It's not enough to bash in heads, you have to bash in minds
            

Quote of the Day

Just about everyone knows they aren’t able to understand, or make a meaningful contribution to, general relativity or quantum mechanics or number theory… Somehow, however, people imagine that they understand climate science. –William M. Connolley

15 Responses to Quote of the Day

  1. I just don’t get it. The level these denialists are sinking too, it’s getting scary. They’re hacking computers, breaking into UVic, and on and on. It’s essentially a war between Big Oil and their goons versus the basic freedom to do science. Plus there’s the PR war, which science has never been good at.

  2. Here’s a quote for you Dan:

    About the human quest to understand the physical world, physicist and Nobel laureate Werner Heisenberg concluded, “What we observe is not nature itself but nature exposed to our method of questioning.”

    Dan, it was never about the science, it has always been about the transfer of funds.

  3. What we observe is not nature itself but nature exposed to our method of questioning.

    Yes that much is obvious, but it certainly doesn’t support your next statement. I require evidence to back up claims that one makes here. Keep that in mind if you with to comment further.

  4. Ok, if you are of a mind read the following link

    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/GW_History.htm

    if there is information in there that is not factual let me know. I have looked it over but not checked every quote or link.

    Regardless of right or wrong, you have to recognize that many people are finding ways to make money off of the alarmism that is CO2 levels and AGW. In fact, the purchase of carbon offsets and carbon credits, where nothing is traded, is making people like Al Gore and Maurice Strong rich.

    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/CarbonMonetization.htm

    If the AGW portion of global warming falls apart then the carbon trading schemes fall apart. Without a human component of global warming how could it do naught but fall apart?

    I see carbon offsets and credits in the same light as indulgences that the Catholic church used to sell. It makes someone feel good to purchase, but really, what does it accomplish? Now, if this was only limited to the average person, I would have no problem as there is always a con man somewhere, and there is always a victim waiting to be fleeced. But once governments start to kick in and spend taxpayer funds on this, I have trouble living with it.

    So, I think it is about the money.

  5. @ Dwayne

    The fact that Gore makes money from Carbon credits doesn’t speak to the science of AGW, though I do remember a time when putting you money where your mouth is was considered a good thing.

    But bad policies (and I am quite convinced that carbon offsets are bad polices), doesn’t cast doubt on the science any more that good policies support it. The validity of the science is completely independent of any policy decision.

    I see carbon offsets and credits in the same light as indulgences that the Catholic church used to sell. It makes someone feel good to purchase, but really, what does it accomplish?

    Depends on the offset, but the whole concept is prone to abuse and fraud. Demonstrating additionality is very difficult in most circumstances, but is essential to ensure that offsets result in lower emissions. It is because of this that I am against offsets, except perhaps in very specific circumstances. But that doesn’t say anything about the validity of AGW.

    And it is worth noticing that many climatologists are also against offsets, and even the proposed US climate bill; James Hansen most prominently.

    So, I think it is about the money.

    And that is no way to counter the science behind AGW, much like saying that Lindzen gets money from Exxon is a good counter to what he says. AT most it could be an indicator of motivations, but when dealing with overturning mainstream science it just doesn’t cut it.

    And remember a scientists salary is not dependant on AGW, in fact proving it wrong would gain the scientist fame and money. Scientists don’t advance in their careers by saying ‘I agree’. They advance by, by advancing the body of human knowledge, or demonstrating that something we thought we knew was wrong.

  6. As for your links:

    The first one makes the same point you made in your comment. Again the fact that bad polices have been proposed doesn’t speak to the science. Neither does the fact that some people might make money of those polices.

    The second one deal with the science but is full of errors. It starts off decently enough stating that

    the models only depend on anthropogenic CO2 after 1970 – prior to that, warming and cooling is explained by natural factors.

    It is true that before roughly the 70’s The CO2 forcing was quite minor and the natural forgings were enough explain the variations in climate (except perhaps for the mid century cooling which depends on aerosol emissions). But the reason is simple, it wasn’t until roughly the 70s when the anthropogenic CO2 forcing became large enough (remember it has been increasing every year as atmospheric concentrations rise)to markedly impact temperature trends.

    But then they really go off the deep end, trying to associate this with the 1970s cooling ‘consensus’.

    In the 1970s there were many media reports about the coming ice age – global cooling was occurring and society was encouraged to be fearful and to act to prevent it

    While this may be technically true it doesn’t speak to the science. Notice how they refer to media reports rather that scientific papers?

    At any rate in the 70s the majority of papers looking at climate change predicted warming not cooling as was shown by the BAMS paper titled: The myth of the 1970s global cooling scientific consensus. I wrote about it here. Basically the paper did a literature review and looked at the number of papers that predicted warming, cooling or were neutral.

    main goal is based on the assumption of “human-induced climate change” – there was never an attempt to evaluate the scientific evidence of the cause

    I don’t see how any reading of the IPCC could yield that conclusion. AR4 has a whole chapter (9) on attribution, it is 84 pages long and cites hundreds of papers. It has never been assumed that our GHG emissions have cause the earth to warm, that hypothesis has been rigorously tested.

    has never provided substantial scientific evidence that anthropogenic CO2 is the cause. The only evidence provided is a correlation with CO2 since 1950, but mainly the output of computer models.

    This is an outright lie. Again please read chapter 9 ion the AR4 if you don’t believe me.

    Thus in just over 10 years, the consensus switched from global cooling to global warming

    Again this is an outright lie. The first IPCC said that while observations were consistent with AGW attribution was not yet possible (many climatologist disagreed with that but there were enough that were not sure so the IPCC could not accurately claim attribution). And there was never any cooling consensus. Just a growing number of papers predicting warming.

    The rest is a bunch of ranting against the UN (obviously there is plenty of legitimate criticisms of the UN as a whole) and against the Kyoto protocol. but a quick scan shows the same lack of accuracy as the ‘science’ section.

    It is worth noting that the IPCC’s conclusions are endored either especially or implicitly by the National Academies of Science from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the USA, the American Meteorological Society, American Geophysical Union, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Geological Society of London, the Geological Society of America, the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, and thousands of peer-reviewed journals, amongst others.

  7. hmmm, my comment disappeared.

    I will try and redo it.

    I looked at your link and will try and respond to your #1 point, that there is scientific consensus.

    In fact a recent poll shows that 97% of climatologists agree that humans are causing climate change.

    That poll was sent to 10,257 scientists of which 3146 responded. According to the poll in your link appx. 5% were climate scientist, that is about 157. The 97% you refer to is climate scientists that have published papers in the last 5 years, that would be 76 of 79 climate scientists.

    I tried to find a number for the number of climate scientists in the USA and a page I found pegged the number around 20,000 in Nov. 2006.

    http://logicalscience.com/consensus/consensusD1.htm

    The 76 respondents are, therefore .3% of the 2006 climate scientist population. That is hardly an overwhelming majority Dan.

    Here is an anecdotal story re deniers:

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2009/12/6/climate-of-fear.html

    Here is a link to 700 scientists who are skeptical about AGW

    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=2674e64f-802a-23ad-490b-bd9faf4dcdb7

    Here is more anecdotal evidence showing a threat to a reporter for not towing the line:

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2009/12/climate-scientist-threatens-boycott-of.html

  8. And just like that you move from your first links to new ones without even bothering to respond to what has been raised. That is not how one conducts themselves in a proper discussion.

    The 76 respondents are, therefore .3% of the 2006 climate scientist population. That is hardly an overwhelming majority Dan.

    You are mixing up a whole lot of stuff here. This was a survey not a census. Which means that one takes a sample of the entire population and draws conclusion which are then extrapolated to the whole population. Obviously this can introduce what is commonly called sampling error, so one needs to perform statistical test, to determine the probability of type 1 errors. Type 2 errors are another matter altogether.

    The fact that the majority of climatologists did not respond does not mean we cannot make conclusions (such as the vast majority of climatologists agree with AGW) for the entire population.

    And that was only one line of evidence used to support the consensus claim. I also mentioned the various scientific organizations who support implicitly or explicitly support the IPCC, and a literature review (which admitedly is a bit dated now, but is the most recent one that I am aware of).

    But if you want more, take a look at Jim Prall’s database of climate science citation counts.

    Here is an anecdotal story re deniers:

    You are making some extraordinary claims (that mainstream science is not only wrong but fraudulent). Anecdotal evidence doesn’t cut it. You need extraordinary evidence to back it up.

    Here is a link to 700 scientists who are skeptical about AGW

    Oh its up to 700 now? Who cares. The Inhofe/Morano lists are notoriously dishonest. I wrote about them here, here, here, here, here, and here.

    You do yourself no favours citing either of them. But at least you didn’t cite the OISM petition.

  9. As you stated on another blog comment, I am done here. I answered your #1 question. I even provided some anecdotal evidence that views outside the accepted are being suppressed and threats are even made.

    Your question #1 is

    Why they don’t accept the conclusions arrived at by the overwhelming majority of scientists.

    My answer is above. There is no consensus.

    You are mixing up a whole lot of stuff here. This was a survey not a census. Which means that one takes a sample of the entire population and draws conclusion which are then extrapolated to the whole population. Obviously this can introduce what is commonly called sample error, so one needs to perform statistical test, to determine the probability of type 1 errors. Type 2 errors are another matter altogether.

    I understand very well what a sample is, and a .3% sample of climate scientists cannot be held up as an “overwhelming majority” of anything. As to the statistical error on this sampling, not being a statistician I would only be hazarding a guess that it is extremely high.

    Thanks for the interchange but I can see you are not willing to listen to me, as I am not willing to listen to your consensus.

    I will leave you with one final link, you will probably tell me that the scientist here is just a crank, but I think he is a good example.

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/

    Good Night.

  10. @ Dwayne

    I am done here.

    Sorry I wasn’t convinced by your lack of evidence.

    I answered your #1 question.

    You answered it but not well. Your answer was that no consensus exists, and to justify this you made some invalid claims about the recent survey (more on that bellow) and a Inhofe/Morano list. But my question didn’t mention the word consensus. It referred to the overwhelming majority. And I provided much more evidence that just a recent survey to support the contention of overwhelming majority.

    But the first question wasn’t even the important one. The third question is the one that really matters.

    I even provided some anecdotal evidence that views outside the accepted are being suppressed and threats are even made.

    And I acknowledged that. But as I said above anecdotal evidence is not nearly enough to substantiate your extraordinary claims. I could show you similar anecdotal evidence from creationists, but I think we both would agree that that doesn’t prove an anti-creationist conspiracy within biology community.

    I understand very well what a sample is, and a .3% sample of climate scientists cannot be held up as an “overwhelming majority” of anything.

    The whole point of of taking a sample (vs a census) is to draw conclusion of a whole population. One does not need to conduct a census to draw conclusions of the whole population.

    As to the statistical error on this sampling, not being a statistician I would only be hazarding a guess that it is extremely high.

    So based on a guess, you are willing to throw out a survey? Not good enough. The survey paper (published in EOS) mentions that response rates were typical, so this doesn’t lend credence to your guess. Let me put it this way, how many people are surveyed in political polls? A couple thousand people is fairly typical. And yet political parties spend millions (when in campaign mode) based on the results of these polls.

    But I would agree with you that one survey doesn’t demonstrate consensus with much confidence. This is why it was only one of many lines of evidence (in fact probably the weakest) used to demonstrate consensus. Jim’s Prall’s database is probably the strongest.

    And as the links I provided you make abundantly clear citing 700 people who disagree with the consensus doesn’t in fact disprove it. The following is about OISM petition (which has far more than 700 names on it), but the point applies here as well.

    Robinson misleads the public to think that a consensus is defined by some large absolute number of persons. It is not. It is determined by a large percentage of persons in a relevant sample.

    700 hundred people is not a large percentage. Especially given the divers fields of those on the list (and not all of them even deny climate change!). Notice how few of them are climatologists?

    Thanks for the interchange but I can see you are not willing to listen to me, as I am not willing to listen to your consensus.

    A very odd claim given that I have been quoting you then commenting directly on the points you have raised. Not accepting your evidence (and explaining why I do not, while at the same time citing my sources) is not the same as not listening to you.

    But at least you admit that you are unwilling to listen to any talk of consensus, regardless of what evidence is presented in support of it. That is the very definition a crank, as defined by Nature in 1906:

    A crank is defined as a man who cannot be turned.

  11. Oh and as for Roger Pielke Sr. are you sure you want to link to him?

    This is what he has to say on climate change:

    the evidence of a human fingerprint on the global and regional climate is incontrovertible as clearly illustrated in the National Research Council report and in our research papers

    His work differs from other climatologists notably in his assertion that other non-CO2 anthropogenic forgings (eg land use change) have been underestimated.

    There may be some truth to this, but it hasn’t yet been demonstrated.

    I am also well aware of the sometimes inflammatory comments he has made of late, and many demonstrably incorrect statements he has made on his blog and elsewhere though not in the peer-reviewed literature (as far as I know).

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