Casaubon's Book

There’s yet another kerfuffle about climatology going on. First, of course, there was climategate, whose total revealed knowledge is “if you hack into people’s private emails you might find out that some people, even climate scientists, are jerks sometimes.” Now there’s another one – in the IPCC report, there’s an error. That is, scientists took a non-peer reviewed source and transposed it into the report, and didn’t back check that source. This was stupid, of course, and should be criticized and corrected.

That said, since the material in the IPCC is overwhelmingly peer-reviewed science, this doesn’t really cast any larger doubt on anything about anthropogenic global warming. In fact, what’s astonishing is that with so many people so highly paid by Exxon and others to pick holes in the IPCC report, this is all they’ve found. Imagine this is all the dirt someone could find on a Presidential candidate – the party and everyone else would be thrilled! Get out the catchy slogans and the inaugural gowns – we’ve got a candidate! Actually, let’s imagine that – let’s do the thought experiment, and pretend that we have a Presidential candidate on our hands, Ms. IPCC.

Then, try to imagine that someone without any agenda at all was as well paid to read through the IPCC report with a fine-toothed comb and pick up any mistakes. Imagine that they too reported what they’d learned to the media, and the media drew our attention to the aggregate of the errors. What, then, would we find? Would we find that the Ms. IPCC was, in fact, clean and scandal free in every respect, ready for prime time and the presidency, or would we find a dashing young pool boy or girl, some stock market finagling and the cribbing of a good chunk of her autobiography?

I fear that Ms. IPCC would have more than a few black marks to her name. If her tremendous charisma (And, honestly, do you really think that the IPCC has tremendous charisma? Think Martha Coakley here.) wasn’t enough to get her through the equivalent of her little weekend at an Aspen ski resort with the governor of Minnesota, his wife and three professional mimes, she’d be back to cribbing a new memoir. So why don’t we hear about those shocking revelations?

The reason we don’t is that the mistakes in the IPCC have not been ones that the Global Warming Doubters have any incentive to publicize. Overwhelmingly they show the IPCC science to have radically understated the severity of climate change, and to have allowed themselves to be influenced in the direction of muting the evidence. The right has no incentive to point out the ways in which IPCC actually is wrong, in this case. The aggregate of the scientific evidence shows that it has been significantly wrong – but the evidence almost entirely supports the case that the Ms. IPCC, being a product of a committee, actually has softened her accounts of both what may happen and how to respond to it.

Consider arctic sea ice, for example – the nearest predictions on arctic sea ice put the summer ice-free arctic at 2013, while more mid-range projections now put it at the middle of the century. The IPCC? End of the century. Consider assumptions about how much emissions will increase – we know that they have increased more than anticipated. The East Antarctic Ice Sheet? Supposed to be totally stable. In fact? Maybe not so much – it may well be losing mass. When might we have to worry about methane leaking out of the permafrost? IPCC thought remotely a concern in 2100 – but methane rises suggest it may already be happening. The one thing we know about climate change is this – that the IPCC, for a host of reasons, has softened the story of how rapidly climate change is occurring and slated to occur. And if there was anyone to make money off of this fact, it would be plastered all over the news as the real scandal.

The IPCC is a committee, and it works like a comittee. Sometimes it makes minor structural errors, like putting a reference that it should have back checked. More often, it makes the errors you would expect from a committee that has to satisfy all the members, and that is fundamentally, a political body, influenced by the political institutions that support it and by the assumptions that underly most people who live in our age. It is going to make mistakes – and most of those mistakes are actually going to be mistakes of not wanting to push limits too hard, of not demanding too radical a change, rather than mistakes of overstatement.

Personally, I don’t think Ms. IPCC, aside from the lack of charisma, would make a bad candidate. She’s telling a hard truth the best way she can. She makes mistakes. She has a few scandals in her past, and probably a few more to play out in the public domain. She’s under intense pressure and scrutiny, and under the that level of scrutiny, she’s bound to fail sometimes. She’s flawed, and most of all, she’s flawed because the same qualities that make her a viable candidate, a viable institution to most people are the ones that most press her to make things look more positive, more hopeful. She’s the best we can offer under the circumstances – because she gets a lot of the basics, and we don’t live in a world where getting the refinements pays off politically.

Sharon

Comments

  1. #1 Andrew30
    January 21, 2010

    RE: “with so many people so highly paid by Exxon..”

    At the bottom of this page

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/about/history/

    From the Climate Research Units own web site you will find a partial list of companies that fund the CRU.
    It includes:

    British Petroleum, ‘Oil, LNG’
    Broom’s Barn Sugar Beet Research Centre, ‘Food to Ethanol’
    The United States Department of Energy, ‘Nuclear’
    Irish Electricity Supply Board. ‘LNG, Nuclear’
    UK Nirex Ltd. ‘Nuclear’
    Sultanate of Oman, ‘LNG’
    Shell Oil, ‘Oil, LNG’
    Tate and Lyle. ‘Food to Ethanol’
    Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, ‘Nuclear’
    KFA Germany, ‘Nuclear’

    You might what to check out what these and the other funding companies actually do. Hint they do not do coal.

    This is all about making Nuclear Power, Liquefied Natural Gas and Food to Ethanol more cost competitive.

    They have been paying for the research and getting the results that they have paid for, the results that you accept, and drive you to demand low CO2 products. They have the products you now want so desperately, and they are ready to deliver.

    The raw data, the computer models and the methods used by the CRU have not been released, only the results. The CRU does not do science; they are in the anti-CO2 business.

    I do not see a difference between this and Merck, their ‘researchers’ and Vioxx, the government and ‘thousands and thousands’ of doctors believed them, as did a lot of people.

  2. #2 Luna_the_cat
    January 21, 2010

    Yeh, right, Andrew30. The “skeptic” websites are generally funded solely by Exxon-Mobil and other energy companies. As opposed to this mixed bag:

    British Council,
    British Petroleum,
    Broom’s Barn Sugar Beet Research Centre,
    Central Electricity Generating Board, [NB: coal is the cheapest source of energy for electric available, and can be used by existing plants. Why would this org want to incur unnecessary costs?]
    Centre for Environment,
    Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS),
    Commercial Union,
    Commission of European Communities (CEC, often referred to now as EU),
    Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC),
    Department of Energy,
    Department of the Environment (DETR, now DEFRA),
    Department of Health,
    Department of Trade and Industry (DTI),
    Eastern Electricity,
    Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC),
    Environment Agency,
    Forestry Commission,
    Greenpeace International,
    International Institute of Environmental Development (IIED),
    Irish Electricity Supply Board, [NB as above]
    KFA Germany,
    Leverhulme Trust,
    Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF),
    National Power,
    National Rivers Authority,
    Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC),
    Norwich Union,
    Nuclear Installations Inspectorate,
    Overseas Development Administration (ODA),
    Reinsurance Underwriters and Syndicates,
    Royal Society,
    Scientific Consultants,
    Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC),
    Scottish and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research,
    Shell,
    Stockholm Environment Agency,
    Sultanate of Oman,
    Tate and Lyle,
    UK Met. Office,
    UK Nirex Ltd.,
    United Nations Environment Plan (UNEP),
    United States Department of Energy,
    United States Environmental Protection Agency,
    Wolfson Foundation,
    World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF).

    Here’s a thought: there are a lot of people in these organisations who want accurate information, so that they can plan and set effective policy.

  3. #3 David Marjanović
    January 21, 2010

    The one thing we know about climate change is this – that the big scandal is

    Yes?

    Your 3rd-to-last paragraph just ends like this.

    The raw data, the computer models and the methods used by the CRU have not been released

    <headdesk>

    The raw data don’t need to be released because they’re already public! They just aren’t CRU property.

    I bet the models & methods are described in the peer-reviewed literature.

  4. #4 Andrew30
    January 21, 2010

    David Marjanović | January 21, 2010 12:10 PM

    The raw data has not been released.
    The computer model software has not been released.
    The methods that describe the manipulation to the data before use by the models has not been released.

    None of it, none.

    You have been misinformed, are mistaken, or you have a differnet definition for the terms ‘raw data’, ‘methods’, and ‘models’ then I do.

  5. #5 Andrew30
    January 21, 2010

    Luna_the_cat;
    “Here’s a thought: there are a lot of people in these organisations who want accurate information, so that they can plan and set effective policy.”

    Yes, it convinced the Sultanate of Oman to launch Oman LNG. (www.omanlng.com) in the same year (1994) thet a the CRU (who they had been funding for some time) wrote the report that “played a critical role in the conclusion reached by the 1995 assessment of the IPCC that “the balance of evidence suggests that there has been a discernible human influence on global climate”
    Source: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/about/history/

    Have you even looked into what the business interests of these companies and funders are?

    “effective policy”

    Yea, right.

  6. #6 Andrew30
    January 21, 2010

    RE: “Central Electricity Generating Board, [NB: coal is the cheapest source of energy for electric available, and can be used by existing plants. Why would this org want to incur unnecessary costs?]”
    “Irish Electricity Supply Board, [NB as above]”

    I have no idea why, perhaps you should ask them.

    “ESB CEO, Padraig McManus today (Friday, July 24, 2009) claimed that while we can rule out an independent nuclear solution for Ireland, that we must look at the possibility of a nuclear plant as part of the UK network.”

    http://renewableenergyireland.blogspot.com/2009/07/esb-chief-talks-nuclear.html

    You might want to look into these funding organizations.

  7. #7 Richard Simons
    January 21, 2010

    Andrew30: have you found any significant errors in the report or are you just flinging mud in the hope that something will stick?

    BTW: “while more mid-range projections now put it at the middle of the summer.” should presumably be “middle of the century.”

  8. #8 Sharon Astyk
    January 21, 2010

    Thanks for the corrections – I’m having computer problems today and there may be more than the ordinary number of typos, since my ‘pooter keeps freezing up on me.

    Sharon

  9. #9 dewey
    January 21, 2010

    1. The raw data that the CRU will not release does not belong to them, so they cannot legally release it; they paid various nations’ weather services only for the right to use it. Those nations will probably also be happy to release the same data to Exxon if they are paid.

    2. I can assure you that hundreds of scientific papers on climate modeling could not be published with not one single paper describing their methodology! “Materials and methods” are always to be supplied in a paper itself or as supplemental material, and it would be hard to find one set of peer reviewers who would not object to their absence, much less hundreds. Andrew, you haven’t read these papers and seen this for yourself; you’ve accepted an allegation made by someone you trust, and unfortunately, you were lied to.

    3. There’s a constant effort to pick one weak link – or one link that can be falsely made to seem weak – and use it as a synecdoche for all evidence of climate change. The emails stolen from the CRU nowhere suggested that any scientist on their staff did not believe there was real evidence for AGW so was falsifying it. Suppose for a moment that it had; would that mean that the data showing diminishing Arctic ice, produced by a different institution, was phony?

    The anti-AGW conspiracy theory requires us to believe that thousands of scientists, from all over the world, comprising virtually all working researchers in several different fields, are devoting considerable effort to a sinister plot that nobody ever has an attack of conscience about and betrays, while only the handful who work for fossil fuel companies are so noble that they never get involved. This also happens to be what the creationist wackos say about the world’s biologists – there’s no real evidence for evolution and we’re all lying about that ’cause we serve Satan. I can’t evaluate the math of atmospheric physics any better than the average denialist, but being on the receiving end of one conspiracy argument that I know to be ridiculously false, I’m going to assume that other arguments of the same form are likely false.

  10. #10 Sharon Astyk
    January 21, 2010

    Let’s say for the sake of toleration, that we take Andrew’s assumptions (which are totally nuts, but ok) at face value. Let’s say that BP and such are really into seeing the cost of carbon emissions go up so that they can go crazy profiting on natural gas, even though their business is basically carbon. If so, I think we can safely say that their influence there has been pretty negligible, since the science they are funding (and let’s recall that the CRU is not the only climate group out there) has overwhelmingly shown that teh cuts we’d have to make in our energy usage are radically greater than can support the kind of industrial usages that they are supposedly all psyched about supporting. If, as Molly Ivins used to quote, a good politician is one who stays bought, we can look at the money fossil fuel companies have funded into denialism, and see that their politicians and scientists for hire there have stayed bought – they are still doing the same old routine of fuzzing the evidence. The scientists they may or may not have tried to buy at CRU and other places, on the other hand, overwhelmingly didn’t stay bought – they did science, even when the general conclusion was that we’d be better off with vastly less usage of energy – period. Hmmm…which group of paid shills would be more compelling…

    Sharon

  11. #11 Andrew30
    January 21, 2010

    dewey | January 21, 2010 1:23 PM
    “1. The raw data that the CRU will not release does not belong to them, so they cannot legally release it;…”

    Why it has not been released is irrelevant to the scientific method.

    The scientific method requires that the researcher publish the original data, models and procedures needed for a skeptical analysis of any of their work. Since they are not using the scientific method then they simply are not doing science, they are doing something else.

    “The anti-AGW conspiracy theory requires us to believe that thousands of scientists…”

    Doctors are trained in the scientific method, and still the Voixx situation occurred, that required a 10 year research and approval process. Were thousands of doctors involved in a ‘conspiracy’, I don’t think so, but it happened.

    This Global Warming thing would not need thousands of scientists to be involved. All that was need was for one or two people in perhaps five or six countries to adjust the raw data (as has been seen in multiple countries).

    Anyone using the data when making a comparison to CO2 would find the results that had been seeded into the data. The scientists would not be aware that they were being played. They would honestly think that their conclusions were correct. Only none of their predictions would ever be confirmed, which is what is happening.

  12. #12 Andrew30
    January 21, 2010

    Posted by: dewey | January 21, 2010 1:23 PM

    “Materials and methods” are always to be supplied in a paper itself or as supplemental material, and it would be hard to find one set of peer reviewers who would not object to their absence…”

    Yet:

    “1. The raw data that the CRU will not release does not belong to them, so they cannot legally release it”

    So which ‘set of peer reviewers’ did not ‘object to their absence’?

  13. #13 Jacob Mack
    January 21, 2010

    I think that greenhouse gas emissions should gradually be reduced as alternative energy sources with near zero emissions become more viable. The Asian brown cloud is real, as is global dimming and rising incidence/prevalence of asthma and lung cancer are. I do look at the graphs and evaluate much of the math also in light of poor predictive quality of the Global Circulation Models (GCM’s) and I can say with reasonable confidence that Jim Hanson’s predictions did not and are not coming to pass. I like Gavin Schmidt’s work in climate modeling and paleoclimate research, but there are still still some wide margins of error and too little known about C02 levels 1,000,000 years ago. Realclimate.org is a good resource run by working climatologists, for those interested, but the doomsayer predictions look exremely unlikely in the forseeable future. I would say anthropogenic global warming while probably real is not as big a factor as general pollution.

  14. #15 Andrew30
    January 21, 2010

    Posted by: Jacob Mack | January 21, 2010 2:14 PM;

    Jacob;

    Wattsupwiththat (http://wattsupwiththat.com/) also has some information related to things that might affect climate.

    For some reason some of the things they post indicates that the Sun might have something to do with the climate. Can you believe that! The Sun affecting the climate on Earth, no way, next thing you know they will be saying that there is corruption at the U.N. Unbelievable.

  15. #16 dewey
    January 21, 2010

    Andrew – Regarding your 1:56 PM message, your initial postings recognized a distinction between raw data and analysis methods, as did I (both of us correctly).

    You are not familiar with research science if you think that all raw data must be published or a piece of work is “simply” not science. There are numerous instances where this would be impractical – say for example, ecological studies involving estimates of percent cover by different plant types in several hundred plots. The journal wants to see a single summary table with averages, ranges, and associated statistics – nobody wants to read all the original data sheets! In fact, the fields having an organized means of making cumbersome data conveniently available are few.

    There are also other instances where, as in CRU’s case, it would actually be illegal to release some raw data, because the researchers do not have carte blanche to do as they wish with it. For example, the publication of a clinical trial will provide summaries of how many people in each arm suffered particular side effects. If the outcome did not please Pfizer, say, and they demanded “all the raw data” be given to them to fiddle with, the researchers could not legally hand over individual patients’ medical records.

    No, global warming could not be made out of nothing by “one or two people in perhaps five or six countries” falsifying their countries’ climate data. Warming has been observed in far more nations than that. There are also independent temperature data available from more than one source, from air and ocean as well as land. If there were no climate change, and temperatures were reported to rise only over land in five or six disjunct countries, the worldwide trend would still be flat and the data from those countries would stand out as odd and meriting further investigation.

    And then there are the effects beyond temperature change itself, which are still modest but showing observable trends: changes in sea level and ocean acidity, Arctic ice volume, phenology of plants and animals. You can’t dismiss a study of Arctic ice volume or British plant flowering times by claiming that data from weather stations in China must have been falsified. No, the conspiracy theory requires the willing silence or participation of thousands of scientists in a variety of fields, dating back to Arrhenius. (It also requires novel physical hypotheses to explain why our planet is not frozen, and why Venus is so hot, if the quantity of GHGs in the atmosphere has no effect on the amount of heat a planet retains. Andrew, if the supposed savants who are feeding you your information ever get around to proposing such hypotheses in a peer-reviewed journal, I’ll really look forward to seeing that.)

  16. #17 Sharon Astyk
    January 21, 2010

    I love when people say “the sun has something to do with global temperature” as though scientists have never thought of this. My husband is an astrophysicist, and believe it or not, one or two astrophysicists have actually been consulted. Duh.

  17. #18 Andrew30
    January 21, 2010

    dewey | January 21, 2010 2:40 PM

    You have indicated a number of effects caused by the warming and recent cooling of the planet. Yet it is the cause of the warming, and recent cooling that is at issue, not the effects.

    “There are also independent temperature data available from more than one source, from air and ocean as well as land.”

    Do you realize that there is only one global data set that the three principle climate study businesses use as input for their recommendations and submissions to the IPCC?

    “nobody wants to read all the original data sheets!”

    I do, and so do many others. With the technology available today the entire data set could be made available in its raw form in a matter of days. Google can do a book in a few minutes.

    When I can verify the output of the model, starting with the raw data, the procedures and the source code, I will understand the output. Then I will examine the source code of the model. This is the role of the skeptic in the scientific method.

    “… the data from those countries would stand out as odd and meriting further investigation…”

    And that is what is happening.

  18. #19 Andrew30
    January 21, 2010

    Sharon Astyk | January 21, 2010 2:51 PM

    “…one or two astrophysicists have actually been consulted”

    Sharon;

    Do you happen to have their names and where they work, I’ll look up the rest?

  19. #20 Jason A.
    January 21, 2010

    Uhh, gas companies want to make the cost of carbon emissions go up so they can sell natural gas??? *cough* Natural gas is carbon… So much for that crazy conspiracy theory.

    And oh, yeah, it must be the Sun, right? Obvious! Except that solar irradiance has been monitored for 60 or 70 years and hasn’t increased. Not to mention if it was the Sun then it would affect bodies all over the solar system, which isn’t happening. Of the 100 or so larger bodies, a couple show signs of warming that are attributable to seasonal effects, a couple even appear to be cooling. And let’s not forget that if it was coming from the Sun it would warm all layers of the atmosphere while we observe a cooling stratosphere.

    Face it Andrew, you’re grasping for any straw you can to support a loony conspiracy theory. You should take this as a learning opportunity, but I doubt you will.

  20. #21 Jason A.
    January 21, 2010

    For clarity:

    “if it was coming from the Sun it would warm all layers of the atmosphere while we observe a cooling stratosphere.”

    Read as: if the Sun was to blame, the entire atmosphere would be warming. Instead, we observe a cooling stratosphere with a warming troposphere, a sign that greenhouse gases are to blame.
    Let’s not forget the isotopic signatures of those greenhouse gases show that they come from fossil fuel emissions, before we get on the ‘natural emissions from volcanic eruptions’ track or some other crazy rationalization.
    Greenhouse gases cause warming (by selective passing of incoming UV energy and blocking of outgoing IR energy). The excess of greenhouse gases is directly traceable to human activity. And the observed warming is consistent with warming caused by greenhouse gases and not the Sun. Easy.

  21. #22 Phil
    January 21, 2010

    Andrew30,

    Please feel free to start your own blog and ask all these questions there, rather than spamming this blog with your ignorance and arrogance.

    And don’t expect Sharon or anybody else to do your homework for you.

  22. #23 Andrew30
    January 21, 2010

    Posted by: Jason A. | January 21, 2010 3:31 PM

    “Uhh, gas companies want to make the cost of carbon emissions go up so they can sell natural gas??? *cough* Natural gas is carbon…”

    Natural gas has less CO2 per BUT then other fossil fuels, and if you bothered to check some companied actually use CO2 scrubbers on the gas before liquefying it for transport. The lower CO2 content is the excuse/reason that Great Britain uses Natural Gas for almost all heating and electricity, and not so much coal.

    “And oh, yeah, it must be the Sun, right? Obvious! Except that solar irradiance has been monitored for 60 or 70 years and hasn’t increased.”

    It has changed in many sprecta and has reasonably correlated with the change in global temperature since monitoring began. (correlation is not causation)

    “Not to mention if it was the Sun then it would affect bodies all over the solar system, which isn’t happening.”

    You are mistaken, check out Mars.

    “Of the 100 or so larger bodies, a couple show signs of warming that are attributable to seasonal effects, a couple even appear to be cooling.”

    Like Mars and Earth.

    “And let’s not forget that if it was coming from the Sun it would warm all layers of the atmosphere while we observe a cooling stratosphere.”

    Perhaps you might try to do a bit more research of the mass vs. density of different molecules and the affect that has on where the different molecules are found in the layers of the atmosphere, and then how differed molecules absorb and emit radiation. Hint, next time you are on a plane ask yourself why they have those drop down oxygen masks. It might have something to do with a non-uniform distribution of molecules in the atmosphere.

  23. #24 Andrew30
    January 21, 2010

    Posted by: Phil | January 21, 2010 3:40 PM

    “…your ignorance and arrogance”

    [snip]

  24. #25 dewey
    January 21, 2010

    No, there isn’t only one data set. Nor do people who actually work on this subject agree that the apparent warming is only derived from sensors in a few countries whose weather services are of doubtful honesty. Again, if this isn’t your field of expertise, it’s no shame that you don’t personally know these things. But it does not speak well of you if you refuse to entertain the possibility that your pro-conspiracy sources are wrong about them.

    You also should be concerned if your sources cannot cite a single atmospheric physicist with a model that purports to explain why the earth is as warm as it is without reference to the concentration of GHGs in the atmosphere. The reason creationists have to rely on personal slander and nitpicking over little details is that they have no alternative testable hypothesis that explains observable data. If one wishes to reject out of hand an apparently plausible, widely accepted and well-supported theory – whether evolution or AGW – one had better do one of two things: clearly demonstrate that it must be wrong, or suggest a different hypothesis that equally well explains the facts. Where have Lord Monckton and his ilk done either of these?

  25. #26 Andrew30
    January 21, 2010

    Posted by: dewey | January 21, 2010 4:38 PM

    “..The reason creationists have to rely on personal slander..”

    “…your ignorance and arrogance”( Posted by: Phil | January 21, 2010 3:40 PM)

    Dewey;

    Anyway, you mentioned that “two things: clearly demonstrate that it must be wrong, or suggest a different hypothesis that equally well explains the facts”

    Yes, that is correct.

    However in the absence of the original information from the researchers your first suggestion is not possible. It would be easier if they actually made a prediction and stuck to it, so we might be able to see if the prediction was or was not realized. The idea of making a 50 or 100 year prediction and then revising it ever year or two is a bit much for a Theory. OK for a hypothesis. As you know a single observation can disprove a theory and return it to being a hypothesis. As in ‘can’t explain the lack of warming’ being a ‘travesty’ and all that.

    On the second suggestion or getting a simpler explanation with less integrated values/feedback and assumptions (Occam’s Razor) and I am also waiting on the results of the Cloud experiment as CERN on cosmic rays and cloud formation. It is a repeatable, public, published, basic physics experiment. It will be some more information, something to consider.

    So I wait…

  26. #27 Edward Bryant
    January 21, 2010

    Hi Sharon,

    I am all for disenssus, but if Andrew30 insists on trotting out the same tired twaddle as though none of us have “rode in the denialist rodeo” before, couldn’t you just boot him?

    As a geologist, I’ve explained the part of AGW I understand(paleoclimatology) to people who seem a lot like him, and it is almost always an exercise in futility. Militant ignorance and zealous rectitude makes for a poor debating partner. Please send him to real climate and let Gavin hand him his head.

    Sorry, but my life is too short to spend it tilting against windmills. Just my opinion.

  27. #28 Andrew30
    January 21, 2010

    Posted by: Edward Bryant | January 21, 2010 5:02 PM
    “rode in the denialist rodeo”

    I have denied nothing, I have not said that AGW is or is not real. I am concerned about the apparent lack of science. I do not think that it is at all settled or proven.

    “Militant ignorance…”
    Have you read this?

    The Fate of Greenland’s Vikings February 28, 2000 by Dale Mackenzie Brown
    http://www.archaeology.org/online/features/greenland

    Ignorance is caused by avoiding ideas and knowledge.

    Perhaps I should leave before I present any more disturbing information.

  28. #29 Brad K.
    January 21, 2010

    Andrew30,

    The one I learned was “hate the sin, but love the sinner”. Climate gate, the ambiguity at the IPCC, the way data seems to have been picked and juggled to “prove” the hypothesis that the environment is warming beyond natural expectations, and that humans have contributed to the past deviations from norms – and that projections of instability will hold accurately for decades and centuries – does little to convince me about the hypothesis of AGW.

    I don’t know enough to discount the effects of prolific expenditures of fossil fuels are affecting the climate. I certainly don’t know enough to disprove that position. Enough people that deny AGW make points that I can follow. A lot of people and a lot of money support the theory of AGW, and focus on how to mitigate and limit the effects of runaway global warming.

    I can unequivocally back those that wish to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil. And peak coal, peak water, peak US National Debt, etc. For the most part, the answers to Peak Oil, that is, that we are beginning the end of cheap energy, are about the same as whether the climate is unstable because of AGW.

    Just as wars are only fought for money, industrial and governmental science is always done for money, and to support someone’s agenda. The unpaid, hobbyist, and independent investigations and ponderings are where the real breakthroughs and crackpot schemes are born. But until something independent achieves enough energy, it is as likely to be overlooked as the most erroneous crackpot.

    Are the Warmers guilty of following the well-paid herd? Yep. So are the Deniers. Are there any in either camp so convinced that the subject has become faith, and not science at all? Yep. I am positive about that. Science, after all, is a matter of conjecture, of hypothesis and testing, and questioning assumptions. It takes engineering to convert findings to practice and products and structures you can reach out and touch.

    I have seen precious little engineering with regard to global warming. The proposal for Scandinavian dams to limit springtime runoff from diluting the North Sea end of the Gulf Stream – that would constitute engineering for me. Especially if it demonstrably sustains the Gulf Stream – moderating European climate as we have come to expect.

    I have seen the decades of deforestation of the Amazon basin – and I believe that is engineering contributing more, probably at least four-fold more, to climate instability than burning fossil fuels over that same period. We could stop burning oil and coal today, and the environmental harm from tearing down the Amazon Rain Forest would continue. Only there is no international money flow tied to that deforestation, so that makes the denuded Amazon a mere footnote in the power and money and political advantage slate of what the Warmers are driving for. And, yes, the point of the Kyoto and Copenhagen agendas that don’t demonstrably address the environment do bother me. Money talks, and there is a *lot* of taking from others in that plan.

    I don’t think you are right. I don’t think the science and agitation around AGW are sufficient to disprove the results they posted. What I understand are the most coherent objections to the CRU and IPCC models, is that they assume each incremental change in so-called greenhouse gases results in an amplified enviromental response. The Warmer models don’t allow for natural offsetting and stabilizing effects. Deniers are often content to accept that the fudging done for each various projection might actually stabilize, instead of continuing to escalate. I figure something will happen. There are too many governments and too much money involved for anyone to be able to predict what will happen.

    So, you might consider looking at what the Warmers want to do, pick up the responses that also satisfy “what to do about Peak Oil”, and let time resolve the rest. Except maybe support the dams on the Scandinavian fjords. That makes sense to me.

  29. #30 Keith Farnish
    January 22, 2010

    Andrew30

    I never get involved in climate science discussions because I am not a climate scientist (and neither are you) – instead I prefer to look at things from a logical perspective. I will willingly bow down to your views, therefore, if you can deal with the three questions contained in this article to show that AGW is a commercial plot (or any kind of “plot” for that matter):

    http://earth-blog.bravejournal.com/entry/34507

    1) Which individuals and organisations in the past have been, and still are, responsible for funding climate change denial, and why?

    2) Why do the same bodies, including all industrial nation governments, set “targets” and provide “solutions” that ensure economic growth is not curtailed?

    3) Who has most to lose if anthroopogenic climate change is dealt with?

  30. #31 Jacob Mack
    January 22, 2010

    Andrew,
    I read and post on wattswiththat, but not because what they say is credible, but rather to try and stop the spead of disinformation. I am not saying what is stated at RC is infallible either; quite the contrary climate science is complex, involved and like any scientific discipline is subject to peer review and correctiosn of errors.

    Now, once again, the high estimates made over the years have proved to be just that, too high, but some of the IPCC’s sections have proved to be too low in estimations. I actually read the leaked emails from November, and no many of the emails are not friendly, but it does not change the fact that AGW is evidenced from numerous sources worldwide and not just from one, two or three sources.

    Having said all of that, my math background and understanding of the physics is quite good, and the physics of greenhouse gases is indisputable, the issue now is why the world is not warmer as was predicted by many models and believedwould be the case from this decade’s surprising record warmth in several individual years. Also the black soot over the Himalayas has been shown to be as effectove if not more so than greenhouse gases in warming the region. There still remains a lot of work to be done and the negative feedbacks of nature are quite real too, however, we still need to lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce air and water pollution just the same.

  31. #32 dewey
    January 22, 2010

    Yes, the theory is that having an atmosphere – particularly, certain gases in the atmosphere – causes solar energy to be retained by a planet, and therefore that greatly increasing the quantity of those gases, starting from a nonzero amount, would cause more energy to be retained. That’s a reasonable prediction. I know of no reasoned challenge whatsoever to this fundamental theory. The fact that other forcings also simultaneously cause the earth (or various parts of it) to be more or less hot in no way challenges the correctness of the theory. The inability of climate scientists to make perfectly accurate predictions about what the weather will be like in your state next year, or in what year the Arctic summer ice will be gone, is also irrelevant to judgement of the basic theory.

  32. #33 Andrew30
    January 22, 2010

    Posted by: dewey | January 21, 2010 4:38 PM

    Re: “No, there isn’t only one data set.”

    I guess we are going to actually find that out, arn’t we?


    Science and Technology Committee:

    The disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia

    Terms of Reference

    The Science and Technology Committee today announces an inquiry into the unauthorised publication of data, emails and documents relating to the work of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA). The Committee has agreed to examine and invite written submissions on three questions:

    —What are the implications of the disclosures for the integrity of scientific research?

    —Are the terms of reference and scope of the Independent Review announced on 3 December 2009 by UEA adequate (see below)?

    —How independent are the other two international data sets?
    .
    .
    .

    Source:
    http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/science_technology/s_t_cru_inquiry.cfm

  33. #34 Michele
    January 27, 2010

    You wrote: “That said, since the material in the IPCC is overwhelmingly peer-reviewed science, this doesn’t really cast any larger doubt on anything about anthropogenic global warming.”

    Wake up!

    http://aprilbaby.typepad.com/a_california_life/

    Read & watch everything on the first page of my blog, links, video, etc., and then tell me how you can back up your statement.

    I’m hoping his is a 13-year-old child’s blog.

  34. #35 Andrew30
    February 16, 2010

    Sharon;

    February 16, 2010 1:45 p.m. EST:
    President Obama announced $8.3 billion in loan guarantees Tuesday for two nuclear reactors to be built in Burke County, Georgia.

    Zero C02, it is what you have been demanding for so long.
    You asked for it, and now you are going to get it.

    You must be very happy.

    Should we all thank you, or do Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund deserve some credit too, after all they helped write the IPCC report?

    With this new electrical power we should be able to put heaters in the windmills to keep them spinning during the winter.

    Thanks!

  35. #36 Andrew30
    February 16, 2010

    PS.

    Obama’s proposed fiscal year 2011 budget triples loan guarantees for nuclear power plants to over $54 billion, the White House noted.

    You will be even happier next year!

  36. #37 Andrew30
    February 16, 2010

    This is all about making Nuclear Power, Liquefied Natural Gas and Food to Ethanol more cost competitive.

    They have been paying for the research and getting the results that they have paid for, the results that you accept, and drive you to demand low CO2 products. They have the products you now want so desperately, and they are ready to deliver.

    The are starting now…