The Argument for Anthropogenic Global Climate Change

Temperature change since 1880

This is a brief argument for AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) that was festering in a previous thread. 2010 was the hottest year on record for global temperatures since records of temperatures were recorded in 1880 and it rather shockingly illustrates an upward trend of rising temperatures that are causing global climate change. Many want to believe this is a conspiracy to tax and restrict corporations from engaging in commerce. A penalty for achieving success.

So the argument has several elements: 1. Is the world getting hotter? 2. If so, is our use of fossil fuels causing it? 3. Will it cause problems with our biosphere? and 4. Will regulation of our carbon consumption help or hinder our planet? In other words, is it an unnecessary regulation based upon hysteria and paranoia? Or does the science say we are about to do irreparable harm to our little fishbowl?

Several questions were brought forth in a previous discussion. Like, what do AGW proponents stand to gain from advocating mitigation of global warming? Why is there resistance to AGW? Is global warming caused by humans or is it just a natural turn of events? Can we really stop GW by changing our behaviours?

I did not delve deeply into the science behind the topic. You’re welcome to do so. If the world experiences a cooling trend, I might be persuaded that I am wrong. Unfortunately, I don’t anticipate that happening. I really hate it when I’m right.

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About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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190 Responses to The Argument for Anthropogenic Global Climate Change

  1. Mr. Universe says:

    First, let me comment on the graph. That graph should be enough to cause you to a great deal of concern. I don’t need to be a statistician to see that the trend of temperature escalation is reaching alarming proportions. It shows no evidence of decreasing anytime soon.

    Yes, there have been cooling and heating trends in Earth’s history but they have generally taken place over centuries…NOT DECADES.

    Second, that graph will not level off anytime soon. I don’t care whether you think humans are causing global warming or not (we are), we need to stop that trend at any cost.

  2. shortchain says:

    As for the effects, see here or here.

    And that’s just on the animals. What about agriculture (assuming that it can be separated from the ecology)? See here, for example.

    That’s just for starters.

    Next, print out a copy of this. Blow the right-hand side of Mr. U.’s graph up so you can show them on the same time scale and look at them next to one another and ponder them. (This is not a scientific argument, just hand-waving, but it’s “interesting”.)

  3. Number Seven says:

    Remember folks, the global warming deniers are the same ones that put Tommy Chong in prison for nine because of a character he played in some movies…

  4. Number Seven says:

    Nine months.

  5. drfunguy says:

    Related to shortchain’s comments, the available data indicate that atmospheric CO2 and methane concentration are currently at levels higher than for the last 420,000 years (at least). http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v399/n6735/abs/399429a0.html

  6. Bart DePalma says:

    Once again, anyone who supports the hypothesis of AGW, prove it. Here is what you have to prove at minimum:

    1) That scientists are able to offer a statistically reliable average global temperature based upon surface temperature readings despite the facts that enormous tracts of lans and sea are not measured, the coverage of many areas is irregular over time and readings for different areas are taken at different times with different proximities to human heat sinks.

    If you wish to cite to adjusted or harmonized datasets claiming to have adjusted for these enormous problems with the raw temperature database, then you must produce the assumptions underlying the adjustments and justify each addition, omission or adjustment of a weather station reading.

    Good luck with that. The adjusted databases are not open to inspection by other scientists. The leaked CRU data showed CRU arbitrarily duplicated stations showing warming, deleted stations showing cooling and substantially changed the data in stations showing cooling to make them show warming – often creating changes of 6 to 7 degrees. The CRU data notes show that there were no underlying normalization rules.

    2) If you can get past the first hurdle of coming up with a statistically reliable average global temperature over time, you now have to prove correlation. Even under the adjusted temperature databases, while human GHG emissions have grown exponentially over the past century with no pauses or drops, the average adjusted global temperature went up less than half a degree before 1940, dropped less than half a degree between 1940 and 1979, rose less than half a degree between 1980 and 1998 and then plateuaed or dropped depending upon which database you consult between 1999 and 2010 – a period when CO2 emissions went through the roof with the industrialization of China and India. Where is the correlation between the exponential rise in CO2 emissions and the bouncing unverified adjusted temperatures?

    3) If you can navigate the first two hurdles, now you have to prove CO2 emissions cause the so far absent correlation between CO2 emissions and the so far absent statistically reliable average adjusted global temperature. The only evidence of correlation offered to date are a couple dozen climate computer models. In fact, these models are merely hypotheses based upon dozens of assumptions of how the elements of climate interact and how CO2 affects that interaction. Such a hypothesis must be tested against the actual climate. Find me a climate model which has predicted future and explained past temperatures to within a 0.2 degrees Celsius so you can use it to discern the claimed past multi-decade trends of o.3 to .04 degrees. Good luck with this as well as such models do not exist.

    If you cannot accomplish all three steps, man up and admit that AGW remains an unproven hypothesis at best.

    I’ll wager no one here will even try to offer actual evidence addressing even one of these proofs. Not one of you.

  7. drfunguy says:

    Bart you really need to get out more. Read some of the, you know, actual peer reviewed primary literature that, for example, provides well-supported global average surface temperatures (your point 1). Since you don’t bother to read or attempt to understand the science that has been done on this topic, why should anyone bother to try and educate you?

  8. Bartbuster says:

    Once again, anyone who supports the hypothesis of AGW, prove it.

    Blankshot, it’s really not necessary to “prove” AGW, it’s just enough to show that AGW is more likely than whatever BS you are trying to sell.

  9. Mr. Universe says:

    Bart, I’ve given you plenty of legitimate, scientific, peer reviewed material to read on AGW in the past. And not just Al Gore’s book (which references peer reviewed material). You refuse to even look at it. As the Christians say, ‘your heart has been hardened’. It’s a little late in the game to get sanctimonious. Stop pretending you have any legitimacy on the topic. The world is round, the moon landing wasn’t staged, the Earth revolves around the sun. I have zero interest in arguing with a fool.

    Objection: asked and answered, your honor. Sustained.

  10. shortchain says:

    Krugman — great minds often think alike, Mr. U.

  11. Bart DePalma says:

    U:

    Indeed, let us take a look at your graph, which appears to be a variation of the NASA graph:

    1) The formatting is intentionally misleading.

    The X axis covers 130 years, while the Y axis covers only 1.4 degrees with the intent to misleadingly make temperatures appear to soar.

    The added trend line is meant to distract from the fact that, even under the current misleading formatting, you see 0.3 degree drop over the first 30 years, a o.6 degree rise over the next 30 years, a 0.4 degree drop over the next 40 years, a 0.6 degree rise over the next 20 years and a 10 year plateau at the end.

    If you expand the Y axis to the 6 degrees the IPCC claims temperature will rise over the next century and reduce the X axis to a single 30 to 40 year warming or cooling phase, then the rises and falls look insignificant.

    If you used the actual variance in raw temperature under the present format, any discernible trend would disappear entirely. Most of the graph would be covered with what appears to be wildly changing temperatures because the Y axis covers only 1.4 degrees.

    If you expanded the X axis to cover the past millennium, you would see that temperatures were higher around 1000 AD, fell during the Little Ice Age and have been rising since around 1815 to a point below past natural highs.

    If you removed the misleading trend line and instead superimposed the exponential rise in manmade CO2 emissions over the bouncing temperature line, you will clearly see there is no significant correlation between the two.

    2) What data is this graph based upon? If it is the NASA graph, it is not based upon actual temperature data. Rather, it is based upon “adjusted temperature” data which has been debunked at CRU and whose assumptions are unreleased by the other two sources.

    In short, there are lies, damn lies and graphs.

  12. Bart DePalma says:

    Mr. Universe says: Bart, I’ve given you plenty of legitimate, scientific, peer reviewed material to read on AGW in the past.

    As I noted in my challenge, neither you or any climatologist has met any of the three basic scientific proof necessary for the AGW theory be considered scientific fact. Give it your best shot.

    To be fair, it is impossible for a lay person to do so because you do not have access to the data or the secret assumptions underlying the adjusted temperature database. Without the first proof, the later proofs are impossible to achieve.

  13. Bartbuster says:

    The X axis covers 130 years, while the Y axis covers only 1.4 degrees with the intent to misleadingly make temperatures appear to soar.

    Blankshot, in historical terms 1.4 degrees in 130 years is, in fact soaring.

  14. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    Really, you just continue to demonstrate that you have no clue as to how science works.

    First, aside from a few people like yourself, there no longer is any argument about the rising temperatures. This is visible in the graph, and also, for those of us at higher latitudes, who are old enough, the changes are obvious. The nature of the winters has changed over my lifetime. We used to have a few weeks of bone-chilling cold on a regular basis, nearly every winter which, depending on when it fell, would set a few records in some spots on some days. Now, we no longer get those lows. We have not set a record cold temperature in winter up here for several years.

    Here’s a clue: look at polar parka sales in the upper midwest.

    There is no “proof of correlation”. There is either a correlation (which is a statistic) or there isn’t. In this case, there really isn’t an argument. The correlation is obvious.

    Of course, correlation isn’t causation. But there is never a “proof” of causation. That’s why science consists of “theories”.

    So your screed above is nothing but a demonstration of ignorance.

  15. shortchain says:

    Oh, and Bart? There’s no secret about how the temperatures are obtained. Go here. On that page they have not only links to the actual data, but also links to the analysis methods used to crunch the numbers.

    The methodology is only “secret” in the sense that it requires a certain level of understanding to use the methods.

    So I guess in your case it might as well be sealed in concrete and sunk to the bottom of the sea.

  16. drfunguy says:

    One more time for the obstinate, Bart.
    Several of us have provided you links to peer-reviewed primary research on this topic that address the ‘issues’ you raise. You either won’t look at it or fail to comprehend it.
    As for “secret assumptions”, there are none, they are published methods in the papers that, for example, provide global average temperatures. Can you use google scholar? I knew you could.

  17. Bartbuster says:

    Blankshot has admitted in the past that the planet is warming, but every time this argument is brought up he goes back to the “no evidence of warming” base point. Depending on the beating he takes he may admit that there is evidence of warming, but none that it is caused by humans.

    Rinse, lather, repeat.

  18. dcpetterson says:

    @Bart
    As I noted in my challenge, neither you or any climatologist has met any of the three basic scientific proof necessary for the AGW theory be considered scientific fact.

    A) These are your “three basic scientific proof necessary”. You clearly don’t know how science works. These are not parts of any rational scientific “proof.”

    B) You clearly don’t understand the difference between “scientific fact” (such as temperature data) and “scientific theory” (such as “the AGW theory”). You cannot prove a “theory” to be a “fact,” because it isn’t. It’s a theory. It’s like proving the flavor of steak to be a symphony. They are two entirely different things.

    Take a basic ninth-grade physics class, then we’ll talk more.

  19. Jungle Jim says:

    Great topic Mr. U. As someone who has been working in this field since 1976, I have watched with growing alarm at the accellerating damage we are inflicting on our “nest”.
    In 1977 I wrote a paper for a college class in which I postulated that technology is inherently incapable of solving the problems caused by technology. The reason is simple: every technological transaction can be written as a equation like this: Take 2 (or more) things you have, add energy to get 1 thing you want plus 1 you don’t want, plus energy. The item you don’t want is called the by-product, and the leftover energy is in the form of heat. Since every equation results in an unwanted byproduct that requires another transaction to dispose of it, technology will never fully dispose of the unwanted byproducts without wiping out the gain delivered by the transaction. Since heat is generated by each transaction, the buildup of heat becomes a second unwanted byproduct. The only solution is to use biological processes instead of technological ones.

    Needless to say, this did not go over well with my professor, whose job it was to turn out engineers, not anti technological hippies. Thats when I understood why people like BDP will never accept that our technology is unsustainable.
    They know in their hearts that living without technology would be much too hard and that biological processes will never deliver an ever increasing standard of living that they crave. You can forget trying to convince them of this all too apparent fact; they have vested interest in not seeing it. My question to BDP (and others like him) is this:

    What planet are you going to move to after you’ve destroyed this one?

  20. Gator says:

    Please answer the good doctor’s question as seen below:

    “Show me one peer-reviewed paper that has ruled out natural, internal climate cycles as the cause of most of the recent warming in the thermometer record.”

    A Challenge to the Climate Research Community
    February 2nd, 2011

    I’ve been picking up a lot of chatter in the last few days about the ’settled science’ of global warming. What most people don’t realize is that the vast majority of published research on the topic simply assumes that warming is manmade. It in no way “proves” it.

    If the science really is that settled, then this challenge should be easy:

    Show me one peer-reviewed paper that has ruled out natural, internal climate cycles as the cause of most of the recent warming in the thermometer record.

    Studies that have suggested that an increase in the total output of the sun cannot be blamed, do not count…the sun is an external driver. I’m talking about natural, internal variability.

    The fact is that the ‘null hypothesis’ of global warming has never been rejected: That natural climate variability can explain everything we see in the climate system.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/

    *******************************************************************************

    Roy W. Spencer is a climatologist and a Principal Research Scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville, as well as the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. He has served as senior scientist for climate studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

    He is known for his satellite-based temperature monitoring work, for which he was awarded the American Meteorological Society’s Special Award. Spencer’s research suggests that global warming is mostly natural, and that the climate system is quite insensitive to humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions and aerosol pollution and suggests that natural, chaotic variations in low cloud cover may account for most observed warming.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Spencer_(scientist)

  21. Monotreme says:

    “He’s a Blockhead who wants a proof of what he Can’t Percieve And he’s a Fool who tries to make such a Blockhead believe.”

    — William Blake

  22. Bart DePalma says:

    SC:

    Based on anecdotal evidence – farming in Greenland in 1000 and frozen over Themes in the 1600s, we do indeed appear to be on the upswing of a roughly 1500 temperature cycle. This is counter evidence to claims that this warming pattern is something unique to human emissions of CO2.

    The NASA link simply claims to have addressed some of the myriad of problems with deriving a statistically reliable average global temperature, not how this was accomplished. That is the rub.

    For example, how precisely do you derive an average global temperature for Asia over the 20th century accurate to say +/-0.02 degrees when several thousand weather stations were erected and eliminated, leaving much of the area uncovered over substantial period of times. The countries all took temperature at different times of day under different rules under different quality controls, if any existed at all. This is an insanely complex and very likely insolvable problem. You just do not have an adequate body of comparable data to work with.

  23. drfunguy says:

    Gator
    See http://www.pnas.org/content/106/6/1704.full
    and http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v399/n6735/pubmed/399429a0.html
    And citations thereof.
    Sorry I can’t play more, there’s work to do.

  24. dcpetterson says:

    @Gator
    The fact is that the ‘null hypothesis’ of global warming has never been rejected: That natural climate variability can explain everything we see in the climate system.

    Define “natural climate variability.” Suggest some mechanism, so that it can be tested. You can’t just look for some generic “natural cycle.” You need to specify a particular set of factors, and the mechanism by which those factors are altered. Then researchers can look for those factors and see (a) whether they did, in fact, cause past cycles, and (b) whether they are affecting the climate today.

    Your “challenge” — to rule out “natural variation” — is meaningless unless you are prepared to suggest which particular mechanism drives the “natural variation” you are putting forward as a possible cause. It is as if you’re asking us to prove that some mysterious and unspecified magical powers aren’t doing it, when you’re unwilling to defined “magic” or “powers” or give any hint as to who the magician is.

    One of the factors which has proven to be most effective in predicting global temperatures is the percentage of greenhouses gasses in the atmosphere. CO2 concentrations have risen in each of the last warming cycles (so has methane and a few other gasses). CO2 concentrations are at extremely high levels today.

  25. Gator says:

    So who on here feels that they are more credentialed, experienced or knowledgeable than Dr. Spencer? Because he seems to be asking the same question that I have posited. And he seems to feel that there is validity in the question. And yet many on here dismiss this as “gator’s position”. As if it isn’t a valid position to take.

    Also there seems to be an ‘all or nothing’ attitude among many on here. As I have said and shown, one can accept that there is a warming trend, without having to accept that WE are causing it. They are entirely different postions. So please refrain from the ‘denialist’ BS. I don’t deny warming, I question the causation. And I find it humorous that there are some on here who think that my position is not valid unless I posit a causation for the current spike. The ridiculous aspect of that is NEITHER CAN ANYONE ELSE. You no more “KNOW” why this is happening than anyone else on the planet. You may believe why it is happening, but you ABSOLUTELY DO NOT KNOW. Put that belief in one hand and s**t in the other and see which one fills up first. And what I believe is no less valid than what you believe. Until proof positive for one or the other is determined (probably never happen in our lives), your ‘belief’ is no more or less valid than mine.

  26. Gator says:

    DC

    Not my challenge. The challenge was from: “Roy W. Spencer is a climatologist and a Principal Research Scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville, as well as the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. He has served as senior scientist for climate studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.”

    Argue with him Shrinks. But you will lose that one. Certainly your ego isn’t such that you believe your knowledge on the subject is even in the same universe as his?

  27. dcpetterson says:

    @Bart
    farming in Greenland in 1000

    There has been farming in Greenland for as long as there have been people in Greenland. Not much farming, but some. See here.

    The ignorant right-wing deniers have latched on to the false meme that Greenland was a whole lot warmer when Vikings landed there, and named it “Greenland” because it was green. In fact, Erik the Red named it “Greenland” in a bit of Orwellian propaganda to convince colonists to move there. (See here for a brief history of Greenland.) There was a brief period of warmer weather about that time (see here). As you can see from this chart, the Medieval warming period was both more gentle and less sudden than is the current warming.

  28. Gator says:

    DrFG

    Neither of those did what the challenge requested. Neither ruled out natural cycles. Garbage links as far as answering the challenge. Also, you really shouldn’t post links that are unreachable by most as the Nature link is. I am a member of AAAS. Most aren’t and can’t access anything but the blurb. And I would imagine you cannot as well. The body of the article does nothing to answer Spencer’s challenge.

  29. Bart DePalma says:

    DC:

    There is no evidence from the raw temperature data that our current probable warming is anything other than gentle and long term. Indeed, there is no trend at all in the US raw data outside of natural variability.

    Stop offering charts unless you can show the data behind them is proven fact, which adjusted temperature data is most certainly not until they show and justify the manipulations behind the curtain.

  30. Bartbuster says:

    Indeed, there is no trend at all in the US raw data outside of natural variability.

    The NASA graphs I linked make it pretty clear that this is a lie.

  31. drfunguy says:

    Bart
    “Stop offering charts unless you can show the data behind them is proven fact”
    Stop comment unless you can show you have educated yourself on climate science and the scientific method. And actually read some of the research which does what you claim has not been done.
    p.s. the differences between global climate and US climate have been pointed out to you ad nauseum. Do your homework.

  32. GROG says:

    The ignorant right-wing deniers…….

    Classy DC. Half the people in the U.S. are ignorant because they don’t agree with you.

    Are left-wing “deniers” also ignorant? Or just right-wing “deniers”? Or does being a “denier” automatically make you right-wing?

    Just because your so-called science isn’t convincing half the population, doesn’t mean those “deniers” are ignorant. It means the hypothesis isn’t convincing them and you’ve got more work to do.

  33. Bart DePalma says:

    BB:

    Your NASA graphs are based upon adjusted and not raw temperature data.

    DrF:

    There is no publicly available global compendium of raw temperature data. CRU destroyed theirs when it appears that they would have to publish it along with their adjusted data. The NASA FOIA email admission concerning US data is the best we have.

    Doesn’t all this secrecy among civilian scientists concerning what should be publicly available data give you even a moment’s pause? Why do they fight FOIA requests for years on end? These are not industrial secrets or classified state secrets. Our tax money pays for this research. What precisely do they have to hide?

  34. Bartbuster says:

    Your NASA graphs are based upon adjusted and not raw temperature data.

    So what? I’m sure there is a Nobel available for anyone who finds flaws in the methodology used to compile the graphs. Until that time, we’re going to use those charts.

    By the way, the graphs only confirm the other evidence of warming that we are seeing. Until you can explain why almost every glacier on the planet is disappearing, we’re also going to assume that the global graphs are also accurate.

  35. NotImpressed says:

    Mr. DePalma, are you prepared yet to retract your false statement when you claimed MSNBC had endorsed the idea of “global cooling”?

  36. shortchain says:

    Gator,

    When you are done reading the citations drfunguy gave you, try this.

    Bart,

    You might stop peddling lies.

    (The raw data, and the algorithms they used, are all available — but as noted above, given your demonstrated lack of interest in actually doing analysis and your level of understanding and ability in same, it might as well be in the Library of Alexandria.)

  37. Bart DePalma says:

    SC:

    Media matters is a propaganda organization that lies more than a rug.

    CRU’s response to the FOIA requests for its raw data was as follows: “We do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (quality controlled and homogenised) data.”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6936328.ece

    If Jones actually claims that CRU possesses the raw temperature data, then CRU has the legal obligation to provide it under the FOIA requests.

  38. drfunguy says:

    Bart:
    “DrF:
    There is no publicly available global compendium of raw temperature data. CRU destroyed theirs when it appears that they would have to publish it along with their adjusted data. The NASA FOIA email admission concerning US data is the best we have.”

    1. You are wrong. See SC’s links.
    2. Current T data is only one line of evidence for anthropogenic climate change; see my links to Gator.
    3. Do your homework. Have you ever read a peer-reviewed research paper in the climate science literature? Hint: government reports don’t count (see gray literature); neither does science news or science digest (despite your pointing to them as peer-reviewed citations in the past). Try Science, Nature, PNAS or perhaps J. Climate.

  39. Gator says:

    DC

    Let’s recap. You pooh-poohed and dismissed the concentation #s I posted based on your ERRONEOUS ASSUMPTION that they were from Fred Singer. They were not. You never read the piece or looked at the numbers, you dismissed them based on an assumption that you made that was patently wrong and false, you posted no contradictory numbers from anyone.

    And I’m supposed to take anything you say on this subject seriously? Ok, then.

    Shortchain

    I already tried to post a response to Dr FG links. Neither are even close to doing What Dr. Spencer challenged, which he and you would know if you had bothered to look a little more closely. Although that would be hard for most here to do since you have to be an AAAS member to access the data. I am a member, Dr FG shouldn’t post links that are inaccesible to most on here. And again, having actually examined the studies, neither comes close to doing what Spencer challenged. To whit:

    “Show me one peer-reviewed paper that has RULED OUT natural, internal climate cycles as the cause of most of the recent warming in the thermometer record.”

    Attributing it to some other causation is not the same as RULING OUT natural causation. Those studies DID NOT rule out the natural cycle theory. They attempt to demonstrate the anthropogenic causation. I thought some of you were scientists.

  40. Mule Rider says:

    I don’t know what’s more arrogant: thinking that we, as humans, are the (main) cause of global climate change or that we can do anything about it. A series of volcanic eruptions in the 1810s that led to what is now known as the Year Without a Summer ought to dispel that notion rather quickly.

    You want some goals that both (or all) sides can agree on regarding how we treat our environment and its ecosystems that would be good for us in the long-run but will ultimately have little to no effect on the global climate? Minimize (or eliminate, where possible) pollution and switch to alternative (and renewable) sources of energy as they become economically feasible.

    But you can stop thinking that you’re going to prevent, slow down, or minimize harsh/extreme, or even catastrophic, weather patterns that are a key feature of our complex global climate system, have been for thousands and millions of years, and will continue to be for many more.

  41. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    CRU has kept only the data they have produced. The original data is not theirs and they are therefore not responsible for producing it under any circumstance. As the link said.

  42. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: “DrF: There is no publicly available global compendium of raw temperature data. CRU destroyed theirs when it appears that they would have to publish it along with their adjusted data. The NASA FOIA email admission concerning US data is the best we have.”

    drfunguy says: 1. You are wrong. See SC’s links.

    Where does SC link to a publicly available global compendium of raw temperature data?

    2. Current T data is only one line of evidence for anthropogenic climate change; see my links to Gator.

    The subject is AGW, not the spin term “climate change.” The AGW hypothesis is that human emissions of GHGs cause the atmosphere to retain more solar heat and thus raise the atmosphere’s temperature. Thus, atmospheric temperature is the only relevant line of evidence in proving causation.

    3. Do your homework. Have you ever read a peer-reviewed research paper in the climate science literature?

    Yes. None of them offer evidence for my proofs.

    The “evidence” offered by the UN is claiming that the results of its couple dozen climate models (which cannot explain past or predict actual future temperatures) match the results of the “adjusted temperature” datasets offered by CRU (which are t sharp variance with the raw data). In short, we have two adjusted models which match one another, but not anything in the real world. In actual science, this would be proof that the AGW theory is in error.

    There is no evidence that CRU or anyone else’s “adjusted temperature” datasets are accurate, that there is a correlation between the exponential rise in human GHG emission and the bouncing adjusted average temperature, or that human GHG emissions are a substantial cause of any accurate adjusted average temperature.

    If you claim otherwise, start by offering evidence of the first proof showing that the adjusted temperature databases are tested correct and have been duplicated by outside scientists. This is the most basic requirement of the scientific method.

  43. shortchain says:

    MR,

    Since we pathetic little humans have managed, over the last couple of centuries, to nearly double the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere — a pretty amazing feat, considering the volume of the atmo — and that we’ve managed to raise the background level of radiation over the entire globe significantly, and that we’ve produced a floating mass of garbage in the Pacific the size of Texas, I’m thinking this humility is a bit misplaced.

    Or were you speaking personally?

  44. Bartbuster says:

    I don’t know what’s more arrogant: thinking that we, as humans, are the (main) cause of global climate change or that we can do anything about it. A series of volcanic eruptions in the 1810s that led to what is now known as the Year Without a Summer ought to dispel that notion rather quickly.

    Actually, it’s even more arrogant to toss out the findings of thousands of scientists without a shred of evidence to support your views.

    By the way, the Year Without Summer doesn’t actually support your view that humans can’t affect the weather. It only shows that if you pump enough dust into the air that the weather can be changed. Arguably, that also supports AGW.

  45. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    “Thus, atmospheric temperature is the only relevant line of evidence in proving causation.”

    This is utter baloney. It’s like saying “Quantum Mechanics only discusses the behavior of tiny things. Therefore it cannot be relevant in everyday life.”

    Let’s be very clear here: you have proclaimed as in that comment, loudly and repeatedly, that you get to set the terms of the debate.

    Here’s news. You don’t. AGW will contribute to catastrophic climate change, to species extinction, to all kinds of things beyond your capacity to imagine (which is, if I may point it out, incredibly limited).

    We also cannot prove that the Sun produces heat through nuclear fusion. We cannot prove that Black Holes are at the center of galaxies. We cannot observe the photons or other particles hitting dust motes and causing Brownian motion. We cannot even prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, many of the causes associated with disease.

    We routinely infer, by elimination of alternative theories, and by side-effects or derivative causes, that a particular agent or process is involved in observed behavior.

    Thus, we can know AGW is occurring by looking for the telltale signs as well as by sticking the thermometer in the Earth near Colorado Springs and taking the Earth’s temperature. Get over it.

  46. Bart DePalma says:

    shortchain says: CRU has kept only the data they have produced. The original data is not theirs and they are therefore not responsible for producing it under any circumstance. As the link said.

    Now that we have established that Media Matters lied, let’s go onto the responsibilities under the FOIA. Under the FOIA, CRU has a duty to release any data they possessed which was not privileged under British law. CRU does not claim that the raw data is privileged, but rather that they destroyed the data.

    There is no legitimate reason to destroy the raw temperature data which they spent decades collecting from around the world. It is a public resource on its own merits and also the only way to determine what raw data CRU kept, which it discarded and which it adjusted. To the extent CRU adjusted the raw data, the raw database would permit scientists testing and attempting to duplicate the CRU adjustment to determine what East Anglia did.

    Reams of what was leaked/hacked from CRU was raw and adjusted data before CRU destroyed the raw data. I have multiple linked posts at my blog which shows how CRU deleted or adjusted data from weather stations with cooling trends to raise the average temperature dramatically and actually duplicated station already showing a warming trend. CRU destroyed its raw database to prevent further comparisons disclosing their fraud. NONE of the whitewash investigations looked at the leaked raw and adjusted data.

  47. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    No, media matters did NOT lie. You have, and you continue to do so. Again: the data was not theirs, and not theirs to keep. As Jones has said, it’s all out there. Go get it.

    They’ve said that they didn’t keep it because they moved.

    Many years ago I wrote a study on Landsat data. I got my source data from somewhere in Indiana, where it was in the form of tapes. I did not keep the original data. If you want it, you’ll have to find out where NASA is keeping it now.

    You are just pathetic, you know that?

  48. Mule Rider says:

    “— a pretty amazing feat, considering the volume of the atmo — and that we’ve managed to raise the background level of radiation over the entire globe significantly,”

    I don’t have as much of an understanding of this to make a comment so I’ll leave it be.

    “and that we’ve produced a floating mass of garbage in the Pacific the size of Texas, I’m thinking this humility is a bit misplaced.”

    Again, this doesn’t run counter to what I said above. I didn’t say we couldn’t pollute at massive and devasting rates, and I actually suggested that reducing/eliminating pollution should be a primary goal that all sides can agree on.

    But that “floating mass of garbage,” while it can be very devastating for the specific ecosystems it affects, has little to no impact on the global climate system.

    Your response just bolsters my argument that people’s focus is on the wrong things at that there are indeed things that would be good for the environment that we should strive together to accomplish (like minimizing/eliminating pollution).

    “By the way, the Year Without Summer doesn’t actually support your view that humans can’t affect the weather. It only shows that if you pump enough dust into the air that the weather can be changed. Arguably, that also supports AGW.”

    This has to be one of the most braindead replies I have ever seen.

    So you think we can duplicate the efforts of a few years’ worth of volcanic eruptions.

    But using that as a premise, I’ll do you one better and say it shoots down the argument that we should be doing something about it (such as pumping dust in the air). Assuming we could affect that global climate by doing that, how devastating would it be if we “miscalculated” the amount necessary to slow down warming and caused sudden and severe cooling.

    Worldwide crop failures because of freezing temperatures in June were no picnic in the 1800s and would be even more devastating now.

    Your best bet is to leave Mother Nature alone.

    But pick up the trash.

  49. Bartbuster says:

    So you think we can duplicate the efforts of a few years’ worth of volcanic eruptions.

    First of all, I have no idea why you think we’d have to duplicate those volcanic eruptions to change the weather. All we have to do is pump enough CO2 into the air to change the weather. As shortchain points out, we have nearly doubled the level of CO2 in the atmosphere in just a couple hundred years. It seems pretty arrogant to pretend that that is not going to cause changes in the weather even as scientists are saying that it’s already happening.

  50. Bart DePalma says:

    shortchain says: Again: the data was not theirs, and not theirs to keep. As Jones has said, it’s all out there. Go get it.

    Can’t you smell how this excuse reeks?

    This would the equivalent of a law school professor burning down the school law library and telling the law review editors checking the accuracy of the professor’s article submission to go to the courts around the country to verify that his cites are what he claims them to be.

    No legitimate scientist or university would destroy one of maybe three of global raw temperature data databases or deny others access to it.

  51. Number Seven says:

    Media Matters lies? I’d sure like to see proof of that.

  52. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    For the last time: They didn’t destroy it!

  53. drfunguy says:

    @BDP
    3. Do your homework. Have you ever read a peer-reviewed research paper in the climate science literature?
    “Yes. None of them offer evidence for my proofs. ”
    Since there are tens of thousands of such papers, how can you possibly know that “none of them offer evidence for my proofs [sic]”?
    Personally I don’t believe you have read such (or at least not very many) or you wouldn’t be deflecting to CRU all of the time or claiming that methods of data analyses are somehow secret or hidden.

  54. dcpetterson says:

    We have peer-reviewed and verified data which shows the Earth’s temperature is rising, and is doing so at an unprecedented rate. Some denialists have been reduced to simply refusing to accept the data. Fair enough. End of discussion for you. You are free to produce other data. Until you do, you’re out of the discussion. Bart, give us some worldwide temp data going back 100 – 150 years or so, and then we’ll talk more. Until then, the data which exists — and which, as I say, has been peer-reviewed and verified by thousands of independent researchers — shows the Earth’s temperature rising rapidly and dramatically.

    Historically, we’ve seen many times in the past when the Earth’s temperature has risen a significant amount for significant periods. Where we are able to obtain data on atmospheric composition. these episodes are invariably (or is it “almost invariably?”) accompanied by parallel increases in CO2. Similarly, the current increase in temps is being accompanied by an unprecedentedly rapid rise in atmospheric CO2, caused mainly by human burning of fossil fuels, and worsened by deforestation which would otherwise remove CO2 from the air.

    The physics of how CO2 raises air temps is simple, well-understood, and is not in question. Basically, radiant energy from the Sun passes through the air, and is absorbed by the solid and liquid surfaces on the Earth. This heats those surfaces, which then radiate heat energy. (As a secondary source, the center of the Earth is itself very hot, and some of this heat is radiated from the surface of the planet.) Radiant heat energy is captured by CO2, and reflected back toward the surface or absorbed and held by the air. This “greenhouse effect” is simple basic physics.

    Methane, water vapor, and other gases also contribute to the greenhouse effect. These gasses have also been increasing in the air, due in large part to human activity.

    Some have pointed to natural events such as volcanoes or poorly-understood causes for previous prehistoric changes in the Earth’s climate. None of this in any way argues against the simple basic physics and observed data.

  55. Mule Rider says:

    “As shortchain points out, we have nearly doubled the level of CO2 in the atmosphere in just a couple hundred years. It seems pretty arrogant to pretend that that is not going to cause changes in the weather even as scientists are saying that it’s already happening.”

    I had replied originally to this comment by shortchain but the comment was eaten (or something), but my point was that 200 years worth of carbon emissions from millions and billions of humans has caused what appears to be a modest uptick in global temperatures. My point was also that, during that same time and at others in human history, we’ve seen natural events do far more to change the climate in a shorter amount of time than we humans could dream of.

    Get off your high horse and stop thinking you matter. You wanna do something constructive/productive? Lead a recylcing/conservation effort that helps reduce pollution and transitions us towards renewable, clean energy. Stop with the shouting/pissing matches where each side talks about how ignorant the other is in arguments over why one side denies that warming is actually occuring and the other peddles the doomsday/catastrophic scenarios of rising sea levels and melting polar ice caps (that likely won’t happen to a significant degree but we couldn’t stop even if we tried) while we all ignore the very real threats we bring on ourselves by polluting our natural resources and living off of unsustainable (and non-renewable) sources of energy.

  56. dcpetterson says:

    For anyone who wants to argue that the vast increase in CO2 in our atmosphere is not altering the climate and warming the average temperature of the Earth, I issue this challenge: Please explain why physics has stopped working.

  57. Mr. Universe says:

    Now that we have established that Media Matters lied,

    Translation: “Now that I have decided MM lied”

    This myth that there was some hanky panky going on at CRU has been debunked by credible sources. Stop repeating it. Further, they were hacked in order to create a fake controversy to undermine the Copenhagen climate talks.

  58. drfunguy says:

    @Gator
    I didn’t have any trouble finding a pdf of the Nature paper and neither, apparently did you. I think it entirely appropriate to give the primary source (and PNAS is freely available in any case; not limited to members as you erroneously claim). If you consider yourself a scientist, why do you ask for a (vague and unspecified) cause to be “ruled out” as if that could be done?
    There is evidence from hundreds of thousands of years old ice cores that CO2 and methane are strongly correlated to global temperatures, that these gases currently have risen to higher levels than any in that hundreds of thousands of years old record, and that temperature is rising rapidly. These data, and lots of other data, support the hypothesis that warming is occuring and that it is due to anthorpogenic releases of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. The evidence is compelling enough that most climate scientists accept it; if you have an alternative hypothesis with supporting data, you too can publish it in a peer-reviewed outlet. Let me know when you’ve done so.

  59. Bartbuster says:

    my point was that 200 years worth of carbon emissions from millions and billions of humans has caused what appears to be a modest uptick in global temperatures

    It’s actually a pretty significant uptick. And if it continues all of our coastal cities will be washed away. On the plus side, that will probably lower human CO2 emissions.

    My point was also that, during that same time and at others in human history, we’ve seen natural events do far more to change the climate in a shorter amount of time than we humans could dream of.

    I’m not sure why you think that is a significant point. The fact that natural events can change the weather does not in any way refute AGW.

  60. drfunguy says:

    @MR
    note that your ‘modest uptick’ is higher (by at least ten percent) than has been seen in over 400,000 years… and climbing. This is true for both methane and CO2. Both of which are strongly correlated with temperatures as best can be inferred…

  61. dcpetterson says:

    @Mule
    my point was that 200 years worth of carbon emissions from millions and billions of humans has caused what appears to be a modest uptick in global temperatures. My point was also that, during that same time and at others in human history, we’ve seen natural events do far more to change the climate in a shorter amount of time than we humans could dream of.

    A fair point.

    First, a modest uptick in global temperature is all that’s needed to vastly alter the world’s climate. Even a change of 2 – 5 degrees C, if maintined over a period of a couple of decades, is enough to melt glaciers, increase the volume of the oceans (warm water takes up more space than cooler water), and vastly alter weather patterns. It’s enough to move deserts and eliminate the north polar ice cap.

    There are also positive-reinforcement feedback loops, where a small change sets off a series of other changes. For example, melting permafrost in Asia is releasing enormous amounts of methane, as plant and animal remains that have been frozen for tens of thousands of years begin to thaw, and then to decompose. Methane is a greenhouse gas even more effective than CO2. This will increase the warming trend, leading to more melting of permafrost, and so on.

    So the short version there is, Don’t write off the vast effects of even a small uptick in worldwide average temps over a prolonged period of a few decades. It’s enough to alter the climate in startling ways.

    On the subject of volcanoes and other natural disasters — A one-time kick (such as a volcano) is very different from an ongoing and increasingly-rapid change in the atmosphere. Talk to any investor. Would you rather get one million dollars today, or invest one thousand each month at 5% for the next hundred years? The second option will have a much greater impact by the end of the 100-year period. Particularly since (as in the case of burning fossil fuels) we are increasing the amount we add every month. It’s not a constant $1000 per month (plus interest). We add several hundred additional every year, and the next year, we add even more.

    The fact that a single volcano can change the world’s climate for a span of a few years is proof that relatively small changes can have noticeable effects. Now make the volcano smaller, but keep it going for a century or two. With a one-time event like a volcano, the Earth has a chance to recover over the next few years, as the effects are absorbed. But with human production of greenhouse gasses, the Earth never has a chance to recover, and the damaging effects continue to build, especially when the feedback loops such as I described above kick in.

    It is arrogant in the extreme to imagine that we can soil our sandbox forever without any adverse effects. We are not somehow separate and apart from the world. We are part of it, and the things we do affect the world just as surely as a coastline can be altered by a coral reef. Trees can break mountains with their roots. To imagine that we are somehow unique, and have no effect on the planet, is the height of arrogance.

  62. dcpetterson says:

    @Mule,

    The last part of my previous comment was not directed toward you. You very sensibly advocate for renewable energy, and for decreasing pollution. I am glad we are together on that.

    Global climate change side, as you note, there are very good reasons for altering our behavior. Thank you for a very reasoned yet impassioned plea to do so.

  63. Mr. Universe says:

    and that we’ve produced a floating mass of garbage in the Pacific the size of Texas

    I had a thought about that. I think a lot of that stuff is tsunami debris from 2004

  64. dcpetterson says:

    @Gator
    Not my challenge. The challenge was from: “Roy W. Spencer …
    Argue with him Shrinks. But you will lose that one. Certainly your ego isn’t such that you believe your knowledge on the subject is even in the same universe as his?

    Again, what natural phenomenon is he proposing as an alternative? If he has one, let him publish it so it can be reviewed. If he is simply throwing his hands up and saying “We have no idea what causes it!” then yes, I’ll easily argue rings about him, since what he is proposing is a leap of faith, not a scientific question.

    Tell us what mechanism this Spencer person is proposing other than increased CO2 and other greenhouse gasses to explain the observed increase in global temps. “Natural cycles,” all by itself, tells us nothing. Unless he has a testable hypothesis, it’s merely the equivalent of saying “It’s magic!” .

  65. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    A Baptist, a Sunni and a Zoroastrian are sitting in a room discussing their religion. Each agree that there is a God, each agree that when people die, some will go to heaven and some to hell.

    Each disagrees with the other on the exact process as to how God will decide which will go where.

    This debate has reached the same logical point.

  66. Mule Rider says:

    “The last part of my previous comment was not directed toward you. You very sensibly advocate for renewable energy, and for decreasing pollution. I am glad we are together on that.

    Global climate change side, as you note, there are very good reasons for altering our behavior. Thank you for a very reasoned yet impassioned plea to do so.”

    I think that’s my main point, and I’m glad we can agree and hope we can strive for progress on the areas we do have common ground.

    I just think the pissing matches where one side (or a good portion of that “side” at least) sees just how much it can deny or call into question changes in our climate (and how much of an impact humans have on it) by disputing the best available data and research we have while the other side (or at least the more dramatic/hyperbolic portion) sees just how much they can ramp up the conjecture and speculation of what doomsday scenarios (melting ice caps, 200 ft sea level rise, etc.) we might be facing if we “don’t do something right now!!!” aren’ t very helpful at all.

    Both “sides” can agree we have an impact on the Earth in how we use and dispose of natural resources. Both sides can agree that pollution is bad and has an adverse effect on the environment and that non-renewable sources of energy will eventually need to be replaced. Let’s start by cutting down on pollution and switching to alternative sources of energy and see where that gets us first. Those need to happen regardless of anything else we do that might impact the Earth and its environment or climate.

  67. Mr. Universe says:

    A Baptist, a Sunni and a Zoroastrian walk into a bar…

    I was hoping for a joke there.

  68. dcpetterson says:

    Mr U
    A Baptist, a Sunni and a Zoroastrian walk into a bar…

    And none of them like what they see. At least they agree on that.

  69. Mule Rider says:

    By the way, I love all the “thumbs downs” on my comments with “impassioned pleas” (as dc calls it) to eliminate pollution and switch to alternative energy sources. Guess you’re just so stuck on blind hatred and hammering home your own point that you don’t care what anyone else says and will piss and shit all over it if it falls short of agreeing with your worldview 100%. Anyway, whoever is doing that, that’s real classy of you.

    Kinda makes my point that some are more interested in making sure they can urinate farther than anybody else rather than find common ground and agree on common sense solutions that would help all of us.

  70. Mr. Universe says:

    I’ll pit my own NASA scientist with your NASA scientist anyday.

    Dr. James Hansen

    Dr Roy Spencer

    You may compare the preponderance of evidence yourselves. Dr. Hansen heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. He has held this position since 1981. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University.

    Scroll to the bottom of the wiki page for a listing of Dr Hansen’s articles (many peer reviewed). Hansen notes the Spencer and Christy’s satellite data has been the last holdout of global warming deniers.

  71. Mainer says:

    “Both “sides” can agree we have an impact on the Earth in how we use and dispose of natural resources. Both sides can agree that pollution is bad and has an adverse effect on the environment and that non-renewable sources of energy will eventually need to be replaced. Let’s start by cutting down on pollution and switching to alternative sources of energy and see where that gets us first. Those need to happen regardless of anything else we do that might impact the Earth and its environment or climate.”

    Yes Mule both sides could and one side pretty much does. The trouble is one side doesn’t and most likely will not. Our present state Republican administration has decided the only way to jump start our economy will be to dump environmental rules, stop requiring business to recycle and ditch energy conservation programs as being too anti business. Nothing will get any where if the Barts of the world think it will cost them a dime or raise their taxes 1 tenth of one percent as we all know that will constitute the end of their world much quicker than melting off the polar caps.

    So from one side it will remain “Drill baby drill.”, gut the EPA, burn coal until one can’t see the sky and “we don’t need no stinking rapid transit”.

    You and I could get along just fine on this Mule. I think you have some real problems with your friends on the right though.

    Mr. U if that was humor I really think you should keep your day job. Let me provide a chuckle for the day as some of this has been way too intense.

    A blonde woman was speeding down the road in her little red sports car and was pulled over by a woman police officer, who was also a blonde.

    The blonde cop asked to see the blonde driver’s license. She dug through her purse and was getting progressively more agitated.

    ‘What does it look like?’ she finally asked.
    The policewoman replied, ‘It’s square and it has your picture on it.’

    The driver finally found a square mirror in her purse, looked at it and handed it to the policewoman. ‘Here it is,’ she said.

    The blonde officer looked at the mirror, then handed it back saying, “OK, you can go. I didn’t realize you were a cop…

  72. Bartbuster says:

    Mule, it was probably this comment that got you the “thumbs down”:

    This has to be one of the most braindead replies I have ever seen.

    Especially since the reply you were referring to was perfectly reasonable.

  73. Mr. Universe says:

    A guy walks into a bar. He then says “Owww!”

  74. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    A bit of insight into Dr Spencer’s rigorous scientific ideology:

    Views on intelligent design

    Spencer is a proponent of intelligent design as the mechanism for the origin of species.[1] On the subject, Spencer wrote in 2005, “Twenty years ago, as a PhD scientist, I intensely studied the evolution versus intelligent design controversy for about two years. And finally, despite my previous acceptance of evolutionary theory as ‘fact,’ I came to the realization that intelligent design, as a theory of origins, is no more religious, and no less scientific, than evolutionism. . . . In the scientific community, I am not alone. There are many fine books out there on the subject. Curiously, most of the books are written by scientists who lost faith in evolution as adults, after they learned how to apply the analytical tools they were taught in college.”[1] In The Evolution Crisis, a compilation of five scientists who reject evolution, Spencer states: “I finally became convinced that the theory of creation actually had a much better scientific basis than the theory of evolution, for the creation model was actually better able to explain the physical and biological complexity in the world… Science has startled us with its many discoveries and advances, but it has hit a brick wall in its attempt to rid itself of the need for a creator and designer.”[2]

    sources: [1] Faith-Based Evolution, Roy Spencer, TCS Daily, 08 August 2005; [2] Penfold, Michael (2007). The Evolution Crisis. ISBN 1900742241.

  75. dcpetterson says:

    The the question that Bart was asking the other day, relating to atmospheric temps…

    Apparently, the same Spencer person that Gator has been quoting is the source of this argument. He was making errors in the NASA satellite data for close to a decade. IN point of fact, the atmospheric temperature data (which you can look into here) confirms the surface data.

    In other words, Bart’s argument is a) several years old, and b) based on incorrect analysis and presentation of the data.

    Bart has been claiming that CRU and NASA and others have been intentionally misrepresenting the data. It turns out, in fact, climate change deniers like Spenser have been misrepresenting the data.

  76. Bartbuster says:

    I am SHOCKED that Spencer is an ID proponent.

  77. Bart DePalma says:

    DC:

    The chart I offered of the satellite temp measurements covered the past decade and are not a product of Dr. Roy Spencer.

    http://citizen-pamphleteer.blogspot.com/2009/05/solar-minimums-and-global-cooling.html

  78. shortchain says:

    MR,

    On the “little old us can’t do that much”, take a look at this.

    Then consider that a ton of CO2 put into the atmosphere will only be half gone in perhaps 50 years.

    The Earth’s ecosystem has found a more-or-less stable equilibrium (lasting many millions of years) by the development of Carbon sinks which can soak up the Carbon produced by non-human sources, and probably can accommodate a limited amount of man-made sources. It is apparent beyond any reasonable doubt, by looking at the trend in atmospheric CO2, they can’t handle the burning of fossil fuels.

    Now, if it were exclusively CO2 we had to worry about, it might not be that big a deal. The problem is that a small increase in temperature will cause permafrost to melt, releasing CO2 and methane. This will multiply the effect of that small increase. Then there’s H2O, another GHG, further multiplying the effect.

    As Archimedes is reputed to have said, “Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough, and I will move the world.”

    I’m not intending this to criticize, but merely to attempt to inform. I have met many people whose faith informs them that there is no way that humans can cause global warming. The only problem with that is that is based on faith, not on an understanding of how things work.

  79. Bart DePalma says:

    Mule:

    Both “sides” can agree we have an impact on the Earth in how we use and dispose of natural resources. Both sides can agree that pollution is bad and has an adverse effect on the environment and that non-renewable sources of energy will eventually need to be replaced.

    On the other hand, we fundamentally disagree over whether human impact on the planet is good or bad, what constitutes “pollution,” whether we should apply a cost benefit analysis to any adverse affect of genuine pollution, and whether we should be free to choose our own energy sources or have the government impose their preferences upon us.

    The AGW theory is perhaps the most extreme example of these differences. We are expected to accept on faith that a natural component of the atmosphere is “pollution,” that this “pollution” is causing catastrophic warming and associated destructive climate changes, and that the government must deny us use of inexpensive energy and impose upon us expensive, inefficient and insufficient “alternative energies.”

    Americans heavily support government regulation of generally recognized pollution which are poisonous to human life. It is highly instructive that this same population rejects the AGW claims.

  80. Bartbuster says:

    We are expected to accept on faith that a natural component of the atmosphere is “pollution,” that this “pollution” is causing catastrophic warming and associated destructive climate changes

    Faith has nothing to do with it. You’re expected to accept the science.

  81. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    Your blog post is fundamentally in error. The “error in NASA models” to which you refer relates to their models of solar cycles, not to solar heating.

    You say that “that the Earth’s temperatures would fall precipitously with the drop in solar heat, causing a mini ice age.”

    If this were remotely true, we would be experiencing such an episode every 11 years. Has anybody noticed a “mini ice age” in their lives? No? I didn’t think so.

    The solar cycle is not the accepted cause of ice ages (the solar insolation varies by perhaps 2/10 of one percent over the course of 11 years in the solar cycle, and the Earth has a pretty long thermal time-constant, which means it doesn’t matter). They are, it is currently believed, due to wobbles in the Earth’s orbit and axial tilt.

    It’s also very funny how you were criticizing someone for scales in the horizontal axis and vertical axis being far out of whack — and then give us a graph where the horizontal is in years and the vertical is in tenths of 1 percent…

    This has been another episode of “when lawyers write about science, it gets hilarious.”

  82. Gator says:

    Mr U

    WTF, you use Hansens wiki page and a blog page from Spencer only listing pubs from the last three years. I call BS. Let’s look at Spencer’s CV shall we:

    Awards1989: Marshall Space Flight Center Center Director’s Commendation[18][24]
    1990: Alabama House of Representatives Resolution #624[18]
    1991: NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal (with John Christy)[18][24]
    1996: American Meteorological Society Special Award “for developing a global, precise record of earth’s temperature from operational polar-orbiting satellites, fundamentally advancing our ability to monitor climate.” (with John Christy)[18][24][25]
    [edit] Publications & Selected PapersSpencer, R.W. (2008). Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies that Hurt the Poor. Encounter Books. ISBN 1594032106.
    Spencer, R.W. (2010). The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists. Encounter Books. ISBN 1594033730.
    [edit] Articles by Spencer available online’McCain’s Assault on Reason, National Review (May 13, 2008)]
    Global Warming: Natural or Manmade? (updated 2009)
    Global Warming Theory in a Nutshell (updated 2009)
    Roy Spencer Audio presentation at 2008 Heartland Institute International Conference on Climate Change
    Cirrus disappearance: Warming might thin heat-trapping clouds, UAHuntsville News Center 8/9/2007
    Tropospheric temperature change since 1979 from tropical radiosonde and satellite measurements Christy et al. Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 112, D06102, doi:10.1029/2005JD006881, 2007
    Statement Concerning the Role of Water Vapor Feedback in Global Warming Presented to the United States House Science Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, October 7, 1997
    Star Search Article commenting on Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” movie
    “NOT THAT SIMPLE GLOBAL WARMING: WHAT WE DON’T KNOW”, NY Post, February 26, 2007
    Manmade Global Warming: A Pending Catastrophe, or False Alarm? (video, abstract) – Presented at the January 25, 2008 meeting of the Philosophical Society of Washington
    Research articles at Spencer’s website
    [edit] References1.^ Global Warming: Natural or Manmade? by Roy Spencer
    2.^ The 2007-2008 Global Cooling Event: Evidence for Clouds as the Cause by Roy Spencer
    3.^ “Aqua Project Science”. NASA. 2008. http://aqua.nasa.gov/about/team_spencer.php. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
    4.^ Spencer, R.W., and W.D. Braswell, “Atlantic tropical cyclone monitoring with AMSU-A: Estimation of maximum sustained wind speeds.” Monthly Weather Review, 129, 1518-1532, 2001
    5.^ Detecting Tropical Cyclones Using AMSU
    6.^ “Dr. Roy Spencer”. Coast to Coast AM. 2008. http://www.coasttocoastam.com/guests/1162.html. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
    7.^ http://www.marshall.org/board.php
    8.^ http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap1-1/finalreport/sap1-1-final-execsum.pdf
    9.^ R. Spencer et al. Cloud and radiation budget changes associated with tropical intraseasonal oscillations Geophysical Research Letters, VOL. 34, L15707, doi:10.1029/2007GL029698, 2007
    10.^ Richard S. Lindzen, Ming-Dah Chou, and Arthur Y. Hou (2001). “Does the Earth Have an Adaptive Infrared Iris?”. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society Vol. 82, No. 3, March 2001, pp 417-432. http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/adinfriris.pdf.
    11.^ Cirrus disappearance: Warming might thin heat-trapping clouds, UA Huntsville press release, 8/9/2007
    12.^ “Potential Biases in Feedback Diagnosis from Observational Data: A Simple Model Demonstration”, by Roy W. Spencer & William D. Braswell, Journal of Climate, 2008
    13.^ Global Warming as a Natural Response to Cloud Changes Associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) by Roy Spencer
    14.^ Roy W. Spencer, PhD. “Global Warming and Nature’s Thermostat”. WeatherQuestions.com. http://www.weatherquestions.com/Roy-Spencer-on-global-warming.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-12.
    15.^ Star Search by Roy Spencer, TCS Daily, 30 Jun 2006
    16.^ Spencer, Roy W. (2007-02-26). “NOT THAT SIMPLE / GLOBAL WARMING: WHAT WE DON’T KNOW”. New York Post. http://www.nypost.com/seven/02262007/postopinion/opedcolumnists/not_that_simple_opedcolumnists_roy_w__spencer.htm?page=0. Retrieved 2007-04-07.
    17.^ Global Warming Update: Facts, Science Smash the Global Warming Myth
    18.^ a b c d e Spencer, Roy W. (2007-03-19). “STATEMENT TO THE COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES” (PDF). House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Archived from the original on 2007-03-28. http://web.archive.org/web/20070328202615/http://oversight.house.gov/Documents/20070320152338-19776.pdf. Retrieved 2007-03-07.
    19.^ “Committee Examines Political Interference with Climate Science”. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. 2007-03-19. http://oversight.house.gov/story.asp?ID=1214.
    20.^ Climate Confusion
    21.^ Earth Day Turns 40, by Roy Spencer
    22.^ a b Faith-Based Evolution, Roy Spencer, TCS Daily, 08 August 2005
    23.^ Penfold, Michael (2007). The Evolution Crisis. ISBN 1900742241.
    24.^ a b c “Aqua Team Member Profile – Roy Spencer”. 12/01/2008. http://aqua.nasa.gov/about/team_spencer.php. Retrieved 04/07/2009.
    25.^ Earth Systems Science, NASA

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Spencer_(scientist)#Awards

    ***************************************************************************
    OK maybe now I see why you would do that. LMAO!

    @ Dr FG

    You guys really have an issue with making unfounded inferences and assumptions. Nowhere did I say I was a scientist. I said I was a member of AAAS. I read the journals.

  83. Gator says:

    Max said: “A bit of insight into Dr Spencer’s rigorous scientific ideology:

    Views on intelligent design”

    None of which, whether you agree or disagree with that position, has anything to do with his erudition or competency/expertise on climatology. Absolutely none.
    Makes a really good strawman though.

  84. Bart DePalma says:

    SC:

    It is bad enough when you intentionally misrepresent the statements of third parties, but kindly do not pull that shit with my posts.

    SC: Your blog post is fundamentally in error. The “error in NASA models” to which you refer relates to their models of solar cycles, not to solar heating.

    I posted: “Solar activity has been plunging since the millennium, making NASA models predicting an upswing look foolish. Now NASA is cautiously hoping for a solar rebound starting next year.” and provided the actual NASA chart of solar sunspot activity. I never stated that this referred to a NASA model of “solar heating,” although solar activity is directly corresponds to the solar heating of the Earth’s atmosphere.

    SC: You say that “that the Earth’s temperatures would fall precipitously with the drop in solar heat, causing a mini ice age.”

    That is a lie.

    The rest of my blog post reads: “The alternative could be a multi decade period of low solar activity similar to the Mauder Minimum shown in this graph… The problem with another major solar minimum is that the Earth’s temperatures would fall precipitously with the drop in solar heat, causing a mini ice age. The Earth has already been experiencing substantial global cooling corresponding with the post millennium fall off in solar activity, making NASA models predicting man made global warming look foolish.”

    I was obviously referring to the well established phenomenon of a solar minimum and the corresponding severe cold periods on Earth. I made no predictions.

  85. dcpetterson says:

    whether we should be free to choose our own energy sources or have the government impose their preferences upon us.

    If you build your own power plant, including drilling your own oil well and creating our own refinery, then we’ll talk. Otherwise, both government and powerful corporate interests are dictating these things to you. Don’t set up a false gubmint vs. citizenry on this. It looks very silly.

    We are expected to accept on faith that a natural component of the atmosphere is “pollution,” that this “pollution” is causing catastrophic warming and associated destructive climate changes,

    As Bartbuster pointed out, it isn’t “faith,” it’s carefully-reviewed and verified science. As for CO2 being “a natural component,” so is carbon monoxide, and arsenic, and feces, all of which exist in the natural environment. For very good reasons, we don’t want these things to achieve dangerously high concentrations. The same is true of CO2. Again, you’re just sounding silly here.

    that the government must deny us use of inexpensive energy and impose upon us expensive, inefficient and insufficient “alternative energies.”

    All energy sources, including oil, were once “expensive, inefficient and insufficient.” This changes with research and development. Yet another silly straw man.

    Americans heavily support government regulation of generally recognized pollution which are poisonous to human life. It is highly instructive that this same population rejects the AGW claims.

    Popularity polls have nothing to do with the veracity of a scientific theory. What an absurd argument this is.

    Again, please take a ninth-grade physics course. You might learn some logic.

  86. dcpetterson says:

    @Bart
    I made no predictions.

    What you did say, Bart, was : “If this solar minimum continues, the past three severe winters may look positively balmy compared to what its coming. ”

    That was in 2009. Your hypothetical did not come to pass. Are you willing to admit you were in error?

  87. Mainer says:

    I dunno shortchain I seem to remember a not so mini ice age occuring about the 11 year mark in my first marriage…….does that count? Didn’t experience any thaw in that for about 3 years I’ll tell you what.

    I find all the science talk interesting but one does not really need to look at graphs and charts and piles of data to realize some thing is going on. I fish, in fact I fish every moment I can summer and winter. My ice fishing season gets shorter it seems every year and my open water fishing season has now gone from just about 6 months to over 8 months and climbing. This is totaly controlled by the amount of ice. We still have snow, crap loads of it as this is still Maine and it is still winter but ice……not so much. I bet there hasn’t been more than 24 inches on the local pond in…….the last 4 or 5 years when back along I had to have an extension on my auger most winters to get through 36 to 40 inches or more . SO some thing is happening. How is that for no data, personal opinion, anecdotal garbage? Still works for me but then again I never claimed to be a scientist.

  88. Gator says:

    Mr U or MW

    Can someone release my Spencer CV link, please. Because it is a list of his published works and awards it has numerous link embeds. But we need to see the list to make my point.

    Thanks in advance.

  89. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    “I made no predictions.”

    From your blog post: “If this solar minimum continues, the past three severe winters may look positively balmy compared to what its coming. ”

    By the way, that blog post was written in 2009. Meanwhile, the last two winters have been positively balmy, as far as global temperatures are concerned. Yet, oddly enough, the solar minimum has been unusually quiet.

    So not only did you make predictions based on a fundamental misunderstanding of pretty much everything, but the predictions turned out exactly the opposite of what happened.

  90. dcpetterson says:

    Gator, I freed your comment from the spamfilter limbo.

    Now, can you tell which specific “natural” mechanism Spenser is proposing to explain the observed increase in global temperatures?

  91. Mr. Universe says:

    Gator says,

    @Mr U

    WTF, you use Hansens wiki page and a blog page from Spencer only listing pubs from the last three years. I call BS. Let’s look at Spencer’s CV shall we:

    That link was from Spencer’s wiki page titled ‘research articles’. I didn’t see a similar link on Hansen’s wiki page. I was not making comparisons of body of work. I just didn’t feel like picking through the references for Hansen’s articles for comparison with Spencer’s. I thought I’d let the reader decide.

    In the interest of fairness, here’s Spencer’s wiki page. Enjoy digging

  92. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Gator,

    So sorry, but NOT a strawman.

    In court it’s called impeaching the witness going to bias. Where it can be shown that the scientist in question has a bias that may color that persons testimony.

    In this case, where it is shown that Dr Spencer is going “against the mainstream” not only in climatology but also in the case of evolution, which is outside his field of specialty, the natural inference can be made that Dr Spencer is less rigorous overall is his scientific approach than is generally accepted. Further, that due to the “outside the mainstream” approach to evolution, faith-based or whatever, he carries that bias to his area of specialty. Ie: As he “believes” in creation science, thus a creator, that perhaps the “hand of the creator” will intervene on man’s behalf, thus lessening the real impact of AGW.

    You, though, are free to rehabilitate your witness as you are able.

  93. Gator says:

    DC

    Thanks for the assist. Nope. Wouldn’t dream of making assumptions or presumptions with no basis other than my opinion. Makes me unusual on here, I suppose. I am not Roy Spencer so I will not attempt to speak for him. Feel free to research his work. Assuming of course you can find this “Spencer person”. Seriously Shrinks, the condescending attitude towards anyone that disagrees with you is silly. Spencer, whether you agree with his work or not, is more qualified to formulate an opinion on this than everyone else here combined. If anyone feels this is incorrect, please feel free to post your CV.

  94. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: whether we should be free to choose our own energy sources or have the government impose their preferences upon us.

    DC: If you build your own power plant, including drilling your own oil well and creating our own refinery, then we’ll talk. Otherwise, both government and powerful corporate interests are dictating these things to you.

    Unless the government dictates otherwise, utilities will offer the least expensive and most efficient energy product to maximize the power it sells and thus its profits.

    BD: We are expected to accept on faith that a natural component of the atmosphere is “pollution,” that this “pollution” is causing catastrophic warming and associated destructive climate changes…

    DC: As Bartbuster pointed out, it isn’t “faith,” it’s carefully-reviewed and verified science.

    My cyber stalker has even less credibility than Media Matters. You are free to offer your evidence of the three proofs necessary to transform AGW from theory to scientific fact. You and others here insists this evidence exists, but never offer it. Until then, AGW is a matter of faith and not fact.

    DC: As for CO2 being “a natural component,” so is carbon monoxide, and arsenic, and feces, all of which exist in the natural environment. For very good reasons, we don’t want these things to achieve dangerously high concentrations.

    CO and arsenic are poisonous in relatively low concentrations. CO2 is nowhere close to concentrations where it would be poisonous to humans. This is a red herring given that the AGW theory does not claim that CO2 poses a danger as poison.

    BD: …that the government must deny us use of inexpensive energy and impose upon us expensive, inefficient and insufficient “alternative energies.”

    DC: All energy sources, including oil, were once “expensive, inefficient and insufficient.” This changes with research and development.

    Nothing is preventing the free market from perfecting “alternative energy” production as they did before with coal, petroleum, natural gas, and nuclear. AGW proponents are instead suggesting the government make our current energy sources far more expensive through cap & tax legislation until it is banned altogether to make the more expensive and less efficient alternatives economically viable and then unavoidable.

    BD: Americans heavily support government regulation of generally recognized pollution which are poisonous to human life. It is highly instructive that this same population rejects the AGW claims.

    DC: Popularity polls have nothing to do with the veracity of a scientific theory.

    No, it means that the repeated reports of junk science and fraud have destroyed the credibility of those who claim AGW theory is actually scientific fact.

    BD: I made no predictions.

    DC: What you did say, Bart, was : “If this solar minimum continues, the past three severe winters may look positively balmy compared to what its coming. ”

    When did IF become a prediction?

    That was in 2009. Your hypothetical did not come to pass.

    As the country is about to be hit with yet another massive sub zero winter storm and my natural gas furnace runs like a rabbit? I am still earnestly praying that my solar minimum IF does not come to pass. We are still in the midst of global cooling everywhere outside of the man behind the curtain world of adjusted temperature calculations.

  95. Mr. Universe says:

    Too many links in the post. Just go to Spencer’s wiki page if you want to do the research.

  96. Gator says:

    Max

    Feel free to conflate the man’s opinion on an area of science in which he is not an expert with his expertise in an entirely different discipline in which he is an expert. As I said before, if anyone on here feels they are more qualified in the field than Dr. Spencer, post your CV.

    And BTW, this isn’t a trial and judicial rules are not germaine. Scientific methodology is. Feel free to post something that impugns his methodology. No one has even come close to that. Just more lay opinions being thrown against the wall.

    Got to run. Back later.

  97. dcpetterson says:

    Gator, my point is that since Spencer seems to have nothing to offer as a substitute hypothesis, and since the work he has done has been effectively countered by people like Hansen, I don’t intend to spend any time further following his arguments. Since you seem to feel he is credible and has a better handle on this than the vast majority of climate scientists, you are free to present any argument of his you feel is appropriate.

    What you have done so far is to say that Spencer has speculated that some unspecified “natural process” can account for the currently-observed increase in global temps. and can do so better than the hypothesis that is supported by nearly all other climate scientists. This is not a convincing argument, because no details of this alleged “natural process” have been given. There is, therefore, no competing theory to present.

    Until there is some other theory which can satisfy the observed evidence as well or better, it is reasonable to accept the theory we have — which, in fact, explains the data extremely well. The current theory also has the advantage of being testable. We will be able to watch over the next few years to see if conditions continue to move in the ways predicted by the theory. In Spencer’s case, this is not true; as far as you have said, he has no theory that makes any predictions which we can look for.

  98. Mr. Universe says:

    There are other motives that potentially colour Spencer’s research. Marshall Space Flight Center and Huntsville in general get huge amounts of Govt. contracts (I should know, half my family and people I went to high school with work or are retired from those jobs). Many of those companies have compelling reasons for not imposing restrictions on CO2 emissions.

    And I don’t think calling on Spencer’s whacky religious beliefs is a strawman argument. Quite the contrary, I think it speaks volumes to the validity of the work.

  99. Gator says:

    I don’t need to research. I posted it because the comparison links you posted were at best incorrect and at worst, intentionally disingenous.

    I accept your explanation as to how you made the error. I also felt it needed correcting since it was egregiously wrong.

    BTW, what is the trick to making a word a hot link?

  100. Mr. Universe says:

    As I said before, if anyone on here feels they are more qualified in the field than Dr. Spencer, post your CV.

    Now that’s a strawman.

  101. dcpetterson says:

    Bart, after the illogic of your arguments is pointed out, and after the data is presented which proves your positions are untenable, you respond by merely repeating the original false and / or irrational statements without acknowledging the substance of the responses you’ve received. Mere repetition does not improve the credibility of your statements.

  102. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    In answer to your question: “When did IF become a prediction?”

    When it is part of a phrase such as “If this solar minimum continues, then” followed by a prediction that the next few winters will be cold.

    The solar minimum did continue. But the global temperatures were among the warmest ever recorded. (Note: what happens in your house does not matter, on a global scale.)

    You really will go to any length to avoid admitting that you don’t understand, won’t you?

  103. Mr. Universe says:

    @Gator

    Here is a really good primer on HTML tags

    Use the href= command

    Note: not all tags will work here

  104. Gator says:

    Also posted it because it puts a lie to the idea that the man isn’t published or peer reviewed. Or that he is less qualified than Hansen. Quite the contrary, in fact.

  105. Mr. Universe says:

    Being qualified and being wrong aren’t mutually exclusive properties. Spencer seems to have both these bases covered.

  106. shortchain says:

    I, for one, do not have any respect for a supposed scientist who espouses “intelligent design”, which is the antithesis of a scientific theory (it cannot be falsified). Taken together with his apparent belief in magic forces (unspecified and unknowable, seemingly) which cause global warming, and his documented inability to understand the science of satellite measurements of surface temperatures, he is not someone to whom we should look for an explication of the causes of the current temperature spike.

  107. drfunguy says:

    @Gator
    “Nowhere did I say I was a scientist. ”
    I stand corrected; that explains why you would expect someone to prove a negative, also your lack of appreciation for Occam’s Razor.

  108. Gator says:

    Mr U

    Thanks for the link. My statement re: posting CVs is not a strawman. Here is the definition for strawman argument:

    “1. Stating a misrepresented version of an opponent’s argument for the purpose of having an easier target to knock down. A common, but deprecated, mode of argument. See fallacy.
    http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/jargon/jargonfile_s.html

    In business, straw man is a debate strategy in which a point that can be easily refuted is attributed to the opposition. The objective of setting up a straw man in an argument is to “knock down” one argument and make it appear as if the opponent’s entire position has been refuted.

    http://searchcrm.techtarget.com/definition/strawman

    I think that if you read the definitions above and apply that to impugning him based on a different premise (intelligent design) than the question at hand (climate), you will see that Max was using a strawman… and I was not. Words are kind of my thing.

  109. dcpetterson says:

    @Bart
    evidence of the three proofs necessary to transform AGW from theory to scientific fact.

    Before continuing, you have three essay questions:

    1) Define “scientific theory” and describe the process by which a theory comes to be the dominant explanation accepted by the scientific community.

    2) Define “scientific fact,” and explain the ways this differs from the concept of “theory.”

    3) Describe why your demand for “three proofs necessary to transform AGW from theory to scientific fact” is thus a truly irrational request.

  110. Gator says:

    Dr FG

    Again with the reading comprehension issues. It is not my request. It is Dr. Spencer’s challenge to fellow scientists. And Occam’s Raxzor isn’t infallible. If it were no reserach would be necessary… the most obvious answer would always be the correct answer. For you to accept Occam’s Razor as anything but a clever generality, tells me you must not be a scientist either.

  111. Gator says:

    OK I’m done for now. I have fat fingers and when I get tired of typing they tend to stray. See above for typo examples. LOL!

    Fun argument even if you are mostly all mistaken in your opinions. Peace out.

  112. Mr. Universe says:

    The implication was that since none of us are climatologists then our opinions are invalidated. That strikes me as a tad strawy. (though I am tangentially associated with climatology from a policy level).

    And I was perfectly happy to entertain any of Spencer’s findings without bias until I discovered his perspective on ID. Not necessarily a deal breaker on his work but it does call into question whether there is bias in his findings. I would feel the same if it were Hansen.

  113. shortchain says:

    Drfungugy,

    Welcome to the club of those who have been accused of “reading comprehension issues” by Gator.

    I make no judgment myself on this, probably due to my own problems. I just want to assure you that you are not alone. (I’d say you are in “good company”, but that would call for a conclusion not justified by the available data.)

    I will point out that, if anybody finds a general principle of logical deduction which is infallible, they could make a barrel of money…

  114. shortchain says:

    A “strawman argument” is the methodology of misrepresenting the opposition’s argument so as to make it something easy to destroy.

    As such, pointing out that Spenser checked his brains in at the door on intelligent design is not a straw man argument. It’s actually more of an “ad hominem” argument, except that — how do we know that he picked them up again on the way out?

  115. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Gator,

    Your “expert” has been contradicted by other experts.

    Your “expert” has been impeached as to bias.

    You have LOST that “expert” as a reliable citation.

    If you still cling to Spencer after that, and as such you concept of “reasonable doubt” is SO LOW, I sure would LOVE to have you as a juror should I ever be on trial!

  116. Gator says:

    One more then.

    Mr U you said
    “And I was perfectly happy to entertain any of Spencer’s findings without bias until I discovered his perspective on ID.”

    That speaks to your personal bias as it relates to religious belief and its coexistence with science. His belief in ID has NOTHING TO DO with his qualifications or the caliber of his research in climatology. You seem to be saying that belief in God would disqualify ones research in any area. That is very narrow-minded when it comes to religious beliefs. Almost smells like religious bias to me.

  117. Gator says:

    Max
    I see it as YOUR expert has been impeached by my expert. I posted my guys CV and works. They were comparable to or superior to Hansens (the only ‘expert that has been quoted on that side). And if you disallow Spencers research simply because he is religious then your are allowing your personal bias to take priority over facts. I will reiterate… His belief in ID has NOTHING TO DO with his qualifications or the caliber of his research in climatology.

  118. shortchain says:

    Gator,

    Please provide factual evidence to support the statement: “His belief in ID has NOTHING TO DO with his qualifications or the caliber of his research in climatology.”

    Because a belief in something totally illogical does, actually, have a bearing on his other scientific credentials. Remember Pauling and Vitamin C?

  119. dcpetterson says:

    “Spenser’s challenge,” as Gator has described it, is to eliminate all possible “natural” causes for the current observed warming in global temperatures. (This is how I understand the “challenge.” I may, however, have reading comprehension problems. I am, therefore, open to correction on my understanding.)

    The problem with this “challenge” is twofold:

    1) It is not possible to list “all possible natural causes.” Regardless of how many are listed, and then disproven as being part of the cause, Spenser (and Gator) can always say, “There must be another one. Keep looking.” The “challenge” has no end, no way to reach a finish line.

    2) This is not the way science works. A theory has been proposed, and that theory has been tested by attempting to disprove it, and by comparing its predictions to actual observations. This theory has been found to explain the available data, and to accurately describe additional observations. It is, therefore, provisionally accepted until a better theory comes along. If Spenser (or Gator, or anyone else) wants to challenge the existing theory, that person must either A) propose a different theory that explains the data better, makes more accurate predictions, or both, or B) propose an experiment by which the current theory can be shown to not make accurate predictions. So far, neither Spenser nor Gator have done this.

    Science does not proceed by saying, “Prove that no other possible explanation of type X can work before you accept the theory that does work. By the way, I’m not listing the other possible explanations of Type X.”

    I have not read all of Spenser’s writings. But Gator wants to put Spenser’s thoughts before us as credible and as an alternative to the accepted explanations for global climate change. It is therefore up to Gator to present some theory for us to consider. He has not done so.

  120. Gator says:

    And Max, if you tried to make the argument in court that his belief in a higher power negated his extensive credentials and research CV, if I was opposing council, I would crush you. Think about it and see if I’m not right.

    “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. Yes, he is brilliant. Yes, he has done groundbreaking research. Yes he was U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. Yes, he is a tenured Professor, and yes he is an expert in this field, but he must be wrong and he must be dismissed because … he goes to church! The fiend!”

  121. shortchain says:

    Here’s Gator’s (and Rush Limbaugh’s) favorite “climatologist” :

    meteorologist-turned-climatologist acknowledges that his own evangelical beliefs have predisposed him to follow an opposite path. “An advantage of having a biblical basis for the way I look at nature is that I consider the possibility that nature is actually pretty resilient,” he said

  122. dcpetterson says:

    @shortchain — do you have the link for the quote you presented? It would appear to imply that Spenser believes as he does about global climate change, not because of any consideration of data or evidence, but out of religious belief. If so, that would mean in a rational scientific discussion, his ideas should be eliminated from consideration. In a religious or theological discussion, his ideas would be completely relevant. But not in a scientific discussion. And not in any discussion of public policy based on scientific principles.

  123. Gator says:

    OK last post and then I am done with this thread.

    @SC : “meteorologist Hansen said that Earth is warming because there are too many liberal fools spouting hot air”

    OK here is my solution… Texas cage match between Hansen and Spencer, winner take all.

  124. shortchain says:

    Google scholar reports 233 articles either by, or referencing, “Spencer, Roy”.

    By, or referencing, “Hansen, James”, — about 3000.

    We report, you decide, what that means.

  125. shortchain says:

    DC, here.

  126. shortchain says:

    Gator,

    My comment about Google Scholar is, pretty much, the result of the cage match. Apparently, while Dr. Spencer was praying, Dr. Hansen brained him with a chair.

  127. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Gator,

    Don’t believe me. I care less, my friend. Remember that yesterday I was pointing out the strong points of agreement you were making and the fact that the interpretation of data leads only to your belief in variations in causality. But, you are stepping way outside the bounds of reasonable inference, given the various evidence presented. You say the two contradict one another, depending on on viewpoint. BUT, the addition of the impeachment going to bias inference tips the scale AWAY from your witness. You must either rehabilitate that witness or present additional, independent, proof corroborating his testimony.

    Ask Bart.

    And BTW, you just try that line of argument (because he goes to church) in a courtroom and a halfway competent attorney would demonstrate how wrong you are.

    Again, ask Bart. He could teach you a bit about how quickly THAT argument you’re attempting to make would run into a wall. Even in Northern Alabama.

    Sorry. Just playing Devil’s Advocate.

  128. Gator says:

    Man you guys are ridiculous. What is the idea of posting bits and pieces of quotes or incomplete CVs? Not confident that your points can stand on their own merits? Here is the entire Spencer quote which was given during an interview with a religious magazine:

    “An advantage of having a biblical basis for the way I look at nature is that I consider the possibility that nature is actually pretty resilient,” he said. “So when scientists had found what they thought were positive cloud feedbacks in the climate system, which would mean that the climate system is very sensitive, I questioned their assumptions, and I went back and looked at the details, and found that when you dig deeper, the truth is actually in the opposite direction to what they found.”

    http://www.worldmag.com/articles/16970

  129. drfunguy says:

    @Gator
    “For you to accept Occam’s Razor as anything but a clever generality, tells me you must not be a scientist either.”
    Speaking of reading comprehension problems…

  130. Gator says:

    Max

    I was saying that YOU would be saying (because he goes to church) as an attempt to discredit my witness. The quotations marks from the previous post were to indicate that you were speaking. If you did that I would demolish you. Do you really think that in court you could refute the testimony of a credentialed expert witness by using his belief in God as a disqualifying factor? You would have to show that his belief so clouded his judgement and ability to make a reasoned argument as to make him unreliable. No one has done that here. You are all just channeling your own belief or lack thereof and basing your opinion of his expertise on that.

  131. shortchain says:

    Gator,

    When you seek confirmation of your bias, it’s all too easy to find. The complete comment is even more damning in that regard than the part I posted, which is why I left it out.

    Remember, this is the guy who, as I keep pointing out, screwed up bigtime — and, because of his bias, continues to screw up.

    Faith is not necessarily a problem for a scientist. It just means that the scientist has to be extremely careful about letting that faith drive the analysis. Dr. Spencer, by his “magical natural cycles” has clearly failed here.

  132. drfunguy says:

    p.s. to Gator
    When you say “Please answer the good doctor’s question ”
    that could easily be seen as a challenge (i.e. answer the question, which I consider relevant and important even though I was incapable of devising it myself).
    Perhaps you are not just reading comprehension challenged, but also writing comprehension challenged.

  133. dcpetterson says:

    By the way, here in Minneapolis, we have been to zero F or below 14 times so far this season. The usual numbers of days below zero by this date is 23. This single datapoint, by itself, proves nothing. But it is indicative of the continuing warming of the Earth, and yet another indication of the direction things are going.

  134. Mr. Universe says:

    The overwhelming majority of the science community does not consider ID ‘science’. Ergo, if Spencer is advocating it as legitimate science, how can I be certain he is approaching other research as Shortchain puts it by ‘checking it at the door’. I would feel the same way if Spencer held that eugenics was legitimate science or say he believed in alchemy. It taints his work on climate science.

    And personally I look at how beautifully the Universe works and I can’t dismiss the possibility of God so I don’t have a lot of issues there. But ID is a form of creationism based on the Christian belief system. I have lots of problems there. Once you start down that road of manufacturing science around Christianity you run into all kinds of continuity issues.

    I only brought Hansen because you referenced another NASA scientist with some controversial perceptions. There are far more scientists who accept AGW than scientist demiers.

    I wish I had discussed Hansen’s take on Spencer with him when he was here recently. You deniers really should go see his presentation if he comes to your University.

    On a side note: Our sister University just got a bunch of Antarctic core samples. I’ll be interested to see what they find.

  135. Mr. Universe says:

    He could teach you a bit about how quickly THAT argument you’re attempting to make would run into a wall. Even in Northern Alabama.

    There’s a reason I won’t move back to North Alabama. Don’t be too sure of that one.

  136. Gator says:

    Dr FG

    Actually, that was an attenuated version of the original post that I made.The site was not posting correctly this morning and I had to re-post or redo several postings. In the original post I said that he is asking the same question which I asked in the previous thread and that no one had answered to my satisfaction.

    So your snarky ” (i.e. answer the question, which I consider relevant and important even though I was incapable of devising it myself).” is off base but I see how you got there. Also, you can ‘see it as a challenge’ and yet that doesn’t mean that was my intent. What I was saying was that if you found my question unreasonable then here was essentially the same question posed by a scientist to other scientists. Having seen how easily confused you are, I understand your befuddlement. LOL!

  137. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Gator,

    Out of respect for you, I will not repeat what shortchain wrote @ 16:17, but it is true.

    Do you really think that in court you could refute the testimony of a credentialed expert witness by using his belief in God as a disqualifying factor?

    Never saw Inherit the Wind did you?

    As you are taking the logical (and righteous) position of the Baptist arguing the way into Heaven with the Sunni, I shall disengage with you henceforth. I admire your persistence in the face of a consistent string of losses. Early in the previous post, you could have simply stated that, for you personally, you were still looking for additional data before taking a stand certain on the contribution of humans on GW. Instead you decided to drive a different horse to the finish line.

    You chose the wrong horse to ride. You refuse to see that horse stumbled badly in the first turn.

    Until the next thread, best wishes.

  138. Mr. Universe says:

    I still have to come back to the logic argument:

    People generally accept that smoking is bad for you. Yet some people think just smoking one or two butts a day isn’t as bad for you as smoking two packs a day. Maybe that’s true, I don’t smoke so I can’t say. I hear scientists say it is just as bad. But what if it’s not?

    Even if all the deniers are right (they’re not) and the planet is warming because of other factors, does that mean we should continue doing things that the preponderance of evidence shows is contributory to the problem? It’s easy to sit in Colorado at 7,000 feet above sea level and say ‘it’s not my problem’.

    Perhaps deniers should be forced to live in the Maldives or the Marshall islands or the towns in Alaska that are sinking into the sea because the permafrost isn’t so perma anymore.

  139. Number Seven says:

    ID had it’s day in court. It lost. Badly. Very badly.

    The issue isn’t saying that someone who believes in god that makes their testimony suspect, the issue is saying that someone who believes in ID is suspect as a witness.

  140. Gator says:

    Hey SC who was the author of that hit piece on Spencer that you posted?
    You know, this one…

    http://climateprogress.org/2008/05/22/should-you-believe-anything-john-christy-or-roy-spencer-say/

    So who was the author again?

  141. Mr. Universe says:

    So who was the author again?

    If you’re attempting to make a point of irony, you lost me.

  142. Gator says:

    Max

    Don’t worry about insulting me by disagreeing. I don’t know if Spencer is right or wrong. I don’t know if Hansen is right or wrong. That was really my only premise. No one knows, everyone has a theory. I defended Spencer because it makes so many on here crazy. I can actually see the steam pouring out of ears. We will be extinct as a species within a few millenia or eras or eons anyway unless we travel beyond Gaia soon. If not warming then an ice age or an asteroid or a superbug (keep taking those antibiotics for the sniffles everyone). So it’s all kind of moot as far as I’m concerned.

    Sorry if I was messing with you guys, but you and certainly DC and MR U should remember me taking stands just for the sake of the argument. You guys should do some of that as well. People bitch about not having conservatives on here to debate with. Think about it, if I didn’t know most of you and if I weren’t somewhat obstinate, it would have been really easy for me to just say f… it and leave. If someone had taken the challenge that some of you had in debate in HS, that being to take the opposite side for the sake of the excercise, maybe some conservatives would stick around.

    Anyway, GW is real. Anthropogenic in nature? Who knows? Not anyone on here.

  143. Gator says:

    No irony intended. Just a simple question. As yet unanswered.

  144. dcpetterson says:

    Gator, you didn’t make me crazy. I noted that you didn’t respond to being challenged. This implied you either hadn’t really thought about the position you were taking, or that you didn’t really take the topic seriously, or both. I’m happy to have been right.

    Nevertheless, the position you took is one that is far too common — that is, people object to the idea of human-influenced global climate change, but don’t really have any idea why, nor any theory of what else might explain the available facts. Since you don’t really believe the position you argued, I want to thank you for helping to show the weakness of that position.

  145. Gator says:

    Mr U

    The point I was making was that the ‘refutation’ hit job on Spencer was a post by a guy named Joe on a blog. No other attribution… just Joe. And apparently SC thinks that is sufficient ‘evidence’. A blog post by ‘Joe’. So I was going to deride and belittle Shortthing but you sniffed it out Inspector Clouseau. LMAO! Just bored and goofing off. But seriously Shortchain- a blog post by some guy named Joe. That’s what you came up with? ROFLMFAO!!!

  146. Brian says:

    I’m not really going to get involved here, but I have access to Georgia Tech’s database of articles, so people are interested in specific papers, but don’t have access, I can provide that. Just give me the articles and a way to send them to you.

  147. Gator says:

    Don’t hurt your arm trying to pat yourself on the back. Your theory is no better than Spencer’s. All opinions on this are simply speculation and conjecture. So you are just as likely wrong as he is. Nice try to take the win, though. You didn’t get it but you can keep sash. It looks really pretty on you!
    Bwaahaahaa!

  148. Gator says:

    That “don’t hurt your arm” was for you Shrinks.

    Sorry, DC. You will always be Shrinkers in my heart!

    Ya’ll have a great evening.

  149. shortchain says:

    Gator,

    The guy’s name is Joe Romm. You really should do a little research before you make an ass of yourself.

  150. Mainer says:

    Guys, guys, guys this horse is getting pretty ragged. Mule here is how far down the path we have gone. You and I could agree that the debate over climate change is going nowhere. But in the mean time we really have some things we should be doing. The problem is that those fighting the human factors are only doing it to delay and obstruct any moves. Mule you have mentioned several things that apparently you and I both would be the steps of the prudent person when faced with a number of the issues we face. We are in our present environment going to get none of them. Or if we do they will be so watered down as to be worthless and structured to fail.

    We can argue these points to the point where it means nothing. It is coming, it is here and it could get worse. What even little points could we actually agree on as steps to take that might help the climate situation, our energy use or our economy. My feeling that getting our energy house in order as Mule has put forth would be one hell of a first step.

    To keep arguing that your expert is a bigger dick head than my expert is not going to win for either side.

    Do you realize that it is now possible to have Magnolias in Maine that bloom so beautifully, that Mums will now over winter in areas North of the 45th parralel, that Robins now routinely winter over in Southern Maine, that I can grow fruit trees that even until 5 or so years ago most nurseries would not even ship to me. The times they are a’changing. Say it ain’t so Joe ain’t going to make it any better.

  151. Gator says:

    Shortthing relax.

    I don’t need research to make an ass of myself. I’ll simply emulate you.

    Except of course, I have a sense of humor and don’t take myself too seriously. Can’t really emulate that part of you.

    I’d have to shove a stick up my butt and I’m just not down with that.

  152. dcpetterson says:

    Gator my friend, if you’re serious about “All opinions on this are simply speculation and conjecture. So you are just as likely wrong as he is,” then I’m afraid I have to put you into the same category as Bart — that is, not having a clue as to how science works. Or at least, this statement falls into that category. All opinion is equal if, and only if, the scientific method is applied to neither one of them.

    I will, however, no longer assume that anything you say is an actual expression of your opinion. 🙂 Thanks for an entertaining exchange!

  153. Gator says:

    Mainer

    Had to say hey. Long time no talk to. How you doin’? Hope all is well with you and yours, soldier.

    BTW, sounds like global warming is working out pretty well for you! Congrats!

  154. Gator says:

    DC

    Great, so today you’ve come up with definitive proof that GW is anthropogenic! So now AGW is no longer a theory but an absolute?

    Because if not, then it is still speculation and conjecture. Because that is what a theory is. Let’s go to the dictionary, shall we.

    the·o·ry   /ˈθiəri, ˈθɪəri/ Show Spelled
    [thee-uh-ree, theer-ee] Show IPA

    –noun, plural -ries.
    a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.

    So a theory is what? Oh that’s right- “conjectural”. A conjecture. Which is precisely what I said. Hmmmm. No need to apologize!

  155. Mainer says:

    Gator man yes it is. As much as I like ice fishing/drinking I like being in my boat more and the things I can now do in my gardens are so much nicer. I am now retired and out of the uniform, my one remaining son in Army green is home and well and stationed at a post he and his family like. I thank you for mentioning him.

    I hope your tribe is still doing oh so well and that college bills have not eaten you alive. It is fun to be proud of your kids isn’t it? I have to tell you the whole grand kid thing is pretty dang cool as well.

    I find myself living some things quite vicariously now. My son the soldier, my son the ice road trucker and my son the guitar manufacturer. Never a dull moment. I have formed a new fishing group and out motto is “Being old beats the alternatives” .

    You take care lad and may those kids of yours live on the deans list.

  156. Gator says:

    Mainer,

    My brood are all doing well. One in HS, one an undergrad, one going for the PhD. That’s the one that was going to law school. Then Bart came and gave a talk and she quit. Seriously, she got to GWU went the first semester and realized she had made a mistake. She hated ‘the law’. She is now in a combined MS/PhD engineering program at UCF here in Orlando(she’s close again which makes me ecstatic). She’ll have her doctorate in about 2 years. It’s what I thought she would do from early on. She took AP calc and physics in HS and has a psychology degree from UF and was, to my mind, destined to be in the sciences.
    And really glad to hear yours are safe and well. I remember the discussions we had re: kids and your family military history. BTW, congrats on the grandkids thing, but: PLEASE GOD, NO! NOT YET! Just for you I posted something below that is funny and apropos.Really good to talk to you again.

    ” Drafting Guys Over 60 ”

    New Direction for any war: Send Service Vets over 60!
    I am over 60 and the Armed Forces thinks I’m too old to track down terrorists. You can’t be older than 42 to join the military. They’ve got the whole thing ass-backwards.

    Instead of sending 18-year olds off to fight, they ought to take us old guys. You shouldn’t be able to join a military unit until you’re at least 35.

    For starters, researchers say 18-year-olds think about sex every 10 seconds. Old guys only think about sex a couple of times a day, leaving us more than 28,000 additional seconds per day to concentrate on the enemy.

    Young guys haven’t lived long enough to be cranky, and a cranky soldier is a dangerous soldier. ‘My back hurts! I can’t sleep, I’m tired and hungry.’ We are impatient and maybe letting us kill some asshole that desperately deserves it will make us feel better and shut us up for awhile..

    An 18-year-old doesn’t even like to get up before 10am. Old guys always get up early to pee, so what the hell. Besides, like I said, I’m tired and can’t sleep and since I’m already up, I may as well be up killing some fanatical son-of-a-bitch.

    If captured we couldn’t spill the beans because we’d forget where we put them. In fact, name, rank, and serial number would be a real brainteaser.
    Boot camp would be easier for old guys.. We’re used to getting screamed and yelled at and we’re used to soft food. We’ve also developed an appreciation for guns. We’ve been using them for years as an excuse to get out of the house, away from the screaming and yelling..

    They could lighten up on the obstacle course however… I’ve been in combat and never saw a single 20-foot wall with rope hanging over the side, nor did I ever do any pushups after completing basic training.

    Actually, the running part is kind of a waste of energy, too… I’ve never seen anyone outrun a bullet.

    An 18-year-old has the whole world ahead of him. He’s still learning to shave, to start a conversation with a pretty girl. He still hasn’t figured out that a baseball cap has a brim to shade his eyes, not the back of his head.

    These are all great reasons to keep our kids at home to learn a little more about life before sending them off into harm’s way.

    Let us old guys track down those dirty rotten coward terrorists. The last thing an enemy would want to see is a couple million pissed off old farts with attitudes and automatic weapons, who know that their best years are already behind them.HEY!! How about recruiting Women over 50…in menopause!!! You think MEN have attitudes?? Ohhhhhhhhhhhh my God!!! If nothing else, put them on border patrol. They’ll have it secured the first night!
    Send this to all of your senior friends…it’s in big type so they can read it.

  157. Bartbuster says:

    Gator, you have a great philosophy:

    Heck, I can’t tell who is right. And if I can’t tell, no one can. Besides, we’re all going to die any ways, so who cares.

    You should get into the inspirational poster business.

  158. Mainer says:

    Ok I have stopped laughing so hard that I can again see. I can see your theory. Up here it would be like the last week of deer season when the motto becomes “if it is brown it is down” well you send enough of us old bastards over to fight and it is going to be “so you are saying if we find and kill Osama we can go home and sit in our Lazy Boys again”……….don’t be some sorry ass sum bitch blocking that. Boarders will not matter, armed millitants will not matter……me or my Lazy boy……….bubbba don’t go there. And my wife oh my gawd…….most of that part of the world would be a glass desert at this point so they could get off their feet and get home to the grand kids and their sons and daughters would not be getting sent off to fight super power wars.

    Gator lad give me some places where you and I and Mule could start to sort out our energy use. I am serious I don’t give a rats ass about the experts. If I had enough money I could buy my own. How do we do this in the present? Yes I am going to do every thing in my power to hijack this thread and get us onto some thing where we can try and drive a conversation of productive effort. Mule man help me here. Hey how is this for a new coalition? Hard to peg us independents isn’t it?

  159. parksie555 says:

    Late to the party here but I will throw in my .02 worth…

    It is pretty clear that the earth is indeed on average grown warmer by several degrees since the beginning of the industrial revolution. I don’t think any rational person can look at the existing data and conclude otherwise.

    My problem with the global warming alarmists is that the time period that this data represents is such a tiny, tiny slice of earth’s history. I don’t see how anyone can determine what defines normal variation in the earth’s temperature without the presence of human activity as we know it, given that the data we have represents the blink of an eye on the scale of geologic time.

    Certainly attempts have been made to determine earlier temperature data using secondary indicators but until we accumulate much more data how can the accuracy of these models be determined?

    I am not a climate scientist but I know a little about temperature measurement and process modeling, enough to know that even with all the data collection tools and computing horsepower we now have available that predicting next week’s temperatures is far from an exact science, let alone predicting temperatures a thousand years ago or twenty years in the future.

    With all that being said I think there are much more compelling reasons to develop alternatives to fossil fuels. We will need the petroleum for the building blocks of chemistry far into the future. And coal is a dirty and dangerous fuel source, that should have been completely replaced by nuclear energy for electricity generation by now.

  160. Mr. Universe says:

    @Gator

    Yeah, I thought you might not have been aware of Joe Romm’s resume. I thought perhaps you had discovered he was a closet creationist. Romm is a Ph.D and well published author.

    FYI…

  161. Gator says:

    No, I just went and looked at the site and read the piece and clicked on the name and it went to another page that was “posts by Joe” and I was done. Didn’t care to delve any further. I just thought it was funny. Article by ‘Joe’.

  162. Gator says:

    Mr U

    I just went and listened to Romm and Marc Morano debate and Romm claims (hard to even say this with a straight face) that we will see temps 15 degrees higher in the next 70 years or so. They’ve gone up by less than 1.5 in the last 170 years, but they will go up 15 degrees in the next 70! Bwwaaaaahaaaaaahaaaaa! That is ludicrous! And this guy is the rebuttal? Really! LMAO!

  163. Gator says:

    Wow more good stuff on Romm.

    http://thebreakthrough.org/blog/2010/03/why_joe_romm_wont_debate_roger.shtml

    Keith Kloor has weighed in with “Fisking Romm” at Collide-a-Scape, as has Ron Bailey at Reason with ‘Climate Progressive Joe Romm Ducks Debate.” Roger Pielke, Jr. has provided an an excellent PowerPoint presentation of climate disaster research for readers who wish to understand why the consensus science shows there is no global warming signal in the disaster loss record.

    By Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger

    The last few months have been rough for Joe Romm. Forced to spin Copenhagen as a success, climategate as a skeptics’ conspiracy, and cap and trade legislation as world-changing, Romm has started making increasingly wild accusations against working journalists and academics.

    Just in the last few weeks Romm has piled up quite a list: Newsweek’s Fred Guterl, the Wall Street Journal’s Jeffrey Ball and Keith Johnson, the Times’ Andy Revkin, climate researchers, Judith Curry and Roger Pielke, Jr., a Breakthrough Senior Fellow. Romm has shown himself willing to say virtually anything to avoid dealing with the fact that his apocalypse-mongering has backfired, and that his climate policies are failing.

    A telling moment came last week after Revkin wrote on the Times blog Dot Earth, that one test of the IPCC’s credibility is whether it will choose Pielke to co-author the next IPCC report on climate change and natural disasters. Revkin noted that Pielke has one of the longest, if not the longest, list of peer-reviewed publications on the matter.

    While he has been an aggressive critic of the panel’s practices on his blog, and a frequent target of energy and climate campaigners, Dr. Pielke’s research record in this particular field stands on its own.”
    Romm responded with a 4,000-plus word diatribe that charged:

    Roger Pielke, Jr. is the single most disputed and debunked person in the entire realm of people who publish regularly on disasters and climate change.
    In the comments, Revkin asked Romm to back up his claim that Pielke’s work has been debunked.

    Any reason you didn’t direct your blast at, say, Chris Field, co-lead of Working Group 2 for 5th IPCC assessment (who says he’s eager for Pielke to contribute), Michael Oppenheimer (“He fits” in this extremes report), Richard Klein (strong endorsement)? Oh, I almost forgot that the Obama Administration, in submitting Pielke’s name, described all of the candidates as “impressive.” Was that a mistake on their part?
    Lacking evidence, and faced with the reality that Pielke’s work has mainstream credibility, Romm backpeddled:

    You missed the whole point of my post. This isn’t about whether Roger is technically qualified.
    Strange then, that just moments earlier Romm had claimed Pielke “is the single most disputed and debunked person in the entire realm of people who publish regularly on disasters and climate change.”

    Over at his blog, Pielke responded:

    In an effort to turn this episode into something constructive and educational, I’d like to formally challenge Joe Romm to a public debate on climate policy to be held in Fall, 2010 in his home town at a date convenient for him, so that he does not have to travel and the timing can be made to fit his schedule.
    Moments later a reader commented at Romm’s blog:

    Well Joe, now that you’ve taken Pielke to task, you must just be chomping at the bit, then, to debate him in person… Are you going to take him up on it?

    Romm responded:

    The question is why waste any more time on him?… He simply isn’t relevant to the debate anymore.
    But if Pielke is so irrelevant, why did Romm just spend 4,000 words attacking him?
    In a comment on both men’s blogs, Les Johnson announced he would contribute $2,000 to the charity of the winner’s choice.

    Romm replied:

    Zzzzz. I’ve explained many times why one doesn’t want to give a platform to people who spread mis-and dis-information and then have to use all my time debunking it.
    And yet just a few months earlier Romm had debated an actual skeptic, Marc Morano, and days before had gone on Fox News to defend snowstorms as evidence of global warming. Why the double standard? Because — “Zzzzz” — it’s boring?

    Romm’s readers weren’t having it. Jonathan Adler, a law professor from Case Western, comments:

    Like many others, I’d love to watch a webcast of the two of you exchanging views in person, and I can’t see any reason you’d refuse.
    Unable to stick to a single reason to avoid debating Pielke, Romm replied:

    “You don’t read this blog, do you? I’ve explained my position on this sort of things many times.”
    Many times and, notably, many different ways.

    Then, Les Johnson rejoined:

    Lets up the ante Joe.

    I will match every dollar you put up, to 10,000 USD, to the winner’s charity of choice. If you win, you don’t pay and I do, to your charity.

    If you lose, we both pay to Medecin san Frontiers. The winner is determined by an audience, which, as you choose the time and venue, is really chosen by you.

    Elevating Skeptics Romm has refused to debate Pielke on the grounds that he does not want to elevate Pielke’s arguments. Apparently Romm would rather elevate climate skeptics like Marc Morano and FOX News.Then, Pielke announced that the eminent journal Foreign Policy had agreed to host the debate.

    At this point there was no way out for Romm. Confronted by Revkin, Romm cannot sustain the claim that Pielke has been debunked. Confronted by commenters eager to see a debate, Romm cannot sustain the claim that a debate would be boring. Now, having just boasted of his debates with Morano and Fox News hosts, Romm cannot in good faith claim he doesn’t debate his opponents.

    By the end of the thread Romm had stopped replying to the comments and had gone back to censoring them.

  164. Gator says:

    Quite the champion you have there, Mr U.

  165. Gator says:

    Here is the link to Romm’s blog post that is referenced in the previous post. Page all the way down to the comments to see him being challenged by Revkin, by other commenters and by Pielke through proxy. And watch him obfuscate, duck and run away like a complete coward. This isn’t my opinion. This is his actual blog post in the entirety.

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/28/foreign-policys-guide-to-climate-skeptics-includes-roger-pielke-jr-meanwhile-andy-revkin-campaigns-for-him-to-be-an-ipcc-author/

  166. Gator says:

    Shortchain

    How you like my research, hoss? What was that you said about making an ass of oneself?

  167. shortchain says:

    Gator,

    I try never to get in the way when someone is shooting themselves in the foot.

    So, since you cannot defend your position through science, you go all ninja innuendo?

    I’m impressed. Not.

  168. GROG says:

    To me, this is the interesting thing about the man made global warming argument:

    With most scientific theories, the scientists want someone to try to prove them wrong. In many ways, science is meant to be proven wrong and alternate theories are welcomed with open arms. Not so with global warming. It has become like a religion.

    When religions are questioned all they have to say is that the questioner is a non-believer. Exchange “denier” for “non-believer” and you have the global warming argument.

  169. Gator says:

    Shortchain said:
    “So, since you cannot defend your position through science, you go all ninja innuendo?”

    So when you can’t defend your position and you go all ninja and besmirch someones integrity that’s great, but when I do it it’s not. Your “debunker” has been “debunked”.

    Your ‘expert’ refuses to debate a TRUE expert and runs away like a coward. Epic fail!

    Maybe before you quoted Mr. Romm you should have done some research. That way you could hav avoided making an ass of yourself! LOL!

  170. Bartbuster says:

    In many ways, science is meant to be proven wrong and alternate theories are welcomed with open arms.

    That isn’t true at all. Scientists who challenge popular ideas have to prove themselves, and it often takes a very long time for their ideas to be accepted. Evolution wasn’t accepted for many years. Einstein published most of his groundbreaking ideas in 1905, but was not awarded his Nobel until 1921.

    If someone comes up with an alternative explanation to AGW they are going to take a beating before they get their Nobel.

  171. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    “With most scientific theories, the scientists want someone to try to prove them wrong. ”

    Really? I mean, really? You know scientists that are like this?

    Actually, what scientists want is the same thing everybody wants. Food. Shelter. Sex. Research grants. Tenure. An occasional sabbatical. The precise order depends on the scientist in question.

    What they want in the way of theories are theories that are falsifiable, and that can be used to predict future events or observations. A theory that cannot be falsifiable, like religion, or “unspecified natural cycles”, and that provides no predictive value, as in: “God is omnipotent, so he can decide enough is enough and call an end to creation any time he wants, or go back in time and produce the fossil record to make your results look bad if you don’t pray” — is worthless, scientifically.

    AGW is falsifiable, although with difficulty. The problem is that the experiment to falsify it is, as we say, fraught with peril — as in the possible destruction of the ecosystem, and, as a slight possibility, the end of human existence.

    AGW has predictive value. It predicts many things. For a list, see above, or go and look around. Please observe that many of these predictions are falsifiable. That none of the predictions made by AGW have been, to date, definitively falsified by observation, is a mark in the favor of this theory.

    In the interests of accuracy, let it be known that precise predictions made by AGW have also not been perfectly observed. Unfortunately, this is to be expected in the case of making predictions about chaotic systems. Statistical methods are required, and they don’t give certainties on any finite sample set. But, on the whole, the predictions of an increasing frequency of severe weather events — check (even Bart has noticed this, although he confuses weather events with climate events); a global increase in temperature in the troposphere — check (although there are still caveats on this one, as there are problems with measuring an average global temperature and getting a value everybody agrees with); increased uncertainty in the onset of seasonal change — check (flowers blooming earlier, an increasing frequency of frost on fruit trees in some areas because of that, insects modifying their life cycle); just to name some.

    Unlike the case of religion, where there is no scientific evidence for belief (and, it can be argued, never can be), in the case of a scientific theory, belief or the lack thereof has to be based on whether, and how well, it conforms to observed reality. So, if someone is an “unbeliever” in AGW, it’s not enough (as it would be in the case of religion) to say “because I believe in the bible”. In fact, that statement is enough to disqualify a person for the position of scientist in the subject in question.

    A nonbeliever has to produce either an example of a prediction made by the theory that is not in accord with observation; or that nonbeliever has to produce an alternate scientific theory that explains observations better.

    Neither of these things has been accomplished by those who have argued against the AGW theory. Instead, what they have done is to try and produce doubt, aided greatly in their attempt by the merchants of doubt, who are paid by the energy companies (and before them by the tobacco companies) to manufacture doubt and publish reasons for doubting. They do this by many means, but some of their favorites are the introduction of added complexity, as in “sure, AGW may explain this episode of warming, but what about the one 40 million years ago?” And then, when the core samples or pollen analyses come back and show that, yes, there was an elevated CO2 level then, too — although not as great as we have right now — then they go on to “OK, but what about the one 6000, or 4000, or 250,000,000 years ago?”.

    They can keep coming up with questions of that nature almost forever. Which they never answer — and that betrays the purpose of their question: real scientists usually try to answer the questions they pose. Fakes simply ask questions which they don’t want to hear the answer to.

    Another method they use is to set unreasonable requirements for “proof” — although this one is usually the province of those who don’t understand how science works, since “proof” is not associated with successful theories except in the negative sense that a theory can be disproved by failing to predict or explain a critical observation.

    Which brings me to the observation that a blog, or a debate, except when conducted in an atmosphere where everyone has access to all the data and is knowledgeable about the theories and wants to reach the truth — is going to end up right where we are here.

  172. Gator says:

    @ Mainer

    Let me know what you have in mind. Regardless of your belief about GW, alternative energy sources and reducing pollution are no-brainers. We need to pursue both of those no matter what else is happening. And here’s another joke for you and the Mule man.

    In honor of your Arkansas connection Muley, and just because it’s funny, a joke:

    A guy walks into a bar in Arkansas and orders a white wine.

    All the hillbillies sitting around the bar look up, expecting to see some pitiful Yankee from the north.

    The bartender says, “You ain’t from around here, are ya?”

    The guy says, “No, I’m from Canada .”

    The bartender says, “What do you do in Canada ?”

    The guy says, “I’m a taxidermist.”

    The bartender says, “A taxidermist? What in tarnation is a taxidermist? Do you drive a taxi?”

    “No”, says the Canadian “A taxidermist doesn’t drive a taxi. I mount animals.”

    The bartender grins and hollers, “It’s okay boys. He’s one of us.”

  173. Mainer says:

    Gator I don’t know exactly what it is I want to do. I put forth the idea of several of us (including Bart) to do a collaboration on the Civil War and its impact today or some thing like that which will still most likely happen at some point but this whole energy thing has fascinated me for years and I think is more timely. Let me think on it and I will get back to you.

    In the mean time one good joke deserves another:

    A lady had two small dogs that she kept for company. One day both got clipped by a car and killed. The lady was quite upset and thinking how much she would miss them took them to a local taxidermist.

    She walks in flops them on the counter and says to the guy “Would you please stuff these two dogs?”

    The taxidermist looks at her with a questioning expression and says “You want them mounted?”

    The lady reacts and says “Oh god no they did enough of that when they were alive. I just want them stuffed so I can remember them.”

  174. Gator says:

    OK, I have a serious question for the AGW believers. And BTW, I got bored yesterday and was doing a little ball-busting for the amusement and I apologize (a little, and I’m not sayin’ I won’t do it again) if I offended anyone.

    Serious question though: You guys used Romm as some sort of debunker of Spencer. Now I have shown Romm to be highly questionable as an expert. I notice that after I posted the blog link and it was readily apparent to anyone who read it that he back-pedaled and ultimately ran away from any challenge, that NO ONE on here who was so quick to use him as a reference source, even attempted to defend his cowardice (a smart move because he was ‘hoist on his own petard’). So my question is why do you think this esteemed expert will not debate other experts or scholars who oppose his viewpoint, notably Pielke, but is willing to debate political talking heads? Why run away, particularly when a simple debate in your backyard would benefit Dr.s Without Borders to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars? And you could show up the charlatan (or so he claims re: Pielke) . Maybe because in fact he is the charlatan? I’m serious about your thoughts on why he would run away. Were it me, I wouldn’t. I’d jump all over the opportunity if I truly believed in my cause.

  175. Gator says:

    OK since no one wants to take me up on my question, let me tell you how I see it.

    If you know your data is correct, if you know your science is sound, if you believe in your position with any certitude, you relish a debate with the other side. You can’t wait to expose their fallacies. You pursue the opportunity to expose their errors.

    On the other hand, if you have no faith in your data, don’t feel your science can stand up to examination, and have doubts about your position, you run and hide. You avoid having to defend your position to someone knowledgable. You yell loudly hoping to distract from your weakness. And you avoid debating at all costs.

    Who is pursuing and who is running in this scenario? Ask yourselves that and for a moment put away the partisan blinders and ask yourselves what you would say if the positions were reversed.

  176. shortchain says:

    Gator,

    No, sorry, once you’ve said you are just pulling people’s chains, you aren’t entitled to come back and pretend you’re serious.

    You didn’t do anything at all to render Romm — or rather, what he says — any less authoritative (not that I care — as I pointed out earlier, it’s not his “authority” I was interested in, it was his argument). As I said earlier, “debate” is not the proper forum for the science. In so many of the big questions of our day, the anti-side of the debate, fat and comfortable in the wealth obtained under the existing environment, will simply poison the discussion, by manufacturing doubt.

    You really need to read the comments on every story our local paper puts up that deals, if only peripherally, with AGW. People who have even less understanding than Bart, but who listen religiously to Rush Limbaugh, get up on their hind legs and make the most dreadfully idiotic statements — and you can’t point out the errors, because they can make them faster than you can knock them down.

    You can point out experts, but they can manufacture their own out of retreaded “scientists” who have passed their shelf life but see an opportunity to make some retirement money. Never mind that these people have the credibility of the fungus that lives between their toes.

    An example is Spencer, who is, now, being showered with speaking fees to go and talk to people who he tells that they don’t have to worry — the “natural cycles” will correct for all the CO2 humanity is spewing. Yet, he made the remark about biblical belief, and how he saw, based on these beliefs, that everybody else was wrong — and then committed the most ghastly floater a scientist can commit (publishing a paper that was shown to be wrong on an easy scientific question).

    Yet he continues to rake it in.

    Such is the power of money and stupidity, of which we have far too much in some places in this country.

  177. Bartbuster says:

    You can’t wait to expose their fallacies.

    When the other side’s position is “It’s magic!”, there really is nothing to debate.

  178. Gator says:

    Hey SC,

    Don’t use me taking the positions in an argument that aren’t necessarily my opinions as an excuse to duck this question. I’m serious, if he is certain of his “argument” as you said then there should be absolutely no reason to be scared to go on a public forum and defend it. And yet he has run and hidden for a year. So I have to believe that his “argument” can’t stand up to scrutiny. Why would you believe his “argument” if he doesn’t even believe it?

  179. Gator says:

    See the thing is, skepticism is NOT a fringe idea. In fact more people doubt the science than believe it. So if you truly want to defeat ignorance among the public and champion your cause, you debate the experts from the other side. Not to mention the money that he is literally denying to Drs. Without Borders. You don’t run away.

    You guys are just making lame, meaningless excuses for a guy that you claimed as an expert who REFUSES TO DEBATE OTHER EXPERTS, EVEN WHEN IT WOULD BENEFIT A INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATION.

    Really? And you have the gall to defend that. Sad.

  180. Bartbuster says:

    Gator, how would you go about debunking the “It’s magic!” argument?

  181. Mr. Universe says:

    Quite the champion you have there, Mr U.

    Not my Champion. Sure smells like a dead, beaten horse in here though.

    You guys used Romm as some sort of debunker of Spencer.

    Whaaaa? We didn’t do any such thing. You referenced a pro AGW article implying there was something humourous about it. I pointed out that the author had credentials and that I didn’t get the joke. You said it was by a guy named Joe (still don’t get the joke). I don’t know much about Mr. Romm other than he’s a liberal writer I’ve seen doing guest spots on news shows. That was probably the first article I’ve ever read of his. It didn’t seem too unreasonable either.

    Love to stick around and watch Shortchain school everybody but I got lots to do today.

  182. Gator says:

    Mr U

    Is that what that is. Thought somebody had farted. I’m just too polite to draw attention to it. LOL!

    My bad. You didn’t use him as a rebuttal to Spencer but SC did early in the thread. See below.

    “shortchain says:
    February 7, 2011 at 09:30
    Gator,

    When you are done reading the citations drfunguy gave you, try this.”

  183. shortchain says:

    Gator,

    Sorry, I have serious business to attend to, people to pedanticize — and are paying for the privilege — and you what they say: the paying customer gets first choice.

    As for why someone would decline to “debate” — you are asking the wrong person. If asked to debate even something — a thesis I dearly love like a brother, say — in front of a friendly audience, and with an honest person, I’d turn it down. In front of the kind of nitwits we see at these debates against the kind of dishonest, lying sacks of crap I see (Monckton, for one), there is simply no up-side to doing it. These people aren’t interested in the truth — and they’ll just make stuff up if they think they’re losing, which you will have to answer. If you make a mistake, it will be trumpeted to the world and you’ll lose your credibility. If they make a mistake, it will pass without comment by their supporters.

    Undoubtedly there are people who will debate. Let them, I say, and may they have joy of it. For my part, it’s way too much like pig-wrestling.

    You know what they say about wrestling pigs, don’t you?

  184. Gator says:

    SC

    Something about truffles? LOL! Yeah, mud… blah blah blah

    Nice deflections, though.

    I don’t mean you not wanting to debate. You may have social phobias or just become very uncomfortable in front of an audience. Neither of those are true of Romm. He has chosen not only to speak for the AGW community, but to shout at every opportunity when it involves television or debating someone who doesn’t have a science background. It is only other experts that he refuses to debate. WHY?

    And I notice you steered very wide of the Drs Without Borders issue. Why no mention of that? His not caring enough to give an hour of his time to benefit hundreds or thousands of the unfortunate.

    Really? Again I will say, what gall.

  185. shortchain says:

    Gator,

    How is the “he isn’t willing to debate” not a “deflection”? (He’s published, on the blog I sent you to, his argument on why Spencer’s paper is wrong. Why does he need to then “debate” the issue? If you can find where Romm is wrong, you should drop a line to Dr. Spencer. I’m sure he’d love to publish another paper.)

    I’m wondering, because, to me, this sounds a lot like the “place unreasonable demands on the opposition” methodology I described above. Just like Bart.

    The appropriate place for science to be done is primarily in the scientific press — not the daily or weekly papers — and in the presentations at meetings of scientific bodies, and in the on-line world (yes, increasingly, scientific findings are discussed in blogs — but not, typically, in the comment threads, which are too often infested by people fixated on other things than the science).

    As for the “charity” issue — that’s simply an attempt to do an “ad hominem” argument, and I reject is fallacious. For all we know, Romm gives freely to charities. That he doesn’t give in the manner and to the place you think he should is neither here nor there.

  186. Armchair Warlord says:

    If you don’t mind an analogy, here’s my take on AGW.

    Doing analysis on military issues, you’re usually bombarded with a number of conflicting narratives. For every statement there is a counterclaim, and every party involved has an angle they want to push. You have to exercise a great amount of discrimination to sort out the facts from the spin and determine the real truth of events. Facts are very important – you can read an article pushing a narrative, dig the facts out and find that the reality on the ground is the opposite of the narrative being pushed. You also very quickly get a sense for who is and who is not a reputable source.

    To give an example, a couple of researchers put out a study on the Afghan War very recently claiming that the Taliban can be divided from Al Qaeda and that we could somehow cut a deal by which the Taliban would refuse to give safe haven to Al Qaeda in a future Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. This conclusion is comically incorrect – to simplify the issue somewhat I’ll just say that the Taliban and Al Qaeda are -literally- a big, happy, evil family.

    How do I know this? Because, first of all, there hasn’t been daylight between the Taliban and Al Qaeda since Osama showed up in Afghanistan back in the Clinton Administration. The claim is false on its face. Second of all, because the people actually fighting this war, the -actual- experts in jihadism, put out a very different story. A real expert will tell you that getting -Iran- (yes, the Iran ruled by the ayatollahs which supposedly could never make common cause with Al Qaeda for ideological reasons) to stop sheltering and supporting Al Qaeda (yes, they do) would be difficult, let alone the Taliban. The people who actually know what they’re talking about reject the claim.

    Back to AGW. Deniers claim that warming isn’t happening. This claim is false on its face – anyone who’s been living in America for the last ten years will tell you it’s getting hotter. Scientists laugh at the deniers. The people who actually know what they’re talking about reject the claim – the science is beyond bulletproof.

    Now, in the present war there is a great deal of uncertainty. Comparing facts between the War on Terror and AGW, the case for global warming is about as strong as the case for Al Qaeda being a terrorist organization. 😉

  187. Monotreme says:

    Those challenged by understanding how science really works should examine this:

    http://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/0_0_0/howscienceworks_02

  188. William Ruffer says:

    In view of the recent severe earthquakes including the one in Northern Japan that have resulted in findamental shifts in the Earth’s orientation, not to mention a staggering loss in human life, I find debates over the cause of climate change beside the point. The magnetic pole is in a dead run for alignment with the polar axis. These phenomena could not be explained even by Solar influence alone.
    Two millenia ago someone of great historic importance predicted these things as evidence of the time when man’s stewardship of the Earth would comne to an end. What could be more significant than that?

  189. Mr. Universe says:

    @William

    The magnetic pole does wander. In fact it has been rapidly moving towards Siberia at a rate of about 40 miles per year leading some to suggest that the magnetic poles might flip at some point. As a pilot this used to be a problem but most of us use GPS now.

    I am unaware of any science pertaining to causation of magnetic pole shift and increase in seismic activity. Plate tectonics is a naturally occurring event. But if you find something to the contrary, do share.

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