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Scientist leaves behind a climate of abuse

Richard Black | 15:43 UK time, Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Stephen SchneiderI didn't know Stephen Schneider, the Stanford University climatologist who has just died from an apparent heart attack, well enough to pen a comprehensive account of his life and works.

RealClimate has an appreciation by his close colleague Ben Santer; and the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post have obituaries, among others.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has an In Memoriam note [46.60KB PDF] that describes Dr Schneider as...

"...a major contributor to the IPCC and one of its fiercest supporters... a warrior for honesty and a dedicated campaigner for giving people the complete story.
 
"Steve's scholarly approach, combining world-class research with deep commitment to broad communication, set a remarkable standard of excellence."

As a journalist covering climate change through the Kyoto conference of 1997, the Bush administration's decision to absent itself from that arena, the seminal IPCC report of 2007 and last December's UN summit in Copenhagen, Stephen Schneider was someone whose influence you could hardly miss, from his pioneering work on developing numerical models of climate to the interviews and conversations and speeches through which he sought to convey the implications of all that science to the public.

Of course, that didn't necessarily make him a popular man.

I last spoke to him about three months ago. The context was abuse: the vitriolic, sustained, personalised and sometimes apparently organised abuse that has been levelled against scientists in the climate field, including him.

Installation at Copenhagen summitIt materialises in blogs and newspaper articles that appear to start from the standpoint that everyone in the field is corrupt, incompetent and crooked. It streams into scientists' e-mail inboxes.

Some of those receiving it see it as a deliberate, malicious and politically-motivated campaign of harassment.

Australian journalist Clive Hamilton has documented the threats and abuse levelled against scientists in his country in a series of online articles commencing with "Bullying, lies and the rise of right-wing climate denial".

He cites cases of scientists being compared in emails to Pol Pot, and being told that unless they stopped what they were doing, they would "end up collateral damage in the war".

From my own enquiries, such harassment does not appear routine in the UK, though it does happen. Prominent climate scientists I spoke to have encountered abusive e-mails, some registering a crescendo in the run-up to the Copenhagen conference, and others noting that it emerged whenever they published a paper or spoke in the media.

It has reached its apogee, however, in North America - not least in the threatening e-mails and indeed events that have followed Stephen Schneider, Ben Santer and several of their colleagues in recent years - events that the former detailed to some extent in his book Science as a Contact Sport.

In one of his recent e-mails to me, he said that title was probably "too wimpy an analogy" given how far things had gone.

We're not only talking here about messages accusing scientists of being communist traitors whose raison d'etre is world government - though there are enough of those - but threats to life and limb.

We're talking about a threat perceived to be serious enough that a prominent climate researcher had to be escorted to last December's American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting by security guards.

China droughtWe're talking about a dead rat left on a doorstep around midnight, the perpetrator driving off hurling abuse in - perhaps inevitably - a huge 4x4.

Some of the scientists have been most concerned by a posting on the website of the white supremacist organisation Stormfront.

It shows photos of eight prominent people working in climate change, either as scientists or on the policy side - including Stephen Schneider - and labels them all as "Jews".

Further down, a comment on the thread contends that the "global warming scam has always borne the stench of the same old Jewish liars, thieves, swindlers and murderers".

Dr Schneider regularly engaged with scientists and politicians sceptical of climate science, through peer-reviewed publications, books, advice to a succession of US administrations, and the IPCC.

But how is anyone supposed to engage with Stormfront?

Here is perhaps an issue that ought to concern people sceptical of human-induced climate change.

It is a broad spectrum. But how does propagation of the "Jewish liars" or "world government" arguments affect perceptions of those who challenge the mainstream picture along scientific lines?

Doesn't the climate of abuse overshadow the real issues that sceptics are flagging up, and reduce the chances of "sceptical" science being taken seriously?

And what is the abuse supposed to change? Does anyone really expect committed scientists to stop doing science just because they are labelled "scum" or "paid liars"?

It's an approach to winning hearts and minds that must have a limited chance of success.

Stephen Schneider didn't feel inclined to pull back. In a recent e-mail to me and others, he decried the attempt by Senator James Inhofe [639.15KB PDF] and others to seek legal redress against 17 climate scientists, including Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia, as "a smokescreen of denial and deceit".

He recounted that he was working an extra four hours every evening trying to put the record straight, as he saw it, on issues such as "ClimateGate" and alleged mistakes in IPCC assessments - "No time to stop now..."

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  • 1. At 4:07pm on 21 Jul 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    Interesting article richard and it goes without saying, regardless of my position on this subject my heartfelt condolences go out to his friends and family. I didn't agree with much of what the man said, but some of his stuff was very interesting.

    I of course do not condone (and would hope no other skeptic on this blog would either) any sort of intimidation/threats or violence against climate scientists, or those of an AGW belief, but i find it very interesting that you chose to report only one side of the story, not suprising mind, but interesting nonetheless.

    How do you reconcile this article against the similar threats against 'skeptics' and more specifically, the very public and very (in my opinion) serious threat put out on the greenpeace website

    to paraphrase "we know where you live".

    Again, i would never condone any behavior like this from EITHER side- but even for you richard, this is quite a startlingly one-sided piece.

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  • 2. At 5:12pm on 21 Jul 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    LabMunkey at #1

    Even by your standards that comparison is silly! Stormfront is an organisation whose history is characterised by hate. The other was a one-off piece of rhetoric by an individual that was unreservedly apologised for - and Greenpeace has a fast-solid principle of non-violence.

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  • 3. At 5:19pm on 21 Jul 2010, Andrew wrote:

    Like most of the BBC articles surrounding climate change, this one is one sided and takes the position that the heroes are the scientists that believe global warming is completely man made. Not surprising for the BBC. Liberal journalism.

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  • 4. At 5:36pm on 21 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    The idea that a sociological study of people's "qualifications" counts as scientific research is laughable, and deserves ridicule.

    Abuse is a much-abused term. No one should receive threats or become a victim of racism. But legitimate expressions of anger at attempts to "blacklist" are perfectly justified. If there really is a consensus of the sort AGW-supporters keep telling us there is, they should be aware of their majority status. They can hardly claim to be "underdogs" in their profession if they constitute such a vast majority?

    I would guess that threats and racism have been exhibited by rogue elements of both sides in this debate, to the mortification and disgust of nearly everyone on both sides. Isolated examples of one or other side's abhorrent and embarrassing behaviour shouldn't be used to score a point about "how the other side behaves". I've seen that sort of tribal filth endlessly in Northern Ireland, with one side joyously parading the other side's worst features to stir up yet more hatred and prejudice. It is like waving your neighbour's dirty underpants around to prove how clean your own are.

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  • 5. At 5:36pm on 21 Jul 2010, Robert Leather wrote:

    I was very sad to here that Stephen Schneider had died of a heart attack whilst flying back to London.

    I can't say I agreed with a number of his conclusions, but the world is a little emptier without him.

    One thing I don't agree with is this articles repeated supposition that all skeptics are somehow deranged, anti-scemitic, maniacal idiots out to destroy scientists and science in general. I would have thought a separate post would have been more appropriate for this kind of rhetoric. Otherwise, you appear to be using the mans death to push an agenda. I'm not entirely sure that's what you intended. But it does come over that way.

    After all, it's not just the scientific skeptical side of the fence that can hurl insane abuse. After all Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said that skepticism is "treason" and that "we need to start treating [skeptics] as traitors.". Which in the US would be via execution.

    This was then repeated by Paul Krugman, a columnist for the New York Times. Then the Washington Post asserted and any "so called scientist" who didn't agree was clearly in the pocket of big oil and was a "traitor".

    Clearly the language on the AGW is more subtle. Witness the use of "denier" with its obvious associative connotation "holocaust denier". Where as the rhetoric from a vocal minority of skeptics appears to be more base.

    But then on the far side of AGW is the concept that large elements of the population should be culled in order to maintain nature at an equilibrium. Which is just as insane.

    I should point out too that my own standpoint, that CO2 rises won't result in the levels of catastrophic disaster as hypothesised in IPCC4, has resulted in similarly disturbing emails. I usually reply by asking for a phone number to call, to discuss their viewpoint. So far, I've had no takers.

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  • 6. At 5:40pm on 21 Jul 2010, Robert Leather wrote:

    Actually, could we have just skipped all the rhetoric at the end and just said how said it was that he died in such sudden circumstances. I realise that he'd been ill for some time. But dying on a plane wasn't the way I guess he'd imagined going out.

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  • 7. At 5:48pm on 21 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    both sides are affected by the "more enthusiastic" members of society and both sides should not suffer the abuse they sometimes receive. Simon tells us that Greenpeace have apologised for their remarks, but those remarks should never have seen the light of day

    /Mango

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  • 8. At 5:57pm on 21 Jul 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 2

    i think using institutions like stormfront to back up the assertion that skeptics are hounding climatologists is stretching it a bit. White supremisitis, skeptics, whitesupremisists,skeptics. One set questioning the science behind a popular theory, another a bunch of racisits.

    or was the intention to not only link skeptics to holocaust deniers, but to militant racists as well?

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  • 9. At 6:14pm on 21 Jul 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Perhaps a little bit selective..... I've never heard of Stormfront...

    I have heard of Watts Up and Climate Audit

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/20/mcintyre-on-stephen-schneider/

    Steve Mcintyre writes:

    ".....As I noted above, at his best, Schneider was engaging and cheerful – qualities that I prefer to remember him by. I was unaware of his personal battles or that he ironically described himself as “The Patient from Hell” – a title that seems an honorable one."

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  • 10. At 6:25pm on 21 Jul 2010, rossglory wrote:

    Very sad to hear of Prof Schneider's death.

    I think the campaign against climate scientists will now be paying dividends with many PhD students wondering whether climate research is really what they want to do. Exxon's 1 million pound donation last year to climate sceptics was a good investment I'm sure.

    This is clearly a political war, the science having been settled long ago, and I think history has shown that right wing libertarians have a habit of using agressive techniques which tend to be avoided by liberals (since that is part of what being a liberal entails).

    The nature of the attacks on scientists are appalling and I just hope that the crucial work is not significantly impacted.

    Thanks for a revealing article Richard.

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  • 11. At 6:25pm on 21 Jul 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Richard Black doing Realclimate bidding again, with a non stroy, seriously - stormfront?

    sceptics = bad climate scientists = good?

    I've heard of Bishop Hill

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/7/19/stephen-schneider.html

    Bishop Hill:
    "Andy Revkin is reporting that Stephen Schneider has died of a heart attack. Story here.

    I'm sure we would all like to pass on our condolences to his family."

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  • 12. At 6:42pm on 21 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    I think the campaign against climate scientists will now be paying dividends with many PhD students wondering whether climate research is really what they want to do. Exxon's 1 million pound donation last year to climate sceptics was a good investment I'm sure.


    get real ross

    /Mango

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  • 13. At 6:44pm on 21 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    This is clearly a political war, the science having been settled long ago, and I think history has shown that right wing libertarians have a habit of using agressive techniques which tend to be avoided by liberals (since that is part of what being a liberal entails).

    Again, get real ross

    /Mango

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  • 14. At 6:45pm on 21 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    The nature of the attacks on scientists are appalling and I just hope that the crucial work is not significantly impacted.


    Agreed, but not probably what you meant

    /Mango

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  • 15. At 6:46pm on 21 Jul 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    And Climate AUDIT, Steve Mcintyre did not see eye to eye, yet


    Steve Mcintyre:

    "Stephen Schneider was only a few years older than me and his death seems all too early.
    I had a fair bit of contact with him by email in 2004. He seemed very cheerful – a characteristic that I respect – and certainly much more likely to be good company than the fellow climate scientists that I was then encountering – a point that Ross and I discussed at the time."

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/07/20/stephen-schneider/

    A bit about the Guradian Climategate denate post Muir Russell. Didn't see the BBC's Richard Black there...

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/07/20/trevor-davies-at-the-guardian-panel/

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/07/14/report-from-the-climategate-guardian-debate/

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/07/18/cartoons-by-josh-the-three-stooges/

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  • 16. At 6:55pm on 21 Jul 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Where are you manysummits?

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  • 17. At 6:59pm on 21 Jul 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Similar condolences at the sceptical Bishop Hill site;

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/7/19/stephen-schneider.html

    "Andy Revkin is reporting that Stephen Schneider has died of a heart attack. Story here.

    I'm sure we would all like to pass on our condolences to his family."

    Of course the the totally exonerated CRU climate scientists, one of whom, Phil Jones, said on the death of John L Daly ( a noteable sceptic)

    "in an odd way, this is cheering news!"
    http://www.climate-gate.org/email.php?eid=393&s=kwcheering

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/19/breaking-phil-jones-got-to-endorse-papers-for-oxburgh-inquiry/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/18/doe-funding-for-cru-placed-on-hold/

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  • 18. At 7:09pm on 21 Jul 2010, Barry Woods wrote:



    No shame, white supremicists, trying to link to anyone sceptical CAGW,AGW, or aGW (given up on the holocause denial connections?

    Another sceptical website:

    Thomas Fuller - Examiner, having MET and interviewed schneider (doubt that stormfront did that;
    http://www.examiner.com/x-9111-Environmental-Policy-Examiner~y2010m7d19-Global-Warming-The-death-of-Stephen-Schneider

    Thomas Fuller:

    "When I interviewed Stephen Schneider last year, he was gracious and understanding of the tightrope we both needed to walk, and I appreciated his kind remarks about the interview afterwards. More recently, I have been very critical of his role in bringing a paper through PNAS that I believe will serve as a blacklist for skeptical scientists.

    He died today, suffering a heart attack while traveling to London. I offer whatever condolences I can to his family and friends."

    http://www.examiner.com/x-9111-Environmental-Policy-Examiner~y2010m7d19-Global-Warming-The-death-of-Stephen-Schneider

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  • 19. At 7:13pm on 21 Jul 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Seriosly, Richard go and be an activist environmental correspondent at the Guardian, not the 'impartial' BBC

    Trying to link CAGW scepticism with extreme, unheard of groups, when there are copious other choices, from the major sceptical websites, of honourable behaviour, on his death.

    Another 'lukewarmer' some would call sceptical/deniar scientist

    Roger Pileke Jr:

    "Steve Schneider, of Stanford University, has died of a heart attack. He was a true giant in the field of climate science and policy. I first met him in the early 1990s at NCAR before I received my PhD. Characteristic of his support for young scholars, he encouraged and published my first paper on climate change as an editorial essay in Climatic Change in 1994 (PDF). He was always up for a debate, and we certainly debated many things over the years, most recently just this past weekend in a group email exchange. His views on climate are cited positively in my new book. His energy, passion and genius will be sorely miss"

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/07/steve-schneider-1945-to-2010.html

    How many more messages of condolences would the BBC like from ALL thescepticalwebsites?

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  • 20. At 7:24pm on 21 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #10 rossglory wrote:

    right wing libertarians have a habit of using agressive techniques which tend to be avoided by liberals (since that is part of what being a liberal entails).

    I wonder what you understand by a "liberal"? -- This is not to correct your language, just to grasp better what you mean when you use this very slippery word (which I use to describe myself, by the way).

    JS Mill was perhaps the greatest liberal of them all, and he went to great lengths to distinguish between utterances that are harmful and those that we find disagreeable or merely offensive. He was 100% in favour of disagreement -- and often used "aggressive" techniques of argument himself. There is no suggestion that he was a violent or threatening man, but he did sometimes get a bit "hot under the collar".

    The trouble with words like 'aggressive' is that they can describe a passionate but wholly non-threatening and non-violent attitude; they can also describe threatening and violent behaviour. So maybe we should be more careful with the words we use to condemn attitudes?

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  • 21. At 7:47pm on 21 Jul 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    Richard,

    The man's just died, for pity's sake.
    Your one-sided piece is practically inviting derogatory comments about him.
    I do hope that wasn't your intention.

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  • 22. At 7:58pm on 21 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Barry Woods #15

    [On the Guardian Climategate debate] "Didn't see the BBC's Richard Black there..."

    Looks like Roger Harrabin at 5:34 in the video. How many Beeb journalists do you want covering the event?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2010/jul/15/climategate-guardian-debate

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  • 23. At 8:00pm on 21 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @rossglory #10

    What do you think about the story at WUWT, which clearly shows The US DOE gave Phil Jones grants totalling $m rather than the $200K claimed:

    the UEA’s Office Supervisor for Finance Research, Mrs. Sandra Carter, indicates to Dr. Jones that the EAU had, to 7 May 2008, received for the DOE $1,589,632 in FY 2007/2008 grant money. Against what appears to be a total spent of $1,744,130 as of 30 April 2008.

    An additional $58,880 was expected to be spent in April to June 08 time frame and an additional $47,190 to be spent in the July to September 2008 time frame.


    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/21/us-doe-apparently-funded-cru-millions-not-200k-as-reported/

    Any comments Richard?

    /Mango

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  • 24. At 8:02pm on 21 Jul 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    @rossglory @10:

    "This is clearly a political war, the science having been settled long ago"

    Careful now, you don't want to be labelled as a contrarian, do you?

    From RealClimate:

    "The phrase “the science is settled” is associated almost 100% with contrarian comments on climate and is usually a paraphrase of what ’some scientists’ are supposed to have said."

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/unsettled-science/

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  • 25. At 8:03pm on 21 Jul 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ jane # 22

    i think 14 should cover it.... :-)

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  • 26. At 8:08pm on 21 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    OK. A number of sceptics here are complaining about Richard Black mentioning the actions of extremists.

    1. Scientists and respectable bloggers on both sides of the debate are on the receiving end of this sort of unpleasantness.

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/01/08/9844/#comment-214986

    2. The individuals behaving like this are a tiny minority. But because their behaviour is so unpleasant they have a disproportionate effect on the scientists and bloggers.

    Now I do not want to see either side of the debate subjected to any form of intimidation. Perhaps some of you complaining might agree with that.

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  • 27. At 8:22pm on 21 Jul 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/21/us-doe-apparently-funded-cru-millions-not-200k-as-reported/#more-22314

    unbelievable

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  • 28. At 8:48pm on 21 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #26 JaneBasingstoke:

    You express a very important truth here, as well as a habit of thought that I for one try to emulate.

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  • 29. At 9:11pm on 21 Jul 2010, Richard Black (BBC) wrote:

    #8 LabMunkey, #11 Barry and others... I have been absolutely explicit to delineate between purveyors of abuse and the other end of the "sceptical" spectrum - viz:

    "how does propagation of the "Jewish liars" or "world government" arguments affect perceptions of those who challenge the mainstream picture along scientific lines?

    "Doesn't the climate of abuse overshadow the real issues that sceptics are flagging up, and reduce the chances of "sceptical" science being taken seriously?"

    Please don't accuse me of conflating the two ends of the spectrum when I have done the exact opposite.

    RB

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  • 30. At 9:14pm on 21 Jul 2010, Jack Hughes wrote:

    @Richard,

    Are you really combining Schneider's death and a propaganda piece about "threats"?

    It does look cheap...

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  • 31. At 9:15pm on 21 Jul 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Shouting has become equal to proof. Anyone with some claim or challenge can make any statement without ever having to have it have some basis in reality. All the right-wing crazies in the media are free to make any kinds of statments and the lemmings are right there to regurgitate what they have heard and when challenged they simply attact the person asking. We live in a very uncivil world and the media makes money on that. Statements are twisted, deceptions, things out of context, statement attributed to the wrong place and time and none of that matters. Some grade school drop out can say whatever about a lifelong sceintiest and people find that acceptable. The deniers are as much about anti-intellectualism as they are about climate change. The right wing has no place for facts and truths, they prefer symbols and vitriol. The pawns of corporatations. Free thinkers who all think alike.

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  • 32. At 9:19pm on 21 Jul 2010, Jack Hughes wrote:

    Interesting how Richard brings Pres. Bush into the story about Schneider's death.

    Kyoto was in 1997 when the US President was Clinton and the Vice President was ... Al Gore.

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  • 33. At 9:31pm on 21 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #29 Richard Black (BBC) wrote:

    Please don't accuse me of conflating the two ends of the spectrum when I have done the exact opposite.

    "Spectrum"? -- Explain yourself, big shot.

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  • 34. At 9:31pm on 21 Jul 2010, Barry Woods wrote:


    The Guardian Climategate debate ticket only cost £12, why would Richard not go as well, a debate about the muir russell enquiry, with Steve mcintyre, Bob Watson, Trevor Davis, Doug Keenan, Fred Pearce, who has dome much more analysis of climategate than the bbc.

    Of course is Richard of the Bob Watson Persuasion;
    Listen to the audio..

    Bob saying (I only read a few emails)
    got the second biggest audience laugh of the night..

    I said hello to Roger Harrabin and introduced him to Josh (the cartoonist) who was one of the people looking after Steve Mcintyre in London,
    http://climateaudit.org/2010/07/18/back-from-england/
    http://climateaudit.org/2010/07/18/cartoons-by-josh-the-three-stooges/

    Roger Harrabinmet David Holland, Steve Mcintyre, Doug Keenan and others sceptically minded people.

    Overall the debate was very good natured, quite evenly split (a lot of journalists there) and a lot of pro/sceptical people had chats at the bars afterwards and even exchanged contact details..

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/07/14/report-from-the-climategate-guardian-debate/

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/7/17/the-guardian-debate.html

    So, a contrast, a minor USA group no one here has heard of, vs a big debate, which was very civilised, with the biggest sceptics being very courteous with their counterparts and vice versa, getting to know the person.. why emphasise the negative, when more positive recent news to report. As, Above, I have linked to respectful Major sceptical websites reporting on Stephen Scneiders death.

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  • 35. At 9:33pm on 21 Jul 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 29

    I'm sorry richard but i cannot agree, two lines; of rather limp 'name-calling' versus association with a militant group of white supremesists and the numerous other lines detailing why the skeptics are the clear aggressors in this 'debate', when it is only a frigne element on BOTH sides.

    The whole tone of the piece is off and at extreme odds with the (very likely) genuine tribute to the late Stephen Schneider.

    I stand by my assertion that this piece is highly skewed and wholly inapropriate given the aim.

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  • 36. At 9:45pm on 21 Jul 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    @ghost #31:

    Your post describes your post rather well, methinks.

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  • 37. At 10:19pm on 21 Jul 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    No one in the UK would have ever heard, of Stormfront, but for this article, with a few comments on their website.. Now linking CAGW sceptics, with Schneiders death and an obscure group, forever, whilst this remains searchable on the internet..

    Actually talking about the real issues, would be better than a distraction, there are just as many eco-nutter out there, makin comments on AGW websites, just have a look at some of the comments on deltioid, reaclimate,etc.

    An obscure group, vs the Guardians, main stream media, CUT out and keep DENIARS picture cards..
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2009/mar/06/climate-change-deniers-top-10


    And the Campaign Against Climate Change. Sceptics Hall OF Shame.
    http://www.campaigncc.org/hallofshame

    Only 4 MP's, MEP's and George Monbiot - Honourary Group president (guardian) himself, part of that group!!!

    http://www.campaigncc.org/node/384

    Balance................

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  • 38. At 11:08pm on 21 Jul 2010, ChangEngland wrote:

    @ 6:55pm on 21 Jul 2010, sensibleoldgrannie wrote:

    Where are you manysummits?

    Hopefully he is getting some fresh air climbing a real mountain, having found that the mountain of ignorance on BBC blogs so much of a challenge that a respite is needed :( Many of his observations - for observation is what he is about, will be proven astute. Refer today to "500 Penguins seem to have starved to death" - I'm sure he would have had something to say about that! I am reading "The world is Blue" I only read it when I have time (and am still sober) and truly scary it is too!

    He will be back rejuvenated I'm sure.



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  • 39. At 11:30pm on 21 Jul 2010, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    My condolences to those connected. Respect to those from across the spectrum who have had the decency to do likewise.

    Re: 2 - Good points. The two simply are not comparable. A charity with a remit of non-violent activism on the one hand. White supremacists with more criminal convictions in their membership than I have had hot dinners on the other hand. That said, the Greenpeace gentlemen's comments were ill advised.

    Re: 3 - Yes Andrew, evil commie BBC! The real heroes are the noble lobbyists of the fossil fuel multi-nationals...

    Barry Woods: Well I live in England and I have heard of them. Your copious postings just go to show that you either did not understand the article above, or you are wilfully misinterpreting it.

    Jack Hughes. No, not cheap. Honest. And regarding your post at 32 - you clearly did not read the comma in the article.

    Re: 23 & 27: The evil scientists no doubt spent the money on hookers, yachts and flashy cars. Pathetic attempt at smearing that cheapens you both.

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  • 40. At 00:09am on 22 Jul 2010, Dr Brian wrote:

    Richard.
    I'm Jewish and I can assure you that the obscene racist insults against warmists are nothing compared to the antisemitic filth that pours from peoples minds onto the blogs whenever Israel appears in the news.
    All of this disgraces the bloggers and fouls the mouth of the speaker.
    As others may have noted from my previous comments on your various blogs, I am a sceptic so far as AGW is concerned.
    A Jewish sceptic. Wow.
    Whilst any premature death is to be regretted I have to say that as I did not know the man I am more concerned about the fate of Paul the octopus who may be turned into calamari if the Germans have their way.
    Fish debt is something I can live with but, as I am Jewish and therefore blame myself for all the world's woes, I am having sleepless nights over the prospect of octopus guilt.
    I understand that my Catholic friends are suffering similar guilt.

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  • 41. At 01:00am on 22 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Barry Woods #37

    Tragically we have heard of Stormfront in this country. It is frequently mentioned in news articles about the BNP.

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  • 42. At 01:14am on 22 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Barry Woods #34

    "The Guardian Climategate debate ticket only cost £12, why would Richard not go as well"

    Perhaps there wasn't enough space for multiple journalists from one outfit:

    "almost 300 people squeezed into Riba in London last night"

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/jul/15/climategate-public-debate

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  • 43. At 07:57am on 22 Jul 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/21/the-satellites-are-missing/#more-22305

    more interesting news on temperatures.

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  • 44. At 08:04am on 22 Jul 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Jane at #42

    Thanks for the link whiich made for interesting reading.

    Food for thought - the comment attributed to Steve McIntyre, namely that if he was running a government, he would be taking action on climate change.

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  • 45. At 08:06am on 22 Jul 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Mango at #7

    You wrote: Greenpeace have apologised for their remarks, but those remarks should never have seen the light of day.

    That was also the substance of the apology. They also took some measures to prevent a recurrence.

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  • 46. At 08:10am on 22 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @ghostofsichuan #31

    All the right-wing crazies in the media are free to make any kinds of statments and the lemmings are right there to regurgitate what they have heard and when challenged they simply attact the person asking.

    The deniers are as much about anti-intellectualism as they are about climate change. The right wing has no place for facts and truths, they prefer symbols and vitriol. The pawns of corporatations. Free thinkers who all think alike.

    Do you actually understand what you are doing when you write this, ghost?

    Here's a clue: "Scientist leaves behind a climate of abuse"

    /Mango

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  • 47. At 08:23am on 22 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @simon-swede #45

    The threat by Greenpeace against sceptics should never have been made.

    It is one thing for a crazy on either side of the fence to issue impotent threats and a completely different thing for a senior member of an international organisation to deliberately threaten sceptics.

    /Mango

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  • 48. At 09:00am on 22 Jul 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Mango at #47, you are distorting what actually happened. In any case, all such threats are unacceptable, surely?

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  • 49. At 09:02am on 22 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Why must so much of this discussion revolve around PEOPLE?

    Research shows that PEOPLE who believe X have such-and-such qualifications. The PEOPLE who believe Y are right-wing anti-Semites. The PEOPLE who believe Z are scientists.

    It seems to me that any honest discussion of science talks about THEORIES and THINGS rather than the PEOPLE who hold them or don't hold them.

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  • 50. At 09:15am on 22 Jul 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Bowman at #49

    Because it is people who take decisions; science, theories & things do not.

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  • 51. At 09:16am on 22 Jul 2010, sanity4all wrote:

    Richard, point well made.

    Perhaps Stephen Schneider's only 'mistake' (if it can be called that) is that he was human.

    His humanity and concern for the 'public record' was such that he 'worked an extra four hours' attempting to put the record straight.

    Despite being someone slightly sceptical, I see this as a waste of his time and energy, as I would say that any good sound observational measurements, solid scientific research backed up by theoretical papers do more to ADVANCE the cause of Climate Science, than any individual constantly trying to 'answer' criticism - from whatever source!

    In other words, his time might have been better spent ensuring that all the evidence was published publicly in a clear concise and structured way, so that the world could see and derive its own conclusions more readily.

    Considering some aspects of climate research have been going on since the 1970's, you would have thought that someone would have thought to do this before. Academic secrecy can work for and against.

    Sadly the loss of any Scientist leaves not only a gap in knowledge, but more importantly it is the loss of a scientific mind that was able to 'perceive' or 'picture' the scientific data in a unique way - whether approved or disapproved of by their peers.

    Be wary of abuse and hostility it is not unknown, in other times and places in history, for 'activists' to employ a similar pyschology to reinforce 'sympathy' for their own cause, so it may not be all that it is made out to be.

    Hopefully, grown men and women, plus the odd chimpanzee might see through it.

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  • 52. At 09:16am on 22 Jul 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 49

    here here, i literally couldn't have put it better myself.

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  • 53. At 09:39am on 22 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #50 simon-swede wrote:

    it is people who take decisions; science, theories & things do not

    People who let others make decisions for them judge people; people who make their own decisions judge theories and goals.

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  • 54. At 10:02am on 22 Jul 2010, fj1207 wrote:

    There seems to be a lot of anger and defensiveness from 'sceptics' here.

    The author seems to take the view that a healthy debate is essential for proper sience and the threatening abuse and behaviour by those at the extreme end of the sceptical spectrum just detract from that debate and impact upon the credibility of sceptics who may actually have a point worth putting across.

    Alot of people posting on this site don't appear to have actually read the article properly and have just jumped to the conlusion that the author is attacking all sceptics indiscriminantly for the abhorrent behaviour of a minority, when that is clearly not the case.

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  • 55. At 10:17am on 22 Jul 2010, mortice rigger wrote:

    My dear Richard, so naive, as to believe that no one who has outspoken beliefs may face levels of vitriol, abuse and even terror. It is called facing the public rather than your friends.

    So let me try something here. A friend has developed a very lightweight self propelled vehicle a little like a small four wheeled car for up to four people. It could be used for any journeys from a short trip to the shops to a drive of fifty miles or so, as far in fact as the occupants' physical effort will take them. With a tail wind it is fine, but with cross or head winds it requires considerable fitness. How many people would prefer it to a) nothing; b} walking; c) public transport; d) taxi; e) personal transport of any other means?

    Would a company producing such a vehicle struggle or grow? Is that a measure of what people think about you, their praise or abuse?

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  • 56. At 10:19am on 22 Jul 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 54-

    perhaps if what you say is true, you can explain why the threats against skeptics were not mentioned? Why names of groups and organisations who are extremely 'anti-skeptic' were not mentioned?

    No, i'm sorry- but this is a very one sided piece and you're deluding yourself if you think otherwise.

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  • 57. At 10:24am on 22 Jul 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    Barry Woods #37


    There's a big difference between the Stormfront page and the lists of deniers provided by Monbiot, etc.

    Those lists of deniers draw attention to their arguments and discuss with links why they are often wrong and sometimes just absurd. They are partial of course, but they don't, as far as I can see, advocate any kind of physical violence against those people.


    The Stormfront page apparently draws attention to one thing - the scientists being Jewish. On a site which is frequented by demented anti-semites many of whom think the Jews should be exterminated, doesn't that effectively amount to incitement to murder? I didn't care to read too much of that page, but I don't imagine it goes into their scientific views in too much detail.

    Can you show me any live web page which supports the prevailing AGW science and which also in any way encourages physical attacks on its opponents?


    Obviously, as Richard Black was at pains to emphasize in the article and again in his #29, that page in Stormfront is an isolated exception. But when people do end up being harmed physically, its usially from those extremes that the harm comes. If you were on that Stormfront list, Barry, wouldn't you be at least a little bit perturbed?

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  • 58. At 10:28am on 22 Jul 2010, jazbo wrote:

    This article, as per usual is heroes and villans, with the heroes being climate change "believers".

    Now I am not supporting the views of extremists, nor agreeing with them. This is however an extreme example being highlighted here with a motive behind it by Richard. This is not innocent journalism.

    Also look at the supporting photo. A staged one of a boy staring at land that could not have supported agriculture for some time, so why is he there? This helps to again push the one sided agende.

    How about a mention of the intense cold in Peru? the gathering La Nina? The fact that the ice growth in the Antarctic is about equal to that lost in the Arctic?

    There are many extremeist eco warriors out there pushing agendas just as extreme as those Richard points out are unacceptable. Go and read a few forums, there are some really extreme left wingers out there, who are delighted at being able to gain from the "trojan horse" of climate change that is basically a "green" light for any left wing idealism to be given a platform.

    The over-riding issue has been that the "concensus" has stonewalled anyone questioning trhe "facts", right up until climategate made that impossible. NOw the "concensus" is unhappy at being on the back foot so is trying to imply that anyone challening the science is a right wing thug.

    Not pretty, not subtle, and not BBC.

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  • 59. At 10:29am on 22 Jul 2010, Arcid wrote:

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

  • 60. At 10:37am on 22 Jul 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    42#

    I was there, Jane..
    There was room for Richard. I'm sure George Monbiot could have found him an extra ticket, regardless, anyway..

    In the Times - Front Page - We had exon mobil/ donate £1 million pounds to a variety of sceptical groups.. ie sceptics = BAD, over years.

    Yet the same exxon/mobil donate a $100,000,000 dollars to Stanford (Schneiders iniversity - for climate research) alone..Prior to his death this artcicle
    http://www.examiner.com/x-9111-Environmental-Policy-Examiner~y2010m6d24-Global-warmings-Stephen-Schneider-The-Light-That-Failed


    BP, Shell exxon, etc, or should I say 'British' Petroleum, to american readers have funded CRU (Climate Reasearch Unit - UEA) and other climate research units for millions, some how those oil dollars are = good?!

    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=156&filename=947541692.txt
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=204&filename=973374325.txt

    even exxon/mobil
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=159&filename=951431850.txt

    A blatant pr/smear/inuendo piece by The Times..

    And remebemr lots of excitement, due to satellite measurements, earlier in the year..

    Why are they quiet now..
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/21/the-satellites-are-missing/

    Why not just write a simple tribute the Stephen Schneider.

    Yet we get from the BBC, a piece using his death, that even his known visible sceptical critics have been polite and respectable about, linking to to something to taint anyone sceptical to the CAGW cause..

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  • 61. At 10:42am on 22 Jul 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    44. At 08:04am on 22 Jul 2010, simon-swede wrote:
    Jane at #42

    Thanks for the link whiich made for interesting reading.

    Food for thought - the comment attributed to Steve McIntyre, namely that if he was running a government, he would be taking action on climate change.

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

    Steve Mcintyre also said...
    Why waste all the time and effort on reconstructions (paleo)

    Why is their very little effort spent on the uncertainties..
    He suggested the biggest elephant in the room was the uncertainties due to sensitivities and feedback..

    The IPCC should be saying why Lindzen is wrong,
    and too devote 300 pages of the next report to the ares where the uncertainties lie, What are the REAL climate feedbacks/sensitivities weekly negative, all the way through to strongly positive...

    With respect to climate change, the context, aslo includes NATURAL climate change...

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  • 62. At 10:51am on 22 Jul 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    There are just as many, extreme eco alarmist groups, with very extreme tactics. Think what the extreme elements of the 'animal rights type people' got up to and multiply by it by we are 'saving the planet' vs 'saving animals'.

    It would be very easy to highlight groups like this, from the opposite direction.. All that this has done has given a small 'nasty' group publicity!

    With respect to Deniars Halls of Shame - from mainstream groups, they shoud know better..... Have a look at the comments in these groups, and groups like this web forums, for lack of tolerance and extremism on the other side of the fence.

    Greenpeace ' Climate Outlaws' and We know where you live' comments (director of greenpeace) were no doubt just empty rhetoric, to motivate the activists/members. But they bear a responsibility, that language like this could tip the tiny, tiny minority, of extremist eco activists, into doing something violent - They know these type of people exist..

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  • 63. At 11:04am on 22 Jul 2010, Dr Brian wrote:

    57. Paul Butler wrote.

    'Can you show me any live web page which supports the prevailing AGW science and which also in any way encourages physical attacks on its opponents?'

    No I can't Paul but it's worth pointing out that Green activists have attacked the police during demonstrations and have threatened and injured scientists particularly those involved in research projects involving animals.
    I think it's lucky that climate research scientists don't use animal experiments in their research or public sympathy would quickly shift and meek and mild Greens would be sending them bombs.
    This subject has certainly brought the worst out on the lunatic fringes of both sides.

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  • 64. At 11:22am on 22 Jul 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    DrBrianS at #63

    It is misleading to conflate animal rights activists and green activists - they are very different groups!

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  • 65. At 11:29am on 22 Jul 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Bowman at #53

    I see you are one of the one who judges people.

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  • 66. At 11:37am on 22 Jul 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    #62 and #63

    I'm well aware that there are violent crazies associated with aspects of green politics.

    But I asked Barry for something very specific

    Can you show me any live web page which supports the prevailing AGW science and which also in any way encourages physical attacks on its opponents?

    So Barry said (in #62)
    It would be very easy to highlight groups like this, from the opposite direction
    but didn't actually mention any, and DrBrianS admitted (in #63)
    No I can't Paul

    I'm actually quite surprised that there aren't any such pages, but I guess if there were they'd be all over the 'skepticosphere' like a rash.

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  • 67. At 12:05pm on 22 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Further reading to
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/21/the-satellites-are-missing/

    Please see
    http://www.tempsensornews.com/weather/year-%E2%80%93to-date-january-june-2010-global-temperature-anomalies/comment-page-1/

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  • 68. At 12:11pm on 22 Jul 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Yes I can Paul... But Why would I give any nutter the publicity..

    I have made the 'mistake' of actually using my real name on a variety of websites, proand sceptical. and there are one or two indiviuals that seem to delight in following me around with disparging comments, looking at their own little blogs, very quickly you find, extremism and intolerance, in their comments sections..

    ANY sort of extremism helps noone, most people are not extreme, look at the main stream sceptical websites reports of Schneiders death, from some people that ACTUALLY knew him.

    YET,the Greenpeace and Monbiots comments in my mind ARE WORSE, as they positively encourage, even more extreme reactions. The casual abuse, deniars, right wing scepics, big oil deniare language used there, and worse. The mainstrema medi have responsibilities.. they are partly responsible for the this type of behaviour.

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  • 69. At 12:17pm on 22 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #53

    A scenario.

    You are staring at a piece of paper. There is a short list of names down the left hand side. And boxes down the right. You have a pencil in your hand, and you are about to mark a cross next to one individual's name, and put the piece of paper in a ballot box to be counted.

    Does this scenario ring bells? If so would you agree that there are occasions when we all have to judge other people? Or do you opt out on the grounds that you want to vote for policies not politicians?

    Of course, you may argue that many vote for parties rather than politicians. But parties are not just about policy, they are also about individuals, as the constituents of Tatton demonstrated in the 1997 election.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/292552.stm

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  • 70. At 12:31pm on 22 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #42

    Thanks for that.

    @LabMunkey #25

    Confused by your reference to my #22. By "14" did you mean Mango's #14? Were you anticipating my #26?

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  • 71. At 12:53pm on 22 Jul 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    Barry #68

    Well, as I said in my #66

    if there were they'd be all over the 'skepticosphere' like a rash.

    so even you are reluctant to name any, other people would be doing so if they were out there

    Then you say
    YET,the Greenpeace and Monbiots comments in my mind ARE WORSE, as they positively encourage, even more extreme reactions

    Worse than a bunch of Nazis you mean? Good grief!

    We both know that a lot of demented rubbish gets published below the line on both sides of this debate, although I think we'd also agree that most of what is written below the line is well-meaning if sometimes misguided.

    That's not what I was talking about though. I was talking about a specific website that apparently encourages murder above the line. I asked if there was any equivalent on the pro-AGW side, and it seems none of you can find any.

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  • 72. At 1:09pm on 22 Jul 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 70. apologies jane, i was being flippant; suggesting 14 journalists from the bbc should have attended.

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  • 73. At 1:33pm on 22 Jul 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Paul Butler, why would I publicise them... that would be as bad as what Richard has done with Stormfront..

    What any of this has got to do with Schneiers death, is the point/complaint an attempt to link it with sceptcism..

    Robert Leather above:

    One thing I don't agree with is this articles repeated supposition that all skeptics are somehow deranged, anti-scemitic, maniacal idiots out to destroy scientists and science in general. I would have thought a separate post would have been more appropriate for this kind of rhetoric. Otherwise, you appear to be using the mans death to push an agenda. I'm not entirely sure that's what you intended. But it does come over that way.

    After all, it's not just the scientific skeptical side of the fence that can hurl insane abuse. After all Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said that skepticism is "treason" and that "we need to start treating [skeptics] as traitors.". Which in the US would be via execution.

    This was then repeated by Paul Krugman, a columnist for the New York Times. Then the Washington Post asserted and any "so called scientist" who didn't agree was clearly in the pocket of big oil and was a "traitor".

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  • 74. At 1:36pm on 22 Jul 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 71.

    frankly i'd put the greenpeace one above that, as the wider audience and the precieved 'authority' of it makes it far more serious an issue that the ravings of a marginal 'racist' group.

    Also, trying to get someone to actually LINK to a site that promotes the same level of violence against climate scientists is irresponsible in the extreme as these type of groups should not be shown the light of day; especially not to so they can be advertised on the BBC. It's a shame richard didn't think of that.

    I would strongly suggest no 'skeptic' links any sort of 'physical threat' group on this site. These kind of idiots should get no publicity whatsoever.

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  • 75. At 1:40pm on 22 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #69 JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    would you agree that there are occasions when we all have to judge other people?

    Of course -- I never get on a bus if I think the driver has been drinking, nor vote for anyone I think is a teetotaler. But in those situations I'm not judging how much something ought to be believed, or how valuable something is.

    It seems to me that when we discuss those things, we should be focussing on the theory itself (or the decision, "lifestyle choice", work of art, whatever itself). Even when we delegate decision-making powers to other people such as politicians or bus drivers, we don't give up our facility to judge things. For example, we don't normally say "that decision was probably just, because Blair made it and he's a just man". We judge the other decisions he has made in the past, by our own lights, and then hope that he will continue to make decisions that we too regard as just... and we are often disappointed, precisely because we don't give up judging the decisions that other people make.

    The dangers of passing over judgement to others include: (a) experts are much more frequently mistaken than is generally thought, and indeed when expert opinion and common sense overlap (on everyday matters, for example) expert opinions are generally less trustworthy than common sense; and (b) experts do not have expertise in other fields than their own.

    Just to take the case of climate scientists. None of them seem to understand the critical distinction between probability and statistics; none of them seem to understand the nature of evidence; none of them them seem to have given any thought to the nature of truth, belief, value, or rational decision-making. Few seem to have given much thought to scientific methodology (there are a few notable exceptions). Few seem to have considered the ubiquitousness of human failing, especially the way our cognitive skills are impaired by our moral commitments. And so on. But those are the very areas of expertise that someone would need to have if important collective decisions have to be made about "what to do".

    Even if their science was impeccable, which it certainly isn't, what would qualify scientists to make judgements about non-scientific matters? It would be like Truman asking Einstein whether or not he should drop the atom bomb!

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  • 76. At 1:40pm on 22 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Paul Butler #57, #66
    (@Barry Woods)
    (@DrBrianS)

    Sorry Paul. You are making an unfair challenge. Let me explain.

    Most extreme greens (as with most animal rights activists) denounce violence. Unfortunately even if they consistently and competently avoid physically harming people, some "direct action" intrudes into the personal lives of ordinary individuals and some "direct action" can be scary or otherwise ruin quality of life for individuals on the receiving end.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Liberation_Front
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Liberation_Front

    Note. This only applies to some direct action. Many campaigners engaging in direct action also ensure that their actions are not inherently personally intimidating.

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  • 77. At 1:44pm on 22 Jul 2010, Barry Woods wrote:


    Richard chooses to write Schneiders death, with a THREE month old story about stormfront, with less than subtle obvious implications that sceptics are like this

    this[Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Yet sceptics that knew Schneider write positively about him this week, Climate audit, Watts up, etc. and a positive climategate where the mainstream sceptics and pro AGW people mingled and had drinks, is noit worth a mention.. ie extremists be ignored, there is a possible middle ground COULD have been the story...

    This articl was by choice..

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  • 78. At 2:16pm on 22 Jul 2010, beesaman wrote:

    So are we saying all Climate Change skeptics are nazis and racists now?

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  • 79. At 2:19pm on 22 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Barry Woods #60

    "There was room for Richard."

    I remind you that there are often health and safety restrictions on numbers. I also remind you that the Graun invited members of the general public as well as the press.

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:v9RtL5EVAxoJ:www.guardian.co.uk/extra/2010/jul/01/climategate-debate-riba+site:guardian.co.uk

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  • 80. At 2:20pm on 22 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #72

    Ta for that.

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  • 81. At 2:35pm on 22 Jul 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    Barry Woods #73 and LabMunkey #74

    Let's go back to the original article and remind ourselves how Richard Black got from the death of Schneider to the link to the Nazi site

    I [Black] last spoke to him [Schneider] about three months ago. The context was abuse: the vitriolic, sustained, personalised and sometimes apparently organised abuse that has been levelled against scientists in the climate field, including him.

    And, of course, Schneider himself got an honourable mention on that Stormfront page. I'd say that makes Black's slant relevant and appropriate.

    Later, Black says
    Doesn't the climate of abuse overshadow the real issues that sceptics are flagging up, and reduce the chances of "sceptical" science being taken seriously?
    thus showing that Robert Leather's comment at #5, reposted by Barry
    this articles repeated supposition that all skeptics are somehow deranged, anti-scemitic, maniacal idiots out to destroy scientists and science in general is complete nonsense (note how Robert brilliantly slips that little word 'all' in there!)



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  • 82. At 2:37pm on 22 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    OK, a reminder.

    Some of my fellow warmists are naive enough to think that Big Carbon execs will believe their own scientists when their scientists say something they don't want to hear. So their strongest language is explicitly confined to criticising warmists masquerading as sceptics and telling deliberate lies about the science for political or financial gain.

    Other strong language is applied to paid lobbyists who knowingly tell lies and other related distortions. There is good evidence of such behaviour, and the money for such behaviour has only dried up comparatively recently.

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  • 83. At 2:42pm on 22 Jul 2010, JunkkMale wrote:

    '72. At 1:09pm on 22 Jul 2010, LabMunkey wrote:
    @ 70. apologies jane, i was being flippant; suggesting 14 journalists from the bbc should have attended.


    Pretty sure Glasto, Wimbledon or the World Cup were either still around, or just over, so folk were on leave recovering. Perhaps just a half dozen, then. Some might say that such an event, on the doorstep, might have been an almost worthwhile commitment of time and near zero resources by the various editors, analysts, correspondents and reporters, etc deployed on this beat.

    But then again, I am sure press releases are also more than adequate to avoid the footprint of a tube ride.

    From what I gather it was a mostly civilised affair, with all contributors recognising that there were entrenched views aplenty, and little would be served by pandering to extremes. Especially in unsubtle attempts at association that at best might be viewed as tunnel-visioned, if not uni-directional.

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  • 84. At 3:03pm on 22 Jul 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 81. you still, spectaculary miss the point. try reading our points again.

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  • 85. At 3:05pm on 22 Jul 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

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

  • 86. At 3:21pm on 22 Jul 2010, minuend wrote:

    Quote, Stephen H. Schneider, "God, can't we have a civil dialogue here and discuss the truth without spinning everything."

    Quote, Stephen H. Schneider, "To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest."

    Quote, Stephen H. Schneider, "I get scared that we're now in a new Weimar republic where people are prepared to listen to what amounts to Hitlerian lies about climate scientists".

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  • 87. At 3:21pm on 22 Jul 2010, Simon H wrote:

    Blog title: "Scientist leaves behind a climate of abuse"

    Mr Black, did you mean "weather" of abuse? Weather is not climate, right? "Weather" is an isolated event, but "Climate" is far more than that.

    Abuse of climate scientists is not a characteristic of the sceptical community in the climate debate. But, Mr Black, from the outset you have set a tone which has conflated the "weather" and "climate" and coaxed out the perception of widespread and systematic abuse of scientists from the sceptical side. And I suspect, being the accomplished journalist and writer that you no doubt are, this was far from accidental.

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  • 88. At 3:39pm on 22 Jul 2010, minuend wrote:

    Stephen H. Schneider was a victim of his own making.

    His whole career was about being effective and not being honest.

    He, like others he taught, gave us scary scenarios and simplified dramatic statements about climate science, not once did he mention any doubts.

    When the Climategate emails and the IPPC errors became public knowledge he had the audacity to complain of the criticism that came climate scientists way. Schneider had no reason to complain.

    Stephen H. Schneider death is both tragic and mournful, however the circumstances of his death, flying across the Atlantic, will not be lost on others as nothing more than a sad irony.

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  • 89. At 4:10pm on 22 Jul 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    82# Jane a reminder..

    let us not forget the VAST amount of funding behind the AGW bandwagon and the huge banking, industrial, UB and political interests, not least, JPMORGAN with it's Climatecare division hoping to benefit (surely this should be non profitmaking) from tha sale of carbon offsets, every government in the world , positively slavering over the prospect of all the CO2 taxation..

    The big CARBON execs are those who want a slice of the expected multi-trillion dollar carbon trading economy!!!

    Richard choose to link to RealClimate, a site set up to counter Steve Mcintyre's criticism of the 'hockey stick' team.

    Then the article dives off onto an obscure 3 month old stormfront story, of an extremist website, only indirectly linked to sceptical science.

    Not reporting the recent words Steve Mcintyre (had on Schneider's death, Or Antony Watts (Watts Up - website)

    Given that Watts Up is the Number ONE ranked science blog, and RealClimate, and Climate Audit are ranked.. 8th and 9th respectively, perhaps we should see more balance.

    http://www.wikio.com/blogs/top/Sciences

    Some the BBC's reporters are perceived as gatekeeper to the news, and perciebved as activley spining' stories away from anything sceptical or damaging. Perhaps, my example above might demonstrate why this perception migh be..

    LIke New Scientists recen editorial, on the 'exonerated' enquiries (and they are pro AGW)

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727692.900-without-candour-we-cant-trust-climate-science.html


    New Scientist:
    "The MPs' inquiry - rushed out before the UK general election on 6 May - ducked the science because the university said it was setting up an "independent scientific assessment panel" chaired by geologist Ron Oxburgh.

    After publishing his five-page epistle, Oxburgh declared "the science was not the subject of our study". Finally, last week came former civil servant Muir Russell's 150-page report."

    Or where CRU's Phil Jones endorsed his own paper for the enquiries review (only discovered due to an FOI request)
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/19/breaking-phil-jones-got-to-endorse-papers-for-oxburgh-inquiry/

    Or CRU's funding halt
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/18/doe-funding-for-cru-placed-on-hold/

    Balance, impartiality is expected of the BBC, not environmental activism

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  • 90. At 4:14pm on 22 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    88.

    That is not true - check out a video on youtube called Stephen Schneider in 1979 posted by greenman3610

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  • 91. At 4:29pm on 22 Jul 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    LabMunkey #84

    No, I think I see your point. You say I shouldn't be asking you to post links to fringe groups that encourage violence against named climate change 'skeptics' because that will give them undeserved publicity. The same goes for Stormfront, I suppose.

    But if there are actual threats going around, I think its important to understand the psychology behind them and the social/political context in which they can occur. Clearly the idea that climate scientists are part of some Jewish conspiracy is one such context.

    So all I asked was, are there any groups which openly operate in/set up a context which encourages violence against named climate change 'skeptics'.

    All I get are dark hints from Barry Woods that such groups exist and are 'easy to find'. Well, I had a look at the Earth Liberation Front's website and could find nothing there. So, if you don't want to post a link, why don't you just tell me which organizations you and Barry have in mind? Then I can look at their sites for myself and make my own mind up.

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  • 92. At 4:39pm on 22 Jul 2010, minuend wrote:

    #90 This all you need know about Stephen H. Schneider.


    Quote, Stephen H. Schneider, "God, can't we have a civil dialogue here and discuss the truth without spinning everything."

    Quote, Stephen H. Schneider, "To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest."

    Quote, Stephen H. Schneider, "I get scared that we're now in a new Weimar republic where people are prepared to listen to what amounts to Hitlerian lies about climate scientists".

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  • 93. At 4:39pm on 22 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    I'd be interested to know (a) what persuaded him originally that the problem of global cooling was so serious that it called for action, and (b) what persuaded him to adopt the opposite position later.

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  • 94. At 4:40pm on 22 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Whatt's up with that maybe the top rated science blog, it's just a shame it isn't very good a reporting science!

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  • 95. At 5:00pm on 22 Jul 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Richard writes this, after of course linking a democraticaly elected US senator, with extremists:

    "Stephen Schneider didn't feel inclined to pull back. In a recent e-mail to me and others, he decried the attempt by Senator James Inhofe [639.15KB PDF] and others to seek legal redress against 17 climate scientists, including Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia, as "a smokescreen of denial and deceit"."

    Failing to mention, the criticisms of the enquiry and the fact that the US DOE had put CRU's funding on HOLD!!!

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/18/doe-funding-for-cru-placed-on-hold/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/21/us-doe-apparently-funded-cru-millions-not-200k-as-reported/

    pending Muir russlel review, that was even criticised ny New Scientist (pro AGW) links above.

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/07/09/muir-russell-skipped-jones-interviews/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/19/breaking-phil-jones-got-to-endorse-papers-for-oxburgh-inquiry/

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  • 96. At 5:35pm on 22 Jul 2010, Tucci wrote:

    --
    "Of the dead, speak nothing but the truth."

    In the wake of the Climategate revelations, Dr. Schneider behaved entirely like the guy who had surprised you with a vicious kick to the crotch and now goes on to say: "You see? That's the kind of thing we don't allow in civilized discourse."

    That the charlatans espousing the "Cargo Cult Science" (Feynman, 1974) of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) who represent themselves as credentialed "climate scientists" should presently be the targets of threats and other abuse today should surprise no one, much less "a journalist covering climate change through the Kyoto conference of 1997" etc.

    But the propagandist persistent in pushing the fraudulence that Dr. Schneider had begun peddling in the late '70s (the AGW hoax was thundering along well before Mr. Black decided it was a hobbyhorse he could ride) is so dishonest and so lacking in intellectual integrity that I suppose the acknowledgment n of reality in any wise is impossible for him.

    Permit me to clarify. Dr. Schneider and his co-religionists (or co-conspirators) in the rent-seeking pseudoscientific "climatology" priesthood have perpetrated one of the more massive theft-of-value violations of people's rights in recorded history.

    Like rats (and politicians), the money they have grabbed for themselves is nothing compared to the damage they have done - to literally millions of people all over the planet - in the getting of it. Thousands and thousands of jobs have been destroyed as the indirect result of Dr. Schneider's political advocacy efforts and those of his confreres.

    Thousand and thousands more jobs have been created - and vast amounts of financial and material capital resources have been steered into - utterly non-viable "green" and "alternative energy" enterprises which will fail catastrophically because there had never been real environmental or economic reason for them to be brought into existence.

    All because Dr. Schneider had spent the past thirty years and more peddling a scientific fraud called "anthropogenic global warming."

    I tend to think of his heart attack as having rescued Dr. Schneider from the consequences of his professional misconduct and intellectual immorality.

    Dead now, he has escaped the retribution he had so thoroughly earned.
    --

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  • 97. At 5:46pm on 22 Jul 2010, SamuelPickwick wrote:

    What utter rubbish this article is.

    If you look at the articles about Schneider at sceptic sites like wattsupwiththat ("I am saddened by his passing, and my best wishes and sympathies go to his family") and climateaudit you will see they are all very polite and repectful.

    Contrast this with the thoroughly offensive comment made by Phil Jones about the death of climate sceptic John Daly.

    And how disgusting and desperate of Richard Black, to attempt to smear climate sceptics by linking to a racist website.



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  • 98. At 6:16pm on 22 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    92.

    The full quote is

    "This was an outpouring of angry frustration on the part of normally very staid scientists who said, 'God, can't we have a civil dialogue here and discuss the truth without spinning everything,'" said Stephen H. Schneider

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/05/scientists-plot-to-hit-back-at-critics/

    He is discussing what he viewed as the dishonest tactics used by some sceptics

    For this quote

    "I get scared that we're now in a new Weimar republic where people are prepared to listen to what amounts to Hitlerian lies about climate scientists".

    Your actually proving Richard point. He was referring to a Neo-Nazi website that had included his name on a death list

    For your other quote

    “On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but – which means that we must include all doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This “double ethical bind” we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.”

    See for context

    http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Mediarology/MediarologyFrameset.html?http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Mediarology/Mediarology

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  • 99. At 7:31pm on 22 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Attempts to draw links between climate change scepticism and anti-Semitism are completely absurd. Obviously, the word 'denier' attracted the attentions of the standard Jew-hating yob who proudly calls himself a 'denier' in the most familiar sense of the word. When this moron realized -- if he realized -- that the official position of all of the main political parties is anti-sceptical, that would have stuck him as an additional bit of "revolutionary" spice (beer hall putsch and all that).

    I don't pay much attention to which public figures (who judge science) are Jewish or non-Jewish unless they themselves make a point of bringing it to our attention. Two of the most prominent among the latter are Robert Winston and Melanie Phillips. I have no idea where Robert Winston stands on the climate debate, but Melanie Philips is a firm sceptic.

    There are no grounds at all for saying that AGW-believers are would-be Jewish victims of anti-Semitic AGW-sceptics. There is probably no connection at all between AGW-belief or AGW-scepticism and being Jewish or anti-Semitic, beyond the use of that silly and annoying word 'denier'.

    I do wish we could all resist the urge to wrap ourselves in the cloak of victimhood. It is extremely unbecoming, to both sides.

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  • 100. At 8:01pm on 22 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    SamuelPickwick #97 wrote:

    "they are all very polite and repectful."

    I don't doubt they were, but the quotation below (from hotashes #98) makes my blood boil, and i feel somewhat less inclined to observe the rule not to speak ill of the dead:

    "like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination."

    Who did he think he was? Not just a climate change expert, apparently, but a saint who was entitled to be dishonest with the ordinary riff-raff. This man was naturally drawn to activism -- whether for or against global warming, his opinions counted for more than those of other people.

    Political activism is the mother of intolerance!

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  • 101. At 8:24pm on 22 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Barry Woods #89

    And I point out to you that

    1. Most grass roots and many famous warmists dislike or actively campaign against carbon trading. Hansen, Lovelock, Friends of the Earth have all been vociferous against carbon trading.

    2. The corporate style warmist lobbying I have seen has either been greenwash or been specifically pushing the unpopular carbon trading approach.

    Carbon traders don't bother pushing AGW itself. Why would they need too? Disprove AGW and they'll have some other reason for carbon trading like it's good for the recovery or it'll fix peak oil. And these are the people who convinced the politicians that deregulation wouldn't cause another crash and recession because modern financial products trade away risk.

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  • 102. At 8:29pm on 22 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @hotashes #98

    Ta for that. Always good to see a bit of context.

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  • 103. At 9:52pm on 22 Jul 2010, Robyn81 wrote:

    What you say here Richard is a side of the story that really needs to be more widely known. Thanks

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  • 104. At 11:52pm on 22 Jul 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    This article appears to confirm that Richard is very familiar with the work of Saul Alinsky, and his book Rules for Radicals, the bible of the so-called 'progressive' movement which advocates smearing one's opponents as a basic technique.

    In any case, Schneider was the co-author of the recently published PNAS blacklist, and he went out on that low, low, low point. That is what I will always remember him for.

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  • 105. At 00:24am on 23 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #100
    (@hotashes)

    S'interesting.

    Much of the passage you quote from is very ambiguous. Yes it could be by someone who is calling for hard nosed effectiveness over honesty. Or it could be by someone who is torn between effectiveness in the service of a good cause and honesty. Or it could be by someone calling for honesty to take priority over effectiveness, even when this is painful and despite any pressures.

    Now I think the final sentence, "I hope that means being both." rules out the most cynical interpretation. If this seems naive of me I point out that minuend's posting has chopped that sentence. Twice.

    However we don't have to rely on the passage for Schneider's full opinion. The passage has been quote mined for some time, by individuals that seem unaware that quote mining when the full passage is unavailable can also be dishonest. Schneider has been far more explicit about being signed up to honesty in his complaints about the quote mining. Schneider is explicit about denouncing the exaggeration of environmental threats and "disapproved of the sound-bite system and the media's polarization of the climate change debate". His preferred version of effectiveness seems to be about being understood and explicitly includes making uncertainties clear.

    Here's a better version of hotashes' link. Please read it. Schneider has been accused of bad behaviour, it is only fair to hear his defence.
    http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Mediarology/Mediarology.html

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  • 106. At 04:22am on 23 Jul 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    75. At 1:40pm on 22 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    "....Just to take the case of climate scientists. None of them seem to understand the critical distinction between probability and statistics; none of them seem to understand the nature of evidence; none of them them seem to have given any thought to the nature of truth, belief, value, or rational decision-making. Few seem to have given much thought to scientific methodology (there are a few notable exceptions)...."

    Perhaps you would like to provide a list of which climate scientists you think do and don't understand probability and statistics and give some examples of their work that make your case.

    Perhaps you could even present your opinion as to the role of statistics and probability in science -- or at least refer to an authoritative text that promotes your view.

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  • 107. At 04:40am on 23 Jul 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    104. At 11:52pm on 22 Jul 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    "This article appears to confirm that Richard is very familiar with the work of Saul Alinsky, and his book Rules for Radicals, the bible of the so-called 'progressive' movement which advocates smearing one's opponents as a basic technique."

    From your previous posts it seems like the pot calling the kettle black. No pun intended.

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  • 108. At 06:52am on 23 Jul 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Bowman at #100

    Your wrote: "Who did he think he was? Not just a climate change expert, apparently, but a saint who was entitled to be dishonest with the ordinary riff-raff."

    Amazing that you extract one bit of a quote and are blind to the rest of the passage that puts it in context. Testing assumptions or simply confirming your own prejudices?

    And no, not a saint, but a person. As the bit you skipped over says: "the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well".

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  • 109. At 07:28am on 23 Jul 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Jane at #105

    Thank you!
    (And I agree that the mediarology piece is well worth reading.)

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  • 110. At 07:35am on 23 Jul 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    107. HungeryWalleye

    Yes, I confess to fighting fire with fire.

    Meanwhile, yesterday, back in the real world...

    "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will bring a limited package of oil spill response and energy measures to the floor next week, delaying action until at least this fall on a broader proposal that would impose greenhouse gas limits on power plants, senior Senate Democratic aides said."

    http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/110323-reid-to-advance-limited-oil-spill-and-energy-bill-delaying-climate-action

    In other words, so-called 'climate' legislation is going nowhere in the U.S. before, let alone after, the November elections.

    For those hoping Obama would be their 'green' hero, here's a revealing article from the Rolling Stone - from an author who clearly does believe the AGW story - written before things got further weakened (as per the above linkl):

    "Climate Bill, R.I.P. - Instead of taking the fight to big polluters, President Obama has put global warming on the back burner"

    "Top environmental groups, including Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection, are openly clashing with the administration, demanding that Obama provide more hands-on leadership to secure a meaningful climate bill... But Obama, so far, has shown no urgency on the issue, and little willingness to lead..."

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/183346

    Al Gore is probably so angry he probably needs a good massage - even though he accomplished absolutely nothing on this while he was Vice-President.

    Also, here's a great article about nuclear power (my choice for solving the world's energy problems and charging all those future electric cars) versus alternative energy sources from an Irish newspaper (July 17, 2010):

    "Why are so many people windy about nuclear power?

    As a €120m wind farm is approved, scientists David Sowby and Frank Turvey argue that the Government ignores the nuclear option at its peril"

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/why-are-so-many-people-windy-about-nuclear-power-2262609.html

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  • 111. At 07:43am on 23 Jul 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    108. simon-swede wrote:

    "the bit you skipped over says: "the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well".

    Exactly. And all humans, including those working as "scientists," are political (and economic) animals. Yet, when convenient, some people would like us to believe that "scientists" are some other totally objective and rational species that is not swayed by ALL of the other factors that everyone else is. And when humans get on a mission, well...

    Add groupthink and you have IPCC et al peer review.

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  • 112. At 07:47am on 23 Jul 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    More from the real (American) world...

    "the relative subsidies for various energy sources... wind and solar get in the neighborhood of 100 times the subsidy that oil and gas do, per unit of energy produced (according to the Energy Information Administration: $23.50 per MwH for wind, $24.50 for solar, $0.25 for oil and gas, whereas coal gets $0.44, nukes about $1.60, and dams $0.60)"

    http://www.nationalreview.com/planet-gore/231257/yes-lets-give-renewables-chance-compete/chris-horner

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  • 113. At 08:03am on 23 Jul 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    I just discovered that the link to the Rolling Stone article which I just posted now only provides a more condensed version of the story. Too bad because all the gory details are interesting.

    Here's more coverage of its contents via a very, very angry Joe Romm, a diehard AGW advocate:

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/07/22/the-failed-presidency-of-barack-obama/

    As a bonus there's even a clip of Monty Python's parrot sketch attached to this this article. Yes, the parrot is even more dead now.

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  • 114. At 08:23am on 23 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #106 HungeryWalleye wrote:

    Perhaps you would like to provide a list of which climate scientists you think do and don't understand probability and statistics and give some examples of their work that make your case.

    Do you think I should also provide a list of astrologers and phrenologists whom I think fail to grasp proper scientific method and some examples of their work?

    If you're looking for a list of people who don't "get" the fact that evidence has to reasonably independent of what it purports to be evidence for, put yourself on the list!

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  • 115. At 08:39am on 23 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #108 simon-swede wrote:

    not a saint, but a person. As the bit you skipped over says: "the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well".

    I deliberately skipped over that bit because it struck me as the most damning, and I find it very interesting that you don't find it damning as well.

    Suppose Brad Pitt said "we are not just actors but human beings as well"; or the Pope said "we are not just priests but human beings as well". Would you not think a sort of psychosis lay behind such claims? -- People who say that sort of thing evidently feel the need to remind themselves that they are "merely" human. Perhaps it is the worship of the public; perhaps it is their own bloated sense of self-importance; more likely, the two feed off each other.

    The sense that Schneider regarded himself as a super-human on a mission is underlined by his attraction to activism -- regardless of whether it is activism for or against a given cause.

    Activists, like charity workers, tend to get carried away with their own moral fervour. They never seem to realize that their moral commitment suspends disbelief -- in other words, it make them more gullible, and blinds them to their own failings. It is so much easier to sink back into the leather seats of business class with another martini if you are on a mission to save the world, or to have some extra cash "resting in your account" if you are meting out life to the staving multitudes.

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  • 116. At 09:03am on 23 Jul 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/22/more-foia-fakery-this-time-in-the-usa-homeland-security-plus-peer-reviewed-paper-on-climategate-foi-issues/#more-22365

    worth a read

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  • 117. At 09:05am on 23 Jul 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/22/while-cap-and-trade-dies-nasa-giss-gets-a-congressional-amendment/#more-22377

    and this.

    congress are investigating the possibility that nasa's data hs been compromised by the 'shoddy' data at the CRU.

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  • 118. At 09:07am on 23 Jul 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    The parrot sketch says it all.

    The problem with any decision making is that we have to live with the consequences.

    The results of some decision making has the potential to detrimentally affect generation after generation.

    Imagine, as a result of poor decision making, we detrimentally affect future generations, and our shades have to watch helplessly as those consequences occur. Of course this is imaginative talk but what if it were not so?

    What if 'hell' is where we helplessly watch our mistakes unfold through future generations? Or, what if we are reborn into the families of the people we have carelessly neglected.

    Do we have only one chance or does nature forgive mistake after mistake?

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  • 119. At 09:36am on 23 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #118 sensibleoldgrannie wrote:

    The results of some decision making has the potential to detrimentally affect generation after generation.

    Maybe so, but we can be less and less sure about the effects of our decisions the further and further into the future the effects will be felt.

    So in our decision-making, we are right to give greater weight to more immediate effects than less immediate effects.

    It's just common sense really. If I squander away my savings, say, then that is likely to damage my children's future, but who knows what effect it will have on my great-great-grandchildren's future? It might even do them good.

    So let's act with an eye on the near future, but let's not be too concerned about the distant future. The very distant future is completely "unchartered territory" and shouldn't enter our deliberations at all.

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  • 120. At 09:56am on 23 Jul 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Look what is buried away in the ESSEX section of the BBC website....
    Is the BBC, AGW media Gatekeeping again?
    Is the Essex section a good place to bury bad news? ;)

    The US DoE halts funding to CRU, despite the result of Muir Russell Enquiry. Surely this is of interest to the Environment team.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-10712286

    "Scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have had funding of $200,000 (£131,000) suspended by the US government in a row over e-mails.

    The US Department of Energy (DoE) said it had not decided whether to reinstate the long-standing funding after the so-called ClimateGate affair.

    Climate sceptics alleged leaked e-mails undermined the integrity of UEA's Climatic Research Unit (CRU).

    The UEA confirmed the DoE has held off funding despite the unit being cleared."


    The Sunday Times had this on page-3 5 days ago. (behind a paywall now)
    so Watts Up:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/18/doe-funding-for-cru-placed-on-hold/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/21/us-doe-apparently-funded-cru-millions-not-200k-as-reported/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/19/breaking-phil-jones-got-to-endorse-papers-for-oxburgh-inquiry/

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  • 121. At 09:58am on 23 Jul 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Bowman at #115

    Once again your interpretation is opposite to mine. Once again I find your interpretation says more about you than it does about the subject of your post. Frankly, your claims about open-mindedness look ever more false pretensions of a very close-minded individual. Good luck in your version of the universe!

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  • 122. At 10:01am on 23 Jul 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    CanadianRockies at #111

    Up to a point I agree with you. Including the bit about people on a mission losing perspective.

    One thing though, you too appear to be someone on a mission...

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  • 123. At 10:20am on 23 Jul 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Grannie at #118, Bowman at #119

    Different timeframes are relevant for different types of decisions, and some require consideration of potential impacts over long time frames. The time-frame which is relevant for an individual in considering their own welfare or that of their family may be utterly inadequate when planning infrastructure development for a large city or a country. ´For some effcts it will be ONLY in the long term that any impacts will become manifest because of teh nature of the activity. Failure to take into account the different types of impacts and the time frames over which these may occur is at best foolhardy.


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  • 124. At 10:27am on 23 Jul 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Even animals have long term planning strategies, in so far as they can cognitively manage.

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  • 125. At 10:34am on 23 Jul 2010, Dr Brian wrote:

    119. bowmanthebard wrote:
    "#118 sensibleoldgrannie wrote:
    The results of some decision making has the potential to detrimentally affect generation after generation."


    The Stern report considered the long term economic consequences of climate change with Lord Stern making predictions hundreds and in one case a thousand years ahead. Truly crystal-ball gazing.

    His apocalyptic predictions (instantly endorsed by that serial endorser of drivel Professor Tony Blair) were comprehensively demolished by Nigel Lawson in his pre-Climategate book "An Appeal to Reason. A Cool Look at Climate Change" which is well worth a read and is a good handbook for considering the economic and moral consequences of climate change mitigation.

    The only fault I can find in the book is that Dawson is too gentlemanly in his comments about the wilder warmists and this was mirrored in his performance as a witness before the Parliamentary committee which investigated the leaked Climategate e-mails.

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  • 126. At 10:42am on 23 Jul 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Reading about the 'difficulties' (okay, that's the polite term) the US congress has with agreeing anything meaningful in the way of energy and climate legislation, I was struck by the contrast with India.

    The Indian government began to levy the Clean Energy Cess, or coal tax, on all the coal mined in the country or imported from 1st July 2010. This tax will generate $650 million annually for the Clean Energy Fund - the proceeds used to fund the research, development and deployment of cleaner and renewable energy technologies.

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  • 127. At 10:53am on 23 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @simon-swede #109

    Don't thank me, thank hotashes, who flagged up this link in #98.

    I merely commented on it, as the main point of hotashes' #98 seemed to be being ignored.

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  • 128. At 11:15am on 23 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #123 simon-swede wrote:

    For some effcts it will be ONLY in the long term that any impacts will become manifest because of teh nature of the activity. Failure to take into account the different types of impacts and the time frames over which these may occur is at best foolhardy.

    But the relevant factor here is how confident we can be that a course of action will achieve a goal. The timescale only enters the picture because our confidence usually depends on it.

    For example, we can be very confident that in 200 years time humans will still need to eat food. But we can be much less confident that in 200 years time humans will still need to take steps to avoid malaria. So if we must expend resources that would ensure one or the other, it is wiser to expend those that ensure the latter.

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  • 129. At 11:20am on 23 Jul 2010, JunkkMale wrote:

    106. At 04:22am on 23 Jul 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    Perhaps you would like to provide a list


    I do hope so. If nothing else, this thread is always improved by the addition of a list.

    Don't tell em, Pike!

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  • 130. At 11:22am on 23 Jul 2010, davblo wrote:

    China in the news...

    China overtakes the United States to become world’s largest energy consumer

    Chinese Policies Could Pinch U.S. Efforts to Make Electric Vehicles

    /davblo

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  • 131. At 11:39am on 23 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #126 simon-swede wrote:

    Reading about the 'difficulties' (okay, that's the polite term) the US congress has with agreeing anything meaningful

    These "difficulties" are the result of disagreement, which is allowed and respected in the US political system.

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  • 132. At 12:21pm on 23 Jul 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @davblo- china are the one to watch definitley- especially since they've bought up a significant amount of the worlds natural resources (through state owned or state led companies) during the down turn.

    think they're heading in front of india as the next big power (taking over from the US)

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  • 133. At 12:22pm on 23 Jul 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Bowman at #128

    No timescales are not only just relevant to confidence, but may be relevant to the very impacts themselves.

    Consider one of your examples - food production. Short term yield in agriculture may be boosted at the expense of longer-term productivity, because of impacts on soil fertility. To make informed decisions about management, one would need to consider both the shorter and longer term impacts, which are different in character as well as the time-frame when they will occur. Likewise, increasing reliance on mono-cultures may boost productivity and have other advantages when it comes to predictability of harvest, etc. However it may increase vulnerability to changing growing conditions or pests. The impacts one needs to consider in taking decisions are different in nature and time-frame but to take meaningful decisions in the real world one would need to consider both.

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  • 134. At 1:48pm on 23 Jul 2010, jazbo wrote:

    "The Stern report considered the long term economic consequences of climate change with Lord Stern making predictions hundreds and in one case a thousand years ahead. Truly crystal-ball gazing."

    And dont forget to mention that Lord Stern is the chairman of a carbon tradin company, and recently lectured on "economic opportunites" from climate change.

    People get all defensive when people say "follow the money" as they think that people *must* have the same level of integrity as them.

    Follow Lord Stern and the money trail. It's eye watering.

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  • 135. At 1:48pm on 23 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/07/i_started_mondays_post_with.html#P98632923

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  • 136. At 1:54pm on 23 Jul 2010, jazbo wrote:

    One of the reasons we "sceptics" get so angry with the blatant propaganda pieces of people like Richard Black, is that they believe the science is settles so much that they become biased in their reporting.

    As an example, you will always find people willing to scream that the current arctic sea ice levels are low (but much higher than 2007 and temperatures are plummeting in the Arctic circle right now), but no mention of the fact that for five months the Antarctic has been growing mass like a snowball rolled down a hill:

    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_timeseries.png

    Its the selective, biased position of people like Richard, writing with MY license fee, that is starting to really, really upset a lot of people.

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  • 137. At 2:03pm on 23 Jul 2010, jazbo wrote:

    29. At 9:11pm on 21 Jul 2010, Richard Black (BBC) wrote:

    "Please don't accuse me of conflating the two ends of the spectrum when I have done the exact opposite."

    Richard, are you seriously, seriously expecting us to believe you wrote this as you claim above?

    You knew the implications of this piece.

    Why did you now write about the Greenpeace guy who typed the "we know where you live" piece on their website?

    http://weblog.greenpeace.org/climate/2010/04/will_the_real_climategate_plea_1.html

    A blatant, open threat on the site of a left wing activist group.


    Tell me how that, and the vitriol of some of the more extreme left wing groups differs from that of the right wing group you discussed?

    The only difference is that you agree with Greenpeace's view on AGW.







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  • 138. At 2:29pm on 23 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #133 simon-swede wrote:

    No timescales are not only just relevant to confidence, but may be relevant to the very impacts themselves.

    The desirability of the goals count as much as our confidence in achieving them, and both can depend on timescale. But as a loose rule of thumb, the further away we are in time from achieving a goal, the less confidence we can have in achieving it, and so the less it should be weighted in our deliberations.

    It's just common sense again: "one in the hand is worth two in the bush". The temporal version of the saying might be: "one prospective turkey next Christmas is worth two prospective turkeys the Christmas after next" (assuming the value of actual turkeys remains the same).

    One of the reasons why young people are not much affected by anti-smoking advertising campaigns is that they know the prospect of dying from smoking-related diseases is a distant one; for people of their age, death by road accident, suicide, drug overdose, etc., are much more pressing threats.

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  • 139. At 2:46pm on 23 Jul 2010, dave wrote:

    Black is a classic example of someone suffering from group polarisation. His whole life is wrapped up with climate change, his ego, his professional credibility, his earning capacity and even his pension are dependent on climate change being man made.

    He talks only to his small group of fellow believers and becomes more extreme and self-deluding as a result of his insular life, not getting a broad spectrum of balanced views and his unwillingness to contemplate that the Sceptics could be right.

    Blacks isolation and increasingly bizarre pronouncements about Sceptics shows him unfit to continue as a journalist, especially at the BBC where impartiality, fairness, accuracy and accountability are supposedly highly valued.

    When Black denounces Sceptics as 'Deniers', attempting to link them to Holocaust denial, or 'thieves' by saying they stole the CRU emails, or recently as psychologically flawed due to events in their childhood, or as in this article calling them Nazis he steps over the bounds as a reasonable commentator and enters the realms of the likes of George Galloway and Abu Hamza.....ranting at the moon because he's not getting his way.

    I have an image of Black nursing a bottle of whisky alone in his room emailing frantically all his co-conspirators, trying to hide the evidence, block investigation and trash Sceptics reputations....very McCarthyite. Probably not far from the truth.


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  • 140. At 4:26pm on 23 Jul 2010, The_Engineer wrote:

    Deliberately organised government harassment, or just ignorant, violent activists? If some sick people out there think it's acceptable to send someone's family a death threat, and possibly carry through with it, for having a different opinion, what should they expect for themselves when it turns out they were wrong? Execution? Oh, no - but that's different...

    Hey beeb, how about reporting some good news once in a while, instead of your usual hell and damnation antics. Just one article a day would be fine!

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  • 141. At 4:26pm on 23 Jul 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    davblo at post 130

    You have sort-of proved my point about long term planning. The Chinese have secured raw materials as part of a long term planning strategy. If a grannie like me could spot the trend, then those in power should have noticed too. I have also heard that some of the scrap metal that the Chinese have bought in massive quantities is of a low grade quality. The idea of the Chinese buying this resource was dismissed as inconsequential. I say it is consequential because that same low grade resource will be used to make low-grade cheap products for export that will have much shorter product life-span. Not good if one is attempting to be more sustainable.

    I first became aware of what to look out for from a history book called Chronology of World History 1763-1992 by Neville Williams and Philip Waller. Obviously there are many of you who could cite bigger, better, more academic books or papers, but that is not the point. The point is that long term planning is essential, and close observance of what others are up to is also critical. Wars are clumsy and wasteful whereas flooding the market with cheap, shiny, shoddy new goods and buying up crucial raw material rights of extraction are far better strategies. Mirrors and trinkets in exchange for land rights, valuable raw materials and resources. I could bang on about this for ages but I am sure you get my drift.

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  • 142. At 4:33pm on 23 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    137. Jason
    Maybe people like Richard don't report things like this because you've cherry picked your data

    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_timeseries.png

    For context please see
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Has-Arctic-sea-ice-recovered.htm

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  • 143. At 5:03pm on 23 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @alstod #139

    I have an image of Black nursing a bottle of whisky alone in his room emailing frantically all his co-conspirators, trying to hide the evidence, block investigation and trash Sceptics reputations....very McCarthyite.

    I actually think Richard Black is sincere in his beliefs, as I do all the AGWers who post. Naive when it comes to AGW, but sincere nonetheless

    /Mango

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  • 144. At 5:13pm on 23 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    For anybody who thinks the greenhouse gases do not warm the atmosohere, there is an explanation of the greenhouse effect showning it is real here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/23/quantifying-the-greenhouse-effect/

    /Mango

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  • 145. At 5:23pm on 23 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #139 alstod wrote:

    When Black denounces Sceptics as 'Deniers', attempting to link them to Holocaust denial, or 'thieves' by saying they stole the CRU emails

    I am Richard Black's sternest critic, but to be fair to him I don't think he ever called sceptics "deniers" himself. And if the emails were actually stolen then the person who stole them was a thief. It was a wholly justified act of theft, in my opinion, but theft nonetheless. I wish there was more theft of that sort.

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  • 146. At 6:45pm on 23 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @hotashes #142

    Maybe people like Richard don't report things like this because you've cherry picked your data

    I'm confused, why do you point to nsidc graph showing ice increase well above normal in Antarctica and then link to a site purporting to show arctic ice has decreased, in response to #147 linking to a statement by Greenpeace which threatens sceptics?

    /Mango

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  • 147. At 6:52pm on 23 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @hotashes #142

    Is this also cherry picking:

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/07/22/blatant-misrepresentation-by-muir-russell-panel/

    "chapter 10 paragraph 28

    There seems clear incitement to delete emails, although we have seen no evidence of any attempt to delete information in respect of a request already made.

    Two e-mails from Jones to Mann on 2nd February 2005 (1107454306.txt) and 29th May 2008 (in 1212063122.txt) relate to deletion

    2nd February 2005:

    The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone”.

    29th May 2008:
    Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis. Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address. We will be getting Caspar to do likewise”.

    David Holland had submitted an FOI request (denoted by UEA as 08-31) on May 27, 2008, only two days prior to the “delete any emails” request."


    /Mango

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  • 148. At 7:46pm on 23 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK #144

    Ta for that.

    Very similar article written by Roy Spencer
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/04/in-defense-of-the-greenhouse-effect/

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  • 149. At 06:35am on 24 Jul 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    110. At 07:35am on 23 Jul 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    "107. HungeryWalleye

    Yes, I confess to fighting fire with fire."

    Do I understand correctly that you acknowledge using the same tactics you assert those you oppose use, claiming their use of these tactics demonstrates their lack of credibility, yet you want us to give you credence?

    Truly amazing!

    Those of us who see the preponderance of the evidence pointing to AGW provide links to data sources and the scientific literature and the deniers provide links to personal blogs of other deniers or front groups for the fossil fuel industry like the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute etc. or articles in the popular press.

    bowmanthebard makes general assertions about the incompetence of the statistical analysis used in the studies whose results fit into the models of global warming yet has demonstrated no understanding of either probability or statistics much less the practice of science in his many posts.

    LabMunkey can't even give a clear, accurate description of how a buffer works, yet claims to work in a lab doing clinical trials. This is stuff one learns in high school chemistry. I would certainly think twice before having him work in my lab. Yet he wants us to give credence to his assertions of incompetence or mendacity on the part of the Climate Science community as a whole.

    In terms of data availability and data sharing, Climate Science is way ahead of most other branches of science. When was the last time you tried to down load raw data from CERN or medical research or chemical research, or zoological studies at the local university or museum?

    I would suggest that the reason Mr. Black doesn't give deniers the same amount of ink as AGW science is that most of the issues raised by credible critics have been addressed in the literature. There are still people who claim the earth is flat and all the NASA images showing a spherical earth are faked in Photoshop (no doubt in collusion with Russian, the British, the French, the Japanese, the Indian, the Chinese governments etc). Should the BBC give them equal coverage along with articles on the Hubble Telescope or earth observing satellites? I think not.

    The only reason to give the deniers ink is for the role they play in the political process, providing support to politicians like Senator Inhofe who claimed AGW was dead during Washington's big snow storm this last winter, but haven't been seen reversing themselves during Washington's current heat wave and bad air days.

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  • 150. At 07:57am on 24 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @HungeryWalleye #149

    Give us a link that shows empirically (not computer guesses) that climate sensitivity including clouds is high and we will go away

    easy as that

    /Mango

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  • 151. At 08:34am on 24 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @HungeryWalleye #149

    Those of us who see the preponderance of the evidence pointing to AGW provide links to data sources and the scientific literature and the deniers provide links to personal blogs of other deniers or front groups for the fossil fuel industry like the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute etc. or articles in the popular press.

    You will also find that many of us "deniers" point to papers published by reputable scientists.

    You will also find that many of us "deniers" do indeed point to blogs by "denier-scientists" that describe how the greenhouse effect actually works

    You will also find that many AGWer's (manysummits name comes to mind) point to blogs or books that don't have a shread of evidence in them

    And please remember RealClimate is just a blog

    So how about some links to published papers as #150?

    Thank you in advance

    /Mango

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  • 152. At 08:37am on 24 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    oh and look! here comes another one:

    Roy spencer on how cooler objects can make warmer objects warmer

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/07/yes-virginia-cooler-objects-can-make-warmer-objects-even-warmer-still/

    /Mango

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  • 153. At 08:43am on 24 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK #150.

    "Give us a link ... easy as that"

    you, along with the other 'sceptics' ignore, wilfully or otherwise, "the preponderance of the evidence"(#149) in order to carry on living as if everything was just fine. personally, I'm much consoled by the fact that when we (the 'warmists') "go away", so will you. :-)

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  • 154. At 08:52am on 24 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    jr,

    this one simple link would be the end game for sceptics, because it would be empirical proof that CO2 would be a problem

    /Mango

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  • 155. At 09:13am on 24 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK #154.

    "this one simple link would be the end game for sceptics.."

    somehow I doubt that, new arguments would follow (not from you personally perhaps, but we both know what people can be like).

    "CO2"

    we both know that CO2 isn't 'the' problem, it simply is the measurable consequence of our industrial activities. there have been times when I've wondered why you keep focussing on CO2 -- like a doctor who tells the patient that their obesity isn't a problem but never discusses the changes in life-style and diet required to change.

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  • 156. At 09:38am on 24 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    jr,

    as you know, with the except of the CO2 as primary driver of global warming, i accept AGW is real, although i don't think it is a significant problem compared with, lets say, lack of clean water and sanitation

    somehow I doubt that, new arguments would follow (not from you personally perhaps, but we both know what people can be like)

    I'm not so sure there would be new arguments from people who are genuinely sceptical. The likes of Steve McIntyre, Jo Nova, Roy spencer, Roger Pielke, John Christy, etc etc etc, all accept the potential for CO2 to cause warming, but not significant warming.

    If empirical evidence was published to show high climate sensitivity, then these people, especially the scientists studying climate would change their minds - they are not "deniers" they are sceptical of the CO2 induced catastrophe. If the sceptical scientists change their minds then the bloggers will also change their minds. They would have to - the evidence would be against them.

    The focus on CO2 is simple - it's not the culprit, but it is the easiest way to tax us out of existence! Having said that, if climate sensitivity was shown empirically to be high, then I would accept measures to reduce CO2 emissions

    /Mango

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  • 157. At 10:05am on 24 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #153 jr4412 wrote:

    'sceptics' ignore, wilfully or otherwise, "the preponderance of the evidence"

    But it seems to me that non-sceptics ignore, willfully or otherwise, that what there is a preponderance of is just not evidence.

    Evidence for a theory consists of the theory passing tests. What climate scientists are calling evidence is completely different.

    It is more like this: over the years, I have amassed ten computers in my own home. As the "desktop photo" on nine of them I have chosen a pretty summer scene called "this_summer.jpeg" of people paying on the beach in the sunshine. On the tenth I have chosen a rain-drenched scene, also called "this_summer.jpeg".

    Can I be "90% confident" that this summer will be lovely and warm? -- Of course not. There is no preponderance of evidence for a nice summer, but rather a preponderance of summer scenes on my computers.

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  • 158. At 10:34am on 24 Jul 2010, Dr Brian wrote:

    149. HungeryWalleye wrote about the shortcomings of various sceptic bloggers.
    I am devastated to have been left off the list!
    In the tradition of Maoist self-criticism may I suggest the following.

    DrBrianS. The only avowedly Jewish sceptic on the net, thus destroying the nutter argument that all Jews are warmists trying to conquer the universe. Not much good at spelling without a spellchecker and insufficiently nerdy to get his laptop out of American spelling mode. When challenged on some obscure scientific point resorts to fish jokes just for the halibut.
    Losing sleep worrying about fish debt and the calamari fate of Paul the psychic octopus.

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  • 159. At 10:58am on 24 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #149 HungeryWalleye wrote:

    bowmanthebard makes general assertions about the incompetence of the statistical analysis used in the studies whose results fit into the models of global warming yet has demonstrated no understanding of either probability or statistics much less the practice of science in his many posts.

    Be more specific. I want you to tell me exactly what you think I've got wrong. I'm going to follow this up.

    My complaint against AGW's use of statistics is that they routinely confuse relative frequency (i.e. what proportion of a sample have a property) and epistemic probability (i.e. how much confidence we can have that a theory is true).

    My complaint against AGW's practice is that it eschews hypothesis and testing and substitutes statistical extrapolation. Nothing that deserves the name science uses such methods.

    Your turn , HungeryWalleye.

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  • 160. At 11:23am on 24 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    146. Mango

    "Maybe people like Richard don't report things like this because you've cherry picked your data
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    I'm confused, why do you point to nsidc graph showing ice increase well above normal in Antarctica and then link to a site purporting to show arctic ice has decreased"

    I picked this (http://www.skepticalscience.com/Has-Arctic-sea-ice-recovered.htm) to demonstrate what you where thrying to imply was not true. You have consider everything that is going on not just one area.

    If you want to understand what is happening in the Anatartic
    (http://www.skepticalscience.com/antarctica-gaining-ice.htm)It is a complex system that is well understood and discussed in scientific literature. Your graph is cheery picked to imply something when it is not the case. You provide a graph without any analysis or context to give the impression that something is happening that no one wants to talk about, when actually it is well understood.

    Here is some further reading on cherry picking
    (http://www.skepticalscience.com/3-levels-of-cherry-picking-in-a-single-argument.html)

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  • 161. At 11:29am on 24 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    147 Manago

    Ok, say you get what you want. Phil Jones is found guilty of breaking the freedom of information act. He's punished with the full weight of the law.

    My question is this. Will it affect the temp record? What changes have been made to the science as a direct result of climategate?

    As far as I understand it nothing has happened to the science. This is the important part to note are this is what we are interested in, not the soap opera of life.

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  • 162. At 11:31am on 24 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    159 Bowman

    "My complaint against AGW's use of statistics is that they routinely confuse relative frequency (i.e. what proportion of a sample have a property) and epistemic probability (i.e. how much confidence we can have that a theory is true)."

    How can you assert this when you don't read scientific papers on a regular basis?

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  • 163. At 11:55am on 24 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #162 hotashes wrote:

    How can you assert this when you don't read scientific papers on a regular basis?

    I hear what AGW-believers tell me, just as I hear what astrology-believers tell me, and in neither case do I see enough grasp of the concepts of truth, evidence, scientific testing, etc. to bother going any further.

    Do you bother to read astrological literature, or like me do you dismiss it as confused, quasi-religious hokum, and spend your time doing better things?

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  • 164. At 12:06pm on 24 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #162 hotashes wrote:

    How can you assert this when you don't read scientific papers on a regular basis?

    I meant to add:

    Any decent scientific or philosophical idea is translatable. In other words, a simplified, bare-bones version can be expressed that the intelligent layman can grasp. In fact, the "untranslatability" of an idea is a mark of a bogus idea.

    That is really the most important function of jury trials. Each side in a legal dispute is forced to put its case into reasonably everyday language, and if it can't, its case is no good, and should be dismissed.

    Having spent most of my life in science and philosophy, I am struck by how all good theories and defenders of those theories never need to descend into technicality. Einstein and Feynman, Darwin, Dawkins -- all were able to avoid technicality to explain and defend their position.

    If something is too complicated or technical to be so explained and defended in outline form, it shouldn't be believed. It's charlatanism.

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  • 165. At 12:52pm on 24 Jul 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 156

    This post, a houshand times this post!

    'Proper' skeptics have set a criteria to 'prove them wrong'. Of course there will be people who dwoudln't believe it- you get that in any discussion, but they would have zero credibility.

    Prove climate sensitivity wrt c02 is high and literally, overnight, the 'proper' skeptics go away (pending verification obv).


    As far as i'm aware, not one single 'core' climate scientist has offered an equivalent test.

    @ mango- great last few posts.... are you me??? :-)

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  • 166. At 12:53pm on 24 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @HungeryWalleye #149

    "I would suggest that the reason Mr. Black doesn't give deniers the same amount of ink as AGW science is that most of the issues raised by credible critics have been addressed in the literature."

    Firstly I point out that I'm a warmist and I'm not taking issue with you defending Richard Black.

    But I do have an issue with your use of the d-word. Most of the sceptics posting here are signed up to the more robust elements of AGW such as the basic greenhouse effect itself.

    Their gripes are with the official position on feedbacks and climate sensitivity. And for the most part these are gripes that are also represented by competent climate scientists, albeit at the "sceptic" end of the spectrum.

    LabMunkey's description of a buffer isn't great, but it isn't wrong. As an analogy for negative feedbacks it works because pH buffers do dampen pH changes without violating conservation of mass. And why does it have to be a brilliant description when LabMunkey is clearly appealing to people who already understand pH buffers?

    Personally I think LabMunkey missed a trick. Negative feedbacks as possible contributions to climate sensitivity are clearly acknowledged in IPCC literature. And any argument defending the theoretical possibility of overall positive feedbacks against the nonsense of G and T can automatically be used to defend the theoretical possibility of overall negative feedbacks.

    Bowmanthebard is coming at it from a slightly different angle, he is interested in the philosophy of science as well. And before you write him off over some of his more awkward conversations I point out that conversations involving Bowman can often be hindered by different use of language, sometimes very subtle. Many of these differences can be resolved by fleshing out posts with examples.

    I think it very important to the debate that we distinguish such sceptics from fully paid up members of the Gerlich and Tscheuschner fan club, or individuals who like their climate sensitivity work to be adorned with pink portcullises and obscure language.

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  • 167. At 1:08pm on 24 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Bowman

    You've still not answered how you can make this specific claim when you don't read the literature.

    "My complaint against AGW's use of statistics is that they routinely confuse relative frequency (i.e. what proportion of a sample have a property) and epistemic probability (i.e. how much confidence we can have that a theory is true)."

    Also please stop comparing Science to astrology as your default get out clause for defending why you don't have to explain yourself further, or justify your comments

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  • 168. At 1:31pm on 24 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #167 hotashes wrote:

    Also please stop comparing Science to astrology as your default get out clause for defending why you don't have to explain yourself further, or justify your comments

    What makes you call it "Science"? -- You have no grounds for that claim apart from "that's what they all call it themselves". You have evidently not thought about what makes science different from other types of human activities. The onus is on you to tell me what makes climate science different from other sorts of test-free divination such as "reading the auspices" and astrology.

    Just try to answer what makes you call it "science" -- if you can't answer that, you are just hoofing along with the rest of the herd.

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  • 169. At 1:44pm on 24 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Hi Labmunkey,
    I know you've probably stated this before but please can I ask what are your specific issues with climate sensitivity? Why do you believe it is not high? And what are you issues with the current studies?

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  • 170. At 2:11pm on 24 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Bowman - you've still not answered my question. How can you make this claim if you haven't rear the literature.

    "My complaint against AGW's use of statistics is that they routinely confuse relative frequency (i.e. what proportion of a sample have a property) and epistemic probability (i.e. how much confidence we can have that a theory is true)."

    And actually it is you who has to justify why it is not science in your eyes. As you are asserting it is claiming to be something it is not.

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  • 171. At 2:43pm on 24 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Yours truly wrote:

    If something is too complicated or technical to be ... explained and defended in outline form, it shouldn't be believed.

    I have a great respect for Richard Feynman, partly because he really internalized the above point, and lived his intellectual life by it. He was excoriating about most academic philosophy, with good reason, because he could tell that when people start talking about "being qua being" (Aristotle) or "the synthetic a priori" (Kant) or "the nothing nothings" (Heidegger), an empty linguistic exercise has taken the place of genuine thought.

    Human language has given us the ability to put symbols together. Sometimes a string of symbols can be very effective formalism; but sometimes all we have is a meaningless mess. The strange thing is, we often have difficulty telling the difference.

    We can only judge how much a claim deserves to be believed when we are capable of believing it, and we are only capable of believing what we can understand -- i.e. what our minds can fully grasp or wholly "wrap themselves around". But what our minds can fully grasp like that is actually remarkably limited, despite what we think, despite the mighty power of many of our formalisms. No one wants to admit that we don't understand much, of course, because it's like admitting that we're a bit thick. So the falsehood perpetuates itself.

    Feynman deserved his reputation as a guy who was prepared to ask "dumb questions" -- i.e. questions that sounded simple-minded but which in fact were as sharp as a razor. He knew that good ideas were simple, clear, and explanatorily powerful. He didn't bother reading Aristotle, Kant or Heidegger because he could see from a distance that their ideas were none of the above.

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  • 172. At 2:52pm on 24 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #17 hotashes wrote:

    you've still not answered my question. How can you make this claim if you haven't rear the literature.

    I don't have to read the literature to see that climate science assumes that a theory or model is "based on data".

    Wrong. It isn't.

    I don't have to read the literature to see that climate science's claims about how much something ought to be believed are in fact "readings" of statistical claims of relative frequency.

    Wrong. Such claims are entirely different from claims about how much confidence we can have in a theory, which differs from one person to the next, and is not numerically quantifiable. The people who make these claims are being misled by such terms as 'confidence interval'.

    I have far too many interesting things to do with my life than read literature whose central assumptions are so wildly mistaken!

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  • 173. At 4:25pm on 24 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @hotashes #160

    146. Mango

    "Maybe people like Richard don't report things like this because you've cherry picked your data
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    I'm confused, why do you point to nsidc graph showing ice increase well above normal in Antarctica and then link to a site purporting to show arctic ice has decreased"

    Your graph is cheery picked to imply something when it is not the case.


    What graph? My #146 didn't contain any links. Are you confusing me with somebody else?

    @hotashes #161

    say you get what you want. Phil Jones is found guilty of breaking the freedom of information act. He's punished with the full weight of the law.

    Who said anything about wanting Phil Jones punished? I think the whole Muir Russell investigation warrants an investigation into the conduct of the panel - they didn't even bother to interview Jones and they misrepresented the facts of Jones deleting emails. If Phil Jones is then found to have acted illegally, then he will be punished in whatever manner the courts decide. Is the truth too much to ask?

    My question is this. Will it affect the temp record? What changes have been made to the science as a direct result of climategate?

    None, whatsoever, and for the record, I have never doubted there has been a rise in recorded global temperature at the end of the 20th century. Subject to the surfacestations project, I can't see how we can doubt the recorded temperatures, but please remember these temperature records are the "added value" version.

    As far as I understand it nothing has happened to the science.

    I think you are probably correct. The current science points to low climate sensitivity not high, hence my agreement.

    @hotashes #169

    Hi Labmunkey,
    I know you've probably stated this before but please can I ask what are your specific issues with climate sensitivity? Why do you believe it is not high? And what are you issues with the current studies?


    Let me give you my reason for not accepting CO2 driven climate change:

    There is no empirical evidence which includes the cloud effect, that i am aware of, to show climate sensitivity to be high. There is empirical evidence which includes the cloud effect, to show climate sensitivity is low.

    LabMunkey and I have repeated this statement many, many times on this blog without anybody providing empirical evidence(I've been coming here for well over a year).All published papers, which claim empirical evidence showing high sensitivity do not include clouds.

    This is the crux of the whole CO2 driven global warming debate. If low, CO2 is not a problem. If high, CO2 is a problem.

    Show we are wrong

    /Mango

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  • 174. At 5:03pm on 24 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @DrBrianS #158

    "DrBrianS. The only avowedly Jewish sceptic on the net"

    Er no, you're not. As bowmanthebard already pointed out in his #99 Melanie Phillips is both Jewish and a climate sceptic.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/question_time/8382037.stm
    http://www.melaniephillips.com/
    http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/

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  • 175. At 5:29pm on 24 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Mango we are speaking at crossed wires - my inital post was in response to jasonsceptic. I confused his 136 post with his 137 post. From your comments in 146 & 147 I mistakenly thought I was responding to the same person. Apologies. My comments were concerning with jason cherry picking a graph to try and imply something as opposed to including context with the link to the graph he provided.


    "All published papers, which claim empirical evidence showing high sensitivity do not include clouds."

    Which studies are these? I'd like to take a look

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  • 176. At 5:40pm on 24 Jul 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    149. HungeryWalleye wrote:

    110. At 07:35am on 23 Jul 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    "107. HungeryWalleye

    Yes, I confess to fighting fire with fire."

    Do I understand correctly that you acknowledge using the same tactics you assert those you oppose use, claiming their use of these tactics demonstrates their lack of credibility, yet you want us to give you credence?

    Truly amazing!

    ----------

    The difference is that I am just a nobody making comments while the AGW smearers and fear-mongers are part of the supposed 'credible' and/or 'scientific' establishment.

    Like the IPCC head who earlier dismissed all the criticisms of as 'voodoo' science. Or the whole AGW sales team constantly using scary stories to stampede the public. How about that science fiction shock film - using children of course - they used as the introduction to Copenhagen? Etc., etc., etc.

    If I was speaking from an 'establishment' platform like that I wouldn't make some of the comments which I do. But I'm not.

    Of course, with your use of the loaded term "deniers" and your silly attempt to paint scepticism as a right-wing conspiracy - or even worse, link sceptics to flat earthers - you are as guilty of smearing and simplistic hyperbole as anyone else.

    So, welcome to the crowd.


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  • 177. At 6:04pm on 24 Jul 2010, Dr Brian wrote:

    174. JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @DrBrianS #158
    "DrBrianS. The only avowedly Jewish sceptic on the net"
    Er no, you're not. As bowmanthebard already pointed out in his #99 Melanie Phillips is both Jewish and a climate sceptic.

    Thank you Jane. I stand corrected although perhaps I meant this blog (and several other BBC blogs) rather than the entire net.
    Of course I was pointing out that AGW isn't some sort of Hebraic conspiracy but there is certainly a reluctance to reveal oneself as Jewish even on the net as it provokes such filth as you wouldn't believe and threats of physical violence .
    In fact, among my many friends in the Jewish community the only ones who believe in AGW these days are some of the schoolteachers and even they are very defensive about it. Of course they have to follow the line laid down by the Dept of Education which is completely in thrall to Greenpeace.
    It makes for very noisy dinner table conversations and a change from discussions about what's for sale in Brent Cross.

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  • 178. At 6:41pm on 24 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #170 hotashes wrote:

    And actually it is you who has to justify why it is not science in your eyes.

    You have that completely wrong. I have a great admiration for genuine sciences such as physics and biology -- they are valuable and rare among human activities. Like gold, if you like. So if someone comes along and shows me something that looks like a lump of gold, it's up to him to give me a good reason for thinking it's really gold. Gold is so valuable, people will try to fob each other off with all sort of less valuable stuff that merely looks like gold. To assume that something is gold is not the "default" position -- rather, we assume that something is not gold until the person trying to sell us the gold has gone to some lengths to demonstrate to us that it really is gold.

    Everyone nowadays seems to claim that their discipline is a science -- psychologists, sociologists, medicine men -- you name it. That's not surprising, because the word 'science' commands such respect. But the onus is on them, not the rest of us, to demonstrate that what they are doing really is genuine science.

    I think it's fair to say that I have an entire theory of what science is and is not. I've spent much time trying to explain the differences right here on this blog.

    Climate science fails because it eschews testing almost completely. Its "data" are gathered prior to its theories or models, and anyway they hardly count as "data" at all because of their highly theoretical nature. I could go on!

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  • 179. At 7:43pm on 24 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Bowman

    On what grounds do you make these claims? How do you support your conclusions

    "Climate science fails because it eschews testing almost completely. Its "data" are gathered prior to its theories or models, and anyway they hardly count as "data" at all because of their highly theoretical nature."

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  • 180. At 8:03pm on 24 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #179 hotashes wrote:

    On what grounds do you make these claims?

    You're not listening, are you? I'm sure you're quite capable of grasping the idea of theory being based on "data", and of following up what's wrong with it, if you're not too lazy.

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  • 181. At 03:37am on 25 Jul 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    150. At 07:57am on 24 Jul 2010, MangoChutneyUKOK wrote:

    "Give us a link that shows empirically (not computer guesses) that climate sensitivity including clouds is high and we will go away."

    Well actually I've tried to post links to papers reporting on three dimensional models of radiative transfer that include clouds; however, for what ever reason they have been deleted by the BBC Blog manager. I found them by doing a Google search -- you could do the same if you are so inclined. In any case, this is only one element of Climate Modeling; however, it does show that contrary to the denier's assertions, clouds are being taken into account.

    MangoChutneyUKOK seems to view it as all being a big conspiracy to raise his taxes. From what I've read, the Conservative Government in Great Britain is raising your taxes and cutting your services without any reference to AGW. Seems while you've been focused on the Climate debate, your taxes have been raised. If taxes are your concern, I would suggest focusing on Climate is distracting you from your primary concern.

    Your contempt for the use of computers in scientific activity speaks more to your ignorance (or willful propagandizing) than to the use of computers in the scientific enterprise. Reminds me of a piece that appeared in the Washington Times (the Rev Moon's paper) that ridiculed evolutionary theory by making fun of the Linnaen nomenclature. Since it was featured on the front page, it must have been considered vitally important by this politically connected newspaper. It no doubt played well with a certain segment of the population. Dismissing climate models as "just" a computer model plays well in certain quarters, but doesn't really contribute to estimating what will happen to the Climate in the future. Seems what deniers are really saying is if Climate Science uses computer models it is ipso-facto irrelevant to predicting what will happen to the climate in the future. Do you realize that the airplanes you and your relatives fly about in are designed using similar numeric methods for solving multi-variate differential equations? If your skepticism about computer models were valid one would expect to see these airplanes falling out of the skies left and right. But on the contrary, one sees their safety record is much better than those designed with slide rules and manual calculators.

    Speaking of multi-dimensional differential equations, it would seem that some one like bowmanthebard would need to have some understanding of how one implements multi-dimensional differential equations in a computer code before he might be considered competent to criticize Climate models.

    Dismissing them (Climate models) out of hand as bowmanthebard does is an opinion to which he is entitled; however his opinion is not necessarily one that should be given much weight.

    Discounting future value as classic economists do is a value choice as bowmanthebard should know -- these are the same people who premise a good prosperous future on infinite growth in the human economy. Just how real is that?

    In regards bowmanthebard's comments on theory validation, if he would bother to read the climate research literature, he would see that the Climate Models make many predictions about what observations one would expect as the Climate warms -- one of them is that there will be more variance in weather events. Meteorologists have documented this prediction by examining historical weather data. Specifically rain events have become more extreme, and there has been an increase in temperature variance etc. All of this can be verified by looking at the historical temperature record. If bowmanthebard wants to know how confident to be in the predictions of Climate Models, he might try a Bayesian approach. This after all is how science progresses: observation, theory, prediction, observation.

    bowmanthebard asserted that dark lines in a spectrum are just dark lines but that calling them absorption lines is theory. I would ask if you shine a "white" light through hydrogen or neon or some other elemental gas and see certain wave lengths are missing on the other end just what word other than absorption would you use to describe what is happening. The theory comes in for accounting why the absorption lines occur where they do -- i.e. they are determined by the discontinuous energy transitions available for the electrons surrounding the nucleus of a particular element. Something he might have learned in high school chemistry and physics if he had been paying attention.

    Labmonkey in a past exchanges contended that the physics of CO2 could be different in the laboratory than it would be in the atmosphere. Since then he has become more sophisticated in his arguments by arguing for the unknown effects of clouds. Unfortunately for his case, Climate modelers have been looking at the impact of changes in cloud cover by collecting empirical data from satellites and in-situ measurements from aircraft and balloons and implementing that in their models. They have found that in some cases clouds increase cooling and in other cases they increase warming, depending on the structure and elevation of the clouds. Again you can find referred papers on this if you take the time to search for them on the internet or your local university library.

    Labmunkey asserted in his description of buffers that the hydronium ion doesn't disappear -- I would argue that it does. For example in the case of a carbonate buffer (say Na2CO2), the hydronium ion (H3O+)reacts with a carbonate ion(CO2--) to form a bicarbonate ion (HCO2-). (writing the balanced equations with all of the ion species is left as an exercise for the reader) The pH which measures the concentration of hydronium ions as the negative log of the concentration is stabilized (to a point) against the decrease in pH caused by the addition of an acid like HCl because the carbonate ions remove the added hydronium ions by forming bicarbonate ions. Remember the titration curves you plotted in high school chemistry? If hydronium ions were not removed, the pH would decrease as more of them were added.

    CanadianRockies -- if you were a Climate Scientist and based on your research and that of your colleagues, you believed that human activities were creating changes in the climate that threatened the well being of large portions of humanity to say nothing of other life forms, wouldn't you try to find some way to convey the nature and urgency of the problem to the public? Given the media clutter of modern life, how would you propose this be done?

    Unfortunately for the Climate Science community now that they have the public's attention, a certain portion of the public's attitude is like that of the Mayor and towns people in Ibsen's play "An Enemy of the People" I would say the "people" and their posterity will get just what they deserve in both the play and in real life.

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  • 182. At 03:55am on 25 Jul 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    176. At 5:40pm on 24 Jul 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    "Of course, with your use of the loaded term "deniers" and your silly attempt to paint scepticism as a right-wing conspiracy - or even worse, link sceptics to flat earthers - you are as guilty of smearing and simplistic hyperbole as anyone else."

    Given that most of the denier's talking points were first developed by the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute and similar organizations it seems quite reasonable to consider it a right-wing conspiracy, even if those who blindly repeat them may not be right-wing themselves. Given your list of enemies, you sound like you would fit right in with the ideology of these organizations and their more low brow colleagues such as Rush Limbaugh.

    I would add that referring to denier's as deniers seems pretty mild compared to the rhetoric they (and you) use. I don't believe anyone has suggested that an apple be put in your mouth and that you be fed to cannibals.

    If you really thought of yourself as a nobody, you wouldn't be sending posts to this blog.

    Is it a fair guess that in your work as an ecologist you worked for business interests, ranchers perhaps?

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  • 183. At 06:02am on 25 Jul 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    157. At 10:05am on 24 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard

    Your comment and many others you have made qualify as red herrings.

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  • 184. At 07:40am on 25 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #183 HungeryWalleye wrote:

    Your comment and many others you have made qualify as red herrings.

    Translation: I haven't thought about the differences between genuine science and pseudo-science, so I'll change the subject.

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  • 185. At 08:47am on 25 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Bowman I am listening and I believe what you are saying is not supported by any evidence. So I'll ask again

    On what grounds do you make these claims? How do you support your conclusions

    "Climate science fails because it eschews testing almost completely. Its "data" are gathered prior to its theories or models, and anyway they hardly count as "data" at all because of their highly theoretical nature."

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  • 186. At 09:17am on 25 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    185 hotashes wrote:

    I believe what you are saying is not supported by any evidence. So I'll ask again

    On what grounds do you make these claims?


    In genuine science, hypotheses have observational consequences. Depending on whether or not those consequences are actually observed, the hypotheses that imply them are corroborated or not. In other words, they pass or fail a test.

    There are far too few such tests in climate science, indeed it is a real question whether there are any at all. Instead it is supposed that theory is "based on" (i.e. implied by) observational "data" -- which is to get the direction of implication exactly the wrong way around.

    You can see how deeply ingrained is your assumption that theory is "based on data" from your choice of words when you say that what I am saying is not 'supported by evidence', and ask for the 'grounds' for my claims.

    Unless you are speaking very loosely, you are committing a very common error -- called "epistemological foundationalism" -- according to which our theories (scientific, philosophical, etc.) rest on a "basis" of "privileged" knowledge -- usually supposed to be conscious experiences or the "raw data" of observation.

    It's a long story why that idea is so badly mistaken -- its roots lie in taking mathematics as the ideal model for all knowledge (theorems really are "based on" axioms, but empirical knowledge is different), and the assumption that our minds are essentially non-physical and therefore "cut off" from the "outside world" of physical reality. But it is mistaken, and it corrupts much human thinking, especially the practice of borderline "sciences" such as climate science, psychology -- in fact anything that relies on extrapolating from "data", which nowadays is usually a matter of statistics. The methods are every bit as bogus as they are rigorous.

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  • 187. At 09:37am on 25 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @HungeryWalleye

    i'll respond to you in full tomorrow (i hope), but in the meantime with regards to computer models - parametrisation

    /Mango

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  • 188. At 11:00am on 25 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @HungeryWalleye #181

    "for what ever reason they have been deleted by the BBC Blog manager"

    This issue always trips up newbies to the BBC threads as it is the only unexpected restriction.

    There is a BBC thread ban on "Links to sites requiring obscure software"
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/messageboards/faq/editorial_guidelines.shtml

    This is expanded on as "Websites that initiate a file download or require additional software in order to view them. This includes .pdf and .mp3 files."
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/messageboards/faq/house_rules_info.shtml

    Because for simplicity and fairness the ban seems to extend to the document type itself, this means you can't normally get round the genuine technical problem of "obscure software" by linking to a view of a PDF.

    However you can link to a normal HTML page that has PDF links on it. Such as this one, which appears to be a counter example for some of Mango's claims about climate sensitivity observations being low:
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abstracts/1992/Hansen_etal.html

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  • 189. At 11:34am on 25 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #181 HungeryWalleye wrote:

    In regards bowmanthebard's comments on theory validation, if he would bother to read the climate research literature, he would see that the Climate Models make many predictions about what observations one would expect as the Climate warms -- one of them is that there will be more variance in weather events. Meteorologists have documented this prediction by examining historical weather data.

    Huh? The point of the prediction is to see if the theory passes a test -- the prediction has to turn out to be true, and it has to be a genuine prediction, not merely "continuing to fit the data that it was designed to fit" -- which is all fitting the historical weather data amounts to.

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  • 190. At 11:54am on 25 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Bowman why do you refuse to justify/support your claims with detail other than loose comparisons and analogy. If you want to add validity to the things you say then you are going to have to add a little more detail to your posts. Statements like the one below aren't going to cut it

    "There are far too few such tests in climate science, indeed it is a real question whether there are any at all. Instead it is supposed that theory is "based on" (i.e. implied by) observational "data" -- which is to get the direction of implication exactly the wrong way around."

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  • 191. At 12:15pm on 25 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #190 hotashes wrote:

    Bowman why do you refuse to justify/support your claims with detail other than loose comparisons and analogy.

    There's nothing loose about what I wrote. If you find it hard to follow, that's because you unfamiliar with logic and the epistemology of science.

    Climate "science" has produced practically nothing in the way of honest prediction; its methods are naive, and guided by a mistaken epistemological ideology. Its practitioners seem not even to be aware of the ideology that drives their methodology, nor of the fact that no respectable science uses any similar methodology.

    By all means let climate "science" be part of public debate, but we would be very unwise to let it guide public policy, especially if that involves re-assigning resources that are much more urgently needed elsewhere.

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  • 192. At 12:59pm on 25 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Bowman
    "If you find it hard to follow, that's because you unfamiliar with logic and the epistemology of science."

    No I'm not. Please don't try and mask your inability to justify your comments as a lack of understanding on my part.

    Again how can you make comments like this;

    "Climate "science" has produced practically nothing in the way of honest prediction; its methods are naive, and guided by a mistaken epistemological ideology. Its practitioners seem not even to be aware of the ideology that drives their methodology, nor of the fact that no respectable science uses any similar methodology."

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  • 193. At 1:15pm on 25 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    bowmanthebard #191: If you find it hard to follow, that's because you unfamiliar with logic and the epistemology of science.

    hotashes #192: No I'm not.

    OK, then -- what do you regard as a good reason for believing the theory of AGW, and why do you think it constitutes a good reason?

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  • 194. At 1:54pm on 25 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Bowman - I'd rather hear your reason for describing climate science's method naive?

    Or how you've come to understand "Its practitioners seem not even to be aware of the ideology that drives their methodology" - specifically how have you made this assessment?

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  • 195. At 2:08pm on 25 Jul 2010, ADMac wrote:

    HungeryWalleye#181 wrote:


    “Labmunkey asserted in his description of buffers that the hydronium ion doesn't disappear -- I would argue that it does. For example in the case of a carbonate buffer (say Na2CO2), the hydronium ion (H3O+)reacts with a carbonate ion(CO2--) to form a bicarbonate ion (HCO2-).”

    What Labmonkey actually said was “These ions are not being removed, they are not being destroyed, simply... converted into a different state.”

    In attempting to discredit Labmonkey’s useful analogy of conservation of mass, again, and to impress fellow bloggers with your superior knowledge on how buffers work all you have done is display your ignorance by giving the wrong formula for the carbonate ion. It is CO3(2-) not CO2(2-).


    HungeryWalleye#181 also wrote:

    “Labmonkey in a past exchanges contended that the physics of CO2 could be different in the laboratory than it would be in the atmosphere. Since then he has become more sophisticated in his arguments by arguing for the unknown effects of clouds. Unfortunately for his case, Climate modelers have been looking at the impact of changes in cloud cover by collecting empirical data from satellites and in-situ measurements from aircraft and balloons and implementing that in their models. They have found that in some cases clouds increase cooling and in other cases they increase warming, depending on the structure and elevation of the clouds.”

    The important point here is that we need an understanding of the processes which create different types of clouds and from this generate testable theories. We spend too much time recycling and processing dodgy data.

    Willis Eschenbach has very recently published “The thunderstorm thermostat hypothesis: How clouds and thunderstorms control the Earth’s temperature” in E&E Volume 21, Number 4 / August 2010

    Abstract:

    The Thunderstorm Thermostat Hypothesis is the hypothesis that tropical clouds and thunderstorms actively regulate the temperature of the earth. This keeps the earth at an equilibrium temperature regardless of changes in the forcings. Several kinds of evidence are presented to establish and elucidate the Thermostat Hypothesis-historical temperature stability of the Earth, theoretical considerations, satellite photos, and a description of the equilibrium mechanism.

    You can effectively read this article at

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/14/the-thermostat-hypothesis/

    in the form of a Guest Essay.

    It is a really fascinating, thought provoking and well written article.

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  • 196. At 2:28pm on 25 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #194 hotashes wrote:

    I'd rather hear your reason for describing climate science's method naive?

    I'm sure you would, but I asked you a question and I'm waiting for you to answer it.

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  • 197. At 3:15pm on 25 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Bowman I've been asking you the same question for several posts. Why do you refuse to answer? Instead you ask me a question - is this an avoidance technique?

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  • 198. At 3:29pm on 25 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Read the archives, and my previous responses for my answer to your question: climate science assumes that theory is "based on data", which is wrong.

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  • 199. At 3:52pm on 25 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Bowman

    "climate science assumes that theory is "based on data", which is wrong"

    That's not how I understand things but let's say that you are correct in an ideal world what should climate theory be based on? And how would this differ from the current model?

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  • 200. At 4:35pm on 25 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    199. At 3:52pm on 25 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    That's not how I understand things but let's say that you are correct in an ideal world what should climate theory be based on?

    It shouldn't be based on (in the sense of being implied by) anything. Only mathematical or logical "knowledge" (if we call theorems knowledge) is based on axioms and rules of inference.

    Ordinary empirical knowledge of the physical world consists of guesses (hypotheses) which may or may not accurately reflect the real world. The only way of telling whether they do is to see how well they "pan out" in practice -- for the most part this means seeing how successfully they manage to predict things (i.e. pass tests).

    In the seventeenth century, scientists were very interested in what it was they were doing. They were mostly "Renaissance men" who not only speculated on the nature of the world, but speculated on the nature of science as well. For example, Galileo and Robert Boyle both had quite sophisticated understandings of proper scientific procedure. More recently, so did Darwin, Pierre Duhem, Einstein, Feynman and a few others. But nowadays most people who take degrees in scientific subjects don't think much about what it is they are doing. They have over-specialized, perhaps. They hand judgement over to statisticians who routinely confuse truth and certainty (among other things) and are for the most part in the dark epistemologically.

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  • 201. At 4:53pm on 25 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Bowman

    What was Darwin's theory based on, if it was not based on data?

    "climate science assumes that theory is "based on data", which is wrong"

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  • 202. At 5:08pm on 25 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    hotashes #199: "what should climate theory be based on?"

    bowmanthebard:#200: It shouldn't be based on (in the sense of being implied by) anything.

    hotashes #201: "What was Darwin's theory based on, if it was not based on data?"

    bowmanthebard: It wasn't based on anything.

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  • 203. At 5:25pm on 25 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Bowman

    So Darwin's theory wasn't based on years of data collection?

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  • 204. At 5:41pm on 25 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #203 hotashes wrote:

    So Darwin's theory wasn't based on years of data collection?

    It wasn't based on data, or based on anything else for that matter, although of course Darwin's years of speculating about and observing the living world were very important.

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  • 205. At 6:00pm on 25 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Bowman

    Darwin collected masses of data. He documented everything he saw. This is what made 'on the origin' so powerful.

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  • 206. At 6:34pm on 25 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #205 hotashes wrote:

    Darwin collected masses of data.

    I'm not sure if 'data' is an appropriate word, as it didn't consist of numbers, graphs, or any of the sort of thing we usually called "data" nowadays. He observed a great deal, of course, as did others before him.

    He documented everything he saw.

    No one can document everything they see. Darwin kept notes, but he noted what he thought was important, and did not note what he thought was unimportant. Perhaps the most important page of all the pages in his notebooks was where he first drew a rough "tree of life" diagram. But that was not a drawing of an observation -- it was a drawing of an idea forming in his mind.

    This is what made 'on the origin' so powerful.

    Personally, what I find most compelling about it is its explanatory power rather than the thoroughness of its observations. His work on barnacles, by contrast, is extremely thorough in terms of observation, and it still useful today as a result. But Darwin is remembered less for his work on barnacles than for proposing a theory that convincingly explains so much.

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  • 207. At 7:17pm on 25 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Bowman

    "I'm not sure if 'data' is an appropriate word, as it didn't consist of numbers, graphs, or any of the sort of thing we usually called "data" nowadays."

    He took measurements of the animals to distinguish between them. Noted things like location etc. Are these not examples of data collection?

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  • 208. At 8:05pm on 25 Jul 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    @hotashes #207

    I'm not sure that you know what points you're making, you're surely not about to try and say that climate scientists are avid collectors of observational data are you? After all the problems that climate science is having with its data, both in terms of quality and availability.

    Again, you seem to have the same knack for picking your battles that lemmings have for picking a direction to go for a stroll in....

    And, yes before anyone says anything, I know all about walt disney and lemmings etc, thanks for asking....

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

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  • 209. At 8:11pm on 25 Jul 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Just put this in the wrong place...(Richards latest)

    Spotted at Bishop Hill: ref the comments are about elsewhere!

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/7/24/booker-namechecks-man-of-cloth.html#comments

    DennisA, did you also note this comment at the boomantribune site?


    by mainsailset on Sat Jul 24th, 2010 at 06:39:00 PM EST
    "Re: Most Successful Conspiracy Theory Evah (none / 1)
    There are moments and there are deniers that drive me to respect the attitude China adopts and that is to whack off the heads of those who stand broadside to undermine the good of the people (not sure they'd be willing to expand that to the good of the globe, but there you have it)"

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  • 210. At 11:34pm on 25 Jul 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    Back on topic...

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100048085/i-come-to-bury-schneider-not-to-praise-him/

    A comment there (07/23/2010 06:09 PM) brought this info:

    Schneider S. & Rasool S., "Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols - Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate", Science, vol.173, 9 July 1971, p.138-141

    "We report here on the first results of a calculation in which separate estimates were made of the effects on global temperature of large increases in the amount of CO2 and dust in the atmosphere. It is found that even an increase by a factor of 8 in the amount of CO2, which is highly unlikely in the next several thousand years, will produce an increase in the surface temperature of less than 2 deg. K.

    However, the effect on surface temperature of an increase in the aerosol content of the atmosphere is found to be quite significant. An increase by a factor of 4 in the equilibrium dust concentration in the global atmosphere, which cannot be ruled out as a possibility within the next century, could decrease the mean surface temperature by as much as 3.5 deg. K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease could be sufficient to trigger an ice age!"

    Ah yes. Change is the only constant.

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  • 211. At 11:44pm on 25 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK #156.
    (LabMunkey #165)

    "The focus on CO2 is simple - it's not the culprit, but it is the easiest way to tax us out of existence! Having said that, if climate sensitivity was shown empirically to be high, then I would accept measures to reduce CO2 emissions."

    agree, it's a scam, especially the trading bit.

    of course, voluntarily conducting ourselves in a way that minimises all unnecessary emissions, pollution, etc, wouldn't do any harm.

    I always thought that 'progress' comes from incorporating past experiences and learning (but where's the evidence for that?).



    bowmanthebard #157.

    "the preponderance of the evidence"

    personally, I go with it because I cannot see the climate issue in isolation; arguably, our whole approach viz the environment (and 'interconnectedness') is flawed.

    ten computers?? your electricity bill must be enormous! can you not use virtual machines like the rest of us?? ;)

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  • 212. At 00:06am on 26 Jul 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    @Canadian Rockies

    Remember that the publically quoted mantra is that we never mentioned global cooling in the 70's... what us..... cooling .... don't know where you got that idea.... well there was a Time magazine story.... and one in Newsweek... but those are just magazines and we never said any of that.... Except, him...he said something to someone....

    I dont know why we should be surprised, this is/was brought to you by the same poeple that brought you:

    The MWP? Don't know what you're talking about.... what warm period was that then....... Say what you want there was neve... ohh sorry you mean that warm period..... well, we never actually said there wasn't one.... I said it was there all the time.....

    You've just gotta love'em

    Regards,

    One of the (inexplicably grumpy) Lobby

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  • 213. At 04:11am on 26 Jul 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    189. At 11:34am on 25 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    "Huh? The point of the prediction is to see if the theory passes a test -- the prediction has to turn out to be true, and it has to be a genuine prediction, not merely "continuing to fit the data that it was designed to fit" -- which is all fitting the historical weather data amounts to."

    Actually reading the literature would help. In case you are unaware, looking at the historical change of the variance in various meteorological measurements was prompted by the results from the climate models, so even though the data were there a priori, it had not been analyzed to determine the change in variance over time. So the test is in fact an a posteriori test.

    As a student of the philosophy of science, you might know that science doesn't "prove" anything.

    You say: "They have over-specialized, perhaps. They hand judgement over to statisticians who routinely confuse truth and certainty (among other things) and are for the most part in the dark epistemologically."

    The only scientists or statisticians I know that talk about truth and certainty have made a religious conversion. Usually because they can't deal with the conditional (probabilistic) nature of scientific knowledge. If you look a little deeper in to Feynman's work you will see it involves a great deal of sophisticated mathematics and statistics. Why do you accept his use of these tools but not when physicists studying climate do the same. Perhaps it is the implied changes that would be necessary if you accepted the likelihood of AGW. I've noticed that CanadianRockies position is that even if AGW is true, we shouldn't do anything about it. Hope he is sending his contributions into the Fraser Institute.

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  • 214. At 05:10am on 26 Jul 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    195. At 2:08pm on 25 Jul 2010, ADMac

    Thanks for the correction on the Carbonate ion. That error doesn't change the gist of my argument. Which is that the hydronium ion is removed from the solution by the carbonate ion to form bicarbonate.

    The tropical thunder storms providing a negative feedback loop is interesting. Did they provide a parametrization of this to indicate the amount of heat pumped as a function of increased temperature? If so it should be easy to add it to global climate models if it hasn't been already.

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  • 215. At 06:14am on 26 Jul 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    212. blunderbunny

    Well, as a dedicated Vestibulian I keep this handy for such occasions...

    TIME MAGAZINE
    Science: Another Ice Age?
    Monday, Jun. 24, 1974

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,944914,00.html#ixzz0pyZSEnar

    "As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past several years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic upheaval. However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age."

    They were just reporting on Schneider's conclusions I suppose. And, funny, but they haven't been using that term "Climatological Cassandras" this time... even though it fits.

    P.S. I'm a little grumpy lately too. Not enough warming, and the garden sucks. And on the AGW topic, they are moving the goalposts so much to cover their tracks that it is making me dizzy.

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  • 216. At 08:21am on 26 Jul 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    215. At 06:14am on 26 Jul 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    "P.S. I'm a little grumpy lately too. Not enough warming, and the garden sucks."

    I am grumpy too. If I could send you our excessive heat and bad air I would. I lost several shrubs and have had to postpone outdoor activities because of it. But I think it is called weather. If your garden scorches and turns to dust next year, will you change your mind about AGW?

    Keep sending your contributions to Fraser Institute. They are doing the best they can on your behalf.

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  • 217. At 09:30am on 26 Jul 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ hotashes # 169

    First, thank you for the very civil question- i'm getting some flack of late :-) is appreciated!

    Mango pretty much answered this question for me in post # 173. I would add though and as a purely 'peripheral' piece of information, i have in a past life helped to set up a pilot-plant facility for a uniquie piece of equipment. During this time i became very familiar with temperature control software, i forget the exact terms (and the manuals are in the loft. i hope) but there is a very distinct pattern to a self re-inforcing warming trend. You can see a clear relationship between the driver, and the result (increased temp). This is obviously a VASTLY simplified model- and by my own arguments useless in 'scaling up' to a real-world system, but i would still expect to see a degree of this 'positive reinforcement' in the real world system, which we don't.

    BUt obviously, this is a FAR second (third, fourth even) to the points mango raised- that as soon as you include clouds (which the models don't), all evidence points to climate sensitivity being low, not high.

    Re:HngeryWalleye's numerous posts and attacks.

    sigh. (i like doing that, sets the tone somewhat don't you agree?)

    Re the buffer. I can see what you are trying to do with the example, though as has already been pointed out you've misrepresented what i actually said- next time just copy and paste what i said, avoids confusion- but you're off the mark. I was using it as an analagous example. i was in no way comparing the two systems, other than to illustrate the effect negative feedbacks can have, whilst still holding to the law's of physics (i canny break the laws of physics... hungery)

    Re the other misrepresentations/misunderstandings.
    you seem to let your emotions get the better of you during a response- it can happen- believe me, but you seem to do it constantly. May i suggest you, after reading a post, type out a quick responce, then edit it and THEN post (but do it in word or something- or you'll accidentally post it like i've done!). it can help calm you down.

    But, you repeatedly and consistantly misunderstand or rather, deliberatley attempt to misrepresent my position- probably with a view to discrediting me- rather than my argument.

    for a specific example- you stated above that i accept co2's effect in the lab, but then reject it in the real world system. This, as ever, is only a half-truth. i have stated- and i do try to be exceptionally clear on these things, that i accept that co2 behaves as climatists state in a closed, sealed, pure system. What i do not accept is that you can then extrapolate that up to a real world system. I am not saying co2 behaves differently, i'm not saying it miraculously stops performing its GHG effect- but, what i AM SAYING is that we simply do not know how it INTERACTS in the real world system. there are so so many unkowns and it is exceptionally likely that in a real world system, the feedbacks counter any effect it produces (after an inital lag obv).

    In future- if you are going to comment on anything i say, i request you quote the passage alongside your comment. I will not allow you to continue to misrepresent my position for your own ends.

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  • 218. At 09:34am on 26 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #213 HungeryWalleye wrote:

    In case you are unaware, looking at the historical change of the variance in various meteorological measurements was prompted by the results from the climate models, so even though the data were there a priori, it had not been analyzed to determine the change in variance over time. So the test is in fact an a posteriori test.

    This is B-S. I will communicate with you if you have the honesty to state your position openly and as clearly as you can. Otherwise not.

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  • 219. At 09:40am on 26 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #207 hotashes wrote:

    He took measurements of the animals to distinguish between them. Noted things like location etc. Are these not examples of data collection?

    Darwin collected animals, but he he did not "measure" them. He used his eyes to distinguish between them.

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  • 220. At 10:13am on 26 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #213 HungeryWalleye wrote:

    Usually because they can't deal with the conditional (probabilistic) nature of scientific knowledge.

    Again, this is total B-S. You simply can't have given the concept of knowledge any thought at all.

    If you look a little deeper in to Feynman's work you will see it involves a great deal of sophisticated mathematics and statistics.

    There is no statistical extrapolation in Feynman's work. Quantum theory describes how proportions of groups of particles behave -- such as "30% of the electrons will end up in area A". The statistics used in quantum theory test claims like that -- for example, if it is observed that 40% of the electrons end up in area A, does that count as corroboration of the hypothesis that yielded the above prediction?

    I'm afraid my patience has worn out with our conversation.

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  • 221. At 12:50pm on 26 Jul 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Bowman

    Darwin wrote, “that if we took by chance a dozen or score of men belonging to two nations and measured them, it would I presume be very rash to form any judgments from such small numbers on their average heights.”

    “after making many trials, whether it is possible to derive useful conclusions from these few observations. We ought to have measurement of at least fifty plants in each case, in order to be in a position to deduce fair results.”

    Darwin's research was massively important to the development of statistics. Identifying how tools such as 'standard deviation' where of limited use to him.

    Also your claim that only Darwin used his eyes to make his observations is also not true. He often used his friends and colleagues often help identify which creatures belonged to different species. This process involves measurement.

    Anyway I suspect we are going round in circles with this discussion. My point is simply Statistics is vitally important in Evolutionary Science. And Darwin's theory's, as much as he hated maths, still relies on it.

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  • 222. At 1:49pm on 26 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #221 hotashes quoted Darwin:

    “after making many trials, whether it is possible to derive useful conclusions from these few observations. We ought to have measurement of at least fifty plants in each case, in order to be in a position to deduce fair results.”

    Please note the use of the word 'trials' in the above. Darwin was evidently not blindly collecting "data" but purposefully testing his hypotheses.

    But in any case, if you check the archives, you will discover that I do not dismiss all induction or all statistics. Induction is a reliable form of inference as long as there is a lawlike connection between the property extrapolated from the sample, and membership of the class to which the extrapolation extends.

    To illustrate that, I said it was perfectly OK to extrapolate from "all of the emeralds I've seen so far have been green" to "all emeralds are green"; but it is not OK to extrapolate from "all of the swans I've seen so far have been white" to "all swans are white". Some properties of living things can be reliably extrapolated, however.

    Statistics too can be useful -- in trials. For example, the "selfish gene" version of evolutionary theory has the consequence that there will be roughly equal numbers of males and females in most species. The "group selectionist" version of the theory has the consequence that there will be more females than males. Statistical trials reveal that there are roughly equal numbers, which on the face of it at least seems to rule out the second version of the theory. Please note that no amount of blindly collected "data" could imply either version of the theory.

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  • 223. At 1:49pm on 26 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @hotashes #175

    "All published papers, which claim empirical evidence showing high sensitivity do not include clouds."

    Which studies are these? I'd like to take a look


    Sorry, I misread your post on first reading. You're looking for the papers that show high sensitivity excluding clouds. Probably the easiest place to find them is Wiki. There are others, but to be honest, I don't keep them in my favorites

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_sensitivity - have a look at the discussion page to see how Connelly tries to discredit opponents who disagree with his view

    @HungeryWalleye #181
    actually I've tried to post links to papers reporting on three dimensional models of radiative transfer that include clouds; however, for what ever reason they have been deleted by the BBC Blog manager.

    We've all had pdf links deleted, so don;t worry

    I found them by doing a Google search -- you could do the same if you are so inclined.

    I am so inclined, but i have found none to support high climate sensitivity including clouds. Perhaps, you would be so kind as to post the name of these papers? Thank you in advance.


    In any case, this is only one element of Climate Modeling; however, it does show that contrary to the denier's assertions, clouds are being taken into account.

    And a very important element and if you really knew what you were talking about, you would know that the biggest problem with the climate models is we simply do not know enough about clouds to be able to take the climate models seriously. This is acknowledged by the IPCC, so your statement isn't actually false, just misleading

    MangoChutneyUKOK seems to view it as all being a big conspiracy to raise his taxes.

    No, I don't think it is a conspiracy to raise taxes. I think it is an opportunity to raise taxes - see the difference?

    Your contempt for the use of computers in scientific activity speaks more to your ignorance (or willful propagandizing) than to the use of computers in the scientific enterprise.

    Contempt? Hardly. Computers have an important role to play in all walks of life, not just climate models, but computers will only give answers they are programmed to give. If you tell a computer that 1+1=5, then that is the answer the computer will give. Now I am not suggesting the programmers have wilfully programmed to give preordained answers, but how can a computer programme possible give a reliable answer unless it knows all the parameters?

    If your skepticism about computer models were valid one would expect to see these airplanes falling out of the skies left and right. But on the contrary, one sees their safety record is much better than those designed with slide rules and manual calculators.

    So, you seem to be saying, that because a computer can keep a plane in the air, it must be able to predict the future? What about the Mars probe that missed (September 23, 1999)? What was that, pilot error?

    @JaneBasingstoke #188

    However you can link to a normal HTML page that has PDF links on it. Such as this one, which appears to be a counter example for some of Mango's claims about climate sensitivity observations being low:
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abstracts/1992/Hansen_etal.html


    Correct me if i am wrong Jane, because I don't have the paper in front of me, but wasn't Hansens paper based on calculation just after Pinatubo, which would mean the effect of Pinatubo aerosols couldn't possibly have been observed?

    @jr4412 #211

    of course, voluntarily conducting ourselves in a way that minimises all unnecessary emissions, pollution, etc, wouldn't do any harm.

    I always thought that 'progress' comes from incorporating past experiences and learning (but where's the evidence for that?).


    I already do jr - i recycle (long before it became fashionable), conserve water and only ever purchase One water (profit from One helps build wells in Africa), try not to pollute etc, but CO2 is not a pollutant, despite attempts to declare it as one.

    As for progress from incorporating past experiences and learning, I totally agree, when will be ever learn not to trust snake oil salesmen ;)

    /Mango

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  • 224. At 3:07pm on 26 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard
    (@hotashes)

    Feynman was lucky in that his QED predictions could be tested by relatively straightforward observations, and the observed properties are far more likely to be constant. Incidentally have you seen this?

    (note, the differences between a muon and an electron derive from the muon having more mass and its own version of the neutrino)
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19141-incredible-shrinking-proton-raises-eyebrows.html


    With regard to Darwin and observations it is always worth reminding ourselves of this important anecdote from Darwin's "The Voyage of the Beagle" about Galapagos tortoises.

    "I have not as yet noticed by far the most remarkable feature in the natural history of this archipelago; it is, that the different islands to a considerable extent are inhabited by a different set of beings. My attention was first called to this fact by the Vice-Governor, Mr. Lawson, declaring that the tortoises differed from the different islands, and that he could with certainty tell from which island any one was brought."

    (note, this text appears to date from the 1845 version)
    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3704/3704-8.txt

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  • 225. At 3:18pm on 26 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK #223

    Hansen et al 1992 was a prediction based on mainstream ideas about climate sensitivity. The relevant calculations were made after the Pinatubo eruption but well before the predicted peak effect. Subsequent observations of both the timing and the extent of Pinatubo related global cooling appear to endorse Hansen.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from%3A1985/to%3A2000/plot/uah/from%3A1985/to%3A2000/plot/rss/from%3A1985/to%3A2000/plot/gistemp/from%3A1985/to%3A2000

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  • 226. At 3:40pm on 26 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK #223.

    "CO2 is not a pollutant"

    we've discussed this one before, hence the 'emissions' :-) fully agree on the committment on the personal level, however, I was thinking wider society when I wrote 'ourselves'.

    re "One water"

    have not come across this brand before, where do you buy it?

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  • 227. At 3:59pm on 26 Jul 2010, seasambo wrote:

    #3 Andrew "Like most of the BBC articles surrounding climate change, this one is one sided and takes the position that the heroes are the scientists that believe global warming is completely man made. Not surprising for the BBC. Liberal journalism."
    I don't think any professional scientists have ever published that global warming is 'completely man made'.
    Non-anthropogenic causes of climate (i.e. solar influences) are included in the majority of complex climate models (both past and future projections) and IPCC documents, as well as anthropogenic causes such as greenhouse gases and aerosols.

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  • 228. At 5:55pm on 26 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke #225

    Hansen et al 1992 was a prediction based on mainstream ideas about climate sensitivity. The relevant calculations were made after the Pinatubo eruption but well before the predicted peak effect. Subsequent observations of both the timing and the extent of Pinatubo related global cooling appear to endorse Hansen.

    Jane, do you really think Hansen got the prediction correct, because I'm not so sure? Please see here:

    http://www.sciencebits.com/FittingElephants

    and here:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/06/revisiting-the-pinatubo-eruption-as-a-test-of-climate-sensitivity/

    Of course, Hansens prediction that Pinatubo would cause cooling is correct, because that's what volcanic aerosols do, but the model temperatures did not match the observed temperatures. IMHO this points to confirmation that the models do not have the correct value(s) for climate sensitivity

    /Mango

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  • 229. At 5:55pm on 26 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @jr4412 #226

    re "One water"

    have not come across this brand before, where do you buy it?


    I'm not sure if this will get through the censors but:

    Morrisons, the co-op (where i buy mine), total, duty free at airports, waitrose, plus there are wholesalers

    I'll post a link to their website in the next post and hope it gets through the mods!

    :)

    /Mango

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  • 230. At 5:56pm on 26 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    http://www.onedifference.org/food-drink/water

    /Mango

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  • 231. At 6:21pm on 26 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #224 quoting Darwin:

    "My attention was first called to this fact by the Vice-Governor, Mr. Lawson"

    As I recall Darwin happily accepts other people's observations on several occasions in both Origin and Descent. Despite what the philosophical tradition tells us, observation consists of stuff people can see for themselves, and would agree about as long as they spoke the same language. (I often use the term 'common sense' for everyday observation.)

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  • 232. At 6:45pm on 26 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK #229, #230.

    thanks.

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  • 233. At 8:05pm on 26 Jul 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #224:

    Feynman was lucky in that his QED predictions could be tested by relatively straightforward observations, and the observed properties are far more likely to be constant.

    Yes indeed -- that's lawlike connection for you! Unfortunately, without such objective connections induction is an unreliable form of inference.

    Incidentally have you seen this?

    Not till you showed it to me -- thanks. By the way, I often say that our minds are all corrupted by ancient assumptions, especially if we aren't aware of them. One such assumption, I would say, is the idea of "atoms and the void". I approve of this article because it goes out of its way to explain that particles aren't billiard balls with air in between them, but more like the centre of a field, like a hill.

    I've embarrassed generation after generation of students by telling them that a particle is like what you see when you "flap" a sheet when making a bed -- you get a "hump" of trapped air like a moving hill. Beds and humps cannot be mentioned in the company of the young without sounding like the "lecherer"!

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  • 234. At 10:20pm on 26 Jul 2010, RobWansbeck wrote:

    Here's another of Hansen's predictions:

    http://climateobserver.blogspot.com/2009/11/dr-james-hansens-failed-prediction.html

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  • 235. At 02:00am on 27 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK #228

    OK. Easy one first.

    When volcanoes aren't going off much of the climate variability is linked to ENSO, with global cool troughs like 1992 linked to La Niña. But solely looking at ENSO I'd have expected a warm 1992 not a cool one.

    http://iri.columbia.edu/climate/ENSO/currentinfo/figure4.html

    I think this means that 1992's cooler temperatures do stand out, and that a significant proportion of the cooling is down to Pinatubo. But obviously, unlike blogger shaviv, I am not an expert.

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  • 236. At 08:25am on 27 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke #235

    Jane, I'm not disputing the fact that Pinatubo caused cooling - of course it did - nor am i disputing that we would have expected a warmer 1992 than experienced

    What I am saying is the cooling predicted did not match the observations (see previous links), therefore Hansons 1992 paper cannot be seen as validating calculated values of climate sensitivity.

    I stand by my statement, there are no observations including clouds showing high sensitivity, but there are observations including clouds showing low sensitivity. I accept this may not be the definitive view of climate sensitivity, but, at this moment in time all observational evidence points to low climate sensitivity

    /Mango

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  • 237. At 10:44am on 27 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK #236

    Then either you or I have misunderstood shaviv.

    Because shaviv appears to be arguing that most of the cooling in the aftermath of Pinatubo (and El Chichón) is down to natural variability. However the natural variability shaviv points at is strongly linked to ENSO. And when I compare global average temperatures to ENSO both Pinatubo and El Chichón related cooling stand out in appearing to buck ENSO in a manner strongly suggesting that the cooling is nearly all volcanic.

    I cannot reconcile my understanding of your comments and shaviv's argument with the data.

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  • 238. At 1:21pm on 27 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke #237

    shaviv appears to be arguing that most of the cooling in the aftermath of Pinatubo (and El Chichón) is down to natural variability

    I don't think Shaviv is arguing the cooling is down to natural variability, but looking at the observed temperatures, natural variability shouldn't be ruled out (natural variability is +/- 0.2C).

    First of all he's says that the modelled response to Pinatubo doesn't fit the observations (figure 1). He's then saying that Soden et al simply moved the goal post by 0.2C to make the model fit the observation (figure 3) to give -0.4C as predicted. Figure 5, taken from the IPCC AR4 shows a modelled response much greater than observations.

    The climate models assume sensitivity to be high, so they show a bigger response to Pinatubo (around -0.4C), whereas the actual response was observed to be in the region of -0.2C. This seems to point to the climate models being wrong in assuming sensitivity is high and observational science appears to agree that the models are wrong

    /Mango

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  • 239. At 11:30pm on 27 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK #238

    Mango, shaviv is ignoring ENSO. The only place where he acknowledges ENSO's contributions to the variability he is banging on about is where he refers to the 1998 El Niño.

    As for how ENSO affects the baseline I point out that there is an approx difference of 0.5 C between the Soden preferred baseline and the actual temperature measurement, and an approx difference of 0.5 C between the shaviv preferred baseline and the ENSO adjusted temperature measurement. And what's Hansen's prediction? A peak cooling of 0.5 C.

    Now I suggest that shaviv ignoring ENSO also looks like moving the goal posts, particularly as shaviv doesn't touch on ENSO outside of the 1998 high.

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  • 240. At 11:49pm on 27 Jul 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK #228

    OK. On to the Spencer take on Pinatubo.

    This situation is subtle. I don't know whether I am going to be able to get the explanation across without diagrams.

    Firstly a comment about the Planck feedback. Normally this isn't treated the same way as other feedbacks because it is used in black body calculations instead. This does not hurt climate sensitivity calculations, because the Planck feedback applies to both the "forcing only" situation, and the "forcing plus other feedbacks" situation.

    However Spencer's equation forces it to be treated as a "normal" feedback. This isn't automatically a problem so long as you know it is there.

    Then Spencer looks at the Pinatubo data over a time period where the Planck feedback would make a significant contribution. Result - an apparent significantly negative overall feedback.

    Now I point out that applying Spencer's methodology to a situation where all the other feedbacks happen to balance would also get an apparent negative overall feedback due to the Planck contribution. I also point out that the graph is a crumpled oval, so taking an overall slope (rather than an appropriately timed tangent) is meaningless.

    However despite both issues Spencer interprets his apparent negative overall feedback as low climate sensitivity.

    Sorry. This particular low sensitivity interpretation of Pinatubo doesn't hang together.

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  • 241. At 03:06am on 28 Jul 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    223. At 1:49pm on 26 Jul 2010, MangoChutneyUKOK

    Here are a whole set of articles that deal with the deal with clouds and relate issues. You will see that Solar variation, aerosols and cloud impacts on climate are all being investigated contrary to the assertions of some of your compatriots.

    Abdalati, W., H. J. Zwally, R. Bindschadler, B. Csatho, S. Farrell, H. Fricker, D. Harding, R. Kwok, M. Lefsky, T. Markus, A. Marshak, T. Neumann, S. Palm, B. Schutz, B. Smith, J. Spinhirne, and C. Webb, 2010: The ICESat-2 Laser Altimetry Mission. Proceedings of the IEEE, 98, 735-751. [Abstract] [Full Text (PDF)]

    Alexandrov, M. D., A. Marshak, and A. S. Ackerman, 2010: Cellular statistical models of broken cloud fields. Part I: Theory. J. Atmos. Sci.. (In press)

    Alexandrov, M. D., A. Marshak, and A. S. Ackerman, 2010: Cellular statistical models of broken cloud fields. Part II: Comparison with dynamical model, statistics of diverse ensembles. J. Atmos. Sci. (In press)

    Betts, A. K., and J. C. Chiu, 2010: Idealized model for changes in equilibrium temperature, mixed layer depth and boundary layer cloud over land in a doubled CO2 climate. J. Geophys., Res.. (In press) [Abstract]

    Bhattacharjee, P. S., Y. C. Sud, X. Liu, G. K. Walker, R. Yang, and J. Wang, 2010: Importance of including ammonium sulfate ((NH_4 )_2 SO_4 ) aerosols for ice cloud parameterization in GCMs. Ann. Geophys., 28, 621-631.

    Bian, H., M. Chin, S. R. Kawa, H. Yu, T. Diehl, and T. Kucsera, 2010: Multi-scale carbon monoxide and aerosol correlations from satellite measurements and GOCART model: Implication for emissions and atmospheric evolution. J. Geophys. Res., 115, D07302, doi:10.1029/2009JD012781. [Full Text (PDF)]

    Cahalan, R. F., G. Wen, P. Pilewskie, and J. Harder, 2010: Temperature Responses To Spectral Solar Variability On Decadal Timescales. Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L07705, doi:10.1029/2009GL041898. [Abstract] [Full Text (PDF)] [Solar Radiation]

    Can Li, Q. Zhang, N. A. Krotkov, D. G. Streets, K. He, S.-C. Tsay, and J. F. Gleason, 2010: Recent large reduction in sulfur dioxide emissions from Chinese power plants observed by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument. Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L08807, doi:10.1029/2010GL042594. [Abstract]

    Chiu, J. C., C.-H. Huang, A. Marshak, I. Slutsker, D. M. Giles, B. N. Holben, Y. Knyazikhin, and W. J. Wiscombe, 2010: Cloud optical depth retrievals from the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) cloud mode observations. J. Geophys. Res., 115, D14202, doi:10.1029/2009JD013121. [Abstract] [Full Text (PDF)]

    Chiu, J. C., A. Marshak, Y. Knyazikhin, and W. J. Wiscombe, 2010: Spectral invariant behavior of zenith radiance around cloud edges simulated by radiative transfer. Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 14557-14581.. [Full Text (PDF)]

    Coddington, O., P. Pilewskie, S. Schmidt, J. Redemann, S. Platnick, W. Gore, J. Livingston, G. Wind, P. Russell, and T. Vukicevic, 2010: Examining the impact of aerosols on the retrieval of cloud optical properties from passive remote sensing. J. Geophy., Res.. (Submitted)

    Davis, A. B., and A. Marshak, 2010: Solar Radiation Transport in the Cloudy Atmosphere: A 3D Perspective on Observations and Climate Impacts. Reports on Progress in Phys., 73, 026801 (70pp).. [Abstract] [Full Text (PDF)]

    Feng, Q., P. Yang, G. W. Kattawar, N. C. Hsu, S. C. Tsay, and I. Laszlo, 2010: Effects of Particle Nonsphericity and Radiation Polarization on Retrieving Dust properties from Satellite Observations. J. Aerosol Sci., 40, 776-789.

    Gatebe, C. K., O. Dubovik, M. D. King, and A. Sinyuk, 2010: Simultaneous retrieval of aerosol and surface optical properties from combined airborne- and ground-based direct and diffuse radiometric measurements. Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 2777-2794. [Abstract] [Full Text (PDF)] [Aerosols, Remote Sensing, Surface Properties]

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  • 242. At 03:36am on 28 Jul 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    223. At 1:49pm on 26 Jul 2010, MangoChutneyUKOK wrote:

    "And a very important element and if you really knew what you were talking about, you would know that the biggest problem with the climate models is we simply do not know enough about clouds to be able to take the climate models seriously. This is acknowledged by the IPCC, so your statement isn't actually false, just misleading"

    The models can always be improved, but asking for perfect modeling of all phenomena involved in climate before using the results in choosing policies is unrealistic. We make the best estimates we can based on the current state of the art -- given that the main stream science has concluded that climate is warming, largely due to human activity. Given the long term negative impacts of increasing temperatures, it seems reasonable to consider policies that might mitigate the problem by reducing those human activities that contribute to warming. Demanding certainty before taking action means taking no action.

    Unfortunately corporate interests and their fronts like the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute and similar organizations like the Fraser Institute in Canada have a long history of referring to many main stream science that threatens their financial interests as "junk" science. Their targets have included CFC's and the Ozone hole, acid rain, disease associated with smoking, over fishing and anything else that might suggest humans have oversubscribed the earth's resources.

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  • 243. At 05:22am on 28 Jul 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    217. At 09:30am on 26 Jul 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    "but, what i AM SAYING is that we simply do not know how it INTERACTS in the real world system. there are so so many unkowns and it is exceptionally likely that in a real world system, the feedbacks counter any effect it produces (after an inital lag obv)."

    With so many unknowns, wouldn't it be reasonable to expect a point could be reached where the feed backs are positive? It is most curious that any lack of knowledge or missed detail is assumed to point in the direction of "no problem" by those critical of the main stream result. The models though imperfect, reflect the best judgment of how the components of the climate system interact. That is the whole point of computer simulation, no one can do this kind of work with paper and pencil. They indicate a positive feed back loop is what one would expect if current trends continue. Hopefully its wrong. Negative feed backs have been suggested, but present considered thought is that positive feed backs will dominate. Only time will tell which feed back if either is dominate. The results of not anticipating positive feed backs that actually occur are much more costly that the results of not anticipating negative feed backs that actually occur. Wouldn't the conservative course of action be to try and avoid the situation that might lead to positive feed backs than to assume that no matter what we do with green house gases, negative feed backs will save the day?

    There, I copied and pasted your comment -- feel any better?

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  • 244. At 08:54am on 28 Jul 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 243.

    much better- you avoided the attacks and actually put forward a good argument (in no way trying to be condesending here). So i'm more than happy to 'engage' as it were.

    What your argument boils down to, essentially, is the precautionary principle, which- hopefully bowman won't see(!).

    If the argument had been framed in such a way to show that we're not sure if c02 is a risk, but IF the feedbacks WERE to be positive, we'd be better removing as much of the c02 emmissions as possible- i'd actually be quite happy to accept it- assuming the cure wasn't worse than the disease of course.

    However, what we have is a 'massive' scientific consensus (where none really exists), telling us they know for sure (which they don't) that co2 is the cause of recent warming, that the effects will be disasterous (which they can't possibly know) and that only be listening to them- will the planet be saved.

    Now, the observational evidence does not support high climate sensitivity wrt c02- so if either scenario were likely (c02 being good/bad) then it is MORE likely, given present knowledge, that co2 is not the primary driver. We, therefore do not need to go on a crash course to destroy our infrastructure and energy supplies.

    But, If co2 isn't the cause, as i think is extremely likely, it gives us the most precious thing of all- time. Time to actually sort this planet out- in a sensible and thought-out way. Not in some knee-jerk reactive way which i gaurantee 100% will do more harm than good.

    We can spend time researching VIABLE (which wind is not) alternative enrgy, start phasing out fossil feuls (instead of punitively punishing their use) and generally clean our act up.

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  • 245. At 4:54pm on 28 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @HungaryWalleye #241

    Wouldn't it have been easier to provide a link to the NASA 2010 publications list instead of listing the first dozen or so?

    http://climate.gsfc.nasa.gov/publications.php

    OK, one at a time:

    Abdalati et al, 2010 - this paper talks about an experiment to be launched in 2015 and is therefore irrelevant to a discussion on climate sensitivity observations.

    Alexandrov et al, 2010 (i) - in print, the abstract tells us nothing about climate sensitivity observations.

    Alexandrov et al, 2010 (ii) - in print, the abstract tells us nothing about climate sensitivity observations.

    Betts et al, 2010 - in print, the abstract tells us nothing about climate sensitivity observations.

    Bhattacharjee et al, 2010 - i can't get at this one, but the title seems to suggest the GCM's do not contain sufficient data on aerosols to adequately estimate the cloud effect.

    Bian et al 2010 - seems to omit clouds, although i've only had a brief look

    Cahalan et al 2010 - doesn't appear to deal with the sensitivity issue at all

    Li et al 2010 – This paper isn’t even about climate sensitivity as far as I can see

    OK, got a little bored checking out papers that you think show high climate sensitivity including clouds from observations. In reality your list appears to show nothing of the sort. Your list is simply NASA’s latest list of publications

    Thanks for wasting my time

    /Mango

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  • 246. At 5:17pm on 28 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke #239 & 240

    I'm not ignoring you Jane - I want to think about what you have said before responding

    /Mango

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  • 247. At 05:01am on 30 Jul 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    244. At 08:54am on 28 Jul 2010, LabMunkey:

    So are you asserting that among the people who have been studying climate for decades there is a 50/50 split? If not, just what do you think the proportion is?

    Do you think those associated with the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute and Fraser Institute are as disinterested as those working on NASA, NOAA, NSF or similar funding sources?

    Whether or not the "cure" is worse than the disease depends on where you sit and your time horizon. It is difficult to figure out how unpleasant the cure is as there has been no agreement on implementing one.

    I find it most amusing that the deniers continually impugn the motives of the government funded scientists who present the results of their work as evidence of AGW, but have no suspicion of the motives of those associated with Heritage, Cato or Fraser etc. who present results they claim shows either (it isn't happening, if it happens it will be good for us, even if it will be bad for us, we shouldn't do anything preventive, but should adjust by moving to higher ground etc). Given the ideological nature and sources of funding of institutions like the later three, I at least would be more questioning of their results and interpretation of same.

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  • 248. At 05:12am on 30 Jul 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    245. At 4:54pm on 28 Jul 2010, MangoChutneyUKOK wrote:

    If you had bothered to read the titles you would have found this near the bottom.

    Davis, A. B., and A. Marshak, 2010: Solar Radiation Transport in the Cloudy Atmosphere: A 3D Perspective on Observations and Climate Impacts. Reports on Progress in Phys., 73, 026801 (70pp).. [Abstract] [Full Text (PDF)]

    You seem to also have intentionally missed the point I was making about the use of models in both climate modeling and aircraft design. They both involve parametrization of certain components of the model, interpolation and the numerical solution of numerous interacting differential equations used to model fluid dynamics. Deniers as opposed to honest critics attack the results of the models based on the methods used, while being perfectly happy to fly on aircraft that were designed using the same methods they find suspect in the climate modeling work.

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  • 249. At 07:50am on 30 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @HungeryWalleye #248

    In #181 you stated:

    "Give us a link that shows empirically (not computer guesses) that climate sensitivity including clouds is high and we will go away."

    Well actually I've tried to post links to papers reporting on three dimensional models of radiative transfer that include clouds; however, for what ever reason they have been deleted by the BBC Blog manager. I found them by doing a Google search -- you could do the same if you are so inclined. In any case, this is only one element of Climate Modeling; however, it does show that contrary to the denier's assertions, clouds are being taken into account.


    I then ask for a link to these papers and you simply link to the NASA website claiming they dealt with clouds and relate issues. When I correctly state that the first 6 don't even deal with sensitivity (the subject of my original post), you berate me for not going through the full list to find the one that may having something remotely linked to climate sensitivity!

    Do you enjoy sending people off on wild goose chases?

    I will read the one paper that may have some relevance, but in the future please don't claim there are "many" papers showing high sensitivity including clouds and all you have to do is google them, when we both know that is utter BS and a waste of time

    Warmist regards

    /Mango

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  • 250. At 09:48am on 30 Jul 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ hungery # 247



    good job i came back to this thread to see if the mango/jane debate had moved on (interesting stuff guys btw).



    "So are you asserting that among the people who have been studying climate for decades there is a 50/50 split? If not, just what do you think the proportion is?"



    Nice try- just because someon has been studying a subject for decades- doesn't mean they're right.

    I couldn't care less what the proportion of climate scientists think of AGW. It's a junk science.



    Physicists? Yeah, i'd care. Having said that, there are numerous prominent physicists who refute the AGW idea, so i'd say a consensus view was far-fetched.



    Re your attempt to malign via funding.



    It is clear you don't research what you say yourself- given your very basic misunderstandings on some very simple ideas- however this latest garbage is even worse.



    If you are trying to cast dispersions on the skeptical scientists, by associating their funding (and by extension their work/theories/ideas/) to 'big oil' and other 'nasties' then you are so far off the mark as to be embarresing.



    I'll use my stock response- go look at the cheif funders of the CRU then re-evaluate your argument.



    On the flip side of the argument- given there is de facto evidence of deliberate data deletion, FOI avoidance and private collusion (wrt IPCC documnets, peer review and data manipulation) i think 'we're' WELL within our rights to cast dispersions on those scientists. The funding is a distraction- usually brought up by AGW supporters when they know they're loosing a discussion.

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  • 251. At 1:43pm on 30 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @HungeryWalleye #248

    I have briefly skimmed the paper you refered to (Davis & Marshak 2010: Solar Radiation Transport in the Cloudy Atmosphere: A 3D Perspective on Observations and Climate Impacts) and why like to know why you think this is relevant

    /Mango

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  • 252. At 2:49pm on 30 Jul 2010, Clement wrote:

    I did not know know Stephen Schneide,but at least he has done something. Yesterday,it was pollution.

    Now,snow is melting, floods everywhere, heat is burning;
    I saw Chinese struggling To stop water with sand bags,
    Water will increase in volume,
    Of course.

    Tomorrow desert will expand,
    As water evaporates.

    We all need O2.H2O,CO2
    As Air,Water, and Land

    Nature recycles all this
    By Photosynthesis

    Day time
    Plants produce
    O2 we need.
    Night
    They need O2 too
    As we produce(human and animals)
    Carbon

    So,you are killing
    Cutting,burning
    Human,animals,
    Grasses,trees,
    Polluting water

    With advanced technology
    What will happen?
    What will Backfire?
    Let us think twice...

    To be armed
    You are,.
    Do not be very fearful,
    Put down the weapons
    And look back,
    How far we have gone
    Very destructive.

    We need peace
    We are going,
    We are gone,

    But what will happen
    With the new
    Generation?
    Tomorrow?

    Clement

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  • 253. At 6:21pm on 30 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    uh?

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  • 254. At 11:03pm on 30 Jul 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #252 Clement

    Creativity. Why not?

    And if you look at your poem sideways, and flip it, its a hockey stick!

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  • 255. At 08:36am on 31 Jul 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    LMAO @ CR :)

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  • 256. At 00:54am on 01 Aug 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    250. At 09:48am on 30 Jul 2010, LabMunkey wrote:


    “If you are trying to cast dispersions on the skeptical scientists, by associating their funding (and by extension their work/theories/ideas/) to 'big oil' and other 'nasties' then you are so far off the mark as to be embarresing.”

    I think you meant cast aspersions –

    And just what are you doing when you say:

    “I couldn't care less what the proportion of climate scientists think of AGW. It's a junk science.”

    You are entitled to your opinion of course, but it seems to be mostly based on assertions like the previous.

    I looked at the list of funding organizations for CRU and it didn’t list the amounts, so it is a little difficult to conclude that the small number of fossil fuel companies contributing slanted their results. However, there is a lot of Climate work being done else where and it seems to produce results consistent with the general thrust of CRU research. From other sources, it looks like the U.S. Department of Energy has been a major source of funds for CRU. Are you claiming this biased their work?

    It is useful to look at how the term “junk science” came into use. I first became aware of it being used by biologists to describe “creation science”. An accurate use of the phrase I would say. However, it has since been used by practitioners of “creation ...” to describe evolutionary studies. In addition, it is one of the first phrases used by “researchers” associated with the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute and similar organizations whenever concerns are raised about environmental issues. They have claimed concerns about acid rain, the ozone hole, bioaccumulation of persistent pesticides, deforestation, tobacco caused cancer, and AGW were all “junk science”. They have shown they quickly fire those who stray from the ideological based policies they support. The Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute provided a home for Julian Simon until his death.

    Julian Simon made any number of astounding assertions in his many books, publications and presentations. Among which were: we will never run out of Copper because we will make Copper out of other metals; one percent growth of the human population could continue on for 7 billion years with no problem (he later corrected himself to 7 million years). Since you claim to be a scientist I trust you will we the absurdity of the first assertion (remember chemistry). In regards the second assertion I should point out that at a 1% growth rate, the number of humans would exceed the number of atoms in the universe in 17,000 years. A short time interval when compared to 7 million years. Now as an economist you would think that Julian Simon might have some knowledge of compound interest. His claims with regard to the sustainability of a continued 1% growth of the human population can only be accounted for in two ways: either he didn’t understand exponential growth or he was being so well rewarded for spouting nonsense that his understanding had no influence on his statements. I attended a seminar Mr. Simon gave and at the end some one asked about environmental quality. His reply was that as long as his racket ball court was air-conditioned, he thought the environment was fine. Julian Simon was a high level advisor to the Reagan and Bush I administrations.

    There have been books written about the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute if you want more details. Given their past and current practices, I would say it is quite reasonable to be concerned about the agenda and objectivity of people being funded by these organizations or ones like them such as the Fraser Institute in Canada. There are many other such organizations that function on the same model and folks associated with them deserve the same skepticism. .

    You might want to look at:

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/20100108_Is_Antarctica_Melting.html

    In terms of cherry picking data, I think it more appropriately applied to the deniers. Do you consider the adjustments of the historical weather station data pointed to by CanadianRockies at

    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/epubs/ndp/ushcn/ndp019.html

    an indication of “cheating”. If so, do you consider analysis of covariance a valid statistical technique? Do you think CanadianRockies would have been so upset if the corrections had shown a cooling?

    You say: “Physicists? Yeah, i'd care. Having said that, there are numerous prominent physicists who refute the AGW idea, so i'd say a consensus view was far-fetched.”

    Could you provide me with some of their names and where their refutation has occurred?


    You say: “It is clear you don't research what you say yourself- given your very basic misunderstandings on some very simple ideas- however this latest garbage is even worse.”

    And you accuse me of being tendentious? You are truly amusing!


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  • 257. At 01:11am on 01 Aug 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    251. At 1:43pm on 30 Jul 2010, MangoChutneyUKOK wrote:

    "I have briefly skimmed the paper you refered to (Davis & Marshak 2010: Solar Radiation Transport in the Cloudy Atmosphere: A 3D Perspective on Observations and Climate Impacts) and why like to know why you think this is relevant"

    Well if I remember correctly, both you and LabMunkey claim that the GCM results are not accurate because they don't take clouds into account. This paper shows that clouds are being taken into account in the GCM modeling process. So if you do not think this takes clouds into account accurately you might want to propose an alternative model. If you do a good job, you could get it published in one of the peer reviewed climate journals, perhaps even in "Science" or "Nature".

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  • 258. At 08:25am on 01 Aug 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @HungeryWalleye #257

    Well if I remember correctly, both you and LabMunkey claim that the GCM results are not accurate because they don't take clouds into account.

    Well, you don't remember correctly.

    Or perhaps you didn't understand so, here it is again:

    1. Observational evidence including clouds show climate sensitivity to be low
    2. Observational evidence excluding clouds show climate sensitivity to be high

    Conclusion - when all natural parameters are taken into account, climate sensitivity is very likely to be low

    /Mango

    PS i really don't care what the GCM's say, it is not difficult to programme a computer to give the answer 5 when asking it to add 1+1. I accept computers have a role in science, but until we know how clouds actually work in the real world, how can we possibly represent them properly in a computer programme. Even the modellers and the IPCC recognise clouds are the biggest unknown in GCM's

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  • 259. At 12:13pm on 01 Aug 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke #239

    First of all Jane, apologies for not getting back to you earlier - HungeryWalleye's list was a waste of time, but i didn't want anybody to think i wasn't addressing his points (useless though they were!)

    As for how ENSO affects the baseline I point out that there is an approx difference of 0.5 C between the Soden preferred baseline and the actual temperature measurement, and an approx difference of 0.5 C between the shaviv preferred baseline and the ENSO adjusted temperature measurement.

    The Soden baseline is approx 0.2 above junkscience baseline (not Shaviv's). The junkscience baseline is based on the MSU data http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/UAHMSUglobe.html. Soden gets his 0.5C cooling from raising the baseline above MSU by a little over 0.2C, thus "matching" Hansen's predicated 0.5C cooling from Pinatubo.

    As I said earlier, climate models assume sensitivity to be high, so they show a bigger response to Pinatubo (around -0.4C), whereas the actual response was observed to be in the region of -0.2C.

    I accept ENSO (excluding 1998) is effectively ignored by Shaviv, perhaps ENSO is Shaviv's natural variation

    @JaneBasingstoke #239

    Sorry, Jane I maybe being stupid here, but I'm not with you.

    /Mango

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  • 260. At 6:23pm on 01 Aug 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    258. At 08:25am on 01 Aug 2010, MangoChutneyUKOK wrote:

    "i really don't care what the GCM's say, it is not difficult to programme a computer to give the answer 5 when asking it to add 1+1."

    Just what brings you to the conclusion that the people working on GCM's have programmed their computers to avoid the standard mechanisms for doing arithmetic and instead are substituting 5 when adding 1+1? Perhaps you could paste in a code excerpt from a real GCM that proves your point.

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  • 261. At 6:35pm on 01 Aug 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @HungeryWalleye #261

    Stop avoiding the observational evidence that climate sensitivity is low

    /Mango

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  • 262. At 9:36pm on 01 Aug 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    261. At 6:35pm on 01 Aug 2010, MangoChutneyUKOK wrote:

    "Stop avoiding the observational evidence that climate sensitivity is low"

    I've been following the discussion on climate sensitivity between you and JaneBasingstoke. I find her analysis more convincing than yours. In other words the observational evidence points to climate sensitivity being high. There are also papers on the effects of the no-fly period after 9/11 which indicate warming would be greater without jet contrails. Similarly sulfate aerosols lead to smaller particle size in clouds, making them more reflective than they would be normally. Since the half life of jet contrails and sulfate in the atmosphere is much less than CO2, one might conclude that these factors have been hiding a much greater sensitivity to the CO2 increases that have already occurred.

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  • 263. At 08:15am on 02 Aug 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @HungeryWalleye #262

    I've been following the discussion on climate sensitivity between you and JaneBasingstoke. I find her analysis more convincing than yours.

    That's an interesting remark considering in response to my post #150 "Give us a link that shows empirically (not computer guesses) that climate sensitivity including clouds is high and we will go away.", you claimed, in your post #181, you had tried to post links, which you had found by googling.

    You then "googled" a whole bunch of papers on a single website and I told you why the first half dozen didn't relate to climate sensitivity. You then tried to say that amongst all the waffle on your post, one paper actually dealt with climate sensitivity and that I had missed your point.

    When i ask you what relevance do you think the paper has to climate sensitivity, you state in your post #257 that the paper showed clouds were taken into account in GCM's.

    Finally in #262 you state "I've been following the discussion on climate sensitivity between you and JaneBasingstoke."

    Were you unaware that you were also discussing climate sensitivity or are you deliberately trying to hide the fact that you don't really know what climate sensitivity is? It's ok if you don't, lots of AGWer's (Jane excepted) don't understand what climate sensitivity is, which is why they can't see that CO2 is incapable of raising the temperature significantly. Lot's of AGWer's don't realise that observational evidence indicates low climate sensitivity, which means CO2 can't raise the temerpature significantly in the real world. Instead AGWer's believe that a computer model takes precedence over real world measurements

    Read up, HungeryWalleye

    /Mango

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  • 264. At 09:15am on 02 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ hungery # 256,

    thanks for picking up on my linguistic slip. always refreshing to see such attention to detail...

    "“I couldn't care less what the proportion of climate scientists think of AGW. It's a junk science.”

    You are entitled to your opinion of course, but it seems to be mostly based on assertions like the previous."

    Well no. I've actually gone to great lengths to explain my issues with climate science. But- just for you, here's a recap:

    -Cherry picking: proxies, temp start points, station data and station inclusion/omission.

    -inapropriate/incorrect statistics: HIE, the 'extrapolation' (i.e. made up) data for the poles (which incidentally i see you're shying away from talking about). Over reliance on models- again the arbitrary use of 'starting points' to give exaggerated warming trends. Inappropriate smoothing on MOST data.

    -The refusal to share data/models/methods/ data group i.d's.

    -PROVEN FOI avoidance. I.e it's been PROVEN they BROKE THE LAW, but get off due to a under-understood loophole.

    -Evidence of conspiracy (not in the way you'll no doubt say: i.e. massive global denier conspiracy- i'm talking strict legal terms here) to delete data and to defraud.

    -Collusion with the 'independant' reviews.

    "I looked at the list of funding organizations for CRU and it didn’t list the amounts, so it is a little difficult to conclude that the small number of fossil fuel companies contributing slanted their results"
    sigh. i found the info, with the amounts in less than ten minutes. try again- i'm not going to do the leg work for you. But here's a hint- the amounts supplied by the fossil feul companies were SUBSTANTIAL.]

    "You say: “Physicists? Yeah, i'd care. Having said that, there are numerous prominent physicists who refute the AGW idea, so i'd say a consensus view was far-fetched.”

    Could you provide me with some of their names and where their refutation has occurred"
    you really really have zero interest in the other side of the debate do you??
    I'm an (obvious) skeptic, but i follow all the latest on BOTH sides. you know, just in case somethig pops up that'll make me change my decision... perish the thought i ACTAULL research these things.

    In answer to your question- just pop over to your favourite website. wattsupwiththat. It has the lists there- the latest including numerous eminent noble prize winners (though to be fair- even Gore's got one of those).

    Hungery. It's patently clear from your tone that you have nothing but distaste and probably, contempt, for anyone who questions the official line. Perhaps you should think about why.

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  • 265. At 7:39pm on 02 Aug 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    Well, this is wierd. I just happened to look at one of my more remote bookshelves and discovered the first book I ever got on The Warming was Schneider's 1989 'Global Warming: Are We Entering The Greenhouse Century?" (Sierra Club Books) - which I bought the year it came out. After reading it I set it aside and had forgotten I even had it. And I never made the connection to this recent Schneider.

    So, I just flipped through it and found tons of inconvenient quotes. Here's one from psge 117:

    "However, as I explained earlier, the instrumental record is plagued by climatic noise, measurement problems, and the possibilituy that other causes of climate change could have accounted for the record [which was "the approximately 0.5C increase in the global average temperature over the past century"], and the causes have not necessarily been properly accounted for."

    Wow. That's quite a different and more cautious statement than the more recent 'debate is over' shouting! Even though NONE of the problems he mentioned have actually been 'fixed.'

    Now I have to refer to this book more often.

    Walleye - you should get a copy!

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  • 266. At 7:59pm on 02 Aug 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Canadian Rockies #265

    In fairness, I don't have a problem with scientists and others changing their minds when new evidence comes to light. Schneider may have believed in 1989 that there was still room for debate like any real sceptical scientist, but that doesn't mean he couldn't change his mind pro-AGW or even back again

    Isn't that what real scientists do?

    /Mango

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  • 267. At 00:52am on 03 Aug 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    266. MangoChutneyUKOK wrote:

    "In fairness, I don't have a problem with scientists and others changing their minds when new evidence comes to light. Schneider may have believed in 1989 that there was still room for debate like any real sceptical scientist, but that doesn't mean he couldn't change his mind pro-AGW or even back again

    Isn't that what real scientists do?"

    It sure should be! That is what any thinking person should do. At one point Schneider was predicting an ice age. But my point is that I don't see what has changed in regards to the points he raised that gave him caution then:

    "the instrumental record is plagued by climatic noise, measurement problems, and the possibility that other causes of climate change could have accounted for the record, and the causes have not necessarily been properly accounted for."

    As far as I can tell, they all still apply... yet for some reason he went from tentative on The Warming to absolutely certain.

    I have my theories as to why that happened, but, since you already scolded me for an earlier comment, I'll skip that speculation out of respect for the deceased.


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  • 268. At 03:13am on 03 Aug 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    245. At 4:54pm on 28 Jul 2010, MangoChutneyUKOK wrote:

    "Thanks for wasting my time."

    Anything like the FOI requests by a lot of people who had no intention of using the information?

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  • 269. At 03:56am on 03 Aug 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    264. At 09:15am on 02 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    "Hungery. It's patently clear from your tone that you have nothing but distaste and probably, contempt, for anyone who questions the official line. Perhaps you should think about why."

    Yes, I do have contempt for the Julian Simon types of this world and the institutions that support them. I listed a few of his claims in my previous post. If you want more, you can look him up in the Wikipedia and come to your own conclusion. I have no problem with honest critiques. It is the dishonest ones I object to. Some of the denier's "researchers" have even bragged about organizing lots of FOI's by people who had no intention of using the information if provided. This just to gum up the works. Shades of Karl Rove (read the book "Bush's Brain" if you don't know who he is or Wikipedia for the short version).

    As Albert Bartlett pointed out, on almost any topic you can find equal and opposite Ph.D.s. The question is what do they base their position on? Do they really have a good understanding of the field? Have they been bought. I have actually worked with some of the physicists doing climate research and met others. Your description of them and their work is divorced from the reality I've observed first hand.

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  • 270. At 07:30am on 03 Aug 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @HungeryWalleye #268

    "Thanks for wasting my time."

    Anything like the FOI requests by a lot of people who had no intention of using the information?


    Thanks for acknowledging your wild goose chase was a waste of my time, but the FOI requests were legitimate requests for information paid for by people like you and me. If the Team were not so intent on trying to keep the information to themselves and were to share the data that you and i paid for, there would be no need for FOI requests, would there?

    I guess you know nothing about climate sensitivity, although it would be good if you could confirm, so i don't waste my time in the future

    BTW you stated in #262 you find Jane's analysis of climate sensitivity more convincing than mine. Could this be because you don't understand what we are talking about and have a closed mind about the possibility that warming may not be caused by CO2? Seems likely and yet you constantly refer to people like me as a "denier". I would suggest if you are acting out of ignorance, then you read up on the subject and if you are acting out from a position of knowledge then it is you that is in denial not us

    /Mango

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  • 271. At 07:33am on 03 Aug 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @HungeryWalleye #270

    I have actually worked with some of the physicists doing climate research and met others.

    Perhaps you should ask them to explain climate sensitivity to you and explain why the observational evidence points to low sensitivity and yet the GCM's ignore this evidence and assume high sensitivity?

    TIA

    /Mango

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  • 272. At 09:06am on 03 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ hungery

    i was actually reffering to the people on this blog, initially at least. But your response is very illuminating.

    As for your contact with climate physcicists- i cannot comment of course, i can only speak to my own experiences and it's catagorically opposite to what you say- or at least those who aren't skeptical in the sense 'we' use, refuse to say either way (until they know more). Mark of good scientists i think you'll agree.

    I do find your martyr complex (for yourself and the climate scientists) very interesting mind.

    But back (vaguely) onto topic- if you could answer Mango's question in post #271 that would be great.

    it's arguably the single most important issue in this debate and if you don't understand it- you may as well stop posting- from a scientific viewpoint that is.

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  • 273. At 4:22pm on 03 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK #271
    (@HungeryWalleye)
    (@LabMunkey)

    "explain why the observational evidence points to low sensitivity "

    Sorry. You haven't demonstrated this. Just because HungeryWalleye hasn't been able to demonstrate the opposite doesn't mean that you have demonstrated this.

    And I remind you that you have demonstrated that HungeryWalleye is not familiar with the relevant literature, or at least how it hangs together. So HungeryWalleye's failure to demonstrate higher sensitivities would seem to be down to a lack of relevant expertise, rather than an indication that the climate sensitivity observation work you are familiar with is representative.

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  • 274. At 06:15am on 04 Aug 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    272. At 09:06am on 03 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    "I do find your martyr complex (for yourself and the climate scientists) very interesting mind."

    No martyr complex on my part. I am doing quite well. I am still gainfully employed. Had a great vacation in the mountains and have a variety of other interests. Having no children, I don't need to worry about what kind of world they inherit. If the folks who have had children can't figure out what is needed and work it out, I see no reason to knock my head against that brick wall any longer. I used to be quite active in the environmental movement and local and state politics; however, life is short and I don't find taking on existential tasks very rewarding.

    I have worked with climate scientists in a technical capacity and I have interacted with people from the Heritage Foundation and I have a fair understanding of the science. I know who I trust. I just think James Hansen might be more objective and better informed than some of the more technically adept deniers on this blog. He has been studying climate for years and has grandchildren too.

    As in so much else in life bad money drives out good. The same is true of the environmental debate. The corporate interests know it, which is how the "Think Tanks" they fund earn their keep. These are aided at the low end in the U.S. by commercial talk radio. Why right here on this blog you've seen MAII go from a denier to saying it is too late, nothing can be done -- just the arc of thought the corporate interests like to see. Raise doubts about the science, the motives of the scientists and then by the time the public finally wises up, or has their ever inattentive mind changed by bad weather, say well now it's too late so lets just party hearty. Of course, the longer the world's nations wait to take effective action, the more difficult and unpleasant effective action will be and thus ever less likely to be taken.

    So you might ask, why participate in this blog? -- keeps my mind active and motivates me to look into some areas I wouldn't have done on my own and causes me to occasionally go back to some of my old text books. I also have no obligation so I can participate or not as I choose. That is something that is not really possible even when being part of a voluntary organization. Even now I get pulled back into doing this or that.

    How you (plural) can suspect the bulk of the climate science community to have "agenda" driven research and no concern for the possible agenda driven "research" of the denier faction can only be explained by it (the denier results) being what you (plural) want to hear. Even in the environmental movement people would say to me, you can't talk about the limits to human population growth because people will just shut down and go watch the TV. I remember one conversation years ago, with a Ph.D. student in Sociology, about the human population problem and his response was: "What you say is true, but if I believed it I would be unhappy; therefore, I am not going to believe it." At the time it kind of took my breath away. I just couldn't understand how some one could "not believe" what they just acknowledged was true. Few people are that honest with themselves, much less others. Just read the posts by MAII running from paranoia about environmentalists and climate scientists to hopelessness. Then of course we have the red herrings that keep repeating the lines generated in the corporate think tanks and given them by the right wing media. Some of them have enough technical expertise to sound authoritative. Since we are anonymous on this blog, it is impossible to know the true believers from the agent provocateurs. I do get suspicious of those who go blathering on about fudged data and conspiracy and then can get all technical on you in a second -- repeating the same old line over and over again. Lets just hope against all the odds they are right.

    As a biologist I am rather fond of the natural world, outside of the human sphere, and am sad to see it in such bad straits due to human actions. All the evidence indicates that in the end humans will not come to any better end than the bacteria in a closed bottle in spite of their much vaunted superior intelligence. Really very sad.

    Oh, and here is another piece of data:

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=44972&src=eoa-iotd

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  • 275. At 08:30am on 04 Aug 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @HungeryWalleye #274

    Oh, and here is another piece of data:

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=44972&src=eoa-iotd


    I'm no expert on glaciers, but i was looking at the link you gave and i noticed the ice in the bottom right hand corners of both images doesn't change over the time period indicated by the photographs. To me, this indicates the retreat of the glacier has nothing to do with air temperature, so must be either ocean temperature, wind or wter currents or something else. Then I read the text:

    A glacier that extends all the way to the sea while remaining grounded is a tidewater glacier, and the largest glaciers on South Georgia Island, including Neumayer, are tidewater glaciers. Even a tiny change in ocean temperature, whether daily, seasonal, or interannual, translates into a substantial change in the amount of heat available to melt tidewater glaciers. An increase in temperature can cause a cascading effect of changes in calving rate, ice front position, and glacier flow.

    So it would seem, NASA are not claiming this is AGW

    Sometimes, HungeryWalleye, a little scepticism goes a ong way

    /Mango

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  • 276. At 08:40am on 04 Aug 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke #273

    "explain why the observational evidence points to low sensitivity "

    Sorry. You haven't demonstrated this. Just because HungeryWalleye hasn't been able to demonstrate the opposite doesn't mean that you have demonstrated this.


    I don't know where to go with this Jane, because as far as I am aware, there are no observational sensitivity studies including clouds that show climate sensitivity to be high - all show low. I accept some are not perfect and even sceptical scienitists question the validity of some of the claims, but it's the best evidence we've got.

    And I remind you that you have demonstrated that HungeryWalleye is not familiar with the relevant literature

    Surely, if HW is not familiar with the literature, he should simply say so and not express an opinion? HW is a biologist, so I would expect better of him.

    /Mango

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  • 277. At 10:39am on 04 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ jane

    -linzden, R. S., and Y. -S. Choi (2009), "on the determination of climate feedbacks and ERBE data" geophys. Res Lett., 36, L16705

    -Linzden R. S., W. D. Braswell, J. R. Christy, and J. Hnilo (2010), "on the observational determination of climate sensitivity and it's implications" J. Geophys. Res (forthcoming publication)

    -Spencer, R. W., W. D. Braswell, J. R. Christy , and J. Hnilo (2007), "cloud and radiation budget changes associated with tropical intraseasonal oscilations", Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L15707

    Should do for a start.

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  • 278. At 11:51am on 04 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #277

    Er, a collection of three papers is hardly going to be representative, is it.

    Incidentally the first one on your list was hardly welcomed with open arms by the top end of the sceptic community.

    (note, a mirror of this Roy Spencer article is the top result with a Google search of wattsupwiththat articles for Lindzen and Choi)
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/11/some-comments-on-the-lindzen-and-choi-2009-feedback-study/

    (note, despite Climate Audit being a sceptic site, the review was done by politically moderate warmist Judith Curry)
    http://climateaudit.org/2010/01/18/curry-reviews-lindzen-and-choi/

    Please don't trivialise this issue LabMunkey. There is a lot of climate sensitivity research out there, and a full appreciation of it would need the views of scientists from all parts of the sceptic / AGW spectrum.

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  • 279. At 12:37pm on 04 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK #276

    Then why are Milankovitch cycles observed to be significantly amplified? By your reasoning they should be observed to be minimally amplified or even dampened.

    Meanwhile here's part of the IPCC AR4 review of climate sensitivity work.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-5.html#box-10-2

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  • 280. At 12:55pm on 04 Aug 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke & LabMunkey

    Please don't trivialise this issue LabMunkey. There is a lot of climate sensitivity research out there, and a full appreciation of it would need the views of scientists from all parts of the sceptic / AGW spectrum.

    I do agree Jane, and I also agree that the Lindzen work was criticised by sceptics, which is what I alluded to in my post, but, with respect, I would still point out there is no observational evidence which includes clouds that shows high sensitivity. Only from computer models or data excluding clouds do we get high sensitivity.

    /Mango

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  • 281. At 1:17pm on 04 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 278 jane.

    I by no means intend to trivialise the issue jane. The climate sensitivity point is the most important 'bit' of this whole debate.

    I posted 3 papers that i had lying around on my hard drive, i confess i didn't give the selection much consideration and was going off memory.

    if you are asking for me to post numerous papers for each side- then i'm afraid you're going to be dissapointed and would suggest (very kindly) that you go and do the research yourself.

    I am fully aware that they are not a representative sample, as it were, and that papers exist on both sides-

    however as mango's pointed out i am really struggling to find a paper that shows climate sensitivity to be high whilst including clouds in a realisitc fashion(and not just assuming that their impact is positive as is the usual tact), so i thought as a VERY quick snapshot it would do.

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  • 282. At 3:13pm on 04 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK #280

    "I would still point out there is no observational evidence which includes clouds that shows high sensitivity. Only from computer models or data excluding clouds do we get high sensitivity."

    Are you are including the relatively simplistic calculations of orbital climate forcings in Milankovitch cycles in "computer models"? Or do you have some reason to believe that amplification of Milankovitch cycles excludes clouds?

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  • 283. At 3:23pm on 04 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #281

    "would suggest (very kindly) that you go and do the research yourself"

    Not good enough.

    In the context of these threads, with some very strongly worded statements about observations of low climate sensitivity, the onus is on you to do the research to back up your statements. Otherwise some people will take your apparent opinions on trust.

    An alternative would be to ensure that you give clear caveats that your statements are opinions rather than replicable researched facts.

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  • 284. At 4:32pm on 04 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 283.

    Jane, these are researched. I did not just 'come' to this conclusion off the top of my head. I have read many things over quite a long time and i'm sorry, i forgot to file and index everything i've ever read on the subject.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/07/spencer-strong-negative-feedback-found-in-radiation-budget/

    Try this as another suggestion.

    And
    "In the context of these threads, with some very strongly worded statements about observations of low climate sensitivity, the onus is on you to do the research to back up your statements"
    technically true, but as the AGW crowd cannot prove HIGH sensitivity without 'magically' forgetting about clouds- i would say that this was reciprocal also.

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  • 285. At 9:22pm on 04 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #284

    As to the Spencer take on climate sensitivity.

    He used the same maths on Pinatubo. See my #240 for my problems with this.

    There are additional problems with Spencer's more generic climate sensitivity. The lack of a big stand alone identifiable perturbation means the effects of perturbations overlap due to time lags, meaning it is even harder to take appropriately timed tangents for each perturbation.

    However unlike his Pinatubo effort he gets a meaningful result, although not one relevant to climate sensitivity. The slope of his graph appears to be representative of the Planck feedback, which of course is negative. However the Planck feedback is not relevant to climate sensitivity as it does not affect the equilibrium temperature in the same way as other feedbacks, instead it is about restoring the equilibrium temperature.

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  • 286. At 9:32pm on 04 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #284

    "Jane, these are researched. I did not just 'come' to this conclusion off the top of my head. I have read many things over quite a long time and i'm sorry, i forgot to file and index everything i've ever read on the subject."

    Minor issue first. If "these are researched" refers to your reading, please don't refer to your research in the third person.

    Main point. You don't need to give a detailed reference for everything. You just need to show why you think your quoted facts are true, unless it is ridiculously easy to check up on them. Far more useful for both sides of the debate.

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  • 287. At 10:29pm on 04 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK #259

    Apology accepted, especially as I have to make a similar apology to you for not noticing your #259 for 3 days.


    On to your arguments.

    On my #239

    Firstly I am not sure why you are making a big deal as to the difference between the label "shaviv preferred baseline" and the label "junkscience baseline". Shaviv is clearly presenting the sceptic argument and clearly prefers the cooler baseline. Are you perhaps concerned that I am giving insufficient credit to junkscience?

    Secondly I am not sure you understand the relationship between ENSO and this baseline. So consider what would have happened if the eruption's peak cooling had coincided with the peak of the 1998 El Niño. They would have approximately cancelled out preventing the high temperatures we saw in 1998, but other El Niño symptoms such as regional temperature distribution would have said big big big El Niño.

    Now there were El Niño conditions that approximately coincided with the Pinatubo cooling. Hence the ENSO correction of approx 0.2 C at peak ENSO adjusted cooling.

    Finally a minor issue. Your 0.4 is unfair. The difference between the green Soden baseline and the actual coolest temperature is very close to 0.5. The difference between the pink shaviv / junkscience baseline and the coolest ENSO adjusted temperature is much closer to 0.5 than 0.4. I point out that both green and pink lines are slightly above their respective grid temperature lines on the composite graph.


    On my #240

    Yet you are happy to accept Spencer's maths even though presumably you don't understand his maths either?

    And no, not accusing anyone of being stupid. I can't find any evidence that anyone has looked at Spencer's maths on this and understood it.

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  • 288. At 11:28pm on 04 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #284

    "as the AGW crowd cannot prove HIGH sensitivity without 'magically' forgetting about clouds"

    Some magical forgetting of your own there. What about the example of the amplification of Milankovitch cycles that I mentioned in #279?

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  • 289. At 04:13am on 05 Aug 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    275. At 08:30am on 04 Aug 2010, MangoChutneyUKOK:

    You challenge my interpretation of the image; however, I gave no interpretation of the image.

    You quote the article I posted:

    "A glacier that extends all the way to the sea while remaining grounded is a tidewater glacier, and the largest glaciers on South Georgia Island, including Neumayer, are tidewater glaciers. Even a tiny change in ocean temperature, whether daily, seasonal, or interannual, translates into a substantial change in the amount of heat available to melt tidewater glaciers. An increase in temperature can cause a cascading effect of changes in calving rate, ice front position, and glacier flow. "

    I have two questions for you.

    1. Where is the extra heat to raise the water temperature that wasn't there previously coming from?

    2. If a tiny increase in water temperature can lead to significant retreat in a short time, might one not think that even if climate sensitivity to CO2 is low as you claim, that a small increase in temperature would lead to major changes in the extent of glaciers?

    Do you think Bowmanthebard is ever going to share his insights about analysis of covariance and the logic of identity?

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  • 290. At 08:39am on 05 Aug 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @HungeryWalleye #289

    You challenge my interpretation of the image; however, I gave no interpretation of the image.

    No I didn't, I interpreted the image as I saw it without mentioning any interpretation or otherwise by you, unless you mean my comment at the end when i said NASA are not saying this is AGW.

    1. Where is the extra heat to raise the water temperature that wasn't there previously coming from?

    Perhaps the same place it's going to?

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/07/global-sea-surface-temperature-update-the-cooling-continues/

    2. If a tiny increase in water temperature can lead to significant retreat in a short time, might one not think that even if climate sensitivity to CO2 is low as you claim, that a small increase in temperature would lead to major changes in the extent of glaciers?

    I think you may be correct, a small increase in temperatures could lead to significant changes in the extent of glaciers, but can you see the assumptions you are making in your statement? Is that what biologists do?

    Do you think Bowmanthebard is ever going to share his insights about analysis of covariance and the logic of identity?

    Isn't that a question for Bowman?

    /Mango

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  • 291. At 09:14am on 05 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ jane
    firstly @ 288 and 279

    Malkovich cycles; i do not follow Your line of reasoning. Whenever i refer to climate sensitivity i am referring to it as it relates to C02. Not anything else. The malkovich cycles are therfore irrelevant in this context- amplified malkovich cycles neither prove or disprove the climate sensitivity wrt c02. If anything they demonstrate that external factors have larger effects on the climate than trace gasses do. It's another variable for sure, but we cannot directly attach any 'blame' to any single factor (i.e. co2). Especially given the current understandings.

    As for the IPCC page you linked- all their work relies HEAVILY on models. Which even they admit (although only in passing and buried deep in sentences) that they can not account for all the mechanisms (a very weasley way of saying they don't understand the system). The models are junk- as i've said countless times before. they all diverge from reality upon release and cannot simultaneously predict past and current events together.

    @286. if you want to pick holes in my use of terminology feel free. I'm not sure, again, what you're trying to get at again- but to be clear- by research- i mean reading of papers, downloading of data (and attempt to analyse/repeat) and general digging around the subject. I was not trying to imply i was a climatologist. Believe me, i would NEVER want to be associated with that field.

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  • 292. At 10:15am on 05 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    further reading provided this

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/globalwarming.html

    #10 specifically.

    "While Milankovitch cycles have tremendous value as a theory to explain ice-ages and long-term changes in the climate, they are unlikely to have very much impact on the decade-century timescale. Over several centuries, it may be possible to observe the effect of these orbital parameters, however for the prediction of climate change in the 21st century, these changes will be far less important than radiative forcing from greenhouse gases."

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  • 293. At 11:56am on 05 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #291

    "Malkovich cycles"

    LOL!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ur3CQE8xB3c

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  • 294. At 12:01pm on 05 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #291

    "want to pick holes in my use of terminology"

    I don't want to pick holes in your use of terminology. I want to be able to understand your terminology. I find it confusing when you say "it was researched" when you mean "I [LabMunkey] researched it", the former phrase naturally raises the question of who did the research.

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  • 295. At 12:27pm on 05 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #291 / #292

    Firstly I remind you that greenhouse gas forcing can be converted to the same Watts per square metre that orbital variation forcing can be expressed in. Such calculations are non controversial.

    This allows climate sensitivity to be based on any forcing, albeit with subtly different feedbacks.

    In particular orbital forcing is susceptible to one extra feedback, the carbon cycle feedback, which involves changes to the amount of CO2 in the air. However as you can appreciate, both forms of climate sensitivity involve cloud related feedbacks.

    Meanwhile your NOAA quote is effectively out of context. It refers to contributions to current forcings - the Milankovitch cycle contribution is too small to contribute significantly to changes in forcings in recent decades.

    However looking at the amplification of Milankovitch cycles helps provide insights into climate sensitivity involving clouds.

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  • 296. At 12:44pm on 05 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @293! whoops!!! can't believe i did that. A superb (if i say so myself) spoonerism....

    GREAT film though.

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  • 297. At 12:55pm on 05 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 294

    If this were to be taken in isolation i'd agree, however in the context of the paragraph i though i was clear i was referring to reading on the subject rather than performing the DIRECT research myself. Also, knowing i'm a micobiologist/biochemist from previous discussions should also aid that conclusion.

    I still think you're being overly picky, though will endeavour to be more explicit in future.

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  • 298. At 1:58pm on 05 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    Jane.
    i think you're confusing the issue-

    "In particular orbital forcing is susceptible to one extra feedback, the carbon cycle feedback, which involves changes to the amount of CO2 in the air. However as you can appreciate, both forms of climate sensitivity involve cloud related feedbacks"
    this is all based on the assuption that CO2 behaves as the AGW theory suggests in the atmosphere, and which recent observational evidence disagree's with. If the co2 does not provide the greenouse effect 'thought' then the milankovitch cycles, as i stated, are irrelevant in this context.

    it seems you are using something that would be a by-product of the theory to prove the theory itself. I'm sorry the logic, to me, doesn't follow.

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  • 299. At 5:21pm on 05 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #298

    Right. Confused by this. Thought you were happy with CO2 producing a greenhouse effect through a non-controversial forcing, but you disputed mainstream ideas about reasonable values of climate sensitivity.

    Are you now saying you have problems with the CO2 forcing component of this? Or are you having issues with the way CO2 is involved in feedbacks when it isn't being treated as a forcing?

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  • 300. At 03:37am on 06 Aug 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    290. At 08:39am on 05 Aug 2010, MangoChutneyUKOK wrote:

    "Perhaps the same place it's going to?

    http://www.drroyspencer.com"

    Could this be the same Spencer whose measurements showed a cooling until errors were found in his calculations and the corrected results showed a warming was shown?

    Could this be the same Spencer who rejects evolution and argues for the "intelligent design".

    Have you considered the possibility that the reason Spencer rejects AGW might have more to do with his belief in "intelligent design" than the results from various NASA and NOAA.

    Perhaps you could afford a little skepticism of some of your authorities?

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  • 301. At 05:57am on 06 Aug 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    HungeryWalleye #300

    Could this be the same Spencer whose measurements showed a cooling until errors were found in his calculations and the corrected results showed a warming was shown?

    The very same and the very same who openly admitted his mistake and corrected as soon as the error was brought to his attention. How often does that happen with AGWer scientists?

    Could this be the same Spencer who rejects evolution and argues for the "intelligent design".

    The very same and the very same who openly admits his belief. But of course being wrong in one sphere of his life must mean he's wrong in every sphere of his life, mustn't it?

    Have you considered the possibility that the reason Spencer rejects AGW might have more to do with his belief in "intelligent design" than the results from various NASA and NOAA.

    Spencer has stated that his belief in intelligent design affects his work, so again he is very upfront about this. He is, however, a sceptical scientist in the true meaning of the phrase, which means if his data suggested he was wrong then he would change his mind about AGW. Spencer objectively reports the data he collects.

    Perhaps you could afford a little skepticism of some of your authorities?

    This is your funniest comment yet! As some of the AGWer's and sceptics will tell you, I have on several occasions expressed doubt about some of the claims by sceptics. The only part of AGW that I don't accept is the CO2 as primary driver of global warming, because the available evidence seems to show that this is not the case.

    /Mango

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  • 302. At 09:00am on 06 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 299.

    We may be arguing cross purposes here- or i've not explained my position suitably.

    I accept C02 causes a greenhouse effect. I do not accept that this effect is strong in the earths climate. I am of the opinion that negative feedbacks- clouds would seem to be the prime candidate- offset or even negate some if not all of the warming that C02 would achieve.

    There's also something new on the uptake/release of co2/water from the oceans causing what is an effect an endothermic reaction- i don't offer this as proof but only as something of interest- (i'll try remember where i read it) but i digress.

    The temperature records/paleoclimatic data, in my opinion, don't support CO2 as a primary driver, nor do recent observations (co2 levels soaring, temperatures stalling).

    Now- if for the sake of this specific discussion (malkovich cycles!) we take what i've just written as gospel.

    It is then totally illogical to use the percieved amplification of the malkovitch (told you i'll still use it) cycles to 'prove' that co2 is a primary forcer.

    Much as using melting ice to prove co2 causes global warming is a logical error, so too is using amplified malkovich cycles to prove co2 causes global warming is an error.

    The symptom, in this case, can not be used to prove a cause.

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  • 303. At 12:58pm on 06 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @HungeryWalleye #300
    (@MangoChutneyUKOK)

    "Could this be the same Spencer whose measurements showed a cooling until errors were found in his calculations and the corrected results showed a warming was shown?"

    The situation behind those misinterpreted results was not obvious. Lots of people missed it. And when it was discovered Spencer put it right.

    Spencer is one of the competent sceptics out there. He gets the science. And when he makes mistakes he is as happy as any other good scientist to correct them.

    The same is not true of some of the wannabe scientists amongst the sceptics. I spend a lot of time distinguishing between the two for the benefit of people on either side of the debate who think the wannabes represent sceptic scientists.

    Now I remind you that I am a warmist. I think that Spencer is probably wrong to write off the higher climate sensitivities. But even if he does turn out to be proved completely wrong he will have made a valuable contribution to the science by helping flag up weaknesses in the current understanding of the science.

    None of this constitutes a full endorsement for everything on Spencer's site. Indeed I have picked holes in two of the climate sensitivity articles there on this thread. But you won't find anything idiotic or malicious there.

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  • 304. At 1:50pm on 06 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #302

    OK. Mess. Trying to unpick the mess.

    Straightforward bit first.


    1. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. It is relatively straightforward to calculate its forcing effect in warming the climate.

    But this is complicated by feedbacks including water vapour, ice albedo and clouds. Some of these amplify the warming. Some dampen the warming. Clouds are particularly difficult to evaluate.

    The combined effect of the carbon dioxide forcing and the feedbacks acting on that forcing give a climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide. That climate sensitivity is unknown, mainstream climate science has produced a range of values they believe fits the observations, sceptics interpret the science differently to give lower climate sensitivity.


    2. On a timescale of tens of thousands of years and hundreds of thousands of years the dominant climate forcing appears to be changes in the Earth's orbit. This has produced Milankovitch cycles. Again the forcing has been affected by feedbacks, in the case of Milankovitch cycles the combined feedbacks have definitely amplified the forcing. These feedbacks include clouds.


    Now the first fiddly bit

    3. Carbon dioxide is awkward. It can be treated as a forcing. But it can also be treated as a feedback.

    Under current conditions it is treated as a forcing because the recent rise is directly attributable to the activities of human beings. And regardless of any other forcing that sceptics may or may not prove, carbon dioxide is acting as a forcing.

    However it can also be treated as a feedback. This is because as well as affecting temperature it is affected by temperature.

    Henry's Law has the ability of the oceans to dissolve carbon dioxide affected by temperature. Carbon dioxide is less soluble in warmer conditions. The oceans are acting as a sink, absorbing carbon dioxide. But the oceans absorb less carbon dioxide as they get warmer.

    To avoid confusion the rule is "either" / "or" according to circumstance. Either treat carbon dioxide as a forcing, or treat carbon dioxide as a feedback, according to circumstance.


    Now the second fiddly bit.

    4. Carbon dioxide and Milankovitch cycles.

    Now I need to make it very clear, the main forcing with Milankovitch cycles is orbital variation, wobbles in the Earth's orbit affecting the sunlight reaching the Earth.

    One of the feedbacks that acts on this is carbon dioxide. You can see carbon dioxide going up with temperature after a time lag, and going down with temperature after a time lag.

    With Milankovitch cycles the amount of carbon dioxide is solely a response to temperature. However, as with other feedbacks it also has an effect on temperature. The amplitude of Milankovitch cycles cannot be explained without taking the greenhouse contribution from carbon dioxide into account.

    I repeat. On the scale of Milankovitch cycles, where human history and anthropogenic carbon dioxide is just a blip, carbon dioxide is not a forcing, it is a feedback.

    This does not stop carbon dioxide being a forcing on the scale of recent human history.

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  • 305. At 2:59pm on 06 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ jane.

    You make a large number of assumptions in your explanation.

    "Under current conditions it is treated as a forcing because the recent rise is directly attributable to the activities of human beings. And regardless of any other forcing that sceptics may or may not prove, carbon dioxide is acting as a forcing."

    Just because current rises in co2 can be attributed to man is irrelevant in this discussion.

    And again- i am not debating the forcing that co2 has, only the fact that it has negligable effect on the climate.

    "With Milankovitch cycles the amount of carbon dioxide is solely a response to temperature. However, as with other feedbacks it also has an effect on temperature. The amplitude of Milankovitch cycles cannot be explained without taking the greenhouse contribution from carbon dioxide into account"

    But to take this as read you have to ignore the lag, you have to ignore the plummeting of temperatures PRIOR to co2 levels falling and many other factors that correlate MUCh better than co2, temp and milankovitch cycles.

    I'll say it again, Historic C02 levels show co2 as a symptom of milankovitch cycles not a cause. It also shows temperature as a DRIVER of co2 levels, not the other way around.

    This whole line of reasoning is a logical fallacy, where the MUCh simpler explanation is ignored in preference to a far more complicated, unproven theory.

    It's a logical fallacy jane.

    May i suggest you read this-

    http://www.gemarsh.com/archives/143

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  • 306. At 3:04pm on 06 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ jane

    "I repeat. On the scale of Milankovitch cycles, where human history and anthropogenic carbon dioxide is just a blip, carbon dioxide is not a forcing, it is a feedback.

    This does not stop carbon dioxide being a forcing on the scale of recent human history."

    But neither is that proof and if anything, the termination of the interglacials proves co2 doesn't act as advertised by the AGW crowd. it also suggests- clearly that the planet has some pretty strong negative feedbacks.

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  • 307. At 4:20pm on 06 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #304 / #305

    Not sure if you are confused by some of my terminology.

    There is a difference between "forcing" and "dominant forcing". I thought that we were agreed that anthropogenic changes to carbon dioxide levels was a "forcing", but that due to issues over climate sensitivity we disagreed on whether or not it was a "dominant forcing".

    I have deliberately avoided using the term "driver" due to the position of some sceptics that there is considerable natural variability in climate, i.e. some sceptics might agree that carbon dioxide was the dominant forcing but still interpret climate as having a low sensitivity to carbon dioxide due to comparatively high unforced natural variability on top of any forcings, perhaps analogous to the ENSO cycle.

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  • 308. At 4:43pm on 06 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #304

    On the temperature -> CO2 -> temperature amplification associated with Milankovitch cycles.

    This is not a "logical fallacy". This is what is known as a feedback loop. Feedback loops are very real.

    You can get to hear analogous feedback loops when there is a radio or TV phone in and the listener on the end of the phone has their radio speaker too close to the phone. This can create a loud feedback wail, the pitch (note) reflecting the time delay as sound goes round the loop. The DJ has to ask the listener to fix the feedback wail by turning their radio down or moving well away from the radio.

    You can see the television equivalent of a feedback loop here.
    http://i.ytimg.com/vi/zFqN3nfMcmE/0.jpg

    Or parallel mirrors here
    http://dev.physicslab.org/img/6338d487-a3fa-45e9-ac88-e6b6947fc515.gif

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  • 309. At 4:50pm on 06 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #305

    "you have to ignore the lag, you have to ignore the plummeting of temperatures PRIOR to co2 levels falling and many other factors that correlate MUCh better than co2, temp and milankovitch cycles"

    Look. I thought I made it clear in my earlier posts. CO2 is not acting as a dominant forcing in Milankovitch cycles. The dominant forcing is clearly variations in sunlight caused by orbital wobbling.

    However something is amplifying the effect of those orbital wobbles and CO2's time delayed feedback contributes to that amplification.

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  • 310. At 7:15pm on 06 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    Jane

    @307.
    the degree of the forcing is almost irrelevant in OUR discussion, at least in the context of your post @ 307. CO2 either affects the climate in the way 'they' puport or it doesn't. BUt i am clear on the distinctions- and am sorry if i confused you.

    @ 308
    jane, i know about feedback loops. However where your analogy fails is at the termination of the interglatial. If 'your' theory were correct there would not be such a sharp decline in temp.

    @309.

    i disagree- nothing points to c02, barring the AGWers pre-concieved ideas. other factors fit better- see the link in my #305

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  • 311. At 1:20pm on 07 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #310

    OK. Firstly Marsh's figure 1 shows a very powerful correlation between temperature and orbital related changes to sunlight.

    Secondly Marsh's chosen source Kirkby et al 2004 does not show a good correlation between GCR and orbital related changes to sunlight. (Kirkby et al 2004, figure 2).

    This will have a knock on effect if you compared GCR and temperature. I wonder what happens if you compare the two directly. Rather simple wouldn't you think, a graph showing both GCR and temperature over the same time period? But it seems to be missing from Marsh's analysis.

    Marsh has however taken the weaker approach of comparing spectral powers of GCR and temperature. But because Marsh is using other people's data this is unfortunately not over the same time scale. So Marsh shows us the spectral powers for GCR over 220,000 years (Marsh figure 5a, from Kirkby et al 2004 figure 7), and compares this with spectral powers for temperature over 900,000 years (Marsh figure 5b, from Schulz and Zeebe figure 1B). The spectral density peaks for GCR are wider than those for temperature.

    Marsh blames this entirely on the different time scales, which might be fair for the 100,000 year peak but perhaps not for some of the shorter cycles. An alternative interpretation of GCRs having broader peaks than temperature is that the correlation is not particularly strong.

    Although he hasn't directly compared GCR with temperature, Marsh has compared a GCR related quantity to temperature. (Marsh figure 8, from Sharma 2002) The GCR related quantity is called the "solar modulation factor". Note how its peaks and troughs are in and out of sync with temperature on what looks like a random basis for cycles less than 100,000 years.

    Personally I think that Kirkby et al 2004 have demonstrated an interesting relationship between GCRs and Milankovitch cycles. It looks like the orbital wobbles behind Milankovitch cycles probably affect GCRs. But the correlation does not look anywhere like strong enough to explain the amplification of Milankovitch cycles, unless it is magically affects the 100,000 year cycle but ignores the shorter cycles.

    Finally I point out that Marsh, and his main source Kirkby et al 2004, are looking at the 100,000 year Milankovitch cycle and glaciation, rather than all Milankovitch cycles and temperature.

    Kirkby et al 2004.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0407005

    Schulz and Zeebe 2006
    http://www.falw.vu/~peef/teaching/orbital_forcing/orbital_forcing.html

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  • 312. At 6:35pm on 07 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #310

    "termination of the interglatial"

    Actually I think there's another obvious feedback loop involved in the transition between glacial and interglacial.

    Once an ice sheet starts breaking up albedo will drop, and this could be quite fast if it involves icebergs calving into the ocean and drifting to where they can melt. The same effect works to build new ice sheets by retaining more and more winter snow at the end of the interglacial, but perhaps not as powerfully. I think this lack of symmetry of the ice albedo feedback contributes to the sawtooth pattern in the 100,000 year cycles.

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  • 313. At 11:39pm on 07 Aug 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    301. At 05:57am on 06 Aug 2010, MangoChutneyUKOK wrote:

    "Spencer has stated that his belief in intelligent design affects his work, so again he is very upfront about this...."

    If one believes in intelligent design wouldn't one be more inclined to find negative feed backs as opposed to positive feed backs? After all wouldn't an intelligent designer, that is all seeing and knowing, anticipate his/her special creation might get hooked on all those complex carbon compounds buried in the geology and put in negative feed backs to keep them in good stead until the judgment day? Spencer may be convinced of the accuracy of his analysis but given questioning I have seen on this Blog of the motives of scientists contributing to the IPCC, it would seem that the motives and motivation of skeptics might be equally open to question.

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  • 314. At 01:55am on 08 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #310
    (@myself #311, #312)

    Oo, don't like the look of that. Marsh figure 1 is "Based on Fig. 3 of J. R. Petit, et al [1999]".

    Marsh has edited Petit et al 1999 figure 3 to remove methane. Methane is very important in the transition between glacial and interglacial and back again, especially amplifying the rapid warming at the start of an interglacial. And methane responds to temperature far faster than carbon dioxide.

    Marsh ignoring methane has the potential to be seriously misleading, especially in a context where Marsh is being used to look at amplification of Milankovitch cycles.

    Tedious pdf rules mean I can't link directly to a free copy of the paper. However I have found an ordinary jpg picture file at Wikipedia.
    (note, the original in Petit et al 1999 is in black and white and has more annotations)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File%3AVostok_420ky_4curves_insolation.jpg

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  • 315. At 05:22am on 08 Aug 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke & LabMunkey

    Your debate here has been most interesting and informative. Thanks.

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  • 316. At 1:08pm on 08 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @HungeryWalleye #313
    (MangoChutneyUKOK)

    Your post could be seen as accusing Spencer of bad theology.

    Religious people already have to live in a world where bad things happen, and some bad things have to be fixed by humans. I draw your attention to the (original) parable of the helicopter.

    (note, this parable is sympathetic to the sensibilities of both most atheists and also many of the more sensible amongst believers in God)
    (note, there are two very different stories titled "parable of the helicopter", this is the older and better one)
    http://epistle.us/inspiration/godwillsaveme.html

    (PS personally I think the multiverse and Adams's sentient puddle between them are better at addressing issues "explained" by Intelligent Design

    Adam's sentient puddle
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-tC9MU852k )

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  • 317. At 5:34pm on 08 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ canadian rockies# 315.

    plesure. Regardless of who 'wins' (if such a term is appropriate) here- we'll all learn something- so it's grand either way.

    @ jane

    #311

    I think, again, you are misiterpretting what marsh was getting at.

    He is trying to show a relationship between other external factors and temperature and i think shows this quite well. This work shows, that there is at least a DISTINCT possibility that there are other drivers which affect the climate (i think you'll agree) and which correlate quite nicely with the observed temperature changes.

    The frustrating point for me is that you are implicit in your assumptions that co2 causes the changes in the observed climate- when, again for me, the paleoclimatic data simply does not show this. I do not accept the explanation of the readlily observed lag and again, i frankly dismiss the explanation for why temperature falls, sharply, while co2 levels are still soaring (again in the vostock data). I think this 'assumed' point contaminates your thinking, you are almost in a cricular reasoning situation- each point you look at seems to be trying to back yup that assumption (that co2 is a primary driver) without realising that these points actually REQUIRE your assumption to be true to work. if that makes ANY sense. Your assumption is backed up by your assumption.

    Now- i am painfully aware how that may read so i am going to go out of my way here to be as clear as i possibly can. I meant no offence whatsoever, i am not attempting to malign your intelligence or reasoning abilities (which i'd suggest were considerable) or to belittle or antoagonise etc etc. I am just trying to be frank, open and honest- as scientists do. I hope you can see that it was said, as much as is possible, in good faith. but back to the discussion:

    There are clearly other factors at work in the climate, this paper while not perfect (i have a few issues of my own with it, but then i am notoriously difficult to 'please' in this respect) shows that there is at least one other factor that can explain the observed temperature changes. I also think this fits the data better than co2.

    @ jane #312
    i'm not sure i agree. i think it's a factor, but i also think the extra moisutre present in the atmosphere (from the melted ice ect) would increase the number of clouds and their prominence/frequency. The loss in albedo from the ice would be offset by the increase in cloud cover, tipping the earth back into a cooling phase and allowing the ice to 'recover'. This would also nicely fit with the pattern of a 'high-high feedback' used in some engineering-based temperature control apparatus that i'm familiar with. Once a certain 'tipping point'(!) is reached, the feedback- i.e. the clouds, change the direction of the temperature gradient in the climate by vastly increasing the albedo.

    jane #314.

    This point- whilst an exceptionally good spot (i missed it completely), is, i fear, irrelevant in the context of our discussion. Whilst methane is a very important GHG, it is not that relevant when trying to establish, or disprove, co2 as a primary driver of climate. I can therefore understand his reason for removing it- it would add another layer of complication on what is already, a busy graph. His linking and full referencing also allows others to check this- so there was definitly no underhand manipulations going on here.


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  • 318. At 09:16am on 09 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ jane.

    I think one of the most interesting points in the paper (see my post 305 for late-comers) is the comparison between sea levels and increased insolation- the rise in sea levles (or to be more accurate, the matching, or higher than modern-day levels) preceeding the increase in insolation. This would directly imply that the world was already warming PRIOR to the onset of the 'warming-phase' of the milankovitch cycle.

    The next correlation between galactic cosmic ray-flux (GCR) and sea levels shows a rather good correlation.

    Your point on comparing GCR and temperature is interesting and i would like to see that myself- i'll try knocking something up if i can get hold of the data (i can then probably screen-grab and link via photobucket?? would that work?), but that'd have to wait until next weekend.

    I think where you've come unstuck is at trying to tie GCR to the milankovitch cycles, or orbital sunlight directly.

    The link between GCR and cloud cover would provide an extremely robust feedback system that was effectively (but not entirely) seperate from the milankovitch cycles. While, it is hardly suprising that there is a relationship between milankovitch, sorry, malkovitch cycles and GCR, i wouldn't fall into the trap of thinking that shows that milkovitch cycles are the primary factor. I'd argue quite the opposite.

    Either way, this has opened a completely different line of research for me, so i'm quite (nerdishly) excited about all this- regardless of the outcome. And obviously- i'd love to continue debating this as other things come to light (including you tearing through my last two posts should you wish!)

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  • 319. At 12:40pm on 09 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #317 #318

    "i am not attempting to malign your intelligence or reasoning abilities [more]"

    Careful LabMunkey, you're sounding like Sir Humphrey. I hadn't even considered the possibility until you brought the subject up in #317


    "misiterpretting what marsh was getting at"

    Marsh, or rather his main source Kirkby et al 2004, show a strong correlation between orbital related changes to sunlight and temperature/climate. Kirkby et al also show a weaker correlation between orbital changes to sunlight and GCR. And between temperature/climate and GCR.

    All these correlations raise natural questions about causation.

    You can have more than one forcing contributing to climate. Now you can tell the difference between the contribution of one cause and another by looking at what happens when the two possible causes are out of step. In every such instance the contribution from orbital changes to sunlight swamps any contribution from GCR.

    Kirkby et al looked at the correlation between orbital changes to GCR and made a good case that orbital changes to magnetic fields contributed to this.

    This doesn't totally write off a contribution from GCRs affecting glaciation. But such a contribution would be a "last straw on the camel's back" type contribution. (Our chum CanadianRockies is reading this, so I can also such a contribution to that waffer thin mint that finished Mr Creosote's meal.) Based on Marsh's paper it is therefore irrelevant in a discussion as to the main cause and the main feedbacks affecting the Milankovitch cycles.


    "your assumptions that co2 causes the changes in the observed climate"

    Let me repeat.

    When it comes to Milankovitch cycles it is orbital based changes to sunlight that are the primary driver. These are then affected by other feedbacks including positive feedbacks such as carbon dioxide, methane and ice albedo.

    And I remind you that the contribution of carbon dioxide to temperature is relatively straightforward to calculate. Ditto any greenhouse gas preserved in the ice cores.

    I also point out that the lack of symmetry some of these feedbacks give between cooling and warming situations help explain the sawtooth pattern in Milankovitch temperatures. Methane can be released extremely fast under warming conditions. And ice break up can be extremely fast under warming conditions.


    "Whilst methane is a very important GHG, it is not that relevant when trying to establish, or disprove, co2 as a primary driver of climate."

    But we are discussing what Milankovitch cycles show about climate sensitivity, and what contributes to temperatures in Milankovitch cycles. That makes methane very relevant.

    Or are you changing the subject?


    "loss in albedo from the ice would be offset by the increase in cloud cover"

    Given the extent of the ice cover during glacials that would mean a lot less cloud. A lot less. Which would rather violate the main mechanism for your proposed GCR effect.

    You can't have GCRs increasing cloud cover to cool the planet and a negative feedback reducing cloud cover to offset the cool planet's extra ice at the same time. One effect would need to outstrip the other.


    "the comparison between sea levels and increased insolation- the rise in sea levles (or to be more accurate, the matching, or higher than modern-day levels) preceeding the increase in insolation. This would directly imply that the world was already warming PRIOR to the onset of the 'warming-phase' of the milankovitch cycle."

    I hope you're not using ice as a temperature proxy here. If you are I refer you to Marsh's own figure 1, which manages to combine both insolation and temperature on the same timescale.

    Meanwhile you may be reading far too much into far too little. Marsh has shown very little of the available evidence on changes in sea level or ice volume over time. Petit et al 1999 show ice volume by time (figure 2). Marsh has already used material from this paper (Marsh's figure 2, Petit et al 1999's figure 3). Wonder why Marsh has ignored their ice volume.

    An unfortunate consequence of this absence is that you can mistakenly link the interglacial at about 130,000 years ago with insolation from one of the shorter Milankovitch cycles rather than the 100,000 year Milankovitch cycle.

    [Really wish I could link to the free copy of Petit et al 1999. But it's a PDF. However you can find it by searching for

    petit 1999 "As judged from Vostok records"

    You can also see ice volume here
    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/File%3AIce_Age_Temperature_Rev_png ]


    "I think where you've come unstuck is at trying to tie GCR to the milankovitch cycles, or orbital sunlight directly."

    OK a reminder.

    Due to the conservation of energy, orbital changes to sunlight will have an effect on temperature, and this can be calculated. Similarly due to the conservation of energy, greenhouse gases will have an effect on temperature, and where they are preserved in the ice this can also be calculated. Similarly due to the conservation of energy ice cover albedo will have an effect on temperature. (Temperature changes related to ice cover albedo are not as straightforward to calculate as the ice cover proxies are by volume rather than by area coverage, although we do have geological evidence of the extent of the ice sheets.)

    There remain unknowns. These include clouds. If GCRs have sufficient effect on clouds (and Marsh has not shown this), this will be in addition to all the other factors affecting climate.

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  • 320. At 1:31pm on 09 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ jane

    "Careful LabMunkey, you're sounding like Sir Humphrey"
    -Quite, but i'm aware that things can be mis-interpreted on blogs and that i am quite straight forward in my written style. I only wanted to avoid such confusion- though as you state it wasn't required.

    Re: grc's and glaciation.

    I'm not sure if i'm misreading you, but i wasn't trying to suggest that gcr's where the only factor- and of course marsh wasn't either. However, it is the relationship between GCR's and cloud cover NOT the direct relationship between GCR's temp/milankovitch cycles that i'm going on about.

    Clouds have a HUGE effect on our climate, as does air-born water. Again, so do the oceans. Any external factor- such as GCR's that can almost independantly regulate the amount of cloud cover would have an exceptionally strong influence on climate.

    I'm postulating (and i think it was the general thrust of marsh's paper too) that it is a direct response to GCR's, i.e. the increase in cloud cover that ended the interglacial.

    ""loss in albedo from the ice would be offset by the increase in cloud cover"

    Given the extent of the ice cover during glacials that would mean a lot less cloud. A lot less. Which would rather violate the main mechanism for your proposed GCR effect.

    You can't have GCRs increasing cloud cover to cool the planet and a negative feedback reducing cloud cover to offset the cool planet's extra ice at the same time. One effect would need to outstrip the other."

    -no it wouldn't you seem to be expecting some sort of 'on-off' relationship here. the shift between the two will be gradual and a sort of oscilating equilibrium would be reached- heading down to the next trough before the equilibrium tips the other way. There is also, of course the question of the amount of 'free water' available. During the peak of an interglacial there will be significantly more 'free water' in the atmosphere which will allow the GCR's to have a more profound effect. Lock that up in ICE and you get a lower effect.

    Jane i am not trying to suggest GCR's are responsible for regulating the whole earths climate, however i see them as a very good xplanation for variation in cloud levels and the terminations of the interglacials. This also, in my opinion, fits the data better and show's that CO2 whilst not irrelevant, has little effect on climate as a whole (which if you take my line of reasoning makes the relationship between temp and c02 in the vostock data exceptionally straight forward).

    "I hope you're not using ice as a temperature proxy here"
    -absolutely not. especially given the earths current (in some cases) record high ice levels.

    "Wonder why Marsh has ignored their ice volume. " because he was using sea level as a proxy of temperature, rather than ice levels.

    "An unfortunate consequence of this absence is that you can mistakenly link the interglacial at about 130,000 years ago with insolation from one of the shorter Milankovitch cycles rather than the 100,000 year Milankovitch cycle"
    -Which is not what i'm trying to do (or how i read marsh's paper to be doing). I'm trying to link GCR's to cloud cover.

    Read page 7 of his paper again. I think it illustrates the point better than i can probably explain it.

    "There remain unknowns. These include clouds. If GCRs have sufficient effect on clouds (and Marsh has not shown this)"
    again, i think figure 4 shows this quite starkly.

    This of course ties GCR levels into Solar wind levels- but that is in part, the whole point.

    Taking into account GCR's, sunspot activity, Malkovitch cycles and so on you get a very good number of feedbacks, both positive and negative that can conspire (!) to regulate the earths GENERAL climate in a very effective way.

    This does not require C02 to even be considered, which was the whole point of this side-disussion. If you discount C02 as a primary driver and accept other factors are involved then the vostok data makes perfect sense.

    You can easily explain the effect the malkovitch cycles have on the climate without co2.

    Again, i accept co2 plays a role, but do not accept it is a primary driver and i honestly think the data doesn't support that assertion either.

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  • 321. At 2:24pm on 09 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #320

    "that ended the interglacial"

    Just a quickie for clarity.

    During an ice age
    "glacial" is the name for the longer cool phases
    "interglacial" is the name for the shorter warmer phases

    The end of the glacial and start of the interglacial is much more dramatic (and clearly timed) than the converse.

    It is therefore the end of the glacial, and the start of the interglacial that is more interesting than the converse.

    Note, you do need to be careful reading some of the graphs. Some have the past to present running left to right. Some have past to present running right to left.

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  • 322. At 2:35pm on 09 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 321. Ok- thanks. i'll go re-read it then jane- to make sure i'm not confusing myself.

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  • 323. At 3:05pm on 09 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ jane.

    i think i'm ok. The start of the interglacial is interesting due to the lack of any evidence to co2 being involved and the end of the interglacial is interesting as the temperature starts to drop when co2 levels are high and when GCR's are high (if i'm reading this right).

    I think my argument still stands.

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  • 324. At 3:55pm on 09 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #320

    "However, it is the relationship between GCR's and cloud cover NOT the direct relationship between GCR's temp/milankovitch cycles that i'm going on about."

    Yet you flagged up Marsh as an answer to some of my comments about Milankovitch cycles.


    "[GCR cloud cover versus cloud feedbacks] you seem to be expecting some sort of 'on-off' relationship here"

    Not exactly, I'm expecting some sort of trade off or balance. Some sort of net effect. Clouds can be globally increasing. Clouds can be globally decreasing. Clouds can be redistributing themselves, which may or may not have a effect on global average temperature, as regional effects may partially or completely balance each other.

    What clouds cannot be doing is both globally increasing in response to GCRs and globally decreasing to dampen cooling. One effect has to outstrip the other.


    "[On the absence of detailed ice volume proxies from Marsh] Read page 7 of his paper again. I think it illustrates the point better than i can probably explain it."

    OK. Against my better judgement I have re-read his page 7. Nothing there that directly explains why ice volume is missing from his paper. He does not say "I am not interested in the detailed records of ice volume because ..."

    There is a comment about albedo. It is wrong with respect to ice melt, it does not take account of redistribution of heat (or lack of it). This is particularly relevant due to the mooted instability of the ice sheets at their greatest extent.


    "i think figure 4 shows this quite starkly"

    I had been ignoring figure 4 because there is a lot of existing work that appears to debunk its implications. Tackling palaeoclimate rather than modern day seemed more relevant if tougher (for me) due to the comparative lack of evidence.

    However now you bring up figure 4 I point out that figure 4 and its associated commentary covers another case of multiple correlations. Marsh has made no effort to distinguish insolation as a cause (or other aspects of the sunspot cycle as a cause) from GCR as a cause.

    Marsh's figure 4 covers quite a short time period. Perhaps other studies have covered other time periods. Perhaps such studies have found "no response of global cloud cover to Forbush decreases [sudden GCR decreases] at any altitude and latitude".
    http://www.agu.org/journals/ABS/2010/2009GL041327.shtml

    Obviously you may have issues with the paywall. Luckily you can see the contents for free via a link on this page.
    (Oh look. More stuff failing to find any link between GCRs and clouds.)
    http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/papers-on-the-non-significant-role-of-cosmic-rays-in-climate/

    Now I am going to point something out. The Marsh paper draws heavily on old Kirkby papers. However the Kirkby papers are rather better at caveats than the Marsh paper. And Kirkby's response to some of the correlations highlit by his papers is to investigate further.
    http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/research/CLOUD-en.html

    Which approach do you think is more scientific? The Marsh paper? Or Kirkby's CLOUD investigations?

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  • 325. At 4:41pm on 09 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ jane!

    "Yet you flagged up Marsh as an answer to some of my comments about Milankovitch cycles"

    I was trying to show that other factors are at play alongside the malkovitch cycles and that you couldn't tie any 'percieved' amplification to one variable- especially as we CLEARLY stil don't fully understand all the inter-associated variables.

    "What clouds cannot be doing is both globally increasing in response to GCRs and globally decreasing to dampen cooling. One effect has to outstrip the other"

    You misunderstand- probably due to my poor explanations. I postulate that cloud cover increased at the end of the interglacial due to increased GCR's. This effect was more marked given the higher temperatures (which allow more moisture in the air) and the ASSUMPTION that the lower ice levels (in part suggested by higher sea levels) resulted in a much higher air-moisture content- this amplified the effecr of the GCR's, producing more clouds and vastly reducing the earths albedo. The cloud cover would not be localised and would be be global, resulting in a global cooling (as far as i'm aware).

    Now, as the earth cools the amount of moisture in the air decreases as the ice levels increase. This would lower the amount of cloud that could be produced via GCR's slowing the cooling as the albedo from clouds decreases. Now the rise in ice concentration WOULD raise the local albedo (which we all know has a large effect given the poles importance), but the overall lowering of GLOBAL albedo (through reduced cloud levels) would actually start to tip the planet back to an even, or slightly positive (wrt temperature) keel (so to speak)- despite the poles' importance.

    This is logically sound, as far as i can tell.

    for this:
    ""[On the absence of detailed ice volume proxies from Marsh] Read page 7 of his paper again. I think it illustrates the point better than i can probably explain it."

    OK. Against my better judgement I have re-read his page 7. Nothing there that directly explains why ice volume is missing from his paper. He does not say "I am not interested in the detailed records of ice volume because ...""

    i think you misquoted me.

    ""An unfortunate consequence of this absence is that you can mistakenly link the interglacial at about 130,000 years ago with insolation from one of the shorter Milankovitch cycles rather than the 100,000 year Milankovitch cycle"
    -Which is not what i'm trying to do (or how i read marsh's paper to be doing). I'm trying to link GCR's to cloud cover.

    Read page 7 of his paper again. I think it illustrates the point better than i can probably explain it."

    which would explain this misunderstanding as i wasn't trying to make the point you suggested.

    "However now you bring up figure 4 I point out that figure 4 and its associated commentary covers another case of multiple correlations. Marsh has made no effort to distinguish insolation as a cause (or other aspects of the sunspot cycle as a cause) from GCR as a cause"

    he does that earlier in the paper jane. Also, the correlation there is not proof of causation. However it is cetainly a much starker association than ANY that has been presented for co2 and temp- wouldn't you agree?


    "Obviously you may have issues with the paywall. Luckily you can see the contents for free via a link on this page.
    (Oh look. More stuff failing to find any link between GCRs and clouds.)
    http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/papers-on-the-non-significant-role-of-cosmic-rays-in-climate/"

    the significant difference here is the 'rebuttals' all use different calculation methods and different timescales, in one case 2 days to a week versus the original 11 years. I think this poses a slight problem. They also seem to be measuring a slightly different thing CCN as opposed to GCR. I would also suggest that the effect of a forbrush event would be significantly different to a more sustained and prolongued shift in GCR and the resulting shift in cloud levels. They dismiss it as trivial, but i suggest that the scale and length of the shifts in GCR's are extremely important.

    All in all I think these 'rebuttals' use a slightly misleading train of thought. But i'll continue reading up on it regardless and get back to you.

    "Which approach do you think is more scientific? The Marsh paper? Or Kirkby's CLOUD investigations?"

    That's a leading question and you know it. You're trying to get me to debunk marsh's paper simply because kirby is doing more work on the subject. Sure, if his work turns out to challenge HIS AND Marsh's old work then great- but to imply the paper is wrong or un-scientific simply because the work is still on going is a poor shot jane. You of all people should know better.

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  • 326. At 4:52pm on 09 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ jane.

    oh and i'm quite enjoying this discussion by the way.

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  • 327. At 9:07pm on 09 Aug 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    Oh my God, how did Stephen Schneider's death escape me. I'm upset to hear this. Stephens' was a voice too early silenced.
    He was so erudite, so analytical about what was happening with climate.
    He knew about so many options for climate control, but was among the first to caution about the potential consequences e.g. some of these so-called solutions could cause cause or change a variety of chemical reactions in the atmosphere. He felt that climate in general was poorly understood and therefore any and all options to play with the climate MUST be considered "extremely carefully".
    He warned in particular that the stratospheric particle options MUST be pursued only under extreme conditions or if additional research and development removes the concern about these problems.
    He was a cautious man but imaginative. He thought we might be able to mitigate some of the global warming by the simple mechanism limiting the amount of incoming radiation from the sun. This could be done by by the simple mechanism of painting rooftop white vs black.
    With his extensive background and experience, Stephen Schneider must have known about HAARP. I wonder what he thought about men playing with the ionosphere.

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  • 328. At 01:32am on 10 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #325

    "trying to show that other factors are at play alongside the malkovitch cycles and that you couldn't tie any 'percieved' amplification to one variable"

    I repeat.

    Where there are reasonable proxies and a straightforward influence on temperature then yes that effect on temperature can be evaluated. This includes forcings such as orbital variations in sunlight and feedbacks such as CO2 or CH4, and to a lesser extent ice volume. And yes this effectively ties amplification to relevant variables (more than one variable).

    As for what is being amplified in Milankovitch cycles, the effect of orbital variation on sunlight swamps everything else, as can be seen when orbital variation is out of sync with GCRs.


    "i think you misquoted me"

    Not possible. Although I agree there has been at least one misunderstanding.

    The stuff in the square brackets was me paraphrasing my question. The stuff outside the square brackets was a cut and paste of what appeared to be your answer to that question.

    Of course if you weren't answering my question about the absence of detailed ice volume evidence in Marsh's paper and were instead defending some of your earlier comments I point out there is a problem reconciling your

    ""the comparison between sea levels and increased insolation- the rise in sea levles (or to be more accurate, the matching, or higher than modern-day levels) preceeding the increase in insolation. This would directly imply that the world was already warming PRIOR to the onset of the 'warming-phase' of the milankovitch cycle."" #317

    with your

    ""An unfortunate consequence of this absence is that you can mistakenly link the interglacial at about 130,000 years ago with insolation from one of the shorter Milankovitch cycles rather than the 100,000 year Milankovitch cycle"
    -Which is not what i'm trying to do (or how i read marsh's paper to be doing). I'm trying to link GCR's to cloud cover."
    #320

    because your #317 does look as if you are mistaking the rise in sea levels as preceding the relevant insolation.


    "I postulate that cloud cover increased at the end of the interglacial due to increased GCR's. This effect was more marked given the higher temperatures (which allow more moisture in the air) and the ASSUMPTION that the lower ice levels (in part suggested by higher sea levels) resulted in a much higher air-moisture content- this amplified the effecr of the GCR's, producing more clouds and vastly reducing the earths albedo. The cloud cover would not be localised and would be be global, resulting in a global cooling (as far as i'm aware)."

    Oh, great. So GCRs are magically amplified when it is convenient for your theory. Except it isn't convenient for your theory because the cooling phase of 100 k year Milankovitch cycles are long slow and gentle. It's the warming up that's short and quick.


    "rise in ice concentration WOULD raise the local albedo (which we all know has a large effect given the poles importance), but the overall lowering of GLOBAL albedo (through reduced cloud levels)"

    Not sure that there is enough cloud cover to be lost to balance the increase in albedo from the ice

    Actual photograph (note, shows the South pole)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File%3AThe_Earth_seen_from_Apollo_17.jpg
    NASA composite (note, shows more of the Northern hemisphere)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File%3ABlueMarble-2001-2002.jpg
    Reconstruction of max extent of Northern hemisphere ice (note, shows more of the Northern hemisphere)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File%3AIceAgeEarth.jpg


    "different timescales"

    Different time scales is good. If GCRs only work when they are also perfectly in sync with orbital variations or with the sunspot cycle then perhaps it isn't the GCRs responsible.

    Now if you want to convince on recent timescales, you need to find where GCRs and the sunspot cycle are out of sync, and see what happens to cloud cover then. Marsh has not done that.


    "CCN as opposed to GCR"

    Er, well CCNs are the leading explanation for a mechanism for GCRs' mooted effects on clouds. (Check Kirkby et al 2004 again.)

    Incidentally such a mechanism, and their proposed alternatives, should work on almost any timescale, not just the sunspot cycle and the 100 k year Milankovitch cycle.


    "logically sound"

    Well you've addressed the apparent contradictions in your earlier posts. Not quite the same as getting it to match the data.


    "leading question"

    Marsh's paper lacks caveats and contains what look like cherry picks (methane edited out of one graph and absence of detailed ice volume). I am having to work to identify the missing caveats and other gaps on top of taking account of Marsh's slightly different aims and tackling Marsh's actual arguments.

    As such the Marsh paper is a very frustrating read. Hence the question.

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  • 329. At 09:16am on 10 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    jane.

    I still can't help thinking that we're arguing at cross purposes here Jane.

    I'll try simplifying things:

    -you are saying that the percieved amplification of the milankovitch cycles cannot be explained by anything other than increased (man made) co2. I am rejecting that for a number of reasons:
    1- There are numerous other factors that could be affecting the cycles- not least of all GCR's and the timescale involved and results from the proxies make it a very real possibility that shorter-scale fluctuations are missed.
    2- There is still a massive lask of understanding surrounding just HOW milankovitch cycles affect our planet
    3- We STILL have ZERO evidence proper that co2 behaves as the IPCC et al state, without relying on models. This assumption is central to your argument.

    Re- CCN vs GCR: that's a c##k-up on my behalf. I 'grabbed' the wrong acyonym- so that probably confused the hell out of you, apologies.

    My point was that the shorter timescale cannot be used to disprove the 'association' from the 11 year cycle due to our current level of knowledge on clouds and their interaction with GCR's. Just as one cool day does not discount 11 years of warming data, nor does 1 day of no extra cloud formation disprove the 11 year link. It's an assumption that is embedded right into the 'rebuttals' and as far as i can see has no real evidence to back up it's presence.

    Re: sea levels and transition- the quoted peice where i confused the bottom scale was prior to you pointing it out in #322. i meant to aknoweldge that in 323- but went off on one. So yes, you're right and i apologise for the (extended) confusion.

    Re:"(methane edited out of one graph and absence of detailed ice volume)"

    jane i've explained the methane point in a previous post. You can hardly call it cherry picking if he DIRECTLY link's his source material jane for anyone to see.

    Re:"Now if you want to convince on recent timescales, you need to find where GCRs and the sunspot cycle are out of sync, and see what happens to cloud cover then. Marsh has not done that"

    unfortunatley jane it is the sunspot cycle and the solar wind levels that directly influence the amount of GCR's hitting earth. That is why it is all interconnected- i've tried to explain this above.

    "Oh, great. So GCRs are magically amplified when it is convenient for your theory. Except it isn't convenient for your theory because the cooling phase of 100 k year Milankovitch cycles are long slow and gentle. It's the warming up that's short and quick."
    jane the speed of the warming / cooling is irrelevant (though i probably confused you by not clearing up the scale mistake i made), the slower cooling phase actually fits my oscilation equilibrium better and again behaves like temperature monitoring software behaves. A sharp rise in temperature slowly brought under control by feedback systems.

    Right, this is all getting quite complicated now- especially with the large number of tangents we're going off on WITHIN the main tangent. I'll try post my main argument in a very concise post next- should make our lives easier.

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  • 330. At 09:32am on 10 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    Right. This should be good.... ish.

    I think that the data shows that the milankovitch cycles are one part of a vastly interconnected system that regulates the earths 'general' temperature. I also think this explains the interglacials/glacial periods reasonably well.

    Note- this is how i understand these subjects at present- so obviously if i've got one wrong, the whole thing looks ropey.

    A stage in the milankovitch cycle causes the Earth to heat. Resulting in an increase in the amount of free moisture in the air from metling ice and rising sea levels. This coincides with the increase in GCR (which is caused by a phase in the milankovitch cycle and sunspot cycles which in turn lower the amount of solar wind, allowing more GCR's to impact earth) resulting in higher cloud formation, increased albedo and a general cooling.

    As the earth cools the ice levels increase, reducing the free moisture and thus cloud levels and after a while the earth equilibrates ready for the next milankovitch cycle to tip it back into a warming phase, where it repeats.

    Ice ages are caused by the differences in the cycles WITHIN the milankovitch cycles.

    Now, i think the 11 year correlation shown in marsh's paper allows for the gcr's to increase the cloud cover as i stated above and i don't accept the rebuttal by the papers as i disagree on their fundamental assumption that the timescales are irrelevant (especially as it may be an accumulative factor) and that this 'model' would explain the paleoclimatic data where co2 LAGS temperature and not the other way around.

    It would also explain why temperatures start to fall while CO2 levels are still high.

    This does not discount the fact that co2 and methane have a role in regulating the earths temperature- but i'd suggest that the factors outlined above are the primary drivers, whilst the co2/methane are more like low-level drivers (or primary feedbacks and fine tuners, respectively).

    *waits for jane to tear through his argument*

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  • 331. At 1:45pm on 10 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #329

    "I'll try simplifying things:

    -you are saying that the percieved amplification of the milankovitch cycles cannot be explained by anything other than increased (man made) co2. "


    No.

    Firstly on the timescale of Milankovitch cycles the changes to CO2 are not down to humans. Human generated CO2 is too recent.

    (Note, the same is less true of CH4. CH4 levels could have been affected by our agriculture for much of the current interglacial.)

    Secondly there are other feedbacks that would be expected to amplify Milankovitch cycles, including methane and ice albedo (which the records show as behaving in a manner that would be calculated to amplify Milankovitch cycles).

    There are other feedbacks involved, some of which do not leave records, including water vapour (positive feedback) and clouds (much debated and probably negative). However with Milankovitch cycles we can see the composite climate sensitivity to a sunlight based forcing, which combines the known contributions from the greenhouse gases preserved in the ice with the unknowns.


    "I am rejecting that for a number of reasons:
    1- There are numerous other factors that could be affecting the cycles- not least of all GCR's and the timescale involved and results from the proxies make it a very real possibility that shorter-scale fluctuations are missed."


    GCRs cannot possibly be amplifying Milankovitch cycles by a significant result because any effect of GCRs is dwarfed by the change of sunlight due to orbital wobbles.

    This does not rule out GCRs making some very minor contribution that may have been the final straw in triggering an interglacial.

    "2- There is still a massive lask of understanding surrounding just HOW milankovitch cycles affect our planet"

    Incomplete is not the same as massive lack. It's also a value judgement dependent on a familiarity with all the literature. A judgement that, based on your reaction to some of my posts (especially your reaction to my #321), I suggest you may not be qualified to make.

    "3- We STILL have ZERO evidence proper that co2 behaves as the IPCC et al state, without relying on models. This assumption is central to your argument."

    There is a lot of evidence for the basic underlying greenhouse effect. There is little quibbling over forcing for individual greenhouse gases or for changes to sunlight due to orbital variation. The real argument is over feedbacks and climate sensitivity.


    "11 year link"

    It's not the length of time. It's the amount of comparable information.

    Look what the following link does with a mere 36 seconds.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsMVEp3XtQQ&feature=related

    Meanwhile Marsh's figure 4, once we have ignored all the noisy discrepancies between GCRs and clouds, is basically one oscillation of a sine wave.


    "jane i've explained the methane point in a previous post. You can hardly call it cherry picking if he DIRECTLY link's his source material jane for anyone to see."

    And I explained why your previous explanation didn't work for me. See my #319.

    And Marsh referenced the source material rather than linked to it, so other people have to go away and look it up and because he hasn't directly warned people that he has removed stuff rather than just annotate it how would they know to do so?


    "the sunspot cycle and the solar wind levels that directly influence the amount of GCR's hitting earth"

    I think the key word there is "influence". Because there are going to be other influences on GCRs, after all they do, by definition, come from outside the solar system.


    "the slower cooling phase actually fits my oscilation equilibrium better and again behaves like temperature monitoring software behaves. A sharp rise in temperature slowly brought under control by feedback systems"

    Erm, actually, although it might be possible for cloud feedbacks to have different amplitudes at different temperatures I can't see how it is possible for cloud feedbacks to have different amplitudes according to whether it is warming or cooling.

    Or are you now looking at the feedbacks that lack warming-cooling symmetry, such as ice sheet albedo and methane release.


    "A stage in the milankovitch cycle causes the Earth to heat...

    [2 paragraphs worth ending with]

    ... and after a while the earth equilibrates ready for the next milankovitch cycle to tip it back into a warming phase, where it repeats."


    This doesn't constitute a joined up explanation. You need to cover multiple situations, 4 at a minimum:

    1. The long slow cooling of the glacial.
    2. The trigger for the start of rapid warming at the start of the interglacial.
    3. The rapid warming at the start of the interglacial.
    4. The onset of cooling.


    "Ice ages are caused by the differences in the cycles WITHIN the milankovitch cycles."

    Very confusing statement, even allowing for confusions with terminology.


    "especially as it [GCR effect on clouds] may be an accumulative factor"

    Er, if the effect is cumulative that would introduce both a time lag between GCR and related effect and partial smoothing between GCR and related effect. I can't see either in Marsh's figure 4.


    "while CO2 levels are still high"

    (sigh)

    CO2 levels are not the only factor in conventional explanations of Milankovitch cycles.

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  • 332. At 2:30pm on 10 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ jane.

    Ok i'm going to need you to clear something up.

    in your post #279 "Then why are Milankovitch cycles observed to be significantly amplified? By your reasoning they should be observed to be minimally amplified or even dampened.

    Meanwhile here's part of the IPCC AR4 review of climate sensitivity work.
    "

    Are you saying that milankovitch cycles are amplified by co2, or that they have recently become amplified by co2? I was operating under the assumption of the latter- as if it's the former this is going to be a very short responce.

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  • 333. At 2:32pm on 10 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    also, i think you're not reading my posts properly as examples such as
    "Ice ages are caused by the differences in the cycles WITHIN the milankovitch cycles."

    Very confusing statement, even allowing for confusions with terminology. "

    are perfectly straightforward.

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  • 334. At 3:13pm on 10 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #332

    My original #279 was about climate sensitivity. That includes the combined effects of all relevant feedbacks, which for Milankovitch cycles includes but is not limited to carbon dioxide.

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  • 335. At 3:42pm on 10 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    Right. Well in that case I fear I’ve led you royally up the garden path.
    I misconstrued what you were getting at, especially the context and went off trying to explain something that had little relevance to what you were actually asking about- hence the resulting confusion and chaos.
    So as now seems clear, we (or rather I ) were talking at cross purposes.

    So, in an attempt to salvage this discussion and actually address what you were suggesting/asking about:
    I think then, that the crux of your argument was that this relationship between co2 and temp shown in the vostock data proves co2 amplifies temperature. Without the amplification of co2, the observed trends in the vostock data wouldn’t look that way and that this indirectly proves that co2 is responsible for the current warming.
    If this is so I’ll move onto the next bit- if not I’ll cry and give up.

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  • 336. At 3:51pm on 10 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #333

    Firstly I think your use of the phrase "ice age" is wrong in a science context. When talking about palaeoclimate the terminology includes

    1. Interglacial = short warm phase within ice age
    2. Glacial = long cool phase within ice age
    3. Ice age = period of time when there are significant ice sheets covering the Earth

    So I presume your statement referred to "glacials" rather than "ice ages".

    That was the easy bit of the confusion to tackle.

    Secondly given your earlier posts where you downplay orbital changes to sunlight I am not quite sure what you personally mean by Milankovitch cycle, whether you are referring to the periodicity in temperatures with no judgement as to their cause, or whether you are referring to the more conventional meaning where Milankovitch cycles explicitly links this periodicity to the orbital variation in sunlight.

    Finally whichever definition of Milankovitch cycle you mean there is something very Colemanballish about the whole statement. You appear to be saying that different stages in a Milankovitch cycle are different from each other.

    http://www.private-eye.co.uk/sections.php?section_link=colemanballs
    http://www.btinternet.com/~homepage/ballsa.htm

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  • 337. At 5:18pm on 10 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    jane,

    i am fully aware of the terminolgy and as far as i'm aware i was using it correctly. if you have specific examples please link them.

    As for downplaying orbital changes to sunlight, i did nothing of the sort. I was exploring another associated factor- GCR's, not 'replacing' it or ignoring others. I would have thought that was clear.

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  • 338. At 7:57pm on 10 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #337

    "if you have specific examples please link them"

    Your "Ice ages are caused by the differences in the cycles WITHIN the milankovitch cycles."

    This statement originally appeared in your #330,
    I complained it was confusing in my #331,
    you defended it in your #333,
    I gave you a detailed description of my problems with this in my #336.

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  • 339. At 9:50pm on 10 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #335

    "Without the amplification of co2 [more]"

    Do you think the difference in feedbacks between the two types of sensitivities hasn't occurred to them?

    With Milankovitch cycles,

    they have the solar forcing (from changes to orbit),

    they have the total amplification (temperature),

    they have the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases including CO2 and CH4 preserved in the ice
    they have sufficient undisputed theory to calculate the contribution (before feedbacks) of these individual greenhouse gases to Milankovitch related temperatures
    they can therefore calculate the contribution (before feedbacks) to Milankovitch related temperature changes from greenhouse gases that are affected by humans such as carbon dioxide

    It is therefore straightforward for them to make allowances for the fact that Milankovitch climate sensitivity applies to a different forcing.

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  • 340. At 08:13am on 11 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 338.

    i was reffering to the fact that milankovitch cycles themselves have cycles- i.e. the pattern of changes in the earths orbit themselves change- over time.

    @ 339

    Jane, that whole rather lovely written piece is irrelevant WITHOUT the feedbacks. They can calculate the theoretical forcing of the GHG's, but they are introducing a KNOWN uncertainty factor at the very outset of their 'theories'.

    For co2 to act as they describe, the warming phase in the milankovitch cycles would have to show a more exponential rise, as opposed to the steady (but rapid) rise we see in the data. You have to accept that without significant feedback mechanisms, we would see an exponential rise in temperatures (assuming a correlative release of co2 as temperatures rise).

    IF then we accept this, then this shows that co2 is irrelevant to warming, providing at best, a token effect to warming- a 'fine tuner' perhaps (which would match the pattern observed in the cooling phase nicely). The degree of theoreticl forcing, whilst interesting is irrelevant if we do not know the associated degree of feedback.

    My point is, based on the vostock data there is nothing to show that co2 has amplified the temperatures WITHOUT using theroetical forcing calculations which are almost certainly wrong (when applied to the climate that is).

    I repeat- the forcings applied before feedbacks are wholly irrelevant and cannot be used to imply ANYTHING about co2's role in climate change.

    That REALLY is a very basic point jane and incidentally a very common 'trick'.

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  • 341. At 09:55am on 11 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #340

    "is irrelevant WITHOUT the feedbacks"

    Except my #340 was about feedbacks. It was about how to cope when feedbacks are subtly different.

    OK. Warning you that the formula in the following example may be over-simplified.

    Total warming = a(b + c)

    where
    and "b" = warming expected without feedbacks from orbital based changes to sunlight
    and "c" = warming expected without feedbacks from greenhouse gases that are now directly affected by man
    and "a" = multiplicative effect of other feedbacks including water vapour and clouds

    Now for Milankovitch cycles they have "b" from the calculations based on the Earth's orbit plus uncontroversial sums, and they have "c" from the gases preserved in the ice plus uncontroversial sums.

    This allows them to solve for "a" using straightforward sums, and therefore to infer "ac" ("a" multiplied by "c") for the doubling of CO2 using straightforward sums.

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  • 342. At 10:02am on 11 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    "i was reffering to the fact that milankovitch cycles themselves have cycles- i.e. the pattern of changes in the earths orbit themselves change- over time."

    Actually that's almost as confusing. Do you mean the shorter Milankovitch cycles such as the 41 k year cycle and the 21 k year cycle? And if so what was your point?

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  • 343. At 10:16am on 11 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 341. My issue with that calculation (which was a very good way of explaining your point btw) is that the relationship between A and C cannot actually be inferred.

    Assuuming, for the purpose of this example, that A + C = 10

    You can then either have:
    1 (A) + 9 (C) = 10 or
    9 (A) + 1 (C) = 10

    With no way of distinguishing between the two. So in fact, this calculation allows for an ORDER of magnitude difference between the feedbacks and co2 forcings, without knowing.

    The only thing that is ascribing the level of forcing by C02 is the assumed numbers given by the IPCC. This calculation and the theories based on it simply do not support that assertion.

    Do you follow?

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  • 344. At 10:20am on 11 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 342.

    i can't actually think of many different ways to say this jane without going into a massive post- so just forget i brought it up.

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  • 345. At 10:48am on 11 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #343

    Wow. Don't often see a sceptic object that climate sensitivity may not be linear.

    Thing is, Milankovitch cycles cover a significant range of temperatures and other conditions. If climate sensitivity deviates significantly from linearity then that will show up.

    The only non-linearity in Milankovitch cycles that I am aware of is the mooted instability of the ice sheets at their greatest extent.

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  • 346. At 11:32am on 11 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 345. Jane, you're missing the point. regardless of whether it is linear or not, the calculation you inferred to back up your point and does not do what you suggest it does.

    The only way you can ascribe a value to the co2 forcing is to either be able to measure it directly (which we can't) or know exactly the roles of all the feedbacks (which we don't). There is literally no other way.

    We CAN extrapolate from lab based examples- but that is under the implicit assumption that the real world follows the benchtop, which we KNOW is not true.

    As such your explanation for the amplification of milankovitch cycles via c02 falls flat.

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  • 347. At 1:34pm on 11 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #346

    "The only way you can ascribe a value to the co2 forcing is to either be able to measure it directly (which we can't) or know exactly the roles of all the feedbacks (which we don't). There is literally no other way."

    Calculating the influence of a known amount of CO2 without feedbacks is uncontroversial, although some wannabe scientists have made a hash of it to the amusement of some bloggers. It is the contribution from feedbacks which is debated.

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  • 348. At 1:59pm on 11 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 347.

    i see your point, but the as far as i'm aware the vostock data does not support the 'temperature rise per doubling of co2' argument. It if anything points to high feedbacks and therefore low sensitivity.

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  • 349. At 5:35pm on 11 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #348
    @CanadianRockies

    Having said all that I now have to massively play down my arguments on Milankovitch cycles.

    Although the CO2 contribution without feedbacks is straightforward (ditto other greenhouse gases), and so therefore adjusting for the different type of climate sensitivity is straightforward, almost nothing else is. There are a lot of uncertainties involved.

    As a result, the calculations have to be done with care, chosen to use situations that minimise uncertainties, and give a distinct range of climate sensitivities.

    And, this is the bit you'll like. I found a quoted range for Last Glacial Maximum based climate sensitivity calculations for the equivalent of doubling of CO2 is -0.6 to 6.1 C. And that lower figure is "minus 0.6" not "plus 0.6".

    So although a higher climate sensitivity might be seen as more likely, Milankovitch related amplification doesn't automatically rule out the very low climate sensitivities you sceptics like.

    (For the record the mainstream use volcano based observations and 20th Century observations in arguments ruling out lower climate sensitivities lower than 1.5 C per doubling of CO2.)

    So my earlier statement about Milankovitch cycles was wrong. Rather than ruling out sceptic friendly climate sensitivities Milankovitch cycles endorse them. So you win. You win the argument. I cede the argument. On their own Milankovitch cycles are sceptic friendly, they are consistent with vanishingly low levels of climate sensitivity.

    @CanadianRockies, as you can see from above I am red-faced and burying another parrot. I have found my mistakes "most interesting and informative".

    @HungeryWalleye

    Sometimes the sceptics are right.

    LabMunkey was right about Milankovitch endorsing sceptic climate sensitivities.

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  • 350. At 5:54pm on 11 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    Minor clarification of above

    Last Glacial Maximum observation based calculations apparently give a range of climate sensitivities from -0.6 to 6.1 C per doubling of CO2.

    This covers both favoured sceptic ranges of less than 1 C, and the IPCC range of 2 C to 4.5 C with best estimate around 3 C.

    So although this observation based calculation can't debunk the sceptics it can't debunk the IPCC either.

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  • 351. At 7:48pm on 11 Aug 2010, Simon Baddeley wrote:

    I've just come across this conversation. I have been avoiding forums and comments on this issue, because they have become so nasty and so scarily ignorant and so wedded to ad hominem exchanges of abuse. Instead I find here reason reasserted - whether for or against. I'm relieved and delighted and better informed. This is not an elitist comment. This is a debate that should involve all of us. I've had many discussions on climate change, involving profound differences of opinion. We've continued to drink together even as we've argued. The theories are so complex, with a variety of arguments revolving around such intricate detail, and the subject demands so much learning, that there's just no time for mud-slinging whether making a case for or against human-made climate change. I suspect the kind of language that currently disfigures debate about climate change has always been around. The web allows it into the public domain.

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  • 352. At 09:02am on 12 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ jane.

    It seems you managed to explain my nebulous argument better than i in the end and i don't see it as winning or loosing jane, that was just an off-hand term i used. Whoever was proved right in the end i've found this to be an incredibly interesting discussion and you've helped my understanding, considerably, on this subject. There is absolutely nothing to be embarressed about.

    @Simon.

    Glad you enjoyed the debate. When people acutally discuss issues and are prepared to challenge themselves (like my faux pa on the scale jane pointed out) we actually get somewhere. Ad hom does nothing but discredit the one 'weilding it'.


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  • 353. At 12:08pm on 12 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #352

    "seems you managed to explain my nebulous argument"

    Careful. I didn't use your arguments. My issues with most of your arguments are still outstanding. (Obviously I'm still happy with some of the clearing up of simple misunderstandings that were cleared up before my #349.)

    I also point out that because some of my statements about Milankovitch cycles and climate sensitivity were ambiguous my #349 has to correct my perceived mistakes as well as my definite mistakes.

    I remind you how this discussion started, with some very strong statements about observational evidence on climate sensitivity. Even with their uncertainties I think Milankovitch cycles debunk sceptic beliefs that observations favour very low climate sensitivity over the IPCC's preferred range. Sceptics can't use Milankovitch cycle observations to debunk the IPCC's range of likely climate sensitivities.

    I acknowledge that most of those strong statements came from another sceptic.

    "i don't see it as winning or loosing"

    That's very generous of you. However I point out that we have a small mainly sceptic audience, some of whom don't seem to trust the motivations of any warmist, and I'm sure that they want to see sceptic wins clearly acknowledged.

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  • 354. At 1:34pm on 12 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ jane.

    Sigh. "Careful. I didn't use your arguments" True, but you found the evidence i was looking for before i did- so i HAD thought that was worth a mention.

    " Even with their uncertainties I think Milankovitch cycles debunk sceptic beliefs that observations favour very low climate sensitivity over the IPCC's preferred range. Sceptics can't use Milankovitch cycle observations to debunk the IPCC's range of likely climate sensitivities."

    The point is Jane, it doesn't debunk or prove anything- they cannot be used to prove one way or another and implicitly allow BOTH. This discussion started as you saw no other way of explaining the cycles WITHOUT co2 being a primary driver and sensitivity to it to be high. That's all.

    Skeptics cannot use this to prove low sensitivity just as the IPCC cannot use it to prove high. However i obviously disagree over your opinion on sensitivity and still maintain that the data points more to low sensitivity than high.

    "However I point out that we have a small mainly sceptic audience, some of whom don't seem to trust the motivations of any warmist, and I'm sure that they want to see sceptic wins clearly acknowledged."

    Perhaps, but as the discussion was between us i didn't see the need, hence the comment. I'd enjoyed the conversation and thought your statement was too self-derrogatory. Won't make that mistake again.

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  • 355. At 2:36pm on 12 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #354

    "The point is Jane, it doesn't debunk or prove anything- they cannot be used to prove one way or another and implicitly allow BOTH. This discussion started as you saw no other way of explaining the cycles WITHOUT co2 being a primary driver and sensitivity to it to be high."

    This discussion started with some very strong comments about observations on climate sensitivity.

    Which Milankovitch cycles despite their inadequacies do manage to debunk. Climate sensitivity calculations based on Milankovitch observations do allow IPCC levels of climate sensitivity. Therefore even confined to Milankovitch observations strong sceptic statements about climate sensitivity observations are wrong.

    Meanwhile I chose the wrong example with Milankovitch cycles. I didn't know enough about Milankovitch cycles and how they fit in to other observation based estimates of climate sensitivity. I should have flagged up observations based on volcanic eruptions, and then complemented that with Milankovitch observations. Volcanic eruption observations are consistent with Milankovitch observations but have less uncertainty and strongly prefer IPCC levels of climate sensitivity over sceptic levels.

    I also point out that if you are going to refer to warmist attitudes to whether or not CO2 is a primary driver you have to qualify it with a timescale (since mid 20th century).

    Also "high sensitivity" can be taken out of context. I know you mean greater than the sceptic preferred range (which can vary with sceptics). But for mainstream warmists "high sensitivity" can mean "greater than 3 C [best estimate] per doubling of CO2", or "greater than 4.5 C [top end of likely range] per doubling of CO2" or even "greater than 6 C [almost definitely ruled out] per doubling of CO2".

    "Won't make that mistake again."

    I meant what I said about generosity. I wasn't being sarky about you.

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  • 356. At 4:19pm on 12 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    "Therefore even confined to Milankovitch observations strong sceptic statements about climate sensitivity observations are wrong"

    i'd take issue with this, just because the calculations allow for a particular range, doesn't give credance to any figure within that range. Don't fall into that trap.

    "I also point out that if you are going to refer to warmist attitudes to whether or not CO2 is a primary driver you have to qualify it with a timescale (since mid 20th century"

    This is a little confusing- co2 is either a primary driver or it is not. You cannot have it as a minor player in the vostock data then switch and say it is a major driver today.

    Re-volcanoes:

    not a subject i have in-depth knowledge of- so until i get a chance to examine it, i'll take your word for it.

    "I meant what I said about generosity. I wasn't being sarky about you"
    the dangers of judging mood from written text- i misinterpreted your comment. apologies.

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  • 357. At 5:54pm on 12 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #356

    Cheers for that.

    "doesn't give credance to any figure within that range"

    I remind you of Mango's strong statements on climate sensitivity related observations evidence including "at this moment in time all observational evidence points to low climate sensitivity". I think Milankovitch related observations debunk that, although not as well as the volcanic based observations.

    "co2 is either a primary driver or it is not"

    I'm not sure how much real disagreement there is here. I suspect this issue may just be down to semantics.

    "Driver" is more about causation and signal than energy contribution share.

    For the bulk of geological time although CO2 has contributed to temperature CO2 levels have been set in response to temperature. For example over the past million years CO2 has contributed to temperature but CO2 levels have responded to temperatures driven by orbital changes to sunlight. Therefore on the timescale of the past million years the orbital changes to sunlight have been the primary driver of temperatures.

    Our recent activities have modified this situation. Although temperature is still influencing CO2 levels (by affecting the ability of the oceans to act as a sink), it is not the only factor involved. We have raised CO2 levels well above what they would be naturally for current temperatures. And our contribution to this rise combined with IPCC ideas of climate sensitivity explains much of the rise in temperatures since the mid 20th century. Meanwhile on the shorter timescale of decades orbital variations are swamped by other factors.

    Regardless of whether you think the science is right or not, "primary driver" seems an appropriate description for something that causes more than, say, 50% of the signal in the temperature. And with this definition the "primary driver" is liable to change according to timescale.

    As an analogy think of the wimpy amount of energy in the radio waves that reach your radio. That wimpy signal is the primary driver of the sound emerging from your radio's speakers, not the 240 volts of electricity you plug your radio into.

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  • 358. At 04:21am on 13 Aug 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke and LabMunkey

    Bravo you two! Excellent discussion. Still plenty of room for more wafers before anything explodes.

    To cut to the chase, Jane just wrote: "And our contribution to this rise [CO2] combined with IPCC ideas of climate sensitivity explains much of the rise in temperatures since the mid 20th century."

    Ah, there's the rub. In the roller coaster of climate history, such a short term blip, and not even a steady rise at that, means nothing. But if one chooses to see the world through IPCC-coloured glasses...

    In any case, what I have particularly enjoyed about your discussion is that it clearly reveals the complexity of all this, in a nice way, and confirms that there are many uncertainties, unknowns, and undoubtedly unknown unknowns, as well as varying ways to interpret what is known.

    That seems to be the direction we are heading towards in this larger discussion. The age of climate uncertainty is upon us as the shrill 'debate is over' era dies its well deserved death. At least, that is what I hope is happening.






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  • 359. At 09:21am on 13 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ jane
    "For the bulk of geological time although CO2 has contributed to temperature "

    Now i'm going to have to disagree with you right off the bat jane (!).
    As far as i am aware, there is no evidence to back this statement up. NOw- before you rip into me; i accept it has a role, however as we established above- without knowing what all the feedbacks are, how they work and the level to which they DO work, it is impossible to ascribe a degree of forcing to co2.

    Without that information, your statment is nothing but an assumption.

    This ties back into what i was saying earlier about 'contaminated thinking'. There are so many assumptions in the AGW theory, that they literally pervade into every single facet of it. It's all based around the assumption that co2 behaves the way the IPCC 'believe'. This assumption is then used to provide the evidence for THAT assumption. It simply doesn't work like that in science.

    " "And our contribution to this rise [CO2] combined with IPCC ideas of climate sensitivity explains much of the rise in temperatures since the mid 20th century."

    And again, i'll have to disagree. There are gaping holes in our knowledge and the earth simply isn't behaving as the IPCC or the MODELS have predicted. If anything i'd say those falsified the IPCC's theory pretty thoroughly.

    @ c-rockies

    "The age of climate uncertainty is upon us as the shrill 'debate is over' era dies its well deserved death. At least, that is what I hope is happening. "

    I share that hope. The minute the phrase 'the debate is over' was uttered it stopped being about the science and became politics. I cannot wait for the whole AGW bubble to burst so the real science can begin as some of the things i've investigated during this process are downright fascinating (GCR's for example) and it will be nice when only 'proper' science is being published again- not this politicised rubbish.

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  • 360. At 12:20pm on 13 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #359

    "contribution" versus "role"

    I think this is another case of semantics rather than real disagreement.

    For the bulk of geological time CO2 has not been the driver. This means that any CO2 contribution can be looked at by considering the effect of CO2 without feedbacks, which is non controversial.

    I remind you that my #357 is about the use of the term "driver" rather than a detailed look at the role of CO2.

    Bearing in mind I am not asking you to agree with IPCC ideas about climate sensitivity and causes of recent temperature changes, do you still have an issue with my comment about CO2 contributions in the pre-anthropogenic era?


    On your disagreement with my "And our contribution to this rise [CO2] combined with IPCC ideas of climate sensitivity explains much of the rise in temperatures since the mid 20th century"

    My text was carefully worded. My #357 was about the meaning of the term "driver" rather than a detailed look at the role of CO2. So it referred to IPCC ideas rather than insisting those ideas were true.

    Bearing in mind that I am not asking you to agree with IPCC ideas about climate sensitivity and causes of recent temperature changes, do you still have an issue with the meaning of the word "driver"?

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  • 361. At 1:54pm on 13 Aug 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    yeah, it probably is a semantics thing.

    " do you still have an issue with my comment about CO2 contributions in the pre-anthropogenic era"
    I'm not sure to be totally honest. I'm uneasy, i think's the closest term, about ascribing any degree of driving potential to co2 given the current state of knowledge (whilst still, of course accepting the theoretical values). But, if we're seperating that from CO2, then i think it's ok, with the usual qualifier that we are actually fairly ignorant on ANY of the main drivers.

    " do you still have an issue with the meaning of the word "driver"?"

    Providing 'driver' refers to something that significantly affects the climate REGARDLESS of the feedbacks ating against it, then yeah- i think we're good. :-)

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  • 362. At 2:17pm on 13 Aug 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #361

    Ta for that.

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