back to article Bishop Hill: Gonzo science and the Hockey Stick

In 2001 the IPCC published its Third Assessment report prominently featuring a graph that became "the logo of global warming". Previous historical reconstructions didn't show our modern warm climate as particularly anomalous. This was very different, and was hailed as a "call to action". Yet Michael Mann's studies were deeply …

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WTF?

Funding

"I don't think governments should be involved in funding science."

Quite incredibly, I actually think he means that.... as a libertarian, I wonder where Mr Montford would advocate funding, un-attached to any agenda, to originate from ?

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All funding has an attached agenda

There's no funding for anything from any agency that is "un-attached to any agenda". If your funding comes from the state then your dancing to their tune - even if your too naive to realise it.

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Anonymous Coward

Funding → #

> I wonder where Mr Montford would advocate funding, un-attached to any agenda, to originate from ?

BP, Shell & Exxon Mobil

DRILL DRILL DRILL !!!

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Well

I'd much rather government involvement was limited to handing over cash to research councils. The councils should then decide, without any pressure from government *cough* Mandelson *cough*, what projects the money goes to.

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Re : Well

"I'd much rather government involvement was limited to handing over cash to research councils."

Me too - but that *is* government funding of science - something, apparently, Mr. Montford is not keen on - just through an intermediary.

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Ha!

Good luck with that! the standard operating procedure of Governments is to take anything that almost works and fiddle and poke at it until it's completely broken. Then they hold up their hands, blame someone else, and invent a whole new system that's worse than what we started with. Labour has been particularly bad in respect to this.

I'm not a Libertarian incidentally, just cynical. Most Libertarians seem to be ideologues who simply cannot see the ovbious consequences of their ideology. The interviewee in this piece doesn't seem that mental though, and raises interesting points about government funding of politically controversial areas.

It has always been an issue of course (see Stem cell research, BSE, MMR) but this is the first time that it has been influencing a global policy agenda. For this reason the scrutiny needs to be intense.

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Boffin

Ideas of government

Agreed on limits to government involvement: isn't that what everyone has complained about over the past few years, what with Lord Wooster banging on about "profitable science" or whatever as he revs up his rocket-propelled car? And since Maoist/Stalinist influences on state-funded science can be taken as examples of political meddling with extreme consequences, I don't think people should be under any illusions about the government's limited role: provide the funding; fund stuff that companies can't be bothered with (which is plenty, despite some people's capitalist fantasies); let actual scientists set the priorities (not the average law-school-educated MP with his/her eye on a directorship at some corporation).

As for Libertarians, they're the last people to ask about the role of government. But if you don't like what one of them says, don't worry: as the old joke goes, you just need to ask another one because two Libertarians are pretty unlikely to agree on anything. If it's about the role of government and the state, it's still likely to be a barmy answer, though.

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FAIL

Interview or product placement?

Climate change sceptic author's cosy interview by climate change sceptic journalist.

To paraphrase the author, You don't decide what you want at the end of the interview, then choose the books that gives you the 'right answer', or do you?

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twonk

"Climate change sceptic" . . why are they "sceptics", why not "scientists"?

. . . are you a paid employee of the "climate change industry" - ah yes that will be it (see scarastic name calling works both ways)

P.S. before making smart ass comments I suggest you go look at the data which bit by bit is being reluctantly squeezed out of these b*ggers - do you know how FEW carefully selected samples this is all based on? thought not . .

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Sticks and stones?

> Why are they "sceptics", why not "scientists"?

Because neither of them are? Mr Orlowski is a jounalist, Mr Montford is, to quote the article, "a science PUBLISHER and blogger". Both are sceptical of man-made climate change. Before making smart arse comments, I suggest you go look at the article.

> are you a paid employee of the "climate change industry"

Close, but no cigar! As a one-time paid employee of an energy utility, I suppose I was part of the climate changing industry.

> I suggest you go look at the data which bit by bit is being reluctantly squeezed out of these b*ggers

The fact that this data is so difficult to obtain compared with that which backs up climate change would suggest it is the sceptics that are being selective with their examples.

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For example

A post that appears as a rebuttal, yet contains no facts or contrary arguments. It merely attempts to cast aspersions of bias on both the author and the subject of the article. It does not attempt to shed light or foster understanding. Its only goal is to shutdown discussion of the favored topic.

I call this a faith based argument because it relies on nothing beyond the poster's feeling for what's right and what's not. Remarkably, most folks who make faith based arguments are convinced that their expressed opinion is not faith based, but merely draws upon well known facts which anyone, if right thinking and properly informed, need not have referenced.

It's a bit like saying, "People who agree with me already know I'm right, whereas people who disagree with me are either misinformed or delusional, because if they weren't, then they'd agree with me."

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Flame

Even if it is a good book the article does not do it a favour

Frankly, I struggled to read the article with its bold font all over the place. I hope the book is not so bad.

In any case, the most interesting element so far has been the Russians analysing the data independently for the part of the dataset where they have access to the full data - their own territory. I read that paper (original Russian version of the report) and it makes an absolutely damning indictment to the hockey stick case even for the 20 century data. No bristle cones or anything similarly dubious. Just plain data observed from plain stations on the ground.

There is no need to say anything on the subject until the team from "not another old university in Cambridge" has answered the questions raised by that paper properly - in a paper. No politics, no handwaving at interviews - just bloody f*** numbers.

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bold font

Those paragraphs were Orlowski's questions. Or maybe you meant you didn't like the questions :)

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Flame

CO_2 absorbs heat??

"The theory that CO2 will absorb heat is true"

This is serious interview. Gb2 basic school science!!

I like it how some libertarians and pseudo-libertarians are clenching teeth, pressing sphincters and generally touching wood that, when they wake up tomorrow, all the problems will have gone away, it's just government sponsored fascist science fakery and they can continue to ride after Ayn Rand into a future of limitless possibilities and infinite resource availability. They are probably still discussing how Einstein was a crackpot imposing a maximum speed for interactions from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

People like that take away all that makes libertarianism worthwhile.

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Well yes, but

Type your comment here — plain text only, no HTML

The interview says that the hockey stick is false and the data "isn't nearly as scary." Let's say that's true (I'm not a statistician and haven't read enough to confirm/refute either theory) - it still means the planet is warming up and we need to do something about it, surely? Even if we accept the claims that the climate change advocates are crying wolf way too loudly, there is still a very definite wolf-shaped predator on the horizon that we need to get ready to tackle.

So imho, if we carry on making ourselves more efficient, more sustainable and recycling more, all that stuff, we're not wasting anything because even if the most optimistic predictions are true, then our resources will outlast even those.

Surely, whatever you believe, doing nothing isn't an option (oil WILL run out, whenever you argue that it's going to happen) and it makes sense to sort stuff out now so that everything lasts that bit longer.

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Grenade

Well yes, but but

The point is the earth's climate has always has a fluctuating temperature. If you take the stasitical analyisis that produces the hockey stick away you end up with something that looks like the normal fluctuations. It might be going slowly up now, but there is nothing in these figures to tell us that this will continue and not start to dip in the near future.

The theory is that this slow rise is anthrogenic due to increased "greenhouse" gases but without the hockey stick the correlation between rise in temperature and rise in level of GH gases disappears. This surely casts doubts on the validity of that theory.

Now as to whether the oil will run out (and of course it will), that is a separate arguement. We have a finite resource, what will be do when we have no more of it? You are correct we should do something about that, like increasing paper use rather than plastic, like increasing nuclear power and like reducing use. None of that has anything to do with whether we are warmer now than we were 5000 years ago.

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Stop

We need to do something about it...

A topic I've covered in depth on my blog. Fact is the earth is warming up. Even the non-hockey-stick version of events shows this, as did my school teachings about us coming out of the last ice age. It is just a cycle of events. Like those fossilised trees in... Edinburgh?.. that don't fit the current Scottish climate. There are probably very few "sceptics" willing to deny the basic fact that the climate IS changing.

Here is where the big question looms. You say we should be more efficient, and so on. Reduce carbon. Use ecological bulbs, turn the heat down... and you drag in the oil problem as a justification. Well, you might have a partial point with regards the expectancy of oil. However, with regards climate change, if this is is part of the natural cycle of our planet rather than something specifically man-made, all this carbon-reduction is going to cost us an awful lot of money (and maybe some jobs) to have about as much usefulness as preventing a car crash by letting go of the steering wheel and covering your eyes with your hands. This is where a lot of the skepticism lies. It isn't "is the earth really warming up" but rather "exactly how much of this is man-made"?

There are many people who WANT it to be man-made. Either through the ability to sell snake oil, or for the base comfort of knowing that if it is all our fault, we can set targets to alleviate the problem.

Thing is, if it is NOT man-made (and I personally feel that man's contribution has merely helped to expidite what was going to happen anyway), what good is a target?

There are many things we OUGHT to be doing instead of worrying endlessly about CO2 emissions. We OUGHT to be dredging rivers and canals. We OUGHT to make it illegal to build housing on flood plains. We OUGHT to look to see defences on coastal areas and considering what will happen when water levels rise high enough to breach such defences. We OUGHT to consider how we will cope when a hundred million people are displaced, a million-odd from our own country, large chunks of the capital city, not to mention other important (coastal) cities... We worry about a few thousand immigrants now, the scale of sea levels rising will be more a crisis than we can currently imagine.

It comes down to the ages-old question. If not now, when?

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Linux

Climate change science, 'Tunnel Vision'

"A topic I've covered in depth on my blog. Fact is the earth is warming up. ..."

Climate changes. When and if the climate moves into a cooling phase, will you be a chilling alarmist and declare that human involvement is hastening the decline?

"It comes down to the ages-old question. If not now, when?"

Yes, it does. The 'ages-old question' is often that of tunnel vision. For trends in climate and CO2 involvement, the blind spot might be spelled out as *hysteresis*.

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Chilling alarmist?

I am pointing out my belief that the earth goes through a long boring series of cycles (as you write, "Climate changes").

I am also pointing out my belief that the best way to approach the problem is to understand it. If we're going to go along with the trendy thought that "we're pumping loads of CO2 into the atmosphere and we need to stop this in order to avert Climate Change", well, it'll be pretty lame as an effort if that was only a minor part of the problem.

We need to look at what effects a warmer planet will have. I think it is fairly safe to say "less ice" which will more than likely translate to "higher sea levels" (all that water isn't going to just vanish as it melts). You ARE aware of the height above sea levels of many major sea port cities which also happen to be country capitals, right? Need I list them? London? Stockholm? Paris? Tokyo? Canberra? And that's not counting the thousands of major urban areas that are low-lying. Would you rather misread my posting completely and call me an alarmist, or would you like to consider perhaps at least considering something useful for the future? To know what we're likely dealing with, a few computer models better than Al Gore's hokey science would be a good start. Big chunks of ice have already gone in this past decade. How much, as a percentage? [we can surely reliably measure the size of the ice mass by now, can't we?] How has this translated in terms of sea levels. From this it should be possible to devise a ballpark figure by looking at the remaining ice mass, and then to know if building a wall will suffice, or if it'll be a mite more complex.

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Coat

Funding...

What makes the system so dubious is not the source of the funding, but the impact of the results... Governments/semi autonomous bodies like universities are probably the only way pure science can be funded. But as soon as your academic tenure, thus your job depends on getting the right sort of results to demonstrate that funding should be continued then there is quite unbelieveable pressure to get the "right" results, because if you get the wrong results you get to pick up your coat and leave...

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The tragedy of all this...

Is that, there's probably something going on, here. There probably IS a story to be told.

The scientific consensus remains what it always was, after all: pollution is bad.

But with the people who claim to be researching what is happening, openly lying about their findings, and the nay-sayer so busy saying 'nay' to them, we really don't know quite what the effects of releasing a load of carbon (carbon that it took the planet 50+ million years to lock up), into the atmosphere over the space of a century, might be. Common sense tells you that something's going to give, when you do that sort of thing, but common sense seems to have departed this argument altogether.

It infuriates me that interesting things have happened to our climate in the past - that we are very likely to be in the process of making further 'interesting' things happen through our actions - but no one seems to researching what is actually happening, because they each have a vested interest in skewing the figures one way or the other. Disproving a falsehood is all very valuable, when that falsehood has eaten its way into international policy, but ultimately it is about as useful as disproving a negative, if what we really need is the truth.

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He's right about funding . . .

. . . because presently the funding is directed by government, which is the problem.

The government should still be the largest funder of research in the UK, but it should do so by funding the universities and allowing them to decide what it is appropriate to research, not by directing the funding at a specific area of the university (like the CRU at the UEA).

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FAIL

FAILURE

"The government should still be the largest funder of research in the UK, but it should do so by funding the universities and allowing them to decide what it is appropriate to research"

You have never worked at a university. The A$$ kissing that already goes on would be at such a fevered pitch that politicians would feel left out. Right now the kissing can only cause some damage to universities. With what you are proposing kissing a$$ will determine research funding - rather then any semblance of science.

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The gears of science

I think it's not terribly surprising that many scientists will bend their numbers to fit expectations, especially if it promises headlines and continued funding. They are no better or worse than your average human being in searching fame and peer recognition.

But fortunately, science has inherent self-correcting properties because repeated observations and modeling will only reproduce the correct answers. So bad science will eventually be replaced with good science - no believe required, Mr Orlowski!

... may the better science win ...

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As long as it remains science

May the best science win, certainly. In order for that to happen the issue needs to remain in the realm of science - not dogma, and most partcularly not politics and regulation. Scientist can - in theory - move on from a bad idea, embrace a better one that grew from it's corpse and take knowledge forward. Politics certainly doesn't accomodate this behaviour, and once ideas have crept into law...

This matters because government influence on science and technology is not just about which reasearchers at which universities get funding. Once the basic science is done the engineering problems need to be dealt with, and a lot of this is done by the commercial sector. Once the goverment have decided what the problem is and which approaches to managing it are officially sanctioned that's where the corporate spend has to go, so it's where corporate R&D money goes.

The distortion in infosec spend caused by SOX, HIPAA, PCI-DSS and friends is an urelated by illustrative example. Closer to topic there is the massive spend on stack scrubbers for coal power stations in the 80s.

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I always thought pollution was a bigger issue

Man-made GW may well be occurring, but it always seemed to me that the massive pollution of the earth with dodgy man-made compounds is a bigger danger, e.g nitrates, dioxins, oestrogen-like chemicals, heavy metals, etc etc. Humanity might be able to mitigate GW, but its hard to mitigate a big dose of 345T and the like. I get the feeling that a lot of climate change sceptics( as opposed to open-minded people who have no prejudiced views on the subject), are also rabidly pro-unfettered capitalism & so on. The right wing libertarian crowd are the Maoists of the early 21st century.....

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FAIL

you're right pollution is a bigger issue

but big business make lots of money ignoring and riding rough shod all over it. So sod all will happen (think Bhopal, Exxon Valdez etc.etc.etc.)

Climate change on the "next big thing" for big business to extract more money from tax payers. Carbon Credits/Exchange is an unbelievable example of how our politicians still have no idea how big business stitches up the taxpayer to line their pockets. (Or more likely they do when they get the 8 x 1 day a week directorships from said companies....)

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puppets

Heaven knows what will happen if the skeptics finally accept all that air pollution we spent a century getting rid of was heavily suppressing warming...

Still, the real wonder of climate skeptics is how easily a small group of energy company provocateurs can make them dance. Going to be hilarious when the companies are finally ready with their climate change 'solutions', after 20 years delaying the competition they'll finally come clean and disown the skeptics. The meltdowns among the puppets will be spectacular to watch ;)

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Silver badge

Pollution is a big issue, but...

...I'm worried about chemical genetic modification of crops (as opposed to the semi-natural crossbreeding method).

They say that GM crops are safe and better than natural crops due to their increased tolerance and resistance. They would say that...

I feel a LOT more testing is in order, to better understand how this affects the ecosystem, preferably through a human generation at the very least. In reality, not computer modelling. But there is a lot of chemical GM maize (some of which is said to be hepatoxic) and soya around, with the Americans eager to foist it on everybody (of course, they own the patents... it's a crop cash cow, which isn't all that different to the rBGH cow).

To anybody who wishes to respond to this comment, I have only one word. Thalidomide. Consider your response carefully.

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Anonymous Coward

FFS

"They" (I presume you mean scientists say things along the lines of "...to the best of our knowledge..", "...there is no evidence of risk..." and so on. And that is true.

If you have EVIDENCE of risk, then I suggest you get it published. Otherwise...

ps Thalidomide had two form, left-handed and right-handed. It's called stoichiometry. One was safe in humans, one was not. I suggest you go look things up.

pps semi-natural cross breeding gave rise to toxic strains of potatoes. Is cross-breeding now unsafe?

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Grenade

@ AC

Perhaps, AC, it is YOU who should go look things up. If you understood a little more about the teratogenic mechanism, you would know that the left-handed and right-handed isomers are actually able to convert to the other form within the human body, thus while one was "safe", it is only a relative form of safety, especially given that the supposedly safe isomer causes less severe effects, but effects nonetheless.

All of which misses the main point that, due to lack of information, the drug was considered suitable for use. And lack of information is very important, for a lack of evidence saying something is dangerous or wrong does NOT mean it is safe or correct.

This is exactly why I mentioned the drug Thalidomide, and furthermore it is an interesting argument following in an article that is regarding the various "evidence" for Global Warming may be more careful construction than actual science. As for the "They" I make reference to, these are the paid-off scientists, company CEOs, politicians, shareholders, and anybody with a vested interest in promoting their version of reality.

There is existing published evidence that GMO is dangerous and that Climate Warming is less man-made than we're led to believe; just as there is existing published evidence to say the exact opposite. It is a huge murky mess, and a great example of what I mean can be found in the Gonzo science applied by the tobacco industry until the real actual evidence was overwhelming - that smoking WILL reduce your life expectancy.

So, if you're going to bleat on cue, go back to reading the Daily Mail. Otherwise, feel free to reply and do the favour of putting your name to what you say, ya chickenshit... :-)

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Grenade

Data? We've heard of it.

The best bit of all of this are the comments in HARRY_READ_ME.txt.

Try http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=HARRY_READ_ME.txt

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Bronze badge

Almost as bad as that other pseudo-science Economics.

Basically neither is a proper science because science is based on the simple premise that you can test your theories about the world under repeatable, independently verifiable conditions. You can't do this with single, world sized-systems such as the global climate or economy.

The best you can do with the climate is to test your theories by looking at tree growth, lake bed sediments, sedimentary rocks, ice cores, and so on. Then look at atmospheric gas levels, particulates from volcanic eruptions (back to the geological record again) etc. Then *carefully* check one against the other.

I say carefully because even the most honest and methodical researcher will find it very difficult to do this without imparting at least an unconscious bias, by way of data series selection, choice of statistical analysis methods and so on.

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Stop

Even worse than that

At least economists regularly make predictions about economic behaviour over the short term (3-12 months) that can be tested against reality (most such projections turn out to be wrong and economics largely consists in finding plausible explanations for why your predictions didn't work out). But climate science likes to make projections that can only be tested 20 or, more likely, 50 years hence - when most of us won't even be alive to see whether they've come true or not. And if they haven't, you can bet there'll be a million plausible explanations of why it was nearly right.

And just to compound the problem, predicting future carbon levels depends on economic assumptions such as 3% compound growth in GDP over the next 100 years (that's a factor of 20-fold) AND that CO2 output will rise in line with GDP. This is pretty much the same view that allowed Victorians to predict that by 1920 all of London's streets would be 6 foot deep in horseshit.

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Megaphone

Repeat after me

Climate != weather.

The inability to predict the short-term, local effects of a largely chaotic system does not preclude the ability to predict long term patterns in the same system. The finer grained you attempt to make your predictions, the more difficult it is.

All together now...climate != weather.

As to the larger climate debate, well…

The long term accuracy of these predictions, that is another matter entirely. It's certainly easy for certain types of people to say "what happens in 50 years isn't relevant to me, why should I change my ways?" Others prefer the argument "well, we can't verify its bad until after it goes boom." By contrast, you have a chunk of people who simply don't believe the risks to their descendants to be worth it.

Regardless of what you believe, Climate policy is inextricably linked to issues of energy dependence (foreign as well as domestic), pollution, economic as well as industrial sustainability, resource depletion and even sovereignty.

I put forth that all of us need to put the climate change debate aside for now. Shelve the whole damned thing. We then need to have a big, planet-wide conference or ten on all of the RELATED topics to climate change. Things that do, honestly and truly have some real down-to-earth-this-affects-us-today consequences. Let’s try solving these problems, and when we’re done, I bet you any money that the solutions arrived at will be a significant step along the path to dealing with any potential climate change problems.

In other words: whether climate change is real or not, whether it is anthropogenic or not, all of the things that are claimed to cause it are still very real problems of their own right. Solving them goes a big way towards solving anthropogenic climate change issues, and most importantly…

…these issues need to be dealt with anyways.

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Unhappy

okay then

Leaving aside the geopolitical aspects of the climate change debate, here are the top three anthropogenic problems as I see it:

1) overpopulation

2) deforestation

3) destruction of marine habitats

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Climate != weather

They certainly have different names and address different time scales, but on what evidence can you say that predicting climate is easier than predicting weather?

As far as I'm aware, there is no instance of a significant climate prediction having been made and tested and shown to be correct. So it's just as plausible that predicting the climate will prove to be harder than predicting the weather.

Come back and make that argument when you've a track record of success to show.

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Gold badge

@Werner McGoole

Hey Werner, actually there is a lot of evidence to back up my claim that Climate !=Weather. The really simple one is climate models versus weather models. Our limited understanding of how all these various bits fit together is used to create mathematical models. These models are calibrated by looking at past results and seeing how well they fit. (Oh, and by the way, there are plenty of results to choose from to tune your models. The “climategate” numbers are by no means the only ones.)

Really long story short: “overall trends” in climate are a heckofalot easier than local weather prediction. There are absolutely reams of papers by people a lot smarter than I detailing the how and why. (Once you get into chaos theory and deeper maths, I go look for shiny objects to entertain me.) As to "track record of sucess," I need show nothing. I'm a sysadmin, not a climatologist. I do follow the science though, and quite a few models sucessfully predict historic climate, and have been fairly accurate on predicting current/future trends.

The models universally suck at Weather, however.

Climate != Weather.

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Silver badge

Of course theres no hockey stick on Briffas graph

it stops just as the blade of the hockey stick starts on everyone elses.

I suppose cars are imaginary if you stop the graph of cars in 1880.

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Nice graph (page 1)

Where are the error bars or the other graphs to compare it with? Without any information, other than just a wobbly line, this is utterly useless.

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WTF?

Side show?

Is the climate change fiasco being conveniently used by the New World Order

1. as an excuse for heroic posturing while creating a lucrative set of futures and derivatives markets in carbon trading?

2. to distract the agenda from irrefutable objective evidence the planet is being f^*&ed by a combination of big business and population growth

How about tackling...

a. deforestation

b. mass extinctions

c. rates of depletion of (otherwise renewable) biological resources e.g. fisheries

d. rates of depletion of (unrenewable) mineral resources

Nail those and climate change (happening or not) would look after itself. Too bad fixing the underlying issues needs hard (read unpopular) political decisions now - not setting wishy-washy targets for 20 years time.

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FAIL

Teleconnections

I got as far as the comment on teleconnections and realized that Andrew is writing from a position of total ignorance. How you have the balls to suggest that someone else is talking shite when you don't have any grasp of the subject yourself is beyond me.

In this context...

For mathematicians: The first teleconnection pattern is simply the first eigen vector of the covariance matrix.

For statisticians: The first teleconnection pattern is the first Emperical Orthogonal Function.

For everyone else: The first teleconnection pattern is a robust pattern that you can observe in the climate data.

Actual physical interpretation is difficult and sometimes controversial. They have nothing what so ever to do with pseudo scientific bullshit like homeopathy, telepathy or anything else, it's only the unfortunate name that suggests so.

After reading this propoganda, I couldn't be arsed to read the rest of the article so did not get what ever point you were trying to make. Irrespective of how correct you may or may not be.

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IT Angle

Had the same experience, after starting interestedly.

So the point is that the (frankly stupid-sounding) teleconnections has the word "tele" in it and thus reminds us of telepathy (as clearly the telly and telephone must do to this nonscientist). Genius.

For realists: the teleconnection pattern is the collection of similar consequences of one large scale cause. It's been a cold winter in the south of england, as well as the north of scotland and the bits in between. Oh, and holland, france, germany, italy, etc. So our brave antiestablishment blogger says that anyone observing all trees suffered more this winter than last is a homeopathic nutjob? Genius, nothing more or less.

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Actual physical interpretation is difficult

I got as far as your comment on teleconnections and realized that are writing from a position of total mysticism. How you have the balls to suggest that someone else is talking shite when you don't have any grasp of the subject yourself is beyond me.

If A then B.

If A then C.

B

C

therefore A ????

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Silver badge
Boffin

I'm glad to be

a climate sceptic puppet

Actually I'm a sceptic, but no ones fool.or puppet

my questions to the climate scientists have always been the same

"Is CO2 driving the rise in temps over the past 30 years or is its rise as a result of the rise in global temps", and "can your model be successfully run backwards to produce the climate we had 150 years ago without an error of +/- 1 degree C"

But the biggest problem I have with the whole climate science thing is the way its been completely and utterly politicised by various "green" lobbys and their windmill driven economy fantasy and the big corparations sniffing out their carbon trading crap (odds on they'll trade them around, sell them as futures , run up a debt on them then slice up that debt, sell it to each other until the whole system is worth 10 times more than the world's entire industrial output.......)

remember kids

There are lies, damned lies and statistics

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Unhappy

Appologies

For my over the top comment. I guess anger is what leads to things like Godwin's law.

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Thumb Up

Don't apologise!

There are far too many people like AO who typically have no scientific training whatsoever offering their unqualified illinformed opinons on AGW, and your point was perfectly made.

The sad part is, these people seem to think science is settled by "debate" and cheap point scoring, and live under the sad dillusion that the science or the facts gives a shit about their "opinions".

Either way, these people won't acknowledge the significant risk AGW poses until the glaciers are lapping around their ankles.

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Grenade

How science really works?

I am a baby scientist i.e. I am part way through a PhD in applied mathematics and computer science. But if you will permit an infant's mewling, science is not a pure and noble pursuit unsullied by self interest, it is a very human endeavour infused with all the glory and devilry of any other human effort. Mistakes are made, fashions are followed, prejudices are pandered to, backs are scratched, funds are given (by opposing sides) for finding the 'right' answer, genius occurs, backbreaking drudgery happens. Nothing you do or say will change that. The truth will eventually out.

Scientists who are currently pro anthropogenic climate change being a serious danger to the world's ecology (remember all scientists believe in climate change just debate the origins and their relative strengths and their impacts) have made some very careless mistakes both in how they derived and how they have presented their evidence and theories and opened a clear gap for APG climate skeptics (also scientists) to crawl all over them. I think they will be less careless in future and this will be to everyone's benefit. I also notice some skeptics have begun a rapprochement with their colleagues. i.e.. trying to be positive in their criticisms rather than saying bah! humbug all the time. This is also a good thing.

For everyone else, unless you can follow the science, sorry, your opinion isn't worth a damn!

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