Pharyngula

Al Gore gets a poll

Here’s a Fox-News-driven poll for you.

Should Al Gore remain on Apple’s Board of Directors?

Yes 48%
No 49%
Unsure 4%

What did Al Gore do to win this vote of no-confidence? Was he flirting with Linux, caught running Windows, abusing insider information to reap illegal profits from the booming iPhone business? None of the above. He attended a business meeting of the Apple board, and a few idiot stockholders carped about global warming. Which he ignored.

Look at the amazing reporting given by Fox News ‘reporter’ Gene Koprowski.

“Al Gore won a Nobel Prize and an Oscar for his film, An Inconvenient Truth. But in the last three months, as global warming has gone from a scientific near-certitude to the subject of satire, Gore — the public face of global warming — has been silent on the topic,” Koprowski reports. “The former vice president apparently finds it inconvenient even to answer calls to testify before the U.S. Senate. You can call him Al… but he won’t call back.”

“On Tuesday, Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe — a prominent skeptic of global warming theory and the Republican leader of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee — issued a request for Gore to come testify on global warming,” Koprowski reports. “In an interview with FoxNews.com, Inhofe said he wants Gore to appear because ‘it will be interesting to ask him on what science he based his movie,’ a film the senator considers ‘science fiction.’”

“Gore has yet to respond, but that didn’t prevent him from causing a stir at Apple’s shareholder meeting Thursday. According to CNET, Gore was seated in the first row while several stockholders bashed his high-profile views on climate change. One reportedly said Gore ‘has become a laughingstock. The glaciers have not melted,’” Koprowski reports. “Gore did not reply, and he has not commented on his blog or Twitter feed.”

I knew Fox was bad, but I didn’t know it was that bad. The scientific consensus on global warming hasn’t changed a bit — it’s only become stronger over the past years. James Inhofe is a flaming moron, and when the scientific authority you turn to is a Republican politician, you’ve got to be desperate.

I was sent these nice graphic designs to illustrate denialism. Fox News is the consolidator of all those dishonest red hexagons that turn people into infectious disseminators of lies.

i-c715e9e1a2292bcab40347f79353faea-sci_not_conspiracy.jpeg
i-6a7a7964cd9b67ad24c37b504e510536-denial_conspiracy.jpeg

Comments

  1. #1 jagannath
    February 27, 2010

    I kind of wanted to see in the bottom picture a sentence ‘And this hot air is also affecting the climate negatively’

  2. #2 somnia.mortis
    February 27, 2010

    The transition from ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change’ is what has been deceptively portrayed as ‘global warming is fake’. It is interesting that, although the fox news-style reporting was lampooned on the Daily Show, this simple logic just doesn’t work for some chunk of the populace.

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-february-10-2010/unusually-large-snowstorm

  3. #3 lordshipmayhem
    February 27, 2010

    No, Al Gore should NOT be on the board of directors of Apple, or any other major corporation for that matter. But not for the specious reasoning of Faux News, but for purely practical, cold-hearted logical reasons.

    Look at his CV. He has never had to meet a payroll, or production targets, or deal with union negotiations. He’s not been on the receiving end of government regulations, or commercial competition. He’s not had to do capital budgeting or financial analysis or make-or-buy decisions or corporate law or anything even remotely like that.

    In other words, the only thing he brings to the table is name recognition, and Apple is light-years away from the time in the dim past when it needed a Big Name on its board. It needs progressive business people, knowledgeable in actually making things, for that is the business that Apple is in, MAKING THINGS. Placing someone on your board for name recognition is something you do strictly because you need investors to pony up in your obscure firm’s Initial Public Offering, and Apple is not what I’d call “obscure”, and its first IPO was decades ago.

    Yes, let him retire from the Board. It’s time, and past time.

  4. #4 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 27, 2010

    If the reason is about AGW, Gore should remain on the board. Gore is right about the science, and Faux News is wrong. Most BoD’s do nothing for the day to day running of the company, and are there simply to oversee top management. Since Apple is making a nice profit, they don’t have have to do much.

  5. #5 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 27, 2010

    So Gore should be fired from a computer company’s board of directors because Fox News doesn’t agree with him on global warming. I suppose that makes sense, if you’re Glen Beck.

  6. #6 mumonjmk
    February 27, 2010

    I’m gonna steal that chart.

  7. #7 Jon A
    February 27, 2010

    This is the same type of phenomenon that drives all that creationist twaddle. And of course everyone is now an “expert” on everything because of the internet. Don’t get me wrong the internet is an extraordinary useful resource but I would wager that few if any of these people have actually read a BOOK about the subject they claim to know so much about.

  8. #8 Sili
    February 27, 2010

    Yes, he should.

    But that’s more to do with Apple than with Gore.

  9. #9 amusingname
    February 27, 2010

    What a dumb poll. If he had taken the time to actually debate the fools at the meeting, then maybe he might need to reconsider his presence there, but I consider it a mark of professionalism that he didn’t.

  10. #10 Rey Fox
    February 27, 2010

    So, when Al Gore talks about global warming, it’s bad. And when he doesn’t talk about global warming, that’s also bad. Gotcha.

  11. #11 J. Frank Parnell
    February 27, 2010

    Not a poll, but a survey from Focus on the Family, they want to know how they can get their message across to a younger audience. LOL, I’m gonna go tell them what I think.

    http://www.risingvoice.com/survey/survey.php

    No e-mail required, and there are a bunch of good examples filled out surveys over on STFU Conservatives.

    On topic, is Faux going to enlighten us on the cause of the huge Iceberg in the Antarctic? Because it’s been really cold this winter, and there is no way global warming could be responsible for a 2,500 square kilometer iceberg. Just doesn’t happen when it’s so cold out right now.

    *headdesk*

  12. #12 jjr1993p2
    February 27, 2010

    Al Gore is ignoring them for the same reason Dawkins typically doesn’t “debate” creationists.

    It’s also entertaining to watch Obama school congressional Republicans on why the health care bill is NOT a gov’t takeover, and yet when they get up to respond, they keep spouting the same erroneous talking points like trained parrots.
    GOP = Party of The Big Lie.

  13. #13 Holytape
    February 27, 2010

    The proof is that January 2010 was only the second warmest January on record. If global warming was true wouldn’t it be the warmest?

    I’ll believe global warming when I see it, probably sometime in March.

  14. #14 mwsletten
    February 27, 2010

    Right, FOX News is only ‘news’ organization with politically-motivated personalities, some of whom spout unscientific nonsense.

    It’s so refreshing, PZ, to see a liberal viewpoint from a clear-thinking, logical scientist who doesn’t assume the average non-scientist is a moron who can’t separate the wheat from the chaff…

  15. #15 Knockgoats
    February 27, 2010

    Actually, Holytape, it was the warmest on record according to satellite measurements (which admittedly only go back 32 years):
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/2010/02/january-2010-warmest-on-record.shtml.

  16. #16 Aquaria
    February 27, 2010

    He has never had to meet a payroll, or production targets, or deal with union negotiations. He’s not been on the receiving end of government regulations, or commercial competition. He’s not had to do capital budgeting or financial analysis or make-or-buy decisions or corporate law or anything even remotely like that.

    Just what are you on about?

    Al Gore is on the board of Apple for a very simple reason: His longtime support of putting technology in the hands of consumers–very much the sort of thing Apple is all about.

    He didn’t invent the internet, but he damn sure did a lot of hard work in putting it in the hands of ordinary people, rather than letting it be an obscure toy for the government.

  17. #17 Knockgoats
    February 27, 2010

    Right, FOX News is only ‘news’ organization with politically-motivated personalities, some of whom spout unscientific nonsense. – mwsletten

    And that was said where, exactly?

  18. #18 catsittingstill
    February 27, 2010

    Republicans divorced Reality over her liberal bias a long time ago, and haven’t had a good word to say about her since.

    Since Science spends most of her time hanging out with Reality, naturally Republicans hate her too.

    In the meantime, good on Al Gore for staying professional and focussed even when climate denialists were not.

  19. #19 Matt Penfold
    February 27, 2010

    [quote]He has never had to meet a payroll, or production targets, or deal with union negotiations. He’s not been on the receiving end of government regulations, or commercial competition. He’s not had to do capital budgeting or financial analysis or make-or-buy decisions or corporate law or anything even remotely like that.[/quote]

    My understanding is that Gore is a non-executive director. In other words he has no involvement with the day to day running of the company. As such he does not need to have done any of those things since his role does not require to do so now.

  20. #20 Aquaria
    February 27, 2010

    MWS–

    You actually linked to a Tucker Carlson show to imply that liberals are not evidence based?

    Really?

    Psst–Tucker Carlson is not a liberal.

  21. #21 daveau
    February 27, 2010

    Jon A@7

    I would wager that few if any of these people have actually read a BOOK about the subject they claim to know so much about.

    I read a really good one a couple of years ago and would like to recommend it to Faux News. It’s called “An Inconvenient Truth” by this guy Al Gore…

  22. #22 Aquaria
    February 27, 2010

    Al Gore is on the board of Apple because, while Republicans will never admit it, Al Gore has extensive contacts in government, after being in the federal government so long.

    It’s perfectly ordinary and right for a company to want that kind of person on a board of directors.

    Of course, if that isn’t enough, please explain why his experience doesn’t qualify him to be on a board of directors, but Dick Cheney was qualified to be a CEO of Halliburton? Please list what in his background made him qualified for it?

    I’ll wait.

  23. #23 mistermuz
    February 27, 2010

    You do have to love how now Gore’s not saying anything is a problem. But before the fact he said anything at all on the matter, as a non scientist, exemplified the fraud of the whole thing as far as deniers were concerned.

  24. #24 mwsletten
    February 27, 2010

    Knockgoats @17, PZ said in his post, ‘Fox News is the consolidator of all those dishonest red hexagons that turn people into infectious disseminators of lies.’

    The operative word there being ‘all.’

  25. #25 https://me.yahoo.com/a/CDEi5YZk3uYIOPTAqdgfknMpNQ--#f459b
    February 27, 2010

    What is preventing Gore from standing up and presenting the science? Refusing to appear before the Senate just makes him look wishy-washy.

  26. #26 Aquaria
    February 27, 2010

    And you haven’t shown how, in the context of global warming, this is not true. Citing a couple of people talking about other matters than global warming, is not the same thing.

  27. #27 Knockgoats
    February 27, 2010

    mwsletten,

    PZ said in his post, ‘Fox News is the consolidator of all those dishonest red hexagons that turn people into infectious disseminators of lies.’

    Which is not what you implied he said, is it?

  28. #28 onethird-man
    February 27, 2010

    …that Daily Show clip was epic.

    “It’s dark!”

    Yes, yes it is. When Fox can put “News” after its name, it is very dark indeed.

    Why did we ever let Reagan take the “reporting” and “evidence” and “facts” out of “news?”

  29. #29 Aquaria
    February 27, 2010

    #25–why should he? He’d be the firs to tell you he’s a politician and someone trying to educate, but not a scientist. He’s smart enough to know that if it’s evidence for global warming that a committee needs to hear, that evidence needs to come from scientists, not a career politician.

    Besides–

    If I were Gore, I wouldn’t appear before the committee, anyway. Anyone with sense knows that Inhofe doesn’t want a dialogue, and doesn’t care about the evidence–he’s looking for an opportunity for political posturing. Inhofe knows he can get years of fundraising mileage from the idiots who would impoverish their families for god and hate if he shows himself making a “brave stand” against Gore and his “lies.” He wants his sound bites, and he wants to do the creationist twisting of reality to win points with the deluded.

    If Inhofe really cared about the issue, he’d call someone besides Gore, someone who’s, oh, a scientist in the relevant field. He didn’t.

  30. #30 https://me.yahoo.com/a/CDEi5YZk3uYIOPTAqdgfknMpNQ--#f459b
    February 27, 2010

    He’d be the firs to tell you he’s a politician and someone trying to educate, but not a scientist.
    But he is the one with a Nobel and an Oscar for “Inconvenient Truth” — He can do it on film, but not in person?. Like it or not, he is the public face of AGW.

  31. #31 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 27, 2010

    Gore doesn’t need to appear before any committee, especially one stacked against him. Lets see the denialists appear before a committee published climate scientists, who will only accept testimony from the scientific literature. Something tells me they would have very little to say…

  32. #32 chgo_liz
    February 27, 2010

    Hang on a sec…what is the overlap between climate change deniers and Apple stockholders? I’m not seeing those two circles in the Venn diagram overlapping by much of anything.

    The only logical explanation I can think of is that the deniers bought a minimum number of shares merely to allow them to be at the annual meeting and pull this publicity stunt. Pathetic.

  33. #33 Aquaria
    February 27, 2010

    Good god, you’re stupid.

    He got a Nobel PEACE prize. He didn’t get a Nobel SCIENCE prize. And do you really think that the winning an Oscar qualifies you to speak to Congress about science?

    So you’d let, oh, Kate Winslett tell us all about DNA and genetic drift before Congress?

    You’d let Michael Moore testify before Congress about what properties of quarks you’re wanting to study so that the government will build a new particle accelerator?

    Another big difference: Al Gore was speaking to ordinary people about a serious matter, as a teacher would communicate information about chemistry to students. But that doesn’t mean the teacher is the right person to give evidence before a Congressional committee setting policy about levels of mercury in the environment. And Gore may be knowledgeable, but he isn’t an expert. Why would you get the idea he is, or thinks he is?

    Do you get it now? Gore is an educator–not a scientist. He would be the first to tell you that. What about this do you not get?

  34. #34 Aquaria
    February 27, 2010

    My #33 was for #30, not chicago-lz or the always awesome Nerd.

  35. #35 Xplodyncow
    February 27, 2010

    Were we Americans always this scientifically illiterate—and so ridiculously arrogant about it?

  36. #36 Matt Penfold
    February 27, 2010

    Of course if you wanted someone to testify about the issues involved in communicating complex scientific ideas that are rejected by many on ideological grounds then Al Gore would be a good person to hear from.

  37. #37 Aquaria
    February 27, 2010

    Good point, Matt. People don’t seem to distinguish between a science communicator and a scientist anymore.

    Xplod: there was a 20 year aberration of Americans being afraid that science illiteracy might get them taken over by the commies, but actually caring about the science itself, or having shame for their ignorance of it? Never.

  38. #38 Sven DiMilo
    February 27, 2010

    You actually linked to a Tucker Carlson show

    also, who the hell was that second “Ed” guy?

    “all those” =/= “all of the”
    hope this helps

    And what Aquaria said @#29. If I was Gore I’d refuse just for the pleasure of watching that fuckhead Inhofe’s face get all purplish.

    Yeah, and @#33 too.

  39. #39 MosesZD
    February 27, 2010

    No, Al Gore should NOT be on the board of directors of Apple, or any other major corporation for that matter. But not for the specious reasoning of Faux News, but for purely practical, cold-hearted logical reasons.

    Look at his CV. He has never had to meet a payroll, or production targets, or deal with union negotiations. He’s not been on the receiving end of government regulations, or commercial competition. He’s not had to do capital budgeting or financial analysis or make-or-buy decisions or corporate law or anything even remotely like that.

    You have no clue. The Board of Directors is there to ensure that management (the people responsible for that stuff) actually do that stuff for the benefit of the shareholders.

    Further, being able to do one of more of those things does not mean you should be on the Board of Directors of any Company. Too many of those who meet your requirements are brutally incompetent and, frankly, too often captive to management as they appoint each other to their respective Boards of Directors and serve each other as masters… One of the worst things that has happened in the past 30 years is unbridled executive compensation. All served up by the incestuous BoDs beholden to each other…

    Anyway, what a director does:

    1. Provide continuity for the organization.
    2. Public advocacy for the organization.
    3. Hire, monitor and fire the CEO of the organization.
    4. Govern the organization by BROAD CONCEPTS in policies and objectives (not trivial details, like payroll…).
    5. Acquire and retain resources (through the business cycle/budgeting review, etc.) necessary to ensure the organizations health.
    6. Account to the public for products and services.

    All of which Al Gore is well qualified to perform.

    And which you’re not qualified to even comment upon seeing as you totally fail to understand the role of the Board of Directors in an organization… These are not the guys who “run” the Company on a day-by-day basis.

  40. #40 Holytape
    February 27, 2010

    Al Gore should be on the board, if you are an apple share holder. He may not be well versed in anything Apple does, but he has political connections, and political clout.

  41. #41 timrowledge
    February 27, 2010

    Were we Americans always this scientifically illiterate?and so ridiculously arrogant about it?

    Pretty much. But if you make a minor edit to -

    Were we Humans always this scientifically illiterate?and so ridiculously arrogant about it?

    - you’d be more inclusively correct

  42. #42 DesertHedgehog
    February 27, 2010

    @33— Umm… As long as Kate Winslet looked hot, I’d let her tell me about climate change, DNA, or genetic drift…or pretty much anything else. After all…. Kate has been the subject of any number of DNA Text Messages I’ve sent out over the years. Ahem.

  43. #43 tobyjoyce
    February 27, 2010

    Al Gore should be on the board of Apple. As least as an ex-Vice President, he does not go around saying that country should re-introduce torture. He was must more circumspect in his criticism of George Bush that the monstrous Cheney is of the cuurent incumbent.

    He was smart enough to parlay his meagre talents into a venture that made him millions, when he could have gone around whining about a stolen election … sounds like the sort of person companies should be begging to serve on their boards.

  44. #44 Jadehawk, OM
    February 27, 2010

    Were we Americans always this scientifically illiterate?and so ridiculously arrogant about it?

    no. there used to be a time when public lectures on philosophy and science were considered a form of entertainment fit for the average blue-collar worker. Anti-communism brought all of this nasty intellectuals-are-evil shit that has always been there to the surface, and now it seems to dominate.

    also, who the hell was that second “Ed” guy?

    he’s what qualifies as “liberal” in the great state of North Dakota; right up there with Kent “Germany and France don’t have state run healthcare” Conrad.

  45. #45 David Marjanovi?
    February 27, 2010

    there used to be a time when public lectures on philosophy and science were considered a form of entertainment fit for the average blue-collar worker.

    How common was that actually country-wide?

    (But I agree with your general point. From what little I know, anticommunism brought fundamentalism to the national stage, beyond “under God” and “in God we trust”.)

  46. #46 Al B. Quirky
    February 27, 2010

    “The scientific consensus on global warming hasn’t changed a bit ? it’s only become stronger over the past years.”

    Bullshit. UEA CRU’s Dr Phil Jones agrees there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995. NOAA administrator Dr Jane Lubcenko doesn’t disagree.
    35 reasons why Al Gore deserves a vote of no-confidence:
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/monckton/goreerrors.html

  47. #47 https://me.yahoo.com/a/CDEi5YZk3uYIOPTAqdgfknMpNQ--#f459b
    February 27, 2010

    #33 Good god, you’re stupid.
    HA HA HA! Don’t get your panties in a bunch.

    As I said, Gore is the “public face” of AGW. He achieved that status primarily because of “Inconvenient Truth”. His promotion of the arguments in that movie, among other activities, netted him the Peace Prize alongside the IPCC. The film’s Academy Award is merely one more aspect that pushes him into the public eye as an expert on the subject — deservedly or not. At least one other democrat seems to think Gore is qualified:

    Al Gore Pushes Climate Change Bill in Congress
    … “Democrats credit Gore with putting environmental issues on the national agenda — and, with one of Washington’s thickest Rolodexes, making sure those issues stay there through a tortuous legislative route.”
    “He’s been a prophet on this issue,” said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., a co-author of the cap-and-trade bill that was approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee last month. “Al Gore adds a luster to an issue that’s indispensable.” …

    The Nobel committee apparently believes Gore is one of a group qualified to educate others on the subject:
    “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”
    http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2007/

    You’d let Michael Moore testify before Congress about what properties of quarks you’re wanting to study so that the government will build a new particle accelerator?
    If Moore ever makes a documentary on quantum theory, then I would expect him to stand up and defend his arguments. I would hope that he would also bring scientists with him to answer questions beyond the scope of his knowledge. Is there a reason Gore can not do likewise?

    You repeatedly state Gore is better looked upon as a teacher/educator, and I agree. What is preventing him from educating Senator Inhofe on the facts of climate change? (Although I am mystified as to why you think Congress wants to hear from him on mercury levels.)

  48. #48 Knockgoats
    February 27, 2010

    Bullshit. UEA CRU’s Dr Phil Jones agrees there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995. – Denialist Fuckwit

    Of course they agree, Denialist Fuckwit, and so does everyone else. The measured warming trend since 1995 is just short of the 95% confidence level. That’s because the signal being sought (secular trend in temperature) is of the same order of magnitude as the noise (year-to-year variation) over this length of time. You see “no statistically significant warming” does not mean “no warming”, Denialist Fuckwit, and the fact that over a periuod of 14 years the warming trend does not quite reach the 95% confidence level has not altered the scientific consensus one iota. Now fuck off somewhere you can fool your fellow fuckwits, Denialist Fuckwit – it won’t wash here.

  49. #49 Jason A.
    February 27, 2010

    UEA CRU’s Dr Phil Jones agrees there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995. NOAA administrator Dr Jane Lubcenko doesn’t disagree.

    Lol, not only a common and well refuted denialist talking point, but didn’t even recite it right? The CRU and NASA GISS analysis that allowed denialists to cherry-pick data and claim ‘no more global warming’ began in 1998, not 1995…

  50. #50 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    February 27, 2010

    On Fox News and the spread of conspiracy theories:

  51. #51 Knockgoats
    February 27, 2010

    What is preventing him from educating Senator Inhofe on the facts of climate change?

    The simple fact that Inhofe is completely ineducable, for a start.

  52. #52 tresmal
    February 27, 2010

    Al B. Quirky:

    “Bullshit. UEA CRU’s Dr Phil Jones agrees there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995.”

    No, that’s bullshit. What he said was:

    BBC – Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?

    Phil Jones – Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.

    In other words, there was warming over those years, but there is a slightly higher than a 1 in 20 chance of it being a random event. Add a year or two and you cross the 95% threshold.

  53. #53 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 27, 2010

    Al B. Quirky, still the asinine fool. You need real scientific evidence (say from the real peer reviewed scientific literature) to convince us, not cobbled together sciency sounding bullshit, which is all you denialist fools have. What a abject idjit.

  54. #54 Jason A.
    February 27, 2010

    Ah, I see: he was talking about a different ‘global warming ended in year XXXX’ meme than the one I was familiar with.

    It’s really hard to believe the denialists have honest objections when they consistently put forth arguments based on cherry picking and quote mining like this. Refute one and they just change the details a bit and harp on the new version. It’s clear the intent is purely to sow confusion.

  55. #55 tresmal
    February 27, 2010
  56. #56 Al B. Quirky
    February 27, 2010

    tresmal: Ask Buzz Aldrin if Neil Armstrong was the 1st man on the moon. ‘Yes, but only just’ still means ‘yes’, so no bullshit (on my part).
    Nerd: Tell Al Gore he needs “real scientific evidence (say from the real peer reviewed scientific literature)” instead of foisting “sciency sounding bullshit” in a crap film designed to lead our unsuspecting youth astray.

  57. #57 Jadehawk, OM
    February 27, 2010

    in a crap film designed to lead our unsuspecting youth astray.

    won’t somebody please think of the children!

  58. #58 MAJeff, OM
    February 27, 2010

    right up there with Kent “Germany and France don’t have state run healthcare” Conrad.

    I despise that corporate whore.

  59. #59 Knockgoats
    February 27, 2010

    Yes, but only just’ still means ‘yes’, so no bullshit (on my part). – Denialist Fuckwit

    You clearly implied that this unexceptional fact had changed the scientific consensus on climate change, Denialist Fuckwit. So, complete and utter bullshit on your part, Denialist Fuckwit.

    Tell Al Gore he needs “real scientific evidence (say from the real peer reviewed scientific literature)”

    And, of course, he has it, Denialist Fuckwit. Whereas you have only your denialist fuckwittery.

  60. #60 mwsletten
    February 27, 2010

    Knockgoats@27, I don’t get your point. I implied nothing; I responded to PZ’s suggestion that FOX news is the only mainstream media source of spin and misinformation.

  61. #61 Jadehawk, OM
    February 27, 2010

    I despise that corporate whore.

    wholly understandable, and seconded (and thirded by way of boyfriend; who send a letter to that fuckface to set him straight on the healthcare, and in response he got a generic “your concern is noted” response; that shit ain’t democracy)
    :-(

  62. #62 David Marjanovi?
    February 27, 2010

    a crap film designed to lead our unsuspecting youth astray.

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    Who would benefit from that?

    I’m reminded of the underpants gnomes:

    1) Lead youth astray into thinking we’re causing global warming, when in fact it’s not happening, it’s not our fault, it would actually be a good thing, it’s too late to do anything about it without shutting the global economy down, and it’s not happening in the statistically useless period of 15 years.
    2) ????
    3) PROFIT!!!

  63. #63 jurroen
    February 27, 2010

    of course Al should leave those money-grabbing, personal freedom stealing marketing-geniuses.

    As bill hicks said: are you in marketing? here’s some advice: kill yourself

  64. #64 tresmal
    February 27, 2010

    “Ask Buzz Aldrin if Neil Armstrong was the 1st man on the moon. ‘Yes, but only just’ still means ‘yes’, so no bullshit (on my part).”

    Bullshitty analogy. Statistical significance is a spectrum not a binary yes/no distinction. Scientists use the 95% confidence level as a convention, not because there is something sacred about it. If he had said “There hasn’t been statistically significant warming since 1995, but there has been statistically significant warming since 1994.”, it would not have changed the meaning of what he said at all. Yet, I feel you wouldn’t have found that version so quotemine worthy.

  65. #65 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 27, 2010

    As I keep telling you Al B. Quirky, the peer reviewed scientific literature, which Al Gore drew upon for his movie, Oscar, and Nobel Peace prize, or shut the fuck up. Ergo, you need to shut the fuck up as everybody here knows you have nothing but blather. That’s what you get for lying, bullshitting, and distorting.

  66. #66 SC OM
    February 27, 2010

    Bullshit. UEA CRU’s Dr Phil Jones agrees there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995.

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/the_economist_calls_a_lie_a_li.php

  67. #67 llewelly
    February 27, 2010

    David Marjanovi? | February 27, 2010 4:24 PM:

    2) ????

    It’s a good thing they’ll never figure out (2). If they did our whole scheme would fall apart in an instant.

  68. #68 mwsletten
    February 27, 2010

    Aquaria @ 20 and Sven @ 38, both of those clips were examples of MSNBC ‘reporters.’ My only point being that FOX is not the only mainstream media source of bunk.

  69. #69 Knockgoats
    February 27, 2010

    I responded to PZ’s suggestion that FOX news is the only mainstream media source of spin and misinformation. – mwsletten

    But PZ didn’t suggest that. the post, and the accompanying graphic, are specifically about AGW. Admittedly, it’s not only Faux News who are spreading spin and misinformation about that although they are certainly doing their best, but he did not say, nor suggest, that it is only Faux News who spread antiscientific spin and misinformation about anything. As you must know, he’s rightly put the boot into HuffPost about the alt-med bullshit they go in for. Trouble is, you’re so keen to leap on PZ’s “liberal bias”, you see it where there’s no evidence of it whatever.

  70. #70 Al B. Quirky
    February 27, 2010

    Random Fluke Alert, from SC OM’s link: “..he (Phil Jones) could not quite rule out at the traditional 95% confidence level that the warming since 1995 had not been a random fluke.”
    My understanding is that the theory of AGW/CC says increased CO2 will cause “Global Warming”, because it is a “Greenhouse Gas”. We are constantly warned that the rate of warming is happening ‘faster than expected’. Well, atmospheric CO2 has increased 7.75% since 1995, so where’s my warming, dude? I’m not prepared to wait my whole entire life, and my children’s and future grandchildren’s lives in order to prove Alarmists wrong. I’m calling Bullshit on AGW/CC, RFN.

  71. #71 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 27, 2010

    Al B. Quirky, you have nothing cogent to say on AGW unless you are willing to cite the peer reviewed scientific literature, which you are incapable of doing. What a loser.

    You are wasting your time, as we have encountered idjits like you in the past, and know how much they prevaricate. You are simply following pattern, like the latest creobot who thinks they are original, but we have heard it hundreds of times before.

  72. #72 Jadehawk, OM
    February 27, 2010

    omfg, seriously, you’re putting greenhouse gas in scare-quotes? are you going to be in denial of basic chemistry now?

  73. #73 Utakata
    February 27, 2010

    I personally not sure what I think of Al Gore…and whether his Inconvenient Truth had scientific credibility gaffs – I’m sure they did. I suspect though he’s going in the right direction, but may not have the facts all straight…because he’s a seasoned politician afterall, not a real scientist. /shrug

    That being said, one of the leading proponents of anti-AGW, Sen. James Inhofe (another politician) beleives that the universe is only 6000 years old. And the anti-AGW masses think Gore has scientific credibility issues? It certainly limits using millions of years old ice core samples to back up an anti-AGW position, for example…don’t ya think?

    As for Gore’s Apple board position…if there’s no conflict of interests, then it’s a non-issue really. Faux is most likely persecuting him for his views instead of telling news or facillitating debate.

  74. #74 mwsletten
    February 27, 2010

    Knockgoats, you’re right, I may have misinterpreted PZ’s post as regards his knock on FOX News. I know he has slammed other media outlets in the past, but his favorite seems to be FOX.

    I guess my main concern is the overal tone of teh post. There is a suggestion that FOX News (or any other news organization with a wide audience) can somehow ‘program’ the minds of its listeners — especially the non-scientists in the audience.

    And I didn’t suggest PZ has a ‘liberal bias,’ I suggested he has a ‘scientific bias,’ one that seems to be common among liberals, and one that you’re not immune from yourself:

    Knockgoats @ 51 said: …Inhofe is completely ineducable…’

    If scientists want to know how there can be so much skepticism among non-scientists about AGW despite overwhelming scientific evidence, they might start by toning down the arrogance.

    I realize this is PZ’s stock in trade when dealing with religious fanatics, but this is a different debate with a vastly different potential for harm if the wrong decisions are made. And unlike the Godbots, AGW skeptics have valid concerns that scientists cannot ignore if their message is to be heard and acted upon.

    Jesus may have gotten away with storming the market and bitch slapping all the moneychangers, but that was some two thousand years ago — things have changed. The moneychangers fight back these days, and their resources are not inconsiderable…

  75. #75 SC OM
    February 27, 2010

    Random Fluke Alert, from SC OM’s link: “..he (Phil Jones) could not quite rule out at the traditional 95% confidence level that the warming since 1995 had not been a random fluke.”

    Is it possible for you to be more dishonest?

    Are you forgetting that people can simply click on the link and expose you in all your quotemining ignominy?

    Have you no shame?

  76. #76 John Morales
    February 27, 2010

    mwsletten:

    If scientists want to know how there can be so much skepticism among non-scientists about AGW despite overwhelming scientific evidence, they might start by toning down the arrogance.

    What arrogance?

    I don’t think it’s the scientists who are arrogant about this.

  77. #77 Knockgoats
    February 27, 2010

    mwsletten,

    I know he has slammed other media outlets in the past, but his favorite seems to be FOX.

    Well, they are part of the world’s biggest organisation of full-time professional liars.

    And I didn’t suggest PZ has a ‘liberal bias,’ I suggested he has a ‘scientific bias,’

    A bias in favour of rationality and empirical evidence. Wow, that’s really bad.

    Knockgoats @ 51 said: …Inhofe is completely ineducable…’

    A simple statement of fact. He’s both a fuckwit and a liar. He has absolutely no interest in the truth.

    If scientists want to know how there can be so much skepticism among non-scientists about AGW despite overwhelming scientific evidence, they might start by toning down the arrogance.

    Oh the arrogance of scientists, thinking they know more than a pinhead like Inhofe about subjects they’ve studied for decades! Public “skepticism” is a product of two factors: the unpleasant nature of the scientific message, which makes it very tempting to find reasons not to believe it, and the efforts of professional liars and right-wing ideologues like Inhofe.

  78. #78 Jadehawk, OM
    February 27, 2010

    ‘Yes, but only just’ still means ‘yes’, so no bullshit (on my part).

    oooh, I completely missed this shoot-self-in-foot by the denialist!

    because if you read this in context, he just accidentally agreed that “yes, but not with as much certainly as we usually accept” still means yes. which means that by his own logic he has to accept that the 0.12C warming did occur. :-D

  79. #79 Knockgoats
    February 27, 2010

    Well, atmospheric CO2 has increased 7.75% since 1995, so where’s my warming, dude? – Denialist Fuckwit

    A doubling of atmospheric CO2 is expected to lead to approximately 3 degrees centigrade warming, Denialist Fuckwit. So 7.75% is not going to mean you can’t go outside without catching fire. Carbon dioxide was shown to be a greenhouse gas in laboratory experiments more than a century ago – and if it were not, the earth would be 33 degrees centigrade colder, and you’d never have lived (which would certainly have been an advantage, I admit, but nor would anyone else). You’ve been given your warning, Denialist Fuckwit, by the scientific experts in the field. You make clear with every comment you make that you are too stupid to find your mouth when you want to eat, let alone pay attention to those who know thousands of times more than you do.

  80. #80 tresmal
    February 27, 2010

    Al B Quirky @70:”My understanding is that the theory of AGW/CC says increased CO2 will cause “Global Warming”, because it is a “Greenhouse Gas”. We are constantly warned that the rate of warming is happening ‘faster than expected’. Well, atmospheric CO2 has increased 7.75% since 1995, so where’s my warming, dude?”

    Here’s your warming.

  81. #81 mwsletten
    February 27, 2010

    Knockgoats said: ‘Oh the arrogance of scientists, thinking they know more than a pinhead like Inhofe about subjects they’ve studied for decades!’

    It’s not a matter of knowing more about AGW, it’s not even a matter of knowing what to do about it, it’s knowing how to do something about it. Scientists may have a better understanding of the AGW data, their implication and what actions are most likely to mitigate, but Inhofe has a better understanding of political power in the US, and the ways it can (and cannot) be used.

    Like it or not, Inhofe and his ilk are the people scientists must work with to implement solutions.

  82. #82 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 27, 2010

    but Inhofe has a better understanding of political power in the US, and the ways it can (and cannot) be used.

    Which has absolutely nothing to do with the scientific truth of AGW. Political issues are irrelevant to that. That is what you can’t comprehend.

    ike it or not, Inhofe and his ilk are the people scientists must work with to implement solutions.

    That can’t happen if the idjit politician has his mind closed due to ideology. Comprehension is not your friend.

  83. #83 Crewvy
    February 27, 2010

    On topic, is Faux going to enlighten us on the cause of the huge Iceberg in the Antarctic? Because it’s been really cold this winter, and there is no way global warming could be responsible for a 2,500 square kilometer iceberg. Just doesn’t happen when it’s so cold out right now.

    Errr, it`s summer in Antarctica at the moment.

    *headdesk*

  84. #84 SC OM
    February 27, 2010

    It’s not a matter of knowing more about AGW, it’s not even a matter of knowing what to do about it, it’s knowing how to do something about it.

    To be clear, prior to any discussion of responses: What is your position on AGW (not responses – AGW)? Does it differ from the findings of the IPCC? If so, how?

  85. #85 Al B. Quirky
    February 27, 2010

    Thanx 4 the link, tresmal. I note the chart goes back to 1880, when the world was still recovering from the Little Ice Age, and a period in time which happened to coincide with the Industrial Revolution. 0.8degC warming over 13 decades = 0.06degC per decade, or about half the rate that could not be ruled out as a ‘random fluke’. I rest my case.

  86. #86 Jadehawk, OM
    February 27, 2010

    0.8degC warming over 13 decades = 0.06degC per decade, or about half the rate that could not be ruled out as a ‘random fluke’. I rest my case.

    you’re an innumerate troll. do you really not understand that it’s the sample size that determines whether a particular measurement is a possible statistical fluke, not just the actual rate you get from the sample?

  87. #87 speedweasel
    February 27, 2010

    Jon A @ #7 said,

    And of course everyone is now an “expert” on everything because of the internet. Don’t get me wrong the internet is an extraordinary useful resource but I would wager that few if any of these people have actually read a BOOK about the subject they claim to know so much about.

    Sure, because cranks and quacks have never published books, right?

    Jon A, you might want to revise your epistemological demarcation between print and electronic media and you know, put some thought into it this time. ;)

  88. #88 KOPD42
    February 27, 2010

    I’m glad this topic came up in the comments. I’d heard the “no warming since 1995″ thing on the radio at work yesterday and wasn’t sure what they were talking about. I like my coworkers, but they listen to some real crap.

  89. #89 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawncr0FDc8gdl7yJBz0SJ15D0etcTIOtL0s
    February 27, 2010

    In #45, David M. asked Jadehawk: , who’d said “… there used to be a time when public lectures on philosophy and science were considered a form of entertainment fit for the average blue-collar worker.”
    How common was that actually country-wide?

    Common enough that “Chautauqua” entered the language as a modifier, for better or worse. A senior cousin-in-law was showing me some of her highschool souvenirs from early-1900s Alma, Arkansas (Spinach Capital of the World, home of the Alma Airdales) that included a Chautauqua program. Interesting mix of education and entertainment.

    To make you blink again: The Chautauqua Movement was Christian. Also genuinely educational, not just WJ Bryan hooting about Temperance.

  90. #90 Jason A.
    February 27, 2010

    0.8degC warming over 13 decades = 0.06degC per decade, or about half the rate that could not be ruled out as a ‘random fluke’. I rest my case.

    You. Are. An. Idiot.

    It’s not the amount of warming that made the ‘since 1995′ statistically insignificant, it’s the amount of years in the analysis.

  91. #91 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 27, 2010

    Well, it has already been determined that Al B. is a liar and bullshitter. His avoidance of the scientific literature is profound. But not for his argument, but rather for the opposite. What a loser, if he thinks we are even remotely swayed by his lies.

  92. #92 Robert MacDonald
    February 27, 2010

    The red denialism clones look like the laughing Martians in the old English Cadbury Smash commercials.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCsLcWvIbdA&feature=related

  93. #93 Al B. Quirky
    February 27, 2010

    @#86&90
    Oh. So you mean 0.12degC/decade for 15 years could mean ‘random fluke’, but 0.06degC/decade for 130 years means ‘we’re dooOOOoomed!’
    BWAAAAAhahahaHAHA!!!

  94. #94 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 27, 2010

    Bwahahahaha, nobody is paying attention to the bullshitter of a loser known as Al B. Quirky. Still nothing.

  95. #95 Jason A.
    February 27, 2010

    Oh. So you mean 0.12degC/decade for 15 years could mean ‘random fluke’, but 0.06degC/decade for 130 years means ‘we’re dooOOOoomed!’
    BWAAAAAhahahaHAHA!!!

    Do you enjoy demonstrating that you haven’t the slightest education about the things you argue?

    Try multiplying 0.12║/dec * 1.5dec and see how many degrees warming that comes out to.
    Now try 0.06║/dec * 13dec and see.

    I mean seriously, rates of change is like, middle school algebra, isn’t it?

  96. #96 Jason A.
    February 27, 2010

    ^ oh, and now take into account that the rate now is twice the average rate for the century, and do a little reading on something called an ‘exponential function’.

  97. #97 Al B. Quirky
    February 27, 2010

    @#95
    OK, so..
    0.12 x 1.5 = 0.18
    0.06 x 13 = 0.78
    ..with you so far; now what?

  98. #98 TimKO,,.,,
    February 27, 2010

    @30
    “But he is the one with a Nobel and an Oscar for “Inconvenient Truth” — He can do it on film, but not in person?.”
    So, if congress wanted testimony on penguins they should call Morgan Freeman?

    @70
    “where’s my warming, dude?”
    Then you can play the game where we show you the current evidence and you claim it “doesn’t count/doesn’t exist”. Right?

    Al Gore doesn’t return my calls ergo global warming is fake!
    (the 60 minutes school of logic).

    The thing about Gore is it doesn’t matter what he says, people will twist it. Look how “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in, uh creating…the internet…I took the initiative in moving forward…a whole range of initiatives..have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth and environmental protection…improvements in our educational system” became “Al Gore claims he invented the internet!!!”.

  99. #99 mwsletten
    February 28, 2010

    Nerd@82 said: ‘Political issues are irrelevant to [the scientific truth of AGW]. That is what you can’t comprehend.’

    Actually, that’s exactly the point I’m trying to make, but from the other side. The scientific truth of AGW is irrelevent in the context of political reality if scientists cannot convincingly present their evidence, data and conclusions to non-scientists.

    Even then, there is still an uphill battle to be won.

    It never ceases to amuse me that (many) scientists, the most evidence-based, rational people on the face of the planet, continue to think people should always respond rationally to scientific truth despite centuries of evidence to the contrary.

    I mean really, if they did PZ wouldn’t have anyone to ridicule.

    What people often do respond to is leadership, and that means politics. To get elected in a representative government politicians must find a way to align their ideology with what they believe the people want; they must convince the majority their ideas will best serve the people’s interests.

    Scientist must do the same thing, except they have to convince politicians that ideas supported by scientific truth best serve the interests of politicians.

    In order for governments to begin to take the steps scientist say must be taken to mitigate AGW, politicians — at least the majority of them — must believe the risks of doing nothing outweigh the cost of doing what scientists say has to be done. Scientists are claiming the world must make radical changes in the ways it produces and uses energy. Changes whose costs are astonomical. Costs that are beyond the resources of most developing countries. Costs that by some estimates may dwarf the current combined debt of the entire planet.

    Given that, it’s incumbent on scientists to find a way to make the scientific truth of AGW fit within the framework of political (and economic) reality.

    So far, that hasn’t been the case.

    Nerd@82 said: ‘[Scientists can’t work with a politician} if the idjit politician has his mind closed due to ideology.’

    Right! Now you’re getting it! Unless scientists can find a way to align their scientific truth with idjit politicians’ ideology there will be no political leadership, and no political will to deal with AGW.

    That will never happen, Nerd, so long as the attitude portrayed by your statement remains congruent with the scientific community.

    Let me explain why.

    I believe there is a reason the founders felt the need to protect the right to free speech with a constitutional amendment; the ultimate value of free speech is not self-evident. Ideas can only be fully explored in the context of a debate. Good ideas are only good because they stand up well to bad arguments. Bad arguments are only ‘bad’ because they cannot stand up to good ones.

    Bad arguments present the best opportunity to learn truth because they force those with good ideas to support them with good arguments.

    On the other hand, bad arguments are not exposed as such by simply saying the person making them is ‘stupid’ — ideologically or otherwise. Bad arguments are only defeated by debunking the person’s claims and positions with evidence and logic.

    You can continue calling those on the other side of this debate ‘idjit politicians’ and ‘global warming deniers’ or whatever cute little condescending, patronizing, derogatory names you like — just as long as you realize you are not winning hearts and minds. Indeed, name calling and figurative rock throwing is just the type of argument politicians (and those with no evidence to support their positions) love — those kinds of arguements require little scholarship or thought.

    ‘I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.’

    George Bernard Shaw

    Nerd@82 said: ‘Comprehension is not your friend.’

    Got it… I’ll work on that. Thanks!

    Wait, what’d you say again?

  100. #100 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Al, must you really embarrass yourself with your innumeracy like this?

    do you really not understand that, if I make $10 today, but $20 tomorrow, than the 100% increase has an almost 100% chance of being a fluke because my sample size is so small (2 days) and therefore even though the increase is REAL, it’s not statistically significant; on the other hand, if, averaged over a whole year (365 days) I earn an average of $0.10, that’s statistically significant because my sample size is large, even though it’s only a very small amount per day.

    it’s not that the .12C warming isn’t real, or isn’t bad, or doesn’t have effects. it’s that the sample size (15) is just a tad bit too small to be able to say with certainty that it’s part of the trend rather than a fluke. it’s also not that the 0.06C warming is somehow worse than the .12; it’s that it’s statistically more significant, i.e. it’s far more certain to be a trend than a random bounce in the data.

    seriously, go back to high-school, this is basic math.

  101. #101 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    erm. i meant “earned an average of $0.10 more every day”.

    that significant part sort of escaped me :-p

  102. #102 John Morales
    February 28, 2010

    mwsletten,

    The scientific truth of AGW is irrelevent in the context of political reality if scientists cannot convincingly present their evidence, data and conclusions to non-scientists.

    Wrong, both in principle and in fact.

    Here in Australia, for example, it was relevant enough to trigger a leadership change in the Opposition.

    Also, you should not use “non-scientists” to refer to denialists (any more than you would to refer to creationists).

  103. #103 Katrina
    February 28, 2010

    I thought science reporters caused global warming.

    http://www.treelobsters.com/2010/02/130-headlines.html

  104. #104 negentropyeater
    February 28, 2010

    mwsletten,

    Scientists may have a better understanding of the AGW data, their implication and what actions are most likely to mitigate, but Inhofe has a better understanding of political power in the US, and the ways it can (and cannot) be used.

    You think Inhofe is the only person in the US to have “a better understanding of political power” ?

    The real question is : why do you choose to listen to him ?

    I never get an answer from people like you on this question : as a lay person, why do you choose to listen to politicians who go directly against the scientific consensus ?

    Sure, there’s always a possibility that the scientific consensus could be wrong. We can’t absolutely exclude that. But, unless you are a scientist who has found undeniable evidence that it is wrong, why would you choose to go against it ?

    So maybe it’s because, as a lay person, you believe the scientific process and peer review are corrupted, that some scientists have found undeniable evidence that the scientific consensus is wrong, and that those scientists are being unfairly expelled ?

    But then, what makes you different than Ben Stein ?

    Why do you choose to be like Ben Stein ?

  105. #105 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Yawn, mwsletten still doesn’t get it. Politics has nothing to do with the scientific reality of AGW, which is all I have been saying.

    The politics to correct anything is not up to the scientists, who can only make suggestions. But some politicians, like Inhofe have ideological blinders on, since they don’t have the cojones to actually do something. That just means the are idjits.

    One of these days mwsletten might actually understand he saying nothing cogent, and leave on his own.

  106. #106 Jim
    February 28, 2010

    PZ Myers: “The scientific consensus on global warming hasn’t changed a bit ? it’s only become stronger over the past years.”

    Science by consensus isn’t science; it’s advocacy. The late Michael Crichton put it quite well in a lecture delivered at the California Institute of Technology in 2003, to wit:

    “I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

    “Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period….

    “I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way….”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122603134258207975.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

    Consensus is invoked by global warming alarmists precisely because the science underlying the alarmist view is so uncertain. The underlying science is certainly not solid enough that we should commit ourselves to multi-trillion dollar “solutions” to a “problem” whose causes and effects are so poorly understood.

    Is the world warming? Probably. Are we the cause of it? No one knows. Can we stop it? Probably not.
    Would that spell our doom? Of course not. We’re an adaptable species.

  107. #107 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Yawn, still nothing from do-nuttin’ Jim.

  108. #108 Q.E.D
    February 28, 2010

    Jim @ 106

    The OpEd page of the Wall Street Journal is not evidence in regards to climate change. In case you are in doubt, the opinions of Michael Crichton (M.D. and Sci-Fi novelist) are also not evidence.

  109. #109 llewelly
    February 28, 2010

    WSJ error-ridden, filled false, misleading, and defamatory claims.

    Would that spell our doom? Of course not. We’re an adaptable species.

    Ironically, you are using ignorance and confusion to attack the scientists who have worked hard to figure out the best mode of adaptation is. Global warming is real, caused by humans, and we know how to adapt this situation. But people like you are making every possible effort to prevent the most reasonable solution. You don’t want adaptation.

  110. #110 Q.E.D
    February 28, 2010

    I don’t understand the conservative mindset that denies climate change. Is it not theoretically possible to idealise a fictitious past, love guns, hate teh ghay, praise Jebus and still think that it would be a good idea to listen to scientists on climate and do something proactive to avoid potential catastrophes to the habitat they and their children inhabit?

    Oh wait, “Conservative: -adj. a) adverse to rapid change” – Oxford Quick Reference Dictionary

  111. #111 Jim
    February 28, 2010

    Q.E.D.: “The OpEd page of the Wall Street Journal is not evidence in regards to climate change. In case you are in doubt, the opinions of Michael Crichton (M.D. and Sci-Fi novelist) are also not evidence.”

    Good grief. I was making no effort to present evidence either for or against the theory of AGW. I was instead addressing the pernicious notion that science is done (or at least can be done) by consensus. Indeed, science by consensus makes a mockery of evidence-based science. Issues may be settled in the political world by a show of hands, but if the merits of a scientific theory (such as the theory of AGW) are decided by a show of hands, then we’re no longer in the presence of science. The history of science is chock full of discredited and discarded theories that once won a consensus among scientists. To argue that a scientific consensus in favor of AGW means that we must immediately embrace multi-trillion dollar “solutions” to global warming is to wallow in the logical fallacy known as consensus gentium.

  112. #112 Jim
    February 28, 2010

    Q.E.D.: “I don’t understand the conservative mindset that denies climate change.”

    I’m unaware of anyone with even a nodding acquaintance with the Earth’s climate history who “denies climate change.” The Earth has experienced warming periods and cooling periods for as long as it’s had an atmosphere. Even the most scientifically unschooled persons know that climate changes over time. What most people of a “conservative mindset” deny is that global warming is primarily a man-made phenomenon. They also deny that efforts to arrest it would do more good than harm to the overall well-being of mankind. If global warming is man-made, why is Mars warming? Are the Martians driving too many SUVs?

  113. #113 Darreth
    February 28, 2010

    One of the more interesting outcomes regarding creation v. evolution and climate change v. the deniers, is how entrenched the anti-science crowd is.

    The very fact that grown adults prefer non-science opinions v. reality, Bronze age sky gods v. reality, and long-time mythology v. reality, is extremely telling about the true state of education in this country.

    The stats and polls might say that higher education in the US is the best on the planet, but the simple fact is that it CAN’T BE. If it were, we would have the most enlightened society on the planet.

    And, clearly, we don’t.

  114. #114 Matt Penfold
    February 28, 2010

    Good grief. I was making no effort to present evidence either for or against the theory of AGW. I was instead addressing the pernicious notion that science is done (or at least can be done) by consensus

    It is a ridiculous argument, and one that quite frankly makes you look stupid for advancing.

    Scientific culture does not encourage scientists to agree. Quite the contrary, it encourages scientists to question accepted theories and look for better explanations. You whole argument ignores this culture, and thus is based on a false, dishonest (and yes, I think you know it is dishonest) premise.

    However, I have a more practical suggestion for you. The overwhelming majority of scientists who work in medical science agree on the germ theory of disease. Clearly though that is pernicious, and we should not waste billions of pounds treating sick people in the belief that the cause of their illness is an infection. In light of this, I suggest you refuse to accept germ theory, and refuse to accept any medical treatment based upon. No vaccinations, no antibiotics, no anti-virals, no draining of abscesses etc etc.

  115. #115 Jim
    February 28, 2010

    Matt Penfold: “Scientific culture does not encourage scientists to agree. Quite the contrary, it encourages scientists to question accepted theories and look for better explanations.”

    By writing this, you’re agreeing with the point I made, not disagreeing with it. If my argument is ridiculous, then you’ve joined me in the silliness.

    Your germ-theory scenario doesn’t work as an argument for consensus-based science. People who rely on the theory for treating diseases don’t appeal to a scientific consensus in favor of the theory to justify its use; they instead appeal to the abundant and persuasive evidence for the theory. When evidence is abundant and persuasive, no consensus needs to be invoked. As Crichton aptly observed, consensus is invoked only when the science is not very solid (which is arguably the case with the theory of AGW).

  116. #116 Q.E.D
    February 28, 2010

    Jim @112

    “If global warming is man-made, why is Mars warming? Are the Martians driving too many SUVs?”

    That isn’t even worth dignifying with a response but it does give a superb insight into the conservative “thought process.”

    Back to your point: “They [conseratives]also deny that efforts to arrest it [climate change] would do more good than harm to the overall well-being of mankind.”

    Again, I would have thought conservatives, according to their own principles, would be dead keen on “conserving” resources such as oil, gas, air, water, the planet. Shouldn’t conservatives also be all over alternative eco-friendly power? How could conservatives miss an opportunity to lead the world on alternative energy and become free of US dependence on Oil and Middle East politics? I mean if you want to kick the
    “ragheads” ass, what better way than to make their oil deposits superfluous? If you want to keep your place as the world’s leading economy, what better way to bring China to heel than to lead the world in the next generation of energy technology?

    Oh wait, I forgot, “Conservative” used to mean “adverse to change” but now means “bankrolled by Corporate interests and Spiritually led by people who believe the rapture will happen before I need to worry about climate change”

  117. #117 Matt Penfold
    February 28, 2010

    By writing this, you’re agreeing with the point I made, not disagreeing with it. If my argument is ridiculous, then you’ve joined me in the silliness.

    No, I am disagreeing with you.

    Since the scientific culture leads scientists to disagreement it follows that when there is consensus amongst scientists within a field then that consensus is based upon something more than just scientists wanting to fit in and not stand out out by failing to toe the “party line”.

    I had assumed you might have understood that. Clearly I overestimated you ability to comprehend what I was saying.

    Your germ-theory scenario doesn’t work as an argument for consensus-based science. People who rely on the theory for treating diseases don’t appeal to a scientific consensus in favor of the theory to justify its use; they instead appeal to the abundant and persuasive evidence for the theory. When evidence is abundant and persuasive, no consensus needs to be invoked. As Crichton aptly observed, consensus is invoked only when the science is not very solid (which is arguably the case with the theory of AGW).

    You have this totally wrong. Scientific consensus is arrived at when the evidence is abundant and persuasive. Such consensus is thus evidence of how strong the scientific evidence is.

    As for why you keep quoting Crichton I have no idea. First the man is dead, so can hardly be aware of the latest scientific research. Second when he was alive he was an author with a medical degree. He had never been a scientist, nor had he ever studied the philosophy of science to any great extent. I am at a loss as to why you think is an expert on the subject being discusses, other than he happens to have said things that agree with your morally bankrupt and selfish political philosophy.

  118. #118 Jim
    February 28, 2010

    Matt Penfold: “Since the scientific culture leads scientists to disagreement it follows that when there is consensus amongst scientists within a field then that consensus is based upon something more than just scientists wanting to fit in and not stand out out by failing to toe the ‘party line’.”

    The “scientific culture” you’re defending exists only in an ideal world. In the real world, the scientific culture encourages conformity to, not dissent from, scientific orthodoxy (or consensus). Witness, for example, the scientific culture’s reaction to intelligent design. Does it encourage scientists to pursue design-theoretic research into questions of biological origins? Of course not. It tends to punish (via ostracism, the denial of tenure, demotions, etc.) scientists who deviate from the scientific consensus in favor of Darwinian theory. One of the chief benefits of Pharyngula to the browsing public is that it exposes just how far biology has strayed from the ideal of scientific openness you’re quite properly defending.

  119. #119 Matt Penfold
    February 28, 2010

    The “scientific culture” you’re defending exists only in an ideal world. In the real world, the scientific culture encourages conformity to, not dissent from, scientific orthodoxy (or consensus). Witness, for example, the scientific culture’s reaction to intelligent design. Does it encourage scientists to pursue design-theoretic research into questions of biological origins? Of course not. It tends to punish (via ostracism, the denial of tenure, demotions, etc.) scientists who deviate from the scientific consensus in favor of Darwinian theory. One of the chief benefits of Pharyngula to the browsing public is that it exposes just how far biology has strayed from the ideal of scientific openness you’re quite properly defending.

    Oh dear.

    Now you have just gone off into the land of total make believe.

    Evolutionary biologists have asked for evidence supporting Intelligent Design. None has been forthcoming. Scientific Journals are not preventing publication, they simply do not get papers setting out the evidence for ID submitted. More than one editor is on record as saying that would welcome such papers.

    You are just lying, to yourself and to us, when you come out with this crap. You can only be excused on the grounds on mental incompetence or illness.

  120. #120 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 28, 2010

    n the real world, the scientific culture encourages conformity to, not dissent from, scientific orthodoxy (or consensus).

    What an idjit. The top scientist are always pushing new ideas.

    Witness, for example, the scientific culture’s reaction to intelligent design.

    You aren’t making any point, and in fact you are proving ours. Show any real evidence that intelligent design is scientific. It isn’t. The first the ID people have to do is to show conclusive physical evidence for their designer. To date, nothing. Expect data in the future, nothing. All they have is a vain attempt to make a religious idea sound sciency. Science sees through their idiocy.

    One of the chief benefits of Pharyngula to the browsing public is that it exposes just how far biology has strayed from the ideal of scientific openness you’re quite properly defending.

    No, it just shows how idjits like yourself don’t understand science and how it works, so you come to fallacious conclusions based upon non-evidence. Try really learning some science.

  121. #121 mwsletten
    February 28, 2010

    negentropyeater said: ‘The real question is: why do you choose to listen to [Inhofe]? I never get an answer from people like you on this question: as a lay person, why do you choose to listen to politicians who go directly against the scientific consensus? Why do you choose to be like Ben Stein?’

    First, you’ve made some fairly broad implications about what I believe as regards AGW — most of them wrong.

    Second, the answer to your question (which Nerd still doesn’t seem to understand, might we say chooses not to understand?) is if anything is to be done about AGW, politicians like Inhofe are the ones that must be motivated to act.

    The political leaders who agree with scientists need no convincing. They are already on board. No amount of ridicule heaped on those who don’t agree will make those who agree agree more; greater agreement on the part of those who already agree will not create the majority necessary for political action. Only changing the minds of enough of those in disagreement will create a majority. If all politicians (or even the majority) agreed with the science we wouldn’t even be debating the issue. Get it?

    When Inhofe speaks publicly about AGW he expresses the concerns that are at the bottom of his inability or unwillingness to find agreement with the evidence and conclusions of leading climate scientists, and apparently his concerns strike a chord among those he represents. While it’s true you may never find a way to convince him and all his followers of your beliefs, it’s for sure if you don’t listen to him and those like him you cannot respond intelligently to their concerns.

    Despite the best efforts of many here on this list to so categorize them, not everyone who isn’t fully convinced by the AGW evidence so far presented is a ‘denialist.’ Some, for whatever reason, are just simply ‘unconvinced.’ Maybe they haven’t read the scientific journals; maybe they don’t read Pharyngula daily. Climate science is complicated. The literature is full of complicated terms and competing theory which often appears to the untrained mind as discord among the scientists. Learning about it is a college-level self-study course. Who has the time?

    It’s easier to listen to the sound bites and hope those presenting them understand it.

    But, contrary to what seems to me the prevailing opinion among scientists, there are ‘lay people’ who can listen to debate, weigh the evidence they understand, properly categorize and prioritize the dangers and come to the correct conclusions — and I believe they comprise the majority. Those are the people you can reach and convince with a good argument.

    The key though, is ‘evidence they understand.’ ‘Scientific consensus’ is not enough. If it were, belief in God — among scientists and non-scientists — would have ended long ago.

    Scientists have a choice: They can listen to argument from the other side, discern the base concerns that drive its disbelief and seek ways to align scientific findings to answer those concerns, or they can stand back, laugh and point at the ‘idjits,’ marvel at their ignorance and stupidity and lob the occasional dirt clod.

    In the face of the massive loss of credibility among the lay community resulting from the recent scandal at IPCC (like it or not, that’s how it’s viewed by many), which strategy do you think will get the best results?

  122. #122 https://me.yahoo.com/a/CDEi5YZk3uYIOPTAqdgfknMpNQ--#f459b
    February 28, 2010

    @98
    So, if congress wanted testimony on penguins they should call Morgan Freeman?
    Morgan Freeman has not authored books on Penguins. He has not taken speaking engagements to inform & educate groups about penguins. (No, I’m not counting his narration of “March of the Penguins” as a speaking engagement.) He has not promoted himself as a person knowledgable of penguins. So, Morgan Freeman would obviously be a poor choice to address Congress on that subject.
    Got any more ridiculous analogies?

  123. #123 negentropyeater
    February 28, 2010

    mwsletten,

    First, you’ve made some fairly broad implications about what I believe as regards AGW — most of them wrong.

    Sorry if I mistook you for an AGW denier. Glad to hear you are not one of them. Or are you one of those “unconvinced” (then see below) ? Still not clear what you think.

    if anything is to be done about AGW, politicians like Inhofe are the ones that must be motivated to act.

    No, politicians like Inhofe are fundamentally dishonest. You can’t do anything apart from trying to make sure they don’t get reelected.

    I believe they comprise the majority

    Then we shouldn’t have any problem, as the only valid conclusion is that we have to act now to avoid the future potentially catastrophic consequences of AGW (and of dwindling critical resources).

    ‘Scientific consensus’ is not enough.

    Why not ? Again, why choose to trust the denialists who go against the consensus ? For lay people (and politicians), the only rational decision is to trust the overwheming majority of scientists who agree with the consensus. See my questions in my previous comment.

    While it’s true you may never find a way to convince him and all his followers of your beliefs, it’s for sure if you don’t listen to him and those like him you cannot respond intelligently to their concerns.

    The only question is whether they have any valid “concerns” or not. They don’t so you don’t have to respond intelligently to invalid “concerns”.

    Despite the best efforts of many here on this list to so categorize them, not everyone who isn’t fully convinced by the AGW evidence so far presented is a ‘denialist.’ Some, for whatever reason, are just simply ‘unconvinced.’

    Don’t confuse “unconvinced” with “doesn’t have an opinion”. Someone who is “unconvinced” is a denialist. Someone who doesn’t have an opinion is fine, not everybody needs to have an opinion about everything.

    Climate science is complicated.

    All the more reason not to have an opinion that goes directly against the findings of the overwhelming majority of climate scientists.
    Again, why choose to listen to the denialists ? See above.

    Scientists have a choice: They can listen to argument from the other side, discern the base concerns that drive its disbelief and seek ways to align scientific findings to answer those concerns, or they can stand back, laugh and point at the ‘idjits,’

    The other side has no “arguments”, nor any valid concern : they have no evidence. Scientist don’t have to align scientific findings, but to stick to the evidence. What drives disbelief are dishonesty and the unwilligness to abandon deeply entrenched but ultimately destructive core values and beliefs about the “American way of life”.

    which strategy do you think will get the best results?

    Stick to the scientific evidence and spend more time and energy educating people about what it means.

  124. #124 Matt Penfold
    February 28, 2010

    Morgan Freeman has not authored books on Penguins. He has not taken speaking engagements to inform & educate groups about penguins. (No, I’m not counting his narration of “March of the Penguins” as a speaking engagement.) He has not promoted himself as a person knowledgable of penguins. So, Morgan Freeman would obviously be a poor choice to address Congress on that subject.
    Got any more ridiculous analogies?

    You still seem unable to tell the difference between a scientist and science communicator. Now I know sometimes scientists are also science communicators but the two roles are seperate. One can write and talk about science and not be a scientist, and one can be a scientist and not bother with science communication other than with ones peers in journals and at conferences.

    Carl Zimmer is an excellent science communicator. He has a number of books, many of which have evolution as the subject or as a theme running throughout the book. He is not a scientist. If politicians wanted to know about the science about which he writes Zimmer is not the person they should talk to. I imagine Zimmer himself would them that. He is not the person who originated the research about which he writes. If they want to know what it takes to write about a subject many people take issue with, then he would be a good person to talk to. Do you see the difference ?

    Do you now see why Gore is not the person to ask about the science ? Gore did not do the science. He merely explains it. He would be a good person to talk to about how to explain the science. itself.

  125. #125 SC OM
    February 28, 2010

    discern the base concerns that drive its disbelief

    They’ve long been discerned:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T4UF_Rmlio

    Base, indeed. (And no, I’m not saying all deniers are shills; some are just dupes who don’t understand science.)

  126. #126 Jim
    February 28, 2010

    Me: “If global warming is man-made, why is Mars warming? Are the Martians driving too many SUVs?”
    Q.E.D.: “That isn’t even worth dignifying with a response…”

    I didn’t expect a response; the questions were rhetorical.

  127. #127 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 28, 2010

    I didn’t expect a response; the questions were rhetorical.

    Then why bother asking? Idjit.

  128. #128 Jim
    February 28, 2010

    Me: “I didn’t expect a response; the questions were rhetorical.”
    Nerd of Redhead: “Then why bother asking? Idjit.”

    Since the concept of the rhetorical question is apparently new to you, Nerd, I suggest you google it to learn what it is. Then you’ll know why someone might bother to ask a rhetorical question.

  129. #129 negentropyeater
    February 28, 2010

    Jim,

    The history of science is chock full of discredited and discarded theories that once won a consensus among scientists.

    Correct, and that’s because someone found undeniable evidence that showed such theories to be invalid. There’s always the possibility that this happens with AGW in the future. But for now, in the absense of undeniable evidence to invalidate the scientific consensus about AGW, the only rational decision is to trust the scientific consensus.
    It’s the same thing as with leprechauns : the consensus view is that they don’t exist. Maybe it’s wrong, maybe some day someone will capture a leprechaun and invalidate the consensus. But for now, it’s rational to stick with the consensus.

    To argue that a scientific consensus in favor of AGW means that we must immediately embrace multi-trillion dollar “solutions” to global warming is to wallow in the logical fallacy known as consensus gentium.

    Incorrect : consensus gentium is the same fallacy as argumentum ad populum.
    That’s not what is happening here.

  130. #130 tresmal
    February 28, 2010
  131. #131 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Hey Jim, you asking rhetorical question here means you are an idjit. That was my point. Don’t ask questions here that you don’t want answered. In your case, I recommend silence. You have presented nothing cogent or relevant to date…

  132. #132 negentropyeater
    February 28, 2010

    Jim,

    Then you’ll know why someone might bother to ask a rhetorical question.

    Do you deny that global warming is primarily a man-made phenomenon ?
    Do you also deny that efforts to arrest it would do more good than harm to the overall well-being of mankind ?

    Please answer (those are not rethorical questions).

  133. #133 Jim
    February 28, 2010

    “Do you deny that global warming is primarily a man-made phenomenon?”

    I don’t know whether global warming is primarily a man-made phenomenon. But, then, neither does anyone else. That’s why we keep hearing about a “scientific consensus” that global warming is man-made. We don’t need to invoke consensus when we’re speaking of something that is known to be true.

    “Do you also deny that efforts to arrest it would do more good than harm to the overall well-being of mankind?”

    We don’t know what effects our efforts to arrest global warming would have on global warming, but those efforts would undoubtedly have substantial adverse economic and socio-political effects, which would be of no benefit to mankind. My own view is that we could return to the caves and live on wild hickory nuts with neglible effect on the Earth’s climate. The global warming alarums are not so much about saving the Earth as they are about increasing the control of governments over the lives of people. Massive efforts to arrest global warming may or may not reduce global warming, but they will certainly reduce the scope of human liberty. That would not be a positive development for the well-being of mankind.

  134. #134 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 28, 2010

    The thing that annoys me most about climate denialists is their dishonesty about admitting the reason for their denial. I’ve only seen one denialist admit “I don’t want to change my life style.” The rest of the denialists say things like “even though I know absolutely nothing about climatology I’m skeptical of the science” and “Phil Jones is a dork so climate change MUST be wrong.”

  135. #135 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 28, 2010

    As usual, Jim has nothing relevant on the science, he just has a gripe about possible lifestyle changes. Those changes are going to occur when (not if) we run out of fossil fuels, whether we start to conserve now due to AGW not. It’s better to start now, so our descendants aren’t scrambling their asses to prevent the catastrophe.

  136. #136 Jim
    February 28, 2010

    Me: “To argue that a scientific consensus in favor of AGW means that we must immediately embrace multi-trillion dollar ‘solutions’ to global warming is to wallow in the logical fallacy known as consensus gentium.”
    negentropyeater: “Incorrect : consensus gentium is the same fallacy as argumentum ad populum. That’s not what is happening here.”

    That’s precisely what is happening here. We’re told that we must act – and act now! – to stop global warming not because anyone knows that global warming is primarily caused by human activity, but because the idea that global warming is primarily caused by human activity has won a consensus among climate scientists. In short, we’re asked to accept the truth of manmade global warming on the basis of a consensus. There could be no better example of the fallacy of consensus gentium.

  137. #137 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Jim,

    Among other things, we’re going to run out of oil in the near future. Even a diehard denialist like you must know that. Sticking your head in the sand and whining about “multi-trillion dollar ‘solutions’” isn’t going to produce any more oil. So we’re stuck with multi-trillion dollar ‘solutions’ whether you like it or not.

    I really wish you denialists would grow the fuck up and admit the world is changing. Pretending the science is wrong isn’t going to make real world problems disappear. Mommy can’t kiss the world all better and make all the bad things go away.

  138. #138 negentropyeater
    February 28, 2010

    Jim,

    I don’t know whether global warming is primarily a man-made phenomenon.

    My own view is that we could return to the caves and live on wild hickory nuts with neglible effect on the Earth’s climate.

    How can you have such a view if you don’t know whether global warming is primarily a man-made phenomenon ?

    But, then, neither does anyone else.

    Anybody who understands scientific evidence knows that.

    We don’t know what effects our efforts to arrest global warming would have on global warming

    We know that cutting our GHG emmissions will limit global warming. We actually know how much we need to cut in order to limit global warming within a range which is safe for mankind.

    but those efforts would undoubtedly have substantial adverse economic and socio-political effects, which would be of no benefit to mankind.

    Those efforts will have much less adverse economic and socio-political effects than not doing them. One because warming will cause the necessary migration of hundreds of millions of inhabitants and massive hunger from the inadequacy of the food supply. Two because those efforts will need to be made anyhow in view of the reduction in the availability of critical resources from over consumption.

    The global warming alarums are not so much about saving the Earth as they are about increasing the control of governments over the lives of people.

    It’s not about saving the earth nor increasing the control of governments over the lives of people, but about recognizing that resilient societies are nimble ones, capable of long-term planning and of abandoning deeply entrenched but ultimately destructive core values and beliefs.


    The rest of your comment is more of the same tired old denialist clichÚs.

    And from your answers to these two questions, it is now clear that your question in #112 (If global warming is man-made, why is Mars warming?) was not only rethorical.

  139. #139 Jim
    February 28, 2010

    “Mommy can’t kiss the world all better and make all the bad things go away.”

    No, but the stop-global-warming-now crowd would have us think that government can. If one has to constantly agree to the expansion of the powers of government (and the consequent reduction in individual liberties) to be grown up, then I should hope that most of us aren’t grown up. Given a choice between a free world and a warm world, I’d choose the former. I marvel at the willingness of some people to cede even more control to government over the lives of people on the basis of a “scientific consensus.” But, then, I’ve always been perplexed by the allure of socialism. “Fighting” global warming is primarily an enthusiasm of the left, which speaks volumes to me about the real agenda of the stop-global-warming-now crowd.

  140. #140 mwsletten
    February 28, 2010

    Nerd @ 123 said: ‘The only question is whether [politicians who disagree with scientists about AGW] have any valid “concerns” or not. They don’t so you don’t have to respond intelligently to invalid “concerns”.’

    Which is where scientists run into trouble. The staggering costs, both in wealth and standards of living, required to follow the only offered alternatives in dealing with AGW are most certainly a valid concern — especially for those ‘unconvinced’ the changes scientists suggest will have the desired effect.

    Nerd @ 123 said: ‘For lay people (and politicians), the only rational decision is to trust the overwheming majority of scientists who agree with the consensus.’

    Rational is relative. Some would argue that for the US to commit to the changes in power production and consumption suggested by scientists — and the almost certain economic ruin to follow — when the rest of the world is unwilling to do the same is irrational.

    Nerd @ 123 said: ‘Someone who is “unconvinced” is a denialist.’

    I’ll suggest that is the kind of labeling that limits the chance of a successful debate.

    Nerd @ 123 said: ‘What drives disbelief are dishonesty and the unwilligness to abandon deeply entrenched but ultimately destructive core values and beliefs about the “American way of life”.’

    Regarding ‘dishonesty’ see above. Those who are ‘honestly’ unconvinced will not take kindly to an accusation of dishonesty — and then you’re back into the politicians’ favorite arena of mudslinging and name calling. The second part of your statement above will only make sense to someone who agrees with the science (more on this below).

    Nerd @ 123 said: ‘Scientist don’t have to align scientific findings, but to stick to the evidence.’

    That hasn’t worked to convince the majority of the world’s population about the non-existence of God. How do you feel about the chances of it working with vastly the less conclusive science of climate change?

    Nerd @ 123 said: ‘[Scientists should] [s]tick to the scientific evidence and spend more time and energy educating people about what it means.’

    That’s a good start. I would add tone down the exasperation with the high level of ignorance (even scientists had to learn what they know), eliminate the condescending attitude, be more understanding of the unwillingness of most to give up their high standard of living and share their evidence and conclusions more openly and in ways the lay public can readily understand.

    But I fear that unless scientists can find a way to frame the debate in ways that ring true with a value system and belief in the ‘American way of life,’ as you put it, their arguments will continue to fall on deaf ears.

  141. #141 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Jim still hasn’t a cogent argument. Just Waahhhhh, I don’t like it. Waaaahhh. Nothing but a big baby. Grow a pair of cojones. You might even reach half a man status.

  142. #142 negentropyeater
    February 28, 2010

    Jim,

    In short, we’re asked to accept the truth of manmade global warming on the basis of a consensus. There could be no better example of the fallacy of consensus gentium.

    consensius gentium (for agreement of the peoples) is a fallacious argument that concludes a proposition to be true because most or all people believe it.

    The proposition “AGW is real” is not true because most or all people believe so (as a matter of fact in the US and in some other countries many don’t).
    It is true because the scientific evidence supports it.

    It’s the same as if you said “the earth is billions of year old” is an example of consensius gentium.

    If you still don’t understand the difference between consensius gentium and an argument based on scientific evidence, I can’t help you much further.

    But unfortunately I think you are a prime example of Dunning-Kruger effect and you will most probably remain convinced of the illusory superiority of your arguments.

  143. #143 Jim
    February 28, 2010

    “If you still don’t understand the difference between consensius gentium and an argument based on scientific evidence, I can’t help you much further.”

    A scientific theory may command a consensus on the basis of the evidence, but to assert that we must accept that a theory is true on the basis of a scientific consensus in favor of the theory is to commit the fallacy of consensus gentium, where a proposition is “proven” because many or all people believe it to be true (the relevant people in this case being climate scientists). As I’ve already said, if the science underlying the theory of AGW were solid, no one would be talking about a scientific consensus favoring the theory.

  144. #144 negentropyeater
    February 28, 2010

    mswletten,

    The staggering costs, both in wealth and standards of living, required to follow the only offered alternatives in dealing with AGW are most certainly a valid concern

    Please show me the detailed study which shows that those costs are more staggering than failing to deal with AGW. I can show you a detailed study which shows quite the opposite : google “Stern Review”.

    Some would argue that for the US to commit to the changes in power production and consumption suggested by scientists — and the almost certain economic ruin to follow — when the rest of the world is unwilling to do the same is irrational.

    Certain economic ruin to follow ? You must be joking. I live in France, where we consume about half the amount of oil per capita as in the US. I assure you that we are far from economic ruin, as a matter of fact I’d say in much better shape than the US (and I go back and forth to the US several times a year and I lived there long enough, so I think I can compare). And most of the rest of the developped world ‘Europe, Japan) is willing to further cut their emmissions (which are already at a fraction of the US’ on a per capita basis).

    Those who are ‘honestly’ unconvinced will not take kindly to an accusation of dishonesty

    That’s why I wrote dishonesty AND … Those who are not dishonest fall in the second category.

    That hasn’t worked to convince the majority of the world’s population about the non-existence of God.

    Please point me to the peer reviewed scientific litterature which refutes the existence of God(s).

  145. #145 negentropyeater
    February 28, 2010

    Jim ,

    A scientific theory may command a consensus on the basis of the evidence, but to assert that we must accept that a theory is true on the basis of a scientific consensus in favor of the theory is to commit the fallacy of consensus gentium

    No, you must accept that a theory is true on the basis of the supporting scientific evidence. If you don’t understand neither the theory, nor the scientific evidence, then you must trust those who do. This is not consensius gentium, it’s common sense.

    And gentium means “the peoples” (at large). Not the “climate scientists”.

    If you want to call it consensius climatum scientium, (for agreement of the climate scientists) that’s better, but that’s not a known fallacy.

    … as predicted in my last sentence of #142.

  146. #146 https://me.yahoo.com/a/CDEi5YZk3uYIOPTAqdgfknMpNQ--#f459b
    February 28, 2010

    @124:
    Do you now see why Gore is not the person to ask about the science ? Gore did not do the science. He merely explains it. He would be a good person to talk to about how to explain the science. itself.

    As I said in post #47, I would recommend Gore (or anyone in the same position) bring along a qualified scientist. Let him bring a dozen scientists! Gore should have the backbone to stand up and defend the position that he has so vehemently pushed all these years. Would I choose Al Gore to appear before that Senate commiteee? No! But to ignore the senator’s (yeah, I know he’s an IDiot) request invites scorn, and misses an opportunity to communicate the hard science.

  147. #147 Jim
    February 28, 2010

    negentropyeater: “…you must accept that a theory is true on the basis of the supporting scientific evidence.”

    Why? It’s doubtful that there has ever been a scientific theory that didn’t encounter recalcitrant or disconfirming evidence, along with supporting evidence. With respect to its theories, science doesn’t deliver certainty, it delivers probabilities. No one is obligated to think that a scientific theory IS true, although the preponderance of evidence can suggest that a theory might be true. When the supporting evidence for a theory is abundant and persuasive, the level of confidence in the theory is high, although certainty is absent. The theory is then said to be “confirmed,” to the extent that science confirms any of its theories, while remaining open to disconfirmation (or falsification). But when the supporting evidence is less than solid, we hear talk of a scientific consensus.

  148. #148 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 28, 2010

    I understand now. Jim’s a looneytarian. He’s not afraid of global warming, he’s afraid of the big, bad gummint.

    Sorry, Jim, but Ron Paul can’t kiss the world all better either.

  149. #149 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 28, 2010

    No surprise Jim is a looneytarian. He can’t except reality if mucks with his inane and morally bankrupt philosophy. So reality must be wrong. It’s not like looneytarians are arrogant, ignorant and even more arrogant. ;)

  150. #150 Ichthyic
    February 28, 2010

    Why? It’s doubtful that there has ever been a scientific theory that didn’t encounter recalcitrant or disconfirming evidence

    well, let’s see just how well versed you are, Jim.

    let’s take a popular theory round these parts…

    the current ToE.

    please show us directly the disconfirming evidence invalidating the ToE.

    hell, you can even break it down into specific mechanisms if you like.

    ready?

    go.

  151. #151 Ellie
    February 28, 2010

    With respect to its theories, science doesn’t deliver certainty, it delivers probabilities. No one is obligated to think that a scientific theory IS true, although the preponderance of evidence can suggest that a theory might be true. When the supporting evidence for a theory is abundant and persuasive, the level of confidence in the theory is high, although certainty is absent.

    Jim, with respect, would you mind pulling your head out of your behind? You are absolutely correct that science does not deliver certainties. In the case of global warming, the percent probability/certainty/whatever-you-care-to-call-it is 95%. Would you go on a roller coaster with a 95% certainty of death?

    We talk about the “scientific consensus” not to paper over the cracks in a rocky theory, but to show that virtually everyone who works in any slightly related field is in agreement. The denialists have moved on to trying to discredit individual scientists because they tried to produce contrary evidence and failed.

    At some point you have to accept that a 100% certainty isn’t possible and start to act, we passed that point some time ago.

  152. #152 Ellie
    February 28, 2010

    Hmmm. Blockquote fail. Should have previewed. First para is Jims, the rest is mine.

  153. #153 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Ellie, join the club. Most of have had blockquote fails. Also, watch out for the keyboard cooties that cause the tpyos…

  154. #154 Jim
    March 1, 2010

    Ellie: “We talk about the ‘scientific consensus’ not to paper over the cracks in a rocky theory, but to show that virtually everyone who works in any slightly related field is in agreement.”

    Yes, but if 95% of the scientists in a field accept a theory it doesn’t follow that the theory has a 95% probability of being true. Some scientists in the global-warming consensus may think the probability that the theory of AGW is true is low, but they nonetheless provisionally accept it (thus joining the consensus) either because they think it’s the best theory advanced to date to explain global warming, or because they know that joining the consensus is a better career move than bucking the consensus, or for political and/or ideological reasons (scientists are human, after all, as Climategate demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt). Consensus is invoked when a theory is rocky; when a theory is solid, no one needs to speak of a consensus. Read the Crichton quote again in message #106. I think he nailed it.

  155. #155 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Jim, you are repeating your inane and stoopid nonsense. Show us scientific evidence from the peer reviewed scientific literature to back your silly and inane and spurious claims, or shut the fuck up. That is how science works, it is evidence based. The evidence for AGW is conclusive. The scientists in the field of climate work are in almost unanimous agreement that AGW is occurring. Scientists outside of the field, like myself, don’t count. So you have no point. Except you can’t stand the idea that they are right. What a loser.

    Read the Crichton quote again in message

    Crichton was an MD, not a scientist. Meaningless quote. Only losers would consider that evidence, and arguments from false authority are always false.

  156. #156 Jim
    March 1, 2010

    Nerd of Redhead: “That is how science works, it is evidence based.”

    Right. Since you’ve completely misunderstood everything I’ve said here about the pernicious nature of consensus science, there’s no point in trying to explain it to you again. I’ve learned from experience that you’re not a fair-minded person willing to read the writings of those who don’t share your views with an eye towards understanding what they write. You’re more interested in being vituperative.

  157. #157 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Since you’ve completely misunderstood everything I’ve said here about the pernicious nature of consensus science, there’s no point in trying to explain it to you again.

    Wrong idjit, I understand everything you twisting wrong. Consensus is a red herring. Either the science is right or wrong. If wrong, prove it with more science. You cannot prove the science wrong, so you have attempt to find something else to complain about, even if it is utter and totally irrelevant to the science. I’m a scientist. I know how science works. Your consensus blather is utter and totally irrelevant except to an obfuscator. Science may not get 100% certainty, but 99.9% is close enough, as it is with AGW.

  158. #158 Stephen Wells
    March 1, 2010

    Okay, so the strong consensus of scientists that the earth orbits the sun rather than vice versa is prima facie evidence that the earth is actually flat.

    It must be true because Michael Crichton (that well-known and devastatingly insightful philosopher) once said that scientific consensus is bad.

  159. #159 Anri
    March 1, 2010

    Here we have Jim:

    Witness, for example, the scientific culture’s reaction to intelligent design. Does it encourage scientists to pursue design-theoretic research into questions of biological origins? Of course not. It tends to punish (via ostracism, the denial of tenure, demotions, etc.) scientists who deviate from the scientific consensus in favor of Darwinian theory.

    Just to make certain we’re all on the same page here, what are the top three predictions that ID ‘theory’ has made about life on this planet that have been shown to be accurate.

    Just your own opinion about ‘top three’, of course.

    No, but the stop-global-warming-now crowd would have us think that government can. If one has to constantly agree to the expansion of the powers of government (and the consequent reduction in individual liberties) to be grown up, then I should hope that most of us aren’t grown up. Given a choice between a free world and a warm world, I’d choose the former. I marvel at the willingness of some people to cede even more control to government over the lives of people on the basis of a “scientific consensus.” But, then, I’ve always been perplexed by the allure of socialism. “Fighting” global warming is primarily an enthusiasm of the left, which speaks volumes to me about the real agenda of the stop-global-warming-now crowd.

    I am assuming that you are opposed to governmental control over medical procedures, based on the sceintific consensus of germ theory, yes?

    I am assuming you are opposed to the Clear Water Act which is based on the scientific consensus that drinking high levels of lead is bad for you (among other silly sciency-stuffs), yes?

    Us stupid socialists believe that people are less free when they are sick, starving, or dead, and that’s why we believe that government sometimes has to step in to stop these things from happening.

    Lastly,

    The history of science is chock full of discredited and discarded theories that once won a consensus among scientists.

    Please compare these to the number of discredited and discarded theories that did not achieve this status and let us know where you’re putting your money.
    Thanks.

  160. #160 Jim
    March 1, 2010

    Nerd of Redhead: “Consensus is a red herring. Either the science is right or wrong.”

    Then we agree. Invoking “consensus” in the global warming debate drags a red herring into the debate. Consensus has nothing to do with real science.

    By the way, what is your scientific specialty? My guess would be anatomy (“a branch of morphology that deals with the structure of organisms” – Merriam Webster OnLine Dictionary), with a focus on proctology. A man is his work, as the saying goes.

  161. #161 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Jim, where is your real honest peer reviewed science that AGW isn’t happening? That is the real argument here. Either you have the science or you don’t. To date, you don’t. If you don’t, why keep posting and trying to obfuscate the issue? If you don’t like the consequences, argue that, but leave the science alone. Asshats like you can’t put up or shut up. And their inability to do either speaks volumes about their arrogance and lack of intellectual honesty.

  162. #162 Jim
    March 1, 2010

    Anri: “Just to make certain we’re all on the same page here, what are the top three predictions that ID ‘theory’ has made about life on this planet that have been shown to be accurate.”

    I don’t know that these are the “top three predictions” of ID theory, but here are three predictions of the theory that have substantial empirical support:

    1) Forms containing large amounts of novel information will appear in the fossil record suddenly and without similar precursors.
    2) Convergence will occur routinely. That is, genes and other functional parts will be re-used in different and unrelated organisms.
    3) Much so-called “junk DNA” will turn out to perform valuable functions.

    http://www.ideacenter.org/stuff/contentmgr/files/becbd98b35e8e07260d4e8e92784cbbb/miscdocs/thepositivecasefordesign_v3.pdf

    Arni: “I am assuming that you are opposed to governmental control over medical procedures, based on the sceintific consensus of germ theory, yes?”

    Yes, I’m opposed to government control over medical procedures, but not for the reason you give. The evidence for the germ theory of disease is sufficiently solid that we don’t need to invoke “consensus” to prop it up. I think that like Nerd, you’ve not understood my argument about consensus science.

    Arni: “Us stupid socialists believe that people are less free when they are sick, starving, or dead, and that’s why we believe that government sometimes has to step in to stop these things from happening.”

    I don’t share the view of socialists (or leftists in general) that government bears the primary responsibility for improving the human condition. I don’t share their willingness to trade individual liberties for the promise of government “benefits.” I’m no supporter of Ron Paul, but I’m more concerned about the harm overweening government can do to individual liberty than I am about global warming.

    Stephen Wells: “Okay, so the strong consensus of scientists that the earth orbits the sun rather than vice versa is prima facie evidence that the earth is actually flat.”

    We don’t need a scientific consensus that the earth orbits the sun; we have solid evidence for it. And the non sequitur you’ve conjured up is just silliness intended (I suppose) as an argument. Evidently you’ve also not understood my argument about consensus science. That may be my fault, but I suspect that none of the regulars here want to understand my argument, so they don’t.

  163. #163 Jim
    March 1, 2010

    Nerd of Redhead: “Jim, where is your real honest peer reviewed science that AGW isn’t happening? That is the real argument here.”

    That may be your “real argument here,” but my argument has been focused on consensus science, which – like Crichton – I regard as a pernicious development. I’ve already admitted that I don’t know whether global warming is primarily man-made, but then, neither do you. And if the evidence for the theory of AGW were solid, no one would need to invoke consensus to prop up the theory, just as no one needs to invoke consensus to prop up the heliocentric theory of the solar system. As I’ve already said, science by consensus is not science; it’s advocacy.

  164. #164 Jim
    March 1, 2010

    Anri, not Arni. My bad.

  165. #165 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 1, 2010

    I’ve already admitted that I don’t know whether global warming is primarily man-made, but then, neither do you.

    Ah, the lies just keep coming. I’ve been watching the AGW for 20+ years. Funny how the evidence always agrees with it. Ergo, it is happening until somebody provides the hard conclusive evidence otherwise. You have any? Your consensus argument is so much bullshit. It is sophistry designed to hide your fear that AGW is happening, and you might be bothered with the consequences. Since science uses evidence in the peer reviewed literature which is available at institutions of higher learning world-wide. It is open. Since consensus is word politicians understand, science must lower itself and use it to get their attention. Consensus in science doesn’t mean 51%. A much higher figure, usually above 90% is required. So your consensus argument is nothing but a smokescreen. So, don’t worry. You will be dealing with AGW.

  166. #166 Jim
    March 1, 2010

    Me: “I’ve already admitted that I don’t know whether global warming is primarily man-made, but then, neither do you.”
    Nerd of Redhead: “Ah, the lies just keep coming.”

    Here’s a truth that any scientist worthy of the name would acknowledge: No one knows that global warming is primarily man-made. To insist that any climate scientist – or anyone else – knows that global warming is primarily man-made is to abandon science in favor of dogmatism. Genuine scientists know that their empirical methods, which are heavily reliant on inductive reasoning, don’t deliver certainty with respect to the validity of their theories. The falsehood (or the “lie,” if you prefer) being told here is that there are scientists (such as you) who know that global warming is primarily man-made.

  167. #167 Ellie
    March 1, 2010

    Yes, but if 95% of the scientists in a field accept a theory it doesn’t follow that the theory has a 95% probability of being true

    Jim, This is a perfect example of the tortured logic you have applied all the way through this thread. You brought up scientists (the real value is closer to 99.9%), I was talking about probablity. I’ll ask you again and I’ll even use your numbers if you like; would you get on a roller coaster that 95% of coaster engineers said had a 95% probablity of killing you?

    My goodness, you do think you’re a lot cleverer than everyone else here don’t you? The consensus says you are wrong.

  168. #168 Ellie
    March 1, 2010

    Yes, but if 95% of the scientists in a field accept a theory it doesn’t follow that the theory has a 95% probability of being true

    Jim, This is a perfect example of the tortured logic you have applied all the way through this thread. You brought up scientists (the real value is closer to 99.9%), I was talking about probablity. I’ll ask you again and I’ll even use your numbers if you like; would you get on a roller coaster that 95% of coaster engineers said had a 95% probablity of killing you?

    My goodness, you do think you’re a lot cleverer than everyone else here don’t you? The consensus says you are wrong.

  169. #169 Jim
    March 1, 2010

    Ellie: “The consensus says you are wrong.”

    So what? The presence of consensus does not entail the presence of truth, just as the absence of consensus does not entail the absence of truth. That’s why consensus science is so harmful to genuine science. It tends to put an end to scientific inquiry and debate.

  170. #170 Anri
    March 1, 2010

    I don’t know that these are the “top three predictions” of ID theory, but here are three predictions of the theory that have substantial empirical support:

    1) Forms containing large amounts of novel information will appear in the fossil record suddenly and without similar precursors.

    So, presumably, every time we find information with precursors, it’s evidence against the ‘theory’, right?

    2) Convergence will occur routinely. That is, genes and other functional parts will be re-used in different and unrelated organisms.

    There are no such things as ‘unrelated’ organisms.

    3) Much so-called “junk DNA” will turn out to perform valuable functions.

    So, preumably, when we find sections of DNA that are non-coding, it counts against the ‘theory’?
    Or is it “heads, I win, tails, you lose”?

    To put it another way, what would you accept as a disproof of ID?

    Yes, I’m opposed to government control over medical procedures, but not for the reason you give. The evidence for the germ theory of disease is sufficiently solid that we don’t need to invoke “consensus” to prop it up. I think that like Nerd, you’ve not understood my argument about consensus science.

    It appears to me that your argument essentialy boils down to “scientists that disagree with me are untrustworthy”. Did I get that right?

    I don’t share the view of socialists (or leftists in general) that government bears the primary responsibility for improving the human condition.

    If improving the lives of people isn’t the primary respionsibility of government, what is it?

    I don’t share their willingness to trade individual liberties for the promise of government “benefits.”

    With individual rights protected by…
    um, well…
    maybe the Intelligent Designer can tackle that, too.

    I’m no supporter of Ron Paul, but I’m more concerned about the harm overweening government can do to individual liberty than I am about global warming.

    Good for you.
    The vast majority of people who have spent their entire careers studying the situation disagree with you.
    Pity they’re all untrustworthy.

  171. #171 Bobber
    March 1, 2010

    Holy shit. “Consensus” is the problem? Another failing of the libertarian mind – to think merely being contradictory is somehow edgy and cool (and right).

    So let’s see…

    Scientist 1 examines the evidence, concludes that there is a 95% probability of a proposition being correct.

    Scientist 2 examines the same evidence, concludes the same thing.

    Scientists 3 through 99 do the same – examine the same evidence, conclude the same thing. “Consensus” confirmed.

    Libertarian non-specialist examines the evidence (or not), comes to a contradictory conclusion (while possibly pocketing funds from carbon-emitting corporations), decries “consensus” as “not truth”.

    Yes, yes, that is VERY convincing. ::snortle::

  172. #172 Matt Penfold
    March 1, 2010

    Ji,

    So tell us. What are scientists supposed to do when they find the evidence for a theory so strong they all pretty much agree on its validity ?

  173. #173 Bobber
    March 1, 2010

    Matt:

    If people agree, that’s socialistic and therefore not truthy. See, the lone individualistic types are the vanguard of the truth, because they are lone and individualistic and noble and stuff. ‘Cause they don’t listen to anyone else and they’re independent and individualistic and noble. And they don’t like to pay taxes. Which makes them individualistic and noble and truthy.

    Or something like that.

  174. #174 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Yawn, still no evidence from Jim. And Jim, here is what science thinks about the need for your approval:

    *crickets chirring*

    So, we don’t need to listen to your unscientific mewlings. Here’s the thing. And, if you can get 90% plus of scientists to agree to anything, the certainty of the conclusion is near 99+%.

  175. #175 Jim
    March 1, 2010

    Nerd of Redhead: “Here’s the thing. And, if you can get 90% plus of scientists to agree to anything, the certainty of the conclusion is near 99+%.”

    Oh? At one time you could probably get 90% plus of biologists to agree to the theory of spontaneous generation, but biologists are now quite confidant that the certainty of the theory’s conclusion is near 0%. Agreement, even among the experts, does not entail certainty.

    Here’s another example:

    In the 1960 edition of Clark and Stearn’s authoritative “Geological Evolution of North
    America,” one could read:

    “The geosynclinal theory is one of the great unifying principles in geology. In many ways its role in geology is similar to that of the theory of evolution, which serves to integrate the many branches of the biological sciences…. Just as the doctrine of evolution is universally accepted among biologists, so also the geosynclinal origin of the major mountain systems is an established principle in geology.”

    Within a decade of this statement, the geosynclinal theory had been replaced by the theory of plate tectonics, demonstrating yet again that consensus – even universal acceptance – among scientists does not entail (or assure) that the theory is true.

  176. #176 Jim
    March 1, 2010

    Matt Penfold: “What are scientists supposed to do when they find the evidence for a theory so strong they all pretty much agree on its validity?”

    They’re supposed to argue for the validity of the theory on the basis of the evidence, not on the basis of a consensus. To make the latter argument is to wallow in logical fallacy.

  177. #177 Matt Penfold
    March 1, 2010

    Within a decade of this statement, the geosynclinal theory had been replaced by the theory of plate tectonics, demonstrating yet again that consensus – even universal acceptance – among scientists does not entail (or assure) that the theory is true.

    Since no one has claimed it does, I fail to see your point.

  178. #178 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Still no evidence Jim. I don’t have confidence in AGW because a bunch of workers in the field said it is happening, but rather they confirm what the data (evidence) says, and the evidence is what convinced me. So, if you want me to even listen to your inanities, show scientific evidence otherwise. All I see is sophistry in action. That is for bullshitters.

    Keep in mind for your examples:
    1. Scientists knew there were problems with the present theories.
    2. The new theories explained the evidence better than the old theory. So, publish your theory. We could use a good laugh.

  179. #179 Matt Penfold
    March 1, 2010

    They’re supposed to argue for the validity of the theory on the basis of the evidence, not on the basis of a consensus. To make the latter argument is to wallow in logical fallacy.

    Since they do the former, I again fail to see your point.

    I think you need to go away and work out what the issue of consensus is about. Here is hint: It is for those doing the science. It is pity you have not worked this out already, but since you think ID is science it is pretty clear you are not au fait with how science works.

  180. #180 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    March 1, 2010

    Jim, do you even understand what scientific consensus is? It isn’t the result of a poll of individual scientists, although such a poll can reflect the consensus.

    Probably the best way to gauge scientific consensus is to look at the ideas/theories people are using in their publications. When an idea becomes so crucial to understanding a field that you don’t have anything worth publishing if you reject it, that is a pretty good indication of truth, would you not agree?

    Guess where we are with anthropogenic climate change? Well over 90% of the papers published implicitly assume the consensus theory of Earth’s climate, and athropogenic causation of the current warming epoch is an inescapable consequence of that theory.

    Likewise in biology, if you don’t buy into evolution, you won’t have much to add to understanding.

    Now let’s take your plate tectonics example. Let’s say scientists bought into Wegener’s ideas in the 1920s. The thing is that he had no viable mechanism for how the plates could move. Since there was no mechanism, the theory was wrong. And in actuality, since the ideas of Wegener had no viable mechanism, they really had very little predictive power and science lost very little by not adopting them. It was only when the mechanism of ocean floor spreading became clear that we really understood the phenomenon.

    You claim that scientists need to argue based on evidence rather than consensus. What you fail to understand is that evidence is the basis of scientific consensus.

  181. #181 Matt Penfold
    March 1, 2010

    What Jim is actually arguing is that the public have no means of coming to any conclusion on the validity of scientific claims.

    Unless you have spent years studying a field then you are not going to have the expertise to examine the details of the science, and without studying the details one cannot come to any meaningful conclusion, unless you accept that the majority of scientists are more likely to be right rather than wrong.

    Jim seems to think that all opinions are equally valid, no matter how well founded in evidence those opinions are. If scientific consensus counts for nothing, then there is no point in using science to help us decide on energy policy, or indeed any other policy. Neither the public, nor politicians are competent to assess the scientific evidence directly, and if they cannot base their decisions on what most scientists agree is the case, then there is no basis available to arrive at any meaningful scientific conclusions on which to built policy.

  182. #182 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Jim seems to think that all opinions are equally valid, no matter how well founded in evidence those opinions are.

    That is a fallacy. Otherwise, the courts and politicians would never call on expert witnesses. The validity of opinions is not equal, not even in the glibbertarian mind. Their opinions are gold, everyone elses opinions are base metal.

  183. #183 Jim
    March 1, 2010

    Matt Penfold: “Jim seems to think that all opinions are equally valid, no matter how well founded in evidence those opinions are.”

    I give up. Since no one here seems to have grasped my argument about consensus science, I see no purpose in pressing the point. I’ll withdraw and leave the lot of you to continue to misrepresent my views.

  184. #184 Matt Penfold
    March 1, 2010

    I give up. Since no one here seems to have grasped my argument about consensus science, I see no purpose in pressing the point. I’ll withdraw and leave the lot of you to continue to misrepresent my views.

    You have yet to make an argument. You came here, and claimed that scientists agreeing on what evidence means is bad thing. In doing so you decide that Michael Crichton was the world’s leading expert on the matter, despite his lack of education in either science or philosophy.

    In short you made an incredibly stupid argument, got called on it, tried to back up and failed, and now have gone off in a huff because people will not buy your bullshit.

    Begone, you tosser.

  185. #185 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 1, 2010

    I give up. Since no one here seems to have grasped my argument about consensus science, I see no purpose in pressing the point. I’ll withdraw and leave the lot of you to continue to misrepresent my views.

    Well, other than you constantly misrepresenting what is scientific consensus, and misrepresenting how science is done, and having no evidence other than opinions of non-experts, what was there to grasp?

  186. #186 Ellie
    March 1, 2010

    I give up. Since no one here seems to have grasped my argument about consensus science, I see no purpose in pressing the point. I’ll withdraw and leave the lot of you to continue to misrepresent my views.

    No Jim, everyone here understands your point. Whatever you may believe, you are not explaining a concept too difficult and subtle for us mere mortals to grasp; you are repeatedly making the same logical fallacy despite having been corrected in it many times.

    You are saying that a consensus is insufficient evidence to base a theory upon and in that regard you are quite right. What you have spectacularly failed to appreciate, however, is that that is not what has happened here. The knowledge that the word is warming has come from a vast quantity of very strong evidence and that has resulted in a consensus amongst those qualified to understand it. You have it backwards.

    I agree that a majority opinion does not constitute absolute truth and many widely accepted scientific theories have later been shown to be false. Where you have got lost is in believing this means all majority opinions should be discarded. A few minutes thought ought to be enough to convince you of the foolishness of that attitude and, if not, I suggest you reject the consensus view that one should not engage in a long walk when the pier in front of us is short and walk off one.

  187. #187 Jim
    March 1, 2010

    No, Ellie, you’re misrepresenting what I’ve said, which suggests to me that you still don’t understand what I’ve been saying about consensus science. No sensible person speaks of “the consensus view that one should not engage in a long walk when the pier in front of us is short.” There’s no need to speak of consensus in a case like that – a case where the evidence is so solid that it speaks for itself. Consensus is invoked when the evidence (or the science) is not solid, and it’s invoked for the purpose of ending inquiry and debate. Crichton was absolutely correct to describe the emergence of consensus science as a pernicious development that can only impede scientific progress. Go back to message #106 and re-read the Crichton quote, which expresses quite well what I’ve been saying about consensus science. It’s not what you apparently think I’ve been saying.

    With that, I really am gone….

  188. #188 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Jim, we all understand what you are trying to say. It is just a fallacious argument, starting with the premises, like the term scientific consensus. We scientists know what that means. You don’t. So you fail. What else in new. Still no evidence being presented by you. Get with the program. Try

  189. #189 SC OM
    March 1, 2010

    Consensus is invoked when the evidence (or the science) is not solid, and it’s invoked for the purpose of ending inquiry and debate.

    No, and you’re not fooling anyone. Consensus exists on numerous scientific matters in a variety of disciplines. It’s simply understood and not made explicit in most cases because there are no corporations funding people to lie about the state of the science. It has to be made explicit when there are.

    Now go away.

  190. #190 Bobber
    March 1, 2010

    Consensus is invoked when the evidence (or the science) is not solid, and it’s invoked for the purpose of ending inquiry and debate.

    Since when?

  191. #191 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Consensus is invoked when the evidence (or the science) is not solid,

    As I said Jim, you are dead wrong. I’m a 30+ year practitioner of science, and know of what I speak. ARIDS is also a long term scientist who disagrees with you. Who is right, you or professional scientists? Scientific consensus occurs when the evidence is overwhelming. Some examples: the atomic theory, theory of gravity, theory of evolution, AGW is occurring, and AIDS is caused by HIV. If there is no consensus, more work is done and theories are revised until there is a consensus. That is why you were wrong from the get go, and couldn’t develop any traction for your inane bit of sophistry.

  192. #192 Ellie
    March 2, 2010

    Jim,

    Once more for the people at the back of the theatre; I get it. We all get it.

    You think “consensus” is a bad word that people only resort to using when they don’t have evidence. Unfortunately, you are using a unique redefinition of the word invented by a man who believed heart disease is a psychosomatic disorder.

    He was wrong on heart disease and he was wrong on “consensus”, and now so are you.

    I suggest you take another leaf out of Crichton’s book and give up discussing science, you too are a lot better at fiction.

  193. #193 Ichthyic
    March 2, 2010

    Crichton was absolutely correct to describe the emergence of consensus science as a pernicious development

    It’s interesting that you ape the words of someone who is not and never was a scientist, in describing something that does not actually happen in science.

    How would Crichton even know WHAT any development in science really portended, let alone whether it be pernicious or not?

    Do you rely on the guy that changes your oil at the gas station for advice on the current status of quantum theory, too?

    The Dunning-Kruger is strong with you.

  194. #194 negentropyeater
    March 2, 2010

    Don’t forget that for many people like Jim, medical school graduate = scientist.

  195. #195 athywren
    March 2, 2010

    Al B. Quirky #56
    If I have a glass and fill it to the top with water, the water is safe from spilling over, but only just. If I add more water to it it, this will cease to be true.
    In order to show statistically significant warming, we need to look at a wider timeframe in exactly the same way that we need to add more water to the glass in order to show overflowing.

    In order for Buzz Aldrin to become the first man on the moon we would need to do something quite different from adding more water or widening the time frame – we would need to change history… or we could just ignore the wider timeframe before Buzz Aldrin stepped on the moon and proclaim him as the first like the climate deniers?

    “Yes, but only just” certainly means “yes” in situations where the answer is independent of other factors. In some situations however, this is not necessarily true.

    “Do you have time to write this report?”
    “Yes, but only just.”
    In this case, “yes, but only just,” can very easily end up meaning, “no.”

    Yes, I know I’m dragging the conversation back 3 days for no good reason, but I can’t fight the urge to point out how stupid some statements are. Sorry about that.

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