Hoping for the crazy

The biggest non-story that should be in the news right now, but isn’t, is the collapse of anthropogenic-global-warming “science” into rubble. Global average temperature has been flat for between 15 and 17 years, depending on how you interpret the 1997-1998 El Nino event. Recently GAT, perking along its merry level way, has fallen out of the bottom of the range of predictions made by the climate modelers at the IPCC. By the normal 95%-confidence standards of scientific confirmation, the IPCC’s disaster scenarios – the basis for, among other things, carbon taxes and the EPA’s coming shutdown-by-impossible-regulation of U.S. coal power – are now busted.

AGW alarmists have responded by actually hoping in public view that a strong El Niño event later this year will shove GAT back up into consistency with the IPCC models, rescuing their narrative.

This…this is hoping for the crazy. Let me count the ways:

First, the IPCC models, which are all about CO2/H20 greenhousing in the atmosphere, do not include or predict the long-period oceanic oscillations that produce El Niño. So if the El Niño does push up GAT (as it did in 1997-1998) it won’t actually confirm the IPCC models; the alarmists are going to have to lie to claim that it does, and it’s a lie easily checked and debunked.

Second, El Niño has a sister; it is normally followed by an “La Niña” event, the flip side of the oscillation, that pulls GAT down as strongly as El Niño pulls it up. So if the alarmists run around crowing that El Niño has rescued the model fit, they’ll be setting themselves up for a bad scientific and political fall when La Niña comes around and yanks GAT back out of range.

Third, Santayana’s definition of a fanatic is relevant here. If you believe, as alarmists claim to, that more global warming would be a civilization- and biosphere-wrecking catastrophe, why in the holy fuck would you object to the IPCC models that predicted it being busted?

The sane reaction would be “OK, great, there was no climate-change bullet coming, now we can put energy into fixing real threats like biodiversity loss and the Great Pacific Garbage Vortex”. Mightily wishing that catastrophic AGW is real after all, or that the El Niño bump can be misrepresented to make it look real, is insane, even in the environmentalists’ own terms.

That is, unless the right-wing paranoids were on the money about the whole AGW thing being a political shuck after all – or anyway, more on the money than I allowed myself to believe. I hate it when that happens…

437 thoughts on “Hoping for the crazy

  1. You have heard the news about the EPA and carbon?
    Zealots of GAIA seem more dangerous. It may be pantheistic as well as political.

  2. Meanwhile, I continue to encounter people who consistently refer to anyone skeptical of CAGW as “science deniers”. (I dare say there’s a consensus that they use that term.)

    I was in a thread where I suggested that Koch might not be completely crazy by using his own money to promote the scientific theory he endorses. The response was a link to an article railing about how the “science deniers” (article’s term of choice) were at it again, led by Koch himself. My response was a link to Judith Curry’s mention of error cascade (citing your article, incidentally). His response: a link to “Climate Misinformer: Judith Curry” on skepticalscience. Harumph… okay, I’ll link to David Friedman’s piece (A Climate Falsehood You Can Check Yourself). Then someone else jumps in and opines how she can’t understand why anyone would casually dismiss the majority of scientists.

    -_-

    I keep hoping for more substance and being disappointed. Gotta remind myself that there’s no such thing as a just world, and at some point it’s more profitable to stop trying to give information to certain people and just figure out how to make money off them. Maybe I should start placing bets.

  3. The reaction of the AGW folks isn’t really a surprise. Those who have hitched their wagons to that star stand to lose big if it’s conclusively proven they were wrong.

    If you are in the scientific community, it’s all about prestige and publications. Make a big enough prediction that generates enough interest – especially *public* interest – and you better be *right.* If you’re wrong and it’s proven, your prestige takes a mighty hit, your likelihood of being published in the journals of your specialty diminishes, and your ability to get grants to fund your research efforts drops. If by some chance you are in a tenure track position at a university but have not actually gotten tenure, assume your chances of *getting* tenure just dropped to zero. It’s about status in the community, and yours just dropped through the floor.

    If you are a politician riding this particular hobby horse in pursuit of votes and power, your chances of getting either drop, and your opponents have a wonderful position from which to point at you and laugh, score political points, and possibly unseat you in the next election.

    If you are backing this horse because you are in private industry, and a see a market for your business providing goods or services to remediate the predicted problem, and there *is* no actual problem to remediate, you stand to lose a lot of money and perhaps go out of business if you devoted enough of your resources to this new endeavor. (And if your company doesn’t go out of business, expect reports in the financial pages that you and your employer have parted company because you resigned to pursue other interests…)

    Even if you’re an ordinary citizen and you drank the Kool-Aid, you risk laughter and “I told you so!” from those who didn’t. Very few people can gracefully admit they were wrong, and I don’t think *anybody* likes to do so.

    No surprise no one on the AGW side is about to *admit* they were wrong. (It would be interesting to how how many are coming to think that maybe they *are* wrong, and trying to figure out what to do about it, but I don’t see a way of finding out.)

    Some folks will hang on regardless, like the end-of-the-world fundies who maintain their belief even after the time they predicted it would happen has come and gone, and sometimes more than once.

    A lot of the emotional underpinning supporting the belief is rooted in how those who believe feel about their fellow man. A good chunk seem to have the basic belief that People Are No Damn Good, that we got ourselves into this by greed and stupidity, and we must be led or even coerced to take the path of righteousness by those who know better, for our own collective good. (Those who buy into such notions tend to see themselves as fit to do the leading/coercion. *They’re* good guys. It’s everyone *else* who are the problems.)

    The question is when the evidence against will be so conclusive that they won’t have a choice, as continuing to push the idea will get them branded as insane, outright liars, or both. We appear to be approaching that point, but it’s not clear we’re there.

  4. mmm…the problem is that, in spite of the very real flatline of global temperatures, we are still at a significantly higher temperature than we were earlier on in the century, and particularly, during the early 18th century at the height of the little ice age. Thus, until an equilibrium is reached between global temps and ice sheet formation, there will probably continue to be some ice sheet melting. Furthermore, when you are at the top of a plateau, a small pebble can be the highest point for miles around. Thus, AGW alarmists will be able to continue citing record temperatures occurring in a given city or a given state or a given part of some country. All this will make it pretty much impossible to have a rational discussion with AGW alarmists about the issue because they will see these things as evidence that they are right.

  5. I think that should be a “La Niña” event, not “El Niña” (the terms come from Spanish, and “niña” is feminine, so it takes the article “la”).

  6. >I think that should be a “La Niña” event, not “El Niña” (the terms come from Spanish, and “niña” is feminine, so it takes the article “la”).

    You’re correct. I’ll fix it.

  7. Unless you’re a blacksmith, you don’t smite the sword. You smite *with* the sword.

  8. Thus, AGW alarmists will be able to continue citing record temperatures occurring in a given city or a given state or a given part of some country. All this will make it pretty much impossible to have a rational discussion with AGW alarmists about the issue because they will see these things as evidence that they are right.

    Case in point: there’s a round of articles going around about unusually high sea levels in Norfolk and Miami. I haven’t had time to look into them closely, so I don’t know whether it’s exaggeration or not.

    (Incidentally, calling them “alarmists” will bug me unless I think the writer is using the term sparingly. Such is the result of seeing “denier” automatically used to refer to anyone who thinks global warming is a non-problem.)

  9. > The biggest non-story that should be in the news right now, but isn’t, is the collapse of anthropogenic-global-warming “science” into rubble.

    Amen

    As expected, the next sermon in the non-AGW disciples cathedral.

  10. >Incidentally, calling them “alarmists” will bug me unless I think the writer is using the term sparingly.

    I’m open to a better suggestion. Some people like “warmist”, but to me that sounds more like a political-propaganda cudgel than “alarmist” does…not sure why.

  11. “La Niña” event … that pulls GAT down as strongly as El Niño pulls it up.

    Yes, but they can get a LOT of grants funded for the one year where GAT might look like it’s rising again. :-)

  12. >As expected, the next sermon in the non-AGW disciples cathedral.

    Philosophy of science 101: Science stands or falls by testable and verified predictions. Religion must be taken on faith, despite repeatedly failed predictions. Application of this test to AGW claims is left as an easy exercise for the reader.

  13. For me the most telling aspect to Warmism (sorry if you don’t like the term) is that if their predictions ARE right, they are pursuing an absolutely useless goal.

    Let’s take for the sake of argument that temps are warming and atmospheric CO2 is increasing. With China and India both cloning coal-fired power plants every week, then all CO2-generating activity in the West is down in the noise compared to that. Trying to “fix” the West alone is a waste of energy, money, and political capital — all to undetectable result, even at best.

    If anyone is truly serious about atmospheric CO2 buildup and global warming, then every effort should go into two activities that would actually help: Designing better nuclear power generating stations and helping agronomists develop crops that thrive in a warmer and more CO2-rich world.

    Anything else is simply a disguised grab for power.

    — then any political action taken in the West and not adopted in China and India is laughable, given the scale of change going on

  14. I forgot you have no editor on this thing! Delete/ignore the last fragment –

  15. esr on 2014-06-06 at 17:26:43 said:
    > >As expected, the next sermon in the non-AGW disciples cathedral.
    >
    > Philosophy of science 101: Science stands or falls by testable and verified predictions. Religion must be taken on faith, despite repeatedly failed predictions. Application of this test to AGW claims is left as an easy exercise for the reader.

    In your OC you said:
    > Global average temperature has been flat for between 15 and 17 years
    15 to 17 years, what does that mean on the timescale of a climate change statistically? About naught. But you claim this was a proof, the IPCC predictions did fail completely. Sorry, you are actutally *believing* in the non existence of anthropogenic global warming and that makes your blog a cathedral for Anti-AGW disciples and I’m leaving you now for the rest of your service.

    BTW I actually think burning coal is much better than burning oil, there’s not only much more of it but oil is a much more precious resource in other places.

  16. @Chris Green: ” All this will make it pretty much impossible to have a rational discussion with AGW alarmists about the issue because they will see these things as evidence that they are right.”

    It’s pretty much impossible to have a rational discussion with an AGW alarmist, period.

    It helps if you think of AGW as a religion. It has nothing to do with $DEITIES, but the underlying beliefs are embedded on a gut level like religion, and aren’t amenable to rational argument. You’ll get about as far in trying to hold a discussion as you would in holding an atheist viewpoint in a discussion with a believer in the Christian God. Nothing you say will change their mind, so you’re likely better off finding other things to do with your time.

  17. As far as the term use goes, the only criterion I’m personally concerned about is whether its use gives their side the ammunition they give us whenever they use “denier” or “denialist”. I do not wish to be accused of dismissing them right out of the gate the way the term “denier” does. If CAGW is a religion, I want a CAGW adherent to say something interpretable only as religious, and not as genuine environmental concern. (For example: Jonathan Abbey appears to be scrupulously avoiding religious overtones above, on the surface at the very least. I believe the term “alarmist” does not do his view justice.)

    Going out for the evening; will check back in a few hours.

  18. I think the big thing is enormous momentum behind AGW – all the parts of government with their policies and, in some cases, departments and money; the way science actually works in universities and by people that hire scientists…

    It is, in effect, a religous government’s religion.

    Even with a continuous lack of evidence, the AGW alarmist flow of money and power could continue for long time.

  19. There is another aspect. I don’t know if there is a name for this…

    If there had been a lot of news about people reversing their position, then it isn’t that difficult for any given person to consider doing so.

    But without that kind of news, you have a sort of I don’t want to go first thing going on.

    This can apply to people in a group or to all the individual people in governments and business that should be considering reversing their position.

  20. @kurkosdr: “So, how soon ’till the GoldmanSachs-proped Tesla bubble bursts?”

    Depends on what you think might be a bubble.

    Tesla is not going to disrupt the auto industry. Their vehicles are luxury items aimed at a niche market.

    A friend bought one of their Model S roadsters, and is delighted with it. As he explained it “You pay $5K for a test drive. If you don’t like it, they give you the money back immediately, but you won’t ask for the money back, because you’ll *love* the car.”

    He understands the strengths and weaknesses. The strengths are that it’s extraordinarily quiet, with an incredibly smooth ride and sharp performance, and no emissions. (He recounted being stopped by a cop because he didn’t have a current inspection sticker, but he didn’t need one: current inspections are about emissions control, and his vehicle had none.) The weaknesses are that it’s a two seater with limited luggage capacity and about a 200 mile range on a charge. A charge takes about 4 hours plugged into a standard outlet. There’s a high voltage fast charge option that drop charging time to an hour, but there aren’t all that many places with the gear to do it. If you have to stop and recharge on a trip, you plan your route to have places to stop that have the fast-charge gear, and you figure you stop for a leisurely dinner while the car charges.

    It’s fine for local driving, which is most of what he does. If he has to go somewhere beyond the range of a charge, and take the wife and kid plus luggage for three, he’ll rent a standard car.

    The Tesla isn’t about being green or going easy on the environment – it’s a luxury status symbol that happens to be a well designed and made sports car that’s a trip to drive. Think of it as an alternative to a Porsche that just happens to be battery powered and you’re a lot closer to the mark.

  21. @ ESR – “Mightily wishing that catastrophic AGW is real after all . . . is insane,”

    If you a take a bunch of impressionable meatheads and brainwash them using memetic conditioning to believe something illogical, then you’ve created a cadre of true believers. Is this just happenstance, or might there be a method to the madness? If it were just random chance, then you would expect other moonbat causes to be drawing a lot of attention in the press and political arena.

  22. Someone says:
    > BTW I actually think burning coal is much better than burning oil, there’s
    > not only much more of it but oil is a much more precious resource in other places.

    You’re not looking at the whole picture. CO2 isn’t the problem.

    Pollution is. CO2 is not pollution. Mercury is. Uranium is. Along with other nasty stuff that coal leaves behind.

    Coal is bad. However, shuttering coal plants w/out an alternative is far worse as people *will* find ways around the laws, and frankly wood burning stoves and fireplaces will put MORE crud into the air than coal.

  23. @Manfred Wasserman: “BTW I actually think burning coal is much better than burning oil, there’s not only much more of it but oil is a much more precious resource in other places.”

    You have to look at the whole picture. There’s a lot of coal, but it’s nasty stuff. Burning coal puts more stray radiation in the air than a nuclear plant does, and *getting* it is hazardous to the health of those who do it, and destructive to the environment if your means of getting it is strip mining.

    The question is why you burn coal at all. I’m old enough to recall when homes used coal fired boilers for heat, but that hasn’t been the case anywhere I’m familiar with for decades. Coal for heat in heavy industry has declined, too, Pittsburgh used to have major pollution problems because of the steel industry and the numerous coal fired blast furnaces, but basic steel making moved overseas, and Pittsburgh has much better air quality these days in consequence.,

    The answer these days is generally “as fuel at generating plants, where you burn coal to boil water to make steam to turn turbines to spin generators to make electricity.” Coal isn’t the only thing used, with nuclear coming in second and natural gas third as the source of heat to boil water. Oil is largely unused for electric power production. I heard about a plant or two using natural gas that had oil as a backup, but dropped it because they never had an interruption in the gas supply.

    There’s a nice infographic on where it comes from and where it goes here:
    http://awesome.good.is/transparency/web/1101/good-energy/interactive.html

    In 2009, total American energy usage was about 94.5 quadrillion BTUs. Of that, 38.2 quads were for generation of electricity. Coal led the pack, with about 18.2 quads firing generators. Nuclear was second, with about 8.2 quads for electrical generation, and natural gas was third, at 7 quads, Hydro was about 2.7 quads, Oil, biomass, geothermal, wind, and solar all were responsible for less than a quad each.

    So bottom line, you don’t burn coal in place of oil, or vice versa. They occupy two different niches and are not really interchangeable.

  24. >15 to 17 years, what does that mean on the timescale of a climate change statistically?

    It’s that combined with the fact that measured GAT has fallen out of the possible range for the AGW model sheaf. This means some core assumptions the models must be broken.

  25. >Ah.. you do realize the NYTimes article you linked to is not an example of ‘AGW alarmists’ hoping for anything, right?

    Certainly seemed like a badly-disguised one to me.

  26. 1) China alone can (and probably will) increase CO2 enough to offset all possible cuts by First World countries.

    2) China will not cut CO2 because it would hammer their economy, and they want to be not poor.

    3) Iif the CO2->CAGW thesis is true, then Saving the Earth requires coercing China to cut CO2.

    4) China has nuclear weapons and cannot be coerced.

    Therefore: to Save the Earth, the U.S. et al may have to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike on China. Possibly India too.

    I wonder how many warmists would be on board with that.

  27. Jim Hurlburt,

    >> “Unless you’re a blacksmith, you don’t smite the sword. You smite *with* the sword.”

    I understand the common use of this word but, yes, I think I may have scurried too far down the Indo-European tree chasing that banana. At least I got firsties!

    Perhaps our resident lexicographer can clarify this point. (Though he should wait for the earth to cool a bit before dipping his toes in.)

    On second thought: “To-MAY-to”, “To-MAH-to”. Let’s call the whole thing off!

  28. Slightly different topic ESR, and I’m not sure if you’ve addressed it before (if so, please point me at that time rather than repeat yourself).
    What do you think of `peak oil’? Is that also something not to worry about? Or is the idea that oil is a finite resource, and we’ll (as a global “civilisation”) eventually (possibly sooner rather than later) reach a point where there is more demand for oil than there is supply, leading to a radical increase in price, something you agree with?

    If you do agree with the peak oil scenario, do you have any proposed solutions?

    Thanks.

  29. Since the right-wing paranoids are so often right, are they really paranoid?

  30. >Perhaps our resident lexicographer can clarify this point

    Jim is correct. A blacksmith might conceivably smite a sword, but you or I would smite with one.

  31. >What do you think of `peak oil’? Is that also something not to worry about?

    Yes. It’s a form of hysteria even more vaporous than AGW, peddled by idiots who don’t understand the effects of demand and price elasticity in markets.

  32. >> “Jim is correct. A blacksmith might conceivably smite a sword, but you or I would smite with one.”

    Dang it! Shoulda’ went with my gut on that one. [Is that a poor choice of words given this context?]

    Well, that’s the last time I go Googlin’ for Olde English verb conjugations.

  33. As far as “what to do about it” goes, I’ve heard relatively little noise from my acquaintances on the CAGW side. I think walking away from Kyoto was a source of anger toward GWB (yet another one), and Copenhagen was the kick while they were down, and now their attention is more on other issues like ACA or Elliot Rodger. When it comes to CAGW, their points now center more around trying to reinforce the point that conservatives are anti-science. I’d have to ask what they really think can and should be done in a situation where China and India could easily undo anything the rest of the world does, on purely economic justifications. (I have at least one friend who had several principled proposals – nothing of the “curb our activity by 90%” variety – but she wasn’t on the right-bashing bandwagon, either.) I imagine that if they’re truly principled about it, they either think it’s too late to do anything (I remember Randall Munroe taking this position), or one of their priorities is to persuade China and India to get moving. But that’s not indicated in what I see, which is just swipes at conservatives on their way to The Worried CAGW Saloon.

    It reminds me of the gay marriage issue. A sampling of the noise suggested that they weren’t nearly as much in favor of SSM as they were in making sure you believed that Christians were jerks. I literally felt bad for homosexual couples being caught in that.

  34. >What do you think of `peak oil’? Is that also something not to worry about?

    Yes. It’s a form of hysteria even more vaporous than AGW, peddled by idiots who don’t understand the effects of demand and price elasticity in markets.

    Also (part of demand): substitution of goods

    As P.J. O’Rourke put it: “We’re way out of whale oil“.

  35. I have endeavored to avoid having my name appear next to any particular stance on AGW, but I will take a shot at the human nature of politicians:

    If I were particularly cunning, and I saw El Niño about to spike GAT, I might lean on the hysteria to consolidate power and impose a grand plan of some kind. Upon the following La Niña, I would declare “victory!” because my cure will have clearly prevented or mitigated a disaster in some sense, however you care to gin up the counterfactual. And fortunately, these events are many years apart, affording plenty of time to wind down a career and get out of the game before the following El Niño.

    This scheme has the benefit of working regardless of political affiliation, the nature of “the grand plan,” personal belief in AGW, or even the reality of AGW itself. Electorates just aren’t good at assessing things in decade-scale.

  36. >And fortunately, these events are many years apart

    Fortunately, not. Look at any graph showing GAT during the ’97-’98 Niño/Niña sequence to see this.

    UPDATE: Apologies; I was reading too fast and misunderstood you. You’re right.

  37. DMcCunney on 2014-06-07 at 00:19:16 said:
    Burning coal puts more stray radiation in the air than a nuclear plant does,
    ——————————
    Pretty much BULLCRAP. That’s like worrying about moving because of areas with granite or slate bedrock, eating radioactive bananas or getting hit by cosmic rays.

    “Radioactive elements in coal and fly ash should not be sources of alarm. The vast majority of coal and the majority of fly ash are not significantly enriched in radioactive elements, or in associated radioactivity, compared to common soils or rocks.”

    http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/1997/fs163-97/FS-163-97.html

    “McBride and his co-authors estimated that individuals living near coal-fired installations are exposed to a maximum of 1.9 millirems of fly ash radiation yearly. To put these numbers in perspective, the average person encounters 360 millirems of annual “background radiation” from natural and man-made sources, including substances in Earth’s crust, cosmic rays, residue from nuclear tests and smoke detectors.”

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste/

  38. >>Burning coal puts more stray radiation in the air than a nuclear plant does,
    >
    >Pretty much BULLCRAP. That’s like worrying about moving because of areas with granite or slate bedrock, eating >radioactive bananas or getting hit by cosmic rays.

    Both claims are true. Operating standards for fission plant hold them to a lower emission rate than the stone Grand Central Station in NYC is built from. I could live next door to the local nuke, in Limerick PA, for years, and my cumulative exposure would be less than I collect on a single transcontinental plane flight. All the amounts involved are miniscule.

  39. OTOH, I certainly would not eat seafood sourced from the north Pacific for the foreseeable future. We are now at the point of basically uncontrolled release of radioactive isotopes of Cesium, Strontium, Iodine, and perhaps other even nastier radionuclides from Fukushima. Some of these long-lived isotopes effectively become a permanent addition to bone and organs after ingestion. Most bodies will eventually fail to repair a cell damaged by radiation sooner or later. Such cells can be the initiation of various forms of cancers.

  40. esr on 2014-06-07 at 14:54:20 said: Both claims are true.

    Yep, both true but not worth mentioning as a cause of concern, and so BS.
    Everything is pollution from some point of view, even words. All human manipulation of the environment is cause for concern from something’s point of view. One life can not exist without the destruction of another life.

    Entropy is a bitch !

  41. I’m curious as to what exactly you expected from the news. If you expected a big Mea Culpa I think that that is unrealistic, it very rarely happens. The best we could expect is a general trailing off of interest, and a general downgrading of the pressure to enact legislation, and that is largely what has happened. Of course bad stuff has happened such as coal fired power station legislation which is bad, and ruins people’s lives. But “bad” and “ruin’s people’s lives” in exchange for special interest voting blocks is what governments do, so plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

    People rarely admit they are wrong, and rarely admit they are so profoundly wrong. No unless they are hanging out with Billy Graham, and then they admit to ridiculously non wrong wrongs. The best they do is go away, or become like annoying drunken uncle at thanksgiving.

    In truth, and rather in contradiction to the obvious, it seems to me that the great recession that the press mostly created to get Obama elected, and it elongation due to the democrats’ insanity may very well have saved us all. Had we put them in charge on a bright prospect economy they might have put in place AGW related legislation that could have permanently and irrevocably spiraled us into hell.

  42. >Jessica Boxer on 2014-06-07 at 16:56:49 said:
    In truth, and rather in contradiction to the obvious, it seems to me that the great recession that the press mostly created to get Obama elected, and it elongation due to the democrats’ insanity may very well have saved us all. Had we put them in charge on a bright prospect economy they might have put in place AGW related legislation that could have permanently and irrevocably spiraled us into hell.
    ————————————
    What evidence do you have that Obama has NOT permanently and irrevocably spiraled us into hell ? The opposite would seem to have much evidence:
    – greater than 24 trillion of existing sovereign debt
    – 95 million out of the workforce (out of ~320 million total)
    – 49.5 million collecting ‘food stamps’
    – greater than 15% default rate on student loans
    – last quarter had negative GDP growth (one more and we have by definition a recession
    etc

  43. What do you think of `peak oil’?

    http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=220

    It’s not getting the media exposure since fracking got going, certainly, but looking at production decline rates and the way they’re financing it many might suspect that ol’ energy independence is going to be bit of a flash in the pan. I can’t BELIEVE they’re thinking of trying to export LNG to Europe so the Europeans can tell the Russians to bugger off, with the lead times involved. Course, when fracking starts to look a bit ‘peaky’, there’s always methane hydrates! A bit…difficult to harvest, but I have faith that even now some Atlas-Shrugged-reading geek is beavering away on a promising method in his mother’s basement, surely the demand-substitution fairy will not let us down.

    Personally, I’m holding out for zero-point energy.

  44. “What do you think of `peak oil’? Is that also something not to worry about? ”

    For the curious:
    Texas:
    http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=MCRFPTX2&f=M
    North Dakota:
    http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=MCRFPND2&f=M

    Shale crude production, together with the liquid hydrocarbons coming out gas wells, ethanol, and improved refineries, means the US now produces more liquids than it did in the supposed peak in the 1970s; indeed new all time production records are set every day.

    I agree with ESR that the Peak Oiler’s are blithering hysterics, but I’m not so sanguine that, even after winning the most-wrong-of-all-time award, they will be forced into oblivion instead of becoming, say, the next White House science adviser (Holder is a notorious Malthusian).

  45. Adrian Smith: “…looking at production decline rates and the way they’re financing it

    What production decline?
    http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=MCRFPUS2&f=M

    “many might suspect that ol’ energy independence is going to be bit of a flash in the pan.”

    The energy independence forecast has always been for *North America*, as the Alberta tar sands are required to make it happen. In any case N. American energy independence is a lock by 2025 if not long before. I’d love to take that bet, with odds, against those who say it won’t happen.

  46. What production decline?

    The production per well tends to fall off pretty rapidly outside the sweet spots (which all get drilled first). A lot of people in the industry not actually involved in plugging it to shareholders *seem* to think it’s not going to end well:
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/us/natural-gas-drilling-down-documents-4-intro.html

    But it could all be a hippy false flag operation.

    The energy independence forecast has always been for *North America*, as the Alberta tar sands are required to make it happen.

    Energetically speaking they’re pretty much just turning NG into oil up there AFAICT.

    I’d love to take that bet, with odds, against those who say it won’t happen.

    You should try the futures market.

  47. the IPCC’s disaster scenarios – the basis for, among other things, carbon taxes and the EPA’s coming shutdown-by-impossible-regulation of U.S. coal power – are now busted.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t seen the slightest sign of the administration backing off from the extreme regulation of coal. What is it going to take to prevent them from knocking the economy down when it’s already weak? Obama is sending strong signals that he doesn’t care what Congress says, either, and will just do whatever he wants. I guess he is getting himself set for what he’ll be doing after the Republicans take back the Senate in the fall.

    Why isn’t the press (and the public) noticing that the economy never really recovers under Obama’s politicies, no matter how far we get from the last recession? (I have to say “Obama”, not “Democrat” here; Bill Clinton, though hardly my favorite person, would not have fallen into this trap.)

    I couldn’t care less whether people believe in catastrophic AGW scenarios…until they start destroying the economy with bad political “solutions”. How do we stop this?

  48. > the IPCC’s disaster scenarios – the basis for, among other things, carbon taxes and the EPA’s coming shutdown-by-impossible-regulation of U.S. coal power – are now busted.

    Would that it were so. Unfortunately, the radiative physics still pertain, and the CO2 forcing is still increasing as our emissions do. The climate certainly is dynamic, and modelers did not anticipate the degree to watch heat is currently being pumped into the ocean. That doesn’t mean the problem has gone away:

    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n3/full/nclimate2106.html

    Other aspects of the IPCC predictions have proven to be underestimates, particularly the effects on sea ice, as you would expect as the oceans are warming more than expected.

    For as much as folks here seem to feel that those of us who are concerned are irrational and ‘faith-based’, I would hope to see less certainty in your own conclusions.

  49. > I would hope to see less certainty in your own conclusions.

    One reason I have confidence is that I have a better predictive record than the IPCC.

    When the grand solar minimum began in 2008 I predicted that measured GAT would follow the insolation tend down rather than CO2 up for as long as those two were moving in different directions. The IPCC models predicted the opposite. I was right, they were wrong.

  50. >And the hiatus itself may have been oversold, for that matter:

    If you haven’t yet learned to be suspicious of after-the-fact upward “corrections” of datasets, you are deeply naive.

  51. >When the grand solar minimum began in 2008 I predicted that measured GAT would follow the insolation tend down rather than CO2 up for as long as those two were moving in different directions. The IPCC models predicted the opposite. I was right, they were wrong.

    I wasn’t aware the IPCC had made predictions as to the solar minimum. Has the magnitude of cooling observed (more recently than the record-tying 2010 GAT, I presume) been of a similar order as to your prediction?

    What’s your prediction for 2014/2015? If there is an el Niño, do you expect it to be warmer or cooler than the 1998 one?

  52. @BioBob
    > What evidence do you have that Obama has NOT permanently and irrevocably spiraled us into hell ?

    My unfailing optimism? Regardless, most of the data points you list (unemployment, food stamps etc) are reversible with a better economy. The main worrisome data point is the outrageous federal debt, 24 trillion being an gigantic underestimate were it calculated by any method that would be acceptable in the private economy. And that is not something you can really put on Obama, though for sure he made a very bad situation very very bad.

  53. @ Jonathan Abbey

    You seem to think that more CO2 equals more ‘forcing’. That is probably incorrect, given my limited understanding of the physics. The AGW crowd depends on a mythical positive feedback between CO2 and water vapor content which never could do what their models predicted it would do, which is why their models failed. Instead, it appears that water vapor generates negative feedback forcing homeostasis (temperatures go no higher than the feedback allows). This is called cloud formation, thunderstorm formation, atmospheric Hadley cells, other global heat engine effects, etc..

    1) to begin with, the effect of CO2 is partially masked by overlap by the much more potent and abundant water vapor content in the atmosphere.
    2) the effect of CO2 has already reached saturation and is now merely lowering the elevation in the atmosphere at which the infrared radiation is affected & reaches saturation of it’s effect.

    There has not been any experimental proof that CO2 has had any contribution all to the observed .8 degree C increase (claimed by AGW types) in “average” global temperature for the last century (which is smaller than the observation error in any case). Nor has there been any data to show that human production is all or part of the reason why CO2 is increasing. Lastly, there has been ZIP proof that any CO2 increase in the future would have any impact on average temperature or climate at all.

  54. There might be some value in the global warming alarmists. Not because their hypothesis is correct, but because there might be value in keeping an eye on our fossil fuel burning.

    The same way that there might be value in PETA, or the Sierra Club, etc, etc. By adopting a complete moonbat viewpoint, they both shift our values towards a point that may very well prove valuable.

    There’s no reason _NOT_ to minimize the suffering of domestic animals, and there’s no reason _NOT_ to value our fish and game, and work towards keeping populations of deer or fish healthy. These are useful things.

    Perhaps a moonbat-crazy viewpoint is required to shift public opinion towards a goal.

  55. >> “Perhaps a moonbat-crazy viewpoint is required to shift public opinion towards a goal.” <<

    There's a song title hiding in there somewhere. I just know it!

    Eh! Must be the iambic trimeter screwing with my vestibular system.

    Time for another beer!

  56. @kb

    Yes, but moonbat crazy viewpoints push towards a goal irrespective of its value. With a view that is scientifically justified,
    you end up actions with a net positive value.

    It’s much better to check fossil fuel burning reasonably, without levying huge taxes on useful industries.

  57. AGW alarmists have responded by actually hoping in public view that a strong El Niño event later this year will shove GAT back up into consistency with the IPCC models, rescuing their narrative.

    Much in the way Barbara Boxer proclaimed that the Sandy Hook massacre “gives us wind at our backs” for further gun control civil disarmament legislation.

  58. There might be some value in the global warming alarmists. Not because their hypothesis is correct, but because there might be value in keeping an eye on our fossil fuel burning. [...] Perhaps a moonbat-crazy viewpoint is required to shift public opinion towards a goal.

    By that logic, we also need neo-Nazis around to keep an eye on white supremacist terrorism. Or creationists to keep an eye on… creationist activity. Or voodoo shamans around to have a handle on zombie lore.

    I think I know what you’re trying say. It’s a variation of “keep some smallpox samples around in case there’s another natural outbreak”. The problem is that the only actionable conclusion from this is… what? Protect their voice? We already do that. Spend extra effort to disseminate their message, so there’s always some of them around? These are people, not virii. They have the right to their own beliefs, but I’m not sanguine about putting my own resources to encourage pushing more people adopt mistaken thinking, any more than I am about demanding others put out for mine if / when I turn out to be the one who’s wrong.

  59. >I wasn’t aware the IPCC had made predictions as to the solar minimum.

    The general prediction of the IPCC models is that GAT tracks CO2, not insolation – on their theory the GAT trend should have remained uncorrelated with the latter. In fact the ARs make a big deal of climate supposedly being insensitive to variations in insolation, which always seemed loony to me. If there’s some hysteresis mechanism that damps the effect of solar variation on GAT, why wouldn’t it also apply to the effects of greenhouse trapping? It’s not like photons have a source address etched on them…

    > Has the magnitude of cooling observed (more recently than the record-tying 2010 GAT, I presume) been of a similar order as to your prediction?

    I didn’t predict a magnitude; I don’t have the modeling capacity to do that. I made a qualitative prediction opposite to the IPCC’s. Since you asked, however, it is worth noting that the insolation-triggered GAT crash wiped out the entire warming signal since about 1750.

    >What’s your prediction for 2014/2015?

    I don’t have one. 2008 was an unusual situation; the insolation change was a huge, obvious change in an external forcer that I had principled reason to believe the IPCC models were ignoring or underweighting. There’s nothing like that happening now.

    I will say that I doubt the difference between a stronger or weaker El Niño is going to matter much. I know Trenberth is now talking up a stairstep effect of El Niños on GAT, but (a) that looks to me like wishful thinking applied to badly noisy data, and (b) even if he’s right, it does nothing to rescue the CO2/H20 feedback loop at the heart of the alarmist models.

  60. “[The IPCC's analysis is not busted. Oh, no. Absolutely not! Far from it!] Unfortunately, the radiative physics still pertain, and the CO2 forcing is still increasing as our emissions do. The climate certainly is dynamic, and modelers did not anticipate the degree to watch heat is currently being pumped into the ocean.”

    How do the different parts of your brain live with each other after expressing themselves in turn? Do they just not pay attention to each other? Or are they indifferent about whether what is said is literally true? (In this case, whether the talking points in the two consecutive sentences can possibly be true simultaneously.)

    In one sentence your point is that radiative physics of CO2 dominates the climate problem. It’s a basic of the CAGW talking point repertoire, a true classic, how deniers are ignorantly ignoring the solid basic physics from which global-warming-or-arctic-not-antarctic-melting-or-um-climate-change follows. Well smote! (Or is that the right usage?)

    And then in the next sentence you tell us that crap CAGW predictions can be excused by how the radiative physics of CO2 is so far from dominating climate behavior that not only is this one rival term (long-term transfer of heat into the oceans) larger, but merely the *size* *of* *the* *error* *in* *estimating* *that* *one* *rival* *term* as of a little more than a decade ago outweighs the effect of radiative physics of change in CO2 levels.

    Given the second sentence, the first sentence is a nonsensical response to ESR’s point. If the International Breakfast Cereal Change Coalition points out that the albedo of Raisin Bran is lower than the albedo of Cheerios, and select more than a dozen catastrophic forecasts and marvellously accurate hindcasts of climate effects caused by changing bran/oat breakfast cereal proportions, and the forecast climate effects turn out to be uncorrelated with reality, it remains true that toroidal oat products are a different color than raisins and bran flakes. (The radiative physics still pertain!) However, that does not trump the fact that reality has rudely indicated that what the IBCCC “scientists” and their shills claimed to be a dominating effect is instead an effect small enough to be overwhelmed by terms that they declined to consider in their earlier round of authoritatively alarmist overfitted crap.

    Perhaps it is time for even the CAGW shills to acknowledge that “success” in concocting complicated ad hoc models to simultaneously forecast a talking point while hindcasting a simple smoothed curve is not worth having except in political echo chambers, because fundamentally such “success” does essentially nothing to justify the models?

    “http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n3/full/nclimate2106.html”

    That appears to be a “no.”:-(

    In a somewhat amusing coincidence, technical understanding of overfitting has been increasing over about the same period that the CAGW clownshow has been performing. (The learning-as-compression idea underlying Minimum Description Length is probably particularly easy for readers here to grok; the Vapnik-Chervonenkis dimension applies more directly to continuous datasets like the official smoothed historical temperature estimate.) So it’s still not common usage, but there’s no fundamental reason in the twenty-first century to limit ourselves to general technical sneers about elephants wiggling trunks, or specific institutional sneers about how the many fundamentally wrong models reliably reached the desired political conclusion, we can make specific technical sneers about how far a given complicated ad hoc model is from being justified by hindcasting.

  61. >not only is this one rival term (long-term transfer of heat into the oceans) larger, but merely the *size* *of* *the* *error* *in* *estimating* *that* *one* *rival* *term* as of a little more than a decade ago outweighs the effect of radiative physics of change in CO2 levels.

    This is the sort of thing I’m snarking about when I talk of adding epicycles. And it’s a general feature of bad scientific modeling. More layers, more hypothesized mechanisms, keep getting added to the model to “correct” prior flaws, but the Kolmgorov complexity of the theory rises faster than the divergence between model outputs and measured data falls. When this happens, you’re in a hole and the right thing to do is stop digging!

  62. William Newman on 2014-06-08 at 13:54:53:
    >How do the different parts of your brain live with each other after expressing themselves in turn?

    Orwell pretty much has this nailed up and bleeding from all extremities: Google “doublethink”.

  63. >> “Well smote! (Or is that the right usage?)”

    I knew what you meant.

  64. @kb
    > There might be some value in the global warming alarmists. … because there might be value in keeping an eye on our fossil fuel burning.

    I totally disagree. On the contrary, false predictions made under the mantle of “science” bring all of science into disrepute. If there is a reason to keep an eye on fossil fuel burning then let it be a legitimate reason.

    When Al Gore produces silly movies and claims all scientists agree excepting only the mendacious and crazy, and when his prognostications prove empty, we are left with a public who more and more dismiss the claims of honest science, and further promote a situation where four in ten Americans believe the earth is ten thousand years old. In fact in some precincts, to deny this is to be laughed at for being mendacious or crazy.

    I think all the technical arguments about the data here are somewhat interesting. But they also don’t matter much in any substantive sense. What matters is “you believe in global warming? The global warning predictions have been proven wrong again and again, how long can you hold on to an idea that the data does not support?” Or to put it another way, when exactly does weather become climate?

    One other thing. I think there is a tendency to dismiss serious climate change amongst those who challenge the claims of AGW with the idea that the weather is a self correcting system. There is some truth in this, but let’s not forget, the climate does change, radically, in short periods of time. This is an undeniable truth written in the geological record. The next ice age is overdue. The silliness of AGW is that climate scientists are so preoccupied with their own navel gazing that they are not alert to the real possibility of something truly bad happening; or for that matter, as Eric has pointed out, the many other real environmental threats that face us.

  65. >Does anyone have/know of a response to this article?

    Well, there’s a factual falsehood before you even get out of the first paragraph. Ignoring the 1998 El Niño peak doesn’t make the “hiatus” go away, it only shortens it from 17 to 15 years. What’s hilarious is that if there’s an El Niño this year, the alarmists are gearing up to do exactly what he accuses “conservatives” of having done – that is, spuriously include an El Niño peak in the trend fit, in this case the 2014 one to make the near end look warmer.

    The more general problem here is that no amount of squawking about deep-ocean heat can actually bear on the theory at the heart of the IPCC models. Either there’s a positive feedback between CO2 and H20 greenhousing or there isn’t. If there isn’t, none of the other CO2-centered forcing mechanisms matter a damn; they’re too weak (in the alarmist jargon, “climate sensitivity” is too low).

    To fit observed reality, this oceanic heat sink effect would have to exactly invert the effect of positive-feedback greenhousing through a completely different mechanism, deferring observable heat balancing just long enough for the model fit to be rescued. How conveeeenient.

  66. >One other thing. I think there is a tendency to dismiss serious climate change amongst those who challenge the claims of AGW with the idea that the weather is a self correcting system.

    You are quite right, this is a common error on the skeptic side. It’s an argument I never make, because I think it’s bogus unless you can actually point at a mechanism of hysteresis.

  67. @William Newman

    > “[The IPCC's analysis is not busted. Oh, no. Absolutely not! Far from it!] Unfortunately, the radiative physics still pertain, and the CO2 forcing is still increasing as our emissions do. The climate certainly is dynamic, and modelers did not anticipate the degree to watch heat is currently being pumped into the ocean.”
    >
    > How do the different parts of your brain live with each other after expressing themselves in turn? Do they just not pay attention to each other? Or are they indifferent about whether what is said is literally true? (In this case, whether the talking points in the two consecutive sentences can possibly be true simultaneously.)

    There is no contradiction between my two sentences. CO2 forcing is still increasing, as our emissions are increasing. Over the last couple of decades, the forcing has not been going toward surface GAT as much as it has been going into the oceans. That modelers did not anticipate that dynamic does not invalidate the CO2 greenhouse effect warming, as that is predicated on the first law of thermodynamics. So long as the atmosphere is trapping more long-wave (IR) radiation from escaping the planet, and as long as that extra energy is not escaping the planet through some other mechanism (alternate wavelengths? neutrino flux?), that energy has to be going someplace.

    As our CO2 emissions continue to rise, the energy imbalance will continue to rise as well, until such time as the Earth warms enough to emit enough extra IR to bring the radiative energy fluxes back into balance.

    All other things being equal, of course. If our aerosol emissions or increased small-droplet cloud prevalence reflect enough shortwave radiation to balance the energy equation, or if the Sun were to dim enough, then the radiative balance is achieved through other terms in the equation.

    >In one sentence your point is that radiative physics of CO2 dominates the climate problem. It’s a basic of the CAGW talking point repertoire, a true classic, how deniers are ignorantly ignoring the solid basic physics from which global-warming-or-arctic-not-antarctic-melting-or-um-climate-change follows. Well smote! (Or is that the right usage?) And then in the next sentence you tell us that crap CAGW predictions can be excused by how the radiative physics of CO2 is so far from dominating climate behavior that not only is this one rival term (long-term transfer of heat into the oceans) larger, but merely the *size* *of* *the* *error* *in* *estimating* *that* *one* *rival* *term* as of a little more than a decade ago outweighs the effect of radiative physics of change in CO2 levels.

    I didn’t call you or anyone else here a denier. I didn’t say that CO2 is so far from dominating climate behavior that “not only is this one rival term…, etc.”. I brought up the fact that CO2 forcing is continuing to rise (as the CO2 in the atmosphere increases) because we have no guarantee that the mechanisms that have shuffled heat into the oceans will continue to keep GAT from rising. It can simultaneously be true that GAT have not increased significantly over the last 15 years or so and that GAT will rise as the CO2 forcing continues to intensify.

    The fact that you confused my statement about forcing with the effect on GAT does not mean that I was confused, or engaging in double-think. Unless you can explain in more detail where my reasoning has gone astray, or course.

  68. >Well, there’s a factual falsehood before you even get out of the first paragraph. Ignoring the 1998 El Niño peak doesn’t make the “hiatus” go away, it only shortens it from 17 to 15 years. What’s hilarious is that if there’s an El Niño this year, the alarmists are gearing up to do exactly what he accuses “conservatives” of having done – that is, spuriously include an El Niño peak in the trend fit, in this case the 2014 one to make the near end look warmer.

    Well, if an El Niño peak is substantially stronger over the next couple of years than previous peaks were, that may well have some significance. You’ve not been shy about touting the failure of the IPCC ensemble based on year-averaged trendlines, I’m not sure I understand why you think that the utility of those trendlines would suddenly be invalidated by an El Niño now.

    In fact, most climatists that I follow have been more concerned about the trendlines over longer-term averaging in any case.

  69. >I’m not sure I understand why you think that the utility of those trendlines would suddenly be invalidated by an El Niño now.

    That’s not what I think at all. What I think is that we should be doing our best to ignore (or subtract out) the El Niño transients, because they tell us essentially nothing about the atmospheric physics dominating the longer-term picture. In particular, they tell us nothing about the reality (or more likely lack of reality) of the CO2/H20 positive feedback mechanism.

  70. Eric, why are you beating this dead dog so relentlessly? The true believers aren’t going to have an epiphany and suddenly see the light. And the nature of the problem is such that no definitive resolution is likely any time soon (i.e. its not about the science, its about mass delusion).

    You bend over backwards to accord these climate scientists with a patina of professional integrity, but if they were honorable they would’ve owned up to the mega-mistakes by now.

    As Jessica has pointed out above, the reputation of all science is taking a shot in the gonads over this debacle.

  71. >The true believers aren’t going to have an epiphany and suddenly see the light.

    But there is a significant class of other people for whom my willingness to speak unpopular truths in public gives them social permission to defy the true believers and do likewise. If not this, what else is fame good for?

  72. @Cathy

    > Why isn’t the press (and the public) noticing that the economy never really recovers under Obama’s politicies, no matter how far we get from the last recession?

    Because that would be raaaaacist. Anyone who opposes a black president is raaaaacist by definition.

  73. “If not this, what else is fame good for?”

    Mrf. I’ve consciously avoided using my fame in this manner because, fundamentally, nobody gives a fuzzy rat’s ass what the Tron Guy thinks about CAGW. (Or much of anything else.) The one exception is net neutrality, one where I can legitimately claim expertise.

    What does ESR, the famous open source software guru, know about CAGW theory that the average person will take as expertise?

  74. @Jonathan Abbey
    > Unfortunately, the radiative physics still pertain, and the CO2 forcing is still increasing as our emissions do

    But the IPCC models are not content with discussion of CO2 forcing, which is logarithmic. They assume that warming due to increased CO2 levels will be amplified by increased water vapor, in a positive-feedback loop that has not been demonstrated to exist in reality.

    In actual fact, we know that water vapor in the atmosphere tends to produce clouds (which help block insolation) which grow into storms that efficiently transport heat from near the earth’s surface to the tropopause before releasing it when the water vapor undergoes phase change to ice, which then falls, typically absorbing some energy as it falls and changing to liquid water (but sometimes getting all the way to the surface in solid form) where the cycle starts over. This natural heat pump effect is missing from the models, which is why they’re doomed to over-estimate the positive feedback of water vapor as a “greenhouse gas”.

  75. >But the IPCC models are not content with discussion of CO2 forcing, which is logarithmic. They assume that warming due to increased CO2 levels will be amplified by increased water vapor, in a positive-feedback loop that has not been demonstrated to exist in reality.

    Even with H20 amplification, the forcing is logarithmic. The positive feedback loop actually has been demonstrated to exist in reality (see http://www.pnas.org/content/104/39/15248.full.pdf).. that’s not the question. The live question is whether negative feedbacks due to increased solar reflectivity match or overwhelm the increased H20 IR capture. The equation has to balance one way or another, in the end.

    >In actual fact, we know that water vapor in the atmosphere tends to produce clouds (which help block insolation) which grow into storms that efficiently transport heat from near the earth’s surface to the tropopause before releasing it when the water vapor undergoes phase change to ice, which then falls, typically absorbing some energy as it falls and changing to liquid water (but sometimes getting all the way to the surface in solid form) where the cycle starts over. This natural heat pump effect is missing from the models, which is why they’re doomed to over-estimate the positive feedback of water vapor as a “greenhouse gas”.

    Right, some amount of the energy imbalance could be turned into the energy of motion, but that’s a closed loop cycle, and can’t take energy out of the planet to redress the radiative balance. That’s what the first law of thermodynamics means.

  76. >But there is a significant class of other people for whom my willingness to speak unpopular truths in public gives them social permission to defy the true believers and do likewise. If not this, what else is fame good for?

    Your truths seem to be anything but unpopular here, Eric. ;-)

  77. Your truths seem to be anything but unpopular here, Eric. ;-)

    It’s not like everyone who reads A&D posts only to A&D. And has no friends.

    And there are probably a lot of lurkers here (Eric would know, since he has the log).

  78. I -will- say that that social permission only goes so far. People seem to put a great deal of stock in arguments from authority, provided it’s an authority they agree with. (If Einstein landed and declared CAGW a myth, they’d stop thinking he’s smart. That could be my pessimism talking, I suppose.)

  79. >What does ESR, the famous open source software guru, know about CAGW theory that the average person will take as expertise?

    The average person won’t. But I lower the perceived social cost of dissent for a fairly large class of geeks, I believe.

  80. >The positive feedback loop actually has been demonstrated to exist in reality (see http://www.pnas.org/content/104/39/15248.full.pdf)

    The findings in this paper from 2007 cannot have not survived reanalysis. If they had, that 2012 presentation from AGU you asked me to watch on G+ would not have emphasized that the tropical-inversion signature expected from CO/H20 greenhousing has not been unambiguously detected.

  81. >(If Einstein landed and declared CAGW a myth, they’d stop thinking he’s smart. That could be my pessimism talking, I suppose.)

    I think it is. Freeman Dyson’s reputation hasn’t suffered for his skepticism.

    I wish Richard Feynman had lived to see CAGW hysteria enter its acute phase. He’d have taken apart these frauds and fools for their cargo-cult science in three heartbeats.

  82. @ esr concerning real temperature negative feedback mechanisms: Willis Eschenbach has discussed a number of these with data provided. In reality, the fact that Earth’s atmospheric characteristics has remained pretty stable over the past ~ 350 million years tells us that the feedback mechanisms involved must be pretty powerful.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/?s=negative+feedback+emergent

  83. @Michael.
    > [...] reach a point where there is more demand for oil than there is supply [...]
    What makes you think there was ever a point in the last 100+ years where there wasn’t more demand for oil than there was supply?

  84. It became a cliché to talk about echo chamber effects, but it is really weird that on this blog AGW is considered thoroughly debunked and done in, while on Reddit AGW skepticism is treated with the same scorn as anti-evolution or Young Earth Creationism (and it is often implied it is done by the same kind of people, ultrareligious backwoods conspiracy theorists). You know, like the kinds of things that are so cranky and marginal that self-respecting people don’t deign to debate with.

    This is a problem, and this is a problem regardless of which side is right as there are three cases. One is that e.g. ESR is right. This is a problem because then it is seems the mainstream, and even a grassroots mainstream (Reddit) can make something correct seem like something beyond ridiculous and tinfoil-hat level cranky, that means that basically you can never anymore let you be influenced by the popular opinion and have to investigate everything yourself, which sounds like a huge timesink AND you always risk marginalization and ridicule if you happen to find something that disagrees with the mainstream. The second option is that the truth is somewhere in between: there is AGW, but not that bad. In this case it is essentially the same problem: why can the mainstream make a mistake look dignified and make its opposite mistake look cranky? Finally, there is also a chance that they are right and you are wrong. Given that you guys are not stupid, neither crazy, and if you are wrong about then it is not that type of thing that one can get wrong by a few simple “ooops, I ignored that variable!” kind of ways, it would suggest that even highly intelligent and sane people are capable of approaching a problem from a systematically failed way, which would suggest more human fallibility than I am comfortable with. Either way, whichever of the three options is correct, there are some really ugly consequences.

    To sum it up, if you guys are right or even if the truth is in the middle, then even the grassroot mainstream media (Reddit) became a too powerful and too unaccountable power for randomly marginalizing people and their ideas. If you guys are wrong, that would suggest that science reached a point where even highly trained amateurs are unable to check its claims and thus we must begin to take whatever scientists say on a faith and trust basis -> moral hazard. I don’t like either option.

  85. that means that basically you can never anymore let you be influenced by the popular opinion and have to investigate everything yourself, which sounds like a huge timesink AND you always risk marginalization and ridicule if you happen to find something that disagrees with the mainstream

    Just wait until Eric gets further into the Dark Enlightenment.

  86. > self-respecting people don’t deign to debate with.

    When debate with those who differ from your opinion is scorned, the quest for truth often fails and discussion degenerates into a groupthinking circlejerk. From what I have seen (though I may not be looking hard enough) this seems to be a big problem to the AGW debate, with the 2 sides talking past and condescending each other.

  87. >that basically you can never anymore let you be influenced by the popular opinion and have to investigate everything yourself, which sounds like a huge timesink

    I’m already there, and it is. Fortunately, I have excellent bullshit filters; this saves me a lot of time.

  88. Shenpen pretty much nails my concern with a lot of issues, not just AGW. Any issue with at least two firm camps bolstered by actually intelligent people has this problem.

    I’m less sure than Shenpen seems to be about the mainstream-ness of Reddit. I hardly ever go there, but I’m vaguely aware of their culling mechanism – each user has one vote, which in turn influences where some information gets sorted, and therefore how likely it is to be seen by other users. The trouble here should be obvious to this crowd: Redditors aren’t necessarily motivated to upvote well-written information they disagree with over less-supportable information they agree with, so you get an oil-and-water effect going if there are enough self-sustaining worldviews. The Reds only read the Red news and the Blues only read the Blue news; there’s not enough push to mix and compare them. And since on Reddit, only one stratum can be on top, it seems the lefties have won it – but that only makes Reddit mainstream to that bubble.

    There’s a reinforcing mechanism as well – the less stuff you see on a forum that fits your worldview, the more likely you’ll simply stop attending that forum. So eventually people who aren’t already strongly on one side or the other, who are actually trying to be at least a little rational and skeptical, are seeing only one side of the story. So whichever layer ends up on top becomes more likely to seem like the rational side, rather than simply one side among multiples. Once you get on top, it’s easier to stay there.

    In the case of climate science, the only thing I can see that would limit this slippery slope is running up against something even bigger, like an economic market force, or an even more widely-received scientific truth. In Eric’s case, it’s the Medieval Warm Period. Unfortunately, the MWP, as irrefutable as its existence is if you’ve looked it up, isn’t widely known. (I admit, climatologists should be well aware of it, but I don’t know offhand what they think of it in general.)

    So the dance continues. The most accessible thing we have to climate is the weather, which oscillates yearly much more than the most dire predicted change in climate (4-ish degrees Celsius over the next 80 years), so the only windmills people have to tilt at are the latest drought or cold spell. Unless people get wiser to perspective, our longterm economic behavior risks being hinged on one season’s weather report.

  89. the grassroot mainstream media (Reddit)

    stop the world; i wanna get off.

  90. >In the case of climate science, the only thing I can see that would limit this slippery slope is running up against something even bigger, like an economic market force, or an even more widely-received scientific truth. In Eric’s case, it’s the Medieval Warm Period. Unfortunately, the MWP, as irrefutable as its existence is if you’ve looked it up, isn’t widely known. (I admit, climatologists should be well aware of it, but I don’t know offhand what they think of it in general.)

    It’s accepted, but perhaps not as something that greatly changed the _global_ average temperature as much as what current and anticipated CO2 forcing will do.

    >There’s a reinforcing mechanism as well – the less stuff you see on a forum that fits your worldview, the more likely you’ll simply stop attending that forum. So eventually people who aren’t already strongly on one side or the other, who are actually trying to be at least a little rational and skeptical, are seeing only one side of the story. So whichever layer ends up on top becomes more likely to seem like the rational side, rather than simply one side among multiples. Once you get on top, it’s easier to stay there.

    It’s a real problem. I try to follow both sides and follow things up. I’m working my way through university textbooks on the topic. Even under the best of circumstances, though, I couldn’t hope to form an informed, critical, and independent opinion of the state of the science without becoming and remaining an expert on the primary literature.

    What does seem achievable is to grasp the simple structure of the theory of AGW, to get a sense of what parts of the science are strong and what are weak, and to be able to identify stronger and weaker arguments that are discussed in the blogosphere. That’s not expertise, though.

    In the end, I think Eric is right with regards to his thesis in the OP. Not that ‘warmists’ want the warming to happen, but that scientific arguments will avail in proportion to the level at which personal intuition comes to the same conclusion.

  91. @Shenpen
    > It became a cliché to talk about echo chamber effects,

    You are suffering from sampling bias. Both here and on the specific reddits you are talking about you will hear people who are at the two ends of the spectrum, the tails of the curve. The truth is most people don’t care. They are too busy with the things that are actually important to them. Now of course if you ask them they will “care” along with the meta intellectual context they have chosen, for example democrat or republican, or environmentalist or conservative. However, that “care” wouldn’t necessarily actually translate into anything meaningful.

    I see these sorts of debates are largely recreational in nature. It is not like they are likely to swing the pendulum much one way or the other, but they do evoke a certain visceral response that is enjoyable. Righteous anger is really quite a delightful feeling.
    So think of these debates are largely like tennis. They don’t really matter in the great scheme of things, but they are fun to participate in. And just like the majority of people don’t understand people who are crazy dedicated to tennis, most people really don’t care about these issues.

    BTW, it is one of my bugbears about “surveys”. Surveys like “do you believe global warming is going to lead to significant economic distress?” measure in binary something that is extremely non binary in nature. The results of these things are basically meaningless. Recently I read a survey that indicated that 40% of Americans believe that the world was created 10,000 years ago. With such a bunch of backward hicks how come the country doesn’t grind to a halt? Because of course it doesn’t make one whit of difference to most people’s lives when the world was created. Which is to say asking questions that “wrong” answers have no material impact leads people to decide based on other parametric criteria — such as feeling included in their local church community — the loss of which would be quite impactful to their lives.

    Eric is free to be Homo Rationalus because he lives in a peer group that respects that, and by doing so he actually improves his social position. Not that I suggest that is why he is rational, but it significantly reduces the cost of being rational, and adds to the benefits intrinsic in being rational.

  92. >Eric is free to be Homo Rationalus because he lives in a peer group that respects that,

    If that weren’t true I’d find a different peer group – or create one. There are not entirely implausible interpretations of the historical evidence under which I’ve been doing just that for decades.

  93. Not to be a party pooper, but I find the AGW argumentation sport to be tedious and degenerative; a bit like cockfighting or mud wrestling with a pig. The debasement isn’t worth the thrill.

    The only aspect of AGW cultism that interests me is the apparent success of a deliberate and modern memetic campaign to instill mass delusion. The Pied Piper Effect has long been a part of social phenomena; but smart phones, texting & tweeting, internet social media, etc. have elevated brainwashing into hyperdrive. The potential impact on politics is one thing, but what if this mass psychosis eventually leads to the Mother-of-All-Riots.

  94. I used to be a “Peak Oil Denier” like Eric, but a couple of years ago, I was looking at the blurb of a book about Peak Oil, and a realization hit me, and hit me hard: Peak Oil isn’t only possible, but it may even be likely. Admittedly, though, the realization had nothing to do with the book itself; it was a realization that we should never underestimate the destructive power of bureaucrats and lawmakers caused by misguided legislation.

    That is, Peak Oil can happen at any time, without warning, independent of actual oil supply–worldwide or domestic–and it may even be the result of something seemingly unrelated to oil at all. A simple misguided but well-meant regulation can cause everything to unexpectedly crash down on our heads!

    Having said that, I don’t expect Peak Oil via lack of supply to occur, if for no other reason than the fact that apparently we have companies that have created micro-organisms that can “grow” everything from crude oil to many of the different types of compounds that can be derived from oil. I do not know what the status of these companies are, or what it price-points are needed for “oil farms” such as these to become profitable…but it’s yet another datapoint that demonstrates that future fuel production might very well come from unexpected places.

    I remember one estimate that suggested that it would take an area the size of Chicago to produce enough oil for our country using these micro-organisms. I had the impression that the concern was that “this won’t scale, because it would require too much surface area”, but my recollection of the article may be incorrect. My reaction, however, was that having farms that, in total, is the size of only one major city, but distributed in bits and pieces across the nation, that produces all the oil we need in a renewable way, would be a *very* good thing!

  95. Oh, and I forgot to add that the only two things that would likely to stand in the way of such “oil farms” are economic factors, and government regulation getting in the way. (That is, if we do hit Peak Oil, it’s most likely going to be a state of mind, rather than an actual representation of the availability of oil.)

  96. Alpheus makes a good point: those of us who lived through the Carter administration acutely remember how he and the DOE etc. created a period of “peak oil” for much of the country.

    Although it was more subtle than the headline indicate, my father accumulated a tank farm using 55 gallon drums (we have enough space to do that safely), but it wasn’t needed, because the bureaucrats were smart enough to prioritize farming regions of the country and we never had shortages.

  97. I’m seeing lots of talk lately of carbon tariffs on imports to the US and possibly to the EU. They’re apparently legal under the WTO since it’s a tax on the consumer domestically. If that comes to pass then manufacturers locally with cleaner energy will have a huge price advantage over China and India. This is especially true if the cargo ships burning heavy fuel oil, basically petroleum sludge, are accounted for in the tariffs.

  98. @Christopher Stith: “I’m seeing lots of talk lately of carbon tariffs on imports to the US and possibly to the EU. They’re apparently legal under the WTO since it’s a tax on the consumer domestically. If that comes to pass then manufacturers locally with cleaner energy will have a huge price advantage over China and India.”

    This sounds like protectionism in disguise. But whether it benefits domestic manufacturers is another matter. *Which* domestic manufacturers? Manufacturing largely moved overseas to get lower costs, and to be able to make and *sell* products cheaper. China and India have far lower labor costs, resulting in a lot lower Cost of Goods Sold for things requiring substantial amounts of labor.

    A fair bit of stuff imported simply isn’t manufactured here at all, because it’s too expensive to do it here. And for stuff that is, it tends to be final assembly out of components that are manufactured elsewhere.

    This will substantially drive up consumer costs, but I don’t see much if any benefit for domestic manufacturing. It *may* spur more domestic manufacturing using robotics, but building that capacity is a long-term proposition. The presumed benefit from a return of manufacturing would be job creation. But even if you do it, it *doesn’t* create vast numbers of new manufacturing jobs, because the automated plants using robotics need a fraction of the people the old ones had Old style manufacturing as a source of jobs for low-skilled/unskilled labor isn’t coming back.

  99. @Shenpen: the real problem isn’t Reddit, it’s Wikipedia. Nobody who is undecided on an issue goes and looks it up on Reddit. But the alarmists have been brutally effective at rewriting science and history on Wikipedia, which affects perceptions on Reddit and everywhere else.. Wikipedia is all about persistence and rule-lawyering. The rules are:

    – Any scientist or journal that breaks with “the consensus” gets slimed on their own pages with any negative accusations that can be found in print, however irrelevant.

    – All claims in any article that make your side look BAD must be immediately challenged or removed on the grounds that they aren’t properly sourced. Claims that make your side look GOOD should go unchallenged or are allowed to be sourced to blogs and currently-inactive links.

    – If you HAVE to tell both sides, make sure your side gets the last word in. Every single sentence that seems to make a point against you must be followed up with a “However, so-and-so says…” no matter how pathetic the contrary claim is.

    – When a topic comes along that really unambiguously makes your side look bad (eg, Climategate), fight to RENAME THE PAGE so it’s no longer even ABOUT that topic. (eg, the Climategate page was initially called “Climatic Research Unit Hacking Incident”) That way, you can immediately fill the page with boring irrelevant info that fits with the new title while ruling irrelevant any info that fits with the actual topic people are looking up, which you redirect to the new topic. (in this case, focus on the police investigation of whether a hack occurred and how horrible it is that a hack occurred, making the question of what actual information was FOUND by the hack a distant afterthought.)

    – use or misuse every available arcane wikipedia rule to keep out info damaging to your side. For instance, claim that public figures aren’t public figures so to protect their privacy we can’t include even confirmed quotes that make them look like idiots.

    – If somebody comes along who is persistent at putting damaging info BACK, accuse them of being a “sock puppet”, gang up on them (reverting every contribution they make), then make use of the anti-revert rules. In the worst case, revert the page to a version that makes your side look good and then immediately LOCK the page so nobody else can fix all the misinformation you just added. Do this in the name of preventing “edit wars”.

    – If all else fails and you HAVE to keep a page around whose name somewhat relates to a topic that makes your side look bad, fill it with so much irrelevant detail (spread across multiple pages) that almost everybody gets bored and stops reading past the first paragraph (which doesn’t say anything).

    If you can follow these rules quickly and efficiently after any big news story or study comes out, when lazy reporters look up the underlying facts on wikipedia they will see YOUR version of the facts, write an article that is based on the misunderstandings you planted, and then you can use THOSE articles as a new source to justify making the wikipedia article even MORE biased. After a few rounds of this it will actually be TRUE that most reliable sources reflect your biased viewpoint!

    (As an information consumer, the only real defense against this is to skim the talk pages first when you look up any contentious subject. Usually you’ll find there some record of what points of view are being actively suppressed.)

  100. As the mass seems over I’ll review some of my observations.

    in response to my comment esr wrote:

    > >As expected, the next sermon in the non-AGW disciples cathedral.
    >
    > Philosophy of science 101: Science stands or falls by testable and verified predictions. Religion must be taken on faith, despite repeatedly failed predictions. Application of this test to AGW claims is left as an easy exercise for the reader.

    and in response to Jonathan Abbey:

    > > I would hope to see less certainty in your own conclusions.
    >
    > One reason I have confidence is that I have a better predictive record than the IPCC.

    sorry, prediction alone isn’t science. If you don’t have any model to derive your predictions from – and you admitted that you don’t have one – your prediction isn’t anything more scientific than astrology or religion.

    > It’s that combined with the fact that measured GAT has fallen out of the possible range for the AGW model sheaf.
    > This means some core assumptions the models must be broken.

    Even if that being true doesn’t mean the whole model was trash, as you try to make your readers believe. You don’t even try to correct it. You simply claim the IPCC models were not science based on some intuitive knowledge – wow, that’s way much more scientific than the IPCC reports. In fact they are not original IPCC research, as the IPCC doesn’t carry out any research of its own. Instead the reports are compiled from published scientific research worldwide by unpaid, volunteer scientists.

    Thus the IPCC is more like an Open Source project, while you, Eric, base your claims on something like divine inspiration, and you openly admitted that.

    Another one,

    DMcCunney wrote:

    > Burning coal puts more stray radiation in the air than a nuclear plant does

    Now that’s not even comparing apples and eggs, you compare apples and laws!

    The amount of radioactive emissions from a coal plant is hard limited by the amount of radioactive isotopes in the coal burnt.

    The amount of radioactive emissions from a nuclear power plant are hard limited by the amount of radioactive material inside the plant and even for a single nuclear reactor that is way more than you will ever get from coal plants, even if each and every single piece of coal on earth was burnt therein.

    Furthermore the limits imposed by operating standards are frequently exceeded as an effect of smaller or larger failures and accidents.

    Finally,

    Paul Brinkley wrote:

    > (If Einstein landed and declared CAGW a myth, they’d stop thinking he’s smart. That could be my pessimism talking, I suppose.)

    Except that he wouldn’t, because, in contrast to Eric, Einstein was a scientist.

    BTW, I think it’s a typo or did you really mean the CAGW, the Citizens Against Government Waste group, which is notorious for having dead people sending protest letters?

    Jonathan Abbey wrote:

    > Your truths[sic] seem to be anything but unpopular here, Eric. ;-)

    Yes, but only in the church of esr where Eric is the high prophet.

    and again esr wrote:

    > But there is a significant class of other people for whom my willingness to speak unpopular truths in public gives
    > them social permission to defy the true believers and do likewise. If not this, what else is fame good for?

    If you look around a little on the web you’ll find out that there isn’t much of your fame left and your spreading of AGW denial is one of the reasons. I don’t know why you do it. How you pose your arguments suggests you are intelligent enough to know it’s lies what you write. Perhaps you’re a relative to Lee Raymond from Exxon and you are concerned about your family fortune – I don’t know and, despite some interesting finds here, I’m getting bored with all the BS in your blog. There is far too little value in it, sorry.

  101. Eric: One reason I have confidence is that I have a better predictive record than the IPCC.

    Manfred: sorry, prediction alone isn’t science. If you don’t have any model to derive your predictions from – and you admitted that you don’t have one – your prediction isn’t anything more scientific than astrology or religion.

    No, but it’s good enough for him to have personal confidence – which is all he claimed. Meanwhile, if all he has is astrology or religion, then that’s even more damning of IPCC. How much would you trust someone if their predictions, however acclaimed as scientific, could be beaten by a random guy with a funny hat or weird lipstick?

    Thus the IPCC is more like an Open Source project

    >.>

    Except that he wouldn’t, because, in contrast to Eric, Einstein was a scientist.

    Begging the question.

    Yes, but only in the church of esr where Eric is the high prophet.

    As opposed to Manfred, who is obsessed by who believes what and deigns to come over here and demonstrate its scienceyness with ad hominems.

    Why would you want to set such a deplorable example for your own side?

  102. @Manfred Wassmann: At a guess, you are against nuclear power. I am in favor. The fundamental issue we confront is a steadily increasing demand for electricity, and the question is where we get it. Where do *you* think it might come from?

    The vast majority of electric power is produced by large commercial generating plants that use heat to boil water and make steam, and use the steam to turn turbines that drive the generators to produce the electricity. Where does the heat come from? You can burn a fossil fuel like coal, oil, or natural gas, or you can use a controlled nuclear reaction.

    There are alternative technologies, but they are largely either fully developed with little expansion possible, incapable of meeting the demand, or simply too expensive. As a rule, the energy used will be the *cheapest* available. Alternative energy will not get better than niche market penetration until it’s cost competitive with burning fossil fuel. I don’t foresee that happening any time soon.

  103. “How you pose your arguments suggests you are intelligent enough to know it’s lies what you write.”

    Just in case you misunderstand the implications of the English word “lies”, what you are saying is that Eric is deliberately saying things he knows or has good reason to believe are untrue. If so, you are attacking not his beliefs, but his integrity – and for all that he and I disagree on things, integrity is the one attribute I’m certain he is not lacking in any amount, large or small.

  104. >you are attacking not his beliefs, but his integrity

    I think you’re wasting your breath, Jay. If Manfred Wasserman understood anything about integrity, he wouldn’t believe he could intimidate me out of publicly dissenting on CAGW or anything else by suggesting that I’m destroying my reputation. In fact, he’d know that a threat like that causes any man of integrity to redouble his efforts.

  105. >How much would you trust someone if their predictions, however acclaimed as scientific, could be beaten by a random guy with a funny hat or weird lipstick?

    For the record, my prediction was based on thinking about the physics of the situation.

    I believe the hypothetical positive CO2/H20 greenhousing feedback at the heart of the IPCC models is nonexistent; instead I think it much more likely that there is a negative feedback, otherwise Earth would have undergone a runaway greenhouse much sooner in geological eras when atmospheric CO2 was much higher than it is now.

    If you believe that atmospheric greenhousing has a regulating negative feedback, there isn’t much left that can drive climate change. Large volcanic eruptions, intrinsic solar variation, and Milankovic cycles are about it. And large volcanic eruptions are something we haven’t had any of in a couple of centuries; the last big one was the Mount Tambora eruption in 1815, which produced the fabled “Year Without a Summer” in 1816.

    What do intrinsic solar variation and Milankovic cycles have in common? Variations in insolation. My correct prediction followed naturally.

    If this isn’t scientific inference, what would be? Am I debarred from performing it by lack of a Ph.D.?

  106. >Meanwhile, if all he has is astrology or religion, then that’s even more damning of IPCC.

    I should add that, though I made my prediction based on a qualitative model of the physics, the IPCC’s predictive accuracy has been so bad that a guy throwing darts at a wall-full of random temperature increments would have been better.

    I’m not being figurative. That kind of random walk tends to produce noisy oscillation around the origin, which is exactly what we see in the measured temperature data during the entire “hiatus” of the last 17 years.

  107. PapayaSF: WRT global warming the term CAGW isn’t used anywhere in
    any scientific literature. It’s only AGW denialists who use it.

    Jay Maynard wrote:

    > >”How you pose your arguments suggests you are intelligent enough to know it’s lies what you write.”

    >Just in case you misunderstand the implications of the English word “lies”, what you are saying is that Eric is
    > deliberately saying things he knows or has good reason to believe are
    > untrue.

    and that exactly is the point where I have arrived. I had to struggle
    hard to make my living the past years and hadn’t much time to really
    watch what’s going on around. I knew Eric’s name from earlier times in
    connection with OS when I stumbled across this blog because of some
    interesting remarks posted here I had been pointed to by a web
    search. By that time I did respect Eric quite a lot, but that picture
    started to get bleaker while I read his comments, and finally has
    collapsed into rubble. This was especially due to his frantic promotion
    of AGW denialism.

    Until recently this was just my personal impression, derived from Eric’s
    illogical argumentation. But since he vigorously kept flogging this dead
    horse I did a little research on the web and found out, AGW denialism is
    a long and well refuted pseudo-science which is promoted by a small but
    wealthy group of people and organizations only.

    Additionally I found out, I’m way not the only one to have noticed the
    decline in Eric’s credibility since the late 90ies, and by far not the
    first one.

    And that is now the point where I will finally leave this intimate circle of
    global warming denialistst. It isn’t any worthwhile to try a serious
    argument here and things are waiting which really do matter.

    Have fun and – keep cool.

  108. In other words: “I’m losing, and I’m too stupid to understand what my own words mean, so I’ll pretend I’m winning and leave before I have to read something that makes me realize this.”

  109. >I’ll pretend I’m winning and leave

    Er, is the third or fourth time Drama Queen Wasserman has announced he’s leaving? I lose count, it seems to be about a weekly event.

  110. @ESR: “That kind of random walk tends to produce noisy oscillation around the origin, ”

    Random walks have no use for the origin. They very quickly run away from the origin and up against whatever physical extreme stops them, or whatever (non-random) negative feedback sends them back in the other direction. But perhaps this is what ESR meant.

  111. >Random walks have no use for the origin.

    Huh? Randomly generate numbers both positive and negative with uniform distribution. Track the sum. By hypothesis, for any value +n the value -n is equiprobable; therefore at the limit positive and negative excursions tend to cancel – the most likely place for the running sum to be is zero.

    This proof sketch is easily formalized and easily generalized to random walks from a starting point in N-space. However, the probability associated with “most likely” falls rapidly with N.

  112. >The probability distribution of a two or more dimensional random walks is chaotic with a return to the origin as likely as any other possible location:

    Yes. There is a simple proof that in a N-space random walk the distribution of Euclidean distance from the origin is Gaussian with the most likely value zero.

  113. BioBob and ESR:

    Yes. As per your second figure, the 2D RW, it is indeed true that the mean distance from the origin is zero. It is also true that the probability that the walk will hit the walls of that figure is 100% with infinite steps.

  114. >The root mean squared distance from the origin after N unit steps of a random walk is sqrt(N) units, not zero as one might first guess

    There’s no inconsistency. You’re talking about the expected value distribution of the excursions, not the expected value of the sum. The page you link to is clear about the difference: as it says, “we expect d to be 0, on average”.

  115. >>”There’s no inconsistency. You’re talking about the expected value distribution of the excursions, not the expected value of the sum. The page you link to is clear about the difference: as it says, “we expect d to be 0, on average”.”

    Agreed. In the context of GAT then, if it were truly a random walk temperature would over time walk away, with ice ball earth or hot earth just as likely, until some sort of physical, non random, feedback pushes the walk back in the other direction. As we’re not on fire or frozen, negative feedbacks *must* be at work sooner or later.

  116. >Agreed. In the context of GAT then, if it were truly a random walk temperature would over time walk away, with ice ball earth or hot earth just as likely, until some sort of physical, non random, feedback pushes the walk back in the other direction. As we’re not on fire or frozen, negative feedbacks *must* be at work sooner or later.

    I think I see where we’re talking past each other. Yes, this is what it looks like if temperature is a random walk. Now think about what it looks like if the increments to temperature are themselves generated by a random walk. The top level of the sum is still Gaussian around the mean but the dispersion shrinks – the tails are much, much less likely.

    That said, I agree that there are undoubtedly negative feedbacks in the real atmosphere.

  117. “I think you’re wasting your breath, Jay. If Manfred Wasserman understood anything about integrity, he wouldn’t believe he could intimidate me out of publicly dissenting on CAGW or anything else by suggesting that I’m destroying my reputation. In fact, he’d know that a threat like that causes any man of integrity to redouble his efforts.”

    Perhaps, Eric. I mainly wanted to get him on the record, as indeed I have:

    “>Just in case you misunderstand the implications of the English word “lies”, what you are saying is that Eric is
    > deliberately saying things he knows or has good reason to believe are
    > untrue.

    and that exactly is the point where I have arrived.”

    When he has to attack your integrity instead of your arguments, he’s lost and knows it.

    OBTW, in case you’re still reading this, Manfred: The C in CAGW is necessary. If AGW exists and is not catastrophic, or is actually benign, then there is no reason for the destruction of economies CAGW alarmists are demanding.

  118. “First, the IPCC models, which are all about CO2/H20 greenhousing in the atmosphere, do not include or predict the long-period oceanic oscillations that produce El Niño.”

    Categorically incorrect, Eric. El Niño isn’t something that GCMs “include”; it’s an emergent phenomena that GCMs do create.

  119. >Categorically incorrect, Eric. El Niño isn’t something that GCMs “include”; it’s an emergent phenomena that GCMs do create.

    Casual link not proven, and unlikely. There’s instrumental evidence of El Niños from as far back as 1876, when even the alarmists concede anthropogenic CO2 was insignificant.

    But supposing you were correct. The IPCC models cannot predict the effects of El Niño or other oceanic oscillations; this is exactly why the ex-post-facto rush now going on to rescue the models from their embarrassing and utter failure is focusing on adding oceanic modeling as an epicycle.

  120. El Niños are a major mode of internal climate variability; they do not and cannot cause warming because they don’t change the energy balance of the climate system, they merely redistribute it. Your point that GCMs cannot replicate them is incorrect. Google the studies.

    Ocean models have been part of GCMs since the mid-1970s; in simplified form at first of course, but the latest GCMs (more properly called ESMs – Earth System Models) have quite sophisticated ocean components.

    El Niño is more than an oceanic “oscillation”, there are atmospheric effects as well.

    PS – Your note about the climate system or some aspect thereof being a random walk is impossible, since the climate system cannot have any possible state – it’s constrained to be physical.

  121. >El Niños are a major mode of internal climate variability; they do not and cannot cause warming because they don’t change the energy balance of the climate system, they merely redistribute it.

    In an absolute physical sense you are certainly right. But the effect of El Niños on global temperature measured at Earth’s surface is quite clear, and that is the measure everyone is watching.

    >the latest GCMs (more properly called ESMs – Earth System Models) have quite sophisticated ocean components.

    Possibly, but if so they’re not included in the IPCC model sheaf.

    >PS – Your note about the climate system or some aspect thereof being a random walk is impossible, since the climate system cannot have any possible state – it’s constrained to be physical.

    Try to keep up. I didn’t claim it is a random walk, merely that modeling GAT as having been produced by a random walk of temperature increments would yields a better prediction of the last 17 years than the IPCC models have. Not that that’s saying much…

  122. ENSO is an orthogonal issue to AGW. The temperature record is a combination of several factors, one of which is anthropogenic emissions of so-called GHGs, which are currently dominating the energy balance of the climate system. Take away CO2 and the other trace GHGs, change nothing else, and the surface temperature of the planet drops below 0C. Current CO2 at 400ppm hasn’t been experienced by our species in the entirely of its existence. We’ve boosted it ~40% in about 150 years. That’s a huge shift in a very short time.

    There’s no such thing as “IPCC models” – there are many models developed at different modeling centers around the planet that undertake simulations that are assessed in IPCC reports, but the IPCC doesn’t pay a dime for them or control them or own them in any way. There are no climate models assessed in the most recent IPCC AR5 that do not have fully-coupled ocean components.

    Anthropogenic climate change is much more than warming surface temperatures. We know it’s happening and we know it’s us.

  123. Don’t be silly. All “IPCC models” means is the set of models that the IPCC uses and refers to. Nobody claims they control or own them.

    As for CO2, the “huge shift in a very short time” is still only up to .04%.

  124. > As for CO2, the “huge shift in a very short time” is still only up to .04%.

    Small doesn’t mean unimportant. Set it 0.0% and the surface temperature drops below 0C.

  125. My point was that “up 40%” is sounds less than “huge” when the end result is .04%. Sure, a drastic change to 0% would be important, but so far, the change to .04% has seemed pretty unimportant.

  126. > But since he vigorously kept flogging this dead
    horse I did a little research on the web and found out, AGW denialism is
    a long and well refuted pseudo-science which is promoted by a small but
    wealthy group of people and organizations only.

    OMG ESR is a Koch brothers funded Tea Partier!! Thank you, thank you Mr. Wasserman for steering me right. To think I could continue to be duped into reading a blog written by one of “THEM”.

    All sarcasm aside, Mr. Wasserman, are you so fucking deluded that you really think this is all a vast conspiracy to refute absolute indisputable science that is also ironically so fragile it can stand no true scrutiny?

  127. >We know it’s happening and we know it’s us.

    We don’t even know it’s happening any more, much less that it’s us. No statistically significant change in GAT for 17 years. AGW theory can no longer explain this.

  128. > No statistically significant change in GAT for 17 years.

    I’ll repeat: Anthropogenic climate change is much more than warming surface temperatures.

    How critical is the choice of 17 years for the statistical significance? What happens when the effect of change in non-anthropogenic forcings (solar insolation and volcanic activity, primarily) are removed from the timeseries?

  129. >OMG ESR is a Koch brothers funded Tea Partier!!

    Furthermore, I snort the ground-up skeletons of endangered species through thousand-dollar bills while simultaneously abusing poor orphans of color. That is, when I’m not too busy polishing my monocle.

  130. “El Niños are a major mode…”

    …of Emacs? o_O

    (Just a little humor. No offense intended!)

  131. >How critical is the choice of 17 years for the statistical significance?

    The significant thing is that measured GAT has fallen out of the 95% confidence range for the IPCC model sheaf. Those models never explained anything worth a damn; the difference is that now the divergence is undeniable.

  132. > The significant thing is that measured GAT has fallen out of the 95% confidence range for the IPCC model sheaf.

    It has? According to what analysis? If there’s a mismatch between climate models and observations, there are at least three potential sources for the difference – the models, the observations, and the analysis. Have the differences arising from possible errors and/or uncertainties in the latter two been entirely removed, leaving only the models as the sole source of the difference?

  133. OK, but from your link:

    As discussed in the Yale Forum’s earlier article on the recent warming slowdown, the divergence between surface temperature observations and the projections of climate models is in many ways more notable than any “pause” in warming. Over the last decade models projected that warming would accelerate compared to the prior 30 years, while measurements (even with the revised data from Cowtan and Way) don’t show any acceleration in warming.

  134. Like I said, differences can arise from multiple sources. Even if the models were perfect, if they’re fed incorrect boundary conditions, they won’t match observations.

  135. >there are at least three potential sources for the difference – the models, the observations, and the analysis

    Correct, and it doesn’t matter. By “the models” I man all these components. Their predictive utility is zero. That means the scientific basis for AGW policy recommendations is broken, and will not be un-broken until climatologists show some actual ability to predict and retrodict. I will not hold my breath waiting for this to happen.

  136. I think my thesis about AGW argumentation combat being tedious and degenerative is looking pretty solid. The sheer volume of AGW theories, data, models, predictions, players, analyses, contradiction, and in-determinism is truly tedious. And Manfred has become the mascot for degenerative reasoning.

  137. @ TomA AGW argumentation combat being tedious and degenerative is looking pretty solid.

    I agree.

    In any case, given the 21 – 32 % O ? versus the .02 – .04 % CO ? in the long term, the plants have WON on earth.

  138. >The sheer volume of AGW theories . . . is truly tedious.

    And, as P. J. O’Rourke put it: “last one awake gets to spend all the tax money.”

  139. > “Their predictive utility is zero. That means the scientific basis for AGW policy recommendations is broken, and will not be un-broken until climatologists show some actual ability to predict and retrodict. I will not hold my breath waiting for this to happen.”

    What metrics for predict and retrodict do you have in mind for climate models to meet? Are they sensible metrics?

  140. > “This by Fyfe, Gillett, Zwiers, Sept 2013, Nature”

    Do they conclude that the models themselves are the sole source of the difference?

  141. For billions of years, evolution has been a forcing function for greater adaptability and fitness in all surviving species.This was physical evolution in action, engendered in genetics and driven by environmental variability.

    But in the last few millennia, the emergence of cognition and sentience has changed the game by introducing memetic evolution into the mix. The dominant memetic state of homo sapiens can now be altered in a relatively short time as a result of modern communications technologies, information absorption habits, and sophisticated messaging strategies.

    AGW cultism is a case in point. The religion of Warmism has been successfully marketed to the masses over the past 15 years, and not only has it resulted in a large cohort of true believer converts, but these folks now fancy themselves as cod-scientists. Is this anti-evolution?

  142. @ derecho64

    Your objections and enquiries have been previously “asked and answered”. Kindly spend the time reviewing the previous points in this original post and following comments.

    If you are truly interested and willing to learn more, there is a wealth of facts and viewpoints at http://wattsupwiththat.com/ and its linked websites.

  143. > “If you are truly interested and willing to learn more,…”

    WUWT is to climate science what ICR is to evolution.

    A good ameliorative to the nonsense and baloney peddled at WUWT is here.

    Besides, blogs should only serve as pointers to the real science – at places like Science, Nature, JGR, GRL, PNAS, etc., etc.

  144. @ TomA on 2014-06-15 at 11:44:54 said:

    All that can be folded into social or group evolution and trying to distinguish between its genetic and ‘cultural’ derivations is likely a fools game (see epigenetics). It is also many millions of years old rather than something new to primates, given the longer histories with social insects and other arthropods.

    You do have a point about the speed of meme integration in human society but it still takes 400 – 800 years for any genetic basis to become widespread. That means that such memes would need to persist for at least that long and to have a consistent selective advantage during that entire period. Many of these ‘fads’ have neither advantage nor persistence. Contrast these with persistent changes like dietary changes to see how such cultural alterations reflect in our genetics (lactose intolerance, etc).

  145. @ derecho64 on 2014-06-15 at 12:19:52

    haha, I figured you were a zealot. Never mind my attempt to communicate. Feel free to continue with your delusions.

  146. BioBob, projection is such old hat. Perhaps you can ask Watts if he’s figured out how to make anomalies with different base periods correctly comparable, because AFAICT he’s never been able to do that.

  147. >projection is such old hat.

    Sho’nuff. CAGW pushers have been classic, textbook examples from day one.

  148. trying2b-amused, maybe you can help Watts with his arithmetic problems.

  149. @ BIoBob

    Memetic evolution is characteristically different from physical evolution; of which, genetic-based programming such as instinct and innate behavior are a part of the long term modality. The former is endemic to homo sapiens by virtue of complex language use and versatility in reprogramming, i.e. we are quick and adaptable learners.

    In both instances, mutation is a key ingredient and selective advantage or disadvantage may follow directly. The physical modality is long term, as you suggest, but memetics can be much faster and just as influential to the survive and thrive imperative. Technology and medicine are two examples of memetic-induced change that have greatly altered our evolutionary trajectory.

  150. TomA on 2014-06-15 at 14:42:35 said: Technology and medicine are two examples of memetic-induced change that have greatly altered our evolutionary trajectory.
    ————————-

    Technology and medicine are two — potential — examples of memetic-induced change that –potentially may– greatly alter our evolutionary trajectory.

    There … I fixed it ;P Let me know if they persist for the required period (minimum 400-800 years but likely much longer because they are not likely to be reflected in a single SNP) to alter our genome – heh.

    After all, the major source of light in use 200 years ago was the candle and medicine was enamored with “humors” & “blood letting”. I will remind you that historically, typical human civilizations persist for less than the likely requisite period mentioned above. However, if we do persist, you may well be correct. Neither of us is likely to be around to see it.

  151. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces. – Carl Sagan

  152. Sagan’s right. There are lots of people who don’t understand science banging the CAGW drum “because scientific consensus!”.

  153. There’s lots of people who are desperately ignoring reality banging the pseudo-skeptic drum “because freedom and liberty!”.

  154. >There’s lots of people who are desperately ignoring reality banging the pseudo-skeptic drum “because freedom and liberty!”.

    There are a lot of people banging the drum for AGW because they’re crypto-totalitarian statist thugs.

    The truth value of these statements is irrelevant to the confirmation status of the science. In either direction.

  155. Well derecho64, its interesting that the AGW side always states that we need to “do something” or face catastrophe. However, the solutions that meet acceptability all end up being giant “hugely empower the government” activities.

    Now there are ways that aren’t “remove peoples economic and political freedoms” that I actually support. I am very much in favor of switching, technology wise, from coal to nuclear, so much so that I would support building a Nuclear power plant within 60 miles of my home (its a real good location for one). But sure as hell the “environmentalists” will fight that tooth and nail. Idiots like Wassmann, will state things like, “so coal gives off radiation, but its less than nuclear” that are fucking laughably false. He makes the mistake of comparing particulate radiation spread by burning coal to the radiation in the reactor which stays in the reactor.

    But that’s not an allowed answer, nope.

    So I have to wonder, are they really in it to save the planet, because we have technology that can do that today, or are they more interested in power?

    I’ll believe that they’re not completely interested only in power when they start proposing solutions that require the application of technology and not taxes and regulations.

  156. I get the impression that most people who believe in CAGW aren’t interested in power at all. They just believe something is right, and want to do it, and need everyone else to do this right thing with them. If they have no more power than they do now, that’s fine; they’ve saved the world.

    They founder in that they’re willing to resort to force to get everyone to do the right thing. In other words, they want to project their morals onto everyone else.

    There’s an element of righteous defense to this. They believe if they don’t force everyone else, the planet will get too warm to live in, and kill them off along with everyone else. In that sense, it’s their science against ours, and they believe the science sides with them. Genuinely. So for some of them, there’s a legitimate argument: if I don’t do something about you, you’ll contribute to my death.

    Are they right, or are they mistaken? I admit, at first glance, I might be inclined to side with them, except for (a) the direst predicted change is only about 10 degrees (Fahrenheit) over the next 100 years, which strikes me as easily adaptable for a society used to 60+ degree changes over the course of a single year; (b) the most vocal scientists’ communications give me the impression that they’re after prestige more than saving the planet; and (c) error cascades are a possibility, esp. when politics gets involved.

    So most of them aren’t totalitarians, no. (Some at the *top* are. And that’s all you need to do some real damage. The rest are being used, aside from a few who are genuine but more reserved about their conclusions, but calling them totalitarians just steels their resolve, IMO.)

  157. I don’t think AGW true believers are motivated by either altruism or malice, but by simple self-interest. Most of them are societal parasites that rely on government largess for their basic sustenance and standard of living. Ensuring the viability of the State is both a security blanket and an existential imperative. Funding the cancerous growth of government takes ever-increasing revenues and direct tax expansion is deeply unpopular. The solution is covert taxation via broad-based energy fees imbedded in core commodity prices. If anyone complains, then they must be dangerous subversives that want to kill everyone on the planet via CAGW. Once demonized, these malcontents can be safely detained in re-education camps. The ones that refuse to “get with the program” are expendable. Gulags or gas chambers, your choice.

  158. Paul Brinkley: Hasn’t the traditional, simplest definition of totalitarians been those willing to use force to control what others think?

    If I were to attend my alma mater today, I’d have to keep my mouth shut years about any opinions I hold on AGW, it’s the party line of both the school and my department.

    I think it’s important for us to admit, at least to ourselves, what our adversaries are.

  159. I don’t think it’s the widely received view, no. Totalitarians are mustache-twirling, white-nehru-jacket-wearing, scheming, plotting maniacs, not ordinary people trying to force their morals on others. The latter enables the former, but I honestly believe the latter just haven’t thought it through that far. And again, for some of them, they believe the world will end unless they force others to do something. They’d prefer others just do it without being forced, but if not…

    Assertions that they’re totalitarians will strike them as radicalized propaganda in the same way that telling them they believe in robbing the people at gunpoint and calling it “taxes” does. In their view, anyone who refuses that stubbornly is a greedy scumbag and deserves to be forced anyway. Both are dead-end arguments.

    I think they care about not forcing their morals on others – that’s something other people do, not them. But I’m not sure how they square themselves with that (when I argue up to that claim, they’ve ignored it so far).

  160. This analysis & summation of independent data sources on the CO2 debate is illuminating even if somewhat technical. Worth a read and largely agrees with Murray Salby’s conclusions derived from other data sources. He concludes the current rise in CO2 is a natural process caused by warming (in this case, sea surface). Salby agreed but did not indicate whether sea or land temperature rise was responsible. This paper also concludes that the isotopic ratio touted as the result of fossil fuel combustion is actually the result of natural processes. Pretty interesting details in any case. Give it a look.

    http://www.kidswincom.net/climate.pdf

  161. @derecho64
    > Do they conclude that the models themselves are the sole source of the difference?

    Could you please outline what data would convince you that the theories surrounding global warming would convince you that the theory is incorrect? Falisifiability, as I am sure you know, is the cornerstone of science.

    I know that Manfred has checked out of this thread, (I’m catching up) but this quote was thought provoking to me.

    @Manfred Wassmann
    sorry, prediction alone isn’t science. If you don’t have any model …your prediction isn’t anything more scientific than astrology or religion.

    I think this is wrong, but it is an interested statement nonetheless on the nature of science. It made me think about this blog piece, which I also found thought provoking.

    http://goo.gl/JRM77b (google, big data and artificial intellgience. What if patterns reveal things humans don’t understand?)

    It also reminded me of this from Richard Feynman. Something that reveals what a profoundly great scientist he truly was.

  162. Totalitarians are mustache-twirling, white-nehru-jacket-wearing, scheming, plotting maniacs, not ordinary people trying to force their morals on others.

    You… don’t know much about totalitarians do you?

  163. “You… don’t know much about totalitarians do you?”

    Yes, my thought too; they watch for the Bond villains while ignoring (or actively supporting) the Maoist or Stalinist. Too many are unfamiliar with the nightmares of Orwell or Huxley which is why I suspect sooner or later the world must suffer more Mao’s and Stalin’s who will kill a hundred million, if need be, to perfect people.

  164. @JessicaBoxer: “@Manfred Wassmann
    “sorry, prediction alone isn’t science. If you don’t have any model …your prediction isn’t anything more scientific than astrology or religion.”

    “I think this is wrong, but it is an interested statement nonetheless on the nature of science.”

    I think it’s wrong too, because I think prediction *requires* a model of some sort. When you make a prediction, you are making (possibly unconscious) assumptions about the nature of what you are trying to predict, and making your prediction based on those assumptions. Those underlying assumptions constitute a model.

    If your prediction proves incorrect, you must then face the fact that your model may be wrong, and that things are not as you assume. Depending upon the nature of your assumptions and the degree of belief you have invested, this can be a considerable challenge. Consider the fundamentalist Christians whose predicted date for the end of the world has come and gone, sometimes more than once. The most obvious possible flaw in their model – that the God they believe in who will end the world simply does not exist – is not something they can consider. They do have to admit they got the dates wrong, and go back to try to recalculate.

    AGW theorists are in a similar position. For most, that their fundamental premise is wrong is not something they are capable of conceiving, let alone admitting. (And the social costs to those who might come to believe they were wrong is great enough that they will be extremely reluctant to admit it in public.) Instead, they go back and recalculate, attempting to account within the model they use for the fact that predictions derived from it have not come to pass.

  165. You… don’t know much about totalitarians do you?

    I had thought that the implication in what I wrote was clear: I’m not talking about who I think is a totalitarian; I’m talking about who average people seem to think is one.

    Find one you catch holding that others should do with their property what he tells them because he knows what is right, even if they might think otherwise, and ask him if he considers himself a totalitarian. How do you suspect he would respond?

  166. @Paul Brinkley

    Ah, I misread.

    Most people wouldn’t know a totalitarian if he put on his boots and acted out a moment of eternity.

  167. Perhaps not, aye.

    More to my original point, labeling people using definitions they don’t already hold to isn’t going to get you anywhere unless you do the work necessary to get them to your definition first. It’d be like an American liberal accusing an Objectivist of being selfish, or an Objectivist accusing the former of being a moocher. They’re non-starters, wounding with words to enable getting your way in the ensuing chaos. (Which, granted, may be the only way if someone is willfully entrenched into believing you’re wrong. But every so often, a different sort comes along…)

  168. > Could you please outline what data would convince you that the theories surrounding global warming would convince you that the theory is incorrect?

    End to stratospheric cooling. Arctic sea ice extent, age, and thickness returning, for multiple decades, to their pre-20th-century values. Ocean acidification stopping and reversing. GAT returning to its pre-industrial values. Changes noted in species distribution and movements reversing.

    Basically, CO2 continues to increase but *every* trend changes direction and the climate system returns to its pre-perturbation state.

  169. > He concludes the current rise in CO2 is a natural process caused by warming (in this case, sea surface). Salby agreed but did not indicate whether sea or land temperature rise was responsible.

    What’s making the sea surface warmer? Where’s the energy coming from? Mr. Haynie should publish his analyses in a reputable journal – I can see that mere curve-fitting isn’t sufficient (there are constraints imposed by the requirement of physicality) and his graphs almost uniformly stink. Far too heavy of a grid and a mishmash of overlapping lines isn’t well-designed to communicate his claims.

  170. That’s an absurdly high bar. If CO2 continued to increase, but nothing else changed, that wouldn’t convince you the theory is incorrect?

    Which, of course, is just as unlikely as what you wrote. Personally, I don’t see any problem with declaring a theory incorrect if its predictions are off by a substantial degree. In other words, if CO2 increases and the world gets a bit warmer and the oceans a bit more acidic, etc., I would still consider the theory largely wrong if the predictions of planetary catastrophe (Florida drowns, millions dead, mass extinctions, etc.) prove to be overblown, because the catastrophe aspect seems to be a central part of the theory.

  171. @derecho64
    > End to stratospheric cooling. Arctic sea ice extent, age, and thickness returning, for multiple decades, to their pre-20th-century values.

    But these all assume your conclusion. The question is over the supposed deleterious effects of global warming, so your answer has to do with some measure of warming, not the effects you use to measure your putative effect, effects that of late have translated into no warming, hence the need to change the rather embarrassing moniker “global warming” to “climate change.”

    I could claim that the theory of phlogiston could only be demonstrated wrong by demonstrating that the air phlogiston levels went down after buring a piece of paper according to my phlogiston meter (which actually didn’t measure phlogiston, but carbon monoxide concentrations.) The experiment assumes the conclusion, just as you assume that reduced Arctic sea ice is necessarily caused by global warming, and proximately by rising CO2.

    I was reminded of the claim by Al Gore six years ago that the arctic polar region would be ice free in 2013. When he made that claim lots of scientists jumped all over his ass, because god forbid global warming theory advocates would make a testable prediction that can be verified before my grandchildren go to college.

    BTW, it is what really bothers me about the global warming thing: the appalling lack of actual science, by which I mean repeatable experiments or testable, falsifiable predictions. After all, these two things are what science is really all about. These two things are the difference between scientists and priests. The term “scientific consensus” should make all serious scientists cringe. Accountability for your claims is the very essence of science, and yet nobody is held accountable at all.

    So how long does the GAT have to stay basically stable before you are willing to be open to considering the possibility that the theory is wrong?

  172. “Catastrophic” is a moral judgement, not a scientific one. I’m referring to AGW theory, which is what the question was about.

  173. If “global warming” was dropped in favor of “climate change”, how come the IPCC has always been called that, going back to its founding in 1988? I recommend Googling “Frank Luntz memo global warming” to see from where the spin came.

    For AGW theory to be incorrect, CO2 would have to continue to increase but all the impacts of that increase would have to reverse their trends. Not just stabilize for a short time, but reverse.

    GAT isn’t the sole measure of AGW. Never has been.

    How do you propose we engage in repeatable experiments? We have no control earth, and we have only the one in any case. What Al Gore said, BTW, is irrelevant. Just once I’d like to read a pseudo-skeptic make their argument without tossing him in.

  174. “Catastrophic” is a moral judgement, not a scientific one. I’m referring to AGW theory, which is what the question was about.

    But nobody would care about AGW if all it meant was “the Earth will get slightly warmer, and nothing of importance will happen.” The “catastrophic” part is central to all the hoopla.

  175. >BioBob on 2014-06-16 at 13:54:53: He concludes the current rise in CO2 is a natural process caused by warming . . .

    Very interesting, although it will take a while to digest. Thanks. (note: my download failed first try, 2nd attempt OK)

    Coming at the CO2 increase is not anthropogenic idea from a completely different direction, here’s Alexander Cockburn, of all people (although there actually are some good guys on the Left, and he was definitely one of them):

    Now imagine two lines on a piece of graph paper. The first rises to a crest, then slopes sharply down, then levels off and rises slowly once more. The other has no undulations. It rises in a smooth, slowly increasing arc. The first, wavy line is the worldwide CO2 tonnage produced by humans burning coal, oil and natural gas. On this graph it starts in 1928, at 1.1 gigatons (i.e. 1.1
    billion metric tons). It peaks in 1929 at 1.17 gigatons. The world, led by its mightiest power, the USA, plummets into the Great Depression, and by 1932 human CO2 production has fallen to 0.88 gigatons a year, a 30 per cent drop. Hard times drove a tougher bargain than all the counsels of Al Gore or the jeremiads of the IPCC (Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change).

    Then, in 1933 it began to climb slowly again, up to 0.9 gigatons.And the other line, the one ascending so evenly? That’s the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, parts per million (ppm) by volume, moving in 1928 from just under 306, hitting 306 in 1929, to 307 in 1932 and on up. Boom and bust, the line heads up steadily. These days it’s at 380.There are, to be sure, seasonal variations in CO2, as measured since 1958 by the instruments on Mauna Loa, Hawaii. (Pre-1958 measurements are of air bubbles trapped in glacial ice.) Summer and winter vary steadily by about 5 ppm, reflecting photosynthesis cycles. The two lines on that graph proclaim that a whopping 30 per cent cut in man-made CO2 emissions didn’t even cause a 1 ppm drop in the atmosphere’s CO2. Thus it is impossible to assert that the increase in atmospheric CO2 stems from human burning of fossil fuels.

    excerpt from:
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2007/04/28/is-global-warming-a-sin/

    Even most hard-line AGW skeptics accept that the CO2 increase is human-caused. If even that can’t be maintained . . .

  176. For AGW theory to be incorrect, CO2 would have to continue to increase but all the impacts of that increase would have to reverse their trends. Not just stabilize for a short time, but reverse.

    This is incorrect on its face. AGW theory claims that if CO2 increases, these trends would increase. If P, then Q. The logical opposite of that is “P, and then not Q”, not “P, then R”.

    How do you propose we engage in repeatable experiments? We have no control earth, and we have only the one in any case.

    So, what then? Because we can’t conduct a proper experiment, we should pretend we never needed to in the first place? Science does not work that way.

    What Al Gore said, BTW, is irrelevant. Just once I’d like to read a pseudo-skeptic make their argument without tossing him in.

    A great deal has been offered here aside from incidental references to Al Gore. You have plenty to do without fixating on him.

  177. @ Jessica Boxer

    The proper way to respond to zealots is to ignore them or ridicule their conclusions. In this case it is easy. To the extent that arctic ice extent variability is possibly caused by warming oceans (none or small – since it is seemingly actually primarily controlled by wind patterns, but we really don’t know because like most chaotic behavior, we don’t know) pray tell how warming on a global scale could possibly ALSO be responsible for the current RECORD antarctic ice extent last & this year as well as the past number of years ?? Instead, ice extents are like ocean cycles; they go up and down because we don’t really know.

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

    Global sea ice is ABOVE average as a result atm, if that metric has any importance:

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/iphone/images/iphone.anomaly.global.png

    At any rate, clearly the AGW types predicted total melt for the arctic back some years ago and that has never happened or even gotten close to happening so clearly their hysterical predictions of doom are way too often wrong.

  178. How do you propose we engage in repeatable experiments?

    Every day is another experiment.
    What is going to be next week or next month or next year?

  179. Bah… every time i forget that this blog renders tags… That should be :-

    What is <some measurable/observable metric> going to be next week or next month or next year?

  180. @ Paul Brinkley

    You forgot to mention the alternate hypothesis. A) CO2 goes up because the oceans warmed as a result of natural cycles and natural processes. The AGW hypothesis (B) is that temperatures went up because the CO2 is going up and man is responsible for the CO2. Plus we are all going to DIE …REAL SOON NOW ! ®

    We know from ice core and other proxy data that in the past, ALL rising temperature cycles preceded increasing CO2 by a century to a millenium, so all the historical evidence reinforces hypothesis A and refutes B. We also know that in the recent past, temperature was higher than today and obviously not caused by people driving their RVs (also from proxies).

    In fact, trying to piece together the entire puzzle from the supposed .8 degree C increase in the past century is absurd, since we don’t really know why CO2 is increasing or that global warming is even global. We can only theorize & guess. What we do know is that the observed problems are not serious (or even visible) and that it is unlikely that such small increases in CO2 will have any significant effect. Witness the fact that the current models have failed.

    However, if you wanted to wait around for cold ocean onset and the corresponding decrease in CO2 in 50 to 1,000 years then feel free. For me, all the existing evidence is plenty to not worry about it.

  181. @derecho64
    > For AGW theory to be incorrect, CO2 would have to continue to increase but all the impacts of that increase would have to reverse their trends. Not just stabilize for a short time, but reverse.

    So if CO2 levels doubled and it had no effect on GAT for 100 years, you would still not find that compelling evidence that the theory of global warming was in jeopardy? You don’t find that just a little bit “religion-y”?

    > GAT isn’t the sole measure of AGW. Never has been.

    So you are saying the theory of global warming isn’t about warming of the globe? I must be exceptionally stupid not to be able to grok that… but perhaps you could explain. Whenever people start obfuscating the plain meaning of words my immediate reaction is that there is some religion involved…

    > How do you propose we engage in repeatable experiments?

    That would be your problem, or the problem of the climate science establishment. If you can’t engage in science, don’t call it science, call it extrapolation of unreliable data. White coats and PhDs don’t make things scientific, the methods of science make things scientific. Or to put it another way, your very point here entirely supports my contention that there isn’t much science going on over there.

    > What Al Gore said, BTW, is irrelevant. Just once I’d like to read a pseudo-skeptic make their argument without tossing him in.

    I rarely toss him in, because he is such a hypocritical, narcissistic dickhead, and thinking about him makes me a little nauseated. But I think you missed my point. My point was not what he said, but how when he made a verifiable, falsifiable claim, the first reaction of client scientists was to dump on it. Almost as if verifiable, falsifiable claims are scary and anathema to climate science.

  182. @ trying2b-amused on 2014-06-16 at 19:06:23

    Salby’s presentation is also worth looking at if you haven’t already. If you look at the annual wiggles on the Mauna Loa you will notice that the wiggles are not all the same size. In fact, Salby noticed the long term rate of increase in CO2 is equal to the sums of increase on each particular year. Further, he found that nearly ALL of the rate of increase is explained by that years global temperature & moisture values. Check it out:

  183. Both the double-pendulum problem of classical mechanics and the three-body problem of astrophysics have been around for hundreds of years, and proven to be unsolvable even in a simplified and idealized model case. Not even the most sophisticated mathematical programming nor fastest supercomputers have between able to predict these motions with even minimal accuracy beyond the first few minutes of action. Chaos Theory is unforgiving for simple interactive systems and a death sentence for large, complex interactive systems.

    Should someone discover a way to breach the Chaos Theory firewall (assuming this is even possible) and render these problems solvable, then our understanding of the Universe will be dramatically enlightened and the AGW case will pale into insignificance by comparison.

    If you are a non-tenured academic, chasing the AGW chimera (via model development) is both futile and never-ending job security. Even better, political correctness assures that criticism of your work will be condemned as heresy. The sky is falling, so keep that grant money flowing.

  184. Both the double-pendulum problem of classical mechanics and the three-body problem of astrophysics have been around for hundreds of years, and proven to be unsolvable even in a simplified and idealized model case.

    Which double-pendulum problem do you mean? The double pendulum is chaotic in practice but can be solved analytically, usually about midway through a semester-long undergrad classical course.

  185. > What is going to be next week or next month or next year?

    Those are weather questions, not climate questions.

    However, I can very confidently predict that the high temperature at the South Pole on 1 July 2100 will be much lower than the high temperature in NYC on 1 July 2100.

  186. Falstaff on 2014-06-16 at 20:17:41 said: Salby was fired by his Univ last year.

    So, what else is new ? Galileo was imprisoned by the Church for suggesting that the earth rotated about the sun. Salby wasn’t the first persecuted by the ‘crew’ and is hardly the latest either:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/12/professors-fellowship-terminated-for-speaking-out-on-global-warming-in-the-wall-street-journal/

    The climategate controversy was in a large part about the attempts of the ‘crew’ to suppress skeptics, wasn’t it, aside from the lost data, crappy methodology, etc.

    If you are interested in the gruesome details, Salby is suing the university for breach of contract and will probably win big (and may have already, I don’t follow the news on it):

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/11/murry-salby-responds-to-critics/

  187. @derecho64
    > > What is going to be next week or next month or next year?
    > Those are weather questions, not climate questions.

    You are assuming your conclusion again. He never said anything about weather. What is the climate going to be next week, next month or next year, or ten years from now?

    > However, I can very confidently predict that…

    Yes, that is the sort of claim that climate scientists would make. If you really think that the world’s economy should be deeply compromised because of your predictions (as is the ridiculous extrapolation by many of the very dubious claims of global warming advocate theorists), then you have to do better than that.

    Thankfully, as I said above, most people are ignoring your silly claims now, and thankfully you can only get mildly harmful legislation passed rather than the substantially devastating ideas that some people have proposed.

  188. It’s unfortunate that you view the science through the lens of potential policies. You’re putting the cart before the horse. Disliking certain policies or agents of policies doesn’t change the underlying science – or the reality it describes – at all.

  189. Salby got was debarred from the NSF for five years for falsifying time sheets while on an NSF grant; a morally dubious individual isn’t really someone worth rallying around.

  190. > The climategate controversy was in a large part about the attempts of the ‘crew’ to suppress skeptics, wasn’t it, aside from the lost data, crappy methodology, etc.

    It was about parties unknown sponsoring a criminal act of hackery and then carefully presenting a cherry-picked selection of context-free emails to put scientists in the worst possible light. In short, a dirty and underhanded political hit job.

    Multiple investigations have completely exonerated the scientists of any scientific malpractice. If you want to believe these investigations were whitewashes, you’re off in loonyland.

  191. derecho64, the problem with your statement is that the “science” is very likely to have been perverted in service of the exact kind of policies that conservatives distrust.

    Want to take that out of the picture? Come up with policy prescriptions that do not involve totalitarian control of economies. That’ll divorce the two. Until that happens, the “science” and the policies are inextricably intertwined, and neither is trustworthy.

  192. and yes, those investigations were indeed whitewashes. Not a single one was truly independent of the “climate science” community.

  193. Jay, what sort of “truly independent” investigators would meet your standards?

  194. @ Christopher Smith

    The double pendulum equations cannot be solved formally for an exact time variant solution, but can be approximated using numerical methods such as Runge Kutta. The error still grows significantly over time and the correlation becomes meaningless very quickly.

    However, this is a good analogy for the AGW problem. On the surface, it may appear solvable to some diehards, but in practice it is an exercise in wasted effort.

  195. “underhanded political hit job”

    LOL, that’s why Phil Jones resigned eh ? In your zealot dreams…

    Reading http://anenglishmanscastle.com/HARRY_READ_ME.txt is all that’s required to see the morass of fail.

    But there was this too:
    “Yesterday, Mr Monbiot, who writes on green issues, said the emails could scarcely be more damaging.
    ‘I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I’m dismayed and deeply shaken,’ he said. ‘There are some messages that require no spin to make them look bad.
    ‘There appears to be evidence of attempts to prevent scientific data from being released, and even to destroy material that was subject to a Freedom of Information request.’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1230635/Scientist-climate-change-cover-storm-told-quit.html

  196. *> Recently GAT, perking along its merry level way, has fallen out of the bottom of the range of predictions made by the climate modelers at the IPCC.*

    It’s worth noting that this actually happened some time ago, *if* you look at the correct set of predictions. The full “range of predictions” that the IPCC quotes is actually based on a range of assumed increases in the CO2 level; the bottom of the prediction range is based on assuming sharp cuts in CO2, while the upper end of the prediction range is based on the “business as usual” scenario where CO2 keeps rising.

    Since the actual CO2 level has risen more or less according to the “business as usual” scenario, the only model predictions that are even relevant are the ones based on that assumption; but the lower end of *those* predictions is significantly *higher* than the lower end of the full range of predictions that the IPCC quotes. Another example of bait and switch…

  197. I find it alarming that so many non-climate scientists are willing to have such strong opinions on the matter. There are a lot of generalizations and hyperbolic statements here, but assuming most people reading this take science seriously, then isn’t it a little presumptuous to dismiss the stance of the IPCC on the whole based on a few paragraphs and a metric that the IPCC itself doesn’t believe is valuable? I feel like that’s what I’m being asked to do here. Essentially the IPCC is being accused of fraud. While this might be true, it would take a body of scientists of a similar caliber, in qualitatively similar fields, to prove this. I have the strangest feeling the IPCC is going to reduce the sentiment of this page to rubble unless a lot of you are highly motivated climate scientists and this is you venting more so than trying to make a point.

  198. >It’s worth noting that this actually happened some time ago, *if* you look at the correct set of predictions.

    This is true. But before GAT fell off the bottom of the Case A range we didn’t have the comparison plot exhibiting an abject failure that any layperson can see. That was the key transition politically if not scientifically.

  199. Aduro, it’s precisely because we take science seriously that we object to the IPCC’s bastardization of it. They’re depending on the honorific of “science” to make their non-scientific predictions be accepted as the way things will be, even though those predictions are based on hokum that’s being twisted for political ends.

    It’s not necessary to have scientists to prove scientific fraud. It’s only necessary to expose the “climate science” community’s own words admitting to it. See Climategate.

    “I have the strangest feeling the IPCC is going to reduce the sentiment of this page to rubble” …uhm, huh? The only thing that’s being reduced to rubble is the “climate science” community’s claim to actually doing science. Hint: science has predictive power; “climate science” does not. Science works by sharing data and allowing anyone who cares to try to shoot down theories. “Climate science” hides data and refuses to share it and defends its theories with religious fervor.

    “Climate science” is not science.

  200. derecho64, what it would take to satisfy me is a panel of investigators with subpoena power to compel production of any and all documents and levy legal penalties for perjury, made up of scientists not drawn from the “climate science” community, explicitly including those who have publicly expressed skepticism of the whole CAGW theory, and funded equally by government and CAGW skeptics like the Heartland Institute.

    If such a panel were to say there was no coverup, I’d buy it.

    Mark Steyn was right: the Penn State investigation was a whitewash of the same class as their investigation of Jerry Sandusky. Its purpose was not to find the truth, but to protect the institution’s reputation. Other investigations were done for similar purposes.

  201. Jay, you are immune to facts, evidence and reason. Your use of Steyn as a source proves it.

  202. Jay, your prescription for independence makes no sense. Next time there’s a plane accident, let’s get M.D.s and plumbers to investigate. We certainly wouldn’t want experts in aeronautics, airplane design and manufacture, and others with any understanding of the subject involved. They’re just too tainted.

  203. > Science works by sharing data and allowing anyone who cares to try to shoot down theories. “Climate science” hides data [...]

    Categorically untrue.

  204. Pooh-pooh Mark Steyn all you like, derecho64, but he will do something nobody else has done: force Michael Mann to show his work.

  205. derecho64, there are plenty of folks who understand things central to “climate science” that aren’t “climate scientists”. Folks like physicists, chemists, and meteorologists – plenty of whom have raised serious questions the “climate science” community refuses to answer.

    Further, when the questions reach to the heart of the scientific method, as those surrounding “climate science” do, then you don’t have to be a “climate scientist” to understand the issues.

    The entire “climate science” community is on trial. Giving “climate scientists” the final judgment on their own legitimacy is simply a prescription for another whitewash.

  206. Quick question for the contrarians/rejectionists/pseudo-skeptics…

    If the GAT data are so manipulated and thus suspicious and not credible, how come the “hiatus”? Why did it slip through?

  207. @ Arduro Veritas – “Essentially the IPCC is being accused of fraud.”

    History is replete with numerous examples of scientific institutions and practitioners being corrupted by political and religious tyrannies. See Dark & Middle Ages in Europe.

    But you don’t have to go that far back in time either. Hitler, Stalin, and Mao all used “science” in furtherance of their totalitarian goals. A lot a serious, practicing scientists and doctors took the stand at Nuremberg and were convicted of crimes against humanity. Humans are fallible, so yes, it can happen; even today.

  208. If Mann has shown his work, why has he fought so hard and so tenaciously to keep from having to reveal his data and his emails? Indeed, that he sued Steyn may turn out to be his downfall: he’ll have to produce all of that in discovery, or else give up his case.

    Current GAT has not been manipulated. The data’s too widely available for that. It’s historical GAT data that’s been manipulated, using fudge factors to adjust raw data – and neither of which have been disclosed. There are lots of skeptics who have asked for the raw data and the adjustment facts, and the rationale for them, and have been rebuffed by the “climate science” community because they thought the data was going to be used to discredit them.

  209. @esr:
    before GAT fell off the bottom of the Case A range we didn’t have the comparison plot exhibiting an abject failure that any layperson can see. That was the key transition politically if
    not scientifically

    Yes, but it would be nice if, now that this transition has happened, the fact that it *should* have happened some time ago got more public discussion, so that more people realized just how hard the IPCC has worked to obfuscate the issues. One thing at a time, I suppose…

  210. >If the GAT data are so manipulated and thus suspicious and not credible, how come the “hiatus”? Why did it slip through?

    Because CRU and their allies can’t mess with all the data. The satellite measurements, in particular, have a provenance that makes tampering fairly difficult, and there’s some reason to believe that people inside NASA have been maneuvering to keep Hansen’s hands off them. If the fudging of the Earth-surface numbers got too overt, questions the “Team” didn’t want to answer would be raised about the divergence from the sat data. There would be a similar problem with the numbers from the Japanese meteorological agency, which have never matched the AGW narrative very well.

  211. BEST showed that the claims of manipulation are just plain false. You guys seem to be stuck in late 2009. Why is that?

  212. > Folks like physicists, chemists, and meteorologists – plenty of whom have raised serious questions the “climate science” community refuses to answer.

    What questions? Specifics, please.

  213. So, ESR, there’s a vast conspiracy in place, with Hansen as a prime baddie. Got it. Color me skeptical of your claim.

  214. >So, ESR, there’s a vast conspiracy in place, with Hansen as a prime baddie.

    Actually, I think the conspiracy is relatively small with Hansen as a prime baddie. My evaluation is that most climatologists are honest, but caught up in a massive error cascade that is all the more difficult to break out of because their grant money depends on the panic continuing.

  215. Got it, ESR. You have some understanding of the engineering mindset, but almost no understanding of how scientists think and are motivated. They’re all about Ego. Showing colleagues one’s brilliance by proving them wrong is a scientist’s dream. Herd behavior is the exact opposite.

  216. One of the ironies of the contrarian position is that it’s been climate scientists who’ve been on the receiving end of statist harassment; from Inhofe’s “hit list” of climate scientists to Cuccinelli’s witch-hunt against Mann, it’s been the climate science community that’s been subject to neo-totalitarian tactics. But we don’t hear much about those things from the contrarians, just rehashes of old debunked talking-points from the stolen emails, which are approaching 5 years of staleness.

  217. @derecho64:
    Showing colleagues one’s brilliance by proving them wrong is a scientist’s dream

    First of all, you’re assuming that the Hockey Team and Hansen et al are “scientists”. Sure, their job titles say “professor” or “scientist” or something like that, but their actual skill sets, as
    far as I can see, consist of obtaining grant funding, i.e., political, not scientific.

    Second, showing their “brilliance” by proving colleagues wrong is exactly what they think they are doing; they are “proving wrong” all those “deniers”, like, for example, Richard Lindzen of MIT, who call themselves “scientists” but can’t see the Truth that CO2 Will Destroy The World if it is not stopped.

  218. @derecho64
    > One of the ironies of the contrarian position is that it’s been climate scientists who’ve been on the receiving end of statist harassment;

    This is an interesting comment. In my experience religious people ALWAYS think they are being persecuted. It is a powerful mechanism for locking people into the group. It is a powerful us-verses-them mechanism to distance the “us” from the “them” and make it more expensive to move from “us” to “them”.

    Having said that, all your defenses still don’t address the core question: by what definition of science is climate science a real science, when the very core elements of science are missing — reproducible experiments, open data, verified though falsifiable predictions.

    A friend of mine’s child is entering a school science contest. He has to formulate a hypothesis, design an experiment that is based on a prediction from the hypothesis, publish his method and data to make the experiment reproducible, show his raw data, and derive a conclusion about the hypothesis based on the data. He also has to calculate and show standard deviation on his graph, which he apparently finds very scary :-)

    This is called “science”, and it is all the things that climate science don’t do. It doesn’t even meet the standards of middle school science fairs.

    I was thinking about your question as to how to do reproducible experiments this morning, given that we have only one earth. It reminded me of the speed of light, for some reason. Today we can probably measure the speed of light pretty directly with some extremely accurate instruments. However, 500 years ago this wasn’t the case. However physicists of that time actually did manage to measure it using various ingenious techniques, and they go it pretty accurate. Newton, for example, calculated it within about 10% of the correct number.

    Saying “experiments are too hard” is really such a dreadful cop out. In fact it is real disrespect to all the amazing men and women who have done amazing science with very few resources throughout the history of science.

  219. > for example, Richard Lindzen of MIT, who call themselves “scientists” but can’t see the Truth that CO2 Will Destroy The World if it is not stopped.

    One problem with Lindzen and his argument for very low ECS – the climate system is so damped that it can’t get ice free periods and Ice Ages. We know those have occurred so his theory doesn’t comport with observations. Oops. He also doesn’t think much of the health impacts of his smoking and he’s earned himself emphysema as a result.

  220. “One problem with Lindzen and his argument for very low ECS – the climate system is so damped that it can’t get ice free periods and Ice Ages. We know those have occurred so his theory doesn’t comport with observations.”

    Eh? Ice ages now must be only due to carbon sensitivity, and are unrelated to Milankovitch cycles?

  221. @Jonathan Abbey:
    some amount of the energy imbalance could be turned into the energy of motion, but that’s a closed loop cycle, and can’t take energy out of the planet to redress the radiative balance.

    Um, what? The water itself is in a closed loop, but the energy transport is not: energy is taken from the oceans and transported into space (via the upper atmosphere). This mechanism most certainly *can* take energy out of the planet.

    If you just mean that the energy has to be radiated into space at some point, yes, that’s true, but I don’t understand how it changes The Monster’s point that this energy transport mechanism is not accounted for in the models: this mechanism makes more energy available in the upper atmosphere to radiate into space than the models predict.

  222. > Eh? Ice ages now must be only due to carbon sensitivity, and are unrelated to Milankovitch cycles?

    No. I’m using ECS in the most general sense – change in temperature related to radiative forcing change. Lindzen doesn’t dispute the basics of AGW – he just claims that the impacts will be small. He has little patience with the “Sky Dragon” ninnies.

  223. > by what definition of science is climate science a real science, when the very core elements of science are missing — reproducible experiments, open data, verified though falsifiable predictions.

    Again, how does one experiment with the climate system? Ideas other than climate models?

    “Open data”? Petabytes of it out there. Oodles and oodles and oodles of it.

    Predictions? Warming surface temps – check. Increase in ocean heat content – check. Ocean acidification – check. Stratospheric cooling – check. Species moving poleward and upward – check. Arctic sea ice extent decreasing, getting thinner and younger – check.

  224. @derecho:
    “…your prescription for independence makes no sense. Next time there’s a plane accident, let’s get M.D.s and plumbers to investigate. We certainly wouldn’t want experts in aeronautics, airplane design and manufacture, and others with any understanding of the subject involved. They’re just too tainted.”

    When the political and funding stakes are high, non-experts are indeed brought in, because people, including experts, are flawed. They hold biases as do we all. Feynman was recruited to the Shuttle Challenger accident review though he himself stated he had little or no experience with aeronautics, knew “nothing about rockets”. The Rogers Commission was infamous, as was NASA and its legions of rocket engineering contractors, for grossly misstating the odds of accident and to discount the o-ring blow-by warnings at cold temperatures, until Feynman famously brought them to light.

    If the suggestion is that it is the scientific process that only experts can evaluate, this is also contrary to common knowledge. The scientific process consists of the hypothesis, or “clever guesses” per Feynman, the prediction from the hypothesis, and the experiment based on the prediction. The clever guesses, be they general relativity or QED or a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, yes, they almost have to come from experts working in the field to be significant. So too the predictions or experiments. The results of those predictions, the experimental outcome? Not so fast.

    Most scientists or engineers working in other areas, or even informed laymen with some effort, should be able to look at the film of Mercury during an eclipse and see, yes indeed, 43 arc seconds of precession per century are predicted by GR *and* observed, while Newton calls for 7 arc seconds. If the M.D., the expert, observes symptoms of fatigue, back pain, abdominal swelling, etc and suspects Ovarian cancer, orders a blood test for high CA-125 levels, then one need not be an expert to look at, say, a result of normal levels and conclude the initial diagnosis is likely wrong, and perhaps see another doctor.

    You observe the doctor’s diagnosis (GCMs predicting ~2degC/doubling CO2) and the contrary patient and conclude the patient denies basic metabolism theory, despite the normal blood test (GAT below 5% likelihood of GCM surface temperature predictions). Then you demand the back pain and abdominal swelling disappear before rejecting the cancer hypothesis. Yes, something’s going on, but the doctor has not proved what it is, and no the patient does not need a better, alternate theory to logically that hold that view.

    You say there’s more to AGW than surface temperatures, that the oceans are important, that these results do not disprove all the many distinct *underlying* physical theories including radiative forcing. That may all be true, and is irrelevant to the point at hand, which was that the prediction of surface temperatures based on the *aggregate* AGW theory in the GCMs was wrong.

  225. “No. I’m using ECS in the most general sense – change in temperature related to radiative forcing change.”

    But Lindzen is not; he’s saying sensitivity to carbon is small*. Thus the Ice Age does not go away for small carbon ECS. BTW, *global* solar insolation changes almost not at all with the Milankovitch cycles. What changes instead is the distribution of solar insolation.

    *As do many others. I hope you agree there’s no “97%”, or anything like it, that insist ECS for carbon is 3degC/doubling or above.

  226. Ruling out AGW as a theory entirely based on GCM projections of GAT (and not taking into account all factors) is no less foolish than ruling out a medical diagnosis of disease X because the patient doesn’t display all classic symptoms defined and delineated for X.

  227. But if the patient is diagnosed with disease X and a clinical test for a primary sign of X turns up negative, it throws the diagnosis at least into considerable doubt, if not straight out the window.

    Guess what? The clinical test for a major sign of CAGW has turned up negative.

    There’s a word for what a doctor who sticks with the original diagnosis in the face of such a result commits: malpractice.

  228. I don’t think many people here are “ruling out AGW as a theory entirely.” As for myself, I think it’s clear that humans can have some effect on the climate. What I (and many others) object to is the conclusion that all recent climate change has been manmade, that the climate is dominated by positive feedback mechanisms, and that we are on the verge of planetary catastrophe necessitating the spending of trillions of dollars, starting now, in order to make the average temperature (according to even the proponents) some tiny amount lower in 50 years. All while other countries do things that counteract our own efforts.

  229. > The clinical test for a major sign of CAGW has turned up negative.

    Not really. There’s nothing in AGW that says that GAT changes exactly in lockstep and in the same direction and within a specific proportion as CO2.

  230. > What I (and many others) object to is the conclusion that all recent climate change has been manmade, that the climate is dominated by positive feedback mechanisms,

    Those are science questions for which there is much research that points to precisely our dominance of the current changes in the climate system and that the negative feedbacks are unlikely to be sufficient to counteract the ongoing changes.

    > and that we are on the verge of planetary catastrophe necessitating the spending of trillions of dollars, starting now, in order to make the average temperature (according to even the proponents) some tiny amount lower in 50 years. All while other countries do things that counteract our own efforts.

    Those are policy questions which are very much up for debate.

  231. “Not really. There’s nothing in AGW that says that GAT changes exactly in lockstep and in the same direction and within a specific proportion as CO2.”

    Lockstep is not the claim.

    The GCMs predicted a *probability*: mean of 2degC/decade, and 5-95% likelihood ranges of 0.11C to 0.41C per decade, for the current CO2 increase, whereas observation has been ~0.05C/decade (+/-) for the last 15 years. That prediction was wrong.

    There could be a number of possible reasons, to include, for instance, that AGW forcing is correct but that the natural variability is actually much larger than the theory encapsulated by the GCMs. But then large variability casts more doubt on the causes of the warming observed in the last century and so on.

  232. I would think that studying the psychosis of AGW true believers is at least as legitimate as the climate research of the Warmism Movement. Can I get a federal grant to study this?

  233. Isn’t kind of ironic that these allegedly corrupt money-grubbing climate scientists haven’t decided to go over to where the really big cash is – the wealthy interests that perceive AGW as a threat to them? Perhaps these scientists do have some moral fiber.

  234. > Because CRU and their allies can’t mess with all the data. The satellite measurements, in particular, have a provenance that makes tampering fairly difficult, and there’s some reason to believe that people inside NASA have been maneuvering to keep Hansen’s hands off them. If the fudging of the Earth-surface numbers got too overt, questions the “Team” didn’t want to answer would be raised about the divergence from the sat data. There would be a similar problem with the numbers from the Japanese meteorological agency, which have never matched the AGW narrative very well.

    The satellite data, so far, has always been found to be in error and has had to be corrected to match analyses of the surface data. Spencer says that RSS’s analysis has spurious cooling – one would think UAH and RSS would perfectly match, but they don’t.

    Hansen is retired. Find another boogeyman.

    How does the JMA analysis not match the AGW “narrative”? I don’t see much here

    Global Average Surface Temperature Anomalies

    that’s strongly at variance with the analyses of the other groups. For example, JMA has:

    Five Warmest Years (Anomalies)
    1st. 1998 (+0.22°C)
    2nd. 2013 (+0.20°C)
    3rd. 2010 (+0.19°C)
    4th. 2005 (+0.17°C)
    5th. 2009,2002 (+0.16°C)

  235. “Isn’t kind of ironic that these allegedly corrupt money-grubbing climate scientists haven’t decided to go over to where the really big cash is – the wealthy interests that perceive AGW as a threat to them?”

    Compared to the power of governments and the UN, even ExxonMobil is a piker…and especially so if they manage to get their program adopted, because the whole idea is that experts would control the world’s economies, and guess who the experts will be?

  236. Jay, how many climate scientists would you consider to be megalomaniacs? Percentage-wise?

  237. >The satellite data, so far, has always been found to be in error and has had to be corrected to match analyses of the surface data.

    Ha. “Correcting” measurements taken with repeatable uniform methods to match data that has serious holes, siting biases, and has been spuriously “adjusted” – that’s rich. You might as well correct your arithmetic by piping in /dev/random.

    >How does the JMA analysis not match the AGW “narrative”?

    Historically. Go do your homework.

  238. ESR, your comments aren’t based on anything scientific that I can determine, mostly just Wattsian erroneous claims.

    > Historically. Go do your homework.

    What sort of homework do you have in mind to support your “historically” claim? What do you mean?

  239. derecho64, I don’t know. How many politicians would you consider to be megalomaniacs?

  240. I’m guessing you consider all politicians to megalomaniacs. Too coarse of a filter for my tastes.

    If markets could figure out how to handle intergenerational and international problems that aren’t ameliorated by propertization and monetization, then I think more libertarians and anarcho-capitalists wouldn’t dismiss AGW.

  241. >They’re correcting satellite data using surface station data?

    The data will be corrected until it fits the narrative!

  242. >I doubt you’ll read anything from realclimate

    Oh, I read it. Always helpful to know the Party line, provided you don’t assume it will contain any more truth than is minimally required to make the propaganda seem credible.

  243. >Thanks for the mere opinions, ESR.

    Meanwhile, the IPCC models are still busted, and I still did a better job of predicting GAT trends in 2008 than the IPCC did. Maybe you should borrow some of my opinions; yours sure don’t seem to work worth a damn.

  244. >If markets could figure out…

    Markets can’t figure out anything, for they aren’t human. The market is just interactions between people such as you or me, so it’s up to us to figure out whatever it is that must be figured out. And we humans are imperfect beings with incomplete knowledge—even our rulers. But we don’t all know the same things. Therefore, I’d rather entrust decision making to a vast network of self-interested agents, each with their own area of expertise, than to self-interested central planners; in other words, I want power to be as distributed as possible. (I haven’t read Hayek yet, but I believe I’ve indirectly gotten these ideas from him.)
    That said, I do share your concern regarding “intergenerational and international problems”. However, I don’t believe rulers have an incentive to actually solve those problems. In this case, the main cause seems to be a prevalence of high time preference. Like I said above, I think it’s up to us citizen to choose our course of action; in fact, as Hans-Hermann Hoppe has pointed out, our current political systems actually encourage a high time preference.
    In conclusion, I strongly believe we must stop relying on the nanny state for the solutions we need, and restore the civil society as the standard way to pursue those solutions.
    Oh, and there have been proposals to fight pollution through tort law. :-)

  245. Libertarians and anarcho-capitalists would certainly be less inclined to fight the warmists with their last breath if there were policy prescriptions that didn’t amount to destruction of economies and placing the remnants under state control…

  246. >(I haven’t read Hayek yet, but I believe I’ve indirectly gotten these ideas from him.)

    It sounds as though you have, yes. That is no bad thing.

  247. >It sounds as though you have, yes. That is no bad thing.

    Well, I’ve read a bit about him. And reading your Libertarianism FAQ (that was like three years ago) may have played a role in my “apostasy” from leftism, so thanks.

  248. Interestingly, I’ve read Hayek and much much more – I’ve abandoned libertarianism and its fellow travelers as nice-in-theory-but-junk-in-practice fantasies based more on rationalist thought experiments too far removed from reality.

    AGW is an example of a market failure. Since the costs of pollution (carbon and otherwise) are self-interestedly set to zero, we cannot expect the short-term narrow interests of human actors to be able to properly deal with problems like AGW. Basically, we’re facing the analogous problems created by hard-rock mining in the American West in the 19th century. They extracted their ores, made their millions, and left behind mountain-sized piles of toxic waste that we have to spend much to mitigate. All the possible responsible parties are long since dead and gone, but the mess they left behind is not. No amount of market-based or libertarian ideology will solve the problem.

    Refusing to accept the existence of the problem, or refusing to acknowledge that one’s dogma doesn’t allow for the problem, doesn’t mean the problem isn’t there.

  249. >AGW is an example of a market failure.

    Yes. It’s also an example of the iron law of public choice: there is no market failure so grave that agency problems in the political apparatus designed to “solve” it cannot be counted upon to produce an outcome that is still worse.

  250. So, what’s the solution to AGW, if neither markets nor politics can do anything about it?

    Pretend it doesn’t exist?

  251. You’re assuming facts not in evidence.

    If the market failure is truly that grave, then the universe will punish that market, and you’ll get your wish. If you wish the market to correct itself and you’re sure of your facts, present them. (Hint: arguments from authority haven’t worked in the long run since the 1600s.)

    If you want to force the market because you can’t be bothered to present your facts, then gird your armor, don your sword or pen, and attempt to join history’s ranks of charlatans, whisperers, crusaders and tyrants that thought they were trying to save the world, but couldn’t get science to back them up any further than crudely applied physics.

  252. Recognize that AGW exists, is not large, and is far from most important problem in the world; that developed world governments can not do much more that would have any effect in any case, other than to make matters worse by impoverishing themselves.

  253. So, Paul, you’re taking the “pretend it doesn’t exist” route.

    Falstaff is certain the impacts won’t be “large”, and that mitigating AGW is guaranteed to be impoverishing, mostly ineffectual, and must be accomplished by governments. Essentially acknowledging that AGW is a problem markets simply cannot understand, much less do anything about.

  254. derecho64 on 2014-06-17 at 19:11:16 said:

    “Isn’t kind of ironic that these allegedly corrupt money-grubbing climate scientists haven’t decided to go over to where the really big cash is – the wealthy interests that perceive AGW as a threat to them?”

    That’s an insane position.

    Adam is the richest man in the colony. Ben really wants to get his hands on Adam’s stuff and is willing to spread some of that wealth around to anyone who gives him a good justification for taking it and publicly mentions it all the time.

    One year people notice that the barley harvest is down 5%. Michael rolls into town and proclaims that the barley harvest is down because Adam is a witch. Now, it’s not easy to determine that Adam is a witch – you need to be an expert witch-smeller and it’s important that witch-smellers never let anyone who isn’t an approved witch-smeller know how witch-smelling works (otherwise those devious witches might catch on and hide).

    Why doesn’t Michael the witch-smeller just go work for Adam and continually report that Adam isn’t a witch? After all, Adam has the real money, right?

    I think the reader can figure out the two very good reasons why he can’t do that.

  255. @ derecho64 – “Pretend it doesn’t exist?”

    OK, time for a lesson in rationality 101.

    It is the task of the CAGW true believers to “prove” that it does exist, not vice versa. The evidence presented thus far in neither solid, nor consistent, nor substantiated. And in fact, as Eric has pointed out repeatedly, there is a huge failed prediction in the data. If it weren’t for the mass psychosis of the true believers, AGW practitioners would be hanging their head in shame, admitting their errors, and returning to the drawing board to try again.

    Instead, we get the assertion of “settled science,” the intimidation of skeptics, the hiding of data, and the hysteria of a falling sky.

  256. > Instead, we get the assertion of “settled science,” the intimidation of skeptics, the hiding of data, and the hysteria of a falling sky.

    You’re soooooo 2009.

  257. “You’re soooooo 2009.”

    Warmists are talking about “settled science” today.
    Skeptics are being intimidated and silenced and ruined academically today.
    Data is being hidden today. (Don’t think so? Try asking the CRU or NASA for the raw data and the correction factors they used.)
    Warmists are running around making the-sky-is-falling claims today.

    You can’t handwave all that away, no matter how deep you stuff your fingers in your ears and how loudly you say “La la la, I can’t hear you!”.

  258. derecho64 on 2014-06-18 at 11:48:47 said:

    “That’s a really lousy analogy.”

    It’s traditional to follow that statement with an explanation as to why.

    Or at least you could make an appeal to authority and claim that there’s a scientific consensus that it’s a lousy analogy.

    Since you didn’t do that anyone who reads the analogy and your brain dead response will come to the conclusion that you have no way to refute it.

  259. >derecho64
    > So, what’s the solution to AGW, if neither markets nor politics can do anything about it?

    It is true that some externalities are not internalized, which prevents markets from solving the causes of these problems directly. This isn’t really a failure of markets themselves but rather a failure of property rights allocation law. Nonetheless, the best solution to putative market failures is the innovative problem solving of markets. Anyone who actually thinks the UN can solve anything is just not paying attention.

    Even if we stipulate that the problem of CAGW is a real one, something which I am very doubtful about, private solutions can be brought to bear on any significant impact that might arise, and can be brought to bear when the impact actually arises. Furthermore, these solutions can be effected without trying to get agreements from big international bodies.

    For example, the beautiful islands of the Seychelles can save their islands from the predicted deluged by adding a few feet of sand on their beaches. Vacation communities do this all the time anyway to make the sand more paradise like. No international treaties required. All that is needed is to stop whining and get on with solving their own problems. More importantly, they can do this when the putative problem actually arises, if it arises. So no trillions of dollars of tax money required to be spent thirty years in advance of insubstantially predicted disaster.

    Of course, increased temperatures, insolation, CO2 and precipitation, mean improved crop yields, which is a nice little benefit for farmers worldwide. They get it for free with no government or inter government action required.

  260. > Skeptics are being intimidated and silenced and ruined academically today.

    Like who? Names, please.

    > Data is being hidden today. (Don’t think so? Try asking the CRU or NASA for the raw data and the correction factors they used.)

    The “raw data” are from the GHCN. You’re welcome to peruse those data at any time and come up with your own analyses that prove CRU and/or NASA wrong. Also check out the Clear Climate Code project. Knock yourself out.

    Yep, you’re still stuck in 2009. Your rhetoric is about five years obsolete.

  261. > Since you didn’t do that anyone who reads the analogy and your brain dead response will come to the conclusion that you have no way to refute it.

    Who’s Ben and what purpose does he serve in your analogy? Why didn’t you name him Karl?

    Your analogy is so badly muddled it make no sense.

  262. > This isn’t really a failure of markets themselves but rather a failure of property rights allocation law.

    How can the oceans and the air be made into property?

    > private solutions can be brought to bear on any significant impact that might arise, and can be brought to bear when the impact actually arises.

    I see. We wait until the dam actually collapses before doing something about its structural failings. Got it.

    > For example, the beautiful islands of the Seychelles can save their islands from the predicted deluged by adding a few feet of sand on their beaches. Vacation communities do this all the time anyway to make the sand more paradise like. No international treaties required. All that is needed is to stop whining and get on with solving their own problems.

    From where will this “few feet of sand” come from, and, will it be sufficient to mitigate sea level rise? Note that the cause of the Seychelles’ problem isn’t something they did. I suppose a neighbor of yours that pollutes the air wafting over your property can tell you to stop whining and install air filters, because the pollution on your property is your problem, not hers.

    > Of course, increased temperatures, insolation, CO2 and precipitation, mean improved crop yields, which is a nice little benefit for farmers worldwide.

    Perhaps, but far from likely.

  263. “Falstaff is certain the impacts won’t be “large”, and that mitigating AGW is guaranteed to be impoverishing, mostly ineffectual, and must be accomplished by governments. Essentially acknowledging that AGW is a problem markets simply cannot understand, much less do anything about.”

    Your habit of putting words in the mouths of those with which you disagree is particularly unattractive. The efforts proposed by governments for AGW mitigation are not necessarily inclusive of those carried out in the market. Obviously the switch to cheaper fracked shale gas in the US was unconnected to any government central planning, yet the US reduction in CO2 is largest in the world.

  264. “How can the oceans and the air be made into property?”

    INDIVIDUAL TRANSFERABLE QUOTAS

    “The Effects of Introducting Transferable Property Rights on Fleet Capacity and Ownership of Harvesting Rights in Iceland’s Fisheries”
    http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/y2498e/y2498e04.htm

    The quality and efficiency and long term interest of the fishermen goes up, while the number of boats chasing the same number of fish drops. The collapse of a given fishery becomes half as likely as un-managed fisheries.

  265. Your habit of putting words in the mouths of those with which you disagree is particularly unattractive.

    It’s why at this point I simply consider him a troll, with few exceptions. He’s obviously not even trying, or he doesn’t even have the mental faculty to grasp scientific reason. He squawks about how science supports him, only to fall over from stupid, sophomoric stuff like ad hominems and strawmen. The best he can do is make the noises.

    “So, Paul, you’re taking the “pretend it doesn’t exist” route.”
    “You’re soooooo 2009.”
    “Indeed – on your part.”
    “That’s a really lousy analogy.”
    “Yep, you’re still stuck in 2009. Your rhetoric is about five years obsolete.”
    “Your analogy is so badly muddled it make [sic] no sense.”
    “We wait until the dam actually collapses before doing something about its structural failings. Got it.”

    (And that’s just the last six hours.)

  266. That link to ITQs is broken – looks like a glitch on the server, rather than a dead link. Wikipedia explains ITQ in some detail, however.

    The concept sounds very similar to carbon trading. I can’t tell any obvious differences between the two after a little skimming. It’s possible that the total allowable catch (TAC) for fisheries is much more informed by yearly data than the total cap on CO2 in the atmosphere. There may of course be numerous politically-driven differences as well that I’m not aware of. And I’m not clear from the description about what forces drive prices on those ITQs, vs. “carbon credits”. Finally, there is text in the WP article that claims ITQs haven’t actually affected fish stocks, although it does appear to make fisheries significantly less likely to fail. That sounds analogous to making industries less likely to collapse while not affecting total CO2 concentration, which doesn’t sound like a problem anyone’s actually trying to solve.

  267. When all else fails, label a teller of inconvenient truths a “troll”.

  268. How can the oceans and the air be made into property?

    By starting with a basic understanding of what “property” means. Prior to the passage of “environmental protection” laws in the United States, common-law property rights to water and fishing were recognized, and private individuals were successful in obtaining judgments against polluters. While those rights are still recognized in the UK, and anglers’ organizations have brought successful suits against polluters who were affecting fish, US courts ruled that “environmental protection” laws extinguished the common-law property interests, and since the early 20th century, only the government has been able to take any sort of corrective action, leading to both interminable delays and a willingness to accept token settlements. Even the infamous Cuyahoga had been the subject of attempted lawsuits by citizens whose water was polluted, and the courts threw them out on the grounds that the property rights had been extinguished.

  269. Oh, I forgot another ad hominem: “When all else fails, label a teller of inconvenient truths a “troll”.”

  270. I received mostly thoughtful comments regarding my last post. It’s very likely I’m simply not smart enough to understand this thoroughly; although I’m definitely not stupid enough to claim expertise on the matter. As a non-expert, as all of you seem to be, even those of you pretending extremely hard to be something other than that, it’s very difficult for me to dismiss the fact that every time I’ve met an expert on this subject their sentiment and reasoning seems much more sound than the discussion here. It goes something like: “I’ve worked my entire life to understand this properly; climate change is real. Global warming might not be the best term right now but increased carbon pollution will ultimately lead to warming, there is no way around. Whatever fluctuations there are can’t ultimately effect the utility of the term ‘global warming’ as every serious model ultimately predicts the same thing regardless of fluctuations, global dimming, etc.”

    Granted I’ve only met 3 certified experts on the matter throughout my life, but I’m not joking when I say they’d piss on this thread, metaphorically and in a polite way.

    There are a lot of smart people here, surely, however most of you are computer nerds, a demographic notorious for talking about fields they clearly haven’t had the time to fully understand as if they do. In my experience computer science types (like myself) are often the first to act like doctors, lawyers, biologists, etc., without having any clue what they sound like to an expert. This of course is probably and unfortunately stemming from a desire to be known for “cleverness”, more so than a desire to help others. Most of you would have been surgeons if altruism was a longstanding motivational factor. Anyways, I know for sure this thread would sound absurd to the vast majority of people that give their life to climate science and related fields. Clearly an appeal to authority doesn’t make esr’s stance wrong, but it does contextualize this for what it is, something that will get railroaded by the majority of serious scientists and something that seems like just another computer nerd pissing contest.

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/t1.0-9/p403x403/10247391_10152383271544780_878554777239990694_n.jpg

  271. > Your habit of putting words in the mouths of those with which you disagree is particularly unattractive.

    So what about what I wrote was so wrong?

    Fracking and nuclear have roles to play in lessening our carbon emissions – but, as always, we must be very vigilant about the claims of their supporters because we don’t want to be taken for fools yet again.

  272. @derecho64:
    So, what’s the solution to AGW, if neither markets nor politics can do anything about it?

    The answer to this question as you state it, since you’ve explicitly ruled out any method of solution, is “you’re screwed”.

    The real answer is that the existence of a “market failure” does not mean markets can’t solve the problem. It just means the market needs to be adjusted. In other words, if you have some kind of valid knowledge about the future that the market does not have, you have an opportunity to make money by exploiting that knowledge. Of course, if your “knowledge” turns out to be invalid, then you lose money instead. That’s how markets work.

    As for politics, that’s for people who would rather test the validity of their beliefs about the future by risking other people’s money rather than their own.

  273. > The answer to this question as you state it, since you’ve explicitly ruled out any method of solution, is “you’re screwed”.

    I’ve not ruled all methods of solution; that’s the corner the market worshippers and politics cynics have put themselves in.

  274. > The real answer is that the existence of a “market failure” does not mean markets can’t solve the problem. It just means the market needs to be adjusted.

    Bingo. Now, how are markets corrected when they fail?

  275. Paul Brinkley on 2014-06-16 at 19:22:03 said:
    >A great deal has been offered here aside from incidental references to Al Gore. You have plenty to do without fixating on him.

    This was a reply to a comment derecho64 made here http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=5831&cpage=1#comment-868177

    it’s easy to spot this comment offers much aside from an incidental reference to Al Gore and it wasn’t derecho64 who mentioned him first, so you have plenty to do without fixating on him either.

    next one:

    Paul Brinkley on 2014-06-18 at 15:27:12 said:
    >Your habit of putting words in the mouths of those with which you disagree is particularly unattractive.
    >It’s why at this point I simply consider him a troll,
    […]
    derecho64 on 2014-06-18 at 15:44:04 said:
    >When all else fails, label a teller of inconvenient truths a “troll”.
    […]
    Paul Brinkley on 2014-06-18 at 16:32:44 said:
    >Oh, I forgot another ad hominem: “When all else fails, label a teller of inconvenient truths a “troll”.”

    Exactly, you forgot to drive another ad hominem attack ;-) no comment necessary, just follow the conversation above.

  276. @derecho64
    > How can the oceans and the air be made into property?

    The ocean already is a kind of pseudo property. For example, I’m sure you have heard of fishing rights and offshore oil drilling? As to air, there are lots of mechanisms in property law to deal with this kind of thing, they just aren’t exercised with air pollution for some reason.

    > I see. We wait until the dam actually collapses before doing something about its structural failings. Got it.

    Nope. We adapt as things change. No doubt the Hoover dam will have structural problems one day. But we don’t fix 100 year out problems today. We fix any problems it might have today.

    > From where will this “few feet of sand” come from

    Really? You should try to exercise your imagination a little bit. Thankfully markets are extremely imaginative in coming up with solutions to problems. But this is hardly a hard one to solve.

    > Note that the cause of the Seychelles’ problem isn’t something they did.

    So what? I don’t break into peoples houses and steal stuff, and so I am not part of the problem that requires people to have locks on their front doors. However, despite this shocking injustice, I still went ahead and bought a lock.

    > Perhaps, but far from likely.

    Plants are machines for turning CO2, water and solar radiation into foodstuffs. So hardly unlikely.

  277. > We adapt as things change.

    And if mitigation is cheaper than adaptation, we mitigate instead.

    > Plants are machines for turning CO2, water and solar radiation into foodstuffs. So hardly unlikely.

    Plants and crops are two different things. If crops are 10% more productive but weeds are 200% more annoying, we lose. If precipitation patterns change, it may not be easy to move our agricultural areas. Or, if we get the same rain in a place but it rains twice as hard for half as long, that’s not good either.

  278. Here’s what I would do re AGW.

    1. Don’t panic. The best solutions may take a while to develop. It’s counterproductive to impoverish economies now when rich economies might discover solutions in decades hence.

    2. Continue studying the issue and refining models.

    3. Look for the most cost-effective means of counteracting it. Lomberg has written about this. Don’t be afraid of oddball solutions if they actually make sense. Reduce natural gas flaring at wells? Give cows Beano to reduce methane emissions? Fertilize the oceans with iron?

    4. Research future solutions, things like better electrical storage methods and GMO plants that grow fast and absorb CO2… and maybe turn it into carbon fiber or diamonds. Who knows? The genetic engineering of decades hence might well knock our socks off.

  279. @derecho64
    > And if mitigation is cheaper than adaptation, we mitigate instead.

    Intergovernmental action may be cheaper than local action? Now you are just being silly.

    > Plants and crops are two different things…. [etc]

    So local farmers might have to adapt their agricultural schemes to take advantage of the new bonus putative global warming will offer? You know, like farmers do all the time? And that is such a dreadful thing that we have to put the world’s economy on hold?

    Sorry, it is all just silly religious nonsense. If you think that the world getting a little warmer is all bad news, then you have blinkers on.

  280. People who are predominantly innovative and productive tend to view future change as opportunity and also have confidence in their ability to adapt and succeed.

    People who are predominantly societal parasites tend to view future change as a threat to their stability and they have no skill set with which to adapt and recover.

    This may explain the angst and vitriol of the AGW true believers.

  281. TomA: That’s part of it, but I think part has to do with the decline of religion. Many activists seem motivated by essentially religious impulses. If they were religious they’d talk about saving souls, but instead they talk about saving the planet. In some ways it’s a Puritan, utopian movement trying to immanentize the eschaton.

  282. @derecho64:
    how are markets corrected when they fail?

    Do you mean, how is it actually done, most of the time? Or how it should be done?

    How it is actually done, most of the time, is that governments step in to “regulate”, and end up making the problem worse. We had a nice example of that in the crash of 2008.

    How it should be done is to let market participants find ways to work around the “failures”. One man’s “market failure” is another man’s market opportunity. It’s true that this doesn’t always work; there is no method that always works. Some market failures are not solvable; you just have to live with them and adapt.

  283. @Jay Maynard wrote “Data is being hidden today. (Don’t think so? Try asking the CRU or NASA for the raw data and the correction factors they used.)”

    Actually, @derecho64 made an almost-valid point. If you (Jay) mean CRU’s raw station data that they use in their temperature index products, that *is* now available. It’s true that getting it was like pulling teeth, but it did eventually get gotten. You can look at it if you like. (If you have some other form of CRU “raw data” in mind you need to be more specific, since the default natural interpretation probably is that you mean station data. Which was a fine thing to complain about in 2009 or even as late as 2011, but less so today.)

    To quote wikipedia: “In a decision announced on 27 July 2011 the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) required release of raw data even though permissions had not been obtained or in one instance had been refused, and on 27 July 2011 CRU announced release of the raw instrumental data not already in the public domain, with the exception of Poland which was outside the area covered by the FOIA request.”

    Relevant links:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HadCRUT#History_of_CRU_Climate_Data
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/#faq3
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/crutem4/data/download.html
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/27/ueacru-releases-their-climate-data-under-ico-order-but-theres-a-few-holdouts/
    http://climateaudit.org/station-data/

    It’s true there’s lots of OTHER data that is hidden – it’s a never-ending chore to try to ensure stuff that’s supposed to get archived actually does (eg, the raw data on Lonnie Thompson’s trees) but CRU’s “raw data” is essentially no longer one of the pieces in play – the good guys won that battle.

  284. > If you think that the world getting a little warmer is all bad news, then you have blinkers on.

    If you think anthropogenic climate change is only “the world getting a little warmer”, then you know very little about the science.

  285. > Some market failures are not solvable; you just have to live with them and adapt.

    Assuming adaptation is possible.

    I don’t consider anything short of our extinction to be a success.

  286. @drecho64
    > I don’t consider anything short of our extinction to be a success.

    Ah, and so the loop completes. “Hoping for the crazy” indeed.

  287. “If you think anthropogenic climate change is only “the world getting a little warmer”, then you know very little about the science.”

    And hence you demonstrate the reason that the cult’s proper expression includes the C in CAGW.

  288. @derecho64:
    Assuming adaptation is possible.

    You appear to have a very impoverished view of what human beings can adapt to. Even if we just restrict attention to the climate, humans adapted just fine to 0.6 degrees C of warming during the 20th century. Humans have been adapting to sea level rise for thousands of years, since it’s been rising ever since the last Ice Age ended. What seems outlandish to me is to assume that, somehow, all this capacity to adapt is suddenly going to shut down this century, so any change from the current status quo spells disaster.

  289. Particularly in a time when human adaptability, the rate of its increase, and the rate of increase of its increase are higher than they’ve ever been in history.

  290. Connecting dots.

    World news is doom and gloom. Summer blockbuster movies are mostly apocalyptic. Even the books in Eric’s reviews are frequently of the catastrophic future genre. Anxiety is growing and people are getting fatigued of the endless wait for disaster.

    It’s enough to make you crazy.

  291. > Particularly in a time when human adaptability, the rate of its increase, and the rate of increase of its increase are higher than they’ve ever been in history.

    An evidence-free assertion.

  292. > but CRU’s “raw data” is essentially no longer one of the pieces in play – the good guys won that battle.

    CRU were not the “bad guys”, and the tactics employed by McIntyre and his minions were far from honorable.

  293. @Aduro: “[experts say] climate change is real.”

    Yes, many things are real. Did you then ask them, so what?

  294. “…we must be very vigilant about the claims of their supporters because we don’t want to be taken for fools yet again.”

    That’s textbook us against them group think, “them” being some nefarious tricksters.

  295. > That’s textbook us against them group think, “them” being some nefarious tricksters.

    Skepticism is always healthy, especially when claims are made regarding environmental impact of things like nuclear and fracking. Do you disagree?

  296. ” Even the books in Eric’s reviews are frequently of the catastrophic future genre”

    Yes, what’s up with that? There’s a definite dystopian drum beat in recent Sci Fi lit. Didn’t use to be that way in the days of Asimov.

  297. “Skepticism is always healthy ….Do you disagree?”

    I completely agree. The problem lies in personalizing, making it “us” against “them”, as if the skeptical mind was somehow immune to its own delusions-of-grandeur/foolishness/conspiracy theories/entrenched interests.

  298. Yes, what’s up with that? There’s a definite dystopian drum beat in recent Sci Fi lit. Didn’t use to be that way in the days of Asimov.

    Could be a generational thing, assuming it’s a real trend. 1950s: optimism. 1970s: dystopia. 1990s: everything’s awesome again. 2010s…

  299. @derecho64 wrote “CRU were not the “bad guys”, and the tactics employed by McIntyre and his minions were far from honorable.”

    How do you figure? CRU lied and obfuscated to cover their apparent incompetence at record-keeping. McIntyre’s minions were persistent and used the legal tools available in exactly the way those tools were intended. The multiple requests were “a clever trick” to evade legal restrictions that might or might not have been present. A PR firm defending Jones seems to have pushed the narrative that the requests were intended as pure harassment, but there’s no evidence to support this.

    The general shape of the conversation went like this:

    CRU: “Here’s a temperature trend product. This is what we think the temperature history looks like. We can show you the fully corrected/adjusted data, but can’t tell you what the raw data looked like, so there’s no way for you to check whether our math is correct. We regularly make random changes in this published data – even very old historical parts of it – and you just have to take it on faith that we know what we’re doing.”

    McIntyre: “You guys are doing tax-funded research, right? Not that we don’t trust you, but can we maybe see the raw data so we can examine what impact your corrections have?”

    CRU: “No. we don’t release that.”

    McIntyre: “Why not?”

    CRU: “I’m sorry, but some countries don’t want us to release their data. Our contracts with those countries render their data a trade secret.”

    McIntyre: “Not that we don’t trust you, but can we maybe SEE those contracts?”

    CRU: “No.”

    McIntyre: “Why not?”

    CRU: “The contracts themselves are also a trade secret.”

    McIntyre: “Can you perhaps tell us WHICH countries don’t want their data released? If you just let us know THAT, we could go bug those countries directly and maybe get them to change their minds and free you from this pesky secret restriction you can’t tell us about.”

    CRU: “We can’t tell you which countries don’t want their data released.”

    McIntyre: “Tell you what, just give me the data for the countries you CAN legally release data from.”

    CRU: “We can’t tell you which countries those are, because that would reveal which countries they aren’t, which would reveal the existence of secret agreements we can’t tell you about.”

    McIntyre: “Let’s see. I’m sure you must HAVE the raw data and HAVE these agreements and KNOW which countries you have agreements with and don’t mind IN PRINCIPLE giving us the data that you’re legally allowed to give out…so this is just a logic puzzle: How can we ask for the data and let you give it to us in a way that doesn’t step on any of those alleged secret agreements? I know: we’ll ask for country data a few countries at a time. That way, you can either say ‘yes, we have data for those three countries and here it is’ or ‘no, we can’t give you that data’. Your alleged secret contracts can’t possibly be clever enough to have anticipated this tactic, so we can figure out which countries are the holdouts by process of elimination without you ever having to tell us directly. We’ve figured it out! You’re welcome!”

    CRU: “You’re harassing us with too many requests!”

    In the end, it turned out CRU through this whole thing apparently didn’t even HAVE the raw data or KNOW which countries didn’t want it released – the alleged “agreements” weren’t in writing and did NOT include a “this agreement is secret” clause. When the lawsuits finally started succeeding, CRU had to go back to all the countries and re-assemble the data from scratch and re-determine who was or wasn’t okay with releasing it.

    CRU could have just SAID “We didn’t keep the original data, can’t recreate the index from it, and don’t actually know who cares if we release their portion of it”, but that would have made them look like idiots, so they hid behind imaginary secrecy agreements instead. How do they not come out looking like “the bad guys” in this situation?

  300. More accurate summary:

    McIntyre: GIMME YER DATA AND YER CODE!

    CRU: We can’t release certain data due to some nations’ insistence on running their NMSes as businesses with a cost-recovery model so we cannot distribute their data for free because that would violate our agreements with them. These agreements only cover a very small fraction of the data; free free to access GHCN elsewhere and come up with your own analyses.

    McIntyre and CA minions: GIMME THE DATA, GIMME THE DATA, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME!

    CRU: WTF?!?

    McIntyre: I’m being repressed! I’m being repressed!

    Rest of climate science community: McIntyre is a bully and a jerk.

    McIntyre: WAAAAH! WAAAAH! WAAAAH!

    CA Minions: Our saint and hero!

    Face it – McIntyre is too damned lazy and a pathetic rent-seeker who harasses scientists just for the sport of being an ass. When he does his own work, it’s a fraudulent joke. He should stick to trying to fleece investors in mines.

  301. CRU: We can’t release certain data due to some nations’ insistence on running their NMSes as businesses with a cost-recovery model so we cannot distribute their data for free because that would violate our agreements with them.

    And we won’t tell you who they are or what information we got from them.

  302. The entire harassment of CRU and Phil Jones was completely unnecessary.

    If McIntyre wanted to knock down Jones and CRU, he would have accessed the GHCN all by himself, created and performed his own analysis, written it up, and got it published. You know, science.

    Never mind that doing so would have shown Jones and CRU correct. That was never McIntyre’s goal – science. But no, McIntyre had to take the low road and play stupid games. Of course.

  303. Doesn’t matter if Jones and CRU thought they were being harassed. Scientists release raw data. Period, end of discussion. This is a basic tenet of science. If you can’t release data, you don’t use it.

  304. And as for getting it published: it’s well documented that “climate science” journals don’t publish work that serves to cast doubt on CAGW. It’s “not helpful”.

  305. Could you please outline what data would convince you that the theories surrounding global warming would convince you that the theory is incorrect?

    End to stratospheric cooling. Arctic sea ice extent, age, and thickness returning, for multiple decades, to their pre-20th-century values. Ocean acidification stopping and reversing. GAT returning to its pre-industrial values. Changes noted in species distribution and movements reversing.

    You mean you expect us to go back to the Little Ice Age?! Why would you want that? What kind of nonsense is this?

    On the contrary, if something we’re doing is keeping us from that then hoorah for whatever it is, and long may we keep doing it!

    Basically, CO2 continues to increase but *every* trend changes direction and the climate system returns to its pre-perturbation state.

    What “pre-perturbation” state. You seem like some sort of nutcase who thinks there’s a correct “natural” state of things, and it happens to be whatever was at its first measurement. If a glacier covered a certain point in 1900 then that’s its natural extent, and any change from that is a “perturbation” that should be corrected. Well, what makes that point so special? Why should we want things the way they were the first time they were measured? Do you seriously imagine that that’s how they were 50 years before that, and 100 years before that?! Yes, I think you really are that stupid.

    Here’s a proposition for you: how about CO2 keeps rising, and we go all the way back to, say, 1150, and stop there. Surely that’s long before any man-wrought change. Will you accept that as a disproof of AGW? Oh, but we’re not that warm yet, so that means temperatures will have to go up!

  306. > Doesn’t matter if Jones and CRU thought they were being harassed. Scientists release raw data. Period, end of discussion.

    Feel free to access the GHCN anytime, Jay. Oh, and tell the ideologues (like yourself) who think governments and their services, like the weather service, ought to be run as businesses on a cost-recovery model and thus cannot offer their data for free lest it cost them revenue, to stop with the dogma and release the data to everyone.

  307. Milhouse, adult discussion requires reading skills, and you have none. Find some remedial tutoring, and don’t label people as “stupid” when you just proved you’re an idiot.

  308. Then explain what you meant by “pre-perturbation”, and why you would want to return to the Little Ice Age.

  309. Our burning of fossil fuels has increased CO2 in the atmosphere by about 40% above it’s mean value for the last at least 800,000 years. That’s pre-perturbation. I didn’t say I wanted a return to the LIA.

    Your reading skills still suck.

  310. @derecho64:
    Feel free to access the GHCN anytime

    So you think the GHCN contains raw data? Not adjusted or massaged in any way? Hmm…

  311. > No, it seems you want a return to the *big* Ice Age.

    Sigh. The lack of reading ability is stunning.

  312. > So you think the GHCN contains raw data? Not adjusted or massaged in any way? Hmm…

    If you don’t like the GHCN, then contact all the national meteorological services and get the data from them.

    Strange how the satellite data matches, eh?

  313. Our burning of fossil fuels has increased CO2 in the atmosphere by about 40% above it’s mean value for the last at least 800,000 years. That’s pre-perturbation. I didn’t say I wanted a return to the LIA.

    You said that for you to accept that AGW is disproven, you’d have to see CO2 keep going up, while temperatures returned to where they were before this “perturbation”. That means the temperatures at the tail end of the Little Ice Age. I’m asking why you would want that. Why, absent AGW, would you expect to see that? What’s so special about the temperature in 1850, as opposed to, say, 1150?

    Your demand exposes what you’re really thinking: you’re so stupid that you think that freezing temperature is the “natural” level at which it had been for millennia (i.e. the discredited hockey stick), and it’s only the increased CO2 that got us out of that horrible time, so as long as we haven’t returned to it AGW is proven. Whereas any normal person, even an AGW believer, would acknowledge that at least the warming till WW2 was not caused by AGW but by the natural end of the LIA, and therefore one would not expect ever to see the LIA temperatures again unless we went back into another LIA (or BIA).

    This goes with a more general attitude that the “natural” level of anything is whatever it was when it was first measured, which comes from a view that “nature” is stable, and any change must be caused by man. Also a religious conviction that any man-made change is evil. I say if we pulled ourselves out of the LIA, then hooray for however we did it. And I think anyone who would wish that we hadn’t done so is evil. Cold kills far more people than heat.

  314. Sigh. Again with the reading comprehension problems and the deliberate lack of understanding. Until those problems of yours are corrected, there’s no point in arguing with you since all you’ve accomplished is knocking down a strawman.

  315. @derecho64:
    Can we trust climate models?

    From the paper you linked to:

    “A recent analysis suggests that dynamical forecasts based on climate models perform clearly worse than empirical methods.[26] It seems that genuinely useful climate forecasting on the multiannual to decadal timescale may be still some way away at this time.[27, 28].”

    In other words, no, we can’t trust climate models to tell us what they would need to tell us to drive a rational public policy.

  316. Note that Hargreaves doesn’t say that climate models are crap, which is a standard pseudo-skeptic meme.

  317. But he does say that “It seems that genuinely useful climate forecasting on the multiannual to decadal timescale may be still some way away at this time.” … which is a damned thin reed to hang destroying the world’s economies on.

  318. Another day, another strawman from Jay. Aren’t you tired of being wrong yet?

  319. Ladies and Gentlemen, I submit this blog thread as prima facie evidence that AGW true believers are psychotic.

  320. I submit the responses to my posts as prima facie evidence that AGW pseudo-skeptics can’t debate on the facts, and post nothing but logical fallacies of various types. TomA is an exemplar.

  321. @ derecho64

    You really have no idea how badly you have embarrassed yourself in this blog thread. And you perceive yourself as having debated with facts and parried the arguments of others. And you are dead certain in your beliefs. Do you even know why it is that you cannot let go of this topic?

  322. >You really have no idea how badly you have embarrassed yourself in this blog thread.

    I think the oddest exhibit in his catalog of galloping dumbassery is the term “pseudo-skeptic”. I gather this kook actually believes he’s surrounded by people who are merely pretending to be skeptical about CAGW as a political maneuver…or something like that. I’m going to refrain from thinking too hard about this lest I hurt myself on the stupid.

  323. @esr: I dunno, to me the craziest thing is this claim from 2014-06-19 at 19:36:39 – I honestly don’t understand what frame of mind creates it:

    “If McIntyre wanted to knock down Jones and CRU, he would have accessed the GHCN all by himself, created and performed his own analysis, written it up, and got it published. You know, science.”

    It seems like on the one hand there’s an engineering mindset, and then there’s…something else – some other way of looking at the world that produces that sort of claim. I’m not even sure what to call it. How do you get THAT screwed up and still regard yourself as understanding science?

    First there’s the notion that McIntyre even “wanted to knock down Jones and CRU”. The idea seems to be that wanting to *check the math* on some claim is a form of attack that should be feared rather than welcomed and encouraged. Yes, the damage Jones and CRU suffered was entirely self-inflicted and could have been trivially avoided if they had been (a) competent, (b) honest, and (c) open, even if only to the degree reasonably allowable by circumstance. Had Jones and CRU not in every situation made the worst possible decision, there would have been no controversy. Had they treated McIntyre as a peer, there would have been no controversy. Their decision to treat him as an enemy created a self-fulfilling prophesy; they were hoist on their own petard.

    But setting the premise aside, I REALLY do not understand the subsequent claim about what science IS. It fails on so many levels that it’s simply baffling. Suppose for the sake of argument that it’s conceivable CRU might be inadvertently fudging the data to show a warmer trend than is actually there. You want to know whether they are. And if there’s a problem, you’d like to get it fixed quickly, since a lot is riding on the result. There are two approaches you could try next:

    OPTION #1: Be an engineer. Grab the ACTUAL source data they used, run the same calculations they did, verify you get the same result. If you don’t get the same result, drill down to see what issue is causing a difference and fix it. Iterate. If you do get the same result, you demonstrably DO know what they did so you can now try things like test the sensitivity of their result to removing various subsets of the data or tweak weightings in the “adjustments” to see what happens. If you DON’T get the exact same result you might have found an actual mistake, which can quickly be identified and fixed by comparing notes. [Like when McIntyre found the Y2K bug in NASA's GISS - he spotted a problem and they FIXED it right away - GISS no longer has that bug in it.]

    -or-

    OPTION #2: Be a “climate scientist”. Without knowing exactly what list of stations they used or when or where they got their source numbers from or exactly how they analyzed it, just try to do a VAGUELY SIMILAR analysis using VAGUELY SIMILAR data inputs and see if you get a VAGUELY SIMILAR output. If you do, that somehow “proves” CRU was “correct”. Now convince a journal to publish it, and you’ve “done science”. But if you DON’T get VAGUELY SIMILAR outputs there is in this circumstance no chance in hell of convincing CRU that they, rather than you, made a mistake. Because neither the data nor the methods are directly comparable, any difference in results can be trivially rationalized away as “well, you must have made a mistake somewhere, because you are biased and incompetent”. And it WILL be.

    I’m pretty sure @derecho64 HONESTLY BELIEVES that (2) is a superior strategy. So does Mann. So does Gavin. But I don’t know WHY they believe it. Do you?

    It seems to me that (2) only works if you ALREADY KNOW IN ADVANCE that there won’t be a difference. If there IS a difference, (2) doesn’t help at all to figure out what the problem is or find it and fix it. Nor does it change “the consensus” – to do that you would then have to wait until a dozen other people’s “vaguely similar” results get published. The initial, erroneous results can never get corrected, their error never gets found, it just eventually falls out of fashion.

    The only thing I can think of is that the people who favor option (2) are academics and care more about generating publishable papers they can put on their CV than about solving actual problems in the world and improving scientific understanding. But is that too cynical? I feel like there must be something more to it. But what?

  324. TomA commented:

    >@ derecho64
    >
    >You really have no idea how badly you have embarrassed yourself in this blog thread. And you perceive yourself as having debated with facts and parried the arguments of others. And you are dead certain in your beliefs. Do you
    even know why it is that you cannot let go of this topic?

    Sorry, it’s Eric who obviously can’t let go of this topic. Every couple
    of weeks you get a new post where he is boasting with his superior fortune-telling, sorry, predictive capabilities.

    … and actually it was you who pointed that out earlier:

    >TomA commented: “Eric, why are you beating this dead dog so relentlessly? The true believers aren’t going to have …

    BTW by going ad hominem you admit you have lost.

  325. derecho64, what am I wrong about? That the prescriptions of the CAGW true believers will destroy economies?

  326. > I think the oddest exhibit in his catalog of galloping dumbassery is the term “pseudo-skeptic”.

    The folks who refuse to accept AGW because they think it a conspiracy (like you, ESR) aren’t skeptics; they’re just plain irrational.

  327. > OPTION #1: Be an engineer. Grab the ACTUAL source data they used, run the same calculations they did, verify you get the same result. If you don’t get the same result, drill down to see what issue is causing a difference and fix it. Iterate.

    Here’s some pseudocode I am freely releasing to you. Convert to you favorite language and verify that you get the same result. If you don’t err in your translation, you’ve proven that the code is correct.

    program sum_1_plus_1
    integers a,b,result
    a = 1 ; b = 1 ; result = a + b + 10
    print “The sum of “,a,” and “,b,” is “,result
    exit

    There is no problem with the code because you ran it and got the exact same result I did. It has been audited and verified.

    Unfortunately, it’s in error, but since you blindly took the code and didn’t understand it, you don’t see the problem. McIntyre and his fanboys harassed CRU for no reason at all.

    Performing the same analysis with the same code, turnkey-style, tells you nothing.

    The scientific approach is to use observations, develop one’s own analysis, describe it, publish it, and compare results. Large differences, if any, then need to be reconciled. It’s called repeatability, not blind replication.

    Others have performed their own analyses of GHCN, and come up with answers very close to those of CRU. And NOAA. And NASA. And JMA. BEST went even further and showed that AGW isn’t an artifact of some nefarious data manipulation by Jones/Hansen/et.al.

    Smart engineers know that re-running someone else’s test rig, getting the same results, isn’t verification that the test is a valid one. Smart engineers know that creating a new test rig to check the setup in a different way, is far more useful. McIntyre is no peer of scientists. He’s an ass.

  328. @ blowingthewind

    As he has explained previously, Eric is fighting the good fight on behalf of his readers who courageously stand against the dominant meme of the Warmism Movement. He also gives the climate scientists the benefit of the doubt and assumes that their motives are legitimate (save the planet), but their scientific technique is broken.

    I, on the other hand, see the problem through a different lens. A very large cohort of AGW true believers has been created through memetic infection and these faithful are immune to logic and rationality. At a minimum, these converts may tilt the political landscape toward destructive energy policies that will tangibly freeze world economies. However, at worst, these fanatics may be marshaled by a charismatic tyrant in an attempt to impose their beliefs on others via force if necessary. Unlike CAGW, the latter, in my view, is a real and present danger.

  329. “…assumes that their motives are legitimate (save the planet)”

    Illegitimate. The save the planet motive is an ego trip, thus illegitimate for the purpose of the science, which can serve only the truth.

  330. TomA’s comment manages to encapsulate much of what’s wrong with the pseudo-skeptic mindset.

  331. And then there’s the mindset of the CAGW cultists, who excoriate people for pointing out that denying Africans access to cheap energy in the name of avoiding CAGW ail have the effect of keeping them in poverty…and calling it “pseudoscience” when I point this out on my G+ and refuse to elucidate what’s wrong with such a patently self-obvious observation.

  332. > derecho64, what am I wrong about? That the prescriptions of the CAGW true believers will destroy economies?

    Yes.

    > And then there’s the mindset of the CAGW cultists, who excoriate people for pointing out that denying Africans access to cheap energy in the name of avoiding CAGW ail have the effect of keeping them in poverty.

    Another day, another strawman from Jay.

  333. @derecho64: You just released to me a pseudocode algorithm that has a blatant, obvious error in it. “white box testing” is the form of QA that involves looking inside code and seeing whether it does what it is alleged to do. Your code fails that test – even the most casual inspection reveals the bug – due to the use of a constant that doesn’t belong there. By releasing the source code to me you’ve revealed the presence of the bug, proving my point.

    Had you kept the code private to yourself, that bug in that routine might have persisted a long time with nobody noticing it. By releasing the code to the public, you made it possible that *somebody* could find that bug. They might find it by mere inspection as I just did – looking at the code and thinking about whether it should do what it says – or if it were more complex they might set breakpoints and trace the operation to find at what step in the implementation something odd is going on. They also might find it through “black box” testing – giving the code simplified inputs so the output should be predictable given a higher level description of what the algorithm is supposed to do. For instance: knowing this routine is supposed to add two numbers, give it inputs 0 and 0 and expect to see 0 – not 10 – as the output.

    It is true that some bugs will fool some observers. But having the code is still better than not having it. If you want to assert that your code is bug-free and have other people BELIEVE that claim, making the code public is a HUGE boost to your credibility – people will correctly trust the output more.

    But suppose I don’t know the language you’re writing in and the bug is subtle. Maybe I don’t personally have the chops to find the bug. I can still make the broad judgement that the code is PRESENT and works as described. That is an important test. Code that merely works as described when unpacked and handed to somebody else to try out might seem like a low bar to clear, but it’s surprisingly easy to screw up. And important. If the code is there and works, then “with enough eyes, all bugs are shallow”. It then becomes at least theoretically possible for SOMEBODY to either rigorously prove your code is correct or find and fix the bugs in it if it’s not correct, even if that somebody isn’t me.

    If the output of your program actually matters to the rest of us, I’d kind of like to be ABLE to see the code. So I might ask, “hey, can we see your code?” No harm in asking, right? And if in response to such a query you start making up transparently ridiculous lies about why I can’t see it, that is SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOR that should make me trust your proclamations much less than if you were to either (a) release the code, or (b) tell me honestly why you ACTUALLY can’t let anyone see it.

    (Inventing imaginary secret agreements is not what sensible people do in that situation. Which is why Phil Jones and CRU got in trouble.)

    From my perspective – an engineering perspective – it actually MATTERS whether your code/paper is provably correct. Proving the current industry-leading paper/program/approach is correct (or finding/fixing bugs in it) so we can be more confident in its assessments and/or predictions advances the cause of science. Merely publishing yet ANOTHER paper (presumably with its own secret algorithms that contain *different* bugs) is trading off quality for quantity. I’d rather have one high-quality program we know we can really trust than ten low-quality ones we can’t.

  334. You missed the point.

    If you had written your own sum_1_plus_1 code, and came up with the answer “2”, then clearly we have a difference than needs examination.

    Blindly running my code won’t tell you a damned thing, and that’s all McIntyre does. Blindly run the code of others without doing any hypothesizing of his own.

    Compare to experimental science. Someone comes up with a result, writes a paper describing it, and publishes it. Is it repeated by going to the original scientists’ lab, knocking her out of the way, and rerunning the exact same experiment on the exact same equipment and then proclaiming the original results correct?

    NO.

    The experiment is performed independently. That is what McIntyre never even attempted, even though practically all the data he needed was readily available via channels other than CRU. For some dishonest reason, he made CRU his personal target.

  335. @ Falstaff

    I think Eric regards these climate scientists as incompetent rather than corrupt. If true, then the incompetency has become an epidemic as opposed to an anomaly. And epidemics typically have systemic causes.

  336. “> And then there’s the mindset of the CAGW cultists, who excoriate people for pointing out that denying Africans access to cheap energy in the name of avoiding CAGW ail have the effect of keeping them in poverty.

    Another day, another strawman from Jay.”

    Not my contention, but that of a leftist professor who held a fellowship at the hard-left Center for AMerican Studies, Caleb Rossiter. See http://www.climatedepot.com/2014/06/12/fired-for-diverging-on-climate-progressive-professors-fellowship-terminated-after-wsj-oped-calling-global-warming-unproved-science/ for the story.

    It’s easily provable that denying people access to cheap energy will depress economic output, and doing that to poor people will keep them poor. Why do you disagree? Don’t just say you do, but explain why.

  337. @derecho64 wrote: “Blindly running my code won’t tell you a damned thing, and that’s all McIntyre does. Blindly run the code of others without doing any hypothesizing of his own.”

    Have you never actually READ any posts at http://climateaudit.org/ ? Are you perhaps relying on second- or third-hand information, descriptions of his work written by people who hate him or are pushing some PR angle? It is puzzling how you could be so wrong yet hold such firm beliefs on the subject. I suppose you’re getting your info from climatedepot and skepticalscience? Can you REALLY not think of any “hypothesizing of his own” or independent testing (or, heck, validation of CORRECT independent hypotheses) that McIntyre has done?

    I had been hoping you had some sort of coherent, informed worldview that merely operated from different premises, but it seems like you have your own set of facts too. At this point I think I’m just going to have to follow esr’s lead and slowly back away, trying not to get any of the crazy on me. :-)

  338. Jay, ‘climatedepot’ is a site designed to attack climate scientists personally.

    Marc Morano is a scumbag political hit artist, spinmeister, and a Limbaugh turd.

  339. Glen, I’ve been to climateaudit many times – posted there more than once.

    McIntyre is a rent-seeking right-to-the-edge-of-libel jerk.

  340. derecho64 –

    “McIntyre is a rent-seeking right-to-the-edge-of-libel jerk.”

    You’ve opened my eyes – the denialist scumbags have nothing but ad hominum in their intellectually bankrupt toolbox.

    Thank you.

  341. I made a mistake to mention climatedepot in that context – I think I was actually thinking of climateprogress (now aka scienceprogress). Or wherever Joe Romm is venting his spleen these days. Obviously I don’t frequent either climateprogress OR climatedepot or I wouldn’t have gotten the names confused.

    @derecho64, you seem inappropriately angry about all this. What’s your personal stake? Did McIntyre kick your puppy? Why do you need to pretend McIntyre’s work hasn’t advanced the science by reigning in ridiculous claims, by identifying problems with the underlying data (and how it gets used), by making sure individual key findings are robust and verifiable?

    And yes, that “rationalwiki” article on McIntyre is indeed pretty terrible and one-sided. Did you write it yourself, or did you read it and take it as truth? If we fixed it so that one article didn’t read like the work of a deranged stalker, would fewer people perhaps be running around with your misconceptions? (I suppose it’s worth fixing regardless, so thanks for pointing it out. I’ll take a stab at that later.)

  342. Thank you derecho64.

    I can’t see how anyone with any honesty at all can fail to be persuaded by a link to a page out of the rational wiki.

    Doesn’t this just say it all?

    “Besides his constant bullshit, he seems to be embroiled in a perpetual Lenski Affair-esque situation with a number of climate scientists, bombarding them with vexatious freedom of information requests so he can whine about getting stonewalled when he gets blown off. His favorite targets are the hockey stick and other assorted “Mann and Briffa lies.” He’s avoided wingnut political conspiracies about socialism, but constantly accuses NASA and other scientists of cooking the books, hiding data and methodology, and conspiring to stonewall all the skeptics deniers.”

    Perfect!

    I mean, it’s the rationalwiki! If they’re write that you’re full of bullshit, then by God, you’re full of bullshit!

  343. Glen Raphael on 2014-06-21 at 17:57:02 said:

    “And yes, that “rationalwiki” article on McIntyre is indeed pretty terrible and one-sided. Did you write it yourself, or did you read it and take it as truth? If we fixed it so that one article didn’t read like the work of a deranged stalker, would fewer people perhaps be running around with your misconceptions? (I suppose it’s worth fixing regardless, so thanks for pointing it out. I’ll take a stab at that later.)”

    From what I’ve read, that article fits perfectly with the rationalwiki. I don’t think any changes are needed or wanted to it.

  344. Another McIntyre backgrounder.

    McIntyre is like a cultured Watts. Not as vulgar and crude on the surface, but just as odious all the same. And don’t pull out the Wegman Report as some sort of defense of McIntyre’s “science”.

  345. “Jay, ‘climatedepot’ is a site designed to attack climate scientists personally.”

    And what does this have to do with the question I asked?

    “It’s easily provable that denying people access to cheap energy will depress economic output, and doing that to poor people will keep them poor. Why do you disagree? Don’t just say you do, but explain why.”

    For that matter, the climatedepot article links to sources. Don’t believe the article? Check the sources out for yourself.

    Or you can keep dodging the real questions with snark and ad hominem, as you’ve been doing. The unbiased reading this will see who’s asking questions and who’s dodging the answers.

  346. Same day, another strawman from Jay.

    What will poor people do when fossil fuels are economically unviable?

  347. Not a strawman, and I don’t post content-free snark like you and a CAGW cultist I’m this far > < from banning from my G+.

    Your "when" clause assumes a positive answer to an "if" that has yet to be demonstrated. Peak oil has been shown to be a real bust.

  348. Peak oil has been shown to be a real bust.

    And peak wood led to whale oil, and peak whale oil led to petroleum. When petroleum fuels become economically unsuitable, the human track record suggests that the most likely outcome is the development of a source of energy that is even cleaner and cheaper than the previous ones. Nuclear fission and fusion are obvious candidates, as are breakthroughs in solar capture.

  349. One problem, Christopher – trees and whales are renewable. Fossil fuels are not.

    Once fission figures out its waste problem and the taxpayer-provided liability cap is lifted, then we can talk about “cheaper”.

    Fusion has been a couple decades off for about 40-50 years now. Kinda like flying cars.

  350. Look back at the history of fuel supply in the last oh, 30 years or so, and ask that question again. Hint: tracking destroyed Peak Oil.

    In essence, Christopher Smith has it right: we’ll come up with it when we need it.

    And even if we are going to have rising energy prices, why should we artificially raise them even higher for Africa by locking them out of exploiting cheap energy? Why is it right to keep them in poverty like that? You still haven’t answered the question; you bob and weave and dodge.

  351. @Christopher Smith: “When petroleum fuels become economically unsuitable, the human track record suggests that the most likely outcome is the development of a source of energy that is even cleaner and cheaper than the previous ones.”

    Economics rules. The form of energy used will be the *cheapest* available except in specialized niche cases.

    Back in the 70’s, I worked for a HUD/ERDA sponsored project to promote alternative energy. It was the first flowering of OPEC, gas prices were rising above $1/gallon, and there was interest in reducing dependance on foreign oil. What my shop was pushing was using solar collectors to heat hot water. Hot water heating was about 20% of the average residential energy bill, and an installation had a relatively low up front cost and relatively short payback period.

    We were aware of and tracked all manner of alternative energy solutions, but we didn’t expect them to get wide pickup because they simply cost too much. My assumption then was that alternative energy sources would not be adopted until they cost the same as or less than burning fossil fuel. That’s *still* the case.

  352. Should we Americans and the other profligate users of fossil fuels massively reduce our usage and let Africa have first dibs, Jay? The hidden premise in your argument is that it’s unfair to Africans to prevent them from using fossil fuels (even though no-one says that); let’s bring it into the open and start being fair right now.

    What say Jay?

  353. > My assumption then was that alternative energy sources would not be adopted until they cost the same as or less than burning fossil fuel. That’s *still* the case.

    Does the price of fossil fuels reflect the costs of their use? If it doesn’t, then comparisons with alternatives are flawed.

  354. To those influencing environmental policy but opposed to nuclear power:

    As climate and energy scientists concerned with global climate change, we are writing to urge you to advocate the development and deployment of safer nuclear energy systems. We appreciate your organization’s concern about global warming, and your advocacy of renewable energy. But continued opposition to nuclear power threatens humanity’s ability to avoid dangerous climate change.

    We call on your organization to support the development and deployment of safer nuclear power systems as a practical means of addressing the climate change problem. Global demand for energy is growing rapidly and must continue to grow to provide the needs of developing economies. At the same time, the need to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions is becoming ever clearer. We can only increase energy supply while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions if new power plants turn away from using the atmosphere as a waste dump.

    Renewables like wind and solar and biomass will certainly play roles in a future energy economy, but those energy sources cannot scale up fast enough to deliver cheap and reliable power at the scale the global economy requires. While it may be theoretically possible to stabilize the climate without nuclear power, in the real world there is no credible path to climate stabilization that does not include a substantial role for nuclear power

    We understand that today’s nuclear plants are far from perfect. Fortunately, passive safety systems and other advances can make new plants much safer. And modern nuclear technology can reduce proliferation risks and solve the waste disposal problem by burning current waste and using fuel more efficiently. Innovation and economies of scale can make new power plants even cheaper than existing plants. Regardless of these advantages, nuclear needs to be encouraged based on its societal benefits.

    Quantitative analyses show that the risks associated with the expanded use of nuclear energy are orders of magnitude smaller than the risks associated with fossil fuels. No energy system is without downsides. We ask only that energy system decisions be based on facts, and not on emotions and biases that do not apply to 21st century nuclear technology.

    While there will be no single technological silver bullet, the time has come for those who take the threat of global warming seriously to embrace the development and deployment of safer nuclear power systems as one among several technologies that will be essential to any credible effort to develop an energy system that does not rely on using the atmosphere as a waste dump.

    With the planet warming and carbon dioxide emissions rising faster than ever, we cannot afford to turn away from any technology that has the potential to displace a large fraction of our carbon emissions. Much has changed since the 1970s. The time has come for a fresh approach to nuclear power in the 21st century.

    We ask you and your organization to demonstrate its real concern about risks from climate damage by calling for the development and deployment of advanced nuclear energy.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Ken Caldeira, Senior Scientist, Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution
    Dr. Kerry Emanuel, Atmospheric Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Dr. James Hansen, Climate Scientist, Columbia University Earth Institute
    Dr. Tom Wigley, Climate Scientist, University of East Anglia and the National Center for Atmospheric Research

  355. @derecho: I’m a long-time science fiction fan, and SF fans like to play “What If?”, so I’ll play along for a bit.

    I see three basic possibilities:

    1) AGW theories are correct, things are getting warmer because of human activity, and disaster looms if we don’t bring it under control. Action is needed.

    2) Things are getting warmer, but human activity isn’t responsible. Its based on long-term climate cycles we can’t do anything about. Action is needed, but it will be a completely different set of actions than for case 1.

    3) Neither is true, and the warming trend we see is a short-term fluctuation within a larger framework, with cooling returning at some point. Action may be needed to cope with effects of the short term warming trend, but they will differ to some extent from the actions required in cases 1 and 2.

    Since I’m playing “What If?”, I’ll assume for the moment that AGW is correct, that Things Must Be Done.

    *What* things? Since you seem to believe in and support AGW notions, what are your prescriptions? Exactly what do you think needs to be done, how do you think it should be accomplished, who should be responsible for doing it, and what do you think the costs would be?

    And because we are talking about *global* warming, *everybody* gets to play. The US isn’t the only contributor to the problem, and whatever solutions are required must be applied by *everyone*. How do you go about making that happen?

  356. Economics rules. The form of energy used will be the *cheapest* available except in specialized niche cases.

    “Cheap” is a complicated metric. In particular, there may be a substantial up-front cost, such as in technological development, required to make use of some energy source that will then be much less expensive on an amortized basis from that point on. Figuring out how to refine petroleum into gasoline and diesel was hard. Now that we know how to do it, extracting that energy isn’t especially.

  357. “Natural resources are not finite in any meaningful economic sense, mind-boggling though this assertion may be. The stocks of them are not fixed but rather are expanding through human ingenuity.”
    – Julian Simon

  358. Nice try, derecho. It’s sufficient for fairness’ sake that we not actively deny them the right to use the same fuel we do. After all, this is the exact argument the Chinese and Indians make when refusing to go along with the destruction of their economies in the name of CAGW.

    And, FWIW< I agree that we need to be balls-to-the-walls about developing nuclear energy. All of the above is the only rational answer to energy.

  359. My preference is for a revenue-neutral carbon tax.

    Correct the price of carbon, then let markets react and entrepreneurs figure out how to get us the energy we need.

  360. There’s no way to implement a carbon tax and have it be either revenue-neutral nor unused by the politicians to do CAGW “remediation” – read “tax it out of existence”. See the war on coal for the first example.

    Of course, heaping taxes on things to “correct externalities” is a favored tactic of the Left anyway…

  361. There has never been any such thing as a “revenue-neutral” tax of any kind. That phrase is politician-speak for “we’re going to raise effective tax rates while fiddling the estimates to make it look like we’re not doing that”.

  362. And just what is not responsive about Eric’s comment and mine? You propose a “revenue neutral” tax and we explained why that trick never works.

  363. There’s skepticism, and then there’s cynicism.

    I wonder – if libertarians and anarcho-capitalists weren’t able to rest their arguments on cynicism, would they have any arguments?

  364. @derecho64:
    Once fission figures out its waste problem

    You mean the “waste problem” that every other fission-using country except the US has already solved by reprocessing spent fuel? The only “waste problem” we have is that US politics stopped us from doing the obvious thing that everyone else was doing.

  365. Did Japan solve its waste problem, Peter? I don’t think so. Something about Fukushima comes to mind and used reactor rods.

  366. @Christopher Smith: ““Cheap” is a complicated metric. In particular, there may be a substantial up-front cost, such as in technological development, required to make use of some energy source that will then be much less expensive on an amortized basis from that point on. Figuring out how to refine petroleum into gasoline and diesel was hard. Now that we know how to do it, extracting that energy isn’t especially.”

    Agreed. And the line gets drawn largely on the basis of up front and developmental costs, and the period required to get payback on the investment. Most alternative energy forms are either site-dependent, like geothermal or hydro, or have greater upfront costs and longer payback periods than anyone will commit to when there are cheaper existing alternatives available.

  367. @ derecho64 – “My preference is for a revenue-neutral carbon tax.”

    And finally the parasite reveals himself with clarity.

    What is it about productivity and self-reliance that you find so abhorrent? And killing the host is just plain stupid.

  368. > And killing the host is just plain stupid.

    Indeed. So why is killing the environment of the one and only planet we have not stupid?

  369. @ derecho – “So why is killing the environment of the one and only planet we have not stupid?”

    If the planet gets warmer, life will bloom not die. Humans are a tiny fraction of the Earth’s biota. My God, you don’t even understand the basics of your own religion.

  370. @TomA
    No you are wrong, this is not religion, it is SCIENCE!

    How can you tell? He says so.

  371. Foo Quuxman on 2014-06-22 at 16:57:51 said:

    “@TomA
    No you are wrong, this is not religion, it is SCIENCE!

    How can you tell? He says so.”

    You people with nothing but invective. He linked to an article on the rationalwiki for God’s sake! That means he’s the rational one and you’re all a bunch of fanatics. What else could you possibly want?

  372. > If the planet gets warmer, life will bloom not die.

    Are you entirely certain that AGW will have little or no impact on us and the many species upon which we are dependent?

  373. “Are you entirely certain that AGW will have little or no impact on us and the many species upon which we are dependent?”

    I’ll answer that when I can raise a glass of fine wine from the vineyards in the English countryside.

    You seem to be entirely certain that CAGW will indeed be catastrophic.

    As for the impossibility of a revenue-neutral tax, you need look no farther than history to see the truth of the argument.

  374. So, you really don’t understand the issue, Jay, and resort to pablum.

    Do you ever increase the value of a conversation, or do you provide the equivalent of flatulence on an elevator?

  375. I submit that my questions raise the value of this conversation more than your content-free snark.

  376. Content-free? Hardly. You should stick to cosplay.

    Is there no potential whatsoever for the “C” that you prepend to AGW?

    Provide some evidence for your claims, for a change.

  377. Potential? Sure. There’s also a potential that the moon will spontaneously turn to green cheese. There’s potential of damn near anything.

    What you have to ask is: is the likelihood of the catastrophe you claim severe enough to warrant the certain destruction of the world’s economies you would force on us by government action?

    And yes, imposing strict governmental controls on economies to regulate their energy usage – which is what carbon controls are, fundamentally – will kill them deader than dead. Look at the history of command economies in the 20th century for confirmation of that.

  378. And as for content-free snark:

    “So, you really don’t understand the issue, Jay, and resort to pablum.

    Do you ever increase the value of a conversation, or do you provide the equivalent of flatulence on an elevator?”

    Pray tell, what content is there in that post?

  379. Another day, another set of strawmen from Jay. Thank goodness he so vigorously slaughters them all. I understand they’re not very happy with you.

  380. And another day of derecho studiously ignoring real arguments by calling them strawmen and then wondering why he gets called on posting nothing but content-free snark.

  381. The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around. – Gaylord Nelson.

  382. “My preference is for a revenue-neutral carbon tax.”

    Upon your own country? What would that accomplish?

  383. Upon your own country? What would that accomplish?

    One is reminded of self-flagellation.

  384. The foundational conspiracy theories underlying so much pseudo-skeptic ideology has been kindly presented by Christopher Smith.

    One problem – Goddard is so whacked that even Watts threw him under the bus.

  385. @derecho64:
    Did Japan solve its waste problem, Peter? I don’t think so. Something about Fukushima comes to mind and used reactor rods.

    Japan has been reprocessing its spent nuclear fuel since the 1960’s. Fukushima caused a temporary shutdown in Japan’s fuel reprocessing; it has now started up again. What was your question again?

  386. Should we Americans and the other profligate users of fossil fuels massively reduce our usage and let Africa have first dibs, Jay? The hidden premise in your argument is that it’s unfair to Africans to prevent them from using fossil fuels (even though no-one says that); let’s bring it into the open and start being fair right now.

    This makes no sense. It is unfair to Africans to prevent them from using fossil fuels. And you are the only one who wants to do so. Right now nothing is preventing them; how would reducing our usage help? You’re the one who wants to reduce our usage and theirs.

  387. PS: What does “first dibs” mean in this context? There is no shortage, and there’s nothing to pick and choose from, so what difference does it make whether someone comes to market first or last? Everyone buys whatever they like, no matter when they come.

  388. Does the price of fossil fuels reflect the costs of their use?

    You can’t prove that it doesn’t.

    Correct the price of carbon, then let markets react and entrepreneurs figure out how to get us the energy we need.

    First prove that the price needs correction. If you were suing your neighbour, claiming that what he’s doing with and on his own property is harming you, you would have to prove your claim before getting any kind of relief from the court. You couldn’t just allege it, and point to some likelihood that you might be right. And you’d also have to prove that the damages were as high as you claimed they were, and that they couldn’t be mitigated any other way than by the relief you sought. Well, the same standard should apply here.

  389. There’s skepticism, and then there’s cynicism.

    Can you point to a counter-example?

    So you think we should just trust the politicians to make a tax revenue-neutral, because not doing so would be cynical? Do you take the same attitude to people who approach you on the street with hard-luck stories, or get-rich schemes?

  390. The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around. – Gaylord Nelson.

    Bulldust. Gaylord Nelson was a charlatan, and a deeply deeply evil man. Quoting him automatically discredits you.

  391. The universe and everything in it exists for people, not the other way around. Nothing is worth anything except to the extent that people benefit from it. That’s because value only exists in people’s minds.

  392. One problem – Goddard is so whacked that even Watts threw him under the bus.

    When did he do that?

  393. @derecho64: I fear your proposal for a “revenue neutral” carbon tax, for the same reason I fear government intervention in its entirety, simply because we don’t know what such a tax might do to our economic system. Heck, we don’t even know if such a tax will be good for the environment!

    Case in point: Europe put in place a system of carbon credits. This forced carbon intensive industries, such as steel and concrete, out of Europe…but those wily Europeans continue to import these things, because they need them to build things, and they want to continue to power things, and so forth. Thus, by my reckoning, their efforts to decrease carbon output has resulted in a net increase. This also led to the collapse of the carbon credit system: because no one who used carbon was left, carbon credits became essentially worthless.

    I don’t know if anyone predicted that this would happen; a market for carbon credits seems like a natural, legitimate, even pseudo-free-market solution.

    So, now you want a “revenue-neutral” tax. On whom? The US? Everyone? Where would the money go? Can we really trust the governments involved to implement it correctly? (I wouldn’t trust the UN; I think, on the basis of human rights violations alone, that the UN should be disbanded.) How do we even define “revenue neutral”? How could we tell if the definition is wrong? And how do we fix it when it’s wrong? And what do we do when we discover that the “wrongness” is different for each region, and it fluctuates from day to day, or even hour by hour, faster than the bureaucrats hired to watch such things can respond? Will we be able to recognize–and stop–nasty side effects, such as a rush to build unsafe nuclear power plants, or the smuggling and tax-dodging of dirty coal and oil?

    And what role should climate models play into this, when they can’t be used to predict what’s happening now?

    Now would be a good time to go revisit my comment about “Peak Oil” not necessarily being dependent on actual oil supply….

    Here’s the problem. Catastrophic Anthro. Global Warming is an attempt to predict what a chaotic system is going to do. Even if we understood all the inputs, and the way all the systems interact with each other (which we don’t), attempting to predict the future with the horribly inaccurate data we have now will lead to nonsensical results, because even the slightest differences in input will result in drastically different outcomes–and no matter how accurate we try to be, it will, by necessity, be inaccurate.

    And now we’re going to try to control this chaotic system, but not directly: we’re going to try to put pressure on another chaotic system, that of the interactions of approximately 7 billion people. Sure, we might pass a law, add a tax, or create an artificial market system that will fix the problem of global warming, and make everyone happy…but we’re far more likely to make the problem of global climate worse (either hotter or colder) with our meddling, cause unnecessary suffering, and perhaps even create an artificial Peak Oil scenario that results in global thermonuclear war. (Well, the latter, at least, will theoretically produce global cooling….)

    Now, for a random thought: you mentioned that policy discussion is up for debate, but all this while, you have been making the claim that AGW isn’t up for debate…which makes no sense at all. Surely, if we weren’t discussing policy, concerns about AGW would be a frivolous past-time; has it not occurred to you that the primary reason that AGW science is scrutinized so heavily by “AGW-deniers” is because of the skeptics? If we’re going to take the risk of destroying economies and even causing global thermonuclear war, we had better make sure that the underlying science is sound.

  394. > If we’re going to take the risk of destroying economies and even causing global thermonuclear war, we had better make sure that the underlying science is sound.

    If we ignore AGW, there’s your economics destroyed and the risk of war.

  395. @derecho64 “f we ignore AGW, there’s your economics destroyed and the risk of war.”

    Talk about completely missing the point! Yes, war is one of the risks we take if we ignore AGW. But how much war has already been caused by trying to mitigate the effects of AGW?

    Case in point: government requirements for ethanol is justified as an attempt to lower our greenhouse gas emissions. These requirements put pressure on corn as a food supply, and so food prices go up. Rising food prices destabilize the Middle East (because the poor in those countries were already on the “edge” of being able to afford their food) and we get the Arab Spring. And all this for what? For a “clean-burning” fuel that harms our cars, decreases gas mileage, and to add insult to injury, needs more than a gallon of gasoline to produce a single gallon, on average. Yet we’re continuing this madness because the Corn States are unusually influential in Presidential Primaries, and they don’t want to let go of “jobs”!

    So we’re destabilizing the world, increasing greenhouse emissions, and we can’t even stop the madness…and you want to assure us that a tax on carbon isn’t going to increase carbon emissions and destabilize the world? And you want to justify this on shaky science–science that has predicted, time and again, not just an increase of temperature that hasn’t happened, but a whole multitude of disasters that simply have not come to pass, and are well past their expiration dates?

    We don’t know what we’re doing with regards to climate. Heck, the “settled science” is yet in its infancy; we have how many years? just decades! of semi-accurate data on our system, and perhaps a thousand years of inaccurate data…and you’re confident that we can extrapolate this data 100 years into the future, which is a statistical stretch, to say the least…and you’re assuming that the last 50 to 100 years of climate is “normal”, for a world that has approximately four billion years of climate, or even just 6,000 years, if the Young Earth Creationists are right.

  396. I must say that I have a good reason for thinking that there is some bias in libertarians’ denial
    of AGW. (I use denial here in the simple sense of “assertion that it’s not happening”; it’s not intended as pejorative.)
    The bias is simply that (a) if real, AGW cannot be solved without legislation (carbon tax, carbon permit, or whatever) (And as to litigation-“stop polluting with CO2″ is not a solution; the courts will probably throw it out, not enough evidence of harm), and (b) libertarians are usually opposed to legislation on principle, as a shackling of the market, never mind that, for example, consumer protection laws make the market more free by improving information, and some negative externalities are by their nature hard to work in to the market.
    Also, libertarians seem to believe that everything can be solved by the free market, so if something comes up that, if true, can’t be, they are forced to either conclude that it’s false or abandon their earlier hypothesis.
    Now for my opinion on lobbying.
    I am of the strong opinion that money does not transfer linearly into utility, specifically, that one rich person can give up a million dollars and feel, say, as much utility loss as a single middle-class person feels about $1000. In other words, if the rich person spends a million bucks to lobby for something that will help him and hurt the middle class, the middle class must give up a thousand times as much utility as him to prevent getting hurt even more.
    This means that rich people have much more influence in government compared to their wealth. 99% of people have 50% of the wealth and 30% of the influence.
    How exactly is lobbying different from bribery?
    In both cases, a group gives up money to a politician, who then gives them what they want.
    (In the case of lobbying, it’s actually services, but still…)
    Also, libertarians have a blind spot when it comes to the threat posed by corporations to the freedom of the market. Someone’s gotta bust the trusts. (And liberals have this towards the government, but still, who would you prefer in charge, someone chosen where each dollar gets an equal vote or each person does?)
    (Monopolies are sometimes OK. I think the power grid should be a monopoly, but regulated.
    Tax .1% of the charge of electricity, then use that to keep up infrastructure.)
    Full disclosure:
    I am a freshman at UConn, a registered Democrat, and leaning towards libertarian.
    My last name is not Gosset.
    (Yes, that’s a stats joke.)

  397. It is not necessarily the case that “consumer protection laws make the market more free by improving information”, unless you assume that consumer protection laws improve information. There is nothing inherent in such laws that improves information, unless you assume that laws are implemented perfectly (or close enough) – and they are not.

    This is the libertarian’s lament at this level of abstraction; that laws are being treated incorrectly as if they are programming you can splice into the algorithms of the mind, and suddenly have everyone at least trying to follow the law. In reality, mistakes happen; people implement laws imperfectly, or even willfully, especially when they find they can then control the behavior of those people who accept the law as programming. To the libertarian, obeying the law isn’t natural; it must be learned. Therefore, it can fail to be learned, which brings about larger damage to those who learned, which decreases the benefit of learning even more. The libertarian understands that self-interest is *much* more naturally occurring, and seeks to exploit that, and in a way that rewards thinking in general. Obeying the law can be part of that, but is not fundamental.

    I agree that not all money has the same utility, and your illustration is sound: a dollar is less valuable to a millionaire than to a pauper. (For that matter, it is less valuable to most millionaires than to a millionaire miser.) That said, it is important to keep in mind where lobbying money is spent. It’s spent on many things, in fact. Much is spent on publicizing the cause, and this translates to media outlets, including media executives, news directors, ad agency staff, and the staff who support them, from caterers to custodians. In other words, much of this money simply goes into the pockets of the middle class who happen to work in media, and their suppliers. Much is also spent on outright bribery, but that only works because someone (namely, an elected official) is entrusted with a great deal of authority over how decisions are made, and is also in a position to enjoy a personal consumption rate higher than their wages permit.

    For the money spent on bribery, the latter condition is practically always going to be true, more than the former is. So the libertarian advocates focusing on the former. For the money spent on publicity, the libertarian response tends to be “so what?”. It’s more honest spending, since it’s an attempt to persuade the people at large that they should do what the rich person wants. If some other group wants something else, but can’t outspend the rich person on publicity and persuasion, then whatever reason they might have had behind their position is not enough to overcome the utility of whatever money was offered the people making decisions on what to publicize. In which case, see “bribery” above. :-)

  398. Three months later: this crosses my desk. One Matt Boslough seems to think the wheels have never been more firmly on this wagon, and is ready to support the Great Skeptic Renaming:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-boslough/npr-finally-stops-referri_b_6165846.html

    Seems to have plenty of support in the comments, too. (It’s NPR; it’s HuffPo; the regard for these two sources among this crowd can be taken as a known by now, I’d say.)

    All in all, the comments look like a handful of under-equipped skeptics battling a majority of extraordinarily fanatical opposition. The best argument for insisting a term I can construct in favor of the latter from their comments is the slippery slope one: at some point, you have to stop entertaining further input from the other side. And nevertheless, the insistence on the term “denier”, the denial(!) of its Holocaust connotation, and the utter brutality with which they batter the other side is chilling, to say the least.

    There do appear to be some links to evidence supporting the warming argument itself. There are links supporting the skeptics, but the few that I found were refuted, or at least addressed. This is selective bias on my part; I didn’t have time to go through them all.

    But if there were indeed refutations of warming arguments in there, it’s anyone’s guess whether they would be seen, let alone taken seriously, given how poisonous the atmosphere has ironically become.

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