Roy Spencer says that if you don't admit that environmentalists are guilty of genocide then you are like a Holocaust denier

Sideshow Roy Spencer writes:

Our environmental protection practices have already caused the deaths of millions of people, mainly in poor African countries. By far the most humans -- mostly women and children -- have been sacrificed in the mistaken belief that the use of any amount of the pesticide DDT would harm the environment. As a result, the preventable disease malaria has continued to decimate Africa.

Only recently has this genocide disguised as environmentalism been partly reversed through the reinstituted practice of twice-yearly DDT treatments of the entryways to homes. While most environmentalists continue to insist that there is no connection between international bans on DDT and human deaths, such protestations really are like denying that the Holocaust ever happened.

So when Malaria Foundation International declares:

OUR CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT A BAN OF DDT FOR MALARIA CONTROL HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL!

they are just like Holocaust deniers.

And if you are wondering if he shouldn't be blaming the people whose overuse of DDT caused mosquitoes to evolve resistance to DDT for some of those deaths, well Spencer is a Creationist.

Spencer continues:

Indeed, it could well be that one of the functions of weather is to maintain a relatively constant greenhouse effect, no matter how much carbon dioxide is present.

Because God wouldn't have created a world that we could screw so easily. I'm curious how Spencer reconciles this theory with the existence of Ice Ages.

Spencer thinks that environmentalism is a religion:

And now we are teaching our children to perform their own acts of worship, again hoping to placate the gods of the natural world. Substituting compact fluorescent light bulbs for incandescent ones, and turning the light off when they leave the room, makes them feel good about themselves and their relationship to nature. These rituals being taught in the public schools will help define their still-developing worldviews and religious beliefs.

I'm suprised that he didn't argue that the First Amendment prohibits it from being taught in schools, like he did for evolutionism:

Does not classical evolutionism, based almost entirely upon faith, violate the same clause? More importantly, what about the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which states that Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion?

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Do Creationists believe in Ice Ages? YECs almost certainly don't, but I don't know about any of the other kinds. Ice Ages, after all, are if not anti-Scriptural, then at least require a long greased shoehorn to reconcile with the Bible.

I always wonder about people who say that evolution is a matter of faith, whether the sky really is puce in their world, or whether they know damn well they're pulling a rhetorical fast one by conflating the kind of "faith" one has if one doesn't have the time to become a PhD in biology and therefore trusts the experts and the data; and/or the sort of "faith" one has solipsisitically if one decides to trust one's senses more or less, and the sort of "faith" one has if one believes in the kinds of things that do go away when you stop believing in them.

By Interrobang (not verified) on 30 May 2008 #permalink

Spencer testifying at the Waxman committee:

> Even the climate researchers themselves have biases that influence the direction they take their research. In psychology this is called "confirmation bias" (Klayman and Ha, 1987), and in my experience this is not the exception, but the rule. Researchers tend to be more accepting of data that confirms their preconceived notions or political or societal predilections. After all, what scientist would not want to be the one to discover an impending environmental disaster that awaits humanity... to "save the Earth"? Or, if one believes that modern technology is inherently evil, would not one then want to find sufficient evidence to put the fossil fuel industry out of business? If one has socialistic tendencies, then carbon permit trading provides an excellent mechanism for a redistribution of wealth from the richer countries to the poorer countries.

Some sort of improvement over S. Fred Singer's conspiracy theory? Is it better if "redistribution of wealth" were due to climatologists with "socialistic tendencies", than if it were due to the nefarious efforts of "Third World kleptocrats"?

I'm constantly amazed at how some folk have such an amazing talent at self-marginalization. I'm also amazed at how these folks still - altho much diminished - are able to have a voice.

Best,

D

Dana: "I'm also amazed at how these folks still - altho much diminished - are able to have a voice."

AGW is far from settled, and our voice is getting LOUDER.

and our voice is getting LOUDER.

But not any SMARTER...

By caerbannog (not verified) on 30 May 2008 #permalink

Even the climate researchers themselves have biases that influence the direction they take their research

Spencer, meet mirror ...

Spencer is being an ass but I don't see him as being much worse than people on scienceblogs who were equating Ben Stein's comments to Holocaust denial. Holocaust denial is Holocaust denial and attempting to associate anything else with will generally just damage one's credibility. This applies regardless of cause.

It's no wonder that Roy is Rush Limbaugh's go-to scientist. I am aghast at the volume of people who find him convincing.

(Note the triple pun on "volume." Note it, dammit!)

our voice is getting LOUDER.

Right.

The diminishing few who remain sit in their Cheeto-stained shorts and type ululating phrases ever more fervently into the bloggorrhea, ever more all-caps Letters to the Editor, type comments in newspaper stories (all such comments being variants of GLOBUL WARMINS A SCAY-UM).

I also think some of this LOUDER is students practicing a new form of performance art, creating parody characters, parody scripts, etc. Say, Tom in Texas, does UTA or Baylor have an acting department doing blogosphere performance art?

Best,

D

And now we are teaching our children to perform their own acts of worship, again hoping to placate the gods of the natural world. Substituting compact fluorescent light bulbs for incandescent ones, and turning the light off when they leave the room, makes them feel good about themselves and their relationship to nature. These rituals being taught in the public schools will help define their still-developing worldviews and religious beliefs.

Gee, never realized that when my parents yelled at me to turn off the bathroom light that it was part of my childhood religious training. I thought it was about saving money on the electric bill.

And of course, Spencer makes the silly old claim that environmentalism is all about going back to the iron age or suchlike.
In reality, greens are pushing for more advanced technology like solar power, and more efficient methods of doing things.

Guthrie, right that's a point that some authors keep trying to make (Thomas Friedman for example) but it doesn't seem to get into peoples heads. Part of the issue seems to be that "yes, we're pushing for you not to use some technologies and we want the following new technologies also" might be too complicated for soundbite purposes.

And of course there's the lovely "Indeed, it could well be that one of the functions of weather is to maintain a relatively constant greenhouse effect, no matter how much carbon dioxide is present."

Hope is not a plan. It is unlikely that the atmosphere just happens to have feedback effects that completely eliminate the specific terrible things we can do to it. This is not even adult reasoning, let alone scientific.

The diminishing few who remain sit in their Cheeto-stained shorts and type ululating phrases ever more fervently into the bloggorrhea, ever more all-caps Letters to the Editor, type comments in newspaper stories (all such comments being variants of GLOBUL WARMINS A SCAY-UM).

Spoken like a True BelieverTM in the Church of Global Warming.

By Global Warming… (not verified) on 30 May 2008 #permalink

if you don't believe in evolution then explain why first dogs were launched into space, but they soon evolved into chimps launched into space, then finally evolved into humans launched into space?

"And of course, Spencer makes the silly old claim that environmentalism is all about going back to the iron age or suchlike. In reality, greens are pushing for more advanced technology like solar power, and more efficient methods of doing things."

It's fascinating to me that people think supporting nuclear power (a fifty year old technology)means they're pro-technology while they associate modern wind turbines with windmills and dismiss thin-film solar technology out of hand.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 30 May 2008 #permalink

Because God wouldn't have created a world that we could screw so easily. I'm curious how Spencer reconciles this theory with the existence of Ice Ages.

That's easy. God created the evidence for Ice Ages when he created the world in about 4000 BC, the same as he created the fossils in the ground (just listen to Flanders on The Simpsons, he's a good representative for many Americans). The Ice Ages never really happened because the world is only 6000 years old and the God-created evidence appears to show that they finished by 11,000 years ago.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 30 May 2008 #permalink

> I'm constantly amazed at how some folk have such an amazing talent at self-marginalization. I'm also amazed at how these folks still - altho much diminished - are able to have a voice.

See that big honkin' loudspeaker in the Heartland conference schedule? In the literal world, the big honkin' loudspeaker will probably be the money ExxonMobil and friends are giving to these whackjobs and the front groups they belong to.

By Ian's analogy, wind power is several thousand years old, and solar power back to when the first plants started photosynthesizing. All technologies have old roots, but development leads to better applications. As far as nuclear plants go, the major change in the boiling water reactors has been learning how to increase the duty factor by almost a factor of two, a major issue for base load.

However, hidden amidst the snark is a very important point, it takes decades to bring a technology up to the level where it can be depended on, something the Breakdown Institute and other advocates of revolutionary technology need to recognize.

I can't locate a primary source for Spencer being an ID advocate; even if he is a fan of this Paley rubbish it is still pushing the ad hominem button to say this impacts on the man's scientific credibility elsewhere.

Raypierre Humbert's dismissal of Spencer's -ve RF views is itself open to doubt, especially with his assumptions about ocean influence on the whole mess. It seems quite blinkered to dismiss the potential -ve feedback of H2O and clouds when the WG1 report admits to low to very poor scientific understanding of their RF. Anyway, Spencer's general, if not specific concept, is validated elsewhere:

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/320/5873/195

As to temp increases; I don't see how anyone can be confident when this sort of thing keeps falling off the back of a truck:

http://wattsupwitthat.wordpress.com/2008/05/30/buckets-inlets-ssts-and-…

cohenite, the whole idea of a Vast Worldwide Warmist Conspiracy is itself nothing short of a big, fat, gigantic, humongous exercise in _ad hominem_. It's also Spencer's only "explanation" of why other climatologists all over the world keep reaching conclusions which are diametrically opposed to his non-peer-reviewed bloviations.

"Our voice is getting LOUDER"

But your science isn't getting any better. Moreover, your voice is only getting louder because of the larger and larger metaphorical megaphones being provided for you by the huge amount of money sloshing around in the corporate-funded anti-environmental coffers... this is detailed well in books by Athanasiou, Rampton/Stauber, Rowell, Helvarg, Gelbspan and many others.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 31 May 2008 #permalink

the whole idea of a Vast Worldwide Warmist Conspiracy is itself nothing short of a big, fat, gigantic, humongous exercise in ad hominem.

Ah yes, another warm-monger trots out the conspiracy strawman. Most if not all of us who have our doubts about "climate change" mention nothing about conspiracies, for no conspiracy would be necessary. "Climate scientists" find evidence for "global warming" because it is in their own personal interest to do so. If they did not, what would happen to all of those research grants? They would have to "study" something else, which would entail work. "Dr." James Hansen might suddenly find himself unemployed, much like many members of the Discovery Institute.

By Global Warming… (not verified) on 31 May 2008 #permalink

Jeff Harvey: Megaphone, courtesy of the Heartland Institute.

GWIAS:

> Ah yes, another warm-monger trots out the conspiracy strawman.

Singer's "Third World kleptocrats", Hissink's "Thatcher hates coal miners", Monckton's "Gore has some financial relation with Hansen", Spencer's "bureaucrats want something like the Montreal Protocol"... you know, your inactivist brethren keep blaring out so many conspiracy theories with their megaphones, it's really a dumb idea to even try to deny it.

Albert Einstein once said, "God does not play dice with the Universe". So would he not be in the camp of intelligent design? Anybody want to take some cheap shots at Albert?

By Harold Pierce Jr (not verified) on 31 May 2008 #permalink

Actually Harold five second wouls have provided you with the actual quote:

"Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the 'old one'. I, at any rate, am convinced that He does not throw dice."

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Einstein#Religion_and_Science_.281930.29

Another 10 seconds would have led you to this recent news story about a recently sold Einstein letter.

"the word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/17/science/17einsteinw.html?em&ex=121116…

Yeah Albert would fit right in at the Discovery Institute.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 31 May 2008 #permalink

hook line and sinker

I told the denialist that I would look at his proof, it was an opinion piece so I asked for "peer reveiewed" research, he said "...my peers are as good as your peers".

doesn't know the science, doesn't know what "peer review" means, and wants me to accept his garbage. his main source of info is Rush (the great scientist that says smoking won't harm you". of course the Rush talking point "research grants" is used, yes it's stupid but they use it (see prevous comments, it's there)

By richCares (not verified) on 31 May 2008 #permalink

Ian,

I am interested in continuing our discussion regarding carbon tax, carbon offsets and cap-and-trade systems. Specifically, I find two points to be of interest. First, you wrote:

> we appear to be endelessly confusing offsets and emissions trading here. THe two concepts are actually quite distinct.

I responded:

> As far as I can tell, cap-and-trade is an offset scheme with central accounting and reliable monitoring. Is there a more fundamental difference?

Could you respond?

Secondly, you wrote

> grandfathering (issuing free permits to existing polluters) is not an innate element of an emissions trading scheme.

I responded:

> If there are no free permits for existing polluters, then what is there to trade? If there is no grandfathering then polluters have to buy pollution permits from the government pool of permits rather than from each other and no trade is going on. In that case, if a polluter reduces the amount of pollution it produces, then it simply buys less permits - it does not sell the reduction to someone else.

Could you respond?

Thanks.

> I asked for "peer reveiewed" research, he said "...my peers are as good as your peers".

> [...] doesn't know what "peer review" means

Yes - clearly he is under the impression that "peer reviewed" means "reviewed by peers" rather than "approved by the established academic authorities."

Sortition: And if I can add, the term approved should be taken in a very general context. I think a better phrase - instead of approved - would be "deemed of enough interest to be presented to one's peers".

Regards,
John

By John Cross (not verified) on 31 May 2008 #permalink

Why thank you dhogaza, you a most helpful and charming gent; and polite too. Roy is a goose saying there are no transitional thingees; someone should send him a picture of an Archaeopteryx; and as for no new species, well, Mayr's Biological Species Concept does set a high standard, but Rice and Salt have managed to do good things with fruit flies; and I'm sure I meet new species every time I blog. Someone should send Roy some of Paul Davies's books on science and God.

But, just because Roy has a blind spot, I don't think we can say all of his science is tainted as a result; Raypierre Humbert has not cooked his goose as it were; even WG1 is honest enough to admit they have no idea about clouds, water and lots of other things; I have provided a link above to Kump and Pollard's paper on clouds.

As to temperature, the 'cooling' period in the 40's onwards is now in doubt, and noone has given a good rebuttal for the Great Pacific Climate Shift:

http://climatepatrol.wordpress.com/2008/04/16/hatcrut3-global-land-ocea…

"If they did not, what would happen to all of those research grants? They would have to "study" something else, which would entail work. "

So, how exactly is it less work to "prove global warming" than to "study something else"? I'd be interested to find some estimates of the effort involved.

And nobody's yet explained to me how the money for carbon credits gets funnelled to the NOAA who can then pay off the researchers. Or how they know a priori which researchers are going to get which results.

You guys must be really involved in the mechanics of research grant administration to know so much about it. If I'd known that much maybe I'd still be living on grant moneys, I guess. How'd you get all this knowledge?

Sortition,. sorry for not responding sooner.

There's a related discussion on Open Thread 7. So if its alright with you I'll respond there - probably this evening my time.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 31 May 2008 #permalink

I've actually run research contracts from the government end.

The auditing is damn strict and the money is typically accounted for literally down to the cent.

If as much as 1% of the value of research grants (aside from the salary component) saw its way into the pockets of the researchers I'd be astonished.

As I've said before, anybody dumb enough to go into science for the money is probably too dumb to complete a science course.

Amongst the people who do complete a science course, goign into corporate management or working on working on Wall Street or as a venture capitalist is the way to go.

Anybody capable of programming and running a global climate model could be making at least 10 times as much as a quantitative analyst at a brokerage firm.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 31 May 2008 #permalink

Let's hope, if they do go to Wall st, that their predictions have more success.

cohenite:

As to temperature, the 'cooling' period in the 40's onwards is now in doubt

That's right, the fit between data and models will be better now. If the data and models don't fit then, like the radiosonde data, the data has a chance of being wrong.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 31 May 2008 #permalink

"the fit between data and models will be better now"

The significance of a less cool period from the 40's onwards is twofold; firstly, it will make 'any' subsequent upward trend in temp less pronounced; secondly, it throws doubt on the aerosol cooling theory. How does that help the models?

@cohenite:

The significance of a less cool period from the 40's onwards is twofold; firstly, it will make 'any' subsequent upward trend in temp less pronounced; secondly, it throws doubt on the aerosol cooling theory. How does that help the models?

Might I respectfully suggest you read the paper first? The issue is not a "less cool period from the 40's onwards", but an apparent sudden drop in temperature in 1945. While the subsequent cool period was explained by aerosols, this drop could not be so explained.

Since the shift identified is from almost exclusive use of a warm-biased method to a mix of methods with different biases the conclusion is not that the temperature for 1945 goes up; but that the temperature for the period 1942-1945 comes down.

By Robin Levett (not verified) on 01 Jun 2008 #permalink

In case anyone is wondering, following the end of World War II the north Atlantic climate monitoring job went from being a solely American responsibility to being a joint British/American responsibility.

Reported temperatures fell immediately because the British used different measuring techniques.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 01 Jun 2008 #permalink

the conclusion is not that the temperature for 1945 goes up; but that the temperature for the period 1942-1945 comes down

That's right, cohenite got it the wrong way around. The bias was due to the change in sampling during World War 2 that was largely and suddenly reversed at the end of the war. i.e. during World War 2, British ships became pre-occupied with the war rather than with measuring ocean temperatures to an earlier and greater degree than American ships. I guess the American system might also have required less labour so was less likely to be abandoned. Then when the war ended, the British were suddenly interested in measuring ocean temperature again. So the bias during the war was towards the American system's bias, i.e. warmer.

And as Robin Levett said read the paper, or read the abstract.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 01 Jun 2008 #permalink

> If I'd known that much maybe I'd still be living on grant moneys, I guess. How'd you get all this knowledge?

As with all inactivist memes, of course they can't tell you where they got their ideas from in the first place, lest you take revenge on the informants by sending Ninja Inquisitors to their homes.

And besides, if Lindzen and Spencer say there's a conspiracy, then they must be right! After all, they're climatologists! Never mind that the conspiracy they're talking about keeps changing...

In support of #38 Ian Gould
"Anybody capable of programming and running a global climate model could be making at least 10 times as much as a quantitative analyst at a brokerage firm."

That certainly isn't theoretical. I worked at Bell Labs 1973-1983; the Bell System split up in 1984, and over time, quite a few excellent mathematicians, physicists, and computer scientists left. In the 1990s issued to visit Wall Street moderately often to help sell SGI computers to their quant groups, and often ran into or heard of old Bell Labs folks who were now VPs or otherwise making much more money.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 01 Jun 2008 #permalink

As z will have it in #15:

if you don't believe in evolution then explain why first dogs were launched into space, but they soon evolved into chimps launched into space, then finally evolved into humans launched into space?

Finally? What about autonomous robots?

...so there is hope...

By Gavin's Pussycat (not verified) on 01 Jun 2008 #permalink

Yeah, well, there's a hole in the bucket somewhere around here; there was no complete changeover to inlets in '41, and apparently there were 2 types of buckets, an insulated variety, and a non-insulated, with little difference, or at least far less than the 0.3C difference allowed in the Jones study, between the insulated bucket and the inlet; inlet testing also continued into the 70's. So, I'm not sure what "uncorrected instrumental biases in the sea surface temperature record" the abstract means.

cohenite (#20): For the original piece by Spencer endorsing intelligent design, go here: http://tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=080805I

And, I think you have to use an ridiculously broad definition of "ad hominem" to consider this an ad hominem attack. This endorsement of intelligent design speaks directly to his scientific judgement. I.e., why should I place much value on the scientific judgement of someone who thinks that AGW is more of a religious belief than a scientific one when he thinks exactly the same thing in regards to evolution?

By Joel Shore (not verified) on 02 Jun 2008 #permalink

@cohenite:

Yeah, well, there's a hole in the bucket somewhere around here; there was no complete changeover to inlets in '41

Really? Please read the article. The reason US ships carried on, and UK didn't (and a figure in the News & Views section of Nature shows quite how abrupt that was), was that US ships had engine inlet measurement, so they didn't need to expose a light at night to make the measurements.

apparently there were 2 types of buckets, an insulated variety, and a non-insulated, with little difference, or at least far less than the 0.3C difference allowed in the Jones study, between the insulated bucket and the inlet

Read the article, and the commentary on it in Nature (News & Views), and not the AGW-denialist talking points, if you want to learn.

By Robin Levett (not verified) on 02 Jun 2008 #permalink

What really happens to our climate isn't about human activity interacting with Earth climate it's about *.isms and *.ists. Seen from that perspective, science's practitioners had to have been infected with seriously bad anti-FreeMarketist thinking to come up with something as antithetical to FreeMarketism as AGW in the first place. If it is real, FreeMarketists' intrinsic GoGetism would mean FreeMarketist policies would still result in the best of all possible futures, but anti-Freemarketists like those Malaria-Loving TreeHuggists and Think-They're-Smarter-Than-God Climate Scientists have to be stopped from undermining that future with their regulations and restrictions. Still ClimateChangism and TreeHuggism are so potentially harmful to Freemarketism that they surely could not have come about without some kind of intelligence behind them. In this case designed by the twisted, misguided intelligence found only in that most anti of anti-Freemarketist ideologies - Socialism... *.isms and *.ists, not the interaction of human activity and climate.

> Still ClimateChangism and TreeHuggism are so potentially harmful to Freemarketism that they surely could not have come about without some kind of intelligence behind them.

God invented global temperature measurements to test our faith.

> Think-They're-Smarter-Than-God Climate Scientists

Why yes, global warming obviously isn't man-made, because even thinking that it might be man-made is a heinous act of blasphemy. Who needs this "research" crap anyway?

On a related note, I suspect many people think that the only "correct" kinds of sciences are those that study how to blow up lots of crap. All other sciences are, of course, too namby-pamby to be considered "science".

"Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research programme." Karl Popperin falsifiability of evolution.

I am really glad you post this subject for discussion, Tim. Because, as I see it, one could just as well adopt Popper's statement for the theory of AGW which would read:

"AGW is not a testable scientific theory, but a ... research programme."

This research program in connection with "manmade global warming" investigates to what extent mankind influences the climate and what he can possibly do against any calamities.

Isn't AGW similar to darwinism? While evolution ist falsifiable and can be observed in nature, the whole complex structure of the building of the theory of evolution and the origine of life are not falsifiable. This is meanwhile acknowledged by renown evolution biologists. Likewise, the whole card house of catastrophic global warming caused by human beings as opposed to a relatively stable climate without human influence is an idiology, a philososphy of life, a branch of environmentalism, whether you like it or not. It surpasses testable science by far. Only parts of the whole AGW theory are falsifiable within a reasonable period of time (if they are not tested already).

Roy Spencer's point is valid although I wouldn't go as far as to make this holocaust comparison. There is a substantial difference between deaths as a result of environmental policies and the holocaust. In the case of environmentalism, there is mostly no direct causality. Nobody knows how many people would have survived without DDT ban and nobody knows how many addtional people died from starvation as a result of subsidized biofuels. But it cannot be denied that there is a conflict of interest between environmental regulations and policies for the improvement of the health (and thus the expectancy of life) of an entire generation.

I'm not sure it's technically possible to be off-topic on a thread that starts with an example of Godwin's Law. Sort of the blogospheric equivalent of the null set: you can make any topic whatsoever starting from some HitlerTM.

That said, I'm rather taken with the idea that scientists are inherently unscientific because, when they are proved wrong, they always bounce back with a new or modified theory, thus showing themselves unfalsifiable.

The only *scientific* response to being found wrong is to hold onto your false beliefs, because you are then demonstrating Popperian falsifiability. Explains a lot.

@climatepatrol 57

"I have changed my mind about the testability and logical status of the theory of natural selection; and I am glad to have an opportunity to make a recantation" Karl Popper (Dialectica 32:344-346).

In other words, once he actually studied the issue (ya know, research and scholarship), he changed his mind. Popper (not being a biologist) made the comment you cited a bit flippantly and hence he admitted he was wrong.

The lesson is that you actually have to read and understand the body of research to make intelligent comments; same thing applies to the DDT issue and to global climate change. One paper or one quotation does not a body of evidence or a theory make; one misinterpretation or superficial read of a paper likewise.

cp:

Karl Popperin falsifiability of evolution.

I think if I wanted to retain my credibility, I would find somewhere to quote from other than conservapedia.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 03 Jun 2008 #permalink

@ szqc
Good point. That was 1976. Nobody can deny natural selection taking place nowadays. Then came microevolution vs. macroevolution. Without tautology and circular reasoning with geology, there is this statement that remains regarding common descent and macroevolution as a tested fact. It starts with a question:

Are There Other Scientifically Valid Explanations?

The worldwide scientific research community from over the past 140 years has discovered that no known hypothesis other than universal common descent can account scientifically for the unity, diversity, and patterns of terrestrial life. This hypothesis has been verified and corroborated so extensively that it is currently accepted as fact by the overwhelming majority of professional researchers in the biological and geological sciences (AAAS 1990; NAS 2003; NCSE 2003; Working Group 2001). No alternate explanations compete scientifically with common descent, primarily for four main reasons: (1) so many of the predictions of common descent have been confirmed from independent areas of science, (2) no significant contradictory evidence has yet been found, (3) competing possibilities have been contradicted by enormous amounts of scientific data, and (4) many other explanations are untestable, though they may be trivially consistent with biological data.

It is then followed by "29+ evidences of macroevolution". None of them was able to explain real macroevolution including gradual or sporadic evolution into something more complex.

It's the same question for AGW.

Are There Other Scientifically Valid Explanations for the past warming?

Partly yes, but part of the warming (natural AND antropogenic) is stored as latent heat in the oceans. (Pielke Sr., Hansen, Scafetta, etc. etc.). Since it is difficult to test the antropogenic part seperately from natural variability, The testing must go on with water vapor, cloud formation, precipitation behaviors, deep ocean interactions under real life conditions (Roy Spencer). The testing takes a long time, but it is easier than testing macroevolution. Contrary to macroevolution, the testing is a question of time...

Shorter climatepatrol: I was wrong, but I was still right!

Chris O'Neill: At least we now know where he's getting his "science" from.

Vagueofgodalming:

> I'm not sure it's technically possible to be off-topic on a thread that starts with an example of Godwin's Law. Sort of the blogospheric equivalent of the null set: you can make any topic whatsoever starting from some Hitler™.

I think I'll call this rule the ex Hitlero quodlibet.

So, climatepatrol is a "macro" evolution denialist, too?

Holy shit, he not only jumped the shark, he cleared it by thirty feet. Climatepatrol, you're not going to IMPROVE your credibility by denying one of the most widely-accepted and well-studied scientific theories in history.

climatepatrol,

The only time I am uncomfortable outside of the AGW "consensus" is when some one sidles up next to me and snickers that evolution is "just like" AGW. That is when I do a "spit take" and walk quietly away.

While there remains much to learn about the mechanisms of evolution the theory itself is clearly consistent with the fossil record and convergent evidence from many other scientific disciplines. The idea of common decent has as its only possible alternative successive acts of magical destruction followed by magical acts of creation over and over again with the net effect of organisms that "appear" to be more and more complex.

How exactly you would use empirical evidence to demonstrate such an alternative theory is highly problematic to say the least.

Actually my only real disagreements with AGW theory is that the climate sensitivity to CO2 has been over-estimated and that the attendant dire predictions are based on seriously deficient climate models and are not likely to occur.

Actually my only real disagreements with AGW theory is that the climate sensitivity to CO2 has been .. based on seriously deficient climate models.

Ignoring, as always, the vast majority of empirical evidence.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 03 Jun 2008 #permalink

In many ways, evolution is just like AGW:

1. It's a theory made up of countless little observations, each of them falsifiable.
2. The anti-scientists can't assemble a coherent and testable counter-theory to save their lives.
3. The anti-scientists repeatedly ignore evidence.
3. The anti-scientists go off found their own kangaroo "scientific" journal -- ARJ in the case of evolution, E&E in the case of global warming.
4. The anti-scientists keep asking to hold yet another "debate", with no intention of abandoning their position if they lose the debate.
5. There's always another "petition". (In the case of evolution, another "poll".)

Lance,

I think you are wrong about AGW and climate models, and would be happy to argue with you until I'm blue in the face over it (when time allows...the girlfriend has been cracking down on internet time of late). But, at least you're not a friggin moron arguing indefensible positions like climate patrol. And at least you can structure an argument, unlike GWIAS.

@Chris
I am not here to look for friends but I am here to argue about truth and the separation of falsifiable theories from non falsifiable ones. And I am willing to learn. The topic of this thread obviously is "Spencer bashing". Spencer is a renown scientist, an AGW skeptic and a creationist. He is not an anti-scientist as bi implies but someone who seeks to separate falsifiable science from philosophy. My position remains: AGW just like evolution biology are both research programs with partly testable science and partly non testable philosphy. I have done this test before by debates in German. I don't deny the greenhouse effect of CO2 in a relatively dry atmosphere and the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere. But that's not the whole picture, is it?

It is absolutely irrelevant what I believe. What counts is the fact that in the case of evolution biology, the origine of life including macro evolution CONTAINS the non testable evidence of spontaneous or gradual upgrading of the complexity of the genetic pool. AGW contains elements that can be tested only after a long period of time. That time has not come. And old physisist from CERN, Geneva, recently told me that only 4% of what really is can be covered by physics so far. You just have to admit that there are limits in science and stop playing God.

Climatepatrol -

Evolution is very falsifiable. Rabbits in the Cambrian and all. And an increase in complexity can be seen in systems using evolution-type algorithms in non-biological systems.

As far as the origin of life goes, it's a classic example how a scientist can say 'We don't know.. yet'. But don't suppose that not knowing now means not knowing forever. Be more wary of those who think they have all the answers right now.

By Andrew Dodds (not verified) on 03 Jun 2008 #permalink

ClimatePatrol writes: "AGW contains elements that can be tested only after a long period of time. That time has not come".

CP, what you are effectively saying is that we should keep fiddling while Rome burns. In other words, keep the global experiment going until all of the data are in, even though the consequences of inaction may be profound and serious. But by then it will be too late. Even though, as you suggest, there are still many uncertainties, we do know enough by now to conclude that humans are influencing climate patterns at both regional and global scales. Given the possible outcomes of 'business-as-usual' are significant, this should be enough for humanity to try and do something about it, to avoid the collision our present actions may bring about in future as was written in the World Scientist's Warning to Humanity back in 1992.

The whole debate hinges around the precautionary principle. By now it should be apparent that humans have the capacity to affect biogeochemical processes occurring over very large scales. We've disrupted the carbon cycle, the nitrogen cycle, and other critically important cycles (e.g. water). We've simplified the planet biologically, and there are already (and will continue to be) ecological consequences that will rebound on us economically and socially.

The bottom line is that science does not operate by consensus, but public policy should - indeed must in my view - be based on it. Therefore I think the debate has to move on and result in concrete action. You argue that we need much more data and you are correct, but this should not be an imnpediment to doing soemthing about what we already know.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 03 Jun 2008 #permalink

Hello Jeff!

What rock-solid, bullet-proof empirical data do you have in your hand that shows with absolute certainty that there is "global warming and climate change"? I want to see it.

As a matter of fact, there isn't any. To date the pinstripes and whitecoats of the IPCC have produced only computational speculation and conjecture, and I ain't buying any phony baloney from that deli in NYC.

By Harold Pierce Jr (not verified) on 04 Jun 2008 #permalink

/me ignores yet another inactivist talking point

Harold, you should go back to your creative self. Things are more hilarious that way.

What rock-solid, bullet-proof empirical data do you have in your hand that shows with absolute certainty that there is "global warming and climate change"? I want to see it.

you mean beyond two different datasets of land based measurement, two satellite based observations and countless observations of plant, animal and geographical changes?

Lance writes:

Actually my only real disagreements with AGW theory is that the climate sensitivity to CO2 has been over-estimated

And you know this how? What is your estimate, and what is it based on?

and that the attendant dire predictions are based on seriously deficient climate models and are not likely to occur.

See above.

climatepatrol posts:

AGW contains elements that can be tested only after a long period of time. That time has not come.

150 years of time series evidence isn't long enough? Tyndal's lab work wasn't conclusive?

Harold Pierce writes:

What rock-solid, bullet-proof empirical data do you have in your hand that shows with absolute certainty that there is "global warming and climate change"? I want to see it.

As a matter of fact, there isn't any. To date the pinstripes and whitecoats of the IPCC have produced only computational speculation and conjecture, and I ain't buying any phony baloney from that deli in NYC.

Harold, which of the following do you disagree with?

1. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas.

2. There is more carbon dioxide in the air than there used to be.

3. The new carbon dioxide is from anthropogenic sources.

If you accept all three, you accept the reality of anthropogenic global warming. If you disagree with any of the three, you disagree with plain empirical evidence.

Harold,

Barton has excellently summed up the evidence. As a fellow scientist, you should know that waiting for all the data to come in basically means intransigence. If the denialists are wrong, and I and perhaps most in the scientific community believe that they are, then the consequences of this intransigence will be exceedingly severe for humanity. We won't be able to techno-fix our way out of this predicament because we do not have to tools to repair the natural systems upon which our civilization hinges. In spite of fierce opposition, global laws were passed significantly restricting CFC use when it became clear that CFCs degraded the ozone layer. With AGW, as Barton said, we have 150 years of empirical evidence, as well as outright predictions made by the likes of Keeling etc. in the 1950s that the effects of increasing atmospheric C02 levels would be manifested on climate patterns towards the end of the 20th century. This has proven to be correct.

All I can add to that is that humans are conducting a number of profoundly large experiments on systems whose functioning we barely understand but which sustain us in a myriad of ways. In my view, we have accrued enough data by now to know that there will be and already are large environmental consequences of these anthropogenic changes that have implications for future generations (and even the current one). The time for procastrination is over. It is time to take action.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 04 Jun 2008 #permalink

@Barton Paul Levenson

150 years of time series evidence isn't long enough?

Apparently not.
"The instrumental and satellite record of climate variability extends back in time about 130 years, and is therefore not long enough to define the full range of natural climate variability."
http://www.climate.noaa.gov/cpo_pa/paleo/
For example:
http://www.bioedonline.org/news/news.cfm?art=3357
And worldwide cloud cover observations go back no further than the eighties, not enough to test its correlation with solar cycle changes.

Tyndal's lab work wasn't conclusive?

In relatively dry air yes. If you include the water cycle, the heat budget is totally different. (Pielke Sr, Spencer)

Joshua Zelinsky, how very dishonest of you. It's Ben Stein who's comparing people who believe in evolution to the people who carried out the Holocaust. And using a whole movie and millions in advertising to do so. But you hadn't noticed?

Despicable.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 04 Jun 2008 #permalink

RE: #78

RE: Gavin, The Grinch who stole Harold' Comment

Here is a comment that the Grinch whacked, because it is empirical evidence that global warming is over. Of course, several more years of data from this site are needed to show for sure that global warming has stopped as well as data from other remote sites in particular those at the sea-land interface.

I also have empirical evidence for another cycle in the Pacific that has period of 60 years. This cycle and the PDO are shifting into a cool phase. Since there are no sunspots, we may be seeing the start another Little Ice Age.

BTW Stop bad-mouthing Roy. We warriors of the Big Ten Tribes
retaliate when one of the tribal members is attacked, and in particular we Illini show'em no mercy and we scalp'em.

Where are your manners? You attack what the man says, but not the man. Barton Paul is always on my case here and elsewhere, but I will never ever bad-mouthing him in a public forum. Eventually, he and everbody else will see the light when the Big Chill kicks in.

RE: #63

"By the way, Spencer's first article on this subject (Part 1) was titled: Atmospheric CO2 Increases: Could the Ocean, Rather Than Mankind, Be the Reason?"

He is probably right. Here is a snippet of data form the Quatsino BC weather station (Elev 7 m, Lat 50 deg N)located near the very northern tip of Vancouver Island for Sept 21 for the 1990-2000 and 2001-2007 intervals.

1990-2000 mean Tmax, 20.4 deg C, mean Tmin, 09.4 deg C.

2001-2007 mean Tmax, 14.5 deg C, mean Tmin, 10.1 deg C.

*******************Delta T, -5.9 deg C, *****Delta T +0.7 deg C.

I have data for the entire record which starts in 1895 for this site.

For this one day, the sunlight is constant over the yearly sampling intervals and the photoperiod is 12L:12D. Tmax is a measure of the sea breeze coming in the Pacific ocean whereas Tmin is the "forest breeze" coming down and out of the old-growth forest on the steep slope that rise up from the sea. This is why the Tmin doesn't change much.

The drop in Tmax was abrupt: for 2000, Tmax 19.5; for 2001, Tmax 14.5; delta T, -5.0 deg C.

Pesumably the temperature drop is due to the PDO shifting into a cool phase after 30 years in a warm phase that started in ca 1970. Data from the lightstation (Elev. 21 m) was similar (delta Tmax, -4.9 deg C) except that delta T for the Tmin metric was -1.9 deg.

Buckets! Smuckets! I say let's get back to the basics: old-fashioned actuarial meterology. And then call'em as we see'em.

I can't wait for Sept 21, 2008. Which way will Tmax go? I don't know, but I'm not holding my breath.

They say global warming stopped 1998. At this site it is 2001 which is probably due to its more northern location. However, 7 years is too short of a time to draw any conclusions. This could just be another curve ball that Mother Nature likes to throw to keep us guessing.

By Harold Pierce Jr (not verified) on 04 Jun 2008 #permalink

Chris O'Neill,

Your link titled "the vast majority of empirical evidence" is to an advocacy website that lists the usual "talking points"

1. CO2 absorbs and emits infra-red radiation.
2. Humans are adding CO2 to the atmosphere.

Therefore AGW is a fact.

Yeah, so what? Not exactly "vast empirical" evidence that we face a catastrophe. The issue is whether the estimates for substantial increases in global temperature are based on verifiable physics or not. I contend that they are not.

Please show me a CO2 climate sensitivity based on first principles (not 1-D oversimplifications, heuristics and climate models).

Chris C, "Atleast your aren't a friggin moron..." well thanks (I think). Don't let a "virtual" compulsion interfere with an "actual" girlfriend.

BPL see above.

Lance, you apparently didn't bother to read that site, or the links from it - because your characterization of it omits so much as to be flat-out incorrect.

The "CO2 Causes Warming" part of that page says:
CO2 causes warming
---
Climate sensitivity is commonly defined as how much global temperature increase if we doubled CO2. So what is our planet's climate sensitivity?

* Annan 2006 uses a variety of independent methods and results from many studies to narrow climate sensitivity to around 2.5 to 3.5°C.
* Tung 2007 calculates climate sensitivity to between 2.3 to 4.1°C using a model-independent analysis of observations.

These studies, using a variety of independent methods studying different datasets, estimate a climate sensitivity around 3.0 degrees. More on climate sensitivity...
---

Note the "model-independent" aprt of one of the quotes.

Note also the link to additinal informatin: "More on climate sensitivity..."
Follow tha tlink, and yo get:
---
Climate sensitivity from empirical observations

There have been a number of studies that calculate climate sensitivity directly from empirical observations, independent of models.

* Hansen 1993 looks at the last 20,000 years when the last ice age ended and empirically calculates a climate sensitivity of 3 ± 1°C.
* Lorius 1990 examined Vostok ice core data and calculates a range of 3 to 4°C.
* Hoffert 1992 reconstructs two paleoclimate records (one colder, one warmer) to yield a range 1.4 to 3.2°C.
* Gregory 2002 used observations of ocean heat uptake to calculate a minimum climate sensitivity of 1.5.
* Tung 2007 performs statistical analysis on 20th century temperature response to the solar cycle to calculate a range 2.3 to 4.1°C.
---

Non-model based, "(not 1-D oversimplifications, heuristics and climate models)" and model-confirming evidence, at the site that you dismissed as not containing such.

The drop in Tmax was abrupt: for 2000, Tmax 19.5; for 2001, Tmax 14.5; delta T, -5.0 deg C. Pesumably the temperature drop is due to the PDO shifting into a cool phase after 30 years in a warm phase that started in ca 1970.

Harold, please stop this. you are embarassing yourself in a way, that is painful to me! (even though your on the other side in this discussion!)

a difference (it is not a "drop"!!!!) of 5°C in Tmax from Sept 21, 2000 and Sept 21, 2001 at a SINGLE station, has absolutely ZERO connection to the pacific DECADAL oscillation!

it just means that the day in 2000 was warm while it was a cooler day in 2001. it is called WEATHER and has ZERO relationship to CLIMATE.
Tmax jumps of 5°C are the norm even from one day to the next (and that temperature at least is somewhat correlated!)
we had such a jump just this sunday (hot) to monday (cold).

I can't wait for Sept 21, 2008. Which way will Tmax go? I don't know, but I'm not holding my breath.

it depends on whether it will be a sunny day or a rainy day or a windy day! what if it is a stormy day?

Lee,

Not one of those is a "first principles" derivation based on the actual physical dynamics of the atmosphere.

Anon 2006 is just a statistical analysis of other studies none of which are based on first principles.

Tung 2007 attempts to deduce greenhouse gas climate sensitivity by analyzing the response to solar forcings. Not a very direct or conclusive method.

The others have similar issues and are based on a variety of questionable proxies and hand waving guestimates.

If you actually know of a study that rigorously produces a climate forcing of greater than 1.5C using verifiable and reproducible 3-D real time physical principles I would be very interested in seeing it.

Ahh, Lance, so that's your game.

You ask for an impossible and absurdly unnecessary thing, and then declare that because the impossible and unnecessary hasn't been done, that we don't know enough.

Lee,

Since when is asking for a physics based derivation of CO2 climate sensitivity "absurd" "impossible" or "unnecessary"?

The studies you point to make generalizations and presumptions that circularly reinforce their conclusions.

"fist principles' you said, Lance. There are many physics-based derivations of climate sensitivity that include parameterizations or measured values. Similarly, there are several empirical derivatins deriving from measurign the response of the system to a past perturbation.

If I cant derive the speed of light from first principles, or the gravitional constant from first principles, it would nonetheless be absurd and perverse off me to deny the measured values for those while waiting for them to be demonstrated from first principles.

Models are useful even when they include parameterizations, and derivations are useful even when are forced to include measured values that don't derive completely from first principle.

climatepatrol writes:

***Tyndal's lab work wasn't conclusive?***
In relatively dry air yes. If you include the water cycle, the heat budget is totally different. (Pielke Sr, Spencer)

Yes, the presence of water vapor amplifies the temperature increase due to carbon dioxide. Google "Clausius-Clapeyron" and see what you get.

Lance writes:

Yeah, so what? Not exactly "vast empirical" evidence that we face a catastrophe. The issue is whether the estimates for substantial increases in global temperature are based on verifiable physics or not. I contend that they are not.

Please show me a CO2 climate sensitivity based on first principles (not 1-D oversimplifications, heuristics and climate models).

Lance, any mathematical treatment of a physical process is a model. Models of global warming ARE based on first principles. Go read Manabe and Strickland 1964 or Manabe and Wetherall 1967. Those were just one-column atmosphere models, no attempt to model wind patterns or horizontal transport. And they came up with 2 K from doubling CO2. If you really want to get simpler than that try here:

http://members.aol.com/bpl1960/PlanetTemps.html

The merry-go-round goes round and round. Unfortunately the denialist are very much the "winning" side at this time - outside of Europe are there any solid policies from industrialised nations to do anything serious about AGW? Even in Europe? In the face of near future economic pressures the will to act on GHG emissions look quite weak. Voters want cheap fuel and low electricity costs and that demand far exceeds the demand for action on climate change.

The whole DDT ban thing looks to me like a deliberate effort to tar TreeHuggists of the past (in the most extreme way - claiming the mass murder of millions of families as given fact) in order to turn people away from their their present and future policies - with only cherry picked references to the real and complex history of Malaria control and DDT's decreasing role in it. Anyone resorting to such tactics is fully deserving of Tim's attention. Calling people mass-murderers in a "game" of political mud-slinging is perfectly acceptable but pointing the finger at people who do so is unforgivable eh Harold? If they're on your side, that is.

Guys.
I have to point this out from time to time.
It is not our job to hopefully offer up one tasty bit of evidence after another to be spurned, as though we were trying to coax a reluctant cat to stop turning up its nose. No matter what evidence you provide, it will always be possible to say "Nope, not convinced". There is no way to prove the future course of anything based on its past behavior, no matter what; the folks demanding that you do so are asking the impossible and at some level they must know it. The proper result after you have laid out the underlying physical mechanism is to ask, "What evidence are you looking for which is missing? Specifically what?" I've been asking that for years, often in this august venue, and never once gotten a coherent, specific answer. Just some vague handwaving allusion to "more evidence" if anything.

z:

It's like Pielke Jr.'s falsifiability game, except with the roles reversed, and except this time they've indeed failed to provide any answer.

Us unwashed masses: What evidence for AGW are you looking for which is missing?

Enlightened inactivist: Well... any evidence.

Us: Well, we've provided lots of evidence, but each time you've just brushed it away with "not convincing". what exsctly are you looking for, for Pete's sake?

Inactivist: I told you, any evidence! Maybe I'll spew an entire 10 paragraphs here saying that I just want "any evidence".

Us: What is wrong with you? Why can't you be more specific?

Inactivist: Any evidence, any evidence, any evidence, any evidence, any evidence, any evidence, la la la la la la la ...

Another inactivist: Hey look at this new new talking point! Everything you knew about AGW is a Lie!!!!!!!

Us: Jeez, yet another talking point. Back to our question: what specific evidence, specifically, of AGW are you looking for?

Inactivist: Argh, you members of the Global Warming Church keep trying to persecute us and call us names! Persecution! Persecution! Look, just give us a real argument that's convincing, will you?

Us: What exactly will you consider as "convincing"? That was our question all along.

Inactivist: You just hate free speech and free thought, right? Why do you hate freedom? We just want something convincing! Convincing! Convincing! Convincing! Convincing! Convincing! Convincing! Convincing! Convincing! Convincing! Convincing! Convincing! Convincing! Convincing! Convincing! Convincing! Convincing! Convincing! Convincing! Convincing! Convincing! Convincing!

Yet another inactivist: The warmists are a bunch of pinkos who are the direct descendants of Karl Marx and Adolf Hitler and The Father Below. Check out this essay published in this LaRouchie publication!

#81 Harold...
You're an idiot...the first sunspot of cycle 24 was on Jan 8/2008.
By the way, the world does not revolve around a remote lighthouse on the northern end of Vancouver Island.
Get off your lazy butt and crunch some numbers of..say the North Slope of Alaska.

@Lance #65

The idea of common decent has as its only possible alternative successive acts of magical destruction followed by magical acts of creation over and over again with the net effect of organisms that "appear" to be more and more complex.

How exactly you would use empirical evidence to demonstrate such an alternative theory is highly problematic to say the least.

One word: INDEL
See "Initial sequence of the chimpanzee genome and comparison with the human genome"
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v437/n7055/full/nature04072.html
As 2005 the sequence of the Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium analysed and compared 2,4 x 109 chromosome bases pairs of both chimpansees or humans. This resulted in a difference of 1,23 % between the two genoms. This figure of an evolution of just 1,23% between chimpanzee and human did take into account the exchange of certain bases under evolution conditions. It did not take into account INDELS (insertion and deletion of entire parts of a gene). "Destruction followed by magical acts of creation?" To me this sounds much like the question "How did it happen?" Taking into account such indels, the chimpansee consortium reckoneed a difference of addtional 3 %. More comparativ analysises resulted in ever increasing differences between the genetic pools of chimpansees and humans. (Cohen 2007, The 1% Myth, Science)

Not just indels increase the difference between the two genoms. Entire genes are being duplicated or eliminated. Hahn et al. (2006) calculated that such mechanisms result in a differrence of 6.4%. Hahn et al. demonstrated that the speed of genetic upgrading and downgrading/losses increases (under evolutionary conditions) among primates compared to other mammals, most particularly among hominidae. They conclude that 678 genes were added to the genom of human beings since its supposed emergence from the chimpansees 5 to 6 Million years ago. On the other hand, the chimpansee genome "lost" 740 genes. This means that for 6.4% (1418 out of 22000) of human genes, there is no direct match in the genome of the chimpansee. [Geschwind et al. 2006]

Food for thought or suggestion for discussion: If such evolution/creation happens during long periods of time, we call it "scientific" and a process of evolution. If it is supposed to have happened suddenly sometime in the past, we call it "creation". If it is being observed now, we call it unscientific, a miracle or a pipe dream. As my medical doctor confirms: Miracles do happen that cannot be explained by established medicine! I interviewed a man in Ukraine who showed me a picture published in a newspaper which was him before and after the healing process. From a toothless and bone sick junkie to a well-fed, healthy man with new bone structures, jawline and teeth. Call it evolution, call it creation, call it miracle. No matter, it's the same...Cool eh?

RE: #97

Quatsino is just one of a number of sites I am checking out.

Go to Tombstone, and I'll be waiting for you at the CO2 corral.

By Harold Pierce Jr (not verified) on 05 Jun 2008 #permalink

RE: #90

Go over to ICECAP and check out Joe's latest graphs.

Also check the pic of the sun: No spots!

By Harold Pierce Jr (not verified) on 05 Jun 2008 #permalink

RE: #89

Air pressure and the wind are very important factors that influence the transport of enormous amounts of water vapor into atmosphere. Overland transpiration is also important where there is much vegation i.e., jungles, large forest, wheat and corn fields, etc.

A hurricane is good example of how air pressure and the wind interact to transport water into the atmosphere. As the hurricane move from the east Atlantic to the Caribbean, it speed of rotation increases due the Coriolis effect. As the speed of rotation increases the air pressure starts to drop and wind speed increases.

When the hurricane comes over the Caribbean, the warm water flash evporates into the air. The nitrogen, oxygen and argon of the wind are like little molecular sandblasters that just blow water molecules right of the surface of the water.

When the hurricane makes land fall, the increased drag with the land slows it rotation and there is no warm water.

By Harold Pierce Jr (not verified) on 05 Jun 2008 #permalink

@Barton Paul Levenson, #89

Yes, the presence of water vapor amplifies the temperature increase due to carbon dioxide. Google "Clausius-Clapeyron" and see what you get

skepticalscience is what I get.
"Basic theory, observations and climate models all show the increase in water vapor is around 6 to 7.5% per degree Celsius warming of the lower atmosphere..."
...but they don't predict that precipitation also increases by the same amount. Btw, more CO2, more heat, more water vapor - more heat - more water vapor - when is it supposed to stop? It doesn't make sense to me. But comment no 2 (by Victor) makes sense to me. Stephen E. Schwartz, 2007 has a different approach including the water cycle just as Pielke Sr. suggests. When it comes to the function of a feedback amplifying the "basic" climate sensitivity of CO2, there is a controversal hungarian paper Greenhouse effect in semi-transparent planetary atmospheres.
All of that is consistent with Roy Spencer's position who is being personally attacked by some here.

If such evolution/creation happens during long periods of time, we call it "scientific" and a process of evolution. If it is supposed to have happened suddenly sometime in the past, we call it "creation". If it is being observed now, we call it unscientific, a miracle or a pipe dream. As my medical doctor confirms: Miracles do happen that cannot be explained by established medicine! I interviewed a man in Ukraine who showed me a picture published in a newspaper which was him before and after the healing process. From a toothless and bone sick junkie to a well-fed, healthy man with new bone structures, jawline and teeth. Call it evolution, call it creation, call it miracle. No matter, it's the same...Cool eh?

cp, this sounds like the msot irrational argument that i ever heard on this topic! (and that is quite an achievement, as we are discussing creationism...)

let me sum this up:

because you saw a newspaper picture, you believe that miracles happen in medecin. (we are not talking about 1 in a 100 chances of success in an operation, but real unexplainable stuff)

from that you conclude, that miracles (or "creation") is a good explanation for tiny differences in DNA between animals. at least as good as the scientific theory of evolution.

and then you move on to the conclusion, that a similar phanomenon might be the real reason behind climate change, and not CO2 added to the atmosphere by humans. (in case there even is something like a climate change at all..)

did i get this right?

Btw, more CO2, more heat, more water vapor - more heat - more water vapor - when is it supposed to stop?

i am not an expert in this field, but i guess it doesn t stop.
the water vapor feedback looks like a perfect example of limited growth to me.

qwhile it will continue to grow for ever, it will converge towards a line that it will not reach.

CO2 adds temperature, which adds water vapor, which adds less tempearture, which adds less water vapor which adds less temperature, which adds less water vapor, ...

http://serc.carleton.edu/images/introgeo/models/AnalModelFig.jpg

Lance:

Not one of those is a "first principles" derivation based on the actual physical dynamics of the atmosphere.

Thanks for the strawman. They weren't meant to be, which you would have noticed if you had bothered reading my actual words: "the vast majority of EMPIRICAL evidence".

Annan 2006 is just a statistical analysis of other studies

His analysis allows the confidence interval from various empirically-derived ranges to be combined into one range narrower than the source ranges.

Tung 2007 attempts to deduce greenhouse gas climate sensitivity by analyzing the response to solar forcings. Not a very direct

What do you mean by not very direct? You could say that deriving troposphere temperature from atmosperic radiation is not very direct but so what?

or conclusive method.

Thank you for your opinion. You've written a paper justifying your opinion I take it.

The others have similar issues

The others are based on completely different data and methods. IF there are issues then the issues are different, not similar.

and are based on a variety of questionable proxies

Sorry, they're not all just based on proxies and even if they were you'd have the amazing coincidence that the whole variety lead to the conclusion range of probably > 1.5K/2XCO2, therefore every last one of them is questionable. No doubt you've written papers questioning all of these proxies.

and hand waving guestimates.

If that's all it takes to get those papers published in those journals then it should be a snap for you to get your opinions published, Lance. Let us know what your publications are and you will have a ready supply of avid readers.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 05 Jun 2008 #permalink

@ Sod

let me sum this up:
because you saw a newspaper picture, you believe that miracles happen in medecin.

That's not what I wrote. Please read it again if you want to jump into the discussion.

from that you conclude, that miracles (or "creation") is a good explanation for tiny differences in DNA between animals. at least as good as the scientific theory of evolution.

No. "Destruction followed by magical acts of creation?" was a quote from another reader as a possible alternative explanation for the general theory of evolution. Well if "mother nature" randomly adds 678 genes and removes 740 genes, isn't this like magical acts of creation (plus the more usual entropy)?

I conclude that one could just as well say that 678 new genes were created/evolved and 740 got lost during a timespan of millions of years IF the theory of evolution is true. Some believe this randomly happened because it is "just a tiny difference in DNA", others believe there was a designer, again others believe it happened all of a sudden (creationists). What is easier to believe? What is more rational, that those megabites out of 740 new genes is "just a tiny random flip in DNA??

and then you move on to the conclusion, that a similar phanomenon might be the real reason behind climate change, and not CO2 added to the atmosphere by humans. (in case there even is something like a climate change at all...did i get this right?)

No, you got it all wrong. That's a different comment post with totally different points raised.

cp:

more CO2, more heat, more water vapor - more heat - more water vapor - when is it supposed to stop?

Obviously someone whose education never covered feedback loops (e.g. engineers that actually get a mathematical treatment of what goes on get such an education).

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 05 Jun 2008 #permalink

I said:

> Another inactivist: Hey look at this new new talking point! Everything you knew about AGW is a Lie!!!!!!!

And Harold Pierce Jr. said:

> Go over to ICECAP and check out Joe's latest graphs.

> Also check the pic of the sun: No spots!

Wahahahahaha. I think I can now proclaim myself a Level IV Junior Goracle.

apparently climatepatrol is not aware that feedback amplification can have a gain less than 1.

Fairly basic piece of missing knowledge for someone who thinks he knows better than the entire field of science.

@Sod
Your explanation of the feedback mechanism convinces me in principle. It has a ceiling over a for ever flattening growth line. However, it is just this positive feedback loop that could be offset by more precipitation, thus cooling. (Spencer, Schwartz, Pielke, Miskolsci, only to name a few)
@Chris
Right. Nevertheless, my "moron" brain can take Sod's explanation.:-)

someone who thinks he knows better than the entire field of science

C'mon. Please, give me a break! Deltoid does not represent the entire field of science. If you could just look at the papers I linked next time. And if you have a feedback of 0.75 over the globe, couldn't you get a runaway feedback over the poles in theory with enough global haze? Those models!

cp:

if you have a feedback of 0.75 over the globe, couldn't you get a runaway feedback over the poles in theory with enough global haze?

This would imply an unbounded difference between the poles and elsewhere. I don't think the atmosphere would allow it to be unbounded, not even on Venus.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 05 Jun 2008 #permalink

climatepatrol writes:

skepticalscience is what I get. "Basic theory, observations and climate models all show the increase in water vapor is around 6 to 7.5% per degree Celsius warming of the lower atmosphere..." ...but they don't predict that precipitation also increases by the same amount.

Yes, very true. You still have 6-7.5% more water vapor in the air at any given time.

Btw, more CO2, more heat, more water vapor - more heat - more water vapor - when is it supposed to stop? It doesn't make sense to me.

Do you understand the difference between a diverging series and a converging series? An example of a diverging series would be 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5... which continues without limit, getting a larger and larger sum as it goes on.

An example of a converging series would be 1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16... As in the first series, there are an infinite number of terms, yet the total never rises above 2. Water vapor amplification of CO2 warming is an example of a converging series.

But comment no 2 (by Victor) makes sense to me. Stephen E. Schwartz, 2007 has a different approach including the water cycle just as Pielke Sr. suggests. When it comes to the function of a feedback amplifying the "basic" climate sensitivity of CO2, there is a controversal hungarian paper Greenhouse effect in semi-transparent planetary atmospheres.

If you mean Miskolczi's paper, it's riddled with mistakes. The man confuses emissivity with emission, uses terms from the top of the atmosphere in constructing his surface balance, falsely assumes that modern climate models use Milne's 1922 infinite-atmosphere model, etc., etc. It never should have passed peer review, and I have to wonder what the people at that journal were thinking of. Note, too, that if Miskolczi's theory was true, there would never have been any ice ages.

The same reason the Ponder the Maunder girl is not worth replying to applies to all the trolls here.

It's not just that non-scientists don't have a lot to add to the climate change discussion, which is true collectively, and less true the closer you approximate the scientific norm, which is focusing on a small area, not pretending it covers more than it does, and being scrupulous about everything from your sources of evidence to your chain of reasoning.

It's that a non-scientists can more easily do the easy - refine or rephrase or buttress the scientific consensus - it gets to be that way because it's passed more scientists' personal filters, and they/re mostly good.

What is hard is to do the hard - authoritatively overturn a broad consensus in a science despite not knowing the basics.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 06 Jun 2008 #permalink

Chris ONeil,

Your sarcasm aside your only point is that all of the "empirical" studies to which you refer come to similar conclusions therefore they must be correct in the mean. The "echo chamber" currently existing in climate science has produced the sort of plateau that occurs from time to time in various scientific communities.

Anon's is the best example of this effect. He chooses a variety of studies that confirm his bias and then performs Bayesian statistical analysis to add yet another "study" to the "mountain" of empirical evidence confirming the "consensus".

Lance,

Which studies do you think he should have included for 20th century warming, volcanic cooling and last glacial maximum that weren't included in his analysis?

By jodyaberdein (not verified) on 06 Jun 2008 #permalink

Also,

Presumably your disdain for such horribly Bayesian methods would lead to you demanding synthetic blood were you to be unwell enough in the right sort of way?

http://www.badscience.net/?p=683

Jody

By jodyaberdein (not verified) on 06 Jun 2008 #permalink

@Chris
Thank you.

@Barton
I didn't know it is called that way but...0.5 feedback results in a temperature of 1K + ...2K. and a sensitivity of 0.75 results in 3.75K if I got it right. The empirical research of the heat budget of the water cycle with its three aggregates is still young and ambigious, thus neglected in AR4 (scientific understanding low). And Roy Spencer is probably not more biased than most other climatologists are when it comes to clouds and ocean heat uptake. It's just that he is on the other side of the debate. Thank you for your time for now.

jodeyaberdine,

I didn't say I had a problem with Bayesian statistical methods. The point was that you can use the finest statistical methods you like but if the data you are analyzing is biased your analysis will be biased as well.

As far as which other studies should have been analyzed this is also a diversion, just because I can't rattle off studies that come to different conclusions does not mean that the studies used were valid.

Spontaneous generation was the prevailing theory of the origin of life for centuries. I suppose you would have demanded that anyone that didn't buy into the "consensus" was wrong because they couldn't point to studies that gave evidence for an alternative theory. Eventually Mr. Darwin pointed out a few things and spontaneous generation was an embarrassing relic.

The difference in this case is that the phenomenon itself needs no complex explanation beyond the fact that the observed fluctuations of temperature fall well within the bounds of natural variability. Thus the amount of heat added to the system by anthropogenic CO2 is not empirically demonstrated to be influencing the system to the point of being distinguishable from the effect of the complex and poorly understood factors that give rise to what is often called "noise" in this forum..

Re:119

'I suppose you would have demanded that anyone that didn't buy into the "consensus" was wrong because they couldn't point to studies that gave evidence for an alternative theory'

Presumably as opposed to denying the consensus simply because I didn't believe it, or want to believe it, or because it caused some cognitive dissonance with other of my strongly held beliefs.

I wouldn't say they were wrong, I'd just say they had no evidence to support their beliefs.

There's an episode of a program called Brass Eye, made by a guy called Chris Morris. I think it's the paedophilia one. A very famous UK radio DJ actually says: 'it's a scientific fact. There's no evidence for this but it's a scientific fact'. You are starting to sound a bit like a Chris morris character.

By jodyaberdein (not verified) on 06 Jun 2008 #permalink

Moving to another set of goalposts, Lance says:

your only point is that all of the "empirical" studies to which you refer come to similar conclusions therefore they must be correct in the mean.

That wasn't the point. The point was that there are several independent sources of empirical estimates which deliberately ignorant people ignore when they say the climate sensitivity estimate only comes from climate models.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 07 Jun 2008 #permalink

@Lance:

Spontaneous generation was the prevailing theory of the origin of life for centuries. I suppose you would have demanded that anyone that didn't buy into the "consensus" was wrong because they couldn't point to studies that gave evidence for an alternative theory. Eventually Mr. Darwin pointed out a few things and spontaneous generation was an embarrassing relic.

Nope; Chucky actually produced the study that gave evidence for a mechanism for an alternative theory (a theory, by the way, that had been around for some considerable time).

The difference between then and now is that there were no studies providing evidence for the "theory" of spontaneous generation; that "theory" had not earned its right in the scientific sun by weight of evidence, but as the default option for godfearing scientists.

The theory of AGW is based upon more than a century of solid scientific study.

You claim that there is nothing outside the bounds of natural variability in what is happening now? When in the past has CO2 increased at a rate of c60ppmbv per century? When in the past has temperature increased at a rate of 0.2K/decade?

By Robin Levett FCD (not verified) on 08 Jun 2008 #permalink

@Lance:

When in the past has temperature increased at a rate of 0.2K/decade?

When in the past has temperature increased at a rate of 0.2K/decade?

That, for the hard of understanding, refers to trends in global mean temperatures, not to decadal variation.

By Robin Levett (not verified) on 08 Jun 2008 #permalink

@Sod Your explanation of the feedback mechanism convinces me in principle. It has a ceiling over a for ever flattening growth line. However, it is just this positive feedback loop that could be offset by more precipitation, thus cooling. (Spencer, Schwartz, Pielke, Miskolsci, only to name a few) @Chris Right. Nevertheless, my "moron" brain can take Sod's explanation.:-)

what do you mean by "could be"?

ps: a reply from me is still awaiting moderation on your blog.

cp:

"Could be": where the scientific understanding is not generally known as "high", it is subject to further research

It's nice to have a "high" scientific understanding of climate sensitivity, but it would be silly to think that lack of such high understanding makes any difference to how we respond to knowledge of the observed range of climate sensitivity.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 09 Jun 2008 #permalink

When in the past has temperature increased at a rate of 0.2K/decade? -Robin Levett

Since we only have reliable temperature records accurate to this precision for less than a century it is impossible to say with any level of certainty that this rate of increase is anything unusual let alone alarming.

Doubtless you will now appeal to various "proxy" studies which we can discuss if you like, but that is not the same issue as reliable instrumental temperature measurement.

@Lance (#127):

Since we only have reliable temperature records accurate to this precision for less than a century it is impossible to say with any level of certainty that this rate of increase is anything unusual let alone alarming.

Doubtless you will now appeal to various "proxy" studies which we can discuss if you like, but that is not the same issue as reliable instrumental temperature measurement.

Wrong talking point, Lance; you made the claim that "the observed fluctuations of temperature fall well within the bounds of natural variability". It's for you to support your claim. Yet you're seriously saying that you don't know what natural variability is? Where does that leave your claim?

By Robin Levett (not verified) on 09 Jun 2008 #permalink

What, you mean to question a claim simply because somebody cannot produce any evidence for it?

After all, people have only been doing science for the last say four hundred years, so it's impossible to say with any level of certainty well pretty much anything really.

By jodyaberdein (not verified) on 09 Jun 2008 #permalink

Robin Levett,

You are the one making the extraordinary claim that 0.2k/Decade is remarkable (let alone acurately observed) not I. It is therefore incumbent upon you to provide proof. I made the point that there was only proxy evidence for temperatures before the last century and that we could discuss those proxies if you like for there are many proxies that show warmer temperatures during the Holocene than present.

Don't you get a little tired of puffing and posing as the defender of science, the planet and all that is holy against evil "deniers"? I always find it refreshing when someone on this blog replies in good faith and responds with courtesy and deference.

You might try it some time. The planet and science would probably survive you putting down the sword of righteousness for a post or two.

Yes Robin,

Please provide us with proof, i.e. actual thermometer observations, of the global mean temperature over the last thousand years before you go off with your wild wild claims. Nothing less will do, at least if we are to have any level of certainty.

By jodyaberdein (not verified) on 09 Jun 2008 #permalink

@Lance(#130):

You are the one making the extraordinary claim that 0.2k/Decade is remarkable (let alone acurately observed) not I

No; I make the claim that 0.2K/decade has been observed. That was in response to your positive claim that current temperature increases are well within natural variability. I merely ask you to show what natural variability actually is. If you want to withdraw your claim, then fine.

I will ignore your discourtesy, but certainly don't intend to show "deference" to you.

By Robin Levett (not verified) on 09 Jun 2008 #permalink

Robin Levett,

I don't believe I was discourteous in my post. Apologies if you were somehow offended by my straightforward remarks.

Since accurate thermometric records exist for only about 100 years your "question" as to when has a 0.2K/Decade rate of increase been "observed" is rather fatuous considering the 4 billion year history of the earth.

You are quite right however in stating that I cannot positively claim to know any particular decadal variability from the distant past based on thermometry, but since I never claimed to be able to do so that is rather beside the point isn't it?

Here is what I did say "...the phenomenon itself needs no complex explanation beyond the fact that the observed fluctuations of temperature fall well within the bounds of natural variability." Since we know from geologic analysis of past periods that the earth has been much warmer and much colder it follows quite directly that the earth's mean temperature excursions of the last century fall within those bounds.

Now had the temperature climbed 12K over the last hundred years we could certainly say that something was up but when the average increase over the last one hundred years is less than one degree I think we can safely say that there isn't a crisis afoot. Using metrics like K/Decade is somewhat facile. The temperature outside my window here in central Indiana has increased 7 degrees Kelvin in the last four hours, a rate of increase that translates to a 153,300 K/Decade. No one in my neighborhood looks too worried.

You are the one attempting to move the goal posts to "decadal variability" a claim I did not make and one you cannot support without appeals to proxy studies.

As I said we can discuss these studies and your implied claim that they exclude such decadal fluctuations if you like but you have no legitimate basis to claim I am spewing "talking points" and thus my claim stands intact.

jodyaberdein,

What is the problem that you and many other blog posters have with capitalization and proper spacing? May I call you Jody Aberdein or would that make you look less cool or cyber-savvy? While sarcasm can often highlight a point in a humorous and enlightening way I find your remarks fall somewhat short of those goals. Do you have an actual point to make or do you just enjoy making infantile noise?

@Lance:

If you can't recognise discourtesy in yourself you have little call to allege discourtesy in others.

Your original claim was that the current temperature fluctuations were within natural variability. It now seems that you mean that current observed temperature levels are within the bounds of natural variability. On that we can agree; I have no problem with the idea that the earth has been both warmer and colder than it is currently. It is irrelevant to the debate, but you can have that point; perhaps you could be clearer next time, since those less charitable than myself might have accused you of moving the goalposts...

Even so, I can't see how you can make even that case if you don't rely upon those proxies that you dismiss as unreliable.

As for your comments on the rate of 0.2K/decade (not 0.2k - that's 200 degrees); you might, had you read my clarificatory post at #123 (immediately after #122, where I said:

When in the past has temperature increased at a rate of 0.2K/decade?

That, for the hard of understanding, refers to trends in global mean temperatures, not to decadal variation.

have realised that I am explicitly not talking about decadal variations. I don't care whether you express it as a rate of 2K/century, 20K/millennium or whatever - degrees K per decade seems to be the usual unit used.

By Robin Levett (not verified) on 10 Jun 2008 #permalink

Hmm. Points?

'I suppose you would have demanded that anyone that didn't buy into the "consensus" was wrong because they couldn't point to studies that gave evidence for an alternative theory.'

or: 'first I'm going to complain about this irksome requirement for evidence that you scientists seem to have.'

Combined with:

'Since we only have reliable temperature records accurate to this precision for less than a century it is impossible to say with any level of certainty that this rate of increase is anything unusual let alone alarming.'

or: 'That's not to say I can't accuse others of having no evidence and therefore of having no point'

Combined with:

'The difference in this case is that the phenomenon itself needs no complex explanation beyond the fact that the observed fluctuations of temperature fall well within the bounds of natural variability'

or: Notwithstanding, I can still make authoritative statments about historic temperatures, the same temperatures I accuse others of lacking the evidence to comment upon.

By jodyaberdein (not verified) on 10 Jun 2008 #permalink

Jody and Robin,

I needn't appeal to proxies studies to know that the earth has been much colder and much warmer at various times. The area where I live was covered by an ice sheet over a kilometer thick during the last glacial period and there was once a vast tropical inland sea that covered much of the southern US.

Also the word fluctuate does not imply a rate of any kind just the movement between disparate points. Merriam Webster's online dictionary defines fluctuate thusly

1 : to shift back and forth uncertainly
2 : to ebb and flow in waves

Notice there is nothing that implies a rapid, or slow for that matter, period for those waves.

You would have to twist pretty hard to imply that I was making a claim about the rate of change between those points. No charity is required to interpret my remarks as I intended them.

@Lance:

Errm; I hate to be the one to break this to you, but in the context of temperature measurement, ice sheets and inland tropical seas are proxies.

As for your rapid backpedalling from your claim about temperature fluctuations - the whole point of fluctuations is that they are changes; so what is interesting about a change (as opposed to a level) other than the rate of that change?

By Robin Levett (not verified) on 11 Jun 2008 #permalink

"Natural variability" is a meaninglessly vague term.

Lance appears to be saying that the current warming is not outside the bounds of unforced variability. The evidence suggests otherwise, but suppose that unforced variability were large enough to explain the current warming. If this were the case, it would mean that the CO2 signal (and the true sensitivity) would be very hard to extract from background variation. As a result, we could not exclude very high climate sensitivities. It would NOT mean that climate sensitivity is low.

But again, there's no evidence for the claim that the current warming is unforced variability.

Robin,

I was wondering if you would try to claim that I was using "proxy" information. I guess you could say that any observation was based on "proxy" information since you have to interpret the light waves, sound waves etc. caused by the phenomenon. This sort of epistemological retrenchment is the refuge of the desperate.

Seeing vast inland fresh water lakes flanked by flat plains is pretty direct evidence of glacial melting but I suppose you could claim that the Great Lakes are a "proxy". The same for massive fossil deposits of tropical sea creatures I guess, but you are stretching the word "proxy" a bit out of shape don't you think?

The context of "proxy studies" in our discussion was in reference to much more subtle and debatable proxies like tree rings and coral fossil isotopes.

@Lance:

Perhaps you don't understand what proxies are?

It isn't me that considers proxy measurements an inaccurate indication of past temperatures; it's you. I have no problem with calling everything that isn't a direct measurement of temperature a proxy measurement.

The fact that ice-sheets are evidence only that the local temperature was at or below zero doesn't stop them being a proxy; an accurate, but not a very precise, proxy. But your more interesting comment relates to a "vast inland tropical sea". How exactly do you know it was a tropical sea? Did you directly measure the temperature of the water?

By Robin Levett (not verified) on 11 Jun 2008 #permalink

Robin,

"How exactly do you know it was a tropical sea? Did you directly measure the temperature of the water?"

See here.

Lance, you claimed a "there was once a vast tropical inland sea that covered much of the southern US."

Your link talks about a tropical sea that was at what is now Ontario - not the southern . But that's a nit. More on target, it seems the ancient sea you linked was tropical, literally. As in, in the tropics. Continental drift is not evidence for changing temperatures.

And the 'proxy' issue is still open. Other than the appeal to CBC as authority, how do you know that sea was tropical?.

"More on target, it seems the ancient sea you linked was tropical, literally. As in, in the tropics"

Ha! you have unwittingly put the final nail in the coffin of the global warming hoax. I've been through the ipcc reports and all the other propaganda, and never once is the possibility that the current warming trend is merely an artifact of continental drift even mentioned, let alone eliminated. why would such a known mechanism of climate change NOT be addressed, when such other competitive hypotheses as solar output and urban heat islands are? i think we know the answer; the ipcc does not want to open that door a crack or the wind of truth would sweep in!

Re 143:

So what sort of timescale do plate tectonics operate on compared with the sort of timescale we have reliabe paleoclimate data for? Where were the major plates at the beginning of this dataset as compared with today do you think?

Jody

By jodyaberdein (not verified) on 14 Jun 2008 #permalink

Re143:

Adendum: Presumably you discounted pages 449 and 450 of the AR4:1 chapter on paleoclimate?

By jodyaberdein (not verified) on 14 Jun 2008 #permalink

@Jody (#144-145):

Blue on blue is to be discouraged...although admittedly parody is increasingly difficult to recognise.

@Lance (#141):

Your answer then is "by examination of proxies". I differ slightly from Lee, in that the sea is known to have been tropical by examination inter alia of proxies; still, however, he has a point; I can show that modern day global temperatures vary by 75K or so in a single year if I'm allowed to include temperatures both from the Antarctic and the Tropics.

By Robin Levett (not verified) on 14 Jun 2008 #permalink

Robin,

I see you continue to stretch the definition of "proxy" out of shape. You could just as easily argue that the expansion of mercury in thermometers was actually a "proxy" for temperature increase. Also that our nerve endings respond to increased temperature by sending chemical-electrical signals to the brain and therefore there is no such thing as "direct" evidence for temperature or any other physical parameter for that matter.

z,

I see you crack yourself up.

@Lance (#147):

I was right - you don't understand what the term "proxy" means. Without trying to give a formal definition - because I'm not a climatologist and don't even play one on TV - a proxy variable is something that varies with temperature, from which temperature can be inferred. Usually, it means a proxy for instrumental measurement; which clearly isn't available for the periods during which there were glaciers and inland seas over what is now the North American continent.

By Robin Levett (not verified) on 17 Jun 2008 #permalink

Robin Levett,

The proxy studies I first mentioned measure minute difference in various things (tree ring widths, isotope levels in coral depositions) that have questionable linkage to temperature.

Looking outside and seeing a foot of snow is pretty direct evidence of cold temperatures but I suppose you could call it a proxy for cold temperatures. The same for vast fresh water lakes adjacent to flat plains that show the movements of ancient glaciers indicated much colder temperatures in the past.

I think you see the difference but insist on playing word games rather than cede the point.

@Lance (#149):

I think you see the difference but insist on playing word games rather than cede the point.

Of course I see the difference - one of your chosen proxies is binary; temperatures are either above or below 273K. The other? Well, until you produce the basis upon which it was determined to be a tropical sea, I shall continue to believe that the determination was on the basis of the fossilised organisms found at that geological stratum.

So far as I am aware you have never looked outside the window and seen either glaciers or a tropical sea covering the North American landmass either in glacial times or 400 million years ago.

How difficult is it to understand that any inferences as to historical temperatures not based on looking up instrumental measurements are based on proxies of one kind or another?

The linkage between tree rings and temperature, by the way, is hardly "questionable"; the trick is accounting for the confounding factors. Ditto for isotopic ratios in coral.

By Robin Levett (not verified) on 18 Jun 2008 #permalink

Climatepatrol at #57 above said:

"Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research programme."

and links to (groan) 'Karl Popper in falsifiability of evolution'.

The manipulation of Popper's falsifiability premise as it applies to scientific methods is becoming rather mendacious. Whilst falsifiability has a powerful contribution to make, it is not as all-powerful in scientific endeavour as some would have us believe.

Popper is not dead (metaphorically), but he is rather wan these days.

Nudging Popper to the side somewhat are Bayesian techniques, which are becoming a powerful adjunct in scientific methodology. They were briefly described in an article in New Scientist last week. Although the article is behind a paywall, the issue should be easily found in anyone's local library.

The gist of the piece is that rigid Popperian falsifiability cannot be applied blanket-fashion to disciplines such as evolution or AGW, and that Bayesian techniques can better describe the probability that a certain theory is better supported than others, in such disciplines.

I am not an overly-enthusiastic proponent of Bayesianism myself (that may simply be a historical reflection of my education), but it has some merit, and at the least it shows that Popperian falsifiability should be used with a little more care than has been in the past.

I could be a little more blunt about this matter, and particularly about those who twist it for denialist reasons, but for now I'll leave the readers to consider these complementary techniques for themselves. If one is to argue the validity of various theories, based upon scientific procedure, the onus exists to properly understand the evolution of science itself.

That might sting some of a conservative bent. Or not - denial is a powerful mistress.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 19 Jun 2008 #permalink

Not to mention that evolution is easy to falsify -- just find rabbit bones in Devonian rocks. And Darwinian natural selection is also easy to falsify -- just find cases where the less fit according to a predetermined engineering criterion won out over the more fit.

As Stephen Jay Gould put it, did anyone ever propose a theory of evolution where the less fit won out? And the answer is, yes, they did -- like Alphaeus Hyatt's Racial Life Cycles and Phyletic Senility theory, which was repeated in popular books long after biologists had dropped it (e.g. "the dinosaurs became too big and unwieldy to survive"). There have also been theories where fitness wasn't what mattered in evolution -- Hugo de Vries's Mutationism, or Kimura's Neutral Evolution Theory (the latter of which may have a good deal of truth to it). So yes, Darwinism is falsifiable. It just hasn't been falsified.