back to article Google's Schmidt calls climate-change deniers 'liars'

Google chairman Eric Schmidt has a low opinion of climate-change skeptics and global-warming deniers. "You can hold back knowledge, but you cannot prevent it from spreading," Schmidt told his audience at his company's "How Green Is the Internet? Summit" in Mountain View on Thursday. "You can lie about the effects of climate …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Stop

    What's his angle?

    Could it be "put all your computing in our cloud, it's eco-friendly"? Probably. Someone tell Eric the problem is not denial of climate change, it's the FACT that there is no conclusive evidence that human acticity has fudge all to do with it. But if he wants to see a real liar, can I just say he is a very distinguished looking gent with an obvious and deep knowledge of climate science, and those glasses don't make him look like a cross between Himmler and a child molester.

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: What's his angle?

      "there is no conclusive evidence that human acticity has fudge all to do with it"

      You are right, there is no CONCLUSIVE evidence (I guess that means 'proof'). But there sure is OVERWHELMING evidence.

      1. Fluffy Bunny

        Re: What's his angle?

        The fact that the ocean's height hasn't changed in all the time the water level has been recorded shows where the evidence points.

        Oh, and yes the research who found this out DID get fired. When there's billions of dollars out there looking only for in favour of global warming, guess what the only thing you find is?

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. grantmasterflash

          Re: What's his angle?

          There's 1000x as much money involved in making greenhouse gases then there are in stopping people from making them. The economics argument never worked.

          1. hplasm Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: What's his angle?

            It does if you get paid to tell people to stop them. and then sit back and watch .

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What's his angle?

          @fb you're assuming that a rise in sea level is an inevitable outcome. It isn't.

          Hint. If you want to assert that global warming will have no significant impact then I won't argue, but to assert it isn't happening requires you to deny basic physica.

        4. PyLETS

          Re: What's his angle?

          "The fact that the ocean's height hasn't changed in all the time the water level has been recorded shows where the evidence points."

          There's archaeological evidence aplenty of flooded cities now underwater if a long enough period of measurement is considered. The historical evidence of inundations resulting from sea level rise after the last ice age includes the Atlantis and Noah flood legends. The evidence for ice ages also demonstrates massive potential for sea level rises and falls.

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: But there sure is OVERWHELMING evidence.

        Present it.

        1. JC_

          @hplasm

          Present it.

          Look for it. The evidence for anthropogenic climate change is in every single relevant scientific journal; the overwhelming consensus of the scientists who study climate is that it's happening.

          If you disagree, then the obligation is on you to show some evidence that makes your case credible, because it certainly isn't now.

          1. Mr Nobody 1
            Thumb Down

            Re: @hplasm

            One could equally say - look for the contra evidence. It's there, just not screaming "We are all going to die if you don't do what I tell you".

            This overwhelming evidence bollox has to stop. Like the man said - present it.

            1. JC_

              Re: @hplasm

              This overwhelming evidence bollox has to stop. Like the man said - present it.

              Okay, here you go:

              http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article

              We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics 'global climate change' or 'global warming'. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. In a second phase of this study, we invited authors to rate their own papers. Compared to abstract ratings, a smaller percentage of self-rated papers expressed no position on AGW (35.5%). Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the consensus.

              Now, for you deniers: put up or shut up.

              1. NomNomNom

                Re: @hplasm

                Here's a summary of the overwhelming evidence:

                http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @hplasm

                @JC_ If you are referring to the now discredited Cook paper try reading http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/21/cooks-97-consensus-study-falsely-classifies-scientists-papers-according-to the scientists that published them/ you might learn something about how the church of warming tries to twist everything in their favour.

              3. Adam Inistrator

                Re: @hplasm

                "

                http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article

                We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics 'global climate change' or 'global warming'. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. In a second phase of this study, we invited authors to rate their own papers. Compared to abstract ratings, a smaller percentage of self-rated papers expressed no position on AGW (35.5%). Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the consensus.

                "

                They are spinning ... lying. The study actually found that 97% (of those who expressed any opinion) had an opinion that humans are to blame for SOME global warming. ***SOME*** COULD BE ANY TINY FRACTION.

              4. PatientOne

                @JC_

                From your own quote.

                66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW

                32.6% endorsed AGW

                So do explain how 97.1% endorse humans are causing AGW?

                Or is that 97.1% of the 32.6% in which case we're not looking at overwhelming evidence of AGW. Instead the overwhelming evidence is that science doesn't yet have a position (66.4%)

                Or, to quote an aged saying: Lies, damn lies and statistics.

              5. Bob Armstrong
                Thumb Down

                Re: @hplasm

                Cook's article , http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article , was almost instantly debunked by a number of the authors he classified as AGW supporters in it . See http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/21/cooks-97-consensus-study-falsely-classifies-scientists-papers-according-to-the-scientists-that-published-them/ .

                The quote from Cook's paper itself says of the papers examined only " 32.6% endorsed AGW" .

                Schmidt needs to take a more skeptical look at his pals if he wants to see which side of the debate stinks with mediocrity , mud slinging and outright dishonesty .

              6. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @hplasm

                Not the Famous 97% !

                Apart from the outright lies and distortions in that paper, the faulty statistical treatment and the biased interpretations make that perhaps the most over-rated and deceitful "scientific" paper published since Nancy Oreskes was a girl.

                You put up a complete dud my friend.

          2. hplasm Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: @hplasm

            I make no case. You make a claim, the onus is on you to prove it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Boffin

      Re: What's his angle?

      @MB sez ' ..it's the FACT that there is no conclusive evidence that human acticity has fudge all to do with it.'

      OK, against my better instincts, I'll bite. Which one of these schoolboy physics facts (note that I don't shout) do you think is wrong :-

      (a) Greenhouses trap heat

      (b) CO2 is a greenhouse gas

      (c) Human activity emits significant quantities of CO2

      1. ratfox Silver badge
        Boffin

        @Nicho: not so simple

        The tricky part is showing how much the effect is. Otherwise, you can replace CO2 with methane, and blame it all on farting pigs. In fact, a common way to "buy carbon offsets" consists in trapping the farts of pigs.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Nicho: not so simple

          There is a lot of methane trapped in the ice caps and they're melting. This is a lot more disastrous than CO2.

        2. S4qFBxkFFg

          Re: @Nicho: not so simple

          "trapping the farts of pigs"

          Please explain how this actually works. All the methods I can think of are impractical, disgusting, immoral, or illegal. Most are all four.

      2. MattEvansC3

        Re: What's his angle?

        Clarify point (c) because if you are referring to human activity such as cars, etc then that's wrong seeing as the UN concluded that cattle produce more greenhouse gasses than all forms of transport combined. If you conclude that cattle raising is a human activity then its not wrong.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What's his angle?

          @mattevansc3 - you're right but the cattle produce mostly methane, not CO2. Still, I'll drop the word 'significant' if it bothers you. I don't believe it affects the argument. If the greenhouse effect is real then we are warming the planet. The open questions are:-

          (A) should we be concerned (or does the planet deal with it at no cost)

          (B) if we need to be concerned, can we do anything about it (or is our contribution to small to matter)

      3. Mr Nobody 1
        FAIL

        Re: What's his angle?

        Let me get that for you.....

        (a) Greenhouses trap heat and are a very poor model for the atmosphere

        (b) CO2 is an insignificant greenhouse gas

        (c) Human activity emits insignificant quantities of CO2

        Eric talks about fact-checking whilst Al's mates peer-review each others papers. Beyond mirth.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What's his angle?

          @mr nobody 1

          (a) fair enough

          (b) That's not what I asked - The question isn't one of degree but of kind

          (c) are you sure? There's an awful lot more than there used to be so where's it coming from ?

        2. NomNomNom

          Re: What's his angle?

          "Human activity emits insignificant quantities of CO2"

          Yeah right

          http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/image/9/1/carbon-variations.gif

        3. Mephistro Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: What's his angle? (@Mr.nobody 1)

          "(c) Human activity emits insignificant quantities of CO2"

          Given that in the last 50 years the atmospheric concentration has risen from ~300 PPM to ~400 PPM, I wouldn't call the amount of CO2 emitted by humans 'insignificant'

          AGW Deniers seem to think that carbon sinks and forcing will keep global warming in check forever, but that is just wishful thinking. Even if the actual amount of atmospheric CO2 weren´t big enough to cause Global Warming, those 2 billion people that soon will reach First World CO2 (and methane) production levels will make things different, so Schmidt has a valid point.

          "(b) CO2 is an insignificant greenhouse gas"

          CH4 is a by-product of many human activities - e.g. cattle raising, mining, oil extraction, heavy industry... - and much of it is related to energy consumption, just like CO2. What's more, when CH4 burns or is dissociated by sunlight, it produces CO2, so both problems are related and and have the same solutions/workarounds.

          There exist also several methane sinks, but when they fail they fail catastrophically, e.g. permafrost and methane hydrates (google 'Storegga' for more details).

          1. PatientOne

            Re: What's his angle? (@Mr.nobody 1)

            "Given that in the last 50 years the atmospheric concentration has risen from ~300 PPM to ~400 PPM, I wouldn't call the amount of CO2 emitted by humans 'insignificant'"

            That is somewhat debatable. Records of atmospheric CO2 preindustrial revolution put CO2 at @400ppm. We are currently at 387ppm. Those initial readings were from scientists who were nobel prize winners, yet they have been ignored in the push to promote a sharp rise in CO2 since 1850. Indeed, most who wish to promote the increase claim CO2 stood at @290ppm in 1850.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's his angle?

        @Nicho, They may be facts but taken by themselves or in combination they add up to diddy squat.

        a) Greenhouses trap heat Agreed, so you are saying the earth is in a large glass sphere?

        (b) CO2 is a greenhouse gas Yes, they use about 800 ppm in greenhouses to help the plants to grow. You did know it was a plant food didn't you? In fact the increase in CO2 is the driving force behind the greening of the deserts.

        (c) Human activity emits significant quantities of CO2 Significant compared to what? One active volcano outputs more CO2 with one eruption than mankind has since the industrial revolution.

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: What's his angle?

          "One active volcano outputs more CO2 with one eruption than mankind has since the industrial revolution."

          Wrong. Very wrong.

        2. Leslie Graham

          Re: What's his angle?

          "...One active volcano outputs more CO2 with one eruption than mankind has since the industrial revolution,,,"

          Complete and utter denierblog garbage. Just laughable nonsense as any ten year old could tell you.

          Humans emit 100 times more CO2 than all the Earth's volcanos - both surface and subsea - combined.

          Volcanos = on averge 300 million tons per annum

          Humans = 35 BILLION tons per annum.

          This is a simple observable measurable fact that anyone can look up in seconds.

          This 'volcanos meme' is usefull for showing up the jaw-dropping ignorance and gullibility of some of the more extreme denialist cult devotees. It is so completely obvious that it is total junk that it hardly even merits a serious reply.

          It orginates in Ian Plimers laughable 'book' (like a lot of the deniermyths' but even he doesn't say that. He was refering to the Siberian Traps volcanic event - the largest known volcanic event of the last 500 million years of Earth's geological history.

          They continued for a MILLION years and spanned the Permian–Triassic boundary, about 251 to 250 million years ago.

          That the denia machine have somehow managed to twist this even into the 'volcanos meme' is bad enough but the fact that there are a few mind-meltingly ill-informed bozos out there who not only fall for this junk but make idiots of themselves by repeating it - well - it's just shaming to the whole country.

          At least get yourself familar with the absolute basics because as it stands your ignorance is an embarrasment even to the denial industry.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Paris Hilton

          Re: What's his angle?

          @ivan 4 - <sign> I knew it was a mistake to bite on this - for some reason it brings out the idiot in people.

          OK for the record , no I do not think earth is in a big glass sphere.If it was the first sputnik would have showered us with broken glass - or bounced. You second point is irrelevant. CO2 is either a greenhouse gas or it isn't. That is a matter of basic physics and plants do not alter the answer. As to the third, significant means enough to have a measurable impact on the atmospheric concentration.

          So if we can agree on the basic physics ( and yes, modelling the atmosphere as a greenhouse is simplistic and I'm quite open to an alternative - backed by facts and research if you please) then there can be no question that the planet is trapping more energy. All that is left is to argue whether there is any noticsble effect and if so, whether we can or should do anything about it.

          Paris, because I should never have entered her either ..

      5. PatientOne

        Re: What's his angle?

        @Nicho

        Okay, I'll bite:

        C is wrong

        Human activity accounts for @5.5% of CO2 emissions. However, this is not the issue: It's the increase in fossil fuel CO2 that is, and that's only a proportion of the 5.5%, and while it might be a significant proportion, and is on the increase, that does not mean that human activity overall is a significant contribution to CO2 emissions.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What's his angle?

          @patientone - why do you believe we should only count fossil fuels ? I can assure you that CO2 is magnificently fungible and doesn't care where it comes from.

          For the record, if you're correct about the 5.5% then I'd agree that's not really significant. Got a reference to back that up?

          1. PatientOne

            Re: What's his angle?

            @Nocho

            Fossil fuels keep coming up as the largest component of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, followed by deforestation. And cutting CO2 emissions from power generators and transport is supposedly the main way to meet our targets for reducing CO2 emissions.

            Now, personally I think we should plant trees to replace those cut down, but that's as much to do with engineering as CO2. Trees are really important to the environment, and to engineering, so we really don't want to keep cutting them down else we'll see massive increases in flooding and droughts... oh, we are, aren't we... and we've been cutting down a lot of trees in those areas, too... ah, well, hopefully the survivors will learn.

            As for the 5.5% - that's the figure I see quoted most often when I read up into what we're producing and what impact we're having. So, have you considered looking it up yourself?

            Seriously, that's all I did: I took some time to do some research to find out what I didn't know. And to check up what I thought I knew. You just have to be careful and double check figures, which is a pain, but the internet is there to help you after all.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's his angle?

        @Nicho,

        Ok, against my better instincts, I'll bite. Which one of the following schoolboy physics facts (note that I don't shout) do you think is wrong :-

        (a) limestone traps the most carbon from the atmosphere, not trees or fossil fuels. limestone formation significantly increases during high carbon periods across geological time (note high carbon periods have repeatedly existed across geological time) providing significant negative feedback

        (b) the biggest greenhouse gas is water vapour. water vapour is ridiculously hard to model because as clear vapour it is a greenhouse gas with a potency significantly higher than CO2, but as clouds it contributes to cooling. greenhouse forcing through CO2 is negligible against things like water vapour

    3. Lars Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: What's his angle?

      Does it matter, we have polluted oceans and seas, and that can be easily proved. Global warming or not, due to us or something else, why should we not try to stop polluting the air too. We are so damned good at polluting, any normal person will have some one hundred chemicals in his blood because of us, and nobody else.

      1. Bob Armstrong
        FAIL

        Re: What's his angle?

        What's that got to do with the building block of life , CO2 ?

        Focus , Lars , focus .

  2. Phil.T.Tipp

    Cuts both ways, Schmidt.

    "You can lie about the effects of climate change, but eventually you'll be seen as a liar."

    The angry watermelons and angsty chicken-licken hippies ought to take note.

    1. Rik Myslewski

      Re: Cuts both ways, Schmidt.

      "Angry Watermelons"? Weren't they a ska band out of Bristol in the late 70s?

    2. NomNomNom

      Re: Cuts both ways, Schmidt.

      watermelons is a label that became popular among climate deniers. I am sure most of them don't even realize its racist roots.

      1. Phil.T.Tipp
        Thumb Down

        Re: Cuts both ways, Schmidt.

        Watermelons are green on the outside red on the inside. That's a political metaphor. Radical marxists in green clothing. There's no insinuation of race in that statement.

        The usage of lefty-whine touchstones, a glib association of 'deniers' with 'racists' paints a very clear picture of your shallow hate-thought - as ever, this subject brings the green ideologue bile to the surface.

        Dontcha just hate it when rightfully held alternative opinion, science and fact gets in the way of agenda and diktat comrade?

  3. kirovs
    Flame

    Climate change deniers

    "Your plane has only 10% chance of crashing.

    Have a nice flight!

    In the mean time I hope my CO2 rich stock shares go up."

    It it the good old: "Après moi, le déluge".

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whether Google's Schmidt really believes this or not....

    ...There's sure to be a Google Business plan and Data Collection angle. Whether its from monitoring and compiling map data. To Google Probes in the wild sending back data to feed the G monster....

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: Whether Google's Schmidt really believes this or not....

      Perhaps Google can predict the climate by analysing search results. Hey, don't knock it. With market stats all you need is a buyer.

  5. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    Open letter to Eric Schmidt

    You can lie about the effects of privacy invasion, but eventually you'll be seen as a liar. In your case Eric, that was months ago.

  6. mememine69
    Happy

    Climate Blame was Liberalism's Iraq War and Science gave us Pesticides dont' forget.

    Get up to date:

    *Occupywallstreet now does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by politicians."

    I’d say stop scaring our kids but even they are laughing and the only crisis you remaining believers have to fear is how your grandkids will explain how you threw them under the bus at the grunt of a headline.

    Science agrees climate change itself is; “real and happening” but only COULD be a crisis. If they can’t say it WILL be a catastrophic crisis after 28 years then it’s just proof it won’t be a catastrophic crisis.

    They can’t say their comet hit of a climate change crisis is as real as they love to say comet hits are.

    "Former" climate blame believers are better planet lovers, we don't fear monger our own kids just to make sure they stay environmentally aware and turn the lights out more often. Now who's the neocon again here? Did bush utter CO2 death threats to my kids?

  7. Dr. Ellen
    Pint

    The Sky is Warming!

    There's really little doubt Earth has warmed somewhat -- as it did during the Medieval Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period, the Cretan warm period ...

    There's even a possibility humans may have a hand in it.

    But whence the tooth-gritting, neck-tensing insistence that this will be a catastrophe? The Middle Ages were a happier place before the Little Ice Age settled in, and the Holocene Climatic Optimum was even better -- and warmer. The Sahara was green. We're a lot cooler now, and I see no reason a bit warmer world would be a bad thing.

    1. Don Jefe
      Pint

      Re: The Sky is Warming!

      It may not be a bad thing, no one knows. What is certain is that is changing and the hardest thing for people to deal with is change.

      I do not think Humans as a species will be destroyed, but the balance of power among civilizations might be significantly altered: We'll see. I would miss the snow though.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Sky is Warming!

      Warming melts the ice caps, which in turn dilutes the oceans and in the case of the UK the increase in salt levels affects the gulf stream, turning the UK weather a lot more Siberian in climate.

      We had a taste of what is in store earlier in the year with some of the coldest March temperatures on record.

    3. NomNomNom

      Re: The Sky is Warming!

      "The Middle Ages were a happier place before the Little Ice Age settled in"

      Oh it was all happier before the renaissance. Sure. Such myth making.

  8. jake Silver badge

    And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?

    ::crickets::

    That's what I thought. Chicken Little, crying "wolf", etc. etc. ... it's getting old. Don't TELL me, SHOW me. To date I haven't seen conclusive evidence that humans are playing a roll in climate change ... Except maybe Al Gore and Eric Schmidt's personal $LARGEJETS, of course.

    During the meanwhile, as we enter another Maunder minimum ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?

      And yours is?

      1. jake Silver badge

        @Robert Long 1 (was: Re: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?)

        I'm not claiming to know one way or the other, <atkinson>Bob</atkinson>.

        Schmidt is. See the difference?

    2. grantmasterflash

      Re: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?

      Have you looked for conclusive evidence or just haven't seen any because you didn't SEE any? When 95% of the worlds climate scientists agree I have a tendency to take notice. Maybe Google did too since they have a tendency to search for stuff.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @grantmasterflash (was: Re: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?)

        Do you dispute and/or refute that Earth's climate has run quite a bit colder, and quite a bit warmer than it is today, within human written history?

        If the temperature extremes of 1814's winter occur this winter, the Thames will freeze. Likewise, nobody's growing wine grapes between Hadrian's Wall and the Antonine Wall anymore, despite the fact that The Romans demonstrably were.

        Why is this true? You don't know. Neither do I. But them's facts, nonetheless. Trying to place blame on humans for Global Warming (or cooling, for that matter) is as daft as blaming tomatoes for contracting rust or TPR.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @grantmasterflash (was: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?)

          "Likewise, nobody's growing wine grapes between Hadrian's Wall and the Antonine Wall anymore, despite the fact that The Romans demonstrably were."

          Well, this one comes up quite often but it seems to me to be an economic question. I don't know if it's possible to grow grapes there - although I'd not be surprised if some ancient type of grape could be - but I do know that transporting wine from anywhere in the entire world to the UK today is cheaper today than transporting it from France to Newcastle was in the days of Roman rule, so local growing was more attractive even if the quality was low. Combine that with yield changes over 2000 years of vine breeding and changes in tastes (would anyone today want to drink wine from the sort of grapes that will grow in Scotland?) and the grape-growing argument seems to me to fade off into the box marked "needs more research".

          1. jake Silver badge

            @Robert Long 1 (was: Re: @grantmasterflash (was: And Eric Schmidt's climatological ::snip:: ...)

            "I don't know if it's possible to grow grapes there"

            And yet you, <atkinson>Bob</atkinson>, seem to think you are qualified to comment on the situation? Are you capable of understanding why educated people might have a problem with your commentary, <atkinson>Bob</atkinson>?

            1. NomNomNom

              Re: @Robert Long 1 (was: @grantmasterflash (was: And Eric Schmidt's climatological ::snip:: ...)

              It doesn't matter that the Earth was warmer or colder in the past.

              What matters is the cause of warming today. Humans are warming the planet. As human emissions continue the warming will continue and global temperature will become far higher than any time in millions of years.

              So it doesn't matter whether the Earth was warmer or colder in the past than NOW. What matters is that the temperature in 100 years time is very likely to be far warmer than anything in millions of years.

              Good luck predicting the effect of suddenly lurching the climate into a new state like that. In a sci-fi book what we would be doing would be called Uncontrolled Terraforming. Good luck hoping for a good ending.

              As for the wine argument, there are actually more vineyards in england today than the middle ages. So if that counted as a proxy for temperature..

              1. jake Silver badge

                @NomNomNom (was: Re: @Robert Long 1 (was: @grantmasterflash (was: And Eric Schmidt's ::snip:: ...)

                "What matters is that the temperature in 100 years time is very likely to be far warmer than anything in millions of years."

                Oh, my. Are we really that deluded as a species? Stop the world, I want to get off.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Robert Long 1 (was: @grantmasterflash (was: And Eric Schmidt's climatological ::snip:: ...)

              "And yet you, <atkinson>Bob</atkinson>, seem to think you are qualified to comment on the situation? Are you capable of understanding why educated people might have a problem with your commentary, <atkinson>Bob</atkinson>?"

              You have turned the argument around and in the process lost the point. We're not arguing about grape growing in Scotland. We're arguing about climate change. You put forward grape growing as evidence of something. I pointed out that it was not clear to me what it was evidence of. If you can't clarify that then it is not useful information in the debate we're actually having (ie, the one that's not about growing grapes in Scotland).

              Meanwhile, scientists have published stats and papers about climate change which we can all read and evaluate. That's what makes us all "qualified" to judge what the truth is. Indeed it is one of the processes which marks science out from religion - we don't have to wait for the priests to tell us what the truth is.

              My original sarcastic remark was in reference to a post that implied that Eric Schmitt is not a high priest and should therefore know his place, while you, of course, remained by implication in a privileged position as a judge of who is allowed and who is not allowed to speak on this subject.

          2. Don Jefe

            Re: @grantmasterflash (was: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?)

            Robert Long 1 is correct, grapes are quite hardy and will grow in lots of places where you don't see them now. Our tastes in wine have changed radically since Roman times. The white grapes the Romans were using and the soil and climate would render wine from there awful by the standards of the modern palette.

            Just like there is a market for wine with screw off lids and malt liquor today, there would have been a market for inexpensive locally grown wine and grappa-esque beverages then with higher quality wines brought at high cost from the other side of the empire.

        2. dilbert77
          FAIL

          Re: @grantmasterflash (was: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?)

          http://grist.org/climate-energy/climate-is-always-changing/

        3. PatientOne

          Re: @grantmasterflash (was: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?)

          "If the temperature extremes of 1814's winter occur this winter, the Thames will freeze."

          This is actually false. The Thames has been dredged and widened making a freeze far less likely. The dredging was to allow shipping to get further up river.

          "Likewise, nobody's growing wine grapes between Hadrian's Wall and the Antonine Wall anymore, despite the fact that The Romans demonstrably were."

          False. There are some small vineyards in the area. The problem is it isn't profitable to do this on a larger/commercial scale due to the availability of cheaper imported wines.

          However, yes, the earth has run hotter and colder, be it within or outside of human written history, and it will no doubt continue to fluctuate in the future, even when we're gone.

        4. eulampios

          Vinum Boreum Romanum

          You say "Romans made and drank good wine a couple millennia ago", I say "Polar Bear managed to survive for a couple million years through a dozen of ice ages might get extinct due to the unprecedented loss of the arctic ice and dwindling their habitat in the industrial era".

          Warmer weather in the Northern and Middle Europe depends heavily on the oceanic currents. Compare the climate of Paris, France latitude across the globe, the 49th parallel North that is. Nowhere can you grow such (tasty) vineyard crops, except in Europe. I might be wrong and Canadians in Manitoba, Russians in Sakhalin do it too :)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?

        It's funny how people believe scientists when they're creating very complex machines and technology. Hadron Collider etc. But when they're modelling the weather it's all "no, I don't believe you".

        1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: It's funny how people believe scientists when they're creating very complex machines

          Scientists don't "create" complex machines, engineers build complex machines.

          That's the difference between science and engineering.

          Now the difference between scientists and climate scientists?

          Real scientists observe data, make a hypothesis, test with actual data and, if it agrees with the hypothesis create a theory based on actual observations. This theory can be disproved and then further refined.

          By past example (observable data!) climate "scientists" create a hypothesis to suit current funding fashions, test with real data, then fudge the data when it does not meet their preconceived conclusion (hockey stick, yamal etc.) and, then when their methods and data a questioned start a witch hunt or subvert the peer review process (HADCRU emails).

          1. eulampios

            @Omgwtfbbqtime

            Scientists don't "create" complex machines, engineers build complex machines.

            You can get further by stating " Engineers don't build complex machines, construction workers build complex machines."

            Did you realize, that colliders were designed by the experimental physicists first long time ago (yet I am sure that even back then they were helped by both engineers and workers to build them). It sure wasn't some engineer offering a physicist to construct a thing that the latter might find useful for ... something.

            to suit current funding fashions,

            "funding fashion" vs. "industrial lobby" -- guess who's got more funds to back?

            My question is if you're alright with the images made by the Hubble satellite and how those are interpreted by NASA (and other) scientists to allegedly drive more funding by that, why do you get so skeptical when they switch to satellites monitoring the Earth and interpret those in addition to the glaciologists', geologists' and paleoclimotologists' job -- all hoping for more funds as well?

        2. Adam Inistrator

          Re: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?

          model != machine and climate scientist != physicist

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?

        @grantmasterflash

        They would say that wouldn't they, especially when their government grants depend on it.

    3. eulampios

      Re: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?

      To date I haven't seen conclusive evidence that humans are playing a roll in climate change ...

      I am being curious, which evidence would you consider conclusive enough?

      Here's what I see as quite conclusive evidence:

      1. CO_2 levels 30% above the maximum for over hall million years -> check?

      2. Quite rapid melting glaciers, Arctic ice (30-50% w/r to the estimated averages) , oceanic ice as well, receding permafrost -> check?

      Losing Arctic ice causes a chain of devastating reactions, such as:

      - making many species of Arctic fauna and flora extinct; Polar Bear that was able cope with many ups and downs of the last ice ages might not make it into the next century

      --decreasing the Arctic albedo (a factor to be reckoned with)

      --thawing of methane clathrates in permafrost

      --oceanic methane hydrates capable of multiplying the effects many times

      Since methane is a much more greenhouse friendly gas than carbon dioxide is.

      3. warming, acidifying oceans triggering mass extinction of some marine species (and making flourish of some other ones) -> check?

      4. temperature and ocean levels rise -> check?

      ...and more

      Yes, and there's so much pollution everywhere, deforestation and fishing etc.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @eulampios (was: Re: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?)

        I'll simply deal with so-called "rising ocean levels" in this one ...

        I own a drilled-into-the-rock iron-ring tidal mooring on the Noyo River in Northern California. My Great Grandfather claimed it in 1872. From what I can tell from Family History (and our planting & fishery records are pretty complete), there has been exactly zero change in ocean level over the last 140 years or so.

        Again, don't TELL me, SHOW me. Frankly, I'm not seeing it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?

        Long on wordy hearsay, media hype and speculation and short on genuine science. The facts are:

        1) The earth's global mean temperature, (NASA data), has increased by less than 1 degree Celsius in the last 100 years.

        2) The earth's global mean temperature has not increased at all in the last 17 years or so, (NASA data)..

        Good science allows you to make accurate predictions. From the infamous 'hockey stick' curve onwards the so-called global warming science has failed to make a single correct prediction and must therefore be regarded as bad science. The percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere is still only c. 25 times less than the percentage of the noble gas Argon, for instance. There is NO scientific evidence that the presence of CO2 in these quantities has produced even a fraction of a degree of global warming, The earth's climate is cyclical and dependent on variables such as solar activity, but there is no evidence that earthly atmospheric CO2 levels at current levels has had any effect on global mean temperature, quite the reverse.

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?

          "The earth's global mean temperature has not increased at all in the last 17 years or so, (NASA data)"

          Using NASA data I find a trend of 0.101 +- 0.121C/decade over the last 17 years. How is that "no increase at all"?

          http://www.skepticalscience.com/trend.php

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?

            @NomNomNom, You are ZedsDeadBed alter ego and I claim my £5

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?

            "Using NASA data I find a trend of 0.101 +- 0.121C/decade over the last 17 years. How is that "no increase at all"?"

            See that +/-? Know what it means?

            The mind absolutely boggles ...

            1. NomNomNom

              Re: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?

              It means you cannot rule out as much as 0.222C/decade increase in the last 17 years at 2 sigma.

              Which means you can't claim "there's been no increase at all"

              Right?

          3. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
            FAIL

            re Using NASA data I find a trend of 0.101 +- 0.121C/decade over the last 17 years

            You do notice the margin for error is larger than the mean increase?

        2. Bluegrasschick
          Happy

          Re: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?

          1) The earth's global mean temperature, (NASA data), has increased by less than 1 degree Celsius in the last 100 years.

          2) The earth's global mean temperature has not increased at all in the last 17 years or so, (NASA data)..

          Would you happen to have links!!??? Thank you SO much! I'm just learning about this(deeper, anyway), and I want to investigate both sides of the debate.

          Thank you, again!

          Sunny

      3. Squander Two

        Re: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?

        Here is one example of a bit of evidence that appears to have been fixed in a non-scientific manner. One of the world's leading polar bear experts, who has been living in the Arctic studying them for thirty-odd years, had his invitation to a relevant conference revoked because of his insistence that polar bear numbers are at a thirty-year high. His evidence didn't fit the narrative, so was disallowed. (No, I can't remember his name, sorry.)

        Frankly, I find it astonishing that tech people such as Reg readers would accept findings based on results from software models. Anyone's who's worked in software development: would you trust a piece of software to run a country? If not, why base the running of every country on the planet on computer model results?

        I am sick of being told I'm unscientific because I agree with Feynman.

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?

          You thinking of this?

          http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/07/02/christopher-bookers-misinforma/

          "Anyone's who's worked in software development: would you trust a piece of software to run a country? If not, why base the running of every country on the planet on computer model results?"

          Computer models are being used to inform. Humans are still running things they are just using all available information to make decisions. Similar to how a pilot "runs" a plane and the software helps (hmm maybe not a great analogy..i guess software can actually run the whole plane)

          1. Squander Two

            Re: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?

            If you don't like Christopher Booker's reporting, go straight to the source:

            http://www.fcpp.org/publication.php/2571

            Mitchell Taylor seems to me like a pretty sober and serious scientist, and he clearly accepts a lot but not all of what's in the IPCC reports, he doesn't think climatology is bollocks, he thinks the climate is changing, he thinks CO2 may be responsible for some degree of climate change in some regions but doesn't think it's the driving factor in the Arctic, which is his particular area of expertise, and he knows for a fact that polar bear populations are increasing. That last fact is enough for him to be refused admission to a conference, because his views are "unhelpful".

            If the facts can speak for themselves, why suppress dissent?

            1. NomNomNom

              Re: And Eric Schmidt's climatological background is ... What, exactly?

              You claim: "That last fact is enough for him to be refused admission to a conference, because his views are "unhelpful". If the facts can speak for themselves, why suppress dissent?"

              You have no evidence for this claim other than Christopher Booker's article. Tell me again why you trust Christopher Booker's reporting?

  9. WatAWorld

    Eric Schmidt? You mean the guy who told me my data was secure and then let other people look at it?

    Eric Schmidt? You mean the guy who told me my data was secure and then let other people look at it?

    The guy whose company is in cahoots with the NSA on spying on us all?

  10. dmazed

    based on the facts, no?

    Maybe I don't get the concept, up is down, and left is right correct. This chart must be upside down.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/06/still-epic-fail-73-climate-models-vs-measurements-running-5-year-means/

  11. Jameskeptic

    Yes, the internet spreads knowledge

    "You can lie about the effects of climate change, but eventually you'll be seen as a liar."

    That's certainly true.

    Those who claim that every bad bit of weather was "caused" by global warming.

    Those who say the current rate of temperature rise is unprecedented.

    Those who say the arctic ice will all be gone in a couple of years.

    They will soon be seen to be liars. In fact they already are by many people, thanks to the internet.

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: Yes, the internet spreads knowledge

      This is how climate skeptic talking points work.

      Jameskeptic complains of "Those who say the arctic ice will all be gone in a couple of years".

      Here's the situation in the Arctic. The Arctic sea ice minimum each year is trending downwards towards zero at quite a sharp rate, seemingly accelerating in the past 10 years. Here's a graph of the decline so people can get a feeling for what's happening:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/ice-models-reality.jpg

      The graph also shows model predictions of the ice, which have been predicting the ice will be all gone by 2100 or middle of the century at a push. Most scientists when asked now tend to predict it could reach zero about 2030. A few scientists have hypotheses that predict it could be gone a lot sooner, but they justify that based, they don't just pull it out of a hat. They argue for example that as the ice is thinning the extent decline will collapse exponentially (which kind of explains the acceleration in the data). They aren't saying their hypotheses are certain. They are just offering the hypothesis.

      What's wrong with that? Well jamesskeptic accuses them of lying. Nevermind that he's deliberately picked the most extreme prediction and is using it to distract from the actual problem in the arctic. He's pointed a finger at the most extreme prediction he can and painted it as a certain prediction not a hypothesis.

      The amusing thing will be that if the arctic sea ice reaches zero in 2020, rather than 2015, climate skeptics will be going "AHA! THEY WERE WRONG!! (referring to one person who predicted 2015) even as Arctic weather systems shift around us.

      1. Squander Two

        Re: Yes, the internet spreads knowledge

        Two things. Firstly, the climate-change lobby don't talk of their hypotheses as hypothetical. When it comes to state action, they insist that the hypotheses are concrete predictions and they insist on exactly what the governmental action must be in order to avert the "impending" "catastrophe". If they want to use the "Hey, it's only a hypothesis" defence, they need to stop telling our leaders to cripple our economies on the basis of "It's not a hypothesis! It's happening! Right now! We're running out of time! We're all going to die unless you do what I say RIGHT NOW!" As long as they insist on getting involved in politics, they lose the right to complain when political arguments are used against them.

        Secondly, these hypotheses are coming from people who have yet to make a correct prediction. I broadly trust the weather forecast, even though it's often completely wrong, because meteorologists have a track record of making correct predictions more often than incorrect ones and a long-term trend of improving accuracy. Climatologists have never yet accurately predicted the climate. I believe the ability to do so will be valuable, and so they should keep working at it. Until they've succeeded, even just once, they should stop demanding that we base our entire planet's economy on their guesswork.

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: Yes, the internet spreads knowledge

          Climatologists in the successfully predicted that rising CO2 would cause warming, before CO2 was known to be rising, in the 80s they successfully predicted the world would warm since then.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Squander Two

            Re: Yes, the internet spreads knowledge

            No, they predicted that rising CO2 would cause warming as long as the CO2 kept rising. Then CO2 rose and there was some warming; then CO2 continued to rise and the warming stopped.

            1. Mephistro Silver badge

              Re: Yes, the internet spreads knowledge (@ Squander Two)

              "CO2 rose and there was some warming; then CO2 continued to rise and the warming stopped."

              Which fits nicely with the fact that climate is a complex, chaotic and non-linear system. What you're watching here is probably an effect of carbon sinks, global water streams and wind. Now, no one -or should I say 'no one in his right mind'- has dared to say that these phenomena will keep global warming away forever.

              1. Squander Two

                Re: Yes, the internet spreads knowledge (@ Squander Two)

                "Which fits nicely with the fact that climate is a complex, chaotic and non-linear system."

                The cessation of warming fits just as nicely with the hypothesis that climate is a complex, chaotic, non-linear system as it does with the hypothesis that warming is not in a catastrophic positive-feedback loop that will fry the planet and doom humanity. Or, of course, both.

                Last I heard, no-one yet knows whether climate is a chaotic system -- climatologists suspect it is, but they don't know. Are you aware that climatologists have now proven that climate is chaotic? Your use of the word "fact" implies some confidence.

              2. Squander Two

                Re: Yes, the internet spreads knowledge (@ Squander Two)

                And, besides, you're getting this backwards. If you have made a number of correct predictions Pn based on hypothesis A, then you make prediction P1 based on A and P1 proves to be incorrect, you can come up with theory B about why A is still correct despite P1 being incorrect, and the fact that most of Pn were correct and thereby lend weight to A in turn lends some weight to B. What you have done here is to claim that B backs up A despite not only P1 but also all of Pn being incorrect.

                Nothing wrong with B, but it's the basis of further research, not evidence in itself.

  12. Mr Spock

    Schmidt is quite right. But that doesn't mean he himself isn't an idiot.

  13. Psyx
    Coat

    Liars: No.

    In total denial of reality and evidence; victims of massive cognitive and perception bias: Yes.

  14. itzman
    Holmes

    Read this and tremble Al Gore...

    "You can lie about the effects of climate change, but eventually you'll be seen as a liar."

    Indeed. Oh yes, indeed.

    But on whose side, is Time?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    cooling

    Well I may not agree that he thinks we have global warming etc. but he's right in his analysis that what we need is to come up with creative solutions so we can improve lives and get people on the net without causing environmental or energy issues

    Makes a change from wanting socialism/communism and using climate as an excuse

    1. Squander Two

      Re: cooling

      Maybe, but his example of creative solutions is African farming.

      "Hey, I'm the head of a high-tech firm who makes millions out of living in an advanced economy that has pulled most of its population out of agriculture, and I think the way you poor people in developing countries till the soil to survive is WAY cool. You should totally keep doing that, because it makes me feel good."

  16. Valerion
    Flame

    Enough

    When you can prove to me that the earth's climate was exactly stable for the past couple of billion years, and only changed when humans started emitting CO2, then we'll talk about man-made climate change, mmmkay?

    As this is obviously total bollocks, how about we accept that it's going to change, and lets work out how best to deal with the consequences. And I don't just mean dealing with increasing temperatures, but dealing with decreasing ones too, because it's certain we'll get another ice age at some point.

  17. John Savard Silver badge

    The Innovation We Need Is Already Here

    We already know how to produce just about as much energy as we want without carbon emissions. But we're not in the process of building nuclear power plants to replace all the fossil-fuel electrical power plants in service. Compared to that, ingenuity in finding ways to be more energy-efficient will only have a small effect.

  18. Trustme

    To quote Ken Robinson:

    "Those people who don't believe in climate change should get out more"

  19. aelfheld

    Projection - it's not just for pop psychologists anymore

    It's fascinating (in a cringe-worthy fashion) to listen to those who have manipulated and manufactured data, 'hid the decline', and rigged climatological 'models' accuse those on firmer scientific ground of being 'liars'.

    Of course, coming from the (highly) paid liar Schmidt, the accusation takes on a certain aura of risibility.

  20. wookey

    Funny how 'the internet will spread the truth on climate science' yet despite heroic efforts by many people to do exactly that, this site, apparenly frequented by intelligent geeks, is heaving with people who still think climate change is a hoax/not anthropogenic/a good thing etc.

    The internet is full of good-quality info (as well as heaps of garbage from the ill-informed). Use your skills - read info from people you disagree with as well as those you agree with and work out who the honest brokers are. It's easy to live in a bubble of the like-minded whilst being seriously misled - fight your confirmation bias. I reckon potholer54 on youtube is one of the best and most accessible 'honest brokers' around. Try his videos.

    1. Squander Two

      "read info from people you disagree with"

      I did. I read their emails. Did you?

      They actively collude to break the Freedom of Information Act in order to stop people getting their data, as they don't want anyone who disagrees with them to try and poke holes in it. Proper scientists publish their data precisely so that people who disagree with them can try to poke holes in it. In every other context, Ben Goldacre rightly holds this process up as proof that science is being done properly. In the absence of a convincing explanation why climatology should be an exception to that rule, I conclude that they're charlatans.

      They can't reproduce their own data. They can't get their software models to work without fudging them. They have helpfully written all this down, and I have read it.

      They have repeatedly demonstrated their willingness to make up bollocks on the spot and publish it as if it's a real scientific finding -- Himalayan glaciers all gone by 2030 or whatever date it was, for instance, which turned out to be a bit of finger-in-the-air guesswork over a hasty telephone call but still ended up in the IPCC report. They have used a picture of polar bears stranded on an iceberg as evidence of the peril facing polar bears, despite the fact that they were not stranded because they can swim. This IS the info published by people I disagree with. It is, in fact, the reason I disagree with them. They're the opposite of persuasive.

      I feel sorry for the many no-doubt honest climatologists out there. Their field is currently dominated by lying bastards. I wish them all the best of luck in the eventual purge.

  21. Bryce 2

    I am not a climatologist but....

    When a respected scientist says something like this, it makes you think...

    "There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period."

    "Okay. With this as a preparation, let's turn to the evidence, both graphic and verbal, for

    global warming. As most of you have heard many times, the consensus of climate scientists

    believes in global warming. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of

    scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled.

    Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your

    wallet, because you're being had. "

    - Michael Crichton

    If you haven't read the speeches, they are very interesting and can be found at http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/commentaries_essays/crichton_three_speeches.html

    Granted, they were made some time ago, but it is my opinion that they are still relevant.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: I am not a climatologist but....

      A very refreshing read. Thanks.

      And yes, very pertinent today.

      Could I implore all reg commenters: download it, read it and understand it, then look me in the eye and say that climate "science" is not a load of bollocks.

    2. NomNomNom

      Re: I am not a climatologist but....

      Michael Crichton was a scientist? Do you think Jurassic Park was a documentary?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        Re: I am not a climatologist but....

        > Michael Crichton was a scientist? Do you think Jurassic Park was a documentary?

        I think you should read it again, and think about the phrase "DO NOT RELY ON AUTHORITY".

        If the best you can come up with is to ask whether or not he is a scientist, then you really have missed the point by a goodly mile.

        The truth spoken by a layman is the same truth spoken by a scientist. The truth doesn't depend on the speaker, just that it is the truth.

        This is part of the problem with modern society. What is important is not who you are or what your opinion is.

        What is important is how you back up your assertions, the quality and reproducibility of the evidence you present.

        Look at the third article, a critique of the IPCC report about the logical fallacies contained within. "It is impossible to predict the future, but here are some scenarios that we made up and stuck into the model that we made" [I paraphrase].

        And finally, this appeal to consensus as though it means anything at all. Consensus has no part in any kind of science.

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: I am not a climatologist but....

          He isn't a scientist. The original poster claimed he was. He is not. I pointed that out.

          As a layman I can tell you that Michael Crichton's critique of climate science flawed. He only has the faintest understanding of the subject. He doesn't correctly understand what emission scenarios are, nor about urban heat islands or what global average temperature represents. He also botches the subject of consensus.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            FAIL

            Re: I am not a climatologist but....

            > He also botches the subject of consensus.

            What part of "science is *not* consensus" do you think that he botched?

            Science is based on evidence leading to repeatable, verifiable experimentation.

            Anything else is just not science. That point is not really open to debate. It is stated fact.

            There is a fashion these days to call any investigative endeavour science. All that causes is confusion and a misrepresentation. In particular, politicians represent climate "science" as something akin to what is technically science and so give it a certainty that is undeserving of it.

            > He doesn't correctly understand what emission scenarios are

            His point is that "emission scenarios" are mere conjecture. The IPCC report actually says just that.

            Also history shows that consensus on anything related to climate (or pretty much anything) over the last 50 years shows that it is appallingly unreliable. That's not conjecture, he gives many factual examples that demonstrate that this is so.

            Did you actually read the article?

            1. NomNomNom

              Re: I am not a climatologist but....

              I have no medical knowledge, but if 1% of doctors think treatment A is good but 99% of doctors think treatment B is good, I will pick treatment B. I have gone with the consensus. Crichton botches consensus because he doesn't even address how consensus is actually used in this way.

              When Crichton argues "Consensus is not science" he's not even wrong. He's not even addressing how and why consensus is used at the public/expert interface.

              "His point is that "emission scenarios" are mere conjecture."

              Scenarios are just 'If X then Y' statements. They are conditional predictions. If you emit then X happens. If you don't emit then Y happens. Crichton looks at X and Y and says "They're so different! they don't know!". That's hardly a reasonable argument. It completely misses the point.

              "Also history shows that consensus on anything related to climate (or pretty much anything) over the last 50 years shows that it is appallingly unreliable. That's not conjecture, he gives many factual examples that demonstrate that this is so."

              What's important is that consensus is far more reliable than non-consensus. Those ideas accepted by 99% of experts have a far better track record than those that are supported by 1%. That makes consensus useful for laymen to make decisions on.

              Most of the knowledge people have, they haven't derived it themselves from first principles or by direct observation. People believe a lot of stuff simply because everyone else does. For example I have never observed Neptune, but I believe it exists. Why? Because I know there is a consensus that it does among experts. I also have never observed the planet X, but I don't believe it exists. Why? Because I know there isn't a consensus that it exists among experts (rather a consensus that it's nonsense).

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I am not a climatologist but....

                >What's important is that consensus is far more reliable than non-consensus.

                No! No! No! Seriously no!

                Consensus is an appalling way to conduct any kind of investigation!

                Seriously.

                If you used consensus to determine whether or not God exists, then you would conclude that he does because the consensus among clerics (respected authority figures) is that he does indeed exist.

                But the overwhelming evidence is that he doesn't.

                Yet millions of people believe something that is about as unlikely as anything is possible to be.

                You just cannot use consensus as the *basis* for an assertion.

                > Most of the knowledge people have, they haven't derived it themselves from first principles or by direct observation....For example I have never observed Neptune, but I believe it exists.

                Yes, but you *could* if you wanted to. You can go to an observatory and you could ask to look at it. And you would see it. It is demonstrably true to a very, very high degree of certainty. That you could, at least in theory, reproduce the experiments, repeat the observations verify the assertions yourself, or have someone skilled in that subject do it for you, is what separates snake oil from science. I can see why superficially it looks like we take a lot of things on faith, and we do. However, we should only take on faith those things that have been demonstrably and repeatedly proved. Conjecture based on some models that have been tweaked and re-tweaked to fit a theoretical model of a complex climate system are not a good basis for consensus. That there are atoms I have to take on faith. However an awful lot of technology depends on there being atoms such that we have to conclude that, in so far as we can tell, they do in fact exist.

                > When Crichton argues "Consensus is not science" he's not even wrong. He's not even addressing how and why consensus is used at the public/expert interface.

                No, climate "science"'s assertions are being reported to the public (and taught in my son's school of all things) as incontrovertible fact, a done deal. My son's teacher teaches AGM in the same way as Darwinian evolution. They are not even on the same planet, so to speak. This stuff is being called science and the public knows that science is associated with rigorous pursuit of the truth via experimentation, high quality evidence and a high-quality ethic, but what they are being served up is no such thing.

                > Scenarios are just 'If X then Y' statements. They are conditional predictions. If you emit then X happens. If you don't emit then Y happens. Crichton looks at X and Y and says "They're so different! they don't know!". That's hardly a reasonable argument. It completely misses the point.

                Firstly, the basis for the scenarios are arbitrary based on possible extrapolations. They are also based on projections of a number of other things (population, CO2 output rise, solar activity....etcetcetc) for which we have no determining basis: they are merely conjecture. In particular, speculations on population growth in the past have been spectacularly wrong.

                Secondly, the predictions themselves are based in the premise of a well-behaved environment. There is little evidence to suggest that the climate behaves linearly in this way.

                > I have no medical knowledge, but if 1% of doctors think treatment A is good but 99% of doctors think treatment B is good, I will pick treatment B.

                Drug companies have to bend over backwards to demonstrate efficacy and safety, and their investigations are a matter of public record. Double blind trials, control groups, rigorous reporting and record keeping: these are the hallmarks of science. Is this the kind of terminology you might find in a climate "science" article?

              2. Chet Mannly

                Re: I am not a climatologist but....

                "I have no medical knowledge, but if 1% of doctors think treatment A is good but 99% of doctors think treatment B is good, I will pick treatment B. I have gone with the consensus."

                If science truly worked like that we'd still think the Earth was the centre of the universe...

                History is replete with examples of where a single person overturned the entire scientific consensus. Consensus isn't proof of truth - only evidence is.

                The scientists the IPCC surveys may well be right, but consensus isn't proof of that either way.

                1. NomNomNom

                  Re: I am not a climatologist but....

                  I didn't say science worked like that. I said people work like that.

                  Would you pick treatment A or B given the information I provided. You have to make a decision and you don't have time to get a medical degree to figure it out yourself. Are you saying it's wrong to go with the option that most doctors advocate?

                  Are you saying it's better to go with the option that only 1% of doctors accept because history is replete with examples of single people being right?

                  Or are you saying that you will have to flip a coin?

                  Does the fact that 99% of the doctors are saying treatment B mean absolutely nothing to you?

                  This is very strange.

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    @NomNomNom (was: Re: I am not a climatologist but....)

                    "I said people work like that."

                    And that's the thing the AGW proponents are playing on, and profiting from: Humans, as a group, are 'orribly ignorant & capable of being herded.

                    "People working like that" doesn't make it a fact. It makes it a religion.

                    Again, SHOW me AGW, don't TELL me. And please note that I don't accept data from outfits who have been shown, conclusively, to regularly fiddle their data to fit the expectations of their funders.

                    1. NomNomNom

                      Re: @NomNomNom (was: I am not a climatologist but....)

                      Jake you are just playing word games.

                      Let me answer the question for you. If your doctor told you there were two treatments A and B and you had to choose one, being unable to assess which one was best yourself you would defer to the experts. You would choose the one that most doctors thought best. If 99% of doctors thought A was best, you would pick A. There's no doubt about it. That's what you would do.

                      Stop denying consensus has any use just because you dislike what it says about climate change.

                      A lot of people would find it useful to know what the majority of experts say about climate because a lot of people are willing to defer to their expertise. Just because you are too paranoid to do so doesn't make it wrong for me to tell them what the consensus is. Get over it.

                      1. jake Silver badge

                        Re: @NomNomNom (was: I am not a climatologist but....)

                        Stop being disingenuous, NomNomNom.

                        There is a radical difference between being allowed to practice medicine & being allowed to babble about your religion of choice. One has checks & balances, the other does not (at least in the Western World).

                        I don't like or dislike climate change. Climate changes; it's a fact. It happens. It has been happening, for billions of years. But we don't really know why, exactly. Anyone who claims otherwise is separating fools from their money.

                        "Consensus" is a religious word in this context. It has no scientific value. I don't deny it exists, but I do deny that it has any value. For example, "The consensus of Roman Catholics agree that the Pope is the nearest human to God" ... Or "The consensus of teenage boys think ::whatever teenage female singer:: is the hottest person on the planet". See how that doesn't work? The conclusion is opinion, not fact, no matter how much said opinion excites the proles.

                        So-called "climate scientists" are in it for the money, and control. Just like record labels, Hollywood & the other religions of your choice.

                        Science, on the other hand, can be actually demonstrated, reliably, day after boring day, for months, for years, decades, centuries, millennium ...

                        Again, SHOW me, don't TELL me. I'm just not seeing it the way Al Gore & friends are shoveling it.

                2. Squander Two

                  Re: I am not a climatologist but....

                  You have clearly not had the misfortune to find yourself at the sharp end of the NHS. I hope you never do, but, if you do, don't for God's sake allow doctors to base your treatment on consensus or majority. That'll get you killed.

                  1. NomNomNom

                    Re: I am not a climatologist but....

                    Squander Two: "You have clearly not had the misfortune to find yourself at the sharp end of the NHS. I hope you never do, but, if you do, don't for God's sake allow doctors to base your treatment on consensus or majority."

                    I don't think you are grasping the problem. There are two treatments and doctors disagree which is best for you. 99% of them say treatment A is best. 1% say treatment B. The reason for the disagreement is on technical details that you don't understand and can't hope to understand without 4 years of medical training, but you have to make the decision now.

                    Are you really saying you would ignore the fact 99% of doctors advocate treatment A? Like completely ignore it? not factor it into your decision at all?

                    Then how are you going to decide? It's your choice. Are you going to flip a coin? Are you going to go with gut feeling?

                    It's easy for both of you to say something pretentious like "ohh 99% of doctors have been wrong in the past!" but that doesn't answer the question how you would actually decide.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Stop

                      Re: I am not a climatologist but....

                      NomNomNom, I think we are all talking at cross-purposes here.

                      There is a difference between that that can be categorically proved to a high degree of certainty and that which cannot, and of course there are various shades between.

                      We trust scientists *not* because we trust their judgment. We trust them because they can back up what they say with methodologically sound evidence. If they can't, then we don't trust them at all.

                      The consensus should not come from scientists. The consensus should come from us and the authorities. What we expect from scientists is cold, hard facts.

                      The problem is that the differentiation is becoming blurred to the extent that we no longer know if what we are getting from scientists is fact or opinion. There is a *huge* difference between fact and opinion.

                      What you get from a doctor in terms of the relative efficacies of the two types of drugs is proven fact. This is not the doctor's opinion, it is fact proven to a high degree of certainty by drug companies. And the drug companies can demonstrate their efficacy with evidence, and generally speaking the quality of that evidence is good.

                      The *advice* you get from a doctor in terms of the proper treatment is fallible and is *not* science. It is a learned opinion, and is valuable in itself. But it is *not* science.

                      These two things are light years apart in terms of definition.

                      What we are getting from climate "scientists" is of the form of doctor's advice.

                      The problem is that we are being fed stuff being tagged "science" without that proper differentiation. The difference is not just technical either, because that tag colours the weight that we attach to it.

                      The public's perception of science is that scientific "facts" are proven to a high degree of certainty. So if the government states that "scientists" say something, then that is given weight by the public.

                      We trust scientists because of the scientific method, peer review and integrity. That perception is getting a battering because of the frequently careless use of the "science" tag and we should avoid it at all costs.

              3. Vic

                Re: I am not a climatologist but....

                > if 1% of doctors think treatment A is good but 99% of doctors think treatment B is good, I will pick treatment B.

                How many doctors thought Thalidomide was a good treatment?

                Appeal to Authority is a fallacy.

                Vic.

          2. Squander Two

            Re: I am not a climatologist but....

            For the record, yes, Crichton was a scientist. His writing career took off, so he didn't have to pursue science for a living, but he certainly did enough study prior to that to qualify to speak about the scientific method.

  22. Eric Idle

    pay your taxes Google

    Pay your taxes Google and help the UK Government deal with the problem.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Evidence my arse

    The earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old and, for 4.5 billion years, it has been undergoing some form of climate change.

    We do not have enough data to even begin to spot the patterns in the earths climate.

    Climate change fanatics serve only one purpose: they allow the scum we call politicians to raise taxes in the name of climate change.

    BTW just in case someone points to the really crap Spring we just had as evidence of climate change, I remember snow in June in this country (England).

  24. Gravis Ultrasound
    Childcatcher

    It's difficult to take seriously Schmidt's religious global warming fever when he together with the two other Google execs own and use 8 private jets between them(2011). Sure, the carbon emissions are offset through various 'schemes' (real or fradulent).

    If Schmidt really, I a mean really, believed AWG to be an End of The World deal, wouldn't the very same Schmidt stop burning huge amounts of jet fuel zipping around the world (and additionally pay for further carbon capture initiatives)?

    It is 'do as I say, and not as I do' time again.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Eric should stick to Googling

    What a load of twaddle. Eric should know better.

  26. bob_stemple
    Thumb Down

    The sun has nothing to do with global warming? Why would the temps on Mars be getting warmer? We polluting Mars as well?

    1. NomNomNom

      What's the evidence Mars is getting warmer?

      1. bob_stemple
        Unhappy

        NASA says the Martian South Pole’s “ice cap” has been shrinking for three summers in a row.

        1. NomNomNom

          Which three summers?

          1. Vic

            > Which three summers?

            More than just three. Most summers over a period of three *decades*.

            See http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/thick-melt.html for details.

            Vic.

  27. Bob Armstrong
    Boffin

    Show me the math .

    Schmidt said : "The math doesn't work."

    If he's talking about his fellow alarmists , he's absolutely right .

    I got involved in this fraud because grossly amateurish understanding of the most essential math and physics I saw on all sides of the "debate" . While in another branch of applied physics , the prefixes have evolved from mega- to giga- , there has been zero progress in the quantitative understanding of our planet's mean temperature .

    As Ken Iverson , who won a Turing for his creation of APL said : “Any field of study that has the word science in it probably isn’t.” . That is certainly true for climate nonscience

    The most classical computations of radiative balance show that Hansen's continuing claim that Venus is an example of a runaway greenhouse effect doesn't compute . It would have to be ten times as reflective in the IR as aluminum foil to explain its surface temperature on the basis of energy it receives from the Sun . And CO2 doesn't fit that bill . I doubt if anything does .

    I wonder if otherwise brilliant programmers have to pledge allegiance to Schmidt's religion to join the Google hive .

    1. Charles Manning

      Show me the models

      The biggest problem with all the models I have seen thus far is that they work with temperature. That is fundamentally wrong. They should be working with HEAT. Temperature is only a secondary result.

      Why HEAT? Because warming or cooling means adding or removing heat from the system. We have huge amounts of ice and water vapour which can change to soak up or release latent heat (the heat involved in phase change). This means that heat and temperature are not directly coupled.

      Any model that does not take into account latent heat is just broken. It is a proxy-based model, not a physics driven model.

  28. Chet Mannly

    Reality check for the ad guy

    "That's what we do. That's our job"

    You're a freaking advertising company, not clean energy developers!

    1. Charles Manning

      Re: Reality check for the ad guy

      Well he's right.... all this AGW to and fro must be generating a lot of web clicks.

      They also do Bieber, kittens, ...

  29. Charles Manning

    No, I am not a liar, but Schmidt is a hypocrite

    A one who thinks the AGW brigade overstate their position, I am not a liar. I can only be a liar if I know something to be true, but say it is otherwise. Even if the worst case AGW was correct, I am still not a liar.

    Schmidt, however, is a staunch AGW camper who says people should reduce their footprint etc while he flies around in a corporate jet. That is just plain hypocrisy.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019