Copenhagen Diagnosis

The Copenhagen Diagnosis is an update to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report to cover research published since then.

i-87b327363657705b302f2535c14ae21b-Copenhagen_Diagnosisf16.png

This is the science that the cracker who stole the emails from CRU wants to distract you from.

Via RealClimate.

Comments

  1. #1 David Kane
    November 25, 2009

    “distract?”

    Tim: I think that you are at your best when you take on the strongest arguments from the “other side” rather than the weakest ones. Consider two of the arguments made against CRU: from Willis Eschenbach and Eric Raymond. You should devote threads to these critiques rather than maligning the motives of the CRU whistleblower.

  2. #2 Dappledwater
    November 25, 2009

    And what does CRU have to do with sea level rise?. Tim, is talking about distracting people other than deniers.

  3. #3 MarkB
    November 25, 2009

    Check out those evil scientists using their trick of adding in satellite observations to the graph. I can think of no rational explanation for that since I’m too busy being “outraged”. I demand they release all their personal emails regarding this fake report so we can peruse them and fill in the context gap that is inherent in such exchanges between scientists with claims of sinister motivations and conspiracy. If they don’t release them, more power to the brave whistleblower who steals them. We shall not be taxed to death and taken over by a one world government because of these false prophets!

  4. #4 Marco
    November 25, 2009

    @David Kane
    Eschenbach’s criticism can be stricken down with one little fact: the raw data paid for by public money is fully available through GHCN. The remaining 2% of data in the HADCRU dataset is owned by other, commercial organisations. Reality vs deniers 1-0
    Eric Raymond’s criticism is also based on lack of knowledge, and has been explained in detail MANY places (hint: divergence)
    Reality vs deniers 2-0

    And you want whole threads for that?

  5. #5 ali baba
    November 25, 2009

    My own confidence in this side has risen dramatically now that David Kane and ESR have weighed in on for the other side.

    As Gavin explained, to you in fact, on RC, “Eschenbach was told in 2007 exactly why they couldn’t release the stuff that included the restricted data from the NMSs but that the vast majority of the data was online already. Nothing has changed except that CRU have been harassed with perhaps 100 vexatious FOI requests for exactly the same thing, and which received (unsurprisingly) exactly the same response.”

    I remember Gavin also commented on the VERY ARTIFICIAL correction thingy somewhere in those two RC threads.

  6. #6 dhogaza
    November 25, 2009

    Eric Raymond’s criticism is also based on lack of knowledge, and has been explained in detail MANY places (hint: divergence)

    Yeah, I spent maybe 10 seconds looking at Eric Raymond’s post, spotted the same old fallacious misunderstanding, and closed the page (I’m not fan of Eric Raymond, who’s a far-right libertarian typical of a certain segment of software engineering).

    David Kane, your task, should you accept it, is to learn why Raymond’s not understanding what’s going on.

  7. #7 dhogaza
    November 25, 2009

    I think that you are at your best when you take on the strongest arguments from the “other side” rather than the weakest ones

    However, David Kane’s right that these are perhaps the strongest arguments from the “other side” – as pathetically weak as they are.

  8. #8 Hank Roberts
    November 25, 2009
  9. #9 ben
    November 25, 2009

    That graph is science?

  10. #10 MapleLeaf
    November 25, 2009

    I agree with Tim Lambert. Those in denial want to distract the public from graphs like the one shown above. Why should we let them decide what science we choose to discuss. Those in denial wish to introduce doubt and confusion in people’s minds, b/c they know all too well that people tend to do nothing when even the least bit confused or skeptical. It is worth keeping in mind that the latest report clearly demonstrates that the IPCC projections have, to date, been too conservative. So much for alarmist green zealots.

    PS: And I doubt the person/s (if any) at CRU involved in the email hack are ‘whistle blowers’. Correct me if I am wrong, but they still had to hack into the email server to obtain other peoples’ emails. The only legal means by which they could have come by these emails is if they were actually on the email list (cc’d) and had legal authority to access to some of the data on a communal drive. Even then, removing those data files and providing them together with private emails to the general public is illegal and unethical. So stop treating these criminals like heroes. Had they come by the information innocently, they could have gone to officials directly, but probably couldn’t because they obtained the material illegally. These people also hacked into the RC web server.

  11. #11 carrot eater
    November 25, 2009

    Let’s talk about the report itself. I’ve read about half of it; it has some sidebars devoted pretty pointedly to batting away various sceptic talking points.

    It clearly isn’t as comprehensive a review as the IPCC report itself, but they admit as much. It’s pretty good for an update of what’s happened since then.

  12. #12 dhogaza
    November 25, 2009

    Ah, well, I’ve left a few posts over at ESRs blog. I guess his foaming-at-the-mouth symptoms aren’t due to rabies after all, because if so he’d’ve died years ago.

    Must be some other disease …

  13. #13 dhogaza
    November 25, 2009

    And I doubt the person/s (if any) at CRU involved in the email hack are ‘whistle blowers’.

    Well, the person/s hacked into real climate, which is why it was down for a day last week.

    That’s not whistleblowing …

  14. #14 Allan
    November 25, 2009

    A quick scan of the report indicates that something is missing.
    Population increase.
    3 billion in 1970, 6.5 billion today and UN modeling indicating in 2050 a low scenario 8 billion, mid case 9 billion and high case of 12 billion.
    It appears that CO2e isn’t the only thing that is doubling every 40 years with a doubling of housing and food production to support the population increase.
    And since it is politically unpalatable for government to limit an individuals fertility there is no way to reduce this growth in population without one of the four horsemen visiting humanity.

    Would you care to comment on the CRU code that is now appearing on other blogs, since this is your speciality and can speak with some authority.

  15. #15 S
    November 25, 2009

    Actually, the FOI requests were because CRU stonewalled on giving a simple LIST of what stations were used. Saying “the data’s on the internet in GHCN” in insufficient unless you indicate which 2,000 out of 20,000 stations were actually used in generating the result.

    And independent of that, if CRU posesses proprietary data that they cannot disclose, why can they not indicate which data is under contract? If we knew who it was, we and IPCC could ask them to open up…. or substitute public datasets instead. However, it seems that they ‘lost the contracts’. For something this important, the utmost in transparency is needed. Should we trust a few dozen scientists who hide their data sources, data, methods, and analysis code when billions of people are going to be affected and trillions of dollars are on the line?

    Global warming is not a game. Global warming is not something which ego’s can be allowed to corrupt. Getting it wrong and overrestricting CO2 could put billions into poverty and then famine. Getting it wrong and underrestricting CO2 could put billions into famine and then poverty. What if the scientists are wrong, in either direction?

  16. #16 dhogaza
    November 25, 2009

    Actually, the FOI requests were because CRU stonewalled on giving a simple LIST of what stations were used. Saying “the data’s on the internet in GHCN” in insufficient unless you indicate which 2,000 out of 20,000 stations were actually used in generating the result.

    Whatever. Rejected. Rejection upheld on appeal. Neener-neener.

  17. #17 guthrie
    November 25, 2009

    S seems to be claiming an awful lot of knowledge with no evidence added to back it up.

  18. #18 Joseph
    November 25, 2009

    What if the scientists are wrong, in either direction?

    This is the old “What if everything we know about X is wrong?” angle, often used by the media.

    The scientific method is not perfect, but it’s the best method we have to understand reality. Let’s hope it gets it as right as possible.

  19. #19 Douglas Watts
    November 25, 2009

    As you can see, they used the “trick” of putting the blue satellite line right on top of the red tidal gauge line so you can barely see it.

    What are they trying to hide?

    The Trooof !!!1!!

  20. #20 Boris
    November 25, 2009

    Does anyone know where I can download the UAH MSU code? Thanks in advance.

  21. #21 Jim Thompson
    November 25, 2009

    Eric Raymond is a douche.

  22. #22 S
    November 25, 2009

    The scientific method does eventually arrive at the truth. Of course, it can often go wrong for a while (eg, eugenics). Fortunately, independent scientists can replicate, reanalyze and correct errors. This takes a lot longer if the original science is kept secret. However, global warming isn’t like a debate about the fall of the Mayan civilization. Policy issues affecting billions of people are resting upon its conclusions. Maximum transparency is needed, now, rather than having the replication be delayed by unnecessary secrecy. (And dhogaza, if you don’t think transparency is important, then I have nothing further to say to you.)

    If you want a writeup of one source of FoI evasions, read.
    http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/willis-vs-the-cru-a-history-of-foi-evasion/#more-1581

  23. #23 dhogaza
    November 25, 2009

    And dhogaza, if you don’t think transparency is important, then I have nothing further to say to you.

    No one is locking up Nature, Science, GRL, etc … they’re all out there in the open for you to read. They’re out there for McI and Watts to publish in. Yet they don’t.

    There’s tons of data, code, etc available on the web – for all their screaming about wanting the small bits that aren’t public, they do damn little with the vast amounts which are.

    Which tells me something.

  24. #24 luminous beauty
    November 25, 2009

    S,

    The Willy E screed has already been dealt with [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/copenhagen_diagnosis.php#comment-2101645).

    Anything new to add?

  25. #25 George Darroch
    November 25, 2009

    When they do get the data, they distort it in ways that are unrecognisable to honest statisticians and scientists. Consistently. Every damn time.

    They don’t deserve it, really. There may be some legal obligation to give them the data, or a tactical one (they’ll scream conspiracy otherwise), but the moral one has well and truly been extinguished.

  26. #26 WAG
    November 25, 2009

    “cracker”?

  27. #27 ali baba
    November 25, 2009

    Maximum transparency is needed, now

    I agree, but the the biggest source of resistance to transparency in science is the commercial system in which science is embedded. Funny that denialists are predominantly conservative and glibertarian. One day, when science is finally socialized, we can all have a good laugh about that.

  28. #28 TrueSceptic
    November 25, 2009

    12 dhogaza,

    Good work. That blog’s new to me but it’s umm, a bit obvious in its beliefs, isn’ it?

  29. #29 sod
    November 25, 2009

    They don’t deserve it, really. There may be some legal obligation to give them the data, or a tactical one (they’ll scream conspiracy otherwise), but the moral one has well and truly been extinguished.

    i agree. i expect them to get punished for their behaviour on this.

    for example [Pielke sr](http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2009/11/20/comment-on-the-hacking-of-the-cru-website/) does not waste a single word on the CRIME that was commited…

  30. #30 dhogaza
    November 25, 2009

    That blog’s new to me but it’s umm, a bit obvious in its beliefs, isn’ it?

    Jim Thompson pegged Eric Raymond accurately above – and it has nothing to do with ESRs views on climate science …

  31. #31 TrueSceptic
    November 25, 2009

    30 dhogaza,

    Ad hominem! AD HOMINEM!

  32. #32 sod
    November 25, 2009

    take a look on Pileks’s spin on the use “independent, GROUPS OF SCIENTISTS” by [Pileke](http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2009/11/25/an-erroneous-statement-made-by-phil-jones-to-the-media-on-the-independence-of-the-global-surface-temperature-trend-analyses-of-cru-giss-and-ncdc/)

    what is happening is absurd theatre. they should ask people to pay, if they want to watch…

  33. #33 dhogaza
    November 25, 2009

    Sod, I can’t look – how do you bear it? First WUWT, then RP Sr?

  34. #34 sod
    November 25, 2009

    text above is supposed to end with:

    … Phil Jones.

    dhogaza:
    all those scientists are under heavy attack at the moment. i think some masochistic part of me wants to share their pain.

  35. #35 RdTop
    November 25, 2009

    I had a thought, when all glaciers have melted away, what will the ice core borers do for a living? ha ha ha ha ha

  36. #36 TokyoTom
    November 25, 2009

    the biggest source of resistance to transparency in science is the commercial system in which science is embedded. Funny that denialists are predominantly conservative and glibertarian.

    Is the first really true? Isn`t most of the climate science imbedded in universities and research institutes almost wholly reliant on public funds?

    Conservatives and glibs` complaints on transparency and allegations of perverse incentives for publicly-funded scientists to find problems would end if a solid chunk of the research and modelling were done by industry groups, like insurers (Allianz, Swiss Re: etc.).

    Likewise, conservatives and glibs should be directed to the support by insurers and even firms like Exxon on the climate science, even as arguments about policy will remain.

  37. #37 Hank Roberts
    November 25, 2009

    They will be very grateful to Lonnie Thompson, who got the cores in time, and they will work from the archived ice in the freezers at Ohio State and other places.

    Same as many biologists work from collections of animals and plants that are no longer found alive.

    If you believed the world was more than 6,000 years old, you’d understand why they do this, perhaps.

  38. #38 ali baba
    November 25, 2009

    Is the first really true? Isn`t most of the climate science imbedded in universities and research institutes almost wholly reliant on public funds?

    Of OECD countries, 2/3rds of science & technology R&D is corporate. Distressingly, much of it is in the biological & health sciences (thank god for the Human Genome Project or else we’d be buying subscriptions to genome databases from Celera). I imagine most climate research is funded by government, but universities do enter into complex funding arrangements with private sources just in order to survive.

  39. #39 Chris O'Neill
    November 25, 2009

    David Kane:

    maligning the motives of the CRU whistleblower

    Oh the irony.

  40. #40 el gordo
    November 25, 2009

    I may have missed something, but my understanding is that it wasn’t an inside job. That is, no whistleblower to speak of.

    The Russian/Turkish connection is not taken seriously. Putin enjoyed being a spy, understands the meaning of espionage and still likes to keep his hand in the game.

    Embarrassing the West was as simple as a hack.

  41. #41 Tim Lambert
    November 25, 2009

    Kudos for David Kane for a most excellent piece of threadjacking. Like the CRU cracker he wants to distract you from the Copenhagen Diagnosis. I will delete any discussion of the crimes against CRU from the this thread — there are already multiple threads on that.

  42. #42 Tyler DiPietro
    November 25, 2009

    Oh yeah, Eric Raymond seems to think plotting the coefficients makes his case for him when he has no idea what variables the coefficients are being applied to. And he scales the graph to a vertical range of ~3 to make the rise seem more pronounced. Typical.

    Once again, if this is the best the denialists have, their case is weak indeed.

  43. #43 Tyler DiPietro
    November 25, 2009

    Sorry Tim, missed your message because I didn’t refresh the page.

  44. #44 dhogaza
    November 26, 2009

    I may have missed something, but my understanding is that it wasn’t an inside job. That is, no whistleblower to speak of.

    Why bless you el gordo, despite your usual denialist shit, you’ve accurately pegged David Kane as being caught with his head stuck solidly up his ass.

    You have at least some sense of honesty and honor. Too bad about the company you keep…

  45. #45 Steve Chamberlain
    November 26, 2009

    Tim, thanks for posting this up. It’s a shame you can’t keep this post at the top of the pile (along the lines of a “sticky” or “pinned” post like some bulletin board forums do), because IMO we need to keep the issues this summary raises at the forefront. We also need to remind the various trolls, denialobotomists, muppets and fossil fuel lobby activists that plague this site and others (RC particularly) that for all their caterwauling over the (illegal hacking of) CRU files, they still haven’t provided a single coherent rival theory to anthropogenically induced climate change that even partially explains the phenomena observed and summarised in the Copenhagen Diagnosis document.

    Again IMO the accessibility of the Diagnosis is a two edged sword. While on the one hand rank amateurs like me can read and digest it without feeling the need for the mental equivalent of a purgative, on the other it drives home how much of a fix we’ve put ourselves in.

    Subsequently reading the denialomiasma leaking from the ethics-free zone that the anti-science platoon here and elsewhere inhabit:

    1) makes the urge to beat their heads against something very big and unyielding irresistible; and

    2) makes the urge to beat their heads against something very big and unyielding irresistible.

  46. #46 Chris Tucker
    November 26, 2009

    David Kane, your task, should you accept it, is to learn why Raymond’s not understanding what’s going on.

    The Inerrant Thought of Chairman Rand states as indisputable fact that the Dominion by man over Nature is a Good Thing, and nothing bad can possibly come of it.

    Therefore, as the science behind the AGW hypothesis contradicts The Inerrant Thought of Chairman Rand, said science is now “junk science” propagated by the International Socialist Conspiracy to do something or other (Eric hasn’t QUITE figured out what, though. It does involve Scary Brown People, though.)

    Therefore as a Randroid First Class, ESR MUST denounce the science behind the AGW hypothesis, as it contradicts The Inerrant Thought Of Chairman Rand.

    (I’m on a mailing list with that blowhard buffoon. You can’t begin to imagine what it’s like sometimes.)

  47. #47 Mark Byrne
    November 26, 2009

    On the topic of stories that got missed in the coordinated distraction, there was [this post](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/on_those_stolen_cru_emails.php#comment-2093693) from LB:

    >Meanwhile, in [other news](http://www.azstarnet.com/metro/317863), Mackie’s main claim to spurious hockey stick data seems to have evaporated.

  48. #48 Steve Chamberlain
    November 26, 2009

    I need to make it clear that the last two points in this post are purely a rhetorical device.

  49. #50 Canada Guy
    November 26, 2009

    The US and China have finally announced real numbers for their targets to reduce carbon emissions. Unfortunately these numbers, especially from the US, are far too weak. We need a strong agreement at Copenhagen, but this won’t get us there. In many ways, a weak agreement at Copenhagen could be even worse than no agreement, as it would lock in targets too small to make a significant difference.

    http://www.selfdestructivebastards.com/2009/11/emissions-targets.html

  50. #51 David Kane
    November 26, 2009

    Tim,

    Apologies! Not my intention to threadjack. Feel free to delete the comment.

    On the Diagnosis Report, I am impressed with the high quality production values: gorgeous pictures, nice graphics and so on. Well done!

  51. #52 Joseph
    November 26, 2009

    I’ve written a post in response to Eric Raymond’s Hiding the Decline: Part 1.

  52. #53 dhogaza
    November 26, 2009

    Joseph, I left a lengthy comment to your post over at your blog … hopefully you’ll find it useful (at least the link to a review paper on the divergence problem, anyway! :)

  53. #54 Arthur von Neumann
    November 26, 2009

    Another counter-PR attempt?

    Sea level has been rising since measuring began 300 years ago. It probably has been rising more or less steadily since the last great glacial melt. What it will do in the future is purely a guess… Although I think it will probably keep rising. How that relates to anthropogenesis is purely conjectural.

    Next question.

    The great issue some of us skeptics have is the same issue Freeman Dyson has stated; the models are full of highly advanced fudge and the people playing around with them, it would seem, don’t have the insight to realize this (or guts to admit it?). What’s that Goethe line, “the confusion of the real and the ideal never go unpunished.”

    Furthermore, while there is some beautiful science involved in the proxy techniques (clever use of isotopes and such), the overall verity of the data is utterly dependent on more or less static general conditions over great periods of time surrounding the proxy entity (tree, glacier). But there is simply no way to know the conditions surrounding the proxies, except by the data collected by the proxies, which are dependent on the surrounding atmosphere. In other words, one great windstorm might wipe away the data of hundreds of years on a glacier, and we can’t know it by looking at the core data. The idea that these kinds of attempts can lead to anything close to accurate data sets is at best arguable.

    And all the statistical tricks being used will not fool anybody who has worked with statistics for any length of time in a professional capacity. Statistics are guesses, pure and simple. And guess upon guess upon guess amounts to nothing, I don’t care what values and equations are involved, how big or fancy or complex. And I don’t care what is claimed to be the margin of error. Margin of error is a made up number as well. Equations aren’t realities, unless they can predict reality. (Harry_read_me but please don’t believe me.)

    As Dyson says — and it should be pointed out that Dyson is one of the great minds of our time, he is no crank, and he has pointed out that most of his scientist friends agree with him on this point (Institute for Advanced Study and Jason, anybody?) — the climate modellers are all too captivated by their simulations. They have become isolated from the physical reality of cause and effect and true complexity (as opposed to the kind of simplified complexity that they model).

    I do not assert a hoax. But nor can I trust the degree of physical insight and epistemology at the foundations of the discipline.

    And please, do the entire debate a favor and stop saying all skeptics are funded by big oil or something. Its so childish. Do you really think if Richard Feynman were still alive he would blindly accept the assertions of the CRU? Hell no, he would be an absolute thorn in their sides. Just like he was to everybody else who made claims based on models and stats.

    This is not to say that many of the skeptics aren’t illiterate idiots, because they probably are. And clearly some of them are funded by oil companies in some part. But this is not some instant indictment.

    Just as one oft-pilloried example, AEI has some good people on staff, and because they get %10 of their budget over ten years from some oil company, instantly everything they are saying is dismissed out of hand? This is purely absurd and childish. Which is to say, it is pure politics.

    I want to make it clear, as well, that I am atheist, very pro environment and very pro-science. But I believe the way forward, environmentally speaking, is by developing the next generation technologies. All the money being funnelled to these computer-priests, IMHO really should be going to the scientists and engineers who might really get done what is required for a clean and sustainable future to happen.

    Anyway, that is my opinion on the matter.

  54. #55 Gaz
    November 26, 2009

    Arthur von N, you seem to believe that climate scientists know pretty much nothing about how the climate system works.

    Given that, what makes you think the sea level “will probably keep rising”, even though you the role of humans in that is “purely conjectural”?

    Do you realise that, even though you claim to be a sceptic, this position you are taking (those scientists and their models can’t tell us anything and, oh, yeah by the way, the sea level will just keep on rising and even though I have no idea whether we humans are causing it I just, well, I just *know* it somehow) sounds awfully like standard denial to me.

    I don’t care what values and equations are involved, how big or fancy or complex. And I don’t care what is claimed to be the margin of error…

    No, you don’t.

    In fact, reading you post, would I be right in concluding that you believe it’s not possible to know anything about how the climate works or about how it has behaved in the past?

    You want lots of money to go to “scientists and engineers who might really get done what is required for a clean and sustainable future to happen”, yet you deny the possibility that those same scientists can know whether the future is sustainable given our existing technology?

    Huh?

  55. #56 Gaz
    November 26, 2009

    woops: “..even though you *SAY* the role of humans..”

  56. #57 Bernard J.
    November 27, 2009

    I’ve written [a post](http://residualanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/11/very-artificial-quote-mining.html) in response to Eric Raymond’s Hiding the Decline: Part 1.

    Joseph.

    Nice work. You elegantly point out something that anyone who handles more than a few dozen datapoints almost inevitably does – my own databases are riddled with ‘artifical’ datasets in order to debug routines, equations, and other operations. Personally, I’ve used the terms ‘artificial’, ‘pretend’, ‘garbage’ and ‘nonsense’ to title various such “tricks”, depending on my whim of the day.

    That a serious analyser of data would not understand this completely mundane aspect of the operation of science is unbelievable. I won’t speculate on Eric Raymond’s motivations however, because I might be somewhat less than charitable in my opinion…

  57. #58 jemima
    November 27, 2009

    I might say Arthur that yours is an interesting surname for one as dismissive as you are of modelling, simulations, complexity and computers. Personally I also really don’t think that there’s much “simple” about guesswork with statistics, and surely it’s true that quality statistical work informs plenty of quality science in various fields? You are making some pretty extreme claims, I think! Have you looked through the Copenhagen Diagnosis report?

  58. #59 ben
    November 27, 2009

    Interesting graph. Also interesting that Carl Wunsch of MIT said

    It remains possible that the data base is insufficient to compute mean sea level trends with the accuracy necessary to discuss the impact of global warming – as disappointing as this conclusion may be.

    .

    Oh well, that graph showing a 4 cm sea level rise has me scared. I’m going to move to higher ground just to be sure.

  59. #60 MarkB
    November 27, 2009

    Adding to Joseph’s comment is a good description by Gavin in comment #712 of this post:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/the-cru-hack-context/

    Emails and code snippets lack context and have plenty of ambiguity – perfect for political hacks to concoct all sorts of sinister interpretations.

  60. #61 Arthur von Neumann
    November 27, 2009

    Gaz…

    Re: Sea level rising: There’s a trend. A very long trend, beginning before industrialization. As a human beings we see a trend and assume continuance. But a trend has nothing necessarily to do with a vector. That is a basic error of statistical projection.

    No doubt, however, CO2 emissions will increase as China and India rise. This trend, I think, is a vector that can be assumed because we understand people as striving toward better conditions (as opposed to natural global forces, which act according to a physics that we don’t yet understand.) So, the possibility that China and India will continue using CO2 emitting technology as they rise is very high.

    I believe that the only way this inevitable rise in CO2 will change is to change the technology these countries use. As it stands, China and India are not going to keep millions of their citizens in abject poverty and misery because of first world statistical projections based upon, let’s face it, incomplete understanding of the climate, and a lack of epistemological humility about the ability of simplified models to predict the future. Not to mention more basic questions about the validity of the claims made about CO2’s role in things, the validity of proxies, the quality of the data collection, the integrity of the data storage, the sense of the statistical methods employed, the zealotry of the activists, the distaste for criticism and openness, and other reasons.

    If you can’t appreciate the above reservations, I submit that you simply have no appreciation for epistemology whatsoever. And the very foundation of science is epistemology.

    Regarding the Von Neumann surname, surely you aren’t suggesting that John Von Neumann would be less skeptical about the methods of climatologists than either Dyson or Feynman.

    And surely you aren’t suggesting that Hansen, Mann, and others at the top of the AGW food chain are scientists of the caliber of great physicists of our age? These people are run of the mill scientists. Smart men, but not geniuses.

    And not even geniuses can predict the future.

    The climate models can’t even predict the past. At least not without a glut of fudge factors “making things work.”

    Incidentally, such accusations as “you sound like a denier!” are really childish. Have some humility about your own intellects, please. Most of the AGW activists wouldn’t know a path integral from a wiring diagram. So the great mass of good hearted folk who are demanding action now (!) on AGW are simply acting on faith. And masses of people acting on faith should scare the crap out of any sane person.

  61. #62 Jim Thomerson
    November 27, 2009

    Is there anything to this? http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091123083704.htm

    As I understand the news release, the argument is that nothing can be done about climate change which will not be catastrophic.

  62. #63 jemima
    November 27, 2009

    Yes Arthur I’d expect a John von Neumann to be highly skeptical and of course he’d also have a bit more of a clue than the so-called “skeptics” we typically hear from. He’d want to read the literature before publishing his criticisms of it. He would publish in the peer reviewed climate science literature itself, agreed? It’s clear that this literature as it stands today gives us the grounds we need as a relatively advanced civilization to be acting urgently to lower the rate of our emissions from fossil fuels. In the peer-reviewed literature there’s all the evidence we need. We should as a matter of urgency right now be taking a risk-based or “insurance” approach to this precious planet and our future on it.

  63. #64 jemima
    November 27, 2009

    On the strength of the material at your link Jim I think we can we see why no economics journal would touch it, it’s on the “naive” shall we say level of economic analysis. The idea that economic strength is closely correlated to energy use is noncontroversial. His idea that increased energy efficiency actually feeds back into increased economic growth and also increased energy use is also supported by some good historical evidence. But if for argument’s sake energy use were to be increasing at 5%pa while energy efficiency was improving at 10%pa then we’d be getting somewhere wouldn’t we? It’s not the end of the world yet, however we ought to be acting like there’s a real risk of it right around the bend the way we’re going. “Skeptics” would have you do nothing about risk mitigation, I don’t know why.

  64. #65 dhogaza
    November 27, 2009

    es Arthur I’d expect a John von Neumann to be highly skeptical and of course he’d also have a bit more of a clue than the so-called “skeptics” we typically hear from. He’d want to read the literature before publishing his criticisms of it. He would publish in the peer reviewed climate science literature itself, agreed?

    One thing you could be sure of, though, unlike many denialists, Johnny von Neumann would *never* claim that monte carlo modeling is “unscientific”.

    (extra credit if you know why!)

  65. #67 Arthur Von Neumann
    November 28, 2009

    First of all Monte Carlo stats is neither scientific nor unscientific, it is a mathematical method based upon a theory. I think you would agree that there is a significant and essential difference between math and science. And this difference just so happens to go to the heart of the matter in question.

    Any time series analysis is only as good as the inputs. Monte Carlo is all well and good if you have sufficient recordings of strong integrity to match against the synthetic data. But proxy data is synthetic data as well. Where is the control? A few isolated temp stations in 1920? Some anecdotal diary entry in 1814? Extrapolations are hardly recordings. Our planet surface covers nearly 200 million square miles… the idea of extrapolating the global surface temps from stunningly incomplete data is absurd. So stop believing the numbers are real. They aren’t. The equations themselves are merely models, highly simplified.

    Do your really know what the margin of error is for a tree ring data bit from 1870 when you have no idea what else was going on that year except through other anecdotal data bits. Is teleconnection a direct linking of the specificity claimed? What surety do we have about teleconnections from 100 years ago when they can’t even be simulated? I have no idea and neither does anybody else of proper skeptical bent. (Especially after appreciating the “divergence problem.”) Rigor includes appreciating the overwhelming amount of data about the past that is necessarily unknowable.

    Creating simplified models is not a workaround to this problem. Implying these toys have Markovian surety is a dubious assertion. The over-reliance on deductions in all this is worrying.

    The various models are cleverly and intelligently designed methods of speculation, and that is all they are. This should be acknowledged.

    What is going on here is the same phenomena that occurs when reading about history. A few books on the civil war gives one some general sense about what is going on, and compared to someone who knows nothing, the educated fellow is deemed an expert. But the actual reality of that time is so concrete, vast, and remote compared to what can be learned from books that the expertise of the expert is purely an illusion. Symbolic communication is always pretending it is complete. That is why it is so seductive to the ego.

    In a physicists lab, conditions can be optimized, the system can be closed, the chain reaction controlled and analyzed. The equations can be compared directly with what they purport to model. If one wants to get a GENERAL SENSE of what the neutron diffusion might be, sure, run the numbers.

    But don’t believe your math. We should recall that the margin of error on the yields of the atomic bombs fluctuated somewhere between 10 and 20 percent. (Now that’s about the range that the climate models should admit, I would suggest. But even a 2 percent margin of error, if admitted, applied almost anywhere in your simulation chain, would serve to give the more absolutist members of your congregation a proper appreciation of how dubious the whole apparatus is.)

    The climate, unlike a physical reaction in a closed space, is not a controlled or controllable stochastic process. And it is huge, rather than at the atomic scale. So there is no way to arrive at the margin of error, because you can’t run tests that resemble the macro system at work. You simply can’t test the margin of error against reality. Declaring the margin of error based on maths isn’t a workaround with any integrity. Reality is the source of integrity, first, last, and always. And if you cannot generate a margin of error honestly, how can you assume it would be non-trivial?

    Which is all to say, I have grave reservations about how applicable atomic scale analysis methods are to global processes. And I’m not the only one by a long shot. (Unemployed Wall Street Quants, anyone?)

    Epistemology, my friends.

  66. #68 Gaz
    November 28, 2009

    Arthur von N:

    There’s a trend. A very long trend, beginning before industrialization.

    Yeah, [right](http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/sl_hist_intro.html#fewthousand).

    Pull the other one, Arthur.

  67. #69 dhogaza
    November 28, 2009

    Arthur: master of word salad with lots of sciencey sounding phrases.

  68. #70 jemima
    November 29, 2009

    So all that is to say then, Arthur, that things we can’t be certain about in a lab-work and mathematical sense are things we’re not to worry our pretty little heads about? You can’t be certain that the sun will rise tomorrow so you make no plans based on an assumption that it most likely will? To cut a long reply short I’m guessing that you haven’t troubled yourself to read through the IPCC reports or the Copenhagen Diagnosis which is the subject of this post by Tim?

  69. #71 Ken Fabos
    November 29, 2009

    Arthur, you sound like a proponent of the “we don’t know everything therefore we know too little to do anything” school. I’m not able to do advanced analysis but I know that I trust the leading institutions and practitioners of science far more than detractors – who haven’t shown serious flaws in climate science, can’t provide alternate explanations of recent global warming that stand sceptical (ie scientific) scrutiny, contradict each other when they attempt to and use arguments that don’t need any kind of degree to see through.
    Ultimately, when a field is big and complex even the most clever people are unable to examine it all and expect to be able to properly critique it. So trust enters the picture. It’s not blind faith on my part to believe the institutions and practitioners of science know this stuff better than me. Or you. The physics is sound according to peak physics organisations. The chemistry is sound. Multiple measures and indicators of what’s happening to our climate, without resort to any modelling, show warming. Modelling has been extremely valuable and I think your assessment of it’s limitations is less to be trusted than the science of model evaluation and validation that’s done.
    When multiple independent lines of research across the world’s leading scientific institutions all support AGW, I can’t help but be suspicious of people like you who are determined to convince people we know too little to act. Especially when the reasonable expectations of consequences of failure to act are so pervasive and persistent.

  70. #72 Ken Fabos
    November 29, 2009

    My paragraphs disappeared for some unknown reason.

  71. #73 Arthur Von Neumann
    November 29, 2009

    My purpose is to create consideration. I’m not a hot head and I have a natural distrust of hysterics, hype, and sensationalism. And I know how the funding ecosystem works in the sciences and how the PR process works. If you don’t understand this process, you are subject to the PR.

    What I trust is skepticism and epistemological humility and real world simulations. Wherever these are absent, my trust wanes.

    I think I can boil down my position to this:

    We don’t need gilded promises on paper from world politicians. This decorative scribblings seem to have one purpose only, to pacify Reuters and The New York Times and the few other large media corps, which will in turn dutifully report the fake treaty and pacify the armchair activists. These pacifications do more harm than good not just because they don’t really do good at all, but also because the illusion of change substitutes for real change for most people. Most people aren’t interested in rigor.

    If you appreciate the fact that India and China are not going to forestall their rise to suit some populist-pacifying treaty, and they don’t care about your cares, you should appreciate the reality of the situation: It will be the next generation of clean technology almost alone that will actually do the work of scrubbing down China and India’s emissions. If this technology arrives at roughly the same time that China and India realize they have a serious pollution problem, all the better. Time, therefore, is of the essence.

    The funds currently funneling into creating epistemologically dubious computer models are funds that are being used to discuss reality abstractly. That is, you are paying millions and millions for philosophy. These models don’t change anything directly. This is a MASSIVE waste of money.

    If these funds were instead diverted directly to Research and Development, (the actual change agent of history), we will be much better off and the desired change will happen at a much more rapid rate. (By desired change I mean to say, the reduction of pullutants, regardless of what they are or how much effect they have on real world situations.)

    Speaking of the best use of funds… Next time you are part of some large gathering… let’s say a global warming protest in Washington. Let’s say there are ten thousand of you. Let’s say each of you spends about 50 dollars to get there, do your thing, eat out, and get home… You have just collectively spent one half a million dollars together. Half a million dollars, that with a little intelligent organization could have been given DIRECTLY to scientists and engineers creating the next generation of technology.

    THINK.

    It is technology that changes the world.

  72. #74 guthrie
    November 29, 2009

    So Arthur, you’re saying we should divert a few tens of millions from climate modelling to add to the billions that are spent on technology R&D? I’ve got a better idea – why don’t we divert a few billions from the global finance casino to science R&D instead. That would be far more worthwhile. Besides, without the modelling we won’t know if the new technology is helping…

  73. #75 luminous beauty
    November 29, 2009

    Arthur,

    Considering the boreal tree-line divergence problem. If it were not a phenomenon unique to the late 20th century, would one not expect that prior to the late 20th century there would not only be non-linear divergence against the instrumental record, extending back 300+ years in some regions, but a lack of internal consilience between the individual series which collectively comprise the chronologies? Instead there is a remarkable amount of agreement, extending back millenia, increasingly convergent as new series are added to the chronologies.

  74. #76 Arthur Von Neumann
    November 29, 2009

    Guthrie, I didn’t mean to say we should only divert money from the climate modeling industry. And money isn’t even the most essential aspect of my critique, truth to tell. The most important thing to usurp from the climate change industry (related to money, surely) is their PR machinery, which has directly coincided with the fall of integrity in the media… thus the “synergy” between the two. Its a perfect storm, pun aside, that disaster sells newspapers and ad time, and climate modeling can produce disaster scenarios on demand.

    I would like this PR capital, most of all, to be turned to publicizing the heroism of the engineers and scientists who are working on the next generation technologies. So instead of mass hysteria and millions of man hours wasted on narcissistic blog postings of one’s programmed fears, we have movement and hope. The emotionalism is completely antithetical to progress and causes an instinctive distrust in many.

    Luminous Beauty, I agree that your question is sensible. I don’t think there are good answers to the divergence problem yet. But I do know this, just on the divergence question alone, until we understand why the divergence is happening, and given that it is happening in an era when our instrumental recordings are at a peak of integrity and coverage (compared to earlier eras when there was more alignment and our instrumental integrity was far more sparse and suspect), I think the entire method should come with warning labels that say: We don’t know why this works when it works, and why it doesn’t when it doesn’t. How can you calculate the margin of error at this level of ignorance? Anybody who says its within 1 degree is simply making an assertion.

    But there is a lot more to say about the tree proxies.

    It should be noted that tree rings are not a stable data sources. All the traces within are subject to outside conditions. What is trapped in the tree ring data for us to analyze is merely the data that makes it through the growing cycle until the set is “trapped” by the next year’s growth. And even that is still not insulated from atmospheric forces coming from within and without: heat, dryness, UV rays, etc. As well, the tree is still living after the ring is established. We aren’t talking about an archival situation. Which means, the longer a tree lives, the more its interior composition should change, the more its data is compromised.

    If you want to assert that you can simply “fix” such data with some statistical mechanism, (which you are also merely asserting has scientific validity), I must dispute your integrity. There are not sufficient instrumental recordings with integrity to check the mechanism, so the mechanism itself will necessarily be a guess. (Which again, can not have a sensible margin of error value assigned to it.)

    Obviously trees local to each other are highly likely to have gone through similar atmospheric experience… thus the “consilience” between them. There are grave problems in analyzing relative systems, however… the elements in a relative system relate to themselves quite well, but they defy absolute understanding because the full extent of the global factors are necessarily unknown because global factor can affect the system’s ability to record itself correctly. System-wide biases can be easily introduced. And applying statistical methods to smooth over such biases without knowing what they are or why they happened is really just a way of discarding data. (Not all data is sought. Some data is purely about epistemology… that is, it is anti-data. That such data is routinely discarded, is telling.)

    So the same questions arise… because we have no idea whether such proxy data accurately represents any particular year. How do you come up with the margin of error when you don’t know how the system works? How can you use such sparse and dubious instrumental data from, say, 1820, and assume they constitute a legitimate check on the values you are getting from the tree rings of that same era. One simply can’t.

    This is why statistics and modeling and proxies are fascinating, but should not be mistaken for experiential data.

    A cynic, distrusting of the statistical methods being used to “flesh out” the older instrumental records as well as those used to “recreate” climate data from proxies, might see the alignment of older instrumental data with proxy construction data as a direct result, simply, of two struggling students copying each other’s answers on a test.

  75. #77 jemima
    November 29, 2009

    Arthur, whether or not you believe the ban on CFCs as one example or Acid Rain Program as another are Good Things, have they been effective in their aims? Without them what would have happened to the trajectories of CFC production and sulfur dioxide emissions from coal power stations – you’d have us believe that technology would long ago by now have produced the results of less acid rain and a mending ozone hole, would you? You’re dreaming, just not realistic.

  76. #78 Majorajam
    November 29, 2009

    “If you want to assert that you can simply “fix” such data with some statistical mechanism, (which you are also merely asserting has scientific validity), I must dispute your integrity.”

    But of course. It wouldn’t be denialism without unsubstantiated libel intended to derail debate.

    “There are not sufficient instrumental recordings with integrity to check the mechanism, so the mechanism itself will necessarily be a guess.”

    Indeed. And how would Einstein have come up with Special Relativity without ‘sufficient instrumental recordings’? Someone ought to tell the other Theoretical Physicists they’re doing it rong thou.

    Has it occurred to you Von Neumann, that none of what you’ve said in this regard amounts to anything greater than argument by assertion?

    This is another patented denialist tactic- typically announced between baseless, shameless smears- establish rhetorically useful ground rules that are utterly devoid of veracity- on this planet at least- then argue to them. It helps when pointing out the manifest flaws in said doubles as a rhetorical trap. Thanks much for the quintessential case study, Mr. Von Neumann.

  77. #79 Arthur Von Neumann
    November 29, 2009

    Jemima, I was very pleased by the banning of CFCs. I think it was an effective and smart thing to do. The mandating of catalytic converters was another important step toward pollution control… yet it had the unintended consequence of actually increasing CO2 emissions (from what I understand on the matter.) Unintended consequences and necessity are two essential considerations. I am just questioning the effectiveness of the next step. In order to fund the next evolution in technology and the changeover in infrastructure, the economy must be running full steam. And anything that damages that economy, even if in the short term it seems wise, is actually penny wise and pound foolish.

    Majorajam… that was not a civil post, but one full of rage and invective. “Denialist!” is really up there with “Infidel!” for sheer religious fervor. And, of course, to question is not to smear. If you want to be on the side of science, you ought to cut that stuff out and develop a tougher skin.

    Anyway, I intend to foster debate, not derail it. One way to do that is to offer food for thought. I apologize if the use of the word “fix” offended you. But I have a dim view of statistical meddling, as you may already recognize. The distinction between filtering a signal and exaggerating it or crafting it is without a difference to me. Especially as these processing filters are, it appears, intended to bring out the vector quality of the data sets, which is the most common way that statistical plots are misused as selling tools. Unless every factor and interaction is known with deterministic surety, it is impossible to extrapolate/predict the end of a non-cyclical trend using statistical modelling. Therefore it is equally impossible to extrapolate/predict the continuation of that trend.

    Theoretical physics is, of course, an entirely different matter. I’m not sure I understand you point there. There are a great many mathematically beautiful theories that were demonstrated to have no basis in reality. This is why math is not science and why math-based modeling should be a priori distrusted.

  78. #80 Ken Fabos
    November 30, 2009

    I suspect another case of attacking what climate modelling is believed to be rather than climate modelling. Not the first to do so. From here it looks like an own-goal.
    Despite the long established physics of absorbtion and emission characteristics of gases, ample evidence of real world warming, and plenty of good science linking the two we should act like the old, unproven belief that what people do can’t change the climate stands and we should base our future energy policy on that?
    Arthur, I think you are a climate science denier through and through; I see no evidence you’ve actually made any effort to find out what climate scientists do from climate scientists but plenty to suggest you have great faith in the arguments made by the critics of climate science.

  79. #81 P. Lewis
    November 30, 2009

    Nick Griffin on Copenhagen, says it all about the septic case.

  80. #82 Ken Fabos
    November 30, 2009

    Arthur’s criticisms of climate modelling remind me of Pat Franks a couple of years back with his graph showing the widening fan of uncertainty over the next few decades that he claimed was inherent in climate modelling. Actual results of real GCM’s showed no such thing of course. He was criticising what he imagined GCM’s must be, not what GCM’s actually are. I recall a senior climate modeller (Gavin Schmidt) referring to Franks’ efforts as a toy model. Not very flattering but actually a mild insult given the unsupportable criticisms Franks was making of Schmidt’s work.

    Arthur is just one more in a long line of critics who appear to be overly taken by their own cleverness but who don’t have what it takes to get what to them appear to be clear and obvious flaws put together in a paper capable of meeting the standards of peer-reviewed publication. Or even pass the casual scrutiny of interested laypeople like myself.

    Meanwhile in the real world emissions continue to rise and voices like his – whether deliberately or not – continue the tactics of doubt, deny and delay. There doesn’t appear to be any real consideration that AGW could be possible, let alone be highly likely. Given the world changing scale of the consequences those who claim to be uncertain about AGW – ie think there’s some chance it could turn out to be correct – should be strong advocates of emissions reductions just in case; most aren’t because most aren’t genuinely sceptical, have made up their minds that it’s not correct and won’t take the time and effort to get better informed.

  81. #83 dhogaza
    November 30, 2009

    it is impossible to extrapolate/predict the end of a non-cyclical trend using statistical modelling

    Given that GCMs aren’t statistical models making the above statement meaningless, and that John von Neumann, who invented monte carlo modeling wouldn’t agree with the following statement:

    math-based modeling should be a priori distrusted.

    Is there any reason at all for me to go through Arthur’s suite of posts, ripping them apart, item by item?

    Or have I already wasted enough of my time?

  82. #84 Arthur Von Neumann
    November 30, 2009

    Mr. Fabos, that was disingenuous pair of posts. You didn’t address a single point I made, and I made many. It is a strong filter indeed that is able to shield itself from every unrecognizable thought.

    But I do enjoy the technique of dismissal… “oh this fellow here, we’ve run into his like before… merely a denier, easily dismissed.”

    It is sociologically fascinating that no matter what the education level of the contra-poster, from the scattershot 20-something to the gentlemanly layman, the form of counter argument still amounts to: Denier! Infidel! Heretic! Burn him!

    Interested about the question, I’m sure you are. Interested enough to actually THINK about the first principles involved, about your efforts in that regard, patently, I’m a skeptic.

    I should point out that I never said that there was no anthropogenic component to climate change. That would be as foolish as saying an ice cube can’t melt in a person’s hand. To be on the safe side, I would like to see CO2 emissions decreased.

    BUT… you speak of “the real world”… well, in the real world, dear chap, NOBODY is going to reduce emissions in any significant way. No. Body. India and China have hundreds of millions of people in abject poverty. They will stop at nothing to continue their rise. And the west, unless they want to live in a world where China calls the shots, is not going to hold the door open for them to surpass us economically. We will do as much as they will. Which is nothing. That’s the reality. Warts and all.

    So, to be ACTUALLY safe in the long run, I would like to see the future technology arrive sooner, and I believe, in that regard, nothing should be done to impede economic recovery, which is the very thing that will bring the new technology to fruition.

    Given this REALITY, massive constraints placed on the western economy would be detrimental… and if you believe that a cataclysm is on its way, suicidal.

    In conclusion, if you want to be an excellent steward of the environment, (not just a pretend steward that accepts the mushy feel good activism fed to us by Reuters et al on behalf of photo-opportunist politicians), ALL THERE IS TO DO IS TO GET TO THE NEXT GENERATION OF TECHNOLOGY AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE!

    (Sorry for shouting. Adieu)

  83. #85 Arthur Von Neumann
    November 30, 2009

    Dhogaza… Another quick zinger, eh?

    Re: GCM: The models use an averaging version of Navier Stokes because the direct calculations are far beyond the computer’s capacity. Averaging = Stats.

    Beyond that there are problems with Navier Stokes as a formula set. The formula itself is a best guess. And we can’t check its validity at global scales.

    These models are ALL statistical approximations… from input to equation to graph.

    Epistemology. Let’s not pretend we know everything.

  84. #86 Gaz
    December 1, 2009

    Let’s not pretend we know everything.

    Does anyone do that? I don’t think so, not in the scientific world.

    Perhaps this technological revolution you seem to think will be delivered solely by economic recovery will lead to a better way of constructing a straw man.

  85. #87 jemima
    December 1, 2009

    Arthur you use the word like an incantation but the meaning of “epistemology” is not that because we do not know everything we cannot do anything to help ourselves. Your faith in consumerism is touching but misplaced.

    On present scientific understanding, not limited to modeling – have you read the Copenhagen Diagnosis report much? – coal will be cheap to dig up and burn for longer than we’ve got left unless its negative externalities become priced into the market. Nuclear’s been around for decades and some countries run cleanly on it despite coal being cheaper to dig up and burn. This economic observation of France and Sweden is an impossible reality according to the tenor of your comments – how could they possibly be wealthy countries today without burning cheap coal? Mystery!

    We won’t extricate ourselves from trouble with the same kind of unwise thinking that got us into it in the first place. Perhaps you believe fusion would be less than 20 years away if only we would fund more research into it? Dream on. In any case a carbon tax is the smartest way I can think of to fund research into clean energy technologies but you’d rather the money come from income taxes I suppose, economically ignoring the cause of the original problem the research was intended to address.

  86. #88 Arthur Von Neumann
    December 1, 2009

    Gaz – Let’s review our post sequence…

    Arthur: The models are stat-fudged.
    Gaz: The models have nothing to do with stats! You’re clueless!
    Arthur: Yes they do, here’s why. (…) Let’s not pretend we know everything.
    Gaz: (Ignores own error) Who’s pretending they know everything?!

    Jemima: Consumerism? A functioning economy is about a lot more than consumerism. A functioning economy leads to higher tax revenues, sure, which can be used to fund basic research. But it also engenders faith in civilization, which leads to private investments in the future.

    I don’t think it is properly appreciated how quickly a tax on transportation will negatively affect the economy. The U.S. would be severely constrained if such a tax were to be put into effect because the U.S. has a great deal of spread and utterly relies on engine power to connect up. Even the threat of this tax will diminish investment.

    And, again, China and India are not going to get on board anyhow and those countries, you will see, will rapidly become the real issue for those who are concerned with CO2.

    The next tech may not be Hydrogen based, it could be solar, enzymatic or biological, or it could be an excellent method to scrub coal emissions and sequester or convert the waste. The research for all these technologies is going on now and is progressing rapidly. These aren’t fantasies. Certainly they are less fantastical than the Manhattan Project or the Apollo program were in their eras.

  87. #89 Chris O'Neill
    December 1, 2009

    Arthur Von Neumann:

    it could be an excellent method to scrub coal emissions and sequester or convert the waste.

    Sequestering coal emission is always going to cost more than not sequestering coal emissions. No amount of research is ever going to change that fact.

  88. #90 Former Skeptic
    December 1, 2009

    AvN:

    Despite your contrary assertions, there are big differences between statistical models and physically-based numerical climate models. Claiming “These models are ALL statistical approximations… from input to equation to graph,” belies a lack of knowledge of physics-based modeling, and also a disingenuous definition of “statistics” in your arguments.

    And one other thing – what you term as epistemological “humility” sounds a lot like epistemological nihilism. Nice debating tactic, but ultimately futile in reality. Still, it’s amusing to watch your arguments founder in this blog – do continue! :-)

  89. #91 luminous beauty
    December 1, 2009

    >As well, the tree is still living after the ring is established. We aren’t talking about an archival situation. Which means, the longer a tree lives, the more its interior composition should change, the more its data is compromised.

    Arthur, the interior wood isn’t alive, but it is well preserved. Your knowledge of plant physiology is in the negative range.

  90. #92 luminous beauty
    December 1, 2009

    Arthur’s epistemology boils down to, “Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien”, or Agrippa’s Trilemma. Though absolute certainty of inductive reasoning can never be rigorously proven, eventually Achilles gets close enough to reach out and grab the tortoise. AGW passed that point about ten years ago.

  91. #93 jemima
    December 1, 2009

    The Manhattan Project and Apollo Missions are two examples of things that came from government policy and tax monies, lacking either one of which they would not yet have happened.

    It’s fantastical to assume that without the right kind of monetary or taxation incentives, private enterprise and free markets could, should or would act in time to address the peril we face from AGW. The only question is which government mandated incentives you would prefer if you believe civilization is worth insuring. Private enterprise will insure your car for you – now how much is the Earth worth?

  92. #94 Janet Akerman
    December 1, 2009

    jemima,

    Also the Finnish and Norwegian economies own much to government participation to swing to power of democracy in support of societies well-being and social justice.

    Which also made the economic position of their populous very sound position.

    Nokia, Ericsson, high royalties on natural resources (oil) for high dividend from common wealth.

  93. #95 Bernard
    December 1, 2009

    Let’s get something very clear, the subset culter of Global Warming comunity that spur the misrepresentation that has illegally falsified information that has been represented in government statistics and fraugently passed onto the public by unethical corperations build for the soul purpose of the enormous funals of money to the projects that have been created because of the hysteria that Climate Change experts and activists have gradually built upon over the decades, like a virus, infecting the whole of society with factual data, then incorperating false data and information that has been minipulated with lies and gradualy making its way into text books, education and finaly into laws that have placed comprehensive taxes and restrictions onto the colective in every contry that has values which make those responsible for corrupting a serious subject as the health and well being of our planet the true criminals of our time and not the hero of this converstaion that is taking place today. The wistleblower as everyone calls him, has not done anything that a true man of concious and the truth is now exposed to the world about the science. The truth is now clear, that over time, The Global Warming Hoax will be reasoned out through real science, even though their will be those, as theirs been since the begining of the Global Warming Alarm, those whose science is paid for by the Far-Left, through grants and creative business skeems that have made the producers of the Green Global Movement which has made its way into the manufacturing of Green jobs and companies taking in trillions of dollars through out the world, who will do everything in thier power, get every voice activated that can influinse the collective and the governments around the world to denounce and vilify the truth that has been exposed through the words of thier own corrupt society by one brave individual that did what needed to be done to expose the lies of some in the scientific community whos commitment to science is based only on profit and corruption. There could no other reason as to why such unethical manipulations and vidictive behaviors as to why a scientists would knowingly corrupt data and want to destroy information and honest emails that support honest findings and data. I’m sure there is so much more out there that is left to be exposed, but be clear in this fact; as we all debate, argue and post our comments, the lesson has been taught and the scientist of the global warming community that know their secret is out for the world to see are destroying the own documents and rushing to safe guard the databases so that this can not happen again! TO THOSE DEFENDING THIER OWN, as you go forth in trying to progress your subversion and corruption of honost science, your integrity is and should always be questioned and your sience dejected, by those of true integrety. You of true and honest science know in your heart who you are. You should stand up and speak out, no matter if if your scientific data has be compremised because of the corrupt science you’ve been lead to believe is true with ficticious data and papers by those that have been expoed and their collective community. You as a collective know who they are and should stand up, and as it is clear that is needed to be done, start over, no matter how frustating and angry you may be and want to just give in to the temtation that some of it must be true and your not willing to throw all you’ve contributed to the world away, all because of this little mess that those defending the corruption of the scientific data and rersearch that has been exposed through the words of some of your own, that you consider part of your own community; please remember, you who are honest and are true to science and the facts, where ever they lead, stand up, and and correct the community you love and respect, for you are the voice in which the world turns when the facts are needed for our future as a whole needs to turn to to make the best decisions that benifit mankind. We turn to you and need you! Your contribution is not questioned if your honest enough to correct the corrupt data inwhich your own honost science was built upon and believe, that the collective will stand with you if you DENOUNCE THOSE THAT HAVE CORRUPTED THAT WHICH YOU HOLD SACRID, SCIENCE AND SCIENTIFIC FACT! I will! And I call for those who too will stand with you, speak out and blog everywhere you can and call for the scientic community come forward and speak out on this and correct the corruption that has infiltrated scientific data that has corrupted the facts concerning Global Warming. Even if it comes out the same in the end, which scientific datat to date does not support, atleast the truth and fact will be what it is and will be built on honest science, not that by those whose integrity and honesty is based on lies and fraud.

  94. #96 Janet Ackerman
    December 1, 2009

    #94 errm yes but you are not the real Janet are you.

  95. #97 krusty
    December 1, 2009

    #95 …. and your spelling, sanity, grammar and warm scientific sentiments Bernard are all ****BEYOND REPROACH****!

  96. #98 Ken Zack
    December 1, 2009

    Thank GOD the truth is finally coming out. Although billions$ have been wasted and nearly three decades have been lost in exploration etc. we must now get the word out so that we can hold accountable, all those responsible for perpetrating this scam upon the west. Especially U.S. and UN politicians as well as the green movement etc. They were well on their way to a communist utopia.

  97. #99 Ken Zack
    December 1, 2009

    Thank GOD the truth is finally coming out. Although billions$ have been wasted and nearly three decades have been lost in exploration etc. we must now get the word out so that we can hold accountable, all those responsible for perpetrating this scam upon the west. Especially U.S. and UN politicians as well as the green movement etc. They were well on their way to a communist utopia.

  98. #100 Ken Zack
    December 1, 2009

    Thank GOD the truth is finally coming out. Although billions$ have been wasted and nearly three decades have been lost in exploration etc. we must now get the word out so that we can hold accountable, all those responsible for perpetrating this scam upon the west. Especially U.S. and UN politicians as well as the green movement etc. They were well on their way to a communist utopia.

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