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
    June 1, 2011

    Apparently you just blindly believe the interpretations put on them by denialist websites that just happen to agree with your preconceptions.
    And while you’re propagating this piece of blatant sophistry, you’re calling yourself an “actual skeptic” and castigating actual scientists for not being skeptical?
    You’re a Dunning-Kruger poster child with a poor grasp of logic.
    Posted by: Lotharsson | June 1, 2011 5:37 AM

    No. You’ve got it absolutely wrong. You couldn’t be more wrong. I have absolutely no belief on the matter of AGW either one way or the other.
    It’s YOU who appears to have the belief.

    I merely note that there is a disagreement on the issue amongst people whom I would admit know more than I do, on the subject.

    In such a situation I would tend to go along with the majority consensus view from the experts in the field, rather than a minority of dissenters. And this is in fact what I did, initially, as I’ve already mentioned in this thread.

    The reason I’ve recently become more skeptical on the issue, during the past 2 or 3 years, is because it has become very apparent to me that there has been deception and exaggeration from those who have been promoting the AGW case, and I have consequently lost confidence in such people.

    The general rudeness and fanaticism I find on this site also tends to reinforce that loss of confidence.

  2. #2 Robert Murphy
    June 1, 2011

    “The reason I’ve recently become more skeptical on the issue, during the past 2 or 3 years, is because it has become very apparent to me that there has been deception and exaggeration from those who have been promoting the AGW case, and I have consequently lost confidence in such people.”

    You’ve provided no evidence for this alleged deception. Earlier in the thread you told me why you changed your mind about AGW, but all you did was post some facts that no climate scientists have denied or failed to state, and that do not in any way go against AGW. (You also posted a few bogus *facts*, like the RWP being as warm or warmer than now, with the MWP started a few centuries later). How did finding out that pre-industrial CO2 levels were about 280 ppm and that they are about 390 ppm now move you away from AGW? Where was the deception or exaggeration? How did your discovery that the oceans were alkaline (a fact nobody has ever stated to be otherwise) make you less confident in AGW? Where was the deception and exaggeration? Your ignorance of what the word acidification means is not an excuse to accuse others of wrongdoing. How did finding out that Venus’ atmosphere is 96% CO2 cause you to think you were being deceived? The claim isn’t that we will be turning the Earth into another Venus (with temps over 750C), it’s that we will be raising global temps by about 3C with a doubling of CO2.

    “The general rudeness and fanaticism I find on this site also tends to reinforce that loss of confidence.”

    Your concern is noted, troll. Of course, I do not believe for a second you ever accepted AGW. There was no “confidence” to lose.

  3. #3 VincentR
    June 1, 2011

    What I don’t want, and neither do you, is to find out too late that whole forests, grasslands, crops, seashores or orchard fruits are on the way out because we were too stubborn to acknowledge that we could have acted to benefit them (and ourselves) rather than damage them (and ourselves).
    If only …
    Posted by: adelady | June 1, 2011 5:24 AM

    I’m sure you understand that reducing our CO2 emissions will not result in the re-establishment of whole forests, grasslands and orchard fruits.

    I see a terrible confusion of issues that become associated with the CO2 phenomenon, deliberately encouraged by the AGW believers.

    Forests, grasslands and plants in general love CO2. If you want to encourage the regrowth of forests, keep the atmospheric CO2 levels high.

    There are two major areas of doubt regarding the real effects of our CO2 emissions.

    One is the uncertainty regarding the significance of the relatively small increases in CO2 from human activity, and the other is a general uncertainty about future events that may make such increases totally irrelevant anyway, whether or not they would have been significant.

    Such events may be an unpredicted period of massive volcanic activity that completely dwarfs any action we might take in an attempt to control our climate by reducing CO2 emissions, or it may be unpredicted behaviour of the sun that changes the climate dramatically towards cooling.

    I feel very comfortable, very sane and very confident in the wisdom of my advice that we should exercise more common sense by refraining from building houses in flood plains, and by ensuring they are built to withstand unexpected storms.

  4. #4 FrankD
    June 1, 2011

    Loth! Tag me in!

    While you were wasting your time chasing his stupid gwpf link, I spend five minutes enjoying the usual facepalmery of CO2 “Science.”

    >”but for God’s sake don’t read the full report”

    Vincent should follow his own advice, instead of getting the Cliff Notes from serial purveyors of horseshit. Had he actually read the paper himself, he’d have found that Yang’s two reconstructions show that current temps are higher than either Medieval or Roman Warm Periods, despite the reconstructions stopping in 1975 and 1995 respectively (since when temps have risen a further 0.5 and 0.15 degrees respectively).

    Which just confirms that Vincent would rather waffle than learn. Because, as Bernard calls, he’s an utter fuckwit.

    >”I have absolutely no belief on the matter of AGW either one way or the other.”

    I call bullshit. Just five hours earlier, he said this:

    >…your grandchildren, and/or maybe their children, will find themselves in a world which is descending into another Little Ice Age.

    Vincent is a denier, pure and simple.

    >In such a situation I would tend to go along with the majority consensus view from the experts in the field, rather than a minority of dissenters.

    Bullshit. My descendents have again asked me to pass on [their message](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/03/shorter_clive_james.php#comment-3821968) to you.

  5. #5 Wow
    June 1, 2011

    > One is the uncertainty regarding the significance of the relatively small increases in CO2 from human activity

    A 35% increase is “relatively small”????

    Nutcase. I call nutcase, here.

    As to it being one of “two major areas of doubt”, that’s bollocks. We know it’s at least 2.7C per doubling because that’s what we’ve had.

    But I suppose that you’re thinking “it could be twice as much!” which would be a large uncertainty in the sensitivity.

    However, that’s not a large uncertainty in whether it’s bad or not.

    > and the other is a general uncertainty about future events that may make such increases totally irrelevant anyway

    You’re going to die, Vinny. But just because this is INEVITABLE, we don’t bother scrapping food regulation so you will die from food poisoning, safety laws so you’ll die from unmaintained buildings, or the various laws against murder and assault in case you die instead by mugger or murderer.

    Why?

    Why do you insist that your safety should be considered in any way whatsoever since it is INEVITABLE that you will die in the future.

    Of course, the sane part of the planet knows that you may die from heart attack and it’s better to avoid getting obese and eating fatty foods. The sane majority know that despite it being possible to die from spoon related incidents, laws against murder are a Good Thing ™. And, also, the non-nutcase portion of society want to avoid those human caused elements of suffering so that whatever disaster happens to people, we did our best.

    It’s vinny-the-nutcase who thinks that trying not to kill people is worth doing even if they may end up dying from an earthquake.

  6. #6 Lotharsson
    June 1, 2011

    FrankD, tag me back in!

    > You couldn’t be more wrong. I have absolutely no belief on the matter of AGW either one way or the other. It’s YOU who appears to have the belief.

    Ah, Vincent the bullshitter now turns his considerable talents to himself. The comedy hits never stop coming! Do you normally shoot your own (rhetorical) foot off like this, or do you only bring out that party trick on special occasions?

    Let’s see if we can make it clear enough for even you to understand.

    1) You argue that AGW is nothing to worry about;
    2) You argue that it is more important to spend money on other things instead;
    3) IIRC you ALSO argue that adaptation is better than mitigation;
    4) These points can only be argued from a belief on the matter.

    So let us conclude, since you argue that you have no belief on AGW, that your extensively repeated assertions that we shouldn’t spend any money on it are merely unjustified bluster and can be ignored based on your own claims.

    Feel free to stop posting that bullshit argument any time you like.

  7. #7 Lotharsson
    June 1, 2011

    > …because it has become very apparent to me that there has been deception and exaggeration from those who have been promoting the AGW case, and I have consequently lost confidence in such people.

    And yet you get your viewpoint on the matter – the one you deny actually having – from sources that have been well-documented as engaging in massive and in many cases deliberate deception and exaggeration, far exceeding anything you’ve been (un-)able to substantiate here from the scientific world.

    Well done, Vincent! You’ve just demonstrated precisely why your judgement on the science is worthless.

  8. #8 Lotharsson
    June 1, 2011

    So Vincent, despite all your bluster, you haven’t seriously addressed Bernard’s questions:

    > 1) Tell us what you believe is the best scientifically-derived temperature sensitivity of the global climate, in response to a doubling of pre-Industrial atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    > 2) Tell us what you believe is the best scientifically-derived understanding of the biotic and abiotic responses to such temperature sensitivity of the global climate, in response to a doubling of pre-Industrial atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    To be fair, you’ve kind of touched on a part of (2) by asserting that things will basically be alright in the biosphere, no biggie, nothing for humans to worry about. To also be fair, this assertion does NOT answer Bernard’s question in any way because you haven’t demonstrated any derivation of this assertion from the science.

    So really you’re 0 for 2 thus far.

    Since three year olds are alleged to learn faster than you do, let’s try and make it a bit easier and use multiple choice.

    Is your failure to answer because:

    a) You don’t know?

    b) If you answered correctly it would completely undermine your core argument?

    c) You didn’t understand the question?

    d) Your favourite denialist websites don’t have answers?

    e) Look over there, flying monkeys!?

    Multiple selections are allowed.

    Or you could actually attempt to answer Bernard’s questions – that would be a change.

  9. #9 Lotharsson
    June 1, 2011

    > Such events may be an unpredicted period of massive volcanic activity that completely dwarfs any action we might take in an attempt to control our climate by reducing CO2 emissions, or it may be unpredicted behaviour of the sun that changes the climate dramatically towards cooling.

    Vincent, I’m not even going to bother addressing the chances of your wild fantasies coming true.

    Vincent, when you’re driving and the cars in front are stopped at a level crossing waiting for an enormous train to pass, do you keep driving and hope for an unexpected stopping force such as a giant pile of foam mattresses falling out of the sky and landing on the road in front of you, or do you anticipate the most likely set of outcomes of your (in-)action and apply the brakes?

    Because right now you’re arguing for keeping on driving fingers crossed, which makes you look like:

    > I call nutcase, here.

    So seconded.

    The “nutcase” reference to “relatively small amount” is a standard denialist meme, which Vincent will probably deny is denialist, or that he got it FROM denialists: paint the amount as small to fool people into thinking the effect must also be small. Funnily enought, they never seem to take up the challenge to put a small amount of arsenic in their coffee because its effect must be small…

    Vincent seems like he’s been taking clowntrolling lessons from sunspot though – he’s taken to posting self-refuting references now!

  10. #10 adelady
    June 1, 2011

    “I’m sure you understand that reducing our CO2 emissions **will not result in the re-establishment** of whole forests, grasslands and orchard fruits.”

    Come on. If you read what I wrote, I want to avoid getting to that point. We’re already replanting vineyards with different grape varieties to cope with changing climate. And that’s about as far as I’d like things to go.

    The idea that we’d have the resources to spare for *re-establishing* species lost in defunct forests or vineyards or grasslands is silly. If things were that bad, all our funds would be fully committed – to fun activities like adaptation, re-location, migration, food scavenging, second jobs to pay insurance premiums and other delightful, useful pastimes.

    To rephrase my point of view so that it can’t be misread as before. We need to control, slow down, remove the burdens we have already imposed on our life support systems and avoid imposing any further such burdens. Why?

    Because we know we have caused damage and are now causing further damage. What we don’t know is which particular straw will break important camel’s backs. (By important I mean grain crops, fisheries (or their nursery reefs and mangroves), forests.)

    I hope that’s clearer.

  11. #11 VincentR
    June 1, 2011

    Vincent should follow his own advice, instead of getting the Cliff Notes from serial purveyors of horseshit. Had he actually read the paper himself, he’d have found that Yang’s two reconstructions show that current temps are higher than either Medieval or Roman Warm Periods, despite the reconstructions stopping in 1975 and 1995 respectively (since when temps have risen a further 0.5 and 0.15 degrees respectively).

    Posted by: FrankD | June 1, 2011 8:07 AM

    Which graphs are ypou referring to, Frank? Surely you must know by now that I’m a reasonable person. If there’s some conflict between a summary of a scientists report and what a graph in that report clearly states, then the matter is worthy of investigation.

    If the site commenting on the report is deceitfully misrepresenting the conclusions, then of course I would not approve.

    Here is the comment below which I show again.

    “In a much broader-based study, Yang et al. (2002) used nine separate proxy climate records derived from peat, lake sediment, ice core, tree ring and other proxy sources to compile a single weighted temperature history for all of China that spanned the past two thousand years. This composite record revealed five distinct climate epochs: a warm stage from AD 0 to 240 (the tail-end of the Roman Warm Period), a cold interval between AD 240 and 800 (the Dark Ages Cold Period), a return to warm conditions from AD 800-1400 (which included the Medieval Warm Period between AD 800 and 1100), a cool interval between 1400 and 1820 (the Little Ice Age), and — last of all — the most recent warm regime (the Current Warm Period), which followed the increase in temperature that began in the early 1800s. Of greatest significance, however, was the fact that Yang et al.’s study indicated that the warmest temperatures of the past two millennia were observed in the second and third centuries AD, during the latter stages of the Roman Warm Period.”

    Here is a link to the main report which I didn’t provide in my previous post.

    http://jpkc.ecnu.edu.cn/sy0701/upload/%E6%B0%94%E5%80%99%E5%8F%98%E5%8C%96/climate%20change%20over%20the%20past%202000%20years%20in%20Western%20China.pdf

    ….and you are quite right that towards the end of that report there is a temperature graph that shows the temperature around the end of the 20th century as being about 0.2 degrees higher than the next highest point around 850AD and about 0.4 degrees higher than the third highest point around 220 AD.

    So what’s going on? Of course, I understand that you AGW believers will immediately conclude that the person who wrote the summary stating that the RWP was the warmest is a climate change denier. Say no more.

    But a skeptic, such as myself, will tend to look for further explanations. By clicking on the link to the ‘hi res’ graph below what I presume is the graph you are referring to in the following report at

    http://jpkc.ecnu.edu.cn/sy0701/upload/%E6%B0%94%E5%80%99%E5%8F%98%E5%8C%96/climate%20change%20over%20the%20past%202000%20years%20in%20Western%20China.pdf I find that there are three variations of that graph.

    (1) a ‘weighted China’

    (2) a ‘Hi Res’ China

    (3) a ‘Complete China’

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/yang2002/yang2002.html

    It is only the weighted graph which shows the RWP temperature as being the highest in the 2,000 year period.

    Following is what the report says on the ‘weighting’.

    “The “Weighted” composite reconstruction was formed by combining area weighted regional proxy records. Wang and Gong [2000] used this method to establish an annual mean temperature series of China for the period 1880 to 1998. They divided the Chinese territory into ten regions according to inter-correlations among gridded 1° × 1° latitude × longitude mean temperature records. According to Wang and Gong [2000], the area weights of Eastern China, Dunde ice core, Guliya ice core, southern TP tree-rings and Jinchuan peat are 0.329, 0.198, 0.149, 0.182 and 0.131, respectively. The data of Great Ghost Lake and Jiaming Lake in Taiwan were considered with an area weight of 0.011.”

    Now, is that clear? Or does it need repeating?

  12. #12 Bernard J.
    June 1, 2011

    VincentR.

    OK, you are so obviously incapable of comprehending clues when your nose is rubbed in them that I will, just this once, spell it out for you.

    If you need to quote someone, you can use the method given in the [markdown](http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/dingus) link in the text immediately above the comment box. To wit, one places a ‘>’ sign immediately before each of the paragraphs one wants to quote.

    If this is too difficult for you to figure out, an alternative is to use HTML tags of the type described all over the internet, such as [here](http://www.web-source.net/html_codes_chart.htm). Two wit, one places ‘< blockquote>‘ in front of the body of text, with the space before the ‘b’ and the inverted commas removed, and ‘< /blockquote>‘ after the body of text, again with the space and inverted commas removed.

    Practise it – it would demonstrate that you actually are capable of elementary learning.

    And on the matter of learning, Jeff Harvey, myself, and many others have, over the years, repeatedly explained to numpties such as yourself why elevated CO2 is not automatically beneficial for plant growth, as you like to imagine:

    Forests, grasslands and plants in general love CO2. If you want to encourage the regrowth of forests, keep the atmospheric CO2 levels high.

    How about you run along and see whether you can acquire some learnin’…

    Alternatively, you could ponder the significance of this paper, which, if you don’t have institutional access, is summarised here. It’s a very interesting paper, especially when one considers the authors’ remarks:

    Caveats and future work. There are at least two important caveats to our results. First, we only consider average growing season conditions, which ignores potential changes in within season variation. For example, the frequency of extreme rainfall events has been increasing in some regions, and this likely has a negative impact on crops that we do not capture here. Second, the study looks at weather changes over a fixed area for each crop-country combination, namely the areas where crops were growing circa 2000. If the location of crops has been changing significantly within countries since 1980, either as a response to warming trends or for other regions [sic], the study would fail to capture the effects of these changes. Current work is focused on understanding the types of shifts that are occurring in rapidly warming regions, both in where and how different crops are grown.

    [Italics mine]

    Note the italicised text, because it is an important consideration when considering their results for rice, which is well understood to suffer from increased temperature, especially at night.

    Of course, I expect that you will use the Tim Curtin rice gambit and repetitively insist that CO2 enhances plant growth, whilst frantically ignoring, proverbially ostrich-like, the facts of:

    1. Sprengel’s insight,and
    2. CO2‘s irrefutable effect on atmospheric warming

    Doing so might make you feel all correct and superior, but it won’t change the overall fact of your ignorance and nonsensical claims in just about every matter relating to climatology.

  13. #13 Wow
    June 1, 2011

    > Now, is that clear?

    Nope, still 100% opaque bullshit.

    > Or does it need repeating?

    Nope, no matter how often you polish that turd, it ain’t gonna go transparent.

    You’re in deep denial. “We can’t do anything about AGW and shouldn’t because earthquakes happen” is about all you’ve got.

  14. #14 Lotharsson
    June 1, 2011

    Vincent – congratulations on endorsing multi-proxy temperature reconstructions!

    Now that you’ve got that far, you’ll be able to explain how to choose the best set of reconstructions when making assertions about historical and current temperatures over (say) global or hemispherical regions. You could start by telling us whether one should choose a reconstruction that covers said globe or hemisphere, or one (or more) that covers a much smaller region.

    With that out the way, you can tell us what the best available global or hemispherical reconstructions say about the RWP or MWP!

    And then you can tell us why one should believe the “weighted” reconstruction to be more accurate for drawing the conclusions that you do than the others in the Yang et al 2002 paper. Clearly you already know why (right?) because you relied on the comment at thegwpf.com that conveniently failed to inform its readers that “Of greatest significance, however, was the fact that Yang et al.’s study indicated that the warmest temperatures of the past two millennia were observed in the second and third centuries AD, during the latter stages of the Roman Warm Period” is only true if you select one of the three reconstructions in the paper. Note that your reasoning should probably refer to the magnitudes of the uncertainties in the three different reconstructions, and to the reasoning of Wang et al.

    Or you could instead quote from the Holmes, Cook & Yang (2009) paper that you linked to that assessed several different works on western China:

    > This paper has described many of these records and their interpretations, but a comprehensive synthesis of climate variability and change that takes into account the various uncertainties in the proxies over western China remains to be conducted.

    Oops. They don’t seem to think [Wang 2002](http://www.ess.uci.edu/~johnsonlab/files/Download/Yang%20et%20al.,%202002.pdf) is quite as conclusive as you do – especially since it doesn’t seem to provide any confidence intervals, which means it is probably not as rigorous as it should be.

    But you knew that, because you read the paper, right?

    But if all that’s too hard, how about you get back to all those issues with your argument – and best of all, even Bernard’s simple and explicit questions – that you’ve failed to respond to?

  15. #15 Jeff Harvey
    June 1, 2011

    Vincent’s post at # 291 is a case in point of my earlier posts.

    C02 science is a web site that is heavily associated with the Western Fuels Association, a coal industry lobbying group. Several of those who contribute to it have apparently been on the corporate payroll at one time or another. The site does not conduct its own research. Instead, it takes the results of existing studies and distorts them to provide a pro-C02/anti-warming point of view. Seven years ago two of my colleagues were shocked to find that the summary of a paper they had recently published in Nature was distorted by the clowns at C02 Science to produce conclusions that were never intended (nor supported) by the authors. My colleagues asked me is I knew about this web site because they had never heard of it. I told them exactly what the agenda of C02 Science and like-minded sites is – to mangle empirical science in support of a political agenda. That’s my take on it anyway. Sunspot frequently refers to garbage from C02 Science as well. Its little wonder that Vincent is unable to read the primary literature but has to go to the shills for his world view. Note that Vincent relies almost exclusively on sites such as this.

    But then it gets worse; he writes: *Forests, grasslands and plants in general love CO2. If you want to encourage the regrowth of forests, keep the atmospheric CO2 levels high*

    Where on Earth did you read this? Let me guess: C02 Science. Its kindergarten science. But typical of old Vincey’s approach.

    What about changes in plant stoichiometry that critically determine plant fitness? C:N:P ratios? Effects of changes in atmospheric C on primary and secondary plant metabolites? Higher levels of carbon in plant tissues and greater biomass do not necessarily mean higher intrinsic plant fitness. As C increases, N and P are often shunted out of plant tissues, making the plants potentially more susceptible to pathogens and herbivores if their defensive metabolites are N-based. On the other hand, plants with C-based toxins may become more poisonous to consumers. In any event, changes in nutrient levels in plant tissues will have all kinds of direct and indirect effects on food webs that are virtually impossible to predict. Certainly we can expect competitive asymmetries through differing allelopathic effects, as well as food webs to unravel over a relatively short time frame. In effect, its a roll of the dice.

    Given that Vincent knows nix about any of this, it takes remarkable hubris, as he has demonstrated on this thread over and over again, to make such flippant remarks on the basis of zero understanding of what he is talking about. Besides, a recent study in Science has shown that any alleged beneficial effects of C02 on crop production have been more than offset by dramatic changes in other abiotic factors associated with climate change.

    Finally, Vincent decries what he perceives to be a small change in marine pH, without having even the most basic understanding of thresholds or tipping points. For instance, those who downplay the amount of loss of primary forests in the tropics are doing so on the basis of complete ignorance as to the amount of forest necessary to maintain critical ecological functions. It has been posited that even a loss of 25% of primary forest could dramatically affect evapo-transpiration regimes in the Amazon basin, meaning that rainfall recirculated several times over the continent of South America fails to reach the Atlantic coasts and the Mata-Atlantica forests (see work by Shula and colleagues). We know that even relatively small amounts of fragmentation can impact forest birds which do not cross even the smallest clearings to disperse. Essentially, natural systems function in a decidedly non-linear fashion, so that the loss of alteration of one seemingly innocuous component can ripple through the entire system and have long-lasting and profound effects of systemic properties.

    When I read such utterly vacuous bilge as that from Vince, I CRINGE.

  16. #16 adelady
    June 1, 2011

    And just for a bit more joy on the acidifying oceans front –
    [Clownfish (Finding Nemo) appear to lose their hearing in water slightly more acidic than normal.](http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13605113)

    When we follow the link within the article, we find an earlier study shows that the same kind of fish raised in acidified water find the scents of predators attractive rather than being repelled. Not the best population maintenance strategy.

  17. #17 Lotharsson
    June 1, 2011

    Bernard’s [earlier post](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/03/shorter_clive_james.php#comment-4026536) seemed to have been held up for a while. Well worth reading and comprehending – especially by you, Vincent.

  18. #18 VincentR
    June 3, 2011

    11
    “Vincent – congratulations on endorsing multi-proxy temperature reconstructions!

    Now that you’ve got that far, you’ll be able to explain how to choose the best set of reconstructions when making assertions about historical and current temperatures over (say) global or hemispherical regions.

    Posted by: Lotharsson | June 1, 2011 1:25 PM”

    I could, but I wouldn’t be so foolish as to attempt to instruct the masters of deception how best to choose and present evidence or data in order to support a particular agenda.

    The Hockey Stick graph was one of the more blatant examples of presenting information in a way that disguised the fact that the MWP ever existed.

    On shudders to think of the many more subtle ways the data gathered by climatologists (from various disiplines) has probably been manipulated, interpreted or presented in order to exaggerate alarm about the dangers of CO2 emissions.

    The leaked emails known as Climategate have given us all an insight into the sort of backroom scheming that has taken place in Climatology institutions.

    Of course, there’s nothing new here about conflict of interest or vested interest. It exists all over the world, sometimes in the most horrible and extreme fashion.

    It seems quite probable to me that a group of scientists on a gravy train, given the task of exploring the dangers of CO2 emissions, would have a strong tendency to err on the side of alarmism.

    “And then you can tell us why one should believe the “weighted” reconstruction to be more accurate for drawing the conclusions that you do than the others in the Yang et al 2002 paper.

    Clearly you already know why (right?) because you relied on the comment at thegwpf.com that conveniently failed to inform its readers that “Of greatest significance, however, was the fact that Yang et al.’s study indicated that the warmest temperatures of the past two millennia were observed in the second and third centuries AD, during the latter stages of the Roman Warm Period” is only true if you select one of the three reconstructions in the paper. Note that your reasoning should probably refer to the magnitudes of the uncertainties in the three different reconstructions, and to the reasoning of Wang et al.

    Posted by: Lotharsson | June 1, 2011 1:25 PM”

    See what I mean? How could I possible teach people like you how to misrepresent evidence. Consider your statement above. Did you not read my post (#291) where I attempted to address the issue of the RWP? Did you miss the following link I provided in that post where it is stated at the end of the abstract …”OF THE FIVE WARMING TRENDS, THE MOST RECENT ONE IS THE STRONGEST.”

    If you genuinely missed that comment because there was too much information in the post and you didn’t have time to read everything carefully, then an apology will be accepted.

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2002AGUFMPP71C..09L

    “The records of S312 and SF show that for the past 4,000 years, the two locations has had similar temperature variations with five distinct warming trends, but a different moisture variability which is probably more sensitive to local atmospheric circulation changes than temperature. In general, it was relatively dry during the Medieval Warm Period and wet during the Little Ice Age in eastern China. Of the five warming trends, the most recent one is the strongest.”

    Again and again, I get the strong impression from you AGW believers that you simply don’t know what skepticism means. I’ll try to explain. it’s basically like being an agnostic in relation to the existence of God.

    Throughout the ages, I think it would be fair to say that the vast majority of humanity have believed in a God of some description. I think even today about 50% of all Americans believe in the existence of the traditional, biblical God.

    My view is that the evidence for the existence of the sorts of Gods that are described in the various religious texts, is not sufficiently compelling for me to believe in God. I therefore call myself an agnostic.

    However, as an agnostic I am not motivated to try to disprove the existence of God. Such a task would be futile.

    Likewise, there is no way I can prove that our CO2 emissions present no threat to our future security.

    I simply note that the sciences of climatology, because of their great complexity and because of the relatively great periods of time during which changes in climate take place, DO NOT LEND THEMSELVES TO PROCESSES OF VERIFICATION AND FALSIFICATION.

    The ground is thus fertile for all sorts of charlatans and people with invested interests to make biased claims to suit their agendas, and that of course includes deniers who would assert that the entire issue is a gigantic conspiracy or hoax, people with investments in fossil fuel industries, and people with nice careers in government funded organisations which have been set up for the specific purpose of investigating the effects of GHGs.

  19. #19 adelady
    June 3, 2011

    “… people with nice careers in government funded organisations which have been **set up for the specific purpose** of investigating the effects of GHGs.”

    I understand that there are some agencies set up specifically to deal with the *consequences* of warming. But I do not know of any major scientific organisation with such a limited remit.

  20. #20 FrankD
    June 3, 2011

    >Did you miss the following link I provided in that post where it is stated at the end of the abstract …”OF THE FIVE WARMING TRENDS, THE MOST RECENT ONE IS THE STRONGEST.”

    Sure we noticed it. We also noticed that it followed immediately after Vincents uncritical posting of the link to CO2 “science” which falsely claimed:
    >“Yang et al.’s study indicated that the warmest temperatures of the past two millennia were observed in the second and third centuries AD, during the latter stages of the Roman Warm Period.”

    So what Vincent is now revealing is that he KNEW the CO2 Science link was utter bilge, and yet chose to post it anyway. Which does Vincent believe – that the RWP was warmer than today, or vice versa? It doesn’t matter to Vincent, he will imply one and then claim the other when he gets called out. That’s some pretty epic hypocrisy that Vincent just tried to slide by the readers.

    >you simply don’t know what skepticism means. I’ll try to explain. it’s basically like being an agnostic in relation to the existence of God.

    Wow. Just Wow. The English language, borrowing promiscuously as it does from any and all others and tempered by more great writers than can be read in one lifetime has the richest vocabulary of any on the planet. Nevertheless, even English has no words in it to adequately describe how hard Vincent just failed.

  21. #21 Lotharsson
    June 3, 2011

    > I could, but I wouldn’t be so foolish as to attempt to instruct the masters of deception how best to choose and present evidence or data in order to support a particular agenda.

    What blithering self-refuting idiocy! You just selected a paper to support your own agenda, and then you selected a quote from it that is ONLY supported by one of three reconstructions it presents, that quote conveniently supporting your agenda.

    Now you demonstrate that you can’t justify those selections over any others…and you desperately try to redirect the conversation elsewhere in the hope that no-one notices.

    FAIL.

    > The Hockey Stick graph was one of the more blatant examples of presenting information in a way that disguised the fact that the MWP ever existed.

    Your ignorance is truly deep and wide!

    There was NO reasonable hemispherical reconstruction that showed the MWP BEFORE the MBH98 paper. There were basically some guesses and some REGIONAL records. To reiterate, “the MWP” that you claim was “disguised” by “the Hockey Stick” was NEVER established as a hemispherical or global phenomenon before “the Hockey Stick”. Ironically it was Mann and like-minded scientists who’ve done the work that can start determining to what extent there was one and place bounds on it!

    (And even more super-ignorant is the fact that a very warm MWP means HIGHER climate sensitivity, which just increases the size of the problem that you deny we face.)

    > See what I mean? How could I possible teach people like you how to misrepresent evidence.

    FAIL.

    Dude – you completely failed to answer my question. You’re desperately redirecting again. My question was NOT about which trend Yang et al said was the strongest warming trend. Try reading it again instead of berating others for their lack of comprehension. Hint: the quote you provided in your previous comment drew conclusions that were only supported by one of the three graphs. Primary school level hint: “highest temperatures” and “strongest warming trends” are not the same metric.

    > I simply note that the sciences of climatology, because of their great complexity and because of the relatively great periods of time during which changes in climate take place, DO NOT LEND THEMSELVES TO PROCESSES OF VERIFICATION AND FALSIFICATION.

    Ah, the last bastion of the hard core denialist – climate science is not falsifiable. You truly are a fuckwit if you think that doesn’t totally destroy the credibility of any pronouncement you make on the matter. You’re even more stupid than that if you haven’t tried to find how climate science’s hypotheses COULD be falsified…because there are any number of easily found introductions to the topic for laypeople. And yet you have failed to find and comprehend all of them.

    Vincent, you’re deeply and stubbornly clueless about that which you speak, you base key parts of your argument on blind unsupported speculation whilst patting yourself on the back for being the only skeptical one, meanwhile your hubris about your correctness even as you refute your own assertions is astonishing.

    That you haven’t metaphorically died of intellectual embarrassment is truly astonishing!

  22. #22 VincentR
    June 3, 2011

    “92
    You clearly have no idea about the work of a scientist.
    If there was any “doubt” about the validity of the consensus, scientists would be bending over backwards to demonstrate this to the world, because it would guarantee a sky-rocketing of their careers, exactly as Lothasson has already told you.
    Posted by: Bernard J. | March 18, 2011 1:03 AM”

    Now this is an interesting comment from Bernard that demonstrates a common fallacy that I’ve come across on other forums a few times. I came across the above comment just now because my current internet connection is a bit slow and the thread got tempoarilly stuck at post 92. I realised I hadn’t responded in this thread yet to this frequently mentioned fallacy.

    First, Bernard begins by telling ME I have no idea about the work of a scientist, then in the next paragraph demonstrates to all who may have an itoa of nous that it is HE who has little appreciation of the scientific method.

    (If it is a fact that Bernard is a working scientist, then one might assume Bernard is just being dishonest and deceptive in his argument. On the other hand, it may be the case that he’s just a second-rate scientist. I wouldn’t presume to know which is the case, although the latter would be my guess because total honesty and clarity of thought is required of a first rate scientist.)

    I’m reminded here of some advice that Einstein gave to his son about the choice of scientific discipline to specialise in. I can’t actually find the exact quote on the internet, so I’m speaking from memory and paraphrasing.

    Einstein advised his son against getting involved in disciplines that involved too much complexity and chaos if he wanted to make a name for himself, because he would never be able to prove anything difinitively one way or the other.

    Those who have opted for one of the Earth Sciences tend to be in this predicament. On the other hand, they do have the benefits of perhaps a more interesting lifestyle than one who is confined to the laboratory.

    So, in response to Bernard’s comment, I would remark that no amount of bending backwards or forwards can prove that AGW is a serious threat or not because climate systems, their interactions, causes and drivers are too complex for any certainty on the matter.

    A couple of nights ago I watched a repeat of the interview on the SBS Insight program of Stephen Schneider, recorded just a few months before he died.

    The audience appeared to be mainly skeptics, although there might have been a few deniers amongst them.

    I would say in general that Professor Schneider aquitted himself quite well. I was particularly impressed with his honest explanation regarding the 90% certainty figure that the IPCC has ascribed to the harmful effects of human induced CO2.

    I think it’s true to say that most reasonable people understand that the 90% figure is not a scientifically derived probability based upon sound mathematical principles.

    The way Prodessor Schneider described it was that the figure was chosen with public expectations in mind.

    In other words, whilst any layperson would likely be concerned if he were told by a specialist that he had a 10% risk of getting cancer, and would probably take whatever action was recommended to reduced such chances, that same person would probably not be worried at the news there was a 10% chance that our CO2 emissions could be a serious threat to our lifestyle.

    Such considerations of public perception were taken into consideration in the decision to use a 90% probability figure. At the same time, Professor Schneider admitted that he, personally, as a Climatologist would be concerned about a 10% probability of a serious threat from our CO2 emissions.

  23. #23 Lotharsson
    June 3, 2011

    > If it is a fact that Bernard is a working scientist, …

    He apparently is.

    > …then one might assume Bernard is just being dishonest and deceptive in his argument.

    A skeptic might ponder whether he has deeply and fundamentally misunderstood the validity of his own argument … especially in cases where he asserts without even attempting a quote he objects to, let alone a justification for the claim that someone else is being dishonest or deceptive or “has little appreciation of the scientific method”.

    A skeptic might. But you don’t.

    > …because total honesty and clarity of thought is required of a first rate scientist.

    Er, no – you clearly have no appreciation of the scientific method. While total honesty and clarity of thought are clearly ideal, science works despite human failings because it has processes that ultimately find and remove erroneous beliefs. Like many of those you have expressed on this thread, but have yet to remove from your belief system.

    > …no amount of bending backwards or forwards can prove that AGW is a serious threat or not because climate systems, their interactions, causes and drivers are too complex for any certainty on the matter.

    Even Vincent has joined in rebutting Vincent now:

    The earlier Vincent basically said that we really have nothing to worry about, which assumes reasonable certainty about the size of the threat.

    The current Vincent appears to be claiming via hand-waving that things are just so complex that we can’t really know.

    It can’t be both. So which one is it?

    Oh, and note before you do that the latter proposition is an argument from personal ignorance which also requires denying a whole body of science. It also requires doubling down on your hilariously uninformed case that climate science on AGW is unfalsifiable – a claim you clearly haven’t thought about for more than…well, at all, really.

    > The way Prodessor Schneider described it was that the figure was chosen with public expectations in mind.

    “Expectations”? Really?

    Given your extensive record – if only in this thread – of making claims that cannot be substantiated, you might want to find an exact quote and its context. Otherwise some might think you are once again misinterpreting or misrepresenting the words of another.

  24. #24 Bernard J.
    June 3, 2011

    VincentR, who is soon to be immortalised in the Urban Dictionary, proclaims:

    >Again and again, I get the strong impression from you AGW believers that you simply don’t know what skepticism means. I’ll try to explain. it’s basically like being an agnostic in relation to the existence of God.

    >…[snip]…

    >However, as an agnostic I am not motivated to try to disprove the existence of God. Such a task would be futile.

    >Likewise, there is no way I can prove that our CO2 emissions present no threat to our future security.

    Vincent, your parallel with religious agnosticism is spurious, because the impact of CO2 on global warming, and thence on global biology, is eminently demonstrable. It’s just that you are constitutionally incapacble of understanding that this is the case.

    A better metaphor is to compare yourself to a passenger on a ship whose captain and engineers tell you that it is sinking, and that some of your gold in the hold needs to go overboard so that positive bouyancy can be effectively maintained. You respond by saying that you don’t delieve that the ship is sinking, and that the waves lapping against the side of the ship indicate that the difference in level is natural, and anyway there’s no change in overall draught of the ship – contrary to the fact that the height of water in the hold is increasing observably and inexorably.

    That’s the type of ‘agnostic’ that you are.

    >I simply note that the sciences of climatology, because of their great complexity and because of the relatively great periods of time during which changes in climate take place, DO NOT LEND THEMSELVES TO PROCESSES OF VERIFICATION AND FALSIFICATION.

    This is simply ignorant nonsense.

    First, the physics of global warming is eminently verifiable and falsifiable on an empirical level, and that you do not understand this is profound evidence for your complete incapacity to be propounding on this subject.

    Second, Popperian falsifiability pertains to subjects such as the proving of the existence of God. Popper would consider global warming science to be absolutely falsifiable, because it can be demonstrated both by proof of its component physics, and by the very playing out of warming over time itself. It might be a one-off experiment that can’t be replicated on a planetary scale, but this does not negate the capacity for falsifiability.

    Popper would be completely derisive of fools like you who do not understand the philosophical substance of his work, and who are ignorant of and in denial of straight-forward science.

    And I notice that you still don’t know how to do a simple quote.

    What’s the word I’m looking for…?

  25. #25 Wow
    June 3, 2011

    At least princess here has given up any hope of getting his pink unicorn and is now openly in denial.

    It’s progress.

    Of a sort.

    More sort of “circling the truth” than actually progressing toward the truth, but at least it’s movement.

  26. #26 Wow
    June 3, 2011

    > … people with nice careers in government funded organisations which have been set up for the specific purpose of investigating the effects of GHGs.

    And there are people with nice careers in government funded organisations which have been set up for the specific purpose of investigating crimes.

    I guess princess doesn’t trust the police either.

    There are people with nice careers in corporate funded organisations which have been set up for the specific purpose of investigating the effects of drugs.

    I guess princess doesn’t trust GSK’s R&D either.

  27. #27 lord_sidcup
    June 3, 2011

    Such considerations of public perception were taken into consideration in the decision to use a 90% probability figure. At the same time, Professor Schneider admitted that he, personally, as a Climatologist would be concerned about a 10% probability of a serious threat from our CO2 emissions.

    Vincent’s case – “People were there, so Prof Scheinder lied claiming 90% instead of 10%”. 90% + 10% = 100%. It all adds up, in Vincent’s world.

  28. #28 VincentR
    June 3, 2011

    “A better metaphor is to compare yourself to a passenger on a ship whose captain and engineers tell you that it is sinking, and that some of your gold in the hold needs to go overboard so that positive bouyancy can be effectively maintained. You respond by saying that you don’t delieve that the ship is sinking, and that the waves lapping against the side of the ship indicate that the difference in level is natural, and anyway there’s no change in overall draught of the ship – contrary to the fact that the height of water in the hold is increasing observably and inexorably.

    Posted by: Bernard J. | June 3, 2011 3:35 AM”

    Sorry! That’s a very poor analogy. I have no gold, no investments in the coal industry, and no great wealth apart from my capacity for clear thinking.

    However, there are thousands of extremely wealthy individuals on this planet who could afford to donate a large portion of their wealth towards the construction of ‘clean’ energy plants, if they believe so strongly in the AGW threat.

    The donations from such people would allow the electricity from such alternative power plants to be sold at a ‘business-as-usual’ price, thus causing no economic stress on the poor.

    I would not object at all to such a proposal.

    After all, I’m doing MY bit towards carbon sequestration by improving the soil on my few acres, by refraining from felling trees, by allowing the grass to grow tall before slashing and using as mulch, and by using all waste water to irrigate plants and trees, thus encouraging their growth which results in the absorption of yet more CO2.

    And I don’t even believe in the threat of AGW.

  29. #29 Lotharsson
    June 3, 2011

    > That’s a very poor analogy.

    Sheesh, you don’t understand analogies either, totally miss the point, and then complain that other people are poor at analogies.

    Colour me surprised!

  30. #30 Wow
    June 3, 2011

    > I have no gold, no investments in the coal industry

    Yes, if you HAD gold investments in the coal industry, that wouldn’t be an analogy, that would be a simile.

    Learn english, princess.

  31. #31 Wow
    June 3, 2011

    > And I don’t even believe in the threat of AGW.

    Why do you need belief before you believe something is real? Are facts in evidence not enough? Or do you just deny their existence.

    > which results in the absorption of yet more CO2.

    Where do we get this water, princess? We’re already sucking it out of the aquifers and floodwaters do the opposite of water plants.

    And, please, explain why a muckspreader is used by farmers to fertilise their fields when muck isn’t made of CO2…

    > if they believe so strongly in the AGW threat.

    So you have to believe in something before it must be paid for? Where was that little nugget when you were complaining that earthquakes needed fixing first? Almost nobody thinks earthquakes are a worthy spend of billions on, so that would never happen.

    And tying it up with your “I don’t believe in AGW threat” this shows that you are a selfish little moron who demands their petty treats and to hell with everyone else.

    All your fake concern for others was just a smokescreen.

  32. #32 VincentR
    June 3, 2011

    You guys really are in trouble, aren’t you!

    I don’t think there’s much more for me to say on this site. The main reason I’ve been posting here is to get more of an insight into the mentality of those who have accepted the AGW belief system.

    Your belief seems as unshakeable as that of a fundamentalist Moslem, so I guess you have no option but to continue battling for what you believe in.

    Best of luck!

  33. #33 Wow
    June 3, 2011

    It’s always the last shot of the denialist.

    When defeated, scream “You’re all desperate!”.

    > I don’t think there’s much more for me to say on this site.

    You haven’t said anything yet, except vapid whinings.

    > the AGW belief system.

    It’s only belief in the same way as you believe that a table is a useful thing to put your dinner plate on.

    But the reactionary bigot, using only blind faith to guide them insists that everyone does the same (else they’d have to face up to the fact that they’re a blind bigot).

    What is the need of faith when we have the facts of the climate?

    CO2 increased temperatures 35% and temperatures have gone up 0.8C, that makes a temperature sensitivity of about 3C per doubling.

    Oh, looky, the predictions of the climate models were right.

    Those same models having been proved right in one area can be trusted conditionally in others.

    Like, for example, the effects of further warming.

    But the basis of that is that the models have fully realised their predictive power so far and that you’d have to BELIEVE that that was just a fluke to refuse them.

    You just believe with all your heart that, no matter what, AGW is wrong.

  34. #34 Richard Simons
    June 3, 2011

    >The Hockey Stick graph was one of the more blatant examples of presenting information in a way that disguised the fact that the MWP ever existed.

    Just when was this global MWP? Not the Icelandic one. Not the Chinese one. Not the Australian one. Not the European one. The global Medieval Warming Period.

  35. #35 Door
    June 3, 2011

    Slam!

  36. #36 Robert Murphy
    June 3, 2011

    “The main reason I’ve been posting here is to get more of an insight into the mentality of those who have accepted the AGW belief system tone troll the hell out of y’all without directly answering most of your questions all the while pretending I am someone who once accepted AGW but who now has “seen the light”. I’ll come back and troll you with a different name, so don’t think you’ve gotten rid of me.”

    Fixed it.

  37. #37 Bernard J.
    June 3, 2011

    Robert Murphy has Vincent pegged.

    The numpty was never here to “get more of an insight into the mentality of those who have accepted the AGW belief system”, he was here to peddle his own agenda. The guy doesn’t give a shit what rational people think, because he has no interest in the outcomes of rational science.

    The guy’s grubbier than a suppurating sore on Satan’s schlong.

    And, as Robert noted, a troll. After all, where in all of his anti-science diatribe did he ever construct an evidenced case for his claims? Nowhere. It’s all just his opinion, including the ridiculous froth about the international conspiracy of money-chasing, incompetent, and fraudulent scientists.

    What was that word again?

  38. #38 Lotharsson
    June 3, 2011

    > You guys really are in trouble, aren’t you!

    How amusingly inept! Psychological projection is so revealing…

    > The main reason I’ve been posting here is to get more of an insight into the mentality of those who have accepted the AGW belief system.

    What a droll post hoc rationalisation, complete with embedded false assumptions!

    And what Door said. And Robert Murphy. And Wow. And Bernard J. :-)

  39. #39 SteveC
    June 3, 2011

    VincentR

    The main reason I’ve been posting here is to get more of an insight

    And that took you almost 3 months? 3 months of having your nose rubbed in it time and again on every single half-truth, misquote, cherry-pick and outright falsehood that you dredged up (almost none of which you acknowledged by the way)?

    Get help, before it’s too late. Oh, wait…

  40. #40 Chris O'Neill
    June 4, 2011

    Science denialist VincentR:

    The main reason I’ve been posting here is to get more of an insight into the mentality of those who have accepted the AGW belief system.

    We certainly have an insight into the mentality of science denialists like yourself. What charming psychopaths you people are.

  41. #41 Lotharsson
    June 4, 2011

    Good grief – the police are aware of the issue but no investigation is under way? WTF?!

  42. #42 zoot
    June 4, 2011

    VincentR, your belief seems as unshakeable as that of a fundamentalist Moslem, so I guess you have no option but to continue battling for what you believe in.

    Best of luck!

  43. #43 VincentR
    June 5, 2011

    Just a few words of advice to you muddle-headed people, out of my great sense of compassion for the confused. INTELLIGENT people are not persuaded to change their opinion by ad hominen attacks and foul-mouthed abuse.

    We see such comments for what they are. The last desperate attempts of extremists and fundamentalists to exert power and influence when reason is lacking, unpersuasive, or non-existent.

    Such verbal abuse is the tell-tale sign of a religion of some type at work, such as a Nazi or Communist dogma.

    Reading the comments from you lot, I get the impression that a greater threat than AGW might be from a movement of AGW Nazi Brown Shirt fanatics who go around blowing up coal-fired power stations in some misguided attempt to gain control over the planet’s climate.

    For all you real scientists, it must be no surprise that all mammals have an average lifespan before extinction. That’s about a million years, although some species exist for as long as 10 million years.

    Homo Sapiens is doing quite well. We’ve been here about 6 million years, thanks in part to the extinction of the dinasaurs, which made way for the development of our small, furry ancestors.

    We’ve developed more of a capacity to control our circumstances than any other animal on the planet, although the common rat is doing very well (gloabally, of course. I have no rats in my house.)

    I find it very alarming that, having failed to use our technological prowess to fully protect ourselves against climatic disasters such as floods, cyclones and earthquakes, some people, using the reputation of scientific certainty, are creating the illusion that all will be well if we reduce our CO2 emissions.

    This seems to me to be the typical political diversion tactic. That is, when it’s too difficult to tackle and solve a ‘real’problem, create a diversionary scare, such as an imminent attack or threat from a neighbouring country, or an immigration scare, or even a climate change scare.

    You don’t fool me, so try disisting from the abusive comments. Instead of being so negative in accusing me of failing to provide evidence that AGW is NOT a threat (which is a bit like trying to prove that God does not exist), try to provide clear and convincing arguments, with evidence, that the current warming period, which no-one denies, is driven mainly by human induced CO2 emissions, and that if such increases in CO2 had not taken place, we would still be in the Little Ice Age.

  44. #44 rhwombat
    June 5, 2011

    OK VincentR, you win. You have discovered the dark secret of Deltoid. We are a sinister cabal of socialist high-school dropouts and albino monks, masquerading as informed scientists to dupe worthy and entitled retirees, such as yourself, into accepting our plans for world domination through mind control and subtle manipulations of the innocent and freethinking bastions of considered opinion, like Mr Murdoch’s empire. Thank whatever imaginary deity you like that you are so kind as to devote so much time and effort into correcting our wayward and misbegotten thoughts in so clear and not-at-all-verbose fashion. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! We will slink away now, and promise not to criticise your deep and original thoughts, or write more fake threatening emails to the persons and families of our fellow Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Alarmists. Have a nice life.

  45. #45 FrankD
    June 5, 2011

    Well, we can add the course of human evolution, the meaning of “ad hominem”, and what causes earthquakes (climate, apparently!) the the very, very long list of things Vincent doesn’t know anything about.

    >try to provide clear and convincing arguments

    Why should we? Vincent wouldn’t listen anyway. If he really wanted to hear the clear and convincing arguments, he’d go and read a sample of the thousands of documents available on the web – pitched at the scientist, the science-literate amateur, the intelligent non-specialist and the total numpty – that provide the compelling arguments he wants.

    But its hard to hear well-reasoned discussion when you’ve got you fingers in your ears singing “La La I can’t hear you!” Like all deniers, Vincent finds more satisfaction in tone-trolling than learning…

    >if such increases in CO2 had not taken place, we would still be in the Little Ice Age.

    And so Vincent departs, with a Parthian shot of epic lameness, a misrepresentation that illustrates better than anything any of the rest of us could say just how proud he is of his woeful ignorance of anything to do with climate.

  46. #46 Chris O'Neill
    June 5, 2011

    VincentR:

    INTELLIGENT people are not persuaded to change their opinion by ad hominen attacks and foul-mouthed abuse.

    Oh Vincent, you forgot to mention death-threats.

  47. #47 Bernard J.
    June 5, 2011

    I have no rats in my house.

    I’d say that there’s one, at least.

  48. #48 Bernard J.
    June 5, 2011

    INTELLIGENT people are not persuaded to change their opinion by ad hominen attacks and foul-mouthed abuse.

    Of course they’re not. They are pursuaded by a careful and considered appraisal and analysis of the professional, scientific literature – a process that you have patently no capacity to undertake.

    You mistake the nature of ad hominem attack, by the way. Ad hominem is when a personal slur is used as an argument against a fact, rather than using counterfactual evidence itself. We are not calling you names in order to contradict what you say – our evidence, data and references do that. We are calling you names that fit you, based on your intellctual behaviour here, because they describe you well. If such description requires foul-mouthing, then that is a reflection upon you, and not upon us.

    >We see such comments for what they are. The last desperate attempts of extremists and fundamentalists to exert power and influence when reason is lacking, unpersuasive, or non-existent.

    >Such verbal abuse is the tell-tale sign of a religion of some type at work, such as a Nazi or Communist dogma.

    >Reading the comments from you lot, I get the impression that a greater threat than AGW might be from a movement of AGW Nazi Brown Shirt fanatics who go around blowing up coal-fired power stations in some misguided attempt to gain control over the planet’s climate.

    Godwin.

    You lose.

  49. #49 Robert Murphy
    June 5, 2011

    “Homo Sapiens is doing quite well. We’ve been here about 6 million years”

    You’re only off by about 5.8 million years.

    “I find it very alarming that, having failed to use our technological prowess to fully protect ourselves against climatic disasters such as floods, cyclones and earthquakes, some people, using the reputation of scientific certainty, are creating the illusion that all will be well if we reduce our CO2 emissions.”

    Nonsense. That’s your false dichotomy again. We either protect ourselves 100% from all natural disasters, or we tackle the climate change we are in fact causing. There’s no middle ground for you. You sir, are the extremest, not us. I would call it your religion if I weren’t more careful with the actual definitions of words than you are.

    “This seems to me to be the typical political diversion tactic.”

    Yes, and unfortunately the diversionary tactics of your side have succeeded in poisoning the well in climate discussions.

    “You don’t fool me…”

    Oh, we would never try to fool you and your advanced intellect.

    “…so try disisting from the abusive comments.”

    Like these?:

    “Just a few words of advice to you muddle-headed people, out of my great sense of compassion for the confused.”

    “The last desperate attempts of extremists and fundamentalists…”

    “Such verbal abuse is the tell-tale sign of a religion of some type at work, such as a Nazi or Communist dogma.”
    (you mention both Nazis and Communists- that’s like a double Godwin!)

    “a movement of AGW Nazi Brown Shirt fanatics who go around blowing up coal-fired power stations in some misguided attempt to gain control over the planet’s climate.”
    (yeah, that’s what we’ve been promoting here. Riiiiiight.)

    That was just your last post, Vinnie. As I said up-thread, you’re a tone troll, with an agenda.

    “INTELLIGENT people are not persuaded to change their opinion by ad hominen attacks and foul-mouthed abuse.”

    Indeed. Yet there you are.

    “…try to provide clear and convincing arguments, with evidence, that the current warming period, which no-one denies, is driven mainly by human induced CO2 emissions,…”

    We have, but you’ve retorted with “Build more dams to stop flooding! What about the threat from earthquakes??!!”, and other crap like that. Or “Nazi! Communist!!”.

    “I don’t think there’s much more for me to say on this site.”

    Since you’re a one-trick-pony, I have to agree.

  50. #50 Bernard J.
    June 5, 2011

    What Robert said!

    And speaking of Godwins, [the new conservative government in NSW has gone bonkers and allowed its whip to spray, in parliament, Nazi accusations against scientists](http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/upper-house-whip-under-fire-for-nazi-slur-on-scientists-20110601-1fgq0.html?from=smh_sb).

    They’ll next be bringing back burnings at the stake.

  51. #51 Lotharsson
    June 5, 2011

    Vincent appears to be throwing more and more denialist memes as he gets more and more desperate. Another week or two of this and he will have covered the majority of them – and will probably still be denying that he’s a denialist.

  52. #52 VincentR
    June 5, 2011

    There’s an interesting comment from Dr Roy Spencer at http://www.drroyspencer.com/ regarding climatic conditions for tornadoes.

    For those who don’t already know, Dr Spencer has a PhD in Meteorology and is employed by NASA in some capacity involving the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer.

    In his latest blog post he provides some evidence that suggests the strongest tornadoes occur in years of greatest cooling.

    His graphs demonstrate that 1974-5 was a particularly bad year for tornadoes, as were the late 50′s and 1965, and that the temperatures during these periods were unusually low.

    I guess this information resonates with me because 1974 was a particularly disastrous year in Australia, with a flood in Brisbane a metre higher than the latest flood, and a few months later, on Christmas day 1974, a cyclone in Darwin which virtually flattened the whole city.

    I wasn’t aware at the time that other parts of the world were also experiencing unusual weather patterns roughly around the same time.

  53. #53 zoot
    June 5, 2011

    And …

  54. #54 Robert Murphy
    June 5, 2011

    Vincent, I thought you were going to leave. Seeing we’re all Nazi Communist religionist fanatics itching to blow up coal powered stations. Instead, you come back, ignore every post made to you, and bring up some new point that is at best tangential to anything we have been discussing. And you wonder why we find you so amusing? :)

  55. #55 chek
    June 5, 2011

    Vince appears to be yet another of the 99.99% of denier trolls who somehow just can’t seem to understand the term ‘climate’.

  56. #56 rhwombat
    June 5, 2011

    Vinnie da Troll: Spencer is also an “intelligent Design” creationist and one of the pathetic individuals who needs to put his basic research credential into his website. Still that shouldn’t worrie you Vinnie, ’cause your “special”.

  57. #57 Lotharsson
    June 6, 2011

    > Spencer is also an “intelligent Design” creationist and one of the pathetic individuals who needs to put his basic research credential into his website.

    He also has a bit of a history of promoting hypotheses that he argues explains climate without significant anthropogenic influences – before his hypotheses has been subjected to the rigours of post-publication peer review. It almost appears like he encourages his followers to take on that belief before the evidence is properly tested – in part by publishing articles on his website. It seems to be working on Vincent…

    …never mind that in the course of that particular history, those types of claims have repeatedly failed to stand up to peer review.

  58. #58 FrankD
    June 6, 2011

    Since Vincent is (or was) ignorant as to the real meaning of the term “ad hominem”, I’ll take the time – “out of my great sense of compassion for the confused” – to explain, using examples provided in this thread.

    Suppose we say Vincent’s argument (despite constant repetition) is wrong because he’s an idiot. While being true in any practical sense, it is nevertheless an ad hominem fallacy because we are judging the merit of the argument by the (lack of) merit of the arguer. However, to say Vincent is an idiot because his argument (and his constant repetition even when shown to be wrong), that is not ad hominem; it’s just an observation, based on the evidence – good science, in fact.

    In the case of Dr Spencer, it is indeed an ad hominem fallacy to argue that his statements about AGW can be ignored because he is a proponent of intelligent design, a self-evidently risible position. His statements about climate are not fiction simply because his beliefs about the course of life on earth are a fiction.

    Fortunately Dr Spencer has provided copious evidence to justify ignoring his statements about AGW can because they are [complete](http://www.skepticalscience.com/Roy-Spencers-Great-Blunder-Part-1.html) and [utter](http://www.skepticalscience.com/Roy-Spencers-Great-Blunder-Part-2.html) [balderdash](http://www.skepticalscience.com/Roy-Spencers-Great-Blunder-Part-3.html).

    In the unlikely event that Vincent is still reading, perhaps he learned something about a formal logical fallacy. In the even less likely event that he follows the links above, he may learn something about why Dr Spencer is has little real standing in his field.

    But probably not; after ten weeks of lecturing from his high horse, he concedes that – unlike the vast majority of commenters on this thread – he was unaware of the global impact of La Niña conditions. I must admit to being slightly impressed by that much chutzpah, even if it stems purely from self-deception.

  59. #59 Wow
    June 6, 2011

    A scientist able to say, however, that the bible is a far better factual resource for the creation of life on earth and the universe itself has shown a willingness to let their faith supersede their science when their faith and their training come into conflict.

    Therefore “He’s an IDer” is more an explanation of why Spencer’s opinions are counter-factual.

  60. #60 VincentR
    June 7, 2011

    Dear me! You all seem to be just as confused as ever. Don’t you realise that your continual use of the ad hominem attack is a clear indication of your lack of reasoning capability?

    This will be a long post, so I suggest that those of you whose English Comprehension is not too good, read it at least a couple of times. Some of you may need to read it 3 or 4 times.

    Now, my calling ‘you lot’ confused is not an ad hominem attack because I can see clearly your confusion and I can explain precisely what your confusion is and why I think you are confused, whereas any contention that I am an idiot is clearly false according to the definition of the word. That is, I am able to tie my shoelaces with no trouble, earn my living employing a variety of skills, drive a car, negotiate my way in any social situation, travel in foreign countries and learn a foreigh language etc etc.

    It would seem that believers in AGW are not only unable to distinguish between skepticism and denialism, but are also unable to distinguish between an idiot, and a normal, intelligent, person.

    Let’s consider for a moment the views of Dr Roy Spencer. I predicted when I made reference to his graphs relating tornado intensity to temperature, that the typical response on this site would be an ad hominem attack on the person rather than a presentation of contrary evidence debunking his data (or interpretation of the data).

    This approach is consistent with your arguments in general defending the AGW case.

    Now, for your edification, I’ll attempt to point out the great fallacy in such a defense.

    Science would be very much the poorer if we were to dismiss out of hand all theories and research originating from those who had a religious belief of any sort.

    Surely I don’t need to remind you that Isaac Newton was a Bible-bashing, Christian fundamentalist with extreme views at odds with the conventional Church of his time.

    Albert Einstein’s religious views would clearly fall under the umbrella of ‘Intelligent Design’. He believed in a creator of sorts, but not the God of the Bible who intervenes in personal affairs.

    Whilst it’s true that a large number of people who believe in Intelligent Design are Christians who also believe that the Intelligent Creator in the Intelligent Design Theory is the God of the Bible, there are also a large number of scientists who find it too implausbile to believe that life originated by chance. Such scientists therefore believe that there is more likely to be some ‘Intelligence’ out there that gave life and/or the universe a ‘kick start’.

    It’s not an entirely unreasonable position without merit. We haven’t yet created any new,’real’ form of life in the laboratory out of basic, constituent chemicals. We’ve simulated new life-forms on the computer, like climatologists have simulated future climate scenarios, but never produced a new, original, self-replicating life-form in reality.

    But supposing we eventually did succeed in doing just that, as technology improves and quantum computers become a reality. Let’s suppose a team of brilliant scientists were to succeed in creating a completely new and original form of self-replicating life. Not a mutation from an existing form of life through introduction of new genes into its make-up, but a new form of life from the basic chemical building blocks.

    How would that affect the Theory of Intelligent Design? Could one then assert there was no Intelligent Creator? Perhaps you lot, or your brain-washed grandchildren, would then argue that the team of scientist who created life were not really intelligent and that their creation was just an accident. Someone accidentally tipped over a flask containing a particular chemical which accidentally contaminated some other chemicals, resulting in this new form of life. Now that would be more like UNINTELLIGENT design.

    The reason I’m spending time on this line of reasoning, is to explain that the fact that Dr Roy Spencer appears to believe in Intelligent Design should not be a concern in itself.

    What may be of a concern is that he appears to believe in the Judeo/Christian God of the Bible. That is surprising to me. However, I can accept that we all have personal weaknesses. No-one is perfect, and it may be the case that Dr Roy Spencer simply has an emotional need for the community, fellowship and companionship that is offered by the Christian Church.

    Through duscussions with Jehova Witness believers (who occasionally knock on my door), I’ve gotten the impression that there really are people who would be very depressed and who would find it difficult to be motivated and find meaning in life if they were to become convinced there were no God.

    It’s something I sometimes consider when arguing with you lot. If you really believe in the AGW scare because you’ve transferred an emotional need from some other area to a belief in AGW, then I may be doing some psychological harm by destroying your unreasonable belief in AGW. Without a belief in AGW, what would you do?

    For those of you who think I’m straying off topic, I’ll remind you that one of the fundamental objections I have to the AGW scare is its religious connotations. Sure there’s evidence that CO2 is a GHG and that the climate, globally, has been warming by a few fractions of a degree during the past couple of centuries, and that the oceans have become very slightly less alkaline, and sea levels have risen by a few millimetres.

    However, I get rather alarmed whenever there is a natural disaster, whether flood, drought or cyclone, and the immediate reaction from many quarters is that such extreme events are another example of the effects human induced CO2 emissions.

    It’s almost like we’re back in the ancient past when every natural disaster was attributed to punishment by God. If there was a drought, the local priest would encourage people to pray for rain or do a special dance around a fire. Eventually the rains would arrive and, presumably, such primitives would consider that their prayers and rituals had been effective.

    Nowadays, we’re much more sophisticated. We don’t ask people to perform a special dance around a fire when a disaster strikes. We ask them to comply with some program to reduce CO2 emissions, which of course involves huge taxes of some sort.

    Some of you have accused me of peddling information that only comes from well-known skeptical sites. The fact is, my information comes from wherever it is available.

    I do Google searches, rephrasing my question till I get a relevant response. For example, there are a number of sites that quote information indicating that hurricanes are getting stronger as a result of global warming, but one finds on reading such articles that such information is localised, confined to the North Atlantic region.

    I can find no information that GLOBALLY hurricanes are getting stronger as a result of human induced CO2 emissions.

    Following is the result of a recent search on this topic. I’ve got no certain idea whether or not the following two sites are biased one way or another, but their conclusions in both cases point to uncertainty.

    http://www.marshall.org/pdf/materials/319.pdf

    “Linkage Between Hurricanes and Global Warming Tenuous.
    The extensive damage in the United States caused by recent hurricanes once again raises the question of whether these storms are caused by changes in climate, specifically the heating of seawater due to global warming. The clear answer is no”.

    http://www.waterandclimateinformationcentre.org/resources/8022007_Huntington2006_JHy.pdf

    “Data are often incomplete in spatial and temporal domains and regional analyses are variable and sometimes contradictory; however, the weight of evidence indicates an ongoing intensification of the water cycle.

    IN CONSTRAST TO THESE TRENDS, THE EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE TO DATE DOES NOT CONSISTENTLY SUPPORT AN INCREASE IN THE FREQUENCY OR INTENSITY OF TROPICAL STORMS OR FLOODS.”

  61. #61 John
    June 7, 2011

    Congratulations for successfully taking down your own argument about tornadoes, a topic you brought up and nobody here has been discussing but you.

  62. #62 FrankD
    June 7, 2011

    >the fact that Dr Roy Spencer appears to believe in Intelligent Design should not be a concern in itself.

    A point that has already been made. What Vincent makes of [Spencers errors](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/03/shorter_clive_james.php#comment-4070106) in the science, which are grounds for “concern”, remains a mystery.

    Will Vincent address these errors? One doubts it – distraction, evasion and flummery are so much easier.

    >hurricanes are getting stronger as a result of global warming, but one finds on reading such articles that such information is localised, confined to the North Atlantic region.

    Hurricanes only occur in the North Atlantic. Vincents usual degree of sloppiness. Fail. Again.

  63. #63 rhwombat
    June 7, 2011

    You really are spectacularly half-intelligent Vincent. Google Dunning and Kruger.

  64. #64 FrankD
    June 7, 2011

    Doop! Sods Law. Hurricanes, of course, also occur in the Western Pacific.

    Nevertheless the point about sloppiness stands – taken literally, they are a regional phenomenon, so why does Vincent talk about “…globally hurricanes…”

    Does he mean just hurricanes? Does he mean intense tropical storms? As with much of what he writes, there is enough wiggle room that as soon as he is called on it, he reframes what he claims to have meant.

    Vincent likes to hedge his bets…

  65. #65 Bernard J.
    June 7, 2011

    VincentR.

    Are you a Poe?

    I am struggling to see how someone could be as ignorant and as deluded as you demonstrate yourself to be, and still actually be a real person.

    Your last post boils down to pub psychology and unsubstantiated claims of scientific religousness. The former is not worthy of further comment, being the drivel that it is, but I am keen to press you on the latter.

    If scientists who accept the huge bodies of data, empirical evidence and analysis are religious, exactly how does this religiousness manifest? What of their own work are they ignoring, and what are they accepting as a matter of faith?

    And how is it that climatologists and physicists are nearly all succumbing to such religiousness, when scientists in other disciplines are not doing so in their own work? And how is it that these other scientists, the overwhelming majority of whom agree with the work of their physicist and climatological colleagues, are suddenly religious in accepting the climate change science when they are simply being professional scientists in their day jobs?

    What is it, exactly, that is the faith element in this religiousness? How have you determined that it is a manifestation of an act of faith, as opposed to an objective assessment of scientific evidence?

    And a question that has been put to you already, and that you skirt, Curtinesque, but that bears repeating – what exactly in the laws of physics and in the body of scientific evidence, data and fact is it that you cannot accept? Why can you not accept it? Do you have an objective, rational dispute based in its own scientific evidence?

    And for the record, when a real scientist searches for material, he or she uses a search engine tailored to the discipline in which he or she is seeking information. We only use G00gle when we’re trawling for mundane stuff, or when we want to link people to scientific information that might not be available to lay people via the professional paths.

    If you had even a modicum of scientific awareness you’d probably have known this.

  66. #66 FrankD
    June 7, 2011

    double doop – for “Western” read “Eastern” – its what you get for hurrying a post. Man, I wish we had edit buttons here…

    Still, I correct my errors, not just handwave them away.

    Any bets on Vincent being Brent?

  67. #67 Lotharsson
    June 7, 2011

    > We haven’t yet created any new,’real’ form of life in the laboratory out of basic, constituent chemicals.

    Although we have created simple RNA, and shown that very short chains of RNA can self-replicate, which starts to call into question the belief that “life could not originate by chance”, a proposition that usually relies on somewhat dodgy estimates of probabilities and the assumption that far longer chains of DNA or RNA are required to get life going.

    > … is to explain that the fact that Dr Roy Spencer appears to believe in Intelligent Design should not be a concern in itself.

    Actually, it should, because you appear to have deeply misunderstood Spencer’s particular brand of Intelligent Design belief, and the circumstances behind it. IIRC he argues that “macro-evolution” does not occur, despite an overwhelming amount of evidence to the contrary – and despite having *specifically* studied the topic some years back.

    You on the other hand are restricting the discussion to abiogenesis, which is a separate topic where as you rightly point out the science is far less clear.

    But just like Spencer, none of this evidence you were previously unaware of will cause you to change your opinion one jot.

    > We don’t ask people to perform a special dance around a fire when a disaster strikes. We ask them to comply with some program to reduce CO2 emissions, which of course involves huge taxes of some sort.

    What sort of _idiot_ – colloquial usage implied by context rather than the out-of-favour psychological technical usage, which any intelligent reader _should have_ understood to be the case when used earlier in the thread – do you have to be to *keep on claiming this strawman* is the motivation for climate change action, despite patient and repeated explanations?

    Vincent, *you are exhibiting all the signs of “religious” belief* – that is belief without and even against the evidence – that you rail against in your characterisation of our arguments and the science. If you feel the need to delve into psychological speculation, you should try it on yourself some time – start with “projection”.

  68. #68 Robert Murphy
    June 7, 2011

    “whereas any contention that I am an idiot is clearly false according to the definition of the word.”

    No, according to the normal definition of the word you are an idiot. It’s the same when someone calls another a moron; they aren’t saying that person has an IQ between 51 and 70, they are just saying the person is not very bright. It doesn’t matter if you can tie your shoes or drive a car. You’re an idjit. :)

    “I predicted…”

    You and Jean Dixon.

    “Science would be very much the poorer if we were to dismiss out of hand all theories and research originating from those who had a religious belief of any sort.”

    And nobody said otherwise. Keep building those strawmen!

    “Albert Einstein’s religious views would clearly fall under the umbrella of ‘Intelligent Design’. He believed in a creator of sorts, but not the God of the Bible who intervenes in personal affairs.”

    Nonsense. His “God” was the laws and regularity of the universe. He had no problem with evolution. He would have been horrified to be lumped in with the charlatans who call themselves ID’ers.

    “…there are also a large number of scientists who find it too implausbile to believe that life originated by chance.”

    Nonsense, the number of those studying the relevant areas of science who feel that way is exceedingly small. Just like the the number of climate scientists who don’t accept the evidence for AGW.

    “Such scientists therefore believe that there is more likely to be some ‘Intelligence’ out there that gave life and/or the universe a ‘kick start’.”

    And such a belief is way outside of science, and any attempt to give it a scientific veneer fails to hide the lack of empirical evidence for any such “Intelligent Designer”. It’s theology trying to be science.

    “It’s not an entirely unreasonable position without merit.”

    Sure it is. It’s scientifically bankrupt; it says that an unknown “Designer(s?)” did unknown things in an unknowable way at some unknown time and just happened to make it look like it was done via natural selection and common descent. It’s a scientific joke (and a theological one too).

    “How would that affect the Theory of Intelligent Design? Could one then assert there was no Intelligent Creator?”

    Ah, the “people have designed things, so that’s somehow evidence that an unknown and unknowable designer did some designing too at some unknown time in an unknown way” argument. Sorry, the fact we can design things, and maybe new life at some point, is in no way evidence that there was a designer that started the universe and designed the life that has been evolving on Earth for billions of years. The burden of proof is on those claiming such a designer exists. It is not in the least anybody else’s burden to show such a designer doesn’t exist. It’s similar to the burden that AGW deniers have in providing evidence for a forcing other than CO2 that is responsible for the recent warming. “intelligent Designer” = “Natural Climate Variability”

    “What may be of a concern is that he appears to believe in the Judeo/Christian God of the Bible.”

    In and of itself, that’s immaterial. What’s material is his reliance of the Bible over empirical evidence. For instance, he is the main scientific advisor to the Corwall Alliance. They put out a document pointing out an Evangelical objection to AGW; Spencer wrote the second part dealing with the science, while the first part dealt with theological issues.
    http://www.cornwallalliance.org/docs/a-renewed-call-to-truth-prudence-and-protection-of-the-poor.pdf

    This was the theological interpretation of the Ice Ages(page 15):

    “The other passages are difficult to reconcile with fears of catastrophic sea level rise. While there is evidence that sea level was once much higher than it now is, that evidence is best interpreted in light of the flood of Noah’s day—a never-to-be-repeated, cataclysmic judgment of God that would have been followed by a sudden ice age (accompanied by much reduced sea level as water was stored in vast ice sheets on land) as the atmosphere lost its high water vapor content and so cooled rapidly, and then a gradual recovery as temperatures rose and water vapor rose to approximately its concentration (accompanied by a gradual sea level rise to present levels as the continental glaciers melted and ocean waters expanded as they warmed). Although these verses do not guarantee that no local floods will occur or even that the sea level will not rise, nonetheless since they were given as assurance against devastating judgment (before the last judgment; 2 Peter 3:1–13) similar to that of the great flood of Noah’s day, they would seem to preclude the kind of catastrophic sea level rise envisioned by global warming alarmists.”

    That’s right, the Ice Ages were caused by Noah’s Flood! Spencer didn’t write that section, but he certainly knew it was there, and signed his name to the whole document. And revealingly, his section on the science dealt with a number of paleoclimate events, but never mentioned the ice ages. He’s recently been very cagey about the causes of the ice ages, claiming we don’t know (and ignoring the excellent evidence concerning Milankovitch cycles). He should just come right out and embrace Noah’s flood, or otherwise he should condemn the silly attribution in the Cornwall Alliance document.

    “For those of you who think I’m straying off topic, I’ll remind you that one of the fundamental objections I have to the AGW scare is its religious connotations.”

    Which is one of the reasons we call you an idiot.

    “Sure there’s evidence that CO2 is a GHG…”

    It’s a fact.

    “has been warming by a few fractions of a degree during the past couple of centuries…”

    Try over .75C.

    “and that the oceans have become very slightly less alkaline”

    Yes, they are undergoing acidification.

    “and sea levels have risen by a few millimetres.”

    Uh, no. That’s a few mm a year.

    “I get rather alarmed…”

    Alarmist!

    “It’s almost like we’re back in the ancient past when every natural disaster was attributed to punishment by God.”

    Except we can muster empirical evidence for our claims, while they could only say “Boogie Boogie!!”. I do agree that attribution of specific weather events to climate change is mostly fraught with danger (and error). It’s not an area with a lot of consensus, unlike the claim that overall climate sensitivity is not low. That’s much better supported.

  69. #69 Wow
    June 7, 2011

    However, when a really hot day happens, that sort of thing IS going to be more likely to happen in a warming climate.

    That’s not attributing that one hot day to AGW, though that’s how EVERY SINGLE DENIER reports it to themselves as.

    In a warmer climate, hot days will be more common.

    Do you think that 50C days were common in the Ice Ball Earth? Even in Death Valley?

    Do you think they were common in Pangaea when the climate was hotter and moreover a huge continent?

  70. #70 Jeff Harvey
    June 7, 2011

    *The fact is, my information comes from wherever it is available*

    This is patently untrue, Vincent and you know it. You’ve clearly demonstrated here that you never read the primary scientific literature in peer-reviewed journals, but instead glean the bulk of your ideas from second and third party sources, many of which are web sites linked with polluting industries or right wing think tanks.

    Basically, all you have shown here is that you swallow whatever bilge it is that supports your pre-determined world view. Why not admit it for once?

  71. #71 Bernard J.
    June 7, 2011

    >Basically, all you have shown here is that you swallow whatever bilge it is that supports your pre-determined world view. Why not admit it for once?

    Jeff, such an admission would be the sunshine of revelation to his troll’s stone.

    To thus expose himself would be to freeze himself forevermore in the posture of a pernicious contrarian.

    Of course, to anyone with half a brain, he still smells of troll, even though he tries to hide his true identity in the shadows of dissemblance. Just watch this…

    VincentR, will you [answer my questions](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/03/shorter_clive_james.php#comment-4077696)?

  72. #72 Lotharsson
    June 7, 2011

    > VincentR, will you answer my questions?

    And Vincent, while you’re at it, how about you answer Bernard’s [previous questions](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/03/shorter_clive_james.php#comment-3987781)? You’ve been most remiss…

  73. #73 Lotharsson
    June 9, 2011

    > VincentR, will you answer my questions?

    … ` ` …

  74. #74 rhwombat
    June 9, 2011

    Actually, Loth, I think it’s , or whatever noise a cane toad makes when hit with a nine iron.

  75. #75 VincentR
    June 9, 2011

    “I am struggling to see how someone could be as ignorant and as deluded as you demonstrate yourself to be, and still actually be a real person.

    Posted by: Bernard J. | June 7, 2011 5:21 AM”

    I can almost believe it. Anyone who would struggle with something like that must have some very strange views. Perhaps you think I am one the latest generation of robots who can sit at a computer and respond to blogs on the internet.

    “If scientists who accept the huge bodies of data, empirical evidence and analysis are religious, exactly how does this religiousness manifest? What of their own work are they ignoring, and what are they accepting as a matter of faith?
    And how is it that climatologists and physicists are nearly all succumbing to such religiousness, when scientists in other disciplines are not doing so in their own work? And how is it that these other scientists, the overwhelming majority of whom agree with the work of their physicist and climatological colleagues, are suddenly religious in accepting the climate change science when they are simply being professional scientists in their day jobs?
    What is it, exactly, that is the faith element in this religiousness? How have you determined that it is a manifestation of an act of faith, as opposed to an objective assessment of scientific evidence?

    Posted by: Bernard J. | June 7, 2011 5:21 AM”

    An excellent example of a ‘loaded question’, Bernard. Your question presumes that it is true that an overwhelming majority of scientists accepts the high degree of certainty that human induced CO2 emissions are a problem.

    One of the first things one learns when investigating this issue of AGW on the internet is that there are various lists available of large numbers of scientists, from the full range of disciplines, who have responded to questionaires expressing their skepticism about the IPCC claims for human induced CO2 emissions.

    I would accept that one can always find some fault with such lists, such as names with bogus qualifications and names of a few individuals of dubious reputation who have been known to have conspired with tobacco companies in the past.

    However, allowing for a reasonable percentage of error, it seems clear that such lists still represent a very large number of scientists with genuine and often impressive qualifications who are skeptical on the issue.

    It would be interesting to see the results of an adequately funded and objectively supervised enquiry that invited every scientist in the world to express an opinion on this matter, but I see inherent difficulties in getting those who are working in the field of climatology to express an honest, personal opinion on the matter if their true opinion happened to be one of skepticism. If their jobs are reliant upon government funding, that would be like ‘biting the hand that feeds one’.

    I can imagine that there would be many scientists, working in the their chosen discipline that is one of the 30-odd disciplines associated with climatology, really enjoying their job collecting fungi or seeds for analysis in the lab, being grateful for their employment and ride on the gravy train, who would see no good reason to disadvantage themselves by expressing general skepticism about AGW that might cause them to be viewed unfavourably by some of their colleagues and supervisors.

    The reasons for such reluctance to ‘blow the whistle’, so to speak, may also be reinforced by a belief that the development of alternative fuels to replace coal and oil is a very desirable thing in itself, irrespective of CO2 concerns. If a scare about CO2 helps speed up the development of such alternative fuels, then the thinking might be, ‘no harm done’ if I keep quiet about my skepticism and occasional observations of data manipulation in the workplace.

    Now to the religious aspect of all this, which could be the subject of a long book, but I’ll try to be as brief as possible.

    It will first be necessary to define what I mean by religion, or faith, used in this context. I’m NOT referring to any of the hundreds (or even thousands) of religious myths and rituals that exist amongst the inhabitants of our planet. So let’s be clear about this from the start.

    I’m using the term ‘religious’ in the sense of a belief or faith in the truth of something which cannot, or has not, been scientifically proved using ‘best practice’ scientific methods, methods which MUST involve processes of verification and falsifiability.

    In the absence of such verification, it seems to me one has only two major options. One can be skeptical about the theories, conclusions, computer projections etc, as any first-rate scientist unavoidably has to be (or has to strive to be); or one can fill in the void, (or paucity of data and evidence, and lack of verification), with faith or belief.

    Of course, in practice there are other options which I would describe as less honourable. One could accept there is uncertainty on the issue of AGW, as a scientist or as a politician, but ‘feign’ a faith in the completeness and certainty of the science in order to serve another agenda.

    By the way, Bernard, the first part of your first sentence in your quote above, “If scientists who accept the huge bodies of data, empirical evidence and analysis……….”, deserves a separate response.

    The data and evidence in support of AGW may appear huge from the perspective of our simplified lives, but from the perspective of the enormous complexity of our climate, what is causing changes at present, what has caused changes in the past, what effect such changes in climate will have on weather patterns and rises in sea levels, etc etc, the data and evidence is very modest in quantity. Some might say even tiny, and that’s the problem.

    Let’s consider the problem of other warming periods in the recent past that would clearly seem to be unconnected to anthropogenic emissions of CO2, such as the MWP and RWP.

    The arguments from the AGW believers go something like: “Ah! But we know the causes of those warming periods and those causes are not active at the present time, therefore the current warming period must be due to our CO2 emissions.”

    Such an argument lacks logic. The logical statement would be: “Ah! But we know ALL of the possible causes of natural warming of climate that could take place, and have taken place in the past, including the warmings known as the MWP and RWP. We can therefore be confident that our current warming is not natural, and is human induced.”

    Furthermore, another argument used to diminish the significance of the MWP in relation to the possible natural causes of the current warming period, is that it was not a global event.

    How do we know it was not a global event? Because there is a paucity of evidence from other parts of the planet. We simply don’t have the data and the temperature records for other regions during these warming periods.

    Well, strike me down with a feather! We know DESPITE a clear lack of evidence. That fits my definition of faith exactly.

  76. #76 luminous beauty
    June 9, 2011
  77. #77 Wow
    June 9, 2011

    > We simply don’t have the data and the temperature records for other regions during these warming periods.

    Hasn’t stopped you or any denialist from claiming that the MWP was warmer than today.

    NEVER.

    We DO, however, have the data for the world today and we know that it’s highly unlikely that the southern hemisphere could have warmed up so dramatically as to change the order without having left at least SOME detail of its existence.

    So, before you spout “It’s warmer in the MWP” or “It’s warmed as fast in the past”, you need to remember: you haven’t got the data to show that.

    No unicorn for you, princess.

  78. #78 rhwombat
    June 9, 2011

    My theory, by Ann Vincent Elk (Miss). The MWP was thin at both ends, and very big in the middle. This is my theory. It is mine, and no body else’s. Except the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. Which is not dead, it’s just pining for the fiords. Try some coloxyl with senna.

  79. #79 Robert Murphy
    June 9, 2011

    “One of the first things one learns when investigating this issue of AGW on the internet is that there are various lists available of large numbers of scientists, from the full range of disciplines, who have responded to questionaires expressing their skepticism about the IPCC claims for human induced CO2 emissions.”

    You mean like this one?:
    [Oregon Institute Petition](http://www.oism.org/pproject/)

    Their list is total crap. It claims to have over 30,000 scientists on it, but well over 99% of them have no background in climate science. Two thirds don’t even have Ph.d.’s. Over a third only have 4 year degrees. I would wager that a large majority of the people on the list do not even actually practice science. Even if the list were not total crap, it would still be only a drop in the bucket of the total number of people in the USA who have the same qualifications.

    “it seems clear that such lists still represent a very large number of scientists…”

    No, such lists represent a very tiny fringe group.

    “The data and evidence in support of AGW may appear huge from the perspective of our simplified lives, but from the perspective of the enormous complexity of our climate, what is causing changes at present, what has caused changes in the past, what effect such changes in climate will have on weather patterns and rises in sea levels, etc etc, the data and evidence is very modest in quantity. Some might say even tiny, and that’s the problem.”

    So many words, with nothing of substance. You could have saved yourself some typing if you had just said, “If we don’t know everything, we know nothing.”

    “I’m using the term ‘religious’ in the sense of a belief or faith in the truth of something which cannot, or has not, been scientifically proved using ‘best practice’ scientific methods, methods which MUST involve processes of verification and falsifiability.”

    Then you are grossly ignorant about the evidence that climate scientists have provided, and the methodologies involved. AGW is falsifiable, yet it has not been falsified. Also, you *are* aware that nothing in science is ever 100% proved, right?

    “One could accept there is uncertainty on the issue of AGW…”

    That would put one’s opinion squarely in line with all climate scientists. None have pretended there is no uncertainty. Uncertainty is a characteristic of all science, not just climate science. It doesn’t mean we can’t keep advancing in our knowledge.

    “The logical statement would be: “Ah! But we know ALL of the possible causes of natural warming of climate that could take place, and have taken place in the past, including the warmings known as the MWP and RWP. We can therefore be confident that our current warming is not natural, and is human induced.”"

    That would be the idiotic statement. There is no way to ever know ALL of the possible causes of natural climate change, for all periods of paleoclimate history. That doesn’t mean we can’t (and don’t) understand the major ones, and that doesn’t mean we can’t have a good handle on the major forcings without having 100% certainty. And really, there aren’t that many plausible forcings to choose from. And we can eliminate most right off the bat- the Sun, volcanic activity, and so on. The burden at this point is really on so-called skeptics to provide a plausible alternative forcing, and explain why the one from CO2 is not sufficient. Such a forcing would have to explain the cooling stratosphere, the warming nights, the increased absorption of IR radiation by CO2 that is observed, the energy imbalance at the top of the atmosphere that is observed, and so on. IoW, it will have to show why the consilience of evidence in support of CO2 as the main forcing driving the warming is really from this proposed mystery forcing. Good luck with that. :)

    “How do we know it was not a global event? Because there is a paucity of evidence from other parts of the planet. We simply don’t have the data and the temperature records for other regions during these warming periods.”

    Which is why it is complete nonsense when so-called *skeptics* insist that the MWP was a global event. Climate scientists don’t say it couldn’t have been one. They say the evidence we have says it wasn’t. Also, a lot of the regional warmings that occurred in the NH don’t overlap in time- the height of warming in one place corresponds to a temperature dip in another, for instance. Even restricting the data to the NH, the evidence doesn’t support a constrained time period that was warmer than the present.

    “Well, strike me down with a feather! We know DESPITE a clear lack of evidence. That fits my definition of faith exactly.”

    Yes, you are correct. So-called skeptics are exposing their faith when they claim that the world was warmer in the MWP than now even though the evidence we have says no. Actual paleoclimatologists are very careful to qualify their claims and state the uncertainties involved. So-called skeptics expose their faith when they insist that the real forcing behind the warming is some as-yet unknown player that they subsume under the name “natural variability”. There’s your religion for ya. :)

  80. #80 VincentR
    June 9, 2011

    Doop! Sods Law. Hurricanes, of course, also occur in the Western Pacific.

    Nevertheless the point about sloppiness stands – taken literally, they are a regional phenomenon, so why does Vincent talk about “…globally hurricanes…”
    Does he mean just hurricanes? Does he mean intense tropical storms? As with much of what he writes, there is enough wiggle room that as soon as he is called on it, he reframes what he claims to have meant.
    Vincent likes to hedge his bets…
    Posted by: FrankD | June 7, 2011 5:00 AM”"

    I can’t see your problem. Wherever hurricanes occur on the planet, their frequency and intensity cannot be linked to global warming.

    If an endangered species of a particular animal exists only in the Northern Hemisphere, for example, it would still be a true statement to claim that globally its estimated numbers are ‘whatever’.

    By mentioning only the term hurricane, because that’s the term used in the articles to which I referred, I left the way open for you to provide evidence that there IS an AGW linkage to similar storms with different names, such as cyclones and typhoons.

    It would have been remiss of me to state that there was no clear linkage to tropical storms in general, then provide evidence that only referred to hurricanes. You would have then been quite correct to point this out and provide any evidence refuting my statement.

    However, instead of providing such evidence, you seem to be more interested in nitpicking.

    For your edification, below is a statement from the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology regarding tropical cyclones.

    Perhaps Jeff Harvey would like to provide evidence that the BOM is an unreliable source of information on such matters because it may have links to the coal lobby.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/info/CAS-statement.pdf

    “STATEMENT ON TROPICAL CYCLONES AND CLIMATE CHANGE:

    We consider that the following conclusions of Henderson-Sellers et al (1998) remain valid:

    • Current knowledge and available techniques are not able to provide robust quantitative indications of potential changes in tropical cyclone frequency;

    • The modest available evidence points to an expectation of little or no change in global frequency.

    Regional and local frequencies could change substantially in either direction, because of the dependence of cyclone genesis and track on other phenomena (e.g. ENSO) that are not yet predictable;

    • The rapid increase of economic damage and disruption by tropical cyclones has been caused, to a large extent, by increasing coastal populations, by increasing insured values in coastal areas and, perhaps, a rising sensitivity of modern societies to disruptions of infrastructure.”

  81. #81 Wow
    June 9, 2011

    > Wherever hurricanes occur on the planet, their frequency and intensity cannot be linked to global warming.

    We haven’t had enough data to prove a link.

    Just like knowing today was 18C doesn’t tell you whether I’m in the northern hemisphere going into summer or the southern hemisphere coming out. That doesn’t prove that summer isn’t warmer than spring.

  82. #82 Jeff Harvey
    June 9, 2011

    I notice that Vincent still hasn’t touched the primary literature. Hasn’t gone thought the scientific journals, and clearly doesn’t understand much of what he withers on about.

    The problem is, Vince, that IMO you are a vacuous pundit who thinks he understands fields that are so complex that it takes experts in them years to gain insight into the innumerable parameters they contain. Like other armchair experts lacking any pedigree in the field, you think that possessing the necessary qualifications is not necessary in understanding the complex field of climate science. I have seen it all before in my field of research (population ecology). Idiots who can barely tell a mole cricket from a giraffe have waded into blogs claiming a range of idiotic things such as that increasing atmospheric levels of C02 will alleviate starvation, that humans have evolved beyond biophysical constraints, that extinction rates are vastly over-estimated, that acid rain was one of several doomsday myths, etc. etc. etc. Most of these clowns argued science at the level of a 5th grade student (or less). Yet they thought that they were knowledgeable – much like you do. It is not surprising why the Dunning-Kruger effect has attained so much credibikity in recent years. That is because the enviroinmental arena is full of know-nothings who think they know it all. As a scientist, my belief is that I should defer to the prevailing wisdom in the field of climate science. You know – by the scientists trained in the field. You aren’t one of them. And the vast majority – including those who work for the Australian government agency on the web site you abuse to support your latest rant – agree that humans are primarily responsible for the current warming.

    IMHO the reason you side with the deniers is simple. It has nix to do with science that is way, way over your head. Instead, it is because it fits with your ideological/political views. Why don’t you just admit it and save us all here responding to your twaddle?

  83. #83 Lotharsson
    June 9, 2011

    > Actually, Loth, I think it’s , or whatever noise a cane toad makes when hit with a nine iron.

    LOL!

    That seems fitting, because for all of his fancy dancing in his latest pair of missives, he still hasn’t answered Bernard’s questions.

    You know, I’m beginning to lose faith that Vincent knows something about the science. See, I had this _religious belief_ that he just couldn’t be as pig-ignorant about the actual science as he made himself out to be in his arguments, and that he was merely posturing for effect to manoeuvre his opponents into just the right position for his striking devastating move based on insightful and powerful scientific analysis…but no such luck. I mean, it’s not like Bernard’s questions were particularly advanced or anything, and he’s had plenty of time to address them – and instead he debases his reputation further with “lists of scientists who have expressed skepticism”!

    What do you reckon – is my faith in High Priest Vincent misplaced? Should I defer to the evidence on Vincent’s scientific insight instead?

  84. #84 VincentR
    June 9, 2011

    “378
    I notice that Vincent still hasn’t touched the primary literature. Hasn’t gone thought the scientific journals, and clearly doesn’t understand much of what he withers on about.
    The problem is, Vince, that IMO you are a vacuous pundit who thinks he understands fields that are so complex that it takes experts in them years to gain insight into the innumerable parameters they contain. Like other armchair experts lacking any pedigree in the field, you think that possessing the necessary qualifications is not necessary in understanding the complex field of climate science. I have seen it all before in my field of research (population ecology). Idiots who can barely tell a mole cricket from a giraffe have waded into blogs claiming a range of idiotic things such as that increasing atmospheric levels of C02 will alleviate starvation, that humans have evolved beyond biophysical constraints, that extinction rates are vastly over-estimated, that acid rain was one of several doomsday myths, etc. etc. etc. Most of these clowns argued science at the level of a 5th grade student (or less). Yet they thought that they were knowledgeable – much like you do. It is not surprising why the Dunning-Kruger effect has attained so much credibikity in recent years. That is because the enviroinmental arena is full of know-nothings who think they know it all. As a scientist, my belief is that I should defer to the prevailing wisdom in the field of climate science. You know – by the scientists trained in the field. You aren’t one of them. And the vast majority – including those who work for the Australian government agency on the web site you abuse to support your latest rant – agree that humans are primarily responsible for the current warming.
    IMHO the reason you side with the deniers is simple. It has nix to do with science that is way, way over your head. Instead, it is because it fits with your ideological/political views. Why don’t you just admit it and save us all here responding to your twaddle?
    Posted by: Jeff Harvey | June 9, 2011 10:33 AM”

    Jeff, with a post like that I can only ‘favourably’ believe you are a double agent. That is an AGW skeptic who is trying to convince people that AGW believers are an unreliable and illogical bunch of foul-mouthed, insulting fanatics whom one should pay no attention to.

    I have never personally known anyone in my entire life who would be persuaded to change his/her mind on the grounds of accusations that he/she is an idiot.

    The people I associate with are the sort who tend to change their opinion on any matter only in the light of new or persuasive evidence.

  85. #85 Wow
    June 9, 2011

    > I have never personally known anyone in my entire life who would be persuaded to change his/her mind on the grounds of accusations that he/she is an idiot.

    However, an idiot isn’t going to change his mind when he made his mind up from illogic and faith.

    Are you, princess.

    Not once have you shown one iota of comprehension that somewhere, somehow, in some small way, you may be wrong.

  86. #86 Robert Murphy
    June 9, 2011

    “I have never personally known anyone in my entire life who would be persuaded to change his/her mind on the grounds of accusations that he/she is an idiot.”

    And since that is not the argument that has been put forth, add another strawman to the long list you have been constructing. Many people here have tried to explain to you the scientific problems with your claims, and you brush them off and jump to a different claim. The fact that you are an idiot is not *why* you should change your position, it’s why you *won’t* change it.

  87. #87 Bernard J.
    June 9, 2011

    >The people I associate with are the sort who tend to change their opinion on any matter only in the light of new or persuasive evidence.

    The evidence that you display on this thread strongly suggests otherwise.

  88. #88 Lotharsson
    June 9, 2011

    > That is an AGW skeptic who is trying to convince people that AGW believers are an unreliable and illogical bunch of foul-mouthed, insulting fanatics whom one should pay no attention to.

    Vincent plays the ad hom card – and I call Denialist BINGO! Do I get bonus points if he accuses Jeff of ad hom in return? And double bonus points if he misapplies the concept of ad hom when making that accusation?

    (And I guess my faith in Vincent was misplaced. There’s simply no evidence that he can answer Bernard’s simple questions.)

  89. #89 Vince whirlwind
    June 10, 2011

    In fact, if you can successfully cause somebody to realise that they are an idiot, you will have succeeded in making them more likely to accept better-informed opinions than the ones they currently, irrationally, hold.

    So, Vincent, at what point does the exposure here of your illogic, your failure to integrate the facts, your belief in non-facts, and your inability to analyse, succeed in helping you realise that you are an idiot?

  90. #90 Bernard J.
    June 10, 2011

    [Lotharsson](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/03/shorter_clive_james.php#comment-4100414).

    There’s a very simple way to conclude VincentR’s vascillation on the matter of those questions…

    VincentR – if, in your next post, you are not able to address my questions [at #262](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/03/shorter_clive_james.php#comment-3987781) and [at #362](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/03/shorter_clive_james.php#comment-4077696), your failure to do so will be taken as explicit admission that you are incapable of doing so in any way that supports any of your entire suite of claims on this thread, and thus that you are wrong in everything that you have said and that the scientific consensus presented by the rest of us is correct.

    The contract is open VincentR. Your next answer concludes it, just [as it did for James](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/06/australian_climate_scientists.php#comment-4100769).

  91. #91 VincentR
    June 10, 2011

    As some of you may be able to appreciate, I don’t have the time to address all of the logical fallacies, irrelevant arguments and non sequiturs that I see in this thread, but the following point or criticism from Robert Murphy deserves a correction on my part.

    “346
    “Homo Sapiens is doing quite well. We’ve been here about 6 million years”

    You’re only off by about 5.8 million years.
    Posted by: Robert Murphy | June 5, 2011 7:09 AM”

    I would agree that this is an example of sloppy phrasing on my part. The way I’ve put it, due to lack of time, could give the impression that I meant the latest development in the hominid history of evolution, that is Homo Sapiens, has been around for about 6 million years.

    This clearly is not the case. Instead of being so brief and writing, “WE’VE been here about 6 million years”, I should have taken more time and written, “We and our hominid ancestors, going back to the time we diverged from the apes, have been here about 6 million years.”

    So Robert Murphy is approximately correct that Homo Sapiens has been around for only 200,000 years, although to be more technically correct there is a distinction to be made between Homo Sapiens and Homo Sapiens Sapiens.

    Homo Sapiens (archaic) first appeared about 500,000 years ago, although I confess I wasn’t there at the time to verify this.”

  92. #92 Lotharsson
    June 10, 2011

    > As some of you may be able to appreciate, I don’t have the time to address all of the logical fallacies, irrelevant arguments and non sequiturs that I see in this thread…

    …but you’ve got plenty of time to write most of them!

  93. #93 VincentR
    June 10, 2011

    “383
    “The people I associate with are the sort who tend to change their opinion on any matter only in the light of new or persuasive evidence.”

    The evidence that you display on this thread strongly suggests otherwise.
    Posted by: Bernard J. | June 9, 2011 12:44 PM”

    You know, Bernard, there is some truth to your statement.

    If my claim were entirely true that I associate with the sort who tend to change their opinion only in the light of new or persuasive evidence, then one could legitimately ask why am I writing in this thread in the first instance, associating with you lot.

    Rather than be evasive and make excuses like, ‘I didn’t write, ‘ONLY associate with…’, I’ll be blunt and tell you the reasons for my posting here.

    (1) As a person who has a great respect for the scientific method, the application of which has provided so many benefits for mankind in recent times, I’m trying to get an isight into the mentality of people who seem to be so certain that our CO2 emissions will cause great harm and difficulty if we don’t reduce them.

    (2) As a person who is a complete agnostic on the issue of AGW, I have a glimmer of hope that someone might provide some links to convincing evidence that meets my high standards of verification and falsifiability.

    (3) This site is one outlet where I can air my views which might provoke some thought on the issue in others who may be undecided.

    For this opportunity, I have to thank our host, Tim Lambert.

    I’ll always remember the day about 50-odd years ago when I and all the other 12 year-olds in my class studying General Science were asked to choose between Biology and Physics in preparation for the GCE in the UK.

    We were all standing in the Physics classroom, and those who preferred Biology were asked to leave and go to another room. I was amazed to see about 3/4ths of the class departing to the other room. The Physics Master was delighted that only about 8 of us remained. But his delight was short-lived.

    The Headmaster decided it was not appropriate for the majority of the class to opt for the ‘soft’ science of Biology and immediately set up an interview process of all those who had chosen Biology, questioning their ideas and preferences for their future career.

    I presume that those who did not express a clear intention to choose a career in medicine, or geology, or ecology, or anthropology etc, were asked to return to the Physics class. One of my friends who was allowed to study Biology had stated he intended to become a Vet because he liked hiking in the countryside. He eventually upgraded his aspirations and became a medical doctor.

    So what’s the point of all this waffle, I hear you ask. The point is that there is a distinction to be made between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ sciences.

    However, such a distinction should not be used in black & white terms. The subject of Climatology involves many disiplines, some of which would tend to fall into the category of ‘soft’ science, and some of which would fall into the category of ‘hard’ science, such as the Physics that determines that CO2 is in fact a GHG.

    The problem is compounded when so much of the science relating to ACTION on climate change are the softest of all the disciplines, such as Political Science, Economics and Sociology.

    But perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself. I should first define what I mean by ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ science, for the benefit of those who don’t know.

    A ‘hard’ science is one that requires, and lends itself to, the strictest of scientific procedures involving verification and falsifiability. A ‘soft’ science is one where it is accepted that the application of such strict procedures are impossible, at present, for whatever reason but usually reasons of enormous complexity, variability, chaos and long time constraints.

    I would place the science of climatology as a whole, including its mixture of hard and soft disciplines, as a soft science. Not as soft as the softest of all sciences, but still soft on balance.

    For those of you who read Scientific American it should be no surprise that scientists are still trying to falsify Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

    Imagine the embarrassment if we were to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on a research program into deep outer space using a new rocket system capable of accelerating to enormous speeds approaching the speed of light, and that the success of the mission depended on the accuracy of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity which in fact proved to be wrong or inaccurate causing the mission to be a total flop and a waste of money. Oops!

    This could be an analogy for any world-wide project to reduce our CO2 emissions which has been based upon the conclusions from a ‘soft’ science presented with a exaggerated certainty to emulate the conclusions of a ‘hard’ science, to a much softer general public who are influenced by the even softer disciplines of political science, psychology and economics.

    That’s a recipe for disaster if you ask me.

  94. #94 Jeff Harvey
    June 10, 2011

    Here are Vincent’s latest musings:

    *This could be an analogy for any world-wide project to reduce our CO2 emissions which has been based upon the conclusions from a ‘soft’ science presented with a exaggerated certainty to emulate the conclusions of a ‘hard’ science, to a much softer general public who are influenced by the even softer disciplines of political science, psychology and economics*

    *I would place the science of climatology as a whole, including its mixture of hard and soft disciplines, as a soft science. Not as soft as the softest of all sciences, but still soft on balance*.

    What can I say? Basically, our resident neophyte layman writes as if he for some reason possesses the innate wisdom to separate ‘soft’ from ‘hard’ science. When he says “I would” he is essentially trying to tell people reading this thread that his opinion carries some weight, some authority.

    As I am a trained scientist with more than 20 years of experience in my field of research, may I ask his Royal Eminence (Vincent) what sources have imbued him with such wisdom? I have asked before and I will ask again:

    1. How many peer-reviewed journals do you read in which the subjects are empirically and theoretically examined;

    2. What are your own professional qualifications in the field of climate science, or in any science for that matter?

    The answer to 1 will inevitably be ‘NONE’ or ‘VERY FEW’;

    The answer to 2 will be ‘NONE’.

    What this means is that Vincent is something of a legend in his own mind. In other words his opinions are totally worthless, because he has no expertise at all in climate science or in ANY science, except for his own ‘personal enquiries’.

  95. #95 Wow
    June 10, 2011

    > he is essentially trying to tell people reading this thread that his opinion carries some weight

    Well, it’s dense enough. The only question is if there’s enough to his arguments to turn that density into mass.

    I wonder if Vinny thinks that quantum mechanics is a hard or soft science, because according to QM, CO2 doubling would cause 1.2C of warming for itself. Since water is a bigger GHG than CO2 (as all deniers agree), and water evaporates quicker under warmer skies, this would, absent a “soft” model otherwise, cause an amplification of the response.

  96. #96 Lotharsson
    June 10, 2011

    > If my claim were entirely true that I associate with the sort who tend to change their opinion only in the light of new or persuasive evidence, then one could legitimately ask why am I writing in this thread in the first instance, associating with you lot.

    Vincent, as far as I recall, you haven’t presented any significant evidence that I wasn’t already aware of. The same is probably true of most of the readers who are still hanging around to watch your amusing prognostications – so even on this point your assertions do not appear to be factual.

    Since you’ve got plenty of time to type more pages of self-congratulatory but largely content-free pap…

    how about them questions Bernard has posed several times now?

    One must speculate why you do not answer.

    Are you chicken? Don’t know? Don’t understand the question? Can’t face the implications of an honest answer? Can’t find the answers at your denialist sources? Don’t know how to read the IPCC reports? Don’t know how to find references in the literature? All of the above?

    Inquiring minds want to know…

  97. #97 Michael
    June 10, 2011

    Since when did atmospheric physics become a ‘soft science’?

    The only softness appears to be between Vince’s ears.

  98. #98 rhwombat
    June 10, 2011

    Hmm. Only 62 (or so), but Vincent’s world has already contracted to the end of his nose.

  99. #99 Bernard J.
    June 10, 2011

    There’s no need for anyone to further engage VincentR as he has explicitly admitted that he is wrong in everything that he has said, and that the scientific consensus presented by the rest of us is correct, [by his fullfilling of the contract I opened at post #386](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/03/shorter_clive_james.php#comment-4100835).

    His silly rant about hard versus soft sciences is just that – a silly rant. I’ve had the sometimes dubious pleasure of studying biology, chemistry, physics, physical chemistry, education, and psychology at university level, and within these disciplines I have studied many diverse specialisations. (For those wondering, I have clocked up about 17 years of full-time or part-time enrolment at university level, over four degrees and a postgrad diploma mostly whilst working full-time in research, diagnosis and/or education.) The point is, though, that VincentR’s impression of hard versus soft just that: an impression. And a – ahem – somewhat ‘misguided’ one at that.

    If he really requires a lesson on this subject I am sure that I or someone else could provide it to him, but really, the guy is an aging wannabe intellectual who got off at the wrong logical station, and who can’t admit that he doesn’t know how to read an intellectual timetable.

    The score is now: Science 2, James/VincentR 0.

  100. #100 FrankD
    June 10, 2011

    >So what’s the point of all this waffle, I hear you ask.

    I asked that two months ago…