Patterico's Pontifications

10/9/2010

Proposition 23 and AGW; UPDATED with Harold Lewis Resignation Letter

Filed under: Environment — Patterico @ 2:19 pm

Tell me why I should support Proposition 23.

Which gets us into a bigger question: tell me why I should be skeptical of the concept of man-made global warming. Because it’s my impression that the scientific consensus supports it.

I hate it when scientific questions become political issues — because I think politics causes people to lose rationality. And i think this has become a virtual religion for both sides.

So I am looking for evidence.

This thread will employ the rule of excessive politeness. Nothing even remotely disparaging will be permitted. And I’m not keeping any part of a comment that violates the rule. Your comment that opens: “I’m surprised you would fall for AGW” followed by 10 paragraphs of polite and well researched material gets nuked, entirely. I could end up deleting 90-99 percent of all the comments, leaving only comments by Bradley J. Fikes. I don’t care. This is such a hot-button issue that I’m not putting up with even a milligram of B.S. or invective.

I will probably play devil’s advocate in the threads. The goal is to hash out the issues and put the religious faith aside.

So: why should I doubt what appears to be a scientific consensus?

UPDATE: Looks like the timing of this post is lucky given this letter of resignation linked by commenters below, written by Hal Lewis, which became public just today.

I never heard of him before and it’s one guy, but it’s timely . . .

UPDATE x2: To clarify: I consider myself agnostic on this subject, but I interested in learning the arguments on both sides. I consider myself an “AGW skepticism skeptic” — meaning that I am not willing to simply accept AGW skepticism because it is conservative dogma, any more than I will accept AGW because it is liberal dogma.

I believe we pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and that doing so contributes to warming. How much, I have no idea. That’s about as much as I feel I “know.” But I’m willing to play devil’s advocate to tease out the arguments.

412 Responses to “Proposition 23 and AGW; UPDATED with Harold Lewis Resignation Letter”

  1. The reason you should suspend belief is that your impression of a scientific consensus is the result of a concerted publicity campaign combined with a serious effort to quash dissent.

    There is no such consensus.

    Steven Den Beste (99cfa1)

  2. And as a non-scientist, how do I know this? Because a handful of cranks at East Anglia were jerks? Or is there another reason? Links you consider reliable would be helpful. No offense to you, but a mere assertion by a commenter isn’t going to help me much, because I expect 99-100 percent of commenters to agree with you. That does not constitute evidence to me.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  3. The scientific consensus has presented a general front of “AGW is real”, but provided very little that backs it up. The models are flawed (they can’t accurately portray the past and are thus useless for predicting the future). Temperature reading stations have been presented as gospel without adjusting for the changing features of the area, such as construction buildup.

    In my view, it’s less that AGW has been proven false and more that none of the support has been held to scientific rigor. Stripping away the statements of faith, we’re left with circumstantial evidence. Maybe the assertion is true, but the AGW supporters do themselves no favors by presenting poor data and corrupt models as their main proofs.

    Jay (86607f)

  4. “Because it’s my impression that the scientific consensus supports it.”

    Patterico – What scientific consensus is that and since when was “science” based on consensus? Are any of the tests or models used by the proponents of AGW subject to replication or duplication by others, you know, for independent verification to retest a hypothesis?

    daleyrocks (940075)

  5. So: why should I doubt what appears to be a scientific consensus?

    Because Global Warming is a complete Scam and there is no scientific consensus.

    thebronze (67b5b4)

  6. Three reasons, off the top of my head.

    First, there’s some good evidence from the “ClimateGate” documents which suggests that any scientist who did studies which cast doubt on the existence of AGW (i.e., that there’s no historically significant warming or that it’s caused by non-human factors) were systematically kept out of peer-reviewed climate journals. Thus, the “consensus” may be artificially made and enforced.

    Second, the data supporting AGW is based primarily on computer modeling (very uncertain; look at computer models of hurricane projections) and historical data which is very difficult to compare to modern temperature data. Using tree rings as a proxy for temperature several thousand years ago is an uncertain science. So is comparing temperature records from 100 years ago to those gathered today using modern scientific and engineering tools. Even if each general component used in piecing together the AGW conclusions and predictions are, say, 95% likely to be accurate (which, I think, is being exceedingly generous to the individual techniques), they all build on each other, so the cumulative probability of accuracy becomes fairly small.

    Third, Prop 32 (which would be suspended by Prop 23) would cause significant damage to the California economy while doing precisely zero to even slow AGW, assuming it exists. CO2 has no negative LOCAL effects. California, large as it is, is a teeny, tiny piece of carbon emissions. Individual action by the state of California will impose additional costs on your economy, but not provide any economic benefit to California at all, not even “cleaner air” (unlike efforts to stop other types of pollution, which do have much more localized effects).

    There are plenty more. And no, I’m not going to spend my Saturday afternoon going link hunting. There are a significant number of serious sites showing the significant errors in the scientific “consensus” regarding AGW. If you’re really interested, you can go find them. In general, I put the burden of persuasion on the side demanding significant economic sacrifices to establish their claim.

    PatHMV (c34b06)

  7. As for the East Anglia scientists, it’s not a matter of them being “jerks.” They were the leaders of the AGW movement, and their e-mails revealed significant effort to keep from publication any scientific research which disagreed with the “consensus.”

    PatHMV (c34b06)

  8. To find evidence that the CO2 derived g;lobal warming is a hoax, you need search no further than look for Al Gores warm CO2 blanket between +-15 around the equator. Since every one of the 24 GCMs predict it’s existence, and in fact require it to be there, the simple fact that since science teams using a variety of measurement devices have found nothing … means it’s a falsified theory, not a proved fact.

    There is other science that says it’s a fact, the measurements made on the moon regarding the Stefan-Boltzman black body constant also disprove the theory. Except NASA hid the data until 2009.

    Best bet, buy warm clothes this winter.

    tarpon (0d210f)

  9. So: why should I doubt what appears to be a scientific consensus?

    Because pollution levels in a scientific analysis used to toughen the state’s clean air standards were grossly exaggerated by one *scientist, but accepted without question. False data, lies to protect liars – what and who exactly comprises the “scientific consensus”?

    *One who lied about having his Ph.D…

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  10. Sent: Friday, 08 October 2010 17:19 Hal Lewis

    From: Hal Lewis, University of California, Santa Barbara
    To: Curtis G. Callan, Jr., Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society

    6 October 2010

    Dear Curt:

    When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago).

    Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence—it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?

    How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.

    It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

    So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it. For example:

    1. About a year ago a few of us sent an e-mail on the subject to a fraction of the membership. APS ignored the issues, but the then President immediately launched a hostile investigation of where we got the e-mail addresses. In its better days, APS used to encourage discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done in the last year has been designed to silence debate

    2. The appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change was apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is certainly not representative of the talents of APS members as I have long known them. So a few of us petitioned the Council to reconsider it. One of the outstanding marks of (in)distinction in the Statement was the poison word incontrovertible, which describes few items in physics, certainly not this one. In response APS appointed a secret committee that never met, never troubled to speak to any skeptics, yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety. (They did admit that the tone was a bit strong, but amazingly kept the poison word incontrovertible to describe the evidence, a position supported by no one.) In the end, the Council kept the original statement, word for word, but approved a far longer “explanatory” screed, admitting that there were uncertainties, but brushing them aside to give blanket approval to the original. The original Statement, which still stands as the APS position, also contains what I consider pompous and asinine advice to all world governments, as if the APS were master of the universe. It is not, and I am embarrassed that our leaders seem to think it is. This is not fun and games, these are serious matters involving vast fractions of our national substance, and the reputation of the Society as a scientific society is at stake.

    3. In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work.

    4. So a few of us tried to bring science into the act (that is, after all, the alleged and historic purpose of APS), and collected the necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a Topical Group on Climate Science, thinking that open discussion of the scientific issues, in the best tradition of physics, would be beneficial to all, and also a contribution to the nation. I might note that it was not easy to collect the signatures, since you denied us the use of the APS membership list. We conformed in every way with the requirements of the APS Constitution, and described in great detail what we had in mind—simply to bring the subject into the open.

    5. To our amazement, Constitution be damned, you declined to accept our petition, but instead used your own control of the mailing list to run a poll on the members’ interest in a TG on Climate and the Environment. You did ask the members if they would sign a petition to form a TG on your yet-to-be-defined subject, but provided no petition, and got lots of affirmative responses. (If you had asked about sex you would have gotten more expressions of interest.) There was of course no such petition or proposal, and you have now dropped the Environment part, so the whole matter is moot. (Any lawyer will tell you that you cannot collect signatures on a vague petition, and then fill in whatever you like.) The entire purpose of this exercise was to avoid your constitutional responsibility to take our petition to the Council.

    6. As of now you have formed still another secret and stacked committee to organize your own TG, simply ignoring our lawful petition.

    APS management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims. Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?

    I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people’s motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it. Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don’t think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I’m not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.

    I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.

    Hal

    ==========================================================

    Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President’s Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board; Served in US Navy in WW II; books: Technological Risk (about, surprise, technological risk) and Why Flip a Coin (about decision making)

    Marinaman (4ad4e4)

  11. So far I have seen basically three arguments.

    1. There is not really a consensus.

    2. Even if there is, so what? Science is not based on consensus.

    3. The consensus is wrong.

    Do I have that right? Am I misstating any of them, or omitting any? I’d like to be systematic and accurate.

    As for burden of proof, it’s a nice trick to put the burden of proof on the other guy, but two can play that game. If there is indeed a scientific consensus that AGW is real and it’s a problem, then I put the burden of proof on you, the non-scientist, to say why we shouldn’t do anything about it.

    If there is no consensus, that argument fails. If there is, it seems sound to me.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  12. There is also the matter of the fact that they discarded 150 years of data, that they put measuring
    stations in heat islands, near power plants and other sources that would spike the readings, the data sets from Russia, Alaska, et al, proved ‘unreliable’

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  13. Suspend because the scientific consensus has been government funded, therefore predisposed to arrive at the favored conclusion. Junk science.

    Suspend because data collection sites are becoming increasingly urbanized local “hot” spots. Only oceanic temperature measurements can be trusted.

    Suspend because the data collected lately does not support the hypothesis, which is increased CO2 traps heat and increases mean global temperature.

    Suspend because blocking of radiant heat transfer (loss) into space is much more dependent on water vapor. Atmospheric CO2 is insignificant relative to atmospheric water.

    Suspend because the “science” disregards the well established correlation between temperature and sunspot activity.

    Robert Morris (70d054)

  14. jobs

    happyfeet (19c1da)

  15. Yes, I was going to link to the letter from Dr. Lewis.

    But the real question for us to decide is, how much of our economy are we willing to destroy to stop AGW?

    No one knows if de-industrialization of any type or degree will stop global warming, especially since only our little state will adopt these measures; we do know that the economic effects will be daunting.

    In addition, history teaches us that increased government control of industry or business always leads to misery and/or tyranny. Right now, we cannot buy detergent that will actually clean our dishes–hurts the environment. Soon we will not be able to buy decent light bulbs–hurts the environment. Dry cleaners and big factories have left CA. We want more of this? For what?

    The known results are all too plain and terrible to contemplate; the savings to the plant are theoretical, vague and sometimes plainly dishonest.

    Patricia (9b018a)

  16. You might also try this. Find a global warming scientist who believes in AGW. Ask him to take you through the actual science, step-by-step, which leads to his conclusion that AGW is so likely, and the harm stemming from it so severe, that it justifies stifling our economy. If he can explain it (which I doubt many can), keep track of how many adjustments and, basically, guesses have been made to justify their conclusion that earth is entering an unprecedented warming period which can only have been caused by human activity, rather than sun cycles, geologic activity, or what have you.

    How did they determine the average global temperature 100 years ago, in 1910? How many measurements were taken, and in what locations? How accurate were the thermometers that were used to take those measurements? How comparable are spot records taken at sea and at rural locations at only a few places around the globe 100 years ago with modern satellite measuring methodology? How precise were their records? Did the people taking the measurements 100 years ago take great care in reading and recording the temperature, or did they look out the window and see that it was somewhere between 70 and 75, so they wrote down 72?

    What factors, exactly, did the scientists use to adjust the older measurements to make them comparable to today’s measurements? One of the many misdeeds of the East Anglia “scientists” was that they “lost” (personally, I believe discarded) the original temperature records, leaving only data which they had adjusted to account for various factors, such as that many land-based thermometers which once were in rural areas are now in urban heat islands. It’s appropriate to adjust data to account for such factors, but if you lose the original records and can’t describe precisely what the adjustments were, then that’s no longer “science,” because others can’t examine precisely what was done to evaluate the accuracy of the adjustments.

    Anyway, go find an AGW-proponent scientist and ask him to take you through the many thousands of independent steps required to make a determination that AGW is real and justifies massive government intervention in the economy. You’re a smart guy; you won’t be convinced by his explanation, if you pay close attention to the actual evidence, rather than to the self-proclaimed “consensus.”

    PatHMV (c34b06)

  17. It’s a scam, just like the last one involving funding for ESCR, yet who won the Nobel this week

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  18. tarpon:

    Can I get a link?

    I’m looking for evidence. Whike it’s nice of PatHMV to invite me to search out links that support his position, it’s more helpful if those who make the assertion provide the link.

    Since I have made an assertion that there appears to be a scientific consensus, I will put my money where my mouth is and provide a link myself.

    Again, however, I am willing to be educated by evidence. I always am.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  19. You claim there’s a consensus. Who are they? What are their qualifications? How many of the scientists signing on to such consensus documents have actually examined any significant number of the papers required to lead to the conclusion? How many scientists do not agree with some or all aspects of the “consensus”?

    PatHMV (c34b06)

  20. I will read every comment, but I find comments with links far more valuable.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  21. Are comments being eaten by the spam filter?

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  22. Patterico:

    … tell me why I should be skeptical of the concept of man-made global warming. Because it’s my impression that the scientific consensus supports it.

    Is there a scientific consensus regarding manmade global warming?

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  23. You claim there’s a consensus. Who are they? What are their qualifications?

    Their qualifications are superior to those of the critics, a study found.

    The linked article notes objections to the study. I know this; I read it. So where does that leave us?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  24. Dana,

    Dug yours out. Thanks for telling me.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  25. How about the fact that the CARB relied on a report written by someone who falsified their credentials?

    gahrie (ed7a50)

  26. DRJ:

    Regarding your first link:

    Many conservatives regard the “scientific consensus” about global warming as a media concoction. After all, didn’t 17,100 skeptical scientists sign a petition circulated in 1998 by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine? (See http://www.oism.org/pproject and http://www.prwatch.org/improp/oism.html on the World Wide Web.)

    Scientific American took a random sample of 30 of the 1,400 signatories claiming to hold a Ph.D. in a climate-related science. Of the 26 we were able to identify in various databases, 11 said they still agreed with the petition—one was an active climate researcher, two others had relevant expertise, and eight signed based on an informal evaluation. Six said they would not sign the petition today, three did not remember any such petition, one had died, and five did not answer repeated messages. Crudely extrapolating, the petition supporters include a core of about 200 climate researchers‐a respectable number, though rather a small fraction of the climatological community.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  27. Does this sort of thing affect your confidence in the science of AGW ?

    California grossly miscalculated pollution levels in a scientific analysis used to toughen the state’s clean air standards, and scientists have spent the past several months revising data and planning a significant weakening of the landmark regulation, The Chronicle has found.

    The pollution estimate in question was too high – by 340 percent, according to the California Air Resources Board, the state agency charged with researching and adopting air quality standards.

    We have two chairmen of major boards involved in the “science” who have falsified their academic credentials. One in California and one on a national panel. And, of course, there is the head of IPCC.

    I’ll let Bradley opine about this great column.

    California grossly miscalculated pollution levels in a scientific analysis used to toughen the state’s clean air standards, and scientists have spent the past several months revising data and planning a significant weakening of the landmark regulation, The Chronicle has found.

    The pollution estimate in question was too high – by 340 percent, according to the California Air Resources Board, the state agency charged with researching and adopting air quality standards.

    Mike K (568408)

  28. At one time, the qualifications of those scientists who believed that stomach ulcers were caused by too much acid and spicy foods, rather than by a bacterial infection, were far superior to those of the one guy who believed that the bacteria h. pylori was responsible.

    As I said, I’ve got plenty better things to do this afternoon. Have a wonderful time divining the “consensus”, and my state will be happy to take the industries you run away from California.

    PatHMV (c34b06)

  29. 31,487 American scientists have signed this petition skeptical of left-wing global-warmist propaganda.

    John (8a59dc)

  30. DRJ:

    Regarding your second link, I guess the question is to what extent those names represent a significant group of scientists, in number and/or qualifications.

    PatHMV:

    I appreciate your thoughts. If you consider it a waste of your time to provide links to support your assertions, that’s fine. I see you’re not alone. But I will give more attention and credence to comments that do support their assertions with links, as I have done, as have some others.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  31. John,

    I addressed that petition in comment 26.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  32. This site, predated the East Anglia discoveries, by at least a year;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  33. Patterico, you ask a very deep and long-standing question. “How do we know what we know?”

    Usually most people resort to authorities, hence the quick references to “consensus” and the lack there-of. I myself refer you to the work of my former classmate Sallie Baliunas (Harvard Astrophysical) and her colleague, Willie Soon, at http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=sallie_baliunas_1

    The article demonstrates that no consensus about AGW ever existed (and really, if it ever did, it is not science by definition).

    What their work also established was that temperature changes in the 20th century fell well within ranges that the earth experience over the last 1000 years, which does not disprove AGW, but establishes that the effect of mankind on the climate has been less than can be attributed to other sources (including small changes in the sun’s output and natural variations in the earth’s orbit around the sun).

    Their work is open to review and can be repeated by anyone (including you or me) who thinks they can do a better job at reducing the uncertainties that are an inevitable part of doing science.

    My understanding is that this is the accepted criterion for saying something is “known” in a scientific publication.

    Joe (94848c)

  34. 1. It seems to me (as a layman) that the science is, at minimum, exceedingly speculative. We’re talking about predicting *decades* into the future what are ultimately relatively small changes in a massive, global system that we don’t — and can’t — ever fully understand, let alone accurately model. And when I say the changes are “small,” I mean that we’re trying to predict annual temperature changes to a tenth of a degree or so. But how can the models possibly be so accurate given such a massive, global system so far into the future? And if they’re insufficiently accurate, doesn’t the science blow up? Turn an increase of a tenth of a degree or so into a decrease, and suddenly the global warming is gone, and now it’s global cooling.

    2. I do have a computer science background, and I was particularly interested in the aspect of ClimateGate involving the release of the code of a climate model that revealed shoddy coding techniques, “fudge” factors, and such. From reading others’ accounts of that code (and I can’t remember the precise details; it’s a beautiful day here in Berkeley), it really did sound like something was awry and proper modeling techniques weren’t being used. Given that the science *is* the model, this was a very disturbing revelation.

    3. And then you have Phil Jones’s admissions to the BBC, I believe. I recall that he admitted that the CRU had not found statistically significant warming since the early ‘90’s, and that existing models don’t explain warm temperatures that existed centuries ago.

    Now, points 2 and 3 above are obviously far, far from settling the issue (there are likely more points I could make, but see above re beautiful day), but don’t revelations like that, in combination with the — to my mind — indisputable fact that this science is highly speculative, at least inject sufficient uncertainty that it is not worth undertaking any rearrangement of our economic system to combat this purported problem? Again, my point is not that AGW theories are wrong, but they are at the very least highly speculative, and I am simply not willing to incur any economic pain in light of the uncertainty, particularly given how unlikely it is that other countries such as China and India will be willing to do so.

    jg_cal (bc1d86)

  35. THE NUMBERS

    They collect temperatures from sites around the world. This data is flawed because:

    The numbers were edited by hand, without any oversight, and the original records were destroyed to cover their tracks. This is extremely suspicious and it means the data is unreliable, yet the “scientists” choose to rely on it.

    Temperatures around sites will increase over time if development occurs around the site over time (including increased asphalt near it). The “scientists” don’t bother to correct for this, and in fact they deliberately cherry-pick these stations for use in results so they can show increases.

    Because the numbers on which all of the analysis is based is flawed, the “science” is crap. Garbage in, garbage out.

    THE COMPUTER MODELS

    Are designed to produce the results that the “scientists” want. They keep tweaking the code until they get the outputs they want to see. the process by which they write the code, and generally the code itself, is hidden from the public and is not subject to review.

    When we do get to see the code, the computer models have been shown to contain flaws. The “hockey stick” was exposed as a fraud, as well as the infamous expression “hide the decline,” which was built in to a computer program in order to get the results they wanted.

    The models (and all of the other “science”) is not falsifiable. They don’t make predictions that can be tested. If the world is colder than they expect, they make a bunch of noise about how “complicated” climate is, but how it still proves their theories anyway.

    THE PEOPLE

    The “scientists” don’t even try to conduct themselves as honest, open truth-seekers. They insist on consensus and blackball anyone who disagrees. People can’t advance in climate science if they express contrary views.

    The “scientists'” idea of peer review is a circle jerk. They verify data for their friends, and hide it from skeptics.

    The “scientists” hound anyone who takes industry money and downplays global warming (but they take government money and activist money all the time, and they take corporate money from corporations with an interest in promoting the hoax). In this way, they starve funding to silence the other side.

    The “scientists” have not bothered to conduct a real review of the flaws I have described above. Instead, they cover it up and hurl insults at anyone who disagrees, like calling us holocaust deniers.

    The “scientists” work hand in hand with the liberal media to spread lies. Leftist journalists exaggerate their findings, and the “scientists” choose not to correct the errors because it is more convenient to leave them in place.

    The “scientists” are willing to let journalists say, any time there is the “hottest X on record” that its climate change to blame. They know this is oversimplified, but they don’t bother to correct anyone because it suits them.

    The “scientists” believe that spreading awareness of “climate change” is more important than telling the truth, which means you can’t trust a damn thing they say. They’ve decided that admitting weakness of their theory endangers the planet, in the same way that the Catholic Church decided that admitting some priests were child molesters endangered its authority and ability to save us all. The result is an institution that protects corruption instead of rooting it out.

    The “scientists” are happy to get help from opportunists like Al Gore, and have not bothered to correct the errors in his movie. They would rather false information be spread to children, if it means more “awareness” for their cause.

    INCENTIVES TO LIE

    Selling “carbon offsets” is big business, which provides an incentive to have phony research. Massive fraud in the “carbon offsets” markets in Europe.

    Selling “green” products is big business, which provides an incentive to have phony research. Further, “green” mandates can harm competition by making it more expensive for smaller players to participate.

    As a political issue, it allows Democrats to claim they are out to save the world and Republicans are greedy. It allows Dems to blame Republicans any time there is any kind of weather that people don’t like. Too hot? Blame Republicans. Too wet? Blame Republicans. Too cold? Etc.

    FINALLY

    Newt Gingrich and Pat Robertson were both on board with the “climate change” agenda.

    And that’s just what comes to mind immediately.

    Daryl Herbert (91c0c5)

  36. Mary Nichol of CARB has said that the cap and trade bill will help CA businesses. But as the WSJ says, why would businesses be avoiding energy saving/cost saving measures now and operate contra to their economic interests? They aren’t! The alleged free market reliability of cap and trade is a fiction. This is government intervention at its worst. California produces 1.4% of the globe’s C02. So this bill, even at the most wildly optimal projections, will do nothing for the globe.

    And we can’t all be weatherstripping installers.

    Patricia (9b018a)

  37. Patterico – permit me to suggest to you consideration of two points related to the link you used …

    1) “97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing” – ‘most actively publishing’ can be used to prove that LaRouche is a responsible politician, as long as the only folk upon whom you rely are those in the ‘echo-chamber’ group of publications who support LaRouche … whether or not you believe the spin about “hide the decline”, the same revelatory emails clearly show a pattern of encouraging pro-AGW publication while doing ther utmost to prevent opposing views/science being published ..

    2) “the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers. “ – ‘scientific prominence’ ? Isn’t actual science, repeatable and falsifiable, more important that who has heard of a scientist’s name ?

    The link you supply in #17 goes to an analysis of credibility as demonstrated by number of publications in “peer-reviewed” publications – and, last time I looked, didn’t include hard science (beyond some statistical analyses) …

    Are you willing to consider this article/analysis which compares potential indicators of climate/temperature change over time, and how the results were published – and which explains why what was published was misleading at best, and dishonest pseudo-science at worst ?

    To sum up …

    Yup, your link does support that there appears to be a scientific consensus {my emphasis} – and there is reason to believe that such “consensus” is both manufactured and intentionally misleading … as the counter-link I offer shows …

    Alasdair (205079)

  38. While I definitely believe the earth has been warming and that we should make serious attempts to curtail our Co2 emissions, the fact that our oceans are just about at over – capacity for their usual functions of absorption is the key IMHO:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/outreach/isotopes/

    (the link is simplistic, but I’m just a layperson regarding scientific issues)

    However, making the onerous demands on our economy via Cap ‘n Trade is a foolish direction to go in, mostly because the so – called “scientific consensus” is anything but at this point. The science of AGW was so shoddy that a retired engineer from Canada destroyed the infamous Mann “Hockey Stick” graph:

    http://frontpagemag.com/2010/02/19/the-heretics-mcintyre-and-mckitrick/

    Then we have noted enviro – alarmist Dr. James Hansen being defrocked and having to admit that his prior rantings are completely wrong in their conclusions:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/updates/

    Why NASA continues to employ this “scientist” continues to amaze me. Finally, my understanding of science in general is that one of the primary tenets is that there is never a final “consensus” on anything, since it’s the scientific community’s job to continually test hypothesis and conclusions, and to make research data points available to anyone, in order to independently confirm prior conclusions. The fact is that the AGW scientific community won’t allow anyone outside of their little club to see their data, and now have claimed that it’s been ruined via poor data storage methods so forgettaboutit. This has always had a smell of something rotten in Denmark, and their curious behavior in this matter lead many to surmise that they’ve been cooking the books on this issue from the beginning.

    Dmac (84da91)

  39. Even if AGW was true, the Global Warming Solutions Act does nothing to address it. Other states that had originally joined CA in the effort have dropped out, recognizing the adverse economic impacts on their citizens.

    When businesses leave CA (as they will), they’ll just carry their CO2 emissions to nearby states or to Mexico. The atmosphere cannot be changed by one state. (No more than you could clear the air in your neighborhood by not barbecuing.)

    And when has “science” been right on any scare prediction they have made on the environment, overcrowding, food shortages, etc? Skepticism should be one’s first response to scare science.

    ManlyDad (060305)

  40. CO2 induced global warming is true, but trivial. There are no empirical studies showing that CO2 will cause huge increases in temps, resulting in catastrophes all the world. Indeed, the evidence offered to show this position is manufactured by computer models. This is not physical evidence.

    Although the Arctic ice has been melting, it is not unusual in recent history. In the 1950s and 1960’s US

    bob (9838b5)

  41. IOW, given the monumental nature of what the AGW advocates are proposing via Cap ‘n Trade, why on earth would any objective observer believe their tales of mishandled data and lame – o excuses akin to “the dog ate our homework?” These are allegedly AGW “experts,” yet they’ve behaved in a ridiculously secretive manner, then when exposed in using fraudulent data, still insist that their conclusions are somehow correct. It beggars belief, does it not?

    Dmac (84da91)

  42. When confronted with a scientific dispute that is complex and often requires a large amount of specialized knowledge, it is my contention that one must make a decision based on factors that are within our understanding. My rule is that if one side requires you to give up freedom or money it is probably best to support the other side. The advocates of AGW demand ever larger sums of money and ever greater control over individual activities. I therefore suspect that they may have other than scientific motives. I demand a higher standard of proof from those who want to limit freedom than those who do not. The AGW movement has not provided any such proof.

    The computer models that have been advanced in support of AGW have been based on faulty data or they have been designed to show that any carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at all will produce a positive feedback cycle that will increase CO2 whatever other conditions exist or the designers have refused to provide any information that might be used to test those models.

    The L. A. Times has a better record of open and truthful reporting than the AGW movement.

    Ken Hahn (199dc0)

  43. Patterico,

    Of course there are questions about the skeptics (as there should be) but where is the Scientific American article testing the conviction and reliability of scientists who are global warming supporters? The media wants us to believe there is a consensus when it comes to global warming, which I believe explains why they focus on stories about consensus instead of relevant news about skeptics.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  44. although the Arctic ice has been melting, it is not unusual in recent history.

    It’s also more than a little unsettling that the AGW scientific community also chose to completely ignore a similar warming of the earth during the Greenland Medieval Warm Period:

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

    They latched onto their meme, got millions of dollars from political action groups to justify it, and still won’t allow any contrarian viewpoints to emerge.

    Dmac (84da91)

  45. “Consensus” is antithetical to science. To follow the global warming debate, you should educate yourself about the substantive issues–from all sides–rather than uncritically accepting the characterizations of one side of the argument. It is a rhetorical trick, by the way, to invoke consensus. You see it in the courtroom all the time, and you’re seeing it in television ads during this election season. Instead of debating issues, attack the opponent. Marginalize him by saying he’s on the fringe, all informed people agree with me. It’s a logical fallacy. I’m sure you’re playing devil’s advocate here, ’cause you know all this.

    grs (b5a684)

  46. re: #22, from the article,

    climate sceptics often struggled to get their papers accepted by journals, as they must first be reviewed and approved by climate change “believers”.

    This was one of the critical revelations of the HADCRut emails, that there was a systematic effort to keep AGW-critical research from being published.

    Links: Surface Station Project, showing how the temperature measurement stations are frequently not located according to the specifications (away from heat sources like pavement, buildings, and air conditioner vents) or have had urban development creep up around them over the decades, causing the urban heat island effect to contaminate the data over time.

    Watts Up With That has a section devoted to the issues revealed in the email dump. In particular, the uncomfortable reality that Briffa’s reconstruction showed a temperature *decline* needed to be hidden — so they simply did not plot the data. For those whose eyes begin to glaze over, there is a layman-friendly summary.

    Further discussion on the topic of Briffa’s tree-ring temperature proxy data comes from Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit. Once the data is broken down into single-tree graphs, an interesting fact emerges. The hocky-stick effect only appears in data from ONE TREE, YAD06 (see Figure 2). That’s a pretty localized global warming effect, in my opinion. I have not been able to find the comment a knowledgeable forester posted, I believe at Watt’s Up With That, explaining the growth spurt seen in YAD06 is routine and typical in an old growth forest when a neighbor tree dies and falls, providing nutrients and no longer shading the tree being measured.

    It is a very complex topic, and unfortunately a lot of the argument revolves around data analysis and statistical methods that are rather rarified. I hope these links provide some of the data and analysis Patterico has requested.

    bad cat robot (0f8672)

  47. As for Proposition 23, I have no idea what that is or whether someone should support it. But if Californians really think global warming is the biggest problem we face, I give up on California.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  48. Patterico

    I won’t knock you for buying into AGW. I mean you are a lawyer, and I am one, too. We are amateurs in science (unless you have something in your background I don’t know about).

    Now let me start by making sure we are talking about the right thing. This is what we are talking about, right? http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/California_Proposition_23_(2010)

    Okay, assuming we are, let me also put forth a simple proposition. These laws and regulations protecting the environment are an encroachment upon my freedom. Well, not mine, since I live out here in Virginia, but you get my idea. The burden of proof is on them, to establish that the science is so good as to justify this intrusion into our lives.

    I think Climategate reduces the credibility of everyone advocating that AGW is real to zero. Why is that? Well, first, let us review a few points.

    First, the hide the decline email. The reason why they had to hide the decline in question was because it was refuting a major piece of evidence. You might have noticed that we have only been measuring global temperatures for around a century and a half. So how on earth can we talk about anything before around 1850? The answer, the clever scientists came up with, is to measure tree rings. They argued that the tree ring data corresponded to temperatures, and when they used it they discovered that our temperatures took a radical turn, and so on.

    Only one problem. That same data said that global temperatures declined in the 1960’s, at a point in time when the real temperature data said the opposite. This was a serious problem because it undermined the validity of all that tree ring data. So what did they do? they hid the decline.

    But more serious problems were actually glossed over a little, unless you read the right sources. The real story in climate gate, as harsh as that “hide the decline” email was, was really the harry_read_me file. You can see its devastating elements in this CBS news story. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504383_162-5761180-504383.html These were the files of a programmer who was using their data to create those famous graphs that the UN used to sell us AGW. And what you read is devastating. When the data didn’t say what they expected, he would explain he would “[a]pply a VERY ARTIFICAL [sic] correction” and so on. The data was completely rubbish. East Anglia could not be trusted.

    But that is just East Anglia, you might say. That doesn’t discredit the rest of the scientists, does it?

    Well, yes, except then that data was reported to THE WHOLE WORLD. All those supposedly great and honest scientists looked at the data and didn’t bat an eye. No one said, “sure, global warming is real, but those numbers don’t look right.” instead either they didn’t notice that the data was fake, or they did, and didn’t care.

    The only people who did object were equated with holocaust deniers.

    And that is only scratching the surface. They have trouble accurately reporting on reality—such as how low the “low countries” are. Why should we trust them on theoretical matters?

    And this is supposed to meet that burden of proof I laid out at the beginning? I am supposed to give up my freedom for that? I don’t think so.

    And I said something else at the beginning that also bears on this. I am in Virginia. Do you think Virginia is going to hobble its economy the way California is voluntarily choosing to hobble theirs? Texas? If I was a selfish bastard, I would be encouraging you guys to set your regulations as high as possible. More factories, more jobs for us! As it is Northern Virginia has come to have its own “Silicon Valley”—now why is that? One of the biggest mistakes regulators make is to forget that the object of their regulation can go elsewhere. The environmental laws in California might as well be retitled “the full employment act for the other 49 states.”

    This is where I part ways with people as conservative as me. Because I say, if we are going to assume for the sake of argument that the environment needs severe regulation to be protected, a local approach just doesn’t work. You not only have to go national, in truth you have to go international. Fortunately that disagreement is academic, because like I said, the environmentalists haven’t proven their case.

    Yes, of course environmentalism has been politicized. It has been for a long time, on both sides of the aisle. And it is exceedingly clear that the consensus is a combination of 1) exaggeration of the agreement among scientists, and 2) a number of “scientists” acting in a way antithetical to true science. You do not have to fake the truth; and if you are faking it, then I will not believe in your so-called truth.

    And indeed the very term “the scientific consensus” is mistaken to start. Science is not democracy. It is about truth. One man telling the truth is still the one man telling the truth. All the scientists in the world can say the earth is flat, there is spontaneous generation and the sun goes around the earth, but the one man who tells the truth is the only one you should listen to.

    That’s how I feel about it, in relatively short form. Your own vote is your own choice.

    Aaron Worthing (f97997)

  49. CO2 induced global warming is true, but trivial.

    There are no empirical studies showing that CO2 will cause huge increases in temperatures resulting in catastrophes all the world. Indeed, the evidence offered to show this position is manufactured by computer models, and this does not qualify as physical evidence.

    Although the Arctic ice has been melting, it is not unusual in recent history. In the 1950s and 1960’s US and British nuclear submarines surfaced in open water at the North Pole. In the 1920’s Roald Amundsen was the first man to sail the Northwest passage. He didn’t have any icebreakers like the recent passage.

    There are literally Billions of dollars at stake, and herein lies the problem. Yesterday’s academic backwater that attracted little academic talent is now hot with $Billions available every year in government research money. Lots of scientists are jumping on the AGW bandwagon whether they are climatologists or not. This is made to look like a consensus, and it probably is the consensus that there is lots of free money at the federal trough.

    The recent studies about polar bear extinction rely on IPCC temperature models that have not shown anything approaching accuracy. There are lots of studies that depend on the IPCC models, and they would collapse like a house of cards if the MSM covered the issues correctly.

    You are correct. AGW is all about power politics. There is nothing scientific about it at all.

    bob (9838b5)

  50. The earth goes through ice ages every 100,000 years or so due to the orbit/tilt/wobble of the planet. It is now one of the fouth coolest times in the past 8,000 years, based upon ice core.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/09/hockey-stick-observed-in-noaa-ice-core-data/

    Our sun is driven into more or less sun spots, by the four gas giant planets causing the sun to crockscrew in it’s path. The more sun spots the more heating, the more the solar wind keeps cosmic rays from hitting the earth, the less clouds form, the more the planet heats up.
    http://www.up.ac.za/dspace/bitstream/2263/5326/1/Alexander_Linkages%282007%29.pdf

    Burt Rutan has a great overview…
    http://rps3.com/Files/AGW/EngrCritique.AGW-Science.v4.pdf

    Global warming is a hoax!

    visionar (8f49a5)

  51. I have always heard the data collection methodologies are flawed. Not an issue normally discussed. To boot, the scientists throw away data points when the statistical analysis doesn’t work.

    Sounds bad to me from a science perspective.

    Javert_is_alive! (AKA ...) (4f78d0)

  52. patterico,
    Here is one article on the manufactured warming done by the New Zealand’s NIWA
    http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2010/05/crisis-in-new-zealand-climatology

    The NIWA “adjusted” temperature series “shows that New Zealand experienced a twentieth-century warming trend of 0.92°C.”
    The actual measurements however show no such thing.
    “The instrumental raw data correctly show that New Zealand average temperatures have remained remarkably steady at 12.6°C +/- 0.5°C for a century and a half. NIWA’s doctoring of that data is indefensible.”

    This isn’t of course a definitive smackdown. It’s only a small point in the great scheme of things, but WTF? What else is so screwed up that people have to sue to find out? and if catastrophic global warming was so obvious, why would they need to make it up? wouldn’t the actual thermometers show it?

    joed (2115f2)

  53. Patterico, science is not done by “consensus”. It is done by rigorous analysis, testable hypothesis and predictions. And that’s where the AGW “science” fails. It has made no successful predictions, its climate models are failures.

    The East Anglia crowd were not a “handful” and were not “cranks”, they were the core of the group that is claiming consensus. Their conduct of hiding data, refusing to cooperate in replication of results was antithetical to the scientific method And the East Anglia email disclosures showed that among their tools in maintaining the faux consensus was to threaten journals into rejecting critical articles.

    If you don’t want to spend the admittedly large amount of effort to learn the details of the science, comparing the behavior of the core groups of each side can be instructive. The skeptics want to debate the details of the science. The AGW proponents engage in invective, refuse to practice the scientific method and shout down their opponents.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  54. DRJ:

    I linked that in the update, since people keep citing it and it’s relevant.

    If the AGW supporters are right, this is one of the top issues facing humanity, no?

    I’d be for an article that took a skeptical look at those who support AGW but I think the point of the Scientific American article was that the number of alleged qualified signers was a fraction of the total community.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  55. “So: why should I doubt what appears to be a scientific consensus?”

    Because there is none.

    Lazarus Long (5720c3)

  56. Aaron:

    You’re right that I am not a scientist but that does not mean the automatic response is to oppose freedom-limiting measures. Again, if they’re right, this is a huge problem for humanity, no?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  57. @ Patricia,

    Mary Nichol of CARB has said that the cap and trade bill will help CA businesses.

    Mary Nichol has proven to be a liar and intentionally covered up the false data presented by the Cal Air Resource Board scientist before a vote was taken on it. I don’t trust anything she says.

    The linked resignation letter by physics professor, Hal Lewis, is nothing less than damning.

    It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  58. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.
    Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.
    There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.

    -Michael Crichton

    Lazarus Long (5720c3)

  59. before we incur billions or trillions in costs due to changing our behavior to prevent warming, maybe we should spend a bunch more money to better measure our planet and a bunch more money to do QA on the data collection and collation.

    See:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/

    is a blog by a statistician who has found anomalies in the statistical methods used to claim that the earth is undergoing unprecedented warming.

    http://www.surfacestations.org/ is a site showing the results of an in-progress survey of the sites which are used to produce the official temperature record of the US. In short, there’s a lot of noise entering the surface temperature record due to things like proximity to runways, airconditioner exhausts, pavement, etc.,

    There is significant difference between warming as measured on the ground at specific points, and warming as measured by satellites.

    BIll (0de294)

  60. Go here:

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

    Reason enough to be skeptical of the AGW claims. Which would then cast doubt on the consensus.

    Lets remember that Galileo was condemned for opposing what was the consensus about how the solar system was ordered.

    SGT Ted (fa9b46)

  61. Patterico, AGW supporters have never presented any scientific evidence that even if they were right, that this is a “huge” problem for humanity. At best, they’ve presented studies that had mixed conclusions on the overall harm of the predicted warming. They only way that they created “huge” problems for humanity was to take exaggerated predictions for warming beyond that of even their own low-quality modeling had produced.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  62. Lets remember that Galileo was condemned for opposing what was the consensus about how the solar system was ordered.

    Sure. He proved it. And if the skeptics prove their case I’ll go with the skeptics.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  63. “Sure. He proved it. And if the skeptics prove their case I’ll go with the skeptics.

    But the point is that it was this “consensus” that convinced you of AGW, not any scientific proof per se.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  64. Sure. He proved it. And if the skeptics prove their case I’ll go with the skeptics.

    And you do that by looking at the evidence, not at the claims of “consensus.”

    grs (b5a684)

  65. And you do that by looking at the evidence, not at the claims of “consensus.”

    Comment by grs — 10/9/2010 @ 4:09 pm

    Fair enough. That’s what this post is about.

    But there’s nothing wrong with citing the scientific consensus as a jumping off point for the discussion. As long as you’re open to listening to the evidence for the skeptical view. Which I am.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  66. UCSB?

    Good thing he has emeritus status or he’d be run out of town.

    My objection to AGW is based on the lies it’s supporters push forward… it even drifts into the damning charge.. from the LA Times no less… that cap and trade, AGW true believers inflated their anti-diesel numbers by 340%.
    Lemme see here…scientists off by 340% on something that would cost people like me who own and use heavy equipment millions… based on dubious science and dumbshit math.
    This sounds familiar though.
    It isn’t AGW now, is Global climate change… so when it snows real early in New Zealand, or Moscow gets huge heat followed by a prediction of it’s coldest winter ever the label is squishy enough to absorb whatever weather comes its way… inconvertible evidence…god I bet you love reading that word delivered by “experts” whose very cushy lifestyle is predicated on churning out numbers that are immediately declared “incovertible” by a cacophony of frauds.
    I use the word fraud, because they keep doing a three card monty with the numbers.

    I’ve never had to bring an expert witness into court on my behalf, but I dunno if I’d want Albert Einstein himself to show up and put out a bunch of numbers… and then say “oops, never mind… but hey they still support my theory..”
    I’d see the jury throwing the don’t BS us flag at me and putting my eye out

    SteveG (cc5dc9)

  67. My point is that AB32 is so damn expensive yet ineffective. That sound count for something even for AGW believeres.

    ManlyDad (060305)

  68. (sloppy typing. “should count for something even for AGW believers.”)

    ManlyDad (060305)

  69. #47 Aaron Worthing’s point–and one I haven’t seen before–seems a good observation in favor of skepticism. In any other highly popularized scientific field we laymen don’t understand but depend on for our lives–say, medical equipment manufacturing–this sort of silence before the errors were found and circling the wagons after the fact would be a big red flag.

    that data was reported to THE WHOLE WORLD. All those supposedly great and honest scientists looked at the data and didn’t bat an eye. No one said, “sure, global warming is real, but those numbers don’t look right.” instead either they didn’t notice that the data was fake, or they did, and didn’t care.

    The only people who did object were equated with holocaust deniers.

    m (7a8487)

  70. Prove what exactly?

    Your request was “tell me why I should be skeptical of the concept of man-made global warming.”

    jeff (31e059)

  71. Judge Patterico, can we have your findings of fact and ruling now?

    Patricia (9b018a)

  72. “Because it’s my impression that the scientific consensus supports it.”

    Why?

    jeff (31e059)

  73. Again, if they’re right, this is a huge problem for humanity, no?

    To paraphrase Glenn Reynold’s take on all of this, I’ll believe that AGW is a crisis when those who are screeching the most loudly about it start acting like it. Gore building four new mansions at an average of 10,000 square feet, our far left politicos taking private jets everywhere, the UN nattering nabobs taking private ginormous stretch limos everywhere, lefty columnists like Tom Friedman living in a 20,000 square foot home, other politicians (like Gore) making millions off the carbon tax trading schemes, Obama lecturing our country on the need to conserve energy and save the planet while running around the WH in his shorts in January at 72 degrees – the list is endless.

    Their actions speak much more loudly than their words – this is nothing more than another ploy to control the plebian masses, while the Marie Antoinettes of the world keep eating their cake as they wish.

    Dmac (84da91)

  74. Follow the money.

    jeff (31e059)

  75. One little problem- the global warming folks still can’t explain away the Midieval warming period. Obviously, what caused the warming then could be causing it now. (the sun!) So, sorry, the “burden of proof” is on the GW people to explain that away before the worlds great economies are sentenced to death.

    j.l. (fb346e)

  76. For 4 billion years there’s been “climate change”, yet now we’re supposed to believe that suddenly there’s a perfect temperature that has to be maintained or we’re all going to die? Sure.

    j.l. (fb346e)

  77. You may consider this comment off topic and I will understand if you choose to omit it from the discussion. But here goes.

    What to make of the argument of those of us who are perfectly willing to accept the possibility that the earth may be in a warming cycle–but consider the idea that “man” caused it, and “man” must fix it to be an example of human hubris to the max? Why do some want to treat this particular cycle as something so special and unique from all the other known warming cycles? (I have my theories but that would really be off-topic.)

    Students of a variety of history and geology curricula have been taught and are well aware that the earth has been warming and cooling and the oceans and landmass have been changing shapes for millennia. That is well documented science. The best, richest, flattest farmland on earth (in the upper Midwest) was created by cooling/warming cycles as the glaciers moved, scraping the hills and depositing their nutrients.

    Longwood Drive, a hilltop prime address in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago and miles away from any current body of water was once the shoreline of a large ancient lake.

    The Iceman was a neolithic hunter who roamed the Alps between modern day Austria and Switzerland and died there on the mountain 5300 years ago. He was buried deep by snow and ice over the ensuing years until about a decade ago when melting snow revealed for scientific study his well preserved body and accouterments. Obviously, the condition of the mountain and depth of snow/ice were basically the same the day they found him as it was on the day he perished with his knapsack filled with berries and animal bones. Is this not evidence of a warming/cooling/warming cycle which has occurred naturally over 5300 years or so?

    Yes, in 2010 we should be responsible stewards. We should take reasonable steps to see that our water is pure and that natural resources are not wasted. Recycling is good. Hubris and hysteria, though, are maybe not so pure.

    elissa (0002e7)

  78. I think the main problem is that someone(s) have declared that “the science is over” when it really isn’t.

    CERN about to conduct a huge experiment on the affect of cosmic rays on clouds.

    Popular technology lists over 800 peer-reviewed articles againt AGW theory.

    I like Occam’s razor approach. We get the vast majority of our heat from the sun. But that is only a small fraction of the sun’s energy. therefore, when there is tiny fluctuation in the sun’s energy, the Earth gets hotter/cooler.

    john (77a41b)

  79. Adding to Dmac, check this position of Prince Charles. Unbelievable.

    Prince Charles Loses His Last Marble

    The true huge problem for humanity appears to be the proposed responses to the consensus huge problem for humanity.

    ManlyDad (060305)

  80. iPads make multiple links hard. Popular Technology article here.

    john (77a41b)

  81. Rigorous, testable, repeatable science would be welcomed.

    This closeted, echo chamber amplified, “don’t challenge us or we’ll blackball you” pseudo-science is not contributing to our limited understanding of the immensely complex ecosystem we live in.

    Correlation does not mean causation. Assuming there is even a correlation.

    jeff (31e059)

  82. “I recently stumbled upon one of the most meaningless papers I have ever seen, it is called “Expert credibility in climate change” by Anderegg, Prall, Harold and Schneider. The paper “proves” that the scientists advocating an anthropogenic greenhouse warming (AGW) are statistically more credible than the “unconvinced”. Their main goal is to convince people that they should join the AGW bandwagon simply because it is allegedly more credible.

    In essence, the authors show that the AGW protagonists have more published papers in climate journals and more citations. The authors then carry on with an elaborate statistical analysis showing how statistically significant the results are. The first thing that popped into my mind is the story about a statistician who proved that 87.54% of all statistical research is meaningless…”

    Patterico – More about that pnas paper you cited. RTWT.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  83. Patterico- Here’s another “resignation letter”. Please have a look. Go to wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/08/hal-lewis-my-resignation-from-the-american-physical-society

    j.l. (fb346e)

  84. You know, I don’t much like posting here much anymore—too much trollery, and too much in the real world to deal with of late. But this is a topic on which I have provided many links, repeatedly, over the past couple of years.

    Patterico, you should read some material that is relevant to this. Here is a place to start that I have recommended here, on this blog, several times.

    http://www.climate-skeptic.com/2007/09/table-of-conten.html

    If I have to watch Hansen sniff about his “authoritay” one more time….

    Here is the thing to take home.

    If carbon dioxide is the driver (as AGW proponents claim) and levels of carbon dioxide control warming (as AGW proponents claim) and (most importantly) their computer models are sound (as they ALWAYS claim) then….

    Their models should be back-predictive.

    We know the carbon dioxide concentrations for about the last twenty thousand years in some detail. We have good indicators based on isotope fractions and such for millions of years. We have good guesses as to climate.

    Guess what? The models aren’t back predictive. And the AGW proponents then claim that there are multipliers and modifiers (which I am sure is true). But strangely, those multipliers and modifiers always seem to work in the same direction: to support the conclusion that Western industrialization is bad, and there needs to be international control over economic productivity.

    Patterico, I think that burning things is indeed a bad way to generate energy. It doesn’t matter if increasingly levels of carbon dioxide are a bad thing.

    So why aren’t they pushing nuclear power?

    Oh, that’s right: they don’t like the politics of that either. I’ll take this seriously the second Congress grounds all of their private jets, and begins crash developing nuclear power.

    So their solution remains the same as it ever was: greater statism and control. And the people saying all this will give up not one iota of their lifestyle. That’s for the rest of us.

    Patterico, this is politics. Not science. Have you read Freeman Dyson’s critique of AGW (if you don’t know who Dyson is, he is a great person to read up on—what a polymath):

    http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2151

    Then, of course, the pro-AGW say he is not a climate authority. Which is ironic, coming from computer modelers who make models that are not back predictive, yes?

    That is, until the modelers have a back-predictive model.

    And Dyson doesn’t even necessarily disagree with the pro-AGW people.

    But if I have to hear “Famous Person X says” one more time, I am going to scream. Modelers are good at modeling. And they want to apply this to the world economy.

    By the way: how about the IPCC predictions from a few years ago, compared to today? Hmm? And what is their first response to critics?

    Tell me how that doesn’t sound like politics….

    I tell my first year students that, after my class, they know more than almost every member of Congress about biology. And I am not complimenting my teaching.

    So we bow to authoritay. Just remember: when the government starts giving up on their own goodies, it is time to take them seriously. Not when they want other people to give up their goodies.

    Sorry for the long post.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  85. Patterico:

    I’d be for an article that took a skeptical look at those who support AGW but I think the point of the Scientific American article was that the number of alleged qualified signers was a fraction of the total community.

    And yet the number of qualified scientific skeptics seems to be growing worldwide. Could it be that Scientific American has a global warming agenda?

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  86. I’ll assume you are not asking anyone to prove a negative. The biggest reason to be skeptical about AGW is the historical record of the Roman Warm Period, the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. The methods by which the IPCC groups have sought to manipulate this knowledge should cause you great concern about the claims of consensus among scientists. In the last week, Michael Mann stated in the Washington Post, “Even without my work, or that of the entire sub-field of studying past climates, scientists are in broad agreement on the reality of these changes and their near-certain link to human activity.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/07/AR2010100705484.html

    Mann’s work would have you believe that today’s weather is much warmer than the medieval warm period, but he has no explanation why remains of Greenland settlements from the MWP are still under the ice today, or why the body of Medieval traveler was just found in the melting ice in a European mountain pass. Huxley: “Science is organized common sense where many a beautiful theory was killed by an ugly fact.” Since the historical records show that the Medieval warm period was warmer that today, what caused the warmth? Mann’s discredited work tried to hide the MWP rather than explain why the warmth today is not caused the same processes that caused the MWP and has nothing to do with burning fossil fuels.

    Richard Feynman wrote a few popular books describing in a simple manner how some of his work on Quantum Electrodynamics led to the most spectacularly successful theory in physics. Some of the constants in nature can be calculated to many decimal points with this theory. Yet Feynman always pointed out the problems with QED. It cannot be used with general relativity because the equations fail at the Plank level. The science for the most successful theory in all of physics is not “settled.” For Gore or Mann to make such claims about the theories of the climate has nothing to do with science but only with politics.

    Gary P (1f2034)

  87. Per the above; you wanted proof fron non-scientists- well, here’s some from a very prominent scientist.

    j.l. (fb346e)

  88. An experiment that any layman may easily perform to determine the major cause of global warming.

    Go outside at 12 noon on cloudless day. Note the temperature and relative warmth you feel.

    Then, go outside at 12 midnite. Note the temperature and relative warmth you feel.

    Compare the two. THINK, what is the common denominator that is present in one and absent in the other?

    BIG HINT, YOU HAVE JUST DISCOVERED THE TRUE SOURCE OF GLOBAL WARMING AND COOLING WITHOUT SPENDING ONE FRIGGING DIME OF TAXPAYER MONEY!!!!!!!!

    peedoffamerican (528fef)

  89. “So we bow to authoritay. Just remember: when the government starts giving up on their own goodies, it is time to take them seriously. Not when they want other people to give up their goodies.”

    Eric – But, but, but that’s so obviously DIFFERENT!!!!!

    daleyrocks (940075)

  90. Here is a link to an article that calls into question one of the basic assumptions of the AWG proponents in their atmospheric models.

    http://t2.physik.tu-dortmund.de/de/mitglieder/weber/veroeffentlichungen/andp372_a-1.pdf

    In summary, the terrestrial insolation data of SAO and of Mauna Loa observatory appear to vary strongly with solar activity. Evidence was presented that this modulation is caused by the cosmic rays, which produce‘small ions’, most probably consisting of O+2 and O−2 ion centers surrounded by two shells of water molecules. After coalescence, the very stable hydrated centers persist in the atmosphere as neutral nanometer
    size droplets and should constitute a large part of the atmospheric aerosols. Due to their strong light absorption, and due to their inner structure, these droplets show their own diurnal dynamics and appear to last for years, if not decades, especially over the oceans. They also exhibit strong Rayleigh scattering,which in solar active times results in a significant blue shift of the insolation, much bigger than that of the
    active sun itself.
    Thus it appears that the SAO and Mauna Loa data represent a key for a more detailed understanding of atmospheric processes. The contribution of the active sun, indirectly via cosmic rays, to global warming appears to be much stronger than the presently accepted upper limit of 1/3. However, to really confirm this view, it is necessary to study the properties of atmospheric small ions and droplets in great detail, along paths which e. g. have been laid by C.T.R.Wilson. F.E. Fowle of the SAO group had been aware of Wilson’s work and had suggested explanations of SAO results along those paths. However, modern research has not
    taken up these ideas, and the SAO data have fallen into oblivion. In this paper it was shown that this is not justified. Instead, the SAO data, the works of Langley, Abbot, Fowle, Aldrich and others represent a great American scientific heritage.

    Not a Yank (c0e94e)

  91. Daley, I will break my own rule and post again, but I would bleakly note that we worked so hard to break from aristocracy when we formed this nation. How sad that we hunger to create a ruling class that cares little for the governed, and how much sadder to see how small they are…

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  92. DRJ, certainly with Scientific American participating in the ad hominem attacks on skeptics it is clear that Scientific American has an agenda. One of the reasons that I quit subscribing after decades of continuous subscription.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  93. SPQR, remember how SciAm used to push nuclear disarmament and the Nuclear Winter business in the 80s. It was always about a political agenda.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  94. As discussed in Prof. Hal Lewis’ resignation letter linked by Patterico in the Update, here’s some background on what led to his resignation.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  95. I hate it when scientific questions become political issues — because I think politics causes people to lose rationality. And i think this has become a virtual religion for both sides.

    This part of your post intrigues me. I don’t equate religious belief with irrationality but even if I did, I don’t see why you describe global warming skepticism as a virtual religion. Scientific skepticism strikes me as the antithesis of religious fervor.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  96. More proof- From the Science and Environmental Policy Project’web site (sepp.org). Dr. Harrison Schmitt- “The primary alternative hypothesis to human caused global warming is natural climate change driven by the sun. More broadly,geological and planetological observations show that major perturbations in climate relate to the position and orientation of the earth in its orbit around the sun. For example, as Serbian mathematician Milutin Milankovic pointed out in 1941, as have many others since, initiation of the major ice ages on earth correlate with a 23,000 year precession cycle, a 41,000 year obliquity cycle, and a 100,000 year eccentricity cycle in the position of the earth relative to the sun….Climate cycles related to internal solar activity are superposed on lond term orbital cycles. For example,the Midieval Warm Period (800-1300) and the little ice age (1400-1900) correlate, respectively, with the very active and very passive periods of recorded sunspot activity. As a fairly recent example of solar influence on climate, the little ice age occurred during a 500 year long sequence of three deep reductions in sun spot frequency. The coldest temperatures came during the last of these minima, a 70 year period of exceptionally few sunspots (the Maunder Minimum). The Midieval Warm Period (when the Vikings colonized Greenland, glaciers retreated,and farmers could at least survive) also correlates to repeated, multi-century long, high sunspot frequency… It is worth noting that the alarmists are inconsistent, in that their own theory, that carbon dioxide is a sort of thermostat that controls Earth’s temperature, is plausible only if all objective effects of CO2 in the atmosphere are multiplied by “positive feedback” of various kinds. The difference is that emperically, Earth’s temperatures correlate closely with solar activity, while they correlate hardly at all with the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, which has varied widly over history…. Specifically with respect to the last 120 years, the correlation of measured solar energy input variations with global surface temperature and sea surface temperature is very strong. The statistical correlation of solar irradiance with air temperature has been about 79%. In contrast, during the last 50 years, the correlation of measured CO2 increases with global surface temperature has been only about 22%. This directly contadicts the assumption that carbon dioxide has had a large infuence on climate in the last 50 years…..The current decade or longer period of cold weather in the U.S. and Europe coincide with a relatively prolonged reduction in sunspot activity below even the norm for a minimumin the 11-year cycle.” There is much, much more. Dr. Schmitt’s article is copiously footnoted, as you will see if you follow the link to the web site.

    j.l. (fb346e)

  97. McCain’s attitude during the 2008 campaign seemed sensible: let’s build a sh*tload of nuclear plants. If AGW is happening, then converting to nuclear power is a quick and proper response. If AGW is not happening, then converting to nuclear power will gain us long-sought energy independence.

    The challenges of nuclear power are numerous. Safety from terrorists. Nuclear waste. Earthquakes. Et cetera. But if the believers in AGW really sincerely believed their apocolyptic theory, wouldn’t they be supporting nuclear?

    Andrew (f3088c)

  98. As has been previously noted, the earth’s climate had fluctuated naturally and frequently since it’s creation. The Roman and Medieval warming periods were not only naturally occurring but were also beneficial to the humans alive at the time. As some glaciers retreat we find old settlements, mines.

    I suppose I could understand an urgency and need to “fix” the climate if the climate had never changed before. It has though, and the warming we are currently experiencing as a correction to the cooling from the Little Ice Age doesn’t appear to be at all unprecedented or unusual.

    Then there is the question of efficacy. Do these measures actually work? Will imposing crippling regulations and restrictions actually solve the problem? Since we can’t know if the problem has been accurately identified how can we possibly know if the solution has been accurately identified.

    I find it deeply suspicious that the same people who solve EVERYTHING with greater state control and intrusion find that the solution to an ill defined “problem” is, SURPRISE!!!, MORE state control and intrusion.

    The question of the day is this – is this warming trend of man-made origin? If it isn’t, there is nothing we can do anyway. Does this warming emulate what the world has done all by itself before at least twice in written history? Yep.

    Vivian Louise (c7cad6)

  99. In 1974 the “consesus” said that we were all going to die from global cooling. Time magazine even had a cover story about global cooling. The “consensus” then was global cooling, the “consensus” now is global warming. You can’t have it both ways, so which is it?

    I’ve been a computer programmer for 30 years. I’ve invented 2 programming languages and have prior-art on several of Motorola’s patents. One thing about a program is that it must be repeatable. Like Eric said, “back-predictive”. Since global warming is completely based on computer models, then they should be able to roll back the programs 50 years and acurately determine present tempuratures. The problem is that the programs can’t do this because the are hard coded to predict global warming.

    Tanny O'Haley (12193c)

  100. In comment #10, you raised the issue of “the burden of proof”, but it is very clear that you have no idea how the burden of proof applies in this area. In any issue, the burden of proof falls solely on he who asserts the metaphysical positive. In other words, the burden of proof falls on he who asserts that something exists. It is not up to the critic to find some evidence that it does not. You have placed the burden of proof on the wrong people.

    Let me give you an example that is far afield. If I asserted that little green men live on Mars, I would have to offer at least some evidence that indicated that. Absent that, the critic is entirely justified in dismissing my claims entirely, with no further effort on his part required. It is impossible to come up with any evidence that proves the non-existence of little green men on Mars. What evidence would the critic point to? If little green men on Mars do not actually exist, there will be no evidence of any kind, period. You’re asking for the impossible.

    What you actually need to do, as I have done, is examine the actual science behind the claims of the AGW crowd. If you do, you will find that climatology, as currently practiced, is utterly unlike any other science. Data manipulation is routine and accepted in the field. Every large temperature data set shows blatant manipulation (see here, here and here for examples). Computer models are treated as “proprietary” and hidden from public view and review. Every model which has been public reviewed shows serious flaws (for example, we know cloud cover dramatically effects climate, but not one model even comes close to accurately modeling clouds). Climatology’s only testable hypothesis–that global temperatures are rising as a result of human action–has proven false time and again.

    The AGW crowd has asserted that they have evidence. They do not. Every time they have exposed their data or models to public scrutiny, they’ve been dismantled. That is why they are so intent on hiding everything.

    My short little screed won’t convince you. Others have pointed you to the Climate Audit website. It is a very good resource. I would also point you to a series of articles at Canada.com titled The Deniers which details the views of 10 eminent scientists. They do not all agree, but their criticisms are devastating.

    Finally, I point you to the most influential tree in the world which describes how the conclusions of the 2007 IPCC are ultimately traceable to the tree ring measurements of a single tree in Siberia!

    AGW is environmentalist religion under a thin, very thin, veneer of science.

    Scott Eudaley (5459b4)

  101. As you can see from above, and there’s a ton more, the defendant (man), cannot be convicted to death while there’s a plethora of contradictory, and in most cases, provable evidence. And the provable evidence is, of course, that we are still here.Far worse variations in temperature and carbon dioxide have existed over eath’s history. For example, 440 million years ago there was 16 times the amount of C02 in the atmosphere as now. Yet life formed, changed, and survived.

    j.l. (fb346e)

  102. Global warming: Our best guess is likely wrong

    No one knows exactly how much Earth’s climate will warm due to carbon emissions, but a new study this week suggests scientists’ best predictions about global warming might be incorrect.

    If the computer models are so often wrong, how can we believe them?

    Tanny O'Haley (12193c)

  103. j.l. – You posted what I was looking for, but I don’t see the link. I looked for it on the SEPP site but did not find it. I recall reading on Ace (?). Could you try again with the link. Thanks.

    Also, the Heartland Institute, noted shill for the Oil and Gas industry, has been sponsoring conferences related to the issue for several years now where skeptics can actually present their views in a public forum. The following link “Climategate 2010: The Inconvenient Facts about Global Warming” describes the beginning of its 2010 conference.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  104. The questions should be:
    (1)Has the earth been warming over the last several decades?
    (2)If so, are humans increasing that warming to a catastrophic degree?
    (3)If so, what are humans doing that increasing global warming, and to what degree?
    (4)If so, what is the least disruptive way to deal with the warming, considering that humanity has many other priorities to deal with?

    As Eric Blair pointed out, we don’t have accurate computer models that can predict global climate. So it’s illogical to make policies based on predictions that have not been demonstrated to have predictive value.

    California’s global warming law, AB 32, is based on a ungrounded premise that nearly all the warming comes from greenhouse gases. In fact, much of the melting of glaciers that is one of the biggest causes for concern has been shown to come from melting black carbon, aka soot. The amount appears to be at least 90 percent. This melting is not global, but a local phenomenon.

    Reducing greenhouse gases in California will do nothing about this. And California simply isn’t a big enough part of the world economy to make a difference anyway. Companies that emit too much CO2 under the law will simply move to other parts of the country or world. Net emissions won’t drop.

    Prop. 23 will give California’s economy a chance to recover while we rethink the dire global warming predictions. And while we’re at it, we can investigate CARB and see what other data they have might be wrong.

    As has been pointed out before, your dismissal of the East Anglia emails as the product of “cranks” is greatly in error. They are supposedly among the most prestigious people in the field. If you wish to learn more about the emails, they and other documents are freely available. Read them and decide how much trust you place in scientists who talk like that.

    ManKind Project (fb9e90)

  105. Bradley:

    “… noted shill for the oil and gas industry”?

    I’ve never heard of The Heartland Institute before today but how do you square that description with this Heartland statement:

    Q: Can you reply to specific accusations made by ExxonSecrets?

    A: Yes. ExxonSecrets is a project of Greenpeace, the radical environmental group that seeks to ban all or nearly all logging, mining, and cars and trucks in the U.S. Fueling alarmism about global warming by wildly exaggerating the human role and the likely consequences of warming is one way they seek to achieve these goals. Naturally, Greenpeace doesn’t like us.

    The “Factsheet” on Heartland at ExxonSecrets (last viewed in September 2009) is loaded with errors, from the very first sentence (we were founded in 1984, not “the 1990s”) to the outdated lists of directors, to the false assertion that Walt Buchholtz, a former board member, “serves as Heartland’s Government Relations Advisor,” a deliberate misreading of a tax form filed several years ago. (Buchholtz was never a member of Heartland’s staff.)

    The site presents a list of gifts from ExxonMobil to Heartland, apparently based on annual reports from ExxonMobil, but fails to mention that the gifts never exceeded 5 percent of Heartland’s annual budgets, makes no mention of Heartland’s policies that separate donors from our researchers and writers, and presents no evidence at all of an improper relationship. It should matter that Heartland gets 95 percent of its income from energy consumers and only 5 percent from energy producers, but this fact doesn’t appear on ExxonSecrets.

    While the first gift to Heartland reported on the ExxonSecrets site appears to have been made in 1998, the site fails to report that Heartland was questioning the science behind the global warming scare since 1994. And although ExxonMobil hasn’t contributed to Heartland since 2006, Heartland greatly increased its concentration and publication output on global warming since then.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  106. Re: Dr. Harrison Schmitt’s article, there was a post on Power Line.

    jeff (d629fd)

  107. Even if agw is real, humans will be able to adapt. The worst case scenario would be that we have to annex Canada and move there.

    Chris (7626bd)

  108. Let me give you some idea of how crude the current crop of climate models are. Are you familiar with my home turf, the Bay Area? It is not unusual for temperatures to vary widely and we are known for our wildly divergent micro-climates. Often, the temperature difference between the coast and the interior (only a few miles away) are in excess of 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Yet, in the climate models, the entire Bay Area is often represented by a single data point! The most refined climate model divides the world up into squares 50 nautical miles on a side. There is no way it can accurately model the coast of California (or any other place, for that matter).

    Tanny O’Haley is exactly right. The true test of any climate model is its ability to accurately predict the past. There really is no other possible proof of accuracy. We have reasonably accurate temperature records going back to the 1940’s. I wrote many years ago that the only way to convince me that global climate models are accurate is to input the temperature records from the 40’s through 70’s, then predict the temperatures from 1980 through today. We know what those temperatures actually were and compare the results.

    No existing climate model can do that. They don’t even come close. Moreover, I have serious doubts that it is even possible. See article #8 in The Deniers link I posted above on The Limits of Predictability.

    Scott Eudaley (5459b4)

  109. I read an interesting book, The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt. I learned several interesting things from that book, just one of which was that the world has gone through many changes, there is no real normal.

    So it seems to me that it is possible that any warming that is taking place is part of a natural process…it might also be that people could have some impact on that process, but I doubt it.

    Terrye (2e6779)

  110. I never heard of this guy either but as i understand the term “disinterested observer” is someone with nothing to gain either way.The people who have been promoting AGW have made a lot of money out of it.This man made a principled stand to preserve his integrity by refusing to be associated with what is in his qualified opinion a giant fraud

    dunce (b89258)

  111. _________________________________________

    So: why should I doubt what appears to be a scientific consensus?

    Since I dislike hot weather, I’ve long been aware of the meteorological condition that causes it, certainly here in southern California. It’s the presence of what are known as high-pressure systems in the atmosphere, which cycle around the planet on a regular basis.

    AGW alarmists have yet to explain how carbon dioxide nurtures — if at all — those high pressure systems. Moreover, if CO2 is causing heating throughout the planet, one would think it would show up in a somewhat uniform manner. But I still observe frequent instances where, again, a high-pressure system will cause a dramatic warm up in the LA area but not as much, or not at all, around northern California.

    BTW, since California can’t come to Spain, Spain (which has been run by a leftist government for a few years and is also suffering from one of the worse economies in Europe) will come to California. I’m referring to the huge amount of tax-funded support that Spain’s government has put into anti-AGW, green technology. Researchers have determined that effort has resulted in almost no new jobs.

    California: Yearning to be America’s answer to Spain/Mexico/France/Venezuela.

    Mark (411533)

  112. My 2 cents, admittedly after reading only a very small fraction:

    As Comment by Tanny O’Haley at #101-
    On the basis of data from roughly 1900 until 1970 or so the predictions were for global cooling to occur. A mere 15-20 years later, a mere blink of an eye or less in terms of the existence of earth, some of the same scientists were making the opposite prediction, originally based on the additional years of real-time surveillance data. The proposed “hockey stick” graph came later, as did computer modeling.

    It didn’t seem reasonable to base such a long reaching prediction on such limited data. I would make the following analogy: Say in the first 5 days of 2011 there is a 40 % reduction of violent crime in LA. On day 7 there is a front page LAT article on how 2011 is predicted to be the safest year in LA in the last half-century. Over the next three days there is an eruption of gang violence 75% higher than over those 3 days the previous year. Two days later, the 12th day of the new year, the LAT speaks of the radical ways people need to protect themselves from the most violent year that LA has ever seen.

    In the context of crime statistics for a given year, the first 12 days are a very poor predictor of what will happen the rest of the year. To not only claim it is a good predictor, but to claim you can explain the cause, is simply overreaching.

    When you talk about world-wide climate change over the centuries, I think looking at one century is about the same as 10 days of crime data, you don’t really know what the trend is, or if there is a trend, when you get very different results depending on what data points you choose out of an inadequate sample.

    To be convinced they were correct, I’d want more evidence than computer models and based on more reliable data than temperature measurements taken from non-representative locations.

    The argument of “just to be safe” would make some sense if the suggested actions were possible, let alone affordable. I think the US could drastically reduce CO2 emissions and it wouldn’t mean much, because the rest of the world is becoming the manufacturing base with increased industrialization and those growing countries like China, India, Brazil, etc. have much less of a commitment, if any, to environmental protection than the US.

    In addition, we know that Mars was warmer as well, and that sunspot activity could be correlated with the higher temperatures for Earth and Mars.

    In addition, there’s Greenland. Either Greenland was named so as a sarcastic joke, or it actually was a more productive environment at one time, which is supported by colonies there by Viking explorers. So we have evidence that not that many years ago (compared to the age of the earth) conditions were much warmer over substantial parts of the earth long before recent industrialization.

    MD in Philly (edd1cf)

  113. First things first:

    Whether “An Inconvenient Truth” is truth or fantasy, what California does with its carbon emissions in the context of Prop 23 will make no difference whatsoever. So in the context of Prop 23 the question of whether “global warming” is real is not the issue, the issue is whether California can afford to suffer the massive job losts implementing Prop 23 will cause. I say it can’t.

    I also say the problem with East Anglia are a lot more serious than you’re making them out to be. The problem in Anglia aren’t just the snark, cattiness, flagrant violation of FOI requests, or the obvious efforts to rig a scientific consensus. It was also the fact that, at the end of the day the hypothesis did not match the data, period, and rather than revise the hypothesis and re-test it the “scientists” altered the data — and destroyed the original data in the process. Now the AGW hypothesis cannot be tested by reliance on previous data, not now, not ever.

    And can anyone name one model that has proven correct? Any hypothesis that has to constantly be remodeled like AGW has (its no longer global warming per se but “climate change”) is one that is constantly overlooking important variables such that it is frankly not reliable.

    Now my point is not that human activity or CO2 emissions don’t have an impact on the environment of weather. My point is that the link is unproven based on the data we have (no small thanks to the folks at East Anglia).

    Sean P (a82c1f)

  114. Rather than read all of the comments,
    why don’t you watch Prof. Bob Carter?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOLkze-9GcI

    Approximately 40 minutes about why the AGW hypothesis is false.

    Also, let me remind you that in science, just like in grade
    10 algebra, you must show your work. Science must be reproducible. But guess what? the Global Warming advocates steadfastly refuse to release their data and algorithms.

    Or how about the similarity between how Al Gore sells his schitck, by using the methods of a used car salesman: appeals to authority, appeals to immediacy (We must act NOW!), ad hominem attacks, exaggerating the danger (the sea will rise by 200 feet….and keep in mind that he bought a place in San Francisco only a few years ago that is on the water front)and refusing to debate.

    Jack (f9fe53)

  115. Daleyrocks- As far as the SEPP link- Go to powerlineblog.com, then look at the right side of the page and scroll down to “Archives- Monthly archives”, then go to “Global Warming Hoax: A Summary”, on 2010-10-03.

    j.l. (fb346e)

  116. Or lets just follow the money….there is mega millions being handed out to prove AGW is right.

    (Why don’t you look up the UN directive for the IPCC?
    The stated mission of the IPCC is to find evidence for man made global warming. The IPCC’s mission is NOT a disinterested investigation into the facts about climate change.)

    Or how about common sense and a knowledge of complex systems: Al Gore and the rest are arguing that CO2 is just a big rheostat. (Increase CO2 and temp goes up; decrease CO2 and temp goes down.) Does anything in human experience indicate that natural systems operate in such a mechanistic fashion? (In case you are wondering, the answer is no.)

    You just dealt with a speed problem on your website. Did you just change one thing and suddenly everything was perfect? Or did a bunch of things have to be changed? But the climate reacts as though it is attached to a volume control?

    Jack (f9fe53)

  117. Further, global warming hoaxers refuse to engage honestly on the question of how much damage their “fixes” would do to America’s economy (by ignoring lost jobs and claiming that mythical “green jobs” would be created at a greater rate to replace them)

    Global warming hoaxers refuse to engage honestly on the question of how much carbon would be prevented from entering the atmosphere if we put restrictions on American businesses, when that would mean more manufacturing jobs going to China, which pollutes more

    Global warming hoaxers refuse to engage honestly on the question of how much good it would do to lessen the amount of carbon we put into the atmosphere. By their theory, we are on the path to armageddon, so how is reducing emissions going to stop that? Even if we could reduce emissions by 50%, which would be huge, we would still be on the path to doom, but half as fast.

    Any political movement that is so defined by hypocrisy and bad faith argument cannot be trusted. Any political movement that wants to ignore its most basic ideas when it comes time to actually drafting policy cannot be trusted. The agenda they really have is very different from the agenda they claim to have.

    Daryl Herbert (91c0c5)

  118. The Crichton quote in #58 is very good, and speaks to the root of the original question…not that “why should you doubt what seems to be a consensus” but rather that the question itself is meaningless.

    I think Heinlein was also quoted saying something quite similar. Although no-one would accuse him of being a climate scientist, and he wasn’t speaking on the subject directly. (And I haven’t bothered to Google a direct reference link, either), but I think it went something like “The universe doesn’t care how many people agree with you, it has its own ways of determining ‘the truth’.”

    As for me, I’m also not a climate engineer, so hardly qualified to opine about 3rd-party retellings in popular science media outlets about the real research. But it seems to me that if they’d truly found an incontrovertible smoking gun, we’d know about it. On the other hand, I do electromagnetic analysis with computer modeling, a field that does not suffer from chaotic variability or nonlinear behavior…and even then there’s something known as boundary conditions that you apply where you have to terminate your model space with some sort of assumption in order to parse the problem down at a scale you can simulate it. Get them wrong, and the ‘physics’ of the simulation will give you a completely internally consistent — and wrong — answer.

    I see the same problem as inherent in “climate” modeling, in that everyone has to make assumptions about what the ‘boundary conditions’ are at the edge of the atmosphere, not to mention the input conditions (solar output, for that matter even the interactions of the solar system’s ‘bow shock’ wave against intersellar dust of differing densities as we whirl around the galaxy). There’s just not enough rigor to even the basic inputs and outputs which when compounded with a system that does behave with nonlinear feedback (all the AGW-pundits talk about “tipping points” and the like), and, well, my skepticism wins out.

    To that point, here’s a link to a populist retelling of the boundary condition issue – you can follow the links directly to the Hungarian science journal if you want. Don’t know if this guy’s been “discredited” by the “consensus” yet, but the gist of the argument sounded rather interesting to me.

    http://www.dailytech.com/Researcher+Basic+Greenhouse+Equations+Totally+Wrong/article10973.htm

    rtrski (b04f2a)

  119. I am curious as to what the optimal temperature for the Earth is, and what specific steps can we take to increase/decrease the Earth’s temperature to arrive at said optimal temperature.

    Isn’t it odd that the “solutions” for global cooling and global warming are so similar? Seems the solution remains the same, in search of a problem will advance said solution.

    JD (bbaff3)

  120. DRJ – 104 was me. I think Bradley was referring to another post. I was kidding about the “noted shill” bit just to mock standard lefty propaganda. I doubt they are shills for anybody. They usually put out good product.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  121. DRJ – Oops, mixing them up with Heritage in my head.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  122. Sorry, forgot to add not only are the simulation inputs and outputs suspect, but the “historical record” against which they’re validating results is of course riddled with all the assumptions and modifications of all sorts of “proxies” for nonexistent direct measurements. Others have already posted all the questioning of even the more recent direct measurements. So even if you want to believe that the climate models have all the right feedback equations and relationships, you still have a garbage in, garbage out situation, which will be compared against a questionable benchmark to evaluate success.

    Of course another oft-used response is to never let the perfect be the enemy of the good enough, or not to assume because we don’t know everything that we don’t know anything. But I don’t even think we know what we think we know (we being the ‘consensees’).

    So yes, I’m unconvinced. I’m not hostile about it, until someone starts posting about drowning polar bears and blaming cars. If you DID believe in AGW…carbon regulation is about the stupidest way to go about “correcting” it.

    rtrski (b04f2a)

  123. daleyrocks,

    Heh. I was confused before but I’m really confused now!

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  124. There is no such consensus.

    Comment by Steven Den Beste — 10/9/2010 @ 2:22 pm

    And as a non-scientist, how do I know this?

    Comment by Patterico — 10/9/2010 @ 2:26 pm

    I haven’t read all the intervening comments, so maybe you have answered this question by now:

    Why don’t you first explain what makes you think there is a consensus?

    [I did explain this. — P]

    Gerald A (0843ed)

  125. DRJ – I do my best. Heh!

    daleyrocks (940075)

  126. Patterico

    I didn’t see your response until now.

    > You’re right that I am not a scientist but that does not mean the automatic response is to oppose freedom-limiting measures.

    Well, I didn’t mean to imply the two were related. Just to note that both of us are a disadvantage.

    And no, we should not automatically oppose it. But “we the people” cannot cede power to the scientists any more the judges, even if they are the experts. Power ceded will be power abused and I believe that is precisely what is happening here. they must come to us and prove their case.

    I mean certainly you can recognize that just as the law can be distorted to serve a judge’s policy goals, science can be similarly distorted to serve a scientist’s policy. And they are far more left wing than the rest of America.

    And saying the burden of proof is on them is not automatic opposition. It is no more automatic opposition than saying the burden is on the state to prove a man guilty of a crime means we automatically declare him not guilty. They can overcome that burden of proof, but at the very least I want clear and convince evidence before I hand over my freedom (and very often our money).

    And they have squandered their credibility. By the outright dishonesty of some, and the silence in the face of that dishonesty of others, they have squandered it. either they didn’t notice or didn’t care about the well-publicized fakery going on, except for the so-called deniers. The deniers were the only ones telling us the truth about that hockey stick, for instance.

    > Again, if [the people claiming AGW is genuine are] right, this is a huge problem for humanity, no?

    But that’s just it. They are always coming up with these catastrophic threats for years. All my life they have been telling me that the scientific consensus was I was about to die. First, it was global warming. Then it was acid rain. Then it was holes in the ozone layer. Then it was global warming. And then its lame attempt at repackaging—climate change, as though the climate ever stands still. We never did anything about these problems of significance and yet somehow they are not killing us today. At some point you just start to get cynical and say, “oh, right, so what is going to kill me now?”

    So if we just believed them without skepticism, well, hell when global cooling as all the rage we would then be doing our best to increase the temperature of the earth, which according to the global warmists later, was exactly the wrong thing to do.

    By the way, how did that happen, anyway? How were the scientists so sure at one time that the earth was cooling and then change their mind and decide it was warming?

    And you just can’t say, “but what if they are right?” the government can’t lock up a man in prison just because you are afraid he might be a serial killer. The government has to meet its burden of proof. But they want to limit the freedom of every single American and harm the economy to boot. Don’t we have a right to say, “okay, you say this is that serious. THEN PROVE IT!”?

    But like I said, if California wants to keep shipping its jobs to the other 49 states, be my guest. I mean that is the big problem you are not addressing. I mean you say that AGW is a serious issue, well great, but if California cuts it down by X amount, but CO2 increases across the nation by the same amount as business flees your state, what have you accomplished? Don’t you understand that this is exactly the kind of thing that has put your state in the crapper? You guys have driven business out of your state.

    Aaron Worthing (f97997)

  127. Because the case for AGW has not been made. There indeed seems to be a slow, gradual warming, interspersed with colder times, from the end of the last ice age to the present day. The case for that increase being human-caused is completely hypothetical and has virtually no actual physical evidence supporting it. Hand-picked tree-ring proxies and overly-simplistic models of a chaotic system with literally millions of inputs do not prove anything.

    I support the “natural warming” case.

    mojo (4e4a98)

  128. Whether “An Inconvenient Truth” is truth or fantasy

    As noted above, the fact that Gore will never debate anyone regarding his “facts” prove the premise in the film is just more flim – flam. Even James Cameron wussied out of a debate at the Aspen Institute, even though he ridiculed the skeptics in particularly rude language.

    These people are just bullies, even the possibility of a slight confrontation with the truth turns them into running cowards. Again, their actions belie their words.

    Dmac (84da91)

  129. Here’s the Power Line Blog link: The Global Warming Hoax: A Summary

    There has been an absolute natural increase in global surface temperature of half a degree Centigrade per 100 years (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) over the last three and a half centuries. Observational climate data and objective interpretations of those data strongly indicate that nature, not human activity, exerts the primary influence on this current long term warming and on all global climate variations. Human influence through use of fossil fuels has been and remains minor if even detectable. Claims to the contrary only find support in highly questionable climate models that fail repeatedly against the reality of nature. What, then, stimulates historically and geologically observed, sometimes slow and sometimes radical, changes in climate?

    Tanny O'Haley (12193c)

  130. Patterico

    Btw, this is also a must read. the late michael chricton’s lecture “aliens caused global warming.”

    despite its tongue-in-cheek title, he has a very serious point and the degradation of science and how it led to this global warming claptrap. its really worth a read. he was ahead of the curve saying this was all bunk.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1300661/posts

    Aaron Worthing (f97997)

  131. I never heard of him before and it’s one guy, but it’s timely . .

    In 1945, how many had heard of Enrico Fermi, Leo Szilard, Edward Teller, and J. Robert Oppenheimer, among others?

    AD-RtR/OS! (747679)

  132. I hate it when scientific questions become political issues — because I think politics causes people to lose rationality. And i think this has become a virtual religion for both sides.

    It seems to me that you are assuming that the “natural state” of scientific questions is that they are addressed rationally and in good faith by objective inquirers, and for them to turn into “political issues” is a unique and readily observed event. To some degree I think this is like saying, “I hate it when legal issues become political issues”, as if the general state is that wise and objective legal scholars decide questions of the law without political sentiments being involved and political influence is an unusual and readily identifiable thing.

    MD in Philly (edd1cf)

  133. ______________________________________

    But like I said, if California wants to keep shipping its jobs to the other 49 states, be my guest.

    I recall that back in the 1980s quite a few conservatives/Republicans in Sacramento were opposed to requiring that autos have catalytic converters, or a device to eliminate out-and-out, flat-out pollutants. Growing up in LA and always being annoyed by the frequent number of days with cruddy, brown-laden air, I wasn’t happy with that POV. In the context of that era, or certainly based on that one issue, I guess I was a so-called centrist or even a leftist.

    Flash forward to today and now quite a few liberals/Democrats and a variety of squishy Republicans (and even a few conservatives who for some reason are suffering from a peculiar lapse of common sense) in Sacramento — and elsewhere — are wringing their hands over carbon dioxide, or the same gas humans breathe out every few seconds.

    That’s why I say to have been a conservative or centrist decades ago meant one thing. To be one today is a whole different matter. IOW, being a “progressive” in the context of 2010 means one is pretty much an ultra-liberal.

    Mark (411533)

  134. I’ll defer to Dixy Lee Ray, who famously remarked that if man wanted to destroy the Earth, he couldn’t (contrary to the nightmares of Carl Sagan); and the corollary is that if Mother Nature wants to heat up, or cool down, the Earth, there is very little that Man can do about it, but adapt – which we happen to be quite excellent at (witness A/C in Texas).

    AD-RtR/OS! (747679)

  135. Very slick. I hope this isn’t considered an unacceptable post, but I can’t help but admire the method in your “madness.” (There, I put “madness” in quotes, so I’m not actually accusing you.)

    Once you’re done building the world’s largest collection of anti-AGW links and arguments, can I borrow this system to collect everybody’s input on arguments for the existence of God? Or perhaps arguments against Darwinian evolution?

    Patterico, my friend, somehow I doubt that you were really flirting with AGW at all. But you’ve got quite a nice collection of material, and all while you sleep.

    Gesundheit (aab7c6)

  136. Gesundheit,
    Patterico, my friend, somehow I doubt that you were really flirting with AGW at all.
    I sure hope you’re right. Patterico’s reference to the “cranks” who wrote the East Anglia emails may have been a giveaway.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  137. Discussion of Code from East Anglia

    The above link provides an excellent discussion of the hard coded vector used to calculate the “Hockey Stick”. In my opinion, this is the smoking gun that proves malfeasance. This is important because it demonstrates that the program used for modeling the predicted change in climate was not only wrong, but intentionally wrong. Consensus occurred because no peer reviewer had access to this code. It was only made available in the file dump that precipitated the investigation of the people at East Anglia and Michael Mann at Penn State. This is bad science (and bad programming, for that matter).

    emrys (52b053)

  138. Comment by Mark — 10/9/2010 @ 8:55 pm

    Catalytic converters create CO2!
    They take unburned hydrocarbons (HC), and Carbon-Monoxide (CO), add more O2 with air-injection,
    and change them into water-vapor (H2O) – a true greenhouse gas of more affect than CO2 – and that dreaded CO2!
    Just look at the report-card you get when you take your car in for an emissions test.

    AD-RtR/OS! (747679)

  139. I don’t know if Patterico has a strong opinion on global warming but I could definitely see him take sides in order to promote a vigorous debate. He even acknowledged in the post he might play devil’s advocate to promote discussion.

    [I’d say that’s an accurate rendition of my intent. — P]

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  140. The scientific method is NOT “Here is the hypothesis; it is up to skeptics to disprove it.” No, rather science requires proof, and AGW has none at all. Not one single computer model which forecasts dire consequences relative to CO2 output in the future can duplicate its results using older data to arrive at the current state. None of them. This means, simply, they are inaccurate and unreliable.

    Adjoran (ec6a4b)

  141. Here is why you should default to skepticism: 1 – those with the facts on their side do not have to manipulate data or falsify graphs, 2 – those WTFOTS do not dump the original raw data so no one else can analyze it, 3 – those WTFOTS do not need to pressure journals not to print skeptical or critical articles behind the scenes, 4 – those WTFOTS do not break the law to avoid disclosing their emails detailing their various fabrications and conspiracies, and 5 – those WTFOTS do not need to spuriously claim that such temporary weather conditions as draughts or hurricanes represent evidence of their position. Motive, you demand, Mr. Prosecutor? Is money still a good one? Look how much the “climate” boys used to get in grants and aid – they couldn’t buy a new Mr. Coffee for the lounge, which still had plastic ’70s chairs. Then along came AGW and suddenly they are flush, TV and journal interviews, the UN has grant money, all the spigots are on, and they are new Hot Guys On The Block.

    Adjoran (ec6a4b)

  142. DRJ, Patterico has in the past said he believes the AGW crowd. But he’s also a fair man, and can be pursuaded to change his mind.

    I think the biggest point he needs to look at is the fact that the data do not support the conclusions. Doesn’t matter what the consensus says if the data doesn’t add up.

    [You can correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think I have ever said I believe the AGW crowd. My position is summed up well in this post: “I don’t feel scientifically qualified to have a firm opinion about man-made global warming, but you can consider me a cautious ‘man-made global warming skepticism skeptic.'” — P]

    Some Chump (e84e27)

  143. I passed this on to some friends in a small mailing list (as well as Jerry Pournelle in case he was numb and had not run across this himself). One of the readers replied, “I’m chuckling. Hal, without using the word, called his “friend”, Curt, and the hierarchy of the American Physical Society a bunch of whores an(d) then hopes he and Curt are still friends.”

    The damage control effort should be immensely entertaining.

    {^_-}

    jdow (98e9d7)

  144. Patterico,
    I am not a climate scientist. I am a scientist. If the physicist above is a really good heart surgeon commenting on the latest techniques in neurosurgery then I am a general practitioner doing the same, we are both marginally qualified but his opinion would carry more weight (if he gave one other than his resignation).

    Almost none of the comments above cites a single peer reviewed publication. Most of the “skeptical” links also do not cite any or only a tiny handful of peer reviewed publications. So I will put some here.

    DATA
    The best online resource I can find for climate science is realclimate.org. There is a lot of info so if you don’t want to dredge around in the site here are some relevant links.

    Here is basic background information. Most of this is also given in McIntyre’s Climate Audit site linked above (one of the few sites with peer reviewed articles)
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/start-here/

    Here are data sources including code for some (not all) of the climate models
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/

    Here is a good commentary on the hockey stick figure which apparently plays a politicized role in the climate debate but is only one figure among many that support AGW. Of particular note here is myth #0 (i.e. there is no “smoking gun” )
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/myths-vs-fact-regarding-the-hockey-stick/

    ETHICS
    If commentors here are interested in how science is done and gets published and how scientists think about ethics, check out this link

    http://scienceblogs.com/ethicsandscience/2010/02/climategate_the_michael_mann_i.php

    EdWood (1969a9)

  145. Oh and I forgot one more really good one.

    If the jargon in these sites is just driving you nuts then a much less jargony (but dated) review of the science is presented by Paul Ehrlich in his book
    ” 8 Preposterous Propositions” I count Ehrlich as an AGW agnostic. He is also not a climate scientist so if you are worried about “the conspiracy” he is out of that loop.

    EdWood (1969a9)

  146. Supporting prop 23 doesn’t require denying AGW. Even if you accept the AGW hypothesis, Co2 emissions world-wide must be reduced substantially to reduce the impact of climate change. California cannot meaningfully reduce world-wide Co2 through unilateral action no matter what we do.

    AB32 will push economic activity out of California but is not likely to have any impact at all on the climate. I hope we have the wisdom to pass prop 23 so we can delay implementation of this costly and largely symbolic law.

    Dave (4afdd3)

  147. EdWood – Real Climate is run by the guys at the center of the Climategate mess. Defending their own fraud is a given at that site. Same at Climate Progress. Try something at least a step removed from the center of the scam for some credibility at least.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  148. Anti-CO2 sentiment emanates from mostly liberal guilt based on the idea that “humans are HORRIBLE and rapacious to Mother Earth!” It’s not too different from another form of leftist-based sentiment, that being the notion that “America is greedy and imperialistic while the Third World is sad, noble and unfairly disadvantaged!”

    I wouldn’t be as POed at all the dumb people of California if they embraced the idea that America needs to cut back on energy usage in order to become less dependent on foreign sources of oil. That at least is a valid goal. But nooo, they instead require emotions of do-gooder environmentalism in order to get enthusiastic about cracking down on part of the economy.

    Regardless, I want to see a large percentage of Californians — particularly the ones who live in liberal hubs like West LA and the Bay Area — drop their Al-Gore type of phoniness and start driving truly low-mileage vehicles (sell your SUVs, people!) and, better yet, begin to rely on public transit.

    Yea, that’ll be the day.

    Mark (411533)

  149. Realclimate.org will give a good overview of the warmist position for AGW, but not the skeptical viewpoint. Paul Ehrlich is a notorious alarmist whose views have been discredited.

    grs (b5a684)

  150. The above mass of data is why I believe that global warming (or more accurately global environmental change) is real and that humans, through agricultural practices, the burning of fossil fuels, and land conversion, contribute significantly to it.

    For those commentors who are convinced that climate change skeptics are being somehow stifled, I will first point out McIntyre’s own Climate Audit site that is linked above and his long list of publications. Here are some others I found

    Joanna Haigh et al. 2010 Nature 467
    This one is potentially incredibly explosive in its implications for the science based on atmospheric temperatures. (this was from realclimate.org)

    Foukal et al. 2004 Science 306 68-69 This was a critique of the science surrounding the analysis of the Medival Warming Period

    Lockwood and Frohlich 2007

    McIntyre and McKitrick 2003

    Gonzalez-Roueo et al 2003

    etc. etc. etc.

    If you read these publications they are new findings or critiques based on alternative readings/analyses of existing data. The work of these researchers is not being suppressed.
    That being said Haigh et al are going to be held to a very high standard of proof, and their work will have to be proven to be replicable, probably several times, before climate scientists abandon the current understanding of solar effects on atmospheric temperatures for the new view. This conservatism is a good thing because it helps science resist fads and groupthink which tend to happen in that community like in any other part of society.

    I was pleased to note that many commentors (#’s 15, 31, 32, 34, 39, 49, 80 etc.) have moved from bothering with the reality of Global Environmental Change to thinking about what, if anything, should be done, and about how to counter premature and expensive efforts to “fix” things. I understand, because of the comments in that previous thread, why persons who believe it’s all lies may refuse to take part in this particular conversation but I am glad to see that others will participate. In my view the “what to do” phase is the most perilous. God save us from a “war on climate change”.

    EdWood (1969a9)

  151. Daleyrocks,
    Michael Mann is one of the 11 regular commentors on the site. Please explain to me how the other 10 were involved in climategate.

    EdWood (1969a9)

  152. grs- Ehrlich is a bit of a nut about population growth but his analysis of the problem seems valid. Maybe he got more careful with his data after the spanking he got over writing “The Population Bomb”.

    EdWood (1969a9)

  153. EdWood–It’s not only Ehrlich’s population hysteria. He also famously lost the wager with economist Julian Simon in which he asserted that certain commodity metals would become more scarce over a decade, as determined by their inflation-adjusted prices. Instead, the metals became less scarce and their prices went down. The problem with Ehrlich is that he is an alarmist. Everything is a crisis, the world is about to end, we must act now, regardless of the state of the evidence. In this respect, his viewpoint is similar to Al Gore and the AGW alarmists. Ehrlich may be a scientist by training but not by disposition.

    grs (b5a684)

  154. grs,
    Check out his analysis of the global warming science. He isn’t making any predictions himself, he is analyzing the main claims and counter claims (in his view) of the science in a pro/con format.
    I think he gives the question “Is global warming real” three flakes (his own rating system) which is “probably true but lets wait for more data”.

    EdWood (1969a9)

  155. Here is a reprint of a great article published in Wired many years ago profiling Julian Simon and discussing the Simon-Ehrlich wager, for those who might be interested. The article illuminates the difference in thinking between alarmists and skeptics.

    grs (b5a684)

  156. EdWood–thank you for recommending Ehrlich’s analysis of global warming science, but to my mind Ehrlich is completely discredited and I wouldn’t think of turning to him for any kind of rational discussion on any topic. I do try to keep up on the AGW debate as a layman who does not pretend to have a scientific background, but there are many others writing on the subject, on both sides of the issue, who are more informed than Ehrlich.

    And thanks for a friendly discussion. Bed time now (way past, actually).

    grs (b5a684)

  157. If you have alot of time to kill, take a trip over to JunkScience.com where there is a section devoted to the topic.

    Disclaimer: I own a hybrid, but then I traded in a F-150 supercrew for it.

    Gerald A (3e2219)

  158. 1. Mr. Den Beste, no surprise here, has the comment that relieves you of the need to read further.

    As an engineer, with a physics/math/computer undergirding, I’ve taken the time to look into the ‘science’ of AGW-to understand the science, the data, and the climate model’s programming.

    “this has become a virtual religion for both sides”

    May I respectfully ask that you define religion?

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  159. Skeptics of global warming brings to mind a group of experienced, well educated scientists, engineers and managers who some years back reviewed evidence and data on hand, debated amongst themselves, and concluded a piece of lightweight insulation foam, about the size of a briefcase, weighing a mere 1.7 lbs. and travelling at 530 mph., striking the leading edge of a space shuttle wing made of strong, reinforced heat-resistant carbon, could not possibly inflict a degree of damage that would result in the catastrophic loss of vehicle and crew. They were wrong.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  160. “2) Lewis has no expertise, experience or training in climate science — absolutely none whatsoever”

    Let’s just look at this one spurious argument for the rancid tripe it is:

    The science of Climate is an applied science, like engineering, on the bedrock of Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Statistics.

    It is a young discipline, none of the dead pillars of “Climate Science and few of the living lights were trained in the science. It didn’t exist at their matriculation.

    A plurality were trained in Earth Science, many as Physicists, some Biology, on and on.

    The most prominent living Climate Scientist today in America is Lindzen of MIT. A skeptic, he is developing the heuristics of the science, and new theories of its function.

    The most famous, Hansen of the GISS and Columbia. Hansen was trained in the 60’s as an Astronomer and Mathematician at the 2nd tier Iowa U. He is developing the theory of AGW.

    Perusing the admissions catalogue of a good Climate program, e.g., that of George Mason, one finds 3 paths to completion. One path, seemingly the most stringent scietifically, is that involving a “physics concentration”. The average engineer has a more demanding preparation in physics and math than the budding climate scientist.

    The applied physics, statistics coursework engineers and climate scientists take are generated by their own academics and not subject to review and approval by academics from the pure sciences. The validity of the heuristics is nonetheless open to criticism from those quarters informed on the underlying principles.

    If an engineer built you a bridge and a physicist told you not to drive on the thing would you run a test, get another opinion, investigate further or just scoff “You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about”?

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  161. Pat

    Your article quoted Michael MAnn, here is his profile

    Note the complete and total lack of awards on research

    EricPWJohnson (cae720)

  162. whoops here is the link

    http://www.met.psu.edu/people/mem45

    EricPWJohnson (cae720)

  163. Don’t worry, the ruling class will tell you when to believe or not believe in “climate change” which used to be called global warming but is now called climate disruption. Doesn’t this Orwellian use of language ring any alarm bells? No, well good, you get an A. Read the New York Times, like Pravda in the 1980s, it will provide you with the most up to date fairy tales.

    Viator (c5da79)

  164. As a layman in AWG science, a few items seem implausible.

    1) The elimination of the MWP, including the NOAA’s assessment that the MWP was only regional covering, small parts of northern europe, greenland, at very small part of north eastern canada, while the entire southern hemisphere and most of the northern hemisphere, including china, russia, most of north america was colder. This inspite of known contemporeneous written records to the contrary, including growing of a species of fruit trees in china growing 300 miles north of their natural range.

    2) Sea levels rising – this should be the most easily measured, yet there seems to be little if any data out there showing location and the actual measurements. Where measurements are available, they are on sandy beaches which are most effected by shifting of sands.

    3) CO2 only comprises 400ppm, from the claimed base point of 280ppm. 400ppm is only .0004 or .04%. The increase is only .012% with an equal reduction in O2. Assuming for arguments sake that the CO2 is the primary factor in global warming – how much warming can the increase in CO2 actually cause? Since the O2 molecule that is being replaced with the CO2 molecule, the global warming effect is essentially the difference in the properties of the two molecules.
    Is the difference in heat retention, light retention, etc even measurable at that level.

    There seems to be a huge gap in the scientific analysis. Essentially we have global warming and we have an increase in co2 and therefore the increase has caused the global warming.

    Joe (93323e)

  165. (Disclaimer: I’m afraid I haven’t read most of the preceding comments.)
    As Patterico and the other lawyers here know, it is important to ask the right questions.
    The wrong question: is AGW real?
    The argument that our planet is experiencing Anthropogenic Global Warming goes like this:
    (1) Carbon Dioxide is a greenhouse gas (that is, more CO2 => higher temperatures).
    (2) The amount of CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere has increased significantly since the Industrial Revolution.
    (3) That increase is due to human activity.
    Both (1) and (2) are 100% reliable, being based on repeatable experiments and measurements. (3) is quite obvious, though not 100% proven (and probably not provable).
    Therefore, AGW is really happening.
    The right question: is AGW significant?
    The experimental evidence that tells us that CO2 is a greenhouse gas also tells us how much the various* observed increases in CO2 will warm the planet: roughly 1°F. Moreover, increases in CO2 have a diminishing effect on temperature. That is, if we were to push atmospheric CO2 to double the pre-industrial level,** temperatures would go up about 1°F from current levels, but raising temperatures another °F would require pushing CO2 to three times the pre-industrial level.
    * Measurements of CO2 levels have a fair bit of experimental error, but they’re good enough for calculating warming effects to one significant digit of accuracy.
    ** There are lots of good non-climate reasons for doing things that will stop CO2 reaching double the pre-industrial level.

    The key here is that CO2 is not the only greenhouse gas — in fact, it’s not even a major greenhouse gas. There’s only one greenhouse gas that matters: water. Predictions of harmful AGW relied on assumptions that CO2-induced warming would feed into the water cycle and cause (roughly speaking) a runaway positive feedback loop. Someone did propose a theory of how this could happen, but that theory was proven false by measurements of tropospheric temperatures. AFAIK, there is no credible theory predicting significant H2O-induced warming — or any significant warming at all, for that matter.

    (My main source for this is Richard Lindzen, who happens to have better credentials than anyone else on the subject.)
    I’ll say more in another comment.

    Chris Chittleborough (34e482)

  166. I love how people are always poring over the entrails of anyone who voices any skepticism of “climate science”. Here is the background of the chairman of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri:

    Pachauri was born in Nainital, India. He was educated at La Martiniere College in Lucknow and at the Indian Railways Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering in Jamalpur, Bihar. He belongs to the Special Class Railway Apprentices, 1958 Batch, an elite scheme which heralded the beginning of mechanical engineering education in India. He began his career with the Diesel Locomotive Works in Varanasi. Pachauri was awarded an MS degree in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, in 1972, as well as a joint Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Economics in 1974.

    Anyhow, the question should not be very difficult since are are many books written by highly regarded experts debunking this pseudo-science.

    Start with Roy W. Spencer’s “The Great Global Warming Blunder – How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists”. Dr. Spencer was senior scientist for climate studies at NASA.

    There are also other books, for example:

    The Climate Caper: Facts and Fallacies of Global Warming by Garth W. Paltridge

    Energy and Climate Wars: How Naive Politicians, Green Ideologues, and Media Elites are Undermining the Truth About Energy and Climate
    by Peter Glover and Michael Economides

    there are many, many others written and published by noted experts from all over the world.

    Viator (c5da79)

  167. You know what I just realized?

    IF every dream of the eco-fascists came true and 95% of humanity died off tommorow, that’d be a good thing, right?

    Well, if you’re a warmist, it’s not.

    Because, if you “cease to exist”, i.e. die, then all the carbon in your body gets released back into the ecosystem!!!

    OMG, what a dilemma!

    Lazarus Long (5720c3)

  168. Less than half of Published Scientists support Global Warming

    Less than half of published scientists endorse global warming

    Klaus-Martin Schulte examined all papers published from 2004 to February 2007. Of 528 total papers on climate change, only 38 (7%) gave an explicit endorsement of the consensus. While only 32 papers (6%) reject the consensus outright, the largest category (48%) are neutral papers, refusing to either accept or reject the hypothesis. Only a single one makes any reference to climate change leading to catastrophic results. (Source: DailyTech)

    EricPWJohnson (cae720)

  169. Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite. It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system — ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.

    Military-Industrial Complex Speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961

    Neo (7830e6)

  170. Also this guy, an old school genius and 32,000 scientist are against global warming

    http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p41.htm

    EricPWJohnson (cae720)

  171. How Ronald Reagan hurt Climate Science.
    Climate science needs temperature data that is not affected by the immediate environment (urban heat islands, asphalt parking lots, etc) of the weather station. There used to be lots of remote weather stations that fit this bill, but almost all of them were shut down in the early 90s after the Evil Empire collapsed (which is where Reagan comes in). The meteorological weather stations that we have now are good enough for short-term predictions, but rotten for long-term studies (due to changes in environment, moves, etc). You have to adjust the raw temperature data to (try to) remove this ‘noise’ before you can do any analysis. People like James Hansen have put lots of effort into creating systematic adjustment techniques; people like Steve McIntyre have pointed out substantial defects in those techniques. So it goes.
    For example: one dataset had temperatures for Darwin, Australia (a tropical coastal city) which were adjusted using values for Tennant Creek (hundreds of miles inland) … which is (a) dubious but (b) quite possibly the best you can do.
    For longer term studies, climate scientists have used tree ring width measurements and other proxies for temperature. (It should be possible to get useful historic data from these proxies, but at least some of the papers in this area are profoundly defective.)
    Observational sciences like climate science are always harder than fields where you can do repeatable experiments. A field where you have to adjust your whole data set before you can even start is doubly difficult.

    An observation
    I live on a farm in Australia, so I pay more attention to weather/climate than most. Recent research suggests that small variations in ocean temperatures correlate strongly to wet/dry/hot/cold years, and that they have a cycle of about 10 years … possibly 10.7 years? (Note that this is just speculation on my part.)

    Chris Chittleborough (34e482)

  172. Difficulties with climate modeling:

    I am an engineer in the aerospace industry. The difficulties inherent in developing an accurate testable model of a complex nonlinear system are many. There are analogies with respect to modeling airflow and aerodynamics. After many decades of effort, we are getting pretty good at predicting airflow over fairly simple surfaces. We tend to reuse shapes that are proven to work. Even so, we still get surprised on occasion by complex interactions between different surfaces. A previous poster did a good job discussing boundary conditions.

    The problem with climate modeling is that the science is still in its infancy with respect to other areas of science. Terrestial climate is very complex. In aerodynamics we tend to model a few standard surfaces. With the earth, we must take into account the effects of multiple types of terrain, understand the effects of winds, both prevailing and non prevailing. The oceans are not very well modeled or understood. The heat capacity of the oceans far outweighs the atmosphere. There are many feedback mechanisms possible, few of which are very well understood. We are not sure yet of how to sample the atmosphere or the ocean. A uniform sample of the atmosphere/ocean/land surface temperature is not necessarily adequate. A good model may need to have a high density of sample points in critical regions. We do not even know where these regions are at this point. I do not believe all the solar feedback mechanisms have been adequately modeled and tested for. Some feedback mechanisms may have multi-decade responses due to the massive ocean heat-sink.

    The fact that climate modeling is relatively new tends to put climate modelers on the defensive in comparison to other disciplines. There reaction is predictable.

    dave (4e0dda)

  173. In order to be a anthropogenic global warming activist, you must believe all of the following:

    1) There has been and will continue to be significant global warming. For this you need to completely trust the temperature readings from activist “scientists” like Phil Jones who have destroyed their original measurements and cherry picked the warmest sites to include. You also need to ignore the “nature tricks” from Michael Mann who blended tree-ring data with thermometer readings to “hide the decline” in temperatures found in the tree ring data since 1960.

    2) Man is the primary cause of global warming. In order to believe this you need to ignore or deny the much warmer pre-industrial Medieval Warm Period, and the nearly 40 year period from 1940-1980 when the planet’s temperature cooled and scientists agonized over the next ice age, even as man-made CO2 was pouring into the atmosphere.

    3) Global warming is extremely harmful. Here you must ignore the fact that almost all plants and animals are more abundant and healthier in warmer climates. Plants grown in high-CO2 environments grow dramatically faster than those left in a control environment.

    4) Man is able to significantly change the planet’s climate by spending a massive amount of money in a job-killing program, designed by politicians and supporters who stand to gain financially, called “Cap and Trade”.

    5) Spending a trillion dollars per year to significantly reduce worldwide CO2 emissions is the best use of the money to improve the human condition. Since the U.S. is broke, this means borrowing trillions from our kids and grandkids, and risking currency collapse.

    6) All the industrial countries of the world can be persuaded to cooperate in crippling their economies to “save the planet”. So ignore the recent fiasco at Copenhagen.

    7) Al Gore, U.N. politicians, and the researchers involved in ClimateGate upon whose research the IPCC opinions are based, are primarily interested in providing us with accurate science, and are not interested in their own power, funding and enrichment.

    8) Climate models which cannot even predict the past, somehow can predict the future.

    9) CO2 a trace gas vital for life, which is present at 0.03% in the atmosphere, could be doubled without measurably affecting the temperature, if it weren’t for the “feedback effect” of clouds and water vapor, whose impact is poorly understood. So unless you buy the sensitivity factor they assign to the “feedback effect”, the whole theory is questionable.

    Freedom Fan (975ec9)

  174. shooter shows the ad hominem behavior of the AGW proponents. Prof. Lewis says something critical of those advocating for AGW so of course, Lewis must have been paid off: “… whether Lewis may be a shill for the denier industry …”

    The whole point of the resignation letter of Lewis from the APS was not the truth or falsity of the AGW hypothesis. It was his reaction to the corruption of the process and of the APS itself.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  175. Why all the venomous screeching when their science is questioned?
    The only peer reviews they allow are the ones that agree with them.
    I don’t trust people who behave like that… particularly when there is big money attached to their theory being “right”.

    I also am skeptical about anyone who tries to tell me how high the seas will be; and what the weather and temperatures are going to do 40 years from now.

    The illustration above about the piece of foam taking out the space shuttle was a good one.
    All the best and brightest were gathered to take a hard look at close evidence. And the consensus was wrong.
    The climate guys are claiming they can measure everything on the globe… no wait… not just the globe, but all the gases that surround it too.
    And with such precision that they can predict the future.
    I’m shocked that everyone isn’t skeptical of this enormous claim… and enormous really doesn’t do the claim justice… astronomical is probably the better word.
    When challenged to “prove it by showing us something now rather than 50 years out” they cited hurricanes and used Katrina…. then the hurricane season (or lack thereof) bit them in the ass, so they backed off and retreated again to the unfalsifiable position of predicting how it will 40-50 years from now if we don’t shower them with our money… here’s a thought: let me keep my money and I’ll plan ahead for hot, cold, good, bad and then whatever nature throws at me, I’ll have my resources at the ready

    SteveG (cc5dc9)

  176. “Please explain to me how the other 10 were involved in climategate.”

    EdWood – I have no idea of your level of understanding of how the circular flow of data and self-reinforcing publication works in the climate change industry. Just review the biographies of the principals involved at Real Climate, their work places, their co-publications, their involvement in the rigged IPCC assessments and you will see how tightly woven together the crew is, which merely perusing the site’s output should also tell you through its outright bias.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  177. Climate change is real. Mann-made global warming catastrophe is not.

    Freedom Fan (975ec9)

  178. EdWood, the same group of people, Mann, Bradley, Hughes, Briffa, etc., keep cycling through the same set of tainted temperature proxies and republishing supposed studies of historic temperature in an attempt to put life back into the hockey stick.

    This is the work that McIntyre has done such a masterful job of analysis upon, only to be subject to the same ad hominem’s from the RealClimate group that shooter showed for us above.

    When you’ve really looked into that and the criticisms’ you’ll learn that the supposed uniqueness of recent warming is simply not there.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  179. If Prop 23 doesn’t pass the rest of the country will just have that much less sympathy for California when it comes around begging begging begging for a bailout.

    happyfeet (19c1da)

  180. he not only has no entry in Wikipedia

    So many wikipedia entries turn out to be made and maintained by the people they are about, as an advertisement. I don’t think scientists generally need a wiki entry they bolster for ego. They need hard data that isn’t tainted by fraud.

    Too many people have tried to build their wealth and fame and power instead of accept the data. There is absolutely no reason to screw with data unless you have a preconception that you think is more important than the truth. Of course, it’s possible that the data actually confirmed global warming while the warming truthers lied about the data, but that’s pretty hard to understand.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  181. _________________________________________

    I live on a farm in Australia, so I pay more attention to weather/climate than most.

    And if you’re like me you have to be always aware of the presence (or absence) and influence of high pressure systems on the climate in your part of the globe. Depending on their location in relation to the plot of land you occupy, a high pressure system always causes higher temperatures and dry conditions.

    So how does CO2 affect areas of high pressure? Does that gas somehow increase the number and strength of those systems?

    I’ve yet to read any AGW worrywort correlate CO2 with the following:


    Atmospheric pressure at the Earth’s surface is one of the keys to weather, which is one reason weather maps feature H’s and L’s, representing areas of high and low air pressure. High and low pressure areas are important because they affect the weather.

    As the name says, a “high” is an area where the air’s pressure is higher than the pressure of the surrounding air. A “low’ is where it’s lower. Meteorologists don’t have any particular number that divides high from low pressure; it’s the relative differences that count.

    The pressure is high at the surface where air is slowly descending — much too slowly to feel. And, this is going on over a large area, maybe a few hundred square miles. As air descends, it warms, which inhibits the formation of clouds. This is why high pressure is generally — but not quite always — associated with good weather.

    As air rises it cools. As the air cools, the humidity in it begins to condense into tiny drops of water, or if it’s cold enough, into tiny ice crystals. If there’s enough water or ice, rain or snow begin to fall. This is why low pressure is associated with bad weather.

    ^ I won’t even mention how the tilt of the Earth — and the corresponding amount of energy that therefore is coming from the Sun — is the reason we have spring, summer, fall and winter. The particular season depending upon, of course, whether one is dealing with the northern or southern hemisphere.

    As for high pressure being “associated with good weather” and low pressure being “associated with good weather,” I know squishes like John McCain apparently agree with that notion. After all, even though he falls for the idea that CO2 is FRIGHTENING!!, the guy lives in friggin’ hot, drought-ridden Arizona.

    Moreover, a variety of leftists who get in a tizzy over “AGW is HORRIBLE!!!” also buy into the same thing. How many of them will say “rain and cold temperatures are a sign of good weather in my book!” instead of “sunshine, warmth and dryness are lousy and tiresome!!”

    Call it a form of limousine liberalism.

    Personally, I dislike hot, dry weather, and why anyone would want to live in a place like Arizona or Las Vegas is beyond me.

    _________________________________________

    Mark (411533)

  182. You should ignore it because the cost of the insurance is way to high for the probability of risk and the cost of that risk being covered.

    Let’s presume the consensus is correct.

    Global warming itself is merely a possibility, not a fact. They provide a range of possible temperature changes, and can’t say what the temperature will be.

    The effects of a temperature change is also simply an educated guess. There is a “chance” of this or that happening. But we don’t know what a change in temperature will do, because we don’t know how a change in temperature will effect the weather, how it might counter itself, or feed upon itself. We’ve seen from the data we have so far that we area notoriously bad at predicting the future using the AGW processes.

    The economic and societal effects of those possible AGW outcomes are also unknown, and merely predictions. There are arguments that AGW would be a net gain for society, rather than a loss. We might actually want to encourage GW, rather then stop it.

    The economic and societal effects of a global cooling are also not well-known. But if we were capable of “dropping” the temperature, how do we know that what we do might not overshoot? It is a risk that no AGW experts discuss, but the consensus in the 70s was global cooling, and the effects were claimed to be disastrous. And frankly, since we have actual historical evidence of the damage caused by global cooling, it could well be that if the median prediction was ‘no change in temperature’, we might well want to push for global warming, in order to make the risk of global cooling lower.

    So we have a possible GW event, with a possible effect, with a possible outcome — probability of probability of probability, and no consensus about what those probability numbers are. We have a possible global cooling, with a possible effect, and a possible outcome, that is also unknown in value.

    And yet we are being asked to take out insurance against one particular outcome, not by simply setting aside money to cover the costs (and no GW prediction is a global killer, it is simply an economic and societal impact of unknown effect — for example, if a coastal city floods over a period of 100 years, it’s just an economic loss, as people move to higher ground, but it also means we have renewal, people move into better planned communities with newer, more robust dwellings).

    But our insurance isn’t as I said money — it’s an active attempt to change the unknown outcome, by applying unproven processes with unpredictable effects. We don’t know that reducing CO2 output to zero would make any difference. We don’t really know whether switching to wind turbines will really fix anything, or cause more trouble. We are simply talking possibilities, not facts.

    What we DO know is that the economic cost of the processes being pushed are enormous. The impact to our individual liberty is high. The drag on business, the interference with the free market, is easily measurable. We can’t tell the effect on the global balance of power, but we can see a probability of great damage done to our current balance.

    One generally accepted principle in fields where the future is unpredictable is “First, Do No Harm”. we don’t know whether GW is real. We don’t know if we can make a difference. We don’t know if GW will help or hurt; we don’t know if it hurts how expensive it will really be. We don’t know how our energy use would change otherwise over the next 50 years. We don’t know if other global events might occur which would impact the global temperatures more than anything we could do.

    We know that the “solutions” offered are terribly expensive, a great blow to our liberty and our free market, and we have no idea if the solutions will help or hurt the problem we don’t know is a problem.

    That is why you should do nothing.

    Charles (7bf240)

  183. Maybe someone else has already brought this up, but I had to add my two cents.
    Even if you believe AGW is real and a serious problem, climate policy should be based on a cost benefit analysis. What are the costs associated with implementing AB 32 versus the benefits? The costs are obviously high but what are the benefits? CARB claims that a green energy industry will blossom and create jobs and income—maybe so, but those jobs and incomes are properly categorized as a COST not a BENEFIT of AB 32. The mitigation of actual AGW stemming from AB 32 is highly theoretical and most likely negligible.
    In my opinion, the costs of AB 32 far outweigh the benefits. Prop 23 is a moderate attempt to limit the costs associated with California’s quixotic attempt to change the climate.

    VOTE YES on PROP 23.

    Peter W (36d16b)

  184. Anything people claim is settled with the advocacy of the global warmist crowd cannot possibly be based on science. No science is settled, by definition. We even keep testing General Relativity.

    Read WattUpWithThat. Anthony Watts runs a very good blog there.

    But also follow this logic.

    1) Is it warming? Not clear, since the temperature record is so corrupted with adjustments.

    But assume it is.

    2) Is it caused by people? The only “evidence” is computer models. There is no empirical evidence linking changes in CO2 to the climate on a broad scale. No repeatable experiments to show how it works.

    But assume it is.

    3) Is it harmful? The predictions even of the IPCC are not catastrophic. In a warmer world, we would have more food. The seas won’t engulf us (a couple of inches in the next century according to the IPCC).

    But assume it is.

    4) Should we cut back our CO2. Even if Kyoto was fully implemented, the change in the climate, according the the warmists, would be minor at best. So we kill millions of people by shutting down the economy and gain nothing.

    And that final point is the best argument is the best one for Prop 23. Even assuming that all of the global warmist BS is true, we here in California doing anything on our own will hurt us without making any impact on the “problem.” Doing anything in isolation is pure stupidity. We incur all the costs and don’t deliver enough change to make an impact, assuming AGW is real (which it’s not).

    Clavius (b00448)

  185. _______________________________________

    we here in California doing anything on our own will hurt us without making any impact on the “problem.”

    But California is full of voters who think (and act) like Al Gore, a smaller percentage who think and act like John McCain (eg, Meg Whitman, Ah-nold Schwarzenegger). IOW, climate is sort of a religion to such people, and to satiate their guilty conscious, they believe they and everyone else must do something — do anything! — to make nice-nice with planet Earth.

    So they’ll be happy and satisfied just as long as the government is playing the role of Big Nurse and Big Nanny regarding CO2. That will absolve them of the sin of driving around in gas-guzzling vehicles, flying around in gas-guzzling jet planes, living in very spacious homes, and running their air conditioners or heaters whenever they’re a wee bit uncomfortable.

    Mark (411533)

  186. Let’s then have a vote!

    visionar (8f49a5)

  187. Climate scientist Roger Pielke, Sr. and his son, Roger, Jr., (not a climate scientist, but has published papers in the field in scientific journals), are worth reading. Both are “lukewarmers,” who accept the validity of AGW, but dispute the more extreme conclusions.

    Pielke, Sr. in particular says the near-total focus on CO2 has been exaggerated, ignoring other factors such as land use. He also says the heat content of the oceans is more appropriate to measure global temperature than land, because the oceans hold more heat than the land surface.

    Pielke, Sr. says:
    “Humans are significantly altering the global climate, but in a variety of diverse ways beyond the radiative effect of carbon dioxide. The IPCC assessments have been too conservative in recognizing the importance of these human climate forcings as they alter regional and global climate. These assessments have also not communicated the inability of the models to accurately forecast the spread of possibilities of future climate. The forecasts, therefore, do not provide any skill in quantifying the impact of different mitigation strategies on the actual climate response that would occur.”

    Judith Curry, an AGW-accepting climate scientist who attempts to mediate between warmists and skeptics, tackles a big question, how do we know what is dangerous climate change?

    In my opinion, the primary reason that the UNFCCC has been unable to define “dangerous” anthropogenic climate change is because they have framed the problem and its solution to be irreducibly global. If the problem is viewed as an aggregate of regional problems in the context of a bottom-up incremental policy approach such as that promoted by Ron Brunner, then presumably a more meaningful understanding of dangerous climate change could emerge, which would be a source of political will for actually addressing the problems.

    More importantly, extreme weather events and natural climate variability have adverse impacts, which in some instances (time-space) may counter the impacts of AGW and in others may amplify the AGW impacts. Addressing the regional impacts of natural variability in combination with possible AGW impacts would increase overall resilience to extreme weather events and climate change/variability.”

    So much for the science being settled.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  188. Not one AGW proponent has ever answered what the ideal temperature is. As is, we have an issue that may or may not be a problem, and have dramatic changes proposed to solve this thing that may or may not be a problem, even though we do not know with any certainty what will happen if the original underlying problem is simply left alone, or what effect our actions taken to solve said problem will have, either positive or negative.

    JD (fe0cd1)

  189. “Settled science” is an oxymoron.

    Clavius (b00448)

  190. Let me expand on a point made by Aaron Worthing in comment 49 …

    Anyone who’s ever done any scientific data analysis should be appalled by HARRY_READ_ME text file, a log kept by Ian “Harry” Harris at CRU when he was trying to figure out what the climate scientists had done with their data. This file was part of the “Big CRU Leak” and has been acknowledged as genuine. Most critics of CRU have focused on the e-mails, but this file alone is pretty damning.

    The CRU scientists had tasked Harris to straighten out their chaotic, unmaintained data files, debug their analysis programs, and replicate results that they hadn’t properly documented. The researchers at CRU may or may not have been well-intentioned, but they weren’t competent programmers, statisticians, or data archivists.

    It turns out that the CRU scientists did not take care of the data properly, could not tell what they did in the past to obtain their “normalized” data sets from the raw readings, did not adhere to proper documentation standards (even to be able to tell one file from another!), did not adhere to proper programming standards (e.g., not generating an error message when the input data is clearly wrong, but just continuing the analysis as if nothing had happened), used code with known bugs … and they can’t legitimately reproduce their prior results. This is the data set that AGW theorists claim is better than NASA’s GISS data set.

    And their analysis code? Most of the programs were so buggy that the results were crap. Harry was debugging programs that never worked correctly in the first place. The climatologists didn’t know what they were doing, and didn’t know that they didn’t know.

    Bottom line: CRU’s data sets cannot be trusted, and the results of their analysis are a joke.

    Or as “Harry” put it so eloquently in his notes:

    OH FUCK THIS. It’s Sunday evening, I’ve worked all weekend, and just when I thought it was done I’m hitting yet another problem that’s based on the hopeless state of our databases. There is no uniform data integrity, it’s just a catalogue of issues that continues to grow as they’re found.

    More …

    ..knowing how long it takes to debug this suite – the experiment endeth here. The option (like all the anomdtb options) is totally undocumented so we’ll never know what we lost.

    ..well that was, erhhh.. ‘interesting’. The IDL gridding program calculates whether or not a station contributes to a cell, using.. graphics. Yes, it plots the station sphere of influence then checks for the colour white in the output. So there is no guarantee that the station number files, which are produced *independently* by anomdtb, will reflect what actually happened!!

    Looking in the files I see that Bulletin 58009 is ‘BYRON BAY (CAPE BYRON LIGHTHOUSE)’, and 58216 is ‘BYRON BAY (CAPE BYRON AWS)’. But the database stubs that have been entered have not been intelligently named, just truncated – so I have no way of knowing which is which! CRU NEEDS A DATA MANAGER. In this case I had to assume that the updates were processed in .au code order, so 1-1 and 2-2. Argh.

    Not only do both databases have unnecessary duplicates, introduced for external mapping purposes by the look of it, but the ‘main’ stations (2 and 4) have different station name & country. In fact one of the country names is illegal! Dealing with things like this cannot be automated as they’re the results of non-automatic decisions.

    I am very sorry to report that the rest of the databases seem to be in nearly as poor a state as Australia was. There are hundreds if not thousands of pairs of dummy stations, one with no WMO and one with, usually overlapping and with the same station name and very similar coordinates. I know it could be old and new stations, but why such large overlaps if that’s the case? Aarrggghhh! There truly is no end in sight.

    I have to admit, I still don’t understand secondary parameter generation. I’ve read the papers, and the miniscule amount of ‘Read Me’ documentation, and it just doesn’t make sense. In particular, why use 2.5 degree grids of the primaries instead of 0.5? Why deliberately lose spatial resolution, only to have to reinterpolate later?

    You can’t imagine what this has cost me – to actually allow the operator to assign false WMO codes!! But what else is there in such situations? Especially when dealing with a ‘Master’ database of dubious provenance (which, er, they all are and always will be).

    Ulp!

    I am seriously close to giving up, again. The history of this is so complex that I can’t get far enough into it before by head hurts and I have to stop. Each parameter has a tortuous history of manual and semi-automated interventions that I simply cannot just go back to early versions and run the update prog. I could be throwing away all kinds of corrections – to lat/lons, to WMOs (yes!), and more.

    Poor Harry …

    The leaked e-mails revealed that for years the CRU researchers deliberately tried to hide the fact that their data sets were of poor quality, were tainted by ad hoc “corrections” that they couldn’t replicate, and in some cases actually had been discarded or destroyed. In one case — the “hide the decline” dendroclimatology incident — the researchers deliberately omitted data that didn’t support their favored hypothesis, and substituted data from a different, possibly tainted source. Even if the substituted data were known to be 100% trustworthy and accurate, this would be drylabbing, not science. Do this in class and you’d be kicked out for cheating. Do this in court and you’d deserve to be disbarred.

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  191. Late to the game, but…

    The main remaining objective evidence is that the CO2 content of the atmosphere is the highest it has been in millions of years, and that this CO2 increase is largely (or entirely) man-made. This is fairly well-documented fact.

    What it MEANS however, is conjecture. The prevailing conjecture is that this is not a good thing; that there will be consequences; and that the main apparent consequence is a long-term increase in average global temperature.

    It is this latter supposition that has had its evidence questioned due to haphazard data-handling and scandalous behavior by proponents — particularly the suppression of contrary evidence and the attempts to ostracize anyone daring to object.

    However, by this time the politics and the bureaucratic pressure (“nice little grant you have there…”) make serious scientific discussion impossible.

    So, we are left with this: “Do you think increasing CO2 levels are a good idea? Do you think there will be serious consequences if we continue? And if so, how big a hurry are we in?”

    Unfortunately “Science” cannot answer this because “Science” has totally abandoned the Scientific Method here.

    Kevin M (298030)

  192. Did any of you watch the eco-snuff video, “No Pressure”? It was portrayed as a humorous look at global warming activism, in which dissenting schoolchildren get blown up. And it was made by global warming activists.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  193. ANTI SCIENCE NEW EARTH XIANIST DENIERS !!!!

    JD (c971c7)

  194. “The main remaining objective evidence is that the CO2 content of the atmosphere is the highest it has been in millions of years, and that this CO2 increase is largely (or entirely) man-made. This is fairly well-documented fact.”

    I agree it is well documented, but at the level of absolute “fact” I have reservations.

    We have wonderful tools for measuring things and enormously clever people using those tools.
    When they start going on about the CO2 level in the atmosphere being the highest in millions of years, because their machines and clever experiments say so….. I wonder how we became so sure that we could measure the past millions of years of our atmosphere with such precision after having studied it for 50 years.
    I wager there is a lot more to the story our atmosphere is telling us about millions of years of it’s history than we know and understand today.

    Introduce a couple of unknown or as yet undiscovered variables into those cool computers and their models and maybe the story changes

    SteveG (cc5dc9)

  195. Truth has no place in a discussion of AGW, daleyrocks. Truthiness, perhaps. Faith, certainly. Truth, never.

    JD (eb1dfe)

  196. From Wattsupwiththat:

    The target of “dirty carbon pollution” propaganda is carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is an invisible, odorless, harmless gas. It does not cause smog or smoke. Humans breathe out 100 times the CO2 we breathe in, created as our body uses sugars. But since it’s tough to call an invisible gas “dirty,” Climatists use “carbon” instead. It’s as wrong as calling water “hydrogen” or salt “chlorine.” Compounds have totally different properties than their composing elements.

    This “carbon pollution” nonsense is driven by Climatism, the belief that man-made greenhouse gases are destroying Earth’s climate. In a debate at the Global Warming Forum at Purdue University on September 27, Dr. Susan Avery, President of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, was asked “What is the strongest empirical evidence that global warming is caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions rather than natural causes?” Neither Dr. Avery nor Dr. Robert Socolow of Princeton, who also presented, could provide an answer, except the ambiguous “There is lots of evidence.” In fact, Climatism is based largely on computer model projections. There is no empirical evidence that man-made greenhouse gases are the primary cause of global warming. According to Dr. Frederick Seitz, past President of the National Academy of Sciences, “Research data on climate change do not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful. To the contrary, there is good evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/09/dangerous-carbon-pollution-an-example-of-climatism/#more-26162

    william (28fcc9)

  197. I hate it when scientific questions become political issues — because I think politics causes people to lose rationality. And i think this has become a virtual religion for both sides.

    I hate it, too. I cringe every time a pundit or politician opines on evolution, for example. Aside from the local school board question of whether or not alternate, non-scientific theories should be presented in a science classroom, I really don’t need to hear a politician’s (or pundit’s) opinion about evolution.

    The AGW debate is a little more complicated than that in the sense that our society already regulates many of the supposed contributors to this (supposed) phenomenon. So politicians have to form an opinion about AGW to some extent because if it exists — and if the root causes of it are as well-understood as its proponents claim it is — then their decisions can affect the course of climate change.

    I’ve never commented here before, but my understanding is that you’re a lawyer, is that right? So you are good at critically assessing facts and weighing them, but probably don’t have the technical background or training to fully assess or weigh the evidence.

    I’m a scientist. My Ph.D. (U Chicago) is in a very different field (developmental biology) and my research expertise (biophysics) is also unrelated to geophysics and climatology, but I am trained to think like a scientist. In addition, from my own research in complex systems, I understand the extent to which modeling is reliable and the nature of extrapolating data points. I also worked in later years in fundraising administration during which time I worked closely with geophysicists and ecologists.

    So here’s my take.

    Geophysicists are very skeptical about the man-made influences on global climate change. I’ve spoken with a lot of them — and these are research-active, hard-core, politically liberal academics. They are used to looking at changes in the earth over very long periods of time and they simply laugh at the the idea that man’s activities are a major influence on global climate phenomena. Of course, being academics, they are happy to take the grant funding that has become available to study climate changes. So that’s point 1.

    Ecologists tend to buy AGW lock, stock, and barrel. Why? Well, they don’t have the scientific background to question the data. And, in any event, by the nature of what they study, it is of inherent interest to understand how plants and animals adapt to changes in climate. Whether it be global changes or micro climates (which surely are affected by man’s activities), how organisms adapt is of inherent interest. Plus, they tend to be politically liberal, so it is natural for them to want to believe in AGW.

    Obviously there are exceptions within these groups, but I think what has happened is that people in the “earth sciences,” which had been an underfunded area of science (not having NIH to go to for funding and instead having to compete with hard scientists and engineers for NSF money), saw an opportunity to get their research funded and jumped on a bandwagon started by some (I hope) well-intentioned by misguided scientists and a bunch of politicians and opportunists.

    At the end of the day, what compels me the most to distrust AGW as currently peddled is my own experience in science. I simply do not believe that you can model the earth’s climate in any meaningful way — certainly not well enough to develop sweeping changes in policy — based on the sorts of computational (and mathematical) modeling tools available (which are shared across many disciplines including my own) and the nature of the data they have available. The data is very flawed and extremely limited, spatially and temporally, and the modeling techniques are not robust enough to make up for that.

    So my advice is, do not “believe” in AGW. It is a possibility, but certainly far from proven. And, even if it were proven, how you would address it, given the scale of the problem and the variables that we can control, is far from clear.

    That doesn’t change that pollution is bad. But this carbon-credit garbage is just that, garbage.

    Y-not (479b1f)

  198. ynot – You are not a climate scientist so you are clearly a shill for the denialist industry and prolly a new earth xianist too.

    JD (eb1dfe)

  199. JD,
    LOL.
    I assume you’re being funny.
    Of course, with a Ph.D. in developmental biology, I am not a creationist.

    [Yes, JD was kidding. — P]

    Y-not (479b1f)

  200. “The reason you should suspend belief is that your impression of a scientific consensus is the result of a concerted publicity campaign combined with a serious effort to quash dissent.

    There is no such consensus.

    Comment by Steven Den Beste — 10/9/2010 @ 2:22 pm

    And as a non-scientist, how do I know this? Because a handful of cranks at East Anglia were jerks? Or is there another reason? Links you consider reliable would be helpful. No offense to you, but a mere assertion by a commenter isn’t going to help me much, because I expect 99-100 percent of commenters to agree with you. That does not constitute evidence to me.

    Comment by Patterico — 10/9/2010 @ 2:26 pm”

    Patterico unlike law where the preponderance of evidence is sufficient in science there is a higher standard.

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

    On it’s face AGW doesn’t pass the scientific theory small test.
    Perhaps AGW is real, perhaps it isn’t. Right now there is no definitive proof that it exist and therefore no reason to embark on all the schemes that are derived from the AGW premise. The upside of undergoing these schemes is nebulous and the downside is economically, politically and legally disastrous.

    cubanbob (409ac2)

  201. JD – Saying a consensus of scientists supports AGW and therefore we should do something about it is about as useful to me as saying a consensus of members of Congress (all of whom by sheer coincidence just happen to be democrats) believe we should increase government spending by 20% to jump start the economy. If the consensus is based on discredited Keynesian economics, I really don’t give a damn, just as I don’t give a damn about a supposed consensus relying on rigged or flawed scientific models.

    brb, I need to go deposit my check from ExxonMobil.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  202. “Of course, with a Ph.D. in developmental biology, I am not a creationist.”

    Y-not – Thank you for your comments.

    Of course the AGW industry is a scam. Since the earth is only 6,000 years old, how can these scientists credibly expect us to believe they have time series data going back millions of years! Heh!

    Q.E.D.

    Palin/Jindal 2012

    daleyrocks (940075)

  203. Two points.

    First, someone up thread accused me of having thrown in with the AGW people in the past. I appended this response to that comment:

    You can correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think I have ever said I believe the AGW crowd. My position is summed up well in this post: “I don’t feel scientifically qualified to have a firm opinion about man-made global warming, but you can consider me a cautious ‘man-made global warming skepticism skeptic.'”

    It will probably take me months to go through this thread and piece together and debate the various points raised — and some of the points do seem to be contradictory — but I am simply trying to get a picture of why people feel the way they do.

    Because I want all this in one place, my goal in the future is to take some of the significant or repeating arguments here, address them in a new post, but close comments on that post and direct people back here. I want to have one place I can come back to.

    I have not had to delete many comments here, which I appreciate. I am about to go back and delete a couple that accuse me of being snarky when I was simply trying to collect the arguments. Because this is a thread I will come back to time and time again, I again have to insist that personal accusations and such be left out entirely.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  204. Ynot – My apologies for not making it clear that my tongue was firmly in cheek.

    JD (eb1dfe)

  205. People brought up Paul Ehrlich and his “encounter” with neo-Malthusian prediction. This is a useful example.
    “Why Malthus and Malthusian Derivatives are Wrong”
    Background
    In 1798 a man named Thomas Malthus wrote “An Essay on the Principle of Population”. In it he described how populations grow exponentially while food production only grows linearly. From that he predicted that humans would inevitably outgrow their food supply, leading to famine and plague reducing the population to sustainable levels.
    While theoretically right, his analysis ignored two significant differences between humans and other animals which, as it goes, were dramatically increasing at the time he wrote his essay.
    The first differences is adapatability, which has two components. The first component is biological adapatability. Most animals cannot spontaneously change their diets and survive. This ranges from the extreme of pandas needing bamboo, polar bears needing seals, and cats being obligate carnivores, to lesser requirements. Aside from food allergies and cultural preferences, humans can eat anything, and switch what they are eating from moment to moment. The second component is technological adaptation. Aside from a few extremes like beaver dams, animals cannot use technology to increase their food supply; humans can. From breeding to advanced irrigation techniques to genetic engineering, we can expand our available food supply at well over the linear rate Malthus asserted.
    The second difference between humans and animals is mobility. Again, this has two components. The first is physical mobility. Animals are extremely limited in how far they can travel to find new food sources, both in distance they can go before starving, as well as barriers they cannot cross. In 1798 we could cross continents in days and oceans in weeks. Now we can breach either in hours. We could move humans from areas they are starving to areas with bursting granaries, and move stores from overflowing granaries to areas where people are starving in less time than it takes those people to be significantly inconvenienced by their hunger with the proper political will. The second component amplifies this effect as we have even greater mobility of adaptability. The requirements to send better strains of seed, or better irrigation techniques are massively lower than transporting tons of grains or thousands of people, and again barring political or cultural barriers, allows us to adapt on a global basis.
    Those combined are why ever since Malthus wrote his treatise advocating limiting reproduction we have never faced an actual biological Malthusian catastrope. We have simply moved or adapted out of them.
    This is a critical example as it demonstrates the limits of scientific prediction, particularly when the base theory misses two incredibly critical factors.

    Now let us consider “scientific consensus”.
    I submit that this is an improper term to begin with. Instead we should consider the differences between the following, and ask which exists. These are:
    consensus of science
    consensus of scientists (experts)
    consensus of “scientist (experts)”

    A consensus of science can be said to exist when we have something absolutely proven and provable in repeated experiments, with no possible challenge. This includes such things as the Pythagorean Theorem, or 2+2=4.

    A consensus of scientists (experts) exists when a significant majority of the people in a particular field agree on something. This can be in fields other than science, law for example, where the recognized experts agree on certain principles, to the extent that they are understood at that time. This is a critical point – “at that time”. A consensus of experts can change over time. Further, a consensus of experts can be challenged even when there is a consensus. Galileo has been mentioned. There were in fact scientists asserting a heliocentric model of the solar system in ancient times. Their views were rejected by the consensus. We now know they were correct and the consensus was wrong.

    A consensus of “scientists (experts)” exists when we have people who might otherwise be qualified to give expert opinions giving such on areas outside their fields to some degree or other. It particularly appears when we have people giving “expert” opinions that cannot otherwise be supported by actual scientific experimentation. In the legal field this is shown with the challenges to various forensic techniques, some of which are being completely discredited. In a more pure scientific mode, eugenics is a classic example of this, and which intruded into the legal field.

    So with AGW, which of those actually exists?
    A consensus of the science? Not if the results cannot be duplicated.
    A consensus of scientists? Perhaps, but with increasing dissent and examples of prior error this cannot be equated to “beyond a reasonable doubt”, and only barely to “a preponderance of evidence”.
    A consensus of “experts”? Others have already commented extensively regarding this being the more accurate description. If this is the case, then there is no reason to give it any serious consideration, no matter how prestigious those supporting it are.

    Sam (8d373a)

  206. @213
    Sorry, I’m a bit dense and still getting the hang of this place… I did check upthread and realized you must be joking!

    I have not made a study of the details of this science to the extent some have, but even based on what I’ve read, it’s pretty clear there are major fudge factors being applied to the data they’re collecting. It looks like everyone has been building off of the massaged data from a limited set of studies, rather than going back to primary, raw data. As I recall, when challenged, the Penn State team actually confessed to no longer having access to the raw data (I believe because of a data file format issue).

    Although it can be dangerous to try to use “logic” to ascertain the veracity of scientific conclusions (so much of the natural world appears illogical to us based on our limited understanding of the variables involved in complex systems), I will say I’ve been surprised that some AGW groups appear to gloss over the challenges of combining data obtained using very different instruments over time and to use those limited data points to extrapolate spatially and temporally. Data collected is altered by the device used to measure it and as I understand it, they are combining data collected on different types of devices using different types of protocols.

    But let’s say AGW “exists.” What then?

    Muscular Dystrophy exists and I daresay we know at least as much about the factors that contribute to it (simplifying to just one type of MD for the sake of argument), but we still can’t cure it. It seems to me that the muscle in our bodies functions much more like a closed system than the planet does. And, we certainly know much more about the components that are required to make muscle function than we do about the components that contributed to the earth’s climate over eons. But we can’t cure MD (yet), so why anyone thinks we can “cure” (control) the earth’s climate intelligently is beyond me.

    In medical research potential cures/treatments go through clinical trials to test efficacy and negative side effects, but when people (like economists, for instance) try to do the same for the proposed “cures” for climate change they’re labeled deniers and worse.

    Very frustrating.

    Y-not (479b1f)

  207. Oops, that was for @209. Clearly I am under-caffeinated today!

    Y-not (479b1f)

  208. I have moderated a handful of comments and plan to append this message to them:

    [I have taken this comment off the thread. In my post I say:

    This thread will employ the rule of excessive politeness. Nothing even remotely disparaging will be permitted. And I’m not keeping any part of a comment that violates the rule. Your comment that opens: “I’m surprised you would fall for AGW” followed by 10 paragraphs of polite and well researched material gets nuked, entirely.

    This comment, like a handful of others, crosses the line. I admit I have drawn the line strictly but I plan to come back to this thread for months to come and I’m not allowing it to be marred by anything that even remotely resembles a seriously intended slight. I am including this same message in every comment I am moderating, with an invitation to re-post your substance without anything remotely resembling an attack. Comments that are joke-attacks like JD’s are remaining. This rule applies to both sides. – P]

    The comments include comments that accuse me of being snarky when I wasn’t; accuse Hal Lewis of having been senile; accuse me of trying to suppress truth under the guise of mandating politeness; question my education (thanks, gary gulrud!); and remonstrate those who accuse Hal Lewis of having been senile as non-classy. I am simply not getting into fights like that in a thread that I plan to come back to again and again.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  209. Y-not – If you were addressing me, yes, I was kidding around about creationism. I was serious, though, in thanking you for your comments.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  210. @214
    For my first time posting here, I believe I have firmly established myself as a ditz! A highly educated ditz, perhaps, but a ditz nonetheless. :-)

    Y-not (479b1f)

  211. #195 Comment by Mike G in Corvallis — 10/10/2010 @ 10:05 am

    Thank you for that excerpt. I’ll assume it is legit as you are specifically referring to it.

    Which brings up a question of sorts:

    Is there anything like “an accepted and standardized text” of the “Big CRU Leak” that can be used when wanting to search for or reference a particular segment?

    MD in Philly (edd1cf)

  212. The whole point of this thread is for me to learn through debate and playing devil’s advocate.

    But y’all have thrown so much at me it will probably take months to sift through, with my other responsibilities and so forth. Hence the super-strict rules on civility. I don’t want a thread that it will make me angry to revisit time and time again.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  213. A time out for a subject related humor break.

    Seen below an electronic signature with an elaborate trademark logo:

    No trees have been harmed in the making of this message, but many, many electrons have been inconvenienced.

    MD in Philly (edd1cf)

  214. I am in the process of moving from California to Utah, so I haven’t been paying attention to the Propositions. But I see that your question is why you should support Prop 23.

    As I understand it, it merely suspends CA’s clean air initiative until the economy (as measured by unemployment) rebounds sufficiently for the state to be able to afford those regulations. Having just left CA, that seems eminently reasonable to me.

    Y-not (479b1f)

  215. Patterico, you could probably sift through all of this, and prioritize it with the use of a Cray; but just remember, a Cray is incapable of dealing with all of the variables found in atmospheric science, which is why no one can accurately predict tomorrow’s, or next week’s, or next month’s (etc) weather – and the atmosphere is just one component of Climate Science.

    AD-RtR/OS! (ba4174)

  216. And as a non-scientist, how do I know this? Because a handful of cranks at East Anglia were jerks?

    If the folks at East Anglia are “cranks,” AGW is a crank science. These are supposed to be the top researchers in climate science.

    The charges based on their emails are in fact a good deal more serious than mere crankery. They include withholding data that calls their theories into question, and pressuring scientific journals to exclude peer reviewers who don’t accept their ideas. This is all in the East Anglia emails. They show that the so-called “consensus” was formed by political maneuvers against doubters, not by an independent assessment of the science. The tainted fruits of this corrupted science shouldn’t be used to re-order California’s economy, let alone the world’s.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (a18ddc)

  217. > Again, if [the people claiming AGW is genuine are] right, this is a huge problem for humanity, no?

    Step back a minute and accept that the AGW claims are genuine. Take as a fact that the United Nations IPCC document is accurate.

    It says that 100 years from now the average temperature across the entire planet will rise 2 degrees Celsius.

    In taking the IPCC report as truth, you have to ignore a number of things:

    You have to ignore that the IPCC has been riddled with blatant errors like quoting news articles as fact on things that were completely made up.

    You have to ignore that the computer models (posters here have shown well the problems with them) don’t agree with recorded temps.

    And that most of the primary data comes from sources like East Anglia CRU and Hansen at NASA (that gentle greybeard that has stated publicly that oil company executives should be tried for war crimes) that have been shown to have fabricated data and haven’t challenged that, only attacked “non believers”.

    And that the people telling you with certainty that the temperature of the entire planet will increase 2 degrees a hundred years from now can’t tell you what the temperature of the entire planet will be two weeks from now to within two degrees.

    And that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased over the last ten years while the temperatures have decreased, completely counter to the central theory of anthropogenic carbon being the main culprit in AGW.

    And that we have historical records of the Medieval Warming Period being a lot warmer than it is today, like the fact that Vikings had huge farms on Greenland – which is now completely covered in Ice.

    Ignore all that, take the IPCC report as fact.

    So you have to deal with a 2 degrees C change in temperature, which is the change you would see if you moved from Chicago, IL to Lexington, KY.

    In the next 100 years, you have to assume that no innovation will occur to solve the problem. 100 years ago the United States had less than 100 miles of paved roads and less than 1% of the country had electricity. If you work on this problem to let innovation solve the problem over the next 20 years, we can solve the problem before it ever becomes an issue – without policy changes like Cap and Trade, which by the way will double the grocery bill of every low income family in the country.

    So is it really a huge problem for humanity to let innovation address this problem before it’s actually a problem?

    Full disclosure – I’m not a scientist, I start companies out of Universities here in LA and know a lot of top scientists at places like Caltech. If you talk to top researchers, they will tell you that “Climate Science” is a very new field that is at the stage Chemistry was in the 1800’s. There are people – talented and hacks alike – making educated guesses but anyone that tells you with certainty AGW exists or does not is fooling themselves. Nate Lewis at Caltech is one of the brightest (and nicest) scientists on the Pro-AGW side and is quoted often (and quoted without attribution often) by Al Gore and Tom Friedman. If you see his presentations he will specifically say that we don’t have proof of AGW, we have clues and should act prudently in case it is true.

    My personal opinion is that this is just like a lot of other areas of science where hype gets out of control and real (much smaller) issues get glossed over in the cries of alarm and cries of hoaxes. I don’t have a link but there was an excellent article in Nature Magazine about Arctic Ice melting because carbon particulate emissions from China hit the atmosphere and settle in areas like Greenland, impacting Arctic ice. That is something that could be a real issue but its lost in the hysterical, nonsensical claims of people like Al Gore.

    Kaisersoze (25a652)

  218. Comment by Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. — 10/10/2010 @ 1:18 pm

    Excellent summation, Brother Bradley.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  219. If you spend any time reading left wing blogs, you see how it has evolved into a religion. A week or so ago Wash Monthly was going on about how crazy the tea party people were and especially the candidates they had supported. Why one of them was so crazy, he thought climate depended on sunspots !

    You cannot argue with these people and the population seems to be about 20% alarmists now. They will stay that way until the next fad hostile to capitalism.

    The world owes a lot to Steve McIntyre, whose work I read several years ago.

    Mike K (568408)

  220. You should contact AJ Strata (The Stata-Sphere blog), an aerospace scientist and ask him why he holds global warming science in utmost contempt. He is a real scientist and asserts that most people cannot understand the science and math behind climatology — and just how it’s quality would never hold up in any other scientific discipline. Here is his global warming archive for starters

    mbabbitt (424211)

  221. AJ Stata’s link did not go through in my last messagae:
    http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/category/uncategorized/global-warming

    mbabbitt (424211)

  222. Patterico asked me to repost a link which he deleted that discusses the self-selection bias of pnas link he provided in #17 and other matters critical of the study and the consensus claimed therein.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  223. mbabbitt – I think AJ has done fine work on the subject over time.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  224. My layman’s take
    on climate change.

    James B. Shearer (40776f)

  225. Palin/Jindal 2012

    I’ll go you one better – Christie/Daniels 2012, and beyond!

    Dmac (84da91)

  226. Shearer, the problem with your “take” is that it is more than a bit oversimplified

    [The problem with this comment is that it does not explain how; ergo, it just comes off looking like an insult. Mr. Shearer wrote something and linked it. Why not respond on the merits — VERY politely? — P]

    SPQR (26be8b)

  227. Nuke The Christianist Whales!!!!!

    daleyrocks (940075)

  228. There was some discussion of who bears the burden of proof above. I believe this is the wrong way of looking at scientific issues. It is better to think in terms of odds or probabilities. And it is important to keep in mind that there are many claims about climate change some of which are quite probable and others which are more speculative.

    James B. Shearer (40776f)

  229. Patterico

    I don’t mind you deleting my comment to shooter, given his went bye-bye. Its not MY decision, but honestly if there was a “delete comment” feature on this blog i would have probably used it myself after his disappeared.

    I would like to see you address the concern that even if the basic idea of the California environmental laws are good, they are self-defeating when it is JUST California subjecting itself to it. You don’t think that the factories, etc. will just be built somewhere else and AGW, if it is real, will be just as bad as ever?

    This is the classic mistake regulators make, thinking that the subject of their regulation can’t go elsewhere.

    Aaron Worthing (f97997)

  230. But, but, AW….
    the advantages of the climate in CA is soooooo compelling, no prescient businessman would ever, evah, leave this Paradise, and the opportunity to be sodomized by the regulators/legislators in Sacramento.

    AD-RtR/OS! (ba4174)

  231. #181 Daleyrocks, You didn’t answer my question, you just threw out more accusations with no evidence.

    SPQR- The persons running the Realclimate site cite many other papers who are not authored by themselves and have nothing to do with the hockey stick graph. I think people are obsessed with that because some version of it was in Al Gore’s movie, ie it have become politicized. Taking away the hockey stick graph does not invalidate all the other global change science.

    #169. I agree with Chris Chittleberg. If global warming is real, then the next question is, is it significant.

    (Then the next question is what, if anything can or should be done).

    EdWood (c21211)

  232. AW

    I can’t just up and leave.

    So I will have to pay artificially elevated demand prices for diesel engine upgrades (or just buy new equipment).
    I will have to let employees go and I am sure mechanics and equipments salespeople will be added.
    Think of it a stupid stimulus plan using MY money.
    It is a plan that forces me to prematurely in the engine life cycle; redistribute my wealth to Komatsu, Kubota, Takeuchi because they are offering no down and 48 months at zero interest… how is that helping?
    Oh wait… the smoke looks so dirty, the appearance is so smoky when they start up… diesel and coffee are a breakfast food group.

    SteveG (cc5dc9)

  233. EdWood – I believe I did answer your questions sufficiently. We’ll just have to agree to disagree at this point if you don’t want to look at the biographies yourself. Patterico’s instructions regarding the thread prevent me going further as you well know.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  234. 97

    … Scientific skepticism strikes me as the antithesis of religious fervor.

    It depends. Some skepticism such as about evolution (or more extremely the great age of the earth) appears religiously based and more about faith than science. Similarly some global warming skeptics don’t appear to have an open mind.

    James B. Shearer (40776f)

  235. #216 Commment by MD in Philly — 10/10/2010 @ 12:42 pm

    Thank you for that excerpt. I’ll assume it is legit as you are specifically referring to it.

    Which brings up a question of sorts:

    Is there anything like “an accepted and standardized text” of the “Big CRU Leak” that can be used when wanting to search for or reference a particular segment?

    I grabbed a copy of harry_read_me.txt shortly after it appeared on the Web. With the possible exception of my text editor turning some straight quotes into curly quotes, the excerpts were taken verbatim from that file. You can find harry_read_me.txt in a number of places via Google, and as far as I can tell they don’t seem to have been altered from the version I have.

    The source for “Big CRU Leak” was (if I recall correctly) a zip file released by the unknown leaker that expands into 150MB or so of separate files — the harry_read_me.txt file, thousands of e-mails, and a number of other files (including commented code). Alas, I don’t recall the filename of the zip, and I don’t know whether anyone has put all of the files into an archive somewhere. I suspect there is an archive, but I can’t point to one.

    A good place to ask that question would be at the “Watts Up With That” blog. The people who post there do seem interested in getting to the bottom of most of the issues by examining the source data. In particular, I think Watts’ own Surfacestations project is quite impressive. (Note: Many of the people who comment there are illiterate idiots. One could also make that statement about many other blogs.) As an example, this post shows how an examination of AGW data analysis ought to be conducted.

    One of the most damning things about the whole CRU affair is how far the researchers went out of their way to prevent anyone from checking their work. (Example.)

    If you won’t — or can’t — show your work, it isn’t good science. Or as Phil Jones of CRU wrote in reply to Warwick Hughes’ Freedom of Information request, “We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  236. EdWood – Can you present the case in favor of AGW, since nobody seems to have done that yet, unless I missed it? Thanks.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  237. Pat: i know AGW is bull because i keep seeing articles about its dangers in the LA Times.

    the Times says it’s true, ergo it isn’t. QED.

    lots of good articles here for you to read and contemplate

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  238. I love it when people that worship at the altar of AGW claim that skeptics don’t have an open mind.

    JD (6ca166)

  239. EdWood, you are not correct. There are no papers that show the uniqueness of recent warming without using the same tired set of discredited proxies. If you just read the names of the lead authors, and fail to follow the chain of data, you fall for the act that these are somehow “independant” papers.

    This has nothing to do with Al Gore’s misrepresentations of the proxies in his film.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  240. If the so called computer models predicting AGW are accurate, they would also be able to tag past temperatures.. as in the 1940s or the 1820s or the 327 BC.

    They can’t because they are NOT accurate.

    GM Roper (5f13e9)

  241. 241

    I believe the following is the basic case for AGW.
    1. Burning fossil fuels releases CO2.
    2. Measurements show the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing.
    3. The amount of increase in 2) is consistent with about half the amount of CO2 released in 1) remaining in the atmosphere in the short term.
    4. There is considerable additional evidence that the increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere is caused by burning fossil fuels.
    5. Simple models predict increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will increase the average temperature at the surface of the earth.
    6. Measurements show the average temperature at the surface of the earth has been increasing for the last 100 years or so.
    7. The amount of temperature increase is roughly consistent with that predicted by simple models.
    8. So it is plausible that burning fossil fuels has increased the average temperature at the surface of the earth and will continue to do so.

    James B. Shearer (40776f)

  242. For some months now I’ve had the following article bookmarked. It is a good starting point to catch up on the controversy that erupted when ClimateGate emails surfaced. It’s quite long, detailed and chock full of links and diagrams. The rest of this comment is quoted from the article, covering what I feel are choice excerpts:

    Wolf Howling
    A Summary Of The Not So Settled Science of Anthropogenic Global Warming

    To prove the theory of AGW, climate scientists had to show that global warming is occurring at a historically unprecedented rate and that such warming is caused by human emissions of carbon dioxide. Yet, in light of Climategate and revelations both before and since, it would appear that the “unequivocal” and “settled” theory of AGW is anything but.

    Why AGW Is Now In Tatters
    1. The Medieval Warm Period, Recent Heating Spikes, and the Hockey Stick

    The Medieval Warm Period, lasting from abut 900 A.D. to 1300 A.D., saw a significant jump in temperature to levels higher than today…The MWP occurred during a period when human contribution to carbon dioxide was negligible. Thus, if one accepts the reality of the Medieval Warm Period, then there is nothing unusual about increases in temperature we have supposedly seen in recent years. The theory of AGW loses its validity as there is nothing to distinguish it from natural cycles of heating and cooling that occurred in the absence of any human contribution to CO2 levels.

    Adds CO2Science.org:

    Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 804 individual scientists from 476 separate research institutions in 43 different countries … and counting! . . . To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project’s database, click here.

    2. Whether Modern Day Temperature Data Showing Global Warming Is Trustworthy?

    As a threshold matter, no less a person than NASA’s James Hansen explains in detail that there is no agreement on how to measure Surface Air Temperature(SAT), that temperatures measured at the same station can vary widely depending on the method used, and that SAT can change from the ground to just a few feet above ground. In other words, the precision claimed by the climate scientists in measuring temperature to tenths or hundredths of degrees over the entire globe is simply smoke and mirrors.

    Two recently released studies, Surface Temperature Records: Policy Driven Deception? by meteorologists Joseph D’Aleo and Anthony Watts, and Surface Temperature Variations in East Africa and Possible Causes by John R. Christy et al, of Univ. of Alabama, both challenge the accuracy of modern global temperature records.

    But as D’Aleo points out,

    “numerous peer-reviewed papers in recent years have shown the overstatement of observed longer term warming is 30-50% from heat-island contamination alone” and that “cherry-picking of observing sites combined with interpolation to vacant data grids may make heat-island bias greater than 50% of 20th-century warming.”

    3. AGW & The UN IPCC’s Climate Computer Models
    The AGW movement has relied upon computer modeling to pose nightmare scenarios and drive policy.

    All of the computer models relied upon by the IPCC to posit AGW far into the future suffer a fatal flaw. All are built on the presumption that as more man-made carbon dioxide is pumped into the atmosphere, global temperatures will rise. And as the quotes from both Phil Jones and Kevin Trenberth in the above section prove, the world stopped warming in 1995. This means that AGW proponents have not established that there is a direct relationship between carbon dioxide emissions and temperature.

    But the problems of the computer models go even beyond that, as explained by MIT Professor of Meterology Richard S. Lindz[en]:

    The main statement publicized after the last IPCC Scientific Assessment two years ago was that it was likely that most of the warming since 1957 (a point of anomalous cold) was due to man. This claim was based on the weak argument that the current models used by the IPCC couldn’t reproduce the warming from about 1978 to 1998 without some forcing, and that the only forcing that they could think of was man. Even this argument assumes that these models adequately deal with natural internal variability—that is, such naturally occurring cycles as El Nino, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, etc.

    Yet articles from major modeling centers acknowledged that the failure of these models to anticipate the absence of warming for the past dozen years was due to the failure of these models to account for this natural internal variability. Thus even the basis for the weak IPCC argument for anthropogenic climate change was shown to be false.

    4. Peer Review, IPCC, Scientific Method and Climategate

    The IPCC and AGW crowd hold up peer review as the gold standard of reliability. But if the Climategate e-mails exposed anything, it was the degree to which the peer review process has been bastardized by climate scientists. This from Mark Steyn, summing up the situation:

    The more frantically [the IPCC and AGW scientists] talked up “peer review” as the only legitimate basis for criticism, the more assiduously they turned the process into what James Lewis calls the Chicago machine politics of international science. The headline in the Wall Street Journal Europe is unimproveable: “How To Forge A Consensus.” Pressuring publishers, firing editors, blacklisting scientists: That’s “peer review,” climate-style. The more their echo chamber shriveled, the more Mann and Jones insisted that they and only they represent the “peer-reviewed” “consensus.”

    This bastardization of the peer review process largely shut out both criticism of AGW and alternative theories. Thus is it any wonder that AGW proponents should claim, in true Orwellian fashion, a “scientific consensus” that the science of global warming is “unequivocable” and “settled” because there are no substantive body of peer reviewed studies to the contrary?

    Summary
    It is incumbant on those championing the theory of AGW to establish that the globe is warming in unprecedented fashion and that the cause of this warming is man via emissions of carbon dioxide. To this end, AGW proponents have written the Medieval Warm Period out of the historical record, relied on fundamentally untrustworthy Surface Air Temperature data, they have often refused to make public their data and methods and they have wholly corrupted the peer review process – all the while relying on peer review to stand in as a proxy for the scientific method as a means to establish the validity of AGW.

    The sum of all this is that AGW, at a minimum and in all of its aspects, is unproven. Claims that the science of AGW is “unequivocal” and “settled” are ludicrous. Indeed, in many respects, there is no science even involved.

    [Bonus from a later update to the article]
    Link to one of those Hitler videos, in which he rants about the collapse of the Global Warming consensus.

    “Mein Fuhrer, these were the best scientists we could buy!”
    “Maybe we could go back to global cooling. That gave us a pretty good run…”

    ScottD (8a52a9)

  243. Shearer, even your “basic case” does not match the IPCC claims. While temperatures have been increasing for centuries, not merely one century, they only ascribe the last six or seven decades to man-made CO2.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  244. The law of averages, would dictate that Ed Wood would get something right, but he’s too busy redoing
    ‘Glen or Glenda’

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  245. 248

    I did not intend to claim that temperatures were not increasing prior to 100 years ago. However the further back in time you go the less reliable temperature records are. The increase in fossil fuel consumption and the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere means the predicted temperature rise is greater in recent years (and hence more significant compared to natural variation).

    I am having problems with slow response while composing comments. Is anyone else having trouble?

    James B. Shearer (40776f)

  246. Thanks, Mike G. at #240

    MD in Philly (edd1cf)

  247. James B. Shearer:

    Some skepticism such as about evolution (or more extremely the great age of the earth) appears religiously based and more about faith than science. Similarly some global warming skeptics don’t appear to have an open mind.

    A quote above implied skeptics and religious believers are irrational and now your comment says some “don’t appear to have an open mind.” This strikes me as a way to discredit opinions without actually dealing with them.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  248. A stray thought, if one was seriously interested in measuring if “the earth is warming”, how about measuring temperatures a certain number of feet below ground at a multitude of places around the world. The interaction of the “amount of heat in the atmosphere”, the amount of additional heat at any moment from the sun and the near constant heat from the earth’s core should be much less affected by transient weather patterns and might be a far superior measure of whether “the earth is heating up”. Of course, it would not take a climate scientist to record and track the data.

    MD in Philly (edd1cf)

  249. DRJ pointed out one of the most common rhetorical devices of the AGW proponents. Were that “basic” system so simple, it should be really easy for the AGW modeling to replicate it, or work in retrospect in the era following an Ice Age, etc …

    What is the ideal temperature of Mother Earth? If the ideal temperature is 2 degrees higher or lower than the present, what can be done to reach the ideal?

    JD (6ca166)

  250. The “ideal” temperature is strictly relative to the activity you are engaged in.

    AD-RtR/OS! (ba4174)

  251. 252

    A quote above implied skeptics and religious believers are irrational and now your comment says some “don’t appear to have an open mind.” This strikes me as a way to discredit opinions without actually dealing with them.

    People often have emotional attachments to certain positions. If you don’t like my examples I expect you can come up with some of your own. At some point it is a waste of time to try to persuade these people they are wrong.

    James B. Shearer (40776f)

  252. 253

    IIRC there have been scientific papers along those lines. A little googling found one and I expect there are others. Of course the amount of surface temperature data is much larger.

    James B. Shearer (40776f)

  253. James B. Shearer,

    I would really like it if you picked out 2-3 of the most common objections from the comments here and took them on. Very few here give any credence to AGW and I would like to see them discuss it with an intelligent person who does.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  254. Shearer, the problem is that the warming we’ve seen in recent centuries is not smooth and it is not correlated well to increases in CO2 output. If you look at the IPCC charts, you will see that the period 1900 to 1940 shows a large amount of warming but the IPCC claims that only the warming after 1940 is attributable to man’s contribution ( the world sees a lot of industrialization post 1940 ).

    Over millenia, the rise in temperatures comes from our recovery from the last ice age. Over centuries, the rise in temperatures comes from our recovery from the Little Ice Age of four centuries ago. And we are now reaching temperatures consistent with the Medieval Optimum of approx one thousand years ago.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  255. I think they started from the last premise, and worked backwards, why else would they biase the data collection sites, erase the medieval warming
    period, ‘hide the decline’ on other figures, dump
    150 years worth of data, effectively downplay the
    cyclical nature of this trend, which is commensurate
    with solar instead of man derived activities

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  256. James B. Shearer:

    People often have emotional attachments to certain positions. If you don’t like my examples I expect you can come up with some of your own. At some point it is a waste of time to try to persuade these people they are wrong.

    Obviously some people are emotionally invested in certain beliefs to the point they have a hard time being objective, but don’t you think that’s true of both sides of some debates — whether they are global warming supporters or skeptics, or religious believers or non-believers? What I object to is labeling any group as more prone to irrationality and emotion simply because they hold a different position.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  257. Well, academic scientists are above the law and should not be forced to answer questions about their work even if might have involved fraud upon the taxpayers if you want to step into the shoes of the University of Virginia which is fighting off the inquiries of Virginia’s Attorney General into the work of Michael Mann.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  258. Let me ask the question Patterico is asking in a different way:

    Why doesn’t the proposed process* by which global warming occurs make sense to you guys? And if it does make sense, why aren’t you concerned with the prospect of future warming, whatever evidence or lack thereof you see in the present?

    *(I’m talking about greenhouse gases allowing more of the sun’s radiation into the atmosphere than they allow out of it. Short-wave radiation from the sun passes through greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and is largely absorbed by the earth – a normal process which is no cause for concern. However, some of that radiation “reflects” from the earth in the form of long-wave radiation, which would normally be released out of the atmosphere; the problem is that greenhouse gases absorb long-wave radiation, whereas short-wave radiation passes through them. So an increase in greenhouse gases leads to the increased absorbtion of long-wave infrared radiation which would normally remove itself from the equation. And the perfectly logical notion is that this has, is, and will continue to cause warming, above and beyond normal or cyclical warming. I’m not trying to be condescending to anyone by summarizing this, just want to be sure we’re talking about the same process…)

    So can someone explain the problem with that line of reasoning, rather than dodging the question by claiming malfeasance on the part of purported warming empiricists, when the bigger issue is the logic of global warming theorists?

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  259. Leviticus

    > Why doesn’t the proposed process* by which global warming occurs make sense to you guys?

    Is that what the global warmongers are reduced to? Coming up with a theory that makes internal sense?

    Its not enough to say “this is a theory that has internal consistency.” I mean, a belief that God created the earth exactly as it is, has internal consistency–it doesn’t mean it is scientifically proven. No, you have to prove that it is ACTUALLY HAPPENING.

    I mean global cooling made sense. After all the core of this planet is surely cooling, since once the whole thing was just a sea of lava, and now we have dry, solid land and oceans and all that good stuff. so it MAKES SENSE that the core of our planet is still cooling and thus maybe we might have a global reduction in temperature. but according AGW global cooling is not actually happening.

    Likewise, the relation to solar activity and climate makes sense. the scientists seem to think that the sun is light a light bulb, providing constant, output. Doesn’t it make more sense to suppose that is wrong, to say that gee, maybe the sun sometimes heats up and sometimes cools down.

    so yeah, the theory makes internal sense. like alot of crap put out today. that makes it a reasonable HYPOTHESIS. it doesn’t even a valid theory. And it doesn’t justify ruining the economy and taking my freedom from me.

    Aaron Worthing (f97997)

  260. The creation of the hockey stick via the elimination of the MWP is less important than the manner is which the MWP is explained away.

    In spite of contemporaneous written records, he NOAA makes the claim that the MWP was only regional. The NOAA website shows a chart of world temps during the MWP that shows only northwestern Europe, greenland, the far north altantic and the eastern coast of canada as being warmer than normal. virtually all of europe except northwesten europe, virtually all of north america except the northeastern coastal areas being colder than average. The chart shows all of the southern hemisphere to be colder than normal.

    The NOAA makes such a claim in spite of contemporaneous written records showing severe heat and drought along the danube during the MWP. There is also written record of fruit trees growing in china 300 miles north of their natural range during the MWP. The NOAA shows all of china and russia to be colder than normal.

    It would seem that the GWA got caught with bad science and did their best to explain away their error.

    Joe (93323e)

  261. “Is that what the global warmongers are reduced to? Coming up with a theory that makes internal sense?”

    – Aaron Worthing

    Ha. Such disdain…

    Not to make a vicious assault on your freedom or anything, but the theory of warming has more than “internal consistency” – it has facial plausibility, and evidence (albeit disputable evidence) to back it up. A disinterested skeptic would acknowledge that – but you don’t want to, so you’re reduced to killing the messenger.

    A little piece of evidence from the EPA (no doubt a bastion of freedom-haters and economy destroyers if ever there was one): http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/recenttc.html

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  262. BTW, there are only two things in science that seem to me “incontrovertible”: The Second Law of Thermodynamics, and the relationship of a circle to its diameter (pi).

    The rest is theory and modeling.

    This is largely why Hal Curtis went ballistic.

    Kevin M (298030)

  263. Leviticus – if it were as you describe, why would not further increases accellerate the cycle even more than it does now? And if it was si simple, why have its proponents gone through so much effort to actually avoid being scientific about their science?

    JD (36422e)

  264. Maybe Leviticus could tell us if we are moving towards, or away from mothe earth’s ideal temperature.

    JD (36422e)

  265. Patterico – to answer your first question/challenge … “Tell me why I should support Proposition 23.”

    We want to prevent things like this from happening to even more of the California economy …

    Alasdair (205079)

  266. “Maybe Leviticus could tell us if we are moving towards, or away from mothe earth’s ideal temperature.”

    – Leviticus

    Maybe I could tell you that since I don’t know one way or the other, it would be wiser to refrain from influencing it one way or the other.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  267. 260

    Of course it is often true of both sides of a debate. Patterico said above that politics causes people to lose rationality and I agree. In the case of partisan politics many people don’t even try to be objective, they just cheer for their side and boo the opposition like rabid sports fans.

    In the case of climate change many alarmists have no real understanding of the science and its limitations, they just find the politcal implications (as they see them) congenial.

    James B. Shearer (40776f)

  268. In the case of climate change many alarmists have no real understanding of the science and its limitations, they just find the politcal implications (as they see them) congenial.

    That sounds about right. I have seen what seem like bad arguments on both sides. If you put a gun to my head and made me give an opinion, I would say there is warming; greenhouse gases cause warming; we emit them; we must be contributing to warming; I don’t know how much; and I don’t know how to figure out whom to trust when everything is so politicized.

    But since there is no gun to my head, I’m remaining mostly agnostic, skeptical of both sides.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  269. Well even Michael Mann, has admitted there’s been no warming in the last 15 years, it’s dubious that greenhouse gasess really are responsible, and that portion of natural vs, man made seems even less certain

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  270. A little piece of evidence from the EPA

    Since the EPA has gone on record as wishing to levy fines against states exceeding their newly – proposed Co2 levels, they’re not a credible source for this discussion. Additionally, if you’d like to discuss Carol Browner’s awesome powers of intellect and past ties with socialist orgs, by all means let’s do so.

    Dmac (84da91)

  271. Well even Michael Mann, has admitted there’s been no warming in the last 15 years, it’s dubious that greenhouse gasess really are responsib

    Let’s not forget Dr. Hansen’s recent beclowning – even NASA had egg on their faces over his discredited temp readings.

    Dmac (84da91)

  272. AGW proponents then claim that there are multipliers and modifiers (which I am sure is true).

    Eric,

    I think you know that multipliers and modifiers can be rather neatly deposited into any predictive statistical model.

    What I would find funny is if their data systematically skewed to one side or another in the “extremes” of the function’s data set.

    That is to say the distribution of the “errors” around the mean function deviate through the continuum of data — which means the model sucks at predicting extremes but does nicely predicting the basic status quo.

    But model aside, is it true the data simply sucks/ b/c they gathered lots of it next to exhaust pipes objects they want to measure instead of in the country side or in some random way?

    Javert_is_alive! (AKA ...) (4f78d0)

  273. “Then how can you support a position that posits that AGW exists and is bad bad bad bad, Leviticus?”

    – JD

    I think it’s bad bad bad bad for human beings to pump massive amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere without thought to the consequences.

    “Since the EPA has gone on record as wishing to levy fines against states exceeding their newly – proposed Co2 levels, they’re not a credible source for this discussion. Additionally, if you’d like to discuss Carol Browner’s awesome powers of intellect and past ties with socialist orgs, by all means let’s do so.”

    – Dmac

    Those are both complete non sequiturs. Maybe – just maybe – the EPA has gone on record as wishing to levy fines against states exceeding their newly-proposed CO2 levels BECAUSE the agency is of the opinion that excessive emissions are damaging to the public interest and should be curbed. Because of that, they are a biased party?

    What’s wrong with the scientific theory of global warming?

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  274. Leviticus #278 – “What’s wrong with the scientific theory of global warming?”

    Oh, about the same things that are wrong with the pre-Galileo theory that the Sun revolves around the Earth …

    As in – the theory is falsified by verifiable facts …

    Alasdair (205079)

  275. There is nothing scientific about what has transpired in the AGW arena. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

    Carbon dioxide is evil.

    JD (36422e)

  276. 257

    I actually agree with some of the objections, I just don’t think they are decisive.

    I agree that global warming alarmists tend to overstate the degree of confidence we should place in global warming predictions. In particular I have little confidence in the more complicated computer models. However simple models also show warming. It could turn out to be the case that this warming goes away with more realistic models but that doesn’t mean this is likely. In my opinion it would be a bit surprising.

    I agree that many liberals are predisposed to believe in global warming (as opposed to say the genetic basis for IQ) because they like the political implications. And they tend to use global warming as an argument to support a bunch of positions they already favor for other reasons (as opposed to things like nuclear power which they otherwise would oppose). Of course the reverse is true of many conservatives.

    And I agree that climatologists can make errors and be slow to correct them (particularly when pointed out by laymen). As illustrated by this real climate thread . But this doesn’t mean they are wrong about everything.

    James B. Shearer (40776f)

  277. Leviticus

    > A little piece of evidence from the EPA

    Evidence built on tainted evidence. Don’t care.

    Btw, i am sure the EPA denounced the hockey stick long before the climategate emails surfaced, right?

    The EPA has zero credibility with me, because they either were silent as east anglia were lying to us, or they didn’t even know it was a lie. Either way, they are not trustworthy as a truth-telling organization.

    And yes, they are destroyers of freedom. To give one example, they have declared that since milk has oil in it, it is oil. Therefore dairy farmers must guard against… spilled milk. Yes, really.

    http://legalinsurrection.blogspot.com/2010/06/milk-is-oil.html

    Aaron Worthing (f97997)

  278. Leviticus

    There are posts in this thread that source documentation that directly question the CO2 relationship to global warming. I recommend reading the thread in detail. Links to relevant peer reviewed papers are in the thread.

    Not a Yank (c0e94e)

  279. Why doesn’t the proposed process* by which global warming occurs make sense to you guys?

    The greenhouse effect makes plenty of sense, Leviticus.

    However, there are so many other effects in play. Many of them appear to reverse other effects. Play Simearth if you’d like a fun demonstration.

    The problem is determining if the greenhouse effect is really some kind of break in the other systems.

    Certainly, just because you understand how one system works does not justify the impact of many AGW prevention measures I’ve heard of. I mean, you know snow is white, and white material reflect sunlight, cooling the planet, right? If you understand that and yet do not agree that snow will lead to a catastrophe, that’s because you realize two things: 1, snow, like CO2, has been around and doesn’t appear to be ruining anything. 2, there are countless other things going on at the same time.

    CO2 growth occurs at a completely different rate as temp increases, even granted the most exaggerated models (and worse if you don’t).

    The most powerful greenhouse gas is water vapor. The most important aspect is solar activity. It appears to be a self regulating system.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  280. 258

    By roughly consistent I mean the total temperature increase over the last hundred years is about (give or take a factor of two) what simple models predict. The detailed trajectory doesn’t match all that well but this isn’t surprising considering the other sources of variation in the system. The warming to date isn’t all that alarming, the main concern is the predicted future warming.

    James B. Shearer (40776f)

  281. “Why doesn’t the proposed process* by which global warming occurs make sense to you guys?”

    Leviticus – It might make sense if somebody could convince me that it was the only or most significant thing driving warming, or that other feedback factors scientists were not aware of or were ignoring were not offsetting the effects you describe. Nobody can provide those assurances. With CO2 such a small portion of overall greenhouse gasses and the man made portion a fraction of that. it’s tough to conceptually get my arms around. In addition, looking at the historical record, in contrast to Al Gore’s presentation, the lag time between changes in temperature and CO2 concentration were substantial and changes in temperature actually seemed to be a leading indicator rather than lagging indicator of changes in CO2 concentration. The scale he used in his presentations hid those facts.

    So if the historical record, again which may be flawed does not bear the theory out, why would you ask us to rely on it now Leviticus.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  282. Leviticus – A couple of howlers from your EPA link:

    “Errors identified in the satellite data and other temperature observations have been corrected. These and other analyses have increased confidence in the understanding of observed climate changes and their causes.”

    “An unresolved issue is related to the rates of warming in the tropics. Here, models and theory predict greater warming higher in the atmosphere than at the surface.” – Yeah, just a minor point.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  283. #246 Comment by James B. Shearer — 10/10/2010 @ 4:13 pm

    I believe the following is the basic case for AGW.
    1. Burning fossil fuels releases CO2.
    2. Measurements show the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing.
    3. The amount of increase in 2) is consistent with about half the amount of CO2 released in 1) remaining in the atmosphere in the short term.
    4. There is considerable additional evidence that the increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere is caused by burning fossil fuels.

    So far, OK.

    5. Simple models predict increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will increase the average temperature at the surface of the earth.

    Some problems and implications here:

    A. Yes, Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and an increase in atmospheric CO2 would lead one to expect some sort of temperature increase. But the effect is emphatically not linear. There’s a rather nice writeup on Wikipedia under the heading Greenhouse_gas about this. CO2 has already caused almost as much warming as it can — if you look at the atmospheric transmission spectral plots, you’ll see that the bands where CO2 absorbs infrared are pretty much “saturated.” We’d get nearly as much warming as we have now if there were only 50 ppm of CO2 instead of 390. The current situation is like adding a tenth blanket to your bed on a cold winter night — you’ll be a little warmer than otherwise, but not much.

    B. Planet Earth is an extremely nonlinear system. The naive assumption of “linear forcing” — that an increase in atmospheric CO2 will result in a proportional increase in temperature — is a very poor one, because CO2 is not the major greenhouse gas in the Earth’s atmosphere, water vapor is. And also water evaporates, moves around in latitude and longitude, and condenses into clouds that reflect light back into space. This is extremely difficult to model, and we don’t even know at present whether the net forcing effect from CO2 is positive or negative.

    C. Those “simple models”? They fail. As many have pointed out, they can’t predict the past or present, much less the future. The dirty secret of many numerical simulations — not just in climatology, but elsewhere, too — is that they aren’t ab initio models, but have ad hoc assumptions wired into them, to make the answers come out “right.” When the numerical simulations have strong predictive power, this is OK as long as you acknowledge what you’re doing. AGW climate sims do not make valid predictions.

    6. Measurements show the average temperature at the surface of the earth has been increasing for the last 100 years or so.

    Some problems and implications here:

    A. The average temperature at the surface of the Earth over the past ten thousand years — during the current interglacial era — has been increasing and decreasing in a way that our models cannot account for. AGW proponents have tried to downplay and even actively hide the existence of the Little Ice Age, the Medieval Warm Period, and the Roman Warm Period, because those variations were far larger than the observed temperature change that they attribute to greenhouse warming. We simply cannot say that current temperature variations have a different cause if we do not know the cause of the earlier variations.

    B. Measurements within the past two centuries have many problems. One of them is the Urban Heat Island effect, caused by the fact that temperature readings are usually measured near cities (typically at airports), and cities tend to be anomalously warm and to grow up around the measurement stations. Corrections for the UHI effect are … let us say “controversial.”

    C. Another problem is that the temperature records are very incomplete, and efforts to “fill in the blanks,” homogenize the data over latitude and longitude, and take changes in the measurement stations (in addition to the UHI effect) into account are also subject to many sources of systematic error.

    D. Other things have been increasing in the past century besides CO2. Methane, for one, released from cow farts, warming bogs, and rice paddies … and methane is a far more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2. Atmospheric particulate pollution is another. One possible reason for the apparent rise in temperature over the past thirty years is the vast increase in manufacturing in Asia; put simply, soot from China blows north into the arctic and alters the surface and atmospheric albedo (reflectivity).

    7. The amount of temperature increase is roughly consistent with that predicted by simple models.

    Not incorrect.

    8. So it is plausible that burning fossil fuels has increased the average temperature at the surface of the earth and will continue to do so.

    It may be, it may not be. We simply don’t have enough information to know whether this is a correct statement. I’m a “lukewarmist,” myself — I’d be very surprised if there weren’t some effect on climate from the increase in atmospheric CO2. But I’m not arrogant enough to say that I know the character or the magnitude of the effect, and I strongly doubt that anyone else does.

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  284. 257 280

    I also think that debating about whether there is a consensus among scientists about some issue is not very useful. You are basically picking some arbitrary fraction like 95% and saying a consensus exists when more than 95% of scientists agree with some statement. But in fact there is not much difference between 94% agreement and 96% agreement. There is no arbitrary dividing line at which point scientific issues are no longer subject to doubt. There are just degrees of uncertainty. And in the case of anthropogenic climate change there are many possible claims. Some are well supported others are very speculative.

    James B. Shearer (40776f)

  285. It seems as some people think that the blog, “RealClimate” is the place to go for information.

    RealClimate was the inspired child of some of Mann’s buddies who are trying to salvage a sinking career, and was supported by far-left political money and public relations planning. They admit the connection of the far left sponsoring of their domain name (do a whois), but deny any other financial connection.

    The principals are scientists who are part of the same social network as Michael Mann. These guys are bent, and have deserted the hallowed halls of science for the filthy money of the far left extremists.

    bob (9838b5)

  286. I haven’t read all the comments but I have read a lot of them. One response to #246. Humans have been affecting climate for 10,000 years since agriculture began to alter the pattern of plant growth. In addition, they began to burn wood for warmth. Forests were cleared in Europe and, in the middle east, the proliferation of goats by the population began desertification because goats eat the plant life including the roots. All these changes affected climate to some degree.

    However, the natural forces that change the earth’s climate are so much more powerful that we have seen two warming periods and one small ice age in recorded history. The thought that these people with their crappy little data collection stations, some of which have been faked, could figure out what will happen is just ridiculous.

    Mike K (568408)

  287. “The problem is determining if the greenhouse effect is really some kind of break in the other systems.”

    – Dustin

    The greenhouse effect is not, in itself, a break in the order of natural systems, as other people have pointed out. Water vapor, CO2, methane, etc. all exist in the atmosphere regardless of human activity, and presumably have some cyclical (and manageable) incubating effect. The question is whether or not human activities are adding enough additional greenhouse emissions to the atmosphere to produce harmful effects. According to Wikipedia, human beings emitted twenty-nine billion tons of carbon gases in 2007.

    If Mike G in Corvalis is correct (and that’s a very good comment at #287, by the way), and the CO2 absorbing bands of the atmosphere are indeed on the verge of saturation, then that is a good argument against drastic action. If not, then…

    “I mean, you know snow is white, and white material reflect sunlight, cooling the planet, right? If you understand that and yet do not agree that snow will lead to a catastrophe, that’s because you realize two things: 1, snow, like CO2, has been around and doesn’t appear to be ruining anything. 2, there are countless other things going on at the same time.”

    – Dustin

    I think that’s a fallacious analogy. If human beings driving cars and overseeing industrial processes that flung twenty-nine billion metric tons of snow all over the place, we might have different thoughts on the matter. Again, the problem isn’t the existence of greenhouse gases, or even their existence in massive amounts; the problem is that human beings might be producing enough additional emissions to interrupt those other naturally occuring systems everyone keeps mentioning in any serious way.

    “It might make sense if somebody could convince me that it was the only or most significant thing driving warming, or that other feedback factors scientists were not aware of or were ignoring were not offsetting the effects you describe. ”

    – daleyrocks

    I don’t mean for this to sound snarky, but you’re saying that your reason for skepticism regarding global warming is that there might be some process that we don’t know about that is offsetting it? Who’s position requires more blind faith?

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  288. I agree with the author, the debate has become one of politics, not facts.

    Personally, I’m liberal and I find the scientific evidence for AGW to be likely valid, but I do not support cap and trade and don’t follow my party line on the issue.

    I wish more people would break from politics and think for themselves.

    W (9df40f)

  289. ________________________________________________

    I would say there is warming; greenhouse gases cause warming; we emit them; we must be contributing to warming….But since there is no gun to my head, I’m remaining mostly agnostic, skeptical of both sides.
    Comment by Patterico

    The first part doesn’t sound too agnostic to me.

    What’s sad is you probably have more common sense than the average Californian, where nitwit leftists are a dime a dozen. So take locals like you, add them together with the others, and that’s a sure-fire formula for the “Golden State” becoming America’s version of Spain intertwined with Mexico.

    BTW, the weather in the LA area today, as far as I’m concerned, was junk. It was too damn warm. Unlike the various pro-AGW types who love that type of climate, I can safely say that I’m one skeptic who doesn’t care for heat and drought, or the type of environment that folks like John McCain apparently gravitate to.

    Mark (411533)

  290. I don’t know at what point we start repeating things said earlier. I agree with Michael Crichton as linked early on; repeating a condensed version of my 2 cents for Leviticus.

    In 1975 the data reportedly indicated that the earth was on its way to an extended period of global cooling. In the 90’s that original data with 20 more years added on reportedly indicated an extended period of global warming. Trying to predict anything over an extended period from a limited sample set is not reasonable; especially as another 10 years of data tacked on does not favor the extended global warming prediction.

    MD in Philly (af24e6)

  291. “Who’s position requires more blind faith?”

    Leviticus – I’m saying it’s not rational with CO2 making up so small a part of the atmosphere, and the man made portion just a small portion of the overall CO2 and with the historical record showing that temperature is leading indicator by hundreds of years of changes in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere to say that laboratory theory should directly affect our climate the same way it would in a closed environment. I would say your position requires more blind faith.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  292. I think that’s a fallacious analogy. If human beings driving cars and overseeing industrial processes that flung twenty-nine billion metric tons of snow all over the place, we might have different thoughts on the matter.

    It’s a fallacious analogy to what you just said here, but to what I was responding to, it’s a perfect analogy. You asked if we understood the concept of global warming. I do. Do you understand the concept of albedo? Obviously, in both cases, it’s absurd to use that as justification for basically anything.

    Why would it matter that humans are expelling the snow, though? I bet there is more snow on the planet than that.

    The planet is huge. CO2 is but one of many greenhouse gases, and we haven’t changed the amount of greenhouse gas very much. And the temp changes do not track well with CO2 emissions at all. In other words, like snow, there’s a heck of a lot more going on.

    My issue isn’t with global warming. I realize the planet will warm sometimes, and this will have a lot to do with the contents of the atmosphere as well as solar activity. I also realize it’s going to cool often, for similar reasons. I’d be delighted to see us burning less oil, polluting the air less, relying more on nuclear.

    There are great reasons for all this that do not rely on global warming theories. One huge advantage to fact-based environmentalism is that you don’t lose credibility when the planet gets colder for several years. I don’t want to cancer or rich jihadis or filthy cities. I don’t want to burn up base materials we need for the future.

    California’s prop 23 asks simply to pause. Their standards are pretty good and raising them isn’t going to help. They need jobs and wealth. Maybe a few new reactors (California does not produce enough energy for itself) . There’s a way forward that is good for everybody that doesn’t rely on something many have tried to prove and the most zealous gave up trying to prove and just fabricated.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  293. Leviticus – I think it is cherry picking evidence to only look at the past 150 years to see if your theory works. Over time, as others have also pointed out, CO2 has not tracked temperature well, suggesting something is basically wrong with the theory. Unless, that is, you want to assume the historical data is all hosed and then all bets are off, but I don’t think anybody has suggested that.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  294. I either read or watched a video from climate-skeptic.com which showed there is, indeed, a correlation between global temperature and CO2, but that CO2 is a trailing indicator (by as much as 800 years, I believe it was) and not a leading indicator. While correlation does not equal causation, if it did in this case, it would be “warmer temperatures cause greater CO2 quantities” and not the other way round. Since CO2 is a trailing indicator in the rise and fall of global temperature trends, I suggest CO2 is not a greenhouse gas but rather a greenhouse inhibitor gas.

    Water holds more CO2 when the water is cold than when it is warm. As the water warms, it releases CO2 and as the water cools, it re-acquires CO2.

    You can do a very simple experiment. Open two cans of Pepsi. Place one open can in the refrigerator and the other open can in the hot, dark garage. In 12 hours, taste-test each can for the presence of carbonation. The refrigerated one will be more carbonated than the heated one, showing the capabilities of each to retain CO2.

    Regarding the scientific “theory” of global warming, that terminology doesn’t fit the scientific definition of “theory”.

    http://www.wilstar.com/theories.htm

    Theory: A theory is what one or more hypotheses become once they have been verified and accepted to be true. A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. Unfortunately, even some scientists often use the term “theory” in a more colloquial sense, when they really mean to say “hypothesis.” That makes its true meaning in science even more confusing to the general public.

    It would be much more accurate to call it a scientific hypothesis of AGW, because it is not a scientific theory.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  295. John Hitchcock – Your recollection of the relationship is the same as mine. Higher temps led later increases in higher CO2 but by significant lags.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  296. Me, in comment #287:

    7. The amount of temperature increase is roughly consistent with that predicted by simple models.

    Not incorrect.

    Argh. Gotta pay better attention next time. I had intended to write: “Not correct. See above.”

    #291 Comment by Leviticus — 10/10/2010 @ 9:54 pm

    If Mike G in Corvalis is correct (and that’s a very good comment at #287, by the way), and the CO2 absorbing bands of the atmosphere are indeed on the verge of saturation, then that is a good argument against drastic action. If not, then…

    Thanks. But don’t take my word for it, look at the spectrum plot, and compare the saturation of CO2’s bands to the bands of other greenhouse gases.

    I suspect, without doing any analysis myself but relying on the words of others, that if the current atmospheric CO2 content doubled the global mean temperature would go up by about 1 degree C … in the absense of other factors, which of course is a situation that won’t occur in the real world.

    I don’t mean for this to sound snarky, but you’re saying that your reason for skepticism regarding global warming is that there might be some process that we don’t know about that is offsetting it? Who’s position requires more blind faith?

    There have been significant climate variations within the past ten thousand years — the curent interglacial era — that no model can account for. What caused them? How do you know that the same causes are not at work now? It requires blind faith to assume that those factors — whatever they are — have suddenly stopped working.

    By the way, the past four interglacials seem to have been several degrees warmer than the current one, but less stable. I’ve never seen a good explanation of this from any of the climate modelers.

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  297. I’m old enough to remember Global Cooling in the ’70s, and the coming Ice Age! Yes, we have learned a lot in 30+ years, but not enough that I feel more confident of this current theory than I did of that one. Like most of us, I’m educated enough to understand most of the concepts – the problem is: Whom are we to believe?

    My degree is in computer science, and GIGO, excessive undefined variables, and the inadequacy of modeling, add up to the evidence being trash. Others have addressed this above. It ~may~ be getting warmer.

    Sure, the basic concept makes sense, add greenhouse gas & it gets warmer. From there it is really hypothetical. Many hypothetical concepts make sense, without being real. That’s why so many good novels are very convincing. That’s why science has usually depended on confirming experiments, replicating results. Doesn’t seem to apply here… Whom to believe becomes more important.

    I don’t know law, if I need an attorney, I get recommendations from someone I trust. I don’t know cars, so I read lots of reviews. The source of the information matters, and their motivation matters. From the AGW researchers through political advocates through media proponents, I find their credibility and motives questionable. Several have lost my trust in other areas.

    Finally, presuming we all were to devote ourselves to extreme measures, a major geological event can outproduce the whole effort, by orders of magnitude. Big volcanoes are not rare.

    So it boils down to taking costly measures that may or may not have any effect on a problem the existence and definition of which is vague and marginally credible. Major economic damage is more predictable than the effect on climate.

    If we knew giving up 10,000 jobs would lower the ocean .25 inch, we’d have at least a starting point. But the correlation is we give up 10,000 jobs and the AGW proponents feel good, and some of them make a lot of money. The probability of any positive result is greatly outweighed by the probability of very negative results.

    jodetoad (7720fb)

  298. As Glenn Reynolds likes to say, “I’ll believe it’s a crisis when the people who say it’s a crisis start acting like it’s a crisis.” This is usually applied to politicians, but it can be applied to climate researchers too.

    It’s puzzling to me that the researchers behind AGW aren’t agitating for a comprehensive, worldwide network of climate monitoring stations, sited to avoid Urban Heat Island effects and other sources of bias. The stations could be standardized and automated, with redundant instruments to minimize errors and data outages. The cost of such a network would be minuscule compared to the probable economic effects of such schemes as “Cap and Trade” or the claimed costs of unchecked global warming. This could have been done twenty years ago, and we’d now have a much better handle on the extent of the problem (if there is one). Why aren’t climate researchers agitating hard for such a network?

    Even Anthony Watts’ Surfacestations project, in which volunteers are documenting the condition and accuracy of the existing data collection units, isn’t getting much support from the AGW community. Why not? Don’t they care whether their data sets are meaningful? The better the data, the more clout they’d have for their claims.

    It’s tempting to speculate that some AGW proponents don’t have all that much confidence in their own work, and don’t want independent validation. I really do hope that this isn’t the explanation.

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  299. Comment by jodetoad

    Thanks for your post. I’ve been thinking that no matter how brilliant the computer programmer, there is not enough known about something as complex as factors that affect climate over the entire earth to make a model that would be meaningful. But it is nice to have a computer scientists say it.

    Comment by Mike G in Corvallis

    Thanks for you many helpful posts. It does seem that if these folks don’t mind independent validation, they at least don’t trust it being done. The process certainly has not made sense for the typical scientific endeavor- not confirming the manner of data collection, the accuracy of data points, not making their methods of “data-corrections” clear, etc., etc.

    What would be nice, is a summary of the most informative posts, both pro and con, on each subtopic, but I don’t have the time to do it.

    Awaiting the book by a trusted intellectually honest person to condense it all and make sense of it.

    MD in Philly (af24e6)

  300. Leviticus,
    What’s wrong with the scientific theory of global warming?

    1): It’s imprecise,
    2): The relative importance of the mechanisms involved (It’s *not* just CO2) isn’t clear,
    3): It hasn’t demonstrated predictive power.

    The importance of multidecadal trends in ocean currents is just beginning to be understood. Oceans have far more thermal capacity than the land surface, and haven’t heated as predicted in recent years. We simply don’t know much about what happens to the missing heat. Is it being taken into the deeper ocean, or is it being radiated into space?

    One of the climate scientists in the East Anglia emails, Kevin Trenberth, puzzled over this discrepancy. He wrote,

    The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate. (emphasis mine).

    Here’s the AGW side’s rebuttal to this email.

    Trenberth states unequivocally that our planet is continually heating due to increasing carbon dioxide. This energy imbalance was very small 40 years ago but has steadily increased to around 0.9 W/m2 over the 2000 to 2005 period, as observed by satellites. Preliminary satellite data indicates the energy imbalance has continued to increase from 2006 to 2008. The net result is that the planet is continuously accumulating heat. Global warming is still happening.

    Next, Trenberth wonders with this ever increasing heat, why doesn’t surface temperature continuously rise? The standard answer is “natural variability”. But such a general answer doesn’t explain the actual physical processes involved. If the planet is accumulating heat, the energy must go somewhere. Is it going into melting ice? Is it being sequestered deep in the ocean? Did the 2008 La Nina rearrange the configuration of ocean heat? Is it all of the above? Trenberth wants answers!

    Notice what possibility is not considered? The heat could have radiated into space, but that interpretation can’t be considered — “the data are surely wrong.”

    Such is the science of AGW believers like Trenberth, who insist the data conform to the theory instead of the other way around. Any non-AGW consideration is ruled out because the warmists don’t think it can be true. Nice circular logic at work.

    A paper published in Nature in 2008 predicted changes in the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation will stop warming until about 2018. If that is the case, we’ll have gone more than 20 years without significant warming.

    While it’s not fatal to a theory to a certain amount of contrary evidence, when you get major factual conflicts like these, it’s unwise to re-order California’s economy (let alone the entire planet’s), when you have this amount of contrary evidence.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  301. I think it’s bad bad bad bad for human beings to pump massive amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere without thought to the consequences.

    I agree that we need to stop proliferating our Co2 outputs in the near future, but not because of the AGW thesis. As I stated previously, our oceans are close to the limits of their Co2 absorption capabilties, and they’re getting progressively more polluted and lifeless as a result. So while we need to develop enery via more nuclear power and a lot less coal – firing plants, instituting draconian and byzantine climate laws on countries that are among the least offenders of Co2 emissions is akin to putting a finger in the dike, and will do nothing except cripple our economies to an extent that no economist can credibly forecast.

    Dmac (84da91)

  302. Which gets us into a bigger question: tell me why I should be skeptical of the concept of man-made global warming.

    Meh. Reverse the question: Tell me why I should believe the concept.

    It’s a game we can play where we shift burden of proof… but what is the default assumption? Poppycock until proven true, or true until proven poppycock?

    Most people who disagree with AGW will tell you they cannot PROVE it is NOT true, for the very same reasons that climatologists cannot prove it is true.

    Because it’s my impression that the scientific consensus supports it.

    Irrelevant. At one point the scientific consensus was that infections were caused by miasma. Not so long ago, the concensus was that ulcers were caused by stress.

    So I am looking for evidence.

    The total lack of any real evidence is the evidence.

    The fact that climatologists have played more shenanigans than the entire race of the Irish peoples over the last three centuries.

    Little Ice Age – it happened.
    Medieval Warm Period – it happened.
    These computer models they’ve based their whole edifice upon – they are crap on a stick and objectively, they cannot even predict the past. They cannot tell us with certainty what the weather will be next Thursday, they certainly cannot tell us what will happen in 50 years.

    It’s called Chaos Theory. Edward Lorenz. He discovered it working on…. computer climate models trying to predict the weather.

    Seriously – Chaos Theory. Read up. They can’t tell me beyond 85% probability if it will precipitate on a given day a week away. 50 years?

    I am not a climate scientist. However I can program a computer, which is what all their science depends upon. And I understand modeling. And I can tell you, those models are utterly worthless crap. GIGO. Garbage in garbage out.

    I know to ignore the ‘findings’ of their models, because I looked at what they put into them.

    Which included such fantastically robust and unassailable data as rewriting history and pretending the little ice age didn’t happen.

    Entropy (2b8100)

  303. You might want to do some reading over at Climate Audit http://climateaudit.org/ Some real dry reading but some real gems if you dig.

    Also Jerry Pournell’s Chaos Manor has some interesting thoughts. http://www.jerrypournelle.com/

    Taking the earths temp
    http://www.jerrypournelle.com/view/2010/Q3/view638.html#Monday

    Ice and the Maunder Minimun
    http://www.jerrypournelle.com/view/2010/Q3/view637.html#Friday

    Global Warming and rational debate
    http://www.jerrypournelle.com/view/2010/Q3/view634.html#global

    Musings on Science
    http://www.jerrypournelle.com/view/2010/Q3/view637.html#musing

    Just as a start.

    More here
    http://www.jerrypournelle.com/headers.html

    Ted

    Ted Riedel (67b109)

  304. When to doubt scientists?

    When they can no longer show you their original, unaltered, data sets.

    When they can no longer derive the work in their published papers from the datasets they have.

    When they say there is a ‘consensus': there is no such a being in science.

    There is no such a thing as a ‘sure thing’ in science. Newton got corrected. So did Einstein. Ditto Heisenberg. Science is a continuing process that yields more questions as it attempts to answer them. Good answers can answer questions beyond their limited domain. An example of this process is Wegener’s idea of moving continents. He couldn’t offer up a good mechanism for it and was discredited. In the 1950’s enough data came together to allow the theory of Plate Tectonics to come together and that started explaining much in species distribution that no other theory could do. It did more than explain geomagnetic anomalies and went on to explain the mechanics of earthquakes and volcanoes. Does it make Wegener any more ‘right’? No as he could not posit a mechanism to fit his theory. Did the plates move? Yes, but by a means he could not describe as he did not have enough data to do that.

    Show me the data. The original data, not altered by any adjustments, by any intervention, with all the noise and spikes and strangeness that comes with recording data. I got a spreadsheet and know how to use it.

    When the AGW folks came knocking around the paleoclimatology community in the early 1990’s, they got handed a set of known climate conditions and were asked to model what came next. They couldn’t. If you want to talk about climate on the earth’s surface, talk to a geologist. If you want to talk about weather, talk to a meteorologist. The former will talk about position of the plates, solar output, sea depth, average insolation, volcanic activity, and the changes in global airflow due to mountain building. The latter gets you a 5 day forecast with limited reliability.

    If you can’t model past climates, then don’t tell me you can model this one. If you can’t hand me the original numbers to check your work, you are a fraud and deserve the treatment of same. AGW is fraudulent unable to gin up their original datasets in an unaltered fashion. The data storage at EA-CRU is a joke…and a scandal. They cannot show their data, show their work, reproduce their results, thus they are not doing science. Same goes with Hanson, Mann and the rest of them: they cannot show their data, reproduce their work and substantiate that they have original data to back their work.

    Would you trust a bank that threw away all its receipts and asked you to ‘believe’ that it knew the amounts on each of them? Especially after they ‘massaged’ them? If not then why trust a scientist that does the same?

    ajacksonian (87eccd)

  305. 287

    Those “simple models”? They fail …

    I don’t know what you mean by “fail”. Simple models explain why the average temperature of the earth’s surface is higher than the black body temperature. This is the so-called “greenhouse effect”. Being simple models they don’t give a precise value for the amount of the temperature increase but they explain why it occurs.

    In our case we are interested in the effect of adding additional CO2 to the atmosphere while holding other things constant. Simple models give rough predictions of the amount of additional warming to be expected. In the real system things interact so adding CO2 will affect other things which will change the predicted warming. But I think it would be a bit surprising if these indirect effects dominated.

    James B. Shearer (40776f)

  306. Would you trust a bank that threw away all its receipts and asked you to ‘believe’ that it knew the amounts on each of them?

    Oh, I am so going to steal that line!

    To use a simile that Patterico will appreciate, the gang at East Anglia CRU and their cronies are like a cop who gets caught planting evidence — they’ve not only damaged their own credibility, they’ve betrayed their own cause and the public in general.

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  307. If they had blogs back in the days of Copernicus, Galileo, etc., you would be reading the same kind of half baked ideas emanating from the fevered brains of people who have no scientific knowledge of the subject they decide to expound upon.

    The overwhelming number of scientists with expertise in climatology are in agreement that the earth is warming in a different way than it has in the past and that it is due to human input.

    The political component behind much of the clap-trap put out by ‘skeptics’ is not worth anyone’s time.

    Thack (dda9c9)

  308. UPDATE x2: To clarify: I consider myself agnostic on this subject, but I interested in learning the arguments on both sides. I consider myself an “AGW skepticism skeptic” — meaning that I am not willing to simply accept AGW skepticism because it is conservative dogma, any more than I will accept AGW because it is liberal dogma.

    I believe we pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and that doing so contributes to warming. How much, I have no idea. That’s about as much as I feel I “know.” But I’m willing to play devil’s advocate to tease out the arguments.

    Why did I feel the need to write this? Because the usual suspects are predictably demagoguing this post, that’s why.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  309. These models make tens of thousands of simplifying assumptions …. only a few of which are made deliberately. Any of the assumptions – deliberate or not – can yield an erroneous result. The deliberate ones can force the results (to yield bigger grants)

    quasimodo (4af144)

  310. 306

    Predicting weather and climate (average weather) are different problems. An inability to predict weather doesn’t neccessarily imply an inability to predict climate. For example you can predict a coin will come up heads about half the time without being able to predict each individual flip.

    On the other hand alarmists sometimes claim complex climatology computer codes should be trusted because they are based on weather codes which have been experimentally validated. However this is bogus as there are many effects that are only important on long time scales.

    James B. Shearer (40776f)

  311. I’d add my two cents, but, I basically agree with everythig ajocksonian said at #307.

    I will though add that most of these scientists were working with the same data set, the only thing unique being how each group chose to “massage” that data, using a similar approach and a flawed mathematical model.

    It’s not surprising that they’d realize similar results.

    Science isn’t about consensus. It’s about repeatability, the consistency of results, and the applicability of a conclusion in more general circumstances.

    I mean, gravity doesn’t only work in Sheboygan, and Newton’s laws of motion work quite nicely until one begins moving appreciable fractions of light speed :)

    Bob Reed (5f2db5)

  312. Good thing there will be no ankle snapping on this thread.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  313. Comment by daleyrocks — 10/11/2010 @ 10:21 am

    Or quiet support of people who might make such threats.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  314. Why am I not surprised dicentra misinterprets the post? Day follows night.

    Who could have seen that coming?

    daleyrocks (940075)

  315. An inability to predict weather doesn’t neccessarily imply an inability to predict climate

    But the “simple models” you claim work so well don’t even work when given historical data to predict what is happening right now.

    It isn’t that they can’t predict the future (though they can’t), it is that they can’t show the present.

    If they can not do that, then they do not work. If they do not work, they are invalid and should not be used in any way to show support for the AGW side.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  316. #308 Comment by James B. Shearer — 10/11/2010 @ 9:47 am

    > Those “simple models”? They fail …

    I don’t know what you mean by “fail”. Simple models explain why the average temperature of the earth’s surface is higher than the black body temperature. This is the so-called “greenhouse effect”. Being simple models they don’t give a precise value for the amount of the temperature increase but they explain why it occurs.

    Ah, I see your point. At that level you’re correct. I should have used my 5C response to answer your point #7.

    In our case we are interested in the effect of adding additional CO2 to the atmosphere while holding other things constant. Simple models give rough predictions of the amount of additional warming to be expected. In the real system things interact so adding CO2 will affect other things which will change the predicted warming. But I think it would be a bit surprising if these indirect effects dominated.

    Unfortunately we have good reason to believe that the indirect effects do dominate, to the point where we can’t even tell if the net forcing effect from increased CO2 is positive or negative. The indirect effects include changes in water vapor, cloud cover, ocean circulation patterns, absorption of CO2 by seawater, and release of methane. A large enough second-order effect can put the system into negative feedback to re-stabilize it, and there’s plenty of evidence from paleoclimatology that this does happen. Trouble is, we don’t know what or how important all of these other effects are.

    In general, it is a very good rule of thumb that if you don’t know what something does in a system that’s working, don’t screw around with it. If only politicians were willing to apply this rule in other fields than climate!

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  317. New Zealand’s historical temperature data show no trend from 1850 to present.

    Then the NIWA adjusted it.

    By the way, reconstructions of Earths past atmosphere show it exceeded the “tipping point” of 450ppm for hundreds of millions of years. So, according to Dr. Hanson, we don’t exist.

    LarryD (f22286)

  318. Again, in my devil’s advocate mode (noted for the sake of the aforementioned and linked demogogues from other sites):

    One commenter says of the scientific consensus:

    Irrelevant. At one point the scientific consensus was that infections were caused by miasma. Not so long ago, the concensus was that ulcers were caused by stress.

    I feel as though the discussion is something of a moving target, because (as I said in an early comment that one commenter mistakenly labeled as snarky) some people claim that there is no consensus while others claim that the fact that there is a consensus is irrelevant.

    Because I am not a scientist, I started out with the first issue: is there one? In batting back and forth some of the claims that people made claiming there is not, I found myself unconvinced. It appears that most scientists who work in the relevant fields agree that there is something to AGW. I am more convinced by the arguments that a) the nature of the consensus is not as strong as is sometimes portrayed and b) a consensus CAN be wrong.

    However, to say that a scientific consensus about a topic is “irrelevant” strikes me as odd. TOTALLY irrelevant? If you have data that shows the consensus is wrong, then of course you go with the data over the “consensus.” But then you have to ask yourself why a majority of scientists are choosing the consensus view. Because they’re all getting grants? Because they are all liberals? What is it?

    Again: I am not unwilling to consider that scientists have by and large gotten it wrong. That has happened before. But when a group of non-scientists firmly maintains that a bunch of scientists have a scientific issue completely wrong, I tend to get into skeptical mode. Even if that skeptical mode puts me at odds with what I am supposed to think, according to most of the people who share my viewpoints.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  319. “But when a group of non-scientists firmly maintains that a bunch of scientists have a scientific issue completely wrong, I tend to get into skeptical mode.”

    Patterico – What you seem to keep missing is that there are plenty of scientists who say the pro-AGW have it wrong if you are goung to use that as your litmus test.

    [I don’t know what “plenty” and “litmus test” mean in this comment. — P]

    daleyrocks (940075)

  320. James B. Shearer wrote:

    Predicting weather and climate (average weather) are different problems. An inability to predict weather doesn’t neccessarily imply an inability to predict climate. For example you can predict a coin will come up heads about half the time without being able to predict each individual flip.

    Another great line that I intend to steal!

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  321. There are a lot of scientists, just in this thread, that have very specifically pointed out how the science-y aspect of AGW have little relation to science.

    JD (b0d0ea)

  322. Patterico

    The better question to ask is why is the consensus so often wrong, in AGW. I mean the UN puts out these reports, graphs, and hokey sticks and the scientists in “the consensus” is silent, while the so-called “deniers” points out that those reports are complete bunk.

    A scientist is supposed to be an unbiased seeker of truth. But when the UN misinformed us, based on the tainted information from East Anglia, the “consensus” (however real it was) was silent.

    If you imagine the consensus was a witness on the witness stand, i could utterly impeach it.

    i mean here is a golden oldie… climate change “scientists” saying, sure “the Day After Tomorrow” is crap, but its okay because it will raise awareness.

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/4900768

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  323. Pat,

    There are a lot of interesting links at this page.

    Bob Reed (5f2db5)

  324. If they had blogs back in the days of Copernicus, Galileo, etc., you would be reading the same kind of half baked ideas emanating from the fevered brains of people who have no scientific knowledge of the subject they decide to expound upon.

    The overwhelming number of scientists with expertise in climatology are in agreement that the earth is warming in a different way than it has in the past and that it is due to human input.

    This analogy is upside down. It was the “overwhelming number of scientists” in Galileo’s day who supported the consensus view and ignored the facts. “Consensus” does not determine the existence or cause of warming, if any. Facts do. To advocate ignoring one side of the debate, i.e., “the clap-trap put out by ‘skeptics’ is not worth anyone’s time,” is anti-science.

    grs (b5a684)

  325. Just When I Thought I Had Seen the Worst Possible Peer-Reviewed Climate Work…

    Willis Eschenbach dove into it, and found this amazing approach. How this passed peer-review muster is just further evidence as to how asymmetrical peer review is in climate (ie if you have the “right” findings, they will pass all kinds of slop)

    First, it covers a very short time span. The longest farm yield datasets used are only six years long (1994-99). Almost a fifth of the datasets are three years or less, and the Chinese data (6% of the total data) only cover two years (1998-1999)….

    But whichever dataset they used, they are comparing a two year series of yields against a twenty-six year trend. I’m sorry, but I don’t care what the results of that comparison might be. There is no way to compare a two-year dataset with anything but the temperature records from that area for those two years. This is especially true given the known problems with the ground-station data. And it is doubly true when one of the two years (1998) is a year with a large El Niño.

    Blockquoting abbreviated to (hopefully) fall within fair-use.

    The “peer reviewed” work is trying to sound an alarm about warming causing a decrease in rice production, but when looking at that 2-year dataset, the growing season was actually cooler. So, in effect, you had a peer reviewed scientist claiming that the colder spring that produced reduced farm output is evidence of the already-felt damage of a hotter planet. It doesn’t pass any logic test. It’s more of a “this is what I want to show, so let’s contort and distort the data to fit” approach. But it’s peer reviewed.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  326. Is not asking for proof as to why the consensus is wrong the exact OPPOSITE approach of actual science?

    JD (d606fc)

  327. Patterico wrote:

    It appears that most scientists who work in the relevant fields agree that there is something to AGW. I am more convinced by the arguments that a) the nature of the consensus is not as strong as is sometimes portrayed and b) a consensus CAN be wrong.

    Excellent point. Trouble is, there’s a chasm between thinking that “there is something to AGW” and buying the specific claims of the loudest, most extreme proponents of the theory. It’s like saying that the majority of people believe that there’s “something to” religion, therefore we should all convert to Scientology.

    However, to say that a scientific consensus about a topic is “irrelevant” strikes me as odd. TOTALLY irrelevant? If you have data that shows the consensus is wrong, then of course you go with the data over the “consensus.” But then you have to ask yourself why a majority of scientists are choosing the consensus view. Because they’re all getting grants? Because they are all liberals? What is it?

    Your “of course you go with the data” doesn’t always happen in Real Life. In the example given previously of Wegener and the theory of continental drift, a substantial component of the resistance was due to the lack of a theoretical model to explain the observations. Most geologists couldn’t explain why or how continents could move, so they concluded that continents don’t move, in spite of a huge amount of evidence to the contrary. And even after plate tectonics gave continental drift a theoreticical underpinning, many of the older geologists still refused to believe it — the consensus changed when they retired or died.

    To me, it’s telling that the “climatology community” has been adamant that solar variability does not play a role in Earth’s weather — the folks at Real Climate and elsewhere forcefully deny that there can be any link between the eleven-year sunspot cycle and weather patterns because they can’t see a mechanism to make it happen, even though astronomers and meteorologists have noted the correlation for a century and a half. (I’ve read that astronomer Sir William Herschel made money playing the wheat futures market in the 1840s by knowing the correlation.)

    Regarding longer timescale variability, the “climatology experts” also denied the existence of the Little Ice Age. I suspect this was partly because John Eddy, who back in the ’70s established the existence of the Maunder Minimum (a period of more than a century in which there were very, very few sunspots) also noted its correlation with the change in climate. We can’t explain it, so it didn’t happen!

    If the data won’t conform to theory, then the data will just have to be ignored or “adjusted.”

    I think the word I’m looking for is “hubris.”

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  328. Computers are Causing Global Warming

    Nepal has reportedly been seeing the highest warming trend. There is only one GISS reporting station in Nepal, and its data show a cooling trend. NASA fudged the numbers by 1.1C over 20 years (5.5C over 100 years, yikes!) to show a major heating trend that is not at all represented in the data.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  329. Patterico, you say you are skeptical when a large group of non-scientists dispute the findings of a large group of scientists.

    First, that’s not an objective way to cast the debate. Lots of skeptics are “scientists”.

    But more importantly, look at the behavior of the skeptics. They want to debate the science. Look at the behavior of the AGW proponents, they want to avoid debating the science, and instead claim “consensus” and employ ad hominem (“They are all paid off by Big Oil …”).

    Science isn’t done that way. The behavior of the AGW proponents, obstructing analysis of their data and methodology, hiding and “losing” data, appearing to cherry pick data ( lots of examples but McIntyre’s series of articles on the “Yamal” cores is typical ) and conspiring to threaten journals that consider publishing critiques.

    That’s not the behavior of scientists, that’s the behavior of propagandists. Claiming that their “consensus” has inherent value is something that I know better of you.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  330. Is not asking for proof as to why the consensus is wrong the exact OPPOSITE approach of actual science?

    No. I’d say it’s the exact opposite of the exact opposite of science.

    Hey, Galileo: I understand that you’re bucking the consensus. You realize there is a consensus against you right? Tell me why it’s wrong.

    [Listens.]

    Good points, Galileo. You proved it. You win.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  331. SPQR:

    First, that’s not an objective way to cast the debate. Lots of skeptics are “scientists”.

    Define lots.

    But more importantly, look at the behavior of the skeptics. They want to debate the science. Look at the behavior of the AGW proponents, they want to avoid debating the science, and instead claim “consensus” and employ ad hominem (“They are all paid off by Big Oil …”).>

    I don’t agree that they all behave this way, and I don’t agree that it is ad hominem. Many in this thread say you can’t trust the AGW proponents because of government grants. Ad hominem?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  332. Let’s take one argument that several here have thrown out: the urban heat island effect. Here is one study that says it does not explain all the readings:

    We conclude that estimates of long-term (1880 to 1998) global land-surface air temperature variations and trends are relatively little affected by whether the station distribution typically used by the four global analyses is used, or whether a special effort is made to concentrate on rural stations using elaborate criteria to identify them. Part of the reason for this lack of sensitivity is that the average trends in available worldwide urban stations for 1951 to 1989 are not greatly more than those for all land stations (0.09°C/decade).

    Does that not tend to refute the arguments regarding measurements being taken within urban heat islands?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  333. I posted earlier on the explanation for the eliminating the MWP based on the claim that the MWP period was only regional.

    Another point deals with the AGW explanation for the lack of correlation in the tree ring proxies.

    Pre 1960, tree rings were used as proxies primarily due to the lack of measuring stations. Post 1960, significantly more temp measuring stations were available. However, since post 1960, it is still worthwhile to compare tree proxies with actual temps to determine how accurate your tree proxies are. Surprisingly, the correlation between the tree proxies and actual temps was in the 40% range. this discrepancy would indicate that the methodology for the tree proxies was weak. In spite of this, the pre 1960 tree ring proxies are treated as if they correlate close to 95+% to actual temps.

    When questioned on the discrepancy, the explanation is that the correlation has dropped significantly due to the increase in co2 post 1960. To me, that explanation is too convenient.

    Joe (6120a4)

  334. An official NOAA climate station.

    There are a great many more just like that one or worse. No data coming from stations like that one can legitimately be used to detail any multidecadal trends whatsoever. But yet, that’s exactly what AGW peer groups do.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  335. Patterico, they don’t all behave that way? Well, of course I didn’t say “all”, you did.

    But the prominent names in AGW have done so. Michael Mann, James Hansen, Gavin Schmidt.

    But which part of the scientific method included refusing to share data sets and methodology?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  336. But then you have to ask yourself why a majority of scientists are choosing the consensus view. Because they’re all getting grants? Because they are all liberals? What is it?

    One other factor to consider: Science is based on trust. We have standards in our work, and we trust that other scientists adhere to those standards. Scientists are pre-inclined to support a claimed scientific consensus because of that.

    But people who don’t adhere to those standards — whether it’s because they don’t know how much they don’t know, or because they’re sloppy, or because they are in possession of a Higher Truth that trumps mere data — betray the entire scientific community.

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  337. Patterico let’s put this in the terms of a lawsuit: you are on a jury and the question I pose to you is this: would you award the plaintiff a very substantial amount of money if the level of proof offered by the plaintiff were on the same level as the level of proof so far provided by the AGW proponents?

    The question for California voters is simple: is the evidence provided so far by the AGW proponents so compelling that the resulting economic harm to the state is justified? It is a simple binary question, yes or no that you and the other California voters have to ask yourselves.

    cubanbob (409ac2)

  338. Some scientists who choose the “majority” view are doing so because they do not wish to be hounded by government-funded people calling them akin to Holocaust Deniers … like James Hansen.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  339. Patterico, regarding your “urban bias” question, check out this graph.

    I’m looking for a video that a man and his 5th grade son made, using official datasets from urban and rural points across the US. When and if I find it, I’ll post it.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  340. Patterico

    > I don’t agree that they all behave this way, and I don’t agree that it is ad hominem. Many in this thread say you can’t trust the AGW proponents because of government grants. Ad hominem?

    Well, the way I would put it is there is valid ad homs and invalid ones.

    In a real way a scientist is supposed to be like a judge in a bench trial. They are supposed to look at the evidence and evaluate it, neutrally.

    It goes without saying that in law a judge should have no financial (or other) interest in the outcome of a trial. That was why it was so offensive when people baselessly asserted that the judge who enjoined that drilling moratorium had a financial bias.

    So if a scientist is asking you to rely on his or her veracity on any point, then yes their biases are highly relevant.

    But if on the other hand the evidence doesn’t rely on their veracity, then their biases become irrelevant. Think of it like the O’Keefe Acorn stings. Of course O’Keefe is biased, but the tapes are what they are, and he shared all his information so you could look at it for yourself.

    Also to the issue of consensus, I am not sure how valuable that is, to the extent that it exists. There are only three datasets on global temperatures. The first is East Anglia, which we know all about. Again, I can’t recommend highly enough that you read the article about the “harry read me” file. The second is with nasa, which, guess what? Was polluted with East Anglia data. And then they have one in Australia. That it, one data set. No independent, honest, accurate fact check. And you can go through the links here and see that they have done questionable things with their data, too.

    I mean I imagine you were like me where I pictured scientists working all over the world taking samples of this and that, and all of them drawing the same conclusion. The truth is, it is a much smaller group, which is much more likely to fall prey to group think, and much more susceptible to outright corruption.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  341. The reason to vote for prop 23 is because CO2 rises after warming trends not before a warming trend.

    The time lag between temperatures moving up—or down—and carbon dioxide following ranged from a few hundred to a few thousand years.

    This is based on six separate papers about Antarctic ice core studies. If CO2 rises after temperature increases, then it seems that temperature increases are a part of the process that cause a rise in CO2, not that CO2 causes a rise in temperature.

    If the veracity of the data is questionable, then it doesn’t matter whether a basic or complex computer model is employed, they will be both wrong. As has been said before, “Garbage In, Garbage Out”.

    Tanny O'Haley (12193c)

  342. btw, more on the reliability of scientists.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/10/07/BAOF1FDMRV.DTL

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  343. What really bugs me about all of this is that so much of the “research” has its genesis in the “data” that has been manipulated, changed, etc … and they will not or cannot produce the original data set, prior to the manipulations, nor what specific manipulations were used so the original data could be reverse engineered.

    JD (d606fc)

  344. daleyrocks, MD in Philly, Brother Bradley, Mike G in Corvallis, JD, and Co. (I hope I didn’t miss anyone):

    A few things – first of all, I’m not a hardcore AGW fanatic. I don’t believe that human beings are in imminent danger of destroying the planet via carbon emissions, and I recognize and acknowledge all the methodological shenanigans and outright dishonest behavior that’s gone into building certain aspects of the case for man-made climate change. Such behavior is, as others have pointed out, reprehensible, and a disservice to good science and the public trust. My own position, then, is much like Patterico’s: I believe that high levels of carbon emissions are bound to cause some degree of warming at some point, above and beyond cyclical climate fluctuations. How much and when, I do not know. So, while I don’t believe it’s necessary that we institute a zero-emissions policy within the next 12 months or SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES!!!!!11!1!!, I do believe that prudence demands that we evaluate the possible effects of any abnormal warming that may occur as a result of our emissions practices. Furthermore, I think we need to step back and assess our values, and re-emphasize the importance of responsibility and conservationism, in environmental issues and all others.

    A few more specific things –

    1.) A question to Mike G in Corvallis (and Dmac, kinda): if the CO2-absorbing bands of the atmosphere do indeed reach a saturation point, what happens to outgoing infrared radiation that would otherwise be absorbed by those bands? Does it pass through, back into space, or does it hang around in the lower levels of the atmosphere, still unable to go anywhere? If a saturated band does indeed allow such radiation to pass through, why (and I ask this out of genuine curiosity, not to make any particular point)?

    I’ll continue in a bit, gotta go for a sec.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  345. About warm winters?

    “In fact, the Met [UK meteorology office] still asserts we are in the midst of an unusually warm winter — as one of its staffers sniffily protested in an internet posting to a newspaper last week: ‘This will be the warmest winter in living memory, the data has already been recorded. For your information, we take the highest 15 readings between November and March and then produce an average. As November was a very seasonally warm month, then all the data will come from those readings.'”

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  346. Patterico wrote:

    Let’s take one argument that several here have thrown out: the urban heat island effect. Here is one study that says it does not explain all the readings:

    Um, that’s not a study, it’s essentially an executive summary. Who wrote that section of the report, and did they include opposing views and contrary studies in their review of the field?

    The cited studies apparently used “adjusted” data sets, so it’s plausible to me that systematic errors in the corrections might bias the results … but I don’t know, and I don’t have access to the original research right now (or the time to pursue it).

    Please consider this summary of more recent work. I think the two comparison graphs, if accurate, indicate that there is systematic bias in the data sets used by the pro-AGW researchers.

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  347. If you have to adjust the data, for an objective figure, it is really not data anymore, is it?

    JD (431886)

  348. Okay, I found the video on heat islands v rural.

    Urban Biases on Surface Temperature Records

    That video should be a “must watch” because it uses the same GISS data the AGW scientists use for their AGW claims to disprove any claim that the urban/rural skeptic position is errant.

    Oh, and the video uses the scientific method, which includes complete transparency from data collection through processes to end-result. But CRU refuses FOI requests for the same sort of information.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  349. Oh, that video uses a 100-year dataset for its analysis.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  350. What really bugs me about all of this is that so much of the “research” has its genesis in the “data” that has been manipulated, changed, etc … and they will not or cannot produce the original data set, prior to the manipulations, nor what specific manipulations were used so the original data could be reverse engineered.
    Comment by JD

    That’s what concerns me the most about this, too. The field seems to have gotten sloppy by building on a data set that was massaged.

    Y-not (479b1f)

  351. Y-not – I am not a climate scientist, so my ability to recognize that does not count. It does seem quite clear, to this uneducated rube, that the whole foundation of the AGW cottage industry seems to be built on a foundation that is shaky, at best. It also seems ingenuous that subsequent studies utilize the same manipulated data and arrive at similar conclusions, and this is used as proof of the original fraud. But I am not a climate scientist, so why listen …

    JD (431886)

  352. Leviticus wrote:

    1.) A question to Mike G in Corvallis (and Dmac, kinda): if the CO2-absorbing bands of the atmosphere do indeed reach a saturation point, what happens to outgoing infrared radiation that would otherwise be absorbed by those bands? Does it pass through, back into space, or does it hang around in the lower levels of the atmosphere, still unable to go anywhere? If a saturated band does indeed allow such radiation to pass through, why (and I ask this out of genuine curiosity, not to make any particular point)?

    Ah. I think you misunderstand what’s going on. The outgoing radiation is absorbed by those bands. It’s the unsaturated bands that let some of the radiation in those wavelengths escape into space. As the gas concentration goes up, the bands become saturated; when they’re completely saturated they contribute as much to the greenhouse effect as they’re ever going to. Adding more greenhouse gas after that won’t increase the warming effect, because it can’t absorb more than 100 percent of the energy at those wavelengths.

    A few things – first of all, I’m not a hardcore AGW fanatic. -[ snip! ]-

    My position is very similar to yours. My reservations about claims of severe AGW are based on my realization that some of the studies seem to be very shoddy, some of the proponents appear to be True Believers with a Higher Mission who won’t let mere data stand in their way, and some of the researchers (and media people) seem to put far too much faith in models of multiple complex, interacting systems that have not been fully or accurately characterized.

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  353. If you haven’t read Aliens Cause Global Warming, a speech by Michael Crichton, you should.

    It can be found here: http://www.s8int.com/crichton.html

    The salient point:

    I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

    Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world.

    In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.

    Troopship Berlin (9d1bb3)

  354. Patterico,

    Sorry you thought my earlier comment at 211 was “over the line.” Let’s try this: as several have said loosely quoting Insty: ” when THEY start to act like it is a serious problem THEN I’ll begin to believe them.” I think that clearly applies to the strident supporters like Kerry, Gore, Pelosi, and so on who continue to fly around the world on personal jets and jaunts.

    I’ve just finished marking my absentee ballot and voted YES on 23, NO on 24 and 25, and YES on 26. Here’s hoping you find your way to do the same…

    P.S – See #345!

    Davd in OC (603d0e)

  355. “There are no papers that show the uniqueness of recent warming without using the same tired set of discredited proxies. ”

    SPQR Your statement contains no citations of the peer reviewed papers that discredited the proxies used in the graph in question.

    So it’s sort of like Daleyrocks and his previous response saying “these guys are all in the hoax up to their neck” but with zero evidence to back that up. “The later statement to “Follow the trail of papers” is not convincing and it’s not evidence. Exactly which papers does Daleyrocks mean? Why does he think that these particular paper point to some sort of cabal to mislead the public about global warming.

    Cite some papers.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  356. A further clarification to Leviticus:

    The bands in the CO2 absorption spectrum aren’t reflecting infrared at those wavelengths, the gas is absorbing the IR and converting the energy into molecular vibration — heat. CO2 essentially is black at those infrared colors; if the gas concentration is so low that the bands aren’t saturated, then it’s like putting a translucent grey filter (rather than a completely black one) in the path of the light that’s “trying” to escape into space.

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  357. We will not show you the original raw data therefore you cannot actually review our findings, and your inability to review our findings due to our not providing the needed info is proof that our findings are correct and awesome.

    JD (22a402)

  358. Voting YES on Prop 23 does NOT change the Clean Air Act nor does it alter AB 32.

    However, AB 32 was enacted before the facts were known. It simply needs to strip out Cap and Trade and the reliance on flawed AGW assumptions and its potentially a piece of leadership legislation for other states. Sustainability, Clean Energy, and Stewardship are great goals but not at the expense of Common Sense.

    AB 32 needs to be amended to eliminate the Cap and Trade provision 70% of America Opposes, eliminate the reliance on flawed GHG assumptions, eliminate the unnecessary Fees, corrected to tighten the scope so it doesn’t introduce Environmental Red Tape that will do more damage than good, and make non-governmental agencies like CARB accountable to taxpayers.

    Voting YES on Prop 23 makes sense.

    excerpt from the approved 2008 California
    Climate Change Scoping Plan

    Key elements of California’s recommendations for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 include:
    • Expanding and strengthening existing energy efficiency programs as well as building and appliance standards;
    • Achieving a statewide renewables energy mix of 33 percent;
    • Developing a California cap-and-trade program that links with other Western Climate Initiative partner programs to create a regional market system;
    • Establishing targets for transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions for regions throughout California, and pursuing policies and incentives to achieve those targets;
    • Adopting and implementing measures pursuant to existing State laws and policies, including California’s clean car standards, goods movement measures, and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard;
    • Creating targeted fees, including a public goods charge on water use, fees on high global warming potential gases, and a fee to fund the administrative costs of the State’s long term commitment to AB 32 implementation.

    NewportMac (772904)

  359. Getting back to Patterico’s original question …

    Tell me why I should support Proposition 23.

    Because if the claims about Strong AGW are not true, AB32 will do more harm than good.

    And because if the claims about Strong AGW are true, AB32 will also do more harm than good. If manufacturing in California becomes even more expensive than it is now due to the burden of environmental regulations, then even more manufacturing will shift to such places as China and India which do not impose these costs. (Note: I’m not necessarily saying that Evil Capitalists will fire Americans and hire furriners, I’m saying that someone, not necesarily any American corporation, will produce goods overseas where it’s cheaper to do so and those goods will have a cometitive edge.) And China and India and much of the rest of the “underdeveloped world” have lousy environmental standards — China is now the world’s largest producer of “man-made” CO2, particulate pollutants, and aerosol pollutants, and a significant producer of methane. AB32 would not only increase unemployment in California, it very likely would cause total pollution and greenhouse gas emissions to increase.

    Any “solution” to AGW that doesn’t take the Third World’s contribution into account isn’t going to work. Any “solution” that destroys the economies of the developed nations that could find and implement other solutions to the problem is going to be one that everyone regrets.

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  360. Is not asking for proof as to why the consensus is wrong the exact OPPOSITE approach of actual science?

    No. I’d say it’s the exact opposite of the exact opposite of science.

    Whoa. I’m guessing you misunderstood the question, and I think your comment about Galileo confirms my suspicion. It’s fine that you expect skeptics to provide proof for their claims. But members of the “consensus” aren’t exempt from the proof requirement. They should be held to the same standards. Members of a consensus may not rest on their unsupported claims and require the skeptics to prove them wrong. To do so is the exact opposite approach of actual science, as JD put it.

    grs (b5a684)

  361. It has been instructive reading these comments and noticing the gradual separation into those who study as professional or amateur climatologists (AGW-sceptics) and those who believe as professional or amateur climatheologists (AGW Believers) …

    I didn’t note the comment #, but, a while back, one commenter talked about the ability to “predict” … and used the example of coin tosses …

    I believe that that example was more appropriate than originally intended … AGW’s data at CRU effectively predicted 2-4 heads out of 6 tosses – and, since that wasn’t the answer the AGW Believers sought, they added in their “fudge factor” so that they can now confidently “predict” 5-8 heads out of 6 tosses … and even the non-statisticians amongst us can tell that there is something wrong with that …

    As was referenced in many other comments here, I willb e more convinced when the AGW Believers push for a crash program bringing nuclear power plants online here in the US … until then, it behaves way too much like a semi-Luddite ploy to force other people to use a lot less energy …

    Alasdair (e7cb73)

  362. “The outgoing radiation is absorbed by those bands. It’s the unsaturated bands that let some of the radiation in those wavelengths escape into space. As the gas concentration goes up, the bands become saturated; when they’re completely saturated they contribute as much to the greenhouse effect as they’re ever going to. Adding more greenhouse gas after that won’t increase the warming effect, because it can’t absorb more than 100 percent of the energy at those wavelengths…

    The bands in the CO2 absorption spectrum aren’t reflecting infrared at those wavelengths, the gas is absorbing the IR and converting the energy into molecular vibration — heat. CO2 essentially is black at those infrared colors; if the gas concentration is so low that the bands aren’t saturated, then it’s like putting a translucent grey filter (rather than a completely black one) in the path of the light that’s “trying” to escape into space.”

    – Mike G in Corvallis

    Alright, let me try to frame a couple of things to the best of my understanding to see if we’re on the same page:

    1)UV radiation from the sun hits the surface of the earth and reflects back as infrared radiation. CO2 (and water vapor and methane and ozone and other greenhouse gases, but I’ll stick to CO2 for the sake of a streamlined conversation) absorbs some portion of that infrared radiation, trapping it in the atmosphere and leading to warming of some degree. Right? (This is more the less the way I’ve heard it explained before – my dad is a chemist/chromatographer type)

    2) “The bands become saturated” – what does this mean, exactly? What are these bands? A given particle of CO2 can presumably absorb and convert a given amount of infrared radiation, correct? If it is the absorption of infrared radiation by CO2 particles that is heating the planet, and we are constantly adding unsaturated particles of CO2 to the atmosphere, then why won’t those particles absorb their capacity of infrared radiation in kind, and produce further warming?

    3) When you say this: “Adding more greenhouse gas after that won’t increase the warming effect, because it can’t absorb more than 100 percent of the energy at those wavelengths…”

    Are you saying that at some point, we will have enough CO2 in the atmosphere to absorb all errant reflecting IR radiation, such that any additional CO2 will have no compounding warming effect because there is no more IR to be absorbed and converted? And if that is what you’re saying, what percentage of current IR reflection do you think/know is currently being absorbed?

    Leviticus (b6f9db)

  363. I wish Eric would please chime in here with his thoughts – he’s quite well – versed in most matters regarding scientific inquiry, after all.

    Dmac (84da91)

  364. AGW research probably has no more and no less consensus, muddle, and confliciting personalities than any other big ticket research field. Because so much money and so many of our liberties are up for grabs, unlike with, say, a marine biology census, we resist accepting the researchers at their word.

    The Sanity Inspector (ef5d4d)

  365. 356

    Ah. I think you misunderstand what’s going on. The outgoing radiation is absorbed by those bands. It’s the unsaturated bands that let some of the radiation in those wavelengths escape into space. As the gas concentration goes up, the bands become saturated; when they’re completely saturated they contribute as much to the greenhouse effect as they’re ever going to. Adding more greenhouse gas after that won’t increase the warming effect, because it can’t absorb more than 100 percent of the energy at those wavelengths.

    This is not entirely correct. First absorption is a probabilistic process. There is a 50% chance of absorption in a certain distance, 75% in twice the distance etc. Increasing the concentration of CO2 decreases this half distance and increases the probability that outgoing radiation will absorbed before it can escape. So even in the absorption bands there is a small (very small) probability that outgoing radiation will escape. Increasing the CO2 concentration will decrease this small probability further and thus increase warming slightly. More importantly after outgoing radiation is absorbed it is reradiated (half up and half down). So even if you had a thin layer in the atmosphere that absorbed all outgoing radiation half of the energy would still escape after being reradiated upward. So the surface of the earth would have to radiate twice as much energy (meaning it is hotter) for the same amount to escape to space. The more such layers the hotter the earth’s surface has to be in order to allow the same amount of energy to escape to space. Note in equilibrium the earth must radiate as much energy to space as it receives from the sun. So increasing absorption in the saturated bands does contribute to warming. However in practice you may be correct that increased absorption in the unsaturated bandwidths is more important. Although CO2 is less absorbant in these wavelengths it does absorb some radiation and will absorb more as the concentration increases.

    James B. Shearer (706ecf)

  366. This is not entirely correct. First absorption is a probabilistic process. […]

    Well, yeah, but I was trying to keep it short and simple; I didn’t think an explanation of “optical depth” was necessary.

    Good explanation on the rest, by the way!

    Based on his followup in #366, I think Leviticus still has a few misconceptions. Care to tackle them?

    However in practice you may be correct that increased absorption in the unsaturated bandwidths is more important. Although CO2 is less absorbant in these wavelengths it does absorb some radiation and will absorb more as the concentration increases.

    I was mainly trying to explain about what happens at very low concentrations, when the bands aren’t saturated and the atmosphere is semitransparent at those wavelengths.

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  367. I shoulda thunk of this sooner — there’s a good writeup on Wikipedia under Greenhouse_effect that may save people a lot of trouble, although it may be a bit technical for people who aren’t used to some of the terminology used.

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  368. “Increasing the concentration of CO2 decreases this half distance and increases the probability that outgoing radiation will absorbed before it can escape. So even in the absorption bands there is a small (very small) probability that outgoing radiation will escape. Increasing the CO2 concentration will decrease this small probability further and thus increase warming slightly.”

    – James B. Shearer

    So, increasing levels of CO2 increases the probability of infrared absorption, which in turn increases the probability of warming – that makes sense to me. Do I have that right?

    I still don’t understand this talk of bands and saturation. Are these “bands” segments of the radiation spectrum, or something? I don’t understand this notion of a saturated band, when it’s particles, in their individual capacity, that are doing all the absorbing. And I know I must sound like an idiot to anyone who’s studied these issues in a professional capacity any sort of depth, but I’m just trying to get a better grasp on the mechanics of the process. Please bear with me.

    Leviticus (b6f9db)

  369. tell me why I should be skeptical of the concept of man-made global warming.

    I have two questions I ask of AGW believers.

    1. If Man is the cause of global warming, how do you account for similar rises in temperatures over the past 20-30 years seen on Mars, Venus, and Jupiter?

    2. If Man is the cause of global warming, how come the average global temperatures have actually cooled slightly since 1998, even though Man is pumping more and more pollutants into the air?

    The first question I never get an answer to, the second one I get all kinds of weird responses to.

    Of course, Man at some level, just by breathing, is effecting the climate. But are we destroying the climate as AGW proponents claim? I don’t know for syre, but I don’t think so. Our contribution is so tiny compared to so many other ‘natural’ activities that add greenhouse gasses, I have trouble believing it.

    Any of the AGW believers care to answer my first question, I’m iterested in finally getting an answer.

    Thanks!

    Kenny

    Kenny (76922b)

  370. Kenny, there has also been cooling on Mars in the same time frame as here, and coincident with the decrease in sun-spot activity.

    Unexpectedly!

    AD-RtR/OS! (3ac795)

  371. AD,

    LOL, Unexpectedly!

    Hmmmm… who ever would have thought that a giant object relatively close by the Earth and emitting varying amounts of energy would have an impact on temperatures of the nearby planets.

    Naah, couldn’t be that. Man is to blame!

    Kenny (76922b)

  372. Um, that’s not a study, it’s essentially an executive summary.

    Um, it’s not?

    Um, you realize that I linked you to only one small section of it right?

    Um, could you, um, help me distinguish between documents you think qualify as studies and those that don’t?

    And, um, please don’t start your comment with um. Any comment that starts that way reeks of superiority and condescension and gets under my skin. I’m trying to avoid that sort of thing in this thread.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  373. President Barcky starts every sentence with um hum uh um huh

    JD (3399c0)

  374. Some great posts have made this thread an education for me. Particularly appreciate the posts from James B. Shearer, Leviticus, Mike G. in Corvallis, Bradley Fikes and Patterico himself.

    Angeleno (bcac39)

  375. I think Obama actually starts every sentence with either “let me be perfectly clear,” or the timeworn one of “they say that (insert strawman)…”

    Dmac (84da91)

  376. Problems with Climate Models (contd.) Why simple models in climate science fail.
    Apologies but I am going to try to describe to laymen (most readers of this blog) some control systems and estimation theory here:
    Earth’s climate is a complex nonlinear system. This system can be modeled using state variables. These state variables can describe the system at a given point in time using a set of state equations that describe the state of the system. The state equations can also describe the behavior of the system over time given a set of initial conditions of the state variables and their boundary value conditions and the dynamics equations that include the state variables. The dynamics equations describe the behavior of the system based on the relationships with the other state variables. In a non linear system, the relationships between the state variables do not behave in a linear fashion. As the state variables in the system change, the relationships between these variables also change.
    In a nonlinear system, simplified models that are computationally tractable can be constructed using a process called linearization. For a narrow range of values for the state variables, sensitivity factors are constructed that simplify the relationships between variables for the particular range of data of interest.
    An example of this is the sensitivity of the average earth temperature in degrees centigrade to the average CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. These sensitivity factors a based on measured data. They are only good within the range of the data that has been measured. You can interpolate intermediate states within the range of the sample data, but in a non-linear system, it is extremely dangerous to extrapolate beyond the data set. If all your sensitivity factors are based on historical data, you can only assume your sensitivity is valid for that range. If all your data is based on a range of atmospheric CO2 concentration from 250 ppm-450ppm your model is not valid for ranges of CO2 concentration above 450ppm or below 250 ppm. Because the dynamics of the system are nonlinear, the sensitivity factors between the state variables can change dramatically for even small changes in certain state variables. One example of this kind of dramatic change is saturation of the absorption spectra for CO2. Other issues can occur because in different regions of the state space (the total range of possible values for all the state variables in the system), different state variables can dominate the output.
    Estimating the state of the model using noisy data – measurement issues can be a significant problem when it is difficult to measure are the relevant variables with consistent accuracy. An entire field of mathematics called estimation theory addresses this problem. Since non-linear system sensitivities with respect to other state variables can be extremely dynamic, the system can be highly sensitive to initial conditions. The sensitivity factors between variables and the dynamic coefficients of the state variable equations are not known with a high degree of precision in the presence of noisy data. Because of that, you can only estimate the state of the system to a degree of precision limited by the data set and the dynamics involved.
    Current climate models have a very poor understanding of the dynamics of the state variables involved and the effects of noisy data sets taken over long periods of time. It is extremely unwise to make policy decisions involving the entire worlds economy with the present level of understanding. There are many other world problems where cause and effect are better understood, and the application of money would have much more predictable and favorable effects. The unintended consequences of the current policy proscriptions are not well understood. By the way, economic systems are similarly non-linear dynamic systems and we have access to a lot more data, but the current understanding of the dynamics of economic systems are still poorly understood, and the predictive power of various economic models is extremely uneven. Read THE BLACK SWAN for a discussion of this.

    dave (4e0dda)

  377. Don’t forget “it has always been my position that … “

    JD (3399c0)

  378. ______________________________________________

    All this hysteria over CO2 (the gas every human exhales every few seconds) is nothing but nonsense to me. Not just because of the divergent opinions of experts, but because all the researchers — both pro and con — have yet to address how C02 affects the following:

    The positions of high and low pressure centers can greatly influence a forecast. Fair weather generally accompanies a high pressure center and winds flow clockwise around a high. This means that winds on the back (western) side of the high are generally from a southerly direction and typically mean warmer temperatures. On the front (eastern) side of a high, winds are generally from the north and this typically results in colder temperatures.

    If a city is expected to be located west of a high pressure center then warmer temperatures are likely. However, if the city is expected to be in the northerly winds of a high pressure center, then forecast colder temperatures. Cities under the influence of high pressure centers can expect generally fair weather with little or no precipitation.

    In contrast, clouds and precipitation generally accompany a low pressure center and winds flow counterclockwise around lows. This means that winds on the back (western) side of the low are generally from a northerly direction and typically mean colder temperatures. On the front (eastern) side of a low, winds are generally from the south and this typically results in warmer temperatures.

    ^ Assuming the climate of Southern California is not unique to the world, EVERY time the temperatures have been or are above average, much less excessively high, it always can be traced to ONE thing: The influence of a ridge of high pressure.

    If C02 were having such a greenhouse effect on at least THIS part of the planet, then southern California should be noticeably warmer 365 days of the year, even when under the influence of low-pressure systems.

    I can recall hot, sweaty Christmas days in LA.

    Oh, recently?!

    No, over 25 years ago! (BTW, such occurrences stand out in my memory because I think hot weather sucks, particularly on Xmas day, no less.)

    The cause? Too much C02?

    No, a ridge of high pressure, generally over the Great Basin (the area generally around Nevada, Idaho, Utah, eastern Oregon).

    I don’t recall all the hysteria about AGW over 25 years ago.

    Mark (3e3a7c)

  379. 371

    I still don’t understand this talk of bands and saturation. Are these “bands” segments of the radiation spectrum, or something? I don’t understand this notion of a saturated band, when it’s particles, in their individual capacity, that are doing all the absorbing. And I know I must sound like an idiot to anyone who’s studied these issues in a professional capacity any sort of depth, but I’m just trying to get a better grasp on the mechanics of the process. Please bear with me.

    Yes, CO2 (and other greenhouse gasses like H2O) absorb longwave radiation more strongly at certain wavelengths. Digressing a bit the surface of the sun and the surface of the earth emit radiation basically according to the blackbody distribution. Because the surface of the sun is much hotter than the surface of the earth the sun’s radiation is mostly at shorter wavelengths (which we refer to as shortwave radiation) as opposed to the mostly longer wavelength radiation emitted by the earth’s surface (which we refer to as longwave radiation). Shortwave radiation passes through the earth’s atmosphere more easily than longwave radiation which is the basis for the greenhouse effect. In equilibrium the earth must radiate back to space as much energy as it receives from the sun. Because greenhouse gasses block some outgoing radiation from reaching space the earth’s surface temperature rises (which means it radiates more) until enough radiation reaches space (even with some blocked) to match the energy received from the sun. Now as noted above longwave radiation is absorbed more strongly at some wavelengths than others. This means currently little energy escapes at these wavelengths and additional absorption won’t make much difference. But there are other wavelengths which are just partially blocked currently where increasing the absorption by adding CO2 (or H2O) will have more effect.

    James B. Shearer (706ecf)

  380. Ah, okay. That makes perfect sense – but it does indeed indicate that additional CO2 emission will lead to additional IR absorption, even if it’s at a lower “efficiency.”

    Thanks very much.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  381. Um, could you, um, help me distinguish between documents you think qualify as studies and those that don’t?

    OK. A study contains the original research, and it can be checked because it describes the research methods and (ideally) the data. A summary talks about the original research, and is essentially a collection of assertions (often true, but who knows?). The particular IPCC report page you linked to was a summary — it contains citations to some of the research papers that allegedly support the claims — but apparently not all of them — and those papers were not linked. If you want me to read them, you’ll have to provide links.

    Now, will you please answer the question that I asked you? What were the names of the people who wrote that section of the report?

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  382. Again, James B. Shearer provides a nice explanation.

    Leviticus wrote:

    That makes perfect sense – but it does indeed indicate that additional CO2 emission will lead to additional IR absorption, even if it’s at a lower “efficiency.”

    Yes, but at this point the “efficiency” of additional CO2 is much lower. At current concentrations, the effect of adding a small amount of methane or water vapor is much, much stronger than you’d get by adding more CO2. As I said upstream, it’s like adding a tenth blanket to your bed on a cold winter night. The additional amount of warmth it provides won’t be anywhere near as great as going from no blankets to one, or from one blanket to two.

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  383. Problems with Climate Models (contd.) Why simple models in climate science fail.

    Nice exposition, Dave. I like the cut of your jib.

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  384. The brief version of AGW’s burden of proof:

    The anthropogenic increase in atmospheric carbon must amplify(by Henry’s Law) the earth’s own increase of atmospheric carbon.

    The man-caused component must create a positive feedback loop like an open-mike wail.

    To date, the feedback looks negative(Spencer UAH) but a definitive conclusion is unlikely in our lifetime.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  385. Well, I’ll simply share what picqued my interest in the subject (which I didn’t really pay too much attention to until it became a political club swung with abandon). . .

    One simple question. If the AGW ‘concensus’ is true, why are various people lying about it? A few quick instances come to mind, which are easy enough to find in mainstream sources, and since I’ve got a limited amount of time, I’ll excuse myself from playing research assistant.

    – British Courts ruling that Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ may not be shown to British Schoolchildren without an accompanying fact sheet detailing the (minimum of) nine substantial inaccuracies.

    – The deconstruction and demonstration that the “Hockey Stick” graph showing us all going to a slow roast a few years hence is an extrememly biased and poorly written computer program, which readily turns poorly selected (yes slected, aka cherry picked) data into a ‘hockey stick’ shape.

    – The extremely shoddy and sensationalistic claims placed within a ‘scientific’ document, by the IPCC, then defended vigourously by the IPCC chair (Pauchauri)

    – The massive conflicts of interest by several of the prime movers and shakers of the AGW movement. The amount of money involved is more than ample motive to continue with the exercise for these folks, regardless of what state the planet may or may not be in after they are long dead. The numbers are into the billions – and ‘carbon trading’ has already been shown to be rife with corruption.

    – The simple fact that a ‘concensus’ does not science make. Examples – it was the ‘concensus’ that bleeding a patient would have beneficial effects in the middle ages. It was ‘concensus’ that people’s character could be determined by studying the bumps on their heads (phrenology). Bottom line, there has been plenty of ‘concensus’ in history, and more often thatn not it’s proven wrong. Because that is the basis of the scientific method. Reproducible result – not ‘feel good’ answers because people think that’s the way thing should be. With the fact being that the overall human level of understanding about the complete thermodynamic interaction of the planet as a system is still extremely sketchy, coupled with the fact that simply explaining such interactions (as we understand them, or not) makes the average non-scientist pass out from boredom, there’s the opportunity for exactly the shenannigans that have been seen and documented.

    So, at this point (where I have to wrap up as I’m out of time) we have documented bad acts, motive, and opportunity, along with the self evident means (based upon the prominent positions of some of those pushing the agenda)

    Hope that does it for you, counselor. My personal opinion is that Gore, Pauchauri, Hansen, Mann, Jones et al will be remembered as and go down in history as some of the slickest charlatans in human history.

    Wind Rider (4b8f61)

  386. A few comments, which I will not/can not expend the time and energy to pursue, but others may know or want to.

    1. Regarding the “consensus” of “all of the scientists” who support AGW- does anyone know to what degree this is actually true factually, and what is simply the MSM being selective in it’s reporting? Maybe 65% of actual climate scientists around the world don’t agree with AGW, but no one asks them the questions?
    -Two comments in relation:
    —Yes, scientists will devise grant proposals based on what will get funding. The best scientists, however, will still follow the facts in interpreting their results.
    —Academic MD’s, who will argue over scant minutae having to do with details on something they know about, are all too often eager to accept hook, line, and sinker whatever the MSM will tell them, at times even when it crosses over into medicine. If scientists are the same, you get liberal tending scientists jumping on board because of affiliation, not scientific rigor.

    2. Where does burden of proof lie? As I’ve said before (sorry) the data as of 1975 was interpreted as evidence for global cooling. An additional 20 years of data supposedly informed us about climate trends over the centuries. That doesn’t make sense and I need to be convinced why they think that is true, before they start looking for correlations to “explain” what they haven’t documented, especially when the correlations don’t work (temp up first, then CO2).
    – Then I also need to be convinced why adding 15 more years of data need to be fit into the current theory, rather than being given at least an equally important role as the previous 20 years. They could just as well have claimed global cooling was really happening, with the short term heating explained by increased reflection of the sun’s rays off of the polar camps and contributing to a transient increase in atmospheric temperature.
    – They need to explain why changes in temperature of Mars that track with the Earth which track with sun spots are immaterial.
    – They need to explain why their own lives are so hypocritical in daily life, and why they are irrational when it comes to concrete methods of doing anything about the issue. Would someone on the Titanic who thought it might sink stay inside a large ballroom? Would someone who thought it was going to sink propose that if 50 people all stood on one end of the ship they could keep it from listing and everyone would be safe? The idea of pushing US and European compliance with certain standards irrespective of the rest of the world is not a logical course of action.

    3. What about the total effect of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere? All plants depend on CO2 to convert sun energy into sugar. In any chemical reaction, increasing the amount of a substance on one side of the reaction shifts the balance toward the other side. Increased CO2 could/should drive the efficiency of the reaction toward more sequestration of CO2 as sugar and enhanced plant growth. (Though there are actually many assumptions and caveats about what are the rate limiting steps in photosynthesis, etc. that make such a statement oversimplified and potentially wrong- which is the whole idea in doubting the ability of generating appropriate models of an incredibly complex process.)

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  387. For those interested in a long, long, long term temperature picture, there is an interesting page at:
    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/02/the-big-picture-65-million-years-of-temperature-swings/

    It is also worthwhile noting that basically all of southern Quebec, southern Ontario, Manitoba, Minnesota etc etc. have, on average, been under a mile or so of ice for the last million years. In fact, the ‘norm’ is that for 90% of the last million years, large chunks of North America have been under ice. There have been 5 interglacials, lasting, on average 10,000 years. The last retreat started roughly 12,800 years ago, with a catastrophic breakthrough which drained an enormous quantity of cold fresh water into the North Atlantic, resulting in a diversion of the Gulf Stream, such that, while Ontario warmed, England cooled.
    Oh, average interglacial, 10,000: last started, 12,800. What is more likely: warmer or cooler?

    Dyspeptic Curmudgeon (15fb45)

  388. East Anglia, The Hockey Stick, The Yarmal (sp) implosion, The harryreadme.txt file, the problems with temperature data for several continents, the complete lack of any transparent and open data or models. Is there any reason to beleive that can be put up to counter the abundant evidence of fraud?

    SporkLift Driver (38a3ad)

  389. And as a non-scientist, how do I know this? Because a handful of cranks at East Anglia were jerks?

    That “handful of cranks” were the leaders in the field. And they were only “jerks”, if by “jerks” you mean “fraudsters pretending to be scientists.”

    1: The fundamental core of the scientific method is repeatable experiments. All of the “leaders” of AGW have consistently refused to release the information necessary for others to try to repeat their experiments. the whole fight about ClimateGate was from skeptics trying to get their hands on that information, and the East Anglia crew resisting.

    Resisting in a way that no real scientist would ever do. Resisting in the way that someone who has intentionally committed fraud would do to try to keep his fraud from being discovered.

    2: “Ah”, you say, “that’s just East Anglia. What about everyone else?” Well, what about them? How did they respond to the publicly released fact that the “scientists” at East Anglia have repeatedly made claims that they can not back up? Did those “others” say “wow, you people are frauds. We’re going to condemn you so others don’t think we’re just as corrupt and incompetent as you are”? No. They defended the East Anglia crew. They rallied around incompetence, dishonesty, and utterly unscientific conduct.

    Why?

    Because they don’t have anything better.

    3: Here is what real science looks like:

    Scientist does experiment, publishes paper.

    Other scientist sends first scientist a request for everything he (the second scientist) would need to recreate the experiment described in the paper.

    First scientist meets second scientist’s request. It doesn’t matter if the second scientist is from another country, from a competing lab, if the two hate each others guts, or if the life work of scientists #2 is to prove scientist #1 wrong. He sends everything needed, be it tissue samples, lab cultures, or loads of computer data and source code.

    Second scientist runs the experiments.

    A: They work. Second scientist then tries to build on them in a way that lets him (really, his grad students and post-docs) write a paper.

    B: They don’t work. Scientist 2 queries scientist 1, discussion about lab protocol, etc. occur. Either #2 gets it working, or #2 writes to the journal that published the letter, telling them that the work was not reproducible. Disputes and arguments about scientific fraud commence.

    Now, where has that always broken down in the AGW case? At step 2. Not one group has ever released the information necessary to replicate their work.

    Not one.

    What do they need to release?

    1: All the data they collected.
    2: The rules they used to decide which data points to use, and which not to use.
    3: All the transforms they did to the data, and the reasons why they did them.

    None of this is difficult. None of this is something done by only one person, so there are going to be ongoing discussions on what to use, what not to use, and why. If they’re at all competent, the important parts of those discussion are going to be written down, so they can remember what tehy did, and why.

    And if they’re not that competent, then you shouldn’t trust anything they’ve done, anyway.

    Why hasn’t all this been released? Because the data only “says” what they want it to say when they manipulate it in ways that are questionable at best, and utterly dishonest at worst.

    Any scientist looking at their behavior would tell you “that looks like they have something to cover up.” You don’t act like that when you don’t actually have anything to cover up.

    Greg Q (0800bd)

  390. There are some nice explanations posted, unfortunately most of them are posted with no references to peer reviewed papers. Some (like the paper above by Edward Long posted by Mike G from Corvallis) are papers from a think tank (Science and Public Policy Institute) which I am always very leery of.

    Since I’m not a climate scientist and can’t write nice summaries like some above, I did the next best thing and went looking for a review of the literature that was NOT an IPCC report. So here are some references if you care to read them. Most of them are in the form of PDFs so you can just download them, which I did. Some are pretty dated but not all of them.

    Review of “Global warming is real” data:

    Keller 2009 Global warming: a review of this mostly settled issue. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment 23:5 pp 643-676

    This paper only cites two papers from each of the climate gate researchers. All the rest of the cited evidence is from someone else.
    I looked for a review of the contrarian literature (Keller adds contrary views in but his review does not come from a contrarian point of view) and finally found a paper thanks to a link Bob Reed posted above.

    Carter 2008 Knock knock where is the evidence for dangerous human caused global warming?. Economic Analysis and Policy

    This paper is not written in a scientifc style and is full of values laden language, quotes from legendary skeptics like Mark Twain etc. but that doesn’t necessarily mean the arguments are wrong. This is also a paper for all you posters out there who take the position that there is no reason to ask what difference GW or AGW makes or what should be done because global warming isn’t real.

    My overall sense of the papers I came across was that most people accepted that global warming was real and had moved on to other questions including ones like, how good is the modelling.

    R Knutti Should we believe model predictions of future climate change. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society

    Hawkins and Suttmar 2009. Bulletin of the American Meterological Society

    R Knutti 2010, The end of model democracy?
    Climactic Change
    This one is an editorial and starts with the heading “The trillion dollar tea party, an analogy”

    GH Roe, MB Baker 2007. Why is climate science so unpredictable? Science 318

    Here is a really unpleasant scientific bun fight
    from Bob Reed’s link (this is apparently more of a bitch slapping hair pulling fight)
    McLean et al. 2009 Journal of Geophysical Research
    (basically says GW patterns are explained by El Nino events).

    The page Bob Reed linked of course forgot to also link to the responses to this paper.

    Foster et. al 2010, Stockwell and Cox 2009 both in the Journal of Geophysical Research. (Both shoot down McClean’s data analysis)

    McClean’s response did not pass peer review apparently because he refused to change some highly rhetorical language in the paper. SO he is claiming bias and that he is being stifled. His response shows up at the think tank site (Science and Public Policy Institute).

    Is GW or AGW important?

    Scholze et al. 2006 PNAS
    There are lots more of these

    What to do if anything.

    Keller et al. 2008. Climate Change

    Travis 2010. Going to extremes:propositions on the social response to severe climate change. Climate Change 98: 1-19 (this paper seems reasonable but puts forth arguments for adding the possibility of extreme events into the GW discussion which many scientists are reluctant to do).

    The economists weigh in.
    My sense of the papers was that economists were pretty much against any economically radical “fix” at this time.

    WD Nordhaud 2007. A review of the: Stern review on the economics of climate change. Journal of Economic Literature

    Dietz and Stern 2008. Why economic analysis supports strong action on climate change: A response to Stern’s review critics. Review of Environmental Economics

    L Karp.2005. Global Warming and Hyperbolic Discounting. Journal of Public Economics
    If you find this paper in Google Scholar you can hit the “cited by” button (this one gets 62 citations) and it will give you a blizzard of economics literature on the topic.

    It goes on to the horizon

    Here is what world famous Climate Scientist and Environmental Economist George Carlin thinks,

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

    EdWood (38b402)

  391. Oh, BTW, another thing that tells you the whole field is corrupt is the response of the Journals publishing their papers.

    In any other field, if a “scientist” announced that he was not capable of recreating the work behind a published paper, the journal would withdraw the paper, at once. No ifs, ands, buts, or maybes. That that hasn’t happened with all the papers published by the East Anglia crew is a strong demonstration that the field is about politics, not science.

    Greg Q (0800bd)

  392. Greg’s right. EdWood can’t really refute the problem with a list of peer review citations, when the problem is that the people deciding what gets reviewed are not fair. And there’s no doubt some of them aren’t fair, thanks to Mann’s emails on this topic.

    Ed is correct that his extemporaneous complaints about tone, amidst his cataloging, have no bearing on anything. In fact, I thought the hide the decline emails had a bit of a tone problem, too, but you don’t hear anybody relying on that either.

    Greg is not asking for much. All data, all methods, and until then, no credibility.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  393. Here is what world famous Climate Scientist and Environmental Economist George Carlin thinks,

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

    Dang, I miss Carlin.

    Some (like the paper above by Edward Long posted by Mike G from Corvallis) are papers from a think tank (Science and Public Policy Institute) which I am always very leery of.

    A reasonable attitude. We all have our reservations about relying on particular sources, whether they’re individual people or organizations. That’s one of the reasons for peer review, to bridge the credibility gap.

    Alas, peer review isn’t always a touchstone for accuracy. I’d put more weight on a non-peer-reviewed paper that included a full exposition of the analysis and included all the data than I would on a paper that somehow made it through peer review without explaining the methods and data “adjustments.”

    (Hmm. A quick Google search indicates that there are several active journals of astrology for professionals in the field. I wonder whether their papers are peer-reviewed? I suspect they are … Did you know that in 1975, California State Senator Ralph Dills introduced a bill to license professional astrologers, to protect the public from charlatans and incompetents?)

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  394. But who was going to protect us from Dills?

    AD-RtR/OS! (051c59)

  395. Well, this discussion has fallen off Patterico’s front page.

    It would be nice to have a bit of closure on this. Did we make a difference? Have any of our comments or links persuaded Mr. Frey that there’s far less evidence for Strong AGW than its claimants would have us believe? That draconian measures to reduce CO2 output in North America and Europe probably will cause more harm than good, especially when you consider that the “developing world” refuses to be bound by the same limitations and already outproduces us in greenhouse gases and atmospheric pollutants?

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  396. Climate Audit dredged up Hansen’s code a couple years ago. Authored mostly by grad students it consisted of of command scripts calling sequences of routines: text parsers followed by Fortran routines outputting to text and so on. Classic spaghetti code, familiar to engineers of a certain age.

    We ran into a section of “RI” routines, reduced illumination I recall, that identified rural temperature stations by there darkness at night in satellite images. Initially we supposed the purpose would be to establish stations not influenced by UHI, the urban heat island effect. These stations would have a record consistent over time avoiding the compromising effect of urbanization. Perhaps their readings would be weighted more heavily.

    In the event the legacy records, prior to the satellite era, e.g., the Dust Bowl period, were downgraded. Progressive subtractions from the temperature record were made from the data of the rural sites tilting the “incline” downward prior to the current era.

    Hansen is a fraud.

    Proved by me, for me, my final authority.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  397. “Greg’s right. EdWood can’t really refute the problem with a list of peer review citations, when the problem is that the people deciding what gets reviewed are not fair”

    If you read through the abstracts of the papers above and their bibliographies Dustin you will find that, even if the system isn’t “fair” by your standards, that papers by scientists who DONT buy into AGW, or current explanations for warming, or the acurracy of the models DO get published.

    Mike G is correct that peer review can even get astrology published. Yup, but it’s better then relying on personal opinions.

    I guess I didn’t put the papers in the form of a position statement, I just don’t have the time, but since almost nobody above was backing up anything they said (some exceptions) with any citations whatsoever it seemed like some papers were called for.

    If you need a position statement then Keller 2009 explains why I think Global warming is real, and Nordhaus 2007 explains why I think nations should think very long and hard before doing anything to “fix” it.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  398. EdWood,

    Please tell me where I can go and get a complete temperature record data set, along with all the manipulations done by the climate scientists to clean up that data set, and any explanations the scientists have for what they were doing, and why. Please tell me where I can go to get the complete source code and build system to recreate every computer program the scientists used on their data, so I can see how sensitive their simulations are to minor perturbations in the data, etc.

    Do you have that? No? Then you don’t have science. You have, at best, a bunch of people kibitzing about something. If someone has published a “peer reviewed” article without having to release all of the data and programs their paper relied upon, then all that says is that the journal they published in is a joke.

    When I, and the Watt’s Up people, and every other AGW skeptic has been given a chance to thoroughly examine the data and software, then and only then, will you be able to talk about climate science, rather than climate “science.”

    Because the vast majority of the funding for this “science” is coming from bureaucracies that have a vested interest in “discovering” that they “need” more power, and that money is consistently going to those “scientists” who tell the bureaucrats what they want to hear.

    That doesn’t, necessarily, mean that the “scientists” are wrong.

    It is their total unwillingness to follow the basics of the scientific method (repatable results by anyone who tries, not just those who are paid to agree with them), is what guarantees that they are wrong.

    Greg Q (0800bd)

  399. 385

    Yes, but at this point the “efficiency” of additional CO2 is much lower. At current concentrations, the effect of adding a small amount of methane or water vapor is much, much stronger than you’d get by adding more CO2. As I said upstream, it’s like adding a tenth blanket to your bed on a cold winter night. The additional amount of warmth it provides won’t be anywhere near as great as going from no blankets to one, or from one blanket to two.

    Can you elaborate on the point about H20 and CH4? It is my understanding that at least for H2O the main absorption bands are already saturated in the same way as for CO2. IIRC methane is more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2 on a molecule to molecule basis but on the other its lifetime in the atmosphere is less. It is true that gasses other than CO2 are also important. However CO2 seems like the most difficult to limit.

    As for the blanket analogy, it seems a bit confusing. If you think of blankets around a lightbulb (which doesn’t vary its heat output with temperture) then it seems to me that each blanket will in fact increase the equilibrium temperature by the same amount (as the energy produced by the lightbulb has to flow through each blanket requiring a certain temperature difference). Perhaps a better analogy would be adding insulation to the roof while leaving the walls uninsulated. Eventually all the heat is lost through the walls and additional roof insulation is ineffective. However as I understand it some of the CO2 side bands are not completely saturated so adding CO2 still has a warming effect. It is well known that the effect is not linear, a rough approximation is that it is logarithmic. So going from 300 to 600 pmm has the same effect as going from 150 to 300 (or 600 to 1200).

    James B. Shearer (706ecf)

  400. I hate to sound like some kind of kumbaya-singing goodie-two-shoes, but I think that some of us are closer to agreement that you might think at first.

    Here’s a rough statement of my position; your mileage may vary:

    * In general, it’s a Bad Idea to mess with a system that you don’t understand, and our adding CO2 to the Earth’s atmosphere may have consequences that we won’t like. The character and magnitude of these consequences can’t be stated with any degree of certainty, though.

    * CO2 is a greenhouse gas, although at its curent concentration the effect of adding another 30 percent or so very likely will not be anywhere near as severe as the prophets of doom would have us believe. (My personal guesstimate is that in the absence of other factors it might raise the global mean temperature a degree or two Fahrenheit … to what it was in previous interglacial eras. But I don’t know what would happen in the Real World, and I admit that I don’t know.)

    * There are other influences on Earth’s climate that have not been accounted for — both “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns” — making numerical simulations of climate models unreliable and misleading. Even if a model were accurate, we couldn’t tell at this point, we’d have to wait to see whether its predictions come to pass.

    * Various climates around the world do seem to be changing, but we don’t know whether this is due to anthropogenic causes or other influences (including whatever caused the documented instability of temperatures during previous interglacial eras and the past 10,000 years of the current one). However, due to uncertainties in the “adjusted” data sets and inherent limitations in the methods (e.g., “dendrochronology”) we can’t unambiguously say how much of this apparent change is real.

    * We do know that predictions made by simply extrapolating “adjusted” temperature data from 1900 to 1995 have not proved to be accurate for 1995 to 2010 … and we don’t know why. (Even the CRU researchers have admitted this.)

    * Whether or not Strong AGW is real, the True Believers of AGW have done a grave disservice to the credibility and capabilities of the climate science community by issuing misleading public pronouncements, claiming far greater certainty about their predictions than is warranted, and using shoddy data analysis methods. Worse, they’ve pissed in the well by “adjusting” the crucial historical data sets and then losing or deliberately destroying the raw data, the basis for the “adjustments,” and the magnitude of the “adjustments.” At this point, we can’t know whether Strong AGW is real, because of their actions.

    * The True Believers have poisoned the debate with character assassination and underhanded peer-review tactics, labeling people who criticize their work — and even those who just want to want to check it — as “denialists” and “lunatics” and “tools of Big Oil” … even people like Bjørn Lomborg who partially agree with them.

    * If Strong AGW is real, we don’t know what to do about it. There are plausible reasons to believe that crash programs are not warranted at this time and would do more harm than good. The issue of climate change is contentious in science and politics, but also in economics, as EdWood points out above. There’s a useful summary on Wikipedia (with links!) that I’m going to steal from:

    The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change is a 700-page report released for the British government on October 30, 2006 … The report discusses the effect of global warming on the world economy. Although not the first economic report on climate change, it is significant as the largest and most widely known and discussed report of its kind.

    The Stern Review’s main conclusion is that the benefits of strong, early action on climate change considerably outweigh the costs. It proposes that one percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) per annum is required to be invested in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change, and that failure to do so could risk global GDP being up to twenty percent lower than it otherwise might be. … The Review provides prescriptions including environmental taxes to minimize the economic and social disruptions. It states, “our actions over the coming few decades could create risks of major disruption to economic and social activity, later in this century and in the next, on a scale similar to those associated with the great wars and the economic depression of the first half of the 20th century.

    But many economists strongly disagree with the report’s assumptions and prescriptions:

    William Nordhaus, of Yale University, who has done several studies on the economics of global warming, has criticised the Review for its low discount rate: “The Review’s unambiguous conclusions about the need for extreme immediate action will not survive the substitution of discounting assumptions that are consistent with today’s market place. So the central questions about global-warming policy — how much, how fast, and how costly — remain open. The Review informs but does not answer these fundamental questions.”

    Richard Tol, an environmental economist at the Economic and Social Research Institute, is highly critical of the Stern Review, and has said that “If a student of mine were to hand in this report [the Stern Review] as a Masters thesis, perhaps if I were in a good mood I would give him a ‘D’ for diligence; but more likely I would give him an ‘F’ for fail (Cox and Vadon, 2007). There is a whole range of very basic economics mistakes that somebody who claims to be a Professor of Economics simply should not make. […] Stern consistently picks the most pessimistic for every choice that one can make. He overestimates through cherry-picking, he double counts particularly the risks and he underestimates what development and adaptation will do to impacts.” Tol has referred to the Stern Review as “populist science”, and has shown that the Stern Review’s estimate of the social cost of carbon (SCC) is an outlier in the economics literature.

    … Professor Emeritus of Economics at Pepperdine University George Reisman has said that “Any serious consideration of the proposals made in the Stern Review for radically reducing carbon technology and the accompanying calls for immediacy in enacting them makes clear in a further way how utterly impractical the environmentalist program for controlling global warming actually is. The fundamental impracticality of the program, of course, lies in its utterly destructive character.”

    And even if drastic, expensive measures are justified, nobody knows how to convince China, India, and other countries in the developing world to cooperate.

    Several years ago I read an essay that raised a couple of interesting hypotheticals: What if in the near future we discover that global warming is indeed real, and the rise in temperature will be significant … but it’s due almost entirely to natural causes? Would the people who are now advocating massive intervention in human activities to fight AGW still propose massive, expensive projects to counteract an entirely natural change? Or what if we discover that adding CO2 to the atmosphere has has warmed the Earth … counteractng the onset of a new Ice Age that would otherwise have sent global temperatures plunging? (This isn’t at all far-fetched; the current interglacial seems to have lasted longer than previous ones, and we don’t know why.) Should we interfere with Mother Nature? What to do, what to do …

    And I repeat: It would be interesting to know what our host thinks of the matter at this point.

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  401. Some of the earlier comments seem a bit confused about feedback. Suppose the warming produced by adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes more water evaporation increasing the amount of H2O in the atmosphere. Since H2O is itself a greenhouse gas this could cause additional warming which would be an example of a positive feedback. Suppose on the other hand the added water vapor means more clouds and these clouds reflect more sunlight. This could cause counteracting cooling which would be an example of a negative feedback. In a simple one dimensional case positive feedback will amplify the orignal impulse while negative feedback will attenuate it. Suppose for example for every unit of the original impulse one round of feedback produces a units of additional response (where a>0 for positive feedback and aa>-1) to 1/(1-a). So the effect of feedback is to multiply the effect of an impulse by a factor of 1/(1-a).

    Suppose a>1. This is the so called “runaway” case where a finite impulse generates an infinite response. In the real world of course the response is not actually infinite it just increases until your model (and possibly your amplifier) breaks. Note a>1 means the original system was unstable as any small disturbance would grow without bound.

    The above assumes a 1-d system where negative feedback can attenuate but not reverse the response. In 2-d (and higher) systems feedback can actually cause the response to reverse direction. So adding CO2 could in principle cause cooling. I don’t think this is very likely but it can’t be absolutely ruled out without a more detailed analysis.

    James B. Shearer (706ecf)

  402. Why is it that some people would rather argue with themselves about hypotheticals that they have created, instead of discussing the questions about the questionable theory of AGW that people like Mike G from Corvallis so clearly laid out?

    JD (ce5305)

  403. I hope that wasn’t a criticism of Mr. Shearer’s comment. It was very relevant to the technical discussion … and to my intense satisfaction, he clarified a point that I tried to make earlier. (In other words, “You are a very intelligent and perceptive person, Sir — you agree with me!” 😉

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  404. Mike G – it was a kind of oblique critique. ;-). The technical discussion, though interesting, in the context of this discussion, is tangential as the bastardization of the data has given us a foundation of fact-y imaginary made up numbers, that only happen by coincidence to skew in one direction, from which all of the science-y science flows from.

    JD (cbe522)

  405. Sorry if this is a tad long.

    I have been labeled either a skeptic or a denier of the science of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) by people who call themselves “serious” scientists. The polite ones called me a skeptic; the not-so-polite ones have called me a denier. But all of that has changed as of today. I have come to see the folly of my ways and can only hope to be forgiven and welcomed into the flock.

    I have been told that since I am not an expert on all things atmospherically related, I had no right to question the findings of people who would not have a job save for a crisis they manufactured. So I have come to understand that “Shut up!” is a valid argument after all.

    And since the leaked (or stolen) e-mails of last November are of limited utility because they were stolen (or leaked) and violated the “privacy” of a few professors who were gaming the system and generally showing them to be a petty, nasty bunch who would stoop to intimidation to get their way, we are not to question the contents. So I have been reeducated to understand that Freedom of Information is only for crusaders against conservatives and not the other way around. I truly did not know that intimidation was a valid part of the scientific method. Mea culpa! Mea maxima culpa!

    But the weight of the intimidation and professional ruin made me stop to reconsider my heresy. After all, who am I to question those world renowned pillars of the scientific community? I am just a PhD Chemical Engineer with about 25 years worth of experience across a wide range of industries. I have been doing mathematical modeling for almost my entire career; my MS thesis was on modeling acid rain processes. So obviously, I am unable to formulate an opinion without being told what it should be.

    However, rather than bore you with my credentials, I want to return to the story of my conversion, and how I came to see the light.

    It happened when I began to embrace the whole concept of “settled science” and its implications for the very survival of the invasive species known as Homo sapiens. Of course, I now am devoted to the mantra of consensus and hope to build one in the very near future. Because consensus is what we as a collective humanity so desperately desire. And we all know that we deserve to obtain our desires, because to deny us our desires is to deny the human spirit.

    Never mind that collectivism has failed spectacularly every time a person or group has tried to implement it; the seething, redneck, uneducated masses never know what is good for them until told by their more enlightened, intellectual betters. But this time it’s different. Since we only have good intentions at heart, we know our motives are pure and this time it will work.

    I implore you all to embrace AGW as settled science because the consensus says so! Resistance is futile and our elite leaders certainly know what’s best for the rest of us. We, the unwashed, unannointed, the untouchables should bow to our new, benevolent masters.

    Which brings me to the consensus I am trying to build: Since the science is settled, I think this would be a good time to eliminate all future funding for climate science.

    After all, if the science is settled, what would be the point of any future research? To know more about something we already admit to knowing everything about? That is just wasteful and diverts resources to other, more pressing problems. Besides, if we continue to fund more research, then we might discover that something is wrong and it would throw the whole works into question. That will simply not do – I have committed my future on the science being settled and learning something that could discredit the settled science would shake my faith in my leaders who assured they knew more than the rest of humanity. The potential to shake my newly found faith is so discomfiting it might make my head explode.

    In fact, since all of our current knowledge is “settled science”, what is the point of continued federal funding of any research whatsoever? In fact, all further research can accomplish is to unsettle the science. And we know that would be a bad thing, because my leaders pray at the altar of “settled science”.

    With fewer federal dollars flowing to the universities, we certainly do not need the current overproduction of PhD students, so I would suspect that we could limit the entry into grad programs based on a “constant replacement” number of PhDs that either retire or die. But why bother? Since additional research can only undermine the foundation of our knowledge that is “settled science”.

    But I can acknowledge that there may be a few remaining heretics that want to continue to have cushy university research jobs. More is the pity for you. You have stipulated that “settled science” is the litmus test by which we decide what topics are worthy of a dispensation, and the elites now decide which research may continue. With fewer topics available, the role of the university professor would be reduced to – horrors! – actually having to teach undergraduates, since we will need a steady supply of marginally educated drones to make the machinery of the modern word work. Don’t worry, you won’t need to keep up with advances, because there will be no advances to keep up with.

    “Settled science” is now the new path to enlightenment. How ironic those individuals who profess to be enlightened want to bring back the inquisition and destroy the careers of those who dare to question. To question their authority is to threaten their orthodoxy.

    Forward, my friends, back to the Dark Ages.

    Dr. K (0256ea)

  406. Patterico, I emphatically recommend that you read this interview with James Lovelock before you make a decision:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/mar/29/james-lovelock

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)


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