Patterico's Pontifications


My Request for a Correction of That L.A. Times Piece That Misstates Research on Scientific Views of Global Warming

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:16 am

I have just sent the following email to Scott Martelle of the Los Angeles Times, with a cc to the Readers’ Representative:

Mr. Martelle,

You recently wrote a piece that states:

“Here’s a statistic for you. Out of 10,855 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals last year that dealt with some aspect of global warming, all but two accepted human behavior as the primary cause.”

This is not accurate. Your source never said all but two “accepted” human behavior as the “primary cause.” He said only two “rejected” it. That’s not the same thing.

For an article to “accept” the premise that humans are the primary cause of global warming, an article would have to actively address the topic, and affirmatively agree in some fashion with the premise. For an article to “not reject” the premise, all the article need do is fail to address the topic at all.

Any article that mentions global warming in passing, without discussing in any form or fashion the cause, gets listed by your source as an article that “did not reject” the theory that humans are primarily responsible for global warming. That does not mean the article “accepted” that thesis.

This is Logic 101.

The distinction is important, because many of the articles do not concern themselves at all with the primary cause of global warming. The collection of articles includes such global warming classics as “Life Cycle Assessment in Switchgears for Primary Electrical Distribution” (#1234) or “Larval development of the feline lungworm Aelurostrongylus abstrusus in Helix aspersa” (#1217) or “Life cycle assessment of a waste lubricant oil management system,” (#1239) or “An investigation into the usability of straight light-pipes in Istanbul” (#142) or “Assessment of weed establishment risk in a changing European climate” (#212).

The fact that an article on the larval development of an obscure lungworm might mention the concept of global warming in passing, but fails to address and refute the theory of human-created global warming, does not impress any rational person as “acceptance” of human-created global warming.

I have far more detail on all this in this blog post.

The first sentence of your article is false. It is absolutely not the case that all but two of these articles “accepted human behavior as the primary cause” of global warming. You owe your readers a correction.

Patrick Frey

I will let you know what, if anything, I hear in response.

71 Responses to “My Request for a Correction of That L.A. Times Piece That Misstates Research on Scientific Views of Global Warming”

  1. /cue “crickets”…

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  2. Nice! Respectful and yet eviscerating at the same time.

    Colonel Haiku (46391f)

  3. This is a lose-lose situation, Patterico, though I admire your devotion to honesty. This business of “climate change” is now essentially religious among many people. I have always been agnostic on the topic, but I smell quasi-fanaticism all over this. It’s part of Teh Narrative(tm), which is a sickness that has invaded our body politic.

    I am an experienced scientist and educator, though I am not a “climate” scientist. I am with Freeman Dyson on this topic:

    Dyson is one of the smartest human beings ever to have lived, yet look at how folks on the Left immediately started attacking him. He differed from the Climate Gospel.

    I’m not going to debate about “grant money,” or who is “lying,” or this or that. Those are all distractions. It’s very simple.

    If the climate models are true (and ALL of the projections are based on them), they must be back predictive. That is to say, we are pretty certain of climate world wide for the past two hundred years from human records. We also have geological evidence from farther back. In addition, we know prior carbon dioxide concentrations with great certainty (and the climate scientist tout that history, incidentally, as being accurate).

    Thus, it should be possible to plug in those prior values to the climate model and obtain the observed climatic conditions.

    Except you don’t get the observed conditions when you do that. No one ever has.

    When pressed, climate scientists insist that there are wholly theoretical “multipliers” involved. Fair enough. But then, why do all the multipliers—all of them, proposed—lead to increased heating? And to supporting the original proposition of global warming?

    I know many people who have not had a single science class since high school—and that includes most members of our government—insist that questioning “global anthropogenic climate change” is the same as questioning the Holocaust, or is a sign of the “stupidity” of Republicans.

    Our revered Vice President, who gently put was not a good student in the sciences…

    …insists that “the science is settled.” That is a foolish statement, given how science actually works.

    It is, however, how politics works.

    I’m old enough to remember “Nuclear Winter” from Carl Sagan and his friends in the 1980s.

    The idea was put together, with extreme predictions (based on a model of the atmosphere of Mars, incidentally) to buttress an argument for unilateral nuclear disarmament. I think the authors knew full well that they were overselling the dire consequences (c’mon, any nuclear war would be catastrophic without recourse to -70 C temperatures in the Midwest). Think about Paul Ehrlich’s silly “Population Bomb” that predicted food riots in the US by the 1980s. That’s how politics works—a politician making bizarre claims is never held accountable—think Harry Reid.

    Politics, again. Think about how the ACA was sold, and the unfolding actuality…and how the former supporters continue to support the “higher truth” behind it. It’s just business as usual. “What ought to be” trumps “what is.”

    Does burning fuels increase carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere? Sure it does. We can measure it. Does that lead to climate change? Maybe…but we do have historical records to consult. And we don’t…except when they serve our political goals.

    I simply cannot have a conversation about climate change on campus. It’s a religious article of “faith” among folks on the Left. And it breaks my heart. I expect misunderstandings about science from people not trained in science. What is awful is watching scientists do this.

    The history books are filled with examples of the dangers of coupling politics and science. Not just Hitler. Look to Lysenko. We never learn.

    Sorry for a long, boring Wall O’ Text, SF-fashion, in service of saying that I am glad Patterico wrote what he did, but I am not optimistic that it will be received.

    Simon Jester (77a5ff)

  4. O.K., total deja vu! I have seen this word for word, before. Now where is that black cat?

    felipe (6100bc)

  5. It is futile to try to talk your way between an environazi and it’s prey. When it’s prey is you. Much better to adopt the attitude of the Ukranian Cassocks, when ordered to surrender as we are.

    Sultan Mehmed IV to the Zaporozhian Cossacks:

    As the Sultan; son of Muhammad; brother of the sun and moon; grandson and viceroy of God; ruler of the kingdoms of Macedonia, Babylon, Jerusalem, Upper and Lower Egypt; emperor of emperors; sovereign of sovereigns; extraordinary knight, never defeated; steadfast guardian of the tomb of Jesus Christ; trustee chosen by God Himself; the hope and comfort of Muslims; confounder and great defender of Christians — I command you, the Zaporogian Cossacks, to submit to me voluntarily and without any resistance, and to desist from troubling me with your attacks.

    –Turkish Sultan Mehmed IV

    Zaporozhian Cossacks to the Turkish Sultan!

    O sultan, Turkish devil and damned devil’s kith and kin, secretary to Lucifer himself. What the devil kind of knight are you, that can’t slay a hedgehog with your naked arse? The devil excretes, and your army eats. You will not, you son of a bitch, make subjects of Christian sons; we’ve no fear of your army, by land and by sea we will battle with thee, fuck your mother.

    You Babylonian scullion, Macedonian wheelwright, brewer of Jerusalem, goat-fucker of Alexandria, swineherd of Greater and Lesser Egypt, pig of Armenia, Podolian thief, catamite of Tartary, hangman of Kamyanets, and fool of all the world and underworld, an idiot before God, grandson of the Serpent, and the crick in our dick. Pig’s snout, mare’s arse, slaughterhouse cur, unchristened brow, screw your own mother!

    So the Zaporozhians declare, you lowlife. You won’t even be herding pigs for the Christians. Now we’ll conclude, for we don’t know the date and don’t own a calendar; the moon’s in the sky, the year with the Lord, the day’s the same over here as it is over there; for this kiss our arse!

    Koshovyi Otaman Ivan Sirko, with the whole Zaporozhian Host.

    Tangentially then there was:

    Animal House ‘Futile and Stupid Gesture’

    Not an original idea. Since the Ukrainian Cossocks thought of it first. Hollywood, you pay money for this?

    I guess my point being is requests are all well and good but then you just have to go full metal Cossack.

    Steve57 (a017ec)

  6. Yes, you get this ‘he’s is not of the body, here’

    this happens so often, you have to conclude it’s enemy action.

    narciso (3fec35)

  7. The expletives were not of my own invention but were necessary to preserve the historical accuracy of the text.

    Steve57 (a017ec)

  8. They won’t even read it. Reading heresy is grounds for excommunication.

    Kevin M (b11279)

  9. The purpose of the article was not accuracy, but to give Obama’s Low Information Voters (LIV) something to parrot.

    Perfectsense (4d5c72)

  10. I think my comment about the, uhh, diplomatic communiques between Sultan Mehmed IV and the Zaporozhian Cossacks has been placed in moderation.

    But to the point, that communication was conducted in nasty language. And was hardly diplomatic.

    So if it must be placed in moderation, I want everyone to know the profanity wasn’t gratuitous.

    Steve57 (a017ec)

  11. Logic 101? You’re asking too much.

    rrpjr (b5da43)

  12. I think the point more clearly is why they do this, consider the late! Chicago Climate Exchange, money, why other folks who should know better, is a different issue, to be popular with the crowd,

    narciso (3fec35)

  13. You’ve Freedom of Choice
    you can wear gaudy colors
    or avoid display

    Colonel Haiku (46391f)

  14. I guess “g@&t f%*!er” wouldn’t get past the filter although that, among other things, the Cossacks did send to the Sultan.

    Thank God they didn’t have word processing software.

    Can you imagine what autocorrect would have done to the the reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks?

    Thanks to Microsoft, they’d have spent weeks editing it.

    Steve57 (a017ec)

  15. there’s a certain breed
    won’t move got to take a vote
    We are here to go!

    Colonel Haiku (46391f)

  16. Don’t hold your breath waiting for a correction. It is, indeed, an Article of Faith.

    The (in)famous letter may be a fake. Wikipedia has a version of it. Actually, it has several versions, and more versions on the article’s talk page. People who read Ukrainian are objecting to the translations as being inaccurate, exaggerated, Bowdlerized, … I’ll cite one and try to clean it up.

    Zaporozhyan Cossacs to the Turkish Sultan!

    You, sultan, turkish devil, brother and comrade of the Devil, secretary of Lucifer himself. Some kind of damn knight you are, who cannot stick a pin into a bare a$$! The devil $hit$, and your army eats. You will not, you son of a bitch, make sons of christians your subjects; we are not afraid of your soldiers, we will fight you on land and on sea, screw your mother.

    You are the Babylonian scullion, Macedonian cart-driver, Jerusalem brewer, Alexandrian goat-fscker, swineherd of Greater and Lesser Egypt, Armenian pig, Podolian thief, Tartar catamite, Kamyanets hangman, and the fool of all the world and underworld. An idiot before God, grandson of the Serpent, and a bend in the dick. You have a pig’s face, a mare’s ar$e, you’re a butcher’s dog, an unbaptized head, fsck your mother!

    That is what the Cossacs say to you, a$$hole. You’re not even fit to feed pigs of christians. Now we end, we know not the date and have no calendar, the moon is in the sky, the year the Lord knows, the day is the same with us here as with you over there, now you can kiss our ar$es.

    Considerably longer than “Nuts!”, but close to the same in the essence.

    htom (412a17)

  17. who will wear the crown?
    should never count your chickens
    before eggs get hatched

    Colonel Haiku (46391f)

  18. Sorry, can’t concentrate on this because of the deafening sound of crickets emanating from the MSM.

    Bill M (c8f413)

  19. The LA Times is too busy printing the Harry Reid line on the Koch brothers. No time to read letters.

    Ladies, if you’re wondering how to use that sexism card you swore off in the 1970s after you got liberated, I suggest you take a look at the masterful performance of one Jennifer Stefano, a regional director of the Obamacare-hating, Koch brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity.

    Naturally, there ks no mention of AFP or Kochs’ libertarian message.

    MikeK (cd7278)

  20. Don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer. Did anyone “celebrate” earth day, last night? I did, but not in the way you think. I celebrated how technology and inexpensive energy has made the quality of our lives so much better.

    Tanny O'Haley (c0a74e)

  21. 3. Comment by Simon Jester (77a5ff) — 3/29/2014 @ 11:56 am

    Does burning fuels increase carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere? Sure it does. We can measure it.

    No, actually we can’t measure it. Nobody as far as I know, has made any indepedent estimate of how much carbon dioxide is annually added to the atmosphere.

    The levels of carbon dioxide can be measured, and they go up and down during the course of a year, gradually rising that one year’s low is higher than previos years’ highs, but not their cause.

    It is possible that it is not so much that increased levels of carbon dioxide causes global warming as that global warming causes an increased level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere! In fact, global warming catastrophe predictions are based on that notion.

    There certainly is a lot of circulation back and forth in an out of the atmosphere,which can be proven by looking at varying carbon-14 levels.

    The first thing is the Suess effect (named after Austrian-American scientust Hans Suess) which lowered both carbon-13 and carbon-14 levels throughout the world since the late 1800s. This increaes apparent age of anything formed between about 1890 and 1945. There is about 3% less carbon 14 than you would expect.

    Organic material from World War I would be dated as originating anywhere from around 1610 to 1815.

    Then there were nuclear bombs and nuclear tests from 1945 to 1962. This added Carbon-14.

    But it is disappearing and it is not decaying.

    Anything from the 1950s would be dated as being made around the year 5300.

    By 2010, we’re at about 2589. (much less but still too much carbon-14. By the way this becomes useful for studies on human growth since we know whatthe level of Carbon 14 was every year since 1950 or so)

    By about 2020, we should be at the correct concentration of carbon-14 and then the Suess effect will take over making things appear to be older than they are.

    Carbon dioxode is clearly going into the oceans and being released all the time.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf07f)

  22. More important, there’s not a 1 to 1 proportional relationship between CO2 and temperatures.

    As we’ve always known, there are other factors besides carbon dioxode or even methane, or even the world’s GDP, that affect average global temperatures, and models that try to say the only important factor is greenhouse gases, fail.

    That is not to say that they might not add to, or mitigate, a trend.

    I expect misunderstandings about science from people not trained in science. What is awful is watching scientists do this.

    They are not actually trained in science, and I this is not merely the “No True Scotsman” fallacy.

    It is patently obvious global warming theory cannot be right, no matter how many times, or how emphatically, Al Gore and others insists it is.

    And, by the way, what everybody is worried about is not global warming very much, but higher levels of di-hydrogen monoxide in the atmosphere and in the oceans, causing rising sea levels and bigger storms.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf07f)

  23. If somebody really wanted to, they could calculate how much carbon dioxide is being added to the atmosphere, and how much going into the oceans and how much coming out of the oceans every year, just like they did with determining the location where that plane hit the water, at which they may finally hae gotten right.

    At 8:19 am that morning, 8 minutes after the last ping.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf07f)

  24. Oh, dear God, Sammy. Quit being a tool.

    But ask yourself a question: is there anything—anything at all—about which you are not expert?

    I get that you have a neurodiversity issue. But c’mon.

    Simon Jester (ea4e1a)

  25. ==Did anyone “celebrate” earth day, last night?==

    Not me, Tanny. But I think my neighbors across the lake did. I looked out and it was pitch black over there. Very unusual since there are usually lights blazing day and night both inside and out. But it didn’t connect until the 10 o’clock news came on featuring shots of lights going out on monuments and buildings in cities around the world. Of course by then the neighbors’ usual illumination scheme was turned back on. *face palm*

    elissa (aa6b49)

  26. What is awful is watching scientists do this.
    Comment by Simon Jester (77a5ff) — 3/29/2014 @ 11:56 am

    Same here with academic MD’s who are involved in research and who would never let a word in an article from JAMA or NEJM go by without at least critical analysis within their own mind. A powerful example of Crichton’s Murray Gell-Mann’s Theory of Amnesia. Instead of thinking, “Hey, I know scientists, they are people too and can get things wrong, I can’t take things just on face value.

    I don’t have a source, but perhaps I’ve seen it here, how the “98% of scientists who agree on global warming” makes reference to a group of people who largely know nothing firsthand about global warming research. If someone here has a source I would appreciate it.
    Likewise, if anyone has a reference offhand to a good article that questions the validity of temperature measurements based on monitor location, I would appreciate that too. (I.e., that some monitoring stations that were rural or suburban 40 years ago are now in areas that are more urbanized, and the increased readings are more a function of local variables than any systemic measurement of the environment).

    Yes, I could search the web myself for these things, but it would cost time that maybe I don’t have, and I assume there are people who rad PP who know more info off hand on some subjects than I would find with my own searching. I’m hoping to write a note to an ecology professor friend-of-a-friend who is convinced AGW is real, who I have reason to believe would be more open to contrary evidence than most.
    BTW, SJ, can I ask what field you are in? Before I took my clinical medicine path I was headed towards bio-organic chemistry research, enzyme mechanism, synthesizing inhibitors, and the like.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  27. Maybe pushing more kids into STEM education is not all it’s cracked up to be. Clearly these fields are increasingly being bastardized, and used (and misused) for political purposes, social engineering, and cronyism profit as well. Pure science? Impartial studies? Fugettaboudit.

    elissa (aa6b49)

  28. MD in Philly

    (Sorry, you’ll have to paste this – I can’t figure out the link tool – keeps giving a ‘null’.)

    Bill M (c8f413)

  29. And then it did the link automatically….Oh well.

    Bill M (c8f413)

  30. MD, I am happy to chat with you offline. Patterico knows me IRL. There are a number of commenters here I have gotten to know offline. Ditto for elissa and Dana.

    Patterico can put you in touch with me, his time permitting.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  31. MD, as mentioned Anthony Watt did the bulk of the work on temp monitor siting.

    SPQR (768505)

  32. Simon, thank you. I am in process of changing out my email. As soon as that’s complete and I can officially update Patterico–I’d find it very pleasant to converse with you offline on occasion.

    elissa (aa6b49)

  33. Kind of you, ma’am.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  34. Thank you, thank you.
    I’ll contact P for your info, SJ, unless someone sees your comment and sends it to me first, as a few folks other than P know my email as well. (My cartel- and no, I’m too cheap for shirts..)

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  35. there’s not a 1 to 1 proportional relationship between CO2 and temperatures

    Isn’t CO2 a lagging indicator, in that it follows increased temps, but does not precede them?

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  36. Some of us celebrate Earth Day each and every day by having the automatic timer douse all the outside lights (absent movement) several hours after the photo-cell turns them on.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  37. An article in a mainstream newspaper misstates something about science. In other news, dog bites man.

    However, being on the wrong side of the science on this issue is going to be a long-term loser for the Republican party. It’s certainly driving me to the left, which I resent.

    Latest UN climate news

    The impacts of global warming are likely to be “severe, pervasive and irreversible”, a major report by the UN has warned.

    Scientists and officials meeting in Japan say the document is the most comprehensive assessment to date of the impacts of climate change on the world.

    Some impacts of climate change include a higher risk of flooding and changes to crop yields and water availability.

    Humans may be able to adapt to some of these changes, but only within limits.

    carlitos (e7c734)

  38. Likewise, if anyone has a reference offhand to a good article that questions the validity of temperature measurements based on monitor location, I would appreciate that too. (I.e., that some monitoring stations that were rural or suburban 40 years ago are now in areas that are more urbanized, and the increased readings are more a function of local variables than any systemic measurement of the environment).

    Here’s one.

    And another.

    carlitos (e7c734)

  39. Here’s a meta-analysis that notes which studies do and don’t take a position on global warming. The results shouldn’t be a surprise.

    Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature


    We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. In a second phase of this study, we invited authors to rate their own papers. Compared to abstract ratings, a smaller percentage of self-rated papers expressed no position on AGW (35.5%). Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the consensus. For both abstract ratings and authors’ self-ratings, the percentage of endorsements among papers expressing a position on AGW marginally increased over time. Our analysis indicates that the number of papers rejecting the consensus on AGW is a vanishingly small proportion of the published research.

    carlitos (e7c734)

  40. The UN’s new IPCC report (out today) is similarly based on a number of studies, and makes a series of wild-eyed claims of impending doom consistent with the Chicken Little Syndrome, and claiming solid scientific validity.

    The report is based on more than 12,000 peer reviewed scientific studies. Michel Jarraud, secretary general of the World Meteorological Organization, a co-sponsor of the climate panel, said this report was “the most solid evidence you can get in any scientific discipline.”

    PS: Our one hope of salvation is to send money, lots and lots of money, bow down to the revealed wisdom of our infallible farsighted and well financed (turnkeys) saviors, and revert to pre-industrialized economies, and be damn quick about it. There’s no time to quibble over evidence, the end is near.

    ropelight (b33d98)

  41. Carlitos, have to run, but thanks for the offerings, quickly two thoughts:
    However, when processing their data, the organisations which collect the readings take into account any local heating or cooling effects, such as might be caused by a weather station being located near buildings or large areas of tarmac. This is done, for instance, by weighting (adjusting) readings after comparing them against those from more rural weather stations nearby.
    From the point of view of a scientist who has done lab organic chemistry synthesis, enzyme purification, etc., once you start “adjusting” data you are in shaky territory, unless the adjustment is very clear and quantifiable, like “this thermometer always reads 2 degrees too high.
    Trying to make estimates to correct data based on assumptions and then have your results dependent on that data is pushing it. Had they looked at data from the point of view of using only readings from sites that had fundamentally been unchanged than I would be more inclined to accept their methodology, but I suspect if they did that there would be much less data to use, which would itself be another problem.
    As far as the IPCC report, I have seen articles over at PowerLine showing where the information written by scientists in the bulk of the report is not reflected in the summary for policymakers, which is what is generally quoted.
    Got to go to the hardware store, will look at the skeptical science and WUWT in more detail later.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  42. once you start “adjusting” data you are in shaky territory,

    No disrespect intended, but when you’re talking about 12,000 peer-reviewed studies, I suspect that some of the judges thought of that. I’m only a stupid marketing guy, and I have adjusted data before, and I understood why and how it made sense. (in my case, using regression analysis on research data)

    carlitos (e7c734)

  43. No rush – I have work to do, then I’m headed to the White Sox opener, so probably won’t be back ’til tomorrow. :)

    carlitos (e7c734)

  44. Carlitos–at least you got a decently warm and relatively sunny day for the opener. I’ll be watching today with friends at BWW–but think of me at Sox “Cominsky” park on Thursday when it’s forecast to be 35 degrees and raining.

    Go Sox!!!!

    elissa (0666e5)

  45. I hate it when sox are soggy!

    Colonel Haiku (ec903e)

  46. It is back for real this week, baseball. Returned to ball yards and constituencies as different as Los Angeles and Pittsburgh, as similar as Boston and St. Louis, as historic as Chicago and New York.

    Baseball is a game that shouts “Slow Down” to America. Stop tweeting, texting, blogging, watching cable news, and obsessing about polls, lost planes, and focus group-driven politicians.

    Baseball is a game that shouts to America: ‘Slow down!’

    Baseball is a movable conversation across nine innings. It is eye contact with the person seated next to you in a park where the pitcher is separated from the batter by 60 feet, six inches or in a family room where a 60-inch TV screen hangs on the wall.

    elissa (0666e5)

  47. The Obamas are so concerned about global warming that they choose to vacation cultural exchange (hey kids, that’s a new verb !) in China, and Barack and Michelle each take their own plane to and from their vacations in Hawaii.

    Carbon emissions !
    Or something.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  48. I spent the weekend reading scripts only to emerge from my earthquake-proof underground bunker to find out that there are two SEC teams in the Final Four. And they’re not even considered a basketball conference.

    What happened to all the basketball conferences ?

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  49. I have a question.

    Many studies of the adjustment to the temperature record show that NOAA mostly subtracts temperature (adding artificial cooling) to records from the last century.
    Steve Goddard visualizes the concept nicely at this post.

    The question is how do you artificially cool a shaded (they’re all in aerated boxes) temperature station? What is the physical mechanism?

    Artificially heating a temp station is easy. Cooling a temp station down isn’t.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  50. The focus on surface temperatures and “urban heat islands” is a total red herring. When lakes, oceans, ice cores, weather balloons and satellites all show warming, why anomaly-hunt with surface temperatures? The whole system is warming. There is broad scientific agreement that we are causing it. Forget politics, just go with the science.

    Off to the game, where the warming is really welcome today!

    carlitos (e7c734)

  51. Carlitos,

    According to Newsweek’s cover story in the 1970s, the whole system is cooling.
    We’re in a new ice age.
    Or something.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  52. Comment by Simon Jester (ea4e1a) — 3/30/2014 @ 10:42 am

    But ask yourself a question: is there anything—anything at all—about which you are not expert?

    Chemistry. I once looked at a booklet for the Chemistry GRE (given to college seniors who majored in the subject) and I couldn’t even understand the questions.

    I don’t understand cars.

    Or how many things work.

    I can’t fathom the difference between volts, watts and amperes.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf07f)

  53. I love how the global warming advocates use settled science and unanimous agreement by scientists !!!!1!!1! as an attempt to shut down contrarian views.

    Twenty years ago, if someone had asserted that Pluto does not really meet the specs to qualify as a planet, they would have been carted off to the looney bin for holding a contrary view than the alleged scientific experts’ collective assertion.

    Now those same scientists have recently discovered that….Pluto really isn’t a planet after all !
    Pluto was a planet before it wasn’t a planet.
    Or something.

    Oops !

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  54. Pluto is a good example.

    You could say so and so many articles about astronomy – or maybe just the solar system did not take issue with the idea that Pluto was or was not a planet (whatever the settled wisdom of the peer reviewers was at the time.)

    They did discover that Pluto was smaller than was thought for along time, and that there was something else bigger than Plutoo that they didn’t want to call a planet, but this is like an argument about how many oceans the world has.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf07f)

  55. Sammy,

    But of course the point is that the scientists insisted they knew everything there was to know about Pluto being a planet, then, alas, it turns out they didn’t know everything they thought they did.

    And that’s why I would apply the analogy to “global warming.”
    The scientists insist that there can’t possibly be any future scientific evidence to subvert their “global warming” assertions.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  56. Carlitos,

    According to Newsweek’s cover story in the 1970s, the whole system is cooling.
    We’re in a new ice age.
    Or something.

    Do you even realize the irony of what you just posted? The Mainstream Media often get science topics wrong. That’s the topic of the blog post on which you commented. When you want to learn about science, don’t ask Newsweek or the LA Times. Read the peer-reviewed literature, or read those who understand and can interpret it.

    Or something.


    carlitos (e7c734)

  57. Carlitos, do me a favor. Read Paul Ehrlich’s “The Population Bomb.” It was published in 1968, at the height of Teh Narrative™ about overpopulation and pollution.

    If you don’t have time, check out Wikipedia:

    Well, okay, here are a couple of great quotes:

    “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate..”

    That’s how the first edition began.

    This is my favorite bit, again from Wikipedia, about Ehrlich’s book:

    At the end of the book he discusses the possibility that his forecasts may be wrong, a fact which he felt he must acknowledge as a scientist. However, he believes that humanity will only be better off if it follows his prescriptions, so that even if he is incorrect it is the right course of action.

    And again from Wikipedia:

    “Journalist Dan Gardner has criticized Ehrlich both for his overconfident predictions and his refusal to acknowledge his errors. “In two lengthy interviews, Ehrlich admitted making not a single major error in the popular works he published in the late 1960s and early 1970s … the only flat-out mistake Ehrlich acknowledges is missing the destruction of the rain forests, which happens to be a point that supports and strengthens his world view—and is therefore, in cognitive dissonance terms, not a mistake at all. Beyond that, he was by his account, off a little here and there, but only because the information he got from others was wrong. Basically, he was right across the board.”

    That book by Gardner is:

    The sad fact is that—and I write this as a real, live scientist—scientists follow fashion, and have political blind spots, and so forth. Just like anyone else these days, scientists will play intellectual Twister to maintain what they feel should be correct.

    In “The Population Bomb,” Ehrlich makes any number of bizarre claims. And he had references for each and every one of them.

    And they were wrong. But (as he stamps his foot) that doesn’t matter.

    What I will draw your attention to is that people. Still. Quote. Ehrlich. Seriously.

    It literally didn’t matter that his Darkest Doom Nonsense was proven wrong, repeatedly, by observed fact.

    You see, his ideas were sound. The “larger truth.’ Teh Narrative™.

    What Ehrlich was about—just like many folks on the AGW bandwagon—is economic control of nations. Because they know better. Just like we see all around us. The experts know best. We should just do what they want.

    Which brings us back to politically motivated “experts.” Now, if those experts were all insistent that the facts were different from Teh Narrative™, folks would fight them. But the Left LOVES the idea that we burn too much, and the world is going to hell because of our actions. that we need to be under control, and it’s all our fault. It’s that weird oikophobia business.

    The fact is that China and Brazil and Russia and India could care less about our attempts to “control” carbon emissions. And our “betters” can do precisely as they please. They want peons like us to moderate our behavior. The aristocracy here gets to do as they please.

    As Glenn Reynolds writes, I will treat climate change like a problem when our leaders moderate their own behavior accordingly.

    I’m with Freeman Dyson on the entire topic. So should you be.

    YMMV. But until the climate models are actually back predictive (and they aren’t, you know), I have real trouble thinking that climate scientists can make predictions.

    Notice, by the way, that if burning things to generate energy is bad, the idea of going nuclear is unacceptable. Just sayin’.

    It’s all Teh Narrative™,

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  58. Btw, Ehrlich’s protegem john Holdren, is now White House Science advisor, pushing many of these policies, some would consider ‘antihuman’ sterilization, deindustrialization et al

    narciso (3fec35)

  59. I just heard an astronomer lecture about various incredible things in the universe (she has a PhD from MIT, so knows some things). She said the main reason Pluto was decided not to be a planet is because they’ve discovered there are a whole lot of things similar in size to Pluto that far out, and instead of making the solar system have hundreds of planets (and make kids go nuts trying to memorize them) they decided to drop Pluto’s status.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  60. When Tombaugh discovered it, in 1930, he had no way of knowing that,

    narciso (3fec35)

  61. Carlitos,

    Bud, thanks for the ironic irony lecture, but Newsweek didn’t make up the cover story out of whole cloth about the new ice age. They depended upon the science of the scientists.
    And just as with Pluto, the scientists later discovered other pieces to the puzzling puzzle that is the natural world.
    In real science, the debate is never over—regardless of what the hysterical “global warming” climate change people hyperventillate otherwise. Scientific theories must be reproven every day.
    If you or I happen to be sitting beneath an apple tree, and one day the apple ascends toward the sky rather than falls to the ground, then we’ll start asking questions about gravity.

    There are lots of things being learned or newly interpreted in science. The notion that climate is exempt from that is nonsense.

    Elephant Stone (108847)

  62. It’s interesting that powell is playing these games, with the methodology,

    of course, one would have to examine the abstracts of a sizable number of these papers,

    narciso (3fec35)

  63. United States temperature station record has diverged from the global trend for 80 years.

    So no. Lakes, oceans, ice cores, weather balloons and satellites do not all show warming.

    And there’s only one reason Carlito would want to run away from the temperature record. Facts are not on his side. The fraud is too apparent.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  64. United States temperature station record has diverged from the global trend for 80 years.

    Steven Goddard, eh? Very compelling.

    I think that this is part of the problem. The United States temperatures are somewhat of an anomaly, so we all laugh and say “what global warming.” There was virtually no winter in Germany and France this year. My boss’ tulips (northern Germany) came up in February and lived. January was the 4th warmest month in the history of the globe. But there’s snow in Chicago, so people mock and ignore it.

    carlitos (e7c734)

  65. This was one of our coldest winters ever, carlitos. And we shattered our prior record for accumulated snow.

    JD (5c1832)

  66. YMMV. But until the climate models are actually back predictive (and they aren’t, you know), I have real trouble thinking that climate scientists can make predictions.

    Couple that, and how all of their adjustments to the data, which they refuse to divulge, shockingly always pushes their conclusions in one direction …

    JD (5c1832)

  67. well the ends justify the means;

    narciso (3fec35)

  68. This is just my opinion of course, but I think that when the climate warmers act like a doomsday cult they deserve to be treated with the scrutiny with which we’ve all learned to treat cults. We’ve also noticed that they increasingly act more like carnival barkers and street hucksters than scientists.

    The eeeeend is neeeeer!

    elissa (b364f8)

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