June 2012 Open Thread

More thread.

Comments

  1. #1 GSW
    June 30, 2012

    @Betula,

    Nicely argued. “Ifs”, “mays”, “mights” and “coulds”. Apocalyptic climate predictions are ALWAYS preceded by those words, I look out for them especially, in for example.

    IF the Greenland Ice sheet disappears, sea level COULD rise by (a frightening amount) metres.

    Which sounds really bad, but it won’t disappear, not for thousands of years anyway, according to the MET office and others. These “Weasel” words are freely used to mislead and promote alarm among the gullible. They’re like a “Free Pass” to say something ridiculous and get away with it (for some here at least).

    ;)

  2. #2 P. Lewis
    June 30, 2012

    You’ll notice ianumb, in your example you used the word “will”, which is stating a fact. My examples used words like “might”, “could” and “may”, which are stating predictions.

    So, are you sayiong using will “is stating a fact“?

    I say humans will not land on Mars before 2065.

    Is that a statement of fact? No, it’s a prediction which may or may not come true.

    [I predict] Betula will never post on this forum again.

    Is that a statement of fact? Hope so.

  3. #3 Wow
    June 30, 2012

    So you whinge that there are alarmist statements then whinge even more when it’s pointed out to you that it is saying ‘if so and so then response’ which is as alarmist as the warning label on a bottle of bleach that it’s somehow weaselling.

    Truly you’re only happy when you’re miserable.

  4. #4 chek
    June 30, 2012

    I predict nobody will ever give a toss what Betty and Wormtongue think because they’re intellectually stunted morons who have nothing butbleating about emotional claptrap, i.e. ‘alarm’ in lieu of evidence to offer..

    I further predict that pay day loan companies will continue to squeeze massive fortunes out of hapless nihilist gimps like Betty and Wormy.

  5. #5 GaryB
    Canada
    June 30, 2012

    “If you continue to play in traffic you could be hit by a car.”
    Is that an alarmist statement using weasel words, or is it something else?
    Obviously, it’s something else, it’s a prediction (not to be confused with a prophecy). The ‘if’ clause is the condition, the (implied) ‘then’ clause is the result, given as a probability, if the condition is true.

    All this whining about weasel words and alarmism is either little more than a red herring or an example of the inability to think critically. Take your pick.

  6. #6 GaryB
    June 30, 2012

    @P. Lewis
    If that is a prediction, where is your condition? Using the word ‘will’ in a prediction denotes a probability of 1 so it should only be used when the outcome is certain.

  7. #7 GSW
    June 30, 2012

    @GaryB

    Thanks for replying. No, those are not weasel words. Playing in traffic is a bad idea, there is a real risk you would be hit by a car. You are not misleading anybody.

    However the Greenland Ice Sheet statement does mislead, The ‘If’ premise is highly unlikely (if not impossible over a reasonable time frame), but the statement is couched in such a way that we are led to believe that it a very real and present threat – Weasel words/misled.

    That I think is one of Hansen’s (others as well). Another example, one of Schneider’s, paraphrasing.

    “IF it is half as bad as we think it COULD be, then we are all f**cked”.

    I think Schneiders version ended with “hell in a hand basket”, but I prefer the paraphrase. Again the statement, implies, again to many here, that an apocalypse is on the way. It is misleading, and intended to be misleading, He’s trying to get you to buy something (a point of view) that is devoid of substance and jam packed with “Alarm”. When next you look thru the literature ,associated press release, realclimate review, guardian article etc, look for the ifs/mays/coulds and ask yourself what was the point of phrasing the statement in that way?

  8. #8 GaryB
    June 30, 2012

    @Tim Curtin
    “Where are your observations and measurements for ML #1? If your house was encased in ice a hundred metres thick, surely by ML#1 the ice’s EM radiation should warm it. If not, why not? ”

    Because of the difference in mass. The temperature of the ice and the house will eventual equalize, with the temperature of the house dropping dramatically and the ice warming infinitesimally. The house is losing more heat to the ice than it is gaining from the ice, and the ice is gaining more heat from the house than it is losing.

    Replace that ice with liquid nitrogen and see if the house cools slower or faster than it does when it was ice.

  9. #9 GaryB
    June 30, 2012

    @GSW
    “The ‘If’ premise is highly unlikely (if not impossible over a reasonable time frame), but the statement is couched in such a way that we are led to believe that it a very real and present threat – Weasel words/misled.”

    Those aren’t weasel words there either, nor are they designed to mislead. The condition for that prediction is itself made up of other predictions, each with its own probability, it’s not just a static premise. Nor is it a guess.

    Given that all the ice melts from Greenland and no other mitigating conditions change, the ocean level will rise.
    Given that the global temperatures continue to rise, and no other mitigating conditions change, the all the Greenland ice will melt.
    Given that GHG levels continue to rise, and no other mitigating conditions change, the global temperature will continue to rise.

    None of the conditional clauses I used are intended to mislead anyone, nor are they an attempt to cover my ass, they’re there to show the possibility of the conditions changing outside of the predictions.

    The reason for the emotions being added is because the consequences affect us, or our descendents, directly and we can have some affect on the conditions.

  10. #10 chek
    June 30, 2012

    Grima ‘suckass’ Wormtonge weaseled: “However the Greenland Ice Sheet statement does mislead, The ‘If’ premise is highly unlikely”

    The Greenlandice sheet is ablating NOW, you moron.
    http://search.nasa.gov/search/search.jsp?nasaInclude=greenland&x=33&y=10

    Or have you and Watts’ other lo-IQ contingent decided amongst yourselves not to worry about it till the last ice cube left there melts?

    Just like the desperate will find with 3000%+ payday interest rate loans, what miracle are you counting on to stop it? Do please share, cretin.

  11. #11 ianam
    June 30, 2012

    P. Lewis and GaryB, don’t get confused by Betula’s intellectually dishonest shenanigans. I wrote:

    When a doctor tells someone that they will die if they don’t get treatment, do you council the person to ignore that because it’s “just” a prediction”

    That is clearly a prediction: “a statement about the way things will happen in the future, often but not always based on experience or knowledge” (Wikipedia). That it is idiomatically phrased as a statement of fact is only relevant to dishonest cretins like Betula; there would be no difference in the point in re global warming if I had written

    When a doctor tells someone that established diagnostic science indicates that, with and very high probability, they will die of their disease if something else doesn’t kill them first, if they don’t get treatment and that even if they don’t die from the disease, not getting treatment would be very foolish because of the immensely high risk …

    which is accurate, unlike Betula’s stupid and dishonest “may”.

  12. #12 GSW
    June 30, 2012

    @Chek

    There’s a lot of articles there chek, any of them give timescales for the disappearance of the Ice sheet from Greenland? Try and avoid the” If (unlikely event) could” construct in your answer.

    ;)

  13. #13 ianam
    June 30, 2012

    If that is a prediction, where is your condition?

    P. Lewis’s condition was “I say” and “I predict”, which should be taken as “I expect”. The very semantics of “predict” imply a probability of less than 1. And when a doctor or a scientist says that something will happen in the future, they are implying that it is inferable from their knowledge and expertise that it will happen, with all the usual Humean caveats about the uncertainties of empirical assertions about future events. Saying that something “may” happen merely asserts that it isn’t impossible — which itself is problematic if you’re going to employ radical epistemological skepticism (i.e., misplaced pedantry) to ordinary language.

  14. #14 GaryB
    June 30, 2012

    @Tim Curtin
    “Your corollary to ML#1 is also wrong “A molecule of Co2 that encounters a photon of LW radiation will scatter it in all directions.” Not so, only from hot to less hot.”

    And just how does the molecule know not to re-radiate in a specific direction?

    Temperature equalizes not because the heat knows which way to go but because there is more radiation going in one direction than in the opposite direction.

    This is so basic I have a hard time understanding how someone could miss it.

  15. #15 GaryB
    June 30, 2012

    @ianam

    “(i.e., misplaced pedantry)”

    Those are my middle names.
    Gary Misplaced Pedantry B.

  16. #16 chek
    June 30, 2012

    Grima @ 8:58 – thanks for a) confirming you’re a moron who doesn’t want to know, and b)) avoiding the question of what miracle are you hoping will negate the ablation of the ice sheet already occurring.

  17. #17 GSW
    June 30, 2012

    @GaryB

    Sorry missed your reply before , this is the important bit;

    “we are led to believe that it a very real and present threat – Weasel words/misled.”

    Chek couldn’t find any info on likely timescales to make it alarming from his library I think.

    As I said, the Met office have it at ~5,000 yrs from memory. So for Hansens ~25m SLR, it’s about avg 5mm/year or a foot and half per century.

    Which coming from an alarmist is well, not very alarming at all. Hansen obviously thought the headline figure of 25m was more pleasing whilst taking about mid 21st century C02 levels of 450ppm. Weasel words.

  18. #18 chek
    June 30, 2012

    Grima I repeat “and b)) avoiding the question of what miracle are you hoping will negate the ablation of the ice sheet already occurring”. As confirmed by the GRACE satellite in the links.

    You’ll notice – if you look up the definition – that the phrase ‘already occurring’ completely negates your conditional-’based sophistry-for-morons.

    The implied response can only be you don’t care, which is most likely because – and why – you’re a moron.

  19. #19 bill
    July 1, 2012

    OK, so we’re not going to talk about anything that’s actually happening of genuine interest; we’re stuck ‘debating’ conditional clauses in response to content-free posts from muppets.

    Why do so many Deniers cling to ‘aha, but you can’t guarantee (strict interpretation) what’s going to happen in the future!’ as if this was a trump card – some sort of arcane wisdom only available to the Denialati elect – and not the human condition?

    Answer – because if they can make enough contrarian noise inside their own heads that’ll make it really difficult for any unpleasant revelations to find their way into consciousness. (‘Arctic sea ice la la la what? accelerated glacier melt la la la warmest May in NH la la la eh? second globally la la la how’s that? Colorado wildfires la la la la can’t hear you and anyway you can’t prove it’)

    I think they also hope this may also allow any potential muppet-equivalent onlookers to tell themselves that an actual debate is really being had!

    Note to any such hypothetical lurkers – if you’re really impressed by this you’re lost to science and reason already, and might as well publicly join Tim Curtin and the Loyal Order of SkyDragons in believing in intelligent photons, or lend a hand to BettyOlausGSWKarenMcSpot assembling their massed Army of Strawmen…

  20. #20 bill
    July 1, 2012

    Further on obfuscation as a Denier strategy at every level…

    This argument is little more than a semantic trick…Even individual studies and research papers often synthesize past work in an area and then build upon it. This is how science works. EPA is not required to re-prove the existence of the atom every time it approaches a scientific question.

  21. #21 John
    July 1, 2012

    Which sounds really bad, but it won’t disappear, not for thousands of years anyway, according to the MET office and others.

    I thought the argument was the MET office are falsifying data and can’t predict the weather of the next let alone future climate. Suddenly, when they can be used to support your argument, they’re an authoritative source.

    Make your minds up!

  22. #22 GSW
    July 1, 2012

    @John

    I don’t have an axe to grind over this John, if you think the MET office have it wrong, I’m perfectly happy for you to express your view. As you know, MET office forecasts for anything other than the next 24hrs (and there’s been some howlers there as well) are notoriously unreliable so your scepticism is not misplaced IMO.

    ;)

  23. #23 John
    July 1, 2012

    The bumbling, oafish child GSW’s clusmy attempt to misconstrue my excellent comment has accidentally underlined my central point – deniers are happy to cherrypick when it suits them.

    It’s funny how the MET Office is either the authority of choice or fraudulently cooking data, whichever position suit the deniers most.

    Even funnier – GSW was unable to tell I was ridiculing him and repeated the beloved carnard that climate is weather without a hint of irony.

    As the evidence mounts their arguments only get weaker.

  24. #24 Lotharsson
    July 1, 2012

    It’s funny how the MET Office is either the authority of choice or fraudulently cooking data, whichever position suit the deniers most.

    Why, it’s almost like Curtin – N2 and O2 are either opaque to or transparent to longwave IR, depending on what he’s arguing at the time.

  25. #25 David Duff
    This Septic Isle
    July 1, 2012

    No, the Met Office is just useless – I’m still waiting, after four years, for the BBQ summer they forecast! Not that my BBQ is up to much these days given the amount of rust on it.

    Incidentally, it is now official, this is the wettest, coolest Apr/May/Jun for absolute yonks. And I have just been looking at temperature stats for Texas – but these are unadulterated figures, not bent to suit a purpose. Why am I not surprised to learn that there has been virtually no increase in temperatures in Texas for the last 100 years and the only increase that has occurred is in cities where the population has exploded since the end of WWII.

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

  26. #26 John
    July 1, 2012

    There you go GSW! You can always rely on Duff to unwittingly prove my point.

    No, the Met Office is just useless – I’m still waiting, after four years, for the BBQ summer they forecast!

    Incidentally, it is now official, this is the wettest, coolest Apr/May/Jun for absolute yonks.

    Are you sure about that Duff? Unfortunately you don’t provide us with any proof except a map which shows the opposite of what you claim. In fact, a quick change of the settings shows that the majority of the US had record high temperatures!

    And look at this!

    The US just had its hottest 12 month period on record!

    It really is a wonder that you fail so frequently, Duff. You are a pathetic, shambling mess of a man and you only bring shame to rapidly dwindling denier population.

  27. #27 Richard Simons
    July 1, 2012

    Sorry I wasn’t able to respond earlier to Betula (June 29, 3:48 pm)

    That when I say they are predictions, that makes me a denier.

    It does? Even if it does, why does this require you to snipe at everyone who presents any evidence to support the fact of climate change?

    2. That the alarmists hype the worst case scenarios.

    When asked to support this, you give a link to a claim that humanity has only a few years left in which to take action to avoid a catastrophe. You must live a very sheltered existence if you think this is a worst case scenario. I recently (sorry, lost the links) saw a climate blog in which a large fraction of the commentators thought it was already too late.

    3.That ideology and bias is inherent.

    When asked for a citation, you gave a link to someone expressing the view that rich nations should help out those affected by climate change. How does this demonstrate ideology and bias as being inherent in the science?

    9. “So on the evidence given here, no, you are not a denier.”

    Did you read that ianam, Bernard, John, Bill, Lumy, et al… according to Richard, this whole time you’ve been embellishing and lying…

    On the evidence you supplied to my questions, you are not a denier – but you conspicuously failed to answer my original question:

    “So just what is your argument and what evidence do you use to support it?

    You’ve denied saying that climate change is not happening, yet you jeer at any evidence people present that indicates that climate change is taking place.
    I think you are that worst kind of denier, the coward who avoids ever clearly stating their opinions on climate change because they know they will not be able to support them with any kind of evidence.

  28. #28 wow
    July 1, 2012

    David spreads the convenient lie.

    In actual fact, the forecast was for dryer weeks than the year before. On being persistently asked “will there be a barbecue summer this year?” said “there could be”.

  29. #29 Marco
    July 1, 2012

    A website I am sure teh Duff will enjoy:
    http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=cet;sess=
    OK, it kinda contradicts his claim that April/May/June have been cold, but I am sure teh Duff will find something that he can twist to his liking…

  30. #30 Turboblocke
    July 1, 2012

    Note that in my post on the July thread at 10.18, the link I gave finishes at June 2011. I wonder if DD will notice…

  31. #31 Trent1492
    July 17, 2012

    I have submitted the June NOAA State of the Climate report to Reddit Science. A sub forum with over one and a half million subscribers. One of the mods took it down saying that it was not a peer reviewed link. I pointed out that the report is from a scientific organization (NOAA) and that the report is published by relevant scientific experts. Further, I said that State of the Climate reports are regularly cited in peer reviewed articles published in such high impact journals as Science.

    I really can not see what justification they can have. It seems patently ridiculous to have a internet forum with a higher standard than the American Academy of Sciences and at the same time allow links to science articles by the New York Times to be published unmolested.

    My question for you lot is their another argument I could use that I am missing?

  32. #32 ianam
    July 17, 2012

    I would go over that mod and message the moderators (http://www.reddit.com/message/compose?to=/r/science).