CNWKdgqU8AAYKvW AKA me on Eli on Richard Betts on… well, you get the idea. The story so far: I wake up one morning a week or so back and hear some luvvie talking the usual kind of “me ‘arts in the right place so you won’t mind if I talk drivel, lord luv a duck, I ‘ad that Lord Monckton in the back of me cab once, y’know, guv” stuff. It was clearly well over the top and not very interesting, so I shrugged and went back to sleep.

ATTP posted something that appeared to amount to, yes she was wrong but lord luvva duck, ‘er ‘arts in the right place (DN says much the same in the Graun), unlike the Dork Side like Booker, Ridley and so on. However, ATTP’s support was conditional: he clearly said, and this was picked up by VV, Additionally, I would expect Emma Thompson to correct these errors in future. A hostage to fortune, was that wise of ATTP? It would seem not, if the Daily Fail can be trusted not to invent direct quotes; ET is reported to have hit back with I’d like to say to him [Richard Betts]: Are you insane, have you been to the Arctic, have you seen the state of the glaciers? I’ve talked to the experts… this is not scaremongering. No obvious sign of having learnt anything there.

Richard Betts said

Ms Thompson spoke passionately and in no uncertain terms about 4°C warming by the 2030, and stated that “in a few years …. whole swathes of the Earth will become uninhabitable”. These statements do not reflect what the science actually says. Does this matter? What’s the harm in a bit of exaggeration if it’s in a good cause? To my mind, there’s three reasons why it’s a problem. Firstly, making wild predictions that don’t come true obviously harms your credibility… Secondly, if people come to believe that catastrophic impacts are only round the corner, this could lead to wrong decisions made in panic… Finally, even if the world does make major emissions cuts very soon, this will take time to filter through into tangible effects on global warming…

all of which seems Fair Enough To Me. If you want luvvies who know nothing about GW to talk about it, then for heavens sake coach them properly and give them a script, don’t let them make things up “passionately”.

Gavin said “When scientists focus public outreach on correcting technical errors instead of big picture values, they reinforce ‘scientization’ of debate which I don’t think was as well thought through as we’ve come to expect from him; RB’s reply Blimey Gavin, it was more than a “technical error”. It’s massively wrong. Doesn’t accuracy matter any more? seems rather to the point; and to my reading Gavin the backs off his original somewhat. He also1 says but by focusing on one incorrect point in a ~5 min interview, all other (more interesting) points for discussion are lost. It turns out to be possible to listen to the original interview on youtube, so I thought I’d see what other more interesting points she raises. But the interview, despite taking five minutes, is remarkably thin on content. She starts with the error we’ve already discussed, continues with …in a few years time… entire swathes of the Earth become uninhabitable… and I can’t see that as an improvement. To finish, she rants about racism for a bit.

Eli is on ET and G’s side; but I remain with RB.

Notes

1. This sentence added as an update; my blogging software lost this from the original. I think my invective was higher-quality in the “lost version”; its so hard to foam at the mouth consistently.

Comments

  1. #1 BBD
    2015/09/07

    Oh how I hate these little outbreaks of nonsense. Basically tend to agree with RB (and therefore WMC).

    I wonder if ET mistook RB for some sort of contrarian? Weird over-reaction otherwise. Mind you, RB does tend to trigger strong responses where’er he roams ;-)

  2. #2 ...and Then There's Physics
    2015/09/07

    Yes, it seems that I may well have been wrong about Emma Thompson being someone who would be willing to not repeat such errors.

    [I was wondering if I’d have to beat that out of you. Damn you for being so reasonable, where’s the fun? -W]

  3. #3 Eli Rabett
    http://rabett.blogspot.com
    2015/09/07

    Don’t know that, but this may have been too easy to miss
    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/09/05/emma-thompson/#comment-62366
    ———————————–
    In defense of Richard Betts, Eli does not think that Emma Thompson was talking about anything but 4 C by 2030. Greenpeace is quite happy to stretch any envelope it can find. That being the case, handing the denialists a club to beat Greenpeace with is tricky because they will use it on everyone else and requires care. The I am a scientist and only interested in the truth doesn’t even work at faculty meetings
    ——————————

    Eli also suspects that ET don;t know RB from Adam’s off ox which pisses both the ox and RB right much. If you look at her reply, tho she shifted the argument away from the Delta T issue which has the dirty hands of public affairs types all over it.

    [The “handing the denialists a club” argument is an argument; but I think its a weak one. Correcting people who get things badly and unrepentantly wrong is a much stronger one. I, too, think that ET didn’t know who RB is; that speaks of her ignorance, nothing else. That she didn’t bother look him up afterwards speaks of her stupidity, which is not forgivable. If you look at her reply… – did she reply at any length? All I found was the Fail; I’d rather have a better source for her words -W]

  4. #4 ...and Then There's Physics
    2015/09/07

    [I was wondering if I’d have to beat that out of you. Damn you for being so reasonable, where’s the fun? -W]

    I’ll try harder next time, but I’m more comfortable with being wrong than being a hypocrite :-)

  5. #5 ...and Then There's Physics
    2015/09/07

    The bigger issue here – IMO – is the hypocrisy of the likes of Rose, Montford & Co. Richard Betts once went to Bishop Hill to criticise Montford for saying something wrong on BBC Radio 4, and Montford said he was being prattish. RB criticises Ridley, and Ridley whines. Now he criticises ET, and Montford posts it on his blog and Rose writes an article about it – which is ironic given how often Rose has been criticised for getting things wrong. If you’re dealing with people who ignore criticism (or complain) from someone when it’s aimed at them, but crow about it when it’s aimed at someone else, it’s hard to really know what you can do.

    I guess one thing you could do is point out to the likes of Montford & Co that they’re incredibly selective as to when they accept criticism from climate scientists, but I’m not even sure what good that would do. I’m all for calling them liars and hypocrites, but I can’t see RB doing that.

    [I’m not sure I’d call that the bigger issue; that Montford or Rose is a twat seems neither controversial or interesting. But I think expecting RB to tell them that is unreasonable, he’s clearly making great efforts to be polite, even to the ETs of this world; and if you’re not telling them they’re twats, what else is there to say to Rose or Montford? -W]

  6. #6 Rog Tallbloke
    United Kingdom
    2015/09/07

    The bit in the Wail article that made me laugh was Ed H saying how 4C by 2030 was all wrong, it’d probably be 2080.

    Our model indicates we’ll be recovering nicely from the solar slowdown by then, but T will still be around what it is now.

    Who’s up for the long haul debate?

    [Not you, obviously, since you’re too much of a wetty to let me comment on your blog. How’s pattern recognition in physics coming along? -W]

  7. #7 ...and Then There's Physics
    2015/09/07

    [I’m not sure I’d call that the bigger issue; that Montford or Rose is a twat seems neither controversial or interesting.]
    Yes, I realised that I hadn’t quite meant it that way. I really just meant that having Montford & Co. around just means that correcting things is going to have an inconsistent response. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t correct people, but it does mean that in some cases you’ll have people going “see, see, they’re wrong, they’re wrong”, and in others you’ll have them going “don’t be a prat”.

    [But I think expecting RB to tell them that is unreasonable, he’s clearly making great efforts to be polite, even to the ETs of this world; and if you’re not telling them they’re twats, what else is there to say to Rose or Montford?]
    Yes, which is why I was suggesting that I couldn’t see him doing it. I wouldn’t expect him to, nor criticise him for not doing so. I think being reasonable is commendable, I’m just not that bothered about whether or not I am any more. That doesn’t mean that I should expect others to sink to my level :-)

  8. #8 TinyCO2
    2015/09/07

    Expecting the same levels of accountability from different sources is unrealistic. I don’t expect bloggers, activist charities or commercial organisations to stick to the facts as presented by the IPCC. Partly through ignorance, partly through their right to a different opinion. I do expect governments, authorities and consensus climate scientists to have a consistent message, no matter what their personal views are. If they do say something different they should highlight that it’s their own view and is not yet recognised as mainstream. Alarmingly very few know what the consensus is supposed to bo.

    The issue with Emma Thompson is not that she spouted rubbish, she’s an actor, that’s what they do. It’s not that a Greenpeace spokesperson spouted rubbish, that’s their stock in trade. It’s that the publicly financed BBC with a duty to inform and be unbiased gave her the uncensored platform of their flagship news programme to spout rubbish. Particularly offensive since they have made a point of insisting non scientists should not be heard without a countering voice from a recognised professional. By which they mean deniers.

    [She does seem to be getting an oddly respectful hearing from her “interviewer”; probably, this being science, the interviewer is clueless and thus unable to ask any meaningful questions -W]

    Sceptics were so pleased with Richard Betts’ critique, because of its novelty value. Too often people who should be bound by a duty to stick to the consensus go off piste and spout stuff as far off centre as any sceptic but in the opposite direction. Too often those excursions go uncensored by those who should be concerned about maintaining credibility. Richard Betts did a good job of explaining why you need to stick to the official version of the truth.

    [I think RB has said similar before. For example, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8451756.stm -W]

  9. #9 Holly Stick
    2015/09/07

    Isn’t it warming up faster in the Arctic? Polar Amplification? How soon will the Arctic have warmed 4 degrees? Possibly she mistook Arctic figures for global figures?

    [Its a thought. I still don’t think even the Arctic gets that, though I don’t have the figures to hand. But also, if you listen to the interview, she says “our temperatures will rise…” (my emphasis); not “Arctic”. Also, if you listen to it, she’s incredibly fluent; no hesitation. Some of that comes from being an actress, no doubt, but much of it comes from reciting a prepared text; so this isn’t an off-the-cuff error -W]

  10. #10 Andy Lee Robinson
    2015/09/07

    Saying sorry it’s not 4°C by 2030, it’s 4°C by 2070, is a bit like:

    We are pleased to inform you that a large asteroid will not be colliding with Earth next month. It’s the month after.

    Emma may have been thinking about the more rapid increase in Arctic temperature as she has spent some time there, but she is still qualitatively correct: we have a problem that needs addressing urgently.

  11. #11 TinyCO2
    2015/09/07

    “I think RB has said similar before.”

    I know he has and didn’t mean to imply he hadn’t. The rarity is due to the volume of incorrect stuff out there compared to the number of times it gets corrected. I didn’t become a climate sceptic because of the stuff I though was true but because of what I knew wasn’t. I don’t say that CAGW won’t happen, I say that the state of the science and the solutions are such that reducing CO2 significantly is currently impossible.

    If people exaggerate or omit things, why would I trust them? If I see bad behaviour go uncorrected in one area, how do I know it’s not endemic? If I can see flaws in stuff I can understand, why would I have confidence in the stuff that’s over my head? If I see people I need to trust aligning themselves with those I don’t trust, might I not make sweeping judgements?

    Andy Lee Robinson, how much time you have to react to any crisis is an important detail. First, so that people can compare reality with your prediction, to try and gauge if you have any skill at the task. Secondly so that you can try and find the best solution with the time you have available. We are already seeing the bad results of hasty plans (eg carbon credit fraud), which in turn erodes public confidence.

  12. […] Source: What shall we tell the children? [Stoat] […]

  13. #13 Raymond Arritt
    the house at Pooneil corners
    2015/09/08

    TinyCO2, you said “CAGW.” That means you lose instantly.

  14. #14 David B. Benson
    2015/09/08

    The Walrus and the Carpenter

  15. #15 Roger Jones
    Australia
    2015/09/08

    W @ #9,
    Dunno if you’ve ever done radio, but it is possible to be fluent and drop the wrong date or term into a spiel.

    And there is no way in this day and age Greenpeace would send anyone out with that in a script (Eli @ #3).

    She was wrong, which may have lit a spark, but RB threw petrol onto it.

  16. #16 Richard Betts
    2015/09/08

    Roger

    You and others getting all upset seem not to have noticed this:

    The Mail on Sunday, the UK’s largest Sunday tabloid, published factually correct climate science. The Mail’s readers got to hear that global warming is real and could be expected to reach 4C by around 2070.

    They also got to see that climate scientists are not in cahoots with Deep Greens – but nevertheless agree that global warming is real and a problem.

    If they saw Emma on Newsnight they’d have dismissed her as yet another OTT greenie, and dismissed her entire message along with it.

    Here they see that while the Newsnight thing was OTT, it’s still the case that man-made global warming is real.

    [published factually correct climate science… – possibly a first for them :-). Would you care to comment on the original Newsnight interview – not ETs part, which we’ve already done, but the setup and the interviewing by the Beeb? It seems to me that they were far too respectful of ET – effectively, offering her an unchallenged soapbox for her to expound her views. We’ve complained when they do that for the denialist nutters; did they breach their own rules here? -W]

  17. #17 TinyCO2
    2015/09/08

    Raymond Arritt, you may embrace the more imprecise ‘climate change’ but that is part of the problem. We are not going to radically restructure society for anything but CAGW are we?

    I lose?

    [Yes -W]

    Were we playing a game?

    [No. Its possible to lose in real life too, not just in game playing. You’ve lost by analogy to Godwin’s law -W]

    Or do I lose the argument whether we should ditch fossil fuels ASAP? Apart from the point it’s not decided on either of our opinions, you can’t win by just saying the other side loses. Cutting CO2 has to be mutually agreed. Enough people have to be convinced to make the remaining percentage do as they’re told. At an international level it’s even harder. At the moment I see very few people understanding the science or the solutions or doing much about their own energy consumption.

    A celebrity spokesperson exaggerating the official position may be the right trigger for you but for a lot of us it has the opposite effect. Which of us needs convincing for you to win?

  18. #18 Roger Jones
    Australia
    2015/09/08

    Richard,

    ok, my first reaction was OTT also (for which I apologise). But I do think care needs to be taken when buying into framing of overstatement as a critique because that’s a conversation orchestrated by those who believe all talk of warming is overstatement. Do I believe the fallout from Thompson’s claim is a risk? Not much. Is there a risk of people acting precipitately on the basis of exaggerated info? Almost not at all. Is there a risk of not taking sufficient action because of the ongoing manufacture of fear, uncertainty and doubt. Yes, though it’s declining because warming is also ongoing.

    No-one really knows whether Thompson meant to say 2030 for 4C or not – we have opinions on either side and she hasn’t responded.

    [But she’s to blame for that, too. You’re talking above about a “conversation” – why isn’t she engaging? Does she view herself as some kind of superior being who only talks on Newsnight when there’s no-one to challenge her? If she wants to talk about this stuff, why hasn’t she got the guts to do it in a forum where she can be challenged, where she can explain what she actually meant to say? -W]

    We had a workshop with policy makers a couple of years back when we did policy-based scenarios responding to each of the RCPs from low to high emissions. It is almost impossible to craft sensible policy that can handle all the plausible outcomes informed by the science. It is much easier policy-wise, to go hard at targets – that’s a message I think we should be emphasising. The policy for adapting to 2C and 4C is chalk and cheese and 6C (high fossil fuel use in 2100) would need to treat Earth like an exoplanet. The science-policy conversation requires us to develop our own narratives that clearly outline these issues and not worry so much about the broken ones.

  19. #19 Jaime Jessop
    2015/09/08

    ‘Climate change (aka global warming) is real.’ ‘We’ can all agree on that, can’t we? Luvvie Greenpeace exponents of The Science would have us all believe that we’re due to fry next Thursday and may (or may not) realise that, this being the case, nothing short of a complete shutdown of the global economy will reverse (or at least delay) that terrifying prospect. They may (or may not) realise that a globally instituted and extremely reckless international geoenginering effort with highly uncertain outcome is the only ‘plausible’ response to a Thermageddon next Thursday scenario. But The Science tells us that 4C by 2080 is a ‘plausible scenario’, so Ms Thompson was ‘right’; she was just out by 50 years. What I suggest to you, my learned friends, is that ET’s Newsnight Luvvie Science was not a mere exaggeration of actual science but a gross misrepresentation of an already exaggerated climate risk rubber-stamped by consensus climate science. The absurdity bar is raised; if we take it down a notch, the world will think that the new level is more realistic whereas, in fact, it remains just as unreasonable as it was even before Luvvie Science hit the BBC big screen. Sorry Richard/Ed!

  20. #20 Paul S
    2015/09/08

    Isn’t it warming up faster in the Arctic? Polar Amplification? How soon will the Arctic have warmed 4 degrees? Possibly she mistook Arctic figures for global figures?

    [Its a thought. I still don’t think even the Arctic gets that, though I don’t have the figures to hand.

    Looking at RCP8.5 CMIP5 mean the average for >66N does indeed reach 4K (from pre-industrial) at around 2030.

  21. #21 Richard Betts
    Exeter
    2015/09/08

    Hi William

    I thought the Newsnight interview was surprising and disappointing, from an entertainment persective as well as a scientific one. We *expect* people to be given a hard time, not an easy one, on Newsnight. If the victim, sorry, interviewee, comes through OK then that helps their message.

    As someone said, Paxman wouldn’t have let her get away with all that stuff.

  22. #22 Richard Betts
    Exeter
    2015/09/08

    Hi Roger

    Thanks. I agree that one individual misleading interview will not precipitate wrong action, but I just don’t think we should condone a culture of tolerating inaccurate information, whichever side of the debate we’re on. I do think that if an imminent, unavoidable catastrophe meme were to grow, this would be really really bad. This is only a tiny seed but sometimes these things do propagate and grow. Also hopefully next time environmental spokespeople will be better briefed, or take more careful notice of their briefing. It would be a shame if people got put off altogether, I hope that doesn’t happen, but I doubt it will.

    [if an imminent, unavoidable catastrophe meme were to grow, this would be really really bad… – like the AMEG folk ;-? http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2012/03/17/arctic-methane-emergency-group/ -W]

  23. #23 Richard Betts
    2015/09/08

    Hi Jaime

    Nope.

  24. #24 matt
    2015/09/08

    TinyCO2,

    > I say that the state of the science and the solutions are such that reducing CO2 significantly is currently impossible.

    Your nonsense is worse than ETs (btw, I’m with Betts on this).

    > If I see people I need to trust aligning themselves with those I don’t trust, might I not make sweeping judgements?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_skepticism

  25. #25 Kevin O'Neill
    Franklin, WI USA
    2015/09/08

    Richard Betts writes: “I do think that if an imminent, unavoidable catastrophe meme were to grow, this would be really really bad.”

    Except that ETs comments were not that the imminent rise in temperatures were unavoidable. In fact she was protesting the arctic drilling as part of a plan to *avoid* the imminent increase.

    Will temperatures increase or decrease (relatively speaking) if we pump out and consume all of the oil in the arctic? Is consuming all of the arctic oil part of a plan to combat global warming or is it only going to exacerbate the problem?

    In his Facebook post Richard Betts wrote: “Whether Shell drill for Arctic oil or not, the changes for the next few years are already locked in.”

    That was the sum of his coverage of the issue ET was trying to address. Obviously he couldn’t step forward and say opening up the arctic so that we can consume even more fossil fuels is exactly the wrong strategy for mankind at this time. Oh wait – he could have said that. He just didn’t. Because an actress made an incorrect claim about climate change. Would hate to muddy the criticism.

    Some might consider focusing on a number and a timeline that’s incorrect, while failing to examine the actual issue to be nothing more than concern trolling.

  26. #26 Kevin O'Neill
    2015/09/08

    Richard Betts in his Facebook post wrote: “Whether Shell drill for Arctic oil or not, the changes for the next few years are already locked in.”

    On a purely physics level, this is misleading if not incorrect. This gives the impression that new drilling in the arctic is irrelevant. Past CO2 emissions and their effect on temperature are ‘locked in.’ Future emissions are not locked in.

    Now, we have no definition of ‘few’ – but ET was talking about 2030 and this is the subject of RB’s criticism. So it’s either misleading to use ‘few’ here or incorrect. Will we be consuming arctic oil from newly opened wells before 2030? I don’t know, but if we are then this will only increase temperatures meaning the amount of future warming is not ‘locked in’- it can increase if we increase emissions.

  27. #27 Eli Rabett
    http://rabett.blogspot.com
    2015/09/08

    > [The “handing the denialists a club” argument is an argument; but I think its a weak one. Correcting people who get things badly and unrepentantly wrong is a much stronger one. I, too, think that ET didn’t know who RB is; that speaks of her ignorance, nothing else. That she didn’t bother look him up afterwards speaks of her stupidity, which is not forgivable. If you look at her reply… – did she reply at any length? All I found was the Fail; I’d rather have a better source for her words -W]

    Better not to hand them a club. Notice how well this has worked out? which was what G and E were saying to RB. G has IEHO the most experience and success speaking to the public of the various characters, but go ahead, feel virtuous.

    As to ET, Eli thinks she is being handled by GP PR and is not an independent actor

    [Very likely; but if so, she should declare it, rather than pretend to speak for herself as she does. Again, how would you feel if the denialists propped up a random actor on Newsnight who pretended to speak for himself but was in fact parroting <insert your favourite denialist hate figure here> -w]

  28. #28 Mal Adapted
    2015/09/08

    Jaime Jessop:

    What I suggest to you, my learned friends, is that ET’s Newsnight Luvvie Science was not a mere exaggeration of actual science but a gross misrepresentation of an already exaggerated climate risk rubber-stamped by consensus climate science.

    So, what peer-reviewed research have you published that shows the the consensus to be exaggerated? Or do you “just know” it is? Absent either of those, whose opinion on climate science do you trust more than the consensus of climate scientists? Why do you trust them?

    We await your response.

  29. #29 Jaime Jessop
    2015/09/08

    Mal Adapted,

    I don’t publish peer-reviewed research on climate science, I just read it. I also read commentary on peer reviewed science by professional scientists on either side of the debate. I also look closely at what is actually happening with regards to global temperatures and assorted other evidence of climate change. I’ve been doing this for several years and I have formed the opinion that there is considerable uncertainty in the attribution of global warming to date to ‘well-mixed GHGs’

    [Hmm, have you indeed. Perhaps you could enlighten us as to which of the “peer-reviewed research on climate science” you’ve read that makes you think this -W]

    and that there is even larger uncertainty in the projected warming due to GHGs. Furthermore, there exists a wealth of research which points to a much greater role for natural processes in climate change than has been assumed by the IPCC and others.

    My ‘opinion’ on the current state of climate science is informed by (what I hope is) a reasonably unbiased, balanced and rational survey of past and current research combined with real world data, not trust. What is your ‘opinion’ based upon?

  30. #30 Mal Adapted
    2015/09/08

    TinyCO2:

    Which of us needs convincing for you to win?

    You may be playing a game of “who is more convincing?”, but if you

    don’t say that CAGW won’t happen, I say that the state of the science and the solutions are such that reducing CO2 significantly is currently impossible.

    then apparently you are resigned to the doom of the world in reality. Do I understand you correctly?

  31. #31 Tom C
    2015/09/08

    Well, back in the 70s, Paul Ehrlich predicted that the British Isles would be uninhabited by 2020. He still wins awards and fawning praise. Emma’s prospects for heroine status look good despite the “inaccuracy”.

    [I don’t wish to defend PE, who was clearly massively wrong, and appears to be shameless about it which is worse; but https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_R._Ehrlich#Reception tells me he said In a 1971 speech, he predicted that: “By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people. Is your “the British Isles would be uninhabited by 2020” a garbled version of that, or are you thinking of something else? Oddly, in http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/collideascape/2014/03/21/judging-merits-media-hyped-collapse-study/#comment-1300108528 one “Tom C” attributes the same statement to Limits to Growth. Perhaps it was so popular that multiple people said the same thing? -W]

  32. #32 Mal Adapted
    2015/09/08

    Jaime Jessop:

    My ‘opinion’ on the current state of climate science is informed by (what I hope is) a reasonably unbiased, balanced and rational survey of past and current research combined with real world data, not trust.

    So, you trust your own expertise in climate science even though you don’t publish peer-reviewed research. How do you know you’re not fooling yourself?

    What is your ‘opinion’ based upon?

    I’m glad you asked ;^). While I’ve been trained in the natural sciences to the doctoral level, I haven’t published any peer-reviewed climate science research either. Since I’m not afflicted with the Dunning-Kruger effect, I know I don’t have the background to evaluate all the arguments myself. I do know how to recognize a genuine expert, though: to a first approximation, it’s a guy who’s work has been published in an appropriate refereed venue, after being vetted by other genuine experts – you know, “peer review”.

    Beyond that, I’m scientifically meta-literate enough to know that a report by the US National Academy of Sciences is apriori more credible than a random comment on a blog by someone who isn’t a working (i.e. publishing) climate scientist.

    And just from the basic rule of parsimony if nothing else, I know that if 97% of working climate scientists have one opinion and 3% have another, it’s the 3% that are more likely to be fooling themselves.

    That, in addition to your comments here, makes me confident you’re a run-of-the-mill AGW denier.

  33. #33 Tom C
    2015/09/08

    Well William, as I told Tobis in that thread, I was paraphrasing from memory and I try to not memorize nonsense. But, I did say in that thread (as well as this thread) that it was Ehrlich, and he did add ” If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.” which you selectively edited out. So, I guess there is a lot of garbling going on, but my point stands. If ET thinks we will be + 4C in 2030 that is ludicrous, but not as ludicrous as thinking that England would not exist in 2000.

    [thinking that England would not exist in 2000 – but you made that up; haven’t we just agreed that? -W]

  34. #34 Jaime Jessop
    2015/09/08

    Mal Adapted,

    Big words; you sounded almost convincing there for a moment but then you blew your cover.

    “I know that if 97% of working climate scientists have one opinion and 3% have another, it’s the 3% that are more likely to be fooling themselves.

    That, in addition to your comments here, makes me confident you’re a run-of-the-mill AGW denier.”

    Taking refuge in a consensus ‘study’ which has exhaustively been proved to be faked using rubbish data, plus your use of a casual and offhand insult makes me confident that I have wastefully invested too much time already in responding to your comments.

    [You asserted you read the peer-reviewed literature; you’ve been asked to back that up by naming the studies that you’ve read that lead you to your opinion; but you’ve failed to put up. Please do either put up or shut up -W]

  35. #35 Tom C
    2015/09/08

    No, I did not make it up. If you would bother to read a few sentences further in the wiki article you cited you would see it quoted exactly.

    [Oh dear, how embarrassing. My apologies. its hard to believe that PE can have been so rubbish -W]

  36. #36 Eli Rabett
    http://rabett.blogspot.com
    2015/09/08

    [Very likely; but if so, she should declare it, rather than pretend to speak for herself as she does. Again, how would you feel if the denialists propped up a random actor on Newsnight who pretended to speak for himself but was in fact parroting -w]

    You may have noticed that Eli is not defending ET he is reminding RB that he threw a no ball.

  37. #37 Jaime Jessop
    2015/09/08

    W,

    “[Hmm, have you indeed. Perhaps you could enlighten us as to which of the “peer-reviewed research on climate science” you’ve read that makes you think this -W]”

    As you well know, there are numerous peer-reviewed papers which point to a much lower estimate of climate sensitivity than the IPCC “best estimate”, there are numerous peer-reviewed studies which suggest a much greater role for natural internal and external forcings in the warming we have seen since 1850. I really do not need to list them all here. Together, in total, they suggest strongly that the ‘extremely likely’ tag attached to the IPCC AR5 attribution statement relating to warming since 1950 is ‘highly likely’ to be hopelessly optimistic.

  38. #38 Jaime Jessop
    2015/09/08

    “[You asserted you read the peer-reviewed literature; you’ve been asked to back that up by naming the studies that you’ve read that lead you to your opinion; but you’ve failed to put up. Please do either put up or shut up -W]”

    I’ve put up. I have not the slightest intention of providing you with, at your demand, either an an exhaustive, or piecemeal list of my reading. Just as you have no intention of providing me with a comprehensive bibiography of all the peer-reviewed literature which presumably has convinced you that catastrophic global warming is a reality. Please do your own research.

    [You’ve provided nothing but windbaggery; as for CAGW, see #13 -W]

  39. #39 Tom C
    2015/09/08

    Thanks for the follow-up

  40. #40 Joshua
    United States
    2015/09/08

    And now for something completely different.

    A meaningless occurrence, blown way out of proportion by folks on both sides of the climate wars.

    Does Emma’s error have any meaningful impact on the trajectory of climate change related policy implementation? Of course not.

    Does Richard’s response to Emma have any meaningful impact on the trajectory of climate change related policy implementation? Of course not.

    It’s always interesting to watch how many people seem to think that these meaningless events have some real world (i.e., outside the climate-o-sphere) importance.

    As much as it sticks in my craw to see “skeptics” gloat because RIchard corrects Emma, in the end it’s meaningless. Richard’s seeming belief that somehow he will have some meaningful impact by correcting Emma, while noble in intent, seems terribly flawed, IMO. Richard seems to think that somehow he can redeem or save the credibility of climate scientists by taking such actions. In reality, people who find climate scientists credible will be entirely unaffected by Emma’s error, and people who think that climate scientists are not credible will not be moved one iota by Richard’s correction.

    All these armchair theories about how to affect public opinion are reasonably logical in an abstract kind of way, and they make nice bedtime stories, but as far as I can tell they are contrary to the evidence about what has a <idifferential influence on public opinion on climate change.

    [I think you’re wrong. Had you replaced “meaningless” with “only makes a small difference” I wouldn’t complain. Public opinion is formed by the sum of small things. And obviously Newsnight disagrees with you, or they would never have aired the piece -W]

  41. #41 Kevin O'Neill
    Franklin, WI USA
    2015/09/08

    Turns out Jaime Jessop has a climate (pseudoskeptic) blog of his own. And judging by what he’s written there he’s a hopeless case of Dunning-Kruger and/or illiterate.

    He’s actually *proud* of being too dumb to understand why RAPID isn’t relevant to Mann’s recent AMOC paper. Apparently ‘sparse in time’ was just too hard for him to explicate.

    Of course he could have tried to actually read the paper, but we know pseudoskeptics already have all the answers – they don’t need no stinkin’ papers :)

  42. #42 Mal Adapted
    2015/09/09

    Jaime Jessop:

    Taking refuge in a consensus ‘study’ which has exhaustively been proved to be faked using rubbish data,

    Wow! How is it that the working climate scientists who comprise the consensus are unaware of that? It must be a dastardly conspiracy! What a hero you are for blowing the lid off it! You must be so proud.

    plus your use of a casual and offhand insult makes me confident that I have wastefully invested too much time already in responding to your comments.

    You batshit conspiracists waste plenty of time for the reality-based. Nothing wrong with a little payback. I should probably feel a little guilty for enjoying it so much, but somebody has to do it ;^).

    DK-afflicted AGW deniers like you have an advantage we don’t, though. You can’t imagine there’s a chance you might be fooling yourself, so you have no problem believing as many as six impossible things before breakfast. You couldn’t be more wrong about the facts, but at least you’re confident. I’m sure it’s a great self-esteem booster.

  43. #43 Thomas Fuller
    Taipei
    2015/09/09

    Mr. Robinson writes at #10, “Saying sorry it’s not 4°C by 2030, it’s 4°C by 2070, is a bit like: We are pleased to inform you that a large asteroid will not be colliding with Earth next month. It’s the month after.”

    The IPCC thinks otherwise. “The global mean surface temperature change for the period 2016–2035 relative to
    1986–2005 is similar for the four RCPs and will likely be in the range 0.3°C to 0.7°C.” SPM, AR5, p. 10.

    https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/AR5_SYR_FINAL_SPM.pdf

    Those of you who continue to abuse the RCPs, in particular RCP 8.5, perhaps should be reminded that the RCPs are neither projections nor predictions. They were created to serve as inputs to climate models to show step changes to achieve differing levels of forcing. The makers were asked to provide a thumbnail sketch of what might have to happen to generate those levels of forcing.

    ‘Narratives’ supporting those thumbnail sketches are currently under development. Perhaps Ms. Thompson will be asked to consult.

  44. #44 Russell Seitz
    2015/09/09

    Lord luv a duck, where is Pseuds Corner now that we need it, and Booker has gone emeritus at Private Eye

  45. #45 Jaime Jessop
    2015/09/09

    [Spammed; I think its time to end this exchange -W]

  46. #46 Dunc
    2015/09/09

    Paul Ehrlich is not a climate scientist, and the state of the science has moved on a bit since the 1970s. If the best evidence you can come up with for the proposition that modern climatology is exaggerated is someone famous* in an unrelated discipline saying something silly 40-odd years ago, well, that’s pretty thin gruel.

    (*Specifically, famous for repeatedly making predictions of imminent doom.)

  47. #47 Paul S
    2015/09/09

    Thomas Fuller,

    I can’t really understand your point. You first respond to a comment about 4C by 2030 or 2070 (compared to pre-industrial) by referencing IPCC projections for 2016-2035 compared to 1986-2005. Don’t know where you’re going with that.

    On the scenarios, clearly the implicit qualifier here is “if we continue to increase our fossil fuel consumption through the century”. That is the RCP8.5 scenario in a nutshell, so it makes sense to talk about it as a plausible consequence of decision making that will tend to increase future fossil fuel consumption.

    On RCP8.5 type narratives, AR5 WGIII references 160 of them already in existence.

  48. #48 Thomas Fuller
    Taipei
    2015/09/09

    Paul S, I believe you are miscasting RCP 8.5. The words used to describe it are an attempt to explain the starting assumption. It is not a ‘business as usual’ scenario, projection or prediction.

    “Provide me with inputs for my climate models on these parameters consistent with 8.5 watts per square meter forcings.”

    “Okay. Here they are.”

    “Thanks. By the way, could you write a couple of pages on what could happen in the real world that would get us to that point?”

    “Umm, sure. If we pretend that technology freezes in time, that economic growth slows to a standstill and population increases by more than the UN predicts, I suppose it could happen.”

    “Great! That’ll show those denialisters.”

  49. #49 Paul S
    2015/09/09

    It is not a ‘business as usual’ scenario

    Arguably all the scenarios are “business as usual” in a sense. The difficulty is in understanding and predicting the overall emissions trajectory based on a multitude of social/political/technological/economic “business-as-usual” trends occurring now.

    Every decision or development that would tend to lock-in increasing future fossil fuel consumption is a nudge in the direction of RCP8.5 being our business as usual.

    As I’ve already pointed out there have been dozens of narratives independently developed which correspond to RCP8.5-level emissions. What you say about the lack of a strong economic narrative behind the actual published scenario is technically accurate but it’s not like we’re talking about RCP100.0 here – it was designed as a scenario which corresponds to plausible published narratives with high-end emissions.

    Typically these high-end scenarios are part of what are called ‘baseline’ narratives, meaning no specific policies aimed at reducing emissions. The spread of these just about spans the difference between RCP8.5 and 6.0, so these can justifiably be referred to as “business-as-usual” in that sense.

    On population, RCP8.5 has population at 12 billion by 2100. Latest UN projections have a median just over 11 billion, upper 95% bound of 13.5 billion. RCP2.6 and 4.5 populations are actually below the lower 95% bound of 9.5 billion, RCP6.0 is just above that lower bound. So, RCP8.5 is actually the closest to the median UN population projection.

    http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Graphs/

  50. #50 Thomas Fuller
    Taipei
    2015/09/09

    Kind of missing the point a bit, aren’t you Paul? Everybody is writing about RCP 8.5 as the ‘business as usual’ prediction replacing the SRES.

    It isn’t.

  51. #51 Paul S
    2015/09/09

    Thomas,

    Well, I started by saying your point wasn’t clear. You seem to be oscillating between trying to rationalise fundamentally rejecting RCP8.5 as a plausible scenario and the more reasonable question of whether RCP8.5 should be used as a definitive “business-as-usual”.

    As I said, in terms of published economic “baseline” (no policy) narratives the results are firmly in the RCP6.0-RCP8.5 range in terms of emissions. This fits the traditional definition of “business-as-usual” so I think it’s entirely reasonable to talk about RCP8.5 specifically as a “business-as-usual” scenario. It is in the high end of the baseline range though so it is probably better to talk about RCP6.0 and 8.5 as upper and lower “business-as-usual” bounds.

    One technical problem with that is only about half as many CMIP5 model submitted RCP6.0 runs compared to 8.5, so the latter gives more robust results.

    No comment on the population issue?

  52. #52 Thomas Fuller
    Taipei
    2015/09/09

    Hi Paul

    Only if you’re definition of ‘business as usual’ is equal to and only ‘no policy measures.’

    Considering we already have policy measures, it seems a bit… irrelevant.

  53. #53 Thomas Fuller
    Taipei
    2015/09/09

    As for population, the UN has been busy revising its figures of late–is this the third revision since 2010? Not really a sign of confidence. They’ve got a good leader over there, so I don’t really know what’s going on.

    I think they’re shooting high in terms of projections, but we’ll see.

  54. #54 Paul S
    2015/09/09

    Only if you’re definition of ‘business as usual’ is equal to and only ‘no policy measures.’

    I think it’s a fairly standard definition – “this will happen unless we take some action to change course”

    Considering we already have policy measures, it seems a bit… irrelevant

    We have some fairly weak policy measures (which don’t seem to have achieved much in some cases e.g. the EU ETS) and some proposed policy measures, and then we have many people strongly advocating against adopting proposed new measures and for repealing those already in place. We’ve already seen the Australian carbon tax repealed after just two years. Donald Trump is currently leading Republican polling. Clearly not irrelevant.

    but we’ll see.

    2100? Ambitious :)
    I presume more and more demography data is gathered every year, so generalisations can be replaced with more targeted information for some countries and regions. I think the median has gone up by about 1 billion since 2010. Seems to be mainly based on information that fertility rates have not declined as fast as expected.

  55. #55 Tom C
    2015/09/09

    Dunc –

    I was making the point that issuing outrageous predictions does not seen to harm a reputation, even for a scientist. So, I would imagine the bar is set lower for an actress.

  56. #56 Brian Schmidt
    United States
    2015/09/09

    Can’t say I care a whole lot about what ET says, either the actress or the character. It’s not important, although reaching out and phoning home via a trusted intermediary is more likely to change ET’s mind.

    Greenpeace OTOH is important in the long-term discourse and it’s counterproductive if they’re promoting nonsense (any proof this is really them?). They’ve done good work elsewhere, e.g. unearthing Willie Soon’s unethics.

    4C by 2030 is probably bet-worthy on a shorter timescale.

  57. #57 angech
    2015/09/10

    Mal Adapted 2015/09/09
    “Nothing wrong with a little payback. I should probably feel a little guilty for enjoying it so much, but somebody has to do it ;^)”
    Not a notion that everyone shares but if it is in your character, go for it Mal.
    Forget about Karma.
    Eli, along with many others, argues that arguing with denialists only tosses fuel on the fire and should be discouraged.
    “You may have noticed that Eli is not defending ET he is reminding RB that he threw a no ball.”
    WC and ATTP both stand accused of acting honorably to their detriment and that of the Climate change cause.
    I can only, as a skeptic, agree with Eli [a rare event] but still applaud their decision.
    Paul S 2015/09/09
    “Arguably all the scenarios are “business as usual” in a sense”
    No, RCP8.5- has been quoted extensively as the business as usual scenario. Worse it is not even the upper limit.
    We could well have had worse than usual scenario’s but this is never mentioned on the warmist side.
    RCP8.5- is actually the middle of all possible scenarios, something scary to think about. ET could well have been right under a scarier scenario.
    RCP8.5 at least got the CO2 level right even if it got the warming wrong.

  58. #58 Sou
    2015/09/10

    Good grief.

    Day in day out we see garbage being fed to the public about climate from all sorts of people, including conspiracy theories from the top business adviser to our PM, our PM himself, US politicians, media moguls and others who will have a strong influence at worst, and some will determine how quickly we act to mitigate climate change. And all I see all over is a big fuss about some actress (who I’ve never heard of) saying something wrong on the radio (or was it the television) in England. In a five minute interview? Seriously?

    (Who is Emma Thompson and what impact is she going to have in Paris later this year?)

    PS Not meaning to pick on you, William. I just happened to land here when I decided to chip in. Everywhere I turn people are talking about Emma Thompson and Richard Betts. I suppose it must be a huge deal – but why? I’m mystified.

  59. #59 Sou
    2015/09/10

    PS and off topic – Is Rupert Murdoch going to have any editorial control over Science Blogs now that he is part owner or something? (h/t Bill at HotWhopper.)

  60. #60 ...and Then There's Physics
    2015/09/10

    angech,
    WC and ATTP both stand accused of acting honorably to their detriment and that of the Climate change cause.
    I haven’t seem myself accused of much. The main accusation that I’ve seen is Jaime Jessop claiming on Twitter that WMC is as bad as me. Now, that is bad :-)

    We could well have had worse than usual scenario’s but this is never mentioned on the warmist side.
    Why would you expect this? Globally at least, it’s reasonably straightforward to estimate what would happen if we followed an even more extreme scenario than RCP8.5. The cries of “ALARMIST, ALARMIST” if someone did so, would – however – be pretty deafening.

    RCP8.5 at least got the CO2 level right even if it got the warming wrong.
    How do you know this? You seem very certain.

  61. #61 Ned W
    2015/09/10

    So, if I have this right…

    First, Tom Fuller claimed that RCP8.5 was based on population projections that are higher than what the UN predicts.

    Paul S pointed out that actually the RCP8.5 population is closer to the UN’s prediction than any of the other RCPs.

    Tom then decided that for unspecified reasons he doesn’t agree with the UN predictions after all, so RCP8.5 is still wrong.

    The rationale changes but the belief stays the same.

  62. #62 Andy Skuce
    BC
    2015/09/10

    RCP8.5 was designed to be a worst-case scenario, as such, it ought to be unlikely but still plausible. The population assumptions are a bit high, but the most extreme assumption, in my opinion, is the energy intensity projection, which is on the fringe. Combined with a high carbon factor, this leads to the very high emissions.

    I think it is a mistake to call this pathway “business as usual”, since simple projections of current trends and assumptions of no additional stringent climate policies would probably lead to something like RCP6. However, there’s a good possibility that terrestrial carbon feedbacks may not behave themselves as expected in current models, which could easily lead to atmospheric concentrations of CO2 reaching RCP8.5 levels, even if the anthro emissions don’t match the worse case scenario.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/CCFBRCP85.html

  63. #63 Thomas Fuller
    Taiwan
    2015/09/11

    Mr. Skuce, RCP 8.5 was not designed to be a scenario at all.

    It was designed to be a set of input parameters for new generation climate models that showed a climb in forcing measured in watts per square meter to 8.5 w/sq mt.

    The conclusion is the initial assumption. The ‘narrative’ is a short assessment of what it might take to reach that level of forcing. The official ‘narrative’ is under construction at this time.

    Representative Concentration Pathways are not predictions or projections. They are not ‘scenarios’ in the way the SRES were. That they are being held up as such is really not a good thing.

  64. #64 Andy Skuce
    BC
    2015/09/11

    Yes, quite right, but I meant “forcing scenario” rather than “economic scenario that produces climate forcings”.

    In the blogpost that I linked to, you will see that I took some pains to make the point that the economic narrative supports the pre-defined concentration pathway.

  65. #65 angech
    2015/09/11

    Thomas Fuller Taiwan 2015/09/11
    “Mr. Skuce, RCP 8.5 was not designed to be a scenario at all.It was designed to be a set of input parameters for new generation climate models that showed a climb in forcing measured in watts per square meter to 8.5 w/sq mt.”

    Not designed as a scenario but used everywhere as one?

    Andy Skuce BC 2015/09/10
    “RCP8.5 was designed to be a worst-case scenario”

    No, it was not. It was business as usual with a forcing representing the increasing CO2 expected giving “a climb in forcing measured in watts per square meter to 8.5 w/sq mt.” H/T Tom Fuller.

    …and Then There’s Physics2015/09/10
    “How do you know this? You seem very certain”.

    Tom seems very certain,
    Very happy to learn why you would disagree with his opinion.

  66. #66 Mark Bahner
    USA
    2015/09/11

    Brian Schmidt: “4C by 2030 is probably bet-worthy on a shorter timescale.”

    This is the same Brian Schmidt who made the bold prediction that warming from 2005 to 2025 would be more than 0.15 degrees Celsius?

    http://longbets.org/196/

    [You appear to think he’s wrong; obviously wrong. And yet I don’t see anyone else taking up the other side of the bet. Why don’t you? -W]

  67. #67 ...and Then There's Physics
    2015/09/11

    angech,

    Tom seems very certain,
    Very happy to learn why you would disagree with his opinion.

    You might have to explain what certain opinion I’m meant to be disagreeing with. His rather pedantic response to Andy Skuce just seems to be typical Fuller. Make a bunch of stuff up or completely misunderstand what someone has said so that he can then disagree with it.

  68. #68 angech
    2015/09/11

    ATTP
    “You might have to explain what certain opinion I’m meant to be disagreeing with.”
    All this political correctness is “interesting” and miles better than me copping a well deserved serve from WC.
    From the above I gather you feel Tom has either made up his opinion on RCP8.5
    ie “It was designed to be a set of input parameters for new generation climate models that showed a climb in forcing measured in watts per square meter to 8.5 w/sq mt.”
    Or he has misunderstood the IPCC when they include it as on of the model runs when he says
    “RCP 8.5 was not designed to be a scenario at all.”
    Or both.
    I somehow thought you would agree with his first statement that is why I asked if you had grounds to disagree with it.
    I assume you disagree with the first as the second appears to be a misunderstanding.
    As an aside I found during my working life that definite [certain] views by the majority often overturned in less than 20 years but the new paradigm would also change in 20 years either back to the original or to a third new viewpoint.
    I am fairly certain that you and WC would concur in your own fields.
    The only thing certain is that we believe in certainty yet it changes.
    This, sadly for some, means that one day I may agree with you, or much better, you both will become skeptics of the very type that you disapprove of.

  69. #69 ...and Then There's Physics
    2015/09/11

    angech,
    You appear to be changing the topic. My comment related to your claim that RCP8.5 got the warming wrong. How do you know this?

  70. #70 angech
    2015/09/11

    …and Then There’s Physics 2015/09/11
    “angech,
    You appear to be changing the topic. My comment related to your claim that RCP8.5 got the warming wrong. How do you know this?”
    I thought I was responding to #67 where your reply to my comment on Tom Fuller seemed to be responding to the change in topic. Apologies.
    You did insist in comment #60 to my comment #57
    “RCP8.5 at least got the CO2 level right even if it got the warming wrong”.
    “How do you know this? You seem very certain.”
    If you think that RCP8.5 has got the warming right we have to differ in an ET sort of way.
    The difference between the RCP8.5 scenario and observed temperatures is widely known and debated.
    Comments such as #51 Paul S
    “I think it’s entirely reasonable to talk about RCP8.5 specifically as a “business-as-usual” scenario. It is in the high end of the baseline range”
    indicate it is [far] too high.
    We are not talking about the future, just the current observed and modeled temperatures and yes there is a difference proving my point.

  71. #71 ...and Then There's Physics
    2015/09/11

    angech,
    The difference between the RCP8.5 scenario and observed temperatures is widely known and debated.
    This is just silly, though. We’re only a few years into these scenarios. Internal variability can easily mask even quite a strong anthropogenic signal on decadal timescales. Suggesting that RCP8.5 got the warming wrong just suggests that you don’t understand this extremely basic point. Additionally, there is no significant difference in the forcings for the different RCPs at this stage. They only really start to diverge beyond 2020.

    We are not talking about the future, just the current observed and modeled temperatures and yes there is a difference proving my point.
    You might be. I don’t think anyone else is and – I suspect – they didn’t realise that you were. That there is a difference between something and something else doesn’t prove your point, however much you might want that to be true.

  72. #72 Brian Schmidt
    United States
    2015/09/12

    Mark Bahner – I do think temps will warm and currently have $9k riding on that prediction. I don’t think temps will warm 4C by 2030. I don’t see a contradiction.

    My guess is that if someone predicting 4C by 2030 were asked to bet on that basis on a shorter time scale, like a bet resolved at the halfway point, they might back off from their foolish prediction.

  73. #73 angech
    2015/09/12

    ATTP
    “We’re only a few years into these scenarios.
    My comment related to your claim that RCP8.5 got the warming wrong. How do you know this?”:’

    That there is a difference between something and something else is the proof of many points.
    It was a proof of my certainty under what I took to be a normal discussion.

    If you wish to only argue under set rules that are specifically your set rules then there can be no argument or discussion.
    Perhaps you should specify your rules before engaging in a general comment like “how do you know this”.
    If you get to decide that RCP8.5 can only be proved wrong on centennial time scales [as you state decadal scales are too short] then you cannot have a discussion.
    If you decide that decadal time scales are insufficient however then all of your views cannot be declared certain either, though I am certain you are certain they are correct.

    On the time scales I am commenting on, which can only be from RCP8.5 inception to now, there is a putative, positive and pulchritudinous difference between the model and the observations, visible I would dare to suggest to all on decadal scales and extended outwards quite alarming on centennial scales.

  74. #74 ...and Then There's Physics
    2015/09/12

    If you get to decide that RCP8.5 can only be proved wrong on centennial time scales [as you state decadal scales are too short] then you cannot have a discussion.
    That we can’t prove it wrong on short-timescales doesn’t mean there aren’t things to discuss.

    If you decide that decadal time scales are insufficient however then all of your views cannot be declared certain either, though I am certain you are certain they are correct.
    I never said they are certain. That you seem to think that you’re capable of determining my views, when I’ve never expressed them, seems slightly odd.

  75. #75 angech
    2015/09/13

    ATTP
    looking forward to an new post on your blog. Hope you enjoyed your holidays.
    Look forward to the concept of the models and what time scales we should be discussing there.
    Thanks WC.
    Herpetology? is that a Tortology or a tautology?
    A good dose of Zovirax should break them up

  76. #76 Victor Venema (@VariabilityBlog)
    2015/09/13

    And Then There’s Physics: “Yes, it seems that I may well have been wrong about Emma Thompson being someone who would be willing to not repeat such errors.”

    William: “I was wondering if I’d have to beat that out of you. Damn you for being so reasonable, where’s the fun? -W”

    Let me be more fun then. No, Emma Thompson did not repeat the errors, she did not like Richard Betts calling her a “scaremonger”, something I can fully understand.
    It would have been nice if Emma Thompson had also noted in her reply that the numbers were wrong, but that is the way most people respond to name calling.

    She did not hit back at Ed Hawkins who simply corrected her error. Or in the worlds of uniquely wrong David Rose Daily Mail writer: Other scientists were equally critical [as Richard Betts]. Dr Ed Hawkins, at Reading University, told this newspaper: ‘Climate change poses substantial risks to humans and ecosystems, but what Emma Thompson said about the timescales of predicted warming was inaccurate.’

    Contrary to the claim of David Rose, these two responses were not equal.

    I hope that in future it will be possible to assume good faith when people make an error for the first time and to correct the facts in a civil manner. The alternative would be that only climate scientists would talk about climate change. Something that does not seem healthy in an open democratic society. And yes, assuming good faith also goes for someone who picked up one of the memes of the mitigations sceptics and may simply be misled.

    [I think you’re far too generous to her. Also, ATTP didn’t say he hoped “Emma Thompson [would] not repeat the errors”, he said “I would expect Emma Thompson to correct these errors in future”. Has she? I think not; instead, she has attacked RB for calling her on her errors -W]

  77. #77 Hank Roberts
    out past Cassandra somewhere
    2015/09/22

    >>> Damn you for being so reasonable, where’s the fun? -W]

    Isn’t that the same problem faced by the Beeb? They can’t report reasonable — it’s not news.

    >> the setup and the interviewing by the Beeb …. an
    >> unchallenged soapbox … for the denialist nutters …

    So, “news” sources promoting the viewpoints of people out at any extreme position? They’re in the business of promoting extremes, aren’t they? That sells advertising space.

    There’s nothing interesting about the possible existence of moderates near the center who might actually agree on policy changes that could change the current profit situation. Nothing. Move on, nothing happening ….

  78. #78 Hank Roberts
    there's a pattern, but maybe not the one you think
    2015/09/22

    This seems along the same lines:
    http://www.vox.com/2015/9/13/9313727/chait-climate-optimism

    “… Tim DeChristopher’s rant about Chait’s piece is completely over-the-top and paints an absurd caricature of Chait, but he’s justifiably angry about this. As he says, it’s not just “environmentalists” now — the climate justice movement is far broader than that and includes many other constituencies. And they did not sink into despair when the cap-and-trade bill (which they hated) died; they organized. Chait may not like the fact that the movement rallied around Keystone XL, but rally it did. And it’s beyond absurd that Chait mentions the closing of hundreds of coal plants in the US without mentioning the grassroots …”

  79. #79 Hank Roberts
    out past Cassandra somewhere
    2015/09/26

    Apropos the thread title, if nothing else, I’d like to wish everyone a happy Stanislav Petrov Day.

    Why?

    https://www.metafilter.com/153348/Stanislav-Petrov-Day

    http://blog.jaibot.com/there-is-a-button/

    More links: http://www.brightstarsound.com/

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