Scientific Fraud becoming endemic?


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WSS,

Still interested.

I don't know who else is, though.

Robert Campbell

I suspect the Party Line has taken hold here, which is a grim thought. I hope I am wrong, but it seems that most folks who come out with an opinion contra anthropogenic global warming on OL have concluded that the whole thing is fraud on a major scale. I don't really know where to begin conversation, fruitful conversation, with such apparent fixed opinions.

But -- you are a reasonable fellow, intelligent, thoughtful. I wonder what common ground we two might share on these matters, the basics, so we could elucidate the questions in your mind. I don't know if we have to go back all the way to definitions, yet there has to be some kind of starting point for what is reasonable skepticism in your mind.

I will say that the one book out of the many from both sides that swayed me from agnosticism was Spencer Weart's book, The Discover Of Global Warming. Have you read this book, or taken a gander at the web version?

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So is the debate idea dead already?

Maybe not. I am feeling out the positions of those who have explicitly shown interest so far -- Robert, myself, Adam and you.

I am hoping Adam might propose a structure, given his experience. The idea of a reading list has been bruited, and I pointed to one book that brought me over from agnosticism, Weart's, cited above.

I am glad you are interested. Did you have a book or series of readings that informed your opinion, or that you suggest as useful backgrounders for one side or another?

If we accept the terms as defined up-thread, do you have a statement you think might make a good debate resolution?

I'd say four people are enough to get the ball rolling.

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So is the debate idea dead already?

Maybe not. I am feeling out the positions of those who have explicitly shown interest so far -- Robert, myself, Adam and you.

I am hoping Adam might propose a structure, given his experience. The idea of a reading list has been bruited, and I pointed to one book that brought me over from agnosticism, Weart's, cited above.

I am glad you are interested. Did you have a book or series of readings that informed your opinion, or that you suggest as useful backgrounders for one side or another?

If we accept the terms as defined up-thread, do you have a statement you think might make a good debate resolution?

I'd say four people are enough to get the ball rolling.

William:

Agreed. Four is sufficient. The question that is important to answer is the determination of the "status quo."

My perception is that the status quo would involve the following aspects:

1) global warming exists;

2) the warming globally is directly due to mankind's x) population increase y) industrialization and z) striping of the aquifer by food production; and

3) this trend will destroy the planet.

This will help me frame propositional wording.

Adam

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So is the debate idea dead already?

Maybe not. I am feeling out the positions of those who have explicitly shown interest so far -- Robert, myself, Adam and you.

I am hoping Adam might propose a structure, given his experience. The idea of a reading list has been bruited, and I pointed to one book that brought me over from agnosticism, Weart's, cited above.

I am glad you are interested. Did you have a book or series of readings that informed your opinion, or that you suggest as useful backgrounders for one side or another?

If we accept the terms as defined up-thread, do you have a statement you think might make a good debate resolution?

I'd say four people are enough to get the ball rolling.

William:

Agreed. Four is sufficient. The question that is important to answer is the determination of the "status quo."

My perception is that the status quo would involve the following aspects:

1) global warming exists;

2) the warming globally is directly due to mankind's x) population increase y) industrialization and z) striping of the aquifer by food production; and

3) this trend will destroy the planet.

This will help me frame propositional wording.

Adam

FWIW: I am a blank slate on this. My gut tells me it Global Warming et.al. is bullshit, and that is mainly what I would like to believe, not an informed opinion. I would find it fascinating to read and learn from more or less scratch on this topic.

[i also will try to put it out of my head that Al Gore lives in a 12,000 square foot house and eats way too much..., and I will state right now that there is no way I am trading in my new Jag on a "Mini Cooper"...]

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So is the debate idea dead already?

Maybe not. I am feeling out the positions of those who have explicitly shown interest so far -- Robert, myself, Adam and you.

I am hoping Adam might propose a structure, given his experience. The idea of a reading list has been bruited, and I pointed to one book that brought me over from agnosticism, Weart's, cited above.

I am glad you are interested. Did you have a book or series of readings that informed your opinion, or that you suggest as useful backgrounders for one side or another?

If we accept the terms as defined up-thread, do you have a statement you think might make a good debate resolution?

I'd say four people are enough to get the ball rolling.

William:

Agreed. Four is sufficient. The question that is important to answer is the determination of the "status quo."

My perception is that the status quo would involve the following aspects:

1) global warming exists;

2) the warming globally is directly due to mankind's x) population increase y) industrialization and z) striping of the aquifer by food production; and

3) this trend will destroy the planet.

This will help me frame propositional wording.

2 and 3 strike me oddly -- are these claims that any rational person or scientific group has made? "Destroy the world"? Who claims that? "Strip aquifer"? Where is that claim made, and who suggests it has anything to do with CO2?

I like much more the implied proposition in "the global warming scientific fraud."

If we started with 'anthropogenic global warming,' and accepted the definitions above, a much fairer restating of AGW theory must include CO2, to my eyes.

Here is where you stood above:

I would assert the hypothesis that mankind is one of the smallest causes of the increase in the near surface temperature of the earth.

Moreover, the warming and cooling is cyclical and we are basically irrelevant to the huge biosphere that is this planet.I would assert the hypothesis that mankind is one of the smallest causes of the increase in the near surface temperature of the earth.

I would also like to see some other recommendations, so I ask the same thing of you: Do you have a book or series of readings that informed your opinion, or that you suggest as useful backgrounders for one side or another?

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The aquiferdude!

Lester Russel Brown (born March 28, 1934) is an American environmentalist, founder of the Worldwatch Institute, and founder and president of the Earth Policy Institute, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C. BBC Radio commentator Peter Day calls him "one of the great pioneer environmentalists."

The recipient of 26 honorary degrees and a MacArthur Fellowship, Brown has been described by the Washington Post as "one of the world's most influential thinkers."[4]

"Meanwhile aquifer depletion is fast shrinking the amount of irrigated area in many parts of the world; this relatively recent phenomenon is driven by the large-scale use of mechanical pumps to exploit underground water. Today, half the world's people live in countries where water tables are falling as overpumping depletes aquifers. Once an aquifer is depleted, pumping is necessarily reduced to the rate of recharge unless it is a fossil (nonreplenishable) aquifer, in which case pumping ends altogether. But sooner or later, falling water tables translate into rising food prices."

http://www.earth-policy.org/plan_b_updates/2011/update90#%22

I just ran across this guy today.

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I recommended Spencer Weart's book The Discovery of Global Warming, but didn't mention why I recommended it, nor why I thought it would be useful for anyone thinking of debating anthropogenic global warming.

Firstly, it is primarily a history book. If you wonder how scientists and lay people could have been gulled by a hoax or fraud, this book will take you back to the first notions that carbon dioxide played a part in world climate, and then tell the story of the following scientific back and forth. It shows the process that resulted in what some call the present scientific consensus.

Secondly, this book is recommended by AGW skeptics -- Weart is one of the few partisans of the AGW 'side' who has not been excoriated as a fraudster, hoaxer or worse.

Thirdly, the book is accompanied by some in-depth web-based resources.

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There seem to be a few people interested in discussion of global warming, though I would really like Adam Selene to engage with the question I posed above, here repeated: Do you have a book or series of readings that informed your opinion, or that you suggest as useful backgrounders for one side or another?

David/PDS, you are agnostic, it appears. Are you interested in doing a bit of reading on the subject? I have recommended the Weart book several times. I would really, really like to hear a suggestion for other books/other readings from anyone else who has shown some interest here.

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Bob's comments, exerpted below, first appeared in the thread on Chomsky.

We are definitely in a warming period and less heat is currently being radiated out than is being absorbed. The real question is this: Is the warming due to human activity or is it due to other natural drivers?

Yes, this is an important, central question. How do you suggest ordinary folks go about answering it?

As you you know we had warming eras in the past. For example before the Little Ice Age, there was a warming period during which Greenland was actually green. And this was way before major fossil burning industries had been built. So we know there have been warming periods having nothing to do with industries and burning of fossil fuels.

The 'warming period' you refer to is what is called the Medieval Warming Period. What should we conclude about present warming compared to this time -- I mean, what questions should be asked and answered about the MWP with regard to Greenland, to your mind?

It's probably fair to say that 'some parts of Greenland were greener than today during Norse settlement times' -- I haven't seen any suggestions that the entire island was icefree year-round at that time, and I am sure that's not what you meant. It would be useful to dig up some findings that we could both agree are likely to be accurate, in order to contrast then and now, and also to dig up some summary reviews that lay out all the variables that might explain a 'green Greenland' . . . the fun (or dire) thing about climate discussion is realizing that we could probably discuss just this item for a hundred posts or more.

As an aside, the history of Norse settlements in Greenland is fascinating in itself. Those guys got around.

For those wondering about climate before, during and after these settlements, Wikipedia has a decent synoptic starting point, "The demise of the Greenland Norse settlements."

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As an aside, the history of Norse settlements in Greenland is fascinating in itself. Those guys got around.

For those wondering about climate before, during and after these settlements, Wikipedia has a decent synoptic starting point, "The demise of the Greenland Norse settlements."

There is also a wonderful novel about them, "Greenlanders" by Jane Smiley. Her best I think.Sorry to interrupt, back to topic everybody!

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  • 3 years later...

I am an AGWer, I suppose. To list out results which would disprove 'their theories' it's necessary to examine the building blocks of what we might call CO2-warming theory. From my reading over the years and especially reading of The Discovery of Global Warming by Weart, there have been many steps and lines of inquiry converging on the modern consensus.

What do you mean by "the modern consensus"? Do you mean that a consensus of all scientists agree that global warming is primarily caused by man's activities, or do you mean that a consensus of a relatively small group of scientists who were selected to attend certain conferences agree that it is likely that man's activities have contributed to one degree or another to global warming? Or do you mean something else?

'The modern consensus' is shorthand. Even shorter would be 'AGW is happening' ... but implied is 'scientific' agreement.

Individual achievements are many but seldom noted: here's a timeline from Weart's online version of the book. I recommend the book highly. Results or findings contrary to a modern AGW theory would then be expected at any stage along the timeline, from Tyndal to Arrhenius to Revelle to Keeling and to more recent panoptic science.

I just quickly reviewed the timeline, and I see that it notes findings during certain years that have been contrary to AGW theories, but it dismisses them as anomalies or enigmas rather than as disproof of the theories. It seems that when confronted with findings which don't support AGW theories' predictions, the idea is to not abandon the theory, but to move the goal posts and concoct an explanation for the "anomaly" that is more conjecture than science.

Also, I'll have to dig a little deeper before saying for certain, but the timeline appears that it might be selective in what it contains and what it leaves out, and it appears to possibly contain some anachronistic airbrushing of errors and terms used at different times.

The timeline is good for jumping off into the associated material at Weart's website. For me, it is the early workers that stand out in Weart's book. Before I read into the work of the guys named above, I didn't really know how the concept we now know as AGW emerged in such detail, step by step or block by block.

For example, several lines of evidence converge to separately support that atmospheric CO2 is vital to Earth's relative warmth, and those lines were supported by more fundamental findings on exact mechanisms. Each component that has withstood falsification contributed to the understanding of long-term climate characteristics and changes. For this AGWer, a demonstration that CO2 does not act as advertised in the consensus, does not contribute to a 'greenhouse' effect, does not have a relationship with Earth's long-term temperature swings, that would tend to make me question the fundamentals.

Specifically which "consensus" are you referring to?

This Scientific American blog-post wryly explicates: About that consensus on global warming: 9136 agree, 1 disagrees.

Another, less wry exposition from NASA: "Consensus: 97% of climate scientists agree."

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This Scientific American blog-post wryly explicates: About that consensus on global warming: 9136 agree, 1 disagrees.

Another, less wry exposition from NASA: "Consensus: 97% of climate scientists agree."

Too bad there is no climate science. Climate models we have. Climate science we have not.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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'The modern consensus' is shorthand. Even shorter would be 'AGW is happening' ... but implied is 'scientific' agreement.

I don't think that the language of actual science is to "imply" things, but to state them as explicitly and specifically as possible. The implying thing is more the art of propaganda.

This Scientific American blog-post wryly explicates: About that consensus on global warming: 9136 agree, 1 disagrees.

The blog post misidentifies what the infographic states, as do you. The infographic reveals that 1 in 9137 authors explicitly rejected anthropogenic global warming. But, contrary to the blog's author's statement, the graphic and the data used to create it do not reveal that "more than nine thousand" scientists "agree with the basic fact of global warming." The fact that the 9136 have not explicitly rejected anthropogenic global warming theory does not mean that they agree with it.

In fact, in reviewing the methodology that was used in creating the graphic, it's clear that many of those who have "reason for doubt" were not counted as explicitly rejecting it, but were counted as accepting it. They should be counted as neither rejecting nor accepting it.

I'm reminded of Monty Python's Life of Brian crucifixion scene:

"All right! We'll soon settle this! Hands up, all those who don't want to be crucified here."

Additionally, the blog authors have not read and understood all of the reports, but merely did some computer assisted searches for certain terms that they thought might indicate explicit rejection of AGW. And they also appear to have applied rather subjective, not to mention biased, judgements as to what might constitute "minor" disagreement with AGW versus "explicit rejection." So their goal appears to have been to add just enough of a trace of science to their propaganda to make it fool people.

But, it my experience, this is typical of how the climate game works. Make an assertion that is not supported by the data, declare victory and announce that the "deniers" have "no scientific credibility," all the while demonstrating such a nonchalant attitude toward science as to be unable to accurately report what a simple infographic actually states and what it does not.

Incidentally, let's run the logic of the "no credibility" claim. If "deniers" have "no scientific credibility," then the one author out of 9137 has no credibility, since he is a "denier." Therefore his paper doesn't count as actual credible science, and therefore there are zero credible scientists who reject AGW.

And since the one has falsely represented himself as a real scientist, maybe we should arrest him, and "put him to the question" until he confesses and retracts his rejection of the proper beliefs?

Another, less wry exposition from NASA: "Consensus: 97% of climate scientists agree."

Here's what the link says:

"Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities..."

So, in other words, the idea of "consensus" as reported by the Obama Administration and the lefty media is not true. Their claim is that the consensus of scientists agrees that anthropogenic global warming is an established, scientific fact. Conversely, in the link above, it says that the scientists don't consider it to be an established, scientific fact, but only "very likely."

J

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Bill, a few questions occurred to me today:

Which prominent critics and their criticisms of AGW have you read, and how would you answer the substance of their criticisms?

What do you think of the mindset of certain proponents of AGW in the sciences, academe and politics of ostracizing and intimidating dissenters, and now even proposing using the force of law to silence and punish them?

Why is it that only supporters of AGW are the ones trying to silence critics and punish them? Is that a scientific mindset? Isn't a truly scientific mindset to encourage and welcome criticism, rather than to do everything to prevent it?

Do you think that massive public financial incentives involved in AGW research play any role in motivating people to believe what they believe, and to advocate putting their fellow men in cages for having a different opinion? If not money, what do you think would motivate anyone to have such a desire to be so abusive to one's fellow humans?

Do you think that governments who have funded climate research should consider how their methods of funding may have tainted the science, and how they may have incentivized and rewarded any predetermined outcomes? Can you give some examples of governments funding and encouraging aggressive criticism of the theories that they support and of refuting the outcomes that they clearly wanted ahead of time, and of incentivizing and rewarding dissent rather than ignoring, ostracizing or punishing it?

J

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Jonathan, I am not sure yet that you know what comprises my shorthand 'consensus' on anthropogenic global warming, by my own reckoning. I appreciate your tangle with the arguments given at the last two links above: It looks like you followed links on to review methodology of the research by James Powell that gave this image at the Scientific American site:

article-6094-hero.jpg
The graphic was introduced this way by SA's bitchy blogger Ashutosh Jogalekar:

"I just want to highlight this illuminating infographic by James Powell in which, based on more than 2000 peer-reviewed publications, he counts the number of authors from November, 2012 to December, 2013 who explicitly deny global warming (that is, who propose a fundamentally different reason for temperature rise than anthropogenic CO2). The number is exactly one.

In addition Powell also has helpful links to the abstracts and main text bodies of the relevant papers."


Several items of note in your review give me this vibe:

-- Powell was wrong to assume 'agreement' with AGW theories in his "not explicitly rejecting AGW" set
-- Powell wrongly identifies a cohort as being part of the consensus
-- Powell (and other estimators) wrongly subsume scholarly articles unrelated to any aspect of climate theory under the rubric "accept/agree" ...

To clear up what Powell was doing with his literature review, from his page on methods.

The first thing anyone who wishes to do a literature review needs to do is to decide what question they wish to answer. Many people seem to assume that my question was, “What percentage of scientists accept anthropogenic global warming [AGW]?” But that was not my question. Rather it was, “What fraction of peer-reviewed scientific papers reject AGW and what evidence do they present?” In other words, is there a scientific case against anthropogenic global warming? To answer that question, I needed to find peer-reviewed papers about global warming and review them sufficiently to judge whether they rejected anthropogenic global warming, or offered another alternative. One could go to the library and start reading articles, but that way would take a lifetime. Instead, I turned to the online Web of Science, a compendium of the peer-reviewed literature in all subjects. The WoS allows you to search articles by title, topic, author, date, journal, etc. in any combination.

Read some combination of titles, abstracts, and entire papers as necessary to judge whether a paper rejects human-caused global warming or professes to have a better explanation of observations.

The Web of Science also lists the number of times each article has been cited, and much more. At the bottom of the search page, you can export the results to an Excel file. Excel sheet


You write:

In fact, in reviewing the methodology that was used in creating the graphic, it's clear that many of those who have "reason for doubt" were not counted as explicitly rejecting it, but were counted as accepting it.


I don't know how you have decided this. You say "it's clear that many of those who have 'reason for doubt'" were falsely counted as accepting (AGW consensus).

How did you check for 'reason for doubt'? Did you, like me, download the table of articles netted by Powell's search criteria?

-- I will return to this later, since I continue to slog through samples of Powell's catch of articles. With some effort I hope to quantify that which you assume, papers which may express 'reason for doubt.' We can meantime set it aside as 'Powell study degree of shittiness to be established.'

I really appreciate you putting your mind to topics large and small in re AGW. We who populated the early posts in this thread did a lot of groundwork/seeding, though it only very slowly bears fruit!

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

On to the other example, to NASA's attempt at defining 'the consensus'; note that the NASA page does not cite Powell's study for its illustration. Its "97%" is apprised from different research. It cites these three:

1. Expert Credibility in Climate Change; This article has a great reference section, covering the greater literature on the so-called consensus. Its authors promise: "A broad analysis of the climate scientist community itself, the distribution of credibility of dissenting researchers relative to agreeing researchers, and the level of agreement among top climate experts"


2. Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change ; This brief article discusses its survey of "a large and broad group of Earth scientists"


3. Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change; This short letter to Science attracted much attention (and a fair critique). It has some resemblance to Powell's paper as it too selected items from the literature. I'll take this bit to illustrate its point:

First it quotes from a purported 'consensus' statement from the IPCC:

“Human activities … are modifying the concentration of atmospheric constituents … that absorb or scatter radiant energy. … [M]ost of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations”


-- this quote adequately expresses, in layman's terms, the hypothesis that the author puts to the test in her own review. The question posed might be, with elaboration as "does the record (the larger literature) actually support the IPCC's confident assertion?

That hypothesis was tested by analyzing 928 abstracts, published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, and listed in the ISI database with the keywords “climate change”.

The 928 papers were divided into six categories: explicit endorsement of the consensus position, evaluation of impacts, mitigation proposals, methods, paleoclimate analysis, and rejection of the consensus position. Of all the papers, 75% fell into the first three categories, either explicitly or implicitly accepting the consensus view; 25% dealt with methods or paleoclimate, taking no position on current anthropogenic climate change. Remarkably, none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position.

Admittedly, authors evaluating impacts, developing methods, or studying paleoclimatic change might believe that current climate change is natural. However, none of these papers argued that point.

This analysis shows that scientists publishing in the peer-reviewed literature agree with IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences, and the public statements of their professional societies. Politicians, economists, journalists, and others may have the impression of confusion, disagreement, or discord among climate scientists, but that impression is incorrect.

The scientific consensus might, of course, be wrong.


Jonathan, I think we could stipulate, as Adam did, that there is a stance presented as the consensus of climate science, a bottom-line set of statements so put forth. By stipulate I don't mean agree with that stance, just to agree that this stance, those claims, such statements are what is meant by the consensus. We can certainly clash on measures and methods and obstacles to asserting this or that percentage of consensus.

I'd like to move on from this skirmish just now with one more article for perusal.

This is another look at the literature, which attempts to quantify the 'no opinion given' cohort. Its authors state up front: "An accurate perception of the degree of scientific consensus is an essential element to public support for climate policy".

4. Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature

We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. In a second phase of this study, we invited authors to rate their own papers. Compared to abstract ratings, a smaller percentage of self-rated papers expressed no position on AGW (35.5%).


-- we can argue about these surveys/analyses, and the particular numbers that reflect 'consensus,' but I think we get a deeper agreement: estimating a consensus may be rife with uncertainty (or flim-flam, as you suggest), identifying what constitutes the agreed-upon basics of AGW theory is easier.

I'll get back to this line and your post above in a day or so. Again, I appreciate discussion on Ogwah opening up. I am in a mood where I relish slow inquiry, instead of over-energetic jousting and crabbing, as I was wont.

As for weather, I am sorry our big arctic high pressure dome slopped over the border into Minnesota. I read it's the seventeenth coldest winter since 1897! Here in Vancouver the rain has slunk back in. It is cherry blossom time, though:

Vancouver%20Cherry%20Blossoms.jpg

I suggest we each add lovely and irrelevant photos to our posts.

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Bill, a few questions occurred to me today:

Which prominent critics and their criticisms of AGW have you read, and how would you answer the substance of their criticisms?

That's hard to answer properly. As is likely the same with you, my attention to the issues covers years of reading and thinking. As is also likely with you, to synthesize and summarize a particular author across his or her output in multiple venues is a tall order. It's asking us to reduce a large ambit of discourse to a pithy kernel, and then to crack it ...

(Which prominent critics of AGW have you read, Jonathan? what would you say is the substance of their criticisms? Is it fair to ask you?)

-- but to answer as best I can, without helping myself fill in memory holes via the internets, I have most recently read Ian Plimer's book, I am glancingly familar with writers associated with the Heartland Institute, and know of and have read into arguments put forward by such as Bjorn Lomborg, Fred Singer, Christopher Monckton, Steve McIntyre, Roy Spencer, Anthony Watts. A few other names escape me right now.

To answer each of their substantive criticisms (of AGW) individually would occupy me until May, but again off the top of my head, the criticisms I retained most strongly would be a mix:

  • The globe is not really warming at all. We are experiencing variation but the signal is strong and steady: in the long-run of millennia, we will cool.
  • Global warming is happening, but it’s not caused by humans. It is a natural event influenced by a number of factors.
  • It is happening, and is in part caused by humans, but the power and activity of our sun is much more important in explaining the warming.
  • It's likely happening, but predicting future temperatures via CO2 emissions is fool's game.
  • It is indeed happening, it is mostly caused by human activities, but it's a good thing. Provoking alarm is a bad thing.
  • Global warming is happening, and may quite likely be caused by humans. But the earth can dampen the effect by natural processes.
This is only what still stands out for me, broadly, categories of critiques of AGW. Do you want me to summarize a paper or chapter and then rebut, or do you want me to identify actual arguments I consider refuted, more generally adduced (go through eg Plimer's book, respond to contra-AGW points raised, or use the list above to lay out my understanding?). I can interpret your query more generically: "Which arguments against AGW do you consider strongest, and how do you answer them?" That's a fair question, needing thought.
Next time out I'll address the remaining questions from your post. If you want to name some authors, articles, books, or particular questions thereof, great. I am wondering, of course, if you will declare your stance, as I have by attaching the Ogwah 'consensus' patch to my shoulder.
Meanwhile, stormy and irrelevant weather:
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The planet is warming. Mankind is the cause, by x per cent.

Assuming, only assuming, those statements to be proveable and true, how many trillions of dollars, and further incursions on liberties, are justified in order to lower predicted temperatures by one degree? Two? A half?

It is a sense of proportion that's needed before we accept 'necessary sacrifices' as a given.

That's my concern. We'll wake up in a New Fascism, but be able to boast we 'saved' Earth. For now.

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The planet is warming. Mankind is the cause, by x per cent.

Assuming, only assuming, those statements to be proveable and true, how many trillions of dollars, and further incursions on liberties, are justified in order to lower predicted temperatures by one degree? Two? A half?

It is a sense of proportion that's needed before we accept 'necessary sacrifices' as a given.

That's my concern. We'll wake up in a New Fascism, but be able to boast we 'saved' Earth. For now.

Nothing humans can do or sacrifice will substantially lower the average temperature of the air and water. Only natural causes will do that. It is almost inevitable there is a major ice age in the future. The current mild interglacial is a rare pause in the freezing - hot cycle that has been happening on this planet since we got our current oxygen nitrogen atmosphere.

If you are lucky the next ice will not begin in the lifetime of you or your children.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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The planet is warming. Mankind is the cause, by x per cent.

Assuming, only assuming, those statements to be proveable and true, how many trillions of dollars, and further incursions on liberties, are justified in order to lower predicted temperatures by one degree? Two? A half?

It is a sense of proportion that's needed before we accept 'necessary sacrifices' as a given.

That's my concern. We'll wake up in a New Fascism, but be able to boast we 'saved' Earth. For now.

Nothing humans can do or sacrifice will substantially lower the average temperature of the air and water. Only natural causes will do that. It is almost inevitable there is a major ice age in the future. The current mild interglacial is a rare pause in the freezing - hot cycle that has been happening on this planet since we got our current oxygen nitrogen atmosphere.

If you are lucky the next ice will not begin in the lifetime of you or your children.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Yeah, button up for global warming, kids!

What defeats all common sense is that there can be such a consensus on AGW. Against a background of forces and an atmospheric volume as huge as they are, and temperature trends as loo-ong as they are, how can anyone be certain of that tiny blip of man's contribution within the last 100 years, or so?

It's like someone who claims to hear a Swiss watch ticking a few rows away while he is being blasted by a rock concert.

The hell you can, mate.

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Bill, a few questions occurred to me today:

[...]

What do you think of the mindset of certain proponents of AGW in the sciences, academe and politics of ostracizing and intimidating dissenters, and now even proposing using the force of law to silence and punish them?

Bring an example of what you claim and I can react specifically. "Certain proponents" suggests you have some particulars in mind. Offhand, I am opposed to ostracizing and intimidating 'dissenters.'

This is probably worth its own sub-thread, IMO.**

Why is it that only supporters of AGW are the ones trying to silence critics and punish them? Is that a scientific mindset? Isn't a truly scientific mindset to encourage and welcome criticism, rather than to do everything to prevent it?

You ask "why is it that only supporters of AGW ..." Shouldn't we first have evidence that supporters of AGW (in science) try to silence/punish 'dissenters'? Then evidence that AGW supporters (in academe) do the same. Then evidence that AGW supporters (in politics) do the same.

You will also have to demonstrate that no one from the other 'side' (dissenters from AGW in science or academe or politics) has attempted to "silence critics and punish [them]."

Do you think that massive public financial incentives involved in AGW research play any role in motivating people to believe what they believe, and to advocate putting their fellow men in cages for having a different opinion? If not money, what do you think would motivate anyone to have such a desire to be so abusive to one's fellow humans?

We can dig up instances of shaming, attempts at silencing, FOIA-ing, attempts to rain 'punishment,' and examine them, then speculate to the particular motives-to-believe ...

I can interpret these two questions by disentangling them from implicit assumptions:

-- let's look at what might motivate research into 'global warming'

-- let's look for signals from the research into global warming

-- let's assume several signals: some research finds AGW to be real, some research is equivocal, some research is contra-AGW, some research accepts AGW, but focuses on applications, mitigation, effects, ramifications, policy prescriptions, etc

-- are there financial incentives at play in all these AGW research areas?

-- are the financial incentives greater than in sister disciplines (eg, is money pumping into the broad category of climatology out of proportion to other scientific disciplines?

-- are there large public outlays of funds for AGW research per se?

-- would this funding of climate research tend to bias results?

While considering the questions of putting their fellow men in cages and other abuses committed by the as-yet-unnamed miscreants, I am eyeing my afternoon reading. Back to Weart's history, "the discovery" ... I am looking at the motives of the guys who did the early work, whom I named above already. I don't see at the outset that any of them were motivated by money or that money caused them to be abusive to putative dissenters. If bad-seed money entered the scientific equation, it was likely much later than even Keeling.

Another thought on money/corruption of science -- should we also estimate money motivation among the dissenters? Do we examine non-pro-AGW researchers for the stain of lucre?

Do you think that governments who have funded climate research should consider how their methods of funding may have tainted the science, and how they may have incentivized and rewarded any predetermined outcomes?

Do we assume that methods of funding are probably agents of taint? If so, we need to qualify what is meant by methods of funding, and identify the machinery of corruption.

Do I think granting agencies implicitly or explicitly ask for a 'return on investment' by way of a particular result -- that all/most/some/government funding puts a thumb on the scale in terms of scientific results?

No, I don't see a fundamental corruption of the process. What I want to see is an illustration. Like, "NASA funding corrupts climatology 3 ways" ...

Do I think that the corrective nature of science tends to flush out frauds, hoaxers, papers tainted by bias? Yes, though not invincibly.

Can you give some examples of governments funding and encouraging aggressive criticism of the theories that they support and of refuting the outcomes that they clearly wanted ahead of time, and of incentivizing and rewarding dissent rather than ignoring, ostracizing or punishing it?

This suggests examples may abound of aggressive criticism funded/encouraged by governments. You should be able to share an instance of what you suggest is factual, common.

Mind you, an example of "aggressive criticism" in itself is not 'ignoring, ostracizing or punishing."

The planet is warming. Mankind is the cause, by x per cent.

Tony, are you more-or-less agnostic on 'mankind is a/the cause'?

Nothing humans can do or sacrifice will substantially lower the average temperature of the air and water. Only natural causes will do that. It is almost inevitable there is a major ice age in the future. The current mild interglacial is a rare pause in the freezing - hot cycle that has been happening on this planet since we got our current oxygen nitrogen atmosphere.

What if we humans could mimic 'natural causes'? If, for example titanic eruptions could tilt climate, etc, could human contributions do the same, even hypothetically?

I wish you would share your chain of reasoning more. You say the present interglacial is a rare pause. How do we check that statement? Did what you assert is 'not a science' come to deliver plausible or solid theories that you accept (in re glacial epochs)?

In my reading of Weart, it seems to me that the greatest 'discovery' about climate was that it had rapid switches in the past, rather than gradual steady undramatic changes between hot and cold ... here's the part of his online book that covers the non/science of glacial epochs: Past Climate Cycles: Ice Age Speculations.

To understand climate change, the obvious first step would be to explain the colossal coming and going of ice ages. Scientists devised ingenious techniques to recover evidence from the distant past, first from deposits left on land, then also from sea floor sediments, and then still better by drilling deep into ice.

These paleoclimatologists succeeded brilliantly, discovering a strangely regular pattern of glacial cycles. The pattern pointed to a surprising answer, so precise that some ventured to predict future changes. The timing of the cycles was apparently set by minor changes in sunlight caused by slow variations of the Earth's orbit. Just how that could regulate the ice ages remained uncertain, for the climate system turned out to be dauntingly complex.

In particular, it turned out that"greenhouse" gases like carbon dioxide played a surprisingly powerful role in governing global climate. One lesson was clear: the system is delicately poised, so that a little stimulus might drive a great change.

_____________

** NB this link to Jonathan's comment in the "How to deal with global warming thread:: The case of 'an assistant professor of philosophy wants to lock up "deniers"' sheds light on the suggestion that there are "massive public financial incentives involved in AGW research ... motivating people to ... advocate putting their fellow men in cages for having a different opinion"

My posts are backed up in the editing suite. I would like to return to this.

-- sunny days on the Wet Coast:

Vancouver-westend.jpg

Edited by william.scherk
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William:

In terms of funding, this may shed some light on the levels in the US Budget:

Given uncertainties regarding the risks of future climate change, the federal climate strategy has
aimed at improving the information available for decision-making and reducing the costs of technologies that could help abate the risks. A growing component has been federal planning and
efforts to adapt to climate change. Complementing the science and technology initiatives have
been regulatory actions;
1 programs to build capacity in private, state, local, and internationalentities to address climate change; and tax incentives to stimulate deployment of low greenhouseas-emitting technologies. Many of these initiatives are identified in the Obama Administration’s recently announced Climate Action Plan, which stated three main prongs:
2
cutting carbon pollution in America;
preparing the United States for the impacts of climate change; and
leading international efforts to address global climate change.
Federal funding for these activities described in this report differs across these priorities and has
shifted over time. Policy instruments and programs depend on funding to differing degrees to be
effective; some rely on large amounts of direct federal investment (e.g., in federal R&D) while
others primarily require support for administrative expenses.
3

https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43227.pdf

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