Via Skeptical Science, Peter Sinclair’s video on the evidence for man-made global warming.

Comments

  1. #1 John
    March 3, 2010

    I sensed it my bones, Jakerman.

  2. #2 Bernard J.
    March 3, 2010

    Gack!

    [At #182]() I should have said:

    …least “warm” record…

    rather than:

    …least “warming” record…

    They mean two quite different things.

    And whilst I’m here – Brent, you might protest a desire to engage others here on the basis of science, but when you walk through the door with so many patently false ‘points’, you can’t expect to be tolerated for too long. As [Chris O'neill noted](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2321044), one of the foci of the Deltoid crowd is to unpick both the deliberate and the ignorant bullshit of pseudoscientific claims, and you walked in with a [great big target on your chest](http://www.scaper.com/images/birthmark.jpg).

    You were given quite a long grace period by the rough-and-tumble standards of blog discussion, and you failed to demonstrate your sincerity. The problem is yours, and not that of others.

    Live with it – or leave your ideology behind and get some real education.

  3. #3 jakerman
    March 3, 2010

    James next you’ll tell me that the lady from the Dallas style 80s show saying “those dam” scienitst were not refering to Mann and Jones?

    I know [you are aware](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2314267) of whacky conspriacy theorists who claim a [socialst plot](http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&rls=com.microsoft%3Aen-au&q=global+warming+socialist&meta=&aq=f&oq=) driving AGW.

    My preference would be for Peter not to use this footage of Obama for the reason that it gives denialist an excuse to talk about not-science issues.

    How serious a misrepresentation would you rate this one James? Does it go the science? It is critiqueing a strawman that doesn’t exists? Do you completely reject it as an analouge charicature from a debate/conspriacy with similiar elements?

  4. #4 jakerman
    March 3, 2010

    Peter if you read this, I really liked the video, but I didn’t like the Obama bit even before James presented it as relateing to health care. I found that bit a little grating.

  5. #5 James
    March 3, 2010

    No Jakerman. One is a TV show, the other is the current US President and is designed to give credence to to the idea that the mainstream sceptic argument is about a socialist plot. Which brings me back to my original point. The video misrepresents the mainstream sceptical argument.

  6. #6 jakerman
    March 3, 2010

    James the misrepresention is limited to Obama making this joke against anit AGW conspiracists rather than health care. Video’s premise is accurate insofar as it conveys the the anti AGW delusionist who actually [agrue there is a conspiracy plot](global warming socialist plot).

    My assessment is the the consipracy delustionsist are in greater number on in the anti AGW group than the anti health care group, But with much overlap.

    And you Jame are one that resorts to scientific conspiracy theory in this debate if to a lessor extent than some.

  7. #7 jakerman
    March 4, 2010

    >*The video misrepresents the mainstream sceptical argument*

    Do you represent the mainstream sceptical argument? I thought the IPCC represented the mainstream sceptical argument.

    Do you represent the mainstream ‘so called sceptical ‘argument? Or the mainstream of those who call themselves skeptical?

    Can you tell me where I can find this mysterious thing that is some how being presented correctely somewhere and misrepresented elsewhere? How can I tell which is which?

    Can I know mainstream from mainstrem media such as Bolt? If not than who is more mainstream in the so called skeptics?

  8. #8 MapleLeaf
    March 4, 2010

    John @188 many thanks!

    Brent, lovely comments made at the denier sites. Why do those in denial about AGW have to repeatedly show themselves to be morally bankrupt and deceitful? You only harm your cause.

    For what it is worth, my log post #164 finally came through. A good few references to keep you busy.

  9. #9 jakerman
    March 4, 2010

    I like the way Peter used Fox News’ own talking heads in [this Denial crock of the week](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P70SlEqX7oY).

    Perhaps on the ‘socialist plot’ Peter should be using [Foxes denialsit machine](http://video.google.com.au/videosearch?hl=en&rls=com.microsoft:en-au&q=global+warming+socialist+plot&oq=&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=kj2PS4CZLoGe6gPBkqnmCQ&sa=X&oi=video_result_group&ct=title&resnum=10&ved=0CCQQqwQwCQ#) that feeds so many millions.

  10. #10 jakerman
    March 4, 2010

    Shorter James:

    >Warmist are only permitted to smack down arguments I have vetted and deemed to represent mainstream sceptics.

    >Please send arguments you intend to smack down to me for vetting, as I will not let you know in advance which arguments are mainstream and which get a free pass.

  11. #11 lenny
    March 4, 2010

    So Brent, were you lying when you said you haven’t read WG1, or have you really expended that much energy calling AGW and scientists frauds all over the ‘net not even having read WG1?

  12. #12 Stu
    March 4, 2010

    James said:

    “Disco, I mean, Stu. To be honest, I really don’t get the question. And I am afraid that if I start delving down that path I will be accused yet again of changing the subject.

    Is it your suggestion that the prescence of aerosols in the atmosphere has masked the effects of AGW until now, and that aerosols are being replaced, therefore we can expect AGW to accelerate as a result? Look I don’t know.”

    Don’t worry, you were halfway there. If aerosols provide a big cooling effect, the immediate reaction is usually ‘good, that’ll counteract the warming!’. But only for as long as aerosols are increasing in concentration, even if they stayed the same the increasing GHG forcing would cause warming. Obviously if aerosol pollution was cleaned up, the warming would likely accelerate.

    To put it another way, large aerosol cooling implies high climate sensitivity, and vice-versa. We’ve seen 0.7-0.8C warming in the surface temp record over the last >100 years. If aerosols are hardly masking any warming, then great because we’ll probably only see a 2C rise this century. Could be 4-6C if they’re masking a lot of warming.

    I dunno about you (and everyone else), but it seemed counterintuitive when I first heard this. Made plenty of sense after some thought though.

  13. #13 James
    March 4, 2010

    Stu, that makes absolute sense. So which is it?

  14. #14 Stu
    March 4, 2010

    Ah, that’s the crux of the matter! We simply don’t know James, aerosol forcing is one of the biggest uncertainties in climate science.

  15. #15 James
    March 4, 2010

    So the science isn’t settled? ;)

  16. #16 Lotharsson
    March 4, 2010

    I guarantee you that any scientist who disproves AGW will certainly get a Nobel Prize.

    The smart money is on two – physics and economics ;-)

  17. #17 Stu
    March 4, 2010

    Heh smooth work to get that in there James.

    It’s a bit of a grey area. Most of the basics are settled (like radiative forcing and temp rise without feedbacks for doubling CO2), everything else is subject to uncertainties, and some of it (like aerosols) is subject to large uncertainties.

    This should probably be self-evident from the wide range of possible climate sensitivities that the IPCC gives (2C to 4.5C, best estimate 3C, very unlikely to be less than 1.5C and significantly higher figures cannot be ruled out).

  18. #18 tnerB
    March 4, 2010

    An interesting study of the Urban Heat Island effect has just emerged, by Dr. Roy Spencer at Alabama Uni.

    If this research “has legs”, then it will surely be a useful calibrator of earthstation temperature measurements.

    Some troll called Brent was calling for just such a study (#188). Glad we got rid of him.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/03/spencer-using-hourly-surface-dat-to-gauge-uhi-by-population-density/

  19. #19 el gordo
    March 4, 2010

    There was no change in the background aerosol burden between 2000-2005, otherwise the satellites would have picked it up.

    It may be there, but masked by a bigger forcing.

  20. #20 Michael
    March 4, 2010

    Brent droned;

    Ask a scientist what velocity will be a second after dropping an apple and he’ll reply “9.81 m/s”

    And a feather??………

    OMG! Gravity is a fraud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. #21 Stu
    March 4, 2010

    Not sure what your point is El Gords

    First, what’s your source? I’m having trouble finding time series of total atmospheric aerosol loading.

    Second, what your point?

  22. #22 Stu
    March 4, 2010

    Whoops, yes this is the missing words round.

  23. #23 Andrew
    March 4, 2010

    tnerB @218 – Brent is that you?

  24. #24 sunspot
    March 4, 2010

    I didn’t reckon that video was as conclusive as this one.
    http://www.tinyurl.com.au/2vb

  25. #25 el gordo
    March 4, 2010

    Stu

    The aerosol signal may not be detectable because of the solar dimming from 1950’s – 80’s and solar brightening from the 1980’s -2000.

    You may recognize the work of Dr Martin Wild at IACS in Zurich.

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2006GL028031.shtml

  26. #26 tnerB
    March 4, 2010

    Yes, Andrew, it’s me.

    Given that people found postings I’ve made elsewhere (which, incidentally, I stand by), I’m wondering whether to withdraw.

    It seems that others here consider me some kind of agent provocateur, and ‘blew my cover’. But had I wished to visit incognito I wouldn’t have used my real Christian name.

    I drew some flak for claiming that there were people of goodwill on both sides, and fell foul of some ferocious partisanship. For what it’s worth, I’m convinced that this Great Debate will eventually reach some form of concensus, with combatants on both sides conceding points, and over on WUWT I was arguing with sceptic bigots that, e.g., the atrocious attacks on Phil Jones were unfair and utterly unhelpful, and that the two warring factions should be seeking at least SOME common ground.

    For instance, a guy called James tried an approach along the lines of “We all agree on these points; but we disagree on some others; let’s debate those others.” He was howled down, but the howlers may have drowned out other, more courteous debaters who might usefully have continued the debate.

    I stated from the outset that I was a sceptic, but initially avoided using that loaded word. I did not claim that I had a virgin record; that I had never expressed grave reservations about the AGW hypothesis. I figured that it would poison the atmosphere here if I tried to describe the full journey I’ve travelled as a mere member of the public in search of the truth.

    I’ve been reading some of the WG1 document, which begins with a sound statement of Scientific Method (in Ch 1), and refers to Popper’s principle of falsifiability. In what I thought was a cheerful tone, I asked the chatroom what it would take to make them change their minds (WG1 says “It is not the belief or opinion of the scientists that is important, but rather the results of this testing.” The “test” I proposed was the UAH MSU data, but earthstation data corrected for UHI effect would do). Some had a decent stab at accepting this cheerful challenge which would anyway have zero effect on the high-level players. Some said, “It’s more complicated than that: a single temperature series can’t do what Einstein’s eclipse did. Other factors, such as polecap cover, need to contribute to the chequered flag”, which is a very fair point.

    The scorn and derision heaped upon language like ‘chequered flag’ (which men of good will will accept as shorthand for a much more verbose set of validation criteria) is a little offputting. But one must accept that, in such a blogosphere environment, the loudmouth is enitled to his say.

    I remain convinced that, on the warmist side (sorry to use that perjorative label) there are people who hold the beliefs they do because they have seen what to them is satisfying evidence, and I’m interested in that. Now that my sincerity is disbelieved, I understand that some will think these are empty words; that fools like me will maintain their stance regardless of contrary evidence.

    There’s intolerance here to contrary viewpoints, although some have been kind enough to say, “What you just asserted is countered by the following (…)”, and I’m determined to follow such leads and question my current stance.

    I see a historical parallel between this Great Debate and the theory of Continental Drift which was initially pooh-poohed by the leading lights of geology until observation confirmed the theory. Unfortunately, because the current debate’s resolution depends on how the future pans out, we may have to wait a long time.

  27. #27 P. Lewis
    March 4, 2010

    History, as they say, has a habit of repeating itself.

    Now this is not new, but it bears repeating from time to time: “sceptics” (i.e. pseudosceptics) should be aware that we have been here before.

  28. #28 tnerB
    March 4, 2010

    Michael (220): You said “And a feather??………

    OMG! Gravity is a fraud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    Surely, you understand the point I was making: that science depends on the comparison of observed and predicted data; that a physicist would stick his neck out and make a forecast; that if some figure other than 9.81 m/s were measured it would be worthy of investigation, with the potential to cause a re-think.

    Tell me, if in the future the IPCC forecasts don’t tally with actual observation, what would it take for you to say, “Theory refuted!”?

  29. #29 Dappledwater
    March 4, 2010

    Brent, you talk about debate a lot. Are you a master debater?.

  30. #30 Andrew
    March 4, 2010

    tnerB @226, sorry but Brent backwards wasn’t difficult to crack…

    @ 228 , It is already actual observation. If you go back to the [beginning](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2314021) of this topic you’ll see comments about the 29,500 datasets mentioned in the video.

  31. #31 John
    March 4, 2010

    Do you know who I don’t like, Brent?

    Liars.

    I don’t like people who take advantage of the goodwill of the Deltoid commenters under false pretenses, while harbouring “fury” at the “obscene fraud that is AGW”. Those are not the views of a reasonable person interested in science.

    Don’t lie to us and tell us you have interest in actual science behind AGW, because everything you’ve posted elsewhere tells the exact opposite:

    Brief though it was, Professor Plimer’s slot on the Today programme was a welcome contribution to balanced debate. I thoroughly enjoyed his response to the interviewer patronisingly telling him he was entitled to his beliefs. Without quite getting shirty, Plimer said that Belief is the currency of politics and religion; that science in contrast proceeds by accumulation of evidence in support of, or in refutation of, a given hypothesis.
    If the current cooling trend continues, we the public will mock and scorn the bent scientists with their seats on the apocalypse gravy train.
    However, the vast economic forces being wheeled out to combat non-existent AGW will take some stopping. With such momentum, I fear it will take a decade or more to dismantle the Global Warming Bandwagon.
    Montaigne put it succinctly: “Nothing is so fervently believed as that which is not known.”

    It’s so pathetic that lying and misrepresenting is ingrained in the hearts of the denial brigade. They have no shame.

  32. #32 Dave R
    March 4, 2010

    Brent @ 228:

    Tell me, if in the future the IPCC forecasts don’t tally with actual observation, what would it take for you to say, “Theory refuted!”?

    I’m not a climate scientist. I accept the overwhelming consensus among climate scientists that human caused global warming is a real and serious problem. That’s the only sensible position a layman can take. If the theory were to be refuted either by observations or by some new research, that consensus would change and I would follow.

  33. #33 Michael
    March 4, 2010

    Brent@228,

    The feather is a reasonable analogy to the climate sytstem and a reminder that even with apparently straightfoward physical phenomena such as gravity, it isn’t as simple as you implied.

    That CO2 is a climate forcing is as indisputable as gravity. But how it plays out is more complex and variable than the gravity/feather example. But just like with gravity on the feather, we know that CO2 is affecting the climate system continuously. The effect is variable due to a range of other feedbacks and forcings, hence the range of estimates for overall warming.

    The empirical evidence is compelling. The case against is not much stronger than the claim that a feather not travelling at 9.8 m/s after one second suggests that the science is not settled on gravity.

  34. #34 jakerman
    March 4, 2010

    Brent writes:

    >*Surely, you understand the point I was making*

    [I did](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2321046), and it was an exemplar point. You tried to make science simpler than it really is and you go caught out, as in gotchya!

    Science isn’t as simple as you pretend. There are complexities and hence scientists make some caveats. But the uncertainties work both ways. Things could be worst or better than best estimates, timing could be sooner or later than best estimates. That does not mean we ignore nor even reject the most precise estimates achievable.

  35. #35 Lotharsson
    March 4, 2010

    Lotharsson was right! It IS ‘N’ years!

    Hard to take someone seriously who claims you said the exact opposite of what you said. I suspect this was in jest, but find it hard to tell.

  36. #36 Jeff Harvey
    March 4, 2010

    DaveR,

    An excellent point. I am a senior scientist who works in the field of population ecology. However, in the field of climate science, like you, I defer to the vast majority of my peers doing the actual research who argue that there is a very real human fingerprint over the current warming. Note that the denialiti, for the most part, do not do any research. Like creationists, their job is to sit by on the sidelines and to chip away at the evidence in support of AGW which regularly appears on the pages of peer-reviewed scientific journals. Similarly, don’t expect the pages of Evolution or Journal of Evolutionary Biology to publish articles in support of intelligent design, because the evidence does not exist. Instead, there are web sites who dedicate themselves to debunking the evidence behind evolution. This is the same game played by the AGW denialati.

    What I tend to find in these debates is that many of the contrarians try to give the impression that they are, indeed, armchair experts, valiantly seeking the truth from the fiction. But, like Brent, they come on here hand waving ‘facts’ from appalling anti-scientific denialist web sites like Milloy’s “Junk Science”. At the same time, they do not like to read (or are too lazy to seek out) the primary literature. Instead they rely on interpretations from think tanks, astroturf corporate lobbying groups and web sites set up explicitly to distort the empirical evidence.

    When Brent appeared to deny yesterday that there is a huge anti-environmental ‘slush fund’ I realized his comments were beyond the pale. One of the things I wrote in the journal Oikos with Stuart Pimm ten years ago with respect to separating good science from the rubbish rotuinely churned out by the think tanks is to ‘follow the money’. In researching this on and off for the past 15 years what I have found is that huge amounts of cash are constantly channeled from industries opposing government regulation to public relations companies and think tanks who act as third parties in promulgating the corporate view. Check out how much money, for example, the fossil fuel industries and their paid-for lobbyists spend trying to influence government policy in the United States each year, and then compare this with the total lobbying budget of environmental NGOs. The latter’s lobbying and PR budget is infintisimally small in comparison. And this is just money spent for lobbying purposes. Add up campaign contributions and then the difference becomes even more stupendous. Of course money buys influence, and this is why the corporate lobby invest so much money in trying to debunk the science that they effectively hate.

    With respect to adaptation, humans are challenging natural systems and the communities and species that make them up to adjust to changes that they have not experienced in millions of years, if ever. Besides climate change, humans have simplified ecosystems in a variety of ways, through fragmentation, outright elimination, the invasion of non-native exotic species, chnages in the nutrient and hydrological cycles and various types of pollution. Climate change has been added to the mix. GiThere is little doubt that we are forcing nature to respond in ways in which it will not be able to, given the synergized effects of the human assault. We are already seeing ecological network webs unravel, due to mistimed phenological effects amongst species at different trophic levels that are involved in strong interactions. When this happens, feedback loops within communities are damaged, and entire chains of species are disprupted, with serious consequences for the functioning of ecosystems. The think tanks and astroturf groups do not have a clue about any of this, so they dismiss it. This is a typical contrarian trick. Do not understand something? Then ignore it.

    The problem is that natural systems are immensely complex and exhibit adaptive properties. At the same time, given their complexity, ecologists have only been able to examine some communities whereas the vast majority (>99%) are not being studied at all. This means that, if the worrying trends that are being currently elucidated in research were to be extrpolated across ecological communities across the biosphere, we would probably realize how serious the predicament really is. Given that complex adaptive systems do not function linearly, once some critical threshold is passed then we can expect very nasty surprises. Pleading ignorance, as Marcel Kinkaid said quite elegantly earlier using the Titanic analogy, is no excuse.

  37. #37 Lotharsson
    March 4, 2010

    There’s intolerance here to contrary viewpoints,…

    Ob Princess Bride quote – Inigo Montoya (recall the accent):

    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  38. #38 Katharine
    March 4, 2010

    Totally off-topic, guys, but apparently the American Family Association, also known as People Who Should Focus On Their Own Fucking Family, wants to stone Tillikum the orca.

    The crazies want to stone a fucking orca.

  39. #39 Lotharsson
    March 4, 2010

    Tell me, if in the future the IPCC forecasts don’t tally with actual observation, what would it take for you to say, “Theory refuted!”?

    I already told you. In one ear and out the other though.

    The problem with the Popperian fundamentalists is that they think the whole set of understandings that makes up AGW today stands or falls together as a unit. If you propose a litmus test such as Brent is desperately seeking and it fails, then the whole thing goes up in a puff of smoke. There’s simply no possibility that one of the component pieces was flawed and needs correction.

    I find it impossible to explain why not to most of them, in part because they’re so wedded to a relatively simplistic view of how science should work. And even those that have a lightbulb moment usually end up with fairly dim overhead illumination – they often spin it around after a moment to argue that proves it’s non-falsifiable…

  40. #40 Bud
    March 4, 2010

    Tell me, if in the future the IPCC forecasts don’t tally with actual observation, what would it take for you to say, “Theory refuted!”?

    For crying out loud, Brent. I reckon I’ve given you longer shrift than most, but if you consistently refuse to answer the question which I have asked you twice – what would it take you to accept the conclusions of the vast majority of the world’s scientific community? – the why the hell should anyone respond to that question that you keep parroting over and over again?

    I repeat, there is no indication that any of the theories which underpin current climate knowledge and predictive capability are anywhere close to being refuted. Asking the question that you keep asking implies an intransigience on the part of the recipient that is simply not borne out by the evidence.

  41. #41 Katharine
    March 4, 2010

    “An excellent point. I am a senior scientist who works in the field of population ecology. However, in the field of climate science, like you, I defer to the vast majority of my peers doing the actual research who argue that there is a very real human fingerprint over the current warming. Note that the denialiti, for the most part, do not do any research. Like creationists, their job is to sit by on the sidelines and to chip away at the evidence in support of AGW which regularly appears on the pages of peer-reviewed scientific journals. Similarly, don’t expect the pages of Evolution or Journal of Evolutionary Biology to publish articles in support of intelligent design, because the evidence does not exist. Instead, there are web sites who dedicate themselves to debunking the evidence behind evolution. This is the same game played by the AGW denialati.

    What I tend to find in these debates is that many of the contrarians try to give the impression that they are, indeed, armchair experts, valiantly seeking the truth from the fiction. But, like Brent, they come on here hand waving ‘facts’ from appalling anti-scientific denialist web sites like Milloy’s “Junk Science”. At the same time, they do not like to read (or are too lazy to seek out) the primary literature. Instead they rely on interpretations from think tanks, astroturf corporate lobbying groups and web sites set up explicitly to distort the empirical evidence.”

    Quoted for truth. I find virtually none of them are capable of actually reading the scientific articles surrounding it. Large numbers of them are uneducated idiots.

    American culture does not help the push for reason in any way; these days it appears to foster the growth of stupidity. American media disturbingly seems to celebrate the anti-intellectual and the armchair predictor.

    Honestly, if people are so het up about this that they devote huge amounts of their time to posting on the interwebs trying in vain to debunk what is the consensus of the community of CLIMATOLOGISTS, then perhaps they should become climatologists themselves and see what actually goes into the training of a climatologist.

    Let’s pull up a curriculum for a climatology graduate program:

    http://www-paoc.mit.edu/paoc/education/climate_phd.htm

    “The elements of climate are so broad that one cannot cover all important aspects in course work, nor is it possible for any small group of subjects to provide a completely adequate foundation. But the Committee for the Climate Physics and Chemistry degree strongly recommends that all students, in the interests of having a good grounding in the essential disciplines, should understand the content of at least the following subjects:

    12.800 Fluid Dynamics of Ocean and Atmosphere
    12.842 Climate Physics and Chemistry
    12.806 Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry
    12.740 Paleoceanography

    Substitutions are possible with the agreement of the student’s adviser

    Examples of Course Selections

    Students will have or will develop more specialized interests within the wider climate problem. A background adequate to carry out original research within one of these areas, leading to a PhD dissertation, can be obtained through courses offered in the Department and elsewhere at MIT.

    It is expected that individual programs will be worked out by students in close consultation with their adviser. The following examples are intended to be only illustrative and not restrictive of the possibilities.
    For a student focusing on dynamics

    First year, term 1
    12.800 Fluid Dynamics of the Ocean and Atmosphere [12]
    12.842 Climate Physics and Chemistry [12]
    12.815 Atmospheric Radiation [6]
    18.075 or 18.305 [Mathematics] [12]

    First year, term 2
    12.810 Dynamics of the Atmosphere [12]
    12.806 Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry [12]
    12.801 General Circulation of the Oceans [12]
    Electives or “Special Problems” [12]

    Second year, term 1
    12.803 Quasi-Balanced Circulations [12]
    12.804 Large-Scale Flow Dynamics Laboratory [9]
    12.812 General Circulation of the Earth’s Atmosphere [12]
    Electives or “Special Problems” [12]

    Second year, term 2
    12.864 Inference from Data and Models [9]
    12.870 Air-Sea Interaction [12]

    For a student focusing on paleoclimate

    First year, term 1
    12.800 Fluid Dynamics of the Ocean and Atmosphere [12]
    12.815 Atmospheric Radiation [6]
    12.842 Climate Physics and Chemistry [12]
    18.085 Mathematical Methods for Engineers I [12]

    First year, term 2
    12.801 General Circulation of the Oceans [12]
    12.806 Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry [12]
    12.452 Mechanics of Sedimentary Processes [12]
    Electives or “Special Problems” [12]

    Second year, term 1
    12.742 Marine Chemistry [12]
    12.808 Introduction to Observational Physical Oceanography [12]
    12.818 An Introduction to Atmospheric Data and Synoptic Meteorology [12]
    Electives or “Special Problems” [12]

    Second year, term 2
    12.707 Pre-Pleistocene Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology [12]
    12.740 Paleoceanography [12]
    12.864 Inference from Data and Models [9]
    Electives or “Special Problems” [12]
    For a student focusing on ocean biogeochemistry

    First year, term 1
    12.800 Fluid Dynamics [12]
    12.842 Climate Physics and Chemistry [12]
    1.76 Aquatic Chemistry [12]
    18.075, or 18.085, or 18.305 [Mathematics] [12]

    First year, term 2
    12.801 Steady Circulation of the Oceans [12]
    12.806 Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry [12]
    HA.7752 Biological Oceanography [12]
    12.736 Special Problems in Chemical Oceanography [12]

    Second year, term 1
    12.742 Marine Chemistry [12]
    12.803 Quasi-balanced Circulation [12]
    12.804 Large-scale Flow Dynamics Laboratory [9]
    12.736 Special Problems in Chemical Oceanography [12]

    Second year, term 2
    12.740 Paleoceanography [12]
    12.864 Inference from Data and Models [9]
    12.736 Special Problems in Chemical Oceanography [18]
    7.440 Introduction to Mathematical Ecology [9]

    General Examination
    A student will normally have acquired the necessary background in academic subjects by the end of the fourth academic semester and will take the General Examination at that time. In extenuating circumstances, the Examination may be taken at a later date. (See the separate document on the General Examination and Thesis.)”

    Essentially, this is a lot of math, chemistry, and physics. Most denialists I have talked to have absolutely no understanding of the BASICS of math, chemistry, or physics.

    The amount of information the denialists are missing in their debate is STAGGERING.

  42. #42 Bernard J.
    March 4, 2010

    [Brent imagines](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2321605):

    I see a historical parallel between this Great Debate and the theory of Continental Drift which was initially pooh-poohed by the leading lights of geology until observation confirmed the theory.

    If that’s what you see, you need to have your scientific methodology vision checked.

    Disparagers of continental drift, and disparagers of other radical ideas such as a round earth and evolution, were largely holding onto their scientifically untested beliefs through ideology (usually religious) or through habit. Those folk who relinquished their opposition were the ones who examined the scientific evidence and assessed it independently of their ideology.

    The physics of anthropogenic global warming has been tested as have few other theories, with no credible refutation resulting. The science underpinning many other climate-related fields has also been minutely scrutinised, and it has emerged ever more robust.

    In the case of AGW, the denialist cause is not the equivalent of continental drift, for several fundamental reasons.

    Firstly, the idea of human-caused climate change was in fact rejected decades ago by many, when it intially emerged, and it was with the gathering of evidence that it has come to be accepted by most.

    Secondly, the testing of AGW physics reinforces the scientific case for it, whilst the testing of the denialist cause weakens the denialist case.

    If there really is some extraordinary proof lingering somewhere that refutes AGW, it has hidden itself so well that it has eluded both the rational impartiality of the scientific method, and the desperate trawlings of the pseudoscientific anti-AGW ideologues. Any evidence that might be able to counter the fundamental case for AGW after such searching must be so subtle that it’s existence is unlikely to actually make much difference to the case anyway, or it simply does not exist as the Denialati imagine it.

    If Brent thinks that he has a serious case for refuting the physics and the empirical evidence supporting AGW, he might consider helping the [latest troll on deltoid who has dropped the ball when asked my standard list of questions](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/open_thread_43.php#comment-2318560).

    In the end, the only poo-pooing that will happen will be scraped off the faces of the Denialists when the Great Experiment inexorably unwinds in spite of the howls of the ideaologues who claim that there is actually a “Great Debate” in the first place. Unfortunately for many humans, and for many non-human species, by then the rest of us will probably be up to our necks in poo-poo because we wasted so many decades engaged in useless faffing about a debate that was not a debate at all.

    [I've quoted Francis Crick before](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/08/matthew_england_challenges_the.php#comment-2190119), and I’ll quote him again:

    And so to those of you who may be vitalists I would make this prophecy: what everyone believed yesterday, and you believe today, only cranks will believe tomorrow.

  43. #43 Katharine
    March 4, 2010

    Ever notice how when you click all the links to denialist blogs they’re all also conservative?

    It’s really funny.

  44. #44 Childermass
    March 4, 2010

    To me the most obvious evidence that the world is warming is that satellites can now see how much electromagnetic radiation the Earth receives and how much electromagnetic radiation the Earth either reflects or radiates away into space. Earth receives more than it emits and reflects. If one understands the concept called conservation of energy then one knows the Earth is warming without trusting the temperature database of CRU or the other multiple organizations as well.

    Is this type of concept really too hard to be mentioned on TV, radio, and newspapers?

    /Formerly a “a lurker”

  45. #45 MapleLeaf
    March 4, 2010

    BernardJ @242:

    “If there really is some extraordinary proof lingering somewhere that refutes AGW, it has hidden itself so well that it has eluded both the rational impartiality of the scientific method, and the desperate trawlings of the pseudoscientific anti-AGW ideologues.”

    Well stated Bernard!

  46. #46 Brent
    March 4, 2010

    Bud (240):
    You wrote: “…. but if you consistently refuse to answer the question which I have asked you twice – what would it take you to accept the conclusions of the vast majority of the world’s scientific community? – the why the hell should anyone…”

    Fair point, Bud, and I see I have tried your patience. It seems I need a bit of a re-think on validation criteria. People here are consistently saying that it’s dumb and simplistic to seek validation by some single numerical parameter. Previously, I’d have responded to your challenge with “a UAH MSU temperature anomaly above +0.8C on three occasions in the period 2010-2020″.

    But (and I’m not being ironic here) I’m struggling to come up with something more sophisticated. I’ve taken the position that, since we’re talking about global warming, the question ‘well, is it warmer or not’? was reasonable.

    Above, Lotharsson spoke disapprovingly of ‘Popperian fundamentalists’. Now don’t bite my head off here… I must say that that sounds like a virtue not a vice. Here I am looking for a yes/no validation, and people are saying that it’s dumb and simplistic approach to hypothesis testing. And I’m honour-bound to shift my paradigm if I’m shown to have reduced the pass/fail criterion to a meaningless snippet of data.

    Assume for the moment that I’m not being cute with you: Please tell me what is an appropriate measure of whether the AGW hypothesis is sound? And please treat me as if I were ‘an intelligent but uninformed listener'; be patient. All this angry “Look, idiot, 29000 biological indicators can’t be LYING like you are!!!” is a tad upsetting, even via our remote keyboards.

  47. #47 luminous beauty
    March 4, 2010

    Brent,

    >Assume for the moment that I’m not being cute with you: Please tell me what is an appropriate measure of whether the AGW hypothesis is sound?

    http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/hitran/

    http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/4660#

  48. #48 MapleLeaf
    March 4, 2010

    Luminous Beauty, I wonder if it will be lost on Brent that the report you link to was published in 1966, or the facts that the US military has done research on radiative forcing of GHGs.

    Brent’s faith in the misguided assertion that AGW is a fallacy and/or hoax, and that climate scientists are frauds is unshakable. Why are we engaging such a mendacious individual who have stated such heinous and fallacious statements about climate scientists on the public record?

    Why are those in denial so often morally bankrupt, and compelled to lie? Why?

  49. #49 Katharine
    March 4, 2010

    MapleLeaf, it’s less ‘morally bankrupt and compelled to lie’ than ‘stupid’.

    Remember, half of the world’s population has an IQ less than 100.

  50. #50 Dave R
    March 4, 2010

    Brent @ 246:

    I’m struggling to come up with something more sophisticated

    What specific objections do you have to the more sophisticated approach to which you were pointed in #127?

    Here I am looking for a yes/no validation

    What specific objections do you have to the simple approach that was suggested in #232?

    Assume for the moment that I’m not being cute with you

    I don’t think that’s a realistic assumption.

  51. #51 Marcel Kincaid
    March 4, 2010

    MapleLeaf, it’s less ‘morally bankrupt and compelled to lie’ than ‘stupid’.

    Uh, no; regardless of whether he is stupid, Brent is clearly morally corrupt and compelled to lie (and I called it early on).

    Remember, half of the world’s population has an IQ less than 100.

    No one forgot your non sequitur; Brent clearly has an IQ over 100.

  52. #52 Marcel Kincaid
    March 4, 2010

    They’re coming at me so fast now that I’m fending them off with Kung Fu from one leg and Karate with the other.

    This is your fundamental problem, moron. Instead of “fending off” the collected knowledge of the scientific community, you should be shutting your yap and listening.

  53. #53 luminous beauty
    March 4, 2010

    Mendacity and stupidity are not mutually exclusive qualities, but I do believe a willingness to accept any [comforting fiction](http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_l8ZBsSeLPxk/Rw6pcoLnbNI/AAAAAAAAAdA/SJ0AIkmHBdw/s400/an-inconvenient-truth.jpg) over numerable corroborating inconvenient facts is all too common human trait.

  54. #54 Marcel Kincaid
    March 4, 2010

    I’m a little outnumbered here.

    Not just here, fool; see

    Scientific opinion on climate change

    @Bud
    I’m sorry, but with respect, this is not a negotiation, the “two camps” (not that this is an appropriate way to describe the scientific community against the ‘skeptics’)

    Indeed it is not. As I noted earlier, science is not a process based on debate as such, but rather on the scientific method. The basic ethos of debating is winning (witness Brent’s fight metaphors) whereas the basic ethos of science is learning. Or, as Quine put it,

    The desire to be right and the desire to have been right are two desires, and the sooner we separate them the better off we are. The desire to be right is the thirst for truth. On all counts, both practical and theoretical, there is nothing but good to be said for it. The desire to have been right, on the other hand, is the pride that goeth before a fall. It stands in the way of our seeing we were wrong, and thus blocks the progress of our knowledge.

  55. #55 Dappledwater
    March 4, 2010

    Marcel, it’s been fun to read your contributions, apart from the minor explosions, you are very skilled at skewering the ignoramuses. I do however understand your frustration, these idjits think this (gambling with the Earth’s future habitability) is a game.

  56. #56 MapleLeaf
    March 4, 2010

    LB, thanks for the cartoon. What really cracked me up is that they are paying money to hear a lie.

    And Marcel, keeps on nailing it. The wise thing for Brent to have done would have left as soon as John outed him and exposed the vitriol and rhetoric that Brent has posted elsewhere. i like that quote by Quine.

    I’m beginning to think that Brent may be yet another denialist D-K case.

  57. #57 Marcel Kincaid
    March 4, 2010

    @Jakerman
    John, in my own mind I silently disagreed with you when you wrote Brent is an obvious troll. I thought he was a different class and his approach was not obvious.

    Folks like you and Erasmussimo lack either experience with anti-science trolls or have trouble detecting nuances of human behavior — it’s a common problem among scientists. As I said, I can smell these folks a mile away, but that comes from years of encountering the same methods among evolution deniers and “skeptics”.

    @Dave R
    I don’t think that’s a realistic assumption.

    Certainly not given #188. After that damning evidence about Brent, it’s foolish to engage him as if he were seriously interested in dialogue.

  58. #58 Marcel Kincaid
    March 4, 2010

    apart from the minor explosions

    If you don’t express contempt for these people, you’re playing into their hands — they seek legitimacy in the form of a “debate”, with two “sides” or “camps”. Don’t give these scum what they want.

  59. #59 jakerman
    March 4, 2010

    >*Folks like you and Erasmussimo lack either experience with anti-science trolls or have trouble detecting nuances of human behavior — it’s a common problem among scientists.*

    Indeed, yet in my defense, “obvious” was the descriptor that caused my initial disagreement with John on this matter.

    Having met [John Archer](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/leakegate_on_stovepiping_and_p.php#comment-2292157) and more than 20 like him, my initial disagreement with ‘our’ John’s assessment of ‘obvious troll’, would have been reversed if John had called Brent a ‘nuanced troll’.

    None the less, I wouldn’t have guessed John would do such a thorough unearthing, that so completely dragged Brent into new light.

    I think that kind of evidence is powerful, at least to thinking people. Perhaps even Brent is one such thinking person.

    Though as the propaganda machine (employed by partisan talk radio and TV) demonstrates labels can be powerful to influence vulnerable people or people who have bamboozled by the complexity. If people don’t understand the science, give them a story or label they do understand. Hence we get the battle of the labels, the battle of the analogies and the battle of the narratives.

    But I’m not sure that we can or want to really muscle up and make central the use of that tactic. Our best tactic is evidence, risk management and effective communication. Unfortunately it made take too long. I’m open to further suggestions.

  60. #60 Marcel Kincaid
    March 4, 2010

    Our best tactic is evidence, risk management and effective communication.

    Indeed, but it is a (nuanced?) mistake to think that “communication” should include dialogues with anti-science trolls on blogs like this, regardless of how nuanced they are — it’s a waste of time and resources, per #101. And again, on what makes someone like Brent a troll from his very first post: “a scientific illiterate coming to a scientific forum for the purpose of having a debate is a case of trolling”. His post was “nuanced” in that it was deliberately designed to present himself as a reasonable, uncommitted person, a non-extremist, seeking a reasonable and rational discussion … but to a nuanced reader there were all sorts of red flags; certainly his defense of fellow “sceptic” James and his mischaracterization of James’s ridiculous attack on this video was a big one.

  61. #61 James
    March 4, 2010

    Don’t fret, Marcel, it will all be ok. God forgives you and so do I. You know not what you do. ;) Poor love.

  62. #62 phi1ip
    March 4, 2010

    Thanks James, now we know you’ve got nothing meaningful to contribute. What are you doing back here again?

    *activates killfile*

  63. #63 James
    March 4, 2010

    Well, Philip, before I was trying to engage in some meaningful debate, and I got some from Stu and Eras (sadly it appears that he found some of the abuse distasteful, understandably, and bowed out). My comment at 261, however, is just stirring. You should be able to tell by the wink. You see a check of Marcel’s form via Google demonstrates that his unfettered hatred and rage is not limited to those who question the science and politics behind Anthropogenic Global Warming. He just hates generally.

  64. #64 Marcel Kincaid
    March 4, 2010

    I was trying to engage in some meaningful debate

    Denial is no debate, you scientific illiterate.

    You see a check of Marcel’s form

    Ah yes, form … but substance is what matters, fool.

  65. #65 James
    March 4, 2010

    Marcel, I’d love to check your analyse your comments for substance, but sadly, there is none. Unless of course vitriolic and obscene abuse counts as substance.

  66. #66 A. Lurker
    March 4, 2010

    As a long time reader of this blog, I have to say that one of the main reasons it is so consistently excellent is the relatively civil, science-based exchanges. I understand that it is frustrating to engage with others who are clearly not interested in good faith discussion, but I don’t see how gratuitous belligerence and spite do anything but cheapen the discussion and dilute otherwise good arguments.

  67. #67 luminous beauty
    March 4, 2010

    >Ah yes, form … but substance is what matters, fool.

    But Marcel, form is all that fools know. Their perceptions are their reality. ‘Tis true ’tis a pity; pity ’tis ’tis true.

  68. #68 Marcel Kincaid
    March 4, 2010

    Marcel, I’d love to check your analyse your comments for substance, but sadly, there is none.

    That you are a liar is already well-established; no need to compound it with such obvious falsehoods.

    I don’t see how gratuitous belligerence and spite do anything but cheapen the discussion and dilute otherwise good arguments.

    Argumentum ad ignorantiam. And just what good arguments are there with those acting in bad faith?

  69. #69 A. Lurker
    March 4, 2010

    “And just what good arguments are there with those acting in bad faith?”

    None. No argument is going to convince a troll. The point is to present your side for laymen like me, who may not otherwise know what the good arguments are.

    I really don’t want to sound like a concern troll. This blog gets plenty lively and I don’t have any problem with that. Certainly someone who comes to a discussion in bad faith deserves to get slapped around a bit. I just think such unrelenting hatred and bile is unproductive.

  70. #70 Marcel Kincaid
    March 4, 2010

    I really don’t want to sound like a concern troll.

    Then stop being one.

    I just think such unrelenting hatred and bile is unproductive.

    What are you, James’s older brother?

    Given how many people have said that I’m spot on, my comments don’t seem to be all that unproductive. How about yours, lurker?

  71. #71 Dave R
    March 4, 2010

    Marcel @ 258:

    If you don’t express contempt for these people, you’re playing into their hands — they seek legitimacy in the form of a “debate”, with two “sides” or “camps”. Don’t give these scum what they want.

    I think you’re absolutely right there, but bear in mind that although Tim is pretty tolerant, he does [like it to be reasonably polite](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/tom_fuller_and_senator_inhofe.php#comment-2049513).

  72. #72 John
    March 4, 2010

    A. Lurker, are you Brent?

  73. #73 Marcel Kincaid
    March 4, 2010

    P.S.

    The point is to present your side for laymen like me, who may not otherwise know what the good arguments are.

    See the video, and the early posts, not including the seventh, when James called the video a crock. Note particularly posts 4, 5, 9, 11, and 13. Note how serious discussion gets cut off as soon as trolls like James show up and people try fruitlessly to reason with them.

    And please stop talking about “your side”; there is only one legitimate side, and that is the side of science. If you don’t know what the science says, then study up — arguing won’t get you anywhere.

  74. #74 A. Lurker
    March 4, 2010

    I’m not sure why you think that my questioning your tone is equivalent to defending James, but whatever. I’m not really interested in arguing about this.

    >Then stop being one.

    Fair enough. I’ve said my piece.

  75. #75 Marcel Kincaid
    March 4, 2010

    Tim is pretty tolerant, he does like it to be reasonably polite.

    So be it. There are plenty of places where people don’t have sticks up their butts.

    A. Lurker, are you Brent?

    That’s very unlikely, and unfair.

  76. #76 Marcel Kincaid
    March 4, 2010

    I’m not sure why you think that my questioning your tone is equivalent to defending James, but whatever.

    That’s not what I meant. James said that my posts (including my other internet posts) consist of nothing but “vitriolic and obscene abuse”, and then you chimed in with “unrelenting hatred and bile”; these are very similar misrepresentations.

  77. #77 A. Lurker
    March 4, 2010

    >A. Lurker, are you Brent?

    No. I really am a long time reader. Brent and James are full of shit and the standard troll-beating is perfectly appropriate, AFAIK. I just thought that Marcel was over the line. Perhaps I am misreading his tone, or maybe I’m being overly sensitive. Either way, carry on. I didn’t mean to derail the thread and I will not bother about it any more (really this time!).

  78. #78 John
    March 4, 2010

    Sorry to sound accusatory, but I do get suspicious when threads fill up with a variety of new names after an inglorious exit from a troll.

  79. #79 lurker2
    March 4, 2010

    I am another lurker and I disagree with A.Lurker. I don’t see why people on this science blog need show civility and courtesy to those who come to them trying to be smart arses and have no intention of learning anything or contributing in good faith. They already have a set position and nothing, no science, no honest debate will change their opinion, it is a sadistic pleasure for them. They come to you purely to ‘stir’ the existing community like poking a stick into an ant nest.

    I learn plenty from the links and the general discussion, the trolling does not change the information presented, in fact it is a (entertaining) distraction from it.

    “Certainly someone who comes to a discussion in bad faith deserves to get slapped around a bit. I just think such unrelenting hatred and bile is unproductive.”

    But that (hatred and bile) doesn’t come from the scientists here, it is brought to them from the trolls. Keep slapping them down marcel, you use science AND words as your weapons against dishonesty and wilful ignorance. The dignity of the high road is lost on the deniers who deliberately lie, distort and manipulate to spread their rubbish to a wider audience.

  80. #80 jakerman
    March 4, 2010

    Marcel, i largely agree with your assessment of both James and Brent. I just prefer the way John demostrates his case. Its a rare occation that calling someone a liar is more effective than demonstrating it.

    Name calling is an equal opportunity sport, any mug can swing back with bluster and noise. Using evidence to make a case greatly favours those who are practicing truth seeking traits.

  81. #81 Terry Grinnalds
    March 4, 2010

    How about we agree to separate the issue of the legitimacy of global warming from the issue of whether or not it’s our fault? Somehow, they always seem to be considered as one question. A lot of the craziness in the refusal to a accept global warming is from people saying, essentially, “I’m not taking the blame for this.” In fact, the reality of global warming is overwhelming, but the issue of our responsibility for it is less so. Personally, I believe it is probably our doing, but that is not particularly important. Blame is not the point here. Repair is. After all, even if you believe natural causes are largely at fault, you can still logically say “Well, I can’t control nature, but I can control that part of it that’s man-made” and proceed to do so. Bringing down the emotional level would certainly help to achieve the changes we need to make.

  82. #82 MapleLeaf
    March 4, 2010

    Dr. Rabett has been a busy bunny. He posted this today and provides an excellent link as to the theory of radiative transfer.

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2010/03/simplest-explanation.html

    Highly recommended. Also stimulating some discussion going by the number of comments.

  83. #83 Marcel Kincaid
    March 5, 2010

    Its a rare occation that calling someone a liar is more effective than demonstrating it.

    That’s silly; one demonstrates that people are liars by taking into account their words; John did that by linking to Brent’s words elsewhere, and I did it, for instance, by commenting on James’s words here; in response to his

    Guess what, it says nothing of the science but it speaks to the way the presenter in the video has couched his opponents arguments.

    I pointed out that

    First, you’re lying, you did speak to the science. Second, you lied both about the content of the video and about what “sceptics” say.

    What is quite ineffective is to allow such lies to stand unchallenged and to then proceed to have an exchange as if these people are acting in good faith.

    Name calling is an equal opportunity sport, any mug can swing back with bluster and noise. Using evidence to make a case greatly favours those who are practicing truth seeking traits.

    This too is silly, because a) whether someone is lying can be determined by examining the evidence and b) people acting in bad faith can simply deny the evidence and “swing back” with their own claims. This is the whole point behind these people seeking “debate”, or in the evolution case “teach the controversy”; there’s equal opportunity everywhere. As I noted in #101,

    there’s the implicit assumption that, if one is calm and measured in their response to liars and trolls, that they will somehow be forced to attend to one’s points, to admit error where it is demonstrated, etc.

    Using evidence to make a case greatly favors those who are practicing truth seeking traits … among those who are practicing truth seeking traits, but it falls flat among those who are not. To ignore that is to ignore the evidence about human beings — for instance, polls that show that the number of people in the U.S. (where I am) who disbelieve GW is increasing: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/24/AR2009112402989.html

  84. #84 Marcel Kincaid
    March 5, 2010

    Somehow, they always seem to be considered as one question.

    Uh, no; GW and AGW are different terms.

    even if you believe natural causes are largely at fault, you can still logically say “Well, I can’t control nature, but I can control that part of it that’s man-made” and proceed to do so.

    But what AGW deniers actually say is that anthropogenic factors are swamped by natural factors and that it’s too expensive and demanding to make changes with uncertain and at best minimal benefits.

    Bringing down the emotional level would certainly help to achieve the changes we need to make.

    The emotional level is pumped up by the huge outlays of money by corporations that don’t want to make such changes.

  85. #85 Jeff Harvey
    March 5, 2010

    I am with Marcel 100% on this. It is not a civil debate because there should not really be a debate at all. By now, given the volumes of scientific evidence in favor of AGW, we should have moved on well into the policy arena. I think that, for the most part, those in denial do not deserve to be treated with anything other than contempt.

    The issue of climate change finds scientists on the one side who are doing the research and who are in broad agreement over the issue; on the other side there is a hodge-podge assortment of different characters pushing various agendas. Their primary agenda, as I see it, is a political one, based on a far right idealogy which loathes the role of the government in the economy. Scientists are naturally sceptical but accept the burgeoning evidence behind AGW whereas the other side lies, distorts and twists the empirical data in support of a pre-determined worldview.

    Speaking ‘from the inside’ (as a scientist) it is my opinion that the deniers do not deserve to be treated as intellectual equals. This is the way I see it, hence why I have no problem supporting Marcel’s approach to them. In this case, I believe his derision of them and their arguments is correct.

    Katherine (above) and Clive Hamilton alluded to the anti-intellectual culture that is embraced by many in the United States (and Europe for that matter), and this culture fits in well with right wing populism and a hatred of science and scientists. Anti-environmentalism and the growing backlash against evidence for AGW fits in well with this agenda.

  86. #86 James
    March 5, 2010

    jeff of the “inside”. If you have a problem with the debate, then perhaps you’d best start looking internally for the reasons why.

    For instance, look at Al Gore’s “documentary”. If your lot hadn’t made such a big deal out of the over dramatics, and outright lies in Gore’s and other documentaries, hadn’t so blatantly manipulated the media, hadn’t sought to suppress the release of data and conflicting views, then our lot might not have so much to work with.

    At the end of the day, Jeff of the inside, unless you find yourself a bunch of weapons and a bloody big army, you’re going to need to convince our lot that your case is meritorious. So far you have failed dismally. The abuse of the Hamiltons and Kincaids of the world hardly helps. So suck it up, Princess, and make your case. Because so far you haven’t.

  87. #87 Marcel Kincaid
    March 5, 2010

    They come to you purely to ‘stir’ the existing community like poking a stick into an ant nest.

    Yes, and they crow about it back at their denier haunts, as James/Sancty was documented doing in #54.

    I learn plenty from the links and the general discussion, the trolling does not change the information presented

    They don’t alter the information, but they do change what information is presented — all the posts turn toward them and offer refutations of their falsehoods, whereas in their absence we would see more discussions that further our knowledge rather than reiterate it. As Jeff Harvey notes, ” By now, given the volumes of scientific evidence in favor of AGW, we should have moved on well into the policy arena”. But policy has stalled because of trolling-writ-large: http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/ExxonMobil-GlobalWarming-tobacco.html

    According to the report, ExxonMobil has funneled nearly $16 million between 1998 and 2005 to a network of 43 advocacy organizations that seek to confuse the public on global warming science.
    “ExxonMobil has manufactured uncertainty about the human causes of global warming just as tobacco companies denied their product caused lung cancer,” said Alden Meyer, the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Director of Strategy & Policy. “A modest but effective investment has allowed the oil giant to fuel doubt about global warming to delay government action just as Big Tobacco did for over 40 years.”

    “As a scientist, I like to think that facts will prevail, and they do eventually,” said Dr. James McCarthy, Alexander Agassiz Professor of Biological Oceanography at Harvard University and former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s working group on climate change impacts. “It’s shameful that ExxonMobil has sought to obscure the facts for so long when the future of our planet depends on the steps we take now and in the coming years.”

    Scientists like to think that facts prevail, but that’s a quasi-religious faith that doesn’t reflect the realities of human psychology and social structure.

  88. #88 Marcel Kincaid
    March 5, 2010

    , unless you find yourself a bunch of weapons and a bloody big army, you’re going to need to convince our lot that your case is meritorious

    That would take brain surgery, not an army.

  89. #89 Neil
    March 5, 2010

    “Because so far you haven’t.”

    And what have the denialati, paragons of probity that they are, managed to come up with? What’s their crowning glory?

    Some stolen e-mails.

  90. #90 Jeff Harvey
    March 5, 2010

    James,

    I think that Marcel and others here have pretty much dismantled the nonsense you have presented here with unfortunate regularity. As I said above, the ‘debate’ over AGW should have been over 10 years ago. That is hasn’t has little to do with science and everything to do with profit and power. Given that you, like most of the denialists that come on here, know little about science, I can only surmise that your motivation is also a political and idealogical one. Let me guess: you are politically to the right and perhaps even a libertarian? Gee, that was not hard to predict, was it?

    The so-called ‘victory’ of the denialati is a pyrrhic one. All that this obfuscation of the science does is to push complex adaptive systems towards a point beyond which they will be unable to sustain life in manner that we know. Once this happens (and it already is), we can expect there to be serious consequences.

    Nature is unforgiving. Once critical ecosystem services break down as a result of a diverse and ongoing human assault, then there will be profound consequences for our species. There is no way around it. At present we are living off a one-time inheritance of natural capital and are spending it like there is no tomorrow. On top of that, we are altering critical biogeochemical cycles (and climate), forces that operate over very large spatial and temporal scales. As ecologist Peter Vitousek said back in 1994, there will be effects of human activities on ecosystems across the biosphere. We are already entering a period of consequences. Against this background are people like yourselves who are happy to see humanity fiddling while Rome burns. You appear unconcerned that there are likely to be serious repercussions over the current global experiment that humans are conducting on systems of immense complexity but which sustain us. Climate change, given its scale, is likely to exacerbate many of the other stresses induced on nature by humanity.

    So go ahead and keep your head buried in the sand. They say that ignorance is bliss. You are a shining example of that.

  91. #91 James
    March 5, 2010

    Jeff, to the extent that I can possibly understand, I have read much of both sides of the debate. And you know what, if the proposed “solution” were something that 1. might be effective in limiting carbon emissions and 2. didn’t sacrifice my country’s sovereignty to a world body that has thus far proven utterly inept in pretty well every venture it has engaged in, I would say, “Well, I might not be convinced, but hey, let’s give the earth the benefit of the doubt here”.

    But Jeff, here is where I am of the “inside”. Trading hypotheticals does not work. It is not a real market and must fail. And even if it did work, if the other countries aren’t engaged, then it can’t work. The GFC was about trading hypotheticals.

    If a Government came out and said “Right, all cars are switching to gas, we’re building a nuclear power plant to replace coal, and all domestic homes will be solar powered by 2020″, well, I reckon I’d be aboard it.

    But as a voter and an active opinionater, I am stuffed if I will stand by and watch as a Government concedes our political and economic sovereignty for a sum environmental gain of exactly sweet fuck all.

    Even if everything you AGW proponents say is true, there are three countries that count in this whole thing and Australia isn’t one of them. And as for paying “climate debts” to countries that have spent the last 50-100 years slaughtering each other well fuck that.

  92. #92 James
    March 5, 2010

    Oh, and the only thing that Marcel has dismantled is any shred of goodwill that interested doubters may have had in your cause.

  93. #93 Andrew
    March 5, 2010

    James@286 *make your case. Because so far you haven’t*

    James, James ..the problem is you’re not qualified to understand it when it is made.

    If you rock up to your local hospital and say, “I’m not a doctor but would you mind if I diagnose the patients and do a spot of surgery?” they’ll call security.

    Similarly, you can’t deny Climate Change science with no more qualifications than Google 101.

    If you want to be *an active opinionater* (@291) fine, if you must, but restrict yourself to policy not science.

  94. #94 Neil
    March 5, 2010

    “Trading hypotheticals does not work. It is not a real market and must fail.”

    Someone had better tell the currency markets to hurry up and fail.

  95. #95 Dave R
    March 5, 2010

    James @ 286:

    outright lies in Gore’s and other documentaries

    James doesn’t try to provide any evidence for his claims, because he knows that they are outright lies.

    you’re going to need to convince our lot that your case is meritorious. So far you have failed dismally

    James isn’t convinced by [the evidence](http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/contents.html) that is sufficient for the overwhelming majority of the world’s climate scientists and its major scientific organisations. Not because he thinks any of it is wrong, but because he thinks he can simply dismiss anything that doesn’t mesh with his ideology.

    The abuse [...] hardly helps. So suck it up, Princess

    James would like a job at the Institute of Irony.

    make your case. Because so far you haven’t.

    James thinks that when he covers his ears, nobody else is saying anything.

  96. #96 James
    March 5, 2010

    Andrew, you would be hard pressed to find me trying to debate the science with out very clearly expressed reservations on this blog……you might want to read my comments rather than the abusive commentary on my comments when assessing this. And sorry, but like it or not there are a bunch of scientists with an opposing view. They are not all paid by Big Oil (I’ve checked that) and a lot of them make a very good logical case.

    They are kind of helped by the flatline temperature graph over the last decade.

  97. #97 Marcel Kincaid
    March 5, 2010

    Oh, and the only thing that Marcel has dismantled is any shred of goodwill that interested doubters may have had in your cause.

    All you have is bad faith. You say the case has not been made. a) How do you know? Have you read through all the peer reviewed literature? b) If it hasn’t been, then why does every reputable scientific organization accept it?

    Again, what it would take to convince you that the case is meritorious is brain surgery, because you are a pigheaded dolt and ignoramus, and all the fault of your not being convinced lies with you.

  98. #98 Dave R
    March 5, 2010

    James @ 292:

    Oh, and the only thing that Marcel has dismantled is any shred of goodwill that interested doubters may have had in your cause.

    James thinks that he can switch back and forth between concern trolling and regular trolling without anyone noticing.

  99. #99 Dave R
    March 5, 2010

    James @ 296:

    They are kind of helped by the flatline temperature graph over the last decade.

    James is very proud of his [ignorance of statistics](http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/12/07/riddle-me-this/).

  100. #100 Jeff Harvey
    March 5, 2010

    James, you utterly default yourself from this debate when you write, “And as for paying “climate debts” to countries that have spent the last 50-100 years slaughtering each other well fuck that”.

    Good grief, where to begin dismantling this appalling remark? Perhaps by beginning with the fact that poverty in the third world has been driven by western foreign policy for years? By the fact that the US and UK have traditionally seen countries in the south as having a service function for comemrcial elites in the north? Hell, man, have you read any planning documents at all? Have you heard of George Kennan? Paul Nitze? Henry Kissinger? The Council on Foreign Relations? Zbignieuw Brezinski? Have you read memos written by these political ‘luminaries’?

    Samir Amin, perhaps Africa’s most renowned economist, said at the World Social Forum at Peurto Allegre in 2003 that the developed world (meaning countries in the ‘quad’) were only interested at ‘looting resources for the south’. Patrick Bond exapands upon this in his book, “Looting Africa: The Economics of Exploitation”, as does economist Tom Athanasiou in “Divided Planet: The Ecology of Rich and Poor”. Dimitri Simes, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, observed in 1988 that Mikhael Gorbachev’s initiatives would “liberate American foreign policy from the straightjacket imposed by superpower hostility”. This meant that the United States can end “the manipulation of America by third world nations.” The manipulation of the rich by the undeserving poor has always been seen as a serious problem amongst western elites, and is particularly relevant in Latin America, which in the preceding five years (1983-1988) had transferred some $150 billion to the industrial West in addition to $100 billion of capital flight, amounting to twenty-five times the total value of the Alliance for Progress and fifteen times that of the Marshall Plan.

    The litany goes on. Nothing changes, except that the US now sees little in the way of a military impediment to its control of areas containing vast resource and mineral wealth. This is backed up by the statements of government planners over many yhears and which, not surprisingly, are ignored by the MSM.

    I need not spend the next two hours responding to such a flippant remark on your part. It is precisely this comic-level book understanding of the way that the world works which appears to sum up the views of many in the denialati.