Open thread 43

A new open thread.

Comments

  1. #1 Fran Barlow
    February 26, 2010

    Apparently, in an attempt to show “balance” ABC’s “the drum” website is going to have a week of contributions from the filth merchant spruiking side of the commentariat. — people like Switzer, Moran, Jo Nova etc …

    On your marks … flex those Deltoids …

  2. #2 el gordo
    February 26, 2010

    The ABC must at least allow for the possibility that beliefs are absurd or illusory.

  3. #3 John
    February 26, 2010

    The ABC must at least allow for the possibility that beliefs are absurd or illusory.

    Must it? Are we getting Why Creationism Is Real Week next?

  4. #4 John
    February 26, 2010

    From today’s Australia:

    As it happens, public impressions about climate change are not that different from the views of those with professional knowledge on the issue. A poll of 3146 earth scientists at the start of last year found 82 per cent agreed that human activity was a significant contributing factor to changing mean global temperatures. Of the 77 climatologists actively engaged in research, 75 agreed. For any government to ignore these views would not just be courageous, it would be irresponsible. Tackling climate change remains, in the words of Ross Garnaut, a diabolical problem. An international emissions trading system may be the best solution in theory, but such an internationally binding agreement may be unobtainable and the scheme the Rudd government wants to legislate is so compromised as to render it ineffective. There are plenty of other options. Even if they are more expensive, as premiums for risk insurance they are well worth paying.

  5. #5 Fran Barlow
    February 26, 2010

    The ABC must at least allow for the possibility that beliefs are absurd or illusory.

    Doubtless they do, but given that they are a publically funded organisation, one does wonder why they are allowing disinformationists like Switzer, Nova and Moran to practise their dark arts with ABC imprimatur.

  6. #6 el gordo
    February 26, 2010

    An informed citizenry, not simply an opinionated one, is a prerequisite for a mature democracy.

    Public opinion will decide the outcome of this debate and the politicians will feel the heat. Which is missing in NY at the moment, February 2010 now holds the snowiest record for any single month since March 1896.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/02/27/2832030.htm

  7. #7 spangled drongo
    February 27, 2010

    Yes Fran, because people like Robyn Williams, Tim Flannery et al have been so spot on with their summations to date it would be sacrilegious to offer a different view. Especially as you say, as a public funded organisation. [horreur]

  8. #8 Mercurius
    February 27, 2010

    Says El Gordo “An informed citizenry, not simply an opinionated one, is a prerequisite for a mature democracy.”

    He then goes on to demonstrate how right that statement is, by suggesting that monthly snowfalls for NYC are some kind of meaningful data-point.

    El Gordo, please get it through your head:

    – Weather is not climate.
    – Snow *in winter* does not mean it’s getting colder.
    – Everyone who has ever lived in a cold climate will tell you the snowiest days and the coldest days are *different days*.
    – Increased snowfall is a predicted condition to occur in warming climate models. Increased heat leads to increased activity in the hydrosphere: more evapouration and precipitation.
    – I just had a look at the monthly temps for New York this February. Looks like a normal February for daytime and nighttime temps. I lived there last year and those were the temps we were getting, minus the amazing levels of precipitation.

    Interesting enough, New York’s *precipitation* this month so far is double the historical average. A result perfectly consistent with predictions of a warmer, wetter climate.

  9. #9 Mercurius
    February 27, 2010

    Apparently, in an attempt to show “balance”…
    Don’tcha love the “balance” doctrine?

    They have to balance truth with lies, sense with nonsense, fact with fiction, science with psuedoscience.

    Great!

  10. #10 marcusj
    February 27, 2010

    You realise, Mercurius, that any attempt to communicate with el gordo can be rendered thusly:

    Dear troll,

    Please be reasonable.

  11. #11 spangled drongo
    February 27, 2010

    “Apparently, in an attempt to show “balance”… Don’tcha love the “balance” doctrine?”

    Almost as much as the one eyed lefty stuff that drips almost exclusively from “our ABC” that costs all Australians around a billion a year.

    With the exception of counterpoint [doncha luv that name], an obscure radio program, give me one program that seriously discusses the conservative view.

  12. #12 Michael
    February 27, 2010

    It’s affirmative action for the irrational.

  13. #13 el gordo
    February 27, 2010

    Weather is micro-climate and if you could just suspend your prejudice for a minute you might get a glimpse of the big picture. Don’t take your eyes off the ice core cycles.

    Neville Nicholls from Monash has told an online forum that this is the hottest year since 1979, when the first satellite went up. So the Express vilify him for telling the truth, without questioning the discrepancy.

    A negative AO is the cause of the coldest winter in the UK since 1979.

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/ao_index.html

    This has been Scotland’s coldest winter on record and the storms resemble those taking a similar southern track that are affecting the eastern US.

    So the logical contradictions, demonstrable ignorance, inconsistencies, fantasies, lies and deception will have to be teased out to find the truth.

  14. #14 MikeH
    February 27, 2010

    spangled drongo … you are on the money in identifying climate change denialism with the “conservative” political views because it has little to do with science.

  15. #15 Michael
    February 27, 2010

    Why do the denialists persist with their belief that AGW precludes weather.

  16. #16 spangled drongo
    February 27, 2010

    MikeH,

    Calling conservatives climate change deniers is standard pathetic lefty delusion. Are you saying that alarmist “Hockey Stick Science” is more valid?

    In case you are so naive you don’t see it there are two sides to this debate and “Our Beaut ABC” only puts out one of them.

  17. #17 jakerman
    February 27, 2010

    >*An informed citizenry, not simply an opinionated one, is a prerequisite for a mature democracy.*

    A fine sentiment el gordo. And the best argument against the feeble lack of regulation that have produced the current oligarchical media consolidation.

    Democracy indeed needs nurturing and protection.

  18. #18 jakerman
    February 27, 2010

    >*Apparently, in an attempt to show “balance”… Don’tcha love the “balance” doctrine?*

    The balance doctrine has been used by consolidated media owners to, a significant degree, sideline debate on any issue they don’t want attention on, but throw as much contention as a PR machine can muster at the issues they want to challenge.

    Which is why a diverse media (diverse business and funding models) and diverse ownership are vital for democracy.

    But those ideologically in love with Bolt only see the ABC as the problem, they are blind to bigger issue.

  19. #19 jakerman
    February 27, 2010

    >*They have to balance truth with lies, sense with nonsense, fact with fiction, science with psuedoscience.*

    That combined with my [last post](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/open_thread_43.php#comment-2307271), is damning of reliance on this doctrine for fairness.

    If Murdoch or his Jacks want to challenge an issue (an issue mind you, that others have sweat blood to bring to public attention), then it gets equal weight under the balance doctrine, never mind matter how unbalance the supporting evidence on either side.

    But if Murdoch or his Jacks don’t want an issue to gain traction (i.e. Media consolidation and regulation reform), then we hear crickets chirping or should I say we read of a celebrity scandal, or the new weight loss fad sweeping the world.

  20. #20 bi -- IJI
    February 27, 2010

    More SwiftHack (sort-of-)news:

    The FOI2009.zip file contain a number of references to a certain CRU server which is still up and running, and running an old (read: potentially vulnerable) version of a certain Internet service software.

  21. #21 andrew
    February 27, 2010

    #6 el gordo “Public opinion will decide the outcome of this debate…”

    God help us if that is how we move forward with science…cut to the 4th century BC ..hands up who thinks the earth is round… oh well, out voted, looks like its flat after all….

  22. #22 Lionel A Smith
    February 27, 2010

    El Gordo #13

    ‘Weather is micro-climate…’

    And with that one clause you have demonstrated from whence all your misconceptions come.

    Weather is the result of micro-climate as we in the UK know only too well.

    There is a common saying over here, ‘we don’t have a climate we have weather’.

    Can you explain why that statement has a grain of truth?

  23. #23 t_p_hamilton
    February 27, 2010

    “Weather is micro-climate”

    and a single number is micro-statistics!

  24. #24 Lotharsson
    February 27, 2010

    The CRU says the media reporting that the ICO had determined that the CRU had violated the FOIA is apparently untrue.

    The publication of these letters follows the University’s response to the Select Committee in which it states that ‘On 22 January 2010, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) released a statement to a journalist, which was widely misinterpreted in the media as a finding by the ICO that UEA had breached Section 77 of the FOIA by withholding raw data. A subsequent letter to UEA from the ICO (29 January 2010) indicated that no breach of the law has been established; that the evidence the ICO had in mind about whether there was a breach was no more than prima facie; and that the FOI request at issue did not concern raw data but private email exchanges.

    They’ve published correspondence with the ICO at the link given above.

  25. #25 David Duff
    February 27, 2010

    Oh dear!

    The CRU e-mails as published on the internet provide prima facie evidence of determined and co-ordinated refusals to comply with honourable scientific traditions and freedom of information law. The principle that scientists should be willing to expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by others, which requires the open exchange of data, procedures and materials, is vital. The lack of compliance has been confirmed by the findings of the Information Commissioner. This extends well beyond the CRU itself – most of the e-mails were exchanged with researchers in a number of other international institutions who are also involved in the formulation of the IPCC’s conclusions on climate change

    From the Institute of Physics but, hey, what do they know, I mean ‘physics’ – heh! – they probably all work for Big Oil!

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/memo/climatedata/uc3902.htm

  26. #26 pough
    February 27, 2010

    From the Institute of Physics but, hey, what do they know

    Physics. Duh(ff).

    The lack of compliance has been confirmed by the findings of the Information Commissioner.

    Uh, [no](http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements/ICOcorrespondence). But nice work on knowing physics. Thumbs up!

  27. #27 stepanovich
    February 27, 2010

    David Duff:

    > From the Institute of Physics but, hey, what do they know, I mean ‘physics’ – heh! – they probably all work for Big Oil!

    I suspect you may actually be more correct than you realize, Duff.

    You see, usually when an organization calls itself the “Institute of X” or the “X Institute” without actually being a research or teaching institution, I start to get really suspicious. And so I did get really suspicious.

    Apparently the IOP has a “Corporate Affiliates Network (CAN)” programme, but somehow its motives of promoting physics are so obviously pure that it simply can’t divulge the names of its corporate affiliates.

    Given the IOP’s love of openness and transparency and all things holy, I wonder what exactly they’re trying to hide? :)

  28. #28 Phila
    February 27, 2010

    It’s affirmative action for the irrational.

    You officially win the Internet.

  29. #29 Betula
    February 27, 2010

    Welcome to another episode of “The Jakerman Zone”, where distortions are used to claim distortion, questions are questioned rather than answered, and mice are used to explain there is no difference when referring to AGW vs GW…..all in one continuous loop.

    First things first….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzlG28B-R8Y

    In today’s episode, we continue the loop, recently re-spliced by Jakerman at “The Economists Calls A Lie a Lie” #46.

    Here, a previously unanswered question is linked once again, only to be unanswered, once again.

    The question:

    “What does the article say about areas along the Atlantic….are they going to warm or suddenly get cold?”

    Here’ The Jakerman Zone’s non-answer, a link looping back to the article:

    “For those of us living around the edge of the N. Atlantic Ocean, we may be planning for climate scenarios of global warming that are opposite to what might actually occur.”

    Of course, the real world answer would be “they don’t know”, but this isn’t the real world….this is the Jakerman Zone, and it is a continuous loop.

    In this world, assumptions are based on words that aren’t written, prizes are given for accomplishments unrelated to the prize, the future is fact, predictions are reality, uncertainty is certain, most-likely is will, answers are questions, cold is a result of warm, distortions are used to prove distortion, openness is closed, bias is a one way street, politics are one sided, the wealthy are evil, a growing population proves endangerment, mistakes are irrelevant, a non scientist is the scienctists mentor, exaggerations are underestimates, arrogance rules, non scientists are part of the consensus of scientists, logic is illogical, flawed data is reliable, lost data is insignificant, exhaling is polluting, straw is everywhere and man made mice are the same as mice.

    Stay tuned for the next exiting continuous loop of TheJakermanZoneTheJakermanZoneTheJakermanZoneTheJakerman Zone…..

  30. #30 Phila
    February 27, 2010

    “Public opinion will decide the outcome of this debate…”

    “Down with astronomical orthodoxy! Give us Hörbiger!”

  31. #31 David Duff
    February 27, 2010

    Er, well, ‘E’ for Effort, Stepanovich, but what has British Nuclear Fuels being a sponsor of the Institute of Physics have to with its opinion on scientific behaviour at CRU? Without giving the matter too much thought, I would have that that BNF would have been a supporter of AGW attacks on all that nasty CO2.

  32. #32 stepanovich
    February 27, 2010

    Shorter Betula:

    > the wealthy are evil,

    Indeed. How dare anyone even suggest that wealthy people may be evil! Have you ever wondered about where your weekly or monthly pay cheque comes from? Wealthy people, that’s who! Wealthy people! Yet you ungrateful plebs are always trying to bite the hand that feeds you. How dare you! Without wealthy people, you are nothing! Nothing! Do you hear that? Nothing!

    Ever wondered how George Washington was able to found a totally new nation? It’s because he was wealthy! Do you know why the US was able to win WWII? Yeah, the soldiers sure fought hard, but think about this — all the courage of the soldiers would be nothing if rich people weren’t paying taxes to support the war effort! Therefore, credit for winning WWII must go to the rich people!

  33. #33 jakerman
    February 27, 2010

    Whoopsy Betula,

    You again attempt to hide the meaning of your self projected “Jakerman Zone” behind a word salad. I can once again help [provide the clarity from which you try to hide](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/open_thread_39.php#comment-2277072).

    Getting so caught up in his lie that Betula began arguing against himself is what has plagued Betula so.

    Betula, you really do behave as though you believe confusion is your friend. This suggests you still havn’t learned what it was that left you so caught out.

  34. #34 stepanovich
    February 27, 2010

    David Duff:

    > what has British Nuclear Fuels being a sponsor of the Institute of Physics have to with its opinion on scientific behaviour at CRU?

    It’s not about BNFL specifically, but the possibility that the IOP may be funded by other sponsors which have a vested interest in pushing this “UEA violated FOI” meme.

    So again, given the IOP’s professed love of openness and transparency, why aren’t they divulging their list of corporate affiliates?

  35. #35 David Duff
    February 27, 2010

    Oh, I see, smear by implication. Yes, very good. Also, of course, it diverts attention away from their statement. A statement made, I gather, on behalf of their 36,000 members. Still, as I say, physicists, not proper scientists like climate scientists.

  36. #36 Dave
    February 27, 2010

    @David Duff

    For the record, I don’t particularly agree with trying to discredit IOP as a source based on their associations – I’d rather attack the substance of what they say.

    And what they say is somewhat interesting – for starters, you do know that by saying “prima facie” they can completely back away from this stance later once the evidence is actually analysed?

    Secondly, they appear to have taken the media line of what the OIC said, in contrast to what the OIC has explicitly stated is their position, namely that the only evidence is “prima facie” at the moment, yet the IOP say:

    > The lack of compliance has been confirmed by the findings of the Information Commissioner.

    Which is not true (yet, anyway). Thirdly, the OIC say that any issue concerns *private emails* not *data*. Yet, the IOP say:

    > Published reconstructions may represent only a part of the raw data available and may be sensitive to the choices made and the statistical techniques used. Different choices, omissions or statistical processes may lead to different conclusions. This possibility was evidently the reason behind some of the (rejected) requests for further information.

    Given that the IOP has misunderstood these two major points, I think the rest of the statement overreaches in several places. They have explicitly ascribed the withholding of data in contravention of FOI legislation to a desire to prevent their conclusions from being questioned – yet the OIC has only identified emails, not data as being at issue.

  37. #37 Liz Aitk
    February 27, 2010

    Help!!!

    I was wondering if someone could provide some info on what seems to be the latest denialist trend –
    climate science = post normal science therefore it is not real science at all.

    this is propogated by none other than Delingpole…(http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100027748/the-real-reason-for-agw-post-normal-science/)

    it is getting quite a bit of tweet traction today…

    thanks in advance

    Liz

  38. #38 Lotharsson
    February 27, 2010

    Oh Dear!

    You don’t seem to have read the comment immediately before yours which is at odds with most of what is claimed by the IOP.

  39. #39 jakerman
    February 27, 2010

    I couldn’t find where James Delingpole provides evidence that the climate science is practicing “Post-Normal-Science”. The most strikingly post-normal part of the current state of affairs is the post-normal-skeptics. The only advocate for Post-Normal-Science in the story was a bloke [given a platform on WUWT](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/09/climategate-plausibility-and-the-blogosphere-in-the-post-normal-age/#more-16262)!

    I reckon James Delingpole was showing us some Post-Normal-Skepticism [with this](http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100027748/the-real-reason-for-agw-post-normal-science/):

    >*In the last decade there has been a paradigm shift over AGW. Or rather there would have been, had not a powerful and unscrupulous cabal in the scientific community refused to allow science to progress in the normal way. The theory that man-made carbon-dioxide emissions cause global temperatures inexorably to increase went belly-up in 1998 when, despite all the predictions of the warmists’ sophisticated computer models, global mean temperatures stubbornly ceased to rise (and haven’t risen since).*

    Surreal.

  40. #40 John
    February 27, 2010

    Jakerman, what I think we’re dealing with here is Post Reality Science.

  41. #41 Peter Pan
    February 27, 2010

    I think the real problem may be Post-Normal-journalism and Post-Normal-commentary by those with a Post-Normal-understanding of science.

  42. #42 MikeH
    February 27, 2010

    Liz,
    The concept of “post normal science” was developed by philospher of science Jerome Ravetz. It is essentially a relativist philosphy i.e. truth is in the eye of the beholder. It advocates a risk management approach to science i.e. get all the different views together (as they are all valid) and synthesise a policy approach.

    In my opinion there is little merit in Ravetz’s “new age” view of the scientific method.

    Anthony Watts who runs the denier blog WUWT and is not the sharpest pencil in the pack believed that PNS was advocating giving the deniers a seat at the science table and so ran an article by Ravetz. It was initially well received by the WUWT mob until someone pointed out that Ravetz came from a left-wing family (he was born in 1929) and was shock horror possibly even a Marxist.

    Ravetz’s views are as far from Marxism as Richard Dawkin’s views are from religion but once the denier’s identified him as a false friend the dissing started.

    Now Delingpole is attempting to associate Ravetz’s views with AGW.

    The basis for this is a conciliatory article that Mike Hulme from UEA CRU wrote in the Guardian in 2007 in which he invoked PNS suggesting that policy decisions re AGW should include all the stakeholders. Hopefully Hulme now realises that there is no likelihood of compromise with the AGW deniers. They are not skeptical about the science, they deny it altogether.

  43. #43 Bud
    February 27, 2010

    The post-normal science thing has been heavily plugged on Paul Dennis’ new blog, [harmonic oscillator](http://harmonicoscillator.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/jerome-ravetz-and-post-normal-science/#comment-147).

    I posted there for a bit around the topic, broadly about the attempt by its proponents to grab the middle ground in the debate, but gave up when it became clear no one was listening to a word of dissent and that Dennis himself promoted swiftboaters and political idealogues over genuine discussion. I was disappointed, because I had genuine hopes over our early exchanges.

  44. #44 MikeH
    February 28, 2010

    When [Roy Spencer](http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/02/january-2010-uah-global-temperature-update-0-72-deg-c) reports

    The global-average lower tropospheric temperature anomaly soared to +0.72 deg. C in January, 2010. This is the warmest January in the 32-year satellite-based data record.

    The tropics and Northern and Southern Hemispheres were all well above normal, especially the tropics where El Nino conditions persist. Note the global-average warmth is approaching the warmth reached during the 1997-98 El Nino, which peaked in February April of 1998.

    you can be certain that Delingpole and his fellow deniers are going to be indulging in a lot of misdirection. I am sure that the message has been despatched to the denialosphere – do not mention the temperature record.

  45. #45 el gordo
    February 28, 2010

    There’s a lot of us who are sceptical about the science. Dr Graham-Cumming, a mathematician in London, claims the Australian weather data appears to have been misused or discarded. (The story in today’s SMH)

    One degree difference doesn’t seem like much, but this computer geek thinks its a big deal.

  46. #46 Eamon
    February 28, 2010

    On the subject of the IOP submission, which included the help of its Energy Sub-group, there were climate sceptics involved in running this Sub-group in the recent past, and they may well still be involved or influencing this group.

    Terri Jackson, who is the founder of the Energy Sub-group has occasionally written sceptic posts in local papers:

    [Global Cooling Article](http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/environment/pouring-cold-water-on-global-warming-14299972.html)

    [It's the Sun Letter]
    (http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/letters/climate-change-debate-hots-up-13918651.html?startindex=-1)

    [Man is not Responsible for Global Warming](http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/letters/sammyrsquos-right-man-is-not-responsible-for-global-warming-14184375.html)

    [Signs of Global Cooling Letter](http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/letters/scientists-see-signs-of-global-cooling-14502380.html)

    Note in the last post Peter F. Gill shows up to support Terri Jackson’s view. Peter F. Gill is a former chairman of the IOP Energy Sub-group.

    More evidence of their views can be found in the comments thread of this story in the [Times Higher Education Supplement](http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=407763)

    If people who regard the NIPCC events as scientific conferences were involved in the writing of this submission then the IoP needs to make a quick retraction.

  47. #47 stepanovich
    February 28, 2010

    David Duff:

    > Oh, I see, smear by implication. Yes, very good.

    Hello? Hello? You started by trying to pull a ‘proof by implication’, when you said that because the group calls itself the “Institute of Physics” therefore they’re obviously reputable and have a point. I’m merely throwing the same type of ‘argument’ back at yourself.

    If you want to pull a ‘proof by implication’, you can’t complain when others pull a ‘smear by implication’, can you?

    (Not that I particularly like to do this; like Dave, I prefer attacking the IOP statement based on its lack of substance. But if you want to play silly games, well then, be careful what you wish for.)

  48. #48 stepanovich
    February 28, 2010

    el gordo:

    > Dr Graham-Cumming, a mathematician in London, claims the Australian weather data appears to have been misused or discarded. (The story in today’s SMH)

    Shorter el gordo:

    Argument by authority is very wrong, except when the authority agrees with me.

  49. #49 Dave
    February 28, 2010

    @David Duff

    Of course, since you are so impressed by the IOP’s take on this because of their sterling credentials, no doubt the list of respected scientific institutions that have affirmed the science of climate change impresses you so much you completely accept their view nowadays.

    No? Or like el gordo, is argument from authority only valid if you agree with that authority?

  50. #50 Lotharsson
    February 28, 2010

    …is argument from authority only valid if you agree with that authority?

    Of course not.

    An entity may ONLY be an authority if they are in agreement in the first place!

    ;-)

  51. #51 MikeH
    February 28, 2010

    From the SMH today

    Dr Graham-Cumming was at pains to point out that errors made by the office do not alter the big picture on climate change.

    “It does not change the scientific story, and that is that the world is getting hotter” he said.

    From the Times Feb 16

    When all of the errors identified were corrected, the temperature trend remained well within the 95 per cent confidence range of the original plot, meaning that the difference would not be considered scientifically significant. There was also no suggestion that the errors had led to an exaggeration of the amount of warming

    Not quite the situation you attempt to convey el pinocchio.

  52. #52 Lotharsson
    February 28, 2010

    Dr Graham-Cumming, a mathematician in London, claims the Australian weather data appears to have been misused or discarded.

    Surprise – el gordo only tells half the story.

    Try reading the full article that el gordo did not link to, which includes:

    ”What appears to have happened is that the Met Office calculated the averages and then got more data from Oceania and then failed to update the averages,” Dr Graham-Cumming said.

    ”It does not change the scientific story, and that is that the world is getting hotter,” he said.

    He also says, in a display of deep misunderstanding of the import of the corrections:

    Had the error I’d found been more widespread, it could have had a real effect on the overall picture.”

    Er, no. People have pointed out that even if (say) a heavy chunk of the US weather stations were influenced by “bad siting” or UHI issues, the necessary correction to the global trend would be tiny.

    But at least the story gave el gordo a little thrill.

  53. #53 Lotharsson
    February 28, 2010

    Excellent Op Ed in the NYT.

    Note the opening:

    It would be an enormous relief if the recent attacks on the science of global warming actually indicated that we do not face an unimaginable calamity requiring large-scale, preventive measures to protect human civilization as we know it.

    This alone blows most denialists’ minds. Somehow they think people who think the science is valid want to see serious problems due to global warming.

    Then there’s the claim that:

    China, now the world’s largest and fastest-growing source of global-warming pollution, had privately signaled early last year that if the United States passed meaningful legislation, it would join in serious efforts to produce an effective treaty.

    Interesting, given that a common denialist tactic is to throw up one’s hands and declare that nothing can be done because China and India won’t join in. It’s fate, you see, and there’s nothing that can be done – except business as usual.

    The author really hits hard on the last page – well worth some contemplation.

    But I’m sure none of it is really to be taken seriously, because the author is rotund, or in good Western capitalist tradition is backing his assessment of the state of the world with his money and business (and inconveniently donating his profits from these ventures to certain charitable causes)…

  54. #54 el gordo
    February 28, 2010

    Recent satellite data indicate a spike in temperatures, which is not what I expected. A post by Roy Spencer over at Watts is talking about spurious warming closer to home.

    ‘It is increasingly apparent that we do not even know how much the world has warmed in recent decades, let alone the reason(s) why. It seems to me we are back to square one.’

  55. #55 frankis
    February 28, 2010

    Lotharsson #53 that Al Gore article in the NYT is so well written it’ll be causing conniptions everywhere amongst the delusionals. Nice work Mr Gore.

  56. #56 Lotharsson
    February 28, 2010

    It is increasingly apparent that we do not even know how much the world has warmed in recent decades, let alone the reason(s) why. It seems to me we are back to square one.

    They’re half way there. They admit they know nothing.

    Maybe they could try asking some climate scientists?

  57. #57 Betula
    February 28, 2010

    It’s official! It can now be scientifically proven that the heavy snow in the Northeast is without doubt caused by Global Warming….

    This from Al Gores article linked @53….

    “yet scientists have long pointed out that warmer global temperatures have been increasing the rate of evaporation from the oceans, putting significantly more moisture into the atmosphere — thus causing heavier downfalls of both rain and snow in particular regions, including the Northeastern United States”

    But wait, this just in…. we have another official finding! “We can’t control nature”! It’s finally been proven
    beyond a reasonable doubt….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsc8pZu0-qQ&feature=player_embedded

  58. #58 Lars Karlsson
    February 28, 2010

    Well, the Energy subgroup at IoP apparently had a seminar with Zbigniew Jaworowski in Oct 2008.

    And here is Lindzen in June 2007.

    They don’t seem to have been very active in 2009.

  59. #59 Daniel J. Andrews
    February 28, 2010

    It’s official! It can now be scientifically proven that the heavy snow in the Northeast is without doubt caused by Global Warming….

    It’s been official for a very long time, Betula. Why don’t you know this? I thought you were all about educating yourself? Give Spencer Weart’s Discovery of Global Warming a try (online and free).

  60. #60 Daniel J. Andrews
    February 28, 2010

    P.S. and you might learn why saying “proven scientifically” marks you as scientifically illiterate too.

  61. #61 Marco
    February 28, 2010

    @Lars Karlsson:
    And Piers Corbyn in 2005: [http://www.iop.org/activity/groups/subject/Energy/Group_events/page_6932.html]

    And in this newsletter, Peter Gill has some odd comments (parroting Jaworowski):
    [http://www.iop.org/activity/groups/subject/Energy/Newsletter/file_26513.pdf]
    But later on giving a quite reasonable review of a Jim Hansen talk.

  62. #62 Marco
    February 28, 2010
  63. #63 Billy Bob Hall
    February 28, 2010

    Spot on Spangled Drongo (#7).

    Funny how we don’t hear anything from the ‘Prince of Precaution’ Tim Flannery these days. Especially about such things he seemed to be championing Ad nauseam like the great crisis of the Murray/Darling River system, as just one example. Word has it that this ‘crisis’ is averted again – All filling up with ‘climate change’ water I hear ?! :-)

  64. #64 Paul UK
    February 28, 2010

    el gordo:
    >An informed citizenry, not simply an opinionated one, is a prerequisite for a mature democracy.

    That is fine for determining policy, as long as citizens are informed accurately.

    el gordo:
    >Public opinion will decide the outcome of this debate and the politicians will feel the heat.

    What debate?
    They can’t decide any scientific debate. There is only one un-debatable answer to the climate issue, the correct one is found through science, that’s what the processes are for.
    They can decide the policy that comes from the resulting science.

  65. #65 el gordo
    February 28, 2010

    I agree, Paul, but people will vote according to their perceptions. Why do the scientists say this is the hottest year ever when the NH landmass is freezing?

    As long as the AO remains negative then this Spring will be backward. The electorate will need a lot of convincing that global warming is real, once the politicians begin stirring the pot.

  66. #66 Andrew
    February 28, 2010

    el gordo, the task should never be to convince the electorate that global warming is real. The science is the science. The task should be to convince the electorate of the appropriate policy response.

  67. #67 el gordo
    March 1, 2010

    Andrew

    Trouble is, the science lacks credibility. The CSIRO and BoM collaborated to find a proven link between rising levels of greenhouse gases and a decline in rainfall.

    ‘In the minds of a lot of people the rainfall we had in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s was a benchmark. A lot of our water and agriculture planning was done during that time. But we are just not going to have that sort of good rain again as long as the system is warming up.’
    Dr Bertrand Timbal Aug 16, 2009

    They are wrong, of course, there is no connection.

  68. #68 John
    March 1, 2010

    More taking the piss Gordo?

  69. #69 el gordo
    March 1, 2010

    Sadly, no.

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/study-links-drought-with-rising-emissions-20090815-elpf.html

    I am interested in Neville Nicholls’ comment on the subtropical ridge becoming more intense and moving south.

  70. #70 Betula
    March 1, 2010

    Daniel Andrews….

    “It’s been official for a very long time, Betula.”

    Daniel, you’re telling me it’s been official for a long time that this years snowy winter in the northeast is due to Global Warming, so I have a few questions…

    How was it official before all the snow fell?

    Exactly when did it become official?

    Can you show me a peer reviewed paper showing that the snowy winter in the Northeast is due to Global Warming?

    Is the snow an indicater of a changing climate or is it just weather?

    If the snow in the Northeast is a direct result of Global Warming, what percent of that warming is due to man?

    Was Obama wrong when he said we can’t control Nature?

    Since less snow in the Northeast would be consistent with Global Warming, is the current heavy snow amount consistent with Global Warming? Example:

    “Records show that spring is arriving sooner,
    summers are growing hotter, and winters are becoming warmer and less snowy. These changes are consistent with global warming.”
    http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/global_warming/The-Changing-Northeast-Climate.pdf

    Here in the Northeast, should we prepare for a warmer climate, or a colder climate?

    If you owned a ski area, would you sell now while the getting is good, or hang on for good times ahead?

  71. #71 Boris
    March 1, 2010

    Willis Eschenbach estimates climate sensitivity over at Watts Up

    He comes up with a sensitivity of 0.05 deg C

    This is a pretty horrible analysis, even for E.

  72. #72 el gordo
    March 1, 2010

    Man made CO2 induced global warming is a crock.

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/ScreenShotLindzen1.jpg

  73. #73 SBVOR
    March 1, 2010

    Chris 81 (on another thread where I might get censored),

    In general, isn’t it particularly damning when the data from a peer reviewed study quite clearly contradicts the conclusions of the author?

    For all those alarmists who endlessly lie about “unprecedented temperatures”, let’s examine some directly cited peer reviewed data published on NOAA’s web site and dropped directly into an Xcel spreadsheet:

    1) At Vostok, Atarctica, we see — just in the last 10,000 years — 10 periods which were warmer than today. What caused those warming trends?

    2) At the GISP2 site on the Greenland ice sheet, we see — just in the last 10,000 years — 12 periods which were warmer than today. And, that is based upon the likely FALSE assumption that the MWP was COOLER than today. What caused those warming trends?

    Oh, and, referring again to those previous two graphs, how do you account for the on-going uninterrupted 10,000 year cooling trend in both the Arctic and the Antarctic? Don’t we CLEARLY see in both of those graphs that there is nothing even remotely unusual about the latest warming?

    The citation links and more details are found here and here.

  74. #74 SBVOR
    March 1, 2010

    jakerman | March 1, 2010 9:04 PM,

    Since our ungracious host deleted — without warning — my previous comment in the thread linked to in the salutation, I will repost it here:

    jakerman | March 1, 2010 7:52 PM,

    1) In your first point, you appear confused as to whether the GISP2 site lies within the Arctic Circle. Must I educate you on the location of the Arctic Circle and/or the GISP2 site?

    2) The GISP2 temperature data presented by NOAA does not define exactly what year “present” refers to. It does, however, make abundantly clear that the most recent temperature data point was about 95.1409 years before “present”.

    Since the data were originally published in 1997, one would assume that “present” refers to 1997. That would place the first temperature data point at roughly 1902.

    In appending the warming of the last 100 years indicated by Box, et al, I generously assumed the GISP2 site had warmed as much as the Box, et al data indicated. Alarmists have recently claimed that the Arctic is warmer than it has been in 2,000 years. My appended data is in agreement with that assertion.

    It appears we do not have temperature records from the GISP2 site from the last 100 years (or even current temperature data). So, as far as I can tell, this is the best approximation available. In so far as we do have current temperature records from Vostok, that chart lacks the small ambiguity of the GISP2 chart.

    3) Again, you appear quite confused. Your chart does not present GISP2 global temperature data there is no such thing.

    4) In my view, ice core data is — by far — the most credible temperature proxy. Your global reconstruction — using a variety of temperature proxies of varying credibility — covers only 20% (2,000 years) of the 10,000 year period I requested. That last time I checked 20% was a failing grade even in today’s universities.

    5) Since you and your ilk seem to prefer to cherry pick the last 2,000 years of temperature data, you might find the 2,000 year trend at Vostok just a tad “inconvenient”.

    Click here for direct links to the cited data sources.

    Oopsie!!!
    Don’t you just hate it when the data are made available for public inspection?

    NEXT???

    P.S.) Between the petulance of our host and this silly rule putting all posts with more than a few links into moderation, I may loose interest at this point. Come to my site. I moderate all comments — mostly so I can more easily find them and respond to them. I rarely decline to publish comments. The last comment I declined to publish was a two word comment prominently including the “F Word”.

  75. #75 jakerman
    March 1, 2010

    SBVOR zooms in on [this data](http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/alley2000/alley2000.html) from Richard Alley, and reckon’s he’s debunked AGW.

    His big call is that 10 or 12 times Greenland and Antarctica have been hotter than recent times. The obvious flaw being hes only got two sites which will inevitably have more variance than the variation moderated by the entire planet.

    Compare [Alley's GISP2](http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/alley2000/alley2000.gif) data [with Vostok](http://i47.tinypic.com/4rx8pc.jpg). I’ve marked the MWP and LIA.

    Nothing dramatic there. And the GISP2 data ends 90 years ago so leaves out most of the AGW signal.

    Basically both sets of data support global temperature reconstructions on the MWP, being a little warm in places but not globally compared to current global anomallies.

  76. #76 el gordo
    March 2, 2010

    The Eemian was sharper and hotter. Any chance of seeing further back?

  77. #77 jakerman
    March 2, 2010

    >*Since you and your ilk seem to prefer to cherry pick the last 2,000 years of temperature data, you might find the 2,000 year trend at Vostok just a tad “inconvenient”.*

    Why, there is nothing contradictory in that data? Notice the size of the MWP. Notice how the trends in Vostock and GISP2 are oppsite.

    Re you bold claims I assume you are aware that variation is larger in small resolution, compared to the moderation of global variance. Hence comparing the variance at one site to the variance of the globle is not impressive.

    What exactly do you think this data contradicts?

  78. #78 jakerman
    March 2, 2010

    SB may perfer [this resolution](http://i47.tinypic.com/50nzt4.jpg) an clarify why he beleives it contradicts AGW.

  79. #79 David Duff
    March 2, 2010

    In my never-ending efforts to keep Mr. Stepanovich busy squirreling away for mud to sling I offered him (see above -somewhere) The Institute of Physics.

    Today I can provide not only The Royal Institute of Chemistry but The Royal Statistical Society for absolutely no extra charge. (I stress the Royal because this is an Aussie site and they’re always frightfully impressed with that sort of thing!)

    They are both, in their very diffident, British way putting the boot into Dr. Phil “standard practice” Jones. I am just amazed that our pugnacious host, such a stickler for Truth, has not laced up his boots yet!

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/memo/climatedata/uc4202.htm

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/memo/climatedata/uc4702.htm

  80. #80 el gordo
    March 2, 2010

    Over at Watts – Mosher is taking the gloves off.

    ‘What the record shows is that Jones had no standard scientific practice of sharing or not sharing data. He had no consistent practice of abiding by or violating confidentiality agreements. He had his chance to sit before Parliament and come clean about the record. He had an opportunity to explain exactly why he took these various contradictory actions over the course of years. Instead he played with the truth again. Enough.’

  81. #81 Andrew
    March 2, 2010

    David Duff#79 … Sorry but what’s your point from this link?

  82. #82 Jeff Harvey
    March 2, 2010

    Several points:

    SBVOR is clearly not a scientist, and has no pedigree in any of the fields he/she covers. Otherwise this individual would not write such utter balderdash as claiming that the planet is going through a “C02 famine”. I cringe when I read this kind of comic-level book analysis. Like other apparently scientific illiterate pundits, SBVOR is unable to think in terms of temporal scales, and can only juxtapose conditions in pre-Mesozoic times with the present day, without alluding to the time lags between causes and effects. In other words, give that the planet’s climate control system is largely deterministic, differences in such parameters as ambient C02 concentrations and mean global surface temperatures would naturtally change at rates well exceeding a human generation (more like dozens of generations) unless there was some very profound short-term forcing agent. We are talking about changes in atmospheric C02 that are on temporal scales probably unprecedented in the planet’s history. What determines the ability of complex adaptive systems to adapt to changes in the environment is thus largely the property of their evolutionary history. This history is not measured in decades or even centuries but over many thousands of years. A doubling of atmospheric C02, and attendant effects on climate, would greatly disrupt trophic networks, undermining vital ecologicval interactions that maintain the stability of these sytems over various spatial and temporal scales. I am sure that right wing pundits like SBVOR have no clue how complex adaptive systems and their components function, but in promoting their liberatarian/populist views they try to give the impression to the lay readers out there that they have a good grasp of the science. For you readers out there who want to know the basics, take it from a scientist: THEY DO NOT.

    As one can see by giving SBVORs website a cursory scan, he/she is just another person twisting science to promote a political agenda on the far right. Clive Hamilton nails the agendas of these people in his recent articles. This is one of the pitfalls of the internet: anyone can set up a webblog site and attempt to convince a general audience that they know the ‘facts’. Like many other sites (see SBVORs links as well), they do not have the foggiest idea what they are talking about. They are unable to link climate with landscape level ecological effects. They do not understand the importance of scale. They are driven for the most part, by a populist conservative agenda that wishes to eviscerate the role of the government in the economy in the pursuit of private profit.

  83. #83 David Duff
    March 2, 2010

    Andrew @81:

    “The RSS [Royal Statistical Society] believes that the debate on global warming is best served by having the models used and the data on which they are based in the public domain.”

    “…the benefits of scientific data being made available and thus open to scrutiny outweigh the perceived risks. To this end, scientific information should be made available on request as outlined in the Freedom of Information Act.” [The Royal Institute of Chemistry]

  84. #84 Lotharsson
    March 2, 2010

    To this end, scientific information should be made available on request as outlined in the Freedom of Information Act.

    Ah, yes, and I suspect most of us agree.

    It should be noted that there are a number of valid grounds for which an FOIA request can be denied, and presumably these societies concur.

    It is further noted that the ICO has clarified that no breach of the FOI has yet been determined, despite press coverage to the contrary, and that the FOI request of concern was NOT for data but for e-mails.

    So we can provisionally conclude that these bodies agree that the FOI data requests were rightfully denied…?

  85. #85 SBVOR
    March 2, 2010

    Jeff Harvey | March 2, 2010 5:47 AM sez:

    “SBVOR is clearly not a scientist, and has no pedigree in any of the fields he/she covers.”

    Actually, I am a scientist. In point of fact, I am a trained Environmental Scientist.

    Lambert is the one who — just like the Chairman of the IPCC — has zippo academic background in any branch of science (computer science does not count).

    And, you — sir — are a blatant propagandist, just like Lambert.

    Click here for some basic climate change science.

  86. #86 SBVOR
    March 2, 2010

    For Jakerman and all others making the cherry-picking argument about my Vostok and GISP2 data,

    In order to put current temperatures into proper perspective, the MINIMUM time frame to examine is 10,000 years — roughly the period of the Holocene.

    The strongly preferred time frame is 140,000 years — so as to compare the current interglacial warming period against the previous interglacial warming period.

    Better than that is 423,000 to 600,000 years so as to compare at least the last 4 interglacial warming periods against the current interglacial warming period.

    I have provided you with the best data I can find which meet these criteria. If you have better data, let’s see it.

    In short:
    Put up or shut up!

  87. #87 Stu
    March 2, 2010

    SBVOR,

    what do you think of EG Beck’s work on chemical-method measured CO2, and its implications for climate science? An example is found on this page: < http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/07/25/beck-on-co2-oceans-are-the-dominant-co2-store/>

  88. #88 Bernard J.
    March 2, 2010

    Actually, I am a scientist.

    Yep… I’m calling bullshit on this one.

    Especially if he reckons that he’s an environmental scientist, and doesn’t know who Jeff Harvey is, or even have the wherewithal to use scientific resources to track Jeff and his publication list down.

    Heck, even Google would help him out if he bothered to do some basic searching.

    Yeah, “scientist” indeed…

    SBVOR, a real “environmental scientist” wouldn’t say that they were a “trained Environmental Scientist”. That’s a blanket term for many different disciplines, and anyone working in an environmental field would be much more specific about what they actually did. They also wouldn’t use the stilted, pompous, capitalised phraseology that you used – unless they were a puffed-up numpty techie* with a 1-year certificate in holding surveying staffs or screwing tops on sampling jars.

    Oh, and your complete lack of a grasp of science tends to give you away too…

    (*Apologies to all hard-working techies who actually are good at their work, and who don’t imagine that they’re somehow in line for a Nobel for doing their jobs).

  89. #89 jakerman
    March 2, 2010

    SBV I repeat,

    What exactly do you think this data contradicts in AGW?

    Isn’t that your key claim, that you’ve smashed AGW with this data? If it is you should be able to explain how.

  90. #90 SBVOR
    March 2, 2010

    1) The musings of Bernard J. | March 2, 2010 5:42 PM & Jeff Harvey | March 2, 2010 5:47 AM strike me as the sort of pettiness which rightly embarrassed the CRU Hockey team when it was made available for all to see.

    What is particularly striking is that these two openly and knowingly present their pettiness for the entire world to see.

    2) For the record, my university offered a graduate program in Environmental Science. So, if you have a problem with that term, take it up with the university of old.

    3) A semi-famous State Climatologist once opined that “those who have the science on their side argue the science, those who do not have the science on their side attack the messenger”.

    So, gentlemen, shall we argue the science? Or shall we resume the playground antics?

  91. #91 SBVOR
    March 2, 2010

    Just for the record, anybody who addresses me by anything other than SBVOR will not likely get a response — only because, as a time management issue, I search the comments for that moniker and only that moniker.

    I did happen to spot Jakerman’s latest query (March 2, 2010 6:19 PM) and deemed it unworthy of a response. My post speaks for itself and needs no further explanation.

  92. #92 jakerman
    March 2, 2010

    >SBV I repeat, What exactly do you think this data contradicts in AGW? Isn’t that your key claim, that you’ve smashed AGW with this data? If it is you should be able to explain how.

    SBV responds:

    >*I [...] deemed [Jakerman's question] unworthy of a response. My post speaks for itself and needs no further explanation.*

    To re-cap: SB is flashing charts around claiming they disprove AGW, but when asked directly and simply how they contradict AGW, SB is unwilling to clarify how or why the data do so.

  93. #93 John
    March 2, 2010

    Quiet Jakerman, you have been deemed unworthy!

  94. #94 SBVOR
    March 2, 2010

    On rare occasions, when a troll lies, I will respond to the troll. Such is the case with Jakerman.

    Jakerman lies when he asserts that “SB is flashing charts around claiming they disprove AGW”

    Quoting my summary (with emphasis added):

    “The following is a brief summary of the directly cited peer reviewed science which best refutes the hysteria surrounding Man Made Global Warming.”

    Quoting the summary contained in my more expansive post (with emphasis added):

    “The climate is changing. It always has and always will.
    Human activity has probably caused a tiny amount of beneficial warming.
    There is nothing even remotely unusual about current temperatures.
    Burning hydrocarbons as fuel will never cause catastrophic climate change.
    Mother Nature is guaranteed to cause catastrophic climate change.
    1,000 foot tall glaciers will probably scrape New York City off the map.
    That will happen during the next glaciation — in about 50,000 years.”

    What I refute is AGW hysteria — including gross exaggerations of likely impacts as well as utterly unsubstantiated claims as to what portion of recent warming is due to AGW — a position I share with 76% of meteorologists. I do not refute AGW itself.

    Future lies — if any — from Jakerman will not likely garner a reply. So, fair minded persons will take them with a grain of salt.

  95. #95 Chris O'Neill
    March 2, 2010

    SBVOR:

    my university offered a graduate program in Environmental Science. So, if you have a problem with that term, take it up with the university of old.

    WTF is the university of “old”?

    BTW, SBVOR sounds like some sort of disease organism.

  96. #96 jakerman
    March 2, 2010

    >*“those who have the science on their side argue the science, those who do not have the science on their side attack the messenger **[as unworthy?]**”.*

  97. #97 Bernard J.
    March 2, 2010

    So, gentlemen, shall we argue the science?

    Let’s.

    You can [start here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/firedoglake_book_salon_on_jame.php#comment-2134083), and answer the questions that no other denialist infesting Deltoid has been able to, using science.

    To these questions I would add that you present your best evidence that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas, or if you accept that it is, that its forcing is significantly less than the range given by the IPCC. And if you are going to argue that CO2 is not increasing in the atmosphere, show us your best piece of evidence for this too – and if you’re going to claim that humans aren’t responsible for any increase… well, once again, give us your best evidence.

    And if you fall back to the “OK, it’s going to warm after all, but warming’s good” fallacy, then please, please entertain the ecologists (and others) here and explain to us, using science, why this is so.

    Yes. Let’s argue the science.

  98. #98 SBVOR
    March 2, 2010

    Bernard J. | March 2, 2010 10:10 PM,

    If you are asking me if the climate is changing, my answer is found right here (along with fully substantiated answers to all your other equally grade school level questions).

  99. #99 SBVOR
    March 2, 2010

    Lambert & sycophants,

    I grow weary of playing Lambert’s childish games.

    1) All my comments, regardless of the number of links, are being subjected to moderation. As far as I can tell, nobody else is. Unacceptable!

    2) I should know by Wednesday, 3/3/10 whether Lambert has repeatedly censored my fully substantiated and entirely reasonable response to Stu | March 2, 2010 2:58 PM. Utterly intolerable!

    If my response to Stu is censored, I may create a post on my blog wherein I offer my response.

    What is certain is that I will not continue to participate on this — by design — unlevel playing field. Last comment, SBVOR out!

    Let the propaganda resume.

  100. #100 el gordo
    March 2, 2010

    Chip Knappenberger’s thinks only a third of the warming in the 20th Century was due to human GHG emissions.

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/

Current ye@r *