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Sustainability: Choices, choices, choices

Richard Black | 14:50 UK time, Wednesday, 2 June 2010

A group of experts convened under a UN umbrella has been taking a look at what aspects of our global society are the least sustainable; which things are depleting natural resources fastest, which are causing the most environmental damage, and which are the biggest threats to the prosperity of future generations.

CowsIt's bad news, I'm afraid, because the biggest culprits are the things we need most fundamentally: food and energy.

We're used to emissions from fossil fuels being fingered as the principal drivers of the man-made greenhouse effect.

But the report from the UN Environment Programme's International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management also points up the immediate polluting effects (and health consequences) of burning coal, wood, oil and gas.

Meanwhile, other types of emission also compromise human health and the natural world, such as nitrogen run-off from agricultural land, which causes eutrophication in freshwater systems and the seas.

On the resource side, the report flags up the coming declines in oil and gas reserves as stumbling blocks on the developing world's path to prosperity. But shortages of key ingredients for alternative technologies - such as platinum and rhodium - are also causes for concern, it says.

When it comes to the Earth's self-replenishing resources, wood and fish are the ones we are using least sustainably.

Farming, meanwhile, is fingered as the principal reason why natural habitat is being lost for so many plants and animals, with high consumption of meat - relatively heavy on land and water use - flagged up as a particularly unsustainable aspect of western diets.

More than half of the crops we grow are used to feed farm animals.

Solar panelsMuch of this, you may be thinking, is not terribly radical; it's the usual depressing story of people trying to live ordinary lives, and copping the blame when what they need to live and progress starts running out or overloading nature's waste-processing capacity.

What I think is interesting is the way the global picture is re-framed.

So rather than talking about "stopping climate change" or "reducing the health impacts of wood-burning" or whatever, the panel makes two principal offers.

Firstly, it's using real, quantified studies to pin down as far as is possible the real costs and benefits of many of the things we do; and it's doing so in a holistic way.

Secondly, it's offering choices rather than a prescription: rather than the language of "we have to stop doing this", it's a matter of "if society develops this way, these are likely to be the consequences for your children's generation; and here's how it changes if you develop that way instead".

In some ears, this will be ringing an alarm bell that resonates to the tune of "here's another UN anti-growth message".

It actually isn't; it's about rationalising growth. As the panel summarises its remit:

"All economic activity takes place in a limited, natural world...so what economic activities contribute most to the use of natural resources and the generation of pollution?"

And having produced answers, choices and some solutions then emerge.

As one of the panel's co-chairs, the eminent German scientist Ernst Ulrich von Weizsaecker, told me:

"One strategy is to decouple wellbeing from resource consumption. Another is to select resources in relation to their environmental impact, and so it's important to know where the big impacts are."

This report doesn't offer an easy path to curbing the expansion of our global footprint; it doesn't come close, in fact.

But it does suggest a way in which the overarching issue encompassing the world's environmental, economic and social ills might be addressed, and development maintained, without costing the Earth.

Comments

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  • 1. At 3:22pm on 02 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    i quite like that idea, in principle.

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  • 2. At 3:26pm on 02 Jun 2010, Vic Smith wrote:

    Perhaps, as the authors of the Hartwell Paper suggest, we can start to decouple all of these issues from the man-made global warming idea.

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  • 3. At 3:40pm on 02 Jun 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    The world operates through corrupt political systems that reflect the businesses of the wealthy. History does not show that those in power are able to adapt to new realities and instead maintain power until that power is removed by others. Human beings are not very good at predicting the future and apparently learn nothing from the past. Better alternatives already exist but are subjected to barriers created by both the existing vested interest in the governments they control. The Free market proponents fail to accept that there are very few free markets and certainly none where major products like energy are concerned. the socialist proponents fail to accept that self motivation can only act in an enviornment of intellectual freedom and limited political power. Human beings deal with crisis, self created in most cases, before they change behaviors or habits. Although the report is accurate, there are many more possibilities, certainly some that we would rather not consider, but they have the opportunity to become reality as much as the choices in the report. The transition toward the end of nation state is upon us and the first test to newer forms, like the global economy, have failed in a punishing way. Living in interesting times....that is a Chinese curse.

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  • 4. At 3:48pm on 02 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 2.

    that would be the best possible outcome in my opinion.

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  • 5. At 3:49pm on 02 Jun 2010, Kamboshigh wrote:

    Typo Mr Black 2nd para "food end energy" surely should be "and", but I cannot talk on typos.

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  • 6. At 4:04pm on 02 Jun 2010, Kamboshigh wrote:

    There is of course one little problem well make it two;

    First the rare metals which are running out quick are used to power the supposed alternative to fossil fuel namely the batteries and,

    Secondly, it seems NASA might have made a silly mistake in it's green house gas formula that makes the vast majority of the report meaningless

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=5810

    Follow the pdf link,

    I'm with "persuademe" the Hartwell paper is a good place to start, once the fuzzy logic is sorted out

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  • 7. At 4:17pm on 02 Jun 2010, Jack Frost wrote:

    What better way to line ones pockets, become a group member of 'experts' convened under a UN umbrella, flushing out doom and gloom.

    As far as I was aware, most of the British countryside is man-made, stretching back 5000 years to Neolithic farmers, then the Celts, Anglo-Saxon, Romans etc. Lets start bulldozing up all that patchwork scenery.

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  • 8. At 4:36pm on 02 Jun 2010, Richard Black (BBC) wrote:

    Thanks #5 Kambos - changing now.

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  • 9. At 4:50pm on 02 Jun 2010, Jack Hughes wrote:

    These, er, experts.

    What are they experts in ?

    Guessing the future ?
    Talking ?
    Worrying ?

    People were saying the same kind of nonsense 100 years ago.

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  • 10. At 4:50pm on 02 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @6

    Wow. if thats true then thats AGW dead. The models were all they had left.

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  • 11. At 5:00pm on 02 Jun 2010, Jack Hughes wrote:

    Why don't these serial moaners do something useful like helping an elderly neighbour or learning a musical instrument instead of pumping out these downbeat ramblings.

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  • 12. At 5:00pm on 02 Jun 2010, freddawlanen wrote:

    Did anyone even mention population?

    Until the ever expanding population on the planet is addressed, every other issue is simply pi55ing in the wind.

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  • 13. At 5:04pm on 02 Jun 2010, Tom Jones wrote:

    Once again, no mention of the elephant in the (increasingly small) room - global population growth. Whatever solutions we find to environmental issues, they have got to be linked to ways to stop the human race getting more and more numerous.

    But who will be the first person with influence to say that?

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  • 14. At 5:05pm on 02 Jun 2010, andy765gtr wrote:

    "Farming, meanwhile, is fingered as the principal reason why natural habitat is being lost for so many plants and animals, with high consumption of meat - relatively heavy on land and water use - flagged up as a particularly unsustainable aspect of western diets.
    More than half of the crops we grow are used to feed farm animals."

    so everything would be ok if we all went vegetarian then?

    BS.

    sure, we would have more food for a short period, until the human plague took up the slack in about a decade.

    then its back to square one with the food shortage.

    its a fact if you increase food product you encourage the human population explosion. if food production is stablilized the population will stabilize. otherwise it will rise, unless you artificially control humans somehow, which is the best solution but weirdly still a taboo.

    we will never win this war with shortage unless we address the real issue, and stop tinkering about altering the environment to suit humans, and piffling details about production methods and started addressing the real solution -altering human populations to suit environmental limits.

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  • 15. At 5:12pm on 02 Jun 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    What is least sustainable?
    What is depleting natural resources the fastest?
    What is causing the most environmental damage?
    What is the biggest threat to the prosperity of future generations?
    It's bad news alright! It's enough to make sane persons afraid, very afraid.
    The UN Environment Programme's International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management points out the immediate polluting effects (and health consequences) of burning coal, wood, oil and gas. I can understand why China may yet be evolving away from these methods, but please explain to me why the United States of America remains stuck in coal mines, oil drilling and other primitive forms of energy production. The United States should be ashamed to admit this lack of progress, especially because she spends one trillion dollar/year devastating the soil of other people e.g. Afghanistan.
    On the resource side, I think the report is flawed; there is no known declines in oil and gas reserves; if there were, perhaps the wealthy countries would get off their elitist rumps and pay for the development of wind and/or solar power.
    When it comes to the Earth's self-replenishing resources, wood and fish are the ones "we" are using least sustainably. Who is "we". Is "we" the Somalians who can no longer fish their coastline because of illegal dumping, including barrels of radioactive material? Is "we" the Natives of Alaska who can no longer fish their coastline because of Exxon oil spill?
    Farming is not a cause of depletion of the natural habitat - unless you're talking about the increased use of worhtless bio-engineered crops that ruin the soil, make animals sick (including humans) and create run-off to further contaminate neighboring fields.
    Habitats are being lost for so many plants and animals, because of over deforestration; total forests have gone missing, gone west, sit in western livingrooms as prized wooden furniture, splendid decks, docked boats, etc.
    Meat consumption should be reduced for the sake of health as well as unsustainability. Cows and other animals produce methane, drink a lot of water, and are raised and slaughtered most cruelly. Everyone who loves meat should take one trip through a slaughter house; I did and it broke my heart.
    Do we really need to quantify the real costs and benefits of many of the things we do? I could stand atop of the Parliament Buildings and shout: "We've got to stop doing this." Some people would hear me; some people would pay attention, but those people who really need to hear me do not want to hear me.
    Here is what is not sustanable:
    Approximately four hundred individuals in the United States (the Forbes 400) own almost as much wealth as the entire bottom half of the entire population (150M people)?
    A trillion dollars each year is spent on the US military, dropping bombs, droning, poluting the soils of other countries?
    The result is a deeply unequal society where about 4% of elites consume more than 60% of all production.
    John Kenneth Galbraith’s said: US capitalism generates “private wealth” and “public squalor.” The US is not alone in this public squalor, but be warned: The American way is a system in which the “need” of the wealthy to make profit drives everything else, and it is increasingly leading to irrational and disastrous results. This is absolutely not sustainable.

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  • 16. At 5:49pm on 02 Jun 2010, John_from_Hendon wrote:

    "what aspects of our global society are the least sustainable"

    Just two issues:

    Population.

    There are too many of us for the planet to sustain.

    I'll almost be willing to bet that these 'experts' will not take on organised religion and will avoid this most critical issue!

    Fairness.

    Fairness in the distribution of resources is the other critical problem - again these experts are highly unlikely to tell the users of more than their fair share that they must cut back!

    Instead they will look at cow belching!!!!! (Or a lot of hot air!)

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  • 17. At 5:53pm on 02 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    #2

    agree - that way we can start to do the real work that this planet needs, such as clean water

    @kamboshigh #6

    Secondly, it seems NASA might have made a silly mistake in it's green house gas formula that makes the vast majority of the report meaningless

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=5810

    Follow the pdf link,


    I am sceptical of CO2 being the primary driver of climate change, but I really can't believe that Gavin Schmidt would do such a thing and defend it so rigorously for 20 years.

    Do we know for sure that it is true? If it is true, the AGWer's can pack up and go home now.

    I've asked the question over at RC - should be comment 13 or thereabouts, depending if they allow it through ;)

    /Mango

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  • 18. At 6:26pm on 02 Jun 2010, freddawlanen wrote:

    In the time it takes the BBC to moderate a few comments, more of us have raised the issue of population than the entire UN organisation on environmental concerns has managed.

    What a shower of self-serving ______________ (add your own expletives)

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  • 19. At 6:47pm on 02 Jun 2010, Sebastian wrote:

    @9. - "These, er, experts. What are they experts in ?"
    From each the two links in the article, one more click on an easily identifiable link ("Members & Partners", "Curriculum Vitae") would take you to pages giving answers to this question of yours. If it is more than a rhethorical question, then go there, read and form your opinion.
    In short: lots of professors of sciences and of economics on the panel. Expert enough for you?

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  • 20. At 7:23pm on 02 Jun 2010, SR wrote:

    "Word is getting round that junk equations were threaded into the GHG theory to artificially inflate the heating effect of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by a factor of two."

    No disrespect to anyone, but you'd have to be very gullible and quite silly to think that such a fundamental concept has been misused by all of climate science for all these years.

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  • 21. At 7:49pm on 02 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #15 BluesBerry wrote:

    "It's enough to make sane persons afraid, very afraid."

    How can you tell?

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  • 22. At 7:55pm on 02 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #13 Tom Jones wrote:

    "Once again, no mention of the elephant in the (increasingly small) room - global population growth."

    You're making a mammoth-sized error here. The reason why the population has been growing is that the "room" has been getting bigger. The size of the population is always set by the size of the "container".

    I'm not saying this is not a dangerous situation -- big population growth usually depends on a single critical new factor, and if that factor goes wrong, the death rate can be very high.

    But please think about the simple arithmetic of population growth.

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  • 23. At 7:56pm on 02 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #17. MangoChutneyUKOK wrote:

    #2

    agree - that way we can start to do the real work that this planet needs, such as clean water

    @kamboshigh #6

    Secondly, it seems NASA might have made a silly mistake in it's green house gas formula that makes the vast majority of the report meaningless

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=5810

    "but I really can't believe that Gavin Schmidt would do such a thing and defend it so rigorously for 20 years..."

    ----

    You can't? Why not? Now that the public is yawning at every insanely expensive Mars probe, and questioning NASA's gigantic budgets (now all paid for by money borrowed from China), monitoring the climate is supposed to be NASA's next great project.

    So, lots of convenient 'silly mistakes.'

    This is a very revealing article:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/27/cei-files-suit-on-giss-regarding-foia-delays/

    "... filing suit against NASA, calling the erstwhile space agency to account for its nearly three-year stonewall of access to internal documents exposing an abuse of taxpayer funds to advance the global warming agenda."

    Nice photo of Gavin with this.

    And here's something that could really get ugly:

    NASA in Shock New Controversy: Two Global Warming Reasons Why

    "NASA covered up for forty years proof that the greenhouse gas theory was bogus. But even worse, did the U.S. space agency fudge its numbers on Earth’s energy budget to cover up the facts?"

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=5783

    There's lots more to read on that site, like...

    Real Climate’s Gavin Schmidt: A Foot in His Global Warming Mouth

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=5802

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  • 24. At 8:01pm on 02 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #19. Sebastian - The real question is how and why these particular experts selected for this project.

    I'm guessing they are all "like-minded" as they say.

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  • 25. At 8:05pm on 02 Jun 2010, melty wrote:

    re #6 and http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=5810

    Don't be ridiculous. This guy John O'Sullivan claims to have authored a "paper" showing how bona fide NASA scientists (and presumably all other climate scientists the world over) have gotten their radiative transfer equations wrong. Here is what he wrote on May 26: "The paper, ‘A Greenhouse Effect on the Moon’ is a cogently-argued scientific refutation of the basic equations used by global warming theorists. Apparently, climate scientists may have incorrectly assumed Earth’s "average" temperature all along. Read more at Suite101: Apollo Mission: A Giant Leap Contradicting Greenhouse Gas Theory (http://climatology.suite101.com/article.cfm/apollo-mission-a-giant-leap-to-discredit-greenhouse-gas-theory)"

    When you go look at this IT IS NOT A SCIENCE PAPER.

    NOT published (except on a web page). NOT peer-reviewed (so you, poor reader, will be able to have your confirmation biases strengthened without fear of further scrutiny, unlike poor real scientists whose careers hang in the balance. What does John O'Sullivan have to lose?). If the arguments in the "paper" were correct, this guy would be a contender for a Nobel prize. Go look at it: does this strike you as contributing to physics at a sophisticated level? Really? It doesn't even have the same format as any science paper I've ever read. This kind of faked-up "paper" by a crackpot with a strong ideological bent comes out every few years. Sometimes they even manage to get them published in obscure bon-fide journals (e.g. Hungarian Met. Society). Worse still: these "papers" are usually tied to websites calling the work of real scientists "fakery". Sheesh!

    Here's another one: [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator] It's just absolute garbage. Think about it: if Professor O'Sullivan (does he even have a PhD in a relevant discipline? There's nothing on the climaterealists.com bios page) is right, he will be be publishing these new findings in Science or Nature (I'm not holding my breath). Climate "realists"? How about climate "making it up as you go along"? If a scientist publishes a paper with major faults, they have to answer to the scientific community -- which believe it or not is far from being a cozy club. Their reputation amongst peers (and program managers) would be badly damaged. This is why scientists are generally quite conservative when making claims. When many, many (but not necessarily all) scientists with PhDs and years of research experience in atmospheric physics and chemistry agree on something such as the strength of CO2 forcing and write about this in their bona-fide papers over many decades -- it is a good bet that they are right.

    However, the faked up "papers" will have a large audience. Whose fault is this? My bet is BLOGs and the news organizations that cowered under the threat from.... BLOGS. My wish is that all BLOGS are removed from media science news pages and relegated to the opinion pages where anyone can spout any garbage they want. Think this is unlikely? Dot Earth was moved to Opinion from Science at the New York Times earlier this year. Good. Now for the Beeb. I would rather see Andy Revkin and Richard Black reporting science (and holding scientists' toes to the fire), rather than having to waste their valuable time and journalistic skills on these damnable BLOGS, with their reams of mindless, ignorant, and sometimes downright sinister comments. Frankly I am ashamed to be posting on a blog with commenters who exhibit so little judgement.

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  • 26. At 8:06pm on 02 Jun 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Mango, what you call evidence is nothing but some anti-AGW rag published but editors that take disconnected statements and make great assumptions. It is apparent that what you accuse the AGW crowd of, your sources don't even attempt to provide any science, just some strange logic that will reach a predecided conclusion.. Your political agenda is political and not science, it isn't even decent political science.

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  • 27. At 8:07pm on 02 Jun 2010, infiniti wrote:

    Re 17:

    The application of SB to show the greenhouse effect is showing that Earth's average surface temperature as a whole is warmer than a blackbody receiving 240wm-2 (about as much sunlight as Earth absorbs).

    In the case of that moon article they are saying that certain locations at certain times are warmer than BB. Well sure, that's true of Earth too - the night side of the Earth receives no sunlight and yet it's far warmer than 0K. But what the moon's surface as a whole isn't, is warmer than a blackbody.

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  • 28. At 8:07pm on 02 Jun 2010, Jack Hughes wrote:

    Nobody is an expert in what's gonna happen in the future. Nobody.

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  • 29. At 8:13pm on 02 Jun 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    I have questions, and I think they're important.

    Why isn't the BBC investigating the possibility that NASA faked their climate data?

    Why isn't Richard Black shouting for an inquiry from the rooftops of Television Centre?

    Are they hoping if they ignore it it will go away?

    Didn't work with climategate guys...

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  • 30. At 8:59pm on 02 Jun 2010, Owen Gaffney wrote:

    At the World Bank conference in Stockholm this week the bank's chief economist Justin Lin said the biggest crisis the world now faces is the "underutilisation of capacity", not the environment. What UNEP and everyone else is doing is spot on, but it is not on the agenda of those who can bring about change in a meaningful way.

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  • 31. At 9:04pm on 02 Jun 2010, infiniti wrote:

    "Why isn't the BBC investigating the possibility that NASA faked their climate data?"

    Same reason they're not investigating whether 9/11 was an inside job.

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  • 32. At 9:07pm on 02 Jun 2010, Crofto wrote:

    @comment 28/Jack Hughes

    The ironic thing is that it actually doesn't take an "expert" to realise that massive over-population and disregard for the environment will eventually equal disaster in the future. Most people should realise things need to change, but as usual it's easier to bury our heads in the sand and hope that the next generation will deal with it. Am I right?

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  • 33. At 9:15pm on 02 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #25. melty wrote:

    "This guy John O'Sullivan..."

    This is attached to his articles:

    "John O’Sullivan is a legal analyst and writer who for several years has litigated in government corruption and conspiracy cases in both the US and Britain. Visit his Website: http://www.suite101.com/profile.cfm/johnosullivan "

    ----------

    "When you go look at this IT IS NOT A SCIENCE PAPER... NOT published (except on a web page). NOT peer-reviewed..."

    But melty, for those who didn't understand the ways things work before, the Climategate emails revealed what has happened to the publishing and peer review process in this field. So this argument just doesn't work anymore.

    "If the arguments in the "paper" were correct, this guy would be a contender for a Nobel prize."

    Hilarious. Al Gore and the IPCC got one of those political prizes, and so did Obama, so outside of the real science fields this is now a meaningless joke.

    "If a scientist publishes a paper with major faults, they have to answer to the scientific community -- which believe it or not is far from being a cozy club."

    Not in this field. This project has demonstrated the power of groupthink and academic politics and career building over genuine objective scientific discourse more than any other. It WAS indeed a cozy club but now it is falling apart. The Royal Society is just one example of many.

    "these damnable BLOGS" did the analysis and real peer review that the "cozy club" failed to do.

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  • 34. At 9:33pm on 02 Jun 2010, Keith wrote:

    It may be true that more than half of crops are fed to animals we eat but remember that the animals we eat mainly eat grass. Most grazing land is used for grazing for a good reason, that it is of poor quality and unsuitable for food crops. Modern food crops production is only possible on fairly flat land on a big scale.
    As others have commented the human population growth in the last 100 years needs to be addressed before anything can be done to slow down the increase in energy consumption.

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  • 35. At 10:56pm on 02 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    Frustration at the lack of real progress in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, in reversing the population bomb, and in addressing all of the environmental un-sustainabilities which we are collectively practicing has led to a number of new ideas for averting environmental and human destruction.

    I think I am seeing convergence here - in this report - in the Hartwell Paper - in the People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Bolivia - in the 'Dark Mountain Project' writings - and lastly, in my own thinking.

    Ghostofsichuan and BluesBerry are posting on this convergence, in my opinion.

    As I see it, the sickness is systemic, world-wide, and effectively un-stoppable.

    This convergent 'focus' has many names: Neocolonialism; Imperialism; and others.

    But the one which sticks is Globalization - as practiced, and I finally understand what all the anti-globalization riots were about.

    My retreat has always been science and the outdoors, allowing me to live my life as I pleased, with minimum control by the powers that be.

    However, on returning from these mystic realms, if I may be permitted some poetic license, and having a young son, I have felt it necessary to blog here as an environmental advocate - first in climate science, and then on many of the other environmental problems.

    After all that - it turns out the problems are technically solvable, yet geopoiltically they appear unrealizable.

    I believe that there is now every chance that societal collapse will have to precede whatever is to follow.

    Unfortunately, as Ghost has pointed out, we appear not to learn from the past.

    The prospects of this new post-collapse future are thus not encouraging, as presumably the same very human drives to hierarchy and dominance by an elite will resurface, and again result in business as usual - the world 'as it is' - seen clearly. (Ghostofsichuan)

    If there is any hope for us then, it would require something akin to the almost unimaginable, as succintly summarized in Richard Black's piece, by:

    Ernst Ulrich von Weizsaecker:

    "One strategy is to decouple wellbeing from resource consumption..."

    This looks very much like one of the Brave New Worlds imagined by our altruists, such as Ervin Laszlo (Club of Budapest).

    In short - the devastated world as depicted in Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" is looking every bit as likely as these utopian visions.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 36. At 01:26am on 03 Jun 2010, Phlogiston wrote:

    "One strategy is too decouple wellbeing from resource consumption"

    Oooo! Thats a good one! Not as good as "Work Will Set You Free" but still it's the thought that counts. Now how to convice people they are better off without food and shelter.

    "But the report from the UN Environment Programme's International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management also points up the immediate polluting effects (and health consequences) of burning coal, wood, oil and gas."

    How about the effects of NOT burning coal, wood, oil and gas. Where's the horror stories of the death, starvation, societial collapse, and devestating consequences of NOT burning fuels.

    "In some ears, this will be ringing an alarm bell that resonates to the tune of "here's another UN anti-growth message".

    "It actually isn't; it's about rationalising growth."

    It's not about "Rationalizing Growth" either.

    And the "Alarm Bell's" I keep hearing have not a single thing to do with AGW or "Sustainable Growth".

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  • 37. At 02:12am on 03 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    I was reading an article on 'sceptics' vs 'deniers' in a recent New Scientist magazine.

    According to the article, a 'sceptic' can be persuaded by an accumulation of facts, or empirical evidence, while a 'denier' cannot.

    A 'denier' is apparently, according to the article, driven to deny by 'ideology' or 'religious belief,' and thus facts and evidence are unsuccessful in changing a 'deniers' mind.

    In my post #35 I recounted my latest thinking on 'sustainability,' on the state of the planet - as it actually is seen by myself.

    The evangelical, born again mindset of a significant proportion of the populations of both Canada and the United States are thought by many observers to represent a real and present threat to the overcoming of the present inertia vis a vis global warming and other environmental insults.

    When you blend the geopolitical situation and this quasi-religious/ideological mindset - and add the other ways of looking at the world and understanding it, and deriving meaning from life and death - you arrive at the present state of affairs.

    It seems ridiculous that we ever believed, some of us, that reason might prevail.

    Between globalization as practiced, and religion/ideology as practiced - you have the modern world.

    I am wondering if I will not return to manmade global warming and climate science, as this is in my mind our greatest threat, surpassing even the population bomb.

    Population is self-rectifying, in a cold and calculating way. As things worsen, population will decrease, for a number of reasons, all of them onerous.

    But global warming can continue for long enough to almost guarantee our extinction and that of any number of life forms.

    AGW is #1.

    Our last hope - you tell a pilot the condition of his craft.

    - Manysummits -



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  • 38. At 04:18am on 03 Jun 2010, Phlogiston wrote:

    @37 Manysummits,

    This post... New Scientist actually published such a thing in its pages?

    Religious intollerance as Science? Blaming a specific religious group as a hinderance for righteous goals?

    Do you even see what you are doing?

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  • 39. At 04:26am on 03 Jun 2010, HumanityRules wrote:

    I guess the umbrella was being held by Malthus.

    "the real costs and benefits of many of the things we do" It's funny you mention this because while you were distracted by listing all the negative aspects of farming you seem to have missed one vital and obvious thing. IT FEEDS US.

    Hopefully the report is more balanced than your reporting of it.

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  • 40. At 05:59am on 03 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    Oh no. Another doomsday poster child bites the dust.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/02/tuvalu-and-many-other-south-pacific-islands-are-not-sinking-claims-they-are-due-to-global-warming-driven-sea-level-rise-are-opportunistic/

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  • 41. At 06:56am on 03 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Phlogiston at #36

    Rather than pouring scorn on the entire concept of seeking to decouple well-being from resource consumption, surely it would be better to look at specific examples of where it has and hasn't worked and why?

    This has been studied intensively in Sweden, including in processes lead by industry groups because there is an understanding of the potential benefits & costs (not "just" to society as a whole, but also to the corporate bottom line).

    In this context the term/concept "eco-efficiency" occurs freqently here in Sweden (and I hope elsewhere), although it doesn't appear in Richard's piece. I believe it was originally coined by someone in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development back in the days of the Rio Conference in 1992. The WBCSD use it to refer to the ambition of creating more goods and services while using fewer resources and creating less waste and pollution.

    Studies here have repeatedly shown decoupling has occured in some specific contexts. However, progress has been uneven and in some areas, the trends are negative. So although it has significant decoupling has taken place in certain sectors, and such trends are positive, it is not possible to offer examples of where overall decoupling has been demonstrated for society as a whole. So while a general ambition of achieving decoupling is certainly desirable, where it is specific environmental problems that are cause for concern, focus should be on achieving progress in addressing these, rather than on decoupling in general.

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  • 42. At 07:01am on 03 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    CanadianRockies at #40

    If I understand the piece correctly, the article is saying: that there is noticeable sea-level rise; that most of the islands studied are actually growing however because of the rate of coral growth; and that according to the researchers "while the islands were coping for now, any acceleration in the rate of sea level rise could re-instate the earlier gloomy predictions".

    Not exactly unbridled good news then?!

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  • 43. At 07:37am on 03 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @CanadianRockies #23

    I just find it hard to believe - remember, the source is just a web site, it needs checking

    At the moment, I think we should all be sceptical of this source

    @ghostofsichuan #26 (& infinity #27)

    Mango, what you call evidence is nothing but some anti-AGW rag published but editors that take disconnected statements and make great assumptions. It is apparent that what you accuse the AGW crowd of, your sources don't even attempt to provide any science, just some strange logic that will reach a predecided conclusion.. Your political agenda is political and not science, it isn't even decent political science.

    First of all, ghost, I said I don't believe that Gavin has done this and secondly, I don't have an agenda, I simply do not accept CO2 as the primary driver of climate change for the reasons I've stated on many occasions

    @manysummits #37

    I was reading an article on 'sceptics' vs 'deniers' in a recent New Scientist magazine.

    The very fact that a legitimate science magazine uses the term "denier" shows the depths that the AGWers have sunk to.

    Now I consider myself to be a sceptic, because I accept that man does cause warming (deforestation etc) and I accept CO2 causes warming (insignificant), but the part that I am sceptical about is the amount of warming, there simply is no credible evidence to suggest CO2 will cause significant warming to our world

    A 'denier' is apparently, according to the article, driven to deny by 'ideology' or 'religious belief,' and thus facts and evidence are unsuccessful in changing a 'deniers' mind.

    Hmmmm, maybe they have a point - have you re-read some of your comments and realised the zeal with which you write when preaching to the rest of us the sermons from your high priests?

    @simon-swede #42

    most of the islands studied are actually growing however because of the rate of coral growth

    I thought "acidification" of the oceans was killing coral?

    Nice to see a little good news for a change

    /Mango

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  • 44. At 07:54am on 03 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #36 Phlogiston wrote:

    "How about the effects of NOT burning coal, wood, oil and gas."

    Ever noticed how these little complications tend to be overlooked by people who live in places where there isn't such a need to burn coal, wood, oil or gas? Places such as California?

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  • 45. At 08:48am on 03 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #42. simon-swede wrote:

    "CanadianRockies at #40

    If I understand the piece correctly, the article is saying: that there is noticeable sea-level rise; that most of the islands studied are actually growing however because of the rate of coral growth; and that according to the researchers "while the islands were coping for now, any acceleration in the rate of sea level rise could re-instate the earlier gloomy predictions".

    Not exactly unbridled good news then?!"

    --------

    It says "Geographer Associate Professor Paul Kench has measured 27 islands where local sea levels have risen 120mm – an average of 2mm a year – over the past 60 years, and found that just four had diminished in size."

    First, one must wonder how they measured that "local" 2 mm per year rise in the first place. Measured against what? But that's another story.

    But, in terms of good news, compare this apparent rate of sea level rise to the hysterical projections we have been hearing, which the article also notes:

    "the United Nations spoke in late 2009 of a maximum 2 metre rise by 2100, up from 18-59cm estimated in 2007..."

    So, the latest screaming from the UN was up to 2000 mm in the next 90 years - about 22 mm per year versus the 2 mm per year in the past 60 years. Hilarious. Where is all this water supposed to come from?

    Imagine how much ice would have to melt to increase that rate that much -and what a hockey stickish spike in temperature that would require. Yet there is no sign of such a spike at all, except in Al Gore's tiny brain.

    So... while it is true that some significant "acceleration in the rate of sea level rise could re-instate the earlier gloomy predictions," that is a moot point because there is no sign of that. If pigs could fly we should all wear hats.

    In the meantime, I guess they may as well hold their government meetings on land and give up on the extortionist stunts. If they need money they ought to do something honest like develop tourism or something.




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  • 46. At 08:56am on 03 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    43. MangoChutneyUKOK wrote:
    @CanadianRockies #23

    I just find it hard to believe - remember, the source is just a web site, it needs checking

    At the moment, I think we should all be sceptical of this source

    ----------

    After all the BS floated about this topic I am sceptical of all single sources, but the weight of evidence does add up. In any case, thanks to the blogosphere the facts will come out in due time.

    Did you read this?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/27/cei-files-suit-on-giss-regarding-foia-delays/

    Puts RealClimate and Gavin Schmidt into perspective. And when things go legal over someone hiding something, that raises red flags for me.


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  • 47. At 09:05am on 03 Jun 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    Still the same old stuff - endless reports from overpaid dependants of the environment scam. As always they tell us more and more about alleged problems, propose more projects to line their own pockets and offer no realistic solutions.

    We need a steady, sustainable move to non-fossil energy, not endless reports from people with no answers.

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  • 48. At 09:07am on 03 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    44. bowmanthebard wrote:

    "#36 Phlogiston wrote:

    "How about the effects of NOT burning coal, wood, oil and gas."

    Ever noticed how these little complications tend to be overlooked by people who live in places where there isn't such a need to burn coal, wood, oil or gas? Places such as California?"

    California is a very big state, and much of it isn't room temperature like Los Angeles usually is. There are places where they do burn wood for heat. They also use tons of oil for transportation and generate power with natural gas, and import lots of coal-fired (and nuclear)electricity. And where they don't need energy for heating they need it for air conditioning.

    They are also as bankrupt as Greece so hard to say how much overpriced green energy they can afford to subsidize in the future.

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  • 49. At 11:08am on 03 Jun 2010, Wolfiewoods wrote:

    Whenever there is talk of population someone mentions elephants, is this a veiled reference to Africa & South Asia?

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  • 50. At 11:16am on 03 Jun 2010, Smiffie wrote:

    Manysummits @37 said “According to the article, a 'sceptic' can be persuaded by an accumulation of facts, or empirical evidence, while a 'denier' cannot.”

    All the signs are that many erstwhile AGW supporters are now re-evaluating their opinions but I am sure that you manysummits will remain true to your beliefs.

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  • 51. At 11:41am on 03 Jun 2010, Smiffie wrote:

    Reading between the lines of this article and the Hartwell Paper, it does appear that the political and scientific establishment are now keen to distance themselves from AGW theory and instead concentrate on real issues that affect a world with finite recourses.

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  • 52. At 11:54am on 03 Jun 2010, Smiffie wrote:

    “More than half of the crops we grow are used to feed farm animals.” Much of our western health problems are caused by the inability of our hunter gatherer bodies to cope with the amount of red meat found in our western diets. If we were to drastically reduce our meat intake we could use the crops that we save to feed the unproductive peoples of the world allowing their population to continue to expand for another 20 or 30 years..... Or we could just use it to make bio-fuel.

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  • 53. At 12:33pm on 03 Jun 2010, rossglory wrote:

    i think we should all face up to the huge ethical decisions that have to be made with respect to depletion of, and damage to, our planet. at the moment the problems are so vast i would happily accept decoupling of the agw issue if it would get the libertarian lobby on board to help fix some the problems.

    by the time we've made some progress on the other issues i believe almost certainly that the agw signal will be so strong as to be virtually undeniable.

    ps mangochutney

    i must congratulate you for showing some scepticism wrt the nasa 'scoop'. i followed the link and to me it looks like just another piece of nonsense that makes the case for 'true' sceptics so much tougher.

    lanmunkey, i would suggest you stand back take a deep breath and really ask yourself how likely this is to be true (especially given the lack of any conspiracy in the 100's thousand of stolen emails)

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  • 54. At 1:04pm on 03 Jun 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Richard Black.

    "A group of experts convened under a UN umbrella has been taking a look at what aspects of our global society are the least sustainable ... which are the biggest threats to the prosperity of future generations."

    given their remit it is surprising that their full report (all 112 pages of it) does not contain a single reference to military activities, wars, or the consequences of such conflicts.

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  • 55. At 1:17pm on 03 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 53.

    you'll notice i also put the qualifier 'if that is true' and i have not commented on it since as mango raised the issue of the reliability of the info himself.

    nice try though.

    finally- i certainly didn't mention anything about a conspiracy in those emails. evidence of serious scientific malpractice? possibly, conspiracy? not enough evidence either way.

    again, nice try though.

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  • 56. At 1:21pm on 03 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @rossglory #53

    agreed AGW should be decoupled from the environment, but disagree that the AGW signal will be undeniable, after over 20 years of searching for the AGW signal, I would be surprised if it is found in the near future

    /Mango

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  • 57. At 1:25pm on 03 Jun 2010, Kamboshigh wrote:

    #17 Mango

    You actually got in at number 15 and boy did you bring out the big boys to put you in your nasty little sceptic place. Not only Gavin but Ray Ladbury, Barton Paul Leverson, and big Jim himself.

    What NASA staff answering directly on a little blog site, surely there is no smoke without fire ;)

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  • 58. At 1:28pm on 03 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @rossglory

    PS Ross, don't sound so surprised - i'm a sceptic ;)

    /Mango

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  • 59. At 1:28pm on 03 Jun 2010, pandatank wrote:

    34. Keith wrote:
    "It may be true that more than half of crops are fed to animals we eat but remember that the animals we eat mainly eat grass. Most grazing land is used for grazing for a good reason, that it is of poor quality and unsuitable for food crops. Modern food crops production is only possible on fairly flat land on a big scale."
    If this was correct, please explain why the rainforests of Central & South America that have sustained life for thousands of years can only manage to sustain a cattle farm for 3 seasons before the soil is "played out" and yet another few hundred acres succumbs to axe and flame.

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  • 60. At 1:43pm on 03 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Kamboshigh #6
    @CanadianRockies
    @LabMunkey
    @MangoChutneyUKOK
    @Brunnen_G
    (@SR)
    (@melty)
    (@infinity)
    (@ghostofsichuan)

    Seem to be two issues here.


    Firstly there's the averaging temperature thing.

    Of course the average theoretical temperature will be lower than the average measured temperature if your chosen method for calculating the theoretical temperature exaggerates the temperature differences. Sullivan's example has the dark side of the moon at 0 K, and the sunlight side of the moon as hot as if it was permanently facing the Sun. He is treating the moon as if it was tidally locked with the Sun instead of the Earth.

    This increases the range of temperatures which naturally depresses their average. However if he took fourth power averages he would find that the theoretical and measured temperatures would match.


    Secondly there's the back radiation thing. The whole point of the "both up and down" comment is that it is instead of "just up".

    And references to the "alternative" of going sideways are misleading. The radiation can't go purely sideways. There will always be a vertical component. Either it has enough of an up component to be heading towards space. Or it has enough of a down component to be heading towards the ground. Electromagnetic radiation is too fast to get stuck in a geostationary orbit.


    Respect to Mango for not jumping on this sceptic bandwagon.

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  • 61. At 1:56pm on 03 Jun 2010, davblo wrote:

    jr4412 #54: [Re: "A group of experts convened under a UN umbrella has been taking a look at what aspects of our global society are the least sustainable..."] "...their full report (all 112 pages of it) does not contain a single reference to military activities, wars, or the consequences of such conflicts."

    Good point.

    I guess they think that war is adequately "sustainable" :-(

    /davblo

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  • 62. At 2:42pm on 03 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 57

    i think that was uncalled for. Mango was clear in questioning the 'reliability' of the source.

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  • 63. At 2:55pm on 03 Jun 2010, Smiffie wrote:

    There seem to be a lot less warmists on this blog than there were a few months ago, many have quietly slipped away I suspect and will soon be pretending that they were never really convinced. At this rate manysummits will be the only one left.

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  • 64. At 2:57pm on 03 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Kamboshigh #57

    "and big Jim himself"

    Actually I hadn't heard of RealClimate's Jim Bouldin before you made a comment about him. Incidentally he appears to work at University of California, Davis rather than NASA. Or were you thinking of some other Jim?

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/category/extras/contributor-bios/

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  • 65. At 3:05pm on 03 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Kamboshigh #6
    @CanadianRockies
    @LabMunkey
    @MangoChutneyUKOK
    @Brunnen_G
    (@SR)
    (@melty)
    (@infinity)
    (@ghostofsichuan)

    Correction to my #60, the relevant point applies to all orbits of the Earth.

    "[The radiation can't go purely sideways.] Electromagnetic radiation is too fast to get stuck in a geostationary orbit"

    should be

    "[The radiation can't go purely sideways.] Electromagnetic radiation is too fast to get stuck orbiting the Earth"

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  • 66. At 3:28pm on 03 Jun 2010, Kamboshigh wrote:

    #60 Jane,

    I am not a great fan of Sulivan but this was doing the rounds late last year. There is something to it in that the Stefan-Boltzmann calculation is only used on 2 dimensional surface and not a 3 dimensional spinning sphere. Under Stefan-Boltzmann GHG theory claims "that heat will uniformally blanket the earth or other body".

    The NASA moon landings proved this was not the case as NASA found wide differences and produced their own sun angle calculations of temperatures on the moon surface. It was cooler in the sun and warmer in the dark, the first space suits were backwards.

    So how and why does the moon store heat?

    What is more interesting from my point of view is simply why run and hid from FOIA requests for your GHG calculations. If it is right why hid it?

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  • 67. At 3:36pm on 03 Jun 2010, Kamboshigh wrote:

    # 64 Jane,

    No idea all I know is this is an activist site were free speech and differing opinions are not displayed or allowed. It is owned/hosted by a PR company that has very dubious business practises when it comes to marketing clients products.

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  • 68. At 3:49pm on 03 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @rossglory #53
    @LabMunkey

    "just another piece of nonsense that makes the case for 'true' sceptics so much tougher"

    The nonsense makes it tougher for everyone.

    It directly undermines the credibility of the good sceptics. It indirectly undermines the credibility of the good warmists by encouraging warmists to treat sceptics as fools. And it's more garbage to confuse scientific laymen on both sides of the debate.

    However I do like Ladbury's quote at RealClimate "so dense it bends light" (comment 29).

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/06/climate-change-commitment-ii/

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  • 69. At 4:05pm on 03 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Kamboshigh #57

    You actually got in at number 15 and boy did you bring out the big boys to put you in your nasty little sceptic place. Not only Gavin but Ray Ladbury, Barton Paul Leverson, and big Jim himself.

    I've dealt with them before, they don't scare me, ask difficult questions or them and you just get censored ;)

    /Mango

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  • 70. At 4:09pm on 03 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #63

    Still here, still waiting for you to propose an original 'sceptic' rationale for the observed changes to our planet. With some evidence.

    Lorax

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  • 71. At 4:13pm on 03 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Kamboshigh #66

    We discussed these issues a few threads back over the Gerlich and Tscheuschener paper a few threads back.

    The fact that the globe is spinning doesn't change the law of conservation of energy, it only affects the distribution of that energy. "Normal" temperature averages (average of 273K and 293K is 283K) are always less than the fourth power temperature average (fourth power average of 273K and 293K is about 283.53K) for the same object. The bigger the temperature range the lower the normal average temperature will be in relation to the fourth power temperature average. And the fourth power temperature average is the effective temperature average for black body physics.

    And as a general rule, if it seems too good to be true then it probably is too good to be true. Yes good science can be done by comparative unknowns. But if even you have your doubts about O'Sullivan do you really think he's the man to come up with Nobel Prize material debunking the basic underlying greenhouse?

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  • 72. At 4:28pm on 03 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Kamboshigh #66

    "So how and why does the moon store heat?"

    The moon is dark grey. Its silvery white appearance is an optical illusion which you can dispel by comparing it to a sunlit sheet of white paper when the moon is in the sky during the day.

    The moon's surface also has a heat capacity. So during the lunar morning it absorbs sunlight, storing more heat energy than is radiated back out to space. Some time in the lunar afternoon the heat energy being radiated out to space exceeds the sunlight being absorbed and the surface starts cooling. Overnight the emissions cool the moon even faster with no sunlight to top them up.

    This heat capacity creates time lags in black body temperature responses. But it does not affect radiative balance: average sunlight coming in = average black body emissions going out.

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  • 73. At 4:31pm on 03 Jun 2010, Kamboshigh wrote:

    #69 Mango,

    That was my down fall I asked a difficult question!

    Such a respected science site, I think not.

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  • 74. At 4:44pm on 03 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    Phlogiston #38: re New Scientist denial articles

    It is the May 15, 2010 issue, and there are several featured articles on scepticism and denial, which cover more than AGW - also tobacco, vaccines, etc.

    The cover features these articles!

    - Manysummits -

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  • 75. At 4:49pm on 03 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @manysummits #74

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/sustainability_choices_choices.html#P96799906

    /Mango

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  • 76. At 4:50pm on 03 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 70- to perhaps transport this discussion from the old thread to this.

    Natural variation could explain it. The vostock ice cores show this sort of variation (and those much more severe) is possible naturally.

    This removes the 'unprecedented' section of the warming argument.

    It is, at the very least, a plausable alternative to the co2 theory.

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  • 77. At 4:54pm on 03 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To Mango @43 re denial (New Scientist)

    The magazine goes over the psychology of both denial and skepticism in detail - there are actually several articles looking at this from different perspectives.

    The attempt is to understand, not criticize or ad hom, and points out that calling someone a denialist can be a form of ad hom.

    I agree, and I will not use the term lightly.

    I have known you for some time on this blog, and many others of course.

    Let's take Bowmanthebard, who does not accept that there is such a thing as a legitimate land/sea temperature.

    Even though repeated attempts by many warmist bloggers other than myself have attempted to present the evidence that there is in fact a land/sea temperature, and that a record of past land/sea temperatures exist, and that these instrumental records from many institutions and countries are in very close agreement - even then, and even with certification by all national academies of science on Earth that these records are valid and accurate - even then Bowman will not accept them.

    According to New Scientist - this is an example, a textbook example - of true 'denial,' which they say is as different as night and day from true 'skepticism.'

    - Manysummits -

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  • 78. At 5:02pm on 03 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Kamboshigh #67

    RealClimate is Gavin Schmidt's baby. Even the Climategate emails are consistent with that.

    (scroll down to Gavin's Disclaimer)
    (note he is upfront about RealClimate being originally hosted by EMS)
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/about/
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/02/a-disclaimer/
    http://www.sciencecommunicationnetwork.org/

    (note Connolley is no longer on the RealClimate.org team)
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=446

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  • 79. At 5:03pm on 03 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    54. At 1:04pm on 03 Jun 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Richard Black.

    "A group of experts convened under a UN umbrella has been taking a look at what aspects of our global society are the least sustainable ... which are the biggest threats to the prosperity of future generations."

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

    "given their remit it is surprising that their full report (all 112 pages of it) does not contain a single reference to military activities, wars, or the consequences of such conflicts." (jr4412)

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

    Absolutely!

    If one expands the definitions of denial and skepticism displayed in the New Scientist articles of May 15, 2010, then many of us are in denial over our collective roles as democratic voters in former colonialism, and in the present tribute empire of the powers that be.

    And this is part of the real reason little is being actually done.

    Many people don't know who to believe anymore. And why should they?

    Habitual lying is part of the civilized world.

    Until we once again come to honor an individual's word, and practice this in our personal lives, we are all adrift on a sea of disbelief.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 80. At 5:07pm on 03 Jun 2010, Smiffie wrote:

    Where have all the warmists gone?

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  • 81. At 5:19pm on 03 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @manysummits #74
    (@Phlogiston)

    I saw that edition, it was heavily slanted towards climate science issues.

    Most of the articles should have been OK, except they needed accompanying by a clear disclaimer that there is a big difference between 1. competent honest scepticism, 2. lay sceptics and non-specialists biting off more than they can chew, and 3. those producing more cynical distortions. The fact that they did not make such a clear disclaimer has allowed sceptics to assume that competent honest sceptics and individuals making honest mistakes are being lumped in with other "deniers".

    Personally I think a more recent New Scientist article was closer to the mark.

    (note, personally I would not use the term "PR" to describe many of Bob Ward's recommendations)
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627624.700-how-climate-scientists-can-repair-their-reputation.html?full=true

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  • 82. At 5:20pm on 03 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    63. At 2:55pm on 03 Jun 2010, Smiffie wrote:

    There seem to be a lot less warmists on this blog than there were a few months ago, many have quietly slipped away I suspect and will soon be pretending that they were never really convinced. At this rate manysummits will be the only one left.

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

    Actually jr4412, davblo, simon-swede and rossglory are still here, and preceeded me if memory serves, i.e., have been blogging longer than myself.

    You make an interesting point.

    I have watched many warmists with advanced degrees come and go, and wondered why?

    I don't think the answers are simple or straightforward.

    A large part is the seemingly futility of arguing against a 'denialist' lobby which will simply not accept what is viewed to be highest quality evidence by the scientific community. Typically, if all else fails, you get someone like Bowman saying there is actually no land/sea temperature which is legitimate, etc...

    But I think that it is also true that many with advanced degrees think they have better things to do - better ways to spend their time.

    Maybe that is true, but I suspect that it is not true.

    As a sort of mystic, a life-time drop-out from society if you will, I have another perspective, which I attempt to bring here to this weblog.

    To obtain an advanced degree, or to be otherwise highly successful in this civilized world, one is almost constrained by the process to be 'too busy,' too focused.

    Like Al Gore, like Richard Alley, like James Hansen.

    These men typically work non-stop, to all intents and purposes.

    While this produces results, without question, does it produce a balanced human being?

    Same for businessmen. I know this part of the world too. You don't have to be that smart to be rich. Mostly you have to work hard, be focused on money, and it helps to be ruthless - just in your business life of course - at home you are a caring individual - RIGHT?

    I think not - you have here Jekyll and Hyde - i.e., another unbalanced personality.

    Do you see what I am getting at?

    It is not just anti-AGW lobbyists I think of as disturbed personalities, but high-powered scientists and businessmen, religious fundamentalists, and on and on.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 83. At 5:27pm on 03 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #76
    For others...
    This is continued from an old thread, with a discussion about the possible causes of the observed changes in our climate. Lab_Munkey and others have been arguing that it doesn't have to be greenhouse gases, principally CO2, but instead it could be 'Natural Variation'.

    To me that seems like a deus ex machina answer - that the changes we see just happen through some external agent which does not get defined or investigated because it is 'natural'. I'm happy to discuss alternatives to the current climate science hypothesis - solar output, vulcanism, cosmic rays, orbital wobblies, albedo changes - anything really - as long as it is a real thing, not the Natural Variation Fairy. Even 'Natural Variations' prior to humans were caused by some specific thing. and the variations we see now similarly have to be caused by some specific thing. So far, greenhouse gases look like the culprit, but if you have a better hypothesis, wheel it out by all means.

    Lorax

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  • 84. At 5:28pm on 03 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To Ghostofsichuan: (personal note)

    I am attempting a big mountain tomorrow - the weather is marginal, the Moon is not cooperating either, being in its last quarter. If we succeed, a descent in the dark is a distinct possibility.

    Regards,

    Manysummits

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  • 85. At 5:39pm on 03 Jun 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #56 mangochutney

    "agreed AGW should be decoupled from the environment, but disagree that the AGW signal will be undeniable, after over 20 years of searching for the AGW signal, I would be surprised if it is found in the near future"

    we'll have to agree to disagree here.

    imo the signal is already unambiguous but can still be denied because the signal/noise ratio just about allows specious use of graphs etc (see monckton and his ilk).

    in another 10 years only a tiny rump of contrarians will still be banging out the message just as there are still those that argue that smoking is good for you.

    i don;t really consider you part of the rump so prepare yourself for an epiphany in the next decade :o) of course we'll also have another 10 years worth of heating in the system so all very depressing.

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  • 86. At 5:45pm on 03 Jun 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #55 labmunkey

    "nice try though." - not sure what you're talking about. i'm not trying to trick anyone here, just stating that the only way anything like this is gonna be true is if there were a huge scientific conspiracy.....and there isn't so it's not. simple really.

    however, starting a post with 'wow' kinda gives away your (not very) sceptical credentials imo.

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  • 87. At 5:48pm on 03 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    \\\ Anecdotal Evidence of a Warming World ///

    1) "Sherpas warn ice melt is making Everest 'dangerous'"

    "Meanwhile, a US-based scientific survey has installed a number of photographic cameras in the Everest region to record the rate of melting ice and snow.

    The cameras are programmed take a photograph every 30 minute to provide a time-lapse record of changing conditions."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/south_asia/10201279.stm

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

    2) "Deep sea fish 'mystery migration' across Pacific Ocean"

    "Though there is no evidence to support the idea, Dr Arkhipkin speculates that climate change may be influencing the deepwater currents, facilitating the novel spread of such animals."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8717000/8717761.stm

    - Manysummits -

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  • 88. At 6:01pm on 03 Jun 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #kamboshigh and mangochutney

    "I've dealt with them before, they don't scare me, ask difficult questions or them and you just get censored ;)"

    "That was my down fall I asked a difficult question!"

    if you put me up against a willie soon, roy spencer or fred singer in a debate they would tear me to pieces (even the eccentric monckton would give me a hard time). that's why i have to spend time researching stuff from reputable scientists to garner what is likely to be true.

    so you guys really are in a dream world if you think you are posting questions on realclimate that are just too difficult for them to deal with. i would suggests they're more likely to censor questions that are too stupid rather than too difficult.

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  • 89. At 6:07pm on 03 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To Jane #81: re New Scientist article

    Thanks for the link - I think all of these articles valuable.

    I wouldn't worry as much as some over the polls - I am already convinced the problem is systemic, not relegated to disbelief in scientists or AGW.

    We live in a society which is TOO COMPLEX, which is why Joseph Tainer (The Collapse of Complex Scosities) believes the more natural condition of mankind is a return to one of less complexity.

    Hence the big bong when I read "decoupling society from resource consumption", which should read 'from over-consuption.'

    Here is James Hansen, discussing this very point - skeptical growth in society over AGW, in his most recent paper (June 1, 2010), now under revision, and available on his Columbia website:

    "Given this situation, the best hope may be repeated clear description of the science and passage of sufficient time to confirm validity of the description." (James Hansen)

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/ (see June 1 - 'summary discussion')

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

    I concur. James Hansen is in effect saying what I say:

    You tell a pilot the condition of his craft.

    The public is now prepared to believe in AGW - even if temporarily they are in denial.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 90. At 6:09pm on 03 Jun 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #68 janebasingstoke

    thanks for the scientific posts and link to realclimate. the truth is that science needs credible counter arguments and tommyrot like this and monckton's output just makes it difficult for credible scientists to challenge properly.

    the recent paper about sis's not shrinking is a case in point. for all i know it is good science but immediately i'm thinking 'what's his agenda?'.

    unfortunately good science is not the ultimate goal of the majority in the contrarian lobby.

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  • 91. At 6:17pm on 03 Jun 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #79 manysummits

    "Habitual lying is part of the civilized world." - you are absolutely right and i loathe this change.

    i've been reading louis fischer's biography of gandhi and his concept of satyagraha (difficult to translate but possibly 'truth force').

    his authority came from the dedication of those that believed he would always tell the truth and do the 'right' thing even if that made him unpopular with friends or fellow hindus or even at odds with things he had said in the past (he seemed happiest admitting his mistakes!).

    a truly great human being.

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  • 92. At 6:40pm on 03 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #77 manysummits wrote:

    "Let's take Bowmanthebard, who does not accept that there is such a thing as a legitimate land/sea temperature."

    Are you sure you mean me here? I may have expressed concerns once or twice about the vagueness of what's being referred to by "global temperature" -- it's a big planet, with deep oceans, many-layered atmosphere and so on -- but I'm hardly representative of the "no such thing" school.

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  • 93. At 6:58pm on 03 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #83 Lorax wrote:

    "I'm happy to discuss alternatives to the current climate science hypothesis - solar output, vulcanism, cosmic rays, orbital wobblies, albedo changes - anything really - as long as it is a real thing, not the Natural Variation Fairy."

    Put like that, I agree with you, but surely it is legitimate to say "I dunno -- probably something else" from time to time? For example, suppose you get a worrying symptom such as a pain in the chest. It's a pain all right, but it isn't accompanied by the other typical warning signs of heart pain, and you don't feel all that bad. Isn't it reasonable to say "yes, I have a chest pain, but it could be caused by all sorts of things other than something going wrong with my heart, some of which I haven't even thought of yet". Not only do you not have to plump for "it's gas", it would be irrational to do so. Sometimes, "I don't know what it is, and it might be the dreaded X, but it probably isn't X".

    "Even 'Natural Variations' prior to humans were caused by some specific thing. and the variations we see now similarly have to be caused by some specific thing. So far, greenhouse gases look like the culprit, but if you have a better hypothesis, wheel it out by all means."

    This seems to suppose that if there is only one hypothesis available, it's the one we should believe. Before evolutionary theory, the only available hypothesis to explain life on Earth was God. Was it not reasonable then to say "I can't explain life on Earth, but I don't think it was God"?

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  • 94. At 7:08pm on 03 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @rossglory #88

    that's why i have to spend time researching stuff from reputable scientists to garner what is likely to be true

    so you're saying scientists you believe in AGW are reputable and those that don't believe in AGW are not reputable?

    tommyrot!

    /Mango

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  • 95. At 7:13pm on 03 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #91 rossglory wrote:

    "Habitual lying is part of the civilized world." - you are absolutely right and i loathe this change.

    That's an interesting remark -- especially the word 'change'. It implies you think people used to lie less in the past. What on earth makes you think people used to lie less in the past, apart from attachment to some religious or Rousseau-type idea of an "uncorrupted past"?

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  • 96. At 7:28pm on 03 Jun 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Manysummits:

    Complete the ascent before considering the decent and as Kung the Master said: A wise man adapts himself to circumstances, as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it.
    Tread carefully and enjoy the expereince. The mountain does not change only your perception. Take the safe route on your return.

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  • 97. At 7:51pm on 03 Jun 2010, Professional SEO wrote:

    I was raised on an orchard in Washington state and I saw crops come out of the field and get sent to the market. When we say that half the crops are used to feed farm animals I don't feel this is a cause for outrage. People in the markets won't buy less then perfect fruit so instead of letting it go to rot it is used to subsidize farm animal food. One of the coolest organizations I have seen is called 2nd harvest, they take food that is rejected by the market simply because of looks and donate it to the homeless and needy. It really has made a big difference in a lot of lives. I think more organizations like that could help distribute food. - Professional SEO

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  • 98. At 8:05pm on 03 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #71. JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    "even you have your doubts about O'Sullivan do you really think he's the man to come up with Nobel Prize material debunking the basic underlying greenhouse?"

    As far as I can tell, he's reporting it, not postulating it.

    The best thing about all this is that basic questions are being asked where once the "debate was over"!!! Refreshing.

    As for Nobel prizes, well they gave one to Gore and the IPCC, and Obama, so sometimes they are meaningless these days except as a poltical tool.



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  • 99. At 8:07pm on 03 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    70. Lorax wrote:

    "Still here, still waiting for you to propose an original 'sceptic' rationale for the observed changes to our planet. With some evidence."

    Natural variability. Provide evidence that that is not the case.



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  • 100. At 8:13pm on 03 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    83. Lorax - Missed this post.

    Why do you believe that CO2 is "the culprit"?

    What do you see that is outside the range of natural variability that would require a culprit?

    Do you think that one can make long term projections about global climate based on short term trends?

    Are you at all familiar with the roller-coaster graph of long term climate history?


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  • 101. At 8:37pm on 03 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 86.

    so an exclamation of suprise marks me out to be an 'inproper' sceptic....

    that's pathetic even for you.

    @ 83 lorax

    thanks for continueing it here, appreciated.

    Ok, we're getting somewhere. Lets see if we can hammer down on a few specifics, then move on from there.

    I now see what you're trying to say wrt the 'natural change fairy'. I still think you're being guilty of a slight double standard, sorry but it's how i see it- namely, not knowing what else it could be to bolster the co2 argument, whereas not knowing what natural changes could have done it weakens the counter argument. That doesn't sit right.

    I take your point on the argument being stronger if we could point to just WHAT natural variations caused these changes- but- the mistake i think you've made (and feel free to rebuke/challenge as you see fit) is that you're mistaking ignoranc/lack of understanding of certain factors for the ABSENCE of those factors.

    The simple fact is that these natural variations DO exist. the proxies ice core samples tell us this. We, however cannot at present fully explain these variations (evidenced by the complete lack of any model repeat/validation). Just because we don't understand the changes, doesn't mean they are not present (as evidenced by the data).

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  • 102. At 8:50pm on 03 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    CR #100: re - climate

    1) CO2 (carbon dioxide) - higher than at any time in the last ~ 15 million years. This is outside the range of the Pleistocene (or Quaternary), the time of the Ice Ages and their inter-stadial events, such as the one we are now in, the Holocene. We are not outside the range of the Cenozoic, i.e., the last ~ 65 million years.

    Frame of reference is crucial to any intelligent discussion of climate.

    What frame of reference are you talking about?

    2) "the roller-coaster graph of long term climate history" (#100)

    It is precisely the work of the world's scientists that have acquainted you - and me - and everyone else with the fact of climate's "roller coaster."

    The only viable explanation so far is 'climate feed-backs.'

    There is first a trigger, i.e., an initial climate forcing, and then the climate feed-backs come into play.

    Again, there is no known mechanism known to account for the "roller coaster" of climate, as evidenced in the paleo-climatic record brought to you by the scientific community, other than climate feed-backs.

    In short, the climate system is seen as a deterministic, non-linear, dynamical one, colloquially called 'chaotic,' which is a term that is misleading if not understood properly, i.e., it is not a random system.

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

    - Manysummits -

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  • 103. At 9:04pm on 03 Jun 2010, SR wrote:

    @100

    It could be natural variation but the balance of evidence suggests otherwise. It is the accumulation of many lines of inquiry that leads eventually to such a strong case for carbon induced warming being the main contributor to the recent warming. The most relevant of this evidence to the point you are making is the inability to explain the recent warming using only natural contributors (i.e., without CO2), the physical knowledge we have about how CO2 absorbs and re-emmits energy and the greenhouse effect, empirical observational evidence that C02 has changed radiative forcing in such a way to increase global temperatures and the paleo record actualy lends evidence to the view that CO2 contributes significantly to climate sensitivity.

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  • 104. At 9:40pm on 03 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 103,

    "The most relevant of this evidence to the point you are making is the inability to explain the recent warming using only natural contributors (i.e., without CO2), "
    -false. sorry- the paleoclimatic data shows quicker, more substantial changes on it's own. which clearly shows natural phenomena CAN explain these changes.

    "the physical knowledge we have about how CO2 absorbs and re-emmits energy and the greenhouse effect"
    --perfectly fine in a laboratory environment- not a real world system where the experts CLEARLY admit they don't fully understand the system

    "empirical observational evidence that C02 has changed radiative forcing in such a way to increase global temperatures "
    --such as? i must have missed that one

    "paleo record actualy lends evidence to the view that CO2 contributes significantly to climate sensitivity."
    --again, as far as i was aware we still don't know climate sensitivty wrt co2, and again- unless i'm mistaken the most recent work involving clouds, which once included with low sensitivity, more closely models the climate than the ip[cc models do.

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  • 105. At 10:04pm on 03 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #103. SR wrote:

    "recent warming" can be more simply explained as the ending of the Little Ice Age...

    And again, that's just another little blip in the longer term roller coaster.

    Given how complex the system is, starting with variations in solar output and the whole Croll-Milankovitch picture, I simply do not accept that the human contribution to CO2 levels can significantly impact global climate. Far too simplistic and far too convenient for other agendas.

    Note the word "significantly." Key word. In reality, everything impacts everything in the biosphere.

    You do understand that the data now used is hopelessly corrupted by "adjustments" and based on an "adjusted" system for data collection, don't you? If you don't, you really need to read up on all the case studies done on the weather station sites, etc., which are featured prominently at wattsupwiththat. So, even if the short terms trends actually meant anything, we actually don't know what they are.

    Bottom line for me. I accept the fact of climate changes. It is a constant factor in world history. Always has been and always will be. We cannot change that, any more than we can change global rotation. So we must adapt to whatever comes our way. Since this constant change produces local variations that means local adaptations, not some false global governance model that cannot address these local factors.

    There will be as much 'good' from climate change as there is 'bad' depending on where one happens to be (and which species one happens to be). And contrary to the simplistic CO2 model, there's no way we can predict much with any level of certainty because the science of global climatology is still in diapers. There are undoubtedly feedback mechanisms that we don't even recognize yet... not to mention little random details like volcanoes.

    By the way, what "empirical observational evidence that C02 has changed radiative forcing in such a way to increase global temperatures"?

    Please be specific.

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  • 106. At 10:08pm on 03 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    102. manysummits - wikipedia is not a reliable source on this topic. It seems you must be the last person to know that.

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/12/19/lawrence-solomon-wikipedia-s-climate-doctor.aspx

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/12/23/lawrence-solomon-wikipedia-s-hockey-stick-wars.aspx

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  • 107. At 10:14pm on 03 Jun 2010, SR wrote:

    LabMunkey @104

    Invest a few hours to read the IPCC WG1 part of the report.

    Seriously, it's all there.

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  • 108. At 10:36pm on 03 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @CanadianRockies #98
    (@Kamboshigh)

    You are right, he's only reporting it. I was thrown by O'Sullivan's references to his own related scoop, misinterpreted his use of the word "co-authored" and assumed the science flaws meant it must have involved laymen.

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  • 109. At 10:43pm on 03 Jun 2010, SR wrote:

    @105 canadianrockies

    I wonder if you know that the claims made on wattsupwiththat about Urban Heat Effect and poor microsite effects have been completely rubbished by follow up studies. I don't say this lightly. They have confirmed what the scientists and statisticians already knew, that is, if you have a large enough dataset and use proper adjustment techniques (which you MUST use- anyone with any knowledge of statistics KNOW that you must use these techniques on large spcially and time varying datasets), the effects that the sceptics claim will happen, cannot happen! This has been demonstrated a few times...the sceptics must cover their eyes and ears when this happens.

    This is just one example OF MANY of the way amateurs with a poor understanding of the underlying techniques are able to assert a sense of false authority. It has happened agan very recently with the NASA 'scandal'.

    Yet on the other side, you have a huge collection of peer reviewed scientific papers and proven principles that sceptics simply cannot dent without resorting to smears and lies. This evidence SHOULD speak for itself, but some members of the sceptic community (predominately bloggers who have been crowned with this false authority) are doing a good job of drowning it out with pathetic nonsense. This is not real scepticism, in fact, it damages the real, intelligent and genuine scepticism.

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  • 110. At 11:45pm on 03 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #109. SR wrote:

    "I wonder if you know that the claims made on wattsupwiththat about Urban Heat Effect and poor microsite effects have been completely rubbished by follow up studies."

    So you say. Why don't you be specific with at least one example? And preferably not from some IPCC document. They have no credibility any more, for obvious reasons.

    "proven principles"

    Yes. But putting them all together and understanding how all the variables work is another story. To be ridiculously simplistic, gravity is a known yet heavy airplanes can fly.

    "Yet on the other side, you have a huge collection of peer reviewed scientific papers..."

    Funny. We all know how the peer review process has been corrupted, so that label in this context is now meaningless unless we know who the peers were and what their backgrounds are.

    This corruption of this process is not new but it has never been more blatant and obvious as is has been in regards to this subject.

    By the way, this is not a 'smear' or 'lie' - unless you think that the Climategate email authors were lying.

    And in terms of 'smears' and 'lies' I would suggest that the AGW proponents are in a league of their own on that, and that has indeed caused them and this whole discussion profound harm.

    If you would like to compare the use of those techniques by the two sides of this debate, you will find that the evidence is unequivocal. The list is long but we don't really need to go any further than the use of the loaded word 'denier.'

    The public just isn't buying the scare stories about this anymore, and the closer they look, the more that happens. It seems every day another AGW poster child is proven to be phoney... or did you miss this?

    Oh no. Another doomsday poster child bites the dust.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/02/tuvalu-and-many-other-south-pacific-islands-are-not-sinking-claims-they-are-due-to-global-warming-driven-sea-level-rise-are-opportunistic/

    Ever read Michael Crichton's novel 'State of Fear'? Seems he could predict the future much better than the IPCC et al.

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  • 111. At 11:53pm on 03 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    CR #106 re: "wikipedia is not a reliable source on this topic" (CR)

    I am convinced you fit New Scientist's definition of a "denialist" rather than a skeptic, and you and Bowmanthebard are now on my list as "denialists," i.e., unable to change despite overwhelming evidence, probably due to ideology or religious belief.

    Here is the REFERENCE section from the link to Wikipedia I posted in my #102:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_feedback#References

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

    There are forty-six references cited. I looked over the list quickly - highest quality sources - original science by the top names in science, in a variety of top-flite specialist journals.

    The third possibility of course, is that you are actively promoting dis-information and spreading doubt as part of an actual lobby.

    Technically this third possibility might conceivably be covered under ideology - your choice - the result is the same.

    Despite overwhelming top quality evidence - you slander the source.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 112. At 11:59pm on 03 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    \\\ Denialist List 3 June 2010 [Manysummits compilation] ///

    Bowmanthebard 3 June 2010: 'No such thing as Land/Sea Temperature.'

    CanadianRockies 3 June 2010: 'Wikipedia is not a reliable source on this topic [Climate Feedback with 46 References to the Scientific Literature].

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

    - Manysummits -

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  • 113. At 00:05am on 04 Jun 2010, infiniti wrote:

    Re 106. CanadianRockies:

    "wikipedia is not a reliable source on this topic. It seems you must be the last person to know that."

    Out of interest what makes wikipedia an unreliable source on the topic but not nationalpost?

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  • 114. At 00:07am on 04 Jun 2010, infiniti wrote:

    First comparison I've seen of GISTEMP with and without airport based stations:
    http://clearclimatecode.org/airport-warming/

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  • 115. At 00:11am on 04 Jun 2010, infiniti wrote:

    With regards to the earlier discussion about the moon:
    http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/06/03/lunar-madness-and-physics-basics/

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  • 116. At 00:18am on 04 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    I suppose I should formally reference the New Scientist article I have been using to discriminate between a "denialist" and a "sceptic."

    \\\ Living in denial: When a sceptic isn't a sceptic ///

    Excerpt:

    "Denialism is typically driven by ideology or religious belief, where the commitment to the belief takes precedence over the evidence. Belief comes first, reasons for belief follow, and those reasons are winnowed to ensure that the belief survives intact." (New Scientist article)

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627606.000-living-in-denial-when-a-sceptic-isnt-a-sceptic.html

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

    I urge a complete read of this article by those with an interest. Moderation precludes my excerpting more than a few lines.

    This is the best article on the subject that I have seen.

    Caveat: In my opinion.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 117. At 00:35am on 04 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @CanadianRockies #98
    (@Kamboshigh)

    Actually re-reading that 2nd in between link, I'm not sure that I read the paragraph referring to the paper being "co-authored" on the first read, I may have skipped it. So my impression that it was O'Sullivan's work was the combination of O'Sullivan's claim for his own scoop, the O'Sullivan authorship of the other articles in the chain of links and the lack of a list of authors at the top of the actual paper.

    Kamboshigh's top link
    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=5810
    by John O'Sullivan

    1st in between link - a PDF at climaterealists.com
    (full version of above climaterealists.com article)
    by John O'Sullivan

    2nd in between link
    http://climatology.suite101.com/article.cfm/apollo-mission-a-giant-leap-to-discredit-greenhouse-gas-theory
    by John O'Sullivan

    Actual paper - a PDF at ilovemycarbondioxide.com
    "A Greenhouse Effect on the Moon?"
    by Hertzberg, Schreuder and Siddons


    Note, the Hertzberg, Schreuder and Siddons paper does not appear to be associated with O'Sullivan's problems with back radiation.

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  • 118. At 05:35am on 04 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #113. infinity wrote:

    "Re 106. CanadianRockies:

    "wikipedia is not a reliable source on this topic. It seems you must be the last person to know that."

    Out of interest what makes wikipedia an unreliable source on the topic but not nationalpost?"

    The links from the natpost are about wikipedia and its revisionist editor, and not this topic per se.

    And it is not the only reporting on this digital book burning but the only ones I have handy.

    And the natpost author is a genuine environmentalist who has become entirely disillusioned with the dishonesty of this whole AGW project... just like me.

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  • 119. At 05:44am on 04 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    117. JaneBasingstoke - Makes sense to me. In my #33 I posted the intro on him that goes with his articles:

    "John O’Sullivan is a legal analyst and writer who for several years has litigated in government corruption and conspiracy cases in both the US and Britain. Visit his Website: http://www.suite101.com/profile.cfm/johnosullivan "

    So, can't imagine him doing scientific research or papers himself. he's also the investigative reporter who discovered how Mann got his PhD and was then instantly placed in the IPCC to play hockey.

    P.S. re your #78, and my #118. You wrote that "Connolley is no longer on the RealClimate.org team"... he's the censor at wikipedia now, so he's still working for the same "team."

    Its all so Orwellian that it makes me gag.

    Oh well. Over to WUWT to see what's new.

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  • 120. At 06:02am on 04 Jun 2010, peakbear wrote:

    #103. SR
    "It could be natural variation but the balance of evidence suggests otherwise."

    I don't see what evidence you use to get to 'otherwise'. I'd say the evidence suggests to me that something similar to Svensmarks cloud theory coupled with decadal ocean oscillations explain changes during this interglacial. At least we have an experiment planned to test the Cloud theory. The IPCC have already ruled out the sun (and the direct change in radiative energy is very small) so they can't really go back and investigate again. The decadal ocean oscillations can't be reproduced in the models so aren't included in the IPCC report either apart from the sections stating large uncertainties in things like ocean and cloud forcing.

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  • 121. At 06:32am on 04 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    Someone commenting at WUWT posted this fascinating historical background piece:

    An excerpt from this long and detailed article: "The Age of Witch-Hunting thus seems pretty congruent with the era of the Little Ice Age. The peaks of the persecution coincide with the critical points of climatic deterioration. Witches traditionally had been held responsible for bad weather which was so dangerous for the precarious agriculture of the pre-industrial period... The 1420ies, the 1450ies, and the last two decades of the fifteenth century, well known in the history of climate, were decisive years in which secular and ecclesiastical authorities increasingly accepted the existence of weather-making witches."

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/32396573/Witch-Hunting-Maunder

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  • 122. At 07:46am on 04 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @SR #103 & 107

    empirical observational evidence that C02 has changed radiative forcing in such a way to increase global temperatures

    Invest a few hours to read the IPCC WG1 part of the report.

    No it's not - please tell us where. There is no empirical observational evidence in WG1 to suggest this

    @SR #109

    Unfortunately, I think you will find the challenge was taken up using the wrong report. The challengers used data from only 40% of the stations currently surfaces stations are at around 80%, so the challenge remains

    @manysummits #111

    Here is the REFERENCE section from the link to Wikipedia I posted in my #102:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_feedback#References


    First of all, did you notice the page has been placed on "article probation"? Don't rely on Wiki as your source of information

    Secondly, you have to distinguish between feedback and sensitivity

    #116

    Again i would refer you to:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/sustainability_choices_choices.html#P96799906

    /Mango

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  • 123. At 08:07am on 04 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    116. At 00:18am on 04 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:
    I suppose I should formally reference the New Scientist article I have been using to discriminate between a "denialist" and a "sceptic."

    \\\ Living in denial: When a sceptic isn't a sceptic ///


    This i just misdirection and spin... The vast majority, are not a denialist, by there definition, it is just an artificial 'creation' in the minds for propaganda purposes.

    I believe in the evidence for climate change (ie natural)
    I believe in that C02 is a greenhouse gas (all though a minor one, vs water vapour)
    I believe that if you doubled CO2, the physics says, 0.5-1.0C rise.
    I believe that observed negative feedback, may cancel some or all this out of this out.
    I believe that computer models will give predictions that you program into them,

    ie various sensitivities (+ve feedback), give a range of temperatures from +1.0C to +12.0c.. Wonder why only the scary scenario is used.

    Mosts sceptical people would consider the above to be reasonable.
    But new scientist build up a strawman denial argument.

    I do just NOT believe in catastrophic, alarmist man made global warming..
    Neither do the majority of anyone 'labelled' sceptics or deniars.

    As the doom and gloom goes AGAINST the observed evidence.

    New scientists, goes on to link climate denial to, Aids denial, Holocuast denial, tobacco denial, Creationists, 9/11 denial etc...

    Any really ludicrous idea going...to make people afraid to speak up, lest get labelled a loony.

    Of course another 'climate change' poster child is biting the dust, as the IPCC scare stories unravel..

    Pacific islands 'growing not shrinking' due to climate change
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/tuvalu/7799503/Pacific-islands-growing-not-shrinking-due-to-climate-change.html

    Low-lying Pacific islands regarded as "poster child" examples of the threat from rising sea levels are expanding not sinking, a new study has revealed.

    Of course, this is what they ALWAYS do, naturally evolve due to natural 'climate change'.

    Yet the media , continue to use 'climate change' to mean man made climate change.. As if the world's sea level rises were static until the industrial rveolution, and oonly then started to rise..

    5 inches a century, is totally withing the realms of the planets natural fluctuations within humns brief and limted time on this planet..

    The mechanisms that cause the islands to grow (And always have) are still being considered problems linked to 'climate change'

    You could walk from FRance to the UK, 14,000 years ago, 6,000 later you could not.

    English Channel 45 meteres deep at the SHALLOWEST

    I guess that make me a deniar then, according to New Scientist

    (would that be 'New' - Post Modern - Scientists ? )

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  • 124. At 08:08am on 04 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @manysummits #116

    What irritates me about you, manysummits, is you post the same thing over and over again, but don't even attempt to answer people who respond to your nonsense - please note, calling someone a denier is not an answer

    /Mango

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  • 125. At 09:01am on 04 Jun 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #94 mangochutney

    "so you're saying scientists you believe in AGW are reputable and those that don't believe in AGW are not reputable?

    tommyrot!"

    nope, you said that.

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  • 126. At 09:05am on 04 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #120 Peakbear

    'I'd say the evidence suggests to me that something similar to Svensmarks cloud theory coupled with decadal ocean oscillations explain changes during this interglacial. '

    I'd say that you are clutching at the 'it must be anything other that greenhouse gases' straw. Care to share this 'evidence' with us?

    Lorax

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  • 127. At 09:20am on 04 Jun 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #95 bowmanthebard

    "That's an interesting remark -- especially the word 'change'. It implies you think people used to lie less in the past. What on earth makes you think people used to lie less in the past, apart from attachment to some religious or Rousseau-type idea of an "uncorrupted past"?"

    once again you're wide of the mark bowman. lying/deception is natural, it is a survival technique used by many creatures. what i believe has changed is a cultural shift in the west towards deception as the norm.

    if you take new labour spin for example, i think that all messages to the public went through a deliberate process to ensure the maximum effect even if this meant effectively lying. the classic example was the comment that 11/9/2001 was a good day to 'bury some bad news'. before that process was introduced it was all a bit ad hoc and hit and miss.

    this cultural change has been supported (or possibly lead) by an increase in graduates of subjects whose primary objective is to skillfully manipulate the message (pr, marketing, law, politics etc) at the expense of those interested in truth (science, philosophy etc).

    human nature does not change but a cultural change can alter the general perception of how good/bad those parts of our nature are. similar examples were greed during thatcher's reign, racism during 30's europe, torture during bush's regime etc

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  • 128. At 09:22am on 04 Jun 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #101 labmunkey

    "that's pathetic even for you." - not sure what you mean by that.....but i sense i'm not convincing you :o)

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  • 129. At 09:24am on 04 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ sr # 107.

    i've fully read the ipcc report, i've also read the nipcc counter-report.

    the evidence you think is there, simply isn't. there is a lot of 'probably', 'maybes', etc etc.

    And it still doesn't answer my question- how can we claim anything we are seeing now is unprecedented when paleoclimatic data clearly show's it isn't?? it's a major logic fail.

    @ Lorax, i thought of this analogy to try and explain where i'm coming from - i can't help thinking we're talking at cross purposes.

    A man may look at the rising levels of a tidal river, and not understand why they move as they do. he knows the levels rise and fall, but has no concept of the moons effect and the effect of the seasons. he starts adding food waste into the water and the level starts rising again- so he blames the food waste for the rises, despite knowing from his tribes history that the river has been higher in the past.

    just because he his unaware of the natural forces in play, doesn't strengthen his argument that the food waste is the cause.

    VERY rough analogy, but hopefully you can see what i'm shooting at.

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  • 130. At 09:29am on 04 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #122

    CanadianRockies - 'Unfortunately, I think you will find the challenge was taken up using the wrong report. The challengers used data from only 40% of the stations currently surfaces stations are at around 80%, so the challenge remains'

    #119 'Over to WUWT to see what's new.'
    #106 'wikipedia is not a reliable source on this topic'

    Nothing can shake your faith in Watts eh? Not the various studies showing no UHI influence on temperature trends, not even a 50% sample of the surface stations identified by Watts. You are really sure that the analysis of the other 50% will completely overturn the conclusions already reached?

    As an example regarding the numeracy and reliability of claims on Wattsup, on May 25 Watts posted a claim that the snowpack in the western US was 137% above normal. He produced this figure by simply averaging the state figures of 11 states - without correcting for the fact that the states are rather different sizes.

    Thus Arizona - 295254km2 at 446% snowpack contributes as much to the overall average as Alaska - 1717854km2 at 100% snowpack.

    He then compares this absurd overall average to other external data that was assessed differently - using the area weighting - to, er, 'prove' that there's lots of snow.

    Surely it is this kind of Wattsian production which should give you some concern about using this site as a 'reliable source'? Dumb or mendacious are not alternatives I'd like to depend upon.

    Lorax

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  • 131. At 10:18am on 04 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @130

    then challenge him. every time i've seen someone challenge wats he's taken it on, and if he was wrong- changed his post accordingly.

    personally, i think that makes his site an 'above average' source. that and the comments aren't censored...

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  • 132. At 10:33am on 04 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #127 rossglory wrote:

    "a cultural shift in the west towards deception as the norm"

    Since deception depends on truth-telling to work, it can never become the "norm".

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  • 133. At 10:40am on 04 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #129 Lab Munkey

    Let's continue with your analogy. Suppose the Natural Variation Fairy appears, and with a swish of a wand, gives our hero a basic scientific education. He then says, 'OK let me test my food waste theory by stopping putting food waste in the river and seeing what happens.' Of course, the tides continue, so he says ' fair enough, nothing to do with the food waste, I should get a compost bin'. If he really has time on his hands, perhaps due to lack of reality TV, he tries a whole series of tests - firstly establishing that tides really do exist, and secondly by altering the variables he can think of to see if it makes a difference.

    When I do presentations or lectures, I often use a simple 2x2 matrix. In this discussion we could show, without resorting to food waste, our problem in the same way, with 4 options:

    1. weak evidence for climate change/weak certainty over human GHG role
    2. strong evidence for climate change/weak certainty over human GHG role
    3. weak evidence for climate change/strong certainty over human GHG role
    4. strong evidence for climate change/strong certainty over human GHG role

    1|2
    ---
    3|4

    Now, I know that you wouldn't put yourself in category 4 - I'm not sure whether you are a 1 or a 2. But I'd like to suggest that perhaps it doesn't matter where one starts from, what matters is the direction the science goes in. My own view on climate science is considerably influenced by the way that we are moving towards category 4. A couple of examples:

    On this board, we discussed O'Sullivan's report - an attempt to push us towards a 'weak evidence' position (1/3). After a fairly cursory look, and some clever thinking from JaneBasingstoke, I think we've mostly rejected it.

    Similarly, some have linked to the report that some Pacific islands appear to be rising through coral growth as fast as the seas are rising. While that may, for now, in some places calm the fears of some islanders, the really noticeable thing is the link to long term records showing that the sea level has risen 120mm in the last 60 years - pretty much on track with predictions of thermal expansion of the oceans + meltwater. Here then, despite the hoopla, is an example of a report strengthening the evidence for climate change - moving us towards 2/4.

    Finally, the best way to move the debate from 3/4 to 1/2 would be to demonstrate alternative hypotheses for the changes. That is where I think there is a giant gap - with the single exception perhaps of the cloud experiment at CERN, nobody seems to be generating any momentum for an alternative hypothesis. The traffic is all the other way.

    Lorax

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  • 134. At 11:04am on 04 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @CanadianRockies #119

    He describes much of the "science" in the Hertzberg, Schreuder and Siddons paper, only really skipping the actual sums. And he has taken a similar approach with other "science" from the more incompetent among the sceptics. And the Hertzberg, Schreuder and Siddons paper doesn't look like the work of professional scientists. It's not just the c***-ups. Scientific papers have authorship at the top of the paper for clarity and identification, even if their author works at a patent office and has written them in his spare time http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/einstein/specrel/www/ http://archive.ncsa.illinois.edu/Cyberia/NumRel/Images/rel1905.jpeg .

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  • 135. At 11:05am on 04 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    oh for goodness sake...

    That is about the same average rate level of sea level rise for thousands of years..

    What do not people understabd what happens to the planets after ICE ages....

    How do people think islands in the pacific got there inthe first place...!!!

    god put them there?
    The sea level has never changed?


    "These islands are so low lying that in extreme events waves crash straight over the top of them," Professor Kench said.

    "In doing that they transport sediment from the beach or adjacent reef platform and they throw it on to the top of the island."

    As it has ALWAYS done..

    This is part of the process that has kept the low level islands above sea level rises for millenia..

    Naomi Thirobaux, a student from Kiribati who has studied the islands for a PhD, said no one should be lulled into thinking erosion and inundation were not taking their toll on the islands.

    "In a populated place, people can't move back or inland because there's hardly any place to move into, so that's quite dramatic," she said.

    which of course is the opposite of the fact that the islands have GROWN.
    everything described is the totally natural process that created/changed the island...

    Says the scientists wondering, if too many people pay attention, that the islands are not sinking, are growing, and behaving exactly the same as they have in the past, that there grant fund/paycheck may dry up.

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  • 136. At 11:13am on 04 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Lorax:
    "Similarly, some have linked to the report that some Pacific islands appear to be rising through coral growth as fast as the seas are rising. While that may, for now, in some places calm the fears of some islanders"

    THIS IS HOW CORAL ISLANDS got there....

    It is the very nature of coral, to do this, they grow towards trhe sunlight....

    This is why the great barrier reef that did not exists 10,000 (dry land)years ago, has grown to keep pace with the totally natural sea level rise...

    Lorax: Pre 1850, do you really think the sea levels never changed.

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  • 137. At 11:26am on 04 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #131 Lab Munkey says, of Wattsup: 'then challenge him. every time i've seen someone challenge wats he's taken it on, and if he was wrong- changed his post accordingly.'

    Three examples of challenges to the 137% snowpack story, pasted below, all without response from Watts. The original dumb/mendacious post remains. That's why I wouldn't use this as a reliable source.

    ***********

    Ross M says:
    May 25, 2010 at 11:25 pm
    Averaging state percentages doesn’t seems like a good way to Western snow cover – they are all different sizes. The first link doesn’t do it this way, so the comparison is invalid.

    Hoppy says:
    May 26, 2010 at 6:15 am
    Mr Watts,
    I thought cherry picking was a sport practiced by the other team?
    Your first graph appears to show that there has been more accumulated snow pack in the South West and less in the North West. There are a few too many averages of averages of a difficult to measure substance going on to believe any of the actual numbers. From the UHI guy (great work) – I expect better of you.

    GeoFlynx says:
    May 26, 2010 at 1:46 pm Anthony – This is the Snotel Data for Arizona that you referenced on your site. The only Arizona data is from San Francisco Peaks Basin. I can’t seem to find where you came up with the 446% of normal figure. The Arizona State Snotel Map for May 26, 2010 is at the link below and shows this area to have less than 50% SWE of the 1971-2000 Normal. I would like to be critical but right now I’m just plain confused!

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

    Lorax

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  • 138. At 11:33am on 04 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #135

    Barry says 'That is about the same average rate level of sea level rise for thousands of years..'

    Oh really? Got any evidence to support that? If you're genuinely interested in the evidence, you might try:

    'A 20th century acceleration in global sea-level rise Church JA & White NJ, GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 33, 2006'

    ...which oddly enough demonstrates - ta da! A 20th century acceleration in global sea-level rise!

    Lorax

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  • 139. At 11:53am on 04 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @manysummits

    I don't like you calling them "deniers".

    The science is far more complicated than the smoking cancer link. Someone would have to be both extremely well informed and denouncing robust elements of AGW to qualify as a climate change "denier" according to that New Scientist article.

    So Lindzen and Spencer are not deniers because they support the robust elements of AGW. (It's climate sensitivity that they debate.) (Note, such big name sceptic scientists have always been treated with respect by their opponents.)

    And Hertzberg, Schreuder and Siddons are not deniers because their Moon paper is just plain ignorant.

    David Bellamy on the other hand with his 555 glaciers, or Ian Plimer with his volcano burps, might be covered by the definition of "denier".

    I don't know about the Third Viscount of Brenchley, you'll have to make your own mind up. You may be interested in John Abraham's investigations on the subject:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/jun/03/monckton-us-climate-change-talk-denial

    So there are huge practical problems in working out who might be covered by the definition of "denier". Meanwhile every time you use the term "denier" it's like poking a hornet's nest.

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  • 140. At 12:03pm on 04 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 138

    May i suggest you looka t this link mate-


    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

    no evidence of that rise in the measurements.....

    @133.

    ok ok we're going in circles here. i'm not sure if you're just missing my point or dismissing it out of hand. I am genuinley not trying to be difficult here.

    We don't need to invoke the 'change fairy' because paleoclimatic data SHOWS that these changes happen naturally. This data shows, the climate on it's own, irrespective of co2 conc, changes wildly.

    The actual resons are irrelevant on this point- this is direct eividence that the climate can, and has changed on it's own without human interaction.

    therefore, we move towards 2/4.

    The co2 theory has not been proven- far from it. It's an exceptionally weak theory- evidenced by the repeated 'we dont know what else it must be (i.e. we have no evidence) so it MUST be co2'.

    we KNOW the climate can change on it's own.
    We KNOW the current warming is not unprecidented.

    so how can you be SURE this is all down to co2??

    -- please note, i do think co2 plays a role, i do think the world has until recently, warmed, and i do think man has added to the warming. However, i see zero evidence to support the ipcc's and your stance on the subject.

    the models dont pan out, the observations don't support it and the current understanding of the climate is in it's infancy.

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  • 141. At 12:18pm on 04 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #133

    Oh crap. Just found a far better version of what I was trying to say on Skeptical Science, published yesterday:

    Thursday, 3 June, 2010
    'Why does Anthony Watts drive an electric car?' Rob Honeycutt

    Lorax

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  • 142. At 1:28pm on 04 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #140

    Sea level - I don't understand you reference to the Boulder Sea Level site. Their information says clearly an annual increase in sea level of 3.0mm +/- 0.4mm. Well within the 120mm in 60 years rise that I quoted. What are you trying to say? Or am I doing so badly you've decided to help my argument?

    'we KNOW the climate can change on it's own.'

    Climate is a dependent variable. Yes, it changes, but it absolutely doesn't change on its own in the sense of by its own actions. To say it changes 'naturally' is merely a label to imply human action was not involved.

    Previous climatic changes, as well as the one we are experiencing, are caused by some change in the variables that affect climate. To argue that the current climate change is natural allows someone to duck the important issue of showing which variable is causing the current warming. So, for those of us who accept the evidence that there is some climatic change, we need to test hypotheses as to what might be causing it. I really don't think I'm saying anything controversial here - do you really disagree so far?

    So, we have a human GHG hypothesis. We've seen some other hypotheses, cosmic rays/volcanoes/solar variations and so on. I think you're letting your enthusiasm get away with you if you argue that the Human GHG hypothesis is backed by 'zero evidence' - you're welcome to your POV, but there seems to me a good theoretical framework backed by lots of confirmatory data. But my point also is that the alternative hypotheses have been successively demolished - and that the science now is now moving towards further refining of the GHG hypothesis, rather than anyone really trying to support the alternative hypotheses (moving from 2 to 4).

    Lorax

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  • 143. At 1:44pm on 04 Jun 2010, SR wrote:

    @labmunkey 140
    "May i suggest you looka t this link mate-
    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/
    no evidence of that rise in the measurements....."

    Let me get this straight.......

    You are presented with a scientific paper that uses a spacial reconstruction of global sea levels using sparse tide gauge data going back to 1870 to demonstrate that there HAS been an acceleration of sea level rise since that time.

    Then you respond by showing a straight line graph of sea level rise between 1992 and the present day of 3.2mm/yr.

    Given that the paper you were presented actually used this data to calibrate the reconstructions, can you explain how it shows that there has not been an acceleration in sea level rise since 1870?

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  • 144. At 4:24pm on 04 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @142 and 143 wrt sea levels.

    i take it you've both actually read that paper right? You are aware it relies on reconstructions and models from very sparse (pre 1930 ish) data? just want to check.

    i also linked that site, specifically, as it shows the rise in sea levels. 3.4 mm increase per year (+/- 1 mm) for as long as their DEAILED records have been kept.

    It takes an 'extrapolation' of past sea levels to come up with the extra increase you state- and the increase itself (if even if it is from the point they suggest) is constant (averages obv) and steady.

    nothing to be alarmed about.

    care to tell us all how long it will take the oceans to rise to the levels alarmingly predicted at that rate? assuming the rise continues at it's current rate (and there is no evidence to suggest it won't)??

    Re -142 - climate fairy.

    "Yes, it changes, but it absolutely doesn't change on its own in the sense of by its own actions. To say it changes 'naturally' is merely a label to imply human action was not involved. "

    i'd agree 100% with both of those statements.

    "Previous climatic changes, as well as the one we are experiencing, are caused by some change in the variables that affect climate. To argue that the current climate change is natural allows someone to duck the important issue of showing which variable is causing the current warming."

    not at all- it just opens the possibility that everything we are seeing is due to a natural shift. be it orbit, sun output, latent sea heat, combination of 100's of factors- we just don't know. BUT that doesn't make it any less likely. We cannot explain half the climatic changes in the past- does that mean they didn't happen??

    "So, for those of us who accept the evidence that there is some climatic change, we need to test hypotheses as to what might be causing it. I really don't think I'm saying anything controversial here - do you really disagree so far?"

    none whatsoever. again, i'd agree 100%. Pray tell, how has the AGW theory been thoroughly tested? What were the falsification tests?

    "But my point also is that the alternative hypotheses have been successively demolished - and that the science now is now moving towards further refining of the GHG hypothesis, rather than anyone really trying to support the alternative hypotheses (moving from 2 to 4)."

    the mistake you're making is assuming that discrediting other hypothesese strengthens YOUR hypothesis. There is always the possibility that other, unkown factors are at play. And again- the fact these changes DO happen naturally (and by this i mean any factor not involving humans- before you go off on one again), means it is at least a very strong possibility that it is STILL down to natural factors. Or have you gone through every possible natural change and eliminated them all?? you'd get some serious recognition if you had... shame we don't ACTUALLY know what they all are- but never stopped AGW before huh.



    Finally-"I think you're letting your enthusiasm get away with you if you argue that the Human GHG hypothesis is backed by 'zero evidence' "

    and i was. of course there is some evidence, we have:

    -conicidental temp and co2 rises. with only lab-based theory and models to link them
    -and... well.. that's it really. sure we have plenty of symptomatic data- but nothing on the actual link.

    you really should look into this. go back and re-read the ipcc report, and highlight every time a word like 'probably', 'likely', 'may', 'could' (etc anything suggesting probability with no backing).

    trust me, you'll need more than one pen.

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  • 145. At 4:50pm on 04 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    and the rate of sea level rses and falls have varied naturally in the past AS WELL...

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  • 146. At 5:56pm on 04 Jun 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #132 bowman

    "Since deception depends on truth-telling to work, it can never become the "norm"."

    bowman, has anyone ever accused you of pedantry??

    how about this, my age is moving towards infinity. that is not something i like since i'm not able to play rugby anymore, but the fact that i'll never reach infinity does not imply i'm not getting older.

    and whether deception could logically become the norm or not has no bearing on your original point that a belief in a change implies a belief in an 'uncorrupted past'.

    does that help?

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  • 147. At 5:58pm on 04 Jun 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #131 labmunkey

    "personally, i think that makes his site an 'above average' source." - now why does that not surprise me.

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  • 148. At 7:41pm on 04 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #146 rossglory wrote:

    "bowman, has anyone ever accused you of pedantry??"

    Not very often, no -- in fact you are one of the few. I am often accused of being opinionated, arrogant and offensive, with good reason, but I am rarely accused of just being a fop.

    Perhaps you don't understood what I write, and get annoyed because you don't understand it?

    If you think about what I wrote you might see a decent point: Since deception depends on truth-telling to work, it can never become the "norm".

    Deception occurs among animals, as when harmless hover-flies look like like harmful wasps. Birds don't eat those hover-flies often, because it's too big a risk eating something that looks like a wasp. But the fewer wasps there are, the less of a risk eating a thing that looks like a wasp becomes. The fewer wasps there are, the more the hover-flies get eaten, and the less profitable it is to look like a wasp.

    Analogously, telling lies successfully (i.e. for gain) requires the trust of the person who is deceived by the lie. For that trust to exist, the person who is taken in by the lie must expect to get the truth. To have a reasonable expectation of the truth, the truth would have to be the norm.

    Lies and deception have always been profitable. So profitable is deception, in fact, that using it as a "strategy" is very common, and it probably reaches a "maximum" -- set by the above constraint -- almost everywhere there is communication. So the proportion of lies in human life has probably changed not at all.

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  • 149. At 9:23pm on 04 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    130. Lorax wrote:

    "#122 CanadianRockies - 'Unfortunately, I think you will find the challenge was taken up using the wrong report. The challengers used data from only 40% of the stations currently surfaces stations are at around 80%, so the challenge remains'"

    Sorry Lorax but I didn't write that post, but I could have, because that is ONE of the 'tricks' used to 'adjust' the data.

    "#119 'Over to WUWT to see what's new.'"

    And... so... ? Apart from another very revealing article about the 'sinking islands' hoax, I found my post #121, which I thought was rather interesting.

    "#106 'wikipedia is not a reliable source on this topic'"

    No doubt about that... or did you not read the links explaining why?

    "Nothing can shake your faith in Watts eh?"

    I don't operate on faith like too many who 'believe' in AGW do. I prefer to get as much information as possible from a variety of sources and think for myself... critically and rationally.

    WUWT features a variety of authors plus a variety of commenters, some of them very well informed, plus links galore. And there are plenty of other sites I look at.

    WUWT posts sometimes make mistakes. The difference is that the commenters usually immediately point them out - peer review - and they are corrected, leading to more intelligent discussion. Compare that to the IPCC et al and their reaction ("voodoo science" screams their corrupt head). And at WUWT nobody is screaming that 'the debate is over' - just the opposite.

    Just saw your #137 so this is a tad redundant.

    And, re your #141. Not sure who said this:

    "Why does Anthony Watts drive an electric car?"

    Because one doesn't need this AGW scare to realize the value of energy efficiency and reduction in fossil fuel use.

    However, just how NET 'green' electric cars are is another story... If you plug them into a coal-fired electricity grid, well... And we won't talk about what's involved in manufacturing them and their batteries... but all that could/should improve.

    I would recommend you check WUWT and some other sites regularly to broaden your horizons.


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  • 150. At 9:56pm on 04 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #144 sea level rise: 'care to tell us all how long it will take the oceans to rise to the levels alarmingly predicted at that rate? assuming the rise continues at it's current rate (and there is no evidence to suggest it won't)??

    Come now, you're playing dumb. You know perfectly well that sea levels have the potential to rise steadily (thermal expansion, from the observed warming oceans) and dramatically, through large scale breaking up of ice shelves. The current dramatic mass loss from the Greenland ice cap is worrying, but still something of an unknown. However the West Antarctic ice shelf (WIAS) and some of its neighbours look scarily unstable. You may be willing to take the risk of significant sea level rise - I assume you aren't posting from southern Bangladesh, or one of numerous other highly populated deltas. But the risks (chance of event multiplied by impact of event)are considerable.

    OK, now the rest of your post, if I may summarize, (setting apart the disorienting section where you agree with me) really comes down to this.

    1. While 'natural variation' may be a useful shorthand, what we mean is that the climate alters through changes and interactions between a number of factors.

    2. Hypotheses can thus be constructed that attribute the climate change we currently observe to various of these factors.

    3. You don't seem to dispute the point that none of the 'non human-generated-greenhouse-gases' hypotheses have really been supported by sufficient evidence.

    4. But you also believe that the human-generated-greenhouse-gases hypothesis is not sufficiently supported either. and thus our science should be still out there, looking for some currently unknown factor that could be doing this stuff.

    Hmm. Two points:

    I'd be very interested in your suggestions for factors that have not yet been adequately considered. If you can come up with some then the rest of us could see if, in fact, they have any prospects. I'd frankly be surprised if you could - and I caution against the conclusion that there is just some unknown thing going on - that sounds suspiciously like an appeal to the natural variation fairy again.

    Secondly - if you don't think the multiple independent correlations of greenhouse gases and climate change, and the fundamentals of physics, and the underpinning theoretical and predictive processes adequately make the case for the human-generated-greenhouse-gases hypothesis - could you tell us what would convince you? Where is your I'm-changing-my-mind evidence threshold?

    Lorax

    ps no defence of Watts re post #137?

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  • 151. At 10:06pm on 04 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #149

    The phrase "Why does Anthony Watts drive an electric car?" is the title of an current article in Skeptical Science by Rob Honeycutt. The article is very good, the title perhaps less clear.

    I do read WUWT, although I have to grit my teeth often. My post #137 is an example which rather counters your impression of WUWT - i.e. the original post is at best crappy maths, and despite several commenters pointing this out, it remains unchanged. There are other examples of this available.I also keep tabs on the Christopher Booker's writings at the Telegraph, and dip in and out of other 'sceptic' sites as they appear on Google news. Which climate science (pro-AGW for the sake of brevity) sites do you follow regularly?

    Lorax

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  • 152. At 06:04am on 05 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #151 - Lorax

    Here's one blog I like but its more than just climate... but here's a link to one particularly interesting climate science related discussion:

    http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/04/23/an-inconvenient-provocateur/

    Note the comments, and who's making them.

    I read DotEarth at the NY Times often, but it seems to be shifting into the sceptical camp. scienceofdoom is very interesting and informative, but its hard to label that a 'pro-AGW' site because it seems to resist that bias - even though they do seem to lean hard that way. And rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com but not often.

    I never bother with RealClimate anymore; I know who is behind it, how censored it is, and how dishonest it can be. A long while back I checked out desmogblog - spelling? - its been so long - until I checked the references on one article there that did NOT say what they allegedly said; I have since discovered its connection to Canadian lunatic David Suzuki, so no surprise.

    That's about it off the top of my head. Not many. But since the corporate media flogs every AGW scare story its easy to keep up with that side of this story and the 'sceptical' sites tackle them and the latest research more openly and with comments from both sides so I only look further when things don't make sense to me from there.

    And the sceptic sites cover all sorts of stories that the media ignores - funny how that works eh?

    So... what sites do you think I should be reading?

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  • 153. At 09:20am on 05 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Lorax #150

    Secondly - if you don't think the multiple independent correlations of greenhouse gases and climate change, and the fundamentals of physics, and the underpinning theoretical and predictive processes adequately make the case for the human-generated-greenhouse-gases hypothesis - could you tell us what would convince you? Where is your I'm-changing-my-mind evidence threshold?

    proof that climate sensitivity including clouds is high (not model based)

    nothing else matters

    now what would convince you that CO2 driven climate is false?

    /Mango

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  • 154. At 10:24am on 06 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #152

    OK, I'll have a look.

    My recommendation would be Skeptical Science. It pulls off an accessible tone with good links to the science it uses.

    Actually, I suspect we would all be better off forcing ourselves to read at least one website with opposing views. Not only might it sharpen our debate, but it is an active anti-confirmation bias process.

    Lorax

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  • 155. At 10:44am on 06 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #153 Mango:

    You're looking for 'proof that climate sensitivity including clouds is high (not model based)'

    That would be what - waiting for 20-30 years and seeing what happens, I guess. Of course, that is a massive gamble - if we do nothing for 20-30 years, and then this is 'proved', it will be too late to fix it. You must be very certain that greenhouse gases are not the problem climate science suggests. Certain enough to bet our civilization on being right. I think you are setting a foolhardy degree of absolute knowledge required.

    Perhaps that generates a second question - what would convince you that we should take action now to reduce GHGs in case the proof you require comes along? Or does taking any action depend on waiting for the absolute proof?

    Answering your question, well, I guess I'mm going the opposite way to you. It seems to me that there is good reason to expect positive automatic feedbacks from warming (polar albedo, methane clathrates, permafrost melting, ocean outgassing) and human feedback contributions (loss of forest, wetland destruction, intensive agriculture) which together lead to the climate science view of sensitivity at about 3.0C.

    So in order to remove my concerns about GHGs, I'd need to see the impacts of these feedbacks diminishing, and some evidence of negative feedbacks kicking in at a sufficient scale. With the exception of an ongoing study on clouds, I see no sign at all of this situation developing.

    In any case, the case for reducing CO2 emissions would still be strong because of the likelihood of ocean acidification. Buggering up the most important habitat on our planet seems like an outcome worth avoiding - no?

    Lorax

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  • 156. At 12:05pm on 06 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    jon112uk at #47

    You wrote: "We need a steady, sustainable move to non-fossil energy, not endless reports from people with no answers."

    So, how are you going to convince people who don't necessarily agree with you that there is a need for them (and society in general) to move away from fossil fuels? How are you going to ensure that such a transition happens in a sustainable way?


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  • 157. At 6:36pm on 06 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Lorax #155

    That would be what - waiting for 20-30 years and seeing what happens, I guess. Of course, that is a massive gamble - if we do nothing for 20-30 years

    But the climate scientists have been looking for over 2 decades already and haven't found empirical evidence, including cloud effects, to suggest sensitivity is high. They have found empirical evidence to suggest sensitivity is low, although I accept that we still don't know for sure. How much longer do we ahve to wait. And what happens after another 20 years - do we wait longer?

    On balance, I would go with the empirical evidence that we have, which negates your second question.

    WRT, loss of forest, wetland destruction, intensive agriculture etc, to me, this is the real AGW, not all this BS about CO2, and something we really need to tackle.

    ?Mango

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  • 158. At 9:20pm on 06 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #157 'climate scientists have been looking for over 2 decades already and haven't found empirical evidence, including cloud effects, to suggest sensitivity is high.'

    Tsk tsk, you haven't been looking very hard, have you?

    Try looking on the Skeptical Science site, at the page 'How sensitive is our climate?'. To whet your appetite, it lists numerous studies, both modelled and using empirical data to suggest that sensitivity is indeedy in the 3.0C region, +/- various amounts.

    So, given that I have presented you with some evidence (including empirical), perhaps I could re-ask my second question 'what would convince you that we should take action now to reduce GHGs in case the proof you require comes along? Or does taking any action depend on waiting for the absolute proof?'

    I have to say that I would be disappointed in you if the answer really seemed to be that nothing would convince you - as that would not be the act of a sceptic, rather the d-word.

    Lorax

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  • 159. At 10:03pm on 06 Jun 2010, flink wrote:

    I can't understand people who question the changes that are happening with our climate. it is obvious something is happening the temperatures are soaring and there is less and less rain, compare that with just a few months ago when it was so cold and snowy it was like a new ice age.

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  • 160. At 06:31am on 07 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Lorax #158

    Tsk tsk, you haven't been looking very hard, have you?

    Try looking on the Skeptical Science site, at the page 'How sensitive is our climate?'. To whet your appetite, it lists numerous studies, both modelled and using empirical data to suggest that sensitivity is indeedy in the 3.0C region, +/- various amounts.


    Ignoring the attempt at condescension, I said "empirical evidence, including cloud effects, to suggest sensitivity is high". I have looked at the Skeptical Science website many times, as it's what most AGWer's point to when I question whether or not sensitivity is high, but I still don't have an answer.

    Perhaps, you would be so kind as to point out which paper shows high sensitivity, including the effects of clouds?

    /Mango

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  • 161. At 06:37am on 07 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @flink #159

    I don't think anybody questions that climate changes, and I would hope that nobody questions that there has been a rise in recorded temperatures, although this should be tempered in the knowledge that these temperatures have been artificially adjusted.

    But is this rise in temperature unprecedented in the last x number of years? I don't think so

    As for less and less rain - I'm guessing your not English!

    /Mango

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  • 162. At 10:08am on 07 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    "Resource efficiency" is one of the flagship initiatives of the 'Europe 2020' strategy for economic growth. As a first step, the process is underway to establish coherent and clear indicators to evaluate the EU Member States' use of resources and progress made towards a more eco-efficient economy. Business has also called for fair, clear and long-lasting indicators and tools to measure their resource use to ascertain whether they are successfully embarking on a more sustainable path.

    A group of EU commissioners has been formed to steer development of initiatives related to resource efficiency and a pilot version of an index to measure pollution and other environmental harm within EU is expected to be published later this year. Next year the Commission is scheduled to table formal proposals on resource efficiency.

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  • 163. At 10:39am on 07 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @lorax # 150.
    sorry for the late reply- didn't get on all weekend.

    to cut straight to your questions-
    1- Again, you're being disingenuous here. I am not trying to conive the 'climate fairy' into the discussion. Lets try this piece by piece, answer each one seperatly.

    - has the climate changed in the past, rapidly, and more severly then it has recently??

    -do we fully understand these changes and know the exact causes?

    - in that context- how can the recent warming be seen as a) unprecedented and b) anything to worry about?

    2- as with mango i'd need to see evidence that climate sensitivity to C02 is high. Show me that, from a reproducable, independantly verified paper and i'll change my position overnight. It's as simple as that.

    What would make you change your mind? a decade of the world not following the predicitons? (already happened)

    re- sea levels.

    yes of course i know that- but the evidence shows no (extra) rise. So you're just going for the 'scare story' option then??

    Re- WUWT. i hadn't commented as i was still to go through the entire comment section. you're right, in this instance he (at my time of reading) hadn't responded to the comments. I have seen however numerous examples where he does comment.

    Also, the points raised in the comment thread should temper peoples views of the post- at least allow them to question it. At least they're not censored/deleted.

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  • 164. At 1:00pm on 07 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Lorax

    can i assume you agree with the following statements:

    1 CO2 levels have risen from a fairly stable level of 280ppmv pre-industrial to ~390ppmv and in all likelihood this rise is due to man made emissions? I'm assuming you are happy with ice samples over the last few thousand years and Keeling

    2 There was a Roman warm period, a MWP and a LIA?

    Assuming you agree with the above and I don;t think the statements are contentious, why did these events happen and CO2 was fairly stable?

    Thanks

    /Mango

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  • 165. At 1:46pm on 07 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/05/spencer-on-climate-sensitivity-and-solar-irradiance/#more-20235

    an example of wuwt self correction and actual pursuit of criticism and disproval.

    i'd love to see an equivalent from realclimate

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  • 166. At 4:16pm on 07 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #164

    Rise in CO2 - no problem, although obviously it depends how far you go back and how you define 'fairly stable'

    Your Roman warm period, a MWP and a LIA. Yes again, to some extent, with significant provisos over the localised or global nature of these.

    For example, the MWP is not established as a global phenomenon. Efforts - for example by CO2science can only demonstrate patchy and non-synchronous evidence outside NW Europe. It is entertaining to see some people who should know better decrying the current temperature gathering process, but happy to rely on a scatter of rather dubious proxy indicators to support their belief in a global MWP.

    The LIA is somewhat more established as a global phenomenon, although there is considerable disagreement over when it started and finished. I can't immediately find a study on why the LIA happened, but there is some good work on why it stopped happening, which is also instructive in our general debate over 'natural variation'. Goes like this. Since the end of the 1700s, climate seems to have warmed by ~0.5C/century, up to the 1940s. Aha, goes the sceptic cry! Except that there is a good correlation during that period with a warming sun, and relatively little volcanic activity. Solar activity and volcanic activity also have been fingered for starting the LIA.

    After 1940, we have a cooling sun, and a lot more volcanic activity - and yet the climate carried on warming. There is however a variable which fits the observed data rather well...

    Lorax

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  • 167. At 7:42pm on 07 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Lorax #166

    the MWP is not established as a global phenomenon. Efforts - for example by CO2science can only demonstrate patchy and non-synchronous evidence outside NW Europe

    So you are saying that despite the data "published by 837 individual scientists from 497 separate research institutions in 43 different countries", you know better or do you have a paper you could cite to show the MWP didn't exist as something approaching a global phenomena?

    /Mango

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  • 168. At 11:06pm on 07 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #167

    Hmm. You wouldn't making an appeal to a mass of work, and demanding that I prove a negative, would you? You're surely not saying 'look at my lovely big consensus', perchance? You wouldn't be doing exactly whatyou accuse others of, maybe?

    Show me an authoritative meta-analysis, a review which can weigh the sources of information - including those that do not show what CO2science has already decided what the answer is - and I might be convinced. CO2science does not give that.

    Lorax

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  • 169. At 11:49pm on 07 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    154. Lorax wrote:

    "My recommendation would be Skeptical Science. It pulls off an accessible tone with good links to the science it uses."

    Just checking back. Will look. Because I definitely agree with this:

    "we would all be better off forcing ourselves to read at least one website with opposing views. Not only might it sharpen our debate, but it is an active anti-confirmation bias process."

    AT LEAST one.

    Re your #166 - Your suggestion that the MWP is only supported by "a scatter of rather dubious proxy indicators" is too absurd to comment on. Ministry of Truth material Lorax.

    So here's one in the same league:

    You wrote: "After 1940, we have a cooling sun, and a lot more volcanic activity - and yet the climate carried on warming. There is however a variable which fits the observed data rather well..."

    The number of televisions. It obvious.

    Except that the number of TVs did continue to rise during this recent leveling off of The Warming. And seems likely to increase even more when the next definite cooling period begins, as more people stay inside to watch South Park or the BBC.

    But wait!!! The number of climatologists has kept increasing! And the number of dollars invested in The Search for the Holy AGW has risen exponentially. That's it! AGW research causes The Warming.


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  • 170. At 07:29am on 08 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Lorax #168

    You wouldn't making an appeal to a mass of work, and demanding that I prove a negative, would you?

    I think that when that mass of work is peer-reviewed and published, then, yes, it's legitimate, the MWP did exist. Now if the work from 43 different countries by these 837 individuals had been shown to be incorrect, then you would have a point. This isn't consensus science, this is individuals reaching the same conclusion - in their particular study, there is evidence of a warming period in the past.

    The whole point of Mann "getting rid of the MWP" is because without the MWP there may be a correlation with CO2 (although AGWers still have the RWP to deny), but as the MWP existed and pre-industrial levels of CO2 were around 280ppm or less, then CO2 simply cannot be the primary driver of temperature.

    /Mango

    PS:
    Personally I think the rise in CO2 isn't down to fossil fuels, I think it's down to the worldwide dominance of fizzy drinks companies ;)

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  • 171. At 07:53am on 08 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    oops,

    "The whole point of Mann "getting rid of the MWP" is because without the MWP there may not be a correlation with CO2 "

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  • 172. At 08:48am on 08 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    For those interested in the actual subject of Richard's piece, there is a related book to be published by Earthscan in June. It is entitled "Cents and Sustainability: Securing our common future by decoupling economic growth from environmental pressures".

    See: http://www.naturaledgeproject.net/centsandsustainability.aspx

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  • 173. At 08:53am on 08 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Another related resource:

    "Prosperity without growth: economics for a finite planet" by Tim Jackson (Economics commissioner on the UK Sustainable Development Commission).

    This is dowloadable for free, but it is a pdf file. A link can be found at: http://www.sd-commission.org.uk/publications.php?id=914

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  • 174. At 08:56am on 08 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    mango- you'll like this. it's intriguing to say the least

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/07/minority-report-50-year-warming-due-to-natural-causes/#more-20301

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  • 175. At 09:19am on 08 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 173. thanks for that link. i'll download it later- brill!

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  • 176. At 11:55am on 08 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Recently The Economist published a special report on water (‘For Want of a Drink’, 22nd May 2010). In one of the articles (‘Business begins to stir’), I noted the following:



    “… In China, where pollution rivals scarcity as a pressing problem, large foreign companies now regularly consult a website run by the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, an NGO that collects government facts and statistics and publishes them online. Its maps reveal details of thousands of incidents in which companies have broken the pollution codes. Multinationals like Adidas, General Electric, Nike and WalMart can now see which of their suppliers are repeat offenders, and may put pressure on them to clean up.”

    Intrigued, I had a look for the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs web-site and found it at: http://en.ipe.org.cn/

    The site has information in both Chinese and English and is well worth a look!

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  • 177. At 12:00pm on 08 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Mango at #170

    I'm intrigued by your comment: "This isn't consensus science, this is individuals reaching the same conclusion..."

    I agree that this is a useful distinction to make. I wonder how easy it is to tell the difference in practice - or, perhaps more to the point, how easy it might be to satisfy someone else of this in any given instance.

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  • 178. At 12:56pm on 08 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    i'm not sure simon, but i have a feeling we are about to find out ;)

    /mango

    ps thanks for the link - very interesting and something I have banged on about ever since i came here

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  • 179. At 12:57pm on 08 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @labmonkey #174

    i do like Spencer but as he's a creationist, he must be wrong about everything ;)

    /Mango

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  • 180. At 2:44pm on 08 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @179.

    BLAST!! knew it was too good to be true....

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  • 181. At 8:40pm on 08 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #170

    'I think that when that mass of work is peer-reviewed and published, then, yes, it's legitimate, the MWP did exist. Now if the work from 43 different countries by these 837 individuals had been shown to be incorrect, then you would have a point. This isn't consensus science, this is individuals reaching the same conclusion - in their particular study, there is evidence of a warming period in the past.'

    Quite extraordinary cognitive dissonance. You're seriously arguing that your conclusion about the global-ness of the MWP is correct, when you won't accept that a much larger mass of peer-reviewed work concludes that recent climate change is largely down to human GHGs. I'm amazed that your logic circuits haven't blown a fuse, or set off a confirmation bias alarm.

    Note that I would not argue for either conclusion based on the number of papers, or individuals or anything. Complex stuff is understood by the scientific process, and by analyses that look at all the evidence, weigh up its relevance and validity, and reach a conclusion usually couched in probability terms. The CO2science MWP is a pile of vaguely related stuff, from which they, and you have spectacularly leapt to their predetermined conclusion.

    So...why is the CO2science collection of peer-reviewed stuff right, and - say - the US NAS report 'Advancing the Science of Climate Change' wrong? So far nobody has been prepared to challenge that, merely pretending it isn't there.

    Lorax

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  • 182. At 07:51am on 09 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Lorax #181

    Note that I would not argue for either conclusion based on the number of papers, or individuals or anything.

    totally agree

    a much larger mass of peer-reviewed work concludes that recent climate change is largely down to human GHGs.

    if you mean the IPCC, then i think you should check your figures, according to Schneider only 20% of the IPCC had some knowledge of climate, which makes around 500, but we're not talking numbers here.

    I base my opinion on climate sensitivity being low in ALL observational climate studies that include the effects of clouds and in the Congressional hearings where North accepted temperatures were the highest only 400 years not the 1000 years, due to statistical errors in Manns work.

    Even if the work from 43 different countries by these 837 individuals had been shown to be incorrect, it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference if sensitivity is low

    If temperatures are not unprecedented in 1000 years (or 2000 years for that matter) and / or climate sensitivity is low including clouds, then CO2 is not the primary driver of temperatures.

    /Mango

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  • 183. At 08:02am on 09 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    and if you still think the IPCC is a reliable source of information, read this, by Professor Jason Scott Johnston, University of Pennsylvania - Law School, May 1, 2010, U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 10-08:

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1612851

    A review of the peer-edited literature reveals a systematic tendency of the climate establishment to engage in a variety of stylized rhetorical techniques that seem to oversell what is actually known about climate change while concealing fundamental uncertainties and open questions regarding many of the key processes involved in climate change. Fundamental open questions include not only the size but the direction of feedback effects that are responsible for the bulk of the temperature increase predicted to result from atmospheric greenhouse gas increases: while climate models all presume that such feedback effects are on balance strongly positive, more and more peer-edited scientific papers seem to suggest that feedback effects may be small or even negative.

    Essentially, the evidence for AGW wouldn't stand up in a court of law

    /Mango

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  • 184. At 08:36am on 09 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    this is good

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/08/legal-beagle-says-manmade-global-warming-science-doesn%e2%80%99t-withstand-scrutiny/#more-20322

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  • 185. At 08:39am on 09 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @184. beat me to it mango.

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  • 186. At 2:00pm on 09 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #182 Mango

    Phew. I'm relieved that you are back-tracking from your claim that a global MWP was proved by 'data "published by 837 individual scientists from 497 separate research institutions in 43 different countries".

    But I confess I'm struggling with your next assertion. A law professor publishes a research paper (i.e. not peer-reviewed) whose abstract reads as you quote. So without seeing the methodology of this paper written by someone who isn't even a scientist, you feel comfortable in concluding that the IPCC is not a reliable source of information. In your response to the absurd 'moon equations' nonsense paper (strangely sunk without trace) you demonstrated some real scientific scepticism. In your analysis of this abstract, you are failing to keep up that standard.

    Lorax

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  • 187. At 3:01pm on 09 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK
    @LabMunkey

    "feedback effects may be small or even negative"

    Reminder. Some people reading this may not understand the term "negative feedback".

    A positive feedback amplifies climate forcing, increasing the size of the temperature changes compared to no feedbacks. A negative feedback damps climate forcing, reducing the size of the temperature changes compared to no feedbacks. However the temperature changes are still in the same direction, whether amplified from +1C to +3C or damped from +1C to +0.5C.

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  • 188. At 3:10pm on 09 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 186.

    lorax, read the paper.

    He's looking at it from a purely 'proof to back up what you say' perspective.
    You do not need to be a scientist to do that and in fact, i'd say being a lawyer qualifies him eminently for the role he performed.

    It doesn't take a scientific genius to see claim x is not backed up by paper y.

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  • 189. At 4:02pm on 09 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #188

    Scientific proof isn't legal proof for a start. Completely different concepts. And as you well know, climate science has papers that support and contradict many aspects. These discussions would be pretty empty if it wasn't for that fact.

    Real science proceeds not from finding a contradictory paper but by building and testing hypotheses, recorded through peer-reviewed literature. Lots of papers are now regarded as wrong (Lindzen and Choi 2009, for example) where their weaknesses have been exposed by the scientific process.

    Still, I'll read the paper if you can direct me to the full copy. All the link leads to is the abstract.

    Lorax

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  • 190. At 4:47pm on 09 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Lorax
    (@MangoChutneyUKOK)
    (@LabMunkey)

    For the full text

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/08/legal-beagle-says-manmade-global-warming-science-doesn%e2%80%99t-withstand-scrutiny/#more-20322

    scroll down to the second main paragraph, starting " The cross-examination, carried out by Jason Scott Johnston".

    The phrase "cross-examination" contains a link to a pdf at probeinternational.org.

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  • 191. At 4:48pm on 09 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK
    @LabMunkey
    (@Lorax)

    Note. The following does not constitute a full review.

    Well I was expecting some sort of legal view along the lines that "90% probable" does not constitute "beyond reasonable doubt".

    Instead I get a rehash of old sceptic arguments of varying quality. Including CO2 lagging temperature changes at the end of the last glacial. So he doesn't get that for much of Earth's history CO2 is one of the many feedbacks that he has supposedly been looking at.

    Then he conflates issues of presentation with flaws in science by not clearly separating out his presentation gripes (involving e.g. the IPCC Summary for Policymakers report) from his science gripes.

    I am left with the impression that his work is based on pre-existing sceptic critiques and that he has not always attempted to look at the other side's response to those critiques.

    I repeat, the above does not constitute a full review.

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  • 192. At 5:51pm on 09 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Lorax #186

    I'm relieved that you are back-tracking from your claim that a global MWP was proved by 'data "published by 837 individual scientists from 497 separate research institutions in 43 different countries".

    I am not back tracking. I said, "Even if the work from 43 different countries by these 837 individuals had been shown to be incorrect, it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference if sensitivity is low"

    I also said, "If temperatures are not unprecedented in 1000 years (or 2000 years for that matter) and / or climate sensitivity is low including clouds, then CO2 is not the primary driver of temperatures."

    WRT to rest of your post Labmonkey #187 has already replied

    @Lorax #189

    Real science proceeds not from finding a contradictory paper but by building and testing hypotheses, recorded through peer-reviewed literature.

    Agreed, so what is the null hypothesis for AGW and how has AGW been tested?

    /Mango

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  • 193. At 5:59pm on 09 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke #190

    scroll down to the second main paragraph, starting " The cross-examination, carried out by Jason Scott Johnston".

    The phrase "cross-examination" contains a link to a pdf at probeinternational.org.


    I think that is just a mirror site, the actual document link was in my post above:

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1612851

    The citation is:

    Johnston, Jason Scott, Global Warming Advocacy Science: A Cross Examination (May 1, 2010). U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 10-08.

    /Mango

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  • 194. At 6:01pm on 09 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke #191

    jane, I don't think he was attempting to show AGW is or isn't happening, only that, in a court of law the evidence to support the AGW case wouldn't stand up

    /Mango

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  • 195. At 6:24pm on 09 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 189.

    lorax, as jane said the link is within the hypertagged phrase "The cross-examination, carried out by Jason Scott Johnston". "

    As for your points. Sigh. This is not meant, or indeed i did not present it, as a scientific rebuke. It is linked as an 'extrenal' check of the theory and the supposed papers supportung it; specifically the high tendancy for over exxageration.

    In that regard i think the paper does quite well.

    @ Jane.

    The fact he raises those issues is because they were NEVER adequatley answered in the first place. Finding the same conclusions as a sceptic doesn't make him biased.

    But, again as you said- still only half way through.

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  • 196. At 7:39pm on 09 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK #192
    (@Lorax)

    "what is the null hypothesis for AGW and how has AGW been tested?"

    AGW science is an umbrella science like geology or meteorology, both of which it overlaps with.

    Much of the core AGW is robust. For instance to falsify the concept of a greenhouse gas you would have to show these gases don't have the absorption spectra and associated properties we know they do. Again and again these gases show absorption of IR. Similarly I don't expect the lapse rate to be measured as being substantially different to the well known values any time soon. Nor do I expect conservation of energy, associated with radiative balance, to be debunked any time soon.

    Measuring climate sensitivity is intrinsically difficult, and that is reflected in the literature and IPCC documentation. Hence all the probabilities that upset our chum Bowman and all the caveats. So there's all the different approaches and lots of debate. But "falsify" for this component of AGW seems inappropriate, unless you use the term to cover someone showing either measurements or assumptions/maths/logic is wrong.

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  • 197. At 7:44pm on 09 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK #193
    (@Lorax)

    Erm yes, still not particularly helpful, that citation text doesn't contain any clickable links.

    However, I have looked more at all the links on the abstract page.

    To read the full paper you need to click "New One-Click Download" in the pale blue border at the top of the abstract.

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1612851

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  • 198. At 7:48pm on 09 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #195

    I don't think there is any value in a non-scientific critique of a a complex area of science. How could this law professor possibly identify 'over exaggeration' in science, without doing it using science? It's a typical Wattsian article, throwing mud at climate science without actually having anything to back it up. Presumably this will vanish without trace, like the moon equations revelation.

    Now, more meaty stuff. Mango enquires 'what is the null hypothesis for AGW and how has AGW been tested?'

    Perhaps a good analogy is plate tectonics. We cannot test our theoretical understanding of plate tectonics, since it happens on a timescale that doesn't allow it. What we can do is develop numerous hypotheses for the components of plate tectonics - and test those. If we are right, vulcanism should (mostly) occur at plate boundaries. We can test that - and it holds up.

    Similarly, we cannot simplistically test the overall conclusion that the observed rising GHGs will continue to cause climate change up to dangerous points. We can't because the timescale is wrong.

    What we can do is test the component hypotheses, including those that challenge the overall theory (cosmic rays for example). If you are looking for the grand experiment that can 'prove' the human impact - well, it isn't there. It will be in a few decades. So we look at the components, and construct the theory by testing individually the key components. So far, they seem to hold up to testing well enough to give a reasonably high probability view into the future.

    Before you start whacking me with Wattsian sticks, can I ask, do you accept the science of plate tectonics?

    Lorax

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  • 199. At 7:51pm on 09 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK #194
    @LabMunkey #195

    Without a good grasp of the relevant science he can't show the legal implications properly. And his comments on CO2 at the start of the current interglacial suggest he has significant misunderstandings. And he needs more clarity as to the distinction between flawed science and problems with science presentation.

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  • 200. At 8:04pm on 09 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    Compared to the pathetic farce led Oxborough, this legal critique is in another league.

    See the latest on the Oxborough whitewash at http://climateaudit.org/

    Here's a taste...

    June 5, 2010 – 12:01 AM

    "In response to my [Steve McIntyre] inquiry asking for a copy of any document setting out the terms of reference of the inquiry, Lord Oxburgh stated:

    I am afraid that I am not able to be very helpful as none of the documents about which you inquire exists."



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  • 201. At 8:10pm on 09 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    jane, that's what i meant, but it was a pdf

    x

    /mango

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  • 202. At 8:23pm on 09 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @jane #196

    Much of the core AGW is robust.

    I disagree, although I think the GHG part of AGW isn't even open for discussion, because it's something we all agree on, but the A in AGW is far from robust. What I am referring to is the null hypothesis i.e. natural climate change

    i agree measuring climate sensitivity is difficult, but until we actually manage to achieve this difficult task, I really don't think we can confidently say there is a problem.

    /Mango

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  • 203. At 8:48pm on 09 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #198. Lorax wrote "I don't think there is any value in a non-scientific critique of a a complex area of science."

    Therefore, all the IPCC summary reports, not to mention the Oxborough whitewash, are worthless. I agree.

    But, unfortunately, its not that simple in this case. We ALL know that in this field the peer review process has been totally corrupted, and that the so-called "consensus" of so-called scientists missed all the basic errors because of politicized groupthink.

    And in the US, if not in Big Brother's UK, the legal system trumps whitewashes.

    As for WUWT, another article on yet another convenient "adjustment" to data. The pattern is getting tooooo obvious. Madoff material.

    And, as they say, you don't need a meteorologist to tell you when its raining.

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  • 204. At 9:41pm on 09 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK #202

    "Much of the core AGW is robust." [JaneBasingstoke] #196

    "I disagree, although I think the GHG part of AGW isn't even open for discussion, because it's something we all agree on, but the A in AGW is far from robust." [MangoChutneyUKOK] #202


    I didn't think we disagreed on this Mango, so perhaps I need to clarify.

    I gave specific examples of what I included in that robustness. For instance I don't expect conservation of energy (and therefore radiative balance) to be debunked any time soon. I also thought I made it clear that measuring climate sensitivity was too difficult for that robustness.

    Similarly the A in AGW is real, but its precise amount is covered by the disputed climate sensitivity.


    "the null hypothesis i.e. natural climate change"

    At this level of science there is no straightforward null hypothesis. Both the mainstream scientists and the better sceptics acknowledge that climate changes are down to a combination of "natural" effects and anthropogenic greenhouse gas related effects.

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  • 205. At 9:50pm on 09 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    Another interesting article from WUWT:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/09/a-study-the-temperature-rise-has-caused-the-co2-increase-not-the-other-way-around/

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  • 206. At 07:43am on 10 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke #204

    We agree about so much Jane and yet disagree about AGW. As you know, I have the greatest respect for your views - you always come over as being a sceptical AGWer, which in my opinion is very healthy

    If only we could settle the sensitivity issue

    /Mango

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  • 207. At 08:32am on 10 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ lorax.

    if you honestly believe this:"I don't think there is any value in a non-scientific critique of a a complex area of science" then you are even more ill-informed than i feared.

    As canadainrockies points out, that immediatley removes the IPCC, every investigation into climategateand every politicians/journalists/environmentalists opinions (good!) on the subject.

    You do not need to be an expert in a particular field to see that someon is making over-estimates in their predictions.

    the one commonality in all science, is the data. Basic statisitical techniques are all that is needed here lorax. You've clearly never been involved in an audit... or are you now saying every none scientific review of a drug trial data (ie. an audit) had no value and that all drugs on the market should be immediatley recalled???

    @ jane and mango.

    I do agree- my recent ramblings aside. No one can argue that the climate is not changing, i also do think, on the balance of evidence,that man has played a role- though obviously i disagree strongly on the extent.

    we cannot simply dismiss natural variation- it could (and probably is) bolstering the 'relationship' between co2 and temp.

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  • 208. At 10:56am on 10 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @CanadianRockies #205

    CO2 emissions

    The oceans absorb carbon dioxide rather than emit it. About half of our emissions are currently absorbed by the planet and the oceans are a major sink.


    CO2 solubility in sea water

    CO2 is less soluble in warmer sea water. This means that the Earth absorbs less carbon dioxide when global temperatures spike with an El Niño and absorbs more carbon dioxide when global temperatures temporarily drop with a La Niña.

    With our emissions being comparatively constant over short periods this means that when averaged over a 12 month the strongest pattern in changes in CO2 will reflect the temperature related ability of the oceans to absorb carbon dioxide.

    Rate of CO2 increase from start of CO2 measurements
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/derivative/mean%3A12

    Rate of CO2 increase from 1979
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/derivative/mean%3A12/from%3A1979


    Hocker's matching graphs

    Meanwhile how about Hocker's apparently matching graphs of temperature and rate of CO2 increase (= CO2 derivative)

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/hocker_fig2.png

    Reproduction of Hocker's graph using 4.545 as an approximation of 12/0.22, using 2009.5 (half way through 2009) as a cut off.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from%3A1958/to%3A2009.5/plot/esrl-co2/derivative/mean%3A12/scale%3A4.545/offset%3A-0.58/from%3A1979/to%3A2009.5

    What does Hocker mean by "optimise the fit"? Perhaps he means "looks best by eye". Because when comparing slopes the graphs look very different.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from%3A1958/to%3A2009.5/trend/plot/esrl-co2/derivative/mean%3A12/scale%3A4.545/offset%3A-0.58/from%3A1979/to%3A2009.5/trend

    Wonder what it looks like if the graphs are adjusted to make the slopes the same

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from%3A1958/to%3A2009.5/plot/esrl-co2/derivative/mean%3A12/scale%3A7.4/offset%3A-0.97/from%3A1979/to%3A2009.5

    So Hocker's graphs don't match. You can't use factors to adjust the vertical scale so that both slope and amplitude match for this pair of graphs.


    Sorry. This Hocker piece doesn't have any impact on AGW. Personally I think it's embarassing and sad to see so many of Watt's fans lapping it up.

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  • 209. At 11:31am on 10 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @CanadianRockies #205
    (@myself #208)

    Correction and apology. Not Watt's fans. Watts's fans.

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  • 210. At 11:46am on 10 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK #206

    "sceptical"

    Similarly I think your reaction to the deeply flawed Hertzberg, Schreuder and Siddons paper ("Moon Paper") as covered by O'Sullivan at Climate Realists shows genuine scepticism.

    (Incidentally Anthony Watts has avoided the "Moon Paper" too, perhaps it reminds him too much of Gerlich and Tscheuschner's flaws.)

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  • 211. At 1:06pm on 10 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Jane, Labmonkey & Lorax

    It seems our lawyer who wrote the following paper:

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1612851

    is in fact a laywer specialising in environmental law, so it seems he may know a little more than he is being given credit for:

    http://www.law.upenn.edu/cf/faculty/jjohnsto/

    /Mango

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  • 212. At 3:17pm on 10 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK #211

    Doesn't matter how familiar he is with the relevant law. If he has significant misunderstandings of the relevant science he can't comment on its legal implications. And I found one such clear misunderstanding with a very quick scan of his paper.

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  • 213. At 3:50pm on 10 Jun 2010, Dave_oxon wrote:

    @CanadianRockies, #205
    (@Jane, #208)

    I agree with Jane's review of this work - as several people pointed out in the comments section to this story on WUWT, what Hocker has shown is the temperature-dependent component to atmospheric CO2 concentration that we know should be present since we know gas solubility in water is temperature-dependent. However it tells us nothing about the trend in CO2 concentration and temperature.

    The annual sinusoidal-type variation in CO2 concentration tells us the same thing, Hocker has averaged this out to look at the variation on slightly longer timescales. It is instructive to look at the comparison between the temperature and CO2 in the frequency domain for the unsmoothed data as, in this way, one may keep the annual variation signal. See e.g. this graph (click here).

    (N.B. I have added a bit of smoothing at the end of the processing list to make the peak in the temperature data more obvious). The co-incidence of the peak in the CO2 data with a (much less sharp) peak in the temperature data demonstrates the correlation between the annual variation of CO2 with the annual variation of northern hemisphere mean temperature. Thus this work is instantly extended to encompass much more detail and my more detailed analysis also simply supports what we know from physics.

    His reproduction of CO2 concentration from the derivative is a red-herring since all he has done is differentiated the CO2 concentration against time, scaled it to the temperature data, noted the correlation then re-integrated it - hence this part of the analysis shows nothing other than the correlation noted previously.

    Essentially the only conclusion that can be drawn from this work is that "there is a temperature dependent component to the atmospheric CO2 content" i.e. nothing new!

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  • 214. At 7:02pm on 10 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

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

  • 215. At 8:53pm on 10 Jun 2010, Lorax wrote:

    #207 'you are even more ill-informed than i feared.'

    Crikey, insulted by LabMunkey in two parallel discussions. Does it add to the strength of your argument, do you think? We have been pretty civil recently, I'm disappointed that you feel you need to do this.

    'You've clearly never been involved in an audit' Did Mummy not warn you about a priori assumptions? I've been closely involved in a variety of major meta-analyses, collecting evidence, classifying it, applying weightings and reaching a robust conclusions that in turn direct national policy in my particular field.

    You are attributing things to me that I didn't say - 'You do not need to be an expert in a particular field to see that someon is making over-estimates in their predictions.' If you had read closely you would noted that I didn't say that 'experts' were required, rather that a non-scientific approach was inadequate in testing a scientific argument.

    If you could perhaps list the drugs you have audited in a non-scientific way, I shall be eager to avoid them. Do such audits not take into account the way data is gathered? Guesswork? Chicken entrails? Do they not wish to know that the tests were? Sample sizes, controls, stratifications - you know all that sciency stuff? If not, then the drug industry is worse than I imagined.

    Anyway, like all the other recent stuff championed by WUWT, this, er, legal opinion will no doubt disappear into oblivion, having failed to trouble climate science.

    Lorax

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  • 216. At 11:09pm on 10 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    Re my # 214 - which seems to be stalled for unknown reasons.

    Jane (#208) wrote "Personally I think it's embarassing and sad to see so many of Watt's fans lapping it up."

    Look at the comments Jane. Nobody is "lapping it up." It is being openly discussed, critiqued, and 'peer reviewed.'

    That's why that site is so valuable, and educational.

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  • 217. At 08:03am on 11 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @215.

    you clearly said- "I don't think there is any value in a non-scientific critique of a a complex area of science"

    this is not the same as "that a non-scientific approach was inadequate in testing a scientific argument"

    these are different statements.

    You cannot dismiss the lawyers comments simply because he is not a scientist. this sort of expertism (word?) is what's got climate science into the mess it is in now.

    and unfortunatley this"'You've clearly never been involved in an audit' Did Mummy not warn you about a priori assumptions? I've been closely involved in a variety of major meta-analyses, collecting evidence, classifying it, applying weightings and reaching a robust conclusions that in turn direct national policy in my particular field. "

    does not marry with this-


    --"If you could perhaps list the drugs you have audited in a non-scientific way, I shall be eager to avoid them. Do such audits not take into account the way data is gathered? Guesswork? Chicken entrails? Do they not wish to know that the tests were? Sample sizes, controls, stratifications - you know all that sciency stuff? If not, then the drug industry is worse than I imagined. "

    As yes, all of the above is taken into account (less the chicken entrails one would hope), but it is performed by QA people, not scientists- does that non-scientific critique make the review any less effective?

    I made the point- not as an insult, but as a statement of fact. being involved in, and running a large study (demanding as it is) is not the same as performing an audit.

    it would seem you were the one guilty of not reading the post, not i.

    and finally:

    "Crikey, insulted by LabMunkey in two parallel discussions. Does it add to the strength of your argument, do you think? We have been pretty civil recently, I'm disappointed that you feel you need to do this."

    Again- this wasn't an intended insult- more an observation- specifically with regard to the examples i raised- i.e. non-scientific reviews of scientific matters, or audits.

    You seem to be intentionally mis-interpreting the whole point of that lawyers review. Understandable- but before you shoot off on one again, i'd suggest you have another careful read on what I am ACTUALLY saying, versus what you THINK i am saying.

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  • 218. At 6:39pm on 11 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @CanadianRockies #218

    "Nobody is "lapping it up.""

    What would you call this?:

    "Use some common sense Warmers."

    "Very elegant to think of the derivate, I must say. Well done!"

    "Some climate “scientists” could avoid embarrassing themselves by learning some basic science – before getting their PhD"

    "I made quickly a similar calculation with woodfortree.org http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/mean%3A12/derivative/from%3A1979/normalise/plot/uah/from%3A1960/normalise
    the result is astonishing"

    "Wow. Someone tell Willis."

    "Lon, this is very well done. However, I am simply stunned that this has never been done before."

    "Just as we suspected all along, but what will it take to convince those who wear the blinkers?"

    "Looks like good science to me… and makes good sense too!!!"

    "A confirmation of your argument in this article is evidenced by the paleobiological register."

    "An inconvenient paper. Congratulations!"


    These sort of comments keep coming even when the debunks start coming in.

    "Not as elegant as E=MC^2 perhaps, but if confirmed, just as great a breakthrough for humankind."

    "I knew this, I already figured that out for myself, without any calculations."


    Much of the argument is between people solely concerned with how Hocker fits with the MWP and LIA. The more comprehensive debunks of Hocker are attacked with nonsense or irrelevance
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/09/a-study-the-temperature-rise-has-caused-the-co2-increase-not-the-other-way-around/#comment-406409
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/09/a-study-the-temperature-rise-has-caused-the-co2-increase-not-the-other-way-around/#comment-406543
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/09/a-study-the-temperature-rise-has-caused-the-co2-increase-not-the-other-way-around/#comment-406802
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/09/a-study-the-temperature-rise-has-caused-the-co2-increase-not-the-other-way-around/#comment-407040


    Meanwhile Hocker either ignores or dismisses the more comprehensive debunks. He is polite (but wrong) in his rejection of WUWT regular Eschenbach's criticism (which defends but isn't reliant on the MWP), and he appears to tell the more anonymous critic m4cph1sto to go away and do his sums:

    "[Hocker:] m4cph1sto: Very interesting proposition. There is certainly plenty of good data to use. Please let us know how well your model fits the data."

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/09/a-study-the-temperature-rise-has-caused-the-co2-increase-not-the-other-way-around/#comment-407049


    And, while acknowledging Eschenbach and Hausfather as regulars, some of the more comprehensive debunks do not come from Watts fans.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/09/a-study-the-temperature-rise-has-caused-the-co2-increase-not-the-other-way-around/#comment-407165


    So no, not impressed, the sensible points, even by WUWT regulars, are buried in drivel. Not unless and until Watts does a follow up article where someone like Eschenbach or Hausfather collates some of the more sensible arguments against Hocker.

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  • 219. At 7:45pm on 11 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #218. JaneBasingstoke

    Yes. So? Do you see anyone screaming that "the debate is over" and that those questioning this are "deniers"?

    You assume that there won't be future artciles looking at this topic when in reality that would be the opposite of the pattern there.

    Its an open process of presenting ideas and questioning them, and its educational. Some agree, others don't, and the process goes on.

    I would expect that there will be a follow-up article to this one, and the learning process will go on.

    The debate is never over at WUWT. Compare that to the nonscience of the IPCC.

    Anyways, its good that you actually visit that site. Indicates an open mind.

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  • 220. At 10:14am on 12 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @CanadianRockies #219

    "its educational"

    LOL

    http://www.gcse.com/english/its_confused.htm

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  • 221. At 2:49pm on 12 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @CanadianRockies #219

    "Yes. So? Do you see anyone screaming that "the debate is over" and that those questioning this are "deniers"?"

    Both sides deal out the insults. The d-word has been used more than usual in this thread because manysummits chose to discuss its use. You are politer than some of the sceptics here, but would you describe your posts as a paragon of politeness?


    "You assume that there won't be future artciles looking at this topic when in reality that would be the opposite of the pattern there.

    Its an open process of presenting ideas and questioning them, and its educational. Some agree, others don't, and the process goes on.

    I would expect that there will be a follow-up article to this one, and the learning process will go on.

    The debate is never over at WUWT."


    Your example thread I see sensible argument (some of it from sceptics) being drowned out in drivel, and some of the worst drivel in the comments being cheered on by the article's author. Your defence of the thread relies on Watts posting a new article that so far has not materialised, although obviously there is the potential for Eschenbach to want to post an article defending the MWP against the implications of Hocker.

    In the interim who precisely is being educated?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/09/a-study-the-temperature-rise-has-caused-the-co2-increase-not-the-other-way-around/#comment-407425


    "Compare that to the nonscience of the IPCC."

    Actually the Hocker thread makes the IPCC's flaws seem less embarrassing. So thanks for that.

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  • 222. At 8:15pm on 12 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #220 - Jane. So you are suggesting that reading that article (or any article proposing a hypothesis), and then reading the comments from a variety of well-informed to uninformed readers (with a variety of links to explore particularly from the former), is not educational?

    It is for me.

    #221 - Yes. IPCC summary reports written by politicians using cherry-picked and often erroneous information designed to support a predetermined conclusion is obvioulsy much better than an ongoing an open discussion.

    And, of course, it is perfectly reasonable to expect that an open thread comments from a broad spectrum of readers, including those with a minimal science background or just venting, would be comparable to one involved with the IPCC... but we will never know because those discussions are not open. Except for the Climategate emails - and they certainly were impressive in their scientific rigour and objectivity.

    And while WUWT has not yet posted a follow-up article in the few days since that one was posted and discussion began, it is entirely appropriate for the IPCC et al to never respond to known errors, deride their critics, and for their media parrots to remain silent on these questions.

    Yes, Jane, you are right. What was I thinking? 2 + 2 does equal 5.

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  • 223. At 9:56pm on 12 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    Jane - Update - After three days there are now 314 comments on that article. The depth of discussion is very impressive. None are from manysummits.

    But, of course, it all laughable and not worth reading because the chosen consensus once declared that debate is over.

    We must act now before the polar bears and the Maldives disappear!

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  • 224. At 10:00pm on 12 Jun 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    223. At 9:56pm on 12 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:
    The depth of discussion is very impressive. None are from manysummits.

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

    You might have gotten the effect before the cause there...

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  • 225. At 00:59am on 13 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    In case anyone actually thought the basic NOAA land temperature data was actually reliable or accurate...

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/12/art-horn-a-remarkable-statement-from-noaa/#comment-408279

    #224 - Brunnen_G - Yes, they really are seriously deprived of Paul Ehrlich quotes and the wisdom of Al Gore over there. Even worse, I have yet to see an article or comment reflecting the profound importance of the Marxist Watermelon Conference in Bolivia.

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  • 226. At 01:19am on 13 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @CanadianRockies #222, #223

    Actually my #220 was a crack at you getting your grammar wrong in a statement about education. (No apostrophe "its" means "belonging to it". With apostrophe "it's" means "it is".) Sorry you missed the joke.


    I don't promote the IPCC.

    The IPCC have got work to do tackling their flaws. But I will defend them when they get misquoted or misrepresented. Accidental misrepresentations are common thanks to the Al Gore film.


    My criticisms of the Hocker thread are a response to you apparently promoting it.

    You make the comments sound as if on balance they are neutral or lean towards the truth. It is my strong impression that on the Hocker thread that the comments are heavily weighted towards the more nonsensical with even WUWT sceptic regular Eschenbach being thoroughly slapped down for pointing out genuine holes in Hocker. People who are unfamiliar with the science will interpret the weight of the comments in favour of Hocker.

    The Hocker thread has even upset some of the WUWT regulars. I agree with WUWT sceptic jimbo, the Hocker thread is a really bad advert for WUWT, and I am confused how you can think such a thread, with truth being forced into a back seat, can possibly be described educational in its current form.

    As for fixing these problems without compromising WUWT's open platform policy, I think we are both agreed, the thread needs a follow up article tackling Hocker's claims.

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  • 227. At 01:38am on 13 Jun 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    CanadianRockies #225.

    "I have yet to see an article or comment reflecting the profound importance of the Marxist Watermelon Conference in Bolivia."

    people from 120 countries attended the event billed as "Alternative climate change summit gives voice to the under-represented and ignored"; a deprecating label is often helpful though to prevent oneself from having to re-examine points of view. ;)

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  • 228. At 05:27am on 13 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    227. jr4412 - I read the coverage of it and am familiar with that point of view. My label - "Marxist Watermelon" - is accurate and appropriate.

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  • 229. At 05:41am on 13 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #226 - JaneBasingstoke - Yes. Missed the grammatical error. I type these these pretty fast. So the joke is on me.

    I couldn't disagree more with you about the IPCC. Totally political and destructive to the credibility of real science, not to mention a waste of money.

    As for that Hocker thread... Sometimes what initially appear to be crazy or dubious ideas turn out to be true, or at least provoke thoughts or insights that can lead to something nobody "inside the box" ever thought of.

    And I could not disagree with you more about "the truth being forced into a back seat" on that thread.

    In the meantime, look at the media coverage of all these questions or controversies about this. Or Oxborough. That is definitely a case of that back seat approach. Worse.

    I'll take that kind of open exploration of ideas, flaws and all, over the dogmatic 'debate is over" approach of the IPCC et all any day.

    Once again, if we had relied on the IPCC et al, we'd still be accepting convenient fairy tales about all sorts of things.

    In the meantime, that last WUWT article I just posted is just another case of why the basic data is garbage, and how the IPCC et al is trying to spin their way out of that. Apparently accuracy doesn't matter. LOL.

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  • 230. At 2:28pm on 13 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @CanadianRockies

    "I type these these pretty fast."

    Like I said, a joke, not a criticism. This blog medium is horribly susceptible to basic mistakes in the English language. But comments containing obvious typos or grammar errors are funny when they specifically endorse education. And my #220 did include a link to help explain the joke.


    "And I could not disagree with you more about "the truth being forced into a back seat" on that thread."

    For those unused to the WUWT open platform policy and unfamiliar with the track record of contributors it looks like a win for Hocker. There is a large volume of simple endorsements of Hocker, a significant number of nonsense posts endorsing Hocker, a significant number of nonsense posts putting down sensible posts, and a significant number of nonsense posts endorsing other nonsense posts. This is compounded by Hocker's own endorsement of the nonsense posts and Hocker's own rejection of sensible posts. The net effect is that the sensible posts look thoroughly defeated.

    Or do you actually agree with Hocker?


    "Apparently accuracy doesn't matter."

    Apparently accuracy does matter. From the same NOAA webpage

    "Q. Could stations located in potentially warmer locations near buildings and cities influence temperature readings?

    Yes. That is one reason why NOAA created the Climate Reference Network. These stations adhere to all of the established monitoring principles and are located in unpopulated areas. They are closely monitored and are subject to rigorous calibration procedures. It is a network designed specifically for assessing climate change.

    An effort is also underway to modernize the Historical Climatology Network of over 1,000 long-term weather and climate stations nationwide. Stations in the Southwest are currently undergoing modernization and maintenance through this program. Managers of both of these networks work diligently to locate stations in pristine areas where the dynamics of the immediate region, like urbanization, are unlikely to change very much over the coming decades.
    "

    http://www.noaa.gov/features/02_monitoring/weather_stations.html

    Meanwhile the land based temperatures must be getting something right, they seem to match satellite measurements.

    [note, vertical displacement due to different baselines]
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from%3A1979/trend/plot/gistemp/from%3A1979/trend/plot/rss/trend

    (reminder, a substantial proportion of direct measurement warming has been during the era of satellite temperature measurements)
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/trend/plot/gistemp/trend/plot/rss/trend

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  • 231. At 6:47pm on 13 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    230. JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    "Or do you actually agree with Hocker?"

    I agree that that article was food for thought which prompted many interesting and informative comments, from which I learned a lot. Just look at the depth of discussion, compared, to say... here.

    I would tend to agree with statement, from this comment:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    June 12, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    “I hold that CO2 is a third-order forcing that doesn’t cause much of anything at all.”

    Now, do you actually agree with Oxborough? And that 'open' process?

    Re: "From the same NOAA webpage"

    Now that the fundamental problems and manipulations have been revealed, what were you expecting them to say? Shhhpinnnn! In the meantime the Watts project volunteers looking at actual sites found that 90% did not meet their standards. Seems concrete (etc.)causes The Warming.

    And remarkable how all their so-called adjustments just happen to support their predetermined story. And how the 'adjusted' corrupted data from cherry-picked stations is used to extrapolate the supposed temperature from huge areas. Junk.

    And now they feel the need to "modernize the Historical Climatology Network"... I wonder why? New methods for adjustment? In the meantime, all the old junk data is apparently obsolete junk data.

    And all this to deal with a question of whether the 'global temperature' has actually risen less than 1C in the past century.

    The ice cream trucks carrying WMDs in Iraq were more credible.

    Jane, if it was just one or a few isolated 'errors,' that would be one thing. But it is systematic. From the data to the polar bear stories.

    And the AGW crew has had years and untold billions of dollars to work with and this is all they can come up with: Post-Normal Science combined with Lysenkoism... AGW = A Global Watermelon project.

    Follow the money Jane:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/13/does-money-grow-in-wind-farms/

    In parallel news:

    Re: the Cry Wolf Project...

    "CWP’s solicitation for policy briefs designed to construct politically driven narratives is a confession of academic malpractice... offering colleagues and grad students money to predetermine outcomes..."

    http://bigjournalism.com/tag/cry-wolf/







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  • 232. At 02:24am on 14 Jun 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @CanadianRockies #231

    "And now they feel the need to "modernize the Historical Climatology Network"..." CanadianRockies

    "Now"? Are you suggesting this is a reaction to very recent criticisms? From the 2003 annual report

    "The first two experimental USCRN stations were installed in Asheville, NC, in August, 2001."

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/crn/annual-reports.html


    "do you actually agree with Oxborough?" CanadianRockies

    Unfortunately it appears that it was only Oxburgh's job to absolve the UEA of failing to supervise CRU properly, so the investigation was minimal. However he did flag up real issues including weak stats, disorganised data and the bean counters insisting that people pay money for access to data.

    Also unfortunately the people conducting the relevant inquiries don't seem to realise the way that conflicts of interest are undermining their credibility.


    "I hold that CO2 is a third-order forcing that doesn’t cause much of anything at all." Eschenbach, from the WUWT Hocker thread

    Actually that was one of the few parts of Eschenbach's posts that I wasn't clear on. At first I thought "third-order" just meant minor, but then I found his comments about Granger causation. CO2 and temperature do both affect each other. This is why for much of recent geological history CO2 was a feedback. And it is why Hocker found a real correlation but was still wrong.

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  • 233. At 06:30am on 14 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    232. JaneBasingstoke -

    "CO2 and temperature do both affect each other. This is why for much of recent geological history CO2 was a feedback. And it is why Hocker found a real correlation but was still wrong."

    Sounds reasonable. But the zillion (plus) dollar question is whether CO2 and this relationship are significant to driving the global climate... and if they are, how significant. Which goes back to that 'sensitivity" point.

    I can see huge social engineering and economic reasons for promoting the simple idea that CO2 is THE culprit, and that recent changes are 'unprecedented' and leading to 'catastrophic' consequences, but no scientific or even slightly credible ones.

    I see Mrs. Clegg got a nice new job. Tony Bliar too. Such is the way of the world.


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