Placeholder for GW/CC 'How I got here' thread

[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.

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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]

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Edited  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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The actual historical data was uncooperative with the results they wanted so,

“The historical data is not observed historical data,” the spokesman said. “It is modelled historical data … 24 models from historical simulations spanning 1950 to 2005 were used.”

https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/goldstein-feds-scrapped-100-years-of-data-on-climate-change

So next time they tell you earth is warming just remember that they mean warmer than it was in their fantasied, imagined past, not the actual past.

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Billy, remember when you would immediately follow my posts with “Objectivist epistemology, anyone?” as though you respected Objectivist epistemology and I did not?

Is throwing out historical data good epistemology, Billy?

You advocate for all the movement’s bullshit, so apparently yes, you think it is good epistemology. Thanks for all those compliments.

Unless you care to explain otherwise?

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This old piece popped up for me today.

Truth: "There’s an old legal proverb: If you have the facts on your side, argue the facts. If you have the law on your side, argue the law. If you have neither, attack the witness. When proponents of a scientific consensus lead with an attack on the witness, rather than on the arguments and evidence, be suspicious."

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Politics Disguised as Science: When to Doubt a Scientific ‘Consensus’

Anyone who has studied the history of science knows that scientists are not immune to the non-rational dynamics of the herd.

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By JAY RICHARDS Published on April 19, 2017  168 Comments

This week’s March for Science is odd. Marches are usually held to defend something that’s in peril. Does anyone really think big science is in danger? The mere fact that the March was scheduled for Earth Day betrays what the event is really about: politics. The organizers admitted as muchearly on, though they’re now busy trying to cover the event in sciencey camouflage.

If past is prologue, expect to hear a lot about the supposed “consensus” on catastrophic climate change this week. The purpose of this claim is to shut up skeptical non-scientists.

How should non-scientists respond when told about this consensus? We can’t all study climate science. But since politics often masquerades as science, we need a way to tell one from the other.

“Consensus,” according to Merriam-Webster, means both “general agreement” and “group solidarity in sentiment and belief.” That sums up the problem. Is this consensus based on solid evidence and sound logic, or social pressure and groupthink?

When can you doubt a consensus? Your best bet is to look at the process that produced, defends and transmits the supposed consensus.

Anyone who has studied the history of science knows that scientists are prone to herd instincts. Many false ideas once enjoyed consensus. Indeed, the “power of the paradigm” often blinds scientists to alternativesto their view. Question the paradigm, and some respond with anger.

We shouldn’t, of course, forget the other side of the coin. There are cranks and conspiracy theorists. No matter how well founded a scientific consensus, there’s someone who thinks it’s all hokum. Sometimes these folks turn out to be right. But often, they’re just cranks whose counsel is best ignored.

So how do we distinguish, as Andrew Coyne puts it, “between genuine authority and mere received wisdom? And how do we tell crankish imperviousness to evidence from legitimate skepticism?” Do we have to trust whatever we’re told is based on a scientific consensus unless we can study the science ourselves? When can you doubt a consensus? When should you doubt it?

Your best bet is to look at the process that produced, defends and transmits the supposed consensus. I don’t know of any complete list of signs of suspicion. But here’s a checklist to decide when you can, even should, doubt a scientific “consensus,” whatever the subject. One of these signs may be enough to give pause. If they start to pile up, then it’s wise to be leery.

(1) When different claims get bundled together

Usually, in scientific disputes, there’s more than one claim at issue. With global warming, there’s the claim that our planet, on average, is getting warmer. There’s also the claim that we are the main cause of it, that it’s going to be catastrophic, and that we must transform civilization to deal with it. These are all different claims based on different evidence.

Evidence for warming, for instance, isn’t evidence for the cause of that warming. All the polar bears could drown, the glaciers melt, the sea levels rise 20 feet and Newfoundland become a popular place to tan: That wouldn’t tell us a thing about what caused the warming. This is a matter of logic, not scientific evidence. The effect is not the same as the cause.

There’s a lot more agreement about (1) a modest warming trend since about 1850 than there is about (2) the cause of that trend. There’s even less agreement about (3) the dangers of that trend, or of (4) what to do about it. But these four claims are often bundled together. So, if you doubt one, you’re labeled a climate change “skeptic” or “denier.” That’s dishonest. When well-established claims are tied with other, more controversial claims, and the entire bundle is labeled “consensus,” you have reason for doubt.

(2) When ad hominem attacks against dissenters predominate

Personal attacks are common in any dispute. It’s easier to insult than to the follow the thread of an argument. And just because someone makes an ad hominem argument, it doesn’t mean that their conclusion is wrong. But when the personal attacks are the first out of the gate, don your skeptic’s cap and look more closely at the data.

When it comes to climate change, ad hominems are everywhere. They’re even smuggled into the way the debate is described. The common label “denier” is one example. This label is supposed to call to mind the charge of columnist Ellen Goodman: “I would like to say we’re at a point where global warming is impossible to deny. Let’s just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers.”

There’s an old legal proverb: If you have the facts on your side, argue the facts. If you have the law on your side, argue the law. If you have neither, attack the witness. When proponents of a scientific consensus lead with an attack on the witness, rather than on the arguments and evidence, be suspicious.

(3) When scientists are pressured to toe the party line

The famous Lysenko affair in the former Soviet Union is example of politics trumping good science. But it’s not the only way politics can override science. There’s also a conspiracy of agreement, in which assumptions and interests combine to give the appearance of objectivity where none exists. This is even more forceful than a literal conspiracy enforced by a dictator. Why? Because it looks like the agreement reflects a fair and independent weighing of the evidence.

Tenure, job promotions, government grants, media accolades, social respectability, Wikipedia entries, and vanity can do what gulags do, only more subtly. Alexis de Tocqueville warned of this almost two centuries ago. The power of the majority in American society, he wrote, could erect “formidable barriers around the liberty of opinion; within these barriers an author may write what he pleases, but woe to him if he goes beyond them.” He could have been writing about climate science.

Indeed, the quickest way for scientists to put their careers at risk is to raise even modest questions about climate doom (see here, here and here). Scientists are under pressure to toe the party line on climate change and receive many benefits for doing so. That’s another reason for suspicion.

(4) When publishing and peer review in the discipline is cliquish

Though it has its limits, the peer-review process is meant to provide checks and balances. At its best, it helps weed out bad and misleading work, and make scientific research more objective. But when the same few people review and approve each other’s work, you get conflicts of interest. This weakens the case for the supposed consensus. It becomes, instead, another reason for doubt. Those who follow the climate debate have known for years about the cliquish nature of publishing and peer review in climate science (see here for example).

(5) When dissenters are excluded from the peer-reviewed journals not because of weak evidence or bad arguments but to marginalize them.

Besides mere cliquishness, the “peer review” process in climate science has, in some cases, been subverted to prevent dissenters from being published. Again, those who follow the debate have known about these problems for years. But the Climategate debacle in 2009 revealed some of the gory details for the broader public. And again, this gives the lay public a reason to doubt the consensus.

(6) When the actual peer-reviewed literature is misrepresented

We’ve been told for years that the peer-reviewed literature is unanimous in its support for human-induced climate change. In Science, Naomi Oreskes even produced a “study” of the literature supposedly showing “The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change.”

In fact, there are plenty of dissenting papers in the literature. This is despite mounting evidence that the peer-review deck was stacked against them. The 2009 Climategate scandal underscored this: The climate scientists at the center of the controversy complained in their emails about dissenting papers that survived the peer-review booby traps they put in place. They even fantasized about torpedoing a climate science journal that dared to publish a dissenting article.

(7) When consensus is declared before it even exists

A well-rooted scientific consensus, like a mature oak, needs time to grow. Scientists have to do research, publish articles, read about other research, and repeat experiments (where possible). They need to reveal their data and methods, have open debates, evaluate arguments, look at the trends, and so forth, before they can come to agreement. When scientists rush to declare a consensus — when they claim a consensus that has yet to form — this should give everyone pause.

In 1992, former Vice President Al Gore reassured his listeners, “Only an insignificant fraction of scientists deny the global warming crisis. The time for debate is over. The science is settled.” In the real 1992, however, Gallup “reported that 53% of scientists actively involved in global climate research did not believe global warming had occurred; 30% weren’t sure; and only 17% believed global warming had begun. Even a Greenpeace poll showed 47% of climatologists didn’t think a runaway greenhouse effect was imminent; only 36% thought it possible and a mere 13% thought it probable.”

Seventeen years later, in 2009, Gore revised his own fake history. He claimed that the debate over human-induced climate change had raged until as late as 1999, but now there was true consensus. Of course, 2009 is when Climategate broke, reminding us that what had smelled funny was indeed rotten.

(8) When the subject matter seems, by its nature, to resist consensus

It makes sense that chemists over time may come to agree about the results of some chemical reaction, since they can repeat the results over and over in their own labs. They’re easy to test. But much of climate science is not like that. The evidence is scattered and hard to track. It’s often indirect, imbedded in history and laden with theory. You can’t rerun past climate to test it. And the headline-grabbing claims of climate scientists are based on complex computer models that don’t match reality. These models get their input, not from the data, but from the scientists who interpret the data. This isn’t the sort of evidence that can provide the basis for a well-founded consensus. In fact, if there really were a consensus on the many claims around climate science, that would be suspicious. Thus, the claim of consensus is a bit suspect as well.

(9) When “scientists say” or “science says” is a common locution

In Newsweek’s April 28, 1975, issue, science editor Peter Gwynne claimed that “scientists are almost unanimous” that global cooling was underway. Now we are told, “Scientists say global warming will lead to the extinction of plant and animal species, the flooding of coastal areas from rising seas, more extreme weather, more drought and diseases spreading more widely.” “Scientists say” is ambiguous. You should wonder: “Which ones?”

Other times this vague company of scientists becomes “SCIENCE.” As when we’re told “what science says is required to avoid catastrophic climate change.” “Science says” is a weasely claim. “Science,” after all, is an abstract noun. It can’t speak. Whenever you see these phrases used to imply a consensus, it should trigger your baloney detector.

(10) When it is being used to justify dramatic political or economic policies

Imagine hundreds of world leaders and NGOS, science groups, and UN functionaries gathered for a meeting. It’s heralded as the most important conference since World War II, in which “the future of the world is being decided.” These officials seem to agree that institutions of “global governance” need to be set up to reorder the world economy and restrict energy use. Large numbers of them applaud wildly when socialist dictators denounce capitalism. Strange activism surrounds the gathering. And we are told by our president that all of this is based, not on fiction, but on science — that is, a scientific consensus that our greenhouse gas emissions are leading to climate catastrophe.

We don’t have to imagine that scenario, of course. It happened at the UN climate meeting in Copenhagen, in December 2009. It happened again in Paris, in December 2015. Expect something at least as zany at the March for Science.

Now, none of this disproves climate doom. But it does describe a setting in which truth need not appear. And at the least, when policy effects are so profound, the evidence should be rock solid. “Extraordinary claims,” the late Carl Sagan often said, “require extraordinary evidence.” When the megaphones of consensus insist that there’s no time, that we have to move, MOVE, MOVE!, you have a right to be wary.

(11) When the “consensus” is maintained by an army of water-carrying journalists who defend it with partisan zeal, and seem intent on helping certain scientists with their messaging rather than reporting on the field as fairly as possible

Do I really need to elaborate on this point?

(12) When we keep being told that there’s a scientific consensus

A consensus should be based on solid evidence. But a consensus is not itself the evidence. And with well-established scientific theories, you never hear about consensus. No one talks about the consensus that the planets orbit the sun, that the hydrogen molecule is lighter than the oxygen molecule, that salt is sodium chloride, that bacteria sometimes cause illness, or that blood carries oxygen to our organs. The very fact that we hear so much about a consensus on climate change may be enough to justify suspicion.

To adapt that old legal rule, when you’ve got solid scientific evidence on your side, you argue the evidence. When you’ve got great arguments, you make the arguments. When you don’t have solid evidence or great arguments, you claim consensus.

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I think we've learned that climate isn't an important issue. It's now much less interesting than Q, or, really, any other subject. It was THE shit. But now? Meh.

J

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For the sake of tidiness, I'm reposting this post here:

In an attempt at conversation and graciousness, I’ll give it another shot, and ask my questions in yet another way:

What was the hypothesis that has been “settled"? Wasn't it that mankind’s activities are the primary cause of global warming — that global warming is happening due to mankind’s activities, and it would not be happening without those activities? That’s what it seems to have been? Was it that if mankind produces X amount of CO2 over time period Y, then the result must be temperature Z, and temperature Z will mean changes in climate, and catastrophic consequences?

Here are the questions:

How many years’ of data of CO2 emissions and temperatures were determined — prior to gathering that data — to be needed to be recorded in order to confirm the hypothesis, and why that amount of time? What duration of time was established as a falsification limit, after which the hypothesis would be considered to have failed if the predictions did not come true in reality, and why that amount of time? What other criteria were identified, ahead of testing, as falsifying the hypothesis? Why those criteria and not others? Or were none identified?

Which one of the many climate computer models has succeeded in predicting future temperatures reliably and repeatedly? When — what date — was that single model proposed as one whose predictions were expected to succeed in reality? When did it become active, and its predictions began to be put to the test and compared to data collected in reality? Was the model unaltered, or, during testing, did it receive any revisions or updates? If so, on what grounds were those modifications deemed to be acceptable rather than as invalidating the original model? On what date was the conclusion determined that the model had met all of the criteria that had been established before testing, and that it had succeeded, had avoided falsification, and had been independently repeated and confirmed?

Prior to all of that, how was it determined what the global temperature should be were it not for mankind’s activities? By what means and reasoning have natural drivers of temperature been accounted for and eliminated as affecting outcomes?

More to come. But, please, start with the above.

J

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18 hours ago, william.scherk said:

Today in Alarming Arctic tweets ...

 

When all of your past predictions have failed, make new predictions which are even scarier, and do so with greater confidence and authority.

J

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Little brainwashed Greta has turned down an award from leftists because they're not being leftist enough for her.

Billy, you ought to enjoy this: She demands that the leftists act in accordance with what "the science" says is needed to combat global warming. Tee hee hee! She actually said "the science."

"The science" says that we need socialism, and we need it now, or we're all going to die in 27 days. "The science" said so! Don't be a science denier.

Tee hee heeeeeeee!!!!

 

Greta Thunberg Rejects Climate Award, Rips Countries That Gave It To Her

DailyWire.com
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg takes to the podium to address young activists and their supporters during the rally for action on climate change on September 27, 2019 in Montreal, Canada. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take part in what could be the city's largest climate march. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)  
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Teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg, who dominated headlines last month after her speech to the U.N. declaring that we are “in the beginning of a mass extinction,” was offered an award this week from the Nordic Council for “breathing new life into the debate surrounding the environment and climate at a critical moment in world history.”

 

But on Tuesday, the 16-year-old told the council that they could keep their climate prize and issued an ultimatum: she will not accept an award from them until they move on from “bragging” and using “beautiful words” to acting “in accordance with what the science says is needed” to combat global warming.

Thunberg issued her official rejection of the award and rebuke of the council via an Instagram post Tuesday. The council has since confirmed that she indeed turned down their prize, which is worth a little over $50,000.

“I have received the Nordic Council’s environmental award 2019. I have decided to decline this prize,” wrote Thunberg. Noting that she’s  traveling through California and thus unable to deliver her message in person, the celebrity activist wrote out her rejection speech.

“I want to thank the Nordic Council for this award. It is a huge honour,” she wrote. “But the climate movement does not need any more awards. What we need is for our politicians and the people in power start to listen to the current, best available science.”

Thunberg then specifically called out the Nordic countries for what she characterized as their self-congratulatory hypocrisy.

“The Nordic countries have a great reputation around the world when it comes to climate and environmental issues,” she said. “There is no lack of bragging about this. There is no lack of beautiful words. But when it comes to our actual emissions and our ecological footprints per capita — if we include our consumption, our imports as well as aviation and shipping — then it’s a whole other story.”

She then got more specific, hitting the Nordic nations for not doing enough to eliminate fossil fuels: “In Sweden we live as if we had about 4 planets according to WWF and Global Footprint Network. And roughly the same goes for the entire Nordic region. In Norway for instance, the government recently gave a record number of permits to look for new oil and gas. The newly opened oil and natural gas-field, ‘Johan Sverdrup’ is expected to produce oil and natural gas for 50 years; oil and gas that would generate global CO2 emissions of 1,3 tonnes.”

“The gap between what the science says is needed to limit the increase of global temperature rise to below 1,5 or even 2 degrees — and politics that run the Nordic countries is gigantic. And there are still no signs whatsoever of the changes required,” she continued. “The Paris Agreement, which all of the Nordic countries have signed, is based on the aspect of equity, which means that richer countries must lead the way. We belong to the countries that have the possibility to do the most. And yet our countries still basically do nothing.”

She closed with one of her trademark ultimatums. “So until you start to act in accordance with what the science says is needed to limit the global temperature rise below 1,5 degrees or even 2 degrees celsius, I — and Fridays For Future in Sweden — choose not to accept the Nordic Councils environmental award nor the prize money of 500 000 Swedish kronor,” she concluded.

As reported by CNN, the Nordic Council confirmed in a news release Tuesday that Thunberg did indeed reject their award.

Dressing down world leaders has become Thunberg’s modus operandi. In late September, the climate alarmist issued a similar statement to the United Nations which painted an apocalyptic picture of the world and included digs about the leaders being “not mature enough” to be honest about the dire situation.

“My message is that we’ll be watching you,” she said in a speech that went viral, in part due to critics pointing to its hyperbolic claims. “This is all wrong, I shouldn’t be up here, I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet, you all come to us young people for hope, how dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, and yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering, people are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth.”

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