First, a note on Lewis Carrol, Alice and Wonderland, and drugs. The current revisionist version of that work is that Carrol was not referring to drugs when he has Alice or other characters imbibe or smoke various substances (including ‘shrooms) and in so doing experience dramatic changes in reality. Uh huh, sure. The argument is based on the belief that Lewis Carrol did not do drugs. That argument is absurd, of course, because Alice in Wonderland and related works ARE FICTION. If these stories can only involve thematic metaphor to drug use by the author actually being on drugs while weaving the yarns, then what exactly do we expect Stephen King’s life to be like? But, I digress and we shall now get on to the point of this post.

There is a new paper by the Conspiracy and Consensus team exploring how climate science deniers, in a conspirational mode, are, essentially, on drugs. Not real drugs, just the metaphorical ones invoked when we think or utter, “What did he say? Man, he must be on drugs.” To be clear, this paper does not actually make the drug connection directly. The connection to the Alice down the rabbit hole metaphor is in the great disparity and incongruence among ideas proffered or claimed simultaneously by the deniers of climate science.

Here’s the details on the paper: Lewandowsky, S., Cook, J. & Lloyd, E. Synthese (2016). The ‘Alice in Wonderland’ mechanics of the rejection of (climate) science: simulating coherence by conspiracism. doi:10.1007/s11229-016-1198-6.

Click the link to get your free copy.

The authors make two key observations, and then explain them. First observation: The climate change denier community is capable of saying, seemingly at the same time, completely different things that contradict each other. Second observation: Same as the first one, but this also applies to individuals. In other words, the internally conflicting disparity of ideas does not solely represent heterogeneity in the denier community. It indicates a lack of need or desire for consistency or internal coherency. Science deniers do not care that they, as a group or as individuals, saying that even though paleo-temperature data from proxies are unreliable, a claim (which is incorrect) can be made that the middle ages were warmer than today. They can say that we can’t really measure atmospheric CO2 levels in the past, but they were higher in the past at particular points in time. And so on. The paper provides numerous examples.

The authors explain this lack of coherency by the fact that there is coherency, but at a different level. Given (or, as an assumption) that this is conspiratorial ideation in action, the deniers know (but are wrong) that there is a conspiracy at a higher level to obscure or hide the truth, or to make stuff up, etc. Therefore, any given idea, no matter how much conflict it implies with other ideas, is acceptable as long as it doubles as a finger pointing to the man behind the curtain, the deep and high level conspiracy. If an idea supports the idea that there is a conspiracy (any conspiracy, or just an unspecified conspiracy of some sort, not a particular one) then it is an OK idea.

I would either mildly disagree with this explanation, or take it one sept further and fully agree with it. I’m still thinking about it.

In dueling with deniers, one thing that very quickly becomes apparent is an utter lack of concern for honesty. One could ask the question, was honesty absent from the beginning, as a character trait of these individuals, or was it sacrificed in service of strong conspiratorial ideation? I think the lack of honesty is critically important, because this is what make it impossible, in a conversation, for the interlocutors to agree on what we are all getting at, or to acknowledge when we are going in a good vs. bad direction with intermediate conclusions or provisional ideas, or to in any way come to any kind of understanding about pretty much anything.

An honest conversation moves towards something, and that something is defined and redefined, and increasingly better understood, as part of the conversation itself. Deniers are not even moving towards a better and more coherent conspiracy. They are, rather, denying every aspect of the mainstream, coherent, consensus-seeking conversation, no matter what it is. You can test this, by engagement in comment sections of newspaper articles and blog posts. You can trick these folks into saying something that favors a normal interpretation of climate science, by simply letting them know that you are agin’ ’em, and then stating the opposite of what you want them to say. In the trenches, detailed positions are not necessarily developed and framed just in reference to the conspiracy by a higher power (the government, the academics, etc.), but also (or maybe mostly?) in simple opposition to whatever a scientist, climate change “believer,” etc. is saying.

That applies, by the way, to about everything one might talk about. On this blog, several folks who showed up as science deniers discovered a conversation about firearms, and engaged fully. And, the same tactics prevailed. I’m not sure how important that is, but those conversations might be worth a look.

This could be all about the Ultimate Conspiracy, and the dishonesty simply arises from the incoherence of the necessary arguments. Or, the Ultimate Conspiracy could be the final (and ultimate) excuse when everything else fails, and fail it must if ever the conversation goes on long enough for everyone to understand that the deniers have contradicted themselves and each other on everything they’ve said.

Either way, the utter lack of honesty must matter. The adherence to honesty in the normal, honest conversation about policy or science, or science policy, is critical. When that breaks down, and people involved in the conversation are working with other objectives, that is when you get serious problems (including post-modernism within academia, damaging political positions in state houses and national capitols, and utter craziness on the internet.) I’m not a psychologist, but I’m pretty sure that disregard for honesty, or the inability to grok honesty, or something, is associated with a range of pathologies. I’d love to see this explored more.

  • ClimateDenierRoundup has more on this paper, here.
  • Graham Readfearn has this: How climate science deniers can accept so many ‘impossible things’ all at once
  • Sou at Hot Whopper has this: Climate Science Denial: A rational activity built on incoherence and conspiracy theories
  • And, now, a musical interlude.

    Comments

    1. #1 Brainstorms
      September 23, 2016

      How does the DSM categorize this detachment from reality and remorseless confabulation? How is it different from DSM-listed sociopathies?

    2. #2 Desertphile
      September 23, 2016

      Conspiracy ideation seems to be the single largest mechanism involved.

      What baffles me is how deniers can, and do, state that which they know is not just wrong, but asinine and absurd. Deniers insist Earth is not warming, for example, but will not apply any risk to their assertion (such as wagering money) that rests upon their assertions being true. This suggests they know their assertions are false, even when they believe their assertions are true— and at the exact same instant. How is this human trait even possible? And how is it not only possible, but common?

      One constantly sees deniers insisting that mutually self-contradictory assertions are true. They constantly refute themselves and their falsehoods.

      Another spooky denier behavior is their need for solidarity. There has never been an assertion so utterly absurd and false made by a denier that has caused his (and, rarely, her) denier pals to correct him or her. Deniers do not correct deniers.

      Conversely, I see skeptics correcting skeptics constantly. Neil degrass Tyson fairly recently posted a “tweet” bout sex that was silly and also wrong; tens of thousands of his fans rubbed his face in it.

    3. […] Well, maybe not ironic, so much as a demonstration of Lewandowsky’s White Queen concept (discussed by Greg Laden too.) […]

    4. #4 RickA
      United States
      September 27, 2016

      Greg says “In dueling with deniers, one thing that very quickly becomes apparent is an utter lack of concern for honesty. ”

      One thing quickly becomes clear – when you argue with Greg or Dean or Brainstorms or Wow (I hope I didn’t leave any regulars out), if you do not agree with them, you are quickly labeled a liar.

      Which is interesting – because in order to call someone a liar, you have to know what they are thinking.

      People are entitled to an opinion, but only if it agrees with you and your group of regular posters. If not, or if you disagree (or worse yet – continue to disagree), why the other person must be wrong. Since anyone could see how wrong the other person is, they must be lying (or sometimes the label is stupid). At least that is how I perceive your rationale goes.

      But I am not a liar. If you could read my mind you would see that I truly believe everything I say or opine about.

      Please prove one lie that I have made on your site. It should be easy for you to prove I am a liar and/or dishonest. Go ahead and prove it.

      I truly do believe that the Earth is warming from human emitted CO2 – but simply not as much as you believe it will.

      I truly do not believe that ALL of the warming since 1950 is caused by CO2 – but that as much as 1/2 the warming could be natural.

      Because I believe these things, I do not see AGW as CAGW.

      That is why I also reject the label denialist or denier.

      After all – what am I denying?

      Yes – the Earth is warming and humans are causing some part of it. But how much of the warming is from humans and how much from nature? That I do not know.

      I see the warming as only 1.5 – 1.8 C from doubling CO2 to 560 ppm (ECS). That is my opinion based on my reading of the evidence and science.

      I do not see sea level rising much more than 1 foot or two, per century for the foreseeable future. That is my opinion based on my reading of the evidence and science.

      I could turn out to be wrong about both of these opinions.

      But I am not lying when I tell you they are my truly held opinions. Go ahead and read my mind and see I am not telling the truth.

      Yes – I know my opinions are in conflict with what you see as the 97% consensus.

      I don’t care – they are still my honest opinions and I believe them, even in the face of the so called 97% consensus.

      Your appeal to authority is not a winning argument to me and does not change my opinion of the evidence and science.

      I truly believe all of these things, based on my reading and studies since 2009, when I got involved in the global warming issue.

      So I see the problem as much smaller than you and your group of posters do.

      To me the action of labeling someone a liar is merely ad hominem.

      Name calling is a sign that the other side is losing the argument.

      So Greg – you should consider the possibility that those you label liars or dishonest are not in fact liars or dishonest, but merely disagree with your opinion.

    5. #5 Brainstorms
      September 27, 2016

      RickA: if you do not agree with them, you are quickly labeled a liar.

      That is a lie. You are perfectly free to disagree with us…

      And if you argue honestly and sincerely, you’ll be respected for it.

      But if you lie, you’ll be called out as a liar. If you’re dishonest and a weasel, you’ll be called out …

      We do NOT have to “know what you’re thinking” (although you make it too obvious most of the time). You merely have to repeat things that you know are false, including those things for which you’ve been pointed to that correct your false assertions. Repeating false assertions that have been proven false and brought to your attention is lying. (And don’t start in with the bullshit about “it’s my opinion”. We’re not talking about opinions; facts are not a matter of opinion — if you think so, go sell that to the next judge you’re in front of.)

    6. #6 RickA
      United States
      September 27, 2016

      How do you know I repeat things I KNOW are false?

      I point to a paper – you point to a paper.

      The papers disagree about what each thinks is going to happen in the future.

      You don’t know if your source is right – I don’t know if my source is right.

      We have to wait to see.

      In the meantime – I am not a liar merely because I don’t agree with you. I have never called you a liar even though you refuse to agree with me.

    7. #7 RickA
      September 27, 2016

      Brainstorms:

      There is no such thing as a fact about ECS @ 560 ppm or sea level rise @ 2100.

      You can tell me what you think they will be and I can tell you what I think they will be.

      Neither is a fact – they are both opinions (speculation if you will).

      Your definition of a fact is incorrect.

    8. #8 Wow
      September 30, 2016

      “if you do not agree with them, you are quickly labeled a liar.”

      But you’re presuming, without any evidence whatsoever, that you’re

      a) not actually lying
      b) that it ever happened in reality

      If we disagree about the value of pi, and you insist it’s elephant and I insist it’s an irrational number close to 22/7, then I’m disagreeing with you and I may call you a liar, but it’s not because we are in disagreement about the value of pi.

      Rightwingnutjobs, such as yourself, are all about the martyr complex. Even if you have to pretend it (see also the eternal annual “WAR ON CHRISTMAS!”). You idiots don’t feel complete unless you’re pretending to be persecuted.

    9. #9 RickA
      September 30, 2016

      Wow #8:

      This comment makes no sense.

      As to a) – I have the burden of proof to prove I am not lying. Sorry – you have that backwards. The person making an accusation of lying has the burden of proof.

      AS to b) – I have been called a liar several times in this very thread.

      The value of ECS when we hit 560 ppm or the sea level rise at 2100 is not the same as the value of pi. The value of pi is a constant and never changes – ECS – not so much. Sea level rise from century to century – not so much.

      A guess about a future value of a variable is not a fact.

    10. #10 BBD
      September 30, 2016

      There is no such thing as a fact about ECS @ 560 ppm

      And:

      A guess about a future value of a variable is not a fact.

      ECS is a probability distribution derived from multiple lines of evidence. The most likely value for ECS is ~3C. As you have been told repeatedly already – several times by me – this is not a ‘guess’.

      Yet once again, you repeat the word ‘guess’. Now that is dishonest. Or you are too stupid to understand what a PDF is in which case this should be your final comment ever on the subject of climate sensitivity.

    11. #11 BBD
      September 30, 2016

      Your definition of a fact is incorrect.

      It is a fact that the most likely value for ECS is ~3C.

    12. #12 BBD
      September 30, 2016

      It’s a fact that warming melts ice.

      It’s a fact that during the Eemian interglacial (the last one 135 – 15ka), global average temperatures were only 1C – 2C warmer than the Holocene average but sea level was >6m higher.

      It’s a fact that your denialism is showing.

    13. #13 RickA
      United States
      September 30, 2016

      BBD:

      3C is the IPCC most likely value today.

      Papers are being published arguing it should be lower (1.8C).

      This number is not settled – it is in dispute.

      What will the PDF most likely value be for ECS when we hit 560 ppm?

      My guess is that the most likely value won’t be 3C – but we will have to wait to see.

      The reason I use the word guess is because we don’t know what ECS will turn out to be until we measure it at some point in the future.

    14. #14 RickA
      September 30, 2016

      BBD:

      It is a fact that we know ECS is a guess because there is a PDF for it. Somewhere between 1.5C and 4.5C with a most likely value of 3C is a guess. That is what the plus and minus 1.5C are for.

      Someday we will be able to measure ECS (just wait for the 97% consensus to say we have reached equilibrium) or at the very least TCR, and then we will no longer be guessing.

      Then and only then can we say we have a fact.

    15. #15 RickA
      September 30, 2016

      BBD:

      It is a fact that sea level has risen 120 meters since 20,000 years ago.

      How much of that was caused by humans?

      Maybe a foot? And that is worst case scenario.

    16. #16 BBD
      September 30, 2016

      1.5C and 4.5C with a most likely value of 3C is a guess

      No. Guessing is what you do when you really don’t have a clue. Here, we have several independent lines of evidence that converge on a most likely value. That’s not a guess, RickA and you are bullshitting – and you must know it because it’s been pointed out dozens of times.

      It is a fact that sea level has risen 120 meters since 20,000 years ago.

      How much of that was caused by humans?

      Maybe a foot? And that is worst case scenario.

      Since you are yet again rehearsing old garbage of yours, you are yet again being dishonest. You know this stuff is garbage. You have had it explained to you enough times. Again, the only possible alternative is that you are too stupid to understand the explanations and therefor should not be commenting on a science blog.

      Palaeo SLR shows what happens when ice melts in response to major climate shifts. Major climate shifts demonstrate that the climate system is sensitive to radiative perturbations because they engage trains of positive feedbacks. This rules out low climate sensitivity (see above). Historic anthropogenic SLR to date is not a guide to future SLR because *that* will be driven by ice sheet collapse which is a non-linear response to warming.

    17. #17 dean
      United States
      September 30, 2016

      “1.5C and 4.5C with a most likely value of 3C is a guess”

      RickA’s limited intellect and lack of knowledge about science, statistics, and probability are probably combining to tell him that “probability distribution” and “guess” are the same thing.

    18. #18 Brainstorms
      September 30, 2016

      No, guys, it’s more fundamental than that. RickA is a liar attempting to defend his cherished lifestyle against any moral considerations that imply he must change.

      He’s not stupid. He’s immoral. He’s not “dishonest”, he’s a liar — one with the lawyerly training to couch his lies in clever rhetoric to make it look as innocent or unintentional as possible. (And the “Golly gee, aw shucks” or “it’s just my opinion” shit only makes it worse.)

    19. #19 BBD
      September 30, 2016

      Papers are being published arguing it should be lower (1.8C).

      This number is not settled – it is in dispute.

      Papers using a methodology that is inherently limited and always produces lowball estimates. As has been explained over and over again. If you don’t understand the technical detail – and let’s be honest, you don’t – then you aren’t in a position to keep braying on about low sensitivity. So stop it.

      What will the PDF most likely value be for ECS when we hit 560 ppm?

      My guess is that the most likely value won’t be 3C

      Of course not, because the temperature when we hit 560ppm will be the transient climate response not the equilibrium. As has been explained repeatedly before.

      This has gone on long enough. You are clueless. You aren’t competent even to have an opinion on climate science, let alone comment on a blog like this. The fact that you persist in doing so despite vigorous pushback underscores just what a lying, propagandising toerag you really are.

    20. #20 Brainstorms
      September 30, 2016

      He keeps braying about it because that’s the outcome he wants it to be — and he’s desperate to get everyone to agree with him. Then he can avoid feeling guilty.

      RickA is not stupid. He’s not clueless. He has a technical degree (which he pretty much disabled by getting a legal degree afterward).

      I’m sure he understands what you’re trying to tell him. He just insists that you agree it’s not true — for his self-serving sake.

    21. #21 RickA
      United States
      September 30, 2016

      You three are funny.

      You three don’t even know the difference between a hypothesis and a fact.

      And once again, you resort to calling me a liar because I refuse to agree with you about something that hasn’t even happened yet.

      Proving my point (again).

    22. #22 RickA
      September 30, 2016

      Brainstorms said ” He just insists that you agree it’s not true . . .”

      Not accurate.

      I am not asking anybody to agree with me that something is true – or false for that matter.

      The value of ECS (or TCR) is not subject to being true or false at the present time. Either value is indeterminate at this time. In other words no one knows what ECS or TCR are or will turn out to be.

      I simply refuse to agree that we know what it is because the IPCC says it is probably 3C plus or minus 1.5C. They may be right. They may be wrong. It is indeterminate.

      Only after we hit 560 ppm and then reach equilibrium can we actually determine what ECS is, and then decide is someones guess is true or false, right or wrong.

      Until then, we are just waiting.

      Yes – you three cannot bully me into agreeing to state as fact someones guess about a future value. That makes you angry.

      Tough.

      But I am not bullying you three into agreeing with me about anything. I have always said ECS might turn out to be 3C – but that we simply don’t know if that will turn out to be the correct value. It might turn out to be 1.6C or 1.8C or 2.0C.

      We have to wait to see.

    23. #23 dean
      United States
      September 30, 2016

      “You three don’t even know the difference between a hypothesis and a fact.”

      My comment was about your ignorance of the relevant topic. But it seems I was wrong – your comment was made from dishonesty, it seems.

      You are not being “bullied” either, mr. sensitive. The points are clearly made to show others that your repeated comments of “Yeah, but we don’t really know anything, because …” are complete crap.

    24. #24 BBD
      September 30, 2016

      And once again, you resort to calling me a liar because I refuse to agree with you about something that hasn’t even happened yet.

      No, the problem arises because you deny the evidence that clearly points to an ECS of ~3C without even understanding what it actually is.

      A persistence that is (IMO correctly) characterised as dishonest.

    25. #25 Brainstorms
      September 30, 2016

      RickA, the best I can do, trying to be charitable to you, is to conclude that you are a Scientific Nihilst.

      But I find it terribly hard to believe that’s a viable defense against your pig-headed stance that Science can’t actually inform us of anything useful.

      It’s LONG been proven true that Science can, and does, provide us with useful information about the physical world on which we can, and should act.

      AGW is one of those cases. Clearly. Enough that a HUGE majority of educated scientists are in STRONG agreement that this is so.

      I’m terribly sorry that this stands to cost you money and lifestyle. You’ll lose it anyway. Nature will bitch-slap you sideways when you try to pull the “opinion”/”can’t really know”/”have to wait and see” shit.

    26. #26 RickA
      United States
      September 30, 2016

      BBD #24:

      I am content to let history judge whether I am a liar, simply wrong or even shown to have been right.

    27. #27 Obstreperous Applesauce
      September 30, 2016

      Just out of curiosity, RickA, do you know the difference between a hypothesis an a model, and are you one of those people who thinks that evolution is “just a theory?”

      Brainstorms, determining what a deluded person knows and doesn’t know is not a simple matter.

    28. #28 Brainstorms
      September 30, 2016

      OA, no it’s certainly not simple.

      But it can be a fun parlor game.

      (Which is part of the reason I come here when I’m waiting on my PC to finish up…)

      Let’s face it, we’re not tilting critical elections or deciding the fate of nations on this blog.

      Any success we have in getting RickA to respect the engineering degree he clams to have gotten will not turn the world around.

      …and the lurkers are sure to be having a good read. Even now. (Hi, all !)

    29. #29 RickA
      September 30, 2016

      Brainstorms #25:

      I do agree science is very useful.

      Perhaps someday, you will understand the difference between an estimate of what the DOW will be in 25 years versus the actuality of what it turns out to be in 25 years.

      Perhaps someday, you will understand the difference between an estimate of ECS at equilibrium and the actuality of what ECS turns out to be.

      But I am not holding my breath.

      Feel free to vote to spend trillions to prevent a catastrophe which may not even happen. I will vote as I see fit (should a bill to deal with this actually see the light of day).

      By the way – the climate of Minnesota is very much improved. No bitch-slapping going on here (as of yet). Lake levels back up, aquifers recharged, crops doing very well, degree days over 90F down – all in all very pleasant.

    30. #30 Brainstorms
      September 30, 2016

      Feel free to vote to spend trillions to prevent a catastrophe which may not even happen.

      Your Honor, the Prosecution considers this an admission of guilt and rests its case.

    31. #31 RickA
      September 30, 2016

      OA #27:

      I believe I do.

      A hypothesis is a statement which can be tested.

      A theory is what a confirmed hypothesis becomes.

      A model is just a mathematical (usually) tool embodying the hypothesis, which if confirmed becomes a law (E = mc^2).

      Yes – evolution is a theory, because it is a hypothesis which has been confirmed. I certainly believe in evolution.

      I certainly do not believe I am delusional (but then I would think that even if I was, wouldn’t I).

    32. #32 RickA
      September 30, 2016

      Brainstorms:

      You see it as an admission of guilt.

      Well – yes – I am guilty of not being able to see the future.

      You, perhaps, are guilty of thinking you can see the future.

      I prefer to wait and see what actually happens – rather than just assume my guess about what will happen is accurate.

      I wonder who history will judge is more realistic and grounded in reality?

    33. #33 BBD
      September 30, 2016

      I wonder who history will judge is more realistic and grounded in reality?

      I don’t. Physics always has the last laugh.

    34. #34 RickA
      United States
      September 30, 2016

      BBD:

      I agree – physics does always have the last laugh.

      Physics gives us the no-feedback CS of 1.2C.

      The rest is voodoo and parameterizations and guessing. The rest is why the actual global temperature is not following the models or even the ensemble of the models (the usefulness of which I reject anyway).

      I am waiting to see what physics decides the actual feedback will be, over and above the computed 1.2C no feedbacks amount.

      Then of course, we also need to figure out how much of the warming we have experienced is due to CO2 emissions and how much is from other causes (natural and other human impacts).

      That is yet to be sorted also.

      So yes – physics has the last laugh – but who will it be laughing at?

    35. #35 BBD
      September 30, 2016

      Physics gives us the no-feedback CS of 1.2C.

      The rest is voodoo and parameterizations and guessing.

      Then explain the PETM.

    36. #36 RickA
      United States
      September 30, 2016

      BBD #35:

      Happy to.

      It wasn’t humans that caused it.

      It was nature and physics that caused it.

    37. #37 BBD
      October 1, 2016

      So a massive hyperthermal caused by a natural release of carbon into the atmosphere is somehow different physics to a massive hyperthermal about to be caused by a human release of carbon into the atmosphere…?

      Are you on drugs?

    38. #38 RickA
      United States
      October 1, 2016

      BBD #37:

      According to wikipedia “At the start of the PETM, average global temperatures increased by approximately 6 °C (11 °F) within about 20,000 years.”

      I was not able to find CO2 ppm estimates or an ECS estimate for the PETM – so I don’t know how long it took to double extant CO2 levels, what they started at and where they finished CO2 wise. Did temperature spike (and if so how much) and then rise slowly? Or was it a linear rise during the 20000 years? I dont’ know.

      It was surely the same physics at work – but different conditions (no ice for example).

      What is your understanding of what happened during the PETM, especially the initial period right after the massive CO2 increase?

    39. #39 BBD
      October 1, 2016

      Oh FFS stop wriggling.

      On the table we have: one massive hyperthermal and its associated massive carbon isotope excursion proving that it was caused by a geologically abrupt and significant release of carbon into the atmosphere. We have a median estimate of the scale of the release of ~3000GtC, yielding an atmospheric increase of ~700ppm CO2. We have a possibly conservative estimate of the global average temperature response of 5-6C. We have an estimate of Palaeocene CO2 concentration *before* the PETM event of ~1000ppmv. This last bit is very important.

      It matters because the PETM was forced by a perturbation of the Palaeocene carbon cycle. To avoid miscomparison with Holocene conditions, it’s vital to remember that the 5-6C PETM warming was probably forced by no more than a doubling of CO2.

      Sure this is the full ESS response, not the fast-feedbacks-only ECS *but* the cryosphere was negligible or absent in the Palaeocene so there was no slow ice feedback. This brings the ESS closer to the ECS, and – troublingly – hints that there might be a significant amplifying feedback in play. One candidate would be a carbon cycle feedback – land surface as source rather than sink.

      Whatever the case, the PETM demonstrates very clearly that there is no merit to contrarian rhetoric about the no-feedbacks CO2 sensitivity, voodoo, parameterisations and guessing.

      You have few options:

      1/ admit that you do not understand the above and stop posting ignorant, politically-motivated bollocks about climate sensitivity

      2/ admit that you do understand the above and concede that yes, you are spouting shite on this topic and agree to cease

      3/ repeat your ignorant and unequivocally-debunked bollocks and demonstrate beyond any doubt that you are a liar knowingly repeating falsehoods for political motives (they cannot be scientific)

    40. #40 BBD
      October 1, 2016

      I was not able to find CO2 ppm estimates or an ECS estimate for the PETM

      Probably nearer to 4C than 3C for the Cenozoic as a whole. See Hansen et al. (2013).

    41. #41 RickA
      United States
      October 1, 2016

      BBD:

      Whatever gave you the idea that I claim an understanding of the PETM? Or of the climate?

      I am not a climate scientist.

      I read and I observe.

      What I read and observe leads me to believe that we (and I include everyone) do not understand the PETM or the climate.

      We have hypothesis, which have yet to be confirmed.

      The models, which embody our current hypothesis, are not very accurate – diverging from reality in just a few years, and are overestimating warming.

      That means we do not understand the climate yet.

      Given all that, it is prudent to take peoples estimates of what will happen with a grain of salt – which I do.

      Personally, I think the feedback warming (added to the no feedback warming calculated from physics) will turn out to be less than estimated, because observations show that it has been less than estimated.

      Personally, I think ECS will be less than 3C, because observations show a trend of less than 3C (about 1.8C).

      I will continue to read and observe and I will continue to post what I think of what I read and observe.

      Feel free to ignore me (or not), as you choose.

    42. #42 BBD
      October 1, 2016

      What I read and observe leads me to believe that we (and I include everyone) do not understand the PETM or the climate.

      More evidence denial because the evidence is inconvenient.

      Personally, I think the feedback warming (added to the no feedback warming calculated from physics) will turn out to be less than estimated, because observations show that it has been less than estimated.

      No, they don’t. Straight up misinformation. I keep telling you that the misnomered ‘observational’ estimates (actually derived by forcing a EBM – an energy balance model) are methodologically problematic and always produce underestimates of S. Learn and stop repeating your debunked talking points.

      Personally, I think ECS will be less than 3C, because observations show a trend of less than 3C (about 1.8C).

      Bollocks.

    43. #43 RickA
      United States
      October 1, 2016

      BBD:

      You sure do like telling other people what to do.

      You have to look at all the evidence.

      Energy balance models and GCM’s, and everything else.

      You say energy balance models are problematic.

      I say GCM’s have been shown to be problematic.

      You say bollocks.

      I say wait and see.

    44. #44 BBD
      October 1, 2016

      You sure do like telling other people what to do.

      Evasion #1

      You have to look at all the evidence.

      I have and you have not. So follow your own advice.

      You say energy balance models are problematic.

      They are. See Richardson et al. (2016) and Marvel et al. (2015).

      I say GCM’s have been shown to be problematic.

      Except they haven’t – see Richardson16 and Marvel15. And *saying* stuff isn’t an evidentially-supported argument. It’s just noise.

      You say bollocks.

      When necessary:

      Personally, I think ECS will be less than 3C, because observations show a trend of less than 3C (about 1.8C).

      This is bollocks. There’s been about 0.9C (some say 1C) warming since pre-industrial period (by convention 1750). Most of it since 1950. CO2 has risen from a pre-industrial 280ppm to 400ppm (so up by 120ppm). So the transient response to 120ppm CO2 is 0.9C or thereabouts.

      The transient response is held to be approximately 60% of the equilibrium response (ECS) so let’s go back of the envelope:

      0.9 is 60% of 1.5

      Calculating the delta T at equilibrium using the method in Knutti & Hegerl (2008) assuming ECS to be 3C per doubling of CO2:

      ΔT = S ln(CO2/CO2(t=1750))/ln2

      ΔT = 3ln(400/280)/ln(2) = ~ 1.5C at equilibrium

      So observed transient warming is exactly what we’d expect if ECS = 3C. Exactly.

      Which is why your claim that observations are consistent with an ECS of 1.8C is bollocks.

      Now, I distinctly remember going over this calculation with you before so WTF are you doing repeating debunked rubbish?

      Remember that you can:

      1/ admit that you do not understand the above and stop posting ignorant, politically-motivated bollocks about climate sensitivity

      2/ admit that you do understand the above and concede that yes, you are spouting shite on this topic and agree to cease

      3/ repeat your ignorant and unequivocally-debunked bollocks and demonstrate beyond any doubt that you are a liar knowingly repeating falsehoods for political motives (they cannot be scientific)

    45. #45 Brainstorms
      October 1, 2016

      RickA is pointing out that since there exists some uncertainty, and that uncertainty encompasses a dangerously high ECS, we <have no other choice than to “spend trillions to prevent a catastrophe which may happen“.

      Which is simply being conservative and prudent. Like, say, buying insurance.

    46. #46 Brainstorms
      October 1, 2016

      RickA also wants to point out that even if the likely catastrophe were not to happen, the trillions of dollars spent, and the overall changes brought about by doing so, will provide a wide range of significant benefits in many areas and is worth the money spent no matter what the ECS value is. Ergo, we really must spend that money. And quickly.

    47. #47 RickA
      United States
      October 1, 2016

      BBD:

      I don’t think all of the warming since 1750 is caused by humans – some portion is natural.

      I don’t think all of the warming since 1950 is caused by humans – some portion is natural.

      So you calculation – which attributes all of the warming to CO2 emissions is faulty (in my opinion).

      So your calculation is bollocks (in my opinion).

      Brainstorms – money is fungible. So trillions spent on mitigation is money not spent on food, heating, clean water, generating electricity and the like for millions of people worldwide.

      That is a waste, if not absolutely necessary.

      But do what you want with your own money.

    48. #48 BBD
      October 1, 2016

      I don’t think all of the warming since 1750 is caused by humans – some portion is natural.

      I don’t think all of the warming since 1950 is caused by humans – some portion is natural.

      So you calculation – which attributes all of the warming to CO2 emissions is faulty (in my opinion).

      So your calculation is bollocks (in my opinion).

      So what evidence do you have to support your opinion?

      You have seen mine.

    49. #49 Brainstorms
      October 1, 2016

      It *is* absolutely necessary. And even if it weren’t, it would bring benefits that in & of themselves would prove worthwhile.

      “Those trillions” would not be spent on the idle rich for yachts, European vacations, expensive automobiles, private jets, and other such crap that’s not needed by any human being.

      But we don’t even need to go there. It *is* absolutely necessary. Without pursuing this, all those things you listed –and a lot more– will be LOST. And the suffering will be GREATER.

      It’s going to be my money, your money, your neighbor’s money, etc. And the money of the idle rich that’s squirreled away in illicit bank accounts overseas. (The world’s total tax evasion is estimated at between $24 and $32 trillion — more than enough to pay for what we need.)

    50. #50 RickA
      United States
      October 1, 2016

      The evidence I find interesting is:

      1. The warming from 20000 years ago to 8000 years ago.
      2. The ocean rising 120 meters from 20000 years ago to present.
      3. The climate optimum from 8000 years ago to about 4000 years ago (warmer than present).
      4. The medieval warm period.
      5. The fact that the glaciers started retreating from about 1850.
      6. The warm period from about 1905 – 1945.

      All of which happened well before CO2 levels were significantly impacted by human emitted CO2 (most of which has happened since 1950).

      All of these pieces of evidence tell me that nature plays a very large part in climate change. Nature didn’t just stop impacting climate starting in 1950.

      I believe that nature could be causing as much as 1/2 of the warming – which means ECS could be 1/2 the value if you attribute all warming to CO2. So ECS could be around 1.5C, which interesting is close the the value the energy balance work (observationally constrained) which you just blithely dismiss.

    51. #51 RickA
      October 1, 2016

      I left out the word “shows” – work shows.

    52. #52 RickA
      October 1, 2016

      Brainstorms:

      Well you are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine.

      You vote your way and I will vote mine – and we will see what happens.

    53. #53 BBD
      October 2, 2016

      The evidence I find interesting is:

      1. The warming from 20000 years ago to 8000 years ago.
      2. The ocean rising 120 meters from 20000 years ago to present.
      3. The climate optimum from 8000 years ago to about 4000 years ago (warmer than present).
      4. The medieval warm period.
      5. The fact that the glaciers started retreating from about 1850.
      6. The warm period from about 1905 – 1945.

      1. Orbital forcing, now at minimum – we should be cooling
      2. Ice sheet response to orbital forcing
      3. Orbital forcing (mainly precession)
      4. Not global, synchronous or as warm as the present, but evidence that climate is sensitive to fairly small forcing changes
      5. Beginning of anthropogenic influence – could be black carbon as well as CO2
      6. Solar and low volcanism – and long gone

      Please remember that transient natural variability is not additive – warming from millennia, or centuries or decades ago doesn’t persist. As the climate warms, so it radiates more energy to space and cools down again as soon as the forcing is reduced. When you look at the combined forcings responsible for modern warming, you will see no evidence whatsoever that natural forcings are the main drivers.

      So, in summary, you have no evidence to support your beliefs. Why then have you not changed them?

    54. #54 RickA
      United States
      October 2, 2016

      BBD:

      At least you are now saying I am wrong – and not calling me a liar.

      That is progress.

      I have already admitted that up to 1/2 of the the warming we have experienced since 1750 is due to humans (black carbon, CO2, land use changes like deforestation and cities).

      I just don’t believe that natural causes shut down in 1950.

      The most recent el nino is a good example.

      About .25C was moved from the ocean into the atmosphere in one year (or less). Totally natural. We have no way of knowing how long ago the heat that the ocean belched up was first put into the ocean. It could be from 30 years ago or 20,000 years ago.

      But in one year, nature just did 1/4 of the total warming from 1750 (of the atmosphere). That doesn’t count ocean oscillations, or cosmic rays influencing clouds, or the suns magnetic field (which is low at the moment) influencing clouds via the heliosphere, and so on.

      So I am waiting and seeing.

      We need more data – like 120 years more.

      Until then, I say ECS could be 3C, but it could just as likely be 1.8C.

      No one knows the answer yet.

      Not me and not you.

      But if you want to push for a certain policy in the face of our great uncertainty – go ahead.

      I don’t know yet what the best thing to do is – other than using nuclear to generate as much electricity as possible – which I consider the right thing to do no matter what ECS turns out to be.

      Until we know more – I will continue to read and observe.

    55. #55 BBD
      October 2, 2016

      I have already admitted that up to 1/2 of the the warming we have experienced since 1750 is due to humans (black carbon, CO2, land use changes like deforestation and cities).

      I just don’t believe that natural causes shut down in 1950.

      So, where are they? What natural forcing is driving modern warming (or 50% of it)? Evidence please.

      The most recent el nino is a good example.

      No, it’s not. ENSO is an oscillation. Oscillations boost and depress surface temperature but over time the net effect is self-cancelling. Oscillations do not – cannot – drive multidecadal trends. We’ve been through this before btw, so why you are still going on about ENSO is mystifying. Are you on drugs? I know they can damage short-term memory.

      We have no way of knowing how long ago the heat that the ocean belched up was first put into the ocean. It could be from 30 years ago or 20,000 years ago.

      No. If modern warming was driven by a transfer of energy from the ocean to the atmosphere, OHC would be falling NOT increasing sharply as observed.

      At least you are now saying I am wrong – and not calling me a liar.

      Don’t be so sure. Remember, you can:

      1/ admit that you do not understand the above and stop posting ignorant, politically-motivated bollocks about climate sensitivity

      2/ admit that you do understand the above and concede that yes, you are spouting shite on this topic and agree to cease

      3/ repeat your ignorant and unequivocally-debunked bollocks and demonstrate beyond any doubt that you are a liar knowingly repeating falsehoods for political motives (they cannot be scientific)

      You are currently doing (3).

    56. #56 BBD
      October 2, 2016

      We need more data – like 120 years more.

      Bollocks.

      Until then, I say ECS could be 3C, but it could just as likely be 1.8C.

      More bollocks. You have been told often enough that the most likely value for ECS – derived from multiple lines of evidence – is ~3C. It is very unlikely that ECS is as low as 1.8C, not least because we’ve observed at transient response of 0.9C to 400ppm.

      Please remember that the values within the range are a probability distribution – they are NOT all equally likely. You constantly treat them as if they were, and this is simply incorrect. You’ve had this pointed out many times, so perhaps you would be good enough to stop now.

    57. #57 Wow
      October 3, 2016

      “Until then, I say ECS could be 3C, but it could just as likely be 1.8C.”

      Currently about 1.2-1.4C warming and we’re not at equilibrium, and we’re less than a doubling of CO2, so we’re looking at more than 2.4C per doubling based on everything we’ve got as actual hard evidence so far.

      Quite how someone can get “as likely 1.8C as 3C!” is only explicable by someone who doesn’t CARE what reality is. Which won’t change even if we get a doubling and see 3C of warming.

      Ergo, there’s no validity to their claims AT ALL.

    58. #58 Wow
      October 3, 2016

      RickA at 9 “Wow #8:

      This comment makes no sense.”

      Correct, your comment made no sense.

      It ALSO made no sense admitting it right at the start.

      “As to a) – I have the burden of proof to prove I am not lying”

      Nobody is claiming that. Except you.

      IF YOU ARE LYING, CALLING YOU A LIAR IS NOT A SLUR. IF you want to make the claim you made that we only call you liar because you disagree with us, THE BURDEN OF PROOF OF THAT IS ON YOU.

      “AS to b) – I have been called a liar several times in this very thread. ”

      No you weren’t. That is a lie.

      post#5

      RickA: if you do not agree with them, you are quickly labeled a liar.

      That is a lie. You are perfectly free to disagree with us…

      It is a FACT that your statement was a lie. You weren’t called a liar, the claim you made was called a lie.

    59. #59 Brainstorms
      October 3, 2016

      Wow gets it: RickA doesn’t give a shit what reality is — provided no one makes a political move that results in him being forced to change his lifestyle.

      So he keeps acting stupid and peddling lies, hoping to manipulate the gullible, looking for science experts to agree with his agenda. (He picked the wrong blog for that.)

    60. #60 Jane Cristina
      NEW YORK
      October 24, 2016

      Hey, guys why are arguing like this. Please be calm until everything gets to settle down. You all have valid reasons on your point. But still, you need to think about others point too.

    61. #61 Wow
      October 24, 2016

      Do you have to think about the point of the paedo priest? What about the multiple murderer, or the suicide bomber?

      Do we have to consider the point of those who claim pi is precisely the integer 3?

      Some points are just plain wrong. And you should think about that point.

    62. #62 BBD
      October 24, 2016

      But still, you need to think about others point too.

      But I *have* thought about RickA’s points. Perhaps more carefully than he did. You can read the results above.