The Conversation on climate change

The Conversation has launched a series of articles on climate change, introduced by editor Megan Clement here. The first three are:

Climate change is real: an open letter from the scientific community:

The overwhelming scientific evidence tells us that human greenhouse gas emissions are resulting in climate changes that cannot be explained by natural causes.

Climate change is real, we are causing it, and it is happening right now.

Like it or not, humanity is facing a problem that is unparalleled in its scale and complexity. The magnitude of the problem was given a chilling focus in the most recent report of the International Energy Agency, which their chief economist characterised as the “worst news on emissions.”

The greenhouse effect is real: here’s why:

It would be easy to form the opinion that everything we know about climate change is based upon the observed rise in global temperatures and observed increase in carbon dioxide emissions since the industrial revolution.

In other words, one could have the mistaken impression that the entirety of climate science is based upon a single correlation study.

In reality, the correlation between global mean temperature and carbon dioxide over the 20th century forms an important, but very small part of the evidence for a human role in climate change.

Speaking science to climate policy:

With many issues to be considered in setting a climate policy one can end up wondering what the role of climate science is in all this.

After all, climate science doesn’t tell us what to do. It doesn’t tell us whether to have a carbon price or where it should be set. Those decisions ultimately involve a range of normative and deliberative issues which are beyond the scope of climatology.

Climatology can tell us, however, what is likely to happen if we don’t act, or if we don’t act with sufficient speed to keep total emissions within specific carbon allocations.

There is no single threshold above which climate change is dangerous and below which it is safe. There is a spectrum of impacts. But some of the largest impacts are effectively irreversible and the thresholds for them are very near.

Comments

  1. #1 Vince whirlwind
    June 15, 2011

    Nice take-down of Tim Curtin in the “Here’s Why” article comment section by Tom Curtis.

    Also, Michael Marriott gives him a right old hammering right at the end of the “Open Letter” article. I didn’t know Tim Curtin was associated with Lavoisier….explains a few things.

  2. #2 Cath the Canberra Cook
    June 15, 2011

    OT, but what do you think of this latest article claiming a new ice age due to a Maunder sunspot minimum?

  3. #3 cynicus
    June 15, 2011

    @2 Studies of the difference between the height of the suns activity in the 60s and the Maunder minimum show that deltaTSI (difference in total solar irradiance) is about 0.17 to 0.23 W*m2, averaged over the earth (Wang 2005 and Krivova 2007). This is greatly outweighed by changes in enhanced greenhouse gas concentrations: +1.66 W*m2 (CO2), +0.4 W*m2 (NH4, halocarbons) for the 20th century alone. There are negative antropogenic forcings too so the total arrives at about 1.5 W*m2 (IPCC 2007) for the 20th century.

    It seems clear that a return to a Maunder Minimum will only slow global warming a bit for as long as the sun remains quiet. When the sun gets active again after that, then we can expect extra warming. New Ice Age? Nope.

  4. #4 lord_sidcup
    June 15, 2011

    @2 It is noticable that the quotes from scientists contained in that article don’t support the headline or the concluding paragraph.

  5. #5 Dave R
    June 15, 2011

    @2

    [What if the sun got stuck?](http://bravenewclimate.com/2008/09/14/what-if-the-sun-got-stuck/)

    >Thus if the sun remains “out”, i.e., stuck for a long period in the current solar minimum, it can offset only about 7 years of CO2 increase. The human-made greenhouse gas climate forcing is now relentlessly, monotonically, increasing at a rate that overwhelms variability of natural climate forcings. Unforced variability of global temperature is great, as shown in Figure 4, but the global temperature trend on decadal and longer time scales is now determined by the larger human-made climate forcing. Speculation that we may have entered a solar-driven long-term cooling trend must be dismissed as a pipe-dream.

  6. #6 Cath the Canberra Cook
    June 15, 2011

    Thanks all! Much appreciated.

  7. #7 andrew adams
    June 15, 2011

    Seeing the reaction of the fake-skeptics to the sunspot story it’s funny how they have such confidence in the effect on our climate of a reduction in sunspots whereas they have such little confidence in the effect of an increase in CO2 despite the fact that the radiative forcing impact of the latter is AIUI much better understood.

    Also, if reduced sunspot activity is going to have such a drastic effect as to mean we are heading for a new little ice-age then surely that implies high climate sensitivity, which the fake-skeptics of course don’t accept.

  8. #8 chek
    June 15, 2011

    Apropos of nothing, I’d always considered The Register as being somewhat authoritative on its technology coverage.

    But when I recognised its climate change coverage for the contrarian-flavoured tripe it invariably is, my estimation of it in all other areas nosedived to the point where I’ve never visited it again and don’t miss it at all, much like any other trashy tabloid.

  9. #9 Wow
    June 15, 2011

    When it comes to FOSS, El Reg is For The Machine rag.

    If it’s Orlowski on anything, it’s a rant-filled, fact-free diatribe against whatever Orlowski doesn’t like. Ever since they got a large following in the USA Orlowski’s been given more and more room to rant and more and more defence in his lies. The editors really don’t care if he’s wrong. Either because he has connections to money or they aren’t able to do anything about it in the terms of their USA franchise. Not that it makes any real difference what the reason is.

  10. #10 Rick Bradford
    June 15, 2011

    > There is no single threshold above which climate change is dangerous and below which it is safe.

    Could one of you tell Bill ‘350 is the red line for human beings’ McKibben, please?

  11. #11 Wow
    June 15, 2011

    Rick, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a danger below 350.

    There’s no “safe speed” to drive a car, but your red car as a red line on the rev counter nonetheless.

    Likewise, at 300ppm there are dangers and unpleasant consequences. E.g. the Sahel. Below 180 there are dangers and unpleasant consequences. E.g. Ice floes in Scotland.

    And one place you can put a red line where there would be changes beyond merely making precautions. And one good place to put that is at 350ppm. Beyond that, it’s likely enough that we’ll have to move our seaports at great expense and where previously abundant lands will no longer produce what we eat.

    Eating is quite important, so that is quite a dangerous proposition.

    If you feel otherwise, please explain why and where the destabilising effects of climate change will affect our western life.

  12. #12 Bernard J.
    June 15, 2011

    It galls me to say so, but I suspect that The Conversation is doomed to a rapid, grinding halt if they do not take a very strategic approach to the denialists.

    The same old denialist pseudoscience is being trotted out even before the ink is dry, by Dunningly-Krugered people who think that having a teriary qualification in Nail Technology is a ticket to kitchen sink climatology. With respect to the latter, witness Tim Curtin coming out of the wood-work, and who, when asked:

    >Tim, Can you comment on why you do not publish your research in peer-reviewed outlets?

    replied with this extraordinarily self-generous:

    >I have, close to 30 in fact, albeit on a wide range of subjects.

    This, from the guy who thinks that climatologists haven’t heard of least squares regression, and who thinks that LSR is the pinnacle of statistical sophistication in climatological analysis. Yes, really…

    And according to Curtin, he is presenting a paper at this year’s conference of the Economic Society of Australia. If this is the case, someone really needs to tell the ESA that their dabblings into matters scientific is heading straight into Flat Earth territory, and that they should very carefully scrutinise their forays into disciplines beyond their ken.

    Seriously, if The Conversation is going to host a considered discussion of the science of global warming, and if they’re going to expose themselves to this sort of nonsense, with which we’ve all been barraged for years, then they need to have a very defined strategy for responding immediately, decisively, and once only to each denialist canard. If they’re not going to take advantage of a resource such as Skeptical Science, they should number their own responses and simply link back when each new repetition occurs.

    These days I’m wondering if there’s even any point any more in trying to educate an ignorant and ideologically-blinkered public on an ad hoc basis. It seems to be as fruitless as shovelling shit with a splinter. Instead, given the proclivities of the average Australian denialist of any educational level, I suspect that the only way to get the point across would be for a concerted education campaign on prime-time television… and even then, I can’t see that there’s any way of turning the lights on in the minds of the ostrich-conservatives of those who follow the likes of the Moncktons, the Plimers, the Watts, the Bolts, and the Liberal-National parties of the world.

    As much as I wish that it were otherwise, I think that we’re screwed. The only choice that we have now is how much screwing we’ll have committed to before the penny finally drops for the heel-draggers.

  13. #13 Rick Bradford
    June 15, 2011

    > If you feel otherwise, please explain why and where the destabilising effects of climate change will affect our western life.

    The destabilising effects on western life will come from climate change *policy* such as the UK’s absurd, damaging (and quite unachievable) renewable energy targets which are even now plunging many citizens of that unhappy country into fuel poverty.

  14. #14 Raging Bee
    June 15, 2011

    Rick: “fuel poverty?” Got any sort of citation for that? Or at least a reference to a specific policy or two? Your comments sounds like standard right-wing bashing of every new idea a liberal comes up with.

  15. #15 Lotharsson
    June 15, 2011

    Tim Curtin:

    > I have in fact published a peer reviewed article on Climate Change and Food Production (2009), but you neither know nor care that ending combustion of fossil fuels will certainly reduce food production…

    Maybe someone with a suitable login for The Conversation ought to point readers to the Curtin threads here for their edification…

  16. #16 chek
    June 15, 2011

    I see Rick follows the party line of just making shitup as it suits him.

    “The destabilising effects on western life will come from climate change policy such as the UK’s absurd, damaging (and quite unachievable) renewable energy targets which are even now plunging many citizens of that unhappy country into fuel poverty”.

    The big advantage is you don’t need any evidence, as is usually the case. And Rick please note, invented scare stories from Lawson’s fake ‘educational’ charity and fossil fuel mouthpieces such as Peiser & Montford’s GWPF (aka the Benny-Hill Show) don’t actually count for anything in the real world.

  17. #17 lord_sidcup
    June 15, 2011
  18. #18 Jeremy C
    June 15, 2011

    Ricky Boy,

    I’m sitting here in London and was wondering if you could give me a few addresses of people in fuel poverty resulting from the UK’s renewable enrgy policies…..cause I’m certainly not. I’ll go around and get their comments about fuel poverty and from that I should be able to trace back to Government renewable policies.

    BTW Fuel poverty has been a feature of UK life for generations looonnnngggg before any renewable energy policies. Hence the UK’s meagre efforts to address it with policies to improve the envelope efficiency of the housing stock here – very similar to Australia’s woeful housing stock.

  19. #19 Wow
    June 15, 2011

    > the UK’s absurd, damaging (and quite unachievable) renewable energy targets

    They’re absurd but only because they’re so wimpy.

    Scotland (very much colder than London) has beaten their 20% renewables target and are thinking about planning 50% now.

    But what you seem to want to believe to be true is that renewables can’t be used to power the UK.

    ‘fraid you’re wrong there. Plenty of people have plans to manage just that and the product is there, just not the willpower.

  20. #20 Bernard J.
    June 15, 2011

    Sadly, I simply do not have the time just now to wade through the two Curtin threads on Deltoid to find and link to the many examples, but I am wondering if perhaps one of the other long-timers here might have the constitution for this task…

    …I think that it would be instructive for both the hosts and the readers of The Conversation to know that Tim Curtin has many pseudoscientific beliefs, including but not restricted to:

    1. regressions can solve any statistical problem
    2. acidifying sea water to less than pH 7 renders it potable
    3. oil palm plantations do not threaten orang utans
    4. avian taxonomists do not know how to count bird species
    5. carbon dioxide will plummet to 0 ppm if humans stop burning fossil fuels
    6. high-order polynomial lines of best fit are appropriate for projecting estimations outside of the independent data variable range
    7. carbon dioxide is the limiting factor in all photosynthetic milieux
    8. “[]” means “atmospheric”
    9. carbon dioxide, being heavier than air, does not permeate very high into the atmosphere
    10. scientists are engaged in a conspiracy of perpetrating a global fraud

    I am sure that others can add to the catalogue, but I feel for the brave soul who might actually consider formally documenting Curtin’s delusions about, and incompetences in, science. Still, were it to be done, it would provide an invaluable service to The Conversation…

  21. #21 andrew adams
    June 15, 2011

    Bernard J,

    These days I’m wondering if there’s even any point any more in trying to educate an ignorant and ideologically-blinkered public on an ad hoc basis. It seems to be as fruitless as shovelling shit with a splinter. Instead, given the proclivities of the average Australian denialist of any educational level, I suspect that the only way to get the point across would be for a concerted education campaign on prime-time television… and even then, I can’t see that there’s any way of turning the lights on in the minds of the ostrich-conservatives of those who follow the likes of the Moncktons, the Plimers, the Watts, the Bolts, and the Liberal-National parties of the world.

    I guess the key question is the extent to which the denialists are representative of the wider public. From my perspective here in the UK I’m optimistic that this is not the case, although no doubt the malign influence of the Daily Mail etc. may have had some effect. But I’m pretty sure the public in general doesn’t follow the arguments that go on in the blogosphere.

  22. #22 Bernard J.
    June 15, 2011

    Hi Tim.

    As you will have noticed, I have just posted this on the “Conversation” thread, although it’s sitting in moderation. In the post I accuse Curtin of delusion, which I am happy to stand by, but it occurred to me that I might be putting you on the spot. If you’re not comfortable with my wording, I’m happy for you to edit it in any way that you see fit.

    Cheers,

    Bernard J.

    ——–

    Sadly, I simply do not have the time just now to wade through the two Curtin threads on Deltoid to find and link to the many examples, but I am wondering if perhaps one of the other long-timers here might have the constitution for this task…

    …I think that it would be instructive for both the hosts and the readers of The Conversation to know that Tim Curtin has many pseudoscientific beliefs, including but not restricted to:

    1. regressions can solve any statistical problem
    2. acidifying sea water to less than pH 7 renders it potable
    3. oil palm plantations do not threaten orang utans
    4. avian taxonomists do not know how to count bird species
    5. carbon dioxide will plummet to 0 ppm if humans stop burning fossil fuels
    6. high-order polynomial lines of best fit are appropriate for projecting estimations outside of the independent data variable range
    7. carbon dioxide is the limiting factor in all photosynthetic milieux
    8. “[]” means “atmospheric”
    9. carbon dioxide, being heavier than air, does not permeate very high into the atmosphere
    10. scientists are engaged in a conspiracy of perpetrating a global fraud

    I am sure that others can add to the catalogue, but I feel for the brave soul who might actually consider formally documenting Curtin’s delusions about, and incompetences in, science. Still, were it to be done, it would provide an invaluable service to The Conversation…

  23. #23 Bernard J.
    June 15, 2011

    [Andrew Adams](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/06/the_conversation_on_climate_ch.php#comment-4147858).

    I fervently hope that you are right.

    Unfortunately in Autralia the combined effects of:

    1. the ambitions and ideologies of Tony Abbott and his brethren
    2. the strength of the fossil fuel lobby and its allies
    3. the unscrupulousness of our gutter tabloid media, and
    4. the anti-intellectualism of a large swathe of the ‘ocker’ part of the country’s general public

    all mean that optimism is hard to sustain.

    The various opinon polls, even if they are tainted by leading and partisan questionings, still seem to indicate that the average blue t-shirted Aussie Joe and tank-topped Aussie Jane have been more swayed over the last several years by alarmist propaganda about “great big toxic taxes” and skyrocketting unemployment than about the future of the planet.

    It’s hard to see a way out, and unless the current government can pull a rabbit from its hat the Liberal-National parties will be taking over at the next election, which will almost certainly put any commencement of action off until after 2016.

    By then the best option* might be to curry favour with the Stark Conspiracy.

    [*For the irony-challenged economic-alarmist trolls here, that comment is intended as wry humour…]

  24. #24 jim
    June 15, 2011

    It would be easy to form the opinion that everything we know about climate change is based upon the observed rise in global temperatures and observed increase in carbon dioxide emissions since the industrial revolution.

    Yes. It amazes me that denialists can get away with things like “correlation is not causation” or “what if it’s temperature that’s driving CO2 outgassing instead?” as if there wasn’t a known mechanism for temperature forcing. One you can (and I have) observe right on a lab bench with a spectrophotometer.

    [actually temperature *is* driving greenhouse gas emissions, but it’s not “instead”, it’s “also”. Positive feedback systems aren’t some mysterious theory, they’re commonly observed]

  25. #25 SteveC
    June 15, 2011

    Re: rick bradford and “fuel poverty” as a result of renewable energy targets, some of which haven’t even been put in place yet.

    Wot Jeremy C sed. And wot ‘is Kentish lordship sed. I’m also in the UK at the moment, so when you’re answering Jeremy C could you do us a favour and point out where I can find some of this fuel poverty of which you speak. West country addresses preferred, Wales at a pinch.

  26. #26 SteveC
    June 15, 2011

    Bernard J @12:

    It galls me to say so, but I suspect that The Conversation is doomed to a rapid, grinding halt if they do not take a very strategic approach to the denialists… These days I’m wondering if there’s even any point any more in trying to educate an ignorant and ideologically-blinkered public on an ad hoc basis

    Which is a more tactful way of expressing the same sentiments expressed by frank and myself on the previous thread.

    We’ve all seen identical “arguments” hundreds – possibly thousands – of times before on umpteen websites, all of which are repeatedly shown up for the fatuous bollocks they are. None of which stops them being repeated over and over and over again on any website or in any paper or on any schlock-jock radio show.

    I wish The Conversation the very best but I can’t see it making much of a dent in the Rejectionist mindset. Paint me bleak.

  27. #27 chek
    June 15, 2011

    Thanks, lord_sidcup @ #17.
    I recognised the Brentesque mewlings that Rick spewed as being typical GWPF fare; GWPF being the UK’s own Heartland-lite Foundation staffed by a similar level of intellectual … um … elite.

    With the usual sleight of hand attempt at passing off a 40% rise in energy market prices in the past seven years – resulting in ongoing obscenely inflated profits for the fossil fuelling global corporations – as being due to what Peiser & Co, like to falsely call “green taxes”.

    Of course their loudly proclaimed objections to these imaginary “green taxes” never carry over into objections to the obscene corporate energy profiteering we’ve actually witnessed where headlines like: “Earnings for the first half of 2010, excluding special items, were $13.9 billion, up 60% over the first half of 2009″. are [common.](http://money.cnn.com/2010/07/29/news/companies/Exxon/index.htm)

  28. #28 David Duff
    June 15, 2011

    Evening all, er, but if you’re ‘down there’, morning all. I haven’t visited for some time because, to be honest, I thought that by now, what with your global warming scam blown to smithereens by ‘climate-gate’ you would all have found another hobby. But not a bit of it, here you all are, still banging the drum. Still, I see our host has moved on from ‘climate warming’ to ‘climate change’ so I can’t help wondering when he’s going to reach ‘global cooling’, or even ‘global freezing’. It can only be a matter of time given the recent news that someone gave the sun a cure for its acne and all its spots have disappeared.

    Doesn’t really matter, of course, because the remedies will remain exactly the same – government controls (but preferably global organisation controls), all power to be vested in the hands of NGOs like ‘GreenWar’ and ‘Enemies of the Earth’, and everything aimed at perpetuating the crisis so they can stay in power for ever and ever.

    Nothing ever changes!

  29. #29 chek
    June 15, 2011

    Is it that any new information from the outside world is a low background noise compared to the noisy clattering of well-liked memes that were inserted into you years ago that makes you and your herd of ilk so impervious David Duff?

    Because it truly is amazing how much nonsense you’ve absorbed. Did they use anal probes and they’re the source of your reluctance to abandon them?

  30. #30 Martin Vermeer
    June 15, 2011

    > Nothing ever changes!

    Eh, you forgot Al Gore. Sloppy Dave, sloppy. Relax. And remember your training: shrill looks bad in print.

  31. #31 David Duff
    June 15, 2011

    Al Gore! Oh my God, if only I could forget him but like a recurring nightmare he keeps coming back.

    And SHRILL! MOI? NEVER!

  32. #32 Michael
    June 15, 2011

    How interesting, more denialti drivel.

    The army of stupid marches on!

  33. #33 caerbannog
    June 15, 2011

    From David Duff’s blog:

    As regular readers will know, I never believed in the theory of global warming, not because I am a terrific science swot – I failed maths, physics and chemistry at ‘O’ level – but because of the sort of people who were pushing it, and the way in which they pushed it…

    Translated:
    “I flunked all the hard classes because my instructors were mean to me. Therefore, global-warming is a fraud.”

  34. #34 Hank Roberts
    June 15, 2011

    Oh gee, another climate bingo opportunity.
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/03/tim_curtin_thread.php

  35. #35 GSW
    June 15, 2011

    I read thru the greenhouse article and have a few comments;

    In general, the article is cringingly weak. Numerous examples, but this struck me as being particularly brave, overstated (or just downright untruthful);

    “While the climate system is very complex, observations have shown that our formulation of the physics of the atmosphere and oceans is largely correct, and ever improving.

    Most importantly, the observations have confirmed that human activities, in particular a 40% increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations since the late 19th century, have had a discernible and significant impact on the climate system already.”

    I don’t think mainstream sceptics dispute the ‘Greenhouse Effect’. Other than, perhaps, it is largely a misnomer .

    Venus. You can’t discuss Climate change with reference to other planets/bodies in the Solar system, no two are alike in any way.

    (From memory) Venus is about 1 and half times closer to the Sun ~ 2 to 2.5 times more Solar energy/m2. Swap position and no more oceans, no more living things – C02 at 350ppm or 450ppm makes no difference – we’d all be toast!

    So cut the “Heavily laden with greenhouse gas”(C02) crap, there is a bit more to it than this cheap form of words.

    “How do we know it is us?” – How do we know what is us? do you mean increasing C02? or temperature increases over the last century?

    The article seems happy to confuse the two. One is not evidence of the other.

    Pleasantly surprised by the reference to “decreasing Ocean alkalinity”, which is of course correct. The term “Ocean acidification” is usually preferred, sounds a bit scary, and plays better to half witted NGO activists.

    So other than that highlight – a bit weak.

  36. #36 Chris O'Neill
    June 15, 2011

    Duffer:

    here you all are, still banging

    Isn’t this getting rather tedious. I think Tim should invest in a David Duff thread. At least it’ll make it easier for the old Duffer to copy and past his posts over and over again.

    Nothing ever changes!

    If nothing else, he’s good at describing his own postings.

  37. #37 Dave R
    June 15, 2011

    GSW:
    >I don’t think mainstream sceptics dispute the ‘Greenhouse Effect’.

    Mainstream sceptics do not dispute [the scientific consensus on global warming](http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/contents.html) at all. On the contrary, we dispute the attacks on it by anti-science lunatics like you.

    >Venus is about 1 and half times closer to the Sun ~ 2 to 2.5 times more Solar energy/m2.

    It isn’t as simple as you might think, although it is easy enough to find the resources to educate yourself, if you are interested in overcoming your ignorance — which from your history of trolling here, it is clear that you are not.

    The surface of Venus receives less solar energy than does the Earth. Its effective temperature is 227K, compared to 255K for the Earth. Due to its large greenhouse effect, its mean surface temperature is around 500K higher than its effective temperature.

  38. #38 FrankD
    June 15, 2011

    @BernardJ & SteveC,

    The Conversation has caught my eye for a number of interesting articles (John Keane’s write up of Bob Browns spit at the Murdocracy was a hoot), and their spread of topics, not just AGW, will make for continued interest.

    But the comment that depressed me on that thread was not the two zombies trying to eat the brains of their readers, but Michael Brown’s response: “It is a shame that the comments on this considered article have been dominated by those who are ignorant of the relevant science.”

    If they want to play in this space, they’ll need to harden up a bit. I hope they don’t get a bit of a sad and move to other subjects. Drawing out some serial timmeh-stupidity so early in their existence should be a badge of honour. But the moles always arrive before the mole-whackers, so it will take a little time before we see sensible comments to balance the stupid.

  39. #39 GSW
    June 15, 2011

    @Dave R

    Difficult to follow your post.

    “Mainstream sceptics do not dispute the scientific consensus on global warming at all. On the contrary, we dispute the attacks on it by anti-science lunatics like you.”

    So are you a sceptic? the language is a little difficult.

    Wouldn’t describe myself as “anti-science”, it’s how I earn my living.

    “The surface of Venus receives less solar energy than does the Earth. Its effective temperature is 227K, compared to 255K for the Earth. Due to its large greenhouse effect, its mean surface temperature is around 500K higher than its effective temperature.”

    so what?

  40. #40 Dave R
    June 15, 2011

    GSW:
    >so what?

    So what you posted was wrong, cretin.

  41. #41 Vince whirlwind
    June 15, 2011

    FrankD, but it *is* depressing that the ignorant are so driven to share their ignorance on such public platforms.

    Why can’t the ignorant just shut up and listen?

  42. #42 Billy Bob Hall
    June 15, 2011

    Good to see the wonderful etiquette still continues here at deltoid – as in the Dave R example #38 39.
    You people really are ‘something else’…. :-(

  43. #43 GSW
    June 15, 2011

    @Dave R

    Which bit? the bit about the fallacy of comparing planets on a non like for like basis? or the bit about the intellectually weak buying into this stuff ;)

  44. #44 Vince whirlwind
    June 15, 2011

    GSW, you’re wrong, because you admittedly don’t understand the physics (“so what?”). And yet, you feel driven to make factually deficient comments. Bizarre.

    Incidentally, on The Register – I too stopped reading it after seeing some of the utter nonsense they wrote about climate change. The article linked to above is a classic example – they announce a “mini ice age” with no factual basis.

    I have had my revenge on their ignorance, though – in several organisations I have worked in (adding up to well over 20,000 employees in total) I have arranged to have access to the advertiser links blocked from within the organisation. That means The Register gets no ad revenue from many thousands of connections where they previously would have.

    Ha haha. Suck on that, liars.

  45. #45 Chris O'Neill
    June 15, 2011

    GSW:

    so what?

    It means you’ve completely ignored the reflecting effect on sunlight by the aerosols in Venus’s atmosphere. I’ll be generous and just say you were ignorant.

  46. #46 GSW
    June 15, 2011

    @Vince, Chris

    Mm, I’d always considered an understanding of physics to be one of my strong points. It helps when you lecture the undergrads ;), they sort of expect it.

    Enjoyed the giggle chaps, thanks.

  47. #47 Lotharsson
    June 15, 2011

    > …I’d always considered an understanding of physics to be one of my strong points.

    And yet you came here to display your apparent ignorance of physics as applied to certain aspects of climate science?

    Interesting.

    Have any psychologists called lately wanting to study you?

  48. #48 Lotharsson
    June 16, 2011

    Readers here will “appreciate” this massive facepalm moment from a guy who touts himself as a scientist and adjunct associate professor:

    > For Heaven’s sakes, Michael, if we haven’t se[e]n CAGW in a couple of billion years of Earth history with an oxidising atmosphere we probably never will.

    Idiocy will out.

  49. #49 FrankD
    June 16, 2011

    It seems that WatchingtheDeniers, freed from the hassles of maintaining his own blog, has taken on the roles of mole-whacker-in-chief and is doing a nice job of revealing vested interests and calling out the more ridiculous claims there (there is too much stupid for one man to rebut everything).

    …….

    BernardJ’s excellent list of Timisms @ 20 missed one that I just remembered from an hilarious argument with Tamino. Tim, as an economist, thinks a constant percentage increase is a linear trend, not an acceleration. 1, 2, 4, 8, 16… is a linear trend, because it is increasing at a constant 100% at each step.

  50. #50 peterd
    June 16, 2011

    BernardJ, #12: yes, I echo your thoughts. I’ve had a look at “The Conversation”, in particular at “the-greenhouse-effect-is-real-heres-why” article, and I am dismayed at the high proportion of replies already posted that might be characterised as misinformed, misleading, or downright crackpotty. (Where is Braganza? He is the author and should take a lead in replying.) Sites and pages such as these are going to be swamped by the rising tides of nonsense, unless the folks who run these pages can take a firm hand (as distinct from putting their articles up and hoping the readership “gets it”). Academics and climate researchers have utterly failed to take into account the necessity of taking early corrective action, to weed out the chaff. I notice also that to register for The Conversation, in order to be an “author”, it is required that one be a member of an “academic or research institution”. This apparently does not stop the odd “retired engineer” from registering and posting. Does TC then ignore its own registration requirments? Finally, why are so many of these people “retired engineers”? Don’t engineers do anything in their retirement, apart from finding new ways to “refute” AGW?

  51. #51 peterd
    June 16, 2011

    GSW@33: “How do we know it’s us?” follows on from “Is it getting hot is here?” I.e., it’s pretty obvious, if you follow the article, that “it” refers to “getting hot”. As to Venus, yes, I am not impressed by this comparison either, though perhaps for a different reason than the one you adduce. The future course of climate change on Earth does not necessarily have much to do with that on Venus. But there is another side to this coin: perhaps you could also point this out *forcefully* to the contrarian camp, as they are forever trying to argue back from what they assert about Venus (“No runaway greenhouse on Venus, no greenhouse gas positive feedback”) to the situation on our Earth. How about it?

  52. #52 SteveC
    June 16, 2011

    @33 GSW

    Venus. You can’t discuss Climate change with reference to other planets/bodies in the Solar system, no two are alike in any way

    Didn’t stop Steven Goddard :-)

  53. #53 peterd
    June 16, 2011

    SteveC @25& 50: my sentiments precisely. These guys are always banging on about Venus and Mars, as if anything they think they’ve proved for those two must refute the whole body of AGW. It’s kind of….well, sad.

  54. #54 ligne
    June 16, 2011

    chek said:

    > Apropos of nothing, I’d always considered The Register as being somewhat authoritative on its technology coverage.

    > But when I recognised its climate change coverage for the contrarian-flavoured tripe it invariably is, my estimation of it in all other areas nosedived to the point where I’ve never visited it again and don’t miss it at all, much like any other trashy tabloid.

    same here. i used to read it regularly, but got increasingly fed up with its inane global warming coverage. in fact for their science coverage in general — every story seems to boil down to either “evil climate scientists are lying to us about global cooling”, or “see what these wacky boffins have done now — it’s a kettle that runs on turnips!”.

    i’ve been going to ars technica for my tech news fix. they’re a bit too US orientated, but their science coverage is excellent.

  55. #55 ChrisC
    June 16, 2011

    David Duff sez:

    blah, blah , blah

    This is, of course, a well considered post worthy of a thoughtful response. I’ll get to it, as soon as I’m finished doing what I’m doing now…

    GSW:

    Venus. You can’t discuss Climate change with reference to other planets/bodies in the Solar system, no two are alike in any way.

    One of the way we test our understanding of the physics of atmospheres is by test various theories, hypothesis and tools (like…dun dun DUUUNN: models!) on the atmospheres of more planets than simply our own. Venus’ atmosphere, with it’s very high level of greenhouse gases, and high levels of aerosols, is a good natural “natural laboratory”. We know its solar insolation, it’s GHG composition and it’s level of things like sulphuric acid.

    The funny thing is, using our understanding of radiative transfer, and observed values of Venus’ atmospheric composition, we can estimate, to surprising accuracy, Venus’ climate; it’s surface temperature; its winds. We even have a good grasp of things like the presence of super-rotation and the like. Planets have vastly different atmospheres, but the laws of physics are the same (I know from experience… I apply theoretical tools developed for understanding the Jovian atmosphere to the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans). Venus is a good natural lab for understanding the effects of increased GHGs in ANY atmosphere. The fact we’re getting stuff right on Venus, is a pretty good indication we’re getting stuff right here on Earth.

    Of course you could have spent 5 seconds looking this stuff up… but that would have been too easy.

  56. #56 SteveC
    June 16, 2011

    @peterd #48

    I notice also that to register for The Conversation, in order to be an “author”, it is required that one be a member of an “academic or research institution”

    So I could post there if I went and joined (say) the Sydney Institute? The Institute of Public Affairs? The Centre for Independent Studies?

    Well, they’re all instutitions (or should be in one) and they all do research, don’t they? ;-)

  57. #57 ligne
    June 16, 2011

    peterd:

    > Finally, why are so many of these people “retired engineers”? Don’t engineers do anything in their retirement, apart from finding new ways to “refute” AGW?

    not just AGW, there’s also [evolution](http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Salem_Hypothesis).

    at least when it comes to physics, there does seem to be a disproportionate number of cranks claiming a background in engineering or law. one possible explanation being that those fields generally give you a strong academic base, while not actually providing the educational grounding to realise that just because $pet_theory might be mathematically joined up, it doesn’t mean it can’t also be deeply unphysical.

    the same seems to apply to physicists [wandering outside of their field](http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/04/aaargh_physicists.php).

    and before anyone gets angry: i’m a physicist from a family of engineers ;-)

  58. #58 Chris O'Neill
    June 16, 2011

    GSW:

    I'( ha)d always considered an understanding of physics to be one of my strong points.

    Thanks for letting us know you’ve realized your mistake.

  59. #59 Wow
    June 16, 2011

    > Venus is about 1 and half times closer to the Sun ~ 2 to 2.5 times more Solar energy/m2.

    What’s Venus’ albedo?

    On earth 70% of the irradiation is absorbed.

    On Venus, 35% of the irradiation is absorbed.

    Kind of evens out the score, doesn’t it.

    And 1.5 squared is 2.25.

  60. #60 Cath the Canberra Cook
    June 16, 2011

    I used to respect the Register on things techy. (Love the BOFH.) I’m sorry to see it gone whacko.

  61. #61 David Duff
    June 16, 2011

    That well-known anagram, ‘Caerbannog’, quotes me as admitting to having failed all my science exams because my teachers were horrid to me. Alas, they weren’t horrid enough because it was good, old-fashioned idleness that ended my, er, scientific ‘career’. What a loss!

    Chris O’Neil accuses me of repeating myself to which I can only say you’ll be doing the same, Chris, when you reach my age when you reach my age when . . .

    ‘Chek’ suggests that something called ‘a meme’ has been inserted into my consciousness. I think he, she or it, is referring to my doubts concerning climate warming change (or should that be ‘cooling’ now?). Allow me to say that years ago, at the height of the ‘warmers’ campaign, I looked, I listened, I contemplated, and I decided that what was thundering towards me was an almighty political bandwagon on which a tiny bit of science was riding for camouflage. Of course, it was accompanied by a veritable swarm of supporters who, to use their own style of English, ‘really, really, really’ believed. Lenin, in a different context, described the type accurately as “useful idiots”. The ‘climate-gate’ scandal should have blown the moondust from their eyes but rather like that preacher who forecast the end of the world last week, they are reluctant to give up their comfort blanket of faith.

    In the meantime we will find out the hard way just how powerful the sun is and exactly the extent to which its forces outweigh our puny efforts in changing the climate on earth. My urgent advice is buy long Johns and stockup on tinned food!

  62. #62 Wow
    June 16, 2011

    We already know how powerful the sun is.

    That’s where CO2 gets its power from: by accumulating the sun’s energy. No sun, no greenhouse effect.

    What you seem to be unwilling to understand is that people other than you know things you do not.

  63. #63 Michael
    June 16, 2011

    Another denier cretin who thinks that AGW can’t be an issue because climate sensitivity is low, but we are about to rapidly enter a new ice age because of a solar minimum.

  64. #64 Timothy Curtin
    June 16, 2011

    Dear all

    I confess to being gratified for being once again an object of abuse here for my comments at The Conversation.

    As I am evidently forever banned (for the nth time) from responding to my critics here, do post your comments at The Conversation, as so far it allows open debate, unlike Lambert, Brook, and Quiggin.

  65. #65 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkK3Cosm9nnFw8tuX2VjPQYU5NY0754clw
    June 16, 2011

    Sure is cretinous in here. I was just dropping by to say this would be a concise rebuttal of common objections of denialists to the CO2-forcing theory (shoot, I admitted it was “just a theory”! the house of cards tumbles, etc., etc.), but it appears that they’ve skipped that part and gone right on to the absurdly disingenuous claims about the sun, other planets, etc.

    Hey, folks? If it’s hubristic to suppose we’re significant enough to affect the climate, what say you about or spread across and dominance of the planet? our denuding it of natural vegetation and blanketing it with industry? the cars? And why does this supposed modesty of yours not create insufferable cognitive dissonance as your actively collude in the perpetuation of this arrogance?

    And: feel free to find us another solar system to use as a control group, but until then we’ll have to make do with carefully weighted and highly predictive inferences from the climates of other planets—well, actually, we could use the fact that natural forcing explains observed warming a fraction as well as does natural+anthropogenic, but y’know…

  66. #66 John
    June 16, 2011

    Do you want to repeat that in English?

  67. #67 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkK3Cosm9nnFw8tuX2VjPQYU5NY0754clw
    June 16, 2011

    Aw! Is someone having trouble? Words too big? Did you really post your first comment in this thread just to say something as lame as that? Whatever amuses you, I guess.

  68. #68 John
    June 16, 2011

    Thanks for your comment https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkK3Cosm9nnFw8tuX2VjPQYU5NY0754clw but I’m not impressed by big words, only coherence. I must say I did snort at your opening line though. And I do agree with you.

  69. #69 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkK3Cosm9nnFw8tuX2VjPQYU5NY0754clw
    June 16, 2011

    Meh, you’ll excuse me if my characteristic laziness and hilariously disorganised mind are exacerbated by the futility of trying to reason with the patently unreasonable. Suffice it to say that my points are these: (1) denying that humans can affect Earth is completely asinine given our blatant mark on all sorts of systems besides climate, and (2) grumbling about inherent limitations of any given scientific method would otherwise be a great joke as they latch onto any misinterpreted/misrepresented suggestion that might obscure the obvious.

    Yeah, now that I look at it, my post was a complete mess. Like writer, like written, I suppose.

  70. #70 Barry
    June 16, 2011

    cynicus @3: “@2 Studies of the difference between the height of the suns activity in the 60s and the Maunder minimum show that deltaTSI (difference in total solar irradiance) is about 0.17 to 0.23 Wm2, averaged over the earth (Wang 2005 and Krivova 2007). This is greatly outweighed by changes in enhanced greenhouse gas concentrations: +1.66 Wm2 (CO2), +0.4 Wm2 (NH4, halocarbons) for the 20th century alone. There are negative antropogenic forcings too so the total arrives at about 1.5 Wm2 (IPCC 2007) for the 20th century.

    It seems clear that a return to a Maunder Minimum will only slow global warming a bit for as long as the sun remains quiet. When the sun gets active again after that, then we can expect extra warming. New Ice Age? Nope.”

    Could you please post a link to that? I’m running into this as well. The National Geographic article stank to high heaven.

  71. #71 caerbannog
    June 16, 2011


    That well-known anagram, ‘Caerbannog’, quotes me as admitting to having failed all my science exams because my teachers were horrid to me. Alas, they weren’t horrid enough because it was good, old-fashioned idleness that ended my, er, scientific ‘career’. What a loss!

    Idleness that continues….

  72. #72 Dave R
    June 16, 2011

    @Barry: There’s a paper by Feulner and Rahmstorf, 2010: [On the effect of a new grand minimum of solar activity on the future climate on Earth](http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2010GL042710.shtml) (PDF [here](http://sciences.blogs.liberation.fr/files/un-futur-maunder.pdf)).

    The Wang 2005 paper is probably [this one](http://iopscience.iop.org/0004-637X/625/1/522/), (PDF [here](http://sun.stanford.edu/LWS_Dynamo_2009/61797.web.pdf)).

    I think the Krivova 2007 paper is [this one](http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007A&A…467..335KThe), (PDF [here](http://www.mps.mpg.de/dokumente/publikationen/solanki/j234.pdf)).

  73. #73 luminous beauty
    June 16, 2011

    GSW says;

    >I don’t think mainstream sceptics dispute the ‘Greenhouse Effect’.

    and in the same comment;

    >How do we know what is us? do you mean increasing C02? or temperature increases over the last century?

    >The article seems happy to confuse the two. One is not evidence of the other.

    WooHoo! Someone is confused, alright.

  74. #74 Ken Fabos
    June 16, 2011

    It’s about time climate scientists – and I hope all scientist with related expertise – got vocal. If they trust the validity of the body of work by their peers and themselves they should be very vocal – as much as they are able to be within the bounds of the employment contracts. They shouldn’t have to resign to have the liberty to express their views – a restriction (along with being factually correct) that the anti-climate action campaigners don’t have to abide by.

    The Conversation’s comments threads are already being swamped by those who prefer to dismiss science in favour of their illusions of a climate so stable nothing we can do can matter; the more effective the experts writing the articles are the greater the attraction to contrarians to engage in spoiling tactics. I’m not sure The Conversation’s developers were wise to allow open comments but they must have given the matter consideration despite being aware the lengths opponents of action on emissions will go to – some will reveal themselves for the gullible and misinformed that they are, but others will successfully add their murk to the waters in their attempts to prevent emerging clarity. And I suppose some will resort to sending death threats.

    I look forward to The Conversations articles (excellent so far) , but I think I’ll avoid the comments threads.

  75. #75 Michael
    June 17, 2011

    Ken,

    If they did this, then they are being ‘political’ and that invalidates their scientific objectivity.

    That’s the great advantage of being a denier – arguement unrestricted by evidence, reason or ethics.

  76. #76 Tristan
    June 17, 2011

    Oh my. Did Tim Curtin actually calculate that the rate of change of temperature change (ie. acceleration) in Australia and make a big fuss about how it’s zero? Or did I just completely misread that?

  77. #77 Ken Fabos
    June 17, 2011

    Michael, when scientific objectivity leads scientist to conclude the world as we know is not merely in possible danger, but virtually certain danger it ought to incite them to speak out. They especially should be able to speak out about the brazen and ongoing campaign of slander and vilification. I don’t see that this invalidates their objectivity with respect to their ongoing work although people opposed to action on climate will include that in their litany of accusations, allegations and insinuations about the motivations and methods of climate scientists.

  78. #78 Barry
    June 17, 2011

    Thanks, Dave!

  79. #79 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkK3Cosm9nnFw8tuX2VjPQYU5NY0754clw
    June 17, 2011

    No doubt there’s some pure ideal model in which scientists are perfectly objective, cold, unfeeling human beings—but while we live in an imperfect world (would that even be perfect? probably not), if the science strongly points to effects of an issue, advocacy by the researchers to raise awareness and take positive steps is almost an ethical obligation.

  80. #80 Lotharsson
    June 17, 2011

    > Did Tim Curtin actually calculate that the rate of change of temperature change (ie. acceleration) in Australia and make a big fuss about how it’s zero?

    I thought I saw him do just that, but I only skimmed his stuff.

    At least he appears to have confirmed for himself that the warming trend is pretty much linear. Next stop, he’ll figure out the trend itself is positive… ;-)

  81. #81 Bernard J.
    June 17, 2011

    This bloke styles himself as a scientist…

    On the [Open Letter thread](http://theconversation.edu.au/climate-change-is-real-an-open-letter-from-the-scientific-community-1808) Brian Valentine says:

    >Yes I am associated with Heartland and am employed by the Fed and Dr Schmidt is employed by the Fed and is associated with Real Climate, not a “right wing” org by any means. Meaning organisation association has nothing to do with politics.

    Nice propositional fallacy of affirming the consequent! How many other formal or informal fallacies are buried in that paragraph alone?

    Most of the rest of Valentine’s post is similarly nonsensical:

    >I am trying to remove fear. There is no human activity that could influence anything globally that could be detrimental to the well-being of the human population who call the planet, their home.

    >To do so by means of the atmosphere would violate thermodynamic laws. There are no other means.

    >Volcanoes provide orders of magnitude more influence on the Earth’s energy budget than atomic weapons could. Yet we see the climate stabilse independently of influence. That is the only possible way life could evolve on the planet.

    >Conserve energy, promote renewables, to save conserve money. I wholly advocate conserving resources to reduce waste.

    >No one has rejected my statements on the grounds of physical law. Ideology has been invoked to refute me.

    >And many others. People like Jo Anne Nova and Dr Carter, Mr Kinenmonth, are working for the sake of humanity, not their own. I join them in their efforts.

    If Valentine really believes this tosh then it’s extraordinary how much cognitive dissonance a salary can buy.

  82. #82 FrankD
    June 18, 2011

    >How many other formal or informal fallacies are buried in that paragraph alone?

    The first one’s gone, so I’ll take Logical Fallacies for $400, Bernard.
    >Yes I am associated with…and Dr Schmidt is employed by…

    What is “Tu quoque”.

    For $600.
    >Yes I am … and Dr Schmidt is…

    What is “Argument from Authority”

    For $800
    > with Heartland … with Real Climate

    What is “False Equivalence”

    And for $1000
    > Meaning

    What is “Non sequitur”.

    I can’t wait for Final Jeopardy after the break!

  83. #83 Lotharsson
    June 18, 2011

    Bernard, I believe that’s the same guy who [caused me to facepalm earlier](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/06/the_conversation_on_climate_ch.php#comment-4152663). That one said he was a scientist, and an “adjunct associate professor”. Any scientist worth their salt would be embarrassed to have publicly expressed the fallacies in that facepalm moment.

  84. #84 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnd87i15UK5VF0eyrxAv_MJB-oi-uIU0Nc
    June 18, 2011

    Unsurprisingly, the denialists have run away with that thread and the hosts appear to have given up trying to respond to the flood …

  85. #85 Richard Lawson
    June 19, 2011

    This article states our position concisely, and attracts the usual torrent of criticism.

    What would make a change would be for the sceptics to set out their position clearly. It is difficult to get them to put forward a clear statement, but we can infer from a correspondence I had with Benny Peiser that their core statement is “CO2 climate sensitivity is <1.5*C”. In fact, this is necessary for them, since they cannot reasonably deny CO2 is a GHG, and that it has increased since 1750.

    We can then subject this statement to intense and detailed scrutiny. If it cannot be sustained, or can indeed be refuted, this ought to deliver a knock out blow to their case in the minds of intelligent and uncommitted observers.

    In short, we have been defending our position for 3 decades. It is now time to go on the attack, by determining the key, precise, testable statement that underlies their position, and seeing how it matches the facts.

  86. #86 Rick Bradford
    June 19, 2011

    @Richard Lawson

    This is not a symmetric situation.

    You say ‘something is happening'; we disagree.

    You say ‘we must take action now'; we disagree.

    The burden of proof will — must — always lie on the side of those committed to changing the current state of affairs.

    Otherwise, society would live in a constant state of metastable equilibrium, of constant revolution, a stance that has repeatedly proved to be a devastating and ultimately unsustainable failure.

  87. #87 Dave R
    June 19, 2011

    If you want to challenge [the scientific consensus on global warming](http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/contents.html), the burden of proof is yours.

  88. #88 Bernard J.
    June 19, 2011

    >Otherwise, society would live in a constant state of metastable equilibrium, of constant revolution, a stance that has repeatedly proved to be a devastating and ultimately unsustainable failure.

    Oo, you big alarmist.

  89. #89 Bernard J.
    June 19, 2011

    Rick Bradford thinks:

    >The burden of proof will — must — always lie on the side of those committed to changing the current state of affairs.

    Of course, by your own logic and as Dave R points out, the burden of proof is on you: the Denialists are the ones “committed to changing the current climatic state of affairs” by not acting to reduce fossil carbon emissions.

    So, show us the proof that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas, that humans are not causing its increase in the atmosphere, that its forcing is not the approximately three degrees C per doubling of concentration that many lines of investigation indicate, and that doubling the atmospheric concentration would not have profound ecological and social effects.

    Come on sunshine, show us what you really have under your sugar-coating of economic and social alarmism.

  90. #90 Lotharsson
    June 19, 2011

    > The burden of proof will — must — always lie on the side of those committed to changing the current state of affairs.

    If that’s your position, then you must agree that because the “emit all the GHGes you like” boosters are committed to changing the current state of affairs in the atmosphere, they must provide proof that this will be safe.

    Your petard calls you.

  91. #92 Lotharsson
    June 20, 2011

    > Lotharsson.

    > Snap.

    :-)

  92. #93 nothing's sacred
    June 20, 2011

    This is not a symmetric situation.

    Indeed, Rick, because you are an ignorant, intellectually dishonest fool.

    The burden of proof will — must — always lie on the side of those committed to changing the current state of affairs.

    Prove it.

  93. #94 Rick Bradford
    June 22, 2011

    @86-@90: Award yourself win, place, and show for the lamest attempts to misinterpret an argument.

    I reiterate: the burden of proof lies with those who wish to impose large-scale changes in the current economic workings of the world instead of letting things go on as they are.

    @85 = Bernard J.: That was quite funny. But I wasn’t talking about the future, like climate alarmists do, but about a well-documented past.

  94. #95 Dave R
    June 22, 2011

    >I reiterate: the burden of proof lies

    You can reiterate your lies all you like, it isn’t going to make them true.

    >impose large-scale changes in the current economic workings of the world

    Straw man. The science says we need to reduce CO2 emissions. To assert, as you’ve done, that it can only be achieved if we “impose large-scale changes in the current economic workings of the world”, is just alarmist fantasy.

  95. #96 Lotharsson
    June 22, 2011

    > … the burden of proof lies with those who wish to impose large-scale changes in the current economic workings of the world instead of letting things go on as they are.

    So Rick has reached flat-out denial now – and demonstrates complete and utter lack of understanding of the argument from “burden of proof”.

    You can’t argue with someone who says “the sky is green and the sun is made of boiling cheese”.

  96. #97 Wow
    June 22, 2011

    I thought the sun was made of iron.

    Hot, glowy Iron.

    That’s what Plimer says, isn’t it?

    PS NOTE: It’s ASSUMED that there will be “large scale changes in the current economic workings of the world”.

    Which also sounds rather alarmist to me.

  97. #98 Bernard J.
    June 23, 2011

    >SteveC @25& 50: my sentiments precisely. These guys are always banging on about Venus and Mars, as if anything they think they’ve proved for those two must refute the whole body of AGW. It’s kind of….well, sad.

    [PeterD](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/06/the_conversation_on_climate_ch.php#comment-4153494) and [SteveC](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/06/the_conversation_on_climate_ch.php#comment-4153298).

    You might be interested in a conversation I’ve been having for several months with Goddard on the subject of [Venus’ atmosphere](http://backupurl.com/kdf9ez).

    [It starts here](http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/the-lapse-rate-is-independent-of-greenhouse-gas-content/#comment-50748) (after moving over from a WUWT thread), and [resumed yesterday here](http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/the-lapse-rate-is-independent-of-greenhouse-gas-content/#comment-65677)…

    I do need to pick out for honourable mentions Goddard’s posts [here](http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/the-lapse-rate-is-independent-of-greenhouse-gas-content/#comment-65708) and [here](http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/the-lapse-rate-is-independent-of-greenhouse-gas-content/#comment-65818), and I would be remiss to forget [his statement](http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/the-lapse-rate-is-independent-of-greenhouse-gas-content/#comment-65679):

    >It is ridiculous to discuss an atmosphere containing no CO2 or H2O. A more sensible boundary condition is an atmosphere with a small component of H2O and CO2. Even at -100 degrees, the amount of H2O in the atmosphere is substantial.

    when the whole thread started with:

    >Some readers insist on denying the obvious fact that Venus temperatures are due to high atmospheric pressure.

    which basically necessitates a discussion of atmospheres with ‘greenhouse’ gases being compared to similarly-sized ones that do not contain any ‘greenhouse’ gases.

    I do hope that if I am being in any way scientifically misguided in my exchanges with Goddard, that some knowledgable Deltoid readers might themselves insist on setting me straight…

    [For the ironically challenged, that last paragraph was, well, you figure it out…]

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