QoD: Do you look to the road ahead, or spend your time looking in the rear view mirror?

Regular reader John posted a comment (reproducing a letter he wrote to the Gympie Times) which I think contained some good metaphors:

ARCTIC melt revealed (The Gympie Times August 28 )

You are driving along when suddenly both your Temperature and Oil warning lights come on, what do you do?

Do your turn up the volume on the radio so that you cannot hear the clanging coming from under the bonnet? Do you adjust the rear view mirror so that you cannot see the smoke billowing from the exhaust pipe? 

Do you pull over and stop the car? 

This year the planet demands our attention, the unprecedented decline of the Arctic sea ice mass this year, which has stunned the scientific community is trying to tell us that we are overheating the planet, the temperature light is warning us to pull over. The almost total surface melt of the Greenland ice sheet this year was the oil warning light now glowing brightly. 

While the skeptics are busily adjusting the rear view mirror, turning up the volume on the radio and declaring the grinding noises under the bonnet as being just natural variability, the planet could hardly make it more clear, you have a problem, pull over now. 

My just arrived, carbon tax adjusted electricity bill increased by less than 2 cents per kilowatt hour, a small price to pay for my children, grandchildren and great grandchild’s future. 

What do you think?

30 thoughts on “QoD: Do you look to the road ahead, or spend your time looking in the rear view mirror?

  1. uknowispeaksense says:

    Driving at night without the headlights on lest they see the warning sign that the bridge is out ahead.

  2. Skeptikal says:

    Very thought provoking. My first thought being… what is he smoking?

    Or maybe he’s just been so busy trying to save the world that he hasn’t noticed the planet stopped warming over a decade ago.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      A scientific claim needs to be supported by peer reviewed literature. Unless you dismiss the peer reviewed lit. And dismiss NASA. And dismiss the CSIRO, and NIWA. And if you dismiss the worlds scientic academies.

      Can you you explain why all the above bodies and organisations state the planet is warming? Any explanation apart from conspiracies about sceptic scientists not getting a looksie? Last I checked Richard Lindzen still has a job at MIT… If skeptical scientists really had it that bad why do they still even hold positions at universities? Surely the all powerful warmists would have drummed them out by now?

      Being told you are in error is not a form of persecution.

      It may mean you are simply wrong…

      • Skeptikal says:

        Those organisations use a longer term trendline…. and yes, there was some warming through the 80’s and 90’s… so they can say that the planet is warming using those trendlines… but that doesn’t change the reality that the last decade hasn’t warmed. You can call that cherry-picking… but a decade is like 10 years… and that’s a lot of years of no warming in a world of global warming.

        • uknowispeaksense says:

          You guys love Hadcrut 3 with its known cooling bias. Tell me Skeptikal, what does the much more accurate Hadcrut 4 say? I mean, if you were truly interested in facts, you wouldn’t keep repeating these tired old denier memes that are completely irrelevant due to updated technology.

      • john byatt says:

        There has been no change in the warming rate for the last three decades, so the warming in the 1980’s and 90’s continued right through the 2000’S, NASA 0.37DegF per decade

      • Nick says:

        In the opinion of Brendan O’Neill,writing in The Australian, peer-review in science,and the advocacy of its utility, is in reality just the enforcement of an ‘ideological world view’…

        O’Neill will of course be ignoring medical dosage directions and materials handling guidelines.

  3. sailrick says:

    Last decade – warmest on record

    Every year starting with 2001 and through 2011 – was warmer than any year in the 20th century, before 1998 which is now the 3rd warmest year on record.

    2010 – warmest year on record

    2005 – 2nd warmest year on record,

    2011 – warmest year with a cooling La Nina event on record

    10 warmest years on record in the last 12 years

    13 warmest years on record in the last 15 year

    How that looks like cooling to some people is beyond me

    • john byatt says:

      Denierikal wants to say it is all a hoax but cannot, go on denierikal be honest for once. Then there is the Arctic death spiral to consider, you know in your mind that you are wrong but it is hard to accept, we understand what you are going through, hence my letter above,

    • Skeptikal says:

      Thanks for the link.

      I was going to go there, but after reading this review…

      http://www.populartechnology.net/2012/03/truth-about-skeptical-science.html

      I chose not to.

      • Watching the Deniers says:

        Yay Poptech! Read it…

        You’ve dodged the question, NASA etc. explicitly state the globe is warming. Please explain.

        NASA http://climate.nasa.gov/causes/

        CSIRO http://www.csiro.au/Outcomes/Climate/Understanding/State-of-the-Climate-2012.aspx

        Quote: “State of the Climate 2012 also highlights the increase in global sea level and notes sea-level rise around Australia since 1993 is greater than, or equal to, the global average. Our observations show that sea-surface temperatures around Australia have increased faster than the global average. The concentrations of long-lived greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new high in 2011. Annual growth in global fossil-fuel CO2 emissions between 2009 and 2010 was 5.9 per cent, reversing a small decline of 1.2 per cent recorded between 2008 and 2009 during the global financial crisis….”

        So it is not just temperature records.

        Please explain how these bodies are wrong, and you are right.

      • john byatt says:

        No, do not question your understanding, do not seek out any explanations,
        do not even bother to research the difference between hadcrut3 hadcrut4 and GISS, and you call yourself skeptical, then you post a site claiming a conspiracy by john cook, sad person you are.

      • Nick says:

        It’s OK ‘skeptical’,let Poptech tell you what to think…..That assessment of SkS is pretty silly. Moderation policy there is clearly stated,and often discussed as it is enforced. Poptech claims that Pat Michaels was ‘smeared’…I think he meant to say that the blatant cherry-picking and serial misrepresentations by Michaels have been clearly documented,and not just by SkS: it’s on the US Congressional record.

      • uknowispeaksense says:

        Poptech? pfffttttt. Ask my old mate Andrew over there to tell you about one of his favourite journals that he claims is credible. It publishes papers about dog astrology.

  4. Watching the Deniers says:

    I note that my questions are not being directly responded too. All I ask for is intellectual honesty: when asked a specific question, about facts, a true sceptic would address them.

    Skeptical is free to respond, let’s hope he/she abides by established rules of evidence.

    • uknowispeaksense says:

      Don’t hold your breath Mike. Skeptikal made my “denier comment of the day”a few weeks ago. http://uknowispeaksense.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/why-do-they-lie/

    • Skeptikal says:

      Those organisations have taken a clear position in the debate over climate change, as have you. What you either choose to ignore or just fail to see is that there are problems with the global warming theory. If the theory was sound, there would be no ‘deniers’. Clearly, there are enough people questioning the theory that you can call yourself ‘Watching the Deniers’. If there were no ‘deniers’, what would you be watching? Ummm, on second thoughts don’t answer that… I’m probably better off not knowing.

      To directly respond to your question…. sea level rise is nothing new. The sea level has been rising for hundreds of years. To say that “sea-level rise around Australia since 1993 is greater than, or equal to, the global average” is meaningless in terms of climate change. They make no assessment of the ‘rate of rise’, which needs to accelerate to satisfy the theory of gloom and doom. Accelerating sea level rise isn’t mentioned because it’s not happening.

      They say “Our observations show that sea-surface temperatures around Australia have increased faster than the global average.” Big deal, that’s a local event, not global. They make no mention of the rate of sea-surface temperature rise globally.

      The rest of the dribble in that quote is about the rise in CO2 concentrations which, while factual, doesn’t really mean anything without proof that it causes any problems.

      Until the science gets past estimates and projections based on assumptions, I think I’ll remain sceptical of the claims of impending doom.

      • Watching the Deniers says:

        So you are saying NASA and CSIRO are wrong?

        Re your analogy… if the science was “correct” why are there those who deny?

        Why are there evolution deniers?
        Why are there those who deny the effectiveness of vaccines?
        Why are there those who doubt the Moon Landing?
        Why are there those who deny the Holocaust?
        Why are there those who deny the AIDS/HIV link?
        Why are there those who deny the the sun is the centre of our solar system?
        Why are there those who deny the Armenian genocide?
        Why are there those who deny the link between second hand cigarette smoke and negative health effects?
        Why are there those who deny the earth is more than 10,000 years old?

        Do you think it is a problem with the science or historical record: or a problem of values and the individual?

      • Tony Duncan says:

        Skeptical,

        I agree with you and am thoroughly skeptical of claims regarding Climate change of impending doom. I frankly do not believe there is any real likilihood that sea level will rise 5 meters by the end of the century. i remain unconvinced that polar bears will go extinct or that hurricanes with 200 mph will devastate the country in the next 20 years, or even that the current extremes in drought and flooding are absolutely the result of climate change.
        however I do not question what every single climate scientists agrees, including all those that are labeled as skeptics, that increased CO2 causes an increase in global temp. or that that increase very possibly could be 2 ot four degrees Celsius by the end of the century. I just asked Judith Curry that question and she agreed that is quite possible.
        I make it a point to read both “skeptical” and blogs supporting ACC, and as yet I have seen no consistant theory that comes anywhere close to fitting the facts that we do have objective data about better than ACC.
        I am much more skeptical of the skeptical blogs, since I have seen over and over again that there is an almost total dismissal of evidence tyhat DOES support ACC, and a near total gullibility toward any data or perspective that discredits it.
        A case in point is the recent extraordinary loss of arctic sea ice this summer. For a number of years almost all skeptical blogs have been saying that 2007 was an anomaly, whereas ACC blogs have said it was an early indicator and would get worse, yet I have seen no skeptics acknowleding that this does seem to uspport ACC theory, and in fact supports that at least parts of the theory are too conservative.
        whereas ont he other hand i DO see AC bloggers acknowledign that clouds are a significant factor in determining sensitivity, and that if there was resaerch that conclusively showed that mitigating effect it would have to be accepted.

        I certainly do not accept all the doom and gloom predicted by the most extreme adovcates of action agaisnt cliamte change and i think it is vital to consider the economic aspects of how to deal with the issue, but I am frankly concerned that even moderate consequences of ACC could lead to rather devastating consequences economical, socially, and environmentally, as there are already serious stresses on those areas from other causes.
        Also while skeptical, I do not rule out some of the most extreme alarmist predictions. The rate of loss of arctic ice was an extreme prediction, and I was totally wrong about how quickly it would happen. I really do not want to play russian roulette with uncertainty.

  5. Skeptikal says:

    Mike… You’re resorting to Gish Gallop. I would have expected better of you then that. Considering that none of your gish gallop has anything to do with addressing the issues associated with climate change theory, I’ll just pretend you didn’t post that mangled pack of garbage.

    • uknowispeaksense says:

      You say, “If the theory was sound, there would be no ‘deniers’”

      By your logic, that means it is entirely possible that we live in a geocentric planetary system because there are people who deny heliocentrism. Do you accept that it is possible the Sun revolves around the Earth?

    • NeilT says:

      Talking about mangled pack of garbage Skeptikal….

      I had a look at your woodfortrees site and changed the values to 1970 and Hadcrut4 and a few other measurements.

      http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/trend/plot/gistemp-dts/from:1970/trend/plot/crutem4vgl/from:1970/trend/plot/rss/from:2001

      Lo and behold. Suddenly we get a huge warming bias.

      Lo and behold::2 There is no plot before 2001. Now I might have wondered why that was but it wouldn’t be worth it would it. Because I know that the graph which shows before 2001 just makes the clear scientific case for warming. The site cannot allow that plot because it would not make their case of no warming. Therefore it is not plotted.

      You talk about being sceptical. You’re not sceptical, you are blinded by your opinions and will not look at anything which is contrary to your opinion. If you do, you only look at it in order to compare it to twisted stats and twisted figures which meet your own personal view of the world.

      You do the classic denial technique. When one argument is countered you just pull the next one out of the drawer and stat banging on about that one, the previous one being discarded as no longer worthy of your concern as it no longer fits your opinion.

      You talk about sea level rise and how it’s not happening. I’m sure the 6mm drop in global sea levels was absolute music to your ears. Even looks good on your decadal cherry picked graphs. Not so good when it started falling out of the sky in Australia, China, Pakistan, the US and other countries. Even worse that it only takes just over 1.5 years to replace it back to the same level so you can crow about how sea level has not risen and therefore be sure of your own personal belief.

      Now you talk about those clouds and how science is not doing enough to discover their impact. I’m sure that you could, if you wished, find that the 6mm of global sea levels created a huge increase in clouds. Also that those clouds are fairly present in the arctic in winter when a blanket is needed and quite non present when the sun is melting the ice. However they come back again to drive the huge increase in summer storm power which helps to mix the water levels and break up thin pack ice, driving down the volume of sea ice each year.

      Science will get past estimates and projections when the final change is complete and the full observation record is complete. About the time that your grandchildren are living in a barren wasteland with the viable resources locked up in the hands of a very few super rich or super entitled. What a way to go. Just what the doctor ordered.

      I have often had to deal with your attitude over the years in my quest to find out what we are doing to our planet’s ecosystem and its climate balance. I like to call it an “unreasonable doubt”. Why unreasonable? Because you have “faith” that it’s all a bunch of BS. Now faith is a wonderful thing. It doesn’t need evidence and it will always “find a way”. That way, in this current world is denier sites which produce the utmost drivel for the faithful.

      It is a world I have never visited because I don’t have faith. Why don’t I? Because, like most scientists, I’m a skeptic and you have to actually prove to me that something is happening before I will believe it. I have no faith and never have done. Which is why my understanding of what is happening in our environment today is clearer than yours.

      Fortunately for the people on this planet, the arctic ice will be fully gone, in summer, within a year or two. Why is this fortunate? Because it will begin to change the climate in a visible way on timelines (annual to biannual), that humans can relate to. Why do I call this complete disaster fortunate? Because it will be the wakeup call that people need in order to take real action. If the Arctic were a little more resilient we may have reached 450ppm CO2 before action was taken. A position it would be much more difficult to back down from. 400 is bad enough, 450 would be a catastrophic level to start from requiring truly monumental sacrifices form the population at large.

      So skeptikal (from now on I dub thee “faithful”), whilst you may, yet, get to rant on for a year or two; however eventually the rabid pack of those who do not know or care enough to understand the situation, will turn on you and tear you to shreds for your disinformation. Nobody will listen and nobody will even give patience to your drivel. Because the press will have a fully-fledged rolling disaster in terms of climate events and a label to stick on it. Something to keep them in disaster news all year round. Just the ticket for the press and their rabid pack of disaster groupies. Much better than political (or scientific) intrigue in the end and so your day end and the science will continue.

      I do not look forward to that day, but I know it is coming.

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