Scientific Fraud becoming endemic?


Recommended Posts

I appreciate the nice comment, Naomi!

Back a while, in my late early middle age here at OL, my tone was more barn-burning in re AGW if not nasty. Eg here. Now in my early late middle age, I seem to have softened. I seem recently to tend to other people's arguments more like I do to my own, as something that could possibly bear fruit or flowers, not something to be raked out and burnt.

I am also now more aware of where my opinions align with anti-alarmists -- where another thing beyond science takes to the trumpets to agitate for action by every quarter. I also understand the revulsion for the incredible reach of government -- I see the long hideous list on a scale unpleasant to Objectivists: to write and implement policy, levy taxes, fees and penalties, invent such as carbon 'credits,' otherwise fund or direct large-scale national and international "control" systems.

Since in an Objectivist world government would be tightly constrained, large-scale command and commandeering of resources by government is already deeply immoral and wrong, so it's not hard to understand disgust reaction to AGW command/commandeering human activities by an already bloated state. I now see more clearly how this antipathy is reasoned and rooted. Objectivist closed-ranks hostility to AGW-pushed big-government proliferation is principled.

Your nice comment tells me that taking heat out of arguments goes a long way to make them if not more persuasive, more rational and measured.

Bob's comments below transposed from another grobal walming thread:

Here is what Freeman Dyson has to say about global warming:

http://noconsensus.org/scientists/freeman_dyson.php


LaFramboise's 'Noconsensus' site is actually very thin on Dyson material. Better are her offsite links, such as his 2007 interview with Salon. Thanks for directing us there. I excerpt some intriguing bits:

Our rosy future, according to Freeman Dyson

Climate change is nothing to worry about, says the eminent physicist. Let's celebrate genetic engineering and our ability to design a new world of plants and creatures.

[...]

In his new collection of essays, A Many-Colored Glass, renowned physicist Freeman Dyson turns his thoughts to do-it-yourself biotech and breeding ones own pet lizard, the fallacies of global warming science, science fiction (with a tip of the hat to recently departed Madeleine LEngle) and the importance of biology to the future of religion. To Dyson, a deeper understanding of the human brain means a better understanding of theology and perhaps more tolerance for those with different beliefs.

Such broad-spectrum thinking, particularly for a scientist, usually puts you in one of two camps: quack or genius. Dyson has been called both. Yet his penchant for challenging conventional wisdom is matched by a sense of humor, a necessary attribute for any scientist who has seen seven decades worth of scientific hits and flops some of them his own.

In the science world, Dyson is best known for unifying the three versions of quantum electrodynamics invented by Julian Schwinger, Shinichiro Tomonaga and his friend and colleague Richard Feynman. But its his broader writings on nuclear weapons, the science of immortality and the expectation of extraterrestrial intelligence that have captured the public.

[...]

You write about the importance of heretical thoughts in the scientific community. What do you mean?

This is mostly about politics. In A Many-Colored Glass I came out of the closet as far as global warming is concerned. I believe global warming is grossly exaggerated as a problem. Its a real problem, but its nothing like as serious as people are led to believe. The idea that global warming is the most important problem facing the world is total nonsense and is doing a lot of harm. It distracts peoples attention from much more serious problems. Thats an example. Its not so much to do about science. Its really a political question.

Why did you choose to be heretical about climate change?

Im heretical because I was in the business of studying climate change at least 30 years ago before it became fashionable. I used to go to Oak Ridge National Laboratory [in Tennessee], which was then the leading place for studying it, and they had a very good group of people there. I went there regularly and wrote a paper, which was published, essentially about the connection between climate and vegetation. It was amazing how little we knew, and thats still true. Its just very interesting that, scientifically, almost all the statements that are made publicly are wrong.

We have no reason to think that climate change is harmful if you look at the world as a whole. Most places, in fact, are better off being warmer than being colder. And historically, the really bad times for the environment and for people have been the cold periods rather than the warm periods. The fact that the climate is getting warmer doesnt scare me at all. Theres no reason why one should be scared. The economic conditions in the world and the technology change much more rapidly than the climate, so I dont see any reason for being in a hurry.

Theres a huge movement among scientists and policymakers making the case that global warming is urgent. Have you publicly debated any of them?

Its not very helpful. True believers are not going to change their minds just because of me.


It seems that Dyson accepts with reservations that, as he says, "Its a real problem, but its nothing like as serious as people are led to believe."

Bob I highlight this only because an appeal to authority (Dyson) doesn't actually add any heft to your position: that there is no anthropogenic global warming at all.

Where do you think your views diverge from Dyson on this point?

Note too his article (paywall) in New York Review of Books. Evidently Dyson is opposed to 'alarmism' while accepting the role of carbon dioxide in warming. The NYRB article and subsequent letters and response suggest that Dyson believes strongly that human ingenuity in carbon sequestration (through engineered organisms and other means) is much more economic than the present emissions-reduction plans and assumptions, assuming a problem. It's waaay down on his list of things to be alarmed about.

In essense, he is saying we can deal very well with any warming underway, mitigate the effects of human-led CO2 emissions. I like his optimism, and appreciate the trust he has in our abilities to bioengineer our way past even the lightest 'climate doom'...

I think readers who skim the quotes at LaFramboise's site might mistake his actual position as being more hardline than it actually is. Here's another passage, this time from his article Heretical thoughts about science and society:

There is no doubt that parts of the world are getting warmer, but the warming is not global. I am not saying that the warming does not cause problems. Obviously it does. Obviously we should be trying to understand it better. I am saying that the problems are grossly exaggerated. They take away money and attention from other problems that are more urgent and more important, such as poverty and infectious disease and public education and public health, and the preservation of living creatures on land and in the oceans, not to mention easy problems such as the timely construction of adequate dikes around the city of New Orleans.

I will discuss the global warming problem in detail because it is interesting, even though its importance is exaggerated. One of the main causes of warming is the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere resulting from our burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal and natural gas.


I really enjoyed this one. He had assembled all the arguments that survived from his earlier opinions, and he is not trying to chew anyone's leg off.

I add one more bit from Salon that will be of interest -- Dyson on religion/theology and autism (!):

You write that as our understanding of biology advances, so too will our understanding of religion.

It impacts upon our understanding of theology. What I was pointing out is that human theology is based on our own value system above all our knowledge of good and evil as we experience it. Take an autistic child. I took the case of Jessica Park, who is a friend of mine who happens to be autistic. If she had a theology, it would be quite different because she cannot understand other people suffering. She has no conception of other peoples existence in the way we have. Its a radically different world that she lives in. You can tell by the fact that she cant understand the difference between I and you. She uses the words indiscriminately.

So the idea of a suffering savior would have no meaning for her at all. If she had a theology, it wouldnt involve sin. One thing that is characteristic of autistic people is that they cannot tell a lie. Jessica never tells a lie because to tell a deliberate lie, you have to have the idea of deceiving somebody. Thats something she couldnt imagine. Since there is no sin, there can be no fall from grace and no redemption.

The example of Jessica shows us how our own view of the world might be equally skewed. There may be many essential features of the world to which we are blind, just as she is blind to other peoples thoughts and feelings. So our theology also reflects our possibly skewed view of the world.

Edited by william.scherk
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Replies 152
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

A couple of evil quotes about this climate change surge all of a sudden. :smile:

The first is from The Power of Myth, basically Bill Moyers interviewing Joseph Campbell on PBS in 1988 (text copied from here):

Bill Moyers: Don't you think modern Americans have rejected the ancient idea of nature as a divinity because it would have kept us from achieving dominance over nature? How can you cut down trees and uproot the land and turn the rivers into real estate without killing God? ... Scientists are beginning to talk quite openly about the Gaia principle.

Joseph Campbell: There you are, the whole planet as an organism.

Bill Moyers: Mother Earth. Will new myths come from this image?

Joseph Campbell: Well, something might. ... And the only myth that is going to be worth thinking about in the immediate future is one that is talking about the planet, not the city, not these people, but the planet, and everybody on it. That's my main thought for what the future myth is going to be.

Why do I keep thinking about Al Gore and Avatar? :smile:

And here's the second quote.

James Lovelock: environmentalism has become a religion
Scientist behind the Gaia hypothesis says environment movement does not pay enough attention to facts and he was too certain in the past about rising temperatures
by Adam Vaughan
30 March 2014
The Guardian

From the article:

The 94 year-old scientist, famous for his Gaia hypothesis that Earth is a self-regulating, single organism, also said that he had been too certain about the rate of global warming in his past book, that "it’s just as silly to be a [climate] denier as it is to be a believer” and that fracking and nuclear power should power the UK, not renewable sources such as windfarms.

. . .

Talking about the environmental movement, Lovelock says: "It’s become a religion, and religions don't worry too much about facts."

Need... to... conquer... world... Need... to... conquer... world... Need... to... conquer... world...

How?... how?... how?... how?... how?...

Ideology? Don't need no stinking ideology.

Country? Don't need no stinking country.

Progress? Don't need no stinking progress.

Imagine you had secret sacred knowledge to scare the crap out of everyone about how to keep humans from destroying the entire earth through esoteric weather processes. Imagine you propagandized the nations of the earth with this idea using cooked science in the mix and they bit. Imagine the POWER you could get over all mankind...

What Attila would not want such a Witch Doctor?

:smile:

btw - Get ready because they are coming around again: An Inconvenient Truth II: The Return of the Hockey Stick.

:smile:

Michael

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob I highlight this only because an appeal to authority (Dyson) doesn't actually add any heft to your position: that there is no global warming at all (set aside from 'problem').

William,

What does "no global warming at all (set aside from 'problem')" mean?

I'm having trouble groking it.

Doesn't "no global warming at all" mean none, nada, zilch?

Or is the exclusionary qualifier merely there for a rhetorical emphasis of some sort?

btw - Do you have a quote from Bob where he claims there is "no global warming at all"? I usually skim climate change threads so I might have missed it, but I don't recall reading anything by him like this.

Michael

EDIT: Don't mind me in my previous post. It's not directed at you and your efforts at reasoned arguments (which I appreciate).

I think climate change science is complicated, but after watching the climate change religionists try one gimmick after another and get caught with their pants down time and time again (even falsifying data), a good sporadic reality check lampoon is useful to keep perspective--to let the reader know I (and others) think these people are nuts. And dangerous loons, too, if not contained. They don't need much encouragement to go for an all out power grab--as they keep trying to do over and over--and they interpret any attempt to look at both sides by "deniers" as appeasement and capitulation. So mocking it is for now. They won't listen to anything else and they certainly are not going to change their faith and blind zealotry...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob I highlight this only because an appeal to authority (Dyson) doesn't actually add any heft to your position: that there is no global warming at all (set aside from 'problem').

What does "no global warming at all (set aside from 'problem')" mean?

It makes more sense as "no anthropogenic global warming at all" ... thanks for noting it. I'll fix the phrase.

btw - Do you have a quote from Bob where he claims there is "no global warming at all"? I usually skim climate change threads so I might have missed it, but I don't recall reading anything by him like this.

I don't recall Bob straight-up saying "I do not believe in anthropogenic global warming" or "CO2 emissions do not contribute to warming," but retain the impression that he is not sold on any particular ratio of human causes. I am not sure he goes as far as Tyson there. Thus my question on where he diverges from Tyson's statements. On warming itself, Bob acknowledges that we are in an interglacial (warm) period but does not address the purported shorter-term warming signal itself, at least not that I recall.

I did an OL search on 'warming' and found a few salient quotes from Bob. He does accept relatively abrupt climate change.

We are definitely in an interglacial epoch and except for the Little Ice Age the climate has been warming since the last Great Ice Age. How of much this warming is driven by human activity? That remains to be seen.

There is warming and there is over-warming.

What you say is true half the time. Half the time the climate is cooling. The other half, the climate is warming all thanks to natural processes.

We are currently in one of the longer stretches of pleasant warm climate. .. We are over due for the next cold snap. It may not necessarily be the beginning of the next Ice Age, but it could bring major crop failures to the temperate zones. That means the current bread baskets which are instrumental in supporting a world population of seven billion may collapse over a period of 50 to 100 years, or perhaps even less.

Link to post
Share on other sites

William you ask:"Tony, are you more or less agnostic on 'mankind' is a/the cause?"

Let me put it this way, on AGW I think everyone should be agnostic, at least. Take yourself, who's likely in the top ten percentile of GW knowledge, who has indicated a degree of uncertainty in some areas.(Not an "ardent AL", so far as I can tell). Contrast with sheeple who have their own questionable agendas, who have jumped aboard the bandwagon claiming conclusive knowledge, and who know only what they've been told by all sorts of sincere or suspect authority figures.
I see myself as open to persuasion by facts I don't know yet - but having said, I very much lean to skepticism on AGW.

Here's what -imo- is the critical prioritization: If GW is indeed continuing, (first doubt) by how much is man to blame? (Second doubt). Next, while it is touted that AGW can (arguably) be contained and rolled back (third), what further draconian, sacrificial measures at massive expense will be implemented to try to do so - to perhaps little avail? (Fourth and most severe doubt).

Too many doubts here. Of little doubt to me however, is that mankind is not 100% contributory ... which if true, surely man cannot 'fix' 100%, either?

Our species has survived this far by, a. adapting to nature, b. modifying nature to our ends.
I've extreme confidence that the best minds - those who work optimally when free, btw - will rise to the challenge of adaptation to whatever climate changes come our way.

The silver lining in this, is that men and women in science and engineering are motivated to investigating and refining other sources of energy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

No one can know there is no AGW. Even if temps decline overall no one can know that for the temps may be declining less because of AGW.

--Brant

if my life expectancy was 100,000 years I'd fear AGC and the next ice age--since it's probably no more than 25 I personally see little likelyhood of being dis-comfitted by any climate warming or cooling--I'd also as much as I could fear something happening, fear Yellowstone blowing up

Because the sun is slowly and inexorably getting hotter complex life will die off long before the sun envelopes the earth 4 billion years from now--if the human race as such lasts only another million years it will be remarkable

the human race is becoming self-evolving which means humans a thousand years from now will be quite different than today and 10,000 years likely not recognizable as human to us--the only thing stopping this would be mother nature herself and not her kicked in the ass by human activity--what we commonly think of as technology will become mixed up with biology piece by piece

the human race is on the threshold of saying "Goodbye!" to itself

Link to post
Share on other sites

the human race is on the threshold of saying "Goodbye!" to itself

The Cosmos is also saying goodbye to itselfe. A rather long goodbye, but goodbye never the less.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics is the closest thing we have to a sure thing except for the law of non-contradiction.

As they say on "Game of Thrones" ---- Winter is Coming.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Link to post
Share on other sites

the human race is on the threshold of saying "Goodbye!" to itself

The Cosmos is also saying goodbye to itselfe. A rather long goodbye, but goodbye never the less.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics is the closest thing we have to a sure thing except for the law of non-contradiction.

As they say on "Game of Thrones" ---- Winter is Coming.

I'm not taking about entropy but evolution. As for the cosmos, we don't know enought about where it came from to know where it will end up.

--Brant

both the Big Bang and the Big Freeze are conjecture out of data the conjecture in turn being there is enough data to really know these things

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not taking about entropy but evolution. As for the cosmos, we I don't know enought about where it came from to know where it will end up.

--Brant

both the Big Bang and the Big Freeze are conjecture out of data the conjecture in turn being there is enough data to really know these things predictions made by theories that are supported by the best data available.

ftfy

Link to post
Share on other sites

ftfy

Internet slang - means "Fixed that for you"

Link to post
Share on other sites

There used to be a scientific consensus on luminiferous aether. It turns out it does not exist.

There used to be a scientific consensus on caloric (the heat substance). It turns out it does not exist.

There used to be a scientific consensus on spontaneous generation of life. It turns out to be wrong.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not taking about entropy but evolution. As for the cosmos, we I don't know enought about where it came from to know where it will end up.

--Brant

both the Big Bang and the Big Freeze are conjecture out of data the conjecture in turn being there is enough data to really know these things predictions made by theories that are supported by the best data available.

ftfy

Nice combo of rudeness and humor.

Oh, thanks. I couldn't have done it without you. (And if I could have I wouldn't have.)

--Brant

that's the way to do it!

brains for nothing and the thoughts for free!

next!

(heh, heh)

Link to post
Share on other sites

There used to be a scientific consensus on spontaneous generation of life. It turns out to be wrong.

According to what I was told, my life was pretty much spontaneously generated.

--Brant

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is an odd strain of 'conserve-atism' running through the alarmist agenda: i.e. what is now (in my lifetime) MUST be maintained at all costs; I will accept nothing but a flat-lined Earth temperature - or else! Neurotic narcissism, anybody? Subjectivity for sure. Because the Earth knows different.

My generation was called the Me-generation, its present offshoot seems to be the me-me-me-generation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

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...

Okay, I've apparently misunderstood you. You had mentioned that you were an AGWer, and after I asked you to clarify which "consensus" you were referring to, you posted the two links, which I assumed meant that you agreed with their content, and that they represented the "consensus" views that you thought would have to be falsified in order to disprove AGW. Sorry if I got that wrong.

And if I did get it wrong, then I don't understand the point of your posting the two links.

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'?

I didn't check for "reason for doubt." Powell did, as described here:

"Articles that merely claimed to have found some discrepancy, some minor flaw, some reason for doubt, I did not classify as rejecting global warming."

SA's frantic Chicken Little Ashutosh Jogalekar then misidentified the graphic as showing that "more than nine thousand" of the scientists/authors "agree with the basic fact of global warming" -- Jogalekar falsely counts even those who have "reason for doubt" as agreeing with AGW.

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.

Honestly, I really don't care about the "consensus" and what exactly it means, or how one might go about defining it. I only asked because I was interested in discovering your view of AGW. I'd rather you just tell me what you think rather than post links to others' opinions that apparently don't represent your views anyway.

And I'm not trying to Phil Coates you. I'm not demanding a single-spaced 2000-page paper, but just asking for maybe a simple overview paragraph. You say that you're an AGWer. Okay, to what degree? What percentage of global warming or climate change is mankind causing? What temperature should the globe be at today, as well as one hundred years from now, if mankind wasn't causing it to rise? What do you think the effects of global warming will be? What will happen if nothing is done to stop mankind from changing the global temperature? Would the effects be negative? Positive? Apocalyptical? What changes, if any, do you advocate in mankind's behavior? If your preferred changes were implemented throughout the world, how long would it take for us to measure their beneficial effects? What would you recommend if it were discovered that your preferred changes didn't result in the conditions that you predicted?

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

Here's mine:

772506629_501e6def93_o.jpg

"Minnestrata."

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.

It might also help if I were to clarify my question a little. I'm not necessarily looking for specific responses to specific arguments, but asking more generally what method you would use in deciding which opposing positions is valid. For example, assuming that you don't have access to the actual computer models that are used by AGW proponents, and you therefore can't run them through tests yourself, and you can't obtain the raw data or access any of the original equipment or files on which it was gathered/stored/edited, and therefore you can't independently verify firsthand any of the materials, processes and conclusions or criticisms, how do you decide what to believe? By what method?

J

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill, would you mind answering a few more simple questions?

In which type of environment have you spent most of your life: urban, suburban or rural?

What percentage of the food that you consume have you raised/produced yourself? During any one year, have you raised at least half of the food that you consumed?

Have you ever hunted wild animals and eaten them?

Have you ever made fire from items found only in nature?

What percentage of your time is spent in areas of nature that are untouched (or very minimally touched) by mankind? How often do you visit forests, streams, open prairies, deserts, etc.?

J

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a pretty interesting article on the subject.

The link is to a "Wall Street Journal" article titled:

REVIEW & OUTLOOK

Second Climate Thoughts

The latest U.N. report tones down the alarmism but ramps up the bad economics.

Updated April 7, 2014 5:25 p.m. ET

My summary: With climate scare losing its punch as justification for financial scams, the proponents are trying a modified approach.

Salient quote from the article:

link

[The new IPCC report] suggests an IPCC toning down the end-is-nigh rhetoric that typified its past climate warnings: "Vulnerability is rarely due to a single cause." In other words, humanity has lots of problems, climate change being one of them. And as with other problems, humanity will cope and adapt.

All good, which makes it even more of a pity that the authors venture from cautious climate science into the most politically correct forms of political science. "Existing gender inequalities are increased or heightened by climate-related hazards," says the report, while dilating on the deleterious effects global warming has on "discrimination based on gender, age, race, class, caste, indigeneity, and (dis)ability."

The IPCC also turns out to have an agenda that's less about climate change than income inequality and redistribution. What else given the liberal fashions of the day? "Recognizing how inequality and marginalization perpetuate poverty is a prerequisite for climate-resilient development pathways," the IPCC insists, before suggesting that the costs for "global adaptation" should run between $70 billion and $100 billion a year from now until 2050.

So adaptation funding needs to be "orders of magnitude greater than current investment levels, particularly in developing countries." If one Solyndra wasn't enough, try underwriting thousands of them. Preferably in third-world countries. For those who suspect that the purported threat of global warming is really a vehicle of convenience for reviving the discredited economics of the 1970s, this IPCC report will serve as Exhibit A.

Ellen

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was thinking today about how Bill seems to be impressed by the idea that the global warming issue has a historic timeline which includes people from long ago who studied it seriously, fretted about it, and pondered our potential doom. It made me wonder if there are any population-spooking hobgoblins that we could invent off the top of our heads which we couldn't back up with similar histories. I can't think of any.



J

Link to post
Share on other sites

See a related thread, APS and the Global Warming Scam, started by Dennis May on April 7.

I added some background and more recent material to the Hal Lewis resignation letter (from October, 2010) Dennis linked to.

Ellen

Was there any reaction to the resignation from those in power -- those at whom it was aimed? Any official response to his complaints? Was he lauded as a whistleblower, or smeared as a kook, or ignored, or what?

J

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, button up for global warming, kids!

What defeats all common sense is that there can be such a consensus on AGW.

This is a very strong assertion, of two prongs:

-- There cannot be (such) a consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming (in the scientific community compri sing 'climatology')

-- The reason there cannot be a consensus on AGW is because it defeats common sense.

Now, you try to demonstrate the non-sensical nature of a consensus by using a rough scale model:

Against a background of forces and an atmospheric volume as huge as they are, and temperature trends as loo-ong as they are

First, a 'background of forces' (that influence climate/climate change). I'd like to consider what those forces are by your reckoning. What do you identify as these 'forces'?

Off the top of my head I can list 'forces'/influences, not exclusive or pretending to be complete:

  • Solar radiation
  • Cosmic rays
  • precession of the equinox
  • orbital variance of the earth
  • Atmospheric circulation patterns
  • Atmospheric tranches/levels (ie, the layers from ground to space)
  • atmospheric chemistry (including the so-called greenhouse gases)
  • Water vapour/precipitation
  • Oceanic absorption of gases in the atmosphere (excepting water vapour)
  • Great ocean currents (eg, Nino/Nina, north Atlantic current, etc)
  • Polar ice-masses (ie, Greenland, Canadian/Russian arctic, Antarctica)
I will agree there is an abundance of items that comprise the 'background.' I bet we are in rough agreement that these are among the determinants of climate change.

(in particular, and referring back to Bob's assertions about the coming ice age, there is a kind of 'build-up' of evidences from related fields of inquiry that inform understanding of the ice-age/warm-age cycle over thousands of years. If you are interested in how this understanding developed, I do recommend this chapter of Weart's online book.**)

how can anyone be certain of that tiny blip of man's contribution within the last 100 years, or so?

One can measure the 'blip', I'd say.

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 likening of the climate system to a noisy rock concert is not ultimately helpful to answering your questions about global warming. Consider each of the metaphorical givens:

-- a rock concert is loud (~115db)

-- a ticking mechanical watch at five-to-ten feet is undetectable against the decibels of the concert.

-- a loud rock concert is similar to global climate.

-- no one could possibly detect the 'signal' (AGW mediated by 'greenhouse efffect) if one likens the effect to the vanishingly small decibels of a distant-from-ear watch against a huge noise.

-- (somewhat implied is that AGW's 'watch' noise could never be measured at a climate rock concert, by analogy, the 'watch' noise could not be measured with precision, let alone ratioed to the painful throbbing from the stage)

For an argument by analogy to make most sense, the pattern of similarities between the compared units should be clear and relatively unequivocal. Otherwise we could simply choose an analogy to fit our conclusions or suspicions. In this case we are concluding that there is only lesser or greater noise/music. The noise of a watch versus concert noise. So this rules out relationship, since a small noise can do nothing to effectuate any change in the larger noise beyond tiny, by simple addition.

But the climate system is not like rock concert noise, and the effect of the "man's blip" is not a additive to a decibel chart, but an amplifying effect within the energy economy of our earth. So the analogy breaks down when we move to a different level of analysis.

Let me make this clear: I could put forward an analogy to detecting a 'poison' or effective agent in a solution. I could also rerun your statement with another set of purported similarities:

What defeats all common sense is that the denial of a consensus on AGW. Against a background of forces and an atmospheric volume as huge as they are, and considering long-term eras of global temperature, 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 disbelieves that we can to hear a scream for help while being blasted by the overwhelming noise of a busy city.

All in all, this kind of comparisons occlude essential detail, and can lead to faulty, unwarranted, and premature conclusions.

( See Analyzing arguments from analogy. Of note is that one must consider the contents of and dissimilarities between the analogized entities/arguments/systems.)

Behind and beneath your assertions are some good questions, questions that I believe can be answered by studying the history and literature of climatology, and not assumed.**

How then can anyone be confident ('certain') of the scientific consensus on AGW if man's emissions of 'greenhouse gases' are but a tiny blip of information?

That's a question worth pursuing. I would redraw your argument to include a means of testing the previous conclusion (no one can be confident/certain of AGW because humankind's contribution to a 'climate' is vanishing small, if not undetectable).

See how that works. It re-frames your assertions so that they could be tested.

Regarding 'but a tiny blip' ... if you are referring to CO2 emissions by human industrial activity (including deforestation), if this is a tiny blip in comparison to the complicated machinery of climate writ large, how is it that science can detect this blip at all?

More importantly, how could we best acquaint ourselves with the detailed historical science that leads climate scientists to a conclusion you might reject -- that CO2 contributes to warming of the earth and its atmosphere?

337845470_5fc4817647_b.jpg

__________________________________

** I have touted Spencer Weart's book and website regularly in this thread. I do so for several reasons: first and foremost that it attempts a broad, detailed history. Any part of the story we might wonder about (what the hell is the Milankovic cycle; what led to the proposition that CO2 had any contribution at all to climate; how did they ever come up with 'greenhouse effect''?) -- you can find an answer. It is not a hyper-partisan book. It is not unduly 'alarmist' in tone or organization. It sorts out and fleshes out the various stepping stones or building blocks of inquiry. It helps anyone understand "why some scientists 'believe in' global warming. It answers the 'how did they get there' questions.

Link to post
Share on other sites

William you ask:"Tony, are you more or less agnostic on 'mankind' is a/the cause?"

Let's put it this way, on AGW I think almost everyone should be agnostic at least. Take yourself, who's probably in the top ten percentile of GW knowledge, who has indicated a degree of uncertainty in some areas.(Not an "ardent AL", so far as I can tell).

You write 'almost everyone' should be agnostic about anthropogenic global warming. Who are those lucky few you let out of this prescription? what kind of people can justifiably be firmly in agreement with AGW?

I am trying to get at the warrants for your beliefs. Briefly stated, your beliefs about AGW seem to be that it is likely not happening, is a false construct, is not demonstrated.

Breaking it down, I suggest to you that there is solid science behind the notion that carbon-dioxide (and the suite of atmospheric greenhouse gases) contribute to keeping the temperature of Earth far above what it would be if we had no atmosphere at all.

I think you would probably agree, upon reflection, that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere contributes to the 'greenhouse effect.' Or maybe not.

Have you done much reading about the 'greenhouse effect'?

Contrast with sheeple who have their own questionable agendas, who have jumped aboard the bandwagon claiming conclusive knowledge, and who know only what they've been told by authorities of all the suspect kinds.

This is pretty diffuse, Tony. Sheeple is just a slur. Questionable agendas? Which sheeple have questionable agendas? And 'authorities of all the suspect kinds' -- can you be more precise on this? Without naming anyone or identifying the perfidy, how can your words be checked against reality? It seems to be you are issuing the judgement without having had a trial, and the evidence that led you to your judgement in sealed.

To put this in perspective, what if I said something like "what about Arrhenius, Tyndall, Keeling, Revelle, Chamberlin, Fourier?" -- was each or any of these scientists and discoverers 'sheeple'? Are their conclusions questionable (meaning on blance probably wrong)?

I don't mean to harry you, but I do want to know 'how you got there.' Knowing what parts of the scientific consensus, which building blocks of knowledge you consider suspect, this is important.

I see myself as open to persuasion by facts I don't know yet - but having said, I very much lean to skepticism on AGW.

Your skeptical bias is fine. It's the inbuilt Objectivish stance, I think.

Anyhow. Where do you think you might be persuaded either way? What particular aspects of global warming theory do you want to examine? I've repeatedly touted Spencer Weart's history book The Discovery of Global Warming and associated website. Have you had a chance to read any of it yet?

If AGW is indeed happening, how would you know (to your own satisfaction) that it is happening? You doubt it. What would constitute strong evidence, and let you move from agnosticism to acceptance?

Another way to look at it: if you were trying to change my mind about, say, the 'greenhouse effect,' how would you go about it, what literature would you have me read, what convinced you that one part or another of the consensus is wrong?

Here's what imo is the critical prioritization: If AGW is indeed so, (first doubt) by how much is man to blame? (Second doubt) Next, if AGW can possibly be contained and rolled back (third), what further draconian, sacrificial measures at massive expense will be implemented to try to do so - to perhaps little avail? (Fourth and most severe doubt).

The main question back to you is again how would you know? If AGW is 'indeed so,' how would you know?

Too many doubts. Of little doubt however to me, is that mankind is not 100% contributory ... which if true, surely man cannot 'fix' 100%, either?

-- one particular suggestion I hope you will take under advisement is that your question "how much is man to blame" can actually be answered. I don't know what you know about the signatures of human-emitted CO2. Are you acquainted with how atmospheric CO2 is measured and by what means are identified the human proportion?

No need to answer each question -- they are of a suite, epistemological, meant to add more precision to your stance, to get down to the nitty-gritty of your doubts.

Our species has survived this far by a. modifying nature to our ends b. adapting to nature.

I've extreme confidence that the best minds - those who work optimally when free, btw- will rise to the challenge of adaptation to whatever climates come our way.

The silver lining in all this, is that men and women are motivated to investigating and refining other sources of energy.

Here then is the dark cloud that is the US Climate Action Plan, from the office of the President.

SLV-Bg-Shangri-La-Hotel-Vancouver-v4.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

See a related thread, APS and the Global Warming Scam, started by Dennis May on April 7.

I added some background and more recent material to the Hal Lewis resignation letter (from October, 2010) Dennis linked to.

Ellen

Was there any reaction to the resignation from those in power -- those at whom it was aimed? Any official response to his complaints? Was he lauded as a whistleblower, or smeared as a kook, or ignored, or what?

J

I'd imagine there was a reaction from those in power, but as I recall, not one that could be overheard. Hal Lewis would have been a very difficult person to dismiss as a kook.

Maybe people on RealClimate panned Lewis. I'd pretty much quit reading that site, and don't remember if I saw anything there.

The non-alarmist sites printed or linked to the letter.

Larry's had some experience receiving emails from persons in power at the APS - both because of his being one of the six who initiated a petition and because he was for years co-editor of the newsletter of the New England Section of the APS, and he chronically caused trouble (from the APS leadership's standpoint). The emails have been carefully, I might say trickily, worded - and have always carried the legal advisory that nothing in them can be shared or repeated.

Ellen

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now