You know climate change is real when the CEO of Shell states “the clock is ticking” and we need to “take action now”

Because Royal Dutch Shell Plc must also be in on the conspiracy:

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s chief said the implementation of climate change agreements made at Cancun last month “won’t happen overnight”, and policymakers must take action now “because the clock is ticking.”

“In the short term, we should focus on areas where we can get the cheapest and quickest carbon dioxide reductions,” Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser said at a renewable energy conference in Abu Dhabi today. “It will take a while for international standards to be implemented, but we are of the opinion that we have to move now.”

Voser offered four ways for policymakers to begin reducing CO2 emissions: energy efficiency, increased use of natural gas, carbon capture and storage projects, and biofuels.

I wonder if Andrew Bolt, Joanne Nova, Anthony Watts, Marc Morano will attack Shell for their “climate alarmism”.

But then again, the Dutch aren’t foolish.

Shell is headquarted in the Netherlands, a country investing billions over the next 100 years to protect the the country from rising seas:

In 2007, the parliament assigned a team of experts, dubbed the Delta Committee, to come up with an answer. The group’s final report, published in September, proposes a combination of aggressive new steps—extending the coastline and building surge barriers—and time-tested strategies like fortifying levees. The cost: about $1.5 billion a year for the next 100 years.

Of course, a 200-year plan seems absurd. Two centuries ago, it would have been impossible to predict how civilization and the planet would look today. But the Dutch insist that the project is prudent and rational. If they start now, the costs will be minimized and disaster, perhaps, averted. After centuries of damming, pumping, barricading, and redirecting water, the Dutch water masters are laying the foundations for what may be the most ambitious act of territorial defense in history. In so doing, they are giving engineers and urban planners from New Orleans to Singapore a preview of what it will take to keep rising waters at bay. “We have the safest river delta in the world,” Stive says. And, he adds, they want to keep it that way: “We will completely control the water.”

Floods may be among today’s more ominous climate-driven hazards, but the Dutch know better than anyone that they’re nothing new. Below a bridge crowded with bicycles in the groovy Amsterdam neighborhood of Jordan, canal boats full of beer-soaked vacationers glide past a heavy black gate. On the side of the bridge is a small block of white marble, high above the waterline, with a horizontal cut across the middle. It shows the high-water mark of 1682 and is accompanied by an inscription reading, Zee dyks hooghte zynde negen voet vyf duym voven stadtspeyl.Translation: The sea dike level is 9 feet 5 thumbs above city level.

A 200 year plan?

For the Dutch it is better to start planning now.

No, climate change is just the figment of somebodies imagination.

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73 thoughts on “You know climate change is real when the CEO of Shell states “the clock is ticking” and we need to “take action now”

  1. elsa says:

    “Remember, no scientific theories are ever simply discarded. They are only discarded because a better theory replaces them. Tectonics is the classic example of this.”

    See my above comment on the plague and bad humours.

    So, to overturn agw theory.
    1) you (or some extremely innovative scientist) could find that the radiative properties of CO2 when used in lasers do not work the same way in the atmosphere. and/ or

    I have never denied that there is a relationship between CO2 and temperature. Unfortunately we do not know what it is, apart from the direction.

    2) the relationships between GHGs, albedo, oceans, volcanoes, solar variation, Milankovitch cycles and all the rest are signifcantly different from what has been worked out so far and/or

    My point is that nothing has been worked out so far. We are no closer to knowing the relationship between CO2 and temperature than 50 or 100 years ago. The “progress” comes from the models. But here the argument is circular: the assumptions made about the various relationships are designed to fit the data to the outcome. The outcome is then given as a “proof” that the models are correct.

    3) a new description or definition of all these interacting influences has stronger, better explanatory and predictive power than the current theory

    The current theory has no testable predictive powers, that is my point. The most obvious prediction would be that the temperature ought to rise relentlessly as CO2 rises. But that has not happened because form time to time the world has cooled in the face of rising Co2 levels. The theory has then been saved by adding a variety of other factors. But by adding the other factors the theory is rendered untestable.

    4) AND ……. that new theory shows that the current episode of rapid warming will quickly cease without danger to human civilisation. (Remember, if we’re in new territory here and if we don’t know the outcome, a new theory could just as likely tell us we’re worse off than we thought.)

    We don’t have an existing testable theory. Until we do we should treat the global warming theory with a great deal of caution.

  2. adelady says:

    Overturning AGW theory, elsa?

    Remember, no scientific theories are ever simply discarded. They are only discarded because a better theory replaces them. Tectonics is the classic example of this.

    So, to overturn agw theory.
    1) you (or some extremely innovative scientist) could find that the radiative properties of CO2 when used in lasers do not work the same way in the atmosphere. and/ or

    2) the relationships between GHGs, albedo, oceans, volcanoes, solar variation, Milankovitch cycles and all the rest are signifcantly different from what has been worked out so far and/or

    3) a new description or definition of all these interacting influences has stronger, better explanatory and predictive power than the current theory

    4) AND ……. that new theory shows that the current episode of rapid warming will quickly cease without danger to human civilisation. (Remember, if we’re in new territory here and if we don’t know the outcome, a new theory could just as likely tell us we’re worse off than we thought.)

  3. adelady says:

    elsa, the nuclear explosion explanation is an example of good science at work. The theory encompasses greenhouse gases, solar input, aerosols, volcanoes, you know the list. So then scientists look at the observations and wonder why there’s an oddity in a particular period.

    They try out various ideas. They work out whether / how each idea could fit in with both the theory and the observations. They weed out the obvious failures, then take a closer look at the best candidates. More work follows.

    Eventually, the best explanation emerges. In this case it turned out to be nuclear explosions. Nobody who’s a real scientist just makes stuff up.

    Only one thing is certain. There will be more instances of this.

    Observations of ice or corals or glaciers or forests or oceans may somehow mismatch (or overmatch in the case of Arctic ice) theory and projections. More people will do a lot more work. And better descriptions of details of the system will emerge. When more time passes and more people do further work using this insight, this further detail of how the system works will become part of the larger picture.

    But the larger picture will just be clearer in some details. It won’t be a different picture.

    • elsa says:

      It is an example of investigation at work. As I said, it may well be correct. The problem for warmist theory that it throws light on the models. They cannot be both right before the addition of a new factor and after the addition. It is a good example of the models as a scam.

  4. john byatt says:

    many of these model projections relate to warming due to GHG increase, enhanced Greenhouse effect.
    The sceptics need a theory that can at least do as well while remaining consistent , not a separate theory for each of the observed outcomes.

    http://bartonpaullevenson.com/ModelsReliable.html

    The alternative is to deny that the observations have occurred and claim a hoax

    • elsa says:

      This is like arguing that the theory that plague is caused by bad humours was correct until someone came across bacteria. My point is not those you call deniers have a better or need a better theory (though clearly it would be great if we all had a truely scientific theory, whether we are warmist or denier) but that the warmists have a theory that is not really scientific, although they claim that they do. By their nature the models do not test or demonstrate the warmist theory at all, yet it is on the models that the “science” of global warming is mainly based.

  5. elsa says:

    Sailrick,
    I would not disagree with you when you say that there are many people out there, whom you label deniers, who have abused science or used fallacious arguments. I do not support or agree with such people. While you provide lists and so on of such people you do not attempt to answer the main point of what I said. This was that the models, by their very nature, cannot provide any evidence at all to prove or disprove your CO2 driven warming hypothesis. That is not what models do. Yet it is on the models that you seek to rely. In particular I drew your attention to a comment by Moth on a recent theory to explain global cooling in the mid 20th century. What is just incredible is that he sees nothing at all odd about adding another factor into the model while maintaining that this does not totally discredit all the models that existed heretofor.

  6. Sailrick says:

    If you’re interested in what real honest to goodness scientific skeptics have to say, read this from the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. The author is Mark Boslough, a physicist at Sandia National Laboratories

    http://www.csicop.org/si/show/mann_bites_dog_why_climategate_was_newsworthy/

    from the above link

    “Denialists have attempted to call the science into question by writing articles that include fabricated data. They’ve improperly graphed data using tricks to hide evidence that contradicts their beliefs. They chronically misrepresent the careful published work of scientists, distorting all logic and meaning in an organized misinformation campaign. To an uncritical media and gullible non-scientists, this ongoing conflict has had the intended effect: it gives the appearance of a scientific controversy and seems to contradict climate researchers who have stated that the scientific debate over the reality of human-caused climate change is over (statements that have been distorted by denialists to imply the ridiculous claim that in all respects the science is settled).”

    At this next link you will learn how oil and coal industry money is funneled through different foundations to bury the money trail, and “wipe the oil” off of it.
    They set up organizations like Policy Communications, The Western Business Roundtable, Partnership for America, and Americans for American Energy, to make it seem like there is this groundswell of grassroots organizations opposing the scientific theory of man made climate change and opposing the move to sustainable energy. These are actually all the same people from the fossil fuel industry and mining industry. They are all staffed by the same executives.

    “It’s called “astroturfing” – the setting up of fake grassroots organizations and it’s one of the oldest tricks in the books.”

    “Policy Communications
    An energy industry-backed astro-turf network concocted by a single PR/Lobbying firm that is working to undermine the efforts of environmental groups and organizations like the Western Climate Initiative (WCI). that are pushing for solutions to climate change.”

    http://www.desmogblog.com/policy-communications-inc-astroturf-shell-game

  7. Sailrick says:

    By the way, if you peruse the book shelves at your local Barnes and Noble, you will notice at least as many, if not more, books by climate change skeptics, as mainstream climate science books. There is a reason for this. The same “think tanks” who are spreading the disinformation for the fossil fuel industry, are funding most of these books. They promote 78% of skeptical books on climate change. This has resulted in at least 64 climate change skeptic books.

    Relevent industries have opposed all sorts of environmental protection. Whether its pollutants that cause acid rain, lead in gasoline that caused brain and neurological damage to children, CFCs that were damaging the protective ozone layer, cancer causing asbestos or formaldahyde, deforestation, health dangers of tobacco or CO2 that causes global warming, big industry has spend millions of dollars in attempts stop legislation designed to protect the public’s health and that of the environment, and muddying the scientific discussion of these issues. Why do people think it is any different in the case of global warming?
    And this time, we are talking real money. The fossil fuel industry makes the tobacco industry look like a mom and pop grocery store by comparison.

  8. Sailrick says:

    elsa
    Funny you should use the word pseudoscience to describe mainstream climate science. If you like, I will email you my notes. You can read probably 100 articles about so called skeptics faking graphs on temperature, sea ice, sea levels etc. Were you the least bit aware of what is really going on, you would know that cherry picking is ubiquitous in climate change skepticism, that repeating disproven arguments endlessly is standard practice, and flat out lies are way to common. Did I mention misrepresenting the work of legitimate scientists and citing scientific papers that conclude the opposite of the claim a skeptic is citing the paper to support? Happens all the time, quote mining for a line that can be taken out of context and twisted into another untruth.

    Then there’s misrepresenting what the IPCC has claimed or projected. I see examples of this on nearly a daily basis.

  9. Sailrick says:

    elsa

    Regarding number 3

    All I did was recommend some books to read. Without reading them, you jump to conclusions. Not only is climate change denial something like tobacco danger denial, it’s largely the same organizations, so called think tanks, and in some cases the same scientists for hire. In fact the scientists who were among the first in climate change denial, also helped big tobacco deny the dangers of tobacco. Fred Singer has been an expert scientist, always on the side of industry, on tobacco, asbestos, CFCs, acid rain, and global warming. And he still is who many skeptics rely on as their go to authority on climate change. Koch brothers have funded science denial on tobacco, global warming and formaldahyde. Big surprise. They not only own the biggest private oil company, but a big chunk of Georgia Pacific lumber company, the biggest user of formaldahyde.
    If you took the time to read the books, you would learn that it is exactly what happened with tobacco. In fact, asbestos, acid rain, global warming, CFCs, formaldahyde, you name it, the respective industries have all followed in the footsteps of tobacco, and have repeated the very same tactics to delay or prevent corrective legislation.

    These 32 organizations have all been involved in the tobacco industry’s campaign to deny the science showing the dangers of tobacco.
    They are all now involved in the campaign to deny the science of climate change.

    1. Acton Institute
    2. American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
    3. Alexis de Tocquerville Institute
    4. American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
    5. Americans for Prosperity
    6. Atlas Economic Research Foundation
    7. Burson-Marsteller (PR firm)
    8. Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW)
    9. Cato Institute
    10. Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI)
    11. Consumer Alert
    12. DCI Group (PR firm)
    13. European Science and Environment Forum
    14. Fraser Institute
    15. Frontiers of Freedom
    16. George C. Marshall Institute
    17. Harvard Center for Risk Analysis
    18. Heartland Institute
    19. Heritage Foundation
    20. Independent Institute
    21. International Center for a Scientific Ecology
    22. International Policy Network
    23. John Locke Foundation
    24. Junk Science
    25. National Center for Public Policy Research
    26. National Journalism Center
    27. National Legal Center for the Public Interest (NLCPI)
    28. Pacific Research Institute
    29. Reason Foundation
    30. Small Business Survival Committee
    31. The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC)
    32. Washington Legal Foundation

    The Koch brothers created #5 and #9 and have their hands in several others.
    #24 is run by Steve Milloy, a professional PR man and paid lobbyist for fossil fuels. This is who Fox News likes to feature as an expert on climate change.

  10. elsa says:

    Good morning to you Moth from evening here.

    Here you (1) repeat your circular argument “if the greenhouse gas properties of CO2 were demonstrated to be false” you would accept your view was wrong. But that is the whole point. How do we demonstrate the CO2 theory wrong? What you say in effect is that we would prove a theory wrong if we proved it wrong. True, but my question is how do we do that?
    (2) You have referred to various pieces of literature. But these are (at best) the equivalent of stacking up evidence of further sightings of white swans. Mostly they do so by reference to models, something that is actually a variant of your first argument, though I will not dwell on that here. What we need to know is what would be your equivalent of sighting a black (or red!) swan? (3) Luckily for readers we have been spared your previous third possibility.

    You then in your second post “explain” why climate “science” apparently does not need to fit into Popper’s view of what constitutes a science, by which I again take it that you accept it does not meet the Popper requirements. It is on that basis that I refer to it as a matter of faith not science. It claims to know things that may be true but we do not know. The “denialist” faith as you would put it is much more modest. It does not lay claim to knowing things that are unproven.

    I will now turn to Sailrick’s comments. These seem to me to comprise three points. (1) there is a relationship between CO2 and temperature (2) we have a very good idea what this is and it has been established by climate models (3) those who deny either of these propositions are engaged in a battle against science and are similar to those who denied a relationship between smoking and health.

    (1) This is something I have always accepted. (2) This is where I differ 100%. We have absolutely no idea of the relationship between the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and temperature, save for the direction. The models, by their very nature, cannot measure or demonstrate the relationship at all. They are at the heart of the pseudoscience behind warmist theory (3) while I don’t doubt that there have been various bodies/scientists/lobbyists etc who have fought battles against science the idea that the warmist view is somehow akin to Sir Richard Doll, the discoverer of the smoking/lung cancer link, is absurd. He was an absolutely top rate statistician and scientist. The warmists are anything but. To give a rather personal example here, Moth referred me earlier this week to new evidence about mid 20th century global cooling having come about as a result of neuclear explosions. I do not doubt that this is a possibility. What is quite staggering is that Moth clearly does not even begin to see that the ability to just add a new factor at will as an explanation for climate change throws the whole previous model into doubt. How could it possibly have been right in the first place if it was missing a factor in its entirety? If it could explain everything without the factor that we now accept we need to add it is pretty much impossible to escape the conclusion that the model is little more than a scam. In addition of course for every additional factor that we add as affecting climate it becomes more difficult to determine just how much warming is the result of additional CO2. This however seems to have passed Moth and indeed the great majority of warmists by.

  11. elsa says:

    Moth, you give yet another reply that is long but not to the point. I have asked for only two things:
    1. How could we falsify your AGW theory?
    2. How are you able to determine the individual effects of the various factors, and particularly of CO2, in such warming as has taken place?”

    You have provided three “answers” to the first, none of which actually answer the question. With regard to the second you have only provided references elsewhere and informed me that the issue is so complex that you cannot explain it to me yourself. You are clearly capable of writing at length so why not just answer the two questions instead of repeating your claim that you have already done so.

    I could deal with your other points in detail but I don’t think that would get us anywhere because the crux of the matter lies in these two questions. The only area I would highlight is your statement “You previous Karl Popper quote was nonsense – that’s talking about absolutes and completely irrelevant to climate science.” To me that sounds as though you concede that climate “science” is not able to meet his test of what constitutes a science so that your claim that “AGW is no religion” may be right but it is not scientific either; it is a matter of faith.

    • I’ve answered one (eg. just one of the ways the AGW theory could fall down was if the greenhouse gas properties of CO2 were demonstrated to be false, but I also gave you a few others) and with number two, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with not wasting my time educating everyone, but instead provide some good literature. Indeed science is strengthened by not only retesting the studies of others, but also taking it further. Referencing is a major part of the this process and if you have a problem with that, well all I can do is again question your scientific understanding.
      Now Sailrick has gone to even greater lengths to hand feed to you the some of the sites I previous suggested you and then a whole heap more.
      Seeing as you’ve ignored (or had difficulty understanding) all that I’ve offered, I strongly suggest you take up Sailrick’s offer.

      In the wise words of Tim Minchin;

      “Science adjust it’s views based on what’s observed.
      Faith is the denial of observation, so that belief can be preserved.”

      I’ve tried to provide you evidence, which you’ve ignored. I’ve tried to explain why you’re hypothesis is flawed, which you’ve ignored. I’m afraid the only one here taking a faith position is yourself so please get over your, “AGW is a faith position!” nonsense.

    • RE: Popper: We’re not talking about 100% swans but the various influences in a dynamic, but increasingly understood, system. Read up on Sailrick’s provided links.

      This is my last comment to a brick wall.

  12. sailrick says:

    elsa
    I think you would find much of what you want to know at Science of Doom website. Start with the series of articles on CO2 as a trace gas. The host does a good job of explaining the science for laymen or non specialists. I have been visiting that sight since last summer and have seen no indication whether he or she is a skeptic or agrees with the consensus. (Not a place to troll)

    CO2 – An Insignificant Trace Gas? Part One
    http://scienceofdoom.com/2009/11/28/co2-an-insignificant-trace-gas-part-one/

    (there are at least 7 articles in this series)

    About climate models

    2010 updates to model-data comparisons
    1/21/11
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/01/2010-updates-to-model-data-comparisons/

    from the article:
    “Is it safe to double atmospheric Carbon Dioxide over a 200 year period?”

    “The mathematical model of how atoms absorb and re-emit radiation in discrete energy packets and in discrete wavelengths is also a model. It also faithfully describes the universe. A whole heap of technology is built on the certainty of this model. If these models did not work, then most of the appliances in your house would also not work, including the microwave oven and the television.”
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=490

    “A Cloudy Outlook for Low Climate Sensitivity”
    “One of the largest uncertainties in global climate models (GCMs) is the response of clouds in a warming world.”
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=471

    Some Key Papers in Climate Modeling History
    http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2010/10/some-key-papers-in-climate-modeling.html

    Despite uncertainty, CO2 drives the climate
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=423

    Climate Models: Learning From History Rather Than Repeating It
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=333

    You might also want to learn something about who is behind much of the climate change denial phenomenon.
    suggested reading

    “Climate Cover-Up”: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming”
    by James Hoggan with Richard Littlemore

    “Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming”
    by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway

    “Scorcher: The Dirty Politics of Climate Change”
    by Clive Hamilton
    He outlines the decade-long, coal-industry funded campaign in Australia to deny climate science.

    “Science as a Contact Sport: Inside the Battle to Save Earth’s Climate”
    by Stephan H. Schneider and Tim Flannery

  13. elsa says:

    Moth, you say “like what I’ve previously stated for the umpteenth time (ie. that your little linear relationship between CO2 concentration and global temp anomaly just cannot work, put most simply because the energy component is outside your equation)”.

    I have never said there was a linear relationship between CO2 and temperature but I think that whatever the relationship is we both agree that with higher CO2 the world will, other things being equal, be warmer. You apparently know how much warmer, I would not claim to know what the relationship is. The critical point is that you need to introduce other factors to explain why the temperature fell at the same time as CO2 concentration went up, which is, I think, what you do in the above remark. But once you do so you can no longer test the CO2 as the driving factor behind warming proposition.

    • “…but I think that whatever the relationship is we both agree that with higher CO2 the world will, other things being equal, be warmer.”
      Exactly – but other things are not equal; certainly not over the mid 20th century that you’re so obsessed with!

      How often I have to repeat myself and point out that you’ve ignored my reply (in this case referring to ENSO).

      When all else fails, you simply return to your basic mantra – completely disregarding all that I have offered up to that point (including basics in the physical chemistry involved as well as some of the mathematics). It never ceases to amazing me just how people like you work – it drew me right out of the evolution debate years ago because to believe otherwise nowadays must be a faith issue. In your case, I cannot work out why you go to such lengths to ignore my argument, always to return to the same, already refuted, point

      You really have no interest in the science and side step my replies. I just don’t get it.

      • elsa says:

        While again long on words the two things you do not offer are the two things I have asked for:

        1. How could we falsify your AGW theory?

        2. How are you able to determine the individual effects of the various factors, and particularly of CO2, in such warming as has taken place?

        Until you are able to provide answers your point of view will remain a widely held and interesting one, but not a scientific one.

        Your reply to my comment on “scientific literature” seems to me rather unclear. I am not sure why you seem so against personal opinions. Without personal opinions how could the literature come about or indeed be reviewed?

        It seems to me that you, wrongly, assume that science advances by consensus and peer review whereas in my view it advances by testing and refutation. Look for example at the remarkable advances in recent years in drugs or information technology. These have come about through different scientists competing with one another and putting forward different solutions, not by setting up an IPCC on drug development to review the relevant literature. This may be one of the reasons that climate “science” seems to have advanced so little in comparison with these two areas.

      • “While again long on words the two things you do not offer are the two things I have asked for:
        1. How could we falsify your AGW theory?
        2. How are you able to determine the individual effects of the various factors, and particularly of CO2, in such warming as has taken place?”

        I seriously don’t understand people like yourself. I’ve provided here and on my own site a number of possible ways that theory of AGW could fall down if one of the factors was demonstrated false (ie. [1]) and I have provided at least one sci lit that explores the effects of various factors on climate assumptions as well as science based videos that demonstrate some of the physical chemistry involved (ie. [2]) and I’ve also tried to demonstrate that your hypothesis is fatally flawed because it does not give proper recognition of the infra-red input in the system. Yet you continue to persist with the same illogical argument time and time again. If you cannot win the argument with reason, do you expect to win it via repetition of nonsense?

        “It seems to me that you, wrongly, assume that science advances by consensus and peer review…”

        I’ve also explained this time and time again – I do not simply rely on consensus!! But obviously you need to believe otherwise to make you silliness make sense (at least to you). You will not listen to me so I’ll try with some nice quotes.

        Anderegg (2010):
        “…in reality, the incentives of scientific epistemology are exactly the opposite (Gleick et al. 2010). Every scientist wants to be the next Darwin, the next Einstein. All young scientists dream of truly changing the way we think about the world, climate science, or redefining and redirecting a field.”

        Paul Nurse (in Science Under Attack):
        “Consensus can be used like a dirty word. Consensus is actually the position of the experts at the time and if it’s working well – it doesn’t always work well – but if it’s working well, they evaluate the evidence. You make your reputation in science by actually overturning that, so there’s a lot of pressure to do it. But if over the years the consensus doesn’t move you have to wonder is the argument, is the evidence against the consensus good enough.”

        That’s as far as consensus goes – you seem as unable to understand all that I’ve said as much as you’re clearly unable to understand the sciences behind climate.

        - You are demonstratively unable to understand science literature.
        - You are demonstratively unable to tell the difference between flood waters and sea level.
        - You time and time again ignore my request for evidence to back up your rhetoric (eg. you made the point that there many reasons why sea level would change that are not climate related, but did not explain what).
        - You insist on a hypothesis which does not give proper recognition for the energy requirements needed to make the system work.
        - You insist that I have not answered your two points above, yet I’ve done so here and on my site.
        - You clearly thing a sceptic is someone who is yet unconvinced, but in truth a sceptic is someone who understands the sciences involved and is able to critically analyse published studies
        - You’ve failed to take anything I’ve said seriously and improve on your argument – example:

        Your most recent comment includes;
        “Until you are able to provide answers your point of view will remain a widely held and interesting one, but not a scientific one.”

        From your very second comment on my site;
        “This leaves us with a theory that may be interesting but cannot claim to be scientific.”

        Knowledge does not improve by continuing, as you do, to repeat the one point over and over again until no-one is willing to debate you you any longer (the point that I’m now at – and you claim AGW a religion where it’s demonstratively improving and developing – not simply making the same point over and over again).

        Your point,
        “The warmists however then introduce a let out. They say that other factors created the cooling. But if they use this excuse the theory loses its science.”

        Paul Nurse in the documentary above discusses the difficulty of interpreting data using smoking. Smoking leads first to yellow teeth and at some later point to cancer. As we see yellow teeth at some point before cancer with every case, it would be easy to make the mistake that yellow teeth leads to cancer. This is where your at – you clearly don’t understand the sciences involved or appreciate how dynamic the system is.

        Climate science has been a topic of study and discussion since the 19th century and of course personal bias always comes into play, but with so many experts with their personal opinions have critically analysing the studies and the different data sets, it seem ludicrous that someone could persist that, “The warmists however then introduce a let out.”

        It would’ve been laughed out of the system and certainly would not persist – again repeating Paul Nurse, “You make your reputation in science by actually overturning that, so there’s a lot of pressure to do it. But if over the years the consensus doesn’t move you have to wonder is the argument, is the evidence against the consensus good enough.”

        I’m sorry this is wordy for you (as you’ve expressed difficulty already), but you simply just don’t seem to get science at all – nor the evidence that is freely available if you were actually willing to look at it!

        You previous Karl Popper quote was nonsense – that’s talking about absolutes and completely irrelevant to climate science.

        I have answered your questions, but to persist with your point you have openly side stepped the answer time and time again. I have no doubt that you will walk away from our exchange feeling, like Jo Nova following John Cooks rebuttal, that you’ve successfully demonstrated another “warmist” to be hopelessly ideological. You have a remarkable ability of self-delusion. I also have no doubt that no-one on this Earth can convince you that your hypothesis is flawed and that”warmists” haven’t applied a dodgy loop-hole to explain the global temperature anomaly.

        I feel certain at this point that I can save you the effort and state, as far as you could ever tell, no-one will be able to correct you. Your stance (as devoid of reason as it is we must conclude to be ideological) is unreachable.

        On the flip side, I do however hope that one day you will actually endeavour to read the science you think you’re critical of and try to understand how our understand of the factors involved have come to be. It’s an amazing field of science – complex and interesting. The results of climate models, when one actually takes the time to understand them, is quite staggering.

        In my case, watching my monitoring site change over time (both observational and from the data) is the most rewarding part – life is astounding. How species and whole ecosystems interact with the other spheres is amazing. Watching the collective breath of a mallee forest (in flux data), that you’ve scanned over from the top of a monitoring tower is truly humbling.

        AGW is no religion – some elements are still hotly debated, just as they are in evolutionary biology. However, in both cases, the fundamentals are highly certain. We know our CO2 contribution to that atmosphere amplifies the greenhouse effect and has played a role in the changing temperature anomaly over the 20th century. The various sensitivities might become clearer as we learn more, some definitely won’t, but the general upward trend of temperature will not change as long as we continue to change the concentration of greenhouse gases (unless of course we change the the concentration of reflective particles as well or if solar activity really nose dives – noting that it’s exiting out of a minimum, so this is unlikely).

        Again the theory of AGW is scientific – I cannot stress this enough – and if you were only willing to learn about it and read the available science literature you would know as much (I know you’ve not read the sci papers I’ve provided you). However, as it stands, you are only too willing to ignore all evidence contrary to your point of view solely to push the same mantra over and over again.

        I simply will not entertain you any longer.

  14. elsa says:

    Needless to say since I wrote that I have found claims that the current flooding in Australia is a result of man made climate change. I am not sure about your position on that Moth but would be interested to hear.

    Since you have agreed that the cooling periods in the 20th century are consistent with global warming I am not sure why you describe that the statement that the global warming hypothesis is consistent with both cooling and warming as cheap and ill informed. No doubt you will now let know your reasons.

    • Thank you AGAIN for demonstrating just how futile it is to have a meaningful conversation with you simply because you ignore whatever suits your reference.
      To simply cut and paste what I wrote above on the subject of Aust. floods;
      “…the Murray dry up for over a decade followed by the recent floods. A combination of factors have played into that – worst being over allocation of river water, but the recharge is of course the starting point of all that which relies on the ENSO cycle.”
      If you don’t know what the ENSO cycle is, I suggest you look here (no doubt to return to tell me, quite absurdly, just how much it supports you rather than I). The Aust Bureau of Met has indeed suggested as climate changes the ENSO cycle is expected to become more severe so, that the worst drought on record (over a decade long) broke by the worst flooding on record across the entire Eastern coast is consistent with climate modelling.
      Like the physical chemistry I offered, like the science paper I offered and like what I’ve previously stated for the umpteenth time (ie. that your little linear relationship between CO2 concentration and global temp anomaly just cannot work, put most simply because the energy component is outside your equation): time and time again you ignore, twist and resort to cheap rhetoric because you truly don’t have any understanding of the relevant sciences involved but persist in this nonsensical discussion (most likely) because your too proud to admit your ignorance and learn something.

  15. elsa says:

    “Foods and sea level are not the same thing” when they work against the warmists but I suspect that floods in Australia right now are for them another demonstration of man made climate change.

    • Like your ridiculous notion that we think both “cooling and warming both prove AGW”, this is another cheap and ill-informed point and quite a soft spot for a South Aussie who’s watched the Murray dry up for over a decade followed by the recent floods. A combination of factors have played into that – worst being over allocation of river water, but the recharge is of course the starting point of all that which relies on the ENSO cycle.
      Also; who is silly enough to compare river water levels to sea level? Time and time again you demonstrate your ignorance of the relevant sciences.

  16. john byatt says:

    wonder if there was some way that we could overcome the problems of land subsidence and so measure SLR more accurately ?

    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

  17. elsa says:

    That should read “warming” not “warning”.

    • Ray says:

      You had it right the first time. May the godz save us from human induced Global Warning. “We have nothing to fear but fear itsself.” some eloquent dude.

      Warming seas expand, include what loss land based ice and glaciers add to the mix and I believe you have a parallel gage of earths recent temperature record and trends. Tide history is indeed subject to land subsidence and erosion but less subject to honest corruption and insidious manipulation of data.

      Relying upon past thermometer records which were installed to record weather is like trying to count hummingbirds in a blossoming jungle.

  18. Ray says:

    @ elsa,

    An exagerated scenario of rising sea levels has been pounded into the publics perception as one of the leading dangers of CAGW. I use it as an example for its failure to behave as sold by warmists. Sea level has a long history roughly provided by tide gages and before that geology, it can now be accurately measured by TOPEX/Poseidon.

    Nothing in history or recent measurment indicates any reason to believe humans have caused a rise above normal.

    • elsa says:

      I don’t really know enough to comment in detail about the sea level but I can say that in the UK there have been examples of “climate change” on the BBC news which were nothing more than erosion of land, nothing at all to do with rising sea levels. I have stood at the highwatermark of the 1953 flood in Norfolk and it is clear that the water has not been near that since.

      There seems to be a muddying of the water by the warmist lobby about sea level. Sometimes it is a problem to come. At others it is “proof” of climate change that has already happened. But clearly if you are out to show global warming the obvious thing to do is to measure temperature, there is no need to look at sea level or indeed ice caps, which are another favourite, though normally not in the globe, only in the Arctic or northern Europe. Clearly ice caps could melt without there being any warning at all (imagine going into a kitchen in Dallas in the summer where the AC has been turned off. Take the ice cubes out of the freezer and leave them on the side. Then turn on the AC. Come back an hour later. The room will be cooler but the ice cubes will have melted a bit) but time and again we have to hear about northern hemishere ice caps showing how the globe has warmed.

      • Floods and sea level are not the same thing.

        I can’t believe you’re trying to use a room temperature analogy and yet failed to grasp mine about the heater and a power outage.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      *This just in: sea levels changed in the past!”.

  19. elsa says:

    Moth,
    One common thread that seems to run through your approach is to assert that a large number of scientists support your views and that everyone who disagrees with you must be referred to their works. Any other scientists who happen to disagree with your views are to be written off as fools or charlatans and any lay person who disagrees is to be scorned and called an idiot. You are not alone in this and that is why I say the standard of commentary here is poor. I would have thought that someone with your claimed knowledge could do better than this. Instead of e.g. just asserting that the climate models work and referring everyone away to other sources (which on at least two occassions in my experience gave as much comfort to those you would label “deniers” as they did to you) you ought surely to be able to explain in fairly simple terms how they work.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Survey of of the work of 1300 climate scientists: 97% support the theory the planet is warming due to human activities.

      This is not their “personal opinion” but is a review of the scientific literature.

      http://www.pnas.org/content/107/27/12107.full

      “…Although preliminary estimates from published literature and expert surveys suggest striking agreement among climate scientists on the tenets of anthropogenic climate change (ACC), the American public expresses substantial doubt about both the anthropogenic cause and the level of scientific agreement underpinning ACC. A broad analysis of the climate scientist community itself, the distribution of credibility of dissenting researchers relative to agreeing researchers, and the level of agreement among top climate experts has not been conducted and would inform future ACC discussions. Here, we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field surveyed here support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers. ”

      Yes, because over 1300 scientists are all lying… with remarkable uniformity they are “all in the conspiracy”.

      1300 experts are wrong.

      1300 experts can be proven wrong by people without qualifications or expertise in the area.

      1300 experts are only “in it for the gold”.

      Right?

      Perhaps in a paranoid-Glenn Beck-Illuminati-lizard people-eat-babies kind of way.

      • Ray says:

        Mike you should know better than to cite that piece of crap paper.

        “The paper ‘Expert Credibility in Climate Change,’ published in PNAS by Anderegg, the late Stephen Schneider, James Prall and Jacob Harold attempts to measure the credibility of climate scientists by counting how many papers they have published and how often their work has been cited by others.

        This led to the creation of a blacklist that will be used to injure the careers of those who have signed letters or petitions that do not agree with the Al Gore/James Hansen position on climate change, and to intimidate future scientists, effectively silencing dissent.

        The paper is poorly done, as I’ve explained elsewhere. They used Google Scholar instead of an academic database. They searched only in English, despite the global nature of climate science. They got names wrong. They got job titles wrong. They got incorrect numbers of publications and citations.”

        Thomas Fuller and many many others.

        [Translation into denyspeak: “Resistence ungood, Goldstein thoughtcrime! Crimestop!”

        Mike @ WtD

      • Ray,
        That paper’s a piece of crap? Really, thanks for letting me know! You should get your argument published that demonstrates the flaws in it oh and also discuss how it attempts to create dissent! I’m so proud of you for explaining it elsewhere!

        On the other hand, I’ve actually looked into it (as any good scientist tried to do) and found some published responses here and here. There’s also the replies by the authors here and here and a follow on editorial article also by Anderegg here.

        Believe it or not, your little paranoid delusion about silencing those who challenge is discussed (most in the Bodenstein response and reply).

        I think you should have a good read of all the papers, not those that simply agree with you or even more simply, your own common sense. There’s far more science and far less conspiracy going on that you’d like to think!

      • elsa says:

        “Survey of of the work of 1300 climate scientists: 97% support the theory the planet is warming due to human activities.”

        I think it would be interesting to know (1) the qualifications of these scientists and (2) just what they meant by their acceptance of the above statement.

        It seems to me that a “science” has grown up in the last two or three decades where the qualifications of the membership are not all that they claim. Often their training is in what they call “climate science” but they have little or no training in harder sciences. Phil. Jones is an example of this. I suspect that their claims to science are a bit like the Freudians. They talk a language and behave in a way that appears scientific but their output does not meet the test of a science. This is at the heart of my disagreement with Moth. What he says sounds scientific but because there is no possible means of falsifying their various claims to knowledge they do not merit the name scientific.

        The second part relates to human activity and warming. I would accept that it is quite likely that some warming has taken place as a result of human activity. But it does not follow from that that we should be alarmed or that all or even the greater part of the (limited) increase in temperature can be attributed to human activity and that we should therefore take drastic measures to change our ways.

        The overriding point to me though is that we do not judge a theory by the number of people who believe in it. For many years the majority of educated people believed in creationism and for many years the majority of “experts” believed that the plague was caused by bad humours. It did not follow that it either story was right. We should assess a theory by whether it can be tested and whwther or not it can be falsified and for the reasons I have explained to Moth the AGW theory just does not pass that test. It could well be that it is one of those theories that is true but we have not yet found a way to test, but for now it is more a matter of belief and faith than of science.

        This is not their “personal opinion” but is a review of the scientific literature.

        http://www.pnas.org/content/107/27/12107.full

        “…Although preliminary estimates from published literature and expert surveys suggest striking agreement among climate scientists on the tenets of anthropogenic climate change (ACC), the American public expresses substantial doubt about both the anthropogenic cause and the level of scientific agreement underpinning ACC. A broad analysis of the climate scientist community itself, the distribution of credibility of dissenting researchers relative to agreeing researchers, and the level of agreement among top climate experts has not been conducted and would inform future ACC discussions. Here, we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field surveyed here support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers. ”

        Yes, because over 1300 scientists are all lying… with remarkable uniformity they are “all in the conspiracy”.

        1300 experts are wrong.

        1300 experts can be proven wrong by people without qualifications or expertise in the area.

        1300 experts are only “in it for the gold”.

        Right?

        Perhaps in a paranoid-Glenn Beck-Illuminati-lizard people-eat-babies kind of way.

      • Elsa,

        No, the heart of our disagreement is your inability to actually look and understand the science involved and in doing so you reach a flawed conclusion.

        As for your reply here to the article Mike supplied, I really suggest you at least attempt to read the papers I supplied in response to Ray @ (03:08:29) – it would also assist with your delusion of a there existing an attempt to suppress science that contradicts the theory of AGW.

        Again, it is science, it’s not based on consensus (nor does the article attempt to say otherwise) and much of it is freely available if you cared to actually look at it.

      • On re-reading your comment Elsa, I have to say one thing that is interesting;

        “This is not their “personal opinion” but is a review of the scientific literature.”

        Is that to say you would find it more reliable if it were based on their personal opinion rather than the conclusions of studies? If so, you truly have a warped perception of science. Again I stress you to look over the links I provided Ray – especially Anderegg’s editorial.

        Of course, knowing you, I suspect it’ll either be ignored or else you’ll conclude that it supports your understanding (ie. that it’s not scientific) rather than mine (ie. scientists doing what scientists do).

      • Elsa,

        seeing as you seem unwilling (unable?) to review the sci lit, you might find Peter Sinclairs post and the documentary within of worth;
        http://climatecrocks.com/2011/01/26/bbc-science-under-attack/

  20. Ray says:

    “Firstly, did you check the quality of the publishing journal and where the these papers have since being cited to check how they were later reviewed?”

    Climategate, need I say more?

    Had those “thousands” of climate scientist you claim been able to make a case for action the worlds people and goverments would have responded. We haven’t, they haven’t.

    Your response above is a classic example of why. The zealous attacks on anyone who dare dissagree with your mantra speaks volumes. The fact you nor Mike will answer the simple question why sea levels are not rising another. Insults in the place of answers screams fail. The world listens to the thoughtfull reason of Freeman Dyson, not the dooms day rhetoric of James Hanson.

    • laurence says:

      Sorry sunshine sea levels are rising
      http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/downloads/CSIRO_GMSL_figure.pdf

      As for Climategate, that was a bit of a fizzer wasn’t it. All that that hissyfit showed was a few scientists were pissed of with the constant hassleing by a bunch of halfwits, and that the some folk are totally comfortable with the idea of turning to crime to further their agenda.

      • elsa says:

        I am never sure why there is so much talk about sea levels as a demonstration of warming. Many things could cause the level of the sea to alter, of which temperature is only one. If we have thermometers which are far more accurate than in the past why use sea levels to argue about climate change? If it is your case that the world is warming then surely the temperature record alone is the thing to look at.

    • That’s pathetic Ray.

      That you still think “climategate” is worth mentioning demonstrates how reasonable and sensible you are – clearly nothing can convince you otherwise, so why waste my time on you?

      That governments and the general public haven’t reacted is not a example as to how weak the scientific case is. I mean, look at you – you’ve clearly bought into a impossible scenario fed to you from doubt-mongers. That doesn’t change how we understand the world.

      “Mantra” – the buzz word for anyone who cannot build a reasonable response. It’s a straw man Ray.
      “Oh, you’ve just bought in to the new religion!” he screams, “look at that huge volumes of mantra they offer! Are we so gullible as to listen to reason?”

      No, it wasn’t an attack, but simply a suggestion that you go to the effort of cross checking rather than at face value believing whatever your told on a 3yr old article on Science Daily. That you got so defensive suggests to me that you, deep down, realise it was a pretty weak move.

    • BTW, I didn’t realise I was expected to answer your question about sea level rise. I mean, reliable sources such as NASA disagree with you on this one and an easy google search would’ve led you here;
      http://climate.nasa.gov/keyIndicators/index.cfm#seaLevel
      “Dooms day rhetoric of James Hanson”? lol

    • BTW, I actually bothered to read that 3yr old article in Science daily. No indication of which paper it is, except who the lead author is, David Douglass, (of course, we need to take it at face value and not be able to see what papers later discuss / criticise it), because the writer is in too much of a hurry to get quotes from the likes of John Chrissy and Fred Singer… Is there any real point looking it up? I might, at best, find it’s citations…

      Oh as for Freeman Dyson (I guess I’m not part of the world as I’m only vaguely aware of this elderly gent, so I had to do a little background) – it would seem that he too accepts the high level of confidence, as does most of the scientific community, about the reality of AGW, but questions only the importance of it (as I often do – I would think that without other human impacts climate change itself wouldn’t be so bad) and the quality of climate models.

      So “the world listens to the thoughtful reason of Freeman Dyson” when he expresses an opinion that climate models don’t do a great job but what, write it of as senility when when he asserts that AGW is most likely a real phenomena?

      I think I’ve worked out your “reasoning” and it remains pointless to discuss this further with such an individual.

  21. Ray says:

    Dr. Roy Spencer……..

    “The best test of a theory is to see whether the predictions of that theory end up being correct. Unfortunately, we have no good way to rigorously test climate models in the context of the theory that global warming is manmade. While some climate modelers will claim that their models produce the same “fingerprint” of manmade warming as seen in nature, there really is no such fingerprint.”

    Dr. Gregory Young is a neuroscientist and physicist, a doctoral graduate of the University of Oxford, Oxford, England, whilst previously completing postgraduate work at King’s College, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and having taught graduate-level Statistical Analysis and Mathematical Modeling.

    “Virtually all climate models are basically mathematical models, built upon a series of mathematical equations. Change just one equation, or the number of variables in an equation, or how they relate to one another, and the results of the model can change dramatically. Unfortunately, unlike many other forms of modeling, climate models have yet to prove their wanted accuracy.”

    • Another well thought out statement by Dr. Spencer,

      “I finally became convinced that the theory of creation actually had a much better scientific basis than the theory of evolution, for the creation model was actually better able to explain the physical and biological complexity in the world… Science has startled us with its many discoveries and advances, but it has hit a brick wall in its attempt to rid itself of the need for a creator and designer.”

      Clearly the bloke is great with analysing data.

      That, in your Spencer quote, it ends with his assumption that “there really is no such fingerprint” sort of invalidates the statement entirely. The vast majority of scientists actively working in relevant fields of science would say that there’s high confidence in a noticeable fingerprint of man-made warming which would then flip your statement on it’s head to support AGW.

      That you chose this one scientist’s interpretation when his conclusions cannot be validated by others independently and for all the critically analysis of the data and individual studies done to date, a high level of confidence remains, it seems highly likely that AGW is real, there is a ‘fingerprint’ of this and thus the models are doing a good job.

      Dr. Young’s statement is no better. It’s his opinion that models have yet to prove themselves. The various variables involved have been monitored in some cases for centuries. This understanding is used to shape the models. Testing these models against the observations have yet to demonstrate them to be wildly inaccurate – in fact many of the better models, based on understood variables have remained with the 95% confidence band. Look up, for instance, Hansen 2006 scenario C.

      Clearly the evidence is lacking for both your quotes – but merely the opinion of two doctors which, if you genuinely cared about the science, you would treat with the same amount of what you think is scepticism (if not more) as you do the vast majority of the relevant scientific community.

      By holding on to fringe opinions you expose yourself as desperately trying to validate a hope that AGW is wrong instead of concerning yourself with the evidence.

      • Ray says:

        Tim its not going to work for you to discount all the very able scientist who question the accuracy of climate models. There are too many of them. A peer reviewed study below.

        Lead author Dr. David H. Douglass from the University of Rochester. “Here we have something more fundamental: Can the models accurately explain the climate from the recent past? “It seems that the answer is no.”

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071211101623.htm

        And

        “Models are unreliable” (Freeman Dyson) http://www.sns.ias.edu/~dyson/

        “Models do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields, farms and forests. They are full of fudge factors so the models more or less agree with the observed data. But there is no reason to believe the same fudge factors would give the right behaviour in a world with different chemistry, for example in a world with increased CO2.”

      • Don’t insult reason by selectively choosing the promote the few papers that support your ideology. Very able scientists? You selected a climate scientist who clearly has trouble interpreting data and a statistician and now you follow by a handful of papers that tend to support this…

        Firstly, did you check the quality of the publishing journal and where the these papers have since being cited to check how they were later reviewed? I’d assume not, because they support your basis that climate models don’t work and that’s all you need to hear.

        Look, if you truly cared about what evidence had been provided through science literature and the relevant studies regarding climate science, you and I wouldn’t be having this conversation, that much is sure. Don’t waste my time with half-arsed fact-finding.

  22. elsa says:

    The standard of comment in this section is very poor. You do not seem to answer one anothers’ points and the points you each make yourselves are not well done and smothered in sarcasm. If you really believe in your cases you should be able to put them clearly and succintly with respect for the other side.

    The most frightening thing to me is the complete lack of understanding of what climate models can do (as opposed to what they purport to do) shown by the warmists here. Your comments show that you do not know what you are talking about in respect of the models. The sad reality is these things appear to be scientific, in that they use lots of apparently sophisticated maths, but are not scientific at all. They do not even begin to test the global warming theory; they work on the assumption that it is right and then add several more variables in order to ensure that the model correctly “predicts” the past. That aside, unless you are able to show that these models have not left out a factor that influences climate (which as far as I can see has not only not been done but has not even been attempted) you cannot give them any creedance at all. Whatever the truth or otherwise of global warming the models are of no assistance whatsoever.

    • How typical! Instead of actually reading up on the subject, you instead just troll on to another site, keeping the same self-righteous, evidence-free tone!

      If you had bothered to read the paper I offered you, you would understand that models don’t just work on assumptions that CO2 is the driver, but on observational data and explored relationships. Sure they’re not perfect, but how could you expect them to be – that they’re as close as they are to real world trends is pretty amazing and really don’t deserve trolls spreading around such unreasonable doubt.

      You whole premise that the theory of AGW isn’t scientific because CO2 trends continued to increase in the mid 20th century while temperature trends remained fairly flat is about as sensible as concluding that there has never been a heater in the room because between 10am and 11am you felt a little chilly – while completely ignoring that there was a power outage over that time period!

      I’m afraid it’s your argument that is unscientific and from all I’ve witnessed, you’re comments that are of poor quality, irrelevant and completely counter to evidence available. If you really did obtain scientific training at Cambridge, as you’ve told me, I’m sure your educators would be embarrassed with your continuous use of illogical rhetoric – especially where other have tried to explain the subject to you and provide some of the science literature to explain how wrong your argument is.

      • elsa says:

        You did indeed point me to a number of articles. The two that I looked at were rather more supportive of my views than yours although you seem not to have taken that on board. I have never suggested that the models factor in CO2 alone. Indeed it was precisely my point that they had to use other factors because if you look at CO2 alone as the driving factor there are periods when the relationship does not work. As a result other factors have to be introduced to save the theory. But once those other factors are added the theory ceases to be scientific because it becomes compatible with any type of climate change. If the world warms the theory is true, if the world cools the thery is true. Although you have got quite cross about this you have not answered the basic criticism.
        You say that great minds have disentangled the various components of climate change. Perhaps, without referring everyone to other sources, you could explain to us in simple language how this can be done and how it would allow for the components that we do not even know about let alone those that we do.

      • Elsa,
        You never fail to throw around debate class rhetoric in lieu of informed argument.
        You remind me of a footnote in Dawkin’s Greatest show on Earth where he quotes Peter Medawar (I just had to dig it up), “the spread of secondary and latterly of tertiary education has created a large population of people, often with well-developed literary and scholarly tastes, who have been educated far beyond their capacity to undertake analytical thought.

        Of the “two [articles] that [you] looked at were rather more supportive of [your] views than [mine]” as you put it, one of as opinion piece from New Scientist that explored what it means to be a scientific sceptic and the other a wikipedia link which explained ‘scientific theory’, both in case you were unsure of their meaning. It’s hardly two articles that support either of our views and rather a bizarre conclusion (should’ve I expect any different from you?).

        Although, as you seemed to enjoy the strange little debate you had begun with me, I have a distinct feeling that you actually did read the third link (and the only science literature that I offered), after which you abruptly disappeared – obviously either not being able to make heads nor tails of it or realising that you simply had no answer for it. Instead, you did as the NS article states, you simply kept on denying.

        I think it’s a pretty weak act to pretend you’re so well informed and trained when you’ll only face up to opinion articles and Wikipedia links.

        “You say that great minds have disentangled the various components of climate change. Perhaps, without referring everyone to other sources, you could explain to us in simple language how this can be done and how it would allow for the components that we do not even know about let alone those that we do.”

        This is an all too often logical fallacy employed by people like you. Again recalling that NS article and our previous discussions, it’s not my place to educate you on the subject – there’s no “for dummies” handbook that I’m aware of (and if there is, I suggest you turn to that rather than trolling the blogospere). If you were a true AGW sceptic, you wouldn’t need to be educated by me, but well informed enough to know the theory and why it is fatally flawed. That you refer to the mid 20th century temperature anomaly solely in relation to CO2 demonstrates a huge gap in your understanding of climate science. If you had bothered to read that brilliant science piece I offered (or more likely, knew enough to understand it when you did read it), you wouldn’t continue to make such unscientific arguments.

        “…you say “the theory could be proven wrong if CO2′s greenhouse effect was disproven”. This is just a circular argument.”

        Again you demonstrate your limited understanding. The theory of AGW is not the same thing as CO2’s ghg effect.

        “…only a fool would suggest that because output of TVs and temperature both rose that one caused the other.”

        Only a fool would also suggest that the science involved behind the AGW theory relies on at best a chance relationship between CO2 and temperature (as you do) and again I think you should make the effort to learn about the subject you argue against. I have offered you elementary introductions on the subject, but clearly they don’t fit your perception and thus have been ignored.
        “We could reduce the level of CO2. I agree that this could give us a test but (setting aside our inability to control CO2 levels at will) if the temperature did not decline I think you would just say that other factors were involved so the test was not valid. This would be the inverse of what you offer as an explanation of the cooling at various times in the last century (which does offer a test of the basic CO2 warming theory which it does not pass).”

        Again you demonstrate your ignorance of the theory. You only seem to see it in this unrealistic unilateral relationship and thus, for people as entrenched as you, only long-term relationships on the opposite direction seem to be able to make a difference.

        “The last possibility you offer is the discovery of a better explanation.”

        No, it’s the same as dispelling the theory of evolution, which you brought up yourself on my site.

        You exaggerate my discussion of “consensus” because it is the only real argument you can put up. At best I think it’s impressive that the most respected scientific bodies have publicly stated that they see the evidence behind AGW as compelling – something you don’t often see – but I don’t take it any further than that.

        “Any other scientists who happen to disagree with your views are to be written off as fools or charlatans and any lay person who disagrees is to be scorned and called an idiot.”

        This is an overused indignant retort used by people when all else fails. It really is pathetic and hopelessly naive. I have, for instance, read a great amount of science papers that have been offered to me by deniers who know a little more about the subject than you. I have also found where such papers have later been cited. I certainly don’t want to be duped – much of my own career has relied on accuracy in climate and environmental sciences. It pays to know the subject.

        I don’t write-off those “who happen to disagree with [my] views” or label them “fools or charlatans” but instead take the time to understand their scientific basis and any possible updates. In fact, it’s hardly fair to refer to my “views”, because you don’t know what they are – what we’re talking about here is sensible risk and I concur that the evidence is compelling (a conclusion you cannot come to because you avoid the evidence).

        To go on and complain about the comment tread really shows that you read what you want to read – all discussion here was relevant and in context to the rest. Your lofty judgement of the comments is about as poor as your understanding of AGW.

        “Many things could cause the level of the sea to alter, of which temperature is only one.”

        Please, inform us all what other “things” could be altering sea level that are not temperature or climate related. As I’ve explained above and previously, you indulge in taking this lofty rhetorical position in which I’ve yet to see a single point of evidence. As I opened with in the Madawar quote, you demonstrate that it’s far easier to sound well-informed than it is to provide analytical reasoning. So far you’ve provided no reason for anybody to question the scientific basis of the AGW theory.

    • On my site, you provided your basic argument as to why you think the theory of AGW is unscientific;

      “…temperatures went down. If falling temperatures and rising CO2 concentrations happening together do not demonstrate the theory to be wrong it is hard to think what would.”
      …it is wrong to claim it as scientific, because it cannot be falsified.”

      Expecting, as you obviously do, a basic relationship solely between CO2 and the global temperature anomaly is, as I’ve already told you, unrealistic.

      The theory could be proven wrong, however, if;
      - CO2′s greenhouse effect was disproven, but that is very unlikely as the test is very easy to demonstrate (only 50secs into the presentation – I gave this to you earlier, but like many others, it’s easier to simply ignore evidence than to refute it).
      - CO2 levels haven’t increased over the industrial era, but they clearly have. Of course, there is a very small chance that every monitoring site (all the dots in the presentation) are wrong for some unknown reason… unlikely, but it cannot be ruled out. As any good scientist would know, many independent sources coming to the same conclusion tends to increase our confidence in the data.
      - As I’ve discussed in a previous post, we could run this experiment in the other direction (ie. reduce CO2 atmospheric concentrations) and obtain the first directly observed period of decreasing CO2. That all the known variables are being observed and only one is being adjusted (of course, solar activity, albedo etc will also change – but these too are being observed), we should be able to establish greater confidence in the role of CO2 (seeing as climate models will forever fail to interest most deniers regardless how well they represent reality).
      - Some other before unknown compound is found to exist in the atmosphere (seeing as we’re very certain about atmospheric chemistry) which is found in great enough concentrations, has increased at the same time and rate as CO2, is also hiding in CO2 gas cylinders and has fooled us all into blaming CO2 for the greenhouse signal that is actually the result of this other compound (you might laugh, but we can only rule it out as much as we can the likelihood of a precambrian rabbit).

      There’s just a few events that would in a second completely destroy the theory of AGW. Of course, none of which has occurred…

      “…once you introduce other factors it become impossible to disentangle the effects of each factor.”

      If you had read that paper, you would understand that many brilliant minds have worked on disentangling the different factors and yes, we have a good understanding of each. As I previously stated, it’s easier to remain ignorant of the sciences involved and build irrelevant rhetorical arguments than it is to reasonably refute the findings. Hence why you’re not sceptical, do not provide evidence, but simply make smug statements of personal belief.

      • elsa says:

        Above I have put a short reply to your earlier comments and this one. I will now comment on what you say could prove the CO2 driven warming hypothesis wrong:

        First you say “the theory could be proven wrong if CO2′s greenhouse effect was disproven”. This is just a circular argument. The theory could be proved wrong if it was proved wrong. As a rebuttal it is just nonsense.

        Second “if CO2 had not increased over the industrial era”. I don’t doubt it has increased (and actually I don’t doubt that with more CO2 the world will, in general, be warmer) but it does not follow that because CO2 increased and the world got a tiny bit warmer that CO2 caused the warming. I think you will find that production of television sets increased in the last 30 years but only a fool would suggest that because output of TVs and temperature both rose that one caused the other.

        We could reduce the level of CO2. I agree that this could give us a test but (setting aside our inability to control CO2 levels at will) if the temperature did not decline I think you would just say that other factors were involved so the test was not valid. This would be the inverse of what you offer as an explanation of the cooling at various times in the last century (which does offer a test of the basic CO2 warming theory which it does not pass).

        The last possibility you offer is the discovery of a better explanation. But this makes you akin to the 13th century doctor who explained the plague by bad humours. Your view is presumably that such theory was scientific because it was later refuted by the discovery of bacteria.

      • elsa says:

        Moth,
        I now write to comment on your comment of 24 January, although I think the layout of the text may mean this appears lower down the page.

        1. The first part of your comment is your usual name calling and adds nothing to the debate.

        2. I stand by my view that the two articles that I referred to were very supportive of the view I was expressing. In particular that a theory needs to be falsifiable if it is to be labelled scientific.

        3. The next section again adds nothing. It simply says that you think that I mislead you over what I read or didn’t read.

        4. The next section takes a long time to say that it is so complicated to disentangle the various influences on climate that you cannot give us a short summary of how it is done.

        5. You then say “Again you demonstrate your limited understanding. The theory of AGW is not the same thing as CO2’s ghg effect.” I have never suggested that it was. But what you have done is to say that if a second theory was proved wrong the first would fail too. But you did not tell us how to demonstrate that the second theory was wrong so we are no further forward.

        6. You then try to deal with the point that “…only a fool would suggest that because output of TVs and temperature both rose that one caused the other.” Apparently you think because CO2 rose and temperature rose we are entitled to deduce that one caused the other. While that is a possible explanantion it is not a proof. You then get hot under the collar about it without in any way refuting my description of your logic.

        7. Your next test to render the CO2 warming hypothesis testable is to say we could reduce the level of CO2. There is one big practical obstacle to this, which is that we cannot just alter the level of CO2 at will. Secondly, as I had pointed out, if the theory failed the test you would just say that it did so as a result of something else. This in effect you accept when you (as usual) say I display my ignorance in looking an “unrealistic unilateral relationship”. But if you now say the theory could not be tested in such a unilateral way why did you suggest that method of testing the theory in the first place?

        8. The last of only three possible tests to make the CO2 hypothesis scientific that you gave is that of a better explanation. But this is no argument at all. As I say it is like the 13th century doctor finding an explanation for the plague in humours. An unscientific theory which could never be proved wrong until a properly scientific explanation in the form of bacteria arose. Doubtless the “doctors” at the time felt there was compelling evidence for their views.

        So I ask you again, how could we falsify the CO2 driven warming hypothesis? Unless you can give us a test or a set of circumstances that could falsify the theory you should stop going around claiming to be scientific about it all. What you have is a poorly defined relationship that may or may not be correct and whose origin you are unable or unwilling to explain to us in simple terms. It is not a proper basis on which to ask all of humanity to make enormous sacrifices.

        You then talk about evolution. Let us just put the record straight for readers on this site. You suggested that because it was not possible to falsify evolutionary theory by my logic it was not scientific.
        My reply was that there are circumstances in which evolution could be falsified. It is a scientific theory and I would not want anyone to think that I did not believe that it is correct.

        The rest of your comment does not really add much, although it takes a long time not to do so.

      • Elsa,

        You’re very good at repeating yourself, but not very good with being informed. I suggest you look at the science involved, try to learn about some of the reasoning behind it. Then you’ll probably hit a point where you realise that AGW has been thoroughly been investigated so much so that scientist don’t question the role of CO2, but ask how sensitive the climate is to changing CO2 levels and what happens / has happened with other related factors, such as solar activity, albedo and cloud cover.
        That, following my previous comment, you were suddenly quick to look at the only actual science lit I offered you and flippantly disregarded it only furthers my point.
        As far as your concerned the theory of AGW is unscientific and you’re unwilling to learn why you’re wrong.
        By the way, I commented to Ray on this thread about Anderegg’s “consensus” paper and later realised that you too seem hooked on some illusion that alternate studies into climate science as suppressed and the authors considered “fools or charlatans and any lay person who disagrees is to be scorned and called an idiot”.
        Of course, this isn’t the case, but it doesn’t fit in with your ideology and so no one can convince you otherwise (at best I get frustrated by lay people telling me it’s all rubbish and my job to demonstrate otherwise when the reality is that it is their job to demonstrate why the current understanding is wrong – which none can do).
        One of the papers I referred Ray to was this editorial by Anderegg which discusses your phobia over a perceived consensus subverting scientific knowledge.

  23. john byatt says:

    We got indicator thingys ray
    Seven indicators are rising: air temperature over land, sea-surface temperature, air temperature over oceans, sea level, ocean heat, humidity and tropospheric temperature in the “active-weather” layer of the atmosphere closest to the Earth’s surface. Three indicators are declining: Arctic sea ice, glaciers and spring snow cover in the Northern hemisphere. Jane Lubchenco sums it up well:

    “For the first time, and in a single compelling comparison, the analysis brings together multiple observational records from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the ocean. The records come from many institutions worldwide. They use data collected from diverse sources, including satellites, weather balloons, weather stations, ships, buoys and field surveys. These independently produced lines of evidence all point to the same conclusion: our planet is warming.”

  24. john byatt says:

    We got models ray,

    Global Climate Models have successfully predicted:

    That the globe would warm, and about how fast, and about how much.
    That the troposphere would warm and the stratosphere would cool.
    That nighttime temperatures would increase more than daytime temperatures.
    That winter temperatures would increase more than summer temperatures.

    Polar amplification (greater temperature increase as you move toward the poles).
    That the Arctic would warm faster than the Antarctic.
    The magnitude (0.3 K) and duration (two years) of the cooling from the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.
    They made a retrodiction for Last Glacial Maximum sea surface temperatures which was inconsistent with the paleo evidence, and better paleo evidence showed the models were right.

    They predicted a trend significantly different and differently signed from UAH satellite temperatures, and then a bug was found in the satellite data.
    The amount of water vapor feedback due to ENSO.
    The response of southern ocean winds to the ozone hole.
    The expansion of the Hadley cells.

    The poleward movement of storm tracks.
    The rising of the tropopause and the effective radiating altitude.
    The clear sky super greenhouse effect from increased water vapor in the tropics.
    The near constancy of relative humidity on global average.
    That coastal upwelling of ocean water would increase.

    • I’m sorry, John, but climate models have failed time and time again to successful predict how many fingers Ray is holding behind his back, so they’re demonstratively ineffective to make predictions of any sort… ;-)

  25. Ray says:

    This has become weird. I post (with support) of cited history and get in responces veering off into tangents completely unrelated to what I posted or stated.

    Way cool Mike, but please explain “I have a history degree in Asian History and had NEVER header of flooding in China!?!?!? ” Are you saying these deaths did not happen? The flood did not happen?

    And Tim, “But of course, we’ve had floods, we’ve had ice ages and warm periods in the past so all this AGW nonsense is an elaborate, multi-century scam? How could I not shake my head. It’s truly pathetic the lengths some people will go to…”

    All the hell you got is theory which has to date fallen flat on its face in a number of diffenant conclusive ways. The towering icon of future climate scenarios the “IPCC” has become a joke by relying upon computer models and crawling way out on a limb to support political agendas which have failed to match empherical reality.

    To claim todays weather events as proof of cagw is pathetic. Look back in history. Look at historic trends. Take a good look at yourself then ask yourself who is the denier.

    Laughing, um, I think I know your answer….cheers ray

    • “All the hell you got is theory which has to date fallen flat on its face in a number of diffenant conclusive ways.”
      Are you really that gullible Ray?

      Wow! The ego required to assume that you know something that has obviously slipped right passed many thousands of highly trained scientist is a wonder to watch! “Delusions of grandeur” just doesn’t seem to be adequate for such an amazing lapse of judgement! lol

      “To claim todays weather events as proof of cagw is pathetic.”

      Hang on… did you try to historic weather events as proof that AGW is inaccurate? I smell hypocrisy in the air… BTW, get rid of the “C” (ie. catastrophic) if you want to talk science, as such a term is a judgement call, such as, you might feel it catastrophic that they accidentally put soy in your latte but couldn’t give a stuff about the amount of displacement and destruction that has resulted in the wake of these recent floods across the southern hemisphere and Asia while I might believe the opposite is the case.

      Hey, you might value from an article I offered Sundance earlier today seeing as you think the models are shot and the theory of AGW falls flat on it’s face. I know it’s fairly wordy and a little harder to follow that wikipedia, but you might find it interesting!

  26. john byatt says:

    Just read that Holland will spend a billion bucks a year ,every year for the next 100 years to keep SlR at bay, ray should let them know that there is nothing to worry about, A dam that would hold back a flood that covered an area larger than france and germany combined?, that i gotta see

  27. Ray says:

    Sea levels are likely the biggest harbinger us ignorant humans have to gage climate change. Those levels reflect melting glaciers and rising ocean temps, the temperature of the earth. This century has shown, within small varibility, a steady increase of 1.74 mm per year or roughly 8 inches per century. However if currrent trends continue 2010 will likely show a 2-3 mm drop in global sea level from 2009. 2010 will also be the largest drop in sea level ever recorded.

    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

    “The rate of sea level change was found to be larger in the early part of last century (2.03 +/- 0.35 mm/yr 1904 – 1953), in comparison with the latter part ( 1.45 +/- 0.34 mm/yr 1954 – 2003). The highest decadal rate of rise occurred in the decade centred on 1980 (5.31 mm/yr) with the lowest rate of rise occurring in the decade centred on 1964 ( – 1.49 mm/yr). Over the entire century the mean rate of change was 1.74 +/- 0.16 mm/yr”

    http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/2696/

    The Netherlands have a delta subsidence problem, they ( like New Orleans) have been building dykes for centuries to save their sinking farm ground.

    Australia on the other hand had a flooding problem and neglected to build flood control dams, they also built houses in harms way.

  28. With the elaborate lengths deniers already go to convince themselves of a scam, they’ll have no trouble fitting this into their strange little tea party..

  29. fredorth says:

    Maybe I am being silly, though I understand the realities for the Dutch, but I wonder what consideration needs to be given to planning for the removal of the population from New Orleans, South Florida, etc., prior to disaster.
    I would hate for the planning to begin only after the cities are “gone”.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Already in Queensland they are talking about suburbs that will have to be permanently abandoned.

      If the moves aren’t planned, then the climate/situation will prompt population shifts.

      I don’t think you tell people to give up their homes and communities so easily. The process will slow, gradual and sometimes painful.

      Part planned “retreat” and part flight.

      • A while ago in Adelaide, there was concern about the potential for a substance to be poisoning a whole suburb – so bad was the risk that they were willing to force an evacuation of a many families if the tests proved positive. Even with all of this in mind, some householders refused to allow for testing on the property. It’s amazing what some people are willing to risk.

      • Ray says:

        People have been living (building houses) in harms way forever. You think today is somehow special?

        China lost between 1 and 2.5 million people during the flood of 1931….global warming right?

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

        [No kidding! Wow, I have a history degree in Asian History and had NEVER head of flooding in China!?!?!? That I've travelled extensively in region, and never noticed such things!!!!!

        Who'd have thunk of that!

        Mike @ WtD]

      • Ray,
        and a little over 50yrs earlier than that most people thought heavier-than-air flight was impossible and 30yrs earlier than that most doctors treat humours and laughed at a couple newly circulating papers that suggest tiny undiscovered agents were behind disease.. but of course, like your argument, it’s all irrelevant.

        What is special about our current situation is that unlike other periods, we have ever greater scientific evidence. We can plan based on better predictions and greater confidence, however we willing ignore this (hence why you’re rhetoric isn’t comparing apples with apples).

        I like how Vaclav Smil puts it, “You see, we are smart, so we see these small things coming and we see the trend is going. But we are unwilling to act unless it’s a bit too late or unless it is inevitable to act, really… Not that we are bad at recognising the trends. We see them, you would have to be stupid not to see many of these trends, right? But we are unwilling to act because it’s easier not to act than to act. Because to act, it is always some sort of sacrifice. And we are not willing to take voluntary sacrifice.”

        But of course, we’ve had floods, we’ve had ice ages and warm periods in the past so all this AGW nonsense is an elaborate, multi-century scam? How could I not shake my head. It’s truly pathetic the lengths some people will go to…

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