Rearguard action: confusion and rendering climate change irrelevant is the goal of the “deniers”

Climate Central picks up an interesting infographic that tracks the changing perception of climate change by the general public within the United States:

As they note:

“As far as infographics go, this one appears, at first glance, fairly straightforward and it charts how American opinions of climate change issues have changed in the past decade. The message seems to be that people are losing faith in climate change news. For example, fewer Americans today think climate change is occurring than compared to a few years ago. Another part of the graphic suggests that the majority of Americans don’t think climate change is going to be a serious threat in their lifetime…”

What’s interesting is not the numbers of those denying the science in 2010 – roughly 10% – but the increase in those unsure.

In 2006 close to 65% of the population accepted the science, while <30% were uncertain.

By 2010 the number of those accepting the science had dropped to just over 50% while those unsure had grown to almost 40%.

I’d note that only 10% reject the science.

However the noisy denial machine consisting of think tanks, PR hacks and sceptical journalists is not really interested in that 10%. They just want to weave a cloud of uncertainty in order to stall action on climate change.

They want to grow the ranks of the “unsure”.

Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt.

That’s the business they are in.

They are, as Naomi Oreskes so brilliant called them in her recent book, “the merchants of doubt“.

Because if you don’t think climate is an issue, you sure as hell won’t vote on it.

Doubt and uncertainty: reducing the sense of urgency

The chief strategy of the denial machine is to sow confusion, and in the US it seems they’ve had some success.

The largest polluter on the planet – with the largest per-capita emissions – is dragging it heals on climate change because growing numbers of Americans don’t believe it’s an issue of relevance.

But can we blame the average US citizen?

No: they are the victims of a deliberate campaign of disinformation. The US media has is either complacent or compliant in helping create this confusion.

The steady stream of think tank papers, op-ed pieces, television and radio interviews that denial machine produces or partakes in exist to convey the false idea the science is uncertain. Creating a climate of uncertainty is the goal of the “deniers”.

However, the strategy is far more cynical than one of simply confusing the public.

The intention is to make climate change an issue of little or no importance.

Ironically, while the deniers expend all their energy on denying climate change their goal is to make the public to think as little about it.

A desperate, cynical betrayal of humanity

We’ve seen this before.

When the medical community and governments around the world became alert to the effects of second hand smoke, tobacco companies engaged in a cynical campaign of confusing the public (see the brilliant Tobacco Wars).

The intent was to protect their market and revenue by denying the proven links between smoking and any adverse health effects. As early as the 1950’s, through their own research, the tobacco companies knew smoking posed a risk to an individual health. However, publically they either denied or down played the risks.

It was a cynical campaign that saw millions of preventable deaths for the sake of profit.

Today, history repeats itself as elements of the fossil fuel and energy industry are engaged in a simular campaign.

This desperate rearguard action conducted on their behalf by the denial machine exists to help maximise their profits for as long as possible.

Demand for energy is increasing, and the oil and fossil fuel companies have been experiencing year after year record profits. But it can’t go on. These salad days will come to an end with cap-and-trade, carbon taxes and a switch to renewable sources of energy.

The want to “squeeze” out a few more years of profit.

It is a breathlessly cynical strategy designed to delay action at the expense of every other human being on the planet.

It is nothing less than a monumental crime.


63 thoughts on “Rearguard action: confusion and rendering climate change irrelevant is the goal of the “deniers”

  1. A regular here, usually with little to say of any value, Klem, probably put it well enough;

    “the public is saturated and they don’t want to hear about it anymore. So perhaps the deniers are losing now, but the war is already won.”

    Another aspect is that scientists and science itself are being unjustly insulted. So much so that fewer trust the reliability of the evidence base. It was a gamble turning directly on science (and thereby expose just how ideologically based the denial movement actually is), but it seems to have been successful.

    [typo: {Btu} it can’t go on. – feel free to delete this section]

    • klem says:

      “scientists and science itself are being unjustly insulted. So much so that fewer trust the reliability of the evidence base.”

      You got that right, here is what James Lovelock (the Gaia guy) said about todays’ scientists when he heard about Climategate:
      “I was utterly disgusted. My second thought was that it was inevitable. It was bound to happen. Science, not so very long ago, pre-1960s, was largely vocational. Back when I was young, I didn’t want to do anything else other than be a scientist. They’re not like that nowadays. They don’t give a damn. They go to these massive, mass-produced universities and churn them out. They say: “Science is a good career. You can get a job for life doing government work.” That’s no way to do science. I have seen this happen before, of course. We should have been warned by the CFC/ozone affair because the corruption of science in that was so bad that something like 80% of the measurements being made during that time were either faked, or incompetently done.”

      So yea, even Lovelock does not trust todays sceintist, he knows they fudge the data.

      By the way, thanks for quoting me, I’m a big shot now.

      • We could get into a quote war here.
        I could return with a quote from a paper by Pascal Diethelm and Martin McKee, titled Denialism: what is it and how should scientists respond?;
        “The third characteristic [of denialism] is selectivity, drawing on isolated papers that challenge the dominant consensus or highlighting the flaws in the weakest papers among those that support it as a means of discrediting the entire field. An example of the former is the much-cited Lancet paper describing intestinal abnormalities in 12 children with autism, which merely suggested a possible link with immunization against measles, mumps and rubella.19 This has been used extensively by campaigners against immunization, even though 10 of the paper’s 13 authors subsequently retracted the suggestion of an association. Fortunately, the work of the Cochrane Collaboration in promoting systematic reviews has made selective citation easier to detect.”
        I’ve heard people quote Lovelock before, and although I haven’t looked into it (I probably should), I have a strong suspicion that it’s taken out of context (at best – referring to one element) or that he isn’t really involved with younger sciences and at the end of the day, who cares what one bloke thinks? There is no strong basis that the bulk of the evidence acquired through research and study over the past few decades is corrupted by “fudging”. In my previous position, we collected air quality and meteorological data to NATA accredited levels. We were meticulous with our record keeping, traceability and data handling (we kept all used filters and raw data – spanning back decades).
        Currently I work within an academic group that involves a nation wide network of researchers, with high standards (in methodology and data processing across the network), replication, data handling and storage and traceability. This includes various universities, CSIRO and government bodies. To think that anyone could get away with fudging the data in either of these jobs and get away with it is insanity – there is far too much scrutiny.
        And to extend outward, if these small projects are expected to maintain such high standards, how on earth could you expect major groups, such as NASA, NOAA and even Aust. Bureau of Meteorology to get away with fudging the data?
        No, what you have is one odd little quote that stands against a huge body of counter-evidence. That you write-off whole bodies of science, based on a single quote (by someone who I suspect would also be in favour of reducing our addiction to a non-renewable and in some cases – oil – peaking energy source) is one massive leap of faith Klem.

  2. Adam says:

    I think the real concern should not be about climate change but about the public perception over here in the US about the integrity of scientists.

    They are constantly harping on about “in it for the money”, “They need to get grant money so they make up climate change”. When pressed for any actual examples of climate change fraud they always mention “Climategate”. I explain to them that no fraud has been uncovered and they then claim that the fraud is inherent in the reviews process and that’s why they cannot uncover any. Sigh….

    The other perceived reality is that science itself has lost its momentum in the public consciousness. No space travel, no home robots. No speech recognition etc. Science has lost the ability to hold reverence and awe in people. They are inured to a gradual, tedious and hard fought/costly scientific progress. No radical scientific ‘leaps’ have been made in years that people can relate to.

    So science currently has a weak underbelly and the denial industry is attacking it.

  3. adelady says:

    Adam, that’s what disappoints me.

    How come the America of the 60s responded to JFK’s challenge to go to the moon – in a decade! – but similar ambitions or exhortations from current leaders excite no similar interest on other technology? We know perfectly well it can be done. All it takes is commitment.

    I suppose no industrialists conducted opposing or misinforming campaigns against Kennedy’s proposal. They did what is needed for this challenge. They looked for the opportunities to be involved and to. make. money.

    If they did it then, they can do it now.

  4. fredorth says:

    A dumbed down society does not bode well for our culture nor our environment. I contend that this post is accurate and significant. Thank you for your clarity.

  5. Tim says:

    I have to disagree with the reality of science that Adam paints, but not the perception.

    Science has been continuing the massive leaps forward.

    On the medical front, infants have never had such good odds at survival (I know of a few who would be alive and about my age now with the 30yrs progress in medical science); cancer patients are looking at better odds of beating their disease; neurology is probably the most fascinating and amazing (compare current procedures to what, in comparison, was the barbaric brain work of the 60’s); key hole surgery; doctors can be part of a surgical team working on a patient from the other side of the globe!

    On technology; we all laugh, when we look at The Jetsons, or similar sci-fi interpretations of our modern world, but think about it; video tablets, communication devices that are small and light enough to carry without notice, video phone calls, ultra-quiet vehicles, 3D home TV, robotic limb replacement, electronic implants (we have a basic working electronic eye), advanced robots (even those automated vacuum cleaners – or the toys that you can buy and build and move via the computer), tools that are too small to see (nanotech)……….

    The fact is, we’ve taken all this for granted. We’re so use to

  6. Tim says:

    … [don’t know how the message sent.. any way]

    We’re so used to technological advancements that spy robots that look like and act like fish or a realistic robotic arm are less amazing to us than they would to previous generations.

    I tend to agree with Dawkins that we allow so much irrationality, based on personal belief over evidence, that societies in general take the rewards of science (as far as they are marketable – hence why much of the tech I mentioned above isn’t so broadly used so far) and otherwise knock the credibility of science where it doesn’t suit them.

    The most common (and ridiculous) of these is, “it’s only a theory!”

    If interpreted, “It’s only tested, retested, argued and nutted out by highly trained individuals until all other options become exceedingly unlikely and is by far most thoroughly understood and and explained than anything I’ve ever though about, however, if there’s even a faction of a percent that it’s wrong, I’m going to go with that, simply because it suits me best.”

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      The issue is that:

      a) the general public has very little appreciation or understanding of probabilities (it’s why lotteries are called a tax on the innumerate)

      b) the nomenclature of science is opaque to most people, whose only really exposure is via the general press whose framing/misrepresentation of the results of science is at best uneven, at worst misleading. Thus the term “theory” which means one thing in science and another in vernacular can lead to confusion.

      The health of our political debate – and thus are democracy – is dependent upon an informed citizenry.

      The denial “machine” works to misinform. Their “crime” is twofold: misleading the public and corrupting politics. Most “sceptics” would hate that charge thrown at them, but as I’ve stated the ordinary sceptics are as much victims as anyone else.

      I’m not to fussed by the comments of the likes of Klem They’ve accepted the carefully crafted messages of the deniers because they accord with their personal beliefs.

      For me, the small but active group of professional deniers funded by think tanks and operating as journalists are the most culpable. History will rightfully condemn them.

  7. You can’t make climate climate change something of little or no importance. That is an a priori assumption that it has to be. The constant stream of peer reviewed papers and conflicting data tell anyone with the time and patience to look that you can’t just assume a) the small rise in temperatures since 1860 (coincidentally when thermometers were widely used) and b) the vastly differering parameters of the IPCC graph in 2100 are enough to convince anyone of anything? The very fact this page exists along with the following comments shows how easy it is to convince anyone of anything with a small amount of truth and a large amount of manipulation. Deal with the real problems right now, genuine pollution, disease, genocide etc and let the people deal with the climate as they always have.

  8. Watching the Deniers says:

    “…The constant stream of peer reviewed papers and conflicting data tell anyone with the time and patience to look that you can’t just assume a) the small rise in temperatures since 1860 (coincidentally when thermometers were widely used)”

    Sources, references? Anything to back up these claims. Delighted to have a chat as long as it’s evidence based.

  9. David,
    So our understanding of anthropogenic climate change is based solely on ground temperature observations over the past century and we ‘gullible’ few just toe the line on what is circumstantial suggestion?

    What you’ve written makes it clear that you, yourself obviously haven’t taken “the time and patience to look” into the evidence.

    The change in temperature anomaly may seem slight to an outsider, but remember that within one’s own system, small changes in temperature are the difference between health and illness. If you want examples of a world changing due to this amplifying greenhouse effect, see;

    Rosenzweig, et al (2008) Attributing physical and biological impacts to anthropogenic climate change. Nature. 453(15):353-357. doi:10.1038/nature06937
    Amano, et al (2010) A 250-year index of first flowering dates and its response to temperature change. Proc. R. Soc. B. doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.0291

    or look at the shifts in climate zones, represented as hardiness zones here.

    Or what about the fact that polar bears are resorting to predation of geese eggs with the continual decline of summer Arctic ice?

    Timing, as discussed in the two papers above, is causing patterns in behaviour to misalign across ecosystems.

    Johan Rockstrom has an excellent presentation of his work here, which looks at the various pressures facing our world – some are the few that you consider to be ‘real’.

    I feel like this is the new wave of denial, as I’m constantly repeating myself not on answering back to, “climate change is not real.” but instead, “climate change is not important.”

    Maybe this is a lot like the stages of grief after all?

  10. John R T says:

    Where have you been: ¨No radical scientific ‘leaps’ have been made in years that people can relate to.¨ !!!
    In the past 1.3 Earth years there has been greater advance in science than in the entire first decade of manned space exploration: NASA and the military-trained pilots applied decades of technological developments – little science there. We needed no ´leaps.´ What do you mean by ´radical.´

    Your blog proves the usefulness of any spell check program – maybe your suite of apps is missing something. Cheeck with your nearest teenager. What is most discouraging for me, however, are the typos and grammatical errors. I repeat my offer from months ago: I am happy to proof your attempts.

  11. John R T says:

    ¡….check…! not´cheeck:´ ooops

    My Costa Rican pronunciation tripped up the voice recognition/Virginia accent filter installed by my host..

  12. […] the other party has led you far from the pool of reason, where it becomes easy to be disheartened. Luckily, this band of reason-deniers is only small and on returning to the realms of science, the wealth of evidence and understanding is recharging […]

  13. Ray says:

    Science and the advance of humankind is cumbersome and painfully awkward but its been ultimately sure. The misdeeds of a few climate scienctists will act as a wakeup call to pay attention, perhaps change a system thats been abused by allowing politics and money to skew (or scam) the results.

    I am fast approaching geezerhood (58) and stand in awe of what science/engineers/medical/policy has done over those brief years.

    • Misdeeds of a few climate scientists? Being entirely transparent was about the worst of it, and even then it can be argued that within the relevant community of experts, enough was known in their methodology to be repeatable. There was nothing dishonest in the slightest.

      Money scamming the results? None of the scientists involved in the non-event, ‘climategate’ are living the high life. There’s simply no credible reason to think that the paleo-climate studies have been jeopardised by greed and corruption. What becomes of this understanding is, on the other hand, a completely different situation and once you get into the politics and the market place, you find the scammers. Even if you chucked out the paleo-climate studies, the case for anthropogenic climate change is just as strong – Mann has said as much himself.

      You should watch Dawkins documentary, “Irrational Health Service”. It is a classic example where the perception remains that the medical science is really devious and untrustworthy and yet goes through painfully rigorous testing, often up to a decade if not longer, before it is provided to patients. All the while alternative medicine is provided without testing, regulation or requirement of licences and enjoys undeserved confidence.

      We still undermine the powerful tool that is scientific methodology and just how much it has done to improve the lives of our species. We take for granted technological breakthroughs and feel an absurd confidence to disregard evidence that we find contrary to held beliefs.

      If anything, this whole climate-conspiracy saga has, like with medical science and evolutionary science, demonstrated just how far behind the common perception is from our scientific understanding. It’s almost like a collective split-personality disorder which threatens to undo much of the improves made over the previous few centuries.

  14. fredorth says:

    Ray, I am in the post-geezerhood era and I am not convinced that I have even retained a reasonable knowledge of the English language.
    I do greatly appreciate this blogsite though. I still love to learn and you all educate me. Thank you.

  15. Excuse my absence but I lost the link till now.

    There are two halves to my case. The first is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and have seen no more than assumptions that try extremely hard to create a connection between rising CO2 and temperatures in the 20th century. They appear to have created an extension of a simple lab experiment carried out under greenhouse ideal conditions and then claim the same thing is happening in an open system with thousands of other influences as if it’s identical and all the sums will add up perfectly. On this half it’s up to the scientists to demonstrate to the public they have a case and not the other way round, that is science.

    The second half is currently my investigation. There are two parts currently to this which are the proven errors which now seem to crop up about weekly. The well known set from the IPCC report, the faulty satellites used by NOAA which were reported around 2004 yet only just taken offline, the Lake Michigan figures which were ten times higher than reality and still included, and many more which if only represent the ones we get to know about are likely to be a fraction of the total.
    The second list is that of adjusted graphs. Jim Salinger is behind the hockey stick which should never have seen the light of day, and is now behind another in New Zealand which is currently under court investigation. I will also give some links to UK and Australian figures which show in turn temperatures before and after adjustment, and then sea levels in the Pacific. The pattern emerges the raw data is always random and smoothes to almost flat, and then the adjusted data is a hockey stick. And guess what, CRU still manage to hide their raw data as I suspect that will be flat as well. As scientists they are unable to use the commercial sensitivity clause they are using as it expresses the fact these are indeed a commercial and not a scientific enterprise. They can’t be both.
    This is the Central England temperature record – largely raw data:

    This is the same temperature set after Hadcrut got hold of it:

    World temperatures before adjustment for hockey stick

    Adjusted sea level rise- non existent

    These are just the ones I’ve collected so far but represent the same for ice coverage and many similar ones where an independent university or scientist produces flat graphs and somewhere else manages hockey sticks (down for ice of course) for the same periods. This does not happen in normal science so add to that the British Civil Service statisticians tell the new officers ‘What data would you like us to produce’ (this is a direct quote made to a member of my family at a high level) the fact so many people including most of you here blithely accept this clearly shaky set of evidence is an indictment on your judgement and ability to google search.

    • I don’t have time (or interest come to think of it) to address all of your points.
      Your first point, about the uncertainty of CO2 as a global greenhouse gas. It is of course not the only player in climate change. Anthropogenic climate change is not just CO2 emissions, but it gets the most noise. Arguably H2O is the most important, but when you look at a whole range of human activities, from emissions (of all green house gases), water regime changes, landscape use change, loss of sinks – it all gives us multiple lines of reliable evidence that climate is changing (include the thousands of bio-physical changes as well) and our actions are playing a major role. CO2 gets picked on because it remains in the atmosphere for a long time and we are adding tonnes of it daily.
      As for climate change being the result of an amplifying greenhouse effect, you offer a link to it yourself.
      Your first link – it breaks down the yearly data into summer and winter data. Guess which has the greater slope? The winter one – ie. more heat getting trapped (summer increased slope would be the sun). BTW, you’re getting confused by comparing it to Hadcrut etc – temp values are not the same as anomaly. When you have a changing slope, anomaly will make it more obvious. It highlights change from the expected (thereby demonstrating change in expected temps which translates into a changing climate)!! That the standard data only shows a degree of two is to be expected (for that’s about all we’ve had).
      So many people build a straw man from the hockey stick. I’ve said as much for some time, but Mann says it better himself, “Even without my work, or that of the entire sub-field of studying past climates, scientists are in broad agreement on the reality of these changes and their near-certain link to human activity.”
      Oh and on statisticians, please. Most of them that we hear of in general are deniers and they are good at making a picture fit the the story they want to say.
      The reality is clearly different and that you obviously rely on Watts as a source of reliable information demonstrates your bias. It’s funny how you end so hypocritically. You just don’t get science, do you? I don’t except a shaky set of evidence, but rely on many verifiable sources of data, much of which, in regards to climate science, makes a compelling case that our actions are having an effect of climate. You even provide some of this evidence here yourself!
      The vast majority of the available data is reliable and supports the case for Anthropogenic Climate Change. Addressing CO2 alone will not help us. There are a number of other uncertainties also. However, you have bought into an exaggerated level of uncertainty that just isn’t reality.

    • adelady says:

      This does not happen in normal science ?! Really?

      Medical science produces exactly these kinds of oddities and discrepancies. So what if the exact electrical function of some minor muscle in the heart is a bit ambiguous? Regardless of the outcome of these, and hundreds more issues, our overall knowledge does not change. Lungs are for gas exchange, livers and kidneys aren’t. That won’t change in any way that affects our daily existence.

      Same for climate science. We know how the whole atmosphere responds over time to various forcings. Recognising that some regions and some time periods differ in their responses is *exactly* the same issue as knowing that some individuals respond differently to illnesses, medications, stress and diet.

      Climatology is not like super-precise eye surgery, it’s like epidemiology. These disciplines successfully predict that certain practices like vaccination or purifying water supply or controlling mosquitoes will improve the general health of the population – but no epidemiologist can tell you which particular individuals will succumb to cholera or malaria or to pertussis in the absence of these things. Nor can they tell you, in detail, which victims will survive unscathed or with permanent injuries or not survive at all. They can tell you with fairly high certainty how *many more* cases of these illnesses will ensue, how many deaths, how many long-term disabilities, how much economic cost.

      Climate scientists are in the epidemiological family of sciences (at least for the practical purposes of societies). They *can* say that some observations and consequences will follow. They can’t say exactly who, where, when particular people or places will experience those consequences.

      Just as we vaccinate the whole population to protect anyone and everyone who just might possibly suffer or transmit diseases, so we should take care of the whole atmosphere and biosphere to protect all places and peoples.

      • klem says:

        That’s an excellent analogy. I had never thought of that. Do we have a medical or public health related analogy for cap&trade?

        No seriously.

  16. You raised a couple of new points there possibly not even known by most governments, as they are only legislating on CO2 emissions and have never to my knowledge mentioned dealing with anything else to ‘fix’ the climate.

    As for picking up on Watts that is not a trap I would have expected you to have joined at your level, he is not the originator of data, he just shares it. Why not look at the scientists like Hal Lewis and Richard Lindzen who make these reports rather than get personal about who chooses to report them while the media do not.

    I did however find a much earlier reference to the totally barefaced admission made by Mike Hulme about valuing influence over truth from the late Steven Schneider who described the mission as:

    “To do that we have to get some broad-based public support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. . . . Each of us …has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”

    Now how or why anyone should trust a single word they say after this is a mystery to me. They said it, it’s in the public forum and presumably many of you here are familiar with it. That says far more to me about your agenda than any of the science.

    I am no scientist but can happily trust what they tell me. The fact there are two camps saying exactly opposing things with relevant data tells me something is drastically wrong. This should not be possible with something so ‘certain’ the world has been producing more legislation on it than anything else since terrorism.

    • Addressing CO2 is certainly one of the most important factors in addressing Anthropogenic Climate Change [ACC], but it’s not the only one – something many within the scientific community are talking about, but you not have heard much about in the current ludicrous public and political debates over ACC.
      For a look at the basics, see Johan’s presentation or go to the site, read the overview and download the study for more detail (I always find this a good starting point). CO2 is only one issue, but the money in fossil fuels and our addiction means that in the public arena it is the most hotly discussed topic.
      Okay, you say that it’s not Watts, but the people he presents (which is largely based on confirmation bias strategy). Lindzen cannot be taken seriously, as with Roy Spencer. Did you see the recent debate between Lindzen and Dessler? Paying attention to the debate, you see that Lindzen really has a weak case, more or less applying doubt over evidence. See Deltoids post on it (many of the comments address the flaws in Lindzen’s speech). I like a point that Dessler makes, “Before the lecture, he [Lindzen] was smoking. That’s a risk. He’s decided that’s a risk he’s willing to take. But not everybody would take that risk, so when he says there’s no cause for concern, he’s giving you his value judgement.”
      Bringing up Schneider’s quote is at best an annoying straw man argument that so many lay people bring up all the time. You use it as a basis to write off everything (ie. Schneider said you need to balance your honesty with being effective, so scientists lie). Of course scientists can lie – any human lies. Evidence and scientific methodology cannot. It might not be wise to go to so much detail, especially when an explanation requires to much technical understanding. So when communicating to a non-technical crowd, it might make sense to fudge it a bit to provide a short-hand, non-technical explanation. It’s like when you’re trying to explain how a car works to a child, you don’t bewilder the child by using physics and engineering jargon, but rather a simplified approximation.
      The science is correct and if you want to learn about that, you simply need to refer to peer-review literature. If you only want an approximation, listen to the science communication. SCHNEIDER WASN’T ADVOCATING LYING.
      I’m getting tired of that straw man.
      I have no “agenda” but to preserve ecosystems and ecological functions that we require for our own benefit. I’m interested in progress and innovation. That all comes about via science and reason. What you provide here is a warped and irrational conclusion that really restricts progress and improvement. Look more thoroughly at the agenda that you advocate before assuming that you understand mine.
      “I am no scientist but can happily trust what they tell me. The fact there are two camps saying exactly opposing things with relevant data tells me something is drastically wrong.”
      No, this is not the case. You didn’t even mention that the evidence that you, yourself provided earlier actually gave not only an indication of global warming, but of climate change (ie. an amplifying greenhouse effect). You simply ignored it. That’s not science; ignoring what doesn’t fit your view. That’s a form of confirmation bias and that you perceive two equally valid “camps” on the subject further demonstrates what you consider to be evidence.
      The scientific literature does not demonstrate two camps. It does have a fair amount of debate – largely over sensitivity / the role of clouds and the sun. However, the vast majority of the data, independently comes to the conclusion that ACC is real and occuring – predictions are concerning, but problematic. That said, it’s much more likely that ACC will continue unless we address our impacts – especially CO2.
      That oil is very likely to peak in the very near future, gives us further reason to adopt lower dependence strategies anyway. That we do so now, while it is still relatively cheap is an incredibly smart thing to do (change requires energy).That is a lot of money and certainly big industry at threat here, which explains the heated political debate. Closer to home, with water issues and soon to be rising fuel costs, many of the rural communities will be unlikely to remain viable. We will see change. It’s a terrible situation, but unavoidable with a non-renewable energy dependence. People like myself (as I stated above) see the strong evidence behind all this (much more than just CO2 and ACC) and try to nut out how we will change our activities to those of increasing sustainability – the points you raise are typical and political one which threaten to hold off adaptation until the last minute which strikes me as disturbing. The reality is already clear that climate is changing, we are playing a role in that and human activity a century from now cannot rely on fossil fuels. We are in a position prime to meet those challenges now, while it’s still fairly easy to do so.
      You strike me as not a denier, but a sceptic (I don’t often say that), because you don’t seem to resort to most of the denial tools, but simply want clarity. There is some uncertain, as there always will be (if we knew everything, we wouldn’t need science and we wouldn’t be having this discussion), however, the bulk of the evidence does point to a fairly clear conclusion. There is a massive, well-funded movement out to create doubt. It is not the science, it’s not the reality of the situation; it simply wants to resist change. If you want to understand the science better, try to get it closer to the source and not opinion pieces. There are a number of bloggers who try to communicate the studies in a less technical way. Clarity is only improved this way.

      • klem says:

        “Lindzen cannot be taken seriously”

        Huh? Um, let’s see how seriously we can take him:

        Lindzen is a recipient of the American Meteorological Society’s Meisinger and Charney Awards, American Geophysical Union’s Macelwane Medal, and the Leo Prize from the Wallin Foundation in Goteborg, Sweden. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters, and was named Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Meteorological Society. He is a corresponding member of the NAS Committee on Human Rights, and a member of the United States National Research Council Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate. He was a consultant to the Global Modeling and Simulation Group at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Lindzen is an ISI highly cited researcher,[59] and his biography has been included in American Men and Women of Science.

        and you can say he cannot be taken seriously?

    • This section of Genius of Britain has many excellent points. David Attenborough discusses some of these various problems (re: Johan), beyond which a number of narrators make the point that it is through science that we will be able answer these questions. I cannot stress enough that scientific methodology is not in question. People make mistakes and are not always honest, but science is, by it’s design, unable to mislead for very long. I’ve discussed as much in a post today. The political and public debate are not really the same thing. I worry, indeed I was driven to begin my blog because of this resurgence of irrationality. It’s all fun and games when it’s incense and crystals. It’s a good laugh discussing creationism and evolution. However, when we’re using it to stunt progress at the cost of species loss, food and water security and a lack of insight/plannig in the face of obvious warning signals, then you have to be worried.

    • adelady says:

      David “Each of us …has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”

      If you’re going to quote Schneider, quote the whole paragraph ,
      == I hope that means being both. ==
      which brings the quote back within the scope of the problem Schneider was discussing. How difficult it is to be both a good scientist and a good communicator.

      If you want to misquote or distort the meanings of statements by dead people, pick on someone who’s been gone a bit longer. This trashing of a fine man’s work is beneath contempt.

    • David, you might benefit by reading this excellent argument by Graham Parkes, when debating with Monckton.
      It’s much the same was what I’ve being trying to explain about the science and about why we are so confident in the evidence base.

  17. I don’t know if many other people are prepared to jump in here and throw themselves to the lions but there’s no point preaching to the converted who already get it.

    As for Schneider I only just came across him last week, read the whole article and purely selected the relevant part which is damning in any context. But Mike Hulme reiterated the same thing in 2007 and only had one known report by Melanie Phillips. Compromising honesty for anything can’t be related to context.
    I regularly read plenty of pro-agw reports otherwise I’d have nothing to go on. All I see is a lab experiment which has been transferred to one of the most complex systems known to man. The majority of material is either predictive which is of very little value and already been shown to be far from what was guessed a decade or more ago. Much of the remainder somehow attempts to defy the IPCC agreement no single event can be definitely attributed to agw. The slew of highly expensive studies that arrive daily are of such poor quality that most should have been rejected by peers rather than reviewed. I am highly disappointed by the speculative nature and in some cases clear political bias to what should be statements closer to fact.
    I may not have a scientific background but legal, and a jury are qualified to judge all areas as recognised worldwide. The huge level of proof required for such propositions has never come close, and judging your fellow men (as you indeed have and found guilty) without a fair trial is a crime in itself. Are we guilty beyond reasonable doubt? What about all the jury members (Fred Singer, Miklos Zagoni, Dr David Bellamy, Nils Axel Morner, Richard Lindzen, Hal Lewis etc etc?). What majority a verdict do you need to find guilty and fine the world simply for existing?

    It is not my duty to dismantle your case, it is your duty to create it. Nothing exists until it becomes reality and until then there is no obligation, indeed a definite avoidance of all to accept it. I have hundreds or more of studies which even if only a handful pass muster would be enough to unravel virtually every plank of your man made construction. I’m not going to try and present it all here as I was only addressing the specific claims made on this post, and was thoroughly fed up of it getting through time after time with little or no opposition. One day, maybe within our lifetimes, this will all come out and many people will have red faces and do their best to quietly disappear into the background. I will not, I assumed this story was as true as any other until alarm bells started to ring, those present in every major fraud perpetrated by criminals in the past, and as far as my ten year’s investigations are concerned I’d recommend every one of you to get off this bandwagon as soon as possible. It may be coining it in in the short term but so do pyramid schemes until the new members run out. I am fully aware you can’t lie completely and be believed so of course there are heaps of facts among your material- but you can only hide a lie in the truth. So link me 1000 true facts but if they’ve got crap hidden in them like those AAA rated loan packages that wrecked the world economy that’s what they’re really worth, diddly squat. I hope even one person here has thought about something I’ve said as it comes from a huge number of hours and many genuine honest experts who have nothing to gain by saying otherwise.

    • Quite clearly talking science to you isn’t going to work – you’ve taken the Donna Laframboise approach.

      You’re writing off of all the available evidence is absurd – you first state that you have no scientific training but then go on to confidently reject studies?

      “The slew of highly expensive studies that arrive daily are of such poor quality that most should have been rejected by peers rather than reviewed.”

      Back it up. I’m not asking you to link to someone else’s blog or some news report, but I want you to demonstrate how the bulk of climate science is wrong – it would be of immense importance to a field of science that you have concluded is fundamentally flawed.

      The cast of characters you provide are at best questionable – I’ve already discussed Lindzen above for instance.

      “It is not my duty to dismantle your case, it is your duty to create it.”

      It has been created and now you say that the case is wrong – well back up this wonder work that you have done to dismantle it. You’ve clearly regarded my links as irrelevant.. I’m having second thoughts on thinking that you’re a sceptic after all.

      Luckily science doesn’t work like the foggy would of law. A jury can let a murderer go free, but scientific methodology by it’s nature is ever improving and provides clear indications of the confidence of the findings. You cannot compare law to science, they are nothing alike and if science worked like law, we wouldn’t have managed to get to this point of understanding – hell, doctors might still be treating the four humours because there’s no visible evidence of infection (remember, microscopes and cameras etc were invented after this discovery – without further trying to understand what was happening we would never have gained greater confidence and then be able to provide such evidence at a global scale).

      “I have hundreds or more of studies which even if only a handful pass muster would be enough to unravel virtually every plank of your man made construction”

      Wonderful – why doesn’t the scientific community know of this?

      “I’m not going to try and present it all here as I was only addressing the specific claims made on this post, and was thoroughly fed up of it getting through time after time with little or no opposition”

      The nonsense you provided – links to temperature data and anomaly data; I provided opposition, you must not have noticed. The temp data shows the slight increase in temperature over time and the anomaly reflects how this change, or the acceleration of change has occurred over time – IT SUPPORTS ACC. Stop harping the same chord and start paying attention. Based on this, it really is questionable how well you understand the science you claim to know enough to dismantle.

      The rest of your rant is interesting.. you are an odd little fellow indeed. As new evidence comes to light, I will add it to my understanding, apply it in my work and try to provide a clear interpretation of it to my readership – your attack of Schneider and assumption that climate science is a massive fraud about to embarrass us all is complete nonsense, designed to scare a casual reader who, like yourself, obvious doesn’t understand science methodology. You want answers, I’d suggest you look at the AGWobserver for a reliable source of scientific literature or for a more lay audience read, try skepticalsciene where everything is well referenced and up to date. You could also actually look through some of the links that I have provided. Johan’s work is an excellent example.

      You’ve made it clear that you believe in some outrageous conspiracy theory that simply cannot survive in the real world. You’re handful of “experts” (as you no doubt believe them to be) have been shown to be wrong time and time again – what work they do provide to the scientific literature stand as outliers because they cannot be replicated, because they’re not real world evidence. You choose these, as a law-minded individual, to support confirmation bias. The wealth of evidence is not with you, but you have some questionable evidence that does and you will defend it, like a lawyer defending a murderer, pleading that there is reasonable doubt.

      Well guess what, they isn’t reasonable doubt. You have fallen for the message provided by agents of doubt (very few even close to the field of science that they attack) and spread the same doubt. You cannot change your very nor learn for new evidence, thus rendering your belief, if you will, quite ideologically based. It will be people like yourself, unable to accept strong, but uncomfortable evidence, who will be embarrassed.

    • adelady says:

      what you seem not to realise is that, for me and I presume for just about everyone else, we would not have “red faces” if our knowledge or analysis of climate facts turned out to be wrong, we’d be overjoyed.

      Surprised, taken aback, mystified? Probably, but with very big grins on our happy faces.

  18. You seem like a nice bunch of guys here, and rather than deal with moth’s presentation personally I’d far rather let others better qualified do it for me, as although I worked out every single fault myself (they’re not exactly hiding) I’d far rather not be seen as an originator of anything than a messenger for what is now a fair collection of ex believers as well as born skeptics. I have found this link from Peter Taylor who more or less spells it out word for word as I and many others do all over the net, why we all seem to agree (our own consensus?) can’t be such a coincidence, as our livings and reputations don’t depend on it. We are just independent thinkers who defy the establishment and with the help of the internet do our own work.

    Now Hal Lewis, Vincent Gray and Peter Taylor have said the same thing why not email them and move the argument to the heavyweights? I am able to dissect the politics and logic but use their knowledge to try and dissect the science. As it is only science this is founded on then I honestly suggest someone here invites one of them or the many other dissenting scientists to join your debate here. I can’t add any more, I have both presented a general case without long pages of others’ science you’d doubtless say was discredited (just like the hockey stick maybe?) and not qualified to defend the science personally. Al Gore won’t do it and the last person who was going to in public (can’t remember who but only weeks ago) pulled out at the last minute.

    I have provided you with some solid names and will leave it to you here what you decide to do about it. I very much doubt they’d all turn you down, most skeptics are begging for open debates so would probably be only too pleased to do so. You have my details to let me know if this takes place. I’ll still follow this thread but only as a reader, but would like to know what you think of Peter Taylor, he is far from a crank or a stooge.

    • You’re a joke.
      You come along here, saying that it is the science that needs to prove the point and then decide that it’s not worth looking into when someone offers you a genuine rebuttal to what you claim.
      Then you go on to say that the science is a joke, you have proven as much but don’t want to share it!
      What century are you from?

      “I am able to dissect the politics and logic but use their knowledge to try and dissect the science”

      You’re very first post on here straight away confused temperature data with temperature anomaly and yet you continue this ridiculous assertion that, even though you are not a scientist, your are trained enough to prove the science is faulty – but simply won’t back it up! Like I’ve already suggested, your using foggy talk to build a house of cards and clearly know nothing about scientific methodology. Oh, but that’s right – when I put you on the spot, you refer to others instead – if you come along for a debate, then debate, look at the events and provide a rebuttal. Don’t simply bark about, shrug off evidence when it’s supplied then bark some more, before standing aside others to take over! That’s pathetic!

      Unlike yourself, I am a trained, working scientist and have read vast amounts of the available literature and have applied much of it to my work.

      Most “sceptics” are ‘begging for open debates’? I argue that they should, if the science is flawed, write it up and provide it to the scientific community for dissection – many would be very pleased to find that ACC is wrong. Our little public debate does nothing to further scientific understanding.

      No, the reality is, they don’t really have a strong case and like yourself, much a lot of noise, claim that science is based on a ‘buddy system’ and is corrupt and stomp around public media with secret proof of a conspiracy (or, in your case, contrary evidence that the scientists won’t listen to). Misinformers like you do nothing but spread unjust doubt over scientific methodology that cannot be backed up by evidence and is solely designed to demonize the tools of reason.

      For anyone else reading this conversation, please note that David from the off makes mistakes about the science, disregards the rebuttal of others and continues to make baseless claims. This is not how science is done in the real world and there is no real conspiracy among the scientific community. Statements like;

      “…as our livings and reputations don’t depend on it. We are just independent thinkers who defy the establishment and with the help of the internet do our own work.”

      Sound great, but it is counter productive to a scientist to lie and misinform – they lives and reputations do not rely on continuing a ‘anthropogenic climate change myth’. Defying the establishment sounds great and indeed is great – scientists are doing it every day as part of their career. How could we have managed to have built such a wonderful modern world if science was done in a echo chamber?

      It’s complete nonsense and nothing more than a smoke screen designed to discredit science. I will not be chasing after the names David provides, because it does science and myself no justice. Monckton managed to build undeserved credited simply because scientists where taken him seriously in the form of public debate. As I’ve stated to David, if he has ‘the secret’, it should be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed science literature.

      Monckton for instance, need tried, but what he has publish, scientists have gone out of their way to review and demonstrate the many flaws. While they refuse to work by the rigorous rules of scientific methodology, they sound wonderful – but that’s because they are free to say as they please, without substance. It’s fiction – a trash crime novel with too many plot holes to be even enjoyable.

      However, because they appeal to on such a level, not unlike the x-files, it’s enough to hook many people in. But I cannot stress it enough; SCIENCE SIMPLY DOESN’T WORK LIKE DAVID AND OTHERS WOULD HAVE YOU BELIEVE.

      If you wish to know more as to why science doesn’t work like this, I’ve written a few posts on it here – I suggest Confirmation bias in particular.

      If you want to know more about how much science has progressed our species, I break it down here. In short, if the emergence of modern human and now where a kilometre apart, the Age of Enlightenment (the birth of modern science and the industrial revolution) would be only a metre away – but the change has been immense!

      We really need to do our best to overcomes the type of irrationality provided by David and people like him – they would shut down universities and have us pulled back into an era of ignorance. We must stand up for the breakthroughs and wealth of understanding that we have only because of the tools of scientific methodology.

      I’m really tired of this anti-science nonsense.

  19. I’m so sorry I rattled your cage, it must be tough telling the world what to do and then get some poor sod who doesn’t like it spoiling your afternoon I’m terribly sorry but what I lack in other areas I gain in spare time so have the chance to stir up a few comfortable cabals wherever I can as it happens pretty rarely in the public arena.

    I am not paid for what I do, so although I have heaps of material I could cut and paste or link yet again here I have done so thoroughly in the past and been not just ignored but dismissed. Most decided individuals, scientists or not, simply don’t want to hear it. But I am legally qualified, and as such know perfectly well it’s not the defence’s job to disprove anything. You have to build a case and the jury will decide. There’s no requirement or obligation for anyone to prove a negative, so any work done in that area is additional to requirements. But having said that the names and links I already provided and you chose to ignore (hence my lack of further effort) do indeed have plenty of alternative theories, many based on actual measurements rather than calculations and show something quite different in every single area.

    The massive doubts raised by cloud cover, CO2 sensitivity, solar cycles etc imply the established scientific establishment are wilfully unable to accept anything suggesting their own findings are not able to assess certain areas adequately to come to any conclusion are swept aside in a similar way, but one by one said scientists are changing their minds as the new data simply doesn’t follow the theories. Temperatures from 1860 and 1950 for example rise and fall in ways unrelated to the apparently steady rise in CO2. The lab experiment of doubling CO2 produces a figure of 1C rise. We are nowhere near a doubling and if it does it will be too late for anyone here to know the results. Basing world legislation on something assuming such positive feedback to a point where it would actually be dangerous but outside our lifetimes is something only appropriate in bad science fiction.

    You are all so busy telling other people off about their lifestyles and crying into your expensive restaurant meals you’ve forgotten that till now temperatures have only risen a measly 0.7C which is totally consistent with the large and small ice age fluctuations. Temperatures have risen sharply before every ice age without our help and always will as long as we have an atmosphere. As for the CO2 figures I guarantee not a single person here would know that CO2 didn’t used to be measured as a fixed amount, but was officially seen as a variable within specific limits. I have the Time-Life figures for 1961 which gave the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere as 260-400ppm. Now it is around 390, so had it been 390 in 1961 when this table was produced what would the reaction have been then?

    • You didn’t rattle my cage, you’ve simply failed to understand scientific methodology and understanding and still feel that your criticism is valid – pure and simple.

      You make, yet again, typical doubt-mongering claims or suggestion; that scientists need to pursue anthropogenic climate change to secure $; that scientists just don’t want to hear the truth; that there is a a relationship between science and the legal system (you clearly do not understand the science well enough to be an informed jury member, re: temperature values/temperature anomaly confusion you previously expressed – so your comparison is pointless and dangerously mischievous).

      You’re also on the climate sensitivity band wagon. Hey, I’ll give you another nonsensical argument that you can use to spread doubt – deep historical data shows that CO2 often lagged climate change! Lay-people, like yourself, can be fooled by a cheap trick like that.

      “…one by one said scientists are changing their minds as the new data simply doesn’t follow the theories”

      Wrong – basic doubt-mongering nonsense. The vast majority of the scientific community believe that the multiple sources of independent evidence is strong and compelling – this is not only over cause, but also effect (the bio-physical indicators I believe I previously mention, Rosenzweig, et al (2008) etc.

      “Temperatures from 1860 and 1950 for example rise and fall in ways unrelated to the apparently steady rise in CO2”

      Rubbish. There are far more forces at play than simply CO2 levels. Major factors that also change real life observations are albedo from cloud and ice, aerosols and of course, solar activity. The vast trend is a continuous upward one in relation to CO2 rise. When solar activity decreases or increases, as it does over a 11yr cycle, this means less or more energy coming in that can be trapped due to an increasing greenhouse effect. As the world warms (few doubt the reality of this) less ice means more trapping of heat as well. A good indicator of an amplified greenhouse effect would be to look where heat is most obviously being trapped – look at warm night trends. I’ve looked into some of this data here, but there is much more. Warm night trends clearly show more heat being trapped. However, to turn your nonsense on it’s head to something more realist, I’m sure all of what I just said will be ignored by you because ‘simply don’t want to hear it’.

      “The lab experiment of doubling CO2 produces a figure of 1C rise.”

      That’s as true as the tobacco funded studies that found no relationship between smoking and illness. Did you even watch the Dessler v. Lindzen debate I posted for your digestion earlier? Apparently not.
      Dessler: “…there’s a lot of uncertainty in the cloud feedback that I derived and if you put that uncertainty in you pretty much get the conomical IPCC range of if you double CO2, you get [2.0C-4.5C (he says 4.5 degrees, but does not state if it’s the metric system, the slide behind him has that range in C)] of warming. Now, one point I want to make; this was not derived from a model, this was derived by data.”
      Again, you not talking truth, but doubt-mongering.

      “You are all so busy telling other people off about their lifestyles and crying into your expensive restaurant meals you’ve forgotten that till now temperatures have only risen a measly 0.7C which is totally consistent with the large and small ice age fluctuations.”

      What a pathetic rant, which draws back to yet the fall back conclusion of all deniers when their logic crumbles away – us damn green communists trying to tell you how to live. By your logic, the adverts and continuous campaigns out to help reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes rates is against your free-will to be a glutton. Be a pig if you want. But unlike gluttony, any one nations actions to continue to assist ACC threatens us all. We’re not talking force, but innovation. You want to hold us back on a soon to be peaking energy supply. In fact it is you who is “telling other people off about their lifestyles” because you want you resist change and improvement, much like the Amish.

      390ppm back in 1961? Wow – so it really doesn’t matter how much we remove CO2 sinks and pump tons of CO2 into the atmosphere because values have never changed!! Eureka! We’re saved! This is too absurd to even bother with.. do you really think, when we’re able to retest observations and collect compatible data from other sources that highly educated people would have made such a terribly fatal flaw?? You REALLY are scientific uneducated. I hope no-one has ever taken your misinformation seriously.

    • I forgot to add;

      “I am not paid for what I do, so although I have heaps of material I could cut and paste or link yet again here I have done so thoroughly in the past and been not just ignored but dismissed.”

      If it’s like the “evidence” you’ve provided so far, I’m not surprised it’s been dismissed – you’re having trouble grappling the basics of the subject, so I doubt what you’ve provided is of much use to anyone. Also, I detest people that cut and paste – I personally write very word – even, unfortunately when answering die-hards like yourself and it feels like I’m repeating myself (talking of being ignored and dismissed, ever point of error that I’m caught you on, you’ve done so yourself)..

      “But having said that the names and links I already provided and you chose to ignore (hence my lack of further effort) do indeed have plenty of alternative theories, many based on actual measurements rather than calculations and show something quite different in every single area.”

      I’ve explained why I will not actively engage your named individuals. It does neither myself or science any justice. IF they have a point, or valid criticism of the literature to date, then they should seek to publish it among the scientific community and face scrutiny among their peers. Searching such people outside the realm of science unfairly increasing their worth, without the rules of scientific methodology to back it up – such as we see with Monckton and have seen with the Creation v. Evolution “debate”. Also, in my previous comment – Dessler explains how CO2 sensitivity is based on actual data, not models. You again employ doubt-mongering tactics that are designed to obscure the reality.

      You’ve been proven wrong time and time again on this thread and yet you still inflate your chest. You are an amateur at science, but quite clearly know your field enough to inflate doubt in an attempt to confuse the public. I’m glad science doesn’t work that way, but disappointed that your delusion is so great you cannot see the most basic flaws to your argument.

  20. As I’m not getting either a degree or money for my effort I’m not going to produce a thesis for you or anyone else. But you have given me another piece in my jigsaw, as you are literally the first person I’ve come across to suggest the official (as it is) rise for doubling CO2 is not 1’C. That appears to be universal, as it is based on the standard formulae used for ‘if all things remain equal’, and any variation is down to as yet unknown positive (or rarely mentioned) negative feedback.

    Granted you know all the basics from college, I am learning them in my 40s onwards and they are not beyond anyone to follow besides the complex maths behind them. That is the same as writing or using a program, but us the public only need to see the conclusions without needing to be capable of originating them. The scientists are free to make the measurements and then present their findings for us all. But we can understand them, and the start noticing differences. Of course some like anomalies etc need explaining but others such as fundamental disagreements on sea levels (Nils Axel Morner is among the top few oceanographers in the world and pays for his own satellite time to get figures he can trust) are not so easy to explain away. The multitude, possible dominance of such dissonances are not easy to dismiss.

    On the economic side I did learn the basic formula growth can only be based on increased production. Any scheme which attempts to increase the money supply without anything behind it simply creates inflation. The second principle is you can raise prices of inelastic goods indefinitely and people simply have to pay more and spend less on other things. Bread and energy are the typical examples, and as these take more proportionally from the poorer people they are the first affected as they spend more on heat and light and have little left for anything else.

    The actual methods used from the South Sea Bubble in 1720, creating worthless bonds to repay national debt, to Enron, doing the same thing for private investors, Bernie Madoff paying the old investors with new money with no actual commodities involved, to the governmental version of the 21st century, selling the right to use energy, will end the same way. Inflation for all, while those who are in at the start will walk away with vast profits, here taken not from gullible idiots after a fast buck but everyone subject to ‘green taxes’ as all rises in the price of credits is paid for by the customers directly, and personal carbon limits are already in place for the UK to multiply the effect. Of course if you charge people for essentials they will only stop buying them when they have no money left, until the poor are absolutely destitute CO2 will always be emitted at any cost, and then we will have countrywide poverty. Without scientists producing new predictions every day providing politicians with the material to do so this could not have happened.

    I may not be able to or have time to get the science dead right (in its small details but I can still bet my house it’s wrong, hiding rubbish in facts) the economics is a lot closer to my patch and a lot harder to falsify.

    • In short you create a strange little unquestionable paradox:
      “The science is wrong, I can prove it, but I don’t need to because science is based on lies and deception, where scientists say what they need to so as they can earn their qualifications and get funding. I also have a couple names that disagree with the conclusions that scientists offer us, so they must be right, but the corrupt scientific community won’t listen.”
      How can one use reason to debate your irrationality when you demonize enlightenment?

      I’m still a little miffed that you honestly think it’s easier to falsify scientific evidence than economics. It is probably the most obvious sign that you’ve largely ignored my rebuttals and are completely ignorant about science. You can have witchdoctors treat your four humours, I prefer to see a modern medical doctor (it all comes down to science – think about what you’re saying before jumping to silly conclusions).

  21. “economics is a lot closer to my patch and a lot harder to falsify”
    Again, you make it clear that you don’t know science at all. With your background it’s obvious that you see the world it but only the grey fog of certain ideologies. Science is the opposite to this.

    Again, you’re incorrect on a doubling of CO2. You may have a lab test that says as much, what I gave you was not my statement, but that of Dessler. To restate the final part of the quote I’ve provided, “Now, one point I want to make; this was not derived from a model, this was derived by data.”

    You simply just don’t get the science David and haven’t bothered to watch that presentation (you’re too selective in what you take on board to be taken seriously – it’s basic confirmation bias at it’s most annoying).

    I’ve provided you with enough basic information, all of which you’ve ignored.

    I’ll put it to you, and other reads, this way: I’ve proven you to be wrong;

    – Confusing temperature trends and temperature anomaly
    – Misunderstanding a quote by Schneider
    – CO2 and atmospheric sensitivity
    – Misunderstand science methodology; that scientist are not tied to an ‘ACC climate change myth’ for funding; that it is impossible (and rather pointless) long term to submit a study based on flaws or blatant lies (it will be found out); and what scientific certainty is and what it means (ie. based on lots of independent evidence that comes to the same conclusion).
    – You insist that there’s a truth that scientists don’t want to hear – nonsensical as science is about increasing our understanding and regardless to what a scientist wants, papers will get published so this “truth” would have already been added to the studies (which it is not the rare few similar work, such as Lindzen, that stand as outliers because they cannot be verified by other studies – ie. flawed, no scientific certainty)

    In all, you don’t really have a case and ridiculous statements like, “As I’m not getting either a degree or money for my effort I’m not going to produce a thesis for you or anyone else.” don’t cut it. Again – funding is separate for conclusions (the contrary idea is laughable at best and would make the involved parties look silly in the literature (ie. discredited). That you mock the value of a degree is nothing short of a through back to a pre-Enlightenment era. Qualifications are provided to those who have taken on serious studies in a field and have had their resulting understanding scrutinised. Without it, well we may as well listen to the Church for our understanding. You think yourself an authority to undermine scientific understanding, make it clear that you do not understand the basics (either of climate science or even scientific methodology), say you have evidence that you will not submit to the appropriate reviewers and treat relevant training undertaken by scientists as a black mark.

    Does the credibility of a GP’s diagnosis of cancer increase or decrease with their training? Or arguments are nonsense and I’ve proven as much time and time again.

    Then, when all else fails, you turn back to the most fog or related subjects – economy. I’d argue that no system that we have derived has given appropriate value to to many components of our activities – especially natural resources and services. Simply saying that meeting these challenges will hurt the economy is a political stunt. If we are to curb biodiversity degradation and the detrimental effects of a changing climate (remember that very few denier are still denying that climate is changing) we’re going to ask the hard questions and spend some $. However, it is an investment – leading to an improvement in the standard of living for our grandchildren and beyond. It is economic structure that will need to reshape itself to suit actually achieving increased sustainability. Change is inevitable and people like you fight with nothing but ideology and fractured “facts” to back you up.

  22. Firstly whenever I follow yet another link about AGW it repeats long used catchphrases and formulae I can read just by buying The Guardian every day. Unless they actually show my CO2 is actually making the planet warmer, and it’s a problem I can’t see one or a million new lectures making that happen if it’s based on a false premise. Believe me I’ve read and heard so much I’m more or less at AGW saturation point and would take me weeks to do justice to the sort of case you want me to present, yet when I say why the hell should I do it when I can simply copy and past five climatologists who have said so instead I do not know. I am trusting them as to me and many others they make far better sense.

    I see your economics response puts you into the hard line of the furthest out operators. Not that that came as a surprise. Never mind making people live like savages and paupers as long as the climate’s OK. You play into my hands every time, you quote science and then apply it the same way crazy dictators have since history began. Or Schwarzenegger who just compared skeptics to Nazis. You are not in good company.

    I see your hate of economics is as great as your love of science, which itself has been shown as long as records exist to have got things wrong almost as often as they have got them right and many discoveries like penicillin and the benzene ring by pure chance. And yes scientists, like lawyers, are human and have as many bad apples as every other random sample. Many lawyers both make huge and basic mistakes and are fraudulent, I know quite a few personally. Who’s above that I wonder? Scientists are somehow immune from human frailty and greed? Please, save that crap for church.

    • My word you’re tiresome – you’ve stated that CO2 role in climate change cannot be proven yet are unwilling to look. I don’t provide trash links to other blogs repeating pop-media nonsense, but I only link to scientists and literature. You’re argument here is also false – you simply will not look because it is against your bias.

      Tom, for instance, has this recent post that looks at papers that have looked into the role of CO2 in climate. It seems to account for about 20% of the greenhouse effect, but is very important because it’s the greatest non-condensing greenhouse gas.

      You’ve read a lot and apparently have five climatologists that concur? Well, I’m actually a scientist and understand scientific methodology (where you clearly don’t) and work with various experts in fields of earth sciences, meteorology, ecology and agriculture as well as various governing bodies and I can make a safe bet that reality fits what the vast amount of evidence suggests and what such people are trying to get their head around and not what you’re select few outliers suggest.

      “I see your economics response puts you into the hard line of the furthest out operators. Not that that came as a surprise. Never mind making people live like savages and paupers as long as the climate’s OK.”

      This is why I call people like yourself the true alarmists. You quite clearly haven’t got a clue. I’m tired of having to repeat myself to the misinformed like yourself. Ecology is the most important aspect that ensures that life as we now and enjoy it possible. ACC risks that (agriculture is at risk, water quality and movement is at risk, further increasing extinction rates is likely – increasing desertification, coupled between ACC and poor landscape management seems inevitable). Being unprepared by 2020 when oil prices will start the inevitable increase in cost is a risk. I’ve given you real risks right here while you absurdly just say that good governance will throw us back to the stone age so continuing with this nonsense, “You play into my hands every time, you quote science and then apply it the same way crazy dictators have since history began. Or Schwarzenegger who just compared skeptics to Nazis. You are not in good company.” is simply fear-mongering childishness. I’m concerned about a habitable Earth. I’d argue that again you’ve simply exposed yourself as ideologically based and rather pathetic for bringing fear-mongering tactics into it.

      You should look at my Innovation series. You’ll see that I’m in favour of innovation; using natural gas while we shift to nuclear and renewable energy, developing smarter cities (utilising passive energy where possible) that reduce the need for personal vehicles, establishing local agriculture and corridors of natural environments. Far from your savage nonsense. Hey, you ignored the point that even most deniers admit that the climate is changing and know enough to know that peak oil is about to hit and some also know that coal is too important in steel production – but putting your head in the sand about all these issues you wish for us to be ill-prepared for these known threats. I’m afraid it is you that would lead us backwards with your ideology.

      What’s with your final paragraph? Are you on meds? Look at what I just wrote and indeed have been writing all along. I don’t hate economy – if anything, I’m trying to ensure economic resilience! You really are foolish.

      “science, which itself has been shown as long as records exist to have got things wrong almost as often as they have got them right and many discoveries like penicillin and the benzene ring by pure chance”

      You really must stop demonstrating how scientifically ignorant you really are – it’s well established now. Disproving a hypothesis is the most important part of science, because it clears away ideology and leaves plausibility. So, in that way, science is always getting hypotheses wrong. But, unlike religion, science improves and our understanding is increased by being proven wrong. Bring back a point you overlooked above, without medical science proving that the four humours were wrong, we’d still have wipe spread disease, infection, no vaccinations etc etc.. What a warped little head you must have to come to such a contrary conclusion..

      And for pure accidents – please, does Aristotle working out volume accidentally while hoping into a bath, undermine the discovery? Of course not. That, without knowing it, builders of ancient siege machines used Newtonian physics, did this mean the weapons didn’t work? Of course not! Most hydrocarbons now found all around us (most of which will also become increasingly expensive after oil peaks btw) were found by accident by chemists just trying to make new substances and then work out chemistry and application! Accidents are wonderful, enlightening and a natural part of life.

      Honestly, I think I’ve pretty much made it clear that you don’t know what your talking about and that on every count you are simply a denier of evidence and especially in recent comments, anti-science minded to the point of hatred for scientists. You don’t want clarity, you want to be left to think what you think is correct, when I’ve demonstrated time and time again the many mistakes in you logic.

  23. Just a few points for now, where do you personally draw the line between science and politics as for a scientist you seem extremely eager to use your findings to, how can I put it, tell other people how to live? That is a line scientists don’t usually cross in my experience till now, and the added power has clearly gone to many heads and seems maybe more important than any actual data behind it.

    For example even in your case you have done the ‘media blur’ which I come across every single day. Blurring good sensible environmental policies with the climate. Making a truth sandwich, putting the slice of dubious stuff in between two pieces of common sense and hoping people only see the bread. No way Jose, you’re not getting away with that trick here their teaching five year olds at school who ought to be able to see through it better than their cynical and brainwashed parents.

    I’ll check the CO2 later even though I know from a few official sources it is the accepted 1C rise whatever your own off message (dare I say extreme?) figure is. Has that suddenly changed in 2010 despite the normally desparate media not coming out in unison to say the predicted rise is now four times higher than expected? I get my pro AGW data from blogs? Pardon me? This is the first pro-AGW blog I’ve ever bothered to read as it was so excrutiatingly political in its soviet style propaganda I couldn’t just look without jumping in to tell you you are not going to change the world without a fight. The kids and sheep may suck up every word you all say like mindless hoovers but millions of sensible people questioned it long ago and know the score very well.

    There’s no need to get data from blogs while NASA, NOAA etc happily share everything (oh, except their raw data, that’s confidential!) and read plenty of the 2007 IPCC report which the media choose to cherry pick, as there are long tracts of likely advantages of GW many already claim is not going to be a problem as a result. And the killer blow you also missed (of course I know why, the medieval warming period is a sneaky plot cooked up by Penn and Teller and David Copperfield) is regardless of your personal denial (as it’s already happened so I presume you deny it has) a historically documented period when mediterranean climates were many miles north of present and humanity thrived. Yes it’s so easy to frighten most people with all these future scenarios which haven’t happened and then chuck in irrelevance like peak oil which is an economic issue, nothing at all to do with the climate. I know every darn trick in your book and one by one people do notice that’s what they are.

    Just for once read some history. The climate was warmer in the past and polar bears somehow survived. They don’t even need ice to live. Earth has had more time without ice than with it, and guess what, people managed without even a single item of technology. Hard or soft alarmism, it’s all a variation on the same story which is totally unnecessary considering we know what happened with warmer climates from the past. Why not use your vast sources of data to learn more about that and try and explain why some scientists don’t believe there was a medieval warm period. Or that there are sharp rises before every ice age? Or how you can compare satellite data (since 1979) thermometer readings (1860-1979) and proxy data before that as if they are equally valid? And the rise not everyone agrees with (Jim Salinger appears to have adjusted it by rebasing averages worldwide and then in New Zealand) from 1979 corresponds exactly with the switch to satellite readings.

    And then we find some satellites had been reading 10-15’C higher for years while NOAA left them in place, which clearly had as much if not more influence on the graph than any other factor, yet the case is settled? Please…

  24. And by the way, don’t a single one of you insult me by claiming I take your heroes out of context. Just because the CRU used their friends to get them off the hook and make black look white doesn’t make a single word anyone has said any different however you try and spin it. I see the words first, telling colleagues to lie (which is exactly what both quotes from both sources did) is something no one anywhere with integrity could do whatever the cause. There is no single situation on earth where spinning the data to make your point is ethical, sorry. That is a line and they crossed it by a mile.

  25. klem says:

    Are you two ladies finished yet?

  26. Not quite, as I hate to see a comfortable cabal patting each other on the back and reinforcing each other’s ideologies while there is a comment box enabling them to discover in fact the consensus they hold so dear is in fact a media led creation for the benefit of those investing in green energy and carbon trading etc. That’s my money they’re playing with and I am not for one happy with the situation as purely based on a fear factor.

    Anyway, as I knew perfectly well, the paper equation for CO2 rising to 560ppm is around 1’C, meaning mothincarnate is out of step with mathematics itself. Now if a scientist is unable to agree with something probably approximate to an A level standard equation, but claims this equation produces a figure four times greater then something is wrong. Either the IPCC themselves have got it wrong (quite possible) plus all the conventional climatologists who all say anything greater than the base figure is going to be down to positive feedback, even though actual measurements such as the AQUA satellite found CO2 is displacing water vapour actually reducing the greenhouse effect where it has been measured. This is hidden somewhere on their own site and to my knowledge was presumably too complex to concern the media.

    The standard equation is quoted “Without any feedbacks, a doubling of CO2 (which amounts to a forcing of 3.7 W/m2) would result in 1°C global warming, which is easy to calculate and is undisputed. The remaining uncertainty is due entirely to feedbacks in the system, namely, the water vapor feedback, the ice-albedo feedback, the cloud feedback, and the lapse rate feedback”;

    Rahmstorf, Stefan (2008). “Anthropogenic Climate Change: Revisiting the Facts”

    As this has been quoted by every single site I’ve come across whether believers or skeptics how this can now be tenuously quoted as 4′ by someone qualified to know directly is also a typical example of how easy it is to have what appear to be personal measurements of the same thing depending who the person is. It’s a shame no one here can get in a dialogue with Nils Axel Morner, whose film is on Youtube in case anyone wants to see it, who along with the Australian coastguards who have measured the Pacific for decades can show the sea there and beyond is pretty well stable. Unlike temperatures and ice coverage that is a lot easier to measure yet still generates polar opposites depending who is providing the data.

    So, just the one question, how do you get 4C when everyone else gets 1C and why should I accept you are right and they are all wrong?

    • Tim says:

      I don’t tell people how to live. Think the EPA – it’s about using strong evidence to inform the public of habits that are leading to degradation which ultimately will have negative impact on our own society. That you cannot see that is no surprise – you just don’t get scientific methodology, scientific evidence or good governance. I get tired of rednecks like you screaming that it’s against your liberty to suggest we do things better.

      You can most certainly pay 5x times as much for petrol for your vehicle and at least that again as population continues to creep towards 9 billion and fossil fuel energy slides down the slope to depletion. That is certainly your choice. However, I won’t be another Neanderthal preaching that it’s my right to blindly head down a road with no obvious future.

      “Blurring good sensible environmental policies with the climate”

      Um, well the environment and the climate are part of a system – you’ve failed to note that almost no-one denies that the climate is changing. I am an ecologist and am concerned that as climate changes, human landscape changes will continue to increase the already ridiculously high extinction rate. I started my blog etc with more concern about natural resource management and conservation, but got drawn into the non-debate of climate change by people like yourself, who at the end of the day, just ignore what they don’t want to hear (as has been demonstrated in this comment thread).

      “’ll check the CO2 later even though I know from a few official sources it is the accepted 1C rise whatever your own off message (dare I say extreme?) figure is.”

      Again you harp on the same note as usual. You might have lab tests, but out in the field, based on the climate data, CO2 doubling will have 2-4.5C rise.

      “This is the first pro-AGW blog I’ve ever bothered to read as it was so excrutiatingly political in its soviet style propaganda I couldn’t just look without jumping in to tell you you are not going to change the world without a fight”

      That explains a bit – look at the others I suggested earlier, they are heavy with the literature as is mine. AND AGAIN you resort to fear-mongering! When you don’t have evidence, you claim your fighting a noble cause against an organised dictatorship. It’s made even more pathetic because I have time and time again demonstrated that science simply doesn’t work like that. You’re not fighting a noble cause – but an anti-science and anti-progressive cause.

      “There’s no need to get data from blogs while NASA, NOAA etc happily share everything (oh, except their raw data, that’s confidential!)”

      Please, this is not a conspiracy. I’ve worked for a number of years in environmental monitoring (mainly ambient chemistry / flux and meteorology). Raw data has a lot of noise that take a far amount of know-how to remove to produce a true signal. Some of this is trivial, like equipment calibration that wasn’t flagged, some is less of – for instance, at the moment, my net radiometer is precise, but not accurate – something is pushing the values up. If this data was provided, an individual that is not part of the research team is unlikely to understand and may try to analyse this noisy signal. It’s no conspiracy, it’s just good science (it’s probably not release because the copious amounts of notes that would be required to explain the noise – why not just provide the validated data?)

      “likely advantages of GW many already claim is not going to be a problem as a result…”

      Oh this old nonsense. Firstly, it was a slightly warmer period, so what – look at the shape of the averages and you’ll find that the rate of change is currently much faster – that is concerning to an ecology, as inter-species relationships are starting to be thrown out of whack (eg. blooming > caterpillar emergence > predatory bird species migration / nesting). Over longer periods, species are more able to adapt. Secondly, and the most disturbing (one I mentioned above) – human landscape use changes have dramatically altered the landscape, leaving generally poorer quality areas for remnant patches of vegetation. As climate changes, species tend to shift their range poleward. Now, plants obviously have a problem there, but even beyond that limitation, where are other species to move when barely any native corridors still persist to allow such a shift? Previous climate change events only weakly relate to extinction evens, that is because the vast amount of movement permitted before we altered the environment, creating restrictions. DON’T CHERRY PICK. (Again more evidence that you simply are not aware of the relevant literature).

      “Just for once read some history.”

      Um, refer above – I answered this and yeah, I am well aware of history, as well as many areas of environmental science. You, on the other hand, simply are not. You cherry pick your evidence only to confirm your bias, while I’m looking at the bigger picture.

      “And by the way, don’t a single one of you insult me by claiming I take your heroes out of context.”

      You did, I made that clear.

      “as I hate to see a comfortable cabal patting each other on the back and reinforcing each other’s ideologies while there is a comment box enabling them to discover in fact the consensus they hold so dear is in fact a media led creation for the benefit of those investing in green energy and carbon trading etc. That’s my money they’re playing with and I am not for one happy with the situation as purely based on a fear factor.”

      Ah, we’re ideological?? Just listen to yourself (because you must not be listening you me). My attitude is based on the evidence, which I’ve tried to provide to what appears to be a scientific-illiterate brick wall.

      “The standard equation is quoted “Without any feedbacks, a doubling of CO2 (which amounts to a forcing of 3.7 W/m2) would result in 1°C global warming, which is easy to calculate and is undisputed. The remaining uncertainty is due entirely to feedbacks in the system, namely, the water vapor feedback, the ice-albedo feedback, the cloud feedback, and the lapse rate feedback”

      Well that explains it – this is a non-real-life hypothetical. In ideal situations. Sounds great, huh? We’ve got nothing to worry about. Old Moth is just spinning nonsense – brainwashes by his ecological training and years of experience working in environmental monitoring and landscape science. Hell, the only way forward is to gobble up ever last drop of oil – who cares if my kids, when they go for their licence, will be unable to drive because it simply costs too much for fuel and with sprawl the way it is, they’ll need to bike ride a couple hours just to get to their part time job. Who cares that by moving most agriculture to where regulations are low and labour is cheap, now, with oil so expensive, the food is too expensive for most. What about the ecological damage inflicted on developing nations that willingly ripped up vast areas of forest because China or the US wanted the wood?
      Don’t worry! The market will sort is out! This is nothing short of Godot.

      “So, just the one question, how do you get 4C when everyone else gets 1C and why should I accept you are right and they are all wrong?”

      Don’t misquote me. I said 2-4.5C. A distinct number is impossible and scientists don’t talk like that, only delusional people like yourself talk of absolutes. Again, in the real world, the data indicated that if we double CO2 concentrations we get 2-4.5C increasing in warming. It’s in the IPCC report as well. I’ve not made this up nor is it the result of hypothetical situations – BUT INSTEAD REAL DATA.

      I’ve made it clear that there are many aspects of human activity threaten ecosystems, one of which is this continuous ignorance of a small, but noisy few and politic weak will in regards to a changing climate. Our physical modifications on the landscape will only increase extinction rates which are already well above background rates – especially as climate continues to change and we provide no corridor environments for species movement.

      A point that you continue to ignore is peaking oil, with will mean that within a decade or two – especially with increasing global population and rising affluence in places like China and India – demand will massive push up the barrel prices. Now, oil isn’t only used for fuel, but a wide range of commonly used hydrocarbons (such as rubber and plastics). All of these products will also go up in price (so long to buying a new notebook every couple years). Currently agriculture is a massive user of oil – especially when you take into account processing and shipping – which will increase the price of food. Without reducing the requirement for personal transport, you will increase the rate that all of this happens (for it is inevitable regardless). It’s not telling people what to do, as you claim I do, but urging that our practices need to be changed so that human activity as we know it remains viable. This is what I stated above as ECONOMIC RESILIENCE!

      Look, I’m going to have to get off this absurd little merry-go-round. I’m tired of playing with someone who childishly places their fingers in their ears while singing a comforting tune to themselves.

      On every single point you raise, I’ve answered. I’ve demonstrated that you are wrong about the evidence, even of scientific methodology itself. You cherry pick half truths that confirm your bias. You’ve provided nothing but anti-science misinformation coupled with fear-mongering propaganda. It is amazingly obvious that you clearly just don’t understand what you’re talking about. I suggest that you undertake some scientific training or move onto a subject that you can talk about intelligently.

      You fail to understand that the economic models of yesteryear will not work tomorrow – with 7 billion people so far – such consumerism cannot continue with depleting non-renewable resources and renewables unable to regenerate at rates required for accelerating production. We need innovative thinking – a point I’m always getting back to – not busness-as-usual advocates that are blind to a growing resource crisis.

      You just don’t get it. I’m not mixing things up, but am looking at the entire, evidence based picture. That I need to repeat myself endlessly and you continue to be but a one-note wonder tells me that you’re a lost cause. I’ve put enough in this comment thread to provide useful material to anyone else who may read this and are more open-minded and seeking clarity. I won’t waste any more energy on someone who can be demonstrated to be wrong countless times and still say the same thing.

  27. Tim, you’re free to leave the debate whenever you like as I am also, but will just reply to a few points for those others who may like to see.

    Firstly the title of this blog does not imply an environmental theme, but a very specific one, indeed that is the nature of the thread and no need to be shy about that.

    Now as for the other environmental points, as I say, all good and valid ones. Before anyone thought of man made climate change they were part of the ecological movement as it then was, far left though they may have been they were only trying to stop big business ruining the environment and quite rightly so. So please stop dragging general environmental concerns into a simple debate about climate. If we’re running out of oil and there are no alternatives then we’re buggered, simple as. If there’s no oil then we’ll survive as they did before the combustion engine and use gas to light our houses. However there is an alternative which was used the last time there was an oil crisis, which is simply making petrol from coal. Unfortunately for the oil companies they do not have a total monopoly as once the oil hits a certain price or runs out they just go to converting coal, it costs about $70 a barrel, less than current prices. And there’s enough coal for centuries. Problem solved, that was easy.

    I did say the 1’C rise was if all other things remain equal, and so far with less than that and nowhere near a doubling of CO2 then that is the only figure we have we can rely on. Sure, use complex computer programs to simulate whatever you like on a machine, even though I hear the models can only manage a two dimensional circle and not a sphere, but no matter, it can be adjusted I’m sure. Then the error margin being around 400% is nothing to worry about either, no business investing millions in predictive software would be bothered about the specific figure as long as it was in the right direction- after all what if profits were either high or very high? They’re still profits aren’t they? Hang on, I mean temperatures.

    So after taking a deep breath and holding it till you went blue claiming doubling CO2 would definitely produce around a 4C rise you now say it’s between 2 and 4 and you weren’t interested in or referring to a specific equation anyway but the IPCC projection? One job I have had in the past was teaching and if one of my pupils had shimmied around like that I’d have had a word with the head about them. I’m not going to go back for hours searching for the exact sentences but memory alone tells me I gave you a couple of chances to agree that the only guaranteed result of doubling CO2 before any feedback is taken into account (if all else remains the same I think were my exact words on one occasion) and now you sweep it aside and say that wasn’t what you meant and you’re back to that hokey IPCC model which true climatologists ought to distance themselves from in case they’re associated with it long enough ahead to find they were wrong after all.

    Bottom line points. No single event can as yet be attributed to AGW (IPCC).
    Bearing that in mind we would need a steady increase in whatever events you and others expect to happen for decades simply as an observation before then attempting to provide any attribution. The fact no hurricane has made landfall on N America for 1000 days is not exactly helping your predictions, and as for the droughts and desertification the fact people are irrigating farmland and cutting down forests around these areas points to something a lot more likely and solid than CO2.
    Now if the temperatures had actually risen as fast as you claim we would then have the consequences to deal with right here and now. I’ve seen plenty of graphs showing the small peaks before each of 8 ice ages followed by a sharp one before they began. Some claim a 7’C rise in less than 100 years from whichever proxy records have been used. And as the medieval warm period is only measurable through relatively unreliable proxy records it is not actually possible to verify any major changes more than vaguely in the past using them, whereas historical documents describing Greenland and vineyards in the north of England are pretty well statements of fact.

    I guarantee if a group of scientists wanted to create an alternative to oil, especially if competing with others elsewhere they’d probably all manage it within a year. Alcohol, ionised water, all sorts of natural and artificial and natural cheap and abundant substances have been claimed to work since soon after cars were invented. But they don’t do it. Why that hasn’t happened I’ll leave to your own enquiries. But using sound environmentalism to drag in the climate as if anything people do to the environment you don’t like automatically warms the planet does not gain you many followers and makes you look like Al Gore’s bitch. Sorry but if I don’t say it others will but probably about you rather than to you.

    How about Nigel Lawson’s summary of the IPCC’s 2007 report (not in dispute as far as I know) which says if we did nothing about the climate the third world would only be 8 times better off by 2100 rather than 9? Or the other calculations I’d have to dig up but also tried by various different statisticians to lessen the chances of error which show if we reduced CO2 by 80% as ordered then we’d reduce temperatures by 0. a few zeros1 degrees at most? Then they produce a page of data to explain why. Too good to overlook I’d have thought.

    • 1) We left the subject of the blog a long time ago David, so bringing up now irrelevant.

      2) Climate has long been part of ecological discussions – some that I know of dating back to the 70’s. As part of my studies in the 90’s, it was a discussion of concern. It’s people like you who are unaware of this, and I personally don’t care about the “right and left” movements – my arguments are based on the evidence. I’m not out to bring down industry, but promote sustainability – building prosperity. You’re just not listening.

      3) I’ve discussed coal earlier. Read Vaclav Smil’s piece. I get tired of people like you pushing petrol from coal. Sure, we have good supplies, but it is too valuable for steel production to be combusted on getting you to the corner shop and back.

      4) Get over the 1C for 2XCO2. This next paragraph shows that you simply do not listen. ACTUAL DATA PREDICTS 2-4.5C INCREASE. You really are hard of understanding. I never said, “doubling CO2 would definitely produce around a 4C rise,” so DON’T TRY TO BUILD STRAW MAN ARGUMENTS.

      5) “Now if the temperatures had actually risen as fast as you claim we would then have the consequences to deal with right here and now.”
      Hence, Rosenzweig, et al (2008) Attributing physical and biological impacts to anthropogenic climate change. Nature. 453(15):353-357. doi:10.1038/nature06937
      Amano, et al (2010) A 250-year index of first flowering dates and its response to temperature change. Proc. R. Soc. B. doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.0291
      And you ignored the points I make that human landscape change restricts species movements was climate zones shift. We know enough to make silly assertions about a wonderful warm future ludicrous.

      6) What’s with your silly rant in the next paragraph? So, by asserting the evidence, I lose followers and am Gore’s bitch? Ok, now I realise I’m just talking to some punk of the street who wants to push his own anger into a subject. Again, I’ve proven you WRONG on every scientific point thus far. Climate is part of environmental science and we know a great deal about it. It’s you that has a problem (getting quite childish with your insults as well) and simply do not want clarity on subjects. Addressing all the points I’ve previously mentioned, including decarbonising energy supply, goes a long way in ensuring ecological and economical resilience. I’m afraid your advocacy of business as usual is anti-progressive, counter-innovative and ultimately leads to a disappointing future. If you have a problem with modern understanding and improvement, why not start up your own Amish-like community so the rest of us can get on with facing the problems of the coming century?

      7) Good that you referenced these papers that make such claims! So scientific of you. Now, your statement about developing nations is a little confusing. It seems to me that your making the point hear that addressing climate change will do little to improve the situation, is that correct? Firstly, deniers always do this; No, it’s not changing.. ok, it is changing, but it’s natural… Ok, well even if we do anything, it won’t help. It’s so hypocritical how often people like you shift your note. Sure, the climate will continue change long after we decarbonise energy supply. However, you’ve cherry picked (yet again) part that sounds nice to you.
      We’re talking about resilience. You think that changing how the market works or how societies structure themselves physically on the landscape will seen us to the dark ages. I on the other hand provide copious sources of evidence that human activities as we currently practice them are placing too much pressure on natural resources. Without asking how we could improve our activities so that they are more sustainable and provide greater food, water and ecological service protection, we are very likely to create more work for ourselves in the long term (ie. more work = more energy = more money = greater poverty) simple as that.

      You’ve not provided a reasonable answer to any of this, but instead misinform, demonstrate ignorance of science, resort to childish behaviour and fear-mongering behaviour.

      This is why you’re simply not worth further conversations.

  28. Oh dear, try and insert a little humour and it goes straight over your heads. Never mind, it was only meant as such however you took it.

    Anyway, if you’re going with the ‘soft alarmism’ tack that’s fine, it reaches the same place from a different beginning. All this sustainability has so far produced two major methods of alternatives, wind and solar power. These have paid users ten times the amount of unit cost compared to normal prices which is simply taken from everyone else who has it taxed at source when they pay their bills. The current typical cost of a unit of wind or solar power is eight times that of conventional and unlikely to change within my lifetime or yours unless the rest is simply taxed so much to meet it, which is gradually happening.

    Unless you are working independently from the EU and UN policymakers then you won’t have a great deal more to offer than this, plus other wacky alternatives like biofuels which use farmland and cause starvation where people lose their food crops and incomes from them. In point 7 you’ve made another leading statement (not valid in law mind you).

    …”addressing climate change will do little to improve the situation”.

    No wonder coming out with these gems I was not tempted for a bit of late night humour to try and lighten my own heavy cloud of doom if not yours. Addressing climate change? You slipped it in as if it was as normal and natural as breathing in just half a sentence and gave away a complete assumption and following agenda based on it. Like a good barrister I let you talk and wait for you to incriminate yourself. Let me analyse less than a line which basically removed the mask to show you have an assumed and agreed agenda so whatever I say or anyone else discovers since you formed it is unlikely to make any difference whatsoever. Others may gladly fall for such bait but I’ve been challenging this sort of position around a decade myself now and you may as well have painted it in fluorescent and covered it with feathers if I was around.

    1) “addressing climate change” assumes
    a) There is climate change
    b) It requires addressing as it is a bad thing
    c) we can address it
    d) The cost-benefit analysis (eg the Stern Report…) concludes such actions, expensive and damaging to both economies and industry alike (I have heard this from far harder greens than you who have on occasion actually said they would rather see the planet free of humans rather than see it destroyed so they don’t mind destroying capitalism or civilisation itself quite openly in favour of the greater good) yet it’s still better to, er, address climate change than er, do nothing and see what happens before we use any technology we do have to deal with it as and when.

    2) will do little to improve the situation- assumes:
    a) There is a situation
    b) If so, then there is something wrong with it
    and c) if a and b are true then 1(addressing climate change) is required to do so.

    This requires what I count as at least five separate assumptions in order to make that simple statement, each one requiring such high levels of proof in itself (see earlier reference to Stern Report, add IPCC 2007 summary which in fact does not agree with much of the former, before any actual independent studies) that unless all five pass muster one can only assume you have mentioned a situation that you expect everyone you assert it to to accept it as correct without question. Of course when phrased like that most people do, as they are lazy, in awe, and whatever else allows them to vote in more green taxes worldwide and then complain when their bills go up. They’ll fall for anything until the news announces, like with Bernie Madoff, Enron and KF Concept they were wrong, in which case they shake their heads, put on the kettle or go to the pub and get drunk.

    Now just because most people will catch that bait doesn’t make it true, and unfortunately everyone else here will see that you have played the lowest value card in your hand there, the ‘I know I’m right and will make you buy it just by telling you it is’ one, which is a standard hypnotic phrase (yes, I’m qualified there) so a bit difficult to get past me. Sorry. We have a chapter of them.

    “Do you want to give up smoking today or next week?”
    “How would you like to pay? Cash or cheque?” (before someone’s made up their mind) etc etc. All leading questions or double-headed coins. Please, I am more intelligent than that and by trying to patronise me with the oldest hook in the business no one will be impressed or inspired with confidence.

    So my actual answer is:
    “It seems to me that your making the point hear that addressing climate change will do little to improve the situation, is that correct? ”

    1) What climate change?
    2) You can’t address an unproven concept/theory/hypothetical situation
    3) What situation?
    4) Improve implies there is a) something wrong and b) what you are suggesting can improve it. I am not in the same dimension as you here so have nothing to address.
    so 5) No, none of what you said can be verified word per word so there is no actual valid question to answer, let alone agree with or disagree with.

    Science may require specific studies, logic is a universal gift.

    • You’ve got problems, you truly do… sigh.
      I didn’t mention renewables (ie. wind, solar or biofuels – hell, if you bothered to read the innovation series, you’d realise I’m completely opposed to the use of biofuels except where no alternative can be found – eg. long term agriculture). Nuclear is the only option as we develop more efficient renewables. Stop building straw men.

      “Like a good barrister I let you talk and wait for you to incriminate yourself.”

      You’re amazing. You completely ignore that I’ve found you out to be wrong on every case and out of nowhere, you think I made a mistake? I’ve explained all this in painful detail and you simply haven’t listened.

      You’re ridiculous waffle beyond that point is, seeing as I’ve already answered it all, laughable. If you want to debate the subject with others, trying listening, reading up on relevant material and evolve your argument when you’re found to be wrong. This one note stuff is pathetic.

      “Science may require specific studies, logic is a universal gift.”

      No, science requires an understanding of the accumulating evidence and the tools to make sense of it. Logic is reinforced by scientific understanding. If you have any logic at all, it’s as flimsy, inconsistent and ultimately as faulty as your argument above.

      Have a nice life David at the expense of others

    • Just one more, while I think of it (and I’ve unsubscribed from this comment thread, so I won’t be coming back). It further adds to all the comments I’ve submitted above.

      1) What climate change?
      2) You can’t address an unproven concept/theory/hypothetical situation
      3) What situation?

      All of these have been discussed in detail above and the link below puts it together even better. The situation can be looked at the below link and suggested from the 2 papers I continually draw you back to.

      4) Improve implies there is a) something wrong and b) what you are suggesting can improve it. I am not in the same dimension as you here so have nothing to address.

      Clearly 1-3 discussed above leads us to start conversations of how we might improve our activities.

      so 5) No, none of what you said can be verified word per word so there is no actual valid question to answer, let alone agree with or disagree with.

      What? Other than the clarity of retrospect, we have certainty enough to make any sensible risk manager start to ask how we might improve our activities to mitigate what we can and adapt as much as we can.

      The Geological Society have just released this excellent article that clearly explains the scientific concern about anthropogenic climate change in a less technical fashion. It is based on real life data, rather than models and expresses the likelihood of change over the coming centuries. I suggest anyone interested in further clarification read it (although I won’t hold my breath that David will). It, like all the comments that I have previously offered to David paints a concerning picture and why, although David cannot seem to understand, climate and ecology are deeply entwined in conservation – especially (and this is a point I cannot express loud enough) after the amount of landscape use change our species has cause which produce migration barriers as well as increase pressures on resource access and mounting pollution all further impact biota.

      Business as usual simply cannot continue, unless of course, we want an increasingly barren and expensive future.

  29. Here’s the latest of many sources for the alternative energy costs just in case anyone thought I was making them up as I went along. Apparently the cost is justified by the potential benefits which are above monetary value.

    Ross McKittrick has written this as an esteemed economist and only affirms widely known figures. Either you genuinely believe the view the cost is irrelevant or this is basically pouring every last cent/penny/rupee down the drain for what is so inefficient it would never normally have come to the market had it required normal commercial considerations. The wind farm off the coast here will be costing us billions beyond their 20 year life for example, as our government like you assume anything is better than global bloody warming. So spend today and freeze tomorrow, which is what generally happens when people can’t afford heating. And wind and solar both need conventional backup either when the wind isn’t blowing at the right speed (ie too slow OR too fast) or night time for solar. However much you can improve the efficiency of power conversion you can’t change the wind or the sun, so why even waste my money pretending it’s worth it? Yes of course I take this personally as well, they don’t pass over my bills when charging the green tax so why shouldn’t I?

  30. Someone mentioned renewables- as I get the same avatar whoever replies it took me days to realise each was from a different person. Not a very good system there.

    I am not here to disprove global warming. I do have a site where I collected data for years and although some is now clearly out of date when I went back and checked recently much still remains unopposed as yet. All I can do is borrow quotes from those who do their own work, and much as Richard Lindzen was demonstrated by Clem to be probably way more qualified than anyone else here you still treat him like a child with learning difficulties. Hard to accept when one of your own leaves the fold isn’t it. Tell him and all the others I’ve mentioned all that crap I don’t know science as I’m quoting them every time I mention a point- just because I’m not adding references (you ignored the first ones so what’s the point?) you attack me and pretend just because there is truth in the greenhouse effect it HAS to be our fault.

    So Hillary Clinton has just said Climate Change is more important than rape. There’s another leader to join your merry band, they are leading you not the other way round. If you’re quite happy having nutjobs like her, Arnie and Barbara Boxer, let alone James Lovelock who should be receiving 24 hour care and so many others who represent the cause then you can have them, but don’t expect me to treat a single one of you as any different from then as you all believe the same thing, proved with that final sign off, ‘at the expense of others’. Right now the only expense is my tax money. So it’s at my expense thank you, please get that right, you are not my judge or a jury so you can put up a mirror and see who the real villain of the piece is.

  31. Chapter and verse example why nothing is agreed or settled. California shows 110 year temperatures flat and a falling sea level. I really don’t spend hours a day on this to annoy or upset people.

    So considering the sea levels are direct from NOAA (peace be upon them) explain that. Or don’t, it may be too hard.

  32. Another excellent presentation for anyone confused by the contradiction between David’s economy views, and the scientific concern regarding current conflict between ecology and economy

  33. @mothincarnate

    I have gone as far as I can with you. You accept what is no more than a vast collection of assumptions, and added to that every week or so more ‘adjusted graphs’ come to light, two now the subjects of litigation. Your assumption that ‘something has to be done’ ignores the cost-benefit analysis (which has also been carried out by the IPCC) so while they conclude the world economy would fall by 3% in 2100 with a 4C rise and Nigel Lawson’s analysis showed that we’d only be 8 times better off than now than 9 under the full 6C, how can pissing my tax down the drain and yours on silly and dangerous (spraying chemicals in the air!) schemes that do no more than redistribute money and burn a lot on generating systems with worse efficiency than used during than the industrial revolution.

    Your trust of the carbon traders, green energy investors let alone some scientists who have been caught out time after time colluding in hiding doubtful results and twisting others tells me you need to grow up and learn about the world. If indeed you have then you must have a personal interest in keeping this story going as long as possible and as such are infinitely worse. Thank goodness the Republicans are now going to get the figures out in the open and carry out a full investigation. This may take a very long time but at least we’ll know the results before 2100!

    But if one single person here has been made to think again from anything I said then my work has been very successful. I only aim to win a single person per area, as this is intervention rescue work. One mind awoken from the haze of fear is one won for sanity. Green initiatives will do more to wreck the economy than anything since the 2nd world war. George Soros brought Britain to its knees speculating on the pound, and guess who’s now found to be behind this latest version of market manipulation? Can’t anyone spot the problems here?

  34. chris price says:

    Naomi Oreskes has an absolute point regarding
    peer reviewed papers.

    My suspect flaw in her point is that maybe
    her analysis is completely bogus. In that
    for example are any of the papers that indicate
    as say ‘impacts’, are about the sun’s magnetic
    influence on cloud cover and how it correlates
    to climate.

    Her flaw is the denial of the existence of peer
    reviewed papers that imply discent. The fault
    may have been the database keyword data entry
    or authors not wishing to be explicit.
    She should have had the integrity to consider this
    and that much more work was required to get authors
    positioning given the consensus test.
    On the other hand disenters like Peter Taylor are like her (although she has published) in that their output are books that do not go to peer review.
    How does her peer review test fit that?

    Why has Oreskes not done hard work such as collating references in various
    books on both sides of the non-existent debate?

  35. Elections says:


    […]Rearguard action: confusion and rendering climate change irrelevant is the goal of the “deniers” « Watching the Deniers[…]…

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