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The Skeptical Disconnect Redux PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Kyle Hill   

“I think I have you skeptics figured out,” he said with a cautious smirk. “For you this isn’t about the science. It’s more of a political agenda. The science isn’t settled and it isn’t a popularity contest. Why can’t you see that?”

I feigned an understanding smile. This was the third time in so many days that I had to confront a denier of anthropogenic climate change (AGW) at the James Randi Educational Foundation’s 10th annual Amaz!ng Meeting.

“Politics has nothing to do with it. We have multiple lines of evidence all pointing towards the same conclusion: the Earth is warming and humans are the main cause. Nearly everything else has been ruled out,” I said.

“But the science is not settled…” he began.

         “Let me put it this way: do you accept evolution?” I interjected.

“Yes, I do” he said with noticeable hesitation.

“Would you say the fact that nearly 100% of biologists agree with the theory of evolution, based on multiple lines of evidence and a century of study, lends credibility to the theory?” I asked.

“Yes, I think so,” he said.

“Apply that same fact to climate change and climate scientists,” I said, nearly cutting him off.

“But the science is not settled. And we found out how unethical those scientists were behaving with ‘Climate Gate.’ I thought this conference about skepticism…”

**********

Last week I attended TAM 2012, the largest meeting of skeptics of its kind in Las Vegas, Nevada. TAM 2012 was definitely a success, meshing great speakers with even greater camaraderie. Yet, like my last conference outing where I discovered the disconnect between skeptics and atheists, I ran into a good number of skeptics who divulged to me that although they were die-hard skeptics, AGW was a hoax. Of course, it wouldn’t be a problem if AGW was an emerging or tentative theory in climate science, but it is not. The planet is warming, and humans are the main cause.

For over 100 years, climate scientists have been noticing warming trends in our climate, based on everything from tree rings to ice cores, thermometers to polar melts. All the evidence points in one direction: a rate of warming since the industrial revolution that cannot be accounted for by the urban heat island effect, solar cycles, inconsistent temperature recordings, or previous cycles of warming and cooling.

It is not my purpose here to outline the evidence behind AGW (other resources on the web do a fantastic job of that), but to say that for skeptics, this should be a settled issue. Remove all of the other variables that mask the AGW conclusion, like political pressures, propaganda campaigns, and outspoken decriers, and you are still left with all the evidence pointing towards the same end.

So again, we have a disconnect. The most likely answer for this is political orientation. Indeed, we find that AGW denial is not linked to scientific illiteracy, but to “cultural identity” (i.e. political and economics identities). Furthermore, this gap in AGW acceptance based on political orientation reveals that republicans are behind democrats in nearly every issue concerning the acceptance of AGW, and that conservatives attribute recent bouts of warm weather to AGW far less than democrats, just to highlight a few examples.

As was the case in the previous article, I am using anecdotes to make my case, but the lack of significant AGW acceptance in the skeptical community baffles me. Why don’t the skeptical notions of weight of evidence, scientific consensus, and independent confirmation hold sway on this issue? Again I suspect that politics is the answer. For example, the man who came up to me and engaged in the dialogue above noted that he was an outspoken libertarian, as if that was supposed to also imply that libertarians do not accept AGW.

Peruse even the most skeptical websites long enough and you will find comments from “skeptics” like this one, which I pulled from an article on Skeptic.com:

I was going to subscribe to your site and newsletter, but I see you have no more rational way of dealing with belief-driven drivel than do people like Graham Hancock or Billy Graham.

Where’s your skepticism when we, the consuming public, need it the most? Why do you accept the test data as factual, when so many of the testing stations have been PROVEN to give fundamentally flawed readings? Why are you just accepting, as dogma, the IPCC reports? Where’s your healthy skepticism of the data?

By your standards, David Copperfield has harnessed the real power of magic because video cameras don’t lie.

How incredibly disappointing to see an article like this on a site that prides itself on its rational thinking.

Our in-group fighting employs the dirty tactic of turning our own values against us. Skeptics will argue amongst themselves about dogmas and data, but it boils down to a fundamental disagreement that cannot be overcome by accusations of irrationality. The data backs up AGW; appealing to a skeptic by calling them in effect a bad skeptic does not change this. My only recourse is to assume that some other variable, namely politics, grossly overshadows the skeptical principles that would otherwise lead us to embrace climate science.

But those of us who already accept AGW know this to be the case. We know how divided people are on AGW based on politics (as the polls show above), and because skepticism does not necessarily equate to any one political position, there is little reason to believe that skeptics would not be divided as well. But as we divide ourselves along party lines, climate science progresses, and the real questions about what can we do to mitigate the effects of climate change, and how to deal with its consequences, pass us by.

It’s time for the skeptical community to embrace its own values and to accept climate science. It is one of the most important issues of our time, and certainly not inconsequential or “alarmist” to acknowledge. We have the data, we have consensus in the scientific community, we actually see the effects slowing taking shape in the form of intense wildfire seasons, rising sea levels, and national heat waves. It’s time to drop the chains of ideology and be proper skeptics, supporting the science we put so much value in.

Let the accusations of my incomplete skepticism commence in the comments below, keeping in mind that it only proves a point.

 

Kyle Hill is the JREF research fellow specializing in communication research and human information processing. He writes daily at the Science-Based Life blog and you can follow him on Twitter here.

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written by SkeptiGal, July 20, 2012
My father is a denier of AGW, but then again he's a republican! It is more about ideology than science. I am Planning on giving him Donald Prothero's article in Skeptic magazine that outlines the AGW tenets succinctly. Since he is also a medical doctor, he is deeply rooted in rational thinking and accepts all other science based theories. Unfortunately, he has been duped by the Republican agenda to deny AGW.
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correlation != causation, Lowly rated comment [Show]
"Deniers" is a political word, Lowly rated comment [Show]
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written by Peebs, July 20, 2012
There is also the fact that the planet has gone through many climate changes through the milennia. Some of us just question whether it's man made.

As an aside, I have no political agenda and if asked to describe my political stance, would say slightly to the right of centre.
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I fail to see how action can make it worse
written by supernovae, July 20, 2012
Why do deniers always say that taking action could make things worse? Isn't a skeptic supposed to be skeptic of such claims made with absolutely no basis?
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written by Peebs, July 20, 2012
Supernovae,
That is a massive assumption on your part.

I certainly don't say that.
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Interesting...
written by dwat, July 20, 2012
Supernovae,
Not sure if you are calling me a denier but, I am skeptical. Also, I AM continuously researching and I am keeping an open mind because I want to be "correct" in my understanding. Choosing to call someone a "denier" is clear use of "fighting words". This is a skeptical blog. Let's keep it friendly and skeptical.

The danger taking action before you know the variables involved is not a claim which has no basis. I am sure you can think of a few examples of conditions made worse because of rash behavior and a hurried responses.
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Start with the man in the mirror
written by dwat, July 20, 2012
"It’s time to drop the chains of ideology and be proper skeptics" --Kyle Hill

Yes, Kyle. And I implore you to think about this statement very carefully. I might also suggest that you do not post politically ignorant statements such as "republicans do this" or "democrates do that". This shows a certain level of bias (if not outright bigotry and arrogance).

As skeptics we are not concerned about "Left vs. Right". We are concerned about "right vs wrong". Please take a lesson from Penn Jillette or James Randi.

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Political Delusions and Cognitive Bias
written by dwat, July 20, 2012
It never fails to amaze me how people are so eager to believe that the "other" political parties do nothing but lie while they assume that their own favorite party is all about truth.

It's much like when the Greeks, under Zeus, fought the Babylonians, under Marduk. Each side assumed that the god of the other side was a lie made up the other's evil clergy. Never once did anyone wonder if the same might be said about their own chosen god.
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written by Peebs, July 20, 2012
It genuinely worries me when I read these comments.

The original post threw up Strawmen and subsequent comments threw up Ad Homs and logical fallacies.

As a little test, transpose 'Climate Change' (or global warming) with Chiropractic.

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There should be a poll
written by nickquest, July 20, 2012
I would love it if this site posted an ongoing climate change poll. I'm curious to see the percentages for how much of the skeptic community is on board with the scientific consensus of climate change. I realize being a member of this site and voting on an internet poll won't guarantee that only skeptics vote, but it would still be interesting to see whether it tips significantly one way or the other, and if it is trending in one direction over time. How far are we from a skeptical consensus? Also I would love to know if James Randi's personal opinion on climate change has itself changed since 2009 when he was still unconvinced.
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written by lytrigian, July 20, 2012
I don't know whether it's good or bad that the reactions to this article prove the thesis.

Yes, anthropocentric global warming is real. Yes, it's settled science, with about a 97% consensus among climatologists. No, there's no longer any serious debate on the topic among them. Yes, public (NOT scientific) opinion on the matter divides along political lines. No, that does not mean Democrats are more scientific in their thinking than Republicans and Libertarians, it just means that on this particular issue the science happens to align with one side's political agenda. Yes, this means that even skeptics allow their dearly-held political opinions to override their otherwise rational faculties.

Just like CallerX, I'm old enough to remember the "Ice Age Scare" of the 1970s. Only, that wasn't really a scientific consensus. It was a panic *in the press*, but among climatologists even then there was a growing consensus that the planet was getting warmer, not cooler. That consensus had not yet reached the near-unanimity it enjoys today, but it was growing. See http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?a=1 , http://www.realclimate.org/ind...ling-myth/ , and others.

Sorry guys, there's proof. You just need to look at it without dismissing it out of hand.
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written by funkmon, July 20, 2012
A global warming denier can turn much of this right back on you, and say that the acceptance is along political lines, to be sure. Liberals and left wingers are far more likely to not be skeptical of the claims, which says to me there is a political component, but how much of one is there, and on which side is it? Maybe the people who accept it aren't being good skeptics, and are basing it on politics.

I'm actually undecided on the issue. Back in the 1970s, we were headed for a global ice age. I have seen the articles. Science changes, true, but it's
inconsistent with this thing that we've been on a warming trend, isn't it? If the data is clear, why did it change so much?

Another thing is stuff like the hockey stick graph, and whatnot. I will buy that people put out greenhouse gases, and in lab conditions these increase something's temperature, but they have gone up TREMENDOUSLY, and predictions always seem to say the temperature will also go up tremendously, but it's never as bad as what the predictions say. It seems like the Earth is getting warmer. It's correlated with stuff humans have done, but while the temperature keeps rising, it doesn't hit predictions made based on anthropogenesis, it just keeps going up. Isn't that a problem, or am I wrong here?

It seems like a lot of bad science and politically motivated thinking on both sides to me. Whenever I meet someone who understands the issue, I try to have he or she explain it to me. They never do, really, either saying "oh, trust me, it's good science, but I'm not qualified to explain it." Or accusing me of political bias. I just want to know.

I MUST be wrong on everything I am skeptical of here, or climate scientists wouldn't all say it's happening, but I've never had my concerns satisfied.
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written by lytrigian, July 20, 2012
Funkmon: A previous post of mine is in moderation, so at the risk of restating myself:

In the 1970s we were NOT headed for an ice age. You saw articles in the popular press, which blew a minority opinion way out of proportion. Even at the time, consensus was that the Earth was warming overall regardless of any apparent short-term cooling trend. It wasn't as large a consensus as now, to be sure, and it wasn't as well-supported by the data, but it was yet a majority. (I won't provide links since I suspect that's what sent the other post to moderation but you can find the information from the links at the article, or a Google search.) In short, the data didn't change. We just have more of it now, so climatologists are more certain that warming is happening.

For my own part, I remember much better the climatological predictions of the mid-1980s, when awareness of global warming was becoming more common. The predictions made at the time are tracking well with what's happening now.

The "hockey stick" is neither here nor there. The consensus does not stand or fall based on that one graph. If it did, anyone's concerns would be fully justified. A single graph is a very slim argument for any theory, let alone one so contentious.

I can also tell you that my own opinion is not politically motivated. My politics are difficult to describe, but I am neither wholly conservative, nor wholly liberal, nor wholly libertarian. I held out against the idea of global warming for some time, based mostly on reports of a large body of satellite data over many years showing temperatures holding even, or merely cooling. Then it came out that the satellite team had not properly taken the time of day into account, that nights are cooler than days. When they corrected their analysis, it showed warming. It was the last support for a non-warming trend that I could see, and it was gone. At that point I changed my mind.

The data seems to show that human activity is to blame, but let's assume for the time being that it does not and that we're not contributing to the warming trend. When you consider the sheer amount we're emitting that seems unlikely on its face but take it as read for the sake of argument. It's still inescapably true that what we're doing isn't helping. It can't possibly hurt to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions. The benefit we gain is that as a side effect we will make wiser, more efficient use of the fossil fuel supplies remaining to this planet, and that's an important thing to do regardless. That fuel will not last forever. In other words, there's more than one reason to do things that will cut back on greenhouse gas emissions. If not for the one reason, then we ought to do it for the other anyway.
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written by JonK, July 20, 2012
The problem with denying AGW is that the whole body of evidence, from multiple fields ranging from chemistry to physics to biology to atmospheric science and more, all point consistently to the reality of AGW. Each individual piece of the evidence may be able to be explained some other way, but each requires its own and sometimes conflicting hypothesis. Occam's razor may not always be right, but absent another overarching theoretical model, it's a good place to start.

For "funkmon" and others who have not found someone who can satisfy them with a overall cogent explanation of global climate change, I recommend Professor Richard Wolfson's course "Earth's Changing Climate" in The Great Courses series. Your library may have a copy. The 12 lecture course is science, not politics, and amasses a cross-section of data leavened by the necessary physics in a way that is understandable to anyone with a high school background. It's a good antidote for anyone who has been bewildered by the pseudo-science of many of the websites that deny AGW. "Caller X" will find science-based answers to many of his objections as well (though not to his ad hominem attacks).

As for "dwat", while it is true that correlation does not prove causality, correlation that links together mechanistic explanation and experimental data while providing realized predictions is about as persuasive as science can get.
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amazing
written by dwat, July 20, 2012
It blows my mind how many people truly do not understand science and skepticism. My hat is off to you who have it all figured out and "know" that you could never be fooled. Simply amazing. Awesome.
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written by Caller X, July 20, 2012
"Caller X" will find science-based answers to many of his objections as well (though not to his ad hominem attacks).


Chigger, please! as Weezy Jefferson used to say. I don't make ad hominem attacks. I don't care what your orientation is. But I always get voted down for mentioning sexy massages.

I have no desire to read The Great Books of the Imaginary World.
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insane
written by dwat, July 20, 2012
You folks who want to say that one political party or the other does this or that are completely delusional. Believe want you want to believe, but to lump people together... to insult people because they don't hold the same belief you do is entirely counterproductive. It is also not the position of a true skeptic.
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telling
written by dwat, July 20, 2012
It's very telling how my "correlation does not equal causation" post has been voted down when that concept is a central tenet of skepticism.
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obviuos
written by dwat, July 20, 2012
Blog has been infiltrated. Free speech is stifled. Good night George.
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written by Mark P, July 20, 2012
I'm not going to get into the rights and wrongs of the science of warming, but there's one "fact" that really annoys me. The "almost all climate scientists believe in AGW".

It's true for the trivial reason that people who believe strongly in alternate views will not get entry into the field. You can't get PhD funding in most climate science departments with a theory that runs against the current trend. Nor, should you manage to get funding via some other source, are you going to find it a very welcoming field -- you won't get to be invited to speak at any conferences, share any papers etc. You would have to be academically suicidal to enter climate science, as such, if you don't share the current CO2 beliefs.

Now if you ask the question of appropriately qualified scientists in other fields about CO2's effect you will find a very strong sceptical bent.

Lots of sciences have been caught in group think before. The Freudians had a lock on parts of psychiatry for far too long, despite being utter nonsense. It's no good defending psychoanalysis on the basis that most psychoanalysts think it is a a set of valid techniques. Yet that is apparently a killer argument for the CO2 theory.

If you want to defend the CO2 theory, then defend it on its merits. The argument that the believers believe is silly beyond words.

(For the record, not that it's relevant to the above, I'm highly sceptical of AGW. Sadly for the political argument, though, I have voted left (not Democrat, actual left) my entire life. I have post-graduate science degree in Chemistry, have good Physics and better Maths.)
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written by Steel Rat, July 20, 2012
Yes, it's settled science, with about a 97% consensus among climatologists.


You DO realize that 97% number was based on an AGU poll sent out to 10,000 members, of which 3,000+ responded, of which 77 were "climate scientists": http://wattsupwiththat.com/201...consensus/

Many of the "lines of evidence" have error bars so large they could very well show the opposite of what one might think they're trying to portray. Do you really think it's possible to pick out a CO2 warming signal from the noise?
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written by Steel Rat, July 20, 2012
As for "dwat", while it is true that correlation does not prove causality, correlation that links together mechanistic explanation and experimental data while providing realized predictions is about as persuasive as science can get.


What predictions exactly? AGW predictions are all over the place; hot, cold, wet, dry, flood, drought, snow, no snow. There's nothing AGW can't do! Surely the GCMs can't predict anything.
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written by rogue74656, July 21, 2012
We call you "deniers" because you engage in logical fallacies to support your non-evidence-based opinions.

You do not accept the evidence AGW...but say "Of course all climate scientists believe in AGW...if they didn't they wouldn't get into the field or get any grant money."

What is your EVIDENCE of this gigantic conspiracy?

Using different standards of evidence based on whether or not you agree with the conclusions---CONFIRMATION BIAS.


Could we be wrong? Yes.
Are there still parts of the science to be filled in? yes.
Does this invalidate the consensus? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

If you want to make a POLITICAL argument about what to do, great...let's debate.
If you want to deny the SCIENCE, well, we have issues then.

Even Sen. Jim "Global warming is the biggest hoax" Inhoff has admitted on Rachel Maddow that his denial of science is about the COST OF A SOLUTION, not the reliability of the science:
“I was actually on your side of this issue when I was chairing that committee and I first heard about this. I thought it must be true until I found out what it cost.”
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written by Bruce Gee, July 21, 2012
Part of my understanding of the scientific method is that it requires falsifiability. That is, if your theory is scientific, and not just an irrational prejudice, then you should be able to name a discovery that would convince you that you are wrong.

Back when AGW was first proposed, its proponents made a large number of predictions -- "If we're right, you ought to expect this kind of thing to happen -- glaciers melting, the polar ice cap losing its ice, mountains becoming ice-free at high eleveations, droughts and hurricanes." Every. single. prediction they made has come true, or been even worse than they predicted.

So to all the AGW deniers, I'd like to ask a simple question: what would it take to convince you that you were wrong? And more importantly, how would you have answered that question back in 1995? Back then, wouldn't you have said, "well, let's get some more years of data and see whether these predictions actually amount to anything"?
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Weather vs. Climate
written by rogue74656, July 21, 2012
Steel Rat:

You misunderstand. CLIMATE is an average. Climate models predict average, long term changes.

WEATHER is chaotic, localized, and less easily predicted.

This is analogous to traffic deaths. Accurate predictions of total deaths in a year can be made (insurance companies do so all the time) but it is impossible to say who, where, or when.

As computing power improves, and knowledge and understanding of the factors involved improves, climate models will improve in accuracy and specificity. I know a programmer working on this task and understand the difficulty of improving the resolution of models...but have also seen how far we have come in just 20 years.
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written by sailor, July 21, 2012
This discussion seems to generate all heat and no light. I would second jonK's recommendation of Professor Richard Wolfson's course "Earth's Changing Climate" in The Great Courses series. This at least gives an overview of how the science works and where we stand. Clearly many writing here have not got hat far yet.
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written by Steel Rat, July 21, 2012
If you want to deny the SCIENCE, well, we have issues then.


Much of the science has been lacking. Paleoclimate reconstructions, for example, have been found to be grossly skewed in favor of only a handful of data points (e.g. Mann's various hockey stick recons, Briffa's Yamal "One Tree To Rule Them All", etc.) Without reliable pre-instrumental proxies, it cannot be shown that today's warming is unprecedented in any way.

You can show that SOME locations on the surface of the globe have been warming in the last 150 years of instrumental record-keeping, but certainly not everywhere. And that record-keeping totally excludes 75% of the surface, the oceans. We simply don't know what SSTs were 150+ years ago. And the ocean heat content is a more important metric than land surface temperatures measured on airport tarmac.
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Chaos in weather
written by rogue74656, July 21, 2012
"climate is weather averaged over time. Therefore if weather cannot be predicted reliably, climate cannot be predicted reliably."

You seem to have failed to notice my analogy:
Actuary tables is individual deaths averaged over time. Therefore if individual deaths cannot be predicted reliably, actuary tables cannot be created reliably. The presence of insurance companies counter this argument.

Seriously though, chaotic systems CAN be averaged even though individual events cannot because averaging "smooths out" the chaos. The

I can predict a batters batting average, but not when he will get a hit.
I can predict a companies sales, but not when a specific item will be sold.

Do you understand?

As applied to weather: http://grist.org/article/chaot...edictable/
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written by JonK, July 21, 2012
Steel Rat is confused when he contends: "...climate is weather averaged over time. Therefore if weather cannot be predicted reliably, climate cannot be predicted reliably."

I can predict quite accurately the average number of threes that will appear in an extended series of throws of a die even if I cannot predict accurately what the next throw will be. I can predict the average velocity sometime in the future of an oxygen molecule in a volume of gas at a given temperature even if I cannot predict the velocity of a given molecule.

Climate models are not yet as sophisticated nor as computationally tractable as many other scientific models, but the inability to provide a high certitude weather prediction for next week in Chicago has no relevance at all to the ability to make long-term predictions for the planet. While these predictions vary from model to model, they all show global warming. They have also proven successful in predicting longer-term weather trends as well as the effects of unanticipated events, like volcano eruptions, for which the models had not been parameterized.
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written by Willy K, July 21, 2012
All the heated exchanges on this blog are contributing to AGW. smilies/tongue.gif
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written by Steel Rat, July 21, 2012
I understood your analogies perfectly. Please show me a climate model which has accurately predicted climate over the last 150 years.
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Evidence
written by rogue74656, July 21, 2012
So, Steel Rat, you have a CRU document I am not aware of? Because the informal language of those that I AM aware of can be interpreted (or misinterpreted) in different ways. Even at the most damaging interpretation, they would invalidate a small set of tree-ring data.

BUT, none of them support your funding/degree choice contention.

Did you ever consider that most climate scientists start neutral and come to accept AGW because of the weight of the evidence that they have seen?
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written by Steel Rat, July 21, 2012
Rogue, perhaps you should become more aware of them.

The private admissions in many of the emails are grossly at odds with the consensus.

I made no "funding/degree choice" contention, that was someone else.

However, I think there is a lot of pressure to conform for those just entering the field. Hence most of those who doubt the purported catastrophic effects of CAGW are tenured scientists.

Have you seen Lovelock's recent recanting of CAGW?
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written by tmac57, July 21, 2012
I am a blind man standing on the curb,needing to cross the street.There are 100 sighted people there wanting to assist me.97 of them say that a car is speeding my way,and that it is not safe to cross.3 of them say they still have questions as to the speed of the car,the make of the car,is it really a car,cars have gone down this street for decades...maybe I should just cross,after all,clearly the issue is not settled,and I can't tell if those 97 people are really trustworthy anyway.
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written by Steel Rat, July 21, 2012
Tmac, you're several orders of magnitude off.

Try over 10,000 people, 3,000 or which bothered to even acknowledge your question, for whatever reason (maybe they felt it wasn't wort their time. 75 of 77 think you shouldn't cross.
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written by tmac57, July 21, 2012
Steel Rat,
I suppose we could go back and forth over the exact numbers ad nauseum.My comment was meant as more of a metaphor (rather than an analogy) for weighing available evidence when you have to depend on the superior abilities of others.But I do find that the weight of expertise is so dramatically in favor of AGW,that it would be perverse to reject it:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus-intermediate.htm
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OOPS
written by tmac57, July 21, 2012
Sorry I forgot to do the hyperlink thingy:

http://www.skepticalscience.co...ediate.htm smilies/tongue.gif
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written by Steel Rat, July 21, 2012
To me, the available evidence is seriously lacking. We have no evidence of unprecedented warming, either in magnitude, scope, or rate of increase. If you think otherwise, I'd like to see it.
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written by tmac57, July 21, 2012
Steel Rat- Thanks for being open minded. If you have the time take a look at this video by Barry Bickmore.He is a conservative scientist who changed his mind about AGW.

http://youtu.be/vDNXuX6D60U
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written by Otara, July 21, 2012
Like it or not, there are non-rational reasons why people are skeptics as well as rational ones.

Part of that is the experience of 'knowing the truth' that the majority does not.

Also many people do use heuristics as skeptics. The most obvious one being to trust science consensus as a default, because ultimately few of us can really evaluate a dispute in science to decide which side is correct.

Its worth recognising that change takes time. There was more room for dispute over AGW than there is now, and it was dividing over political lines. While most of us might hope we will change views as new evidence arises, most of us tend to cling to old views for longer than we perhaps should, due to the good old anchoring effect, particularly when they fit with our general worldview. In this case, it has combined with 'knowing the truth' to create something that will probably take a while to die down.

But in my view it already seems less vehement than it was.

Otara

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Apology
written by rogue74656, July 21, 2012
Steel Rat,

I apologize. I thought you had made that comment....It was Mark P. That was whom my original request for evidence of the massive conspiracy was directed at and, when you answered, I assumed you were the original poster...



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Climate Models
written by rogue74656, July 21, 2012
Steel Rat...
That would be a strawman question...since climate models have only been done in the past 50 years and the greenhouse effect was only discovered just before 1900, so there is no way they could have "predicted" 150 years of climate...

Now, you seem to be unfamiliar with the methods of developing these models. To test a model, measured data from the past (say, the 1980's) is input. The simulation is run forward and the "predictions" (for the 2000's) are compared to known data. If they do not match, the model is flawed and must be corrected. This is done for large amounts of data. So, by design, models must be able to "predict" past data before they can be used to make future predictions.

We KNOW some of the data from the past, such as CO2 release amounts, particulate pollution, etc. that must be PREDICTED for the models to function. This adds a level of uncertainty to those future predictions.

As to earliest predictions, Arrhenius predicted AGW pre-1900 (1895 or so, IIRC) right after discovering the greenhouse effect.

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written by Caller X, July 21, 2012
written by tmac57, July 21, 2012
I am a blind man standing on the curb,needing to cross the street.There are 100 sighted people there wanting to assist me.97 of them say that a car is speeding my way,and that it is not safe to cross.3 of them say they still have questions as to the speed of the car,the make of the car,is it really a car,cars have gone down this street for decades...maybe I should just cross,after all,clearly the issue is not settled,and I can't tell if those 97 people are really trustworthy anyway.


Stupidest analogy ever. You're blind, not deaf. Wait for the car to go by and get someone to escort you across the street.

Then kill yourself.
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written by Caller X, July 21, 2012

I ran into a good number of skeptics who divulged to me that although they were die-hard skeptics, AGW was a hoax.

And where exactly do you get the "although" from?

Of course, it wouldn’t be a problem if AGW was an emerging or tentative theory in climate science, but it is not. The planet is warming, and humans are the main cause.


Argument by assertion. Gratuitously asserted, just as gratuitously denied. Time to brush up on Rhetoric 101.

It is not my purpose here to outline the evidence behind AGW (other resources on the web do a fantastic job of that), but to say that for skeptics, this should be a settled issue.


Pope much? I have a settled issue in my pants. Who died and made you Xenu?

The data backs up AGW; appealing to a skeptic by calling them in effect a bad skeptic does not change this.


What YOU do is call people you disagree with "deniers" rather than "skeptics". And you call Global Warming (AGW) "Climate Change".
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written by Steel Rat, July 21, 2012
Rogue,

The models might work fine, if we knew all there was to know about how the whole things works. We don't, not even close. They can't predict when and to what extent clouds will form, as one example of what they don't do well. That's a MAJOR issue.

Do you know that for their "projections" they take an ensemble of model runs and average them out? How can that possibly give you an accurate forecast? Only one of the model runs can be right, and there's no way to know until the time passes.

My statement wasn't a strawman. They attempt to hindcast climate using current known data. As far as I know, the hindcasts are not very accurate, and that's with data we already have.
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written by Caller X, July 21, 2012
As to earliest predictions, Arrhenius predicted AGW pre-1900 (1895 or so, IIRC) right after discovering the greenhouse effect.

From the relevant Wikipedia article:

"He used his positions to arrange prizes for his friends (Jacobus van't Hoff, Wilhelm Ostwald, Theodore Richards) and to attempt to deny them to his enemies (Paul Ehrlich, Walther Nernst, Dmitri Mendeleev)."

He also believed that Global Warming was a GOOD THING. Keep citing Arrhenius. Would you like to talk about his fondness for eugenics, or should I?

Bazinga.
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written by GrahamZ, July 21, 2012
I actually was an Environmental Engineering major back in college, but that was over 30 years ago, and I ended up going into computers instead. Still, I can recall a homework assignment -- we had to assume that CO2 production would not change, and we had to project, year by year, how average global temperature would likely change. The main problem with that type of calculation is that you need to make a lot of simplifying assumptions -- there are a lot of things that are not constant that we had to assume were (cloud cover/albedo, changes in the biosphere, etc.). So any prediction of the scale of the impact of CO2 production was open to discussion. What was not controversial, even then, was that more CO2 in the atmosphere meant higher temperatures. You might have been able to argue that because of various feedback effects, that the changes would not have been that bad or that they might be a lot worse than we expected them to get. But denying that we were having an impact was denying basic physics.

More research may allow you to narrow down just how fast things are going bad, but that they ARE getting bad isn't going to change, especially by waiting on more research before we actually react to what's happening.
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written by Steel Rat, July 22, 2012
GrahamZ, so how have things gotten bad due to more CO2 in the atmosphere?

Storms haven't gotten more severe or intense, coastlines haven't been inundated by catastrophically rising seas, polar bears are doing MUCH better than they were 50 years ago when it was colder.

Yes, there probably is an impact to adding more CO2 (better plant growth, for one), but to say it's catastrophic is quite a stretch. What HAS happened is that people are scrutinizing everything much more now, and seeing things that have been happening all along. We're much better at detecting weather events now (50 years ago we'd probably miss detecting most tornadoes, and some tropical cyclones, now every tiny tim storm gets named).

And, if folks here are concerned, why are you still using modern infrastructure? If catastrophic warming is imminent, why haven't you reverted to a subsistence lifestyle?
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written by Caller X, July 22, 2012
I actually was an Environmental Engineering major back in college, but that was over 30 years ago, and I ended up going into computers instead.


So you were the guy! Some of us had to use those computers, you know. Why couldn't you go in the bathroom like everyone else?

I hope our overlords continue the stellar tradition of making policy decisions based on half-remembered homework assignments from 30 years ago. I know that's how I live my life.
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written by Caller X, July 22, 2012
written by rogue74656, July 21, 2012
"climate is weather averaged over time. Therefore if weather cannot be predicted reliably, climate cannot be predicted reliably."

You seem to have failed to notice my analogy:
Actuary tables is individual deaths averaged over time. Therefore if individual deaths cannot be predicted reliably, actuary tables cannot be created reliably. The presence of insurance companies counter this argument.

People who actually study actuarial science call that a mortality table and it has ABSOLUTELY JACK-NOTHING to do with predicting deaths. Any major actuary with half a heart surely could tell you, my friend, that individual deaths cannot be predicted reliably. Therefore your analogy sucks major a s s. You might want to check out a book called Life Contingencies. An actuary could lend you a copy. Then you could report to the class on the importance of the discount rate, since actuarial science is the study of flows of cash over time.

Bazinga.
.
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written by ThatSkepticGuy, July 22, 2012
"“I think I have you skeptics figured out,” he said with a cautious smirk. “For you this isn’t about the science. It’s more of a political agenda."

Asbolutely true of Chris Mooney.
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written by Steel Rat, July 22, 2012
There are highly political polemics on both sides of the issue. I don't side with any political party.
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written by Random, July 22, 2012
"Would you say the fact that nearly 100% of biologists agree with the theory of evolution, based on multiple lines of evidence and a century of study, lends credibility to the theory?” I asked.

“Yes, I think so,” he said.

“Apply that same fact to climate change and climate scientists,” I said, nearly cutting him off.


That would be a terrible argument even if the analogy was valid: it is a logical fallacy. The number of advocates is entirely irrelevant. The empirical evidence (or in this case the lack of it: there is no empirical evidence for positive feedback, without which carbon dioxide will not cause dangerous warming (CAGW)) determines what science is correct, not a head count.

However since there are a large number of scientists who are sceptical of the CAGW hypothesis, the analogy is not even valid!

Why don’t the skeptical notions of weight of evidence, scientific consensus, and independent confirmation hold sway on this issue?


They do. You are just misinformed as to the evidence, and independent confirmation. There is none. As for scientific consensus, the idea that a sceptic should blindly go along with some consensus, even a real consensus rather than the manufactured consensus on climate, is to misunderstand science and scepticism.
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written by Random, July 22, 2012
GrahamZ

Who exactly questions that human activity will make temperatures higher than they would otherwise be? The whole debate is whether such changes will cause serious harm, and the only evidence for that is from computer models that were proved wrong in the feedback (as you rightly identify the critical factor) 15 years ago, and more evidence is still being produced that they are wrong.

For example a recent statistical analysis showed that the models were completely inaccurate in predicting temperature in regional climates. In fact they were all far worse than a random walk.
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written by Steel Rat, July 22, 2012
And lest one thing there is no bias in the scientific journals, look up the Steig 2009 paper on Climate Audit, and the rebuttal paper by O'Donnell et al, which showed that the Antarctic warming from Steig was simply an artifact of the statistical algorithms used by Steig.

The Steig paper was plastered onto the cover of Nature when it was released. The O'Donnell paper was barely mentioned.
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written by Random, July 22, 2012
The data backs up AGW


Indeed, but that was never in dispute. What the data do not back up is dangerous AGW, often termed CAGW. I notice that at no point to you recognise where the actual debate is, and you use the term AGW as if the existence of human influence, rather than the degree of human influence was the problem.

(other resources on the web do a fantastic job of that)


That they might, but not those you link to. Skeptical Science is widely known as the most ill-named site on the web, it is credulous and disho0nest beyond belief. Having read the other site you link to it goes through everything in great detail except the point of contention (feedback), which it sketches over and while admitting that it is uncertain fails to mention that this is the core issue and that the sign of feedback, positive or negative, is not even known. nor does it mention that without strong positive feedback AGW will never be dangerous. Nor does it mention the evidence against strong positive feedback, or the evidence for weak negative feedback.

That is dishonest. So both your sources of information are thoroughly dishonest.

Which is where we come to the reason I think most sceptics have started to doubt CAGW. Everyone knows the many cases of dishonesty in the climate community, the law breaking, the private admission that public statements are false as found in the CRU emails, hiding the decline that invalidates their proxy, Gleick still lying about writing a fake document he attributed to Heartland. Need I go on?

If the case for CAGW is so strong then why the dishonesty?
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written by tmac57, July 22, 2012
There has been repeated discounting of climate models here,but no sources were given for those criticisms,or in support of the models,so here:

http://www.skepticalscience.co...ediate.htm
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written by Random, July 22, 2012
lytrigian
The data seems to show that human activity is to blame, but let's assume for the time being that it does not and that we're not contributing to the warming trend. When you consider the sheer amount we're emitting that seems unlikely on its face but take it as read for the sake of argument.
Please read that again to yourself. You have not quantified anything, just waved hands around and then given your opinion, with no sense of scale.

In fact the very "scientists"* who we are supposed to believe say that the warming from CO2 alone will be around 1 degree per doubling, which will not be harmful.
It can't possibly hurt to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions.
It can and will. It will shorten the lives of billions of people, and make sure they remain in grinding poverty.

Life without cheap energy is nasty, brutish and short.

* People who refuse to give out their original data and details of the processing are not scientists. Science must be repeatable and verifiable, and if their work is not science they are not scientists.
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written by Random, July 22, 2012
... a rate of warming since the industrial revolution that cannot be accounted for by the urban heat island effect, solar cycles, inconsistent temperature recordings, or previous cycles of warming and cooling.
That would be the UHI effect that climate "scientists" discounted on the basis of a fraudulent study by one of the most prominent of them. That would be the previous cycles of warming and cooling that gave higher temperatures in mediaeval and Roman times than today (the former recently confirmed by a study of 120 different proxies). That would be the inconsistent temperature recordings that have been altered in Australia, New Zealand, The USA, The Netherlands, Iceland and probably other countries to show more warmings; based on temperature measurements in the USA with error bars greater than the supposed warming, due to poor siting; based on no measurements at all in northern Canada or the entire country of Bolivia; the record that discarded all inconvenient sites in Russia so no temperature trend turned into warming; temperature record with no reliable data until very recently.
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written by Peebs, July 22, 2012
So Arrhenius was an advocate of Eugenics. (Apologies I've been working and only been able to read the comments).

Why does that make his observations irrelevant?

AntiVaccers dismiss the Danish meta analysis because the scientist embezzled lots of money.

The fact he was a crooked scientist doesn't diminish the results.

I just find it curious that our resident 'Skeptics' are using the same methods in making their points as would a homeopath.

I ask again, replace AGW with whichever woo you wish on this thread and then feel embarrassed.

By the way, whoever it was who mentioned eugenics (apologies again, I'm on my mobile), came very close to invoking 'Godwin's'.

As I've repeatedly stated, I have no political allegiance and am just sceptical about it being anthropogenic.

I do however find it as amusing to be called a denialist as I do being referred to as one of the 'Sheeple' by a Chemtrail conspiracy theorist.


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written by Steel Rat, July 22, 2012
Tmac, Here is a paper which compares models with observations: http://www.sepp.org/science_pa..._final.pdf
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written by Camus, July 22, 2012
Kyle, the denialist community is absolutely driven by a political agenda. It's endless repetition of facile talking points that have been endlessly debunked (sun spots, medieval warming period, etc) even as the predictions of climate change are coming to pass in spades. It is sad to see people who call themselves skeptics taken in by the woo of denialism. And like most woo, the position is not amenable to argumentation - on this issue at least, they have willfully abandoned reason altogether.
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written by Steel Rat, July 22, 2012
even as the predictions of climate change are coming to pass in spades.


Which predictions?
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written by Camus, July 22, 2012
For those interested in the actual science, I highly recommend the site Real Climate - http://www.realclimate.org/ . Some of the most respected climatologists post there.
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written by Camus, July 22, 2012
Rat, I've had all of the conversations with denialists I care to have, so I'm not taking the bait. If you don't understand by now, you just aren't paying attention.
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written by Steel Rat, July 22, 2012
re: RealClimate, respected by whom? Those who hide data, refuse to reveal methods? Wonderful.

Ok Camus, take your ball and go home. The big boys will keep playing.
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Wow
written by Jodyw1, July 22, 2012
All the AGW deniers.... it's like reading the anti-evolution arguments... academic conspiracies, missing "links", correlation doesn't equal causality.... self-anoited experts.

It's fascinating and disturbing.
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written by Camus, July 22, 2012
Wow, it is disturbing. Especially when these people claim they are part of the skeptical community. CF Rat's last comment. He has apparently never read an academic journal. It is exactly like reading Creationist (cum Intelligent Design) arguments. They claim first that there is a gap in the fossil record. When a fossil is found the neatly bisects the gap, they just claim that there are now two gaps. Or Mars is warming. Or something...
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written by Steel Rat, July 22, 2012
What's disturbing is that you'd rather make fun of people for making arguments they didn't make, instead of presenting some facts.

I happen to be an atheist, I think evolution best explains how speciation occurs, but I don't believe the C in CAGW. I haven't seen any convincing evidence.

Now, if you folks think there isn't a conspiracy of sorts with a clique of climate scientists, then you truly have blinders on, and are the true deniers.
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written by Camus, July 22, 2012
Rat, that is one hell of a conspiracy, what with the entire planetary warming thing happening. UFOs killed Kennedy too, or so I hear.
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written by Steel Rat, July 22, 2012
All you seem to have are gratuitous assertions, Camus. You said you didn't want to talk to "denialists". Surely by now you could have posted a link to at least ONE AGW prediction that we can verify.
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written by Camus, July 22, 2012
lol. It's hot? That was a prediction.
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written by Steel Rat, July 22, 2012
Fantastic! It's not hot here in the Pacific northwest. Barely broke 60f today. Ok that one's busted. Next?
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written by Camus, July 22, 2012
Rat, are you retarded?
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written by Steel Rat, July 22, 2012
No but you seem to be. Your proof of AGW is that "it's hot". That's pretty retarded.
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written by Camus, July 22, 2012
Outside of where Rat reside, it's frickin' hot. Records are being broken all over. http://www.reuters.com/article...0R20120703
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written by Camus, July 22, 2012
http://www.csmonitor.com/Scien...-in-the-US
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written by Camus, July 22, 2012
The record breaking heatwave is probably all just part of the hoax though. i can run with that.
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written by Steel Rat, July 22, 2012
When did I say hoax? More strawmen and gratuitous assertsions.

If you think records highs, or lows (which we've had a lot of in recent years as well) automatically mean CAGW, then there is no hope for you.

How about extreme weather? You think that's gotten worse in the last 30 years?
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written by Camus, July 22, 2012
I took your statement that climate scientists are "those who hide data. Those who refuse to reveal methods..." as an assertion that it's a hoax, false, made up, etc. And yes, record highs (which we've had a lot in recent years, as you say) is in fact evidence. It's exactly what the models predict. What's your alternative explanation? Shit happens?
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written by Steel Rat, July 22, 2012
SOME climate scientists. Do you deny that? You read more than what I said, that's your problem.

Record highs are WEATHER events, not climate. Can you show me where GCMs predict record high temps in specific years? Someone further upthread scolded me for conflating weather and climate, you should consider yourself sufficiently scolded too.

Fact is, the more data you have the more chances you'll have for records in either direction.

No response on the extreme weather?
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written by Camus, July 22, 2012
My answer to your 'extreme weather' issue is all the extreme weather we've seen. I understand the difference between weather and climate. Climate is revealed in patterns. The same patterns we've seen year after year after year. And who are those "some scientists" you believe are falsifying the data?
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written by Steel Rat, July 22, 2012
Again, I didn't say falsifying. Nice debate tactic, put words in your opponent's mouth and then castigate them for it. Some of those who refused to expose data and methods to interested parties trying to replicate their findings: Phil Jones, Michael Mann, Keith Briffa... Shall I go on? They are major players.

As for extreme weather, it's on the decline. Here's a NOAA graph for you: http://notalotofpeopleknowthat...-ef5-t.png

Apart from an uptick in 2011, the trend in the most destructive tornadoes in the US is down since the 60s and 70s.
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written by Camus, July 22, 2012
Please give me an example of when Phil Jones, Michael Mann, or keith Briffa refused to release data - when they had the authority to release data. Some of the temp readings are under license, and cannot be released. Is that what you are talking about?
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written by Steel Rat, July 22, 2012
Phil Jones and the CRU were unable to produce ANY agreements with NMSs regarding release of data. Jones refused ALL data, not just the few he MAY have had agreements for at one point. Maybe you found Phil's missing agreements? Are you not familiar with his famous statement "Why should I give you the data when your aim is to find something wrong with it?"?

Jones, Mann and Briffa all refused data requested by Steve McIntyre. They also refused legitimate FOI requests. The only reason they weren't prosecuted (at least in the case of Jones and Briffa) was because the statute of limitations had expired, because they stonewalled for so long.
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@Peebs
written by Caller X, July 22, 2012
By the way, whoever it was who mentioned eugenics (apologies again, I'm on my mobile), came very close to invoking 'Godwin's'.


That was me and it was totally intentional. I would raise the same objection to Margaret Sanger although I'm a big fan of condoms. Given the opportunity I would dig up the corpse of Henry Ford and violate his skull in a way that would be illegal in some states, although the '68 Mustang was a sweet ride. I remember when I lived in Germany in the 30's the consensus was that Jews sucked. Hence my lack of enthusiasm for consensus. And of course it was consensus that led to the freeing of Barabbas.


written by Camus, July 22, 2012
Outside of where Rat reside, it's frickin' hot. Records are being broken all over. [url=http://www.reuters.com/article...0R20120703
]http://www.reuters.com/article...0R20120703

So the Dakotas are now in Northern California? Seriously dude, records for cool weather, but of course that's also caused by global warming.
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Caller X
written by Peebs, July 22, 2012
Given the opportunity I would dig up the corpse of Henry Ford and violate his skull in a way that would be illegal in some states, although the '68 Mustang was a sweet ride.

That has to be the best quote I've ever seen on this site!
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@Peebs
written by Caller X, July 23, 2012

The fact he was a crooked scientist doesn't diminish the results.


Wow. Let's all take minute and think about that.

Peebs, the funny thing is that upon rereading the posts here, it appears that you and I largely agree.
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written by Camus, July 23, 2012
Rat, you are just wrong. Phil Jones was unable to release raw data due to commercial restrictions from various nations. A FOI request doesn't nullify licensing agreements. However, as of mid-2011, all of the raw data are now released and in the public domain, with the exception data from climate stations in Poland, who refused to grant permission. Now, please knock yourself out. Hopefully, your results will be published in a peer reviewed scientific journal, and will refute the enormous body of evidence supporting climate change. And if you can do this, I'll nominate you for a Nobel. I anxiously await your results.
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written by Camus, July 23, 2012
Kyle, the discussion here demonstrates your point. There is a cadre of deniers in the skeptical community. They have no scientific evidence to support their positions, and largely resort to slander, ad hominem attacks, vague conspiracy theories, and transparent rhetorical artifice (ummm, it was cool where I live yesterday, so your point is invalid; or "there was a consensus about Jews in 1930s Germany"). I've argued with climate change deniers long enough to know that the endeavor is pointless. They are immune to facts, evidence, and reason.
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written by Camus, July 23, 2012
For (only) those interested in the science, this is a good talk at TED by a foremost climate scientists, James Hansen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...re=related
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written by Steel Rat, July 23, 2012
Camus, Jones was unable to produce ANY agreements which forbade the release of data. In fact, he released all the data to his buddies, just not to those who weren't in his circle of friends. If there was nothing to hide, why the stonewalling?

So me saying it's cool where I live is a "transparent rhetorical artifice", but saying it's hot where you live isn't? Interesting ethics you have there. I was simply responding to your gratuitous assertion with something equally gratuitous.

Look, I'm ready to be convinced, but see nothing convincing. James Hansen is the biggest alarmist out there, predicting sea level rise which isn't even possible. There are a loud group of those people who just spout nonsense after nonsense, on both sides. I'm not immune to facts, evidence and reason, but you haven't presented any except to say "it's hot".

You didn't respond to the downward trend in US tornadoes, so I take it you don't agree with NOAA?
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I would go further, Kyle...
written by Stanfr, July 23, 2012
I'm late to the party, but have several comments:

1) I'm a proponent of AGW, but I do believe the 97% figure is too high. From my experience (as a professional meteorologist with a graduate degree in atmospheric science) and informal polling, I would say the correct figure (for belief in AGW) is probably closer to 75-80%

2) I agree with your assertion, Kyle, that political beliefs are a big reason for the denial. But I would go even deeper, and speculate that the underlying reason for the denial is more of a deep-rooted fear of having one's creature comforts taken away from them. 'Random' (above comment) summed it up best:
"life without cheap energy is hasty, brutish, and short".
This demonstrates how our materialistic society has been brainwashed by mass consumerism. It not only assumes that 'cheap energy' can only be fossil fuels, it assumes that life must suck without cheap gasoline and power. I'd venture to guess that the percentage of happy people was higher before the days of big oil and ubiquitous SUVs--witness all the angry folks responding here! To the AGW denialist, it's all about the threat of having their luxury toys taken from them by the government.

3) Here's how you can tell that the deniers are just that: ask any of them what empirical evidence would convince them that something unnatural was the cause of climate change. What if the temperature rose 10 degrees? 20 degrees? I have asked numerous deniers and the result is always the same: they either dodge the question or they concede that no amount of observational/empirical evidence will convince them, since the 'science of CO2/greenhouse gasses is not settled. That's a convenient tactic: since they can't deny real temperature change, they attack the theory behind it. The problem is, they have no valid alternate explanation for the evidence. Quite like the Creationists.
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written by Stanfr, July 23, 2012
Steel Rat:
I think the jury is out on whether AGW will result in more or less examples of severe weather such as tornadoes or hurricanes. As an avid storm chaser, the apparent 'downward trend' in strong tornadoes does concern me though, since it is completely consistent with a general trend in climate change: a weaker jet stream (warmer temperatures in the polar regions, which is a hallmark of GW, menas a weaker jet). With a weaker jet, the logical result is fewer violent mid latitude storms, since they depend on the strong temperature contrasts that result in vertical wind shear. On the flip side, a weaker jet arguably would mean stronger hurricanes (and some have argued that hurricanes are indeed getting stronger, although I'm not yet convinced)
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written by Peebs, July 23, 2012
I wondered when you'd notice we're largely on the same side.

I put it down to. a,My somewhat obscure sense of humour and. b,Oscar Wilde's observation that we are two nations divided by a common language.

Sort of off topic, why do lowly rated comments get hidden?

When I hit the 'show' button they usually have zero votes.

Just curious.
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written by Caller X, July 23, 2012
I would go further, Kyle...
written by Stanfr, July 23, 2012
I'm late to the party, but have several comments:
...

2) I agree with your assertion, Kyle, that political beliefs are a big reason for the denial. But I would go even deeper, and speculate that the underlying reason for the denial is more of a deep-rooted fear of having one's creature comforts taken away from them.


That's like saying I'm afraid Santa Claus is going to break into my house on the Fourth of July and butt-rape me. It's not going to happen so I'm not afraid of it. I will go even deeper and speculate that you think you're superior because you're so non-materialistic.

'Random' (above comment) summed it up best:
"life without cheap energy is hasty, brutish, and short".

It would have been better if the reference were correct. It should be "nasty, brutish, and short."


This demonstrates how our materialistic society has been brainwashed by mass consumerism. It not only assumes that 'cheap energy' can only be fossil fuels,

So far that's true.
it assumes that life must suck without cheap gasoline and power. I'd venture to guess that the percentage of happy people was higher before the days of big oil and ubiquitous SUVs--witness all the angry folks responding here! To the AGW denialist, it's all about the threat of having their luxury toys taken from them by the government.


Ahh. You GUESS. The ol' arguendum per guessuendum. And again with the "denialist" inflammatory language. Why not just say "Jew" and be done with it? If you think the tools of my trade are "luxury toys" it doesn't make you a bad person but it doesn't make you right.

3) Here's how you can tell that the deniers are just that: ask any of them what empirical evidence would convince them that something unnatural was the cause of climate change.

What empirical evidence do you have? Let's start there.

What if the temperature rose 10 degrees? 20 degrees?

That happens on a daily basis. So?


I have asked numerous deniers [Jews] and the result is always the same: they either dodge the question or they concede that no amount of observational/empirical evidence will convince them, since the 'science of CO2/greenhouse gasses is not settled. That's a convenient tactic: since they can't deny real temperature change, they attack the theory behind it. The problem is, they have no valid alternate explanation for the evidence. Quite like the Creationists.


Oh, give me an Al Gore style sexy massage now, Batman! You've called me a creationist so I guess you win. There is no more powerful argument.

No, the problem is the evidence is questionable and far from there being no valid alternate explanation, you can't present a convincing case that there is a non-alternate explanation.
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written by Random, July 23, 2012
lytrigian

"If I were wrong, one would have been enough" - A. Einstein

If they were right, they would not have to lie about 97%. They would not have to take information from a master's thesis, with a survey so poor even his appendices were full of commentary from those taking the survey criticising the questions, many respondents expressing regret for even taking the survey.

You do realise, do you not, that most sceptics would have answered the same to the two questions as every one of the faithful? You do realise that the 97% was of 77 people from more than 3000 respondents to a survey sent to over 10,000 people? You do know what the questions were on which 97% agree?

Because if you don't realise all those things, then you are credulously using a piece of propaganda; if you do then you are dishonest to use that figure.
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What is the evidence for strong positive feedback?
written by Random, July 23, 2012
Looking through all the fallacies, all the appeals to authority, all the headcount fallacies there is one thing clear. None of the True Believers in the Church of Climate Catastrophe (yes, you might be upset that people point out your belief is remarkably similar to a religion, but this is far more accurate and less offensive than "denier") have even attempted to come up with any evidence on the true controversy.

I issue a challenge:

What is the empirical evidence for:

(a) humans having caused most or all of the late-20th-century warming; and

(b) strong positive feedback in temperature.

That is all. A simple challenge. I have left out a lot of arguments I could make against the hockey team, IPCC and others in the climate community - errors, flaws, mistaken assumptions, corruption and dishonesty. This is to be a simple challenge, and I suspect that none will rise to it.

That is the core difference between the sceptics and climate hysterics (again more accurate and less offensive than "denier"). Attribution of temperature rise to human activity and feedback in temperature.

So, what is the evidence?
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written by Random, July 23, 2012
Camus

"For those interested in the actual science, I highly recommend the site Real Climate"

What as comic relief? It has an article by the thoroughly discredited Michael Mann.
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written by Random, July 23, 2012
Stanfr

It is not about consumerism. It is about living. It is about living a long, prosperous life or living a short life of back-breaking toil, of pain, of disease, of heartache as your children die, as your wife dies in childbirth, as your brother dies in an accident, as your parents die at 45, broken by years of work.

Do you not understand what the words "nasty", "brutish" and "short" actually mean? Do you really want this? Do you really want life expectancies in the 30s-40s? Infant mortalities of 20 or 30%? Disease, hunger and poverty?

The choice is between cheap energy and these things.

"Here's how you can tell that the deniers are just that: ask any of them what empirical evidence would convince them that something unnatural was the cause of climate change. What if the temperature rose 10 degrees? 20 degrees?"

The latter is ridiculous. There is no claim that temperatures have risen even to the level of the MWP. The highest estimate is 0.8 C, well within normal variation. This however does not take into account UHI; it is corrupted by alterations to temperature records which mostly reduce old records and increase recent ones, with no justification (for example all late 20th-century warming in Australia, New Zealand, Iceland and the Netherlands is due to adjustments made to the records with no justification published); it is rendered inaccurate by poor records in Canada, the Arctic, the Antarctic, and Bolivia all the oceans. Actual warming could be as low as 0.4 degrees.

So you are just being silly there.

As for empirical evidence, the very fact that you ask what would convince people shows that you have not yet produced any! If you produce empirical evidence for positive feedback and for human attribution of carbon dioxide increase and so temperature change I am happy to believe it. However I have been asking the faithful for 3 years, and none has been able to give an answer.

However I ask you: what would make you lose your faith?

How much dishonesty in climate "science" has to be uncovered? How much bad manipulation of data has to come to light? How much conflict of interest? How many people panicking about climate have to act as if nothing is wrong, and burn every ounce of fossil fuel they want? How much hiding of data and of data processing and code? How much evidence of poor data quality (I am thinking of harry_readme.txt)? How many editors have to be attacked, sacked for publishing peer-reviewed papers? How much manipulation in the IPCC reports? How much profit has to be made by big corporations, how much tax taken by government with no discernible effect on "carbon"? How many plants must flourish in high CO2? How long must sea-level rise remain constant? How many scientists can claim glacial retreat as evidence in glaciers that have been retreating for 150 years? How much evidence that the MWP and Roman Optimum were warmer than today? How much evidence against strong positive feedback? How many predictions of the models must prove completely wrong?

All the evidence points away from CAGW: you have just been lied to.
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written by Camus, July 23, 2012
"Camus, Jones was unable to produce ANY agreements which forbade the release of data. In fact, he released all the data to his buddies, just not to those who weren't in his circle of friends. If there was nothing to hide, why the stonewalling?"

I know for sure that the data are governed by licensing agreements. It could be shared to other institutions that also had similar agreements in place, but not otherwise generally disseminated. If you evidence to the contrary, please share. Otherwise, this is just another ad hominem attack.


"So me saying it's cool where I live is a "transparent rhetorical artifice", but saying it's hot where you live isn't? Interesting ethics you have there. I was simply responding to your gratuitous assertion with something equally gratuitous."

I didn't make that argument, or any similar version of your argument. I may have pointed out that we are experiencing the worst drought nationwide in over 60 years, and if it continues will surpass even that record. You just mentioned the temp where you happen to live. Do you see the difference?

Look, I'm ready to be convinced, but see nothing convincing. James Hansen is the biggest alarmist out there, predicting sea level rise which isn't even possible. There are a loud group of those people who just spout nonsense after nonsense, on both sides. I'm not immune to facts, evidence and reason, but you haven't presented any except to say "it's hot".

I don't even know how to respond to this without laughing. Sea level rise is not possible? What color is the sky on your planet? And another ad hominem attack which I won't bother responding to."

"You didn't respond to the downward trend in US tornadoes, so I take it you don't agree with NOAA? "

I haven't seen this, but I have seen numerous data that show a dramatic increase in tornadoes, and other destructive storms. It isn't yet clear whether the increase in tornadoes is due to better reporting /monitoring. I would certainly be quite happy to look at contrary evidence - that there has been a decrease in tornadoes. However, based on past experience with deniers, I strongly suspect that this is another piece of bs.

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written by Random, July 23, 2012
JonK

"correlation that links together mechanistic explanation and experimental data while providing realized predictions is about as persuasive as science can get."

That is exactly why we know that the CAGW hypothesis is probably wrong. None of the predictions of the models have been realised.
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written by Random, July 23, 2012
JonK

"correlation that links together mechanistic explanation and experimental data while providing realized predictions is about as persuasive as science can get."

That is exactly why we know that the CAGW hypothesis is probably wrong. None of the predictions of the models have been realised.
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written by Camus, July 23, 2012
Random:

Camus

"For those interested in the actual science, I highly recommend the site Real Climate"

What as comic relief? It has an article by the thoroughly discredited Michael Mann.

Not really Random. Still highly respected in his field, still researching, and still publishing. So, discredited in whose eyes? Denialist cultists?
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written by Camus, July 23, 2012
Random, can you point to single instance of academic dishonesty committed by any of the major players? You keep making this slanderous claim. I can point to an enormous amount of dishonesty emanating from the denialists.
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written by Steel Rat, July 23, 2012
I know for sure that the data are governed by licensing agreements. It could be shared to other institutions that also had similar agreements in place, but not otherwise generally disseminated. If you evidence to the contrary, please share. Otherwise, this is just another ad hominem attack.


Can you produce any of the agreements? Jones couldn't. He essentially said he lost them in an office move. Yet he still shared the data with other researchers, just not ones he didn't like. Do you really want to see evidence? I doubt it. You don't seem to like evidence.

I didn't make that argument, or any similar version of your argument. I may have pointed out that we are experiencing the worst drought nationwide in over 60 years, and if it continues will surpass even that record. You just mentioned the temp where you happen to live. Do you see the difference?


Now you're being dishonest, and everyone can see it. I asked you for evidence of CAGW, you said, and I quote, "It's hot". That was the sum total of your argument. In other words, a gratuitous assertion. I responded accordingly, saying it's not hot where I live. Nor is it hot on the entire west coast.

Apparently you think droughts never happened before, or not as bad. You said, "in 60 years". Hmm, then there was a worse one 60 years ago, right?

Anyway, here's some more evidence you'll ignore, from a peer-reviewed paper in Geophysical Research Letters: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossr...5711.shtml

From the abstract:
[D]roughts have, for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, less severe, and cover a smaller portion of the country over the last century.


I guess that's an inconvenient truth.

I don't even know how to respond to this without laughing. Sea level rise is not possible? What color is the sky on your planet? And another ad hominem attack which I won't bother responding to."


Perhaps I portrayed it poorly, or you're being willfully obtuse. I meant to say that Hansen is predicting rises in sea level that would require a 10-fold increase in sea level rise, which has been steady for 150 years. Short of the sun becoming a red giant overnight, such increases aren't possible.

I haven't seen this, but I have seen numerous data that show a dramatic increase in tornadoes, and other destructive storms. It isn't yet clear whether the increase in tornadoes is due to better reporting /monitoring. I would certainly be quite happy to look at contrary evidence - that there has been a decrease in tornadoes. However, based on past experience with deniers, I strongly suspect that this is another piece of bs.


I gave you the link, from NOAA. What more do you want? I'm done spoon-feeding you stuff you refuse to look at. Have a nice day.
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written by Steel Rat, July 23, 2012
Random, can you point to single instance of academic dishonesty committed by any of the major players? You keep making this slanderous claim. I can point to an enormous amount of dishonesty emanating from the denialists.


Hide the decline, dishonest peer-review, refusal of legitimate FOI requests. I'd give you links but you wouldn't look at them, or would call them lies. How's that Kool-Aid?
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written by Camus, July 23, 2012
Rat;

"Can you produce any of the agreements? Jones couldn't. He essentially said he lost them in an office move. Yet he still shared the data with other researchers, just not ones he didn't like. Do you really want to see evidence? I doubt it. You don't seem to like evidence."

Why would i have to produce evidence? I know about the agreements already. And as I said, the data have been released. Get back to me when you've analyzed it in a way the refutes global warming. Thanks for playing.

"I didn't make that argument, or any similar version of your argument. I may have pointed out that we are experiencing the worst drought nationwide in over 60 years, and if it continues will surpass even that record. You just mentioned the temp where you happen to live. Do you see the difference?"


Rat:
Now you're being dishonest, and everyone can see it. I asked you for evidence of CAGW, you said, and I quote, "It's hot". That was the sum total of your argument. In other words, a gratuitous assertion. I responded accordingly, saying it's not hot where I live. Nor is it hot on the entire west coast.

I said 'it's hot' assuming you were somewhat familiar with the temp record, or that TX nearly burned down last year, or co this year, or the extraordinary heat wave currently sweeping the nation, and numerous other facts. Just in case you weren't paying attention, I also mentioned data, trends, records, etc. I think you are just being deliberately obtuse here.

Rat;
'Apparently you think droughts never happened before, or not as bad. You said, "in 60 years". Hmm, then there was a worse one 60 years ago, right?'

That's a rather silly assumption. i think this is the first draught, even though I drew a comparison with a draught 60 years ago?

Rat:
Anyway, here's some more evidence you'll ignore, from a peer-reviewed paper in Geophysical Research Letters: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossr...5711.shtml

From the abstract:

[D]roughts have, for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, less severe, and cover a smaller portion of the country over the last century.

That is a single study, and kudos for citing a reputable journal. however, a single study should be taken with a grain of salt. The majority of the lit finds that draughts are increasing significantly. For example, the conservative consensus of the IPCC is that "The dryness and drought trend is measured by the Palmer Drought Severity Index. The map (1st right) shows the global PDSI from 1900 to 2002. For most areas, drier (red and yellow) conditions have progressively increased over the century with a huge jump from 1880 to 1985. " And of course, there *is* the current hellish draught being experience throughout the south and Midwest.


Rat:
"I guess that's an inconvenient truth."

You should stop obsessing over Al Gore.



I don't even know how to respond to this without laughing. Sea level rise is not possible? What color is the sky on your planet? And another ad hominem attack which I won't bother responding to."


Rat;
Perhaps I portrayed it poorly, or you're being willfully obtuse. I meant to say that Hansen is predicting rises in sea level that would require a 10-fold increase in sea level rise, which has been steady for 150 years. Short of the sun becoming a red giant overnight, such increases aren't possible.

No you didn't express yourself well. You said sea level rise was impossible. Hansen obviously is not predicting a 10-fold increase in sea level rise. He is predicting a level that is commensurate with the science, which is quite probable.


Rat:
I gave you the link, from NOAA. What more do you want? I'm done spoon-feeding you stuff you refuse to look at. Have a nice day.

Couldn't find the link. Please repost.
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written by Camus, July 23, 2012

Rat:
"Hide the decline, dishonest peer-review, refusal of legitimate FOI requests. I'd give you links but you wouldn't look at them, or would call them lies. How's that Kool-Aid? "

I'd be happy to look at any links, up to a point. Please share. But let's start with your statement. Please explain, in context, what Phil Jones meant by the phrase "hide the decline." Explain how this points to academic dishonesty. Here's a pointer; your answer will likely but shit some denialist just made up, and the phrase doesn't mean what you think it means. But I'm eager to hear what you have to say about this.
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written by Mostly Harmless, July 23, 2012
[It is difficult to convey tone in writing, so let me preface this by saying that while I intend to be critical and straightforward, my sarcasm is meant more with a wink than a pounded fist].

Mr. Hill, you state: "Skeptics will argue amongst themselves about dogmas and data, but it boils down to a fundamental disagreement that cannot be overcome by accusations of irrationality"... and then you procede two sentences later to dismiss skeptics of AGW as guilty of rationalizing due to political influence.

My guess is that you would see no hypocrisy in this because you are certain the facts are incontrovertible as you conveyed with the pronouncement: "The planet is warming, and humans are the main cause." That strikes me as intellectually very arrogant and closed-minded and not the hallmark of a critical thinker. "2+2=4" is incontrovertible. Evolution is a pretty solid theory but not incontrovertible nor a law. Climate change, at best, is still many researcher's best guess on a very complex subject.

You ask why "Why don’t the skeptical notions of weight of evidence, scientific consensus, and independent confirmation hold sway on this issue?" but as evidenced in your very own introduction to this article, when the AGW critic appears to want to address these things with you, you demonstrate repeatedly how you shut off his attempts to discuss it on a factual level:

“But the science is not settled…” he began.
“Let me put it this way: do you accept evolution?” I interjected.

and

“Yes, I think so,” he said.
“Apply that same fact to climate change and climate scientists,” I said, nearly cutting him off.

When a "good number" (as you say) of critical thinkers--peers in the very community with which you chose to so strongly identify yourself-- continue to raise questions on this, how can you so easily wholesale dismiss them as politically biased? Several AGW critics here have specifically denied they have political leanings. Are they all liars or blind to their political influences? Is it only right-leaning skeptics who are prone to bias?

My last question reminds me of an interesting article that appeared on this site in June regarding a study "that shows that being “cognitively sophisticated” makes you blinder to your own biases". smilies/cheesy.gif
(yes, I'm aware you posted that story).
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written by Camus, July 23, 2012
Mostly Harmless -

Whatever it is, there is a strong motivation that moves people to denialism, and that motivation cannot be skepticism. I base this judgement on the quality of the denialist arguments,which are typically absurd and contrary to overwhelming scientific evidence. It may or may not be grounded in ideology, but Kyle is absolutely correct that it doesn't arise the normal healthy skepticism. We see cherry picking of evidence, the use of non-evidence, assertions with absolutely no empirical support, and unfounded ad hominem attacks. Kyle's responses are as appropriate as if one were confronted by the flat earth society.
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written by Mostly Harmless, July 23, 2012
Camus,
You start from a position that the critics are irrational deniers. That may be based on the weight of your experience observing discussion of the subject by critics, but as one of those critics, I think I try very hard to be objective. I've certainly witnessed the kind of vitriolic, uncritical attacks that you describe (coming from both sides of the issue), but, even here, most of the critical comments appear to be based on some degree of research and objective reasoning and not the simple-minded, reactionary thought processes typically attributed to flat-earthers.

I will admit to one bias which colors my trust of the data which is that over the years I've become "anti-environmentalist". I'm not saying I'm anti-environmental, but distrustful of "environmentalists"-- those who seek the profession of environmentalism. It is my subjective observation that environmental study tends to attract people who are more concerned with the pre-determined notion that the environment needs to be saved from man than from an objective interest in environmental sciences. Consequently, the research tends to be skewed towards findings that support those positions.

I've no doubt that climate changes over time and if the historical trends are accurate, temperatures will cycle through much higher and lower temperatures. And it is reasonable that man can produce enough greenhouse gases to influence that (to what degree and consequence is really the question). But, I also know that weather is amazingly complex and not so simple to predict that production of greenhouse gases inevitably leads to rising temperatures. If that were so, Earth's climate would never have recovered from previous warming cycles.

Also, from your position you see one GW prediction after another bearing fruit and I see just the opposite. I'm not asking you to trust my facts, just trust that my perception of facts is reasonable, and, that if I had more time, I could research and find the supporting facts to rationally justify my observations. Perhaps some of the more avid AGW critics have a list handy and can help me out with all of the AGW predictions that have not occurred as predicted?

I've also seen lots of examples where environmentalists have purposely distorted facts/reality to elicit emotional reactions. Think polar bears to name just one. Al Gore to name a second. My local paper ran an editorial a few years ago saying it was already too late, we are doomed.

During isolated windows when weather has been extreme, AGW proponents always point out evidence of global warming, but seem to forget all the years with lower than average numbers of storms or average temperatures or sea-levels not rising as fast as predicted, etc. When called on it, I've heard things like, well, if it weren't for an unexpected X or Y weather phenomena artificially cooling things, temperatures would be much hotter as predicted. For some reason, any natural phenomena that works contrary to GW predictions is abnormal and outside of Earth's normal climate system.

As one poster previously said, it's easy to point to local highs and forget that in other parts of the world, they are experiencing local lows. The news media likes to sensationalize things and doesn't care about pointing out all the places that aren't experiencing extreme seasons.

Finally, there is the notion that rising temperatures (whatever the cause) are abnormal and disastrously harmful and I'm not convinced of that. What is normal for this point in Earth's climate cycle? Does the fossil record show mass extinctions coincide with previous warming cycles? Some have suggested that more people die each year from cold temperatures, so some warming could actually save more lives. Do we really know that Earth's complex climate system will only react to more CO2 by increasing temperatures and not by reacting in some other way that will offset the effects?

The Earth's climate is one of the most complex systems we have tried to wrap our arms around and until we can predict it's behavior with the same accuracy that we can predict tomorrow's weather smilies/grin.gif , I'm going to always take extreme predictions with a grain of salt.

As I've said in previous posts here, it is ironic that I find a lot of the analytical skills that I sharpened here reading Mr. Randi's posts are the same tools I'm bringing to my process of questioning many of the assertions of AGW proponents.

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written by Camus, July 23, 2012
Mostly Harmless,
The thrust of your argument is directed at "environmentalists" exaggerating the evidence. That may be true, but the discussion here isn't about such - it's about the science. I see no evidence that the scientists are exaggerating anything. It's not the arguments of Greenpeace, it's the arguments of scientists whose research is published in rigorously reviewed scientific journals.

And i don't understand your argument about cycles. Earth's cycles are largely understood, and none of them can account for recent climate change. I would suggest that you stop thinking about this issue in terms of "issue groups" and confront the science.
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written by Caller X, July 24, 2012
written by Camus, July 23, 2012
Kyle, the discussion here demonstrates your point. There is a cadre of deniers in the skeptical community. They have no scientific evidence to support their positions, and largely resort to slander, ad hominem attacks, vague conspiracy theories, and transparent rhetorical artifice (ummm, it was cool where I live yesterday, so your point is invalid; or "there was a consensus about Jews in 1930s Germany"). I've argued with climate change deniers long enough to know that the endeavor is pointless. They are immune to facts, evidence, and reason.


Yet you keep jibber-jabbering. Scribble scribble scribble, eh Mr. Gibbon?

Caller X
written by Peebs, July 23, 2012
I wondered when you'd notice we're largely on the same side.

I put it down to. a,My somewhat obscure sense of humour and. b,Oscar Wilde's observation that we are two nations divided by a common language.

Sort of off topic, why do lowly rated comments get hidden?

When I hit the 'show' button they usually have zero votes.

Ah, so you have discovered the soft gang-rape of the lowly rated comment. It's because whoever built the site thought it would be good to have a CONSENSUS to keep the chiggers and Jews down. If you vote on the rape victim, I mean comment, you will see the actual comment. I believe 11 down-votes is what it takes to hide a comment.

written by Camus, July 23, 2012
...

I know for sure that the data are governed by licensing agreements. It could be shared to other institutions that also had similar agreements in place, but not otherwise generally disseminated. If you evidence to the contrary, please share. Otherwise, this is just another ad hominem attack.


Argument by assertion. Gratuitously asserted, just as gratuitously denied. "I know for sure"? Keep stamping your tiny elfin feet.

Calling you a liar is NOT an ad hominem attack. It's just calling you a liar.


written by Camus, July 23, 2012
Why would i have to produce evidence? I know about the agreements already.


Brilliant! "Why would I have to produce evidence?" There IS no more powerful argument.
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I said 'it's hot' assuming you were somewhat familiar with the temp record, or that TX nearly burned down last year, or co this year, or the extraordinary heat wave currently sweeping the nation, and numerous other facts. Just in case you weren't paying attention, I also mentioned data, trends, records, etc. I think you are just being deliberately obtuse here.


a. Texas didn't nearly burn down. Are you aware of the size of Texas?

b. The fires in "co" by which I guess you mean Colorado were started by an inbred named Shiflet who fired an incendiary shotgun round at a bachelor party, not by any climate related events. It was in the papers and not governed by any supersecret agreements.


Rat;
'Apparently you think droughts never happened before, or not as bad. You said, "in 60 years". Hmm, then there was a worse one 60 years ago, right?'

That's a rather silly assumption. i think this is the first draught, even though I drew a comparison with a draught 60 years ago?


A DRAUGHT IS A DRINK, A DROUGHT IS A PERIOD WITHOUT RAIN.


Camus, you say you are done with arguing with Jews, I mean "deniers", yet you post and post and post, and you repeatedly refer to ad hominem arguments which haven't been made. Are you autistic? Are you a Wikipedia editor? Because seriously, dude, look at the volume of your posts on this topic. Al Gore's adductors look well adjusted by comparison. Maybe you need a sexy massage.
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written by Camus, July 24, 2012
Pam, why does your monicker link to a site devoted to psychic readings? Do you know where you are?
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written by joppeknol, July 24, 2012
I just came here and started reading through the comments. To be honest, I am a bit disappointed by the way this discussion is going. From a skeptical community I would expect things like: 'Study X1,X2,X3 point out that there is a clear global warming trend' or 'This article explains that the findings in study X1 can easily be explained by statistical variation and is not a indicator of global warming'. A discussion like that would increase my understanding on the pro's and cons of human-attributed global warming, which is mostly based on superficial things that I read on the internet.

Instead I see mostly ad hominem attacks, general speculation about hidden reason of 'why' a person has a certain opinion (as if that matters. The important thing is whether that opinion makes sense in the case of certain evidence.). . I don't believe it helps and it doesn't fit my view of how a skeptic person should discuss things.

Disclaimer: I said mostly, not 'only'. Still, it is too much.

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written by Steel Rat, July 24, 2012
I'd be happy to look at any links, up to a point. Please share. But let's start with your statement. Please explain, in context, what Phil Jones meant by the phrase "hide the decline." Explain how this points to academic dishonesty. Here's a pointer; your answer will likely but shit some denialist just made up, and the phrase doesn't mean what you think it means. But I'm eager to hear what you have to say about this.


You haven't even looked at the links I've posted, so why should I bother. My NOAA link is still up there if you have the mouse power to scroll up and look for it.

You already have your mind made up, so there's no point in me saying anything, is there. I don't need to explain what Jones meant. He said it, it's pretty clear.

I'm done with you, since you deny saying things you've clearly said, refuse to look at evidence, yet provide nothing but invective and ad hominem attacks, and twist what I say into something completely different.
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written by JonK, July 24, 2012
After reading the paper by Douglass, et al. that "Steel Rat" trumpets as purporting to show the the lack of correlation between models and observations for global climate change, readers may wish to look at references that dispute the statistical techniques used in that paper.See, for example, B. D. Santer, et al., International Journal of Climatology , 28, 1703 (200smilies/cool.gif, or the rebuttal letter at http://www.realclimate.org/doc...unity.pdf .

At the very least, the Douglass paper is a very poor choice to try to substantiate claims that climate change models have failed.
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written by JonK, July 24, 2012
Apologies for the typo: the date for the reference in my last post is 2008: B. D. Santer, et al., International Journal of Climatology , 28, 1703 (200smilies/cool.gif
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This one should be a no-brainer
written by sjw, July 24, 2012
1. The evidence is atrong, with strong consensus.
2. There's clear financial/business agendas behind much of the denialist propaganda.
3. The consequences of not taking action on climate change are *extremely* severe.
4. The downside of taking action is minor.
It 's already too late on some of this. This is a potential planetary catastrophe we're talking about. No surprise that dystopian fiction is so prevalent right now.
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written by Camus, July 24, 2012
Since it was raised in an earlier post, and since it's become an article of faith among deniers, the phrase 'hide the decline" that appeared in the leaked / hacked emails from the Hadley CRU represents absolutely nothing untoward as has been implied. The term "decline" refers to the "divergence problem:" a decline in the sensitivity of a proxy variable for temp, namely tree rings. The problem is a well known and widely discussed in both the scientific literature and several IPCC reports. The term "hide" refers to a generally accepted method of dealing with the problem. Namely, substitute another data series that is known to be more a accurate measure of temps. Sounds sinister doesn't it? As skeptics, we should be attentive to not only the underlying science, but how the science is disseminated in the wider discourse. Joppenoll, I don't agree that these sorts of questions are entirely irrelevant. Unscientific assertions, particular when based on personal attacks that amount to slander of individual scientists (the accusation above is essentially that the data were falsified, which is about as serious offense as there is in science and which would rightfully result in the academic 'death penalty') should be vigorously opposed in the skeptical community. If we adopt the position that no truth can be ascertained with any degree of certainty, then everything remains up for debate: dowsing, psychic readings, etc. But i don't think that's what skepticism is - we rightly call those things bullshit.
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written by Camus, July 24, 2012
Odd that Rolling Stone of all places is doing a good job covering the issue. But they have also been one of the few media outlets that is properly covering the deep corruption implicated in the financial crisis. it's not a scientific paper, but worth a read nonetheless- http://www.rollingstone.com/po...h-20120719
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written by Mostly Harmless, July 24, 2012
SJW: You said:

"3. The consequences of not taking action on climate change are *extremely* severe."

Could you please provide a prediction of a severe consequence and when it will occur? Please also provide a few interim stages leading up to that point. For example, if you say, NYC will be covered in ocean in 2100, how much will the water rise by 2015. Give us something concrete that we skeptics can look at and be convinced by.

Even better, if the science has been so settled for so long and is so well understood, there should be some predictions dating back several years that are coming true today for which there is incontrovertible evidence. Please provide an example of a catastrophic prediction that is coming true today.... one that will stand up to critical scrutiny. It's not acceptable to say the reason this or that prediction did not come true is because an unexpected climate phenomena occurred that offset it... that just supports the notion that the science is not that well understood.

****

I've always thought the best way to resolve this once and for all would be to create a market where climate scientists could submit predictions and then the world could invest their money betting that either the prediction would come true or not. Once people's own money is involved, a lot of the politics and religion magically clears up. Tell a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan to place his family savings on who he things will win the division and suddenly he becomes a St. Louis Cardinals fan.
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written by Camus, July 24, 2012
Mostly Harmless: start with the most straight-forward prediction. Climate scientists have been telling us for many years that global average temperatures will continue to rise. Since that time, global mean temperatures have continued to rise. This year experienced the warmest spring on record in the Northern hemisphere. And not by just a little - it was off the charts. We can start here, and then explore some of the more catastrophic implications of climate change predictions. Just want a stipulation that this prediction has been correct.
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written by Mostly Harmless, July 24, 2012
Camus:
I will preface this by saying that I hope observers to this discussion find my questions rational and analytical and, if not, feel free to point out when you think I've strayed.

Ok, before we can proceed with an analysis of your prediction, we need to dig into it a little.

"Climate scientists have been telling us for many years that global average temperatures will continue to rise."

Correct me if you think unfair, but if this prediction is intended to demonstrate catastrophic anthropomorphic global warming, we need to insert into it the implied assertions otherwise it does not qualify:

Climate scientists have been telling us for many years that global average temperatures will continue to rise faster than they would normally primarily due to man's industrial output and at a rate which will have catastrophic consequences.

If you accept this, than we have to establish the following:

1. What would be the expected or normal global average temperatures for this year without man's influence? Unless we state that the earth's climate never alters, average temperature over a period of time can not be the measure of normal. For example, presuming that the earth's climate does go through normal cycles, than it may be more normal that temperatures be higher (or lower) than average.

2. What constitutes catastrophic consequences? How do we measure them objectively?

Also, when we analyze the results, we need to clarify the following.

1. What constitutes a "record"? Compared with what-- recorded temperatures or estimated temperatures? If recorded, how far back in time and what methods were used to record the temperatures? How statistically significant is the difference between the new and old record? When was the previous record set and what caused it to be so high then?

2. If we are going to look at regional weather records (northern hemisphere), since we are talking global warming, we also need to look at the weather around the globe. Were records set globally as well as in the northern hemisphere? Were temperatures consistently higher globally? or lower? or average? Are there any regional weather phenomena which might account for a significant change this year?

Only then can we start to look at the data and see how it correlates.

Fair?

(I'm not sure when the period for posting comments ends, but I'll try to hang in there as long as I can although there may be times when in the interest of time--because for me to research everything is not quick-- those more knowledgeable than me have to step in and carry the baton for a while)
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written by Camus, July 24, 2012
Well, let's start with your initial question. Is the climate warming more rapidly than "normal." I'll interpret that to mean that there may be a non-anthropogenic causation for observed warming temps, since warming must have a cause (the Earth doesn't just "normally" warm). That is the appropriate question, and one that climatologists have been rather keen to answer themselves. The answer is "yes," the climate is warming more rapidly due to CO2 emissions. Fairly well understood are urban island effects, solar output, orbital patterns, and numerous other possible causal mechanisms. All of the proposed contrary causal mechanisms have been pretty conclusively ruled out. So, yes, the climate is warming much more rapidly than normal.
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written by Steel Rat, July 24, 2012
Well, let's start with your initial question. Is the climate warming more rapidly than "normal." I'll interpret that to mean that there may be a non-anthropogenic causation for observed warming temps, since warming must have a cause (the Earth doesn't just "normally" warm). That is the appropriate question, and one that climatologists have been rather keen to answer themselves. The answer is "yes," the climate is warming more rapidly due to CO2 emissions. Fairly well understood are urban island effects, solar output, orbital patterns, and numerous other possible causal mechanisms. All of the proposed contrary causal mechanisms have been pretty conclusively ruled out. So, yes, the climate is warming much more rapidly than normal.


Complete nonsense.

We don't know if today's warming is unprecedented compared to other, most likely warmer, times during this interglacial, either in scope or rate of increase. Claiming to know otherwise is simply a lie.
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written by Camus, July 25, 2012
Rat, as always, your comments are singularly enlightening, though they reveal more about yourself than the subject at hand.
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written by Steel Rat, July 25, 2012
Only because you see things which aren't there.
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written by Camus, July 26, 2012
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48...om|utmccn=(referral)|utmcmd=referral|utmcct=/id/46979745/&__utmv=14933801. |8=Earned+By=msnbc|cover=1^12=Landing+Content=Mixed=1^1 3=Landing+Hostname=www.nbcnews.com=1^30=Visit+Type+to+Content=Earned+to+Mixed=1&__utmk=178419364#.UBEicKNXC_I
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written by Random, July 26, 2012
Camus

You clearly have not read the CRU emails; as such you really have no idea of the problems in the climate panic fraternity and therefore are not well-informed on this matter. Even those who support the CAGW hypothesis eviscerate Michael Mann's signature work, the "hockey stick", one of them confirming Steve McIntyre's work showing that the statistical method comes up with a hockey stick regardless of the data used.

"Please explain, in context, what Phil Jones meant by the phrase "hide the decline.""

Easy. The tree-ring proxy study in question showed a decline in temperature over the late 20th century, when the instrument record showed a rise. This was strong evidence that the proxy was not valid, was not giving useful palaeo-temperature data. However Jones wished to hide this fact, and claim that the proxy was valid, as it supports his argument and he doesn't care if the science is valid, just if he can get finding for more projects.

As a side note, one of the last emails in the CRU leak was from a world authority on tree growth. Someone who would know more about tree growth than even a real climate scientist, let alone a self-proclaimed climate "scientist". The email was pointing out that tree rings are a very bad proxy for temperature. There are various reasons; the annual tree growth is really determined by the most restrictive of several factors, including temperature, nutrient availability and water; the direct response of various plants to increased carbon dioxide is not well-documented, but it is clear that increased carbon dioxide alone, at a constant temperature, can increase growth rates.

So the whole thing is about a bad proxy - but then so much of this is. Data where more than half is discarded as it produces no useful shape. One sequence actually included inverted, so the temperature drop is supposedly shows is taken as a rise; the sequence is still used, years after it was found to be inverted. Blocks of data reliant on a single tree to give any net trend at all.

But you didn't know any of this did you?

" talking points that have been endlessly debunked (sun spots, medieval warming period, etc)"

far from being debunked, more evidence is forthcoming to support the sceptics on those two issues. Recently the MWP was confirmed in a 120-proxy study to have been not only global but warmer than today by around a degree (more than the claimed warming so far!). That is over three times as many proxies as Mann chose trees to use in his debunked single-bad-proxy hockey stick, which is presumably why you claim the Mediaeval Warm Period has been debunked.
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written by Random, July 26, 2012
"the Earth doesn't just "normally" warm"

Who told you that? In my degree in Earth Sciences, at a world-class university, I was taught something entirely different. The Earth warms and cools as part of its normal existence.

Current warming is well within the bounds of normal.
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written by Random, July 26, 2012
sjw

"1. The evidence is atrong, with strong consensus."

First point: the evidence is non-existent. If it was strong, you would answer my question and say what it is. Second point, not only is a consensus in science a fallacy, all science was at one time against the consensus, but there is no strong consensus either. The 97% is a lie; it comes from bad research in a masters thesis, for Darwin's sake (seems inappropriate to say "for God's sake")!

The people advocating this don't even believe what you are saying. if they did would they express such delight at conferences on tropical islands, to which everyone must fly? Oh, sorry; you have not read the CRU emails, so you have no idea of the dishonesty at the heart of the panic.

2. There's clear financial/business agendas behind much of the denialist propaganda.

Nope. That is simply a lie you have been told.

The money is all in the panic. This is because if the problem fades away, the supposed victors still have to compete in a free market. They gain nothing but the normal hard slog of real capitalism. In engendering panic the CAGW supporters unleash crony capitalism and corporatist-statism, gaining money directly from the market distortion by government. Researchers receive grants; green power gets loan guarantees and subsidies, the banks have a new market to cream money off, big oil greenwashes itself with research paid for by governments it then sells under subsidies for profit. That is why even oil companies pay far more into spreading panic than scepticism. Of course sceptical researchers lose huge amounts in prestige, in grants and in career opportunities.

3. The consequences of not taking action on climate change are *extremely* severe.

Nope. They are nothing like what you have been told. If sea levels rise by a foot over the next century does anyone actually care? Especially given that in the areas with the lowest-lying islands, such as Tuvalu of the infamous "underwater" propaganda, the sea level is steady, possibly falling slightly.

4. The downside of taking action is minor.

Do you call the death of millions minor?

That is the argument of the worst king of totalitarian: the self-righteous man. "It's for your own good, downsides will be minor".

Without abundant, cheap energy life is nasty, brutish and short. Lifespans will drop to 40-50 years. Infant mortality will rise. Every day will be a grind of subsistence living. Maybe not for you, you will just cut back to a horrible grind of life without cheap energy, but then you don't really give a **** about black people in Africa do you? Because they are not you or anyone like you; thy are black men in Africa, whose lives are pretty tough now, and could be drastically improved with good access to electricity, gas and petroleum fuels. Except that your western sense of guilt is more important than their lives.
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written by Random, July 26, 2012
Camus

"Random, can you point to single instance of academic dishonesty committed by any of the major players? "

Have already - hide the decline.

How about Gleick, he lied to the Heartland, committing a felony in the process, and is still lying about the authorship of the fake document?

How about Mann, in his biased tree selection for proxies?

How about the one (I forget which, group think does tend to make them merge into one amorphous maw scooping in grants - check the CRU emails) who proved Mann's hockey stick wrong and emailed all his friends about it, yet said nothing in public to support McIntyre who said exactly the same thing. Actually, all the friends who received that email supported Mann against McIntyre, so they are pretty dishonest too.

How about the Australian meteorological lot who take an instrument record with no trend whatever and adjust temperatures for no apparent reason to show a rising trend; when the head was asked to justify these changes he gave one example, that I could have used to teach my meteorology students (who only get a 40 or 50-hour course) how not to abuse meteorological data it was so transparently unscientific, then swore at the questioner and refused to justify any other alteration (substitute New Zealand, Iceland or the Netherlands if you wish, without a single justification or the swearing; you could substitute the USA but they just exaggerate an existing trend)?

How about the whole lot of them as they gradually drop stations from the official record until there are none in the whole of Bolivia and none in Northern Canada, and until only those showing a rise are left in Russia (when all the Russian stations taken as a whole show no trend)?

How about Jones who was said by the UK Information Commissioner to have broken FOI laws, but the statute of limitations was too short to prosecute?

How about those who corrupted the peer-review process, by threatening editors and getting at least two fired for simply doing their jobs? Read the CRU emails for details.

How about the IPCC who lied about the provenance of 30% of the information sources used in AR4?

How about the IPCC who lied that their authors were experts in their fields? Many of these "experts" had nevver published in the field. Some of them didn't have PhDs. Some of them told reporters they were unable to contribute, being out of their depth and only chosen for UN regional or gender balance. One of the few actual experts had to threaten court action before they would remove his name from the report, which he wanted because it was utter nonsense.

How about each one of them who complains about the funding of sceptics (most of them at one time or another), knowing that he would have no funding at all if he was not pushing the CAGW myth, and that there are thousands of dollars funding for the research and spread of panic for every dollar funding neutral research and dissemination of sceptical information? Knowing also that any funding for scepticism is freely given, and US$100bn+ is given to spread the hysteria by governments, taken from taxpayers under threat of force.

Finally how about every one of them, for not making it clear that the core issue is not carbon dioxide but strong positive feedback. They all are dishonest every time they mention that CO2 is a known greenhouse gas without pointing out that this is irrelevant unless the climate shows strong, positive feedback in temperature?

So you answer my questions:

Where is the evidence for human attribution of past temperature rise?
Where is the evidence for strong positive feedback which will make future temperature rise dangerous?
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written by Random, July 26, 2012
On that note:

It is interesting that no-pone has answered my challenge

"What is the empirical evidence for:

(a) humans having caused most or all of the late-20th-century warming; and

(b) strong positive feedback in temperature."

I have been asking the faithful for 3 years, on internet forums and in real life. Not one of them even knows of any evidence for either of these two things (discounting the hockey stick, as being debunked evidence of correlation, not valid evidence of causation).

Yet when I do a search for the word "evidence" on this page I find it used so often by those who believe in CAGW. You are using the word "evidence" in the same way as strict religious people, meaning the word of their god. Your god is the IPCC, your faith is CAGW. I am heretic and must be shouted down (many in your church say I should be punished). If you sin, by taking a flight, you may by worthless indulgences of carbon offsets that feather the nests of the church hierarchy like Gore while he lives in splendour and tells every follower he must live as a pauper to be considered good.
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written by Random, July 26, 2012
Camus

It appears I missed one from the list of the Dishonest and Dishonoured: Muir Russell.

He appears to have taken a very large sum of money for conducting an enquiry without actually having conducted an enquiry. That seems to fit the definition of "accepting a bribe" rather well, considering the report he published on the enquiry that never asked the questions deemed fit had the effect of exonerating the institution that paid said fee and all its affiliates of any serious wrongdoing.

http://climateaudit.org/2012/0...more-16543
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written by Camus, July 26, 2012
Camus

"Random, can you point to single instance of academic dishonesty committed by any of the major players? "

"Have already - hide the decline."

Already asked and answered. Scroll upward.


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written by Camus, July 26, 2012
Random: 'First point: the evidence is non-existent.'

Random, what color is the sky on your planet?

To the skeptics on this list - I'd recommend avoiding even talking with these people as so far as possible. Doing so is roughly equivalent to trying to debate a creationist. I agree with Richard Dawkins, who encouraged scientists to stop debated such, as it creates the appearance that the two views are equally valid. They aren't. Kyle, i don't know where that leaves you, but I've found that it really is pointless.
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written by rogue74656, July 26, 2012
Let me condense this issue down to it's bare bones minimums...

1) CO2 absorbs and re-radiates IR energy.
2) A greenhouse temperature effect vs. concentration graph for CO2 can be experimentally determined in the lab.
3) For about 100 years, humans have been releasing CO2 that had been sequestered for millions of years.
4) MEASURED CO2 levels have been increasing for the last 50 years.


Now...do you dispute ANY of the above?
Do you contend that CO2 acts differently in nature than in the lab?
Do you contend that anthropogenic CO2 has somehow disappeared and the increase has another cause?

The conclusion from the above information (based on the CO2 increase) is that humans are causing, at minimum, a significant percentage of the measured temperature increase.


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written by Steel Rat, July 26, 2012
Do you contend that CO2 acts differently in nature than in the lab?


Yes. We don't know all the variables involved in nature. We don't know the degree of feedbacks and forcings (such as clouds, water vapor feedback, etc). Perhaps all things being equal, more CO2=warmer. The problem is all things are not equal.
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written by Mostly Harmless, July 26, 2012
rogue74656, I'm responding not as expert on this subject, but simply as a critical thinker looking at a set of statements presented to me. Tell me what is wrong with my logic, or what is missing from my knowledge:

1) CO2 absorbs and re-radiates IR energy.
2) A greenhouse temperature effect vs. concentration graph for CO2 can be experimentally determined in the lab.
3) For about 100 years, humans have been releasing CO2 that had been sequestered for millions of years.
4) MEASURED CO2 levels have been increasing for the last 50 years.

Now...do you dispute ANY of the above?


I don't have the knowledge to dispute this, but I'll accept it for now for purposes of discussion.

Do you contend that CO2 acts differently in nature than in the lab?


You question presumes that the lab exactly duplicates the mechanism of earth's climate.
Given the enormous complexity of the earth's climate system, it seem unreasonable to think that a lab could control and accurately simulate the earth's climate. Also, even if one could replicate all the complexities in the lab, it would still be doing so on a micro level and one couldn't guarantee that even an identical system would would behave the same way on a macro level.

Also, my understanding is that water vapor has the greatest impact on the greenhouse affect because it appears at levels 100 times greater than the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. So, there is not enough information in your statements to extrapolate what would be the exact consequences on temperature of increasing CO2 in the earth's atmosphere.

Do you contend that anthropogenic CO2 has somehow disappeared and the increase has another cause?


Presuming we are producing more CO2 and CO2 levels in the atmosphere are rising, I don't see anything problematic with this logic... So, no, I couldn't contend that.

The conclusion from the above information (based on the CO2 increase) is that humans are causing, at minimum, a significant percentage of the measured temperature increase.


First, significant is relative term, so I would never agree to a statement like that without defining it more precisely. Also, your statement is based on the implication that as CO2 rises, temperature proportionately and significantly rises... and your initial assertions do not contain enough data to support that... only that raising CO2 levels has some potential to increase temperature... in a lab.

Also, someone correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the historical data show that CO2 levels lag behind temperature increases? Isn't it actually a new theory that raising CO2 levels will "jump-start" global warming? And, doesn't it presume that nature will not react in ways that might not offset it? If we presume that nature does not compensate, then how does Earth's climate ever recover from periods of high temperature? If rising temperatures result in greater CO2 in the atmosphere and increasing CO2 increases temperature, isn't it a cycle we could never escape from? Clearly, the Earth has cycled through highs and lows, so there must me natural mechanisms that offset increased CO2 levels. Or am I missing something?

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written by Camus, July 26, 2012
Rogue, you ask entirely logical questions that can be answered via empirical evidence. Since such evidence appears to support a climate change hypothesis, let me respond with a Gish gallop of idiocy. First, your assertion involves simple physics produced in a *lab*. As you should know, simple physics doesn't operate outside of the confines of a *lab* Cause, you know, other things are never equal. Like, I could drop a book in a lab and it would probably fall on the floor. But if I were to jump out of this here window who the hell knows what might happen. And stuff. Plus, also, too, you haven't defined the term "significance," which could possibly mean absolutely anything other than its generally accepted meaning! So, in consideration of honest debate, please cease and desist with this thing you call evidence, which as we all know is entirely unreliable, probably faked, cause climate scientists produce whatever the government dollars entail. So...just stop.
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written by Mostly Harmless, July 26, 2012
let me respond with a Gish gallop of idiocy.


Well done. Plus you worked in sarcasm and condescension as a bonus.
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written by Steel Rat, July 26, 2012
@Mostly Harmless, that's all he has.
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written by Random, July 26, 2012
Camus

If you bother to read, I explained what "hide the decline" was about, and how it was dishonest.

I note you didn't address any of the other points of dishonesty: I put quite a few up, and that was only off the top of my head. I am sure there are more.

You didn't know about them, did you? You simply get your information from the media reprints of press releases from the core cabal. You don't rad around the subject, you have never heard of the actual flaws, the dishonesty at the centre of the debate.

"Random: 'First point: the evidence is non-existent.'

Random, what color is the sky on your planet?

To the skeptics on this list - I'd recommend avoiding even talking with these people as so far as possible. Doing so is roughly equivalent to trying to debate a creationist. I agree with Richard Dawkins, who encouraged scientists to stop debated such, as it creates the appearance that the two views are equally valid. They aren't. Kyle, i don't know where that leaves you, but I've found that it really is pointless. "

Interesting that. Instead of actually describing evidence, which I have asked twice for you to do, you go into denial (as in you are in denial, not that you are somehow equivalent to holocaust deniers) and want to shut your ears. You are like a child who puts his fingers in his ears and starts singing "la la la" when he doesn't want to hear something.

In effect you are admitting I am right, or at least that you cannot show me to be wrong. You know of no evidence yourself. You just have faith in the priests of your religion, who live fat off you while telling you to impoverish yourself to show virtue.

Dawkins is a zoologist. I am better qualified to judge the science behind this, as I at least have a degree in Earth Sciences, from a better university than the one he attended, especially for the sciences. I can assure you that the two views are not equally valid, but only because he sceptics of CAGW use real science and statistics, with a valid null hypothesis to be tested against empirical evidence, whereas the climate cabal use nothing but models and poor proxies interpreted via dodgy statistics and just little bits of scientific fraud.
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written by Random, July 27, 2012
Camus

"Rogue, you ask entirely logical questions that can be answered via empirical evidence. Since such evidence appears to support a climate change hypothesis,"

Describe just one piece of empirical evidence that supports catastrophic anthropogenic climate change (CAGW). Just one. I have asked you before, and you bluffed and blustered. Now put up or admit you know of no such evidence.

I can tell you about one that proves it is errant nonsense. I don't need to, since the null hypothesis is that current climate is primarily due to natural variation, given that it is well within the normal range of such variation. However I will indulge you.

All the climate models used to forecast CAGW assume strong positive feedback (which is rare in stable systems, but not entirely impossible so we can allow it as an hypothesis). In fact they all assume the same mechanism, increasing water vapour to increase greenhouse effect (which is the only really feasible mechanism for positive feedback over the last 35 years). In all the models this gives a distinctive pattern of warming, with greatest warming at low latitudes (20S to 20N) in the upper troposphere (from about 300 hPa to the tropopause, about 30-60,000 feet).

Empirical evidence shows no warming whatsoever in that region. None. Nada. Possibly slight cooling, but statistically insignificant.

There is more evidence against positive feedback, or limiting positive feedback to levels at which AGW will not be harmful (and will in fact be beneficial). The rest is, I suspect, too complicated for you to look at until you are better-informed on this subject. Read around some actual real-world information, rather than the newspapers, and you will find them. Especially interesting is the material from satellite sensors.
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written by Camus, July 27, 2012
Random: If you bother to read, I explained what "hide the decline" was about, and how it was dishonest.

No, no it's not dishonest. The substitution of proxy variables is entirely appropriate in this case, and the exact method that was employed has been thoroughly vetted and published in peer reviewed publications. You are just wrong, and wrong in a way that amounts to slander of the scientist involved.

Mostly Harmless: "Well done. Plus you worked in sarcasm and condescension as a bonus."

Sarcasm is an entirely valid and useful mode of expression in response to absurdity.
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written by Random, July 27, 2012
rogue

"Now...do you dispute ANY of the above?

...

The conclusion from the above information (based on the CO2 increase) is that humans are causing, at minimum, a significant percentage of the measured temperature increase."

Entirely true ... and entirely irrelevant to the debate; this just shows that you have no idea what the disagreement is about.

I know of no-one who disputes any of that on either side of the debate (although it is not as certain as you suggest, it is likely that human activity has caused significant warming). That is not the point. The whole point is what percentage, and what warming will be caused by future human activity, which depends on feedback.

The climate cabal assume sensitivity of around 3.3 degrees Celsius per doubling (with uncertainty 1.5 to 4.5 degrees). This would, potentially, cause harmful effects.

However even they admit that sensitivity to CO2 is about 1 degree per doubling; the rest is positive feedback. That is the core of the debate.

There is strong and increasing evidence that actual sensitivity is 1 degree +/- 0.3 per doubling. There is strong and increasing evidence that if there is positive feedback it is not strong; evidence shows that positive feedback by the mechanism assumed in all models is almost certainly incorrect. There is weak evidence for net negative feedback.

There is no empirical evidence whatever for strong positive feedback in temperature.
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written by Camus, July 27, 2012
More neutral observers might find the following interesting. The (climate change denialist billionaire) Koch brothers funded study from Berkeley has produced yet another independent replication of warming trends. Not really surprising or newsworthy, but it has garnered attention because the lead researcher was formerly a boisterous denier (which presumably explains why he received the funding). Folks, this is how science works - peer review, replication, and rational debate. As opposed to just making s*&t up. http://www.realclimate.org/ind...alled-off/
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written by Camus, July 27, 2012
Nobody really knows how catastrophic climate change will be, but the best thinking is that life in the medium-term future will range from very bad to hellishly bad (if the human species chooses to do nothing and let future generations deal with the consequences). A piece published in the June 7th edition of the journal Nature examines evidence that the earth is perilously close to a "tipping point" that could usher in a new round of mass extinction. Since access to the piece is by subscription only, I'll link to this summary: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...77835.html
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written by Random, July 27, 2012
Camus

More fallacies don't cut it. The funding: irrelevant. The lies about Muller (who was never a sceptic, always was a believer), just show how dishonesty rules the day on only one side.

What is the empirical evidence? You keep saying it exists, yet you can't say what it is.
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written by Random, July 27, 2012
"No, no it's not dishonest. The substitution of proxy variables is entirely appropriate in this case, and the exact method that was employed has been thoroughly vetted and published in peer reviewed publications. You are just wrong, and wrong in a way that amounts to slander of the scientist involved. "

That is simply a lie. It was hiding something - hiding something is dishonest.

It was hiding the fact that the proxy used was not valid, having not followed the temperature trend over a large period of time. Hiding the fact that the whole graph was meaningless. Jones did not admit that he had done this in the paper; it was not known until the lucky chance tht the CRU emails were released.

I did not slander him: he was the one who said "hide the decline". He admitted his dishonesty to friends, just never expected it to be made public.
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written by Camus, July 27, 2012
Random: "There is no empirical evidence whatever for strong positive feedback in temperature. "

Wow, that is a rather strong assertion that is completely contrary to the published scientific lit. There are numerous feedback mechanisms that are known with certainty to impact climate - declining albedo due to melting, water vapor, methane released from melting permafrost, and many others. Of course, your argument presupposes that the scientific lit is bogus. You assert without evidence that data have been falsified, and that the climate change 'cabal" (your term) is engaging in a cover-up.

Such assertions really approach tin-foil hat territory, as such a conspiracy would have to be so massive, involving most institutions of higher learning, including academic journals, and gov't agencies ranging from NASA to NOAA and countless other across the globe.

However, what is known is that there absolutely is a well-funded and politically powerful disinformation campaign involving a long list of unsavory character. The money-trail has been well documented. Work coming from this effort is not subject to peer-review, and most of it is entirely absurd (Lord Monckton comes to mind). I think i'll stick with the science. For those interested in the mechanics of disinformation, see http://www.realclimate.org/ind...ef-review/
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written by Random, July 27, 2012
Hahahaha

Camus, you are well out of your depth.

OK, I have to simplify it for you. I am talking about net temperature feedback. I am talking about empirical evidence that it is positive. I have been searching for it for 3 years; I have asked so many True Believers like you. Not a single one of them (and you should not be ashamed, many of them are far brighter than you are) has been able to tell me of any such evidence. Not individual feedbacks, not postulated mechanisms with undefined parameters, but evidence of strong, positive net feedback.

So, to be clearer, what is the evidence of net positive feedback in temperature?

You have not even addressed the lack of evidence that most of the late 20th-century temperature rise is man-made. So I repeat, what is the evidence for attribution of the larger part of late 20th-century temperature rise to human activity?

Once we get beyond those we can deal again with the remaining dishonesty that you so conveniently

It doesn't take any conspiracy. All it takes is compliant, left-wing news media who are far too lazy to do their own research so republish press releases from pressure groups and researchers, all of whom have an interest in keeping this going. It is called emergent behaviour: a behaviour pattern that looks like organised behaviour but is actually just the result of decisions made by individuals either by instinct or in their own interests. This encompasses everything from a flock of birds to an economy.

Only you didn't know that, either, did you? Just another of the pieces of the puzzle that you lack in your interpretation of the climate debate.

There are conspiracies, we know of some and have hints of others from the CRU emails, but they are small, self-centred, mean conspiracies. There is no grand plot, just a lot of self-righteous or self-important fools.

For information, Real Climate is a propaganda site run by Michael Mann, who calls those who disagree with him bug larvae (classy) and deletes their comments because he can't answer them. He is a laughing stock even among his Climate Cabal peers. Read the CRU emails. There is no grand, wealthy conspiracy to spread misinformation of scepticism. The huge money is on quite the other side, the vast propaganda machine that still fails because its message is so patently false. Most of the prominent sceptics are not only unpaid but could make money if they switched sides; they have too much integrity.

Lots of points I have made you have failed to address, Little Boy Lost. You need to know your limitations before starting arguments.
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written by Random, July 27, 2012
One correction: I should have asked for the evidence for strong net positive feedback. Weak positive feedback is a possibility (although weak negative looks more likely) but would not be sufficient to cause significant harm. Rising carbon dioxide would still be beneficial.
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written by Camus, July 27, 2012
"No, no it's not dishonest. The substitution of proxy variables is entirely appropriate in this case, and the exact method that was employed has been thoroughly vetted and published in peer reviewed publications. You are just wrong, and wrong in a way that amounts to slander of the scientist involved. "

Random:That is simply a lie. It was hiding something - hiding something is dishonest. It was hiding the fact that the proxy used was not valid, having not followed the temperature trend over a large period of time. Hiding the fact that the whole graph was meaningless. Jones did not admit that he had done this in the paper; it was not known until the lucky chance tht the CRU emails were released.

Classic Gish gallop - throw as much bogus nonsense out there as possible and hope some gets through the cracks. No thanks, I don't have the time or inclination to refute every absurdity. I'll stick with one point at a time. If climatologist were "hiding the fact" of their methods, they did a pretty poor job by actually publishing the method way back in 1998. These conspirators really ought to do a little research about how to conduct a proper conspiracy. perhaps, don't publish the conspiracy in respected scientific journals if you want to actually "hide" something. http://www.nature.com/nature/j...678a0.html
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written by Camus, July 27, 2012
Random: "Hahahaha. Camus, you are well out of your depth."

i had assumed a maturity level above, say, 12 yo. I've reconsidered that assumption. If you really want to debate "depth," I'd be more than happy to compare credentials, though it does seem rather sophomoric.
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written by Random, July 27, 2012
So you accuse me of "throwing bogus nonsense" for pointing out that hiding anything in science is dishonest, and that changing what a graph actually plots part way in without mentioning it in the paper in question, and you point to a paper abstract that talks about lowering sensitivity, which does not answer the dishonesty question. According to the abstract this paper confirms that the proxy is not valid, because tree-ring density is changing and they don't appear to know why. So this simply confirms that hiding the decline was dishonest.

Before you write again I suggest you read the article below.

It is by Garth Paltridge, an atmospheric physicist who is visiting fellow at ANU, one of the top universities in the world for Earth Sciences (considered by Ivy League schools as broadly equivalent when they are offering teaching and research posts). It is published on the site of Judith Curry, one of the BEST team and Professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

http://judithcurry.com/2012/06/22/science-held-hostage-in-climate-debate/

At the moment you are a typical Believer. You know one side's case, but only a parody of the other as given by your side. You have no idea what sceptics actual arguments are, nor the flaws in the Climate Cabal's case. You are arguing at a serious disadvantage.
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written by Camus, July 27, 2012
And doubt about Random's politics and agenda? "It doesn't take any conspiracy. All it takes is compliant, left-wing news media who are far too lazy to do their own research so republish press releases from pressure groups and researchers, all of whom have an interest in keeping this going. "

"Left wing media." Alrighty then...
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written by Random, July 27, 2012
By the way, your suggestions for publication in journals shows you really have no idea of the actual conspiracies that did occur, which are detailed at length in the CRU emails. Read there all about the corruption of peer review, the bullying of editors, the twisting of publishing standards by other editors which have nothing to do with the value of papers and is purely about climate politics. You really are way behind. This information was out in 2009.

Please just read more, a greater variety of sources. Sitting and screaming at people who are better-informed than you are is making you look ridiculous. After the article I suggested try reading more of Curry's site (she is rather a gentle sceptic, closer to belief than some). Then try some of the real insight, on McIntyre's site Climate Audit. He is a statistician, and it is in the woefully poor statistics that most scientific papers with any statistics involved (in any discipline, not just climate) fall down. McIntyre proved Mann's graphs to be utterly meaningless.
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written by Camus, July 27, 2012
Random: "So you accuse me of "throwing bogus nonsense" for pointing out that hiding anything in science is dishonest, and that changing what a graph actually plots part way in without mentioning it in the paper in question."

Yes, I'll stand by my accusation. But let's follow your own accusation. Please give me the cite of the paper in question that failed to properly reveal the methodology.
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written by Camus, July 27, 2012
McIntyre absolutely did not prove Mann's graph to be "meaningless." His single publication on climate science did make a contribution, and it's what he hangs his hat on. But the contribution was merely a technical issue that had no bearing whatsoever on the substance of the science. Yes, one has to be careful with the rotation techniques employed in factor analysis. But correcting for McIntyre's appropriate criticisms does absolutely nothing to alter the substantive findings. Unfortunately, McIntyre has decided to make a name for himself by pushing the bogus denialist party line. Unfortunately, he has contributed nothing to the science, with exactly zero publications since the original. No credible climate scientist takes him seriously.
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written by Camus, July 27, 2012
For those wanting to get into the weeds re. McIntyre - http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=10
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written by Camus, July 27, 2012
Random: "The funding: irrelevant. "

Not really. I can point you to a whole boatload of research the demonstrates how funding impacts findings, across numerous disciplines. Agendized funding produces the results the paymasters want. If you truly believe that funding is irrelevant, then I would suggest you have absolutely no idea how the real world works.
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written by Mostly Harmless, July 27, 2012
Camus, you're at a disadvantage currently being the primary ACGW proponent defending your position, but that doesn't make the flurry of questions Gish Gallop. It's too bad more on your side aren't joining you because I asked (Rogue) what I thought were respectful, logical questions and you responded with ridicule.

My questions were not rhetorical, I am genuinely interested in getting a response to them. If my logical is flawed or simplistic, I would appreciate an explanation (not a dogmatic correction) from either side of the argument. As I said, I'm not an expert (I'm willing to admit I'm not playing with a full deck smilies/smiley.gif ) and I don't have the background to easily confirm or refute the technical arguments, but I do have purely logical problems with some of the fundamental points that have been raised here by ACGW proponents. And these are the same kind of problems that lead to the disconnect among critical thinkers that Mr. Hill is puzzled by. Here's my attempt to net them out.

1. Why is it absurd to believe that a climate model developed in a lab might not be able to fully replicate and predict the complexities of the earth's climate system? ACGW proponents talk about models as if they are full-proof and that raises a flag with me.

2. Since historical data shows that CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere rise as climate temperatures rise, and, if increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is such a catalyst for increasing temperatures, what causes the cycle to be broken? (More CO2 increases the temperature, higher temperatures then increase CO2 levels, repeat). Is there some kind of natural fail-safe in the system that causes this cycle to collapse and does that fail-safe only kick in at the extremes? Or, is the warming cycle eventually overwhelmed by an even greater cooling influence that occurs independently? Or ?
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written by Mostly Harmless, July 27, 2012
Camus, you're at a disadvantage currently being the primary ACGW proponent defending your position, but that doesn't make the flurry of questions Gish Gallop. It's too bad more on your side aren't joining you because I asked (Rogue) what I thought were respectful, logical questions and you responded with ridicule.

My questions were not rhetorical, I am genuinely interested in getting a response to them. If my logical is flawed or simplistic, I would appreciate an explanation (not a dogmatic correction) from either side of the argument. As I said, I'm not an expert (I'm willing to admit I'm not playing with a full deck smilies/smiley.gif ) and I don't have the background to easily confirm or refute the technical arguments, but I do have purely logical problems with some of the fundamental points that have been raised here by ACGW proponents. And these are the same kind of problems that lead to the disconnect among critical thinkers that Mr. Hill is puzzled by. Here's my attempt to net them out.

1. Why is it absurd to believe that a climate model developed in a lab might not be able to fully replicate and predict the complexities of the earth's climate system? ACGW proponents talk about models as if they are full-proof and that raises a flag with me.

2. Since historical data shows that CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere rise as climate temperatures rise, and, if increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is such a catalyst for increasing temperatures, what causes the cycle to be broken? (More CO2 increases the temperature, higher temperatures then increase CO2 levels, repeat). Is there some kind of natural fail-safe in the system that causes this cycle to collapse and does that fail-safe only kick in at the extremes? Or, is the warming cycle eventually overwhelmed by an even greater cooling influence that occurs independently? Or ?
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written by Camus, July 27, 2012
Mostly Harmless: My questions were not rhetorical, I am genuinely interested in getting a response to them. If my logical is flawed or simplistic, I would appreciate an explanation (not a dogmatic correction) from either side of the argument. As I said, I'm not an expert (I'm willing to admit I'm not playing with a full deck smilies/smiley.gif ) and I don't have the background to easily confirm or refute the technical arguments, but I do have purely logical problems with some of the fundamental points that have been raised here by ACGW proponents. And these are the same kind of problems that lead to the disconnect among critical thinkers that Mr. Hill is puzzled by. Here's my attempt to net them out.

1. Why is it absurd to believe that a climate model developed in a lab might not be able to fully replicate and predict the complexities of the earth's climate system? ACGW proponents talk about models as if they are full-proof and that raises a flag with me.

All models of any variety are a simplification of more complex processes. Climate models are not developed a priori in a lab, but rather are developed by fitting equations against actual data. The measure of the accuracy of a model is various "goodness of fit" tests - how well do the models predict the data? It turns out that they perform remarkably well. And keep in mind that models are not the sole piece of evidence for climate change. They are not even the preponderance of evidence.

2. Since historical data shows that CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere rise as climate temperatures rise, and, if increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is such a catalyst for increasing temperatures, what causes the cycle to be broken? (More CO2 increases the temperature, higher temperatures then increase CO2 levels, repeat). Is there some kind of natural fail-safe in the system that causes this cycle to collapse and does that fail-safe only kick in at the extremes? Or, is the warming cycle eventually overwhelmed by an even greater cooling influence that occurs independently? Or ?

I don't think that anyone is proposing that there is a fail-safe. Earth was lucky, so to speak, that prior periods of natural warming did not continue, as otherwise you and I would not be here to talk about it. Venus was not so lucky. While it is considerably further from the sun than Mercury, it is considerably hotter and more inhospitable to life. James Hansen has proposed that a Venus syndrome is not entirely improbable here on earth if we burn all of the carbon extant on the planet. If that is true, kiss not only the human race, but all life on the planet, goodbye.

So I guess the question is whether one puts greater faith in a group of denialists that have hitherto utterly failed to get their results published in scientific peer-reviewed publications, or whether one puts more faith in the scientific method. To paraphrase Trotsky - you may not believe in climate change, but it believes in you. It will happen irrespective of one's beliefs, and your children will inherit the worst of it. Are you willing to gamble their future on the denialists?
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written by Mostly Harmless, July 27, 2012
I don't think that anyone is proposing that there is a fail-safe. Earth was lucky, so to speak, that prior periods of natural warming did not continue, as otherwise you and I would not be here to talk about it.


Thanks. But, that doesn't really answer my question which is what stopped the warming in the past?

I thought that one of the basis for the "CO2 causes global warming" hypothesis (which, by the way I'm willing to accept... it is the significance of the effect that I'm having problems with) was the historical data/graph that showed that Earth's climate has repeatedly gone through cycles of warmer and cooler temperatures and that each time, CO2 rose when temperatures rose. The cycle was about every 30 thousand years if I recall correctly. So, we've apparently repeatedly gone through this cycle of increasing temperatures (which have reached higher than today) and yet it has not triggered an out of control global warming chain of events. Regardless of whether man or those higher temperatures generated the CO2, why wouldn't the same consequences have occurred in the past unless there was some kind of natural compensating process?

Again, this is not a rhetorical question. I truly am confused by the seeming illogic of this.

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written by Camus, July 27, 2012
Mostly Harmless: "Thanks. But, that doesn't really answer my question which is what stopped the warming in the past?

I thought that one of the basis for the "CO2 causes global warming" hypothesis (which, by the way I'm willing to accept... it is the significance of the effect that I'm having problems with) was the historical data/graph that showed that Earth's climate has repeatedly gone through cycles of warmer and cooler temperatures and that each time, CO2 rose when temperatures rose. The cycle was about every 30 thousand years if I recall correctly. So, we've apparently repeatedly gone through this cycle of increasing temperatures (which have reached higher than today) and yet it has not triggered an out of control global warming chain of events. Regardless of whether man or those higher temperatures generated the CO2, why wouldn't the same consequences have occurred in the past unless there was some kind of natural compensating process?

Again, this is not a rhetorical question. I truly am confused by the seeming illogic of this. "


Prior cooling of the climate has been produced by changes in the Earth's orbit, and the tilt of the axis. Had this not occurred, we wouldn't be here.
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written by JonK, July 27, 2012
If Camus is truly interested in the causes of and relationships between climate and atmospheric variations seen in Earth's past, he should trying reading one of the several good textbooks on climate change. There he will find that these mechanisms are largely well understood, but often not simply attributable to a single factor, as well as being complicated by feedback mechanisms. I recommend Energy, Environment and Climate , second edition by Richard Wolfson (2011), though there are other good texts as well. The major difference between then and now is that any injection of large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere was a transient event on that timescale, not one that seems destined to persist on our human timescale. As yes, the the evidence exists that species, plant and animal, suffered the consequences.

Casmus may also be interested in the modelling work of G. A. Meehl, et al., Journal of Climate, 17, 3723 (2004). Though there are more modern calculations that verify these results, it is notable that even this early model tracks very well the changes in mean observed temperatures without including the relatively small anthropogenic influences until well into the 20th century. Then the inclusion of anthropogenic factors is necessary as CO2 levels started to rise very rapidly.

As I (and others) have noted in previous posts, models alone do not "prove" the significance anthropogenic factors, but the preponderance of evidence taken as a whole fits no other reasonable explanation.

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written by rogue74656, July 27, 2012
Random wrote:

1. Why is it absurd to believe that a climate model developed in a lab might not be able to fully replicate and predict the complexities of the earth's climate system? ACGW proponents talk about models as if they are full-proof and that raises a flag with me.

a. It is not absurd...but those models are based on fitting actual data BEFORE being used to predict and constantly being improved, so one does not need to "fully replicate..." to get decent predictions. One tactic of a dogmatist is to demand ever increasing precision of data (like fossil record gaps http://freethoughtblogs.com/ph...nly-cuter/).

b. My comment was SPECIFICALLY about absorbtion/release of IR energy by CO2 and a concentration/temperature curve in the lab. IF you propose that this data is invalid, the onus is on you to propose the MECHANISM by which this would change. What would prevent CO2 from abosorbing & re-radiating as it does in the lab? If YOU want to invalidate this data...you have to propose a mechanism and test it...otherwise the data stands as valid.

c. Early climate models using the CO2 data predicted a much greater change than actually seen and newer models are taking particulate matter cooling into account as well as other natural cycles.

d. SPANKED....read JonK's comments above.

Random wrote:
2. Since historical data shows that CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere rise as climate temperatures rise, and, if increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is such a catalyst for increasing temperatures, what causes the cycle to be broken? (More CO2 increases the temperature, higher temperatures then increase CO2 levels, repeat). Is there some kind of natural fail-safe in the system that causes this cycle to collapse and does that fail-safe only kick in at the extremes? Or, is the warming cycle eventually overwhelmed by an even greater cooling influence that occurs independently? Or ?

a. sequestering of CO2 (un-decomposed plant material, CaCO3, Methane, for examples) would bring this to a halt.
b. Increases in particulates in the air would cause a cooling effect and mitigate/slow/halt the cycle.
c. It bears remembering that these are NATURAL cycles while anthropogenic CO2 release is far FASTER than previous cycles.

Does this answer your questions?
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Correction...
written by rogue74656, July 27, 2012
Sorry, that was Mostly Harmless's questions.
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Randoms 2 questions
written by rogue74656, July 27, 2012
Random wrote:
Describe just one piece of empirical evidence that supports catastrophic anthropogenic climate change (CAGW). Just one. I have asked you before, and you bluffed and blustered. Now put up or admit you know of no such evidence.
and
You have not even addressed the lack of evidence that most of the late 20th-century temperature rise is man-made. So I repeat, what is the evidence for attribution of the larger part of late 20th-century temperature rise to human activity?

I have set out a logical chain of evidence.
Early climate models, based JUST on CO2 concentration/temperature data from the lab showed larger temperature changes than recorded. There are mitigating factors, such as particulate pollution and sunspot cylces, that have kept tempertures cooler.

It seems you are asking for a Crocoduck...there is not going to be a single piece of data that, in isolation, supports CAGW...this is a case, like evolution, of multiple lines of evidence pointing to a conclusion. Why have you ignored that answer?

Random wrote:
All the climate models used to forecast CAGW assume strong positive feedback (which is rare in stable systems, but not entirely impossible so we can allow it as an hypothesis). In fact they all assume the same mechanism, increasing water vapour to increase greenhouse effect (which is the only really feasible mechanism for positive feedback over the last 35 years). In all the models this gives a distinctive pattern of warming, with greatest warming at low latitudes (20S to 20N) in the upper troposphere (from about 300 hPa to the tropopause, about 30-60,000 feet).

a) Climate models are created using known data to judge it's accuracy BEFORE being used to predict into the future...
b) Many factors are taken into consideration, not just water vapor....
c) Without feedback loops, predictions are LESS than observed data.
d) Many stable systems have feedback loops, both positive and negative. It is only when something disrupts the system beyond evolved conditions that the "flaws" show.
e) I do not know about the upper troposphere predictions because I have not spoken or read on that specific region.

Random wrote:
So, to be clearer, what is the evidence of net positive feedback in temperature?

a. Camus answered you (do I need to define any of those terms for you?):
Camus wrote: Wow, that is a rather strong assertion that is completely contrary to the published scientific lit. There are numerous feedback mechanisms that are known with certainty to impact climate -
declining albedo due to melting, -- reflected light is not abosorbed, only IR...so lower albedo increases the IR available
water vapor, -- Water vapor concentration is limited...above a certain point, it precipitates out, limiting the effect. Also, clouds INCREASE albedo, a negative impact.
methane released from melting permafrost, -- Methane is also a greenhouse gas.
and many others.

SO your questions have BOTH been answered...
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written by Camus, July 27, 2012
JonK, thanks for the pointers. However, I can't seem to pinpoint where you disagree with me. In fact, it appears that your post is entirely consistent with everything I've posted. But I will check out the cited text though.
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written by Camus, July 27, 2012
JonK: "As I (and others) have noted in previous posts, models alone do not "prove" the significance anthropogenic factors, but the preponderance of evidence taken as a whole fits no other reasonable explanation."

This debate really isn't about the science, JonK. As Kyle correctly pointed out in his original post, the denialists are motivated more by money (those who are funding the effort) and ideology (those you simply repeat the talking points). Mostly Harmless seems sincere enough, though he is just asking questions. Random, however, has adopted all of the belligerent charm of am radio, and has articulated various conspiracy theories (excuse me, "emergent structure" I think his term was), character assassination of scientists, misdirection, and other unsavory debating tactics. When he throws out terms like "left wing media," it becomes rather clear what his political ideology is and what his agenda is. As I said, these people have long ago lost in the annals of science, but they soldier on in hopes of confusing the public and to ensure that no action is taken. But they are losing in the realm of public opinion. The most recent poll indicates that 70% of the public now believes in AGW, perhaps fueled by recent weather which is unprecedented in my lifetime. Since at least some of that 70% gives a damn about the well being of their children, I suspect there will soon be more public demand for action. But count on the denialists to fight with their last breath.
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written by Camus, July 27, 2012
Meanwhile, the first half of 2012 in the Northern hemisphere was the hottest since record-keeping began. I suppose this can be attributed to natural variations (i.e. the "s*%t happens" school of thought). http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2012/6

I'm taking advantage of the expected break in our hellish heatwave and taking a long motorcycle ride tomorrow. It's only forecast to be 95 degrees tomorrow. Those similarly disposed, enjoy the planet while you can.

Peace, Camus
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written by Peebs, July 27, 2012
While we on the other side of the pond have just enjoyed our coldest winter in decades and, so far, our wettest summer.

Therein lays my problem.

You are suffering a scorching summer, so that's Global Warming.

Here in the UK we suffer crippling cold followed by torrential rain and it's caused by Climate Change.

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written by Camus, July 27, 2012
Peebs, I'm not sure about the extreme cold, as I've seen various theories about that. However, torrential rain is predicted by the science, and such weather events have significantly increased and are expected to increase in the future.

BTW, where in the UK are you? I haven't been there in over a decade, and plan to return. Wonderful people and great countryside (most excellent for a motorcycle ride).
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written by JonK, July 27, 2012
Camus--Let me apologize. profusely even. In the back and forth with various authorships I meant to direct my reply to "Mostly Harmless" who asked about the linkage between previous periods of elevated temps and CO2. Confusion over who was quoting whom led to my misdirection.

I share your views about motivations. It is startling how many of those who deny the science of climate change were the same folks who told us smoking was not harmful, acid rain was dandy, the ozone hole was a myth, and pollutants were good for us.

Have great motorcycle ride; that's perfect for a hot day, whether due in part to global warming or not. I finally retired my bike after deciding that my age had impacted my reaction time, but every time I see someone ride by, the old longings swell. Instead, I will shoulder my backpack and head off into the Sawtooth Mountains and hope that I don't sweat too much.
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written by Camus, July 27, 2012
JonK, no apology is necessary brother, as I assumed that was the case. Good hiking to you, and if you ever feel the urge to get back in the saddle let me know. Ya don't have to twist my arm if you want a riding partner. Cause, you know, the whole Zen thing.
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written by tmac57, July 27, 2012
After reading many of these back and forth exchanges,I would like to suggest that anyone who sincerely has doubts,questions,points that they need clarified etc. to not try to hash these out here,because there are are better sites for handling these kind of questions.
For the layman, I suggest http://www.skepticalscience.com/
They have a very well indexed,and managed site that allows for debate without the nonsense and ad hominem attacks.
For a more technical discussion of climate science, try RealClimate.org.

Warning: Those sites do not tolerate the nasty kind of rhetoric that is par for the course on the denier blogs,but they will engage an honest difference of opinion,as long as you do it in a civilized manner.That should be something that a REAL skeptic can get behind,right?
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written by Steel Rat, July 27, 2012
Well Tmac, both those sites heavily censor replies, even measured technical responses. not to mention, like you, they used the ad hom "denier".

Camus, if you feel funding is relevant, then surely you should be skeptical of pro AGW research, since they outfund skeptical research by perhaps 10 to 1. Follow the money.
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written by Steel Rat, July 27, 2012
written by Camus, July 27, 2012
For those wanting to get into the weeds re. McIntyre - [url=http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=10
]http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=10

Is that all you got?

http://climateaudit.org/2005/02/04/a-scorecard-on-mm03/

Funny, Mann accuses McIntyre and McKitrick of using an incorrect dataset and not understanding the methods used. That's because Mann refused to divulge to anyone except co-authors. Peer-review was extremely lax in this case.

Fact of the matter is, Mann's reconstructions are VERY sensitive to the removal of one or two key proxies. Hardly robust.
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written by Camus, July 28, 2012
TMac, I would second your suggestion - anyone really interested in the science should go to one of the sites you listed. RealClimate is the real deal, and kudos to the climatologists running it for their willingness to discuss important issues with the general public. I rarely see them censor replies, as has been suggested, and when they do they provide the reason why a post has been censored. Usually seems appropriate.

Titanium Rat - "Camus, if you feel funding is relevant, then surely you should be skeptical of pro AGW research, since they outfund skeptical research by perhaps 10 to 1. Follow the money. "

1. I doubt that what you just said is true. How much money is funneled to the Heartland Institute, the Cato institute, and assorted agendized groups? But I do agree with your statement in part. It's not research that is funded so much as propaganda.

2. Government funds aren't provided on the basis of the results one expects to obtain. If you've ever applied for a government grant, you would understand that funds are generally awarded based on expert analysis of the proposed research. Even denialists can get gov't funding if they have legitimate research worth funding.


Cadmium Rat: "Funny, Mann accuses McIntyre and McKitrick of using an incorrect dataset and not understanding the methods used. That's because Mann refused to divulge to anyone except co-authors. Peer-review was extremely lax in this case.


Fact of the matter is, Mann's reconstructions are VERY sensitive to the removal of one or two key proxies. Hardly robust. "

To paraphrase Chris Hitchens - that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. There have been several unfortunate ad hom attacks on scientists in this discussion. In fact, much of the denialist argument relies on such attacks. If I were making such assertions, even about a denialist, I would provide some supporting evidence. Do you have any evidence whatsoever that the "peer review was lax?" Or is this just a necessary argument you make to cover up the fact the denialists have been totally unable to get their "research" published in any legitimate journal?

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written by Mostly Harmless, July 28, 2012

http://icecap.us seems to provide good information in an unbiased manner.

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written by Steel Rat, July 28, 2012
1. I doubt that what you just said is true. How much money is funneled to the Heartland Institute, the Cato institute, and assorted agendized groups? But I do agree with your statement in part. It's not research that is funded so much as propaganda.

2. Government funds aren't provided on the basis of the results one expects to obtain. If you've ever applied for a government grant, you would understand that funds are generally awarded based on expert analysis of the proposed research. Even denialists can get gov't funding if they have legitimate research worth funding.


http://scienceandpublicpolicy...._money.pdf

Despite Prof Mann's constant bleatings about "Fossil-fuel industry funded denial", Shell, BP and other petroleum companies have funded climate research in which Mann, Jones, the whole CRU bunch and others were involved. Whereas McIntyre, Watts, and many others are unpaid volunteers (Watts has received some funding from Heartland for data projects, but is not on their payroll).

RealClimate is run by Fenton Communications, a PR front group. And paid NASA employees are running it on the taxpayer dime.

RealClimate is the real deal, and kudos to the climatologists running it for their willingness to discuss important issues with the general public. I rarely see them censor replies, as has been suggested, and when they do they provide the reason why a post has been censored. Usually seems appropriate.


Hmm, how would you see posts they simply deleted due to their inability to rebut the question? And those they do let through are usually heavily edited. Certainly there is some noise, but do you think RC would allow McIntyre to rebut anything via comment there without heavily editing his reply?

OTOH, Climateaudit.org allows opposing viewpoints on technical matters, you see them there all the time.

To paraphrase Chris Hitchens - that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. There have been several unfortunate ad hom attacks on scientists in this discussion. In fact, much of the denialist argument relies on such attacks. If I were making such assertions, even about a denialist, I would provide some supporting evidence. Do you have any evidence whatsoever that the "peer review was lax?" Or is this just a necessary argument you make to cover up the fact the denialists have been totally unable to get their "research" published in any legitimate journal?


The evidence is all over Climate Audit. You've probably never been there. As for peer review, the evidence is all over the CRU emails. You've probably never read them. Apparently this is what skepticism has come to; accusing others of ad hominem attacks while making them yourself.
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written by Camus, July 28, 2012
Mostly Harmless: "The evidence is all over Climate Audit. You've probably never been there. As for peer review, the evidence is all over the CRU emails. You've probably never read them. Apparently this is what skepticism has come to; accusing others of ad hominem attacks while making them yourself. "

Please provided a link to your evidence. Otherwise, you're just being kind of a dick. And hardly a skeptic.
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written by JonK, July 28, 2012
Steel Rat's claims to the contrary, RealClimate's website is hosted by Science Communication Network, paid NASA scientists are amongst RealClimate's contributors, but not on the "government's dime",Fenton Communications handled initial PR for the site and does not run it. Neither Fenton nor SCN provides funding to the site or its scientist contributors.

Indeed, RealClimate was founded by a journalist and Al Gore supporter. Did one expect Exxon, Fox News or the Koch Brothers to fund a science-based site on climate change? And. yes, most of the climatologists who contribute posts affirm AGW, not suprising since most climatologists affirm AGW. All of this information has appeared in open scientific journals, like Science and Nature, which are coniderably more reliable sources than The American Spectator, where much of Steel Rat's misinformation originally surfaced.

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written by tmac57, July 28, 2012
Interesting video here by potholer54 about the misuse of temperature reconstruction graphs by climate 'skeptics'
http://youtu.be/CY4Yecsx_-s
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written by tmac57, July 28, 2012
To all of the 'urban heat island' enthusiasts out there,take a look at this:

http://reason.com/blog/2012/07...anlysis-co

Richard Muller:
CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified scientific issues that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Now, after organizing an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I’ve concluded that global warming is real, that the prior estimates of the rate were correct, and that cause is human.
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written by Camus, July 28, 2012
TMac, interesting quote from Muller. I posted about him earlier, with explanation about how he is an exemplar of science by following the evidence regardless of what he wished were true or wanted to be true. The response from the denialists?

Random: "The lies about Muller (who was never a sceptic, always was a believer), just show how dishonesty rules the day on only one side.'

As I said earlier, it is pointless to debate individuals that are intellectually bankrupt and fundamentally immoral and unethical. And I use those terms advisedly.

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written by Camus, July 28, 2012
To the urban heat island myth, I'd also add my personal favorite: "There are no SUVs on Mars."
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written by Steel Rat, July 28, 2012
Please provided a link to your evidence. Otherwise, you're just being kind of a dick. And hardly a skeptic.


More ad hom, that's all you seem to have. Oh, and the quote was mine, not that of Mostly Harmless. Here is a link to a series of posts on ClimateAudit which will help to get you started. But you'll have to perform your due dilligence (you'll forgive me if I don't hold my breath on that one.)

Gavin at RC posts many comments when he's supposed to be working at NASA. I guess the middle of a work day is "spare time".

As for Potholer54, a veritable paragon of virtue (NOT!): http://wattsupwiththat.com/201...otholer54/

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written by Camus, July 28, 2012
Silver rat:"Funny, Mann accuses McIntyre and McKitrick of using an incorrect dataset and not understanding the methods used. That's because Mann refused to divulge to anyone except co-authors. Peer-review was extremely lax in this case. "

Speaking of ad homs. You made this accusation, and I asked you to provide any evidence that you might have to support it. Hitherto, nothing has been forthcoming. What evidence, if any, do you have that "peer review was extremely lax..."

Second quote: "The lies about Muller (who was never a sceptic, always was a believer), just show how dishonesty rules the day on only one side." Yet, Muller was a self-professed skeptic of climate change. Was he not telling the truth about himself? What evidence, if any, do you have that would support this ad hom attack on a reputable scientist?

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written by Steel Rat, July 28, 2012
Camus, the evidence is at Climate Audit. Do some reading, my make an actual skeptic out of you. If you don't care to read, then I'm not holding your hand.

You're still attributing a quote to me, incorrectly. I hadn't mentioned Muller. I'll await your apology.

Here is a CA link I forgot to paste in 2 posts up... http://climateaudit.org/catego...stlecones/
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written by Camus, July 28, 2012
Tungsten Rat, you have my sincerest apology. If I attributed a quote to you incorrectly, I must have been confused by your words: " Oh, and the quote was mine, not that of Mostly Harmless." So let's move on.

I did follow your link, but it was to a general page with numerous other links. To clarify, what evidence, if any, do you have that the "peer review was extremely lax..." with respect to Mann's work. It would be most helpful to point to the specific evidence, as opposed to McIntyre's ClimateAudit page in general. Thanks in advance.
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written by Steel Rat, July 28, 2012
The quote that was mine was this one:

written by Camus, July 28, 2012
Mostly Harmless: "The evidence is all over Climate Audit. You've probably never been there. As for peer review, the evidence is all over the CRU emails. You've probably never read them. Apparently this is what skepticism has come to; accusing others of ad hominem attacks while making them yourself. "


You attributed it to Mostly Harmless. The Muller quote was NOT mine, which you appear to attribute to me.

The peer review was lax because Mann used non-standard statistical methods, which should have been obvious to a rigorous reviewer.
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written by Camus, July 28, 2012
Paper Rat, once again, point me to evidence, if such exists, that the peer review on Mann's work was "extremely lax.' I know for sure that the statement "Mann used non-standard statistical methods" is flat out false. Principle component analysis is rather well accepted among statisticians. Again, do you have any evidence to support your assertion? Or is it just an assertion?
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written by Steel Rat, July 28, 2012
I've given it to you, but you're too lazy or obstinate to read it. Your loss.
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written by Camus, July 28, 2012
Harmless Rat, in spite of my careful consideration of you comments, I confess I missed the link. Can you provide it again? Since accusations of academic dishonesty are fairly serious, I'm sure you would want to support your assertions with actual evidence. Apologies for missing you link the first time around. please post again.
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written by tmac57, July 28, 2012
Oh Steel Rat...sigh...tell me that you didn't just try to use Lord Monckton as a character witness against Peter Hadfield. All you have to do to see how bankrupt and dishonest that Monckton is,is to watch Hadfield's video series on him.It is well and truly devastating. No wonder that Monckton hates him so much.You lose by default I'm afraid.
And if that isn't evidence enough,try this:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/Monckton_Myths.htm
Even some of Monckton's former supporters are now realizing that he has jumped the shark.
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written by Camus, July 28, 2012
Jumpin' Jeezuz on a pogo stick. I missed the reference to Monckton. Please tell me it ain't so. This is a guy that even Geraldo Rivera claimed was "smoking crack" due to various assertions, including an assertion that Obama was not a US citizen, which he ascertained from an analysis of the birth certificate. He jumped the shark some time ago. Don't we have a reasonable expectation that people on a skeptical site are acting in good faith? Apparently not. All I can ask is to please remove yourself from the skeptical community. Please.
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written by Random, July 29, 2012
rogue

I ask for empirical evidence .. and you give me models. Models are not empirical evidence. The fact that models cannot explain the assumed warming (which is possibly double the actual warming, once errors and corruption are taken out of the data - and if the data was in any state to actually be useful for anything; have you read the harry_readme file?)

"Random wrote:

1. Why is it absurd to believe that a climate model developed in a lab might not be able to fully replicate and predict the complexities of the earth's climate system? ACGW proponents talk about models as if they are full-proof and that raises a flag with me."

No I didn't. It's a very fair point, not addressed by the small amount of your reply to it that is actually true, but I didn't make it. Nor the other point you attributed to me, which was less accurate: I would have made a different case from the rise in CO2 in response to warming.

So still no evidence.

A hint: models do not give empirical evidence. That is inherent in the definition of "empirical evidence".
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written by Random, July 29, 2012
Camus

McIntyre proved conclusively that Mann's hockey stick was an artefact of the statistics. He proved that if you put random data into the algorithm the result was a hockey stick in the vast majority of cases.

I believe it was selection bias, in fact I think I know exactly how it happened but I am an Earth Science graduate not statistics, and unlike you I know my limitations so will not try to teach you that bit. If you want to know the details, read McIntyre. If you don't trust him, read the CRU emails. One of them deals with exactly this problem, one of the Climate Cabal did the same test and also found that a hockey stick came out of random data. Of course he only told colleagues, he did supported Mann to the world; that was one of those pieces of dishonesty you have now forgotten since you can't excuse them.

" The term "decline" refers to the "divergence problem:" a decline in the sensitivity of a proxy variable for temp, namely tree rings."

No it doesn't. That is simply a lie you have been told. That explains why you posted a link to an irrelevant paper.

The decline in question was an apparent decline in temperature shown by the "proxy" at a time of known temperature rise in the instrument record. This proved the proxy was false. If you look at the whole proxy graph, without the replacement of proxy data with instrument data that "hid the decline" the graph drops suddenly. It is really obvious, even a non-scientist like you would notice it.

Of course a change in apparent sensitivity of a proxy also proves it is not a proxy: the lie doesn't even actually excuse the earlier dishonesty, except to shiny-eyed,

Why is UHI a myth? it is a known phenomenon. It was "disproved" by a paper involving Jones that, even had it not later turned out to be fraudulent (oh, one dishonesty I forgot: Jones lies about what Chinese station data was available and what it showed; he lied blatantly and to change the whole value of an otherwise worthless paper) was treating stations in areas of populations of 140,000 as "rural", so would have been meaningless. Drive your car into a city. You will see the temperature rise. That is UHI.

"I can point you to a whole boatload of research the demonstrates how funding impacts findings, across numerous disciplines. Agendized funding produces the results the paymasters want"

Possibly. Do you realise that the entire panic of CAGW is funded with an agenda? Do you realise that many of the funding agencies (including the IPCC and the UK Met Office) define "climate change" as being man-made before they even offer funding? Do you really want a discussion of agenda in funding, when most sceptics are unfunded or funded by organisations that also pay even more to the hysterical research, like oil companies? When there is over 1000 times the funding available openly targeted at proving CAGW, and you are simply showing that funding from the sceptical side is not targeted at any one result?

Still waiting for empirical evidence ...

That is the only real point of interest. If you don't recognise that then you have lost your scepticism. This site was started to challenge credulous fools.

So put up or shut up: what is the empirical evidence for strong positive feedback and human responsibility for most late-C20th warming?
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written by Camus, July 29, 2012
Random - "A hint: models do not give empirical evidence. That is inherent in the definition of "empirical evidence".

Hint - This is so far wrong I don't see how it could possibly be more wrong. If you really believe this, then you have reject an enormous body of science from both the natural and social sciences. So, if I run a logistic regression of ideology on belief in denialism, and I find that the presence of right-wing ideology is strongly associated with belief in denialism (and making statements such as the above), I can't conclude anything? The results don't constitute empirical evidence? wow. Models are simplified representations of reality which embody scientists belief about causal relationships. The degree to which models fit the data absolutely constitutes empirical evidence. It's how science works...

ugh.
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written by Camus, July 29, 2012
"The decline in question was an apparent decline in temperature shown by the "proxy" at a time of known temperature rise in the instrument record. This proved the proxy was false. If you look at the whole proxy graph, without the replacement of proxy data with instrument data that "hid the decline" the graph drops suddenly. It is really obvious, even a non-scientist like you would notice it."

I'm not sure I'm following you. The bad proxy data, which was known to be a poor indicator of temperature since 1960 or so, was replaced with much more reliable data. Is your argument that the bad data should have been retained? I think you would be hard pressed to find a single peer-reviewed article that supports retaining bad data because,well, it's frickin' insane.

And, I'm *still* waiting for you to support your assertion that these methods weren't fully disclosed in any publication. You've made a serious charge of academic dishonesty, which is extremely unethical if you haven't a shred of evidence to support the charge. PLEASE PROVIDE EVIDENCE. This is esp. incumbent upon you, given that numerous independent investigations have turned up absolutely nothing improper. When you use these sorts of tactics, like character assassination, it makes you come off like some kind of McCarthyite.

Lastly, you should really avoid phrases like "It is really obvious, even a non-scientist like you would notice it," or "that's a lie you've been told.' I suspect this sort of argumentation has rubbed off on you from too many years of listening to am radio talk-shows, but it makes you look rather insecure in your arguments. And really you have no idea what my background is, so you should be a little more hesitant in assertions made from ignorance.
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written by Random, July 29, 2012
Camus

From Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Definition of EMPIRICAL
1 : originating in or based on observation or experience
2 : relying on experience or observation alone often without due regard for system and theory
3 : capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment
4 : of or relating to empiricism


Empirical evidence. Not models. Don't even address the known deep flaws in the models. Even if the models were not known to be flawed, then they are also not known to be correct until there is empirical evidence. No-one believed Newton just because of the beauty of his models of motion. They believed him, and his models became laws and what they predicted became sound science when the empirical evidence confirmed the predictions.

So where is the empirical evidence.
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written by Camus, July 29, 2012
The "hockey stick" claims made by deniars on this list are common fare in the denialist blogosphere, but have little or no cache among climate scientists, and have been subject to very little peer review. In fact, McIntye's sole publication related to climate change was published in a journal devoted to social science (not that there anything necessarily wrong with that) - Energy and Environment. He attempted to publish a follow-up in the journal Nature, but it was rejected. And...that's it, really. Not that McIntyre hasn't got a lot of mileage out of it given the devotion to him by so many denialists, but not really respected among actual climate scientists. Anyway, many of the claims made about this piece are absurd, but one wold expect that if your position depends so much on a solitary publication, as opposed to the 10s of thousands of publications in support of AGW. For those wishing to dig into the weeds on McIntyre and the hockey stick, I again recommend RealClimate. In particular, look at "Myth #4:" http://www.realclimate.org/ind...key-stick/
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written by Camus, July 29, 2012
Random, you are appealing to a dictionary? Really? What is this, a high-school debating club? And I don't really see how you are actually in disagreement with my statement re. models. Obviously, models created entirely a priori do not constitute empirical evidence, but climate models, and few other models, are developed a priori without empirical testing. As I said, the performance of a model in predicting actual data is the evidence, not just the fact that a model exists. Since nobody is claiming that, and that's not how the actual modeling is done, your statement that "models don't constitute empirical evidence" is a little absurd.
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written by Camus, July 29, 2012
And I don't understand your question 'where is the empirical evidence." I assume you are somewhat familiar with the accepted science, since you are claiming to speak authoritatively on the subject. Would you like a link to a bibliography. There are many fine annotated bibliographies available on the intertubes. i would start there.
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written by Camus, July 29, 2012
Well, I'd say that this debate, such as it is, has come to a logical conclusion. The denialist camp has over time morphed from 'there is no anomalous warming" to "there may be warming but it is not due to human activity" to "the warming may be caused by human activity, but it is not harmful (or in variations, it is actually beneficial)" I'm not even sure where the denialists on here actually stand, as the same individuals seem to have made *all* of these arguments over the course of this thread. So, who the hell knows.

Those who are on the fence, I would only suggest that you consider the evidence presented here - on one side are the denialists, who are extremely vocal on the intertubes but are virtually absent entirely in the annals of science. On the other are thousands of climate scientists from across the globe. To explain this fact, the denialists are forced to rely on some form of conspiracy theory (the term "cabal" was employed, as was "emergent structure" as if that somehow made the conspiracy theory less a conspiracy theory). The conspiracy is said to be propagated by dishonest scientists that, though some unknown agenda, falsify data and engage in other skullduggery. The false science is further spread by the misinformation of the "left wing press." This conspiracy implicates 10s of thousands of individuals that block the denialists research from scientific journals and from government funding.

Now, is that absurd, even paranoid, silliness really sensible? The conspiracy theorizing could be taken straight from the pages of Creationists (cum ID), who have made all of these claims in nearly identical fashion. Or, could it be that the institution of science is actually working as advertised? Obviously, there is a right-wing agenda or motivation lurking behind much of the denialist endeavor. I fail to see any opposite agenda among the left. What is it, they naturally hate carbon for no apparent reason? They want to implement a host of regulations just for the sake of regulation? They just want to control others? Or what, exactly? Just remember, the first thing a cult will tell you is that everybody is lying to you. And the denialists willingness to divorce themselves completely from reality certainly suggests that it too is subject to cult-like dynamics.
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written by Random, July 29, 2012
Camus

"Those who are on the fence, I would only suggest that you consider the evidence presented here..."

You have presented none; none at all. I have asked over and again, but still no empirical evidence.

Of course I had to use a dictionary, as you made it perfectly clear you had no idea what I meant by "empirical evidence".

The sceptics have not morphed at all. You claims that they have just prove that you have never been taught logic. Ah, you are a True Believer, that goes without saying: there is no argument for CAGW that is not a classic logical fallacy known for the last 2000 years (like Muller's fallacies described here). Oh, of course: you announce to the world that you are completely ignorant of the case you are arguing against in your hate speech. Using the word "denier" and "denial" for people who deny nothing, and are simply sceptical, shows that. You are the one in denial, denying that there is legitimate debate, denying the corruption and dishonesty in the Climate Cabal, denying the existence of tens of thousands of scientists who are deeply sceptical of CAGW, denying the fact that there is no empirical evidence for CAGW, denying the fact that there is empirical evidence that the CAGW hypothesis is wrong.

There has always been a range of unanswered questions, and far more agreement between sceptics and Believers than you accept. Every sceptic I know of believes that there has been some warming since 1750, and that human activity has probably had an influence on this in the late 20th century. The warming is not anomalous; logically that always has meant that although it does not prove human influence it also does not rule out human influence. Given that the warming is probably less than the Climate Cabal claim, and that most of the warming is probably natural (given that the warming is not anomalous, and that warming rates have not increased significantly with increased industrial activity over the last 150 years.

So no morphing of the sceptical position. Just your inability to grasp the possibility that those spreading climate panic might be wrong about more than one part.

Of course that is why I boiled it down to the only two important points: strong positive feedback and attribution to human activity. For neither of which can you (or anyone else I have asked or whose work I have read) provide any empirical evidence. You just give logical fallacies.

30,000 scientists have signed a petition to say that the IPCC is wrong about CAGW. Many prominent sceptics are scientists or of equivalent status. Someone has lied to you otherwise , and you have simply believed - as in everything else. Yet I have listed all the dishonesty in the climate debate, and it is all on the side you believe so credulously. You never actually sought to understand the sceptics' arguments, which is why you are so out of your depth here that you need to be referred to a dictionary.

P.S. The hockey stick has been brought down in peer-reviewed analysis, by statisticians. Even the IPCC is too embarrassed to use it now. Just as importantly if you bother to read the CRU emails (I don't see how you feel you can contribute to this debate without having read them; they are key to the mindset that caused this whole debacle) you will see that there is broad agreement even in the Climate Cabal that it was bad science, with several emails calling it that, and complaining that Mann should just shut up about it as it is embarrassing. They might not have admitted they doubted it publicly, but that is just more dishonesty.
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written by Random, July 29, 2012
Camus

"And I don't understand your question 'where is the empirical evidence'."

The original question was "what is the empirical evidence", which is my preferred formulation, apologies for confusing you with a slight change, though "where" is equally simple to comprehend. I want you to describe it to me, because otherwise you will just post links to papers that do not constitute empirical evidence, either because you don't understand the paper or because you don't understand the term "empirical" (hence the dictionary definition). I want to know what you think the empirical evidence is for strong positive feedback and for human attribution.

That you don't understand this is key to your unscientific stance here. Everything you and others of your faith have said here is completely at odds with sound science. Every logical fallacy (head counts, appeals to authority, ad hominem, argument to ignorance), reference to models as evidence, conflating correlation with causation etc. all comes down to your lack of understanding of that question.

That question, "what is the empirical evidence?" is at the heart of good science - and you cannot answer it and appear not to even comprehend it.
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written by Random, July 29, 2012
Camus
"It is really obvious, even a non-scientist like you would notice it," ... And really you have no idea what my background is
No, but I know you are a non-scientist

No scientist would be confused by someone asking for empirical evidence. You might hold a science degree, or even work in science. That does not make you a scientist, any more than the dog I saw on the flight deck was a pilot. If you don't understand the most fundamental concept in science, or even seem to comprehend that it has any importance, then you are not a scientist.
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written by Camus, July 29, 2012
Random: "That you don't understand this is key to your unscientific stance here. Everything you and others of your faith have said here is completely at odds with sound science. Every logical fallacy (head counts, appeals to authority, ad hominem, argument to ignorance), reference to models as evidence, conflating correlation with causation etc. all comes down to your lack of understanding of that question."

lol. yeah, I guess I don't understand science (Ph.D. in a social science, with emphasis on methodology, which is roughly equivalent to a Ph.D. in statistics.). Nor do all of the other expert climatologists who actually are able to publish in scientific peer-reviewed publications, in spite of their complete lack of understanding of science. I look forward to your own peer-reviewed publication that points out how all of the science is flawed. please do alert me when you have accomplished this. Thanks in advance.
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written by Camus, July 29, 2012
Random: "No scientist would be confused by someone asking for empirical evidence. You might hold a science degree, or even work in science. That does not make you a scientist, any more than the dog I saw on the flight deck was a pilot. If you don't understand the most fundamental concept in science, or even seem to comprehend that it has any importance, then you are not a scientist. "

I'm not confused about what the question means, or why such a question would be of some import. I'm somewhat confused about why you would ask it, given the enormous volume of empirical evidence that has hitherto been published. Again, would you like a comprehensive bibliography? or...what exactly are you looking for? We've already discussed the empirical models, which I think we agreed constitute empirical evidence since they are tested against empirical data. Are we no longer in agreement on this point? or did I misunderstand prior comments?
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written by Camus, July 29, 2012
Random: "Everything you and others of your faith have said here is completely at odds with sound science. Every logical fallacy (head counts, appeals to authority, ad hominem, argument to ignorance), reference to models as evidence, conflating correlation with causation etc. all comes down to your lack of understanding of that question.'

This is worth "deconstructing." Since I like to be helpful, I'll provide the appropriate translations.

Every logical fallacy

head counts: our side has been entirely unable to publish research in peer reviewed scientific journals. So it's no fair appealing to research published in scientific publications!!!!

appeals to authority: See above. Also, conflate the logical fallacy of "appeals to *an irrelevant authority* with pointing towards the relevant published science.

ad hominem: wow. They have directly accused various scientists of falsifying evidence and continue to refuse to provide evidence of such, in spite of repeated requests. I don't suspect such evidence ever will be provided. It's called "projection." Accuse others of your own bad behavior.

argument to ignorance: I confess, I am unfamiliar with this phrase. So...what?

Reference to models as evidence - this is just stupid. I thought we sorted this out earlier.

Conflating correlation with causation - 'I'm going to repeat something I learned in statistics 101 and pretend it's a valid argument, even though the argument has absolutely no relevance to the issue at hand."

"all comes down to your lack of understanding of that question." - I have a small penis.

Just trying to be helpful folks.
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written by JonK, July 29, 2012
Good lord. I had to read “Random’s” post twice to believe it.

To support his erroneous contention that tens of thousands of scientists ”… say that the IPCC is wrong about CAGW…”, he appears to be resurrecting the long-discredited “Oregon Petition”, which was originally about the Kyoto Protocols. The “new” version from the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (which has done little of either), includes thousands of the same names even though many of those alleged signees say they did not sign the petition.

(Perhaps “Random” is citing some other survey? He gives no reference in his post, but I cannot find any other study that allegedly involves 30,000 “scientists”.)

I received one of those petition letters from the late Dr. Frederick Seitz, then OISM president and well-known apologist for the tobacco industry, thanks to my appearance in American Men and Women of Science. It was accompanied by a fake “journal reprint” designed to look as if it had originally appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences . The article contained so many errors and deceptions supporting an anti-AGW agenda, that explaining its numerous shortcomings was almost a mini-course in climate science.

The paper, with only minor changes and none of the corrections, re-appeared with the “new” petition, now credited to publication in Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, a publication of the ultra-conservative Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and which is not listed in any major academic literature databases. That may be because its articles have claimed that vaccination is harmful, HIV does not cause AIDS, abortions are linked to increases in breast cancer, that illegal aliens have caused a spike in U.S. leprosy cases—all demonstrably bogus science. A publication of the American Chemical Society described the journal as a "purveyor of utter nonsense."

Various reviews of the alleged signers of the petition showed few climate scientists. Other scientists have said they do not recall ever signing the petition or have since renounced the claims for which it is currently being used. (A number of these signers did have concerns over the terms of the Kyoto protocol, but did not question AGW .) The petition itself had no rigorous vetting process nor did it supply information to allow others to vet it.

There are, of course, dozens of surveys out there that queried actual climatologists and other verified scientists (providing in most cases affiliations so that others could “repeat the work”, a characteristic of real science). A small sampling can be found in Wikipedia under the title “Surveys of scientists' views on climate change”. Almost uniformly they show that the clear majority of scientists believe that human activity is causing global warming.

For “Random” to cite instead the “Oregon Petition” and/or its “follow-up” is so misleading that I am shocked. I’ve had enough. I’m out of here.







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written by nickquest, July 29, 2012
Was anyone going to address the issues in the video linked by tmac57? I thought it was pretty convincing and thorough in support of The Hockey Stick (not just Mann's version), strong feedback, and against a medieval warm period warmer than today's climate. It made assertions that the "The Anti Hockey Stick" which shows stronger medieval warming and is used by critics of climate science, is in fact of unknown origin and even according to it's own earliest sources was not intended to represent global climate. That most of the readings used were from Europe. Not only that, but that none of the other graphs which don't show a spike in the last 30 years are done with original research and are in fact just copies of earlier graphs with the increase in temp cut off at the end and the time scale moved over to hide it. I was expecting some debate over this because it seemed quite damning and potentially very verifiable and or disprovable. I'm not making any of my own assertions as to it's authenticity. I just want to know how credible people on both sides of the argument find this information.
http://youtu.be/CY4Yecsx_-s
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written by Random, July 29, 2012
Camus

Hahahahaha

Now you are the one being dishonest.

You claim there is so much empirical evidence, yet you still can't tell us about any of it. I specifically asked you just to describe such evidence. No bibliography. No link unless it is really obscure and unlikely. Just tell me what the evidence is.

Instead you offer pathetic excuses for using fallacies. They are still fallacies. Fallacies are just the trivial yapping of small minds. Science requires evidence. You admit, by your refusal to talk about such evidence, that you know of none.

JonK

You really go so deep into a fallacy?

There are tens of thousands of scientists in disagreement with the IPCC. That is beyond dispute, although you might believe the manufactured consensus (at least you don't mention 97%).

However to say that most climatologists believe does make you look particularly naive. I am sure that most priests believe in God, but that is not an argument that God exists.

However in the end it does not matter. Mentioning the tens of thousands who do disagree was only to point out Camus was wrong, had believed the lies. The head count is a fallacy.

Thousands of people die, indeed are still dying, because almost all people in health and nutrition believe that eating fat causes people to get fat and is a major causal factor in heart disease. This idea was spread much as CAGW, by bullying and political manoeuvring of the believers against the dissenters, and by the believers lying that there was no dissent. Like CAGW they persuaded the politicians, who then had governments worldwide publish advice for people to eat less fat and more carbohydrates. Now, all of a sudden, there is increasing evidence that fat is pretty harmless, and carbohydrates, particularly sugars found in fruits that are so good for us, cause obesity and heart disease. Ooops.

The other thing in common between the two cases? No empirical evidence.

So what do you think is the empirical evidence.
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written by Random, July 29, 2012
Oh, and Camus

The reason things are taught in basic maths courses (note: to read physical sciences I had to do a full first-year maths course, after having sat 2 A-levels in the subject; stats 101 was for the biological scientists) is because they are true and important. That you joke about me mentioning it means one of two things.

First, perhaps you don't understand it. You see correlation and assume causation. You are wrong, and the failure is, as you point out, the most basic of statistics.

Second you are dishonest (again). You realise that assuming causation from correlation is wrong, but wish to put up a smokescreen, by mentioning it as being basic statistics. What you do not address is why it is basic statistics: it is a common error, and it is always an error.

So what is the empirical evidence?
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written by Random, July 29, 2012
And today we find out that US NOAA have massively exaggerated the temperature trend. Given that the entire trend is artificial in Australia, New Zealand, Russia, The Netherlands and Iceland, and given that this is a study that has only been made for the USA, how msh is the total exaggeration of the mean trends?
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written by Random, July 29, 2012
Hmmm. Link is bad. This is the new paper:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/201...more-68286
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written by Camus, July 29, 2012
JonK - For “Random” to cite instead the “Oregon Petition” and/or its “follow-up” is so misleading that I am shocked. I’ve had enough. I’m out of here. "

Wow. Thanks for noting that. I confess that at this point I am only quickly scanning Random's posts, so I entirely missed this particular claim. I agree that debating such intellectually dishonest persons is rather pointless. I do try to point out the more egregious errors since I suspect that some individuals may be reading this thread that are on the fence and truly want to understand the science. But, unlike yourself, I can no longer be "shocked" by the denialists, who think nothing of slandering legitimate scientists without providing a shred of evidence. Hope you stay on here though.
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written by Camus, July 29, 2012
Nickquest: "Was anyone going to address the issues in the video linked by tmac57? I thought it was pretty convincing and thorough in support of The Hockey Stick (not just Mann's version), strong feedback, and against a medieval warm period warmer than today's climate. It made assertions that the "The Anti Hockey Stick" which shows stronger medieval warming and is used by critics of climate science, is in fact of unknown origin and even according to it's own earliest sources was not intended to represent global climate. That most of the readings used were from Europe. Not only that, but that none of the other graphs which don't show a spike in the last 30 years are done with original research and are in fact just copies of earlier graphs with the increase in temp cut off at the end and the time scale moved over to hide it. I was expecting some debate over this because it seemed quite damning and potentially very verifiable and or disprovable. I'm not making any of my own assertions as to it's authenticity. I just want to know how credible people on both sides of the argument find this information. "

Thanks for the pointer, i'll have a look at the vid. I did provide a link from RealClimate that addresses some of the fallacies, and, quite frankly, intellectual dishonesty of those attacking the "hockey stick."
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written by Camus, July 29, 2012
Random: "The reason things are taught in basic maths courses (note: to read physical sciences I had to do a full first-year maths course, after having sat 2 A-levels in the subject; stats 101 was for the biological scientists) is because they are true and important. That you joke about me mentioning it means one of two things.

First, perhaps you don't understand it. You see correlation and assume causation. You are wrong, and the failure is, as you point out, the most basic of statistics.

Second you are dishonest (again). You realise that assuming causation from correlation is wrong, but wish to put up a smokescreen, by mentioning it as being basic statistics. What you do not address is why it is basic statistics: it is a common error, and it is always an error. "

i don't even know what to say, other than

1. Are you drunk?

2. Look up the term "assume."
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written by Camus, July 29, 2012
Random: "And today we find out that US NOAA have massively exaggerated the temperature trend."

This gem links to a post by noted denialist Anthony Watts. Prior bogus "studies" from this individuals claimed that observed warming was entirely an artifact of the "urban heat-island effect," a view that has now been thoroughly discredited. If and when he gets his latest "research" published in anything like a reputable journal, get back to me. I'm not holding my breath. The NOAA reconstructions have been replicated very precisely by numerous independent studies, most recently by former skeptic Muller, as we have already discussed.
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written by Camus, July 29, 2012
Random: "This idea was spread much as CAGW, by bullying and political manoeuvring of the believers against the dissenters, and by the believers lying that there was no dissent. Like CAGW they persuaded the politicians, who then had governments worldwide publish advice for people to eat less fat and more carbohydrates. Now, all of a sudden, there is increasing evidence that fat is pretty harmless, and carbohydrates, particularly sugars found in fruits that are so good for us, cause obesity and heart disease. Ooops. "

1. Wow.
2. yes, Random, please eat more fat. It's good for you, notwithstanding the hole cardiovascular disease epidemic plaguing the Western world.
3. Hey, I enjoy a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy, but please try to make it a little more believable. A good theory will possess a degree of verisimilitude, like, say, the theory that aliens abducted JFK and the body was merely a biologically engineered decoy.
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written by Camus, July 29, 2012
Some may be interested in Richard Muller's recent conversion to the climate change science. hint - the conversion is based on science. Here is his recent oped in the NYTs: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07....html?_r=1
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written by JonK, July 29, 2012
In the 1950s Senator Joe McCarthy proclaimed that he had a list of 205 Communists in the U.S. State Department. He never produced that list. Just this year Rep. Allen West said he had a list of 80 Communists in the U.S. House of Representatives. Proof: none.

Then "Random" tells us that 30,000 scientists have signed a petition saying that the IPCC is wrong on (C)AGW. Sigh.

Rather than produce that list, he now tells us that there are a non-specific "tens of thousands of scientists in disagreement with the IPCC" and reassures us (with no reference) "[t]hat is beyond dispute." Wow. That sure convinces me! "Random" says it is beyond dispute so it must be. Who needs a reference?

Come on, "Random", admit your 30,000 number came from the notorious, long-discredited "Oregon Petition",signed by god-knows-who (since the[sponsors will not release affiliations)and representing a miniscule fraction of working scientists, if even that.

But more relevant is that you would even bring this bogus number up.

As for dismissing the consensus of those actually working in the field? Well, the next time you need surgery, "Random", go to a plumber, since you don't think scientific training and expertise matter.
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Empirical Evidence -- Reply to Random
written by rogue74656, July 29, 2012
Random:

You have been provided provided with empirical evidence. If English is not your native language and you are having problems understanding this, I apologize. If this is not the case, then since (in your own words) "No scientist would be confused by someone asking for empirical evidence" you betray your lack of knowledge and experience in science.

Random quoted From Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Definition of EMPIRICAL
1 : originating in or based on observation or experience


I have provided evidence meeting this definintion: (I repeat)
a) CO2 absorbs and re-radiates IR energy. (OBServation)
b) A greenhouse temperature effect vs. concentration graph for CO2 can be experimentally determined in the lab. (OBS)
c) For about 100 years, humans have been releasing CO2 that had been sequestered for millions of years. (OBS)
d) MEASURED CO2 levels have been increasing for the last 50 years. (OBS)

These four OBSERVATIONS/EXPERIMENTS predict antropogenic climate change.

e) Climate models are developed using known data. They are used to "predict" known current data. If these "predictions" do not match the known data, the model is modified. Only when the model has reached a certain level of accuracy is it used to predict future unknown climate. Because it "originates" from measured data (observation) it IS empirical data.

2 : relying on experience or observation alone often without due regard for system and theory

If you are using this definition ALONE, then you setting up a stawman arguement. As I stated before: "It seems you are asking for a Crocoduck...there is not going to be a single piece of data that, in isolation, supports CAGW...this is a case, like evolution, of multiple lines of evidence pointing to a conclusion." Do I understand you correctly that you will not accept ANY modeling data as valid unless it has been compared to actual data (2020 predictions are not valid until it can be compared to measurements in 2020, for example) from that year? This is just a variation of the "Were you there to observe it" argument against evolution.

3 : capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment

There are observations and experiments that could confirm or conradict AGW...if they are replicated or supported by other researchers.
Current data is used to validate prior climate predictions and further refine models for future predictions.

4 : of or relating to empiricism
This is a circular definition that does not affect this discussion.


Random wrote:
Empirical evidence. Not models. Don't even address the known deep flaws in the models. Even if the models were not known to be flawed, then they are also not known to be correct until there is empirical evidence. No-one believed Newton just because of the beauty of his models of motion. They believed him, and his models became laws and what they predicted became sound science when the empirical evidence confirmed the predictions.

You have been shown Empirical evidence and choose to dismiss it. There is no way to predict without using models.
Predictions of prior climate models have been supported.

The arguments you present are really just an application of creationist arguments against evolution...
You call for evidence, but ignore it when presented (if it contradicts your viewpoint)
You engage in ad hominem attacks against climate scientists, but
You appeal to authority if a "scientist" agrees with you,
You move the goalposts
Your standards of evidence (and credentials) vary based on view.
All of your arguments have been answered here: http://www.youtube.com/playlis...ature=plcp

It is because of this empirical evidence that we call you a "denier" rather than a skeptic.

I do not come to my views lightly or hold them in the face of evidence. I have been lucky enough to discuss many of these issues with climate researchers because my local university has the world's best Meteorology program and has had many visiting climate scientists and Nobel laureates. One of the last presentations I attended discussed why WINTER weather (in this region) has been more severe because of, rather than despite, a warming climate. I teach Environmental Science, so feel an obligation to answer your questions even though it seems a lost cause. (Before you make the standard "those who can" comment, I have worked in a research lab and designed a major piece of equipment for a current US Navy research project...)

I understand what I have communicated and when I don't understand something, I say so and go research it.
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written by tmac57, July 30, 2012
I would like to second rogue74656's playlist suggestion,and pay special attention to the Monckton videos 17-21,because they show how intellectually dishonest the denier movement is.That is because despite the clear evidence that Peter Hadfield shows debunking Monckton,the denier blog-o-sphere circled the wagons around Monckton,and refused to deal with the fact that he is not just mistaken (anyone can make a mistake after all)in his views,but that he will not admit and correct his errors which should in any real skeptic's mind destroy any credibility that he might have had,yet still many of the AGW 'skeptics' defend the Lord Monckton in the most obsequious manner as to turn one's stomach.
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written by Steel Rat, July 30, 2012
Here is why Mann's hockey stick is spurious: http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckit...ystick.pdf
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written by tmac57, July 30, 2012
Here is why Mann's hockey stick is NOT spurious:http://www.skepticalscience.co...-stick.htm
And even if it were (from that same article):
While many continue to fixate on Mann's early work on proxy records, the science of paleoclimatology has moved on. Since 1999, there have been many independent reconstructions of past temperatures, using a variety of proxy data and a number of different methodologies. All find the same result - that the last few decades are the hottest in the last 500 to 2000 years (depending on how far back the reconstruction goes).
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written by Camus, July 30, 2012
We seem to be chasing our tales. Steel Rat once again cites McKitrick (of the duo McIntyre & McKitrick), though this time the pointer is to what appears to be a non-peer-reviewed non-published manuscript. As as been pointed out here numerous times, this pair is not well respected among climate scientists (McKitrick is, in fact, an economist with no particular expertise in climatology). As I noticed before, a few of their claims may be technical correct but substantively irrelevant, and many of them are flat-out wrong. For example, see Rutherford et al publication in 2005 in Journal of Climate. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=10
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