Roy Spencer fitting an elephant

Barry Bickmore’s three part review of Roy Spencer’s Great Global Warming Blunder is well worth a read. In Part 1 he examines Spencer’s model that supposedly shows that climate sensitivity is low. In Part 2 he looks at Spencer’s claim that climate scientists ignore natural sourcs of climate variation. And Part 3 takes apaprt Spencer’s claim that his climate model, which has four fitted parameters, shows that the PDO and not an increase in greenhouse gasses is the major cause of climate change since 1900.

I’m reminded of the quote from John von Neumann:

With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.

Update: Arthur Smith analyzes Spencer’s model.

Update 2: Arthur Smith does some more analysis. Spencer’s model is out by six trillion degrees if you hindcast it to 993 AD.

Comments

  1. #1 jakerman
    March 3, 2011

    >*I find it difficult to believe that I am the first researcher to figure out what I describe in this book. Either I am smarter than the rest of the world’s climate scientists–which seems unlikely–or there are other scientists who also have evidence that global warming could be mostly natural, but have been hiding it. That is a serious charge, I know, but it is a conclusion that is difficult for me to avoid.*

    Or the third option Roy, your findings don’t mean what you think they mean. I know that last ones a long shot Roy, but I’ll just throw that out as remote possibility.

  2. #2 Mike
    March 3, 2011

    @1. That’s a magnificent quote from Roy Spencer.

    To paraphrase Roy: “Either I’m much smarter than anyone else, or much more honest than anyone else”.

    Humble and modest chap, isn’t he?

  3. #3 jakerman
    March 3, 2011

    Cross post from She Wonk

    >*Barry Bickmore is a geochemistry professor at Brigham Young University, an active Mormon, and an active Republican. From 2008-2010 he was a County Delegate for the Republican Party.*

    Mmm. Interesting, For some who writes so well on climate science I wonder how long Barry will stay an active Republican. One might assume Barry is trying to change them from the inside. And if so, is he losing that battle?

  4. #4 jakerman
    March 3, 2011

    I read somewhere that we need to treasure conservatives who are pro science on AGW. I think Barry deserves lots of treasuring.

    And I wonder how many Barry scores out of five on [this scale](http://climatecrocks.com/2011/02/03/funniest-denier-posting-ever/)?

  5. #5 Dan Olner
    March 3, 2011

    Jakerman: interesting question. I keep on wondering why there aren’t more republicans getting together to fight the anti-science crusade in the GOP, since they must know it’s long-term political suicide. (Or is it?)

  6. #6 Wow
    March 3, 2011

    > I keep on wondering why there aren’t more republicans getting together to fight the anti-science crusade in the GOP, since they must know it’s long-term political suicide. (Or is it?)

    Remember, the GOP is staffed with people who are financiers, bankers and friends of the same.

    Then end of the fiscal year is “long term” to them.

    Rape and pillage now, find another host before you lose it all.

    There’s another organism that acts the same way.

    They are a virus. A cancer. An infestation of this planet.

  7. #7 jakerman
    March 3, 2011

    [Barry writes](http://bbickmore.wordpress.com/2011/02/28/roy-spencers-great-blunder-part-2/)

    >*This really is the crux of the whole matter. If we’re going to go along with Roy Spencer, we have to reject a basic model of climate change that explains the data over widely divergent timescales, and replace it with… a big, fat nothing. It’s not an argument about whether “Mother Nature” or mankind controls the climate, but over how the climate responds to changes in things like solar radiation and greenhouse gases, no matter what is governing them during a particular time period. Spencer’s inept attack on the field of paleoclimatology is just his way of trying to sweep inconvenient data under the rug, all the while projecting his own rejection of established natural drivers of climate change onto the rest of the climate science community.*

  8. #8 Jeremy C
    March 3, 2011

    Jakerman,

    I remember listening to a podcast of a panel of scientists including Naomi Oreskes talking about AGW and attitudes to it and when talking about conservative voters one of the other scientists on the panel identified himself as a republican and opinioned that thirty years ago the majority of scientist and engineers were republican but since then the republican party had sheered away and into astrology (my words). This guy also mentioned that he briefed the Nixon whitehouse on issues of science and that there hadn’t been this sort of problem with that administration but that since then things had changed. I can’t remember who it was, perhaps it was Barry.

    BTW. I think that people’s involvement in these distorting the science is no longer primarily to do with where they work i.e. fossil fuels, finance etc. I would say its primarily to do with ideology, verging on fanaticsm, i.e. Heartland might receive funding from industry interests but they have a separate existence from their funders and if you consider examples of people like Watts and Codling they are driven by ideology. If naysayers were driven by money once that money disappears they would disappear but as Oreskes points out in her book their ideology makes them look for new enemies. The reason I’m saying this blaming industry interests draws attention away from the people who don’t need the industry interests and so are more dangerous.

  9. #9 SC (Salty Current)
    March 3, 2011

    I read somewhere that we need to treasure conservatives who are pro science on AGW.

    I can’t agree with this. Openly accepting and defending the reality of AGW is the least we can expect from intelligent, informed people (not to mention scientists in relevant fields). To me, this sounds like, “Oh, sure, you’re a massive douche in practically every other (interconnected) area of importance, but your recognition of the science in this single one is cause for celebration.” And clearly his views here have a scientific basis, so it shouldn’t matter if he’s “treasured” for them or not. Maybe this will be an opening to his seeing the baselessness and immorality of his other beliefs; maybe not. I hope it will, but I’ll save my appreciation for those who deserve it.

  10. #10 Barry Bickmore
    March 3, 2011

    Dear SC @9,

    I’m sure that, if you got to know me, you would conclude that I’m not such a “massive douche”. At most, I’m only a moderately sized douche, and the good kind that tingles.

    BB

  11. #11 SC (Salty Current)
    March 3, 2011

    I’m sure that, if you got to know me, you would conclude that I’m not such a “massive douche”. At most, I’m only a moderately sized douche, and the good kind that tingles.

    I rather doubt, Dr. Bickmore, that you’re a full supporter of human (including sexual, reproductive, and labor) rights, equality, and the use of reason and evidence to evaluate truth claims in your life as a Mormon and Republican. You’re welcome to prove me wrong.

  12. #12 pough
    March 3, 2011

    BB@10: LOL!

    BTW, that was a great series of posts on Spencer. I was almost ready to take Spencer seriously until he mentioned the nutty “no SUVs in the MWP” canard on his website a while back in a non-ironic fashion. That gave me pause. Your commentary has sealed the deal for me.

  13. #13 Stu N
    March 3, 2011

    SC,

    >To me, this sounds like, “Oh, sure, you’re a massive douche in practically every other (interconnected) area of importance, but your recognition of the science in this single one is cause for celebration.”

    Wait, are you saying that you think every conservative is a massive douche? Blanket statement much??

    And if you’re not saying this, what are you saying?

  14. #14 Wow
    March 3, 2011

    I think SC was pointing out that you can agree with someone on an issue EVEN WHEN THEY’RE A DOUCHE.

    However, just because they’re a douche you agree with on one thing, doesn’t mean you have to treat them any different from someone who ISN’T a douchebag you disagree with except on one thing.

    SC doesn’t know Barry is a douche, but he’s heading off an option where, say, Rumsfeld agrees that (for example) gays should be allowed in the military.

    If he were to do that, would we forget the deaths he’s caused by his actions and sing his praises?

    SC is saying “no” and I’d agree. I think most people would.

    I don’t think he was intending this as a poke at Barry except that Republicans are, in far too many cases, completely and fatally wrong on lots of things and that it wasn’t good to blanket accept any more than blanket diss (which, it looks, is what everyone is getting on SC for doing: Republican? == Douche).

  15. #15 SC (Salty Current)
    March 3, 2011

    Wait, are you saying that you think every conservative is a massive douche? Blanket statement much??

    And if you’re not saying this, what are you saying?

    The LDS church and the Republican party are responsible for destroying lives and promoting authoritarianism around the world. They promote the acceptance of baseless religious and other claptrap and respect for and deference to unfounded beliefs, which creates a difficult environment for science. The Republican party bears immense responsibility for the building ecological catastrophe. Those who can’t claim ignorance and actively work on behalf of these organizations at present are in fact massive douches.

  16. #16 Stu N
    March 3, 2011

    Well thanks for replying SC. I’m not American so I don’t have much contact with republicans or mormons.

    BTW, if you were an American favouring conservative politics but you did not want to associate with the GOP, what would you do?

  17. #17 Stu N
    March 3, 2011

    PS Wow, SC is a lady. I made the same mistake!

  18. #18 SC (Salty Current)
    March 3, 2011

    SC doesn’t know Barry is a douche, but he’s heading off an option where, say, Rumsfeld agrees that (for example) gays should be allowed in the military.

    If he were to do that, would we forget the deaths he’s caused by his actions and sing his praises?

    SC is saying “no” and I’d agree. I think most people would.

    (I’m a she.) Yes, this is the generic point I’m making. It’s also somewhat different here in that we’re talking about a scientific question. Scientists (fortunately there are few) ignoring or dismissing the overwhelming evidence for AGW and the urgency of the situation amounts to a total betrayal of scientific work, so all that’s really happened is that someone hasn’t done that. I should hope not.

    As you said, Bickford’s or anyone’s personal douchiness isn’t really necessary to my point. Judging by his first response here, I’d probably like him on a personal level. But I stand by my comment @ #15.

  19. #19 Barry Bickmore
    March 3, 2011

    It could be that I’m just a douche (one person said “douchebag,” but I prefer the former,) but my impression is that SC and co. don’t really understand how conservatives think. And by “conservatives” I don’t mean the idiots in the Tea Party. Face it, you guys have your idiots, too.

    If you have any inclination to understand how conservatives think about some of the questions SC brought up, I suggest you look into the work of Jon Haidt, who is a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, and a self-avowed liberal. Here’s his home page.

    http://people.virginia.edu/~jdh6n/

    His talk at one of the TED conferences was a good, short intro to his thinking.

    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/jonathan_haidt_on_the_moral_mind.html

    BB

  20. #20 SC (Salty Current)
    March 3, 2011

    Well thanks for replying SC. I’m not American so I don’t have much contact with republicans or mormons.

    One example re Mormons is their fundraising and activism surrounding Proposition 8 in California. (Even if it weren’t harmful, an honest scientist should be able to see the evidentiary problems with the religion. It’s…really quite silly.)

    BTW, if you were an American favouring conservative politics but you did not want to associate with the GOP, what would you do?

    Be an Independent or start a new party, I guess. Of course conservative ideas and policies are generally douchy, so you’re not escaping completely.
    :)

  21. #21 SC (Salty Current)
    March 3, 2011

    my impression is that SC and co. don’t really understand how conservatives think.

    I speak only for myself. I’m a social scientist who’s spent many years studying these movements, their beliefs, and their activities over more than a century. I don’t need to watch a TED talk to call activists in certain organizations douches.

    And I’m not a liberal. I’m an anarchist.

  22. #22 anonymoose
    March 3, 2011

    I’m aware how crucial it is that Salty Current is afforded the opportunity to provide us with her weighty thoughts in her own self important, pompous fashion, but could I briefly ask what any of this has to do with the topic in hand?

  23. #23 SC (Salty Current)
    March 3, 2011

    I’m aware how crucial it is that Salty Current is afforded the opportunity to provide us with her weighty thoughts in her own self important, pompous fashion, but could I briefly ask what any of this has to do with the topic in hand?

    WTF? I was responding to comments #3-6 which were about this topic. It was the topic at hand, and it’s a significant one regardless of whether or not it’s discussed here further. But thanks for your substantive contribution.

  24. #24 Flying Binghi
    March 3, 2011

    .

    Some interesting comments over at WUWT, The world’s most viewed climate website

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/04/pielke-sr-on-the-gang-of-18-letter-to-congress/

    .

    .

    .

  25. #25 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmBKqeg3fFG6pBw8UFAgR_tkJq_OOYFVK0
    March 3, 2011

    Ow! It burns.

    The PDO is climate variability. “The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) Index is defined as the leading principal component of North Pacific monthly sea surface temperature variability (poleward of 20N for the 1900-93 period)” — http://jisao.washington.edu/pdo/

    Using the PDO to predict climate variability is like predicting the S&P500 using the first 100 of the S&P 500. The strength of the correlation is because they are measuring the same thing. You could use the S&P500=f(S&P100) to predict only if you can somehow predict the S&P100 way out into the future. Similarly, a PDO based model of climate variability is only useful if you can predict PDO.

    So what causes PDO? “Causes for the PDO are not currently known. Likewise, the potential predictability for this climate oscillation are not known.” –sayeth the makers of PDO.

  26. #26 Hank Roberts
    March 3, 2011

    Thank you, Barry Bickmore, for your analysis of Spencer’s claims. Helpful, readable, patient. You set a good example.

  27. #27 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmBKqeg3fFG6pBw8UFAgR_tkJq_OOYFVK0
    March 3, 2011

    And after reading the linked article (thanks) still more Ow.

    Extending the Elephant metaphor, modeling temperature anomaly starting with the first principle component of northern pacific temperature anomaly like modeling an elephant with 1/4 of an elephant plus 4 parameters: Mirror it across the spine, front to back, then smooth the extra head out of its ass and you’ve got everything but the long tail. And that you could get by scaling the trunk.

  28. #28 Jeremy C
    March 3, 2011

    Flying Binghi,

    Do I have time to read ideology i.e. WUWT…… you tell me?

    The only useful thing about it is to understand the mindset of fanatics.

  29. #29 Hank Roberts
    March 3, 2011

    Psst: talk about Dr. Bickmore’s analysis of Spencer — educational, helpful, informative

    Trolling: the opposite

    Replying to trolls: figure it out.

  30. #30 luminous beauty
    March 3, 2011

    As someone who was raised in a conservative family with ties to the LDS (a great, great, great uncle was Joseph Smith’s secretary), who, in my personal political evolution, has developed affinity for anarchist theory, but, in terms of polity, consider myself a pragmatist; I would suggest conservatives aren’t all utter douche bags. I remember many Goldwater conservatives, though having a firmly intractable attachment to a traditional mono-cultural ethos but nonetheless rational openness to progressive projects, providing they can be shown to actually work.

    The Mormon Church has shown itself not totally unamenable to progressive change, having abandoned an explicitly racist [doctrine](http://markofcain.angelfire.com/3.html) in the late 70′s (though by denying it was ever Church Doctrine in the first place). Judging from my own nieces and nephews and their friends, I don’t think younger Mormon’s are necessarily so entirely in agreement with misogynist and homophobic tendencies of the church leadership. Change in religious communities tends towards the glacial.

    The modern conservative (astroturf) movement has little in common with traditional conservativism, which held itself as the pragmatic and honorable opposition to progressive liberalism, but would be better described as rabid know-nothing reactionaries, conditioned by the portrayal by likes of Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, et al. of liberalism as something monstrous that must be exterminated.

    Traditional conservatives are becoming rare as hen’s teeth, but still exist. For example, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, who, crusty curmudgeon he may be, is no climate denier.

  31. #31 jakerman
    March 3, 2011

    >*At most, I’m only a moderately sized douche, and the good kind that tingles.*
    ;)

  32. #32 jakerman
    March 3, 2011

    SC, while I like share many of your political views, Conservatives who are pro-science on AGW demonstrate where their priorities lay between ideology and truth seeking. This demonstrate intellectual integrity. (as an aside, I can’t say that about every single person on my side of politics).

    But most of all pro-science conservatives are vital for US and hence global action on AGW mitigation.

    And importantly, Barry writes the clearest critique on Spencer’s arguments that I’ve read. This is an extremely valuable contribution, as Spencer’s argument are pushed by many thousands of delayers and denialists.

  33. #33 Mike
    March 3, 2011

    @24. Binghi.

    Some interesting comments over at WUWT, The world’s most viewed climate website

    WUWT is interesting only as a bit of an insight into the inately irrational, paranoid, and conspiracy-fear driven nature of humans.

    As for being the “world’s most viewed climate website”, well Big Brother was once the most viewed show on TV here. What does that tell you? That it was high quality and informative?

  34. #34 Post hoc
    March 3, 2011

    I always thought science was apolitical; a person can be socially conservative but still accept the principles of science, Darwin being a great example. There are a number of well-known highly published scientists who struggle or don’t struggle with the contradictions of their profession and there faith, it shouldn’t really matter.

    The point is Dr. Bickmores review on Spencer’s work either stands or falls on the science, not on either’s religious beliefs.

    The fact that Dr Bickmore’s political leanings is of mild interest but for socio/political reasons only, it does no more or less for his scientific work in this area.

    I agree that Dr Bickmore should be acknowledged for being an active Republican (not a conservative) and still feeling he can stand up and actively criticise something his political party stands for, but that is a very separate thing from the analysis of Spencer’s work.

  35. #35 Adam R.
    March 3, 2011

    The ancient pelicans among us may remember a time when acceptance of the conclusions of science–no matter how discomforting–was a hallmark of secular conservatism. Dr. Bickmore gives the lie to the rumor that conservatives of that clade are extinct.

  36. #36 jakerman
    March 3, 2011

    >*I always thought science was apolitical*

    By those practicing it well, yes.

    By those attacking it, not so much.

  37. #37 adelady
    March 3, 2011

    The one thing that one should never overlook in discussion of ‘conservative’ politics is how that term has been abused by people within the political parties traditionally associated with the term.

    Margaret Thatcher was a radical. John Howard was a radical. As were Newt Gingrich and hordes of others in the Republican party. The one thing that characterises all of these people is the fact that they are **not** conservative as that term is generally used in political science.

    They are better described as radical libertarians. The only conservative dressing they wear is their narrow, fairly puritan, authoritarian notion of religion, which is also a distortion of the plurality which formerly obtained in generally conservative movements.

  38. #38 SC (Salty Current)
    March 3, 2011

    OK, just got in. Before I reply substantively, I just have to say to BB…

    Brandon Davies.

    Hahahahaha.

    Ha.

  39. #39 James Haughton
    March 3, 2011

    Curious that Barry doesn’t mention one obvious reason why Roy Spencer might dispute the existence of Milankovitch cycles – as a confirmed creationist, he probably doesn’t believe in the existence of anything before 4004 BC, and he certainly doesn’t believe that anything other than God can upset the apple cart:
    “For most people, either you believe that the world has been created for mankind’s use, with a certain resiliency and stability, or you believe it is just a cosmic accident, fragile, and overly sensitive to our meddling. The creator may be the biblical God; or as a scientist friend of mine believes, some as yet unrevealed Life Force. For many of those who don’t believe in a creator, the spiritual need in their lives results in the uplifting of Mother Nature as the ultimate spiritual entity.” (Roy on the happily defunct Tech Central Station.)

    Without meaning to provoke a flame war, I would be curious as to how Barry reconciles his Mormon faith, with its rather odd beliefs about evolution and creation, with his geochemical knowledge.

  40. #40 Barry Bickmore
    March 3, 2011

    James @39,

    1. As I understand it, Roy Spencer is into “Intelligent Design Theory,” which doesn’t necessarily imply Young Earth Creationism (the idea that the Earth is only a few thousand years old.) And no, I’m not a fan of ID theory, even though I believe in God. It makes for sloppy science, IMO.

    2. The LDS Church has no official position about evolution. The idea is that, in the end, God was responsible for it, somehow. We’re about the same as Roman Catholics in that department.

    3. I work at the Church’s flagship university, and all the science classes in biology, geology, etc., teach evolutionary theory. A few years ago Eugenie Scott even gave a talk here, so that’s how much it isn’t a big deal.

    4. I’ve actually published a couple papers in the science education literature about how to more effectively teach the nature of science and the science-religion interface, so that religious students are more relaxed about the whole thing. Some of my non-religious colleagues love my program, because they teach in places like Oklahoma, and don’t know what to do with some of the student objections. Look my papers up in the Journal of Geoscience Education, if you are interested.

    Anyway, a lot of what people think they know about my faith is untrue, or was somebody’s speculation, rather than official doctrine, and so on. What’s more, we have no doctrine of infallibility (of prophets, scriptures, or anything else), so even though the church has an authoritarian structure, there’s a lot of leeway for different opinions.

  41. #41 jakerman
    March 3, 2011

    Adelady, I agree, and I try to reserve the title of ‘conservative’ for those who deserve it. And if Barry describes himself as such I’m happy to call him conservative.

    I think the world would be better place if more Barry’s had more influence in the Republican Party.

    I find it interesting to contrast the result of Barry’s [skill and hard work](http://bbickmore.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/roy-spencers-great-blunder-part-3/), with the not subtle moral of [this little tail](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwhL4Lc1VNo) H/T to Greenfrye.

  42. #42 David Irving (no relation)
    March 3, 2011

    adelady @ 37, although I think Thatcher was a glibertarian, John Howard certainly isn’t. While he is of the radical right, he has a disturbing impulse to fascism which I think he sometimes had trouble controlling.

  43. #43 jakerman
    March 3, 2011

    Barry, thanks for setting us straight on these point, I too shared some of the misunderstanding/meme about the Church of LDS.

    And most of all thanks for your hard work and skill employed in clarifying issues in Spencer’s arguemnt.

  44. #44 SC (Salty Current)
    March 3, 2011

    Anyway, a lot of what people think they know about my faith is untrue, or was somebody’s speculation, rather than official doctrine, and so on.

    Oh, I encourage people to look into it and its history as fully as possible. It’s hilarious (well, it would be if people weren’t harmed*).

    *Speaking of which…to clarify: I wasn’t laughing at Davies, for whom I feel rather sorry. I see him as largely a victim (and his girlfriend), but I suspect/hope he’ll, well, rebound.

  45. #45 James Haughton
    March 3, 2011

    Barry,

    Thanks for your clear answer and keep up the good work! I was going on the Wikipedia article on [mormonism and evolution](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormonism_and_evolution) from which it appears there is some controversy. Perhaps you or your colleagues might consider adding a paragraph to Wikipedia about current teachings and practices at the Uni?

  46. #46 jakerman
    March 3, 2011

    >*Oh, I encourage people to look into it and its history as fully as possible.*

    I’d encourage people to prioritise and [read Barry's work](http://bbickmore.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/roy-spencers-great-blunder-part-3/) which is timely and important.

  47. #47 jakerman
    March 3, 2011

    Why is Barry’s work important if ‘just’a critique:

    >*“To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact”*

    >[Charles Darwin]

    And Barry’s critique shows a level of skill that require specialised competence.

  48. #48 Barry Bickmore
    March 3, 2011

    Hi James Haughton @44,

    I thought the Wikipedia article was pretty accurate. The introductory paragraph is:

    “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) takes no official position on whether or not biological evolution has occurred, or on the validity of the modern evolutionary synthesis as a scientific theory. However, in the 20th century, the LDS Church published doctrinal statements on the origin of man and creation. In addition, individual leaders of the LDS Church have expressed a variety of opinions on evolution, many of which have affected the beliefs and perceptions of Latter-day Saints.”

    So of course it’s “controversial,” because people have such different opinions about it, and that’s officially ok that there are different opinions. Does that make more sense?

    BTW, sorry if I’ve been participating in the derailment of the discussion thread here. I think the take home point should be that religion is surprisingly complex, and many people who aren’t religious tend to view it in black-and-white terms. Thus, Roy Spencer gets labeled a Young Earth Creationist just because he has expressed support for ID theory, and I get the same label because I’m a Mormon. Politics is similarly complex, and I don’t think it’s very productive to employ black-and-white labeling there, either. E.g., I’m a “massive douche” because I’m a Republican and a Mormon, rather than, say, an Anarchist, because the social policies typically favored by both groups “hurt people”… whereas anarchy has never hurt anyone, has it?

    Proud to not be a fundamentalist of any sort,

    BB

  49. #49 SC (Salty Current)
    March 3, 2011

    I’d encourage people to prioritise and read Barry’s work which is timely and important.

    They’re not mutually exclusive. Look, if you want to “treasure” scientists with otherwise absurd and harmful beliefs and actions because in this one area they support the scientific consensus, go ahead. I think it amounts to holding people who are generally working against human rights, freedom, and equality (and good environmental policy, which is connected to all of these) to a lower standard than people who are fighting for the right things and support good science. There’s something perverse about that. I’m not dismissing or attacking this work by Bickmore, but I don’t think a Mormon and Republican activist deserves any special praise for this, any more than does an Evangelical for accepting evolution.

    And I disagree that evaluating religious claims – especially those as patently ludicrous as these – has a low priority in an age when respect for “faith” is an enormous impediment to science and science-based policy and to human rights. I consider those priorities.

  50. #50 SC (Salty Current)
    March 3, 2011

    So of course it’s “controversial,” because people have such different opinions about it, and that’s officially ok that there are different opinions. Does that make more sense?

    It makes no sense for it to be controversial. That humans have evolved like every other life form is well established.

    Politics is similarly complex, and I don’t think it’s very productive to employ black-and-white labeling there, either. E.g., I’m a “massive douche” because I’m a Republican and a Mormon, rather than, say, an Anarchist, because the social policies typically favored by both groups “hurt people”… whereas anarchy has never hurt anyone, has it?

    The LDS Church and the Republican Party are both specific organizations which you actively support now. No, “anarchy” has never hurt anyone. Individual anarchists have, and some anarchist organizations have. If I were an activist for an organization that promoted debunked beliefs and the rejection of scientific epistemology in many areas, authoritarianism, inequality, and the denial of human rights I would indeed be an immense douche.

  51. #51 jakerman
    March 3, 2011

    >*They’re not mutually exclusive.*

    Priorities such as looking at the history of the Church of LDS versus a scientist’s current work on climate change are mutually exclusive. You can’t priorities both.

  52. #52 jakerman
    March 3, 2011

    >Look, if you want to “treasure” scientists with otherwise absurd and harmful beliefs and actions because in this one area they support the scientific consensus, go ahead. I think it amounts to holding people who are generally working against human rights, freedom, and equality (and good environmental policy, which is connected to all of these) to a lower standard than people who are fighting for the right things and support good science.

    Vs.

    >*I think the take home point should be that religion is surprisingly complex, and many people who aren’t religious tend to view it in black-and-white terms. Thus, Roy Spencer gets labeled a Young Earth Creationist just because he has expressed support for ID theory, and I get the same label because I’m a Mormon. Politics is similarly complex, and I don’t think it’s very productive to employ black-and-white labeling there, either.*

    Mmm, my side of politics takes a nasty hit in this exchange.

  53. #53 SC (Salty Current)
    March 3, 2011

    As someone who was raised in a conservative family with ties to the LDS (a great, great, great uncle was Joseph Smith’s secretary),

    I just want to be clear. @ #9 I quoted from a post that referred to “conservatives” in general, but it was clear that it was about Bickmore and the information that had been provided (and what I learned from googling). I did not say that all “conservatives” throughout time have been “utter douchebags.”

    The modern conservative (astroturf) movement has little in common with traditional conservativism, which held itself as the pragmatic and honorable opposition to progressive liberalism, but would be better described as rabid know-nothing reactionaries, conditioned by the portrayal by likes of Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, et al. of liberalism as something monstrous that must be exterminated.

    I think having these conversations of late has made me slightly more likely to weigh in. About once or twice a week these days in a discussion of the moral rot that is Republicanism in the US at present, someone mentions these alleged halcyon days, often citing Nixon. Last week, someone posted about how Nixon was to the left of Obama and not even recognizable as one of today’s and we should be nostalgic for those days. In the next post, he elaborated, saying how scary things are now, that the US is going in the direction of Pinochet’s Chile. I mean, where do you even start with this? And even if this history were completely accurate, we’re talking about specific people and organizations in the present, so varying definitions of “conservative” over time aren’t really relevant.

    The Mormon Church has shown itself not totally unamenable to progressive change, having abandoned an explicitly racist doctrine in the late 70′s (though by denying it was ever Church Doctrine in the first place). Judging from my own nieces and nephews and their friends, I don’t think younger Mormon’s are necessarily so entirely in agreement with misogynist and homophobic tendencies of the church leadership. Change in religious communities tends towards the glacial.

    Even if this is so, in the meantime I’m going to fight the church, because they’re doing great damage. But this is a red herring – Bickmore isn’t 19, and he hasn’t in fact expressed any disagreement with these policies or said that he’s fought them. His posts imply that he supports them.

  54. #54 SC (Salty Current)
    March 3, 2011

    Priorities such as looking at the history of the Church of LDS versus a scientist’s current work on climate change are mutually exclusive. You can’t priorities both.

    Of course you can. His is a series of three blog posts. You can do both this weekend, for Pete’s sake. But you prefer to be deferential and accept Bickmore’s claim that challenges to his “faith” tend to be based on ignorance and misunderstandings.

    Mmm, my side of politics takes a nasty hit in this exchange.

    Only because you’re not reading for comprehension.

    (And I sincerely hope you never live anywhere your human rights are fought by the LDS church. Others aren’t so lucky. …Of course, there’s nowhere on the globe that will escape the actions of the US Republicans.)

  55. #55 jakerman
    March 3, 2011

    I tried to post a comment earlier, but it got caught in the moderation filter.

    I contrasted the [result of Barry's skill and hard work](http://bbickmore.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/roy-spencers-great-blunder-part-3/), with [this caricature critique](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwhL4Lc1VNo) of the effectiveness of some of the tactics from my side (H/T Greenfrye).

  56. #56 Barry Bickmore
    March 3, 2011

    SC says,

    “If I were an activist for an organization that promoted debunked beliefs and the rejection of scientific epistemology in many areas, authoritarianism, inequality, and the denial of human rights I would indeed be an immense douche.”

    Don’t worry, SC, it’s really nowhere near that difficult. All you have to do is to be so self-righteous that you 1) insult everyone who disagrees with you on any particular, and 2) claim superiority because some abstract idea you espouse (as opposed to a group of people that might accomplish something) has never hurt anyone. In fact, if you send in an application, I’ll put in a good word for you. (I’m on the Board.)

    BTW, I agree with you that nobody needs to praise me for being a Republican who isn’t anti-science. I only mention the fact on my blog because I hope to influence some of my fellow Republicans, and in fact I have in a few cases. It doesn’t concern me in the least that you detest me for holding certain positions (that I may or may not actually hold), because frankly, you don’t strike me as a very thoughtful person. You seem like just another brand of fundamentalist.

    So while you keep railing against The Man, I’ll just go on trying to promote honesty in public policy debates involving science, getting along fine with my gay brother, trying to figure out how to balance the rights of women against the rights of unborn babies, the rights of workers against those of employers who risk capital, and not giving up on large groups of people that I think are basically decent.

  57. #57 jakerman
    March 3, 2011

    >*Oh, I encourage people to look into it and its history as fully as possible*

    >*You can do both this weekend*

    Oh so by “as fully as possible”, you meant a cursory look.

    >*because you’re not reading for comprehension*

    I don’t know what influence Barry has had in his church or his political party. But I recognise the credit he deserves for his science and clarity of communication.

    For all you know Barry might be making his church and party better, just like he is making a positive contribution to science.

    I happen to think we need positive political change from within the Republican party, as the work from outside the party is not happening in time.

  58. #58 jakerman
    March 3, 2011

    BTW SC, I lived through the false and bigotted claims made about my then religion that came into popular discourse with a nortorious case in Australia; where a Seventh Day Adventist Minister’s wife was accused of killing her bady, and found guilt based on false evidence.

    Hence I consider a weekend’s perusing on the history of a religion to be a very cursory look.

  59. #59 SC (Salty Current)
    March 3, 2011

    Don’t worry, SC, it’s really nowhere near that difficult. All you have to do is to be so self-righteous that you 1) insult everyone who disagrees with you on any particular, and 2) claim superiority because some abstract idea you espouse (as opposed to a group of people that might accomplish something) has never hurt anyone.

    Is that how you do it?

    In fact, if you send in an application, I’ll put in a good word for you.

    No, thanks.

    BTW, I agree with you that nobody needs to praise me for being a Republican who isn’t anti-science.

    Then you’re not arguing with me, because that you shouldn’t be “treasured” for this any more than anyone else who isn’t anti-science on this single issue was my point.

    It doesn’t concern me in the least that you detest me for holding certain positions (that I may or may not actually hold),

    You know what your church and your party do. I said well above that I could be convinced otherwise. And I didn’t say I detest you. I said you’re an immense douche in many other areas that are of great significance to me.

    because frankly, you don’t strike me as a very thoughtful person.

    Wrong.

    You seem like just another brand of fundamentalist.

    Wrong again.

    So while you keep railing against The Man,

    I have talked about specific people and organizations.

    I’ll just go on trying to promote honesty in public policy debates involving science,

    Which of course has nothing to do with challenging the Republican Party and its corporate friends.

    getting along fine with my gay brother, trying to figure out how to balance the rights of women against the rights of unborn babies,

    Bite me. (But I’m sure jakerman doesn’t mind your fighting against my human rights, since you wrote some blog posts about science. Not a priority at all. jakerman will keep on treasuring you. You know, this’ll probably be my last comment here. Treasuring this person for supporting established science is betraying oppressed people, it’s counterproductive, and it’s a terrible thing to see.)

    the rights of workers against those of employers who risk capital,

    Again.

    and not giving up on large groups of people that I think are basically decent.

    Who said anything of the sort? There are very few people I would give up on, and you know nothing about me or what I’ve done or do. I do know the organizations you actively represent, and what they do. And I now know you believe you have some claim on my bodily autonomy. That’s more than enough.

  60. #60 SC (Salty Current)
    March 3, 2011

    BTW SC, I lived through the false and bigotted claims made about my then religion that came into popular discourse with a nortorious case in Australia;

    Then you should support the investigation of fact claims. Those on which Mormonism is based are, again, patently false and ludicrous. Very little time is required to see this. If it takes you more than a weekend, you’re no scientific thinker.

    And that is my last comment. It’s appalling that I would be criticized for criticizing someone who wants to deny me human rights.

  61. #61 Mike
    March 3, 2011

    Ummmm. What was this thread about again?

    Something to do with Roy Spencer’s strange book wasn’t it?

  62. #62 jakerman
    March 3, 2011

    >*Then you should support the investigation of fact claims.*

    I support prioritising resources.

    And stop attacking your potential allies. We need more alliance and less battles. I’m not buying into the abortion issue in this forum.

  63. #63 SC (Salty Current)
    March 3, 2011

    [One more.]

    I support prioritising resources.

    Apparently scientific skepticism is a limited resource for you, which you can spare to read something you’ll more than likely agree with but not something new. Brilliant.

    And stop attacking your potential allies.

    Go to hell, jakerman. I’ll support your human rights when they’re on the line. You want to throw me under the bus and tell me someone who is actively working to destroy my rights is my ally and should be treasured because he wrote a good review piece on AGW. Seriously, go to hell.

    I always liked lurking here and commenting from time to time. But if human rights and justice are such a low priority here, I don’t think it is somewhere I want to spend time. So on my way out, thank you to Jeff Harvey and others from whom I’ve learned much.

  64. #64 jakerman
    March 3, 2011

    >*But if human rights and justice are such a low priority here*

    I happen to beleive life begins well before birth so its more compliated than you make it out to be.

  65. #65 jakerman
    March 3, 2011

    >*Apparently scientific skepticism is a limited resource for you, which you can spare to read something you’ll more than likely agree with but not something new.*

    You get that from the fact I don’t prioritise reseaching about Mormon history? Riiiight. Like I said to Roy Spencer in my first post, there might be alternative you are not considering.

  66. #66 Rocco
    March 3, 2011

    Tim, could you please remove the non-scientific clutter from this thread?

  67. #67 Hank Roberts
    March 4, 2011

    Rocco, you can remove it yourself:

    killfile for Greasemonkey… Provides a killfile for certain blogs. Covers livejournal, haloscan comments, most typepad blogs, most blogspot blogs, scienceblogs.com, …
    http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/4107
    http://www.google.com/search?q=firefox+killfile
    (Didn’t work for a while; now works fine with Firefox 4 betas)

  68. #68 llewelly
    March 4, 2011

    With respect to LDS belief and human rights:

    There is no human right which can be exercised without control of one’s body. To oppose abortion is to oppose a woman’s control of what goes on inside her body; it is to require her to risk her life in order to support a thing which may, if it does not miscarry, someday grow into a human being. No man is ever forced to donate a kidney to save another person’s life, but anti-choicers force women to donate their entire body, every organ, to save the life of something that may never become human at all. All opponents of abortion are necessarily opponents of human rights.

    It is true that the LDS church has improved its position on some human rights issues, in particular, its position on interracial marriage in the 1970s. The change in the church’s position on this topic was provoked primarily by long running protests and demonstrations in front of Temple Square (within walking distance of where I live, but I was too young then), many of which were much more lurid and aggressive than anything SC has said here; this is, after all, only a blog.

    The church aggressively opposed the Equal Rights Amendment, an unambiguous demonstration of opposition to human rights.

    With respect to LDS belief and evolution:

    Every feature of biology that has been explained with evolution relies on the fact that evolution has no foresight, no intellect, no sense of design, and no goals. Yet the Mormon god unambiguously has foresight, intellect, goals, and designs, all in superhuman abundance. To be both LDS and accept evolution is to believe in a god who displayed no foresight, intellect, goals, or designs, for billions of years, and then, suddenly, six or so thousand years ago, began exercising all four to bring the true church to humanity. (Why, I wonder, did humans not need, or not deserve, the true church for the previous 200,000 years?)

    LDS belief assumes God created Earth for humans. Yet current explanations of human evolution rely on the fact that evolution has no foresight, no intellect, no goals, and makes no designs. And there is overwhelming evidence Earth was devoid of humans for nearly all of its existence. No evidence this Universe was created for humans, and much evidence against the idea.

    LDS belief assumes an interventionist God. The Book of Mormon, the D&C, the various books of the profits, the apostles, the members of the first and second quorum of the seventy, all describe many direct interventions by God. Yet the multi-billion year fossil record contains no evidence of intervention by God. History contains no evidence intervention by God. Why would a God who intervenes with such frequency leave no mark in the fossil record? Why no unambiguous mark in the historical record?

    All of the above illustrate that there are severe contradictions between LDS belief and evolution, which the official “no position on evolution” cannot hope to resolve. The church likes to be welcoming to both its many creationist members (my mother, my grandparents, most of my aunts and uncles, many of my cousins), and those who accept evolution, but the core assumptions of its doctrine conflict with evolution in places where they are consistent with creationism.

  69. #69 jakerman
    March 4, 2011

    David Socrates on Barrys blog reckons:

    >*“[Spencer's model] is plausible in that it could well explain why the world has not so far experienced nearly as much warming as should have been apparent by now if the CO2 warming theory were correct.”*

    Sailtrack links [to this](http://climateprogress.org/2011/02/23/the-sensitivity-of-richard-lindzen/) in response.

  70. #70 lordsetar
    March 4, 2011

    jakerman #64: Life began some three billion years ago, making you correct in that regard since it was long before one could say that the first ‘birth’ took place.

  71. #71 Quiet Waters
    March 4, 2011

    jakerman @55 thanks for the Star Wars link, the 10:10 head exploding video makes a lot more sense now.

  72. #72 Fred
    March 4, 2011

    I don’t know why I read all the comments here, but I did.

  73. #73 Wow
    March 4, 2011

    Thank you for letting everyone know, Frank.

    Myself, I don’t know why I read your comment.

  74. #74 Wow
    March 4, 2011

    “PS Wow, SC is a lady. I made the same mistake!”

    Female, not a lady.

    :-/

    On the religion vs science, I would have thought a TRUE BELIEVER in YEC would look at the world and all the evidence of how the earth is much, much older and conclude:

    I don’t know the mind of God. I *know* the earth is only 6000 years old, but everything looks as if it is billions of years old. God is all-powerful and must be trying to tell us something by making it look older than it is, so I will persue the truth he is revealing to me in this old earth history to see what he wants to show us.

    +++

    If you REALLY believe, you don’t NEED or WANT any proof. That all the proof shows something is irrelevant as to how old the earth IS, but should be indicative of what God wants you to conclude about the earth he created six thousand years ago.

    It worries me that such people would prefer to have their god lie to everyone rather than consider he wants them to investigate a world that is telling you it’s older FOR A REASON.

  75. #75 Stu N
    March 4, 2011

    >Female, not a lady.

    …ouch! Haha

  76. #76 MikeH
    March 4, 2011

    While I am an atheist and a leftist, I am not a fan of the new militant atheism of Dawkins/Hitchens/Harris. When you see religion as the biggest problem in the world, your ire ends up being directed at the victims of modern capitalism, the poor and uneducated who are the biggest partakers of it. It lead Hitchens to support the war in Iraq. The Islamic peoples of the middle east are in the middle of replying to Hitchens in a most effective way.

    Call me old fashioned but I see the enemy as people like the Koch bros and the other fossil fuel capitalists who spend up big to finance climate change denialism. They are rich and educated enough to pick and choose their superstitions.

    If Mormons, Catholics, Conservatives or whoever else want to support action on AGW – fantastic. It does not mean that I agree with them on social issues but it may mean that we can save our planet.

    I do not know much about Barry Bickmore but I enjoyed his articles a lot more than the book from that lying anti-creationist denier Ian Plimer.

  77. #77 stewart
    March 4, 2011

    BB, nice presentation, you put a lot of work into it, and lay out the background. Amusing that Spencer thinks he should have immediate responses to his paper, when it took a year in review. He’s getting his responses now, in the proper form.
    SC, you’re acting like a dick. (I’m not saying you are one, but an unwary reader could be misled). You’re more convincing when you don’t.

  78. #78 Wow
    March 4, 2011

    > SC, you’re acting like a dick

    And remember, dickishness is a state of mind, not an inventory of body parts.

  79. #79 Arthur Smith
    March 4, 2011

    Tim, thanks for linking to my analysis. I have to point out that one major problem here was not that Spencer’s model has 4 parameters, but that he tried to extract 5 numbers from it in fitting it to 20th century temperatures. When you have 4 constraints on 5 unknowns, you have an infinity of possible results, something he either didn’t recognize or wished not to admit. His claim of low climate sensitivity from the fit was completely bogus – he could have extracted any sensitivity number he wanted to from this model, the fit would have been identical.

    The second part of it is the elephant-fitting business. As BB noted in his article, two of the parameters that have no bearing on the response properties (the equilibrium temperature and the initial temperature) played a huge role in getting the PDO curve to look a bit like 20th century temperatures. And even then, the fit was pretty poor in the last few decades.

  80. #80 Chris O'Neill
    March 4, 2011

    Part 2 gives us a clear idea of Spencer’s mindset, e.g. Spencer’s Great Global Warming Blunder says:

    At this point you might be thinking, “Well of course natural climate change happens.” But this has been surprisingly difficult to prove scientifically. The IPCC avoids the subject because it detracts from the claim that humans are now the main driver of climate. (p. xxvi)

    and

    We will see that researchers have reasoned themselves in a circle by first assuming that natural climate change does not exist, and then building climate models suggesting that only human pollution is needed to explain global warming. (p. xxiii)

    It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Spencer is a conspiracy theorist nutcase.

  81. #81 Arthur Smith
    March 5, 2011

    More fun with Spencer’s model here. There was a reason one of Barry Bickmore’s curves didn’t look right. A six-trillion-degree reason :)

  82. #82 Fran Barlow
    March 5, 2011

    Mike H said in part:

    I am not a fan of the new militant atheism of Dawkins/Hitchens/Harris {…} If Mormons, Catholics, Conservatives or whoever else want to support action on AGW – fantastic. It does not mean that I agree with them on social issues but it may mean that we can save our planet.

    Well I am a supporter of “militant” atheism, but I have no problem endorsing the the last part of your claim. One can compartmentalise.

    I also object to Hitchens’ defence of the Iraq occupation but that doesn’t mean I don’t like his critiques of god-bothering.

    Presumably, you like Dawkins’ expressly scientific work despite his “militant” atheism?

    We humans need to work together when we usefully can and separately when we must. We don’t need to say we like things that we donj;t, merely because we have some other pressing issue in the front of our minds.

    Plimer and Pell managed to work together well enough on their issue after all.

  83. #83 pough
    March 5, 2011

    It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Spencer is a conspiracy theorist nutcase.

    Although, if you start from the premise that Spencer is right and everyone else is wrong…

  84. #84 Holly Stick
    March 5, 2011

    @80 I’ve been seeing roughly the same arguments repeated at Curry’s blog. The conspiracy nuttery is strong there.

  85. #85 Eli Rabett
    March 5, 2011

    Eli, being a priggish little bunny, is uncomfortable with the back and forth over religion, his general attitude being De gustibus non est disputandum and as long as you leave him alone, the Rabett will leave you alone. It’s only when others try and tell him to believe X that the fangs emerge.

    That would be a recommendation.

  86. #86 Ross Brisbane
    March 6, 2011

    Barry writes
    This really is the crux of the whole matter. If we’re going to go along with Roy Spencer, we have to reject a basic model of climate change that explains the data over widely divergent timescales, and replace it with… a big, fat nothing. It’s not an argument about whether “Mother Nature” or mankind controls the climate, but over how the climate responds to changes in things like solar radiation and greenhouse gases, no matter what is governing them during a particular time period. Spencer’s inept attack on the field of paleoclimatology is just his way of trying to sweep inconvenient data under the rug, all the while projecting his own rejection of established natural drivers of climate change onto the rest of the climate science community.
    Posted by: jakerman | March 3, 2011 6:00 AM

    Spencer ignores paleoclimatology becuase of his bias toward 7 day literal creationism. I am a Christian and holding to Old Earth Creationism (OEC). YEC – Young Earth Creationism stifles science based studies and endeavours into very long time frames into our deep earth’s past.

    That is why the more conservative politically and fundamentalist a Christian/church/denominational movement is – the more their denial of climate change as it is known today is denied and placed into into wild UN/Communist/One government theories. When challenging these beliefs are either denied or no comment is ever passed.

    Rest easy though – there are very strong conservative Christian’s supportive of Climate Change as being very real and highly conservative political as well (OEC belief basis). It is to this Spencer never addresses and this then becomes the basis for his theories with a 10,000 to 20,000 year old earth based time frame. Ut

  87. #87 Stu N
    March 6, 2011

    Ross, again, Spencer just ignores paleoclimatology because he doesn’t like what it says. He is not a literal YEC – at least, I am yet to see evidence that he is.

    FWIW I’m also a Christian who does not adhere to YEC.

  88. #88 P. Lewis
    March 6, 2011

    There’s a Wolfram demo project on fitting an elephant here, and a slightly different written explanation can be found here (and in probably lots of other places).

    Psst! Perhaps it should now be renamed “fitting a Roy Spencer”.

  89. #89 dhogaza
    March 6, 2011

    “He is not a literal YEC – at least, I am yet to see evidence that he is.”

    He’s an OEC.

    Rabett:

    Eli, being a priggish little bunny, is uncomfortable with the back and forth over religion, his general attitude being De gustibus non est disputandum and as long as you leave him alone, the Rabett will leave you alone. It’s only when others try and tell him to believe X that the fangs emerge.
    That would be a recommendation.

    Speaks to the witness’s ability to objectively judge the science, yer honor.

    Seriously, both Spencer and Christy have written/said things that strongly hints that their religion colors their views regarding both climate science and policy. Christy’s written along the lines that he doesn’t think that we should do anything, because his experience as a missionary in africa has convinced him that ending poverty in Africa would be impossible if we cut use of fossil fuels.

    And Spencer has made his religious beliefs an issue by openly and needlessly writing about his creationist beliefs at Tech Central Station. He’s cited his scientific credentials to back up his creationist claims, which IMO makes his religious background fair game. At least one conservative commentator has stated that Spencer should’ve kept his religious belief in creationism private, explicitly because it undermines his credibility when it comes to evaluating scientific claims that butt up against his religious beliefs.

  90. #90 Holly Stick
    March 6, 2011

    I’d suggest that some religious people can be objective about the science and some cannot. It depends partly on what religious beliefs an individual actually holds, such as literal creationism, as well as the ability of the individual to think objectively. Spencer sounds more likely to be a non-objective person.

    In dhogaza’s example, Christy’s argument is dumb, but I don’t think it’s particularly religious. He seems to be arguing based on personal experience not religious belief.

  91. #91 Stu N
    March 6, 2011

    P. Lewis, quoting from your second link (emphasis mine):

    >i.e. overfitted models (models with too much paramters) have estimated (and actual) sampling variances that are needlessly large (i.e. with new data your model will perform poorly).

    Well, I’d just like to point out how nicely this syncs up with update 2 ;-)

  92. #92 dhogaza
    March 6, 2011

    In dhogaza’s example, Christy’s argument is dumb, but I don’t think it’s particularly religious. He seems to be arguing based on personal experience not religious belief.

    He quite explicitly ties it in to his religious background as a Southern Baptist, though.

    Maybe if I find some time I’ll sit in Google and try to dig it up.

    I’d suggest that some religious people can be objective about the science and some cannot.

    Many can be.

  93. #93 Mobius Ecko
    March 11, 2011

    Is Minchin’s unnamed atmospheric scientist from the University of Alabama, who has Minchin claiming the world is actually cooling, the one and same Roy Spencer?

  94. #94 Marco
    March 11, 2011

    Mobius: must be. UAH, negative feedbacks, sounds very much like Spencer (& Braswell).

  95. #95 Harold Pierce Jr
    March 11, 2011

    RE: Climate Cycles: What the Russians say.

    You all should check out:

    The English translation of “Cyclic Climate Changes and Fish Productivity by L.B. Klyashtorin and A.A. Lyubushin can be downloaded for free thru this link:

    http://alexeylyubushin.narod.ru/Climate_Changes__and_Fish_Productivity.pdf?Climate_Changes__and_Fish_Productivity.pdf?

    Note: There should be and underscore between words after “/”

    NB: This mongraph is 224 pages. This book is not about climate science.

    By analyzing a number of time series of data influenced by climate, they found that the earth has global climate cycles of 50-70 years with an average of about 60 years and with cool and warm phases of 30 years each. They summerize most of the fish studies thru early 2005 that show how this cycle correlates with fish catches in the major fisheries.

    The last warm phase began in ca 1970-75 (aka the Great Shift) and ended in ca 2000. The global warming from ca 1975 is due in part to this warm phase. A cool phase started in 2000, and their model predicts it should last about 30 years.

    The first two chapters have the results of the time series studies. They don’t discuss possible cause(s) for the 60 years cycle. During the warm phase there are more El Nino years while in the cool phase La Nina years predominate.

    If these guys are right it is going to get chilly. This is not good. Presently in BC we pay a carbon tax of $0.9932 per gigajoule of nat gas which costs $4.568 per gigajoule. That is a tax rate of 21.7% On July 1 2012 the tax will increase to about $1.50 per gigajoule of nat gas. There is no provision for adjustment of the tax if there is a long cold snap.

  96. #96 Robert Murphy
    March 11, 2011

    “The last warm phase began in ca 1970-75 (aka the Great Shift) and ended in ca 2000. The global warming from ca 1975 is due in part to this warm phase. A cool phase started in 2000, and their model predicts it should last about 30 years.”

    Absolute nonsense. Each of the last ten years were warmer than any year on record before 2001 (except for 1998). There has been no ‘cool phase’ starting in 2000. The whole premiss is bunk.

  97. #97 Harold Pierce Jr
    March 11, 2011

    The 35 million salmon that returned to the Fraser River in 2010 say the North Pacific ocean has cooled. When the waters around BC cool, mackeral and herring, the main predators of salmon smolts leaving the Fraser river for the open ocean, stay farther south of the Juan de Fuca
    Strait and out of the waters along the west coast of Vancouver Island.

    The salmon of the 2010 Fraser river run entered the ocean in 2006. Thus it is quite likely that the cooling of the North Pacific ocean began before 2006. If the North Pacific ocean continues to cool or does not warm, the 2014 Fraser River salmon run should be as big or bigger than the 2010 run.

    During the warm 1990-99 period and thru ca 2006 the Fraser salmon runs were quite small, and in some years there was no commercial fishing season although recreational and First Nations fishing were allowed but restricted by quotas.

    Who should you believe? The white-coated guys who stare at computer screens and fool around with climate models or the 35 million swimming weather stations? I’m putting my money on the BC sockeye salmon.

  98. #98 Robert Murphy
    March 11, 2011

    “Who should you believe? The white-coated guys who stare at computer screens and fool around with climate models or the 35 million swimming weather stations?”

    The thermometers around the world and the satellites in the sky that both say the same thing- it’s still getting warmer, and the last 10 years were the warmest on record. Your regional salmon proxy doesn’t trump the instrumental and satellite record. You’re reading tea leaves and I’m looking at hard data.

  99. #99 Ross Brisbane
    March 11, 2011

    I am utterly appalled after watching the latest the USA Congressional talk feast on the EPA.

    Christy yet again has shown his true colours and is firmly planted in climate denial. Before Congress of the last few weeks he clearly expressed a very personalised viewpoint. Inducting his experience in Africa and claims in reference to the Antarctica growing in sea ice extent. This was to counter the Arctic shrinkage mentioned many times.

    He is very picky about what he chooses. My observation is a smugness more along the lies of misplaced piety and self justification to blind side himself from the growing evidence. He also made reference to his colleague Spencer. These two proponents think they are protecting their American way of life. It is clearly not science based. There seems to be too much political ideology caught in this fundamentalist bent. In other words it’s more about the science of liberalism (evil) verses the science of conservatism (good). This does not bode well for science endeavours in the US when political forces deny that voice and right to be heard by helpless deniers who have clearly positioned themselves within the Republican voice. And shout down any opposing view they did well. It’s kind like of cold war all over again. This time it’s those evil liberal scientists undermining the American way of life!

  100. #100 Harold Pierce Jr
    March 11, 2011

    Hello Deltoid Dingo Dog Robert!

    Please go to:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/cag3.html

    This is the “Climate at Glance” data calculator.

    On the map for temperature data, click on “Texas”. Select “annual” from the drop down menu. Set range from 1895 to 2010. Set base period 1900-2000.

    On the plot note the green trend line. The computed trend is 0.00 deg F /decade. Tmean = 65.1 +/- 0.8 deg F which I computed from the numerical data.

    Over this interval the concentration of carbon dioxide has gone from 288 ppmv to 390 ppmv for purified dry air. The actual regional concentation(s) for CO2 is (are) not known since local humidity and clouds will lower the concentation of CO2.

    These data do not support the enhanced AGW hypothesis. There is no 60 year climate cycle evident in the plot.

    Take a close look at the plotted data. Note that the plot steps down at 1957 and steps back up in 1998, the year of the super El Nino. Note the cool down to Tmean by 2010.

    Note that computed temp data is reported to +/- 0.01 deg F. This is incorrect, In the US temperatures are reported from field therometers to the nearest whole degree F. In Canada temperatures are reported to the half degree C (ca 1 deg F).

    Texas data is significant because most of the state is rural.

    When you dogs start paying hefty carbon taxes on fossil fuels and see the cost everything in the domestic economy increase, you are going to start taking a real hard look at the claims of the climate scientists.

    Consider this. If a wheat farmer has to pay a 30% tax on nat gas used for drying freshly-harvested grain to the required moisture content for storage, you will end up eating the same bread but paying the carbon tax.