Attacks on Climate Science Now "Completely Out of Hand"

By Chris Mooney | February 20, 2010 10:32 am

This is one of the main stories here at the AAAS meeting in San Diego:

SAN DIEGO—A symposium organized here at the last minute by two of the world’s most prominent scientific organizations addressed recent attacks on an increasingly beleaguered climate science community. The panel met in the uncertain aftermath of the release of e-mails stolen from prominent climate scientists and critiques of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The panel of academics was convened by National Academy of Science President Ralph Cicerone, in conjunction with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (which publishes ScienceNOW), which is holding its annual meeting here. At a time when the biggest headlines on science have been over the flaws or legitimacy of climate science, said Cicerone, recent skirmishes over climate research “have really shaken the confidence of the public in the conduct of science [overall].” He cited a number of recent polls, which show a “degradation” in the respect of the public for science in general.

Climate researchers have taken the biggest hit. They are feeling the brunt of what IPCC author Chris Field has described as a “feeding frenzy” since the November e-mail release. “The situation is completely out of hand,” said Texas A&M climate scientist Gerald North. “One guy e-mailed me to say I’m a ‘whore for the global warming crowd.’ ” His PowerPoint presentation included a slide quoting conservative talk show host Glenn Beck: “If the IPCC had been done by Japanese scientists, there’s not enough knives on planet Earth for hara-kiri that should have occurred.”

I get the sense that scientists and their institutions are so concerned over what has occurred in the past few months that there are going to be very real changes made, so as to ensure that better defenses of science are mounted in the future. It will be very interesting to watch what develops on this front…

Comments (419)

  1. Jon

    Max Blumenthal likes this letter from Eisenhower to Steven Biggs, written during the attacks Eisenhower received from McCarthy and the John Birch society:

    It is difficult indeed to maintain a reasoned and accurately informed understanding of our defense situation on the part of our citizenry when many prominent officials, possessing no standing or expertness except as they themselves claim it, attempt to further their own ideas or interests by resort to statements more distinguished by stridency than by accuracy.

    Even if this division in the government did not exist, I doubt that citizens like yourself could ever, under our democratic system, be provided with the universal degree of certainty, the confidence in their understanding of our problems, and the clear guidance from higher authority that you believe needed. Such unity is not only logical but indeed indispensable in a successful military organization, but in a democracy debate is the breath of life. This is to me what Lincoln meant by government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

    The mental stress and burden which this form of government imposes has been particularly well recognized in a little book about which I have spoken on several occasions. It is “The True Believer,” by Eric Hoffer; you might find it of interest. In it, he points out that dictatorial systems make one contribution to their people which leads them to tend to support such systems–freedom from the necessity of informing themselves and making up their own minds concerning these tremendous complex and difficult questions.

    But while this responsibility is a taxing one to a free people it is their great strength as well–from millions of individual free minds come new ideas, new adjustments to emerging problems, and tremendous vigor, vitality and progress.

    One of my own major aims and efforts has been to assist in every way open to me in giving our people a better understanding of the great issues that face our country today–some of them indeed issues of life and death. Through being better informed, they can best gain greater assurance regarding our nation’s situation and participate in establishing policies and programs which they think to be sound and right. The quest for certainty is at best, however, a long and arduous one. While complete success will always elude us, still it is a quest which is vital to self-government and to our way of life as free men.

  2. Katharine

    If Eisenhower was alive today, he’d be hanging his head in shame.

  3. Katharine

    And, of course, there’s the problem of the fact that the citizenry is increasingly acting like a pack of 2-year-olds about this and not acting terribly maturely.

    Honestly, when the conversation devolves to an uneducated moron whose salary far outstrips what his lack of brains deserves, which is nothing, calling for the suicide of climate scientists (Glenn Blecch is an uneducated moron), and people calling others these kind of dumb things, that means America’s gone to crud.

    No, really, I can’t stand anyone who can’t argue with nuance or without making stupid threats. F**k the lazy-minded and simple-minded.

  4. Katharine

    Looking in the comments on that Alternet thread (Alternet is kind of similar to HuffPo; liberal, but up to its ears in woo), apparently a lot of people are all ‘ooh, we need someone to swoop in and save the day’.

    Pathetic.

  5. Jon

    Something I recently learned about Eisenhower is that he made his early military career writing–a communicator.

  6. JJ

    Katherine, you sound like a narrowed minded ideologue in my opinion, always talking bad of everything not Liberal and using everything Liberal as the source of all that is true. I think it is you who needs to take your head out of the sand and really absorb what’s happening in the real world. Your hard partisan views are political biases skewing your view of reality. Liberals do not rule the world and are not the source of all that is good and true. If anyone isn’t skeptic of “climate change” after the head IPCC scientist came out and confirmed there hasn’t been warming in 15 years and that the middle ages was likely warmer than Earth today, among other legitimate criticisms from scientists, then there’s something very wrong with your logic.

  7. Graybird

    Science has always been under attack. Anything that encourages thinking in an atmosphere of ignorance is subject grave suspicion. Although I sympathize with the previous correspondents, it is probably not helpful to resort to calling names.

  8. Mat

    What is completely out of hand is the scientific communities inability to follow the scientific method when confronted with alternative opinions and contradictory evidence. But, that is what money and pride does to a person. Not that either moderators of this blog have any conflict of interest in the matter. How about those book sales.

  9. Busiturtle

    I suggest the climate science community begin by taking to heart the criticism of Dr. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan professor of atmospheric sciences at MIT.

    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/letters/articles/2010/02/19/the_sound_of_alarm/

    KERRY EMANUEL’S Feb. 15 op-ed “Climate changes are proven fact’’ is more advocacy than assessment. Vague terms such as “consistent with,’’ “probably,’’ and “potentially’’ hardly change this. Certainly climate change is real; it occurs all the time. To claim that the little we’ve seen is larger than any change we “have been able to discern’’ for a thousand years is disingenuous. Panels of the National Academy of Sciences and Congress have concluded that the methods used to claim this cannot be used for more than 400 years, if at all. Even the head of the deservedly maligned Climatic Research Unit acknowledges that the medieval period may well have been warmer than the present.

    The claim that everything other than models represents “mere opinion and speculation’’ is also peculiar. Despite their faults, models show that projections of significant warming depend critically on clouds and water vapor, and the physics of these processes can be observationally tested (the normal scientific approach); at this point, the models seem to be failing.

    Finally, given a generation of environmental propaganda, a presidential science adviser (John Holdren) who has promoted alarm since the 1970s, and a government that proposes funding levels for climate research about 20 times the levels in 1991, courage seems hardly the appropriate description – at least for scientists supporting such alarm.

  10. gillt

    When dealing with people like Glen Beck climate science could benefit from a shifting of the Overton Window.

  11. jwoww

    I’d just like to say that I’m one of those people that supported the science behind AGW for a long time – but I am fairly skeptical about it in light of the many revelations that have come out recently. It’s been kind of shocking to read about the number of gaffes that have been made by the climate scientists that I had trusted before.

    I still think we need to aggressively curb our energy use and keep our environment clean, so I think my position about what we should actually do (support clean energy, increase MPG on cars, etc) would be the same as all the people that support AGW. But I don’t think an aggressive Cap and Trade (as one example) is justified until this matter is more clear.

    What we really need are better scientists doing better and more open science.

  12. Jon

    This Overton Window fetish can get pretty silly. Overton window with regards to what proposition? I like Josh Rosenau’s comments on the subject:

    You can’t move that window all the way to the end at once. Indeed, part of the reason that vouchers haven’t caught on is that people know it is just one small step towards an ultimate goal of a Balkanized private school system. If Overton had simply insisted that the government stop funding schools, I wouldn’t be writing about him right now.

  13. Jeffrey S. Kargel

    One thing I have noticed is that some of the Joe Public attackers (one person in my own extended family in fact) have an “understanding” of science and climate change research and global change research that seems more related to what they see from Hollywood (Water World and 2012, among others) than to what scientists are actually doing and saying. Some of the attackers are not stupid; my aforementioned family member is a clever computer programmer. Generally they are terribly misinformed about science and not very capable when it comes to critical evaluation, but ultimately, after the denialist industry has their say in the blogs and other media, Joe Public is able to sort out some fictions from nonfiction. Ultimately, we have to assume that Joe Public is able to see through the smoke and dust clouds the denialists raise, so I’d say that it’s likely that science will have the final word before it’s utterly too late to make timely effective course corrections in human interventions in the climate system. But to do so, Joe Public needs more actual scientific knowledge. This is a difficult set of challenges. One problem is that Joe Public generally doesn’t read SCIENCE magazine or even the NYT Science Times or Discover magazine. They go to the theater and watch movie DVDs on their computer, and some fraction may read front-page articles in their local paper; some get science information from their preacher or minister at church or from their favorite politician. We must address the political and information/misinformation landscape in front of us, which includes this broad issue of misinformation via our culture of pseudo-science-for-entertainment. When Joe Public sees Water World or 2012 or Jurassic Park, whether they become frightened enough to warrant the ticket price or not, almost everybody goes away with a skewed sense of what science is about. Ultimately, those who buy into that sort of thing will also listen to denialists who point out (correctly) that all that Hollywood stuff is junk science. Since Joe Public doesn’t have an understanding of actual science, the denialists then have fertile grounds to plant their own misinformation, which takes root in the ways we’ve observed, with these illogical leaps into blatant falsehood and these peculiar charges of malfeasance and even death threats issued to global change researchers. I have become convinced through all this bizarre behavior that scientists must confront ignorance at many levels, including some, such as Hollywood, where we have tended to just let the ignorance have its say; we go our way and we let Hollywood go their way unchallenged, figuring that its just harmless entertainment. We have ignored that component of our culture. Confronting Hollywood is perhaps one among a dozen challenges which we must surmount, but it is one of them.

  14. gillt

    Jon: “This Overton Window fetish can get pretty silly. Overton window with regards to what proposition?”

    This is your reaction to the mere mention of term, to call it a fetish and silly? Seems like your criticism has more to do with you personally than with any argument.

  15. Jon

    gillt–You and others here have mentioned the term before. And I’ve seen it on PZ Myers’ blog too.

    I think the concept has merit, but as Rosenau notes, you can apply it in some pretty boneheaded ways.

  16. Harman Smith

    “He cited a number of recent polls, which show a “degradation” in the respect of the public for science in general.”

    Then the public never really respected science in the first place.

  17. bilbo

    When dealing with people like Glen Beck climate science could benefit from a shifting of the Overton Window.

    What a great idea! Let’s just all act like liberal counterparts of Glenn Beck – everyone off the medication!!!!!!

    Who’s gonna be left in the middle to benefit if everyone’s acting like either Glenn Beck or PZ Myers? (And, if there are people left, I’m sure the wackos squatting and taking dumps on their heads will help. The Overton Window only works if the middle is what you’re tryign to improve – not squash with an iron fist.)

  18. gillt

    Bilbo, splitting the difference isn’t a rational argument because you want to define what constitutes as extreme.

  19. Petey

    I think the concept has merit, but as Rosenau notes, you can apply it in some pretty boneheaded ways.

    Yes, Jon – polarize, polarize, polarize!!!!

    Some people just use the Window to justify acting like a 7-year-old with a filthy mouth and using rhetoric that would be deemed absolutely pathetic in any other sitation (see: PZ Myers and some (but not all!) New Atheists). That’s most certainly NOT the Window’s purpose.

  20. gillt

    Your typical hyperbole in dealing with those you disagree with isn’t a rational argument either.

  21. Jon

    The Overton Window, framing: both can be misapplied by boneheads.

  22. Milton C.

    Your typical hyperbole in dealing with those you disagree with isn’t a rational argument either.

    When it’s a New Atheist using hyperbole, it’s the Overton Window: virtuous, blameless, and needed by science.

    When it’s an accommodationist using hyperbole, it “isn’t a rational argument.”

    *facepalm/desk/wall/chair/floor* I would say both qualify as the latter type of hyperbole.

  23. gillt

    ZOMG, the boneheads!
    Incisive as usual Jon.

  24. Philip Jr.

    gillt:

    Seeing as how you applaud the use of hyperbole by New Atheists as something that science could “benefit from” but then call the same hyperbole from another person not a “rational argument,” is that called irony, a shifty value system, or just plain confusion on your part?

    And when you dismiss someone’s opinion as a “fetish” just because you disagree with it, what is your use of hyperbole called?

  25. Philip Jr.

    Dammit, Milton. you beat me to the punch.

  26. Milton C.

    gillt:

    Seeing as how you applaud the use of hyperbole by New Atheists as something that science could “benefit from” but then call the same hyperbole from another person not a “rational argument,” is that called irony, a shifty value system, or just plain confusion on your part?

    The most parsimonious answer? All three.

    And when you dismiss someone’s opinion as a “fetish” just because you disagree with it, what is your use of hyperbole called?

    I’m not sure, but in the debate world, quick dismissals of opinions based solely on where thy lead certainly are NOT considered rational.

  27. JJ

    I agree Bilbo, that’s exactly how it works, present one side as sane to make the other side look extreme. The problem with the window argument is that unless there’s hard or convincing evidence supporting claims, it’s simply political propaganda, dependent on one’s perspective.

    “When dealing with people like Glen Beck climate science could benefit from a shifting of the Overton Window”

    The burden is on the one making the claim to present proof that refutes the claims of the skeptics. If you aren’t skeptic of “climate change” after all the recent outpouring of evidence, you must be in denial or live under a rock. Recommending shifting the window is just a confirmation that “climate change” has no scientific basis. If the evidence was so strong that it couldn’t be refuted, there would be no need to move the window, nor to convince people of its absolute truth.

  28. gillt

    Is it still called accommodationism if you use Overton Window tactics Milton? Doesn’t it get interpreted by as militant and damaging? Isn’t that what’s at the heart of the disagreement between NAs and accommodationists?

    Wait, why am I responding to people who are incapable of following their own advice?

  29. Seminatrix

    gillt–You and others here have mentioned the term before. And I’ve seen it on PZ Myers’ blog too.

    I think the concept has merit, but as Rosenau notes, you can apply it in some pretty boneheaded ways.

    I wish everytime I acted like a D-Bag a got criticized for it, I could just say “Overton Window!!!” and be absolved from all douchiness and irrelevancy for it, like gillt tries to do to make excuses for the NAs.

    …but I have at least a marginal understanding of political science, and I try not to apply such things so incorrectly.

  30. gillt

    This is what I was responding to:

    “This Overton Window fetish can get pretty silly.”

    That barely qualifies as a coherent statement, much less a reasoned response to my suggestion.

  31. gillt

    Let’s get a consensus here: since you all seem tribally–as bilbo would say–united against what doesn’t work (without actually giving a reason why, of course) what is the correct **accomodationist** response to people like Glen Beck?

  32. Milton C.

    Isn’t that what’s at the heart of the disagreement between NAs and accommodationists?

    Here are the heart of my personal disagreements with both:

    1.) Accommodationists falsely try to claim that science and religion are philosophically compatible.

    2.) New Atheism has much less to do with science or reason and simply just reeks of groupthink.

    If New Atheism could drop the religion-esque mind guarding and immaturity, I’d probably selfidentify as a New Atheist. I don’t really have a problem with most of their core arguments – it just has all the nasty trappings of an ideology, and that’s what I became an atheist to be a part of. In fact, I became a nonbeliever to get away from all that crap.

  33. Milton C.

    edit: “that’s NOT what I became an atheist to be a part of.”

  34. Katharine

    JJ, the earth has in many ways actually been warming since the Industrial Revolution. We just didn’t notice it until now.

    Who’s the narrow-minded ideologue? You’re the narrow-minded ideologue.

  35. JJ

    Basically, gillt is saying “I’m right and everyone else is wrong”…isn’t that how the window works? Hahaha, you crack me up Katherine.

  36. Philip Jr.

    Let’s get a consensus here: since you all seem tribally–as bilbo would say–united against what doesn’t work (without actually giving a reason why, of course) what is the correct **accomodationist** response to people like Glen Beck?

    Wait a minute: I thought “accommodationism” referred to those who hold the opinion of science and religion being compatible. Unless I missed something, I think both an accommodationist and a New Atheist could call Beck an idiot and not compromise their positions in the context of what I’ve seen.

    Or are you just using “accommodationist” as an empty invective, gillt?

  37. gillt

    Philip: “And when you dismiss someone’s opinion as a “fetish” just because you disagree with it, what is your use of hyperbole called?”

    I didn’t dismiss anyone’s opinion as a fetish. Does that even make sense? No, no it doesn’t.

  38. jwoww

    Katharine- Who employs you? I have a suspicion.

  39. Milton C.

    Let’s get a consensus here: since you all seem tribally–as bilbo would say–united against what doesn’t work (without actually giving a reason why, of course) what is the correct **accomodationist** response to people like Glen Beck?

    Seeing as how I’m not an accommodationist (at least in any meaningful context rather than as a label for those gillt simply doesn’t like), I can’t really speak for someone like Mooney….although I fail to see how anything Beck said applies to the philosophical compatibility of science and religion.

    But anyway, the issue isn’t “should scientists act nice all the time, or mean all the time?”, gillt. You seem to be falling into the old false dilemma trap again. I have no problem calling someone like Ken Ham an moron just as much as I do someone like Glenn Beck.

    I just differ from the NA approach because I won’t go retaliate against Glenn Beck’s lunacy by going and yelling at my moderately conservative mother.

  40. Jon

    I said “fetish” because you cling to the concept like a totem, you take it beyond its intended application. I was being provocative but perfectly coherent, no?

  41. Jon

    Fetish: any object, idea, etc., eliciting unquestioning reverence, respect, or devotion.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fetish

  42. gillt

    Besides the very few times I have used the term here or anywhere, how in this case have I taken it beyond it’s intended application? Who decides what it’s “intended” application is anyway?

    Jon, you were exhibiting a knee-jerk reaction to a term you think is misused by a certain group of people. That’s predictable, not provocative.

  43. gillt

    Put the dictionary away Jon. The definition of fetish isn’t what’s in question; it’s your application of the word to shut down a straightforward suggestion that I have a problem with.

  44. Jon

    That’s predictable, not provocative.

    It provoked you.

    Who decides what it’s “intended” application is anyway?

    That’s up for debate, of course. I think Josh Rosenau (and I) are making an appeal to common sense: E.g, “If Overton had simply insisted that the government stop funding schools, I wouldn’t be writing about him right now.” There are boneheaded ways to apply the concept.

  45. Philip Jr.

    Jon, you were exhibiting a knee-jerk reaction to a term you think is misused by a certain group of people.

    Again, gillt criticizes something that his favorite New Atheists do: have knee-jerk reactions. Have some constancy in your values, man!

  46. Philip Jr.

    Back on topic for a moment. A question for the skeptics: do you see personally-motivated emails and Glenn Beck suggesting scientist suicide a justifiable response?

  47. Katharine

    “the head IPCC scientist came out and confirmed there hasn’t been warming in 15 years”

    Cite please.

    And jwoww, I am a student. Unemployed at the moment.

  48. gillt

    Philip, criticizing NAs has nothing to do with the current conversation. Why are you trying to derail the post?

  49. Katharine

    According to denialists, and I am being EXTREMELY generous here citing your ‘side’s sources, there has been no STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT warming in 15 years.

    This says nothing about the wider trend since the beginning of human influence of industrialization on the environment.

    But you’re going to have to link to a direct source of the quote, by which I mean a transcript of the quote in context.

    Also, global warming is more ‘global weirding’, really. Not only has the Mid-Atlantic dug out of the worst snowstorm in 90 years after a huge blizzard a month earlier, but methane is beginning to come out of vents that haven’t been open since the time of the dinosaurs. It has the potential to warm the environment fairly drastically. Over millennia, if they are not resealed to an extent, they will warm our planet to Eocene temperatures.

  50. Katharine

    “CNSNews.com
    Naturally Occurring Methane Vents May Spell Climate Trouble
    Monday, August 31, 2009
    By Charles J. Hanley, Associated Press

    Methane hydrate stability and anthropogenic climate change
    archives-ouvertes.fr [PDF]
    D Archer – Biogeosciences, 2007 – hal.archives-ouvertes.fr

    Methane hydrates and anthropogenic climate change
    uchicago.edu [PDF]
    D Archer – Biosci. Discuss, 2007 – geosci.uchicago.edu

    Gaia’s breath—global methane exhalations
    iqsoft.co.in [PDF]
    KA Kvenvolden, BW Rogers – Marine and Petroleum Geology, 2005 – Elsevier

  51. Katharine

    A Q&A from Phil Jones, who is the dude who denialists claim said there hasn’t been any statistically significant global warming in 15 years, from the BBC, who is significantly less weirdly biased than the Daily Maul:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8511670.stm

    Pay particular attention to this one:

    “B – Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

    Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods. ”

    D – Do you agree that natural influences could have contributed significantly to the global warming observed from 1975-1998, and, if so, please could you specify each natural influence and express its radiative forcing over the period in Watts per square metre.

    This area is slightly outside my area of expertise. When considering changes over this period we need to consider all possible factors (so human and natural influences as well as natural internal variability of the climate system). Natural influences (from volcanoes and the Sun) over this period could have contributed to the change over this period. Volcanic influences from the two large eruptions (El Chichon in 1982 and Pinatubo in 1991) would exert a negative influence. Solar influence was about flat over this period. Combining only these two natural influences, therefore, we might have expected some cooling over this period.”

    “G – There is a debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was global or not. If it were to be conclusively shown that it was a global phenomenon, would you accept that this would undermine the premise that mean surface atmospheric temperatures during the latter part of the 20th Century were unprecedented?

    There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia. For it to be global in extent the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern Hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions.

    Of course, if the MWP was shown to be global in extent and as warm or warmer than today (based on an equivalent coverage over the NH and SH) then obviously the late-20th century warmth would not be unprecedented. On the other hand, if the MWP was global, but was less warm that today, then current warmth would be unprecedented.

    We know from the instrumental temperature record that the two hemispheres do not always follow one another. We cannot, therefore, make the assumption that temperatures in the global average will be similar to those in the northern hemisphere.

    H – If you agree that there were similar periods of warming since 1850 to the current period, and that the MWP is under debate, what factors convince you that recent warming has been largely man-made?

    The fact that we can’t explain the warming from the 1950s by solar and volcanic forcing – see my answer to your question D. ”

    “Q – Let’s talk about the e-mails now: In the e-mails you refer to a “trick” which your critics say suggests you conspired to trick the public? You also mentioned “hiding the decline” (in temperatures). Why did you say these things?

    This remark has nothing to do with any “decline” in observed instrumental temperatures. The remark referred to a well-known observation, in a particular set of tree-ring data, that I had used in a figure to represent large-scale summer temperature changes over the last 600 years.

    The phrase ‘hide the decline’ was shorthand for providing a composite representation of long-term temperature changes made up of recent instrumental data and earlier tree-ring based evidence, where it was absolutely necessary to remove the incorrect impression given by the tree rings that temperatures between about 1960 and 1999 (when the email was written) were not rising, as our instrumental data clearly showed they were.

    This “divergence” is well known in the tree-ring literature and “trick” did not refer to any intention to deceive – but rather “a convenient way of achieving something”, in this case joining the earlier valid part of the tree-ring record with the recent, more reliable instrumental record.

    I was justified in curtailing the tree-ring reconstruction in the mid-20th Century because these particular data were not valid after that time – an issue which was later directly discussed in the 2007 IPCC AR4 Report.

    The misinterpretation of the remark stems from its being quoted out of context. The 1999 WMO report wanted just the three curves, without the split between the proxy part of the reconstruction and the last few years of instrumental data that brought the series up to the end of 1999. Only one of the three curves was based solely on tree-ring data.

    The e-mail was sent to a few colleagues pointing out their data was being used in the WMO Annual Statement in 1999. I was pointing out to them how the lines were physically drawn. This e-mail was not written for a general audience. If it had been I would have explained what I had done in much more detail. “

  52. bilbo

    Philip, criticizing NAs has nothing to do with the current conversation. Why are you trying to derail the post?

    …says the NA troll/mind guard who derailed a climate change thread with attacks on accommodationists long before Philip ever arrived on it.

    *faceeverything*

  53. JJ

    The interview was conducted on British tv, from which the quotes were taken.
    and more controversy:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7026317.ece

  54. Philip Jr.

    Philip, criticizing NAs has nothing to do with the current conversation. Why are you trying to derail the post?

    If you laud hyperbole in one post and condemn hyperbole in the next, don’t be surprised if you get criticized. Similarly, if you voice approval for knee-jerk reactions but later voice disapproval of knee-jerk reactions later on, don’t be surprised if you get criticized.

    I wasn’t “crtiicizing NAs.” I was criticizing your confusing and often self contradictory value system which, disturbingly, seems to view things like hyperbole and hasty reflex reactions based solely on which opinion they’re used to support. (In fact, by crticizing knee-jerk reactions, you were kind-of criticizing NAs yourself….)

  55. Milton C.

    If you laud hyperbole in one post and condemn hyperbole in the next, don’t be surprised if you get criticized. Similarly, if you voice approval for knee-jerk reactions but later voice disapproval of knee-jerk reactions later on, don’t be surprised if you get criticized.

    I wasn’t “crtiicizing NAs.” I was criticizing your confusing and often self contradictory value system which, disturbingly, seems to view things like hyperbole and hasty reflex reactions based solely on which opinion they’re used to support.

    Hear, hear! An NA giving a non-NA a scolding slap on the wrist if they use hyperbole while applauding an NA for their use of hyperbole isn’t much unlike when conservatives criticize liberals who cheat on their wives but stay all mum when other conservatives do it. Both are stinking, steaming piles of mushyminded groupthink.

    Mind guard away, gillt! Attack the dissenters!!!!

  56. JJ

    Here’s an American article of the same and, no, it’s not a right wing partisan Fox conspiracy. The only partisan shows on Fox are the opinion shows of commentators Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity. I also tried to find another source to eliminate any partisan notions you may have about Fox. All the articles say the same thing.

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/02/15/global-warming-insignificant-years-admits-uks-climate-scientist/

    http://thenewamerican.com/index.php/tech-mainmenu-30/environment/2973-climate-scientist-admits-no-warming-in-15-years

  57. bilbo

    If calling out hypocritical arguments is “derailing a thread,” we’re all habitual derailers.

    Rather, I think calling out hypocritical arguments is highlighting giant flaws in another’s reasoning. If you can’t take it, don’t enter the debate or don’t be hypocritical. We all get busted for it, gillt. Some of us just don’t have it in us to acknowledge as much. Those people pull the wrist-slap copout instead.

  58. JJ

    I remain skeptical, especially in light of the obvious political conflict of interest and the admissions of Phil Jones himself that it’s possible the Medieval times were warmer than today (although, we’ll never know for sure), which means humans are not the cause. I have no doubt the Earth is warming to some degree, I’m just not convinced humans are the cause. However, I support finding alternative energy sources as a measure of common sense and energy independence, regardless of the “climate change” debate.

  59. Seminatrix

    An NA giving a non-NA a scolding slap on the wrist if they use hyperbole while applauding an NA for their use of hyperbole isn’t much unlike when conservatives criticize liberals who cheat on their wives but stay all mum when other conservatives do it. Both are stinking, steaming piles of mushyminded groupthink.

    mush, mush, mush….it’s hard to slog through all this muddy “thinking.”

    To get back to gillt’s original point about what science “needs,” let me suggest something ridiculous: scientists need to stop pretending that their approach to outreach/communication is the only correct one, and everyone else’s is some stupid, obsolete approach only used by fools who just don’t “get it.” New Atheism and Not-So-New Atheism can likely both serve science in different ways, despite the friction and differences. Anyone (on either side) toting around this all-or-nothing approach is an irrelevant ideologue, not a true rational thinker.

    In the meantime, acting all huffy and selfrighteous and scolding when someone you disagree with uses a tactic while slapping your fellow ideologues with congratulations across their back when they do the exact same thing only serves to stroke the swollen ego of boneheaded tribalism. It’s a hell of a lot of fun, but it drags science into irrelevancy.

  60. JJ

    and I’ve located the transcript of the Phil Jones interview, further confirming he did indeed say those things:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8511670.stm

  61. jwoww

    “And jwoww, I am a student. Unemployed at the moment.”

    Thanks Katharine for answering my question.

    OK. That’s exactly what I guessed you were and why I asked the question after reading your comments (on this thread and others) .

    Just some humble advice- don’t front your lame hate talk like you are doing, you are smart, but you read like a wannabe Prof that can’t close tenure, you read like a nimf. You don’t read tough, you read “wannabe”.

    Kisses hon.

  62. gillt

    Hearing bilbo and milton talk about hypocrisy is a rich. Such short memories you two.

    btw., where I have applauded a knee-jerk response from anyone?

  63. gillt

    And what’s a mind guard?

    Is that what passes for name-calling around here?

  64. gillt

    In the interest of moving the debate along, I’ll re-post a question: let’s get a consensus: since you all seem tribally–as bilbo would say–united against what doesn’t work (without actually giving a reason why, of course) what is the correct **accommodationist** response to people like Glen Beck?

  65. Adeist

    “what is the correct **accommodationist** response to people like Glen Beck?”

    As I understand it, the accommodationist stance in theism/atheism doesn’t try to accommodate to the far end of the religious spectrum, but finds people at the ‘softer’ end who can make a case for science and religion being compatible from a theist perspective, that softens opposition from theists and moves the ‘centre of gravity’ of theist opinion in the direction you want. So the accommodationist response to AGW scepticism would be to support the luke-warmers in their efforts to study, verify, validate, and explain the science. To support it as a worthwhile and useful activity, show them respect, and to compromise as much as possible rather than take up the usual polarised positions. It shows that you are open to criticism but without surrendering, and indicates that your opinions are more likely to be reasoned rather than tribal.

    So the proper accommodationist response to Glen Beck is to *ignore* Glen Beck and concentrate on supporting people like McIntyre, Pielke, and Lomborg. Beck enjoys the controversy and thrives on your opposition; the fact that he can get up the noses of liberals is what makes him so popular. Why give him that?

    But possibly the best tactical advice is to ask yourself what behaviour on the part of your opponents would be most likely to convert *you* to *their* point of view. People are all much the same. If such a tactic would leave you unmoved, why would you think it would work on them? If theists wanted to move secular science to be more tolerant of religion, would accommodationism on their part work on you?

  66. Joe Public

    @JSK: Joe Public is skeptical and requires open and independent validation of methodology and measurements by non-ideologue critical thinkers. Joe is more scientific than the average commenter on this blog as well as many that earn their living in a field of science.

  67. ThomasL

    Interesting…

    I actually like it when the posters here focus on science instead of all the politicalsocialphilosophicaltheological-religiouseconomic aspects of things (big hint – as soon as you transgress towards personal behavioreconomic systemstheology-religiouspolitical solutions you are no longer working in science…). Several in here seem to be reasonably competent in science, but they should leave the rest to those who actually have some knowledge in the other areas. The couple classes one takes to fulfill the liberal arts requirements of their degree does not give one even as much of an understanding in those areas as most manage to acquire in science over the years of required course work through high school – and you attack them endlessly for “not knowing science”. Keep that in mind when you start arguing other areas that others have studied. It’s part of where and why the whole AGW discussion went off the rails.

    I know enough about science and math to follow your arguments about statistical methods and what not, but not enough to add much to them. My questions are more about the assumptions made in the theory, the ignoring of probability when discussing results (such as how do we end up with claims of within %’s of a degree when nothing we have used or can approximate from the historical records give us such accuracy?). Heck, we didn’t even have a standard method for reading and placing thermometers until the late 1950’s, so even our recent historical knowledge is sketchy and contains some rather large error bands.

    As there are often some rather interesting SCIENCE discussions I hang out here, reading and occasionally learning some things to balance other information. If it drifts into other areas I tend to get more actively involved (economics, philosophy and political science are areas I studied in great depth and still do work in – theology isn’t something I’m willing to get into with friends who constantly pester me about such unless they are willing to do an incredible amount of reading before we even begin…), but this isn’t really the place for all that and there have been few such discussions in here that managed to not end up in mud wrestling…

    When you all start going on about areas outside science it is like sitting in on a freshmen class – entertaining, but not very educational. I believe a post a few months back mentioned part of the problem was scientists started trying to work in the political realm and found themselves to be woefully unprepared for such – believe me, by the time you graduate with a degree in one of those other fields nothing you learned in them the first two years is held as valid, it’s just stuff you need to know to understand what comes after it (kind of like knowing the periodic table – except in the other fields you discover the table is seriously flawed and has been long sense thrown out…). If those of you who keep drifting down these paths want to actually say something of importance I suggest you take the time to do some serious studying in these areas. People don’t work like an experiment in a lab – logic is something everyone likes to think they understand and everyone thinks they are rational… but the truth isn’t quite (or at all) what everyone thinks (just think about the last time you had a discussion with a friend about someone they are breaking up with – lots of reason and logic – none of it sound…).

    Katherine – several of your last posts

    If any of us had said half of what Jones has stated in his last couple interviews the majority of those in here would have been all over us. We would have been called “deniers” and other very unpleasant names while also being accused of being worse than uneducated red necks and right wing fundamentalist greedy capitalist pigs…. Keep studying, and be very careful about becoming a critical thinker rather than just a trained parrot. The later seems to have become the main goal of education over the past couple decades. I’ve watched the process and been involved in education – very hard to explain the paradigm shift in a blog post (your constant demand for “citations” is an indication of it), but we are getting exactly the results we are teaching for, so remember that when you are tempted to disparage the average citizens ability to think, and be even more careful in thinking the older generations suffer from the same condition. In other words, becoming the first may be much harder than you realize, in many respects it is exactly what our current educational system is not producing –by design.

  68. Steve Bartlett

    “Climate science” has proved itself to be about as valid as “creation science”. Sorry boys and girls, but your scam is over. Now go away and flip burgers somewhere.

  69. JJ

    I praise you for avoiding the partisan attacks Katharine. Good information. I believe the studies on the methane vents are exactly the cases that raise greater skepticism that man is the cause. If the Earth can be warming from naturally occurring methane, which we know has the potential to heat the Earth to a greater extent than CO2 (less quantity = more warming), then how much does CO2 really play into it? Along with all the claims over the years of alarmists that we need to cap CO2, but now they’re backing down from those outrageous claims and people are calling them on their bluff. It’s like they (Liberal politicians) tried to move the metaphorical “window” to extreme territory in the debate to foster an agenda, hoping to back off of them a little and have people later agree with them. However, it seems that plan has backfired and now both scientists and politicians are losing the public’s respect for the AGW claims.

    I also feel Al Gore had an appeal to emotions in making such outrageous claims over the years. If you’ve seen his Inconvenient Truth, his drive to expose “global warming” was driven by an internal desire to “save the world”, sort of speak, after almost losing his son to an auto related accident. That kind of emotional drive can supersede logic in anyone because the focus isn’t necessarily on the science, it’s on the results in fulfilling a deep personal goal.

  70. Katharine

    JJ, the New American is the magazine of the John Birch Society. Hardly non-partisan.

  71. Katharine

    “If the Earth can be warming from naturally occurring methane, which we know has the potential to heat the Earth to a greater extent than CO2 (less quantity = more warming), then how much does CO2 really play into it?”

    Because it’s a positive feedback cycle. More CO2 is warming the earth enough so that the methane might be released and further warm the Earth. If we reduce CO2, then it’ll cool off the atmosphere a little, so methane may possibly stop being released.

  72. Katharine

    “Just some humble advice- don’t front your lame hate talk like you are doing, you are smart, but you read like a wannabe Prof that can’t close tenure, you read like a nimf. You don’t read tough, you read “wannabe”.”

    Spoken like a denialist. You make ad-hominems on the people opposing you that detract from the actual argument at hand.

  73. Katharine

    Regarding the Medieval Warm Period, let me quote again from what I just quoted:

    “G – There is a debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was global or not. If it were to be conclusively shown that it was a global phenomenon, would you accept that this would undermine the premise that mean surface atmospheric temperatures during the latter part of the 20th Century were unprecedented?

    There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia. For it to be global in extent the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern Hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions.

    Of course, if the MWP was shown to be global in extent and as warm or warmer than today (based on an equivalent coverage over the NH and SH) then obviously the late-20th century warmth would not be unprecedented. On the other hand, if the MWP was global, but was less warm that today, then current warmth would be unprecedented.

    We know from the instrumental temperature record that the two hemispheres do not always follow one another. We cannot, therefore, make the assumption that temperatures in the global average will be similar to those in the northern hemisphere.”

    Instrumentally, the two hemispheres did not follow one another; it follows, as far as I can tell (if you have data to correct me, please let me know, and I mean ACTUAL data), that the MWP was probably not global, though I don’t think we can know for sure.

  74. Katharine

    Okay, so it says the two hemispheres may not have followed one another, not that they necessarily didn’t. But I think the denialist interpretation of the MWP makes some far-too-ridiculous assumptions that leap from ‘we don’t know’ to ‘WHARRGARBL THE EARTH WAS WARMER THEN’.

  75. bilbo

    So the proper accommodationist response to Glen Beck is to *ignore* Glen Beck and concentrate on supporting people like McIntyre, Pielke, and Lomborg. Beck enjoys the controversy and thrives on your opposition; the fact that he can get up the noses of liberals is what makes him so popular. Why give him that?

    It’s the Most Oblivious Post of the Day Award!!! We have a winner!

  76. Milton C.

    gillt, if you can explain how Glenn Beck talking about climate scientists committing suicide has the remotest thing to do with the philosophical compatibility of science and religion, you might get an answer to that question. Several of us previously pointed out our confusion when you posed it, because it just seemed to use “accommodationist” as an empty label for anyone who is not an NA, devoid of any contextual significance. That still seems to be your problem.

  77. Milton C.

    To get back to gillt’s original point about what science “needs,” let me suggest something ridiculous: scientists need to stop pretending that their approach to outreach/communication is the only correct one, and everyone else’s is some stupid, obsolete approach only used by fools who just don’t “get it.” New Atheism and Not-So-New Atheism can likely both serve science in different ways, despite the friction and differences. Anyone (on either side) toting around this all-or-nothing approach is an irrelevant ideologue, not a true rational thinker.

    Someone’s already beat you to that idea, Seminatrix, but I second your proposition.

  78. Jon

    So the proper accommodationist response to Glen Beck is to *ignore* Glen Beck and concentrate on supporting people like McIntyre, Pielke, and Lomborg.

    Obviously, AGW denial and having a religion are not parallel things. Religion itself is not denialism. Fred Singer and the Pope are not analogous. Bjorn Lomberg and Martin Luther King are not analogous. Only in NA Flatland could people think this way.

  79. bilbo

    But let’s not forget the parallel roads between New Atheism and religion too! Oh, David Sloan Wilson, how I cherish thee:

    “The real world is full of messy trade-offs. When behaviors are evaluated for their effects on self and others, for example, some are good for both (++), or bad for both (–), but many are good for some and bad for others (+- or -+). Any belief system that accurately represents the real world will include examples of all four possibilities. The main purpose of a religion or a stealth religion, however, is not to describe the real world but to motivate a given suite of behaviors. One way to do this is by creating a stylized world without tradeoffs, in which the prescribed behaviors are portrayed as good, good, good for everyone and the prohibited behaviors are portrayed as bad, bad, bad for everyone. Behaviors with mixed effects are absent from the stylized world because they do not clearly tell the believer what to do.

    Using this simple method, it is easy to show that fundamentalist religions portray a world without trade-offs, very unlike the real world, which propel the believer along a single path toward glory and away from ruin. Unfortunately, at least some version of atheism fare no better.

    How about the new atheism of our day? I wish I could report otherwise, but it has all the hallmarks of a stealth religion, including a polarized belief system that represents everything as good, good, good or bad, bad, bad (“how religion poisons everything”), the unquestioned authority of its leaders, and even the portrayal of bad ideas as like demons (parasitic memes) that need to be cast out (“breaking the spell”).”

  80. Katharine

    “Obviously, AGW denial and having a religion are not parallel things. Religion itself is not denialism. Fred Singer and the Pope are not analogous. Bjorn Lomberg and Martin Luther King are not analogous. Only in NA Flatland could people think this way.”

    Religion is just as bereft of evidence.

  81. Katharine

    jwoww, call me ‘hon’ again and I’m going to make a $5 donation to the IPCC in your name.

  82. TB

    Sorry, why are people responding to Gilt? I thought we’d already established his hypocrisy for supporting what NAs do while criticizing others for doing the same thing?

    Back on topic, I’m very interested to see what actions come out of the AAAS meeting. Seems to me this is exactly what Unscientific America was pointing out – the dearth of effective communication about science (not just by scientists as the book points out) only strengthens the hand of those seeking to derail good science.

  83. Jon

    Religion is just as bereft of evidence.

    What if it’s just a very different project than science?

    I just read this book recently:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=C4Jt4QhZBtQC&dq=transcendentalism+gura&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=4GyBS633GsHOlAfs2ZCOBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBgQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=&f=false

    Filled as it was with references to German idealism, as opposed to hard-headed Anglo-American empiricism (and OMG, references to 19th century theology!!!1!) according to the New Atheists, I just completely wasted my time reading about one of the biggest cultural movements in American history.

    Not everything worth your time in life is about the physical sciences, and not everybody has strictly empirical philosophical views.

  84. JJ

    Great post ThomasL. I have an undergrad degree in math and education and studied the educational system. Indoctrination is absolutely happening in our school system today, most notably in colleges. There’s a strong correlation between students aged 18-24 and Liberal political views. However, the alarming notion is that they immediately demonize anyone with differing views, I consider it brainwashing.

    Unfortunately, students are being turned into parrots, not only politically, but in general. That’s one reason why educational performance has been on the decline and why the US is falling behind in math and science in my opinion. In my personal experience, I’m disgusted by how teachers allow students to abuse the calculator. I’ve seen so many kids today, even at the middle school level, that need a calculator to do things as simple as long division and multi-digit addition/subtraction, it’s a sad reflection of our system. Technology is great, but I believe it’s undermining our educational system when teachers abuse the privilege. I passed up a teaching career after learning more about the system and the politics. I’m now working in the business/accounting field.

  85. JJ

    I agree Jon, the New Atheist movement is the equivalent of a religious cult. It has all the same brainwashing and condescending qualities, similar to Nazism. If they had any knowledge of the Constitution and US history, they’d understand how religion and science can and do exist. They’d also learn a thing or two about the freedom of religion and individual rights. This is coming from a non-religious guy as well, before anyone resorts to talking points and deems me some “right wing zealot extremist”.

  86. Philip Jr.

    Back on topic, I’m very interested to see what actions come out of the AAAS meeting. Seems to me this is exactly what Unscientific America was pointing out – the dearth of effective communication about science (not just by scientists as the book points out) only strengthens the hand of those seeking to derail good science

    Agreed, TB. I think an important point that often gets overlooked is also the fact that pretending that just one or two effective communication strategies exist is going to doom science to irrelevancy in the face of its opponents. A good example are NAs and accommodationists acting like each’s strategy is the One and True Strategy to save the world from science denial. That’s just simply a false assertion. So is the assertion (by gillt, to bring him up once more) that if you’re nice to some people who don’t accept science while being mean to others that also don’t accept science is somehow an example of hypocrisy. We also need to understand that people who don’t accept science reach their conclusions by different ways and means and that everyone isn’t just some unthinking, irrational loser that automatically poo-poos evidence and reason (although some invariably are). The broadbrushing needs to stop.

    This might be a shameless plug, but I was excited to see the link that Seminatrix just posted. One of my colleagues writes that blog, and I’ve been interested to watch people like gillt (who paints a very stubborn, ideological image of himself here) really find some points of agreement with those he disagrees with outside this blog. Those are the kinds of conversations we’ve gotta have to get science communication and science as a whole to move anywhere.

    Alright, soapbox over. Back to the NA bashing/lovefest.

  87. gillt

    First Mooney is an accommodationist and doesn’t limit himself to discussions on science and religion. So I really don’t see what comparing science and religion to AGW denialism has to do with it.

    “So the proper accommodationist response to Glen Beck is to *ignore* Glen Beck and concentrate on supporting people like McIntyre, Pielke, and Lomborg. ”

    Accommodationists have nothing to say to Glen Beck. So it seems perfectly compatible to let others respond. Other who can expose his absurdities. This is what Mooney and the rest of the accommodationists along with bilbo and milton are against.

    They say they’re open to different approaches but as we’ve seen with this thread they absolutely are not. They’ll even resort the hardball tactics of NAs (and worse) to make their point. There’s your hypocrisy, TB.

  88. Jon

    They’d also learn a thing or two about the freedom of religion and individual rights.

    There’s also quite a bit in that book to make John Bircher flip out, JJ.

  89. Philip Jr.

    Bah! Milton posted that link, not Seminatrix. Whenever my comment a couple of posts up makes it out of moderation, this post will make some sense.

  90. gillt

    Seminatrix: “scientists need to stop pretending that their approach to outreach/communication is the only correct one, and everyone else’s is some stupid, obsolete approach only used by fools who just don’t “get it.”

    What a strange idea. There is no collective “scientist” response to anything.

  91. Milton C.

    This is what Mooney and the rest of the accommodationists along with bilbo and milton are against.

    Sigh. I guess it doesn’t matter how many times I reiterate that I don’t agree with accommodationism – I’ll still get called an accommodationist. Whatever.

    I’d really like to have a discussion with the mature, adult, rational gillt that posts over on Ataga’hi. This petty, insult-spewing, false position-pinning, trollish gillt is a thoughtless waste of time. (I know, I know….my tone is sooooooooooo mean……)

  92. JJ

    I don’t know who John Bircher is.

  93. JJ

    I believe religion is a personal issue and shouldn’t be conflicted with science. New Atheists have no right to tell people what they can or can’t believe, it’s explicitly written in the Constitution. That was my point there.

  94. gillt

    Milton: (I know, I know….my tone is sooooooooooo mean……)”

    Kettle. Black. Hypocrite.

    You whine and whine about how unfair and mean I am by escalating the insults?

    How does that make sense?

    I’m afraid this makes obvious your willingness to avoid the topic.

  95. Jon

    I don’t know who John Bircher is.

    A member of the John Birch Society. Look them up: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/34486220#34486220

    They produce the magazine you linked to above.

  96. Philip Jr.

    You whine and whine about how unfair and mean I am by escalating the insults?

    gillt, I didn’t see Milton really “whine” about anything. Rather, he correctly pointed out that you’re attempting to pin positions on him which he does not actually hold based on his previous comments here, presumably so you can make arguing your point easier. Pointing out that he wasn’t the most wonderful examplf of civility doesn’t really diminish the validity of what he pointed out.

    In the debate world, we view your kind of position-pinning move as a desperate cop-out. In the blog world, it’s called being a troll. TB was probably right: you should just be ignored, and you should ignore others if their tone grates on you too much.

  97. Seminatrix

    TB was probably right: you should just be ignored, and you should ignore others if their tone grates on you too much.

    Yes, it’s time to ignore the trolls. gillt is usually a good contributor to the comment boards, but once the new atheism enters an equation, an argument has absolutely no value whatsoever to him unless it totally approves of the new atheism. There’s no use arguing with a concrete block wall.

  98. gillt

    “So the proper accommodationist response to Glen Beck is to *ignore* Glen Beck and concentrate on supporting people like McIntyre, Pielke, and Lomborg. Beck enjoys the controversy and thrives on your opposition; the fact that he can get up the noses of liberals is what makes him so popular. Why give him that?”

    Is that really the answer everyone agrees with? Clearly Mooney doesn’t support it (but he always seems to get a free pass around here from those insisting they don’t always agree with him).

    I think it’s an option, certainly not always the best, but I’m not outright opposed to it.

    What we get from those who insist they aren’t accommodationists is a very close-minded insistence that Overton Windows will not work in this situation. Why? Something, something Rosenhouse said so.

  99. JJ

    I see, even though that link is pure anti-conservative propaganda.

  100. JJ

    Funny how Liberals seems to forget that the 9-11 Truthers are part of their movement. For those not familiar, these are people that believe George Bush orchestrated the 9-11 attacks.

  101. bilbo

    JJ, there’s no question that there are goofy nutjobs liberals just as much as there are goofy nutjob conservatives (just look at some of us here!). The important part is to remember that an issue coming out of either side isn’t null and void/false/a conspiracy just because those kinds of people exist.

  102. JJ

    I agree, that was my point.

  103. Jon

    But the 9-11 truthers aren’t sponsoring any major liberal/progressive conventions. Not even close. OTOH, the John Birch Society *is* sponsoring CPAC, where the leading lights of the conservative movement and GOP are speaking. (And also, I posted that because you’re linking to one of the Birchers’ websites, JJ…)

  104. Katharine

    Cripes, JJ, no wonder you can’t think scientifically; your background is in math, which has virtually no scientific method in it.

  105. JJ

    Math is no longer a science? I was duped! I also have a background in physics.

  106. JJ

    The climate change debate entails much more than the scientific method, like politics and economics. There’s a reason it’s still called a theory as well.

  107. bilbo

    The climate change debate entails much more than the scientific method, like politics and economics.

    Precisely. Skeptics with political prejudices find the economic implications of the science inconvenient, so they ignore the scientific method and try to attack the science by any and all means possible. It’s an old method for science denial. By the looks of this post, those means now include encouraging the death of scientists and calling them “whores.” Classy.

    There’s a reason it’s still called a theory as well.

    Fundamental misunderstanding of science #1. I hereby will cease to try to have a reasonable disussion with JJ.

  108. Milton C.

    There’s a reason it’s still called a theory as well.

    I feel this miconception requires some quick and fast debunking.

    “Theory: A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena” (American Heritage Dictionary)

    “Scientific theories are explanations of natural phenomena built up logically from testable observations and hypotheses” (National Academies of Science)

    Just because something is “just a theory” doesn’t mean it’s shoddy or that we should take a default approach that we shouldn’t trust it. If that’s the case, we should all be acting like climate skeptics about evolution and plate tectonics. I hardly see anyone here abstaining from taking antibiotics because they’re based on “just a theory.”

    It’s true, scientific theories can be (and have been proven wrong). It happens all the time. But doing so takes evidence, and in a lack of falsifying evidence for a theory and a ton of confirmatory evidence, a true objective scientist will err on the side of evidence. This is where climate skepticism departs from science and becomes a social movement.

  109. Philip Jr.

    I also have a background in physics.

    I would expect someone with a background in physics to have a better understanding of what “theory” means in science…

  110. JJ

    There’s much skepticism entailed in the whole debate, I’m not getting into long winded explanations about why I remain skeptical. That takes a lot of work. I don’t see how people can say, without a doubt, that we need to dramatically raise taxes on carbon emissions to curb warming. That’s ridiculous for one since it won’t do anything to curb warming, it’ll only result in higher taxes paid by businesses. Then there’s the misleading and downright wrong claims by warming proponents (scientists and politicians) over the years, along with contradictions and it’s use to push a political agenda. There’s much to be skeptical about in the greater perspective. The burden of proof is on those making the claims.

    “Fundamental misunderstanding of science #1. I hereby will cease to try to have a reasonable disussion with JJ.”

    It’s not a fundamental misunderstanding, theories are based on probability, and even then they have been proven wrong. To say the science it settled implies there’s nothing left to question; without questioning, you never find the true answer.

  111. JJ

    Sure a theory can be tested and verified, it’s the logic involved in reached the final deduction that matters. Correlation doesn’t always imply causation.

  112. Philip Jr.

    To say the science it settled implies there’s nothing left to question;

    That sounds good, but have you seen the scientific community just laying down the tools and stopping research? Of course not. Overblown statement.

    It’s not a fundamental misunderstanding, theories are based on probability, and even then they have been proven wrong.

    Your fundamental misunderstanding was in using the fact that climate change is “just a theory” as the default assumption for a stance of science denial. That’s the reverse of objectivity.

    I don’t see how people can say, without a doubt, that we need to dramatically raise taxes on carbon emissions to curb warming.

    Even the IPCC doesn’t say that we should do this “without a doubt.” They actually express a fair amount of uncertainty with regards to this argument (see their long description of probability criteria). Another overblown statement.

    Then there’s the misleading and downright wrong claims by warming proponents (scientists and politicians) over the years, along with contradictions and it’s use to push a political agenda.

    Could you show us a scientific field that has never seen contradictions and/or incorrect claims? No. If people spin science to fit a political agenda, does that make the science itself wrong? No. If you applied these values as the benchmarks for whether or not you trusted a scientific theory, and did it consistently (as value systems are supposed to be applied), then you wouldn’t accept any science. But, instead, we see you applying it selectively to climate change and not to others. That’s confirmation bias, not objective reasoning – fault #1 of a climate skeptic.

    I’m not getting into long winded explanations about why I remain skeptical. That takes a lot of work.

    By all means, please explain it! I hardly see any relevancy in you coming into the discussion to tell us that we’re all wrong but then just say that your reasons are far too complicated for us to comprehend. That’s a fool’s argument.

    The burden of proof is on those making the claims.

    Climate skeptic canard #2. If a scientific article is published, it makes a claim about the workings of the world and backs it up with evidence and data. If a climate skeptic makes a claim about the workings of the natural world, they make the claim and then either run quickly from the room or change the subject. I’ve never seen a group with such strong, selfassured opinions that almost admits that they’re impotent when it comes to backing them up…and then makes no attempt to.

    If you make a claim that established science is wrong, that’s a claim. And the burden of proof is on the accuser. Climate skeptics are some of the ones making the most and loudest claims, yet attempt to exclude themself from the burden of proof. Another fool’s argument.

    That’s ridiculous for one since it won’t do anything to curb warming, it’ll only result in higher taxes paid by businesses.

    Any evidence for this? I’d like to see it.

  113. bilbo

    That’s ridiculous for one since it won’t do anything to curb warming, it’ll only result in higher taxes paid by businesses.

    Ah, how refreshing it is to see someone scolding scientists for making predictions about the future and then making some rather bold and seemingly damning predictions about the future! Skeptic hypocrisy is great!

    Irony is a cruel mistress, isn’ it, JJ?

  114. JJ

    That’s a fact Bilbo. Cap and trade is designed to tax carbon emissions that exceed a government regulated level. Therefore, business that emit large amounts of CO2 will pay higher taxes. Based on the alarmist claims that we need to reduce CO2, you’d think they’d prefer to do something more effective because all “capping” means is that a business will be taxed for their “excess” CO2. It doesn’t reduce any from the air, therefore why do it? I’m not sure how you deem this bold and hypocritical. You must be basing that on the assumption that deniers don’t believe CO2 is a cause, but that’s not my argument. The argument is the hypocrisy in “capping” emissions to reduce CO2, when it won’t reduce them significantly, if at all.

  115. Jon

    Cap and trade is not a tax. In fact, it was originally proposed by Reagan era Republicans to deal with acid rain:

    http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=1085

    And it does *not* “only mean” that CO2 emitting businesses are capped and charged for excess emissions. It means that cleaner energy is subsidized, making up for the emissions, which is an externality. It basically shifts economic activity from one part of the economy to another:

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/27/the-textbook-economics-of-cap-and-trade/

    The “dead weight loss” is the cost of the switch, but that cost (especially when weighed against the costs of the externality of CO2) will probably not be that great. Especially when fossil fuels are on their way to being a scarce commodity anyway.

    You’re ill informed, JJ. But if you read John Birch pubs to get your info, that’s not surprising.

  116. bilbo

    What Jon said, JJ. You’re simplfying and misrepresenting again (but, I do like that we’ve suddenly gone from “those who accept global climate change” to “alarmists.” The cloak of impartiality has come off, eh?)

  117. JJ

    Jon, citing the NY times and EDF? Really? You should read real publications like the Economist, Wall Street Journal, and Real Clear Markets , and yes it was first proposed by Reagan, but that proposal is not the same plan that has been drawn up today by Congress. The plan is indeed a tax. I also don’t get info from this John Birch wacko, I didn’t hear of him until you all told me, so drop the spin.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125011380094927137.html

    It’s very difficult and expensive for a company to find other methods of power that don’t emit much CO2. Even if a company were to implement some method for reducing or recycling CO2, it would cost them millions. They can’t slow production to reduce emissions, so the only other options are: pay hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in higher taxes, spend millions to develop some form of emission reduction technology, or spend millions to convert to another fuel source. In this economy, implementing such measures would certainly contribute to increased unemployment and have a negative short term affect on GDP. It would also take years to implement and be very tough to enforce on a national scale. Of course, all of this assumes carbon standards will become more stringent over time and simply purchasing a carbon permit (taxing) will end up being more costly in the long run than to convert a power source.

  118. Philip Jr.

    JJ, even the most ardent champions of cap and trade don’t think that cap and trade by itself will suddenly reduce the level of atmospheric CO2. That’s not even the point. After all, we have lovely natural mechanisms that scrub CO2 from our atmosphere every day. But the problem is that as long as we’re pumping CO2 into the atmosphere at ridiculous rates that surpass the natural release of CO2 by several orders of magnitude, the carbon cycle can’t scrub CO2 fast enough. We overwhelm the system. Atmospheric CO2 increases.

    That’s what cap and trade tries to get at. By lowering our rate of input, we can allow the natural cycle to finally come a bit closer to catching up and ultimately dropping levels of CO2. There’s really nothing that controversial about the mechanisms behind this. The controversy comes from people concerned with charging industry for emissions.

    I’m not a huge fan of cap and trade myself, but I hardly see it as a reason to distrust the science of climate change. That’s a silly strawman. The way I see it, though, is this: let’s assume (for your sake) that the science of climate change is right. We’ve known this for over a decade now. Business and industry have had their chances to recognize their contribution to the problem and make meaningful changes themselves. But they haven’t. The only recourse we have left is for some regulation. No matter what you’re opinion of government is (I’m starting to get the vibe that you’re a “government is bad; industry is virtuous” kind of guy), the problem here, at least, is pretty clear-cut.

  119. JJ

    “but, I do like that we’ve suddenly gone from “those who accept global climate change” to “alarmists.” The cloak of impartiality has come off, eh?”

    I’ve already told you I’m a skeptic numerous times, if you haven’t pick up on that by now.

    Furthermore, when you have instances like climatologists saying the Himalayan glaciers are going to be gone in 35 years or that polar bears are in danger of extinction (both of which clearly not true), you can imagine why the public is so skeptical. People also hear that there hasn’t been any significant warming in 15 years, even though our carbon emissions have only increased over that time. Simple human (non-scientist) logic would lead you to question such claims. Why don’t the climatologists give a press conference to answer all these questions of the public? If knowledge is power, why not educate everyone on it? All the public knows is that “scientists say we’re warming, but when I look outside, there’s snow everywhere, must be a total sham”. Well, come forward and explain the logic behind it.

    You have to remember, the public doesn’t understand climatology and issuing alarmist threats like “if we don’t act now the world will self destruct” (Al Gore) doesn’t inspire public trust and confidence, they simply laugh and dismiss it. If the level of threat was that dire, the Copenhagen summit would have turned out some results by world leaders. However, we are still doing a lot to reduce our use of fossil fuels anyway, especially in the auto industry. So, even the proponents should be happy something is being done.

  120. bilbo

    Alright, JJ – there you go with the extraordinary claims. Let’s see if you pass the “provide the evidence” test, or if you deflect, ramble, and change the topic instead. I’ll give you that the Himalayan glacier claim was probably a bogus prediction. But you made some claims about things that aren’t predictions and should be able to be strongly backed by evidence. Ready? Here we go:

    Claim #1: Polar bears are not threatened with extinction (“Polar bears are in danger of extinction (both of which clearly not true))”

    Evidence, please? I’m talking scientific journal articles which update the rangewide conservation status of the polar bear and say that it’s thriving.

    Claim #2: People also hear that there hasn’t been any significant warming in 15 years, even though our carbon emissions have only increased over that time. Simple human (non-scientist) logic would lead you to question such claims.

    Evidence, please? I’d like to see where global temperatures have been well below the mean for the past 15 years, seeing as how the evidence actually suggests that we’re consistently seeing some of the top warmest years on record. But if you’ve got some shocking, peer-reviewed evidence, by all means. Show us.

    Why don’t the climatologists give a press conference to answer all these questions of the public?

    This wasn’t a claim, but just a false statement. Climatologists actually give a ton of interviews regularly to discuss issues and discrepancies and misconceptions just like the oens you just mentioned. I think the fact that you seem to think they haven’t highlights just some simple misinformation on your part. Go check ‘em out – you’ll be surprised at how much uncertainty they admit. I imagine your favorite bloggers have been pumping you full of a perception of climatologists that is miles from what they really say.

    If knowledge is power, why not educate everyone on it?

    Here’s an equally honest question: if knowledge is power, why won’t you educate yourself on it? If you claim to have reached such a skeptical view of things, how can you even do so without educating yourself on the science that you’re calling incorrect? Why are you waiting to be educated but not waiting to make some strong opinions?

    All the public knows is that “scientists say we’re warming, but when I look outside, there’s snow everywhere, must be a total sham”. Well, come forward and explain the logic behind it.

    Again, a LOT of scientists have already done so, and the reasons are pretty clear. Ignorance is no excuse for skepticism (and I use “ignorance” in the context that you seem ignorant of the fact that scientists have done many of the things you claim they have not.)

    If the level of threat was that dire, the Copenhagen summit would have turned out some results by world leaders.

    Um, have you ever seen politics? We’re in the middle of a war where we’re losing our own men and women, and politicians on both sides of the aisle are spinning their wheels on acting to end it. That’s hardly an argument against the science of climate change. In fact, it’s just another strawman.

    I know I’m being snippy here, JJ, but I’m just hearing a lot of the same from you that I hear from every other skeptic: claims without evidence, BIG misconceptions, criticisms of scientists saying they don’t do things that they actually do, an Al Gore name-drop, implicit admissions of being intellectually lazy about educating yourself on the topic, etc. It’s the same old song and dance, same old flimsy arguments. Give me something substantial.

  121. Philip Jr.

    I’d listen to Jon on the Cap and Trade issue, JJ. He’s got good points that are much closer to the reality of what Cap and Trade is than the “it’s just a tax!!!” canard.

    As for the rambling post about the evils of climatology, you’re reiterating several points that have thoroughly been discussed (and thoroughly been debunked with facts) on previous threads. I would go through it all again, but you can feel free to go read those threads for yourself. If you’ve got some hard, peer-reviewed scientific evidence to support your assertions about the world being cooler than average for the past 15 years or polar bears sipping maitais made of seal blood on the ice floes and living all fat and happy all across their range, let’s see it! You’re apparently reading some science that the rest of us are not.

  122. Jon

    The “no significant warming” in 10 or 15 years canard has been debunked here again and again. If you’re repeating this statistical canard, and haven’t gotten the point so far as it’s been explained, you’re probably not going to get it, even if it’s explained to you why the argument violates Statistics 101. It’s also a fact that 1998 is the warmest year on record and the last decade was the warmest decade on record. “People” would be rightly confused if they heard both of these factoids together. But that’s because the “no significant warming in 10 (or 15) years” factoid is misleading and based on cherry picked data.

    There are probably a number of reasons why Copenhagen wasn’t successful. I’m sure scientists themselves don’t fully understand why politicians and the public aren’t responding. Some scientists have been trying to answer all these questions for years, for instance at Realclimate.org. But there are a lot of interests who want to politicize these efforts, and they’ve done so successfully.

  123. ThomasL

    Jon (#87),

    Very insightful post – the most intelligent one on the subject in here that I’ve seen, bar none. They are very different projects and have very different concerns (though almost everyone who argues about it is actually arguing philosophical theories without realizing it – the two have been closely intertwined for a couple centuries, and the philosophical thinkingrationallogic systems have pretty much overwhelmed any actual “religious” thinking…). I’ve mentioned it in here before, but if you want to read an excellent book on what the philosophical influences are and some insight in what is going on once such is removed I strongly suggest “The Unmaking of God” by Dr. William F. Nietmann. Might be pretty hard to find a copy, but will definitely help one ascertain when someone they are talking with has philosophical reasoningmysticism and religion mixed up… If you are interested and can’t find a copy e-mail me at tleps at juno dot com & I’ll help you out…

    JJ (#88),

    Yes, it is actually quite disturbing. I was going to go into teaching a few years back (actually gave my half of the old company away in fact when I went back for my masters). While I loved the student teaching and had one of the better school systems where I lived wanting to hire me, the reality of what I learned and what is being called “teaching” today made me say no after completing the process, so I’m back in the business world as well (and we own a rather large farm too). It was made rather clear that “thinking” wasn’t part of the program, but rather learning to pass tests and spit back the “correct” answers is really all that they are interested in (even being very involved in the schools during my children’s childhood failed to prepare me for just how much the thinking part is actually discouraged…). If you’re in the accounting field you likely have to deal with rules my father helped write when he worked for FASB – could tell you some stories from his time there that would make you laugh!

    Biblo (#124)

    Actually the no significant warming for the past 15 years was exactly what Jones said in his interview last week. While your point is taken it is also why figuring out the MWP might actually be of some importance. When building theories that hold muster such details are actually very important – theories don’t fail at the conclusions, they fail in the foundations. In this case Co2 emissions have actually increased during this whole period, and the theory, as currently postulated, does not allow for any leveling in such a state. The “models” say if Co2 is increasing so will the temperature. There is a flaw somewhere. What most of us “skeptics” are pointing out is we need to figure it out better, we are missing an important part of the puzzle.

    The problem with “cap and trade” is that it actually doesn’t do anything about the Co2 emissions – all it really does is ensure what little industry is left in this country gets off shored to somewhere else (the “trade” part… and somehow I doubt China or India are interested in committing economic suicide…). Thus it is more than just a horrendous tax, and the budget office has made it clear that it will affect almost everyone. The real problem with the whole scheme is it’s based on the notion that the U.S. has loads of money lying around and can spend tones on building out a new infrastructure and help all sorts of various third world countries – take a good hard look at our nations fiscal situation (not just the federal, but the states as well) and you ought to have some idea that we really aren’t in a position to do all that. We’ve had these economic discussions in here before – very few are equipped with the knowledge or the background to have such here. I have in the past given numerous web sites where one could spend the time learning what is actually going on, take the discussions there unless it is a very specific part of it. There have literally been substantially long essays written on it – most of the serious ones indicate severe price costs (and we aren’t exactly competitive as it is…).

    There are literally thousands of things we could do “environmentally” in this country that would be substantially cheaper and more meaningful. Lots of the “alternatives” sound great until you study them and discover all the trade-offs. How many in this thread have windmill contracts? I do – there is a world of trade-offs involved, it is not simply a “win” for the environment. Remember how great ethanol sounded? Hasn’t turned out to be so great to the millions who discovered they could no longer afford food. Green jobs making solar panels? We’d have to be wage competitive with the Chinese (I was just reading an article a couple weeks ago where we are all happy about a couple hundred jobs here in the states doing final assembly on some – but the Chinese employ a couple thousand making the parts – see above about being wage competitive – and they own something like 90% of the exotic material mines needed to produce them…). Such debates are involved, technical and the “solutions” have all the “unintended consequences” one could ever imagine. If we are going to discuss them in here we need to do such one at a time so that all may wrap their minds around the specific issues of each – making huge claims about the whole is not productive.

    Everyone – lots of hang ups over where some thought came from. Does it matter if such comes from the left or the right – or is what matters the soundness of the thought and the thinking? If the only thing that matters is the political orientation we call that “indoctrinated”, if it is the thought we call it critical analysis. The real world is not “pure” in respect to either right or left ideology, and both can offer insights worth spending some brain time working through.

  124. moptop

    Whatever you do people, DO NOT READ THE CLIMATEGATE EMAILS. There was never anything in there, as you can plainly see by the absence of ramifications in the news after their release.

    As for debating climate science, yawn, the debate is over. You guys go ahead with your little, whatever you call it.

  125. moptop

    “The “no significant warming” in 10 or 15 years canard has been debunked here again and again. ”

    Somebody should tell that to one Dr Phil Jones, erstwhile head of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and lead author of the IPPC’s latest report, AR4.

    This is why you guys are such a joke. What is the point of debating this? I could show you the link where he says it to the BBC, in context completely, and I could send you to sites with mathematical proofs of this which you wouldn’t understand, and your position would remain unchanged. Chris wonders why you guys are losing the debate? Constant misrepresentation, for instance about what the models say about snowfall, lies about the motives of skeptics, etc, etc…

    Like I said, the show is over here.

  126. Katharine

    moptop, your claim itself has been debunked. Not significant to the 95% significance interval does NOT mean not significant.

    You’re the joke.

  127. Katharine

    bilbo, the problem with global warming denialists is that they don’t have the ability to read scientific articles, so they pull news articles written with dubious interpretations.

  128. JJ

    Thank you moptop, they all seem to ignore all that information, even when it comes from an IPCC big shot himself. The other is the possibility that the Medieval period was warmer than today, which he said may have very well been true, only we didn’t have ways to accurately measure climate back then in both hemispheres. Thus, I believe the show is over as well.

  129. Australian denialists are now threatening the children of scientists for speaking to the media about global warming:

    “Did you want to offer your children to be brutally gang-raped and then horribly tortured before being reminded of their parents socialist beliefs and actions?”

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2826189.htm

  130. JJ

    “The CBO’s analysis looks solely at the year 2020, before most of the tough restrictions kick in. As the cap is tightened and companies are stripped of initial opportunities to “offset” their emissions, the price of permits will skyrocket beyond the CBO estimate of $28 per ton of carbon. The corporate costs of buying these expensive permits will be passed to consumers.”

    Even as Democrats have promised that this cap-and-trade legislation won’t pinch wallets, behind the scenes they’ve acknowledged the energy price tsunami that is coming. During the brief few days in which the bill was debated in the House Energy Committee, Republicans offered three amendments: one to suspend the program if gas hit $5 a gallon; one to suspend the program if electricity prices rose 10% over 2009; and one to suspend the program if unemployment rates hit 15%. Democrats defeated all of them.”
    Nothing suspicious about that at all, nope, not a thing. The Democrats use and abuse “climate change” as a means to raise taxes and create more regulation.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124588837560750781.html

  131. JJ

    I should correct that, it’s not all Democrats, the Conservative Democrats still don’t support it.

  132. Jon

    OK, I see the source of the “15 year” factoid:

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/16/bbc-interview-phil-jones-climate-science-when-did-you-stop-beating-your-wife/

    It’s hard to keep up with the outrage and misinformation machine. Some of us have lives not exclusively devoted to the antiscience food fight…

  133. JJ

    I just watch the news, pay attention to politics, and understand how business and economics works. If it wasn’t so controversial, it wouldn’t be all over the news. Sure, supply Liberal biased “studies” and expect people to believe them, nice try Jon.

  134. Jon

    I’m probably wasting my time arguing with someone who reads John Birch screeds. But just for shights and giggles, how did you establish that the “studies” were “Liberal biased,” JJ? It’s a pointed question, but not an entirely rhetorical one–I’m genuinely curious about your answer.

  135. JJ

    Nothing wrong with asking the hard questions. He answered them outright, I posted the entire transcript many posts ago.

    This is extremely comical, like we could monitor the Earth’s climate 2000 years ago. Phil Jones admitted in that very interview we couldn’t even record the climate accurately during the Medieval period (about 5th to 16th centuries), yet now we now it’s hotter over the last 2000 years? Ah, must have used some science “trick” and us normal folk are just too dumb to understand. Consistency is such a silly notion…

    http://climateprogress.org/2008/09/03/sorry-deniers-hockey-stick-gets-longer-stronger-earth-hotter-now-than-in-past-2000-years/

  136. JJ

    Seriously Jon. I took this directly from the Center for American Progress about page…

    “The Center for American Progress Action Fund is a progressive think-tank dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action.”

  137. JJ

    The same way the CATO Institute is a Conservative think tank.

  138. JJ

    I should add this from the CAP page as well…

    “Our mission is to transform progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing and advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders throughout the country and the world.”

    No conflict of interest there, nope.

  139. Jon

    Phil Jones admitted in that very interview we couldn’t even record the climate accurately during the Medieval period…

    I think he’s referring to why we need the statistical error bars? I suggest a book in statistics, JJ.

    OK, I’m checking out of this discussion…

  140. JJ

    Same logic behind how you criticize me of reading John Birch publications.

  141. JJ

    Statistics can’t obtain accurate climate data from 2000 years ago. Data is only as good as the methods used to collect it and we don’t have nearly 2,000 years of reliable climate data.

  142. moptop

    “You’re the joke” – Katherine

    Ooh let me go nurse my ego for a while on that one… ouch. It is almost as bad as the time that preacher said I would go to hell for not believing that his personal savior was my personal savior. That reaally hurt.

    And for you lefties, since I know you don’t get irony, the post above is intentionally ironic and not intended for you to understand.

  143. moptop

    You’re wasting your time JJ. It is like trying to explain algebra to a Chimpanzee. Only less entertaining.

  144. JJ

    Reality bites doesn’t it Jon? Chart one up for the skeptics, +1. I agree moptop, I’ve been trying to point out all the inconsistencies in their claims for months, but they don’t seem to acknowledge reality.

  145. Jon

    The same way the CATO Institute is a Conservative think tank.

    You can’t necessarily dismiss information just because of it’s source, JJ. That’s a shortcut in place of real debate and taking an argument on its merits.

    Check out Sam Tanenhaus’s comments in this great talk earlier this year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCWO-LSszZI#t=34m20s

  146. JJ

    Ok Jon, so it’s ok for you to do so earlier, but when I do it, it’s now non-dismissive. How convenient for you, got it.

  147. JJ

    Sorry buddy, your lack of logic has been exposed. If that were the case, then you’d also find pro-warming material on the CATO Institute page, I challenge you to find one on there.

  148. Jon

    John Birch is a particularly looney case. I’m not saying that reputation doesn’t matter. If you say fluoridated water is a communist plot, you get that reputation.

    On the other hand, even conservatives respect the Center for American Progress:

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/27/center-for-american-regress/

  149. JJ

    Pay attention to the news and the real world, stop getting all your information from Progressive think tanks.

  150. JJ

    Conservatives do not respect CAP and Paul Krugman is a Liberal blogger! You’re running into a tide of circular reasoning! Stop thinking news comes from Liberal opinion pages.

  151. bilbo

    Katherine, although I’m pretty sure some of the denialists here could read scientific pubs pretty well, you’ve got a point (in #130). Which sounds simpler to you?

    (i) Look at this graph! There hasn’t been a year warmer than 1998 yet! 1998! The Earth isn’t warming – it’s getting cooler!!!

    (ii) Actually, that’s not a scientifically valid way of looking at the data. To make a declaration about temperature trends, you have to look at things over a sufficently long-term scale and actually test to see if the long-term trends deviate in a statistically significant manner. You also have to consider things like temperature anomalies in addition to the mean, because those can change as well, so it’s important to look at the variations in the data, as well, to account for scatter.

    Of course #1 sounds simpler! We both know that #2 is the statistically correct way of doing this, though (just like it is with any dataset, not just temps.), but if you’re an undecided person uneducated about basic stats. or the scientific method, then you’re going to err on the side that seems to paint things in the most simple picture. I think this is where a lot of denialism comes from – accept the side that sounds easier to understand, not necessarily the side that’s using actual, good science.

    You see this a lot having conversations with the denialists on the blog here. Several months ago, in fact, moptop was touting that he had debunked a major climate modeling study by graphing the parameters in Excel using “a very sophisticated computer is my basement” and eyeballing them (no stats. at all – he didn’t even run the model). That’s not even close to how the original study worked (or how even basic stats. works), but moptop kept saying “if I can debunk climate science using Excel at home, why do we even need climate scientists?” Apparently, the answer will be impossibl for people like him to grasp.

  152. Jon

    Even Buckley denounced John Birch.

  153. bilbo

    JJ has just entered the “look everyone! look! I’m winning! We’re winning!” phase of denialism.

    A little hint, JJ: if the only way someone can tell you’re winning is because you’re telling them that you are, you’re not “winning” anything.

  154. I could show you the link where he says it to the BBC, in context completely, and I could send you to sites with mathematical proofs of this which you wouldn’t understand, and your position would remain unchanged.

    Of course, every time moptop has provided a link to back up his claims it’s been quickly pointed out that he has completely misread it (if he’s read it at all) and the rebuttal to his argument is usually explicitly written in the very link he provided.

    Given the number of time he’s been shot down in the last month, I’m not surprised that he’s moved on to arguing that he could prove us all wrong if he wanted to, but we’re too stupid to understand it.

  155. JJ

    I think I’ve proven my points here. Enjoy your circular reasoning.

  156. JJ

    Haha, Bilbo just entered the “he’s a denialist and he’s winning, so let’s make him look bad” phase.

  157. Philip Jr.

    JJ, I doubt that many of us here get our climate science info from “progressive think tanks.” In fact, if and when many of us do, it seems like we then go to the actual scientific articles to educate ourselves in case the media report did a shoddy job of reporting the study (which, of course, they often do). I, for one, hate “progressive think tanks.”

    Let me ask you a question, though. I’m being serious here, not trying to attack you one bit: when you read something about climate science being wrong in some of the blogs and magazines you’ve been posting (especially earlier in this thread), do you ever go to source (the scientific journal article) and read it for yourself?

  158. JJ

    I used real world sources, I don’t make this stuff up. You presented the sources, I debunked them.

  159. Philip Jr.

    I haven’t presented any sources on this thread, JJ, so I don’t know what you’re talking about. Please answer my question. I’ll post it again:

    When you read something about climate science being wrong in some of the blogs and magazines you’ve been posting (especially earlier in this thread), do you ever go to source (the scientific journal article) and read it for yourself?

  160. JJ

    I’m done here. I’m not a climatologist, so I don’t often read studies, I wouldn’t be able to interpret correctly. I just pay attention to the news, politics, and business. If the science was settled, it wouldn’t be so controversial. I leave it at that.

  161. JJ

    and I wasn’t talking about you presenting sources Philip, that was Jon.

  162. Philip Jr.

    I’m done here. I’m not a climatologist, so I don’t often read studies, I wouldn’t be able to interpret correctly. I just pay attention to the news, politics, and business.

    Again – honest question, no personal attack strings attached. So you take the news article at its word that the reporter correctly summarized the methodology, findings, and flaws of the study, and that there was no political spin (right OR left) attached to it? Isn’t that being pretty naive about the reliability of any media story…especially when most of the articles they’re written about (the ones that you’re telling us are wrong but that you haven’t read) are freely available for you to peruse?

    If the science was settled, it wouldn’t be so controversial

    Really? So all someone has to do to debunk a field of science for you is to make some claims about it being wrong and, because there is simply some dissent, the science is incorrect? I think that’s the kind of science denial we’ve been arguing against here, JJ. and if that’s how you operate, I’m surprised you can accept any scientific field, because they’re all this way….they just don’t get the same media and political hype. Forgive me for hypothesizing here without evidence for a moment, but based off of what you just said, I get the feeling that you have just noticed that the dissent falls most commonly on the side of the political aisle that you agree with on most issues, and so you’ve taken up that mantle without educating yourself. You just said as much by decrying news sources with a liberal source and talking about the validity of news sources with a conservative source while admitting to not ever having read any of the science. That’s not thinking for yourself, JJ. I really, really urge you (and I mean it) to go read some of the actual science before you make climas about whether or not it’s wrong. I’m simply dumbfounded by how many people here are so strongly opinionated that something is incorrect while they will eagerly admit that they’ve never actually looked at it for themselves.

    (and, for the record, I’ve never said “the science is settled.” That’s a foolish statement made some in the climate change community that just simply isn’t true. In fact, that’s never true in science.)

  163. I’m not a climatologist, so I don’t often read studies, I wouldn’t be able to interpret correctly

    Color us all surprised. It seems pretty clear that actual knowledge is inversely proportional to confidence in one’s own opinion.

  164. Jon

    By the way JJ, I read David Frum. I subscribe to AEI’s podcast. I occasionally read Michael Gerson and David Brooks. I used to read George Will before he got exasperating. And I wouldn’t dismiss something just because it came out of Cato. I read them warily, but I read them.

    Conservatives that I would respect would read Krugman and CAP the same way.

    If the science was settled, it wouldn’t be so controversial

    Actually, when the science is settled, it can get more “controversial”–look what happened with tobacco:

    http://lightbucket.wordpress.com/2008/04/07/doubt-is-our-product-pr-versus-science/

  165. bilbo

    If the science was settled, it wouldn’t be so controversial

    Oh crap. There goes half of the world’s established science….

    I’m not a climatologist, so I don’t often read studies, I wouldn’t be able to interpret correctly. I just pay attention to the news, politics, and business.

    So you get your science education solely from fields other than science. And you wonder why we’re all mocking you here, JJ? Sigh.

  166. Milton C.

    I’m not a climatologist, so I don’t often read studies, I wouldn’t be able to interpret correctly. I just pay attention to the news, politics, and business.

    “I don’t get my information on college football by watching the games or reading the sports news. I make my decisions about which team is the best based off of what the drunk guys say downtown at the pub.”

  167. Seminatrix
  168. JJ

    I agree with you on reading the studies Philip, but I’m not a climatologist, it’s a waste of my time. That’s like asking you to prove Fermat’s theorem, without a PhD in Math and years of experience, you probably can’t do it. I leave the debunking to the pros (Wikipedia list) and err on the side of skepticism at this point…and now all of the “alarmists” will jump on that and immediately dismiss any and all of my previous claims as insignificant as they always do…. I’m also not denying the fact climate is changing, not even that we’re having some part of it, it’s the degree and the “alarmist” claims for which I don’t agree, that’s the nature of most of the studies put out by skeptical professionals (seek the previous Wikipedia link). When you’re not a climatologist, you have to put your trust somewhere. All you non-skeptics immediately seem to have the notion that all skeptics are morons and immediately dismiss them. Us normal folk are persuaded by evidence in the real world.

  169. JJ

    Politics isn’t helping the science and the inconsistencies in the claims of climate scientists aren’t helping their claims either. That’s exactly why the majority of the public is skeptical, because those of the general public aren’t climatologists.

  170. JJ

    It’s just as ridiculous for non-climatologists to claim the science is settled, like Al Gore. Same principle and another reason for public skepticism. If the scientists want us to believe their claims they need to shut up Al Gore, stop making false and inconsistent claims, and prevent those on the left from using and abusing their science to push an agenda. They should also conduct the primary science somewhere other than a United Nations related entity, the IPCC.

  171. JJ

    Which is why I’m guessing you’re all climatologists or meteorologists as well?

  172. moptop

    moptop was touting that he had debunked a major climate modeling study by graphing the parameters in Excel using “a very sophisticated computer is my basement”

    Link or retraction.

  173. Jon

    That’s exactly why the majority of the public is skeptical, because those of the general public aren’t climatologists.

    And, they’re getting misleading arguments from the other side, making them think scientific debates that are over, are still alive. See my above link on tobacco.

    (Notice I said “debates”, plural. There are multiple issues in climate change. One thing I notice our conservative friends do: they almost never concede what scientific debates are over. This is a sign that this is mainly rhetoric–opportunistic attempts to generate public outrage, not science.)

  174. moptop

    moptop, your claim itself has been debunked. Not significant to the 95% significance interval does NOT mean not significant.
    You’re the joke. -Katherine

    I admit I am a little slow, because the way I read what you just wrote is that it is 95% probable that there was no warming, yet still 5% probable that there was? I am betting that there is some non zero probability that there was a cooling too. Where am I wrong?

  175. moptop

    No statistically significant warming, I should have said.

  176. JJ

    “One thing I notice our conservative friends do: they almost never concede what scientific debates are over. This is a sign that this is mainly rhetoric–opportunistic attempts to generate public outrage, not science.”

    I’m very in tune with the political scene and this a misleading notion as well. Conservatives have agreed to alternative energy sources, as well as doing something about factory emissions. Where they differ is how to go about it. There’s many factors at play here, not arguing against the science, but the economy, spending, and our current debt situation. As I posted in the Wall Street Journal earlier, the Republican would have agreed to the Cap and Trade legislation is those few simple amendments were added, but they were denied by the left. It’s acts like that which hinder forward progress. As long as those on the left are willing to compromise, those on the right are on board. It’s all about money situation at this point, not necessarily the science. There’s plenty of Republicans in Congress that are willing to compromise.

  177. JJ

    I tried that argument already moptop, to no avail.

  178. Jon

    I’m talking about the science, JJ, not policy. I think you need a solid basis in the science first. Otherwise, obviously, how can your policy reflect reality?

  179. JJ

    You do, but the science is controversial, yet progress is moving forward in Washington.

  180. JJ

    Our politicians aren’t scientists, all they know is what they hear from lobbyists and the news.

  181. JJ

    The only people that can argue climate science with credibility are the climatologists and meteorologists amongst themselves. All of the rest of us are at the mercy of the real world.

  182. JJ

    We simply point out inconsistencies in the claims and arguments, the nature of skepticism.

  183. Jon

    So what do you think of Chris Mooney’s proposal to reinstate the Office of Technology Asessment in congress, JJ?

  184. Philip Jr.

    I agree with you on reading the studies Philip, but I’m not a climatologist, it’s a waste of my time.

    Oh goodness. Your’e right – I will “jump on that,” JJ, because you just admitting to making some terrifically uninformed opinions about a subject. That’s always cause for someone to “jump on it.” Milton’s response about college football seemed to be tongue-in-cheek but really is the equivalent of what you’re doing. You at least shouldn’t act so shocked that we’re all so taken aback by what you’re saying in light of this.

  185. bilbo

    The only people that can argue climate science with credibility are the climatologists and meteorologists amongst themselves.

    Um….you do realize you just discredited everything you’ve said here then, right?

  186. Jon

    Our politicians aren’t scientists, all they know is what they hear from lobbyists and the news.

    So what do you think of Chris Mooney’s proposal to reinstate the Office of Technology Asessment in congress, JJ?

    http://tinyurl.com/db8jud

  187. Jon

    (Sorry for the multiple posts, the earlier versions got caught by the filter.)

  188. JJ

    I think less government is better government, the OTA could easily be hijacked by partisan politics and therefore hold no credibility. Politics is a dirty game.

    “Um….you do realize you just discredited everything you’ve said here then, right?”

    You need to grow half a brain Bilbo, I wasn’t arguing against the studies, I pointed out all the inconsistencies in your own claims….like the hockey stick graph proves warming over 2,000 years, but we don’t have 2,000 years of reliable climate data, therefore that argument is bunk. Phil Jones confirmed that himself when he said we couldn’t even accurately predict climate back to the Middle Ages. Things like that, if you’re so blind to those claims, you need to get your head out of the sand. I’m guessing you’re a climatologist or meteorologist as well, right?

  189. JJ

    I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. That’s how I feel about government. I hold many Libertarian political views.

  190. Jon

    Politics is a dirty game.

    Indeed. Demonstrated in posts on this blog on a daily basis. This is why the scientists generally don’t want to get involved in it, and why scientific truth is often vulnerable.

  191. bilbo

    You need to grow half a brain Bilbo, I wasn’t arguing against the studies, I pointed out all the inconsistencies in your own claims….like the hockey stick graph proves warming over 2,000 years, but we don’t have 2,000 years of reliable climate data, therefore that argument is bunk

    Umm….I said anything about the hockey stick? Could you show us the comment where I said that one, JJ?

  192. JJ

    I agree, that’s why I think the climatologists should keep themselves distant from politics. In my opinion, Al Gore and the IPCC ruined the public credibility of their case.

  193. JJ

    Wasn’t you Bilbo, it was just posted up there somewhere. I think Jon posted the link, it was to the Center for American Progress, but you’re absolutely missing the point of the post.

  194. JJ

    I should have clarified that, when I referred to “your own claims”, I was referring to those previously posted claims.

  195. bilbo

    Wasn’t you Bilbo, it was just posted up there somewhere. I think Jon posted the link, it was to the Center for American Progress, but you’re absolutely missing the point of the post.

    The point of the post? You mean where you argue against me using things I never said? I get that point of the post completely, and it’s pointless….kind of like you arguing against clmate science yet saying that actually reading said science to begin with is “a waste of time.”

  196. Jon

    Al Gore and the IPCC ruined the public credibility of their case.

    Again, if you read the John Birch society on this subject, it’s easy to think that they were the agents of their “ruining”…

  197. JJ

    Are you really ignoring those inconsistencies because you mistook for a personal attack? I’m sorry I hurt your feelings. I’ll be sure to be extra kind to you next time. You never answer my question, you must be a climatologist or meteorologist right?

  198. JJ

    Once again Jon, no more of this John Birch society. You need to drop the Liberal spin and read the real news.

  199. JJ

    Al Gore used the hockey stick graph to make his claims, which was proven inconsistent already by the claims of the link you posted. The IPCC came out with ridiculous claims on occasion. It only takes a handful of inconsistencies to warrant skepticism. There’s nothing political about it. You seem to be drawing at straws in ignoring those.

  200. JJ

    You can try to label me a political zealot, conspiracy theorist, etc. It doesn’t change the fact that some of the claims of proponents out there are pure bunk and have been proven bunk. Personal attacks don’t change anything or erase those events from history.

  201. JJ

    “….kind of like you arguing against clmate science yet saying that actually reading said science to begin with is “a waste of time.””

    Bilbo, you just love to take things out of context and spin them don’t you? Did you not read the entire post or are you just incompetent? Do you have a PhD in Climatology? Can you explain why or why not those studies make sense in the Climatology community without simply parroting back what a study says?

  202. V.O.R.

    This is the most elaborate Turing Test I’ve ever seen.

  203. I agree with you on reading the studies Philip, but I’m not a climatologist, it’s a waste of my time. That’s like asking you to prove Fermat’s theorem, without a PhD in Math and years of experience, you probably can’t do it.

    That’s an absurd comparison. You’ve told us you have an undergraduate degree in math, that should be more than enough to follow the majority of the published climate literature. Fermat’s theorem is an extreme comparison even in the field of mathematics.

    and now all of the “alarmists” will jump on that and immediately dismiss any and all of my previous claims as insignificant as they always do

    You’ve made no claims at all that I can see. Your posts are a combination of attacks on Al Gore, and occasional links news reports and editorials. You’ve yet to even link directly to research done by any of the (Wikipedia list) of “pros”. What arguments have they made that has been so convincing to you? Or do you not know their work either?

    All you non-skeptics immediately seem to have the notion that all skeptics are morons and immediately dismiss them. Us normal folk are persuaded by evidence in the real world

    No we dismiss the fact-free certainty that you in particular subscribe to. Especially when you believe that you’ve “proven your point here” without ever having offered a substantive argument.

  204. Katharine

    You know, the statistics fail from the denialists is staggering.

    This is why everyone should know statistics. The confidence interval stuff was just because the time scale was too short to get to the 95% confidence interval. It might have gotten to the 80% or 90% confidence interval.

    Plus I think the public is too stupid to know what a confidence interval is. According to Wikipedia, the confidence interval means “Were this procedure to be repeated on multiple samples, the calculated confidence interval (which would differ for each sample) would encompass the true population parameter x% of the time.” (cited from Cox DR, Hinkley DV. (1974) Theoretical Statistics, Chapman & Hall, p49, 209) Essentially, this means the sample would be representative of the earth at large x% of the time.

  205. Katharine

    JJ, you have a math degree! I thought you knew statistics-fu. Or are the math majors too arse-deep in Calabi-Yau manifolds and diverse other multidimensional crud to learn something so elementary and important?

  206. Katharine

    “I admit I am a little slow, because the way I read what you just wrote is that it is 95% probable that there was no warming, yet still 5% probable that there was? I am betting that there is some non zero probability that there was a cooling too. Where am I wrong?”

    I just explained what confidence intervals are.

    Essentially, the problem is that 15 years is too short a time to get up to the 95% confidence interval, which means that the information they’ve got is presumably representative 95% of the time they’re going to take samples, after you run some statistics. If it were 50 years, they could reach the 95% confidence interval. They’ve probably reached the 80% to 90% confidence interval.

  207. Jon

    VOR wins the thread.

  208. Katharine

    And from what he’s saying, he’s saying it’s significantly MORE probable that warming is happening than that it is not happening.

    There are several unedited full-length interviews which are freely available on the Internet. I suggest you read them.

  209. Katharine

    Not to hate on math majors who have sense, of course.

  210. JJ

    “You’ve told us you have an undergraduate degree in math, that should be more than enough to follow the majority of the published climate literature.”

    It’s not about following the literature, it’s about explaining how it is so, without a background in the field, all you can do is take their word for it. I’m sure you can pick up a Fermat proof and understand why they’re doing everything, right? I can’t even do that. I don’t believe Fermat is an extreme comparison either because climate science is extremely complicated in itself.
    Also, the links for the Wikipedia studies are at the bottom of that page if you care to read through all of them. As for the “fact free certainty”, I only pointed out inconsistencies in arguments of the data presented in the thread. I don’t claim to be certain of the science, I’m simply skeptical after noting many inconsistencies in their debate.

  211. Milton C.

    Ah how I love the many rambling rationalizations of skeptics about why they never even touch the literature. “It’s not about the science, it’s about the fact that some people claim that the science is wrong – so it is!!!” WTF?

  212. Philip Jr.

    It only takes a handful of inconsistencies to warrant skepticism. There’s nothing political about it

    I just watch the news, pay attention to politics, and understand how business and economics works.

    The climate change debate entails much more than the scientific method, like politics and economics

    So it’s not about politics, but it’s all about politics and we should pay attention to politics. Clear as mud….

  213. bilbo

    …and you forgot, Philip, that there’s nothing political about it, but we should stop paying so much attention to all this science and start listening to politics….cause, y’know, there’s nothing political about it.

    *faceanything*

  214. JJ

    Wow, congrats, you’re excellent at taking things out of context and spinning them to ignore the key points. You could be a politician.

  215. JJ

    Still haven’t gotten any answers from all of you…are you all climatologists or meteorologists?

  216. bilbo

    I’m sorry if I offended you, JJ. I’m just “pointing out inconsistencies in arguments.” I don’t “claim to be certain, I’m simply skeptical after noting many inconsistencies” in what you’re telling us. You know, like telling us politics has nothing to do with this but then telling us that you trust the politics to make your decisions. That’s a logical inconsistency if I’ve ever seen one. In fact, your entire body of responses on this comment thread is quickly becoming a logical inconsistency. Sorry if pointing out your shoddy reasoning is offensive. If you don’t like it, just argue rationally. That’s not too much to ask.

  217. JJ

    Still waiting on how you can explain how the hockey stick graph can explain 2,000 years of warming when Phil Jones admitted he can’t accurately predict climate in the Middle Ages due to lack of reliable data.

  218. JJ

    I’m done with the spin here. I’m still waiting on those answers.

  219. bilbo

    Important question for you, JJ, regarding the “what are your credentials?” canard.

    You say you trust the skeptic “pros” because they’re scientists. Well, climate scientists who are non-skeptics are just as educated and qualified as the people you cite. How, exactly, do you deem a handful of professionals correct and the rest of equally-qualified professionals not worth your time? That’s another “logical inconsistency,” if you’re following along at home…

  220. Philip Jr.

    You say you trust the skeptic “pros” because they’re scientists. Well, climate scientists who are non-skeptics are just as educated and qualified as the people you cite. How, exactly, do you deem a handful of professionals correct and the rest of equally-qualified professionals not worth your time?

    That’s an excellent question that I’d love an answer to. If you’re too unqualified to read the science for yourself, what filter do you use to decide which ones to trust? This sounds an awful lot like you’re using a confirmation bias as your filter, JJ…..

  221. bilbo

    I’m done with the spin here

    That’s the second time you’ve said this. So, get outta here! Come back when you can argue with facts and without contradicting yourself.

  222. JJ

    “telling us politics has nothing to do with this but then telling us that you trust the politics to make your decisions”

    I don’t get my information from the Center for American Progress or the CATO Institute, unlike some others. I gave real world examples, real world facts, real world events, from information from real world news sources. The inconsistencies are from the proponents’ own arguments, not partisan sources.

  223. JJ

    I’m really starting to feel like this is “teaching algebra to chimpanzees” as moptop put it.

  224. Milton C.

    Answer Philip’s question for us too, JJ. I’m interested to see how you deem what a “real world news source” or a “right” scientist is. This should be interesting…

  225. JJ

    Real world news: ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, The Economist, Wall Street Journal…not Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity as you hoped, sorry. No scientist absolutely right, if that were the case, we wouldn’t be having this debate.

  226. JJ

    I’m choosing to sit on the side of skeptic, all your probing won’t get me to change my mind anytime soon.

  227. Philip Jr.

    Real world news: ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, The Economist, Wall Street Journal…not Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity as you hoped, sorry

    OK then, so my earlier question still stands: how do you know that these journalists are adequately recounting the study – it’s premise, methodologies, results, implications, and flaws? It doesn’t take a bunch of chimps trying to learn algebra like us to realize that science often gets twisted beyond recognition in the “real world media.” Are you just making decisions off of blind faith?

  228. JJ

    “That’s the second time you’ve said this. So, get outta here! Come back when you can argue with facts and without contradicting yourself.”

    If I’m not arguing key points, then why do you continue to argue with me? If you know you’re correct, why not answer my questions and shut me up?

  229. bilbo

    Real world news: ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, The Economist, Wall Street Journal

    If you really got your info on climate science from all these sources, as you claim, then you’d be confused beyond belief….because any two of those news sources can tell the same story completely differently. No wonder you think there’s so much confusion…read the literature, JJ!

  230. Seminatrix

    This is the most annoying chat-bot I’ve ever heard. He’s not even paying attention to whether or not his next statement refutes a previous one.

  231. moptop

    Katherine,

    That is what I though you were saying. Essentially, if you are allowed to cherry pick the interval, you can get the confidence you want. Let’s choose 1947, or 1936, or 995.

    Oh no, you want to choose the coolest period of the past century, the sixties and seventies. I keep forgetting. This significance interval you talk about is arbitrary.

    The climate does not respect human conventions; yes, no matter how much you dress your arguments up in mathematics, they boil down to conventions and rules of thumb. By assuming away short term natural variability, you can then decide that a statistically significant measurement period is longer. Well, what if the climate is rarely stable for thirty or fifty years?

    These arguments obviously go over your head. Sorry.

  232. JJ

    “OK then, so my earlier question still stands: how do you know that these journalists are adequately recounting the study – it’s premise, methodologies, results, implications, and flaws? ”

    I see what you’re trying to do here, clever. You’re trying to get me to say “I don’t know if they’re objective, I simply trust them to do their job correctly as objective journalists”, so you can then say…”then why can’t you put your trust in climatologists to do their jobs correctly?” I’d then say, it’s apples to oranges. The reporters are simply presenting the events, they didn’t claim a climatologist said the Himalayan Glaciers would melt by 2035, that was his own doing.

  233. moptop

    Present trends are guaranteed to continue, they will almost certainly become significant at some point. I got it now.

  234. JJ

    Don’t you know moptop, the more galaxies we discover, the higher the chances we find aliens.

  235. Philip Jr.

    I see what you’re trying to do here, clever. You’re trying to get me to say “I don’t know if they’re objective, I simply trust them to do their job correctly as objective journalists”, so you can then say…”then why can’t you put your trust in climatologists to do their jobs correctly?”

    No, not at all, actually, but now I wonder if that was some Freudian slip from you about your real motivations.

    What I’m trying to “do here” is to understand a.) why you trust only skeptic scientists as reliable sources but apparently not nonskeptic scientists, and b.) how you get past the inevitable mental spam filter that comes with gobbling up news reports without giving each critical thought. You claim to be all objective here, but there are several things not adding up.

  236. bilbo

    yes, no matter how much you dress your arguments up in mathematics, they boil down to conventions and rules of thumb.

    Those stupid mathematics and their numbers and theorems that explain the workings of the universe. Who needs them when you can just eyeball it?

  237. JJ

    I figured it was another attack against me Phillip, since that seems to be the trend here. My stance comes from the inconsistencies noted over time on the topic. I think I’ve explained that to death.

  238. JJ

    Based on the entire situation, the fact that so many qualified scientists are against it, along with public slips from IPCC climatologists themselves, I don’t see how I can put all my trust in them simply because they’re the majority. That’s all.

  239. JJ

    I’m getting tired of the probing, I think it’s clear where I stand, as well as where you all stand. I doubt I convinced any of you to be skeptical, as much as you have convinced me not to, so I leave it at that. We’ve made just as much progress today as Congress does in a week.

  240. Philip Jr.

    Based on the entire situation, the fact that so many qualified scientists are against it, along with public slips from IPCC climatologists themselves, I don’t see how I can put all my trust in them simply because they’re the majority.

    A lot of “qualified scientists” also don’t accept evolution. Is that cause to deny evolutionary theory, as well?

  241. I admit I am a little slow, because the way I read what you just wrote is that it is 95% probable that there was no warming, yet still 5% probable that there was? I am betting that there is some non zero probability that there was a cooling too. Where am I wrong?

    In your understanding of statistical terminology.

    The 95% confidence interval is defined by the noise in the system and the number of data points in the series. We know that climate data are noisy on a yearly level, even noisier at the monthly level and noisier still day-to-day. Long term trends are readily apparent, however.

    In any case, it’s perfectly possible, for an answer to fall within the 90% confidence level but not reach the 95% confidence level. The shorter the time series, the lower the confidence in the estimate, even if your estimate is absolutely correct.

    Also, Jones gives a number. The trend from 1995-2009 is 0.12 C/decade, which is statistically identical to the 0.16 C/decade for the 30 year average. To say, as you do, that it is 95% probable that there was no warming is flat out wrong. The statistical likelihood of no warming over that period is lower than the probability that the temperature increased by 0.12 C /decade.

    RealClimate has a good discussion on this topic ( http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/01/uncertainty-noise-and-the-art-of-model-data-comparison/).

    Note that in their example of an 8 year time period, the background noise of the data allow for a scatter of +- 0.35 C before the system is outside the 95% confidence interval.

  242. JJ

    Ah, there’s the gotcha moment I was waiting for. I would expect any qualified scientist to accept evolution, but that’s more of a question of religion over science, which is a totally different debate. Religion is not to be confused with science. Evolution also has nothing to do with the climate debate. A climatologist coming out and saying something obviously false in their area of expertise is like a devout Catholic coming out and saying God doesn’t exist. If they’re experts, they shouldn’t make such rookie mistakes.

  243. Philip Jr.

    Evolution also has nothing to do with the climate debate.

    Oh, it has everything to do with the debate we’re having here! You’re claiming that climate science is wrong because a number of professional scientists voice disapproval of it. Well, a number of professional scientists also voice a disapproval of evolution. It’s almost an exact logical analogue, JJ. Why are you applying logic selectively? I argue that you do it to fit a preconceived conclusion. Give me a reason to think otherwise and I’ll back off. You’ve failed to do so after 200 posts here.

  244. JJ

    I only have respect for scientists, I simply don’t agree with them in this case.

  245. Also, the links for the Wikipedia studies are at the bottom of that page if you care to read through all of them.

    Why is it that skeptics always give the rest of us homework that they aren’t willing to do themselves. Have you cared to read through any of those links yourself, or not?

    I’m curious why you are so confident that the overwhelming consensus of the climate community is wrong. You’ve yet to offer anything more substantive than I hate Al Gore. I’m not interested in puzzling out which of the links within links hold the skeptic’s Holy Grail.

  246. Philip Jr.

    Now scientists who dissent against climate change aren’t scientists? You just said you agreed with them a few posts back, but now you don’t agree with scientists? Huh?

  247. JJ

    The same reason those scientists can disapprove of evolution is the same reason I can remain skeptical in this debate. There’s simply no right answer, but I point to evidence that leads me to believe what I believe.

  248. Philip Jr.

    Why is it that skeptics always give the rest of us homework that they aren’t willing to do themselves

    It seems to be an easy out when you’re challenged to back your stuff up. Saying “you tell me!!!” is a lot easier than making a rational, evidence-backed argument. I asked JJ to provide me some evidence for a few points about 150 posts ago. I still haven’t heard back yet.

  249. JJ

    I’m not a climatologist, we already went through this…

  250. JJ

    I’m still waiting on my answers as well Philip.

  251. Philip Jr.

    The same reason those scientists can disapprove of evolution is the same reason I can remain skeptical in this debate. There’s simply no right answer, but I point to evidence that leads me to believe what I believe

    Which leads me to the question I posed 150 posts ago and which I just brought up to Jinchi…

    …what evidence?

  252. JJ

    “Now scientists who dissent against climate change aren’t scientists? You just said you agreed with them a few posts back, but now you don’t agree with scientists? Huh?”

    I never said that either. I said I remain skeptical, I didn’t confirm, nor deny their claims.

  253. bilbo

    The same reason those scientists can disapprove of evolution is the same reason I can remain skeptical in this debate. There’s simply no right answer

    “There’s simply no right answer….” Interesting way to put it.

    So, by your logic, creationists and evolutionary biologists are mutually right. Figures.

  254. JJ

    Evidence? The hockey stick graph…Himalayan glaciers…been through this already

  255. Philip Jr.

    Generally, JJ, if you “don’t agree with” someone, you can’t also say that you “didn’t confirm nor deny their claims.” Can you not see why we’re so flabbergasted by outright contradictions like that one?

    You can’t disagree with someone but remain neutral about whether or not you agree with them.

  256. Philip Jr.

    The Hockey Stick graph and Himalayan glacier predictions. OK.

    Now, explain to me how that dismantles the remaining 1000 or so papers about climate change. Not each one individually – I mean explain to me, based on the scientific method, how that destroys the body of evidence.

    And I’ll interpret another “hey, I’m not a climatologist here….” as “they don’t.” Just warning you.

  257. JJ

    I’m a skeptic, I don’t believe the claims are as dire as the “alarmists” make them out to be. Yes, there’s warming, man is obviously contributing to it to some degree, but is the world going to self destruct if we don’t act now? Doubt it highly. In a nutshell.

  258. Philip Jr.

    So, in other words, you don’t really know anything about the science but you’re mad at the political and movement side of the issue, and that makes you doubt the science?

  259. JJ

    It’s the degree of those screw ups…if you’re a pro in the field, such rookie mistakes shouldn’t exist. Period. Also, the issue with the stats by moptop. You can spread the time period out long enough so that it confirms warming. It’s all relative. If we came out of an ice age, scientists can claim the same thing over time. Of course it’s going to be warmer. You can’t tell me that a sample so small relative to the age of the Earth isn’t a cause for skepticism. 150 years of data, the older of which is not nearly as reliable as those today, as part of 4. 5 billion years. The Middle Ages may well have been warmer than today, acknowledged by Phil Jones, but we simply don’t have that data for the Southern Hemisphere, for example.

  260. JJ

    Stats are relative, all they do is note trends. Stats just show the global climate trend over 100 years or so, how is that representative of a larger trend? If you had 500 years of reliable data, the trend probably wouldn’t show warming since so many years before the last 20 or so were that much cooler.

  261. JJ

    Arguing the long and short term works for economics too, short term trends are not the same as long term trends. You can rake in big profits in the short term, but barely break even in the long term, but you simply can’t predict the markets to make that deduction.

  262. JJ

    Stats are relative, all they do is note trends. Stats just show the global climate trend over 100 years or so, how is that representative of a larger trend? If you had 500 years of reliable data, the trend probably wouldn’t show warming since so many years before the last 20 or so were that much cooler. The assumption is the correlation between the industrial revolution and temperature increases, yet we don’t have reliable data dating back before then for comparison, that is also a problem.

  263. JJ

    It could have very well been warmer, as acknowledge by Phil Jones, we simply don’t know. I don’t see how one can believe such a small amount of relative data, especially when the reliability of some of the data, especially old data, is in question.

  264. JJ

    There’s very much to be unanswered, along with the already noted inconsistencies.

  265. JJ

    Sorry, filter double posted some there.

  266. Philip Jr.

    1.) We do have datasets that go back over 150 years. Scientists have analyzed their trends and have made conclusions while accounting for the inconsistencies. READ THE LITERATURE!

    2.) Phil Jones was talking about inconsistences in the spatial scale of a dataset, not the temporal scale (as you claimed). We have data reaching that far back on a temporal scale. In the absence of the other data, the scientific approach is to tentatively (emphasis on that word) accept the present trends in the data….which is exactly what the scientific community has done and what Phil Jones was advocating. We only reject the existing data if an explanded dataset rejects it. We don’t make assumptions about “what could be” in science and elevate them to the level of evidence. That’s science denialist problem #1. (Read a science book if you don’t believe me. I’m talking grade-school level here.)

    3.) “There’s very much to be unanswered….” That’s terrible reasoning. By rejecting the data we have off the simle fact that there are still questions to be answered, you thereby just eliminated any scientific data, on any topic, in the history of the world, from being able to be accepted. You do realize that, right? EVERY scientific field has “very much to be unanswered,” some more than climate science and with just as grave policy/economic implications. But we don’t see you arguing about them. Again – that’s selective (read: bad) logic.

  267. bilbo

    In light of what JJ has just posted, I’ll tell him to do what I tell about every denialist here to do: take a basic science class. Inconsistencies and contradictions are the very stuff of science, buddy, not cause to discredit it. Use your brain.

  268. JJ

    *that should be 200 up there, not 20.

  269. Jon

    I’m probably one of the few here who reads CAP and Krugman, JJ. Most are here to protect science from politics, not their politics from science,as many conservatives seem to want to do.

  270. JJ

    My political standing is Libertarian, I don’t have any particular faith in either of the current parties at the moment, but I don’t let my political standing dictate my life. This is why I feel the need to point to people, on both sides, that using partisan sites like CATO or CAP don’t give you an accurate depiction of the world. I wasn’t trying to be condescending to anyone’s political views, I just hate it when they present information from think tanks as hard proof for anything. Just realize that the information you’re reading is highly partisan Jon.
    I try to be objective, even though everyone has some personal bias to some degree. I also hate being labeled as part of some wacko right wing movement, that just exposes your own partisan views in a very black and white stereotypical manner.

  271. Jon

    Well, you form opinions about science based on what you hear from ‘approved’ sources, JJ. Not from scientific studies themselves.

  272. JJ

    Don’t you think it’s ironic how some of you immediately labeled me a right wing extremist because I disagreed with you? Labeling me as such just exposes an obvious political bias (and that you’ve been reading too many Liberal blogs). I’d encourage you to question both major parties, but I don’t think many of you would take that as a constructive criticism. You may reject my climate view, but at least learn not to become a mindless drone in the political spectrum. If you only get everything from partisan sources like CATO and CAP, at least realize what you’re doing. I’d encourage you not to, but who am I…

  273. JJ

    If you’re into politics, you should also read about the roots of Liberalism. The classical Liberalism of the founding fathers is very different from the progressive form of Liberalism that exists today.

  274. Philip J.

    I’ll admit – if I made my decision about how I feel about science based solely on how I read things in the media, I’d probably have a different view of science as well.

    Read the literature, JJ. Intellectual laziness is no excuse for remaining ignorant…especially if you seem to care about this topic as much as you seem to.

  275. JJ

    How can you all readily reject claims like this from a respect scientist? Just as you criticize my bias toward skepticism Philip, why not acknowledge the credibility of the other perspective?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703939404574567423917025400.html

  276. Philip J.

    JJ,

    I do, in fact, read and consider stuff from people like Lindzen quite a bit. But then I wait for the evidence that he’s used to back up his claims, and it never comes. Did you see any data and statistical analysis results in that article backing him up? (That’s not a rhetorical, by the way. I’d appreciate an answer.)

    I can say that the PDO drives global climate, or I can say that climate change isn’t accelerating…but that means nothing in science unless you can back that up. I never see people like Lindzen do it. Ever. That’s why I’m not a skeptic – because climate scientists make a claim about climate and back it up by doing a study complete with data and analyses to prove their point. Skeptics (at least every single one I’ve ever seen) just make the claim and either run from the room/change the topic. I’m a scientist, so I require you to show me, not tell me, and I’m not going to believe you until you do. I don’t read a smattering of opinion pieces in newspapers, select only the ones that serve my opinion, and decide to not trust the rest. That’s not objectivity, JJ. Not even close.

    But that’s exactly what you’re doing.

  277. Jon

    Before I clicked that link, JJ, I knew it was either Richard Lindzen, or the handful of “skeptic” climate scientists with either think tank or industry funded sinecures…

  278. That is what I though you were saying. Essentially, if you are allowed to cherry pick the interval, you can get the confidence you want. Let’s choose 1947, or 1936, or 995.

    No, you can’t cherry pick the interval to get the confidence that you want. The confidence is defined by the data. We know for example, that the global average temperature can vary from one year to the next by more than 0.2 C. The long term trend is approximately 1/10th of that. That means that if 2010 is exactly 0.02 C hotter than 2009 (which is what is currently predicted by the long term trend) Phil Jones could not claim that it was statistically significant. A year’s worth of data won’t do it. Neither will 10.

    The globe would have to be warming up significantly faster than it is in order for such a short period of time to be statistically significant.

  279. That means that if 2010 is exactly 0.02 C hotter than 2009 (which is what is currently predicted by the long term trend) Phil Jones could not claim that it was statistically significant.

    More to the point, if 2010 is exactly 0.2C hotter than 2009 (ten-times that predicted by the long term trend), Phil Jones still couldn’t claim that it was statistically significant.

  280. JJ

    Exactly that attitude, Jon, that only works to support a one sided view. I’d also ask you to present any think tank or funded sinecures that are paying him to say such things because I’m not aware of any.

  281. JJ

    Think about it Jon, if you hold such an attitude, you’re clearly partisan and brainwashed by the Liberal machine, gotta stop reading that junk.

  282. JJ

    Read the article and watch the video, then explain why he holds zero credibility in your book. He makes an awful lot of sense, quite suspicious to say the least. These are the real world sources I’ve been speaking of.

  283. Philip J.

    I’d also ask you to present any think tank or funded sinecures that are paying him to say such things because I’m not aware of any.

    Sigh. Here we go:

    Richard Lindzen works for the Annapolis Center, the Heartland Institute, and the Cooler Heads Coalition – all think-tank groups which are known to be heavily funded by fossil fuel interests. He has been found to charge up to $2,500 PER DAY for his consulting activities to fossil fuel companies, and accepted $10,000 to testify for fossil fuel companies in the Nineties. He’s not quite the squaky-clean, innocent, unbiased observer you paint him to be, JJ.

    You may now proceed to spin away, JJ.

  284. JJ

    The skeptics not only consider the science, they consider the entire situation. There are many factors at work in this debate as I’ve been saying. Those are the real world factors acknowledged by guys like Lindzen. From a political standpoint, very suspicious, therefore I immediately question the conflict of interest. Can you prove that all that just happens to be a coincidence? I can’t, quite suspicious once again, science aside. I’m not a climatologist, I’m not going to argue the science, that’s Lindzen’s job.

  285. JJ

    I never heard of him before today, that was honest question.

  286. JJ

    On that same principle, the squeaky clean imagine of the IPCC and other alarmist organizations are clearly tarnished as well. They receive funding from left wing organizations.

  287. Philip J.

    For the record, Lindzen has gone on record saying he doesn’t believe tobacco smoke has links to lung cancer, either. That’s a common thread among many skeptics who are really habitual science deniers.

  288. JJ

    Also ironic how you ignore my previous points on stats and such, but readily attack as soon as someone like Lindzen comes up.

  289. Philip J.

    The IPCC gets funding from “left-wing organizations?” Really? Exxon-mobil even funds the IPCC a bit, JJ. Wake up, buddy.

  290. JJ

    Acknowledge what you can debunk, but ignore what you can’t…I see the trend.

  291. Philip J.

    My responses were in moderation, JJ. They’re out now.

  292. JJ

    Not the IPCC, but they’re part of the United Nations, a political organization. Groups that support the alarmists, like CAP.

  293. The skeptics not only consider the science, they consider the entire situation.

    Yes, we know, it costs too much to believe in global warming.

    That is pretty much the core of the skeptic argument on this issue, but it’s like arguing that you don’t believe in hurricanes because you think sandbags are too expensive.

  294. bilbo

    Is anyone else noticing how when JJ gets clearly taken down on a point like his claims about Richard Lindzen or basic statistical misconceptions, he just screams some variation of “liberals!!!!!” It’s like a nervous tick.

  295. JJ

    So the science is settled to that degree Jinchi? Really?

  296. JJ

    Has anyone noticed Bilbo attacking me as a right wing extremist?

  297. JJ

    This is actually Karl Rove, I’m trying to understand the other side so I can plot a Conservative revolution against “climate change”. Bilbo enjoys pulling at personal straws when he’s out of ideas.

  298. bilbo

    Pointing out that you just whine about liberals when you get backed into a corner isn’t painting you as anything is you’re actually doing it, JJ.

    And you are. You just did it again.

  299. Philip Jr.

    bilbo has a point, JJ. He’s not being unfair. You keep making claims. We keep calmly showing you the evidence that shows that you’re wrong. Then you often just respond with some tirade about how bad liberals are. That’s kind of the reality here of what you’re doing. If you don’t want to get called for doing it, then just don’t do it. That’s not hard to understand, is it?

  300. JJ

    It’s not Liberals, it the Liberal sources I was presented earlier as fact. Also, the strange correlation of Liberal sources that fund climate science.

  301. JJ

    Lindzen points out the Liberal notion in that video.

  302. Philip Jr.

    ‘Liberal sources,’ like the federal government? That’s by and far the predominant funder of the actual science behind climate change, JJ.

  303. JJ

    It truly is a well orchestrated plot to push an agenda. Can you honestly deny that correlation as anything but a coincidence?

  304. JJ

    Do you anything about special interests? They basically run Washington.

  305. So the science is settled to that degree Jinchi?

    It has nothing to do with whether the science is settled (a term I’ve never noticed scientists using, BTW), but your opinion about liberals, taxes, or “how much it costs” are completely irrelevant to the scientific question.

    If you’re trying to convince the rest of us that the science is wrong, but end up ranting about Al Gore or trillion dollars or Cap-and-Trade, you’re losing the argument. It becomes pretty hard to believe that you’ve come to your skepticism because “so many qualified scientists are against it”. It’s far easier to believe that you’re a skeptic simply because you don’t like the implications of the scientists being right.

  306. Philip Jr.

    It truly is a well orchestrated plot to push an agenda.

    …and now the transition from concerned bystander to conspiracy theorist is complete.

    What happened to the innocent JJ that “just sees some inconsistencies” earlier. Geez, you guys all end up being one and the same, don’t you?

  307. JJ

    I certainly don’t support cap and tax, but that’s been established.

  308. JJ

    If I had outright said that I’d be immediately label, there ya go. I was never concerned, AGW is bunk.

  309. bilbo

    It truly is a well orchestrated plot to push an agenda.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! So much for the objective JJ we’ve been seeing here today.

    Wow. We have another member of the “liberals are out to get us with science” club. You may now go to your Tea Party Meeting, JJ.

  310. JJ

    Until someone can explain how the hockey stick graph isn’t bunk. The Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank, said it was true without a doubt, but Phil Jones said he couldn’t predict global climate in the Middle Ages. Therefore, it’s either total bunk or the Liberal agenda is pushing AGW. If it was total bunk, then there’s no AGW.

  311. JJ

    Still waiting on if you’re a climatologist Bilbo…

  312. JJ

    If you knew what was good for America, you’d board the Tea Party Express too.

  313. bilbo

    So either the hockey stick is right or climate science is a liberlal conspiracy? Ever hear of a false dilemma, JJ?

  314. Philip Jr.

    If you knew what was good for America, you’d board the Tea Party Express too.

    Wow. ….and I think we’re done here.

  315. JJ

    Nope, I challenge you to prove the hockey stick is correct. Isn’t that the basis of the entire AGW debate? If it’s false, it must be part of a political scheme.

  316. JJ

    Finally, thanks Philip.

  317. JJ

    Enjoy discussing how to prove that hockey stick graph dilemma.

  318. Milton C.

    And thus the guy ranting at others about the dangers of partisan politics turned out to be a proud follower of one of the most partisan groups of them all. Ah, hypocrisy!!!

    Shoulda seen that one coming.

  319. JJ

    toot! toot! All aboard….haha

  320. JJ

    haha I’m really not Milton, but this is too easy.

  321. JJ

    I bet you’re all Liberals here aren’t ya?

  322. Until someone can explain how the hockey stick graph isn’t bunk…., but Phil Jones said he couldn’t predict global climate in the Middle Ages.

    That would require us to know:

    a.) What you think the hockey stick graph is.
    b.) Why you think it’s bunk.
    c.) Why you think it has anything to do with Phil Jones or the Middle Ages

    and no it isn’t the basis of the entire debate.

  323. JJ

    Jinchi, where have you been all day in the debate? That graph claims there’s been 2,000 years of warming according to CAP, but Jones said he couldn’t accurately predict climate back to the Middle Ages. Therefore, it’s contradictory.

  324. JJ

    I can’t believe how many times I’ve repeated myself today and nobody seems to be able to answer that one.

  325. JJ

    But I got more important things to do aboard the Tea Party Express tonight, so I’ll leave you to ponder that one. Toot! Toot!

  326. That graph claims there’s been 2,000 years of warming according to CAP, but Jones said he couldn’t accurately predict climate back to the Middle Ages.

    Okay. So as I expected, you don’t really know what the hockey stick graph is. You’ve apparently seen someone write about it and heard that it was wrong.

    I’d suggest you take a look at the literature, see just how many different versions of the “hockey stick” graph there are, look at the assumptions, data sources, error bars, qualifiers etc. that went into creating it. Then you can tell us what’s wrong with it and quite possibly answer the question about Phil Jones and the Middle ages yourself.

  327. Brian Too

    What makes Climate Change deniers is the lack of any sort of proportion. Hey, OK, it looks like maybe the IPCC made some mistakes*. However you correct what’s wrong and move on. The deniers want to immediately turn this into “I’ve been saying all along that Climate Change was bunk, and now I’ve got proof!”

    Uh, no. No you don’t. What you have is a tempest in a teapot. An academic scandal that was convenient to the deniers and so they attempt to leverage this up into an upending of all of climate science. The societal uproar and the fact this ended up in the general news sections of the press is all the evidence I need to prove to me that the deniers are politicians with an agenda to push. CLIMATE CHANGE IS BIG MONEY!!!! And so on.

    This lack of proportion will come back to haunt the deniers. Their credibility, already suspect by association with tobacco deniers, is under full scale assault by their own immoderation. They have no one to blame but themselves.

    * Pending the findings of an independent inquiry. Also, for the record, the e-mails are the proceeds of a criminal act. Yet more reason the deniers are tainted.

  328. JJ

    “…the Earth is now reaching and passing through the warmest levels seen in the last 12,000 years….”

    http://climateprogress.org/2006/09/26/stop-obsessing-over-hockey-sticks-they-will-be-obsolete-soon-enough/

    “…Our results extend previous conclusions that recent Northern Hemisphere surface temperature increases are likely anomalous in a long-term context. Recent warmth appears anomalous for at least the past 1,300 years whether or not tree-ring data are used. If tree-ring data are used, the conclusion can be extended to at least the past 1,700 years, but with additional strong caveats…”

    “…The planet is warming anomalously and dangerously thanks primarily to human emissions of greenhouse gas emissions, the bulk of which are from burning fossil fuels. The time to act is yesterday…”

    http://climateprogress.org/2008/09/03/sorry-deniers-hockey-stick-gets-longer-stronger-earth-hotter-now-than-in-past-2000-years/

    I couldn’t resist, these are the graphs I was referring to. How can Jones say he can’t accurately say if the Middle Ages were hotter than now, yet use this infamous graph as a means to support the argument today (Al Gore used the same one in his documentary as well)? If he can’t accurately say so, then any data going back past 200 years must be unreliable, he did acknowledge data reliability as well. The oldest graphed data are merely reconstructions, not based on the high tech means we use today and over the last 40 years. The link above also claims the Earth is hotter now than in the last 12,000 years. Now, how it that assumption possible if we can’t even accurately predict global temperatures from the Middle Ages as well, which only date back to the 5th century? That’s quite a stretch. Maybe it’s just the source that’s bunk, but you all seem to support data posted by the CAP. That is all from me.

  329. ThomasL

    Katharine (#211),

    Yes, most of the public is rather terrible in statistics. I wouldn’t consider myself any more than proficient (I can work the problem I’ve been assigned…), yet I carried my whole graduate class through it (and it was much easier than my undergraduate class) – I can’t even begin to explain how much it scarred the majority of those in it. But those who know stats also know it isn’t so much the methods that are open to question, but the validity of the underlying numbers and assumptions. Without the ability to test the underlying assumptions and numbers the “answers” correctness is simply a matter of did one do the math correctly – the answer to that is not a proof or disproof of the claim. To do that you have to be able to test for validity (in the social sciences such would be question bias, in AGW it would seem to revolve around accuracy of measuring tools), and to do that the assumptions are very much the point of contention and where skepticism plays a role. Even once validity has been established most statisticians know they need to be careful in what the results allow to be claimed.

    I actually do read the actual science papers when I can (The majority that I have been directed to I can access through my old on-line college library access), and again, the questions don’t come during the conclusions, but rather in the “givens” underlying such. If you have ever studied logic past the intro classes’, one of the things you learn is if you haven’t found issue with the base assumptions in an argument there is never going to be any success in questioning the end results. You are already caught by the previous progressions. You have stated you are still a student. Several in here are far past that stage and have had the bonus of dealing with all that theoretical knowledge in the much harsher test of making things work in the real world. It is a much different level of understanding, one that doesn’t always lend itself to the sterile methods and equations we learned in the classroom where inconvenient aspects could be ignored or set aside and the variables can be controlled while you worked on the theory under study. In the lab that error band can allow you to still make claims – in the real world that error band is the difference between being successful and going broke – and you don’t get “mulligan’s” when your assumption is proven wrong – you’re just broke.

    Part of why discussing anything AGW is difficult is when one wants to discuss a foundational work what gets tossed back is the castle that’s been built over the top. The castle may be interesting, but it is based on the soundness of those earlier works. Several months back a study came out from one of the oceanic labs about high carbon environment effects in shell creation. The assumption going in was “it’s all bad”, but the results were mixed, at best. An initial question is why does one think high carbon levels are bad for shell creation? We know carbon has been higher in the past, and we also know several of the species studied survived such episodes. Such smells much more like a hidden politicalsocial understanding than indifferent scientific inquiry where the goal is to understand cause and effect (human activity, especially pollution, is bad -> Co2 is a byproduct of human activity -> everything about Co2 increases must therefore be negative for the environment…).

    Part of my skepticism is the instantaneous jumps that everything is “bad” even before studying the issue. We know we are in an interglacial period – and currently we are in a moment that has actually been quite stable – an “anomaly” in itself. Perhaps part of the problem is our desire for a relatively static environment when there is little in the historical record to indicate such is “normal”. There is much debate about the MWP, but the LIA is actually just as intriguing – quick, statistically meaningful climate change (in the other direction) that most generally agree we are still coming out of (so “warmer” would actually be expected). “Bad” is a value judgment, not science. Science sticks to studying “what if’s” and then letting the data speak. Policy makers and society at large will work out how to deal with such results – forcing something only leads to even worse issues (civil wars, mass slaughter and other such lovely human episodes…). Unfortunately societies generally shift slowly – radical changes are only shown when there has been radically destabilizing events. In other words man is, on the whole, a creature that responds to the world around them when the need arises – in between he mostly just likes to pretend nothing ever changes.

  330. JJ

    Well stated Thomas L. I tried to raise similar points earlier, but lacked the poise to state it as concisely as you did there. I find the castle analogy one of the best points because it illustrates my skepticism as well. For one, the fundamental flaws in that hockey stick graph, for which the entire “climate change” case is centered, as well as the relativity factor of stats. You can begin solving a math problem under the wrong assumption and from there forth, the entire solution is wrong, even though it may work out in the end.

    The chain of events unfolding in this debate seems to contradict previous claims, which essentially jeopardizes the quality and credibility of later claims, amongst the obvious political correlations and conflict of interests. I’ve tried to no avail to point out those simple notions, but they’re immediately dismissed here. I’ve lost patience with all the circular reasoning and constant focus on spinning insignificant things out of context and drawing at straws, I take all of that as an admission of not having a legit answer to the hard questions, beating around the bush sort of speak.

  331. ThomasL

    If you all want to argue about sea level, the first thing that needs to be understood is there is more than one cause: “the changing sea level can be attributed to three main causes: the global cause – the volume of water in the ocean, which mirrors the mass of ice sheets and is related to global warming or cooling; the regional cause – vertical movement of the earth’s surface, which is usually related to the pressure placed on the surface by the ice; and the local cause – vertical tectonic activity.”

    As everything else involved in the AGW discussion very few of the “talking points” – things pointed at as being somehow “proof” of something, are very straight forward and involve far more than simple cause effect issues as most of them have several likely causes and which one is in play is not always very clear. The above quote is from http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-01/uoh-tsl012610.php I am assuming they are planning to release a paper on it, though I haven’t seen it yet. But to reinforce what many have tried to state Dr. Sivan concludes by stating “”Over the past century, we have witnessed the sea level in Israel fluctuating with almost 19 centimeters between the highest and lowest levels. Over the past 50 years Israel’s mean sea level rise is 5.5 centimeters, but there have also been periods when it rose by 10 centimeters over 10 years. That said, even acute ups and downs over short periods do not testify to long-term trends. An observation of the sea levels over hundreds and thousands of years shows that what seems a phenomenon today is as a matter of fact “nothing new under the sun”,

  332. ThomasL

    Sorry, should have “are not very straight forward”

    – and again, what would one wish to call “normal” when there has been a fluctuation of 19 centimeters over a century, with a one-meter difference between the highest and lowest levels over the past 2,500 years? While “most of the time it has been lower” may indicate the trend, if it is a rising level trend it is a trend that has obviously been going on for far longer than the industrial revolution.

  333. ThomasL

    oops, wrong thread, moved to the correct thread…

  334. Seminatrix

    http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc_tar/?src=/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/index.htm

    For one, the fundamental flaws in that hockey stick graph, for which the entire “climate change” case is centered

    Alright fellas. Mind reading through that link to tell us where the IPCC relies solely on the hockey stick for the basis of its argument? JJ seems to be not even worrying if what he says is even close to true…

  335. JJ

    http://icecap.us/index.php

    Until you can debunk all the claims of the professionals that run this site, I’m not convinced.

  336. JJ

    Is it not that hockey stick graph that promoted all of the alarm in Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth? Must be another graph…

  337. JJ

    150 years of somewhat reliable data is not representative of the Earth’s long term climate history. All the studies in the world cannot change that fact.

  338. Seminatrix

    Is it not that hockey stick graph that promoted all of the alarm in Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth?

    Did you just try to elevate an Al Gore documentary above the level of peer-reviewed science? O…………….kay………. You’re nuts. Either that, or you have a perverse infatuation with Al Gore. No matter what, don’t rely on Al Gore for your information on climate science. That’s kind of a rule of thumb.

    150 years of somewhat reliable data is not representative of the Earth’s long term climate history. All the studies in the world cannot change that fact

    Except for the studies that use more than 150 years of data, of course. They actually do change that. Where on Earth are you getting your information? It’s all completely wrong.

  339. JJ

    For once, we agree on Al Gore! Satellite and technologically advanced data collecting devices did not exist even 100 years ago. Hard data today is much more accurate and reliable that anything of the past. The temperature data before modern technology are recreated, not recorded by satellites, etc. The only clues to temperatures before then are geophysical. It certainly makes a big difference.

  340. Until you can debunk all the claims of the professionals that run this site, I’m not convinced.

    While we’re at it, why don’t you debunk all the claims of the professionals that publish at this site:

    http://www.nature.com/

  341. JJ

    Burden is on those making the claim. I’ll let the PhDs battle the science out.

  342. The oldest graphed data are merely reconstructions, not based on the high tech means we use today and over the last 40 years.

    Okay, so now you’re arguing that temperature data older than 40 years are no good. Doesn’t that require that you think the laws of thermodynamics were not “settled science” before 1970?

  343. Burden is on those making the claim.

    You’re making the claim here.

    I’ll let the PhDs battle the science out.

    They already have. They say you’re wrong.

  344. JJ

    Except for that “insignificant” group of PhDs that begs to differ. Slavery was legal and accepted by the majority for decades before people decided to speak up and change that. Same principle here. Majority doesn’t mean it’s right. The majority once believed the Earth was flat and that the sun revolved about the Earth, look how that turned out. People aren’t going to give up simply because they’re the underdogs.

  345. JJ

    Ever heard of James Randi? He asks psychics to prove their abilities, as they claim they read minds or communicate with spirits, amid his skepticism. So far, they haven’t been able to prove it so, even though the majority of people still believe in them. One simple test, like reading a chart behind a curtain, can disprove an entire case. Skeptics have brought about many instances of that in this debate, which are too often tossed to the side and ignored, especially those of the PhDs, even after some major proponent claim, based on their own studies, have already been contradicted, like the claims we wouldn’t see much, if any snow after 2005. Yet, they later change their tune and say, no, we meant there’s going to be much more snow and lots of it. It’s gone from “global warming” to “climate change” to now “global weirding”…moving the goal posts are we? No, it’s not slavery…it’s indentured servitude…

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/23/theres-no-business-like-snow-business/

  346. JJ

    Maybe you can ignore all that and still maintain trust that climatologists know all, but I sure can’t. Far too many questions left to answer to warrant any alarm on the issue.

  347. ThomasL

    Jinchi (#352),

    Actually the temperature data prior to 50~ish years ago is only somewhat accurate. In 1957 the United Nations “World Meteorological Organization” implemented what is known as IGY (International Geophysical Year) – part of that implementation was a standardization of how meteorological data is collected – including, and of great interest in this debate, how temperature data got collected. The current standard involving calibrated thermometers (today it is mostly sensors), the well ventilated housing unit it is placed in, the screens, specific times of day and all the rest of the methodology we use to get “ambient air temperature” were implemented at that time. Prior to this there was no global standard for any of it, and many countries did their data collection in ways we would all agree are subject to massively skewed data results.

    While we discuss the problems of coverage often in hese discusions, that too was an issue throughout the recent past – regular reporting from the interiors of south America and Africa only become present after 1949, and we had no regular records from Antarctica until 1957 – yet somehow we have created over 100 years of global temperature records that are within tenths of a degree of accuracy (which is needed to make any claims of meaningful trends…)?

    Sorry, color me skeptical on that call… Maybe that is part of the reason the scientists and the actual papers are pretty cautious in the claims

  348. He asks psychics to prove their abilities, as they claim they read minds or communicate with spirits, amid his skepticism.

    JJ, you’ve already told us that you don’t read the scientific literature, and in fact think it’s a waste of your time to do so. So don’t start complaining that the scientists haven’t proven their claims. You haven’t even bothered to learn what their claims are.

    One simple test, like reading a chart behind a curtain, can disprove an entire case.

    You have yet to reach even this standard. What example has disproved the entire case?

    like the claims we wouldn’t see much, if any snow after 2005

    There’s an interesting claim. Find me the citation where climatologists say there won’t be much, if any snow after 2005. (BTW, links to a contrarian site that links to news reports that provide partial quotes and paraphrases don’t count.)

  349. Actually the temperature data prior to 50~ish years ago is only somewhat accurate.

    Ah yes, our data are better today, so that invalidates all the data that came before. This is another standard skeptic argument.

    I guess the lesson is that we should absolutely never develop and use more precise instruments, lest the entire scientific edifice come crashing down around us.

  350. ThomasL

    Jinchi (#359),

    Nice try, but nothing to do with what I pointed out. Play silly debate games with some other child or student, not why I am in here. Do you really think being snarky and prepubescent makes any points for your cause?

    I am all for better measuring tools – there is absolutely nothing in my post that would remotely indicate anything else. I am quite optimistic that with the further advancements and data collection using satellites, for example, we will get a much better handle on what is actually transpiring.

    The issues with the data validity of the past are self evident and generally acknowledged – which is why the actual scientific papers are substantially more cautious in the claims and the error bands shrink as we move forward – those large bands in the past are an acknowledgment that there are issues and limitations in the older data sets. If one chooses to make grand claims using them don’t be surprised if others are more reserved and have rational questions as a result.

    I presented the historical facts and presented the conclusion that given such there are in fact some issues there. Deal with them instead of crying “not fair” or trying to cram some lame redirection into the discussion.

  351. The issues with the data validity of the past are self evident and generally acknowledged

    Exactly, they are generally acknowledged in the scientific literature, and the error bars are there for everyone to see. JJ has been arguing that no amount of research can pull information from data older than 150 years:

    “150 years of somewhat reliable data is not representative of the Earth’s long term climate history. All the studies in the world cannot change that fact.”

    Which he is now revising to data older than 40 years:

    “The oldest graphed data are merely reconstructions, not based on the high tech means we use today and over the last 40 years.”

    It is absurd to argue that we cannot do quality research on proxy data from before the industrial era. Even more absurd to argue that we cannot do quality research on instrumental data from the 1960s and earlier.

  352. JJ

    I never said you couldn’t pull any data, only that it’s not nearly as reliable as those of the last 40 years.

  353. JJ

    To beat the hell out of the Phil Jones quote on the Medieval Period being warmer than today again, he couldn’t accurately say if it was warmer or not due to lack of data. If they had collected reliable data from that time, it may have shown it was just as warm, if not warmer, than today. If that was so, it would put a significant hole in the warming case. Due to the lack of that data, scientists are unable to make a deduction. That’s an example of what I meant by lack of reliable data before modern technology. The further back you go, the less reliable the data gets. I simply question as to how they can use the data from say, the Medieval period, even though they claimed it to be incomplete and unreliable in the Southern Hemisphere.

  354. bilbo

    Another lovely series of perfectly contradictory quotes from JJ:

    Until you can debunk all the claims of the professionals that run this site, I’m not convinced

    Burden is on those making the claim.

    So the only way to convince JJ of anything is to debunk denialists’ claims…except at the same time he also says someone should not do such a thing.

    My, how convenient! *vomit*

  355. bilbo

    The further back you go, the less reliable the data gets.

    Seems like science acknowledges that point, my dear JJ, yet knows how to work within it, unlike yourself.

    Geologists, evolutionary biologists, and paleoclimatologists are work off of the same basic assumptions. Yet I don’t see you crtiicizing the other two fields….hmm….

    I love the selective standards of denialists.

  356. JJ

    Thanks for your brilliant contributions Bilbo. Have you debunked any of those claims yet? I’m challenging the consensus, burden is on you pal.

  357. V.O.R.

    Here’s “Burden of Proof” from Wikipedia. The key concept is that there’s more to it than pointing a finger at whoever is making a claim. Especially if they’re challenging a consensus.

    *****
    Description

    When debating any issue, there is an implicit burden of proof on those making any kind of claim. This is not a mathematical or logical proof, but rather a conventionally acceptable amount of evidence that will warrant the claim. This burden of proof is often asymmetrical, and typically falls more heavily on the party that makes an ontologically positive claim, or a claim that greatly departs from conventional knowledge.

    Considerations

    The standard of proof required to establish any particular conclusion varies with the subject under discussion. Some considerations follow.

    * How neatly does the claim fit into the current body of scientific knowledge?
    * How coherent and complete is/are the mechanism(s) offered as the cause(s) of the effect being claimed?
    * How independent is the claim of other suspect or controversial claims?*
    ******

    Here’s an illustrative conversation:

    X) “Gravity doesn’t exist. Or at least you can’t say it’s caused by mass.”
    Y) “Umm… sure I can.”
    X) “Why do you think so?”
    Y) “The, you know, Theory of Gravity?”
    X) “A theory, eh? Prove it!”
    Y) “What?”
    X) “You’re the one making the claim. That whole “Theory of Gravity” thing that scientists have been going on about, making the Big Bucks with their grants and satellites and such. You know Al Gore believes in gravity, right? The burden of proof is on you. Prove the Theory of Gravity correct, and that gravity actually exists.”
    Y) “Err.. If I take this rock and drop it…”
    X) “Don’t give me anecdotal evidence. That’s like saying melting ice sheets is a sign of AGW. Sunlight could be causing both. Give me proof! Show me proof, for example, of a mechanism for gravity.”
    Y) “Gravitons?”
    X) “Can you prove they exist?”
    Y) “Well… the very successful Standard Model hypothesizes… oh, crap…”
    X) “MODEL!? HYPOTHESIS!? Bzzzzt!”

    You know how it goes.

  358. JJ

    ….and all of those fields don’t work within climate science (with the exception of evolutionary biologists)?

  359. JJ

    Drawing at straws Biblo, drawing at straws…

  360. JJ

    “Meanwhile, politicians are being listened to, even though most of them have no knowledge or understanding of science, especially the science of climate and climate change. Hence, they are in no position to question a policy on climate change when it threatens the entire planet. Moreover, using fear and creating hysteria makes it very difficult to make calm rational decisions about issues needing attention.”

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/2007/global-warming020507.htm

  361. bilbo

    ….and all of those fields don’t work within climate science (with the exception of evolutionary biologists)?

    Umm, this might be a bit of a news flash to you, JJ, but evolutionary biology has a huge role in climate science specificalyl with regards to the effects of AGW on flora and fauna….which, I’ll add, are showing global range shifts and changes in phenology perfectly consistent with predictions from AGW.

    Once again, you prove your ignorance of the topic, and your ignorance of the topic destroys your claims about it’s falsehood. Nice one, slick.

  362. Milton C.

    I see JJ took the evolution bait hook, line, and sinker….right after a post about how important it is for people arguing about climate change to have a firm knowledge of the science.

    Ouch.

  363. Milton C.

    Darnit, bilbo, you beat me to the punch again.

  364. Skeptic

    For a great piece on how peer reviewed literature and scientists’ own admissions has dealt a severe blow to the “settled” science of climate change, see this:

    http://wolfhowling.blogspot.com/2010/02/summary-of-not-so-settled-science-of.html

  365. Philip Jr.

    I see JJ took the evolution bait hook, line, and sinker….right after a post about how important it is for people arguing about climate change to have a firm knowledge of the science.

    Ouch.

    I hate to say this, but JJ almost makes me miss deniers like ehmoron. At least he had the mental faculty enough to realize when he’d totally contradicted a previous argument and hurriedly change the topic. Plus, he had a fairly strong scientific foundation. JJ is either oblivious or
    enjoys coming back around for a few more whippings.

  366. JJ

    “right after a post about how important it is for people arguing about climate change to have a firm knowledge of the science”…you must have missed the earlier posts in which I said I don’t read studies, I’m not a scientist. Good try though.

  367. Seminatrix

    I don’t read studies, I’m not a scientist

    The root of the problem is mentioned yet again, but JJ remains oblivious…

  368. JJ

    and you all must be climatologists, right? Still waiting on those answers…

  369. If they had collected reliable data from that time, it may have shown it was just as warm, if not warmer, than today.

    Okay, here you’re confusing the difference between quality of data and quantity of data. We have less data for the climate 1000 years ago than we do today and the data coverage is skewed to the Northern Hemisphere. But you haven’t shown any evidence that the data we do have is unreliable. We also have much more data today than we did 10 years ago when the first of the “hockey stick” plots were created. The original plot started in 1400 for that very reason (so how the MWP proves that it’s bunk is beyond me). That reference is here ( http://www.caenvirothon.com/Resources/Mann,%20et%20al.%20Global%20scale%20temp%20patterns.pdf ) .

    Since then climatologists have added hundreds of additional data series, extending the resolution backwards in time and increasing the precision of the measurement (most recently here: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2008/09/02/0805721105.abstract ). None of the major conclusions made in the original paper have been falsified.

    If that was so, it would put a significant hole in the warming case.

    That statement is a complete non-sequitur. The case for AGW is not dependent on whether it has ever been hotter in the past. It makes as little sense as claiming that matches cannot cause forest fires because lightning strikes do.

  370. V.O.R.

    I know at least one of them isn’t, JJ! Bring down the hammer!

  371. V.O.R.

    I know at least one of them is, JJ! Bring down the hammer!

  372. Still waiting on those answers…

    But we know that you aren’t waiting on answers, JJ. If you wanted answers you’d actually look at what the science says. Why would anyone believe that you would look at answers written in a blog comment section when you won’t make the most basic effort to learn anything about the subject. You won’t even read the papers by the scientists you claim to agree with. At least then you might be able to muster a coherent counter-argument.

  373. JJ

    You should follow the link posted by skeptic, it explains everything.

  374. JJ

    Counter arguments are ignored here and in the research community. Its been demonstrated repeatedly, hence the controversy of the entire debate.

  375. Philip Jr.

    So peer-reviewed science is a “waste of time” but a fat single guy blogging from his living room “explains everything.” I believe we have identified the root of the problem here.

  376. bilbo

    Yep, Philip. JJ is a casualty of the “it’s on the internet!!!” crowd. Sad, really.

  377. JJ

    but..it’s on the internet!

  378. JJ

    I’ve done enough clowning around…bundle up, it’s cold out there.

  379. JJ

    It’s been a pleasure making a mockery of your “consensus”…isn’t blogging a great waste of time?

  380. Milton C.

    So peer-reviewed science is a “waste of time” but a fat single guy blogging from his living room “explains everything.” I believe we have identified the root of the problem here.

    I believe we have. Yes I do.

    I read on a blog once that mint-scented water could cure my herpes. It explained everything. And to think, all those elitest scientists were talling me it didn’t…. I mean, it was right there on the Internet the whole time!!!!

  381. bilbo

    Wow. James Inhofe maintains a blog on the Senate Republican website where he promotes unreviewed pseudoscience, while the Senate Democrat page relies on that elitest peer-reviewed science alone.

    A blog + prominent conservative = two sources that JJ gobbles up as irrefutable proof. It’s like a double denialist orgasm!!!

  382. bilbo

    Double wow. James Inhofe says on his blog that he want to abolish the ability for trained, qualified university scientists to perform scientific research and make “truly transparent, industry-backed scientific studies” the only type of scientific research applicable to public policy.

    Ah yes, let’s let the tobacco industry be the only ones who can study tobacco health risks, the fossil fuel industry be the only ones who can study the effects of fossil fuel emissions on the environment, and let’s let the pesticide industry be the only people who are allowed to study the effects of pesticide on wildlife populations. And let’s just put a loaded gun in our mouth while we’re at it, eh?

  383. bilbo

    Triple wow. Inhofe writes on his blog that he is against any rules that improve localized smog in his district because it would “be economically costly.”

    Income over physical health, the conservative motto.

  384. bilbo

    …and as a quadruple wow, Inhofe wants to allow the U.S. military to be the deciding factor in future natural resource disputes. In other words, if there’s oil we want in, say, Greenland, he wants to make it justified for the military to go in and overthrow the government/kill thousands in order to get it.

    That blog is a treasure-trove of scary, JJ…

  385. bilbo

    Quintuple wow. Inhofe says that “only 7% of practicing scientists” accept the science of climate change. WTF? I guess if you can’t beat ‘em, lie about ‘em.

  386. Philip Jr.

    Yes. All of those deserve qute the “wow,” but they’re not all that unexpected.

    Apparently Sen. Inhofe has clued into what JJ has been exemplifying for us here: most climate denialists simply trust anything they read on a blog as true, especially when the source is from someone they agree with politically. What a scary mindset for a person to have: no ability to think for themselves….

  387. Sao Paul

    If I was a denialist, I’d be absolutely pissed that JJ is the person representign my side here. This has been embarrassing for them.

  388. Thomas H.

    If I was a denialist, I’d be absolutely pissed that JJ is the person representign my side here. This has been embarrassing for them.

    I am a denialist, and believe me, I am. That was an embarrassing, extended, 400-post takedown. Not all of us are that dimwitted, and not all of us are just unwitting political pawns. Trust me.

  389. JJ

    That last 200 post political circus is exactly what alarmists pull, see how ridiculous it is? “Alarmists” don’t help your side much either. I stopped being serious around post 200 or so after getting fed up with the circular reasoning. Congrats, you’ve been punked.

  390. That last 200 post political circus is exactly what alarmists pull, see how ridiculous it is?

    Says the person who wrote 160 of the posts in this thread.

  391. JJ

    …and if you see the bottom of Inhofe’s blog, you’ll see all that stuff was from 2007 and supposed to be presented in a “blockbuster” case against warming, clearly that case wasn’t such a blockbuster if it’s 2010 and we didn’t hear anything of it. Although I remain a skeptic, I’m not a “right wing extremist, tea partier” as I was labeled here many posts ago.

  392. JJ

    Did you honestly count them all Jinchi? Seriously?

  393. JJ

    Let me clarify that for you challenging mind…post number 200. I bet you’ll even go back to those first 200 posts to find some tidbit and run with it too?

  394. Did you honestly count them all Jinchi? Seriously?

    It takes 3 seconds if you know how to do it, JJ.

  395. JJ

    *your challenged mind….

    damn typo, my mind is challenged this morning too.

  396. JJ

    I know, you use the find function, that wasn’t the point.

  397. bilbo

    Oh yes, JJ, we totally put all those words in your mouth a tricked you into making those 10 or 12 self-contradictions.

    Oh yes, we’ve been punked, indeed. *snicker*

  398. Philip Jr.

    I stopped being serious around post 200 or so after getting fed up with the circular reasoning. Congrats, you’ve been punked.

    I’m still trying to figure out how you can “punk” someone by just contradicting yourself over and over again and making ridiculous and easily-debunked statements about science. But OK….

    (If you embarrassed someone on your own side of the opinion aisle, JJ, (see Thomas H. #400) you should probably take a long, hard look at yourself.)

  399. JJ

    Philip, you just confirmed the circular reasoning because I already stated I stopped being serious after post 200 or so. If you’d like to dedicate the rest of your day to proving I’m a “right wing extremist”, be my guest.

  400. JJ

    I’m done debating, knock yourselves out, it’s officially become political.

  401. I’m done debating, knock yourselves out

    I think that’s the 10th time he’s said goodbye.

  402. bilbo

    “Come on guys, I was just kidding!!! For two days, even! All those self-contradictions, all of those unmistakably bitter and angry rants – I was just pulling your legs! See, by making myself look like an uneducated buffoon, I really make you look stupid when you’re able to so easily debunk me using calm, reasoned thinking and firm logic! That was perfect!!!”

    *snicker* again.

  403. Philip Jr.

    I’m done debating

    Debating? A moment ago it was alllllll just a big joke.

    More inconsistencies from the King of Oblivious Contradiction.

  404. Sorbet

    Yawn…*wakes up, takes a look at comment section, sees 415 comments*…hmm, seems to be business as usual here. *Goes back to sleep*.

  405. Matt

    Business as usual indeed…watching fellow skeptics get talked down by the alarm of “climate science”.

  406. Sorbet

    Talked down = proven wanting for lack of evidence

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About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by Salon.com and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs. For a longer bio and contact information, see here.

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