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G8 climate pact lights up divisions

Richard Black | 12:17 UK time, Thursday, 9 July 2009

On the face of it, the climate declaration [pdf link] coming out of the G8's Thursday meeting with developing countries appears to be remarkably balanced - it doesn't give anyone what they really wanted.

G8_leadersG8 nations have not persuaded major developing countries to adopt numerical targets on reducing emissions.

Developing countries haven't got the pledges they wanted rich countries to adopt on sharp emission cuts by 2020. Nor have they persuaded G8 leaders to open their wallets and put billions of dollars on the table for green technology and protection against climate impacts.

Some of the environment and development groups that campaign on climate change have savaged the declaration for precisely these reasons.

But in reality, nothing more definite was ever likely to come out of the G8 gathering itself or the larger Major Economies Forum (MEF), the 16-nation-plus-EU group that brings together the biggest greenhouse gas producers from both developed and developing worlds.

The agreement that allowing the global average temperature to rise by more than 2C above pre-industrial levels would be a bad idea provides some indication that all blocs are serious about wanting a deal that will meaningfully constrain emissions.

This at least would not have happened while President Bush lived in the Washington White House and John Howard led Australia.

But all parties acknowledge that the UN process is the real forum for pledges. And what we have seen in L'Aquila is perhaps best viewed as a significant political signpost on the way to December's UN summit in Copenhagen, which is supposed to finalise a comprehensive new global climate treaty.

It is difficult not to conclude that for the Western public, there is a careful bit of news management going on here.

By floating the notion that developing countries would be requested to adopt numerical targets - which they never could, in fact, in this forum - G8 governments have raised the expectation in their electorates that developing countries should adopt numerical targets.

Greenpeace_coal_protestThus the ground is further prepared for blaming developing countries if the Copenhagen process collapses or produces something with no more bite than an ageing chihuahua.

The key discussions - as they always have been - are about which bloc takes what level of responsibility for climate change, and who puts how much money on the table for what.

In the harsh light of political reality, the difficulties are still that the US and Japan will struggle domestically to set short-term targets big enough to impress developing nations, that in the current economic circumstances they'll struggle also to loosen their purse-strings for what is effectively a new kind of international aid, and that many developing country governments still find it anathema to contemplate meaningful pledges on reducing their own emissions.

The G8 and MEF meetings have confirmed the difficulties that exist. They have not gone very far to resolving them.

Big picture reflections

Although the G8 climate discussions dominated the environmental news this week, I enjoyed reading your comments on my last post asking whether all the political attention on climate change was obscuring discussion of other environmental issues.

In one sense, the G8 discussions threw the topic into a sharper light - and thanks for all your responses.

GaryTW20, you've perfectly encapsulated the arguments made in many quarters against investments to curb population growth - "birth rate control = eugenics = Hitler".

But as several other people observe, including mariansummerlight, programmes being run now by health agencies show that when you give women in poor countries the capacity to choose to have fewer babies, often they do - which benefits their own health, the prospects for their children and reduces population growth

Chinese_childrenAlthough still a little too radical for the political mainstream, this view of "population control" is now at least being discussed privately by some European politicians - and maybe the traditional association with eugenics and forced sterilisation will, in the end, be banished.

UI4060183, thanks for your link on Iran's fertility rate - interesting reading.

OneWorldStandards, you remind us - and thank you for it - that there has been a school of economics arguing that population growth is a very good thing because it generates wealth that a) betters the human lot generally, and b) can be used for environmental improvements if so desired.

I would be interested to hear from anyone who has adhered to this school of thought in the past - how much currency it has now, and also what they make of China's spectacular economic growth while practising population restraint.

Maintaining the trend of artistic references - why not branch out into Razia Iqbal's domain sometimes? - omnologos' comment about reducing the average height of a human being reminded me of the Genesis song (showing my age now!) "Get 'Em Out by Friday", in which humans are limited to a maximum height of four feet in order that twice as many can be crammed into the same building... not a happy piece of work.

I feel a lot more empathy for the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy story quoted by timjenvey... I defy anyone to work in an office or live in a city and not sometimes understand exactly how the Golgafrinchans felt!

On balance, though, probably not a practical option - especially as in some peoples' books, environment journalists would probably be first into the B-Ark...

There's one comment I have to query. stnylan writes: "If the price of our freedom is the devastation of our planet, that is a price worth paying". Really? And what price our freedom once the planet has been devastated?

This is a topic I know we'll come back to in the future - not least because I've spent a large chunk of the week gathering interviews for a BBC Radio Four programme about the very issue.

It's thrown up some fascinating insights and opinions... and I look forward to sharing some of them with you when the programme's due for airing towards the end of August.

Comments

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  • 1. At 00:41am on 10 Jul 2009, jr4412 wrote:

    "G8 climate pact lights up divisions" ??

    on one issue though all the "leaders" agreed - let's set "ambitious targets" for 2050. convenient. nobody has to grasp the nettle now and in 40 years they're all dead or retired.

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  • 2. At 01:29am on 10 Jul 2009, manysummits wrote:

    I thought the last post by 'ghostofsichuan' in the last blog was so good I would reproduce part of it here: (from post #156; http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/07/ok_so_its_a_big.html)
    ----------------

    "Technology is not a reflection of the progress of mankind, it is simply a reflection of the progress of technology...these two are often confused."

    "Until citizens are unwilling to accept the dishonesty and unethical behavior of the elected and appointed few nothing significant will change. History records revolutions because leaders are unwilling to change. The idea that governments could sell the right to pollute (cap and trade)and everyone views this as a positive act is a good reflection of a docile public willing to accept whatever crumbs are thrown their way. Remember, it took two atomic bombs before the Japanese politicians would face reality."
    ------------

    On that note, let me say that I am wondering if the engagement of a truly democratic segment of the population is not necessary, and perhaps even the highest priority?

    The half who do not vote, must somehow become interested enough to vote, and all of us must learn for ourselves significant aspects of what 'seasambo' termed "Global Environmental Change" in the twenty-first century.

    It was twleve years ago this summer that I took to the mountains in a very committed way, which a year later became a full-time devotion for seven years.

    First I camped at Lake Louise for about a month. I spent every day, week after week, just hiking around, seeing for myself where the avalanches fell, at what time of the day, under what conditions. I watched and was a part of the change of the seasons. I ventured farther afield when I knew I was ready. This is the 'for to admire an for to see' approach - and it works. Slow at first, but the foundation you build is a lasting one, not least because you have not hurried it.

    This has been my approach in climate science and global environmental change. I am currently studying an up to date text on meteorology, as my university courses in the subject are thirty years old. I have binders full of the most highly respected research articles from peer-reviewed journals. And I watch the sky every day.

    We have enough specialists - in any field you care to name.

    What we lack is an engaged and scientifically literate public, an intensely interested electorate.

    - Manysummits, Calgary -

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  • 3. At 02:48am on 10 Jul 2009, jr4412 wrote:

    manysummits #2.

    "What we lack is an engaged and scientifically literate public, an intensely interested electorate."

    maybe I'm unduly pessimistic again, but what happens when "engaged and scientifically literate" individuals disagree publicly with the powers that be?

    for example, perhaps you remember the sudden demise of Dr David Kelly?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Kelly_(weapons_expert)
    when people whose opinons matter suddenly "rock the boat" strange things happen...

    and as for the wider electorate, "Joe Bloggs": too busy worrying about their jobs, mortgage payments, credit card debts, etc; little time, and not much incentive, to stand back and think about the bigger picture. besides, when the proverbial hits the fan most of them will simply, and conveniently, seek "salvation" in prayer.

    no, manysummits, short of tens (hundreds?) of million of people -- and that would have to include large numbers in key positions -- deciding overnight to completely boycott the system, nothing will happen until too late.

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  • 4. At 04:49am on 10 Jul 2009, xlumen wrote:

    I am optimistic about it. Although there are many problems need to be solved,especially in developing country they are lack of funds and technology. But the most important thing is the attitude of the leaders and thoughts of citizens. As in China, enviroment problem are serious in the past, but now people and govenment both realise the importance of evirnoment protection for economy development.Many regulations are issued now and many green material are used for manufacturing and daily life. Take lighting for example, we begain to use LED for lighting to save energy and reduce the poison materials.Government is now supporting many factory such as DICOLOR www.dicolor.cn to promote this industry.

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  • 5. At 07:15am on 10 Jul 2009, TJ wrote:

    Richard says about Hitch Hikers Guide: "On balance, though, probably not a practical option - especially as in some peoples' books, environment journalists would probably be first into the B-Ark..."

    You will not be alone. Being a management consultant myself I'd be joining you in the same Ark!!!

    Seriously though: Can we take seriously our leaders ability to control the earths temperature? Words are escaping me here. Im pinching myself to see if Im in the same world!! This is just !!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????.

    I said in the previous blog that "Pimm's in a can" set us at the tipping point of extinction. This puts us over it.

    I think that both alarmist and deniers will agree on this point. I can even feel sympathy for Jim Hanson and thats saying something in my world.


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  • 6. At 08:15am on 10 Jul 2009, TandF1 wrote:

    Birth rates in almost every country in the world are declining (often to unsustainably low levels). Population growth=birth rate-death rate. The problem is not so much poor people having too many children but rich people (us) living too long. That is a problem which cannot be solved. Even if tomorrow the average global birth rate dropped to 2.1 children per women (the natural replenishment level) the global population would continue to grow. Look at China: 1 child policy, unsustainbly low birth rate, net emigration - yet the population continues to grow becasue people are getting richer and thus living longer. The fact is 1 old westerner contibutes more to global warming than 10 poor Africans. As I've said before the problem is not 3rd world copulation but 1st world consumption. Focusing on birth rate which is decling anyway is just an excuse to let ourselves of the hook.

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  • 7. At 08:35am on 10 Jul 2009, rossglory wrote:

    #5 timjenvey

    you're right that we can't control the climate but we can, and are, changing it. all the plans are just an attempt to mitigate the changes we have already started.

    personally i would love to see us stop using the word 'leaders' to describe politicians. every now and again a true leader emerges on the political scene (fingers crossed) but they are mostly self-serving (and when not self-serving then serving a small powerful section of their communities). i think the athenians had the right idea - compulsory voting by the citizenry (interestingly it's where the term 'roping in' comes from).

    with regard human progress, for me john gray (from the lse) demolished this concept some time ago in his book straw dogs. the best we can do is muddle through with our primitive primate psychology and try not to mess up too much.

    and whenever the discussion turns to population control it always reminds me of swift's modest proposal, it's a discussion almost guaranteed to degenerate into the surreal.

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  • 8. At 08:52am on 10 Jul 2009, jon112uk wrote:

    Sounds like more of the same to me - 'rich' countries agree to make huge cuts (which most of them never make), 'developing countries' can continue to INCREASE their emmissions, 'poor countries' just want some more hand outs to pay for the presidents new mercedes while they complete the destruction of their local environment.

    Previous result of this has been re-location of high emmission activities from US/Europe to China etc, with an actual INCREASE in world emissions. Brilliant.

    This targets without solutions approach is (still) getting no where.

    Compare that with approaches that have actually acheived something - eg. the Swedish policy of moving to bio-fuel for their road transport - they are still getting to work by car, bus, train but the fuel is changing. No return to the dark ages, less carbon released, significant reductions being achieved in a few years.

    Isn't it time to forget the laughable targets and for ideas of that type to be pushed forward on global scale?


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  • 9. At 09:14am on 10 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "Seriously though: Can we take seriously our leaders ability to control the earths temperature?"

    They aren't controlling the earth's temperature.

    They're controlling our playing around with the planet.

    Do you think that it is impossible to tell people to stop doing something?

    This is no more "controlling the earth's temperature" than the ban on CFC's was "controlling the sun's UV light".

    When you have to run to strawmen, you have no argument and you know it.

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  • 10. At 10:43am on 10 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "This targets without solutions approach is (still) getting no where."

    But until you have targets, what are you trying to solve?

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  • 11. At 10:48am on 10 Jul 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    TandF1 #6: "The problem is not so much poor people having too many children but rich people (us) living too long" and "Look at China: 1 child policy, unsustainably low birth rate, net emigration - yet the population continues to grow because people are getting richer and thus living longer."

    That sounded plausible, so I went back to my favourite population data site...
    http://esa.un.org/unpp/
    ...and tried to make graphs to show what you claimed.

    But I found that the data didn't really support you.
    (Admittedly the parts after 2009 are projections but up to 2009 should be reliable.)

    First the world...
    http://www.pratar.org/pop/pop_world_b_and_d.jpg

    Births projected to drop in the future but pretty level 1990 to 2010.

    Deaths increasing since about 1975.

    Births-deaths declining since 1990 but flat at moment since births are up.

    Then more specifically China...
    http://www.pratar.org/pop/pop_china_b_and_d.jpg

    Births rather erratic but overall decreasing; crept up a bit just recently.

    Births-deaths declining since 1990 but flat at moment due to birthrate creeping up a bit.

    Deaths steadily increasing since 1975, although flat for a while from 1985 to 2005. I guess this is the effect you refer to, where, despite increasing population and increasing number of old age, the increasing life expectancy stops the death rate going up in step with population for a while.

    But I don't think you can blame the "longer living" for the rising population, that's just a transitory effect. Births have the long term effect. Just imagine the situation with no births; population would plummet in the near future regardless of people living a bit longer.

    /davblo2

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  • 12. At 10:49am on 10 Jul 2009, xlumen wrote:

    I find I learn more and more things in this Blog as I am green hand both in English and Blog writting.

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  • 13. At 11:21am on 10 Jul 2009, jon112uk wrote:

    10. At 10:43am on 10 Jul 2009, yeah_whatever wrote:
    "This targets without solutions approach is (still) getting no where."

    But until you have targets, what are you trying to solve?
    =============================================

    The way I see it this...

    If you say to China (worlds biggest emitter) 'cut your emissions by 50%' they refuse: they want growth and they can play a series of political cards (per capita we are quite low, why are we denied the same wealth as you etc etc). Nothing happens.

    Develop a technology which allows China to grow, not be dependent on other peoples oil, doesn't belch out CO2 - then give it them free of charge.

    Solution without a target.

    Bottom line: stop this nonsense about 'targets' and just start cutting the emissions.

    (Example - Some people are putting reduced emission coal power technology forward for this - we develop it, give it to China free of charge. I don't push a particular technology, give them whatever would actually work)

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  • 14. At 11:52am on 10 Jul 2009, manysummits wrote:

    Leaders quite naturally emerge when necessary. It has always been this way, as far as I can see.

    Soon, there will be the need, and natural leaders will come.

    But paleoclimatology and modern climate science are finding that this coming emergency will cost. It will cost very much - in human lives, in species extinctions, and quite possibly, in a situation which is out of our control, leaders or not.

    We would then be in a situation of simply making the best of a very bad situation, a catastrophic situation if some of our leading scientists are right.

    All in all, this is a brief history of our tenure on the planet. We have apparently faced even near extinction one or more times in our past, and it may be our fate to do so again.

    But - it seems to me true progress would be using foresight to avoid this, and acting beforehand to avert it.

    I know this is possible from my own experience, and I'm sure most of us know it is possible.

    Our own fear is the true enemy. We can keep the world rise in temperature below two degrees C if we have the courage.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 15. At 12:00pm on 10 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "If you say to China (worlds biggest emitter)"

    You mean "If you say to the US (worlds biggest emitter)", don't you?

    "'cut your emissions by 50%' they refuse: "

    Uh, they are already cutting emissions. They are creating more renewable energy systems than anyone else.

    So there's no "If" if you're talking about "If china refuses".

    And it's easy to solve if it could happen: trade tarrifs. Just like the US put on Wood from Canada.

    "Develop a technology which allows China to grow, not be dependent on other peoples oil, doesn't belch out CO2 - then give it them free of charge."

    Uh, they already are producing such a thing. And there was no need to give it to them free of charge. It's patented. If china wanted to use that patent without paying, they can just take it, like the US did with the patents on plane design that they took for the war effort in WW1.

    "Bottom line: stop this nonsense about 'targets' and just start cutting the emissions. "

    But cut them to what?

    If there are no targets, then someone could say "Why should I reduce my output by 50% when the US produces much more and only cut theirs by 20%?"

    With targets you can say "Because the US will cut theirs by 80%".

    Bottom line: what's your boggle?

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  • 16. At 1:16pm on 10 Jul 2009, jon112uk wrote:

    15. At 12:00pm on 10 Jul 2009, yeah_whatever wrote:
    "You mean "If you say to the US (worlds biggest emitter)", don't you?"
    =====================

    No, I'm quite happy China is the worlds biggest absolute CO2 emitter. If you have an axe to grind about the US that is your politics not an environment issue - just like the deforestation thing.

    There is no need for targets. If MMGW is really your agenda then any and all reductions are good. Targets which no one meets, and which allow the biggest emitters to INCREASE their emissions, acheive nothing. What have the 'targets' acheived so far? - further global INCREASES.

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  • 17. At 1:28pm on 10 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "If MMGW is really your agenda then any and all reductions are good. "

    Not if they are insufficient.

    If you're ill, penecillin is prescribed and will help.

    But if you take one spoonful and then no more, it will not help.

    "Targets which no one meets,... achieve nothing"

    True. then again, you keep saying this and have no proof they will achieve nothing.

    " and which allow the biggest emitters to INCREASE their emissions"

    Well, then China say "why are you allowed to have higher emissions than us?".

    You're talking about total. They are talking about per-capita. Are you suggesting that China kill 750million people?

    And the chinese already have strict controls on birth rates, therefore they can INCREASE per capita expenditure (which you hate) whilst reducing TOTAL production (which you ignore).

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  • 18. At 1:41pm on 10 Jul 2009, ApeMan84 wrote:

    Just a comment about the "If the price of our freedom is the devastation of our planet, that is a price worth paying" post.

    I'm always interested in what people mean by "freedom". Even today, we are not completely free, for a variety of reasons, but most simply because there are things we as a collective think are not good for society. For example no one is free to assault or murder someone, with out facing the consequences. I think this is a pretty good idea and I think most other people will agree.

    My point is that there is a price for Citizenship, or to put it another way, for living a (hopefully) comfortable and peaceful life. When we live in a society, our actions impact on everyone else through a variety of different mechanisms directly and indirectly, and we should be responsible for our actions at all times. We therefore do not have the freedom to do what ever we feel like. Even in an ideal world, where there is no greed or corruption, no thirst for power and wealth, we would still not be truly free!

    Therefore, just from a societal perspective, we should not lose our freedom by agreeing to save the planet. It is just another good idea that we agree to. As Richard said, if the planet is devastated by our (read the Wests) actions, then what freedom does that give to us In th future?

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  • 19. At 1:51pm on 10 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "Targets which no one meets, and which allow the biggest emitters to INCREASE their emissions"

    Can you let us know where the targets say some emitters can increase their emissions, Jon?

    Or is that merely rhetoric to scare people?

    (alarmism).

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  • 20. At 3:04pm on 10 Jul 2009, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    We have numbers on paper and over time the numbers will come into dispute. The only solution that will work is the end of carbon based fuels. Oil is running out, but coal remains abundant. As power providers tend to have a monopoly in most counties or regions, they exercise great influence in the legislative bodies. The real issue is the culusion taking place between existing fuel and power providers and governments for the development of alternative energies. Existing providers want to let the current resources continue, as the infrastructure and profits are already established. In most places, the energy providers are guaranteed a minimum ( some might say maximum)profit annually and the governments are also dependent on the taxes generated from these sources. It is not simply the fuel source but also the transport, the terminals, the shipping and distribution systems that all shore up a part of each economy. Combined and with the auto industry this is a powerful political block. Neither side has any interest in a new model being developed that may place energy production at the home level. The Japanese have been developing hydrogen converters that could provide power for both the home and autos but this model would change the political landscape. I think everyone will agree that when a new energey source is developed, the developing country or companies will become very rich. The effort toward development is being addressed with resources, grants and research projects but no effort that your reflect what the G8 seems to say is the magnitude of the problem. Like the personal comupter, the solutions came from outside the existing structure, IBM one the great powerhouse of computing with the larger mainframes was happy with the market they controled and missed the changes taking place in both product development and the market. This is likely what will happen with energy. I wouldn't recommend looking to government for solutions as the vested interest are not interested in solutions that they do not control and as the exisitng market is in their control things will not change until someone brings to market an energy source that revolutionizes the playing field in the manner of the personal computer. In the world today all things are dependent on cost of manufacturing, control of distribution, profits and taxes. Governments profess order and stability in a world that is chaos. The battle between social control and individual freedom continues.

    Manysummits:

    There are two (of course)positions in Eastern philosophy: The Confucian who believe that all things should be investigated so that the individual has self-discovery through the recognition of the natural order of things, hirarchey, and Buddhism/Doaism: the idea that change is the only contant in the world and understanding the natural order, the forces of chaos and stability, gives one an understanding of the natural way of things. The former,places man to control nature and the other places man to accept nature. In China, most people were, and maybe still are, Confucian, Buddhist and Doaist at the same time and not having any conflict in the multiplicity. Probably something you expereince in the mountains?

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  • 21. At 3:05pm on 10 Jul 2009, jon112uk wrote:

    17. At 1:28pm on 10 Jul 2009, yeah_whatever

    You're still having problems with the per capita emissions: highest per capita emissions is Belize (not America). Should we be forcing big reduction targets on a country like that? Put up loads of trade barriers until lots of them die?

    We have had this whole target thing before - remember Kyoto? Loads of targets, biggest emitters didn't even sign up, almost no one met their promises. Emissions went up, not down. Brilliant. Does anyone think Kyoto worked?

    Getting back to a small example of what I'd love to see...let's have E85 'petrol' available at the pumps. They can do it in Sweden. I'll buy at the same price, car change or conversion if needed. No need for 'targets' - just get moving on supplying the fuel, people will switch for themselves if the price is right.

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  • 22. At 4:08pm on 10 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "You're still having problems with the per capita emissions: highest per capita emissions is Belize (not America)."

    Not if you add up the total emissions.

    Over the industrial era, nearly 30% of all human-sourced carbon emissions come from the USA.

    "We have had this whole target thing before - remember Kyoto? "

    Yes, the US didn't ratify it.

    The US is no longer under the control of Oil-Man GW Bush and this isn't Kyoto.

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  • 23. At 4:15pm on 10 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "Getting back to a small example of what I'd love to see...let's have E85 'petrol' available at the pumps. "

    But if more E85 is used than petrol, the overall change would be an increase in CO2 emissions.

    How about this:

    "One way to reach the TARGET of 80% emission reduction in the UK is to move over to E85 petrol stations."

    Now this isn't barred from happening by having a target, is it.

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  • 24. At 5:07pm on 10 Jul 2009, jon112uk wrote:

    23. At 4:15pm on 10 Jul 2009, yeah_whatever

    E85 is 85% bio-ethanol. Dependent on how you source the bio-mass to make the ethanol, that can be a very serious cut in fossil fuel CO2. Locally grown switch grass is a good one. One university is experimenting with using household rubbish as the biomass - deal with the waste issue at the same time.

    Give just enough tax incentives to keep it at the same price point as standard petrol and people are not going to burn it for no good reason.

    I would have no problem with a target such as '85% of petrol stations to sell E85 within X years.' Set X at a realistic but challenging number (5?). I'm serious - I'll buy it and I haven't been taken in by the MMGW thing, it's a good fuel. There would be no problem selling it to the believers.


    Kyoto? America didn't ratify it, but nor did China. Since then China INCREASED emissions to the point they are now the biggest emitter (since 2007). Global emissions have increased, not decreased. Excuse me if I'm not impressed by yet more agreements like that.

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  • 25. At 6:10pm on 10 Jul 2009, fairlyopenmind wrote:

    I still find it faintly ludicrous that, just because a bunch of "world leaders" decide that global temperature shouldn't be allowed to rise by 2degrees, we have no real idea whether even closing down all human life could prevent it.

    The earth warms and cools. I can't find any "true" basis for establishing what the "global temperature is today, let alone what it was 150 years ago.

    If the whole argument was to reduce oil and gas consumption (which has to happen anyway) and cut pollution, I'd be a supporter.

    Bring me a concensus of scientists and I'll offer you a flat earth, or the sun and stars revolving around the globe, or phlogiston, the impossibility of the human body to exceed 60 mph.

    Talk pollution. Just cut the nonsensical belief that we can mdify global temperature. How's gonna tell the sun?

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  • 26. At 6:11pm on 10 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    And in the US corn is being pushed as a biofuel.

    But the expenditure of energy to produce, refine and transport that means it is more expensive in terms of CO2.

    And yes, China didn't ratify it because the US didn't.

    Which is why the US signing on to THIS one (as long as they ratify it, which the President CAN do as an executive order, but Bush didn't want to, so let it die in congress) is why this one isn't Kyoto.

    And targets DO NOT STOP you buying E85.

    Why would the UK decide to just cut their oil use by 80% as their "solution" to the target? Would they not move over to E85 instead?

    And if they do something as dumb as that, that will not be because of the target, will it.

    Why do you have such a hate for a target?

    If the politicians didn't want to implement, then they wouldn't have done what you want either, even without the targets.

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  • 27. At 6:47pm on 10 Jul 2009, britononthemitten wrote:

    Today's G8 leaders declaring that they won't allow the earth's temperature to go above 2 degrees will go down in history as one of the most stupid things ever declared.

    Am I the only person that thinks this displays either Canute-like arrogance or a recognition that at the end of a big meeting at which nothing was agreed the face saver is to all agree on something totally abstract from reality over which none of the parties has any control?

    Maybe it will enter common usage. At the end of the next business meeting I attend at which there is complete and utter disagreement and not the slightest chance of a solution being found, I'll close by saying: "Well at least can we all agree that it will rain all day in London two weeks on Tuesday?"

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  • 28. At 7:04pm on 10 Jul 2009, BrianDodge wrote:

    What is the source for the claim that Belize is the highest per capita emitter of CO2? Ive found the following sources:
    http://www.phrasebase.com/english/countries/trans_co2emissionsperc.php?variable=trans_co2emissionsperc
    Belize 1.7 US 20 Qatar 67
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]
    Belize 3.2 US 19.7 Qatar 37.4
    http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/data_sheets/
    Belize 2.9 US 20.6 Qatar 79.3

    Obviously there are significant differences in methodologies, date of data, and other factors which contribute to uncertainty of the numbers, but it appears to me that Belize is not the major per capita CO2 emitter, by a factor of ten or more. BTW, since Qatar consumes only 10% of its oil production, and refines 20%(an energy intensive process)http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/Qatar/Oil.html, probably some share of their per capita CO2 could be reapportioned to importers of their products.

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  • 29. At 7:28pm on 10 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "Today's G8 leaders declaring that they won't allow the earth's temperature to go above 2 degrees will go down in history as one of the most stupid things ever declared"


    Is that a direct quote or are you making it up?

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  • 30. At 7:30pm on 10 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "The earth warms and cools. I can't find any "true" basis for establishing what the "global temperature is today, let alone what it was 150 years ago."

    And your reason for ignoring the data from GISS or the Hadley Centre are what?

    That data IS freely available.

    Here's a link to some proof for you:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/climatechange/2009/07/is_the_climate_warming_or_cool.html#P82634488

    This decade 0.17C warmer than last.

    There.

    You now have the data for global temperatures and you can see that it's rising.

    As a skeptic you will now be taking as default that AGW is correct unless someone proves otherwise, yes?

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  • 31. At 7:41pm on 10 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    This is what I have from the BBC site (this isn't a quote either)

    "On Thursday, when the summit focused on climate change, leaders from both developed and developing nations agreed that global temperatures should not rise more than 2C above 1900 levels."

    Yes, temperatures should not rise more than 2C above 1900 levels.

    And to do that, reductions in CO2 output are needed.

    This is not "we won't allow". This is "they should not".

    Just like the law says you should not murder. And to do so, they invent jails and other deterrents.

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  • 32. At 7:43pm on 10 Jul 2009, jr4412 wrote:

    re. 2 degrees (#27, #29).

    "..Leaders recognised the scientific view on the need to keep global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.."

    and

    "Leaders of all major emitting countries reiterated the importance of keeping the increase in average global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius, as recognised by the G8.."

    from 'Chair's Summary (10/07/2009)' p. 4/5; pdf link at:
    http://www.g8italia2009.it/G8/Home/Summit/G8-G8_Layout_locale-1199882116809_Atti.htm

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  • 33. At 9:09pm on 10 Jul 2009, jon112uk wrote:

    26. At 6:11pm on 10 Jul 2009, yeah_whatever wrote:
    "And in the US corn is being pushed as a biofuel.

    But the expenditure of energy to produce, refine and transport that means it is more expensive in terms of CO2."
    ============================

    You are outdated again. 2nd generation bio-fuels avoid food crops and use things like switch grass, waste wood from saw mills or even offal from meat processing. The switch grass provides 20 units of energy for every 1 unit used to grow it - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panicum_virgatum . 3rd generation fuels may not even use valuable farm land: biomass grows very nicely in the sea - sea weed, algae etc.

    I'd love to use E85 - just start selling it accross the UK and my next car will be using it. It's a good fuel.

    Targets? Do you think Kyoto worked? Really? Emissions are UP not DOWN. Hardly a country met it's 'binding targets' and the big emitters never even signed. The next targets will be no different.

    Meanwhile countries like Sweden are just quietly abandoning fossil fuels, switching to alternatives, and still living a modern, high quality life.

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  • 34. At 11:18am on 11 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "Targets? Do you think Kyoto worked? "

    This isn't Kyoto.

    You blind?

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  • 35. At 11:19am on 11 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "Meanwhile countries like Sweden are just quietly abandoning fossil fuels, switching to alternatives, and still living a modern, high quality life"

    And will this agreement stop Sweden doing so?

    If not, then what problem is there in having targets?

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  • 36. At 1:25pm on 11 Jul 2009, fairlyopenmind wrote:

    #30, yeah_whatever wrote:
    "The earth warms and cools. I can't find any "true" basis for establishing what the "global temperature is today, let alone what it was 150 years ago."

    And your reason for ignoring the data from GISS or the Hadley Centre are what?

    That data IS freely available.

    ====

    Yeah_whatever,

    I don't take as much interest as I should in this stuff. Don't claim to have a scientific background relevant to climate. What concerns me is the reliability and validity of "data". It seems that much of the original information collected over the years (and we assume with increasing accuracy) is subjected to assessment and adjustment before being incorporated into the "data set" used by computer models.

    If source data are modified even before getting into computer models (which are based on assumptions in the first place) then the outcome should, at the very best, be treated as "possibly correct". Science has always been in an evolving state. I fear that the "global concensus" has stopped a lot of normal evolution because it is "proven that man-made warming" exists.

    Even the IPCC output suggests that, historically, warming was followed by CO2 levels increasing. Not quite sure where the proof comes from that increased CO2 will necessarily be followed by warming? There are lots of conflicting views from what seem sensible and reputable scientists about the impact of additional water vapour that should follow warming, and whether subsequent rainfall would reduce surface temperatures.

    I haven't looked at the full information and the methodology used to "best guess" what global temperature really is. (Certainly no idea how anyone can guess what it was two hundred years ago, when thermometers were just about accurate, but human access into much of the world was sketchy at best. Since almost two-thirds of the planet surface is covered by the Pacific, I'd expect to see at least the same density of temperature measurement - but that just ain't so. There is a significant under-reporting of data from the whole southern hemisphere. So quite a lot of current data must be based on "calculated/estimated" information - which for me just ain't science.

    I believe in climate change. It always has changed and always will. I strongly believe that we've wasted earth resources and create too much pollution. All in favour of new and cleaner ways of doing things. But it seems absurd that politicians hide behind what I believe to be a highly doubtful set of "work in progress" science, instead of just saying: We have to stop burning resources that are impossible to replace.

    Nobody has any idea how to stop forest fires. (Remember the SE Asian stuff that went on for months and produced enormous volmes of CO2?) Can't stop vulcanos, which spew vast amounts of garbage. If there had not been global warming, we'd still be covered by ice - and joined to France...

    But we certainly can reduce emmissions.

    A bunch of blokes in suits saying they plan to "prevent" temperature rising by N degrees is just ludicrous. If they just said they plan to reduce man-made CO2 output is fine.

    A bunch of scientists saying they "know" anything about a subject which is so much vaster than anything to do with medical science is just so unscientific that it leaves me cold. If you rely on a computer model to deal with very tangible things (technology, materials, etc.) that's a way forward. When you use models that project backwards (obviously with no chance to have substantive checks), then modify the data that you collect and use today, in order to project forwards, it will end in tears...

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  • 37. At 7:09pm on 11 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "I don't take as much interest as I should in this stuff."

    Then take the interest.

    "What concerns me is the reliability and validity of "data""

    Why?

    Because it shows warming?

    "I haven't looked at the full information and the methodology used to "best guess" what global temperature really is"

    Then do so.

    You'll find it all in the IPCC reports.


    "A bunch of scientists saying they "know" anything about a subject which is so much vaster than anything to do with medical science is just so unscientific that it leaves me cold."

    Why?

    You've just said you haven't done the work, yet now you say it can't be know. That it is bigger than medicine.

    Under what basis do you know that?

    That you don't know it???

    "When you use models that project backwards (obviously with no chance to have substantive checks), then modify the data that you collect and use today, in order to project forwards, it will end in tears..."

    But taking your model adding the start basis of, say, 1960, and then running it for 100 years then checking the output of your model from 1960 to 2008 will then see how well your model replicates the reality.

    You say that you haven't worked on this, why then do you believe that this doesn't work?

    This doesn't seem to be a fairly open mind.

    It seems to be closed or at least resistant to the idea that AGW is real or that climate models work.

    Yet people who HAVE done the work say this works.

    Why do you think they are wrong?

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  • 38. At 9:13pm on 11 Jul 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To 'ghostofsichuan' #20:

    I have been looking forward to answering your question with great anticipation, and (of course), some trepidation. You queried:

    "In China, most people were, and maybe still are, Confucian, Buddhist and Doaist at the same time and not having any conflict in the multiplicity. Probably something you expereince in the mountains?"
    -----------

    I would say yes.

    May I expand with a story or two?

    In the summer of 1994, I set out on a trip back to my home town of Montreal, where I was born and raised, and which I hadn't seen for twenty-three years. Ostensibly a three week trip, in my pickup truck, perhaps to bring out west the mortal remains of my father, who had died suddenly when I was turning twelve, I was in the event gone for six months, a voyage of discovery from which I have never recovered.

    I had occassion to take up residence for a time on Cape Cod, on the United States eastern seaboard, where, among other things, I discovered that I had been thinking as a Daoist whilst I mused on life in general, on the universe, and on my own place in the scheme of things.

    It seemed to me that the energy between opposites drove the universe, be it human relationships or the birth and death of stars. No contrast - no picture.

    Thus a country such as the United States, which exhibits great contrasts in wealth and living standards, is at least full of energy, so long as one is free to move from the ghetto to the White House.

    I am a Celt by ancestry, and we have our own myths and legendary heroes. For us, and I think for everyone, myths are timeless tales which help us make sense of the world, for we see that the common enemies of man are always the same - fear, hubris, greed - the inertia and urge to cocoon, to keep away the bad, which never works.

    Tomorrow I head out with a few friends to go dragon hunting. We are to try and climb a mountain in the Canadian Rockies - it matters not which mountain, how big or how difficult. For the mountain is not the enemy.

    If we approach our sojurn into the sky with a good attitude, with proper preparation and humility, we will still need a certain amount of luck, sometimes elaborated in academic circles as contingency. With our best efforts, something totally unexpected might happen, on any number of planes.

    "Hic sunt dracones" is a Latin expression which means: "Here be dragons". Its meaning is varied, but in the final analysis, it means 'terra incognita' - the unknown.

    For me the dragon, brought to Britain by the Sarmatians and their device the 'draconarius', and the probable root of the red and white dragons of Wales, and of the modern 'dragoon', for me the dragon is a mythical creature, probably originating in China, and which among many symbolic meanings, is, in the final analysis, both a tribute to nature and the natural world, and a symbol of our own fears.

    It has been a real pleasure to make your acquaintance, Ghost-of-Sichuan, and I am glad we have crossed 'paths' around Richard Black's campfire, surrounded, as it were, by the Druidic ghost-fences of ancient Britain.

    - Manysummits - born in the Chinese Year of the Tiger -

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  • 39. At 11:29pm on 11 Jul 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    manysummits #38 "born in the Chinese Year of the Tiger"

    From: http://www.usbridalguide.com/special/chinesehoroscopes/Tiger.htm

    "THE METAL TIGER 195O (AND 2010)

    The Metal element gives the Tiger its sharpness in action and speed of thought. Tigers born in the Metal year like to stand out in a crowd. With an inspiring assertiveness and competitive demeanor, they determine their goals and then do anything necessary to achieve them. This good-looking character sometimes suffers from mood swings and temper tantrums. The Tiger can be known to jump to conclusions or to act too quickly without weighing the options or understanding the consequences. This is a flaw Tigers must learn to curb."

    All the best; davblo2...

    "THE METAL RABBIT 1951 (AND 2011)

    "Metal gives Rabbits a more resilient demeanor than the other more quiet Rabbit. These Rabbits are very ambitious and can be quite crafty in their dealings with others. They throw themselves and their emotions into everything they do, making them intense lovers, but not outwardly affectionate lovers. Their determination can affect their work as well, whether through personal relationships with colleagues or with the work itself, a Rabbit can be known to immerse himself in his projectsbusiness and personal."

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  • 40. At 01:31am on 12 Jul 2009, fairlyopenmind wrote:

    #37, yeah_whatever wrote:
    "I don't take as much interest as I should in this stuff."

    Then take the interest.
    ======

    Thanks for that.

    I've read all the published IPCC output, but definitely not the background papers that were selectively chosen to provide the basis for analysis. (I have dipped into a few, but most of the "background" work done to produce a synthesis from very disparate viewpoints is not available, so I obviously don't know about that. I doubt many people have that access.)

    I tend to back away when a political agency - IPCC - "firms up" what should be genuinely scientific examinations of obviously complex science, much of it in relative infancy. Especially when there appear to be several contrasting views within the scientific community about many of the the strands that are so neatly tied together by the IPCC.
    Doesn't seem like very good science to grab any research that supports one view and disregard reserach that is in opposition.
    ==============

    "What concerns me is the reliability and validity of "data""

    Why?

    Because it shows warming?
    ==============
    I don't care whether the data shows warming or cooling. If it is DATA, then it is simple, collected information. As soon as you start to modify it prior to using it within a model, it means that its usefulness depends on the accuracy/reliabilty of the adjustments. The application of adjustments seems to be highly disputed by people who appear to understand the methodology employed. Especially when "adjusting" from urban centred research stations to more rural locations.

    From what I read, NASA data suggests that there has been a relative cooling - or at least a plateau effect - for almost a decade. None of the models indicate that possibility. Yes, I know they use "smoothing" techniques. That would seem perfectly acceptable if we were talking about genuine long term impacts. But as the result of a political buy-in to a global warming of 2degrees by 2050, we aren't talking long term... That's a blink of the eye in climatic terms. Isn't it? So if the models don't reflect apparent facts over a decade, what confidence can you have that they reflect outcomes over 40-50 years?
    ===================

    "I haven't looked at the full information and the methodology used to "best guess" what global temperature really is"

    Then do so.
    You'll find it all in the IPCC reports.
    ===================

    I'm sad to say I haven't been able to discern any methodology that would support more than a "this is one amongst other possible outcomes, but we like this one". Not much equivocation from the IPCC. They appear to believe they KNOW what's happening. I don't buy it.
    There seems to be a huge hole in the information about ocean temperatures. Genuine data appears to exist for a very few decades. Prior to that, it was fairly casual checks made by shipping lines or military vessels. Poorly coordinated, not subject to much scrutiny. Yet the ocean covers two thirds of the globe. And, from many commentators and odd papers I've read, it probably holds much of the key to climate.

    I can't see where the IPCC output suggests that a lot of ocean data is either very rare compared to the surface coverage or only reliable for a few decades. Happy to go back and look again...
    ==================

    "A bunch of scientists saying they "know" anything about a subject which is so much vaster than anything to do with medical science is just so unscientific that it leaves me cold."

    Why?

    You've just said you haven't done the work, yet now you say it can't be know. That it is bigger than medicine.

    Under what basis do you know that?

    That you don't know it???
    =====================

    D'you know, the reason I wrote that was that physical, chemical and biological sciences have a pretty good chance to increase real understanding because there is real tangible "stuff" to examine. We are far from understanding those subjects, but can make use of lots of the latest knowledge in many ways. It's pretty easy to take a sample of something and over the years to explore deeper and deeper - then use what we know so far to make a difference.

    People have recorded changes in local climate for centuries (millennia probably). But anything like global data collection is really new. Equidistant collection doesn't exist. So there have to be "calculations" to fill in the space and time. Such calculations are speculative at best until proven over time. But assumptions are necessarily subject to plus or minus probabilities, which is why I'm doubtful that there is any real basis for decalaring a "global temperature" as a starting point.
    ====================

    "When you use models that project backwards (obviously with no chance to have substantive checks), then modify the data that you collect and use today, in order to project forwards, it will end in tears..."

    But taking your model adding the start basis of, say, 1960, and then running it for 100 years then checking the output of your model from 1960 to 2008 will then see how well your model replicates the reality.

    You say that you haven't worked on this, why then do you believe that this doesn't work?
    =================

    I think you've identified why I am sceptical. Take any model. Run it, from a basis of 1900, 1850, wherever somebody believes that data could be almost accurate (after all, why should 1960 be used? We're talking climate change, which everybody knows happens anyway and over significant periods...)

    Back to you.

    Do any of the models show that (even with a 1960 start point) there would be a cooling - or at least a plateau for a decade? Which ones? Were they independently constructed? WHEN were they built? Did they use the same data? Did they acknowledge the uncertainty factor associated with a lot of data? I'm quite happy to accept that a model somewhere shows that there will be an actual levelling of temperature, rather than incorporate it into a "smoothed projection" over a few decades.
    =======================
    This doesn't seem to be a fairly open mind.

    It seems to be closed or at least resistant to the idea that AGW is real or that climate models work.

    Yet people who HAVE done the work say this works.

    Why do you think they are wrong?
    ========================

    I actually believe that climate change occurs. That may (will) include global warming (and occasionally global cooling). It could be affected by man-made production of CO2. I don't like the polluting effect of man made emissions, whether or not they affect the climate.

    I respect computer modelling as a very important way to examine ideas - and in the "real world" to analyse genuine data.
    I am too aware that models based on information from disparate areas of expertise, using hard and soft "data", inevitably introduce compromises to allow some co-existence, even before information is introduced. Climate studies requires the fusion of several disparate disciplines. Each has contentions within itself. So the compromises are farly significant. The "data" are, in my opinion, fairly flakey in some areas and very hard in others.

    The "hockey-stick" model, so much a part of Al Gore's (the guy who "invented the internet", yeah!) seems to have disappeared from IPCC output. As far as I know, it was never offered along with the data for global peer-review. Why not? I've read supporting and disparaging comments from several scientific sources. IF it made sense, why would it not have been a condition of acceptance by the IPCC that it should be part of the public international record?

    I seem to recall that the driver behind it was the same guy who thought that a new ice age was imminent just a few years previously. We can all change our minds, of course.

    I try to keep a fairly open mind.

    Far as I can tell, science develops because some people have pushed the boundaries and tested their ideas. I've never come across too much good science that is based on a political - rather than scientists' - real concensus.
    And it normally only becomes "proven" after testing. Where's the evidence that there is a genuine convergence of scientists' views. With so much questioning, why don't politicians talk about sensible things to do, without dragging in bad - or at least unproven - "science"?

    Sorry I couldn't concentrate too hard tonight. Have a good Sunday.

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  • 41. At 07:24am on 12 Jul 2009, TJ wrote:

    To fairlyopenmind #40:

    I think you well articulate the thoughts of many ordinary folks these days. From talking to colleagues, friends and family there are many that are starting to question in such terms. I live in the very liberal SF Bay where you would not have hinted at any questioning of this 3 or 4 years ago. Now folks talk quite openly as to where all this warming that we were assured would be at a tipping point by now. Instead we have noticed the opposite. Just a cursory look at our thermometers tells us that Gore and his minions got it totally wrong and he hasnt even apologized for giving us such misinformation.

    Ordinary folks like us who spend our lives actually living cannot be expected to take deep dives into the 'science' which we pay taxes for others to carry out on our behalf. However, when their predictions fail and results are looking really squiffy we quite rightly should call them to task. If they turn around and tell us to get reading and do the stuff ourselves (like some advocates on this site) we should firer the lot of them and ask for a refund on our next tax bill. We have real lives out there to live and worry about.

    Some serious PR is needed. I feel revolution in the wind........


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  • 42. At 10:31am on 12 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "I think you well articulate the thoughts of many ordinary folks these days"

    Incorrect. He's articulating the thoughts that denialists want put out there.

    "Far as I can tell, science develops because some people have pushed the boundaries and tested their ideas."

    Yup. Strange that this isn't done on the denialist hypotheses and it's left to the real scientific community to test this and reject it.

    " I've never come across too much good science that is based on a political - rather than scientists' - real concensus."

    Yet you seem to spout Heartland Institute rhetoric with great relish. There is no consensus on the denialist side.

    There is on the IPCC.

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  • 43. At 10:34am on 12 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "The "hockey-stick" model, so much a part of Al Gore's (the guy who "invented the internet", yeah!)"

    Al Gore never said he invented it. He said he recognised it as important and assured funding. Tim Berners Lee himself has supported Al Gore's work as pivotal in the creation of the internet.

    " seems to have disappeared from IPCC output."

    Well, why do you assume that's not because the scientists tested the edge of their field and found a different conclusion when instead of taking data from the Northwest Europe area and extrapolating it across the globe, they took measurements from around the northern hemisphere?

    Because that's the reason why.

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  • 44. At 1:26pm on 12 Jul 2009, rossglory wrote:

    #timj "I feel revolution in the wind........"

    well i feel global warming.

    it's also worth bearing in mind that you also pay indirectly for the likes of the heartland institute and climateaudit. fuel's a little more expensive since energy companies like to add financial support to this misinformation campaign. with taxes you get a choice every few years, with this lot you don't.

    re the fairlyopenminded missive, it's nice you've spent some time to give us you're views on the work of climate scientists. however, i still prefer to trust the scientists and i did take the effort to look into it myself - 6 year part time degree in environmental science.

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  • 45. At 2:06pm on 12 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    It's also worth bearing in mind that Pielke, Lindzen, Monkton et al would no longer be asked to speak at conferences organised by the Heartland Institute.

    Since this is both ego-stroking for them (they love the media attention) AND gives them much needed financial support, their activities are not without the need of skeptical investigation.

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  • 46. At 2:33pm on 12 Jul 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To davblo2 #39:

    Thanks for the link, and the delving into the Chinese Years. I enjoyed very much reading all about myself as a 'Metal Tiger.' I take it you are a Metal Rabbit?

    I am looking at a list I have always kept of the Chinese Years and their signs - a few thoughts:

    Of the twelve animals chosen to represent the cycle, eleven are real, and one, the dragon, is mythical. I am always amazed at the inclusive nature of the list. To be a rat is every bit as fine as to be a dragon, or a rooster, etc. And every sign lists both positive aspects and negative aspects to each personality personified. This is similar to the North American aboriginal way of looking at the world.

    Just a day or two ago, I was watching my young son put on a Jaguar and then an Elephant costume, and play the part he imagined. We are all born with a natural curiosity for the wide world, I think, but many of our cultures attempt to blot this out - and so a serpent becomes the epitome of evil, and nature becomes something below the dignity of Man.

    We are paying heavily for this view.
    -------------
    ----------------

    To 'timjenvey' and 'fairlyopenmind':

    "Doublespeak" jumps to mind.

    Science has data available in abundance about the warming of the planet, from many sources, all of them empirical, not model based or theoretical. And this information has been compared to the equally empirical information of past climates from ice-cores and a wide range of other sources. All of this has been subjected to an incredible range of peer review, not the least of which is comparative planetology.

    Your arguments have the feel of the carefully, or hopefully, thoughtlessly contrived.

    To ignore completely the empirical data and focus on what I think are specious arguments about the theoretical - that seems to me to be what, not long ago, denialists were accusing the scientific community of.

    This is a confusing way to discuss things of course, and quite obviously many in the denial camp are neither ignorant nor lacking in intelligence.

    So, to borrow a phrase from science, if we subtract out the noise, what signal are we left with?

    "Confusion" - which was the intention all along, for you have no pertinent facts.

    - Manysummits, Calgary -

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  • 47. At 2:44pm on 12 Jul 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @manysummits

    could you give links to the "many sources" of empirical data that supports AGW, please?

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  • 48. At 3:00pm on 12 Jul 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To MangoChutneyUKOK #47:

    Yes - look to the last six months of blogs listed below. They have all been recorded there for posterity. and for those who actually want to know.

    - Manysummits - off to climb a mountain, wherer the air is fresh and moderately clean -

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  • 49. At 3:10pm on 12 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    www.ipcc.ch

    Remember to read the citation of the peer reviewed science papers in the reports too.

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  • 50. At 3:19pm on 12 Jul 2009, fairlyopenmind wrote:

    #43, yeah_whatever wrote:
    "The "hockey-stick" model, so much a part of Al Gore's (the guy who "invented the internet", yeah!)"

    Al Gore never said he invented it. He said he recognised it as important and assured funding. Tim Berners Lee himself has supported Al Gore's work as pivotal in the creation of the internet.
    ===================

    Sorry. That's really slack on my part. He actually said "During my time in the US Congress, I took the initiative in CREATING the Internet".
    I'm afraid I slipped up. I do understand the difference between the two verbs. I would have felt that he "facilitated" the introduction would have been a little more accurate. I actually thought the whole exercise started off in the early 1960s, driven by US government (and essentially military) requirements.

    ================
    " seems to have disappeared from IPCC output."

    Well, why do you assume that's not because the scientists tested the edge of their field and found a different conclusion when instead of taking data from the Northwest Europe area and extrapolating it across the globe, they took measurements from around the northern hemisphere?

    Because that's the reason why.
    ========================

    Sorry.

    This time because I obviously didn't dig deep enough to realise that the original publication was based on a small data set based on NW Europe data being extrapolated to cover the globe. WHAT? That's like finding part of a foot and extrapolating a body. Possible? Maybe. But with rather significant areas of doubt.

    I didn't notice any reference to that in the IPCC documents. (Was it there?)

    But you say that subsequently northern hemisphere data were then fed into the model - and extrapolated to determine global impacts. I can't find any easily accessible site where the subsequent output from the model was published. Did it deliver the same projections? If not, how were the discrepancies explained? And what additional changes were made to the extrapolation algorithms, to ensure that a small geographical set was re-adjusted to reflect a wider set and cover the globe?

    Last time I looked, the northern hemisphere had a large amount of land mass and relatively small ocean areas, compared with the southern hemisphere. It still sounds like extrapolating from half an orange to predict half an apple.

    Was the model subsequently updated to incorporate southern hemisphere data? What "adjustments" were made to reflect the relative paucity of data from half the globe?

    If those data were fed in, what results were obtained? Where are the results accessible to mere mortals, who don't doubt climate change, but wonder whether we are talking about science or just political objuscation of the need to cut oil-dependency?

    I have no gripe with cutting fossil fuel dependency. No issues with cutting pollution. I'm a fairly simple observer with a little bit of science background who doesn't like BS, whether it comes from governments, commercial organisations or scientists.

    I can't recall any significant politician either here in the UK (my base) or in the USA who hinted that quite a lot of the massive decisions they are making are based on an emerging and apparently disputed science. And nobody has bothered to say that some of the headline-hitting stuff is just "extrapolation". I really don't like "concensus science" if it is funded by people who already know the answers.

    I certainly don't like it when politically-edited (and funded) science lays a blanket over aggressive examination. Or when it is claimed there is a "global concensus" when there is little evidence that ALL the scientists who contributed to the orginal IPCC assessment actually agree with the findings as published.

    That's not science.

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  • 51. At 3:34pm on 12 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "I certainly don't like it when politically-edited (and funded) science lays a blanket over aggressive examination."

    What, you mean Heartland Institute?

    "quite a lot of the massive decisions they are making are based on an emerging and apparently disputed science."

    Yes, well, they WOULD be disputed.

    Fridge manufacturers said that our fridges would cost much more and they would be ruined if the ban on CFC's was made. They argued the same as you, that it was unfounded or disputed science.

    Big Tobacco had shown many papers proving that second hand smoke was not a problem and that their product was not harmful or addictive.

    And the same thing is going on now.

    "And nobody has bothered to say that some of the headline-hitting stuff is just "extrapolation"."

    Uh, if you are running toward a wall I extrapolate that you will hit it.

    Is that somehow wrong just because it was an extrapolation?

    "I really don't like "concensus science" if it is funded by people who already know the answers."

    Funny, it seems that the denialists are the ones who already know the answers.

    I mean, you never read in the papers or blogs put around for the denialists saying "well, we aren't sure about this...", do you. It seems that whatever paper they write has the answers.

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  • 52. At 3:36pm on 12 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "Sorry. That's really slack on my part. He actually said "During my time in the US Congress, I took the initiative in CREATING the Internet".
    I'm afraid I slipped up. I do understand the difference between the two verbs."

    Yes and your slip up is a common meme when making an ad-hom. Your assertion "AS IF" in brackets afterward also betrayed no knowledge that this was a slip up or that this was intended as anything other than what it was: an ad-hom.

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  • 53. At 3:38pm on 12 Jul 2009, fairlyopenmind wrote:

    #44, rossglory wrote:
    #timj "I feel revolution in the wind........"

    well i feel global warming.

    it's also worth bearing in mind that you also pay indirectly for the likes of the heartland institute and climateaudit. fuel's a little more expensive since energy companies like to add financial support to this misinformation campaign. with taxes you get a choice every few years, with this lot you don't.

    re the fairlyopenminded missive, it's nice you've spent some time to give us you're views on the work of climate scientists. however, i still prefer to trust the scientists and i did take the effort to look into it myself - 6 year part time degree in environmental science.
    ============

    Rossglory,

    I like to trust scientists. Always have to if you get into a hospital situation and hope that somebody has worked out that - based on what they know now (current state of science)- one treatment is better than another.

    I'd go along with the theory of climate change. That's always happened.

    I accept the probability of global warming. It's happened before.

    I suspect that mankind has adversely affected the climate. Simple pollution shows that.

    I'm happy to buy into "best current thinking" science, because that's where we always are.

    I feel really uncomfortable with a political organisation (IPCC) shaping science. Especially if many of the scientists who provided core data seem not to fully endorse the synthesis. And many others doubt the quality of the data used to populate computer models which are always subject to subjective constraints.

    I'm not qualified to have any more than a layman's view. Bit of bio-chemical background. Bit of IT and business exposure. So I've seen (helped) the development of computer models. So I do realise the limitations when raw data have to be "adjusted" before processing...

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  • 54. At 3:46pm on 12 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "This time because I obviously didn't dig deep enough to realise that the original publication was based on a small data set based on NW Europe data being extrapolated to cover the globe."

    Well now you do. PS the graph that remains still covers the Northern Hemisphere alone, so it's not even global.

    "I didn't notice any reference to that in the IPCC documents. (Was it there?)"

    Why would a graph that wasn't there be explained? If you'd read Mann's ***PAPER*** you would have found out what he'd done. If you'd read the paper from which the bumpy graph (pre-Mann report), you would likewise have found out about it.

    "But you say that subsequently northern hemisphere data were then fed into the model "

    Nope, it wasn't put in the model.

    It was graphed and produced Mann's 1998 paper.

    No model.

    Maths.


    "If those data were fed in, what results were obtained? "

    It wasn't. It was put in a paper after MATHS was done. Read the paper.

    "Where are the results accessible to mere mortals"

    In Mann's 1998 paper. Or one of the other papers who investigated the last 100,000 years or so past climate.

    " who don't doubt climate change, but wonder whether we are talking about science or just political objuscation of the need to cut oil-dependency?"

    Uhm, if you don't doubt climate change, why does it matter if there's a political situation too?

    After all, provision of free health care in the UK and most civilised countries has a political element. Yet you don't disbelieve the doctor when he gives you a prescription for the very bad cough you have because of it.

    You may be talking about political obfuscation, but the methods taken to mitigate AGW is not part of the science of AGW and that science shows that increasing CO2 is causing dramatic changes in the current climate our society has become beholden to for operation.

    Farmers in the midwest US found out that their way of life was in danger and the dustbowl of the 30's caused great hardship since all the "civilisation" of that area was based on the farming ability of the area.

    Likewise, though the sea levels were much higher in the distant past, in those days, there was no Oxfordshire with major routes for commerce to the midlands and north. The population consisted of nobody. And so today's oxfordshire will not exist under those circumstances.

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  • 55. At 4:03pm on 12 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "I'd go along with the theory of climate change. That's always happened."

    And when it's happend, it has taken millenia.

    "I accept the probability of global warming. It's happened before."

    And it's happening now.

    "I suspect that mankind has adversely affected the climate."

    The science says it is the biggest forcing at the moment. And running on human timescales not geological ones.

    "I feel really uncomfortable with a political organisation (IPCC) shaping science."

    Which is weird. The IPCC is no more a political organisation than the Royal Society or NAS or the edifice of science itself.

    You're making up bogeymen.

    "And many others doubt the quality of the data used to populate computer models"

    Many others doubt the moon landings were real.

    Doesn't make them right.

    " which are always subject to subjective constraints."

    Are they? How do you know? Is this "what some bloke in a pub told me" wisdom?

    "So I do realise the limitations when raw data have to be "adjusted" before processing..."

    It's called quality control.

    Strange that you say you've done biochem work but you've never heard about QC on data...

    But that is a common theme from people who want to *appear* reasonable. State that they don't really *know*, but use perjoraive terms like "adjusting" rather than the real one "quality control" then becuse they don't *know* they say "so I don't think we should do anything". Which is the same action as if they said they *knew* it was wrong.

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  • 56. At 4:21pm on 12 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:


    "I feel really uncomfortable with a political organisation (IPCC) shaping science."

    But you have no stated qualms with this:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/feb/02/frontpagenews.climatechange

    ?

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  • 57. At 5:44pm on 12 Jul 2009, fairlyopenmind wrote:

    #54, yeah_whatever wrote:
    "This time because I obviously didn't dig deep enough to realise that the original publication was based on a small data set based on NW Europe data being extrapolated to cover the globe."

    Well now you do. PS the graph that remains still covers the Northern Hemisphere alone, so it's not even global.

    "I didn't notice any reference to that in the IPCC documents. (Was it there?)"

    Why would a graph that wasn't there be explained?

    yeah-whatever,

    How can "the graph that still remains" be nonexistent? As you seem to argue. It WAS there. It was prominently promoted in IPCC documents. It didn't seem to come with qualifications that that it only related to a very small part of the globe. If such qualifications existed, they must have been in fairly small type face. What's the point of NW Europe or even Northern Hemisphere climate analysis being included in an IPCC output that focuses on GLOBAL climate conditions?

    ======================
    If you'd read Mann's ***PAPER*** you would have found out what he'd done. If you'd read the paper from which the bumpy graph (pre-Mann report), you would likewise have found out about it.


    yeah_whatever

    The graph that appeared in the IPCC produced the "hockey stick" effect. It was there. I saw - even printed - it. And still can't find any reference by the IPCC that it was based on such a limited data set.

    Was the Mann paper specifically included within the IPCC output, with any explanation about potential variants from the stuff that grabbed audiences around the world?
    ================
    "But you say that subsequently northern hemisphere data were then fed into the model "

    Nope, it wasn't put in the model.
    It was graphed and produced Mann's 1998 paper.
    No model.

    Maths.

    yeah_whatever,

    That's disconcerting. You'd have thought that, as part of the endeavour to seek global enlightenment, the same model would have been fed to check what results were obtained with a wider data set?

    Most computer models depend on maths, I suspect.

    Most maths that involves massive data processing is probably using a "model" which is just a rather more complicated set of equations than running a balance sheet at the local store.

    Are you saying that Mann didn't use computer-based calculations, just paper and pencil?

    Is there any reason why the IPCC didn't insist that the model that produced the high-profile graphs that frightened a lot of people should be re-tested with a wider data-set?

    How do you distinguish "maths" from a model?
    ================
    "If those data were fed in, what results were obtained? "

    It wasn't. It was put in a paper after MATHS was done. Read the paper.

    yeah_whatever,

    Offer an access route to the paper and I'll look. It's a bit annoying that you keep talking about "MATHS" as though it is different from what is managed through a computer and, whether fairly simle or rather complex is referred to as a "model".
    =======================

    "Where are the results accessible to mere mortals"

    In Mann's 1998 paper. Or one of the other papers who investigated the last 100,000 years or so past climate.

    yeah-whatever,

    OK, I found it. IF Mann's output differs from the high-profile graph included in the IPCC initial report, is there any reason why?

    Sorry, I rather feel that the only evidence we have for climate variations over a 100,000 years of history is deductive. And really quite recently recognised in the scientific community. Obviously we have no way to go back and investigate in a broader arena than the physical stuff - detritus - we think we understand today. That's not a bad thing. Challenging. (Even though we have no real idea why Neanderthal man disappeared a dozen thousand years ago.) But it's rather light when compared with "current state" measurements we (you) claim are so good today. I'd accept that "current state" measurements could be assumed to be fairly accurate by our standards, over the last fifty years. I can't see a huge increase in the data collection from the southern hemisphere that meets a really high level standard.
    I don't understand why satelite views seem to indicate fluctuations in both Artic and Antarctic ice fields, but relative stability when the total scope/extent of those ice fields is prayed in support of any specific viewpoint.

    " who don't doubt climate change, but wonder whether we are talking about science or just political objuscation of the need to cut oil-dependency?"

    Uhm, if you don't doubt climate change, why does it matter if there's a political situation too?

    After all, provision of free health care in the UK and most civilised countries has a political element. Yet you don't disbelieve the doctor when he gives you a prescription for the very bad cough you have because of it.

    You may be talking about political obfuscation, but the methods taken to mitigate AGW is not part of the science of AGW and that science shows that increasing CO2 is causing dramatic changes in the current climate our society has become beholden to for operation.

    Farmers in the midwest US found out that their way of life was in danger and the dustbowl of the 30's caused great hardship since all the "civilisation" of that area was based on the farming ability of the area.

    Likewise, though the sea levels were much higher in the distant past, in those days, there was no Oxfordshire with major routes for commerce to the midlands and north. The population consisted of nobody. And so today's oxfordshire will not exist under those circumstances.
    =======================

    yeah_whatever,

    Yeah, well. So if there was no Oxfordshire, why was that? DID the climate change? Of course it did. Did the earth move? Still does. Always will. Were the good folk in London able to skate and hold festivals on a frozen Thames? Yes. Did grapes grow in the UK? Seems to be "true".

    Frankly, it's people like you who make people like me get even more concerned about the bad concensus that tries to bring so many branches of science together, despite massive and justifiable variations, into a standardised pot that politicians dip into.

    You represent the type of person who rebuts folk who agree that climate change is happening and will happen (whether or not a bunch of politicians decide that the earth can't be "allowed" to have a 2degree temperature rise). Guy who thinks that the earth may heat or cool. And that mankind is destroying the environment and needs to change. But, rather than limiting the aggressive thrust and welcoming someone on board a practical dimension, you insist that there is a "scientific absolute" which, frankly, looks pretty flakey.


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  • 58. At 6:32pm on 12 Jul 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @rossglory

    #44

    it's also worth bearing in mind that you also pay indirectly for the likes of the heartland institute and climateaudit. fuel's a little more expensive since energy companies like to add financial support to this misinformation campaign.

    You are implying climate audit receives financial support from energy companies. Clearly this is not the case. Could you provide proof or confirm this accusation is incorrect?

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  • 59. At 6:41pm on 12 Jul 2009, BrianDodge wrote:

    timjenvey wrote: "Instead we have noticed the opposite. Just a cursory look at our thermometers tells us that Gore and his minions got it totally wrong"

    Ah yes; apparently, dittoheads who get their science from Exxon/Mobil funded crank tanks like the Heartland Institute, the Friends of Science, the Cato Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and other astroturf right-wing propaganda mills via Rush Limbaugh, think "it's been cooling in the last ten years".
    Is cooling what's causing record arctic ice melt, antarctic ice sheets to collapse, deadly Australian drought and wildfires, and glaciers to retreat? Maybe if one wanted to know the truth of climate change, they would take more than a cursory look at the irrefutable, real, data that confirm global warming,

    fairlyopenmind wrote: "The "hockey-stick" model, so much a part of Al Gore's (the guy who "invented the internet", yeah!) seems to have disappeared from IPCC output. As far as I know, it was never offered along with the data for global peer-review."

    If one does a cursory search on google scholar, instead of burying one's head in the sand or leaving it stuck in some other dark place, it is quickly revealed that the Mann, Bradley, and Hughes "hockey stick" paper appeared in the eminent peer reviewed journal Nature, and has been cited over 800 times. It was also reviewed by a special panel of the National Academy of Sciences, which found a few minor quibbles with the statistics, but concurred with ""The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1,000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence..."

    The only study critical of MBH 1998 was published by former mining executive Stephen McIntyre and economist Ross McKitrick in the trade journal "Energy and Environment", whose editor Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen said, "I'm following my political agenda" when asked about the publication of anti-AGW articles. Apparently, this is what denialists mean by "lots of conflicting views from what seem sensible and reputable scientists". The McIntyre & McKitrick paper in E&E has been cited a whopping 89 times. A search on google scholar for "S McIntyre, R McKitrick" gets 347 hits. A corresponding search for "Michael E. Mann" gets 427,000 hits. Would you trust climate science from a climatologist has a published, peer reviewed, history of thoughtful consideration of climate science, or would you prefer to listen to a mining engineer or economist? If you have a stomach ache, do you go to your doctor, your mechanic, or your accountant?

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  • 60. At 7:09pm on 12 Jul 2009, rossglory wrote:

    @mangochutney - yawn

    why not save your indignation for a worthy cause?

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  • 61. At 7:14pm on 12 Jul 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @briandodge #59

    read this

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2008/8/11/caspar-and-the-jesus-paper.html

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  • 62. At 7:14pm on 12 Jul 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @rossglory #60

    are you saying the truth is not a worthy cause?

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  • 63. At 7:19pm on 12 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "How can "the graph that still remains" be nonexistent? "

    It doesn't.

    The graph of information never made it into models, so no change was there. And the old graph with the partial data of just NW Europe doesn't exist. The one with data from a wider area does.

    The graph that remains is not nonexistent.

    It isn't the one you were waffling on about.

    "The graph that appeared in the IPCC produced the "hockey stick" effect."

    And that isn't the one that has the data from the limited area.

    "And still can't find any reference by the IPCC that it was based on such a limited data set."

    That's because the one that was a limited dataset was in an earlier report on climate change. And it was that limited dataset that showed a great middle-ages warming period. That warming period was only for NW europe at the time. The warm area moved with the changing of the ocean currents, so at a different age, it was in a different place.

    "Was the Mann paper specifically included within the IPCC output, with any explanation about potential variants from the stuff that grabbed audiences around the world?"

    No, because it was from data around the northern hemisphere. Since the title of that graph (which had a much lower and less certain MWP) was about northern hemisphere temperatures, there was no limited dataset.


    "Sorry, I rather feel that the only evidence we have for climate variations over a 100,000 years of history is deductive"

    Uh, since people weren't there alive at the time and writing it down, it HAS to be deductive.

    In exactly the same way as the age of an old tree is done by deducing that since a new ring is formed each year, that counting the rings on a tree cross-section gives its age.

    But nobody gave it a birth certificate.

    DEDUCTION.

    Then again, this is happily used all over the place, with nary a complaint from you.

    "I don't understand why satelite views seem to indicate fluctuations in both Artic and Antarctic ice fields, but relative stability when the total scope/extent of those ice fields is prayed in support of any specific viewpoint."

    Because if you think about it it becomes quite obvious.

    The extent of ice depends on the lack of sun and the length of time of lack of sun.

    Since this depends on orbital mechanics, this doesn't change with increased CO2.

    Summer minima DOES depend on temperature averages, though, since there's a 100% sunlight effect at high summer and if you are retaining that energy you are able to melt more ice.

    "Yeah, well. So if there was no Oxfordshire, why was that? DID the climate change?"

    Yes.

    But why in gods green earth does that mean that we can't change it too?

    Species went extinct before man. But we still killed off the last Dodo.


    "Frankly, it's people like you who make people like me get even more concerned about the bad concensus "

    But you have no problem with the other side denying global warming, saying that it's cooling or saying that they'd believe it if the decade was warmer but when this

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/climatechange/2009/07/is_the_climate_warming_or_cool.html#P82634488

    happens, they disappear or change their story.

    And that doesn't matter?

    You're using it to justify not taking a position you wouldn't have taken anyway. No loss there.

    "whether or not a bunch of politicians decide that the earth can't be "allowed" to have a 2degree temperature rise"

    And someone shouldn't be "allowed" to kill another human being.

    You again make things up. They never said that. The closest I saw said "the temperature should not go above 2C". If you have a quote that says otherwise, show it.

    And it's right: just like your body temperature should not go above 108F. So if someone puts you in an electric blanket, they should stop before your body temperature gets that high.

    Likewise, we shouldn't be the cause of changes to the atmosphere that would cause a 2C rise, since if that happens, there are inevitably going to be changes that will disrupt civilisation as we've grown up with.

    Are you saying that politicians shouldn't tell people to stop doing dangerous things???

    "But, rather than limiting the aggressive thrust and welcoming someone on board a practical dimension"

    But you are merely being agressive and repeating tired old canards.

    " you insist that there is a "scientific absolute" which, frankly, looks pretty flakey."

    Am I?

    Where?

    In saying that CO2 has caused temperature rises before and now that we are here pumping it out, we'll see more?

    And in what way do they appear flakey?

    The only flakey is your rhetoric to enshrine denialist objectives in this board as "just being concerned".

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  • 64. At 7:24pm on 12 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "You are implying climate audit receives financial support from energy companies. Clearly this is not the case. "

    Clearly it is the case.

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Stephen_McIntyre

    McIntyre was also exposed for having unreported ties to CGX Energy, Inc., an oil and gas exploration company, which listed McIntyre as a "strategic advisor."

    He is the former President of Dumont Nickel Inc., and was President of Northwest Exploration Company Limited, the predecessor company to CGX Energy Inc.

    As of 2003, he was the strategic advisor of CGX Energy Inc.

    He has also been a policy analyst at both the governments of Ontario and of Canada.

    And you can check up on his recent talking tours.

    All to discuss how AGW is wrong.

    Did he do this out of his own pocket?

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  • 65. At 7:29pm on 12 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "are you saying the truth is not a worthy cause?"

    It is.

    We'd wish you'd try working towards it.

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  • 66. At 7:29pm on 12 Jul 2009, rossglory wrote:

    @mangochutney #62

    how about this for an argument, any supporter of climateaudit must be quite comfortable with it.

    i can't be bothered to check out all the facts (in fact i have but i'll pretend i haven;t) and any facts that purport to deny a link between climateaudit and oil companies is just a hoax being purpetrated on the public by the govt, scientists and journalists. i've checked on the ihateclimateaudit blog and viscount numpty has found a clear link between the two. any claim of a consensus that a link doesn;t exsit is totally fallacious because i say it's totally fallacious. in fact it's not up to me to prove a link but to you to prove absolutely and unequivocally that no such link exists.

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  • 67. At 7:30pm on 12 Jul 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    The purpose of the novel statistical methods and verification procedures used in a much mentioned temperature reconstruction is an attempt to find a temperature signal hidden in very noisy data.
    How ironic that the 14 data sets given a weighting almost 400 times that of the lowest weighted data set weren't even temperature proxies but essentially noise.
    It is not just that hockey sticks can be created from noise but that the hockey stick was created from noise.

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  • 68. At 7:32pm on 12 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    Ah a link to a blogger.

    Yes, definitely going to get good science there. After all, his blog depends on it.

    Why not look at www.ipcc.ch ? You know, where science is discussed.

    And that page links to climateaudit which is again a front for a left wing thinktank that believes with religous fervour that any government intervention in the actions of a corporation is wrong.

    And a site that gets money from it, too.

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  • 69. At 7:34pm on 12 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    Bish is also adamant that people being rude was what put him off accepting AGW.

    Yet this comment:

    "AGW is a product of guttersnipe scientists.
    August 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPierre Gosselin"

    Went unnoticed and unremarked.

    And the next comment shows why Bish is pandering to the popular idiocracy vote:

    "Bishop - go for it!
    I'll certainly buy a the book if you write it.
    August 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPierre Gosselin"

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  • 70. At 7:41pm on 12 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "It is not just that hockey sticks can be created from noise but that the hockey stick was created from noise."

    You never answered how that could be done, Rob.

    You just disappeared when asked.

    You said you used a method and found that random data produced a hockey stick.

    When asked for your method you waffled about how it wasn't *your* method, it was a method that Mann used.

    But you said you used a method and that method produced a hockey stick and that you'd proven it. And here you are again saying that it does.

    Well where's the method you used to do so?

    All of the attempts I made produced nothing like a hockey stick. A champagne glass or a constant slope with bumps but no hockey stick.

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  • 71. At 7:43pm on 12 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "How ironic that the 14 data sets given a weighting almost 400 times that of the lowest weighted data set weren't even temperature proxies but essentially noise"

    How ironic that this lie is put forward with nothing to prove it.

    In fact, nothing to even say what he's on about.

    Probably done that way so he can weasel out of it...

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  • 72. At 8:11pm on 12 Jul 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    YW, you really should spend a bit more time investigating things before spurting out.

    ' "How ironic that the 14 data sets given a weighting almost 400 times that of the lowest weighted data set weren't even temperature proxies but essentially noise"

    How ironic that this lie is put forward with nothing to prove it. '

    The 14 data sets and almost 400 times weighting were conceded by the hockey stick creator himself.
    (please feel free to check the numbers as I am working from memory and could be mistaken)

    The debate, if that is the right word, is over the validity of these chosen data sets. They are known to be noisy. If noise is significantly greater than the temperature signal then any correlation with temperature will be a spurious one due to the noise.

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  • 73. At 8:18pm on 12 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    Where's the method, Rob. The one you used to prove to yourself that the hockey stick was just random data?

    "(please feel free to check the numbers as I am working from memory and could be mistaken)"

    That would be quite difficult to do if you haven't shown where this "information" resides...

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  • 74. At 8:27pm on 12 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    " If noise is significantly greater than the temperature signal then any correlation with temperature will be a spurious one due to the noise."

    And a great example of how to lie as long as you don't know statistics.

    Random noise doesn't add constructively. It can add or subtract anything up to the maximum possible from the noise.

    Signal, however, adds constructively.

    Therefore as you add more values to an overall effect, your noise adds V*sqrt(N) where V is the expected noise value and N is the number of samples. Whereas for the signal, it adds as sN where s is the signal change and N is the number.

    Therefore if you want the signal to be double the noise, N has to be around (2*V/s)^2.

    Unless there IS no signal, you will be able to tease out the signal from the noise with enough samples.

    In much the same way as CDMA allows an arbitrary number of co-users of a frequency channel if the noise is low enough or allows users access with higher noise at lower data rates.

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  • 75. At 9:00pm on 12 Jul 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    YW:
    'Unless there IS no signal, you will be able to tease out the signal from the noise with enough samples'
    Correct, using averaging but the hockey stick attempts to improve on averaging by correlating data with the instrumental record, i.e. a known signal.
    With very noisy data you can never be sure if the correlation is due to the signal or the noise.
    Different types of correlation are used to increase statistical confidence but the bottom line is that if you look at the chosen data set and it is noise then the correlation is with the noise no matter what the statistics tell you.

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  • 76. At 9:10pm on 12 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "Correct, using averaging but the hockey stick attempts to improve on averaging by correlating data with the instrumental record, i.e. a known signal."

    And this is a problem why?

    "With very noisy data you can never be sure if the correlation is due to the signal or the noise. "

    This is what statistical analysis does.

    "the bottom line is that if you look at the chosen data set and it is noise then the correlation is with the noise no matter what the statistics tell you."

    That isn't any bottom line that is accurate or true, however.

    If you have a noisy signal and another signal with less noise, then if your noisy signal follows on average the less noisy signal, you know that the two are showing the same signal.

    Irrespective of the noise involved.

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  • 77. At 9:12pm on 12 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    And where's the method, Rob?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/06/climate_meltdown_yet_fusion_la.html#P81881062

    "As for do I have proof. Not only have I seen proofs but I have confirmed this for myself by producing my own hockey sticks from random data."

    Where is the work you did to confirm it.

    You are still silent on this. Were you lying then?

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  • 78. At 9:51pm on 12 Jul 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    manysummits #46: "I take it you are a Metal Rabbit?"

    Yes, apparently so.

    manysummits #:48 "off to climb a mountain, where the air is fresh and moderately clean"

    Hope you had a good climb and returned safe and sound. This blog will no doubt seem mundane by comparison.

    All the best; davblo2

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  • 79. At 00:51am on 13 Jul 2009, fairlyopenmind wrote:

    #51, yeah_whatever wrote:
    "I certainly don't like it when politically-edited (and funded) science lays a blanket over aggressive examination."

    What, you mean Heartland Institute?
    ===

    Don't believe I have ever visited their site. No idea where they are situated, or who funds them. Don't much like official or even semi-official organisations wo rely on external funding, whether governmental or commercial. I know that's pretty silly, but I really do like independently minded scientists. (Idealistic viewpoint I know and many significant outcomes emerge from tax or commercially funded institutes.) Just like people with a stance that isn't too influenced by "current thinking".

    They seem to be the folk who do it. They don't flock...
    =====

    "... are based on an emerging and apparently disputed science."

    Yes, well, they WOULD be disputed.

    Fridge manufacturers said that our fridges would cost much more and they would be ruined if the ban on CFC's was made. They argued the same as you, that it was unfounded or disputed science.

    Big Tobacco had shown many papers proving that second hand smoke was not a problem and that their product was not harmful or addictive.

    And the same thing is going on now.


    =========================
    "And nobody has bothered to say that some of the headline-hitting stuff is just "extrapolation"."

    Uh, if you are running toward a wall I extrapolate that you will hit it.

    Is that somehow wrong just because it was an extrapolation?

    "I really don't like "concensus science" if it is funded by people who already know the answers."

    Funny, it seems that the denialists are the ones who already know the answers.

    =================
    "quite a lot of the massive decisions they are making are based on an emerging and apparently disputed science."

    Yes, well, they WOULD be disputed.

    Fridge manufacturers said that our fridges would cost much more and they would be ruined if the ban on CFC's was made. They argued the same as you, that it was unfounded or disputed science.

    Big Tobacco had shown many papers proving that second hand smoke was not a problem and that their product was not harmful or addictive.

    And the same thing is going on now.


    Yeah,
    Sorry. I rather thought that a specifically targetted investigation was invoked to force fridge manufacturers to dump some products. That's to say, rather hard science.
    The jury still seems to be out on passive smoking. (How far away do you have to be? What concentrations are required? Getting close to a smoker in a park is likely to harm you?)

    ====================
    "And nobody has bothered to say that some of the headline-hitting stuff is just "extrapolation"."

    Uh, if you are running toward a wall I extrapolate that you will hit it.

    Yeah_whatever,

    Well, that's the basis of Grand Prix racing - especially Monaco. Do you extrapolate that if every driver aims for a wall, but then corrects to follow the racing line, they should - or in your extrapolation, would - hit a wall? How many times does that happen?

    ================
    Is that somehow wrong just because it was an extrapolation?
    =====================
    Yeah,

    So you're a person out to sample the shopping habits in a high street. You collect real data that shows N people went into a specific shop. You check how much they spent and on what. So you have empirical information.
    Then you apply a few "adjustments". It's raining, so quite a lot of people don't come out. It's the third Friday in the month, not the one when the pay-cheque is in. You "decide" that the next door competitor has a a better range of special offers on this day. You look at whether people arrived by car or on foot. You factor in the potential impact of a TV advertising campaign. Then you declare "I've got a result". Based on MATHS, whether described as just maths or run through a "model".
    So the core data is "adapted" to reflect perceived influences and external factors. And it's the "adjusted" data that makes its way into a model. (A model which has already been tweaked to reflect a perceived compromise between various disciplines.) Then the outcome is "pure science". I don't accept that. It's the incremental layering of uncertainty that makes so much global warming science rather doubtful for Joe Public.

    I can't quite distinguish the hypothosis from the facts.

    Sorry.

    That's the way I perceive the global warming argument right now. It doesn't help me that governments "buy-in" to a notional cap on an uncertain global temperature.

    I'm not a denier of climate change. Far from it, I realise that the climate changes. I'm sceptical about any analysis of "global temperature" because I just don't understand the basis on which "a concensus of scientists" have collected and analysed enough raw data across the planet to determine what the "global temperature" is today. Without that, I can't see how any hypothosis about tomorrow stacks up.

    ===============
    "I really don't like "concensus science" if it is funded by people who already know the answers."

    Funny, it seems that the denialists are the ones who already know the answers.

    I mean, you never read in the papers or blogs put around for the denialists saying "well, we aren't sure about this...", do you. It seems that whatever paper they write has the answers.

    Yeah,

    What the hell's a "denialist"? I had hoped that my post was all about "well, I'm not sure about this..."
    I have no idea what planet you want to save. Frankly, if it's going to be full of "anti-denialists" it sounds pretty worthless. No idea whether just simple folk who haven't "seen the light" may be allowed to stand somewhere and shiver, next time the earth freezes over.

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  • 80. At 01:07am on 13 Jul 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    YW:
    ' "Correct, using averaging but the hockey stick attempts to improve on averaging by correlating data with the instrumental record, i.e. a known signal."

    And this is a problem why? '

    I never said it was a problem but since you asked it eliminates most data sets thus preventing your method of obtaining the signal through averaging and it assumes that any data set passing the test has a high signal to noise ratio and not a spurious correlation.

    ' "With very noisy data you can never be sure if the correlation is due to the signal or the noise. "

    This is what statistical analysis does.'

    The statistics gives you odds but not certainty. By all means use the statistics to screen for probable indicators but then examine those indicators before making a decision.

    ' "the bottom line is that if you look at the chosen data set and it is noise then the correlation is with the noise no matter what the statistics tell you." '

    That isn't any bottom line that is accurate or true, however. '

    Sorry YW but that is a fact. If there is no signal there you can still get a correlation and that correlation cannot be with the signal because there is no signal. It must be with the noise.
    Of course you can claim that there are no such things as spurious correlations!

    ' If you have a noisy signal and another signal with less noise, then if your noisy signal follows on average the less noisy signal, you know that the two are showing the same signal.

    Irrespective of the noise involved. '

    They are showing the same pattern but in one case that pattern is due to the signal and in the other to noise. ' Irrespective of the noise involved '? No, suppose the noise is 10 times greater than the signal and the pattern of the noise looks like the signal. Your reasoning would say that the signal is 11 times greater than it really is.
    This is a major part of the problem.

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  • 81. At 05:06am on 13 Jul 2009, BrianDodge wrote:

    @ MangoChutneyUKOK
    So there's a blogger who calls himself Bishop Hill but acknowledges "Bishop Hill is not a bishop. He's not actually called Hill either. He is an Englishman who lives in rural Scotland." And he thinks that "There has been the most extraordinary series of postings at Climate Audit over the last week." and that "The story is a remarkable indictment of the corruption and cyncism that is rife among climate scientists". He thinks Steve Mcintyre is the good guy and ME Mann, RS Bradley, MK Hughes, C Amman and E Wahl, plus the National Academy of Science and the National Research Council are bad guys. He thinks McIntyre, (who has a BS degree in math, some study in politics and economics and a job history which includes mining company CEO and consulting with oil companies, not "a retired statistician") has discovered the "smoking gun" which will overturn Global warming. And his main(only?) source of data to support his hypothesis is Climate Audit, a blog run by none other than - Steve McIntyre. This is the kind of one sided propaganda bs that Faux News tries to convince people is "fair & balanced". Can Steve Mcintyre 'splain with his fancy statistical nitpicking how the unprecedented OBSERVED loss in Arctic summer ice cover is due to, oh, biased reading of tree rings? Does it depend on whether he's wearing a tin foil hat?

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  • 82. At 08:29am on 13 Jul 2009, Bishop Hill wrote:

    Brian

    You have misrepresented my views. I do not think that McIntyre has discovered the smoking gun that will overturn global warming. I have never said this. You made this bit up.

    Much of my views on Caspar Ammann's paper we informed by reading it. It is unarguable that his replication of the Hockey Stick fails its verification R^2. Both it and the Hockey Stick are clearly statisitically insignificant.

    I do not think the NAS are bad guys. They said that Mann had got his statistics wrong and that he had used inappropriate proxies. I agree with them. I do think they were negligent not examine the proxy databases of the other temperature reconstructions though.

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  • 83. At 08:49am on 13 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "Sorry YW but that is a fact. If there is no signal there you can still get a correlation and that correlation cannot be with the signal because there is no signal."

    That isn't what you said.

    "With very noisy data you can never be sure if the correlation is due to the signal or the noise. "

    If there's no signal, there's nothing due to the signal, since there's no signal.

    "They are showing the same pattern but in one case that pattern is due to the signal and in the other to noise. '"

    Whu?

    You're saying that there is no signal because the noise is big and that there can't be correlation because there's no signal, so it must be all noise.

    How do you know there's no signal if the first place?

    That there IS a change and that change correlates 87% with the changes in CO2 and that there is a physical reason for that correlation shows there is a signal and it is being seen.

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  • 84. At 08:49am on 13 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "They said that Mann had got his statistics wrong and that he had used inappropriate proxies."

    No they don't.

    They say that the Mann conclusion is correct.

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  • 85. At 08:51am on 13 Jul 2009, Bishop Hill wrote:

    Brian

    It's also worth pointing out that you do not seem to be disputing the truth of anything I wrote.

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  • 86. At 09:00am on 13 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "Don't believe I have ever visited their site."

    Then how do you know

    "Just like people with a stance that isn't too influenced by "current thinking".

    They seem to be the folk who do it. They don't flock..."

    And just because they disagree with the science doesn't mean they are right either.
    In fact they are probably wrong. This is why a minority in a jury verdict isn't important in court over the majority.

    "I rather thought that a specifically targetted investigation was invoked to force fridge manufacturers to dump some products. That's to say, rather hard science."

    And AGW is based on hard science.

    "Do you extrapolate that if every driver aims for a wall, but then corrects to follow the racing line, they should - or in your extrapolation, would - hit a wall? How many times does that happen?"

    Mitigation of AGW is like the driver steering away from the wall.

    At the moment we have people going "But we haven't HIT the wall and anyway, who says that we're going to hit the wall. We never have before...".

    "That's the way I perceive the global warming argument right now. It doesn't help me that governments "buy-in" to a notional cap on an uncertain global temperature."

    They aren't. They're controlling CO2 release from human sources. And your perception is wrong as well. Then again your perception is built from the wrong idea, that they are putting a cap on temperature.

    That you seem unwilling to read what you're talking about makes any thought of fixing your misconception a lost cause.

    "Marley was dead to begin with".

    "I had hoped that my post was all about "well, I'm not sure about this..." "

    If you had hoped for that, why are your posts filled with strawmen?

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  • 87. At 09:03am on 13 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "I do not think that McIntyre has discovered the smoking gun that will overturn global warming. I have never said this. You made this bit up."

    Then why do you keep linking to it?

    And if you wanted to bring that idea across, maybe "and here's a link to something I don't believe either..." would have helped show this.

    "Much of my views on Caspar Ammann's paper we informed by reading it. "

    OK.

    "It is unarguable that his replication of the Hockey Stick fails its verification R^2. Both it and the Hockey Stick are clearly statisitically insignificant."

    It is inarguable because it's wrong. Flat out wrong.

    And strange you should come up with statistical significance when it comes to AGW but have never mentioned this when anyone denying AGW says "It's cooling!!!".

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  • 88. At 09:05am on 13 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    re: 85, because it's not worth disputing the rights of the common zebra to walk the plains with a herd of lions.

    They aren't going to listen.

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  • 89. At 09:30am on 13 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    And where's the method, Rob?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/06/climate_meltdown_yet_fusion_la.html#P81881062

    "As for do I have proof. Not only have I seen proofs but I have confirmed this for myself by producing my own hockey sticks from random data."

    Where is the work you did to confirm it.

    You are still silent on this. Were you lying then?

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  • 90. At 09:31am on 13 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    And Bish, #85, if you're so certain you have it right, type it up, send it to Nature and get it peer reviewed like real scientists have to do.

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  • 91. At 09:46am on 13 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    PS Brian, he does disagree explicitly with "retired statistician".

    And you forgot "special adviser to an energy company" in his list of achievements.

    The NAS do not believe McIntyre's statistical analysis was correct. And you don't prove it, you just state it as if it were true.

    "endless name-calling and dark insinuations about motivations and conflicts of interest"

    Which is strange coming from someone who starts up their rant with:

    "The story is a remarkable indictment of the corruption and cyncism that is rife among climate scientists,"

    "two Mann associates, Caspar Amman and Eugene Wahl"

    Uh, yes, when you're a highly respected and cited science author, you will have associates. This doesn't make them cronies as you imply.

    "This was trumpeted as independent confirmation of the hockey stick. A few eyebrows were raised at the dubious practice of using a press release to announce scientific findings."

    Strange again for someone who points to a WEB LOG for his story... And nary an eyebrow raised with whatsupwithtat being used here liberally...

    "However, it turned out that some of these attempted rebuttals were less well formed than others"

    More assertion without proof. Mind you your blog is inundated with such, so I won't be pointing out all the examples.

    "Since the second paper was unpublished, it was effectively impossible for McIntyre to defend himself against these criticisms."

    And here on this blog we've had people say "DO NOT link to that rubbish at Real Climate" when the link was to Mann responding to criticisms.

    Yet you somehow overlook that.

    "Wahl and Amman's response was to refuse any access to the verification numbers, a clear flouting of the journal's rules"

    Wrong. They refused to release except to those parties who had a right to.

    "Events soon took another surprising turn.,"

    Then a link to a blog.

    See earlier about eyebrows and blog posts being unusual... Sometimes...

    More links to climateaudit about how he rebuttals were no good. Still no eyebrows raised.

    More climateaudit links.

    More climateaudit links.

    Even more climateaudit links.

    "McIntyre had, much earlier, shown that if you ran red noise through the process,"

    Red noise?

    This is noise that is biased to show a trend.

    McIntyre's work remains unwritten. Even Rob hasn't managed to show it and he's done it himself, he says!

    "(Red noise is best described as a "random walk" - a line which wiggles at random, but is not entirely random like white noise.)"

    Or also like random noise over the top of a signal.

    That possibility never came across your mind???

    And a roundup with blog links. And no eyebrows.
    Your entire thesis is incorrect since the NAS have supported Mann's conclusions.

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  • 92. At 11:07am on 13 Jul 2009, Richard Black (BBC) wrote:

    Just a couple of things to pick up. jon112uk, China did ratify the Kyoto Protocol, in August 2002. However as a developing country, the protocol does not set specific emissions reduction targets.

    The issue of per capita emissions from developing countries can be quite complex because two sets of emissions data are used - one including Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) and one excluding it. For heavily forested countries, this makes one heck of a difference - for example, with LULUCF excluded, Laos is a small net emitter of greenhouse gases; when it's included, the country emerges as a significant net absorber.

    This might confuse the Belize picture - that's just my guess - as the country's net emissions are three times higher without LULUCF than without it. Even so, per-capita emissions are a lot less than in the US, most European countries, the Gulf states, Australia, etc.

    Countries without emission reduction targets ("non-Annex 1 countries") are required to submit national reports to the UN climate convention, including data on greenhouse gas emissions. One regional bloc is conspicuous by its absence. Why not have an educated guess which it might be, and then have a look and see whether you were right...

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  • 93. At 11:16am on 13 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    Here are some other blogs to read Bishop:

    http://www.logicalscience.com/skeptic_arguments/fakeddata.html

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/myths-vs-fact-regarding-the-hockey-stick/

    http://www.scottchurchdirect.com/global-warming.aspx/hockey-stick

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  • 94. At 11:21am on 13 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    And Bishop, MkKitrick et al produced a "peer reviewed paper". The peer review was not up to snuff.

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2004/08/mckitrick6.php

    Read data in degrees ran sin() on it which only works on radians...

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  • 95. At 11:50am on 13 Jul 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To davblo2 #78:

    Thanks for the well wishes.

    Thirteen hours, car to car, one and a half hours sleep and off to work.

    Our way up strewn with flowers - first wild roses and Indian Paintbrush, then Shrubby Cinqfoil with the yellow floers, and later low growing Alpine Cinqfoil and beautiful very small Forgetmenots and my favorite, White ountain Avens, after which the Younger Dryas is named. Tons of groundcover bearberry, hawks circling overhead, and an interesting summit and companions.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 96. At 2:14pm on 13 Jul 2009, Jana2126 wrote:

    Has anyone read the new EPA study that was covered up and just got leaked out? That wonderful study says that its Water vapor not CO2 is the biggest reason for climate change and o ya the sun. I would like to see the world governments control or regulate that

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  • 97. At 2:46pm on 13 Jul 2009, Asopus wrote:

    #96

    I read about it a couple of week ago here:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/06/bubkes/

    Sounds to me like it was 'covered up' (or more accurately binned) for quality reasons rather than as part of any grand conspiracy.

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  • 98. At 2:49pm on 13 Jul 2009, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    manysummits:

    enjoy the natural environment. The Thai's do not cut down large trees because they believe that spirits like to reside in large trees. Call it what one would like, but it saves large trees. It is a gentle hand of consequences that infers that taking the tree will result in some bad actions along the line,like carbon based fuels and climate change in a more understandable language. A monk once told me that there are over 5 billion people in the world and they all see it differently in their mind so how can the world be something that satisfies everyones view. We reside on a terminal planet where the populations in over 5 thousands years of civilization have not figured out how to get along. All the competing governmental philosophies have reached the similar apex of corruption, so maybe something new will come into being that creates a better harmony between humans and nature. If not,walk the trail, smell the wildflowers and be humbled by your surroundings.

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  • 99. At 2:56pm on 13 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    " its Water vapor not CO2 is the biggest reason for climate change and o ya the sun"

    Water rains out. It doesn't rise unless something else keeps it there by force.

    Such as CO2 making the air warmer.

    And the sun is at a sunspot minimum and apart from that, the base insolation of the sun has not change anywhere near enough to explain more than about 1/6th the temperature change.

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  • 100. At 3:19pm on 13 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "We reside on a terminal planet where the populations in over 5 thousands years of civilization have not figured out how to get along."

    Nah, we sorted that out LONG ago: "Everyone else should do what I say".

    The only problem with it is that everyone else says it too...

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  • 101. At 4:27pm on 13 Jul 2009, TJ wrote:

    Been out and about this weekend and just catching up with the news. Here's a couple of articles I came across which ordinary folks are getting to read a lot more of these days. Earlier on this post I mentioned that IMO ordinary folks seem to be increasingly questioning AGW and that it's now okay to talk about it in previously militant type company:


    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/5804831/Climate-change-The-sun-and-the-oceans-do-not-lie.html

    http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/44463

    I hope our leaders are paying attention because if they continue their shenanigans and leave their public behind there will be a nasty kick back in the months and years ahead.

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  • 102. At 5:13pm on 13 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    Tim, there have ALWAYS been people talking against AGW.

    And the first link is merely another hasing of the EPA thingy that mistakes the "It's no good so we don't print it" with the tinfoil-hat alarmism of "They're Silencing Us!!!!".

    And you can hardly trust Murdoch. The rant merely repeats bad science and bad statistics.

    Wonder where they were in 1998, 2005, 2003...

    Nah, they only pop this one up when the temperature is lower in one year than before.

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  • 103. At 5:14pm on 13 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    PS the last 10 years where it's been "cooling!" have been 0.17C warmer than the 10 years previous with the hottest 1998 temperature in that year which denialists want to call the peak.

    CO2 has likewise increased over the period.

    And Murdoch thinks this *disproves* AGW???

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  • 104. At 6:02pm on 13 Jul 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    YW writes:
    ' That there IS a change and that change correlates 87% with the changes in CO2 and that there is a physical reason for that correlation shows there is a signal and it is being seen.'

    So now a correlation with CO2 makes something a temperature proxy. Very circular.

    I am unaware of any physical reason why any of these chosen proxies should have an exceptionally high signal to noise ratio but being open-minded I did a search for 'strip bark' on the RC site. I am still unaware of any physical reason for this performance since I got zero hits.

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  • 105. At 7:12pm on 13 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "So now a correlation with CO2 makes something a temperature proxy. Very circular."

    According to you.

    But to science, the correlation proves the causation.

    And the causation is that CO2 traps IR radiation and therefore a greenhouse gas.

    "I am unaware of any physical reason why any of these chosen proxies should have an exceptionally high signal to noise ratio"

    That's because you don't want to think about it.

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  • 106. At 8:45pm on 13 Jul 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    Once again YW's argument is so weak that he selectively quotes:
    "I am unaware of any physical reason why any of these chosen proxies should have an exceptionally high signal to noise ratio"
    and responds:
    ' That's because you don't want to think about it.'

    The full quote proves that I have thought about it:
    ' I am unaware of any physical reason why any of these chosen proxies should have an exceptionally high signal to noise ratio but being open-minded I did a search for 'strip bark' on the RC site. I am still unaware of any physical reason for this performance since I got zero hits.'

    I would have thought about it for longer had RC had anything to say on the subject but one thing seems sure; RC certainly don't want to think about it.

    Still when YW says: ' But to science, the correlation proves the causation.' we can all enjoy the joke.

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  • 107. At 05:54am on 14 Jul 2009, TJ wrote:

    RobWansbeck #106. You say:

    "Still when YW says: ' But to science, the correlation proves the causation.' we can all enjoy the joke."

    I must say I was surprised to read such a statement as YW is quite careful in this respect. I'm thinking that this may be the problem with AGW believers. They have this kind of religious mantra that CO2 = AGW and can't let go of it. As with YW's statement above, it is out of character, so there must be something deeper that caused YW to deliver it so unguardedly.

    Maybe this is a lesson to us in understanding AGW believers.

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  • 108. At 10:51am on 14 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "I'm thinking that this may be the problem with AGW believers. They have this kind of religious mantra that CO2 = AGW and can't let go of it."

    Ah, no.

    The science says that increasing CO2 leads to warming. The science says that this effect will increase with each decade because the residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere is far longer than this.

    But you denialists seem to think that the idea is that it's only CO2 and then say "this is obviously wrong" (which is correct) "therefore AGW is wrong" (which is wrong and would only be correct if AGW ignored anything other than CO2).

    "Maybe this is a lesson to us in understanding AGW believers."

    Not really.

    It may be a lesson in denialists when they say things like:

    "As for do I have proof. Not only have I seen proofs but I have confirmed this for myself by producing my own hockey sticks from random data."

    But are unable to show it.

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  • 109. At 10:59am on 14 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "Still when YW says: ' But to science, the correlation proves the causation.' we can all enjoy the joke."

    And this again shows denialism.

    HOW can you enjoy the joke?

    If you have causation (e.g. velocity of car compared to death rate is physically linked by the energy rates) does the correlation (the correlation of death rate with car velocity), does that mean the link between car velocity and death rates is disprove or a joke?

    "I would have thought about it for longer had RC had anything to say on the subject but one thing seems sure; RC certainly don't want to think about it."

    Lets look back in time and see where this high noise meme comes from:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/07/thanks_for_all_the_responses.html#P82799947

    Ah. It comes from Rob.

    If there's no other source then this means Rob must be wrong.

    And he is.

    Annual temperature is a noisy dataset.

    But that hasn't changed over time, it's always been a noisy dataset.

    But there is uncertainty in recreating data in the distant past. This isn't noise.

    And the difference is what Rob doesn't want to think of. He wants to keep them conflated so he can make up his point in the above link and have it "prove" something or other.

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  • 110. At 6:14pm on 14 Jul 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    YW continues to defend: ' But to science, the correlation proves the causation' and we can continue to enjoy the joke.

    In 1926 Yule showed that a correlation between Church of England marriages and the mortality rate had no statistical significance.

    The correlation was not YW's paltry 87% [sic] but 0.95.

    Proof indeed!

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  • 111. At 6:27pm on 14 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 112. At 6:58pm on 14 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    Just in case anyone with the goldfish-like memory of Rob is reading,

    The Physics came first (Tyndal and Arrhenius).

    Then came the confirmation (the correlation in temperatures).

    The close correlation shows that only something else increasing/reducing with the same profile as CO2 can cause most of the observed temperatures.

    Since we already have something increasing with the same profile as the CO2 increases (namely CO2), and that the physics shows a sensitivity around that seen IN that record (hence not graph fitting), the correlation proves that the causation is CO2 and nothing else comes close to explaining it.

    Of course, Rob will wander off some weird side-street again and come back when he's forgotten this.

    Just like he forgot how he said he proved to himself that the hockey stick came from random numbers. Either forgot or lied.

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  • 113. At 7:37pm on 14 Jul 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    Here is some YW greenhouse physics from the Wimbledon topic. Responding to a poster who correctly stated that greenhouses work mainly by blocking convection YW writes:

    ' Uh, the glass warms up because of conduction from the convecting air inside the greenhouse.

    This warm glass conducts that warmth to the outside of the glass where the air outside gets warmer and convects the heat away.

    The only impediment to this is how much of an insulator is the glass. '

    Is this the same physics that explains how the chosen few proxies respond to temperature?

    For a better explanation of glasshouses try looking at the experiments performed by R W Wood.

    P.S. The goldfish memory thing is an urban myth.

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  • 114. At 8:04pm on 14 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "Responding to a poster who correctly stated that greenhouses work mainly by blocking convection "

    correctly stated?

    It's not the ONLY way. Else the heat of a greenhouse would rise without bound.

    re your PS, OK, so you don't have the memory of a goldfish.

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  • 115. At 9:08pm on 14 Jul 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    Hence the term work 'mainly' by blocking convection.

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  • 116. At 9:19pm on 14 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    And hence, most of the 300K we get warmed by is from the sun.

    But SOME of that is from the greenhouse gasses.

    Even though there's plenty of convection, it can't pass beyond the tropopause unless a massive release of energy (from the condensation of water vapour) pushes it through, and even then it slows considerably, hence the "anvil" shape of cumulonimbus clouds.

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  • 117. At 9:19pm on 14 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    And didn't I just NAIL that one when I posted in #112:

    "Of course, Rob will wander off some weird side-street again and come back when he's forgotten this."

    Honestly, we're not a double act.

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  • 118. At 10:18pm on 14 Jul 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    YW says:
    "Of course, Rob will wander off some weird side-street again and come back when he's forgotten this."

    Yes, I have been up some very weird side-streets in my time. I quite enjoy this blogging thing but all too often life gets in the way.

    Maybe YW has forgotten that contentious positive feedbacks are required to ensure curve fitting.

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  • 119. At 08:56am on 15 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "Maybe YW has forgotten that contentious positive feedbacks are required to ensure curve fitting."

    Maybe you haven't a clue.

    The feedbacks are not contentious.

    And the ice age and it's well-repeated and misrepresented 800 year lag requires the feedback of CO2 creating more warmth is required to fit the temperature increase to the orbital changes of a milankovich cycle.

    Yet still they demand that CO2 can only come after temperature rises as if that somehow means that CO2 increases can still cause temperature rises. It doesn't care or know how it got there.

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  • 120. At 5:29pm on 15 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    And Rob keeps avoiding any answers.

    So you did lie then, Rob.

    You never proved yourself that the hockey stick comes from random data.

    PS your incomprehensible babble shows merely correlation. Where's the reason for it being a causation? AGW has one. You don't.

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  • 121. At 9:40pm on 15 Jul 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 122. At 01:09am on 16 Jul 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    YW, I presume that you still haven't read R W Wood as your earlier response suggests that you are still unaware that the term greenhouse gas is a misnomer arising from climate scientists' misunderstanding of how, that most complex of subjects , the greenhouse works.

    I also presume that you still haven't read Yule since correlations continue to confuse you.

    Still not found a method for producing hockey sticks? Try this one:

    Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia, PNAS September 9, 2008 (tried giving a link but the mods don't like it though I'm sure you will have your own personal copy)

    Rather than trouble yourself with creating random data to replace the proxies simply replace the instrumental record with your very own favourite data series and watch in amazement as the method cleverly selects proxies to give a good fit.

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  • 123. At 10:33am on 16 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "Still not found a method for producing hockey sticks? Try this one:"

    And then follows with no such method (cannot find anything with even proxy in the title).

    Will it contain the one you used?

    Which one did you use? Because you still have that one, and there's no need to get a paid journal since you already have it.

    You said you'd done it yourself...

    "Rather than trouble yourself with creating random data to replace the proxies simply replace the instrumental record with your very own favourite data series and watch in amazement as the method cleverly selects proxies to give a good fit."

    Well, from all that is available so far, it could be doing "ignore the input data and use my record of the Mann graph data". Without the method used, this method will produce such "astounding" results. Astounding, that is, until you find out how it does it.

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  • 124. At 6:08pm on 16 Jul 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    After suggesting the following as a method for producing hockey sticks:
    ' Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia, PNAS September 9, 2008 '

    YW amusingly replies:
    ' And then follows with no such method (cannot find anything with even proxy in the title). '

    Very strange. I put the title into Google and the above paper was the first hit.

    This is the paper in which YW places so much faith yet he doesn't even recognize the title!

    How telling.

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  • 125. At 7:19pm on 16 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "Very strange. I put the title into Google and the above paper was the first hit."

    Then either

    a) you have the link (even if it's the google link to the search
    b) you're telling porkies again

    And there's still no need if you haven't told porkies about doing this yourself: you'll have the method right there.

    Yet you put nothing up, just say "I've done this myself and it works" and nothing to back it up.

    Which is rather familiar, really...

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  • 126. At 7:22pm on 16 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    And did you use this method?

    Because I'm not going to go through all this faffing about to NOT find a hockey-stick and then have you say "You did something wrong" like you've done the last four times.

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  • 127. At 7:29pm on 16 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    Oh, I looked on the PNAS site.

    2006 table of contents.

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  • 128. At 7:45pm on 16 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/02/dummies-guide-to-the-latest-hockey-stick-controversy/

    According to that, McIntyre and McKitrick's paper complaints don't change the results.

    Since I suspect Rob's sinister comment about "two who must not be named" are these two, is Rob wasting my time here? It doesn't seem to say in MM05 that random data will give the same result therefore the Mann paper is wrong. So searching on this doesn't look to be about to prove Mann wrong unless it also proves McIntyre wrong.

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  • 129. At 7:50pm on 16 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    Reading through McIntyre's paper, it DOES say that his analysis of the data shows no hockey stick.

    So, is this going to prove McIntyre and McKitrick wrong as well? Or am I looking at the wrong paper?

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  • 130. At 7:59pm on 16 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    Yup, it looks like RC did M&M's PC analysis and says it doesn't make a difference.

    Given this, it's likely that using this route is liable to either

    1) Confirm Mann's work, in which case Rob is going to say I used the wrong something or other
    2) Prove Mann wrong

    Given we have two sides who have both come to different conclusions, it would be 50-50 that #1 option is right. Since M&M's paper is cited only three times and neither of them are either statisticians or climatologists, this 50-50 mark is wildly optimistic but let's humour the "skeptics". That means I could expect to do 1.5 times as much work.

    Yet here we have Rob saying he did this. If he can pass on what he used and how he did it, if this turns out not to show what Rob says, he can't say "use something else then". Or "you missed a step out".

    I mean, I've already done this four times. The odds aren't looking good.

    But Rob did it.

    He said so.

    So there's one less uncertainty. Either Rob is telling the truth and he will tell me how to see it for myself, or he's telling porkies.

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  • 131. At 9:40pm on 16 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    Well, reading up on PCA seems to corroborate RC's claim that M&M use too few eigenvectors.

    Almost none of the variability is taken by using M&M's procedure. It looks likely therefore that with the reduced set of 2 dimensions that M&M want to use will not select anything useful from ANY data. Too much data variability is left unaccounted for.

    NOTE: for those of you interested, PCA is meant to find independent axes to trend data against to reduce the RMS error around that axis as much as possible. E.g. if you have a scatter plot of X/Y values around x=y and you decide for some strange reason to use an axis of x and y with a centre in the middle of the dataset, you will have equal amounts of scatter around those axes and will not find any correlation. However, picking an axis of x=y and x=-y and putting the centre in the middle of the dataset you will remove most of the scatter around you axis of x=y and, depending on how closely the scatter ranges around that straight line, you may not even need the x=-y axis.

    After all, in this case, you get the scatter from just that single axis. All you get from the scatter around the x=-y axis is how long you trail the data for along the x=y axis.

    Assuming that the calculation of the eigenvectors given here

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/11/pca-details/

    is right (and that is a reasonable one since M&M haven't countered those figures), the M&M attempt to find the signal in the noise is bound to failure by their selection of mean position: no vector has any particular monopoly on the scatter, and selecting just two covers a minority of it. Any correlation resulting would inevitably look little better than random noise.

    Maybe this is what Rob did.

    Used M&M's selection of data values and mean and vectors to include and found no difference in ***McIntyre and McKitrick's*** analysis of the historical data and random noise.

    Not because the data is like noise but that the analysis picked vectors that did not reduce the analysis needs to find the signal and then refused to use enough vectors to locate it.

    Maybe if Rob can just give the RE value he had for both sets, this would narrow this down...

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  • 132. At 5:16pm on 17 Jul 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    http://www.sltrib.com/business/ci_12854537

    could the BBC run this story to show they are not biased?

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  • 133. At 10:57am on 18 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    What? Biased against a CEO of a manganese foundry/mining company who, having written one section with another author on how manganese is produced in the business who says that he doesn't think global warming is real?

    What credentials does he have to assess the science?

    About the same as you.

    But they aren't writing a piece about "MangoChutney says IPCC wrong!!! Report at 11!".

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  • 134. At 8:28pm on 18 Jul 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    YW, here are two RE figures that are well reported: 0.51 and 0.46.

    Here are two r2 figures: 0.02 and 0.018.

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  • 135. At 9:44pm on 18 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    OK, the RE figurs are pretty high but still show no sign that the fit would be as good with random data. RE in that case is -1.

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  • 136. At 08:39am on 19 Jul 2009, Newsrantnrave wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 137. At 09:01am on 19 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "The link between the burning of fossil fuels and global warming is a myth."

    Prove it.

    You haven't so far. Just repeated again and again that it is a myth.


    "It showed that increases in temperature are responsible for increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, not the other way around."

    Incorrect. It shows that after CO2 is released into the atmosphere, the temperature rises.

    And you ignore the PETM which has CO2 release and then temperature increases and no warming before.

    But you ignore that.

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  • 138. At 09:03am on 19 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "Not because of all those Stone age folk roasting mammoth meat on fossil fuel camp fires but because of something called the 'Milankovitch Cycles,'"

    And our orbit is not conducive to warming.

    You have read about Milankovich cycles but you haven't looked at them:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles

    Our orbital period is not one to create warming and such cycles do not happen so quickly.

    Something you completely miss out in your misinformation campaign to bolster your failed and futile argument.

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  • 139. At 09:04am on 19 Jul 2009, U13900240 wrote:

    "I would rather believe what this scientist says about the great Global warming scam."

    But you WILL NOT listen to what the scientists say about the Great Global Warming Truth:

    www.ipcc.ch

    You'd rather listen to one who doesn't know what he's talking about (see above) as long as he says what you want to hear rather than an inconvenient truth.

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  • 140. At 5:41pm on 23 Jul 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    breaking news:

    http://www.climatedepot.com/a/2117/New-PeerReviewed-Study-Rocks-Climate-Debate-Nature-not-man-responsible-for-recent-global-warminglittle-or-none-of-late-20th-century-warming-and-cooling-can-be-attributed-to-humans

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  • 141. At 07:24am on 24 Jul 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    hmmmm, no comments on the above post - i thought people here wanted the truth?

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  • 142. At 09:24am on 24 Jul 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK #140&1 "breaking news" & "i thought people here wanted the truth?"

    Here is the actual abstract from the report which is a little less dramatic in tone.

    The final conclusion is "That mean global tropospheric temperature has for the last 50 years fallen and risen in close accord with the SOI of 57 months earlier shows the potential of natural forcing mechanisms to account for most of the temperature variation."

    Just on the side, and as YW often points out, it's interesting to see the anti-AGW camp (as per link in #140) using a report which accepts as a basis for its work "...the global tropospheric temperature anomalies (GTTA) ... for the 19582008 period". Suddenly the temperature changes are real and it's the cause which is different.

    Then I think the report goes one step too far in regarding the "El Niño-Southern Oscillation" as a purely "natural" series of events.

    Reading a little about El Niño, the underlying causes seem to be still rather unclear, but the way its development is described it looks complicated enough to be affected in magnitude by several if not many contributing factors. So I'd hardly call it completely natural because it is most likely susceptible itself to effects of any global warming.

    I see also "The period from 1990-1994 was unusual in that El Niños have rarely occurred in such rapid succession"

    Which led to The 19901995 El NiñoSouthern Oscillation Event: Longest on Record, where they conclude...
    "This opens up the possibility that the ENSO changes may be partly caused by the observed increases in greenhouse gases."

    /davblo2

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  • 143. At 1:03pm on 24 Jul 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @davblo2

    it's interesting to see the anti-AGW camp (as per link in #140) using a report which accepts as a basis for its work "...the global tropospheric temperature anomalies (GTTA) ... for the 19582008 period". Suddenly the temperature changes are real and it's the cause which is different.

    I think the only dispute on that statement is the reliability of the records as shown by surfacestations. The question of recorded temperatures showing an increase towards the end of the 20th century are beyond doubt, the cause, however, is.

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  • 144. At 5:27pm on 24 Jul 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    still a consensus?

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c2896b88-77bd-11de-9713-00144feabdc0.html?nclick_check=1

    it could be argued that india are rejecting AGW for political and economical reasons, but their environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, seems to be rejecting the whole notion that AGW is causing the Himalayas to melt:

    Jairam Ramesh, the Indian environment minister, accused the developed world of needlessly raising alarm over melting Himalayan glaciers.

    He dismissed scientists predictions that Himalayan glaciers might disappear within 40 years as a result of global warming.


    Followed by blackmail from the alarmist camp:

    But the Swedish environment minister said poor countries must also do more to forge an agreement. We are prepared to put money on the table. But it should also be said that if we dont see significant reductions that will really deviate from business as usual...then there is no money, Mr Carlgren said, singling out China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia. We are also prepared to deliver financing, but we must see that there is something to pay for.

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  • 145. At 6:48pm on 24 Jul 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK #143 "...the cause..."

    I see you didn't reply to my main point in #142, that "...ENSO changes may be partly caused by the observed increases in greenhouse gases."

    /davblo2

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  • 146. At 7:36pm on 24 Jul 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @davblo2

    from the link (although i didn't have time to read it all):

    Both the recent trend for more ENSO events since 1976 and the prolonged 19901995 ENSO event are unexpected given the previous record, with a probability of occurrence about once in 2,000 years. This opens up the possibility that the ENSO changes may be partly caused by the observed increases in greenhouse gases

    First of all, "with a probability of occurrence about once in 2,000 years", makes sense given the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period

    Second, "ENSO changes may be partly caused by the observed increases in greenhouse gases"

    "may be partly" - they've got to kidding, right?

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  • 147. At 10:08am on 25 Jul 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK #146: "'may be partly' - they've got to kidding, right?"

    You have to admit it's on a par with your "breaking news" (#140)..

    "...shows the potential of natural forcing mechanisms to account for..."

    Potential= "Currently unfulfilled capacity...", = "a possibility", = "may be"

    /davblo2

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  • 148. At 12:40pm on 25 Jul 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @davblo2

    point taken

    but then, sceptics are asking for $billions are they, perhaps the alarmists should be a little more precise in their "may be", "likely" etc?

    did you read the post about the AGW industry have been funded to the tune of $79b over the last 20 years?

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  • 149. At 5:41pm on 25 Jul 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    oops that should have read

    sceptics are not asking for $billions are they

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  • 150. At 7:52pm on 25 Jul 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK #149: "...should have read..."

    No; it was ok the first time... :-)

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  • 151. At 8:05pm on 25 Jul 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    A question for sceptics everywhere:

    Do you feel that the extent to which we have spread over the planet, the extent to which we have altered the land by deforestation city building and, crop growing, the amount of fuel we have extracted and burnt, the various pollutants we have released, in total, could possibly have some effect on the climate system of Earth?

    (Yes or No will do)

    /davblo2

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  • 152. At 08:26am on 26 Jul 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @davblo2 #151

    Do you feel that the extent to which we have spread over the planet, the extent to which we have altered the land by deforestation city building and, crop growing, the amount of fuel we have extracted and burnt, the various pollutants we have released, in total, could possibly have some effect on the climate system of Earth?

    (Yes or No will do)


    yes

    now here is a question in return:

    Do you think there is a possibility that there could an alternative to CO2 causing the rise in temperatures towards the end of the 20th century?

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  • 153. At 10:30am on 26 Jul 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK #152: "Do you think there is a possibility that there could (be) an alternative to CO2 causing the rise in temperatures towards the end of the 20th century?"

    The question is faulty so cannot be answered. The word "alternative" strictly means "where the choice of one excludes choosing the other". It would be very unscientific to make the assumption that there is only one cause to any particular effect. Much of science involves trying to unravel contributory factors in real life situations in order to derive simpler, more manageable, basic rules of cause and effect.

    If you really meant "Do you think there is a possibility that there could (be) several contributory factors (including increasing levels of CO2) causing the rise in temperatures towards the end of the 20th century?"

    Then I would say Yes.

    So next question:
    Given a list of potential contributury factors causing the rise in temperatures towards the end of the 20th century, would it be reasonable to classify them as either "internal" or "external" in nature with respect to the Earth? ("External" factors including things such as sun-spots, Milankovitch cycles, solar-wind, cosmic rays etc, and "Internal" including those arising entirely within the Earth's climate system.)

    I'll wait for an answer before saying any more.

    /davblo2

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  • 154. At 00:38am on 27 Jul 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    Amazing, Wikipedia is now the worlds language reference!

    I'll stick with the Oxford dictionary:

    Alternative, noun, one of two or more available possibilities.

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  • 155. At 09:11am on 27 Jul 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    RobWansbeck #154: "worlds language reference"

    Good point. I guess there's more than one reason to get yourself at the top of Google's search results.

    But anyway...
    "Alternative, noun, one of two or more available possibilities"
    ...still says specifically one so I still consider it to be more correct to discuss "a range of contributory factors" rather than "alternatives".

    Don't you?

    /davblo2

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