back to article I'm a sceptic now, says ex-NASA climate boss

The retired scientist formerly in charge of key NASA climate programs has come out as a sceptic. Dr John Theon, who supervised James Hansen - the activist-scientist who helped give the manmade global warming hypothesis centre prominent media attention - repents at length in a published letter. Theon wrote to the Minority …

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  1. Hollerith

    clarify and offer to all the data

    If Hansen is correct, let him offer the raw data to the world so that other models can put the numbers through their paces. From my reading, I think the warming has a big man-made component to it. I also think a dependence on fossil fuel is madness, as it leads to wars and economic dependence on many unpleasant regimes, and also is risky, given the finite supply. We further know that it is dangerous (smog, oil spills, etc). So it makes sense for many reasons to cut down the foosil fuel use, and if it even *might* be adding to global warming, why not be sensible and cut it out of our lives?

    Scientists can never be definite about anything when they can't control all the variables. It's weight of probabilities. But that is good enough to run huge technical industries on, and good enough to presume on when planning a response to global warming. But science itself is not served if some scientists become too in love with their own data. It has been seen before that unconscious bias easily creeps into selection of data and interpretation. Let's have NASA put all the raw logs online.

  2. dervheid

    And no doubt...

    Hansen will be calling for the jailing of Theon as well now.

  3. James Pickett

    Deep Joy

    At last, an outbreak of common sense! As for jailing people, perhaps Hansen should be first in the queue...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Nice one.

    Won't be too long now until the pro-MMCC charade comes tumbling down. Maybe we can jail the proponents for trying to force us to spend millions (billions?) on their crackpot schemes.

  5. Wade Burchette Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    A lot of good points

    First, Senator Inhofe is not the most objective person out there. So be careful of what he says.

    However, Dr. John Theon hit on a lot of good points:

    "Some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results. In doing so, they neither explain what they have modified in the observations, nor explain how they did it. They have resisted making their work transparent so that it can be replicated independently by other scientists."

    That is the first good point. What happens is the sheep take this manipulated or massaged data and run with it like it was Gospel. They neither question it nor allow you to question it either. In short, climate change is a religion. People like Al Gore and James Hansen are the clergy. People believe what the clergy says blindly never bothering to question and want to burn you at the stake if you do. The Spanish Inquisition is alive and well. There is just one problem: true science welcomes questioning.

    "Hansen was never muzzled even though he violated NASA's official agency position on climate forecasting."

    There is a reason for that. James Hansen was a big time John Kerry supporter and donor. During the 2004 presidential campaign, James Hansen came out publicly and said the Bush administration was trying to silence him; it was a lie. James Hansen was making public Armageddon speeches on company time and the Bush administration told him to stop. A reasonable request, because for most other people doing such an act will make you unemployed. Ever since that lie, the Bush administration was afraid to ask him to stop again. So here we have it today, James Hansen is still employed by NASA and still massaging data to fit his viewpoint and the laity are still blindly believing him without ever questioning why the past became colder several years later.

    And of course, there is a reason why the clergy is not transparent with their data. Facts are a climate change advocate's worst nightmare. They know this, so it is not in their interest to show proof.

  6. Pete
    Alert

    Bloggers eh?!

    I suspect Dr John will be wheeled in for more observation than he expected!

    Lets see what turns up under the microscope.

  7. Adam Foxton

    So he's not against the idea

    of anthropogenic climate change as such, just against the utterly unscientific crap that's bounded about to scare people and try to push the green agenda.

    Are there any wholly scientific, properly recreateable (to nab a useful term "open source") climate models that predict anthropogenic Climate Change?

    Also, are there any long-term graphs that suggest it could actually be a real effect?

  8. Wonderkid
    Flame

    How much was he paid to change his mind?

    Hmmm?

    (As someone who has lived through over 40 seasons, I can vouch for the fact it is getting warmer here in the UK. I have photos of deep snow at our home in the 1970s. Where is it today almost 25 years later? We get a sprinkling, some sleet, and that's winter! And what about the effect on the natural world, with animals, plants, fish, birds and more showing signs of distress or confusion.)

    Follow the money. Because the people who have a lot of it thanks to oil and coal are the sort who don't really give a damn about nature and will be quite happy in their manmade solitude sitting at their terminals managing their stock portfolios. If they actually cared, they would use their immense wealth to fast track in a Manhatten Project like manner the development of practical alternative energy production and distribution methods. Google 'Better Place' for a good example.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I blame the elves

    If it's not man made then who made it? I blame elves, little pointed eared elves, dancing around and cooling themselves off with cold drinks. Each year chip off ever more of the glaciers for their drinks.

    Yes, the increase in CO2 is coincidental, it's because the elves dancing see, as they dance they breath out more CO2.

    I repeat what I said to the earlier story, runaway global warming is impossible, because all the CO2 we're creating is from burning fossil fuels, which was just plant matter which grey from CO2 in the atmosphere... Regardless of the scientists opinion, the earth's CO2 must have been insufficient to cause runaway global warming to get where we are today.

    Now how do we fix the damn elves?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @ Wonderkid.

    Yawn....how predictable!

  11. Douglas Lowe
    Thumb Down

    Muzzling?

    I'm sure that Theon is correct that Hanson "was never muzzled" when Theon was his boss. But that's 20 years ago, under the first Bush administration, not 4 years ago under the second Bush administration, which was the one that Hanson claimed was muzzling him.

    Yet another case of the Inhofe blog writers massaging the facts to attack their political opponents.

  12. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Alien

    Change you can Believe in ...... ur Wishes Our Command.

    "At last, an outbreak of common sense! As for jailing people, perhaps Hansen should be first in the queue..." ... By James Pickett Posted Wednesday 28th January 2009 14:59 GMT

    James,

    That is obviously his valid worry/concern/realisation.

    "If they actually cared, they would use their immense wealth to fast track in a Manhatten Project like manner the development of practical alternative energy production and distribution methods" ..... By Wonderkid Posted Wednesday 28th January 2009 15:24 GMT

    Seconded, Wonderkid. You wouldn't happen to have Barack's HEROMale/Email Address, would you?

    There is a Cunning Plan AIField and Afoot in CyberSpace Commands. Commendable Comments ... via Registered Post for Secured Transparent dDelivery.

  13. Paul

    climate change/climate skepticism is a religion

    @Wade Burchett: opposition to climate change is also a religion. I'm not going to debate how much of either religion is based in truth, how much pure ignorant BS - it doesn't much matter because the consequences of picking the wrong one are highly asymetric.

    If the climate skeptics are wrong picking their side means global disaster.

    If the climate changers are wrong we spend money now on things that needed doing before the fossil fuel runs outs in any case. Get it right and there's no downside to anyone but the oil industry. I'd quite like a world where desperate politicians have less excuse to start wars to grab the oil.

    The people we should all be pillorying are the sharks proposing bizarre schemes that siphon money from technology we need to whatever makes them the fastest buck regardless of whether its effective.

  14. Harry
    Alert

    "some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results."

    Hmmm, scientists watching too many politicians and government ministers, I suspect.

    If we can't trust the scientists, no wonder the politicians are all starting to think they are gods.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Modifying data

    You have to modify data, it is simply not practicle not to do so and as a NASA climate person he should know that.

    If you get datasets from human observation, weather stations, seaborne observation and various satellites, they will all have differently observed values, modelers then use these datasets to make the most likely values for their modells. Some areas have lots of datapoints others have many missing data points, others have totally out of range results which are clearly crap, this has to be dealt with as part of the modelling process.

  16. Cameron Colley
    Flame

    RE: RE: How much was he paid to change his mind?

    Ooooooh, is it getting hotter? Must be teh Carbonz!!!!!!!!!1!!11!11!1!

    I suggest you learn what Anthropogenic Climate Change means and what the opposing theories are -- you never know, you might learn something. ;~)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    @ Wonderkid

    The major problem with the debate on Anthropomorphic Climate Change is it is rife with ad hominem attacks, from both sides. Theon attacks Hansen, Wonderkid attacks Theon, any minute now this board will be full of US-sounding posters attacking you and Hansen and anyone else who thinks that CO2 can be in any way related to warming.

    Question is, how did this field become so obsessed with personal attacks as an MO? What other scientific field is full of people shouting about how so-and-so is a liar and is only in it for the money (e.g. big oil on one side or continued funding on the other)? I don't know of one, but my guess is that if there is one the science in question will also impinge on the ability of somebody to make large wodges of cash...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    And cue...

    ...idiotic braying from the "mankind is so tiny and inconsequential" rabble who probably privately advocate, for example, the dumping of all sorts of pollutants into the oceans "because they're big enough and it'll all mix in". Anything to keep the dimwitted status quo, of course.

  19. Dr Stephen Jones
    Heart

    @Wonderkid

    Yes it has got warmer in the UK over the past 40 years. Now is that because of the solar cycle, greenhouse gases, or giant invisible squid in the upper atmosphere holding hands?

    There's a gap between your observation and what causes the phenomenon that you are unable to explain. All you seem to have is hunches and intuitions.

    Maybe that's good enough and all the scientists in the world can retire - science is not necessary when we have Wonderkid's feelings!

  20. TeeCee Gold badge

    @Wonderkid

    Funny that. A lot of snow here in Europe this year. The locals are all saying it's the first decent lot seen since, er, the 1970s. I take it the winter news footage from England was all faked?

    But then one year does not a climate trend make. Then again, neither do 30......

  21. frymaster

    "The UK is warmer than it was"

    The problem is that local weather does not necessarily reflect global climate

    Especially with the UK being abnormally warm for its latitude, thanks to the Gulf Stream and hot air from the continent, it's possible that global cooling could cause the UK to be hotter, or global warming to cause it to be cooler, or anything at all really, because while you can guess what will happen to the weather patterns, you can't really _know_ unless it happens (prediction is only part of science, experimentation is required to verify, and you can't really do that)

    My personal view is that mankind has certainly pumped out enough stuff to possibly have an effect on the climate, but I'm not sure what, and the evidence isn't conclusive, and by the nature of things nothing can be proved anyway, but not being able to predict how we might screw things up isn't an excuse for not trying to prevent it, when there's at least circumstantial evidence that said screw-up might be happening. Also, with fossil fuels being strictly limited (even if we don't know what that limit is) then we'd better work out the most efficient way of making use of them and working out where we can do without, because we're going to have to some day or other.

    Oh, and people who equate "biofuel" with "green" should be whacked upside the head with a clue hammer. It still results in the burning of hydrocarbons, and it also requires lots of land to grow (which implies either deforestation and water use, or a reduction in land for food). "A possible solution to fossil fuels", yes. "Green", no.

  22. RW
    Unhappy

    Global warming

    Doesn't necessarily mean the weather will get warmer. If we accept that increased atmospheric CO₂ levels lead to increased absorption of solar energy, instead of warming things up, that may just stir the atmosphere up so we get more storms and more violent storms than in the past.

    Sadly, we have two opposing groups neither of which is dedicated to uncovering the truth: the True Believers (the earth mother brigade who seize on any bit of cockamamie environmental nonsense without any real understanding) and the Let's Make Money While We Can group, who don't give a damn that they may be fouling their nest, or anyone else's, as long as they're making money doing so.

    Where is Diogenes when we need him?

    PS: Let me add a third anti-truth group to piss on: the Attention Whores. Self-explanatory, I believe. Or, if you prefer, you may call them the Publicity Twats.

  23. David Wilkinson

    He is just saying the science done is bad ...

    Just because the science work is sloppy doesn't mean the hypothesis is false .. just that there is no truth that it is true.

    It doesn't help that the people trying to address the problem have a tendency to ... fudge the data ... make hysterical claims and provably false statements.

    Most scientists feel strongly its humanity is going to have a devastating impact on the climate, they just can't prove it.

    It doesn't matter much ... all the stuff we need to do to reduce carbon emissions ... is stuff we are going to have to do eventually to be competitive a post fossil fuel economy.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    lol

    how dare he disagree, he must have been paid by someone to disagree! Watch the smear machine kick into gear.

  25. Toastan Buttar
    Boffin

    40 seasons ?

    "As someone who has lived through over 40 seasons".

    I didn't know 10-year-olds could post comments. Welcome aboard, sonny !

    Best not to confuse weather with climate, though.

  26. Alexis Vallance

    @Wonderkid

    No offence, but unfortunately personal memories aren't always good indicator of short term climate. The 70's actually saw a run of very mild winters (apart from 78/79) - the 80's did see some cold seasons though. True, the 90's saw some extremely mild years and winters, but we've recently seen two below average summers on the trot and there has been a clear cooling trend since May 2007. This winter will likely see three below average months in a row, which is noteworthy after the last decade.

  27. Peter Fielden-Weston
    Coat

    @Wonderkid

    Perhaps he didn't 'change' his mind, rather now that he is no longer employeed by NASA he doesn't have have to follow the prescribed NASA line. Perhaps it is an opinion that he himself holds. Perhaps.

    As for the recent past I can rememberlate '50s Granny saying that the wheather wasn't as warm as it used to be before the war, and mother agreeing with her. '63 huge snow drifts, didn't prevent me from being sent to schoold though. '76 blistering hot summer, my car (an Anglia 1200) users to get a vapour lock in the petrol line if I drove it during the day. Freezing winter (a friends car radiator froze up. As he was driving it!) '80s much cooler, '90s warmer. 2006 hot again.

    Over all the temperatures that we are getting now have been reached and exceeded in _my_ living memory.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Non sequitur....

    Theon makes a significant non-sequitur here.

    How can he state:

    "I appreciate the opportunity to add my name to those who disagree that global warming is man made.”

    And go on to say:

    “My own belief concerning anthropogenic climate change is that the models do not realistically simulate the climate system [...] Thus there is no rational justification for using climate model forecasts to determine public policy.”

    ?

    What the second quote appears to say is no stronger than "there is no evidence". Why stand up and disagree with a standpoint simply because it has no evidence? Disregarding an invalid argument does not, as a consequence, imply accepting the converse.

    So fine, say these reports are useless and worthless, but if you immediately take an unproven stance you become every bit as unscientific as the number fiddlers.

  29. Ian McNee
    Flame

    Please no not again...

    Andrew, Andrew, Andrew...it saddens me to see you abandon your razor sharp analytical skills and instinct for critical detail among all the chaff when dealing with the matter of athropogenic global warming (AGW).

    What does this news amount to? Ex-NASA climate boss says "Ummm...I'm not sure, careful now!" Hardly surprising when even those of us who see that the AGW thesis is almost certainly correct in it's important analyses are happy to accept that Hansen, for whatever reason, is a tad on the zealous side and as a result may on occasion have unnecessarily over-egged the pudding for political effect.

    Hansen is not AGW, there is plenty of good science out there that does not rely upon him (even if this alleged taint were *scientifically* significant). Dr Theon is not presenting any new *science* here, just his thoughts about the practices of Hansen. This begs the question: "Why another article/"news" item on this matter?" Surely not another attempt to try to muddy the waters on AGW? Frankly I think this beneath you and El Reg.

    So where are we on this ludicrous connection between smoking and lung cancer? What a joke, eh!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Very fishy

    One eminent scientist, Freeman Dyson, criticized the used models a while ago.

    (Yes look him up, he is very famous and no, he is not the brother of the vacuumcleaner overlord).

    Even the Reg reported: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/14/freeman_dyson_climate_heresies/

    Why do scientists massage or manipulate the data? Well they need money too.

    Only it's called research grants. Money is their lifeline too, and if you can scare a few governments into believing your data, the money will flow.

    Their evangelists, the Greens, will spread the word for you, and scare the population into submission.

    We have to be careful with what we do with the world, but it's time the pseudo-scientist are publicly shamed for their scaremongering.

  31. Outcast
    Flame

    Warmer Uk

    @ Wonderkid

    I don't think anyone is doubting the planet has been getting warmer. Heck, I came over to UK from Western Australia (39c) xmas 1976 to major snow blizzards. Haven't many of those since. Aaah yes., there was one in 1985. I put my Capri 3.0s in a ditch because of the snow ( and my muppetry) that year.

    What is in doubt is whether mankind has been a major contributor.

    I'm all for cleaner air and a better environment. But quit the bullshit and call it for what it is.

    Is that really too much to ask.

    Wait... This is politics... Of course the truth is too much to ask.

    Flame icon coz I'm cold.

  32. bobbles31
    Coat

    More reasons to procrastinate.....

    Man made climate change or not, man is digging up stuff and burning it, we are betting our economies, lives and future on the ability to continue digging stuff up and burning it.

    If we happen to be lucky enough, that once it is all burnt the planet is still habitable and able to produce food in sufficient quantities, then we have to face the prospect of massive upheaval, wars and famine as we try to find new energy sources.

    I haven't looked at any studies or done any research, but it doesn't take an eejut to realise that you cannot keep digging stuff up and burning it forever. Its a double edged sword really, either there is enough stuff in the ground to allow us to kill ourselves burning it, or there is not enough stuff in the ground and we get to kill each other for the right to burn whatever is left. I don't like either of those options really, so whether the Greenies have a misplaced concern or not, their solution is infinitely more appealing than the two options that will be forced on us if we do nothing.

    Mines the leather one with the Wind Powered iPod in the pocket.

  33. fishman

    Gore

    Don't forget - Al Gore has made $100M over the last eight years while shilling global warming.

  34. Bill
    Pirate

    Re: How much was he paid to change his mind?

    Perhaps you're right that he changed his mind based upon bribery, though I doubt it very much... However, the skeptics are not saying that global warming does not exist, they are saying that human caused global warming does not exist. You anecdotal evidence does not, therefore, conclude anything.

    The fact is that the Armageddon evangelists (Gore and Hansen) are making tons of money on the ignorance of the public and real scientists are afraid of being shouted down for not agreeing. First we were told that "of course man caused global warming exists" because " the majority of the scientists agree it does." Now that scientists are popping up everywhere stating that they doubt man caused global warming, we are told that these scientists are bribed. What a joke.

    Skull and crossbones 'cuz we're all being robbed by this junk science. Al Gore should be humiliated and the buffoons that support him should be disgraced.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Garbage from Reagan-Bush administration

    First off, the Reg is really going downhill; it used to be about IT but now it seems to have been taken over by right-wing nut cases who shill for the coal and oil industries. What's next -- Baby Jesus will save us? That's how it works here in the states -- the peasants are largely swayed by nutty fundixian preachers who think that the world will end soon anyway, and the only path to salvation is to bend over and hold ankles on behalf of the energy-mining industries who finance them and their politician allies.

    So Theon, who served under Reagan (trees cause pollution) and Bush 41 (oil, oil, and more oil), is denying the obvious. Sure... there's a mountain of data out there, a host of studies, and among them, there's lots of data to quibble with. Consensus isn't unanimity. And the risk of global warming is huge, so it needs to be dealt with, not denied. People go apes#!+ over tiny risks (eek, cell tower radiation! vaccines!) all the time. Here the only question is whether the risk of major disaster is say 20% or 95%. So the deniers, who seem to have The Reg's ear, pretend that it'll happen anyway so dump away, burn lots of coal, drive that Hummer, and put that quad SLI graphics card into your overclocked game rig, drill baby drill. It's convenient -- it preaches a more fun lifestyle -- but so is accepting every credit card offer that comes in the mail and running them all up to the limit.

  36. Alasdair
    Boffin

    @ Wonderkid

    Congratulations for falling into the biggest,and most obvious trap when it comes to forecasting climate change: you've taken your short timescale reference and weather patterns in a small area as symbolic of how the entire planet's climate is changing over a long time.

    Let's get one thing straight: Weather is not climate.

    In the 60s Loch Lomond froze over completely for two winters; in 1994 Scotland had an incredible amount of snow; in 2006 the whole country had a scorching summer and lost most of its water. Then it rained for 18 months solid....

    The point is these events cannot be taken as symbolic of the climate going one way or another; the frame of reference is far too short to extrapolate out. I really wish scientists would be more honest and just say "I dont know what's happening".

    One last thought which relates to animals and weather/climate: has there ever been a single documented case of something in nature staying constant? I dont believe so. Animal populations ebb and flow due to all sorts of reasons (take any British bird species for example) and so does the climate. We should try not to panic so much and instead aim to clean up our act as a race because our current resources will run out rather than something that is impossible to prove.

  37. Steve Mason
    Black Helicopters

    oil...

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again...

    Although there is a possibility that man-made emissions / deforestation / etc has had an affect on the planet's atmosphere and climate, they are absolutely NOT the reason for all the media hype - that's down to the planet running out of oil and is being used to frighten the masses into cutting down our energy consumption until another form of power production can be found.

    Of course people are wary of this nuclear fusion technology as there's not enough profit to be made from "unlimited" power.

    /tinfoil hat

  38. Aron
    Flame

    If only Aunty cared

    The "unbiased" BBC whom we are forced to fund under the threat of legal action because we buy a television to watch other channels on won't report this news so therefore it doesn't count. Instead the BBC's Science page leads with an article about the EU urging the US to sign up to cap and trade systems that will enrich bankers and stock traders while raising the cost of living for the rest of us.

  39. Dave Errington
    Stop

    @ Wonderkid

    "(As someone who has lived through over 40 seasons, I can vouch for the fact it is getting warmer here in the UK. I have photos of deep snow at our home in the 1970s. Where is it today almost 25 years later? We get a sprinkling, some sleet, and that's winter! And what about the effect on the natural world, with animals, plants, fish, birds and more showing signs of distress or confusion.)"

    One of the problems with global warming/MMCC/ACC is that the earths climate is naturally variable and so 'readings' taken over 30 years should not be used to infer trends on their own.

    If anyone can put a definitive scientific paper, properly peer reviewed, with transparent data sets in front of the scientific community then I believe you would achieve a concensus within weeks. but as we stand, the models are regularly updated with past results and yet still fail to predict 6 months into the future never mind 100's of years.

    Also, there is little doubt that using fossil fuels is a bad idea and the oil could be more beneficially used to make all manner of shiney plastic products which we are told will never degrade, making them a form of obtuse carbon capture. However, the current renewables systems are far from perfect and heavily subsidised by UK.gov. making FF power generation a necessity at least for the next few decades.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Scepticism is Normal

    I think most intelligent mature people are rightly sceptics. Only enthusiastic brainwashed youngsters and a few beardy-weirdies believe unconditionally in man-made climate change. 'Wonderkid' is right, it does seem that in our lifetimes UK winters have got milder. But so far as can be determined from untainted evidence the average world temperature has fallen over the last ten years. CO2 concentration is about 300-350 parts per MILLION - it is hard to understand the process by which a 10-20% or even 100% increase in this tiny amount could have macro-climatic effects. And there is clearly a whole lot of people for whom climate change is a very convenient 'truth' - govt funded scientific and pressure groups, greens, old hippies and 'friends of the earth' who are basically just anti-technology and mostly communists, govts using it as an excuse to tax more, control more, and invent and control a new form of wealth (carbon credits).

    None of this means it is true or not true. My advice is to remain open minded and sceptical. Challenge 'facts', most of them will be anything but. Question the motives of all parties, not just one side. Try reading articles by people you disagree with as well as those you agree with. Mistrust those who suppress criticism and free speech, whatever their apparent motives.

    Make your own mind up. There will be plenty of people trying to do it for you; you should resist!

  41. Glyph
    Stop

    why is it important?

    Why should we be concerned about whether or not we are the cause? I know this is nothing that hasn't been said before, but I've never seen anyone reply to a post like this. We can't avoid having an effect on our world, so why worry about whether we did this, or if its "natural". Why not simply decide on what climate we wish we could have and then decide what reasonably safe courses of action we could undertake to trend towards that climate over time? The idea that a climate untouched by man is obviously the one we should have, and the idea that as long as we didn't cause it, its ok if the world turns into a desert, are both irrational ones.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Wonderkid

    Well, i would be more than happy to send you some of the more than a foot of snow in my driveway right now. we are ahead of last year on snow and season is not close to done yet.

    I, for one, will be happy when the whole mess gets out of politics and back into the realm of rational scientific investigation.

    We currently don't have a good alternative to oil or coal and there isn't likely to be one in the near future. I'm not interested in having my pockets picked by the "carbon credit" folks. it's just another transfer or weath where the government scrapes a big hunk off the top of the pile.

  43. Fenwick
    Stop

    Just to clarify

    It is well established that if you add enough CO2 to the atmosphere, it will eventually heat the surface via the greenhouse effect. Or rather it is difficult to imagine anything else.

    The question is how much C02 is required to heat the atmosphere by any particular amount? Precisely how much warming do our emissions cause? Is a runaway greenhouse effect possible on Earth, like it is on Venus?

    Models attempt to guess at the answers to these questions. As far as I know there isn't a single climate model that is able to definitively answer them, in fact building one that does is a holy grail of climate science. The best IPCC model guess seems to be a warming of 2 to 4 degrees, with an uncertainty in predicting the true atmosphere ranging from 0 to about 100 degrees.

  44. ian

    @Wonderkid

    Good point. Given that the good Doctor has reversed himself and now is a denier, how much credence can we give him? Will he change his mind again in a few months? The sheeple who welcome him into their midst now that he becomes a "true disbeliever" may be embarrased by him.

  45. Ted Treen
    Black Helicopters

    @Wonderkid

    No-one's disputing climate change. It's as natural as sunrise, and it's recurrence is equally as natural.

    What is being disputed now is whether human activity is quite as responsible as has previously been claimed.

    And as for vested interests, Fatty Brown & around a zillion other inadequates throughout the entire world have thought "Whoopeee! A cool-sounding reason to screw even more out of the plebs!"

    They won't give that up without a fight...

    Ted

    BA, MA & PHD in Applied Cynicsm

  46. Mark

    re: Deep Joy

    Hang on, this is a *scientist*.

    You all know that scientists only ever lie about the results so that they can get more funding, so this man is obviously lying here to get funding from elsewhere.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @ Wonderkid

    You're looking short term (from a global perspective).

    10000 years ago, there was an ice age.

    At one point, most of the world was warm enough to support dinosaurs.

    So taking a range so small isn't a good way to determine if the sky is falling.

    Right now, we have snow on the ground (sustained) - first time I can recall in 7 years here - should I assume that it is getting colder on a 7 year window?

    If there is so much evidence to support MMCC, why hasn't the movement "opened the books," so to speak?

  48. Keith Doyle
    Thumb Down

    What's wrong with this picture...

    When the anti-climate-change crowd goes citing a scandal, rather than new evidence, they have more in common with holocaust deniers than scientists. The way you disprove Hansen's conclusion is you call him on the evidence, true, but that should then leave you in the "I don't know" column, having disproved the conclusion, rather than the "see, climate change is not man-made" column, presuming the opposite case on similarly nonexistent evidence.

  49. Steve

    @Wonderkid

    Change of weather over a few decades isn't a measure of climate change. Here in France we've had doom and gloom about the end of the skiing season, and yet the last two winters have brought the best low snow for 10 years. My local (low-level) station has skiing like it used to have in 1995.

    Climate change? Sunspot cycle? Sun variability? Bored Deity? There isn't enough evidence to be sure which, if any, are true.

    Which, of course, doesn't mean that we shouldn't do our best to conserve limited resources. It does mean that we should stop this chicken-little-like panic, and the headline grabbing nonsense like banning 100W ligtbulbs.

  50. Simon Miles
    Joke

    Misread the headline

    I thought it said "septic"

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Lets not get ahead of ourselves

    Let's not forget that this is just one person. An overwhelming majority of scientists still support the theory of man-made global warming.

  52. jai

    re: How much was he paid to change his mind?

    i don't think anyone disputes that weather is warmer, but the question is, has mankind caused it, or is it just part of a 200 year (or 300 or 400 or even longer) cycle?

    the samples of data that we have to work with (before so-called "scientists" started adjusting the data to suit their theories) is not really sufficient because the time-scale that the tempreture could fluctuate over is so large

    safe to say, in about 150 years, we'll be able to say for certain whether it was mankind that caused it - of course, if it was, then by then it'll be too late :-)

  53. Walter Brown
    Black Helicopters

    @Wonderkid

    Where is your snow today in the UK? the reason you had deep snow at your home in the 1970's is because that era was right smack dab in the middle of a 30 year cold cycle that ran from the 1950's to the 1980's, it ended in 1984 i believe...

    Here we are 25 years later, people crying afoul about global warming, spending billions to fix a problem that A, doesn't exist, and B, we cant fix, we have no control over it. As all the disciples from the Church of Everlasting Warmth run around extorting money from companies to "save the planet" and depositing it in the Bank of Us, In Al We Trust! the wheels start to fall of of their wagon and their charade slowly starts to become more clear for what it really is: Bullshit! Its kind of hard to keep pushing the global warming agenda as we're starting to head in to another long term cold cycle like that which started in the 1950's.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Wonderkid

    The question is the extent to which any climate change is man-made. If it is not man made then it's highly unlikely that it can be un-made by mankind.

    Science means "knowing", not "guessing" - and while educated guesses may be milestones on the path to knowing they are not an end in themselves (that is commonly known as pseudoscience).

    The problem is that this guesswork is being packaged as fact without the critical step in the scientific method - validation of the theory by measuring whether or not predicted effects occur in the real world.

    This is why application of Student's Constant to the historical data destroys the verifiability of the theory thereby stifling the debate on its validity.

    Having worked with numerical models, I can affirm that there are all sorts of artifacts that result from discretisation of a continuous system - there HAS to be a solid factual basis against which the results can be tested before the model can be validated.

    After the model has been validated it can be used to generate useful predictions in the problem domain for which it was validated. And *then* the model can be used to predict the outcome of a variety of practical courses of action.

    Until that happens we are just rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic (secure employment for climate change scientists). The massaging of historical records is just delaying the taking of *effective* action and increasing the risk of inappropriate action being taken.

  55. Sam Turner
    IT Angle

    Call me a sceptic-sceptic

    but somebody deciding fifteen years after retirement, and twenty years after "effectively" but not "actually" being somebody's supervisor, and having throughout the final part of his career quite publically supported the research he now condemns, and (entirely coincidentally, I'm sure) during a bit of a tight economic spell when a bit of spare cash from the lucrative sceptic lecture circuit wouldn't go amiss ...

    No ... I'm a horrible cynic ... such a heinous and unfounded suggestion to make about a poor old man.

  56. Jonah

    Some validity, but mostly whinging

    Climate models are incomplete, and will always be incomplete, historical world temperature *estimates* are bound to be subject to reappraisal, yet the overwhelming evidence collected by climatologists over the last few decades is unequivocal: climate change is occurring at a rapid rate. What's more, it should be obvious that pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is going to affect the climate. That's the salient point, however imperfect our understanding of historical temperatures, or climate models.

  57. Graham Marsden
    Boffin

    So now...

    ... we'll hear lots of gloating from the "I said it was all a myth" brigade, whilst the others will be accusing him of being traitor/ being bought out/ selling out/ whatever.

    In the meantime, how about we just forget about this petty BS and try using energy more efficiently then it *WON'T MATTER* who was right and who was wrong because *EVERYONE* will win!

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    One for the dictionary

    "thermageddon"

    I love it.

  59. Matt

    Warmer? Rubbish.

    To counter the observations of the poster above about it being warmer in 40 seasons, I've only seen 38.

    There is at least as many "old fashioned" winters here in Connecticut as there was in the 70s. In the 10 years I've owned by current home, it's pretty consistent I only have one January in three that lacks a true thaw. I can remember many years in the 70s and 80s with no snow on the ground at Christmas. This year it was snowy, and we've gone about six weeks now since I last saw grass.

    The Wooly Adelgid, which is attacking our hemlocks, has been checked in recent years by several seasons since 2000 where temperatures have dropped below -5ºF -- a critical temperature that kills them. That is consistent with our USDA planting zone since the 1970s of average lows between 0 and -10F, and is an indicator of a return to more normal temperatures after a fairly mild period in the 80s and 90s -- in other words, just normal weather fluctuations.

    Looking at our historical recording of weather, there is nothing to indicate our current times -- at least here in New England -- are aberrent. They're not as mild and calm as the best years, but historically we've seen weather just as active as it is now.

  60. RichardB
    Boffin

    @david w

    "It doesn't matter much ... all the stuff we need to do to reduce carbon emissions ... is stuff we are going to have to do eventually to be competitive a post fossil fuel economy."

    Someone else suggested following the money.

    I rather suspect if you do, you will end up focussed squarely on the Oil companies, who are benefitting MASSIVELY from both the Green fear and the PeakOil Brigade.

    Plot a graph of green hysteria, peak oil nonsense and Oil Company Share prices...

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have to agree

    With several of the above posters. I have no doubt mankind has indeed had an impact on climate change and have sped it up with our dependence of fossil fuels. However since first reading about how some of these studies were being carried out and the subsequent massaging of the data in ways that have never been described. I've become more and more skeptical of the degree to which we play a part in all this. Again I'm no doubting we are having an impact on climate change, but the premonitions of climatic Armageddon I think have been greatly exaggerated.

    I've gotta thank Dr. Theon for coming out about his position in all this as his opinion carries a lot of weight. My hope is that soon we can get NASA, GISS, NOAA data in it's raw form into the public sector where other independent scientists can examine it. Then perhaps we can get some reasoned and unbiased numbers from which to start building practical models on. We need those practical models to develop financial and environmental policies and practices that will move us away from fossil fuels as much as is possible and begin repairing the damage done.

    Now as someone mentioned above it is possible that Dr. Theon found a nice deep pocket benefactor hence his 180? Of course it is. But even if he did the fact is if this change of heart sparks more debate about this subject and leads to us getting better more accurate data about what is really going on, then his change in position wont be for naught despite the reason it came about.

  62. Aron
    Unhappy

    Holocause exploitation

    Did you read that comment above comparing anyone who doesn't buy AGW Alarmism to Holocause denialism? What kind of mental illness or religion does someone have to succumb to in order to make such a heinous accusation?

  63. Schultz
    Thumb Down

    Stupidity

    To think that we can change the composition of our atmosphere without affecting the climate is plain stupid. Whether the horrendously complicated climate models get it right is another question, they are mostly designed to predict the past and not the future. So people on the Reg will always have a reason to blow dust into your eyes claiming that some or another scientist got it wrong and there is no reason to feel bad about your wasteful lifestyle. But the climate will change as surely as you burn carbon typing your comment right now. And no, that potted plant of yours won't absorb it in its lifetime.

    Live responsibly, don't waste energy and in a decade we can all meet for a big "Told You So" session.

  64. Andrew Stevenson
    Coat

    Political Science?

    I believe that we (humans) have a significant effect on the environment. With all the stuff we do, how could we not have an effect?

    That being said, the scientific information from both side seems to be based more on belief than on science.

    I wonder how much understanding a manager at NASA would have of the individual projects of the hundreds of people under his direction.

    Get your coat, the weather is changing: warmer here colder there, a little different everywhere.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    the discussion of AGW was inevitable, really

    Think about it -- about the time the baby boomers reach a certain age, they want to bitch about the weather just like grandpa did.

    To both sides: Put your teeth back in and find something useful to talk about.

  66. Joe Cooper
    Coat

    @Wonderkid

    "As someone who has lived through over 40 seasons"

    So... You're about 10 years old then?

  67. SoltanGris
    Flame

    Death to the infidel

    This fellow must be dealt with immediately. Non believer member of the scientific community?

    How dare he counter the man made global warming Jack Boot Nazis (TM).

    This man must be silenced by them or they will begin to be perceived as Jack Boot Bozos.

  68. david wilson

    Some manipulation

    >>"Furthermore, some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results."

    Assuming the claims of manipulation are correct, unless he was actually saying

    "I know SOMEof these people have manipulating data, *AND* I don't know of ANYONE who hasn't"

    then he's effectively saying:

    "Some people are manipulating data and some aren't"

    In which case it would make more sense to ask

    "Who is manipulating data (and to what extent) and who isn't?"

    rather than take the claim of manipulation as an excuse to ignore any or all undesired results, as some people may be tempted to do.

  69. Mark
    Alien

    @Aron

    Wll, were you THERE when the concentration camps were found by the allies?

    No?

    Then all you have are the photos (you can fake photos) and reports (mostly from the people who benefit from the persecution of the Germans).

    But the *amount* of evidence is huge. Even though you WILL find lots and LOTS of people claiming there WAS NEVER a holocaust and it's all a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world, the evidence points to there really having been a holocaust.

    Doesn't that sound an awful lot like the AGW "debate"? "There's a petition of scientists say it's wrong", "It's all a scam to get taxes", "Eco-nazis are trying to get us all to live in caves" et al.

    Sounds familiar to me. Just the epithet of "Nazi" is on the other side.

  70. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    @Walter Brown

    And if this is a 30-year cycle then it must be in the records for 1940, 1910, 1880, etc with the comensurate 30 year highs in 1955, 1925, 1905, ...

    So where are they?

    Or is this a "cycle of one"...

  71. Mark
    Boffin

    @Steve

    "and yet the last two winters have brought the best low snow for 10 years."

    So 10 years ago it was colder and snowier than it has been this year. Therefore, snow rates are falling.

    Yes?

  72. Jeff Wolfers

    who knows?

    None of of 'lay' have access to the data, we all agree the models all suck, common sense says the Earth gets warmer and cooler all by itself, and it's all become a global political issue. Oh good!! Emotion and no facts ... a perfect storm!!

    To the arm wavers: No one is arguing that burning less mid east oil is a bad thing... and that renewables and independence is a good thing

    What's being argued is the, hell bent, the sky is falling madness of you zealots.

    To the disbelievers: quit denying the planet is getting warmer and quit saying there is infinate oil we can pump and burn.

    There has to be a middle ground here folks ...

  73. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  74. Robinson
    Thumb Up

    How's that?

    "Follow the money. Because the people who have a lot of it thanks to oil and coal are the sort who don't really give a damn about nature and will be quite happy in their manmade solitude sitting at their terminals managing their stock portfolios. If they actually cared, they would use their immense wealth to fast track in a Manhatten Project like manner the development of practical alternative energy production and distribution methods. Google 'Better Place' for a good example."

    I don't think you're correct here. The modus operandi is for sceptics to remain in the closet while their institutions are hoovering up millions of dollars in research grants because of the scare; as soon as they retire, they're able to say exactly what they thought in the first place (this isn't the first time either).

    The money is most definately with the Environmentalists these days. Do you think the oil industry spends as much on lobbying against AGW as the Environmentalists do lobbying in favour of it? Think about it. The warming alarmists get over $2,000,000,000 per year to continue with their "research". Do the sceptics get any of that? Not likely. You can't be a sceptic and get paid because by promoting a sceptical viewpoint you're effectively telling the government there's nothing to worry about and if there's nothing to worry about, nobody needs to pay you or your institution. At the very highest levels then, the government is effectively paying for policy based evidence making (fabrication).

    Now you can argue a point on fossil fuels (the two I'm most interested in are (a) particulates causing asthma in children and (b) sending a trillion dollars overseas to some pretty distasteful regimes in return for oil and gas) and I suspect some politicians may be taking advantage of the AGW scare to advance their agendas in this respect, but don't insult my intelligence with bad science, just tell me we need to cut down because we shouldn't be sending all of our cash overseas.

    This whole issue is bad for Humanity, because it hurts public trust in Science. shot.

  75. noodle heimer

    you peeps trust young earth creationists?

    Might want to kno that some commentary is misleading you on the role of Theon vis a vis Hansen. From the Senate website, you can find Theon saying "I did not have the authority to give him his annual performance evaluation." In the US, your supervisor does that. If you don't do it, you're not supervised by that person.

    Theon has this to say as well: "one could say that I was, in effect, Hansen’s supervisor." Which means "I was not hansen's supervisor, one could say."

    Inhofe's a young earth creationist. He's well schooled in the art of finding geriatrics to wheeze things that sound believable to him and to persevere in his faith in Man's dominion over Nature for all time in the face of mountains of evidence that this might not be a Bright Idea.

    Watching the Reg throw itself under the Jesus Bandwagon on this one continues to be breathtaking.

  76. spam
    Thumb Down

    Pah

    CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas vastly less significant than water vapor. CO2 can only absorb (and re-radiate back towards the earth) a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum so its effect as a greenhouse gas is strictly limited. Man is responsible for a small proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    The only way AGWist can predict doom and point the finger at CO2 and man is by assuming there is a 'forcing' effect. Increasing temperature will increase the amount of (vastly more significant) water vapor in the atmosphere and produce significantly more warming. Their theory and models are based on the earth's climate system having a significant positive feedback effect.

    As an engineer I consider this to be a completely ridiculous proposition. I have never ever observed a system with significant overall positive feedback which was not either driven hard in one direction or the other till it hit some other limiting condition or oscillating between limiting conditions. AGWist are asking me to believe the earth's climate system is like a pin balancing on it's point for thousands of years and that suddenly in few decades a small increase in CO2 concentration due to man is going to knock it over.

    The reality is the climate system has a significant overall negative feedback effect because without one we would be hard against one or the other end stops or bouncing between them. I would guess at cloud cover is most likely source of this negative feedback. Scientists understand very little about cloud formation, they can't possibly accurately model it.

    The earth's climate system does have another overall positive feedback effect, the one that causes it to oscillate between moderate temperatures and ice ages. If man is causing a bit of warming which will delay the next ice age then it is all to the good Fretting about drowning polar bears (which aren't drowning anyway) is going to seem pretty silly when you are trying to survive living on top of a 2km deep glacier.

  77. Wonderkid
    Flame

    Response to those replying to my post

    Wow. (Debate is good, so this is all good.) I see some have posted from the USA. I was refering to the weather in southern England, and do agree that a lot of it is cyclical, but my main point is that even if one ignores climate change or it's precise causes, carbon based energy is dirty and poluting anyway. It is unacceptable that those with vested interests in carbon fuels are doing little (serious) work to offer an alternative. And no amount of spin doctoring or green graphics on their corporate websites will alter that fact.

    The comment that climate change groups and scientists hype the threat to receive funding should be treated in the same manner as any other issue - judge each on a case by case basis. I for one simply care for the future and a time when our current carbon based economy is replaced with practical sustainable energy solutions that work. And if an all new industry made of brands you have yet to hear of profits from that, great! At least their investors, employees and other stake holders will sleep better. And we'll all live longer too as there will be less particulates in the atmosphere.

    I have to say, it is terribly sad that people today are so lacking in vision. It is no wonder that on this very day the UK has been informed by the IMF that it is going to suffer the worst of the downturn. Where's the innovative industrious spirit to create something new and invent ourselves out of recession? Go unplug from Facebook and make stuff! For the sake of kids at the very least.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @Paul

    Is the result of responding to Anthropogenic Climate Change asymmetric? Go and have a read of Bjorn Lomborg's books for a good analysis of this. The Skeptical Environmentalist is a very thorough, highly cross-referenced analysis, and Cool It is a good summary of the bigger book. If you read through these (avoid summaries written by the religious that you decry) you will see some pretty compelling arguments for why doing something about supposed Anthropogenic Climate Change is actually worse for the world than using that money to do more useful things. As such the problem is asymmetric. On the one hand, if we don't do anything about Climate Change, but spend at least some of that money on other things, the world gets better. If we spend all our available money on Climate Change then the world gets worse. I know which I would pick.

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    I don't know about the climate, but this debate is heating up

    I’m reserving judgement on climate change being driven only by mankind’s actions. I’m not saying we are not having an impact, all six billion plus of us must be having some kind of effect on the climate.

    But what is the nature and magnitude of the effect? I thought that was what the scientists are trying to find out.

    I don’t think Dr. Theon is denying that nothing is happening to our global climate, he is blowing the whistle on scientists who are not being public with their data or the processes they use.

    Politics is once again, trying to influence the scientific process. It’s not the first time, and it won’t be the last.

    Any work on a subject as big and complex as climate change has to be subject to the scientific process of being transparent with your data and your process, not just your results. Other scientists can then try the same and if they get a different answer, they can try and figure out why. The process gets refined and the results are more accurate. Alternatively, the data is not sufficient or accurate enough. Then the scientists can try and identify where the data is weak and come up with a way of getting better data, possibly with a request for funds to build new equipment.

    The scientific process may be slow, ugly and prone to more than a few personality clashes, but it does help stop the more fanciful scientists making wild theories.

    Transparency of data and method could also have the advantage of scientists in different fields making a correlation and therefore improving on the model.

    I’ll try for an example I just thought up. I’m a layman and don’t have a clue about the complexity of the problem. But just because I thought about it for five seconds, it does not mean that it could cause other, more knowledgeable people to wonder.

    We know that the Earth’s magnetic field swaps poles in a cycle, north becomes south. We also know that when it happens, the magnetic field weakens until the switch occurs and starts to strengthen afterward. The process is estimated to take a few thousand years. Currently, the magnetic field is weakening, indicating another cycle. I wonder if there is any data on the climate during the period of the last change? If there is and the climate changed and if you can rule out any other factors such as super volcanoes or big asteroid hits, would the climate models not be improved to take this into consideration.

    Obviously this is just an example and I doubt its validity. My point is to try and illustrate the importance of the scientific process.

  80. Mat Ballard

    More FUD from a professional sceptic

    You are confusing two completely different issues, and twisting Dr Theon's words:

    1. The inadequacy of the computer models that attempt to predict future climate (with which many scientists agree with Dr Theon criticisms);

    2. One set of data on global temperatures, and issues with the accuracy of those results.

    You (and Dr Theon) are also ignoring dozens of other phenomena that point to global warming: loss of glaciers, loss of sea-ice from the Arctic and Antarctic, increasing frequency of and damage from severe storm events, changes in sea-level, and so on. And you are ignoring the ice records from Lake Vostok, Domes C and F, and others, which clearly show a very strong link between CO2 levels and global temperatures.

    To paraphrase the good book, do not try to remove the mote from Dr Hansen's eye until you take the log out of your own!

  81. Keith Doyle
    Alert

    @Aron

    Aron, read my comment again. At the very least, note the "when" qualifier. What you claimed I wrote bears no resemblance to what I actually wrote. Here's hoping your powers of comprehension are a little more in evidence when you examine the evidence for or against AGW.

  82. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  83. Mark

    @Wonderkid

    "The comment that climate change groups and scientists hype the threat to receive funding should be treated in the same manner as any other issue - judge each on a case by case basis"

    Well, that's right, but that isn't what happens, is it. Scientists proposing AGW are doing it purely for grant money.

    That's the screed.

    Strange how the people there don't say the same about this guy. *This* guy is a scientist who isn't saying stuff just for the money.

    Now, there are those saying seriously that this guy is doing the same thing but for the side of Big Oil.

    Now, that's a little off, but the contraindicators aren't there for him:

    a) No paper produced for dissemination and review

    b) He's already overblown his credentials. He wasn't Hanson's boss, he left NASA 15 years ago

    c) Big Oil have a shitload more ready cash to spend on this sort of thing than grants available for climate conspiracies

    d) He isn't having to conspire with almost all of the climate community to defraud. Mostly because he isn't producing anything verifiable, partly because he's talking on his own.

    The Big Oil conspiracy is a lot easier to take than a conspiracy involving thousands of specialists who not only have to make up the data but have to do so in such a way that nobody can prove it wrong, AND requires the inclusion of international governmental collusion (no matter what the political inclination of the members).

    Lastly, we have already one huge great big elephant in the room showing that Big Industry can and WILL hide change and pay off scientific opinion to keep its money flowing in: The Tobacco Industry.

    Note: the exposure showed how there was, deliberately, a creed to hide or coerce studies that they did or sponsored if they showed there was a risk in smoking.

    Do we have any proof that intergovernmental, international conspiracies occurred like the one supposed with AGW?

    Nope.

  84. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
    Coat

    Lets get some facts straight...

    The article isn't saying that anyone is contesting that there isn't a climatic change occuring.

    What is being contested is if the 'global warming' phenomenon is a result of too many humans putting too much CO2 in to the air.

    I think we all agree that its not really a good idea to keep pumping out a lot of CO2 or other toxins in to the environment.

    As to what could be causing the phenomenon? Hmmm how about a shift in the magnetic poles?

    That nice little magnetic field that surrounds the earth protects us from those nasty cosmic rays that will do more than tan your skin. A shift in the poles could cause a change in the magnetic field. A change in the magnetic field could mean a change in the amount of cosmic radiation that hits the earth, which could lead to a change in the weather patterns, like global warming.

    But hey! What do I know? I've evolved from some sort of organic sludge that probably wouldn't have ever mutated if it wasn't for some of those pesky cosmic rays.

    Mine's the jacket with the extra holes for my wings as I continue to mutate in to the next dominate species on earth!

  85. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    re: How's that.

    "Do you think the oil industry spends as much on lobbying against AGW as the Environmentalists do lobbying in favour of it?"

    Yes, yes I do.

    Do you believe they don't?

  86. Mark
    Dead Vulture

    Water Vapour falls from our sky

    limiting how it can DRIVE rather than REACT to change.

    So water vapour being a bigger warmer than CO2 is irrelevant: H2O doesn't drive, only react. CO2 doesn't rain out so it CAN drive, AND react.

    And how about the denialist screed that once CO2 reached 280ppm that it stopped because the IR absorption band was saturated? Does that not happen with H2O? Or is that idea a load of donkey-balls?

  87. Mark
    Boffin

    @Andrew Stevenson

    "That being said, the scientific information from both side seems to be based more on belief than on science."

    Uh, where do you get the absurd notion there's no science on the ProAGW side?

    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-wg1.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrhenius_equation

    http://old.iupac.org/publications/pac/2004/pdf/7607x1435.pdf

    http://brneurosci.org/co2.html

    In case you don't like climatologists:

    http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/0019103577900872

    http://www.astronomynotes.com/solarsys/s11.htm

    and to tie that in:

    http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/6f.html

    http://www.csi.uottawa.ca:4321/astronomy/index.html#absorptionline

  88. John Dougherty

    @@Wonderkid - AC

    " Question is, how did this field become so obsessed with personal attacks as an MO? ..."

    Ad hominem arguments are rife where substance is shy. Presently, the substance to AGW is extraordinarily shy. It consists of a laboratory fact some very pessimistic models and censored and manipulated data. Raw data has consistently failed to support AGW in any conspicuous fashion. Hansen's refusal to submit his data and methods to peer review is a fact rather than an ad hominem attack. It has been the single most important weapon in the so-called "sceptics" arsenal.

    The failure to submit observations, adjusted data and methods and justification for the adjustments that have been used to reach a conclusion to peer review is a critical, extremely unscientific behaviour. It has also been called out by individual scientists who are convinced that there is at least a slight warming trend - up until about nine years anyway - and who cannot reconcile publicly-available observational data with with "adjusted data sets" and model forecasts which with respect to the publicly-available data have been abysimally poor performers.

    So, the answer to your question is, again, where substance is shy or lacking, and where significance of results is equivocal, "ad hominem" attacks become common, because there is simply no substance to address, merely assertions. If you actually look at the debates regarding AGW, the ad hominem tends to be wheeled by the supporters. It is really irrelevant what your political or economic purposes are, IF your scientific work is honest and open. If your work is not open, and you refuse to counter your critics with openly debated data and methods, all you have left to fall back on IS ad hominem.

    There are for example potential economic "biases," if you will, on both sides of the aisle. It is logical to suspect that any company dependent upon energy consumption might be prone to sacrifice long-term benefit for short-term profits. It is not nearly as often pointed out that the AGW proponents have made [financially] successful careers out of forecasting doom. And, regardless of how sincere they might have been initially, once data sets begin to be "adjusted" rather than models reformulated, well it no longer looks sincere, it looks desperate.

    One of the important warnings the public should receive day is that "science" and "consensus" are unrelated concepts. Science attempts to address knowledge. Consensus is a political term and is both irrelevant and meaningless in science. For instance, prior to the development of plate tectonics, the consensus in geology of how mountain ranges came to be was an absurd, oxymoronic conjecture that had profound problems with thermodynamics, never the less, it WAS the consensus - for decades.

    One of the most disturbing aspects of this debate is the harm the falsification of AGW would bring to us socially, economically, and biologically. The proposed counter measures for AGW - reductions of emissions, energy efficiency, alternatives to oil and coal, etc. - are ALL beneficial actions economically and scientifically. Because of the politicization of the argument, it has moved outside the appropriate venues of scientific debate and into public, in congresses and parliaments. Critical research funding for alternative energy, ecological research, engineering, etc., could be lost, all because AGW proponents refused to be open and politicized a debate that should have received decades of study before the public was exposed to it in any serious manner. Even our politics could benefit; consider western involvement in the Middle east if we had no concerns to keep oil flowing. Only religious fanatics would have any political interests there.

  89. Doug Glass
    Go

    The Voice of Reason ...

    ... is getting louder.

    http://www.junkscience.com/

  90. Mark
    Boffin

    @Pad

    That isn't the scientific process, though.

    You just put a wild-ass-guess out there.

    Nothing about how such a pole reversal could act as you suggest, nothing about when or how fast this is changing (even, really, if it is) and, most importantly, you haven't show how that undoes the known and obvious heating effect of the CO2 we can currently measure out there now, this instant.

    That's the denialist elephant-in-the-room. Anything you come up with has to explain why the currently know and measured CO2 that can be traced back to trillions of tons of fossil fuel carbon and the heating that necessarily results is undone by your scheme AND YET still shows a signature change that just happens to cooperate with the rate of fossil fuel consumption.

    THAT is the "scientific process". Not some shit-wild guess as to how something else could be to blame, but how that idea fits into what we ALREADY KNOW.

    Without that, all we're left with is "well, it could be that, but there's nothing to show it, whereas we have <this> to show that the CO2 we pump out is doing it. Since that has data supporting it, until you get back to us, we'll go with that idea".

    The next stage is up to you.

  91. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RETIRED Nasa guy..

    almost every global warming denier is a retired person. You will hardly find anyone younger than 50. It's only the old people afraid of changes. Also, they don't keep up to date with the lasted research and technology advances.

    Also, elderly people afraid of changes do not want to admit any errors as well. Easier to stick your head in the ground and ignore the world. However, it is the rest of us that have to live with the climate changes.

  92. Robinson
    Thumb Down

    Not so.

    "You (and Dr Theon) are also ignoring dozens of other phenomena that point to global warming: loss of glaciers, loss of sea-ice from the Arctic and Antarctic, increasing frequency of and damage from severe storm events, changes in sea-level, and so on. And you are ignoring the ice records from Lake Vostok, Domes C and F, and others, which clearly show a very strong link between CO2 levels and global temperatures."

    On almost every point here you are quite simply wrong. Sea-ice loss is problematic for you because sea ice is actually growing. Increasing damage from severe storms is also problematic, because it has been shown that severe storms are decreasing (and indeed recent research has pointed towards increasing temperatures actually decreasing storm frequency and severity, not increasing it). Changes in sea level are problematic as well, because the oceans have risen approximately 400ft since the end of the last ice age and one may expect fluctuations on time-scales as yet to be established (we haven't been measuring them long enough) or a few cm or inches per decade either way. With respect to Glaciers, of the 100,000 or so Glaciers on the planet, fewer than 1% of them are actually studied. Of those 1%, many of them are likely to be in accessible locations (or at least responsive to land use changes, not CO2).

    The Vostok cores show a very clear relationship between CO2 and global temperatures, yes. I grant you that. The only problem for your argument is they show unequivocally that CO2 rises lag temperature rises by around 800 years!

  93. Charles Manning

    Retired... formerly...

    I notice he didn't open his mouth while he was benefiting from the big global warming machine.

    Rule number on for any researchert: don't kill the golden goose.

    Where's the chance for IPCC ever talking down global warming or giving a balanced viewpoint? Climatologists have had boring back-room lives making do with low wages and zero prestige. Now they're thrust into the limelight and flitting between international conferences. Now they get asked to dinner parties and everyone wants to hear their opinions.

    The search for the truth went out the window a long time ago.

  94. Albert Stienstra
    Boffin

    @ Mark, conspiracy

    "Do we have any proof that intergovernmental, international conspiracies occurred like the one supposed with AGW?"

    Yes, we do. We got "An Inconvenient Truth" - I beg your pardon, pack of lies - that mostly served to line Gore's pockets. So he could keep on driving his Lincoln.

  95. BigFire
    Thumb Up

    Research Grant Money

    The reason Dr. Theon is speaking out now is there's no retribution against him anymore. He's retired, and not looking for any more research grant money. The AWG supporters currently control the grant money, so if you want the money, you speak the party line or you don't get the money.

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't this kind of moot?

    We don't want to be polluting the earth anyway! I don't want my country ending up like parts of Asia where you need to where a mask to go outside some days because the smog is so bad!

    Now I certainly don't think people should be lied to about what's causing global warming, but I'm surprised that this is an issue at all.

  97. Pierre Silver badge

    @ Ian Michael Gumby (and "climate scientists", really?)

    "I think we all agree that its not really a good idea to keep pumping out a lot of CO2 or other toxins in to the environment."

    CO2 or other toxins? WTF? Appart from being obviously non-toxic (If you're looking for toxic gases, go look in the O2 vicinity...), CO2 is relatively scarce in the athmosphere. The low availability of CO2 is actually the limiting factor for photosynthesis on Earth.

    And I would be more concerned with methane if I were you. It's much more potent as a greenhouse gas, and it won't be buffered by photosynthesis...

    On a sidenote, there is no such thing as "climate scientists". There are charlatans, and scientists (from other fields) who shoehorn the "global warming" in their work (whatever their opinion might be, though "Aw we're gonna die" appears to be the more efficient approach) because it's fashionable and is therefore a good money-earner (that's what you get when you don't fund basic science properly). The scientists usually publish their -often quite unrelated- results, and link them to "global warming" with a great deal of "might" and "perhaps", and then the mainstream media go all "Run for the hills, the world is doomed".

    So, global warming there might be, but again, maybe not: ice is melting in some places, but progressing in others; the increase in "devastating extreme weather incident" is observable only in the USA -and not significant even there- so, well, could be blamed on bad luck, especially as the models completely fail to agree on what would be the observable consequence of a global warming on local meteorological conditions. But it's fashionable, so each time something (anything) happens, well, it must be global warming. 20 deg C in December in NY? Global warming. The most snowy winter since the fifties in Canada? Global warming. New Orleans destroyed by Katrina? Global warming (it can't be because Bush vetoed the renovation of the levees, which subsequently broke. No it can't. It's the global warming.)

    Muppets

  98. Snert Lee

    What's in a name?

    Funniest thing to me is how, over the course of the last year, Global Warming has become Global Climate Change. Probably had a lot to do with the number of Global Warming conferences that ended up taking place during record setting cold snaps.

  99. Pierre Silver badge
    Boffin

    @ Mark (BS references)

    There is, indeed, very little science on the pro-Global warming side. You give references, well let's see:

    The first is nothing like science (intergovernmental report)

    The second is OBVIOUSLY not science (Wikipedia)

    The third one is a scientific paper. Title: "Near-infrared absorbing organic materials". No mention of global warming. At all.

    Fourth reference: Notes on models, no data. But well constructed. Let's see the conclusion: "Although carbon dioxide is capable of raising the Earth's overall temperature, the IPCC's predictions of catastrophic temperature increases produced by carbon dioxide have been challenged by many scientists. In particular, the importance of water vapor is frequently overlooked by environmental activists and by the media. The above discussion shows that the large temperature increases predicted by many computer models are unphysical and inconsistent with results obtained by basic measurements. Skepticism is warranted when considering computer-generated projections of global warming that cannot even predict existing observations." Hu-ho. That's what I thought.

    Fifth reference: Scientific paper from... wait for it... 1976. Title: "Infrared Heterodyne Spectroscopy of CO2 in the Atmosphere of Mars". Says it all. Of course, no reference to global warming at all.

    Sixth reference: nothing like science there (or high-school-level simplification, to be more precise. No data at all of course, it looks like notes from a high-school student.

    Seventh reference: a sub-high-school explanation on what light is. Completely irrelevant. No mention of any warming whatsoever.

    Eighth reference: a snippet on absorption lines. Nice. Not sure why a technique to study the composition of a gaseous mix might have to do with global warming (the cited snippet doesn't know, either).

    So indeed, very little science on the AGW side. The funniest thing is that you even managed to cite a reference that "proves" that all this man-produced CO2 doom is a scam (your fourth reference).

    Thanks for trying, but you kinda failed...

  100. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Follow the money

    Time for Wee Mark to come clean about his own funding sources. This couldn't be the same Mark who works for a climate quango by any chance, and who spams every cliamte story with 2m angry messages?

    "You all know that scientists only ever lie about the results so that they can get more funding, so this man is obviously lying here to get funding from elsewhere."

    This would explain a lot!

  101. Andrew Robinson

    Just read Roger A. Pielke, Sr. at climatesci.org

    According to Pielke:

    a) Anthropogenic CO2/GHGs do contribute to warming; but

    b) so does anthropogenic land use; and

    c) so do anthropogenic aerosols,

    amongst other things; but

    d) the IPCC's top line analysis plays down these impacts and narrows everything to GHGs.

    Also

    e) upper surface ocean temperatures are the best proxy for global warming. These have been decreasing (or at least non-increasing) for a number of years; and

    f) global computational climate models are not worth a dime in terms of their predictive capability.

    It all adds up to the public and policymakers are being misled.

    The IPCC and those of Hansen's ilk are to blame.

    Just go back to Jacob Bronowski:

    "No science is immune to the infection of politics and the corruption of power."

    "Dissent is the native activity of the scientist..."

  102. Glen Turner
    Flame

    Weather v climate -- an antipodean view

    Some European wrote: "...and there has been a clear cooling trend since May 2007."

    Conversely, if we were to make climate predictions from this week's weather in Adelaide (min temp yesterday was 33C, max was 45C) then the earth will boil in about a year's time.

    It was hot enough yesterday that the garden outside of my office spontaneously combusted ("is that smoke, oh there must be a bushfire, hang on it looks rather close, actually it looks very close, oh shit...").

    It so hot this week that TV retailers are playing "Life in the Freezer" as subliminal marketing. Train and tram rails have buckled. Not that the cars are drivable if you've forgotten to leave a towel covering the steering wheel. As for bicycles, I left home this morning with a frozen water bottle and 15 Km later it was hot enough to burn my mouth.

  103. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    just what we need - lots of hot air

    Face it guys, now that people with lots of money have discovered how much more money they can make out of the con that is the carbon credits scheme, the existence or not of AGW is totally irrelevant to what governments & other authorities will do over the next few years.

  104. wulff heiss
    IT Angle

    SCNR

    Al Gore didn't invent the internet, but he did make up global warming ;)

  105. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a lot of hot air there is here

    I don't care whether it's happening or not, I'd just like to know in what way ceasing to pollute the planet is a bad idea?

    If the pros are wrong, at least the place is a bit cleaner.

    If the antis are wrong, we might save ourselves from an unpleasant future.

    *sigh*

  106. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Pierre

    "There is no such thing as climate scientists"

    Maybe you ought to tell that to the Met Office? Or all those universties with Weather and Climate science departments...

    Just because you say something doesn't mean that it's true.

  107. TMS9900

    Well,

    "Hansen has called for energy industry executives to be jailed for dissenting from the man-made warming hypothesis"

    Well, if you think for yourself outside of authorised party lines, then that's a thought crime, and you will need to go to the Ministry of Love to have your party love restored. This can take a few months to a few years. It depends on the individual. But they all succomb in the end.

    Or jail. Whichever, really.

    It's not so surprising if you think of 'Climate Change' as a religion. Which is it. At one point we burned blasphemers, and the Spanish burned and crushed non-believers. The hysteria repeats itself...

    "He doesn't believe in climate change*, burn him, BURN HIM**"

    Cants.

    * other completely un-provable religions, beliefs, deities and idioms are available.

    ** other greener, lower-carbon footprint alternatives are available.

  108. Mark
    Boffin

    Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 28th January 2009 23:29 GMT

    This mark isn't.

    Physics with astrophysics degree. Computer programmer. Not employed in any form of quango.

    You?

  109. Mike
    Thumb Up

    It's academic

    Global warming might be affected by man - but won't have any terminal impact in my lifetime.

    Oil might be running out - but it won't in my lifetime.

    Quite frankly fuck 'em, let's let our childrens children deal with the problem if it ever becomes critical (and if it's too late, that's not my problem).

    [this public announcement was brought to you jointly by the "irony so americans won't understand it society", "head in the sand club" and the "let's rape the earth while everybody is arguing amongst themselves corporation"]

  110. Mark
    Boffin

    @Pierre

    "The first is nothing like science (intergovernmental report"

    Uh, it's written by scientists.

    It is about the scientific basis of the AGW debate.

    It has science in it.

    What does it have to have to be "science"?

    Say that there's no AGW? Is THAT the only condition needed to be considered science by you?

  111. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is such a pointless argument

    I can't believe we are still having this argument. The fact of the matter is that climate is a chaotic system.

    It WILL fall out of equilibrium at some point - as it has many times in the planet's history - and how we might develop technical fixes to allow us to survive in the narrow band of the biosphere we currently inhabit, how we might restore the current climate and how we might successfully migrate to an alternative habitable zone are far more pertinent issues.

    Discovery or prediction of which particular scenario causes the system to reach a tipping point is an indicator of the accuracy of a given model but in my opinion is little more than an artifact of good science and a curiosity.

  112. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Boffin

    Some Answers..

    Are there any wholly scientific, properly recreateable (to nab a useful term "open source") climate models that predict anthropogenic Climate Change?

    ALL the climate models predict anthropogenic climate change. That is what they are DESIGNED to do. They tie themselves into knots trying to predict larger and larger temperature rises from small increases in CO2. Unfortunately, if you look at the recent Muana Loa figures, CO2 is still increasing while world temperatures go down. Kinda ruins the hypothesis.....

    Also, are there any long-term graphs that suggest it could actually be a real effect?

    Yes, these are made by Professor Mann. Made up, in fact, because they are now comprehensively disproven, but still used to assert that current global warming is unusual, when it is actually perfectly normal.

  113. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh Dear, where to start?

    @Wonderkid: as well as 40 seasons being 10 years, "Almost" 25 years since the 70s is anywhere from about 1993 to 2003. IIRC we are in 2009. It would support your MMGW facts better if your easily challengeable facts were accurate.

    @Paul: you must give me all of your possessions or else the world will definitely end in a fiery ball of fiery fire very very soon. You can't afford to not send me your possessions because the consequences are too great, if I'm wrong you may lose out finncially but everyone else is OK, but if I'm right you are damning everyone to destruction. I'll take a banker's draft or cash equivalent.

    RE: memories of past weather: every year it rains during Wimbledon. And every year the papers are full of doom about climate change making it rain, "it never rained here before" ignoring the fact that they could have just used last year's words and pictures and saved themselves the effort.

    RE: Follow the money: There is money to be made on both sides, pro MMGW gets you research grants, promotion and job security (and maybe a book / film deal) whereas anti-MMGW gets you big oil money, Republican friendship (will be worth something in 8 years I bet) and possibly a book / film deal.

    RE: All skeptics are retired: These days you won't get a job or promotion if you do not toe the MMGW line. I know ethics and principles are important but so is feeding your children.

    RE: Ad Hominem attacks: Internet forums always degenerate towards ad hominem attacks, I think it is al lot to do with the anonymous nature of teh innertubes.

    However, ad hominem attacks are not necessarily invalid. Take Wonderkid's initial post. In it he mistakes seasons for years and his maths is demonstrably suspect. Although this does not inherently invalidate any other statements he may make it certainly suggests a material trend of inaccuracy. Similarly if you know a person has a financial or similar tie to one view or another it is reasonable to assume their facts will be interpreted in a sympathetic manner and may not truly reflect reality.

    But most of all: The real question is the raw data. Which no-one seems prepared to provide. Yes the data will have to be processed, but unless we can see exactly how and why this is done then we cannot trust the figures. Either side's figures. If you are playing Poker and someone claims to have a better hand than yours then you'd want to see the cards before you hand over the pot, wouldn't you?

  114. Mark
    Boffin

    re: Not so

    "Sea-ice loss is problematic for you because sea ice is actually growing"

    Is it? The total volume of ice on both poles is increasing? Really? Where are your measurements.

    Lets see them.

  115. Mark
    Boffin

    @JOhn Dougherty

    ".It consists of a laboratory fact some very pessimistic models and censored and manipulated data."

    Where is your proof of manipulation of the data? If it's censored and you know, where's the proof of censorship and how you know it when nobody else does? Where's the proof it IS censorship.

    Come on, you DEMAND data. Where's yours/

  116. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    @ Mark, conspiracy

    Uh, how does one frigging movie prove anything about a world-wide secret government conspiracy????

    Jesus fuck! you guys don't even try.

  117. Tim Williams
    Alert

    This is the wrong argument

    Does it matter if you believe man made CO2 emissions are responsible for global warming or if it's a natural cycle ? Does it even matter if you believe it's happening at all, whatever the cause ?

    Wake up people, fossil fuels are a finite resource sooner or later they are going to run out. Surely it makes sense to :

    a) Use what we have as efficiently as possible

    b) Work as hard as possible on sustainable alternatives now, rather than waiting for the oil to run out and then panicking because we have nothing else.

    The side benefit of this that CO2 emissions will go down, so if that is causing global warming, then great, we've saved the planet. If it isn't, we haven't lost anything because we had to switch over sooner or later anyway.

  118. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mark the fanatical speed-commenter:

    You've already admitted your employer is a climate centre. You have a vested interest in promoting AGW theories, because they pay for you to post messages all day.

    Why are you dodging the question? Got an honesty problem?

  119. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Professional PR pretending to be an IT guy?

    In this thread we already have 15 comments from one guy ("Mark") sat in a Climate organisation - who won't admit where he works.

    The computers must function perfectly if you have this much spare time on your day job.

    This explanation doesn't add up.

  120. Robinson
    Paris Hilton

    Pragmatism.

    "Wake up people, fossil fuels are a finite resource sooner or later they are going to run out. Surely it makes sense to :

    a) Use what we have as efficiently as possible

    b) Work as hard as possible on sustainable alternatives now, rather than waiting for the oil to run out and then panicking because we have nothing else.

    The side benefit of this that CO2 emissions will go down, so if that is causing global warming, then great, we've saved the planet. If it isn't, we haven't lost anything because we had to switch over sooner or later anyway."

    You're right Tim, but there are two problems with your argument. The first is that economically, you may be slowing "progress" by not utilising fossil fuels but going for some more expensive technology instead (while working out more efficient forms at the same time, which also costs money).

    The second problem is that regardless of the merits of the case, you're effectively saying the ends justify the means, even if public trust in science and the scientific method is destroyed in the process. This is more dangerous to humanity than a 1 degree rise in temperature, in my humble opinion.

  121. Steven

    @Cluebat

    Burning biofuels only releases the carbon the crops collected from the atmosphere whilst they were being grown.

    Burning fossil fuels releases carbon collected over millions of years

    Do you get it now?

  122. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    @Steven << Cluestick

    And those plants took the Carbon out when they were living.

    Some lived 2,000,001 years ago and took the carbon out then.

    Some lived 2,000,002 years ago and took the carbon out then.

    Some lived ....

    For millions of years, carbon was taken out.

    And we burn a thousand years worth of carbon each day.

    (The UK gets nearly 100cm of rain, 39 inches. It if all drops in one hour, we have a catastrophy. If it drops over a year, we have maritime weather.)

  123. Francis Irving

    All this clatter, and meanwhile Britain is losing out.

    America, Germany, Spain, Japan, China, India... All grabbing slices of the world's new energy system for their corporations, while we're sitting here whining pathetically.

    The top ten largest companies in the world at the moment are nearly all oil and oil burning car companies.

    What will the top ten be in 2100? Will any of them be British?

  124. Mark
    Alien

    Professional PR from an AC posting twenty times more often

    Who do YOU work for, AC? I assume you DO work, don't you?

    And is your job PR for the oil companies?

  125. Mark
    Alien

    Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 29th January 2009 11:02 GMT

    "You've already admitted your employer is a climate centre. You have a vested interest in promoting AGW theories, because they pay for you to post messages all day."

    No, I categorically deny I work in climatology. I have never ever said I work in climatology. Now you may mean a different Mark because, believe it or not, there's more than one Mark in the world, but I deny I have ever said that.

    Now, who do YOU work for? And why do you hide under the plausible deniability of "Anonymous Coward" so that nobody knows how much of a speed respondent you are..?

    If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear with telling us and not posting AC.

  126. weirdcult

    @And cue...

    Wow! how open minded and un-black and white of you. Perhaps you could consider that there is more than two sides to this? Actually, "idiotic braying", no, no you couldn't.....

  127. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mark confesses who's paying him?

    "@AC: You've already admitted your employer is a climate centre. You have a vested interest in promoting AGW theories, because they pay for you to post messages all day."

    - @Mark: No, I categorically deny I work in climatology."

    You don't need to be a surgeon to work for the NHS. Most NHS staff do not "work in surgery".

    Who employs you, Mark?

    You're scared of admitting who funds you. Funny that.

  128. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    We dont know the truth, so....

    ...lets just keep burning fossil fuels and see what happens. It's not going make the human race extinct, so why should I care? Yeah, sure some poor people (and the Dutch) may die in low lying countries, but it's not as if we couldn't do without them.

    Some species will die and others will flourish. The world is not static and it has coped with a lot worse in the past. Personally the only thing I'm worried about is the oil running out.

    If the ecomentalists want to REALLY tackle the problems of the human race, why not address overpopulation by topping themselves?

    Now can we all just get on with our lives?

  129. Mark

    So there's more than one side to "4+4=8"?

    Sometimes the two sides are

    Wrong

    Right

    And you pick one.

    Now, do you have any concrete evidence that says that the CO2 put up there doesn't cause warming and that the warming will be less than 1degree?

    Because, just as in a Court of Law, the jurors and judge don't ***know*** what went on, but they do have two solicitors arguing the case for the prosecution and the case for the defense. And if one side has lots of evidence and the other side not much at all apart from "Well, he's wrong, innit", which side do you think the jury and judge will decide on?

    Evidence

    "Well, he's wrong, innit"

    ?

  130. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Earth and Venus not analagous

    Re: Just to clarify

    By Fenwick Posted Wednesday 28th January 2009 17:04 GMT

    It is unscientific to suggest that the Earth's climate will become like that of Venus if anphropogenic CO2 emmissions continue. Venus is significantly closer to the Sun, and a major part of its greenhouse effect is due to sulphuric acid clouds.

    Re: RETIRED Nasa guy..

    By Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 28th January 2009 21:35 GMT

    Maybe older scientists are more sceptical/cautious not because they are out of touch, but because they were educated in more rigorous times and have a firmer grasp of basic scientific method as a result. Many of the young, on the other hand, have been brought up to believe in various things which may or may not be true, but which they are not equipped to deal with critically.

  131. Pierre Silver badge

    @ Mark (@Pierre) and @ the "at least it'll be cleaner" guys

    "Uh, it's written by scientists."

    No it's not. It's written by a bunch of technocrats who (supposedly) listened to some (selected) scientists in the process.

    "It is about the scientific basis of the AGW debate."

    So is this thread, but I wouldn't use it as a scientific reference.

    "It has science in it."

    It has wild guesses and smart-ass "common sense" conclusions on unconclusive data. I don't call that science.

    Now I'm not ruling out the AGW theory completely. There might be a global warming, and Man might contribute to it. It's just not very probable, and in any case there is strictly no hard data to back it up. A bit like the giant FSM.

    What annoys me a lot is that we (the world bank, various NGO,...) use this Global Warming scarecrow to prevent third world countries from developping. Forcing a developping countries to use mainly non-viable "renewable" energies because there is a tiny possibility that man-produced CO2 might have an effect on the climate is criminal.

    As for me, I try and use as little energy as I can, I use my bike (I don't even own a car any more), and I recycle stuff, all these "good citizen" things, but you don't have to believe in extravagant theories about AGW to do so.

  132. Tom

    @Fenwick

    Um, no.

    There is no single question, because climate is about the interaction of thousands of variables over thousands of years (not the triflingly small data set Hansen uses) resulting in googleplexes of possible combinations and potential feedback loops to contend with (co2 goes up, temperature goes up, water vapor goes up more radiation is reflected back to the sun, magnetic solar cycles, earth magnetic cycles, increased plant growth from increased co2, increased plant growth from increased temperature, etc, etc. etc.). Therefore, the only thing you can be pretty much certain of, is that anyone claiming to be a scientist who knows what's going on is actually a witchdoctor trying to figure out how best to separate you from your money without being called a thief.

  133. Lu
    Thumb Up

    Restoring the faith

    Seriously, no sarcasm - this comments thread has gone some way to restoring my faith in humanity in general and Reg readers in particular.

    A few months ago I was one of a minority of dissenting voices in a torrent of vitriolic, angry readers blasting Mr Orlowski for pandering to the so-called denialist brigade and bemoaning the drop in standards of Reg reporting.

    Today, the skeptics are in the majority.

    It seems there's some kind of critical mass of bullsh-t beyond which people will stop believing everything they get told.

    That's gotta make you feel good about the world.

    P.S. Many people have written about following the money trail. There seems to be a misconception that "Big Oil" stands to lose money on alternative energy etc. News flash people, these are the guys leading the way in pushing for Biofuels and the like. They're using their fortunes to get a head start in the new industries, while still making money from the old.

    Why is this a bad thing, aren't biofuels good? Um, no.

    They're trying to force us to jump into alternative energy sources which are just as bad as the current ones, so we need to agree before we can realise the truth. Of course, with everyone panicking about "Thermigeddon" (thanks to whoever came up with that one), that's not a problem. Quick, let's agree to carbon credits and biofuel crops to replace food crops.

  134. Mark
    Dead Vulture

    Tom Posted Thursday 29th January 2009 15:08 GMT

    "Therefore, the only thing you can be pretty much certain of, is that anyone claiming to be a scientist who knows what's going on is actually a witchdoctor"

    It is? Proof.

    Or do you think that having to have a computer that runs near as fast as NSA's inteligence parsing machine may help to do the sums quick enough to cover them?

    Just maybe, that's why you can't do climate work without a honking big computer...

  135. Mark
    Dead Vulture

    @Pierre

    ""Uh, it's written by scientists."

    No it's not. It's written by a bunch of technocrats who (supposedly) listened to some (selected) scientists in the process."

    Please tell me what a technocrat is.

    I don't see it in any post-grad job seminar or headhunter collection. I can't find "technocrat" in the job market, search though I do.

    So what is a technocrat?

    Is it like, uh, *scientist*?

    Please, show me where you get that from.

  136. Mark
    Alien

    All the lonely people. Where do they all come from

    Lets have a look at the ad hom's and complete fabrications and reversals from Shirley (they call him coward, that's not his name. that's not his name. That's not his name...)

    Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 29th January 2009 13:49 GMT

    "@AC: You've already admitted your employer is a climate centre. You have a vested interest in promoting AGW theories, because they pay for you to post messages all day."

    - @Mark: No, I categorically deny I work in climatology."

    You don't need to be a surgeon to work for the NHS. Most NHS staff do not "work in surgery".

    How can I be employed by a climate centre when I don't work in climatology? Even if I were working as a PR plod I'd be working in climatology. And if you're the same as:

    >Professional PR pretending to be an IT guy?

    >Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 29th January 2009 11:06 GMT

    Then how can I be in PR (pretending to be in IT) and not work for them.

    I do not work in PR. I do not work in climatology. And even if I were working in there but not as a climatologist, why would I be posting what you insist are lies and PR puffery?

    I really DO work in IT support. And if that support WERE for some climate centre, IT support is needed and would pay more in the private sector. So what benefit would such a person get?

    But you'll notice, people, the AC has changed their accusation when told they are definitely wrong. Never mind they had no proof and have no way of knowing what *I* do for a living better than I do.

    It's not all, though

    >Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 28th January 2009 23:29 GMT

    >Time for Wee Mark to come clean about his own funding sources. This couldn't be the same >Mark who works for a climate quango by any chance, and who spams every cliamte story with >2m angry messages?

    Where apparently I work for a quango. Which one is not said. Which is odd in itself. Since how can he know I work for a quango when he doesn't even know what quango it is?

    So, shirley, what IS your name.

    Who is your boss

    Why are you here

    Why is it you post 200m angry messages about how it's all a global swindle with black helicopters and probably an ET or three behind it all?

    Why do you, when all else fails, accuse people of acts which don't change the truth, are in themselves lies and when one attack doesn't work, make up some new shit to see if any sticks?

    Why are YOU spending all your time here doing that?

    Who's paying for YOUR work here?

  137. john gilmore
    Linux

    Scientists fairly rational

    My experience with climatologists is that they are not as political as presented in the media. In my current course on Climate change the professor has stressed again and again the complexity of climate -which is the element missing from the talking points. He expresses all models as significantly unpredictable ranges and occasionally says things like "My personal opinion, because of my personal research, is that these models here are not taking enough of _____ into consideration. But that is one opinion among many." He often describes the scientific community as a body of opinions on the subject. He is also Chinese, and we are in the States, and it's interesting that he seems detached from the US political debate on the subject, not afraid to present a fully balanced view, and often seems confused by the extreme reactions of students one way or the other.

    The data is compelling with regard to greenhouse gasses increasing temperature. The data supports a theory for human-caused increase. I'm a very, very leftist person, and support strongly the initiatives of the Obama administration, but the class has really calmed my nerves and helped me recognize the complexity. The way it is argued in the media is tantamount to describing the functioning of a car engine in terms of a spinny-wheel that turns axles. It's just not that simple.

  138. Paul M.

    Own up, Mark

    Mark wriggles and Mark wiggles - but still won't say who his employer is.

    (You already admitted this months ago, Mark, when you talked about the like totally awesome climate modelling your colleagues do).

    Where would that be again?

  139. Dr Stephen Jones
    Boffin

    Burden of proof

    "Now, do you have any concrete evidence that says that the CO2 put up there doesn't cause warming - Mark

    The burden of proof is on the person advancing the hypothesis. In this case, you must prove that it does. Shouting insultings like "denialist" at all counter arguments does not cut it.

    I suggest you go back to nursery school and learn how science is done.

  140. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @Wonderkid - For the sake of kids at the very least

    OMG - Won't somone please think of the children?

    As for the methane. I'm trying to make more to see if it impacts the atmostphere, but frankly I only generate static from the sprog.

    Paris, 'cos she knows all about emissions and climaxtology stuff.

    Anyway, you're all gonna be sorry when the sun goes supernova.

  141. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Nasa climate boss?

    How did "Yes, one could say that I was, in effect, Hansen’s supervisor" become "NASA climate boss"?

    Shame on you, The Register, shame.

  142. David Robinson

    What about...

    the real basis for all thiscontroversy? The AGW version has radiation from the sun hitting the earth , being reflected back up and re-reflected back to earth by C02. The 2nd law of thermodynamics indicates that heat can only travel one way.. to cold. Thus re-reflection to source is impossible, even less so when you include the law of radiation; it diminishes by the inverse square law, thus it can never be reversed to it's source, in this case, the earth.

    Secondly, Co2 is claimed to reflect heat. it does, weakly, but only in the prescence of a high -infra-red heat source. High infra-red is produced by red heat- 800deg c and above. Below that, and at ambient temperatures you get no signals. That is why Co2 detectors have to have a red hot wire to get them to work.

    Oh, and to the gentleman of 40 seasons, I saw and enjoyed the 30's that has been shown to be the hottest decade of the 20th century, in spite of Hansen's attempts to ignore this.

    For those who believe the propaganda about massive scientific support for AGW among scientists, the House of Lords select committee investigated this and found that the 'deniers' among leading scientists healthily outnumbered it's proponents. Over 32,000 leading scientists signed a petition saying that they did not agree that mankind had any influence on climate, rather more that the much touted '2000' believers.

    Toward the end of the 1980's a scientist, with his computer, forecast that by 2010, London would be drowned with the tube flooded. I know that it is not quite 2010 but it seems most unlikely to happen. Last year, another, or possibly the same one with a low learning curve, forecast that London would be drowned and the tubes flooded in 25 years. We have paid out vast sums of money on supercomputers and programmers but supercomputer or desktop, the same law applies...gigo.

    As I understand the scientific method, one has a theory, designs and makes experiments to prove or disprove, said experiments to be replicable by any other scientist. We seem to have got no further than a highly questionable theory.

    Dave.

  143. Mark
    Boffin

    Paul, who do YOU work for?

    You seen to want to see this sort of thing all about.

    And if you know, how does that change anything? Does Svante Arrhenius become a fictional character if I take off my mask and turn out to be Al Gore posting under a pseudonym?

    > (You already admitted this months ago, Mark, when you talked about the like totally awesome climate modelling your colleagues do)

    Nope. Someone may have done so, it wasn't me.

    Citation?

  144. Mark
    Boffin

    Dr Stephen Jones

    Svante Arrhenius proved the CO2 effect. You can read about it anywhere.

    There is the proof.

    Now why, "Dr" Stephen Jones, does that not work in the atmosphere? Does the CO2 see the scientist watching and get all embarrased?

  145. Mark
    Alien

    It's just not that simple.

    "The way it is argued in the media is tantamount to describing the functioning of a car engine in terms of a spinny-wheel that turns axles."

    Yet in what essential way is describing the internal combustion engine as being a spinny wheel that turns axles incorrect?

    Is that not what it does? The flywheel spins. The axles turn. The car. Moves.

  146. Daniel Fisher
    Thumb Down

    Where's the evidence for the skepticism?

    Odd how global warming skeptics never offer their own evidence to back up what they say. Skepticism isn't a means to an end. Being a reader of some very good skeptics, who use evidence to demonstrate their points, I can see there is a dearth of global warming skeptics with any well-researched points. Note: resumes and career history do not count as evidence.

  147. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  148. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Mark (aka The Machine Gun)

    Answers to your questions are in the post you reply to.

    While you're searching, Ms Science will be around, looking for some hard data.

    PS. Don't overheat your appartment, guys! Seriously, do not.

  149. Mono Ape
    Dead Vulture

    Here's the reality

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/01/so_who_is_john_s_theon.php

  150. markuzick

    Based upon the sorry track record of "state governance

    " of human affairs, the only reasonable expectation of "state management of the environment" is corruption in the form of a further consolidation of wealth and power at the expense of the liberty and standard of living of the individuals who comprise society and damage to the environment through its mismanagement .

    State governance is government by fiat, in other words it's the rule of brute force or the condition of anarchy. "Anarchy" pretty much sums up the chaos, corruption, injustice, warfare, hate-mongering and destructive waste that is entailed by the rule of the "community of states" that lord over the nations of the world. The state is a mockery of the true government of individuals agreeing to rules on a voluntary basis, to protect and promote their common interests.

    Legitimate government is commonly seen in the form of business enterprises and voluntary social organizations. They are, to the extent to which they are voluntary, an extension of self government and are collectively referred to as "the free market".

    If anthropogenic warming is:

    1. proven to be a significant factor in global warming

    2. and if it can be shown that this is detrimental for humanity,

    then it's only legitimate organizations within the free market that will have any hope of dealing with it.

    I don't believe that either #'s 1 or 2 are proven yet.

    I suspect that #1may be true, but I favor the theory that anthropogenic warming has forestalled an overdue ice age, thereby enabling the continuation and evolution of civilized society. Maybe it should be called "anthropogenic temperature stabilization" instead.

  151. Colin
    Thumb Up

    What difference does the cause make ?

    Seriously - what difference does it make ? It IS happening and we need to deal with it. If you saw an out-of-control bus speeding towards you would you just say "its not my fault, I'm not the driver" and stand there ? Of course you bloody wouldn't, you'd get out of the way. Fine, maybe it's just a natural cycle. After all, we are just coming out of an ice age so maybe the sea levels would have risen anyway. But all those coastal cities are going to go under all the same, and do you think those people are really going to be comforted in their watery graves if someone can prove it wasnt our fault ?

    Secondly, we NEED to get onto renewable energy. We absolutely WILL run out of coal, oil, gas, and even uranium eventually. Even if someone managed to invent totally free technology that captures 100% of CO2 and methane emissions from all sources using only common household products, and thus removed the whole greenhouse argument, we will STILL run out of fuel, our entire civilisation will grind to a halt, and we will all be completely stuffed.

    Don't worry about the planet - won't take long for it to forget we ever existed. But if you care about the future of the human race then you HAVE to care about renewable energy.

    Thumbs up because although it will be hard and it may be slow I believe we can and will do it.

  152. Paul M.

    Monoape: Get your facts right

    Obsessive blogger Tim Lambert fails again. Theone was working for NASA in 1999, as a consultant. Theone ran the climate programs which Lambert fails to mention. Some nobody, eh?

    Anyone who quotes blogs that use insults like "denialist" doesn't want to engage in rational discussion. Smears were to be expected - I didn't expect them to be so lame.

  153. markuzick

    Colin is confused. He's also ready to panic.

    The Earth is at the tail end of a warm period and is overdue for the next ice age.

    One interpretation of the current situation is that if there is significant AGW, then the would be onset of an ice age has saved us from global warming.

    Another interpretation is that, given the validity of AGW, then AGW has saved us from the coming ice age.

    Any action rashly taken to stave off some hypothetical disaster, without further understanding of the consequences, is likely to bring forth a real disaster. It is imperative to stick to the principle of " First, do no harm."

    Panic is never the answer. Unfortunately, panicking the herd is the way the state consolidates power. The problem is political, not environmental.

  154. Mark
    Boffin

    re: What about...

    "the real basis for all thiscontroversy? The AGW version has radiation from the sun hitting the earth , being reflected back up and re-reflected back to earth by C02."

    Unfortunately, the reason why you get the resultant "AGW is wrong" is because you have made a mistake right there.

    The real basis for all this controversy is political as markuzick says. The denailists are rallying all political possibilities to stop slow or reverse any change that may leave them less power than they have. For a similar pathology, see how the RIAA and BPI all react to P2P sharing (whilst paying corporations like Clearchannel huge amounts of money to freely share their "product" to anyone with ears and a radio.).

    Note also how the denialists use the techniques of the Inquisition. Make an accusation. If refuted, change the accusation. Keep changing and hope you catch something you can focus in on that avoids their complicity. If I answer their calls for my work address it will not prove any conspiracy. So they will ask "what about your dad?" or "You've been paid a one-off for a fake grassroots" and find more questions, never answering them themselves.

    Interesting that the group accusing scientists of zealotry and a Holy Belief structure use the techniques of the worst example of Holy Belief gone wrong.

    The basics of the science is not what you described either. CO2 doesn't reflect heat. It traps it for a time. A time during which it could re-ratiate. Or it could absorb another and change to another state. Or collide with one of the massive number of non-CO2 objects out there, which inelastic collision will drain off the energy and translate to random velocity changes we describe as "heat".

    Your argument then goes on with another fallacy. You use the black-body radiation laws to "prove" CO2 can't be causing warming. However, by saying it absorbs some lines with greater effect you have defined it as NOT a black body.

    In fact, looking at the earth, we are most definitely NOT a black body. The Sun is pretty close, but we are striated blue, white, green, brown etc. Black isn't a big component here.

    And your use of that black body radiation is a fallacy in and of itself. It is rather like using Newton's Laws of Motion to show that nothing can move:

    Action and reaction have equal and opposite values. Ergo, if I push on a box, the box pushes back and so the box cannot move.

    You should have covered this in 1-st year science. 3rd-year tops at Secondary school.

    Why is that wrong? Because they have left out one huge, really important bit of their screed:

    Action and reaction have equal and opposite values AND ACT ON SEPARATE BODIES.

    The Box doesn't push back. My hand pushes my body back.

    Likewise the blackbody laws only apply when the object is opaque and in thermal equillibrium and only if the system is closed.

  155. Colin

    re: markuzick

    not panicking mate .. as I said i reckon we'll work it out. but we can't burn coal and oil forever so we really should start getting off it now, dontcha think ?

  156. Pierre Silver badge

    @ Mark about technocrats

    "So what is a technocrat? Is it like, uh, *scientist*?"

    Why, yes it very much is. And Jacky Smith is a database engine developper. Seriously, I hope you're joking. If not, it's offensive.

  157. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Colin - RE what difference the cause makes

    A very big one, very big indeed. If climate change is caused by burning fossil fuels then we can reduce the CO2 by reducing the burning. However if it turns out it is actually the result of plankton or cows or the sun then reducing our fossil fuel burning is not going to fix it.

    One thing missing here is an acceptance that many of the steps we would be taking to reduce personal carbon emissions are actually detrimental to us in various ways. Cars are much better than public transport in most ways (cheaper, quicker, more comfortable, not full of nutters, better timetable etc.), being cold is no fun, holidays in your own garden are crap and not having the luxuries we like to have would actually be a negative thing to most of us.

    Now, I am not saying we wouldn't make lifestyle changes if we had to (some might not but the majority of us would) but so far no-one has managed to convince many of us that we should be cold, hungry, tired, bored and have far less free time on data that neither side is prepared to give us.

    Look at Al Gore, then look at the car he drives, the private jet he flies in and the 200 year old mansion he lives in that costs something like $20,000 per month to heat. If Al Gore can't even convince Al Gore to make small changes in his lifestyle to save the polar bear then why should the rest of us?

  158. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    @Pierre

    "So what is a technocrat? Is it like, uh, *scientist*?"

    Why, yes it very much is. And Jacky Smith is a database engine developper. Seriously, I hope you're joking. If not, it's offensive.

    Yet

    >Pierre Posted Thursday 29th January 2009 15:01 GMT

    >"Uh, it's written by scientists."

    >

    > No it's not. It's written by a bunch of technocrats

    s/technocrat/scientist/g

    >"Uh, it's written by scientists."

    >

    > No it's not. It's written by a bunch of scientists

  159. Dr Stephen Jones

    @ Colin

    By "we" do you include India and China? If so, do you mean right now this second?

    If so, then we are asking them to accept a slower rate of economic development - which means more poverty and misery, and more lives lost through disease and avoidable infant mortality rates.

  160. Colin

    @Lee

    I still don't see your point. You seem to be implying that if we decide that we need less CO2 in the atmosphere, but that we didnt put it there, then we won't try to reduce it ? It's already looking more and more like simply reducing the output won't be enough and we will probably need to reduce the existing CO2 as well.

    The 2 points I was making - and I apologise if it wasn't as clear as I'd hoped, is :

    1. CO2 has the same effect whether it's from natural or artifiical sources. So if it's from cows or plankton or whatever (although cows is our fault too, obviously) then it's still the same problem. And anyway, burning fossil fuels definitely adds CO2 so it still makes the problem worse.

    2. We need to stop burning fossil fuels anyway. Regardless of the CO2 issue - if we run out before we have enough alternative energy capacity, we are stuffed.

    Together, these points mean we have to get off the fosssil fuels.

  161. Colin

    @ Dr Stephen Jones

    I fail to see how renewable energy R&D will cause poverty in China or India .... or are you saying that I have suggested we make people stop producing energy right now and sit in the dark while we work on alternative energy sources ? I had no idea there was so much room between my lines. I have not suggested, or even implied, anything of the sort. I have merely indicated that we need to find better solutions than using fossil fuels - at no point did I say that we have to just stop burning them right now. Currently we have no choice.

    And yes, of course I include the countries you mentioned in "we" - i quite clearly referred to "the human race". Also, maybe you are confused about the meaning of the workd "global" ?

  162. Pierre Silver badge

    @ Mark 15:37

    Are you drunk, or was the irony of my post too well hidden? Of course technocrats have nothing to do with science. Why would they?

  163. Pierre Silver badge

    @ Colin

    Point 1 is mostly moot in my opinion, but point 2 is still valid.

  164. Mark
    Pirate

    Dr Stephen Jones

    He's not chinese. He can ask, but they can just as well say "you first".

    But he would probably be asking them to do so too, if they listened.

    I thought we were the World Leader, though. The Rational Pinnacle. The Free World As Should Be. et al.

    And leaders leading by telling everyone *else* "Charge" whilst standing at the back in the only really bullet proof vest on the battlefield is how we got the shower of shit in charge we have.

  165. Mark
    Dead Vulture

    So well hidden, it didn't exist, Pierre

    "It isn't written by scientists"

    You reply "no, it's written by scientists"

    Where is the irony? Unless you're talking ironically about your lack of ability to think...

    Those links are written by scientists. Real ones. That do science.

    They then write it up and present it to a committee of scientists. Rather like real scientists do when submitting a paper to "Nature" or other scientific journal. These are then presented TO politicians and anyone else (including other scientists) that wish to read it.

    The report on the science behind the IPCC was exactly what you said you were looking for. You deny its validity because you didn't want an answer, you just wanted to say that you couldn't agree because the data you want isn't there.

  166. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  167. Pierre Silver badge

    @ Mark

    "You reply "no, it's written by scientists""

    No I didn't. Go look. here is an excerpt:

    You: Uh, it's written by scientists.

    Me: No it's not. It's written by a bunch of technocrats who (supposedly) listened to some (selected) scientists in the process.

    I think it's clear.

    "Where is the irony?"

    The Irony was in my subsequent post, answering to your offensive "technocrats=scientists" claim. Go look.

    "Those links are written by scientists. Real ones. That do science."

    Five out of the 8 aren't. two of the remaining 3 are irrelevant to the matter at hand. The last one concludes that AGW is a scam.

    "They then write it up and present it to a committee of scientists."

    Not. "they" presumably listen to some selected scientists at some point, but the report is written and reviewed only by third-hand politicos.

    "Rather like real scientists do when submitting a paper to "Nature" or other scientific journal."

    Not. Submission to scientific papers doesn't work like that.

    "The report on the science behind the IPCC was exactly what you said you were looking for."

    I wasn't looking for anything, you must be mistaking me for someone else

    "You deny its validity because you didn't want an answer, you just wanted to say that you couldn't agree because the data you want isn't there."

    Science is not about wanting data or not. It's about looking at the data. And the available data just isn't showing a global warming caused by Man-emitted CO2. Even the "proofs" of the warming itself are a bit on the light side.

    I don't think gas-guzzlers are a good thing, I don't think we should pollute as much as we can, but this kind of pseudo-scientific straymen are not helping any cause (their major real-world use is to hinder Africa's efforts toward development).

  168. Mark
    Boffin

    "made of iron"

    "The Irony was in my subsequent post, answering to your offensive "technocrats=scientists" claim. Go look."

    Uh, YOU were the one calling scientists technocrats.

    The authors are scientists.

  169. markuzick

    To Colin:

    Sorry. I didn't mean to single you out. Your analogy of global warming to a speeding bus coming at me reads very much like much of the other panic mongering that is being presented by the "green" statists commenting here.

    Also: Fossil fuels are not running out. They are simply becoming more difficult and therefore more expensive to replenish (although coal may be the exception this trend for now). At some point "green energy" will make economic sense. With some luck, enough CO2 will have been released by that time to indefinitely forestall a new ice age with far more catastrophic consequences than warming would bring.

    In the meantime, it's foolish to advocate actions by the heavy and clumsy hand of the state to prevent hypothetical senarios, when we are unable to see the big picture.

  170. Phil A
    Coat

    National Street Gazetteer

    Yes, it does exist and it's defined by BS7666. A quote from the gazetteer creation guidelines (www.thensg.org.uk):

    "No punctuation shall be included within the Street Description, Locality or Town fields unless the punctuation is part of the official street name, for example ‘Westward Ho!’ Ampersands will be replaced with the word ‘AND’. It is recommended that full stops shall not be used as part of any designated name, e.g. St. Stephens Road should be recorded as St Stephens

    Abbreviations shall not be used except where they form part of the official name. The only exception is ‘St’ for ‘Saint'

    Proper case is recommended to be used throughout all records and when transferring data to other applications including the NSG hub. The use of upper case is also acceptable, however, extra definition is proposed in ASD description fields using case sensitivity and transfer data in upper case would reduce the functionality of this proposal"

    Sad isn't it!

  171. Mark
    Thumb Down

    heavy and clumsy hand of the state?

    You mean the one that paid off the greedy and grasping hand of the Free Market billions for lying and scheming? You would leave the actions to someone whose only legal needs are the next quaterly report to the shareholders???

  172. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Reading all this...

    ...I now really, really hope that AGW is true and that sea levels are going to rise dramatically. On the condition that all of the over-zealous gobshites on both sides of the argument (including some of the people commenting on here) move to the coast immediately and bloody stay there.

    But please leave the raw data behind, unmassaged, unedited and unencumbered by your own biases, theories and models so that those of us who are left and who are prepared to be open-minded and examine some real observational evidence can work out what actually happened.

    Meanwhile, if you're not prepared to put up decent raw data for open analysis without tweaking it, mangling it and just using it to build inaccurate models of bugger all, just shut the fuck up. And that applies to the pro- and anti- brigades alike - bunch of whining twats the lot of you.

  173. Albert Stienstra
    Boffin

    @Mark, about Arrhenius

    Arrhenius, that mediaeval fellow, proved "a" CO2 effect, but not for the atmosphere. In the atmosphere gases are not stationary. Hot gases move up and cool down. There is nothing in the climate computer models that take account of this. In any case, computer models are no good for predicting anything, because they only contain known mechanisms. It is clear that you have not yet come to terms with this in your research.

  174. Walking Turtle
    Boffin

    Erm...

    So has anyone yet calculated the direct thermal input to our biosphere that has provided us all on Planet Earth, from US Prexy Clinton forward (for the US) and somewhat past Clinton's initial Kosovo deployment (for that Remarkable Special Nation HQ'd in Tel Aviv), with all those hundreds (and hundreds) of tonnes of MIL spec nanoparticulated, ceramified, 350-billion-year half-life Depleted Uranium (and its chemical+isotopic neighbors+cousins), the which is "refined" from Fission Reactor waste so that it can (not entirely unlike a certain long-gone breakfast cereal of ancient memory) be Shot From Guns? How much of that sort of material has to date been provided gratis to Grandmother Earth (and all the Rest of Us) by our lizard-lovin' Nuclear Fission Dependent Temporal Overlords to date?

    <whew.>

    Now I shall clearly set aside (sweep, really) all prior overclouding considerations of international legality, geopolitical strategy, ham-fisted global hegemony and cack-handed sovereign alignment. Ditto all manner of biochemistry, genetics, and exactly everything else but for this one bottom-line mission-critical item: Heat.

    As best I have it, y'see, any isotopically-emitted subatomic particle (alpha or beta, neutrons too; different energies, same effect) that by chance collides with any atom of anything solid, liquid or gaseous makes for just that much additional heat. (Fission piles and fusion Tokamaks both boil the water for the turbines on that principle, one finds.)

    [ NB: Only it's an "are to" in any modern Tokamaks' case. Solid Lithium Oxide blankets have been said by some fusion energy researchers to be likely heat-catchers for that class of stainless-steel donut. My trove of questions on that score are another whole kettle of fish, though. ]

    Back to the battlefield-generated thermal effects: Only a minuscule sub-fraction of a BTU effect emerges in the isolated single-collision event, to be sure. But multiplied by all the maha-quindillions of subatomic particle emissions ongoing from exactly all the DU that has by now been shot from guns and left in nanoparticulate form in our atmosphere to drift about, things do add up. Lying in wait in the ground and our water too, subtly and silently a-warmin' all that nears any part of it, one dares assert from Old School physics deeply embedded.

    Gee. Heat is the inevitable result of the energy conversion no matter what, is all I know with certainty. So has anyone with full math skills yet calculated the aggregate daily input BTU value of this little-mentioned and daily-growing isotopic burden on us all? I have Googled myself weary on this to no avail, wonder of wonders!

    I think we had best have a real math-competent and non-faulty look at that wee item, hm? In full publick view. At once. I'll settle me mind right quick iffen I'm actually proved by HONEST GENUINE MEANS (thank you) to have been entirely mistaken inmy apprehension of this seems-quite-likely though barely-mentioned little factor.

    Of course, as touching upon the utterly deformed human babies being born alive every day these days to innocent mothers whose homes just happen to be situated in the Deployment Arena (also samesame for military-experienced combat-moms now redeployed home in order to give birth more safely than that), what with their tiny ears displaced two-three adult finger-breadths too low on their tiny jawlines, gaping sores where their poor bladders rightly belong, and their cute little brains just oozing from their wee eye-sockets: Now that is an entirely other matter indeed, now ain't it?

    The Boffin, because my own mastery of the mere English language does not quite provide me with the the advanced maths necessary for the appropriate and necessary first-order approximation for which I cry out from within the massive compassionate heart of Oasis El-Reg. I do think I just might have a right fair seat-o'-th'-trousers sense of exactly what I am pointing at, though.

    Anyone here who can and will have a right accurate go at this one, please? :)

  175. elderlybloke
    Pirate

    Simple Solution-if the problem exists

    Suppose for a moment that mankind(or personkind) is the cause of the alleged climate change/global warming, then there is a simple solution.

    Go for what the Chinese government is doing- limiting population.

    Even if the Hominids are not warming the planet , a lot less people means we will not continue to destroy the environment .

    We have roughly increased the world population fourfold in the past century.

    Any other animal that increases like that, eventually has a population crash.

  176. markuzick

    RE: MARK >heavy and clumsy hand of the state? <

    >>By Mark Posted Saturday 31st January 2009 11:54 GMT

    You mean the one that paid off the greedy and grasping hand of the Free Market billions for lying and scheming? You would leave the actions to someone whose only legal needs are the next quaterly report to the shareholders???<<

    Yes. That's the one, but I would hardy describe a state controled banking system as "free market". The financial crisis is a perfect example of the inevitable results of a meddlesome and heavy handed intrusion of the state into the marketplace.

    Do you want to see a climate crises that rivals the financial crises? Then just put the state in charge of the climate with a mandate to "Do something about it.". We'll be lucky if any of us gets out it alive.

  177. Mark
    Pirate

    WHUT????

    "So has anyone yet calculated the direct thermal input to our biosphere that has provided us all on Planet Earth,"

    Uh, what direct thermal input to your body does wearing a coat produce? What direct thermal input to your tomatoes do the glass walls of your greenhouse produce?

    The effect of CO2 is to increase the net radiation by 1.6W/sq m.

    Is that the answer you were asking for?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_forcing

  178. Mark
    Alien

    re:@Mark, about Arrhenius

    "Arrhenius, that mediaeval fellow, proved "a" CO2 effect, but not for the atmosphere. In the atmosphere gases are not stationary. Hot gases move up and cool"

    Do you know what the residency lifetime of the excited state of CO2 in the atmosphere? Collisions with other molecules (inelastic) transfer this energy in microseconds. Not enough time to lift, is it.

    "There is nothing in the climate computer models that take account of this."

    Uh, yes there is. Adiabatic lapse rate and localised lapse rate.

    "In any case, computer models are no good for predicting anything, because they only contain known mechanisms."

    And what effect does the unknown ones cause? None that are visible. And what if the unknown mechanisms make it WORSE? After all, they are unknown, so it is as likely that they are positive feedbacks that make the change worse, isn't it. And if there are a lot of these unknown mechanisms, without anything to do on (since they are unknown), it is likely they will cancel out.

    We don't know why we humans are self aware. Doesn't stop pshychologists being able to help with that self-awareness does it.

    "It is clear that you have not yet come to terms with this in your research."

    You have done no research. That may be why you think these things are effective: you thought the idea up or heard it and then just accepted as Gospel.

  179. Mike

    @Dave Errington

    "yet still fail to predict 6 months into the future"

    I was still under the impression that they cant really predict more than 5 or 6 days with any sort of certainty. Which does make me wonder why we listen to 50 year predictions?

    We dont need to look at nuclear fusion for limitless 'free' energy. Solar arrays in Saharan Africa will generate plenty of power alot cleaner than fossil fuels. Pipe it up with EHT power lines and the jobs a good un. Could be a golden opportunity to get away from Saud and patch things up with Libya.

  180. Mark

    re:Reading all this...

    a) Why should anyone do what an AC says? You don;'t even have the courage of your convictions to assign this pile of crap to a single identifiable entity.

    b) What is supposed to be gained by your demand anyway?

    If there's going to be a flood, then the ones saying there are will be punished for being right. If there isn't, then neither are punished.

    You make no sense and you hide in the crowd like a coward.

  181. Russ Williams
    Flame

    1.6W/sq.m

    So, uh, an increase of about 0.1% over the incoming solar radiation?

    Holy shit, we're all going to burn!

  182. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    "why we listen to 50 year predictions?"

    Tell you what, here's a five month prediction: It will be warmer in five months than today in the UK.

    How can I say that? It will be ***summer***.

    There will be rain. There will be hail. There will be some days even with sunshine. I cannot predict where it will rain in exactly 5 months from now, but that is weather.

    Summertime averages is CLIMATE.

    Climate != Weather.

  183. Mark
    Pirate

    @markuzick

    Tell me were there IS a free market.

    Grey imports illegal. Copyright, patent and trade secret used to hide information from the supposed informed consumer. Lies and hidden agendas from the accountants and C*O.

    Laws passed to ensure or help these companies.

    Please show me where there is anywhere a free market.

    IT DOES NOT EXIST.

    And all the actors you wish to see "fix" this are concentrating on what's profitable THIS QUARTER. How the hell are we to expect them to take a 10-year view of things? At least a political party can think about two or three terms of office into the future. Companies? Nope.

  184. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @Mark: 1/02/09, 15:41

    Mark,

    I don't usually post as AC, however I did so on this occasion as a matter of personal and professional caution, the reasons for which I have no intention of explaining to you or to any of the other argumentative children I regularly see posting to both sides of the climate change debate here on The Register and elsewhere.

    Do I believe in climate change? Yes.

    Do I believe it's a bad thing? That depends on the change.

    Do I believe that any current change is man-made? I don't know - and until all the people like you and your opponents on the other side of the debate stop yelling at each other and throwing massaged data, debatable models and dogma-based FUD around the place, it seems to me that it's going to be hard to judge one way or the other. That's assuming that anyone can, in fact, judge anything or make any kind of reliable prediction about a system as complex and chaotic as a planet's climate.

    That's what is beginning to annoy me about all the climate change arguments. I'm sure that there must be lots of interesting data and sound science being done out there in the field, but finding it in the midst of the arguing, pseudo-scientific babbling and political posturing is akin to the old needle in a haystack problem. And I (and I suspect many others) just can't be bothered with it any more. We've got other mundane day-to-day problems to deal with which, while possibly less important in the long-term, are far more urgent in the short-term. So we'll worry about saving the world later, OK? In the meantime, we'll do our bit in terms of recycling and trying to save energy and resources, but that's got as much to do with common sense and cutting the bills as it has with saving the planet.

    I mean, I know that Popper's "Logic of Scientific Discovery" is a bit idealistic, but I reckon that even Thomas Kuhn in his most "Structure of Scientific Revolutions" mood would think that the current climate change "debate" is becoming too tedious and too far-removed from the normal scientific method to take seriously any more.

  185. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @Mark, 01/02/09, 15:41 (Part 2)

    Sorry, I forgot to answer your specific questions in my previous reply to your comment.

    As to why anyone should do what an AC says, I will happily say that no-one needs to do any of it. I was merely expressing my frustration at the way in which any mention of climate change seems to lead to an endless outpouring of ad hominem arguments, straw men, vague generalisations, political point-scoring and overall muddying of the waters. I could, if I were feeling particularly cheeky, ask why anyone should ever have paid attention to what was written under the name of Publius a couple of hundred years ago - just as an example of the tradition of anonymous writings you understand - but I wouldn't wish anyone to think that I regard myself that highly. I most certainly do not.

    What is supposed to be gained by my demand is, however, easier to explain. Perhaps if all the people who currently seem to spend their time turning any climate change discussion into a release of heat, rather than light, were to go away - or, at least, shut up for a while, have a soothing drink of their choice and calm down a bit - then perhaps the issue could be examined more dispassionately to determine:

    a) whether there is indeed a real problem

    b) the magnitude of said problem

    and c) what, if anything, can or should be done about it.

    That's all I ask really. OK, so I may well just be a tired old Popperist at heart. Blame my science teachers.

  186. Mark
    Dead Vulture

    @Russ Williams

    The sun is at 6000K. do we want to be 0.1% warmer of that?

  187. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Colin: Re your reply to me

    Apologies for the delay, busy at weekends.

    I wasn't implying that there is too much or not enough CO2 in the atmosphere, I was being ambiguous about it to avoid my statements being hijacked or misconstrued.

    The point I was trying to make is that none of the MMGW arguments address the fact that there will necessarily have to be some degree of sacrifices made in order to reduce the CO2 produced by humans. It is assumed by those who advocate massive CO2 reductions that I would be perfectly happy to be cold, add 2 hours to my commute per day and holiday in Wales just on the say so of a group of people who *refuse* to provide the raw data upon which they make their statements. Remember doing maths at school? The correct answer is worth far fewer marks than the working out.

    Now, I agree that sooner or later we will have to move off burning fossil fuels as they will run out, but we are a long way from that stage and there is a big difference between having to stop burning fossils because they have run out and having to stop because it is destroying the planet. And an even bigger difference than to being forced to stop when there is no real need to do so.

    Humans definitely do add greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere, but the big questions are (1) is this necessarily a bad thing and (2) is the amount of these gasses added by humans actually making a difference

  188. Mark

    @Lee

    Lee, there are no guarantees there will need to be *sacrifices*. There *will* be need for *change*.

    Unless you're already making out like bandits with the current scheme (which necessarily means someone else is doing poorly), change doesn't mean sacrifice.

    I can walk to work.

    I may have to live in a more expensive or less amenable locale but in exchange I don't have to have a car, I get free exercise and I'm not affected by bad roads/bus breakdowns/rail strikes, etc.

    A change.

  189. Mark

    "as a matter of personal and professional caution"

    Hmm. Go tell PaulM and the other AC's that.

    They'll likely not call you out as having a secret vested interest in the debate because you agree with their stance, but hypocrisy is no stranger to them.

  190. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @Mark, 02/02/09, 11:24

    Good grief, you do make assumptions don't you?

    Considering the deliberately confrontational and crude tone of my original comment (which, as I have already mentioned elsewhere, was mainly a cry of frustration at the ludicrous conduct of some people in climate change debates both here and elsewhere), perhaps it might just be the case that "personal and professional caution" has more to do with general public presentation rather than implying that I have any vested interest in the matter one way or the other. OK?

    Just for the record, I am not now, nor have I ever been, engaged in climate change research on either side. I have no connection or affiliation with big oil companies, green pressure groups or any of the circus side-show that climate change has become. I honestly don't know what the true position is with respect to man-made effects upon the climate and - but for thinking that perhaps we should all treat the planet that we live on with a little more respect in general - neither do I care most days.

    When I have the time, in between living my life and getting on with all the day-to-day stuff, I would really like to find some reasoned and balanced information about climate change and try to come up with some kind of picture of what is going on for myself. However, in the current climate (pardon the pun), that is almost impossible to do. Raw data that hasn't been tweaked, massaged or otherwise fiddled in some way? Hard to come by. Decent scientific papers in reputable peer-reviewed journals? Plenty, but for every one that puts forward a strong case on one side, you can usually find at least one that puts forward an equally strong refutation or casts valid and reasonable doubts on the methods and models used. Bunkum, political sniping, hyperbole and overblown opinion pieces? Loads of it and none of it worth the paper that it is written on. Governmental reports? Lots of those too, but such documents are not exactly noted for presenting balanced assessments of ANY issue - ultimately they're political tracts, not scientific papers.

    So, in the interests of actually earning a living, creating employment, paying the bills and trying to get on with life, I shall continue doing my tedious, unimportant, ordinary things and I will continue wishing that many of the current climate change lobbyists - on BOTH sides - would just shut up, get on with the work and report back when they've got some kind of overall picture of the problem that can be presented and examined in an honest and open manner.

    That's not too much to ask is it?

    Oh...hang on, yes - it would appear that it is at the moment.

  191. markuzick

    @Mark

    [ Tell me were there IS a free market.]

    Everywhere and to whatever extent that people trade and cooperate on a voluntary basis. The free market is a component of all societies, even if it is often forced underground.

    [ Grey imports illegal. Copyright, patent and trade secret used to hide information from the supposed informed consumer. Lies and hidden agendas from the accountants and C*O.]

    [ Laws passed to ensure or help these companies.]

    Your examples are all caused by state interference into the workings of (legitimate) voluntary government (The individuals and their organizations that comprise the free market.), or outright fraud that is abetted by the pretence that the state is there to protect its subjects.

    [And all the actors you wish to see "fix" this are concentrating on what's profitable THIS QUARTER. How the hell are we to expect them to take a 10-year view of things? At least a political party can think about two or three terms of office into the future. Companies? Nope.]

    First of all: I don't want the future climate fixed unless there is actual proof that it needs fixing. If there is AGW, then it is very likely the reason that we haven't had an overdue ice age yet.

    Secondly: For profit enterprises are not "all the actors" in the free market. Non profit organizations devoted to scientific research and the arts, education, political reform and human or even animal welfare, as well as consumers who are informed by these groups and who can think ahead a lot further than a couple of terms into the future are the ones to do any fixing if it's needed.

    Thirdly: The greater the component of free market governance in a society, the wealthier and therefore the more likely it is that its members have the luxury of concerning themselves about things that go beyond day to day survival as well as the economic and technical prowess to address their concerns. Economic impoverishment doesn't help the environment.

  192. markuzick

    @ Anonymous Coward

    Just like when the state involves itself in religion as long as the state is involved in science it will always be corrupted by political machinations, so don't hold your breath waiting for your wish to come true.

  193. Mark

    @markuzick

    And what do you think lobbyists are? They are how commercial interests get included in the political system. In fact, as can be seen with the recent Labour Lords case, they ensure a common and widespread corruption in the political process.

    So anti-AGW screed is, if your reason for denying AGW is merely "politicians are corrupt and involved" is just as corrupt.

    You are then left with, as with any jury duty, the evidence.

    Who has most of it, who has to backtrack or counter their previous arguments and all that jazz that leads a jury of peers to find for one side or the other?

    If you want to be skeptical, act like a juror in a murder case.

    a) The murderer would say they didn't do it, even if they did. So they'll never bring up anything proving guilt.

    b) The prosecution are there to say he did it, whether he did or not. That's why they're called "the prosecution". So they would never bring up anything that proves innocence.

    And, even though BOTH SIDES are biased and corrupt, still we decide to arrest people for acts we never saw, purely on the balance of evidence.

    So where is the evidence on both sides? Are the anti side consistent in their counters? No. So when the know what's wrong, why not SHOW it? Without that, they have no evidence.

  194. Mark

    Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 2nd February 2009 12:47 GMT

    "Good grief, you do make assumptions don't you"

    cf:

    Paul M. Posted Thursday 29th January 2009 18:52 GMT

    Mark wriggles and Mark wiggles - but still won't say who his employer is.

    or

    Professional PR pretending to be an IT guy?

    By Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 29th January 2009 11:06 GMT

    (hang on YOU'RE an Anonymous Coward...)

    or

    Mark confesses who's paying him?

    By Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 29th January 2009 13:49 GMT

    (and so on. Oh, and you're an AC, too....)

  195. Paul M.
    Alert

    Mark works for Big Climate

    Months ago Mark let slip that he works for a climate institute - he just isn't honest enough to say so.

    My guess: the CRU at East Anglia, Tyndall or Hadley. There aren't many more in the UK.

    35 posts on this thread by Mark and counting. Keep it up mate, they might give you a pay rise.

  196. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @Mark, 02/02/09, 15:10

    Bloody hell.

    You've read the four or five comments that I have posted as an AC. With the exception of the first one (that was deliberately rather crude), you can probably identify them purely by the writing style. You can certainly identify them by the fact that each of them has simply been a reply to comments of yours, with titles of the form @Mark, <date>, <time> (Including one comment of yours at 11:24 that seems to have disappeared for some reason - don't know why, but I did reply to that one.)

    Anyway, the other lines that you quote come from other comments, all of them made by other people, some of whom also choose not to identify themselves (for whatever reasons). They did not come from me. Only the "...assumptions" one did. And the only assumption that I was referring to was the one you made that my anonymous posting implies that I am somehow involved in the whole climate change "community". I pointed out that this does not have to be the case and, in fact, is not.

    So, in the interest of trying to put an end to this pointless wittering, let me just explain clearly and succinctly that I don't give a flying clockwise toss who you work for. Nor indeed do I care much who anyone else works for. All I want, and I realise that this is probably a vain hope, is for all the vehement noisy buggers on both sides of the climate change debate to shut up for a while and just get on with the science until they've got some sensible data, models and answers that they can all broadly agree upon. Until that happens, there are countless other things to worry about that have already achieved some kind of sensible consensus and that need urgent attention.

    In summary, right now, I don't know and don't particularly care whether man-made climate change is happening or isn't happening. I honestly couldn't care less who turns out to be right and who turns out to be wrong. The current conduct of the climate change debate in the press and even in scientific publications is doing absolutely nothing to persuade me that I should bother one way or the other. BOTH sides seem to be looking and acting equally dumb at the moment. How's that?

  197. Mark

    PaulM, ask AC

    Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 28th January 2009 23:29 GMT

    He says he knows. Well implied it ("employed by a certain quango")

    Ergo, if you want to know who I work for, ask him. He seems to know better than me.

    PS I don't get paid to post here. Do you?

  198. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Dear Mark,

    Hello, Pad here again,

    I had no idea the posts on this article were still going. I arrived back here from a newer article.

    Since you were kind enough to respond, I’ll try and clear up any confusion you may have had in my original post.

    I tried to make it clear that I did not disagree that global warming was happening. After all, it is hard to ignore massive bits of ice breaking off at the poles and melting.

    My main concern was the accusations Dr John Theon made about the alleged secrecy of the data James Hansen has used to publish his results. I think that I broadly described what a scientific process should be. Granted I did not go into the details of it (the process). But, I can’t see anything wrong with posting that any scientist; having discovered a fact that has such far-reaching implications as to humankind’s effect on the climate of our planet should publish the data, the process used and the results. How else can any other scientists in the field: A. Judge the result and B. Improve on their data models?

    As to my suggestion of the magnetic fields weakening due to a “possible” polarity shift happening in the next few thousand years having a “possible” effect on climate change:

    First, I tried to post as many disclaimers as I felt I could in an already long post. I’ll quote from my original article:

    ”I’ll try for an example I just thought up. I’m a layman and don’t have a clue about the complexity of the problem. But just because I thought about it for five seconds, it does not mean that it could cause other, more knowledgeable people to wonder.”

    I’m not exactly saying this is a fact, am I? I’m not even saying it’s the cause, only that it “could” be a factor.

    Whatever you feel Mark, I wish you well. I’m not trying to bait you or antagonise you, it would seem that quite a few posters have already done that. I merely want you to know that I was not putting my head in the sand when it comes to climate change.

    Peace,

    Pad

  199. markuzick

    @Mark

    QUOTE:

    [ And what do you think lobbyists are? They are how commercial interests get included in the political system. In fact, as can be seen with the recent Labour Lords case, they ensure a common and widespread corruption in the political process.]

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It is a corrupt political process, one that is based on aggression or the initiation of force (the state), that creates the perverse incentives and moral hazards that leads to the corruption of individuals and businesses through a process of the survival of the fittest (the most corrupt) within a system that is the moral equivalent of a criminal gang.

    What else would you expect from a corporation, which, after all, is a creature of the state, than to use the state to maximise its profit and protect itself from competition.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    QUOTE:

    [ So anti-AGW screed is, if your reason for denying AGW is merely "politicians are corrupt and involved" is just as corrupt.]

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    That's funny, because I believe in AWG, but only as a very plausible but, so far, unsubstantiated hypothesis.

    My complaint is about the use of panic mongering as a tool to grab power that is so typical of politicians and bureaucrats.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    QUOTE:

    [You are then left with, as with any jury duty, the evidence.

    Who has most of it, who has to backtrack or counter their previous arguments and all that jazz that leads a jury of peers to find for one side or the other?

    If you want to be skeptical, act like a juror in a murder case.

    a) The murderer would say they didn't do it, even if they did. So they'll never bring up anything proving guilt.

    b) The prosecution are there to say he did it, whether he did or not. That's why they're called "the prosecution". So they would never bring up anything that proves innocence.

    And, even though BOTH SIDES are biased and corrupt, still we decide to arrest people for acts we never saw, purely on the balance of evidence.

    So where is the evidence on both sides? Are the anti side consistent in their counters? No. So when the know what's wrong, why not SHOW it? Without that, they have no evidence.]

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The burden of proof lies solely upon those whose justification for the exercise of aggression to suppress the peaceful activities of people are the claim that there is:

    1. significant impact upon global temperature caused by human activities that release CO2,

    2. that this impact is harmful, (I believe that it is probably a beneficial counter to catastrophic cooling.)

    3. that their interference will not cause greater harm than good

    4. and that people, if informed, are too stupid and evil to address the issue on a voluntary basis.(Cynicism about people is often a projection of one's own character upon others.)

  200. Paul M.

    Mark works for Big Climate

    "My guess: the CRU at East Anglia, Tyndall or Hadley."

    ....

    silence

    ....

    Interesting.

    So which is it, Mark?

  201. Pierre Silver badge

    Mark works for...

    Messrs AC, markuzick (et al.) said all I had to say that would have made sense, so I'll have to post some light entertainment instead.

    For the "Mark works for..." joke award, I propose:

    I don't know who Mark works for, but if it isn't El Reg, he's being ripped off. <Tah Tsinnnh>

    (laugher ensue. Theoretically.)

  202. Mark

    markuzick

    CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

    We produce a greenhouse gas when burning fossil fuels.

    That's the start.

    Proven.

    Now, you counter.

  203. Mark

    @Pad

    The original data is there.

    I *KNOW* that the data is available for free from the US Met Office (their remit requires it). But when someone like Theon says "Raw data" he's not talking about the figures like "Temperature", he's flim flamming you. He's talking about the data that has to be converted to temperature. Well, that's as useful as being given the height of the thermometer level from the bottom of the bulb. You can't tell.

    Then again, all those screaming for the data

    a) Couldn't understand it

    b) Wouldn't work with it anyway

    c) still want to do some fiddling with the data ("And NO data from an urban heat island) which is what they complain of others doing

    The raw data is out there. You go looking for it. If you can find it, you KNOW that Theon was lying. If I tell you, either you'll be satisfied with someone else telling you the answer or, if you're a denialist, just change what you define as "the data", rather like creationists trying to "prove" evolution doesn't happen:

    "Huh, how can birds be so suited for their environment? It MUST be God!"

    Darwin explains

    "Uh, OK, but how about the EYE? You can't make half an eye, can you? MUST be God!"

    Point out the pit viper sensory organs, simple and complex eyes and show that there is a spectrum of "eye" that works quite fine.

    "Uh, Mmmm. Ah! The Flagellum! It can't work without all its parts! It MUST BE GOD!"

    Point out that two protein chains that are useful in their own right combine and can make a flagellum.

    and so on.

    Look at how markuzick says "it's up to the prosecution to prove its case". But COMPLETELY avoiding that once the prosecution HAS its case, the *defence* must show how that the case shown by the prosecution is wrong.

    But the denialists STILL demand that they don't have to prove shit. Probably because they have no proof.

    Hey, markuzick, prove I have not shown the case for AGW. You accuse me of not having done so. So YOUR accusation MUST be proven.

    Prove it.

  204. Mark

    Raw data

    http://faculty.washington.edu/steig/nature09data/

  205. markuzick

    @Mark

    I've already said that I believe in AGW but:

    1. I believe that it's probably beneficial.

    2. I've read many articles that plausibly (to myself at least) debunk the claim that the earth is warming to a statistically meaningful extent and while there are other hypothosises, such as greater cloud cover that accompanies greater temperature that mitigates warming, I have some problems with them. E.g., why didn't cloud cover prevent global warming in past climate cycles?

    To me, the more plausible explanation is that AGW is counterbalancing a cooling trend, but I don't pretend to know any of this for a fact and I'm sceptical that anyone has anything more certain than, at best, an opinion on the subject or in a worse case, a dogmatic certainty.

    3. You are conveniently ignoring that the burden of proof that I required of you consisted of four parts,

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    QUOTING MYSELF:

    1. significant impact upon global temperature caused by human activities that release CO2,

    2. that this impact is harmful, (I believe that it is probably a beneficial counter to catastrophic cooling.)

    3. that their interference will not cause greater harm than good

    4. and that people, if informed, are too stupid and evil to address the issue on a voluntary basis.(Cynicism about people is often a projection of one's own character upon others.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    but the first part, even if you or I could prove it, is not sufficient cause for a power grab.

  206. Dr Stephen Jones
    Unhappy

    Is this official climate science, then?

    Earlier I wrote:

    "The burden of proof is on the person advancing the hypothesis. In this case, you must prove that it does. Shouting insultings like "denialist" at all counter arguments does not cut it."

    Now Mark writes:

    "CO2 is a greenhouse gas. We produce a greenhouse gas when burning fossil fuels. That's the start. Proven. Now, you counter."

    No, this does not help you. Mark you do not appear to realise that the hypothesis being advanced is not the greenhouse effect, but the unproven notion that human emissions add to the greenhouse effect to produce catastrophic climate change. Repeating a) dozens of times in a thread a day does not get you to b).

    Perhaps you see this now.

    You argue like a bad-mannered junior school pupil. Perhaps you have some adult learning problem? If it's the latter then I apologise, you do not have adequate supervision and that's not your fault.

    If you really are employed at a climate institute this reflects very poorly on climate science and your employer.

  207. markuzick

    An Interesting Article

    http://www.libertyunbound.com/archive/2008_09/contoski-warming.html

    In the letters section of the next issue some impressive attempts were made to debunk this article. To me, his reply was even more impressive than the original article. Unfortunately, a link to the letters section isn't available.

  208. Mark
    Boffin

    "Dr" Stephen Jones

    Nope, that's the START.

    Do you disagree with either proposition?

    a) CO2 is a greenhouse gas

    and

    b) We produce CO2 when burning fossil fuels

    Do you agree with both those statements.

  209. Mark
    Boffin

    @markuzick

    1. I believe that it's probably beneficial.

    For whom? Certainly not those in areas where the climate is already marginal. "I'm all right, Jack" is your screed?

    2. I've read many articles that plausibly (to myself at least) debunk the claim that the earth is warming to a statistically meaningful extent

    And these are? You demand proof but supply rumour yourself.

    To me, the more plausible explanation is that AGW is counterbalancing a cooling trend,

    And it doesn't appear to, does it, else the temperatures would not have gone up. You can check the records yourself.

    3. You are conveniently ignoring that the burden of proof that I required of you consisted of four parts,

    Nope, you didn't prove that was needed. Prove your accusation that all four are needed.

    To these points, I counter

    1. significant impact upon global temperature caused by human activities that release CO2,

    That is what is in the IPCC reports. If you don't trust them, do this:

    a) Get the total annual oil production worldwide.

    b) Ditto gas and coal

    c) Add them all up

    (note: all these are raw data and don't have to be retrieved from the IPCC report).

    d) How many tons of Carbon is that?

    e) Triple it (CO2 is three atoms)

    f) Divide by the surface area of the earth (geography, no climate science needed)

    g) This gives you the pressure of the CO2 we produce

    h) Compare with the pressure of 280ppm CO2 we had for 10,000 years.

    i) come back with your report

    You can now see for yourself what human effect there is on the CO2 concentrations without recourse to anything beyond what a 16-year-old will have been taught and can find out independently.

    This IS available in the IPCC report, so you're just seeing if they're wrong.

    2. that this impact is harmful, (I believe that it is probably a beneficial counter to catastrophic cooling.)

    Prove that. You make this statement but have no proof. You demand that when a statement is made, proof is needed. Do so.

    3. that their interference will not cause greater harm than good

    Define "harm" and "good". Moving the quadrillion infrastructure would be bad, would it not? And if you want to read an economists POV on this, read the Stern Report.

    So this one has been answered too. You need to refute the proof.

    4. and that people, if informed, are too stupid and evil to address the issue on a voluntary basis.(Cynicism about people is often a projection of one's own character upon others.)

    You seem to believe that only those with a vested economic interest in promoting AGW will promote AGW. Are you projecting too?

    The problem is that the first-world rich will have to pay NOW to save someone else in the third world LATER. When it comes to "MRR could damage YOUR child" the need for proof of that is irrelevant. Even if it's not known 100%, that's good enough when it concerns YOU or YOUR family NOW.

    Yet if it concerns someone else's family, especially in the future, 100% proof isn't quite enough.

    Self interest.

    So you have me projecting self interest. Seems to exist widely, though. And you project underhanded fraudulent activity to proAGW and are therefore underhanded and fraudulent yourself.

  210. markuzick

    Now I'm Saddend

    I've just reread the article to which I gave a link in my last post and now I'm not so sure that carbon emissions will save us from the next ice age. AGW fear mongering had the unintended effect of giving me some hope for temperature stability. Now I doubt a hypothesis that had given me a measure of comfort.

    http://www.libertyunbound.com/archive/2008_09/contoski-warming.html

  211. Dr Stephen Jones

    Absence of evidence

    Answering a simple question with more questions is typical of your immaturity Mark.

    Your hypothesis remains unproven.

  212. Mark

    I'm saddenend too

    When the link starts off with:

    "During the 20th century, the earth warmed 0.6 degree Celsius (1 degree Fahrenheit), but that warming has been wiped out in a single year with a drop of 0.63 degree C."

    Since the daily variability is about 2C, that "wipe out" could be itself wiped out tomorrow.

    Another case of "Climate? That's just weather, innit?".

  213. Mark
    Alien

    And talking of quangos

    That liberty site has the following people in it:

    David Boaz is executive vice president of the Cato Institute and the author of "Libertarianism: A Primer.

    Alan Ebenstein is author of "Friedrich Hayek: A Biography" and an adjunct scholar of the Cato Institute.

    Mmmm. Cato Institute...

    None of the rest seem to have any experience in what climate is either. Not even meteorology.

    And a remit that says:

    "A blog for people with a critically rational individualist perspective. We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future."

    So long as that critical rationality makes any government intervention in anything wrong, eh? So they would have anyone who says that concerted effort when it involves government is, necessarily wrong. They have a vested interest in denying AGW.

  214. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @PaulM: "My guess: the CRU at East Anglia, Tyndall or Hadley"

    Mark refuses to say which climate institute he works for, but he shouldn't be hard to track down. Just call up either CRU, Tyndall or Hadley asking for the astrophysicist working in IT support called "Mark".

    http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/general/contacts.shtml

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/contact/contact.html

    And ask why someone in IT support has time to post 50 times to every Reg story about climate!

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