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Climate talks eye level playing field

Richard Black | 12:15 UK time, Friday, 11 June 2010

From the UN climate talks in Bonn:

On the final day of this two-week session, a new text [304KB PDF] emerges - which is likely to form the basis of the most difficult negotiations between now and the end of this year's UN climate summit, in Cancun, Mexico, in December.

If you want the official title, it falls within the Ad-hoc Working Group on Long-term Co-operative Action under the Convention.

The shorter version is that's it got most of the fundamental and hard stuff in it - what the ultimate goal of any agreement should be, whether rich nations should be subject to an overall cap on their emissions, how the $100bn per year by 2020 pledged by the rich for the poor will be raised and distributed - and so on.

Climate_football_matchEarly reactions from delegates suggest that chair of this particular working group, Zimbabwe's Margaret Mukahanana-Sangarwe, has done a pretty good job in steering between the various minefields strewn across this process.

In particular, she's avoided explicit references to the Copenhagen Accord, the pale document signed off by a group of countries at last December's summit, which is dearly beloved by the US but abhorred by many other nations.

There are, though, things that all the various parties will find difficult to take - and there are interesting doors to compromise thrown in as well.

An overall goal is posited of reducing emissions globally by 50-85% from 1990 levels by 2050.

Developing countries have repeatedly resisted calls for a global cap on emissions, because they deduce - accurately - that it implies a cap on their collective emissions: total cut minus industrialised countries' cuts equals their cuts.

The maths says that when all is said and done, this would result in them accepting lower per-capita emissions for decades than Western nations, which they see as hindering their chances for equitable development.

The call for parties to "co-operate in achieving the peaking of global and national emissions by 2020 at the latest" will also irk many developing countries.

If that's a potential stumbling block for the poor, the rich nations are likely to baulk at wording that would see them having to find most of the $100bn per year they've pledged from the public purse, with "innovative mechanisms" such as a "Robin Hood" tax consigned to a supporting role.

Verification that everyone's really making the emissions cuts they've pledged is high on the US agenda.

Whether they'll be satisfied by the chair's proposal that developing country governments will verify their own emission cuts without international oversight we'll have to wait and see.

And the compromise? Well, that relates to advice from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that developed nations should cut their collective emissions by 25-40% from 1990 levels by 2020.

The new fudge factor introduced by the chair is to leave the baseline year blank - effectively legitimising the legerdemain that has seen successive developed countries - Australia, Canada, the US - select baseline years for their own pledges, and present them as big reductions.

Bolivia - among the most outspoken of the developing countries these days - has already slammed the document as being biased towards the west, its UN ambassador Pablo Solon declaiming:

"If this document is going to be the outcome of Cancun, then the future of humanity and Mother Earth is really in danger."

But other experienced observers, such as Kaisa Kosonen of Greenpeace, reckon it's time for a quiet think, and are urging delegates to think about the whole package rather than immediately tearing the bits they don't like into shreds.

With just half a day to go here, most eyes are already elsewhere.

Mexican and South African football supportersMany are turning to South Africa, where - in UN climate terms - the presidency of COP17 is about to do battle with the presidency of COP16.

In normal people's language, that'll be South Africa kicking off against Mexico in the first match of the World Cup.

Some usually sober-suited delegates are sporting football shirts, and the session here is scheduled to finish early enough that all the South Africans and Mexicans, at least, can find a convenient bar in which to watch the match in comfort.

We'll see - early finishes are not this process's forte.

Some eyes are also on Brussels, where EU environment ministers are meeting to discuss whether to increase the bloc's emission pledge from a 20% cut (from 1990 levels by 2020) to a 30% cut.

They won't make a decision this week - it probably won't come next week either when EU heads of government meet - but presumably it might conceivably come later this year, if EU leaders appreciate the extra leeway the recession has given them, and believe it'll kick-start international talks that by then look like they're going somewhere.

And a few eyes have been cast westwards to Washington DC, where the US Senate has just defeated a proposal to relieve the Environmental Protection Agency's duty to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.

Passing this motion would have spelled big trouble for the climate legislation that is before the Senate. It's still in trouble, no doubt about it - but it's still alive.

Whether or not it eventually passes is probably still the single greatest in-country obstacle to the eventual agreement of a new UN climate deal - as it has been for so long.

Comments

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  • 1. At 1:15pm on 11 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    From the pdf:

    Noting resolution 10/4 of the United Nations Human Rights Council on "Human rights and climate change", which recognizes that the adverse effects of climate change have a range of direct and indirect implications for the effective enjoyment of human rights and that the effects of climate change will be felt most acutely by those segments of the population that are already vulnerable owing to geography, gender, age, indigenous or minority status and disability,

    they forgot sexual orientation

    Improving climate-related [and related to the impact of the implementation of response measures] research and systematic observation for climate data collection, archiving, analysis and modelling for improved climatic-related data and information to decision-makers at national and regional levels;

    agree with this bit, but probably not for the same reasons

    /Mango

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  • 2. At 1:24pm on 11 Jun 2010, John_from_Hendon wrote:

    Maximising the efficiency of energy use is a good thing, even if the CO2 causes anything deleterious is right, or wrong.

    However, there is a sever risk of unintended consequences, such as the bio-fuels rush which was and is both open to severe corruption and would also have left people unnecessarily hungry.

    Silly targets for a surrogate of energy use have this risk, but the devil is in the detail.

    For example: if legislation is introduced to persuade people to travel less that would be a very good thing - starting with how far people can live away from their work, but operating an absurd house price bubble that destroys families and encourages long distance travel has the opposite effect.

    We need to be encouraged to live on far less energy per capita.

    etc.

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  • 3. At 2:10pm on 11 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

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  • 4. At 2:30pm on 11 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

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  • 5. At 5:36pm on 11 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

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  • 6. At 6:04pm on 11 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #5 manysummits wrote:

    "I watch the scientifically illiterate politicians pandering to their scientifically illiterate constituents"

    I wonder how you decide whether someone has achieved "scientific literacy"?

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  • 7. At 6:05pm on 11 Jun 2010, Jack Hughes wrote:

    More nonsense from the climate crew.

    Notice how these lavish conferences are always in exotic places with 5 star hotels and limos.

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  • 8. At 6:35pm on 11 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #7 Jack Hughes wrote:

    More nonsense from the climate crew.

    Notice how these lavish conferences are always in exotic places with 5 star hotels and limos.


    That looks less like "nonsense" to me than "another cushy junket for insiders who pay lip service to the orthodoxy".

    I don't think ordinary people who are genuinely concerned about the climate are part of a conspiracy to raise more taxes, but I do think big shots at the BBC and the Guardian are having a nice big fat well-oiled time, riding around the world on the back of a religious panic.

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  • 9. At 7:08pm on 11 Jun 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    6. At 6:04pm on 11 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:
    #5 manysummits wrote:

    "I watch the scientifically illiterate politicians pandering to their scientifically illiterate constituents"

    I wonder how you decide whether someone has achieved "scientific literacy"?


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If they agree with his view, they're 'scientifically literate'. If they disagree, they're members of The Lobby with 'disturbed minds'.

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  • 10. At 7:17pm on 11 Jun 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Schools in the UK are doing a 'Green Day.' In case you are wondering what that is, it's 'an event that helps to make schools sustainable.' The event is organised by CABE, the government's independent advisor on architecture, urban design and public space. There are heaps of ideas within the document, to enable students to learn about climate change in an interesting and fun way.

    Come on bloggites, any SENSIBLE support and ideas to add to the possible school activities? Where some of you have an impressive range of science qualifications, you might have some meaningful ideas to help get the discussions rolling. My lot will be looking here with avid interest at what you all have to say. Some of you are now almost like science 'pop' stars. Bowman, mind your language please.
    We kicked off the discussion by looking at the amount of perishable food thrown away by retail outlets and other food service providers.

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  • 11. At 7:31pm on 11 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    Just in from Bolivia on Bonn:

    Bolivian UN Ambassador Pablo Solon:

    "Chair, with all due respect, what makes you think that those who have not adopted the Copenhagen Accord in December are going to negotiate on the basis of the Copenhagen Accord plus?"

    http://pwccc.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/bolivias-statement-on-new-texts-at-climate-negotiations/#more-2155

    - Manysummits -

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  • 12. At 7:48pm on 11 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #10 sensibleoldgrannie wrote:

    "Come on bloggites, any SENSIBLE support and ideas to add to the possible school activities?"

    Depending on where you are, and on how much limestone there is in your area, you could get them to crack open rocks and find fossils. It's really quite amazing how common ancient sea shells (and more interesting stuff) really is. If you spend a few hours at it, almost everyone will find something, and most will find more than one thing, so they can give their surplus to any unlucky child who has had bad luck.

    Then, after they've all got sea-shells (or better) from the distant past, they can look up books on present-day sea-shells and see if theirs resembles -- or differs from -- present-day shells. If they are similar, where do the present-day shells come from?

    I was stunned and transported as a child to discover that sea-shells are just about everywhere. If our resident mountain-climber has been up Everest, he might confirm that they're right up there too.

    Of course, they'll have to use eye-covering, because cracking open rocks is even more perilous than a vicious game of "conkers".

    "Bowman, mind your language please."

    Oh yeah -- forget to add "pee po belly bum drawers"!

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  • 13. At 7:48pm on 11 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To Sensiblegrannie #10: re ideas students of climate change

    Turn a bunch of numbers into a colored graph, or graphs.

    The numbers are just in for May 2010, and here they are:

    GLOBAL Land-Ocean Temperature Index in 0.01 degrees Celsius;
    (base period: 1951-1980)


    May 2010 anomaly: 0.63 degrees C; tied with 1998 for warmest May

    March/April/May anomaly: 0.73 degrees C; a new record

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

    ===============

    A climate base period is usually 30 years.

    From the table, figure out the average temperature of the Earth at different times?

    Find out where in the world, literally, this table is produced?

    Let us all know the percentage of students willing to add numbers and make graphs - if you please?

    - Manysummits -


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  • 14. At 8:04pm on 11 Jun 2010, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    Re: Mango @ 1: So if something concerns the fundamental human rights of those in the LEDW to live in a habitable environment, then it is a source of amusement to you. But if it concerns your 'right' to drive a car then it is an issue of utmost importance to you (re: previous thread). Says a lot about your worldview...

    Re: Jack @ 7: Yeah, that Copenhagen is a well 'exotic place' - you can't move for A List celebrities there...

    Re: Bowman @ 8: It's not just the BBC and the Guardian that cover this sort of event. In fact the only British media outlet that has an editorial position that is remotely in line with your view of climate change is the Daily Express (and we all know how reliable they are). Religeon again = nice.

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  • 15. At 8:27pm on 11 Jun 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

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

  • 16. At 9:13pm on 11 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    Yes, by all means - a level playing field.

    "Why is Canada not putting climate change on the G20 agenda?"

    by: Jody Williams, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on land mines in 1997. She is chair of the Nobel Women’s Initiative, an organization based in Canada that she co-founded in 2006.

    Excerpt:

    "Canada’s shameful attempt to hide behind the United States stands in stark contrast to its achievements of previous decades, when it led the way in negotiating a range of international humanitarian and environmental treaties..."

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/why-is-canada-not-putting-climate-change-on-the-g20-agenda/article1599421/

    ============

    - Manysummits -

    PS: to Bowman #12 re Everest 'shells' & sensiblegrannie:

    No, I've never even been to India. The shells are a fun idea, wherever found. It was a Belemnite shell that Cesare Emiliani used to first develop the Oxygen 16/18 isotope measure for a proxy temperature - since modified and used extensively in climatology, including, I believe, in the ice-cores from both Greenland and Antartica.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cesare_Emiliani

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  • 17. At 10:04pm on 11 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #16 - Because Canadians are not all dupes, and the current government does not have the watermelon Maurice Strong telling them what to do.

    Canada is no longer a UN patsy, thank goodness.

    And... oh goody... another Nobel Peace Prize winner! Like Al Gore?IPCC and Yassar Arafat and Obama. Very impressive.

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  • 18. At 09:00am on 12 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    Yorkurbantree #14

    So if something concerns the fundamental human rights of those in the LEDW to live in a habitable environment, then it is a source of amusement to you.

    Since when doe "gender, age, indigenous or minority status and disability" have anything to do with CO2's ability or not to raise the temperature?

    A sense of humour sometimes helps, Yorkie

    /Mango

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  • 19. At 09:26am on 12 Jun 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    manysummits thanks... for the raw data set
    What do the numbers underneath the lines of calendar month inputs mean?
    -29 -26 -26 1880

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  • 20. At 09:37am on 12 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Yorkurbantree

    the point i was trying to make on the other thread, and perhaps I shouldn't have been so flippant, is that environmental extremists always want to remove what little freedoms we have in this country, but one man's freedom fighter is another man's etc terrorist, one man's free speech is another man's thoughtcrime, etc

    /Mango

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  • 21. At 12:50pm on 12 Jun 2010, davblo wrote:

    sensibleoldgrannie #19: "What do the numbers underneath the lines of calendar month inputs mean? -29 -26 -26 1880"

    The numbers are, 100 times the difference between "the average temperature at that time" and "the average temperature for the period 1951 to 1980". Positive means warmer, negative means colder.

    So, (like it says in the example at the bottom of the page) to work out a real temperature from the figures in the chart you ...

    (a) take the figure: say -29
    (b) divide it by 100: would give -0.29
    (c) add that to the average 1951 to 1980 (14 degC): giving 13.71 degC

    For each year the chart gives you (left to right) values averaged for each month, then two averages for the whole year (jan-dec and dec-nov), then averages for 3 monthly periods dec-feb, mar-may etc.

    The figures you mentioned (-29 -26 -26 1880) are the averages for year 1980, months mar-may, jun-aug and sep-nov.

    Converted to real temperatures they are 13.71, 13.74 and 13.74 degC

    Does that help?

    All the best, davblo

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  • 22. At 1:10pm on 12 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To sensiblegrannie @19 re GISS Tabledata

    "What do the numbers underneath the lines of calendar month inputs mean?
    -29 -26 -26 1880" (Grannie)

    ============

    They are positive or negative 'anomalies' from an average temperature calculated from the base period 1951 to 1980 (30 years), and they are in increments of 0.01 degrees C.

    So an anomaly of -29 for example, means the temperature for that month was 0.29 degrees C cooler than the average temperature for the base period 1951 to 1980.

    At the bottom of the data set is an explanation which includes a note that the Earth's average Land/Sea Temperature for this base period was 14.0 degrees Centigrade. ('best estimate')

    So the Earth's Average Land/Sea Temperature for May, 2010 is 14.63 degrees C (anomaly 0.63 deg C)

    There is a wealth of information available at the website of The Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and it is even possible that James Hansen might help, as he has always been very active in reaching out to the young, designing many programs himself.

    Good Luck,

    Manysummits

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  • 23. At 1:27pm on 12 Jun 2010, davblo wrote:

    sensibleoldgrannie #10: "...ideas to add to the possible school activities?"

    Find the electricity meter(s) and take turns to note the readings at regular intervals during the day. Then...

    (a) Draw graphs of the readings showing how the amount used changes with time during the day.

    (b) Work out the differences between each reading to find the amount used per period and draw graphs to show how that varies during the day.

    (c) Think about how to work out average usage during the night even though you can't take any readings at night.

    (d) Try to explain the variations in usage seen during the day and compare to night time.

    (e) Learn about the units the readings are in (kWh) and discuss how best to convert the amount used to an everyday equivalent people can visualise.

    (f) Work out how many/much (i) windmills (ii) waterfalls (iii) solar panels (iv) hand-held generators (v) bicycle-powered generators it would take to power the school. (Plus any other means you can think of).

    (g) From the above, work out whether - having every student in the school spend a 30 minute exercise period per day on a bicycle powered electricity generator would produce enough to power to keep the school running. If not; what fraction of that required could they produce?

    That should be enough for now...

    All the best; davblo

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  • 24. At 1:27pm on 12 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To sensiblegrannie re GISS Tabledata:

    Here is a link to a graph drawn from the raw dataset:

    http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/Temperature/

    Scroll down a little to view the graph.

    Here is James Hansen's personal website:

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/

    Click on 'Updating the Climate Science: What Path is the Real World Following?", to access many other graphs, of Sea Level, Ice Sheet deterioration etc.., and all updated periodically by the scientists at NASA.

    Manysummits

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  • 25. At 3:38pm on 12 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

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  • 26. At 3:50pm on 12 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    \\\ "The changes are irreversible," says Dr Overland. (The Arctic) ///

    "The exceptional cold and snowy winter of 2009-2010 in Europe, eastern Asia and eastern North America is connected to unique physical processes in the Arctic," he says...

    "Cold and snowy winters will be the rule, rather than the exception," says Dr James Overland of the NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in the United States..."

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100611093710.htm

    (gratis Underacanoe)

    =================

    There is a lot more in this article, from Oslo, where the International Polar Year results are being digested by some 2400 polar researchers.

    I think the Russians are entirely right - we should extend this polar research and declare this entire decade -

    International Polar Decade.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 27. At 4:17pm on 12 Jun 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    Ad-hoc Working Group on Long-term Co-operative Action under the Convention.
    Having read this rather long document, I’m disappointed that yet again there is no mention of the “CONVENTION ON THE PROHIBITION OF MILITARY OR ANY OTHER HOSTILE USE OF ENVIRONMENTAL MODIFICATION TECHNIQUES”

    The Signed in Geneva May 18, 1977
    Entered into force October 5, 1978
    Ratification by US President December 13, 1979
    US ratification deposited at New York January 17, 1980
    I quote from the opening two articles below:
    Article I
    1. Each State Party to this Convention undertakes not to engage in military or any other hostile use of environmental modification techniques having widespread, long-lasting or severe effects as the means of destruction, damage or injury to any other State Party.
    Article II
    As used in Article I, the term "environmental modification techniques" refers to any technique for changing - through the deliberate manipulation of natural processes - the dynamics, composition or structure of the Earth, including its bioshpere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere, or of outer space.
    I know that I keep HAARPING on HAARP.
    But regarding Article II, I would like to emphasize examples of potential weather phenomena that could arise from the use of HAARP (as WMD, Weather):
    - earthquakes,
    - tsunamis,
    - floods,
    - droughts
    - changes in ocean currents;
    - changes in the state of the ozone layer.
    This is frightening stuff.
    So, why oh why cannot some brave country make a proposal to the Depositary no less than 90 days before the commencement of any future climate change conference in order to find out the current status of HAARP and its activity?
    If WMD, Weather was important enough for the United Nations to generate
    The “CONVENTION ON THE PROHIBITION OF MILITARY OR ANY OTHER HOSTILE USE OF ENVIRONMENTAL MODIFICATION TECHNIQUES” in 1977, what is the current capability of HAARP 33 years later?
    To me this is the elephant in the room that will sit ignored at all future climate change conferences.

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  • 28. At 4:19pm on 12 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

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  • 29. At 4:43pm on 12 Jun 2010, James wrote:

    The climate negotiators are being babies. Even if they like most of the text, if they find 1 thing they don't like, there is a giant protest from the climate negotiator saying this is unacceptable. Wah Wah Wah. Some countries do this more than others. Venezuela is pushing a 1C target. But scientists say that even if all greenhouse gases stopped emitting right this instant, temperatures would rise 1.3C. Venezuela has heard that yet it won't back down. The US won't accept anything that requires them to cut emissions more than developing countries because of "trade disadvantages". Since all the negotiators are just being babies that won't take anything unless it is 100% of what they want, the world will never have a climate treaty.

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  • 30. At 5:28pm on 12 Jun 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    "Cold and snowy winters will be the rule, rather than the exception"

    Oh the humanity!

    Imagine the horror of going out in winter and discovering it's cold and possibly snowing!

    Are you guys high or something? Winter is SUPPOSED to be cold and snowy in the parts of the world you specified. Could the problem be that the winters we've been having for the last few years don't match the winters the computer models say we should be having?

    The met office, a major contributer to the AGW nonsense, predicted last winter in the UK would be mild and wet. How did that work out? Did their computer models predict what actually happened of just spew more twaddle?

    And more importantly, if the met office can't be relied upon to tell us what the weather will be doing in three months, why should I believe them when they try and predict what the weather will doing in 30 years?

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  • 31. At 5:30pm on 12 Jun 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    "the world will never have a climate treaty."

    Thank heavens for that!

    Now, if only we could get the EU to stop trying to bankrupt itself with costly fixes for imaginary problems, we might be able to dig ourselves out of this hole we're in.

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  • 32. At 5:36pm on 12 Jun 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Thank you everyone for all your interest and support.

    I have put all of the raw data into a neat table, ready for further study. There are many cross-curriculum ideas possible from the other information provided. Keep going! Hopefully teachers and students from around the country will look here for more ideas of how to develop their Green Day, which in turn will develop their understanding of what is happening to planet.

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  • 33. At 5:45pm on 12 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    32 sensibleoldgrannie wrote:

    "will develop their understanding of what is happening to planet"

    I do hope they will also get some understanding of what has been happening to planet since life emerged. Most climate scientists don't, apparently.

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  • 34. At 5:46pm on 12 Jun 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    @sensibleoldgrannie

    Something you might want to consider. I have a young family member who has been put off taking the science courses at her school.

    Why? She was lied to for so long about how the world is ending and it's all her fault that she simply doesn't want to hear any more of their nonsense.

    It's a shame too, she's a bright girl. But repeated attempts to greenwash her failed as she's just not that gullible, I'm proud to say.

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  • 35. At 5:58pm on 12 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #34 Brunnen_G wrote:

    I have a young family member who has been put off taking the science courses at her school.

    Why? She was lied to for so long about how the world is ending and it's all her fault that she simply doesn't want to hear any more of their nonsense.


    That is the sort of horse manure that used to be taught in religion classes, and is now presented in schools as "science". It's a disgrace that religious hocus-pocus is being taught under the name of humankind's finest intellectual achievement.

    On the bright side, my (now grown-up) children were also force-fed that religious codswollop in "science" class, with the result that they learned science on their own, and as a result have acquired a much more discerning attitude towards things that dishonestly call themselves "science". They know that more than half of it is homeopathy and climatology, and all the other ridiculous nonsense of human superstition.

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  • 36. At 6:28pm on 12 Jun 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    @bowman

    She's a smart kid, she'll learn in time to tell the difference between real science and religion in science's clothes.

    What annoys me more than anything else is that they are deliberately targeting children for the greenwashing, because kids don't readily question information given by authority figures.

    When I was a kid we had 'environment days'. They would teach us things like not to drop litter and why recycling was a positive thing. They didn't try and scare us.

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  • 37. At 6:44pm on 12 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #36 Brunnen_G wrote:

    kids don't readily question information given by authority figures

    I'm not I agree with that. That saccharine ad the BBC had a few years ago, with the kid being read a "bedtime story" about the annihilation of the human race under rising sea levels had everyone doubled up with laughter in my house.

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  • 38. At 6:59pm on 12 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #36 Brunnen_G wrote:

    They didn't try and scare us.

    Actually I think the people who are really scared are the teachers who are expected to teach science without having any real feeling for it. In my experience, it's only when you get to the third level that you meet science teachers who joyfully embrace both the baffling nature of many physical phenomena and the vertiginous feeling a good explanation affords. Most of them chose a career in science because they have felt the "key turning in the lock".

    At earlier stages in science education, teachers tend to be reluctant to say "I don't know" or "no one knows". The "paradoxical" or strange is their enemy -- something that threatens to "show them up" -- rather than a fascinating friend. So instead of embracing it, they fall back on what many teachers are (unfortunately) most comfortable with: preaching rather than teaching; pretending to know instead of getting students to join them in a fascinating mystery. When they fall back to that, they start teaching morality and religion. That is the current tragic state of science teaching in secondary schools today.

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  • 39. At 7:11pm on 12 Jun 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    You must have gone to school a long time ago. Kids these days are given all sides of the argument and are extremely vocal about what they don't agree with. They are young adults and are more than capable of forming committees and debating any topic. I don't know what any child could have been 'lied to' about in science as most of what they learn is pretty basic stuff. Kids are taught to use the Internet from a very early age and they are very sophisticated consumers of information.

    I notice you spotted my typo Brunnen-G. I do think you are being a bit negative and here is a chance to put forward a positive and interesting science idea (that is, if you truly believe in quality education)

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  • 40. At 7:30pm on 12 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #39 sensibleoldgrannie wrote:

    Kids these days are given all sides of the argument

    I accept that most of them make a point of "getting" all sides of the argument, as evidenced by the widely dismissive attitude towards AGW, but are they really "given" it in schools?

    I would have thought schools have always been places where the menu contains strictly the anodyne, the bland, the proper and the "correct" . My guess is that schools today are a lot like the BBC: they pump AGW for all they're worth, and the force-fed are about one-third accepting, and about two-thirds nauseated!

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  • 41. At 7:41pm on 12 Jun 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    There is a certain video that is no longer shown because it contains a one-sided argument.

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  • 42. At 7:43pm on 12 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Re the previous postings about science education, I can't help but think there are some pretty sweeping generalisations and gross exaggerations being made. And while there is some bad teaching around, there is also some exellent examples too. In my experience, good and bad examples of teaching can be found in any subject area, and teaching in science does not stand out as being a special case.

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  • 43. At 7:44pm on 12 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #41 sensibleoldgrannie wrote:

    "There is a certain video that is no longer shown because it contains a one-sided argument."

    If you're talking about Al Gore's thing, I think it was disallowed not because it contained a "one-sided argument" but because it was obviously wrong, and therefore represented a serious liability to the authorities.

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  • 44. At 7:46pm on 12 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    And now for something light-hearted and perhaps a bit different - John Scalzi's METAtropolis competition for a hailku on the theme of "A world without oil".

    The entries take up the theme in very different ways. As Scalzi puts it: Some of them are funny, some of them are poignant, and some of them are even hopeful.

    You can see them here: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2010/06/02/metatropolis-contest-one-of-five-win-the-tor-edition/#comments

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  • 45. At 7:46pm on 12 Jun 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    What kids learn is that the climate is changing, the change is unprecedented and it is being caused by us.

    Only one of these is true. And I've yet to hear one of my neices or nephews tell me that they were taught anything other than the orthodox view on AGW.

    And no, children are not 'young adults'. The mental abilities of a child are markedly different to those of an adult.

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  • 46. At 7:56pm on 12 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #42 simon-swede wrote:

    "there are some pretty sweeping generalisations and gross exaggerations being made"

    Ah yes-- politeness before clarity. The mark of the authoritarian.

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  • 47. At 8:02pm on 12 Jun 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    #41 sensibleoldgrannie wrote:
    There is a certain video that is no longer shown because it contains a one-sided argument.

    -------------------------------

    It's no longer shown because a judge ordered that if it was shown the numerous errors would have to be pointed out. Rather than have teachers commit heresey by being forced to question His Alness, the film was quietly dropped from the cirriculum.

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  • 48. At 8:28pm on 12 Jun 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    I seem to have opened a large can of worms here. Some of the comments are not very encouraging or conducive to learning more. In fact some of what has been said is enough to put one off learning altogether. However, in the journey of enquiry, one is bound to stumble into a bush of thorns sooner or later. Luckily I have some disinfectant wipes, a few band aids.

    As for the video being edited out of the curriculum, even you are liable to make a mistake sometimes.

    One can easily forget when one looks at society today, that in previous times, a young person was considered to be an adult at the age of twelve years old. Learning was by oral tradition and information had to be memorized. When young people reached the age of twelve they could discuss and argue major philosophical ideas with their elders.

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  • 49. At 8:35pm on 12 Jun 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    simon-swede #44.

    lovely competition, thanks.

    MOTD (29# Ren on 02 Jun 2010 at 5:06 pm):

    Once we changed the world–
    With intent, and without it.
    Now we learn to change.

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  • 50. At 8:46pm on 12 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #46 Bowmanthebard sneers at Simon-swede:'Ah yes-- politeness before clarity. The mark of the authoritarian.'

    You should retract that remark - it's entirely unjust and makes you appear boorish. Oh, and if I wanted to, I'm pretty sure you've made comments that fail on both politeness and clarity.

    Lorax

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  • 51. At 9:20pm on 12 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #50 Lorax wrote:

    "You should retract that remark - it's entirely unjust and makes you appear boorish."

    But I really don't mind looking boorish, although I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings... simon-swede and I have an "allergy" to each other's ethos that I find quite interesting and worth exploring, partly because his respect for authority seems to me to exemplify the current pseudo-scientific orthodoxy.

    But if I did hurt your feelings, simon-swede, I'm genuinely sorry. It is never my intention to hurt, and I'm genuinely interested in what you have to say, which is something I cannot say about most.

    But back to Lorax:

    "I'm pretty sure you've made comments that fail on both politeness and clarity."

    If I have "failed" on politeness, I'm proud of that. I never want to "succeed" in politeness as it is a substitute for thought.

    No doubt I have failed on clarity, but it is not for want of trying. To my mind, clarity is the highest things a writer can aspire to, as it is the mark of truth.

    Sorry again, simon-swede, if you're taking my rudeness the wrong way. I doubt you really are, though, as you seem a very intelligent chap. Just terribly misled. Lack of vitamin D, I'd guess, during those long those dark winters.

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  • 52. At 00:04am on 13 Jun 2010, davblo wrote:

    bowmanthebard #51: "I'm genuinely interested in what you have to say, ..."
    bowmanthebard #51: "...as you seem a very intelligent chap. Just terribly misled. Lack of vitamin D, I'd guess, during those long those dark winters."

    It's not easy to take you seriously.

    /davblo

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  • 53. At 00:51am on 13 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    Good to see the delegate from Zimbabwe working so tirelessly to save the planet.

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  • 54. At 08:07am on 13 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    I remeber how 'good' it was to see Mugabe 'preaching' at Copenhagen..

    save the planet, he destroyed his countries economy.

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  • 55. At 08:42am on 13 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #52 davblo wrote:

    "It's not easy to take you seriously."

    I'm very glad to hear that, as I regard earnestness as the worst human vice, and think there isn't nearly enough frivolity on these blogs.

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  • 56. At 09:37am on 13 Jun 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    bowmanthebard

    You might enjoy a bit of frivolity,(more power to your elbow) but you do keep us in check all the same. You sometimes remind me of Punch in Punch and Judy shows; or a Mock the Week character. I have taken on board what you have said, tried to be as objective as possible, and have spent some extra time redefining(wiki search) key phrases and words such as:
    global warming
    climate change
    sustainability
    economic
    viability
    environment
    social
    bearable
    equitable

    These words link to some really interesting stuff about how some groups of people are effectively using low cost, low impact technologies.

    We all need to change our ways of thinking and doing, but it isn't going to be easy unless we are offered viable alternatives at prices we all can afford and changes that we can all cope with.

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  • 57. At 1:33pm on 13 Jun 2010, JB wrote:

    56, sensibleoldgrannie: I fear you may be striving for the impossible. If you are waiting to be "offered" a future that is easy, affordable and that you can cope with - then you may well be posting as "sensibleveryoldgreatgrannie" and still waiting for the right offer :o)

    Whilst you are waiting for the right "offer" to be made - from one of the many the revitalization movements that will promise "all would be well if we only do X, Y or Z" - you could consider the possibility that maybe "there is no brighter future ahead."

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  • 58. At 1:35pm on 13 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Remind me why we areall supposed to be so worried about catatrophic man made global warming again?

    Because all the IPCC doom/gloom scare scenario poster childs' are losing their shine.

    New scientist, may be easing back the AGW rhetoric (religion) a bit

    Posetr Child: Glaciers:

    Himalayan ice is stable, but Asia faces drought
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19029-himalayan-ice-is-stable-but-asia-faces-drought.html

    He found that only the 100-metre-thick glaciers that feed the Ganges are thinning, at a rate of 22 centimetres per year.

    The glaciers that sit at the head of the Indus grew at a rate of 19 centimetres per year on average, while those that melt into the other rivers in the study were unchanged. "It is unlikely that the Himalayan glaciers will have disappeared completely by 2035, as the IPCC's latest report claimed," says Immerzeel. "The real date is further off."



    Theuy of course say, it is stable..

    the implication being against al the odds, only just, still a big risk..

    Or another explantion, is they are just behaving normally as glaciers do, what was all the fuss about..

    see the spin at work, but not quite so convincing now is it?
    except to one or 2 true believers no doubt, at the bbc comments section.

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  • 59. At 3:17pm on 13 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    Here is a really interesting video comparing the 1979 Gulf of Mexico spill with the present Deepwater spill: (8 minutes long)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9A36A3GTcY&feature=player_embedded

    - Manysummits -

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  • 60. At 3:24pm on 13 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    The two comments I posted above were, I thought, very thoughtful.

    Their deletion is, I think, a form of censorship.

    Much better to simply listen to the dissembling lobby, and respond, playing their game, as it were, in this massive Age of Denial.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 61. At 3:36pm on 13 Jun 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    I feel quite flattered receiving a response from Druids. Are you real Druids? If you are, you come from a special group of people who probably have a greater inherited knowledge than many. I looked on the link and found the discussion a bit depressing, but interesting all the same. It is a pity your group can't put forward some knowledge and understanding (without depressing us all too much).

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  • 62. At 3:47pm on 13 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To vegetable_grower #57 re 'no brighter future'

    Since discovering the Dark Mountain Project, mentioned in the link you provided, I have realized that I have always been on this blog a writer of that stripe.

    In reading your link, I thought to pass on an excerpt from Sylvia Earle's [1] book, "The World is Blue":

    "...the natural living systems that over billions of years have generated and shaped planetary chemistry in ways that make Earth hospitable for humankind are being destroyed at breathtaking speed...

    humankind may not survive for long, unless...


    ==============

    Following "unless" is the usual - learn, understand, plan ahead...

    We are not doing this - we being the majority.

    Which is why I am a Dark Mountain writer.

    - Manysummits -

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvia_Earle

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  • 63. At 4:05pm on 13 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    The Lady was for turning after all, apparently:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/7823477/Was-Margaret-Thatcher-the-first-climate-sceptic.html

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  • 64. At 5:21pm on 13 Jun 2010, LarryKealey wrote:

    Dateline Gulf of Mexico Day 56

    Well, the politics are getting thick – but I’ll save that topic for a moment.

    Official estimates are now at 40,000 bbl per day. I find it difficult to believe that BP was being honest and forthcoming when this disaster began and they said first 1,000 bbl per day, and then 5,000 bbl per day. While we would still have a significant spill if it had been 5,000 bbl per day – or even 1,000 bbl per day – we would not be facing the ecological disaster we are now facing.

    It is my belief that no one was appropriately concerned when it was reported that it was 1,000 bbl per day. I also believe the expectation was there that the parties involved would be able to seal the wellhead in short order. It is my view (and becoming a prevalent view here) that BP has not been transparent nor open regarding this disaster since the beginning.

    This needs to be coupled with the fact that there is no company capable of dealing with such a disaster on its own.

    This is the Gulf of Mexico. I saw an article here in the BBC which reported a study discussing all the tens of thousands of miles of pipelines running along the floor of the Gulf (40,000 mi +). And the potential disaster possible from a major hurricane.

    I would like to point out that we have major hurricanes in the Gulf just about every year. In addition to all those pipelines, there are over 4,000 operating platforms, a very large number of refineries and chemical plants (the largest concentration in the world). With all these major hurricanes we have, there is very little ecological damage – even when we lose platforms – which happens most every storm. Also keep in mind that there are also literally hundreds of large tankers and thousands of barges here at any given time.

    There is a reason. There are real plans in place, constantly refined and a real coordination plan with companies, state, local and federal authorities. Plans which are constantly tested – with real storms – and before the storms every year there are ‘practice runs’. When a storm enters the Gulf (or looks like it will) – the plans go into action – they don’t wait and see what it is going to do. Plans are implemented to ‘shut-out’ the Gulf – everything – platforms are shut down, evacuated, pipelines are shut in. Floodgates in the levies around the refineries are closed – refineries are shut down. Emergency crews are pre-positioned – stuff gets done – stuff that is well planned and coordinated. Everyone has a resistibility and they know what they have to do and who they have to coordinate with.


    That is what is lacking here. There is no way BP could handle this from the beginning. There were no ‘real plans’ in place, in my view. When it first happened, before the rig even sank, there should have already been a massive mobilization going on with resources from every drilling company in the Gulf, every service company, state, local and federal authorities, conservation groups – everyone.

    This didn’t and couldn’t happen because there was no ‘real plan’ in my view. BP’s own ‘plan’ involved rescuing seals and walruses. They don’t have the assets available – which I understand, but look where we are and the majority of skimmers are still fishing and shrimping trawlers. In my view this is just totally unacceptable.

    The beautiful ‘Redneck Rivieria’ – Alabama shoreline – Gulf Coast and Emerald Coast are now closed. They await the oil on Pensacola beach at this moment. We see so many pictures now of wetlands just inundated with oil. Yesterday there was a report that some 22 turtles were found dead along the Alabama coast. More were rescued and some recovering, but they can’t be turned lose anytime soon, because they will just go back to the same beaches. We see dozens and dozens of Brown Pelicans – many dead, many being cleaned – but again – what to do with them?

    An Oyster House in New Orleans which has been opened for 134 years closed their doors Friday – wondering if they will ever open again. They can’t keep the land and facility if it takes a few years to get the oysters back – and as the oysters ‘filter the water’ – it could be a long time.

    This should not be happening. There should have been a ‘real plan’ with every possible asset ready and deployed – even when BP was reporting that it was only 1,000 bbl per day. There should have been mechanisms in place to ensure that there was adequate transparency and as accurate as possible release of information and data. We should have had the Army Corps of Engineers and National Guard out building berms around the wetlands within days. Every asset available for fighting the spill from every company in the region should have been on-site within days. Assets from other parts of the world should have been on their way.

    There should have been the appropriate inspections and checks and balances which would have prevented the chain of events which allowed this disaster to happen.

    The plan is one which should have been practiced and rehearsed and refined every year with a ‘real deployment’ and the whole works.

    Drilling in deep water is not going to stop anytime soon – that’s just a fact. We need to be appropriately prepared so that this situation could never happen again.

    On to a bit of politics. People here are not too thrilled with Obama either. People here that I know and talk to don’t hold any blame nor grudges with the British People nor the British Government - we are all very angry with our own government and BP. Myself and I think most of those I know are very disgusted with Obama’s lack of leadership in this matter as well as some of his statements and actions – in particular the comment about ‘so I know whose a** to kick’. Not appropriate language for the leader of the United States – nor for a President who should also be standing up and accepting part of the responsibility – a large part for not having those ‘real disaster plans’ not only ready and viable, but practiced and refined every year with the cooperation of every driller and service company, environmental groups and all the governmental assets which can be brought to bear.

    I do feel badly for all the pensioners in the UK who have lost so much because of BP stock – I hope they were at least somewhat diversified. I am even more afraid – as are many I have spoken with that BP will declare bankruptcy. That would just make this whole situation worse.

    I do want to make a couple of comments regarding Mr. Hayward and Mr. Sutton (COO). Many here including myself feel like Mr. Sutton has not been completely upfront with what is going on and what the chances of these schemes working. He has stated that it should be down to a ‘trickle’ by Monday or Tuesday – but what does that mean and why should be believe him at this point. Mr. Hayward has already began an advertising blitz which rivals Florida’s ‘tourism blitz’ – to try and keep people coming to Florida’s beautiful beaches. My opinion and many that I have heard is that Mr. Hayward should be totally focused on other things – not a massive PR campaign as the wetlands, wildlife and beaches are decimated.

    Well, I think that’s enough.

    Kealey

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  • 65. At 5:52pm on 13 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Much better to simply listen to the dissembling lobby, and respond, playing their game, as it were, in this massive Age of Denial.

    - Manysummits -

    What may I ask are people denying exactly, pleae explain...
    For clarity..

    The islands are not sinking, the glaciers are not disappearing anytime soon, this side of the current warming after an ice age cycle..

    I believe inman man global warming theory...

    JUST NOT the catastrophic, unprecedented IPCC?WWF version, that has zero real world evidence outsode of a computer model fantasy.

    What denial are we talking about...

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  • 66. At 6:10pm on 13 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #58

    Barry, before you get too excited, you might want to consider the global picture. The authoritative data comes from the World Glacier Monitoring Service. Their report 'Global Glacier Changes: facts and figures' last year summarised:

    "There is mounting evidence that climate change is triggering a shrinking and thinning of many glaciers world-wide which may eventually put at risk water supplies for hundreds of millions — if not billions — of people. Data gaps exist in some vulnerable parts of the globe undermining the ability to provide precise early warning for countries and populations at risk. If the trend continues...it is possible that glaciers may completely disappear from many mountain ranges in the 21st century."

    Of course, don't take my word for it - go and read the report. It doesn't seem dauntingly technical. If you find that it does not convince you of the summary above, why not come back and tell us why?

    Lorax

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  • 67. At 6:35pm on 13 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #64 LarryKealey wrote:

    "I also believe the expectation was there that the parties involved would be able to seal the wellhead in short order."

    Part of the problem is that we live in an age in which far, far too much trust is placed in "experts". Maybe it's because children don't make things as much as they used to -- stereotypically, they just turn on a computer to play a game in which whenever "things go wrong" it's part of the game -- and the "solution" is a spoon-fed part of the game too.

    Whatever the causes may be, too many people don't realize just how hard it is to make something work, or to get something going again when it's broken. It requires ingenuity and cunning and most of the first few attempts fail, fail, fail. Even the simplest computer program take many, many trials and corrections to get even half-going.

    I predicted from the very beginning that the "solution" to this problem is probably going to be something low-tech, heavy-handed, but reliable. Let's wait and see.

    Part of this trust-the-experts psychosis is the idea that humans can control the climate. That's bonkers -- we can't even predict it. We can't even predict the weather, for God's sake. It's just a crazily ignorant idea that some expert computer "boffins" can write up a quick computer "model" -- no testing, they're experts you see -- and there's your climate all sorted out! Nutsville.

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  • 68. At 6:46pm on 13 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    "it is possible that glaciers may completely disappear from many mountain ranges in the 21st century."

    So what? Big deal. Get a life.

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  • 69. At 8:21pm on 13 Jun 2010, Dr Brian wrote:

    LarryKealey

    Hearken old chap.

    There were many levels of containment on this particular well which was being run by Amoco (an American company) under federal guidance. All of the close-down mechanisms failed. Not BP's fault although they have accepted financial responsibility.
    There are a number of leaking American wells in the Gulf but Obama isn't grandstanding about them. Midterm elections!!!!!!!!
    Some 35% of BP is held by Americans. Their pensions are also likely to be screwed if BP gets sold cheaply to the Chinese.
    Cleaning the birds is a waste of time. They will die anyway in about a week and should be put down humanely.
    In any event you seem to care more about a couple of dozen turtles than the dead men on the rig.

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  • 70. At 8:48pm on 13 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    69. DrBrianS - Even more complicated. Brits own 40% of BP; Americans own 39%.

    "In the U.S., pension funds holding BP shares include the California Public Employees Retirement System, New Jersey Division of Investment and the Texas Teachers Retirement System, Bloomberg data show. U.S. institutions own 25 percent of BP shares, while individual investors in the country hold 14 percent..."

    http://preview.bloomberg.com/news/2010-06-09/obama-scolding-bp-over-dividend-payout-favors-gulf-fishermen-over-retirees.html

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  • 71. At 8:49pm on 13 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    68. bowmanthebard:
    "it is possible that glaciers may completely disappear from many mountain ranges in the 21st century."

    So what? Big deal. Get a life.

    I already have a life - as well as a spring in my field and a location likely to protect me from the worst of the climate change. So I'm alright - as probably you are. However, I'm sure the various glacial-meltwater reliant populations around the world - for example in the Andes - will appreciate your lack of human empathy for their currently worsening future prospects.

    Oh - and even though you care little for them, you might contemplate the wider climate implications of this disappearance, unless you remain happy with the 'natural variation fairy' approach.

    You've become dramatically more sour in the last few days, old chap. Are you not well?

    Lorax

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  • 72. At 8:57pm on 13 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    68. bowmanthebard wrote:

    "it is possible that glaciers may completely disappear from many mountain ranges in the 21st century."

    So what? Big deal. Get a life.

    -----------

    They have been shrinking as the Little Ice Age ends. There is photographic and documentary evidence of this in the Canadian Rockies and Columbia Mountains since about 1880. That is what happens when ice ages end. At the height of the last major ice age, virtually all of Canada was buried in ice. Good thing it melted.

    It is also entirely possible that glaciers do not disappear from these "many" ranges. They could grow. Straight line projections from short term trends are silly, as the long term climate (ice core) data shows.

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  • 73. At 9:01pm on 13 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    64. LarryKealey - It is reasonable to "blame" BP and ALL of its contractors for this leak. Although accidents happen.

    But Obama et al have been useless, if not obstructionist, in preventing the oil from reaching the wetlands. They could have done so much more but they fiddled while Rome burned.

    Thus they are scapegoating BP to distract attention from themselves.

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  • 74. At 9:04pm on 13 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    54. Barry Woods wrote:

    "I remeber how 'good' it was to see Mugabe 'preaching' at Copenhagen..

    save the planet, he destroyed his countries economy."

    Mugabe is the perfect symbol of Copenhagen, and all that it represents. And Chavez too.

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  • 75. At 9:24pm on 13 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #71 Lorax wrote:

    "Oh - and even though you care little for them"

    I see -- so it's a game of "how much we care" -- and surprise surprise, you're a big hand-wringing, earnest, CARING guy just like St Al Gore and manysummits...

    How lucky we are to have such earnest, well-meaning fellows like yourself and manysummits on the planet -- otherwise we'd have lost it long ago!

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  • 76. At 9:29pm on 13 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #71 Lorax wrote:

    "You've become dramatically more sour in the last few days, old chap. Are you not well?"

    You may have a point there. I've been preparing a sort of (smallish) encyclopedia for publication for weeks, and I'm still only at the 'M's, and yes, I'm getting distinctly sour. Just don't take what I say seriously, please!

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  • 77. At 9:31pm on 13 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #72 'shrinking as the Little Ice Age ends.'

    And the Natural Variation Fairy strikes again! Look, how hard is this? Glaciers melt, because it is warmer. Not because they are on a schedule set out by the little ice age. 'Natural variation' is a descriptor, not a mechanism. It is necessary to understand why they are melting - and to do that, we must understand why it is warmer.

    Sure, in some places glacial retreat began earlier. This was well correlated to solar and volcanic activity. Since the 1930s the solar and volcanic activity has declined, so the glaciers should be growing again. Instead they are melting MUCH faster. This is why we need a new explanation. Human emissions of greenhouse gases are the outstanding candidate, supported by fundamental physics, empirical measurement and very strong correlation.

    Lorax

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  • 78. At 9:41pm on 13 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #76

    Encyclopedia of what, may we ask? Purely out of nosiness...

    Lorax

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  • 79. At 9:53pm on 13 Jun 2010, JB wrote:

    Lorax, I am sure I am not the only one who, on encountering the word correlate or correlation in a sentence will simply ignore the entire sentence. Especially if the subject is science-related. Anyone of a sceptical nature will simply conclude that melting glaciers cause the air to warm-up or cause volcanoes to erupt or cause solar-activity.

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  • 80. At 10:21pm on 13 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #77. Lorax - If it were only that simple. But it isn't. The bottom line for me is that short term trends cannot be projected into the long term, particularly when we are talking about something as naturally variable as global climate.

    If you look over the longer term there is nothing unprecedented about what we have observed "since the 1930s" as you say. Indeed, throughout known human history even the current hype about causes of climate change is nothing new, though the coordinated global effort to sell it is. Sun Gods, witches, CO2, whatever. They all serve the same kind of SOCIAL ends.

    P.S. "Since the 1930s the solar and volcanic activity has declined, so the glaciers should be growing again."

    Again, short term and utterly simplistic. But that's the way some people like it.








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  • 81. At 10:33pm on 13 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    77. Lorax wrote:

    "#72 'shrinking as the Little Ice Age ends.'

    And the Natural Variation Fairy strikes again! Look, how hard is this? Glaciers melt, because it is warmer. Not because they are on a schedule set out by the little ice age."

    Lorax, I almost missed this bit of mental contortion.

    Glaciers melt when it is warmer. True. Like every summer - if you think simplistically.

    But its not that simple, of course. We are talking about glaciers shrinking over time which involves net ice loss... 'melting.' That depends on both the winter snow accumulations and the summer melt. So if warmer conditions produce more snow, and all that melts in the summer is the snow pack, then glaciers can remain stable or even grow. This is but ONE reason why all glaciers are not and do not melt or expand at the same rate. But the IPCC gang only wants the world to notice the ones that are, or have been, shrinking.

    Second, as you say, the ending of the Little Ice Age is not the CAUSE of glacier shrinkage. It is the same thing. And since the Little Ice Age, and all other ice ages, happened naturally, why is this time supposed to be different?

    So you can sell me carbon offsets?

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  • 82. At 11:31pm on 13 Jun 2010, Motu Iti wrote:

    The only fair solution is to use per capita consumption and pollution as a basis. The Chinese would have to be retards to sign anything that could put limits to their growth. In my opinion the Chinese are not retards and if we treat them as such we will regret it. The first world will have to give a lot first since they are responsible for the vast majority of all the pollution made. If we keep trying to subjugate the third world, population growth will blow in our face. Current patterns of economic, population, and resource consumption growth are unsustainable, and will end one way or another. It's only a matter of when, not if.
    As Pogo once said, we have met the enemy and he is us.

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  • 83. At 03:46am on 14 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    CR #81:

    "Second, as you say, the ending of the Little Ice Age is not the CAUSE of glacier shrinkage. It is the same thing. And since the Little Ice Age, and all other ice ages, happened naturally, why is this time supposed to be different?" (CR)

    ================

    How did they happen naturally? (Ice Ages)

    What is the mechanism?

    ===============

    "why is this time supposed to be different?" (CR)"

    Couldn't be seven billion people and a half a trillion tonnes of carbon released into the air by mankind since 1751 - could it?

    ===========

    I am eagerly awaiting a reply to part one, i.e.

    How did they happen naturally? (Ice Ages)

    What is the mechanism? (the natural mechanism, of course)


    - Manysummits @ the Climate Change Cafe -

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  • 84. At 07:49am on 14 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #78 Lorax wrote:

    "Encyclopedia of what, may we ask?"

    The Planet Destroyer's Companion.

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  • 85. At 08:30am on 14 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    Underacanoe had a bit too much Sun on our Sunday outing to Griffith Woods and the Elbow River. Since we're still on climate, I thought to pass on a few new observations on our changing climate.

    From the International Polar Year Conference in Oslo:

    "A warmer Arctic climate is influencing the air pressure at the North Pole and shifting wind patterns on our planet. We can expect more cold and snowy winters in Europe, eastern Asia and eastern North America."

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100611093710.htm

    =====================

    A number of posts ago I mentioned that I had been observing very strange and in my experience, unique jet streams and weather patters over Canada and its North, up through the Arctic Archipelago. As I have been monitoring this same Environment weather map for some fourteen years now on a daily basis, and more or less living by them during my seven year climbing sabbatical, I thought it might be worth while to pass this on.

    Here is an interesting ENSO compilation of El Nino La Nina anomalies over the years, presented in a very interesting manner. A string of red numbers, over five in a row, indicates an official NOAA El Nino, and likewise a string of five numbers in blue in a row an official La Nina.

    In 2005 the Elbow River had its worst flooding event in well over a hundred years - note the long string of red numbers leading up to June 2005! Exceptional June rains occurred in 2005, hence the flooding.

    This year has seen a similar set of red numbers leading up to this June (2010), and we have already had a fair amount of rain, with more forecast for this coming week. Our visit to a local spot on this river surprised us - an entire island was missing!

    It will be interesting to see if this El Nino continues to taper off, and whether or not it will be followed by a La Nina??

    Here is the NOAA information - perhaps everyone can use this in looking to discern their own changing (or not) weather and climate?

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

    - Manysummits @ the Climate Change Cafe, Calgary -



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  • 86. At 08:48am on 14 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    Canadian Dr. David Barber @ the International Polar Year Conference in Oslo:

    Presentation on Arctic Sea Ice:

    "We are losing 70 000 square kilometres of sea ice every year. That adds up to 2.5 million square kilometres over the last 30 years. The reality is even worse," continued Dr Barber. "Even though the extent of the sea ice - both the winter maximum and the summer minimum - increased in 2008 and 2009, the amount of multiyear ice continued to decline rapidly...

    We expected to be stopped at some point by thick multiyear ice, but the Amundsen, only ice classed to break ice 1.2 metres thick, was able to continue at full speed. We realised that the ice was rotten."

    http://ipy-osc.no/article/2010/1276262463.72

    ===============

    Unlike the dissembling and misinformation of the lobby, this is the real McCoy - hard data by the scientific community - presented openly for all to see and to examine.

    I presented excerpts of David Barber's paper in Geophysical Research Letters many posts ago.

    Now here this new information, i.e. REAL SCIENCE, is presented on an even larger world stage.

    Where is Dr. Roy Spencer's presentation?

    Lord Moncton's?

    ETC...

    - Manysummits, Calgary -


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  • 87. At 09:00am on 14 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @77. Lorax.

    you just don't get it do you. noone is invoking the climate change theory- your logic is serisouly flawed.

    We know the climate has changed more, on it's own and quicker.

    We cannot explain all these changes (as we don't understand the system).

    therefore you have ZERO evidence that what we are seeing now is:
    a)unprecedented and
    b) unnatural (though i would say human emmisions are propbably insulating the effect- though only slighlty)

    As for your glacier 'rant'. I think this just shows the problem you have- you're seeing correlative proof in everything around you- not pausing for the neccessary second to actually think about it and see, there is none.

    Each unto their own i suppose.

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  • 88. At 09:12am on 14 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/12/art-horn-a-remarkable-statement-from-noaa/#more-20465

    worth a read...

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  • 89. At 09:44am on 14 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Lorax wrote:
    #58

    Barry, before you get too excited, you might want to consider the global picture. The authoritative data comes from the World Glacier Monitoring Service. Their report 'Global Glacier Changes: facts and figures' last year summarised

    --

    I am considereing the 'global ' picture which is....

    IPCC/wwf make scary annoucements about himalayan galciers...
    soeme actual scientists come back and say, depiste all the doom and gloom these glaciers are behaving pretty norammly... despite hordes of journalists and tv crews running around the himalayas, pointing at glaciers saying all these are doomed hundfred of millions of people will be effected..

    the 'message' has been passed onto the public..

    someone does some sicence checks the scare... oh nothing wrong here...
    but buried away on a website.. surely at least report this BIT of GOOD news bbc?

    Then , the ipcc / wwf / 'climate scientists' say, are you silly, you are NOT seeing the bigger picture.. doom and gloom could happen, just this one tiny little thing (despite them making it out it WAS a big thing, previoulsy) doesn't mean it is all not true...

    sorry pull the other one... this sort of spin manipulation is just getting very tiresome..

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  • 90. At 09:51am on 14 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    of course many 'climate scientists think that man made co2 is the primary driver of the climate...

    Astro physicists are gettingquite excited about the sun, not behaving as computer modeles predicted...

    WE don NOT fully understand the SUN...
    (big ball of fusion in the sky - not the newspapaer ;) )

    predictions /assumptions assumed in models about the climate/sun are now just wrong...

    From New Scientist (and they truly believe in all things AGW!!)
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627640.800-whats-wrong-with-the-sun.html

    "These findings have thrown our best computer models of the sun into disarray. "It is certainly challenging our theories," says Hathaway, "but that's kinda nice."

    It is not just our understanding of the sun that stands to benefit from this work. The extent to which changes in the sun's activity can affect our climate is of paramount concern. It is also highly controversial. There are those who seek to prove that the solar variability is the major cause of climate change, an idea that would let humans and their greenhouse gases off the hook. Others are equally evangelical in their assertions that the sun plays only a minuscule role in climate change."


    Think about it,

    'others are evangelical in their assertions, that the sun plays only a miniscule role in climate change'

    !!!!!!!!

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  • 91. At 09:56am on 14 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    From New Scientist again:

    some how, the sun, can only have big regional effects, but not widespread climate ones.. !!!

    So of course they are now preparing us, for the next few winters of record cold temperature (depiste previous predictions ofno more snow in the UK) saing whilst overall it is global warming, we are getiung colder...

    What may I ask, is NOT a sign of man made global warming, but just the planet behaving due to very many natural complex processes(poorly understood, still discovering new ones), inclusing solar cycles.

    New Scientist:
    "The climate link
    Mike Lockwood at the University of Reading, UK, may already have identified one response - the unusually frigid European winter of 2009/10. He has studied records covering data stretching back to 1650, and found that severe European winters are much more likely during periods of low solar activity (New Scientist, 17 April, p 6). This fits an emerging picture of solar activity giving rise to a small change in the global climate overall, yet large regional effects.

    Another example is the Maunder minimum, the period from 1645 to 1715 during which sunspots virtually disappeared and solar activity plummeted. If a similar spell of solar inactivity were to begin now and continue until 2100, it would mitigate any temperature rise through global warming by 0.3 °C on average, according to calculations by Georg Feulner and Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. However, something amplified the impact of the Maunder minimum on northern Europe, ushering in a period known as the Little Ice Age, when colder than average winters became more prevalent and the average temperature in Europe appeared to drop by between 1 and 2 °C.

    A corresponding boost appears to be associated with peaks in solar output. In 2008, Judith Lean of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC published a study showing that high solar activity has a disproportionate warming influence on northern Europe (Geophysical Research Letters, vol 35, p L18701).

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  • 92. At 10:07am on 14 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Manysummits...

    How do you join this lobby?

    Do you get paid?

    What are the perks?

    Because of course all I can see you get, abuse, patronised to, etc...

    The only lobby I see operating is the AGW one, UN, IPCC, countless governments, bankers (JPMORGAN climatecare - carbon offsets) countless lobby groups, pressure groups, wwf, greenpeace, campaign against climate change, etc,etc..

    This supposed 'lobby' is just a fantasy in the minds of some very 'emotional' people, who have not realised, they are no longer fighting the establishment... green is now the establishment, big oil, became big energy... and will be quite happily selling oil for many years to come, consumers will pay the taxes, and they will sneak a bit of extra profit in at the same time.. whilst producing bio fuel (at vast costs to the rain forests ) and play the carbon trading game profitably..

    whilst the EU and the UK is competing about how big the CO2 reductions in law should be, no doubt thinking about all the love fines (taxes) they can inmpose on people and business- The business will happily relocate abroad, making a killing selling their carbon offsets, allocated to them by the ETS because they have 'reduced' their CO2 here.. whilst starting up abroad, making more co2 in a less rigourlessly enforced environmental protection regime.


    If the lobby does exist?!!

    Where is my CHEQUE?!!! ;)

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  • 93. At 10:13am on 14 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    New scientist:

    "We used to think that the sun's output was unwavering. "

    That would be what the the climate scientists computer models think.
    See below, they have only been doing this for 15 years and are learning new interesting things, changing what was thought to be previoulsy understood...

    "Since its launch 15 years ago, the SOHO spacecraft has watched two solar minimums, one complete solar cycle, and parts of two other cycles - the one that ended in 1996 and the one that is just stirring. For all that time its VIRGO instrument has been measuring the total solar irradiance (TSI), the energy emitted by the sun. Its measurements can be stitched together with results from earlier missions to provide a 30-year record of the sun's energy output. What this shows is that during the latest solar minimum, the sun's output was 0.015 per cent lower than during the previous lull. It might not sound like much, but it is a hugely significant result.

    Despite this variation, the TSI has dipped to the same level during the three previous solar minima. Not so during this recent elongated minimum. Although the observed drop is small, the fact that it has happened at all is unprecedented. "This is the first time we have measured a long-term trend in the total solar irradiance," says Claus Fröhlich of the World Radiation Centre in Davos, Switzerland, and lead investigator for the VIRGO instrument."

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  • 94. At 10:18am on 14 Jun 2010, SR wrote:

    Barry, you are coming up with these things as if nobody has thought about it before. In fact, there are now 3 or 4 decades of carefully considered peer reviewed literature whose sole purpose is to answer those points you raise. When put together, the conclusion is that it is very likely that CO2 is the primary driver of the recent warming. Of course, distinguishing between what is natural and what is man made is a huge (probably the largest) part of the science. I think what you are doing is drastically underplaying what we do know about natural forcings to give a false impression of uncertainty.

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  • 95. At 10:41am on 14 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    " 3 to 4 decades of peer reviewed literature..."

    yet the SATELLITE mentioned above has been up for ONLY 15 years ,and the SCIENTISTS are now learning new things all the time, about the sun..

    It was thought the sun was invariable, they have found by direct observation it is not... (this is the scientific process at work)

    4ppm of a trace minor green house gas man made per annum, vs 385 ppm in the atmosphere, absorbing, THE SUN's energy at a ceratin wavelengh, is the primary force!?

    Of course, other forces have occured in the past, ice used to be hundred of metres thick, where I live, in a blink of geological time... somehow it got cold enough for that to happen, somehow it got warm enough again for that ice to disappear...

    It must be the magic 'natural climate fairy' - words that have been used to be little AND BIZAREELY DISCOUNT THIS.

    I'm not giving false impressions... I'm merely showing OTHER Scientists, and quoting sicentists, that are quite excited at finding out new things.

    The fact that this might upset, the agw consensus, IS IRRELEVANT

    False impression, I think comes from the science is settled camp.

    The AGW computer models, assume, thatthe sun is invariant. Direct observational experimenation/measurement. SAY not.. so those old peer reviewed literature, can just gather dust on that one..

    Science has learned some new facts, and will have to adjust 'consensus' accordingly.

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  • 96. At 10:41am on 14 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #94 SR wrote:

    "the conclusion is that it is very likely that"

    If the conclusion of a scientific inquiry is that something is "very likely", in the sense that a theory ought to be believed, then you can be sure you are dealing with charlatans. Science NEVER SAYS ANYTHING WHATSOEVER about how much a theory ought to be believed.

    If you are unaware of that fact, it's about time you did a bit of epistemology homework.

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  • 97. At 10:43am on 14 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    "a false impression of uncertainty"

    What an absolutely ridiculous phrase.

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  • 98. At 10:49am on 14 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ sr.

    no, what barry is doing (rather, enthusiastically, i might add) is highlighting SOME of the massive uncertainties we have.

    Even the people at the CRU fully admit they don't fully understand the climatic system- not even close. They freely admit there may be mechanisms that they don't even understand at work (a good assertion actually, based off their models).

    The 'AGW' crowd constantly understate the uncertaincies, and overplay ANY possible symptom that can be attributed to AGW.

    I think some counter balance is badly needed.

    for my own two cents i'll throw in the fact we've only been keeping accurate temperature records for less than 100 years (versus the earths age- what 6 billion? not sure), less than half the stations we have are used by the ipcc and that the proxies they used to show past climate diverge from the accurate temperature readings.

    Less than 100 years, scetchy, incomplete and contaminated data, to model and entire planets climate.

    AGW can't possibly be wrong.

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  • 99. At 10:58am on 14 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #98 LabMunkey wrote:

    "The 'AGW' crowd constantly understate the uncertaincies".

    I think you are underestimating their sanity. Let's shout what they really believe from the rooftops:

    "A false impression of uncertainty".

    Any AGW believers want to disown this full-frontal claim for CERTAINTY?

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  • 100. At 11:09am on 14 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Looks like Nasa is tryingto justify it's existence:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7814345/Nasa-launches-its-first-ever-global-warming-investigation-to-the-Arctic.html

    Nasa's first ever 'field trip' to study effects of climate change on Arctic ice

    "Nasa has switched part of its focus from space to the ocean, after its scientists announced their first ever field study to investigate how climate change is affecting the Arctic’s ice."


    'climate science' seems to think anything histroical record, is just silly people that don't understand what they are observing, if it happens a hundred plus years ago, people were just 'mistaken'

    Found in the comments section:

    "I wonder if NASA will compare the ice today with historical record of the last 100 years, accurately showing ice melt in the 1930s being just as extensive as current levels of moderate melt since the 1970s."

    Or, perhaps they could look just a little further back:
    "It will without doubt have come to your Lordship's knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated.

    (This) affords ample proof that new sources of warmth have been opened and give us leave to hope that the Arctic Seas may at this time be more accessible than they have been for centuries past, and that discoveries may now be made in them not only interesting to the advancement of science but also to the future intercourse of mankind and the commerce of distant nations."

    President of the Royal Society, London, to the Admiralty, 20th November, 1817

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  • 101. At 11:10am on 14 Jun 2010, SR wrote:

    bowmanthebard,

    For the sake of clarity and maybe to appease your overly hysterical respone my intention was to express that Barry is exaggerating the uncertainty. I'm not claiming there is no uncertainty at all. The uncertainty is of course there, but that shouldn't stop us making probabilistic assesments based on the balance of the evidence.

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  • 102. At 11:20am on 14 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #101 SR wrote:

    "that shouldn't stop us making probabilistic assesments based on the balance of the evidence."

    Science doesn't make "probabilistic assessments based on the balance of the evidence" either. That is a mistaken fantasy of what science does.

    Science purports to describe things and processes in the WORLD, not the state our minds should be in, let alone how much they should be in such states!

    You have been led up the garden path by the word 'probability', I'm afraid.

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  • 103. At 11:23am on 14 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    I am not exagerting anything...

    Surely you mean to accuse the physicists, that I am merely linking too and quoting..

    THEIR words not mine.

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  • 104. At 12:01pm on 14 Jun 2010, SR wrote:

    bowmanthebard

    There has to be some escape from science for us to make use of it. The IPCC does not carry out the science, it just assesses it. It carries out no scientific research of its own.

    Do we cover our eyes and ears and go on as normal because there is uncertainty? No, we cannot. There is evidence and we must judge it. Are we all agreed on this point?

    Bowmanthebard, you are guilty of falling into the trap of thinking that it is the scientific process making the judgment. It is not. Scientists do have a big say in the judgment but this part of the exercise is not scientific.

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  • 105. At 12:16pm on 14 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @104.

    Interesting you wanted to make this distinction.

    it's actually one of my major points of contention- the politicians mis-representing the science.

    Sr- there is lots of symptomatic evidence, but honestly, the causal evidence is extremely thin. We have certain promising avenues (for AGW)- which really bear watching, however the 'climate fairy' is still there, and can still override all of these factors.

    You are right though, it is not for the scientists to make policy, to make changes to society. However, can you see the danger of having the politicians pushing this agenda??

    If proven wrong, any good scientist will (say thanks! then) immediatley change his position, based on that evidence. Can you honestly say, if the politicians involved knew, a few years into the AGW 'saga' that their posision was wrong- that they'd change their minds?

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  • 106. At 12:25pm on 14 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #104 SR wrote:

    "The IPCC does not carry out the science, it just assesses it."

    And it assesses it dishonestly, by pretending to speak with scientific authority for the science itself instead of as bible-thumping political partisans.

    Every judgement of any kind is uncertain. Not only are all judgements uncertain, exact numerical measurements of how uncertain they are are impossible. Yet the charlatans of climate science, ever-eager to cash in on general ignorance of what science is and what it is capable of, make outrageous claims about "what we know".

    I've had it up to here with church leaders going around the place claiming to have a Hot Line to God -- "we know with 95% certainty that climate change is blah blah". They know NOTHING OF THE SORT. Science doesn't do anything like that. They are lying to you.

    Any kind of expertise is a sort of power, because ordinary people are liable to think (wrongly) that a limited area of expertise extends further than it really does. Like all kinds of power, the power of "mistakenly extended expertise" is liable to be abused. Hence celibate priests give advice on sexual relations, doctors give advice on morality, politicians give advice on climate science -- and climate scientists give advice on how much their own theories should be believed. Codswollop!

    In the immortal words of Spike Milligan, "my uncle was a great man -- he told me so himself".

    We must stop abuses of power like the above -- let's take these dirty charlatans down a peg or two.

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  • 107. At 12:30pm on 14 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #104 SR wrote:

    "Bowmanthebard, you are guilty of falling into the trap of thinking that it is the scientific process making the judgment."

    I've just accused you of making this mistake. How dishonest of you to pretend that you have suddenly had this insight and need to correct me.

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  • 108. At 1:07pm on 14 Jun 2010, JB wrote:

    SR: Before leaving the system I was an electronics engineer and relied for my work on being able to predict things based on the work of scientists such (Ohm's Law for example). It's before my time - so I can't be certain of this - but I don't think the validity of this law was based on a political-vote or any judgement of evidence that had an element of uncertainty. It was what I would call proper science - ie: it was a statement of how a particular system operated that could be proved wrong. Getting on for 200 years later it is still a useful model for predicting things.

    Personally, I think it might just be possible that humanity can affect the climate but, because such dodgy methods are being used to sell the idea to me, my natural inclination is to ignore the conclusion.

    Don't the IPCC, warmists etc realize how their claims of a connection with science make their statements appear ridiculuous? But then again they only need to convince the politicians that fund them and those than elect the politicians - they don't need to convince anyone who is capable of independent because they are such a minority that they can be ignored.

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  • 109. At 1:39pm on 14 Jun 2010, Smiffie wrote:

    By his recent comments about BP, Present Obama has shown his true colour, hopefully this will strengthen our new government’s resolve to get the hell out of Afghanistan as quickly as possible. There is already much criticism of our previous government’s perceived policy of military social services in that barbaric country. The defence review is imminent.

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  • 110. At 1:58pm on 14 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    How may times have you been told, if sceptical, 1000's of climate scientists say:

    I was shut down with this at my local Transitions Towns meeting last week...

    Someone corrects this mantra, actually a few dozen (an IPCC, lead author no less)

    Mick Hulme, Professor of Climate Change at the University of East Anglia and an IPCC’s co-ordinating Lead Author, corrects the record:

    Claims such as ‘2,500 of the world’s leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate’ are disingenuous. That particular consensus judgement, as are many others in the IPCC reports, is reached by only a FEW DOZEN experts in the specific field of detection and attribution studies; other IPCC authors are experts in other fields.

    From this article (can't provide link as PDF)

    Climate Change: what do we know about the IPCC?
    Mike Hulme and Martin Mahony
    School of Environmental Sciences
    12th April 2010
    ------------------------

    In 2006, Professor Edward Wegman raised this very fear in his report, commissioned by the United States House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee to examine the IPCC’s discredited “hockey stick”, devised by Michael Mann, which purported to show unprecedented warming last century:


    One of the interesting questions associated with the ‚"hockey stick controversy’ are the relationships among the authors and consequently how confident one can be in the peer review process. In particular, if there is a tight relationship among the authors and there are not a large number of individuals engaged in a particular topic area, then one may suspect that the peer review process does not fully vet papers before they are published…

    However, it is immediately clear that the Mann, Rutherford, Jones, Osborn, Briffa, Bradley and Hughes form a clique, each interacting with all of the others. A clique is a fully connected subgraph, meaning everyone in the clique interacts with every one else in the clique....

    Michael Mann is a co-author with every one of the other 42 [in his clique]. The black squares on the diagonal [fig. 5.2] indicate that the investigators work closely within their group, but not so extensively outside of their group.

    Note those names again: Michael Mann, Scott Rutherford, Phil Jones, Tim Osborn, Keith Briffa, Ray Bradley and Malcolm Hughes are all climate scientists implicates in the Climategate scandal.

    from the Andrew Bolt Blog (so will be dismissed instantly - he is of course just a messenger. verify your selfs by refering to the comitte report.

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  • 111. At 2:30pm on 14 Jun 2010, JB wrote:

    Re #108: last phrase should've been . . . But then again they only need to convince the politicians that fund them and those than elect the politicians - they don't need to convince anyone who is capable of independent thought because they are such a minority that they can be ignored.

    I make no apologies for this because, after all, being capable of independent thought and being capable of writing a coherent sentence are not the same thing ;o)

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  • 112. At 2:36pm on 14 Jun 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Smiffie #109.

    "..Afghanistan..that barbaric country."

    LOL

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  • 113. At 3:36pm on 14 Jun 2010, SR wrote:

    vegetable_grower

    What are the 'dodgy methods'? With Ohms law, it is easy to observe because the timescale of the experiment is small compared to the window of our observation. This is not true for AGW - we do not have the luxury of knowing the outcome of the experiment. Imagine time was slowed down to such an extent that Ohms law was not obvious and little people lived inside a metal. They measured the applied electric field and noticed that there was a general flow of electrons in the direction of that electric field. Then imagine their lives depended on that flow, but a byproduct of their existence was to add impurities to the metal that slowed down the electrons. The scientists living in the metal come up with a grand theory known as Ohms law based on a record they kept of electron flow, electric field and impurity levels - PLUS - what they knew about the interaction between an electron and an electric field, PLUS the effect an impurity has on the mean flow of electrons through the metal.

    Because time is so slow, they cannot be sure their theory is correct, but all the science suggests that it probably is. This is the position we are in with AGW right now.

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  • 114. At 4:08pm on 14 Jun 2010, Robert Lucien wrote:

    I see the rabid dogs are out again, I think the only ones here totally certain in their beliefs are the climate change sceptics. Once in a position of aggressive argument scientific reasoning becomes impossible which is why the sceptics so often win. When a smart man and a stupid man get into an argument the stupidest always wins because he shouts loudest and doesnt care to hear or understand the others argument. Getting no-where the smart man eventually gives up.

    If you think I'm being rude count the number of your posts in the last month, is it more than 50? more than 100? is it more than 500? how aggressive are you? how often are you swayed by another's arguments?
    In the late 90's I gave myself an unpleasant mental illness with an unpleasant name - I was writing about 10 to 30 messages a day in a newsgroup of 500 a day. The funny thing is that experience teaches you to recognize the signs, I think bowman and a good number of others here could be of quite a lot of interest to mental health services. The principle cause of all mental illness is stress.

    (Funny thing is I just found a strong new argument that could actually probably support the sceptics side, but the aggression shown to any reasoned argument has quite put me off :[ )

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  • 115. At 4:14pm on 14 Jun 2010, Rob_Cambs wrote:

    @SR:

    'Because time is so slow, they cannot be sure their theory is correct, but all the science suggests that it probably is. This is the position we are in with AGW right now.'

    with an estimated 50 trillion dollars at stake, 'probably' is simply not good enough

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  • 116. At 4:17pm on 14 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    92. At 10:07am on 14 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    "Manysummits...

    How do you join this lobby?"

    =========

    Good day Barry! Interesting question!!

    I will answer:

    It's a state of mind - an ideological mindset of the political and conservative right, exemplified by the 'Tea Party' group in the US, by the 'Rush Limbaugh' followers and the 'Fox' news network. In short, roughly half of the electorate. It is amplified and made possible by a profound illiteracy in science and the scientific method, described by the late Carl Sagan as the 'dumbing-down' of the electorate.

    While I cite the United States, this way of thinking is universal, and is present in all countries where people are free to speak their own mind.

    The best example is probably Sarah Palin, whom I will highlight briefly to illustrate the more general point. The mindset I spoke of earlier, and its psychological underpinnings, are illustrated extremely well by an article by Peter Scowen in June 12's Globe and Mail:

    "She cannot speak and cannot think, she is hateful and ill-informed, and yet people really, really like her, because those glaring failings make them feel less bad about themselves."

    ===========

    Barry, look at the recent posts by the posters I refer to as 'the lobby.'

    You are all falling over each other to 'deny' the findings of science and the datasets, readily available to all, complete with their computer programs (eg UK's and US global land/sea temperature records).

    A huge conference in Oslo on the findings of International Polar Year has just concluded, initial results have been presented and posted here with links.

    Result - Complete denial or head in the sand by 'the lobby.'

    You fall all over yourselves lately bringing up natural climate variation, forgetting how you and the world know about natural climate variation - the scientific community - which you continually and disingenuously denigrate and ridicule - when it serves your nefarious purpose.

    And your purpose is nefarious.

    CandaianRockies has not gotten back to me (us) on what is the natural mechanism for climate variability with regard to the Ice Ages.

    Why not?

    Why don't you answer, you or any of the self-proclaimed experts of the lobby?

    Why not?

    Because you would cite scientific findings concerning Milankovitch Cycles, and the amplifying CO2 feedback mechanism, and the changes in CO2 content of the atmosphere. You might even have to resort to Wikipedia to illustrate! Unless you possess the requisite skills to calculate the gravitational perturbations of Saturn and Jupiter and the Moon etc. on the Earth's orbit - unless you possess the astronomical expertise to calculate the past and future tilt variation in the Earth's spin axis, and the wobble in the Earth's spin axis with respect to the ecliptic, resulting in a circle being described on the sky of some 46 degrees. The Earth's North pole only in this time points at the North Star - were you aware of this?

    How is that for an answer?

    - Manysummits @ the Climate Change Cafe in Calgary -

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  • 117. At 4:35pm on 14 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    "doesnt care to hear or understand the others argument"

    Someone show me an argument, and I'll try to hear it and understand it. (By an argument, I don't mean a link to something written by someone else.)

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  • 118. At 4:41pm on 14 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    The climate is changing politically as well as physically.

    The Globe and Mail was dense with climate and environmental coverage this morning, as was (is) the BBC.

    - Afghanistan has fabulous strategic mineral wealth - Surprise surprise!

    - Canada is set to turn over responsibility for patrolling the Arctic Basin and Ocean and Northwest Passage to the United States - Surprise surprise!

    - Canada's Conservative Party, a religious right party which effectively has attempted to deny AGW, is being forced to reconsider, as our coastal areas are being destroyed at ever greater rates by rising sea levels and intensification of the hydrologic cycle, i.e. AGW.

    - ConocoPhilips oil company is set to turn over half their water lease to the 'Water Conservation Trust of Canada' following the 2006 moratorium on new water leases in southern Alberta due to diminished river flows. Gee, I wonder what is causing this???

    - Mudslides are washing away expensive houses south of Oliver, British Columbia, in the wine growing regions of the Okanagan Valley, as twice the normal rainfall hits the region - Surprise surprise!

    And on and on.

    I could write about this stuff every day all day, but one has to maintain perspective now, doesn't one?

    We don't want to worry unnecessarily, now do we?

    - Manysummits -

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  • 119. At 4:45pm on 14 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To Robert Lucien #114:

    It takes a man to speak the truth, no matter the consequences.

    An artist to let the chips fall where they may.

    Thanks for returning to this board Robert Lucien - we are all the better for this.

    Regards,

    Manysummits

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  • 120. At 4:49pm on 14 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    115. At 4:14pm on 14 Jun 2010, Rob_Cambs wrote:

    @SR:

    'Because time is so slow, they cannot be sure their theory is correct, but all the science suggests that it probably is. This is the position we are in with AGW right now.'

    with an estimated 50 trillion dollars at stake, 'probably' is simply not good enough

    ===============

    Spoken by a man with his priorities evident.

    Suppose there were more than money at stake Cambs?

    Suppose it was our future that was at stake!

    Suppose that we were actually engaged in Ecocide?

    - Manysummits -

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  • 121. At 4:56pm on 14 Jun 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    SR #113.

    real nice analogy.


    Rob_Cambs #115.

    "with an estimated 50 trillion dollars at stake.."

    that's less than seventeen years worth of global military expenditure at 2008 level.

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  • 122. At 4:59pm on 14 Jun 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    #114

    When all else fails, go ad hom.

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  • 123. At 4:59pm on 14 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 114.

    astonishing. but par from the course from the 'your side'.

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  • 124. At 5:25pm on 14 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

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

  • 125. At 5:26pm on 14 Jun 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    #116 manysummits wrote:

    How is that for an answer?

    -----------------------------------

    A total pile of twaddle, but about what we've come to expect.

    I'm a political liberal, how does that fit into your 'conservative mindset'?

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  • 126. At 5:29pm on 14 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ my own comment #123.

    i retract this comment, i 'bit' and i shouldn't have. apologies.

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  • 127. At 5:32pm on 14 Jun 2010, James Evans wrote:

    Richard,

    Is it possible that the BBC will at any point cover this story:

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/06/10/british-due-diligence-royal-society-style/

    It would seem that UEA and the Royal Society lied about who decided which documents should be examined for the Oxburgh report. As white-washes go, this is a particularly obvious one. Will you report it?

    James Evans

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  • 128. At 5:50pm on 14 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    116. manysummits wrote:

    "CandaianRockies has not gotten back to me... Why not?"

    Why? It is pointless to bring rational discussion to a religious fundamentalist.

    And ever since you tried to dishonestly bluff your way with that Peter Fidler source on an earlier thread* - that did NOT say what you implied that it did - that applies to you in spades.



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  • 129. At 6:33pm on 14 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #89

    So Barry, I assume you decided not to read the World Glacier Monitoring Service report I pointed you at. Pity. Why not? Surely a free-thinking sceptic like yourself would want to look at the scientific data and analysis?

    Lorax

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  • 130. At 6:46pm on 14 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #108 'I would call proper science - ie: it was a statement of how a particular system operated that could be proved wrong'

    A repeated theme we come up against is the argument that climate change science cannot be tested/falsified/proved wrong. Veg-grower's comments are just the most recent example.

    Now, as I and others have explained, the science of climate change consists of many different individual hypotheses, and thus the 'theory' is supported by a number of falsifiable or testable components. I guess that can be discussed further. But to my mind, there is an interesting analogue to this - the science of plate tectonics. I dangled this tasty titbit before, but nobody chose to take it on, so I'll try again.

    Plate tectonics has many of the characteristics of climate science. Just as we cannot conduct an experiment to test the whole of climate science as a single entity (or at least not without waiting 30 years), we similarly can't test plate tectonics without waiting a few million years. So we have to work through the evidence and the components we can test - for example developing hypotheses about rock composition and age that can be tested. Any geologists around, please feel free to correct my assumptions...

    So, do our 'sceptical' friends consider plate tectonics to be 'proper science'?

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  • 131. At 6:48pm on 14 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #116 manysummits wrote:

    "It's a state of mind - an ideological mindset of the political and conservative right, exemplified by the 'Tea Party' group in the US, by the 'Rush Limbaugh' followers and the 'Fox' news network. In short, roughly half of the electorate. It is amplified and made possible by a profound illiteracy in science and the scientific method"

    This is a cheap paranoid fantasy, cooked up to "keep things simple" so you never have to think for yourself. I am firmly on the left.

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  • 132. At 7:09pm on 14 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    128. At 5:50pm on 14 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    116. manysummits wrote:

    "CandaianRockies has not gotten back to me... Why not?"

    Why? It is pointless to bring rational discussion to a religious fundamentalist.

    And ever since you tried to dishonestly bluff your way with that Peter Fidler source on an earlier thread* - that did NOT say what you implied that it did - that applies to you in spades.

    ============

    1) "Why? It is pointless to bring rational discussion to a religious fundamentalist." (CR)

    Response: An outright lie.

    2)"And ever since you tried to dishonestly bluff your way with that Peter Fidler source on an earlier thread* - that did NOT say what you implied that it did - that applies to you in spades.: (CR)

    Response:

    My copy of Fidler's Journal is "38 of the second edition."

    The First Edition was a run of 50 copies; the Second of 200 copies.

    Your interpretation of Western Canadian History is as imperfect as your understanding of the Earth's climate system, but that is neither here nor there - the interpretation of history is difficult, as is the understanding of the climate system.

    The difference is the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community as regards manmade climate change.

    I doubted you would answer the question on what is the natural mechanism for climate change, and you have not.

    If you did cite Wikipedia, or a legitimate scientific source - you would lose your membership in the lobby, would you not?

    - Manysummits in Calgary -

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  • 133. At 7:52pm on 14 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #128 - You're funny.

    Since you claim to have a copy of Fidler's journal, why did you cite it when its contents directly refuted your point and supported mine?

    I did provide quotes which did. You were silent. Thus I don't believe a word you say. Any summits? I doubt it.

    As for suggesting wikipedia is a reliable source on anything to do with this topic, I long ago posted two articles that explain why it is not... but you keep using it.

    Your paranoid fantasies about The Lobby are truly hilarious, particularly since one of your heroes, Lovelock, seems to have joined that diabolical cult.

    In any case, this is the last time I'll waste any time responding to your dubious posts. Since I thought you said that you finally got a job, I was expecting to see less of them.

    P.S. Your original dense question confused the specific discussion of the Little Ice Age with all ice ages. You do that kind of thing consistently. Most religious fundamentalists do. Its simpler that way.

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  • 134. At 8:00pm on 14 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    130. Lorax wrote:

    "Plate tectonics has many of the characteristics of climate science. Just as we cannot conduct an experiment to test the whole of climate science as a single entity (or at least not without waiting 30 years), we similarly can't test plate tectonics without waiting a few million years."

    No it doesn't. There's an abundance of physical evidence and there are none of the political and economic forces involved that have corrupted climate science.

    That said, over the long term plate tectonics did and does impact global and regional climate change by blocking and opening ocean currents and lifting and sinking land masses.

    So, Lorax, you need a better analogy. In the case of IPCC et al science, anything connected to the Soviet Lysenko era would be closer.

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  • 135. At 8:02pm on 14 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #130 Lorax wrote:

    "Plate tectonics has many of the characteristics of climate science."

    Oh no it doesn't. Plate tectonics is very important for enabling "consiliences" -- i.e. places where different branches of science "mesh" with each other and hence provide mutual support as in an inter-theoretic reduction. Plate tectonics is an explanatory triumph, like evolutionary theory, even though both of them have very limited predictive power.

    Climate science is a failure on both counts -- it has practically zero predictive power (despite the fact that that is the feature we are supposed to put our faith in) and absolutely zero explanatory power.

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  • 136. At 9:16pm on 14 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #134 & 135

    You know, you guys would be a great deal more convincing if you let a little uncertainty, a little humility into what you say. Phrases like 'absolutely zero', 'oh no it doesn't' and numerous other examples actually tend to diminish you as participants in a science discussion. Because real scientists are careful to qualify what they say, rather than Dunning-Kruger-ishly bulldoze their way through a discussion.

    In terms of my analogy, your arguments, though described with utter certainty, boil down to:

    1.There's an abundance of physical evidence (for plate tectonics) - and...what? Presumably you're arguing that there isn't a similar abundance of physical evidence that supports climate change science . Er, is that it? That's all you've got?

    2. When in doubt, Bowman likes to throw in a complicated word, to demonstrate his superior intellect. But in fact you are just airing your automatic, unconsidered response - that climate change science is rubbish. In fact consilience is clearly a fundamental inherent feature of climate science, just as in plate tectonics. Physics, chemistry, biology, in the atmosphere, in the ice, in the ocean, in space (well, not biology in space unless we include the natural variation fairy) - all combine in the theoretical and in the data and evidence.

    Not terribly convincing arguments, I'm afraid.

    Lorax

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  • 137. At 9:17pm on 14 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    133. At 7:52pm on 14 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #128 - You're funny.

    ==============

    No, I'm deadly serious.

    You, on the other hand, are a promoter of disinformation.

    ===============

    "I did provide quotes which did. You were silent. Thus I don't believe a word you say. Any summits? I doubt it." (CR)

    No, I was not silent. And you doubt my 'summits,' so you say. You are a dissembling liar, and that is the truth.

    I wasn't sure a discussion of the history of the Canadian Buffalo was germane to this forum, but perhaps it is.

    When Peter Fidler rode with the Blackfoot Peigan in 1792, this was hundreds of years after first contact. The very fact that they were riding horses should tell a true student of history and paleoanthropology and archaeology that.

    It was Spanish horses moving north from the areas of Mexico which resulted in the Appaloosa Indian pony, and others. The American horses had been extinct for many thousands of years.

    In her book "After the Ice Age - The return of life to glaciated North America," (1991, University of Chicago Press) the distinguished Canadian scientist E.C. Pielou relates on her section on the "The Great Wave of Extinctions" that "five species of Pleistocene horses and the western camel, all...became extinct in North America between 12K and 10 K B.P." [before the present, i.e. 1950]

    Coronado was riding the American southwest ca 1542, for example, and the Spanish conquistadors were in Mexico and South America even earlier, not to mention Christopher Columbus and company in the East in 1492, bringing European diseases and 'civilization' to a soon to be almost exterminated indigenous population (~ 90 percent) in the Americas, both North and South.

    The indigenous populations of both North and South America suffered a rolling series of contacts with the white man throughout this period, and were already on the move, reeling from contact and migrating West and elsewhere, centuries before Peter Fidler was even born.

    You are an ignorant man, and much worse than that, a deliberate promoter of half-truth.

    You don't intend to respond to me!

    Do you think I care? Do you think anyone cares!

    - Manysummits -

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  • 138. At 9:31pm on 14 Jun 2010, Rob_Cambs wrote:

    @JR4412
    Rob_Cambs #115.

    "with an estimated 50 trillion dollars at stake.."

    'that's less than seventeen years worth of global military expenditure at 2008 level.'

    exactly ! or to put a little better - thats more than 16 years of military expediture (assuming your figures are correct) !!

    again, to be spent on an issue based on guessed-at probabilities (becasue by definition the probabilities cannot be properly assessed).

    shouldn't we figure out what is really going on first ? the world will not end tomorrow or in the next 10 years, and there is sufficient doubt for us to take a time-out to fully assess

    after all, right now 3rd world countries need support in sustainability and medcicines more than anything else

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  • 139. At 10:32pm on 14 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #136 Lorax wrote:

    "a little humility"

    I see -- it's all about how we personally present ourselves, is it, oh morally pure NON-"denier"?

    "In terms of my analogy, your arguments, though described with utter certainty"

    You seem to have given no thought -- yet -- to the concept of "certainty" or probability. It seems you're just talking about an arrogant attitude. Shall we move on to something relevant?

    "There's an abundance of physical evidence (for plate tectonics) - and...what? Presumably you're arguing that there isn't a similar abundance of physical evidence that supports climate change science . Er, is that it? That's all you've got?"

    I have spent much of my adult life pondering questions of evidence and what constitutes evidence. I'd be delighted to argue with you about just this issue. I'm really glad you raised the question. I've been itching to get down to real business on this question since I joined this blog months ago.

    So let's get down to business.

    I'll start.

    In general, the evidence for a scientific theory is its explanatory and predictive power. Plate tectonics has huge explanatory power. So does evolutionary theory. By contrast, quantum theory has very little explanatory power, but it makes up for that by having huge predictive powers. Most scientific theories have loads of both.

    Except "climate science". It seems to me that "climate science" is an embarrassing failure, since it seems almost entirely bereft of both explanatory and predictive power. Its attraction seems to be only in the creepy attitudes its adherents have towards religion and political partisanship.

    Now your turn, oh noble NON-"denier".

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  • 140. At 10:41pm on 14 Jun 2010, JB wrote:

    #113, SR wrote: vegetable_grower, What are the 'dodgy methods'?

    Use of correlation to imply causation.

    Use of hyperbole as in "all the science suggests that it probably is." So just one bit of scientific evidence is enough to disprove the statement. Although "suggests that it probably is" is not exactly convincing , is it?

    Passing off political decisions as scientific fact - when the most that can really be claimed is a general consensus that this is more likely to be true than other alternatives.

    I could go on, but the thing I'd like you to grasp it that it is not me that you need to convince. Whether or not I believe AGW to be absolutely true or absolutely false will not affect my life-style in any way whatsoever. I'm just trying to point out ways in which your argument might be improved.

    There are failings on both sides of this argument - but it was you who asked me the question :o) One of the biggest failings from both sides (though not that I've noticed from your own exchanges with me) is in not realising that offending/insulting someone very rarely succeeds in bringing them on-board to your way of thinking. And doing so in public merely puts off any bystanders who may have been interested in learning from the discussion.

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  • 141. At 10:43pm on 14 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #136 Lorax wrote:

    "In fact consilience is clearly a fundamental inherent feature of climate science, just as in plate tectonics."

    Plate tectonics meets evolutionary theory by explaining why there are many marsupial species in Australia, quite a few in South America, just one in north America, and none anywhere else.

    What, pray tell, has "climate change science" done that can be compared to that? Are you tone-deaf to explanation? Are you suffering from a degree in psychology?

    PS: Hope the word 'marsupial' is is not too big or intimidating for you!

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  • 142. At 11:18pm on 14 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    136. At 9:16pm on 14 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    "1.There's an abundance of physical evidence (for plate tectonics) - and...what? Presumably you're arguing that there isn't a similar abundance of physical evidence that supports climate change science . Er, is that it? That's all you've got?"

    No, but that's all it takes to critique your analogy.

    There is no physical evidence that CO2 is the driver of climate change, past or present. There is apparent correlation in the past but some argue that the CO2 levels lagged temperature rise, and NOBODY knows for certain. Its just not that simple.

    On the other hand there actually is unequivocal physical evidence of plate tectonics.

    And your complaint about "uncertainty" is a beauty. You are supporting the IPCC gang that was emphatically screaming that "the debate is over" and you still are. My point is that the baby science of global climatology doesn't really have a clue about what might be causing the short term fluctuations we are currently fixated on.

    The only thing I am certain about, in terms of global climate per se, is that one cannot make straight line projections into the future from short term trends.

    I am also certain about some of the underlying political and economic factors behind this AGW project. And the deliberate propaganda campaign, involving false poster children and fear-mongering, should be obvious to anyone.

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  • 143. At 11:26pm on 14 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #137 - manysummits - Your rambling post simply confirms that you don't actually have the Fidler document you claimed to have, which confirms my earlier conclusion that you are an "accomplished googler."

    Moreover, your whole post is irrelevant to the original point where you tried your Fidler bluff, and redundant to what was discussed there.

    So, good googling again.

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  • 144. At 00:50am on 15 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    CanadianRockies # 143:

    1) So you've no answer for what drives natural climate change, except your partial answer to Lorax in #142, which shows you have no grasp of the subject. You plead some lame excuse for not answering instead.

    2) Same for Canadian Buffalo. You really have no response at all to my post #137. Is that because you have no grasp of this subject either?

    But you do manage to cast doubt - everywhere.

    Funny - that is what the professional anti-AGW Lobby certainly does, as they have no case at all science-wise.

    You're just a free spirit I suppose, casting doubt at will?

    Or a disturbed personality.

    Or a professional lobbyist.

    Tell you what CR - I'll meet you on the next blog.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 145. At 03:45am on 15 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #144 - I think that if anyone wonders about the bison discussion they can find it on the blog 'Playing God' with the climate, where what began as a comment about the impact of the horse as an introduced species in North America turned into a long and detailed conversation between JaneBasingstoke and myself, and a few other comments.

    There they can see the attempted bluff by manysummits re Peter Fidler at post #188, and my initial response - quoting that source to support my point - at #199... and the silence of manysummits thereafter.

    I assume that because it is a rare document, manysummits thought that nobody would actually have it to check... but I do.

    By the way, there's no such thing as a "Canadian Buffalo" and that discussion dealt with North American plains bison in both Canada and the USA.

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  • 146. At 08:29am on 15 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ lorax re-plate tectonics example.

    I can see what you were trying to do there, and it wasn't a bad punt to be honest. Unfortunatley, the analogy doesn't stand up as (has been pointed out, in a rather circumspect way above) there is actual significant evidence to back up the theory of plate tectonics, there just isn't that for AGW.

    Lorax i'm not arguing this with you just to be difficult, i genuinley think that the theory has exceptionally little 'actual' evidence behind it. I also look at the predictive aspects and cringe, they're just not anywhere near accurate enough for us to have any idea about the future climate. Serisously, when the error bars dwarf the rise you are actually trying to predict- you're in trouble before you've even started.

    A lot of people confuse symptomatic/correlative 'evidence' for causal.

    I do think this is what you, and a few others on here may have done.

    If you discount the PURE physical theory of co2 absorption (i.e. how it would behave in an ideal condition), the lab based tests (as they are not predictive of the real-world) all we have left are the models.

    And if, as i think it will come out in the wash, it turns out the whole AGW movement was based on a dodgy theory with dodgy models, a lot of people will be left looking very stupid.

    But- i hasten to add- prove, or at least show experimental evidence towards climate sensiticity wrt c02 to be high- then the theory will FINALLY have some actual evidence behind it.

    THEN, it can be taken a bit more serisouly.

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  • 147. At 08:39am on 15 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #137 manysummits wrote:

    I'm deadly serious.

    I find that a little troubling -- as if you're about to "go postal" or even "taxi driver"...

    Seems like a good time to remind everyone that I'm wholly frivolous.

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  • 148. At 09:13am on 15 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    For what it's worth, I would say that the evidence for a theory has two components: its predictive and its explanatory power.

    A theory's predictive abilities enable it to be tested. The passing of tests is a reasonably "objective" measure of how much we can rely on the theory -- the more we can rely on it, the more its reliability suggests that it is true.

    However, a theory's explanatory power is more "subjective". It has to to with "how much mystery" it removes by enhancing our understanding of the way "everything seem to hang together". (Thus plate tectonics is very successful.) There are various further components to explanatory power: a theory can be simple rather than complicated, modest rather than extravagant, general rather than narrow in scope, and so on...

    In case you are concerned about the "objectivity" of science here, I should remind everyone that the truth or falsity of a theory remains a completely objective matter of what the world is really like. But evidence is always a more "subjective" matter of how a theory strikes an individual, given the other stuff he already believes.

    That shouldn't be surprising. Evidence is "what should sway a person's mind". It has to do with "how much something ought to be believed", which as an aspect of the mind is not the subject matter of any scientific theory.

    In my opinion, the greatest error of climate "science" (and psychology and similar disciplines) is that its practitioners hope that evidence itself (rather than truth/falsity) should be "objective". So they assume that enumerative induction exemplifies scientific inference, which it just doesn't. According the most flat-footed understanding of induction, it can yield a number that measures "how likely a theory is to be true". But really, that's just a classic confusion of truth and evidence.

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  • 149. At 2:08pm on 15 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    116# Manysummits:

    Over at Climate Audit Dr Judith Curry referred me to this:
    (I got moderated earlier - shorter quotes below)
    (look her up manysummits)

    Empirical evidence for a celestial origin of the climate oscillations and its implications
    Authors: Nicola Scafetta
    (Submitted on 25 May 2010)

    Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics (2010)
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1005.4639

    "We investigate whether or not the decadal and multi-decadal climate
    oscillations have an astronomical origin. Several global surface temperature records since 1850 and records deduced from the orbits of the planets present very similar power spectra......

    .......It is found that at LEAST 60% of the global warming observed since 1970 has been induced by the combined effect of the above natural climate oscillations. The partial forecast indicates that climate may stabilize or cool until 2030-2040. "

    Demonstrating that far from certainty/consensus we are learning new things all the time about climate

    60% of warming since the 70's natural, compared to previous thinking...
    and the politicians saying: "the science is settled' 'Flat Earther' 'Anti-science' 'Cliamte Sabatouer'

    Peer reviewed science.. Manysummits

    These are real scientists, or are they part of the 'deniar' 'lobby' as well....

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  • 150. At 2:13pm on 15 Jun 2010, LarryKealey wrote:

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

  • 151. At 2:54pm on 15 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #146, 148 and so on

    Plate tectonics. The original point I attempted to get across was responding to the 'climate change isn't falsifiable' argument promoted at length, especially by Bowman. It is interesting that having raised the analogy with plate tectonics - also not, as a single entity falsifiable - all I get in response are arguments that there is claims of 'no physical evidence' and so on.

    So I think I'll take the 'climate change isn't falsifiable' argument as no longer defensible. Good.

    Lorax

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  • 152. At 3:52pm on 15 Jun 2010, Dave_oxon wrote:

    @Lorax, #151

    So I think I'll take the 'climate change isn't falsifiable' argument as no longer defensible.

    I reached this conclusion too, some time ago ([1] and [2]). My arguments didn't go down well!

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  • 153. At 4:00pm on 15 Jun 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Rob_Cambs #138.

    "..(assuming your figures are correct).."

    in error, actually, sigh..

    should have read 'less than 35 years', apologies.



    bowmanthebard #147.

    "Seems like a good time to remind everyone that I'm wholly frivolous."

    overcompensating, no doubt.

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  • 154. At 4:02pm on 15 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #151 Lorax wrote:

    "the 'climate change isn't falsifiable' argument promoted at length, especially by Bowman."

    Where did I say anything like that?

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  • 155. At 4:10pm on 15 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    falsifiable?

    would that be

    'climate chnage' lots of evidence..


    or man made climate chnage due to additional ammounts of man made co2 -

    Not 'supposed' long ago, primary driver of temps.

    see: 149

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  • 156. At 4:29pm on 15 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #151 Lorax wrote:

    "all I get in response are arguments that there is claims of 'no physical evidence' and so on."

    You're just not bothering to read. I gave several reasoned responses as to why plate tectonics and climate change science are not at all similar.

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  • 157. At 4:48pm on 15 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 151- lorax.

    You must have some sort of selective filter going on there bud- that's not what we were saying at all....

    I'm also not entirely sure what you are trying to say- the reason the tectonic plate theory has not been disproved, or falsified, is because it nicely fits the evidence and can be used to predict certain events (likelyhood of earthquakes in certain areas etc).

    If you could show that the plates do not actually move as predicted, then you would overnight disprove that theory. That's the criteria- show the plate movement, composition and size do not follow the criteria as set out by the theory.

    So- to extend that to climate science- we would have to show that the world/climate is not changing as outlined in the AGW theory to disprove it.... oh.... wait..... that's already happened...

    sorry- what was your point again? are YOU even sure?

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  • 158. At 5:35pm on 15 Jun 2010, davblo wrote:

    Lorax 130: {and vaious since} "So, do our 'sceptical' friends consider plate tectonics to be 'proper science'?"

    I would venture that plate tectonics doesn't actually "bother" people very much, so they just say "yes, that sounds like a good theory; off you go..."

    But; if plate tectonics started to lead to the conclusion that (for example) Europe was sliding under Africa at an alarmingly increasing rate, and that we (in Europe) should all pack up and move to Russia or the Far East (take you pick) then I'm pretty sure we get 101 reasons posted here claiming that plate tectonics was hocus-pocus and that numerous blogs can prove Europe is only "wobbling a bit" through natural causes, it's all a scam, it's all models, etc.

    Just a thought... /davblo

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  • 159. At 5:37pm on 15 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Lorax #151: "the 'climate change isn't falsifiable' argument promoted at length, especially by Bowman."

    Dave_oxon #152: "I reached this conclusion too, some time ago ... My arguments didn't go down well!"

    I'm baffled by these responses, especially as I have repeatedly said that no scientific theory is ever conclusively falsifiable.

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  • 160. At 6:23pm on 15 Jun 2010, JB wrote:

    Good news for the warmists - the peak-oilers are on the case now. So maybe it won't matter if you're right or wrong :o)

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  • 161. At 6:58pm on 15 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #159

    My, my, baffled as well as frivolous. Multi-talented!

    Lorax

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  • 162. At 7:37pm on 15 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #161 Lorax wrote:

    "My, my, baffled as well as frivolous. Multi-talented!"

    I seem to have enough talent to address the question at issue.

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  • 163. At 7:42pm on 15 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #158 davblo wrote:

    "if plate tectonics started to lead to the conclusion that (for example) Europe was sliding under Africa at an alarmingly increasing rate"

    Plate tectonics already says that Europe and America are sliding apart at about the rate of a growing toenail. If it said that the two continents would start to slide apart at "an alarmingly increasing rate" -- so fast that people couldn't get out of the way -- it would and should be dismissed as rubbish.

    That's always the way evidence and theories work. If the theory says something completely laughable, people laugh -- and then dismiss the theory. That is as it should be.

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  • 164. At 8:03pm on 15 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    Why hasn't the UN set up a huge sprawling bureaucracy to monitor the threat of continental drift... just in case? You know, the Precautionary Principle and all that.

    Could be some great lavish conferences and plenty of jobs. And we would need some kind of taxing mechanism to pay for this and the preparations for the inevitable. Perhaps some kind of continental offsets trading system that the Wall Streeters could set up? Or insurance policies?

    Its just such a shame to see Europe and North America drift apart, and see the problems erupting from Iceland. Surely the UN can do something about this with sufficient funds and a large enough bureaucracy.

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  • 165. At 8:51pm on 15 Jun 2010, davblo wrote:

    bowmanthebard #163: "If the theory says something completely laughable, people laugh -- and then dismiss the theory. That is as it should be."

    Like I said, you only accept the theory (plate tectonics) because it is credible and comfortable and doesn't bother you; but not if it stretches your imagination, makes you laugh or claims to affect you adversely.

    None of that has anything to do whether the theory is valid or not.

    /davblo

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  • 166. At 9:32pm on 15 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #165 davblo wrote:

    "None of that has anything to do whether the theory is valid or not."

    Valid?

    Do you mean true? Worthy of belief? Or what?

    If a theory looks like someone lifted it from the backside of the cover of a Yes triple album, then it's hardly worthy of belief, although it might be true. We cannot step outside our skins to check whether it really is true, so we just have to judge it on how laughable it seems.

    "Valid" is a word that applies to some deductive arguments -- as 100%-in-logic-manysummits will tell you -- but I don't see how it applies to theories.

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  • 167. At 07:33am on 16 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #151 Lorax wrote:

    "the 'climate change isn't falsifiable' argument promoted at length, especially by Bowman."

    I'm still waiting to hear where I promoted this argument, or for some sort of admission from Lorax that he just made that up.

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  • 168. At 07:55am on 16 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @165,

    davblo- you seem to be suggesting that the only reason people are sceptical of climate change is because the findings may be uncomfortable.

    sure, i can totally believe there are people like that- but that cast majority of sceptics are sceptical due to the exceptionally shoody nature of the theory.

    Now- this has not been helped at all by the ipcc/cru et al, so there's an issue of trust here which i think you're downplaying in your (usually) flippant way- but even if the integrity of those two organisations were still fully intact (and you're a fool if you think it is) there would still be, genuine, credible sceptics who have issues with the theory.

    The theory is by no means as water tight as say..... plate tectonics....

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  • 169. At 09:36am on 16 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #168 LabMunkey wrote:

    davblo- you seem to be suggesting that the only reason people are sceptical of climate change is because the findings may be uncomfortable.

    I would add:

    If a theory because makes grossly extravagant claims that are not borne out by observation, and that makes people feel "uncomfortable", that very discomfort is good reason to reject the theory.

    Scientific theories are not "based on" observation, but tested and constrained by observation. If a theory makes a ridiculous-sounding claim -- of a sort that is has been common throughout history among religious apocalypse-merchants, that falls flat on its face when compared to observation -- then it is appropriate to feel "uncomfortable" with it, and we are quite right to reject it because we feel "uncomfortable" with it.

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  • 170. At 3:32pm on 16 Jun 2010, Dave_oxon wrote:

    @Bowman, #159, 167

    If I may (since I added a brief note of support for Lorax who may be feeling like he is defending the corner alone)... You have, on numerous occasions, referred to climate science as inductivism.

    To attempt to understand exactly what you (may!) mean by use of the word "inductivism" I quote Karl Popper [Popper, K. R. (1981). Conjectural knowledge: My solution to the problem of induction. In K. R. Popper (Ed.), Objective Knowledge (pp. 1-31). London: Oxford. - PDF available by suitable googling]:

    "Are we rationally justified in reasoning from instances or from counterinstances of which we have had experience to the truth or falsity of the corresponding laws or to instances of which we have had no experience?
    The answer to this problem is: as implied by Hume, we certainly are not justified in reasoning from an instance to the truth of the corresponding law. But to this negative result a second result, equally negative, may be added: we are justified in reasoning from a counterinstance to the falsity of the corresponding universal law (that is, of any law of which it is a counterinstance). Or in other words, from a purely logical point of view, the acceptance of one counterinstance to 'All swans are white' implies the falsity of the law 'All swans are white' - that law, that is, whose counterinstance we accepted. Induction is logically invalid; but refutation or falsification is a logically valid way of arguing from a single counterinstance to - or, rather, against - the corresponding law."


    From the final sentence of the quote I give above, one concludes:

    "A falsifiable law is not inductivism. Conversely an inductivist claim is not falsifiable."

    It is therefore a logical conclusion to have reached that you consider the hypotheses of climate science to be un-falsifiable (unless that logic is flawed... as this blog's resident philosopher, a comment from you on this reasoning would be enlightening).

    Although you have pointed out above that:
    "I have repeatedly said that no scientific theory is ever conclusively falsifiable"

    This is rather different to implying that the theory is completely un-falsifiable..

    In addition, by demonstrating that climate science is falsifiable, one may demonstrate that it is not inductivist, i.e. that acceptance of a counter-example will falsify the hypothesis (others on this blog maintain this has already been done! discussion of this point is not the purpose of this particular post.) Both Lorax and I feel that this has been shown on this blog.

    As a footnote I would like to point out that I used the word "may" above to indicate that I "may" (still!) have mis-interpreted your meaning in the use of the term "inductivism". If this is the case, a precise statement of what you do mean would prevent any future misunderstanding.

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  • 171. At 4:39pm on 16 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    @ Dave_oxon

    I reject Popper's rejection of induction completely, in fact I regard him as a pretty poor philosopher of science. Would you mind putting your point in your words instead of Popper's, to keep things simple?

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  • 172. At 5:34pm on 16 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To Rossglory:

    Appreciate your comments re Monbiot.

    He describes the liberal left as 'effete.'

    Strong stuff, but not without foundation.

    The world is messy. Many on this blog attempt to maintain the so-called even strain - to answer only politely.

    In a war - you shoot to kill.

    Forgetting this is not a good way to continue the line.

    Of course, the case is made that this is not war - just intellectual weight-lifting.

    Not for me. It was only a matter of a few weeks on this blog some year and a half ago that I realized what was really going on here.

    Of course a weblog is not a battlefield literally, and one does not die or bleed from insult or ridicule - true in a narrow sense.

    But if the UN figures are correct, and preventable deaths are occurring all the time due to inaction on any number of issues, from climate change throughout the whole gamut of international issues - then the consequences of a disinformation campaign are transformed into real suffering and needless death and destruction - a war.

    Like all wars, the fight is a complex of emotion and ideology, with access to resources somewhere at the base.

    Warmist regards, and see you? on the next thread,

    Manysummits

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  • 173. At 6:42pm on 16 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    @ Dave_oxon:

    Apologies -- my last response was too quick.

    I don't regard Popper as a great philosopher at all, not do I count the issue of falsifiability as central.

    (Having said that, I should add that if a theory is so vague and "slippery" that no observation can count against it, that's bad, because it means its observational consequences are not easy to deduce, and that means its "passing a test" cannot be regarded as any significant success. For example, I have heard it claimed that we can BOTH expect "warmer, wetter winters" as a result of global warming AND that we are all set for cold dry winters like the last one, again because of global warming. Obviously, that's garbage. To be fair, falsifiability isn't all-or-nothing, and I think it's more a measure of how a person holds a theory than a mark of the theory's own shortcomings. Whatever -- I don't think I can fairly be said to have argued "at length" about it.)

    Why do I regard Popper as a rather poor philosopher? -- The main reason is this: he strikes me as a "foundationalist". In other words, he strikes me as someone who assumes that all knowledge has a "foundational" structure like mathematics, in which "theorems" rest on "axioms". You can tell how common this idea is from the number of people who talk about science as being "based on" observations, as if theories can be derived from observations.

    A sure sign of Popper's foundationalism is his acceptance of Hume's problem of induction. Hume's problem only arises if we assume foundationalism by treating induction as if it had the structure of a deductive argument. Popper does, and so rejects all induction as never giving the slightest reason to believe anything. But frankly, that's just nuts!

    In my (anti-Popper) opinion, induction does indeed give us a reason to believe things fairly often, depending on the context, which is critical. But induction is certainly not "the characteristic form of inference used in science" and it is a fatal error to suppose it is. I'm calling that error 'inductivism', but it is nearly always motivated by foundationalism. In the present context, I'm using the words 'foundationalist' and 'inductivist' almost interchangeably, but I would tighten up my usage if we got much further into the discussion.

    It's a straightforward matter to show that induction doesn't play the role that inductivists suppose it has in science. Scientific theories describe things that cannot be seen directly, such as gravitational fields, electrons and viruses. But observations do describe things that can be seen directly, such as tides, sparks and sneezes. There is absolutely no way that claims about tides, sparks and sneezes can be extrapolated from to arrive at claims about gravitational fields, electrons or viruses. To assume they can is to miss almost everything interesting in science -- the creativity, the cunning, the magic!

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  • 174. At 6:43pm on 16 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #172 manysummits wrote:

    In a war - you shoot to kill.

    This isn't a "war", and I suggest you consult a medical professional, because I think you are in some sort of emotional trouble.

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  • 175. At 00:07am on 17 Jun 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    how to quote selectively to construct an insult:

    bowman (#174):

    "#172 manysummits wrote:

    In a war - you shoot to kill.

    This isn't a "war", and I suggest you consult a medical professional, because I think you are in some sort of emotional trouble."

    manysummits (#172):

    "In a war - you shoot to kill. ... Of course a weblog is not a battlefield literally, and one does not die or bleed from insult or ridicule - true in a narrow sense."

    pathetic.

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  • 176. At 08:34am on 17 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Yes, I'm half-sorry about that -- I didn't bother reading that far.

    Have you noticed the way everyone loves moral outrage? -- It's the standard way of disguising racism, political resentment, and other less lovely human emotions, even from ourselves.

    It seems to me that a good many of us in these discussions are morally overwrought -- we whip ourselves up into a sort of moral rapture in which we kid ourselves that we are paragons of virtue and our real concern is "our children" -- when what's really going on is we hate Americans, capitalists, Thatcherites, neo-liberals, or whatever.

    I cannot count the number of times I have heard self-described atheists "justifying" their own ethnic hatred by saying group A did something bad to group B -- meaning that some ancestors of the former did something bad to some ancestors of the latter. If we assume that ancestors do not interbreed (a mistaken idea) and that culpability is inherited (a disgusting idea) we end up with a nice "moral-sounding" pretense for racial violence.

    I think some of us in these discussions lose contact with reality by gleefully flagellating ourselves into a sickly sentimental, overwrought state in which "war" is justified because we are morally virtuous and people who disagree with us are morally vicious. And truth is irrelevant.

    No doubt I am as guilty as the next person, but I hope not!

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  • 177. At 2:46pm on 17 Jun 2010, Dave_oxon wrote:

    @Bowmanthebard, #173.

    thanks for the explanation - I hope this response to my #170 will serve to clear up an amount of misunderstanding on both sides...

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  • 178. At 03:42am on 18 Jun 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #176.

    "..moral rapture.."

    forced to somewhat agree, although I'd point to immaturity, in addition to the religious undertow; people going on about their 'rights' without once acknowledging duties or obligations.

    "Yes, I'm half-sorry about that.."

    it's me who ought to apologise, and I do.

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