BBC BLOGS - Richard Black's Earth Watch
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
« Previous | Main | Next »

Unlikely marriage powers ahead

Richard Black | 21:18 UK time, Wednesday, 8 December 2010

From the UN climate summit in Cancun, Mexico:

No-one here really wants to be doom-laden about it, but it's a reality that more and more are having to face: the UN climate process could be grinding to a halt.

Island in the Maldives (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

Researchers from Scotland will look at the potential of marine energy in the Maldives

If things go badly wrong at this meeting, it won't fall apart completely. Instead, as UK Climate Secretary Chris Huhne put it:

"People next year won't send a senior minister, they'll send a junior minister, and then the year after they'll send a senior civil servant.

"In a few years' time it'll be the local ambassador, and it'll wither on the vine."

That would lead to a UN process completely inadequate for dealing with the scale of climate impacts in years to come, as outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and numerous other science bodies.

All of that is to play for here.

But in the meantime - and partly born out of frustration with the UN process - small groups of countries and companies are exploring initiatives for themselves that could be small pieces of a much bigger climate picture, and perhaps trailblazers for others.

The links depend on common interests, historical links, and perceived constructiveness. Sometimes the pairing helps with wider geopolitical aims.

So we have Norway and Indonesia hooking up on forestry, the UK and India working together on green technology, Japan and Indonesia exploring geothermal power... and so on.

The latest, unveiled here, puts together what is at first sight an unlikely pair of bedfellows - Scotland and The Maldives.

Together, they're dipping their toes into uncharted waters - exploring the potential of the seas around the Maldivian islands for marine power.

Illegal timber in Indonesia (Image: Reuters)

Norway and Indonesia have already formed a partnership with the goal of protecting forests

Scotland has wild shores aplenty, and a commitment to meeting 80% of its electricity through renewables by 2020; wind may do the majority of that, but marine energy potentially has a part to play.

The Maldives has plenty of sea - 90,000 square kilometres or thereabouts - and needs renewables if it's to meet its target of becoming carbon neutral by 2020.

Expressed in these terms, it looks more like a good marriage.

In the initial phase, scientists and engineers from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen will explore - using Scottish money - the potential for wave, tidal and ocean thermal generation around the Maldivian archipelago.

If things look good there, marine power companies (of which Scotland has several) will look to come in and actually build stuff, with support from the Scottish government and the EU.

From the UK point of view, it makes a lot of sense.

If UK companies develop new technology, they'll need new markets into which to sell it. And just as prairies are natural territory for wind turbines, archipelagos ought logically to work for waves and tides.

Deploying pilot projects might be less arduous in The Maldives, without the red tape that still bedevils the UK's renewables sector.

And for The Maldives, it's a chance to get an advanced foot on the ladder of a new generation, potentially, of renewable energy devices.

If thing do go belly-up here, we're going to see more and more of this sort of innovative partnership on climate and related issues, such as energy and forestry.

Companies want it, governments want it, NGOs want it.

For them, such projects are "facts on the ground" that can prove to others that a low-carbon energy future is viable, and so render many of the objections raised in fora such as the UN climate convention null and void.

 

 

Comments

or register to comment.

  • 1. At 10:34pm on 08 Dec 2010, nativeson wrote:

    What both the BBC and new labours public school toffs rightly know is that we need over full wheelie bin fines to be infinately more than fly tipping fines and we must have another new labour government (Teddy Millibrand is such a dear public school boy)so we can have more government policy/BBC tie in programmes. I so enjoyed the last one with all those green gigs around the world and I never noticed that the TV screens the pop stars were using burned the equivelent electrical output of an African State as I was so absorbed by the aerial pictures shot by a squadron of gas guzzling helicoptors.
    Lets raise the licence fee to show the BBC and new labour how much we love them XXXXXXXX

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 10:46pm on 08 Dec 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    It all sounds really good. I wish I could become more involved but I don't know how to go about it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 3. At 04:55am on 09 Dec 2010, Shadorne wrote:

    RB Says, "In the initial phase, scientists and engineers from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen will explore - using Scottish money - the potential for wave, tidal and ocean thermal generation around the Maldivian archipelago."

    What an excellent idea. How do I sign up for tax payer funded exploration trips (snorkeling, diving, surfing those tidal waves and generally enjoying the sun) in the Maldives?

    What a waste of Scottish money!

    Do people have no shame.

    Can nobody see how man-made climate change scare stories are simply a tool or excuse to generate funds for highly dubious research purposes?

    I already can guess that after 5 years of sunny island research trips they will conclude that further investigation is necessary and further taxpayer funds will be required to finance it all.

    Meanwhile the reality is old man winter is alive and well and rumours of his death are greatly exaggerated.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11952089

    "8 December 2010 - More snow and ice as UK awaits another freezing night"

    The attendees at Can'tcon climate conference may have finally realized they Can'tcon us anymore.

    You Cancon some people some of the time but you Can'tcon all the people all the time!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 05:00am on 09 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    2. sensiblegrannie wrote:

    "It all sounds really good. I wish I could become more involved but I don't know how to go about it."

    No problem. If you live in the UK you are involved, through your escalating energy costs and taxes which are used to subsidize these things and those who grossly profit from them.

    Isn't it great to transfer your wealth to Cameron's father-in-law or Lord Oxburough's company? And its all to save the planet, honest.

    Of course, it is rather odd that the Maldives is planning these projects when just last year they were doing underwater stunts demanding money because they were sinking. Oh that's right. That was an 'error.'

    There is a sucker born every minute.

    Complain about this comment

  • 5. At 05:45am on 09 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    Re "There is a sucker born every minute."

    Must see video of Richard's friends at Cancun:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/08/cop16-attendees-fall-for-the-old-dihydrogen-monoxide-petition-as-well-as-signing-up-to-cripple-the-u-s-economy/

    Complain about this comment

  • 6. At 07:23am on 09 Dec 2010, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @2 - sensiblegranny -
    '2. At 10:46pm on 08 Dec 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    It all sounds really good. I wish I could become more involved but I don't know how to go about it. '


    No problem -
    http://www.foei.org/
    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/


    .. to read up on the reputable science -
    http://www.realclimate.org/



    @1 nativeson
    '..new labours public school toffs...'

    .. as opposed to the Conservative or Lib Dem public school toffs?.. class war is an illusion pursued by champagne socialists (and has been ever since, and including Marx), nothing more.

    One of the reasons I know Auntie Beeb is doing an excellent job is that both the Conservatives and the Labour party hate it...


    @ 4&5 CanadianRockies
    '..there is a sucker born every minute..'

    Canadian Cod.. a fishery destroyed by its own industry for short term gain and which now relies on the Seal Hunt to generate enough working days to allow ex fishermen to qualify for benefits for the rest of the year.. its a political charade to bilk money out of the Canadian electorate who don't live on the coast and were not foolish enough to destroy their environment for a quick buck.. oh wait, Deja vu..
    .. don't bother trying to play the nationality card in response CR, I have a Canadian passport.

    Always a kernel of truth in the political white noise.. Western consumption is responsible for a very large amount of global emissions either by domestic production or simply because we have exported production to developing nations.. as Shadorne pointed out, you can con some of the people some of the time but you can't con all of the people all of the time.

    Complain about this comment

  • 7. At 07:43am on 09 Dec 2010, JunkkMale wrote:

    'Deploying pilot projects might be less arduous in The Maldives...'

    Can't argue with that, though one might wonder if investigative funds here might be better deployed closer to home in the pursuit of better understanding of renewable potential that may be derived from aggressive, hostile, especially cold salt-water environments.

    But at least the Maldives airport infrastructure might be better adapted to the needs of doubtless oft visiting dignitaries, celebs and even the odd reporter on occasion. Certainly better than, say, Gatwick, last week. A few questions on lack of preparedness and contingency may still ensue about this, and other climate consequential failures within these fair shores. Who knows, it might also transpire that looking more at preparation and adaptation could prove not only politically more savvy (though it can be an oddly moving and confusing field: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/8190489/Cancun-climate-change-summit-Chris-Huhne-attacks-Ed-Milibands-political-point-scoring-over-climate-change.html , with heroes becoming villains and vice versa), but actually make more sense if presented in the right way by those who may be trusted to put the facts over agenda.

    Often important, when choices are stark: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/8190038/Cancun-climate-change-conference-Britain-is-urged-to-impose-15-billion-in-green-taxes.html

    The trick for those concerned for the future is to try and figure out what money is being demanded and designated for whom, and where, with what chance of having any positive effects.

    Sadly, that currently ranges still from the very vague to the very dubious.

    Complain about this comment

  • 8. At 08:09am on 09 Dec 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Richard

    Richard,

    I haven't read the link from University of British Columbia in full, but the headline reads:

    Greenland ice sheet flow driven by short-term weather extremes, not gradual warming: UBC research

    http://www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/2010/12/08/greenland-ice-sheet-flow-driven-by-short-term-weather-extremes-not-gradual-warming-ubc-research/

    The peer reviewed paper is to be printed in Nature tomorrow and dispels the "Greenland is melting because of man" myth, although the usual rider is in place

    “This certainly doesn’t mitigate the issue of global warming, but it does mean that we need to expand our understanding of what’s behind the massive ice loss we’re worried about,” says Schoof

    I hope to read your take on this study

    /Mango

    Complain about this comment

  • 9. At 08:37am on 09 Dec 2010, Smiffie wrote:

    "People next year won't send a senior minister, they'll send a junior minister, and then the year after they'll send a senior civil servant.

    "In a few years' time it'll be the local ambassador, and it'll wither on the vine."

    Soon climate change will be the stuff of nostalgia, just like the Bay City Rollers and the Rubix Cube.

    Complain about this comment

  • 10. At 08:59am on 09 Dec 2010, Brunnen wrote:

    Sometimes you just have to laugh.

    Firstly, at the notion of developing marine power for The Maldives. Aren't they supposed to be sinking beneath the rising sea?

    Secondly, at the idea of realclimate.org being anything more than a long winded AGW puff piece.

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

    "No-one here really wants to be doom-laden about it, but it's a reality that more and more are having to face: the UN climate process could be grinding to a halt."

    We can only hope, Richard. We can only hope...

    Complain about this comment

  • 11. At 09:45am on 09 Dec 2010, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @10 Brunnen
    'Secondly, at the idea of realclimate.org being anything more than a long winded AGW puff piece.'


    The irony of that remark when the Contrarians continually reference WUWT's political white noise is priceless...

    Complain about this comment

  • 12. At 10:18am on 09 Dec 2010, quake wrote:

    "The peer reviewed paper is to be printed in Nature tomorrow and dispels the "Greenland is melting because of man" myth, although the usual rider is in place"

    No, you've misread it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 13. At 10:30am on 09 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    "No-one here really wants to be doom-laden about it"

    Huh? What? Surely the raison d’être of the entire movement is to wallow in that good old-time religion of lading everything with doom, at the same time as swilling the wine of the peasants' tithes?

    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 10:33am on 09 Dec 2010, euroslayer wrote:

    Richard, I have just dropped you a line on email, urging you to look at this post on WUWT:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/08/shredding-the-climate-consensus-myth-more-than-1000-international-scientists-dissent-over-man-made-global-warming-claims-challenge-un-ipcc-gore/#more-29110

    ...and to report it for the BBC. When you have Nobel laureates and large numbers of climatology scientists voicing skeptical concerns surely your journalistic instincts for accuracy, fairplay and balance will lead you to the inescapable conclusion that 'the other side' needs to be fairly reported.

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 10:41am on 09 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #8 mangochutneyuk

    "The peer reviewed paper is to be printed in Nature tomorrow and dispels the "Greenland is melting because of man" myth, although the usual rider is in place"

    you still haven't got your head around how science works. there cannot be one paper that proves agw is melting greenland ice and there cannot be one paper that 'dispels' it either. greenland ice is melting and there are many factors that contribute.....however, most papers show it is predominantly agw.

    Complain about this comment

  • 16. At 10:45am on 09 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #13 bowmanthebard

    "entire movement" - what's an entire movement? does that include my movements?

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 10:55am on 09 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    Richard

    "For them, such projects are "facts on the ground" that can prove to others that a low-carbon energy future is viable, and so render many of the objections raised in fora such as the UN climate convention null and void."

    surely the biggest objection is that a low-carbon energy future will not be viable as long as it is 1p per kw more expensive than fossil fuels. and govt subsidies skew the equation so that it almost certainly won;t be until switching is pointless (turning off the gas after your sprouts have been cooked to mush will not make them edible!).

    unless climate change is fully factored into the price of energy globally then even if the switch to renewables is fabulously successful it will just lead to a drop in fossil fuel prices that will guarantee the pumps keep running (although it may prevent the nightmare of tar sands)

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 10:56am on 09 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    rossglory #16: "entire movement" - what's an entire movement?

    It's a group of people who get their opinions from other people, rather than from critical enquiry, so that a mass of like-minded opinion "snowballs".

    does that include my movements?

    rossglory #15: most papers show

    Yeah, that about sums it up -- a classic appeal to majority opinion instead of testing, etc.. Such appeals are the very antithesis of science.

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 10:56am on 09 Dec 2010, GeoffWard wrote:

    Interesting BCU paper on spasmic water-flows shifting ice sheets (via Mango @ 8).
    So, slowly elevating ambient temperature will not spasmically do the damage (though logically, it must, eventually); it needs injections of high hydrostatic loadings of melt-water to penetrate full-depth fissures before the ice-sheet is 'lifted' and shifted. The model matches the observation. Totally understandable.
    Melt-water can only occur when the ambient air/surface temperatures elevate above 0 degrees for sufficient time to allow massive phase-change - regional seasonal warming, if not global warming. If it happens now and did not happen before, this is evidence of change in climate.
    As I see it, one of the features of 'climate' today is the instability of regional weather systems and the increased frequency of extreme events - like November snows and Russian conflagrations. If GW/AGW expresses itself in extremities then the Greenland and Antarctic terrestrial ice-sheet break-up modeling contributes to our understanding of the mechanism of this positive feedback component; the process, and the argument around the ascription of the anthropogenic contribution, remain the same.

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 10:57am on 09 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #14 euroslayer

    we've all been there and got the teeshirts. let's move on.

    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 11:00am on 09 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    rossglory #15 wrote:

    you still haven't got your head around how science works.

    And since presumably you do "have your head around how the science works", refer me to what you regard as an authoritative text on just how it works, please.

    Complain about this comment

  • 22. At 11:12am on 09 Dec 2010, quake wrote:

    "Yeah, that about sums it up -- a classic appeal to majority opinion instead of testing, etc.."

    Those opinions were formed by testing. So it's an appeal to the majority of tested results.

    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 11:17am on 09 Dec 2010, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @18 bowmanthebard
    'It's a group of people who get their opinions from other people, rather than from critical enquiry, so that a mass of like-minded opinion "snowballs".'


    That certainly sums up a considerable percentage of the Contrarian movement.. long on opinion, short on science.

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 11:29am on 09 Dec 2010, GeoffWard wrote:

    rossglory wrote @ 20:
    Re #14 euroslayer, "we've all been there and got the teeshirts. let's move on."
    ...........
    Ross,
    people come to this site new and virgin to the old argument - we all need time to find our contribution and to understand the good, the bad and the oddball amongst our fellow-contributors.
    Show a bit of generosity of comment.
    Geoff.

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 11:45am on 09 Dec 2010, Brunnen wrote:

    @23. At 11:17am on 09 Dec 2010, Lamna_nasus wrote:


    That certainly sums up a considerable percentage of the Contrarian movement.. long on opinion, short on science.

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

    Coming from someone who does nothing more here than make appeals to authority, one has to say something about people who live in glass houses and what they should or should not be doing with stones.

    Science never advances because of the majority opinion. Quite the reverse, actually. The majority opinion has always been a hinderance to scientific progress.

    And I see you're breaking out the ad homs again. Contrarians, indeed...

    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 11:51am on 09 Dec 2010, GeoffWard wrote:

    Cancun partnership pairings:

    The UK should have linked up with South Korea to define the constraints, advantages and fuel-supply implications of transfering to a nuclear-fueled low-carbon energy world.

    In passing, this allows for the development and economic advantage based on secure nuclear waste management technologies and solutions.

    It allows for the re-assessment of the 'worth' of countries based on uranium deposits - this is important in order to avoid China circumscribing all the world's uranium outside the US border.

    South Korea, with its new generation nuclear reactor technology, could have brought to the table all the expertise in the field that no longer exists in the UK.

    Complain about this comment

  • 27. At 12:01pm on 09 Dec 2010, quake wrote:

    The majority opinion of experts is more likely to be right than any other source of opinion.

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 12:08pm on 09 Dec 2010, Brunnen wrote:

    @26. At 11:51am on 09 Dec 2010, GeoffWard wrote:

    South Korea, with its new generation nuclear reactor technology, could have brought to the table all the expertise in the field that no longer exists in the UK.

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

    And you can thank the Green party, environmental groups, hippies, crusties, students and other associated ne'er do wells for that one.

    If idiots hadn't spent decades campaigning against nuclear power the UK would be producing most if not all of it's electricity in this non CO2 producing manner.

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 12:11pm on 09 Dec 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Brunnen

    "Science never advances because of the majority opinion. Quite the reverse, actually. The majority opinion has always been a hinderance to scientific progress."

    I agree with your first sentence, and disagree with your second.

    Science moves on because of a majority of evidence, which is why euroslayers link adds very little value to the discussion.

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 12:17pm on 09 Dec 2010, Brunnen wrote:

    @27. At 12:01pm on 09 Dec 2010, quake wrote:

    The majority opinion of experts is more likely to be right than any other source of opinion.

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

    Tell that to Charles Darwin. Or Louis Pasteur. Or Galileo Galilei. Or Albert Einstein. Or Stephen Hawking.

    The list goes on and on...

    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 12:19pm on 09 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Brunnen #25: Science never advances because of the majority opinion.

    hotashes #29: I agree with your first sentence, and disagree with your second. Science moves on because of a majority of evidence

    Do you count "evidence" as the same thing as "opinion", i.e. what people think?

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 12:38pm on 09 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    quake #27 wrote:

    The majority opinion of experts is more likely to be right than any other source of opinion.

    This assumption is as common as it is completely wrong. Only someone who has not studied the history of science would make a claim like this.

    Whatever their area of specialization may be, experts' focus is narrow. That is, if they have knowledge at all, it is of "deep" things -- that is, of things found in abstract and/or highly theoretical areas of inquiry, which are distant from direct observation. Claims about such things are epistemically risky, i.e. quite uncertain. Experts usually disagree a great deal, and where they don't, it is a sign that enquiry has atrophied.

    Expert knowledge should be contrasted with common sense, which has a wide focus. That is, it is of "shallow" things -- that is, it concerns everyday, directly observable, concrete stuff, nothing particularly abstract or theoretical. Its claims are epistemically quite safe, i.e. we can trust them, even though they don't take us very far.

    Knowledge of very "deep" things is valuable, as is trustworthy knowledge, but "deep" and "trustworthy" are very, very different values. Let us try to avoid confusing them!

    For example:

    "There are six kinds of quarks" is a very valuable sort of claim, but we can have very little assurance it is true. By contrast, "the pavements are icy" is also a very valuable claim, it might even save a life, and we can be assured it is true simply by stepping outside -- but it doesn't penetrate the hidden structure of the world.

    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 12:46pm on 09 Dec 2010, quake wrote:

    "Tell that to Charles Darwin. Or Louis Pasteur. Or Galileo Galilei. Or Albert Einstein. Or Stephen Hawking. The list goes on and on..."

    I said "The majority opinion of experts is *more likely* to be right than any other source of opinion.". I didn't say it was always right.

    I notice your list only consists of theories which are accepted by the majority of experts today...

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 1:08pm on 09 Dec 2010, quake wrote:

    I didn't say "The majority opinion of experts is likely to be right"

    I said "The majority opinion of experts is more likely to be right than any other source of opinion"

    And that "other source of opinion" includes your own opinion if you are not an expert.

    And so laypeople who don't have the time to become experts themselves would be advised to accept the majority opinion of experts, until, if ever, it changes.

    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 1:10pm on 09 Dec 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Richard Black

    Care to report on these 2 options from FCCC/AWGLCA/2010/CRP.2 (I can't provide a link, because it's a pdf, but i'm sure you can lay your hands on a copy) and let me know how much this will eventually cost me:

    Option 1: Developed country Parties commit, in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, to a goal of mobilizing jointly USD 100 billion dollars per year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries;
    Option 2: Developed country Parties and other parties included in Annex II to the Convention commit to provide 1.5% of their GDP per year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries;


    Wealth redistribution any one?

    /Mango

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 1:11pm on 09 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    quake #33 wrote:

    I said "The majority opinion of experts is *more likely* to be right than any other source of opinion.". I didn't say it was always right.

    But the history of science is a series of older theories that have been rejected in favour of newer theories. The older theories were held by majority. The newer theories in their turn became older theories.

    When you add it all up, most scientific theories have been found to be false. Unless some bizarre miracle has taken place, most of the scientific theories that are currently held will probably be found to be false too. Especially if scientific methods are no longer questioned but merely taken on authority, as they seem to be in climate science.

    Complain about this comment

  • 37. At 1:17pm on 09 Dec 2010, hotashes wrote:

    21. bowmanthebard wrote:

    "... since presumably you do "have your head around how the science works", refer me to what you regard as an authoritative text on just how it works, please."

    I think you know that no authoritative text exists. This said the following link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcavPAFiG14 - gives an interesting introduction.

    I also found "Fabulous Science: Fact and Fiction in the History of Scientific Discovery, by John Waller" an interesting read.

    Here is a snippet from the book discription (relevant to Brunnen and quake??)
    "The great biologist Louis Pasteur suppressed 'awkward' data because it didn't support the case he was making. Joseph Lister's famously clean hospital wards were actually notorious dirty. And Einstein's general relativity was only 'confirmed' in 1919 because an eminent British scientist cooked his figures."

    Complain about this comment

  • 38. At 1:21pm on 09 Dec 2010, Brunnen wrote:

    33. At 12:46pm on 09 Dec 2010, quake wrote:

    I notice your list only consists of theories which are accepted by the majority of experts today...

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

    Yes, and at the time they made their discoveries, they were mocked, ridiculed and ostricised from mainstream science. Just like scientists who are sceptical of AGW are today.

    Complain about this comment

  • 39. At 1:54pm on 09 Dec 2010, quake wrote:

    "But the history of science is a series of older theories that have been rejected in favour of newer theories."

    Most new ideas never make it. Betting on new fangled idea that are not well accepted by experts will have a far worse failure rate than betting on ideas that are well accepted by experts.

    A lot of old theories are still around and even some of the old theories that were replaced by new theories aren't completely invalidated but are superceded.

    Complain about this comment

  • 40. At 1:57pm on 09 Dec 2010, Maurizio Morabito wrote:

    Is it morally acceptable to talk about raising hundreds of billions of dollars per year for climate change, when we are still missing $700M to eradicate malaria, and on the back of plenty of broken promises about development?

    Complain about this comment

  • 41. At 2:02pm on 09 Dec 2010, quake wrote:

    "Yes, and at the time they made their discoveries, they were mocked, ridiculed and ostricised from mainstream science. Just like scientists who are sceptical of AGW are today."

    That's not a good reason to prefer the theories of a few scientists over the theories held my a majority.

    Complain about this comment

  • 42. At 2:36pm on 09 Dec 2010, hotashes wrote:

    38 Brunnen

    That's not really the case. Einstien was working in a field where many scientists had noticed conflicts between the theory and observation's being made. Many people put forward a number of theories. Einstien put forward his theories, other scientists quickly saw their power explain and predict, and it was quickly adopted.

    As for Darwin, Wallace had also come up with a similar theory (as had others before them - they just didn't have anywhere the amount of evidence these two had). When they presented their ideas to the Royal Society no one ridiculed them. In fact the criticisms, from other scientists, came because of the big holes in darwin's theory i.e. The time it required.

    Complain about this comment

  • 43. At 2:44pm on 09 Dec 2010, Brunnen wrote:

    @41. At 2:02pm on 09 Dec 2010, quake wrote:

    That's not a good reason to prefer the theories of a few scientists over the theories held my a majority.

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

    No, it isn't. A far better reason would be that I don't trust a bullying, coersive majority who seek to suppress the minority "the debate is over".

    I also don't trust any branch of science that, when confronted with real world results that don't match their computer models claim that the problem is with the world, not the models.

    Complain about this comment

  • 44. At 2:46pm on 09 Dec 2010, euroslayer wrote:

    Geoff Ward wrote @ 24
    re rossglory wrote @ 20:
    Re #14 euroslayer, "we've all been there and got the teeshirts. let's move on."

    The thing is Geoff, Rossglory's comment is typical of the warmists who seem reluctant to engage with these uncomfortable truths. Facts are hard things for these folk but the facts have to be dealt with.

    The link I posted is to a new report - dated December 8 - which contains contributions from distinguished scientists. I do not recall Richard devoting space to the 'other side of the argument', even when it comes from such a respected source.

    Rossglory, please do show me where I am wrong and point me to one of Richard's pieces that examines the skeptical evidence in the detail enjoyed by the warmists.

    The thing is Rossglory, Richard is not a PR man he is a BBC journalist with a responsibility to the BBC audience for fair and balanced reporting. If you believe that this new report which contains contributions from some eminent people in their field should not be covered by Richard then please explain why.

    It's not a lot to ask. At the moment "we've all been there and got the teeshirts. let's move on" comes across as "I dare not engage with this news so I will make a flippant remark and hope to cover Richard's tracks for him".

    Complain about this comment

  • 45. At 3:14pm on 09 Dec 2010, quake wrote:

    Re 44. euroslayer:

    There was a 30,000 name petition of scientists bandied about a few years back. Have the number of skeptics really reduced so much that you can now only muster a list of 1,000?

    Complain about this comment

  • 46. At 3:23pm on 09 Dec 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Euroslayer, the problem is, we are interested in a consensus of evidence not opinion.

    See http://www.skepticalscience.com/The-Scientific-Guide-to-Global-Warming-Skepticism.html for that consensus of evidence. Now if you presented a link to a report of a summary of a body of work, that was internally consistent and supported by many lines of observation, by 1000 scientists that explained why the current warming was attributable to man, maybe Richard would report it.

    The reason most people ignore WUWT is because it doesn't have any evidence for it's claims.

    Complain about this comment

  • 47. At 3:36pm on 09 Dec 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Correction to post above. It should read 'not attributable to man'

    Complain about this comment

  • 48. At 3:56pm on 09 Dec 2010, Brunnen wrote:

    @hotashes

    Do yourself a favour, don't link to realclimate.com or skepticalscience.com Both those sites are nothing more than AGW propaganda sites and are not taken seriously by sceptics of any stripe.

    Don't believe me? Try making a sceptical comment on either one of those sites and see how quickly it vanishes.

    Complain about this comment

  • 49. At 4:14pm on 09 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:


    quake #39 wrote:

    Betting on new fangled idea that are not well accepted by experts will have a far worse failure rate than betting on ideas that are well accepted by experts.

    You are comparing the abstract/theoretical ideas of experts with the abstract/theoretical ideas of newcomers, whereas I was comparing the abstract/theoretical ideas of experts with the common sense observations of ordinary folk.

    To move on to your comparison: it all depends who the experts are. On the basic forces of nature, an expert in astrology is less trustworthy than a high school science student; on the basic urges that animate us as agents, a psychology professor is less trustworthy than a good novelist (or intelligent novel reader, or intelligent movie-goer). Some experts are terrific: my favourite scientific expert defined science as "belief in the ignorance of experts".

    We have practically no idea about success or failure rates of abstract/theoretical ideas, because none of them can be "checked" directly to see if they are true or false, and almost all of them are rejected sooner or later. Of course an idea that someone or other has thought about for a bit -- better still, disagreed about -- is better than an idea that has been cobbled together out of thin air. Unfortunately, the ideas of experts tend not to be questioned as much as the others. Hence the wonderful state of our economy, for which we can thank economic experts.

    Complain about this comment

  • 50. At 4:26pm on 09 Dec 2010, Kamboshigh wrote:

    Euroslayer,

    Don't let them get to you, you are completely right, you cannot expect the diehard believers and high priest of "whatever it is called this week" to saying anything different from repeating the same chorus line. Not a chance of them even looking at the links as it doesn't fit their agenda.

    Slowly but surely they will work it out and the truth will dawn on them, and as already stated above AGW or whatever, will vanish as the hoax it is to be replaced with whatever other nonsense.

    Perhaps, the warmist, can explain the following in support of their science. The last two weeks in the UK have been the coldest since records began in 1659. Any takers for that and no shooting the messenger and no "well it warmer over there" or globally it doesn't count.

    I must also say the warmists on the site are very polite and I would have a pint with them any time they want to come to the warmth of Cyprus

    Complain about this comment

  • 51. At 4:39pm on 09 Dec 2010, PAWB46 wrote:

    "In a few years' time ..... it'll wither on the vine." The sooner the climate change scam dies a death, the better. Then we can get on with our lives and concentrate on the things that matter - like alleviating poverty by giving people cheap energy, eliminating diseases, improving the environment.

    Complain about this comment

  • 52. At 4:41pm on 09 Dec 2010, Kamboshigh wrote:

    My 50

    Do not come any later than Christmas it seems we are going to get the white stuff as well especially in January.

    Everybody stay save and warm especially with this warning

    http://www.accuweather.com/ukie/bastardi-europe-blog.asp?partner=accuweather

    I think you guys need to listen to Piers Corbyn as well

    Complain about this comment

  • 53. At 4:43pm on 09 Dec 2010, Brunnen wrote:

    "Perhaps, the warmist, can explain the following in support of their science. The last two weeks in the UK have been the coldest since records began in 1659. Any takers for that and no shooting the messenger and no "well it warmer over there" or globally it doesn't count."

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

    Expect 'weather isn't climate' response ver soon.

    Unless it's a heatwave, flood or hurricane. All those have been touted as proof of AGW, but cold snaps, cool summers and several feet of snow are all merely weather and as such to be ignored.

    Here endeth the lesson.

    Complain about this comment

  • 54. At 4:53pm on 09 Dec 2010, euroslayer wrote:

    Hi Kamboshigh,

    Re your supportive comment at No. 50.

    Thank you! I see you are emailing in from one of my favourite islands. Of course, we have to remember that "weather is not climate" and no doubt the warmists will point out that a few exceptionally cold winters in succession do not constitute a trend.

    However, even Phil Jones says he cannot account for the lack of warming over the last 15 years. Of course on your beautiful island, you can be paddling in the sunny Med. at 12 noon and be sat enjoying the snow covered slopes around the weather station on Mt. Troodos an hour later - two climates on the same day.

    It's kind of you to offer to have a pint with the polite warmists. My choice at Christmas time would be a glass of commanderia. With the impolite warmists, though, it would have to be wine - I'm thinking arsinoe, of course.....

    Complain about this comment

  • 55. At 4:55pm on 09 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #24 geoffward

    that is a valid point.

    two further points:
    1. euroslayer's threatening tone to richard.....if s/he's new a little humility would not go amiss.
    2. if this was a genuine piece of research by somebody interested in climate change i would be more than generous, i'd be interested. unfortunately this is rehashed nonsense from wuwt. eveyone is entitled to go to wuwt, be suckered by one of the articles and come here ranting about biased bbc reporting but if they do most people will ignore it and rightly so.

    Complain about this comment

  • 56. At 4:58pm on 09 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #21 bowmanthebard

    "And since presumably you do "have your head around how the science works", refer me to what you regard as an authoritative text on just how it works, please."

    what do you mean by 'authoritative'?

    Complain about this comment

  • 57. At 4:59pm on 09 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #18 bowmanthebard

    "It's a group of people who get their opinions from other people, rather than from critical enquiry, so that a mass of like-minded opinion "snowballs"."

    what do you mean by critical enquiry? how far can you get with this form of enquiry without reference to what others have done?

    Complain about this comment

  • 58. At 5:08pm on 09 Dec 2010, Kamboshigh wrote:

    Oh stupid me weather isn't climate, how could I not realise especially with those floods, droughts and heat waves are coursed by AGW. Oh forgot Hurricanes, wasn't this year the first that any US president did not face a landfall major hurricane. These are meant to getting more frequent surely.

    Come on warmists get real, why is it the coldest since records began? Doesn't fit with with the theory anyway you look at it Concun is also having record lows.

    Answers please.

    Euroslayer, I'll give you better than that we produce are own along with the neighbours.

    Complain about this comment

  • 59. At 5:08pm on 09 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #30 brunnen

    "Tell that to Charles Darwin. Or Louis Pasteur. Or Galileo Galilei. Or Albert Einstein. Or Stephen Hawking.

    The list goes on and on..."

    the list of what? scientists that developed their ideas in a scientific milieu and made unique contributions to the body of scientific knowledge. do you not recall newton's (strangely missing from your list) "If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants".

    i know you're hoping for that 'emperor's new clothes' moment, but it's not going to happen. sorry.

    and spencer, lindzen, monckton, christy etc are no darwin or einstein, let's get real about this. some have made contributions (obviously not monckton) but their politics seem to have got the better of them.

    Complain about this comment

  • 60. At 5:17pm on 09 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #52 kamboshigh

    if you'd like a scientific take on the weather try http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/global-warming-shares-blame-for-europes-cold-weather-says-climate-scientist.html

    but if you're more a seaweed and solar spot sort of guy by all means stick with corbyn.

    Complain about this comment

  • 61. At 5:26pm on 09 Dec 2010, euroslayer wrote:

    At No. 55 Rossglory wrote:

    1. euroslayer's threatening tone to richard.....if s/he's new a little humility would not go amiss.


    Rossglory - my note on the site read thus:

    Richard, I have just dropped you a line on email, urging you to look at this post on WUWT:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/08/shredding-the-climate-consensus-myth-more-than-1000-international-scientists-dissent-over-man-made-global-warming-claims-challenge-un-ipcc-gore/#more-29110

    ...and to report it for the BBC. When you have Nobel laureates and large numbers of climatology scientists voicing skeptical concerns surely your journalistic instincts for accuracy, fairplay and balance will lead you to the inescapable conclusion that 'the other side' needs to be fairly reported.

    In what way is this a 'threatening' post? I am merely asking Richard to let his journalistic instincts guide him to a balanced approach to coverage. Would you disagree with the BBC producing balanced coverage of this debate?

    It is difficult for correspondents like Richard because David Jordan, the lead author of the new BBC editorial guidelines, has publicly stated: “If both sides of the (climate change) debate were to be reflected it would give the impression that both sets of views were equal and we don’t have to approach impartiality in climate change in that way”.

    These words will come back to haunt Mr Jordan and other senior managers at the BBC. But I was a journalist when Richard was still at school and I have known many BBC journalists in my life. What is happening to journalist standards and ethics at the BBC is deeply saddening and I do not want Richard to go the same way.

    So, no, Rossglory, my note was not all threatening. But whether we are right or wrong, there are, I believe (can't prove it, just based on observation) that a significant proportion of people in the UK feel that the BBC should take a more balanced approach to its reporting of climate change.

    Complain about this comment

  • 62. At 5:52pm on 09 Dec 2010, Brunnen wrote:

    "i know you're hoping for that 'emperor's new clothes' moment, but it's not going to happen. sorry"

    I don't know how to break this to you, but the emperor has been running around in the nuddy for quite some time. Hockey sticks, Himalyan glaciers, non-sinking pacific islands, inaccurate models...

    The 'moment' you speak of has been and gone, we're just waiting for the faithful to stop saying how splendid his suit is.

    Complain about this comment

  • 63. At 5:57pm on 09 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    bowmanthebard #21: And since presumably you do "have your head around how the science works", refer me to what you regard as an authoritative text on just how it works, please.

    rossglory #56: what do you mean by 'authoritative'?

    I mean something that you agree with, something that gets "your seal of approval", at least in outline, something that roughly expresses your opinion on "how the science works".

    Better still, just explain how you think the science works yourself, in your own words. But I accept, that's a tall order in a blog.

    I have felt frustrated for ages now, trying to engage "the other side" in a debate over what constitutes proper scientific method. If I can't have a debate, just something that expresses what they think would be fine. But no takers!

    I'm looking for something non-technical, by the way -- questions of belief, truth, knowledge, etc. just turn into fog if they are allowed to collapse into a show-us-yer-muscles display of jargon or maths, which simply never have to enter into it!

    For the record, my own view of the scientific method is pretty much explained in a standard mainstream classic textbook, which has been used for ages now, called The Philosophy of Natural Science by Carl Hempel. (Everyone has moved on in all sorts of ways, but this is it in outline.)

    Complain about this comment

  • 64. At 6:02pm on 09 Dec 2010, Brunnen wrote:

    @60. At 5:17pm on 09 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    if you'd like a scientific take on the weather try http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/global-warming-shares-blame-for-europes-cold-weather-says-climate-scientist.html

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

    I'm sorry, but no. Just no. Your side has spent over 20 years telling us all that AGW will mean warmer, milder winters for Europe. Since that prediction turned out to be as accurate as a tabloid horoscope, you're trying to blame colder, severe winters on AGW now.

    Do you really think the attention span of the public is THAT short?

    Frankly, this attempt to make AGW all things to all men is nothing short of desperate.

    Complain about this comment

  • 65. At 6:23pm on 09 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #44. euroslayer wrote:

    "The thing is Rossglory, Richard is not a PR man he is a BBC journalist with a responsibility to the BBC audience for fair and balanced reporting."

    Now that is funny! Just look at the content of his blogs.

    "If you believe that this new report which contains contributions from some eminent people in their field should not be covered by Richard then please explain why."

    What you suggest would actually be objective journalism. So don't hold your breath and don't expect any explanation of why that or anything that might question the AGW story will not be covered.


    Complain about this comment

  • 66. At 6:34pm on 09 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #6. Lamna_nasus wrote:

    "Canadian Cod.. a fishery destroyed by its own industry for short term gain and which now relies on the Seal Hunt to generate enough working days to allow ex fishermen to qualify for benefits for the rest of the year.. its a political charade to bilk money out of the Canadian electorate who don't live on the coast and were not foolish enough to destroy their environment for a quick buck.. oh wait, Deja vu..
    .. don't bother trying to play the nationality card in response CR, I have a Canadian passport."

    While you may have a passport, you don't seem to be very well informed... if your comment about the seal hunt is anything to go by.

    Do you know how many people are actually employed in the seal hunt? I don't know the exact number but I would guess that there are more people employed as seal hunt protestors.

    Moreover, what you are (falsely) describing are Unemployment Insurance benefits, paid by the contribution of Canadians to other Canadians - which is entirely different than paying money to foreign con artists and beggars based on false pretenses.

    Now about the destruction of the cod fishery. I guess you don't know about the role of EU fishermen fishing outside of Canada's territorial waters in that tragedy.

    So, yes, let's write up the Codyoto Accord and have the EU pay Canada for the damage done.

    And, while we're doing that, how about reparations for all the damage done by Europeans in North America. That would be good don't you think?

    Complain about this comment

  • 67. At 6:36pm on 09 Dec 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @RossGlory #60

    Really, Ross, you still haven't got your head around how science works. There cannot be one paper that proves a link between reduced Barents-Kara sea ice and cold winter extremes over northern continents.

    /Mango

    Complain about this comment

  • 68. At 6:43pm on 09 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #67 mango

    "There cannot be one paper that proves a link between reduced Barents-Kara sea ice and cold winter extremes over northern continents"

    but i said
    "if you'd like a scientific take on the weather try"

    very weak mango, i expect more of you!

    Complain about this comment

  • 69. At 6:51pm on 09 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #62 brunnen

    "Your side has spent over 20 years telling us all that AGW will mean warmer, milder winters for Europe."

    my side? who's that then....oh you mean scientists. well actually i remember a flurry of activity way back when we discovered the gulf stream could shut off in a decade or two (viz the younger dryas) and it was mooted we would get colder.

    because the reality is that the uk is at quite a high latitude. london is about the same latitude as toronto which gets 10 feet of snow pretty much every winter. it's only those lovely westerlies that stop the thames freezing every year so every one has known that a disruption to the normal circulation over northern europe would lead to colder weather.....didn;t you read about it?



    Complain about this comment

  • 70. At 6:55pm on 09 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #61 euroslayer

    actually rereading it it isn't really threatening, but pretty insulting. i apologise. the rest of what i said stands though.

    Complain about this comment

  • 71. At 7:06pm on 09 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #63 bowman
    "For the record, my own view of the scientific method"

    but if we're talking about how the scientific method actually works rather than how one person thinks it does or would like it to then there's no reason to expect there is one dusty tome that would cover the whole enterprise even less so one written in the 60s.

    "I'm looking for something non-technical, by the way -- questions of belief, truth, knowledge, etc. just turn into fog if they are allowed to collapse into a show-us-yer-muscles display of jargon or maths, which simply never have to enter into it!"

    so even if i knew of a single text you could easily dismiss it because it has an equation in it, hardly fair.

    "I have felt frustrated for ages now, trying to engage "the other side" in a debate over what constitutes proper scientific method."

    we've debated it over and over again and i thought agreed to disagree. i think your love of logical positivism limits what you think is acceptable as scientific enquiry. if i manage to find a text (out of interest i may give it a try) it will almost certainly include statistics which i know you'll summarily dimiss.

    btw i'll let you off you logical mistake viz that because i know when someone does not understand the scientific method it logically entails that i think i do (even though i think i do!).

    Complain about this comment

  • 72. At 7:07pm on 09 Dec 2010, Brunnen wrote:

    @rossglory

    Oh it is to laugh. I forgot all the scientists agree with AGW. There are no scientists that disagree with it anywhere, are there?

    "my side? who's that then....oh you mean scientists."

    If by scientists, you mean the Cancun clowns who signed a petition to ban the use of dihydrogen monoxide, then yes. If you mean the charlatans who manipulated the data in order to get the results they wanted, (CRU, I'm looking in your direction) then yes. If you mean the met. office who predicted mild winters last year and this year, then yes.

    And that whole gulf stream shutting down thing has been dismissed as yet another Mystic Meg style prediction.

    There is NO evidence whatsoever that the gulf stream is slowing down, much less in danger of shutting down.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1262096/Global-warming-slowing-Gulf-Stream.html

    Didn't you read about it?

    Complain about this comment

  • 73. At 7:07pm on 09 Dec 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @RossGlory

    You expect more of me and my contributions to a blog, than of climate scientists to actually provide empirical data on which to base their claims of CO2 being the primary driver of global warming

    Interesting

    /Mango

    Complain about this comment

  • 74. At 7:30pm on 09 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #69. rossglory wrote:

    "london is about the same latitude as toronto which gets 10 feet of snow pretty much every winter."

    Great the way you just make stuff up rossglory.

    "Average winter snowfall is 133.1 cm (52.4 in)"

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_Toronto

    And while I congratulate you for at least understanding the influence of the Gulf Stream on the UK, you don't seem to understand much else. Why not compare the climate of the UK with Mongolia... they are at about the same latitude.

    Thanks for the entertainment. Have you signed the petition to ban dihydrogen monoxide yet?

    Complain about this comment

  • 75. At 7:38pm on 09 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    rossglory #71 wrote:

    there's no reason to expect there is one dusty tome that would cover the whole enterprise even less so one written in the 60s.

    You've revealed your sect in its true colours!

    Complain about this comment

  • 76. At 7:55pm on 09 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    rossglory #71 wrote:

    we've debated it over and over again and i thought agreed to disagree.

    Excuse me, but where have you ever uttered a hint of a whiff of anything other than "I agree with him!" -- pointing to someone else?

    I can't remember a single instance of you volunteering a single thing about testing, induction, hypothesis, observation -- not one. Can you?

    Complain about this comment

  • 77. At 8:09pm on 09 Dec 2010, hotashes wrote:

    @ Quake 45.

    "There was a 30,000 name petition of scientists bandied about a few years back. Have the number of skeptics really reduced so much that you can now only muster a list of 1,000?"

    Think you might be on to something...

    http://theweek.com/article/index/206686/6-global-warming-skeptics-who-changed-their-minds

    ... It doesn't explain the full 29,000 but at least explains 6 people no longer signing




    Complain about this comment

  • 78. At 8:09pm on 09 Dec 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Brunnen
    @quake
    @hotashes
    @rossglory
    @bowmanthebard

    Please can we not mention Einstein. Otherwise we might get another visit from our temporal dimension sceptic. And the headache pills in my bathroom are past their sell by date.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/from_the_international_whaling.html#P97948886
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/10/climate_body_seeks_new_wardrob.html#P101903551

    Complain about this comment

  • 79. At 8:29pm on 09 Dec 2010, hotashes wrote:

    @ Brunnen 48

    “Do yourself a favour, don't link to realclimate.com or skepticalscience.com Both those sites are nothing more than AGW propaganda sites and are not taken seriously by sceptics of any stripe.

    Don't believe me? Try making a sceptical comment on either one of those sites and see how quickly it vanishes”

    Skeptical Science does have one of the harshest moderating policies for a Climate Science blog, but that is because it only discusses science not does not tolerate ad hominem attacks and conspiracy theories; only posts that discuss science are allowed , a number of skeptics often post comments but people who use terms such as watermelon can expect to have their posts deleted. They are very open and honest about this and even warn people they will be deleted before they delete them

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bowmanthebard @ 63

    “I have felt frustrated for ages now, trying to engage "the other side" in a debate over what constitutes proper scientific method. If I can't have a debate, just something that expresses what they think would be fine. But no takers!”

    Yet you ignored my post @ 37

    “I think you know that no authoritative text exists. This said the following link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcavPAFiG14 - gives an interesting introduction.

    I also found "Fabulous Science: Fact and Fiction in the History of Scientific Discovery, by John Waller" an interesting read.

    Here is a snippet from the book discription (relevant to Brunnen and quake??)
    "The great biologist Louis Pasteur suppressed 'awkward' data because it didn't support the case he was making. Joseph Lister's famously clean hospital wards were actually notorious dirty. And Einstein's general relativity was only 'confirmed' in 1919 because an eminent British scientist cooked his figures." “

    Complain about this comment

  • 80. At 9:05pm on 09 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #79. hotashes wrote:

    "I also found "Fabulous Science: Fact and Fiction in the History of Scientific Discovery, by John Waller" an interesting read."

    Yes but doesn't that just strengthen the point of those who question the so-called conclusions of scientists?

    Or is this AGW "science" supposed to be different? Sort of like an inverse relationship between the uncertainty (to put it nicely) of their work versus the adamant 'debate is over' certainty of their alleged conclusions.

    As soon as anyone says 'the debate is over' in a field as young and fuzzy as global climatology, you know that it is NOT science or anything close to it. It is just a missionary wearing a white coat, or worse.

    Tony Bliar is now a highly paid 'climate change consultant.' Need I say more?



    Complain about this comment

  • 81. At 9:16pm on 09 Dec 2010, GeoffWard wrote:

    CanadianRockies wrote @ 66; re. 'beagle @ 6: "....and, while we're doing that, how about reparations for all the damage done by Europeans in North America. That would be good don't you think?"
    ..........
    Hi Rockies,
    I think you're being teased by 'beagle @ 6, ..... and whist we're at it - YOU seem to blame Europeans!

    Most of the American macrofaunal extinctions were done by asians - then they became Americans*.
    The Europeans nearly did it for the bison, then they too became Americans*.
    Since the pre-industrial 1860s you've largely done it to yourself... I don't think you can reparate yourself (it sounds as if it should be illegal; or maybe that's what taxes are all about); and I don't think that having/had an English monarch absolves you from the responsibility of what you yourselves have done to your hard, cold country or your country cousins have done to theirs.
    As they say, All is history, eventually.

    *I don't think North Americans will ever become anything other than North Americans though; there seems to be a full-stop (period) in the historical record. It happens occasionally.
    Regards, Geoff.


    Complain about this comment

  • 82. At 9:53pm on 09 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #81. Hi Geoff,

    I was indeed only trying to poke a little fun at the whole concept of the mega-guilt trip which the AGW project is trying to exploit, which they call 'historical responsibility.'

    This game has boundless possibilities. Given that the root cause of most if not all environmental problems we have is the global population explosion, it is clear that we must also blame those who have reduced child mortality and increased and extended adult survival... don't we?

    As for your comment that Canadians are to 'blame' for what is happening in Canada, even though that is a very much more complex reality I will be glad to take credit for that. Because contrary to greenie propaganda, Canada is a world leader in conservation.

    Now here's a suggestion. Since Brazil plans to extort money for the CO2 sink effects of the Amazon rain forests, I think Canada (and Russia) should also be paid for the CO2 sink effects of our forests. If not why not? And since we personally own a nice big chunk of forest, and wetlands, fens, meadows (which we protect as wildlife habitat and manage for biodiversity), we should also get a cheque from the UK taxpayers or the UN... for at least as much as Richard's trip to Cancun cost.

    Complain about this comment

  • 83. At 10:23pm on 09 Dec 2010, hotashes wrote:

    @80

    "I also found "Fabulous Science: Fact and Fiction in the History of Scientific Discovery, by John Waller" an interesting read."

    Yes but doesn't that just strengthen the point of those who question the so-called conclusions of scientists?

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

    Not really, it highlights the importance of using evidence (repeatable and observable by others) as the basis for the Scientific Method.

    Evidence is ultimately what proved the theories covered in the book to be accurate in making predictions, and useful for application in other fields. Evidence that was provided by people who went out in to the field and tested the theory - not people who shouted that the theory was rubbish but couldn't back up their claims



    Complain about this comment

  • 84. At 10:51pm on 09 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #83. hotashes wrote:

    @80

    "I also found "Fabulous Science: Fact and Fiction in the History of Scientific Discovery, by John Waller" an interesting read."

    Yes but doesn't that just strengthen the point of those who question the so-called conclusions of scientists?

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

    Not really, it highlights the importance of using evidence (repeatable and observable by others) as the basis for the Scientific Method.

    ----------

    OK. I agree with your statement. But back to the AGW story, it is obvious that the Scientific Method is not being applied. But, as you probably know, the AGW story is created with 'post-modern science' which is not classical - real - science at all.

    Evidence? All we have is speculation and rigged data and models, and people shouting that the debate is over - with a conclusion reached before the research started - and who ignore anything and everything else.

    That is why it is such a joke. But not a funny joke.


    Complain about this comment

  • 85. At 00:54am on 10 Dec 2010, quake wrote:

    "And that whole gulf stream shutting down thing has been dismissed as yet another Mystic Meg style prediction."

    This is bogus.

    Google search for youtube video
    10. Climate Change - An imminent ice age debunked

    Complain about this comment

  • 86. At 08:12am on 10 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    hotashes #79: Yet you ignored my post @ 37

    I'll respond to any serious attempt to give an account of scientific method, not some high-school cheerleader's list of monkish virtues (none of which apply in science, by the way).

    hotashes #83: it highlights the importance of using evidence (repeatable and observable by others) as the basis for the Scientific Method.

    CanadianRockies #84:OK. I agree with your statement.

    Well, you shouldn't! Repeatable observations are essential, but they do not form the BASIS of any scientific theory, nor of any method (any anyway, what does it even mean to say that "evidence" is the "basis" of a method?)

    I recommend you all look up the hypothetico-deductive method, and pay particular attention to the relations of entailment between hypotheses and observations. You will see that observations do not imply hypotheses, as indicated by the word 'basis'. It's exactly the other way around. Hypotheses (plural) imply observation statements, which might or might not be true, and whether or not they are true is a matter decided by (repeatable) observation. But even when an observation confirms and observation statement, that does not imply that any of the hypotheses that implied it are true.

    The whole enterprise is much, much less certain than psychologists (climate scientists, etc.) would lead you to believe.

    There used to be a quick version by Richard Feynman available on YouTube, but apparently the BBC got it pulled over copyright issues -- true to their mission to educate! Not sure where you'd find it now.

    Complain about this comment

  • 87. At 09:34am on 10 Dec 2010, hotashes wrote:

    RE. High-school cheerleader's list of monkish virtues

    @Bowman

    The hypothetico-deductive method one man's take on the Scietific Method. It is not the only discription. As you will be aware there are many views and discriptions of the method itself.

    Is this hypothetico-deductive method the only description of the method you accept?


    Complain about this comment

  • 88. At 10:14am on 10 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #75 bowman

    "
    there's no reason to expect there is one dusty tome that would cover the whole enterprise even less so one written in the 60s.

    You've revealed your sect in its true colours!"

    surreal. you love simplicity bowman but the world is not simple. you're the one looking for a creed in one book, yours was written 50 years ago others were 1200 or 2000 years ago. and i don;t see how this fits in with your 'do not trust anyone as an authority' mantra.

    i know i'm going to regret this (i have a little spare time atm), but what exactly in simple terms are your criteria for splitting science into real science and pseudo-science? not what does real science consist in but your criteria for these definitions.

    Complain about this comment

  • 89. At 10:22am on 10 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #bowman

    scratch that last post. #86 answers it and has saved me a lot of time.

    "The whole enterprise is much, much less certain than psychologists (climate scientists, etc.) would lead you to believe."

    nothing is certain, degrees of certainty are all subjective. your logical positive stance is interesting but nothing about it suggests your way is right and others wrong. logical positivism is a purely prescriptive philosophy that has had its day.

    this debate has happened over and over again. others come to a different conclusion to you bowman, just accept it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 90. At 10:33am on 10 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    hotashes #87 wrote:

    The hypothetico-deductive method one man's take on the Scietific Method.

    It's nearly everyone's take on the scientific method. The idea that hypothesis is "based on evidence" -- if such a vague, slushy, unclear expression even deserves the name "idea" -- is hopelessly naive.

    Even critics of the hypothetico-deductive method, people who are pro- and anti- scientific realism, etc., accept the basic logical relation of hypotheses and observation statements, for an absolutely simple and obvious reason, viz.:

    Hypotheses generally describe "unobservable" items (such as electrons, viruses, force fields, the greenhouse effect, and so on), but observation statements describe things that can be observed. Therefore, no amount of the letter could ever imply the former.

    As you will be aware there are many views and discriptions of the method itself.

    No, I'm not aware. Refer me to something serious, not some sort of high-school psychology student's term project!

    Is this hypothetico-deductive method the only description of the method you accept?

    Yeah, pretty much. Be aware that its fiercest critics usually take it as the starting point for debate.

    Complain about this comment

  • 91. At 10:41am on 10 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    89. At 10:22am on 10 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    your logical positive stance is interesting

    Logical positive? What's that?

    Complain about this comment

  • 92. At 10:48am on 10 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    rossglory #89:

    "Logical positivism": you must have looked up something on Wikipedia. I suggest you try to engage with the ideas rather than pretending you are familiar with technical terms. The logical positivist movement has practically nothing to do with the hypothetico-deductive method.

    So typical of AGW -- the attempt to give the impression one knows so much made by throwing in a technical-sounding term. Reminds me of skepticalscience's "logical fallacy of exclusion". How cringe-makingly phony!

    Complain about this comment

  • 93. At 11:08am on 10 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #91 bowman

    "your logical positive stance is interesting

    Logical positive? What's that?"

    what is the point of that question? what do you think it means? what terms can i describe what i mean in a way that you wont ask me what those terms are? if you always want to set the criteria, boundaries and even language for a debate are you really surprised nobody continues the debate?

    give me a month or two i'll read up on hempel and let you know if he's swayed me.

    Complain about this comment

  • 94. At 11:21am on 10 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #92 bowman

    "you must have looked up something on Wikipedia."

    you arrogance is breathtaking (another reason nobody debates with you here). i studied philosophy and was utterly unimpressed with the logical positivist ideas and 'verification principle'. i googled hempel and he was a logical positivist and i haven't read his tome (your creed) although i'm sure eveyone else here has though.

    i realised too late you were just going to rant about the inductive method. you are not adding anything relevant to the debate about climate change (or psychology, epidemiology etc). to inappropriately borrow the words of an arch logical positivist 'it's just noise'.

    consider this another little victory in your head bowman, but i have more constructive things to do than to read your insults.

    Complain about this comment

  • 95. At 11:28am on 10 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    88. At 10:14am on 10 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    you're the one looking for a creed in one book,

    I'm just trying to find out what climate science thinks about "how science works". That was YOUR term. YOUR subsequent silence. YOUR apparent inability to come up with anything to back up that big-shot blowhard's claim.

    As if you have the slightest idea of "how science works"!

    yours was written 50 years ago

    That was a period of great advance in philosophy of science, on all sides (for example, Thomas Kuhn wrote _The Structure of SCientific Revolutions_ around the same time). Subsequent commentators -- people who genuinely and honestly have given some thought to the question of "how science works" -- tend to refer back to that seminal work. If you haven't even heard of it, you're way, way out of your depth.

    others were 1200 or 2000 years ago

    One of the reasons people study the works of the ancient Greek philosophers is that those who don't seem doomed to commit the very errors that they first spotted and corrected. And of course there were some genuine scientists among them, people who made honest efforts to find out "how science works", instead of using the phrase as an empty term of abuse.

    Complain about this comment

  • 96. At 11:33am on 10 Dec 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Bowman how do you believe the hypothetico-deductive method describes the scientific method? Or do you feel post 86 covers your position?

    How do you believe this is it different from the approach taken in Climate Science?

    Complain about this comment

  • 97. At 11:39am on 10 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    rossglory #88 wrote:

    i studied philosophy

    You studied philosophy? -- But you didn't bother to "do" Plato, I gather from this remark:

    others were 1200 or 2000 years ago

    you arrogance is breathtaking
    ...
    i have more constructive things to do than to read your insults

    And as you do all those non-arrogant, constructive things, will you be politely telling people they don't know "how science works"? You see, when you use phrases like that, it gives the impression that you know all about "how science works"!

    Complain about this comment

  • 98. At 12:39pm on 10 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    hotashes #96 wrote:

    Bowman how do you believe the hypothetico-deductive method describes the scientific method?

    The central idea is that science is all about making up hypotheses -- i.e. guesses about the hidden structure of reality. A hypothesis is just guess or "stab in the dark" that explains something we don't understand. We don't have much of a reason to think the guess is true until we test it. To do that, we have to work out (i.e. deduce) some observational consequence, something that we would be able to observe directly, such as a column of liquid going up a particular height, or turning a particular colour, or whatever. Then we check to see if that observable thing actually happens the way we predicted it would happen. If it does, the hypothesis that had it as a consequence "gets over a hurdle", so we have some reason to think we might be on to something.

    (The method is called "hypothetico-deductive" because you start off with a hypothesis, then deduce an observation consequence of it. Note the order too -- what implies what.)

    What does not happen above is that this. We do not start off with lots of "data" or observations and then work out what those data imply. It's the other way around.

    How do you believe this is it different from the approach taken in Climate Science?

    I think that most climate science (not all of the honest physics involved, such as the greenhouse effect, of course) involves getting "data" -- even conjuring up data called "proxies" -- with the eventual aim of basing theory/models on those "data". It is rigorous -- using statistics of extrapolation, computer modeling, etc. -- but all that rigour counts for nothing if all you end up with is something that does not deserve to be believed. One of the many fatal flaws of starting off with "data" is that what you can divine from them will be much, much too detailed. Most of the detail will be "artifactual" (like seeing your own eyelashes in a microscope).

    That is it in a nutshell.

    Complain about this comment

  • 99. At 2:00pm on 10 Dec 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard
    @hotashes
    @CanadianRockies
    @rossglory

    Some Feynman Youtube links.

    This might be the quick Feynman clip Bowman referred to.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b240PGCMwV0

    Here's some stuff uploaded by the TV producer who made at least two documentaries about Feynman
    http://www.youtube.com/user/ChristopherJSykes#p/u

    Complain about this comment

  • 100. At 2:26pm on 10 Dec 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard
    (@hotashes)

    "We do not start off with lots of "data" or observations and then work out what those data imply."

    So that's theoretical physics b*****ed then.

    Sorry Mr Kepler, but you can't go round saying that you have a theory that planets travel in elliptical orbits because you were inspired by the data.

    Complain about this comment

  • 101. At 2:57pm on 10 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #100 wrote:

    So that's theoretical physics b*****ed then.

    No, that's your mistaken understanding of theoretical physics b*****ed then!

    Complain about this comment

  • 102. At 3:10pm on 10 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Please explain how you think a set of figures can conceivably imply that planets move in ellipses sweeping out equal areas in equal times.

    But before you do, maybe we had better get clearer about what's meant by the word 'imply'. I mean it in the sense of one claim narrowing things down in such a way that if we accept the first one as true, we are obliged to accept the second one as true as well. It's as if the first claim "contains the information" expressed in the second claim.

    For example: 'this is Friday' implies 'this is a weekday'; 'it is raining' implies 'there are clouds in the sky'.

    Tables of figures cannot imply orbits or structure any kind -- they're just tables of figures. As I recall, the predictive accuracy of the old Ptolemaic system with its epicycles exceeded the predictive accuracy of Kepler's laws, but neither of them were in any way implied by the figures. Quite the reverse.

    Complain about this comment

  • 103. At 3:12pm on 10 Dec 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Bowman

    There is nothing in the hypothetical-deductive method that states you cannot start with data. You must simply create a falsifiable hypothesis to test.

    I also find your description of climate science to be an inaccurate description of how the field has developed

    Complain about this comment

  • 104. At 3:24pm on 10 Dec 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Hi Jane, good call on the Kepler example

    Complain about this comment

  • 105. At 4:04pm on 10 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    hotashes #103 wrote:

    You must simply create a falsifiable hypothesis to test.

    Is that all? -- Why then, all you need is a Kepler, a Newton, or an Einstein, and away you go!

    Complain about this comment

  • 106. At 5:00pm on 10 Dec 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Bowman I'd like to add pulsars and the big bang theory as science that started as data

    Complain about this comment

  • 107. At 5:57pm on 10 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    I'd like to add pulsars and the big bang theory as science that started as data

    Some unexplained phenomena are generally the starting point for the sort of creativity -- i.e. imaginative guesswork -- required to come up with hypotheses, but what is normally meant by "data" are numbers. "Data" just can't imply hypotheses of any scientific interest.

    Maybe you don't understand what I mean by "imply". If not, think of the symbol '=>' in mathematics. For example:

    2x = 4 => x = 2

    What's happening there is that the claim to the left of the '=>' symbol (i.e. a true or false description of something) narrows down or constrains what can be written to the right of it (i.e. another true or false description of something). Now pretend you've got loads of "data" on the left. Take as much as you like. You'll never be able to legitimately get the hypothesis of the Big Bang to the right of it.

    What you can legitimately have, however, is the hypothesis of the Big Bang (or whatever) plus a lot of other hypotheses and assumptions to the left of it, and a description of something observable to the right of it. Guided by that fact, you can then perform an experiment, make observations etc. -- if you're Kepler, you might consult Tycho Brahe's books of tables of figures -- and gather data to see if they agree with your prediction.

    As far as I can see, most climate science is an attempt to do something like behaviourist psychology -- get some "data" to imply (in a weak sense) a wholly non-explanatory description of future temperatures (or some similar superficial measurable variable like that).

    That's not science, I'm afraid!

    Complain about this comment

  • 108. At 7:28pm on 10 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    hotashes #79 wrote:

    Skeptical Science does have one of the harshest moderating policies for a Climate Science blog, but that is because it only discusses science

    I'm afraid it also strays -- nay, staggers -- into the field of logic by bringing up a thing it calls "the logical fallacy of exclusion". It brings it up in order to slap down the outrageous suggestion that "CO2 is good for plants". It's all a "logical fallacy" apparently.

    I won't raise my blood pressure (or anyone else's) by going into detail, but that's not science -- or logic.

    The name of the blog itself is very dodgy (Alan Partridge: "sceptical about scepticism -- aha!"). In their excitement at having invented the "logical fallacy of exclusion", they seem to have overlooked the common sense meaning of "double negative"...

    A sceptic is someone who doesn't believe something. Climate science sceptics are people who don't believe climate science. Even the best science involves guessing and uncertainty, and the best scientists know it. So a sceptical attitude and a scientific attitude go hand in hand.

    When a blog calls itself "sceptical science", the suggestion is that it's part of those attitudes. But no. It turns out that it has a "harsh moderating policy", and it's "sceptical" in the same way as a seven-foot giant is "short on shortness".

    Complain about this comment

  • 109. At 7:29pm on 10 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #86. bowmanthebard wrote:

    "CanadianRockies #84:OK. I agree with your statement.

    Well, you shouldn't! Repeatable observations are essential, but they do not form the BASIS of any scientific theory, nor of any method (any anyway, what does it even mean to say that "evidence" is the "basis" of a method?)"

    Well, bowmanthebard, you are on a roll. But splitting hairs perhaps. My 'OK' was based on the concept of the need for repeatable results.

    But my key point was this: "But back to the AGW story, it is obvious that the Scientific Method is not being applied. But, as you probably know, the AGW story is created with 'post-modern science' which is not classical - real - science at all."

    So, while I certainly enjoy your comments on the scientific method, they are not really relevant to the so-called 'science' supporting the bog AGW story. The only place where one can actually find any real science in this story is in the little pieces which are then compiled into the bigger one... sort of like a fiction novel which has some true bits to lend it some credibility (e.g., like the 'Da Vinci Code).


    Complain about this comment

  • 110. At 10:46pm on 10 Dec 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @hotashes

    "big bang theory"

    LOL.

    The idea that Bowman might have to write that off as "not science". That way trumps my example of Kepler.

    @bowmanthebard.

    It isn't clear from your #107 comments that you know the story of the theory of the big bang. They used to think that the universe was steady state. Then Hubble observed that more distant galaxies had bigger Doppler red shifts. This implied that there had been some sort of explosion in the past.

    With Kepler and planetary orbits, Kepler had no theoretical reason for preferring ellipses over circles. He was forced into using ellipses to get Brahe's observations of Mars to work.

    Now I'm not sure why you think these examples are qualitatively different from the climate science situation. Either the "creative inspiration" applies to climate science as well. Or the reliance on data on the "left" of the "implication sign" means your attitude rejects both Kepler and Hubble as unscientific. The language in your #107 post does not clarify this issue.

    I am not claiming that climate science is perfect. Nor am I claiming that there is enough predictive testing going on (the scientists themselves are very keen for more 1992 Pinatubo like opportunities to test things). But your particular criticism, as worded, does not hold up.

    Complain about this comment

  • 111. At 08:49am on 11 Dec 2010, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @66 CanadianRockies -
    'While you may have a passport, you don't seem to be very well informed... if your comment about the seal hunt is anything to go by.'

    On the contrary -

    'Why is the Canadian Seal Hunt so important to the Canadian fishing industry?
    Very simple, for political reasons the Canadian government only requires people in the fishing industry (which includes Seal hunters) to work for 14 weeks of the year to qualify for employment insurance benefits, other Canadians have to subsidise them for the rest of the year. Individual seal hunters only earn approximately $1000 from the Seal Hunt itself.

    Larry Tremblett - Ex Inshore cod fisherman,
    'He makes enough in the 14 week spring season for crab to qualify for employment insurance...which the government pays for the rest of the year.'

    Doug Sweetland - Ex Inshore cod fisherman,
    'catches crab. lobster, and lumpfish to qualify for his EI.'

    Ransom Myers - Ex Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans,
    'With employment insurance it is not inconceivable that a couple can make C$60,000 (£25,000) a year, spending 14 weeks catching or processing crab or other fish.....for fishermen all business expenditure is allowable against tax........' Myers says you won't hear a peep of criticism of this state benefit system coming from the DFO's big, modern building in St. John's. 'For an academic in Newfoundland to say anything against employment insurance is totally unthinkable. It's not even discussed'.
    - first person interviews from The End of the Line by Charles Clover.



    St. John's, Newfoundland - 'Former employees in Harbor Breton haven't worked for more than two years, except for projects to extend their employment insurance claims.'
    - Tara Brautigam, The ChronicleHerald, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 22nd May 2006



    "It's sad to say when you [have] to talk about EI with a million-dollar boat, but you know, that's what's in the fleet, people with million-dollar enterprises just looking to break even,"
    - Dwight Spence, fishes from Port au Choix for shrimp and snow crab
    CBC News. 24th April 2006

    Canadian Employment Insurance (EI) Fishing Benefits -
    http://www.sdc.gc.ca/asp/gateway.asp?hr=en/ei/types/fishing.shtml&hs=


    'EI is especially important in the Atlantic provinces, which have higher rates of unemployment. Many Atlantic workers are also employed in seasonal work such as fishing and go on EI over the winter when there is no work. There are special rules for fishers making it easier for them to collect EI.'
    - Wikipedia


    'The purpose of the proposed regulation amendment is to put in place a pilot project designed to test the labour market impacts of DECREASING (my capitals), for new entrants and re-entrants to the labour force who have access to employment programs established under Part II of the Act, the number of hours of insurable employment required in order for them to qualify for benefits.'
    http://canadagazette.gc.ca/partI/2005/20051008/html/regle4-e.html


    'The Government of Canada will increase the duration of parental benefits'
    http://canadagazette.gc.ca/partII/2000/20001108/html/sor394-e.html

    To give readers an idea of the large number of voters in receipt of these benefits and therefore the massive sums involved -


    'fishing benefits paid $217.0 million' - 2000
    http://www.rhdcc.gc.ca/asp/gateway.asp?hr=/en/ei/reports/eimar_2000.shtml&hs=aed

    'fishing benefits increased 8.6% to $235.6 million' - 2001
    http://www.rhdcc.gc.ca/asp/gateway.asp?hr=/en/ei/reports/eimar_2001.shtml&hs=aed

    'fishing benefits increased by 4.8% to $246.9 million' - 2002
    http://www.rhdcc.gc.ca/asp/gateway.asp?hr=/en/ei/reports/eimar_2002.shtml&hs=aed

    Interestingly in 2003, 2004, 2005, someone in the Canadian government appears to have decided that providing the fishing benefits figures so straightforwardly in the Executive Summary was politically imprudent and so it stopped doing so; however the figures are still there, just better hidden.

    Fishing benefits paid $274.3 million - 2002 to 2003

    Fishing benefits paid $298.1 million - 2003 to 2004

    Fishing benefits paid $293.2 million - 2004 to 2005

    - Canadian Department of Human Resources and Social Development,
    2005 Monitoring and Assessment Report, Annex 2


    The Pro Seal Hunt propaganda suggests that the hunt is only designed to keep Harp Seal numbers at their existing levels, this is also untrue.

    "When such hunting pressure last occurred, the harp seal population declined rapidly by over 50 percent," said Harris. "Given seals only reach breeding age at about five to six years old, it could be too late to intervene by the time the impacts of current hunting levels are understood."
    - Professor Stephen Harris of Bristol University
    'Harp seal populations in the northwestern Atlantic: modelling populations with uncertainty'

    'Harris notes that the current DFO population estimate for harp seals relied on a very small sample size. Less than two percent of the breeding site was evaluated to extrapolate the population.
    Harris points out that several other Canadian fisheries, such as the cod fishery, have collapsed over the years as a consequence of many variables, including environmental change and mismanagement. The harp seal management plan does not apply a precautionary principle, Harris says, and so threatens the survival of seal populations.


    The 2006 hunt quota of 325,000 harp seals, as well as 10,000 hooded seals and 10,400 grey seals (the TAC over the last 4 years are the highest kill levels since the 1950s) depresses the value of the additional 10,000 allocation to aboriginal hunters but that does not appear to be a genuine concern for anyone benefiting from the welfare subsidies available through taking part in the larger hunt.


    While Greenland has a seal hunt, the Greenland government ordered its publicly owned tannery, Great Greenland, to stop buying Canadian seal pelts as of January 1, 2006 because of its opposition to the Newfoundland seal hunt.
    - Environmental News Service 28 May 2006.'
    http://sharkbaitblog.blogspot.com/2006_08_01_archive.html

    Complain about this comment

  • 112. At 09:48am on 11 Dec 2010, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @25 Brunnen
    @23. At 11:17am on 09 Dec 2010, Lamna_nasus wrote:


    That certainly sums up a considerable percentage of the Contrarian movement.. long on opinion, short on science.

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

    Coming from someone who does nothing more here than make appeals to authority, one has to say something about people who live in glass houses and what they should or should not be doing with stones.

    Science never advances because of the majority opinion. Quite the reverse, actually. The majority opinion has always been a hinderance to scientific progress.

    And I see you're breaking out the ad homs again. Contrarians, indeed...

    ---


    Yet another disingenuous Contrarian attempt to imply that referring to reputable scientific studies is flawed.. yet strangely, every time a scientific study is published that appears to support their political white noise, it is immediately accepted as de facto proof Contrarians are right.. most of the time the best Contrarians can do is appeal to quote mining, precisely because they can't appeal to reputable scientific authority.. just like Creationists.

    Then there is the disingenuous reference to ad homs.. you cannot call a Contrarian a denialist, despite the fact they deny anthropogenic forcings have a significant effect on Climate.. because of some piffle they concocted that it is a comparison to the Holocaust.. you can't describe them as Contrarians.. despite the fact their opinion is contrary to reputable science.. because.. err.. umm.. well just because they say so, actually.. you are just about allowed to refer to them as skeptics but only if you make it clear that its because they are frightfully clever chaps on a righteous crusade to publicise some alleged global envionmental conspiracy...

    ..Classic libertarian political white noise.. you have the freedom of speech to agree with everything Contrarians say.. but disagreeing with Contrarians once is heresy and disagreeing with them twice or more is trolling.. since Contrarians are the self appointed arbiters of 'truth' and have the official tin foil hat to prove it.

    Of course Contrarians can post ad homs.. because its ok.. they can use data sets.. because its ok.. they can make appeals to authority.. because its ok.. Its logic Jim, just not as we know it...

    Complain about this comment

  • 113. At 09:58am on 11 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Then Hubble observed that more distant galaxies had bigger Doppler red shifts. This implied that there had been some sort of explosion in the past.

    No it didn't. You are using the word 'imply' to mean something like "vaguely suggest", with many alternatives explanations also vaguely suggested, such as the "tired light" theory, or the possibility that matter is created at the same time as the universe expands, or even the possibility that what we are counting as "distant" are merely dim and appear "archaic".

    I suggest (not at all vaguely!) that you re-read what I wrote about implication as illustrated by the '=>' symbol in mathematics. The idea is that if A implies B, then if A is true, B must be true as well; and if B is false, A must be false as well. Obviously, a shift in the lines of spectra of starlight is consistent with a wide range of other possibilities than the hypothesis of the Big Bang being true. That's why it took an act of the imagination to come up with the idea. That's why Feynman calls this sort of thing a "guess".

    Your assumption that hypothesis-formation need have no element of creativity is depressing. What lies behind it is the urge to cast the whole enterprise into the shape of an edifice resting on a foundation of "data". That is the real error here. That's the real inspiration for inductivism.

    Complain about this comment

  • 114. At 10:01am on 11 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #110 wrote:

    Then Hubble observed that more distant galaxies had bigger Doppler red shifts

    Wrong order: Lemaître proposed the Big Bang theory in 1927; Hubble discovered the red shift in 1929.

    Complain about this comment

  • 115. At 10:36am on 11 Dec 2010, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @108 bowmanthebard -

    'A sceptic is someone who doesn't believe something. Climate science sceptics are people who don't believe climate science. Even the best science involves guessing and uncertainty, and the best scientists know it. So a sceptical attitude and a scientific attitude go hand in hand.'



    No, a skeptic is someone who has thoroughly researched the subject and has conclusive proof that the accepted concensus is wrong.. however as you yourself point out Contrarians simply 'don't believe climate science'.. that isn't skepticism, its a political cult...

    The constant Contrarian references to scientists who proved a maverick theory to have merit, ignores to fact that for every Galileo, there have been a multitude of Contrarians who have sunk into obscurity because they were wrong..

    The fact that science involves hypothesis and uncertainty is only ever referred to by Contrarians as proof that their opinions are correct, which is a logical fallacy.

    The uncertainty of scientific research has consistently been used by corporate lobby groups to deliberately mislead the general public.. but the science cannot prove smoking causes lung cancer.. but the science cannot prove that CFCs cause ozone depletion.. but the science cannot prove that anthropogenic forcings effect climate..

    Climate science contrarianism is a textbook example of an Astroturfing campaign, nothing more.

    Complain about this comment

  • 116. At 10:39am on 11 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #110 wrote:

    He was forced into using ellipses to get Brahe's observations of Mars to work.

    Exactly. -- Now, think how Brahe's figures forced the ellipses rather than circles. Both circles and ellipses implied figures of their own. The figures the circles produced did not come close enough to Brahe's figures (to Kepler's judgement, of course). But the figures produced by the ellipses did come close enough.

    Brahe's figures "forced" (your word) ellipses only in the sense that they "forced" Kepler to reject circles. In the 'A => B' pattern of implication, 'not-B' (the figures produced by the circles were not close enough to Brahe's figures) forced 'not-A' (not circles).

    If Kepler had not accepted the heliocentric theory of Copernicus, and was still using the old Ptolemaic system of epicycles instead, Brahe's figures would have "forced" something entirely different on him: a set of values for variables such as orbit radius, epicycle radius, rotation rates for each, and so on.

    You assumption throughout, and that of climate science, is that "data" imply hypotheses, and that's just plain wrong. The finer details are unimportant, because that's a mighty howler.

    It isn't just that you have the science wrong. You have the science wrong because you have some philosophy wrong. You are assuming throughout a theory of knowledge called foundationalism, often associated with Descartes. But even Descartes himself didn't use that theory of knowledge in his science. The theory is really inspired by the idea that the mind is non-physical and instead of interacting with the physical world deals with "conscious experience", with the aim of acquiring certainty.

    People who regard themselves as superior to airy-fairy philosophy because "I'm a scientist, me!" are condemned to commit the same old mistakes that philosophers have been able to correct in themselves.

    Complain about this comment

  • 117. At 10:42am on 11 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Lamna_nasus #115 wrote:

    a skeptic is someone who has thoroughly researched the subject and has conclusive proof that the accepted concensus is wrong.

    Would you call yourself a sceptic about astrology?

    Complain about this comment

  • 118. At 10:45am on 11 Dec 2010, Lamna nasus wrote:

    Yes

    Complain about this comment

  • 119. At 11:18am on 11 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Lamna_nasus #115: a skeptic is someone who has thoroughly researched the subject and has conclusive proof that the accepted concensus is wrong.

    bowmanthebard #117: Would you call yourself a sceptic about astrology?

    Lamna_nasus #118: Yes

    So you've "thoroughly researched the subject" -- what a total waste of time. Anyone with a dollop of common sense realizes you don't have to bother doing that to see that astrology is a crock.

    If you think you have "conclusive proof" that astrology is wrong, though, you're fooling yourself. It's probably all wrong, but "conclusive proof" isn't available in this area.

    Complain about this comment

  • 120. At 12:09pm on 11 Dec 2010, hotashes wrote:

    @ bowman 114

    "JaneBasingstoke #110 wrote:

    Then Hubble observed that more distant galaxies had bigger Doppler red shifts

    Wrong order: Lemaître proposed the Big Bang theory in 1927; Hubble discovered the red shift in 1929."

    Actually Vesto Slipher discovered the red shift in galaxies in 1912.

    Jane is correct when she states Hubble observed more distant galaxies had a bigger Doppler red shift

    Complain about this comment

  • 121. At 12:31pm on 11 Dec 2010, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @119 bowmanthebard

    Nice straw man..

    First, I researched Astrology in the past due to a certain curiosity about human gullibility associated with quasi religious ritual.. so I qualify as a skeptic under both my and your definition of the word.. or are Contrarians now claiming a completely undefined 'common sense' is all that is required to peddle a thesis?.. because your statement simply implies that you are in fact happy to accept the majority consensus when it suits you...

    Second, make your mind up, is Astrology a 'crock' or just 'probably wrong' and on what analytical basis do you come to that decision?.. because it sounds as though your 'dollop of common sense' is not in fact certain.. and you can't have it both ways...

    I will state Astrology fails to produce any results that can be measured in a robust scientific manner.. unlike temperature.. Therefore that is as conclusive a form of evidence that the thesis 'Astrology is piffle' is correct, as is required by a skeptical and enquiring mind, until robust evidence is produced that contradicts that appraisal..

    Complain about this comment

  • 122. At 12:37pm on 11 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    hotashes #120 wrote:

    Vesto Slipher discovered the red shift in galaxies in 1912

    But he didn't realize that the further away galaxies appeared to be, the bigger their red shift -- which is the crucial observation that corroborated the expanding universe claim. That claim was made earlier than Hubble's observations, and it was those observations that corroborated it, not Slipher's. There was no motive for checking a link between red shift and apparent distance before that hypothesis came on the scene.

    Jane is correct when she states Hubble observed more distant galaxies had a bigger Doppler red shift

    Good for her! Do you think that was the issue between us?

    Complain about this comment

  • 123. At 1:01pm on 11 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Lamna_nasus #121 wrote:

    on what analytical basis do you come to that decision?

    I refer you to everything I've already written several times on this forum -- paying particular attention to the word 'basis'!

    Complain about this comment

  • 124. At 1:33pm on 11 Dec 2010, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @123 bowmanthebard
    'I refer you to everything I've already written several times..'


    'Everything'?.. or just.. 'several times?'..

    What you have written on this forum suggests that the consensus should not be blindly accepted.. yet now you are appealing to a 'common sense' consensus on Astrology.. despite the fact you can't decide whether its a 'crock' or just 'probably wrong'.. Contrarianism at its finest..

    All of which does absolutely nothing to disprove the fact that Contrarians happily accept scientific proof when it appears to re-enforce their political prejudices.. and also accept consensus when it is a Contrarian consensus..

    Either Contrarians have robust scientific evidence that anthropogenic forcings cannot effect Climate or they do not.. and the evidence to date is that they simply do not have that evidence.


    Philosophy is the art of having your cake and eating it, while asking the question 'what is cake?' instead of robustly demonstrating that the cake is a lie...






    Complain about this comment

  • 125. At 2:19pm on 11 Dec 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Bowman #122

    "Vesto Slipher discovered the red shift in galaxies in 1912

    But he didn't realize that the further away galaxies appeared to be, the bigger their red shift -- which is the crucial observation that corroborated the expanding universe claim. That claim was made earlier than Hubble's observations, and it was those observations that corroborated it, not Slipher's. There was no motive for checking a link between red shift and apparent distance before that hypothesis came on the scene."

    Slipher's obervations confirmed something indicated by Einstein's General Theory of Relativity (which Einstein ignored and later called the biggest blunder of his life) - that the universe is not static.

    Hubble published papers in 1923 & 1924 combining Slipher's red shift and Leavitt's cosmic yardstick (also science based on data before a theory). His work in the field was well known before Lemaître proposed his theory in 1927. He was checking the data to measure the size of the universe, not to check Lemaître's theory.

    Complain about this comment

  • 126. At 2:57pm on 11 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    hotashes #125 wrote:

    Leavitt's cosmic yardstick (also science based on data before a theory)

    I don't agree, and invite you to explicitly explain: (a) what the data in question were, (b) what the theory supposedly "based on" these data was, and (c) how the data in question implied the theory.

    Complain about this comment

  • 127. At 2:59pm on 11 Dec 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @hotashes
    @bowmanthebard

    Correction and clarification.

    In my #110 I used the term "steady state" when I should have said "static universe". "Steady State" is used for the Fred Hoyle alternative to both the big bang and the static universe options.

    Complain about this comment

  • 128. At 3:00pm on 11 Dec 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #113 #114 #116

    "Hubble = 1929"

    That was when Hubble published his Law. But observations on the redshifts and distances of galaxies, including those by Hubble, but not just by Hubble, go back significantly before 1927.


    "suggest" versus "imply"

    Bowman, you are splitting hairs, and language based hairs at that. In both my examples the implication was strong, but not 100%. Elliptical orbits are a much better fit than either circular orbits, or simple epicycles not effectively centred on the Sun. "Expansion" is the most natural interpretation of the red Doppler shifts ("tired light" requires some sort of additional complication and doesn't have a clear mechanism). And roll that expansion backwards and you get the big bang theory.

    And you still have not explained why the climate science situation is different from Kepler and Hubble. If anything, by highlighting apparent alternatives ("tired light", "epicycles"), you seem to be agreeing with the similarities.

    Oh, and I'm not writing off creativity. As far as I can see scientific creativity is about knowing what questions to ask. Look at an issue from exactly the right perspective and answers just tumble out, which allows science discovered by geniuses to be taught to us ordinary mortals in schools. The challenge is finding that perspective in the first place. (Actually that doesn't just affect science, it's popular with drama writers as well.)

    Complain about this comment

  • 129. At 3:05pm on 11 Dec 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @hotashes #120

    Ta for that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 130. At 3:36pm on 11 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #128 wrote:

    "suggest" versus "imply"

    Bowman, you are splitting hairs, and language based hairs at that. In both my examples the implication was strong, but not 100%.


    That's simply not true. There is no logical connection at all beyond mere consistency between Brahe's figures and Kepler's hypotheses. If you think there is more, show me how.

    This is an absolutely essential point.

    Complain about this comment

  • 131. At 4:55pm on 11 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Brahe's data mostly consists of numbers (the equivalent of latitudes and longitudes) measuring the apparent positions of the planets to the observer on Earth over the course of time. They are entirely "phenomenal" -- that is, they describe phenomena, without saying anything about what might cause those phenomena. They say nothing about the centre of the solar system, the shape of planetary orbits, or the rate at which planets move.

    You cannot say that those data "imply" -- even loosely -- that the Sun is at the centre of the solar system, or that planets have elliptical orbits, or that they are co-planar, or that they sweep out equal areas in equal times.

    To overlook that fact is to commit a serious error. That very error inspired a terrible movement in the twentieth century called positivism, which assumed that "science is all about phenomena" rather than explaining the hidden mechanisms that cause the phenomena. For example, behaviorist psychology doesn't say anything about mental states, but instead threats the mind as a "black box" that has observable things done to it and as a result does more observable things. That is pretty much the same idea as yours -- that Brahe's data imply more data with no creative input in the form of a risky, imaginative hypothesis.

    Treating the solar system as a "black box" would have led nowhere, just as treating the mind as a "black box" led nowhere. It was a scientific embarrassment. Climate science is pretty much more of the same with temperatures and the "climate record".

    Complain about this comment

  • 132. At 5:50pm on 11 Dec 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Bowman

    Do you believe the development the Big Bang Theory fits your description of the Scientific Model you offered in #98?

    “We do not start off with lots of "data" or observations and then work out what those data imply.”

    Do you believe Lemaître made a guess about the hidden structure of reality a "stab in the dark" that explained something we didn't understand? Do you believe he created a test for it, by working out (i.e. deducing) some observational consequence, something that he could observe directly? Then he check to see if that observable thing actually happened the way he predicted it would happen. Giving him reason to believe he was on to something?

    Or do you recognise that it was astrophysicists observing the sky and collecting, recording and analysing data (for other purposes); in conjunction with developments such as the development of the General Theory of Relativity that built up a body of evidence that moved thinking in the whole field towards the idea of the big bang theory, with Lemaître being the first to present a coherent proposal. And that because the evidence available at the time supported his proposal, gradually overtime became accepted.

    Very much like the description of the Scientific Method I presented in the link in my earlier post http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcavPAFiG14
    Which supports my statement that evidence is the basis of the Scientific Model.

    Complain about this comment

  • 133. At 5:54pm on 11 Dec 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Re Kelper

    Apparently he went over the data 500 times trying to fit different orbits to it. The only one that fit the observed data was the ellipse, which became his hypothesis. This hypothesis was later confirmed by other observations

    Complain about this comment

  • 134. At 10:51pm on 11 Dec 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard

    "logic"

    Disappointed in you Bowman.

    Pure logic is too strict for most real world applications. Imagine having to use logic to prove 1 + 1 = 2. In fact when people apply the term "logic" to one of their ideas I am immediately on my guard against hidden assumptions. ("Christianity is supported by logic. Jesus said he was God. Jesus was mad, bad or God. Jesus wasn't mad or bad. Therefore logically Jesus is God.")

    What you write off as mere "consistency" was powerful enough, when combined with Kepler's other Laws of planetary motion, for Newton to come up with
    F = GMm/r^2
    which is not to be sniffed at.

    Complain about this comment

  • 135. At 11:38pm on 11 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    hotashes #132 wrote:

    Do you believe the development the Big Bang Theory fits your description of the Scientific Model you offered in #98?

    Yes.

    Do you believe Lemaître made a guess about the hidden structure of reality a "stab in the dark" that explained something we didn't understand?

    Yes. The idea that the universe began in a big explosion was a novel idea then, and it required quite a bit of creativity and lateral thinking, although it may seem obvious to us now. Everything seems obvious once it's familiar.

    Do you believe he created a test for it, by working out (i.e. deducing) some observational consequence, something that he could observe directly?

    I think that other people created tests for it, by working out the consequences and so on. Science is a social process. One of my main objections to Popper is he thought scientists try to disprove their own theories -- rubbish -- they try to disprove other scientists' theories!

    Then he check to see if that observable thing actually happened the way he predicted it would happen. Giving him reason to believe he was on to something?

    Other people checked, giving all of us who hear the story a reason to think he was on to something. Personally, I have my doubts about the Big Bang, and am quite impressed by the "tired light" theory (although so far it seems to have insurmountable problems). I also quite like the idea that it isn't space and matter that are changing over time but the metrics we use to measure them. An expanding universe is in effect the same thing as a constant-sized universe in which rulers are shrinking with respect to time, or clocks are speeding up with respect to rulers. But I'm not a physicist -- I'm just playing around with these ideas.

    Be aware that I'm much less interested in the historical details than with the logic. My claim that we "start off" with a hypothesis is meant to express logical order (what implies what) rather than temporal order (what comes first in time).

    Complain about this comment

  • 136. At 11:42pm on 11 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    hotashes #133 wrote:

    Apparently he went over the data 500 times trying to fit different orbits to it.

    Now, does that sound to you like he diligently found something that the data implied, or more like he made 500 different attempts to come up with something that implied the data?

    Complain about this comment

  • 137. At 11:54pm on 11 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    hotashes #133 wrote:

    Apparently he went over the data 500 times trying to fit different orbits to it. The only one that fit the observed data was the ellipse, which became his hypothesis.

    By George, I think hotashes has got it!

    There was Kepler, trying one hypothesis after another, rejecting one after another as soon as he was able to compare its predicted observations with Tycho Brahe's actual observations (which occurred after he had worked out the observational consequences of each one).

    Finally, he got lucky -- at the same time as coming up with something rather intuitively satisfying because it was so simple: ellipses with the Sun at one focus. After he got that idea, he checked its predicted observations against Brahe's actual observations -- and they seemed to fit, close enough in his judgement.

    Note the order.

    Complain about this comment

  • 138. At 11:59pm on 11 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #134 wrote:

    What you write off as mere "consistency" was powerful enough, when combined with Kepler's other Laws of planetary motion, for Newton to come up with
    F = GMm/r^2


    Actually, as Feyerabend famously noted, that law is inconsistent with Kepler's most famous laws -- it implies that planetary orbits are not elliptical because of interplanetary attractions.

    which is not to be sniffed at.

    Agreed -- it is strictly to be "guessed at", as Feynman noted (and thanks for the link, again).

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.