. And a lot of the blame for that goes to us, for assiduously cultivating an image of being a bunch of people who are very good at finding high-powered excuses for our political delusions.

  • Let them eat French toast

    “But what is the incentive on the other side supposed to be? What exactly is the motivation for the nefarious conspiracy of people who are supposedly plotting to mislead the world about global warming? What do the people counting oysters get out of this?”

    They get jobs. This is not a hard question. If there were not a global crisis, their hype and their money would dry up and they would be like the rest of us, struggling to find a non-academic position for which they have no training or experience, after six years of graduate school and four years of postdoc positions. I would not be surprised to find significant numbers of scientists who have given up on the system that has taken so much of their lives, with nothing to show for it.

  • http://www.patriciashannon.blogspot.com Patricia Shannon

    The greenhouse effects of certain gases including carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor can be demonstrated by scientific experiments in the laboratory. The increasing amounts in the atmosphere can be measured by scientific instruments. The amount caused by human activity can be measured. If the result were not global warming, that is what would be surprising and would need explaining.

  • Sylar

    Your kidding right? Carbon credits – that’s why there is (or might be) a conspiracy. Its easy to sell a lie, just sprinkle in some truth. The Earth goes through cycles, it wasn’t that long ago when there was a mini-iceage – the world didn’t freeze! The Sun isn’t a static force, as we all that plays the biggest part on our weather.

    I’m not denying that spewing CO2 into the atmosphere is bad, very bad – and things need to be done but what is happening is a complete farce! Just because some scientists say its true don’t mean squak to me – where to they get their funding and grant money? Check it, this is all about carbon credits and a new world order.

    I personally do not believe anything about this is even remotely related to reality, its a shame but we are all being manipulated.

    If so much of the ICE is gone than why have no coastlines been affected? By now we should have lost miles of coastline and yet we haven’t lost even inches. The south jersey coastline is getting bigger every year for over 30 years! I own a home in the FL keys for 25 years – zero change, exactly the same.

    The oligarchy took advantage of the weird hurricane season a few years back and pushed this BS agenda further downstream, everyone’s buying it hook, line and sinker so no worries.

    Frankly I am surprised that you asked the question – that hook is hard to get out of your mouth you’ll find out. Did “they” put you up to this? Who are your sponsors? The same puppet scientists that are signing these document and letters are creating things like dark energy and dark matter -:) I’m thinking we have some “dark global warming” happening, you know something that you can infer but can never see or directly measure.

    Sorry everyone, that’s a bit of a rant.

  • Sylar

    What happens when I can’t pay for the carbon I exhale? Maybe Russia will sell me some of their carbon credits -:) Oh yea, this is all real. Sorta like catholics, the more money you give the closer to God you are (or maybe they put in a word for you I forget).

    It would be nice if you did elaborate on the papers, I find it interesting that ANYONE would steal such papers – right? What did the papers represent?

  • Sylar

    Timon I don’t think its as complicated as using this to justify some stance against capitalism, it is in fact a way to leverage that system – in fact it becomes a (yet another) common denominator across all people, countries, etc. Will we have a carbon tax gustapo? Don’t laugh because we will (actually the whole infrastructure is in place already) – controlled by who? you guessed it.

    Your right about scientists and the way people feel, let’s face it scientists are puppets for money – puppets being the nice word to use. First science was filtered by the church, now its filtered by the politicians who are puppets themselves – to the buck. Ugly system it is, that’s why it takes so long to change scientific thinking.

    Russia might (I hope) muck things up enough that the plan can’t be implemented…yet anyway. They have like a trillion carbon tax credits and they want to be able to sell them because carbon put into the atmosphere that is paid for doesn’t hurt the environment. Let’s all hope that Russia is unreasonable and wants to keep their credits – allowing them too would be a pretty clear sign that this is just about money, control and power.

    BTW, I believe the scientists (in general) do believe this $hit – they can be manipulated just like the rest of us.

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  • Jeb

    sylar: as an impartial observer, i cordially invite you to go babble angrily somewhere else.

  • CoolEarth

    jeb I invite you to jump in a globally cold lake. Climate change is simply a means to redistribute wealth on a massive scale. There is simply no justification for all this. Climate change is the biggest fraud ever, but the jig is up the CRU emails prove it. I guess you could say it’s not man made global warming i’m worried about it’s man made-up global warming i’m worried about.

  • Dustin Juliano

    The media has underplayed the word “trick” grossly. I can not believe that people are buying it. No one with any intelligence is going to be convinced that saying “I used the trick […] to hide … data” is some special science lingo–that is preposterous!

    Look, I support taking active steps to work towards climate change, but do not try to hide behind obfuscation to say that there wasn’t clear attempts at hiding and/or misrepresenting a view. Even though my stance is neutral on this issue, what grates me to no end is that people would be convinced that it was a “science trick” and lose sight on the fact that it was, indeed, an attempt to hide data.

    At the end of the day we need to take responsibility for the climate and make adjustments. Why we do it is mostly irrelevant to me. The internal combustion engine and CO2 emitting processes are archaic technologies that are inefficient. From just a strictly common sense approach, switching to cleaner and sustainable energies have mutual benefits for climate and society without any need for an impetus that decries human involvement.

    But I say again, don’t try and hide behind obfuscation or downplay the seriousness of thwarting open scientific inquiry. That is what angers a lot of people. It would be better if people would just own up to it and take the heat and move on.

  • Sam C

    Why do I read comments on climate change articles? It’s always so depressing…

  • http://jinchi.blogspot.com Jinchi

    “I used the trick […] to hide … data”

    Great use of ellipses in that particular quote Dustin.

  • Janne

    Greenhouse effect can be demonstrated in a lab, but the earth is not a clean lab enviroment. The lab doesn’t have vast oceans, a magnetosphere and a biosphere. Earth is a very complex fundamentally unpredictable nonlinear system.

    These discussions never seem to reflect much on actual measured data. I would like to be pointed out to peer reviewed articles backed with measurements concerning CO2 emissions and absorptions by the biosphere and the oceans.

  • Patrick

    Sam, reading the comments is so often a mistake…

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/sean/ Sean

    I’m sympathetic too, Sam. So far we’ve heard “new world order,” “global cooling,” and “Michael Crichton.” It’s a well-oiled noise machine, I’ll give them that.

  • Steven O’Marro, MD, FACP

    Employing fudge factors as REM in Fortran codes, manipulating data to “hide the decline,” “homogenizing” the Australian weather station data, blacklisting colleagues with differing opinions, withholding raw data under request for release by FOIA (both at NASA and CRU), losing raw data such that the above actions are indefensible and conclusions cannot be confirmed by independent observers and making efforts to take over the peer review process is not sound science. Given reliance on this data by parties on both sides of the Atlantic and the obvious biases and intolerance of the investigators, the only thing supported by overwhelming evidence is corruption of the scientific method with the scientist as advocate as opposed to observer. Systematic error is evident in experimental design. No conclusions can be made until science acts independent of advocacy and investigators can review data with transparency on a level playing field without fear of character assassination for the conclusions that they reach. The science needs to be redone…now is not the time to use flawed and biased data to make policy conclusions.

  • improbable

    It does seem pretty obvious that there is “motivated thinking” on both sides. I don’t mean to imply that there is equally much, but to claim that “deniers” are oil-funded and “alarmists” are perfectly neutral seems crazy.

    A friend who is a biologist was explaining just how much it helps you get funding if you can find some way to slip “climate change” into your abstract. Not that anything she’s doing wouldn’t be of interest without it, but still the incentive is there.

    How big a deal “climategate” is doesn’t seem clear yet, to me… of course it’s political, political action (meaning Carbon regulation) is by definition political. Without this, this looming trillion-dollar-question, we could happily sit back and wait for the inevitable progress of science to clean things up.

  • Dave McK

    Let’s bring you up to date, then:
    Jones ‘stepped aside’, Mann ‘under investigation, Gore cancels Copenhagen speech, APA petition demands repudiation of the fraud, senators investigating on the hill…
    The news we all knew is even trickling in to CBS.
    The emails and programmer’s notes reveal the vast context of ten years of intellectual corruption. They were not doing science- they were disgracing it.
    This is proof of fraud:
    http://joannenova.com.au/2009/12/fraudulent-hockey-sticks-and-hidden-data/#more-4660 best aggregation (with reference links)
    http://joannenova.com.au/2009/12/smoking-guns-across-australia-wheres-the-warming/ individual plots of raw australian data. more

    And here is the level of reasoning performed by the warm mongers to maximize their fear franchise:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_9mjBUSDng
    (Good reason to keep kids from watching TV)

    Now, if you want to spend 40 trillion dollars on lightweight, highly reflective Precautionary headgear guaranteed to keep you cool in any weather, I’d like to offer you some precautionary beachfront property in Arizona!

    You know- the globe has been getting warmer, you’re right. That’s why you can plant corn in Iowa and why humans can live in Canada. The glaciers melted. I’ll have more of that, please.

  • tacitus

    Hey Dave, you left out Alex Jones’s rants and Lord Monckton’s ravings. Surely you must have links for those too.

  • Beatnik poet

    “But what is the incentive on the other side supposed to be? What exactly is the motivation for the nefarious conspiracy of people who are supposedly plotting to mislead the world about global warming? What do the people counting oysters get out of this?”

    I’ll admit that the public in general is quite ignorant about the science behind global warming. But this kind of statement shows you to be equally ignorant about what motivates people, and how science gets done. The oyster-counter gets prestige and money by linking her studies to global warming.

    I think this is completely obvious to the average American, and yet you can’t seem even to imagine it. Global warming may be completely obvious to you, but I don’t trust you.

  • Dustin Juliano

    @Jinchi, really? You took the time to comment that I missed a set of brackets? The pettiness would be laughable if it wasn’t so pathetic. Ad hominem satire; you couldn’t troll the logic and reason of my comment, so you went for a typo. What class!

    @Sean,
    I can sympathize, but not all of these comments are terrible. The one from Steven O’Marro was particularly well formed. Climate change aside, biased scientists are doing a disservice to science. Period. I am not interested in the conspiracy theories or other propaganda floating around. It is just a fact that the scientific method works best when we aren’t doubting our own data. The measurements should speak for themselves. I have to ask you, why do you so vehemently defend these points? Why not admit there is bias and intentional misrepresentation and just move on? Notwithstanding forgery, these e-mails are too serious to just explain away.

    Under what circumstances would data need to be suppressed, altered, augmented, or hidden in a manuscript/report/article where the truth is the absolute intention? The only possible answer to this is: none. Primary sources should reflect the highest quality of human knowledge and not be tainted by our personal feelings and whims. Where is the logical positivism in subjectivity?

    I think this issue raises a lot of public interest not because it is about climate change–sure that helps–but the concern of bias. The phrase “publish or die” is no joke in the post-doc life. Individuals working their entire young lives to reach careers in academe are inundated with the impetus to publish, and those in research must get grants and funding. It is common sense, not conspiracy, that some conflict of interest might arise with funding sources and one’s livelihood when that dependency exists–let alone if said funding was significant.

    If these comments depress people, then maybe they have been disillusioned to the reality of how deeply seated the socioeconomic threads are embedded into the fabric of truth we all rely upon for the advancement of science. The data, reports, and studies do not affect decisions that are going to change how someone categorizes some obscure and esoteric sub-field in science somewhere, these are issues that are going to change the geopolitical landscape, permanently. To balk at these objections seems irrational, to me.

    And for the record, I agree that there is a human impact on climate change. I agree that we should take immediate and decisive action. So I am in your corner. What I am not for is the way in which some research had gone about achieving those goals.

  • OXO

    “when the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has shot up dramatically over the last century, and the temperature has done the same thing, it takes some willful stubbornness to avoid the obvious conclusion”

    No it doesn’t. All it takes is an independent mind, free of bias towards other scientists. When the climate guys can tell us what the temperature will be next week, next month, next summer, then maybe we can give credence to their longer term predictions.

    Science isn’t about publishing suppositions like this as proven fact.

  • db

    Lots of leftist politicians are jumping ecstatically at the fact that unfettered actions of capitalism can have deleterious effects, trying to squeeze out of it as much as possible of halted economic growth, economic planning and power to themselves in general.

  • DaveH

    A load of denialist smoke screens, hearsay and misinformation in this thread.

    What the denialists don’t have is any credible science. The Earth is warming. The polar ice is melting. CO2 levels are rising. Sea-levels are rising. The oceans are becoming more acidic.

    If they had the science to back them up, they wouldn’t be picking through one university department’s emails and seizing on whatever they can take out of context.

    http://www.realclimate.org for all the facts
    UK met Office to release global-average temperature data
    A blog by a former climate scientist

    Oh, and OXO (comment #24) simply doesn’t understand that climate variation is a lot easier to predict in the long term than weather in the short term. Not that the change relies on predictions – it has been observed, by looking at the actual past weather!.

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  • OXO

    DaveH: “climate variation is a lot easier to predict in the long term than weather in the short term.”

    It’s certainly a lot easier to claim that, because most of us will be long dead by the time the predictions can be tested.

    I think nobody here will disagree that global warming is a fact. We can’t ignore the geological record of ice ages coming and receding. The whole problem is the assignment of this natural phenomenon to human activity. It’s not supported by the data.

  • Tim

    The problem with climate gate is that it completely invalidates the trust most of us had in climate scientists.

    Ask yourself this, what honest scientist would rather commit a crime by deleting emails and data subjected to a FOI request then release that data for outside verification? How on Earth can you expect anyone to trust such a scientist?

  • DaveH

    OXO, you pulled that “it’s not supported by the data” out of your arse.

    Rather than unsupported assertions

    Tim, no most of us are not so easily fooled by an obvious smear campaign based on misinterpretation of selected sections of stolen emails taken out of context. At least I hope not.

    Ask yourself this, what honest scientist would rather commit a crime by deleting emails and data subjected to a FOI request then release that data for outside verification?

    Tim, why do you beat your wife?

  • OXO

    DaveH,

    You are a Troll And a True Believer..

  • Surferosad

    Global warming doesn’t exist. It’s a 150+ year old conspiracy involving tens of thousands of scientists, from hundred of countries, speaking dozens of languages, and getting their money from myriad national, local, educational, corporate, and private sources. Despite the fact that most of these people do not know each other, many of them do not like one another, and despite that their career goals are frequently in conflict with one another, they have banded together in monolithic agreement, forming an elaborate, untraceable conspiracy stretching across three centuries all just to inconvenience big business and secure themselves unexceptional-paying jobs in research and at universities. What’s worse, they’ve cleverly published their so-called “findings” in peer-reviewed publications readily available for anyone with a library card to fact-check and review.

    I won’t be fooled by all of the dispassionately accumulated, carefully cross-checked mountains of “data.” I put my faith in the energy company magnates and the congressional representatives they sponsor who assure me global warming does not exist.

    A lot of nonsense in this thread. The net is drowning in denier hokum.

  • Surferosad

    From the scientific american web site: Seven answers to climate contrarian nonsense.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=seven-answers-to-climate-contrarian-nonsense

    About “climategate”:

    Climate Denial Crock of the Week – Climategate: Smacking the Hack Attack – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P70SlEqX7oY

    There are other episodes of Climate Denial of the Week. Well worth watching.

    I particularly like this one: The Great Petition Fraud: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P8mlF8KT6I&feature=related

    It exposes the fundamental dishonesty of the climate denial industry.

  • Sylar

    I’m glad I posted those comments. This would have much more credence if the politicians like Al Gore were not involved AND positioned to make billions off it (yes, that would be Billions with a B). And Jeb can kiss my arse – I’m passionate not angry. Well, maybe I am a little angry, getting lied too isn’t cool.

    Absolutely everything is motivated by money, scientists as much as politicians are pursuing the straight line to the dollars. I don’t blame most of them because they’ve been manipulated as well. Scientists are (and have always been) puppets of the establishment – only a few a generation are able to break out and do real science.

    I watched a video on TED.com where a photographer had setup cameras to watch the various ice sheets around the world. He indicated that this was clear evidence that global warming is occurring, except….it wasn’t. What it did prove was that in the summer the ice melts and in the winter the water freezes! I couldn’t believe what I was watching.

    And what I love is that “all scientists agree” on this point, how many times have I heard that? Again, not true – all scientists do not agree. I guess I’ll break down and try to find out about the documents that were stolen because it is obvious that Discover has its head up its arse (at least the author of the article).

    The SIMPLE reality is this, if global warming is occurring at the rate which has been proposed shorelines around the world would ALREADY be gone – in fact I believe that Florida would be completely gone. It really is that simple – things just don’t add up – at all!

    Again, show me where global warming has raised the ocean levels which is the number one by-product of global warming. Let’s face it, we are all being manipulated into believing this is a crisis so we can be pushed into a corner – sort of like the bank bailout. Carbon credits will allow a single group of people to have a lever over every nation and every person on the planet – that’s the end game of this farce.

    If it was a serious problem why would developing nations like China be given a free pass to continue to create CO2 polution on a massive scale? Rhetorical question, we know why. Once politicians and governments are involved there is no credibility, in this case it was started by them and scientists were “brought on” to confirm these ideas. Does anyone believe that Al Gore is honorable? How about Bush? How ’bout Obama? All different sides of the same coin.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we start lighting nuclear fires under the ice-caps (we probably are already) just to make sure the agenda gets sold!

    To answer DaveH about “honest scientists” – for the money, that’s why. How long did the Geocentric theory of our solar system last AFTER it was clear the Earth was not the center of the solar system? Hundreds of years because it served the interest of the powers that be, in this case the church.

    Anyway, it is fun to debate and have the discussion. Discover is a mainstream publication, there is no doubt what drives this enterprise and what they are motivated by.

    And one final tidbit – check out Gore’s investments and corporate affiliations and you’ll see that he is in it for the money – period. Gore is a huge, gigantic POS just like his father was and if he says it – then it ain’t true. Wake up people, don’t be lemmings listening to puppet scientists and gubmint officials tell you the world is coming to and end because of global warming and the only way to stop it is to build a carbon credit based global economic system.

    Soon enough we’ll be taxed for the CO2 we emit when breathing, this then becomes a a global lever against people and entire nations. After that what’s to stop a decision that China or the US or Africa or anywhere is creating too much CO2 and that mini-exterminations must happen in order to save the planet and the rest of us. Call it paranoia if you want but I think it is the logical progression and the predetermined outcome of this BS….

    I’m calling Putin to see if I can buy some of those carbon credits they have.

  • Sylar

    Right, one final point. Many of the politicians that believe in global warming also believe the Earth is 6000 years old and God took Sunday off!!! He (God) is also maintaining a book about me – everything I say and do is in the book, waiting for judgement day! I bet it isn’t long before the church gets involved (maybe they have already I don’t know) and starts spewing the Global warming ideas – gubmint will pull them in to help sell the lie. Lots of synergy between the gubmint and the church, how convenient for them.

    By 2010, the US citizens will be paying carbon based taxes – not corporations, that’s part of the farce. How do we explain the fact that for over 100 years the combustion engine hasn’t really changed at all! Yet every other aspect of science has advanced by leaps and bounds?

  • DaveH

    Er – it’s the oil magnates who have the money, not scientists at the University of East Anglia!

    ROTFL.

    “The SIMPLE reality is this, if global warming is occurring at the rate which has been proposed shorelines around the world would ALREADY be gone – in fact I believe that Florida would be completely gone. It really is that simple – things just don’t add up – at all!”

    Please show your work. Oh, i forgot – you pulled this made-up “factoid” out of your ass.

    http://www.realclimate.org for all the facts
    UK met Office to release global-average temperature data
    A blog by a former climate scientist

  • Sylar

    Wow, the article on Scientific American is actually worse then this one. Basically, if you don’t agree then your wrong! The evidence against is called into question because there isn’t enough data – seems to me that argument HAS to work both ways but conveniently it doesn’t. In fact, the folks that are disagreeing are basically being called heretics – discredit everything they say.

    BTW author, Mann may be a nice guy (so?) but he is clearly a part of the establishment and doing all he can to sell this lie – we all know what he gets out of this. What a joke.

    One of the best arguments is that while meteorologists and climatologist can’t predict the weather (or climate) on short time scales they can over longer periods – like geologic timescales.

    Again, its easy to sell the big lie if you sprinkle in enough truth around the periphery – this is exactly what is happening. Get some scientists to agree and produce speculative evidence for the lie and your good to go. Sort of like the big bang, convenient because it reconciles to religous beliefs but not to reality and observations – dark matter and dark energy = BS. Einstein would have puked had he seen this happening, probably turning over in his grave.

  • Surferosad

    Right on, Sylar!

    Just because someone has a Ph.D. in an academic area and has published loads of peer-reviewed articles on the subject doesn’t mean that he’s in any way ‘better’ than me in understanding that topic, does it? I mean, why should I respect his opinion on something just because he’s spent years studying and researching it?

    After all, just because I’ve never done your job doesn’t mean I don’t know it and understand it just as well as you. My ignorance of your job and complete lack of experience in it certainly doesn’t mean that you’re ‘better’ than me at it, does it?

    There are plenty of very respectable people who have not swallowed the ‘Global Warming’ theory. There’s me, there’s that guy I met in the crack house, and there’s you, Sylar , for a start! Just because over 99% of ‘experts’ believe in so-called ‘Global Warming’ doesn’t mean its actually happening. The ‘Global Warming’ theory is by no means settled!

    I am certainly keeping an open mind about the ‘Global Warming’ controversy and will NOT be stampeded by the professional far-leftists, greenies and closet fascists into the current hysteria of the ‘Global Warming is happening’ crowd. I’m glad to see that you are too, Sylar !

    We clear thinkers have to stick together. After all, we can FEEL the truth, and so we can understand the world so much better than all those ‘scientists’ and ‘experts’.

  • Surferosad

    It annoys the hell out of me to try to talk to global warming deniers reasonably. They don’t have a scientific leg to stand on, and facts keep accumulating proving that global warming is happening, but they keep insisting that it’s a myth, and they demand that we treat them “fairly”, that we give their arguments the same weight and attention as the opposing side. It’s a bit like arguing with creationists and 9/11 conspiracy advocates: they want their argumenst to be treated seriously and with respect, no matter how bad and out there they are.

    By the way, the political and financial interests opposed to global warming are much vaster and richer than the financial interests of those who think it’s a reality. Plus, this idea that thousands of scientist are in some way conspiring to cheat people into believing in global warming for their own gain is risible. I mean, if you’re a climate scientist, you’d probably make way more money denying global warming than supporting it.

  • http://www.hobbitmanor.com/ Kevin

    Here is a good introduction to the science-based skepticism:

    http://www.climate-skeptic.com/2009/12/why-the-historical-warming-numbers-matter.html

    If you are really interested in understanding the skepticism, start there. Too often the mode of discourse is only to survey the dumbest and most nonsensical arguments made against your beliefs and then wonder how anyone could be so foolish as to disagree with you…

  • Sylar

    Thanks DaveH, those were really helpful links. I’ll not show my work, show me yours and not links to more BS. Er – right, the oil magnets have the money – that’s the point, thanks for the clarification I thought the scientists have all the money – isn’t that what I’ve been saying? When you learn to read, you can post until then just mumble under your breath.

    For as many links as there are supporting this idea there are just as many arguing against it. Tell you what, you pay my carbon taxes and I’ll be happy to agree that the earth is, you know – melting. We can’t predict anything about climate except that it changes – constantly. The Earth has a built-in governor for climate – its called the atmosphere.

    It is truly amazing that sooooo many people believe this. BTW, this reconciles nicely to western religon as well – all the bad people die from fire in the end – how convenient is that? This will all culminate by 2012, we’ll HAVE TO GET a new system for controlling carbon emissions in place by then – watch and see.

    Do you honestly believe that if it were true we would allow certain countries to continue to pollute with reckless abandon? C’mon, don’t be silly. And, that you can still pollute if you have the money to pay for the carbon “credits” – again, c’mon.

    Again, there is no denying the Earth is warming like it has millions of times over the 4 billion or so years of its life (or 6000 years for those religous zealots). That’s why this lie can and is being sold, take a few high-power scientists to agree and confirm – done, the lie is in place. New World Order – economies based on and controlled by carbon taxes – all to sustain human existence because the politicians know whats best for us all – funny how it always comes down to money, power and control.

    You be controlled DaveH and keeping fighting the good fight, believing and spewing the lies of the establishment – good for you! If you wipe your eyes, step back and really look at this in the bigger context you’ll see the light – I’m confident.

    I have noticed my ice cream cone melts faster by a factor of (n) then just last year, where (n) represents the scare-me factor – what does it take to sell the BS. I think n=2 right DaveH, since you have the magic links – what is (n)?

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  • DaveH

    It’s a bit like arguing with creationists

    In some cases this is just the thin end of the wedge.

  • Sylar

    You know, the experts for 100s of years argued that the earth was the center of the universe/galaxy/solar system – guess what, they were wrong! 99% of scientists agree that global warming is happening – so? This is how the lie is sold, take some truth (the Earth’s climate changes constantly) and use it to sell an agenda to grab power, money and control.

    You do realize that in the vast majority of cases scientific predictions turn out to be wrong, vast majority translates to more than 75% of the time – that’s a fact that can’t be disputed. Beyond that, the predictions that are wrong – are typically wrong by a huge factor – this is because we don’t “observe” anything at its most fundamental level.

    Let me know when someone applies quantum physics to this problem and it predicts the Earth is melting – then I’ll consider it to be true, otherwise open-wide because the BS is about to get way, way thicker – 2012 is the deadline for this “global system” to be put in place.

    Can’t wait for the new world order. Right, BTW 9/11 was “produced” or at least “allowed” to happen – we needed a war, how else could we steal trillions of dollars. Afghanastan, cigarette taxes, Christianity, the war on drugs, IMF, UN – keep on believing that we need the gubmint and God to save us.

    I do like the discourse here, good stuff. They started with the agri-commodities to control food distribution and who gets it (and who doesn’t) now its on to our air which the NWO will soon own the rights to – water is next and that hype has started already as well. In fact, they’ll ultimately tie the global warming thing directly to the water and kill the last two birds with one stone. Control the food, water and air.

    Turns out that controlling the money isn’t enough huh? Need to control every aspect of our lives – completely. Unfortunately, no way to stop it – people are way too easy to control and manipulate.

  • Sylar

    Funny how the creationists are 100% on board with the idea of global warming, doesn’t that inject some question as to the validity of it?

    “Scientists all agree that….”, Yea, I hear that same $hit on television commercials for everything from drugs to toothpaste – it works selling them why wouldn’t it work selling this? Well it has, marketing is something the oligarchy is very, very good at.

    BTW, I believe that DNA was CREATED to EVOLVE – does that make me a creationist or an evolutionist? Neither idea stands on its own, yet there seems to be no middle ground on this point – your either one or the other. Same is true here, if you don’t agree with EVERY ASPECT of global warming and its predicted outcomes than your a heretic – history continues to repeat itself.

    Remember, “top scientists all agree…”.

  • http://jinchi.blogspot.com Jinchi

    Jinchi, really? You took the time to comment that I missed a set of brackets?

    I didn’t say anything about brackets. I laughed at your use of ellipses in a rant about scientists covering up details that don’t support their argument.

    Here’s your version, complete with quotation marks:

    “I used the trick […] to hide … data”

    and here’s the actual email (emphasis mine).

    I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999 for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.

    I especially like your implication that they were hiding data, when the word isn’t even in the original sentence.

    BTW. The decline is a proxy calculation, not data. The data quite clearly showed that the globe was warming.

  • Sylar

    Surferosad – why shoudn’t you believe the establishment? is that really the question? Right, “top scientists all agree…”. Check history and you’ll find that in the vast majority (previously defined) of cases the establishment gets it wrong – way, way wrong. The majority is always right, as history has proven time and time again – go hang ten, dude. Continue to believe that the majority is right – a manufactured majority that is.

    Anyway, this has got me going but I have to get back to making a living :) Need to save my pennies to buy air and water in 2012, I recommend you all do the same – start accumulating water now – fill your basement with plastic jugs (oh wait their killing the Earth too and yet we make twice as many EVERY YEAR!!!!).

    I did leave one thing out – it isn’t just water, air and food but also trash – that will be another way to control things. Seem silly? already happening. Yet we encourage consumption :) how funny – these plastic bottles are really, really bad – but wait we are having a sale today – buy one bottle and get a second free!

    We already pay for water, food and pay (dearly) for trash handling – I guess the air is really all that’s left isn’t it? At least for now anyway, part three of the agenda will include reproduction – oops already does. Too far gone we are, remember Outer Limits? That’s where we are – almost, “do not be alarmed, we are in control of your life – do not try and change it – you can’t”.

    I’m back to work, enjoy my rhetoric in the meantime :)

  • Sam Gralla

    Sean,

    In the hopes that you’ll read a simple post and respond:

    * Could you please comment on the deleting of emails and raw data (which both happened)?

    -Sam

  • http://coraifeartaigh.wordpress.com Cormac O’ Raifeartaigh

    Great post Sean, succinctly puts a lot of good points

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/sean/ Sean

    Sam– I did comment on them. Namely: if there is reasonable evidence of wrongdoing, it should be investigated and appropriate sanctions handed out. Meanwhile, it has no effect on the fact that the globe is warming in response to human activities, nor on what steps we should take in response.

  • Bill Walters

    To answer one of Sean’s questions directly (“What exactly is the motivation for the nefarious conspiracy of people who are supposedly plotting to mislead the world about global warming?”), global warming alarmists are motivated to push AGW as fact by three things other than belief in warning of a perceived risk. These additional motivators seem to be ignored in good faith by people like Sean, because of the echo chamber they inhabit.

    1) Money and prestige. Vastly more money goes and has gone from governments to scientists than from companies such as Exxon to scientists. Moreover, large amounts of money goes to scientists from companies who are in favor of pushing global warming because of the rents they will receive from government action, such as GE. And those companies are the ones that are really profiting and stand to profit more, not the scientists–but if you know you’ll get no grants, your career will certainly suffer. None of those amounts of money go to scientists who do not toe the line of the funders.

    Similarly, prestige follows these flows of money. No praise is lavished on those who are not alarmists; they are not invited to all-expenses-paid trips to luxury conferences, fawned over on network TV, and told repeatedly of their importance.

    Therefore, contrary to Sean’s assumption, the money argument actually cuts against the AGW alarmists, not against their opponents.

    2) More importantly, AGW alarmists are also motivated by a desire for transcendence–basically a religious feeling. The psychological makeup and apparent personality of global warming alarmists is remarkably similar to that of Communists of approximately 1910-1953. The Party is always right; those who oppose the Party are enemies, even if the Party says something different today than yesterday. Everybody wants to be part of something bigger than themselves; many people are willing to stop at nothing in service of some perceived greater good, which is ultimately about validating themselves and their lives.

    3) In many cases, a third motivator is a desire to control others and feel superior to them. This is similar to #2, but not identical. It is essentially the totalitarian impulse. It drives much dubious human activity, unfortunately.

  • Sam Gralla

    okay, fair enough. Don’t jump to conclusions; wait for an investigation. I agree with that. Thanks for the response.

    I also agree that the skeptics are blowing this way out of proportion. But I think the climate community isn’t taking it seriously enough. It’s possible to admit that the accusations are quite grave, while simultaneously defending the scientific conclusion. This seems the best way to maintain the credibility of climate science. The current strategy seems to downplay the accusations to the effect that the public suspects the behavior in the emails is normal (which would be a very big problem indeed).

  • Tom

    Reagan, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush, Obama.
    Please count them. 20 years under Republicans, 9 under the evil socialist democrats.
    But somehow we have a government-science conspiracy to defraud the public, hinder business as usual, advance some liberal left wing agenda – on a GLOBAL scale no less.
    It looks like the tin foil hat store just had some amazing sale.

  • John

    Of course researchers can enhance their grants by suggesting a link between their research and Climate Change. But does that mean we shouldn’t question the motives of the extremely wealthy and powerful corporate interests whose profits are threatened by the scientific facts? Scientists aren’t getting rich on their research. Corporations ARE getting rich on the industrial pollutants that threaten the survival of the planet.

  • http://opendesignproject.org Mojo

    Climate science’ is the new shamanism. Your average old-school Witch Doctor get’s paid to toss some bones, teeth, feathers, and other junk on a table and pretends to divine the future from it.

    The ‘climate scientists’ do exactly the same, except they get paid more, and the payment is made by someone other than the believer. The fact that they toss their garbage into a computer does not make their divinations any more scientific than tossing bones and feathers on the table.

    Both the new and old practitioners know the results ahead of time. The bones and computers are just for the show.

  • Bill Walters

    John (#54):

    Corporations are getting rich on government handouts driven by AGW alarmists, as well as industrial pollutants. As Dow did with CFCs and their replacements, they want to have their cake and eat it too–keep selling whatever makes money, using government coercion if at all possible. This is why most giant corporations that produce greenhouse gases have jumped on the bandwagon (as well as the personal desire of their leaders to be lauded). It’s the companies that don’t profit, but have to bear the costs, that are opposed to government action that will increase their costs. Those companies aren’t getting “rich on . . . industrial pollutants.”

    BTW, “the planet” will survive fine. It’s the ecosystems that are somewhat in doubt.

  • Sergey, VT

    “What exactly is the motivation for the nefarious conspiracy of people who are supposedly plotting to mislead the world about global warming? ”

    Scientists, especially ecologists and environmentalists often have deep seated political convictions. They may be Marxists, Cultural Marxists, Neo- Marxists they may subscribe to wild notion of deep ecology movements, be members of VHEMT (http://www.vhemt.org/) and work for extinction of human race.

    In our Environmental Institute we have one Ph.D. student who preaches VHEMT to us. We have people who celebrated last year’s economic depression with cheers. These people dream about destruction of US and Europe economies because they think it will be good for environment. What motivates these people? What motivated Lenin to make revolution in Russia and get Russian culture wiped out for next 100 years? What did motivate Neo-Marxist Saul Alinsky to do community organizing and write his book “Rules for Radicals?” (That is the manual on how to change the world which become widely known because Obama and Hilary were students of it. )

    Saul Alisky has interesting “dialectic of ends and means,” which is extension of Lenins idea that “ends justify the means:” If your political goals are so good you may even lie if it is conductive to your goals. Alinsky has designed tactics of artificially created disaster, which Rahm Emanuel famously understands very wel (“Never get any crisis go waste”).

    The whole AGW thing looks like an artificially created crisis in order to enforce on US global Socialist government to redistribute wealth, just as Lord Moncton points it out. Working in an Environmental institution for last 8 years I can easily agree with Lord Moncton, because I know to well the background of my colleagues: about 70% of them are former Communists and/or Cultural Marxists and all are admirers of Scandinavian socialism. Honesty is not the virtue they admire the most. What is the goal and how to achieve it? How to organize collective action? How to get hands on funds? That is the their mode of thinking.

  • Tom

    wow. I finally get it. It really was as simply as realizing that all scientists, especially those working on Climate change science, are just marxist/commie pinkos.
    Sadly I only now realized I too must have some secret Marxist agenda, as I have somehow fallen under the spell of my commie overlord Masters.

  • Sergey, VT

    Tom, sure communists are about as dangerous as deers. (As a Russian I know that too well.) Saul Alinsky did not write his book “Rules for Radicals” and Obama and Hilary did not read it. Herbert Marcuse was never an influential professor at American University, he never wrote his Repressive Tolerance:
    http://grace.evergreen.edu/~arunc/texts/frankfurt/marcuse/tolerance.pdf
    and we have equal distribution between Green, Democrats and Republicans in US University faculty lists. So students normally have equal exposure to all views and are never indoctrinated in class rooms. Any speculations about left and socialist political influence in academia are made up by David Horowitz and Rush Limbaugh. Scientists are cellestial beings riding unicorns and junk science is never agenda driven.

  • DaveH

    Reality has a marxist bias? lol. This PR campaign gets sillier and sillier.

    NASA climate graphs

  • Albert Kong

    I am tired of hearing all of this pseudoscience. The complex non-linear dynamic system that it is, long term climate prediction is simply impossible. If there is a problem, which we can’t say, our only hope is climate control.

    Climate has many variables (solar activity, volcanic activity, orbital variations of the planet, CO2 atmospheric concentrations etc.). Of these sets of variables the only one we can possibly control is CO2 concentrations. For this there is no consensus on the sensitivity of climate to this variable. Even if it were significantly sensitive, it is the only one we can control.

    To put this in simpler terms it would be like trying to drive a car (which has many control variables) when all that you can control is the accelerator (no brakes, no steering wheel). Control also requires accurate short term predictive models (turn the wheel right the car goes right). That we don’t have that is dramatically demonstrated by the deception attempt by climate scientists — the car went right when it should have gone left, and they tried to pretend it was going right even to the point of trying to silence occupants seeing it going left. So they are not really in the drivers seat….

    The question is: Should they collect a fare from each passenger, grossly enriching themselves nevertheless?

  • Surferosad

    Woa! Good old fashioned red baiting!

    It’s like taking a ride in a DeLorean.

  • A. Ewing

    Talk Talk Talk.
    Just look at the data. I did (wish I could post the graph here). And am just a chemist.
    Go to http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/igra/index.php?name=ascii
    Download the Upper Air data (I prefer this, no one can question siteing of the ground thermometers; and less diurnal variance). Choose 12Z time (less issue with solar heating adjustments on the radiosonde data) and 850mbar level. Average, Plot, Draw Trendlines.

    For Atlanta a tight annual curve, very linear, is result. For 1958 – 2008 data, increasing at 3.2 °C/100yrs. For 1980 – 2008 data, increasing at 4.9 °C/100yrs. 2008 not appreciably cooler than trend (this is more pronounced elsewhere).
    This is repeated, site to site, across US & Canada. The fudging of this much raw data would take a vast conspiracy (likely planned from the ’50s).
    This is very enlightening to me, as data is better and clearer at lower latitudes (maybe due to lower temperature variance, less seasonal weather changes?).

    Even if CO2 causality was not clear, this is a reason for major concern.

    Am tired of people complaining about conspiracies without looking at data.
    Am thinking of taking this exercise into the school systems here.
    Can see why this affects better judgement (if this is even true) when the ill-informed chorus attacks your work (as evident here, in microcosm).
    Will post this data shortly

    Al

  • JDM

    Quick question…does anyone know what percentage of climate research is funded by private interests (oil companies, etc) as opposed to government grants? I once heard the figure 10% but this wasn’t a reliable source so I don’t actually know the true answer. It seems like this would be pertinent to the question of what motivates climate scientists.

  • Sergey, VT

    DaveH,
    Reality does not have bias but James Hansen who made the graphs certanly has. I do not think he is a Marxists, but Hansen is a perfect example of a political activist I was talking about. He not only collects data but he believes that he have to save the world, as many environmentalists do. He does politics more than he does science. He participates in demonstrations, he was even arrested at one point for minor disorderly behavior. What is his motivation for spending his free time in picketing coal mine operations? The same sort of motivation may lead people to fudging the data to save the world.

    Goddard Institute which he leads has been irresponsive to FOIA and has been hiding their data for 3 years. Now Christopher Horner informed NASA of his “Intent to File Suit notices on behalf of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, where he is a senior fellow, prepared in response to NASA’s stonewalling for nearly three years on releasing documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act.” ref:
    http://newsrealblog.com/2009/12/04/climategate-jumps-the-pond-nasa-continues-to-stonewall-on-foia-requests/

    What Jemes Hansen is hiding there? I bet he is hiding the decline :-)

  • Sergey, VT

    Surferosad ,
    During the time when you were driving DeLorean I was in Soviet Union and I did not have any car, so I could not relate to your experience, unfortunately. I wish I could. Now, if I mention to you that my own father is still a Marxist and we still debate Marxism on telephone will it be red baiting too? If not then why simply stating the fact which I witnesed or can verify is red baiting?

  • JohnL

    Out of the mouth of babes?
    I was very impressed by the research done by this sixth grader and his dad. I cannot detect anything wrong with it…. What am I missing? This would explain a large part of why the temp is increasing, and is bogus! Why do they put the temp gauges in the metro areas?
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/09/picking-out-the-uhi-in-global-temperature-records-so-easy-a-6th-grader-can-do-it/

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2009/12/08/climategate/ Pete Weaver

    “All of the noise we’re hearing about “Climategate” is based on politics, not on science.” This statement is false. Climate science has(sadly)been politicized but there are hundreds of empirically based peer reviewed studies that clearly show the flaws of AGW models. http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html The pattern of minimizing or ignoring data that doesn’t support the hypothesis is present in every assumption supporting AGW. The theory looks sound if you are unaware of these sins of omission. Anyone who has studied some of the hundreds of peer reviewed studies critical of the theory has seen this pattern over and over. I’ve read 3 studies that used different methodology to show that the IPCC overstates Co2’s warming potential by 500%. People still claiming the science is sound could not have looked at the immense body of empirical science that clearly refutes it.

  • http://www.mwillett.org/mark/index1.htm Mark

    Evolution survived Piltdown Man. Global warming will survive CRU.

  • DaveH

    So, an admission that James Hansen isn’t a marxist is the evidence of the marxist conspiracy? Okaaay…

    Many of the “peer reviewed” papers linked to in @68 are published in trade journals such as Energy and Environment, which publishes skeptical papers.

    From wikipedia:

    The journal takes a skeptical view towards climate change. Skeptics on the journal’s editorial staff include Boehmer-Christiansen herself and anthropologist Benny Peiser. Contributors considered as climate skeptics or contrarians, have included Sallie Baliunas, Robert M. Carter, Ian Castles, Bjorn Lomborg, Patrick Michaels, Ross McKitrick, Stephen McIntyre, Garth Paltridge, Roger Pielke Jr., Fred Singer, and Willie Soon.

    When asked about the publication of these papers Boehmer-Christiansen replied, “I’m following my political agenda — a bit, anyway. But isn’t that the right of the editor?”

    Not too many citations of those papers.

  • Surferosad

    Sergey,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-baiting

    And the DeLorean reference comes from a science-fiction movie called Back To The Future, where the main characters time travel to 1955 in a modified DeLorean.

    Essentially, I was jokingly calling you a relic of the cold war.

    Please curtail the anti-communist crap: it isn’t relevant to the discussion.

  • Janne

    Earth is warming up at an alarming rate but the ice mass at south pole is increasing. It’s not clear to me how this is possible.

    Could anyone explain to a math student how exactly is it possible to model a huge chaotic nonlinear system such as the earth accurately enough to draw long term predictions from? I would like to learn more of this method.

  • NoWayPC

    I am a scientist and am very afraid of this because science itself is under attack and this will fuel the fires of those who think religion, faith, mystics, taro cards, homeopathy etc know better. Sad days ahead for honest scientists.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2009/12/08/climategate/ Pete Weaver

    Janne, The earth is not warming up at an alarming rate. It was warmer during the medievel warm period 1000+ years ago. The drum beat of alarmist propaganda is so pervasive it’s hard to see the truth. The limitations of computer modeling of the infinately variable dynamic climate are well documented. Meta analysis of the margins of errors imbedded in the many assumptions built into those models render their conclusions almost meaningless. The global warming that peaked in 1998 was mostly a northern hemiphere event. The arctic snowpack has recovered somewhat from the 2007 lows also.

  • Davis

    People keep putting forth money as motivation for scientists to lie. How much do you think the average scientist gets paid? And do you think they make money off their research? Many people working in this area have a sufficient math and physics background to go into, say, finance. So if they’re in it for the money, they’re clearly idiots.

  • Surferosad

    The Earth was not warmer than today during the so called “medieval warm period”.

    This one’s for Pete Weaver:

    Climate Denial Crock of the Week – “The Medieval Warming Crock”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrKfz8NjEzU

  • Davis

    Could anyone explain to a math student how exactly is it possible to model a huge chaotic nonlinear system such as the earth accurately enough to draw long term predictions from? I would like to learn more of this method.

    Let me Google that for you.

    Incidentally, the solar system is a huge, chaotic system. How far out can we predict its behavior?

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2009/12/08/climategate/ Pete Weaver

    Surferosad, Hilarious that you cite the hockey stick and Mann. He is under investigation for fraud. The hockey stick has been completely debunked and is at the heart of AGW misrepresentation. The crock of the week is for true believers that don’t understand the science behind his misrepresentaions. Read some empirical studies pointing out AGW flaws and see if the peer reviews critical of them meet the same scientific standards. Also try reading the peer reviews critical of AGW and see if the response contains real world empirical evidence contradicting the critique. Good luck with that one. I’ve been looking for 6 years without finding a convincing rebuttal. There are errors on both sides but the responses of the scientists are very telling.

  • Janne

    @ Davis:
    It depends on how crude approximation you are content with. Textbook classical mechanics predictions work pretty well, give or take a few anomalies.

    Modelling weather systems (and thus climate) is ofcourse a far more complex problem than the solar system.

  • DaveH

    The hockey stick has been completely debunked
    Not so.

    “The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1,000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence”
    – National Academy of Sciences report 2006

    BBC – A new study by climate scientists behind the controversial 1998 “hockey stick” graph suggests their earlier analysis was broadly correct.

  • GC

    “I understand the non-scientific motivations of certain climate denialists; in the abstract, they don’t want to accept that the unfettered actions of capitalism can ever have any deleterious effects, and in the concrete, many of them are paid by oil companies. (…) Those are powerful incentives to ignore the evidence.”

    This paragraph can be converted to state the exact opposite, such as below:

    “I understand the non-scientific motivations of certain climate activists; in the abstract, they want to believe that abolishing capitalism and instituting a totalitarian socialist control over human activities across the globe will save it from doom, and in the concrete, many of them are paid by the big government who want exactly that. (…) Those are powerful incentives to fabricate data.”

    It is a big deal: these people want to fundamentally change the course of human history and culture based on data that is based on a theory that they themselves are not 100% sure about. If we are to abandon our way of life, I want to make sure their defense is backed by solid data, not something that is even remotely faked.

  • Surferosad

    As already pointed out by DaveH, Mann’s results have been reproduced by other researchers, using both proxy temperature measurements and models, and all suggest that late 20th century warmth is anomalous in a long-term (multi-century to millennial) context.

  • Arrow

    The main problem of AGW is that global climate models have never been experimentally verified.

    Since many people seem to have blinders on when it comes to climate imagine something else – imagine that someone claimed he has developed a successful computer model of evolution and that he can now predict where evolution will take a particular organism in 100 years.

    How should science deal with such a claim?

    There is only one way to verify such a claim – it has to pass experimental test. First one should check if the model successfully postdicts past evolution. If it passes this test the next step is to see if it can indeed make successful predictions – use it to predict evolution ten or twenty years into the future and wait to see if those predictions agree with reality.

    Only when the model passes both tests, meaning it can successfully postdict and predict evolution, it will deserve some trust but even then it may very well turn out that those results were a fluke and therefore the model will only be trustworthy if it is repeatedly shown to correctly predict evolution on the timescales on which it is to be used.

    If the model is unable to even postdict past evolution it is worthless.

    Now the same applies to any new models, before they can be trusted and considered part of established science they have to pass experimental verification. Experimental verification is what turns such models into science and it is the *only* thing that separates them from pseudoscience.

    A model and especially when it is complex should *never* be trusted if it has never passed experimental verification.

    Now consider this, not a single climate model used for predicting future global climate has ever passed rigorous experimental verification – not a single climate model has been shown to correctly postdict past climate, not a single climate model has been shown to successfully predict future climate.

    What it means is that climate predictions based on such models are *NOT* scientific and should *NEVER* be trusted, until proper verification takes place.

    This also means that we cannot tell what impact manmade emissions have on climate – whether they account for 90% or 0.09% of the change. The only scientifically valid way to prove causation here requires experimentally verified climate models – one has to run such models with and without manmade emissions and then compare the results. Without trustworthy climate models this is of course impossible.

    To sum it up from a strictly scientific point of view AGW remains nothing more then a plausible hypothesis and future climate predictions are baseless speculations.

  • Tim

    DaveH: “The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1,000 years.”

    Who cares if it was unprecedented within the past 1000 years, it’s like saying it is unprecedented since the last precedent.

    Look at past temperatures recorded in the ice cores and then tell me what is so special about current warming:
    http://www.exo.net/~pauld/workshops/globalclimate/IceCores1.gif

    AGW scare has an uncanny resemblance to exploits of those who in the past took advantage of solar eclipses to control the masses.

  • Sergey, VT

    >Please curtail the anti-communist crap: it isn’t relevant to the discussion.

    Sean’s question was about possible motivation as of why people can fudge data or algorithms. My answer is that motivation can be a deep political conviction. Along with communism I mentioned several other stripes, including those who want to save the world from humans.

    What problem do you have with this general hypothesis? Why so much outrage about red baiting? Perhaps I have violated some Holly Rule of Political Correctness, and here the PC police has arrived to enforce the right thinking: Flush, flush, pull on the site of the road you have been insensitive. Even if the conjecture is logical, we can’t possibly consider it, or at least we can’t go as far as to mention communism as one of the convictions along with others, no way , stop it. It is offensive to people who believe in larger role of government.
    (Ref: Political Correctness : http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8630135369495797236#)

    >> So, an admission that James Hansen isn’t a marxist is the evidence of the marxist conspiracy?

    As I said, I mentioned old Marxism as an example of a political motivation that may produce drastic actions. I did not imply in any way that that AGW movement based on Marxism. I could not say it as Al Gore or Prince Charles, the leaders of the movement are certainly not Marxists. I only mentioned that many members whom I know personally are Cultural Marxists, but that is the fact I can verify. I did not call the movement “ conspiracy” either, it is a political movement with left agenda, somewhat similar to agenda of our Green party. What did I miss?

  • Surferosad

    You’re basically trying to imply that climate scientists fudged the data because of their political convictions, and you assume that those convictions are left wing. Sounds like red-baiting to me.

    From that wikipedia entry I linked:

    “Red-baiting is a political epithet employed to criticize people who are said to accuse a person or group of being “red” in the sense of communist, socialist or, in a broader sense, significantly more leftist at their core than they may appear at the outset. It is claimed that such unjust accusations of are used mainly with the intention of discrediting the individual’s or organization’s political views as dishonest and/or haphazard.”

    You know, when I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.

    Anyway, thank you for once again amply demonstrating the uselessness of debating climate change deniers.

  • Surferosad

    Arrow says: “The main problem of AGW is that global climate models have never been experimentally verified.”

    First of all, AGW isn’t solely based on models. There is a large array of field observations (like the proxy temperature measurements already mentioned) that corroborate AGW.

    Secondly, it isn’t true that AGW models haven’t been experimentally verified. Many researchers have published models that reproduce past climatic events.

    See for instance: http://article.pubs.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/ppv/RPViewDoc?issn=1480-3313&volume=37&issue=5&startPage=811

    It’s an old paper, but the abstract gives the general idea. The researchers modeled the Younger Dryas event. There are many more recent papers on this, but I can’t be arsed doing your job for you.

  • Davis

    It depends on how crude approximation you are content with. Textbook classical mechanics predictions work pretty well, give or take a few anomalies.

    You missed my point. How far out does such a prediction work? More importantly, why does it work? And the solar system has N bodies, where N is fairly large (asteroids, comets, etc); why is this obviously less complex?

    Side question, how much have you actually studied chaotic systems? It’s not a typical part of the math curriculum, even at the graduate level (you’re more likely to see it in a graduate physics class).

  • Surferosad

    Tim says: “Look at past temperatures recorded in the ice cores and then tell me what is so special about current warming”

    What’s so special about the current warming? How about “we’re the ones causing the current warming”?

    I mean, duh! That’s what anthropogenic means, isn’t it?

  • Eyes Squared

    The objectivity of peer review is at stake here. If the science is entirely opaque then we might as well be telling society to have faith… which I am glad to say that most of us don’t work that way. The appearance of impropriety when it does not really exist has a worse effect than actual bias because even though both cause general society to repel from the position proposed once exposed, only one yields the correct impression. I fear that after this news those who do not believe in global warming will never believe in imperial evidence because of this incident.

    I also take issue with the origonal data being destroyed… that isn’t a study of data, it is a manufacturing and replacement of data with the intent of deception. If an undergraduate was found to have manufactured data in a study they would be expelled without question. Independent of the individual’s personality some type of explanation (and a damb good one) needs to be addressed or sanctions need to be imposed. When faith and trust in the scientific comunity enters into science it is no longer based on fact and has becomes a religion… which is not science at all.

  • UchicagoMan

    Even if warming wasn’t occurring explicitly due to CO2 emissions, it seems

    incredibly idiotic to argue in favor of NOT LIMITING pollution to our planet.

    I want to ask Sarah Palin:
    ————–
    Was it a conspiracy to advocate NO SMOKING?

    Haven’t you seen the lungs of a smoker?

    How about the lungs of someone who has lived in Shanghai or LA all their life
    vs. someone from bumblef**ck Wyoming???
    ————–

    It isn’t a fucking conspiracy.

    It is common sense.

    How is it NOT a good thing to reduce emissions?

    Simply astounding…..

  • Arrow

    Surferosad: “First of all, AGW isn’t solely based on models. There is a large array of field observations (like the proxy temperature measurements already mentioned) that corroborate AGW.”

    No, such observations can only show GW (Global Warming) not AGW (*Anthropogenic* Global Warming) this is a critical difference. You can never prove that humanity is behind the warming that way. The best you can do is find some correlations but without proper control experiments (which are impossible) or complete understanding of climate (which can only be proven by writing a successful model of global climate) nothing can be scientifically proven.

    Surferosad: “Secondly, it isn’t true that AGW models haven’t been experimentally verified. Many researchers have published models that reproduce past climatic events.”

    No, what you link to is a purposeful built model which is supposedly predicts some particular event which happened 11 000 years ago and for which there are of course no instrumental records, this is not what I am talking about.

    What you would have to find is a publication in which a general climate model – one of those on which predictions concerning future global climate are based – is used to repeatedly and successfully predict from first principles the climate of any portion of the last century many decades ahead and without any fudge factors.

    For example with such a model one should only input climate data up to say 1940 and data on man-made emissions for the rest of the century and then be able to run the model and correctly (with some acceptable margin of error) predict climate of the rest of the century.

    This is the first step to be taken in validation of such models since we have plenty of instrumental data for the past century which can be fed into a model and plenty of data to check the output against. I hope you agree that any climate model which cannot repeatedly pass such a test should never be trusted to predict future climate correctly.

    Of course if anyone where to develop a successful global climate model the test I am talking about would be the first thing he would do to prove it to others. And of course if it worked the paper discussing the results would be the first thing mentioned in every climate discussion on the internet and everywhere, but if you think such a successful test did take place and was missed by everyone then go ahead and try to find it.

  • Surferosad

    Arrow says: “What you would have to find is a publication in which a general climate model – one of those on which predictions concerning future global climate are based – is used to repeatedly and successfully predict from first principles the climate of any portion of the last century many decades ahead and without any fudge factors.”

    What, like, for instance, Hansen’s 1988 JGR paper, where he showed GISS model projections of continued global warming assuming further increases in human produced greenhouse gases?

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/hansens-1988-projections/

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2005/Crichton_20050927.pdf

    Do you really believe that climate scientists haven’t thought of this?

    By the way, regarding the Younger Dryas event paper: there are proxy temperature measurements obtained from the geologic record that the model must reproduce with a fair degree of accuracy. That’s the model’s control.

  • Arrow

    UchicagoMan: “It isn’t a fucking conspiracy. It is common sense. How is it NOT a good thing to reduce emissions? Simply astounding…..”

    It costs money. Limited resources have to be allocated where they will provide the most benefit.

    What if we spend billions on fighting CO2 emissions only to find out later the results of our actions have negligible effect on climate? That money could have been used to cure, feed, and educate millions of people. This is why we have to be certain manmade emissions contribute significantly to climate change before we commit billions to fighting emissions.

    It is common sense.

  • Arrow

    Surferosad: “What, like, for instance, Hansen’s 1988 JGR paper, where he showed GISS model projections of continued global warming assuming further increases in human produced greenhouse gases?”

    Yes, something like this only with multiple correct prediction runs not one (for example for 1900-1950, 1925-1975, 1950-2000, etc), with predictions 40+ years ahead not 15 (date of publication counts) and of course with one(!) prediction for each run not 3 so far apart that almost any situation can be accommodated.

    Remember the whole point is to prove – using scientific rigor – that the model can be relied upon to make correct predictions of global climate 50+ years into the future. Also note that even the author of the piece you quoted admitted that “this comparison [is] not sufficient for a ‘precise assessment’ of the model simulations”.

  • Michael

    It pisses me off to even come down partially on the side of the religious right, but there is a fundamental thing i dont understand about the evidence for Anthropogenic Global Warming. I see all the models showing that when greenhouse gasses go up in the atmosphere the temperature goes up, but how do we know what the cause is and what the effect is? We know that when global temp. rises this causes may greenhouse gasses to be released into the atmosphere from the melting permafrost, so perhaps that is the cause and the greenhouse gasses the effect. I would love to see some evidence, and am open minded about this, but I cannot find it.

  • UchicagoMan

    @Arrow
    I can understand your argument for places like China, India, 3rd world countries, etc… To an extent.

    …where people are actually starving….and don’t have basic resources, like running water…and there really isn’t an alternative.

    But, somehow I sincerely doubt the incredible “savings” granted here in the good ole USA, by adding extra SMOG and POLLUTANTS to the environment will be “allocated” to the fight against hunger or empowering the disenfranchised. I think it will be padding the of shore accounts, rather.

    Everything has cost, of course. There is no “free lunch”, so to speak.

    But that’s life. Tough shit.
    It’s called sacrifice and DELAYED GRATIFICATION.

    And… I hear it is activity associated with more advanced intelligent species.

    Maybe you think it would be most resource efficient and beneficial to have slave labor..if only for a little while, just to get the really hard and necessary work done.

    Maybe you think mowing down all of our rain forests is the fastest, most efficient way to build a giant wooden hospital to house every cancer patient to help make more money to help fund approved research for curing cancer.

    There are just soo many efficient possibilities to allocate all these extra resources to where they do the best work.

    I think you are correct, we should leave it to those that know best, Haliburton, GM, XOM.

    Why not have a cigarette and enjoy the smog!

    Chemicals in the air!

    Come smell the efficiency!

    I know I do!

    Cheers.

  • Surferosad

    Arrow: Hansen’s predictions are not the only ones around. They’re just the most well publicised and they’re amongst the oldest. Global climate models have been around for a long time: Hansen’s paper is 20 years old!

    I suggest you spend some time here. http://www.realclimate.org

    Here is their FAQ page on climate models: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/11/faq-on-climate-models/

  • MWatson

    Megan McArdle has some ideas about ways, short of conspiracy, in which bias may be at work among scientists championing AGW explanations. In support of her concerns about this kind of bias, she cites Richard Feynman, including his observations about the aftermath of Millikan’s oil drop experiment.

    http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/12/climategate_was_data_faked.php

  • Brian Too

    @94. Arrow,

    I’m gonna go with UchicagoMan on this one, although for perhaps a different reason.

    Much of the lifestyle and economic changes that carbon reduction imply are actually good for you and good for the economy. It only looks daunting and expensive now because much of North America has done so very little.

    For instance: You have 2 cars, both comfortable and suitable to task. One gets 25 MPG and the other gets 35 MPG. Is that an unacceptable sacrifice for consumers? Especially since cars get old and must be replaced periodically anyways?

    Another example. You add insulation to your home. Your home then becomes both more comfortable and less costly to heat (or cool, in southern locations). It’s resale value might even go up. Is this a giant tax-and-spend conspiracy by the Feds/Media/Socialists?

    The reality is that most human built infrastructure must be upgraded or maintained/replaced periodically. Otherwise it falls apart. If you start using mechanisms (which can be negotiated) to get people to make wiser choices in environmental terms, there’s usually a self-interest payoff in there too.

    The key is to structure changes over appropriate time frames. If you ask for it all today then certainly you’ll overspend. However the climate change deniers wish to stop all progress from the get-go. That’s what makes them so dangerous. By the time climate change has flooded many of the great cities of the world it will be too late to stop the submergence. Think New Orleans/Katrina but multiplied at least 100-fold. And that does not count inland areas where desertification may make formerly prosperous regions poor and desperate.

  • Arrow

    Surferosad: “Hansen’s predictions are not the only ones around. They’re just the most well publicised and they’re amongst the oldest. Global climate models have been around for a long time: Hansen’s paper is 20 years old!”

    Yes, there are predictions, there are models, there are horoscopes, there’s plenty of stuff out there, but as you should be well aware by know one key piece is missing – experimental verification. Until at least one of those climate models is shown to repeatedly make correct climate predictions 40+ years into the future all those climate predictions will remain nothing but speculations.

    There is only one scientific method and unfortunately it is very inflexible – only that which repeatedly passes experimental verification can be considered established science. I would very much prefer climate models met this requirement but unfortunately they don’t and that means for now anthropogenic GW will remain just a plausible hypothesis.

  • Surferosad

    Yes Arrow, keep moving the goal posts.

    By the way, I’m a geologist by training. Your narrow (minded) perspective on what is science pretty much puts my particular discipline, and any discipline with a historical perspective (like evolutionary science, for instance) in the rubbish bin.

    So yeah, I do think you’re wrong.

    Anyway, why do I even bother? Talking to deniers is a waste of time.

  • Arrow

    Brian, investments in improved efficiency, better millage, sustainability and so on are good ideas and should go ahead whether humans are behind global warming or not.

    The problem is that it would take much more then that to significantly limit CO2 emissions, large portion of energy production would have to either switch to more expensive carbon neutral sources or invest into carbon sequestration, either way it would lead to a steep increase in energy prices. Since the cost of energy is factored into the price of every commodity the end result would be a substantial increase in cost of living for everyone.

  • Arrow

    Surferosad: “Yes Arrow, keep moving the goal posts.”

    I have been talking about the very same thing in every single reply to you – climate models have to pass rigorous experimental verification to be considered established science, you failed to provide even a single example of such a verification. Your current claim that I am moving goal posts can only be read as an attempt to leave the discussion without admitting defeat, if your objection were sincere you would at least explain why you think they were moved.

    Surferosad: “By the way, I’m a geologist by training. Your narrow (minded) perspective on what is science pretty much puts my particular discipline, and any discipline with a historical perspective (like evolutionary science, for instance) in the rubbish bin.”

    So for you scientific method is a narrow minded perspective? And you think it invalidates geology and evolutionary science? I’d love to hear the logic behind those claims.

  • Surferosad

    Nonsense. Here’s what I see: whatever model prediction, or verification of a model that will be given to you that doesn’t fit in with your preconceived notions will immediately be considered not rigourous enough to fit your criteria. In other words, you move the goal posts.

    And assuming that you’re a typical denier type (you sure sound like one to me), whatever bit of information that does fit your preconceived notions will immediately be accepted, verification be damned, and called rigourous science.

    You just don’t want to hear it. You’ve already made up your mind, and there’s no point debating you. You’re not debating in good faith.

  • Janne

    @Davis:
    “You missed my point. How far out does such a prediction work? More importantly, why does it work? And the solar system has N bodies, where N is fairly large (asteroids, comets, etc); why is this obviously less complex?

    Side question, how much have you actually studied chaotic systems? It’s not a typical part of the math curriculum, even at the graduate level (you’re more likely to see it in a graduate physics class).”

    Not very far even in the very simple system of the solar system. It takes some careful numerical analysis to make sure various error sources don’t creep up in the calculation, which they always do eventually. The more complex recursive system you deal with the worse the situation is, especially when you have to start out with such vague conditions as in the case of weather systems.

    Chaotic systems are very much in the basic undergrad math and physics curriculum at my university.

  • Andrew

    Remember commentators–the more comments you post, the more right you must be!

  • Thomas Larsson

    Last week I received an email from Hal Lewis, Bob Austin, Will Happer, Larry Gould and Roger Cohen on ClimateGate (phrase used by senders) with the title “scientific misbehavior”, and today I received a mail from the APS president to assure me ” that this was not an official APS message, nor was it sent with APS knowledge or approval”. I’m sure that others have received the same e-mails. Sort of amusing :-)

    Personally I am inclined to believe that peak oil and peak coal will take care of CO2 emissions eventually, but that is just my own unscientific opinion.

  • rusty shackleford

    First off, I’m no scientist but I read alot and prize my common sense. Maybe instead of arguing about all the technical side, maybe we should simplify a little. Deniers have more to gain, that should be settled. Climate change aside, dosen’t it make sense to make all technological advancements more efficient? Dosen’t it make sense not to waste resources? Excessive packaging, fuel economy etc., shouldn’t we try to improve these areas in the interest of consumers? These are some small steps that we should make that should not even be argued about. Now, about climate change, we all know that earth experiences natural temperature cycles. We all know that human activity contributes to an increase in global temperature. The extent of which is of course in dispute. We all know that biological ecosystems are delicate and are prone to collapse when disturbed to a sufficient degree, the atmosphere is also delicate. Without an atmosphere we end up like mars, with a thicker atmosphere we end up like Venus. More or less. Why not keep an eye on the only thing that matters to all life on this planet, try to maintain it and anticipate future problems? I have heard that there could be 50million planets with life in the known universe, but I seriously doubt we will see a single one in the forseeable human future. We may spread out in our solar system but that is as far as I think we will ever get. So why risk destroying out only home? I am not a fan of capitalism, this is the greatest country on the planet but capitalism unregulated is a very bad idea in the long run. Why do we oppose government control so much. We start talking a “public OPTION” and people start buying assault rifles to get ready to fight the next Stalin. This is hysteria, plain and simple. Things could be far,far worse. You should be thankful your neighbor has not killed you yet. Government is a human concept made reality by adequate laws and policing. Without it we are right back in the jungle. Some of you may like it that way but those with a family and dreams do not. I’m getting off the subject. The problem about global warming isn’t what we know will happen, it is what we don’t know. Not much might happen or the very life supporting structure of the planet could collapse. These are the extremes but I am positive that the result of unregulated polluting from all forms will be negative. The only reason this is in debate, in my opinion, is because people profiting the most(energy companies) are making it a debate and angry,ignorant, greedy little people like Rush,Sean and Bill add fuel to the debate. The uninformed working class dosen’t stand a chance. I’m sorry I compare Rush and Sean and people like them to people like David Koresh and even Charles Manson. But that is my opinion. Fat little hedonists’. I think because the majority of humans value money over morality, that we won’t act on this and it will exponentially worsen. I just hope we don’t completely kill the planet in the process. I will end with one last point since this is turning out to be more of a jab at the right than a point about global warming. We should be concerned with many things, limiting resource waste, recycling, reducing the destruction of the rainforests, and overall sustainability. One way to help our economy and put us in a better position to protect the environment is to put a stop to off-shore tax havens, how many corporations engage in this deplorable activity? How much does the government lose in taxes each year because of this? Just think about all of this, especially if you have children.
    Dethklok Rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Arrow

    Surferosad Says: Nonsense. Here’s what I see: whatever model prediction, or verification of a model that will be given to you that doesn’t fit in with your preconceived notions will immediately be considered not rigourous enough to fit your criteria. In other words, you move the goal posts.

    So, your argument basically amounts to a baseless assertion that even if you could find an experimental verification of a climate model, which so far you couldn’t do, I would still not accept it?

    You are wrong, I would certainly accept it, but I can understand why you have to resolve to such twisted logic – there simply are no experimental verifications of climate models. If they existed we would read about them in every climate thread.

    And no, I am not a denier, I am a skeptic. I agree that the Earth is currently warming, I accept the physics behind the greenhouse effect, I accept that humans *may* be responsible for a significant part of the current warming. But I have some experience with computer models and I am deeply skeptical our climate models can accurately reproduce every important mechanism and feedback of something as complex as global climate. I won’t take anyones word for it I want to see a proof – meaning experimental verification of models predictions, but there is none. I keep bringing this up in climate threads and so far no one has been able to come up with any such verification and so I remain skeptical. But as soon as someone proves his model can accurately predict climate by repeatedly and correctly postdicting or predicting climate I will be happy to change my position.

    Science is the organized skepticism in the reliability of expert opinion – R.P.Feynman

  • MWatson

    CBS News correspondent Declan McCullagh has a blog entry with more information on the controversy among members of the American Physical Society referred to in comment 108 above. http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/12/10/taking_liberties/entry5964504.shtml

  • Sergey, VT

    >>>You’re basically trying to imply that climate scientists fudged the data because of their political convictions, and you assume that those convictions are left wing. Sounds like red-baiting to me.

    Surferosad,
    So, Lef-liberal should be a group protected from any criticism? How predictable :-) But, you are absolutely wrong on semantics. That was “green-biting” or perhaps “left-liberal baiting” or perhaps you need to invent a new word to bully your students into believing that anyone who could be labeled by it is bad person. What problem do you have with left-liberal baiting in general? You liberlas do Republican baiting and I do left-liberal baiting. They all do the same in Congress. You can call it any name, (or I could do) but calling names is not the way to conduct intellectual conversation. The question if it is relevant. And what I said is that left-liberal mob mentality may possibly serve as a sole motivation for commiting data fraud (completely aside of $60 billions that UN asks us to monitore climate change :-) ).

    The worst thing I see here is that you assume that name-calling only may constitute a proof and get you some leverage in discussion. OK, let us asume that I can be also possibly a racist, sexist, homophobe and fascist or a criminal. But pointing to any of this circumstences would not in any way disproof of what I said about possibility of data fraud based on political motivations.

    >>>Anyway, thank you for once again amply demonstrating the uselessness of debating climate change deniers.

    Same to you. You are a geologist by training. I suggest you to complement your study with basic Aristotelean logic and learn at least one thing that ad-hominem attacks do not constitute proof and do not even show you in good light .

    Well, I have the same problem with M. Mann and his writings on RealClimate as I have with you. The combating posture, name calling and demagogy (misuse of semantics) are signs of unsrupulous mind and of a potential lier.

  • Surferosad

    To Sergey and Arrow, a single word: piffle.

  • Sergey, VT

    Climategate “red-baiting” aka left liberal baiting is becoming somewhat mainstream. It seems that many people see it the way Lord Monkton and I see it:

    from: http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/5756

    The biggest scientific scandal in this generation is that “scientists” who ****push socialism through a Global Warming Scare ****tried to “hide the decline” in global temperatures and to destroy or manipulate — “trick” — data that disproved their theory. That they could not duplicate the experiment independently without lying is proof, to me, that Global Warming is a hoax (see REM). The fact that the Global Warming crowd by and large indulges in larger carbon footprints than everyone else is also proof that they do not believe in their junk science.

    REM: This is simple Bayesian reasoning, used by detectives, common people, statistitians, politicians but somehow forgoten by practcioners of fundamantal sciences. Though, it is R. T. Cox and later E.T Jaynes (author of Probability Theory: The Logic of Science ) who glorified Bayesian reasoning.

  • Sergey, VT

    W. Grey,”renowned hurricane forecaster ” nails it down:
    from http://newsmax.com/InsideCover/gray-global-warming/2009/12/08/id/338053

    “These warming scenarios have been orchestrated by a combination of environmentalists, vested interest scientists wanting larger federal grants and publicity, the media which profits from doomsday scenario reporting, governmental bureaucrats who want more power over our lives, and **socialists*** who want to level-out global living standards. These many alarmist groups appear to have little concern over whether their global warming prognostications are accurate, however. And they most certainly are not. The alarmists believe they will be able to scare enough of our citizens into believing their propaganda that the public will be willing to follow their advice on future energy usage and agree to a lowering of their standard of living in the name of climate salvation.”

    Yes, that is precisely how I see it.

    “…The global climate models predicting large amounts of global warming for a doubling of CO2 are badly flawed. They should never have been used to establish government climate policy.”

    “The last century’s global warming of about 1 degree Fahrenheit is not a consequence of human activities. This warming is primarily the result of a multi-century changes in the globe’s deep ocean circulation. …”

    This guy earned his right to have his opinion, ***unlike most of us***.

    “The recent “Climategate” revelations coming out of the University of East Anglia are but the tip of a giant iceberg of a well organized international climate warming ***conspiracy ***that has been gathering momentum for the last 25 years.”

  • Surferosad

    Sergey, you and other deniers remind me of something once said by Mark Twain:

    “The less I know about a subject, the more confidence I have, and the more new light I throw on it”

  • http://tispaquin.blogspot.com Doug Watts

    At the beginning and at the end, denialists are always left with only one explanation: a giant, secret global conspiracy.

  • Sergey, VT

    Surferosad ,
    I am not debating here if climate chage is real, I am not qualified to do it. I did not say I have informed opinion. What I said is that I do not trust to people caught in lies and that possible motivation for lies is political agenda (along with financial interests). Acting based on IPCC report will be as good as acting based on coin throw. It is 50/50 chance to get it right. Would you invest $60 billions of your own money (if you had that) based on a coin throw?

    >At the beginning and at the end, denialists are always left with only one explanation: a giant, secret global conspiracy.

    Doug,
    At the beginning and at the end, alarmist are always left with only one explanation: a giant, secret funding from Exon Mobile, Shell etc . Is not this the way how you would explain the report from NIPCC: http://www.nipccreport.org/ debunking AGW? And is not this the way how you would explain Alan Carlin’s report supressed by EPA? (even while Carlin is paid only by EPA :-) )

  • Janne

    So if you think AGW is real, how far will you bend over for Mother Nature. Will you volunteer for sterilization in accord to the one-child policy for example?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ioj53IBf4nM

    How do you feel about these sorts being the recipient of your “climate debt”.

  • DaveH

    The IPCC are NOT under investigation.

    The CRU is based at the University of East Anglia!

    The funding for climate change “skeptics” from Exonmobil and Shell is, at least in part, not even secret!
    (They publish accounts like all other companies….)

    Janne, AGW is either true or it isn’t. It does not mean you will have to be sterilized.

    http://www.realclimate.org

  • Janne

    I think the discussion should be kept in perspective to the meathook realities of these new policies tied with the AGW.

    http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=2314438

  • Gary

    “My own take is: what in the world is the big deal?”

    My own take is that I don’t appreciate them, or your take on them, making me (by unearned association) look bad for my choice of related profession.

    Intelligent people aren’t supposed to be stupid.

    Or irrational.

    You’re embarrassing.

  • Sergey, VT

    >>>The funding for climate change “skeptics” from Exonmobil and Shell is, at least in part, not even secret!

    Read it: they funded by Big Oil, so what they write must be false. Here we have a good example of reasoning based on science :-)

    I am becoming extremely suspicious of people who speak on behalf of science about politicaly significant questions.

  • Sergey, VT

    RE: Conspiracy.

    Climategate to RICO, the call is becoming loud.
    http://biggovernment.com/2009/11/21/manipulating-climate-change-warming-to-rico/
    Manipulating Climate Change: Warming to RICO?

    Well, now it really does look like a massive conspiracy to defraud the government……
    Fraud is a RICO predicate offense. If what we are seeing unfold is evidence of fraud, a RICO complaint is a possibility, along with what the “discovery” process would reveal.

    http://www.webcommentary.com/php/ShowArticle.php?id=websterb&date=091125
    Those who were most responsible for massive diversion of federal spending (tens of billions of dollars over the past three decades) should not only be fired, they should be tried for criminal conspiracy and violations of the RICO Act. They have corrupted science, the classroom and political processes for their own personal empire-building gains.

    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_113009/content/01125109.guest.html
    I have an article here: “RICO Convictions of Major Tobacco Companies Affirmed — [T]he DC Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a 92-page per curiam opinion upholding the judgment issued by DC District Court … in August 2006.” Well, this is how the big warmers should be treated, exactly — and Algore is the biggest of the big warmers along with Phil Jones and Michael Mann and everybody else at this CRU place at East Anglia. There should be legal consequences for this fraud! I remember those hearings. Waxman held those hearings. That’s when the CEO said nicotine was not addictive. Remember all that? We’ve been through this before. Except last time the left was out destroying a capitalist enemy. This time they’re circling the wagons around one of their own, which is genuinely destroying capitalism.

    http://www.examiner.com/x-9111-SF-Environmental-Policy-Examiner~y2009m12d11-Global-warming-loyalty-oaths-and-Climategates-smoking-gun

    For more than two weeks we have heard the establishment scientists saying that the leaked emails were take out of context. Unfortunately for them, putting them in context makes it even worse, as McIntyre shows with one series that should have district attorneys dusting off the definition of RICO statutes. The emails show collusion to place inaccurate and incomplete data into public evidence for policy makers charged with enacting appropriate legislation to evaluate and deal with climate change.

    http://www.pointoflaw.com/archives/2009/12/climategate-rel.php
    From there you proceed into issues of potential legal liability, for transparency and other laws broken, possible RICO exposure, and other legal fallout for the principals.

  • DaveH

    “http://www.rushlimbaugh.com…..”

    HAHAHAHAHAHA. LMAO.

    http://www.realclimate.org

  • Sergey, VT

    >>>“http://www.rushlimbaugh.com…..” HAHAHAHAHAHA. LMAO.

    Dave,
    Your arguments are based on science ,as usually :-) Well if you want to know (1), I like Rush Limbaugh, Mishelle Malkin and Mark Levin. I also (2) do believe in God and (3) family values. (4) I support Republican Party as of this summer. Any public outrage on this statement ???

    OK, I will do it for you on your behalf: In any liberal University in US (not just ours) the first and the forth will make me a fascist, the second an ignorant bigot and the third a homophobe. And that would come from faculties not from students. And I know this too well and that is why now I want to go and work for industry and stay away from academia. I developed some sort of contempt for people who hide behind their degrees, tell us that they reason based on science while in reality they are more stupid than the rest of us if you take them outside of their field. In common human world they are less smart than an average person sampled from a telephone book. So, I would rather go and speculate on Wall Street, at least I will be surrounded by decent and honest people, I mean more decent and honest than ones I see in academia.

  • bmatkin

    1. We are carbon life forms. Does anyone here on this blog know of any way that we can get raw molecular carbon into our bodies other than CO2 in Photosynthesis, and then consuming the product? No?
    2. Therefore CO2 is plant food, and the by product is O2 right?
    3. We are arguing about plant food and O2 is not a pollutant.
    4. It is a known and easily provable fact that an increase in CO2 increases plant output and growth geometrically.
    5. Volcanoes produce more CO2 in a year than man makes in a decade.
    6. So you AGW true believers want me to believe that CO2 is a pollutant and I can control volcanoes by a higher tax rate. Is that right?
    Boy I must have missed something somewhere in science class in school.

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Cosmic Variance

Random samplings from a universe of ideas.

About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] cosmicvariance.com .

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