Patterico's Pontifications

4/19/2007

Notes From A Proud Global Warming Skeptic (Part 8)

Filed under: Accepted Wisdom,Environment — Justin Levine @ 11:02 am

[posted by Justin Levine]

More “consensus” alert here and here.

Questions raised by the first link listed above

 

Just how many climate scientists are there in the world?  2,500 seems like a rather small fraction of them, so I doubt that the IPCC has the authority to speak for the “scientific community” (whatever that might mean) – but I admittedly have no idea how many there are world wide (or just how broadly the term “climate scientist” might be defined).

Did all 2,500 perform independent research in coming to the “consensus”? I doubt it. More likely, only a small handful have done research into the question, and the rest probably just followed along and took what their peers said at face value. Those who didn’t take the research at face value likely got fed up with the IPCC and left. Since there is no formal competing organization with the IPCC, it can then still maintain that their report constitutes “consensus”.

As the article points out:

Mahi Sideridou, climate policy director at environmental group Greenpeace, rejected criticism of the IPCC.

“Saying that the IPCC is not balanced is probably the most ridiculous claim that anybody can make,” she said, stressing the group’s reports were based on scientific consensus.

Just keep repeating that over and over again until you convince yourself…”consensus”, “consensus”, “consensus”…no need for debate or for questioning the motives of a small fraction of the world’s scientists because there is already “consensus”.

A magical word that “consensus” is.

As for Roy Spencer, we all know that we don’t have to listen to this “principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and former NASA scientist”. Because after all, he gave his speech to the “Republican Women of Madison during a lunch meeting”. That proves that Spencer is in the pocket of big oil and is simply lying about the issue in order to line his own pocket.

So rest assured, there is still “consensus” because those that dispute the “consensus” don’t count.

38 Responses to “Notes From A Proud Global Warming Skeptic (Part 8)”

  1. Anthropogenic global warming is faith-based science. As is common among religious fanatics, heretics get persecuted and supressed.

    What percentage of total warming do the alarmists allege is accounted for by man’s activities? What percentage can be remediated?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  2. Past scientific consensuses.

    Dinosaurs were cold blooded.
    The Clovis people were the earliest people to come to America.
    The Earth is flat.
    The sun revolves around the earth.
    DDT is very harmful to animals and shouldn’t be used.

    Hard Right (7900e3)

  3. Ah, Roy Spencer. Seems so nice, funny guy, does spoof websites with a good slice of humor.

    What’s this? He’s also an Intelligent Design advocate? Here’s Spencer on that issue in 2005:

    “Twenty years ago, as a PhD scientist, I intensely studied the evolution versus intelligent design controversy for about two years. And finally, despite my previous acceptance of evolutionary theory as ‘fact,’ I came to the realization that intelligent design, as a theory of origins, is no more religious, and no less scientific, than evolutionism. . . .”

    How embarrassing.

    Keep it up, guys. This is how you chase away the normal people and ensure your party consists entirely of halfwits, loons, freaks and paranoiacs. This is how you lose elections.

    multum_in_parvo (ff7b02)

  4. So, you’ve got a British politician, an economist, and one scientist who dispute the IPCC conclusions. What do you want, 100% agreement from every profession in every field, even those that have nothing to do with climate science?

    You can always find people to dispute anything in the scientific community–there are credentialed people who dispute special relativity, Newtonian gravity, quantum mechanics, evolution, and nearly everything else. These are the most solid theories that exist in science, but there will always be a few “skeptics” out there. Moreover, science can never deal in certainties due to the limitation of inductive reasoning.

    But I’m a year from a bachelor’s in chemistry. I’ve talked to several dozen scientists in my short time in the scientific community, and I’ve never spoken to one that doubted the consensus science. GW skeptics always talk about how they are so oppressed, but I’ve read dozens of columns from such people, most of them from the same few voices: William Kininmonth, Robert Davis, Richard Lindzen, and a few others.

    Really, the concepts behind why carbon dioxide and other chemicals cause global warming are not that difficult to understand. You can easily teach the basics to an intro chemistry class–in fact, I’ve seen it done. But in the end, with scientific uncertainty a fact of life, isn’t the prudent thing to at least make some attempt to reduce our emissions of those chemicals? I mean, even if you argue that we shouldn’t do anything about GW because it would be too expensive, you might think about preparing for it just in case it turns out that all those thousands of scientists weren’t a bunch of hysterical, sky-is-falling liberal cranks.

    Russell (874da3)

  5. Oh, I didn’t know that about Mr. Spencer. Well, in that case, I take back what I said about him being a scientist. A scientist could believe in God, Jesus, the Bible, or any other religion, but if you think intelligent design is a coherent scientific principle, you do not understand science enough to call yourself one. Period.

    Russell (874da3)

  6. “Twenty years ago, as a PhD scientist, I intensely studied the evolution versus intelligent design controversy for about two years. And finally, despite my previous acceptance of evolutionary theory as ‘fact,’ I came to the realization that intelligent design, as a theory of origins, is no more religious, and no less scientific, than evolutionism. . . .”

    How embarrassing.

    Two points.

    1.) Intelligent design and creationism aren’t the same thing though they are related.

    2.) Many scientists believe in intelligent design. I suppose Francis Collins (who heads the human genome project) is a crazy person since his work on the project lead him to convert to christianity and profess a belief in intelligent design.

    Your preconcieved notions of the origin of the universe are no more or less valid than anyone else’s until one of you can prove them.

    Taltos (c99804)

  7. Intelligent Design is, by definition, Creationism. Triple equal sign. It’s Creationism and nothing but Creationism.

    To call ID otherwise is simply dishonest and what’s more glaringly ignorant, because Intelligent Design advocates themselves have admitted ID is Creationism many times (and then later said differently under oath in the Dover case, iirc). Care to go into that discussion? It’s not one that’ll do you honor. Here’s a teaser of where such a debate would go:

    -Early drafts of the book ‘Pandas and People,’ the ‘breakthrough’ text on Intelligent Design Creationism (to use the better title for the pseudo scientific ‘movement’), used the term ‘Creationism.’ The editor (Charles Thaxton) later substitued in the term ‘Intelligent Design.’ That’s where it came from.

    -Philip Johnson, the first ‘giant’ of the field said this in 2004: “Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of Intelligent Design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools.”

    Bye bye.

    Being a Christian, believing in God, all good. Fine with me. I believe in God. Many scientists do.

    Francis Collins does. But apparently you can’t be bothered to do the research before committing to post about him. He’s a believer in God, but he’s hardly a strong believer in ID.

    Again, keep going down this path, conservatives. Fight science. Embrace stupidity on broadest scale. It’s a great way to marginalize yourselves for decades to com.

    multum_in_parvo (ff7b02)

  8. I thought science was based on facts? I guess I was wrong. It’s based on consensus? How, then, is it different from politics?

    Dan S (b17f51)

  9. Again, keep going down this path, conservatives. Fight science. Embrace stupidity on broadest scale. It’s a great way to marginalize yourselves for decades to com.

    1.) I’m not a conservative.

    2.) I love science and have since I was 5 years old.

    3.) I’m hardly stupid.

    4.) I can also spell the word come.

    The theory of intelligent design goes back at least to the ancient greeks and possibly further back. The notion that there was a divine hand in the creation of the universe and the life inhabiting it is very different from the idea that god created the world in six days.

    Oh, and for the record I believe in evolution, though the evidence is sketchy in areas.

    Taltos (c99804)

  10. The truth is the rise in sea levels, the melting glaciers and the careful measurements of scientists pointing toward global warming mean nothing. Nope! All that is junk science! Hell it was cold just yesterday in Bushwacked Montanna the other day and that shows you right there the world cant be warming.

    Much more truly scientific to believe that all the animals in the world were once put on a single boat and saved from a flood that was brought on because of the evil in the world caused when a talking snake tempted some couple to eat some forbidden fruit in a garden.
    Of course, we are all aware that real science says languages came about as a result of a bunch of people building a tower and angering a god because of their pride and not geographical seperation.

    Yes only junk science says the earth is billions of years old when in fact real science says the earth and the grand canyon cannot be more than six thousand years old at most!! Fossiles in the rocks that say different are based on flawed science and were actually put there by a Divine Being tempting us for some reason. Hope none of you succumb to the temptation.

    Global warming is just a conspiracy cooked up by those that hate America and want to destroy the free enterprise system. The same ones that insist we cannot multiply indefinately, have some obligation to preserve the environment ( tree huggers), and are foolishly concerned about limiting the amount of pesticides we can put into the ocean and the number of fish we can take out. These killjoys seem to think there are limits to what we can and cannot do and to my way of thinking that is downright anti-Capitalist.

    I say take and take and take from the Earth and dont worry about pollution or such. If the glaciers do melt and the oceans rise we will not find our lands flooded as the doomsayers would have us believe the excess water would simply roll off the edges! TAKE THAT AL GORE!!!

    There is plenty of junk science around. Like the kind that insists the Earth goes round the Sun and is ROUND!!!

    Charlie (55cd2b)

  11. You’re badly shamed on both counts in your previous post, Taltos, and you come back with a crit of my typo. Well, you got me there. Damn, washed me completely out of the park.

    Now you’re on to the Greeks, and I’ve lost interest. Although now that you mention it I could’ve sworn I saw Pythagoras reading William Dembski on the bus the other day.

    multum_in_parvo (ff7b02)

  12. If you haven’t already, watch The Great Global Warming Swindle:

    Great Global Warming Swindle

    Rainy (836eca)

  13. If science ran by “concensus”, the Earth would still be the center of the Universe.

    N. O'Brain (9056e2)

  14. I thought science was based on facts? I guess I was wrong. It’s based on consensus? How, then, is it different from politics?

    Science is based on facts. However, there is always dispute on how those facts are interpreted; what theoretical models those facts support, and so forth. The unfortunate truth is that science can never provide certainty for anything, because it’s based on induction. The inductive principle (in science, not mathematics) goes something like this:

    1) Every observed A is a B.
    2) Therefore, all A’s are B’s.

    The problems is that there is no way to tell absolutely for sure that is a good step to take. Logically, it doesn’t follow. It could be the case that there are A’s that aren’t B’s that we just haven’t seen.

    But you can’t do any better than science. It’s just the limitation of reality. But like I said, scientists are not some monolithic community in which any theory that holds any air at all has no detractors at all. Every scientific theory has its detractors and people that don’t believe in it. Even the soundest theories attract crazies who want to make their name taking down the biggest theories–one of the things that makes science reliable, incidentally. Every big theory is constantly under assault from those who want to win the Nobel Prize, and is being defended with logical, evidence-based arguments in the journals. In the end, you’re are stuck with consensus as the best way to determine what’s true.

    The difference between science and politics is that scientists all agree about the fundamental assumptions underlying the field, namely the scientific method . Politics is how groups make decisions. While this sometimes has to do with consensus, I say that most of the time it has to do with power, and seldom does it have anything to do evidence.

    Russell (874da3)

  15. Oh, and as far as intelligent design goes, we could argue all day as to whether it’s creationism or not, and frankly I don’t care. Intelligent design is not science. That has nothing to do with whether it is true or a reasonable thing to believe. It’s metaphysics.

    In order for something to be a scientific theory, there has to have testable assumptions. Otherwise, it’s no good. You can’t test ID.

    Russell (874da3)

  16. In order for something to be a scientific theory, there has to have testable assumptions. Otherwise, it’s no good. You can’t test ID.

    Nor can you test anthropogenic carbon-based “global warming.” Does that render “global warming” to the same logical equivalent as ID?

    Not to play Galileo to your Bellarmine, but for “global warming” to be a theory, it must stand tests of reproduction and failure. Thus far, it has not.

    The primary basis thus far for the GW hypothesis has been inductive, which has led to a colossal cum hoc ergo propter hoc belief system that is every bit as rational as intelligent design or creationism.

    Science is not consensus. It either is, or it isn’t. If it cannot be demonstrated or recreated, then it isn’t. Period.

    One quick way to see who is less surefooted in the basis for their arguments is to look for those who engage in goalpoast shifting.

    Example: This last hurricane season was supposed to be on equal to that of the previous season that gave us Katrina and her sisters, because of the “hottest summer on record” (which wasn’t), yadda-yadda-yadda. The result? No hurricanes struck the CONUS. Now, the reason given for that is that higher temperatures in the CONUS caused wind shear, which chopped the tops off of the hurricanes while still in the Atlantic, causing them to veer harmlessly into the North Atlantic or down into the Caribbean. So, we go to the NOAA, and they provide a nice little graphic indicating that warmer SSTs and lower wind shear will occur.

    Damn. Who moved those goalpoasts again?

    We are told over and over: If it’s too hot, it’s GW-caused. If it’s too cold, it’s GW-caused. If it’s just right, it’s a transient positive side effect caused by GW, but people in Micronesia are about to drown right now while you sip your chai latte in perfect comfort.

    Unless and until anthropogenic causation of carbon emissions can be demonstrated physically (NOT on computer models) to cause planetary climate change, I ain’t buying.

    But unfortunately, it looks like I’ll have to pay.

    JD (044292)

  17. “In order for something to be a scientific theory, there has to have testable assumptions. Otherwise, it’s no good. You can’t test ID.”

    What an idiotic statement. There are TWO ways to test a hypothesis. One: direct measure or observation, or Two: statistical comparison where a negative hypothesis is disproven. Both still have a margin of error, with the second method a much larger error.

    Show me a TESTABLE environment where the increase of CO2 has resulted in the multiplicative effect on H20 (which is required for the dire consequences described by the modelers).

    JFH (a04690)

  18. Damn, JD said it much better… then again I had to put the kids to bed while I was commenting.

    JFH (a04690)

  19. It’s cow farts! Clinton did it too!

    The Japanese have a novel approach to challenges.

    They don’t bother to fix blame, they fix the problem.

    Does it matter what percentage is contributed by
    humans? Get busy or face the consequences.
    Otherwise, Mother Earth is going to shake us off
    like a headcold.

    semanticleo (2f60f4)

  20. The difference between science and politics is that scientists all agree about the fundamental assumptions underlying the field, namely the scientific method.

    Much of the global warming “science” violates the scientific method. GW enthusiasts cannot provide repeatable or replicating results for next week’s weather, much less accurate weather predictions 100 years from now. But rather that doubt their science, they use the political process to provide them with billions of dollars of additional research money to “prove” their already discredited GW science.

    At 6:10 pm, it is currently 69 degrees in Las Vegas, what is the correct temperature for Las Vegas for this time and date?

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  21. Hey perfect sense, there is no “correct temperature” for any given place at any given time but if the average temperature is two degrees higher this century than last, I would say that is evidence of global warming and you are very casual in your remarks that much global science violates the scientific method..all without showing that.

    This is just another case of people wanting to ignore the inconvenient and unpleasant in favor of what is pleasant and doesnt demand any sacrifice of them. What reason could you possibly give for the large numbers of scientists who say global warming is real?

    How do you explain the melting of the glaciers or is this too just some kind of Clinton Liberal conspiracy?

    Charlie (55cd2b)


  22. Now you’re on to the Greeks, and I’ve lost interest. Although now that you mention it I could’ve sworn I saw Pythagoras reading William Dembski on the bus the other day.

    You’re arguing that the theory of Intelligent Design is the same as creationism based on what some guy who wrote a book said. I was pointing out that the theory of a divine hand in the creation of the universe existed long before there were christians let alone creationists.

    Taltos (c99804)

  23. Some of the GW predictions derive from computer model simulations. I’m a programmer. Are any of these models available to the public, including the source code and documentation? It might be fun to inspect some of these models, and play with the inputs to see what happens.

    quraina (1f6b29)

  24. What reason could you possibly give for the large numbers of scientists who say global warming is real?

    How do you explain the melting of the glaciers or is this too just some kind of Clinton Liberal conspiracy?

    1.) Money. Who says the planet isn’t warming? Earth has a variable climate that is always either warming or cooling, the question is whether or not we’re having an impact. The minute nature of the human impact on the atmosphere just doesn’t support the “man is ending the world” scenario.

    2.) Which glaciers? All the actual data I’ve seen(if I recall they are planning to double check with satellite scans) says that the ice sheet in Antarctica is thickening and the only ice falling off is from the spur that reaches toward South America into much warmer waters.

    Taltos (c99804)

  25. Based on the comments so far, I’d say my initial comment about GW fanatics and the persecution of heretics was right on the money.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  26. Typo–I said “testable assumptions” when I meant “testable predictions.” Sorry.

    Much of the global warming “science” violates the scientific method. GW enthusiasts cannot provide repeatable or replicating results for next week’s weather, much less accurate weather predictions 100 years from now.

    What the weathermen are saying has nothing to do with climate science.

    Science is not consensus. It either is, or it isn’t. If it cannot be demonstrated or recreated, then it isn’t. Period.

    I disagree. Did you read what I have written? It’s not a disagreement as to what the data say, it’s a disagreement about what theories the data support. You can find credentialed scientists that disagree with Newtonian gravity. They don’t disagree that this theory makes testable predictions that are verified by experiment, they think that there is another theory that the data supports better.

    The thing about global warming is that if you want conclusive proof that global warming is going to cause a disaster, then you have to wait until it’s too late.

    Unless and until anthropogenic causation of carbon emissions can be demonstrated physically (NOT on computer models) to cause planetary climate change, I ain’t buying.

    What kind of evidence do you want? Quantum mechanics tells us that CO2, CH4, and other molecules that we create in vast quantities absorb in the infrared (because of a net dipole moment change), which makes them reflect some of the IR emitted by the earth back to the earth. We know also that the earth is warming, and historically, the temperature of the earth has followed closely the concentration of atmospheric carbon. In fact, if we look at data from the last 400,000 years or so, the earth should be warmer than it is–something that can be explained by other chemicals (most notably sulfate aerosols) which reflect incoming visible light and cause cooling. Unfortunately, the balance is still toward the warming side.

    In short, we have a theoretical model that accounts for a vast amount of historical data and the data we have today. You can’t experiment on the earth in our kind of timescale, so that’s the best you can do, scientifically speaking. The theories are testable, and new data are coming all the time. So because we can’t see the future, that justifies doing nothing? Because it’s going to screw up the economy?

    Russell (874da3)

  27. You know what gets me? Lets assume that the AGW people are right, that increased co2 is going to cause catastrophic results. Now, we know that of the co2 released into the atmosphere every year, humans are responsible for a small fraction.

    Question, how do we stop the rest, bottle the oceans and kill all the plants and animals?

    Taltos (c99804)

  28. The thing about global warming is that if you want conclusive proof that global warming is going to cause a disaster, then you have to wait until it’s too late.

    And so makes the appearance of The Precautionary Principle. I was wondering what would take it so long to rear its ugly head…

    What kind of evidence do you want? Quantum mechanics tells us that CO2, CH4, and other molecules that we create in vast quantities absorb in the infrared (because of a net dipole moment change), which makes them reflect some of the IR emitted by the earth back to the earth. We know also that the earth is warming, and historically, the temperature of the earth has followed closely the concentration of atmospheric carbon.

    But is it anthropogenic carbon, or naturally occurring carbon discharges (seismics, faunal emissions, etc.?) You can’t possibly quantify what is responsible for what, so instead you have declared that homo sapiens is responsible – after all, what else could it be?

    In fact, if we look at data from the last 400,000 years or so, the earth should be warmer than it is–something that can be explained by other chemicals (most notably sulfate aerosols) which reflect incoming visible light and cause cooling. Unfortunately, the balance is still toward the warming side.

    Two words: Solar cycles. Look it up.

    There is nothing that we, here, on Terra could do that would overpower the naturally occurring effects of the sun, or of seismic events such as Pinatubo or St. Helens or Krakatoa, all of which ejected so much particulate and carbon into the atmosphere that global temperatures were affected for months afterward.

    In short, we have a theoretical model that accounts for a vast amount of historical data and the data we have today. You can’t experiment on the earth in our kind of timescale, so that’s the best you can do, scientifically speaking.

    Rubbish. You are going straight back to the cum hoc approach to science, which never gets honest results, because the starting premise is so central to the hypothesis.

    The theories are testable, and new data are coming all the time.

    Then provide links to the actual tests, and not “computer models.”

    So because we can’t see the future, that justifies doing nothing? Because it’s going to screw up the economy

    Damn skippy. Why? Because it’s only going to screw up one segment of the economy – those nations who are stupid enough to go along with this cockamamie hypothesis – which IMHO is the point of all of this, that certain economies fare better than others, and so need to be taken down an economic peg or two.

    All the other “developing” nations (including China and India) will cheerfully go along as they have in the past, burning carbon till hell freezes over, which will in turn force the “compliant” nations into ever-more restrictive economic policies to try to rein in the effect in the planet which, by every estimation in the GW culture, will reduce planetary temperatures by 0.2 degrees centigrade at a 70 year time frame.

    At a cost of billions, conceivably even trillions.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    JD (044292)

  29. I have not seen any evidence of the scientific method to support GW. As was stated previously, the top scientists in the field cannot reliably predict the weather 5 days from now, how can “GW” scientists predict what 10, 20, 50 years from now will be like? Monday’s newspaper said Friday will be partly cloudy. Today it says Friday will be rain. We will only know tomorrow what will really happen tomorrow.

    I can remember years ago seeing pictures and movies of pieces of glacier falling off into the ocean. So to explain that, it appears to have been happening all of the time. How do you explain the ice pack getting thicker? How do you explain the naming of “Greenland”? How do you explain no appreciable rise in the level of the ocean (I live 3 miles from the pacific)? How do you explain no appreciable rise in the earth’s temperature during the industrial revolution, where pollutants were dumped straight into the sky? Here are some actual events that occured and could be measured, yet don’t fit the consensus theory.

    It appears that the GW scientists acknowledge there were previous ice ages. So if Man didn’t cause the earth’s temperature to change back then, why would we assume changes today are automatically caused by Man? And if the earth does warm up, why automatically assume that is bad? Maybe we could grow more food. Maybe fewer homeless people will die during the winter.

    I remember hearing a few decades ago about the “consensus” prediction of global cooling. At least with weather predictions, the scientists look back when they get it wrong and try to figure out why. With Global Cooling/Global Warming/Climate Change, the consensus doesn’t admit errors, they “explain” that the opposite of their prediction proves their theory. That is not any kind of scientific method I’ve ever heard of.

    And please, you have to admit GW is just theory. Please?

    OC Chuck (53c026)

  30. But is it anthropogenic carbon, or naturally occurring carbon discharges (seismics, faunal emissions, etc.?) You can’t possibly quantify what is responsible for what, so instead you have declared that homo sapiens is responsible – after all, what else could it be?

    Of course you can’t quantify it exactly. But you do agree that setting fire to hydrocarbons produces carbon dioxide, right? You do agree that we do this a lot, right? You’re telling me that it’s a coincidence that CO2 concentrations have increased 37% since the industrial revolution?

    As for solar cycles, a 2003 study in the Journal of Climate concluded that though the effects of solar forcing had been underestimated, “the results confirm previous analyses showing that greenhouse gas increases explain most of the global warming observed in the second half of the twentieth century.”

    As for volcanoes, those are local phenomena. Might have an effect for a month or so but not a long-term problem.

    You know, I agree that trying to do something about climate change is probably not going to do a damn bit of difference. But at the very least I think we should get ready for what might happen (as opposed to trying to stop it). But what bothers me is your flippant dismissal of basically all climate science as cum hoc and therefore worthless.

    Rubbish. You are going straight back to the cum hoc approach to science, which never gets honest results, because the starting premise is so central to the hypothesis.

    What are you talking about? How do you define the “cum hoc” approach? I came up with a mechanism of causation. It’s not just simple correlation.

    Russell (874da3)

  31. That is not any kind of scientific method I’ve ever heard of.

    What is your definition of the scientific method?

    Russell (874da3)

  32. TIME has already made abunch of rediclous suggestions on how to stop GLOBAL WARMING which is not happening the better idea would be to cancil your subcription to TIME i mean how many trees are cut down just to print this liberal rag?

    krazy kagu (f085bf)

  33. If you haven’t already, watch The Great Global Warming Swindle:

    Great Global Warming Swindle

    Comment by Rainy

    Late to the party, but…

    I forget the scientist’s name, but in that documentary he said he had threatened lawsuits to get his name off the IPCC report.

    Found it interesting given Patterico’s post.

    ampdead (d28e0f)

  34. What is your definition of the scientific method?

    The scientific method I’ve been exposed to involves making a hypothesis, setting up a controlled test, testing it, changing the variables, and conducting more tests until the hypothesis cannot be disproved. Objectivity is also involved. Check out Scientific Method.

    The GW crowd started at the hypothesis stage, and jumped directly to the conclusion. Where is the testing? Where is the trying to disprove the theory?

    OC Chuck (53c026)

  35. Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia definition:

    Falsifiability, or the elimination of plausible alternatives. This is a gradual process that requires repeated experiments by multiple researchers who must be able to replicate results in order to corroborate them. This requirement, one of the most frequently contended, leads to the following: All hypotheses and theories are in principle subject to disproof. Thus, there is a point at which there might be a consensus about a particular hypothesis or theory, yet it must in principle remain tentative. As a body of knowledge grows and a particular hypothesis or theory repeatedly brings predictable results, confidence in the hypothesis or theory increases.

    OC Chuck (53c026)

  36. When you predict that the hurricane season will be the worst, and the result is significantly different, the Falsifiability step cannot be completed. When you predict that the ice caps are diminishing then the overall thickness increases, that step cannot be completed. When you predict that the oceans will rise and they don’t… When you predict that winters will be milder and they end up being colder… (follow the pattern?)

    That is what I mean by Scientific Method.

    OC Chuck (53c026)

  37. Russell #26, you say, “We know also that the earth is warming, and historically, the temperature of the earth has followed closely the concentration of atmospheric carbon. In fact, if we look at data from the last 400,000 years or so, the earth should be warmer than it is…”

    I’m afraid you’ve got it completely backwards. In fact, it is the concentration of atmospheric carbon that has followed closely the temperature of the earth, as even the IPCC report admits. In both the transitions to and from the ice ages, the CO2 concentration has lagged the temperature change, typically by about 800 years. So these relationships provide evidence that global warming causes increased CO2, but they provide no evidence that increased CO2 causes global warming.

    And basic thermodynamics provides the mechanism for this — warmer liquids provide less solubility for gasses than cooler liquids, so the warming causes outgassing from the oceans.

    (Note that I am not claiming that the present warming is causing the present increased CO2, just that what you cite makes absolutely no case for the opposite direction of causality.)

    And the quantum mechanics you cite indicates that a doubling of CO2 would cause an average global warming of less than 1 degree C, other things remainimg equal, something knowledgeable “warmers” and “skeptics” alike agree upon. The question then becomes whether other things remain substantially equal, or whether they provide amplifying effects (positive feedbacks) or dampening effets (negative feedbacks).

    The computer models that get everyone so excited assume (yes, assume) substantial amplifying effects, mostly from huge additional amounts of water vapor — enough to keep relative humidity constant (so far not well borne out by observations). They also assume that increased clouds from this water vapor provide a net warming, reflecting back more surface infrared than visibile sunlight (also not well borne out by observations).

    When you say, “we have a theoretical model that accounts for a vast amount of historical data and the data we have today”, just what theory are you really referring to?

    Curt (bf8302)

  38. Maybe we can’t see into the future, but we can observe the past. What Al Gore is saying is that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is unprecedented and that the earth is “too warm,” whatever that means, and that this excess heat will cause catastrophe.

    Some science already shows that CO2 increases typically lag behind temperature increases, which casts doubt on the theory that our addition to greenhouse gases has forced the temperature.

    Furthermore, the assertion that this is the highest concentration of CO2 in 30 million years is kind of irrelevant, given that the earth has existed for 4.5 billion years. Back in the Cambrian period, over 500 million years ago, the CO2 concentration was 7000 ppm, compared to today’s 370 ppm. You will note that we did not turn into Venus then, so how is it likely that we will now?

    Furthermore, we have seen temps higher than the current ones in the Medieval Warm Period (~1000-1350 AD), wherein they grew grapes in Finland and rumor has it that the Chinese sailed in an Arctic Ocean free from ice. The polar bears survived that warmth, and they’ll survive the coming warmth, too.

    As for the science being settled, check out this two-part movie that does not settle the question of global warming but certainly shows that the science is not — nor can it be — settled at this time.

    dicentra (ee0916)


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