Feeds

back to article Boffins agree: YES we have had an atmospheric warming pause

Good news, climate sceptics: there has been a pause in the rate of atmospheric warming – more than one, in fact. A statistical analysis published in Nature demonstrates a statistical association between the rate of warming over more than a hundred years, and human activity in the same time, and suggests that the most recent “ …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Anonymous Coward

Oh dear

This is starting to sound a bit desperate. If your theory's in dire trouble and you look around at enough possible explanations, you're fairly likely to find one that seems to fit time-wise. But, in addition to correlation not implying causation, you then also have the problem that the statistical significance isn't much cop either. But then I suppose that's never been a big issue in climate science.

I guess this is finally an admission that hypothesis A (that the world will continue to warm following their original graph) didn't work out. So we now have hypothesis B. It, like A, should have no credibility until it has made predictions (that can't simply be made by extrapolating the graph) AND they've actually worked out in the real world.

Note I said *predictions* - currently this new hypothesis is based purely on hindsight.

It really is a shame that we have to keep reminding climate "scientists" about how the scientific method works.

20
28
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Oh dear

Nothing desperate about climate science, but it's a reminder that the climate models are quite imperfect and can not yet model all relevant factors that influence the climate. Indeed, it appears that the human activities change so many aspect of our atmosphere that the climate cannot be easily extrapolated from the analysis of historic information (i.e., measurements from a few centuries and longer time-scale data from ice-cores, etc.).

The fact that we humans rapidly change the atmospheric composition and thereby change the climate is not in question and is only denied by people who are too lazy to inform themselves. Unfortunately, it became quite hard to sift the information from all the sensational claims made by the climate change deniers and climate change scaremongers.

25
9
Bronze badge
Flame

Re: Oh dear

@Schultz, >> The fact that we humans rapidly change the atmospheric composition

we have ? Still 21% O2, 78% N2 and 1% argon with the balance containing other stuff, mostly trace level and wildly varying amounts of dihydrogen monxide last time I checked. 0.033% to 0.0397% for plant food gasis not a major change in composition. A major volcanic eruption would vary atmosphere more than that. Just hope Tambora or its bigger bretheren don't go off again. Then there would be real climate change, but moderately understood. Flame because it gets very cold here as well as hot. The old guys over the fence whose grandfather told them about the crap old days reckons weather been getting better. Droughts don't last as long, fires don't spread as much, technology means fighting fires is not futile and much safer.

16
6
Bronze badge
Devil

Re: Oh dear

@ Schultz >> Unfortunately, it became quite hard to sift the information from all the sensational claims made by the climate change deniers and climate change scaremongers. <<

Odd, only sensational claims I hear are from "OMG, we're all gonna die" mob who want to increase cost of living with futile responses, quite often making the situation worse. If, as an earlier commentard queried, there was a reasoned response to using fossil fuels, like we are running out of them at economic costs, I humbly suggest a mostly polite dialog may be forthcoming from a much greater range of citizens. Mostly all I hear is sectarian shouting.

16
4
Silver badge

Re: Oh dear

>Odd, only sensational claims I hear are from "OMG, we're all gonna die" mob

Don't usually get involved in this circus anymore but is their a more sensational argument than lets just ignore it and hope it goes away. Hope its more like zits or a stomach ache than veneral disease or cancer.

2
6
Gold badge
Unhappy

Re: Oh dear

"@Schultz, >> The fact that we humans rapidly change the atmospheric composition

we have ? "

Yes.

Because CFC's were a patented set of chemicals that do not exist in nature on a large scale the exact date of the planets exposure can be be looked up.

And "large scale" in this context means ppm.

IOW Humans can a)Change the global atmosphere using chemicals b)Do so in a human lifetime c)Do so with concentrations on the same order of magnitude that semiconductor engineers use to change the conductivity of Silicon by orders of magnitude.

12
6

major yes volcano no

The latter is already known, and the trope is a denialist sham.

Major is a term of art, I regard the rise in CO2 as a major change, and once you realise it is larger than the change from a major volcanic eruption you should as well.

0
10
Silver badge

Re: Oh dear @denarius

So the fact that COc has gone from 0.033% to 0.0397% you think is not a major change in composition?

If that was CO you would have gone from a slight headache to feeling shit all the time, if your income went the other way you would be screaming blue murder. Its not insignificant.

7
8
Gold badge
Meh

How interesting.

The only post on this thread where I presented actual information and people are split 50/50.

Do you not like the implication or do you not understand it?

2
1

Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

Science is pretty much exactly the creation of an initial hypothesis, followed by testing (almost always to destruction) of that hypothesis against the available evidence, followed by the replacement of that hypothesis with one which better fits said evidence. Repeat until retirement.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

> Science is pretty much exactly the creation of an initial hypothesis, followed by testing (almost always to destruction) of that hypothesis against the available evidence, followed by the replacement of that hypothesis with one which better fits said evidence. Repeat until retirement.

You missed one crucial part: the hypothesis must make predictions and those predictions must be tested by experiment. Without this, you just end up with a series of refined guesses which is what climate "scientists" are doing at the moment.

Finally, without a predictive quality that that you can test, a theory is useless, that being particularly relevant when dealing with climate and weather.

4
2

Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

nope, didn't miss that - that's what "testing against available evidence" means.

as more evidence becomes available the test gets harder and nearly always, in all branches of science, the current theories ultimately fail when presented with sufficient new measurements. it's normal and it's okay. science is always a work in progress and that progress is not a convenient straight line.

what you are suggesting would seem to be that we need to know all of the impacting factors and get the answer correct before any work has value. this is clearly ludicrous.

1
1
Silver badge

Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

> nope, didn't miss that - that's what "testing against available evidence" means.

Sorry, I'm afraid that you did.

A scientific theory must make testable predictions. Generating a model and checking it against reality and adjusting it to suit is not enough.

You must make a novel prediction and be able to test it. Not only that, others must be able to replicate what you did and get exactly the same results. This is what protects science from other types of analysis pretending to be science. Even in the case of climatology, practical all predictions made by climatologists have turned out to be staggeringly wrong. The predictive power of a theory is the only thing that is of any use in the real world. What would be the point of a theory that describes the behaviour of electrons *sometimes, maybe*? None whatsoever.

> what you are suggesting would seem to be that we need to know all of the impacting factors and get the answer correct before any work has value. this is clearly ludicrous.

Yes, that is the nature of the scientific method. This is exactly why what is being called climate science is not indeed science insomuch as it doesn't use the scientific method.

It is science only as much as archeology is science. Any archaeologist worth their salt would say that what they do is worthwhile and tells us a lot of about what we think happened in the past but it is not science in the sense that most people interpret it to mean, which has to do with rigour, repeatability and precision. This is why I object to the careless use of the term used by politicians to attribute more certainty to something than is borne out of the facts.

Most people outside of science associate the word with a measure of certainty, whereas in this particular case, nothing could be further from the truth.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

"A scientific theory must make testable predictions."

It has. Scientists in the 80s predicted the world would warm. It has.

1
2
Silver badge

Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

> It has. Scientists in the 80s predicted the world would warm. It has.

I could have predicted that the world would warm from no knowledge whatsoever. I would have a 50% chance of being right. It's not enough for me to say that the climate will get warmer. I have to demonstrate it experimentally for it to be even remotely science. Anything else is just sooth saying.

They predicted a continuous increase over time, and it just hasn't happened.

So now we get excuses.

Climate is a chaotic system. I don't know if climatologists have even considered the possibility that climate is not practically predictable with any kind of useful reliability.. I'm certainly of the mind they are chasing an impossible dream.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

@relpy:

What you describe sounds like what Climate Scientists do, but it does not sound like what scientists do.

Where is the prediction and falsification both of which are two crucial aspects of science? Where is the talk about sound experimental design and valid methods of data acquisition? What about replication?

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

"I could have predicted that the world would warm from no knowledge whatsoever"

That still would have been a testable prediction, but without an explanation it wouldn't be science.

Scientists made a testable prediction that the world would warm, based on an physical explanation.

"They predicted a continuous increase over time, and it just hasn't happened."

Scientists back near Darwin's day predicted that evolution would progress in a continuous gradual change in species over time. That wasn't the case, but it didn't mean evolution wasn't science.

"It's not enough for me to say that the climate will get warmer. I have to demonstrate it experimentally for it to be even remotely science."

CO2 is a greenhouse gas which has a significnat warming effect. This is pretty damn certain, even the scientists who call themselves global warming skeptics accept CO2 in the quantities man is emitting it has a strong effect on climate.

0
3
Silver badge

Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

@NomNomNom:

Had I looked at the data, I would also have predicted the world would warm, but I would do that on the basis of the null hypothesis rather than the idea that CO2 was warming the world in any remarkable way. Additionally, I would predict that it would in no way go outside of an environmental channel for which the entire biosphere is evolved. I would also have predicted, again on the null hypothesis, that the shape of the curves would remain unremarkable over time, staying within patterns and ranges that they have seen in the past. I would also predict that weather patterns would stay well within their historical limits.

I would predict that there would be species extinctions and perhaps associated ecosystem collapses, again on the null hypothesis. That is how Biological Evolution works. The 'Selection' part of Natural Selection implies the removal of the least adaptive genes. Sometimes that will just change populations and gene frequencies, sometimes it will truncate species. Sometimes sufficient disruption will take down other species and sometimes it is enough to break the elasticity of an ecosystem. The above is the 'Natural' part of Natural Selection. Sometimes when persistent changes to climate are sufficient to reduce viability at one latitude and increase it at another, the range of species and ecosystems will drift geographically. That is not strange or unexpected, even when it becomes, for a given set of organisms, catastrophic for them.

The null hypothesis is both more predictive and more consonant with the rest of science than the voodoo positive feedback via runaway CO2 'forcing' theory of Catastrophic Global Warming.

Skeptics predicted a benign absence of aberrant accelerating warming, Alarmists predicted catastrophic aberrant accelerating warming. Thus far, Skeptics have been right and Alarmists have been wrong. There is no evidence that this is going to change any time soon.

I don't know enough to say for sure, but my hunch is that something similar to what is described in this paper will give much better predictions of future temperature and it is basically an elucidation and quantification of the null hypothesis that the climate will continue on as it has:

http://www.clim-past.net/9/447/2013/cp-9-447-2013.pdf

Fig. 6 on Page 451 shows a reconstruction of past temperatures followed by a prediction for the next number of years. The ideas make sense, the analysis yields an excellent fit to the data and makes a testable prediction both for the future and for past data if we are able to collect it later. To my eye, the graph of the data and the graph of the fitting curve look the way I expect real curves to look. By way of contrast the famous 'hockey stick' is anomalous looking and at least in its first incarnation proven incorrect (faulty math).

I am entirely skeptical that *warming* within ranges we can expect will be a problem. However, cooling as is indicated in the graph above could be a very severe problem. By the same token that increasing temperatures support greater biomass and are net positive, decreasing temperatures mean less biomass and are almost certainly net negative. Runaway rapid increases in temperature seem both unlikely and benign if they happen. I am not so convinced that movement in the opposite direction would be as slow and I know it would not be benign. Accommodating lower energy costs, greater crop yields and a greater amount of habitable geography is significantly easier than accommodating higher energy costs, decreasing crop yields and shrinking habitable space.

The current dogma of the Climate Science community is severely compromised. If we think that future climate will change, have a significant impact on us and be predictable, then we should get on with it. However, I think approaches like in the paper above are more likely to yield fruit than the current marginal efforts to continue supporting a theory that makes no sense, conflicts with the rest of science and has no predictive power.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

> Scientists back near Darwin's day predicted that evolution would progress in a continuous gradual change in species over time. That wasn't the case, but it didn't mean evolution wasn't science.

You're mixing up issues here. What science can deal with here with the scientific method is the mechanism of evolution. Once you have a theory about how genetic evolution works, you can use that to make predictions about the genetics of animals and plants that exist in a particular environment. You can do this purely with the theory without prompting by the data. The proof of this was the Galapagos islands where you can make predictions about the genetic diversity (or lack of) found there. Then you can verify that finding by testing.

What science and evolutionary theory cannot do is predict actual real world evolutionary trends. A particular evolutionary path is akin to a complex, chaotic system and cannot be reliably predicted by the scientific method in the wild. It is not a question that the scientific method is useful for.

In science we can look at chemical interactions, and we can analyse parts of the climate system. However, the scientific method is wholly inappropriate for analysing the climate and its trends. That is the domain of the statistical method which is entirely different and deals with uncertainty far better. However, make no mistake, it has nothing to do with "science".

What the climatologists are doing is modeling and statistical analysis. It has nothing to do with classical science.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

@NomNomNom:

You and I are miles apart, but you should not infer from my long replies, or their tone that I am attempting to argue against you in particular. I am attempting to argue the point. I am pretty much legendary for my long replies to things, but these ones are because I have been asked to do a policy paper that practically addresses this debate.

Because you believe as you do, have surveyed and accepted the various arguments and appear to be animated by the same sense of activist urgency I associate with CAGW proponents, you stand proxy for the more difficult audience members to appease.

One thing that I hope people on all sides could agree to is to place this under the umbrella of 'environmental stewardship' and to research the way to get the best bang for our buck.

1
0

Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

I think I have a little pondering to do as a couple of persuasive and detailed arguments have been made. In part I feel we may be arguing semantics - but since we're disussing the meaning of a word that is not unreasonable.

However - with respect to a specific points made:

>> nope, didn't miss that - that's what "testing against available evidence" means.

> Sorry, I'm afraid that you did.

No I don't believe I did - the point is that the available evidence changes over time. For example, a not inconsiderable amount of money was invested in gaining a statistically acceptable likelihood of the existence of the Higgs boson. Was the standard model not science before it was discovered? If we hadn't discovered it would we look at the standard model and say "that wasn't science"? I think not. Would we say "need more energy!"? Quite possibly. Is that science?

However, climate science, be it science or not, is undoubtedly immature. Although largely not as immature as the debate :-)

I have much sympathy for your view for the diminishment of the rigour and meaning of science. I especially dislike the addition of the word "science" to the end of any other endeavour to make it respectable. However I'm concerned that your definition ultimately relegates nearly all of medicine, meteorology, geology, astronomy, astrophysics / cosmology, ... anything that can't pass a 5 sigma test or that can only offer statistical predictions,... to "quackery". I don't think this is useful.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

> I have much sympathy for your view for the diminishment of the rigour and meaning of science. I especially dislike the addition of the word "science" to the end of any other endeavour to make it respectable. However I'm concerned that your definition ultimately relegates nearly all of medicine, meteorology, geology, astronomy, astrophysics / cosmology, ... anything that can't pass a 5 sigma test or that can only offer statistical predictions,... to "quackery". I don't think this is useful.

The problem is that the public's perception of science is classical physics-style science. Trouble is where do you draw the line as to what is science and what isn't?

Is rigour the defining feature? Well that could apply to an athlete sticking rigidly to a training program.

What about "proof"? Well perhaps lawyers are scientists too.

Because the word science has been used to give additional respectability to other, what I would call non-scientific, endeavours, the meaning of the word has been diluted.

I would suggest that the scientific method is that defining feature. Some things do not lend themselves to the scientific method so they are not sciences. That doesn't mean that they are not worthwhile or any less rigourous, but lets call these things what they are: statistics, modeling, historical research, mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. Some of them may include "science" in the technical sense, but some do not. But science is a means to and end, a technique or approach if you will. It is not the be-all and end-all.

I would say that climatologists use modeling, statistics and historical research. I would also say that they do *not* use the scientific method as it is utterly inappropriate for what they are trying to achieve.

0
0

Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

@btrower

"I don't know enough to say for sure, but my hunch is that something similar to what is described in this paper will give much better predictions of future temperature and it is basically an elucidation and quantification of the null hypothesis that the climate will continue on as it has:

http://www.clim-past.net/9/447/2013/cp-9-447-2013.pdf"

All that paper does is fit curves. It uses Fourier analysis to show that temperature records over a particular period can be modelled reasonably well with 6 'cycles'. It does not propose any physical mechanism to explain what those putative cycles might be. The whole point about Fourier analysis is that you can take *any* function and break it into a sum of cycles!

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Oh dear

"A major volcanic eruption would vary atmosphere more than that."

No, it wouldn't.

Assuming by "major" you don't mean the equivalent of a Yellowstone eruption. in which case we'd have some rather larger problems to cope with.

0
0

Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

> Because the word science has been used to give additional respectability to other, what I would call non-scientific, endeavours, the meaning of the word has been diluted.

Agreed. Hard not to.

But to inject a mote of realism : while we're at it, can we stop calling people who fix washing machines "engineers" and people who practice medicine without postgraduate research qualifications "doctors"?

Leading on from the unfair and gratuitous dig at doctors (and I'm not one in either sense) - in lexicographical terms, which came first "science" or "scientific method" - if the former, then possibly it's "scientific method" that is misnamed rather than the popular term "science"? :-)

1
0

Re: Oh dear - oh dear oh dear oh dear

"That wasn't the case, but it didn't mean evolution wasn't science."

I'm gonna get downvoted here, but that is actually exactly what it it means.

So far no new kind of animal has been produced in a test lab, nothing that goes beyond simple variations in one kind of animal. Flies continue to be flies, mice continue to be mice.

Crossbreeding has been practised for millennias to get a new specimen of one kind, it was this knowledge that made Darwin form his theory on how all the kinds of animals we see could have evolved from just one or a few, but it has never been observed or proven by any predictable repeatable test.

Unless you're one of those that believe evolution is not gradual, as if one day an elephant will give birth to two mice one female and one male. But I assume there are very few evolutionists agreeing with that view anymore. Rather is the idea of infinite random mutations over time that will allow for adaptation to a new specimen and eventually a whole new kind of animal to be formed, that is popular for the time being.

What has been observed to happen is that one kind of organism do adapt to their environment. But never that they would have become a new organism from what they were before.

What we see is that an adapted specimen still is based on the original genetic code.

0
0
FAIL

"about a decade after governments banned substances that were dissolving the ozone hole"

Shouldn't that be "banned substances that were creating the ozone hole"?

9
0
Bronze badge

That's not all

He also missed the point that the various CFCs have global warming potentials of 4750 - 14000, meaning they cause as much warming as that quantity of CO2.

3
0
Gold badge
Happy

Re: That's not all

"He also missed the point that the various CFCs have global warming potentials of 4750 - 14000, meaning they cause as much warming as that quantity of CO2."

Yes, but do you think that may have had some effect as well (he asked, archly) ?

0
0
Silver badge

OMG Zombie keeps rising

My goodness, it seems nigh impossible to kill the zombie pseudo science of Climastrology.

Somebody should pass a law that until they can clean up their act, all their graphs have to be presented in Kelvin rather than 'anomalies'.

This alarmist nonsense is so beyond the pale, it is hard to address them. If 97% of working scientists genuinely believe that we need stuff like 'cap and trade' and subsidized windmills because our production of CO2 is bringing on the apocalypse, then 97% of scientists should be fired. Hint: That figure is as reliable as the rest of the ... whatevs. I want to call it a religion, but I have too much respect for respectable religions.

14
21
Dr?

Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising

There are respectable religions?

18
0
Bronze badge
Angel

Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising

Pastafarianism.

All the rest are just made up bullshit.

15
0
Silver badge

Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising @ btrower

"97% of working scientists genuinely believe" in AGW, politicians believe in subsidized windmills. Please don't insult scientists by confusing them with politicians.

14
2
42
FAIL

Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising

The zombies are those that ignore the science and push the oil company propaganda, much like yourself.

The deniers are the ones acting like a religion. They use the same tactics as creationsist and anti-vaxxers, the laughable claim that the climate scientists are all corrupt and in league with the rich to make money, if it wasnt so important it would be funny. All they ever do is rely on a circle jerk of citations from other denialists to "prove their claim".

10
14
Silver badge

Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising @ btrower

@Martin Budden:

It is you who are insulting scientists by confusing them with Climastrologists -- politicians in lab coats.

Re: "97% of working scientists genuinely believe" in AGW

How can someone be both scientifically literate AND believe that? It is a ridiculous falsehood on its face. I have looked at the argument behind this and it is laughable. It was derived the way the rest of Climastrology is derived. They had a theory, went looking for data to confirm it, tossed anything contrary and kept the rest. It is called 'cherry picking'. The 'Climate Science' community has a profound misunderstanding about this. They actually do not quite understand what 'cherry picking' is or why it is wrong.

If you phone around to Universities and ask a properly selected random group of 100 Physicists, Chemists and Biologists you will absolutely *not* get 97 endorsing Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.

The wheels are coming off of CAGW as they must. Alarmist arguments cannot affect the empirical data and tampering with the raw data to produce 'enhanced data' won't affect the empirical facts. The earth as far as we have any reliable information, is simply not headed for a catastrophic meltdown.

Had we listened to them, we would already be in the midst of economy destroying cap and trade and they would claim that they had saved us all. The world did not take the bait, so the alarmist camp has had to come up with a ridiculous rationalization to demonstrate that even though their prediction of dire temperature increases was wrong, they are still somehow right anyway.

The Alarmist side is immune to logic, facts and even the evidence of their own eyes. They have failed every empirical test. It takes repeated FOIA requests to get their data to check their work and when you do, you find their reports are misleading or just flat out wrong. I do not expect the hard-core believers to change their point of view. They can't. For them it is a religious a-priori assumption taken on faith alone. However, I do hope that people with the ability to look at the actual arguments and supporting data will do so and speak up.

11
9
Silver badge

Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising

" If 97% of working scientists genuinely believe that we need stuff like 'cap and trade' and subsidized windmills because our production of CO2 is bringing on the apocalypse, then 97% of scientists should be fired."

97% of scientists agree that climate change is happening and we're the cause. It's the economists* who dreamed up cap-n-trade. It's the politicians and greenies** who dreamed up subsidised windmills. As far as I can tell the real scientists*** have recently looked at the mess that economists, politicians and greenies have made and concluded that what we need to fix all this is a substantial investment in nuclear power.

*economics is NOT a science, economists are NOT scientists

** the hardcore irrational kind

*** Hansen et al

6
2
Silver badge

Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising @ btrower

"Re: "97% of working scientists genuinely believe" in AGW

How can someone be both scientifically literate AND believe that?"

Erm, it's pretty basic chemistry and physics. Burning X tons of carbon-based fuel per year for Y years results in Z additional tons of CO2 in the atmosphere than otherwise would have been. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, this is known, well-understood and based on established tries-and-tested physics. I think that 100% of chemists and physicists would agree with the above, not 97%.

It's true that there are lots of more complicated underlying factors that make climate models such complex beasts but the bottom line is the earth is trapping more energy inside with extra added CO2 than without, and we put the extra added C02 in.

Now, whether all of this will lead to great catastrophe and if so what actions are necessary to prevent it... that's a whole other issue

9
3
Silver badge

Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising

> 97% of scientists agree that climate change is happening and we're the cause. It's the economists* who dreamed up cap-n-trade. It's the politicians and greenies** who dreamed up subsidised windmills.

What absolute tripe. A large part of the problem with climatology -- probably the biggest problem -- is that so many scientists have so enthusiastically hurled themselves from the scientific debate about what is happening into the political debate about what to do about it. Having entered the political arena, they then get upset when faced with political argument and throw hissy fits that people are daring to disagree with them when they're scientists.

5
3
Silver badge

"oil company propaganda" @42

> those that ignore the science and push the oil company propaganda

"Anyone who disagrees with me is being bribed! It's the only explanation!" So popular in Interweb messageboard fights, and so depressing to see how it's been embraced by climatologists in recent years.

I personally believe that we should cut fossil-fuel emissions as much as feasible (not through draconian economy-crippling tax systems but by inventing better stuff) for various reasons: acid rain, emphysema, everyone sitting on a source of oil seems to be a murdering bastard for some reason. I also believe that climatology, in its current state, is dreadful. And I agree with Richard Feynman that basing predictions on models is unscientific bollocks. Seems like pretty unlikely oil company propaganda.

5
2

Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising @ btrower

"Erm, it's pretty basic chemistry and physics.... It's true that there are lots of more complicated underlying factors..."

Let me get this right. First you are saying that it's just simple physics and chemistry and then, to paraphrase, you say, 'Well, ok it's not really that simple as in reality it's really, really complicated.'

Can you not see a logic problem there?

2
1
Silver badge

Re: "oil company propaganda" @42

@Squander Two:

Re: "I agree with Richard Feynman"

Second that. Seriously, what would Feynman do? Send me my WWFD T-Shirt !

2
0
Silver badge

Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising

@James Micallef:

Re: "substantial investment in nuclear power"

Doing the right things for the wrong reasons can lead to trouble down the road. You can end up with wacky conclusions about other stuff and end up nullifying the good you do.

For the record, I am pro-nuclear, so people like you and I could work for the same thing. Energy is the one hard limiting factor that affects us all. For now at least, abundant cheap energy would allow us to do as we wish. The alleged CO2 driven global warming debate could be shelved as irrelevant if we had enough cheap energy because we could sequester and de-sequester carbon at will. No need to argue about CO2. We would be able to run the real experiment -- sort of what has been happening for the last 20 years or so.

It has been a few years since I looked at it, but at one point Thorium reactors looked like almost a sure thing. I would be on board with a program to fund research into this and to fast-track it if it looks promising.

I am, despite its many issues, a big fan of fusion energy and I expect that we will probably crack that particular nut in the next 10/20/30 years. The joke about fusion is that it is always 20 years away, but we know for a fact that fusion energy is there and we know we can release it. It has proven a difficult problem, but we are just looking for a way to get over-unity energy release without a nuclear explosion. It is difficult, but has to be doable and we will get there.

Before I started a Thorium program, I would take a hard look at Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works. Last I heard, fusion energy was already in the pipeline: "Lockheed is promising an operational unit by 2017 with assembly line production to follow":

http://www.dvice.com/2013-2-22/lockheeds-skunk-works-promises-fusion-power-four-years

If they are still somewhere on track with that, fusion energy would likely be in the pipe before we could deploy Thorium reactors. If it is real, I would attempt to make a deal with Lockheed to hasten development.

Also, Fusion Energy because flying cars.

2
0
42
FAIL

Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising @ btrower

Climate denial, creationists, anti vaxxers, all use the same techniques you do. The facts are so plain that AGW

happens it takes a fool of epic proportions to believe otherwise. Unfortunately there is no shortage of them here on ELReg.

0
2
Silver badge

"Climate denial, creationists, anti vaxxers ...."

> Climate denial, creationists, anti vaxxers, all use the same techniques you do.

In the climate debate, I don't think you can honestly bring up the techniques that people use without opening the Pandora's Box that is the UEA emails.

0
1
Silver badge

Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising @ btrower

@42:

You really have not made an argument there.

Re: "Climate denial"

This is not even a thing. It is an unsavory pejorative term invented by frustrated alarmists simply unable to articulate a coherent argument or answer any particular criticism. Beyond that, it is a fallacious mutant combination of ad hominem attack and appeal to the crowd. You might as well through in a side of vericundiam or misercordium. Your a distillation of the argument that is put forth by alarmists and they are absolutely incapable of seeing its flaws. You cannot build spaceships and robots on a philosophy that ignores empiricism and attacks your critics for saying so.

Re: "Creationists"

This one is similar to the 'denial' one. It is particularly rich because it is the argument from Evolution Through Natural Selection that crushes the alarmist theories. It is deeply ironic that the side adopting creationist tactics and dismissing the lessons of Darwin are attempting to tar their critics with the label 'creationist'. People who simply believe in Evolution without understanding it stand on no higher ground than people who believe in Creationism. Like the Evolution/Creation debate, this one is more heat than light from the polar extremes and people at the polar extremes display a mean spirit that extends to deliberately ignoring or characterizing their opponents arguments.

For the record, I am a strict Evolutionist, not because I 'believe' it, but because I *understand* it. That is clearly more than we can say for the extreme alarmists who have no inkling suspicion about why canalization over geologic time makes it exceedingly unlikely that the alarmist theory is correct. Thermageddon could happen. We should never say never, but the probability is small to the point of vanishing, surely much below the danger of a meteor strike or a life-threatening change in the sun.

Re: "anti vaxxers"

As one can imagine, I am pretty much on board with vaccination. By coincidence my family is midway through getting them now. Like evolution, this is not a matter of belief with me it is a matter of understanding how it works and liking the cost/benefit trade-off. Unlike alarmists, I would not dismiss the concerns of people about vaccination out of hand without engaging them and despite my understanding and belief I would still give them a fair hearing. Besides, to the extent that 'anti vaxxers' are wrong they follow the same broken lines of reasoning as alarmists. You belong together.

Re: "all use the same techniques you do"

Well, you are a pot calling a kettle black without even realizing it is not a kettle. Techniques? You mean demanding evidence and reasoned argument consonant with my understanding of the laws governing the universe? Demanding parsimony? Criticizing sloppy reasoning, invalid statistics and politics masquerading as science? Sure. People who understand scientific pursuit realize that scientists are skeptics by definition. Alarmists think of 'skeptic' as a dirty word on a par with holocaust denier. They are entirely mixed up with respect to this.

I admit to a certain stridency with my argumentation but I generally put forth fairly straightforward, logically coherent arguments consistent with evidence and comfortably under the umbrella of science rather than sophist rants. Misusing language and name calling happens on both extreme sides, but if we have to pick a side that owns this, it is surely the alarmist camp. It seems they quite simply cannot disagree without invective.

Re: "The facts are so plain that AGW happens it takes a fool of epic proportions to believe otherwise."

Indeed. Is that, then, the entirety of your case to support condemning people in the third world to death, perverting the world economy to the tune of trillions of dollars, and (ironically) damaging the biosphere? For the record, it would be charitable to say your argument is a bit thin.

There are Nobel laureates who disagree with you. I mentioned one in particular in an earlier comment. Even were your conclusions true, the above argument does not support them or anything else except yet another example of alarmists unable to articulate a real argument and unable to understand why that is not OK. I mean it is OK as a rhetorical device if that is all you bring to the table, but it is invalid as argument. You lose the formal debate by abdicating your responsibility to bring a cogent argument to the table.

Skeptics are largely unpaid volunteers, saying what they say because they believe it is the right thing to do. They have stood against a withering assault on world politics and the house of science because they have a deep conviction that things like 'cap and trade' are wrong and they feel they must take a stand. They have, without funding, assembled facts and arguments and criticisms of the Global Warming narrative against much backlash. People like the Climategate whistle-blower have endured savage criticism and condemnation from the establishment hierarchy in order to bring what they believe to be the truth to light.

Alarmists tend to be blind believers or people with compromised interests. However, in fairness there are a lot of honest people who believe on the basis of what they have been told. Were the assembly of facts they have been told and the supporting arguments sound I would believe too. We part company because someone like me is skeptical until they see proof and there is no proof of CAGW because it is not real.

For the record, most thoughtful skeptics are not denying the evidence that we are rebounding from the little ice age and that the world has warmed. To some extent, we agree on many of the facts, but we disagree on how to interpret them. Does CO2 cause any warming at all? Probably. Our evidence is not very good for this, but it seems plausible. Do humans affect the climate? We really don't know, but I think most skeptics would be willing to allow that we might have a little effect. Thus far, the skeptical view is the one that has been the most predictive and the best at rationalizing the reliable data (not nearly what they think it is, BTW).

If we take facts supported by evidence and sound argument and put them together to create a picture of Global Warming consistent with the body of science and the real empirically testable world, we find that the world is likely warming a little and that we might have an effect. However, the odds on favorite bet ten years ago was that CO2 would have a negligible impact on climate and that climate would stay within perfectly ordinary limits consistent with the null hypothesis. That was the evidence a decade ago, five decades ago and it is the evidence today.

The 'bedrock' of alarmism is the IPCC summary, a political document. The statements from scientist organizations endorsing the Global Warming narrative are political ones, not scientific. To the extent that I know we have sound data, those political statements are not in line with the members they claim to represent. The notion that '97%' of scientists endorse the Global Warming narrative is nonsense on its face; easily debunked. The fact that so many alarmists present that argument at all shows that they have a profound innumeracy and an uncritical credibility that calls the rest of their beliefs into question.

My background makes me confident that thermageddon has a negligible probability of happening and that current efforts to stop it are politically and financially motivated in their entirety backed by dupes who have trouble with logic and numbers and are too trusting for their own good.

Don't trust me. Don't trust them. Dig into this yourself. I am entirely confidant that someone in possession of the facts and their faculties will agree with me. Something happening? Maybe. Important? Not likely. Actionable on global scale that raises the cost of energy? Absolutely not.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising @ btrower

"For the record, most thoughtful skeptics are not denying the evidence that we are rebounding from the little ice age and that the world has warmed. To some extent, we agree on many of the facts, but we disagree on how to interpret them. Does CO2 cause any warming at all? Probably. Our evidence is not very good for this, but it seems plausible. Do humans affect the climate? We really don't know, but I think most skeptics would be willing to allow that we might have a little effect."

It's a selective application of doubt. The theory that humans affect the climate is made to jump through extra hoops just so it can't succeed. What would normally be regarded as good evidence becomes "not very good evidence".

The same line of doubt and criticism could be applied to solar theories of climate change for example, but it isn't. Would a skeptic ever say something like the following?

"Does the SUN cause any warming at all? Probably. Our evidence is not very good for this, but it seems plausible. Does the Sun affect the climate? We really don't know, but I think most skeptics would be willing to allow that we might have a little effect"

No, *might have a little effect* would not be the phrase used, it would be a more hopeful and suggestive message of *might have a big effect*. But for CO2 such a possibility just isn't acceptable.

0
3
Silver badge

Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising @ NomNomNom

> The theory that humans affect the climate is made to jump through extra hoops just so it can't succeed.

The only hoop I ask the theory to jump through is that it make consistently correct predictions. Since that's the exact same hoop I expect every other scientific theory to jump through, I fail to see what's "extra" about it.

You are right, though, that the theory has failed to make it through the hoop.

As for the Sun, there is good laboratory experimental data to back up the theory that it affects the climate. Far from conclusive, the climate being as complicated as it is, but far better than a statistical computer model, which merely throws back at you whatever you put into it. Personally, I'm really looking forward to seeing the various theories get either proven or disproven over the next few decades. I just think it's a shame that so many climatologists have become so political and have developed such a ridiculous siege mentality that they'll refuse to acknowledge the evidence when it comes along and slaps them in the face. That's your selective doubt right there.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: OMG Zombie keeps rising @ NomNomNom

"As for the Sun, there is good laboratory experimental data to back up the theory that it affects the climate."

Which is?

Think you'll find the evidence the Sun has any significant affect on climate change is far weaker than CO2. But skeptics apply different bars of proof to both.

0
1
Bronze badge

Re: "Climate denial, creationists, anti vaxxers ...."

"In the climate debate, I don't think you can honestly bring up the techniques that people use without opening the Pandora's Box that is the UEA emails."

Open the box!

Take the Money!

Open the box!

Idiot.

0
1
Silver badge

Re: "Climate denial, creationists, anti vaxxers ...."

At least my comment made sense.

Idiot.

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.