back to article Climate-change skeptic lined up to run NASA in this Trump timeline

President Donald Trump this month nominated US House Rep James Bridenstine (R-OK) to be the next NASA administrator. America's space agency has been without a top boss since Charles Bolden resigned on January 20, and the organization has had to deal with proposed major cuts to its funding since then. While Bridenstine is a …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The head of NASA ought to be a space professional, not a politician," Nelson told Politico.

    It depends what you count as a "space professional". Those who've actually been outside Earth's orbit are all too old now to be taking on even an administrative job, and there's ony 15 of them left.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      And all commanders-in-chief should be ex-generals

      1. DougS Silver badge

        If commander-in-chief was the sole job description of the president, that would be true, but it is a small part of the overall job of the president of the United States.

        If this job included much more than running NASA, like say you had to run the NWS and park service as well, then requiring a space professional would be rather silly since that would be only part of the job. But it is the whole job here, so there's a good argument to be made that he should have a proper space background.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Why? Most of NASA's funding and work is aeronautics and Earth observation. You should be a meteorologist airline executive not an ex-astronaut

      2. Potemkine! Silver badge
    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      ""The head of NASA ought to be a space professional, not a politician," "

      And yet James Webb (who ran NASA during Apollo) was probably one of the most effective Administrators the Agency ever had.

      Former lawyer and Senators staffer, with a lot of friends on the Hill and (IIRC) able to give the old Masonic high five as well.

      However Webb also had a clear, simple mandate from Kennedy (get us to the Moon before New Years Eve 1969) and a formidable Programme Manager in Von Braun, keeping track of all the day to day issues.

      So I think politicians fear a well connected Administrator, but such a person can be very good for the Agency, provided they have a clear direction from the President of where to go, and the support team to do it.

      And that's where it all gets verrry tricky.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bullshit science - Human activity responsible for 3% of CO2 - Why would they hoax us, you ask?

      Firstly, The Earth has been forever getting hotter and colder, periodically.

      Typical human self-importance to assume everything that goes on is because of us. Its the self-importance that makes us so gullible to believe Al Gore and those behind him.

      So, if its fake, why would anybody bother?

      Lets set up two simple facts:

      Stocks don't exist so you and I can own a slice of the big corporate pie: They were created for obfuscation of ownership - just gotta have thousands of straw companies and hedge fonds to own them. Every boom and bust they create, they're getting large chunks of their shares back anyway - every time.

      Who, you ask is "they"...?

      The Global Central Banking cartel with ~20 private banks controlling the ~140 Global corporations, whom are all directed at a high level and are largely working hand in hand, competition not withstanding.

      What good does the climate change hoax do for 'them;?

      Chief item: The global Agenda 21 drive (look it up). Drive people off their land and herd them all together in as few large cities as possible. All to "save the planet" Yeah, right...

      We'll become completely dependent on toxic industrially produced food. The closer to your pension age you die, the less pensionmoney the corporations have to waste on you, after you spent your useful life in wage slavery. And of course, they'll make sure to take your house from your family for that expensive cancer treatment they shove up your ass on your way out.

      Democracy is just a word for invisible slavery. Its a puppet theater. Did you ever pick anyone whose name you put your X next to, helping to keep this scam looking legit? Yes, if YOU go and vote, you're helping to keep everyone else in slavery too... And did you EVER get what you wanted or what was promised for your X? Right, I didn't think so.

      They also love forcing you to throw away your cars and buy new ones, that are barely any better on Co2... Its all good cash they can extract, before they go to kill you slowly with their toxic, unnatural food and medications. Food and Pharma Industry are working hand in hand. Go look at it...

      And if you fall for believing the climate change is real and an honest effort - you'll probably also gullible enough to believe, that switching to all electronic money will be a good thing, and that spraying aluminum micro-particulate and barium in the air is a great thing to slow global warming, right?

      Well breathing in that aluminum has catapulted Alzheimer's disease to the #1 spot among older people in the UK in just a few Years! Are you ready to loose your marbles for that hoax?

      Well, I know, this disturbs comfortable illusions and if you even looked into it, would pose a serious risk in regards to going on the way you've grown comfortable with. I understand. This stuff IS annoying. I wish it wasn't so, but at least a few of the heads of the hydra are right here in the UK.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Bullshit science - Human activity responsible for 3% of CO2 - Why would they hoax us, you ask?

        ACK on the title.

        From the article: In other words, our planet's temperature changes are linked to the Sun and the seas, and not necessarily manmade, in Bridenstine's mind.

        And in MY mind. And in REALITY.

        From the article: He doesn't outright deny climate change is happening, just that it may not be the fault of our fossil-fuel mania, air travel, and so on.

        It's because the alleged mechanism, CO2, can't work if you know even the SLIGHTEST amount of fact concerning its real effect on Earth temperatures. The mechanism for a greenhouse gas is infrared absorption. CO2's absorption spectrum is PATHETIC when you compare it to IR black body energies associated with temperatures actually FOUND on the earth. CO2 is also at equilibrium, and like anything at equilibrium, shifting the production or depletion rate on one side of the equation causes a large shift in the depletion or production rate on the OTHER side. Translation, you could pour MEGAtons of CO2 into the atmosphere, and it would cause rain, and it would precipitate out in the ocean and become a layer on the sea floor.

        From the article: Meanwhile, on NASA's own website you can find data showing human civilization has likely had a profound effect on our world's climate.

        2 words: FAKE NEWS [not doubting it's there, it's just that NASA was engaging in FAKE NEWS]

        OK I'd bet ACTUAL MONEY on THIS one: 1900 - cold. 1935 - warm. 1970 - cold [iced over puddles in San Jose]. 2005 - warm. 2040 - COLD. each of these numbers is 35 years apart. This is an obvious trend. See how obvious it is? guess what's going to happen in 2040? It's gonna be COLD. That "massive warming" from 1970-ish to mid 2000's, the "hockey stick" on AlGore's chart, was the upswing of a NORMAL CYCLE. And guess what has happened since the "noughties" - NO WARMING, THAT'S WHAT! It's _PREDICTABLE_, and I have PREDICTED it, using REAL STATISTICS, REAL SCIENCE, and NO BULLSHIT.

        So I'm very HAPPY that the Trump administration is putting someone in charge of NASA that is a "climate change" REALIST - not "denier", not "skeptic", but REALIST. Because REALITY is that it ain't happening like the Chicken Little Doom/Gloom AlGore cult says it is. It's NOTHING. NOTH-ING. And _I_ should not have _MY_ freedoms curbed, energy prices increased, economy threatened, or SIZE OF GUMMINT INCREASED, to "solve" something that is _NOT_ _THERE_.

  2. EveryTime Silver badge

    I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

    I consider myself a skeptic(*).

    I think that it's vitally important that NASA be out there objectively gathering the data. Not funding preconceived conclusion, except to the extent that they are testing a theory.

    The worst case would be someone in charge that is a denier or a believer. There isn't a reason to gather objective data when you already know the answer.

    * Climate change happens. It's been happening forever. The open question is if man's activity has a negligible effect, has a dominate role causing rapid negative change, or if we are pushing the climate over a tipping point.

    1. Paul Kinsler

      Re: The open question is if ...

      If only there were thousands of specialized scientists, all over the world, studying the multifarious aspects of climate and how we might be affecting it. Dammit, where are they all? And why do they never get around to publishing any results, or organizing the production of some sort of summary that we might understand?

      Even if their results were not conclusive enough for everyone, they could, I suppose, make some sort of prediction that we could use as a guideline. Maybe we could crowdfund some support to help out?

      Sigh.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And why do they never get around to publishing any results?

        I think they're too busy hanging out in IT forums, telling us how unconvincing our devops-based storage solutions are :-)

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: The open question is if ...

        " they could, I suppose, make some sort of prediction that we could use as a guideline."

        in 2040, you'll see cold temperatures similar to 1970's and 1900's, just like the mid-2000's were similar to the mid 1930's. ~70 year cycle. Prediction should be accurate. You're welcome.

        Fixed It For Ya.

        There are also long cycles in the northern hemisphere of about 500 years. 2000'-ish was at the peak of one of those, oh by the way. The last "warm period" was 1500'ish. The mid 1700's [think valley forge and frozen-over Thames] was the last major cold period. In the ~1000's (or so) there was a warm peak. That's about the time that Eric the Red gave "Greenland" its name because it was, well, GREEN. Unfortunately 100 or so years later, NOT so green, and Viking settlements did rather poorly as a result. Yeah, he found Greenland just after a warming peak, while it was on its way over the hump.

        So let us learn from actual history and pay attention to these normal temperature cycles, and base our predictions on THOSE, instead of bogus computer models that were rigged for an outcome by AlGore's religious zealots [who are probably just corrupt political elitists trying to manipulate people].

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

      He's not a skeptic if he's already decided that the climate scientists are wrong and warming has stopped.

      NASA just launches the satellites that get the data, they don't do any interpretation of it so whether its director is a skeptic, a denier or a believer doesn't really matter. But understanding NASA from having actually worked at NASA or been in space seems like kind of a useful thing for a job running it.

      1. gerdesj Silver badge

        Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

        "He's not a skeptic if he's already decided that the climate scientists are wrong and warming has stopped."

        "already decided" is surely a pre-requisite for the condition described as scepticism. There's nothing wrong about critical thinking and I personally think that should be encouraged but he comes up with this gem to explain his position:

        "In other words, our planet's temperature changes are linked to the Sun and the seas"

        There's no arguing with that. It really does warm up during the day and cool at night time and the seas do have a massive effect on the climate, as Texans int al and rather large parts of Asia will currently testify. Unfortunately there are a few other factors at work, that those people are bearing the brunt of at the moment.

        Closer to home (for me - UK/SW) I'm not looking forward to finding out that the Gulf Stream has decided to bugger off and that I will be able to ski at home. Mind you I am a keen skier (40 years), but the rest of the country is pretty unprepared for that 8)

      2. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

        @ DougS

        "NASA just launches the satellites that get the data, they don't do any interpretation of it so whether its director is a skeptic, a denier or a believer doesn't really matter."

        A little niggle with that statement. A while back Lewis Page put up a wonderful article about NASA 'adjusting' its data and publishing it online. This data suddenly showed a huge steep incline that was so fantastical that even the IPCC (not considered a good source of fact) wouldnt agree with NASA's amusing graph.

        I can understand why people would be sceptical and I am too. This is such an important problem that the UK had a gov who ditched power generation for monuments to the sky god. This green tech actually didnt work but the denial of that fact was so extreme it was very much religious. We have also been told many times we have x days to save the world only for nothing to be resolved or changed. We have been told of terrible horrors which have been hyperbole at best and the only thing we have seen for it is more cost and higher tax.

      3. druck

        Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

        DougS wrote: "NASA just launches the satellites that get the data, they don't do any interpretation of it so whether its director is a skeptic, a denier or a believer doesn't really matter. "

        Really? So why have they been doing this https://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06/05/goddard_nasa_thermometer/.

        1. druck

          Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

          Plus this one https://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/02/a_tale_of_two_thermometers/.

      4. caradoc

        Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

        "the climate scientists"

        This is not an exclusive body of people, there are many hundreds of climate scientists and thousands of scientists in general who do not believe the global warming paradigm. The presentation of "the science" is heavily biased towards alarmism and contrary papers get a rough ride in the major journals because the protagonists control those journals. You only need to check out the editorial boards. Here is an example I came across today:

        This man is an economist, but has been an IPCC "scientist" for many years.

        "Nebojsa Nakicenovic is Deputy Director General and Deputy CEO of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and former full Professor of Energy Economics at Vienna University of Technology. Among other positions, he is Executive Director of The World in 2050; Member of the United Nations Secretary General Special Advisory 10-Member Group to support the Technology Facilitation Mechanism, He serves on the Editorial Board of 10 scientific journals."

        Is he going to let contrary papers through on the climate science journals he inhabits?

      5. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

        "He's not a skeptic if he's already decided that the climate scientists are wrong and warming has stopped."

        But, but, but... it _HAS_ !!!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

      "The worst case would be someone in charge that is a denier or a believer"

      Regardless, the subject (CAGW) is in effect, an apocalyptic religion. So, what exactly is wrong with denying (dis-believing) that religion's extreme and unproven tenets? After all, anyone not in the Church is automatically labelled a "denier," so if you exclude that group you are left with only believers.

      Not that I accept that the pejorative "denier" has any legitimacy in civilized discourse, mind you.

      1. Schultz
        Boffin

        Belief has nothing to do with it: The fundamental difference between religion and science

        Science is not based on belief, but is based on hypotheses, theories, and models. I do not believe in gravity, but I know the theory of gravity and I found that it can explain and predict many phenomena that I observe. The same is true for electromagnetism and all other scientific models.

        As a scientist, I actually know that the best scientific theories are fundamentally flawed approximations of reality: relativity theory and quantum mechanics, the very foundations of our scientific world view, contradict each other. So the best I can do as a scientist is: (1) understand the scientific theories, and (2) know when a particular theory will work (i.e., give me a useful prediction). After a few years (or decades) of doing that, a scientist will be awfully good in predicting the outcome of a particular experiment based on those flawed scientific theories.

        The church is based on the belief in a fundamental truth (i.e., existence of god). It's the opposite of science. A 'good' priest will be unwavering in his belief, whereas a 'good' scientist will always doubt his scientific theories. A scientific career equals the search for some new piece of knowledge that will contradict (and thereby improve) the existing scientific models.

        Let's translate this to climate science. Climate scientists don't believe in man-made climate change, but scientists found a correlation between global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations, realized that human industrialization increased this CO2 concentration, and created a scientific model to explain this observation. Ever since, numerous scientists tried to confirm or contradict this model. After a few decade of this work, the vast majority of scientists is convinced that the model of man-made global warming correctly models and explains current atmospheric temperature changes and can also predict the trend of future temperature changes.

        This is not belief, it's confidence in a scientific model. Being science, that confidence can be expressed numerically. Now imagine a priest saying: "I am 99.7% confident that god exists".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Belief has nothing to do with it: The fundamental difference between religion and science

          ...but scientists found a correlation between global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations, realized that human industrialization increased this CO2 concentration, and created a scientific model to explain this observation.

          Unfortunately, they didn't.

          Except for a decade or so. The ,ore time pases the less teh vorrelation is.

          And your whole thesis ignores tow well known facts

          1/. correlation is not causation

          2/. Short duration correlation does not imply long duration correlation.

          Everyone who has bothered to try and understand the nature of so called climate science (rather than just accept the result dictated by climate marketing organisations) runs into a funadmental problem,.

          Climate sensitivity. The amount by which you multiply the physics to get the scary result needed politically and commercially.

          The problem is that the figure hat works for 1980-2000 doesn't work for 2000-2017. Is the lambda constant really a variable? Why is it there at all? Isn't it neater to actually introduce an independent variable to explain why warming rocketed upwards for 20 years and than stopped dead in its tracks?

          The problem is simply this. Any or all of these points make more sense of the data, but they lead to an inconvenient truth.

          CO2 is not what affects climate the most, in fact its almost completely irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

          All the research granst, all the' renewable energy', all the political angst and social tensions involved in trying to have a discussion about climate change, have been a complete waste of time and public money.

          And you come to the only sane conclusion. That is what they were intended to be. An excuse to divert public money into private pockets.

          And suddenly the reason why windmills and solar panels and burning wood and making ethanol and electric cars - extremely expensive ways of failing to reduce emissions at all, are preferred over cost effective solutions that do reduce emissions hugely, like nuclear power, become clear.

          As do the reasons why climate change activists jet from capital to capital rather than teleconferencing, and have beach houses and beach front properties that belie their belief in climate change.

          Because they know its not real. It's just pork barrel politics.

          Only numpties believe in climate change, the smart money simply pretends to, because that's where the pork scratchings are.

          Its the most convenient lie that's ever been assembled by a political marketing team.

          Science? what science? Massive extrapolation from the spectral absorption of a very minor trace gas. Logically flawed and bent to fit a political and economic purpose.

          1. Comments are attributed to your handle
            Facepalm

            Re: Belief has nothing to do with it: The fundamental difference between religion and science

            "climate marketing organisations"

            This is the part that kills me. People actually believe that companies that manufacture solar panels and windmills are bigger and have more influence than, say, oil companies. Are you fucking kidding me?

        2. David Nash Silver badge

          Re: Belief has nothing to do with it: The fundamental difference between religion and science

          This. +1 + lots. That's what the so-called sceptics miss.

        3. handleoclast Silver badge

          Re: Belief has nothing to do with it: The fundamental difference between religion and science

          When a scientist finds that new facts contradict his/her theories, he/she concludes that the theories are wrong.

          When a priest finds that new facts contradicts his (priests are almost always "he") beliefs, he concludes that the facts are wrong.

          You can pretty much apply that statement about religion to any ideology. Marxism, Chicago-school economics, psychiatry, whatever. Both religions and ideologies are constructed by men (it's almost always men, rather than women), the only difference is that religions claim their sacred writings were handed to them by God rather than being derived from their own (allegedly) superior thought processes.

          The reason religions/ideologies are such malign forces is that they do not allow facts to sway their beliefs. As in the last financial meltdown, where the Chicago school economists claimed that the problem wasn't deregulating banks (which sane observers concluded was the problem because it let the banks get away with all sorts of shenanigans) but that we didn't deregulate the banks enough.

          Reality. It would be nice if the ideologues visited it occasionally.

        4. Libertarian Voice

          Re: Belief has nothing to do with it: The fundamental difference between religion and science

          The problem is that the models are continually getting it wrong. The data is going in, the algorithms are being crunched and future trends are being predicted that are completely out of the ball park. Why is this? Is it because we do not understand the feedback mechanisms? More than likely! Co2 has a tiny GWP and global greening is absorbing far more than we could ever imagine; Could it simply be that the world can easily cope with anthropogenic co2 without changing any more than it ordinarily would. We know that the planet can cope with far more co2 than we can produce and we know that the climate will always change The problem that I have with climate "science" is that when we get data like the Vostok ice cores we are saying "Ok we know that Co2 is causing climate change so why is the data showing that past rises in temperature precede rises in Co2". There is not a single climate scientist working on the theory that the model of anthropogenic Co2 driving climate might be wrong (because they are all following the money). What science shows us is that Co2 is a greenhouse gas; what it has failed to do up until now is show us that when combined with other elements releasing more than a certain amount into the atmosphere will drive climate change. All we know at the moment are that the models are too inaccurate to make predictions and that notwithstanding the political bias, the truth is that the science is far from settled.

          1. LionelB

            Re: Belief has nothing to do with it: The fundamental difference between religion and science

            The problem is that the models are continually getting it wrong.

            "All models are wrong, but some are useful" - George Box

            "The best material model for a cat is another cat, or preferably the same cat" - Arturo Rosenblueth

            Non-scientists routinely misunderstand the purpose and utility of models in science. Here's a famous example of an exceptionally useful - but completely "wrong" - model: it's the Ising model for ferromagnetism. When a ferromagnet is heated up to a specific temperature (the Curie point), it abruptly de-magnetises. This is a classical phase transition (like the boiling of water, etc.). The Ising model was proposed in 1924 by Ernst Ising, in an attempt to understand the ferromagnetic phase transition (phase transitions were poorly understood at the time). It is elegant, abstract, and - as a model for ferromagnetism - completely wrong. It's absolute rubbish. It's childishly simplistic. Real ferromagnets are, in reality, nothing like the Ising model - they're way more complex in structure and (quantum) electrodynamics. But here's the strange thing... the Ising model completely nails the ferromagnetic phase transition. It describes the behaviour of the relevant physical quantities near the Curie point astoundingly well. The Ising model (which was finally solved analytically in the 1940s by Lars Onsager) subsequently became the "fruit fly" of the physics of phase transitions. It's probably not far off the mark to say that almost everything we know about phase transitions (and we now know a lot) is rooted in studying the Ising model. It is one of the most elegant, successful and influential models in the history of science.

            It's instructive to consider just why the Ising model is in fact so successful. It turns out that, in general, phase transitions fall into distinct "universality classes": that is, many apparently completely different physical phenomena which demonstrate phase transitions turn out to behave in identical, stereotyped ways near their critical point - they may be described, not just qualitatively but quantitatively, by the same mathematics. (This is a rather deep discovery, which stems from studying - you guessed it - the Ising model.)

            So the Ising model didn't have to be "correct", or even "accurate" (it's not). It just had to nail the one phenomenon it was intended to model. It abstracts the problem. That is what useful models do - that's what they're for.

            In climate science, as in any other science, that is how we should view models: not as "right" or "wrong" ("another cat"), but as useful in abstracting and pinpointing the crucial aspects of the phenomenon we wish to understand.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

        Not that I accept that the pejorative "denier" has any legitimacy in civilized discourse, mind you.

        Since you insist, Big John. You are an obstinate and blind denier of the extensive effort which went into observing, modelling, and understanding the climate change and its causes over the past century.

      3. Chris 3

        Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

        > Regardless, the subject (CAGW) is in effect, an apocalyptic religion.

        Well, a religion except for the whole issue of it being based on sound scientific evidence and observation, of course. The faith-based argument is the one that says that the greenhouse gases that human activity has been generating isn't having any effect, despite the evidence that it is.

      4. strum Silver badge

        Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

        >So, what exactly is wrong with denying

        When denying reality risks the future of our children/grandchildren - it's wrong. Unequivocally.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

      "The open question is if man's activity has a negligible effect"

      This isn't an open question and rejecting or misunderstanding an overwhelming body of evidence doesn't make you a skeptic.

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Mushroom

        Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

        > This isn't an open question and rejecting or misunderstanding an overwhelming body of evidence doesn't make you a skeptic.

        You probably have no means to really evaluate that comment. The best you can do is just blindly follow your local priest. He just happens to wear a lab coat or call himself a scientist.

        Your entire comment is nothing more than an article of faith from a layman.

        1. JLV Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

          > nothing more than an article of faith

          Don't be an ass. We're experiencing gradually increasing climate events in many parts of the world. BC for one has had driest weather on record, broken several temp records and suffered massive fires that have blanketed us in smoke. Irma is showing up as pretty much the strongest Caribbean storm on record.

          None of this _proves_ climate change but it dovetails quite nicely with what we might expect if what so many experts are claiming was true. Unpleasantly too, these are early days, so if the experts are right, this is gonna suck. It might therefore be time to consider that perhaps all those scientists aren't merely wrong.

          Now we have to take your word for it that you know better? Based on what? What, exactly, are _your_ qualifications? You're not a layman, are you?

          Personally I can chip that a lake I hike to every so often had a glacier all the way down to the shore in the summer. A glacier, not just snowpack. 20 years later, that glacier never reaches it anymore.

          If you're gonna naysay, fine. At least propose alternative explanations for increasing temps, don't just make claims without any backing. Is it the solar cycles this time? Something beyond your personal dislikes?

          Enlighten us.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

            @Schultz seems to have a rather pastorally perfect idea of what science, or rather how it works in the real world.

            One of the reasons people find "scientists" so hard to believe is that they know they've been lied to before. People who aren't scientists or are not specialists in a particular field represent themselves as if they were. I've noticed scientists more and more refer to things they "know" only later do we find out they knew there were problems with their model or theory but this time, please believe them, they've got it right. Of course all of this is further twisted by a media hungry for headlines.

            Scientists are also often put in a position where they've got to sell their work so statistics get worked on until the right result comes out.

            In the UK we've got scientists telling us that drinking any alcohol is dangerous for our health while others tell us that moderate drinking is in fact good for our health.

            So, with regard to our climate, it's hard to know who is telling us the truth. To be honest I feel agnostic on the subject, in the true meaning of the word, in other words I think it's unknowable for ordinary people like me.

            As an side, my experience of some "religious people" is that they come to believe for a reason. Something happens to them which they see as indubitable proof of God's existence. So they're belief is based on evidence, it's just that from the outside other people have a different explanation for what has happened, psychotic event etc.

            1. David Nash Silver badge

              Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

              "In the UK we've got scientists telling us that drinking any alcohol is dangerous for our health while others tell us that moderate drinking is in fact good for our health."

              No, this is the media who want everything to be black and white, binary, yes/no certain answers.

              Well science isn't like that but people don't like that answer and accuse scientists of lying or (shock horror!) of changing their minds if new evidence comes up.

            2. strum Silver badge

              Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

              >One of the reasons people find "scientists" so hard to believe is that they know they've been lied to before.

              You are confusing 'what scientists say' with what the Daily Mail says scientists say.

              Schulz summarised the strength of science very well - it has mechanisms to weed out charlatans, to correct mistakes, to build up shakey foundations.

              I only wish politics (and denialist charlatans) did.

            3. David Roberts Silver badge
              Holmes

              Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

              I'm with the downvote victims on this one.

              The A/C post I am replying to sums it up well.

              There seems to be a short term correlation between industrialisation and changes in the climate but there has been some very dodgy science from people desperate to prove themselves right which taints other work in the field. Enough for some sceptical thought. The evangelicals who decry everyone who doesn't accept their world view, including on El Reg, doesn't help either.

              We (nearly) all know that climate changes constantly and we are apparently emerging from a mini ice age. The amount of impact that humanity is having, and which particular activities are responsible for significant changes, is as I understand it the main area of debate.

              I also think that religion isn't as cut and dried as some "scientists" would like to make out. There is the term "crisis of faith" and many of the truly religious constantly re-examine their personal faith. Lord, I believe. Help me in my disbelief.

              So someone who doesn't accept the current climate religion but who continues to gather data is probably a good person to have in charge. You don't want someone who has a mind already made up who is resistant to anything that doesn't support their world view.

              I also wonder how much of the up and down voting is on political instead of logical grounds.

          2. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

            "We're experiencing gradually increasing climate events in many parts of the world"

            No. we are not. Check out some of the data on storms of the early 1900's for example.

            http://www.longrangeweather.com/global_temperatures.htm

            You said "Irma is showing up as pretty much the strongest Caribbean storm on record." Recent hurricanes are NOT necessarily "the strongest on record". Consider the 'labor day hurricane' of 1935

            Additionally, humans cannot cause "global climate change" in any significant amount from burning fossil fuels. You would have to completely ignore 1) chemical equilibrium between atmosphere and ocean, 2) biological equilibrium involving algae and other plants, 3) precipitation of CO2 as carbonates on the ocean floor, 4) geothermal effects on measured CO2 in key locations, and 5) the actual IR absorption spectrum of CO2 in order to come up with "a computer model" to show out of control climate change. However, REAL science in the REAL world WILL INCLUDE all of those things in the analysis, and as such, would easily demonstrate that CO2 from human activity does NOT cause global climate change in any significant amount, even any MEASURABLE amount.

            If climate is changing, it is because of the earth, the sun, or something similar. Humans couldn't do it even if we WANTED to.

            1. Paul Kinsler

              Re: If climate is changing [...] Humans couldn't do it even if we WANTED to.

              A full scale nuclear war would put enough particulates in the atmosphere to create a devastating nuclear winter, and even a small nuclear war would be bad enough [1]. Does that count as "climate changing"?

              [1] http://physicstoday.scitation.org/doi/full/10.1063/1.3047679

            2. strum Silver badge

              Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

              It's so predictable. Bombastic Bob loves Trump, hates government - so, of course he's going to be a climate change denier.

              He even goes to the trouble of ferreting out pseudo-scientific crap to back up his beliefs (but wouldn't be seen dead reading anything genuine).

          3. bombastic bob Silver badge

            Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

            "Personally I can chip that a lake I hike to every so often had a glacier all the way down to the shore in the summer. A glacier, not just snowpack. 20 years later, that glacier never reaches it anymore."

            this deserves separate commentary.

            1900: cold

            1935: hot

            1970: cold

            2005: hot

            2040: cold <--- your glacier should reappear by then

            also consider that some effects are 90 degrees out of phase with this cycle, quite possibly your glacier being one of them. The reason is 'heat up rate' vs temperature. Yeah, it's a calculus thing. It's also why late summer is hotter than early summer, even though days are longer in early summer.

            Anyone else have a better explanation? Mine's based on recorded temperature data in the northern hemisphere... and one projected estimate based on the apparent cyclic trend

            1. Comments are attributed to your handle
              Mushroom

              Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

              "Anyone else have a better explanation?"

              Yes, I do: you're being disingenuous. Try taking the AVERAGE: https://www.skepticalscience.com/global-cooling-january-2007-to-january-2008.htm. Specifically, see this graph: https://skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=47. While you're there, feel free to correct any other ignorances you have by consulting this page: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php.

            2. LionelB

              Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

              BB, your misunderstanding of science is quite extraordinary.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

        This isn't an open question and rejecting or misunderstanding an overwhelming body of evidence doesn't make you a skeptic.

        No, it makes you a climate change alarmist.

      3. Jaybus

        Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

        "This isn't an open question..."

        Oh? Do we then know the exact contribution of each of the myriad factors affecting Earth's climate? You cherry-picked from his comment. But, if it is not open, then we certainly should cut off all funding for further scientific study related to the question. No point in wasting resources on it.

    5. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

      "Skeptic" is a misnomer. Skepticism is simply a position of requiring evidence to support a claim. It is not about ignoring the evidence and denying the position the evidence supports.

    6. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

      ack on "let's put a skeptic in charge".

      <quote from article>

      Meanwhile, on NASA's own website you can find data showing human civilization has likely had a profound effect on our world's climate.

      </quote from article>

      And _THIS_ is why we want A SKEPTIC in charge, and NOT an ACTIVIST!

      [because the idea of man-made climate change is PURE BULLCRAP, and I can easily prove it, and have done so on multiple occasions already, so I'll spare this article's responses from me repeating myself again]

      1. strum Silver badge

        Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

        >_THIS_ is why we want A SKEPTIC in charge

        He isn't a sceptic - and neither are you. You're both deniers - mind made up, against all the evidence.

        1. Libertarian Voice

          Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

          The evidence is based on the models, and the models are not reflecting reality. Additionally no baseline data has been released (i.e. what do the models predict would happen to the climate without additional releases of co2). We can be certain that the climate is changing and we can be certain that either some or all of this change is natural, so surely we should have some data on how we should expect the climate to change without anthropogenic co2. If you ask for this data you are stonewalled.

    7. strum Silver badge

      Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

      >The open question

      It's not an open question anymore (except for filling in some details). We no longer need science to drive decision-making. It's engineering now. We have engineered a catastrophe. We know what drives this engine, why the 'governors' have failed to control it. We even know where the brakes are - but cannot risk using them until we do the basics - like take our foot off the gas pedal.

    8. Andy Gates

      Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

      "Earth has stopped warming" is flat wrong, though. That's not a skeptic position, that's a political one. Similar non-factual political opinions run to Lysenkoism and "rain follows the plow", so, yeah, no. Educate that man before he gets promoted anywhere important.

  3. Paul

    if you work at NASA, rush to back up your data ASAP!

    The moment he starts at NASA he'll demand that every reference to climate change be taken down off their websites and destroy all records and documents and data about it.

    This has already been happening.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/06/science/donald-trump-data-rescue-science.html

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The moment he starts at NASA he'll demand that every reference to climate change propaganda be taken down off their websites (finally), and then get back to what NASA was created to do, namely explore space, not engage in extremist politics.

      You warmist true believers will just have to get used to the fact that our culture is not yours to control. You had a good run but you lost. Time for those with mature viewpoints to take charge again.

      1. Chris 3

        I'm intrigued.

        ... what actually locked you into your beliefs that climate change is a hoax.

        1. itzman

          Re: I'm intrigued.

          No belief involved. Just close examination of the evidence.

          (If 'climate change' is short for 'catastrophic man-made climate change')

          You should try it sometime.

          Of course it takes more effort then listening to the BBC or reading the guardian.

          1. strum Silver badge

            Re: I'm intrigued.

            >Just close examination of the evidence.

            As long as you stick to Alan Watts and similar charlatans.

            You haven't examined the evidence; you've scanned friendly blogs for talking points.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you believe the NY times

      You will believe in pixie dust.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get the pyre ready...

    it appears that a heretic has managed to secure a prestigious job. This is unacceptable, and we must burn him at the stake to cleanse ourselves of his skeptical filth!!!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He'll come round.

    Just because Bridenstine is currently a skeptic doesn't mean he won't change his mind when irrefutable proof that mankind is causing or hastening climate change is supplied to him from a credible source. And given the utter certainty of the media that mankind, in particular the western world, is to blame, and knowing well versed in scientific method the average arts graduate reporter is, there is definitely such proof isn't there?

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: He'll come round.

      Of course, because people are well known for being rational in the face of evidence that challenges their world view.

      Except for all the times when they just double down on their position and label any opposing views heresy/fake news/propaganda/lies/misinformation.

      I'm guessing the second option is what will happen here.

    2. strum Silver badge

      Re: He'll come round.

      >irrefutable proof

      Big giveaway, that. Science doesn't deal in proof.

      We don't need 'proof' that a particular plane is going to fall out of the sky. If we have evidence that it has a 5% chance of crashing - it won't get off the ground.

      Science is telling us that there is a 90% (or better) chance that AGW is happening, now, and is likely to get much worse.

      But the deniers are determined to fly that plane till it crashed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: He'll come round.

        "But the deniers are determined to fly that plane till it crashed."

        If only...

  6. Someone Else Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Pay no attention to the facts behind the curtain...

    Meanwhile, on NASA's own website, you can find data showing human civilization has likely had a profound effect on our world's climate.

    Well, you don't have to worry about that little detail. Like all of der Lügenführer's minions, he'll make sure that any reference to real facts disappear from the face of the website (being, of course, blissfully unaware that nothing ever really disappears from the Interwebs...)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pay no attention to the facts behind the curtain...

      > "...he'll make sure that any reference to real facts disappear..."

      So, like a "Hide the decline" thing?

      1. strum Silver badge

        Re: Pay no attention to the facts behind the curtain...

        >So, like a "Hide the decline" thing?

        No. Not like that. A remark which has been investigated (along with other denialist 'gotchas') several times, and cleared of any wrong-doing.

        Even the Bright Institute, which set out to discredit Hadley, were forced to admit that their own study of the data came up with the same result.

        You, sir are an unoriginal fraud.

        1. caradoc

          Re: Pay no attention to the facts behind the curtain...

          "cleared of any wrong-doing."

          Really? The snippet you quote out of context, describes the manipulation of data to produce the infamous "hockey stick" graph. The proxy measurements declined at the end of the period charted and were then spliced with instrumental records to produce an uplift and "hide the decline" in the proxy record. It was at the very least, bad science. MCIntyre and McKitrick showed that random numbers would produce a hockey stick.

          Are you sir, an original fraud?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pay no attention to the facts behind the curtain...

      Well, if it's on a website, it's bound to be true. I've just put on this very website right here that climate change is a natural feature of the planet's ecosystem and the area of space it finds itself in.

      So that's true too. Excellent!

    3. handleoclast Silver badge

      Re: Pay no attention to the facts behind the curtain...

      @Someone Else

      I wish I could give you another upthumb for Lügenführer. Then another one for correct use of umlauts. But then I'd have to give you a downthumb for not italicising foreign words. That would still leave two upthumbs, alas I can give you only one.

  7. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Skepticism

    Science is based on skepticism not dogma. There are problems with models and data sets. The models have not been particularly accurate with historical or current data. A bigger problem is the extent, quality, and completeness of the data sets. The problem is our current data sets do not have any indication of longer term cycles of century and millennia length. Through solar variability (Maunder minimum and the Little Ice Age) and the actual human effects are murky.

    My personal objection to basing policy on the CAGW is what if it is proven false? Many of the goals can stand on their own right as we should be trying to leave the environment in better shape than we found it. Thus reducing one's carbon foot print, lessening one's overall impact, etc. are good personal objectives.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Skepticism

      This issue really revolves around energy, the energy needed to run modern civilization. Like it or not, the vast bulk of that energy comes from carbon burning right now. The greens have no realistic replacement for it, no matter what they may claim. In fact a lot of them don't WANT it replaced. They see modern civilization as a problem to be reined in (except for themselves of course), and so they are drawn very strongly to a theory that suggests our energy supply will lead to catastrophe.

      But the universe doesn't care about politics. That theory, based as it is on CO2 being a delicately balanced lever of our climate, turned out to be a less than accurate description of the climate system. At least, all their computer modeling has been shown wanting. It was that modeling that provided (and still provides) the primary underpinning for the theory itself.

      Alas and alack, the climate didn't tip over and shows no signs of doing so. Thus out of necessity was born the "climate change" meme, to replace the old theory of a world on fire. This works great, since you won't find anyone to argue that climate doesn't change (I certainly won't!).

      So we see how the Green movement has adapted their strategies, successfully saving that CO2 theory from the dustbin, polishing it up good, and presenting it to a new generation of suckers as the explanation for every weather-related disaster that comes along. Since such disasters will never stop coming (while we're here anyway), the Greens are set for life!

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Skepticism

        I hope he doesn't have a prejudiced opinion on the flat vs round Earth theory. We need to keep an open mind and launch satellites to just collect the data (or crash into the crystal sphere of the heavens)

      2. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: Skepticism

        "The greens have no realistic replacement for it, no matter what they may claim."

        We most certainly do have a replacement, a clean power source that will probably see us through to the establishment of space based solar. That replacement is nuclear power and I can assure you that I am not only "Green" who thinks this.

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Skepticism

        "This issue really revolves around energy, the energy needed to run modern civilization. Like it or not, the vast bulk of that energy comes from carbon burning right now."

        if it weren't coming from carbon burning, then you'd STILL see GRIPES from various enviro-wacko groups, along all of the "religious claims" and chicken-little fear mongering that goes with it.

        a) Nuclear energy - not a carbon in its footprint, yet NOBODY seems to be asking for more of it. why not?

        b) Fusion energy - if we had it working [instead of just working on 'research' - you get what you pay for!] there'd be SOME kind of griping going on about THAT, too.

        c) wind farms kill eagles and condors, and take some of the energy out of the wind, affecting "something" if you search hard enough to find it.

        d) dams for hydro power flood the landscape and it's no longer "pristine". oh well.

        e) black solar panels heat up from solar energy, causing localized "hotter" weather if there are enough of them collecting sunlight in a given area, kinda like the "concrete jungle" effect.

        In short, no matter WHAT kind of "sustainability" you have, SOMEONE is going to gripe about it, throw a tantrum, get a bunch of activist types to join their cause, make a CRAPLOAD of noise, and generally disrupt society and try to force EVERYONE (except themselves) into a 3rd world quality of life.

        1. strum Silver badge

          Re: Skepticism

          >Nuclear energy - not a carbon in its footprint

          Good grief! You can't even get that right. There's tonnes of CO2 in nuclear - all that concrete?

        2. Aedile

          Re: Skepticism

          Seriously? You don't know why more people don't want more nuclear? Maybe it has to do with the radioactive nuclear waste that sticks around for a really long time? Maybe it has to do with safety and the risk of a melt down?

          1. Hardrada

            Re: Skepticism

            @Aedile "Seriously? You don't know why more people don't want more nuclear? Maybe it has to do with the radioactive nuclear waste that sticks around for a really long time? Maybe it has to do with safety and the risk of a melt down?"

            There's never been a long-term waste problem. We had reprocessing from the get-go, and by the time President Ford put a moratorium on it, we had MSR. Now we also have IFR.

            It's a political problem, and even in that context it doesn't make sense, since about half of the world's people live in countries that already have nuclear weapons.

            If you argue that wind is cheaper, you're forgetting that the timing of emissions matters, and that for 30 years nuclear and large scale hydro were the only technologies up to the task. Both were opposed by greens.

      4. strum Silver badge

        Re: Skepticism

        > turned out to be a less than accurate description of the climate system.

        Only in the minds of those incapable of dealing with reality - that we can't hope to continue with a robber economy forever.

        Climate change is real. It's happening now and it shows signs of getting worse, a lot quicker than we feared. Anyone who believes that the 'right' to drive an SUV is more important than our grandchildren's future is a danger to humanity.

        1. Hardrada

          Re: Skepticism

          @strum "Climate change is real. It's happening now and it shows signs of getting worse, a lot quicker than we feared. Anyone who believes that the 'right' to drive an SUV is more important than our grandchildren's future is a danger to humanity.

          This isn't about SUVs, which make up a piddling proportion of global anthropogenic CO2; it's about the few billion people who don't have the ability to refrigerate their food or get picked up by an ambulance if they're injured. Their development aspirations are a much bigger piece of the CO2 pie than US rednecks driving trucks.

          I urge you to look over the policy proposals of US (and to a lesser extent British) environmentalists. If you're honest, what you'll find is that they target certain segments of the population rather than targeting segments that put out the most CO2 or do it most gratuitously.

          That's why you had then-Senator Barak Obama blaming industry for CO2 emissions during the 2008 campaign even though US industry only accounted for 20% of our emissions.

      5. JLV Silver badge

        Re: Skepticism

        >we see how the Green movement has adapted their strategies, successfully saving that CO2 theory from the dustbin, polishing it up good, and presenting it to a new generation of suckers

        >In fact a lot of them don't WANT it replaced.

        First things first, I agree with you. Many Greens have an entirely different viewpoint on how we should go about living our life (or how many humans should be here) and would love to impose their views on everyone else. I'll add that, as time goes on, I find Greens have outlived their usefulness as canaries as in the coalmine and are massively messing things up when they decide on policy. Witness the mess that $100B+ of electricity subsidies have made to German CO2 emissions actually increasing.

        In short, I don't like Greens very much.

        What I am curious about, in your version of the "big sell" is why other people, including people who do not share the green viewpoint, are suckered in and go along? Why are they buying into the sell? Especially if the findings are inconvenient and annoying, such as limiting their air travel? These are rational people, able to look at data just as well as yourself.

        It's a bit like Holocaust denial (a subject on which debate should _not_ be suppressed). Why did the Germans willingly accept the role of scapegoats? What's in it for them, in this big conspiracy? It might have been imposed on them in 1945, but now??? Occam's razor argues for it actually happening rather a massive cover-up.

        Second, let's dig into the oft-repeated argument that climate scientists have a vested argument in promoting spending on climate change research.

        Granted.

        But, why is it that very little serious, peer-reviewed science has debunked the AGW alarmists? There would be no lack of funding for someone with solid science to back up that humans are not causing a problem. Any oil company would love to throw money at them (and probably do). Yes, riding the AGW is a gravy train, but credible science against it would make any scientist into a top earner in that field. Take Bjørn Lomborg. He may not be popular (I actually respect his views), but you can't argue that his positions have resulted in professional failure and obscurity. Quite the opposite.

        Scientists do often display a herd mentality, make mistakes and block out dissenting views. But science also has in-built mechanisms to correct for that - most scientists are willing to look at data that conflicts with their worldview and adjust. For examples of that, you can look at the early reception for the prion hypothesis in the mad cow disease scare. Or for the notion that bacteria cause stomach ulcers.

        Why has that not happened?

        Some folks insist on perfect climate science models. Guess what - not gonna happen. Science is most effective when working with either perfect equations (ex: physics), you have masses of standalone data or can repeat the same experiment multiple times. Either your equations are elegant or you can have statistics do the work for you. Faced with a one data-point system - we only have 1 Earth's weather to look at, looking at phenomena that is way beyond simple mathematics and lacking any way to re-run repeatable full-scale experiments, scientists have a fuzzier and harder time proving their hypotheses.

        It won't be perfect first time and it might never be perfect at all. It'll be fuzzy, open to interpretation and based on consensus rather than certainties. That shouldn't be too hard to understand, should it?

        What I am wondering about, if people like yourself and Bombastic Bob, are reasoning in good faith, is what would it take to change your mind? At what point would you look at the scientific consensus and say "you know what, this is happening, I've changed my mind".

        Short of that, at what point would you be willing to say "geez, I dunno, but the risks if I am wrong are pretty big, so I'll just err on the side of caution"?

        Is there such a point? More than anything else here, I am curious about that.

        For me, I'd love to learn that we were wrong and we can go back to business as usual. CO2 is not a traditional pollutant, it's natural and it is not a toxic chemical. If it turns out not to cause warming, then why not enjoy life and go back to emitting lots of it? I certainly wouldn't mind and I believe that, on other aspects, we are less polluting now than in the 50s.

        1. handleoclast Silver badge

          Re: Skepticism

          @JLV

          Very well argued.

          I'd love to see a coherent, rational response from Bob or John (or both). I'm not holding my breath...

        2. Hardrada

          Re: Skepticism

          @JLV That's one of the most mature and reasonable posts I've seen on this topic. Have an up-vote on me.

          This is a bit tardy, but I'll try to answer some of your questions:

          "What I am curious about, in your version of the "big sell" is why other people, including people who do not share the green viewpoint, are suckered in and go along? Why are they buying into the sell? Especially if the findings are inconvenient and annoying, such as limiting their air travel? These are rational people, able to look at data just as well as yourself."

          - My impression (from working as a Democratic organizer) was that white collar party activists weren't afraid of that, likely because they didn't expect it to happen.

          "Some folks insist on perfect climate science models. Guess what - not gonna happen."

          - Correct, and it's easy to understand why there are gaps in calibration data before 1970 (nobody was thinking about climate modeling) and why the surface stations didn't get updated immediately (budgets). What's harder to understand is why it took three decades after the consensus formed to get hard numbers about things like shelter and location biases. We're now forty years into this and there are still missing calibration records.

          "But, why is it that very little serious, peer-reviewed science has debunked the AGW alarmists? There would be no lack of funding for someone with solid science to back up that humans are not causing a problem."

          - You've already answered that. See above. As you summed it:

          "It won't be perfect first time and it might never be perfect at all. It'll be fuzzy, open to interpretation and based on consensus rather than certainties."

          That also makes it hard to disprove (which is why I'd rather focus on whether particular mitigation proposals make sense).

          "Any oil company would love to throw money at them (and probably do). Yes, riding the AGW is a gravy train, but credible science against it would make any scientist into a top earner in that field."

          - I think you've giving them too much credit. Look at the Equifax fiasco - wouldn't it have been in their interest to hire the best infosec people and give them the support needed to avoid this? They obviously didn't.

          Also, possibly because the people disputing AGW didn't know where to look. They spent decades trying to find mistakes in the math and the theory even though people in academia tend to be very good at both. While they were distracted by that, they missed problems with the instrumentation and test design.

          "What I am wondering about, if people like yourself and Bombastic Bob, are reasoning in good faith, is what would it take to change your mind?"

          This wasn't directed at me, but I'll offer my answer:

          1: Fix the data. I Having problems in a first analysis is normal, but leaving them unfixed indefinitely isn't.

          2: Publish the metadata. Right now a lot of it is on password-protected servers. If it's good, there's no reason to hide it. Even if there are gaps, it might still be possible to fill them in as long as the equipment hasn't been thrown away.

          3: I'd be willing to act on the Precautionary Principle, but some of the proposed mitigations aren't precautionary. Anything that requires building new supply chains and factories for a small reduction in lifecycle CO2 doesn't make sense at this point.

    2. strum Silver badge

      Re: Skepticism

      >The models have not been particularly accurate with historical or current data.

      You found this 'argument' on a denialist website, didn't you?

      Problem is, every proposed climate model is first tried out on historical data. If it doesn't pass that, it's ditched immediately.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Skepticism

      The problem is our current data sets do not have any indication of longer term cycles of century and millennia length.

      Of course they do. Relatively short-term (centuries and low millenia), you can get quite accurate temperature data from the plant record - things like tree growth rings, pollen composition and distribution, etc. For somewhat longer term (tens to hundreds of thousands of years), and higher elevations/latitudes, you can extract temperature record from the isotopic composition of ice and from stalactites/stalagmites. Even longer term, you get temperature data from isotopic composition of sedimentary rock formations.

      As you go further back in time, temporal resolution decreases - first you average over months, then years, then decades and so on; it also gets harder to calibrate the temperature scale, and to establish a continuous temperature record at a given location; you may also have a quite accurate reading of the ocean temperature, but a much more uncertain data on the atmospheric temperatures; and so on.

      Sure this is hard work, and it requires a lot of specialized skills and knowledge, and frequently expensive equipment. Occasionally, it is necessary to correct some of the temperature record as new and better data or analysis technique comes along - this is all a part and parcel of the scientific process. Nonetheless, claiming that our knowledge of the Earth's temperature record starts with the invention of the thermometer is just plain ignorant.

  8. Hardrada

    Did the story author read the NASA link?

    From that link (https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence):

    "Satellite observations reveal that the amount of spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased over the past five decades and that the snow is melting earlier."

    ^ This can't be true because Explorer 6 was only active for 60 days, none of them during the spring, and Ladsat didn't launch until 1972.

    "The number of record high temperature events in the United States has been increasing, while the number of record low temperature events has been decreasing, since 1950."

    ^ This is based on data from weather stations that weren't designed to measure sub-degree changes. You have a signal that's close to the noise floor (1: http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/tn404/text/tn404_6.html 2: https://www.nist.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pml/wmd/105-6.pdf ) and the investigators didn't use blinds. The reported warming also spiked after those investigators took a political stand (in the 1970s: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/15092015/Exxons-own-research-confirmed-fossil-fuels-role-in-global-warming ) and tapered off during the 2000s. That's the pattern you'd expect to see if bias were the main cause.

    "All three major global surface temperature reconstructions show that Earth has warmed since 1880. Most of this warming has occurred since the 1970s, with the 20 warmest years having occurred since 1981 and with all 10 of the warmest years occurring in the past 12 years."

    ^ Ditto. The methodology was also changed when recent data showed less warming than expected. (That's non-preferred. See the BAMS analysis of the reproducibility fiasco.)

    The proxy indeces are vulnerable to p-hacking because there are lots of potential proxies to choose from, and they weren't pre-registered.

    "The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) of ocean showing warming of 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969."

    ^ This is based on the same data, and is even farther inside the instrumental margin of error.

    "Data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometers (36 to 60 cubic miles) of ice per year between 2002 and 2006"

    ...out of 684,000 cubic miles, or 0.009% or the total. (I'm being generous. If we use their low estimate, it's only 0.005%.)

    "...while Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kilometers (36 cubic miles) of ice between 2002 and 2005."

    ...out of 7.2 million cubic miles, or five ten-thousandths of a percent.

    I'm perfectly willing to work on energy-saving technologies (and have done so, actually). I also spent a few years as a Democratic organizer, and I've been a bike commuter for close to 20 years.

    My beef is that the policy proposals from US greens don't make engineering sense. At this point, almost nay low-CO2 tech would be worth building, and the feedback loops in the models imply that timing of emissions is as important as total footprint. You won't get anywhere trying to talk to them about that.

  9. aquaman

    The fossil fuel industry is licking their chops at the prospect of burying all the data and denying there is any government-backed research that indicates global warning or problems associated with that. You would think that denying the data ever existed is ridiculous, but you only have to look at the plethora of bald-faced alternate reality statements from the white house and their supporters who insist you should not believe what you see or measure anymore. No, the real truth is that fossil fuels are just peachy, America's problems are due to lazy immoral immigrants, and Putin is a helluva good guy who we really need to get closer to.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The fossil fuel industry is licking their chops...

      at renewable energy, because Exxon knew...that renewable energy wouldn't make a ha'poth of difference to oil consumption, wouldn't really affect coal consumption and would lead to more gas consumption because by and large that's the only viable method of adding dispatch to the appalling travesty of generation that is intermittent renewable energy.

      What the fossil industry fears is new fossil competition and nuclear power.

      They bought the greens years ago.,

      Which is why there is anti-nuclear and anti-fracking, but no one gives a sh1t about bird mincing environment wrecking windmills, or polluting solar panels.

      The so called eco solutions business is riddled with contradictions that can only be explained by realising that:-

      - the people who know, know that renewable energy doesn't work

      - they dont care, because climate change is bollox, and they know that too.

      - all that matters is transferring wealth from plebs to the government and big corporate elites.

      - by and large people really are that stupid.

      - the stupidest person of all is the rote-educated person that thinks they are clever, because they have absorbed other people's wisdom. Or propaganda.

      I mean, why do you think all the government and opposition MPs send their kids to private schools?

  10. Faux Science Slayer

    There is NO greenhouse gas and NO back radiation warming force....

    There is a rigged, three-sided, fake debate between Alarmist Big Warmists....

    Luke Little Warmists and Learned NO Warmists.....

    "Mommie, Can We Play Obombie Truth Origami" at FauxScienceSlayer website

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: There is NO greenhouse gas and NO back radiation warming force....

      > "Mommie, Can We Play Obombie Truth Origami" at FauxScienceSlayer website

      Promoting your crap site again?

  11. Captain DaFt

    Both sides of the GW debate should STFU!

    Until they read and digest this. Applies to other heated debates as well.

    TL;DR version: People are idiots, get over it.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here are questions to ponder.

    What would happen if the sun went out tomorrow?

    Would human activity continue to cause global warming?

    The answer should be self evident.

    1. Winkypop Silver badge

      No wonder it's from an AC

      Hmmmmm

      A false dichotomy

      OR

      A straw man

      ???????

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        @Winkypop -- Re: No wonder it's from an AC

        Or the dumbest thing posted on this site since the last screed from Bombastic Bob.

    2. Solarflare

      What would happen if the sun went out tomorrow?

      Our planet would cool (though there would be residual warmth for a while due to our core providing geothermal energy) and eventually we would end up being a lifeless rock.

      What does that have to do with Climate Change though? That's like saying "If the sun doesn't shine on my conservatory, it is cold during the day! Therefore the heaters I have in there can't possibly have an effect on the temperature"

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Boffin

      What would happen if the sun went out tomorrow?

      well, as true as it is that humans aren't DIRECTLY warming the earth, the assumptions of the warmist 'CO2' model is kinda like this: CO2 is assumed to be a greenhouse gas; that is, it absorbs incoming energy (as gamma), converting it to heat, and then keep that heat from escaping the earth at night (by radiation).

      So, since the sun is still involved in the process when humans [allegedly] cause the warming, having the sun go out tomorrow would be an unrelated problem. That's where that specific logic breaks down.

      ON THE OTHER HAND... since the model centers ENTIRELY on the idea that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, then I like to focus my arguments on THAT little problem... because CO2 is a *REALLY* *LOUSY* greenhouse gas! It only works for temperatures below about -50F, or above about 130 or 140F, and even THEN, you have to go pretty far outside of the extremes to get 100% absorption.

      When the earth emits gamma radiation at night, it's in the infrared range. "Black body radiation" puts out most of its energy at a wavelength that's close to the 'indicated temperature' wavelength, which has a simple calculation. in short, those thermometers you use with lasers in them simply figure out what the IR emission is, and 'guess' the temperature based on that. And they're pretty good.

      So in short, if CO2 doesn't really absorb ANY of earth's emitted radiation between -50F and 100-something F, then CO2 isn't doing DIDDLY SQUAT to affect world temperatures, now is it?

      Similarly for solar radiation, it may actually have a BLOCKING effect rather than a warming effect [and the ground absorbs the heat way better than the atmosphere does... so it's not that effective at all is it? Consider a cloudy day, for example, and water absorbs nearly ALL of the infrared, hint hint, being 100 or more times as effect ive as a greenhouse gas than CO2, in my opinion]

      In any case, what would happen if the sun went out tomorrow? We'd be totally SCREWED.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What would happen if the sun went out tomorrow?

        When the earth emits gamma radiation at night, it's in the infrared range.

        Bob, you are talking gibberish.

        If whatever you are doing in real life is based on the same level of knowledge of the subject matter, I fear for the lives of your customers.

        1. David Nash Silver badge

          Re: What would happen if the sun went out tomorrow?

          "When the earth emits gamma radiation at night, it's in the infrared range"

          AC got there before me.

          High school physics, Bob.

          1. Solarflare

            Re: What would happen if the sun went out tomorrow?

            I honestly didn't realise that was a post by Bob. He never once mentioned the word "micro$haft"...

          2. Chris 239

            Re: What would happen if the sun went out tomorrow?

            @ David Nash

            Likewise, pity it was an AC.

            "emits gamma radiation at night, it's in the infrared range" -- I was WTF!

            this really proves Bob is a ignorant twat!

      2. strum Silver badge

        Re: What would happen if the sun went out tomorrow?

        > CO2 is assumed to be a greenhouse gas

        Bollocks. It's been known to be a greenhouse gas for 150 years.

    4. Patrician

      That's a pretty silly question to ask isn't it? And it has no relevance to the subject under discussion.

  13. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Dust Bowl 2.0

    We are screwed.

  14. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    As long as he believes in Newton and Tsiolkovsky we should be OK.

  15. Potemkine! Silver badge

    We broke the Earth, let's now break the Moon!

    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it

  16. Big-nosed Pengie

    This twunt is not a skeptic - he's a denier.

    Skeptics examine the evidence and base their conclusions on it.

  17. Louis Schreurs BEng

    irrefutable proof that mankind is causing or hastening climate change

    ^

    does not exist

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: irrefutable proof that mankind is causing or hastening climate change

      irrefutable proof of anything outside math - doesn't exist

      Try telling your boss you didn't get out of bed this morning because you couldn't prove you aren't a beetle dreaming that you're a sysadmin living in Woking

  18. rmullen0

    Looking forward to the demise of the deniers getting steam rolled by a hurricane

    Title says it all. I won't be feeling sorry for the weak minded capitalist pigs who can't face reality. You will be reaping what you deserve. Look at the massive environmental destruction that happened with Harvey. Toxic waste all over the place from the refineries. And you numbskulls are all for it.

    1. itzman

      Re: Looking forward to the demise of the deniers getting steam rolled by a hurricane

      "weak minded capitalist pigs who can't face reality..."

      well you are clearly a neo nazi so I guess denial comes with the territory.

      Only capitalist pig I knew was made of china, and you smaahed him when you needed a new cap gun

      Really. The 1960s are that way--->

      And te cold war ended with the complete collapse of an unworkable system. Communism.

      Get over it.

      The only legacy the Soviets left us was AgitProp and the Green movement that evolved out of the idea of nation destroying anti-nuclear protests into cultural Marxism which was designed to destroy nations by denying that anything had meaning.

      1. Aedile
        Stop

        Re: Looking forward to the demise of the deniers getting steam rolled by a hurricane

        And we have now hit Godwin's law. Last one out please turn out the lights.

      2. Someone Else Silver badge

        @itzman -- Re: Looking forward to the demise of the deniers getting steam rolled by a hurricane

        Look, no matter how hard you try, you are not nor, nor will you ever be, amanfrommars1

    2. Fading Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Looking forward to the demise of the deniers getting steam rolled by a hurricane

      What a pleasant comment - you must be a joy at parties.

    3. JLV Silver badge

      Re: Looking forward to the demise of the deniers getting steam rolled by a hurricane

      >Toxic waste all over the place from the refineries. And you numbskulls are all for it.

      Eh, fuck you too. I suppose you don't drive so therefore your holiness doesn't need any fossil fuel. Go back to your hair shirt and candlelight, you're not achieving anything by wasting oxygen. Except as a foil that almost makes Bombastic Bob and Big John look clever in comparison.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    looks familiar

    Isn't he the president of Buy-n-Large?

  20. MT Field

    Man-made climate change argument lolz

    This chap doesn't seem such a bad choice. If he can fly to and from a rolling pitching deck and is suitably qualified to do so, he can head up NASA for a few years. Anyway since his skeptical stance is already clear the hippy faithful can keep watch on his actions.

    And, at the commentard who believes global temperatures correlate with atmospheric CO2 concentrations, please let us know the precise or approximate value, in Kelvins/ppmC02. Thanks.

    1. MT Field

      Re: Man-made climate change argument lolz

      Yay 5 hippies with downward-pointing thumbs.

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