November 2013 Open Thread

More thread.


  1. #1 Stu 2
    December 4, 2013

    Although you’re being entirely predictable, you’re not doing yourself any favours.
    I don’t consider myself your enemy and I am not interested in your personal abuse. It is completely meaningless and irrelevant.
    You also continue to obsess over one single sentence that you have taken out context.
    That isn’t my problem BBD.
    If you would like to ask a contextual question about that sentence, rather than a presumptive, abusive question, I may consider answering.
    Until then however, as you ironically commented earlier, it’s not worth bothering about.
    Hansen’s commentary above resorts to name calling and is advancing a political agenda:
    “The contrarians, the deniers who prefer to continue business as usual, easily recognize that the computer models are our weak point. So they jump all over them and they try to make the people, the public, believe that that’s the source of our knowledge.”
    I saw this comment earlier today.
    ” Hansen has retired from NASA, after reaping in more than 1 million USD over the years, from his extracurricular activities (in violation of the Hatch Act). Here’s a link to a pic of Hansen in his heyday. ”
    I don’t have an opinion either way BBD but, as you can see, it is common behaviour to resort to personal attacks and smearing.

  2. #2 bill
    December 5, 2013

    *Urp-What?!* Sorry, must have dropped off again. Ah, no wonder: it’s Stootoo. Still.

    Sophistry classes going well, I see?

  3. #3 bill
    December 5, 2013

    Speaking of sophistry (well, some of us are just speaking sophistry, full stop!), this

    “Reputable scientists disagree,” said the journalist. “There is a debate. The question is far from settled. The truth probably lies between the two extremes of duck and not-duck.”

    Feel free to scroll back through the threads to see the ‘not duck’ strategy in action (you won’t have to go far! right, Stootoo?! 😉 )

    Open any paper to see the 2+2=4.5 strategy in action.

    One day The Stupid’s gonna end… there will be scores to settle.

  4. #4 Lotharsson
    December 5, 2013

    You also continue to obsess over one single sentence that you have taken out context.

    You have been given ample opportunity to either clarify your position or demonstrate that it was taken out of context. You have not demonstrated that it was out of context, but rather simply repeated your assertion that it was. Your attempted clarification was incompatible with a plain reading of your original statement, and you have failed to demonstrate why the plain reading should be discarded.

    Feel free to keep digging though.

    …has resulted in a preference and a focus for virtual data over observational data.

    Er, no. The observational data, especially when one includes paleo, is enough to give a competent scientist the willies, regardless of any computer models. (Never mind that the false presumption in that claim: computer models RELY on observational data for validation assessments, amongst other things, and validation based on observational data implies a preference for observational data.)

    Hansen’s commentary above resorts to name calling …

    Er, no.

    1) There’s no “resorting” here. Claiming so is simply a tactic to assert without evidence – again, your modus operandi – that his position is not based on evidence and reason and therefore must be argued on fallacious grounds. One who seeks to dismiss another’s argument by claiming they are “resorting” typically does so because they can’t rebut the position based on evidence and reason. Why, it’s almost like you yourself are “resorting” to red herrings in order to redirect attention from your inability to argue the case…

    2) Even disregarding the evidence that supports his position, when using the words you allude to he’s accurately labelling the behaviour of the people in question. If you want to argue that applying accurate labels is “name calling” be my guest, as it strongly suggests that you can’t rebut the claim the labels carry – that the people they are applied to are engaged in the behaviour in question.

    In addition your objection here and the other quote you supplied about Hansen both appear designed to, well, engage in exactly the kind of “personal attacks and smearing” you mention, presumably due to the lack of evidence and reason based rebuttals of Hansen’s evidence-based position.

    Are you aware that you appear to be engaging in flaming hypocrisy, and if you don’t actually think you are would you care to restate your argument in a fashion that doesn’t give that appearance?

  5. #5 Bernard J.
    December 5, 2013

    BBD asked on the previous page:

    Or put another way, how can you be this stupid and operate a computer?

    The answer is simple – it’s the triumph of software over wetware.

    And in the Denialati’s case, it’s the triumph of software over particularly buggy wetware.

  6. #6 Stu 2
    December 5, 2013

    “Sophistry is tricking someone by making a seemingly clever argument, such as telling your mom you must have candy before dinner because if you don’t you’ll die and then the protein and vitamins won’t get eaten at all.

    Sophistry is a word that you hear very little in contemporary life, perhaps because it makes anyone who uses it sound like a Puritanical fanatic insisting that something like gum-chewing is the path to the devil “

  7. #7 bill
    December 5, 2013

    Not amongst the educated classes, pet.

  8. #8 pentaxZ
    December 5, 2013

    Ahh, jeffie, you know, perfectly normal weather events has nothing to do with climate. What an utter joke you are. Statistics shows, contrary to your claims, that hurricanes has become fewer and weaker. Yet you continue to use this huge strawman. But what’s to be expected from someone with nill knowledge in atmospheric physics.

  9. #9 bill
    December 5, 2013

    perfectly normal weather events has[sic] nothing to do with climate


    However, we must acknowledge that Pentup is labouring in a second language: human speech.

  10. #10 Olaus Petri
    December 5, 2013

    So funny, as real science slowly makes its way back in climatology the level of portentology increases at Deltoid. Hilarious, and little Napoleon is best in class, as usual. 🙂

  11. #11 bill
    December 5, 2013

    Ah, and now another visitor from the happy land of magical ponies! It’s true that sometimes we members of the RC* can only envy your blissful ignorance…

    *Reality-based Community

  12. #12 Bernard J.
    December 5, 2013

    It’s hilarious to see the Denialati who were bounced a while back suddenly all come rushing back after Mackulatus tested the water.

    For all their talk about how Deltoid is dead, they’ve been lurking in the background here obsessively waiting to spread their crud.

    One wonders why they are so preoccupied by the very fact of Deltoid’s existence, and why they are as illogical about the blog as they are about the climatology that they persist in demonstrating that they cannot understand…

  13. #13 BBD
    December 5, 2013

    You also continue to obsess over one single sentence that you have taken out context.
    That isn’t my problem BBD.

    Yes it is, and this was a lie the first time you said it. As Lotharsson points out with customary precision, you have *not* demonstrated that you were taken out of context, merely asserted it over and over again. In other words, you are lying. Try demonstrating that I took you out of context. This I have to see. Just remember that all your original statements are there for us all to review together. Every lie you tell will come back and bite you. There’s no way out of this now. You should have conceded the point as I suggested at the time.

    Since you are still lying about being taken out of context, let’s return to the beginning for a taster. I asked you to pick which of these mutually exclusive statements you agreed with and you refused:

    The major finding is that the snowball earth & deglaciation doesn’t need CO2 to occur.


    in both cases a significant amount of CO2 is required for deglaciation.

    Pick one.

  14. #14 pentaxZ
    December 5, 2013

    “Science isn’t settled by majority vote, and invoking “consensus” to shut off debate is authoritarian and anti-scientific. There are always inconvenient truths to challenge what the majority thinks it knows. Ninety-seven percent of experts may be impressed with the emperor’s new clothes. That’s no reason to silence those who insist the emperor is naked.”

  15. #15 BBD
    December 5, 2013

    Not this tripe again. In reality:

    – Scientific evidence comes first

    then scientific consensus *arises* from the scientific evidence

    Contrarians make a dishonest claim. The scientific consensus exists because there is no evidence contradicting it. The scientific consensus is of course provisional but arises from that which has not been falsified.

    Those who insist that the emperor is naked are arguing from assertion, which is a logical fallacy. They must make a robust scientific case based on solid scientific evidence if they wish to challenge the evidence-based scientific consensus. They have been absolutely unable to do this, and so resort to mendacious rhetoric of the sort quoted above.

    Nobody is “shutting down debate”. The current situation is that there is no scientifically robust case challenging the scientific consensus.

  16. #16 BBD
    December 5, 2013

    Notice that all the contrarians here rely absolutely on argument from assertion and misrepresentations of the scientific evidence. They bring no robust, evidence-based scientific argument to the table, just noise.

    When this is pointed out, they whine.

  17. #17 pentaxZ
    December 5, 2013

    “…they’ve been lurking in the background here obsessively waiting to spread their crud.”

    Hahaha, not quite so in my case. I just pop in now and then to check if you regulars has caught up with reality yet. But no, same old story. The religious CAGW belief is still here.

  18. #18 BBD
    December 5, 2013

    The religious CAGW belief is still here.

    Are you blind? Read the above. You – all of you – have *never* advanced a coherent, evidence-based scientific argument in support of your rejection of the scientific consensus.

    You are the ones making faith-based claims. You are relying on a ‘religion’ of evidence denial. Can’t you see that? How is it possible to be so bereft of self-awareness?

  19. #19 BBD
    December 5, 2013

    Or are you just trolling up the thread to try and get liar Stu 2 off the hook? That won’t work – his card is marked now, no matter how much garbage you post up here.

  20. #20 Wow
    December 5, 2013

    “When this is pointed out, they whine.”

    This would be whine from the gripes of wrath, right?

  21. #21 BBD
    December 5, 2013

    The gripes of tosh, perhaps…

  22. #22 Mack
    December 5, 2013

    No, we’re whining and dining on the Doltoids done like a dog’s dinner.

  23. #23 bill
    December 5, 2013

    What’s that Skip? Claims of ‘victory’ from some third-rate ‘lol’ing drag-act? Sounds like crap to me, too, Skip!…

  24. #24 Wow
    December 5, 2013

    Spots can’t spell, bill.

  25. #25 BBD
    December 5, 2013

    No, we’re whining and dining on the Doltoids done like a dog’s dinner.

    Sunspot running the “Mack” sock

    Why are you still here? I asked you either to respond to the questions you have been cravenly dodging for ~200 comments now, or disappear. You haven’t answered the questions yet here you are again. Why?

    Either answer, or go back to the thread you have been confined to by the blog owner.

    * * *

    1/ How do we explain hyperthermals *without* CO2 forcing?

    2/ How did the climate system get out of the albedo-locked icehouse state of Snowball Earth *without* CO2 forcing?

    3/ If, as you claim, CO2 has a cooling effect why was it so hot ~50Ma during the Eocene Climatic Optimum? CO2 was ~1000 – 1500ppm then and only ~280ppm in the pre-industrial Holocene but the climate system has slowly cooled for the last fifty million years. Explain this.

    PS – it wasn’t the sun. Solar output has increased slightly (F=~1W/m^2) across the Cenozoic as a result of stellar evolution. But we got *cooler*, remember. Much cooler.

    Cenozoic surface temperature (after Zachos et al. 2001; 2008).

  26. #26 Jeff Harvey
    December 5, 2013

    Pantie refers to the extreme events I referred to as being ‘perfectly normal’. Well, the global extent of these ‘perfectly normal’ events has increased dramatically since the 1960s. At that time, only 0.1% of the planet’s surface could expect such events to occur with any regularity; now that has increased to 10%. But of course, that depends if one considers a Category 6 typhoon as ‘normal’. Most scientists do not. Uneducated boffins might. Pantie falls well into the latter category, As does Mack. As I said yesterday, not a single climate change denier I have encountered on Deltoid in the past 10 years has anything close to resembling relevant scientific qualifications. Few of them have ever read the primary literature. Their world is climate change denial blogs, written in styles that appeal top the lowest common denominator. Pantie sure qualifies there.

    On cue, Olaus eventually showed up (I was expecting it, given how he appears to eat, sleep, and breathe blog denial ‘science’) with his usual brand of insidious stupidity. Two thirds of the Scandinavian troll collective in a few posts. Olaus still envies the fact that my academic qualifications shit all over his, as well as his supine hero, Jonas. This explains why he copy-cats smears from Jonas and clearly loathes the fact that I speak from the inside. He and Jonas are sadly consigned to the outer fringes of the blogosphere.

  27. #27 Olaus Petri
    December 5, 2013

    Dear little Napoleon, I’m sure you are better than me in maggotology, not to mention soothsaying and crystalballing. Oh, and you have no master in making stuff up as well. 🙂

  28. #28 BBD
    December 5, 2013


    You have *never* advanced a robust, evidence-based scientific argument that challenges the scientific consensus on AGW. To be fair, you are not alone: nobody else has ever done this either, including all the professional working climate scientists that have ever lived.

    So WTF are you talking about here? You have no argument yet you are acting as though you are somehow in the right. This is preposterous. Surely you aren’t so far adrift from reality that you can’t see the grotesque absurdity of your position? Which is that of all contrarians.

    You are claiming that the emperor has no clothes but it is *you* that is bollock-naked and waving your knob about. Go and find a mirror and behold the truth.

  29. #29 Jeff Harvey
    December 5, 2013

    Just for Olaus: a great critique of the people he worships by Chris Hedges…..

    PS: given that you are scientifically illiterate, Oluas, I will let your little Diptera quip go by. I don’t generally work with insects in this order (although they are vitally important critters in many diverse ways and we certainly could not survive very well without them). My research involves plants, insects, and more recently landscapes. Moreover, in my new Professorship I link conservation and advocacy, two words that certainly go well over your head. What was it that you do as a day job again Olaus?…. Oh, of course I forgot! You cannot tell us because you’d be profoundly embarrassed. I understand.

  30. #30 chek
    December 5, 2013

    Nice to see the disciples of Jonarse the Equivocal are still wiling to share their Knowledge Reports from the Arse End of Nowhere, whilst somehow simultaneously lamenting another of their puny outreach efforts.

  31. #31 ianam
    December 6, 2013

    They do not conclude, as you appear to be arguing, that it is ALL because of CO2.

    Stu2 appears to be genuinely too stupid to comprehend the notion of a necessary condition.

    And, of course, unsurprisingly, his motivations are ideological, not scientific, as his citation of Kellows proves.

    a fascination with computer models and an over arching set of values has resulted in a preference and a focus for virtual data over observational data

    The observational data for AGW is overwhelming, but a stupid ignorant dishonest ideologue like Stu2 neither knows nor cares.

  32. #32 Wow
    December 6, 2013

    “perfectly normal weather events has nothing to do with climate”

    Ah, so, panties, how do you determine the climate, then?

  33. #33 pentaxZ
    December 26, 2013

    “Environmental alarmism is by now a well established phenomenon with nearly a four decade long history. In that time, we’ve been on the receiving end of doomsday predictions as diverse as holes in the ozone layer, overpopulation, resource wars, acid rain, a new ice age and the most successful one of all, global warming.

    Since there has been no upward change of global temperatures in over the last decade and a half, that scare had become embarrassingly untenable. In response, the alarmists switched from screaming about global warming to hyperventilating about climate change. That was an explicit admission that their specific prediction of a looming thermogeddon was wrong, which is why skeptics should never use the term climate change but keep on sticking it to them with reminders about the global warming us humans were supposed to be causing, which never actually materialised.

    The advantage about the rebranding away from a specific threat to a vague umbrella term, was that there are potentially a myriad of things which could be blamed on climate change, because climate does actually change. If it got colder, fine, that’s climate change in action. If it actually got hotter, that’s climate change as well. Whether it got wetter or drier, either could be attributed to climate change. It’s a wonderfully flexible scare.

    For example, the by now famous computer models of the UK Meteorological Office (UKMO) predicted a drought for 2012 that might stretch into 2013. Suddenly hose pipe bans were declared and a lockdown of precious water in reservoirs was initiated at the start of the year. After the wettest summer, autumn and winter for years, with attendant flooding and loss of life, what few gullible people left who had any confidence in the UKMO’s predictive powers, finally decided they were totally incompetent. Seemingly believing everyone is suffering from Alzheimers, the escape clause now being used by the UKMO is to blame climate change for one of the wettest years on record. It’s a win win piece of nomenclature.

    The really big advantage of the name change is that not having to prove a specific thing – that the world is heating up – you can cherry pick your proofs of climate change occurring. Any change, real or otherwise, will do.

    There appear to be five generic types of bogus proof that man-made climate change is occurring.

    The first type is studying some really obscure organism, like for instance the South Pacific Snailbat, that nobody has researched in any detail before and concluding their population is in decline because of man-made climate change. It’ll nearly always be a decline, because nobody is interested in population increases, as it wouldn’t gel with their worldview of us humans always damaging the environment. There’s no real longterm data on the species, though usually some sort of historical proxy is found, which indicates a decline. While the layman might think proxy measurements are reliable, they rarely are. It’s all a matter of interpretation, and in some cases, just cherry picking the right hockey stick shaped example which appears to back up the conjecture being made. For lack of a better name, we’ll call that type of proof a Snailbat. We must save the snailbat.

    It’s a very versatile sort of proof. You can do a snailbat on pretty much anything organic, from insects right up to sequoia trees.

    The second type of proof is the computer model predicting something untoward is going to happen. It’s nearly impossible to get across to someone who’s never tried their hand at computer modelling, how limited a domain of problems are actually amenable to modelling. I had a go at that a few years back and a link to the piece is below. The critical factors in any model are the physical nature of the problem, how complete your understanding of the problem is and the parameters, otherwise knows as guesses, built into the model.

    If you don’t really comprehensively understand the problem, no computer, no matter how powerful, is going to help you solve it. Climate is the result of the interactions between an undefined set of systems, many of which would be technically classified as non-linear complex systems. The mathematical reality is that any type of non-linear complex system cannot be modelled for predictive purposes anyway.

    Just to illustrate to you how a lot of very clever, motivated, hard-nosed and financially competent people can walk themselves over a cliff by having blind faith in computer models, consider the case of the hedge fund firm Long-Term Capital Management. They had a couple of Nobel Prize winning economists on board, a battalion of financial analysts and another battalion of software developers. They built a shiny computer model of their own business area and started using it to place their bets on the derivatives market. They bet heavy too, confident in how good their models’ predictions were. There was no way they could lose money.

    The models were wrong. In less than five years, they went from an enterprise with assets of 130 billion USD and a trading position of 1.25 trillion USD, to going broke. It was so big a disaster, that there were genuine fears it might bring down the whole of the derivatives market, which forced a 4 billion USD bailout by the industry itself. A lot of supposedly very smart people lost a lot of money, because of that insidious idea that if a computer predicts something is going to happen, then it must surely be going to happen.

    While no reasonable person would believe anyone can foretell the future for decades ahead, it always amazes me how readily they accept that a silicone chip contraption somehow can. If we don’t know how to predict the future, we can’t program a computer to predict the future. Forget computers, forget science, forget math, it’s actually as simple as that.

    Computers can’t predict the future.

    If you’re a fan of the director Stanley Kubrick’s work, you’ve probably seen his movie 2001 a space odyssey. Although there are other themes in it, one of them is a supercomputer called HAL predicting things which actually didn’t happen. The crewmen believed HAL and suffered the consequences. Put too much uncritical faith in computer predictions and you’ll inevitably end up pleading with HAL to open the pod bay doors. Just tell the suckers that HAL says we’re heading for an eco-disaster, and they’ll believe it. That variety of proof, we’ll call a HALsays.

    The third type of proof is what can only be called a Scarem. Whatever extreme weather event comes along, attribute it straight away to climate change and scare the pants off them. It doesn’t matter if there’s not a single shred of scientific evidence to back up that assertion. The legacy MSM can always be relied on to run with an extreme weather event story and all you have to do is volunteer that opinion to them as a climate expert, irrespective of your qualifications, if any. That’s how tropical storm Sandy magically mutated into a Frankenstorm, as far as the ordinary person was concerned. Scare them, scare them again and keep right on scaring them.

    Next up would be the dark side of proofs. Global warming must be real because skeptics of it can’t be right. They have to be wrong because you’ve got some sort of proof they’re all either insane, conspiracy nuts or child molesters. They’re even the sort of people who should be executed. In all good taste and as a tender mercy to you good reader, I won’t dwell too long on this bottom feeding type of so-called science paper, except to lump them all into the general category of LewPapers, as a hat tip to one of their pioneers. Climate science has truly fallen before the onslaught of its own internal post-normal Visigoths. They own its ass.

    Finally we have weird sorts of Tammany Hall polls masquerading as a proof. There are simply too many ways of rigging polls or post-processing the numbers to yield the desired result, and every one of those techniques is actively used. The whole thrust of them is to give the impression that the threat is real and people are really weally worried about it. By and large, they’re ignored. In a previous article, I compared them to those elections dictators periodically have, which always come out with a 99% vote in their favour. I suppose the apposite name for this stripe of beastie is a DicPol or perhaps more appropriately a DickPol, when you look at the sort of people behind them.

    All of these proofs can be used in various combinations. Just mix and match as required and cook to taste but always take with a pinch of salt. For instance, based on a previous study of them, a new computer model predicts the endangered Snailbat will become extinct in less than a decade unless something is done to mitigate the impact of climate change on them. Of course, when you write it up for your paper, add in a lot of ass-covering caveats but you know the media will skip them all when your sensational research hits the front page. Sure, you’re going to have a squabble with the skeptics but that’ll all happen in the aftermath of the desired headlines and never be reported on anyway.

    You follow it up with a DickPol showing how outraged people are at the desperate plight of the poor suffering snailbat and demanding action. The finishing touch would be to get Greenpeace to launch a Save the Snailbat campaign.

    If that little lot doesn’t get you more research funding, nothing will.

    The Snailbat, HALsays and Scarem proofs rely on the very understandable but very erroneous human perception that the environment not only shouldn’t change, but also something strange is happening if it is. Too much of environmental thinking on all sides is unconsciously based on something I called the steady-state environment delusion in a previous piece. There’s a link to it below, but the following paragraph from it summarises the essence of the idea.

    We look at our world and the universe with human eyes and more importantly, with a human lifespan. In terms of the latter, we see an apparently ageless and unchanging view but it’s a false impression. When looked at through the eyes of “deep” time, it is dynamic, violent and forever changing. There is no ideal static harmonious state which must be maintained. There never was and there never will be either.

    The reality is that the Earth’s climate, like the entire universe, has always, is, and will always change. The fundamentally dishonest thing about all these proofs, is the insistence that we’re the cause behind any change.

    Any real scientific basis for the theory of man-made catastrophic global warming has by this stage been thoroughly shredded. What we’ve got coming at us in the future are; Snailbats, HALsays, Scarems, LewPapers and DickPols, because that’s all they’ve got left to use. Enjoy yourself sorting them into the appropriate categories as they come along.


  34. #34 Lionel A
    December 26, 2013

    What it must be to live a pointless life like ‘Pointless Pointman’ and you.

    You have been advised on reading articles, papers and books by those who know their subject unlike Pointman, so go do some reading from those sources and learn something instead of block quoting acres of bilge.

    Besides, such research findings are not reliant on polls. Poll results have little to do with the accuracy of any question underpinning being based upon opinion if the poll takes in non-specialists as well as research scientists.

    Having said that, how is it you are missing the trends in all manner of markers for changing climate? Must have your head up seventh rock from the sun.

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