David Karoly is giving a free talk on climate change in Sydney on 11 October. Details:

Climate change: Do you want the good news or the bad news?

Professor David Karoly will separate the truth from the spin on climate change, telling it how it is.

There are fascinating good-news stories about real world solutions that have already been implemented, globally, in Australia and in other countries.

But how far do we have to go to avoid dangerous climate change? What is Australia’s fair contribution to a global response on climate change? How bad might climate change get if we decide to continue with business as usual?


Professor David Karoly is Professor of Meteorology and Federation Fellow of the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne. He is active in research in climate change science, particularly on detection and attribution of climate change. He was a lead author of the chapter “Assessment of observed changes and responses in natural and managed systems” in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report “Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” and a member of the core writing team for the IPCC AR4 Synthesis Report.

Monday 11 October at 6.30pm, at Wharf 1, Pier 4/5, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay.

Comments

  1. #1 frank -- Decoding SwiftHack
    September 29, 2010

    Bah! It’s clear that Karoly is just a boring speaker who’s trying to scare us to jitters with a boring speech. Unlike Joanne Nova’s coming talk, which has the word “Sex” in the title, and most likely will feature multiple totally pointless uses of WordArt.

    [insert image of the word "CLIMATEGATE!!!!!" rendered as a single slide of WordArt]

  2. #2 chek
    September 29, 2010

    I have to agree with Frank – who wants talks with “facts” and “data” from actual experts when there are so many self-appointed ones with exciting tales of cooling and conspiracy and no change here and … and … CLIMATEGATE!!!

  3. #3 Byron Smith
    September 29, 2010

    It will be interesting to hear his opinion on whether the good news is bigger or smaller than the bad news. Yes, there are pieces of good news here and there, but my impression is that we’re at about 90% bad news or more.

  4. #4 Jeremy C
    September 29, 2010

    Does anyone know if these talks get put on Youtube for us not in Sydney that night.

    And for you whingers above would you be happy if Karoly inserted “sex” into the title of his talk e.g.

    *Climate change and SEX: Do you want the good news or the bad news?*

    or

    *Climate change: Do you want the good news or the bad news about SEX?*

    or it could be shortened, thus

    *Climate change: Do you want SEX?*

    or shorter still

    *Climate change: SEX?*

    better still

    *SEX?*.

    See we can match those denialists at the their own game anytime.

  5. #5 Bernard J.
    September 29, 2010

    [Jeremey C](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/09/david_karoly_-_talk_on_climate.php#comment-2827582).

    Perhaps something more subliminal:

    Climatsex change: Do you want the good news or the bad news?

    Of course, for reasons of conflicting contexts this approach might backfire…

  6. #6 Charles
    September 29, 2010

    Yes, if Karoly’s talk can be taped and YouTubed, that would be great. I think he’s one of the best lecturers on the subject of climate change and he’s wonderful at giving the smack down to deniers with a smile.

  7. #7 Rick Bradford
    September 30, 2010

    If this is the same David Karoly who falsely claimed that the 2002 Murray Darling drought was caused by global warming, then it will be impossible for him to “separate the truth from the spin on climate change” since he is a major purveyor of spin in his own right.

    It shouldn’t be called a “talk on climate change” but a “struggle meeting.”

  8. #8 Nick
    September 30, 2010

    No,Rick,David Karoly never made that claim. You’ve just made it up.

  9. #9 cynicus
    September 30, 2010

    Rick Bradford appears to be a purveyor of spin in his own right.

    Karoly has said that global warming enhanced the 2002 drought, not that is caused it.

    See what Karoly really wrote about the drought.

  10. #10 Billy Bob Hall
    September 30, 2010

    What about the good news ?

    Well, here is some ! :-)
    The Royal Society band is striking up a ‘different tune’ !

    ‘Analyze’ that Timbo.

  11. #11 Bernard J.
    September 30, 2010

    If [this](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/09/david_karoly_-_talk_on_climate.php#comment-2828639) is the same Rick Bradford who falsely claimed that he didn’t bash his wife, then it will be impossible for him to “separate the truth from the spin on domestic violence” since he is a major purveyor of spin in his own right.

  12. #12 Billy Bob Hall
    September 30, 2010

    Bernhard J… more ad hom
    typical.

  13. #13 Rick Bradford
    September 30, 2010

    New report shows global warming link to Australia’s worst drought

    14 Jan 2003

    SYDNEY: A new scientific report by WWF-Australia and leading meteorologists has shown that human-induced global warming was a key factor in the severity of the 2002 drought.

    … (snip) …

    Professor Karoly said the actual trend in Australian temperature since 1950 was now matching the climate model studies of how temperatures respond to increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

    “This is the first drought in Australia where the impact of human-induced global warming can be clearly observed,” he said.

    Link: http://www.wwf.org.au/news/n36/

    You people should really try to keep up.

  14. #14 Dave R
    September 30, 2010

    Rick Bradford:
    >has shown that human-induced global warming __was a key factor in the severity__ of the 2002 drought.

    Exactly what people have been trying to get through to you, moron.

  15. #15 Rick Bradford
    September 30, 2010

    Bah, semantics. You know quite well what I mean.

    The man has made demonstrably false comments about the effects of global warming in the past, and is now claiming he will “tell it like it is.”

    What a crock.

  16. #16 chek
    September 30, 2010

    [UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said: "While no one weather event can ever be linked with certainty to climate change, the broad patterns of abnormality seen are consistent with climate change models".](http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=Speech&id=22933444) (My emphasis added).

    If even a Brit politico can comprehend the concept expressed by Karoly, why are you having such difficulty Rick? Is the real world interfering with your construction of a strawman argument?

  17. #17 Michael
    September 30, 2010

    I’ll second that Rick is a moron.

    Yes, semantics – the study of meaning. So when you claim that Karoly said AGW caused the drought, and others correct you that he said it was only a factor, you posting a quote confirming you were wrong and then slagging semantics while saying “you know what I mean” is just hilarious.

    Stupid is an aspirational goal for Rick.

  18. #18 Lotharsson
    September 30, 2010

    > Bah, semantics. You know quite well what I mean.

    Yes, you mean to shift the goalposts from where you initially placed them, and imply that someone else is shifting the playing field instead.

  19. #19 Rick Bradford
    September 30, 2010

    Stick to the point, folks — the idea that David Karoly could talk about climate change in a spin-free way is similar to the idea that Brendon Fevola could stay sober, celibate and out of the casinos for the next year — in both cases, we’d like it to happen, but we know it’s not in their nature.

  20. #20 Michael
    September 30, 2010

    Ricks’ claim about David Karoly was demonstrably false.

    Now he claims he is telling it like it is.

    What a crock.

  21. #21 Stu
    September 30, 2010

    You ever met Dr. David Karoly? I did, briefly, and spoke to many students at the University of Oklahoma where he used to be a professor. He was so popular there that there was a picture in the student lounge of him gesturing expansively during a class, with the caption ‘Kung Fu Karoly’ written underneath.

    He is well liked and respected because he tells it like it is. That is, I believe, the opposite of spin.

  22. #22 Lotharsson
    September 30, 2010

    > Stick to the point, folks — the idea that David Karoly could talk about climate change in a spin-free way is similar to the idea that Brendon Fevola could stay sober, celibate and out of the casinos for the next year…

    Yep, switching tactics from goalpost shifting to classic ad hom instead of addressing your unsubstantiated claim – whilst accusing critics of changing the subject is…

    …still not convincing.

  23. #23 Rick Bradford
    September 30, 2010

    …still not convincing.

    What makes you think I’m trying to convince you of anything?

    I’m simply pointing out that Karoly has made unfounded and overly alarmist statements about man-made climate change in the past, and that given his stated position on this issue, the notion that he could ever “separate the truth from the spin on climate change” is absurd and, in the public arena, misleading.

  24. #24 Wow
    September 30, 2010

    > I’m simply pointing out that Karoly has made unfounded and overly alarmist statements

    So have you.

    And so has McIntyre, Ian Plimer, Aunt Bessie and that creepy guy drinking in the park.

    > the notion that he could ever “separate the truth from the spin on climate change” is absurd and, in the public arena, misleading.

    Does not follow.

    Indeed such hyperbole is itself an alarmist and unfounded statement, thereby by your lights, your statements are full of spin and must be ignored.

    Fair enough.

  25. #25 Dave R
    September 30, 2010

    Rick Bradford:
    >I’m simply pointing out that Karoly has made unfounded and overly alarmist statements about man-made climate change in the past

    Liar. You haven’t pointed out any unfounded or overly alarmist statements.

  26. #26 Rick Bradford
    September 30, 2010

    Here ya go.

    “This is the first drought in Australia where the impact of human-induced global warming can be clearly observed,” he [Karoly] said.

  27. #27 frank -- Decoding SwiftHack
    September 30, 2010

    Inactivists such as Rick Bradford seem to read statements on scientific findings in the same way as a naïve textual critic might read a mediæval text: as a mere string of words, ignoring the entire physical reality and scientific calculations that the words are describing in the first place.

    So when Rick Bradford sees a statement on the WWF web site like

    > “This is the first drought in Australia where the impact of human-induced global warming can be clearly observed,” he [Karoly] said.

    he knows that obviously the first thing to do is to ignore all the mathematical equations that led to the statement in the first place — after all mathematical equations usually contain a bunch of weird occult symbols which smack of priestly elitism.

    The next thing Rick Bradford needs to do is to uncover the pristine, original statement which was garbled through transmission to produce the final statement appearing on the WWF web site. Clearly, this original statement is nothing but a statement of faith with no science to back it up — because Rick Bradford is ignoring the science, remember? Since there are only two possible faiths, ‘warmism’ (which is a faith) and ‘skepticism’ (which is a faith that’s not actually a faith), the only thing that remains is to determine whether the original pristine statement by Karoly was

    > (1) This is the first drought in Australia where the impact of human-induced global warming can be clearly observed. God Bless Warmism! Amen.

    or

    > (2) This is the first drought in Australia where the impact of human-induced global warming can be clearly observed. God Bless Skepticism! Amen.

    So now Rick Bradford needs to find out which of the two is the case. Since the text as passed down to us through the WWF contains the words “warming” and “human-induced”, and zero instances of the word “cooling”, “skeptic”, or “open-minded”, one can quickly conclude that the original uncorrupted text is about Warmism, not Skepticism. Ergo, we can now conclude:

    David Karoly is of the Warmist Faith?.

  28. #28 Michael
    September 30, 2010

    Rick said;

    If…David Karoly…falsely claimed that the 2002 Murray Darling drought was caused by global warming, then it will be impossible for him to “separate the truth from the spin on climate change”

    And so far Rick has produced 2 quotes (“key factor in severity” and now “the impact”).

    If Rick continues to falsely claim that David Karoly said that AGW caused the drought then it will be impossible to seperate the truth from the spin on Ricks statments about David Karoly…..actually no it won’t, everything Rick writes is spin.

  29. #29 Rick Bradford
    September 30, 2010

    Actually, it was the peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters which concluded Karoly was being unduly alarmist, and, in fact, wrong:

    “However, to accept the correlation [between temperature and rainfall] as the sole basis for the attribution of cause to human emissions is to implicitly assume that the correlation represents an entirely correct model of the sole driver of maximum air temperature. This is clearly not the case.

    In fact, it was shown that the dry conditions drove the higher temperatures, not the other way around (less cooling from evaporation).

  30. #30 Rick Bradford
    September 30, 2010

    But wait, there’s more.

    Karoly made a public statement in November 2009 claiming that each year there are no scientific papers published that “seriously contradict the conclusions of the IPCC.”

    This is patently false — there are hundreds of such papers, peer-reviewed and some written by IPCC scientists.

    The idea that this man can “tell it like it is” is laughable.

  31. #31 zoot
    September 30, 2010

    Yep; Rick’s an idiot.

  32. #32 Dave R
    September 30, 2010

    >to accept the correlation __as the sole basis__ for the attribution

    Straw man. Refuted in the literature [here](http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2009GL042254.shtml) and discussed on Deltoid [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/04/blue_moon_at_the_the_australia.php).

  33. #33 Rick Bradford
    September 30, 2010

    zoot,

    I appreciate your detailed, well thought-out, rational and relevant reply.

    What are you people so scared of?

  34. #34 sunspot
    September 30, 2010

    Rick said, ‘This is patently false — there are hundreds of such papers, peer-reviewed and some written by IPCC scientists.’

    Yes Rick, that statement is 100% correct !

    The buffoons in here will never accept it though.

    It’s the IPCC idolatry/mind control thingo, you know undivided faith.

  35. #35 frank -- Decoding SwiftHack
    September 30, 2010

    > Actually, it was the peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters which concluded Karoly was being unduly alarmist, and, in fact, wrong:

    > > “However, to accept the correlation [between temperature and rainfall] as the sole basis for the attribution of cause to human emissions is to implicitly assume that the correlation represents an entirely correct model of the sole driver of maximum air temperature. This is clearly not the case.”

    So Rick Bradford cites GRL as the Holy Writ, but only when it happens to agree with him. Of course, the fact that Rick Bradford cites the GRL as a whole, rather than a specific paper in the GRL, shows that he’s too lazy to track down the exact paper so that he can read it himself, and instead just chooses to cut-and-paste from some mass-spamming list which he happens to be on.

    > Karoly made a public statement in November 2009 claiming that each year there are no scientific papers published that “seriously contradict the conclusions of the IPCC.”

    > This is patently false — there are hundreds of such papers, peer-reviewed and some written by IPCC scientists.

    If by “contradict the conclusions of the IPCC” you mean “contradict certain assertions which the IPCC never ever made”, then yeah, you’re right.

  36. #36 frank -- Decoding SwiftHack
    September 30, 2010

    In other news, here’s a public service announcement brought to you by climate skeptic Joanne Nova:

    ____ _______ __ ____ _______ __ ____ _______ __
    / ___|| ____\ \/ / / ___|| ____\ \/ / / ___|| ____\ \/ /
    \___ \| _| \ / \___ \| _| \ / \___ \| _| \ /
    ___) | |___ / \ ___) | |___ / \ ___) | |___ / \
    |____/|_____/_/\_\ |____/|_____/_/\_\ |____/|_____/_/\_\

    ____ _______ __ ____ _______ __ ____ _______ __
    / ___|| ____\ \/ / / ___|| ____\ \/ / / ___|| ____\ \/ /
    \___ \| _| \ / \___ \| _| \ / \___ \| _| \ /
    ___) | |___ / \ ___) | |___ / \ ___) | |___ / \
    |____/|_____/_/\_\ |____/|_____/_/\_\ |____/|_____/_/\_\

    ____ _______ __ ____ _______ __ ____ _______ __
    / ___|| ____\ \/ / / ___|| ____\ \/ / / ___|| ____\ \/ /
    \___ \| _| \ / \___ \| _| \ / \___ \| _| \ /
    ___) | |___ / \ ___) | |___ / \ ___) | |___ / \
    |____/|_____/_/\_\ |____/|_____/_/\_\ |____/|_____/_/\_\

    Therefore, global warming is a hoax. QED.

  37. #37 John
    September 30, 2010

    Hundreds of papers!

    Every year!

    Where are they hiding?

    I can’t find these hundreds of papers.

  38. #38 Dave R
    September 30, 2010

    Frank:
    >So Rick Bradford cites GRL as the Holy Writ, but only when it happens to agree with him.

    Yeah, another one who models himself on [this cartoon](http://fleasnobbery.blogspot.com/2010/09/denounce.html).

  39. #39 GWB's nemesis
    September 30, 2010

    Rick (#28). Hundreds, eh? OK, prove it by providing a list of 200 peer reviewed papers from 2009 that “seriously contradict” the findings of the IPCC.

    After all you wouldn’t say this unless you know its true, right?

  40. #40 Muzz
    September 30, 2010

    Deltoiders.

    Sorry for the off topic (but less OT than if I’d put this in the new ‘Australian’ thread)

    Are you folks familiar with this guy ‘Paul in Sweden’ who posts over at Phil Plait’s blog every time climate change comes up? He’s got quite the high fallutin gallop and quote bomb arsenal. Regularly updated too it seems.

    [Here's the latest](http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/09/29/every-single-republican-senate-hopeful-is-against-climate-change-action/).
    He starts up down at reply #86. Not much there yet, but if form is any quide he’s just getting started.

    Mostly points scoring and quibbles at the moment, trying to kill AGW theory by a thousand cuts or something. He’s said more substantial things before. But few bother to take him on since he’s so voluminous.
    It all seems well quoted/cherry picked and laid out quite particularly. I was wondering if the denier watchers could see he’s getting this stuff pre packaged from somewhere specific or actually is a known denial blogger himself.

  41. #41 adelady
    September 30, 2010

    He’s already got 3 more in. They all look very similar to stuff I saw somewhere (Climate etc maybe?) a day or so ago. So he’s probably on some site or mailing list that others are on.

    Can’t say I recognise anything distinctive in his style. He just seems to be regurgitating stuff from elsewhere. I think your pre-packaged suggestion might have a place in there somewhere.

  42. #42 Wow
    September 30, 2010

    Sorry, Rick’s made several alarmist and unfounded statements. Therefore even he thinks he should be ignored.

  43. #43 Wow
    September 30, 2010

    > What are you people so scared of?

    The limited time allotted to our span wasted responding to a troll.

    Probably Bent again.

  44. #44 Jeff Harvey
    September 30, 2010

    Our resident scientific illiterate writes:

    *Yes Rick, that statement is 100% correct !
    The buffoons in here will never accept it though*.

    This is the kind of garbage forever dredged up by the denialists – that there are hundreds and hundreds of peer-reviewed papers providing empirical evidence that casts doubt on AGW. But the truth is there are very few studies in total that reach these conclusions. Dolts like sunblot partially cite studies but usually leave out the relevant bits. This kind of thing appears to be common in the social sciences but it is not acceptable behavior to cherry pick phrases from different studies or to misquote scientists in the life and Earth sciences.

    The most ironic thing is that complete neophytes – I mean people like sunblot and probably Rick – try and give the impression that they have worked out every angle on the science of climate change. They routinely criticize senior scientists who have spent their lives studying certain fields of research if the opinions of these scientists do not conform with their own largely pre-determined views. Moreover, these ‘armchair experts’ have usually no scientific pedigree and have never published a single paper in the empirical literature.

    The fact is that they should be ignored. Why they pop up with their nonsense on sites like this is beyond me, since very few people respect their ideas.

  45. #45 J Bowers
    September 30, 2010

    Sorry for the OT, Tim, but I couldn’t see a very recent open thread.

    New Statesman has listed McIntyre in their list of Top Ten People of 2010, and his admirers are out in droves defending and lauding him. If you fancy making corrections to some (actually a lot) of the comments, the link is:
    http://www.newstatesman.com/global-issues/2010/09/climate-mcintyre-keeper#reader-comments

    No need to sign up, just make a post like you do here. His admirers are getting really annoyed that people dare to spoil the party by pointing out the bad bits about their guru… ;)

  46. #46 Rick Bradford
    September 30, 2010

    All fun aside, I think the point is made.

    Karoly is well qualified to talk about global warming, but he shouldn’t try to pass himself off as a neutral, any more than we would allow Christopher Monckton to announce he was going to “separate the truth from the spin on climate change, telling it how it is.”

  47. #47 Lotharsson
    September 30, 2010

    > All fun aside, I think the point is made.

    I haven’t seen any fun, and your “point” is an unsupported assertion.

    > …Karoly is well qualified to talk about global warming, but he shouldn’t try to pass himself off as a neutral…

    So if you have the appropriate scientific qualifications and knowledge (and you had a hand in producing one of the most heavily peer-reviewed documents in history which happens to be on the subject), then you **can’t** be trusted to tell the truth.

    “…any more than we would allow Christopher Monckton to announce he was going to “separate the truth from the spin on climate change, telling it how it is.””

    …and if you **don’t** have the qualifications and knowledge, you can’t be trusted to tell the truth either.

    I can live with that. **No-one** can be trusted to tell the truth. So then we have to revert to assessing what the sum total of science tells us.

    Trouble is, the only people who can reliably do that are appropriately qualified scientists who’ve had time to look at it.

    Maybe we should get a bunch of them together to perform an assessment for those of us who are unqualified or unable to do it ourselves? Maybe they should write up a report after extensive review – and do it all again very few years to include the latest science?

    Wonder what it might say…

  48. #48 jakerman
    September 30, 2010

    Good wrap up Loth.

  49. #49 sunspot
    October 1, 2010

    …Ouch !!!!!

    Royal Society issues new climate change guide that admits there are ‘uncertainties’ about the science.

    The UK’s leading scientific body has been forced to rewrite its guide on climate change and admit that it is not known how much warmer the Earth will become.

    The Royal Society has updated its guide after 43 of its members complained that the previous version failed to take into account the opinion of climate change sceptics.

    Now the new guide, called ‘Climate change: a summary of the science’, admits that there are some ‘uncertainties’ regarding the science behind climate change.

    And it says that it impossible to know for sure how the Earth’s climate will change in the future nor what the possible effects may be.

    t states: ‘There is very strong evidence to indicate that climate change has occurred on a wide range of different timescales from decades to many millions of years; human activity is a relatively recent addition to the list of potential causes of climate change.’

    http://www.tinyurl.com.au/w5o

  50. #50 C.C. Fuss
    October 1, 2010

    Oh goody, Rick Bradford’s back.

    “X was a key factor in the severity of Y” =/= “X caused Y.”

    E.g: if Bloggs is in a car crash, I may observe that his not wearing a seat belt was a key factor in the severity of his injuries. No reasonable person would think I am claiming that the absence of a seat belt caused Bloggs’ injuries. Similarly, saying that we can detect the influence of Bloggs’ not wearing a seatbelt in the outcome of the crash does not mean that if only he’d worn a seatbelt he wouldn’t have crashed.

    However, if certain denialists were to apply their reasoning consistently (…yeah, I know) they would be permanently wearing a seat belt, even in the shower, lest the absence of a seat belt cause horrendous damage to their persons.

    Anyway, regarding the topic at hand – that is, how to get SEX!!! into the talk’s title – surely there’s something that can be done along the lines of “Climate change: that’s HOT! It’s good but oh so bad“…

  51. #51 himThere
    October 1, 2010

    You don’t need to just take Spotty’s word for it, you can download the Royal Society’s guide to climate change [here](http://royalsociety.org/climate-change-summary-of-science/).

    Of specific interest are the following passages from the Concluding Remarks (p13):

    “There is strong evidence that changes in greenhouse gas concentrations due to human
    activity are the dominant cause of the global warming that has taken place over the last
    half century. This warming trend is expected to continue as are changes in precipitation
    over the long term in many regions. Further and more rapid increases in sea level are
    likely which will have profound implications for coastal communities and ecosystems.”

    and also:

    “It is not possible to determine exactly how much the Earth will warm or exactly how the
    climate will change in the future, but careful estimates of potential changes and
    associated uncertainties have been made. Scientists continue to work to narrow these
    areas of uncertainty. Uncertainty can work both ways, since the changes and their
    impacts may be either smaller or larger than those projected.”

    I would certainly trust the Royal Society more than Spotty on the issue of the science of climate change.

  52. #52 Bernard J.
    October 1, 2010

    [Foulspot](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/09/david_karoly_-_talk_on_climate.php#comment-2830776).

    If you jump from a five-storey building it is quite predictable that you will suffer injuries. I would admit that there will be some uncertainty about the exact nature of your injuries, but basic physics dictates that there will be damage. My uncertainty about the exact nature of your injuries is based on the gaps in my knowledge of several parameters that would contribute to them, but this uncertainty does not extend to – nor does it invalidate – my understanding of gravity, of force, of the structural properties of the human body, and of other relevant factors.

    Frankly, your confabulation of the uncertainties about the exact final consequences of AGW with the fact that such consequences will occur, is purile, juvenile, specious, mendacious, and generally a load of steaming manure.

    And I will note for about the half a dozenth time that you still persist in camouflaging your links to your propaganda sites.

    What’s your problem – are you too ashamed to be seen straight-up linking to trash, or do you know that no-one would bother following the links if they could see where they lead? For your information, I gave up following your trails to nutcase sites long ago; if you have faith in the quality of the material that you source, you’d not hide their identities, and you’d trust others to follow them based on an honest declaration of what they are.

  53. #53 sunspot
    October 1, 2010
  54. #54 Lotharsson
    October 1, 2010

    > Now the new guide, called ‘Climate change: a summary of the science’, admits that there are some ‘uncertainties’ regarding the science behind climate change. … And it says that it impossible to know for sure how the Earth’s climate will change in the future nor what the possible effects may be.

    Anyone who thinks these points are *news* is ignorant of the science they claim to be “skeptical” of.

    But I think [Bernard said it better](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/09/david_karoly_-_talk_on_climate.php#comment-2830848).

  55. #55 Jeremy C
    October 1, 2010

    Bernard,

    That is a great analogy and I wish Julia Gillard had used it in Parliament the other day when Tony Abbott asked her what $40 a tonne on carbon would cost the average Australian consumer (something she needs to get down pat if the Aust government is going to do anything on climate).

  56. Rick Bradford:

    > Karoly is well qualified to talk about global warming, but he shouldn’t try to pass himself off as a neutral, any more than we would allow Christopher Monckton to announce he was going to “separate the truth from the spin on climate change, telling it how it is.”

    Shorter Rick Bradford: Yes, we’re all biased! but Karoly is biased in the other directiion! Therefore, even though we’re all biased, I’m not biased!

    * * *

    sunspot:

    > …Ouch !!!!!

    > Royal Society issues new climate change guide that admits there are ‘uncertainties’ about the science.

    Dang. I thought ‘skeptics’ have been saying scientific societies are inherently untrustworthy because they suffer from groupthink and are hijacked by a small number of extremists and all that. But now there’s a scientific society which says something that sunspot happens to agree with, and suddenly it’s filled with wholesome correctness?

    I.e., sunspot, much like Rick Bradford, uses the Royal Society’s words as the Holy Writ — but only those words that he happen to agree with.

  57. #57 Jeff Harvey
    October 1, 2010

    Frank astutely writes, “sunspot, much like Rick Bradford, uses the Royal Society’s words as the Holy Writ — but only those words that he happens to agree with”.

    Exactly. This is also what they do with the empirical evidence – pick and choose a few studies here and there that they like, and dismiss a far greater number of studies. Another of their tricks is to cut and paste results from studies that they like whilst ignoring the caveats and cautious conclusions drawn by the scientists who did the research and authored the same studies. Warren was a master of this in his vacuous attempt to defend the argument that more C02 is good for nature. Few scientists do it, but those denialists outside of academia find no such reservations.

    Sunspot is also a master at bitterly denouncing those who cite short term record warm spells whilst doing the same thing all of the time with clippings showing short-term cold spells in various parts of the globe. For some reason he correctly argues that the former are examples of weather-related phenomena, but then his hypocrisy kicks in and he appears to argue that the latter are examples of climate patterns that contradict AGW. Forget the fact that the ratio of extreme warm to cold weather events is on the increase, spotties bias shines through with every one of his meager posts.

    And, as Bernard also points out, he constantly camouflages the shoddy, anti-environmental origins of his links. Clearly he has a good knowledge of these appalling sites. Its too bad he appears to take most of them at their word.

  58. #58 Rick Bradford
    October 1, 2010

    @frank — Decoding SwiftHack,

    My bias is unimportant, since I am not a public speaker on climate change pretending to “tell it how it is.”

    Karoly and Monckton are both public speakers on climate change, from the opposite extremes of the spectrum, and it is their bias which is important that we recognise and acknowledge, so as to avoid misleading people.

    Also, contrary to your allegation above, I have not said anything at all about the Royal Society or its climate guide.

  59. #59 Lotharsson
    October 1, 2010

    > My bias is unimportant, since I am not a public speaker on climate change pretending to “tell it how it is.”

    You’re claiming to be “telling how **they** is” in a public forum. In which case, your ability to accurately discern and accurately communicate “how they is” is relevant.

    > Karoly and Monckton are both public speakers on climate change, from the opposite extremes of the spectrum, and it is their bias which is important that we recognise and acknowledge, so as to avoid misleading people.

    Funny, but as far as I can see, you **still** haven’t demonstrated that Karoly said anything incorrect, let alone that accordingly he’s biased (never mind that that does not follow).

    Your entire case as expressed here thus far seems to rest on your **own** misunderstanding and/or misrepresentation of what Karoly once said.

  60. #60 Dave R
    October 1, 2010

    Shorter Rick Bradford:
    _Those who say the earth is round and those who say it is flat are equally biased opposite extremes._

  61. #61 Cedric Katesby
    October 1, 2010

    Ricks’ claim about David Karoly was demonstrably false.
    Now he claims he is telling it like it is.
    What a crock.

    Rick Bradford is a sad joke.

  62. #63 Rick Bradford
    October 1, 2010

    @Lotharsson,

    I refer you to my previous post that Karoly made a public statement in November 2009 claiming that each year there are no scientific papers published that “seriously contradict the conclusions of the IPCC.”

    I assure you that I am not “misunderstanding” and/or misrepresenting what he said — there is audio available.

    At this link, http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html, there is a list of over 500 peer-reviewed scientific papers, some of which I have read, and which “seriously contradict the conclusions of the IPCC.”

    Anyone is free to argue the merits of these papers, but to state that they don’t exist is patently false.

  63. #64 jakerman
    October 1, 2010

    Rick the merit of the papers is relevant to the question of whether they:

    >*seriously contradict the conclusions of the IPCC*

    BTW your link didn’t work.

  64. #65 Rick Bradford
    October 1, 2010

    ^^
    Sorry, don’t know what’s happening there. It works when I cut and paste, not when I try to link direct from inside the thread.

    The merit of the papers is irrelevant — they clearly contradict* the conclusions of the IPCC.

    *to contradict: : to assert the contrary of, take issue with, to imply the opposite or a denial of

  65. #66 jakerman
    October 2, 2010

    Rick you’ve cherry picked one definition of “contradict” out of many. Can you accept that this is also a definition of contradict:

    >*contradict – prove negative; show to be false
    negate*

    >*nullify, invalidate – show to be invalid*

    >*confute, disprove – prove to be false; “The physicist disproved his colleagues’ theories”*

  66. #67 Rick Bradford
    October 2, 2010

    ^^^
    That looks more like a definition of ‘negate’.

    My definition came from Merriam-Webster. What was your source?

    There is a perfectly good word ‘undermine’, if that’s what he wanted to imply.

    Is it your understanding that Karoly meant to convey the meaning that there are no papers that “undermine” the IPCC’s conclusions, as opposed to “take issue with”?

  67. #68 adelady
    October 2, 2010

    I wasn’t game to click on that “populartechnology” link. Not once in my life have I ever dived in without checking the depth of the water first?

    Is that site what I think it might be?

  68. #69 Lotharsson
    October 2, 2010

    > I refer you to my previous post that Karoly made a public statement in November 2009 claiming that each year there are no scientific papers published that “seriously contradict the conclusions of the IPCC.”

    Yes, indeed, you claimed that he did – and by implication that it meant what you claim it meant – without providing any proof.

    Perhaps you could link to a report or transcript. It’s not that I don’t trust you – it’s that you previously asserted that Karoly said something he clearly didn’t say, and by your own rules that means you’re so biased about Karoly that *you can’t be trusted to tell the truth about him*.

    > …there is a list of over 500 peer-reviewed scientific papers, some of which I have read, and which “seriously contradict the conclusions of the IPCC.”

    I can see where you’re coming from, but you might want to nominate in some detail what you think Karoly meant by “seriously contradict” first, and why you think Karoly meant that over any other interpretation – and that’s before you continue on asserting which specific papers from that list seriously contradict which specific conclusions of the IPCC.

    Your interpretation of “seriously contradict” ought to cover whether or not the paper has to stand up to scrutiny in order to do so, and whether or not the serious contradiction is embodied by the published claims themselves or is weighed against the weight of evidence against the claims in the literature, and to what level of claim detail Karoly was referring to. For example, does “seriously contradict the claims of the IPCC” in fact mean “cause the IPCC to change key conclusions that could drive major political policy decisions”, or does it mean “someone published a paper that suggests that the uncertainty level in one minor area of AGW impact is off by one notch”, or something else entirely?

    From the (lack of) evidence you have provided, and given that you’re biased against Karoly by your own bias-detection logic, there’s no way to tell.

  69. #70 Rick Bradford
    October 2, 2010

    I’m not sure I can reconcile your statements “It’s not that I don’t trust you” with “you can’t be trusted to tell the truth”, but never mind.

    The quote comes from “Four Corners” of November 9, 2009 whose transcript can be found [here](http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2009/s2737676.htm). You’ll find it close to the end.

    Here’s the full quote, though it doesn’t add much to what I have already quoted:

    DAVID KAROLY: Typically there would be one to 2,000 scientific papers published every year in the fields of climate change science contributing to the understanding of climate change science and none of those seriously contradict the conclusions of the IPCC.

    The question then is, as I posed to ‘jakerman’, is he using the word ‘contradict’ to mean ‘take issue with’ (as I believe him to be doing), or is he using it to mean ‘undermine’?

  70. #71 Marco
    October 2, 2010

    Rick, poptarts list is a complete joke. It even includes a paper that argues that climate sensitivity may be WAAAAAAAY higher than 3 degrees Celsius per doubling. As well as a load of editorials and commentaries (yeah, peer reviewed, NOT), several articles on the hockeystick (none of which are really important to AGW, as also admitted by poptart himself), etc. etc.

    And if you remove Energy & Environment, a largely unreliable journal, you remove most of the actual *research* articles that supposedly contradict the IPCC.

  71. #72 adelady
    October 2, 2010

    Contradict or undermine?

    When Karoly is saying something like “seriously contradict” he means exactly that. If the paper came to a robust conclusion that would contradict or materially change the wording of a conclusion in the IPCC – that would be a serious contradiction. If a conclusion differed in some way from published papers or reports that were used within the IPCC papers, then it might justify including in a list of references, or a couple of sentences about some data might be worded a bit differently – that’s not a serious contradiction.

    That’s science.

  72. #73 jakerman
    October 2, 2010

    >*That looks more like a definition of ‘negate’.*

    That observation is not surprising as ‘negate’ a [synonym for](http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=contradict) one of the definitions of contradict. Thus your observation does not contradict this definition.

    >*My definition came from Merriam-Webster. What was your source?*

    My source is [Princeton wordnet](http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&safe=off&defl=en&q=define:contradict&sa=X&ei=teamTOCZD4qMvQOCrNH2DA&ved=0CBQQkAE).

  73. #75 Chris O'Neill
    October 2, 2010

    Rick Bradford:

    there is a list of over 500 peer-reviewed scientific papers .. which “seriously contradict the conclusions of the IPCC.”

    Reading the first couple of entries on that list makes it obvious that “peer-reviewed” means reviewed by any old Joe non-climate-scientist Blow. In future, if you don’t want your credibility to instantly go down the toilet, try to find a list that doesn’t start with Energy and Environment.

  74. #76 Lotharsson
    October 2, 2010

    Rick, thanks for the link to the 4 Corners transcript.

    I think that taking this – which is the **entire** quote from Karoly in this program on this particular issue (i.e. with no other context from Karoly):

    > DAVID KAROLY: Typically there would be one to 2,000 scientific papers published every year in the fields of climate change science contributing to the understanding of climate change science and none of those seriously contradict the conclusions of the IPCC.

    …to the conclusions you draw from it – that Karoly is lying or egregiously misinformed and therefore cannot be trusted – is drawing a very long bow indeed.

    For one thing I note that Karoly said “typically…every year”, not merely “every year”. Those seem to be two distinctly different statements – excising context and modifiers often changes the meaning! (This also happens if you strip my earlier statements down to merely “It’s not that I don’t trust you” and “you can’t be trusted to tell the truth”.)

    For a second thing, keep reading…

    > The question then is, as I posed to ‘jakerman’, is he using the word ‘contradict’ to mean ‘take issue with’ (as I believe him to be doing), or is he using it to mean ‘undermine’?

    I tend to think he means something along the lines of “provides strong enough reason to change a significant conclusion by outweighing existing evidence that led to that conclusion” – if only because he’s far more interested in talking about whether or not or how often the significant conclusions need to change (seeing they are the ones that should be driving policy decisions), not whether or not one or more papers are published in any given year that don’t entirely concord with the existing conclusions (because they should not be directly driving policy decisions to the exclusion of conclusions based on total weight of evidence).

    And if that is roughly correct, then one also needs a decent scientific understanding of the field and the *other evidence* that drove those conclusions before one can look at a paper or two on the (infamously Poptech/Poptart-touted) list and accurately pronounce that they *seriously contradict* the IPCC conclusions.

    Perhaps you could ask Karoly to clarify what he meant?

  75. #77 Chris O'Neill
    October 2, 2010

    if you don’t want your credibility to instantly go down the toilet

    or the credibility of your list to instantly go down the toilet, if you prefer.

  76. #78 adelady
    October 2, 2010

    So I was right. It was *that* list.

  77. #79 Lotharsson
    October 2, 2010

    > It was that list.

    Yep.

    Instant credibility flush.

  78. #80 Rick Bradford
    October 3, 2010

    Karoly says there are no papers which “seriously contradict” the IPCC’s conclusions, and so he summarily dismisses over 500 (actually closer to 800) recent papers as being without merit, to the extent that they contradict the IPCC’s conclusions.

    These are papers which have been through the same peer-review process as those which appear in IPCC reports (well, the non-Greenpeace and WWF bits, anyway).

    This is the Martha Stewart Living approach to climate science — our papers are all solid gold and gospel, yours are all sub-standard and poor value.

    By doing so, he also dismisses the work of hundreds of capable and dedicated scientists including John Christy, Richard Lindzen, Benjamin Pearson, Roy Clark, Fred Singer, Patrick Michaels, Roger Pielke (*2), Sherwood Idso, Craig Loehle.

    I don’t doubt that a guy with that kind of attitude towards his peers will indeed “separate the truth from the spin on climate change” and then deliver the spin.

  79. #81 Lotharsson
    October 3, 2010

    > These are papers which have been through the same peer-review process as those which appear in IPCC reports…

    You seem to be under the illusion that any paper that survives (even the distinctly unskeptical Environment & Energy reviewing standards) must therefore be correct. Cognitive dissonance will set in quickly when you consider the well-documented cases of pre-publication peer-review – even at journals with much higher standards than E&E – that have failed to prevent papers subsequently determined to be unfounded from going to press.

    Pre-publication peer-review is an imperfect filter, not a hallmark of excellence. The value of a paper is not determined by whether or not it gets into a peer-reviewed journal (especially since some of those journals have deliberately(?) low standards); it is in the impact it has on the field when considered ALONG WITH all of the other evidence that addresses the questions it addresses.

    (And what do you imagine distinguishes the papers that “appear in the IPCC reports” from those that don’t?)

    > …so he summarily dismisses…

    Stating that a paper fails to “seriously contradict” current conclusions is (normally in the context of careful and highly visible science reviews such as the IPCC reports) the RESULT of due consideration, not a refusal to consider.

    Do you have proof of “summary dismissal” – which most people take to mean dismissal without appropriate consideration, usually very little to none at all – or are you unfairly extrapolating beyond what was said – *again*?

    And isn’t this assumption – which appears entirely unsupported thus far – the basis of your charge of “bias”, which is therefore also unsupported?

  80. #82 Lotharsson
    October 3, 2010

    BTW,

    > …to the extent that they contradict the IPCC’s conclusions.

    It would help if you responded to [the request to](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/09/david_karoly_-_talk_on_climate.php#comment-2832729):

    > …[assert] which specific papers from that list seriously contradict which specific conclusions of the IPCC.

    And once you’ve done that, please list ALL the other evidence that the IPCC considered when coming to the specific conclusions that you name, show that the paper you cite as contradictory was not considered, and then demonstrate why you believe the IPCC should change its conclusions when the expanded set of evidence is considered. Your answer should demonstrate a fairly deep understanding of the scientific issues involved.

    [I don't like the chances of a substantive response, but you never know...]

  81. #83 ChrisC
    October 3, 2010

    Oh. My. Dog.

    Where to begin…

    Karoly is well qualified to talk about global warming, but he shouldn’t try to pass himself off as a neutral…

    How on Earth does the first part of the sentence snippet conflate with the second? Karoly is a highly respected dynamic meteorologist who has been working on questions in climate for decades. One could, if one were reasonable, come to the conclusion that perhaps Karoly’s falling on one side of the fence with regard to AGW may in fact be based on his career? Maybe his knowledge of science? Just maybe?

    Perhaps Karoly is not “neutral”, because there is clear, definite and, most importantly, bucket loads of evidence that suggests that “neutrality” is not the right answer?

    Karoly says there are no papers which “seriously contradict” the IPCC’s conclusions, and so he summarily dismisses over 500 (actually closer to 800) recent papers as being without merit, to the extent that they contradict the IPCC’s conclusions.

    Are you deaf? As numerous posters above have pointed out, your list of 500 (well, actually 450) papers, waved around like some kind of gotcha, is worthless. Just for starters, it includes, of all things:

    • Our old friends Jaworowski; Chilingar & Khilyuk; McLean, de Freitas & Carter; Essex, McKitrick & Andresen; and (best of all) Miskolczi;
    • 82 papers from Energy and the Environment (which is bad enough), of which many were published not as peer reviewed articles, but as “letters”, “viewpoints”, “reports”;
    • Numerous papers have not been accepted as publications, merely submitted. Submitted != published;
    • Papers identified as supporting some kind of counter consensus, which do nothing of the sort. For example, one of the authors (Harold Brooks) on the list writes on Real Climate:
    • e: The 450 papers list
      I just noticed I’m the lead author on one of the papers on the list. I have absolutely no idea how that paper could be construed as “skeptical of man-made global warming.” I have no idea how it could be construed as saying anything at all about man-made global warming.

    • Papers that aren’t peer reviewed (letters, essays ect…);

    If Karoly has dismissed this list and/or the papers represented in it, there’s a pretty good reason. In continuing to trot it out, especially after others have pointed out gross flaws, weakens your argument and makes you look like an idiot.

    This is the Martha Stewart Living approach to climate science — our papers are all solid gold and gospel, yours are all sub-standard and poor value.

    Ahem…. have you _read_ Chilingar & Khilyuk?

    Aside that, I don’t disagree with you completely on this point. There are undoubtably some, perhaps many, papers on your list that are good papers. But this is an entirely different question to whether or not they contradict (your definition) the IPCC at all.

    There seems to be this view in parts of the skeptisphere that papers set out to, say, prove or disprove global warming. Climate is a mature field, built on many intersecting strands of knowledge and the vast majority of papers or there add to this knowledge base incrementally. They set out to narrow down some little sub-problem within a problem.

    It is these boring, technical papers that make or break a field. This is where the evidence lies, in the thousands upon thousands of papers detailing observations of this, detailed theory of that. What your list does NOT do is tell a cohesive story. It’s a jamble of crap and decent, relevant and non-relevant, the down right breathtakingly stupid (see: Climate as a Result of the Earth Heat Reflection) and some decent results. The more “skeptical” on the list run the gamut from “It’s not warming” through “If it is it’s the sun…or magnetic fields or whatever” all the way to “CO2 is plant food!”.

    The “Martha Stewart” approach may not work, but there is no self-consistent support for Lindzen and co’s pet theories. This is why Karoly is right in rejecting them and until such time as the evidence begins to stack up in the skeptics favour, is right not to waste time pandering to them.

    /rant.

  82. #84 Jeff Harvey
    October 3, 2010

    ChrisC,

    Brilliant post. You nailed it. People like Ricj regard any old rag as a ‘peer-reviewed journal’ is the material fits in with their pre-determined views. But the scientific community as a whole are able to separate the ‘wheat from the chaff’ even if the denialati and their followers do not. For one thing, the credibility of a journal is strongly linked (1) to its presence or absence on the Web of Science (Wos), and (2) its impact factor based on the number of citations it receives. E & E does not appear on the Wos; given some of the tiny journals that do appear on the Wos with puny impact factors, this should provide some evidence as to the standing of E & E.

    As for Rick’s list of dedicated scientists, I would like to ask him how many of these are on the corporate payroll, either directly or through their links with corporaye-funded right wing think tanks with an axe to grind. Moreover, how many of the contrarian luminaries have strong publication records in any discipline over the past 10 years? Bringing these criteria into the equation weakens Rick’s point by a considerable amount. The facts are these: (1) Very few studies countering the hypothesis of AGW are published in strong journals with respectable impact factors; (2) there are very few statured scientists – by this I mean scientists with excellent publication records in strong journals – who are contrarians. Speaking from the ‘inside’, I can say that I have met very, very few scientists at conferences and workshops who disagree with the broad consensus on AGW.

  83. #85 Rick Bradford
    October 4, 2010

    Apologies in advance for the long post.

    I’m not going to argue the science hundreds of papers, plus the rebuttals, and the rebuttals of the rebuttals — we’ll end up arguing about Yamal, or cross-sectional heteroscedasticity, and my schedule doesn’t allow for that. That’s a job for climate experts of all stripes and opinions to be doing, but they don’t, by and large.

    I wish Karoly had told ‘Four Corners’ that “Typically there would be one to 2,000 scientific papers published every year in the fields of climate change science contributing to the understanding of climate change science, and my analysis of those papers leads me to conclude that the evidence is strongly in favour of a dangerous man-made influence on the climate.”

    But he doesn’t. He says “none of those seriously contradict the conclusions of the IPCC”, with an air of certainty not usually given to mere mortals. The Greeks have a word for this – ‘hubris’. The hubris is visible again when Karoly says he will “tell it like it is”, not “give my current opinion on the state of climate science.” It’s the kind of attitude you would expect from the likes of Monckton , not a university professor.

    My feelings on the matter are neatly summed up by these remarks on scientific certainty, which most of you will probably recognise.

    “Science is a very human form of knowledge; we are always at the brink of the known, we always feel forward, for what is to be hoped. Every judgement in science stands on the edge of error, and is personal. All information is uncertain, we have to treat it with humility.

    “There is no absolute knowledge, and those who claim it, whether scientists or dogmatists, open the door to tragedy. There are two parts to the human dilemma — one is that the belief that the end justifies the means; the other is the betrayal of the human spirit, the assertion of dogma that closes the mind.

    “Science is a tribute to what we can know, although we are fallible. In the end, the words were said by Oliver Cromwell: “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.”

  84. #86 Lotharsson
    October 4, 2010

    > That’s a job for climate experts of all stripes and opinions to be doing, but they don’t, by and large.

    Really? That’s seems to be an idiosyncratic view of (say) what goes on in the literature and in the IPCC review process itself.

    > He says “none of those seriously contradict the conclusions of the IPCC”, with an air of certainty not usually given to mere mortals.

    Well, except for most of the “skeptics” who are quite certain that AGW isn’t going to be a problem and that the scientists are biased and they’re just saying it for the money and poptart’s list of papers comprehensively refutes AGW and so on and so on…

    > The Greeks have a word for this – ‘hubris’.

    Did they have a word for “borne from unusually strong consensus amongst a large fraction of those with the relevant high levels of expertise”? Because if they did, they might suggest that one who dismisses the possibility that such a word applies to Karoly without their own sufficient deep knowledge of the field (and how he came to his opinion) would be demonstrating hubris.

  85. #87 Jeff Harvey
    October 4, 2010

    Rick,

    Science works on the basis of probabilities. I am a senior scientist and in none of the studies I publish in my field of research (population and evolutionary ecology) would I ever describe my results as being ‘absolute proof’. There are always likely to be outliers, and in any endeavor we must draw our conclusions on likelihoods.

    Now note the language posited by both sides of the warming debate. Please tell me on which side there is more caution and bases its arguments on probablilities. I think that the answer should be obvious. On one side we have generally cautious scientists arguing that there is convincing empircal evidence that humands are forcing climate in ways that could lead to the passing of tipping points with significant repercussions down the road; on the other side are a much smaller number of so-called sceptics who mostly argue that there is nothing whatsoever to be concerned about. Thus you see the cautious researcher pitted against the confident sceptic. This explains why so much public opinion has swayed to the contrarian side. That side expresses little doubt; the other, consisting of the vast majority of the scientific community, expresses cautious confidence in the conclusions reached by the IPCC. And it must be pointed out that the IPCC is hardly extrme in its views and conclusions. It has been greatly diluted because of the huge number of people who contibutred to it.

    Moreover, if public policy were to use the kind of strategy that you have described, then there would never be the need for regulations, because of the simple fact that there would never be absolute proof. I suspect that you would believe that environmental regulations are a total waste of time given that our understanding of of various anthopogenic threats and their consequences for biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and ultimately human civilization are only vague. Your attempt to contribute intellectually to this debate was seriously hampered when you listed several names yowhom you described as being ‘respected scientists’. However, several of those are IMHO veritable laughingstocks gibecause of their close links with polluting industries and right wing think tanks, and because they have not published anything in many years or in relevant fields. This suggests to me that you have gained a lot of your ideas about the science of global change from the internet and not from the primary data in peer-reviewed journals. Consequently, I do not expect this response to youre pedantics to get very far. But it is important to recognize that science is very rarely (if ever) based on absolute proof of a process and/or complete consensus, but public policy must be based on it.

    What this discussion comes down to is the relevance of the precautionary principle. My view is that if there is ‘only’ a 20% chance that the current warming will seriously affect future generations, then we ought to do something about it while we still can. I agree with you that there are unbcertainties, but as i said above there always are in researching complex systems. However, in n o way should this blind ourselves to the growing body of empirical evidence.

  86. #88 Chris O'Neill
    October 4, 2010

    Rick Bradford:

    I’m not going to argue the science hundreds of papers, plus the rebuttals, and the rebuttals of the rebuttals — we’ll end up arguing about Yamal,

    You have completely missed the point and it’s pretty obvious that you have no interest in getting the point which is that those “peer-reviewed articles” your list starts with are not genuine peer-reviewed articles and you don’t need to be a scientist to recognize that fact. “Scientific” papers in Energy and Environment are not reviewed by peer scientists in the field of the paper, e.g. climate science papers are not reviewed by climate scientists. I won’t bother asking why you can’t understand this because I know you don’t want to.

  87. #89 jakerman
    October 4, 2010

    Rick writes:

    >*I’m not going to argue the science hundreds of papers*

    You only need to find one Rick.

    Surely if your list is valid you can find at least one paper that overturns the major findings of the IPCC?

  88. #90 Stu N
    October 4, 2010

    Jakerman,

    I’d also add the caveat that the paper doesn’t thoroughly abuse/violate the laws of physics too ;-)

  89. #91 Rick Bradford
    October 4, 2010

    @jakerman,

    That is my point – whether a paper ‘overturns’ the major findings of the IPCC is a matter of opinion.

    I can easily cite the conclusion of a paper which says: “This [analysis] confirms prior ‘null hypothesis’ work that it is impossible for a 100ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration to cause any climate change.”

    You (or Karoly), in turn, may then choose to dismiss that paper as having been reviewed by Joe Blow and published in a crappy journal, but that again is your opinion. Beyond that we’re back in Martha Stewart Living territory again. And so on to the next paper……

    @Chris O’Neill: Don’t presume to know my motives.

  90. #92 jakerman
    October 4, 2010

    >*I can easily cite the conclusion of a paper which says: “This [analysis] confirms prior ‘null hypothesis’ work that it is impossible for a 100ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration to cause any climate change.”*

    And you’d put you credibility on the line, and we’d take it from there. Or you could run away from presenting evidence knowing it won’t stand up to scrutiny, and instead make excuses for why so called skeptics can’t crack it with the science.

  91. #93 jakerman
    October 4, 2010

    BTW Rick just shot himself in the foot he just cited as his evidence of

    After announcing *”These are papers which have been through the same peer-review process as those which appear in IPCC reports”*

    Rick pull the pin and throws himself on the grenade, by teeing off citing the abstract from [a 'paper'](http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/pacific_decadal.html) from SPPI.

  92. #94 zoot
    October 4, 2010

    Maybe Rick can supply us with the name of a climate scientist of Karoly’s standing and experience, but without Karoly’s bias? Who would you trust to give a spin free opinion Rick?

    BTW is Rick a sock puppet? His style is very familiar.

  93. #95 Rick Bradford
    October 4, 2010

    ^^
    You mean as compared with the section of the 2007 IPCC report citing a dissertation written by a geography student at the University of Berne that quoted interviews with mountain guides in the Alps?

  94. #96 jakerman
    October 4, 2010

    Rick you mean the IPCC report that you keep failing overturn any major conclusions despite 2000 odd scientific papers last year?

  95. #97 Jeff Harvey
    October 4, 2010

    *You (or Karoly), in turn, may then choose to dismiss that paper as having been reviewed by Joe Blow and published in a crappy journal, but that again is your opinion*

    Wrong. Completely and utterly wrong. It is most certainly NOT just an opinion. Scientists pride themselves on publishing their research in the most prestigious journals. Typically, these have much more vigorous peer-review procedures than journals with no (or in the case of E & E, non-existant) impact factors (incidentally, E & E is a Social Sciences journal). Moreover, journals with low impact factors are much more likely to accept articles – even those that have been heavily criticized by the reviewers – than journals with high impact factors.

    Nature rejects 90-95 per cent of articles that it receives. Ditto Science, PNAS, and other journals at the upper end of the spectrum. Journals at the lower end accept a much higher proportion of the stuff that they receive. I have been a referee for 55 journals (as well as a former Editor at Nature) during my scientific career and I can tell you that my final decision with respect to a paper I review is strongly based on the status of the journal in question.

    Only someone who is completely clueless with respect to scientific protocol could write such a statment as Rick did above.

  96. #98 Rick Bradford
    October 4, 2010

    ^^
    Sorry, the comment at @93 was intended as a reply to @91.

    @zoot: I would cite John Christy as a person I would trust. Judith Curry as well, since elements of both persuasions abuse her.

    Both are excommunicated heretics now, I understand, but I have respect for their attempts to avoid pointless tribalism.

    If you mean by ‘sock puppet’, a former poster who has surfaced under a new name, the answer is ‘no’. Perhaps you think we all look alike.

  97. #99 Bernard J.
    October 4, 2010

    One paper, Rick Bradford – just one paper…

  98. #100 adelady
    October 4, 2010

    You’d ‘trust’ Christy or Curry.

    What’s trust got to do with it? Good science backed up by citations is all that’s required.

    Tribalism?!?!!

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