A Few Things Ill Considered

Let’s continue the Hockey Stick Open thread, as suggested by skip, under a new title.

A great place to pick it up is skip’s most excellent response to a comment from crakar. He totally nailed all of crakar’s various diversions and strawmen.

This thread is about how and why people choose their positions in the faux climate debate.


Skip said:

I would be prepared to bet all the tea in China that every study I produce that supports my views would be rejected by you in an attempt to support your own views of AGW

If you keep citing weak, partisan crap like Inhoffe and Singer (see below), you will probably get to keep your tea, especially since your demonstrated history is to cite things you clearly have not even read.

And of course you couldn’t cover that bet, Cracker, which is why you make it so glibly. But that’s ok; I’m American and drinking little tea is part of our legacy of rebellion against the Crown. You Commonwealth folks prize it more than we do.

Note: some of the following text has been copied from an article, an article which expresses my views on the IPCC.

From the very beginning, the IPCC was a political rather than scientific entity, with its leading scientists reflecting the positions of their governments or seeking to induce their governments to adopt the IPCC position. In particular, a small group of activists wrote the all-important Summary for Policymakers (SPM) for each of the four IPCC reports [McKitrick et al. 2007].

You of course lifted this from one of Fred Singer’s reports (he copied and pasted from one to the other so I don’t know which.) The absurdity of this source is manifest. He cites the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine survey (let me know if you want to debate the validity of that joke), includes as a contributor Zbigniew Jaworowski (Lawrence Solomon’s “ice core man”, a quack who has been debunked into orbit), and your good mate Christopher Monckton. Not exactly an all star list of first rate intellects or scientific credentials. (I can’t speak to the others, to be fair.) I am also aware that some claim that Singer’s book, *Unstoppable Global Warming . . .*, has been shredded, but since I have not read either his book or these critiques I would have to take a wait-and-see approach to that. It might have been discussed on the “medieval warm period” thread. You tell me, Craker; I honestly don’t know.

While we are often told about the thousands of scientists on whose work the Assessment reports are based, the vast majority of these scientists have no direct influence on the conclusions expressed by the IPCC.

False. Their *research* is the underpinning of the summaries.

Those [reports] are produced by an inner core of scientists, and the SPMs are revised and agreed to, line-by-line, by representatives of member governments. This obviously is not how real scientific research is reviewed and published.

We’ve been through this. The IPCC report is not “research”. It’s a *research summary*, the essential conclusions of which are *agreed* to by an overwhelming majority of scientists who specialize in climate science and many of whom contributed to the report. If you understand the process of collaboration and co-authorship you would understand that a small number of report writers is a *practicality*, not a cover-up.

The IPCC’s FAR 1990 reported without much analysis claimed that temp changes were “broadly consistent” with GH models, it arrived at a climate sensitivity of 1.5 to 4.5C
The IPCC’s SAR 1996, Its SPM contained the memorable conclusion, “the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.” The SAR was heavily criticized,

Of course. Some people don’t want to believe it.

point 2 was supposed to highlight the hypocrisy of Al Gore. We had a prime minister some years back that owned shares in a pig farm, this particular pig farm benefitted from a change in gov policy and the PM was forced to sell his shares or resign. If PM Rudd stood ready to earn squillions from CO2 taxes via personal interests he would be drummed out of office because he would have a conflict of interest. As Al Gore stands to earn squillions from the very threat that he warns us about, people may be excused for thinking he has an ulterior motive. As per point 1 Skip you can disagree if that is your want but it does mean you are right and I am wrong.

Narratives at full throttle: “One of ‘your’ guys is bad. This (somehow) proves I’m right.” I don’t actively agree or disagree. I am indifferent. If Al Gore snorts cocaine while listening to death metal and engaging in sexual congress with barnyard animals it *has no bearing on our disagreement*. This is a total red herring, Craker.

In regards to unintended consequences, if you believe wholeheartedly in the IPCC and its associated apocalyptic scenarios

I don’t “believe” in them as certainties, Craker, and neither does the IPCC. They are prospective *threats*–possibilities, risks against which we should prudently hedge, especially since the supposed “costs” associated with said hedging are also associated with collateral benefits. I’ve said this again and again; you just ignore me (see below).

then maybe you will accept the case for drastic times calls for drastic measures, I on the other hand are not like you.

Set up a straw man and start torching, Craker. Translation of the above: “Now that I’ve established that you believe something ridiculous ‘wholeheartedly’, allow me to contrast my practical minded self with your silliness.” Its extremely important for you to believe that I support cloud seeding (or that my position requires me to, were I only clever enough to see it), isn’t it Craker? Keep that narrative cranking, baby. I’ve told you I really don’t know enough about it (I’ve only read a couple of articles and they focused on the politics and philosophy of it) and that my proposals for acting on climate change are far simpler (tweak the incentives to reward reduced use and investment in alternatives–but this is for another thread.)

I have seen the results of poorly planned and thought out actions of well meaning scientific bodies (cane toads etc) I am sure you can share some examples from your country

[and so on about the folly of environmental tinkering].

Granted. But this is the same lame guilt-by-association. And you’re off on a soliloquy launched by nothing but your repeated refusal to accept what I say at face value: *I’m not supporting proactive environmental manipulation.* In fact, I’m supporting the reverse.

To wit:
. . . [after listing off several examples of human's dicking up the environment through ill considered efforts at conscious manipulation] So we now have a ticking time bomb in our midst’s, unintended consequences Skip.

I agree that’s both very possible and very bad. And *human carbon emissions* might *also* be one of those, Craker! The only difference between the human activity of raising the CO2 levels in the atmosphere and these failed experiments you mention is that our emissions were never intended for any environmental or other benefit. They were strictly for our convenience. If you can see the folly of unintended consequences for these other programs (which were localized), how is it that AGW–a potential worldwide phenomenon–escapes the same scrutiny for potential damage? Its because of narratives, Craker. You don’t *want* to see it (my attribution).

3, Consensus, what is it? Well it is a group of people that agree with each other. Nothing more nothing less, if there is a consensus does this mean we automatically assume they are right? Of course not, science is not done by a show of hands is it. History is littered with incorrect consensus, so lets not confuse scientific fact with appeal to authority ok.

When you travel on aircraft, drive a car, live in a code-approved home, or accept modern medical care, you are taking your chances with a scientific, peer reviewed consensus. And that’s what I’m doing, Craker, when I say we need to hedge against risk and act to prevent the potential long term damage of AGW. This is a recurring theme in my experience with debating deniers: Any element of uncertainty (which is unavoidable in science) is interpreted as an excuse for inaction. Your above logic amounts to, “We can’t be sure AGW fears are founded [and I agree we can't, strictly speaking], so we should assume they are *not*. Fire up the Hummer.”

Also you asked for quotes and I gave them, now you say they are no good. Toll says IPCC alarmism is preposterous and a small warming would be OK (less deaths in Germany etc).But this is no good now, now you change the rules,

Wrong. You were claiming that your link proved your outrageous claim that, “”one by one self respecting scientists are turning away from the AGW theory and declaring themselves as sceptics.”

I showed simply that it does nothing of the sort. The ham-handed quote of Tol (who does *not* support Inhofe’s position on the AGW position or how policy should handle it) was an example of this. It is you who has changed the goalposts, now changing your claim about the link to it contains experts “who all spoke poorly of the IPCC.” (whatever exactly that means, and in any event its not the same thing, Craker. Beating me to the punch on the *accusation* of goal moving does not change the fact that it was you who sucked it in closer to yourself when I caught you red-handed “dogma propping” (more on this below.

you ridicule meteorologists in post # 77

Not with regards to meteorology, but I question their relative credibility in commenting on climate issues, yes.

but in post #42 you use them to prop up your own views.

Wrong. I only pointed out the survey results for their field because in my experience deniers lean heavily on sources from that specialty. They are not mentioned to support *my* views, but only to show that on average they do *not* support yours. The 97 percent figure for climate scientists was the money finding.

I do find it hard to follow your train of thought sometimes Skip.

You would have a fun conversation with my wife.

I counted 28 IPCC employed scientists that spoke poorly of the IPCC, 10 from Never A Straight Answer and 4 from NOAA plus a host of other scientists etc who all spoke poorly of the IPCC. No, someone did not use the exact phrase “AGW is a crock of shit”

Nor had anyone who has studied climate science from that list ” turn[ed] away from the AGW theory and declar[ed] themselves as [a] sceptic . . .”

you were looking for, granted but I believe my point is made.

The new or the old one?

By the way there is no such thing as a Climate scientist,

I think we’re getting closer to the key issue here. Convince yourself of this and you can believe (or disbelieve) just about anything, I can imagine. Its like saying there are no “medical researchers”, “aerospace engineers”, “design engineers”, or anything else where we have a vested interest in learning about the biological and physical worlds because, after all, all of them, like climate studies, “cover many fields and there is not one person in the world that could profess to be a master of them all.”

Also you may have got a little confused (my fault) “Also i would like to add, this link as a demonstration to both you and Eric that the masses are made to accept the AGW propoganda, a statement which you have both have lambasted me for making.–Craker”

This was referenced to the link showing Antarctic sea ice. I wanted your thoughts as to why the masses are only told about melting ice and not freezing ice.

I confess not to understand the science of this at a technical level. However, a sophisticated understanding of AGW recognizes that its effects are non-linear. If increased precipitation from AGW causes increases in Antarctic ice, then that’s the way it is. This is no more impressive than pointing out that some glaciers are increasing their ice mass, because you would not expect such glacial declines to be linear. But save this for another thread; I’m not your man on this issue, I admit. But your use of this as a silver bullet looks like blatant cherry picking of anything that comforts your narrative.

To finish off (did I cover everything Skip?)

See below.

So in summary, You believe in the IPCC conclusions.

Well, I think we should act on them, yes.

whereas I reject some aspects of it.

Which aspects do you not reject?

You believe in the computer model predictions out to 2100 whereas I reject it due to our lack of understanding of the climatic processes.

I am willing to act on those models to hedge against risk.

You believe and take refuge in the comfort of the consensus

We’re homing in on the core of this narrative interpretation on which you appear to lean so heavily. I have repeatedly explained in a manner that continues to apparently confound you that I do *not* take comfort in the consensus. It seems very, very difficult, Craker, for you to conceive of someone being convinced of something for reasons other than they *want* it to be true. I have a fairly strong hunch as to why.

I will repeat my real “narrative” for you benefit:

“*Based on the results of a scientific process and its *overwhelming* consensus, we believe that AGW is real, and very possibly dangerous enough to merit actions that are socially and economically tolerable–and undeniably beneficial in other ways.*”

Only one of three things could be going on here, Craker:

(1) I’m lying about my narrative. I’m just *pretending* to be worried about long term AGW, and really the thought of AGW destruction and/or socialistic oppression to address it gives me a big, fat Woodrow, and this conditions me to ignore excellent evidence that it is wrong, or

(2) I’m telling the truth about myself but I’m *deceived*. I’m an automaton who just dumbly “accept[s] the AGW propaganda” and who “believe[s] [my] politicians past and present will to the best of their ability make decisions with [my] best interests at heart regardless of their conflict of interests . . .” Along with the other drones, I do this to the detriment of prosperity, freedom, etc., or

(3) I’m telling the truth about myself–AGW and deniers’ apparent obstinacy about it is distressing to me, and thus I have *no reason* to block out information that would relieve me of this fear. As a result, when I reject the likes of Singer, Monckton, etc., it is because I think *they’re full of shit*, Craker. I would *rather* believe them, but I can’t. I have investigated the issue and I know the overwhelming reasons to fear AGW.

I understand that from halfway around the world you can’t know for sure, of course, which of these is true. But what makes more sense? Have you done *anything* even approaching what I have done to give the denier side a fair chance? Have you done anything like read three books picked by the other side and explained in detail why they are wrong? (My 46 page essay is at your disposal.) My guess, Craker, is that you have not. My perception is that you troll the net looking for things that you think confirm what you hope is true, regardless of their credibility, as this recent Inhofe debacle shows. You’re fishing for “proofs”–for confirmations of your narrative. I call the process “dogma propping”: “Here’s someone who says I’m right. Maybe I don’t really know what it says, but it proves me right.” And the by the way, this is in purist conformity to experiences I’ve had with other debates with deniers. The last guy once tried to send me a link with the *caveat* that he wasn’t even endorsing it. It’s a concession: “My proof is somewhere–maybe here; maybe not–I’m not saying either way. But read it just in case it proves me right.”

Whereas I realize a consensus means nothing when searching for scientific truth.

Then, to put WAG’s point another way: Give me an example of what means “something”. A key problem you must confront at some point, Craker, is that AGW is either true and dangerous or its not. When deciding whether to act on it, what do we have to go on *other* than the scientific consensus? You’ve got to take your chances with something, and I’ll throw my chips in with the IPCC. You prefer Monckton and Singer, and it looks like you prefer them simply because they say what you want to hear.

You believe your politicians past and present will to the best of their ability make decisions with your best interests at heart regardless of their conflict of interests whereas I reject this notion completely.

Straw man. You have every opportunity to ask me my opinion of the role of government and the potential pitfalls of engaging it (or not) to solve social/political/environmental problems, but you’re not interested in that. You want to *tell* me what I think. Why? It looks like you need to believe what you wrote above because, again *it fits your narrative*.

You believe in the AGW theory and are not prepared to consider any other option regardless of the implications

I just considered another option: The possibility that your link to Ihofe’s list was proof that, “”one by one self respecting scientists are turning away from the AGW theory and declaring themselves as sceptics.” You were just blatantly fishing and hopoing at that point. Since you didn’t deliver, yes, I am still stuck for now with my trust in the scientific consensus.

whereas I reject the theory of AGW based on a lack of evidence, if such evidence does comes to light then I will reconsider my position.

What evidence would that be for a bloke who says “a consensus means nothing when searching for scientific truth”? What would it take, Craker–a lunar billboard with a sign from God? An epiphany a la Homer Simpson? (“Spider pig . . . Spider pig . . . does whatever a spider pig does . . p. )Forty days of fasting and prayer? You tell us you’re unimpressed with a consensus even as you tell us all you need is evidence. If it is true that climate studies “cover many fields and there is not one person in the world that could profess to be a master of them all,” then as laymen we have to rely on secondhand sources in formulating our view. If not a consensus of them, then what? What would it take, Craker?

Skip you can break all this down into a simple Freudian exercise if you want but the above facts will not change for you. I on the other hand not constrained by preconceived beliefs have the ability to change my point of view.

Borderline hilarious. I repeat my questions from above.

The best example that immediately springs to mind is the missing hot spot, the mere fact that the hot spot does not exist clearly falsifies the theory of AGW, if the hot spot suddenly appeared for all to see then I would seriously consider the theory of AGW to be very robust and highly plausible.

I don’t know what this issue is but if there’s a thread on AFTIC point it out to me.

You and all of the dart throwers here do not care that the hotspot is missing, you yawn and wave your hand nonchalantly and then point to Arctic sea ice, sea level rise or show photos of polar bears.

You reject studies that do not conform to your beliefs not by any scientific measure but by simply labeling the author as a nutjob and a liar, thus shielding your belief system from the real world because that’s where you feel most comfortable.

Or in your case, if the document does not support your claim.

Yes, it is a screen full, for sure, but well constructed and thorough.

Crakar, you said you were working on a response, post it here.

While we are waiting for crakar to respond to skip’s actual arguments, how about we deal one at a time with his 5 diversionary tactics? I will schedule five threads over the next five days so we can focus on each point, please stay strictly on topic.

Point 1: the geological record and the past 70 years.

Point 2: the models only have 16 parameters, it’s not enough and they are failing.

Point 3: the Argo ocean temperature product shows cooling oceans

Point 4: sea level rise has dropped from 4ft/century over the last 10000yrs to just 8 inches in the last century

Point 5: peer reviewed literature all shows CO2 has a residence time of 7 years in the atmosphere, the IPCC says 100.

I know they were just offered as a fallback dodge of Skip’s uncomfortable dissection, and he has been answered on them all numerous other places here, but lurkers should not see them go ignored.

Comments

  1. #1 skip
    October 21, 2009

    Clever title, Coby.

    Nicely done.

    If I’d known you and WAG were going to distribute this with such vigor I would have written it more formally and less like two chaps just sniping at each other, but be that as it may . . .

    Have at, Crakar.

    Skip

  2. #2 skip
    October 21, 2009

    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200910/media

    Great article in the *Atlantic* that I read a couple of weeks ago, folks. Up front: Global warming is not a topic, but it strikes me as thematically consistent with the idea of narratives and why we believe what we believe–and how we go about believing it. the author is critical of the anti-intellectual nature of American media/political discourse, where loudmouth TV commentators are looking to score PR points for their “side” instead of actively attempting to understand, and then defend, the truth.

    Reading some of the denier posts here reminded me of this. Snowman: Yours in particular are a stunning microcosm of this trend. You seem to instinctively think that as long as you keep posting–no matter how absurdly–and never admit when you’re wrong, now matter how obviously you are, that in a sense you’re still somehow “right”–or at least in the game.

    Its as fascinating as it is disturbing.

    Skip

  3. #3 Snowman
    October 21, 2009

    Skip – The thing that strikes me most forcibly in this entire debate is the fact that qualities such as scepticism, suspicion of orthodoxy and a distaste for the bandwagon mentality would in any other area of enquiry be considered virtues. But somehow in the looking-glass world of climate alarmists these characteristics have become reprehensible.

    Conversely, an enthusiasm for contemptuous attacks on those who have a different point of view has become – not a sign of a weak argument – but a thoroughly admirable trait.

    The point is not original, of course, and others have made it before me. Nevertheless, it is the single most remarkable aspect of this whole issue.

    Look back through the posts over recent weeks. Read the language employed by your AGW pals. Ask yourself if these are the attitudes of sensible people. Consider whether these denunciations and sneers would lead a reasonable and impartial person to conclude that their case is sound.

    Let me anticipate your reply. You will say that deniers have been told times without number that they are wrong and you are right – yet they simply will not listen. But Skip, this is always the refuge of the of the intolerant dogmatist.

    The very word denier captures the essence of the AGW classes. Is possible to conceive of a single other area of scientific debate where one side would employ such an arrogantly condescending term?

    Let me try to think of an illustration. String theory comes to mind. As you may know if you have followed the topic, this is an aspect of theoretical physics that in recent years has given rise to passionate arguments. However, it is beyond imagining that string theory advocates would call their opponents deniers.

    What is it about AGW proponents that leads them to act this way? This, I suppose, is a question for future analysts when the AGW craze of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century has come to be seen for what it is: another moment of madness to be added to the long list of mass popular delusions.

  4. #4 Snowman
    October 21, 2009

    Oh, and by the way, Skip, I read the article in The Atlantic. As I am not an American, I really don’t have a view on the suitability of this lady for the Supreme Court. However, while the article was undoubtedly interesting, it did, it seemed to me, dodge the main point.

    The fact that these clips were dug up by political opponents as part of a PR campaign seems to me to neither here nor there. That is always how politics has worked. Surely this is less important than whether or not these bits of film accurately represent her opinions on crucial matters. And if they do, shouldn’t American voters be entitled to see them?

  5. #5 dhogaza
    October 21, 2009

    Skip – The thing that strikes me most forcibly in this entire debate is the fact that qualities such as scepticism, suspicion of orthodoxy and a distaste for the bandwagon mentality would in any other area of enquiry be considered virtues

    Bull. We don’t consider it a virtue to argue that the world is flat, that the moon landing didn’t happen because going there would break the 2nd law of thermodynamics, to argue that observed characteristics of a particular gas must be wrong because the consequences make one unhappy, etc.

    *reasoned* skepticism and suspicion of orthodoxy is traditional in science. Dishonest blathering is not.

  6. #6 laolaolao
    October 21, 2009

    Seconding what dhogaza said on your first point,

    Let me anticipate your reply

    is where you, Snowman, take off to the realm of your warped imagination.

  7. #7 Michael
    October 21, 2009

    DOH!GAZA!
    Why do you continually mention the “flat earth” argument?
    Please, oh please come up with another way to say that?

    As usual you have only quoted one section of snowman’s post. Why do you do that?
    He wrote a lot more than just that. Instead of just throwing another poor strawman in, why not come back with a reasoned argument on each point?
    I think I can read english fairly well, and in all honesty, I cannot see where snowman is blathering dishonestly.
    Could you please clarify it for me?
    (I’d prefer it not be abusive, thanks)

  8. #8 skip
    October 21, 2009

    Michael and Snow:

    The fact is Dhogaza beat me to the flat-earth argument. I’d love to elaborate but my wife insists I comfort her while she recovers from watching *Sixth Sense*.

    I don’t see dead people, but the idea that they “see only what they want to see” seems somehow resonant right now.

    Take care, gents.

    Skip

  9. #9 Matt Bennett
    October 21, 2009

    Michael,

    dhogaza’s point is highly valid. We simply (and rightly) don’t value clinging to ideas that have been VERY CLEARLY debunked. You seem to miss the point that it matters not one whit whether YOU in particular have understood that it has been debunked. It is enough that those smart people working in a particular field understand when an idea has been effectively invalidated and quietly shift their investigations to more relevant lines of inquiry. So be it if the masses take a couple of decades to catch up.

  10. #10 ali baba
    October 21, 2009

    What about suspicion of orthodoxy and distaste for the bandwagon mentality that we evolved? Or that HIV causes aids? Snowman is tossing word salad — I hope you do not believe scientific consensus and social norms have the same ontology? Because almost all the hostility to global warming can be attributed to politically and economically conservative dispositions and organizations, which are orthodox by their nature. The thing that strikes me forcibly is how casually and without any self awareness denialists will arrogate the positive attributes of science for themselves while at the same time projecting their deficits onto scientists. For example, they are skeptical of research — unless it was self-published by the Astroturf Institute for the Retention of Material Privilege, by an accountant who’s never done a lick of field work in his life. The mountain of evidence that coheres around global warming vs. a few grasping factoids it doesn’t means warmists inhabit a looking glass world, not heterodox rebel bloggers united against carbon taxes. It’s laughable.

  11. #11 crakar14
    October 21, 2009

    Ali,

    Now i am not picking on you but whilst you may be correct on some level when us rejecters of the AGW theory dispute research that does not fit our views, i for one can attest that the believers do exactly the same thing and not only that they take it to another level.

    I have stated previously that i would change my views if the evidence changed and one example i gave was the missing hot spot. The hot spot is THE central plank, THE corner stone, THE very foundation of which the AGW theory is built upon and after 21 years of searching it is nowhere to be found. Thus the AGW theory has been falsified, or one would think. The fact that this vital piece of evidence is missing to the believers is simply dismissed as a minor annoyance.

    Now one has to question as to why? Why would this not bother you? How can you continue to believe in a theory that has been falsified. Can you please explain why this is Ali as i am at a loss.

    Thanks in advance

    Crakar

  12. #12 ali baba
    October 22, 2009

    Google has found the missing hot spot here, here, and here, among other places.

  13. #13 skip
    October 22, 2009

    I have stated previously that i would change my views if the evidence changed and one example i gave was the missing hot spot. The hot spot is THE central plank, THE corner stone, THE very foundation of which the AGW theory is built upon and after 21 years of searching it is nowhere to be found.

    Crak:

    I came to this blog late. Please explain in your own words what you think this “hot spot” issue means.

    Skip

  14. #15 coby
    October 22, 2009

    Skip,

    Tomorrow’s “crakar” post is about the hotspot.

    Crakar, I hope you will explain exactly how you came to the conclusion that this obscure feature of modeled climate is so central, but on that thread please.

  15. #16 Jeremy
    October 22, 2009

    Wow,

    It’s too bad we have to use words to describe concepts, because it’s just so easy to invest a word with extra meaning and then argue about the word itself rather than the concept. Who cares whether you’re called an AGW skeptic, denier, or rejecter? Any proposals for how we get all the world to agree on one correct title for each side so this can officially become a non-issue? How much breath should we waste on this?

    Either way, simply replace the word “consensus” with the word “bandwagon” and you have jumped from “believer” (or at least “realist”) to “denialist.”

    “Consensus,” in the scientific sense, is arrived at through myriad independent studies, following many lines of reasoning and logic and discovery. It is arrived at by people who I’m sure would love to make the one single discovery that debunks a massive theory like AGW, but whose careers are built upon accuracy and correctness — people who could go from legitimate scientist to crazy quack if they were found to have falsified their work. Consensus is not something people pull out of thin air, but rather a realization that all the available evidence, gathered and tested by many people over a long period of time, supports a certain theory.

    So to refer to a broad scientific consensus as a “bandwagon” is ludicrous. The socio-political result may be (or at least resemble) a bandwagon, but that’s as close as it gets.

    I think Skip really gets to the heart of it when he points out that deniers ask for evidence but are unilaterally unwilling to consider the enormous and varied body of work that already exists as evidence; and if this work by experts, from which a consensus opinion can be drawn, isn’t evidence, what is? Who can provide evidence if not a whole bunch of experts?

    And I enjoyed Skip’s comparison (although potentially a can-o-worms in this arena) to other elements of our lives. Yes, every time you take prescription medication or fly Jet Blue you are “subscribing” to scientific consensus. Scientists can’t prove that this medication won’t kill you or that your plane won’t drop out of the sky, but many experts have made careful observations and tested those theories from many angles over a long period of time and arrived at the same conclusions. Voila: consensus. Sorry that potentially catastrophic man-made climate change isn’t as fun as pills and flying.

  16. #17 skip
    October 22, 2009

    Crakar: I pasted this from the old hockey stick thread.

    You need to get your eyes checked out, or sleep more. those two posts do not contradict each other. In one i say the consensus is a very small group of IPCC scientists

    This might be your reddest herring to date. You never actually said that (our dispute was in the context of the Donbar et al study in which I pointed at that 97 percent of climate specialists agree with the AGW “orthodoxy” as Snowman might so ineptly put it), but for the sake of argument let’s assume you *did*.

    You would still be utterly *wrong* and utterly at odds with science. To say that you’re only disagreeing with a consensus [that] is a very small group of IPCC scientists is like saying, “I’m only disagreeing with a *few* of the people who say the Earth is round.” (My homage to dhogaza, who’s been posting with relative civility lately.) If 15 astronomers wrote a summary document in which the crucial conclusion was, “We’re certain the Earth is round,” and you tried to argue that they were just hijacking the process for some political end (as flat-earthers do), you’re not just contending with *them*, Craker. You’re taking on an *overwhelming* body of evidence and scientific *consensus*. The overwhelming scientific consensus *agrees* with the IPCC. Just because not every single scientist physically wrote a line on the document does mean you’re only arguing against the few dozen that wrote the summary.

    So back we go to the as-yet unanswered question:

    [Pasted from by thread-starting post:]
    *What evidence would that be for a bloke who says “a consensus means nothing when searching for scientific truth”? What would it take, Craker–a lunar billboard with a sign from God? An epiphany a la Homer Simpson? (“Spider pig . . . Spider pig . . . does whatever a spider pig does . . p. )Forty days of fasting and prayer? You tell us you’re unimpressed with a consensus even as you tell us all you need is evidence. If it is true that climate studies “cover many fields and there is not one person in the world that could profess to be a master of them all,” then as laymen we have to rely on secondhand sources in formulating our view. If not a consensus of them, then what? What would it take, Craker?*

    You’ve already thrown all your chips on the “hotspot” question. Since I know nothing of the issue I will watch this with interest, and give you the benefit of the doubt by following your arguments and posts, but I have to admit, Crakar: Your track record suggests that this will just be one more bullshit dead end.

    and the second i say the IPCC have ignored many other (34) studies per residence time which only goes to show they have ignored what you might call a consensus.

    You have been routed on this inane point about “residence time”, and according to others with a longer history with this blog, its not the first time. Show some pride, man. I suspect, Crakar, you are an attorney (ITC involvement, articulate writer, well-educated [in matters not pertaining to science]) and you instinctively regard this is a litigation contest, where the idea is to get as many barbs in as you can and swiftly leave topics that hurt your case or where your weakness has been exposed for the purpose of swaying a jury or arbiter and get the “win” even if your side is wrong. You don’t find facts and use them to prove a point, but accumulate “points” to try to sell a—lo and behold—“narrative”, right or wrong.

    But Craker, you have been *demolished* on this residence time issue. I was actually interested when you posted all those cites (“Wow!, I thought, maybe Crak’s onto something keen here!”) until I realized the stunt you were trying to pull: pretending that the consensus on residence time of *individual* CO2 molecules is a dirty little secret the IPCC is desperately trying to hide when in fact it’s a mundane aspect of climate science. Have some self respect, for godsake. You might get away with something like that in a courtroom where all you have to do is convince 12 half-wits that OJ is innocent, but you’ll never pull that shit off here (especially with sharks like dhogaza lurking in the water) , so why even try?

    I will again repeat another of your unanswered questions from an earlier post from “hockey stick”:

    *I would also like to ask you a rhetorical question, Crak: Regarding the authors of the peer reviewed studies [about residence time] that you just listed, whom you’ve implied the rest of us would call “liars and nut jobs” because you mistakenly think we’d be threatened by their findings–what to you think *their* views on the *general* AGW hypothesis are? Do you think they would be more likely to agree with the IPCC–or with you?*

    (I would also qualify this to “the ones who are still alive”, because many of those blokes published decades ago and are not around to give us their opinion of AGW or any other subject.)

    Snow:

    Oh, and by the way, Skip, I read the article . . .

    There’s a first time for everything.

    As I am not an American, I really don’t have a view on the suitability of this lady for the Supreme Court. However, while the article was undoubtedly interesting, it did, it seemed to me, dodge the main point.
    The fact that these clips were dug up by political opponents as part of a PR campaign seems to me to neither here nor there. That is always how politics has worked.

    Missing the point—and the relevance to our dispute–of course. Those “clips” were cherry picked to *score points for a partisan cause*. They were used to *distort*, not inform—just like Crakar trying to sneak past us this inanity about the residence time of CO2. The fact that you see nothing wrong with this illustrates—yet again—that you see this not as a dispute about science but, in your own words, “first and foremost, a political debate.”

    From your earlier post from “hockey stick” about the behavior of those who rip you and Crak:

    Let me anticipate your reply. You will say that deniers have been told times without number that they are wrong and you are right – yet they simply will not listen.

    No, Snow. You and Crak have been *shown* times without number that you are wrong. (This is not to justify the “pond scum” and similar appellations but just to explain where the frustration comes from.) Your glib cheering of Crakar’s preposterous “residence time” claim is just one example where you jumped on Crakar’s sinking ship based on nothing but preference and delusional hope.

    But Skip, this is always the refuge of the of the intolerant dogmatist.

    No, Snow, *this* is the refuge of the intolerant dogmatist:

    You know that nothing you say will convince Crakar or me . . .

    Skip

  17. #18 kilo aldırıcı
    October 22, 2009

    I think Skip really gets to the heart of it when he points out that deniers ask for evidence but are unilaterally unwilling to consider the enormous and varied body of work that already exists as evidence; and if this work by experts, from which a consensus opinion can be drawn, isn’t evidence, what is? Who can provide evidence if not a whole bunch of experts?

  18. #19 skip
    October 22, 2009

    Hey Coby:

    I’m not trying to take over your blog so sorry I keep making suggestions. But the problem of individuals hogging bandwidth by repeating the same tired claims even after getting routed needs to be addressed somehow. I don’t know the blog’s history but some of the veterans are saying that Crakar has barked up this “residence time” tree before and been smashed, and only defaulted to it when he wanted to avoid points from my initial post on this thread.

    Along with the “Snow Report”, where we can start tracking every time Snowman repeats one of his debunked claims as part of this bizarre project of trying to assert his way to “victory”, I propose one dedicated to Crakar:

    “The NutCrakar Suite”

    The idea is that you track the number of times particular “high rate offenders” keep repeating themselves on certain topics, now matter how wrong they are, on separate links devoted just to them.

    Skeptical posters new to the blog would still be encouraged to post challenges because that’s genuine dialogue, but for the recidivists there would be this public, electronic pillory.

    Skip

  19. #20 Thom
    October 22, 2009

    Speaking of contrarians….Roger Pielke Jr., to be exact….Lambert is throwing a Pielke Pity Party over at Deltoid.

  20. #21 Snowman
    October 22, 2009

    It’s a bit rich Skip bothering his head about taking up bandwidth when he seems incapable of writing less than a novel-length post on any topic. Skip, you need a firm editor.

  21. #22 skip
    October 22, 2009

    I’m *detailed.*

    (Was that short enough?)

    Skip

  22. #23 crakar14
    October 22, 2009

    Coby et al,

    Maybe i am not being clear in post 11, the purpose of the post was to try and understand the fundemental differences in the way some percieve evidence etc. I wanted Ali and anyone else to describe why they beleive in something when there are possible flaws, hot spot being one of a few examples. I was not interested in debating the technical issues just as to why this possible flaw is overlooked.

    Even after a bit of confusion i got my answer, we know sat and radio sonde data cant find the hotspot warming at thrice the rate of the surface but apparently believer friendly sites have found it. So thankyou to all those that responded.

    To Skip,

    I read your long and exhuastive narrative about me and you are right i did not bother to respond in the end quite simply because it was completely and utterly wrong. Now dont get upset but how could you know. You dont know me, we have never met, we have never conversed apart from throwing darts at each other here so how could you be able to accurately write a narrative about me? Unless of course you are some sort of psychic and even then i doubt you could even come close.

    Now it is one thing for the administrator of this site to quote me in a “How to” thread which by the way i dont mind him doing after all it is his site, but it is another for someone like yourself a suedo psychic insomniac to start putting restrictions on the people you dont like. Have i ever suggested you keep your posts to within 10,000 words? Have i ever said that your phsycho mumbo jumbo babblings of the human mind are a complete and utter crock of shit? No of course not but i suppose thats the difference between me and you isnt it.

    If it wasnt for myself, snowman and to a lesser extent Michael all you lot would be doing is sitting around patting each other on the back waiting for the rapture.

    So i will leave you know Skip to your mumbo jumbo and navel gazing as i am long past tired of conversing with people of your ilk.

    Good luck Michael and Snowman, if you want to converse again maybe Coby can give you my email address.

    Cheers and good luck to you all

    Crakar14

  23. #24 Ian Forrester
    October 22, 2009

    crackhead said:

    the purpose of the post was to try and understand the fundemental (sic) differences in the way some percieve (sic) evidence etc.

    Anyone who has even the most basic of a science education will see that it has got nothing to do with perception and everything to do with honesty.

    The deniers only have a position against AGW because they consistently lie, distort data, cherry pick, misinterpret data and other dishonest actions.

    Why do you lot persist in your dishonest ways?

  24. #25 Jeremy
    October 22, 2009

    I hope Crakar is serious about leaving. I’ve only followed this thing for a day and I’m already exhausted by his ability to cram dozens of scientific inaccuracies, irrelevant topics, misleading arguments, and errors of grammar and logic into a matter of only a few hundred words.

    One of the worst: calling Skip’s well-organized and detailed explanations of science “mumbo jumbo.” Skip proves himself to be very well-spoken, a great arguer, and very fair. He willingly concedes points where he knows he lacks information or is just wrong. He gives the benefit of the doubt when something is untested.

    Not once have I come across a fervent denialist about which I can say the same. Frustrating, to say the least.

    Coby, however you choose to handle folks like Crakar, keep up the good work and the attempt to remain civil.

  25. #26 skip
    October 22, 2009

    I hope Crakar is serious about leaving.

    I confess I am not.

    Snowman might be right about one thing: he and Crakar might be completely unreachable. That’s sad because my guess is they are both fine guys in a different context.

    However, even if *they* cannot be convinced, their presence on this blog serves a crucial purpose–for the audience of people such as yourself. I *want* these issues debated–rationally, honestly, and with as much civility as possible in a situation where both sides see so much threat from the other.

    Crakar:

    I want to emphasize what I said in my first post to you way back when. It is *not* personal. If my harsh critiques came off as such it was not my intention. (I know how difficult it is sometimes to separate argument from the arguer. That’s the tricky business of disagreement.) But don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    I welcome your contributions, but simply reserve the right to speak my honest perceptions of them.

    Best,

    Skip

  26. #27 Snowman
    October 23, 2009

    You know Skip, you have more than once hinted that if we were all to meet in real life we would get along just fine, and I believe you are right. We’d have a beer or two, talk about life, football (sorry Skip, soccer to you) and anything else that came to mind. As long as we avoided One Particular Topic everything would be just dandy.

    But, with some reluctance, I have decided to join Crakar and ride off into the sunset. I guess I feel that we are just going around in circles (my fault as much as anyone’s) and there is little more to be said.

    So, goodbye Skip. It’s been good knowing you, even in this slightly strange virtual world.

    Best wishes (genuinely).

    Snowman

  27. #28 ali baba
    October 23, 2009

    I shall miss the pitter-patter of little feet.

  28. #29 WAG
    October 23, 2009

    WUWT’s latest attempt to warp a study’s findings to fit his narrative concerns a Canadian study on midges as temperature proxies in northern Canada. Amazing how he can misinterpret things so badly. I’ve attempted a debunking here:

    http://akwag.blogspot.com/2009/10/cold-logic-of-hockey-sticks.html

    Have I got my facts straight?

  29. #30 Marco
    October 23, 2009

    Coby, there’s a Turkish spambot here…

  30. #31 skip
    October 23, 2009

    Final thoughts on the surprise departures of Crakar and Snowman:

    I have to confess that with the big “hotspot” debate looming this caught me off guard.

    It has often been said that most of us could clear half the room if we shared our genuine opinions; it looks like I managed to clear people from two hemispheres from a combined distance about 14,000 miles. (Is my breath that bad?) Coby, I honestly didn’t mean to be so repugnant so as to frighten away your contributors. I’ll stand down at your request.

    To some it might seem like an undignified stomp on the head of two fellows trying to gracefully duck out of an uncomfortable situation, but in fact the last two posts by our late antagonists really do illustrate (I know, yawn) *narratives.” I don’t assume anyone cares, but for the benefit of anyone who still might, and the record, a couple of things need to be pointed out.

    From Crakar:
    Maybe i am not being clear in post 11, the purpose of the post was to try and understand the fundemental differences in the way some percieve evidence etc. I wanted Ali and anyone else to describe why they beleive in something when there are possible flaws, hot spot being one of a few examples. em>

    There are so many incorrect implications in this statement. I cannot speak for Ali Baba, but most people who “believe” in AGW that I know do it in the manner that I do: It’s a credible threat. Its not that “flaws” are “overlooked”, but that they are understood as limits to our predictive precision *or* they are presumed to have been *looked over* carefully by scientists and deemed not flaws at all. The reason I believe the consensus despite not knowing the “hotspot” issue (for example), is that *every* time I have investigated one of these supposed “consensus busters” (phony lists of “deniers”, bogus claims of “rigged data”, prominent “skeptics” who turn out to not even question the fundamental AGW hypothesis) the same thing happens every time: *It turns out to be complete horseshit*, and the denier who directed me to the issue/argument had sent me off on a pointless goose chase.

    I was not interested in debating the technical issues just as to why this possible flaw is overlooked.
    Observe the strategy of avoidance. Assume the very thing in question (that us witless drones “overlook” the issue), but then retreat from having to defend the earlier insistence that

    I have stated previously that i would change my views if the evidence changed and one example i gave was the missing hot spot. The hot spot is THE central plank, THE corner stone, THE very foundation of which the AGW theory is built upon and after 21 years of searching it is nowhere to be found.

    It looks to me that poor Crakar originally thought he was going to strike like a panther with this hotspot deal, but at the very last moment realized he didn’t have the cards to go all in. (I will, in honor of Crakar, follow the thread and see what arguments such deniers as are still with us might make, but my guess is the beast dhogaza will soon feed.)

    To Skip,

    No terms of endearment, but I liked the personal attention.

    I read your long and exhuastive narrative about me . . .

    In the end I don’t think Crakar was terribly clear on what “narrative”, as I have been employing it, really means. He seems to use it at least somewhat as synonymous with “posting”, but for clarification, it refers to the internal storytelling mechanisms that all of us have and through which we filter our understanding of the world. We’re typically not even aware of them, which is exactly why must try our best to do so nonetheless. I sense the whole discussion was becoming very uncomfortable for Crakar (and Snowman.)

    and you are right i did not bother to respond in the end quite simply because it was completely and utterly wrong.

    goodbye cruel world

    Now dont get upset but how could you know.

    “Forgive them, Father. They know not what they do”

    You dont know me, we have never met, we have never conversed apart from throwing darts at each other here so how could you be able to accurately write a narrative about me? Unless of course you are some sort of psychic and even then i doubt you could even come close.

    “You want the truth . . . You can’t *handle* the truth!”

    Again, this (at least to me) looks a lot like a person in turmoil. Crakar has been called everything under the sun on this site: “fucking idiot”, “denier dirtbag”, “rotted pond scum”, and so forth. He has been stolid; typically responding with friendly deflection. But probing into possible narratives, and contrasting the ones he advertises through his statements with the likely ones that define AGW “believers” became too much—or so it seems to me; I too am subject to narratives, and must always guard against their possible deceptions as best I can manage.

    And Crakar, when making this statement, had obviously forgotten the numerous times he attempted to “accurately write a narrative” about his antagonists. To wit:

    You believe and take refuge in the comfort of the consensus . .
    . .. you believe your politicians past and present will to the best of their ability make decisions with your best interests at heart regardless of their conflict of interests whereas I reject this notion . . . .
    . . . you believe in the AGW theory and are not prepared to consider any other option regardless of the implications . . .
    . . . you can break all this down into a simple Freudian exercise if you want but the above facts will not change for you. I on the other hand not constrained by preconceived beliefs have the ability to change my point of view . . .
    . . . you and all of the dart throwers here do not care that the hotspot is missing, you yawn and wave your hand nonchalantly and then point to Arctic sea ice, sea level rise or show photos of polar bears . . .
    . . you reject studies that do not conform to your beliefs not by any scientific measure but by simply labeling the author as a nutjob and a liar, thus shielding your belief system from the real world because that’s where you feel most comfortable . . . .

    There is no question that Crakar had his own “narratives about the narratives” when trying to understand us, and was not afraid to share them. It is also worth noting that none of these claims was justified by a reference to a direct quote—whether by me or any other of the AGW proponents who post here. But when Crakar was quoted *directly* as part of an effort to suggest/disentangle *his* narratives (see my intro essay for this thread), he was appalled that I would have the temerity to think I could “accurately write a narrative about [him].” Again, I too am subject to narratives and all the human failings of perception, but this looks a lot like someone getting hit very close to home—and feeling it.

    Now it is one thing for the administrator of this site to quote me in a “How to” thread which by the way i dont mind him doing after all it is his site,

    This is probably part of it, too. Crakar was not just outclassed, but outnumbered, and we’re all human. Its tough to lay your heart out and get lambasted daily. Dhogaza and Ian think he deserved it. Maybe; I still have a soft spot for the bloke. Of course I didn’t have to put up with Crakar’s shit for the last three years. Still I leave I’ll leave death and judgment to whatever God there is.

    but it is another for someone like yourself a suedo psychic insomniac to start putting restrictions on the people you dont like. Have i ever suggested you keep your posts to within 10,000 words?
    . . . If it wasnt for myself, snowman and to a lesser extent Michael all you lot would be doing is sitting around patting each other on the back waiting for the rapture.

    Here Crakar attempts to construct himself as the martyr, a modern day James the Younger stoned to death by ungrateful AGW zealots for merely preaching the gospel of reasoned skepticism. I *never* proposed a restriction on Crakar—only that Coby begin a thread where his repeated fallacies be noted as such.

    Have i ever said that your phsycho mumbo jumbo babblings of the human mind are a complete and utter crock of shit? No of course not but i suppose thats the difference between me and you isnt it.

    “I’m such a nice guy I’m not even going to tell you how full of shit you are.”

    So i will leave you know Skip to your mumbo jumbo and navel gazing as i am long past tired of conversing with people of your ilk.

    “I will fight no more forever.”

    This was almost painful to read. The spelling, the repetition of “mumbo jumbo” . . . was he drinking?

    Did you guys ever see *Glenngary Glenn Ross*? When I read this I couldn’t help but think of Ricky Roma’s (Al Pacino’s) final comment to Ed Moss (Ed Harris) as the latter storms out of the office screaming:

    Moss: “I’m going back to Milwaukee! Nothing’s accomplished here!”
    Roma: “What’s this? Your fair well speech? Your fair well to the troops?”
    Moss: “Oh, fuck you! Fuck the lot of you! Fuck you all!”
    Roma: “Have a nice trip.”

    I could burn in hell for this, I know. I shouldn’t ridicule the poor bloke, but I can’t resist.

    Good luck Michael and Snowman

    “And I’ll miss you too, Snow Man. But most of all you, Scarecrow.”

    Cheers and good luck to you all
    Crakar14

    A gracious bow out, to be sure.

    And thus ends a legendary tenure.

    One line from the abominable Snowman deserves mention.

    But, with some reluctance, I have decided to join Crakar and ride off into the sunset.

    And thus depriving us ingrates of the riches of his insights. Snowman will no longer cast his pearls before swine.

    I am not aware that Snowman made any point that was not either (1) a secondhand distortion of something he did not read, or (2) a “hip, hip huzzah!” for Crakar. I think he leaves under duress, not reluctance.

    Coby, I’m already starting to miss these guys in a perverse way. Any chance for a “Crakar/Snowman Memorial Thread”?

    If my flippancy becomes too annoying please feel free to shoot me down and shut me up, but I can see a place in the future to develop a whole vocabulary and nomenclature specific to this blog inspired by these dearly departed. Dhogaza could go off and try to “win one for the Crakar”. When a denier makes some asinine argument about ice core data or some such nonsense we could say, “Whoa. Its Snowing pretty heavy.” The possibilities are endless.

    Crakar and Snow: maybe we’ll meet in cyberspace again sometime. I wish you well, mates.

    I don’t know who is still interested in this “narrative” thread but I’ll still drop in occasionally with novel material that I think is relevant to the matter and/or to contribute to whatever discussion there might be.

    So until the rapture, I’ll just keep patting your back, Coby.

    Skip

  31. #32 dhogaza
    October 23, 2009

    Coby, I honestly didn’t mean to be so repugnant so as to frighten away your contributors. I’ll stand down at your request.

    Oh, no, it’s a public service. I think most of us stand in awe of your ability to drive crack and snow off.

    Though I rather suspect they’ll be back …

  32. #33 Chris Winter
    October 23, 2009

    It amazes me that certain people are still trying to attack the idea of a consensus on global warming. But since they are, I offer this brief clarification:

    The difference between a political consensus and a scientific consensus is that in the latter the way we vote does nothing to determine the way things work.

  33. #34 coby
    October 24, 2009

    Skip, don’t sweat it. Like you said, crakar stuck around through some pretty abusive verbiage so I am hardly going to hold you responsible if he decides to leave.

    I may take up your idea of a “memorial” posting for crakar and Snow, because I have very different opinions of each of them and it is an interesting contrast.

    People come and go as they please on blogs, who kows the real reason, and goodbye is rarely forever anyway : )

  34. #35 WAG
    October 27, 2009

    Joe Romm has a good story from the AP, where they asked a bunch of statisticians to identify trends in the global temperature record, without telling the statisticians that the numbers they were looking at were global temperatures. They couldn’t identify a cooling trend. In other words, if you ask someone who is “unbiased” by skeptics’ criteria, the conclusion is the same. Here’s Joe’s story:

    http://climateprogress.org/2009/10/26/global-cooling-myth-statisticians-caldeira-superfreakonomics/

    and my take on it:
    http://akwag.blogspot.com/2009/10/blind-support-for-global-warming.html

  35. #36 skip
    October 27, 2009

    I’ll check that out, WAG.

    Also, don’t forget to check out George Marshall’s [not the US Army war hero--the Brit climate guy] website. The whole site is dedicated to the psychology of global warming denial. (Can you say, “narrative”? I knew you could.)

    It looks like things have simmered down considerably since the departure of Crakar and Snow (RIP), but this blog still has a purpose–at least I think it does; I try to send my denier friends here. Hence my personal vested interest.

    Crazy idea for the forum:

    Although I hogged bandwidth with my few mammoth postings, I actually visit this site more as a reader than a contributor. I really respect the command of the lit many of you fellows have. I have learned a lot. Very enlightening for an artsy fartsy.

    However, one thing that struck me is how fellows like Crack and Snow (and some of their cohorts) would *repeat* the same arguments/references/straw men again. And again. And again. And then a few more times for good measure.

    It might not have been a conscious strategy of malice (sort of like throwing up a smokescreen), but simple forgetfulness or craziness. I don’t claim to know. But if Coby’s fine work is to be maximally effective, it needs to be *efficient*. Having to argue the same point over and over and over is certainly too much for Coby (who has to babysit us as well as his 7-month-old) and probably too much for even strong and learned contributors like dhogaza and the rest of you fine gents.

    I went back and re-read some of the threads where some clown would just rehash some asinine misuse of a source or repeat a non-starter critique of AGW and I thought, “what if the site had links that were *shortcuts*”?” It would be the same basic concept as Coby has set it up but it would be source specific. The Latif article is an example. I fully confess here I did not totally follow the arguments (from the old “hockey stick” thread) when I challenged Crak on it but I did notice this: After a series of dhogazian thrashings Craker was quick to abandon the claim that the Latif paper was an example of a “teeth gritting” AGW believer reluctantly abandoning the “faith”. (Even after I, not really getting the key points, bluffed Crakar as to his take on the outcome of the exchange, he remained silent on the issue.)

    The quick and ready explanations of how particular *sources* or articles (not just general *arguments*) that deniers pounce on are wrong/misused would save folks like dappled water, dhogaza, ian, luminous beauty, WAG, and others a *huge* amount of time.

    The individual links would be something analogous to Coby’s current setup, but just more detailed.

    The advantage?

    When, for example, some fool cites James Inhofe’s minority report as “proof” that “one by one self respecting scientists are turning away from the AGW theory and declaring themselves as sceptics,” then rather than having to walk the nitwit through the whole thing yet again, they response can just be *linked* to a pre-prepared subsection of Coby’s blog.

    The way it works now is that you get linked to a *previous* dialogue, where someone like Luminous Beauty completely schooled (god . . . sorry . . . forgetting his posting name) but then you have to sift through it all to figure out why. This way it would all be pithy and prepped.

    The disadvantage? Time. Someone would have to do the leg-work. But think of it this way: you folks have been doing legwork *all this time*. Next time you rip on some denier’s posting, put it in a format where it could be easily linked and then you would *never have to do it again.*.

    God I’m wordy. Snowman was probably right about that, too. I have plenty more to say but I’ll wait to see what this prelude inspires first.

    Cheers,

    Skip

  36. #37 Dappledwater
    October 28, 2009

    Skip, you could probably earn a living chasing away deniers from climate science blogs. Keep at it!.

  37. #38 Chris S.
    October 28, 2009

    Skip: I’ve argued for a similar approach on other fora, and may have attempted some of the legwork myself if a new project hadn’t taken priority (work huh, who needs it?).

    On reflection I’d advocate going one step further – in moderating comments that bring up debunked talking points, just append the link to the refutation(s) to the end of the comment itself.

  38. #39 WAG
    November 3, 2009

    Skip, that’s a great idea. I will work on this over the next couple weeks. It’s too big for one person, so I think the best way to do it will be to give people access to a Google document, let them write and edit the documents, and then have it posted in one place. An Internet 2.0 solution to refuting idiocy.

    Also, i’ve been thinking about non-science ways of convincing skeptics – specifically, showing how the market proves the reality of global warming. the story of Munich Re’s sponsorship of the $400 billion Desertec project (solar power in the Sahara) seems to be a good example – if global warming were really all about politics, why would the world’s largest reinsurance company be investing billions to stop its effects?

    http://akwag.blogspot.com/2009/11/dont-believe-in-global-warming-ask.html

  39. #40 skip
    November 3, 2009

    WAG:

    Yeah the trick is to get various contributors to specialize in their little niche.

    Skip

  40. #41 Bulldust
    November 5, 2009

    Skip – one time posting for me. You are disingenuous. You claim to want rational debate on the topic but you encourage the pack mentality of verbally lynching those who do not wholeheartedly support your views.

    You are about on a par with the Crikey Pure Poison web site in Australia, and half a step ahead of Real Climate which does not even post rational contrarian views (I know… been blocked 3 times by “climate expert” Gavin Schmidt).

    I am looking for an even-handed rational site on which to debate the issue. I am politically left leaning (by Australian standards) and started as a fence-sitter on the AGW debate. Unfortunately for your lot, the more shrill nonsense I read pushing AGW down my throat and the more reasoned arguments I saw against the case, the more I found myself in the “skeptical” camp.

    Unwittingly, this is what sites like Pure Poison, Real Climate and this one create… a divisive atmosphere which tends to drive debaters into the corners and eventually away to sites supporting their stance. There is no middle ground here, so back to WUWT for me (most rational site I have found to date). At least they debunk there with science and not ad hominem and strawman arguments.

  41. #42 skip
    November 5, 2009

    Hey Balldust:

    Welcome to the party.

    Do me this one favor: document my ad hominem and strawman arguments and I will eat each word for word.

    I’m not perfect, mate, but I try. Show me the error of my ways and I will try to be the better man.

    Of course if this is just a one time posting I fear I may never know exactly of what you speak.

    Skip

  42. #43 Marco
    November 6, 2009

    @bulldust:

    WUWT is rational? No wonder your comments have been declined at RealClimate. Most likely they contained old claims that have long been debunked. The rationality and science of WUWT is “everybody can see on the photo’s that the data from the temp stations is wrong, no matter what analysis of the data says!”.

  43. #44 skip
    November 10, 2009

    Again, not that I assume anyone is still interested but in case anyone is I will post the occasional comment based on my email exchanges with anonymous climate skeptic D. Nyer. The purpose of this occasional comment will be to use D as a skeptical Everyman against whom people can compare their own experiences. I see remarkable parallels with Crakar and Snowman that are worth our while, but I also welcome lurking deniers to explain how really I am missing the boat and have missed D. Nyer’s piercing insights *or* I am using him as a straw man (that is, he’s actually *different* from most deniers). My comments on him are a point of departure, not the end of the journey.

    Context for this post:

    I once in exasperation asked D. Nyer the following question (paraphrasing): “What am I supposed to assume every time you ignore a direct question?”

    His response was to—get this—ignore the question (!) and then try for the quick back-at-ya, calling me the master of the redirect and avoidance. He did not then, nor ever has he, offered any examples to back up this accusation. This is classic D., by the way. He has an amazing capacity to simply render assertions willy-nilly and then conveniently forget that he makes them, but more on this later. (Reminiscent of Michael or Balldust attempting a hit-and-run raid in which an accusation or weak reference is dropped like a hot potato and then followed by a quick retreat?)

    In any event, I kept pressing on this. He had been pretty aggressive in his attempts to make the denier case as he understood it and I had of course been going after him with a number of questions for which I have, by the way, never received clear answers from self-espoused skeptics:

    How do you get from scientific uncertainty (which is unavoidable), to the assumption that AGW is therefore not a problem?

    How do you come to the conclusion that the relative costs of action on AGW are prohibitive when compared to inaction—which has tremendous costs unrelated to the climate issue?

    Here’s what happened next; On 8/29 he assured me as follows:

    I will assemble my “defense” with the scientific studies and whatnot that contrives to keep me assured that man made co2 is not something to design our future society around, or even to be concerned about in the slightest, let alone a matter of urgent action today. It will take some time.

    Observe the dead giveaway that there is not even an attempt at objectivity. He “knew” what he would find ( . . . what contrives to keep me assured . . . ) before he even began supposedly *looking*. It is hauntingly parallel to Snowman, who would declare the whole thing a “political” struggle without even realizing how preposterous it made him look in the context of a scientific disagreement. Observe also the blind spot revealed by man made co2 is not something to design our future society around, even though that is *exactly* what mankind is doing (just not in the sense D. Nyer meant) by not acting on climate change.

    A month later on 9/29 he stated:

    i will wait the stated 2 to 3 weeks before addressing again.) all the best! :-)

    And then on 9/30 he iterated:

    some degree of [your questions] i believe i answered, . . . This, incidentally, is utterly false. He made one abysmal attempt at answering a series of my questions in which he simply ignored their points and defaulted to his blog talking points, but this is another story.

    . . . some i considered rhetorical, and some..just no answer for yet…. :-)* . . . the necessary attention for more than just flippant responses is not available for a couple weeks yet.

    [*there are a few of these blinky-winkies in every email, as I said before]

    And of course still nothing after eight weeks and counting . . . .

    The moral of the story: D. Nyer stuck his neck out on this issue in a very clumsy and cavalier way. Now he realizes the arguments for AGW are a serious matter–*not* the amusing side bar he’s been taught to ridicule. Truly examining the facts constitutes a colossal threat to his *narrative* interpretation of the world in which AGW proponents are risible religious zealots and his “side” the practical realists. He has been offered a fair chance to defend the views he originally advanced with such aggression, but that type of fair exchange has started to frighten him.

    So he just avoids it. He promises a scathing response that of course will never come. This way he can pretend (1) the answers to the hard-hitting questions exist, and (2) he’s just the man to provide them, and thus is “right”, even though he will never actually address the points, and thus will never actually have to come up with those answers (the investigation of which might show him to in fact be *wrong*). He will just stall, even as he affirms to himself the fiction that he will tear me to shreds in a couple weeks yet. In this manner the narrative can be kept on life support indefinitely, and at no mental cost. Remember the kids on the playground who assured you they could kick your ass but wouldn’t because they’d “get in trouble” with their mom?

    None of this is to suggest D. Nyer is a bad guy—quite the opposite. It shows the potency of a dearly held narrative interpretation of the world and how it affects human behavior under threat/duress even among the well-intended.

    Skip

  44. #45 WAG
    November 11, 2009

    In comment #36, Skip suggested a central repository of misrepresented studies organized by the study itself rather than the argument – so any time the study is cited by skeptics, there’s an easy place to go. I think this is a good candidate for an inaugural entry:

    Knorr, W. (2009), Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions increasing? (on WUWT: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/10/bombshell-from-bristol-is-the-airborne-fraction-of-anthropogenic-co2-emissions-increasing-study-says-no/)

    I’ve emailed the author with a link to a Google Document he can edit (waiting to hear back). Anyone have suggestions for other sources to contribute? Likely expertise would be in the carbon cycle and carbon sinks (soil, ocean, land use, etc.)

  45. #46 skip
    November 12, 2009

    WAG:

    Good start. Lets see what Coby says when he gets back.

    Skip

  46. #47 skip
    December 15, 2009

    testing

  47. #48 skip
    December 15, 2009

    All:

    I hope you will consider spending 10-15 minutes reading this, which I would like to call:

    “Narratives, Updated”

    Or

    “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Crakar”

    I did this as third-person narrative instead of addressing Crakar. I have sent him a private email that need not concern the forum; so its not like I’m trying to speak of him like he’s not in the room.

    Why am I posting this? It is certainly not for the purpose of impressing or convincing the honorable Mr. Crakar. I think that ship has sailed. It is important to respond to Crakar, not to convince him, but to show how his climate-change denial and his strategy for sustaining it is a microcosm of the larger mindset that in my experience pervades the contrarian camp. Its not about him and me but about the larger issues at stake. People often tire of my long-winded posts so I will place summary statements in bold for people who want to skim and get the gist.

    My two key points:

    First, Crakar is important. I know some of you think he’s a dumb ass but I think you’re wrong. On more than one occasion, he has shown shrewdness of insight and even real wit. To dismiss his denial as a function of low IQ is to miss what the evidence shows is the real animus underlying his AGW denial.

    Second, and that being said, I will probably not engage Crakar on a routine basis anymore for one simple reason: He has shamelessly and repeatedly tried *bullshit* me.

    It’s the same posture I was forced to take when reading Chris Horner’s *Red Hot Lies*; when I bothered to check a half dozen of his outrageous assertions the guy simply lost all credibility with me. The same thing with Lawrence Solomon’s *The Deniers* and Bjorn Lomborg’s *Cool It*. I will not sift through and explore every potential intellectual cal de sac when someone has repeatedly tried to bullshit me. Crakar in particular has been a recidivist bullshitter. Besides dumb, some of you have also accused Crakar of lying, but I am not claiming its conscious deceitfulness. Indeed, it might very well be the opposite. In the end, I think the key thing with Crakar is that he believes his own bullshit, and thus pointed criticisms of it roll like water off a duck. Please indulge my extensive defense of this.

    Three examples stand out in particular: My exchange with Crakar on the Hockey Stick Open Thread (HSOT hereafter) regarding the Senate Minority Report on climate change and its implications, his abuse of the recent research by Mojib Latif, and (the crème-de-la crème) his colossal bungling on the issue of CO2 residence time.

    Case Study One: Crakar tries to bullshit me regarding the Senate Minority Report:

    As part of a larger thesis in which Crakar apprised us of his view that AGW is the greatest scam ever conceived, he made the following claim:
    “one by one self respecting scientists are turning away from the AGW theory and declaring themselves as sceptics. “—Crakar
    I found this claim bold, and challenged Crakar to provide three examples. His response was to send me a link to the Minority Report on climate change, “authored” by James Inhoffe and “edited” by Orrin Hatch. (Obviously, the Senators’ staffers wrote the documents.) Crakar even emphasized his commitment to this source:
    I have posted this link before, obviously you missed it HSOT #72
    So I went and examined this document, after which Crakar’s exultation over it swiftly subsided. In HSOT Post #77 I pointed out in great detail that the Inhoffe document was a cruel, deceptive joke. There were numerous problems (deceiving the reader about what the document really contained; citing untrained non-scientists who were nothing more than amateurs with armchair opinions; referencing individuals who disagreed with peripheral *aspects* of the IPCC but not its core theses), but one specific failing that caught my eye most prominently was that I only had to read through the *sixth* person cited to know that the report authors had *no idea* what they were doing. I am obviously incapable of reading every single author, but I had already read research by Richard Tol, whom the report, and Crakar cited as saying:

    Toll says IPCC alarmism is preposterous–Crakar

    Which was lifted from the document, which read:

    “Dr. Tol dismissed UN IPCC alarmism as “preposterous.””

    For the record, in one of his latest articles “Why Worry about Climate Change? A Research Agenda,” Tol explores the various prospective positive and negative economic feedbacks of warming and responses to it and summarizes as follows:

    “[T]he great many unknowns [about the impact of climate change] imply that the uncertainty is skewed to the negative; and that, if anything, current impacts estimates are positively biased . . .

    The policy implications are twofold. Firstly, in the short-term, *more* [my emphasis] emis¬sion reduction may be economically justified than suggested by a cost-benefit analysis. Secondly and more importantly, we need to build up the technologi¬cal and institutional ability to rapidly respond to climate change – be it in the form of greenhouse gas emission reduction, adaptation (including international adaptation assistance), or geoengineering.

    Policy should not fly blind, however . . . [and it this point he emphasizes the need for more research on cost-benefit analysis of responses to global warming—his field.]”

    That last one about geoengineering must have really hurt Crakar. (Not that I personally agree or disagree with the concept of geoengineering—I lean toward the nay side—but because he has been trying to lay that trip on me ever since I joined the forum.)

    The moral of the story is that the incompetents that slapped the Minority Report together didn’t even carefully check their own sources (they couldn’t even get Tol’s affiliation right), and that the report is in no way credible proof that self respecting scientists are turning away from the AGW theory and declaring themselves as sceptics.

    Crakar then tried for this lame save in HSOT 80:

    I do find it hard to follow your train of thought sometimes Skip, I counted [several IPPCC and other scientists] who all spoke poorly of the IPCC. No, someone did not use the exact phrase “AGW is a crock of shit” you were looking for, granted but I believe my point is made.

    This was a staggering backpedal from the abjectly absurd statement that one by one self respecting scientists are turning away from the AGW theory and declaring themselves as sceptics. and that the Minority Report was “proof” of this.

    Crakar then had the gall to accuse me of moving the goalposts. But the fact remains that he was *shamelessly trying to bullshit me*, and I noted this at the time.

    Case Study Two: Crakar tries to bullshit me about the research findings of Mojib Latif.

    On the old Hockey Stick thread, I once asked, in response to an earlier claim Crakar made, “Who are these people that are “gritting their teeth” running from AGW?”

    In fairness to Crakar, he also acknowledged in an earlier reference to Latif that the ‘warmists’ said AGW would be “back with a vengeance”, so technically he could argue that it was originally just poetic license/hyperbole, what have you. But in the context of our engagement he was blatantly trying to bullshit me with cite a he did not read of a person who does *not* dispute AGW. Furthermore, it got worse:

    Just to allow you to sleep at night (which is obviously troubling you right now) In regards to Latif he was quoted as saying the earth has stopped warming or words to that effect, similar words to Trenberth. I and i am sure many others searched the net for his entire speech but alas none could be found. Without that speech could you possibly debate this issue any further? (Also in Phil Jones #93)

    This was an unbelievable bungle. The speech had been cut and pasted to the blog *multiple* times prior to this. Part of it appeared in one of Coby’s Climate Crock of the Week *page headings*. Crakar either missed it through sloth or there is some mental block that prevented him from seeing it. Some part of Crakar knows he botched this, and now he’s trying to convince us (himself?) that the discussion is over because there is no way to discern what his misused source (Latif) said. This was epoch self-delusion, and again an example of blatant bullshitting.

    Case Study 3: Crakar tries to bullshit me about the residence time of CO2—achieving a new nadir of disingenuousness by blatantly plagiarizing a flawed document.

    Here is what Crakar *recently* wrote about the residence time issue of CO2—a far-too-late effort to cover the tracks of his earlier blunder:

    CO2 residence time: Well according to the IPCC the Earth produces most of the CO2 per year with man adding a little bit, the earth also absorbs all the natural CO2 plus some of mans which is why the CO2 levels are rising about 2ppm a year (approx). So how long does an individual CO2 molecule last in the atmosphere? I dont know. (Phil Jones Thread #93).

    This seems reasonable enough, yes? Except in HSOT 115, when reeling under the duress of confronting the reality of his own narratives and not being able answer the question, “What would it take to convince you, Crakar [that AGW is true]?” Crakar, dodging the question and trying for a diversion, held forth as follows (along with a number of other points):

    The peer-reviewed literature is unanimous in finding that the residence-time of CO2 in the atmosphere is about 7 years. The UN’s climate panel, however, chooses a complex and unsatisfactory definition of residence-time that allows it to pretend that the residence time is in fact 100 years. This is one of many respects in which the climate panel, while claiming to represent the “consensus” of scientific opinion, is in fact entirely at odds with the peer-reviewed literature.

    Then, in response to Marco, Crakar dug his hole even further with this:

    Below is a list of 35 studies looking at the residency time of CO2 going back to 1957. (HSOT 127)

    He then “attached the authors” as part of an “appeal to authority” (see below.) Worse still, it turns out Craker’s original post was *plagiarized*. I found it at climateskeptic.com under the title of “The past and future of climate”, although the document does not open at the moment of this writing. (Mark B. spotted this first; see HSOT #142).

    The problem, of course, is that Crakar, swooning from the pressure and desperate for a comeback, simply fell back on an utterly refuted talking point that he found (and then shamelessly copied and pasted) while zealously surfing the net for anything to salvage his crumbling position. By *plagiarizing* something that was blatantly *wrong*, he managed to shoot himself in both feet with one bullet. Again, the crucial issue here is not the residence time of CO2 (Crakar’s/his source’s fundamental confusion is failing to recognize the distinction between the persistence of an individual molecule versus an overall global concentration—a difference discernable even to a technical half wit such as myself), but what it shows about our discussant. Crakar wasn’t just willing to *think* an absurdity; he could not resist publicizing his confusion to the world at large. He cavalierly believed someone just because the source sounded like it was saying something Crakar wanted to believe. Why? Because he needed to prop his *narrative*. He was, yet again, just trying to bullshit me—or perhaps him *and* me.

    Clearly chafing, Crakar tried this for a save in HSOT 145:

    i made 6 points [including the one about residence time] not to debat them technically (we can if you want but in the appropriate thread) the reason why i did this was to watch….well read all you lot fall over yourselves dodging and weaving the bloody obvious in an attempt to prop up your beleifs.

    Having watched Crakar for a few months now, I have learned that breakdowns in grammar and spelling are the precursors of imminent implosion. And of course to the extent that the gibberish above is decipherable it’s a weak try for a “Yeah-I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I” table turning on the whole issue of narratives. I gravely doubt Crakar has ever consciously thought of the world in these terms (“Why do I believe what I believe, and might I be reinforcing it through selective information filtering?”), and the topic was becoming extremely uncomfortable. What’s fascinating about Crakar (whose intelligence I do not for a moment doubt) is that he publicly bares his internal torment. It suggests the man might actually be *saint*, some sort of moral genius with no real sinister intentions to hide and thus is unafraid to be an open book for all (but I digress.)

    Thus, in the end, who is Crakar *really* bullshitting? Himself, of course. That’s the whole point of narratives. If for whatever reason we really need to believe something (as Crakar obviously does vis-à-vis global warming), we concoct reasons to believe it that satisfy us. Crakar’s remarkable peculiarity is that he publicizes this process of narrative construction to the world. That’s why he’s so important, and why this post is so necessary.

    My goal here is neither to convince nor to humiliate Crakar—although I expect there will be significant vitriol from the other side of the globe after I post this. (In Crakar’s most recent meltdown he referred to me as just another f—-g idiot yank or words to that effect, and I confess there is no scientific consensus to which I can appeal to disprove this assertion.) My goal is to set forth how Crakar is exemplary of what I see again and again from global warming deniers.

    Thus a rhetorical question to the lukewarm (no pun intended) deniers out there who might even be contemplating reversing their position on AGW: Is your denial really a conviction born of a rigorous investigation of the relative credibility of the two sides, or was it selected merely out of political/ideological preference, and propped up with a few silver bullet talking points—either cavalierly parroted or, as is often the case of Crakar, blatantly plagiarized? In short, are you just another (perhaps less vigorous version of) Crakar? My experience and intuition tell me that for the vast majority of you the honest answer is yes, and if that’s the case, perhaps you should contemplate a more sober approach to picking your position on the question of anthropogenic climate change and its implications for the future of the planet.

    Afterthought on Appeals to Authority:

    When I once reminded Crakar of the Doran/Zimmerman al survey (97 percent of climate researchers agree with the fundamental hypothesis of AGW; over 80 percent of all earth scientists do), Crakar had this to say:

    You believe and take refuge in the comfort of the consensus whereas I realize a consensus means nothing when searching for scientific truth HSOT 81

    Crakar considers me an intellectual coward, and he’s right. Among the first things I tell all my students are “Don’t take my word for it,” and “Your most potent intellectual asset is your honesty.” I think Crakar’s approach to this debate is too much bravado and valor, too little reflective analysis. On a battlefield, I imagine Crakar would fight valiantly for Queen and Commonwealth, but in a search for truth it’s the wrong template to just refuse to back down, fight to the last failed argument, etc.

    What then of appeals to authority—something Crakar says he despises? All of us, at some point, have to make them. As Crakar himself aptly (if grammatically awkwardly) put it in HSOT 80, By the way there is no such thing as a Climate scientist, climate studies cover many fields and there is not one person in the world that could profess to be a master of them all.

    I don’t think Crakar ever said anything truer than this (although it’s an admittedly low bar). I’m certainly an example of this technical deficiency, unable (as Crakar has correctly pointed out) to understand the mathematical controversies behind the original ’98 hockey stick and its subsequent resolution, the differential effects of CO2 in atmospheric versus laboratory conditions (see quasi-denier Maximilian’s posts on the “Visual Approach” thread), or the technical importance of the alleged missing “hot spot”. I absolutely *do* make appeals to authority (the consensus, the relative absence of contrarian peer reviewed literature, the prolific credentials of the overwhelming majority of scientists and scientific organizations who endorse the fundamental AGW hypothesis), but where Crakar mistakes me badly is *why* I do this. Because Crakar thinks in terms of trying to find things to support his narrative, it is inconceivable to him that I, and the rest of us concerned about climate change, aren’t doing the same. To wit: I believe AGW is real because of the preponderance of scientific authority. I do *not* appeal to scientific authority because I want to believe in climate change. It is in this regard that Crakar has badly missed his man.

    Thus, put yourself in my shoes. As an admitted non-expert, I have to figure out who I’m going to believe and why. I have already read three books recommended by deniers and explained in detail in writing why they are either demonstrably wrong or unconvincing. I have endured Crakar and his ilk on this forum for about three months now. On technical issues that are beyond me the choice I have is (1) simply defer to an overwhelming scientific consensus that AGW is real and potentially hazardous or (2) take the word of an individual who, through distortion, obfuscation, and rank (if ham-handed) plagiarism has blatantly, willfully, and repeatedly tried to *bullshit* me.

    It is obviously no choice at all.

    An amusing finale: Most recently Crakar put the point this way:

    you [Skip] dont give an opinion about anything, all you do is write posts which attach the author. If pressed all you can come up with is an appeal to authority. (Phil Jones . . . #97)

    What did Crakar do within 30 words of this statement? He attached an author, implicitly appealing to the writer’s authority. (I confess I did not read it.)

    Best regards to all (especially Crakar),

    Skip

  48. #49 mandas
    December 15, 2009

    Coby and Skip,
    Not being overly critical, but I am not exactly sure what you are trying to achieve here. You are focussing a lot of effort on crakar’s rantings, but as I have suggested elsewhere, its a little like arguing with a dining room table. He has a dogmatic position that no amount of evidence or rational thought will budge. I have stopped responded to his diatribes, because I realised that he wasn’t actually listening to my answers to his questions (which I provided in detail on my position on MEP/LIA/’hockey stick’ et al), and he either wouldn’t, or my likely coudn’t, respond to my one and only question.
    I would throw the same question out here as a challenge to people like snowman, bulldust and michael etc, but I suspect I will get the same response, which is the staple of the flat earth society. And that isn’t an insult by the way – its a simple metaphor which beautifully encapsulates the denialist position.
    So here is the question – We all know the earth has warmed over the past century. That’s a fact that all but the most hardened of the flat earth society accepts. So, if you deny the causes are anthropogenic (which you do), what natural forcing mechanisms (which is all that remains, dear Watson) are causing the change? Of course, you must also provide evidence for your position.
    See – that’s so simple.
    I do, however, have a few restrictions for your response (not arduous by any means). Firstly, your evidence must be a primary source such as a scientific paper with the data shown – it can’t be an opinion piece from a blog, or a book, or a film, or any other secondary source. It doesn’t have to be peer reviewed – I know how much you all distrust that process. We will do the review here.
    Second, reverting to type and carrying on about the MWP/LIA etc is totally irrelevant to the argument and will be ignored. The reason is that the two cases (then and now) can be totally unrelated. If you want to bolster your argument by providing an explanation (with evidence) of what caused those phenomenon, and what their spacial and temporal extents were, go ahead. But once again, you must provide evidence.
    See – simple really. That’s how science is done by the way. I know it’s not the preferred approach of the flat earth society to argue from a scientific position, but too bad. That’s how we do things around here.

  49. #50 crakar24
    December 15, 2009

    Sorry Skip but i have not bothered to read your post yet, i read the bold bits as you suggested but that is as far as i got (by the way i am not a soldier).

    How do you want me to respond?
    Do i call you names?
    Do i simply ignore your post?
    The most important question may be what has this got to do with AGW?

    Mandas,

    The earth is not flat it is a cube you need to keep up mate.

    I agree all this attention i get from Skip is rather flattering although i am not sure why i get it, i think Skips talents are wasted on me.

    I have repeatedly asked what your position is regarding the stick (something to the best of my knowledge you have not answered yet), the reason why is simple.

    You have asked for my explanation of recent warming which i have not given so i guess we are even on that score. So here it is for what it is worth Mandas.

    We can start with the ice ages as we all know the ice ages come and go in a repeatable pattern, what causes these patterns? We do not know, some say the M cycles but the M cycles do not fit the occurrence of glaciations so what causes ice ages? we do not know.

    Between the ice ages we have interglacials, these are warmer periods but i will focus on the last 1000 years of our current interglacial. The MWP has been shown to be warmer than today, the Earth then cooled in what is known as the LIA and then the Earth began to warm again to today, what caused this fluctuation in temps is not known.

    Before i go on do you now see why i asked if you accept the stick or not? If you do not accept the MWP and LIA existed is there any point in me continuing?

  50. #51 mandas
    December 15, 2009

    Crakar.
    We are not even, because I answered your question at post 82 on ‘Phil Jones to step down etc’. As to your continuing, you are probably correct – there isn’t a lot of point. Your answer to my question seems to be that you don’t know and you have no evidence, and you violate the restriction against carrying on about MWP/LIA.
    Good job. Up to your usual standard.

  51. #52 crakar24
    December 15, 2009

    Mandas,

    Seeing how we live in the same town (though i suspect you are a crows supporter) and to stop you from throwing this back at me (along Skips line of thought) i will continue.

    But first, i read post 82 and you did in fact sort of, kind of answer my question stretched over two paragraphs which is why i missed it. So in summary you are saying we dont know the temps before the invention of the thermometer, i dont agree. The studies i showed use a range of proxies from all over the world and the evidence strongly suggests that the MWP and LIA did in fact exist, granted the maginitudes most probably varied from one location to another but there is sufficient evidence to show it did exist.

    Back to my version of events as requested.

    So we have an unknown force that caused the temps to drop from around 1300AD (MWP) and into the LIA and then back up again from around 1700 until today, so lets call this “something”.

    What caused this “something” to do this? we do not know but what we do know is that the temps have been rising now for about 300 years.

    Unfortunately the proxy record cannot discern the temps from one year to the next so all we get is something that looks like smoothed data if you like, but with the instrumental temp record we can see fluctations from year to year which then enables us to see the 30 year oscillations.

    These oscillations are driven primarily by the PDO, other factors drive/have an effect on the magnitude of the PDO, ENSO, AMO, Indian Di pole, solar, GHG etc etc.

    So lets look at the instrumental temp record a bit closer, the temps cycle in a 30 year period (note: all dates are approx)from the late 1800’s to around 1910 the temps dropped, from 1910 to 1940 the temps went up, from 1940 to 1970 the temps dropped again, from 1970 to 2000 the temps went up and from 2000 to now the temps have not risen, more on this in a moment.

    So what we can see is the temps have risen for 300 years and the last 100 odd (instrumental record) we see a 30 year cycle, so we have a “somethng” driving the temps up, when the PDo turns negative the temp rise stalls and then drops a bit as it is fighting against the “something”, when the PDO turns positive this pushes the temps up and adds to the something.

    So temps rise more than they fall, and as if on cue the PDO turned negative around 2000 and now the temp rise has stalled, so according to history we should see another 20 years of flat to falling temps as we have seen before.

    More to come.

  52. #53 mandas
    December 15, 2009

    I may live in Adelaide, but I am not FROM Adelaide. Fair enough – I called you a creationist but don’t accuse me of being a Crow’s supporter (although by your vitriol you are obviously a Port supporter). I don’t even like AFL – I am from Sydney.
    I think you are confused about the whole MWP/LIA thing. We are discussing global mechanisms, not local or regional, and there is no evidence that MWP/LIA is global – in fact, the opposite is more likely (but once again, not confirmed).
    You may – for example – want to read this:
    http://ambio.allenpress.com/archive/0044-7447/29/1/pdf/i0044-7447-29-1-51.pdf

  53. #54 crakar24
    December 15, 2009

    Now everything i have said so far is accepted science (well we can disagree on magnitude of MWP etc) but you get my drift.

    So in the end what we disagree on is a few tenths of a degree and where it comes from.

    Firstly we need to try and figure out what has caused the temps to rise from 1700, because if you look at the dates i gave above we can see trend.

    Figures taken from HADCRUT3 show from 1880 to 1910 we see a -0.10 C change in anomoly.

    1910 to 1940 +0.5C
    1940 to 1970 -0.1C
    1970 to 2000 +0.5C

    Now remember these dates are taken around the PDO change, you can protest the exact dates and the temp changes if you want (and feel free to offer alternatives)but not much will change the trends will still be there.

    Now if we go with the premise that increasing CO2 levels will cause increasing temps (AGW in a nut shell) we have a problem dont we.

    1880 to 1910 temps hardly changed and either did CO2, OK so far so good, 290 to 300ppm respectively (10ppm).

    1910 to 1940 300 to 310ppm respectively but the temps went up by about half a degree (10ppm).

    1940 to 1970 310 to 323.98 respectively (14ppm)and the temps went down, how can this be?

    1970 to 2000 323.98 to 368.27 respectively (45ppm)and the temps went up by half a degree gain how can this be?

    2000 to 2009 368.27 to 385 respectively (17ppm)and the temps have not risen, once again how can this be?

    It is obvious that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere bears no relavence to what the 30 year temp trends are doing and it is more likely that internal and external factors are at play and not CO2. What these factors are i am not sure of but i suggest the sun plays a larger role than what the IPCC give it credit for.

    Now you can respond to what i have written and we can take it from there if you like.

  54. #55 crakar24
    December 15, 2009

    My sincerest appologies to you Mandas, no i do not follow port i follow Geelong, you see like you i am not from these parts. If you follow rugby i have always followed the rabbitohs not sure why but i do unfortunately.

  55. #56 mandas
    December 15, 2009

    So, if I can summarise your argument against anthropogenic climate change – which I assume is contained in your previous post.
    CO2 and temperature do not show a direct correlation (ie temperature does not increase in direct proportion to increases in CO2), therefore it must be something else.
    Is that it? Seriously? Or have I misread your post?
    You don’t suspect for a minute that their may be other factors at play which modulate the increases in temperature?
    I must confess that I accept that changes in the composition of atmpospheric CO2 will change temperatures, but even I wouldn’t suggest that it is the only factor. Climate is a little more complicated than that.
    Please come up with a better argument.

  56. #57 crakar24
    December 15, 2009

    I just did, i accept it was a little long winded but sometimes thats the way it is.

    I have shown that over a period of 120 years that there is no correlation between temps and CO2, a doubling of CO2 would in theory add 1.1C as we have not doubled CO2 yet (1750, 275ppm) then the effects of CO2 would be less than 1.1C. This small change in temp would be swamped by the myriad of other factors that effect climate.

    Your assertion is that increasing CO2 WILL cause the temp to increase via this small effect of increasing CO2 plus a major positive feedback from WV. As per the data i have presented there is not a shred of evidence that supports your view.

    If there is please provide empirical evidence to the contrary. Shant be too hard for you if it exists.

  57. #58 mandas
    December 15, 2009

    Actually no, you have shown nothing of the sort.
    You have not shown there is no correlation between CO2 and temperatures. What you have suggested is that there is no DIRECT correlation between CO2 and temperatures – and that is a reasonable suggestion – but it has nothing to do with anything, and certainly does not prove your case or disprove the case for anthropogenic climate change.
    As I stated, and you agreed, there are a myriad of confounding factors influencing the relationship between CO2 and temperature. It is easy to demonstrate a causal relationship between the two – and you can have a causal relationship without direct correlation (because of confounding factors), and you can have correlation without causality (coincidence).
    However, once you have demonstrated causality (and only a fool would suggest there is no causal relationship between CO2 concentration and long wave radiation absorption), then any variations in correlation are caused by those confounding factors. Some have relatively major influences (eg water vapour), some have relatively minor influences (eg sunspot activity), but the more you know about them and how to adjust for their effects, the better you are able to make predictions about correlation. That’s the science of climatology, and that’s what climatologists have been spending decades researching.
    BUT – there is absolutely no doubt that increasing CO2 concentrations will increase long wave radiation absorption (ie heat). The actual changes in global temperature will be modified by confounding factors and there will not be a smooth correlation showing temperature increasing in direct proportion to increases in CO2. There will be regional and global factors, and there will be variations from year to year and decade to decade, but the long term trend will continue to go up in response – just like we are observing.
    If your whole argument is that lack of correlation demonstrates that the case is flawed, then you have no argument at all.

  58. #59 crakar24
    December 15, 2009

    Mandas,

    So we both agree there is no direct correlation between co2 and temp but you claim that this proves nothing.

    Ok so lets throw that out, what empirical evidence do we have left to either prove or disprove the case for AGW?

    You then jump to correlation between CO2 and OLR, i think we are in agreance that to double CO2 we will get about 1.1C increase in temps then we need to double it again to get the same response, this is because CO2 increases have a diminishing return.

    “If your whole argument is that lack of correlation demonstrates that the case is flawed, then you have no argument at all.”

    No this is not my whole argument, simply put correlation does not prove causality but without correlation there can be no causality, correct?

    You have oversimplified the whole process and claim that CO2 is going up at the same time temps are so therefore there is a correlation ergo CO2 is causing it.

    Some questions:

    1, What is the lag between CO2 increase and temp rise in time? Eg days, weeks etc (is this known?)

    2, As stated above CO2 cannot account for all the warming predicted by the IPCC (doubling CO2 etc) so how do we get the rapid temp rises predicted? (I am looking for empirical evidence here, is there any?)

    3, As shown in previous post the temp fluctuations can be seen to follow a trend in line with the PDO these fluctuations are obviously influenced by sun enso etc. So if the -ve PDO can stop GW by dropping the temp over a 30 year period does this then show that the forcing from CO2 is rather weak? EG 1940 to 1970. Therefore the temp rise from 1970 to 2000 (+ve PDO) is primarily caused by more powerful forcings?

  59. #60 mandas
    December 15, 2009

    No – you appear not to have read my post at all.
    I do not agree – and nor did I say – anything specific about doubling CO2 leading to a 1.1C increase in temperature.
    And I specifically said that you CAN have causation without correlation and vice versa. That is a fundamental tenet of statistics that should not need explaining (even though I did explain it). I’ll say it again. Confounding factors are important – especially in complex systems.
    And I never oversimplified things – I specifically said things were complicated – and I never drew any conclusion about correlation between CO2 and temperatures. You are trying to build a strawman then tear it down. The only conclusion you can reasonably draw from my post is that increases in CO2 concentrations leads to an increase in long wave radiation absorption (that is a fact, not a deduction), but that confounding factors will have an influence and you need to understand their effects before you can draw conclusions about the INDIRECT correlation between CO2 and global temperature (that’s a deduction that every climatologist agrees with by the way). However, I did say that the overall trend in both was up (but once again, that’s a fact, not a deduction).
    So, if you are going to argue with me, at least read what I say and respond on that basis – don’t make up your own words. In that context, your questions are meaningless, because they are based on things that I haven’t even claimed.
    Try again.

  60. #61 crakar24
    December 15, 2009

    Skip,

    I just finished reading your post, wow and what a post it was. I dont know what was worse the examples you gave in an attempt to show my *bullshitting* or the character assassinations you used for filling.

    So in summary you are no longer going to talk to me because in your opinion i bullshitted to you 3 times.

    I am sorry you feel this way Skip but you might be right it may be for the best i will not respond to any of your posts and you can do the same for me.

  61. #62 crakar24
    December 15, 2009

    Mandas,

    Firstly i am not trying to argue with you, and i did read your post but you have confused me some what, are you saying that CO2 does not need to correlate with temps to be a causality?

    You then spoke about CO2 and OLR absorption which is why i mentioned doubling CO2 etc.

    I agree with you when you say that an increase in CO2 will lead to more absorption of OLR but there are limits to how much extra OLR will be absorbed. Even so this will only lead to a small increase in temps, not enough to cause the temp rise predicted.

    What happens next is what i am asking of you to explain.

  62. #63 skip
    February 22, 2010

    Crakar and Narrative Construction, Update III

    We recently had one of the most remarkable exchanges with Peter of Sidney and Crakar (what is it with Aussies and AGW denial?), and the outcome was so poignant that I felt it merited its own comment here on Narratives.

    Coby had emerged from the sidelines to ask Peter the following question:

    Peter, if I may ask, what evidence would you accept as convincing that GHG’s have caused the majority of recent warming? –Coby

    The response:

    Coby it’s not up to me to prove the AGW thesis. Please show me the evidence and the scientific community will look at it. At the moment there is no such conclusive evidence. If there was, we and the rest of the world wouldn’t be having this debate. –Peter of Sydney

    (Besides being a blatant dodge, this answer is mind-bogglingly inane:–“Someone disagrees with you; therefore you’re wrong.”) Peter has since vanished—perhaps in embarrassment (I hope so for his sake).

    This is a subject dear to my heart: that deniers in my experience can identify no hypothetical state of affairs in which they would concede AGW. So at this point I ran with what Crakar so revealing called Coby’s stupid question (I have learned that Crakar’s attempts at insult are directly proportional to how badly he realizes he’s being cornered).

    Crakar at this point played what he still apparently thinks is his ace (or knows is not an ace but he still feels that a bad answer is better than no answer)—the nonlinearity of temperature patterns in the industrial era (#16). Dhogaza suggested to Crakar that his recalcitrance on this inane issue stems from the fact that . . . random variation isn’t allowed in your little head, is it? But I think this has been explained to Crakar too many times for lack of understanding to be the issue so I am starting to suspect . . . well. I’ll get to that. Anyway, I wrote an extensive response to this in #29:

    Please answer the bloody question, mate. (This goes for you too, Peter). What, *hypothetical* (without anyone claiming it exists) evidence *would* convince you–that AGW is both real and threatening?

    Now it gets really interesting. In Crakar’s *astonishing* response, he first repeated Peter’s dodge (#32):

    First of all the onus of proof is on you to prove your theory correct, the onus of proof is not and never should be on me to prove you wrong. What you are asking me to do is prove a negative.–Crakar

    This of course, is a shameless dodge.

    At some level Crakar understands the distinction between being asked to identify what *would* constitute adequate *hypothetical* evidence versus being asked to produced the evidence itself. I know he knows this, so this evasion is quite revealing; we’re getting close to the inner torment that is Crakar’s AGW denial.

    But believe it or not it got even worse thereafter in 32, with Crakar absolutely disintegrating into a maelstrom of straw men and red herrings:

    “ . . . There will be less snow causing more warming[he couldn’t get his causal model right]. We now find snowfall records are being broken in the US and low and behold this is caused by AGW . . . now i mentioned empirical evidence before . . . morons like Gore running around. . . PM of the UK claiming we have 50 days to save the planet . . . idiots claiming the GBR in Queensland is going to die . . . AGW is/will cause farming production to reduce and yet this year was the second highest tonnage on record . . . Hurricanes (we call them cyclones) are supposed to get worse . . . bombarded by booga booga stories . . .

    Then, after insisting that models cannot accurately predict climate (which of course, perfectly, they cannot, so its yet another straw man), Crakar then defaulted to what he thinks is his evidence *against* AGW (repeating claims that have been debunked over and over but he either forgets or, more likely, its just Crakar again dodging when he knows he’s being pinned): CO2 increases historically leading temp increases, missing hot spot, lack of recent warming, a completely vague reference to climate sensitivity uncertainties.

    But what of course Crakar *never* did was *answer the question*.

    He *never* explained what he would accept as convincing proof that AGW is both real and threatening. The reason, of course, is obvious:

    *Crakar has no answer*.

    If an overwhelming consensus of *scientists*, an easily and commonly understood property of CO2, the overwhelming evidence of *overall* warming—whatever the complexities of climate impacts over time—does not convince Crakar, then of course (and Crakar realizes this at some level), *nothing* will. He doesn’t want to believe it so he just won’t. (Analogously, one anonymous denier whom I’ve referred to on these pages as “D. Nyer” once put it, “It comes down to believing what you want to believe.”) He, and Crakar, actually regard that as a legitimate epistemological posture. The only difference is that D. Nyer admits it, either because he his unaware of or (knowing D, more likely) indifferent to how absurd it sounds.

    But Crakar is clever enough to realize that he cannot simply tell us what, at some level he realizes is, the truth. If just admits that he’s going to deny AGW no matter what anyone says (which is of course the case), then he’s admitting that AGW denial is a religious tenet for him, born basically from his political allegiances. He’s a conservative, so he has to deny AGW. It is really quite that simple and embarrassingly dogmatic, but he cannot admit that.

    So what does he do instead? He dodges.

    Just like he has dodged the question before, and just like he will dodge this post now, Crakar dodges. He cannot answer the question, he has never answered the question, nor will he *ever* answer the question.

    He can’t.

    Finally, in the process of narrative construction—convincing yourself of something you desperately wish to believe for whatever ulterior motives—some people, like Crakar, would rather make a bad argument then no argument. This is why he repeats inane points like non-linear temperature trends, Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, its snowing in the Northeast US, etc.

    Its narratives pure and simple. For Crakar, the objective quality of the argument is irrelevant; he doesn’t need to convince us. He only needs to convince himself.

  63. #64 skip
    April 12, 2010

    Very relevant to this forum/thread and the psychology of AGW denial.

    I’m about a third through Drew Westen’s *The Political Brain*–an examination of research showing the overwhelming potency of various emotional attachments and biases in explaining voting behavior and political values.

    What I shudder at/love about this forum is you can watch the process unfold in print when our denier contributors e respond to arguments–and how they arrived at their positions.

    There are too many examples to enumerate, but think of, for example Crakar’s (whatever happened to him?) fixation on Al Gore. For him, Al Gore has an inherently negative connotation, so he thinks he has “hurt” the AGW “side” by attaching Al Gore to it.

    I’ve also seen it in my exchanges with “D. Nyer”–an anonymous denier friend–who responds to scientific arguments with a concatenation of labels and insults: “man hating . . . eco-think . . . socialistic . . . . evil”. Because the sources he relies on have successfully fixed this association in his mind–believing in global warming is to be a tree-hugging pinko–it successfully prevents the penetration of any factual arguments against his position.

    This is one of the key findings of the psych research: Controlled experiments show that *rational* considerations are overwhelmingly overpowered by emotional ones when people evaluate candidates, policies, general positions.

    Its a disturbing read but pretty clearly correct and something those of us on the AGW side better face and accommodate–how I’m not sure.

  64. #65 skip
    April 28, 2010

    Recent posts on other threads have again highlighted, at least for me, the importance of Crakar as a anti-role model, a microcosm of the intellectual dishonesty that one must somehow acquire to deny the reality and/or threat of AGW.

    Crakar: Direct Question:

    Do you think you are up to having a discussion with me on what intellectual honesty is–and is not? Yes or No?

    I predict you will not answer Yes or No.

  65. #66 skip
    May 1, 2010

    I know—narratives. (Yawn.)

    As I indicated in the other thread, recent posts there are, I think, better suited for the Narratives thread.

    The amazing thing about some of our denier friends on this forum is their ability to freely advertise the flaws in their thinking over and over again. This was recently the case on the “More Conspiracy Theories from Lindzen” thread over the past couple of days.

    In Crakar’s last few posts on said thread, he has resumed the proclamation of himself as the Noble Skeptic: The rest of us are devotees of a closed “religion” (AGW), and he is Galileo illuminating the darkness of our Papal dogma with his Torch of Knowledge. Behold the light-bearer’s own words:

    I touched on religious beliefs when fending off another attack from Skip in the other thread regarding his question. The fact is i will never be able to answer his question [what would it take to convince Crakar that AGW is both real and threatening?] because to answer it requires belief.

    . . . When hassled by the God botherers i ask them “what evidence do you have that God exists”, they reply they have none but they simply believe.

    . . . if you believe in AGW then you will allow yourself to accept any theory thats supports your beliefs no matter how ludicrous they are and until you accept this you will never understand why i reject it.

    . . .you [Skip] simply believe the consensus which is quite OK by me but you must understand i need more than simple belief thus i will never be able to answer your question in a way in which you find satisfactory.

    Crakar on Lindzen Thread #80

    Later:

    The point i was trying to make was that a group of scientists have put up their hands and said we all agree that increasing CO2 levels will end life as we know it if left unchecked (consensus). Some people here (thats you) have said well thats good enough for me, i believe this group of scientists to be correct.

    Crakar on Lindzen #97

    The astonishing thing with Crakar is his perfect inversion of reality. He is able to convince himself (or at least make it look like he’s convinced himself; he might just be bullshitting—one can never be sure) that denying a *scientific* consensus is as valid and virtuous as denying a *religious* one.

    It is simply obvious that Crakar has, at best, suspended his understanding of what science is in regard to AGW, and at the very worst doesn’t understand science *at all*. The scientific process is the one human endeavor that is—as much as anything can be—the *antithesis* of religion, and in fact was developed by our dead white male ancestors as the cure for dogma.

    This utter inversion of reality by Crakar was further evidenced in this amazing commentary after Mandas’ definitive exposition on the flaws of the Nils-Axel Mörner paper on sea-level rise:

    Mandas has shown his hand and while he was trying to sound like an expert even though he admitted he wasnt he was simply regurgitating what was written in another study. Crakar on Lindzen #106

    How does a denier do these things–twist acceptance of a current scientific consensus as unthinking adoption, and dismiss a detailed analytical critique as evidence of the same? The answer of course, is narratives. Crakar tells himself this fantastic story (“I’m the enlightened one who opposes dogma; the AGW believers are the dupes for climate ‘religion’”.).

    For the record and the interested reader, the following things have been *proven*–repeat–*proven* on this forum:

    (1) Crakar will cite things he has not read.
    (2) Crakar will change his story as to what a particular un-read citation supposedly proves.
    (3) Crakar will adopt a non-scientific argument and then attempt to cover his tracks.
    (4) Crakar will plagiarize something that is *not even correct*–and then when called out to acknowledge it, will apologize, supposedly on behalf of his accuser’s “feelings.”(As if he’s doing the other guy a favor by admitting his own transgression.)
    (5) Crakar will default to a checklist of red herrings when cornered (Al Gore . . . Australian liberals . . . early 20th century cooling . . . record cold in B.F. Somewhere . . .)
    (6) Crakar routinely advertises the ideological basis of his denial, parroting talking points about AGW “religion”, despicable “liberals”, and “environmentalists”.

    Yet despite this staggering record of intellectual dishonesty and incompetence, Crakar asks us to believe that his AGW denial stems from a stolid resistance against blind acceptance. We should trust *him*, not scientists, because he is righteously inoculated against “simple belief”. Its amazing. Its horrifying. It’s the blinding power of a delusional narrative.

  66. #67 mandas
    May 2, 2010

    skip

    I have to suggest that sometimes it feels good to stop beating your head against a wall, even though you may think it is important that the wall be brought down, and the only tool you have available is your head.

    In the case of our friend, I have definitely decided that, it doesn’t matter how hard I hit the wall, it will NEVER come down, because it is built very solidly of that most impenetrable substance, faith. Faith that he is right and everyone – no matter how expert they are on the subject – is wrong. Faith that – no matter how much evidence he is shown – the evidence will never be good enough because it runs counter to the dogma of his belief. Faith that the only thing that will prove him wrong is something that is not even predicted by the theory (ie the four horseman of doom arriving and civilisation ending). And since that will never come to pass, then how can he possibly be wrong?

    At first I thought it was important to present the evidence. To rationally answer every question and to show that the uninformed opinions of the bloggers who were cut-and-pasted for our viewing pleasure were simply wrong. I believe I have done a pretty good job of that – of presenting the science, of finding papers from journals and of dissecting and analysing information. I must admit, I have seen some benefit to myself – I am a lot more educated on the subject by the extra reading and research I have conducted, and I would be quite happy if others had benefited from some of the information I have presented. Unfortunately, you are very correct with your views on narratives.

    Those who are implacably opposed to the facts and theory of AGW will remain unconvinced no matter what evidence is presented. But I have come to realise that they do not matter – and crakar is one of these people. He will NEVER be convinced, and it is therefore a complete waste of time even trying to convince him. However, there are REAL sceptics who are worthwhile conversing with, because a REAL sceptic can be convinced that his position is wrong if he is shown the evidence. A sceptic is like a scientist, indeed all good scientists are sceptics, because they are perfectly happy to be shown that their original views were incorrect if it means the science had advanced. That is what being a sceptic really means, and why I will NEVER call anyone from the deniersphere a sceptic. I have used the unflattering terms ‘members of the flat earth society’, and more straight forward, ‘fucking moron’, because that’s what these people are.

    There are some moderate sceptics here who are happy to be shown and accept the evidence. SBN is one, because his questions and posts appear to be genuine requests for information and I am happy to respond to any of his posts. Even maxwell, who I believe is closer to denier than sceptic, appears to have a good grasp of science and at least presents quite intelligent views that require some thought to respond.

    So, I have decided on my course of action. I stated it quite clearly on another thread, and I am not going back on my word, no matter how much I am provoked. I will not, under any circumstances, respond to any more of crakar’s nonsensical, fundamentalist rantings. It is a waste of time. But I am very happy to debate the subject with anyone who wants to have a rational discussion and ask intelligent questions, and I might even keep a few bullets in reserve to fire at some of the more extreme deniers who I feel deserve a bullet. But I will waste no more time, effort, or ammunition and someone who is just impervious to rational thought.

  67. #68 skip
    May 2, 2010

    Those who are implacably opposed to the facts and theory of AGW . . . and crakar is one of these people. He will NEVER be convinced,

    . . .no matter how much I am provoked. I will not, under any circumstances, respond to any more of crakar’s nonsensical, fundamentalist rantings. It is a waste of time.

    I feel your pain, Mandas, but is that even the point? Months ago I had to decide how I would approach the Crakar Issue—do you respond to his absurdities or ignore them? I concluded that its important to respond. I want Crakar to keep posting and I want the average reader of this blog to see his absurdity for all it is. Crakar is like an unwilling Messiah in a way—adopting the most ignorant *imaginable* posture in the face of crushing evidence and reason—and committing every conceivable intellectual error in the process of espousing it. Its amazing in a way. If I were to start posting on AFTIC under a false moniker (“Skripar”?) for the purpose of *pretending* to be a half-wit denier, I couldn’t do half the job Crakar does. And if the Indonesians ever try to invade Oz I would recommend camping out in Crakar’s foxhole. I swear that guy will keep spraying lead for an hour after his heart stops.

    I agree with you about SBN, although Max and I had a pretty ugly falling out a couple of days ago. Blame me if anyone for his absence, but at one point with him I wanted to echo the words of Quint (Robert Shaw) in *Jaws*: “Well, it proves this much Mr. Hooper [Mr. Maxwell] It proves that you wealthy college boys don’t have the education to admit when you’re WRONG.” Sorry if I alienated one of your favorite sparring partners, but I got sick of him trying to pull rank on me to cover the fact that he was bullshitting on the Richard Tol issue. That irked me. I’ve had a gun in my face and crack deals sealed over the hood of my car. Anyone with money can go to a whorehouse for sympathy and deference. But if you want your ass kissed because you can operate a mass spectrometer, don’t show your ass on A Few Things Ill Considered.

  68. #69 mandas
    May 2, 2010

    skip

    I understand your position about having a useful foil to present the denier ‘viewpoint’ which can then be shown to all and sundry to be incorrect. And I have often felt that it would be more useful to continue to respond with logic and rationality, plus providing links to REAL science to show the fallacy of the opninions of know nothing morons with agendas like Joanne Nova and Anthony Watts. Its probably just my own selfishness and maybe I am being a touch sensitive, but I become a little (no – a lot) frustrated sometimes when I provide absolutely incontrovertible evidence for something, only to have it either ignored or thrown back as not being in accordance with the dogma of the flat earth society. You know the type of thing to which I refer, and the matter of the Morner paper was the last straw from my perspective.

    I once spent a long weekend on the Gold Coast in Australia, and there was an evangelist standing at the entrance to the main beach preaching to all and sundry how they were wicked and would all go to hell unless they accepted Jesus etc. I thought it would be a bit of fun to jump up on the wall next to him and debate – which I did for half hour or so. It certainly drew a crowd – much larger than were hanging around when he was speaking by himself. It certainly was a lot of fun for a while – because I am very familiar with the bible and I could speak with authority and tear down every one of his arguments. The plus side of the debate was that the people who were listening (those with an open mind at any rate) could see the stupidity of his arguments – they just didn’t stack up to scrutiny. That is the usefulness of crakar and I can understand your views in this regard.

    The down side (and this is where I am coming from here) is that after a while it just ceases to be fun. Fundamentalists like that who just refuse to accept the facts (yes, facts – not opinions) even when they can see them for themselves will never be convinced, and after a while you just stop debating them because it is simply pointless. The people who come in here and post and who are genuine sceptics will ask questions and make points, and when we respond to them they actually read the information we provide and are swayed by evidence. They might have doubts and more questions, but at least their minds are not closed cesspits.

    I know this from my own experience. My views on climate change have changed considerably over time, from being a disbeliever, to a sceptic, to openly accepting the facts of the matter. I still have many questions, and I am trying to resolve those by asking questions and doing a LOT of reading. I am not a ‘disasteralist’ (if that’s a word) from a purely human perspective – we are not all going to drown under rising sea levels or have to wall ourselves into air conditioned buildings to escape the extreme heat – but as a wildlife scientist I recognise the impact that climate change will have (and is having) on the global ecosystem. In that respect at least climate change is already a disaster from which there is no hope of recovery – its just that few people are prepared to accept that very uncomfortable truth. Many species around the world are simply ‘dead men walking’, and it is only a matter of time before we see extinctions and trophic collapse in many ecosystems.

    So, I will continue to post and debate with posters, including deniers, because I agree it is important to get the message out to those who will listen. But I will be selfish with regard to crakar. He IS a fundamentalist moron with views akin to a creationist, and I have far better things to do with my time than waste it trying to educate the uneducatable.

  69. #70 crakar24
    May 2, 2010

    I dont think i have ever read more bullshit crammed into so few posts.

    I thought i had seen/read it all but no there are new depths of hypocrisy around the next corner. We had a poster that had more general knowledge of climate than anyone here so therefore we dont debate him on science we resort to semantics to prove our point.

    But what is the point? Well i think this statement sums it up “But if you want your ass kissed because you can operate a mass spectrometer, don’t show your ass on A Few Things Ill Considered.”

    No dont indeed because here we are well beyond debating right from wrong, fact from fiction. The only thing around here being debated is religious conviction, no wonder Max pulled the pin, you ought to be ashamed of yourself Skip.

    The latest gaping hole in the theory has recently been discussed which also goes along way to bringing religious conviction to the surface, for any newbies out there i will hit the high points.

    For some time now we have had two competing theories, one is of course issued from the IPCC and the second from Lindzen/spencer and others. The main difference between the two is the sign and magnitude of the theoretical feedbacks induced by increasing CO2. In short Lindzen etc predict a modest warming to doubling CO2 of between 0.5 and 1C whilst the IPCC predict anywhere from 3C to 8C or more of warming (depending on scenario).

    The IPCC have been kind enough to provide a prediction of heat build up and where this heat will be seen. This provides us with a tool to measure (falsify) the accuracy of the theory and the models. Unfortunately for the IPCC when the measurements were taken over 50% of the heat could not be found.

    It should be noted at this point that up to around 2002 the data apparently matched the predictions but since then the planet has cooled or at least not warmed whilst the prediction called for a continual heat build up.

    So of the two competing theories which one has more merit? If you cannot account for over 50% of the heat then is it possible the theory which calls for a very high +feedback (3 to 8C) is incorrect? and the theory which calls for a very low +ve or zero feedback to be more correct?

    Not to be out done Trenberth who is a mover and shaker in IPCC circles defends his theory by usurping the old one with three, yes thats right three new theories to explain why the old one got it so badly wrong.

    Theory #1.

    There are problems with the way we process data.

    In other words what he is saying is the lost heat is really there but we cant see it because between reading what the thermometer says and printing a pretty graph the temp data is being adjusted down by mistake, obviously this has occured since 2003 and not before)

    Theory #2

    There are problems with the way we calibrate the equipment.

    In other words what he is saying is the lost heat is really there but we cant see it because our satellites, ARGO bouys and our land based thermometers have errors in them due to incorrect calibration, once again this error must have only arisen since 2003.

    Now remember we are talking about OVER 50% OF HEAT WHICH IS MISSING, i ask you all does this make sense? Of course not and even Trenberth knows it which is why he came up with a third theory.

    Theory #3

    All the heat has gone down to the bottom of the ocean where we cannot measure it.

    In other words this is just a guess by Trenberth as he clutches at straws to keep his reputation and grant money gravy train on the tracks.

    If this theory is to be believed then one would have to say that the heat (missing 50 plus%) would have been seen accumulating in the atmosphere then this missing heat would have to be seen accumulating in the upper ocean before it disappeared of the radar as it sunk. On the other hand if we combine all 3 theories then one could argue the missing heat we cant actually see did in fact transition from the atmosphere to the upper and then to the lower oceans its just that we did not see it. But if we cant see it then how do we really know it was there?

    Did Trenberth provide any evidence for this? Did he provide any evidence at all for any of his new theories? Of course not, he did not provide one shred of evidence to support any of this. Of course it should be noted that he has never provided any evidence to support his intial theory of +ve feedbacks which was supposed to produce all this heat that he cannot find.

    So if Trenberth got his ocean heat biuld up theory wrong is it possible he fas over cooked the +ve feed back theory as well?

    So in the end we have a theory that has been proven to be wrong and is now supported by a multitude of once again unproven theories and in comparison we have a theory that in essence claims the missing heat is in fact not missing because it never existed to begin with (Lindzen etc).

    The above posters “believe in AGW” and like all people who believe in a cause they abandon logic and common sense, try convincing a life long believer in God he is wrong and see how far you get.

    In the end it all comes down to the same thing, notice how many times they attempt to slander me with name calling? fundamentalis moron, creationist, flat earther to name but a few. In the end they will believe any peice of crap thrown to them if it means they can maintain the faith.

    I have been busy going over the space shuttle columbia accident report (lessons learned exercise), its not as interesting as operating a mass spectrometer i know but it is far more interesting than having to read the latest pile of dog shit from the usual contributers.

    Oh and before i go i see the Arctic is doing quite well best April numbers since 2002, when did the prophecy predict it would be ice free?

    Keep on belevin’

    Crakar

  70. #71 skip
    May 3, 2010

    We had a poster that had more general knowledge of climate than anyone here

    He never made that claim.

    so therefore we dont debate him on science we resort to semantics to prove our point.

    He pulled a Crakar–he cited as an authority something he didn’t even understand/read. That was a small infraction in and of itself. Not admitting it when *politely* called on it–that was intolerable.

    you ought to be ashamed of yourself Skip.

    Compared to what?

    Again:

    For the record and the interested reader, the following things have been *proven*–repeat–*proven* on this forum:

    (1) Crakar will cite things he has not read.
    (2) Crakar will change his story as to what a particular un-read citation supposedly proves.
    (3) Crakar will adopt a non-scientific argument and then attempt to cover his tracks.
    (4) Crakar will plagiarize something that is *not even correct*–and then when called out to acknowledge it, will apologize, supposedly on behalf of his accuser’s “feelings.”(As if he’s doing the other guy a favor by admitting his own transgression.)
    (5) Crakar will default to a checklist of red herrings when cornered (Al Gore . . . Australian liberals . . . early 20th century cooling . . . record cold in B.F. Somewhere . . .)
    (6) Crakar routinely advertises the ideological basis of his denial, parroting talking points about AGW “religion”, despicable “liberals”, and “environmentalists”.

    I have any number of things to ashamed of. At least none of the above are among them.

  71. #72 crakar24
    May 3, 2010

    Oh my giddy aunt!

    It must frustrate you so much that others refuse to believe as you do.

    So now Max is gone you turn your guns on me again and list 6 intolerable sins and so i must be punished in the eyes of God.

    The problem with you Skip is simple, you do not have an opinion on anything because you lack the understanding to have one which is why you believe in what the consensus tells.

    Since you have no understanding of anything your only avenue for debate is to attempt to set linguistic traps, you ask the same stupid question over and over again, a question that is not designed to promote debate but to simply create an argument which is why no matter how many times one tries to answer the answer is not accepted. Or you simply argue about semantics in a vain effort to look knowledgable and important.

    The bottom line is you have no opinion, no opinion on anything thus we have nothing more to debate. You can shove you imaginary list of sins where the sun dont shine for all i care.

    You can now sit there with your nose pressed against the monitor patiently waiting for the next crakar or Max or whoever to come along.

  72. #73 skip
    May 3, 2010

    you do not have an opinion on anything because you lack the understanding to have one which is why you believe in what the consensus tells.

    Wow. You really nailed me there. Let me guess, Crakar: You think *you*–a proven plagiarist/dodger/distorter (see above)–*have* the “understanding to have” an opinion? Is this what you think? Is this what you *really*, really think?

    I beg an answer to this one.

    Perhaps you’re right, Crakar. Perhaps I should be brave and ignore reality and show my mettle by holding an “opinion” *against* the scientific consensus.

  73. #74 crakar24
    May 3, 2010

    And what or who’s reality would that be Skip? Would it be Trenberths reality, the one with over half of the estimated heat missing and now presumed lost?

    Or would it be some other reality which claims to foretell an ice free Arctic summer by 2013?

    It could be Al Gores reality but if it was then you could afford an 8.8 million dollar 9 bedroom, 8 bathroom mansion with ocean views. Cover the cost of all those airfares as he jet sets around the world to tell everyone how bad GW really is. Maybe it is not his reality after all?

    How about the computer model reality, you know the ones that could not predict the temp decline in the past decade or maybe even the ones that could not predict record cold winters and record snowfall.

    I think the reality you are talking about is the one you have constructed for yourself and that is the only reality you need to be concerned with.

  74. #75 skip
    July 19, 2010

    Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true. — Demosthenes

    Crakar and Narratives update:

    Watching what’s transpired the past week or so on the “Models” and “Climate Skeptic” threads it seems an installment on Narratives is called for. (Well, at least that’s *my* narrative.)

    Crakar in some ways you’re just too good to be true, but I have a concern, I guess–and a confession to make: After reading some of your recent posts and the exchanges around them I went and looked up the attributes of “pathological liar”.

    That’s the bad news; the good news is that while you have a couple of the attributes, you definitely don’t have them all, far as I can tell. (And besides, I’m guessing all of us have at least a few of the attributes of any disorder you might think of.)

    But mate, whether you’re consciously and/or pathologically lying or not, there are some remarkable outcomes that came out of these exchanges:
    (1) Completely dodging the fact that you’ve never produced a reference for your alleged IPCC numbers as repeatedly requested by Chris,
    (2) failing to acknowledge that once again you’ve been nailed dogma-propping a source that holds no water (the faux Amazon-gate) reference. (I mean, come on, man. You need to give that one up and quit dying a death by a thousand Mandas posts.)
    (3) What I just noticed from late May above, in which you challenge . . .

    . . . Trenberths reality, the one with over half of the estimated heat missing and now presumed lost?

    “Missing . . . presumed lost . . . “.

    Incredible.

    And of course followed by the straw men of non-imminence of zero arctic ice extent, the short-term drawbacks of climate models (groan) or Al Gore (agonized,reeling groan).

    Again: Incredible.

    My experience with you, Crakar, is consistent with my discussions with other people who argue against AGW by citing or even plagiarizing quackery they have not read (that’s right; you’re not the only one so don’t feel bad) because it conforms to ideological preference.

    I don’t know enough cognitive psychology to comment, and I am aware that self-deception is strongly associated with addictive personality disorders, but I also wonder:

    *Can self-deception itself be the addictive substance?*

    I mean really, think about it: Lying to yourself is cheap when there’s *nothing directly at stake for you*. Come on, Crakar, you have to admit its true in principle. The worst punishment you’ll ever suffer for deceiving yourself about AGW is the factual vivisection you’ll suffer at the hands of someone like Mandas. No food comes off your table; Geelong won’t lose any more games, there are still plenty of fluffy, pretty sheep around . . .

    I think I see this a lot with AGW deniers. They’ve learned instinctively that they can, by many measures, simply “get away” with being dishonest. So Crakar thinks Chris Monckton is a credible source of climate information. Monckton is a complete charlatan of course. But from your perspective, Crakar, what difference does it make? Ultimately, none at all!

    It would be a different deal if you were lying to yourself about whether there was a rotten bridge under your feet as you crossed a canyon, because your self-deception results in your own very tangible injury or even death. Not so AGW. You can deceive yourself, deceive yourself some more, keep on deceiving yourself, throw in some self-deception for good measure, and then, just when the rest of us think its over, start in on the *real* self-deception. Because no matter what the truth is, it will never affect *you*.

    Maybe that’s the key problem that sustains the narrative of AGW denial. Unlike many other aspects of life, there is no consequence to the denier for being wrong. He won’t live to see the effects of his denial.

    In the end, self-deception about AGW is attractive to a denier because its both cheap and addictive. Its like drinking a magical variety of gin in which the epoch hangover engendered by self-indulgence is passed on to people alive in 2097.

Current ye@r *