back to article Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees

The UK's Parliamentary climate change select committee has just issued a written endorsement of the latest, alarmist UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. However, two MPs - the two most scientifically qualified on the committee - have strongly disagreed with this position. The IPCC's latest AR5 report …

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  1. Ragarath

    No Surprise

    I'm still waiting for the people with the supposed knowledge to come to some consensus as to what is really happening.

    Being a layman I am not qualified myself to speculate only to back those that seem to present what to me appears to be happening around me. At the moment I am with the sceptics.

    But with all the hoo har about numbers being fudged on both sides of the debate who are we laymen supposed to believe?

    1. Pete 2

      Tax attacks

      > some consensus as to what is really happening.

      What is really happening is that the government has identified a "thing" that the general public believe in and that they believe it is a bad thing -- one that should be stopped.

      In other words, reducing carbon emissions is not only popular but taxable too - as british governments only know one way to curb "bad" behaviour: booze, ciggies, CO2: and that's to tax it.

      If that new revenue stream just happens to avert a global crisis while raising loads-a-lolly? So much the better, they can take full credit for that, as well

      1. DJV Silver badge
        Unhappy

        @Pete 2

        "What is really happening is that the government has identified a "thing" that the general public believe in and that they believe it is a bad thing -- one that should be stopped."

        I have identified a "thing". It is called the government and, over recent studies, I have determined that it is definitely a bad thing. Question is - can it be stopped?

      2. Charles Manning

        Re: Tax attacks

        Even better:

        CO2 is invisible, no taste, no smell and can't be touched, felt or measured except with specialised equipment and everyone emits it as part of daily life.

        This is almost like a "sin tax" of old.

        1. dan1980

          Re: Tax attacks

          @Charles Manning

          You need 'specialised equipment' to measure many things - resistance, current, temperature, electromagnetic radiation, humidity, seismic activity - so what?

          You can measure the levels of CO2 yourself and consumer-level equipment isn't expensive at all - $200 USD or there abouts. As with most measurement devices, you can get cheap ones for casual use and super-expensive, super-precise ones for professional and academic use.

          All the things mentioned above are not evident to humans at small magnitudes, just like CO2, but one can still measure them with the appropriate instruments.

          Sure, you can feel temperature but you can't detect a 0.1 degree change unless you use a suitably accurate thermometer. Likewise seismic activity, which occurs near-constantly but goes unnoticed except by the 'specialised equipment'.

          CO2 is no different. If you think you can't 'feel' CO2, you may be right depending on your definition of 'feel', but you can certainly feel the effects at high enough concentrations. Try breathing in the fumes from dry ice. Not toxic, but can give you a big headache.

      3. RealFred

        Re: Tax attacks

        Its not only the British government that behaves like this, its all governments. They need more money to fund their social programs. I have started researching agenda 21 and I'm starting to think thats their endgame.

      4. Fluffy Bunny
        Angel

        Re: Tax attacks

        "If that new revenue stream just happens to avert a global crisis while raising loads-a-lolly? So much the better, they can take full credit for that, as well"

        Actually, if you averted a global crisis, it would be a bad thing. You would have to stop taxing people. However, if nothing happened and the crisis could be extended indefinitely, you could tax people forever. Much like is happening today.

        1. Jtom

          Re: Tax attacks

          There is a published, peer-reviewed paper that examines the impact of temperture change and CO2 sensitivity on crops. This is their result:

          No temp change + no CO2 change = unchanged crop yields (baseline)

          No temp change + increased CO2 = much higher crop yields

          Higher temps + increased CO2 = unchanged to higher crop yields

          Higher temps + no CO2 change = reduced crop yields

          So, what will the result be if we reduce the CO2, and the higher temps have actually been caused by other natural variations (e.g., El Ninos)? Potentially, mass starvation due to declining crop yields.

          Just be aware that there are serious consequences if any part of the AGW theory is wrong and we take action based on it.

    2. plrndl

      Re: No Surprise

      "I'm still waiting for the people with the supposed knowledge to come to some consensus as to what is really happening."

      One of the major problems with "climate science" is that there's no such thing. The drivers of climate that we know about cover a great many different disciplines. There could be many other that we don't even know about, other “butterfly in Beijing” effects.

      1. Raoul Miller

        Re: No Surprise

        The fact that "you" don't know is not the same as the scientific community.

        And I think the committee that awarded my PhD in Palaeoclimatology might be surprised to hear that there is no such thing as climate science.

        Your ignorance does not equate to the scientific community's ignorance.

        1. you are idiots
          Happy

          Re: No Surprise

          goody an expert!.

          Can you explain how you separate the all variables (rainfall, amount of light, sheep piss, to name just some) in tree growth to make them accurate thermometers?

          Was the temperature warmer than now in the past and relationship to Co2?

          how many cyclic patterns have been identified (sun, water, orbit, sun spots etc)?

          1. Mike 137 Bronze badge

            Re: No Surprise

            I spent a few years working on this (blind denoising of tree ring width series) in the '90s. The only moderately reliable first order separation was between signal components common to multiple concurrent series from a specific site and signals uniquely present in individual series. The assumption on which my work was based was that individual variation is less likely to be driven by a common influence, so removal of individual variation should leave a better approximation to the common signal indicating the common influence.

            Admittedly this is a fairly loose argument, but my work did show fairly conclusively that high frequency components tend to be local to individual series and low frequency components have a better chance of being common to all the series. Unfortunately, the then (and I believe still) common practice of "detrending" by normalising each individual series to its own low frequency spline before any analysis tends to mask the lower frequency components that might be some of the most interesting in terms of climate change.

            However tree rings are not alone in providing rather tenuous and noisy signals. All currently used climate proxies suffer from this, each in their own way, so using them has to be done with a great deal of caution.

        2. Pete 2

          Re: No Surprise

          > there is no such thing as climate science

          You'd be surprised how many people study things that don't exist.

          For a start: philosophy. You can't point to it or observe any side-effects of its existence (or not, he said - getting all philosophical). Art is another one that exists only in the mind of the individual, yet everyone has an opinion of it and lots and lots (too many?) of degrees are awarded in it every year,

          Finally, there's history: which the renowned (and gorgeous) tudor historian Suzannah Lipscomb has gone on telly to tell us is: "the study of something that doesn't exist"

          So simply because something doesn't exist is no reason why people shouldn't dedicate their lives (and lots of other people's money) to its' study. After all, if something doesn't exist; nothing you say about it can be wrong, can it?

          1. Fluffy Bunny
            Angel

            Re: No Surprise

            history: Terry Pratchet noted that without historians, history would simply consist of one thing happening after another.

          2. kwyj

            No history?

            "Finally, there's history"

            What do you mean history doesn't exist? Of course it does. Without our study of history, how else can you explain our detailed knowledge of the Starks, Lannisters, Baratheons etc.? We know so much about them that there's even a documentary on TV about them. (and don't get me started on that evil little Joffrey bastard.......)

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: No Surprise

            ooo, Suzannah Lipscomb. I had to Google her. And it was worth it, thanks.

            Alas it also came back with results for that reknowned nob head David Starkey. But I just hissed at his pictures and went back to Suzannah. Ahh, bliss.

            Thanks!!!

        3. RealFred

          Re: No Surprise

          RM,

          What, you can get one of those. One of my friends who has one says it stands for piled higher and deeper.

        4. Tom 13

          Re: No Surprise

          Please provide links to your alma mater, your actual PhD, your thesis, and the names of all the people on the committee who granted your degree.

      2. ItsNotMe
        FAIL

        "One of the major problems with "climate science" is that there's no such thing."

        @plrndl...another "expert" heard from...NOT.

        Really? So my brother and sister-in-law...who both have PhDs in Climatology...and my sister-in-law runs a world renown University laboratory that analyzes ice cores to study climate change...aren't in "climate science". Right.

        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/climatology

        1. Fluffy Bunny
          Devil

          Re: "One of the major problems with "climate science" is that there's no such thing."

          "brother and sister-in-law...who both have PhDs in Climatology" You can get a degree in something without it being a science. At best climatology is a half science.

          You can observe the climate to death, take all the measurements you want, predict whatever you like. But at some stage you have to be able to conduct an actual experiment. A repeatable experiment, and this can't be done with a single planet's climate.

        2. James Pickett

          Re: "One of the major problems with "climate science" is that there's no such thing."

          "a world renown[ed] University laboratory that analyzes ice cores"

          Would those be the ice cores that show CO2 as an effect of warming rather than the cause? I seem to recall Al Gore glossing over that one...

    3. Raoul Miller

      Re: No Surprise

      We (the scientific community) came to consensus decades ago.

      People like you don't want to hear it because it may cause some minor inconvenience to your lifestyle. Don't pretend to be skeptical for any other reason than convenience.

      1. Killing Time

        Re: No Surprise

        RE RM

        I agree us mere ignoramuses shouldn't make sweeping comments regarding the sum of scientific knowledge however it’s fascinating that you feel compelled to comment on behalf of ‘the scientific community’. I always understood science to be a continually evolving debate with fact being established through experimentation and prediction. Even then, it’s a case of test and retest.

        I am sure you worked very hard for your PhD in Palaeoclimatology, as no doubt did the committee which awarded it to you however I think it’s a valid point that without an issue such as Global Warming ( I have deliberately dropped the ‘man made’ as everybody else does now), your area of expertise becomes a tad less attractive to scientific funding.

      2. Shaha Alam

        Re: No Surprise

        "We (the scientific community) came to consensus decades ago."

        i might've missed something in the conversation, but if, as the article states:

        "About one third of all the CO2 emitted by mankind since the industrial revolution has been put into the atmosphere since 1997; yet there has been no statistically significant increase in the mean global temperature since then,"

        ...then surely the decades old 'consensus' is out of date, no?

        am i missing something obvious here?

        1. Jabberwolf

          Re: No Surprise

          Nope, you sir actually read the article.

          The main basis of climate change argument is that CO2 emissions have increased thus global temperatures will directly increase because of this. They dont take into account (or maybe not until recently) any other variables that might be dissipating the excess energy. They don't even take into account the massive temperature increase we should be experiencing with methane increases.

          That basically, the argument of CO2 should be increasing temperatures is valid, the amount that temperatures have increased is very small and seems not to be corroborated by the amount of CO2 that has been put into the atmosphere.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: No Surprise

            "the argument of CO2 should be increasing temperatures is valid, the amount that temperatures have increased is very small and seems not to be corroborated by the amount of CO2 that has been put into the atmosphere."

            Your information is out of date. We now know that a lot of heat has been going into the deep oceans - and that average surface temperatures have risen more than orignally thought as some arctic measurements were not included.

            "Coming back to the global temperature record: the past decade is by far the warmest on record. Human induced global warming really kicked in during the 1970s, and warming has been pretty steady since then. But while the overall warming is about 0.16°C per decade, there are 3 10-year periods where there was a hiatus in warming. From 1977 to 1986, from 1987 to 1996, and from 2001-2012. But at each end of these periods there were big jumps. We find exactly the same sort of flat periods in climate model projections, lasting easily up to 15years in length. Focusing on the wiggles and ignoring the bigger picture of unabated warming is foolhardy, but one promoted by climate change deniers. Global sea level keeps marching up at a rate of over 30 cm per century since 1992 (when global measurements via altimetry on satellites were made possible), and that is perhaps a better indicator that global warming continues unabated. Sea level rise comes from both the melting of land ice, thus adding more water to the ocean, plus the warming and thus expanding ocean itself."

            http://www.rmets.org/weather-and-climate/climate/has-global-warming-stalled

            1. david 63

              Re: No Surprise

              I'm glad you proper scientists know the heat is in the oceans.

              The Met Office in its paper Implications for Predictions says:

              "whilst the second report suggests that the recent pause in surface warming may, in part, be due to internal variability in the oceans and how heat is taken up below the ocean surface."

              I guess the "may" and "in part" were put in there to instil some confidence?

        2. Ian Easson

          Re: No Surprise

          Yes, you are indeed missing something.

          The "hiatus" in global warming the last decade or so has now been scientifically explained, independently by researchers in Australia and in Canada.

          As most of us know by now, the average yearly global temperature is predicted, to about 90+% accuracy, by the level of CO2 in the air. But there are two other factors that moderate this secular trend: Oceanic currents (e.g., El Nino) and major volcanic events. These two last factors have impacts that last anywhere from 2 to 10 or more years, and then die out.

          As a result of these factors, every 20 to 50 years, there is a "hiatus" that temporarily halts the upward climb in average global temperatures. The latest one has recently been shown to be completely consistent with this phenomenon.

          Of course, it has been seized upon by the oil industry and their cadre of climate change deniers to attempt to discredit science.

          Here's a small reference to get you started:

          http://phys.org/news/2014-07-vindicates-climate-accused.html

          1. Fluffy Bunny
            Devil

            Re: No Surprise

            "The "hiatus" in global warming the last decade or so has now been scientifically explained"

            Explained away, I think you mean. The argument given was so weak I completely ignored it at the time. I didn't expect to to be regurgitated as if it was fact now.

            "As most of us know by now, the average yearly global temperature is predicted, to about 90+% accuracy, by the level of CO2 in the air"

            Actually this is completely wrong. The CO2 in the air has been going up steadily year-on-year, but the temperature hasn't. Therefore this theory is wrong.

            "every 20 to 50 years, there is a "hiatus" that temporarily halts the upward climb"

            Take a careful look at the temperature graph of this "temporary" hiatus. At the far right-hand edge, it is not going up, is it? NO, it is going down.

            "seized upon by the oil industry and their cadre of climate change deniers"

            As oposed to every little storm that is seized upon by the warmists trying to scare the gulible public into paying ever more pointless taxes to fund ever more research into something that isn't happening?

          2. Jtom

            Re: No Surprise

            Let me see if I understand your claim. You can predict with 90% accuracy what next year's global temps SHOULD be based on CO2, EXCEPT for the contribution of two natural variables which cannot be predicted, only examined in hindsight. So you CANNOT predict what next year's temps will be, only offer up an excuse next year as to why reality did not meet expectations.

            You have created a non-falsifiable theory with an on-going ability to apply whatever fudge-factor is required to make reality conform to your theory. That is not science and is totally useless. Given all the natural variations that impact climate, Mankind may never see the rise in temperature predicted by amplified CO2 warming as described by global warming scientists, even if such a thing does exist.

          3. Smig

            Re: No Surprise

            So, it's not man made then?

            "Every 20 to 50 years". Are you choosing the timescale to fit the hypothesis?

            Oh no, thermometric data is not good, it doesn't fit the warming hypothesis between 1879 and eleventy past 12. Quick! Look! Tree rings! That'll confuse the buggers!

            Oh no, tree rings don't fit the result we're funded to find between halfpast paris and 1879. Quick! Look! Use that frozen elk piss! That'll confuse the buggers!

            By the way, Graham, did you enjoy your factfinding trip to the Seychelles?

            1. Tom 13

              Re: Oh no, thermometric data is not good

              Oh it's worse than that.

              A friend of mine has been working on a new project at work. Somebody waved some money at them to develop some algorithms to predict when an earthquake might be about to occur using water moisture data collected from satellites. According to him, the underlying scientific premise is valid. If you look at the data where an earthquake has occurred you can see the changes over the preceding weeks. The problem is the same one Mike 137 referenced: the signal is fairly low compared to the data. Specifically, if it has recently rained in the area you get similar signals. Now, if you take the appropriate precautions, you can still work around that issue. He thought he had one: compare the output of his algorithm using data from their satellites and compare it against other models that aren't using data from his satellites. So if the other models say it hasn't rained in the area but his says it did, it's probably an earthquake. And then he ran into an insurmountable problem. With all the data integration and sharing happening with all the weather supercomputers he can't find a model that isn't contaminated with his data.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No Surprise

          "since 1997; yet there has been no statistically significant increase in the mean global temperature since then,""

          Utter rubbish. Average global temperatures are still rising. June 2014 was the warmest ever recorded, and this year is on target to pass 2010 as the warmest ever by average global suface temperature.

        4. LionelB

          Re: No Surprise

          "am i missing something obvious here?"

          Yes - the science (and possibly the shift key on your keyboard).

        5. Gordon 11

          Re: No Surprise

          ..then surely the decades old 'consensus' is out of date, no?

          am i missing something obvious here?

          Well, yes.

          As any experimental (rather than theoretical) scientist will tell you, if you change the input parameters of an experiment then you are quite likely to get a different outcome.

          Catastrophe theory (which can also be demonstrated practically) will show that things can appear to be static until they suddenly fall of a cliff - and there is then no easy way back.

          And changing the constitution of the atmosphere at a (geologically) fast rate is one hell of a risky experiment.

      3. Tyrion
        FAIL

        Re: No Surprise Er...

        >> We (the scientific community) came to consensus decades ago.

        I've seen no evidence of consensus. Only that fraudulent 97% John Cook et al paper that dismissed over 60% of climate based abstracts. Regardless, there's no such thing as a consensus in Science. It's an appeal to Argumentum ad populum - a logical fallacy.

        I'm not at all surprised that the non-scientists on the panel all agreed with the IPCC. They're the ones pushing for the carbon taxes and punishing of ordinary people.

        1. catprog

          Re: No Surprise Er...

          Would it be more accurate to say that less then 2% of papers studied had an opinion that humans were not responsible for climate change?

          1. Tyrion
            Stop

            Re: No Surprise Er...

            >> Would it be more accurate to say that less then 2% of papers studied had an opinion that humans were not responsible for climate change?

            Would it be more accurate to say that only 0.5% of abstracts assessed agreed with the IPCC's position that human activity is responsible for over 50% of warming over the past century? Because that's the real figure when the wide range of opinions aren't conflated like John Cook et al did to arrive at his 97% consensus. That's right, only 64 abstracts out of 12000 made that assertion. Not quite a consensus that mankind is the primary driver of climate change is it?

            That's what many people fail to see in the alarmist argument. They hear about anthropogenic global warming, and assume all warming is due to man's activity (Co2). That fails to take into account natural variability. The reality is that even the IPCC has had to reduce its climate sensitivity figures (forcing effect of a doubling of Co2). It's still too high though.

            Will a doubling of Co2 cause some warming? Probably. Is it responsible for all the warming observed over the past 150 years? Certainly not. And anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. We know this because if Co2 was the primary driver, then the last 15 years should have seen large temperature increases (we're pumping out more Co2 now than at any other time). As we all know, that hasn't happened. The models failed to predict it because they assumed climate sensitivity (to Co2) was much higher than it is.

            So whenever someone tries to conflate the arguments that a doubling of Co2 causes some warming with mankind being the primary driver, take pause and and ask does correlation imply causation. That's the argument being presented here.

            Similarly, if someone suggests that the majority of (often quoted as 97%) scientists agree that we are the main cause of warming, don't take that at face value. It's a statistical lie. They conflate a broad range of opinions, most of which don't believe that mankind is responsible for more than 50+% of observed warming, into a single "Endorse" result. So you'll see something along the lines of:

            '97% of scientists endorse manmade (or anthropogenic) climate change'. This implies that they all support the idea that we are responsible for most of the warming. That's completely fallacious. That statement would include scientists who think we probably contribute 1-2% of the warming. A trivial amount. It gives a completely false picture of a consensus.

            1. NomNomNom

              Re: No Surprise Er...

              "Will a doubling of Co2 cause some warming? Probably."

              It's certain that a doubling of CO2 will cause some warming.

              "Is it responsible for all the warming observed over the past 150 years? Certainly not. We know this because if Co2 was the primary driver, then the last 15 years should have seen large temperature increases (we're pumping out more Co2 now than at any other time). As we all know, that hasn't happened."

              That doesn't logically follow. If the observed CO2 increase since 1900 caused 1C warming, then it would be responsible for all the warming since 1900. The last 15 year period of data cannot rule that out.

              The last 15 years in hadcrut4 shows a trend of 0.067C/decade, and uncertainty in the data means it could be even higher than that. It's not the case that you can conclude there's been no warming.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: No Surprise Er...

                "then the last 15 years should have seen large temperature increases (we're pumping out more Co2 now than at any other time). As we all know, that hasn't happened."."

                ~90% of that energy is going into the oceans - and more than was expected is going into the deep oceans due to specific wind conditions. Average global temperature is still climbing.

                1. Tyrion

                  Re: No Surprise Er...

                  >> ~90% of that energy is going into the oceans - and more than was expected is going into the deep oceans due to specific wind conditions. Average global temperature is still climbing.

                  Actually it's not. The measurements taken (even deep sea), don't support that theory. The testimonies to MP's confirms this. Professor Lindzen was on that panel.

                  And it begs the question, why? So for 100+ years, the full effect of Co2 warming has been reflected in observed temperatures, but all of a sudden, when they become stagnant, it's all going into the oceans? I'm sorry, even to the most ardent and unquestioning AGW believer, that must seem very convenient.

                  Proponents of AGW theory are in a scramble trying to explain and account for the distinct lack of warming for the past 17 years. They're claiming everything from the oceans, to the wind patterns are responsible for absorbing the extra heat. Is it not possible that climate sensitivity to Co2 was actually very low all the time, and the warming we have observed over the past 150 years is primarily due to natural variability? You'll never hear any of them admit to that being a possibility.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No Surprise

        Sorry you don't get to decide why I am skeptical (your wrong!)(next your going to tell me I'm right wing).

        But the fact you mention "consensus" and you went into "Palaeoclimatology" is telling.

        "consensus" tells us you are incapable of thinking for yourself, follower, forced to agree with your lecturers opinion or fail the PHD, you'll deny it, but that's the way degrees work.

        "Palaeoclimatology" tells us your already had a environmental streak, so biases already formed, combined with a I need to save the planet, I'm its savior attitude, means your quite happy to accept corrupted data as long as it's on message.

      5. Jabberwolf

        Re: No Surprise

        "We (the scientific community) came to consensus decades ago." - are you meaning kids serving fries ?

        Or are you talking about the same scientific community in the 80s that thought we were heading for an ice age?

        Did you read the article? Some major scientists basically said and showed, that there is statistically no related change to the CO2 increase that the Alarmists are pointing to.

        By the CO2 alarmists, we should have risen by 4+ degrees, we havent, not even close.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No Surprise

          "Did you read the article? Some major scientists basically said and showed, that there is statistically no related change to the CO2 increase that the Alarmists are pointing to."

          No - that's not what they said at all. There are almost no scientists - for instance zero science delegates to the UN - that deny that global warming is hapening and that increased CO2 levels are the primary cause. That's an argument that is long dead and you need to go do some Google searches if the overwhelming observable and recorded evidence if you havnt realised that yet.

          "By the CO2 alarmists, we should have risen by 4+ degrees, we havent, not even close."

          I assume you refer to the IPCC worse case predictions. That was by the end of the century - i.e. in another 86 years or so...Since 1880 global average surface temperatures have risen by roughly 0.9 degrees - and we are currently on target for ~ another 1.4 degrees rise by 2100 as current average temperature are rising by about 0.16 degrees / decade - making 2.4 degrees of total rise by 2100 - howeve current climate models expect the rate of rise to accelerate - 4 degrees of total rise being towards the worst predicted case.

      6. Fluffy Bunny
        Devil

        Re: No Surprise

        "We (the scientific community) came to consensus decades ago"

        Actually you didn't come to a scientific consensus. That would require supporting evidence. Ignoring decade and a half of no warming doesn't cut it. The consensus you reached was that there is one born every minute and you want to take advantage of their ignorance.

        1. dan1980

          Re: No Surprise

          @Fluffy Bunny

          First, kudos for the alternating icons - amusing : )

          That aside, I think I found out the misunderstanding you are working on, which is that one single data set - "global mean surface temperature" - is all that is required to settle the argument one way or the other.

          If you think this then you are mistaken. There are numerous measurements that go into assessing the broad catch-all of 'global warming', which is better understood as the system retaining increased heat energy.

          Demanding that all this heat energy must manifest neatly as the most easily understood (for us lay-people) measurement of 'surface temperature' is to either fail to understand the depth and breadth of the science or to deliberately misrepresent it. I will give you the benefit of assuming the former and suggest you do some serious research on all the various measurements and variables that are tracked. Specifically investigate the measurements of ocean heat content, which relates to heat energy stored at depths to 700m, in contrast with the few millimetres recorded by the satellites measurements used for the surface temps.

          1. David Stone

            Re: No Surprise

            Ocean heat is another non-falsifiable theory, generated to bolster up the failed CO2 causes upwards temperature movement theory. To use this theory you must first provide justification of why it did not kick in until 17 years ago, and how it can cause temperature reduction of the surface. Well???

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: No Surprise

              Climate skeptics don't seem to understand statistics.

              Warming since 1997 not being statistically significant does not mean warming hasn't happened.

              Again and again I see climate skeptics asserting that there's been no warming since 1997.

              This is actually wrong.

              1. Tom 13

                Re: Warming since 1997 not being statistically significant does not mean

                Actually it does. That's why all real science uses statistics to prove their models.

                1. NomNomNom

                  Re: Warming since 1997 not being statistically significant does not mean

                  "Actually it does. That's why all real science uses statistics to prove their models"

                  Are you really claiming that a trend of +0.07C/decade since 1997 not being statistically significant PROVES the trend is <= 0C/decade?

                  Because that's what your claim that there's been no warming amounts to.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Warming since 1997 not being statistically significant does not mean

                    "Are you really claiming that a trend of +0.07C/decade since 1997 not being statistically significant PROVES the trend is <= 0C/decade?"

                    No, if something is 'not statistically significant' then it means you can't draw ANY conclusion from it, well except the conclusion that the you are no wiser than you were before.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No Surprise

          "Actually you didn't come to a scientific consensus. That would require supporting evidence. Ignoring decade and a half of no warming doesn't cut it"

          Not sure where you got that idea from. The planet is still warming. There has been some normal varience, and occassional slow downs - well within historical precidence, but the long term trend - including recent years - is most definately still warming. The current rate is about 0.16C / decade - or roughly 1.4C of warming by the end of the century at the current rate. Expectations from current climate models are that this rate will accelerate though.

      7. Nial

        Re: No Surprise

        "We (the scientific community) came to consensus decades ago."

        You are showing the quality of your scientific training if you think consensus means anything.

        "People like you don't want to hear it because it may cause some minor inconvenience to your lifestyle. Don't pretend to be skeptical for any other reason than convenience."

        This is a really odd thing to post, I've been pondering over this for the last day or so.

        I've just realised, it's a defence mechanism. If you convince yourself that only lazy anti-'science' big oil funded luddidtes question what we're told by the all powerful all knowing 'scientists' then it helps you convince yourself that all is well in your, enormously funded, bubble.

      8. David Stone

        Re: No Surprise

        Dr Miller

        You are doing science a severe dis-service by suggesting anything about consensus, that is a political concept, not a scientific one. If you wish to make a political point that is fine but you must not attempt to justify it by pseudo-scientific clap trap, such as this "consensus". Climate change due to man and industrial CO2 is a theory which has been shown by events (the last 17 years) to have no reasonable grounds for its claims. It has been shown to be in error, so should be forgotten, or modified to match the facts as discovered by experiment. The claim was based on computer modelling, which is shown to have been incomplete, inaccurate and incorrect in its action and prediction. I would like to read your PhD thesis and consider how the research you carried out, presumably modelling, as your attitude suggests that you could not be very interested in actual experiments, as the results might not match your political view. Even the highly complex computer models used for weather (not climate) forecasting show accuracy periods of a few hours, and deviate from calculated results in significant ways thereafter.

        We now see wild theories being produced which are trying to justify the differences between the models and reality, and far too much data "bending" and "correction" to attempt to justify the previously announced results which were given the completely false name of "facts". The "consensus" you claim is not representing the facts as exposed, it is a political group trying to keep its reputation despite being shown to be severely incompetent, particularly in the application of the scientific method which is: theory, supporting real experimental data (not computer models), full understanding of the limitations of the theory, and then publication for comment by any interested party; the whole thing being subject to disproof at any time by anyone, only a single piece of evidence being required!

        It could be that your knowledge of the climate in the carboniferous period (real Palaeoclimatology) tells you that high CO2 levels must be inherently self correcting, but still you follow this "consensus" that the world will end unless the population becomes tiny and we return to the stone age - this does not form any kind of logical reasoning to my mind and again can only come from politics rather than science, very similar to the select committee in fact!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No Surprise

          "Climate change due to man and industrial CO2 is a theory which has been shown by events (the last 17 years) to have no reasonable grounds for its claims."

          Erm - no - no it hasn't. Cherry picking a specific 17 years and stating that proves anything laughably obtuse. Look at the data for say the last 50 years - including the last 17 years- and the trend of rising average temperatures is undeniable.

          It has been shown to be in error, so should be forgotten, or modified to match the facts as discovered by experiment. "

          No it hasnt. The facts continue to overwhelmingly support AGW. In fact June 2014 was the warmest on record ever!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No Surprise

      " who are we laymen supposed to believe?"

      Well, you have to tread carefully. After all, according to "They Work For You," Peter Lilley also works for oil companies, with their agenda in this regard - http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10362/peter_lilley/hitchin_and_harpenden#register And Graham Strainger has been on a jolly to oil-producing Saudi Arabia - http://www.theyworkforyou.com/regmem/?p=10576

      So while it's interesting that this committee does not appear qualified to make scientific statements based on only two members have a scientific background, as ever with something as mind-bogglingly complex as climate, there's more to this than meets the eye. Before the downvotes start, note I'm not taking sides, just pointing out other issues relevant to this debate.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No Surprise

        Reply Icon

        Re: No Surprise

        " who are we laymen supposed to believe?"

        QL:

        "Well, you have to tread carefully. After all, according to "They Work For You," Peter Lilley also works for oil companies, with their agenda in this regard - http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10362/peter_lilley/hitchin_and_harpenden#register And Graham Strainger has been on a jolly to oil-producing Saudi Arabia - http://www.theyworkforyou.com/regmem/?p=10576

        So while it's interesting that this committee does not appear qualified to make scientific statements based on only two members have a scientific background, as ever with something as mind-bogglingly complex as climate, there's more to this than meets the eye. Before the downvotes start, note I'm not taking sides, just pointing out other issues relevant to this debate."

        Why not try YEO's? http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10658/tim_yeo/south_suffolk#register

      2. ToddR

        Re: No Surprise

        @ql

        So what, Tim Yeo works for the wind farm industry and gets paid £300K a year as well as being an MP

        1. Fluffy Bunny
          Angel

          Re: No Surprise

          "Tim Yeo works for the wind farm industry"... so the likelihood of him coming out with anything harmful to his employers can be assumed to be very very low?

          1. BillyV

            Re: No Surprise

            Never ask a barber if you need a haircut. 97 % of the time he will say YES!! Same with Tim Yeo. Don't expect an honest answer that is not biased in that direction. In addition:

            Global Warming:

            “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

            - Upton Sinclair

    5. thx1138v2

      Re: No Surprise

      The way I've been judging it is by the accuracy of the computer models used to predict the future. The last report I saw said they could be proven to be 30% accurate. Basing any action on that data is like playing Russian Roulette with four bullets in the gun - a 66% chance of a bad outcome.

      Consensus can be wrong. i.e. the earth is flat was the consensus at one time. Throw money (grants) and politics (delivering those grants) into the brew makes me think that 30% accuracy should also be in question.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No Surprise

        "Basing any action on that data is like playing Russian Roulette with four bullets in the gun - a 66% chance of a bad outcome."

        Surely that is an argument against pulling the CO2 trigger!

      2. Marcus Aurelius

        Re: No Surprise

        Actually the odds of killing yourself in Russian Roulette are lower than the 1/6 (assuming a six chamber revolver) you might think. Gravity is likely to increase the odds of a free spinning cylinder coming to rest with the bullets on the bottom

        1. Tom 13

          Re: are lower than the 1/6

          Except that he specified 4 of the six chambers, so the odds will depend on the exact configuration for the bullets. In the case of 1-2-1-2 the symmetry would tend to cancel the gravity effect, giving essentially the 4/6 odds he quoted.

        2. briesmith

          Re: No Surprise

          You would be surprised to learn that it's the uppermost bullet in a revolver that falls under the hammer.

          Provided the bullets in the gun were loaded in adjacent chambers the early gamblers would do best. Don't be third or thereafter though.

      3. Chris 239

        Re: No Surprise

        Thing is though

        if we reduce our carbon output and the Warmists are wrong then all we do is spend some money developing technology.

        Conversely if we don't and the worst predictions of the Warmists are right then a lot of us Die of starvation and wars.

        So yes' it's like Russian Roulette but pulling the trigger is equivalent to carrying on regardless

        1. david 63

          Re: No Surprise

          Oh dear. The "what if we made a better world for no reason" argument.

          I don't know where to start.

    6. Faux Science Slayer

      "Mommie Can We Play Obombie Truth Origami"

      There is NO Carbon climate forcing, NO greenhouse gas and NO back radiation warming.

      It's all a big banker buzz kill.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No Surprise

      You should be wary of those who have obscurer reason to sell an idea, no matter what that idea is. If APG is real, then there is a great deal of money to made from it, and APG's cheerleaders could give a fig about the likes of you and me. We are now in the hands of misanthropes, make no mistake about that. If APG is not real, there is still a great deal of money to made out of the changes in the economy. Those changes, will throw a great many people out of work and not just members of the working class. The mythical "middle" class will take an even worse beating.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No Surprise

      "The IPCC's latest AR5 report takes a firmly alarmist position on carbon and climate change, predicting massively accelerated global warming and attendant sea level rises, crop failures and other global disasters unless human emissions of greenhouse gases - particularly carbon dioxide - are sharply curbed"

      Unfortunately, the ongoing warming, sea level rise, ice melting, etc. etc. also support this position. June 2014 average surface temperature was the highest since records began.

      See http://earthsky.org/earth/record-high-global-temp-in-june-follows-record-warmth-in-may

      There are 3 research institutes in the world which track global temperatures. America’s National Climatic Data Center has just announced that we’ve seen the warmest June globally on record. Expect to hear plenty more on this in the coming months as this year will almost certainly be the warmest yet recorded, surpassing 2010.

    9. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Science = skepticism

      Assured confidence? That's down the hall, behind the door marked Religion.

      Science is self-correcting. Implies that at any point in time, some of the accepted Science is wrong. The Economist had an article on just how bad this can be, Trouble At The Lab.

      Those that bring religious rhetoric (believe, skeptic, heretic) into the debate are not engaged in science.

      The skeptical, logical Scientist does less harm than the ill-informed, illogical, EnvironMental 'We Gotta Do Something NOW!'* idjits.

      * Like burning Mongolian Coal to power factories to turn out windmills and solar panels.

      There are plenty of low hanging fruit being ignored. As opposed to the nonsense Hair Shirt measures being put too high on the priority list. Oh, there is no such list. There should be.

      1. LionelB

        Re: Science = skepticism

        "Assured confidence? That's down the hall, behind the door marked Religion.

        Science is self-correcting. Implies that at any point in time, some of the accepted Science is wrong. The Economist had an article on just how bad this can be, Trouble At The Lab.

        Those that bring religious rhetoric (believe, skeptic, heretic) into the debate are not engaged in science."

        Hear, hear.

        "The skeptical, logical Scientist does less harm than the ill-informed, illogical, EnvironMental 'We Gotta Do Something NOW!'* idjits."

        and:

        The skeptical, logical Scientist does less harm than the ill-informed, illogical, 'it's all a hoax perpetrated by venal climatologists*' idjits.

        *As if there is no funding for the poor underdog denialist lobby.

    10. MyffyW Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Just an idea...

      ... but since the debate on human influence upon climate will likely last longer than fossil fuel stocks, let's just fire up those nuclear reactors (well start building them anyway).

    11. LionelB

      Re: No Surprise

      As a layman, you're probably best off going with the scientific consensus. It tends to be right in the long run (e.g there is a causal link between smoking and cancer, the earth is not flat, and so on).

      1. Ragarath

        Re: No Surprise @LionelB

        As a layman, you're probably best off going with the scientific consensus. It tends to be right in the long run (e.g there is a causal link between smoking and cancer, the earth is not flat, and so on).

        As a laymen, and as I stated in my original post that started all this, please show me the consensus so that I can follow it. The reason I am leaning towards the sceptics is because at the moment their "evidence" seems to my untrained eye to be more accurate and more in line with my own observations as I go about my daily life.

        Even these comments show that there is not a consensus and there are a lot more people here that are more informed on the subject than I am.

    12. Marshalltown

      Re: No Surprise

      "But with all the hoo har about numbers being fudged on both sides of the debate who are we laymen supposed to believe?"

      The simplest thing is to go back to the best data, developed without political ambitions or biases either for or against modern life. Look up Geocarb III. You'll disocver that many of the sites that now display the Geocarb curve are now either madly pro or contra GW, but the curve itself doesn't change. about 500-million years ago, atmospheric CO2 was 20 times the preindustrial base RCO2 (that is 20 times 300 ppm, or 6,000 ppm). That's just the mean value, the error is wide. One point worth noting, if per chance you inherit a used time machine, don't, no really, don't head for the Carboniferous. There's so much CO2 in the atmosphere you would fall into acidosis, collapse and die.

      During the Permian RCO2 drops to modern levels (so do temps for the "CO2-has-no-effect" crowd), which are pretty much the lowest levels since complex life appeared on the planet. The Permian is terminated in what is often billed as the "biggest" extinction even in geological history - it wasn't, but given the relative diversity of life at the time, it was the "most thorough" extinct event. By the early mid-Mesozoic, say about about 150 million years ago, RCO2 has rebounded to a mere five times modern levels, so about 1,500 ppm. Since then it has been trending downward again to modern/Permian levels.

      The take-away? CO2 cannot cause catastrophic global warming because it has not. QED. Should we worry? Oh, yeah. Consider all those "modern extinctions" that folks are happily taking the blame for. Permian? No folks there. We - humanity - might be (probably are) responsible for some modern extinctions. But, since we do not really know what actually triggered the Permian event - (yeah, yeah, Siberian traps, methane, farting trilobites,...) - really, we don't - it is worth asking whether we are actually seeing the beginning of a Permian class die off right now, and whether we get to go along for the ride.

      1. david 63

        Re: No Surprise

        @Marxhalltown

        I think you may have fudged some numbers...

        6,000ppm is no where near as lethal as you have suggested.

        You need to get to 20,000ppm before the effects are apparent.

        80,000 to 150,000ppm before there is a danger of death.

        From http://www.ivhhn.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=84:

        (1% is 10,000ppm)

        Exposure limits

        (% in air)

        Health Effects

        2-3 Unnoticed at rest, but on exertion there may be marked shortness of breath

        3 Breathing becomes noticeably deeper and more frequent at rest

        3-5 Breathing rhythm accelerates. Repeated exposure provokes headaches

        5 Breathing becomes extremely laboured, headaches, sweating and bounding pulse

        7.5 Rapid breathing, increased heart rate, headaches, sweating, dizziness, shortness of breath, muscular weakness, loss of mental abilities, drowsiness, and ringing in the ears

        8-15 Headache, vertigo, vomiting, loss of consciousness and possibly death if the patient is not immediately given oxygen

        10 Respiratory distress develops rapidly with loss of consciousness in 10-15 minutes

        15 Lethal concentration, exposure to levels above this are intolerable

        25+ Convulsions occur and rapid loss of consciousness ensues after a few breaths. Death will occur if level is maintained.

  2. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    Joke

    I love the way the homeopath fanboi was singled out. Question if such a person makes a microscopic contribution to the committee debates (ie at home building a duck pond), would they still claim to have had a significant impact on the decisions?

    1. Tom 13
      Devil

      Re: a microscopic contribution ... significant impact on the decisions

      Well, if you believe in homeopathy, the answer is obviously YES!

  3. paulc

    So it really is a religion...

    Dogma... go against the consensus and you're out... Just like Galileo was when he claimed that the earth went round the sun and had proof...

    1. Mike Smith

      Re: So it really is a religion...

      "Just like Galileo was when he claimed that the earth went round the sun and had proof"

      Ah no, he didn't. He couldn't prove it, and that was what landed him in hot water with the Inquisition. If he could have proved it, he would probably have been lauded by the church. But he still stuck to the Copernican idea of circular orbits and couldn't explain the inconsistencies in the planets' behaviour.

      Newton proved it when he realised the planets' orbits were elliptical.

      1. DropBear Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: So it really is a religion...

        Newton proved it when he realised why the planets' orbits were elliptical.

        FTFY. It's rather easy to 'realise' something that has been already discovered by, say, Kepler...

        1. Tom 13

          Re: rather easy to 'realise' something

          In this debate I'd have to give the win Mike Smith on points. Yes, Kepler observed the ellipses, but it was Newton who realized their significance and then proved the Sun was at the center of the solar system. Although I believe he too made the mistake of assuming it was also the center of the universe.

  4. Geoff Campbell
    Facepalm

    "So we can see..."

    Erm, no, we can see no such thing, from the facts presented. You'll have to try harder than that.

    GJC

  5. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

    As a scientist by training myself...

    I'd say that even though absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, it seems rather hard to interpret said absence of evidence as positive proof as the IPCC is doing.

    "There's no evidence, and that's no evidence of absence, therefore it must be happening" seems a bit twisted to say the least.

  6. TrishaD

    A Physicist and a Chemist

    Run through with me what makes membership of either discipline any greater degree of expertise in climate change than any other educated person? Would a degree in Biology make someone more expert regarding the Higgs Boson?

    On the other side of the coin however, doesnt Time Yeo have interests in wind farming? And, if so, isnt that a conflict in interests?

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: A Physicist and a Chemist

      Apologies for proffering nutrition to an under-bridge dweller...

      Science degrees all require some training in analysing data, like say the data showing not particularity strong short term correlation between emissions and temperature.

      Not entirely convinced that degrees in politics/history/cornflakes/mining provide the same analytical thinking training...

      1. Geoff Campbell

        Re: A Physicist and a Chemist

        I'm not sure I care much for the implicit assumption that a person's skills and views begin and end with their degree, to be honest. Personally, I try and learn and develop throughout life, and even if I had gone to university, it would now be two and a half decades in my past.

        GJC

        1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          Re: A Physicist and a Chemist (walk into a bar).

          I have a science degree, but I don't feel qualified to assess and discard the millions of hours of research and analysis put in by those who have made this topic their life's work. Just like I don't feel qualified to design a nuclear reactor, knock up some meta-materials in my basement or attempt to genetically modify my cat.

          All you've managed to demonstrate is that some people, sometimes even those with a sciency background, be they MPs or naval-officers-turned-journalists, let dogma override reason whenever this particular topic comes up.

          1. Nial

            Re: A Physicist and a Chemist (walk into a bar).

            "All you've managed to demonstrate is that some people, sometimes even those with a sciency background, be they MPs or naval-officers-turned-journalists, let dogma override reason whenever this particular topic comes up."

            Aye, except two of them are letting reason override dogma.

      2. TrishaD

        Re: A Physicist and a Chemist

        "Apologies for proffering nutrition to an under-bridge dweller"

        Thanks for that. You might want to consider that differing views dont constitute trolling even when you disagree with them.

      3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: A Physicist and a Chemist

        On the other hand, our two scientists actually said:

        "However, there remain great uncertainties about how much warming a given increase in greenhouse gases will cause, how much damage any temperature increase will cause and the best balance between adaptation versus prevention of global warming."

        and apart from the first, these are not questions for climate science. The other committee members, with more of an economic background, might be more able to judge.

    2. Tatsky

      Re: A Physicist and a Chemist

      I guess a scientist of any discipline has experience and training in designing experiments to test hypothesis, and anaylysing the data to come to a conclusion about the success of that experiment and drawing out relevant facts from those results to support their hypothesis.

      Therefore they are also trained in identifying the potential errors in data, or the method of collection, and are also able to highlight where the conclusions may be wrong or not fully supported by the data.

      The crux here is drawing conclusions from data, and the scientists are probably better at this than a creative writer or history student.

      So the question posed here is if a huge volume of CO2 released into the atmosphere over a period which did not see significant change in temperature recorded, then some other factors must have an impact on climate change which we are not fully aware of. i.e. was there something offsetting any increase in temperature caused by the CO2, or when increases were observed in the 80's and 90's was there some other factor at play. The results indicate that CO2 is not the cause/only factor/variable at play.

      1. Maty

        Re: A Physicist and a Chemist

        'The crux here is drawing conclusions from data, and the scientists are probably better at this than a creative writer or history student.'

        Why a history student rather than a historian? Drawing conclusions from data is exactly what a historian does.

        Or did you think it was just about memorizing dates?

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: A Physicist and a Chemist

        "i.e. was there something offsetting any increase in temperature caused by the CO2, or when increases were observed in the 80's and 90's was there some other factor at play."

        Mmmm...does it correlate with CFC emmisions?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Linux

          Re: A Physicist and a Chemist

          "i.e. was there something offsetting any increase in temperature caused by the CO2, or when increases were observed in the 80's and 90's was there some other factor at play."

          "Mmmm...does it correlate with CFC emmisions?"

          If we are to accept correlation as causation ( weak reed at best), CFC's may not be your best bet. In the seventies there was an intense effort to reduce sulphur compound emissions from coal fired power plants and transportation fuels. This was the environmental cause celeb of an early attack on fossil fuels. For an amusing take on this, I recommend the song "Acid Rain" by the Austin Lounge Lizards.

          Sulphur compunds in the atmosphere positively effect cloud formation (hence acid rain), clouds effect surface temperature through changes in albedo, and the lack of clouds causes warming. The vast bulk of climate models do not consider cloud activity as a negative forcing although they may consider increases in water vapor (an extremely effective GHG) as a positive forcing. The reasons given when inquiry is made is that clouds are not well understood, historical data is not available (perhaps an opportunity for grants to historians), and that clouds are difficult to model. The few models that do include clouds appear to have a higher correlation with temperature data on a future predictive basis. Predicting the past with enough adjustable parameters is not science (see Fermi and elephants).

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A Physicist and a Chemist

        The crux here is drawing conclusions from data, and the scientists are probably better at this than a creative writer or history student.

        Yes, in a big enough sample.

      4. dan1980

        Re: A Physicist and a Chemist

        @Tatsky

        "So the question posed here is if a huge volume of CO2 released into the atmosphere over a period which did not see significant change in temperature recorded, then some other factors must have an impact on climate change which we are not fully aware of."

        Well, that is one question - and a valid one - but there is another which is to ask whether "global mean temperature" is the only measure of global warming, or whether other measurements - such as lower tropospheric temperature, near-surface air temperature, ocean heat content, glacier mass balance, etc... - show evidence of the "huge volume of CO2" having any effect.

        A scientist should indeed be trained in analysis and interpretation of data. But, using that training to assess only a single data set is not conclusive. That is not to assign any fault to the scientist doing so - it merely highlights a potential pitfall of applying an analysis to data when you are not familiar with the field in question and thus don't know that there are other data sets available.

    3. Tom 13

      Re: A Physicist and a Chemist

      Perhaps a Biologist would not be more expert in the Higgs Boson per se, but at least when presented with data discussing it, I would expect him to be better able to analyze it than a creative writer. I've known both sorts, and while creative writers may thrill my imagination, their analytical skills on the sciences are usually rather lacking. Moreover, the climate change inherently depends on contributions from the physicist and the chemist. If they tell you you have f*cked up the fundamentals, odds are you have f*cked up the fundamentals. If the base of the structure is poorly built, it will collapse. Granted in the climate change analogy the Biologist probably puts in the first floor, but the other two still pour the foundation. The artsy fartsy guys just hang the gargoyls on the outside after everybody else is done.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No lawyer?

    A room full of MPs and not a single lawyer? That is surprising; I thought they were everywhere.

    1. WonkoTheSane Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: No lawyer?

      Lawyers couldn't take the pay cut

  8. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Says it all

    about the value of science in 21st century Britian

  9. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Boffin

    Serious (maths) question ...

    If we're all agreed that weather is a chaotic system, then is there some theorem somewhere which shows that sampling a chaotic system regularly over time (say, every day) will result in an overall data set which *isn't* chaotic ? Because if the answer is "no" then it seems to me that climate is as chaotic as the weather it drives, and - by definition - no amount of modelling, or knowing start states is going to give us more than a few reliable data points, before it starts drifiting.

    Icon, not because I claim to be one, but I'd like the answer from one ->

    1. Steve Knox

      Re: Serious (maths) question ...

      In this context, "chaotic" means "complex and highly sensitive to initial conditions", and not "non-deterministic" as commonly interpreted. The short answer is that regular sampling can give insight into trends and correlations.

      Wikipedia is a surprisingly good starting point for questions like these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaotic_systems#Distinguishing_random_from_chaotic_data. As usual, don't take it as gospel, but you can get the basic idea, and follow the references for more detail.

      1. Hargrove

        Re: Serious (maths) question ...

        A more precise characterization of chaotic behavior exhibited by complex, non-linear systems is not simply that they are sensitive to input conditions, but that an arbitrarily small change in an input can generate an arbitrarily large change in the system response. Time is of the essence. In the physical world input conditions rarely stay constant long enough for the effects to become noticeable, much less catastrophic. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge and Chernobyl are notable exceptions.

        We are surrounded by chaotic behavior on small scale. Things that flutter in the breeze, streams that transition from smooth flowing (the scientific term is "laminar') to turbulent, the out of balance wheel that decides to start vibrating at 110 km/hr.

        The last illustrates the point that chaos is not random. The wheel can be reliably expected to misbehave consistently at the same speed. But this is an egregiously simple system. Chaos may not be random. But it can be devilishly difficult to predict--particularly with digital modeling and simulation where the input values are discrete and there is always the possibility that the critical input value falls through the cracks.

        Two points: one pro and one con on the "MP skeptics." Pro: Given the complexity of the issue a healthy skepticism about any conclusions drawn at our current state of knowledge is appropriate. Greater honesty and open-mindedness than either the alarmist or denialist camps have exhibited is going to be critical. Con: With respect to global climate anyone, on either side, who cites the behavior of a single system parameter over a fifteen year period as a basis for asserting anything meaningful has nothing to contribute to the discussion.

        1. Hargrove

          Re: Serious (maths) question ...

          @Hargrove

          While I am naturally a great admirer of Hargrove, there are times when he steps in it.

          Regarding the following statement from his last post,

          With respect to global climate anyone, on either side, who cites the behavior of a single system parameter over a fifteen year period as a basis for asserting anything meaningful has nothing to contribute to the discussion.

          assertions regarding the apparent rate of increase in atmospheric CO2 over the last 15 years are critical inputs to the discussion. The accuracy of the data and the causes and effects may be debated. (Personal view is that the evidence overwhelmingly points to human activity as a primary cause.) But the data are damned well meaningful.

          Just one old man's (revised) opinion.

          1. Tom 13

            Re: @Hargrove

            Except that we have now moved to 20 years instead of 15. And when the initial assertions were made were were told you might perhaps see 10 years in which random variation suppressed the underlying trend. AND we've been told that unless immediate and drastic action was taken, within 100 years (later revised to 200) we would have such massive shifts in weather patterns due to climate change that the world as we know will essentially cease to exist. So at this point we are either 10 or 20% of the way along the asserted curve but have none of the predicted warming. Which means the prediction is wrong.

            Now, it may be that there is a threshold level thing. But that certainly wasn't what was asserted, so the assertion MUST be withdrawn or it is simply no longer science.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Hargrove

              "So at this point we are either 10 or 20% of the way along the asserted curve but have none of the predicted warming"

              Erm - but we do. Average global temperatures are still rising, the ice is still melting and the oceans are consistently rising...

        2. btao

          Re: Serious (maths) question ...

          Hargrove, an excellent observation, and happens to be why I am still a skeptic. I'm also one of those multi-discipline engineer types, and am used to analyzing causes and effects of complex systems.

          As I've said to many with similar questions about the chaos they observe and attempt to draw conclusions, is simply to point out what exactly they are trying to conclude to determine the origin of the data to support the subsequent conclusion. Simply put, there is no such thing as chaos in a universe governed by the laws of science. The difficulty is knowing when you've reached the point where you have mapped out all the trends for all the data streams individually, then combine them in an experimental manner to isolate all the variables and their combined effects, and then plot them over time.

          Firstly, I'm absolutely positive after reviewing the data from all of the recent reports that there's probably 1/10 of the raw data to even begin to make a rough prediction. It's just not there as there are way too many factors, and historical factors have constantly changed over time, to the point that each cycle has to be mapped and analyzed to the specific inputs, and then added back into the overall mix.

          The most important thing to note that most laypeople don't understand well is that the causes and effects are vastly different things. As you put it, each input has a different level of effect based upon the other inputs, and that non-linearity is hard to comprehend beyond a few factors, and requires complicated math to be able to make an accurate determination of root cause for a particular event.

          The other thing people have a hard time grasping is the concept and expansiveness of time. People tend to only look to the present and recent history since it's all that's known to them.

          We know from the ice cores that Earth despite all the changes to the inputs has had very regular warming and cooling cycles. And, the warming cycles peak quickly and then normalize. Based on the simple ice core trends, we are supposed to be entering a warming cycle, which will eventually stabilize and cool back off over another 125,000 years. And then, based on the sub-cycle variation exhibiting larger swings than what we are currently experiencing, there leaves in my mind around a 1% chance that anything we are doing has any mention-able effect on the climate that's changing.

          My view of climate change is that YES, it CHANGES! Get over it.

          My biggest fear is doing something drastic that bypasses the earth's ability to dampen the process (and it's inhabitants ability to adapt) based on one of those very reactive inputs because everyone wants to freak out and fix things that aren't broken.

          1. Tom 13

            Re: there is no such thing as chaos

            Actually there is and it has been mathematically proven as a result of some mistaken assumptions about data inputs for weather systems. Such systems may be cyclically stable or unstable, but they are chaotic. We're just fortunate most of the systems we've found in science aren't subject to them.

            I concur with everything else in you post.

          2. LionelB
            WTF?

            Re: Serious (maths) question ...

            "My view of climate change is that YES, it CHANGES! Get over it.

            My biggest fear is doing something drastic that bypasses the earth's ability to dampen the process (and it's inhabitants ability to adapt) based on one of those very reactive inputs because everyone wants to freak out and fix things that aren't broken."

            And pumping gazillions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere is NOT "doing something drastic" ?!?

      2. P. Lee

        Re: Serious (maths) question ...

        >"chaotic" means "complex and highly sensitive to initial conditions"

        > The short answer is that regular sampling can give insight into trends and correlations.

        I think we've reached the nub of it. The problem is that "complexity" beyond our capability to understand is indistinguishable from "non-deterministic." So we fall back on trends and correlations which leads us back to "consensus" which is just stats and may lead to thinking there are relationships where there are none or it may indeed identify relationships - there's no way of telling the difference.

        Perhaps if the government said, "no you can't build a new housing development on a flood plain without Dutch-style flood prevention" they might have more credibility than when they say, "let's sell pollution licenses and create a market for trading them." Which is what it really comes down to. If the government really believed that the science was settled then they could stop funding the science research and start funding the countermeasures. Which they aren't, so we don't believe them. They appear to be more interested in the story-telling of climate disaster than in mitigating said disaster.

      3. Tom 13

        Re: highly sensitive to initial conditions", and not "non-deterministic"

        This assertion is unproven and that is the crux of the problem with climate science.

        As someone with background training in Astronomy, where the baselines being projected relative to the data collected, it is obvious that even though the baselines for climate are shorter than the ones for my area, they are still too short for the level of certainty claimed by the Warmists.

        Astronomy can at least trace its databases back to the middle ages, and sometimes further. The real weather data exists for essentially the last 50 years. Essentially the time of weather satellites. While meteorological data have been collected prior to that, the preceding 150 years correlate more like the alchemy times as compared to chemistry. It's not that they were unaware of the scientific methods prior to that, they simply didn't have the means to collect the data.

    2. Ranmn

      Re: Serious (maths) question ...

      Serious (maths) Question...

      As you look at statistical data, small samples are very prone to error, as you increase your data samples your error rate decreases.

      One of the problems with the Climate Change debate is the entire data set is quite small in the grand scheme of things. Climate Change is measured over long periods of time, ie.. centuries. So taking a 15 year sampling, or 30 year, 40 year, you are prone to statistical errors due to the small data sample. Even if you expand your range to say 150 years, (problem here is that noone has been collecting all of the data, and there are serious questions about the measurement methods used in the 1800's).

      You simply cannot get accurate temperature measurements from tree rings. And the sea temperature measurements in the 1800's were done by dropping a thermometer over the side on a rope, no adjustments were made for currents and/or movement of the ship etc.. So a 100 foot rope did not actually measure the temperature 100 ft below the surface.

  10. Watashi

    The heat is on?

    Yet the five warmest years on record have taken place in the last fifteen years, and 2014 looks like it'll be another hot one. We have not seen an increase in temperatures recently, but temperatures have not gone back to what we would expect if CO2 was having no effect. That's teh one fact that seems to pass the skeptics by. If CO2 doesn't matter, why are temperatures not going up then down?

    1. Geoff Campbell

      Re: The heat is on?

      The temperatures are going up. Anyone claiming they are not does not understand how to draw a trend on a graph, or, worse, is deliberately choosing to draw the trend onto a small subset of the graph to prove their point.

      However, the increase has slowed somewhat, probably because more heat energy is going into the oceans, which are (as I understand it) warming faster than was expected. This is not a good thing.

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/no-warming-in-16-years.htm

      GJC

      1. Nial

        Re: The heat is on?

        Instead of being spoon fed bollocks from 'skeptical science' why don't you look at the raw data to see what's going on...

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1840

        You can pick the data source, dates, apply averaging etc.

        Any changes in "deep" ocean heat are within the measurement errors.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The heat is on?

        "is deliberately choosing to draw the trend onto a small subset of the graph to prove their point"

        indeed, that would that be like drawing any conclusions from the small sub-set of readings 'since records began' (let's say 150 year) against the 4.54 billion years of undocumented 'earth climate' data, I wonder has it ever been warmer.... or colder... hmmmmmm....

        1. Primus Secundus Tertius

          Re: The heat is on?

          "...has it ever been warmer...or colder"

          Yes to both.

          a. When the dinosaurs inhabited Mesozoic Britain they did not have to worry about frosty evenings. For most of the last 500 million years, where abundant fossils can be subjected to isotopic analysis, the earth was much warmer than now.

          b. The most recent ice age peaked (or troughed) about 20,000 years ago. Most of Britain was covered in a sheet of ice. All humans now in Britain arrived since, or are descended from those who arrived since. There are older human remains in Britain, from earlier warmer times.

          In the last two million years three ice ages came and went, long before men were burning coal and oil on an industrial scale. The fourth ice age is receding, erratically. So things are getting warmer because the climate is returning to a long term equilibrium, not because things are out of control. Climate can change without human intervention, and in my opinion the IPCC have not proved that present changes are caused by humans.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The heat is on?

            "So things are getting warmer because the climate is returning to a long term equilibrium, not because things are out of control"

            Erm no. If we go by the primary cause of the last Ice Age that you reference - Milkovich cycles - it should currently be getting colder, not warmer:

            http://www.climatedata.info/Forcing/Forcing/milankovitchcycles_files/page70_sidebar-w02-milankovitch-and-temperature.gif

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The heat is on?

          "I wonder has it ever been warmer.... or colder... hmmmmmm...."

          Sure it has - for various different reasons.

          We know that we now have likely the highest atmospheric CO2 levels in the last 20 million years. And we know that increased CO2 levels historically correlate very closely with sea level and temperature rises.

    2. Someonehasusedthathandle

      Re: The heat is on?

      " but temperatures have not gone back to what we would expect if CO2 was having no effect."

      The problem is that we seem to expect the weather and the climate to follow set rules and conform to our predictions. It's a massively complex system that is a constant state of flux with way too many variables to be able to properly predict. What if the way it is is the same as it would be if we weren't here.

      Solar flares, meteors, everyone and their son launching rockets, increase in shipping tonnage, increase in air traffic, earthquakes, sinkholes. Everything changes something. Some might be a small change but still a change.

      Maybe things like the great barrier reef dying are due to sea levels rising caused by the amount of shipping raising the sea level by a few "mm". Doubt that was on anybodies climate model.

      (I do fully expect someone smarter than me to pick holes in what I say. But my point stands, small change is still change. Not all of it is ever predicted)

    3. Maty

      Re: The heat is on?

      'Yet the five warmest years on record have taken place in the last fifteen years.'

      If so how does this square with average temperatures not increasing in the same period? That's what it says in the story. To keep the average, doesn't this mean that the other years must have been significantly colder?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The heat is on?

        "If so how does this square with average temperatures not increasing in the same period"

        Claims that temperature hasn't increased are relying on dubious statistics

      2. gloucester

        Re: The heat is on?

        To maintain a stable average over fifteen years some of those fifteen years must have been rather colder than the hottest ones. That does not mean that the average over this fifteen years is not hotter than a period of fifteen years starting say 65 or 165 years previously though.

        That the CO2 input has increased without a linear increase in temperature out may indicate there are additional factors to consider; there are probably very many, and effort should be (and I believe is being) put into investigating what and how important they might be.

        Given however that:

        a) temperatures seem likely to increase further (from whatever cause),

        then perhaps corresponding effort needs to be put into:

        b) quantifying the resultant effects,

        and if these are significantly negative,

        c) considering whether prevention is (still) possible,

        and if that is unlikely/costly/would take too long anyway,

        d) how to mitigate the damaging effects.

        My problem with "the GCC debate" is that I see far too much bickering from all sides about a) and b), a one-sided response about c) that seems unlikely to stop most of b) anyway, and next to dick-all about d). *sigh*

        Oh and if we do d) and a) doesn't happen, so what, we're at least likely to have some nice sea defences to walk on, or whizzy water distribution tech, or have kept some peeps in work in the meantime, or ...

    4. Ranmn

      Re: The heat is on?

      The questions isn't whether our planet is warming, anyone can see that over the past 40/50/75 years we have seen variations in temperature on a global level with a general trend upwards.

      The question is whether CO2 emissions are the primary driving factor in that temperature increase. Since this is one of the things that governments can tax this is what they have focused on. But there are obviously other factors involved, which are not taxable.

      This whole debate then becomes a political debate over taxes rather than a scientific debate. In that case the panel discussed in this article is actually made up of the right mix, with the majority being politically minded members rather than scientific.

      In this current debate, its not what you can prove scientifically, its what you can convince the tax base to believe, and therefore how much you can tax them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The heat is on?

        "The question is whether CO2 emissions are the primary driving factor in that temperature increase."

        That ceased to be in scientific doubt about 15 years ago, and that humans were the primary cause of the increase in CO2 at least a decade ago. The outstanding scientific questions are how bad is it going to get and it what time frame?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The heat is on?

        "The questions isn't whether our planet is warming, anyone can see that over the past 40/50/75 years we have seen variations in temperature on a global level with a general trend upwards."

        You're short termist view is verging on the hilarious, climate change is measured in geological time scales where 10,000 years is just momentary blip, you 40/50/75 year timespan is the blinking of an eye, come back in 100,000 years and tell me it's getting warmer....

  11. Kevin Johnston
    Trollface

    Alternatively....

    If a third of the CO2 has been released and there was no significant change in temperature then does that not suggest that CO2 actually PREVENTS global warming?

  12. Craig Chambers
    WTF?

    Medical Doctor

    Can I ask why the medical doctor is not included in those with a scientific background? While a medical doctorate is only a degree by other academic standards, it's certainly a scientific one with a strong reliance on chemistry, biology, statistical analysis and scientific studies.

    I'm not making a judgement into the rights and wrongs of the panel's decisions, but the article seems to initially imply that only two panel members have scientific training (i.e. "*The* two with science degrees"), when in fact they are equally matched by two other panel members with scientific training.

    1. Alistair Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Medical Doctor

      I have to concurr with the question. MD's (specialist or GP) have to have solid basic analytical skills. Why is the GP not included in the "scientifc" folks list. Other than the fact that he agreed with the presented report.

      To start with:

      Gaia: Age ~2 Billion years.

      SOL: Age ~ 4 Billion years. (Single largest influence on our climate)

      AGW: event period <100 Years.

      Solid Data regarding AGW: <50 years.

      Lets do the statistical relevance on that stack of facts please.

    2. Steve Knox
      Holmes

      Re: Medical Doctor

      Because this is a Lewis Page article on climate change. Anything which doesn't fit his narrative is quietly ignored.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Medical Doctor

      agree with you on the medic, and I'd also lump the maths degree holder in with the boffins as well

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Medical Doctor

      Medical doctor's have been shown to follow about 200 simple rules, that is the knowledge base they have.

      GP's probably less.

      Now if they had in-depth knowledge of maths(not pure) preferably stats based that might help

      1. Preston Munchensonton

        Re: Medical Doctor

        In recent decades, medical doctors have learned these types of statistical analysis in something called Evidence-based Medicine. Virtually every pharmaceutical study requires it...

  13. dkjd

    Medical doctor (GP) not a scientist?

    I thought that getting a doctorate, which actually involves doing "research" might qualify someone a bit to understand "research". But not at the register, where you get grouped with homeopaths.

    Are you saying that medicine is not a science?

    1. Fading
      Trollface

      Re: Medical doctor (GP) not a scientist?

      If my GP is anything to go by then no medicine is not a science..........

      Leaches and scarification was the medical consensus not too long ago - and given the performance of consensus medicine over stomach ulcers in recent times I would probably not rate GPs as scientists......

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Medical doctor (GP) not a scientist?

        "If my GP is anything to go by then no medicine is not a science.........."

        The first time I saw a specialist type my symptoms into Google was the first time I realised medical science isn't what I thought it was.

        No joke icon because this is, sadly, not a joke.

    2. frank ly

      @dkjd Re: Medical doctor (GP) not a scientist?

      I'm sure that most GPs don't have doctorates, i.e. PhDs awarded for original research. They have have medical degrees in a similar way that I have an engineering degree. 'Doctor' is a very old fashioned courtesy title when used to address them.

      1. A Twig

        Re: @dkjd Medical doctor (GP) not a scientist?

        My understanding was - when a Doctor completes their initial education, they have the Bachelor of Medicine or Bachelor of Surgery degrees. They can then go out to be a GP or whatever. They can then go on to get further education - usually done while working - to become an MD.

        If they decide to specialise, doing Research to cure cancer etc via a PhD program, they have to renounce the Doctor title in the medical sense, as they are no longer a general Doctor, they aren't keeping up to date in the wide field of general medicine - hence why if you are really screwed illness wise, you suddenly start meeting very highly paid specialist consultants with the title Mr...

        To further muddy the waters though, there are a lot of surgeons who as members of the RCS are referred to as Mr...

        Short version, if you're in hospital, and you suddenly start being seen by medical professionals who aren't surgeons but are being called Mr, you're probably very ill...

        1. phil dude
          Boffin

          Re: @dkjd Medical doctor (GP) not a scientist?

          MD's are not necessarily specifically research trained (AFAIK). In the last few decades there has been the rise in the "MD-Phd", which is the arc in many disciplines that are of ongoing development e.g. neurology, cancer, etc.. But not GPs, although re-education is hot topic right now (in the UK).

          In the UK there has been an attempt to "jump start" MD-PhD, by dangling a 2-year MD for Biochem/Chem PhD's, which is quite tempting...

          However, the main practical reason is to enable a clinician to run/write research grants within the overhead-friendly environment of a hospital/medical research complex (in the USA).

          As to the actual subject of this article, scepticism is warranted if only because this issue has become politically toxic.

          Weather prediction can be validated in 4 hours.

          Climate prediction....?

          P.

      2. david 12 Silver badge

        Re: @dkjd Medical doctor (GP) not a scientist?

        I'm sure that most PhD's aren't trained Doctors. 'Doctor' is a very old fashioned courtesy title when used to address PhDs.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "By definition, a period with record emissions but no warming cannot provide evidence that emissions are the dominant cause of warming!"

    Oh dear logic fail

  15. Steve Knox
    Boffin

    Selectivity

    "About one third of all the CO2 emitted by mankind since the industrial revolution has been put into the atmosphere since 1997; yet there has been no statistically significant increase in the mean global temperature since then," the two MPs state.

    Why did they pick 1997? Because 1997 and 1998 were high-anomaly years,so they skew short-term analysis. Had they started from 1999, or 1996, they would have seen a clear trend. The overall trend is clearly warming, even from 1997 onward. http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.A2.txt

    "By definition, a period with record emissions but no warming cannot provide evidence that emissions are the dominant cause of warming!"

    This statement ignores so many factors (e.g, selective dataset, overall chaotic nature of the system being studied, delaying factors) that I'm ashamed it was released by human beings, let alone ones with "scientific training."

    Even someone trained as a scientist can fall prey to poor (or even intentionally biased) data selection. This is why we have the scientific method.

    1. Nial

      Re: Selectivity

      > This is why we have the scientific method.

      Can you tell us what you understand this to be?

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Selectivity

        Hypothesis

        Test

        Conclusions

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Selectivity

          Downvoted because it's incomplete ...

          1. Observations (Things fall down)

          2. Hypothesis (The Earth sucks)

          3. Test (some things float in air e.g Balloons)

          4. Conclusion (The Earth does not suck)

          5. Refine - goto 2.

    2. Nial

      Re: Selectivity

      "Why did they pick 1997? Because 1997 and 1998 were high-anomaly years,so they skew short-term analysis. Had they started from 1999, or 1996, they would have seen a clear trend"

      A _tiny_ trend (depending on how you cherry pick your start point).

      You have missed the big picture.

      ~ 1/3 of the CO2 since the industrial revolution has been emitted since then, the increase in temperature has been practically 0.

      Hypothesis destroyed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Selectivity

        "Hypothesis destroyed."

        Can you rule out 0.2C warming since 1997?

        No you can't.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Selectivity

      "Even someone trained as a scientist can fall prey to poor (or even intentionally biased) data selection. This is why we have the scientific method."

      Have you explained that the Micky Mann, or the royal society, they seem to have forgotten!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Selectivity

      1997 is a significant year. Tony Blair did a lot of talking that year. Possibly it took a year or so to have an impact on the data.

  16. Tom 38 Silver badge

    Maths is not science?

    Some consider mathematics to be the only pure science.

    Some do not (mainly physicists).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maths is not science?

      Science is an acceptance of a working hypothesis, a model, ready to be struck down and replaced at any moment, when a better one is found, maths is a fundamental truth, it is not science, it simply is....

      1. Nial

        Re: Maths is not science?

        "Science is an acceptance of a working hypothesis, a model, ready to be struck down and replaced at any moment, when a better one is found,"

        A better one doesn't have to be found.

        If an experiment shows a hypothesis to be wrong, then it's wrong.

        End of.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Maths is not science?

          Yes indeed you are correct, the entire field of research may turn out to be bogus.... Hmmm, now does that take us back to where we started I wonder :)

        2. Steve Knox

          Re: Maths is not science?

          "Science is an acceptance of a working hypothesis, a model, ready to be struck down and replaced at any moment, when a better one is found,"

          A better one doesn't have to be found.

          If an experiment shows a hypothesis to be wrong, then it's wrong.

          End of.

          Not quite, especially in physics.

          Observation in the nineteenth century showed that Newton's hypotheses were wrong, but they were accepted because the variances were a) generally found in edge cases, b) not significant for most purposes, and c) sometimes discarded as observational error.

          Now we know that Newton was indeed wrong, but his equations are still used, because a) and b) above are still true, and his equations are easier to wrangle than Einstein's.

          Hypotheses and models aren't disposed of immediately upon discovery (or even verification) of counterevidence; they are still valuable provided they are the closest or even an acceptable approximation.

  17. James Hughes 1

    On the whole

    Since the majority of the panel seem to be fairly well educated, even if not in a scientific subject, I would suggest they are all bright enough to make a fairly sane assessment of the situation.

    After all, their degrees were a long time in the past, and we all learn a lot in the intervening years. I have a degree in computer science, yet know a fair amount of physics etc. I can also strip an engine and reassemble it WITHOUT ANY BITS LEFT OVER. I certainly wasn't able to do that when I left university.

    In short, people can be smart in more than their degree subject as long as they start off smart.

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: On the whole

      Since the majority of the panel seem to be fairly well educated, even if not in a scientific subject, I would suggest they are all bright enough to make a fairly sane assessment of the situation.

      Well, highly educated men once thought that you could fit 10 angels on the head of a pin, and that disease was spread by bad air.

      Point taken ? Or are you prey to the conceit that we're perfect, whilst laughing at our ancestors ?

    2. you are idiots
      Devil

      Re: On the whole

      I've met tons of people with degree's, they all think they are smart.

      Generally I would put them down as "not understanding how stupid they are!".

      Main problem is they seem not to be able to think for themselves, if the problem was in their text books they could waffle a bit, as soon as it was something that needed imaginative thinking... blank stare!

      (best one was a guy with an Oxford degree in computers, he was good at waffle but completely incompetent! only taken on as his dad was a friend of the boss, didn't last long, an educated idiot is still an idiot at heart!)

      1. Maty

        Re: On the whole

        "I've met tons of people with degree's, they all think they are smart"

        Oh, my word. Where to start?

    3. Red Bren
      Coat

      @James Hughes 1: Engine Rebuilder

      "I can also strip an engine and reassemble it WITHOUT ANY BITS LEFT OVER."

      I'd be more impressed if you could rebuild the engine WITH bits left over, and it still worked!

      1. Hargrove

        Re: @James Hughes 1: Engine Rebuilder

        @ Red Bren

        "I can also strip an engine and reassemble it WITHOUT ANY BITS LEFT OVER."

        I stand in awe of my esteemed colleague. . .my challenge is always figuring out if the beast is going to run safely without all the bits and pieces I came up missing. (Modelers of AGW and GCC have the similar problems.)

    4. Tyrion

      Re: On the whole

      >> Since the majority of the panel seem to be fairly well educated, even if not in a scientific subject, I would suggest they are all bright enough to make a fairly sane assessment of the situation.

      I guess you didn't watch the video on youtube then. It had the MP's questioning IPCC supporters, and sceptics. The Chairman and the Scottish guy in particular came across as clueless to me.

  18. Thought About IT
    Thumb Down

    Conflict of Interest

    Just two climate committee MPs clash with IPCC - and at least one of them has a clear conflict of interest:

    "Tethys Petroleum (TSE:TPL) (LON:TPL) announced Wednesday that its vice chairman, Peter Lilley, has been appointed as the co-chairman of the Uzbek-British Trade & Industry Council (UBTIC).

    "I am very pleased that Peter has been appointed to this position which is instrumental in developing commercial and business relations between Britain and Uzbekistan,” said Tethys’ chairman, president and CEO, Dr. David Robson."

    From proactiveinvestors.com.

  19. Agincourt and Crecy!
    Mushroom

    Step back a moment, this is a political committee. I was always taught when looking at a paper then I needed to consider the perspective of the writer and the context of the paper. Peter Lilley is a non-executive director of Tethys Petroleum and is a shareholder of the same company. That must be taken into account as well as his background in physics and economics.

    There is a body of knowledge and a body of researchers looking into this. The consensus among the majority of researchers is that there is evidence of climate change and that this is related to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration increases. There is a definite change in weather patterns over recent years and while correlation and causation have to be treated with caution, understanding the underlying reason for this change in weather patterns will be critical for us moving forward.

    Feel free to hypothesise about historical values before we started collecting data, go out and look for evidence to support the hypothesis and then come back and present your work for peer review. I'm sure the folks working on this would welcome the input and you never know you might come up with something that could prevent flooding like we saw this winter.

    1. you are idiots
      Facepalm

      Agincourt and Crecy!: "I'm sure the folks working on this would welcome the input and you never know you might come up with something that could prevent flooding like we saw this winter."

      Yep dredging!!

  20. Nial

    " I was always taught when looking at a paper then I needed to consider the perspective of the writer and the context of the paper."

    A true observation is a true observation, it shouldn't matter who says it.

    But if you are adopting this approach then you'll have to take into account the fact that those working in climate 'science' have a massively vested interest in not de-railing the funding bandwagon. What are they all going to do when the sham is exposed?

    Or if you want to discount the input of anyone funded by 'big oil'....

    http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2013/general-information/thank-you-to-our-sponsors/

    1. Thought About IT
      Thumb Down

      Vested interest

      "you'll have to take into account the fact that those working in climate 'science' have a massively vested interest in not de-railing the funding bandwagon"

      Did you ever consider that their "massive vested interest" might simply be to warn us that we are behaving like lemmings walking towards a cliff, because we'll take them with us, if we don't alter course?

      We're not all sociopaths.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Vested interest

        "We're not all sociopaths."

        Then why do you insist on portraying anyone who questions the 'settled science' as such? They're not all toadies owned by big oil.

        1. Thought About IT

          Re: Vested interest

          "Then why do you insist on portraying anyone who questions the 'settled science' as such [sociopaths]? They're not all toadies owned by big oil."

          Because, given a clear risk to the stable climate which sustains us all, you'd have to be a sociopath to think that your political ideology is more important.

          1. Fading

            Re: Vested interest

            Look up the concept of "Evolutionary stable system" - and then think about how the earth as a water planet is able to keep such a relatively constant temperature (clue was in the question).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Vested interest

        Lemmings don't do that! It is well known that was faked by Disney! Boy your scientific knowledge is lacking!.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Vested interest

        Technically the path you have taken is sociopath.

        The bad solutions that you support via this, cause those solutions being proposed to do more damage society (especially the poor) no that your care as long as your belief is saving the planet (google golden rice for a prime example of misguided Eco thinking killing millions).

        Doing the wrong thing for what you believe are the right reasons is still wrong!.

        Bending the truth to embolden those reasons is still wrong!.

      4. Tom 13

        Re: We're not all sociopaths.

        You have yet to display any hard evidence to the contrary.

    2. Steve Knox

      " I was always taught when looking at a paper then I needed to consider the perspective of the writer and the context of the paper."

      A true observation is a true observation, it shouldn't matter who says it.

      A statement needs to be shown to be true before being accepted as true.

      But if you are adopting this approach then you'll have to take into account the fact that those working in climate 'science' have a massively vested interest in not de-railing the funding bandwagon. What are they all going to do when the sham is exposed?

      Well, with that modelling expertise, they could work in financial systems. In fact, if the money is their motivation, they should do that now. <a href="http://arstechnica.com/science/2011/02/if-climate-scientists-push-the-consensus-its-not-for-the-money/>http://arstechnica.com/science/2011/02/if-climate-scientists-push-the-consensus-its-not-for-the-money/</a>

      1. Hargrove

        Observations and a Question

        I've been nattering on in various Register fora about the complexity of the problem and our limited knowledge. I decided I needed to take a more systematic look at the state of knowledge. Here are some observations:

        The basic model for global warming (as opposed to climate change) is driven by a simple model--so much energy in from the sun; so much energy radiated out--if more comes in than out, things get warmer, and vice versa.

        But it's not that simple. The heat energy gained (the science seems pretty solid on the point that there is a net gain) gets converted, redistributed, in a number of ways. Energy is needed to evaporate water; and is released when the water condenses. But not all of it. Some of it has been converted to increase potential energy because the water is at a greater height. Temperature differences drive circulation in the atmosphere and in the oceans, converting the thermal energy to kinetic energy, and so on.

        Bottom line: Thermal energy gained has lots of places to go, other than increased temperature.

        Given the heated debate on global warming and climate change, a useful bit of information for us layfolk in the trenches would be some order of magnitude comparative figures on total energy, and the amounts in each of the diverse mechanisms involved. I haven't found it, at least not in a form that is intelligible to me. (Again, anything but an expert.)

        Do any other readers have this general information? I expected to find the information front and center given the heat of the discussion. But everything I found was either the simple radiation gain/loss model, or dealt with one aspect of the mechanics (like ocean or atmospheric currents.) The literature does reflect a growing awareness that mechanisms interact. But I did not come across any literature in my cursory on the relative size (in terms of energy) and contributions of each.

        1. Tom 13

          Re: The heat energy gained

          Actually, that's the first fundamental problem of all Climate Change. At the most basic level, ALL of the heat from our planet has to derive from one of a few sources:

          1) Radiative energy from the output of the Sun

          2) Radioactive decay from isotopes in the Earth itself

          3) Tidal friction from the Moon.

          and maybe

          4) Conversion of gravitational energy to heat in the Earth's core.

          The thing is, all of those source except the Sun have their maximums in the far past (at least according to accepted Big Bang theory) and are declining. Which means if the heat input is increasing it has to be coming from Sun, and it has to be increasing by more than the decreases in other sources.

          Now, there is some variability in the radiative output of the Sun. But interestingly, all of the AWG climate models start with from the assumption of steady radiative output from the Sun. I once hunted down the data on the recorded radiative output and it turned out to be varying about as much as the claimed variation in surface temperature. I didn't try to correlate exact changes, only noted the degree of variability.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Observations and a Question

          "Bottom line: Thermal energy gained has lots of places to go, other than increased temperature."

          But those places all have capacity limits. For instance as ice melts and the volume decreases, the amount of energy that goes into melting it will decrease - resulting in accelerated temperature rise.

          "But I did not come across any literature in my cursory on the relative size (in terms of energy) and contributions of each."

          Approximately 90% of the increase in energy goes into warming the oceans!

  21. TP Archie
    Black Helicopters

    How to tell if the sky is falling

    ...Just two climate committee MPs clash with IPCC - the two with science degrees

    So the Sky Is Only Falling when you use the right tint (IPCC strain) of glasses, right?

  22. Scott Hodgins

    Education's not always a sure thing

    I don't care what the educations of MPs are. It doesn't change the physical properties of CO2 or the fact that the Sun keeps shining. And these two facts demand recognition that the Earth's atmosphere and surface will continue to trend warmer so long as we keep adding to the carbon cycle.

    The IPCC is full of idiots, just like every other governmental body. Nobody with a good head on their shoulders gets into politics.

  23. ReduceGHGs

    Disputed by two Members of Parliament? No surprise. So long as we have powerful vested interests there will be some climate change deniers in politics. But that doesn't alter reality. We are deteriorating our only habitat. Our future generations will be forced to live in the altered world we leave them.

    Join the efforts to change course. Apathy/inaction effectively advocates for more of the same destructive behaviors.

    ExhaustingHabitability(dot)org

  24. bkrish

    Playing on Fundamentals of Physics

    Greenhouse effect is a fact and therefore by definition the "global warming" is a fact too. However, "climate change" is an entirely different thing. It is unfortunate that the incomplete and inadequate climate models take the greenhouse effect (a fact) and turns into projections of temperature and rainfall in future climate (uncertain). The even more incomplete and inadequate so-called "climate impacts models" take these uncertain temperatures and rainfall projections and turn into projections of food and water availability in future (even more uncertain). The process chain is as follows:

    Global Warming ----> Climate Projections -----> Climate Impacts

    Unfortunately, only the Global Warming is a fact. Everything else is driven by belief/faith. Once you understand how small portion of the reality these models represent, you will soon ignore the climate change debate and start to focus on something else. I am not saying Climate Change is false. It is just that we don't have adequate tools/models to make any concrete statements about it. Then one might wonder what these "Climate Scientists" have been doing all these years?

    1. Tom 13

      Re: Greenhouse effect is a fact

      Is it really? Please point me to the detailed, published, peer reviewed paper that details the exact effect carbon dioxide has on retained heat in a controlled environment.

      I can find all kinds of references to greenhouses and cars all of which is anecdotal and not scientifically measured, quantified and explained. Then there's some hand waving because of reflection bands at specific wavelengths in our atmosphere, and out the other side we get AGW. The thing is, I see one huge differential between cars and greenhouses and CO2: both of them have physical barriers which prevent the air from moving from one place to another as it heats from the sunlight. Given the height of a column of air above either object, I expect the net heat gain for both objects is almost entirely due to the inability of the air to move, and not the changes in absorption properties inside the car or greenhouse.

  25. brain_flakes

    Why is a physicist and a chemist more qualified to answer the question of climate change than people who literally work in the field of climate study?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Why is a physicist and a chemist more qualified to answer the question of climate change than people who literally work in the field of climate study?"

      Because they went into "climate study", only the stupid and already an Eco-loon would do that! pre-biased before they even start, not a good starting point to work out the truth!

      1. ToddR

        Well said, the brightest study maths or physics, certainly not Climate Science, or PPE for that matter.

        I remember poor old David Bellamy arguing plants will grow faster and so questioning the whole AGW when it started ~15 years ago. Never worked for the Beeb again.

  26. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Boffin

    It's the little things

    When Brian Cox and Jim Al-Khalili (two decent, proper scientists IMHO) were asked about climate change at a live show shortly after the "Climatgate" disclosures, did they leap to a robust defence of anthropogenic global warming?

    Nope. They looked at their shoes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's the little things

      Sorry, what does that establish? I'm sure it's clear to you, but not to me.

  27. carolinmd

    The list of committee members includes 2 politicians, 2 historians, a writer, someone in the mining field, someone without any degree, a doctor of medicine, and a mathematician, all on the side of manmade catastrophic global warming. On the other side are two scientists, one with a physics degree and the other with chemistry degree who are the dissenters.

    From a common sense perspective, it would appear the politicians, the non- degreed person, the mining guy, the historians and the writer have the least qualifications to be on this committee. The medical doctor and the mathematicians are iffy, and the chemist and physicist have the most serious credibility, and it is telling that this faction makes up the dissenters of the supposed crisis.

    Those of the category claiming that the science is settled are those who are out of touch with the true nature of what science is, and don't qualify as experts to determine anything. Science is never settled and is an ongoing process of learning and experimentation.

    It is the politicians on this committee who appear to be the least qualified as their opinions have to reflect those of their superiors whose reasoning has been predetermined for a political cause. The deck is stacked against real science as a government entity is pushing for the conclusion most desired for their own purposes.

    1. Full Picture

      How daft do you have to be to contend that 2 scientists (with vested interests) disagreeing with the scientific consensus suddenly makes scientists the ones to listen to, or the only people qualified, despite the fact that you won't listen to them if you don't want to hear what they have to say?!

  28. The Dude
    FAIL

    Government science or political commentary?

    Having had the misfortune of direct dealings with government scientists, and the benefit of an impartial judgment from suing them in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, I can say with a high degree of certainty that "government science reports" are exactly what the judge ruled they are: Not factual, Ideological opinions, lies, Libel and Defamation, mere comment, and represent ONLY opinions of the writer.

    The British Columbia Supreme Court judgement is available to verify this.

    I see no good reason to assume that government-funded climatologist reports/opinions are any different. I have a nice bridge for sale to anyone who uncritically believes anything they write.

  29. Fredric L. Rice

    Nobody cares what two politicians think, 97% of the world's climate scientists accept reality, that two right wing dimwits don't is irrelevant.

    1. NomNomNom
      Trollface

      you forgot the icon ---->

  30. Full Picture

    The only countries stupid enough to think that global warming is a hoax or a con are the USA, UK and OZ.

    All have a press that has absolutely no problem telling gobshytes what to think, so well done gobshytes for believing the press over scientists!

  31. Phil Lord

    Degrees

    Seriously, you are looking at the degrees that people finished in their 20s as hard evidence for their knowledge now? Does the fact that I have a degree in genetics make me lacking in knowledge about computing, or just lacking in qualifications?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

    If you look at the qualifications of the committee the best person to judge climate change is the doctor - they have to evaluate new research all the time and hopefully are aware of the drug companies trying to influence them.

    The earth's climate is indeed chaotic over short time periods (5 to 15 years), and the big swinger in this regard is the state of the El Nino which the climate models have real difficulty forecasting accurately, though they are sufficiently sophisticated to produce El Ninos themselves from random initial conditions. For most of the last 15 years the El Nino has been in a negative or neutral phase, whereas the normal stats are for it to be more or less evenly divided between the 3 states depending on the time of year.

    There was a paper published last week (http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2310.html) that showed that if you filter model runs according to whether a 2% region of the earth (the Nino 3.4 ocean region) was following the actual temperatures over the last 15 years then you get a pretty reasonable prediction of what happened to global temperatures. So the models now look like they are correct, and they are predicting that when El Nino reverts to a more normal patterns that the more normal temperature rises will resume. So the last 15 years are an exception and you do get those statistically.

    Unless someone scientifically qualified is actually following the breadth of climate science literature quite closely it is unlikely they are going to have the necessary knowledge (not skills but knowledge) of the subject to be able to evaluate it objectively. For instance the IPCC AR5 report is great but comes in at something like 1,500 pages!!

    1. Working Dog
      Pirate

      Re: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

      That is an interesting paper. I wonder why they do not bother to identify the specific models that supposedly reproduce the trends? As a trained scientist and former water quality modeler I have my suspicions.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wikipedia says Peter Lilley has a "natural science and economics" degree. Where's the reference saying he has a physics degree? He then worked as a stockbroker, that renowned scientific hothouse.

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

    His linked in profile says he got an MA (2:2), that renowned scientific degree, in natural sciences from Cambridge. Not a physics degree.

    https://www.linkedin.com/pub/peter-lilley/2b/3a5/152

    And he works for an oil company. According to his own LinkedIn Profile.

    I thought this quote from him was interesting, in terms of his understanding of scientific method;

    "Scientists would rather change facts than their theories"

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damianthompson/100018542/peter-lilley-on-climategate-scientists-would-rather-change-facts-than-their-theories/

    Does Lewis just ignore facts that don't fit his prejudice?

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Natural science

      Is a type of course where you study various modules from within physics and chemistry.

      I know there is more to this as my daughter is investigating the course.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Natural science

        And therefore is no "a physics degree". Especially if you graduate with an MA. And it's a joint course, with economics. And you then go on to work as a stockbroker.

        That's not the common path to becoming a physicist, who has a meaningful opinion on climate change.

    2. Phil Lord

      Cambridge only has one "science" degree and it's called Natural Science. During the course of this you can mix and match -- say physics with biology. Or you can do physics, maths and more maths.

      In general people use what ever they did in the final year to describe their degree. I have no idea what Peter Lilley did, but assuming he did final year physics with more physics modules elsewhere, it would be reasonable to say that he did a physics degree.

      In general, it's best to do a bit of investigation rather than just draw conclusions from a few lines on wikipedia.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Like his Linked In profile, you mean? Which I provided a link to, and lists his degree as an MA in "Natural Sciences". I'll link to it again, seeing as you weren't able to read it the first time round.

        Maybe you could consider the presented information, in context, before inventing the possibility that maybe he did some physics modules in his final year, which means he did a physics degree, probably. He was awarded as a Master of Arts degree.

        If you do physics in your final year, they award you an MSci. Source:

        http://www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/natsci/#physical

        Thanks for the advice on doing some investigation before talking rubbish. I'll get right on that.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        This does make me wonder why the article author asserts that Peter Lilley has a "Degree in physics and economics from Cambridge", if Cambridge does not actually award a degree in Physics to any students, ever.

  34. Random Q Hacker

    armchair climate deniers

    The globe in global warming is made of more than air. The additional heat is accounted for in observed increases in ice melt off and changing ocean currents and weather patterns. Unfortunately those mediators are finite, and non-denier scientists are planning for what comes next.

  35. roger stillick
    Happy

    IPCC cool, Q= how about NASA ??

    Just for giggles, go to the NASA site and download= OCO-2_MissionBrochure_508.pdf... good read...

    NASA's view of CO2 and cluster of flying instruments do not look anything like what has ever been presented here on REG or anywhere else I'e looked these past 2 years...I'm not qualified to have an opinion other than IPCC seems to be a religion W/O a diety...

    caveiat= i am a Buddhist techno historian...RS.

    1. BillyV

      Re: IPCC cool, Q= how about NASA ??

      The Hockey Stick was going to be their Deity. It got smashed into too many pieces and it looked like firewood. No Icon there.

  36. johnwerneken

    No Surprise

    Yes the questions are, are the likely changes worth bothering with? How much bother? With thar much bother, is the change or the bother better?

    Yes, politicians represent the ignorant opinions and irrelevant but deeply held belief of their constituents.

    Leadership is ignoring people's beliefs and opinions and focusing on what they are willing to sacrifice to accomplish, and making deals so the most generally important things get taken care of well enough tat the society services and the lives, liberty, and living circumstances of as many members as possible might be safer or even improved.

    What I did for decades as pretty much the principle leader in my neighborhoods city and on some issues, state and rather large national organization. Not hard when you know how.

  37. Faux Science Slayer

    "Mommie, Can We Play Obombie Truth Origami"

    What a LOAD ! ! !

    There is NO Carbon climate forcing, NO greenhouse gas and NO back radiation warming ! ! !

    see: OMSJ.org/blogs/truth-origami

    then see the Satire tab at FauxScienceSlayer....AGW & GHE are cruel jokes....

  38. dncnvncd

    science vs. art

    Hindsight is 20/20 so they say. Prophecy is a guess at best. Science can't answer why whole civilizations disappear, how the Earth was formed and on and on. The artist, non scientist, believe with the skimpiest of data they can predict the future of the Earth, moon and stars. Maybe we should consult psychics and fortunetellers to resolve the climate change debate.

  39. Leslie Graham

    Lilley is the director of an oil company and has an economics degree.

    Stringer has a 40 year old BSc in Chemistry from Sheffield.

    LOL.

    Are you people for real?!

    If these two wretched charlatans want to lobby for their carbon corporation sponsers then that is their right. But for The Register to big them up on the grounds of a 1971 BSc in Chemistry and a degree in economics is just insulting to the intelligence of their readers.

    Even if they WERE remotely qualified in the climate science related disciplines it is still perfectly obvious why they were the only two out of thirteen people to vote against a perfectly legitimate motion.

    Just disgusting self-interest. This will not go unrecorded.

    1. Fading

      Ha ha ha ha ha

      Oh you were being serious? "carbon corporation sponsers [SIC]"? Methinks you may not want to look at Ed Davey's or Lord Stern (head of CCC) register of declared interests or you head might explode.

      The IPCC has backtracked on its fear mongering if you have even bothered to read the AR5 in its entirety - the summary for policy makers is barely related to the actual conclusions in the report. Or have you not read the holy tome of AGW this time around?

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: Ha ha ha ha ha

        I very much doubt you've read AR5. More likely you've let skeptics read it for you and tell you what's in it.

        1. Fading

          Re: Ha ha ha ha ha

          C'mon noms I've even quoted parts of it to you. Here if you need a refresher http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/

          Chapter nine (physical science) page 768 has one of my favourite graphs ever - shows you how much skill the models have........

  40. Hubert Thrunge Jr.

    HNC?

    Excuse me, buy you'll find that an ONC is the same as the first year of degree, where a HNC is a technical equivalent, with the difference being that you HAVE to know your stuff in the exams as notes are not permitted like they are in many degree finals.

    That's by the by though, it's typical to see politicians back a paper which gives them more opportunities to tax the population.

    I have no disagreement that our climate is changing, just as it has for billions of years as the planet evolves. Our weather is dictated by that burning orb at the centre of our solar system, it's full effects are gradually being studied and are debunking many of the AGW hollerers spoutings.

    There is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.

    Land masses fall just as much as sea levels rise, it's always happened, and we should learn to adapt, and not keep adopting the King Canute methods of some of the alarmists.

  41. BeachBum68
    Pint

    Follow the money

    Global Warming...I count myself firmly in the skeptics corner.

    Even more so after hearing about how tools like Al Gore and his cadre were ramping up for a global carbon exchange market. The fact that companies can buy/sell carbon credits at all to offset their impact is repugnant. What's next, some politician tells us that we're going to have to limit our output of CO2 at the individual level (stop breathing! you're impacting the environment!)

    What about the impact of water vapour on the environment? Meh, I'm getting off base...

    My point is that unless you take out the (significant) financial gain motivating politicians and corporations and speculators and charlatans like Gore, you're never going to convince people that your motivations are benign.

    And finally, the utter arrogance of these "global warming" bozos is stupendous. Their clear suppression of data which contradicts their assertions makes me all the more suspect of these buffoons' motives. Ask yourself who benefits from the hysteria they foment? Hmmm? Follow the money. It always comes down to that. It's all misdirection for financial gain.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Follow the money

      " Follow the money. It always comes down to that."

      Right, not physics or science. But money.

      I think you are projecting.

      Lets see, if the physics were right and CO2 emissions are a problem, then any attempts by individuals to deal with that problem that involve financial markets will cause you to believe it isn't a problem.

  42. Otto is a bear.

    There is a rule in politics and business

    Never, ever let anyone who actually knows about a subject ever have anything to do with it. It's very difficult for a PM or CEO to force through their policies when one of their own knows and is known to know, more about it than they do, and disagrees.

    Better to have accountants or non-specialist (MBAs) who know nothing, except how to count or use Nu-Speak.

  43. mjf2112

    All of the non-scientists here would be hilarious in expressing your unfounded copy/paste "facts" if you weren't so blindly dangerous.

    1. Fading
      WTF?

      Dangerous?

      Relying on energy from nefarious regimes because of over reliance on unreliable renewables is dangerous (yes I'm talking to you Germany). Not sure who is being dangerous on this comments board?

  44. robert lindsay
    FAIL

    Generic Scientist

    OK, so we are supposed to listen to a Physicist and a Chemist? Does El reg usually ask Programmers enterprise VM questions? After all both types work on computers. Or for that matter shouldnt I seek insight into the iphone6 on the sports page? After all a journalist is a journalist right?

  45. Rik Myslewski

    It's sad, actually

    The Comments section of The Reg has devolved into a rear-guard bastion of deniers of the scientifically well-supported reality of global warming — anthropogenic or otherwise — and its concomitant result, climate change.

    As time goes by and as the evidence of AGW becomes even more rock-solid, The Reg's attraction for conspiracy-seeking, science-denying, and intellectually self-deluded deniers of well-proven research and analysis will undoubtedly increase as other currently skeptical news outlets admit the irrefutable reality of climate change. Where else will the scientist-hating cynics with twisted ideas about the reasons scientists seek — let's be straightforward here — truth have to go? As outlets for ludicrously uniformed ravings decline in number, you'll find more of them here at The Register.

    It's rather sad, actually. The Reg is fine, feisty, and brainy source of technical information. Too bad it has succumbed to the blind — and dangerous — stupidity of climate-science denial.

  46. Spotthelemon

    read the source material

    its actually worth reading the parliamentary reports it wasn't a case of a load of mps simply deciding one day the IPCC must be right with two of their number with a little scientific knowledge dissenting as the article implies.

    The conclusion of the survey mentioned in the article was also rather different from that given in the article, it concluded that climate change views of the general public, but not scientists specialising in those areas, were more likely to be dominated by self interest than scientific knowledge, essentially most people are inclined to believe what they want to believe then promote the evidence to support that view

  47. Six_Degrees

    "The two sceptics highlighted the ongoing hiatus in global warming, which has seen temperatures around the world remain basically the same for more than 15 years"

    Last I heard, this particular claim has now been debunked, and it is now accepted that warming has, indeed, taken place over this interval.

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