The Island of Doubt

I’ve never met David Rose of the U.K.’s Daily Mail. And, while his past reporting on climate issues has tended to misrepresent the science of the day, it is entirely possible his editors are to blame for the fictionalization of his latest story. So I won’t point fingers at this juncture. Regardless, the affair is an ominous reminder of how easily an idea can migrate across the world in a matter of hours even though anyone with a middle-school education could spot the flaw within a few seconds.


According to Rose:

The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.

The main problem with both the lead (or lede for those who prefer jargon) is that there is nothing in the rest of the story to substantiate. The scientist in question, Murari Lal, is quoted saying only:

‘It related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action. It had importance for the region, so we thought we should put it in.’

which does not equal “purely to put political pressure on world leaders.” All you have to do is keep reading to know that there’s something fishy with Rose’s story. But that wasn’t enough for Joe Romm, who tracked down Lal (by looking up his phone number) and asked him about the story. He told Romm that he

didn’t put it [the 2035 claim] in to impress policymakers…. We reported the facts about science as we knew them and as was available in the literature.”

Too late, though. The story had already been picked up by the heretofore reputable Science News reporter/blogger Janet Raloff. And from there US News and World Report ran with it.

[Update: Lal denies making the statements Rose quotes, and Rose stands by his reporting, which was based on "verbatim notes," although not a recording, so there's no way to tell who's telling the truth. This from emails sent to Andy Revkin at Dot Earth.]

Rose’s story does try to get at the real problem with the whole Himalaya meltdown prediction fiasco, which is that the IPCC authors who forecast as possible disappearance of Tibetan glaciers by 2035 relied on a non-peer-reviewed World Wide Fund for Nature paper which was in turn based on a New Scientist interview from 11 years ago.

But there’s no violation of protocol or ethics to be found here. Just a systematic loophole that allows gray literature to slip into IPCC reports, a loophole that is almost certainly going to be closed. As another veteran IPCC climatologist, Michael Oppenheimer told Andy Revkin at Dot Earth:

There is nothing troubling about a decision to emphasize those aspects of the science that are of special concern to policy makers. In deciding what to emphasize in both the summaries for policy makers and the underlying chapters, I.P.C.C. authors necessarily must chose from millions of facts and statements they might potentially publish, all of which are extraordinarily interesting to many scientists. But the reality is that only a limited number can be presented due to space limitations and the need to focus on material that is broadly useful. So that decision doesn’t bother me at all.

Oppenheimer goes on to address the real issue:

But a more serious question then arises: did the authors let their strong interest in the issue cause them to throw caution to the wind and press forward a statement based on weak evidence with a pedigree (i.e., not peer reviewed) that called for further exploration of the matter, and did they ignore critical review comments in the process?

Rose’s story, paints an entirely different picture, of scientists who didn’t care whether the data they were citing were good and were more interested in pushing policy regardless of the facts. And he paints that picture without any facts of his own to back it up. Ironic, I would say.

By now, however, every climate pseudoskeptic on the net is cheering this latest pseudoscandal thanks to journalistic and scientific laziness. It all have been avoided if:

  1. The IPCC authors had bothered to read the WWF paper closely, which qualifies the 2035 prediction as far from authoritative and clearly cites New Scientist;
  2. David Rose and/or his editors hadn’t invented the false notion that Lal admitted including the prediction purely to pressure politicians;
  3. Janet Raloff of Science News had bothered to read Rose’s story closely before blogging about it;
  4. The US News and World Report had bothered to read the Rose’s story before reproducing a blog post about it.

Everyone needs to slow down, take a deep breath and think a bit before hitting “publish.”

Comments

  1. #1 Phyllograptus
    January 26, 2010

    With relation to point 1) I couldn’t agree more. Now that this has become such a big issue similar stuff is coming out regarding other WWF grey referenced papers. There is another “gate” type conversation going on about the IPCC using another WWF grey research report discussing the impacts of climate change on rainforest due to rainfall changes. “Up to 40% of the Brazilian forest is extremely sensitive to small reductions in the amount of rainfall. In the 1998 dry season, some 270,000 sq. km of forest became vulnerable to fire, due to completely depleted plant-available water stored in the upper five metres of soil. A further 360,000 sq. km of forest had only 250 mm of plant-available soil water left.” The IPCC authors cited the WWF grey research. But the really interesting part is that the WWF paper referenced its data from a peer reviewed Nature letter, which IS peer reviewed. Why not use the original source from Nature in the IPCC report? The way this is going to play out is that there are three possible answers I see. To be charitable the IPCC was trusting and just used the data from the WWF as gospel because the WWF report had cited Nature. To be Un-charitable they were not doing their jobs and sloppy and lazy and just used the data without checking, even though the original source had more credibility and fully lives up to their rules on peer reviewed data. To be real nasty they had a political agenda to serve and the WWF report served that and the original Nature article did not. Turns out the original Nature paper was discussing logging practices and reduced rainfall and forest cover to logging & clear-cutting practices. The WWF manipulated the quote and bastardized it completely to fit with their political agenda and made it deal with climate change. The IPCC for some reason chose to use the completely wrong & fictitious WWF version, rather than doing their job and looking at the scientific version, which it turns out had nothing to do with climate change. This little “loophole” of grey referencing needs to be closed or the IPCC needs to do a much better job investigating the claims of grey research as it is destroying the credibility of the IPCC.
    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/01/corruption-of-science.html

  2. #2 Michael Gersh
    January 26, 2010

    I wholeheartedly agree with the closing of the piece:

    “Everyone needs to slow down, take a deep breath and think a bit”

    There is a proposal before the our species to institute massive changes in the way all six billion of us live, that may effect our prospects for the future. If the “A” in AGW is true, then we need to take action, but the investment prescribed is so vast, doubt must be addressed, and honest debate must be allowed. A long term problem will not yield to a short term solution, so this debate and the tactics used to promulgate the Kyoto solution needs to so much more, well, scientific.

    Some proponents of massive short term action have acted in so unseemly a manner that it behooves us to be more careful in our claims. In the meantime I believe that the brinkmanship shown by the political side of this debate has, IMHO, set back the commencement of gradual, lower cost solutions for greater reductions of the pollution we all emit.

    Ideological purity by some has set back the effort to solve the problem. We are scientists, not politicians, and we need to be sure of our facts. Belief in the outcome never trumps the results. We need to address the objections of the skeptics, and must realize that the internet and social networks mean that we no longer have the luxury of discussing these things only amongst ourselves, and then presenting the public with a final truth. We need to justify ourselves without using some of the more wild exaggerations such as those found in “An Inconvenient Truth”.

    We need to tone down the rhetoric and politically unrealizable demands and search for solutions that will not only move the curve in the right direction, but will also satisfy an increasingly vocal and influential, and increasingly skeptical, public.

  3. #3 Russell
    January 26, 2010

    You’re parsing too finely. These two statements describe the same act, the difference between them being one of spin:

    1) “It was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.”

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

    Yes, the lapse resulted from “a systematic loophole that allows gray literature to slip into IPCC reports.” Such lapses are going to be used by the deniers at every turn. Those who want to get the facts out are going to have to watch their own output more closely than the preacher’s wife does her behavior.

  4. #4 Julius
    January 26, 2010

    Oh look, the Daily Mail making shit up, it’s not like that’s happened before… yet it still pisses me off every time.

    You may find this interesting: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201001/british-newspapers-make-things

  5. #5 Alex
    January 26, 2010
  6. #6 Scott Belyea
    January 26, 2010

    Why would Lal say, “We reported the facts about science as we knew them and as was available in the literature”?

    As far as I can see, this was not “in the literature”? Is this just piling more sloppiness on top?

  7. #7 dhogaza
    January 26, 2010

    Literature as specified by the IPCC, both the peer-reviewed and so-called “gray” literature.

    It would be nice if someone found some references to some of the industry-produced gray literature the IPCC rules allowed to be referenced, too …

  8. #8 Scott Belyea
    January 26, 2010

    Literature as specified by the IPCC, both the peer-reviewed and so-called “gray” literature.

    Well … I’m a lay observer here, but given the frequency with which the term “peer-reviewed” is used by scientists and science writers, I suggest that when I see “in the literature,” I’m justified in inferring that “peer-reviewed” is what’s meant.

    As an aside, “gray literature” is a terrible term. The two comparisons that come to mind are “gray water” or “halfway between black and white.”

  9. #9 Long Island Bob
    January 26, 2010

    “Everyone needs to slow down, take a deep breath and think a bit before hitting ‘publish.’”

    good advice.

    I am something of a “skeptic” on the AGW issue and I tend to think the Dail Mail article was accurate in all its main points(including its portrayal of Dr. Lal’s commetns.)

    STILL, when a reputable news source gets a hold of a story this big the PROPER thing for a professional journalist to do is to have Dr. Lal’s allegation confirmed by a second(and sometimes a third) source.

  10. #10 dhogaza
    January 26, 2010

    including its portrayal of Dr. Lal’s commetns.

    Who to believe, Dr. Lal, or some twerp at the clearly dishonest Daily Mail?

    As I mentioned above, they pulled the same stuff with Latif, and *his* actually thoughts are captured on *videotape* for all to see. The misreporting by the denialsphere (not just the Mail) is … awesome.

  11. #11 Jim Owen
    January 26, 2010

    1. Sounds to me like you have a case of cognitive dissonance. Your first two quotes say exactly the same thing – just in different words. Your big deal isn’t so big.

    2. “We reported the facts about science as we knew them and as was available in the literature.” If Lal said that then he lied. There was no peer-reviewed literature to support that statement.

    3. You say – “But there’s no violation of protocol or ethics to be found here.” But there is. The IPCC is constrained by their own charter to use ONLY peer-reviewed literature in their reports. Use of the WWF report is both a gross violation of procedure and evidence of bias in the report. Particularly because there are at least 2 dozen instances of the same “systematic loophole”. See http://nofrakkingconsensus.blogspot.com/2010/01/more-dodgy-citations-in-nobel-winning.html

    Try it for yourself – see if you can find more instances of improper referencing and unverifiable science claims.

    4. Before you slam others for not reading, you might try to shed your cognitive dissonance and actually fact check what you’re writing.

  12. #12 dhogaza
    January 26, 2010

    2. “We reported the facts about science as we knew them and as was available in the literature.” If Lal said that then he lied. There was no peer-reviewed literature to support that statement.

    Actually, there’s a lot of peer-reviewed literature to support the fact that glaciers, overall, in the Himalyas are receeding rapidly.

    GRACE satellite figures, for instance.

    They’re not likely to disappear in this century, but their capacity to deliver water to the billions who depend on it?

    Not such a sanguine scenario.

    The IPCC is constrained by their own charter to use ONLY peer-reviewed literature in their reports.

    The fact that this has been posted so frequently that I can only conclude that you’re lying.

    The escape hatch, for instance, *explicitly* says that non-peer reviewed reports, by among other specifically *industry* (hello, Exxon!), can be used.

    Quit lying. If you’re capable of not lying.

    dozen instances of the same “systematic loophole”

    Oh, my gosh, of the thousands of references in AR4, a dozen or so take advantage of the fact that the IPCC *explicitly* states that references don’t have to be peer-reviewed.

    Any rational, honest person would conclude that the average WG wonk was far more conservative than the requirements required.

    . Before you slam others for not reading, you might try to shed your cognitive dissonance and actually fact check what you’re writing.

    Well, yes, maybe you should, good point. You should begin, for instance, by fact checking your claim that only peer-reviewed sources can be sources for AR4.

    Get back to us when you’re done with that.

  13. #13 Andrew Dodds
    January 27, 2010

    Honestly wonder here..

    At what point do we put the dividing line between ‘Newspaper’ and ‘Fiction/opinion publication’?

  14. #14 Marco
    January 27, 2010

    @James:
    This piece by Rose isn’t nearly as bad as his previous story, supposedly quoting Mojib Latif that we’re in for a 20-30 year cooling, and claiming that Keenlyside et al said the same (a paper with Latif as co-author). Neither did, of course. And I’m saying “of course”, due to Rose’s self-admitted infatuation with Steve McIntyre. His following is pretty good at ‘re-interpreting’ what is really said.

    I’m having a very strong impression that Rose actually never talked to either Latif or Lal.

  15. #15 Just Another Warmer Troll
    January 27, 2010

    James – please give us some quick talking points to use to discredit this compendium on the disastrous state of the surface temperature record. You don’t need to read it. Just make up some quick knee jerk rebuttal remarks to protect our religion.

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/surface_temp.pdf

    Thanks. We’re counting on you.

  16. #16 Marco
    January 27, 2010

    @troll:
    D’Aleo and Watts not understanding anomalies…gee!
    Watts’ pet-project (surfacestations) shot down by actual data analysis, rather than loads of handwaving…LOL!
    All James can do is read the nonsense of these two, shake his head, read it again, and wonder why a journalist understands more than two meteorologists.

  17. #17 Marco
    January 27, 2010

    @James:
    I don’t think we should be too surprised about British newspapers:
    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201001/british-newspapers-make-things

    Note the reference to not having spoken to any journalist, on purpose, and subsequently…being quoted in the article.
    Perhaps a fun little story, also considering the UK actually has a Press Complaint committee (which should be inundated with cases).

  18. #18 pough
    January 27, 2010

    Jim Owen wrote:

    The IPCC is constrained by their own charter to use ONLY peer-reviewed literature in their reports. Use of the WWF report is both a gross violation of procedure and evidence of bias in the report.

    You’re right! Or are you?…

    IPCC wrote:

    All chapters undergo a rigorous writing and open review process to ensure consideration of all relevant scientific information from established journals with robust peer review processes or from other sources which have undergone robust and independent peer review. Additional procedures are provided for information found in sources that have not been published or peer-reviewed. In these cases, authors and chapter teams should critically assess and review the quality and validity of each source before incorporating results.

    (source: http://ipcc-wg2.gov/WGIIsummary.html)

    Hmm… it’s so hard to say. On one hand, some blog somewhere claims that there is some definite charter thing that inhibits the IPCC from using anything other than peer reviewed papers as source material. On the other hand, the IPCC itself seems to specifically allow for their inclusion. Hmm… Hmm… It seems so much more likely the Mr. Blog is right about the functioning of the IPCC and the IPCC is wrong.

    Wait! I know! This is yet another example of the IPCC getting something wrong!

  19. #19 Jim Owen
    January 27, 2010

    @dhogaza | January 26, 2010 11:47 PM
    After working for 40 years with the “science” under discussion here, I get disgusted by those who claim certainty that doesn’t exist. You should learn more about science before hanging your ignorance out for the world to see. A good history of science course would do wonders for you.

    Actually, there’s a lot of peer-reviewed literature to support the fact that glaciers, overall, in the Himalyas are receeding rapidly.
    GRACE satellite figures, for instance.

    Your first mistake here was intruding on “my” playground – I’m a spacecraft systems engineer and the GRACE data has continuing problems with ice measurements.

    The next mistake was your conclusion that the Himalayan glaciers are receding at all, let alone “rapidly” – there is no evidence to support that contention. The IPCC has admitted as much, as has the Indian government and various other eminent glaciologists. If you have evidence to the contrary, then drag it out. But saying it doesn’t make it so.

    There is, however, evidence that the Karakoram glaciers are growing.

    They’re not likely to disappear in this century, but their capacity to deliver water to the billions who depend on it?
    Not such a sanguine scenario.

    According to the Indian government glaciologists, that concern is overblown. Do you have evidence to the contrary? The IPCC doesn’t – nor do the glaciologists. They might appreciate some help. Or not.

    The IPCC is constrained by their own charter to use ONLY peer-reviewed literature in their reports.
    The fact that this has been posted so frequently that I can only conclude that you’re lying.
    The escape hatch, for instance, *explicitly* says that non-peer reviewed reports, by among other specifically *industry* (hello, Exxon!), can be used.

    Don’t get silly – your “escape hatch” is worthless when the ONLY reference to support rapidly melting Himalayan glaciers come from “grey literature”.

    In addition, the only real claim the IPCC has had to legitimacy for the last 15 years has been their claim to use ONLY peer-reviewed sources.

    Quit lying. If you’re capable of not lying.

    Typical AGW religionist response. I don’t need to lie – truth is sufficient.

    Oh, my gosh, of the thousands of references in AR4, a dozen or so take advantage of the fact that the IPCC *explicitly* states that references don’t have to be peer-reviewed.

    Pitiful. We covered this previously.

    Any rational, honest person would conclude that the average WG wonk was far more conservative than the requirements required.

    Silliness again. You’re equating politics with science.

    I’ll leave you with this quote from a “real” scientist –

    Scientific theories can never be proved true beyond reasonable doubt: they can only be falsified. What we think of as scientific facts or convincing theories are just those insights that nobody has yet either convincingly falsified by observational evidence or supplanted with a more beautiful, robust, and imaginative idea.

    I am suspicious of any ontological system that claims to deliver unchallengeable truths. The extent to which scientists claim to have delivered such certainty is the extent to which they have perverted the real purpose of science, which is above all a rigorous but open-minded and dynamic system of inquiry.
    From – “Hunting Down the Universe” by Michael Hawkins

    Or perhaps you’d prefer something shorter –

    Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts
    Richard Feynman

    Your certainty in the reality of your beliefs indicates the degree of your ignorance.

  20. #20 Jim Owen
    January 27, 2010

    @pough | January 27, 2010 2:14 PM

    Wait! I know! This is yet another example of the IPCC getting something wrong!

    Well, if you’d been paying attention you’d know that your statement is correct. They were wrong – and admitted so.

    Would you care to discuss the same problem with respect to the Amazon?

    Stand by – there’s more of the same coming.

    And you haven’t even begun to hear the problems with their peer-reviewed conclusions. Or the results of the investigations of some of the scientists.

    Well, I’m outta here and into the mountains (on the AT) for the next four days, so have fun, kiddies. And try really hard to actually learn something other than AGW religious dogma while I’m gone.

  21. #21 dhogaza
    January 27, 2010

    After working for 40 years with the “science” under discussion here, I get disgusted by those who claim certainty that doesn’t exist

    While you’re off on your AT, put together a cogent proof the the physics of CO2-forced warming is wrong. Be sure to put together a cogent case that disproving the basic physics involved doesn’t destroy everything else known about quantum mechanics, etc.

  22. #22 dhogaza
    January 27, 2010

    I am suspicious of any ontological system that claims to deliver unchallengeable truths.

    You should join this organization. You’ll fit right in.

  23. #23 Lance
    January 27, 2010

    Hey dhogaza,

    Jim Owen slapped you silly on the facts and as usual all you could do was hurl chidlish insults.

    He did a point by point take down of your post.

    You ignored his cogent and devastating hits and called him names.

    Why am I not surprised.

  24. #24 dhogaza
    January 27, 2010

    Jim Owen slapped you silly on the facts

    So you’re on the “CO2 doesn’t absorb LW IR” bandwagon, now?

    So you’re going to argue that this is true?

    In addition, the only real claim the IPCC has had to legitimacy for the last 15 years has been their claim to use ONLY peer-reviewed sources.

    even though they make no claim, and make it explicitly?

    How fucking dishonest are you going to be, Lance?

  25. #25 dhogaza
    January 27, 2010

    Why am I not surprised.

    Because you wouldn’t know the truth if it bit you in the ass, failed scientist-wanna-be.

    I am suspicious of any ontological system that claims to deliver unchallengeable truths.

    So, Lance, are you, like Jim Owens, suspicious of claims that the earth isn’t flat?

    Probably would be, if it suited your political ideology …

  26. #26 ASFSDGSF
    January 28, 2010

    VBVMBVVJZVBVMBZJVBVBMCVBVBCB

  27. #27 pough
    January 28, 2010

    Jim Owen, I’m not sure if you didn’t quite get what I was saying or if you simply didn’t care and wanted to bang your drum regardless, but I was only talking about your claim that the IPCC is “constrained by their own charter to use ONLY peer-reviewed literature in their reports”. Do you stand by that statement?

  28. #28 Marion Delgado
    January 28, 2010

    As a tendency, Working Group I had little or no citations that weren’t to peer-reviewed literature, and Working Group II (and III) had some. Since the denialist trolls claim expertise on the IPCC, it’s a little shocking they didn’t even know there were different sections of the IPCC and different processes.

  29. #29 hexkid
    January 28, 2010

    @Jim Owen
    “Your first mistake here was intruding on “my” playground – I’m a spacecraft systems engineer and the GRACE data has continuing problems with ice measurements.

    The next mistake was your conclusion that the Himalayan glaciers are receding at all, let alone “rapidly” – there is no evidence to support that contention. The IPCC has admitted as much, as has the Indian government and various other eminent glaciologists. If you have evidence to the contrary, then drag it out. But saying it doesn’t make it so.

    There is, however, evidence that the Karakoram glaciers are growing.”

    Jim, there are several fundamental flaws with your comment:

    1. Climatologists don’t rely purely on satellite data to measure the glaciers and the retreat of Himalayan glaciers is primarily observed in field work.

    2. There is lots of evidence that the majority (> 70%) of Himalyan glaciers are retreating and that the speed of this retreat has accelerated since the mid 1990′s. The cherry-picking of a few Karakoram glaciers doesn’t negate this evidence.

    3. Much of the field work has been carried out by local scientists including those working for the Indian Government. Where is your evidence that the Indian Government states that the Himalayan glaciers are not retreating? All climatologists (including India’s) agree that the 2035 date was incorrect but this is not the same at all.

    Glaciology is a very complex science and there are many reasons why the Karakoram glaciers are advancing. These glaciers are predominently avalance fed and the climate models predict both increased precipition in the Eastern Himalayas and also an increase in the frequency of avalances in the region. The combination of these factors could well be the cause of the surge in the length of glaciers in this specific region.

    A small sample of field work providing evidence of Himalayan glacial retreat:

    Nepal
    ‘Nepalese Glaciers, Glacier Retreat and its Impact to the Broader Perspective of Nepal’
    Dr. Arun. B. Shrestha, Hydrologist-Engineers, Snow and Glaciers Hydrology Unit, Department of Hydrology and
    Meteorology (DHM)/Ministry of Science and Technology, Kathmandu Nepal.

    India
    ‘Status review of possible Impacts of Climate Change on Himalayan Glaciers, Glaciers retreat and its subsequent
    impacts on fresh water regime’
    Dr. Rajesh Kumar, HIGHICE-India Glacier Research group, SES, JNU, New Delhi

    China
    ‘An Overview of Glaciers, Retreating Glaciers, and Their Impact in the Tibetan Plateau’
    Yongping Shen, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute (CAREERI), Chinese
    Academy of Sciences (CAS), Lanzhou 730000, China

  30. #30 hveerten
    January 28, 2010

    @Jim Owen, post 19, 24

    if I may join the silly slapping with facts on the playground… The Himalayan glacier retreat is also discussed in the paper ‘Glacier variations and climate change in the central Himalaya over the past few decades’, which can be found at http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/igsoc/agl/2006/00000043/00000001/art00032

    the summary of the paper is the following
    “Glacier variation is one of many indicators of climate change. Repeat measurements of the glacier terminus positions for selected glaciers in the central Himalaya document that they have been in a state of continuous retreat over the past few decades. Since the 1960s the average retreat rate on the north slope of Qomolangma (Mount Everest) is 5.5-9.5 m a−1 and on Xixiabangma it is 4.0-5.2 m a−1. Many glaciers on the south slope of the central Himalaya have been in retreat, and recently their retreat rate has accelerated. Ice-core studies show that the annual accumulation on these glaciers has fluctuated, but over the last century it has declined. It decreased rapidly in the 1960s and has remained consistently below the long-term mean thereafter. Meteorological station records indicate that the annual mean temperature in the region has slowly increased, particularly during the summer months. The strongest warming has occurred in the last 30 years. These data suggest that the current glacier retreat is due to the combined effect of reduced precipitation and warmer temperatures, and, if these conditions continue, the glaciers in the region will continue to shrink.”

    So I do not understand Jim Owen’s strong assertions to the contrary.

  31. #31 Anna Haynes
    January 28, 2010

    Terminology Q – what should we call these incidents? They’re part of a volley, they’re not “pellets” since each is meant to explode and propagate to have as much coverage as possible…what’s the life-form analogue? Directed infections? what’s the weaponry analogue? Exploding bullets from a machine gun?

    The frustrating thing is, I’m fairly sure there *is* a term being used, but behind the scenes at Heartland, TASSC etc, where AFAIK it hasn’t been made public.

  32. #32 chris
    January 29, 2010

    for the latest conspiracy talk visit the Dead Man Musings forum!

  33. #33 Anna Haynes
    January 29, 2010

    …another fellow who doesn’t believe in the Public Relations Fairy…

  34. #34 Jim Owen
    January 31, 2010

    @dhogaza | January 27, 2010 5:35 PM

    While you’re off on your AT, put together a cogent proof the the physics of CO2-forced warming is wrong. Be sure to put together a cogent case that disproving the basic physics involved doesn’t destroy everything else known about quantum mechanics, etc.

    I’m not surprised that you’re too ignorant to know what the AT is. After all, it’s only 2175 miles long. Such a small thing that it’s beneath your notice, eh. ROFLMAO !!!

    Cogent? Well, let’s just make it simple. Two undeniable facts – even for alarmists –
    1. Ten years of no warming (even a little cooling) even though the CO2 level has continued to rise.
    2. Historic CO2/temp traces show that temps consistently lead CO2 levels by several hundred years. Al Gore notwithstanding.

    Either or both are sufficient proof of the falsity of your thesis.

    Do you understand that?

    @dhogaza | January 27, 2010 5:37 PM
    Nobody with any knowledge or brains has believed in a “flat earth” for at least 2500 years. The fact that you know where to find the link indicates that you might be a member. True?

    As a debater, you’re an amateur. Real debate involves countering the substance – not attacking your opponent. And so far you’ve shown no ability in that regard.

    @pough | January 28, 2010 1:26 AM

    I’m not sure if you didn’t quite get what I was saying or if you simply didn’t care and wanted to bang your drum regardless, but I was only talking about your claim that the IPCC is “constrained by their own charter to use ONLY peer-reviewed literature in their reports”. Do you stand by that statement?

    You should pay attention to the IPCC spokesman (R Pachauri) who has consistently claimed loudly and publicly that ONLY peer-reviewed sources are used.

    Then you should learn something about what makes “science” credible. You claim that they have an “escape hatch”. If so, and if they use it – even once – then what they’re producing is NOT science, but “grey literature”. Do you think that constitutes “science.”

    @Marion Delgado | January 28, 2010 7:16 AM

    As a tendency, Working Group I had little or no citations that weren’t to peer-reviewed literature, and Working Group II (and III) had some.

    You make my point. ANY non-peer-reviewed reference is out of bounds for the IPCC if they are to retain their credibility. Those sources, especially if they’re the only sources (as they are in this case and several others) invalidate the “science” it’s purported to produce.

    @hexkid | January 28, 2010 7:30 AM

    Climatologists don’t rely purely on satellite data to measure the glaciers and the retreat of Himalayan glaciers is primarily observed in field work.

    Recently there was a book published by NOAA “proving” warming since 1964 based entirely on satellite video data. Data, incidentally, that I am more than familiar with because I was the video analyst for much of that data when it first came from the spacecraft. And I know it didn’t show what they claim for it.

    There is lots of evidence that the majority (> 70%) of Himalyan glaciers are retreating and that the speed of this retreat has accelerated since the mid 1990′s.

    Actually, I’ll agree with the first half of that sentence. But the Indian government doesn’t. Read the recent Indian government press releases that claim the evidence is limited, local and inconclusive. And their claim to be setting up an agency independent of the IPCC.

    The second half is absolutely debatable. “since the mid 1990′s” covers a period when the melt was fairly large. It also includes the period (the last five years or more) when the rates of melt have become debatable and in some (although very few) cases have actually reversed.

    The cherry-picking of a few Karakoram glaciers doesn’t negate this evidence.

    Mmmmm – actually it specifically does negate the warming you seem to assume. That some glaciers retreat and others grow is a logical negation of your thesis. To add to the mix – the same situation exists in Alaska, Canada, Colorado – and other places. Science is either consistent, predictable and reproducible – or it’s not science. And climate science is NOT excused from that stricture.

    To further confuse the issue, in general the glaciers have been melting for the last 15,000 years. The apparent expectation that glacier melt is an unnatural or unusual phenomenon is either ignorance or …. well, let’s not go there. But we can all be sure that 15,000 years of glacier melt is not due to AGW.

    In addition, there is anecdotal evidence of rapid glacial retreat in Glacier Bay, Alaska. Read John Muir’s Alaska travels.

    As you said, “Glaciology is a very complex science”. But is it really “science”? Or “hypothesis”? There’s a very large difference.

    The combination of these factors could well be the cause of the surge in the length of glaciers in this specific region.

    So – you’re conflating “climate change” with weather? It’s amazing how only the alarmists are allowed to do that. Do you understand that the disappearance of the snow on Kilimanjaro was/is NOT due to warming? Do you understand why I asked that question?

    I’ll give you a clue – one of the Universal Laws of science and engineering is that every complex problem has a simple solution. And that solution is ALWAYS wrong. What I’ve seen here so far is the application of the simple solution.

    I hope y’all had fun with this. But at this point, I’m here only for entertainment value – mine. And now I’ve been entertained. But … I have other things to do – like prepping for a 3500 mile walk starting in 4 weeks. Therefore, I don’t have time to waste on nonsense arguments. I’ll check back (maybe) but I seriously doubt I’ll get involved again.

  35. #35 pough
    February 1, 2010

    You should pay attention to the IPCC spokesman (R Pachauri) who has consistently claimed loudly and publicly that ONLY peer-reviewed sources are used.

    Then you should learn something about what makes “science” credible. You claim that they have an “escape hatch”. If so, and if they use it – even once – then what they’re producing is NOT science, but “grey literature”. Do you think that constitutes “science.”

    You should be a politician. Two paragraphs with nary a response in sight. I’m not a politician, so I’ll respond to you. First of all, I won’t simply take you at your word that Pachauri was saying… whatever. Nor do I trust that, even if he did say some things, you understood them correctly. Citation needed, in other words.

    As for the other part, I consider some parts of the IPCC documents to be a review of the science (WG1) and other parts to be grey (WG2&3). I consider the actual papers it’s based on to be science, though.

    BTW, I didn’t say anything about an “escape hatch”. I pointed out a document that puts the lie to your claim. I asked if you still stood by that claim, but you have been evasive in your smug superiority. I’m not impressed.

    Personally, I think you need to spend a little more time understanding what you’re attacking. Your mention of cooling over the last decade is laughable. Either you don’t know which way is up on a thermometer or else you’re shaky on how many years are in a decade.

    Also, you seem to think that there can only be one thing affecting climate at a time, otherwise you wouldn’t be confused by temperatures going down in the short term while CO2 continues to increase. What’s up with that?

    Finally, you find the lag issue compelling. Do some homework.

  36. #36 hexkid
    February 1, 2010

    @Jim –

    “The combination of these factors could well be the cause of the surge in the length of glaciers in this specific region.
    So – you’re conflating “climate change” with weather? It’s amazing how only the alarmists are allowed to do that.

    Jim, once again you seem to be deliberatately economical with the truth. In my previous comment, I stated that that the models indicated that snowfall could well increase in the Karakoram and that a wider annual range of temperatures would lead to increased avalance frequency. Both of these features are climatic in origin rather than short term weather phenomenom.

  37. #37 dhogaza
    February 1, 2010

    I’m not surprised that you’re too ignorant to know what the AT is. After all, it’s only 2175 miles long. Such a small thing that it’s beneath your notice, eh

    Yes, I do, and though it’s a poor distant cousin to our PCT, I have hiked portions of it.

    1. Ten years of no warming (even a little cooling) even though the CO2 level has continued to rise.

    Wrong. 1998 is so not ten years ago now.

    2. Historic CO2/temp traces show that temps consistently lead CO2 levels by several hundred years at the end of ice ages.

    Either or both are sufficient proof of the falsity of your thesis.

    Fixed that for you, and no, the second point doesn’t disprove everything that’s known about the physics of the interaction of CO2 and longwave infrared radiation.

    #2 is the most frequently raised, and most thoroughly debunked, denialist claim and shows nothing other than utter ignorance of climate science.

  38. #38 chris
    February 1, 2010

    check out the dead man musings conspiracy forum!

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