Are the winds shifting?

Maybe it’s just me, desperately searching for optimistic signals in the noise that dominates the mainstream coverage of climate change, but could there be something happening out there, something attesting to a new, more mature interpretation of the challenge facing society at large?

Item 1: The Economist publishes an impassioned lament. This from a magazine that for so long seemed althogether disinterested in the subject:

A HUNDRED years from now, looking back, the only question that will appear important about the historical moment in which we now live is the question of whether or not we did anything to arrest climate change. Everything else–the financial crisis, the life or death of the euro, authoritarianism or democracy in China and Russia, the Great Stagnation or the innovation renaissance, democratisation and/or political Islam in the Arab world, Newt or Mitt or another four years of Barack–all this will fade into insignificance beside the question of whether we managed to do anything about human industrial civilisation changing the climate of Planet Earth.

And that’s just the first half of the opening paragraph. Towards the end, the gloom descends even further.

Maybe the idea that Mali and Burkina Faso were once inhabited countries rather than empty deserts will seem queer, and the immiseration of huge numbers of stateless refugees thronging against the borders of the rich northern countries will be taken for granted. The absence of the polar ice cap and the submersion of Venice will have been normalised; nobody will think of these as live issues, no one will spend their time reproaching their forefathers…

A concession that an ecological crisis dwarfs those posed by mere financial forces is not what I expected from The Economist. It was a late-comer to responsible coverage of climate change and a reluctant convert at that. But this sort of thing suggests a conversion of Damascene proportions.

Item 2: Globe and Mail columnist John Ibbitson, who writes despondently about Canada’s failure to address its embarrassing record on greenhouse gas emissions. Canada, you will probably already know, this week became the first, and so far only, nation to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol. Ibbitson is a center-right commentator in the Canadian sense, which means he is generally to the left of what passes for the center in the U.S., but tends to be more skeptical than supportive of “progressive” notions. This week, however, he made it clear he now shares at least some of the distress that has worked its way into the editorial desk at The Economist.

Canada gave its word to the world. Canada broke its word. The final confession was as shameful as it was inevitable. No one should feel anything other than ashamed. Not the Conservatives, not the Liberals, not us.

Ibbitson hits the nail on the head. Most green pundits would rather castigate Stephen Harper’s governing Conservatives for doing the bidding of their petrol-dollar associates than admit the truth, which is that Canada withdrew from Kyoto because it would have been irresponsible not to. Canada’s GHG emissions have risen dramatically instead of falling as it committed to make happen under Kyoto. So if the country didn’t withdraw before the end of this year, it would have faced the need to spend billions on offsets or face sanctions.

The real problem can be traced to Jean Chretien’s Liberals, who frittered away more than a decade of economic prosperity by doing precisely nothing to move away from fossil-fuel-dependency and toward carbon-neutral alternatives. By the time the Conservatives took over in 2005, the bed was made, and there was never any chance Canada would meets its Kyoto commitments. So the only thing left to do was save the taxpayer a few pennies by getting out when the getting was good.

By using the language of shame, Ibbitson makes it clear that this is not just another in a long list of lost opportunities for Canada to lead by example. It is cause for some serious soul-searching in the not-so-great white North. The Economist makes a similar admission from Britain,

I am not holding my breath for comparable shifts in the U.S. But it would be nice.

Comments

  1. #1 Ryan
    December 14, 2011

    That’s encouraging. Someone should start a large-scale bet on what year Fox will carry a story that says we might have made some mistakes by not curtailing emissions. 2018? 2040?

  2. #2 Vince Whirlwind
    December 14, 2011

    The worm might be turning. Check out what the Australian ABC did to Ian Plimer the other day:

    http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2011/s3390224.htm

    Destroyed him. That may have taken him out of the climate “debate” (read: disinformation campaign) altogether.
    Especially getting a blatant lie out of him to seal the interview. He’ll know he went one lie too many and might stop spruiking any more.

  3. #3 Russell
    December 14, 2011

    My suspicion is that these conventions and treaties are useless, for just the reason shown. If some nation, normally a reasonable one — and what nation is reasonable, if not Canada — is driven economically to produce more GHGs, that will shape its internal politics more than commitment or membership in some convention that calls on it to do otherwise. So maybe we need some other approach?

    Where are our safe, clean thorium reactors?

  4. #4 Radical Rodent
    December 14, 2011

    Perhaps you might be able to enlighten me… How can the increase of a gas from 0.03% to 0.05% (or thereabouts) of the total atmosphere have such a drastic effect upon the climate?

    All gasses are “greenhouse” gasses (see NASA), though CO2 may be better at it. However, if I were to have a greenhouse with 100 sq.m of glass, I am sure that, no matter how effective it may be, increasing a pstch of super-greenhouse glass from 3.5 inches square to 4.5 inches square will not make much difference to my tomatoes.

  5. #5 Neil Bates
    December 14, 2011

    Radical Rodent, you intuitive “feel” about the amount of substance has no bearing on what it can do. CO2 can absorb lots of IR, and the atmosphere is miles and miles high, the amount of absorption has been calculated. That amount may or may not be enough to trigger some specific temperature increase (from how much “forcing factor”) but it is a risk factor.

  6. #6 Vince Whirlwind
    December 14, 2011

    Science is about asking questions, Radical Rodent, and then listening to the answers. The question you asked was answered about 150 years ago and nothing since then casts any doubt on the conclusion first arrived it.
    If you refuse to listen to the answer, which has come from people who have actually studied this issue in enormous detail, then you are obviously not interested in science.

  7. #7 Jeff
    December 14, 2011

    @4 Radical Rodent:

    Hi Radica. It does seem like a trivial change but it carries disproportionate consequences. The contribution of CO2 to the capture of energy(conversion of visible light to IR by hitting the Earth’s surface then being insulated from returning to space because CO2 insulates against heat escape) is listed by Wikipedia as between 9-26%. So imagine the CO2 content doubled. Based on the conservative estimate, the earth would trap an additional 10% of the Sun’s energy, a vast increase.

    Beyond the dangers based on CO2 emissions alone is the danger that increasing temperature will trigger the release of other potent greenhouse gases, such as methane release from the ocean floor. While we don’t know, we suspect that the earth’s temperature is in a metastable state and enough disturbance could push it into a different climate regime. Worst case, you find a run-away warming scenario.

    Regardless, even a mild climate change across a short time as decades promises disastrous consequences as new weather patterns influence areas not prepared for them and shifting growing zones force the relocation of farming and agriculture.

  8. #8 Anarchaeologist
    December 14, 2011

    Radical Rodent, consider it this way. If you weigh 100kg and take 25 grams of aspirin, you are likely to die from that exposure, even thought you have consumed only a tiny portion of your body weight in aspirin. To deny that small changes in composition can have extremely large effects in complex systems is to confess to ignorance.

  9. #9 Tom Renbarger
    December 15, 2011

    To expand upon Anarchaeologist’s comment:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/CO2-trace-gas.htm

  10. #10 Radical Rodent
    December 15, 2011

    Curious. I asked a simple question for which there might be a reasonably simple answer.

    My first reply, from Neil Bates, is incredibly patronising, and doesn’t really answer the question; the second, from Vince Whirlwind is even more patronising – almost to the point of bullying – and still does not answer the question. The third, from Anarchaeologist, actually does contain a lot of sense, then reverts to patronising without fully answering the question. All three of those answers gave me the impression that, by asking questions, I am being perceived as a threat.

    I confess. I am ignorant. I have no shame in my ignorance, but I will declare that anyone who is ashamed of their ignorance is a fool, and a dangerous fool at that.

    At least Tom Renbarger directed me to where I might find the answer. However, having looked, I find it almost as patronising as the previous three answers; sure, a small amount of a toxin can be dangerous, but CO2 is not a toxin; neither is it a pollutant. Iron is an essential element in our bodies, though present in traces; is it possible to have too much iron in our bodies?

    A few things I think I know about CO2: it is a gas common to all life on the planet – we all exhale it, some of us (the plants) ingest it. Without CO2, plant life would die, therefore CO2 is an essential element of the atmosphere; surely, having a marginally higher CO2 level will benefit plant life, make the trees and bushes grow more lush, even increase a crop output?

    So, why is CO2 such a dangerous “greenhouse” gas? How does it absorb so much heat?

    Also, on a larger scale, why was the unsual (and early) snowfall of last year dismissed as “weather”, as was the late spring, and the cool summer, yet the Indian summer (which is quite a common occurance) of October the result of “global warming”? Can we not have some consistency?

  11. #11 Andrew Gillett
    December 15, 2011

    Radical Rodent, see also:
    http://youtu.be/81FHVrXgzuA

  12. #12 Wow
    December 15, 2011

    “How can the increase of a gas from 0.03% to 0.05% (or thereabouts) of the total atmosphere have such a drastic effect upon the climate?”

    Try increasing your bodymass by 0.02% by ingesting strychnine.

    Try reducing your bodymass by 0.02% by removing the iron from your body.

  13. #13 Radical Rodent
    December 15, 2011

    Curious. Quite a while earlier, I had posted a response, but that seems to have been lost in the aethernet, but thank you all for responding to me.

    Most of the responses are rather patronising, and none seem to answer the question. Wow (10), your point might be valid, if CO2 were a toxin; also, what would happen if CO2 was removed from the atmosphere?

    If I might, I would like to ask another question: is there any positive proof that: (a) the climate is getting dangerously warmer; (b) that it is all the fault of the increase in CO2, and; (c) is the increase in CO2 is all the fault of humans?

  14. #14 James Hrynyshyn
    December 15, 2011

    Radical Robert: Your questions have all been asked and answered countless times. Please spend some time at skepticalscience.com or realclimate.org, or even this blog.

  15. #15 Richard Simons
    December 15, 2011

    If I might, I would like to ask another question: is there any positive proof that: (a) the climate is getting dangerously warmer; (b) that it is all the fault of the increase in CO2, and; (c) is the increase in CO2 is all the fault of humans?

    Science does not deal in proof. Is there overwhelming evidence? a) Yes. b) Yes. c) Yes. All have been clearly demonstrated for at least 20 years, c) for 50 years.

    Most of the responses are rather patronising,

    No more so than your original, ignorant question.

  16. #16 Richard Simons
    December 15, 2011

    “what would happen if CO2 was removed from the atmosphere?”
    The temperature would drop by over 30C. Known for 150 years.

  17. #17 Richard Simons
    December 15, 2011

    Perhaps I should clarify my response. Other factors are known to affect climate, with some increasing, some decreasing temperatures. Without the additional CO2 and one or other anthropogenic greenhouse gases (notably methane) global temperatures would currently be decreasing.

  18. #18 Radical Rodent
    December 15, 2011

    I’m sorry James, but I don’t feel my original question has been answered to my satisfaction. I have viewed many sites, including those you mention; many, I am afraid, seem to have an almost evangelical air about them, and any dissenters are roundly sorted out. However, none have given me a satisfactory answer; they all seem to be saying: “Because we say it is. That is proof enough!”. I was hoping you might be able to help.

    Richard, I had alway thought that science DID deal with proof; it may not find it, but it is always seeking it, surely? You say that removal of 100% of the CO2 would lower the global temperature by 30degC. If so, why is raising the level by 50% not having such a catastrophic effect – at present, people seem to be talking about 4-5degC? Surely it should be raising it in the order of 15degC? Oh, and sorry that I appear ignorant; that is because I am. However, I am not ashamed to acknowledge it, and am trying to rectify it. Where do you get your information from, that you may make such statements with such confidence?

    You also bring into the argument methane, stating that it was anthropogenic; but I thought methane, like CO2, is a produce of most, if not all, life, so why is it only humans at fault? Could we not trap this methane for our use, and harvest the resulting CO2 to use in real greenhouses, and grow even more food?

    Also, are you saying that global warming is actually a good thing, as it might be stopping us sliding into another ice age?

  19. #19 Radical Rodent
    December 15, 2011

    Sorry to go on in such an ignorant fashion, Richard, but you say: “Is there overwhelming evidence? a) Yes. b) Yes. c) Yes. All have been clearly demonstrated for at least 20 years, c) for 50 years.

    (a) Is that so? In which case, why did we have such an early and prolonged winter last year, a late spring and a cool summer? Why were these dismissed as “weather”, yet the two week “Indian summer” in October was more evidence of global warming? I believe it has also been a very quiet year for tropical storms, a sign that sea surface temperatures are lower than normal.
    (b) I still do not understand the physics of such a small quantity of something having such a remarkable effect; all the examples given so far have been demonstrations of chemical effects, not physical ones.
    (c) Where is your evidence?

    Finally, there is a fear that the ice over Greenland is melting away; does this mean that Greenland will be able to farm again, after a break of 1,000 years? Surely this would help to feed the world?

    RSP

  20. #20 Ryan
    December 15, 2011

    Rodent you’re going to have to buy a book on introductory climate science. There is no way that anyone on this board can give you as much information as it takes to answer your questions. I highly recommend the Idiot’s Guide to Global Warming. It is well-written and contains a large amount of actual information.

  21. #21 Radical Rodent
    December 15, 2011

    Thank you, Ryan. That is the most constructive comment I have seen on these boards.

    I have noticed that yet another of my posts has joined the disappeared. Why is this, James? Am I spouting dangerous rubbish (a possibility that I can accept)? Or am I pointing out a few inconvenient truths?

    I think all my comments were salient, though they might have been wrong; that is why I made them, in the hope that others may correct me, or accept what I have to say.

  22. #22 Radical Rodent
    December 15, 2011

    One thing that I have noticed on various sites (and, in advance, please pardon my pigeon-holing, but it makes the point easier): when I raise questions with the “denialists”, I usually get a reasoned, readable reply, though not all of which I agree with or fully understand, with links to other sites in support; on the “warmist” sites I usually get incredibly hostile replies, often calling my heritage into question, my intelligence, and crowing about my basic stupidity. Very rarely do I get a constructive, instructive reply.

    Now, while I like to think that I am still in the middle, my inclination is to go with the people who treat me with respect, as if I had some intelligence, and guide me to the various locations where I can get more information (if not the definitive answer).

    One problem is that the issue has become heavily politicized, and both sides have serious financial rewards to gain; a lot of the fighting seems to highlight this. The gathering in Durban with the necessary flights to and from for all the thousands attending does seems rather hypocritical.

    I shall also post this on a “denialist” site, to see the response there.

  23. #23 Knightly
    December 15, 2011

    At least Canada pledged to Kyoto for a while. The US was never on board.

  24. #24 Radical Rodent
    December 15, 2011

    Sorry to butt in once more, but another of my posts has disappeared. What am I doing wrong?

    I cannot pursue your recommendation yet, Ryan, but will do so at the earliest opportunity. Meanwhile, could someone help with these questions:

    (1) Is it true that 97% of atmospheric CO2 is from natural processes and 3% is from human activity? If so, how could tiny changes to that 3% make the difference between the planet being baked, and continuing more or less as it is now?

    (2) Is it true that the long-term historic record shows that atmospheric CO2 level variations happen about 800 years after global temperature changes? If so, how can CO2 concentration possibly be driving temperature?

    (3) what was the CO2 level 1,000 years ago, when there were farms on Greenland?

    I am still having trouble trying to figure out how such small quantity of a gas can have such a dramatic physical effect; all the examples given were all chemical effects. What was this proof from 150 years ago?

  25. #25 Ryan
    December 15, 2011

    Any short answers we gave to those questions would only confuse you further. You really just need a backgrounder. The questions you are asking are questions you are asking are the kind of questions you can find spread around the Internet in order to foster doubt. That’s probably why they are being deleted. If you genuinely want any questions answered you can ask me at rlgainey@gmail.com

  26. #26 MPW
    December 15, 2011

    RadRodent – All of your questions are the climate change equivalent of “If we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?” and such pseudo-queries from evolution doubters. They’re basement-level fundamental, have been answered a million times, particularly on this blog, and usually come from people unwilling to listen to or understand the answers.

    Furthermore, you’re quickly beginning to show the pattern of spending a lot of verbiage complaining about people not using the tone you like, a tactic which pseudo-skeptic trolls tend to use to distract from substantive issues. It’s understandable that people here are quickly growing skeptical of your sincerity and your educability. It’s on you to prove them wrong by being a little more tough-minded and thick-skinned, not on them to hold your hand and pamper you sweetly.

  27. #27 Wow
    December 16, 2011

    “I’m sorry James, but I don’t feel my original question has been answered to my satisfaction.”

    Is this is a problem with you or with the explanations?

    “many, I am afraid, seem to have an almost evangelical air about them”

    Is this a problem with those sites or with you?

    “and any dissenters are roundly sorted out.”

    Is this a problem at all?

    “If so, why is raising the level by 50% not having such a catastrophic effect”

    Because we’re not starting from 0ppm.

    Climate sensitivity is ~+3c per doubling including feedbacks. Or about -3c per halving.

    How many halvings take us from 390ppm to 0ppm?

    “at present, people seem to be talking about 4-5degC?”

    Wrong. People seem to be talking about 3C, “luke warming” denialists talk about “less than 1.5C”.

    “Oh, and sorry that I appear ignorant; that is because I am”

    Then why do you say what “surely it should be 15degreesC” if you’re ignorant?

    If you’ve done as you said and gone to SkS or RC then you would have found the answer, yet you haven’t.

    This is no longer ignorance, it’s wilful ignorance.

    Hence your “not to my satisfaction” is a problem with you, not with the answers”.

    “but I thought methane, like CO2, is a produce of most, if not all, life”

    We’re alive. We make a huge biomass alive too to feed us. They’re alive.

    And if you’re ignorant, and know it, why are you making statements?

    “Also, are you saying that global warming is actually a good thing”

    No.

    “(1) Is it true that 97% of atmospheric CO2 is from natural processes and 3% is from human activity?”

    No.

    “(2) Is it true that the long-term historic record shows that atmospheric CO2 level variations happen about 800 years after global temperature changes? ”

    Yes.

    (Can I ask: where is the 800 year old temperature spike of ~5C that’s driven this CO2 increase)

    It’s also true that the long-term historic record shows that atmospheric CO2 levels rise before global temperature changes ( google PETM).

    “(3) what was the CO2 level 1,000 years ago, when there were farms on Greenland?”

    About 280ppm

    “I am still having trouble trying to figure out how such small quantity of a gas can have such a dramatic physical effect”

    So add a very small percentage of cyanide to your system. It can’t have any effect, can it?

  28. #28 Wow
    December 16, 2011

    “What was this proof from 150 years ago?”

    The ice ages.

    I don’t know why you think that a *chemical* change is important but a radiative one isn’t.

    Given that only 1% of the atmosphere is significantly active in the IR, that 0.04% is actually 4%.

    And that the majority of that 1% is water vapour which amplifies the effect of any other GHG, your 0.04% is amplified to 60+%.

  29. #29 Radical Rodent
    December 16, 2011

    MPW;

    All of your questions are the climate change equivalent of “If we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?” and such pseudo-queries from evolution doubters.

    A strange parallel. Not sure of your logic, there.

    …you’re quickly beginning to show the pattern of spending a lot of verbiage complaining about people not using the tone you like…

    I mentioned once that most of the replies were patronising. If that is considered a lot of verbiage, then perhaps I may begin to understand why the apparently small amount of CO2 is so dangerous.

    Wow;

    “I’m sorry James, but I don’t feel my original question has been answered to my satisfaction.”
    Is this is a problem with you or with the explanations?

    At this point there had been no explanations, most of the responses were along the lines of: “Because it does.”

    “If so, why is raising the level by 50% not having such a catastrophic effect”
    Because we’re not starting from 0ppm.

    Okay. So I now know that it is not linear.

    “at present, people seem to be talking about 4-5degC?”
    Wrong. People seem to be talking about 3C

    Ah. So now I know that even more of my information is wrong.

    Then why do you say what “surely it should be 15degreesC” if you’re ignorant?

    and, later:

    And if you’re ignorant, and know it, why are you making statements?

    I have some knowledge, but not a lot of it. I need more to be able to raise my level of discussion.

    If you’ve done as you said and gone to SkS or RC then you would have found the answer, yet you haven’t.
    This is no longer ignorance, it’s wilful ignorance.

    More like idleness, I suppose. The sites contain a lot of information to plough through; I was hoping for some guidance on short-cuts.

    “Also, are you saying that global warming is actually a good thing”
    No.

    But you had earlier said: “Without the additional CO2 and one or other anthropogenic greenhouse gases (notably methane) global temperatures would currently be decreasing.

    So a decrease in global temperatures is better, then?

    Your question:

    (Can I ask: where is the 800 year old temperature spike of ~5C that’s driven this CO2 increase)

    Was followed three lines later by:

    “(3) what was the CO2 level 1,000 years ago, when there were farms on Greenland?”
    About 280ppm

    So, if CO2 was obviously not the cause of warming then (but surely, with less CO2, it should have been cooler? “Climate sensitivity is ~+3c per doubling including feedbacks. Or about -3c per halving.
    How many halvings take us from 390ppm to
    [280ppm]?” Never mind), what did cause the global warming 1,000 years ago?

    So add a very small percentage of cyanide to your system. It can’t have any effect, can it?

    Again, you are talking about a chemical effect; with my limited understanding of chemistry I can accept that small quantities of a chemical can have a dramatic effect on a large amount of another chemical. However, I understood that CO2 causing the warming was more of a physical effect, though you do throw “radiative” in a bit later, an effect I had never heard of until now. So, how is radiative effect different from physical effect?

    “What was this proof from 150 years ago?”
    The ice ages.

    They were a lot more recent than I had thought – I am sure I was taught that the last ice age was about 10,000 years ago. Again, I display my ignorance.

    However, Wow, you do give me some information that I can ponder over towards the end of your post. Together with Ryan’s more constructive criticism, I shall do some more homework.

  30. #30 Wow
    December 16, 2011

    “I mentioned once that most of the replies were patronising.”

    That wasn’t the only complaint on tone rather than substance.

    “At this point there had been no explanations”

    Nope, you had several explanations. You said you’d been on SkS and RC. There would have been MANY explanations on there in addition to the several here at that time.

    Or didn’t you go to RC and SkS and were, in fact, lying?

    “Okay. So I now know that it is not linear.”

    If you’d read anything about climate, you’d know that the IPCC states a temperature change per doubling. This is not linear. The only way you wouldn’t know that is if you’d not managed to do any maths at school.

    “I have some knowledge, but not a lot of it.”

    But it seems like the only knowledge you have is wrong.

    Go along to the IPCC and read about climate http://www.ipcc.ch

    “More like idleness, I suppose.”

    No, more like wilful ignorance.

    “So a decrease in global temperatures is better, then?”

    Since that decrease would happen over several thousand years, that would be plenty of time to adapt.

    And it’s easier to keep warm than to cool down if you’re a warm-blooded creature as humans are.

    “So, if CO2 was obviously not the cause of warming then”

    You haven’t shown it was warmer then. You need to do so first.

    “How many halvings take us from 390ppm to [280ppm]”

    No, how many halvings takes us from 390ppm to 0 is what I asked.

    Can’t you answer how many times you have to halve 390 to get 0? No maths skills?

    “what did cause the global warming 1,000 years ago?”

    What global warming 1,000 years ago?

    “though you do throw “radiative” in a bit later, an effect I had never heard of until now.”

    So you have no clue what a greenhouse gas is.

    You must have been extremely assiduous to avoid ANY knowledge other than the denialist screed. This takes some serious effort.

    Rather the opposite of “lazy”.

    “So, how is radiative effect different from physical effect?”

    Radiation, being part of physics, is a physical effect.

    I guess you didn’t do any science at school, either. Were you homeschooled by some xtian fundies or something?

    “Again, you are talking about a chemical effect;”

    Again you pretend that there’s a difference. Why do chemicals in microscopic amounts give a big effect in your body when chemicals in microscopic amounts give no effect in the air?

    Pretending incredulity based on small amounts is incredulity based on small amounts. If you agree that small amounts can have big effects, you need a lot more than “how can a change from 0.02% to 0.05% have any effect?”.

    So far you have failed to provide it.

    “They were a lot more recent than I had thought”

    No, the evidence 150 years ago were the ice ages. Not that the ice ages were 150 years ago.

    “I shall do some more homework.”

    You’ve done none so far. All you’ve apparently done is find out everything that’s wrong and believe it.

    Your first requirement is to read the IPCC reports where “AGW science” is defined. If you don’t even know what the IPCC are saying, how can you pretend it’s got anything wrong?

  31. #31 Wow
    December 16, 2011

    “I mentioned once that most of the replies were patronising.”

    That wasn’t the only complaint on tone rather than substance.

    “At this point there had been no explanations”

    Nope, you had several explanations. You said you’d been on SkS and RC. There would have been MANY explanations on there in addition to the several here at that time.

    Or didn’t you go to RC and SkS and were, in fact, lying?

    “Okay. So I now know that it is not linear.”

    If you’d read anything about climate, you’d know that the IPCC states a temperature change per doubling. This is not linear. The only way you wouldn’t know that is if you’d not managed to do any maths at school.

    “I have some knowledge, but not a lot of it.”

    But it seems like the only knowledge you have is wrong.

    Go along to the IPCC and read about climate http://www.ipcc.ch

  32. #32 Wow
    December 16, 2011

    (cont)

    “More like idleness, I suppose.”

    No, more like wilful ignorance.

    “So a decrease in global temperatures is better, then?”

    Since that decrease would happen over several thousand years, that would be plenty of time to adapt.

    And it’s easier to keep warm than to cool down if you’re a warm-blooded creature as humans are.

    “So, if CO2 was obviously not the cause of warming then”

    You haven’t shown it was warmer then. You need to do so first.

    “How many halvings take us from 390ppm to [280ppm]”

    No, how many halvings takes us from 390ppm to 0 is what I asked.

    Can’t you answer how many times you have to halve 390 to get 0? No maths skills?

  33. #33 Wow
    December 16, 2011

    (cont)
    “what did cause the global warming 1,000 years ago?”

    What global warming 1,000 years ago?

    “though you do throw \u201cradiative\u201d in a bit later, an effect I had never heard of until now.”

    So you have no clue what a greenhouse gas is.

    You must have been extremely assiduous to avoid ANY knowledge other than the denialist screed. This takes some serious effort.

    Rather the opposite of “lazy”.

    “So, how is radiative effect different from physical effect?”

    Radiation, being part of physics, is a physical effect.

    I guess you didn’t do any science at school, either. Were you homeschooled by some xtian fundies or something?

    “Again, you are talking about a chemical effect;”

    Again you pretend that there’s a difference. Why do chemicals in microscopic amounts give a big effect in your body when chemicals in microscopic amounts give no effect in the air?

    Pretending incredulity based on small amounts is incredulity based on small amounts. If you agree that small amounts can have big effects, you need a lot more than “how can a change from 0.02% to 0.05% have any effect?”.

    So far you have failed to provide it.

    “They were a lot more recent than I had thought”

    No, the evidence 150 years ago were the ice ages. Not that the ice ages were 150 years ago.

    “I shall do some more homework.”

    You’ve done none so far. All you’ve apparently done is find out everything that’s wrong and believe it.

    Your first requirement is to read the IPCC reports where “AGW science” is

  34. #34 Wow
    December 16, 2011

    “How many halvings take us from 390ppm to [280ppm]”

    And the answer to that is “about half a doubling”.

    Therefore, currently, even if we weren’t in a cooling orbital cycle with an endpoint currently in a very quiet sun, and not yet in equilibrium, we already have a climate sensitivity of 2C per doubling with the 0.9C (BEST got 1.1C, therefore 20% higher sensitivity) change in global climate temperature.

    Since the IPCC reckon no more than 30% of the change is due to other processes, that could mean that we have a non-equilibrium sensitivity of a little over 3C per doubling. The longer it takes to reach equilibrium and the faster we’re changing the climate now (compared to that relaxation), the higher the sensitivity is.

    less than 2C now impossible to explain, greater than 3, easy to explain.

  35. #35 blueshift
    December 16, 2011

    Radical Rodent,

    Are you trying to post links when your comments disappear? The site software treats any post with more than three (or is it three and above?) as spam and James would have to manually find your post and sort it out. This is the most common cause of hung up or deleted posts around here, although I imagine there are other things that can trigger the spam software.

    Now you say that you’ve been to RC. Did you follow any of the links in the “Start Here” section? There are some good resources for you.

    If you prefer listening to/watching people I would highly recommend Richard Alley’s talk to at the American Geophysical Union. http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/lectures/lecture_videos/A23A.shtml

    You won’t learn all the relevant physics, but you’ll get a pretty good sense of why the experts consider CO2 to be the key.

  36. #36 Radical Rodent
    December 17, 2011

    (CONT.)

    “Again, you are talking about a chemical effect;”
    Again you pretend that there’s a difference. Why do chemicals in microscopic amounts give a big effect in your body when chemicals in microscopic amounts give no effect in the air?

    Surely, a more apposite comparison would be, say, water with 0.05% by volume of iron suspended in it; assuming some radiation could heat this iron without similarly heating the water, by how much would this affect the total contents of the container? Rather more tasteful than encouraging me to experiment with poisons.

    The most informative site was that given by a young boy demonstrating that CO2 is an effective greenhouse gas; however, the quantities he used did appear to be way above the small amounts in question in the atmosphere. And no-one has yet explained, or directed me to a site that DOES explain (rather than just assume it does), how such a small quantity of CO2 can have such dramatic effects.

    However, Wow, you do introduce some more information to pursue in (29). Once I have worked out what you are saying (not your fault, I hasten to add, just my lack of understanding).

    blueshift, thank you for your suggestions, but I don’t think I had any links – I have only just found out how to emphasize in italics and in bold! Regrettably, I hadn’t made copies, so couldn’t re-submit. However, I am following your link; Dr Alley does have a very irritating voice, and he bounces rather annoyingly, but his talk is very informative and very sound, with plenty of scientific evidence to illustrate his arguments. (Wow, look at this site, and the graph I am talking about appears about 40mins 20 secs into the lecture.) While talking well above my head on numerous occasions, he did manage to explain a lot about the observed link between global warming and CO2 (though he never did explain HOW, but he was a paleo… something-or-other, and no doubt his explanation would have been beyond my comprehension, so I will accept that it does!).

    Finally, have a look at this site (slightly older): http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/religion.htm; while I might not be agreement of all of what is said, it does contain much of my own fears in the way this whole situation is careering.

  37. #37 Radical Rodent
    December 17, 2011

    Hmmm. Looks like the first part got lost. Will try again, but make it smaller…

  38. #38 Radical Rodent
    December 17, 2011

    Wow,

    “I mentioned once that most of the replies were patronising.”
    That wasn’t the only complaint on tone rather than substance.
    “At this point there had been no explanations”

    I’m sorry, but up to that point in the discussion, there had been no explanations; how on Earth can that be construed as a complaint by me about the tone of the answer? I had been given a few patronising answers, and links to equally patronising sites – but none of these gave any explanation of how such a small quantity of CO2 can have such a dramatic effect; and, still, no-one has yet helped out there. I have not yet found anywhere on the mentioned sites (as well as others) which give that explanation; can you help me?

    “More like idleness, I suppose.”
    No, more like wilful ignorance.

    Alas, it is idleness. I have spent quite a bit of time at the sites mentioned, as well as others; while the authors may well be highly respected scientists, John Grisham and Terry Pratchett can rest easy, as they do not offer any competition. I do find it hard work reading about the Vostok core, and Δage, δ40Ar, and firnication (which, apparently, relates to a type of snow), or even “proxy-based”. The IPCC site is enormous, and would take me months to trawl through, with my limited understanding. I was hoping for a more concise summary, so that I may more easily try to resolve the conflicts in my own mind. Also, I might be arriving at the wrong conclusions from the information given – “The ice-core record: climate sensitivity and future greenhouse warming” paper of C. Lorius et al starts thus: “Infrared-absorbing gases in the Earth’s atmosphere raise the mean global surface temperature from -18°C, which it would be in the absence of an atmosphere, to ~15°C. This trapping of infrared energy emitted by the Earth’s surface is known as the greenhouse effect.” (my emphasis). My reading of this is that ALL the gasses of the atmosphere are “greenhouse” gasses, though some are more effective than others. However, Richard Simons (14) tells me that I am wrong: ““what would happen if CO2 was removed from the atmosphere?”
    The temperature would drop by over 30C.
    This, apparently, has been “Known for 150 years.” though not by me, and I cannot find any site which can help me understand what happened 150 years ago (C.1860) that revealed this information.

  39. #39 Alan
    December 17, 2011

    Radical Rodent – “And no-one has yet explained, or directed me to a site that DOES explain (rather than just assume it does), how such a small quantity of CO2 can have such dramatic effects.”.

    Someone did point you to realclimate and another to skepticalscience.org>

    Here’s my take on why “a small quantity of CO2 can have such dramatic effects” is considered a scientific fact.The size of the effect can be accurately predicted by a well established physical law.

    The modern version of Fourier’s 1824 equation for the change in radiative flux from a change in C02 concentration is RF = 5.35 * ln(C1/C0) where C0 is the initial concentration and C1 is the new concentration.

    The difference between the modern and original version of the equation is the emprically obtained value of the constant 5.35.

    Note that this physical law was a PREDICTION made by Fourier when he was inventing spectral analysis. It was confirmed by experiment ~30yrs after he made it. These days you do the experiments far more accurately for yourself with less than $500 worth of equipment.

    Note the law does not account for feedbacks, it is a simple “black body” calculation that can be done with a slide rule.

    To prove this equation wrong you basically have to show spectral analysis and it’s quantum mechanical explanation are both wrong, which in turn means tossing most of modern physics into the dustbin.

    I hope that helps. The posters on this site can be brutal on people who ask certain questions because such questions are strongly correlated with trolls and useful idiots.

  40. #40 Radical Rodent
    December 18, 2011

    Thank you Alan, that is the most informative answer I have yet had (no offence, Ryan and blueshift). It certainly gives me a lot more to work on.

    By the way, you may have realised that I am a bit of an idiot, whose usefulness is open to question. As for my looks – see you under the bridge.

    Interestingly, I have asked similar questions on “sceptics'” sites. The replies are invariably polite, though may not be as informative. I have never had replies like some of those above, nor as bad as others on the “pro” side of the argument (some have been truly offensive!). Naturally, that has led me to be inclined to their side, but I do strive to keep my mind open; however, rightly or wrongly, I am deliberate in challenging the obvious opinions of others on the site. Do they defend by calling me names, or by giving me information? I am sure that can often be a good indication of the value of their opinion.

    I am willing to visit the sites offered and recommended; does anyone visit the sites I have found?

    Now, to do some serious work.

  41. #41 Richard Simons
    December 18, 2011

    Radical Rodent: I’m sorry if I seemed abrupt when you first came here. However, every second or third post here has someone coming with very similar comments who quickly turned out to be a denialist (i.e. someone who refuses to look at the evidence).

    Many, if not all, of your questions could be easily answered by a quick search of the Internet, for example Wikipedia on global warming or climate change.

    @24

    (1) Is it true that 97% of atmospheric CO2 is from natural processes and 3% is from human activity?

    No. The evidence from changing isotopic composition and calculations of fossil fuel use show that essentially all of the increase is due to human activity, including changing land use (there may be some trivial natural changes). Moweover, about half of the CO2 produced has been absorbed into the oceans, making them more acidic and having serious effects on plankton, which is apparently declining by about 1% per year.

    (2) Is it true that the long-term historic record shows that atmospheric CO2 level variations happen about 800 years after global temperature changes? If so, how can CO2 concentration possibly be driving temperature?

    It is not the only driver. Changes in the Milankovitch cycle were the main cause of the Ice Ages, but once the temperature started to rise, CO2 was released from oceans which then had a compounding effect. Now, CO2 is being released by humans that completely overwhelms any effect due to the Milankovitch cycles.

    I am still having trouble trying to figure out how such small quantity of a gas can have such a dramatic physical effect;

    Imagine a layer of tinfoil between you and the sun. Only a minute fraction of the mass of air above you, yet it stops all the light. How is that possible? Translate that to CO2 having a similar effect on infra-red radiation.

  42. #42 Wow
    December 19, 2011

    “Surely, a more apposite comparison would be, say, water with 0.05% by volume of iron suspended in it”

    And why do YOU claim that would be a more appropriate comparison? After all, you admit you know little.

    How about water with 0.05% potassium permangenate?

    Not all that clear any more, is it.

    “assuming some radiation could heat this iron”

    CO2 and iron are different. Did I say “know little”? More like “know nothing”.

    “Alas, it is idleness.”

    Nope. If you’d been idle you wouldn’t have known denialist canard alone.

  43. #43 Wow
    December 19, 2011

    “and I cannot find any site which can help me understand what happened 150 years ago (C.1860) that revealed this information”

    So you NEVER googled “climate change” or “CO2 greenhouse gas”?

    Not lazy. Wilfully ignorant.

    Plus you can go here: http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm for a potted history lesson.

  44. #44 Radical Rodent
    December 19, 2011

    My first attempt at posting appears to be too big; I have split it.

    I am sorry, Wow, but you are being rather rude. Have a look at what you have said to me, and consider how you would feel if I had answered in like manner. It is that sort of response that makes a person think, “Being so rude, there is obviously nothing to say. I will not bother to listen.” Please make your responses less abrasive and more informative.

    I am not a scientist, but I like to think that I have a scientific mind. This makes me sceptical. It is only recently that being a sceptic in science is a bad thing; this worries me, as I feel that the basis of ALL science is scepticism. There is only one belief in science, as encapsulated by Richard Feynman: “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”

    I am not really a sceptic, even; more of a cynic. I see a bandwagon rolling, and think, “Oh, yes. And what do these people have to gain from this?” “Climate change” is now a bandwagon or, more correctly, TWO bandwagons; one for, the other against. There are huge amounts of money being thrown around, much in the claim that we can “cure” global warming; part of the “cure” seems to involve flying lots of people around the planet to talk about it. Part of the “cure” involves erecting huge, unsightly wind turbines giving us “free” power at great expense, financially, aesthetically and environmentally. Part of the “cure” involves chipping away at the freedoms that man has enjoyed for centuries (in certain parts of the world, anyway), thus preventing these freedoms spreading further, so denying them to those who may benefit. Part of the “cure” seems to involve submitting ourselves to a dictatorship of a “benign”, more-ennobled oligarchy

  45. #45 Radical Rodent
    December 19, 2011

    (CONT.)
    My inclinations are along the lines of Vaclav Klaus, who introduces Four Questions for the thinking person:

    “Let us focus on science and cost-benefit rather than silly emotional appeal.

    “I ask myself several questions. Let’s put them in the proper sequence:

    “Is global warming a reality?

    “If it is a reality, is it man-made?

    “If it is a reality, is it a problem? Will the people in the world, and now I have to say “globally” be better-off or worse-off due to small increases of global temperature?

    “If it is a reality, and if it is a problem, can men prevent it or stop it? Can any reasonable cost-benefit analysis justify anything within the range of current proposals to be done just now?

    “Surprisingly, we can say yes, with some degree of probability, only to the first question. To the remaining three, (though he has actually asked another 5. Let’s stick with the first on each line; the others might be rhetorical) my answer is no. And I am not alone in saying that. We are, however, still more or less the silent or silenced majority.”

    Has anyone considered the possibility that climate change and CO2 concentrations may change together, to appear to be connected yet without either having any significant effect upon the other? (Which would allow Greenland to be farmed when CO2 concentrations were lower.) To use a simple analogy (please hold your ire, it is rather absurd), every year, swallows appear, and leaves grow on trees; is it the swallows’ appearance that cause the trees to leaf, or the leafing trees that causes the swallows? (Before you scoff too loudly, there were beliefs like this in the “scientists” of the past.)

  46. #46 Wow
    December 19, 2011

    “I am sorry, Wow, but you are being rather rude.”

    So are you. Pretending to be confused to waste people’s time is extremely rude.

    “and consider how you would feel if I had answered in like manner”

    Consider how you’d respond if I wasted your time in an obvious and dishonest manner.

    “I like to think that I have a scientific mind.”

    You’re mistaken.

    “It is only recently that being a sceptic in science is a bad thing;”

    You’re not being skeptical. You’re being at best gullible. You’ve read all the memes that “prove” AGW false. But you’ve never read what AGW is.

    This is dishonest.

    “I see a bandwagon rolling,”

    You’re on the bandwagon: “Oh I is a skeptic, reeely!”.

    Making crap up isn’t the cure for anything.

  47. #47 Wow
    December 19, 2011

    “I ask myself several questions. Let’s put them in the proper sequence:

    “Is global warming a reality?”

    Yes.

    “If it is a reality, is it man-made?”

    This is like asking “is iron man-made?”. You’re not asking a question, you’re making it up.

    “If it is a reality, is it a problem?”

    Yes.

    “Will the people in the world, and now I have to say “globally” be better-off or worse-off”

    Worse.

    “due to small increases of global temperature?”

    Sorry, begging the question: what’s a small rise? One paper recently touted has the difference between an ice age an an interglacial as only 3 degrees.

    That’s not, then, a “small increase” if it can manage that level of change. But this is how we can tell you’re a denier. You beg questions and *pretend* to be asking, not leading, them.

    “If it is a reality, and if it is a problem, can men prevent it or stop it?”

    Since if we create it, we can stop creating it.

    “Can any reasonable cost-benefit analysis justify anything within the range of current proposals to be done just now?”

    Yes. Google the Stern Report.

  48. #48 Wow
    December 19, 2011

    “Has anyone considered the possibility that climate change and CO2 concentrations may change together, to appear to be connected yet without either having any significant effect upon the other?”

    Yes.

    It doesn’t work.

    “(Which would allow Greenland to be farmed when CO2 concentrations were lower.)”

    Begging the question: why do you say it was farmed when the concentrations were lower?

    Here’s an analogy. YOU have never, not once, been killed by being run over by a car. Therefore do you discard as alarmist people who tell you not to play in the road?

    Why, then, are you so free with other people’s lives?

  49. #49 Ryan
    December 19, 2011

    If you are worried about wind turbines or even thinking about what “someone has to gain” from this then you are doing it wrong. Read the science. Forget everything else. Until you’ve read the science, any questions you have will just make you look ridiculous and any answers we give will just confuse you further.

    CO2 and climate DO have an influence on each other. Scientists know this. They understand it fairly well, too. This is not a Rodent original thought. Any other questions or challenges that you can think of have also already been thoroughly explored by the scientific community.

    You’ve got to read before asking questions in a media outlet like this, otherwise you just look the same as all of the ignorant, reality-denying trolls that live all over the Internet.

    Read. Or leave. You’re not helping yourself or anyone else here.

  50. #50 Richard Simons
    December 19, 2011

    Vaclav Klaus? Why should his answers to his questions carry any weight? He’s a politician and an economist, not a scientist and certainly not a climate scientist. His answers are wrong.

    Has anyone considered the possibility that climate change and CO2 concentrations may change together, to appear to be connected yet without either having any significant effect upon the other?

    Are you deliberately being insulting to the climate science community? Do you seriously believe they are so stupid that in 50 years they have never considered this possibility? Also, don’t forget that the prediction of warming was made 50 years before it was observed.

    (Which would allow Greenland to be farmed when CO2 concentrations were lower.)

    I hope you are not equating a local amelioration of the climate with global warming.

    To use a simple analogy (please hold your ire, it is rather absurd), every year, swallows appear, and leaves grow on trees; is it the swallows’ appearance that cause the trees to leaf, or the leafing trees that causes the swallows? (Before you scoff too loudly, there were beliefs like this in the “scientists” of the past.)

    I challenge you to produce a single quote from any great thinker of the past to show that these were ever any more than ignorant folk belief.

  51. #51 Radical Rodent
    December 19, 2011

    I shall ignore your rudeness, Wow; perhaps it is just the way you are, though your obvious desire for me to kill myself is a bit worrying. I am trying to clarify many of the conflicts that I perceive – some, I accept, are from errors in my own reading of the information, and am glad to have others correct me, and show me the supporting evidence. Also, I do accept that I am not the most original of thinkers, but I haven’t seen any suggestion in any of the sites I have read that answers the question I have asked about warming and CO2 being parallel but not linked; a simple “yes” or “no” would have been adequate.

    As for “reading the science” (Ryan – 49), I have been, and there is an lot of conflicting information – unless, of course, you are dismissing those who disagree as “not real scientists”, then perhaps I should only be reading those who say it is so – which, to my ill-educated mind, is not very scientific.

    I am, in my own clumsy way, trying to act as a “Devil’s advocate”; apparently, not very successfully.
    (MORE)

  52. #52 Radical Rodent
    December 19, 2011

    (CONT.)
    I see people preaching the dangers of climate change and carbon footprints as they jet around the world, unfettered by the very restrictions that they wish to impose on others not of their persuasion; many of these people seem to be getting very rich in the process – that looks like a bandwagon to me.

    Are the scientists of today going to be any more accurate than the scientists of 1986, who predicted that the world will have warmed over 2°C by 2006, and coastal cities will be underwater?

    My observation, for what little it may be worth, is that the whole mechanism of climate is vast and complex, and we do not know the full mechanics; we are still collecting the information; collation will be on-going, and the conclusions may change as knowledge grows. Many scientists (Dr Alley being one) are still saying things along the lines of: “The underlying processes (or mechanisms) are not yet fully understood.”

    I hope you are not equating a local amelioration of the climate with global warming.

    Odd how farming in Greenland 900 years ago, when it was known that the climate was warmer (the commonly-acknowledged “Mediaeval Warming Period”), and the CO2 concentration was lower (about 280 ppm, according to Wow), is now dismissed as a local amelioration of the climate, whereas the present-day melting of the ice sheet over Greenland is a sure sign of global warming. Can you not see how some can see these as inconsistencies in your arguments, and therefore questioning ALL your reasoning?

    Don’t only get cross with me, tempting a target as I may be, but get cross with yourselves and all the others in failing to get the message across in a reasonable, rational (i.e. non-preaching) way.

  53. #53 Ryan
    December 19, 2011

    Nobody predicted that the world would warm 2C by 2006. You need to get a book, not drift around the Internet reading whatever google tosses your way. The crap you are saying is stock denier lies, intended to deceive the ignorant. You have a choice. Buy a book, I can suggest lost, and become an educated commenter on this OR keep reading from whatever garbage pile you are currently finding your “facts” in and remain ignorant. The only reason those arguments look good to you are because you don’t have enough of a background in the field to defend yourself.

    The one climate scientist you quote, Dr. Alley, would be furious at being quoted out of context.

  54. #54 Wow
    December 20, 2011

    “You need to get a book, not drift around the Internet reading whatever google tosses your way”

    He’s not doing that. He’s going to WUWT and other denier sites and finding whatever those sites toss his way.

    Denier troll:

    “though your obvious desire for me to kill myself is a bit worrying.”

    PROVE you will kill yourself jumping in front of a car.

    Funny how deniers are happy to risk everyone else’s life but not their own in their demand for 100% proof…

    “I am trying to clarify many of the conflicts that I perceive”

    They’re all in your head.

    “a simple “yes” or “no” would have been adequate.”

    I gave you a simple answer. You ignored it.

    “unless, of course, you are dismissing those who disagree as “not real scientists””

    Have you checked whether they’re disagreeing or whether they have evidence of error?

    Because you’re pretending that saying “no it isn’t” is science.

    It isn’t.

  55. #55 Wow
    December 20, 2011

    “I see people preaching the dangers of climate change and carbon footprints”

    Again showing your denialist credentials.

    Was your momma preaching the dangers of car accidents killing you? Maybe she was wrong and there’s no danger in you running in front of a car. After all, she was preaching, wasn’t she?

    “Are the scientists of today going to be any more accurate than the scientists of 1986, who predicted that the world will have warmed over 2°C by 2006″

    WRONG.

    Where did you make that up from?

    “My observation, for what little it may be worth”

    Nil. See your above lie.

    “Odd how farming in Greenland 900 years ago”

    What makes you say they were farming in Greenland 900 years ago? I note that despite having been asked several times, you’ve failed to answer.

    “when it was known that the climate was warmer”

    It is known it wasn’t warmer then.

    “is now dismissed as a local amelioration of the climate”

    You used a big word! Pity you didn’t use it correctly.

    It was a regional phenomena. When the Eastern USA had a snow, Western Greenland was 9C warmer than normal.

    You DO know that Greenland isn’t the world, right?

    Don’t get cross with the data proving you wrong. Just stop peddling lies.

  56. #56 Wow
    December 20, 2011

    “The underlying processes (or mechanisms) are not yet fully understood.”

    Neither are the processes of electrical conduction in solid materials.

    Yet your computer based on semiconductor technology not fully understood works just fine.

  57. #57 Radical Rodent
    December 20, 2011

    Ryan,

    Nobody predicted that the world would warm 2C by 2006.

    I have seen a press cutting from 1986 with exactly that prediction in it, purportedly quoting scientists. Unfortunately, I cannot find it again, but will keep looking. I do tend to trawl and only make mental notes; not really a good idea. I do realise that the press will mis-read, mis-inform and mis-represent whatever takes their fancy, and this may be yet another of the many scare stories that the media loves to put out; for this reason, I am sceptical about similar scare stories being promulgated now.

    Let’s look at something more recent: the CSIRO’s climate change in Australia’s website: http://climatechangeinaustralia.com.au/ – “Projected reductions in precipitation and increases in evaporation are likely to intensify water security problems in southern and eastern Australia … In no regions or season do models suggest a ‘likely’ increase in rainfall

    This was before Australia had its wettest summer on record. Let’s face it, we have trouble forecasting what the weather will be tomorrow – what chance is there that any prediction more than three days hence is going to be right?

  58. #58 Radical Rodent
    December 20, 2011

    Wow,
    “(Which would allow Greenland to be farmed when CO2 concentrations were lower.)”

    Begging the question: why do you say it was farmed when the concentrations were lower?

    Try this – I assume you accept Wikipedia as a source. And it was YOU who told us that the CO2 concentration then was 280 ppm (27)

    Try increasing your bodymass by 0.02% by ingesting strychnine. ” (Wow – 12)

    So add a very small percentage of cyanide to your system.” (Wow – 27)

    YOU have never, not once, been killed by being run over by a car. ” (Wow – 49)

    Actually, I have been knocked down by a car – and trapped in a burning one, too. Neither was particularly pleasant, though both were interesting lessons.

    Therefore do you discard as alarmist people who tell you not to play in the road? ” Well, yes. Like you, I feel that I am quite capable of determining the traffic situation on a road myself, and play accordingly; when I am playing on an empty road, I do not want someone yelling alarmingly; “Get off the road! You are going to get killed!”

    PROVE you will kill yourself jumping in front of a car. (Wow – 54)

    You do appear to be encouraging me to kill myself, or at least get seriously injured, either by poison or RTA. Not nice, really.

    “when it was known that the climate was warmer”
    It is known it wasn’t warmer then.

    Oh. You have not heard of the Mediaeval Warming Period. Perhaps you know more than the CRU at the UEA; perhaps you should tell them!

    is now dismissed as a local amelioration of the climate”

    You used a big word! Pity you didn’t use it correctly.

    I know, Wow. I was being facetious; I used it as it was the word used by Richard Simons (50) in response to a point I raised. Take it up with him.

  59. #59 Radical Rodent
    December 20, 2011

    Alan, Ryan and blueshift have helped a lot with their suggestions and links, though I think Ryan may be finding my obtuseness rather trying.

    Read the science.” I am reading the science, much of it conflicting. But it often does appear that those who have the appropriate qualifications, record and reputation yet are sceptical are not real scientists now.

    The one climate scientist you quote, Dr. Alley, would be furious at being quoted out of context.

    Not sure how it is “out of context”. Watch the video, and see him utter those (or close to – it was a general quote) words. How do you know that he will be furious? That is a HUGE supposition, that someone would react in the same way you might – more an emotional response than a scientific one, I think; there is bound to be a term for it in psychology. You never know, perhaps he might be amused. And it is odd how you are keeping quiet about others quoting me out of context on this site.

    Also, the sites you direct me to are not exactly completely unbiased: “Skeptical Science – getting skeptical about global warming skepticism.”

    Vaclav Klaus? Why should his answers to his questions carry any weight? He’s a politician.” So, on that basis, I should ignore Al Gore, too?

    You need to get a book

    Some of the books I should be reading, perhaps? –
    The Hockey Stick Illusion
    Conspiracy in Green

    Have you checked whether they’re disagreeing or whether they have evidence of error?

    My understanding is that they are not being allowed access to the data to evaluate the results – “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?” being the rather petulant response from Dr Jones to a request for the data. Such is not the correct response from a scientist, I would have thought. One can understand their scepticism.

    What I have noticed is that it seems that anyone daring to suggest that AGW is not totally fault-free is condemned as “denialist”, thereby associating them with those who question the holocaust. With the AGW believer, there is no room for debate; it is, and none shall question it; all must bow to those who say this is so.

    Pardon me for being confrontational on this site, but I wanted to winnow out the wheat from the chaff (bye-bye, Wow) and then pursue the sources they advocate.

  60. #60 blueshift
    December 20, 2011

    RR,
    You suggest reading The Hockey Stick Illusion and Conspiracy in Green. I suggest there is absolutely no point in reading those until you understand the basic physics as originally outlined by Fourier and Arrhenius to someone else.

    Your basic question is how a small change in the composition of the atmospheric can have a significant effect. The answer was outlined well over a hundred years ago. If you can explain that answer to a random guy in the bar, then the next step is to understand why most scientists expect a net positive climate sensitivity. I think these are both within the grasp of most lay people.

    So then, once you know the basic scientific argument, you can evaluate whether the “counter arguments” actually address the science in any way or if they are simply political arguments which use tangential scientific disputes to seem like they are casting doubt on the stuff that everyone considers settled.

  61. #61 Richard Simons
    December 20, 2011

    You have not heard of the Mediaeval Warming Period. Perhaps you know more than the CRU at the UEA; perhaps you should tell them!

    How do we get through to you that the Medieval Warm Period was primarily a regional phenomenon? Check out the map here.

    Do you realize that if the Medieval Warm Period was as warm as so-called skeptical sites would have you believe, then the climate is more sensitive than climatologists think it is, so we are headed for even more serious trouble?

    Have you been to a denialist site and asked why they believe Earth is not warming – oops, sorry. They now (sometimes) accept that it is warming. Why do they think it is not as serious as climatologists tell us it is? I laid out the basic physics earlier. Where exactly do they (you) think that is wrong? The only answer I’ve ever had boiled down to ‘Nature would not do that to us’.

  62. #62 Ryan
    December 20, 2011

    RR,

    If you actually want to learn something instead of just spewing ignorance on the Internet you can write me INDIVIDUAL questions at rlgainey@gmail.com.

    I highly suggest http://skepticalscience.com/argument.php as well. The two books you listed are not written by people who study climate and will only drive you further into Sasquatch-hunter territory.

  63. #63 Wow
    December 21, 2011

    “You have not heard of the Mediaeval Warming Period.”

    I have heard of it. It is warmer now than it was then.

    Have you heard? The Vikings died on Greenland 900 years ago. Seems like they couldn’t farm Greenland.

  64. #64 Wow
    December 21, 2011

    “My understanding is that they are not being allowed access to the data to evaluate the results”

    But since you already have repeatedly claimed you are ignorant, why do you think that understanding is correct?

    The NOAA dataset has been available for decades. You can even download their climate model to run.

    And the CRU dataset has been completely available for over five months. Since the Muir inquiry managed to replicate the graph in two days, where are these other “scientists” results?

    Nowhere.

    This is why they are not scientists. Scientists could manage to do the work they said they wanted the data for in less than two days, never mind five months.

  65. #65 Wow
    December 21, 2011

    “Try this – I assume you accept Wikipedia as a source.”

    There was no link. But the wiki link mentions that Greenland was for a short while warmer than during the little ice age and that the settlements were all abandoned. It also doesn’t say that the world was warmer at that time than today, so why do you keep mentioning farming in Greenland when we’re talking about global temperatures?

    “Actually, I have been knocked down by a car”

    So that proves that you can’t get killed by a car! See! It was a lie all along!!!

    “You do appear to be encouraging me to kill myself”

    You do appear to “believe” on “faith” that you can be killed by a car. Why? There is NO PROOF that you can be killed by it, and if anything we have PROOF that you can’t.

  66. #66 Wow
    December 21, 2011

    “I have seen a press cutting from 1986 with exactly that prediction in it, purportedly quoting scientists.”

    Care to look at Hansen’s paper published in 1988?

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ha02700w.html

    But all we have is your insistence you are ignorant yet your ignorance of this ignorance.

    “This was before Australia had its wettest summer on record.”

    Really? They’re also claiming the longest drought and record temperatures.

    I guess it’s dependent on what you’re talking about. One summer (weather) or a trend of weather (the climate).

    But I forgot: you’re not a denialist, you’re just ignorant, but know all the denialist creedo.

  67. #67 Richard Simons
    December 21, 2011

    My understanding is that they are not being allowed access to the data to evaluate the results

    At times, the CRU, which is not a large group, has been flooded with Freedom of Information requests, many asking for information that was not their’s to pass on (weather information has commercial value and some is given to the CRU with strings attached). It is my understanding that sometimes the requests were more than they could deal with even if all other work stopped.

    As Wow says, the denialists now have full access to most of the data and much of the software that climatologists have produced. And what have they done with it? Nothing. It seems to me that all the requests for information were nothing more than disruptive techniques.

  68. #68 Radical Rodent
    December 21, 2011

    Blueshift,

    that is a very good point you are making, and it is one reason why I am suspicious of BOTH sides of the argument; the whole scene has been hijacked by politics, and there is a lot of money to be made either way – politicians have leapt upon the chance to impose “green” taxes; industry has leapt on the chance of “green” technology – for example, has anyone performed a full study on the environmental impact of wind turbines? There is little doubt that they are unsightly, costly, and unreliable – they certainly are not as efficient as is claimed, even when working; half the time, they appear to be stationary. (I use wind turbines as they are perhaps the most obvious “green” industry.)

    Richard,

    None of the presentations I have seen of the MWP show it to be so localised; most seem to indicate that it was global. You are the first person to point out that it was local, and, going on the site you directed me to, just over Greenland (which, to tell the truth, I do find extremely bizarre). I will have to read further to find out quite how that conclusion was reached, and to find if the “Little Ice Age” was also local.

    Actually, I have not argued that the world is not warming, or that climate change could have serious repercussions. However, the debate has become highly polarised; there is only “warmist” or “denialist”, with each ridiculing the other; what I am looking for is a reasonable argument about the subject, not necessarily “for” or “against”, without the sad name calling that seems to abound on sites like this. We do have one excellent example on here, whose logic is even more obtuse than mine.

    Ryan, Richard and blueshift; you have given me a lot of information to work on, so that I may continue discussing this on other sites. Sorry to have been so wearing on your patience – I cannot deny that I have been deliberately (if clumsily) contrary at time – so thank you. Beware, Ryan – I may yet badger you privately!

  69. #69 Wow
    December 21, 2011

    “None of the presentations I have seen of the MWP show it to be so localised;”

    Where did you see these presentations?

    “However, the debate has become highly polarised; there is only “warmist” or “denialist””

    Nope, there’s realist and denialist.

    “with each ridiculing the other”

    But only the realist with any science and evidence in addition to the ridicule of the other.

    “what I am looking for is a reasonable argument about the subject”

    Yet you didn’t go to http://www.ipcc.ch to read what the climate science says.

    You’re looking for unearned respect in your denialist screed.

  70. #70 Wow
    December 21, 2011

    “None of the presentations I have seen of the MWP show it to be so localised; most seem to indicate that it was global. You are the first person to point out that it was local”

    Really?

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

    I take it you never bothered to look on Wikipedia, then?

  71. #71 Richard Simons
    December 21, 2011

    the whole scene has been hijacked by politics,

    Check out realclimate.org where they try to stay strictly with the science.

    politicians have leapt upon the chance to impose “green” taxes;

    I’ve seen the claim before but not the evidence. The only ‘green’ taxes I’m aware of on this side of the Atlantic are so-called recycling fees.

    None of the presentations I have seen of the MWP show it to be so localised; most seem to indicate that it was global.

    I am not surprised if you have only frequented sites like WUWT.

    However, the debate has become highly polarised;

    I think it’s fair to say that the evidence is highly polarised. There is considerable evidence that we are headed for major climatic disruptions. Remember that the IPCC reports, that many ‘skeptics’ consider to be extreme, are in fact the most that everyone could agree on and you will find that many climatologists consider its forecasts to be too cautious. Certainly, it underestimated the speed of melting in the Arctic.

    Good luck with your further investigations!

  72. #72 Radical Rodent
    December 22, 2011

    A large part of the problem is that the vast majority of the population get their information through the mainstream media (MSM). I am a good example of this; the only difference is that I want to know a bit more. Much of the general population are quite happy to accept was is presented to them by newspapers and television. I suggest that very, very few have the patience, interest or wherewithall to trawl through the vast amounts of information available to become properly acquainted with the subject.

    On seeking more information, we (the “General Population”, a.k.a. unwashed masses; uneducated minions; generally ignorant) are usually greeted with the sort of response that Wow has inflicted upon me. This is not a very pleasant experience; it is only because I am not only thick, but very thick-skinned that I have persisted with this.

    A large proportion of my information comes from the BBC, which is generally acknowledged to be in total denial against the “denialists”; should you dare to question Auntie (as the BBC is known in the UK) about this, you will be resoundingly put down; should you pursue your enquiries, the BBC will get very nasty; to them, the threat of global warming cannot be questioned, and any dissenters are to be quashed. This is why any scientist who does question the accepted story is rarely allowed any airtime on the BBC; if it is granted, it is very controlled. I am sure that most reasonable people will rail against this, and question the entire logic behind it. That is why I am on this site – to determine if there is any proper rationale behind the “unbiased” BBC’s blatant bias, and to determine if the information that the BBC is promulgating is anywhere close to the truth. Most of what I have put to you is information that the BBC has foisted upon us; I am merely seeking the truth behind the claims behind what was once renowned as the most respected purveyors of truth in the world. For instance, why has the BBC not made it clear that the MWP was localized? Surely, this is a very important point to be highlighted?

    So, the ultimate question could be: if the BBC is so determined to subdue any criticism of the theory of global warming/climate change, is it possible that this could be a subterfuge, a sort of double bluff, to discredit all those who support the theory of climate change/global warming?

  73. #73 Richard Simons
    December 23, 2011

    This is why any scientist who does question the accepted story is rarely allowed any airtime on the BBC; if it is granted, it is very controlled. [. . .] That is why I am on this site – to determine if there is any proper rationale behind the “unbiased” BBC’s blatant bias, and to determine if the information that the BBC is promulgating is anywhere close to the truth.

    Giving nonsense equal time with reality is not being unbiased. If the BBC were to accurately reflect the views of climatologists, for every hour of programming expressing support for the idea of global warming, there would be 90 seconds of programming giving the denialists’ views. I think you will find they get considerably more than this but they are very much a fringe group in science. As an example, 20 years ago I attended scientific conferences at which preparation for global warming was a topic, yet I remember no-one expressing any reservations about it being on its way.

    For instance, why has the BBC not made it clear that the MWP was localized?

    Because the BBC is more sympathetic to denialists than you realise? More likely, because TV programs are often quite superficial.

  74. #74 Radical Rodent
    December 23, 2011

    Richard, to answer your point in 70, there is the £80 surcharge being brought in by the EU as a carbon tax on air travel. There are probably others; I recall Gorgon B-Ruin talking about imposing “green taxes”; he managed to impose over 100 additional taxes, so it will take a while to find which of those he created under the pretence of being “green”.

    What raises my suspicions in debate is when the only defence appears to be to ridicule the doubter. One good example: Dr Wakefield questioned the safety of the MMR vaccine. Instead of applying proper scientific research to his observations, the “Establishment” dismissed him as a crank and a Luddite weirdo, and went to quite extraordinary lengths to silence him. Oddly enough, this actually gave him more credibility, and it took even longer to establish that his research was faulty. He eventually withdrew, his career ruined, while the establishment gloated over his defeat. This treatment of an intelligent person in a highly respected position with a genuine concern will surely lead to others keeping quiet about any worrying observations that they may have on other issues, so progress will be slowed, and proper, though contentious, study will not be done: this is the road to another thalidomide.

    Similarly with the scepticism of global change; any doubters are dismissed as “cranks”, and any mistakes and errors that they make, in argument or observations, are crowed over in the most childish of fashions (see above). Okay, you may be right, but does that really give you the right to be so spiteful to those who question you or your work? Should your work not be open for inspection, so that even the most ardent of sceptics can see how you arrived at your conclusions? Would it not be better to engage in respectful, dispassionate discussion with critics, so removing any argument that they may raise at data and processes being concealed and, by implication, suspect?

    I am sure that Newton, Darwin and Einstein had their detractors, some being quite outlandish in their criticisms, yet, unless my information is totally wrong, none of the three figuratively threw their toys out of the prams, stamped their feet, and took their bats home. No, they presented the information for all to see, and for all to openly debate, and for all to derive their own conclusions, which almost invariably led to agreement with the authors. Surely, if the most ardent of doubters cannot find fault with the dataset or processes, then that is the best way to win the argument.

  75. #75 Richard Simons
    December 24, 2011

    Dr Wakefield questioned the safety of the MMR vaccine. Instead of applying proper scientific research to his observations, the “Establishment” dismissed him as a crank and a Luddite weirdo, and went to quite extraordinary lengths to silence him. Oddly enough, this actually gave him more credibility, and it took even longer to establish that his research was faulty.

    But it turned out that he was a crank and a fraud.

    Okay, you may be right, but does that really give you the right to be so spiteful to those who question you or your work?

    Have you ever read the denialist blogs? Monkton accuses climatologists of being Nazis, it is normal for Hansen to be called a fraud (with no evidence), climate scientists in the US, UK and Australia have had death threats, I could go on. What you have seen here has been tame by comparison, and little more than you would experience in a scientific conference.

    Surely, if the most ardent of doubters cannot find fault with the dataset or processes, then that is the best way to win the argument.

    Against people who routinely lie? You thought the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than today. Who told you that? Who wrongly told you that climate data is being kept unavailable? Who claims that sea levels have not risen in the past 50 years, or that the Arctic ice melt is quite normal? Who tilts graphs to make it look like there is no increase, or detrends data then claims there is no trend? Or says that temperatures relate well to solar activity, but omit the last 15 or 20 years of data? These are all tricks denialists have done to fool people who think that there is an honest difference of opinion. I think calling them ‘cranks’ is being very charitable towards them.

  76. #76 Radical Rodent
    December 24, 2011

    took even longer to establish that his research was faulty.
    But it turned out that he was a crank and a fraud.

    Strangely enough, that is the basis of my argument; had the established authorities taken his ideas seriously, and pursued open research to validate his observations, then his conclusions would have been shown to be wrong. But no, the “Powers That Be” decided, in their finite wisdom, to just dismiss him as a crank. Thus it was that his credibility became more secure, allowing the media to present him as a noble knight fighting a just cause, rather than a Don Quixote tilting at windmills (for less noble reasons). This caused the establishment to call him ever louder names, and so the cycle went on. I am sure that, had they immediately instigated a programme similar to that followed by Dr Wakefield, and broadcast it to the media, it would very quickly have established the faults in his research.

    Yes, Darwin also had a lot of mud thrown at him by his detractors, and his theories are still under attack, but he was able to rise above them all, quietly allowing others to follow his research, and establish the validity of his conclusions. I do not think that he, or his followers, replied with the same asinine name-calling that the doubters sank to, or that the climate change advocates of today are doing. So what if the “denialists” use base tactics? That does not mean that you have to resort to the same in response.

  77. #77 Ryan
    December 24, 2011

    The proper authorities DID address Dr. Wakefield’s claims through the proper channels. But the public does not read those channels and couldn’t understand them if they did. His supporters were guilty of trusting a random guy making claims on the Internet just like the climate deniers of today. In both cases the science is clear, and in both cases pointing to the real science has zero effect on the deniers. If we could have a simple, data-based conversation then we would. But when you have people randomly claiming the sky is yellow, or that the MWP was global, it is very frustrating.

  78. #78 Radical Rodent
    December 24, 2011

    …trusting a random guy making claims on the Internet…

    And that, you could argue, is exactly what you are asking me to do with you, and others like you – as are the deniers.

    In response to Wow, I did look up the Mediaeval Warming Period on Google. There does seem to be a lot of contradictory sites. On the first page alone, after having a look at Wikipedia, with its dubious reputation, and ignoring links to YouTube, for a novice like myself, here is a list over several posts of sites (after a few failed attempts so far); which should I believe? Here (link doubtful, despite the correct code being used), or the obvious , though a site that labels “skeptic” against “science”, as if the two cannot possibly be compatible, raises a few hackles.
    (MORE)

  79. #79 Radical Rodent
    December 24, 2011

    (CONT.)
    Another, and this one – though I am suspicious of all newspapers.
    (MORE)

  80. #80 Radical Rodent
    December 24, 2011

    (CONT.)
    Then, there are: this one; and here.
    (MORE)

  81. #81 Radical Rodent
    December 24, 2011

    (CONT.)
    Each one of those listed appears perfectly believable; the information given seems to be reporting proper scientific research. How is one better than another?

    However, there is this one, which does appear to be the most cross-referenced of all, with a lot of research around the world, and a plethora of links to sites with supporting evidence and information.

    Could it be that I will believe those which are telling me what I want to hear? That has to be a factor, too; it is a factor that everyone should be careful of.

  82. #82 Ryan
    December 24, 2011

    None of those are peer-reviewed publications. They are just surveys with commentary. If you want to answer a really specific question such as whether or not the MWP was global then you look at the available peer-reviewed research.
    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/shared/articles/MannetalScience09.pdf for example
    But even if the MWP was global and stronger than current forcing it would only mean that sensitivity was higher than we thought. So our situation would be more dire. That’s the kind of thing you can’t realize without a backgrounder.

    Given your level of knowledge on the topic I don’t think you should be overly concerned with such details. You need to get a grasp on the basics first. Like I said in my first post you need to get a book written by real, research-producing climate scientists. Or better yet, get a textbook on paleoclimatology and read it cover to cover. Maybe enroll in an online class.

    Given your current level of working knowledge on the topic there really isn’t much you can learn from reading any arguments about specifics.

  83. #83 Radical Rodent
    December 29, 2011

    I am sorry, Ryan, but the pdf you gave the link to looks very similar to the pdfs linked to many of the sites I gave you; how is it possible to tell the difference? I am getting the impression that you, and others on this blog, are of the opinion that anyone who questions the “consensus” of the IPCC is not a real scientist. Such an opinion is a dangerous road to tread.

    If, according to Richard Simons (16), CO2 is the only effective GHG, why is it not used in double glazing, rather that the more expensive (and more dangerous) argon?

    Your answers only raise more questions; I haven’t yet found the book you recommended, but will continue to look.

    BTW, I hope you all had a good Christmas break, and all the best for the New Year.

  84. #84 Ryan
    December 30, 2011

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_review That’s the process that moves science forward.

  85. #85 Jim Speiser
    December 31, 2011

    Rodent: I’ve scanned the comments here and yes, I do think these guys have treated you a little rough. I sense that you are not the usual denialist, you just have some nagging questions. I invite you to join me at my page, Recovering Climate Change Denialists. I am a former skeptic myself, and I’m trying to build a bridge to reach people such as yourself who may have been “disinformed” by the right-wing noise machine. I’ll do my best to answer your questions patiently! http://www.facebook.com/RecoveringCCDenialists

    Thanks, and Happy New Year!

  86. #86 Radical Rodent
    January 1, 2012

    I have the vanity to think that I am more than a lot of people assume I am. However, methinks that there is more than one “disinforming” noise machine in action around the globe; to repeat what I have said – there is a lot of money to be gained on BOTH sides of the argument. To dismiss “denialists” as being in the pocket of the oil companies is rather naive – these companies will have their own programmes running for the time when the easily available fossil fuels are depleted, so will have feet in both camps.

    What most concerns me is one of the more obvious results of “carbon-neutralising” – the gross wind turbines being thrown up around the UK and Europe. Sure, investigate the potential – but it must be obvious by now that they are not the answer to our problems; the cost of construction far outweighs the returns; even the most optimistic return is about 33% production (some, apparently, are as low as 2%!) – i.e. a 5MW turbine will generate about 1.6MW, therefore, about 330 turbines are needed to replace 1 power-plant of 1TW – but the power-station WILL STILL BE REQUIRED, to cover the days when there is no wind, or too much wind! Then there is the cost of maintenance of the turbines, especially the off-shore ones. Added to the exorbitant costs, there is the environmental impact: aesthetically, they are not a pretty sight; special (and expensive) cabling is needed to deliver the generated power to the customer (usually miles away); they are known to kill birds, often rare species (sea eagles on an island of either Norway or Denmark, can’t remember which); the blades are fibreglass or carbon fibre – in other words, hydrocarbon-based – which then give the problem of disposal of the old blades – they cannot be recycled.

    To repeat myself yet again, I am concerned that I am trying to fit the information to what I want to hear, but fear that others may be, too.

    I shall join you on FB, but not tonight.

  87. #87 Richard Simons
    January 3, 2012

    I am sorry, Ryan, but the pdf you gave the link to looks very similar to the pdfs linked to many of the sites I gave you; how is it possible to tell the difference?

    Ryan’s link was to a peer-reviewed scientific paper. I did not check all the links you gave, but the NIPCC failed to give a link to the paper it was citing. The Kipp piece on WUWT gives no links, but if you go back to the original German you will find that one of his main sources is Energy & Environment, which has a poor reputation, while others are to poorly-referenced blogs. More seriously, though, Kipp says “Finally, we have been experiencing no increase since 2002, the temperatures have dropped slightly”. No-one who understands basic statistics would make a statement like that as it is most definately not shown by the evidence he presents. To me, that is a red flag indicating that all that he writes is not to be trusted.

    You are right not to trust the piece by Delingpole, as he makes no claim to understand climate science, but sees his role as critiquing the critics (I forget his actual expression). Like so many, he apparently bases his views on what he wants to be true.

    How do you tell the difference between a reliable source and one that is not? A scientific paper will present original data or analyse existing data on a new way (sometimes it will review existing research). The methods will be described well enough for someone else to be able to duplicate them. All statements that are the least bit controversial will be backed up by data or by references to similar fact-based publications. The paper will appear in a peer-reviewed journal. Journals vary widely in the quality of the reviewing, which is supposed to check that the material is appropriate for the journal and is as clearly-written and error-free as possible. Journals like Science and Nature reject most submissions. In any field there are specialist journals that likewise have a solid reputation while others are more lax and publish papers of dubious value or even with major flaws (and I understand E&E is one of these).

    There is no easy way to identify which journals are good and which are not. Part of a scientist’s training is learning to know which ones to treat with caution and in which to place more trust. My advice is to always go back to the original data, especially if claims seem improbable. If the source does not allow you to do this, treat it as ‘unreliable’.

    I am getting the impression that you, and others on this blog, are of the opinion that anyone who questions the “consensus” of the IPCC is not a real scientist.

    Question, but be prepared to justify your grounds for questioning the conclusions based on evidence without lying. Ignorance, disliking the consequences or disliking the attitude of climatologists are not adequate reasons.

    If, according to Richard Simons (16), CO2 is the only effective GHG

    I did not say that. It is not the only effective GHG. In fact, methane is about 25 times more effective. Why did you misquote me?

    why is it not used in double glazing, rather that the more expensive (and more dangerous) argon?

    Search on Google, like I did, and you will find it is because argon is a poor conductor of heat.

  88. #88 Radical Rodent
    January 3, 2012

    Richard,

    16: “what would happen if CO2 was removed from the atmosphere?”
    The temperature would drop by over 30C.

    NASA states that if the Earth had no atmosphere, the surface temperature would be 0F (-18C) – i.e. about 30C cooler than now; therefore, your comment implies that CO2 is the only GHG. Sorry if you consider that a misquotation.

  89. #89 blueshift
    January 3, 2012

    James, can you pull my most recent post out of the link spam folder? I sent it last week sometime.

  90. #90 Richard Simons
    January 3, 2012

    RR: A large part of the reason for the drop in temperature if CO2 were to be removed from the atmosphere is that water vapour, another effective greenhouse gas, would condense out. In fact, water vapour is responsible for more of the greenhouse effect than is CO2 but the water content of the atmosphere changes rapidly depending on its temperature (there is positive feedback) while CO2 takes millenia to stabilize. CO2 is therefore regarded as a driving variable while water vapour is considered a response variable. It has little to do with which is a more effective GHG.

    Sorry if you consider that a misquotation.

    It was. You attributed nonsense to me.

  91. #91 Wow
    January 10, 2012

    “I sense that you are not the usual denialist”

    Every denialist is unique in their own way. But they’re all in denial.

    “you just have some nagging questions.”

    *EVERY* denialist “just has some nagging questions”. The point to that being denialist is that when their questions are answered, they don’t believe the answers and keep with the nagging.

  92. #92 Ilana Goldberg
    January 12, 2012

    The Economist and John Ibbitson both hit the nail right on the head, our global community should be ashamed as to how we are responding to climate change. It is clearly a bigger issue than many of the other domestic and international problems. Where it varies from these is in its magnitude. Global Warming is one of, if not our only current issue that could not only wipe out the entire human population but all of Earth’s inhabitance. The issue is that we are just FINALLY recognizing the immensity of this problem. Canada is simply a disgrace to the international community, and in a problem of this size, every country’s input matters, even the negative ones. One aspect this blog failed to mention is what the US is doing to help solve our climate crisis. This is largely due to the fact that we are simply not doing enough. The Kyoto Protocol is beginning to fail us; new measures need to be take. The real question is whether or not it will be too late.

  93. #93 Radical Rodent
    January 18, 2012

    I get the impression that there is an awful lot of hysteria in this; whether there really is a rapidly-approaching Armageddon or not, what can be done about it? How many of those declaring that, “Something must be done!” are actually doing something themselves? (Apart from flying around the world, whipping up even more hysteria.) The whole climate is a vastly complicated structure; the huge quantity of observations are still quite limited in comparison, resulting in what are quite contentious conclusions; like it or not, many of the “denialists” are accredited, respected scientists. Why is the cold winter, late spring, and cool summer of last year (2010 – 2011) dismissed as “weather”, while the two-week Indian Summer of autumn (not an uncommon event) “proof” of global warming? There is a shortage of oranges, because of the unseasonably cool weather in Florida and Brazil. Was that just “weather”?

    I doubt that we do understand exactly what is going on, let alone what to do to have any perceivable effect upon it. Let’s face it, we have been studying the human body – a far more accessible structure (though whether it is a more or less complex structure than the atmosphere might be debatable) – for longer, and there are still processes that are not yet understood, and there are still arguments about many conclusions reached.

  94. #94 Richard Simons
    January 18, 2012

    Why is the cold winter, late spring, and cool summer of last year (2010 – 2011) dismissed as “weather”, while the two-week Indian Summer of autumn (not an uncommon event) “proof” of global warming?

    I know this is a common complaint of people who do not wish to accept the idea of global warming, but do you have an example of someone with any expertise in climatology dismissing a cool period as ‘weather’ but claiming an equivalent period of warmth is proof of global warming? I think you will find that these are different people, and in the latter case not climatologists.

    BTW: Are you sure that the period you mentioned was cooler than normal (“In the Northern Hemisphere, both the May 2011 and March–May average temperatures for land areas were seventh warmest such periods on record.”)?

  95. #95 Radical Rodent
    January 25, 2012

    Have I in any way suggested, hinted or intimated that I am unable to accept the idea of global warming? The recent winters (apart from the last one) have been surprisingly mild, compared with those of my memory; the summers are also cooler than those of my memory. Okay, highly subjective, but only used as an observation; please do not patronise.

    My scepticism lies in how this warming/climate change is caused, whether it will have consequences hazardous to humankind, and whether or not we are able to do anything about it. While not having delved into the issue with proper scientific dedication – i.e. collecting, collating, assimilating, analysing and correlating the relevant information, then allowing others to review any conclusions with reference to the same dataset to establish their validity, and arguing and/or making amendments as required (perhaps a simplified view of the matter) – my own ideas are that the subject matter is too large and complex a structure with too little reference data to arrive at a definitive conclusion, therefore possible solutions cannot yet be suggested.

    Much of the data to date seems to suggest that the climate is cyclical; however, this is based on sparse data collected over the past thousand years, much of it not directly but by proxy. I have read some supposedly scientific sites extrapolating this back over the past million years – surely a huge leap in faith!

  96. #96 Wow
    January 26, 2012

    “Have I in any way suggested, hinted or intimated that I am unable to accept the idea of global warming?”

    Yes.

    “Okay, highly subjective, but only used as an observation; please do not patronise.”

    Since you’re not a weather observer and never actually took readings, they are not observations, they are feelings. You’re allowed to have them, but not to base facts you don’t know about on.

    “My scepticism lies in how this warming/climate change is caused”

    This warming is caused by human production of billions of tons of CO2 retaining heat energy.

    “whether it will have consequences hazardous to humankind”

    Go read up on “heat stroke”. And ask Texas farmers how they feel about it. Or Murray Basin Australians.

    “and whether or not we are able to do anything about it”

    When there are so many whining about how they’re “skeptical” (when actually in denial), “we” won’t be able to do anything about it. This, however, is solely because “we” includes ***you***.

    “my own ideas are that the subject matter is too large and complex a structure with too little reference data to arrive at a definitive conclusion”

    Just because you’re ignorant and incompetent (it’s fine: I’m incompetent as a surgeon) doesn’t mean that you’re right. I, at least, have the courtesy not to proclaim surgeons wrong. You, however, have no such qualms about insisting everyone else is dumber than you.

    “Much of the data to date seems to suggest that the climate is cyclical”

    Why? What causes climate? Does it HAVE to return to a previous state? Is the climate adiabatic?!?!?

  97. #97 Radical Rodent
    January 27, 2012

    Since you’re not a weather observer and never actually took readings…
    Actually, for many years, I was a weather observer, and took a wide range of readings and observations (there was no instrument to assess the cloud heights or cover other than the human eye); however, they were world-wide, so I cannot use them for any particular locale. Please spare your vitriol; my observations (not, I agree, readings) on past years are observations, and are as valid as anyone else’s, and made no claim to be basing “ facts you don’t know about on.

    This warming is caused by human production of billions of tons of CO2 retaining heat energy.” Much as it may rankle with you, I have not yet found, or been directed to, any site that gives any definite reasons why CO2 is the culprit, here; all I have had, from all the sites I have been sent to is, to put it in a nutshell, “Because it does!” Oddly enough, on “denialist” sites, I have had very good explanations as to how CO2 does act as a GHG, but they downplay its significance. This, I agree, could be part of their own particular agenda; similarly, though, up-playing it could be used for another agenda.

    While I might be ignorant, I do not claim to be right; however, before going under a surgeon’s knife, I do like to know that the surgeon is of a suitable capability – just having the qualifications does not necessarily make a competent surgeon.

  98. #98 Radical Rodent
    January 27, 2012

    “Much of the data to date seems to suggest that the climate is cyclical”
    Why? What causes climate? Does it HAVE to return to a previous state? Is the climate adiabatic?!?!?

    Do you understand the term “cyclical”? What graph has been presented is a semblance of a sine curve, starting around 900AD, when Greenland was being farmed, sinking down into the Little Ice Age (when Greenland could no longer be farmed, hence the settlements died out), and rising again. Of course, this graph has since been levelled out by academics, for reasons that I find hard to accept – the evidence was there (farms on Greenland, vineyards at higher elevations and latitudes, etc, etc.), but all that now seems to be being ignored.

  99. #99 Richard Simons
    January 28, 2012

    I have submitted three previous replies to you, RR, but for some reason none have gone through. I’ll try again with just a brief reply to begin with.

    Have I in any way suggested, hinted or intimated that I am unable to accept the idea of global warming?

    I never said you had. Nevertheless, what you wrote is a common claim of global warming denialists and you, too, seem unable to back up your claim. On science sites, you are expected to either be able to support claims with evidence or to retract them.

    Much as it may rankle with you, I have not yet found, or been directed to, any site that gives any definite reasons why CO2 is the culprit, here; all I have had, from all the sites I have been sent to is, to put it in a nutshell, “Because it does!”

    Really? Try entering ’causes of global warming’ into Google and read what you find. If you still have problems with understanding, come back here with specific questions and we will try to answer them.

  100. #100 Radical Rodent
    January 29, 2012

    Yet again, the sites do not say HOW CO2 causes such an effect. This heat, they say, is “trapped”. How? Okay, each CO2 molecule absorbs the radiated heat from the planet (but not, it seems, that received from the sun. Odd, that). How does it do that? And what does it do with that heat? Keep it all to itself, as it wanders about the atmosphere, getting ever hotter? Or re-radiates it all downwards? (Let’s face it, re-radiating it omni-directionally would be rather counter-productive, as half would then go out into space, so drastically reducing its effect.)

    And the sites found are not exactly neutral, and have already been proven wrong – “The severity of storms such as hurricanes and cyclones is increasing …
    Source: Planetsave (http://s.tt/12tkS)
    (June 2009)
    But last year (2011) was one of the quietest years EVER for tropical revolving storms (TRSs).

  101. #101 Radical Rodent
    January 29, 2012

    What I maintain is that the science is still in its infancy; the cause(s) of climate change/global warming are still theoretical. What alarms me about it is that this is a science that seems to abhor any challenge to the theory – do so, and you will be labelled “skeptic” and “denialist”, fit only to be thrown out of the scientific field, to be ridiculed and scorned, and metaphorically forced to wear sack-cloth and ashes. Science is about constant challenges to theory – any half-decent scientist should welcome all sceptics to his theories (naturally, being human, most scientists will have a desire to protect their pet, but, heigh-ho, that is life…). Most of the “denialist” sites I have been to mock this stance, rather than the theory itself, as well as to gaze with alarm at the frighteningly “un-green” methods of some ideas already being implemented to combat the change (e.g. wind-turbines).

  102. #102 Wow
    January 30, 2012

    “What I maintain is that the science is still in its infancy”

    No, but apparently you are.

    The science of climate is older than Relativity and electromagnetic waves.

    “a science that seems to abhor any challenge to the theory”

    Only abhors idiocy in the face of facts.

    “do so, and you will be labelled “skeptic” and “denialist””

    Nope, only the deniers call themselves “Skeptic” and they don’t throw themselves out, more’s the pity.

    “to be ridiculed and scorned”

    If ideas are ridiculous, you agree that they should be ridiculed, yes? And that if someone repeats them, they should be scorned, right?

    Now, how do you know your ideas have not been ridiculous?

    “Science is about constant challenges to theory”

    By better theories.

    “any half-decent scientist should welcome all sceptics to his theories”

    They do. But they don’t welcome deniers calling themselves skeptics.

    “Most of the “denialist” sites I have been to mock this stance”

    By mocking the current theories. But apparently this isn’t a problem for you.

    Can you see this spot . ? That’s where the people who care about you and your less-than-half-baked ideas live.

    The rest of the world live elsewhere.

  103. #103 Wow
    January 30, 2012

    “Do you understand the term “cyclical”?”

    Do you understand physics?

    What CAUSES a cycle.

    What, exactly, is going to cause this cycle you appear to believe like any fundie fathiest?

    And how do you find a cycle in the first place? Graph fitting is garbage. You’re putting garbage in and getting garbage out.

  104. #104 Richard Simons
    January 30, 2012

    James: Please could you tell me why my comments keep getting trapped in the spam filter? The last one had no links and, as far as I could tell, nothing that could be considered abusive by the omst thin-skinned individual.

  105. #105 Wow
    January 30, 2012

    If you send a message that heavily quotes (though this may be the driver for the *real* reason), or is long, it just gets lost.

    Since the blog owner just bins them generally as if they were spam (the reason for their redirection), they disappear.

  106. #106 Radical Rodent
    January 30, 2012

    Wow,

    Can you see this spot ?

    Actually, there isn’t one.

    That is what I think of you and your rather unpleasantly-expressed opinions.

  107. #107 Richard Simons
    January 30, 2012

    This is getting ridiculous. One more try!

    Yet again, the sites do not say HOW CO2 causes such an effect. This heat, they say, is “trapped”. How? Okay, each CO2 molecule absorbs the radiated heat from the planet (but not, it seems, that received from the sun. Odd, that).

    Not really. Check ‘CO2 absorption spectrum’ on Google images and compare it with solar radiation and radiation from Earth.

  108. #108 Richard Simons
    January 30, 2012

    Success with the first part of my comment but it choked on the second. Perhaps I’ll try with the rest.

    What I maintain is that the science is still in its infancy;

    It has been around for longer than genetics, nuclear physics and aeronautics. What do you consider to be a mature science?

    What alarms me about it is that this is a science that seems to abhor any challenge to the theory – do so, and you will be labelled “skeptic” and “denialist”,

    First, it is the denialists who wrongly call themselves skeptics. Most are amazingly gullible – did you see the post at WUWT where reference was made to a percentage change in temperature and none of the followers noticed, or cared when it was pointed out? Secondly, the problem is not that the science of global warming is being challenged, it is that people have been shouting the same long-refuted claims for years, but are not showing any evidence to support their claims.

    Most of the “denialist” sites I have been to mock this stance, rather than the theory itself,

    Of course they do – they have no alternative other than to lie or to misrepresent.

    The spam filter seems to balk at my paragraph about what CO2 does with the absorbed energy, but look at Skeptical Science ‘How do we know more CO2 is causing warming?’ or ‘The Discovery of Global Warming’ at AIP.

  109. #109 Richard Simons
    January 30, 2012

    Wow – thanks. I tried with just one blockquote, then with just a couple of paragraphs in italics but it was still getting blocked by the filter.

    One last try with the missing paragraph –

    And what does it do with that heat? Keep it all to itself, as it wanders about the atmosphere, getting ever hotter? Or re-radiates it all downwards? (Let’s face it, re-radiating it omni-directionally would be rather counter-productive, as half would then go out into space, so drastically reducing its effect.)

    Most is quickly transferred to other molecules by collisions. Some is reradiated in all directions, but that which goes up can still be trapped by other CO2 molecules. The physics does not care if it ‘counter-productive’ – it just happens.

  110. #110 Radical Rodent
    January 31, 2012

    The reason that I state that climate science is in its infancy is that it is only relatively recently that climate has had serious scientific scrutiny. Okay, we have had weather forecasters for about as long as history, all desperately trying to predict what to expect tomorrow; they have long had a laughable reputation for their accuracy. Measurements only really started in the 17th century, and the weather stations were few and far between (only one, that I know of, and the instruments may have been suspect); most predictions were made upon observations (“Ar, with the cloud over the hill like that, it’ll rain tomorrow…”), “feelings” (“Ee, there be a storm brewing. I can feel it in me bones…”), or by reading entrails, so it really cannot be considered scientific. It is only fairly recently (since the start of the many other, more mature, sciences) that the observations have been widespread enough for more accurate assessments of situations, and therefore predictions of likely outcomes become more reliable.

    Genetics, nuclear physics and aeronautics are newer sciences, but not younger; these sciences do not have the same problems as climate, with its vastness and inaccessibility of most of it; much of climate science is based upon localised readings; observations often have to continue over years – or even decades – before reasonable conclusions can be reached. It is only relatively recently that local readings have become more widespread, and methods have been developed for more remote readings to be gained. There are many other differences, but I will assume that you will be aware of them. Perhaps this is a poor analogy: a mouse is considerably smaller than an elephant, but is as complex, and can be born, age and die within the gestation period of the elephant.

  111. #111 Radical Rodent
    January 31, 2012

    This is one reason I am reluctant to leap upon the single cause of climate change being man-made: I feel that we really do not have the data, yet, to reach a definite conclusion as to causes, effects, or counter-effects. There is a good, plausible theory, but that does not make it true: Newton’s theories lasted nearly 200 years, but have been proved faulty; that was only after a huge amount of data was collected over time, and more knowledge became available.

    Another point that holds me sceptical is the financing of the research. I doubt much finance is given to scientific research for it to “…find out a little bit more…” – there has to be something tangible for the investor at the end of it. For the climate science researchers to say, “Oh, we can’t really say, we need more time. Come back in a decade or two…” (i.e. to tell the truth!) will hold little sway with the investors, so the expense may be curtailed. However, chivvy up a good scare story, and to keep it running, and money will be thrown at you to “solve” the problem. Whether or not it IS a problem, or whether or not it CAN be solved are really moot points.

  112. #112 Richard Simons
    January 31, 2012

    I feel that we really do not have the data, yet, to reach a definite conclusion as to causes, effects, or counter-effects.

    I’ve asked before (not just of you) and I’ll ask again – what do you think are reasonable alternative explanations? Given that a few days ago you were completely unaware of the most basic physics of the situation, why should we be concerned about whether you think there is enough evidence? None-the-less, where exactly do you think climatologists are going wrong? Which particular data would you like to be collected before you feel it would be possible to conclude that AGW is a reality?

  113. #113 Wow
    January 31, 2012

    “The reason that I state that climate science is in its infancy is that it is only relatively recently that climate has had serious scientific scrutiny”

    Nope, it’s been under serious scrutiny for over 100 years.

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm

    “I am reluctant to leap upon the single cause of climate change being man-made”

    Well, since nobody else is leaping upon it, why the hell do you continue to whine about it?

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter9.pdf

    shows the myriad causes of climate change.

    But you won’t stop whining, will you.

  114. #114 Radical Rodent
    January 31, 2012

    Richard,

    …what do you think are reasonable alternative explanations?

    I have no idea; the theories propounded do seem reasonable and plausible – of course, that still does not make them right, but until a better alternative is put forward, there is no cause to belittle it. Perhaps I am more concerned with how the whole shebang has been hijacked by politics in all its various hues.

    …why should we be concerned about whether you think…

    I am not really expecting anyone to be overly bothered about what I think; the only person that it affects is me. Nor am I saying the climatologists are going wrong. What I am trying to do is gather information on the matter so that I might make reasonable conclusions as to the accuracy of reports in the MSM – much of which seems to be phrased to generate maximum panic. Given the history of the MSM, much of what is said can be taken with a very generous dollop of salt; however, once in a while, they do manage to reveal a grain of truth; I am trying to establish if this is one of those occasions. I mean, after the scary stories that have been reported of droughts and storms and floods and rising sea levels, the media is now reporting that there has been no significant rise in global temperatures for 15 years. As this seems to be going against what we should be expecting, according to what the climatologists have reportedly been saying, perhaps the climatologists ARE going wrong, somewhere?

  115. #115 Richard Simons
    January 31, 2012

    the media is now reporting that there has been no significant rise in global temperatures for 15 years.

    Which media? I hope you are not believing anything you read in the Daily Mail. Check out The Real Global Warming Signal on Tamino’s blog.

    What I am trying to do is gather information on the matter so that I might make reasonable conclusions as to the accuracy of reports in the MSM – much of which seems to be phrased to generate maximum panic.

    It depends on where you are, but from what I’ve seen most of the MSM is trying to ignore the issue. How often have you seen the implications of it mentioned, for example, on the business pages? Compare what you read in newspapers with the comments following another of Tamino’s blogs, ‘What is Espilon?’ (dated Jan 4th). Many of the commentators there have a good understanding of climatology.

  116. #116 Radical Rodent
    January 31, 2012

    The best thing about the Daily Mail is the puzzles and cartoons pages; all else is more or less twaddle. But the Wall Street Journal, surely a more trustworthy paper, says: “Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now.”

    Like I have been saying, the MSM does seem to be pretty loose with facts (“Never let the facts get in the way of a good story!”). This is why I have been asking these irritating questions, accompanied by annoying retorts.

    Most of the general population only get their information about events from the mainstream media; few will look behind the story as presented by the TV or newspapers. For example: if it is outside your interest, you are probably one of the majority who will only get what happened to the Costa Concordia via the TV, and will accept the derived “consensus” that “something must be done”. However, there will be many experts who disagree; who will pay them any heed, once the politicians get their teeth into the action?

  117. #117 Richard Simons
    January 31, 2012

    But the Wall Street Journal, surely a more trustworthy paper,

    No. Look to see what Forbes, itself not exactly a left-wing rag, has to say about the piece. Or try SkepticalScience.

  118. #118 Radical Rodent
    January 31, 2012

    Richard, I was being facetious – or, at least, attempting to be…

    The point being, the MSM now seems to be beginning to broadcast that the global warming / climate change is not such a big thing.

  119. #119 Richard Simons
    January 31, 2012

    Sorry – I’ve never seen the WSJ and only know of it from criticism of its climate change editorials. The impression I get is that the local media (eg Winnipeg Free Press, CBC) are becoming more accepting of global warming.

    I just did a crude comparison, dividing the last 15 years of GISS data into 7 years then 8 years, then comparing them (one-tailed t-test). There was a significant difference (P=0.29) so there has been an increase in the last 15 years.

  120. #120 Wow
    February 2, 2012

    “But the Wall Street Journal, surely a more trustworthy paper”

    Who prints Op-Ed. Which are opinion editorials, not research. And include in their number scientists who work for oil companies.

    Or do you like dark-grey literature when it suits your purpose?

    “Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now.”

    Except that they are doing what so many denialists whined about for years with the IPCC graphs: no statement of the uncertainties.

    They can’t be CERTAIN that there has been no global warming for well over 10 years.

    Or, rather, they can, but they’re talking unscientifically.

    But you LIKE unscientific. Note your lack of knowledge (without letting it impact your assertions) of the history of climate science.

  121. #121 Radical Rodent
    February 3, 2012

    But you LIKE unscientific. Note your lack of knowledge (without letting it impact your assertions) of the history of climate science.

    Just as you like to cherry-pick, Wow, with quotations utterly out of context.

    Now find anywhere in this discourse where I have made any assertions; ideas and hypotheses, maybe, but no definite assertions.

    You berate me for not being able to get the message: to be a bit Biblical, should you not be paying more attention to the plank in your own eye? Or has it blinded you so completely?

  122. #122 Wow
    February 3, 2012

    “with quotations utterly out of context.”

    Irony. See above.

    “but no definite assertions.”

    Well, there’s one right there. Do you remember these:

    “The reason that I state that climate science is in its infancy is that it is only relatively recently that climate has had serious scientific scrutiny”

    “Are the scientists of today going to be any more accurate than the scientists of 1986, who predicted that the world will have warmed over 2°C by 2006″

    “Odd how farming in Greenland 900 years ago when it was known that the climate was warmer”

    “is now dismissed as a local amelioration of the climate”

    Radical rodent bites own bum.

  123. #123 Wow
    February 3, 2012

    “Yet again, the sites do not say HOW CO2 causes such an effect.”

    Is yet another one. Plus more assertions posed as questions or “what you heard” (thereby attempting to pretend it’s not you saying it, a very Glenn Beck approach):

    “after the scary stories that have been reported of droughts and storms and floods and rising sea levels, the media is now reporting that there has been no significant rise in global temperatures for 15 years.”

    “As this seems to be going against what we should be expecting, according to what the climatologists have reportedly been saying”

    “If, according to Richard Simons (16), CO2 is the only effective GHG”

    “when I raise questions with the “denialists”, I usually get a reasoned, readable reply”

    “How can the increase of a gas from 0.03% to 0.05% (or thereabouts) of the total atmosphere have such a drastic effect upon the climate?”

  124. #124 Radical Rodent
    February 3, 2012

    “Are the scientists of today going to be any more accurate than the scientists of 1986, who predicted that the world will have warmed over 2°C by 2006″

    A question, based upon a newspaper report from 1986, which seemed to indicate some flaws in the theories.

    “Odd how farming in Greenland 900 years ago when it was known that the climate was warmer”

    Not my assertion; it was an observation based upon long-established reports on farms in Greenland, erm, 900 years ago.

    “is now dismissed as a local amelioration of the climate”

    A surprised reaction to be told otherwise about what was a known phenomenon (the MWP), and finding plenty of other sites that did not agree with the assertion that it was a local “amelioration”.

    “Yet again, the sites do not say HOW CO2 causes such an effect.”

    They didn’t, then. They still do not, now. What is it about that that so upsets you? Unlike your displays, I really do not mind being corrected, or being shown to be completely wrong.

  125. #125 Radical Rodent
    February 3, 2012

    “after the scary stories that have been reported of droughts and storms and floods and rising sea levels, the media is now reporting that there has been no significant rise in global temperatures for 15 years.”

    “As this seems to be going against what we should be expecting, according to what the climatologists have reportedly been saying”

    Sorry, but it was a display of my confusion that so much that is being said by people who claim to be experts is contradicted by people who claim to be experts, then to have one or other side of the conflict reported (or, as often as not, MIS-reported) in the MSM.

    “If, according to Richard Simons (16), CO2 is the only effective GHG”

    Which is the message I received from that posting; it can still be read that way.

    “when I raise questions with the “denialists”, I usually get a reasoned, readable reply”

    Assertion? I don’t think so. Observation? I think so. I suspect you might disagree.

  126. #126 Radical Rodent
    February 3, 2012

    “How can the increase of a gas from 0.03% to 0.05% (or thereabouts) of the total atmosphere have such a drastic effect upon the climate?”

    A reasonable question, for which I have yet to have a comprehensible answer (other than “Because it does!”).

    Why do you take such umbrage at someone asking questions about this particular subject? I suspect that, in a closer conversation, you would be more like Torquemados than Professor Higgins.

    Actually, I have to correct myself: I have made an assertion:

    Can you see this spot ?

    Actually, there isn’t one.

    That is what I think of you and your rather unpleasantly-expressed opinions.

  127. #127 Wow
    February 3, 2012

    “A question, based upon a newspaper report from 1986″

    Yep, Glenn Beck all right.

    “for which I have yet to have a comprehensible answer”

    Oh, you’ve had them. You just pretend they don’t exist.

    CO2 absorbs IR and not Vis. Sun radiates in Vis, not IR, Earth radiates in IR, not in Vis. CO2 blocks earth’s radiation loss, doesn’t block Suns.

    Energy in != Energy out.

    “Why do you take such umbrage at someone asking questions about this particular subject?”

    Because you never stop asking questions.

    You’re like a two-year-old tormenting adults with “why?” “Why?” “Why?” and ignoring all the answers.

    I also note that you have avoided acknowledging that you have made definitive statements.

  128. #128 Wow
    February 3, 2012

    “”Odd how farming in Greenland 900 years ago when it was known that the climate was warmer”

    Not my assertion;”

    Yes it was. You asserted it. I even quoted it.

    Do I have to pop over and show you how to use the scroll bar on your Windows Internet Explorer and show you how to scroll back to your earlier posts?

  129. #129 Richard Simons
    February 3, 2012

    “How can the increase of a gas from 0.03% to 0.05% (or thereabouts) of the total atmosphere have such a drastic effect upon the climate?”

    “A reasonable question, for which I have yet to have a comprehensible answer (other than “Because it does!”).”

    I don’t think it is a reasonable question as it concentrates on the small percentages, not the large proportional increase. 67% increase in CO2 results in (approximately) 67% increase in infrared radiation blocked.

    “Yet again, the sites do not say HOW CO2 causes such an effect.”

    “They didn’t, then. They still do not, now.”

    Are you saying you have still not found an explanation of how CO2 causes global warming? I do not understand how this is possible (Wow’s description is terse and simplified, but essentially correct).

  130. #130 Radical Rodent
    February 4, 2012

    Sorry, Richard. I was diverted; I was silly to take the bait, there, and ended up rambling utter nonsense; even the ignorant can express an opinion, which does seem to annoy some people. I have been trying hard to not to rise, but fail all too often.

    However, none of the sites do explain how CO2 traps the heat, other than by saying that it does – they do tell us what wavelengths are trapped most effectively, but do not explain quite how a molecule “traps” the heat.

    … still not found an explanation of how CO2 causes global warming?” Other than, “Because it does!” erm… no. I admit, I am no chemist, so the probability is that any answer will be way above my head, but, once received, I shall then try and understand (and perhaps remain silent for a while).

    This is one reason that I remain puzzled:
    67% increase in CO2 results in (approximately) 67% increase in infrared radiation blocked. This implies that this is linear, which, so I had been led to believe earlier, it was not: “Climate sensitivity is ~+3c per doubling including feedbacks.” (27).

  131. #131 NJ
    February 4, 2012

    RR@130:

    However, none of the sites do explain how CO2 traps the heat, other than by saying that it does – they do tell us what wavelengths are trapped most effectively, but do not explain quite how a molecule “traps” the heat.

    OK. Since ‘heat’ in this context is infrared radiation, a quick Google of ‘absorption’ turned up this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absorption_%28electromagnetic_radiation%29

    If you are looking for more explicit details, then you will need to dig into the quantum mechanics.

  132. #132 Radical Rodent
    February 4, 2012

    Thank you, NJ. It does make a lot more sense, now (though I still do not fully understand it – and I shall leave the quantum mechanics alone!).

  133. #133 Tristan
    February 5, 2012

    Wow. Touchy spam filter here.

  134. #134 David Marjanović
    February 7, 2012

    Radical Rodent, that someone is patronizing does not mean they’re wrong. I’m sorry, but reality doesn’t change depending on how polite the people are who argue about it.

    You’re being patronized because you have a certain responsibility to educate yourself. Google is your friend — and yet you come here and expect to be spoonfed from square 1. We’re not exactly being paid to do your homework, or indeed that of your highschool teachers.

    none of the sites do explain how CO2 traps the heat, other than by saying that it does – they do tell us what wavelengths are trapped most effectively, but do not explain quite how a molecule “traps” the heat

    It absorbs infrared photons that happen to hit it. The energy it gets that way is used to increase its vibration and rotation — its movement — its temperature, on a larger scale. Look up infrared spectroscopy for a practical use of this fact.

  135. #135 Radical Rodent
    February 7, 2012

    David Marjanović, the only way in which those patronising me were wrong was to BE patronising (effectively: “Do not worry your pretty little head…” – a phrase that annoyed me when I first heard it, when I was about 6!) without even attempting to provide an answer.

    And, by Googling, I have stumbled upon a lot of contradictions, many of which I have tried to sort out on sites like this, with people who, hopefully, know more than I – to find even more contradictions:

    “There is global warming…” / “There is no global warming…”

    “There is global warming, caused by…” / “There is global warming, but it is NOT caused by…”

    “The MWP affected all the Northern Hemisphere…” / “The MWP was localised…”

    “The LIA affected all the Northern Hemisphere…” / “The LIA was localised…”

    “You are going to the wrong sites…”

    Well, this site looks like that site….

    “Ah, but that site is not scientific…”

    What is the difference? They both look alike, but present different data, and give different conclusions…

    “’Cos that site is WRONG…”

    That seems to be the logic on a lot of the sites which I have visited in my efforts to find the truth behind the media stories – even the MSM give contradictory stories!

  136. #136 Wow
    February 7, 2012

    “the only way in which those patronising me were wrong was to BE patronising”

    So, in other words, we’re right.

    You just can’t handle it therefore concentrate on trivialities.

    “What is the difference?”

    One is from denialist blogrolls, the other agrees with the science.

    “They both look alike, but present different data”

    No, one presents no data. The denialist blogroll stuff.

    ““’Cos that site is WRONG…”

    That seems to be the logic ”

    that denialists use. The IPCC is wrong because they’re part of the conspiracy to rape your dog and steal your gun. Realclimate is wrong because they’re scientists therefore part of the scam. But Chris Monckton is right because he’s a lunatic, therefore NOT part of the scam.

  137. #137 Wow
    February 7, 2012

    “effectively: “Do not worry your pretty little head…” – a phrase that annoyed me when I first heard it”

    Then why do you use it yourself:

    “though I still do not fully understand it – and I shall leave the quantum mechanics alone”

    ?

  138. #138 Radical Rodent
    February 7, 2012

    Therein lies the rub, David Marjanović; I was only asking for an explanation as to how CO2 could be such a dangerous GHG, hoping for an expert to point the way. It took 127 posts, some of them quite offensive, and with quite a few diversions along the way, before someone gave me a reasonable answer (though I am not denying that there were quite a few more honourable attempts, but most of which actually increased the conflict).

  139. #139 Radical Rodent
    February 7, 2012

    I do try to remember this interesting site when indulging in any discussions. Whether I am actually successful in applying the lessons is a moot point.

  140. #140 Wow
    February 8, 2012

    “I was only asking for an explanation as to how CO2 could be such a dangerous GHG”

    Dangerous? Who, apart from you just there has called it dangerous?

    Stop anthropomorphising matter: it doesn’t like it.

    “hoping for an expert to point the way”

    When done so, you go “I’ll have a look, but I’m ignoring the physics that’s too hard”. How are you getting on with that, by the way?

    “It took 127 posts, some of them quite offensive”

    You didn’t make 127 posts, though they were almost every single one offensive. I’ll give you that.

    And from your 139 post, you don’t seem to have learned anything, except that if you’re going to be ignorant, claim everyone else is.

  141. #141 Radical Rodent
    February 21, 2012

    Apologies for the long delay, but I have been doing a bit of reading.

    Okay, Wow, you have made your point that you do not seem overly fond of my witterings – all I have been attempting to do is to highlight the very persuasive arguments by those you oppose, only they make their points in rather less offensive terms.

    Be a bit more constructive, Wow, and reveal what you think is the problem, and how it should be corrected. Also, tell us what you are doing in your own attempts to resolve the problem. What actions are you pursuing to reduce your own “carbon footprint”? Like the rest of us, probably nothing – after all, you do have a life to live.

  142. #142 Wow
    February 22, 2012

    “all I have been attempting to do is to highlight the very persuasive arguments by those you oppose”

    Well, since they’re neither persuasive nor thought out, and that you’ve merely PARROTED them, why the heck should I be happy to see a Climate Denier Zombie repeating the arguments of all the others?

    You know that respect isn’t a RIGHT, right?

    “only they make their points in rather less offensive terms”

    What’s offensive is that they’re complete bollocks. The offensiveness is in that you apparently don’t think that people that do this for a living haven’t thought of them or replied. When your entire argument is offensive, what the heck do you need to add to it?

    Mind you, that doesn’t stop deniers spouting these to be offensive too, but you ignore that, don’t you.

    As, really, you should BUT ON BOTH SIDES. If you’re not actually being a troll (especially the tone variant), then ignore the offensiveness and look at the argument.

    And you’ll find that those you’ve labelled “persuasive” are shallow, ill-thought and debunked a million times.

    The problem is that you’re blind, wilfully, because you prefer the option of “AGW is all a scam”.

    I.e. you’re a denier.

  143. #143 Radical Rodent
    February 22, 2012

    …ignore the offensiveness and look at the argument. That I do, Wow. However, you offer no argument, just vitriol. As Jim Speiser observed in 85; “Rodent: I’ve scanned the comments here and yes, I do think these guys have treated you a little rough.

    I did ask you to be a bit more constructive, and posit what is wrong and how it might be corrected; you, in your usual fashion, have done neither, preferring instead to pour your scorn upon me.

  144. #144 Radical Rodent
    February 22, 2012

    There do appear to be different approaches to the debate. Earlier, there was a statement that many of the scientists who advocate (or should that be “believe in”?) the reality of man-made global warming have received insults and threats on their sites. Unfortunately, no examples were given but, on reading sites of the sceptics (who, rightfully, do deride such offensive people), these unpleasant people seem to be the more ignorant and extreme – possibly very similar to those reacting to Darwin. The sceptics, though, have a more sinister opposition; not for them the rantings of the ignorant, but more pernicious, political assaults on their scientific credentials by their learned associates: the infamous “Climategate” e-mails discussing how to wreck the career of Chris de Freitas, editor of Climate Review, is a good example (and Mr de Freitas was but one of those whose reputation they wished to besmirch). Perhaps even worse were the attempts by Al Gore and his staff to suppress the works of the late Dr Roger Revelle, as described by one of his protégés, S. Fred Singer, who acted to defend the deceased’s name and reputation, as well as his own. Below is part of his conclusions (from Hoover Press: Gough/Alchemy DP0 HGOUAP1100 rev1 page 283):

  145. #145 Radical Rodent
    February 22, 2012

    I have two major concerns about Mr. Gore and his position (or perhaps “posturing” is a better word) on global climate change and scientists who disagree with him.

    1. He appears to believe that those who disagree with him are part of some vast industry-led conspiracy, and his ego will not entertain the thought that his opposition really is just a group of individuals and small organizations led by people whose motivation is something other than financial gain. Some scientists who oppose him do receive funding from organizations and companies that have earned Mr. Gore’s ire, and he has tried, as he did with Ted Koppel, to smear those scientists with guilt by association. Ironically, I think that Mr. Gore would be first in line to defend people who are besmirched that way by others, even if he disagreed with their opinions.

    2. As his own aides have reportedly said, Gore has “a long memory.” Like Richard Nixon, it is said that he’s a “don’t get mad, get even” kind of guy — witness the many scientists who have been harassed and bullied (see chapter by Happer, this volume) and the journalists who have been frozen out or fired.

  146. #146 Radical Rodent
    February 22, 2012

    Here are a couple of unattributable examinations of assertions of the global “realists” (a.k.a. “warmists”):

    The chaos theory people have told us for years that the air movement from a single butterfly’s wing in Brazil can cause an unforeseen change in our weather here. Now we are told that climate experts can “model” the input of zillions of such incalculable variables over periods of decades to accurately forecast global warming 50 years hence.” (To be found on “Greenie Watch” blog site.)

    Recent NASA figures tell us that there was NO warming trend in the USA during the 20th century. If global warming is occurring, how come it forgot the USA? Warmists say that the revised NASA figures do not matter because they cover only the USA – and the rest of the world is warming nicely. But it is not. There has NEVER been any evidence that the Southern hemisphere is warming. See here.” (Not sure of this origin; possibly on the “Bishop Hill” blog, or perhaps “Climate Common Sense”.)

  147. #147 Wow
    February 22, 2012

    re 146:

    Chaos theory. Is why you can’t predict the WEATHER 50 years hence. But all you need to do is look at, for example, the eponymous butterfly diagram of the Lorentz attractor. Note that there IS a structure there. In chaos theory, rather than being unpredictable, there are many things you CAN predict. Climate, being mostly a boundary problem, is predictable to a much, much longer timescale.

    Recent NASA figures. Flat out wrong. Also has no clue about statistics and the definition of “a trend” of noisy data.

    Like I say, you’re just parroting old zombie memes as if new.

    Why? Because you like them. They attract you not because they’re persuasive, but that they confirm what you WANT to be true.

  148. #148 Wow
    February 22, 2012

    “1. He appears to believe that those who disagree with him are part of some vast industry-led conspiracy”

    Well, for one, false. Rather like the “I invented the internet” meme brought up to ridicule and demean Al Gore.

    Secondly, see the Heartland Institute documents. Seems like he ain’t wrong.

    “2. As his own aides have reportedly said, Gore has “a long memory.””

    Ah, so he’s intelligent. I get it: he’s one of the educated elites trying to show off his schoolin’.

    Third problem: what the clucking bell does this have to do with climate science???

  149. #149 Radical Rodent
    February 22, 2012

    Try reading “Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide” by Arthur B. Robinson, Noah E. Robinson, and Willie Soon (not dated, but the text implies it was published no earlier than 2007)

    ABSTRACT: A review of the research literature concerning the environmental consequences of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide leads to the conclusion that increases during the 20th and early 21st centuries have produced no deleterious effects upon Earth’s weather and climate. Increased carbon dioxide has, however, markedly in creased plant growth. Predictions of harmful climatic effects due to future increases in hydrocarbon use and minor greenhouse gases like CO2 do not conform to current experimental knowledge. The environmental effects of rapid expansion of the nuclear and hydrocarbon energy industries are discussed.

  150. #150 Wow
    February 22, 2012

    “and posit what is wrong and how it might be corrected”

    Done several times.

    > “what did cause the global warming 1,000 years ago?”
    >
    > What global warming 1,000 years ago?
    >
    > Your first requirement is to read the IPCC reports where “AGW science” is

    for example. You’ve not yet ever listened.

    “preferring instead to pour your scorn upon me.”

    And you’ve deserved every fluid oz.

    Instead of parading your happy and proud ignorance, display the learning that showed you your incorrect premises. I.e. the 150 year ice age, or the “proof” that CO2’s 290-390ppm change is, unlike your ignorant earlier assertion, incorrect.

    And stop peddling the same old tired piss-poor thinking that you’ve earthed up to “prove” your theory that AGW is wrong. (which isn’t a theory: it’s nihilism)

  151. #151 Wow
    February 22, 2012

    “Try reading “Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide””

    Try reading one of the 180 cited papers in the IPCC AR4 WG1 paper. Ones that appear in a REAL science paper, not the OISM. And read some of the rebuttals:

    http://www.realclimate.org/wiki/index.php?title=OISM

    Why is yours the only right one? And why does yours appear in a fake university?

    And how did you find that and not also look for “rebuttals Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide”?

    You hunt high and low for ANYTHING that supports your desire that AGW be false, in denial of the facts, therefore searching for the fantasies.

  152. #152 Radical Rodent
    February 22, 2012

    …what the clucking bell does this have to do with climate science???” Perhaps that is something that you might like to discuss with S. Fred Singer, author of the article in question. Or does actually reading any of the articles I offer not come into your consideration?

  153. #153 Wow
    February 22, 2012

    “Perhaps that is something that you might like to discuss with S. Fred Singer”

    Nope.

    I’d like to discuss it with you.

    YOU brought it up as if it had some relevance. Or do you disavow that?

  154. #154 Wow
    February 22, 2012

    PS if you did read the article from Right S Fred ™ but you still don’t know what it has to do with climate, then in what way am I expected to find out how by reading it?

    Are you saying that I’m much smarter than you?

    That would be refreshingly honest and self-aware of you to say, but I have to admit that this isn’t likely what you intended.

  155. #155 Radical Rodent
    February 22, 2012

    IF you read the article in question, you might have an idea what it has to do with climate science. Having read the article, it seemed relevant to me; without having done so, it might not do. Go on, enlighten yourself.

    As for you being smarter than me, perhaps that may be so. Perhaps you can give us a display of your knowledge and wisdom that does not resort to disdainful abuse of those with whom you disagree. Go on, enlighten me.

  156. #156 Wow
    February 23, 2012

    “Having read the article, it seemed relevant to me”

    How? You can’t seem to answer the question about what it has to do with climate, so this is apparently another lie. Or your level of “interest” is that it slams and slanders Al Gore and therefore is worth repeating.

    Like all the other denier memes you peddle on here, their only “interest” is in pretending there’s still some doubt as to what is going on with the climate.

    Until you’re able to show how Right S Fred’s ad hom and irrelevant attack on Al Gore is “of interest” in climate science, you’re admitting that you have no point.

  157. #157 Radical Rodent
    February 23, 2012

    Oh, dear. You really are not much of a scientist, are you, Wow. You obviously have not read any of the documents that I have suggested, you just turn your bile on in desperate attempts to belittle me. Alas, I am too little to be further belittled, so your scorn is just water off a duck’s back; that, of course, will not stop your insults. That you might actually investigate a bit further than your own nose does seem to be beyond you. I found these documents quite easily; knowing as you do my abilities to search the net, I am sure that you should have no difficulty tracking them down.

    Yes, I am concerned that I am only listening to what I want to hear; that is why I visit sites like this, in the hope that I might find reasons to accept some of what I presently consider to be absurd theories. I find them infested with people like you, who will only tolerate the opinion they hold; any other is to be derided and insulted, perhaps in the hope that they will go away, and not endanger the precious beliefs to religiously clung to. Naturally, this does nothing to endear me to their side of the argument.

    The reason I mentioned the article in question was to show the extraordinary lengths to which some of those you support will go to discredit any who dares to question or criticise them. If you read the article, you will realise that it was not an “ad hom” attack on Al Gore, but part of the final conclusions the author arrived at after prolonged conflict with Gore and his staff – a modern-day David and Goliath.

  158. #158 Radical Rodent
    February 23, 2012

    Recent NASA figures. Flat out wrong. Also has no clue about statistics and the definition of “a trend” of noisy data.

    So, you would disagree with this statement, then:

    NASA has now silently released “ corrected figures, and the changes are truly astounding. The warmest year on record is now 1934. 1998 (long trumpeted by the media as record-breaking) moves to second place. 1921 takes third. In fact, 5 of the 10 warmest years on record now all occur before World War II.

  159. #159 Wow
    February 24, 2012

    “The warmest year on record is now 1934″

    Nope, absolutely wrong.

    The USA isn’t the world, you fool.

    Lies by omission are YOUR lies. Not NASA who you cherry-picked from whist removing information to mislead.

  160. #160 Wow
    February 24, 2012

    “You obviously have not read any of the documents that I have suggested”

    Nope, all you know is that I’m asking for proof YOU have read them and why I should read them.

    And there’s nothing yet to show that there’s anything unscientific about not reading any and all material presented by a known denier. After all, if you posted a link to a paper on the gender roles in pre-industrial urban centers, I would not read that to find out about climate. But this would hardly be unscientific of me. In fact, wasting time reading irrelevancies would be the unscientific option.

    But you’re here, like all deniers, to waste time. So that you don’t have to change, it’ll be some other poor sucker that has to do it (just like the carpetbaggers who raid a company for the short term stock uptick and then abandon the dying hulk to predate another viable company).

  161. #161 Wow
    February 24, 2012

    “Yes, I am concerned that I am only listening to what I want to hear; that is why I visit sites like this”

    Nope, you don’t. You come here to parrot it. See your lies about NASA data. See also your inability to learn the dishonesty of your sources. See your claims about a global cooler MWP and no CO2 effect (for “too small” and “no mechanism”).

    You keep attempting to try to paint yourself as an honest broker.

    Well, since you’re a lying scumbag denier, you would, wouldn’t you.

  162. #162 Radical Rodent
    February 24, 2012

    You seem to be determined to prove my claims, Wow. I considered all the sites mentioned to be relevant; should you not prove me wrong? (And, no, none of the sites are as ridiculous as your hypothetical suggestion.) You remind me of the petty-minded scientists who refused to look at the moons of Jupiter that Galileo found because they KNEW there were no moons round Jupiter.

    Now, I know exactly where you will take this idea – I certainly do not equate myself to such a great mind as Galileo, however, I do wonder at your reactions to a lesser mind such as mine; are you that scared of having your beliefs shown to be faulty?

  163. #163 Wow
    February 24, 2012

    “You seem to be determined to prove my claims”

    Well you certainly refuse to prove any of your claims. I guess I have to do it for you…

    “I considered all the sites mentioned to be relevant”

    Why? What does Fred’s ad hom of Al Gore to do with the climate science?

    It’s easy enough to say “I consider it relevant”, but this doesn’t say anything other than you’ve said it. It certainly doesn’t say that it IS relevant, nor even that you actually DO consider it relevant.

    “And, no, none of the sites are as ridiculous as your hypothetical suggestion”

    Nope, they’ve even less to do with science than those hypotheticals. And those hypotheticals, being to display the fact that merely printing up “you need to read this” doesn’t mean they need to be read, their ridiculousness is irrelevant.

    What IS relevant is that you concede that just saying “You need to read this” doesn’t mean that you have to read and are unable to say why your “contributions” don’t fit the same ridiculous time wasting irrelevancy indicates that you either know it’s either a time wasting irrelevance, or haven’t actually read them yourself.

  164. #164 Wow
    February 24, 2012

    “You remind me of the petty-minded scientists who refused to look at the moons of Jupiter that Galileo found because they KNEW there were no moons round Jupiter.”

    Hmm. Google found nothing.

    What you on about, fool?

    Or are you making things up in your head again?

  165. #165 Radical Rodent
    February 24, 2012

    Let me explain the rudiments of science to you, Wow, as you do seem to have difficulty getting to grips with the idea:

    The basis of scientific thinking is to start with a hypothesis. This is then investigated by collation and examination of information pertaining to the hypothesis. From this, a theory explaining the particular conditions can be obtained. However (and herein lies the rub), only rarely can the theory be proved; usually, it can only be disproved. A true scientist will allow all others to examine the theory using the same information, and try to prove the originator wrong; failing that, the theory gains greater credence.

    Now, Wow, I have offered you lots of information which appear to contradict your beliefs. You have not bothered looking at this information – “…it is not relevant…” An odd argument, as you haven’t even looked at it. You are one of the “scientists” Galileo had to contend with. Galileo had a mind far beyond mine, and could get past that sort of thinking; I suspect that even the great man himself would be challenged by you.

    You have offered absolutely nothing to support your claims; instead, you hide behind ridicule and insult. I have asked you several times to be a bit more constructive; each and every time you have only been able to resort to bilious verbiage. You have not a scientific thought in your head, and should get off this board and leave it to true thinkers.

  166. #166 Wow
    February 24, 2012

    Nope, wrong information doesn’t count you throwback.

    And you’ve been show many times that your assertions are wrong, but you stick to your denialist ideological roots no matter the evidence you get shown.

  167. #167 Radical Rodent
    February 25, 2012

    Thank you, Wow, for proving me correct; it is you, I am afraid, who is the denialist, stuck in your own ideological roots, with little, if any, rationale behind your thinking, other than to shout down and insult any with the temerity to question your viewpoint.

    All others on this site have been very constructive in their posts, pointing me to many places to find the information I sought, so guiding me in the right direction. All their work, however, has been undone by you and your constant haranguing; throughout this entire exchange, you have not made one constructive comment, or directed me to appropriate sites. If you were to assure me that the sky was blue, I doubt I could agree with you.

    As a scientific thinker, Wow, you are out of your depth – so far out of your depth that you are drowning in the shallow puddle of my intellect. Heaven knows how you would manage against the profundity of a true scientist.

    As the reason for this discussion has been so well and truly hijacked by your petty tantrums and festering resentment against those not of your faith, it is utterly nonsensical to continue. I shall continue my quest for knowledge elsewhere.

  168. #168 Wow
    February 27, 2012

    “Thank you, Wow, for proving me correct”

    In what?

    That I will want to know what the point of something that appears from the section YOU QUOTED to have nothing to do with climate science, what it has to do with climate science?

    Well, I didn’t think this needed proving. Apparently, though, you will proffer any old rubbish to pretend that you’re right.

    And so far we’ve had zilch showing that you’ve read it. You’ve been unable to explain what it has to do with climate, despite many opportunities to do so.

    Either you know it’s irrelevant, or you haven’t read it.

  169. #169 Wow
    February 27, 2012

    “This is one reason that I remain puzzled:
    “67% increase in CO2 results in (approximately) 67% increase in infrared radiation blocked. This implies that this is linear”

    The optical depth of an atmosphere with 67% increased absorbers is 67% increased.

    Read up on “optical depth”. Also look at how astrophysicists work out the proportion of “metals” (astrophysicist-speak for “anything not Hydrogen”) by using this to denote concentrations that are massively present between the edge of the photosphere and the centre of the star where the energy is coming from.

  170. #170 Radical Rodent
    February 28, 2012

    So, astrophysics deems metals as anything that is not hydrogen. My, how things have changed since my chemistry lessons at school: sulphur, oxygen, nitrogen, and – yes! Carbon! – are all now metals. Obviously, my teachers were wrong; the periodic table is not quite as immutable as they had led me to believe. Miss will be beside herself.

    I have never laid claim to being a scientist; however, you, Wow, are even lower than I – you are a pseudoscientist. You appear to make things up on a whim; you grab the semblance of a fact, and build an entire religion upon it. Obviously, others may not agree with you but, to you, people like that are beneath all contempt. Unable to engage in rational debate with these people, you can only hope to wither them with your scorn and insults. I, a shrinking violet in the intellectual world, a mere downtrodden daisy in the vast fields of Academe, seek to expand my meagre knowledge, and all you can do is encourage me to self-harm; when that fails, you resort to invective, a tactic that has totally undermined all those with whom you appear to have similar beliefs who have at least attempted to get some of their knowledge into my rather dense head. Faced with such diatribes from you, I felt obliged to investigate further – yours being the language of someone with a big, guilty secret to hide – to find the sordid events of Gore and Revelle, and, more recently, “Climategate 2”, and Heartland and Gleik: the “believers” (backed, bizarrely, by big money from the fossil fuel industry) seem unable to debate the argument, but can only seek to destroy the “heretics” (mainly self-financing). That sort of logic is utterly indefensible in science – therefore, it cannot be science. You make it obvious that is your logic, therefore you are not a scientist – I say again, you are a pseudoscientist.

  171. #171 Radical Rodent
    February 28, 2012

    To be a bit more constructive, I repeat: reveal what you think is the problem, Wow, and how it should be corrected. Also, tell us what you are doing in your own attempts to resolve the problem. What actions are you pursuing to reduce your own “carbon footprint”? Or do you have the faith of the sainted Al Gore, whose own carbon footprint encircles the globe as he seeks to suppress those who are not of “the faith”, regaling them to reduce their carbon output as his grows ever larger.

    (I already know I ask this in vain: you do not have a constructive cell in your body, let alone a constructive thought in your head.)

  172. #172 Wow
    February 29, 2012

    “My, how things have changed since my chemistry lessons at school”

    Hmm. Seems you didn’t read your first sentence while you wrote it:

    “So, astrophysics deems metals as anything that is not hydrogen”

    “Obviously, my teachers were wrong;”

    Obviously, they were not teaching astrophysics. That you weren’t learning is the obvious and inevitable corollary. That, however, wasn’t necessarily their fault.

    “You appear to make things up on a whim”

    An example of that is what?

  173. #173 Wow
    February 29, 2012

    “reveal what you think is the problem”

    The problem is that you haven’t said why you make the demand I read a book by Singer which from the quote you give has nothing to do with the science. You haven’t explained what, to you, is interesting (which, even if you couldn’t answer what it had to do with the science you should be able to answer if you ever had read it).

  174. #174 Wow
    February 29, 2012

    And here, RR, is an explanation of the Greenhouse Effect that even you will be able to follow (unless you believe that the radiator in your car is a scam to increase sales of distilled water in garages):

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/basics_one.html

  175. #175 Radical Rodent
    February 29, 2012

    Well done, Wow! You have finally given me something constructive to work on; I knew I could get it out of you. Pat yourself on the back and give yourself a choccy-drop!

    I have work to do, now; it may take some time.

  176. #176 Wow
    March 1, 2012

    RR, you’ve had plenty to “work on” before. Yet you haven’t! You want constructive answers to unconstructive demands!

    And you had plenty of free time to waste posting about how I’m not a scientist because I won’t read something that has nothing to do with science.

    Stalling again, RR?

  177. #177 Wow
    March 1, 2012

    Back in December last year:

    “21

    Thank you, Ryan. That is the most constructive comment I have seen on these boards.”

    Guess who that was.

    Guess whether anything changed from them since.

  178. #178 afrika mangosu
    March 5, 2012

    You have finally given me something constructive to work on; I knew I could get it out of you.

  179. #179 Radical Rodent
    March 19, 2012

    I am away for a few weeks, Wow, so allowing you plenty of time to create constructive arguments against me, in the (perhaps vain) attempt to educate me to your cause. As usual, you can only resort to the invective.

    I have been doing quite a lot of research (the results of which can be found in many of my comments; however, I doubt you have deigned to even read my entire post, let alone the sites I highlight), and have been attempting to engage with someone in an intellectual exchange to try and clarify many of the points that have been raised.

    The reason I quoted from S. Fred Singer’s article was to display it (the entire article, not part of the conclusions reached that I did quote) as an example of the retorts that any who dare to question the “reality” of global warming; despite being respected, experienced scientists, they are not subjected to rational argument, but serious character assassination.

    I am sorry for the comments I have made about you, but I made them out of desperation, trying to get some constructive information from you; I did succeed, so perhaps I should follow that line more, though it is against my nature.

    I only ask one thing from you, Wow – that is to tell us what YOU think the problem is; if YOU think that it is a problem that we can correct; how YOU think it should be corrected; and what YOU are doing to correct it. Please try to resist your obvious desire to insult and belittle me in doing so.

    Hello, afrika; could you expand on your comment?

  180. #180 Wow
    March 20, 2012

    > so allowing you plenty of time to create constructive arguments against me

    Who is arguing against you? You haven’t made a single relevant point AT ALL.

    I’m saying, not arguing, that you’re a denier and time wasting on here because you’re bullshitting everyone.

    > I have been doing quite a lot of research (the results of which can be found in many of my comments

    All I see is that you’ve “researched” the denialist talking points. Which isn’t actually research at all. You just have to pop along to WTFUWT and repeat what Anthony says.

    You never did research anything.

    > The reason I quoted from S. Fred Singer’s article was to display it as an example of the retorts that any who dare to question the “reality” of global warming

    S Fred Singer is the one “questioning” the reality of climate science. So in what way is his ad hom vitriol against someone who DARES accept the science that you quoted got ANYTHING to do with the retort of those you caricature there?

    NOTHING.

    AGAIN.

    “despite being respected, experienced scientists, they are not subjected to rational argument”

    Fred is an experienced (but not respected) scientist. And he wasn’t using a rational argument. Again your “stated” aim doesn’t match your product.

    “that is to tell us what YOU think the problem is”

    The problem is you haven’t actually said what your quote has to do with climate science.

    Again, again.

  181. #181 Wow
    March 20, 2012

    If you’re admitting that the quote you gave has nothing to do with the science, then the problem becomes why is ignoring something that has nothing to do with the science worthy of your slanderous slam:

    > 157

    > Oh, dear. You really are not much of a scientist, are you, Wow. You obviously have not read any of the documents that I have suggested

    Hmm?

  182. #182 Radical Rodent
    March 20, 2012

    As usual, Wow, you can only resort to belittling comments. I should have followed my own advice in 60, and ignored you. You really are not much of a scientist, Wow; throughout this, you have demonstrated that fact quite admirably. While I make no claim to be a scientist, I do try to be scientific (and admit that I may not be too good along that line); if that involves reading much that I may not like to read, as it contradicts much of my previous preconceptions, so be it. I am not afraid of being wrong; however, you, Wow, do display an incredible phobia of being wrong – you appear to avoid any possibility of viewing sites that question your devoutly held beliefs.

  183. #183 Radical Rodent
    March 20, 2012

    My own readings (obviously more extensive than yours) lead me to the conclusions that the logic of the “warmists” is that the Earth’s climate is unchangeable; that it is showing signs of changing must be the fault of humans; as a result, much money must be spent, many freedoms must be curtailed, and much environmental damage must be inflicted to correct it. The “denialists” appear to hold the view that climate change is a natural phenomenon, though it is possible that humans might have some influence upon it; their logic is that little can be done, but we must investigate ways to live more harmoniously with nature.

    Wow, I have asked you – hopefully, in a quite reasonable manner – that you give me more constructive arguments; you have failed, failed, and failed again. As I feel I am beating my head against a particularly solid brick wall, I give up, here.

  184. #184 Wow
    March 21, 2012

    “As usual, Wow, you can only resort to belittling comments.”

    As usual, you are pretending that your comments are worth anything other than belittling.

    And, again as usual, you can’t answer the questions about what the heck you’re talking about.

    “You really are not much of a scientist, Wow”

    What? Because I don’t read gossip, even if it’s from an old failed scientist?

    “Wow, I have asked you – hopefully, in a quite reasonable manner – that you give me more constructive arguments;”

    You’ve made unreasonable demands. You have been TOLD what the problem is. Yet you fail, continually, to acknowledge it because you can’t without showing your true colours.

    “My own readings (obviously more extensive than yours) lead me to the conclusions that the logic of the “warmists” is that the Earth’s climate is unchangeable”

    Well, someone who reads The National Enquirer would also say “my reading is more extensive than yours”. Tell me, you haven’t actually read any science, as proven by your “I don’t understand how greenhouse gasses can warm the planet” guff.

    And it’s rather the point that the climate scientists say that the climate IS changeable. It’s YOU and your fellow denialists who insist that it can’t change.

    “much money must be spent, many freedoms must be curtailed”

    Ah.

    Now we’re at your REAL problem. It isn’t scientific, it’s ideological libertarianism and neo-conservatism greed.

    Neither of which care about the science, just the policy.

    Guess what, sunshine: reality doesn’t care if you don’t like the answers.

    AGW is real, correct and a severe global problem. And you, like your fellow greedinistas, have shown that you WILL NOT clean up on your own, you have to be FORCED.

  185. #185 Wow
    March 21, 2012

    “The “denialists” appear to hold the view that climate change is a natural phenomenon”

    Do do us rationalists.

    And the combustion of hydrocarbons in an oxygen-rich atmosphere naturally creates CO2. CO2 naturally is an IR absorber, the sun naturally produces most of its radiation beyond the absorption spectra of CO2, and the earth naturally produces most of its radiation around that spectral range.

    This, naturally, causes an energy imbalance between input and output energy into the earth system and naturally, this positive balance causes excess warming of the earth system.

    And, naturally, you don’t like the idea.

  186. #186 Radical Rodent
    March 25, 2012

    Oh, dear. I revert to my more reasonable nature, and you revert to your unconstructive comments. I am sure a scientist could make quite a living out of investigating this phenomenon.

    I get the feeling that someone who glanced at billboards would be more broadly read than you, Wow. As usual, you cherry-pick – but can’t even get that right! Where did I say “I don’t understand how greenhouse gasses can warm the planet”?

    I shall answer that for you – nowhere on this board. I do understand that ALL gasses have a “greenhouse” effect (and that very term is a gross over-simplification of reality); some gasses will be more effective than others; some will be very effective. I thought I had made that clear through much of this discussion; of course, I hadn’t bargained with such a cherry-picker as you, but, hey, that is life.

  187. #187 Radical Rodent
    March 25, 2012

    …you WILL NOT clean up on your own, you have to be FORCED.” Nailing your own colours firmly to the mast, there, Wow. And who will do the forcing? – why, you and your ilk! My, what a surprise! No doubt that will mean you will have to drive many more miles in your SUV; fly ever further; burning ever more fuel, ensuring that I, and those like me, live a suitable stone-age life, so long as the fires heating the cave is not too big – let’s face it, that does appear to be the policy of the “face of global warming”, Mr Al Gore, as he helicopters over the ice, a look of deep concern on his face (yes, I have seen that film, and yes, it did give me great cause to worry, so I started trying to educate myself, with varying degrees of success – hence my initial comment); surely you should be following his example!

    I am reading more sites (none of them found through the one you seem to hate) that postulate that historical rising CO2 has tended to FOLLOW global warming, not lead it; other sites are now raising the validity of using tree-rings as proxies. Both concepts that will be seriously at odds with your beliefs, Wow, and, naturally, you don’t like the idea.

    They say the best thing about hitting your head against a wall is when you actually stop; I think I shall give that a try from now.

  188. #188 TTT
    March 28, 2012

    ensuring that I, and those like me, live a suitable stone-age life

    RR is a typical Chicken Little eco-alarmist and hysterical, emotion-driven doomsayer.

    Like all Chicken Little eco-alarmists and doomsayers, he is also a right-winger who denies all mainstream science.

    This is the same type who promised us that EVERY environmental law – Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, Superfund, and Montreal Ozone Accords – would be the one to force us back to living in caves and dying at 30. In Soviet Russia.

    Our economy is a robust system that can adapt to the natural changes that we humans impose upon it. We are just a force of evolution naturally impacting global markets, and they will adjust to any changes we bring in through reducing emissions in this or that waste gas, assuming there is even any change to market conditions at all, something the right-wing Chicken Little eco-alarmist doomsayers have never proved with sound science at all.

  189. #189 Radical Rodent
    March 28, 2012

    TTT, you obviously are basing your opinion upon my last post – far from being a doomsayer, right-winger (whatever you might mean by that) or otherwise, I fail to understand why the most recent of the various fluctuations that the Earth’s climate goes through can be such a cause for panic that is gripping the hysterical eco-alarmists that are running around, screaming, “World is warming! The seas are rising! We are all doomed! It is all the fault of humans!” with the codicil: “Unless you pay shed-loads of money to extremely suspect people promoting very dodgy science.” Then see unsightly, environmentally-unfriendly, low-return wind farms sprouting up like weeds all over the place, all “to save the planet”.

    I have seen Al Gore’s film, and was taken in by it, causing a period of concern for myself; however, unlike many others, I decided that I would investigate a bit further, looking at sites with widely diverse opinions (and many of which were quite laughable). The more I read, the more I realised that climate change is a natural occurrence; indeed, it is a bit odd to think that climate would the only unchanging feature of the world. Yes, humans will have an impact upon the climate, but the evidence shows that any effect is pretty minimal; there are far larger forces at work than mere humans, and there is little we can do to affect it to any great degree.

    And I am not too sure what sort of point you are trying to make with your rather oxymoronic final paragraph; economies, like empires, rise and fall; we humans have enjoyed the longest period of growth in known history, though we have to accept that even this will not last for ever. (Though when and how this may come about, I have no idea.)

  190. #190 TTT
    March 28, 2012

    Shorter RR: “Global warming isn’t real because I don’t want to pay for it.”

    It was awful to think of the Soviet nuclear arsenal and its destructive capabilities. So awful that I honestly think if today’s conservatives were around back then, they’d have sworn until sunset that nuclear reactions were scientifically unproven and made up by Nikita Kruschev just to scare us.

    If you want to oppose some big government policy to fight climate change, that’s fine, oppose it. All policy solutions are probably doomed anyway. But it is logically impossible to claim to believe in a greenhouse effect driven by greenhouse gases and yet simultaneously claim to believe that human activities are not effecting our climate. No one can possibly think that. The GHGs either matter or they don’t.

  191. #191 Wow
    March 29, 2012

    Well, looky here. Rodent has come out of the closet as a denier, as predicted.

    ““…you WILL NOT clean up on your own, you have to be FORCED.” Nailing your own colours firmly to the mast, there”

    And if you want to murder someone, you are NOT ALLOWED and will be punished and FORCED to stop.

    If you want to go stealing cars, you will be FORCED to give it back.

    If you want to fiddle three year old boys, you will be FORCED to stop.

    If you DON’T like being forced by government to do something or refrain from something, then you’d best go to Somalia.

    Where it will be the local gangs who will FORCE you to give up everything you own.

  192. #192 Wow
    March 29, 2012

    It’s also relevant that none of rodent’s whining has shown any reason to doubt AGW. The only shown is he doesn’t like the consequences.

    Cancer doesn’t care that you like smoking but don’t like getting cancer.

  193. #193 Radical Rodent
    March 29, 2012

    TTT, your logic seems to be a bizarre as Wow’s. Where have I said that there is no global warming? (Answer: nowhere.) I can accept that there is climate change; there have always been changes in the world’s climate; to think that it is unchangeable is plain stupid. 1,000 years ago, there were farms on Greenland; 400 years ago, the River Thames froze solid. Even further back, the weather in Great Britain was so mild that settlements developed in areas at altitudes where even now it is still considered too hostile for settlement. Also, it should be noted that most of the recent rise in global temperatures occurred before 1950.

    As for your allusion to the Soviet weaponry, I think you need to brush up on your more recent history a bit; it was the west that created the first nuclear reactions, and they are well-proven, scientifically; it was conservatives of the post-war west who whipped up the hysteria of the cold war. You’ll be saying that McCarthy was a Marxist, soon.

    It is highly unlikely that climate change can be “fought”, any more than we can dictate when and where it will rain; we just have to accept it, and adapt to the situation. We have had to do it in the past; I am sure that we should be able to do it in the future. Governments, however, can see this as a wonderful cash-cow, allowing them to impose ever more charges upon the people as they pursue their ever-more Quixotic ideals.

  194. #194 Wow
    March 29, 2012

    “Where have I said that there is no global warming?”

    Where have you said that the euro is better than the dollar?

    “I can accept that there is climate change; there have always been changes in the world’s climate”

    But it doesn’t “decide” to change. Something changes that causes it to change.

    CO2 can do this no problem. And we’re pouring out a lot of that.

    “1,000 years ago, there were farms on Greenland”

    That failed within a few years because it was mis-sold. This, however, is yet another zombie denier argument.

    “400 years ago, the River Thames froze solid”

    And now it doesn’t.

    “Even further back, the weather in Great Britain was so mild that settlements developed in areas at altitudes where even now it is still considered too hostile for settlement.”

    Just plain wrong.

    “Also, it should be noted that most of the recent rise in global temperatures occurred before 1950.”

    OK, another completely and utterly wrong “factoid”.

    “It is highly unlikely that climate change can be “fought”, any more than we can dictate when and where it will rain”

    However, even though there’s no way to “fight” earthquakes, we can fight humans blowing them up.

    “Governments, however, can see this as a wonderful cash-cow”

    HOW??????

  195. #195 Radical Rodent
    April 5, 2012

    TTT, one other idea of yours has perplexed me for a while: why do you equate those who question the supposed threat of AGW to Chicken Little?

    Surely, it is the “warmists” who are the Chicken Littles of this? They are the ones running around, shouting the equivalent of, “The sky is falling!” Then, when the “denialists” look around and say, “I’m not too sure about that,” they are decried as doubters of the faith, atheistic in their idea that they want to see more concrete evidence, other than a few rather contentious readings of events that could have more than one cause.

    As the apostles of “the cause” (their own description of it, not mine) lay their vast carbon footprints around the globe, the politicians greedily rub their hands as they watch, and dream up all sorts of bizarre “green” and “carbon” taxes, and ensure that their friends receive huge subsidies from the tax-payers for highly-questionable, environmentally unfriendly schemes.

    I have no idea how the upcoming energy crisis can be solved, but do know that it will NOT be solved by taxing the populace into poverty, or by crushing any other avenue of research other than the government-approved one.

  196. #196 Radical Rodent
    April 6, 2012

    Try this TTT – and then say who the Chicken Little is:

  197. #197 Radical Rodent
    April 6, 2012

    Dang! The link didn’t work. Never mind,

  198. #198 Radical Rodent
    April 6, 2012

    And now its gone completely. Oh, well – it was a good link, trust me…

  199. #199 Wow
    April 10, 2012

    “Surely, it is the “warmists” who are the Chicken Littles of this?”

    Nope.

    It isn’t Chicken Little to say “drinking neat bleach will harm you”.

    However, you and your weasel cohorts keep whining about how doing anything about our actions will “cause catastrophe” and either

    a) A New World Order
    b) All money given to the West Rich
    c) All money given to the African Poor
    d) The turning off of all lights and regression to the Dark Ages

    or possibly all four.

    I note that you still can’t say why:

    “Governments, however, can see this as a wonderful cash-cow”

    Since

    a) this means less money spent on the biggest businesses
    b) this doesn’t mean they can’t get all the money they want any other way, therefore the problem is nothing to to with ways of taking money off people, but how much money they can take.