The Australian renews its war on science by printing an opinion piece by Richard Lindzen. Arthur Smith comments:

From his latest piece one can only conclude that either Lindzen has descended into the epistemic closure of paranoia and conspiracy theories that has become far too prevalent among some Americans lately or, worse, that he is consciously participating in the malicious disinformation campaign on climate that has recently been extensively documented by Greenpeace and elsewhere

Smith gives a detailed analysis of how he came to this conclusion.

Marc Ambinder also weighs in:

“Climate Science In Denial,” reads a Wall Street Journal op-ed headline. “Global warming alarmists have been discredited, but you wouldn’t know it from the rhetoric this Earth Day.”

Actually, the subhead should be revised: “Global warming denialists have been re-discredited, but you wouldn’t know it from the rhetoric in today’s Wall Street Journal.” Far be it from me, a non-scientist, to dispute the scientific expertise of an MIT professor of meterology, Richard Lindzen, but then again, Lindzen’s selective recitation of the litany of arguments against global warming practically begs a rebuttal.

There’s so much that is wrong with Lindzen’s piece that there’s plenty left for me. Lindzen writes:

In addition, numerous professional societies, including the American Society of Agronomy, the American Society of Plant Biologists and the Natural Science Collections Alliance, most of which have no expertise in climate, endorse essentially the following opinion: that the climate is warming; the warming is due to man’s emissions of carbon dioxide; and continued emissions will lead to catastrophe.

We may reasonably wonder why they feel compelled to endorse this view. The IPCC’s position in its Summary for Policymakers from its Fourth Assessment (2007) is weaker, and simply points out that most warming of the past 50 years or so is due to man’s emissions.

Let us check to see what they actually endorsed:

Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is
occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the
greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.
These conclusions are based on multiple independent lines of evidence,
and contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of
the vast body of peer-reviewed science. Moreover, there is strong
evidence that ongoing climate change will have broad impacts on
society, including the global economy and on the environment. For the
United States, climate change impacts include sea level rise for coastal
states, greater threats of extreme weather events, and increased risk of
regional water scarcity, urban heat waves, western wildfires, and the
disturbance of biological systems throughout the country. The severity
of climate change impacts is expected to increase substantially in the
coming decades.

That is what the IPCC report says, and Lindzen surely knows it. It seems that Lindzen simply does not care whether what he writes is true or not.

Lindzen’s not all bad — it was another one of his opinion pieces that started my blogging about climate change. My conclusion, way back in 2004:

I find Lindzen’s systematic misrepresentation of the report that he helped author completely inexcusable.

Comments

  1. #1 Al
    April 24, 2010

    “Lindzen’s not all bad — it was another one of his opinion pieces that started by blogging about climate change”

    One letter makes a big difference. I think you mean “my”, not “by”.

  2. #2 MapleLeaf
    April 24, 2010

    For those who think Lindzen has any integrity left.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/03/11/a-note-from-richard-lindzen-on-statistically-significant-warming/

    “Look at the attached. There has been no warming since 1997 and no
    statistically significant warming since 1995. Why bother with the
    arguments about an El Nino anomaly in 1998? (Incidentally, the red
    fuzz represents the error ‘bars’.)

    Best wishes,

    Dick

    ==================================================
    Richard S. Lindzen
    Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences
    MIT Cambridge, MA 02139 USA”

    In the above email Lindzen is coaching Watts on how to cherry pick dates to minimize the warming, that and to cherry pick a window of time which is known to be too short to obtain a stat sig warming trend. Anthony Watts in response states “the man has a point”. That is, he agrees. This from two contrarians who routinely falsely accuse others of fudging the data and conducting sub-par or faulty data analysis.

    This posts on WUWT blew my mind. IMHO, Lindzen suggesting this type of data manipulation is quite simply scientific misconduct.

    If Jones et al had said this in an email, it would have been blasted all over the net, and rightly so. Yet, the media and even some pro science bloggers remain mute on this little gem despite knowing about it. Why Tim?

  3. #3 MapleLeaf
    April 24, 2010

    Quite funny/ironic then how he accuses CRU of data manipulation, because:

    1) Two independent inquiries have found no wrong doing at CRU, and he knows that but is insisting on continuing to disseminate misinformation
    2) In my post above he seems to be suggesting ways to manipulate the data to hide the warming or to avoid obtaining a stat sig warming trend

    Oh the hypocrisy Dr. Lindzen!

  4. #4 TrueSceptic
    April 24, 2010

    I don’t understand. Lindzen abandoned all claim to honest science a long time ago. Why is anyone surprised by his recent comedy turns?

  5. #5 MFS
    April 24, 2010

    Some passages that I thought particularly interesting:

    “In what has become known as Climategate, one could see unambiguous evidence of the unethical suppression of information and opposing viewpoints, and even data manipulation.”

    “The results were whitewashes that are incredible given the data.”

    Anybody else reminded of our dear contributor Graeme Bird? I could not get past my mental image of him screaming at his computer at the top of his lungs as he wrote comment after comment extolling us all to READ THE EMAILS!!! for incontrovertible evidence of a worldwide conspiracy…

  6. #6 Lotharsson
    April 24, 2010

    Quite funny/ironic then how he accuses CRU of data manipulation…

    If we want to be snarky, we can juxtapose comments apparently made by Mosher to the effect that “no-one with any credibility [in skeptic circles, presumably]… expects to find some huge smoking gun in the [CRU] code. No error that accounts for the warming.”

    Mosher names Watts & McIntyre (and himself, despite his book that appears to allege otherwise) in that list of those “with credibility”, but does not name Lindzen. Maybe now we know why ;-)

    Or maybe he’s finely parsing a distinction between data manipulation executed via code and data manipulation performed in another fashion…

    Oh, and earlier in that thread Mosher says the GISS temperature code looks fine.

  7. #7 Mike
    April 24, 2010

    The sceptics really tie themselves in knots.

    How many times I’ve had them say “oh but just because someone is climate scientist doesn’t mean they’re right”, then two sentences later they say “now look at Professor Richard Lindzen – he says they faked the data – and he’s a climate scientist! How much more proof do you need?”

    Talk about having their cake and eating it too – many sceptics must be getting mighty porky by now.

  8. #8 Lotharsson
    April 24, 2010

    Arthur Smith’s response ought to be required reading for anyone who read Lindzen’s piece!

  9. #9 Derecho64
    April 24, 2010

    I just read this elsewhere:

    “The manmade climate change contrarians have already lost the “genuine debate” – which isn’t on TV, or on blogs, or in newspaper op-ed pieces. The “debate” on manmade climate change is in the science journals, and there, the contrarians have come up empty – devastatingly so. Sure, they can try the shell game of emails, Al Gore, and slurs against scientists and the science, but that tactic has just about run its course.

    As more and more confirmatory observations of the changes in the earth’s climate that we’re causing roll in, it’s the contrarians who have become “maniacal”. The interesting debate isn’t about climate change, it’s about why some people refuse to acknowledge reality. Is dogma that powerful?”

  10. #10 el gordo
    April 25, 2010

    ‘The interesting debate isn’t about climate change, it’s about why some people refuse to acknowledge reality. Is dogma that powerful?’

    This is the story of the century and it’s all about the great delusion.

  11. #11 Lotharsson
    April 25, 2010

    This is the story of the century and it’s all about the great delusion.

    There – linked it for you ;-)

  12. #12 Bernard J.
    April 25, 2010

    Lotharsson winz the Internetz!

  13. #13 DavidCOG
    April 25, 2010

    > Lindzen’s not all bad — it was another one of his opinion pieces that started my blogging about climate change.

    We can all thank Lindzen for that much – your contribution to the ‘debate’ has been invaluable, Tim.

  14. #14 el gordo
    April 25, 2010

    Very funny, Loth. There is someone else who may be suffering the same malady, Professor GO has a guest post at Watts.

  15. #15 TrueSceptic
    April 25, 2010

    14 EG,

    Yes, [it's true](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/25/predictions-of-global-mean-temperatures-ipcc-projections/).

    I thought you were joking, but there really are no limits to crazy (or stupid) in the world of AGW denialism.

  16. #16 MFS
    April 25, 2010

    TrueSceptic @ 14:

    Priceless!!! They argue against warming predictions by drawing a sine wave, and forecasting that the end of the century will correspond with the wave’s trough and therefore the warming by 2100 will be less than forecast in the IPCC report!

    Even if it were true, they’ve provided a helpful trend line to show that, were their scenario to play out, the temperature would keep oscillating over a steadily rising average, with overall the same result as IPCC projections!

    Since there is no Materials & Methods section, we can’t really know how they came up with this gem, but I wouldn’t hold my breath till it appears in a peer-reviewed journal.

    Sorry for the OT excursion

  17. #17 Agnostic
    April 25, 2010

    If it is about global warming, its causes and its consequences and if it is published by the Murdoch press, particularly if it appears in The Australian, I automatically assume that it is (a) anti-science (b) misleading or wrong and (c) not worth commenting on.

  18. #18 TrueSceptic
    April 25, 2010

    16 MFS,

    You might not be aware of GO’s history. He was largely responsible for the longest ever thread here (I think). He also picked up a few tips here.

    One thing I will say: he is only the second person to accept a climate-related bet with me, so he does believe what he says.

    It think this is the thread. [2160 comments](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/08/matthew_england_challenges_the.php). Enjoy!

  19. #19 Lotharsson
    April 25, 2010

    He was largely responsible for the longest ever thread here (I think).

    Brent’s been trying on the “empirical evidence” thread, assisted by sunspot, but they seem to be running out of steam. The latest sunspot comment was apparently debunked in about 4 seconds, and the latest Brent comment was all accusations that AGW is religious belief for the gullible. Seeing as Brent had no evidence that AGW is a religious belief, it seems he wants us to take that assertion (ahem) on faith.

    We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming – the never ending saga of The Australian’s War On Science!

  20. #20 Kooiti Masuda
    April 25, 2010

    I do not generally agree with the opinion of Lindzen. But if any professional societies really said “continued emissions will lead to catastrophe” without fully explaining what they meant by the word “catastrophe”, they deserve the criticism. It is not simple rewording of “The severity of climate change impacts is expected to increase substantially”. Excuse me for not checking what those socieies actually said, and I hope that they did not use such “alarmist” expressions.

  21. #21 Connor
    April 26, 2010

    They’re still not publishing comments, the cowards.

  22. #22 sod
    April 26, 2010

    off topic:

    those who have been around a little, might want to take a look at post by our friend Girma Orssengo on [WuWt](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/25/predictions-of-global-mean-temperatures-ipcc-projections/)

    when you fit a sin function over a linear trend, you get very god correlation to temperature. (what you would expect, when fitting a function)

    his “model” predicts slight cooling for the 21st century…

  23. #23 Ian Forrester
    April 26, 2010

    Kooiti Masuda said:

    But if any professional societies really said “continued emissions will lead to catastrophe” without fully explaining what they meant by the word “catastrophe”, they deserve the criticism.

    Lindzen’s info is taken from this letter signed by 18 associations to the US Senate.

    Here are some relevant quotes:

    Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. These conclusions are based on multiple independent lines of evidence, and contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science.

    there is strong evidence that ongoing climate change will have broad impacts on society, including the global economy and on the environment.

    [Letter to the US Senate](http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2009/media/1021climate_letter.pdf)

    As usual Lindzen is being dishonest.

  24. #24 Dave H
    April 26, 2010

    Argh! Bernard, this is *your* fault, for [mentioning him](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/04/johann_hari_on_journalismgate.php#c2456930) in the Johann Hari thread. Now, like Candyman, he has been summoned once more to perform acts of unspeakable violence against reason and logic.

  25. #25 AmandaS
    April 26, 2010

    @21 Connor – I don’t think it’s cowardice. The Australian gets very, very bad at putting up comments on weekends; often none at all turn up. This weekend they didn’t even manage to get the letters page updated, so I think MelbourneStormGate has thrown them completely. I would imagine there is panic and flailing.

    Though I am unsure whether to be most amused by the fact that (a) they claim they are hard-hitting investigative journalists but failed to notice that their own company was doing illegal things until a whisteblower turned up or (b) that they freely toss around conspiracy theories whilst being part of a conspiracy themselves.

    A

  26. #26 el gordo
    April 26, 2010

    ‘Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring’. That is definitely true.

  27. #27 George Grisancich
    April 26, 2010

    Hi,

    I’m getting continuously hassled by well-meaning friends telling me climate change – and all the scary stuff it’s supposed to cause is a hoax. Whenever I counter with the usual stuff I’ve heard, like hottest decade on record, or sea-level rise, or more storms, or more droughts, they always laugh at me and tell me these aren’t proof.

    If all this stuff isn’t proof, then what can I tell them that is definite proof of human caused global warming?

    Cheers and thank you.

  28. #28 John
    April 26, 2010

    George, there is not one single item of “proof” for AGW that will change your friends’ minds, there is an avalanche of it. Please see http://www.skepticalscience.com.

  29. #29 George Grisancich
    April 26, 2010

    John,

    Thanks. I’ve spent a fair bit of time looking over skepticalscience.com and realclimate.org already – mainly realclimate.org. There’s nothing on those sites that can’t be called circumstantial or anecdotal. Is that it?

    Surely there must be some definitive evidence. Something the skeptics can’t say could be natural.

    Thanks

  30. #30 John
    April 26, 2010

    There’s nothing on those sites that can’t be called circumstantial or anecdotal. Is that it?

    Realy? Documented scientific evidence is anecdotal? 29,000 biological indicators showing warming is circumstantial? The continuing verified melting of sea ice and glaciers are anecdotal? The rising temperatures (2010 is on track to be the warmest ever) is anecdotal?

    Look closer.

    I mean really look.

    It would be a shame if your friends weren’t able to see the plainly obvious.

    Such silly friends.

  31. #31 Dave H
    April 26, 2010

    @George

    I always found the basic physics to be pretty hard to argue with. ie:

    That CO2 causes a greenhouse effect is indisputable.

    That increasing concentrations will increase the effect is measurable and obvious.

    That we’ve known this since the 19th century and used this to predict that there would be warming from anthropogenic CO2 before any such warming was observed.

    That 150-year-old initial estimates for climate sensitivity based purely on physical calculations are in line with modern analyses based on a variety of different methods.

    That everything that has come since the initial hypothesis that anthropogenic CO2 emissions will cause warming has just been confirmation upon confirmation and refinement upon refinement.

    That the question really is is why *wouldn’t* extra CO2 in the atmosphere cause warming.

  32. #32 John
    April 26, 2010

    Oh, and George?

    Would you care to qualify some comments for me?

    Specifically, this comment made only five days ago:

    Global warming is a scam taht is being sold to us hook, line and sinker.

    How about you read some science instead of obsessing over Al Gore you tedious little troll?

  33. #33 jakerman
    April 26, 2010
  34. #34 John
    April 26, 2010

    Ignore George everyone. He’s an Al Gore obsessed troll.

  35. #35 George Grisancich
    April 26, 2010

    So there’s nothing you can’t point me to that proves the warming is caused by CO2. Otherwise, everything else you’ve told me, numerous and compelling thought they may be, is only circumstantial. 2010 may be on track to be the hottest year ever – why does that prove it is caused by CO2?

  36. #36 Bud
    April 26, 2010

    Hi,

    I’m getting continuously hassled by well-meaning friends telling me climate change – and all the scary stuff it’s supposed to cause is a hoax.

    Worst. Concern Troll. Ever.

  37. #37 Dave H
    April 26, 2010

    @George

    Oh dear. Time waster, and off-topic to boot. Thank you killfile.

  38. #38 Bud
    April 26, 2010

    Well, the formatting messed up, but the point is that George Grisancich just made the most transparently lame attempt at concern trolling ever.

  39. #39 John
    April 26, 2010

    Says George:

    Hey Clive, you reading this? Of course you are. I want you to know I am a climate change denier, and proud of it.

    What an anti-intellectual buffoon.

  40. #40 John
    April 26, 2010

    He tried to troll Climate Progress as well. Gave them a heads up.

    This is yet more proof that denialists can’t get anywhere without resorting to misrepresentation and lying.

  41. #41 Rixaeton
    April 26, 2010

    OT perhaps, or maybe on topic for @George: hot off the presses of the internets:

    The Geological Society of America has just updated its Position Statement on Global Climate Change . The position statement:

    (1) summarizes the strengthened basis for the conclusion that humans are a major factor responsible for recent global warming; (2) describes the large effects on humans and ecosystems if greenhouse‐gas concentrations and global climate reach projected levels; and (3) provides information for policy decisions guiding mitigation and adaptation strategies designed to address the future impacts of anthropogenic warming.

    Good news and, Hooray for science :)

  42. #42 George Grisancich
    April 26, 2010

    Thanks to those that have provided some info.

    Sadly, John and Bud feel that I’m trolling because I have stated elsewhere I think global warming is a scam. But I guess that’s how they advance an argument.

    I am trying to get a straight answer to a simple question and take offense at being labeled a troll. I am posting under my real name, something I note many do not, so clearly not misrepresenting who I am. I stand behind my first 2 posts here (27 & 29). Clearly I have not provoked an argument.

    If you would rather circle the wagons than assist with some facts, so be it.

    @Rixaeton. Societies don’t do science, and science doesn’t do consensus.

  43. #43 Rixaeton
    April 26, 2010

    Must… not… feed… tro..

    bugger it:

    Societies don’t do science, and science doesn’t do consensus.

    You are right; Scientists in societies do science :) And, denialist trolls don’t do reading and comprehension.

    As for consensus, if the vast majority of climate scientists said “the science says global warming is not real” you would be out there with blog comments on how global warming must be real and we must take action because most scientists say it isn’t? What a strange world you must live in.

  44. #44 John
    April 26, 2010

    Sadly, John and Bud feel that I’m trolling because I have stated elsewhere I think global warming is a scam. But I guess that’s how they advance an argument.

    No I feel you’re trolling because you came here with a false agenda. That’s what trolls do. Maybe you think it’s clever but I am smarter than you and I caught you out. You have failed.

    I am trying to get a straight answer to a simple question and take offense at being labeled a troll.

    Tough shit.

    I am posting under my real name.

    As am I. But that doesn’t make us more virtuous.

    So clearly not misrepresenting who I am.

    Except you lied to us about your motives.

    I’ve read what you’ve written on the net and you’ve never once adressed the science, instead preferring to attack Phil Jones and Al Gore (like that isn’t getting old).

  45. #45 John
    April 26, 2010

    I’m a nice guy George and I’m going to humour you. Your entire argument is that there’s no evidence linking Co2 to the climate. You’re wrong.

    Please tell us what you dispute in the link provided, whereupon we will have a robust discussion and you will be humbled.

  46. #46 Bud
    April 26, 2010

    I don’t do troll-feeding, but for anyone lurking who might feel that not engaging people like George = avoiding debate and “circling wagons”:

    [This comment thread](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php) shows exactly what happens when people like George are engaged with. Attempts to honestly answer questions are met with avoidance, goalpost-shifting, sly digs and snark followed by protestations of innocence, and above all no evidence whatsoever of an ability or willingness to engage with the scientific evidence provided.

    It’s a great 1300+ comment case study in why so-called “debate” is for these people nothing more than an exercise in time-wasting. The change in tune from Brent – who I initially spent several posts engaging with – from innocent enquirer to rabid climate-sceptic idealogue justifies the short shrift given to his type.

  47. #47 Joel
    April 26, 2010

    I actually read the issue of The Weekend Australian in which that was printed (I know, I know…) – not only did they have that piece, but a couple of other editorials decried the practise of allowing “experts” to make decisions (for example, in regards to the Eyjafjallajokull-related airline closures). They shouldn’t be involved in the process, apparently.

    I didn’t imagine it’d been getting that Fox-like in the time since I last read it. But maybe it already was.

  48. #48 Fran Barlow
    April 26, 2010

    Quite right Bud@46 … it’s not even amusing, artful or creative trolling … and thus utterly undeserving of the respect that such a thing might attract …

    That they are so unconvincing and unoriginal does underline how beleagered the filth merchant spruikers feel. That gives me some pleasure. Humanity might yet secure the policies it needs to stave off disaster, the howls of outrage from the delusionals from Cave Hollows or the Tea Party notwithstanding.

  49. #49 lord_sidcup
    April 26, 2010

    Reuters have run a good article on the climate ‘debate’ today:

    [Murderer, liar, fraud, traitor](http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE63P00K20100426)

    Includes quotes from Michael Mann, Stephen Schneider, Kevin Trenberth, David Karoly, Andy Pitman and Roger Wakimoto.

    Palin, Monckton, and Morano put the ‘case’ for the ‘sceptics’.

  50. #50 George Grisancich
    April 26, 2010

    @John,

    Thanks for the [link](http://www.skepticalscience.com/empirical-evidence-for-global-warming.htm) Some interesting reading.

    Although a I’m a little troubled with the math, and if it wasn’t for the sheer magnitude of the error, I’d let it go.

    The author claims:

    “From 1970 to 2003, the planet has been accumulating heat at a rate of 190,260 GigaWatts with the vast majority of the energy going into the oceans. Considering a typical nuclear power plant has an output of 1 GigaWatt, imagine 190,000 nuclear power plants pouring their energy output directly into our oceans. ”

    Surely this must be an error. The average nuclear power plant is indead about 1GigaWatt, but that’s 1GigaWatt per Hour, not year. So the extra energy entering the ocean is 21.7 nuclear reactors, not 190,269. A non-trivial error.

    Anyway, I’d like to read Harris 2001, Griggs 2004, and Chen 2007 before commenting further. But it certainly is a step towards evidence.

    Thank you.

  51. #51 TrueSceptic
    April 26, 2010

    42 GG,

    You are a liar and a fraud. We don’t care what your real name is.

    Hi,
    I’m getting continuously hassled by well-meaning friends telling me climate change – and all the scary stuff it’s supposed to cause is a hoax. Whenever I counter with the usual stuff I’ve heard, like hottest decade on record, or sea-level rise, or more storms, or more droughts, they always laugh at me and tell me these aren’t proof.
    If all this stuff isn’t proof, then what can I tell them that is definite proof of human caused global warming?
    Cheers and thank you.
    Posted by: George Grisancich | April 26, 2010 4:54 AM

  52. #52 George Grisancich
    April 26, 2010

    AGW Observer seems to maintain a solid list of [Papers on laboratory measurements of CO2 absorption properties](http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/09/25/papers-on-laboratory-measurements-of-co2-absorption-properties/)

    Yes. I’m a AGW skeptic. But I’m open-minded.

  53. #53 Tim Lambert
    April 26, 2010

    George, you are mixing GigaWatts (power) with GigaWatt Hours (energy). One GigaWatt is the same as one GigaWatt hour per hour. “1GigaWatt per Hour” is not a meaningful measure.

  54. #54 Neil
    April 26, 2010

    “that’s 1GigaWatt per Hour”

    This is a wind-up, right?

  55. #55 TrueSceptic
    April 26, 2010

    Anyone,

    Thoughts on answering someone who clearly doesn’t know the difference between energy and power but is only too ready to make a claim based on that ignorance? Just ignore?

  56. #56 elspi
    April 26, 2010

    Epistemically closed troll:
    “But I’m open-minded.”

    In the immortal words of Spike:
    “I’m a rebel, You’re an idiot.”

  57. #57 Marco
    April 26, 2010

    Anyone from ANU here? It seems Tim Curtin will give a lecture there on Thursday (12:30) about CO2 as plant food. Should be ‘good’, he claims he has found an amazing correlation between wheat harvests and temperature/CO2/rainfall.

    Anyone out there want to have a laugh (I’m quite a few thousands kilometers away, so I can’t myself) ? Do read the “tim curtin thread” first!

  58. #58 chek
    April 26, 2010

    I’m also too far away Marco, but it should be..um..interesting.

    I for one would be fascinated to know when this natural bounty will suddenly kick in, what with us being in the midst of one of the greatest mass extinctions the planet has ever seen.

  59. #59 Bernard J.
    April 26, 2010

    …that’s 1GigaWatt per Hour.

    Fluff your cushions and fasten your seatbelts, everyone – this is going to be one hell of a ride…

    Oh, and you might want to bring a wet towel.

  60. #60 Arthur Smith
    April 26, 2010

    Aaarggh!!!

    <rant>
    Ok, I have to jump in. John Cook should know better. While it is denoted ‘GW’ with capital letters when written as a symbol, when the symbol is expanded to the name of the unit it is *always* lowercase – ‘gigawatt’. Units named after people have an uppercase symbol, but they are *always* lowercased, just like other units, when written as the unit name. It’s ‘joule’, not ‘Joule'; ‘pascal’ not ‘Pascal’, ‘ampere’ not ‘Ampere’, ‘ohm’ not ‘Ohm, etc. And ‘watt’, not ‘Watt’. Prefixes are also always lower-cased when written out. Units are not proper nouns, so they do not get upper-cased (or camel-cased!) in English usage.
    </rant>

    There, had to get that off my chest. Oh yeah, George is a little mixed up… :)

  61. #61 Mike
    April 26, 2010

    Sadly, John and Bud feel that I’m trolling because I have stated elsewhere I think global warming is a scam.

    George, I honestly can’t blame them, if that really is your opinion.

    A “scam” is where someone sells you a bottle of “ACME magic water” and says it will cure your liver cancer. Or when a car salesman sells you a rebadged stolen vehicle. Or where your accountant keeps two sets of books showing different incomes, and pockets the difference. Or where a faith healer you paid 20 bucks to see along with 2000 other people, smacks you in the head and tells you your multiple sclerosis will be gone by Monday.

    A “scam” is not the result of literally hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific papers from highly qualified individuals with impeccable reputations within their field, which all suggest that the temperature observations are valid and are extremely likely to be caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

    Can you see the slight difference between the examples I have provided, and the scientific case for AGW?

  62. #62 MapleLeaf
    April 26, 2010

    What the troll does not care to realise is that one cannot prove CO2 causes AGW, just as one cannot definitively prove that tobacco smoke causes cancer. This is a red herring used all the time by the denialists and concern trolls.

    The troll also conveniently ignores the fact that Lindzen does agree that increasing CO2 will warm the planet. However, Lindzen is under the illusion that the warming will be paltry, and Lindzen has failed repeatedly to demonstrate his claim without having to resort to cherry picking and/or massaging the data. The troll of course ignores that too.

    Given that the troll is allegedly so open minded they will find this of value and convincing:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9SGw75pVas

    Of course, said troll will more likely just move the goal posts, argue straw men and obfuscate.

    Advice to troll, apply your “skepticism” to the contrarians like Lindzen instead of giving them a free pass, b/c they are ultimately going to be the ones responsible for screwing us all over.

  63. #63 AGWSkeptic
    April 26, 2010

    I find Lindzen’s systematic misrepresentation of the report that he helped author completely inexcusable.

    But Mann’s “trick” to “hide the decline” is a-o-k, right Tim?

  64. #64 MapleLeaf
    April 26, 2010

    AGW”Skeptic”, there was nothing nefarious in what Mann et al. did. So stop perpetuating debunked internet myths.

    I’m curious, please explain to us all here in detail exactly what the whole “hide the decline” issue was about.

    Also, have you read my post at #2. Can we gather that you are OK with Lindzen cherry picking data to get the answer he wants, to get an answer to confuse and mislead the public? He has also been shown to have cherry picked data in Lindzen and Choi (2009) to get the answer he wants. Are you also OK with how McLean et al. manipulated/massaged their data to get rid of a signal that they did not wish to see? How about McKitrick and Michaels undertaking seriously flawed analysis? The list goes son and on of flawed/debunked contrarian papers written by skeptics who have massaged and cherry-picked the data. Yet you seem to be oblivious to them, or unwilling to apply your skepticism to those flawed papers.

    In fact, have the ‘skeptics’ managed to publish a single paper recently that challenges the theory of AGW, which has passed peer review in a reputable journal carried by the ISI which has not been debunked after publication?

    It is not too late for you to jump ship AGW”Skeptic”. And please change your moniker, you are not a true ‘skeptic’ at all it seems, so please stop hiding behind that misleading facade.

  65. #65 Former Skeptic
    April 26, 2010
  66. #66 Mike
    April 26, 2010

    You are aware, AGWSkeptic, that the “trick to hide the decline” has been extensively explained in context, are you not?

    It has about the same conspiracy connotations as the “trick” I use to make smooth vanilla custard. No, I do not engage in a vast and systematic conspiracy to fool dinner guests. It really comes out thick and smooth, without lumps at all, and is perfect draped over a Christmas pudding. Yes indeed, I know how difficult this is to believe given how many people make lumpy custard. Submit the FOI paperwork, and I might give you the recipe so you can see for yourself.

    We could debate all day whether you have any microscopic shards of credibility remaining among your sceptical arguments, but bringing up the email about divergent tree-ring data really hasn’t helped you at all.

  67. #67 Fran Barlow
    April 26, 2010

    Former Skeptic

    Given your cartoon link …

    Perhaps you are now skeptical of the people who think “hide the decline” refers to something nefarious? Perhaps you should call yourself “True Skeptic” to distinguish yourself from those dissembling proponents of anti-science who merely misappropriate the title. ;-)

  68. #68 el gordo
    April 26, 2010

    ‘What the troll does not care to realize is that one cannot prove CO2 causes AGW’ and that’s why the whole global warming thingy is based on the ‘precautionary principle’.

  69. #69 TrueSceptic
    April 26, 2010

    67 Fran,

    Well, that would be really confusing. ;)

    True enough, though, FS now *is* a sceptic, whatever he/she was before.

  70. #70 Bud
    April 26, 2010

    @Mike:

    Submit the FOI paperwork, and I might give you the recipe so you can see for yourself.

    I have no desire to audit your recipe, nor to spread muck regarding its efficacy to a legion of denizens who really prefer cream on their puddings anyway. I would, however, like to see how it could apply to my own deserts. I am particularly interested in its potential for improving my apple pie and custard. Would you consider sharing your recipe with me for this purpose? ;-)

  71. #71 Fran Barlow
    April 26, 2010

    ‘What the troll does not care to realize is that one cannot prove CO2 causes AGW’ and that’s why the whole global warming thingy is based on the ‘precautionary principle’.

    Another day, another stupid statement from the El Gordo troll, since there is no causal connection between the highlighted portion and the clause that follows.

    Again, the El Gordo troll surely knows this, but I thought I’d get in first so nopbody else need point this out.

  72. #72 Majorajam
    April 26, 2010

    Pretty sure Lindzen’s piece first appeared in the Journal, though it’s behind a paywall there so can’t confirm. It had the wingnuts over here all atwitter. I guess Murdoch likes to stretch his propaganda dollars.

    Poor Lindzen- destined to be amongst the few who will be remembered down through history as the cynical, immoral buffoons who eagerly volunteered to lead rubes like George down the garden path on account of their silly little narrow interests, all the while knowing better. To paraphrase O’Neil, “What the hell was it they wanted to buy?”

    This man will be despised by future generations. His name will become a tool de jour amongst demagogues- ‘Richard Lindzen thought much the way you do…’, ‘You lie!! If anyone here is acting like Richard Lindzen, it is you!!’, and ‘Richard Lindzen would love this bill’, etc. His line will be so proud.

  73. #73 Lotharsson
    April 26, 2010

    …a couple of other editorials decried the practise of allowing “experts” to make decisions…

    Presumably that’s a big clue as to the enduring mystery if how they decide editorial policy and topics and who writes them then ;-)

  74. #74 el gordo
    April 26, 2010

    Without the sulfate adjustments, ‘the observations are consistent with there being sufficiently little warming as to constitute a problem not worth worrying about much.’

    Sounds perfectly fair and reasonable.

  75. #75 James Haughton
    April 26, 2010

    Marco, I’m at ANU. When/where is Tim giving this lecture?

  76. #76 MapleLeaf
    April 26, 2010

    @71, Thanks Fran.

    All those in denial about AGW have to offer are distortions and lies. Honestly, I have come to the conclusion that they are serial liars. What more is there to say really?

  77. #77 MFS
    April 26, 2010

    George @ 27, 29, 35…

    [Incontrovertible evidence of global warming](http://www.funnyhub.com/content_images/4131_2066_global-warming-swimwear.jpg)

  78. #78 George Grisancich
    April 26, 2010

    Thank you for the warm and courteous reception. Frankly, I deserved it for not being direct. Although I wonder what reception I would have received had I been more honest about my reasons for asking and prefaced my questions by first stating that I was highly skeptical that catastrophe will result from the little warming we are seeing.

    So I will start afresh.

    My current positions is thus: I believe the earth has warmed in the past century but I am not convinced that CO2 is the main reason for this. I am highly skeptical that catastrophe will result from the little warming we have seen, or from the warming the IPCC predict for this century from CO2 alone. I am also not convinced that the current warming is unprecedented in the last 1500 years.

    Can you point me to some definitive evidence that CO2 is the cause if the warming and therefore cause for alarm.

    Apart from the many insults, some of your answers (thanks John) have been informative.

    Thank you.

    Regrding the link to [Empirical evidence that humans are causing global warming](http://www.skepticalscience.com/empirical-evidence-for-global-warming.htm) previously discussed regarding the energy going into the oceans. The article used the term GigaWatt in camel case (something I was slammed for doing). Further the article refers to energy going into the oceans.

    Judging by the blasting I received for suggesting the math was out, some clarification is in order. Firstly, I do understand the difference between GW (power) and GWH (energy). Since the article claims 190,260 GiGaWatts (sic) of energy going into the oceans each year, can that not be expressed as 190,260GW/YEAR?

    If so, then the 1GW typical nuclear power plan produces 1GW/hr x 24hrs x 365day = 8,760GW/YEAR

    Is there anything wrong with these two assumptions?

  79. #79 el gordo
    April 26, 2010

    ‘I am also not convinced that the current warming is unprecedented in the last 1500 years.’

    If we go back a little further to the Holocene Climate Optimum, about 6000 years bp, we see unprecedented warming since the Eemian. Now, at the tail end of our interglacial…….oops O/T.

    How about a new open thread, Tim?

  80. #80 Eli Rabett
    April 26, 2010

    George, what’s your scientific/mathematical background?

  81. #81 Vince Whirlwind
    April 26, 2010

    Eli, George is unconstrained by the handicap of any formal training – this allows him to see through the communist IPCC consensus and get at the heart of the truth of the matter.

  82. #82 Vince Whirlwind
    April 26, 2010

    George, it’s perfectly simple:

    190,000 GW could be produced by 190,000 power plants rated at 1GW.

    190,000 power plants running at 1GW would produce, in 1 hour, 190,000 GWHours.

    Goddit?

  83. #83 Vince Whirlwind
    April 26, 2010

    Finally, “GW per hour” is something I struggled to figure out how I would use, but how’s this:

    “The sun went super-nova: its production increased by 190,000 GW per hour until it reached 1,000,000,000,000,000 GW and our instruments failed.”

  84. #84 Vince Whirlwind
    April 26, 2010

    BTW George, you’re clearly poorly-educated. There’s no law against that, but what it means is that you should be listening to other people’s opinions instead of inflicting your own half-baked and poorly-informed opinions on others.

  85. #85 John
    April 26, 2010

    I don’t believe anything from a man who once said:

    I want you to know I am a climate change denier, and proud of it.

    You are a troll.

  86. #86 el gordo
    April 26, 2010

    Yeah, you’re right, John. I should have said ‘I want you to know I am an AGW denier and proud of it,’ and this is why.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63K2CB20100421

  87. #87 John
    April 26, 2010

    I as referring to George you moron. Those are his words.

  88. #88 Bernard J.
    April 26, 2010
  89. #89 Richard Simons
    April 27, 2010

    George @ 78

    Since the article claims 190,260 GiGaWatts (sic) of energy going into the oceans each year, can that not be expressed as 190,260GW/YEAR?

    You keep writing gigawatt years as gigawatts/year. Gigawatt hours is gigawatts times hours. Gigawatts/hr (if it means anything) is gigawatts divided by hours.

  90. #90 James Haughton
    April 27, 2010

    George @ 78, I have had a few of these “show me the evidence” discussions. Usually, I find that the person is a victim of the “missing-link fallacy” which creationists also willingly fall into. For example, creationists claim that there is no fossil record of human evolution, that there is a “missing link”. When various parts of the fossil record are pointed out (e.g. Lucy) they claim that there is no link between Lucy and humanity. Thus every piece of evidence that is added, to them, creates two more missing links between that evidence and the evidence before and after it, and these newly-discovered gaps are somehow proof that the concept of evolution is flawed.

    Similarly, every time I have pointed out a piece of evidence for climate change to an adullamite, assuming they are capable of rational discussion at all (as opposed to being GB or someone decanted from the same clone-vat) they respond by raising uncertainties, some valid (from a statistical pov, there are always some uncertainties, which is why we have error bars) but most spurious, about how that evidence is linked to other evidence, and the discussion tails away into technical trivia which has little actual relevance.

    Assuming for a moment that you have some potential openness to being convinced by what I and most others think is good evidence, and in an effort to avoid this kind of problem, could you please clearly indicate what problems (if any) you have with the basic logic here:

    1) CO2 (used as a shorthand for all greenhouse gases, here) in an atmosphere partially blocks the emission of heat (Infrared). This was first demonstrated by Maxwell IIRC, over 150 years ago.
    2) Therefore, any body with an atmosphere to which CO2 is added will warm up until it reaches a new thermal equilibrium point at which increased outward radiation balances the increased heat retention. This follows logically from 1 and the laws of thermodynamics, and was first calculated by Arrhenius in 1896 IIRC.
    3) Humans have added CO2 to the atmosphere of Earth. This has been demonstrated rigourously by the Mauna Loa series of measurements, various Isotope studies, ocean acidification, etc and is intuitively obvious from the fact that we keep burning coal, oil, and trees, chopping down trees, and breeding more cows.
    4) The earth has warmed in a manner calculated to be entirely consistent with the warming one would expect if one added CO2 to the atmosphere of a body with all the properties of the Earth. This was first calculated by Callendar in 1938 and has been recalculated in hundreds of studies since. Temperature records both direct (thermometers, satellites) and proxy (melting ice, species migration, biological changes, tree rings, etc) confirm the warming.
    5) No other factor (solar emissions, cosmic rays, Milankovitch cycles, etc) has been found which could explain the Earth’s warming (and we have looked very hard) (read any published literature about climate modelling).

    Both the physical evidence and Occam’s razor therefore dictate that Anthropogenic Global Warming is real, is happening, etc.

  91. #91 Marco
    April 27, 2010

    @James Haughton #75 (Tim, perhaps you can forward this to him?)

    http://rspas.anu.edu.au/seminars.php
    Thursday April 29, 12:30, room B, Coombs Building.

  92. #92 Vince Whirlwind
    April 27, 2010

    El Gordo is another whose bottomless pit of lack of knowledge *should* preclude him from having opinions.

    In his latest installment of know-nothingness he presents this argument:

    “I am sceptical of AGW because manufacturing bio-diesel from soy-beans produces CO2.”

    Honestly, El Gordo, is there any limit to your inanity?

  93. #93 Don Wigan
    April 27, 2010

    James Haughton @ 90: thanks for that comprehensive explanation of AGW. Quite coherent to me, a non-scientist. If George is open to it, he shouldn’t have much trouble understanding that.

    … El Gordo might have a bit of trouble with it, however, but you never know…

  94. #94 Fran Barlow
    April 27, 2010

    Honestly, El Gordo, is there any limit to your inanity?

    That’s a rhetorical question Vince, isn’t it?

    BTW … I don’t suppose your last word was a typo … did you leave out an “s”? ;-) I’d have gone with both.

  95. #95 Former Skeptic
    April 27, 2010

    @67, 69:

    I think I told someone else (think it was Mashey?) who raised this issue that my ironic moniker refers to twisted misuse of the term “skeptic” by the denialati.

    “True Skeptic?” Nah. Besides, TrueSceptic’s right – the confusion would be too much :)

  96. #96 George Grisancich
    April 27, 2010

    @James Haughton,

    I cannot understand by what logic one feels compelled to automatically group everyone that has questions (for whatever reason) with creationists, or the tobacco lobby, or holocaust deniers, or right-wing crackpots. Further, why you find it necessary to label and insult by referring to some obscure British political movement (I had to google that one) is truly irrational. Also, I have no idea who or what GB is, and frankly do not care.

    I can only assume that you are compelled to first insult, before getting down to the business of open discussion, as to somehow prove you solidarity and to claim some intellectual superiority. Or perhaps to show which team you are on. Anyway, can we stow the chest pounding and get down to it.

    Now to your questions:

    1) I prefer GHG as shorthand for all greenhouse gasses, rather than CO2 because it broadens the discussion. I consider this especially important for the question at hand. Indeed CO2 does absorb (blocks is a poor descriptor) some of the outward infrared, but it does so only within a narrow wavelength range of around 600-700 cm-1. Other GHGs absorb infrared different wavelengths, with CH4 (methane) absorbing infrared mainly around 1300wm-1.

    My question at this point, is a what CO2 concentration do we reach absorption saturation. Some skeptics are suggesting that a doubling from pre-industrial as being the effective point of saturation, say 560ppmv. Has anyone done the math? A doubling sounds little more than a convenient number.

    2) Yes, adding CO2 will warm the system until new thermal equilibrium is reached. Up until all outward infrared radiation in the 600-700wm-1 range has been absorbed.

    3) Yes. Now close to 400ppmv. Up from around 270-280ppmv baseline.

    4) Perhaps not. The warming has been irregular and not directly consistent with the steady increase of CO2. There have been significant periods of cooling in the last 150 years. Granted, the net result of the warming and cooling periods have trended upwards. For what it’s worth, a fragile Jones recently admitted there has been no statistically significant warming since 98. Regardless, the trend is upwards.

    Is it consistent with increasing CO2 – I’m not convinced. Especially as I would expect to see temperature climb faster in response to CO2 when CO2 first started in increase because infrared absorption is non-linear. The other factors you mention, melting ice, species migration, and etc., are only evidence of warming, to which we all agree, but carry no fingerprint.

    5) It must be CO2 because we can’t think of anything else reminds me of argument for the existence of God. Arguing from ignorance, no matter how smart we might be or how deeply we have looked is not an argument that glorifies us. No doubt our understanding will improve over time. This may or may not prove change this.

    Frankly, when you consider the lack of understanding the IPCC claim for everything other than LLGHGs. See AR4 WG1 [Uncertainties in Radiative Forcing](http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch2s2-9-1.html), the we considered all other forcings argument seems very weak.

    Yes. AGW is real, but I believe limited and not catastrophic. This is what I stated in post 78. I would like an answer to the question I raised following may answer to q1.

    Thank you.

  97. #97 Robert Murphy
    April 27, 2010

    George Grisancich said,
    “For what it’s worth, a fragile Jones recently admitted there has been no statistically significant warming since 98. Regardless, the trend is upwards.”

    You messed up your talking point. You were supposed to start with ’95, not ’98. What Jones actually said was that from ’95 to ’09 there was a 10 year warming trend of .12 degrees C, but that it just missed being statistically significant at the 95% level because the time frame is too short. Guess what; if you start at ’94, the warming trend *is* statistically significant. The questioner couldn’t have been cherry-picking a starting date, could he?? NO!! Skeptics are always pure and noble!! lol Of course, using 15 years of data to find ten year trends is not going to be very informative. You want to look at 20-30 years or more of data.

    BTW, after this year, if you start from ’95 and go to ’10, you will also get a statistically significant warming trend. For what it’s worth.

  98. #98 el gordo
    April 27, 2010

    Read this story from he ABC – it’s a flawless example of AGW propaganda.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/04/27/2883282.htm

  99. #99 John
    April 27, 2010

    I cannot understand by what logic one feels compelled to automatically group everyone that has questions (for whatever reason) with creationists, or the tobacco lobby, or holocaust deniers, or right-wing crackpots.

    Probably because global warming is only questioned by right wing crackpots, many of whom are creationists, have paid off by big tobacco or are members of the UKIP or BNP.

    Judging by your obsession with all things Al Gore, and your jolly presence on fringe right-wing extremist sites like “Climate Change Fraud”, Andrew Bolt’s blog and “Al Gore Lied” it’s pretty safe to say you are also a right-wing crackpot.

    Also, nobody has comapred you to a Holocaust denier so get off your high horse. In your own words you are a “climate change denialist”. You picked those words, not us.

  100. #100 jakerman
    April 27, 2010

    George writes:

    >*Especially as I would expect to see temperature climb faster in response to CO2 when CO2 first started in increase because infrared absorption is non-linear.*

    Quantify How fast? What calculations support your favoured speed? Or is this argumentum-makem-upem-as-you-go-alongum?

    George writes:

    >*AGW is real, but I believe limited and not catastrophic.*

    What warming do you calculate will result? What impacts do you calculate to result from said warming?