Shorter Clive James

Shorter Clive James on Queensland floods:

I get my climate science from poems.

‘Shorter’ concept created by Daniel Davies and perfected by Elton Beard. We are aware of all Internet traditions.â„¢ Acknowledgement copied from Sadly, No!.

Comments

  1. #1 VincentR
    July 19, 2011

    You obviously do NOT understand why posts here are “swallowed”, or you’d know that I generally try to stay well within Tim Lambert’s tolerance for rudeness.
    Posted by: Bernard J. | July 7, 2011 2:15 AM

    Bernard,
    That’s one of the few statements you’ve made in this thread that I wholly agree with. It’s absolutely true I do not understand why some posts are swallowed on this site, although I have an excellent understanding of why some posts SHOULD be swallowed.

    Let’s try again with my moderate and sane post.

    “462
    For anyone who worries that vincentr may be right about renewable energy being prohibitively expensive ….
    scroll down to the last graph on this item. Note that installing PV between now and 5 years time will be producing power more cheaply than a coal power plant on the plans today. By the time the coal plant is built and begins to deliver power, practically any solar PV installation will be cheaper.
    It really won’t be very long before domestic PV will have the same cost and ‘ordinariness’ as a hot water service.
    Posted by: adelady | July 5, 2011 2:56 AM”

    Well, that is certainly good news, Adelady. I’ve always considered solar voltaic technology to be the most promising of all the alternative energy methods. Perhaps it’s because I’m an avid photographer and appreciate that a decent electric charge can be generated from just a few photons impingeing upon a digital camera’s sensor. No bright sunlight required.

    Perhaps it’s also because I’m aware how ridiculously expensive digital cameras were just 15 years ago, and how relatively cheap they are nowadays.

    I think I mentioned a couple of hundred posts ago that I have a 1.5kW PVP on the roof of my house, together with solar panels for hot water. I have failed to find out what the unsubsidised price of this item would be, although indications are it would be at least $16,000. The reason I have it, is because it was heavily subsidised and because the surplus electricity that it feeds into the grid is worth 44 cents per kWh, as opposed to the average rate that is charged to me (including peak and off-peak) of 26 cents.

    My last quarterly bill was around $160. After the solar rebate (about $95) and the QLD Gov. electricity rebate because I’m old and wise, the net amount due was a mere $26. Can’t complain about that.

    Assuming the unsubsidised cost of my PVP would have been $16,000, you don’t have to be Einstein to work out that the annual interest on $16,000 at a modest 5% is $800, and that 4x $160 (my average quarterly bill without any discounts) is only $640.

    However, I’m not only a skeptic but a realist, as well as a great admirer of the scientific method and the great benefits for humanity it achieves.

    If the cost of PVP manufacture can come down significantly, as it’s predicted to come down, this may be the solution to all our AGW fears.

    You can put aside fears for your grandchildren, adelady, and perhaps we should also contact James Lovelock, who’s probably languishing in a chair with tears rolling down his cheeks whilst he contemplates the future of humanity, and tell him we’ve cracked the problem. Wipe your tears.

    However, (sorry to be a spoil-sport) there’s one small problem. The sun don’t shine 24 hours a day.

    Solar power is great when the sun shines, but absolutely hopeless when it doesn’t.

    As a consequence, any solar voltaic system needs an auxilliary back-up, usually conventional power plant on stand-by for rainy days and night-time usage. It adds to the cost, ya know!

  2. #2 VincentR
    July 19, 2011

    You obviously do NOT understand why posts here are “swallowed”, or you’d know that I generally try to stay well within Tim Lambert’s tolerance for rudeness.
    Posted by: Bernard J. | July 7, 2011 2:15 AM

    Bernard,
    That’s one of the few statements you’ve made in this thread that I wholly agree with. It’s absolutely true I do not understand why some posts are swallowed on this site, although I have an excellent understanding of why some posts SHOULD be swallowed.

  3. #3 VincentR
    July 19, 2011

    For a moment, I thought I’d been banned from the site, so I tried posting my ‘censored’ but completely reasonable and polite reply to Adelady for a third time, days later.

    No luck! Same response.

  4. #4 VincentR
    July 19, 2011

    As most of you who have persevered in following this thread should have gathered by now, I’m a very practical and pragmatic sort of person.

    The current carbon tax is in line with other pigouvian taxes designed to discourage certain types of behaviour, such as smoking or intake of alcohol.

    I sympathise with the concept. We make it difficult for carbon-emitting energy suppliers to make a profit, by taxing them to a greater extent than other industries, thus applying the pressure to innovate or go bust.

    The major problem, however, is that some industries may go bust and little has been done to counteract rising CO2 emissions.

    Making a sacrifice for a good outcome in the name of a good cause is fine. However, making a significant sacrifice for a zero or a very tiny outcome in a good cause, is sheer foolishness or incompetence.

    If a carbon tax were to encourage a new industry in Australia, designing and manufacturing solar voltaic panels, for example, and, if such a new industry were to fully compensate for any loss of employment in the carbon-emitting industries, I would applaud that.

    We should never fear change but try to exploit the opportunities. But that also applies to climate change, whether man-made or not.

  5. #5 Lotharsson
    July 19, 2011

    > I tried posting my ‘censored’ but completely reasonable and polite reply to Adelady for a third time, days later.

    It’s not [this comment](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/03/shorter_clive_james.php#comment-4335692) by any chance?

  6. #6 Lotharsson
    July 19, 2011

    > We make it difficult for carbon-emitting energy suppliers to make a profit, by taxing them to a greater extent than other industries…

    Actually, even there you are wrong. We aren’t **taxing** them to a greater extent, even though that’s how it’s being presented. For example, there’s no higher tax **rate** on profits being charged.

    They are instead being **levied** for permits to emit (and yes, to a greater extent than smaller emitters who aren’t required to pay the levy.)

    And they can make the **same** profit if they are able to pass on the costs to their consumers – although either way, they’ll certainly be motivated to find ways to reduce their costs.

    > The major problem, however, is that some industries may go bust and little has been done to counteract rising CO2 emissions.

    You have failed to demonstrate that this pair of events is a likely outcome, either separately or linked together as you imply. Economists by and large don’t think this is likely to happen at a significantly higher rate than happens already without said “Carbon Tax”.

    > If a carbon tax were to encourage a new industry in Australia, designing and manufacturing solar voltaic panels, for example, and, if such a new industry were to fully compensate for any loss of employment in the carbon-emitting industries, I would applaud that.

    There are provisions in the scheme for funding various useful developments…

    …but arguing that ONLY “full compensation for any loss of employment” is acceptable is foolish, as any look at history from the Industrial Revolution onwards should tell you. Neither incumbent profits nor employment are guaranteed in a progressive capitalist system – nor should they be if economic efficiency is of any concern whatsoever.

  7. #7 VincentR
    July 19, 2011

    500
    I tried posting my ‘censored’ but completely reasonable and polite reply to Adelady for a third time, days later.

    It’s not this comment by any chance?
    Posted by: Lotharsson | July 19, 2011 3:37 AM

    Yes, it is that comment, re-inserted at post 481. We’re now up to post 500. It’s no wonder I missed it. What the f**k’s going on? Aren’t things already complicated enough?

  8. #8 Bernard J.
    July 19, 2011

    >Yes, it is that comment, re-inserted at post 481. We’re now up to post 500. It’s no wonder I missed it.

    [Some people are just constitutionally unable to learn](http://i52.tinypic.com/dxllvo.jpg).

  9. #9 VincentR
    July 19, 2011

    Actually, even there you are wrong. We aren’t taxing them to a greater extent, even though that’s how it’s being presented. For example, there’s no higher tax rate on profits being charged.

    Posted by: Lotharsson | July 19, 2011 3:39 AM

    Don’t be silly, Lotharsson. Any process that removes money or profit from an industrial process is a tax.

    You seem to be one of those who is oblivious to fundamental principles. Our prosperity is based upon the cost of energy, whether it be the cost of oil, coal, gas or solar energy, or indeed the cost of labour.

    We buy stuff from China, not because the cost of energy is less, but because the cost of human labour is less.

    Because the cost of labour is less in China, the labourer can buy less and has as a consequence a lower carbon footprint.

    I’m amazed at the inability of people to grasp this basic concept that the price of energy determines our material prosperity, in the absence of technological advances.

    If any society wishes to replace efficient coal with less efficient renewables, the inevitable consequence is a lowering of living standards. There’s no getting away from that.

  10. #10 FrankD
    July 19, 2011

    @Vincent: Solar power is great when the sun shines, but absolutely hopeless when it doesn’t.

    Vincent is unaware of molten salt heat storage, allowing 24-hour-a-day power generation from solar thermal powerstations? Well, la, who’d have thought?

  11. #11 Wow
    July 19, 2011

    He also forgets that demand is lowest during the night.

    Maybe princess here has to keep the lights on to scare away the monsters.

  12. #12 VincentR
    July 19, 2011

    You seem to forget. I’m not a denialist. If there’s any renewable technology out there that can compete with coal, I’m all for it. Any renewable energy supply that can compete with coal, economically, is supported by me.

    What I’m against is using bio-fuels which may result in foods shortages, and silly programs that only provide jobs for civil servants to monitor precise amounts of CO2 emissions for taxation purposes.

  13. #13 Wow
    July 19, 2011

    You seem to be under the misapprehension that you’re not a denialist.

    Please explain how you deny the IPCC results and deny the Stern report based on them when you don’t know what they say?

    You are also under the false impression that if you were not a denier, that your various idiocies and tantrums here would be accepted. I’m afraid you’re wrong there too.

  14. #14 Lotharsson
    July 19, 2011

    > Any process that removes money or profit from an industrial process is a tax.

    Really? **Any** process? I don’t think you thought that one through.

    I’ll grant you that “Pigovian/Pigouvian Tax” is a common term for making industry pay compensation for otherwise unregulated negative externalities…but I bet readers can think of several processes that “remove money or profit from an industrial process” that aren’t taxes.

    And by “readers” I mean “readers other than Vincent”.

  15. #15 Wow
    July 19, 2011

    > Any process that removes money or profit from an industrial process is a tax.

    So not buying the product is a tax?

    Comparison shopping is a tax?

    The free market efficiency is a tax?

    Asking for more pay for my work is a tax?

    All of those things removes money or profit from an industrial process.

    But what do you call it when a general good is exploited for a few? Robbery? Assault?

  16. #16 VincentR
    July 19, 2011

    “Any process that removes money or profit from an industrial process is a tax.”

    “So not buying the product is a tax?
    Comparison shopping is a tax?
    The free market efficiency is a tax?
    Asking for more pay for my work is a tax?
    All of those things removes money or profit from an industrial process.
    But what do you call it when a general good is exploited for a few? Robbery? Assault?
    Posted by: Wow | July 19, 2011 9:48 AM”

    NOW I understand why you’ve called yourself Wow. You cause people to think ‘Wow!’, as in ‘Wow! This person doesn’t know the difference between addition and subtraction.’

    Subtraction is not the same as ‘not adding’, or ‘failure to add’. ‘Not buying’ a product is not a subtraction from profit. It simply leaves the profit (or loss as the case may be) unchanged.

    The wages of employees in an industrial process do not constitute a removal of money from the industry. The employees are a PART of the industry. They are a necessary cost. Without them the idustry doesn’t exist.

    Likewise, payment of dividends to shareholders is not a removal of money from the industry. Dividends are necessary payments to owners and part owners of the business. All owners are a part of the business they own. Without them the business doesn’t exist. I’m not aware of any ownerless industries. Are you?

    A removal of money from an industry is a payment which is entirely unrelated to the necessary and normal operations and processes of the industry. An example would be a thief breaking into the safe in the manager’s office and removing all the money contained within.

    Another example is a tax.

    I have no objection to the principle of taxation. All governments need revenue from taxation in order to function.

    I have no objection in principle to a tax directed at a process rather than a profit. Energy is the most essential product of all, in our society. Taxing it is the surest way for a government to maintain revenue in a healthy economy.

    The problem is not the tax. The problem is the subsidies that apply to competing methods of producing energy.

    The danger in such subsidies is that current efficient methods of producing energy may give way to inefficient methods of producing energy, and that will affect everyone’s living standards if there’s not a corresponding increase in the efficiency with which we use that more expensive energy.

    Of course, I’m not shedding tears for anyone in Australia. We are still the lucky country.

    If this pigouvian tax eventually results in a new industry in Australia, perhaps leading the way in solar voltaic technology and bringing the cost down to a level which is competitive with coal, after all subsidies have been removed, then the tax will have been justified.

    With lots of cheap energy, not even the sky is the limit. Lots of expensive energy is an oxymoron. Most inhabitants of our planet struggle to buy sufficient energy for their basic requirements at the current cost, despite it being cheap and dirty. Make it more expensive and they’re done for.

  17. #17 Lotharsson
    July 20, 2011

    > Dividends are necessary payments to owners and part owners of the business.

    Well knock me down with a feather! All those shares I own that have never paid a dividend – they’re doing it wrong! I shall call them up on the telephone forthwith and demand they make the necessary payments to me as a part owner, and I shall reference the authority of VincentR should they be so impertinent to object!

    > A removal of money from an industry is a payment which is entirely unrelated to the necessary and normal operations and processes of the industry.

    …a definition that seems to exclude paying for what would otherwise be considered negative externalities.

    And in many people’s views, paying taxes is necessary for businesses so that government can provide the stable legal and commercial environment full of those things (like educated employees, law and order, enforcability of contracts and so on) that businesses tend to think are prerequisites for “normal operations and processes of the industry”. Or as one wag put it “I like paying my taxes. With them I buy civilisation.”

    So…it seems like much ado about very little.

  18. #18 VincentR
    July 20, 2011

    No need to restate the obvious, Lotharsson. The point is, the new carbon tax from the Labour Government is a tax.

    However, trying to squirm away from that fact and trying to pretend it isn’t a tax, is at least consistent with the general attitude of AGW believers. I would expect no less.

    I get the impression from the responses in this thread that most posters don’t even know what a fact is.

    Just to prove me wrong, please provide the definition of a fact. The dictionary might help, but be aware of obsolete and archaic definitions such as: feat, action, performance.

    “Well knock me down with a feather! All those shares I own that have never paid a dividend – they’re doing it wrong!

    Posted by: Lotharsson | July 20, 2011 12:39 AM”

    They’re not doing it wrong. They are appealing to your gambler instinct. Legitimate companies that make a profit pay dividends. Speculaive companies that don’t make a profit, don’t pay dividends. If you are lucky, they may eventually make a profit and pay dividends. However, if you are a gambler you may never see that day. As soon as the shares rise significantly in price, on the expectation they will make a profit, you will probably sell them.

  19. #19 Lotharsson
    July 20, 2011

    > The point is, the new carbon tax from the Labour Government is a tax.

    OK, let’s call it a tax for three years just to keep you happy for a minute – and then note that it’s an entirely legitimate government mechanism for regulation of negative externalities – and then note that after a few years it transitions to a non-tax market-based mechanism.

    Same difference. Much ado about very little, and all that.

    > They’re not doing it wrong.

    Shorter Vincent: *Vincent is wrong*.

    Shortish Vincent: Some of Lotharsson’s holdings are in “illegitimate” or “non-profit making” companies.

    Try telling that to my portfolio, Vincent.

    One company I hold has well over $1 billion annual revenue consistently for the last few years with very nice profit margins. No dividends though. You **really** want to claim that this company **must** be “illegitimate” because it doesn’t pay dividends?

    Another is worth more than 20x what I paid for it, and I’ve held it for 12+ years. Profitable, but no dividends. According to you that makes it illegitimate! Weird, because they are listed on the NASDAQ and provide the usual quarterly reports and stuff. You’d think the SEC in the US would jump all over them if they were illegitimate.

    Apparently you know as much about what defines a “legitimate profit-making” company as you know about climate science.

  20. #20 Wow
    July 20, 2011

    > Dividends are necessary payments to owners and part owners of the business.

    Never owned Microsoft stock, then, princess?

    > Subtraction is not the same as ‘not adding’, or ‘failure to add’.

    You’ve changed your tune. It was:

    > Any process that removes money or profit from an industrial process is a tax.

    It seems like your beliefs are malleable to the situation. If your reasoning is insufficient to pretend honesty, you’ll change your reasoning and pretend it was that all along.

    Taxing isn’t taking away either. It’s getting paid. Except you’re paying the government for the works government does.

    But I guess that you don’t want government doing anything that interferes with the corporation.

  21. #21 FrankD
    July 20, 2011

    >We are still the lucky country.

    As pointed out on another thread recently, when Donald Horne coined that expression it was as a criticism. He was reflecting on those countries that were rebuilding their economies after World War 2 using their ingenuity and hard graft and contrasting them with Australia which simply relied on getting dealt a good hand to relieve us of any need to be either smart, frugal or hardworking.

    Indeed, we are still the country that rides its luck. We still expect the world to do the heavy lifting while we sit back metaphorically sipping mint juleps and flogging the houseboy.

    It seems appropriate that Vincent thinks we should continue to ride our luck rather than to be seized of the need to work hard to address the problems of our past laissez-faire attitude. His narrow, shallow and selfish arguments epitomise the fin-de-siecle ennui of the rentier, wealthy beyond the dreams of most people in most of history, but bitching about a trivial impost which they could avoid with the slightest alteration of behaviour. People who have grown fat and happy by virtue of government subsidy who whine when a government dares suggest they stop pissing collective resources up against a wall.

    In writing that “lucky country” comment, Horne also reflected that this “lucky” country rode its luck with leaders as well, allowing itself to be run by mediocrities. We were then and we still are – and I’m not just talking the present Labor government, but the Liberals before them and the Liberals who will come after.

    I attribute it largely to the fact that its easier to give ponies to the Vincents of this world than to actually make the changes that will improve things. And considering the fingernails-down-a-blackboard-quality of the continuous whine of the Vincents, I can sympathise with that choice, even while decrying it.

    Laughably, Vincent is concerned that subsidies might see more inefficient power generation harming our wealth, without reflecting for a moment (even though it was pointed out to him months ago) that that is exactly the problem that is being responded to – the fossil fuel industry’s multi-generational triple subsidy: Direct injection of taxpayer money, permission (even encouragement) to steal from future generations, and avoidance of externalised costs. Heaven forfend that those chickens might come home to roost.

    But Vincent is right that subsidies do create inefficiencies. So why then does Vincent complain about the govenment reducing the degree to which the fossil fuel industries are subsidised? Its anyones guess really, but I’ll guess that logic plays no part in it.

  22. #22 VincentR
    July 26, 2011

    I really do get the impression that you guys live in an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ scenario.

    You seem disconnected to the basics, the fundamental principles of reality.

    We have a situation whereby Lotharsson is boasting that his shares have risen 20x in value over the past 12 years without paying a dividend, and that I therfore don’t know what I’m talking about when I state that all legitimate companies eventually pay dividends.

    A 20x rise in share price is significantly better than any so-called dividend. It is a dividend supreme.

    I have to state categorically that you guys are hooked on appearances. You are fodder for manipulation. You seem unable to see behind the rhetoric.

    Below I’m going to enumerate a few basic principles of reality.

    (1) All life forms, whether insect or human, strive to do everything they can to ensure their survival and propogation. It’s built into their genes. Richard Dawkins called it ‘The Selfish Gene”.

    (2) Within species there is intense competition for resources and propogation of a particular male’s genes, as witnessed in the ‘battles to death’ of sparring males for the right to inseminate all the females in a particular group.

    (3) Religious people tend to think that humans are in a different category in this respect. I don’t. The evidence of history is clear. We’re animals with a higher brain power than all other animals. However, we seem to be motivated by the same instincts, to gain advantage for our particular group, to ensure the survival and propogation of our particular group, even if it sometimes involves the slaughter of millions of our own species in world wars.

    (4) This ‘selfish’ gene also results in the great inequality of material wealth in the world. Those in a position of power, in poor countries, often tend to exploit the situation to their own benefit, leaving their fellow compatriots wallowing in poverty.

    WE NOW HAVE A SITUATION OF A GLOBAL CONCERN WHEREBY WE ARE TRYING TO ADDRESS THAT FUNDAMENTAL WELLSPRING OF ALL PROSPERITY, THE COST OF ENERGY.

    In such an unequal world, with such disparity of income, and such competitiveness for sheer survival, THERE’S NO HOPE WHATSOEVER OF REPLACING CHEAP (BUT DIRTY) ENERGY WITH EXPENSIVE, CLEAN ENERGY, QUICKLY.

    The best we can do is a slow transition, through natural economic processes, compatible with the political, and economic situation in the world.

    Never forget. We’re a bungling species. Only a few of us see the light.

  23. #23 VincentR
    July 26, 2011

    Here we are again. A perfectly polite, rational and reasonable reply from me has been held for approval.

    Perhaps it will be surreptitiously re-inserted when we are up to post 600.

  24. #24 Lotharsson
    July 26, 2011

    > Here we are again. A perfectly polite, rational and reasonable reply from me has been held for approval.

    Shorter Vincent: *the automated filtering algorithm is out to get me, despite explanations to the contrary*.

    Shorter shorter Vincent: *Whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinge!*

    Hey, look on the bright side – at least your content-free whinge doesn’t lower the reality-quotient of your average comment very much.

  25. #25 Bernard J.
    July 26, 2011

    [VincentR](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/03/shorter_clive_james.php#comment-4590556).

    You’re as thick ,when it comes to learning about moderation rules, as you are about learning how to properly quote.

    Once more, for the intellectually depauperate… If you use key words like ‘fraud’ or ‘Girma Orrsengo’, or if you use multiple links, or if you happen to be a prat with a reputation for posting complete garbage (quod vide Girma Orrsengo), then you will automatically be diverted to the moderation queue. Your post is time-stamped however, and when Tim Lambert decides that it is not spam, or not absolutely complete rubbish (and he is very generous in his decisions) then the post is released to the thread, to be inserted at the point of its original time of posting.

    And note, because I have used trigger words in explaining this to you, dense and recalcitrantly in-educable as you are, my post will also go to moderation. It is now 17:36 Australian Eastern Time, so work out how long my post has been queued, and where it eventually ends up in the thread.

    Assuming of course that such an exercise won’t elicit an embolism in your brain…

  26. #26 VincentR
    July 26, 2011

    “Shorter Vincent: the automated filtering algorithm is out to get me, despite explanations to the contrary.
    Shorter shorter Vincent: Whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinge!
    Hey, look on the bright side – at least your content-free whinge doesn’t lower the reality-quotient of your average comment very much.
    Posted by: Lotharsson | July 26, 2011 3:11 AM”

    No. You’ve completely misunderstood the situation.

    I don’t give a stuff about me, or my views being censored.
    I give a stuff only about reasonable, and polite views being censored, wherever they originate, whether it’s an automatic tripping or not.

    If my views are censored, or held for approval, I want to know WHY. Have I been unreasonable, inflammatory, insulting or libelous, for example?

    I want to know WHY because I’m an intelligent and enquiring person.

  27. #27 VincentR
    July 26, 2011

    To put it another way, there are many, many abusive and insulting comments in this thread which could result in libelous court action if everyone were using his/her real name and someone felt he had a reputation to protect.

    Yet such insults go uncensored. It doesn’t worry me because that doesn’t really have anything to do with AGW. I see it as just ‘argy bargy’ political hot air.

    However, when a reasonable, thought-provoking piece is written, devoid of personal insults, which gets blocked for whatever reason, one has to wonder about the impartiality of the site.

  28. #28 VincentR
    July 26, 2011

    I mean, if there are certain words or phrases that automatically trigger a blockage of a post, such as ‘deep sea temperature’, ‘Solar Voltaic Panels’, ‘Roman Warming Period’, etc, then please let us know.

  29. #29 Wow
    July 26, 2011

    “I don’t give a stuff about me, or my views being censored.”

    So why do you keep whinging about it??? Just want attention?

    Princess, you’re not getting a pink unicorn and your posts aren’t getting deliberately blocked.

    Though the lack of actual content ought to ensure you get perma-blocked, you cretin.

    By the way, that wasn’t an insult, that was a statement of pure fact. Live with it.

  30. #30 Bernard J.
    July 26, 2011

    >Within species there is intense competition for resources and propogation of a particular male’s genes, as witnessed in the ‘battles to death’ of sparring males for the right to inseminate all the females in a particular group.

    Oh dear. What a simplistic view of sexual competition…

    If this is an example of how you are supposed (by your own estimation) to be an “intelligent and enquiring person”, you need to go back to square one.

    >This ‘selfish’ gene also results in the great inequality of material wealth in the world.

    The “great inequality of material wealth” to which you refer is largely and peculiarly a human-related phenomenon, and it is a consequence of an emergent aspect of our intelligence. Apart from that, life on earth is a vast example of how the ‘selfish gene’ simply sorts viable from non-viable genotypes.

    Dawkins would not be very impressed with your philosophical distortion of his meme.

    You’re right about a few things though. We are a bungling species, in terms of how wisely we employ our intelligence, and too few of us certainly “see the light”. Sadly for you though, there is less light filtering into your intellectual arena than you imagine…

    The really sad thing about it is that you don’t have a clue why this is so.

  31. #31 FrankD
    July 26, 2011

    VincentR: (shouty capitals removed)
    >We now have a situation of a global concern whereby we are trying to address that fundamental wellspring of all prosperity, the cost of energy.
    >
    >In such an unequal world, with such disparity of income, and such competitiveness for sheer survival, there’s no hope whatsoever of replacing cheap (but dirty) energy with expensive, clean energy, quickly.

    So, after four months of having it constantly explained to him, Vincent is still unable or unwilling to differentiate between the cost of energy and the price of energy.

    Rather than deal in the real world, he’d rather complain that those who point out his fallacies are in “Wonderland”, and then throw in some random gibberish that illuminates another vast area of science of which he is ignorant. Today’s installment: “Vincent misunderstands genetics, too”.

    Gnothe seauton, Vince. Again.

  32. #32 rhwombat
    July 26, 2011

    VincentR. “Stop it, or you’ll go blind!”

  33. #33 Bernard J.
    July 26, 2011
  34. #34 Lotharsson
    July 26, 2011

    > …Lotharsson is boasting that his shares have risen 20x in value over the past 12 years without paying a dividend, and that I therfore don’t know what I’m talking about when I state that all legitimate companies eventually pay dividends.

    Sheesh – not boasting; relating *relevant personal experience*.

    > A 20x rise in share price is significantly better than any so-called dividend. It is a dividend supreme.

    Shorter Vincent: *I’ll pretend I intended a precise term to mean something more generic in the hope that it will rescue my argument.*

    See, Vincent, a 20x rise in share price is a **capital gain** for the shareholder, not a dividend. We have different words for the two concepts because *different parties are involved in the transactions*. For example, when you say:

    > Legitimate companies that make a profit pay dividends.

    …you imply a (dividend) payment *from the company*; not a capital gain made by receipt of a (share purchase) payment from (typically) someone *other than the company* at a higher price than the seller bought it for.

    And if you actually meant capital gains, you would not have written:

    > Likewise, payment of dividends to shareholders is not a removal of money from the industry.

    …because it *goes without saying* that share sales to 3rd parties (which is the vast majority of cases) do not remove money from the industry because the industry **isn’t participating in those transactions**.

    (Of course, that’s not necessarily true. You could have written precisely that if you meant to include capital gains in the term “dividends” but didn’t understand the term you so confidently tossed out there…)

  35. #35 Robert Murphy
    July 26, 2011

    “I mean, if there are certain words or phrases that automatically trigger a blockage of a post, such as ‘deep sea temperature’, ‘Solar Voltaic Panels’, ‘Roman Warming Period’, etc, then please let us know.”

    Since all of those phrases got thru, your question has been answered.

  36. #36 VincentR
    July 27, 2011

    526
    “Within species there is intense competition for resources and propogation of a particular male’s genes, as witnessed in the ‘battles to death’ of sparring males for the right to inseminate all the females in a particular group.”

    Oh dear. What a simplistic view of sexual competition…
    If this is an example of how you are supposed (by your own estimation) to be an “intelligent and enquiring person”, you need to go back to square one.

    “This ‘selfish’ gene also results in the great inequality of material wealth in the world.”

    The “great inequality of material wealth” to which you refer is largely and peculiarly a human-related phenomenon, and it is a consequence of an emergent aspect of our intelligence. Apart from that, life on earth is a vast example of how the ‘selfish gene’ simply sorts viable from non-viable genotypes.
    Dawkins would not be very impressed with your philosophical distortion of his meme.
    You’re right about a few things though. We are a bungling species, in terms of how wisely we employ our intelligence, and too few of us certainly “see the light”. Sadly for you though, there is less light filtering into your intellectual arena than you imagine…
    The really sad thing about it is that you don’t have a clue why this is so.

    Posted by: Bernard J. | July 26, 2011 5:44 AM

    Let’s examine Bernard’s response in a critical light. For me this is an interesting exercise because Bernard appears to be intelligent and appears to have some qualifications in science.

    I make a general statement about the concept of the ‘selfish gene’ , as follows:

    “Within species there is intense competition for resources and propogation of a particular male’s genes, as witnessed in the ‘battles to death’ of sparring males for the right to inseminate all the females in a particular group.”

    Bernard’s response is that such a statement is simplistic, but he offers no correction or refinement, or elaboration on my simplistic statement. Why?

    Are we not all here to learn? If I make any statement which is demonstrably false, I would like to be informed with a full explanation.

    Unfortunately, I get the impression in this thread that we are engaged in a type of boxing match. No-one it seems, except me, is interested in the truth. The main point seems to be to score points through ad hominem attacks. That’s very sad, but I understand it completely.

    We are all conditioned by our upbringing and early experiences and are often prepared to fight to the death to preserve our entrenched views, whether in reality such views may be right or wrong.

    Very few of us have succeeded in extricating ourselves from such conditioning so that we can view issues with true impartiality.

    Now, Bernard does go on to elaborate on the uniqueness of the human species, as in the following:

    “The “great inequality of material wealth” to which you refer is largely and peculiarly a human-related phenomenon, and it is a consequence of an emergent aspect of our intelligence. Apart from that, life on earth is a vast example of how the ‘selfish gene’ simply sorts viable from non-viable genotypes.”

    Is this an attempt to refute that our great inequality of wealth is related to the ‘selfish gene’ concept. It seems so, at least by innuendo. Why is Bernard so vague? Why is he making excuses?

    It should be clear to all thoughtful and educated people that we are largely motivated by primal instincts of survival, like any other animal.

    Of course, it should also be obvious that we are in a unique position amongst all animals of having a significantly greater brain power, so the effects of our actions are hugely greater. A tribe of Chimpanzees may engage in an attack on a neighbouring group of Chimanzees resulting in some vicious slaughter, and the death a dozen animals.

    However, our attacks on our fellow human beings may result in the destruction of a whole city of a million people.

    The point I make is that the two actions are similar in character, motivated by similar instincts of domination and survival, and the propogation of our genes, or the propogation of the gene pool of our tribe.

    This characteristic is totally transparent in the political ‘argy bargy’ relating to methods of reducing CO2 emissions. No country wishes to put itself at a competitive disadvantage by increasing the cost of energy in the interests of clean energy.

    I completely understand the problem. The underlying reasons are the same as the underlying reasons for the general inequality of wealth in the world.

    If you want to effectively address the CO2 emission problem, you must first address the wealth inequality problem.

    Got it? Or is this too profound for you?

    The other response from Bernard, ”

  37. #37 VincentR
    July 27, 2011

    Weird! Another post held for approval. What’s the problem, Tim? You seem very insecure. What are you afraid of? No need to feasr me. I’m totally honest.

  38. #38 Wow
    July 27, 2011

    Weird, despite princess here INSISTING that being blocked means nothing to hir, she’s whinging about it again.

    Guess what, honey? You’ve got another post in.

    Funny. Every time you post about how you haven’t got a post through, you’ve proved your assertion incorrect.

  39. #39 VincentR
    July 27, 2011

    As a philosopher, I’m very interested in the reactions to the alarmism of climate change.

    There are so many worries and concerns that most of us have to contend with, even in developed countries such as Australia with benefits that others would drool over, but particularly in undeveloped countries.

    To add to those worries with a portentous prediction of disastrous climate change that may affect the well-being of our grandchildren, simply causes greater worry, more confusion and unpreductive responses.

    The dangers of spending resources to mitigate CO2 emissions are that fewer resources will be spent on protecting ourselves against recurrent extreme weather patterns that have caused disasters, periodically, for centuries, and have nothing to do with anthropgenic emissions of CO2.

  40. #40 Wow
    July 27, 2011

    See, another post got through.

    Content-free as usual, so it’s rather a waste of photons reading it.

    > There are so many worries and concerns that most of us have to contend with

    And you demand that one of them be ignored.

    Why?

    > The dangers of spending resources to mitigate CO2 emissions are that fewer resources will be spent on protecting ourselves against recurrent extreme weather patterns that have caused disasters

    Such extreme weather patterns that were made much worse by the CO2 emissions causing AGW.

    A ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    Unless you have a vested interest in continuing the problem, eh, princess?

    > periodically, for centuries, and have nothing to do with anthropgenic emissions of CO2.

    And forest fires were caused by lightning strikes, so I guess you’ll be calling for arson laws to be repealed because of that, hmm?

    Your problem, princess, is that you desperately want to make it seem as if there can only be one cause of a disaster and that since it happened before from something, it can never be caused by something else.

    That is part of your obvious and abhorrent insanity.

  41. #41 Bernard J.
    July 27, 2011

    >As a philosopher…

    …you make an especially dense and Dunning-Krugered troll.

  42. #42 Lotharsson
    July 27, 2011

    > Are we not all here to learn?

    You have provided a *great* deal of evidence that you are not, and very little to the contrary.

    > If I make any statement which is demonstrably false, I would like to be informed with a full explanation.

    Er, no, the evidence strongly suggests that you do not.

    > The main point seems to be to score points through ad hominem attacks.

    Given that you appear to be congenitally unable to recognise evidence and logic that goes against your existing views, one can see how you might reach that fallacious conclusion. Providing that “one” is not you, obviously…

    > No-one it seems, except me, is interested in the truth.

    Ha, ha – the clown trolling continues!

    > You seem very insecure.

    Methinks thou doth project too much.

    > If you want to effectively address the CO2 emission problem, you must first address the wealth inequality problem.

    This is an example of the fallacy from lack of personal imagination. I leave the reasoning as an exercise to the reader.

  43. #43 VinbcentR
    July 28, 2011

    Many of you may wonder why I bother posting on a site which seems so antagonistic to my views.

    I’m doing it partly for research purposes on the type of people, or perhaps more precisely, the type of attitudes, that lend themselves to a belief in the dire threats of AGW.

    A major part of the problem is that it’s often difficult to distinguish between genuine belief and ‘pretend’ belief articulated for an ulterior motive.

    This is not only difficult for me, in reviewing the various types of attitudes prevalent on this issue, but it must be difficult sometimes for the people expressing such ‘pretend’ beliefs.

    Self-delusion is a common problem of the human species.

    So let me enumerate a few issues of concern I have. I don’t expect any intelligent feed back on this site, but I’m always prepared for a surprise.

    (1) At the head of the list I would place a personal fear for the well-being of oneself, one’s family and one’s grandchildren, and in the case of James Lovelock, the human race.

    This concern takes many forms. It includes the job security of the climatologists employed from Government funding. Such job security relies totally on the perception (true or false) that AGW is a serious threat. No threat, no job.

    It includes the doting grandparents of granchildren. People who will happily pay $12 a kilo for bananas, not for themselves, but for their grandchildren. I’ve noticed frequently that the greater the number of grandchildren any person has, the more likely they are to be a firm believer in the threat of AGW.

    (2) The ego of people who have large invested interests in alternative energy supplies, whether they need the money for themselves or not. This problem works both ways of course. Those whose economic well-being is tied to the coal industry will tend to be skeptical about AGW, perhaps even in denial.

    But there’s no escaping from the fact that those who who have invested in the alternative, so-called clean energy supply concept, are also going to bat all they can for the success of such investments. I’m thinking here of Al Gore, the BBC and Rajendra Pachauri as people (or companies) who have featured in the news recently with regard to conflict of interest.

    NOW I’M GOING TO PUT THE FOLLOWING IN BIG LETTERS BECAUSE I ANTICIPATE THAT SOME OF YOU, WITH YOUR LIMITED COMPREHENSION, WILL IMMDEDIATELY TELL ME THAT RACHENDRA PACHUARI HAS BEEN CLEARED OF WRONG DOING. DON’T DO IT. I KNOW.

    My point is NOT that the BBC, or Al Gore or Rajendra Pachuari are corrupt, but that their egos, their motivations, their concerns, however admirable, may be linked to the material prosperity of clean-energy companies.

    In other words, if I’m a Salvo helping the poor with money or resources from investments that the Salvation Army has made in clean-energy stocks, I’m not likely to express any skepticism about the dangers of AGW, thus undermining that source of income which helps the poor. HAVE YOU GOT THAT, NOW? HAS THAT SUNK IN?

    (3) The vulnerability of people who are really scientifically illiterate. They have the experiences of the marvels of modern technology, fantastic TV sets, satellite communication, and antibiotics which sometimes save their lives, and they are understandably impressed by any consencus of scientific opinion that may assert that something is true.

    However, those of us with a broad understanding of scientific processes, who have a bit of nous, and who are also totally honest (honesty is another factor here), realise that something is only true when it has been verified as being true countless times through repeated tests and attempts at falsification.

    If this process has not taken place, and with climate change it cannot take place because of the time scales involved, then the consequences of human CO2 emissions cannot be at all certain.

    It doesn’t matter what the number of scientist may be, who get on the bandwagon, and chant in unison the same refrain. If the case is not proven, it’s not proven and no number of scientists stating that is is proven will change the fact that it isn’t proven.

    To me, this is axiomatic. I would assume it is axiomatic to all scientists. When I hear a scientist, perhaps on the ABC radio, claiming that the current increase in warming is more rapid than during any equivalent period during the past 20 million years, I just assume such scientist, or spokesperson, is an ignoramus, a liar or a self-deluded individual who simply doesn’t know what is known and not known.

    But please don’t think I’m arrogant or that I pretend to be perfect. I have my faults too. One egregious fault is casting pearl before swine.

    From the International Standard Version of the Bible:

    “Never give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before pigs. Otherwise, they will trample them with their feet and then turn around and attack you.”

    Not that I’m religious, but I sure hope I’m capable of recognising good advice when I see it, from whatever source. I think perhaps it’s now time for me to depart.

    Adios!

  44. #44 Lotharsson
    July 29, 2011

    Shorter Vincent: a whole load of self-congratulatory false claims and fallacious logic that have been dealt with before.

    (See upthread for details. Repeatedly.)

    > I think perhaps it’s now time for me to depart.

    Don’t let any inconvenient evidence or logic impact your rear end on the way out.

  45. #45 Bernard J.
    July 29, 2011

    >Many of you may wonder why I bother posting on a site which seems so antagonistic to my views.

    >I’m doing it partly for research purposes on the type of people, or perhaps more precisely, the type of attitudes, that lend themselves to a belief in the dire threats of AGW.

    I call “crap”.

    You are demonstrating nothing that remotely resembles a research protocol aimed at identifying either “types of people” or “types of attitudes”. In fact, you show an intellectual ineptness that seriously suggests that you have neither the intelligence nor the education/experience to conduct any research at a teriary level. I personally doubt that you could competently conduct research at a secondary level.

    And you’re quite welcome to take my views and “research” and “review” them to your heart’s content…

    The rest of your post was so full of profoundly ironic Dunning-Krugerism that it is simply not worth sifting through for correction, but hopefully your last word at least was a true one.

  46. #46 VincentR
    August 15, 2011

    It’s very sad that some scientists seem to be prostituting themselves to a political agenda.

    I guess I have an idealised view of the true scientist. One who is completely objective and impartial. One who will not allow emotional concerns for grandchildren to influence an objective assessment of the facts.

    It’s asking too much from most of you, I know. It’s asking too much from the vast majority of the world population, hence the continuing and inevitable troubles of the world.

    If there is a God, I thank him or her that I have that insight, and that I am safe and sound on a high block of land away from the seashore, and away from earthquake fault lines.

    I weep for humanity and its bungling attitudes. We now have the technology and the knowledge to provide a decent living standard , not only for every one of the current 6.5 billion inhabitants of our planet, but for even increased population sizes.

    Unfortunately, greed, self interest, stupidity, ignorance and plain criminality get in the way.

    It makes me very, very sad.

  47. #47 Lotharsson
    August 15, 2011

    How very surprising. When Vincent [says he is leaving](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/03/shorter_clive_james.php#comment-4623472)…he doesn’t mean it. Whodathunkit?!

    > It’s very sad that some scientists seem to be prostituting themselves to a political agenda.

    Indeed, especially the political agenda that says that mainstream climate science is bogus, despite the weight of evidence being heavily to the contrary. And funny how that particular political agenda is in tight agreement with certain large corporate agendas…

    > I guess I have an idealised view of the true scientist.

    Which is quite irrelevant.

    The *evidence* and results of the scientific process grinding false claims away is what matters, not whether individual scientists live up to whatever naive expectations you have.

    > Unfortunately, greed, self interest, stupidity, ignorance and plain criminality get in the way.

    Indeed. However when we talk about climate, most of those characteristics are deployed heavily on the “side” of climate science denial rather than climate science.

  48. #48 VincentR
    August 15, 2011

    INDEED, ESPECIALLY THE POLITICAL AGENDA THAT SAYS THAT MAINSTREAM CLIMATE SCIENCE IS BOGUS….

    Where is this political agenda? Are you referring to the Liberal Party in Australia? Please be specific so we know exactly what we are talking about. If you are at all scientific in outlook, you should be able to do that.

    As you know, the liberal party in Australia also has a plan to tackle AGW. They just disagree with Labour on the economics of the procedures.

    THE EVIDENCE AND RESULTS OF THE SCIENTIFIC PROCESS GRINDING FALSE CLAIMS AWAY IS WHAT MATTER, NOT WHETHER INDIVIDUAL SCIENTISTS LIVE UP TO WHATEVER NAIVE EXPECTATIONS YOU HAVE.

    No. You’ve misunderstood the scientific process. The scientific process doesn’t attempt to grind away false claims. It simply strives to get at the truth through a process of falsification and verification. When this has been achieved, there can be little dispute. No grinding required.

    The current controversy arises solely because the case for AGW cannot be verified. There is thus much grinding on both sides.

    INDEED. HOWEVER WHEN WE TALK ABOUT CLIMATE, MOST OF THOSE CHARACTERISTICS ARE DEPLOYED HEAVILY ON THE “SIDE” OF CLIMATE SCIENCE DENIAL RATHER THAN CLIMATE SCIENCE.

    Please provide the sociological research that provides evidence to support this. I have little experience or knowledge of climate science denial. I’m a skeptic who is attracted to theories that seem credible, such as those proposed by Dr Roy Spencer.I dismiss theories of grand conspiracies, or theories which ignore pertinent facts.

    In my opinion, those who accept and believe in the alarmist case for AGW fall into the following categories.

    (1) The scientifically illiterate who have no choice but to accept the consensus view, whether right ar wrong.

    (2) Second rate scientists who can’t believe their peers may have got it wrong.

    (3) Those whose personal wealth is connected with a pro-AGW position, which of course includes, to some extent, all those employed by climate change organisations, as well as those who have investments in ‘clean’ technology.

    (4) Those who are sensible enough realise that the total scientific knowledge on this issue of anthropogenic global warming is insufficient for a reasonably certain position, but are prepared to lie on the misguided grounds that we shall all be better off if we act according to such lies.

  49. #49 Wow
    August 15, 2011

    > Where is this political agenda?

    Two words for you, probably very close to your heart: Tea Party.

    Or two more: Fox News.

    > No. You’ve misunderstood the scientific process.

    No, you did.

    > The scientific process doesn’t attempt to grind away false claims

    Yes it does. Testing against reality to find out whether the claim stands up to evidence. The null hypothesis. Michelson-Moreley experiment.

    > The current controversy arises solely because the case for AGW cannot be verified.

    [It HAS been verified.](http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/hansens-1988-projections/)

    > (3) Those whose personal wealth is connected with a pro-AGW position

    Contrast and compare to the value each day of the fossil fuel industry.

    > (4) Those who are sensible enough realise that the total scientific knowledge on this issue of anthropogenic global warming is insufficient for a reasonably certain position

    I think you misspelt “Dumb enough”, though they may be “sensible” in the sense that they can make out like bandits and die fat and happy and leave the shit for everyone else to clean up.

    You know, those who LIKE the tragedy of the commons since they don’t rely on the commons.

  50. #50 Lotharsson
    August 16, 2011

    > Please be specific so we know exactly what we are talking about.

    Mate, you first. Or did it escape your attention that your claims are quite often very non-specific? Such as “It’s very sad that some scientists seem to be prostituting themselves to a political agenda.”, when you fail to specify which “political agenda” you had in mind?

    (And what Wow said.)

  51. #51 Vince whirlwind
    August 16, 2011

    I’m thinking he is not referring to Ian Plimer’s compendious evidence of having prostituted himself to the political agenda of denying the evidence for climate change.

    You would *think* that anybody finding Monckton on their side would have a quick think about where they went wrong…

  52. #52 Bernard J.
    August 21, 2011

    Heh, I didn’t realise that this thread still had life until Firefox burped and reloaded…

    [VincentR](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/03/shorter_clive_james.php#comment-4814436).

    Let me put this to you gently, but clearly and factually…

    You are either an old ideological wanker who no clue at all about science and how it works, or you’re an old ideological wanker who knows that he is speaking garbage but who has no qualms about sending future generations to Hell in a handbasket.

    Given the evidence of your posts, there is no third alternative.

    But I’m sure that you will beg, and beg again, to differ. So let’s cut to the chase. Pick one scientific conclusion of climatology with which you disagree, and pick one scientist who promotes this conclusion, and let’s follow it. We might even get you to contact your professional nemesis and explain to her/him why s/he is wrong, and see what s/he has to say by way of response.

    I’m fed up with your holier-than-thou pretense at scientific proficiency and arcane understanding that subsumes that of the world’s best professionals, so let’s take it to the coal face.

    Your move; you choose where to start.

  53. #53 VincentR
    August 23, 2011

    Okay! I’ll go along with Bernard’s suggestion. It might be true that I really have no idea of the scientific method, and that I am totally deluded. I’m willing to consider the possibility.

    But first, I must make a statement of my own belief. Everyone has a belief system of sorts, whether it be a fantatical interpretation of Islam or a belief in reason and the scientific method.

    If someone describes me as an idiot, such a statement is of no value unless it is accompanied with a full explanation as to why I am an idiot. The ‘why’ and the ‘how’ is the part that’s valuable and useful. If you don’t agree with this concept, then there’s no way we can agree, anymore than a fundamentalist, Moslem Al Qaeda type can agree with a placid Christian.

    For meaningful dialog, there must be a common ground of at least some principles of belief.

    My understanding of the scientific method is that any theory or hypothesis has to be verified before it can be considered as fact or as proved. Such verification is usually manifested in the production of real products, such as plasma TV sets, rockets that reach the moon, drugs and antibiotics that fix our health problems, etc etc.

    However, such products do not verify the absolute accuracy of the scientific theories at the basis of their production. Their existence merely implies that such theories are sufficiently accurate to produce an effective product or prediction that works and is useful.

    The number of scientists who happen to agree with a particular hypothesis is never a verification in itself. What we don’t know far exceeds what we do know, and history is littered with flase theories that have been supported by the majority of the intelligentsia at the time.

    The circumstances of this current obsession with anthropogenic climate change should give all intelligent people pause for thought.

    These Climate Research Centres around the world have not been set up just to investigate how our climate works, as an impartial, academic enterprise in research, with no bias towards a preconditioned impact upon humanity.

    Such Centres of research are funded, and continue to be funded, because of a prior scare that has been created about possible harmful effects of CO2 emissions. In order for such climate research centres to maintain and increase their funding, such a scare has to be maintained.

    The unfortunate weakness of all climate change models is that they cannot be verified, not only because of the enormous complexity of the issue with its many chaotic elements, but also because the time scales regarding predictions are too long. We cannot accurately reduce our complex climate system to laboratory conditions, or computer models.

    Now, if we add to this situation some evolutionary facts, such as the fact that we are not only the most intelligent tool maker on the planet but also the most adept liars, then I think we may get some insight into what’s really going on.

    Most of us lie frequently in all situations in order to enhance our position or our status, or to encourage more favourable opinions from our peers, or friends or family.

    Such lies range from the innocuous praising of one’s wife’s new hair style to the assertion that a new carbon tax will not affect peoples’ living standards.

    As a species we are supreme liars. And therein lies the problem.

    How do we get around this problem? Only one sure way that I know. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    There are many, many highly qualified scientists around the world who are skeptical of the AGW alarmist position. Unfortunately, they don’t have the luxury of an independently funded research centre with no bias or concern about human impact. A research centre funded by the coal or oil industry would not have credibility.

    For those who may be interested in a more skeptical view of the issue from someone actually working in the industry of climate science, Dr Roy Spencer is probably as credible as any scientist. http://www.drroyspencer.com/

    In such circumstances, intelligent people can only use their nous. A consensus of scientific opinion is NOT a verification. In addition, when scary factors are added to the equation, such as the possibility of small island nations being swamped, peoples’ luxury homes on the coast being inundated, fertile farming land becoming arid, cyclones and hurricanes instensifying and appearing with greater frequency, then all objective assessment tends to fly out of the window.

    Those who believe in such dire but unverified predictions, like our current labour government, are destined to squander and mismanage our wealth, in my very, very humble opinion.

  54. #54 Lotharsson
    August 23, 2011

    > My understanding of the scientific method is that any theory or hypothesis has to be verified before it can be considered as fact or as proved.

    Your post is essentially repeating without modification earlier claims and misunderstandings (such as that quote) that have been previously addressed. And (IIRC) such as:

    > Such Centres of research are funded, and continue to be funded, because of a prior scare that has been created about possible harmful effects of CO2 emissions.

    You really think humanity doesn’t have a deeply vested interest in understanding climate – and what causes it to change, and therefore how it is likely to change in the future – regardless of any concern about anthropogenic effects? Really?

    And you apparently *STILL* haven’t noticed the inconsistencies in your own positions. You correctly point out (after a fashion) that all that matters about scientific claims is whether the science is valid.

    You then correctly point out in opposition that it does not matter how many scientists subscribe to a theory or position. But you fail to point out to yourself that it does not matter *who* funds science or for what reasons *if the science is valid* (which implies that it has withstood scrutiny and attempts to find even better explanations).

    And more impressively you don’t even understand that your implication based on:

    > There are many, many highly qualified scientists around the world who are skeptical of the AGW alarmist position.

    …that these guys don’t have enough funding to “verify” climate science therefore the science can’t be trusted, is *also* bogus, because all that matters is *whether the science is valid*.

    (And never mind the fallacy that they can’t get funding because they are “skeptical” – they generally *have* funding, plus any oil company or government such as ours that thought there was a plausible chance of demonstrating through valid science that (say) CO2 is not a problem would be able to provide sufficient funding for the research without blinking – and everyone involved would get a heroic reception if the results turned out to be robust!)

    As I’ve asked before, when Vincent argues with Vincent, which one wins?

    > The unfortunate weakness of all climate change models is that they cannot be verified…

    You are revealing your ignorance. Again. (IIRC you’ve been set straight on that claim before.)

    But let’s ignore the fact that you don’t have a clue about how the utility of models are assessed. Instead, [try this on for size](http://wayback.archive.org/web/jsp/Interstitial.jsp?seconds=5&date=1262590352000&url=http%3A%2F%2Ftamino.wordpress.com%2F2009%2F08%2F17%2Fnot-computer-models%2F&target=http%3A%2F%2Fweb.archive.org%2Fweb%2F20100104073232%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Ftamino.wordpress.com%2F2009%2F08%2F17%2Fnot-computer-models%2F). No computer models in sight – and yet, even in this simplest of models of the climate (but NOT a computer model) we cannot adequately explain the evidence without anthropogenic forcings.

    (Bet you don’t provide a reasoned response to that analysis either.)

    > …when scary factors are added to the equation…then all objective assessment tends to fly out of the window.

    What an amusing little conspiracy theory! Apparently science simply cannot make robust assessments of a threat if it’s scary. Really? You seriously expect people not to note that there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary? Or is it *only you* that you’re trying to continue fooling?

    So…

    …after all of your latest pontification, I fail to see where you addressed Bernard’s challenge:

    > Pick one scientific conclusion of climatology with which you disagree, and pick one scientist who promotes this conclusion, and let’s follow it.

    Instead you fall back on conspiracy theories, unsupported assertions, and (despite it being mutually exclusive to the principle that all that matters is whether the science is valid) appeal to authority. (Worse still – you claim that Spencer is “as credible as any scientist” when copious evidence shows that he makes claims about his papers outside the literature – e.g. on the website that you cited – that are not justified by his actual scientific – i.e. published – works. And claims that those works support the kind of “skepticism” that you and others espouse do not stand up to scrutiny.)

    So how about you try Bernard’s challenge again, for real this time, without the conspiracy theorising and appeal to authority? Just address **any** core scientific claim from mainstream climate science and tell us why you believe it’s wrong.

    (Bet you don’t. Because evidence suggests you aren’t trying to or even interested in determining what is scientifically valid.)

  55. #55 Bernard J.
    August 23, 2011

    After a whole lot of waffle VincentR came out with:

    >For those who may be interested in a more skeptical view of the issue from someone actually working in the industry of climate science, Dr Roy Spencer is probably as credible as any scientist. http://www.drroyspencer.com/

    See, here’s the problem. You think that Spencer is credible, and indeed that he is “probably as credible as any scientist”. You are patently ignorant of why he is not, and also ignorant of the nature of the science that underscored Spencer’s lack of credibility.

    Still, if you believe that you’re on to a winner with Ol’ Roy, I have a bridge to sell you…

  56. #56 Robert Murphy
    August 23, 2011

    “My understanding of the scientific method is that any theory or hypothesis has to be verified before it can be considered as fact or as proved.”

    Your “understanding” is deeply flawed. Theories don’t become facts and neither are they ever proved. Facts are data points and are often less certain than well established theories, which are nonetheless still subject to doubt. Proof is for math and whiskey.

    “Now, if we add to this situation some evolutionary facts, such as the fact that we are not only the most intelligent tool maker on the planet but also the most adept liars,”

    Speak for yourself.

    “There are many, many highly qualified scientists around the world who are skeptical of the AGW alarmist position…”

    No, there really, really aren’t many scientists who have serious doubts about AGW. There are a handful of qualified cranks who do, and the rest are mostly people out of their own fields or people with little or no background in science.

    “Dr Roy Spencer is probably as credible as any scientist”

    That lying thing again I see.

    “In addition, when scary factors are added to the equation, such as the possibility of small island nations being swamped, peoples’ luxury homes on the coast being inundated, fertile farming land becoming arid, cyclones and hurricanes instensifying and appearing with greater frequency, then all objective assessment tends to fly out of the window.”

    Those are all valid concerns.

  57. #57 Jeff Harvey
    August 23, 2011

    *There are many, many highly qualified scientists around the world who are skeptical of the AGW alarmist position. Unfortunately, they don’t have the luxury of an independently funded research centre with no bias or concern about human impact. A research centre funded by the coal or oil industry would not have credibility*.

    Please name them. I am a senior scientist with many years of experience in my field of research and I have met very, very few climate change sceptics during this time in any field of research, even when the topic has frequently been breached at conferences and workshops. The reason people like Vince *think* that there are many AGW sceptics is because the media, corporate funded think tanks and polluting industries have provided them with a veritable megaphone that gives an inflated view of their numbers. The reality is that the number of scientists who question AGW is actually very small.

    Its always easy for an outsider like Vincent to make such pronouncements on the basis of zero evidence. And by describing a scientist arguing that humans are forcing climate as an ‘AGW alarmist’, ol’ Vince wears his scientifically challenged heart on his sleeve.

  58. #58 VincentR
    August 23, 2011

    “Its always easy for an outsider like Vincent to make such pronouncements on the basis of zero evidence. And by describing a scientist arguing that humans are forcing climate as an ‘AGW alarmist’, ol’ Vince wears his scientifically challenged heart on his sleeve.

    Posted by: Jeff Harvey | August 23, 2011 7:05 AM”

    It’s not easy at all. I seem to be the only one in this thread battling for the skeptic cause and I suffer a continuous stream of abuse as a result.

    As I’ve mentioned before, I used to accept the AGW alarmist view and found the arguments of James Lovelock and James Hansen, and other spokesmen for the cause, quite convincing. I used to be genuinely puzzled as to why developed societies were not taking more positive and more drastic action to reduce our CO2 emissions.

    I’m a pragmatic sort of person. If one knows with a strong degree of certainty that some disaster is likely to happen as a consequence of one’s behaviour, then one changes one’s behaviour. Don’t mess around.

    If you know your home is situated in a flood plain, or in any area that has a history of periodic flooding, then make sure your home is fully insured for all types of floods. Or better still, don’t build or buy your house there. That’s not a difficult concept, surely. But it certainly seems to be for many.

    So what’s the problem, I asked myself?

    After some thought, it began to be clear that one aspect of the problem is essentially an economic problem. The stark reality is ‘clean energy’ is currently a luxury we are not able or willing to afford.

    Without a significant breakthrough in ‘clean energy’ technology, solar and wind energy at the national level is the equivalent of a luxury car for the average person. It’s feasible, but not without making sacrifices elsewhere.

    We all have to make choices as to how to best spend the money or resources at our disposal, whether at the family level or the national level. 50 billion dollars spent on a fibre optic network is 50 billion dollars that is NOT spent on health, flood mitigation dams, solar voltaic farms producing base load electricity, or a network of HVDC transmission lines with low transmission loss over long distances.

    Choices always have to be made. Budgets are not unlimited, and when people act as though they are unlimited, we get a global financial crises like the one we experienced a couple of years ago, and the next one to come.

    Another aspect of the problem is the soundness and reliability of the scientific predictions regarding climate change and our contribution to it. When one investigates this for oneself, as I did, on the internet, one finds that this cosy consensus is really a fabrication, at least to some degree.

    True science, which is a spirit of enquiry and a search for truth, has become inveigled with authority and human ego, with regard to climate change.

    I’m surprised that posters in this thread are not aware that there are a significant number of scientists around the world who are skeptical on this issue of mankind’s contribution to climate change. It’s understood, of course, that climate is always changing. As Julia Gillard has said many times, ‘Climate Change is Real’. No argument there.

    You might be interested in the following links and extracts I’ve provided, but I doubt it. There may be some duplication in the links.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming

    http://www.climatedepot.com/a/9035/SPECIAL-REPORT-More-Than-1000-International-Scientists-Dissent-Over-ManMade-Global-Warming-Claims–Challenge-UN-IPCC–Gore
    http://hw.libsyn.com/p/b/f/6/bf663fd2376ffeca/2010_Senate_Minority_Report.pdf?sid=c928225b09d518f61a32b91148ec99c0&l_sid=27695&l_eid=&l_mid=2336201
    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.3762.pdf

    “While the scientists contained in this report hold a diverse range of views, they generally rally around several key points. 1) The Earth is currently well within natural climate variability. 2) Almost all climate fear is generated by unproven computer model predictions. 3) An abundance of peer-reviewed studies continue to debunk rising CO2 fears and, 4) “Consensus” has been manufactured for political, not scientific purposes. ”

    http://alexhogan.posterous.com/more-than-700-international-scientists-dissen
    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=83947f5d-d84a-4a84-ad5d-6e2d71db52d9

    “Prominent Japanese Geologist Dr. Shigenori Maruyama, a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences who has authored more than 125 scientific publications, said in March 2009 that “there was widespread skepticism among his colleagues about the IPCC’s fourth and latest assessment report that most of the observed global temperature increase since the mid-20th century ‘is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.” Maruyama noted that when this question was raised at a Japan Geoscience Union symposium last year, ‘the result showed 90 per cent of the participants do not believe the IPCC report.”

    http://www.endoftheworld2012.net/20100210%2031000%20Scientist%20disagree.pdf

    “Signatories are approved for inclusion in the Petition Project list if they have obtained formal educational degrees at the level of Bachelor of Science or higher in appropriate scientific fields.

    The petition has beencirculated only in the United States.

    The current list of petition signers includes 9,029 PhD; 7,157 MS; 2,586 MD and DVM; and 12,714 BS or equivalent academic degrees. Most of the MD and DVM signers also have underlying degrees in basic science.

    All of the listed signers have formal educations in fields of specialization that suitably qualify them to evaluate the research data related to the petition statement.

    Many of the signers currently work in climatological, meteorological, atmospheric, environmental, geophysical, astronomical, and biological fields directly involved in the climate change controversy.”

  59. #59 VincentR
    August 23, 2011

    Dear me1 Another comment held for approval. What’s the matter with this site?

  60. #60 Richard Simons
    August 23, 2011

    I agree with Jeff. I was active in crop science in the 70s to 90s. In that time, I do not remember a single scientist questioning the probability of climate change. The concerns were: a) what are the likely changes, b) how will agriculture be affected and c) as crop scientists (soil scientists, animal health experts, entomologists, agricultural economists, etc) what can we do to mitigate the situation?

  61. #61 Somebody
    August 23, 2011

    > There are many, many highly qualified scientists around the world who are skeptical of the AGW alarmist position. Unfortunately, they don’t have the luxury of an independently funded research centre with no bias or concern about human impact. A research centre funded by the coal or oil industry would not have credibility.

    I work in a research centre which is funded by the coal and oil industry.

    We have plenty of credibility. Our product is used by government and commercial entities the world over.

    There are probably slightly more global-warming deniers here than wherever Jeff labours (we’ve far fewer degrees of seperation from Plimer/Carter than he has), but then again, we also have some creationists and nobody takes them seriously either.

    There are virtually no qualified scientists around the world who deny AGW as a fact.
    There are kooks like Morner, drongoes like Beck, and serial failers like Roy Spencer (who is also a Creationist).
    And then there are all those who misrepresent their qualifications. Fake PhDs, for example.

  62. #62 VincentR
    August 23, 2011

    I’ve provided a number of links to lists of highly qualified scientists from around the world, who are very skeptical of the claims in the IPCC reports, regarding the impact of our CO2 emissions on our climate.

    But you’ll have to wait for this site’s peer review process to be completed before the post appears, if it ever appears.

    I don’t find it at all strange that most people who work in an organisation, whether scientists or not, will tend to toe the line, pull together, and try to sing the same tune in the interests of harmony, good working relationships and good promotion prospects for themselves.

  63. #63 jakerman
    August 23, 2011

    >*I don’t find it at all strange that most people who work in an organisation, whether scientists or not, will tend to toe the line, pull together, and try to sing the same tune in the interests of harmony, good working relationships and good promotion prospects for themselves.*

    Now is Vincent thinking of the The IPA, or Chamber of Commerce? or the Minerals Council of Australia? No, he’s not refering to the ideologes who most accurately follow this adherecne to toeing the ideological line. Rather he’s trying to project the failing of his side onto scientist who continually evaluate evidence to prevent themselves being tricked by their perceptions.

  64. #64 Bernard J.
    August 23, 2011

    None of my scientific colleagues question the science of climate change either, and I move in diverse scientific circles, across a number of independent scientific institutions.

    The exception was a single individual, who took a perverse pleasure in contradicting just about any scientific understanding that he could, not because he believed his own ‘theories’, but because he enjoyed putting down his more experienced colleagues and simultaneously big-noting himself. (I actually spoke of this person a number of years ago in response to a question from John Mashey.)

    And Vinnie’s theory that “most people who work in an organisation, whether scientists or not, will tend to toe the line, pull together, and try to sing the same tune in the interests of harmony, good working relationships and good promotion prospects for themselves” is bunkum. He obviously has no idea of genuine controversies in science, and how they operate politically, epistemologically, and technically.

    “Toe the line”? Heh, he doesn’t know scientists…

    Not only is VincentR ignorant of the facts of climtalogical science, but he is ignorant of the processes of science itself. He’s a typical Google expert, who thinks that typing on a keypad and reading whatever the lottery engine presents is a shortcut to complete knowledge and understanding. If Roy Spencer is the type of ‘scientist’ who constitutes VincentR’s “many, many”, then VincentR has no case at all.

    Which we all knew months and months ago.

    And Vinnie, get over your persecution complex. As I’ve explained previously, I’ve had posts disappear forever, simply because I included certain words, and because Tim was OS. I’m not worried about it, and neither should you be.

  65. #65 Richard Simons
    August 24, 2011

    . . . most people who work in an organisation, whether scientists or not, will tend to toe the line, pull together, and try to sing the same tune in the interests of harmony, good working relationships and good promotion prospects for themselves.

    Not in any research establishment I’ve been at all familiar with. They are more likely to shout arguments to each other across the room although, I hasten to add, I’ve never seen it get personal and they usually give the other person chance to respond.

    I’ve provided a number of links to lists of highly qualified scientists from around the world, who are very skeptical of the claims in the IPCC reports, regarding the impact of our CO2 emissions on our climate.

    You should know by now that too many links will hold up your comment. How about just naming 10 highly-qualified (in an appropriate field) scientists who are highly sceptical of IPCC’s claims.

  66. #66 Somebody
    August 24, 2011

    > most people who work in an organisation, whether scientists or not, will tend to toe the line, pull together, and try to sing the same tune in the interests of harmony, good working relationships and good promotion prospects for themselves.

    VincentR has not worked with many petroleum geologists, clearly.

    Science is all about disagreeing with people and trying to prove them wrong.

    VincentR’s claims about the IPCC are utter balderdash – anybody with the appropriate degree of qualification is *involved* in the IPCC process (or should be), and the IPCC conclusions/summaries have consistently erred on the side of conservatism as a result of the consensus approach: sea level rise has been underestimated, for example, because hard facts about the effects of melting ice are thin on the ground.

  67. #67 VincentR
    August 24, 2011

    “None of my scientific colleagues question the science of climate change either, and I move in diverse scientific circles, across a number of independent scientific institutions.
    Posted by: Bernard J. | August 23, 2011 11:05 PM”

    Not much going on in your circles then, Bernard. Have you thought of joining a choir?

    Hey! Maybe there’s a conspiracy here. Maybe the coal mining industry, in collaboration with other ‘dirty’ industries, has deliberately falsified a whole lot of names to make it appear there are a few thousand, highly qualified scientist around the world who disagree with the IPCC conclusions on AGW.

    Maybe this massive fraud should be investigated. Perhaps this is what Tim Lambert is now doing. Perhaps that’s the real reason for the non-appearance of a major, recent post of mine.

    “And Vinnie’s theory that “most people who work in an organisation, whether scientists or not, will tend to toe the line, pull together, and try to sing the same tune in the interests of harmony, good working relationships and good promotion prospects for themselves” is bunkum. He obviously has no idea of genuine controversies in science, and how they operate politically, epistemologically, and technically.
    “Toe the line”? Heh, he doesn’t know scientists…

    Posted by: Bernard J. | August 23, 2011 11:05 PM”

    Really! I have no idea of genuine controversy?? Yet you claim within the context of this enormously complex issue of climate change involving 30 or more scientific disciplines, a complexity that also involves long periods of time that make predictions unverifiable, that you and your colleagues are all singing harmoniously together in praise of the shiny new windmills and solar volaic panels.

    C’mon, Bernard! Who do you think you are kidding?

    “And Vinnie, get over your persecution complex. As I’ve explained previously, I’ve had posts disappear forever, simply because I included certain words, and because Tim was OS. I’m not worried about it, and neither should you be.
    Posted by: Bernard J. | August 23, 2011 11:05 PM”

    I don’t feel persecuted at all. Whatever gave you that idea? Do you think I’d be hanging around this site being verbally abused in almost every thread if I had a persecution complex?? Where’s your reasoning, man?

    My experience posting on forums is that there are often certain rules one should abide by, if one doesn’t want one’s posts edited or removed. Such rules normally include refraining from use of personally insulting, rude, crude and abusive remarks.

    I’ve never come across a forum before which, without warning and with no explanation, suddenly holds back a perfectly polite post for approval.

    I just find it very, very odd. If there are certain words that automatically trigger this reaction, then let’s see them so I can avoid using them. I’m reasonably flexible, you know.

    However, I see my post has now appeared (post 554). Thanks Tim. You’re not so bad after all.

  68. #68 VincentR
    August 24, 2011

    Dear me! Whilst making a response to Bernard, I see that my previous post has now been reinserted at post 554. In the meantime my latest response to Bernard, a fairly short response, has been held back for approval.

    C’mon Tim. Stop this nonsense.

  69. #69 Lotharsson
    August 24, 2011

    Vincent, you reveal (again) your misunderstanding of skepticism and embrace of denialism.

    > I’m surprised that posters in this thread are not aware that there are a significant number of scientists around the world who are skeptical on this issue of mankind’s contribution to climate change

    False claim. I’ve seen pretty much everything you cited before.

    You don’t seem to be aware that most – perhaps all – of those types of “lists” contain many people who either aren’t scientists, or disagree with the position attributed to people on the list – sometimes even having **asked to be removed** only to have the list makers *refuse*. (What does that tell you about the integrity of the list makers and their claims?) Try doing some of that “research on the Internet” you claim to do to get at the truth and see what you find.

    Heck, even the **quotes you provided** indicate that some of your cites accept – and contain large numbers of – people who have **zero science research credentials** in *any* field of science, let alone climate science. Were you really unaware of this?

    You also don’t seem to realise that you’re *appealing to authority* by citing such lists, which goes against the “doesn’t matter – what does the valid science say” principle – and the *far greater* authority of the consensus (should you still think authority or lists of supporters constitute a valid argument – a position you have disclaimed in the past).

    > The stark reality is ‘clean energy’ is currently a luxury we are not able or willing to afford.

    There was a news article the other day stating that NSW feed-in prices were now very close to the amortized cost of solar panels, or something along those lines, and were expected to exceed the costs within two years or so. You’re hanging your hat on old – and now false – facts. And a carbon price that captures currently uncaptured externalities will only help the comparison further.

    So, Vincent, what did you think of the “No Computer Models” post I linked to? Seems like a good start to demonstrate that anthropogenic forces are at work in the recent climate – and not a computer model in sight. That puts **severe** doubts on claims such as “Almost all climate fear is generated by unproven computer model predictions.” (even though there are numerous other lines of evidence that also debunk that false claim). Don’t you agree? And doesn’t that then suggest that your position needs to change? And what does it do for your credibility that you ignore inconvenient data such as that?

    And how are you going with [Bernard's challenge](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/03/shorter_clive_james.php#comment-4906400)? I take it I’ll keep linking to earlier invocations of the challenge until we have a nice long chain of them, like we did earlier, and you’ll ignore each and every one? What do you think that does for your credibility?

  70. #70 Lotharsson
    August 24, 2011

    > C’mon Tim. Stop this nonsense.

    Are you completely incapable of absorbing new information?

    You’ve been informed several times in the past how it works – and in particular that *computer code* automatically hold up posts that meet its criteria, regardless of the commenter. Despite your wildest fantasies, Tim isn’t hovering over the server just waiting for you to post something so he can hold it up at his whim.

  71. #71 VincentR
    August 24, 2011

    “…the IPCC conclusions/summaries have consistently ERRED on the side of conservatism as a result of the consensus approach: sea level rise has been UNDERESTIMATED, for example, because HARD FACTS about the effects of melting ice are THIN ON THE GROUND.
    Posted by: Somebody | August 24, 2011 1:37 AM”

    I agree to some extent, although I have no reliable information on the precentages of over-estimation compared with under-estimation. Hard facts are thin on the ground in general. Whether estimates are more often ‘under’ or ‘over’, the point is that the estimates are unreliable.

    It’s just the nature of the complexity of the issue. I’m not blaming the humble scientists who may be doing their best to get to the truth.

  72. #72 VincentR
    August 24, 2011

    “Are you completely incapable of absorbing new information?
    You’ve been informed several times in the past how it works – and in particular that computer code automatically hold up posts that meet its criteria, regardless of the commenter. Despite your wildest fantasies, Tim isn’t hovering over the server just waiting for you to post something so he can hold it up at his whim.
    Posted by: Lotharsson | August 24, 2011 3:43 AM”

    Have you got no sense at all? It doesn’t matter whether or not Tim is personally hovering over the server, from my perspective.

    I’m presuming that Tim has control over what the server holds back for approval.

    If this is not the case, and the server is a package with its own rules that Tim has no control over, then I apologise to Tim.

    Crikey! You people!

  73. #73 Lotharsson
    August 24, 2011

    > I’m presuming that Tim has control over what the server holds back for approval.

    I’m not entirely sure that is the case. Some of the behavior appears common across all of the ScienceBlogs blogs that I visit.

    And to whatever extent Tim has control, he’s not going to change it because you bleat about it.

    > Whether estimates are more often ‘under’ or ‘over’, the point is that the estimates are unreliable.

    That’s a minor point in the scheme of things. All science – and engineering, and risk management, and economic management, and medicine, and so forth – deals with uncertainty. We don’t say “heck, economic predictions are unreliable, so let’s not do anything about looming economic issues.”

    The major point, which you apparently are unwilling or unable to focus on, is that estimates are *more than reliable enough* to warrant significant concern and action.

  74. #74 VincentR
    August 24, 2011

    “Now is Vincent thinking of the The IPA, or Chamber of Commerce? or the Minerals Council of Australia? No, he’s not refering to the ideologes who most accurately follow this adherecne to toeing the ideological line. Rather he’s trying to project the failing of his side onto scientist who continually evaluate evidence to prevent themselves being tricked by their perceptions.
    Posted by: jakerman | August 23, 2011 10:16 PM”

    No. It’s standard psychology that applies to all organisations. Those employees who tend to be negative with regard to the optimistic goals of the organisation, even though their negative criticisms may have validity, and even sometimes be unquestionably true, tend to get side-lined, sometimes disliked by their colleagues, lose promotion prospects, and eventually have to leave.

    Even some of the great scientists of the past who were economically independent and not affiliated with any organisation that provided their bread and butter, were sometimes very sensitive to public opinion, and tended to keep quiet about their ‘anti-consensus’ views.

    I’m thinking here of Charles Darwin, for example, who didn’t look forward to the abuse he would expect from the Christian fanatics, and also Paul Dirac who discovered mathematically that antimatter should exist but was fearful of his reputation if he published his results without scientific verification.

  75. #75 Wow
    August 24, 2011

    “I’m thinking here of Charles Darwin, for example, who didn’t look forward to the abuse he would expect from the Christian fanatics”

    Yet here you are, with all the Christian Fanatics heaping abuse on the IPCC science and the scientists who you don’t like their work.

    But you won’t see that, will you, princess.

    No pink unicorn for you!

    (PS we’re laughing at Bozo The Clown, not Galileo)

  76. #76 VincentR
    August 24, 2011

    “Yet here you are, with all the Christian Fanatics heaping abuse on the IPCC science and the scientists who you don’t like their work.
    But you won’t see that, will you, princess.

    Posted by: Wow | August 24, 2011 5:39 AM”

    Of course I won’t see that, without evidence. If you wish to support your statement with evidence, please provide the sociological studies that imply that Christians as a group may be more adverse to believing in catastrophic AGW than other groups.

    I noticed when the Dalai Lama was questioned on this issue in Australia recently, he very wisely diverted his response to the broad concern that we should look after our environment because this planet is the only one we have.

    I believe all thinking people appreciate the need to take care of our environment, prevent extinction of species, preserve biodiversity, reduce toxic pollution etc.

    Only non-thinking people believe that reducing CO2 emissions will achieve that goal.

  77. #77 Wow
    August 24, 2011

    “Of course I won’t see that, without evidence.”

    But, since it is the very ESSENCE of denial, you will deny any evidence shown for this.

    Vincent: “Sometimes, claims by the AGW alarmists just seem plain dishonest”

    Vincent: “I used to just accept the science-backed theory that mankind was in danger of causing catastrophic climate change, until I began investigating the issue for myself on the internet.

    What I have discovered on the internet, regarding this subject, is an appalling inability of scientists to communicate with the public and present convincing arguments that give credibility to the theory that our emissions of CO2 (as opposed to particulate carbon, sulphur dioxide and other nasties emitted from coal-fired power stations) are a serious threat to our well-being.”

    Vincent: “(1) How can such a small percentages of CO2 in the atmosphere be a major concern?”

    Vincent: “how can anyone accurately and credibly quantify the effect on climate of mankind’s CO2 emissions?”

    Vincent: “….volcanoes and a million undersea fissures emitting CO2 which we simply do not monitor, how can anyone accurately and credibly quantify the effect on climate of mankind’s CO2 emissions?”

    Vincent: “I find it deeply ironic, and frankly disturbing, that there are plans to handicap our most efficient energy producers in some vain attempt to control the climate by reducing CO2 emission”

    Vincent: “I recall Phillip Adams goes even further and equates AGW skeptics to Holocaust Deniers.”

    Vincent: “We would like our doubts addressed clearly and intelligibly, without bias and without conveniently glossing over historical facts and geological records that do suggest that the climate, which is always in a process of change, is currently changing due to natural causes, in the main.”

    Vincent: “(1) They need the employment to feed their families.”

    Vincent: “Well that article sure is brimming with “scientific rationality” There was another flood of about the same dimensions in 1974. There was no peak of CO2 at that time.”

    Vincent: “Unfortunately, it is a deeply flawed argument. Every business manager knows that one needs accurate and reliable information to properly assess risk factors, not exaggerated scenarios.”

    Vincent: “My mind truly and honestly boggles at such foolishness. Get real, for Christ’s sake!”

    Vincent: “Don’t kid yourselves! Climate is far too complex, variable and unpredictable for such a simplistic approach.”

    Vincent: “I often get a sense from the AGW protagonists that they suffer in general from an inability to appreciate in practical human terms the broader picture and the significance of the price of energy.”

    Vincent: “Can any of you guys understand that I’m a little skeptical about the claims of any group of people (scientists or politicians) that they can control our climate, in theory or in practice, by reducing CO2 emissions?”

    Vincent: “There are those who are certain that AGW will be catastrophic if we don’t reduce our CO2 emission significantly and quickly. This group seems to think the science is settled.”

    Vincent: “We already have too many scientific illiterates in politics, people who think that 4,000 scientists can’t be wrong, and people who think that life-giving CO2 is a pollutant in the miniscule percentages that currently exist in the atmosphere.”

    Vincent: “However, some time ago it was revealed that one of the most vocal advocates of the alarmist view on AGW, Al Gore, profits from government subsidies for green technologies.”

    And so on and on and on and, unfortunately, on without seeming let up.

    You’re a frigging nuisance and a troll, princess.

  78. #78 Wow
    August 24, 2011

    Oh, and forgot this most recent idiocy from our resident princess-in-waiting:

    “Only non-thinking people believe that reducing CO2 emissions will achieve that goal”

  79. #79 VincentR
    August 24, 2011

    “Of course I won’t see that, without evidence.”
    But, since it is the very ESSENCE of denial, you will deny any evidence shown for this.

    Posted by: Wow | August 24, 2011 6:58 AM”

    My mind boggles at such misunderstanding. I believe almost totally in verified scientific principles that have been tried and tested ad nauseum. I give conditional support to principles that have had limited testing, but look promising.

    I don’t give 100% support to any scientific theory, because I’m smart enough to know there is no absolute certainty.

    Christ! Why am I here explaining such obvious principles?

  80. #80 Bernard J.
    August 24, 2011

    >I’ve never come across a forum before which, without warning and with no explanation, suddenly holds back a perfectly polite post for approval.

    Dipshit, read the bit below “Post a Comment“:

    >(Email is required for authentication purposes only. On some blogs, comments are moderated for spam, so your comment may not appear immediately.)

    You’ve had warning, and plenty of repeated explanation.

    And you have still failed to learn how to quote, even after those many, many repetitions.

    >I have no reliable information on the precentages [sic] of over-estimation compared with under-estimation.

    So how do you know that you are correct, and the professional climatologists are wrong?

    >Hard facts are thin on the ground in general. Whether estimates are more often ‘under’ or ‘over’, the point is that the estimates are unreliable.

    Once again, how do you know that “the estimates are unreliable”? What statistical analyses have you employed, or relied on?

    Eh?

    >It’s just the nature of the complexity of the issue. I’m not blaming the humble scientists who may be doing their best to get to the truth.

    How humble of you.

    >No. It’s standard psychology that applies to all organisations. Those employees who tend to be negative with regard to the optimistic goals of the organisation, even though their negative criticisms may have validity, and even sometimes be unquestionably true, tend to get side-lined, sometimes disliked by their colleagues, lose promotion prospects, and eventually have to leave.

    Bull-crap.

    Science and scientists thrive on challenging each other, and by testing their challenges. This process drives science. And it’s why we know that the garbage promoted by you, and by your ignorant lay mates and by the professional pseudoscientists you rely on, is just that – garbage.

    The garbage has been tested over and over again, and it always comes up as garbage. You and your lot just keep ignoring that fact.

    >Even some of the great scientists of the past who were economically independent and not affiliated with any organisation that provided their bread and butter, were sometimes very sensitive to public opinion, and tended to keep quiet about their ‘anti-consensus’ views.

    To which shrinking violets of science are you referring? Come on, tell us. I’m itching to know.

    Where scientists have been afraid to speak their minds, it is very rarely from professional scientific intimidation, and almost always from religious and/or political interference. Your reference to Darwin is an example of this – he was well-accepted by the rational scientists of his time, and not by the religious (= doctrinaire) establishment. Galileo was the same – objective scientists had no beef with his ideas, but the Church certainly did…

    The denial of the science of anthropogenic global warning is simply the contemporary example of a long tradition of irrational contradiction of science. As displayed by:

    >Only non-thinking people believe that reducing CO2 emissions will achieve that goal.

    Substantiate.

    Carefully, in detail.

    And repeating one of Wow’s quotes by you:

    >How can such a small percentages of CO2 in the atmosphere be a major concern?

    I’ll answer your question with another two questions:

    1. how thick do you think the layer would be if the CO2in the atmosphere was to be gathered at sea level, at mean global temperature and pressure?
    2. How thick would a similar layer of ozone be?

    Discuss.

  81. #81 Bernard J.
    August 24, 2011

    >Christ! Why am I here explaining such obvious principles?

    Probably because you are ignoring them in your denial of a complex scientific discipline in which you have no training, no experience, and no desire to understand where it conflicts with your ideologies and prejudices.

  82. #82 Robert Murphy
    August 24, 2011

    The Oregon Petition, Vinnie? Really????? BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

  83. #83 FrankD
    August 24, 2011

    Vincent:
    >The stark reality is ‘clean energy’ is currently a luxury we are not able or willing to afford.

    Lotharsson:
    >There was a news article the other day stating that NSW feed-in prices were now very close to the amortized cost of solar panels, or something along those lines, and were expected to exceed the costs within two years or so. You’re hanging your hat on old – and now false – facts.

    The internets:
    >[Solar will force coal and nuclear out of business](http://theconversation.edu.au/solar-will-force-coal-and-nuclear-out-of-the-energy-business-2557)

    Wow:
    >Princess

    Lotharsson + Wow + Talleyrand:
    >Nous voyons tout cela de près et nous gémissons : personne n’a su ni rien oublier, ni rien apprendre. (“We see it all clearly and we groan: a person who can forget nothing, and can learn nothing.”)

    Vincent = Louis XVIII.

  84. #84 Wow
    August 24, 2011

    > Galileo was the same – objective scientists had no beef with his ideas, but the Church certainly did…

    And the problem they had with Galileo was not that he put the sun at the center of the system, but that he wrote about it in *Italian* where the plebes could read it, rather in Latin where only the priests and intelligentsia could understand it.

  85. #85 Wow
    August 24, 2011

    > My mind boggles at such misunderstanding.

    Yet still you continue to prattle your lack of understanding, knowledge and even coherency for all to see.

    > I believe almost totally in verified scientific principles that have been tried and tested ad nauseum.

    Nope, you absolutely don’t.

    Your hate-on against climate science is despite it being based on and verified by scientific principles. You just cover your idiocy with the *insistence*, without a shred of fact, evidence or even coherent explanation, that climate science hasn’t been verified by scientific principles.

    > I don’t give 100% support to any scientific theory

    And that leaves plenty of room for 0% to climate science. Because YOU DON’T LIKE IT.

    No other reason.

    > because I’m smart enough to know there is no absolute certainty.

    Yet your posts are littered liberally with absolute certainties.

    I even quoted some:

    Vincent: “(1) They need the employment to feed their families.”

    Vincent: “how can anyone accurately and credibly quantify the effect on climate of mankind’s CO2 emissions?”

    Vincent: “Don’t kid yourselves! Climate is far too complex, variable and unpredictable for such a simplistic approach.”

    et al, et al, et al ad nauseum.

    Again, you’re displaying complete denial of your dogmatic approach and wanton ignorance.