Jerry Biggers

"Experts" claim record cold caused by global warming

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-- I kind of like Climate 'Change' One Liners, or Climate 'Change' Discussion By One Liners. Let's see if I can play ...

"CO2 is plant food; the more the better."

Is more always better -- if this means 'The More CO2 (For Plants), The Better (For Everything)'?

I guess if you take a very long view, millions of years, jerks, spurts, rises and falls of CO2 would seem transient and more or less useless as a measure. What does a 6000 parts per million mean, what world climatic conditions are associated with that concentration? What kind of natural swings have occurred during ancient human times, during modern human times, as compared to pre-human times over vast eras? What metrics make useful measures at what scales of time?

It might seem that the earth adjusts to any type of event, that life has massive extinction events but always adapts and radiates and evolves anew despite transient 'catastrophes.'

If I was the kind of creature with a life-span of billions of years, I could care less about the CO2, unless it was due to reach a higher concentration than at any time within that span. If I am a dinosaur cavorting in a tropical Arctic, what would I care about the saturation of CO2 -- what do I care about temperature except in my own range, time, and needs?

I am not very good at argument by one-liner, as it turns out. But the 'scales' of various climate changes notion gives me an idea for a better response.

So, scale, time, species life-time, CO2, temperature, scope of climate changes past and future -- how to address coherently in one line? How to couple common sense to the combined findings of geo-sciences, atmospheric and solar physics?

I'll come back with whatever my answers suggest would make a useful argument. Thanks, Brant and Bob, for triggering some protracted reasoning.

(on the CO2 plant food notion, I'd say that CO2 is food to plants the way Oxygen is food to humans. Without which death. Without which death, of course -- but concomitant processes like photosynthesis, protein-building, growth and nutrient inflow and fixation are also part of plant metabolism and need to be considered when testing the hypothesis that 'the more CO2 the better.'

So I suggest a good check on what the folks are saying about the notion 'increased CO2 concentrations can only benefits plants' (and by implication humans dependent on plant vigor). If there are other significant human-scale effects of CO2 coupled to plant biology, those need checking. It is not wise to assume all things perfect in a perfect world no matter the increase in relative concentration. I believe there are entailments both negative and positive across human value scales.

My questions about plant food started with thinking about other metrics accompanying the 'benefits' of more efficient photosynthesis, like nutrition values, yields, competing species and pests, water-needs, yield, and so on.)

Edited by william.scherk

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It's more a fact than hypothesis, William. The available record seems to indicate CO2 concentrations seem to follow than proceed general warming trends.

The human race will continue to massively pump CO2 into the atmosphere, primarily with coal for electric power.

The sun seems set to go into a cool down starting in 2030. Temps have been not increasing now since about 1998.

We are in-between ice ages and are about due for the next one.

When the Yellowstone Caldera blows up again we're screwed. It happens about every 600,000 years. That's how long ago the last one was. I'm betting on the next ice age first. Fire or ice? Either might suffice.

Worrying about the wrong things is a nice way to pass idle hours.

Worrying about the right big things is unlikely to have much effect, at least in the short term.

It takes time to gin up a righteous movement. The climate changers have been at it for several decades. At the beginning it was cooling. The massive inertia is resulting in hysteria for the train is going over the cliff of their righteousness and they can't get off.

--Brant

Taggart Tunnel?

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Minor quibble. Dinosaurs in "tropical Arctic" would have had to swim or fly 24/7.

Antartica was subtropical 200-150 million years ago. Tragic that so-called scientists found Antarctic tropical plant fossils in ice cores and wrongly pegged it in time to jive with high levels of CO2 after the K-T extinction 65 million years ago.

Note: linked Wikipedia article was written by Brits, who use different terminology for geological epochs. Maybe that's partly the reason they have such a hard time finding oil. The K-T extinction proves man evolved from small mammals. Surviving "boundary mammalian species were generally small, comparable in size to rats." [op cit]

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Re: Climate Change One-liners ...

(on the CO2 plant food notion, I'd say that CO2 is food to plants the way Oxygen is food to humans. Without which death. Without which death, of course -- but concomitant processes like photosynthesis, protein-building, growth and nutrient inflow and fixation are also part of plant metabolism and need to be considered when testing the hypothesis that 'the more CO2 the better.'


It's more a fact than hypothesis, William.


Well, so says you. How would we know if your generalization holds, how would we know if the hypothesis stands true within its limits -- if it has not been put to rational tests? if I do not seek out viewpoints and scientific findings that may counter this 'fact' -- I can't say I've weighed its worth fairly.

I am not intending to insult, Brant. It just seems epistemically odd that your claim appears to be categorical -- CO2 is Plant food, the more the better.

For some plants? For all plants? Without altering ratios of nutrition to plant matter? Without considering effects of CO2 outside the plant kingdom? You seem to have skimmed over my questions in the preceding comment ...

I understand that you believe that global temperatures have stood still for 17 years on average, though this is not true in my opinion. I understand you believe CO2 lags temperature. What I don't understand is how you undertook investigation of these beliefs, by what process you arrived at such sure conclusions.

The available record seems to indicate CO2 concentrations seem to follow than proceed general warming trends.


Before getting much further, I'll make sure I understand what you are claiming. Is it your opinion that CO2 concentration always follows (rather than precedes) global temperature? I mean, is this generalization across the board, across the centuries and beyond human scale?

If I was the kind of creature with a life-span of billions of years, I could care less about the CO2, unless it was due to reach a higher concentration than at any time within that span. If I am a dinosaur cavorting in a tropical Arctic, what would I care about the saturation of CO2 -- what do I care about temperature except in my own range, time, and needs?


Minor quibble. Dinosaurs in "tropical Arctic" would have had to swim or fly 24/7.


I don't get the quibble. The Arctic region obviously comprises more than ocean. Look at the map. Or, look at this animation of continental drift over the ages from half a billion years ago. Click ahead to 1:15 minutes, 65 million years ago.



Certainly you will find the arctic region has been lush and full of life -- has been much warmer than the current century -- millions of years ago, before the rise of the mammals. Your points are somewhat oblique to my line of inquiry. If we go back to say 125,000 years ago, that is when temperatures were last significantly elevated over those of today, in the Eemian interglacial.


Anyhow, my point was to think about scales and scopes of concern. From within a human life-span, or in our case, nearing the end of human life-span, our concerns are most often bounded by decades within a century. Scale and scope matter in assessing risk and comparing regimes.


The deeper point about the cavorting dinosaur was in the context of this much warmer, more CO2 saturated world of the distant past. There were no humans to worry about anything. If any animal cogitations could rise to the level of concern, the concerns were day-to-day, week-to-week, season to season. Arctic and Antarctic plants and creatures were still subject to dark winters, but had adapted and evolved to survive and flourish. High CO2 and higher temperatures were the norm -- until the regime changed.**

Only great 'abrupt' regime changes terminate all such concerns -- as with the global event that killed off all dinosaurs but the feathered.

An additional graphic might help, on the largest scale of interest:

1560px-All_palaeotemps.svg.png

Antartica was subtropical 200-150 million years ago. Tragic that so-called scientists found Antarctic tropical plant fossils in ice cores and wrongly pegged it in time to jive with high levels of CO2 after the K-T extinction 65 million years ago.


There's three interesting points twined together. A warmer world obviously had warmer poles -- a lush and productive Antarctica does not imply a less-lush Arctic.

Jibing 'high' CO2 levels with tropical plant fossils in ice cores is in itself interesting. Do you have a cite or something to guide readers to your conclusion?

The 'so-called scientists and their wrong pegs -- can you expand? Do they have names? Can you suggest resources that cover your claim in more detail? A tragedy can be very instructive.

-- to your suggestion that a solar minimum, a new Maunder Minimum must lead to a new "Little Ice Age," are you interested in discussing this more fully? I ask because it seems one has to balance the effects of a rock-bottom solar energy cycle with all the other effects and processes that comprise climate.

Who knows the difference between total solar irradiance during a 'peak' or solar maximum -- and the total solar irradiance during an historical minimum?

I ask this question because there is a difference between metrics. The presentation that gave rise to the speculation you cite above, Wolf, presented one metric (based upon sunspot frequency) from an analysis of magnetic forces in the sun. This metric suggested up to 60% comparative decline in frequency of sunspots -- compared to measured and modeled high points.

What that metric did not do was propose a 60% diminution of solar energy. That is a separate calculation.

The final metrics for analysis are more or less missing once we consider a ensemble for examination. These comprise other effects that will either counter or augment a putative knock-on cooling, which in itself is assumed to be 'like' the Little Ice Age. (separately to consider is the geographical extent of the LIA). The lead author of the study was not categorical. She explicitly stated she was not a climatologist, and that she was only predicting a solar minimum, not the ensemble of global metrics.

To wrap up, who can calculate the extra 'down' pressure of a new solar minimum against the 'up' pressure of global temperature rise in the time-scale of the prediction?

I guess the only other thing I might add is some reading suggestions, the first from Nature, Increasing CO2 threatens human nutrition. And from Geophysical Research Letters, Abrupt onset of the Little Ice Age triggered by volcanism and sustained by sea-ice/ocean feedbacks

Four large and sulfur-rich volcanic eruptions kicked off the LIA, the SO2 thus generated reflected the sunlight, leading to colder temps (as in "volcanic winter"), at least in the Northern Hemisphere. There is less evidence for the LIA crossing the equator and disrupting the climate as severely there (though there is some evidence in Lake Titicaca cores and New Zealand data, it does not look as extreme as the northern hemisphere). Once sea ice and land ice increased from the volcanic haze blocking sunlight, feedbacks kept that climate in place (reduction in Atlantic "conveyor belt" thermohaline circulation, increased albedo). The Maunder Minimum certainly helped keep it cool, but how can you consider the Minimum the cause of the little ice age when it happened AFTER the onset of the LIA?
I am not suggesting that categorical 'fact' statements are necessarily dubious, it's just that purported facts need checking. It is good cognitive housekeeping, and helps you avoid believing in things that are not so. I don't suggest that I have answers for all the questions I have posed, nor that I have cornered the market on Reason. I do mean to help sharpen our tools of discernment, and to indicate what I think are answerable scientific questions. I do think there is a good issue from careful discussion and debate.
Here is a wee passage from the Guardian on the subject of a looming global cooling/NH freeze-up ...
To sum up, a number of scientific studies have asked the question, ‘if the sun were to enter another extended quiet phase (a grand solar minimum), how would that impact global surface temperatures?’. Every study agrees, it would cause no more than 0.3°C cooling, which would only be enough to temporarily offset about a decade’s worth of human-caused global warming.
grand_Solar_Minimum_SKs.jpg
The global mean temperature difference is shown for the time period 1900 to 2100 for the IPCC A2 emissions scenario. The red line shows predicted temperature change for the current level of solar activity, the blue line shows predicted temperature change for solar activity at the much lower level of the Maunder Minimum, and the black line shows observed temperatures through 2010. Adapted from Feulner & Rahmstorf (2010) by SkepticalScience.com
_____________________________
Around 52 million years ago, the concentration of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere was more than twice as high as today. "If the current CO2 emissions continue unabated due to the burning of fossil fuels, CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, as they existed in the distant past, are likely to be achieved within a few hundred years", explains Prof. Jörg Pross, a paleoclimatologist at the Goethe University and member of the Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F) in Frankfurt, Germany. "By studying naturally occurring climate warming periods in the geological past, our knowledge of the mechanisms and processes in the climate system increases. This contributes enormously to improving our understanding of current human-induced global warming."
Computer models indicate that future climate warming will be particularly pronounced in high-latitude regions, i.e., near the poles. Until now, however, it has been unclear how Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems responded in the geological past to a greenhouse climate with high atmospheric CO2 concentrations.
The scientists working with Prof. Pross analysed rock samples from drill cores on the seabed, which were obtained off the coast of Wilkes Land, Antarctica, as part of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). The rock samples are between 53 and 46 million years old and contain fossil pollen and spores that are known to originate from the Antarctic coastal region. The researchers were thus able to reconstruct the local vegetation on Antarctica and, accordingly, interpret the presence of tropical and subtropical rainforests covering the coastal region 52 million years ago.
Edited by william.scherk

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William, that's all fine if you accept the measurement methodology and Hockey Stick conjecture. As for my remark about the paleo Arctic being entirely oceanic at the time when Antarctica was subtropical, we can agree to differ if you like. I am positively in favor of global warming. I dislike being cold.

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William, that's all fine if you accept the measurement methodology and Hockey Stick conjecture. As for my remark about the paleo Arctic being entirely oceanic at the time when Antarctica was subtropical, we can agree to differ if you like. I am positively in favor of global warming. I dislike being cold.

Mann's "Hockey Stick" was scientific fraud. And the IPCC backed him up to the hilt.

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I'm just marking my place, William, but wondering at why you don't seem to adopt your inquisitive empirical methodologies to people who have opinions on this subject opposite to mine?

--Brant

or do you also post on CC Living?

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William, that's all fine if you accept the measurement methodology and Hockey Stick conjecture.

What is all fine? My questions, suggestions, comparisons, discussion points? We don't know what is meant by 'the measurement methodology' ...

Sorry if I don't quite grasp your opinion on, say, scope and scale.

As for my remark about the paleo Arctic being entirely oceanic at the time when Antarctica was subtropical, we can agree to differ if you like.

Name the era or eras you have in mind, and we can check. I thought your quibble was that the Arctic was solely ocean back in the dinosaur ages, which altered the surface of my thought experiment about Dino oblivious to CO2 concentrations or all but seasonal temperatures humpty-nine millions years ago.

If we are going to disagree, good. It helps to fix a discussion point. I will assume that if you were Dino or Fred Flintstone, what would you care about temperature except in your own range, time, and needs?

I am positively in favor of global warming. I dislike being cold.

I am not in favour of global warming continuing at the rate of the last century, even though my country may be one of the few to enjoy relative positive benefit in the short-term of decades. Having an icy roof to our lands, if the ice recedes, we can generally advance, with all the might of an advanced industrial economy.

Wolf, you and I will be dead by 2030, chances are. Maybe between now and then we can revisit this thread and see if our opinions have shifted, and if our questions have been answered.

Bob, let's have a discussion about the Hockey Stick Fraud sometime, beyond the slogans and one-liners. I don't think you and I have got into it yet. I don't want to believe your thinking has stalled.

There is actually a lot of great openers for discussion from page one, starter topics. I will do my best to draw a few doorways to discussion, even if I end up discussing mostly with myself. At times on these issues I feel like a lone hold-out on a jury.

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CO2 does slow down the rate at which the atmosphere transfers its heat to the upper atmosphere and space. But it does so at a much slower rate than the current received opinion allows.

This is a bit confusing, Bob. At an earlier point in discussion you cited Gerlich et al and told us that there was no such thing as a 'greenhouse effect' as generally understood. At the same time, you wrote "The CO2 in the atmosphere does inhibit the radiation of infrared wavelength in the sense that it slow down the rate at which such energy is radiated back into space. "

In another line of discussion, you wrote, "Back radiation is at odds with thermodynamics."

Can you give either a fuller explanation of the basics of conventionally-understood atmospheric heat transfer, or an explanation of 'back radiation' issues as noted in your own statement?

What is the reason CO2 in the atmosphere 'inhibits' the radiation of infrared energy (to space), as you understand it? I mean, I think I generally understand the basics of the mechanism of radiative tranfer. Maybe you could help readers grasp not only the (conventional) process -- but also just where the 'back radiation' (or downwelling infrared) is mismeasured or misunderstood.

-- in case Bob cares not to explain some of his claims, I can recommend a basic 'radiative transfer' introduction, but I am not sure anyone is interested.

To grossly simplify, as I have written before, solar energy is full-spectrum 'light' -- comprising visible light energy and invisible-to-humans radiation on the full spectrum between ultraviolet and infrared. The spectrum of solar energy is not completely blocked by oxygen, nitrogen, or greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The energy hits the surface of the earth, and a portion is radiated upward at a different wavelength.

fig11in.png

As noted, the radiation back up from the surface has differing profiles to visible light or solar energy as received from the sun. This radiation up from the earth has particular characteristics, among which is 'heat energy' in the infrared band.. In grossly simple terms, that infrared radiation is 'absorbed' and re-emitted by greenhouse gases such as CO2. The radiation is re-emitted by the CO2 downward, sideward, and upward.

I think Bob has his eye on the downward radiation as 'back radiation' -- but I could be wrong. Another term for infrared energy being re-emitted toward the earth is 'downwelling' radiation.

Here is an illustration that puts the 'downwelling (back) radiation in the context of simplified atmospheric processes.

RadiationCycle.jpg

CO2 is also a trace gas; no competition for oxygen and nitrogen so it's good "climate change" pr and propaganda to ignore that fact.

CO2 is a gas in the atmosphere, yes, well-mixed, yes, of long relative duration, yes (it doesn't quickly 'rain out' as with water vapour). It has had a concentration in the atmosphere lurching between upper and lower bounds for 400,000 years.

Carbon_Dioxide_400kyr.png

Now, when you write, Brant, that carbon dioxide is "no competition for oxygen and nitrogen" and that carbon dioxide is good climate change public relations and propaganda to ignore the fact, I don't really understand the conclusion.

I will take a stab at interpreting. I can reorder the statements to make a different declarative meaning.

-- carbon dioxide is a trace gas in the atmosphere. It is measured in parts per million (currently around 400ppm)

-- compare the concentration of oxygen and nitrogen to the trace gas.

Atm_Composition.png

-- now that we aren't ignoring the proportions, how can we best proceed, Brant? By exposing the proportions of a trace gas to other atmospheric components, does this obviate charges that I may be merely uttering 'climate change propaganda'?

I think I understand the point, but I might be in error. You may think that to talk about 'greenhouse effect' -- or/and associated 'warming' of the earth from radiative processes of sun-earth-oceans-atmosphere over time -- is not meaningful, because the effects of a tiny thing can only be tiny (relatively). So, to link CO2 to temperature, for example as a thermostatic thing, a control-knob, would not only be simplistic but also deceptive by omission. By not featuring the tiny scale of their atmospheric effect (GHE), results in the sense of conclusions are faulty. Is that the gist of what you mean?

Scale is what I think you are insisting on. That's good. To appreciate scale, one has to think like a billion-year old man. You don't think in terms of moments, seconds, minutes, you think in terms of hundreds of millions of years, tens of millions, millions, hundreds of thousands and tens of thousands, and centuries, decades and seasons. So to appreciate CO2 in 'scale' means zooming in and out through orders of magnitude, at the same time as keeping the eye on human history zooming by.

Anyway, Brant, it is a good excursion for reason, for the mind, to model 'what if' scenarios, once one grasps historical magnitudes. Is it even possible for an agent on earth (viz Man / Volcano) to 'alter' a climate over scales within and beyond the human adult life-span? If yes, somewhat or it depends, well, who do you trust to assess the relative contributions over the various meaningful scales?

That tiny fraction of buoyant carbon dioxide in the air, rising and falling within bounds over billion-year spans, what does that tell us about the coming decades of the 21st century?

Is it possible, is it plausible, that an increase in a tiny fraction of atmospheric energy agents can alter the otherwise contingent processes enough to trouble human beings in their present state, at their present extent, at their present distribution?

Here's an extract from the last time we had a reasonable discussion of central issues. I found revisiting earlier agreements aids ongoing discussion.

What this means is that without the GGs in the atmosphere, the Earth's average temperature would be like the Moon's temperature.

Here is a slightly-less simplified explanation of the greenhouse effect from NASA's Earth Observatory site:

The Natural Greenhouse Effect

Just as the major atmospheric gases (oxygen and nitrogen) are transparent to incoming sunlight, they are also transparent to outgoing thermal infrared. However, water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and other trace gases are opaque to many wavelengths of thermal infrared energy. Remember that the surface radiates the net equivalent of 17 percent of incoming solar energy as thermal infrared. However, the amount that directly escapes to space is only about 12 percent of incoming solar energy. The remaining fraction—a net 5-6 percent of incoming solar energy—is transferred to the atmosphere when greenhouse gas molecules absorb thermal infrared energy radiated by the surface.

When greenhouse gas molecules absorb thermal infrared energy, their temperature rises. Like coals from a fire that are warm but not glowing, greenhouse gases then radiate an increased amount of thermal infrared energy in all directions. Heat radiated upward continues to encounter greenhouse gas molecules; those molecules absorb the heat, their temperature rises, and the amount of heat they radiate increases. At an altitude of roughly 5-6 kilometers, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the overlying atmosphere is so small that heat can radiate freely to space.

Because greenhouse gas molecules radiate heat in all directions, some of it spreads downward and ultimately comes back into contact with the Earth’s surface, where it is absorbed. The temperature of the surface becomes warmer than it would be if it were heated only by direct solar heating. This supplemental heating of the Earth’s surface by the atmosphere is the natural greenhouse effect.atmosphere_energy_balance.jpg.

I often wish this list was of a size and power and funded strength that we could have an OL convention (as did SOLO, as does TAS, fitfully). I'd give a presentation on climate change. Some intuition tells me that there are a few Objectivish folks on the fence, not fully rejecting all climatology as perfused with corruption, deception, self-delusion and political evil. I'd like to reach a kind of understanding of where the best Objectivish objections are -- by presenting a 'what I believe and why I believe it' kind of overview. My grasp of the schmozzle of issues under the heading Climate Change.

I still pay attention to a variety of sites both skeptic and not. I try to keep abreast of current and long-roiling controversies. I try to keep on top of what is a massive set of interests and inquiries. It sometime occurs to me that the apparent overwhelming consensus at OL, one that rejects and disdains fields of inquiry dubbed climatological, is not representative. There can't be a 99.9% consensus. Some variables are hidden.

Anyhow, as part of my continuing education, I watch videos of various personalities doing their best to instruct, warn, counsel, explain, discuss fraught questions. This video shared below is not a debate, but a discussion in which the two worthies each come from a skeptical position. It allowed me to understand the strongest objections and the extent to which these prominent skeptics 'accept' components of conventional thinking (ie, radiative forcing, so-called greenhouse effect, CO2's role in temperature).

Here I cue the hour-long video at an interesting moment. It speaks to scale, CO2 and the grand epochs of time -- and a chart much like the second one above. Richard Lindzen takes issue with assessing 400,000 year BP CO2 to present, suggesting larger scales of time (before 400k BP) show other higher bounds (to 600ppm) looking further back, and even more high at certain points going back further.

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Wow! That's a lot of research, William.

I didn't mean oxygen or nitrogen are greenhouse competitors to CO2. I was just illustrating CO2 gasiness as a trace gas.

A better comparison might be, maybe, to compare the (supposed) greenhouse gas CO2 to water vapor as a greenhouse agent.

As for that CO2 chart through the ages, it's interesting in that it sort of implies maybe the current rise is from another source than human activity. Maybe, baby. The planet has been here before.

--Brant

soon the remnants of humanity will cower on and around the South Pole waiting for the final blast of heat (the mud!--oh, the mud!)

since you did so much work, I'll give your post a more studied read this PM

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Wow! That's a lot of research, William.

I didn't mean oxygen or nitrogen are greenhouse competitors to CO2. I was just illustrating CO2 gasiness as a trace gas.

A better comparison might be, maybe, to compare the (supposed) greenhouse gas CO2 to water vapor as a greenhouse agent.

As for that CO2 chart through the ages, it's interesting in that it sort of implies maybe the current rise is from another source than human activity. Maybe, baby. The planet has been here before.

--Brant

soon the remnants of humanity will cower on and around the South Pole waiting for the final blast of heat (the mud!--oh, the mud!)

since you did so much work, I'll give your post a more studied read this PM

At one time, Earth's atmosphere had 30 X the level it does now. Earth did not turn into Venus.

Please see https://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?r=77

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Wow! That's a lot of research, William.

I didn't mean oxygen or nitrogen are greenhouse competitors to CO2. I was just illustrating CO2 gasiness as a trace gas.

A better comparison might be, maybe, to compare the (supposed) greenhouse gas CO2 to water vapor as a greenhouse agent.

As for that CO2 chart through the ages, it's interesting in that it sort of implies maybe the current rise is from another source than human activity. Maybe, baby. The planet has been here before.

--Brant

soon the remnants of humanity will cower on and around the South Pole waiting for the final blast of heat (the mud!--oh, the mud!)

since you did so much work, I'll give your post a more studied read this PM

At one time, Earth's atmosphere had 30 X the level it does now. Earth did not turn into Venus.

Please see https://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?r=77

Too little data for too long a period of time. Showing a coincidence of CO2 to climate doesn't establish CO2 as a driver of climate. More recent data seems to show--I can't reference--that first the temperature goes up then the CO2 follows.

--Brant

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I often wish this list was of a size and power and funded strength that we could have an OL convention (as did SOLO, as does TAS, fitfully). I'd give a presentation on climate change. Some intuition tells me that there are a few Objectivish folks on the fence, not fully rejecting all climatology as perfused with corruption, deception, self-delusion and political evil. I'd like to reach a kind of understanding of where the best Objectivish objections are -- by presenting a 'what I believe and why I believe it' kind of overview. My grasp of the schmozzle of issues under the heading Climate Change.

I still pay attention to a variety of sites both skeptic and not. I try to keep abreast of current and long-roiling controversies. I try to keep on top of what is a massive set of interests and inquiries. It sometime occurs to me that the apparent overwhelming consensus at OL, one that rejects and disdains fields of inquiry dubbed climatological, is not representative. There can't be a 99.9% consensus. Some variables are hidden.

William,

Every time I bring up the crappy way climate change is sold to the public, you acknowledge it, then go back to ignoring this factor. For instance, the constant dramatic end-of-times predictions that fizzle as the clock rolls around, the outright intentional lies told to the public by some climate scientists and AGW advocates, the carbon credit scams, and so on.

As I have stated before, the people caught up in these things, when busted or otherwise exposed, must be denounced--LOUDLY--by manmade climate change supporters, not set aside from public discourse for a while, then given cushy jobs backstage once the dust settles a little. People aren't stupid. They see it. The effect of this on credibility is devastating to your cause. Even I wonder if people like you can be truly bothered by the possibility of humans destroying the planet when you tolerate so easily the risk dishonest propagandists on your side bring to science.

You should do everything you can to preserve the public credibility of your warning, not treat the scientists you promote as an old-boy elite club and use "peer review" as a get out of jail free card.

That doesn't work for convincing the public.

But I have already mentioned this. Since it is not that interesting to the climate change debate, I will not harp on it.

Still, I can't help but say something now that the climate change storytelling has gotten even worse than dishonest. It has gotten outright loopy.

Here is a baker's dozen of recent claims so you realize what I mean. (And there's plenty more where that came from.) I swear, this stuff doesn't sound any different in essentials than backwater fundamentalist Christians talking about Satan.

Terrorism

According to Bernie Sanders just recently, climate change is causing a growth in terrorism.

Syrian refugee crisis

Not to be outdone, Hillary Clinton this month said climate change causes the Syrian refugee crisis.

ISIS

According to Kelly A. Berkell, Attorney and Research Associate, Center on Terrorism at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, climate change caused ISIS.

Cod fish

According to Andrew Pershing and others from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, climate change caused cod fish to not return in northern New England waters after being overfished in the 1990s. (Study here.)

Sharks

According to a team of researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia, climate change causes sharks to become smaller and turn into lousy hunters.

Human sex drive and U.S. birth rate

According to Alan Barreca, lead author of a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, climate change kills the human sex drive and is bringing down the U.S. birth rate. (Study here.)

Prostitution

According to California Rep. Barbara Lee, climate change is going to force women into prostitution.

Rape and other crimes

According to Michael Ranson, a Senior Associate with Abt Associates, climate change will cause a spike in rapes and other crimes, especially violent crimes. (Study here.)

Australian farmer suicides

According to one Nick Squires of The Christian Science Monitor in 2006, climate change causes Australian farmer suicides.

Mental illness

According to a 2011 report by Lise van Susteren, MD, and Kevin J. Doyle, JD, published by the National Wildlife Federation, climate change causes mental illness and other mental health problems like depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress, substance abuse, suicides, widespread outbreaks of violence, and so on. (Report here.)

Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, dengue and Lyme disease

According to a 2012 article in the Yale News, climate change could be intensifying the prevalence of tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, dengue and Lyme disease.

Obesity in cities

According to Dr. Harry Rutter, senior clinical research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, climate change causes obesity in city dwellers.

Price of beer

In 2008, Jim Salinger, a climate scientist at New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research said climate change will cause an increase in the price of beer.

Seriously...

Do you see a PR problem here?

If you don't, I humbly suggest you know nothing about public persuasion.

I don't know how to cure the problem on your side because people who produce crazy stuff tend to be crazy and there are so many of them, but, believe me, the thud factor from supplying an endless stream of massaged data and scientific measurements slips off this climate change loopiness like a greased pig slips out of your arms. It doesn't stick. It doesn't persuade.

You gotta tell better stories--ones that don't bore the public to tears, but sound credible.

And you have to denounce the loopiness.

The price if you don't?

Yawns and disbelief, even if you up your storytelling game.

Look around and see if yawns and disbelief about manmade climate change aren't growing the world over. They are.

I, myself, am not a fan of manmade climate change warnings. I don't look at the stacks of science papers because I don't trust the scientists. (I'm not alone.) I already get irritated when I read a science paper because of the boredom from academic writing style and jargon. Imagine reading a bunch of them only to find out many are baloney and spin dressed up to look like science. Who wants to piss away their life wading through boring useless crap? There's been way too much monkey-business and way too many busts to trust the old-boy's peer-review club anymore.

If you want to reach people like me (and I believe the public at large), tell better stories. Then after I'm hooked (should that happen), start feeding me data in bite-size bits--with not a whiff of one of those discredited people near it. On the contrary, I want to hear you say what scumbags they are for betraying their integrity and your cause. (Believe me, I'm not alone.)

Here's a reality check. The time for the end-of-times scare-mongering has passed. Piles of science studies no longer mean anything because other piles can be had that say the contrary. (And there's all that monkey-business...) Your side blew it.

And another reality check. If your side does not get through to people like me, climate change will eventually go the way of eugenics. Where I'm at right now, I think it should.

But I'll listen to a good story to the contrary if one ever gets told. It's pretty far down on my priorities, so the time I can give my attention to this topic is pretty limited. But I'm still good to hear a good story...

I love your passion for this, but I keep seeing you flog a dead horse. I sense your frustration. The advice above is the best I can do to help and still stay true to my own beliefs and knowledge...

Michael

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Michael, thanks for the list of links/stories to examine -- I am always up to assess the level of whoopee in media treatments of climate change issues -- even if I was trying here to keep to a tight subject area within a larger ongoing discussion. As for the rest of your argument, I wish you more often engage with the points (or 'story') in my comments -- as well as more generally judge that I am 'doing it wrong.'

That said, a couple of earlier posts of yours stressing my lack of persuasive chops are still in my 'dry-dock,' only part way to launch. It is interesting to me, disagreement -- it is where the action is, so to speak. The OL consensus on climate change interests me because of any group of persons, a rational quorum is the one most likely to arrive at reliable knowledge. We almost all of us here believe in reason as best tool to arrive at that knowledge. We almost all have a faith that 'reality' can be apprehended through concerted reason.


We have had an exchange of climate topic meta-views, you first, and then me. To my chagrin, none of what I wrote opened any mental doors for you, as far as I could tell. I don't know how to engage you in the points that interest me. You perhaps don't know how to engage me in the points that interest you. We may be on entirely different flight paths to the same destination. In which case, it is an individual journey to understanding. I shouldn't perhaps expect you to engage in the pith of my commentaries until I more fully engage with the earlier comment to your satisfaction.

In 'dry-dock' is a longish piece from you suggesting several ways of 'doing it right'; I'll just straight up say I don't know exactly how to respond to its fullness. I will share one bit of the analytic work I did in plotting a response. Off the top I my head I wrote:

On my first read through of your comment/reaction above, Michael, my eye caught out a few signal phrases. . Then I figured I should read through carefully a second time for theme and story ignoring rhetoric in favour of core message, then I read through again to figure out three further things: where was the edge of divergence between you and I on the topic of the thread, which were the elements of agreement at various levels, what should be the story structure and tone of my response.

I could have done then a point-by-point venetian-blind response, but I chose not to, because you hadn't a ctually quoted or commented on any of my actual thousands of words. I went with a story that said "I am attracted to disagreement in order to get to agreement."

Now I can try to do this again, but more explicitly. The signal phrases were winnowed to two: "you and people like you" and "sleaze." The pith of your remarks are there.



I then began a 'venetian blind' response, then stopped, trying to winnow out the pith. Here's some of the phrases that I compiled:

  • those of your way of thinking, sleaze, scientists and administrators
  • promoting the end of times
  • power grab has been breathtaking in its amateurishness
  • do I see you, or people who think like you, slamming the dishonest assholes?
  • scientist who promotes AGW cannot be trusted
  • Al Gore is a clown and jerk
  • You just keep arguing
  • blast the idiots who abused their authority and good name
  • ostracizing them
  • Only after that can you have skeptics listen
  • huge mess of manipulation
  • "that guy" was a dishonest prick
  • filling his pockets
  • intimidating honest scientists
  • staging a power grab
  • not OK to ignore "that guy."
  • sleazy folks
  • Throw the bums off the team and I, for one, will start listening to other options
  • nobody believes people who tolerate and welcome scientists and administrators who sell-out their integrity on their team.
  • one of the main reasons for their skepticism is the sleaze on your side.
  • get rid of the sleazy folks.
  • Get pissed
  • sleaze. From nobody. Especially from folks on your side.
  • assholes betrayed you,
  • ignore it like you have been doing
  • you and those who think like you
  • You are afraid of the sleazy folks on your side come after you like you know they will
  • you keep dwelling in this alternate universe driven by end of times panic
  • contaminated
  • sheer greed
  • money and power
  • clear foundation is that lying and sleazy behavior to persuade people to save the planet from an ecological Apocalypse is virtue

-- a quite uncharitable interpretation of this is that I must behave as suggested and believe as suggested, and conclude as suggested, and then and only then will Michael engage with my comments at a deeper level.

This is a challenge. I am not done thinking about it. I wonder if it is going to be worthwhile to offer a challenge or challenges of my own.

In any case, it's all good, as they say. I am in this (paying broad attention to and writing on climate change issues) for myself above all. It is my own understanding which is my primary goal.

To that end, I can take on board Michael's trenchant criticism, and give close attention to the stories he wishes me to denounce. Who knows, maybe I will come out denouncing every single item in approved terms. Then, perhaps, I can interest Michael in reading the Spencer Weart book that I have touted here and there. Maybe that will be my challenge to thim.

So, this is part one of three responses. I will really try to respond to each strand of Michael's post. It is part of the chore of reasoning, a chore that I actually enjoy most times.

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I will say for William he is balanced, nothing like a few frothing, screeching AGW alarumists Ive unfortunately come to grips with. I guess you can't always pick your fellow travellers. He's become quite a self-made expert lately and I've taken much from his input, albeit without anybody in his corner.

A worthwhile video with Richard Lindzen.

"The problem is detecting a signal in a noisy environment".

(My 'Hearing a Swiss watch at a rock concert' notion of years ago still holds... Ha!)

I nearly fell off my chair at some of the "claims" Michael put up; I had no clue it had gotten this wildly irrational.

If that's any indication, we are in for a rough ride.

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William,

I do not consider you, or those similar to you, like the crappy dishonest AWG manipulators and sellouts. I think you have honest concerns and I would not be against looking at some of them (within my time constraints). But in neutral territory for real. Not from within your preordained core story and conviction that I do not share. (Nor mine, for that matter.)

I don't want to play a persuasion game. I want to identify correctly in order to evaluate correctly. I am willing to share that as common ground.

But I have been unable to get a simple idea across to you.

This can only happen when there is credible stuff to look at.

So long as there is silence from you and those similar to you about the crappy AWG manipulators and sellouts, I will not be persuaded to turn over my sanction for more money and power to those who wish to govern mankind's efforts against the alleged coming planetary apocalypse. Because that's what they are continually demanding: more money and more power. And they want to restrict what people can produce and how well they can live with manufactured goods. I do not treat their wishes for money and power as a distant abstraction. Nor do I treat all the dishonesty from AWG manipulators and sellouts as an inconvenient trifle.

Crappy AWG manipulators and sellouts, especially the ones who have been busted, are no longer credible.

And when you preach their causes, but give them a pass, your arguments get tainted by what they did. You can't get people to simply look because they have already seen too much from those who betrayed science.

I fell into this trap before. I went through technical studies, not once, but several times, trying to keep awake and interested. Forcing myself to be honest and open-minded. Then I discovered the people who wrote them were intent on deceiving the public because their own money depended on it. And they pressured peers who disagreed with them to leave the profession. (I actually started a few years ago by looking at Al Gore's documentary, then went on looking at some science papers. And news accounts. Then more papers and some nasty discussions.)

That was too much effort by me for that result. I can enjoy the story of a simple con by turning on the TV and watching a crime show. I don't need to fill my mind with technical data I will never use.

But, whenever I see you try to talk to folks like me about AWG, here comes a War and Peace size exposition of the same thing nobody ever looks at. I realize you deploy a lot of passion and work in getting it together, but it's almost like an intimidation tactic.

(The subtext--not by you, but when others do it--is if I do not expend long hours going religiously through all that stuff, I am too stupid to have an intelligent opinion regarding the big picture. In general re AWG, this no longer works as a silencing tactic and it sure as shootin' doesn't persuade anyone. I'm not saying you are trying to manipulate, but you are a primate and primates learn mainly by imitation. This tactic is something the AWG manipulators have done abundantly since the beginning. It almost seems natural to do it. If I were an AWG supporter, I would probably do the same. God knows I have imitated Rand's forms of writing before. :smile: )

And it accompanies questions like: "Which parts do you disagree with?" (Granted, with you there is usually some honest soul-searching mixed in and a bit of perplexity about why your message is not resonating, both of which I greatly appreciate.) But all throughout the exposition, there is total indifference as to whether your reams of homework for me and others might involve some of the crappy AWG manipulators and sellouts. Total silence about them.

Well, I'm not Charlie Brown and you are not Lucy with the football. I need a compelling reason to go through all that again since I have been burned a few times.

Let me give you a counter-example. Suppose I were defending a religion, say Christianity. Whenever you tell me you think there are honest religious folks, but you really dislike TV evangelists of the huckster kind, you think they are conmen, I go, "OK. Anyway, what do you find wrong with this?" And I list a ton-load of commentary on nuances of the Bible, including all the rulers in the ancient promised land before Samuel and Saul (the "judges" of the 12 tribes of Israel) and how they later related to Jesus and the Book of Revelation. And in the middle of it is a lot of the buzzwords and attitudes used by TV evangelists of the huckster kind, especially how you will resolve everything in your life if you accept Jesus as your savior, along with calls for more tithes and donations. Then I ask if you would please engage me in meaningful dialogue.

You ask me again, a bit uncomfortably, "What do you think of TV evangelists of the huckster kind? Like those who got busted with prostitutes and offshore accounts? Like those who fleeced the elderly? Like those sleazebags?"

I say, "Mumble mumble mumble... Anyway, I have good news for you. I have added to my list of Biblical nuance commentary. And it is only 297 pages of fine print. I've also included some folks who disagree with this or that religious doctrine. See? I'm meeting you halfway. So could you please let me know exactly which part you disagree with? btw - The people I support also want government control over you and everyone else on the planet, especially your sex life, because there's this big honking apocalypse coming and they need this control. But don't worry. They all agree with each other, so they keep each other honest..."

Then you ask, once again, "What do you think TV evangelists of the huckster kind? I think they are horrible, dishonest and a disgrace to their own integrity. They dishonor their religion. They are pure hypocrites. Why won't you repudiate them? I won't look at your information until you let me know what you think about them."

I answer, "Well... I mean... anyway... look here. I have some more Biblical nuance commentary. Another 312 pages. Isn't it exciting? I don't know why I can't get you or other people engaged. I know you are all intelligent, but you just won't engage... Why can't we have a rational discussion about this? Just look how you talk--the words you use when discussing religion:

huckster

conmen

fleece the elderly

sleazebags

horrible

disgrace to their integrity

dishonor their religion

pure hypocrites..."

:smile:

In short, in this context, don't give me more technical homework. I've wasted enough time on that for my personal values. I will never use that stuff. Tell me a good story that sounds reasonable and I'll listen. But tell me to get on board with Al Gore's vanity apocalypse and treat me like I'm stupid or unfair for not analyzing all the details of that for 1,700 hours of tedious torture, you lost me.

(By Al Gore, I not only mean him, but every one of those who have been busted lying to the public and intimidating peers even as their fingers are still in the cookie jar.)

In further short, I have a great deal of contempt for scientists and science promoters who lie about the science under their watch to gain money and power. It perplexes me that honest people who formally hold science over religion (who hold science as sacred, in fact) are indifferent to this misuse when they seek to persuade and instruct the public about a cause they believe in.

My attitude is when an owner is fine with pickpockets freely running around in his store, I won't shop there. It doesn't matter how great he claims the quality of his goods are. I will avoid going in.

And should I go back (because "this time it's different") after getting ripped off several times and hearing about lots of others, I will be suspicious and ready to bolt in a moment's notice...

Michael

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More meta meta meta ... part two. Combined word-count: 2,979. Tone: reasonable. Snooze-factor: acute

Summary: Michael and I have a dialogue, frank and forthright. We emerge wiser from mutual inquiry. I get cake.

William,

Every time I bring up the crappy way climate change is sold to the public, you acknowledge it, then go back to ignoring this factor. For instance, the constant dramatic end-of-times predictions that fizzle as the clock rolls around, the outright intentional lies told to the public by some climate scientists and AGW advocates, the carbon credit scams, and so on.


It is only in America that a strong political gulf predicts 'belief' in AGW. I think we need to root our observations of 'selling to the public' by public perceptions and attitudes. What are American 'beliefs' on climate change issues and how have they changed? How do we assess the 'state of opinion' in the wider world?

In this comment you amassed some links to 'crappy ways' or fizzled predictions, and assorted claims and disputes. That's for the next part of my response.

As I have stated before, the people caught up in these things, when busted or otherwise exposed, must be denounced--LOUDLY--by manmade climate change supporters, not set aside from public discourse for a while, then given cushy jobs backstage once the dust settles a little. People aren't stupid. They see it. The effect of this on credibility is devastating to your cause. Even I wonder if people like you can be truly bothered by the possibility of humans destroying the planet when you tolerate so easily the risk dishonest propagandists on your side bring to science.


If I understand the threads of argument here, people like me have lost credibility with you, or with people like you. One reason is because I do not see 'dishonest propagandists' from 'my side' in the same way as you do.

My aims in this kind of discussion is to get to disagreement, clear the thickets, see just where folks' understanding lies, and where the disagreement is sharpest.


Our disagreement may stem from sorting into Us and Them. I am a "Them" to you. You want me to denounce "Them" ... as dishonest propagandists.

Well, let's go with this. Let's have a look at the last comment I made and see which "Them" I should have denounced. I will come back and flesh this out. I will be looking through my comment for any reliance upon 'busted' 'propagandist' purveyors. Maybe where I seem to 'trust' a source, Michael distrusts that source. It bears examination.

You should do everything you can to preserve the public credibility of your warning, not treat the scientists you promote as an old-boy elite club and use "peer review" as a get out of jail free card.

That doesn't work for convincing the public.


Parsing with the Principle of Charity, this means the credibility of my comments is undermined by two failures -- the first concerns my warning and the second concerns my promotion of scientists.

-- I promote scientists
-- I treat scientists as an old-boy elite
-- I use peer review as a 'get out of jail free' card
-- if I want to preserve the credibility of my 'warning' I should not treat 'my' scientists to uncritical attention

I don't get it. Of any part of your response, Michael, this is the one I have a hard time grokking.


But I have already mentioned this. Since it is not that interesting to the climate change debate, I will not harp on it.


It is important to you that I offer my mental work product -- what I think and why -- with a concomitant or precedent denunciation of bad science, bad science reporting, bad advocacy, bad arguments.

Onward!

Still, I can't help but say something now that the climate change storytelling has gotten even worse than dishonest. It has gotten outright loopy.

Here is a baker's dozen of recent claims so you realize what I mean. (And there's plenty more where that came from.) I swear, this stuff doesn't sound any different in essentials than backwater fundamentalist Christians talking about Satan.


Climate-change story-telling is a good phrase. I'd like to use it next part. I will respond there to the 'baker's dozen' ... of stuff no different than backwater Christians talking about Satan.

Onward.

I don't know how to cure the problem on your side because people who produce crazy stuff tend to be crazy and there are so many of them, but, believe me, the thud factor from supplying an endless stream of massaged data and scientific measurements slips off this climate change loopiness like a greased pig slips out of your arms. It doesn't stick. It doesn't persuade.


Are you trying to persuade me in turn? If so, you should know that general terms like "an endless stream of massaged data and scientific measurements" are not persuasive to me in turn. It is the specifics of disagreement between me and you over particular data that will be interesting to me.

I am not persuaded yet that you wish to engage with particulars. I think you prefer the 'meta.' I also get the hint of a bit of anti-science bias, but that is probably just an effect of your passionate rhetoric. You would be happy -- in a perfect world of time enough -- to get into a couple or three nitty-gritty discussions about particularly suspect metrics and botched or unwarranted conclusions.

I think a shared standard of assessment would aid us in those kinds of discussion.

You gotta tell better stories--ones that don't bore the public to tears, but sound credible.


Well, I really appreciate your point of view, but I am happy with the way I approach the issues here in this thread. I don't call names, I don't bitch out anyone unduly. I construct an argument that makes sense to me, and I hope that folks at least get an understanding of how I get to my opinions. I am happy with my sense of focus. The reader I keep in mind is me, selfish me.

Again and again you will see me, Michael, indulge in some glittering generalities on my beliefs about rational thinking, reasoning, protracted study. I am at my most Objectivish on epistemic questions. I believe that we can angle in on truth, on reality, by using the best tools of reason.

A shared standard of assessment may be a way to help our contrasting opinions guide us to shared conclusions, or at least a mutual understanding of this or that bit of scientific opinion. A shared stance of skepticism might make our discussions more productive.

Let me ask you this, Michael. What are your mid-term aims in discussing climate change issues with me? If they only comprise a goal to make me much more critical of AGW hoopla, well, is this where I can ask you to be much more critical -- to the point of denunciation -- of those on 'your side'?

I mean, let's say I mention the work of the three 'alarmists' who took part in the APS workshop experts session on the way to revision of the APS climate change statement (see here for an overview of the process). Let's say I talk about the arguments made by Santer, Williams and Held. Should I preface my remarks by denouncing others on the same 'side'? If so, then say you wanted to enter discussion of the other three experts, Christy, Curry and Lindzen. Ought I demand you denounce a few names from their 'side'?

It could be, of course, that you are equidistant to Them and Us. You may be an Us of One. You might not have a 'side.'

And you have to denounce the loopiness.

The price if you don't?

Yawns and disbelief, even if you up your storytelling game.


I will take this personally. If I don't denounce loopiness of 'alarmist' opinion and advocacy, then you will yawn in disbelief.

Fair enough. That is your deal for me. How about a deal for you? How about you denounce by name and deed the 'opposing' side to my storytelling?

Look around and see if yawns and disbelief about manmade climate change aren't growing the world over. They are.


Ah, I can see the yawns and disbelief here and in similar threads. I don't see or sample the opinions of the silent readers.

But you suggest a way of checking both our possible biases. Let's find a metric to gauge yawns and disbelief beyond the commentary here. Let's see if we can at least agree on the thing to measure. Let's figure out how to measure it properly.

"Look around" just where? Are you thinking of public opinion where it is sampled on 'belief' in man-made climate change?

I, myself, am not a fan of manmade climate change warnings.


That is admirably clear. At some point and under some circumstances, you will heed or pay attention to 'warnings.' Here you might be interested in reading my comment again where i discuss scope ...

I don't look at the stacks of science papers because I don't trust the scientists. (I'm not alone.) I already get irritated when I read a science paper because of the boredom from academic writing style and jargon.


To be honest, this is troubling, almost sad -- if I gave it an uncharitable reading.

I'd say there has to be a set of filters and buffers and strainers you use to sift and sort 'could be good' from 'could be bad' science publications of various venue and heft -- and I would say you have an apparatus you haul out when you study a particular article closely. There is the MSK way of discerning, a standard by which all scientific claims can be vetted, even if only initially.

I believe that if a piece of work has entered your view you crack out the sharpest tools. You don't leave your skepticism or suspicion untested. You do not sweep away a whole discipline or field of study, though you may have heightened suspicion of this or that field or subspecialty.

The happy spin I put on your 'I don't look at science papers because scientists are untrustworthy' meme -- is that it depends. You do not have an 'anti-science' habit of mind.

Imagine reading a bunch of them only to find out many are baloney and spin dressed up to look like science.


Yeah. It makes me think of all the reading I did at McGill in Montreal, where one of my intellectual projects was understanding all the bullshit strains of Critical Theory. Did you ever read the Susan Haack essay I always recommend -- about Preposterism? It sheds light on your point. If you haven't, please take the time. It explains the downside to scientism and anti-scientism. You will find it buttresses your points and also buttresses mine -- or it will at least give a clue to my basic orientation towards 'inquiry' -- I believe that there is more or less good inquiry, inquiry being the overall term that encompasses science and non-science, truth-seeking investigative disciplines. You will enjoy the linguistic kill shots that Haack pings out, and quite probably relish the artful trashing she does of fake and sham inquiry ...

I'd love to know what you think of that essay.

Who wants to piss away their life wading through boring useless crap? There's been way too much monkey-business and way too many busts to trust the old-boy's peer-review club anymore.


Well, there's the whole discernment thing again. "Monkey-business" is a waaay broad charge, and as I suggested, it must be assumed across the board to Us and Them to be fair and useful. We get the standard of inquiry that sorts out non-monkey from monkey. Boring as fluid dynamics may be for me, I do not squint balefully at such physicists who claim knowledge. At some point, we each can accept, provisionally, the analysis of 'expert' opinion, even if only within strict terms of competence (like maybe say a Garden Expert, a Tax Expert, a Civil War expert and so on to the limit of our trust).

I would iike to see a few paragraphs from you critiquing peer review as a concept and practice. I see it as a necessary but not-sufficient 'filter' in the discernment apparatus. Not in itself a perfect thing, not in itself indicative of any truth value, not in itself the only process whereby knowledge claims are winnowed and put to the test.

Replication. Peer-review formal and informal, Publication. Commentary. Rebuttals. Further research.

The ball moves closer to the goal with each process. Doesn't mean any one aspect kicks it in. That's at least the way I regard the self-correcting processes of Science qua Science (the ideal).

If you want to reach people like me (and I believe the public at large), tell better stories. Then after I'm hooked (should that happen), start feeding me data in bite-size bits--with not a whiff of one of those discredited people near it. On the contrary, I want to hear you say what scumbags they are for betraying their integrity and your cause. (Believe me, I'm not alone.)


This is good advice. It's especially good advice for me as a purveyor of a minority position here. I don't actually worry myself sick with your judgement, Michael, because you sometimes seem disengaged from the detailed discussion formal, if not from the get-go, more interested in grander schemes of truth at a broader angle or higher level from me.

I am at a few sharper fact issues, trying to poke about around the commonly-accepted denominators, trying to figure out where on the spectrum my reader-responders are, and how I can make my comments interesting to them and perhaps thought-provoking to silent readers. I am striving to make an argument that is sound and logical and so satisfy my sense of right and balance.

Denunciation is fun where warranted and pertinent, but I don't get into that mood on these threads much. Scherkian outrage or high snark -- I don't want it in my climate discussions. That is not what I want to offer. I want to offer the thoughtful and responsive analyst kind of Scherk that has appeared the last couple years of so. I don't often get up a head of steam enough to fulminate on fools and dunderheads we all agree should be burned if only in effigy. Maybe I see myself as a dry tonic of sorts. It works for me.


I would relish reading a thoughtful essay from you wherein we attached names and deeds to the 'discredited people' .. the 'scumbags' and traitors ...

You want me to denounce a 'scumbag,' name the scumbag along with his or his misdeed. Show me you are engaged at a detail level that interests me, and please understand I take disagreement as a challenge. The more pointed and specific a disagreement, the easier it is to struggle towards agreement.

Here's a reality check. The time for the end-of-times scare-mongering has passed. Piles of science studies no longer mean anything because other piles can be had that say the contrary. (And there's all that monkey-business...) Your side blew it.


I can bat back with an equal flourish of rhetoric, but. My side blew it is a bit diffuse, I would personalize it: you have blown it, William. Your attempts here are fooling no one. Piles of science studies no longer mean anything. I distrust anything you have to say. You blew it, dude.

And another reality check. If your side does not get through to people like me, climate change will eventually go the way of eugenics. Where I'm at right now, I think it should.


Okay, the Us and Them stuff could subside if we each grant the other a certain dignity, as if we presume that each other is honestly seeking truth, and that each one will have evidential thresholds, that neither of us has fixed views or crippling cognitive biases. We each give each other respect for the mutual values of intelligence, reason, careful argument, even-handed discussion, clear and legible logic, proper caveats in the Objectivsh manner -- taking context and certainties and probabilities as part of weighting and winnowing knowledge.

To be a bit metaphorical, your winnowing has left you feeling lied to and ripped off by purportedly rational operators (roughly, climatologists). The liars leave you distrusting the entire edifice of 'expertise' tout court. You will not at all be surprised if our future shows a mad, progressivist infection that foisted a hoax in place of rationally-derived knowledge. All climate-related alarm and even concern is futile, because the 'hoax' or complex delusion will pass, and relatively soon if not within our lifetimes. It will be revealed that the entire controversy was driven by a corrupt epistemology.

I am on the other side, seeing concern and alarm as contingent on the reality. I don't see every alarming statement or claim as immediately specious or unwarranted especially when ripped from the headlines. I always want to strip back the bumf and PR and get down to the primary material. I also separate as much as I can the different levels of discourse: in the literature, by the estimable/corrupt scientists, by science media, by attendant lobby/critique internet mediators, by opinion forums, by opinion-leaders, by august bodies, by scumbag disinformation ...

But I'll listen to a good story to the contrary if one ever gets told. It's pretty far down on my priorities, so the time I can give my attention to this topic is pretty limited. But I'm still good to hear a good story...


Ah, that's the thing. It can be told as a kind of history, from either 'side.' Have you read any history-ish books about the climate wars across all the levels? Insert Weart plug here.

I love your passion for this, but I keep seeing you flog a dead horse. I sense your frustration. The advice above is the best I can do to help and still stay true to my own beliefs and knowledge...


Me and the horse will both be fine. I am not so much flogging anything -- in my mind -- as I am inquiring and open for discussion. I give you the full venetian-blind treatment here, and I will give my denunciations in part three.

I can only appeal to your sense of inquiry, Michael, and think how a complicated investigation can be reduced to meme-ish proportions. Maybe it's hard to translate the cognitive punch of a simple story to a many-faceted beast seeking gnosis on umpteen dimensions.

Insert plug to Weart directly to MSK here. History, story-telling, struggle, converging evidence, opposition, doubt, certainties in context, the big picture, the realization and the adjustment. The climax of understanding and the anti-climax we live through at our human pace.

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I will take this personally. If I don't denounce loopiness of 'alarmist' opinion and advocacy, then you will yawn in disbelief.

Fair enough.

William,

You took it wrong and it is not "fair enough."

I was not talking about a power game or threat.

I was talking about a persuasion cause and effect.

Please continue how you wish. Don't be surprised by the yawns, though, like the ones happening the world over. These happen not because nobody loves you. :) It's because if you throw an apple in the air, it falls to the ground. Cause and effect from gravity.

I could unpack that last post of yours, but this is the worst I have seen you misunderstand something. There is just too much to unpack.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I get the impression you are not interested in persuasion, but compliance.

If so, good luck with that.

:)

Michael

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William. Who is trying on OL "to arrive at reliable knowledge"?

Everybody seems to have docked--somewhere.

--Brant

you too

Poesy.

If I could see into souls, Brant, if I could see so far. In the absence of second sight, I think all of us are on that poetic road to knowledge. Under a hundred Randian umbrellas, epistemologically-primed for advancements.

It's not like a constant struggle and pick and trudge over ground well-trodden, or a mosh-pit of mud and delusion and noise, at least not to me Pollyanna. It's the arrows of progress humans shot out of the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution.

We are Homo Sapiens. Our vast power comes from Knowledge. Our precious refined product of Reason.

-- that is kinda what I was getting at, blowing a little wind in the sails, touting a little adventure. I wouldn't be here if I thought everyone was docked for good. I am no grand explorer on the high seas or in the firmament, but neither am I housebound or without vantage.

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Lucky you don't get shot...

artillery-cannon-animated-gif-6.gif

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Compliance with his persuasion?

The final conclusion doesn't matter as long as the conversation continues?

The basic (metaphysical) question here--the above is basically epistemological--is: does human activity significantly affect climate respecting warming or cooling?

In my grandfather's last book, Adventures In Conservation With Franklin Roosevelt (name dropping in the title), 1988, Irving Brant, he doesn't know (p.322) if the temperature is going to go up or down 6 or 7 degrees along with other possible assorted man-made calamities. Since he died in1976 and his daughters edited the book to posthumous publication, I don't know if this is from him or them, not that it matters. They were all ardent conservationists. None had any scientific bones. At this time the flip from the world is going to end in ice to the world is going to end in fire was going on amongst their peer group. It was all about bitch-slapping society with a moral, not scientific view. This constant save the earth for nothing is more important moralizing plowed right into the helpless/hapless scientific community and the scientists either went along--lots of money there--or by and large shut up. This moralizing is basically moralizing from the left for political power to impose right conduct on hoi polloi. It can logically degenerate all the way into a totalitarian state. The totalitarians did this once with ideological communism and Nazism. They can do it again with environmentalism. (This does not mean that most environmentalists aren't well intentioned people. A lot of well intentioned communists got liquidated. (Were there any well intentioned Nazis? Maybe a few; one saved a lot of Chinese from the Japanese rape of Nanking.)

It's conceivable the totalitarian controlling impulse will pick up another moral banner for another attempt to rule the world. Maybe in a few hundred years it will be called "Objectivism." That I don't think so won't make it not so. Those makers and shakers are not yet born.

--Brant

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The basic (metaphysical) question here--the above is basically epistemological--is: does human activity significantly affect climate respecting warming or cooling?

That is the great question right there. Is it possible, is it plausible that humans can affect climate (on meaningful scales)? Is it possible, plausible that human CO2 emissions can lead to warming? It's like the experiment started in the 1800s. The output is charted, an apparent warming is charted. At what point will the experiment offer robust findings to us, the onlooker and critic?

I like the way that question is posed. It leaves room for answers. It makes least assumptions.

This constant save the earth for nothing is more important moralizing plowed right into the helpless/hapless scientific community and the scientists either went along--lots of money there--or by and large shut up. This moralizing is basically moralizing from the left for political power to impose right conduct on hoi polloi.

Yeah, well, maybe. I'd think the earth processes are mostly indifferent to leftism. The experiment is running. Climate processes can be assessed rationally, objectively (the Objectivish ideal). Once you know what is going on, you can then talk about action (or, in the interim, run 'risk scenarios' if only for the military benefit of forewarning).

Can I put aside the wild leftism of Canadian environmentalism when discussing climate issues? Is there a utility for you guys to be further sensitized to The Possible Plot and its Plotters, by me? Maybe not. It seems everyone is pretty well primed to be suspicious. That is also a good thing, the evidential bar is set high, the question of motive always in the room,, the Green-Red Agenda looming.

It can logically degenerate all the way into a totalitarian state. The totalitarians did this once with ideological communism and Nazism. They can do it again with environmentalism. (This does not mean that most environmentalists aren't well intentioned people. A lot of well intentioned communists got liquidated. (Were there any well intentioned Nazis? Maybe a few; one saved a lot of Chinese from the Japanese rape of Nanking.)

From a certain angle the totalitarian, supranational power is already astride the world stage. Every last (corrupt or not) national academy reports to every last government on what they think they know -- and this feeds into multilateral outfits like the IPCC. There is no 'higher' body in that sense. The Arbiter is on duty. Few countries buck the 'conventional wisdom' which is like the MOR Democrat green+red=brownshirt wisdom down there.

It's conceivable the totalitarian controlling impulse will pick up another moral banner for another attempt to rule the world. Maybe in a few hundred years it will be called "Objectivism." That I don't think so won't make it not so. Those makers and shakers are not yet born.

Poesy. I am with you part of the way.

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That is the great question right there. Is it possible, is it plausible that humans can affect climate (on meaningful scales)? Is it possible, plausible that human CO2 emissions can lead to warming?

William,

I'm on board with this, except it is only valid for me if it includes the contrary questions--and I mean this as seriously considered questions, not ones given to lip service to (in order to appear objective) or treated as strawmen to knock down.

In other words:

Is it possible, is it plausible that humans may not affect climate on meaningful scales? Is it possible, plausible that human CO2 emissions do not lead to warming?

I can only entertain a look first, then evaluate process in my mind if both groups of questions are on the table without all the politics, vanities, prejudices, needs to maintain government funding, needs to keep oil profits high, attempts to win arguments or silence others, including through peer pressure, mockery, and so on. (What you called "us against them," at least, that's what I think you were referring to.)

This also includes the questions that arise from any reasonable answers to the first round.

It's hard to start over because so much has become tainted by subterfuge for money and power on all sides. Too many "authorities" have commitments that supercede proper (meaning objective) identification of the facts, issues and causality.

Michael

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Part three ... MSK puts up a welter of storytelling from various media sources. I quote these separately from the argument MSK made before and after the list. Blinders on, blinders off. It's a good thing all round to look at public statements and claims, and subject them to critique, reproach. It is important to have errors exposed.

As some anonymous climate-blog commentator said, "no doubt it can be painful ... mistakes are our greatest learning tools."

So let's get in there and thrash, thrash the sheaves of information proffered, thrash out the good stuff from the useless, misinformed, biased, ideological, half-assed and so on ...

I can't help but say something now that the climate change storytelling has gotten even worse than dishonest. It has gotten outright loopy.

Here is a baker's dozen of recent claims so you realize what I mean. (And there's plenty more where that came from.) I swear, this stuff doesn't sound any different in essentials than backwater fundamentalist Christians talking about Satan.

-- I have never been in a backwater where fundamentalist Christians talk about Satan. Your separate (and later to be replied to) post about fundamentalist things offers a good comparator.

Terrorism
According to that cod fishery collapsed. This happened in the early nineties of the last century. See this helpful graphic from my link ...

450px-Surexploitation_morue_surp%C3%AAch

-- so, what do the clods at HuffPo have to say in their article? Here's a sample:

Around 1992, the Northwest Atlantic cod fishery crashed. Fish stocks were around 1 percent of their historic levels. Since then, despite decades of severe catch limits, cod has not come back, and nobody totally understands why.

Sea temperature is a part of that equation. “Temperature affects cod in every way you can imagine,” says Michael Fogarty, head of ecological assessment at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center. Cold water-adapted cod have speedier metabolisms in warm water, which means they need more food. But those meals aren’t always around. So cod are smaller, and fewer survive to reproduce.

“And the fact that they are constantly out looking for food can lead to more mortality, because the fish are being risky and showing themselves to predators,” says Andrew Pershing, chief scientist at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and lead author of the study. He says there seem to be plenty of other ways warmer water affects cod, but biologists and ecologists have yet to tease them all out.

The study found that the Gulf of Maine has been warming at a rate faster than 99 percent of the world’s ocean water. This warming—which was particularly fast over the last decade—has coincided with stringent catch limits. In 2013, for instance, Gulf of Maine cod fishermen were only allowed to catch 25 percent of what they’d caught in 2011. And still the fish aren’t rebounding. “I don’t think there’s any doubt up here that climate change is very real,” says Tom Nies, executive director of the New England Fisheries Management Council. “And it’s affecting fisheries in ways we’re just beginning to understand.”

So what’s causing the Gulf of Maine to warm so quickly? “We think two things are going on,” says Pershing. One is the Gulf Stream. “The Gulf Stream responds to wind patterns, and also to the distribution of warm and cold water in the Atlantic,” says Pershing. “You can think of it really as an area of warm water in the North Atlantic that just expands.” That expansion has lined up with a long term sea surface temperature oscillation that brought warmer water into the northwestern Atlantic—on top of the steady global warming trend.

For fishermen who have faced decades of slashed quotas, this is more bad news.

But see also information at my slightly out-of-date Wiki link (which has good sections on the uncertain recovery of fish stocks):

In November 2006, Fisheries and Oceans Canada released an article suggesting that the unexpectedly slow recovery of the cod stock is due to inadequate food supplies, cooling of the North Atlantic, and a poor genetic stock due to the overfishing of larger cod.

Now, is any of this any different in essentials than backwater fundamentalist Christians talking about Satan?

Is the report at HuffPo completely without value -- in the sense of 'obviously wrong' and deluded, akin to demon-haunted rubes?

The cod and the oceanic heat index and the Gulf Stream -- I bet Bob could chime in here with something useful. He talks about the 'conveyor belt' of oceanic water circulation -- and its possible collapse. It would be interesting to see predictions for the near future that suggest a change in the Gulf Stream component of the 'conveyor belt.' Here's a brief that shows the scale of the various 'conveyors'

I think this one would be a good one to return to later, after attempting to get access and read the study in Science MSK linked.

Sharks
According to a team of researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia, climate change causes sharks to become smaller and turn into lousy hunters.

That seems suspect on its face. First, has any trend been demonstrated that sharks are becoming smaller? In what areas, according to what standards? Second, even if partly true, how do you separate effects of fishing on 'size' of catches from purported climate change processes?

What is the purported process that could conceivably have a measurable, predictable effect as claimed? (such are my questions going in)

The article cited is from the International Business Times, "Climate change study: Sharks to become smaller and inefficient hunters in warm acidic oceans."

In their study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, the team carried out experiments in large tanks with natural habitat and prey. They used expected warming and ocean acidifications forecast for the end of the century.

In warmer water, researchers found embryonic development was faster. However, when increased CO2 levels were combined with higher temperatures, the sharks had increased energy needs, reduced metabolic efficiency and destroyed their ability to find food through smell. As a result, shark growth rates reduced.

Researchers said the sharks took far longer to find their food or in some cases did not even bother trying. Ivan Nagelkerken, who led the study, said: "In warmer water, sharks are hungrier but with increased CO2 they won't be able to find their food. With a reduced ability to hunt, sharks will no longer be able to exert the same top-down control over the marine food webs, which is essential for maintaining healthy ocean ecosystems."

The team said their results suggest ocean acidification will have a detrimental effect on these predators' ability to exert a "strong top-down control over food webs", which will have a cascading effect throughout whole ecosystems. Previously, most research has looked at how ocean acidification and climate change will affect fish or small fish prey – with studies into large predators largely lacking.

Any different in essentials than backwater fundamentalist Christians talking about Satan? Well, maybe that fundamentalist Christians don't publish in the scientific literature or do many experiments raising sharks as did the researchers, but hey.


Human sex drive and U.S. birth rate

According to Alan Barreca, lead author of a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, climate change kills the human sex drive and is bringing down the U.S. birth rate. (Study here.)

This seems a streeeeetch, at least. "Climate change kills the human sex drive"? Well, how does it kill? -- and how could one possibly measure the effect?

MSK's link goes to a CNN story, "Climate change is killing our sex drive, bringing down U.S. birth rate, study says." I remember my eyes running over this story cited elsewhere, but I didn't drill down at the time. Let's see what CNN says ...

There are so many things that can dampen your sex drive: You have a headache, you're tired, it's too hot outside.

According to a study, the last of those mojo-killers -- and the climate change that is causing more scorching hot days -- could be bringing down the birth rate in the United States.

Although the number of births in the United States went up last year for the first time since 2007, the U.S. birth rate has mostly been on the decline for at least a century. More couples have access to birth control and work opportunities for women have increased. Economic downturns, such as the recent 2007 recession, also contribute to baby busts. But the new study suggests that really hot days could also take a toll.

Researchers used historical vital statistics and other sources to look at the number of babies born about nine months after really hot days, which they defined as above 80 degrees, based on National Climate Center Data from weather stations across the United States.

The researchers found that, for every day that soared above 80 degrees -- and in many cases above 90 degrees -- between 1931 and 2010, there were 0.4% fewer births nine months later. The impact of one of these scorching days was that about 1,165 fewer babies were born across the United States.

This is still a hmmmm, for me. I want to read more from the authors and more from critical commentary around it. That will take some time to drill for. (for those who want the undigested, unheadlined, straight up study itself, it is here for five bucks: Maybe Next Month? Temperature Shocks, Climate Change, and Dynamic Adjustments in Birth Rates)

*******************************

So, that is six of MSK's baker's dozen of doozies. Not as witless and demented as I feared going in, except for Sanders garbling and over-simplifying of the actual research.

Seven more loopy loos to go through. I also have a couple direct answers to Michael I think it would be fair and wise to answer first. I am sure these are boring exercises for a few. That's why god gave you control of your reading habits. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Edited by william.scherk

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