[Edited January 2 2019 -- to remove or replace dead visual-links]

Long ago Jonathan and I got some good traction out of a tangle of issues related to Global Warming slash Climate Change.  I think we are slated to renew or refresh our earlier exchanges.  I am going to poke in links to some he-said/he-saids from a few different threads at different times. One feature of the updated software is an automated 'sampling' of a link posted raw.  See below. 

So this blog entry will be kind of administrative-technical while being built and edited. I haven't figured out if Jonathan and I should impose some 'rules' going in, so your comment may be subject to arbitrary deletion before the field is ready for play. Fan notes included.



Adam, see what you think of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, especially the revealing map-based representations of opinion. You can drill and zoom down to state, county, district level to track data across a number of survey questions, where some of the answers are surprising. On some measures at least, the thing it is not found only in the UK, Quebec, Canada: Here's a snapshot of several maps which do not always show an expected Red State/Blue State pattern;

[images updated January 2 2019; click and go images]



[Deleted image-link]

Edited 4 May 2015 by william.scherk


Plug my How To Get Where I Got book of books, Spencer Weart's The Discovery of Global Warming. Insert link to Amazon, Library link, and to the intro chapter of Weart's companion website to the book. Make sure you include a link to Ellen's mention of a book review. 

Bob Kolker's June 3 comment is a good hinge. What do we (J and I) think we know about the mechanism Bob sketches? What can we 'stipulate' or what can we agree on, for the sake of argument?

On 6/3/2016 at 9:31 AM, BaalChatzaf said:

CO2 does  slow down the radiation of energy in the infra-red bandwith.  The question is to what degree  given that there are other systems that tend to diffuse and disperse heat (such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and El Nino, along with convection and the Coriolis Effect that moves warm are to the polar regions).  The scientific fact is that CO2 tends to absorb radiated energy in the infra red range.  That is NOT fabricated.  That is a matter of experimental fact. 

Please see http://scied.ucar.edu/carbon-dioxide-absorbs-and-re-emits-infrared-radiation

The issue is to what extent is the CO2 load of the atmosphere is slowing down heat radiation into space, when such absorbing or radiation occurs along with other heat dispersing processes.   

No denies that putting a blanket on, when it is cold slows down the rate at which one's body radiates heat.  Air is a poor heat conductor and the blanket traps air.  Also the blanket is warmed and radiates half its heat back to the source.  This produces a net slowing down of heat loss.  Heat loss still occurs (Second Law of Thermodynamics in operation)  but the rate of loss is affected. 

Tyndol and Arhenius  established the heat absorbing properties of CO2  in the late 19 th and early 20 th century.  Subsequent work has show the absorbtion to be the case and has measured it even more accurately than Tyndol and Arhenius. 





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Nothing can violate the second law of thermodynamics  Heat leaves the body and enters the air trapped by a blanket (the air initially being cooler than the body) and   its entropy in leaving the hot body is less than the entropy of entering the cooler air.  Entropy has increased  according to the second law.  Blankets  are insulators.  Eventually the heat trapped the air will warm up the blanket which will then radiate heat to the cold outside the blanket.   Black Bodies will achieve thermodynamic equilibrium or tend to thermodynamic  equilibrium by radiating heat  to the colder outside.  The rate of heat radiation is proportional to the 4 th power of the temperature difference between the black body and the temperature of the outside.  This is the Stephan-Boltzmann law. 

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From the Trump Humor thread, of all places:

On 1/4/2018 at 9:21 AM, Jonathan said:

Lately I've been hearing and seeing hints of the idea that attacking falsifiability may be the next tactic of the alarmists. I've heard and read climate scientists being interviewed who briefly mentioned that too much has been made of the concept of falsifiability in science, that real science isn't limited to your average person's childhood science education which includes falsifiability, and that climate science is much too important and complex to be limited to having to be falsifiable. One interviewee actually said something along the lines of, "Do these deniers actually expect our predictions to be accurate? Is that what they think science is?"

Sorry that I have no links. I think I'll start collecting references to these statements as I come across them from now on.

And then there's ...

 A clickable image to And then there's physics blog post Popper.

... a cool discussion has been had there. 

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From the Popper article:

"However, these ideas are intended to guide how we do science, but are not really intended to impose a set of rules that we never violate."

No, they're actually rules that can't be violated. They're the defining elements of real science. They're not suggestions, or sort of kind of rough, optional guidelines which we can ignore if we feel that we want to be free to color outside the lines. Without them, we have pseudoscience.

The fact that so-called scientists are beginning to advocate the idea of eliminating falsifiability, or at least sometimes skirting its requirements when things aren't working out well for their theories, is quite telling.

"In most cases, the systems we’re considering are too complex for a set of simplistic rules to be applicable."

Ah, the rules that govern science are "simplistic" when we want our theories to bypass them, huh? I would imagine then that logic would also be icky poopy "simplistic," since it's really no different from the notion of falsifiability. Why can't science just be about feelings? After all, it's too complex and advanced for most childish idiots and the stupid logic stuff that they believe from grade school!

Are there other scientific principles which will also soon be too stinking simplistic? Perhaps prediction and testing? I mean, how inconvenient! Gosh, the little people with their elementary school ideas of science just don't understand the complexity involved in something as grand and important as our work in climate science, so their foolish rules about prediction and testing should be reconsidered. We're scientists, after all, and they're just stupid nobodies, so why should they tell us what to do? So let's skip the predictions and tests part, and just go from hypothesis to analysis. My analysis is that I feel really good and confident in the brilliance of my hypothesis! I'm amazing, and it's settled science.

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1 hour ago, Jonathan said:

We're scientists, after all, and they're just stupid nobodies, so why should they tell us what to do? So let's skip the predictions and tests part, and just go from hypothesis to analysis. My analysis is that I feel really good and confident in the brilliance of my hypothesis! I'm amazing, and it's settled science.


And then there's all that government money...



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On 9/14/2016 at 1:07 PM, william.scherk said:
On 9/14/2016 at 12:05 PM, Jonathan said:

As I've asked before, where might I review the "settled science"?

I like the question, though I don't remember you putting it exactly like that before.

I like the question in that it can be answered several ways, or from several levels of  focus.  One such level could be the discrete building blocks of the textbook science, if what a textbook might contain is near enough to what you mean by 'settled science.'  Another level or angle of focus might be a historical reconstruction, a timeline of discovery and consolidation. Another might be focusing intently on where the most uncertainties are.

Where might I review scientific work under the rubric science?  It depends.  If I were you, I would give me an idea of how you came to your position, or more perfectly, taking a position to elaborate upon or defend.

NB to self -- dig back for an answer to these suggestions.

On 9/14/2016 at 1:07 PM, william.scherk said:

I think I might have asked if you would read Spencer Weart's book.  Did you give that consideration, or did you look at the website that accompanies and expands upon the book?

Why I recommend it is that it filled in the holes in my general knowledge. Who came first, Fournier, Tyndall or Arrhenius? How can I be reasonably sure that the 'greenhouse' effect is sound and foundational knowledge?

It has meat enough to serve as a general-interest introduction to all the building blocks of what is known to a reasonable degree.

This might interest folks following climate discussions ... who are somewhat skeptical of the Scott Adams take:


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27 minutes ago, william.scherk said:

This might interest folks following climate discussions ... who are somewhat skeptical of the Scott Adams take:


Appeal to authority and consensus? No thanks. I'd rather stick with science, not politics.

Here are the questions again:

"As I've asked before, where might I review the 'settled science'? Where are the models which have accurately, reliably, repeatedly predicted anthropogenic global warming? All of the models that I've seen have failed in their predictions."

I'm not interested in a scientist's attempts to skirt science and pretend that he's not doing so.



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5 hours ago, Jonathan said:

Appeal to authority and consensus? No thanks. I'd rather stick with science, not politics.

Here are the questions again:

"As I've asked before, where might I review the 'settled science'? Where are the models which have accurately, reliably, repeatedly predicted anthropogenic global warming? All of the models that I've seen have failed in their predictions."

I'm not interested in a scientist's attempts to skirt science and pretend that he's not doing so.


If AGW were scientifically defendable it would still be called AGW instead of CC (climate change). So if AGW is attacked by any and sundry they are called "climate change deniers" in a reverse bait and switch. I have yet to meet or hear of a climate change denier. Who denies climate change? Village idiots? It's all still an argument from authority: one is an idiot and the other an authority. Some authority! An authority on idiots by idiots? Not! Just the latter.


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9 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

If AGW were scientifically defendable it would still be called AGW instead of CC (climate change). So if AGW is attacked by any and sundry they are called "climate change deniers" in a reverse bait and switch. I have yet to meet or hear of a climate change denier. Who denies climate change? Village idiots? It's all still an argument from authority: one is an idiot and the other an authority. Some authority! An authority on idiots by idiots? Not! Just the latter.


Indeed. It's very anti-scientific. Belittling skeptics is not science. Vilifying people who ask for the science is not a scientific mindset. Denying or impeding critics of open access to information, models and methods does not show confidence in one's publicly shouted opinions. All of the above are the behaviors of doubt and fear.

On top of that, the "consensus" scientists very often make public proposals to counter the alleged problems, and in doing so, step outside their areas of education and expertise. They vocally advocate for potentially very harmful policies in fields which they are not "authorities," nor even novices.


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This one certainly gets the skeptical juices flowing.  If the recent data don't support warming, make the past colder!


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Very good by Epstein, e.g. "Nature doesn't give us a safe climate that we make dangerous, but a dangerous climate ...etc."

However, it seems his aim is at those listeners who are prepared to reason, in the first place. The "framework" for persuasion presupposes rational-minded people who look for human values and positives, above all. We all know of others who will go into hysterics (in "denial" perhaps?) at any perceived slighting of what amounts to a religion: Man-caused 'climate change'.

Don't you come with "reason" or "positives" and solutions!!

Well - if AGW/GW/CC mattered so much to so many, further developing of safe nuclear energy, would have been receiving top attention, surely?

The climate science isn't even the half of it, or a pretext for many, there is also altruism package-dealed together in the mix, along with coercion and big money. Here again, the purveyors of sacrifice and/or self-sacrifice who would delight in seeing men and man's mind in general, forced to atone for their transgressions upon mother earth. Mea culpa. 

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All maps are wrong, all models are wrong, all scenarios are not equally-plausible.

"This might interest folks following climate discussions ... who are somewhat skeptical of the Scott Adams take:"

Or not. We aren't all big readers, especially of unknown bloggers like Victor Venema.


There are models and models, one could say. There could be 'settled science' and 'contested science' about any particular aspect of what Brant calls Anthropogenic Global Warming.  There are so-called attribution studies, allied with the finicky business of estimating 'climate sensitivity' to increased concentrations of CO2. There are "model runs" of the giant climate models (call them computer climate models?).

Forcing is another term in models of the atmosphere more particularly concerned with the physics of the so-called Greenhouse Effect. GHE.

Thinking of components of a physical model --  be it metaphoric or mathematical -- can help a person figure out which bits are 'settled' enough in his or her mind  to call an item -- say the GHE -- more or less well understood, more or less solid, more or less fully understood in terms of physics atmospheric processes. 

Brant**, it can help to disassemble the package deal. Climate change is a truism when no time-span is specified. The last time there was a different climate in Tucson, for example, there was no Tucson. Climate change is the larger concept, as climate is not simply temperature.

-- I recommend, as ever, Spencer Weart's book and website The Discovery of Global Warming.  For those wondering especially about the stages of discovery of the atmospheric properties of CO2, it's a good resource and will bring you up to speed on how some people came to be convinced the GHE is quite real.  You can come up to speed on the entailments of GHE and the simplest predictions of the modern era. You can become familiar with the 'building blocks' of a present day understanding of the effect of CO2 concentrations in our atmosphere.

For models, it is important to define what kind of models (or which model failures) you have in mind.

Here's a bit of the Variable Variability material I linked to in the clickable image above.


Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, wrote today about how difficult it is for a non-expert to judge science and especially climate science. He argues that it is normally a good idea for a non-expert to follow the majority of scientists. I agree. Even as a scientist I do this for topics where I am not an expert and do not have the time to go into detail. You cannot live without placing trust and you should place your trust wisely.

While it is clear to Scott Adams that a majority of scientists agree on the basics of climate change, he worries that they still could all be wrong. He lists the below six signals that this could be the case and sees them in climate science. If you get your framing from the mitigation sceptical movement and only read the replies to their nonsense you may easily get his impression. So I thought it would be good to reply. It would be better to first understand the scientific basis, before venturing into the wild.

The terms Global Warming and Climate Change are both used for decades

Scott Adams assertion: It seems to me that a majority of experts could be wrong whenever you have a pattern that looks like this:

1. A theory has been “adjusted” in the past to maintain the conclusion even though the data has changed. For example, “Global warming” evolved to “climate change” because the models didn’t show universal warming.

This is a meme spread by the mitigation sceptics that is not based on reality. From the beginning both terms were used. One hint is name of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a global group of scientists who synthesise the state of climate research and was created in 1988.

The irony of this strange meme is that it were the PR gurus of the US Republicans who told their politicians to use the term "climate change" rather than "global warming", because "global warming" was more scary. The video below shows the historical use of both terms.

Global warming was called global warming because the global average temperature is increasing, especially in the beginning there were still many regions were warming was not yet observed, while it was clear that the global average temperature was increasing. I use the term "global warming" if I want to emphasis the temperature change and the term "climate change" when I want to include all the other changes in the water cycle and circulation. These colleagues do the same and provide more history.

Talking about "adjusted", mitigation sceptics like to claim that temperature observations have been adjusted to show more warming. Truth is that the adjustments reduce global warming.



Climate models are not essential for basic understanding

Scott Adams assertion: 2. Prediction models are complicated. When things are complicated you have more room for error. Climate science models are complicated.

Yes, climate models are complicated. They synthesise a large part of our understanding of the climate system and thus play a large role in the synthesis of the IPCC. They are also the weakest part of climate science and thus a focus of the propaganda of the mitigation sceptical movement.

However, when it comes to the basics, climate model are not important. We know about the greenhouse effect for well over a century, long before we had any numerical climate models. That increasing the carbon dioxide concentration of the atmosphere leads to warming is clear, that this warming is amplified because warm air can contain more water, which is also a greenhouse gas, is also clear without any complicated climate model. This is very simple physics already used by Svante Arrhenius in the 19th century.


Arrhenius!  Physics! Scott Adams! 


** Brant and I have trod the same ground already: 

On 6/30/2015 at 12:43 PM, william.scherk said:

(If I could whine for a moment, I wish that folks here would take up my suggestion to read Spencer Weart's Discovery of Global Warming. It comprises both the science and the politics -- from the earliest days of Fourier, Tyndall and Arrhenius. As far as I can tell, nobody here has so much as glanced at it (save perhaps Ellen, who mentioned it in quotations of Bernie Lewin's blog review article of the 2003 edition, which she excerpted in two parts [1 and 2] in the thread Scientific Fraud becoming endemic? -- where the reviewer took issue with Weart's discussion of consensus, among other defects. What might interest Ellen is that Spencer Weart added his own friendly commentary to the reviewer's blog posting (Debate!). I have excerpted Weart's responses at the very bottoma.)

For those who are willing to get their feet wet, I suggest either reading the timeline of discovery or the narrative version of the timeline. The book is also available at Amazon (bear in mind that Weart's website is a vastly extended version of that volume -- but is meticulously documented). Readers who really don't have the time or interest might take time to read an excerpt from it at Scientific American ... it's a mere 2203 words.


the use of CC for political reasons [is] creating the illusion [that climate change] just a scientific issue and that those who take issue are cranks and "deniers."


I'm sorry, but this confuses me. Please take the time to read the WUWT article I noted for Bob above, if you haven't already. I would say that if one can't understand the scientific disputes surrounding the thread topic, that someone has claimed to falsify the central concept of the 'greenhouse effect,' then the political debates will make no sense.

You are a very bright man, and you are entirely skeptical, I would guess, that there is such a thing as 'settled science' except in narrowly defined circumstances. Your intelligence, and your rational tools of inquiry are the only thing that can help you make sense of both the scientific and political debates.

I do not use the term 'denier,' whatever its convenience. I use the term that the so-called deniers prefer: (climate change) skeptic.

As for crankery and crackpots, they exist -- and they exist in climate debates (the WUWT article I recommended is an instance of where climate realists or climate skeptics put to the test a crackpot notion, via replicable experiment). I gave the example of Velikovsky and the metaphor of a walled-garden. I believe you understand what the term means, and I believe you understand the distinction between pseudoscience and science. I believe you understand that rigorous methodology and hard-played peer review is a necessary form of winnowing the wheat from the chaff.

If we don't start with the scientific debate -- before arguing politics -- then we are in a state of relative ignorance, and our political struggles have only a strained association with reality.

That is the final arbiter, isn't it, Brant? Reality.

Please show me good faith and review my several comments in this thread before you reply -- not to agree with me, but just to understand my stance vis a vis reason, evidence, objectivity and the processes of scientific debate. We are allies in our most basic values, I believe. We seek the same ends. We each want to be as informed as humanly possible, within our limitations and cognizant of our biases.



Edited by william.scherk
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Epstein's talk in text with timecode. This is the auto-generated caption file from Youtube, so it is not a perfect transcription. But for folks who prefer the written record ...


[OL textarea kludge since the forum no longer allows a *.txt file inside an iframe

Edited by william.scherk
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26 minutes ago, william.scherk said:

We aren't all big readers, especially of unknown bloggers like Victor Venema.

Let's trust Victor! Yay!!! That would be REAL science, because trusting a scientist is how science works! Plus Victor is sooooo debonair.

Oh, wait, Judith Curry is also a REAL scientist, so shouldn't we trust her? And there are lots of other scientists, too, all with differing opinions. Damn, how do we decide which authority to trust? Should we go with the one that makes us have the most feelings? The one that confirms our biases? The most suave and debonair!

Nah. Let's stick with science.


Repeated successful predictions. Falsifiability. External review. Data sharing. Openness. Etc.


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2 minutes ago, william.scherk said:

Misconception check. To sort of balance out the Epstein shtick.


"Shtick," huh? What an open, scientific attitude!


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Ultra-recursion.  This is me at my worst, patiently explaining my understanding. 

The list of questions might be useful ...

On 7/5/2015 at 7:34 PM, william.scherk said:

Brant, I am glad we agree on some bases, with general outlines of the Greenhouse Effect. Let's see if I have properly understood further agreement and disagreement.

-- the Greehouse Effect. while physically real, is a part of the complex interaction of an atmosphere.

-- there are variables that have nothing to do with the GHE that also have impacted climate in the distant past and in the recent past. and in the present. Cloud cover, albedo, H20, ocean processes, solar intensity and total irradiance, land-changes, on and on.

So far, so good?

You write that you don't know "if we are talking about the same thing" in GHE since you "don't accept there is any significant, if any at all" anthropogenic global warming.

That's fair enough. That is a difference. I think that we have witnessed a significant increase of global mean temperatures in the twentieth century, and I also think these increases -- along with second-order effects -- are due in part to a human-derived 'extra' oomph of Greenhouse Gases emitted into the atmosphere. I also believe that some future warming is 'in the pipe.'

We two had an earlier exchange about seeming differences: I explained that 'climate change' subsumes global warming. One is a component of the larger concept. So when you are unsure about what climate change means to me, it is the suite of first and second-order effects of the GHE of increased emissions.

There is also a kind of climate change (or climate stability) that is not related to humans at the present time -- once we 'remove the signal' of CO2 increases in the atmosphere. The cycles of ice-ages, though on ten thousand year and greater timescales are an example. Conditions change. The changes have causes. Here we could go into some great detail on every aspect, from solar flares/sunspots to cosmic ray effects on cloud formation, to the great ocean conveyor belts and the tick-tock in human timescales of ocean oscillations like La Nina and El Nino. And more. And then some.

So, we each accept that the climate of earth can change, does change, will change -- on short and medium and long human-relatable timescales. Neither of us accepts 'Climate Change' as meaning 'Global Warming attributed to human emissions' but as a larger set of assumptions and mechanisms of the earth-atmosphere-solar system, some of which may be mistaken. We each reach for specifics rather than a general anodyne phrase ...

About the only places where we may further disagree on objective measures is where we find (and 'how could we trust') differing answers to questions like:

  1. -- over what timescales should we assess 'global warming'?
  2. -- what would be robust findings of global warming look like?
  3. -- has there been a 'significant' amount of earthly temperature rise?
  4. -- what is a 'significant' rise in temperatures?
  5. -- what might be a 'dangerous' rise in temperatures over a defined term?

[WSS added numbers to list Aug 21 2018]

In the rest of your comment, I need a bit more precision to make sure I am not mistaken as to what you think or know or believe:

You don't like the term 'denier' used in conjunction with the phrase 'climate change denier.' Fair enough. It doesn't really say much, does it? If for example you were described as a Climate Change Denier, well, what aspects of which climate over what time and what particular change is being denied? Good questions. We can call Gehrlich, Siddons, and Casey 'Greenhouse Effect Deniers,' but a better fit for you is Greenhouse Effect .... what? Proponent? Believer? Accepter? Words ....

I might agree that some word labels are a kind of crappy verbal assault, shorthand words and phrases that denigrate without fixing the dispute's margins and meanings. I much prefer something like 'proponent' of this or that theory, and 'skeptic' of this or that theory.

No matter our tastes or afflictions, however, the churn of news/commentary/reaction includes the dread word 'denier.' We could each observe a 'no crappy verbal assault shorthands' on these grounds. I hope we each keep crappy verbal assault shorthand to a minimum, and respect the sensibilities of the other.

On to the rest of what was a lengthy sentence with multiple dependent clauses.

You don't like the word denier tossed around against folks who simply are skeptical of this or that claim or uncertainty-bound in the larger debates. You don't like Curry being called a denier and you don't like calling me a denier. I understand and applaud.

You don't like the (shorthand) 'political agenda' of immediate action (in mitigation or reduction of CO2 emissions, I guess). You don't like the 'before it is too late' alarms given by ... well, I don't know.

I do get the impression you believe that nothing under the rubric of climate change caused by human GHG emissions is actually real -- even while you accept a GHE -- and so no warnings or alarms need be taken seriously by any rational human being.

You doubt, then, such fact-ish notions that sea levels are rising at a rate that might impact humans and their cities and ports. You doubt heightened arctic warming and concomitant knock-on effects of sea-ice decline, melting of permafrost, contaminating ground water ... and so on.

You do not believe that there is a 'settled science' except perhaps the GHE -- you find 'settled science' an argument from authority of the illicit kind. To point to this or that aspect of generally-considered-correct consensus is a coward's gambit in argument.

You believe that CO2 is only beneficial to humankind as we stand today in 2015 looking ahead a century. Any rise in CO2 is not going to make any difference in terms of temperatures and knock-on effects. There is nothing to worry about except Big Government forcing policies on a public that just doesn't understand the real reality that you espie.

Finally, you believe that CO2 increases today (as in the Keeling curve) always and only follow every period of global temperature rise. You believe that increased CO2 is an effect of warming, not in any way a cause. You believe that a real and proper temperature record of the earth (derived from proxies in much of the record) would show a warming first, and the uptick of CO2 second.

If I have sketched out what you think and believe fairly accurately, let us say I understand your position.

Do you understand mine? I won't ask you to do any homework or write out what you think I think. I just wanted to settle where I think we agree. Whether or not that leads to any useful further discussion is up to each our druthers. My druthers are to have sustained discussion on disputes in the science claims made under the rubric of Climate Change. I would like to keep outrageous policy discussions separate.

As for Bob, well, he is not interested in anything I have to sell ... I really had a hard time grokking your last paragraph. Was it advice for me or advice for Bob or advice to self?

Other than that, I don't see you interested in a continuing discussion with me on the issues I raise, since you seem to have ended with a 'nobody knows nothing' statement. If I lived in that kind of mental Know-Nothing universe I would seek emigration.

If I have mistaken or misattributed your thinking, let me know. Without verbal assault, please.

What's that old saw about the Mulberry Bush?

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59 minutes ago, Jonathan said:
1 hour ago, william.scherk said:

We aren't all big readers, especially of unknown bloggers like Victor Venema.

Let's trust Victor!

No.   Let's maybe take the time to read the Scott Adams column first.  Then choose whether or not to read the VV entry and its following commentary. Then if the VV blog article raises interesting puzzles or makes a good point or two, refer to the arguments and claims and exposition ...

Or ... ignore, evade, rubbish without reading or analyzing for oneself.


Yay!!! That would be REAL science, because trusting a scientist is how science works! Plus Victor is sooooo debonair.

This approaches vacancy.  This implies you are not going to read Adams and then Venema. If I infer correctly, you aren't curious enough to examine the arguments made therein ...


Oh, wait, Judith Curry is also a REAL scientist, so shouldn't we trust her?

This is quite vacant.  If you prefer not to acquaint yourself with her "Lukewarm" or "skeptical" positions on a variety of front-and-centre issues that are subject to debate, that is further indicative of incuriosity, if not unwarranted prejudice.

For me, it ain't about trust, it is about getting to know the subjects by components, getting to know the disagreements by being exposed to both "sides."  Should one 'trust' the claims and statements and opinions and analysis?  Well, nope -- not without getting acquainted.

A reader of the Adams column might find it a useful heuristic, but then wonder to herself, "has anyone responded to this with a critical, inquiring eye?"

If it confirms her beliefs, why would she care about a dissent or critical response?


And there are lots of other scientists, too, all with differing opinions.

"Lots of other scientists" with arguments, stances, publications, and other expressions of doubt, certainty, clarification  ... about their particular subject area and the broader outlines of a given issue that is contested. For me at least, the contestation is interesting.  


Damn, how do we decide which authority to trust?

I don't know about you or this mythical "we,"  so can only speak for myself.  Reverse the polarity and answer for yourself, "How did Jonathan decide to mistrust Scott Adams and Victor Venema, or Judith Curry or the other five 'both sides' /  Red Team-Blue Team presenters at the APS workshop?"

How does anyone maintain a barrier of mistrust and ignorance?


Should we go with the one that makes us have the most feelings?

You do you. If angry feelings are among your best guides to knowledge, have at 'er.  And any time you want to construct a comment that explains specifically what you believe, know, or suspect about components (ie, GHE, projections, scenarios, models), I will have the most feeling of all.


The one that confirms our biases?

You do you, Jonathan.  Tell us what it is you actually believe about, say the Greenhouse Effect and its scientific support ... and everyone can have some feelings about that ...


The most suave and debonair!

This is worthy of ridicule.  It is many long bargepole lengths from the Adams/Venema reading invitation.

If someone is this incurious, I don't always quite trust them to discuss in good faith.

-- since I could be entirely wrong, I am going to do some of Jonathan's postponed or dog-eaten homework.  That is, reach out to some of the climate scientists who I share information with, and see if they have a road-map for the inquiry I could put under the rubric "Things Jonathan would like to know."

15 hours ago, Things I ask and nobody answers properly ... said:

As I've asked before, where might I review the 'settled science'?

A person thoroughly unacquainted with the fruitless discussion here might suggest the search function at Weart's book-site, or suggest a trawl and note-taking session at Skeptical Science. 

Pre-keyed words at Variable Variability:



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Edited by william.scherk
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The discussion is not "fruitless." It's only a matter of what fruit to eat.


"Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet, but the fruit of the lemon is impossible to eat." The "science" of AGW is impossible to eat (qua science)

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On 8/21/2018 at 1:00 PM, Jonathan said:

Ah, it's MY homework, is it???

I am being lazy in not supporting your argument for you? Somehow, the onus of proof of your position falls to me?


It occurred to me that I may have misunderstood Billy's meaning. In referring to "Jonathan's homework," Billy, did you mean not the homework that you think that I have neglected to turn in, but the homework that I've assigned to you? If so, sorry for the misunderstanding above. However, my response still remains the same in essence: It is not homework that I'm giving to you, but rather the reality of the requirements of science, and the dictates of the onus of proof. It's not some irrelevant or tangentially silly burden that old Jonathan has come up with to waste your time, but the core of the issue at hand.

  • Like 1
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15 hours ago, william.scherk said:

What fruit came of this exchange between you and I, Brant?


The difference between the basic Canadian intellectual/cultural mindset and the American, which in this country is not academia which is also socialist/European though not so jejune as what you guys up north have.


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From elsewhere on this fabulous site:



4 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:
10 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:
11 hours ago, KorbenDallas said:

Good lord, nearly every phrase out of his mouth needs a fact check


No it doesn't.

Trump supporters know what he means. They don't need fact checks to know what he means, even when he exaggerates. They can tell the difference between rhetoric and science.

Lots of people who don't like him, though, can't tell this difference. For instance, many of his critics, despite behaving like proper politicians and elitists with good manners, have faith in the apocalypse. They call it manmade climate change. They constantly replace fact with rhetoric to prove it, too--and literally can't tell the difference.

I've debated this long enough to see the pattern.


Reply to item 490  Even in climate "science"  the  climate modelers  sponsored by the IPCC put their models  before accurate hard data.  The result: models that don't predict climate outcomes well.  In science there is a technical term for models and hypotheses  that turn out predictions that are at odds with carefully observed reality. That technical term?   "Just plain wrong"


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