Matt Ridley’s first response to my post about his failed prediction was denial:

I did not write for the Globe and Mail in 1993 let alone about climate!

Then he moved onto stage 3, bargaining:

global av temp (ignoring pinatubo drop) is about 0.2C above 1991 level after 22 yrs – so I was spot on so far!

UAH_LT_1979_thru_Dec_2012_v5.51

As you can see, the graph he cites shows 0.5 degrees of warming since he made his prediction, so it seems that he is applying a 0.3 degree correction for Pinatubo.   Which brings us to Ridley’s next column, published in The Sunday Telegraph on 30 Jan 1994 (one month after his column with the failed prediction):

The satellites, however, tell a very different story about the 1980s (their data do not go further back). Orbiting the planet from north to south as the Earth turns beneath them, they take the temperature of the lower atmosphere using microwave sensors. By the end of 1993 the temperature was trending downwards by 0.04 of a degree per decade.

The satellite’s masters explain away this awkward fact by subtracting two volcanic eruptions (Mount Pinatubo in 1991 and El Chichon in 1982) and four El Ninos (sudden changes in the circulation of the water in the Pacific).  Since they assume that all these would have cooled the atmosphere, they conclude that the 1980s did see a gradual warming of the air by 0.09 degrees: still less than a third of that recorded by the old method.

Even with this sleight of hand (and when I was a scientist I was trained not to correct my data according my preconceptions of the result), the startling truth remains that the best measure yet taken of the atmosphere has found virtually no evidence of global warming.

So according to Matt Ridley in 1994, Matt Ridley in 2013 used a “sleight of hand”, something that he was trained not to do.   If we hold Matt Ridley to the standard he declared at the time of his prediction there has been 0.5 degrees of warming since he predicted that there would be just one degree by 2100.

But if we do want to know what the long term warming trend is, it is not a “sleight of hand” to remove the short term effects of volcanoes and El Nino/La Nina. It is, however, a sleight of hand for Ridley to just correct for Pinatubo and not El Nino/La Nina.  Here is the graph from Foster and Rahmstorf (2011) that shows what temperature records look like if the short term effects are removed:

figure05

Using Ridley’s preferred UAH data set we see that there has been 0.4 degrees of warming since he made his prediction.

Any way you slice it, there has been much more warming that Ridley predicted.  I hope this information will help him reach stage 5, acceptance.

Comments

  1. #1 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    “The scientific consensus is based on the evidence.”

    While I envy your faith, that can’t actually be true, because then scientific consensi would have performed far better throughout history and would have been far more responsive to disturbing data.

    Fascinatingly, if you look at the history of metascience (or “scientology”), “consensus” only became a preoccupation when the evidence for CAGW wasn’t stacking up as had been hoped.

    Coincidence?

    “If you don’t know or care about the evidence, you have no argument against the scientific consensus.”

    Yes, but I just said I DO care, in fact I said I cared EXCLUSIVELY, about the evidence.

  2. #2 Wow
    January 27, 2013

    “While I envy your faith, that can’t actually be true”

    Is that your belief?

  3. #3 Wow
    January 27, 2013

    “because then scientific consensi would have performed far better throughout history and would have been far more responsive to disturbing data.”

    Than what?

    Why?

    And cod latin makes you appear like Frothing Mad Lord Monckton.

    Not a persona you’d want to emulate.

  4. #4 Wow
    January 27, 2013

    “the evidence for CAGW”

    Only deniers believe in CAGW.

    The IPCC talk about AGW or MMCC.

  5. #5 Wow
    January 27, 2013

    “wasn’t stacking up as had been hoped.”

    And you have EVIDENCE of this?

  6. #6 luminous beauty
    January 27, 2013

    Observation and experiment are not equivocal, no matter how much one ‘broadens’ the definition.

  7. #7 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    To give you an example, my first degree (before I studied science) was in philosophy with an emphasis on Epistemology, including the way knowledge works in science, and not once did the word “consensus” tumble from the bearded lips of my teachers, not once was the word “consensus” printed in any of my Epistemology textbooks, not one of the books on my philosophy shelf has an index entry under “consensus” and—here you may think I’m being hyperbolic, but I’m not—when I first heard Oreskes rabbiting on about it, I had to look it up in a dictionary.

    (It’s not that I’d never heard it before—I knew, from political discourse, that it meant something to do with majority opinion, but I wasn’t sure if it was meant to imply unanimity or not.)

  8. #8 Wow
    January 27, 2013

    “Yes, but I just said I DO care, in fact I said I cared EXCLUSIVELY, about the evidence.”

    Except the evidence you don’t want to know.

    Like, for example, your insistence on investigating CAGW. No evidence for that because it’s a denier trope.

    No evidence for your assertions at all, so far.

    You discard your beloved very quickly, don’t you.

  9. #9 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    “Observation and experiment are not equivocal, no matter how much one ‘broadens’ the definition.”

    Yes I appreciate that they’re non-interchangeable words. Point?

  10. #10 Wow
    January 27, 2013

    “To give you an example, my first degree (before I studied science) was in philosophy with an emphasis on Epistemology”

    And by “study science” he means “Read WUWT, et al”.

    Yes, when you want to learn about science, ask the philosophers.

    PS We have no evidence of your apocryphal story.

  11. #11 Wow
    January 27, 2013

    “Yes I appreciate that they’re non-interchangeable words. Point?”

    Yes, what IS your point?

  12. #12 Wow
    January 27, 2013

    I guess this is what this dipshit learned at philosophy: when you have no clue what you’re talking about, ask a question.

    Shrinks do that all the time.

  13. #13 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    Wow, your effusions are making it harder for me to scroll to luminous and BBD’s comments, so your comments are a real inconvenience. I obviously can’t (and wouldn’t) tell you to go away, but how about you take a “look, don’t touch” approach?

  14. #14 Wow
    January 27, 2013

    Brad, your effluent is clogging up the drains.

    Instead of just going “Point?” how about you explain what the hell you were doing?

    PS doesn’t look good if you’re so easily confused. Then again, you’re just stalling aren’t you, dovey?

  15. #15 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    So my point, luminous and BBD, was that “consensus” is an irrelevant and (in my opinion) toxic import into scientific discourse. We had 250 years of healthy contempt for words like that and science worked pretty damn well if you ask me. Suddenly we get climate science, the first spectacularly expensive but utterly unproductive science, and (simultaneously) climate metascience, with its tedious fetish for “consensus”, and surely one has to wonder if the failure of one may be due to the misguidedness of the other.

  16. #16 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    Wow, you’re evidently still typing.

    Here’s another polite hint: I’m not reading your words. The only reason I hit refresh is to see if luminous beauty, BBD or chameleon have made a new contribution.

  17. #17 Wow
    January 27, 2013

    Your argument, if it can be called such, Brat, is that the consensus can’t be driven by evidence because otherwise it would be better than it is.

    But that is nonsense. it is

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

  18. #18 Wow
    January 27, 2013

    “I’m not reading your words.”

    Since you don’t understand words, this is no effective change.

    You’re still making no sense.

  19. #19 Wow
    January 27, 2013

    “So my point, luminous and BBD, was that “consensus” is an irrelevant and (in my opinion) toxic import into scientific discourse.”

    And that opinion, plus 50p will buy you a bag of crisps.

    Where is your EVIDENCE that consensus is irrelevant OR toxic.

  20. #20 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    Wow, this is very, very simple and I can’t imagine why you don’t understand it.

    I don’t read what you type.

    You’re wasting electrons. Electrons I pay for. Please be considerate and stop.

  21. #21 Wow
    January 27, 2013

    You are confusing me with someone who thinks you’re telling the truth. Or cares.

    You’re a denier through-and-through and as such are impervious to any and all arguments that may lead to the conclusion “The climate science is sound”.

    Ergo, I don’t give a shit if you’re reading or not.

    A lurker will see those points I’ve shown as fallacies and they won’t be buried under the shit of psycho-babble that is your preferred intellectual camoflage.

    Your assertions about consensus are complete non-sequiturs to your earlier and agonised admission that consensus in science will be based on the evidence and results of experiments.

    EVERY POINT since then has ignored this admission. Because you cannot accept the IPCC report, nor accept that the agreement from all national science academies are because THEY have read and understood the science and their agreement shows the science is solid.

    Hence your assassination of the idea of consensus.

    You answered with a correct answer THEN COMPLETELY IGNORED IT.

  22. #22 BBD
    January 27, 2013

    Brad Keyes

    So my point, luminous and BBD, was that “consensus” is an irrelevant and (in my opinion) toxic import into scientific discourse.

    Scientific knowledge is provisional, of course, so the scientific consensus arising is not fixed. It will change as the evidence dictates.

    Science is combative, not cozy. The consensus exists only because it hasn’t been torn down.

    We’ve had 250 years of this. Climate science is no different; you are proposing a strawman.

  23. #23 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    “We’ve had 250 years of this.”

    Not exactly. What we’ve had is 250 years of scientists talking about evidence evidence evidence evidence and rarely hearing the word “consensus” (at least if they’re not working in the political sciences field, or in fields like artificial intelligence, network theory and neuroscience in which “consensus” has a different, well-defined meaning).

    “Climate science is no different; you are proposing a strawman.”

    Climate science has some UTTERLY unique features, just one of which is that its envoloping discourse is saturated with the pre-scientific notion of “consensus.”

    Have you noticed any of the other idiosyncrasies of climate science? I’ll let you think on that.

    Also, I think you wrote (on the previous page? Dear Wow, this is the kind of nuisance you’re causing with your noisome noisiness) that I’d agreed that experiment should be guided by something called “consensual knowledge.”

    I have to stop you there. No, I didn’t, and I don’t know what that phrase could even mean.

    Since knowledge is justified true belief, the notion of majority agreement seems to be nothing but a distractor.

  24. #24 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    Oops BBD, I mean a distraction. (I wasn’t trying to impute anything nefarious on your part!!)

  25. #25 luminous beauty
    January 27, 2013

    Brad,

    “So my point, luminous and BBD, was that “consensus” is an irrelevant and (in my opinion) toxic import into scientific discourse”

    The problem here is your opinion is irrelevant. Scientific consensus is equivocal with accepted scientific theory or current scientific paradigm or whatever label one wishes to identify what is true in every field of science. There is broad expert agreement on some level of scientific understanding, if only to serve as a baseline on which to hypothesize about that for which there is poor or little theoretical understanding.

  26. #26 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    @BBD,

    you talk about “the scientific consensus arising” from the combative process of science.

    But the point is that whether or not a consensus arises wouldn’t have even interested any previous (pre-Oreskean, pre-Post-Normal) cohort of scientists!

    Is there a “consensus” that helium is lighter than tungsten?

    Well, PRESUMABLY, but the question is just so silly, I can barely type it. You would certainly HOPE that a majority of chemists has the same, correct belief about a question like that—but nobody has ever degraded themselves by doing an opinion survey to verify this, and why would they? It’s entirely epiphenomenal and uninteresting.

    And all scientists in the last 250 years have known this, too obviously for words.

    The psephological activities of people like Oreskes, Doran and Zimmermann represent an absurd and (to say the least) noteworthy spectacle to any competent historian of science.

    That shit just never used to happen in science.

    This ought to be the first alarm bell for you when it comes to climate science.

  27. #27 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    “Scientific consensus is equivocal with accepted scientific theory or current scientific paradigm”

    Of course. Nothing I’ve said is incompatible with this.

    ” …or whatever label one wishes to identify what is true in every field of science. “

    Whoa there sport! What kind of person uses those entities as a label for “what is true” in any field of science?

    Answer: a Post-Normal, Oreskes-virus-infected post-scientist, that’s who.

    (With all due respect.)

    Any scientifically-literate citizen truly interested in identifying “what is true” would look first, second, last and only at the scientific ___________.

    (You know how I’m going to fill that blank, right?)

  28. #28 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    “There is broad expert agreement on some level of scientific understanding, if only to serve as a baseline on which to hypothesize about that for which there is poor or little theoretical understanding.”

    I beg to differ. No self-respecting scientist when designing an experiment would take a vote on what “most experts” think about it. That’s ridiculous. The scientist reads the evidence—as many papers as he/she has access to—and performs his/her own computation of what I think you called “the preponderance” thereof, and goes from there.

  29. #29 luminous beauty
    January 27, 2013

    Before Einstein, quantum mechanics was never discussed in science, either. But, nowadays there is a consensus view of QM upon which the operation of your computer is unequivocally dependent.

    (Pardon my previous misuse of the word ‘equivocal’. I meant ‘equivalent’.)

    Brad, you are splitting semantic hairs. A distinction without a difference.

  30. #30 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    By the way, BBD/luminous, suppose you were a doctor and I came in to you with a constellation of symptoms. Now let’s say you used consensus as a basis for choosing the best way to treat me (or simply the correct diagnosis), and you turned out to be wrong.

    I could sue you for medical malpractice, and I’d win because you’d be dead-to-rights guilty. Any judge competent in medico-legal theory would take a dim view indeed if you said “b-b-but 9 out of 10 doctors treat that way!”

    If that surprises you, it’s because you probably aren’t aware that we live in the age of evidence-based medicine (a real term), in which majority opinion is looked down on a sorry substitute indeed for evidence.

  31. #31 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    You correctly say that:

    “Before Einstein, quantum mechanics was never discussed in science, either.”

    Was the theory of quantum mechanics less true in 1800 than it is now?

  32. #32 luminous beauty
    January 27, 2013

    ” No self-respecting scientist when designing an experiment would take a vote on what “most experts” think about it. That’s ridiculous.”

    Yes, that’s ridiculous. It’s a strawman argument.

    Any self-respecting scientist will draw on his knowledge of previously well founded science, guided by the expertise of his mentors and fellow scientists without recapitulating every step back to Archimedes in his experimental design.

  33. #33 luminous beauty
    January 27, 2013

    Brad,

    If 9 out of 10 doctors gave you the same diagnosis and suggested treatment and one doctor gave a completely different diagnosis, would you be justified in rejecting the nine in favor of the one because it was more amenable to your individual desires?

  34. #34 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    Luminous, we’re “just” disagreeing about words, but words are ideas, and I think you underestimate the damage certain foreign words are doing to the integrity and health of science.

    For example, I’d only change a few words in your last paragraph. I’d say:

    “Any self-respecting scientist will draw on his knowledge of previously well founded science, guided by the work published by his mentors and fellow scientists without recapitulating every step back to Archimedes in his experimental design.

  35. #35 Lotharsson
    January 27, 2013

    … and there’s no evidence left to prove that you’re full of crap.

    None, except for the memories of several of the participants which appear to contradict yours, and remaining quotes from your comments by other people who proceed to demonstrate that you’re full of crap – and extensive evidence at Deltoid that you’re routinely and apparently deliberately full of crap.

    So yeah, none apart from that. For most people who are inclined to evaluate the question “Is Brad Keyes full of crap?” that would seem to be more than sufficient.

    One could point out (again) that you chose to break the forum rules, repeatedly, and were given plenty of chances. But please do keep up the childish whinging about the consequences of your actions complete with attempts to invite judgement of those who applied the consequences rather than yourself. It is highly indicative of being a person being (as you say) “of a certain character”.

  36. #36 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    Brad,

    “If 9 out of 10 doctors gave you the same diagnosis and suggested treatment and one doctor gave a completely different diagnosis, would you be justified in rejecting the nine in favor of the one because it was more amenable to your individual desires?”

    Yeah yeah, we’ve all heard that analogy, which I must admit is superficially compelling, but let me cut through the Gordian knot:

    I would ask every single one of those 10 doctors what signs and symptoms underlay their diagnosis and if any of them replied: “well, it’s based on the fact that ninety percent of us think that’s what you’ve got”, I’d walk out without paying the consultation fee, because they’re not practicing EBM. (Presumably they got their degree from the College of Climate Medicine.) Does that help?

  37. #37 luminous beauty
    January 27, 2013

    The theory of quantum mechanics didn’t exist in 1800. Even though the sub atomic reactions that the theory explains and describes did.

  38. #38 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    @Lotharsson gives us a laundry list of non-evidence and begs out:

    “So yeah, none apart from that.”

    Right. Like I said.

    And WHY is there no evidence at all for your story, only your questionably-veridical recollections?

    Because in line with what I assume is considered ethical best practice in the pseudoscientific ukiyo of Climate Psychology, Lewandowsky’s little elves deleted the evidence. They’re the Phil Jones of the blogosphere! LOL

  39. #39 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    “The theory of quantum mechanics didn’t exist in 1800.”

    Right, but was what-is-now-called the theory of quantum mechanics an equally true description of the 1800 universe as it is now, of the 2013 universe?

  40. #40 luminous beauty
    January 27, 2013

    No, that doesn’t help. None of those doctors themselves have personally developed the evidence upon which their diagnoses are based other than their clinical experience. They are relying on the work of others for which they have not the time to replicate so many many studies.

    It is a consensus of collective opinion.

  41. #41 Lotharsson
    January 27, 2013

    If Ridley’s prediction is for 1 degree of warming over a century, then 0.2 degrees of warming in the first 20 years is not what we’d expect at all. The warming will be mostly back-loaded since rate of atmospheric GHG emissions keeps increasing. In the first 20 years we’d expect maybe 0.1 degrees at most, probably closer to 0.05.

    I had a closer look at the previous depiction of Ridley’s prediction here. The difference between the green curve’s values at 2010 and 1993 is (within error margins) spot on, even though Tim didn’t bother putting the appropriate kink in the green curve.

    From the graph I make that difference pretty close to 0.10, maybe 0.11 at most.

  42. #42 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    “would you be justified in rejecting the nine in favor of the one because it was more amenable to your individual desires?”

    I missed that last clause.

    No, absolutely not. I’d only be justified in rejecting OR ACCEPTING medical advice to the extent that it was or wasn’t justified by actual bedside observations, clinical examination findings and investigation results (or to use an umbrella term, “signs and symptoms”).

    As an aside, which doesn’t change my answer, you might be surprised to know that in something like 99% of hypothetical clinical presentations, there exists somewhere a massive collaborative review conveniently meta-analysing the best evidence and practically spoon-feeding the doctor the most-justified diagnosis and treatment for the specific constellation of signs and symptoms.

    (I’m sure there’s a great, great deal more to being a doctor than simply looking up the apposite Cochrane Review for the given situation, though—don’t get me wrong about that.)

    Non-evidence-based medicine is not medicine.

  43. #43 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    “They are relying on the work of others for which they have not the time to replicate so many many studies.”

    I know that. They read studies written by other human beings. Sorry for not stipulating this—I thought it was understood.

    “It is a consensus of collective opinion.”

    Again, where is this coming from?

    No it bloody well is not a consensus of collective opinion. Sorry, luminous.

    NB Notwithstanding our irreconcilable difference on that point, I must admit it’s a great relief to meet someone who understands what the word consensus means!

    It’s not a consensus. It’s a matter of what the collected, published evidence can justify. Two completely different things.

    I hasten to stipulate that it is (hopefully) usually the case that most doctors who treat the relevant condition for a living would arrive at the same, evidence-based answer, and therefore the “consensus” answer will (hopefully) be the same answer as the evidence-based one, nevertheless the consensus cannot be any substitute whatsoever for EVIDENCE.

    So I’m not saying “consensuses are always wrong” or even “consensuses are no more likely to be right than a random answer.”

    I’m saying something much deeper than that but I’m happy to keep explaining the difference if it still isn’t clear (since you don’t strike me as being deliberately obtuse!)

  44. #44 Lotharsson
    January 27, 2013

    Brad’s waffle about consensus is (deliberately, one suspects) missing the point – which I seem to recall was how he did it at Lewandowsky’s too.

    Consensus is NOT being used AS the scientific evidence underpinning the conclusions of mainstream climate science, no matter how hard Brad dog-whistles that tune or even explicitly proffers that particular strawman.

    It is being used to communicate and illuminate the strength of the evidence underlying the conclusions to the unscientifically unskilled public – especially in the face of unscientific denialism employing tactics that sound like they are scientific but are not designed to mislead the scientifically unskilled. In particular, it illustrates the dilemma of the scientific unskilled who cannot evaluate the evidence themselves. They have to delegate their opinion on the matter to someone else if they don’t want an opinion based on incompetence. In that case, do you go with practically the entire body of practicing research scientists in the field, or do you go with a few practicing research scientists backed up with a bunch of other people, some of whom are paid to sway your opinion?

    And as luminous beauty points out, “consensus” is not some new “feature” of science or even of science communication. It is essentially synonymous with “accepted scientific theory”. That makes the bankruptcy of Brad’s argument crystal clear.

    Climate science has some UTTERLY unique features, just one of which is that its envoloping discourse is saturated with the pre-scientific notion of “consensus.”

    Saying it does not breathe life into a strawman.

    For one thing, the “enveloping discourse”, by which I presume the discussion of scientific thinking outside of science such as in the media or amongst the general public – for many medical science questions is also saturated with talk of “consensus” and its synonyms, so the claim appears to be false on its face.

    But more importantly for “any competent historian of science”, any alleged analysis of what is allegedly “unique” about climate science that denies like Brad denies (why do you think it’s so important for him to smear Oreskes with irrelevancies rather than refute her argument?) the coordinated strategies of denialism attempting to dissuade the general public from adopting the conclusions of climate science is an incredibly skewed picture. And it’s a picture that allows one to avoid inquiring (as Brad determinedly avoids) why pointing out strong consensus to the non-scientific public is a feature of communicating climate science to the public – and focus instead on alleging that the very pointing out in question indicates the science is dodgy. (And that fallacious argument is almost an archetypal example of the kind of illogic that is deployed to sow doubt unmerited by the evidence.)

    Furthermore no “competent historian of science” would – by definition – so badly conflate the internal process of science with the external communication of it to a non-scientific public in order to cast aspersions about the results of those internal processes. (You’ll see a similar rhetorical trick employed by Brad at #30, moving from consensus of researchers to consensus of practitioners who consume communications of scientific research.)

    And you’ll note that it’s essentially a blame-the-victim strategy: use bogus arguments to mislead the general public (particularly as to the strength and scientific validity of the conclusions), and then allege that the responses to those arguments necessarily tailored for communication to a non-scientific public are themselves evidence of bogus science.

    But as far as I recall, we’re simply rehashing Brad’s old misunderstandings of science, and we know from experience that Brad will simply twist and turn, duck and weave, dodge and Gallop…

  45. #45 Lotharsson
    January 27, 2013

    Lotharsson gives us a laundry list of non-evidence…

    Saying it does not make it so. Careful readers will note that Brad proffers false characterisations of most of the things I pointed out. Then again, careful readers will have already noted that Brad takes extensive liberties with the truth – but prides himself on “not lying”.

  46. #46 luminous beauty
    January 27, 2013

    But if the collaborative review, i.e., consensus, is based on evidence, you’d have no problem, right?

    What you have to do, now, is prove the scientific consensus on climate change is not based on evidence.

    Can you do that?

  47. #47 Lotharsson
    January 27, 2013

    … there exists somewhere a massive collaborative review conveniently meta-analysing the best evidence and practically spoon-feeding the doctor the most-justified diagnosis and treatment for the specific constellation of signs and symptoms.

    Indeed. Kinda like the IPCC does and then spoon-feeds the results to non-scientists.

    And in the medical case you’ll generally find that after a suitable time interval, that the consensus of researchers converges on results from this kind of study. And that the study results are communicated to non-researchers. Kinda like it’s difficult to find a practicing climate science researcher who significantly disagrees with the IPCC reports, which are communicated to the non-researche public.

    But wait…wait…wait…I know this one! If someone were to then say that there were a consensus amongst qualified researchers, either a researcher communicating to a non-researcher such as a doctor, or perhaps even a non-researcher such as a doctor when discussing treatment strategies with a non-researcher such as a patient, then that would be indicative of the consensus NOT being based on scientific evidence, right?! Just like pointing out the strength of the consensus in climate science indicates that the evidence must be dodgy, right?!

  48. #48 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    Let me give you another example that might help, though I’m remembering it in only partial detail.

    An empirical survey of emergency room practices (carried out by a sociologist of medicine—an actual medical science researcher would never do anything like this, because it doesn’t yield medical evidence) found that a majority of emergency physicians was prescribing supplemental oxygen immediately upon the patient complaining of a certain symptom—it was something very common, like nausea plus palpitations or something along those lines.

    This fact is NOT evidence that supplemental oxygen is the right thing to give to such patients.

    On the contrary, the medical evidence was that it is of no benefit. (So the interesting question was why all EDs were doing it.)

    This was just one example (though there are myriad others in real life) in which the “consensus” answer and the RIGHT answer were not the same answer, i.e. “consensus” tells you one thing and evidence tells you something different.

    That is why I’m stressing: consensus isn’t evidence.

    Except, if we’re to believe skeevers like Oreskes, in climate science.

    Finally, here’s a hypothesis for your consideration/ delectation/provocation:

    The above explains why medicine saves lives and climate science just wastes money.

  49. #49 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    “Indeed. Kinda like the IPCC does and then spoon-feeds the results to non-scientists.”

    And, if only the IPCC synthesised the evidence scientifically, you’d have a point for once, Lotharsson.

  50. #50 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    “But if the collaborative review, i.e., consensus, is based on evidence, you’d have no problem, right?”

    No, the word collaborative merely means that multiple institutions, preferably in different countries with access to different languages, collect and crunch the evidence. It’s a showy word that means “big and expensive and more likely to get the right answer because it draws on evidence from all over the place.”

    It does not mean anything like “majority opinion.”

  51. #51 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    Oops. What I meant by “the above” here:

    “Finally, here’s a hypothesis for your consideration/ delectation/provocation:

    The above explains why medicine saves lives and climate science just wastes money.”

    … was “my preceding comments.” (Not the present comment, which explained no such thing.)

  52. #52 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    “Just like pointing out the strength of the consensus in climate science indicates that the evidence must be dodgy, right?!”

    Absolutely not. You’re right, that’s a silly argument, which I’m not making.

  53. #53 Lotharsson
    January 27, 2013

    …if only the IPCC synthesised the evidence scientifically, …

    If only you could show it does not, you’d have been able to avoid all of your irrelevant prevarication about consensus and how unique it was in climate science and how it is being used as evidence instead of arising from the evidence.

    And someone as smart as you would never go off on irrelevant tangents if he could simply proffer a Q.E.D., right?

    This was just one example (though there are myriad others in real life) in which the “consensus” answer and the RIGHT answer were not the same answer…

    You are again using consensus of non-researchers which is not analogous to climate science hence your example does not support your claim with respect to climate science. Why do you keep advancing fallacious arguments via inappropriate analogy?

    But by now we are merely revisiting ground covered at Lewandowsky’s – both in terms of subject matter and “argument” tactics. And you didn’t do any better there…

  54. #54 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    @Lotharsson:

    yes, you would hope and expect most doctors a generation from now would practice the best, ah, practice according to what we know now, at least in cases where we’re currently right and have enough data, pointing in a consistent enough direction, to be very confident that we’re right.

    But that’s because you would hope and expect that med schools right now are basing their teaching on up-to-date evidence, the gold standard of which is what I referred to before (a massive collaborative meta-analysis such as a Cochrane Review).

  55. #55 Lotharsson
    January 27, 2013

    No, the word collaborative merely means that multiple institutions, …

    So, still ducking and weaving.

    What about a whole set of reviews, some collaborative and some single-institution, all based on the evidence, at least one of them wide-ranging and heavily peer-reviewed, that all come to more or less the same conclusions? You’d have no problem with that, right?

    You’re right, that’s a silly argument, which I’m not making.

    You are – as you did at Lewandowsky’s – doing a very good impression of making that argument. So you might want to be a lot clearer.

    Of course, doing so might undercut one of your (ironically apparently evidence-free) assertions – that consensus is being used in climate science as evidence rather than is arising from evidence.

  56. #56 Lotharsson
    January 27, 2013

    yes, you would hope and expect most doctors a generation from now would practice the best, ah, practice according to what we know now, at least in cases where we’re currently right and have enough data, pointing in a consistent enough direction, to be very confident that we’re right.

    And since you insist on ignoring the distinction between practising researchers and consumers of said research, you’d generally expect that most researchers would share that view much quicker than that, right?

    And in the real world, you’d even expect this to apply to confidence levels a bit less than “very confident”, given that unfortunate constraint that real world choices can’t be made on evidence not yet available, right?

  57. #57 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    “…if only the IPCC synthesised the evidence scientifically, …

    If only you could show it does not, you’d have been able to avoid all of your irrelevant prevarication about consensus and how unique it was in climate science and how it is being used as evidence instead of arising from the evidence.”

    I can easily show that it doesn’t. Unlike a Cochrane Review panel, the IPCC doesn’t even pretend to follow proper meta-analytic principles. Every time an IPCC apologist says “hey, the IPCC itself doesn’t actually do science/do the research/do the science” what they’re actually admitting without any apparent awareness of it is that the IPCC does not follow any scientific method known to man.

    You are unlikely to hear someone say “hey, a Cochrane Review panel doesn’t actually DO SCIENCE”, because a proper meta-analysis (as done by Cochrane) IS scientific research. It is done in adherence to the (or “a,” if you insist) scientific method.

    To give an egregious, instructive and hilarious example of non-scientific practice by the IPCC, remember the rationale Dr Murari Lal gave for his inclusion of the dial-a-mystic Himalayan prediction?

    “We put it in because we thought it would encourage action in the region.”

    That answer would get a medical scientist or any other scientist fired from a real meta-analytic panel.

  58. #58 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    @Lotharsson, this is a prime example of your completely counterproductive antagonism and obnoxiousness:

    “And since you insist on ignoring the distinction between practising researchers and consumers of said research…”

    If you think I’ve overlooked the distinction, then say so like a normal fucking human being. What kind of paranoid polemicist avidly converts every perceived mistake by an interlocutor into a Grand Jury indictment for deception with malice aforethought?

    Seriously dude, even a highly unusually civilised exchange by your standards is fucking exhausting.

    I’m hoping at least that luminous is reading, since otherwise (no offence, Lotharsson) I’m spending way too much energy arguing at you.

  59. #59 Lotharsson
    January 27, 2013

    …this is a prime example of your completely counterproductive antagonism and obnoxiousness…

    Are you completely un(-self) aware of how hypocritical this is, given your comments here over the last few days where you came across as being a Vile Mike with a better vocabulary and an occasionally functioning self-censoring filter?

    Or is there more than one person posting here under the name “Brad Keyes”?

    I’m spending way too much energy arguing at you.

    Me too. And I have much more limited patience with your “consensus is being used instead of evidence” line this time around than I did at Lewandowsky’s.

  60. #60 Lotharsson
    January 27, 2013

    Every time an IPCC apologist says “hey, the IPCC itself doesn’t actually do science/do the research/do the science” what they’re actually admitting without any apparent awareness of it is that the IPCC does not follow any scientific method known to man.

    No they are not, and it’s deeply mendacious to claim otherwise. Either that, or much less intelligent than you give yourself credit for.

    Your call.

  61. #61 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    “What about a whole set of reviews, some collaborative and some single-institution, all based on the evidence, at least one of them wide-ranging and heavily peer-reviewed, that all come to more or less the same conclusions? You’d have no problem with that, right?”

    Not if what you were long-windedly describing was a proper meta-analysis.

    Instead you’re talking about the IPCC, where the closest thing to epistemological quality control is apparently its comically naive idea of putting politicians in the same room as scientists and allowing anyone present to veto any sentence they don’t like. What a joke. What an expensive joke.

  62. #62 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    “Are you completely un(-self) aware of how hypocritical this is, given your comments here over the last few days where you came across as being a Vile Mike with a better vocabulary and an occasionally functioning self-censoring filter?”

    How confusing. I thought I was worse than this Mike character?

    (Are Mike H and mike the same commenter? Cos I would have thought Mike H was on your “side”.)

  63. #63 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    “Every time an IPCC apologist says “hey, the IPCC itself doesn’t actually do science/do the research/do the science” what they’re actually admitting without any apparent awareness of it is that the IPCC does not follow any scientific method known to man.

    No they are not, and it’s deeply mendacious to claim otherwise. Either that, or…”

    I’m a big believer in positively reinforcing pro-social behaviours so: Thank you, Lotharsson, for conceiving of the possibility that when someone says something you yourself don’t believe, there are explanations besides mendacity.

    Now I shall follow up that praise with polite criticism.

    Your objection is misguided, because if the IPCC were to follow the scientific method, it would, by definition, be doing science.

  64. #64 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    “Me too. And I have much more limited patience with your “consensus is being used instead of evidence” line this time around than I did at Lewandowsky’s.”

    Basic question, Lotharsson. Why is consensus being used AT ALL?

  65. #65 Lotharsson
    January 27, 2013

    MikeH is not Mike.

    …where the closest thing to epistemological quality control is apparently its comically naive idea of putting politicians in the same room as scientists and allowing anyone present to veto any sentence they don’t like.

    And there we have more argument by assertion and innuendo rather than demonstration – which is pretty much where you came in on this sojourn at Deltoid. You haven’t got any more now than you had at Lewandowsky’s, which was precisely nothing, and you haven’t learned to argue in good faith since then either.

    I reckon it’s time for me to waste time on something more profitable. Good luck convincing luminous beauty of your position – given your performance thus far you’ll need it.

  66. #66 chameleon
    January 27, 2013

    @Brad
    Yep that pantera song is playing in my head too.
    @Wow
    See Wow? That’s how it’s done. Lotharsson can at least give Brad some actual content to play semantics with.
    @Luminous
    Thankyou captain obvious!
    Chuckle :-)
    You are splitting semantic hairs Brad.
    I bet that accusation just rocked your world Brad?
    @Lotharsson
    Did you happen to finally work out what that idiom/epigram about pots and kettles actually means?
    You will now need to inform LB that splitting semantic hairs is actually an essential ingredient in the tribe of ‘ritual intellectual humiliation’ play book of semantics.
    And BTW folks,
    It is not hard to define consensus and it is entirely googleable:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consensus_decision-making
    or
    con·sen·sus (kn-snss)
    n.
    1. An opinion or position reached by a group as a whole: “Among political women . . . there is a clear consensus about the problems women candidates have traditionally faced” (Wendy Kaminer). See Usage Note at redundancy.
    2. General agreement or accord: government by consensus.
    or
    http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/consensus

  67. #67 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    I’ll try that again without “misguided”, which is too much of a faffy word.

    Dear Lotharsson,

    Your objection is wrong, because if the IPCC were to follow the scientific method, it would, by definition, be doing science. Make sense?

  68. #68 Lotharsson
    January 27, 2013

    Ah, the curse of seeing comments cross over when you post your last one.

    Thank you, Lotharsson, for conceiving of the possibility that when someone says something you yourself don’t believe, there are explanations besides mendacity.

    When I think the other possibilities are plausible, I allow for them. When the evidence suggests otherwise, I often don’t. The evidence suggested otherwise in the case you objected to.

    You might consider applying the feelings of being wronged you apparently experienced and multiplying them by 10 – that may give you an inkling of the kind of offense I reckon you induce in many readers with some of your other comments.

    Your objection is misguided, because if the IPCC were to follow the scientific method, it would, by definition, be doing science.

    Still wrong.

    Hint: what is the IPCC and who is in it? Are you answering this question differently than the people whose statement you used to infer that the “IPCC is not doing science”? If you are, is your inference still valid?

    Basic question, Lotharsson. Why is consensus being used AT ALL?

    It is a basic question, and one that a competent historian of science should be able to answer. I pointed you in the direction of an answer above. And I pointed you to some (ahem) pointed distinctions that you don’t seem to reliably apply when considering the question but need to.

    OK, this time I’m off to do other things ;-)

  69. #69 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    @chameleon, nice to know that someone is getting something (even if just entertainment) out of my enervating ordeal of attempting to reason with the son of Lothar.

    :-)

    Oh, did you see my answer to your question (though I think you directed it to bill and chek) about Jeff H’s dismissal of Marohasy?

  70. #70 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    @Lotharsson, you mention “the people whose statement you used to infer that the “IPCC is not doing science””

    You mean the ones who say “the IPCC itself does not do science”?

    Those people are pretty easy to find. Hasn’t Pachauri himself admitted it?

  71. #71 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    “You might consider applying the feelings of being wronged you apparently experienced and multiplying them by 10 – that may give you an inkling of the kind of offense I reckon you induce in many readers with some of your other comments.”

    The poor diddums. What a monster I’ve been.

    LOL. More seriously though, the product of that multiplication would be zero offendedness, because ten times the amount I’m offended by your Debating By Attrition modus operandi is zero. I’m just annoyed and bored by it.

    So, no offence taken, Lotharsson.

    :-)

    “Hint: what is the IPCC and who is in it?”

    I guess the answers are:

    An Intergovernmental Panel.

    and

    A bunch of governments. And of course, to be fair, some (mostly government) scientists. And some government attachés. Who have I forgotten?

    “Basic question, Lotharsson. Why is consensus being used AT ALL?

    It is a basic question, and one that a competent historian of science should be able to answer.”

    Yes, it’s a basic question, and I know the answer, as does everyone who’s studied the history of science (but not many other people, I expect).

    Now if I didn’t know better, I might suspect you were ducking and weaving.

    Since such a suspicion is, of course, deeply unworthy of you Lotharsson, I’ll assume you innocently failed to realise I was asking you for, you know, an answer.

    But I am.

    What’s your answer?

    And to refresh your memory, the very basic question was:

    Basic question, Lotharsson. Why is consensus being used AT ALL?

  72. #72 chameleon
    January 27, 2013

    No I missed it.
    Must have got lost amongst all those split hairs I waded through?
    (I know I know, mixed metaphors)
    Do you mind repeating it? Too much of wowism to go back and find.

  73. #73 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    @chameleon,

    YMMV, but I’ve lost count of the number of believalists who (sincerely, I think) swear that “consensus” means “the preponderance of evidence.”

    The education system has a lot to… (you know the rest).

    :p

  74. #75 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    Yeah, Wow is a total card. And a liability to belivalism—so I hope he comes back (just not when adults are trying to debate).

  75. #76 luminous beauty
    January 27, 2013

    Brad,

    The IPCC doesn’t do science because it is a small office in the UN, with minimal staff. It is a co-ordinating body for professional scientists who voluntarily produce an independent systematic and rigorously scientific review of the scientific literature and all the empirical evidence. It’s the (mostly academic)scientists who do the work and write the reports, not bureaucrats.

    It is a shame I suppose that governments have post hoc opportunity to involve themselves in the process, but they do not have any presumptive veto power over the language in the report. They are given line by line opportunity to present arguments for changes in the language, which are accepted by, dare I say it, consensus.

    It is a shame for certain to spread libelous falsehoods about Dr. Murari Lal.

  76. #77 MikeH
    January 27, 2013

    @Brad Keyes

    While I have not read all the comments, I am yet to read anything from you that would qualify as substantive. Your only skill is setting up and demolishing straw men. I am sure that in between telling yourself how wonderful you are, you could keep this debate going indefinitely without a contribution from anyone else.

    Wanker is the term that best covers it.

  77. #78 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    @Lotharsson,

    D’oh!

    My bad this time—*red face.*

    Yes, @Lotharsson, you did give an answer to the basic question, which I somehow managed not to see for all the lecturing, moral insinuations and here’s-a-hints.

    Moreover, you gave a detailed answer.

    So thank you. (I’ll leave it on a positive note, to be…

  78. #79 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    … continued here).

    Your answer, while sincerely proffered, is implausible.

    Here’s why.

    The exigencies you mention—the need to “communicate and illuminate” the supposed unequivocality of The Science(tm) to a scientifically less-educated public—have never never previously been used as a licence to abandon science’s age-old, noble tradition of abhorrence for talk of “consensus.”

    It is because of the supposed climate crisis, and nothing else, that the Royal Society’s motto of nullius in verba lies forgotten and traduced by the science establishment.

    They managed to hold true to it for 250 years, the entire history of modern science until the ill-omened mutant birth of the monster Oreskeism.

    The entire sensible world has been persuaded that smoking systematically causes cancer.

    How? NOT by an intergovernmental panel of doctors meeting in tropical hotels to declare “consensus” and mock everyone who didn’t receive a party invitation as genocidal shills, contemptible quacks and unpublished incompetents.

    No.

    By evidence. END OF.

    Ah, but you would know this if you understood—in fact, you must know this because you understand—the history of science.

    So, son of Lothar, you still owe us some story that might rationalise why soi-disant “science” is being promoted in a fundamentally new, unprecedentedly unsuccessful, conspicuously un-science-like, powerfully doubt-fuelingly manner.

  79. #80 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    Or even:

    … powerfully doubt-fueling manner.

    ;-p

  80. #81 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    @MikeH,

    do you know where “Mike” is? Without an H, I think?

    I’ve heard tell of his fine qualities and think he would add greatly to the conversation.

    If the assumption that all Mikes must know each other is un-PC, sorry—I didn’t mean to offend.

  81. #82 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    @luminous,

    thanks for the link to thinkprogress.

    Is it your interpretation of that blog post that this in the Daily Mail, which was the source of my example:

    Said Lal: “We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.”

    is a lie?

  82. #83 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    @luminous,

    I ask because, in all the sound and fury of the thinkprogress article, I couldn’t see any denial of the quote by Lal.

    Which I find curious.

    I’ve now read a second article on the topic, also at thinkprogress, also lacking any such denial.

    Which I find curious.

    However, BEING CURIOUS, I’m in the process of reading all other articles I can find on the topic, so if Lal has denied the quote I expect to discover so in the next few minutes (but please, let’s not reopen the reading speed wars!)

    Or if you can short-cut me to somewhere that Lal denies the quote that would also be appreciated.

    Thanks again for the polite disagreement.

  83. #84 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    Don’t worry, I found this in a blog comment (of all places):

    “This is an email from Lal:

    I am not a Glaciologist but a Climatologist and the statement attributed to me in “Glacier scientist: I knew data hadn’t been verified” By David Rose in UK Daily Mail on 24th January 2010 has been wrongly placed. I never said this story at any time and strongly condemn the writer for attributing this to me.

    More specifically, I never said during my conversation with Rose the following statements being attributed to me:

    (a) ‘it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.’

    (b) ‘It related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.’

    (c) ‘It had importance for the region, so we thought we should put it in.’, and

    (d) ‘We as authors followed them to the letter,’ he said. ‘Had we received information that undermined the claim, we would have included it.’.”

  84. #85 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    …And I’ve found an above-the-line printing of the same email at thinkprogress, which removes any doubt that Lal has denied the quote.

  85. #86 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    Against which is the reporter Rose’s claim that he kept detailed notes of the interview.

    It’s unclear whom to believe, but I’m happy to assume for the sake of argument that Rose, not Lal, is lying if you like.

  86. #87 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    Frankly, Rose comes across as (at best) unwise for not recording such a potentially-explosive interview.

    (Just my impression after 10 minutes’ research into this “Rosegate” thing)

  87. #88 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    Anyone have other thoughts about it?

  88. #89 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    @luminous beauty, you mention that

    “It is a shame I suppose that governments have post hoc opportunity to involve themselves in the process, but they do not have any presumptive veto power over the language in the report. They are given line by line opportunity to present arguments for changes in the language, which are accepted by, dare I say it, consensus.

    Having never been allowed inside one of these conclaves, I’ll defer to your description thereof.

    So would I have been closer to the truth by ascribing to the IPCC (or whatever the preferred collective name for the people at the tropical hotel is these days) a process whereby a bunch of scientists and politicians in the same room vote on which sentences will be spoken in the voice of Sciencem and which sentences struck out?

    If that’s a fair summary, then yes, I think it is a complete donkey on which you pinned the tail by referring to it as “a shame.”

  89. #90 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    the voice of Science, I meant.

  90. #91 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    @luminous,

    Here’s a representative iteration of the meme I discussed with Lotharsson.

    “The IPCC itself does not conduct any research…”

    Which makes complete sense if, like you say, the IPCC is a small office in the UN building with a handful of staff.

    The quote continues:

    “… but collects and analyses global research results.”

    Which makes no sense if, like you say, the IPCC is a small office in the UN building with a handful of staff.

    Presumably, the person quoted is simply as confused as the average member of the public as to what exactly “the IPCC” means.

    Interestingly though, I’m not quoting the average member of the public!

    http://www.myclimate.org/en/information-climate-tips/climate-politics/ipcc-reports.html

    See numerous reiterations of the same confusion from people who really ought to know what they’re talking about:

    http://reviewipcc.interacademycouncil.net/Comments.pdf

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/01/31/does-the-ipcc-follow-the-rules-insiders-say-no/

    Can you set them straight, LB?

  91. #92 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    @Lotharsson:

    “the coordinated strategies of denialism attempting to dissuade the general public from adopting the conclusions of climate science is an incredibly skewed picture.”

    Conspiracy theorise much?

    Think you might benefit from talking to a professional psychologist who specialises in exactly that problem?

    stephan.lewandowsky@uwa.edu.au comes highly recommended.

  92. #93 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    @Lotharsson rationalises on…

    “[Science muggles] have to delegate their opinion on the matter to someone else if they don’t want an opinion based on incompetence. In that case, do you go with practically the entire body of practicing research scientists in the field, or do you go with a few practicing research scientists backed up with a bunch of other people”?

    Nope.

    You’re asking yourself a trick question, which may explain how a reasonably intelligent bloke like yourself wound up on the, how can I put this politely?, counter-Aurelian side of the carbon dioxide controversy in the first place.

    NEITHER of those answers is worthy of a high school graduate.

    Here’s what I do, Loth. Now you don’t have to do what I do, but it’s stood me in fairly good stead on … oh, every single scientific issue that comes to mind.

    I go where the evidence is.

    It’s a free country, of course. Feel free to follow your own algorithm. Feel free to make your motto:

    “Always go in the direction the majority of government-payrolled scientists are said to incline, even if there’s never been an academically serious, even vaguely robust opinion survey to tell us one way or the other.”

    But as your “majoritarian” cult hemorrhages membership year after year after year, maybe you should ask yourself at some point:

    how’s that working out for you?

    Oh, and thanks for the warning about those Merchants of Doubt, “some of whom are paid to sway your opinion.”

    LOL.

    Has it really never crossed your mind you that 90% of government-funded climate scientists would be in the Centrelink line if not for the climate scare?

    (International readers, please substitute “…would be driving taxis if not for the climate scare?”)

    No: seriously, Lotharsson.

    Was I too generous about your intelligence?

    And to head off the obvious objection: no, I don’t think the kind of data-retaining, email-archiving, decline-disclosing, Nobel-Prize-disclaiming, Excel-understanding, speaker’s-fee-admitting, general-honest-science-based skills demonstrated by the average journeyman climate scientist are particularly transferrable to a real job in science.

    ROFL.

  93. #94 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    @MikeH:

    I am sure that in between telling yourself how wonderful you are, you could keep this debate going indefinitely without a contribution from anyone else.

    Yes, interesting people (guilty as charged) do have this power of being just as interesting on our own as we are in the company of cookie-cutter mediocrities (which would be you).

    “Wanker is the term that best covers it.”

    Praise from Caesar!

  94. #95 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    By the way, MikeH, I note that you speak English about as well as expected from your rank in the climate gullibilist army:

    I am sure that in between telling yourself how wonderful you are, you could keep this debate going indefinitely…

    Free English tip for the wonder-challenged:

    Don’t say “in between” if you can only think of one thing to follow it.

  95. #96 bill
    January 27, 2013

    Tim, this has simply become ridiculous.

  96. #97 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    @bill, ready to make that easy $25 I offered for answering one rudimentary question?

  97. #98 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    @bill, what are you, a bird or a chicken?

  98. #99 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    Tim,

    1. bill goes a little too far, but yes, it is odd (not to say “ridiculous”) that nobody has anything to say about any of the points I’ve raised in the last 60 minutes.

    2. however, it is Sunday night on a long weekend in Australia.

    3. So, in an inventive bid to drive up participation on your blog (which I think is a very precious thing) my latest idea is to practically throw money at one of your regular commenters, bill.

    (Actually, I’m thinking of offering to let any regular commenter take the money if bill refuses to.)

    Why is he dodging said money? It’s… ridiculous.

  99. #100 Brad Keyes
    January 27, 2013

    Anyone? Anyone at all interested in $25 for answering a BASIC question related to climatey-sciencey-type stuff?

    Not a trick question. (It has a straightforward answer… but of course, you need to know it.)

Current ye@r *