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

Comments

  1. #1 Brent
    March 8, 2010

    Ah, John (397), glad you culd join us!

    Would you like to reveal your carbon reductions? The other guy was -ah – a tad reticent. There must be SOMEBODY on this website who takes concrete, tangible action. Surely you are a man whose actions speak at least as loud as his words…

  2. #2 ts
    March 8, 2010

    Our departed friend stood up for his hypocrisy

    This is of course a lie, as is the entirety of Brent’s post.

  3. #3 ts
    March 8, 2010

    a tad reticent

    How droll from someone who continuously lies about his own beliefs.

  4. #4 John
    March 8, 2010

    Sure, I could. But I’m not going to play your silly games. You’ve been destroyed in science all week and now you’ve fallen back onto something that you think is safer ground so we get to see your true colours. Lucky us.

    But as a wise man once said:

    You’re a joke Brent.

  5. #5 Majorajam
    March 8, 2010

    Brent, rationing doesn’t work if it’s not done collectively. I am a rational person. I accept that centuries old science that says that extracting heat absorbing molecules from sinks in the earth and sticking them into the atmosphere where they can, you know, trap heat, is likely to heat the earth all else equal. The alternative- that ‘scientists are lying to us’ about why this most obvious implication of said ineluctable facts is actually somehow not correct- is not what I would call compelling.

    Being rational also has implications for my understanding of the potential for voluntary action to affect the climate. If this were a viable way for humanity to look after the commons, there wouldn’t be any public institutions in the first place. But there are. Indeed, the field of economics, maligned as it is (both rightly and wrongly in my estimation), has devoted a good deal of study to what happens when, for example, embargos/sanctions/boycotts are attempted. Their conclusion is as unremarkable as most insights of economics: these things work when collective action is truly collective, and pathetically fail otherwise. So it is with carbon rationing.

    So, far from evidence of some hypocrisy of disbelief in ones convictions, these two views sit quite happily with one another. In fact, can be counted as evidence of both rationality and minimal learnedness. By contrast, subscribing to the teachings of 97% of the medical profession regarding treatment of illness (e.g. mainstream oncology for cancer, antibiotics for bacterial infections, etc.), whilst simultaneously ascribing to the teachings of 3% of the climate science community regarding treatment of the single source of sustenance for all of humanity… this one, not so much.

  6. #6 Brent
    March 8, 2010

    Right, we have two scores.

    In petrol litres per annum, kWh per annum, and air miles per annum,

    ts scores “yes for me, 386″

    John scores “sure I could, 404″

    Sorry, that should read “yes for me” (#386) and “sure I could” (#404). Don’t want people thinking that 790 litres of anything have been saved.

    Anybody else? (At risk of labouring the point, the question in #386 relates to actions rather than words, and calling into question the sincerity of the words when one carries on driving to the recycling station.)

  7. #7 John
    March 8, 2010

    That was “Sure, I could” as in “Sure, I could tell you about my carbon cutting efforts” you moronic troll.

    As stated, I am not going to play your silly game.

    You’ve lost.

    Give up.

  8. #8 John
    March 8, 2010

    For anyone interested, here is what Brent thinks of Britain’s Royal Society:

    This current generation of intellectual pygmies are not fit to walk in the footsteps of Hooke and Newton. They should rebadge themselves Royal Society for the Promotion of Scare Stories.

    He knows better, you see. He’s studied engineering.

  9. #9 ts
    March 8, 2010

    The point that you labor, Brent, is your lack of intellectual honesty or acuity. The inferences that you make, such as “if someone doesn’t cough up an accounting of their carbon usage upon demand from a proven troll and liar then they must be a hypocrite” are not sound. In fact, there is good reason, IMO, to think you aren’t sane. In any case, you aren’t convincing to anyone who is.

  10. #10 Lotharsson
    March 8, 2010

    He knows better, you see. He’s studied engineering.

    Aye, there’s the rub. So many engineers claiming to have special scientific insight or to be actual scientists – and completely unaware of how incompetent they are at science.

    I’m not quite sure what it is about engineering studies that produces/elicits this kind of response. It doesn’t *have* to be that way. I studied engineering to PhD level, but I claim no special scientific insight or even competence in scientific research.

  11. #11 ts
    March 8, 2010

    There’s also a high correlation between being an engineer and being skeptical of evolution; see, e.g.,

    http://www.theness.com/creationists-mechanical-engineers-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/

  12. #12 Chris O'Neill
    March 8, 2010

    I’m not quite sure what it is about engineering studies that produces/elicits this kind of response.

    There’s also a high correlation between being an engineer and being skeptical of evolution; see, e.g.,
    http://www.theness.com/creationists-mechanical-engineers-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/

    I think what happens with mechanical engineers is that they’re all taught thermodynamics but, unfortunately, not all of them are the sharpest tool in the shed. So they learn all of the words and enough to be able to pass the subject (such as remembering the answers to likely exam questions) but when they start talking about it in public they don’t realize when they’re talking gibberish.

  13. #13 Michael Ralston
    March 8, 2010

    I ride my bike instead of driving, most of the time. I have no idea how much of anything I save by doing so, but it’s certainly something. I don’t have the control over my living environment to do much else (I live in an apartment), but I do try to avoid turning on the heat or AC if I can wrap up in a blanket or strip down.

    So what’s your point? Why should my personal relatively-ascetic life affect my credibility if I call for increased funding into research into renewable energy and other forms of efficiency? Surely the validity of my arguments matter more than any other details about me, when it comes to something like this.

  14. #14 Chris O'Neill
    March 8, 2010

    Brent:

    To the minima he shows at 1300BC and 100BC (shorter than today) he added a big fat question mark, which is admirable. So, yes, if the 150-year trend continues for a few more decades it will reach (to our best knowledge) a record low.

    Perhaps you could tell us how much shorter the glacier was estimated to be at those times rather than beating about the bush. I saw one graph that suggested it was 1 kilometre shorter at its shortest so on that basis it will break that record in 20 years at the current (and also accelerating) trend.

    You wrote: “Give it a break. You sound like an ideological nutcase.” Maybe you’re right; maybe I will!

    That’ll be the day.

  15. #15 Chris O'Neill
    March 8, 2010

    Brent:

    May I please ask the assembled brethren:

    Remember what I said about looking like an ideological nutcase?

    “Have you personally taken any steps whatsoever to reduce your carbon footprint by a significant amount?

    My household direct energy consumption is about half the average of the state where I live but I’ll let you in on an inconvenient fact: households only directly consume 21% of total electricity consumption in my state. So even if they made an apparently heroic effort and brought their direct consumption down to mine it’s still only going to reduce GHG emission from electricity generation by 10%. The real issue is getting consumption reductions by everyone, industry and commerce included, not just by households AND the reduction of GHG emission per unit of electricity generation.

    In my state, there is one industry that is plain GHG madness. It is the smelting of Aluminium by burning brown coal to make electricity. Not only that, but the state government had the hide to force taxpayers to subsidize this stupid way of making electricity and all for the sake of a few hundred very expensive jobs. Not only that, but this madness (expect for the taxpayer subsidy hopefully) is contracted to continue until 2036! GHG emissions from electricity production in the state could be cut by 15% in one fell swoop if they turned off the Aluminium smelters.

    So the biggest reductions in GHGs will come from obvious changes that should be made to industry. In a carbon-rational world, the last thing you would do is burn brown coal to smelt Aluminium. There won’t be a carbon-rational world until carbon has a price.

  16. #16 Lotharsson
    March 9, 2010

    Brent, I have reduced my carbon emissions significantly through various means – and my household use hasn’t reduced by a huge percentage because it was relatively low to start with. I will certainly reduce my emissions again (for example) at the next vehicle technology refresh. Furthermore, since buying a new vehicle tends to have a knock-on effect ultimately taking one of the *least desirable* vehicles off the road, the total emissions reduction from that chain of events was probably quite a bit higher than mine alone.

    And so what? I’m under no illusion this new data will make the case for the science any stronger *in your head*, since your question is NOT about the science – it has all the hallmarks of a gotcha attempt or a distraction from the main issues, and/or to provide material for a puerile boasting point on another blog.

    Once again you’re missing the forest for the trees – quite a talent you have for it. Ever wondered what purpose it serves *for you*?

  17. #17 Bernard J.
    March 9, 2010

    [Brent says](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2333245):

    I have yet to meet a single person who has done anything more than a token effort towards carbon reduction.

    [Here's one](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/07/the_australians_war_on_science_15.php#comment-970331)

    I have had to repeat my own story more than once because the trolls here don’t know how to use a search engine. One of the more recent repetitions was [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/06/moncktons_vision_of_the_future.php#comment-1768851) – I guess that I can now add this posting to the list…

  18. #18 Brent
    March 9, 2010

    Bernard J (347):
    Bernard, you are a man of honour, and (with no irony) I salute you.

    I can no longer say that I have never encountered a single person with the courage of his carbon convictions.

  19. #19 Brent
    March 9, 2010

    Lotharsson (416): You asked : “Ever wondered what purpose it serves for you?”

    A fair question. For me, this idle exercise in exchanging ideas with others with a different perspecive was to assess:

    (i)Additional scientific corroboration which I had not previously encountered. This has been fruitful, and I now see that my previous thoughts on the ‘gravy train’ was wide of the mark. You guys, and most of the professionals, truly believe the AGW hypothesis, and not without good reason.

    (ii)The psychology. I think that both camps are subject to bias. Both camps are more receptive to evidence supporting their case than they are to contrary evidence. In a more gentlemanly debate there would be more statements like “the other side have raised Point X, which weakens our own case, and deserves to be conceded or rebutted”.

    (iii)Neoapocalypticism. I believe that Man has a profound need to fear some impending danger, and conjures up dire threats founded on apparently unassailable logic, and when this latest scare story evaporates, there will be another one to take its place. Guys, I don’t doubt your sincerity and I understand why my failure to recant makes you suspect that my visit here was malicious. I think that the anger is a telltale sign of your need for an apocalypse.

    I said “idle” above because I think that these (sometimes fiery) exchanges here will not affect the wider world. It has been a purely selfish intellectual exercise to check out your bona-fides. Had I recanted, my utter insignificance in this Great Debate would have made me a tarnished trophy, a plastic Oscar.

    That said, I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t manage to discuss ‘residence time’. The Royal Society claims that CO2 stays in the atmosphere for a millennium; my extrapolations of the annual Mauna Loa ‘downtick’ indicate a half-life of 123 +/- 2 months, as if every northern summer there’s ‘a great sucking sound’ (!)

    I’ll get out of your hair now. But I’d be grateful if somebody would comment on the Residence Time issue.

  20. #20 P. Lewis
    March 9, 2010

    All anyone (trolls and genuinely interested parties alike) should need on residence time (at least to get you going) can be found in Wikipedia and the references cited.

  21. #21 sunspot
    March 9, 2010

    empirical evidence for growing glaciers and stubborn sea levels.

    http://www.tinyurl.com.au/342

  22. #22 Bernard J.
    March 9, 2010

    [Sunspot](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2334297).

    Your link (which I advise others to ignore) cites Nils-Axel Mörner, emeritus believer in dowsing and ‘re-adjuster’ of satellite altimetry sea level rise data.

    The guy’s a kook, and your claim of empirical evidence is tainted by his kookiness.

    Try harder next time.

  23. #23 John
    March 9, 2010

    Brent then:

    I share your anger at the obscene fraud that is AGW.

    Brent now:

    I think that the anger is a telltale sign of your need for an apocalypse.

    What a joke. I predict Brent will be back within 5 days.

  24. #24 Brent
    March 9, 2010

    “Scientist all say”, they say.

    Here’s the UK’s Geological Society:

    http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/gsl/site/GSL/lang/en/page7209.html

    Quote: “All this suggests that the present climate has limited effect on melting ice and rising sea levels.”

    John: Good prediction. What’s your forecast for Antarctica melting?

  25. #25 Brent
    March 9, 2010

    Holzhauser et al. 2006: “A comparison between the fluctuations of the Great Aletsch glacier and the variations in the atmospheric residual 14C records supports the hypothesis that variations in solar activity were a major forcing factor of climate oscillations in west-central Europe during the late Holocene.”

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V9/N20/EDIT.php

    Hey, I thought the “constant sun” played no part in climate!

  26. #26 Jeff Harvey
    March 9, 2010

    Brent,

    Citing an article that has been distorted by the Idso family on their Western Fuels associated site is not the way to generate interest in a topic here. Moreover, when we are talking about the late Holocene, we could be intimating time scales that cover a millennium over more; not the space of half a century.

    My advice: go to the primary literature, and not to those who are distorting it in order to make directed conclusions. The Idso’s and ‘C02 science’ (a mis-named web sitre if there ever was one) did the same thing to a paper written by a colleague of mine here a few years ago that was published in Nature. Let me say that my colleague and the fellow authors of the paper were not amused that the Idso’s were using it to score some cheap points as to the virtues of increasing atmospheric levels of C02 – nothing less than a huge global experiment, I may add. The web site is appalling and yet I am bemused that so many lay contrarians – you, el gordo etc. – use to it to support your views. It is NOT a primary source.

  27. #27 Dave R
    March 9, 2010

    Brent @ 425:
    >I thought the “constant sun” played no part in climate!

    Wrong again. The sun plays a large part in climate, since it’s a huge source of energy. Without it the earth would be very much colder.

  28. #28 Brent
    March 9, 2010

    Jeff Harvey (426):

    Jeff, you’re right; I can’t find the primary source without paying, and if the CO2 Science has a history of tabloid-style mis-quoting, then ‘let it be struck from the record’. My apologies.

  29. #29 P. Lewis
    March 9, 2010

    Glaciers are integrators of temperature. If it was warmer than allowed for the glacier to maintain equilibrium/grow back then, then glaciers would recede; and the converse is true. There’s nothing strange in that.

    The bottom line is that past warm events have no bearing on today’s warmth, unless the causes were the same. The causes are different. Today’s is rapid and has a large anthropogenic component. “Yesterday’s” conditions didn’t have the anthropogenic component.

    The full Holzhauser et al. 2006 Holocene abstract reads:

    On the basis of glacier and lake-level records, this paper attempts, for the first time, a comparison between high-resolution palaeohydrological and palaeoglaciological data in west-central Europe over the past 3500 years. A data set of tree-ring width, radiocarbon and archaeological data, in addition to historical sources, were used to reconstruct fluctuations of the Great Aletsch, the Gorner and the Lower Grindelwald glaciers in the Swiss Alps. The three ice-streams experienced nearly synchronous advances at c. 1000-600 BC and AD 500-600, 800-900, 1100-1200 and 1300-1860. These glacier fluctuations show strong correspondence with lake-level variations reconstructed in eastern France (Jura mountains and Pre-Alps) and on the Swiss Plateau. This supports the hypothesis of climatically driven fluctuations. Historical data available for the period since AD 1550 reveal, in detail, various meteorological conditions behind the successive glacier advances. However, in agreement with the general trend shown by the historical data, the synchroneity between glacier advances and periods of higher lake level suggests the impact of general winter cooling and an increase in summer moisture as responsible for reinforced feeding of both glaciers and lakes in west-central Europe over the past 3500 years. Finally, a comparison between the Great Aletsch glacier and the residual 14C records supports the hypothesis that variations in solar activity were a major forcing factor of climatic oscillations in west-central Europe during the late Holocene.

  30. #30 truth machine, OM
    March 9, 2010

    In a more gentlemanly debate there would be more statements like “the other side have raised Point X, which weakens our own case, and deserves to be conceded or rebutted”.

    That is what happens among scientists and others who are not wilfully ignorant and intentionally act like jackasses.

    I believe that Man has a profound need to fear some impending danger, and conjures up dire threats founded on apparently unassailable logic

    Fallacy of affirmation of the consequent. Whether that is true in general has no bearing on whether it holds in this case. By your logic (an area in which you are grossly inept), any real threat can be dismissed — without even examining the evidence — on the basis of human psychology.

    and when this latest scare story evaporates

    There is no basis in the evidence to think that it will.

    Guys, I don’t doubt your sincerity and I understand why my failure to recant makes you suspect that my visit here was malicious.

    Oh, I think you singing little “It’s only a hoax A joke and a pig in a poke” ditties might have something to do with that.

    I think that the anger is a telltale sign of your need for an apocalypse.

    Which is yet more indication that you are an utter fool. The anger is a normal response to someone who goes out of his way to be a jackass, regardless of the topic — exactly the same thing occurs with evolution deniers, but there’s no apocalypse involved in that case.

    Hey, I thought the “constant sun” played no part in climate!

    That’s because you’re an idiot and wilfully ignorant.

  31. #31 Brent
    March 9, 2010

    Truth Machine (430):

    As I’m sure you know, there is discussion on the extent to which variations in solar activity influence climate. In rebuttal of this we see it argued that the tiny variations in specific power (I see figures within the range 1363 and 1367 W/m2) are too small to be a major driver.

    And you’re doubtless aware of the Svensmark hypothesis that solar activity radically affects penetration of cosmic rays to atmosphere with a consequent large effect on cloud formation. There are, in fairness, arguments which counter this.

    Now, Herschel pondered the apparent correlation between sunspot activity and grain prices. And just recently a paper claimed a close correlation between sunspots and flow rate of the Parana River in S. America. And P. Lewis (429) reports glaciologists joining in. That’s four leads.

    Is there not at least a prima facie case that solar activity might be the single biggest driver of climate change? (Along with well-understood orbital precession and ellipticity.) Is it so unreasonable to conjecture that CO2 variations might be a consequence of these variations and their resulting temperature shifts rather than a driver of temperature?

    When I wrote, “Hey, I thought the ‘constant sun’ played no part in climate!” maybe you missed the cheerful challenge in my tone, hoping that somebody would politely concede or counter (‘Must admit that the case is growing’ or ‘Yeah, can see why you’d think that, but the following suggests otherwise….’) Instead you write, “you’re an idiot and wilfully ignorant.” Such rudeness is unhelpful.

    You wrote “Fallacy of affirmation of the consequent”, er….. maybe you should get out more.

  32. #32 truth machine, OM
    March 9, 2010

    When I wrote, “Hey, I thought the ‘constant sun’ played no part in climate!” maybe you missed the cheerful challenge in my tone, hoping that somebody would politely concede or counter (‘Must admit that the case is growing’ or ‘Yeah, can see why you’d think that, but the following suggests otherwise….’)

    Git.

  33. #33 Brent
    March 9, 2010

    Truth Machine, your insult vocabulary is far wider than ‘git’ and ‘idiot’, I believe.

    I know I’ve got off lightly so far. How’s about we cease corresponding before you uset me?

  34. #34 truth machine, OM
    March 9, 2010

    How about you cease trolling here, period.

  35. #35 Brent
    March 9, 2010

    Oh, Truth Machine OM…

    Guy just tapped on the door from an adjoining chatroom. Name of ‘Brownian OM’. Says they’re discussing Catholic priests and prison practices and they miss your sparkling conversation. How nice for you to be so popular. Best you take it next door, eh?

    [Thinks: phew, he's gone! Didn't dare ask what 'OM' stands for. Olympic medal? Something religious? Probably best we don't know.]

  36. #36 truth machine, OM
    March 9, 2010

    Troll.

  37. #37 Dave R
    March 9, 2010

    Breant @ 431:
    >Is there not at least a prima facie case that solar activity might be the single biggest driver of climate change?

    Solar activity has not increased over the recent period of global warming i.e. the last 35 years, so it cannot be the cause, no matter what mechanism you propose to amplify it.

    The stratosphere has cooled at the same time that the surface has warmed. That is the fingerprint of warming driven by greenhouse gases.

    Satellites have measured the decrease in long wave radiation escaping from the earth, again as expected from GHG warming and the opposite of what solar driven warming would show.

    >Is it so unreasonable to conjecture that CO2 variations might be a consequence of these variations

    It’s not just unreasonable, it’s utterly insane. The increase in CO2 is mainly caused by burning fossil fuels, with a smaller contribution from land-use changes. Unless you reject mainstream chemistry as well as physics and logic.

    >rather than a driver of temperature?

    So, contrary to what you said in [your first comment](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2318845), you even dispute the existence of the greenhouse effect. Without offering a shred of evidence, naturally.

    All of the points you’ve raised in this comment are addressed in the video that is the subject of this thread. It’s about time you got round to watching it, and to reading some of the references you’ve already been given.

  38. #38 Lee
    March 9, 2010

    Brent asks:

    “Is there not at least a prima facie case that solar activity might be the single biggest driver of climate change? (Along with well-understood orbital precession and ellipticity.) Is it so unreasonable to conjecture that CO2 variations might be a consequence of these variations and their resulting temperature shifts rather than a driver of temperature?”

    In part, sure.

    There is a very good case that in many times and circumstances, variation in solar activity is AT THAT TIME the single biggest driver of climate change. It (through orbital variation) is almost certainly the cause of transitions into and out of glaciations. It (through variation in output)was probably responsible for a large part of the warming in the first half of the 20th century.

    So what?!

    There is an equally good case – perhaps better – that variation in solar activity IS NOT NOW a driver of climate change, and has not been for the last 40 years or more. Brent, this stuff is the subject of a fuck-ton of active investigation and published research.

    It would not be unreasonable to conjecture that “CO2 variations might be a consequence of these variations and their resulting temperature shifts rather than a driver of temperature?” – if it weren’t for the fact that this is a conjecture that has already been well tested and shown to be false. We know where the CO2 is coming from, we know that there is net flow of carbon INTO rather than out of the relevant carbon sinks. And we know from the basic physics of CO2 that carbon is a driver of temperature changes. At this point, this is no longer a conjecture – it is a raving denialist fantasy.

  39. #39 Truthmachineom
    March 9, 2010

    So, contrary to what you said in your first comment, you even dispute the existence of the greenhouse effect

    See [his comment six days ago](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2319763): “I’d dearly like to know if CO2 drives temperature or whether it’s vice-versa”

  40. #40 Truthmachineom
    March 9, 2010

    So what?!

    As I noted earlier, Brent’s logic is based on the fallacy of affirmation of the consequent. The previous case was

    “Man has a profound need to fear some impending danger, and conjures up dire threats founded on apparently unassailable logic” ( a highly dubious claim but we’ll let that pass)

    AGW is a dire threat founded on apparently unassailable logic

    Therefore AGW is believed because man has a profound need to fear some impending danger.

    In this case it’s

    The sun has caused global warming.
    There is global warming.
    Therefore the sun is causing it.

    This sort of logic error is common among denialists, as when they talk about warming on Mars, Jupiter, or Pluto. It seems beyond their comprehension that warming on other planets, or at other times, is completely irrelevant. Sure, if we had no idea why the globe is warming, then we might hypothesize that the cause is the same as that of some other warming — but we know better.

  41. #41 Lotharsson
    March 9, 2010

    Lotharsson (416): You asked : “Ever wondered what purpose it serves for you?”

    Damn, you missed it **again**! Such an impressively high miss rate takes great dedication and much practice. You must be so proud.

  42. #42 sunspot
    March 10, 2010

    ‘Habibullah Abdussamatov of the Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in St. Petersburg, Sami Solanki of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon of the Solar and Stellar Physics Division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and a host of the rest of the world’s leading solar scientists are all convinced that the warming of recent years is not unusual and that nearly all the warming in the past 150 years can be attributed to the sun.

    Solar scientists from Iowa to Siberia have overlaid the last several warm periods on our planet with known variations in our sun’s activity and found, according to Mr. Solanki, “a near-perfect match.”

    Mr. Abdussamatov concedes manmade gasses may have made “a small contribution to the warming in recent years, but it cannot compete with the increase in solar irradiance.”

    Mr. Soon showed as long ago as the mid-1990s that the depth of the Little Ice Age — the coldest period in the northern hemisphere in the past 1,500 years — corresponded perfectly with a solar event known as the Maunder Minimum. For nearly seven decades there was virtually no sunspot activity.’

    http://www.tinyurl.com.au/35q

  43. #43 Jeff Harvey
    March 10, 2010

    *Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon*

    Hey, you mean the denialists who are associated with the George Marshall Institute and who are known shills?

    Sorry Sunspot, citing people like Soon and Baliunas as authorities on ANYTHING immediately disqualifies you from anything other than an illustration of the Dunning-Kruger effect. As it turns out, Soon should keep hjis mouth shut – in my view he and his views are an abomination.

    It has already been shown that the recent warming (post 1980) has virtually nothing to do with solar forcing. The fact that the likes of Baliunas and Soon keep peddling this garbage should say more about them than about their ‘science’.

  44. #44 Brent
    March 10, 2010

    Dave R (437): “Solar activity has not increased over the recent period of global warming i.e. the last 35 years, so it cannot be the cause, no matter what mechanism you propose to amplify it.”

    If, by solar activity you mean irradiance, yes you’re right. But there is a proposal that variations in length and peak of sunspot activity is significant, and the current cycle, No. 25, is getting off to a very slow start, with a superficial resemblance to the ones prior to the previous minima (Maunder or Dalton, I forget which).

    You also wrote: “you even dispute the existence of the greenhouse effect”. No. As dear departed James wrote, the question is “the extent to which”. Of course there’s a greenhouse effect, and PPM rises are increasing it. It’s entirely legitimate to enquire “to what extent” the Sunspot Effect is significant, and the combined effect of the two.

  45. #45 Hasis
    March 10, 2010

    Sunspot

    Jeff picks up on S&B but I suppose that you could claim that he leaves Solanki’s views untended. So, for your delectation I reproduce for you here Solanki’s own words from his own homepage:

    A misleading account of my views was published in the Toronto National Post in March, 2007 (and is to be found at different places on the web). In contrast to what is written there I am not a denier of global warming produced by an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases. Already at present the overwhelming source of global warming is due to manmade greenhouse gases and their influence will continue to grow in the future as their concentration increases.

    http://www.mps.mpg.de/homes/solanki/

  46. #46 chek
    March 10, 2010

    I find it quite irrational that Brent and his ilk will contort themselves to any degree in order to grasp at any old Mars quoting crank and other made up misrepresentations.

    If that’s what your chosen ideology requires of you, it’s time to ditch it in favour of something more congruent with the real world, I’d have thought.

  47. #47 Brent
    March 10, 2010

    Lee (438): You wrote “In part, sure”. I’m grateful.

    And “Brent, this stuff is the subject of a fuck-ton of active investigation and published research.” Fair point, but the Svensmark hypothesis sits on the other side of the scales. Admittedly it is outweighed by the fuck-ton, and admittedly countered by evidence that the cosmic ray effect on clouds is not borne out by evidence. So far. The four examples I cited of a ‘possible’ climate/sunspot correlation suggest that we haven’t yet identified how the Sunspot Effect drives climate, and maybe (a big maybe, yes) the cloud thing will come through with further investigation.

    You wrote: “And we know from the basic physics of CO2 that carbon is a driver of temperature changes.” Indeed we do, and the CO2 is rising, and therefore driving temperatures up all other things being equal. Point conceded. But not neccessarily overwhelming other drivers. The question “to what extent is the global temperature rise since 1975 driven by greenhouse gases, and are other divers trivial in comparison?” is a legitimate one.

    P.S. By “Sunspot Effect”, I of course mean “solar activity still the subject of astrophysical research, whose sunspot cycles are a useful indicator”.

  48. #48 sunspot
    March 10, 2010

    Jeff,
    Tumefied Egotism ? Illusory superiority ?
    R U worried about the gravy train ?
    http://www.tinyurl.com.au/363

  49. #49 jakerman
    March 10, 2010

    Shorter Brent:

    >AGW is real but IPCC are wrong. Can’t remember the details, (details are not as important as my impression), its something to do with sunspots.

    Perhaps Brent’s theory involves warming associated with exceptionally low sunspot activity such as both occurred with 2009 (equal second warmest) and continuing in 2010.

  50. #50 Jeff Harvey
    March 10, 2010

    Thanks Hasis.

    This goes to show that one should always read the primary literature and not the way it is re-interpreted (and distorted) by those anxious to promote a pre-determinied world view. It is ridiculous that so many scientists are forced to speak out about how their research is being distorted by think tanks and their astroturf groups funded in part by polluting industries with an axe to grind. This is not an isolated example: many of the denial sites are gulity of it. That is because they do not do their own research. Their job is to stand on the sidelines and to take the empirical evidence and to mould it to generate directed conclusions. This tactic has been honed by those pushing a creationist agenda as well as those who donwplayed the health effects of tobacco.

    As I said before, there is categorically no connection between solar activity and the recent warming episode (post 1980). Those using this mantra and clutching at metaphorical straws.

  51. #51 Brent
    March 10, 2010

    Sunspot (442): You wrote: “corresponded perfectly with a solar event known as the Maunder Minimum”

    I’m grateful. Rather outnumbered here.

    We should concede that “correlation is not neccessarily causation”, but is a useful area of inquiry. On occasion, correlation turns out to be pure coincidence, but on occasion a causal relationship is established to the advancement of scientific understanding.

  52. #52 jakerman
    March 10, 2010
  53. #53 jakerman
    March 10, 2010

    Sun spots are associated with temperature. There is a 400 year record and [longer with reconstructions](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Carbon14-sunspot.svg). Though the variation in sunspots has a scale of forcing that [is less than current growth in GHG](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Temp-sunspot-co2.svg).

  54. #54 Brent
    March 10, 2010

    Chek (446): You wrote “any old Mars quoting crank”.

    We do indeed see claims that solar activity is producing oscillations in other planets, Mars’s polecap being one of them. From what you say, it’s a non-starter.

    This could be useful. You’re clearly ahead of us here, and have looked into this enough to discount it.

    I’d appreciate it if you’d give us your thoughts.

  55. #55 sunspot
    March 10, 2010

    about distortions
    http://www.tinyurl.com.au/366

  56. #56 Dave R
    March 10, 2010

    Brent @ 444

    >there is a proposal that variations in length and peak of sunspot activity is significant,

    No. There is some correlation between the length of a cycle and the size of the next one. The peak of the cycles has been in decline since the 1950s.

    >and the current cycle, No. 25 [24 actually], is getting off to a very slow start, with a superficial resemblance to the ones prior to the previous minima (Maunder or Dalton, I forget which).

    Yes, for the last few years we have been in the deepest solar minimum for a century. We should be seeing the coldest temperatures on record but instead we are at [the warmest](http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2009/pr20091208b.html). That is because the forcing from CO2 now [far outweighs](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Radiative-forcings.svg) that from the sun, as shown by all the peer-reviewed research on the subject.

    * [Erlykin 2009](http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0901/0901.0515v1.pdf): “We deduce that the maximum recent increase in the mean surface temperature of the Earth which can be ascribed to solar activity is 14% of the observed global warming”

    * [Benestad 2009](http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2009JGRD..11414101B): “Our analysis shows that the most likely contribution from solar forcing a global warming is 7 ± 1% for the 20th century and is negligible for warming since 1980.”

    * [Lockwood 2008](http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/464/2094/1387.abstract): “It is shown that the contribution of solar variability to the temperature trend since 1987 is small and downward; the best estimate is ?1.3% and the 2? confidence level sets the uncertainty range of ?0.7 to ?1.9%.”

    * [Lockwood 2008](http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/464/2094/1367.abstract): “The conclusions of our previous paper, that solar forcing has declined over the past 20 years while surface air temperatures have continued to rise, are shown to apply for the full range of potential time constants for the climate response to the variations in the solar forcings.”

    * [Ammann 2007](http://www.pnas.org/content/104/10/3713.full): “Although solar and volcanic effects appear to dominate most of the slow climate variations within the past thousand years, the impacts of greenhouse gases have dominated since the second half of the last century.”

    * [Lockwood 2007](http://www.warwickhughes.com/agri/lockwood2007.pdf): “The observed rapid rise in global mean temperatures seen after 1985 cannot be ascribed to solar variability, whichever of the mechanism is invoked and no matter how much the solar variation is amplified.”

    You seem to think you can make all this go away just by waving your hands around. You have also simply ignored the other evidence I mentioned that rules out the sun being the cause of the recent global warming. As is common for ideologically motivated denialists, you just stick your fingers in your ears and pretend not to hear — precisely the opposite of a skeptic.

  57. #57 jakerman
    March 10, 2010

    Sunspot do you support the claims made in that google discussion group? Some of the claims, all of the claims?

    I like this one:

    >*Misleading claims about sea level rise. AR4 gives the misleading impression that the rate of sea level rise is increasing, using the trick of switching from one measurement system (tide gauges) to another (satellites).*

  58. #58 Dave R
    March 10, 2010

    Brent @ 454:
    >I’d appreciate it if you’d give us your thoughts.

    You’ve [already been told](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2319412) how to check these things for yourself.

  59. #59 sunspot
    March 10, 2010

    some, do you deny all of them ?

  60. #60 Brent
    March 10, 2010

    Dave R (457): You wrote: “You’ve already been told”, with a link which led to Skeptcalscience.com

    They write there: “Skeptics vigorously criticise any evidence that supports man-made global warming and yet eagerly, even blindly embrace any argument, op-ed piece, blog or study that refutes global warming.” Yes, there is a bias – one might call it a ‘bias of receptiveness’, and it’s something that all fair-minded people need to fight.

    Taken to its extreme, we become so bigoted that we blank out everything our opponents say, even their valid points.

    The people I meet here fall into three categories:

    (i) The nasty boys
    (ii) The articulate ones who take the trouble to write their counterarguments
    (iii) The linkers (they say: “Just follow this hyperlink and all will be made clear to you”)

    I don’t doubt that linkers are trying to share a source that they find persuasive, and hope that others will find it as helpful. But it can result in homework-overload.

    If by “you’ve already been told”, you were pointing me somewhere I didn’t reach, well I promise you I am not being obtuse in arriving at SkepticalScience and commenting on it. I’m sometimes tempted to post links to an interesting piece on WUWT, but would expect a hostile reaction.

  61. #61 Dave R
    March 10, 2010

    Brent @ 459:
    >They write there [...]

    They provide a list of common denialist arguments along with the refutations of those arguments. You had asked us to explain one of those arguments. If you had bothered to check it first like you were told then you wouldn’t need to ask.

  62. #62 Lotharsson
    March 10, 2010

    Another method to investigate whether it’s plausible that other forcings could be driving warming over the last century or so. Bear in mind this is a relatively simple model, so don’t push it *too far* when interpreting results – but it should give you a feel for how difficult it might be to relegate GHGes to minor-/elevate solar to major-player status.

  63. #63 P. Lewis
    March 10, 2010
  64. #64 jakerman
    March 10, 2010

    >>Sunspot do you support the claims made in that google discussion group? Some of the claims, all of the claims?

    Sunspot replys:

    >*some, do you deny all of them?*

    So you spread falsehoods you know to be false?

  65. #65 Lotharsson
    March 10, 2010

    SS you missed Jo Nova’s after party performance. It was a hoot!

    I particularly enjoyed:

    the ad homs after her injunction against them,

    the implication that I couldn’t think for myself because I posted a link to someone else’s argument (Pot. Kettle. Black, Black, Black!),

    the allegations of ad hom for noting that the climate science community don’t seem to think much of Spencer’s work lately and some possible reasons why whilst allowing that just maybe he was getting an unfair rap,

    the allegation that I was all “bluff and bluster and false certainty” in response to a comment from me *outlining where I was uncertain* whilst she apparently asserted certainty in her own position and evidence,

    the touting and attempted defense of Lindzen and Choi as strong evidence whilst ignoring much other contradictory evidence – this after saying we must follow the empirical evidence,

    the little dummy spit,

    the “there’s no point arguing this with you here” gambit

    …and I’m sure I forgot some. And if it really was her posting under her name by the end (I’m not entirely convinced), then it was quite a revealing little exhibition.

    I particularly enjoyed the invitation to come to her site to **learn** from it (as long as I didn’t use the “D” word). By that stage I did not feel a need to point out why that would be a fool’s errand.

    But the new theory of accelerated cooling of a planetary body due to GHGes really took the cake! And last I checked no apology, withdrawal or correction either.

  66. #66 John
    March 10, 2010

    Brent at Climate Audit:

    My, these ARE exciting times!

    Are these AGW frausters and scaremongers really to be exposed? We rational folk do seem to have the momentum all of a sudden. How delightful to read the ringing words of people posting above:

    ianl8888: “This IS history, happening as we watch. I find it utterly fascinating … never thought I would live long enough to witness such a thing.”

    Lucy Skywalker: “Gabi Hegerl is obsessed, like Lady Macbeth, that she has to wash her hands clean. She’s complicit… ”

    Barclay E McDonald: “May the person(s) who organized and executed the email leak sleep well.”

    Stirring stuff! Although it is in the nature of Science that false hypotheses must ultimately collapse, there has always been a danger that some bent practitioners of science (who are after all no more immune to greed and vanity than the wider population) would pervert their noble profession for an extended period. Here, I see a resemblance to 1950s USA where one charismatic and determined maniac (Sr. McCarthy) browbeat thousands of good citizens into believing there were reds under the bed. His poison eventually dissipated, but it took many years and great damage to the careers of many an honest and liberal person. I hope that the paranoia created by the Church of Gore will soon dissipate, and the whole rotten edifice of AGW come tumbling down. But I fear that there are so many bent scientists and politicians and commodities traders with a vested interest in perpetuating this scam that it may take many years to consign this neoapocalyptic hysteria to the dustbin of history.

    May our grandchildren smirk and say, “Grandad, did your generation REALLY believe that the polecaps would melt, the seas rise, that the end of the world was coming soon? How very silly you all were!”

    What a joker.

  67. #67 P. Lewis
    March 10, 2010

    Ah, but, …, but corresponders here in the last few days have surely led to an incident of Damascene proportions.

    (BTW John, great way to “link”.)

  68. #68 Jeff Harvey
    March 10, 2010

    Brent and Sunspot,

    You rely far too much on the internet for your information. When I see you both providing links with stuff written by the likes of Soon and Baliunas, or else web sites like C02 Science, then I know exactly why you think the way that you do. Again, READ THE PRIMARY LITERATURE. Better still, why not go to a university and speak with some climate scientists – you know, the one’s who publish their research is scientific journals? You might even wish to attend a workshop with real working scientists (not corporate shills) who may explain the basics to you.

    I used to read the pages of Milloy’s abominable Junk Science site when I was working as a post-doc in the United States in the 1990s. In my field (evolutionary and population ecology) I was struck by the gumbified comments made by some of the contributors there in discussing various aspects of global change. When I corrected some of the simplistic drivel on their forum page, I was attacked mercilessly by many there, who clearly thought that they knew more about my field of research than I did. It did not matter that I’d done my PhD in the field, and that none of my opponents had any relevant qualifications in environmental science. Instead, I was tarred and feathered and sent packing. Some of the comments had to be seen to be believed: one reader claimed that the world could easily sustain a population of one trillion people, and I was the only one to reply that this was complete and utter insanity, given the cumulative human impacts on the biopshere over the past century alone with a population a small fraction of that. Instead, pretty much all of the rank and file idiots who wrote into the forum thought that the planet could easily support one trillion people.

    I do think that you both, in spite of your transparent acceptance of the denialati arguments, are seeking vestiges of the truth. Well, let me tell you that you will not find the truth, as elusive as that is, on denialist web sites. At least, speaking as a scientist, I would not touch these with a barge pole. For the most part, they are not interested in the truth, but in scientific manipulation in support of a political agenda. They will never shift their goalposts no matter how much data come in. And, in the very small chance that they ever do acknowledge the reality of AGW, they will claim it is too late to do anything anyway except to ‘adapt’, irrespective of the fact that humans are not exempt form the laws of nature and that adaptation is not a given in a world in which our ecological life support systems begin to break down locally or systemically.

  69. #69 John
    March 10, 2010

    Brent says:

    Taken to its extreme, we become so bigoted that we blank out everything our opponents say, even their valid points.

    Oh the irony.

  70. #70 sunspot
    March 10, 2010

    Jeff,
    ‘but in scientific manipulation in support of a political agenda’.
    That is evident on both sides ! and yes i am seeking the full truth, it hasn’t arrived yet.

  71. #71 jakerman
    March 10, 2010

    Sunspot you are avoiding my question:

    >>Sunspot do you support the claims made in that google discussion group? Some of the claims, all of the claims?

    Sunspot replys:

    >*some, do you deny all of them?*

    So you spread falsehoods you know to be false?

  72. #72 Brent
    March 10, 2010

    John (465):
    I now regret having written “fraudsters and scaremongers” on Climate Audit. (This in the light of what I have since learned here.)

    I begin to see that the case for AGW is a chain founded on a series of interlocking links. Whether the entire structure is sound is another question. (e.g., alternative forcing hypotheses which, if true, would weaken a weld. I have begun to absorb Lotharsson’s link to OpenMind (461) which addresses this question.)

    An old friend, a nuclear engineer, once commented on my half-finished solar panel saying, “It’s funny how we specify and source a series of perfectly good components which together OUGHT to add up to a functioning power station, and sometimes do not.”

    May I also point out that my intemperate words on scaremongering were not written here where they would have been hostile.

  73. #73 sunspot
    March 10, 2010

    are you denying the truths janet ?
    are you trying to hide from the facts in that google discussion group? yeah i know, we don’t like to talk about climate bloopers in here, twist it how ever you like, you need juicier bait on the hook than that, g/night :)

  74. #74 Dave R
    March 10, 2010

    Brent @ 471:
    >I now regret having written “fraudsters and scaremongers”

    Go back there and publicly retract it then — otherwise you’re a liar.

  75. #75 Dave R
    March 10, 2010

    sunspot @ 472:
    >are you trying to hide from the facts in that google discussion group?

    You’ve already been asked which of them you think are facts. Answer that question now.

  76. #76 sunspot
    March 10, 2010

    dont do it brent, read the article again

  77. #77 jakerman
    March 10, 2010

    Sunspot,

    I didn’t promote a list of know falsehoods, unlike yourself.

    Which are the true bits in [the list](http://www.tinyurl.com.au/366)?

  78. #78 Brent
    March 10, 2010

    In a spirit of ‘disclosure’ (in the light of people here reprinting some of my views elsewhere, some intemperate, but most of which I’m rather pleased with), here’s something that was read out on Radio 4’s Broadcasting House during the Great Swine Flu Pandemic:

    Eddie Mair “Brent Hargreaves is listening in, with flu on his mind, and says ‘May I suggest an official BBC Scare Story Quota which obliges you to knock off an old scare story before launching a fresh one. Armageddon Fatigue could thus be prevented when we get the all-clear from the Millennium Bug or Global Warming. We’ll then be able to quake appropriately.’ “

  79. #79 John
    March 10, 2010

    Brent, what DaveR said.

    P. Lewis – d’oh!

  80. #80 P. Lewis
    March 10, 2010

    P. Lewis – d’oh!

    LOL. I thought you did it deliberately so as not to link to that other place.

  81. #81 Brent
    March 10, 2010

    Dave R (473): You wrote “Go back there and publicly retract it then — otherwise you’re a liar.”

    Dave, I have already written recently on WUWT:

    “I just had a long visit to the Deltoid website, hoping to have an intelligent exchange of ideas; maybe learn why their viewpoint is so different from ours; maybe hear some compelling evidence to shake my view that the AGW hypothesis is based on some sound science but dodgy non-sequiturs. After all, I reasoned, there must be many people in the warmist camp who are educated, sincere and well-informed.

    I still say that with mutual courtesy and open minds, the two sides can at least agree what is undisputed physics, what the Scientific Method demands, what is undisputed measurement data, and especially what are falsifibility criteria to one day resolve this Great Debate. A bit less ad-hominem, and a bit more honest debate, and a lot more disclosure is surely in everybody’s interest.”

    It already feels a bit self-indulgent to be quoting myself here, and it’d be taking myself too seriously to issue a public retraction of the ‘fraudsters and scaremongers’ outburst. I’m Mister Nobody, just one layman blogger amongst many.

    Now, if Al Gore stands up to his rostrum and says, “Sorry boys, I was being led on by a bunch of eggheads. When I dig my yacht out of the Miami sea ice I’m gonna rename it ‘Solar Cycle 25′. Ah wus wroang.”, now that would be an authoritative retraction.

  82. #82 P. Lewis
    March 10, 2010

    Leopards and teenagers have a lot in common: spots can be so hard to shift.

  83. #83 Dave R
    March 10, 2010

    Brent @ 481:
    >Now, if Al Gore stands up to his rostrum and says, “Sorry boys, I was being led on by a bunch of eggheads.

    Here we see the true colors of a denialist — total contempt for science and scientists.

    >When I dig my yacht out of the Miami sea ice

    There isn’t any sea ice in Miami you moron.

  84. #84 Shirakawasuna
    March 10, 2010

    Brent, the situation is surprisingly simple. As is often the case when a moneyed denialist interest faces the scientific community (and it *is* the community), the denialist interests feed petty and misleading arguments to those sympathetic (on some level) to their conclusion, or even just their sentiment. The side of science, despite being more accurate, open, and honest, faces a daunting challenge: the accurate position takes a lot more explaining. It does not offer you the simplistic thinking of pointing at sunspots, misrepresenting a few articles, and calling it a day.

    That is why you must do your homework. You are not going to be offered a nuanced and accurate understanding of global warming on a platter. Even if such an explanation were presented to you, you would still have to read and understand it, just like visiting a website or attending university courses. The people explaining it to you are not getting paid and they have surely done such explanations many times before, only to find that nothing was absorbed and the person didn’t really care to begin with. Which brings me to the point: if you care, why use denialist claims as a resource when you know why they fail? The ‘quick answer’ is not automatically the right one, you need to look at consensus views and how they are established.

    You’re in a tough position, but not a pitiable one. Any time that you would like to learn about the physics going into climate science, the scientific literature is at your disposal as are gobs of attempts by climate scientists to communicate their research to the lay-public, as is the simple fact that the ‘controversy’ or ‘debate’ here is between the lay public prodded forth by moneyed interests with an incentive to misinform and a diverse group of scientists independently publishing research who would *love* the chance to prove the others wrong.

    And of course, you’ve left several of Dave’s points, arguments, and large pieces of evidenced unacknowledged, let alone publicly considered. At some point the blame has to fall squarely on the climate “skeptic” for a lack of understanding and cogency.

  85. #85 Brent
    March 10, 2010

    Jeff Harvey (468): You say:

    “You rely far too much on the internet for your information. When I see you both providing links with stuff written by the likes of Soon and Baliunas, or else web sites like C02 Science, then I know exactly why you think the way that you do. Again, READ THE PRIMARY LITERATURE.”

    Trying my best, Jeff, little by little.

    We recently discussed here a paper on the Parana River. I read it, observed the graph claiming correlation between sunspots and river flow, and quoted the authors’ bold statement. Somebody here said that he’d done the same and proceeded to trash the authors’ statement. Surely, the “scientists say” weapon should be used in a consistent manner.

    I’ve made a bit of a fool of myself referring here to JunkScience (which I only use for its useful summaries of latest data from sources such as UAH) and CO2 Science which somebody (you?) said was tainted and twisted others’ words.

    Yes, the internet is a source of marvellous source data and also of atrocious misinformation. Despite the twists and turns and blind alleys and occasional embarrassing faux-pas, my journey still feels like steady progress through a jungle. Observe the red blotches on exposed flesh where I’ve pulled out the darts. There’s Marcel Kincaid, John and P. Lewis lurking behind the rubber plants with their nasty little blowpipies. And “Truth Machine OM” crouching in that clearing with a fecking machete.

    Next stop: a refreshing coconut at the OpenMinds site with their discussion of different forcings. If I find that they only address the W/m2, and don’t address the Svensmark cosmic ray thing, there’ll be pygmies yelling, “Hah! We knew it! Closed minded bigot! Stoke up that big cast iron cooking pot!”

  86. #86 Jeff Harvey
    March 10, 2010

    Brent, before you make yourself look any more ridiculous, I suggest you go back to the corner wearing your dunce cap. The most accurate part of your post was when you described yourself as “Mister Nobody, a layman”. You belong with the pseudos as WUWT and CA.

    Having the audacity to write, *After all, I reasoned, there must be many people in the warmist camp who are educated, sincere and well-informed* has got to be the most inane comment I have read on Deltoid in a long, long time. Anyone writing such utter garbage ought to be sent packing.

    As I said before, the science is being done by those you ignorantly refer to in your post. For the most part, the denialists do not do research. Basically, those you refer to as the ‘warmists’ are the academics; the denialists, with few exceptions, are the imposters. The only way that they can back up their views is to take existing research and distorting it. For this they can take a page out of the creationists handbook.

    Sunspot, both sides categorically are not politically motivated to the same degree. This is some inane b*s that you gleaned from a think tank or from your dependence on the likes of Soon and Baliunas. Its the kind of same crap I hear from creationists who argue that their views are actually scientific but that evolutionary dogma combined with political forces prevents them from being heard. The fact is that scientists test hypotheses in their research. Once evidence is accrued in support of (or in conflict with) a certain hypothesis it is accepted or rejected. This is the way I was taught, as a scientist, to do research.

    The evidence for AGW is voluminous and is growing. Those climate scientists I have spoken with at conferences and workshops are speaking from a scientific platform. Like lawyers, who are paid to be working on behalf of their clients, a few scientsts have also been bought and paid for on behalf of industry. Still others are using science to promote their own political agendas which are broadly right wing and opposed to government regulations. A few scientists – very few as it turns out – honestly believe that the evidence in favor of AGW is weak. But these are a very tiny minority of statured scientists and especially those working in the field of climate research. Please do not b*s me with the argument that 95% of climate scientists who are generally agreed that humans are forcing climate are politically motivated. And the grant funding argument has nix to do with it, either. With few exceptions, most scientists in my field of research strongly believe that the case for AGW is beyond reasonable doubt, and virtually none of us are doing research related to climate change. The truth is that we think the evidence is sufficient to do something about it.

  87. #87 Chris O'Neill
    March 10, 2010

    Brent, you still haven’t let us know how much shorter the Aletsch glacier was earlier in the Holocene than it is now. If you tell us, at least we’ll be able to estimate how long it will be before you shut-up about the Aletsch glacier.

  88. #88 P. Lewis
    March 10, 2010

    Brent, you were given ample time to demonstrate you weren’t a timewaster. Almost everyone on here was originally helpful to you, including me. Whilst feigning sincerity here, you were writing this at Bishop Hill (8/3/10):

    To the tune of “I Believed in Father Christmas”

    And I believed in global warming

    I fell for a big fat lie

    But listen up folks

    It’s only a hoax

    A joke and a pig in a poke

    (though to be entirely fair to you, you did laud BJ for his carbon footprint).

    You are playing games, which you no doubt think are very clever. It doesn’t wash. You are trolling.

  89. #89 John
    March 10, 2010

    There’s Marcel Kincaid, John and P. Lewis lurking behind the rubber plants with their nasty little blowpipies.

    Because you’re just a poor, misunderstood man looking for the truth? You just want to believe the evidence but all these mean, terrible climate scientists keep lying to you, and tricking you with their tricks! It’s just so difficult, isn’t it?

    Brent, you’re a troll. There’s no point in discussing science with people like you because you know the truth already. It’s a “scam”, a “hoax”. No matter how often your arse is handed back to you on a plate because you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about, it doesn’t change anything.

    Take for example creationists. There is no point discussing evolution with them because, despite the mass of evidence, they know the truth. God created the universe. Except in your case “God” is your belief that “mankind perversely needs to fear some great danger.” You only care about science so far as it can back up your deluded belief.

    Despite your claims of having learned here, you really haven’t learned anything if your belief that “eggheads” are deliberately leading Al Gore astray is anything to go by.

  90. #90 Brent
    March 10, 2010

    Shirakawasuna (484): Thank you for your cogent posting.

    You say, “.. do your homework” and “Any time that you would like to learn about the physics going into climate science, the scientific literature is at your disposal”

    I’m trying to do just that, partly guided by people here (without such guidance one is soon ‘lost in the library’), partly by framing my own criteria (such as glacier stuff) and digging for scientific literature to support/refute taht ‘detective’s lead’. In the spirit you suggest, I attended a lecture by an astrophysicist at London last year. I hesitate to name him here in this volatile atmosphere because the blowpipe brigade (485) will snort, “Oh, him! Don’t listen to that charlatan!”

    Although I’m just an educated layman, I feel entitled to pose questions such as above in #431. This is, after all, a layman’s forum – enriched by some proper scientists and impoverished by the insult-throwers.

    You say that I have not acknowledged some of Dave’s points. That may be so; I’ll have to check back. His calling me a moron makes me less than enthusiastic about doing him the courtesy of following his signposts.

    The brethren here are quite immune to any touches of humour or attempts at wit; any cheerful turn of phrase is taken literally and ridicules. Answering the angry boys (“look, stoopid, just read this here website and then come back and confess you are wrong, wrong, wrong”) with similar aggression just spoils the atmosphere. Dumb insolence is perhaps best:

    Dave R (483): Are you SURE there’s no sea ice at Miami? Have you BEEN to Miami lately? Ah…. just checked the satellite images: you were right all along, you son of a gun!

  91. #91 Brent
    March 10, 2010

    Correction: I just saw Dave R’s posting at 456, re solar forcing or its absence.

    Completely missed it. Sincere apologies!

  92. #92 Bruce Sharp
    March 10, 2010

    I’m not going to go back through this entire thread to make a complete list, but just scanning the past few postings, I see that Brent has been called a dunce, a moron, and a liar.

    It seems pretty clear to me that Brent is putting forward some very poor arguments. But why? Maybe he’s a concern troll. Or maybe he’s just a guy who is trying to make sense of some very complex issues, and he’s not doing particularly well at it.

    But here’s the thing: should someone who genuinely doesn’t understand the science be subjected to the same abuse as someone who is deliberately misrepresenting it? I don’t think insulting someone is a very effective way to help them learn.

    Let’s suppose that when we see arguments like the ones Brent is making, we’ve learned that 9 out of 10 times, it’s deliberate obfuscation. Think of it as guilt or innocence: Should you “punish” all ten, and subject one innocent person to abuse? Or should we ignore it, and let nine guilty people get off scot-free?

    Yes, it’s hard to keep responding to the same ridiculous assertions, over and over, without getting irritated. Nobody said being the good guys would be easy. And yeah, it sucks that there are people who simply cannot grasp the science, and it sucks that some of those people will align themselves with one side just because the other side seems like a bunch of jerks. Science is about minds, but politics is about hearts and minds. The policies are going to be defined by politicians. Like it or not, this is a political battlefield.

    Regards,
    Bruce

  93. #93 P. Lewis
    March 10, 2010

    You are of course right, Bruce, when you say

    should someone who genuinely doesn’t understand the science be subjected to the same abuse as someone who is deliberately misrepresenting it? I don’t think insulting someone is a very effective way to help them learn.

    but in Brent’s case he was greeted warmly and supplied with good info and advice by Lotharsson, elspi, Erasmussimo, myself, Jeff Harvey, MapleLeaf, stu, calcinations and Dave R before the penny started dropping in a few people’s minds. Even then he was given quite a bit of latitude. Whilst I perhaps wouldn’t call him some of the things you list (but some people have a shorter fuse), when it becomes clear that timewasting and trolling are taking place then the terms timewaster and troll are certainly apposite.

  94. #94 Jeff Harvey
    March 10, 2010

    Bruce, I generally agree with you. But what really got my ire was when Brent stated that “there must be people in the warming camp who are educated, sincere and well-informed”.

    Where to begin dismantling this dumb remark?

    The fact is that many of the most respected and well-educated scientists in the world are climate scientists in support of the broad consensus over AGW. Many of these scientists, like Steve Schenider, Susan Solomon, James Hansen, and many others have hundreds of peer-reviewed papers in top journals and thousands of citations to their names. Constrast that with the number of scientists with similar qualifications in the denial camp; most have very poor publication records and are considered to be on the academic fringe.

    Yet Brent gives the impression that the bulk of true academics are contrarians. This nonsense could not go unchallenged. I do not care whether he is a concern troll or not; speaking as a scientist who supports what I consider to be very strong empirical evidence for AGW, it galls me when someone can write such an inflammatory remark without any kind of foundation. If truth be told Brent’s remark is the opposite of the truth. Most of the sincere, well educated people are NOT contrarians.

  95. #95 Dave R
    March 10, 2010

    Brent @ 485:
    >We recently discussed here a paper on the Parana River. I read it,

    You did not read it. You simply quote-mined the abstract and tried to misrepresent its meaning.

    >Surely, the “scientists say” weapon should be used in a consistent manner.

    That depends on (a) whether the scientist actually says what you are claiming and (b) what the other scientists in the field say.

    Mauas does not claim that global warming is caused by the sun, so you may not use him to make that case.

  96. #96 Truthmachineom
    March 10, 2010

    I’m grateful.

    That you’re greatful to an ignorant and dishonest fool like sunspot just goes to show your complete lack of intellectual integrity … as if you had not repeatedly demonstrated that already.

    Rather outnumbered here.

    You could fix that by ceasing to be such a fool.

    why their viewpoint is so different from ours

    Because you’re bunch of ignorant gits who are fueled by ideology, not a scientific search for the truth. The comments section of denier sites are filled with people who talk about “common sense” and about the arrogance of scientists or accuse them of being in some big conspiracy, and who trot out the same talking points over and over, no matter how often they are refuted — people like sunspot. These people are like [teabaggers](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_Party_movement), [birthers](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthers), and Creationists and are often the same people. They are arrogant know-nothings who think that their own opinions stand on a par with the findings of the scientific community.

    This sort of anti-science arrogance can be seen in what you wrote on one of those sites:

    “Science” has recently stepped into the void left by theologians; the unwashed public have replaced one set of authority figures for another. And we, the public, find it distressing that our experts are in conflict.

    But it’s science, not “science”, and it isn’t theology or anything like it. Scientists are only authority figures because they have expended great effort to study, learn, investigate, and communicate. The experts are not in conflict; 97% of all climate scientists acknowledge AGW, as does virtually every reputable science organization. By claiming that the experts are in conflict you are propagating a lie, just as people who claim that there is scientific doubt about the theory of evolution are propagating a lie.

  97. #97 Truthmachineom
    March 10, 2010

    Maybe he’s a concern troll.

    Whether he is or not, you certainly are.

    Brent’s sincerity can be judged by such things as

    To the tune of “I Believed in Father Christmas” They said that the world was warming, They said we were going to fry, They gave us the direst warnings, Repent for the end is nigh And I believed in global warming I fell for a big fat lie But listen up folks It’s only a hoax A joke and a pig in a poke They priced up our carbon footprints They filled us with guilt and sin Indulgences sold to order To offset the mess we’re in And I believed in global warming I fell for a big fat lie But listen up folks It’s only a hoax A joke and a pig in a poke Aloft with their sacred powers The priests read the runes of old The kings from their iv’ry towers Went off on a quest for gold And I believed in global warming I fell for a big fat lie But listen up folks It’s only a hoax A joke and a pig in a poke

    Perhaps, by scanning the past few postings, you missed that.

  98. #98 Dave R
    March 10, 2010

    Truthmachineom @ 497:
    >Perhaps, by scanning the past few postings, you missed that.

    Which is fair enough on a big thread like this. There’s no need to be rude to Bruce.

  99. #99 Hank Roberts
    March 10, 2010

    > There’s no need to be rude to Bruce.
    > Posted by: Dave R

    Ooh, now I’m getting concerned …. oh, wait ….

  100. #100 Bruce Sharp
    March 10, 2010

    Truthmachineom, I don’t comment here all that often, especially in the climate threads. That’s because I’m not very knowledgeable on the subject, and I generally can’t contribute anything of value.

    The five paragraphs above can be boiled down to “Go easy on Brent.” If you’ve read my past comments, and you think I’m a troll, fair enough. But if the only thing you’ve read was the single comment above, then you’re reinforcing my point. It’s not helpful to always assume the worst.

    Jeff and P Lewis: Fair points. Brent has made several inflammatory remarks. However… Jeff, you know that I’m not a big Chomsky fan, but in this case I’m thinking of one of the areas where I completely agree with him. Our main concern should be the things we do, and not what the other side does. That’s what I was driving at when I said it’s not easy being the good guys. The good guys get held to a higher standard.

    I’m not above slinging insults and ridicule myself… but still, every now and then, we all need a gentle reminder that it’s important to keep our eyes on the prize.

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