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Today in Global Warming

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July 06, 2009 – Comments (46)

TGW (Today in Global Warming), the little brother of Today in Bad Government (a redundant name, I know), is about to take you on a ride. 

Here are the rules: there are no rules, anything goes.

All Global Warming debate threads eventually end up roughly like this:

1. The blog author proposes that man made Global Warming is a sham.

2. Global Warming supporters incessantly post 16 paragraph rebuttals that they copy and paste from various enviornmental websites.

3. The skeptics respond by posting equally useless multi-page rebuttals that they copy and past from anti-global warming websites.

4. A name-calling competition erupts and everyone loses their cool.  

5. The blog author excuses himself since it's obvious that none of the participants actually understands the evidence on either side, and any semblance of rational discussion left the building a long time ago.

Sometimes, the blogger gets so distressed over this ordeal, that he/she loses faith in humanity and disappears from the blogosphere forever.

So I'm not even going to attempt to control the debate. Do whatever it is you please after I exit stage left.  I would rather watch a bunch of monkeys try to fornicate with a football than read the 46 links to some governmental study that you paste on my blog or the host of "green" bloggers that attack the sources of the information rather than the content itself.

However, if you do want to make it worth your time, here's a suggestion: pose one question or assertion to me at a time. Wait for my answer or follow up question. Then pose another.   Be sure that you understand what it is you are linking to and have read it.  If you haven't, don't bother.  Tomorrow, if TBG chooses to bless you with a response, he will.

The OxFam Sham

TBG is open for business in Oxford for the OxFam briefing released today called Suffering the Science. Here is the pdf in all its glory.  If you are a global warming skeptic, I can't implore you enough to read this.  The NYT siad it "reinforces the notion that global warming will have a greater impact on poor countries."

The OxFam report replaces scientific data with interviews with farmers "everywhere."  OxFam asserts that "farmers all over the world report that both the timing and the pattern of seasonal rains are changing dramatically.'" (p. 14)  Do they have any data to back this up?  Do they have any data to reflect the accuracy of their "survey of farmers?" Of course not.  

It gets worse. Actual science is replaced by human interest stories, compelling the reader to feel sorry for these poor chaps that are suffering (supposedly because of evil businessmen):

Asked how she has adapted farming methods, she throws up her hands and replies: ‘We’ve stopped even adopting seasonal planting, because it’s so useless. Now we just try all the time. We used to plant in March and that would be it [finished]. Now we plant and plant again. We waste a lot of seeds that way, and our time and energy… Sometimes you feel like crying…’

I feel bad for the farmer interviewed, but I'm not going to base world wide sweeping policy decisions based on the testimony of a Ugandan coffee farmer.  But hey, that's just me.

After a couple more interviews straight that remind me of the old Sally Struthers commercials, we get to the meat of the OxFam report:  "To the Rich, The Advantage" is the ominous title of one chapter. 

Now that's a novel statement!  Was anyone here not aware that rich people have an advantage?  It's a good thing we have so many government scientists!  OxFam informs us that as of this writing 1 billion people are hungry!  (p.16)  Why, that's amazing!  That means that 84% of the world's population is well fed!  Compare that number to historical averages.  I bet it's alot higher than it used to be.  But OxFam doesn't want to focus on trends unless the trends favor their political agenda - Socialism.

EPA Suppresses Report

Speaking of political agendas, the EPA has censored a report from one of its own, Alan Carlin, a senior analyst with the EPA Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation, who claims that the EPA's reports on global warming are political reports and not scientific reports.  Surprise, surpise.

Logic Dictates Green Jobs Means Less Jobs

In this short 6 minute video, Professor Robert Murphy explains why it's actual theoretically impossible to increase employment with Green Jobs.  

=============================================================

Gary North Makes A Request

We'll end this blog here.  Gary North is angry.  TBG now obliges him by reprinting his entire article It's Not Just That Global Warming Is Fake. What Matters Is Why This Fakery Is Being Promoted per his request.

July 3, 2009

Global warming is based 100% on junk science. The most vocal promoters are not interested in the details of physical science. They are interested in two things: political control over the general public and the establishment of international socialism.

Junk Science vs. Real Science

For a detailed, footnoted, 12-page article, written by three scientists, two with Ph.D's from CalTech, click here.

This paper was sent to tens of thousands of natural scientists in the United States.

Over 31,000 scientists have put their reputations on the line and signed a politically incorrect petition opposing the 1997 Kyoto agreement or protocol. Here is a photocopy of a signed petition.

[Ed. note: photocopy available in the article]

Here is a letter from a former president of the National Academy of Sciences. He asks recipients of the petition to sign it.

Back in the 1970's, the bugaboo was the coming ice age, as this Time Magazine article promoted. Not to be outdone, Newsweek got on board. The article warned: "Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects." Want more examples? Click here.

It, too, was based on junk science. It, too, had the same solution: government control over the economy. The goal never changes: government management over the economy. The justification has changed. If the voters won't accept control over their lives on the basis of one brand of junk science, maybe they will accept another. As they used to say in the Nixon Administration: "Let's run this up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes."

Socialism's Last Stand

The global warming movement is not about global warming. It is about the creation of an international political control arrangement by which bureaucrats who favor socialism can gain control over the international economy.

This strategy was stated boldly by economist Robert Heilbroner in 1990. Heilbroner, the multi-millionaire socialist and author of the best-selling history of economic thought, The Worldly Philosophers, wrote the manifesto for these bureaucrats. He did this in an article, "Reflections: After Communism," published by The New Yorker (Sept. 10, 1990).

In this article, he made an astounding admission. He said that Ludwig von Mises had been right in 1920 in his article, "Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth." Mises argued that without private ownership, central planners could not know what any resource is worth to consumers. With no capital market, the planners would be flying blind.

Heilbroner said that for 70 years, academic economists had either ignored this article or dismissed it without answering it. Then Heilbroner wrote these words: "Mises was right."

Heilbroner was one of these people. There is no reference to Mises in The Worldly Philosophers.

This admission was the preliminary section of Heilbroner's manifesto. He was cutting off all hope by socialists that there is a theoretically plausible response to Mises. The free market economy will always outproduce a socialist economy. Get used to it, he said.

Then, in the second section, he called on his socialist peers to get behind the ecology movement. Here, he said, is the best political means for promoting central planning, despite its inefficiency. In the name of ecology, he said, socialists can get a hearing from politicians and voters.

The article is not online. An abstract is. Here is the concluding thought of the abstract.

"The direction in which things are headed is some version of capitalism, whatever its title. In Eastern Europe, the new system is referred to as Not Socialism. Socialism may not continue as an important force now that Communism is finished. But another way of looking at socialism is as the society that must emerge if humanity is to cope with the ecological burden that economic growth is placing on the environment. From this perspective, the long vista after Communism leads through capitalism into a still unexplored world that roust [must?] be safely attained and settled before it can be named."

Heilbroner did not care that a worldwide government-run economic planning system would not be called called socialism. He just wanted to see the system set up.

Heilbroner's peers got the message. That was what Kyoto was all about.

Conclusion

If you like poverty, inefficiency, and bureaucratic controls over the economy, and therefore control over your choices, the "climate change" movement is ideal.

If you want to subsidize China and India, neither of which will enforce the rules laid down by unelected international bureaucrats, this movement is for you.

If you want to pay more for less energy, there is no better way than to pass the cap and tax bill which the House has passed. It will be sent to the U.S. Senate next week.

The rest of us should oppose it.

I hereby authorize anyone to reprint this article or post it on any website, just so long as the text is not changed.

====================================================================

David in Qatar

46 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On July 06, 2009 at 2:36 PM, tonylogan1 (28.24) wrote:

I do hope this is not your last blog. Let the nonsense comments commense!

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#2) On July 06, 2009 at 3:10 PM, Rehydrogenated (32.19) wrote:

Ok, so this got me thinking.

Assuming climate change was real and would eventually cause massive amounts of damage around the world...What is a good free-market solution to the problem?  

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#3) On July 06, 2009 at 3:17 PM, tonylogan1 (28.24) wrote:

There is no truly free market solution, although the government could incentivize the private market to innovate better solutions, instead of doing things to grow their power via cap and trade, more taxes, etc.

The government could focus on solutions to helkp humans (including poor ones in poor countries) adapt to a warmer climate, rather than fighting to stop the earth from changing temp (which we can't stop anyway). Fight malaria since you think there will be more mosquitos. Shore up oceanfronts since you think tide is rising... etc.

At least in that way we get something for our money. And via the free market, be sure that there is transparent competition to implement the solutions

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#4) On July 06, 2009 at 3:28 PM, PrestonCheek (32.42) wrote:

Your take on the OxFam Sham is correct, I read the article before reading your thoughts and thats what it's all about. Now they're starting to bring out the truth about their motives, start using the poor, and say that the rich is going to have take the lead. What a load of jibberish, it all comes down to Government control and taxes.

I know several big farmers in Louisiana and they use the global warming in their loss of crops to collect Government money, our money. They have learned to use the system year around, no matter what they plant, if it grows, they make money, if it don't, they make money.

Great article by the way, and I'm with tony, I hope it's not your last.

By the way, I noticed that your doing some kind of experiment in your CAPS picks with ETF's, please tell me what your findings are.

Take care, and stay cool.

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#5) On July 06, 2009 at 3:39 PM, Rehydrogenated (32.19) wrote:

I bring up the question of trying to find a good free-market solution to

A) I'm tired of sitting out of these conversations

B) I don't want the government to solve the problem for us

C) I can't see how the economy could solve the problem on its own assuming no one would see any benefits for generations.  

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#6) On July 06, 2009 at 3:45 PM, IBDFool4U (92.83) wrote:

What a great post - thanks for taking the time to write this. We must get the word out about the costly and unnecessary "cap and tax" bill. I too am amazed the global warming by carbon dioxide theory has spread so far and wide, considering the science just doesn't support it. Following is a great link called "The Great Global Warming Swindle" which presents the facts in a very clear way. Minute 10-35 really gets at the science:

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&rlz=1T4DMUS_enUS284US285&q=great%20global%20warming%20swindle%20video&revid=850559436&ei=8lJSSuSpBdLBtwf6orStBA&resnum=0&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wv

If this link doesn't work, search for the 1:15:56 long video on Google video.

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#7) On July 06, 2009 at 3:54 PM, mpendragon (45.38) wrote:

Rehydrogenated 

I tend to think that envionmental issues behave in a manner similar to one described in The Tragedy of the Commons.  There really isn't a free market solution which is an example of why we need a regulation system answer to this.

Energy producers aren't paying the full cost of their fuel consumption because they're passing along the harm caused by the waste materials of energy production.  Putting a dollar value on that cost increases the efficient use of less energy and using the proceeds on long-term projects to increase cleaner energy production is the closest we can manage.

One of the most significant challenges to this process is that we, along with the EU, really should impose a carbon tax on imports from countries without significant emissions controls. 

 

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#8) On July 06, 2009 at 3:54 PM, farmnut1985 (31.25) wrote:

First and foremost thanks for the good post David, I will have to take some time to read through all of your links a little later.  My only comment currently is the question of is the green push going to be what forces us to switch to cleaner and renewable energy, or will it be an increase in cost of current energy sources that force us to shift to different sources such as crude? 

Also, I'll take some heat here probably, but isn't it typical of liberal groups like this to take a situation, and if there isn't a victim, they make one?

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#9) On July 06, 2009 at 3:55 PM, mpendragon (45.38) wrote:

Sorry for the bold on that comment.

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#10) On July 06, 2009 at 4:27 PM, whereaminow (23.28) wrote:

Rehydrogenated  and mpendragon,

Part of the reason we can not envision a free market solution is because the Energy Industry is one of the most regulated and tightly controlled cartels in America. It was absolutely flourishing and thriving with robust competition until the Standard Oil antitrust case in 1911:

"In 1899 there were sixty-seven petroleum refiners in the United States, only one of whom was of any consequence. Over the next decade the number increased steadily to 147 refiners. Until 1900 the only significant competitor to Standard was the Pure Oil Company, formed in 1895 by Pennsylvania producers with $10 million capital…. By 1906 it was challenging Standard’s control over pipelines by constructing its own. And in 1901 Associated Oil of California was formed with $40 million capital stock, in 1902 the Texas Company was formed with $30 million capital, and in 1907 Gulf Oil was established with $60 million capital. In 1911 the total investment of the Texas Company, Gulf Oil, Tide Water-Associated Oil, Union Oil of California, and Pure Oil was $221 million. From 1911 to 1926 the investment of the Texas Company grew 572 percent, Gulf Oil 1,022 percent, Tide Water-Associated 205 percent, Union Oil 159 percent and Pure Oil 1,534 percent".

Regulation was enacted, not because there was a monopoly, rather because there wasn't one.

Now imagine how diverse the Energy Industry would be today if that competition had been allowed to continue freely. Then we would see real solutions to climate change.

More regulation is never the answer. It's like giving a patient with cancer more cigarettes.

Removing government from the Energy Industry would be a step forward in fighting climate change, should it prove to be real.  The current course, however, seems a bit mad.

I'm sure the Mises Institute, IER, Heritage, and other sites probably offer up some free market solutions that we haven't considered, but like Rehydrogenated I have always shied away from this debate, so I haven't looked into free market thought on this.  

Any help from the free market community here? Chime in if you've got a minute.

tonylogan1, PrestonCheek,  farmnut1985, IBDFool4U,

Thanks to all of you guys for the additions and compliments. I'll have more to say tomorrow but I need to catch a few hours sleep before work.

David in Qatar

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#11) On July 06, 2009 at 6:28 PM, mas113m (< 20) wrote:

Great blog.

can someone please send those Ugandan coffee farmers a copy if the Farmers' Almanac? I'd hate to see the cost of my coffee increase because they can't figure out when to plant.

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#12) On July 06, 2009 at 6:53 PM, UKIAHED (37.90) wrote:

Asked how she has adapted farming methods, she throws up her hands and replies: ‘We’ve stopped even adopting seasonal planting, because it’s so useless. Now we just try all the time. We used to plant in March and that would be it [finished]. Now we plant and plant again. We waste a lot of seeds that way, and our time and energy… Sometimes you feel like crying…’

I feel bad for the farmer interviewed, but I'm not going to base world wide sweeping policy decisions based on the testimony of a Ugandan coffee farmer

and:

can someone please send those Ugandan coffee farmers a copy if the Farmers' Almanac? I'd hate to see the cost of my coffee increase because they can't figure out when to plant.

When she is talking about planting – she is not referring to coffee.  These are the staple food crops that she is talking about.  Coffee is a tree/shrub that takes 7 years to mature – you would not plant that seasonally…

 

Maybe OXFAM should invest in a weather satellite and give these farmers a weather radio.  Maybe she could save some seeds if she knew 10 days in advance when the rains were coming…  Or it could just be my western technology bias…

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#13) On July 06, 2009 at 10:08 PM, whereaminow (23.28) wrote:

PrestonCheek,

"By the way, I noticed that your doing some kind of experiment in your CAPS picks with ETF's, please tell me what your findings are."

Well, it's not very scientific (although more scientific than anything produced at Oxford's social sciences department).  I wasn't the only one to notice that 3x ETF pairs showed horrible performance over time, with both the Bear and Bull ETF's declining significantly.  So I'm just watching them right now, trying to see if there is a way to profit from this.  The volatility seems to be higher (160-180%) than the implied volatility in the option prices (110-130%).  I'm looking into possibilities.

David in Qatar

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#14) On July 07, 2009 at 12:36 AM, mpendragon (45.38) wrote:

whereaminow

Their market based solutions seem to be largely based on denying that there is a problem.  That approach, despite what's presented above and the other inane conspiracy theories to the contrary, fails to account what is a clear scientific consensus.

This fundamentalist approach to market, like other forms of fundamentalism, is completely impractical and ruinous when zealots attempt it.

 

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#15) On July 07, 2009 at 12:52 AM, GUSMAN1 (< 20) wrote:

This topic frosts me to no end! (pun intended) The "debate" ended before it began, the politicians are about to take all of us for a nice ride to taxville.It is too late,cap and trade passed with flying colors by both houses,the POTUS will rubber stamp it into law.Stick a fork in us we're done!

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#16) On July 07, 2009 at 12:56 AM, whereaminow (23.28) wrote:

mpendragon,

That is a clear scientifc consensus among those organizations.  That would be like saying there is a clear scientific consensus that there is no global warming by listing all the groups opposed.

If the OxFam article is representative of the "science" behind global warming, then I am completely convinced that it is junk.

David in Qatar 

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#17) On July 07, 2009 at 6:20 PM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@mpendragon,
"Their market based solutions seem to be largely based on denying that there is a problem.  That approach, despite what's presented above and the other inane conspiracy theories to the contrary, fails to account what is a clear scientific consensus.
This fundamentalist approach to market, like other forms of fundamentalism, is completely impractical and ruinous when zealots attempt it."

Spot on. It's a religious approach to scientific findings. If some discovered problem on public health and/or the environment generates the slightest hint of regulation, taxation, agreements between parties and others activities when government may have a saying it's automatically denied. It happened with DDT, it happened with asbestos, it happened with smoking, it happened with second-hand smoking, it happened with CFCs and now it's happening with global warming. Curiously, the same people who took money from Big Tobacco and the chemical industry to provide "expert" advice is now taking money from Big Oil and Big Coal to produce pseudoscience in contrast to the mountain of evidence making the case of AGW. There's a big literature covering this fact, one example is David Michaels' Doubt Is Their Product (1). Or check the peer-reviewed literature: "The organisation of denial: Conservative think tanks and environmental scepticism" published in Environmental Politics (2)
It's an interesting thing to study.

@whereaminow,
"That would be like saying there is a clear scientific consensus that there is no global warming by listing all the groups opposed."
Please, enlighten us listing all the learned societies, academies of science, science organizations, active climate researchers (i.e., those actively publishing in the peer-reviewed literature) and peer-reviewed articles claiming that global warming is not happening and/or that the activities of mankind, specially the burning of fossil fuels, aren't responsible for most (not all) of the observed changes in the instrumental record, the changes in wildlife and glaciers, the rise of sea levels, the earlier onset of spring, the simultaneous cooling of the stratosphere and warming of the troposphere (indicative of an enhanced greenhouse effect) and other observed phenomena. Please show us how century old research on chemistry, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, weather patterns, paleoclimatology, glaciology, oceanography, solar's physics, dendrochronology, numerical modeling and dozens of other science subjects got it all wrong. Remember that:
- Think thanks are not scientific organizations or learned societies. Most think tanks are pure propaganda mills and the few ones that make high-quality, scholarly research have agendas to protect. Not the mention the fact that most think tanks which are skeptic of anthropogenic global warming have strong ties to fossil fuel money.
- A weatherman has few, if any, scientific training on climatology.
- Energy and Environment is not a reputable journal (3, 4). The journal is not listed in the ISI's Journal Citation Reports indexing service for academic journals.
- The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is another questionable journal (5) and a strange vehicle to publish climate-related research.
- The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine does not conduct climate research of any kind.
- Petitions are next to useless at promoting scientific debate. Science has its forums for debate: they're called peer-reviewed journals. Op Eds, letters to the editor, on-line surveys and blogs are not sources of scientific opinion and facts.

"If the OxFam article is representative of the "science" behind global warming, then I am completely convinced that it is junk"
That's called a straw-man. Do you want to get the science behind man-made climate change? Go to the peer reviewed literature. You can start searching in the two most prestigious science journals, Science (7) and Nature (8)
If you want a layman's approach to the science, subscribe to scientific magazines like Scientific American (9), New Scientist (10), Discover Magazine (11), Seed Magazine (12) and others.

 

1-  http://www.defendingscience.org/Doubt_is_Their_Product.cfm
2-  http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/1215502643-83251193/content~content=a793291693~db=all~order=page
3-  http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Energy_and_Environment
4-  http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Climate/Climate_Science/Contrarians.html
5-  http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Association_of_American_Physicians_and_Surgeons
6-  http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Oregon_Institute_of_Science_and_Medicine
7-  http://www.sciencemag.org/magazine.dtl
8-  http://www.nature.com/climate/index.html
9-  http://www.scientificamerican.com/
10- http://www.newscientist.com/topic/climate-change
11- http://discovermagazine.com/
12- http://seedmagazine.com/

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#18) On July 07, 2009 at 6:24 PM, FleaBagger (28.71) wrote:

mpendragon -

I noticed that no one addressed your comment about The Tragedy of the Commons. Please allow me.

The Tragedy of the Commons, as implied by the last word in the title, refers to resources that are not private property, but are "protected" against private ownership by the state. Had the free market been allowed to demarcate the available resources into what was owned by discrete, self-interested owners, the resources would be used sustainably. 

We see this in farmers not planting their seed corn, ranchers not overgrazing the grass on their own land, and the conspicuous nonexistence of wildfires on commercial tree farms (juxtaposed against the annual Running of the Wildfires tradition in nationally "protected" forests - a mad bloodsport wherein people risk their lives trying to outrun raging wildfires that were loosed for the sake of tradition).

A striking example of the absence of private property causing an ecological disaster is the ocean commons found off every coast everywhere. This commons is unownable, public property, and "protected" by the governments of the world (in much the same way the forests are protected). The watchful, meticulous care of government has resulted in overfishing that threatens to collapse the global marine ecosystem. But no worries. Government will save the day... more or less. Eventually.

In summary, the answer to poor government control over commons is not to increase governmental power in the hopes that while power corrupts, absolute power will be absolutely fabulous, but rather to allow people to own it as property, and do what property owners do: tend to their property and take good care of it.

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#19) On July 07, 2009 at 8:18 PM, whereaminow (23.28) wrote:

lucas1985,

Someone has reading comprehension problems.  

I would rather watch a bunch of monkeys try to fornicate with a football than read the 46 links to some governmental study that you paste on my blog or the host of "green" bloggers that attack the sources of the information rather than the content itself.

However, if you do want to make it worth your time, here's a suggestion: pose one question or assertion to me at a time. Wait for my answer or follow up question. Then pose another.   Be sure that you understand what it is you are linking to and have read it.  If you haven't, don't bother.  Tomorrow, if TBG chooses to bless you with a response, he will. - David in Qatar

 

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#20) On July 08, 2009 at 12:18 AM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@whereaminow,
"Someone has reading comprehension problems."
I know, I know. I'll try to make it easier for you. Since I'm accustomed to write papers, I sometimes forget that not everyone cares to check references, the logical flow of the argument or the soundness of the premises.

"I would rather watch a bunch of monkeys try to fornicate with a football than read the 46 links to some governmental study that you paste on my blog or the host of "green" bloggers that attack the sources of the information rather than the content itself."
I'm very sorry. I forgot that government is the evil and that greens want to harm American capitalism and traditions. Also, I forgot that you don't really know what ad hominem means.
Now, would you care to point which are the government/green sources used as references in my previous post?
Let's put some light on my sources:
- Science journals:
* Nature

"Nature is edited and published in the United Kingdom by Nature Publishing Group, a subsidiary of Macmillan Publishers which in turn is owned by the Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group ... Nature Publishing Group also publishes other specialized journals including Nature Neuroscience, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Methods, the Nature Clinical Practice series of journals, Nature Structural & Molecular Biology and the Nature Reviews series of journals.
Although most scientific journals are now highly specialized, Nature is one of the few journals, along with other weekly journals such as Science and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that still publishes original research articles across a wide range of scientific fields. In many fields of scientific research, important new advances and original research are published as articles or letters in Nature.
Research scientists are the primary audience for the journal, but summaries and accompanying articles make many of the most important papers understandable for the general public and to scientists in other fields."

* Science
"Science is the academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is considered one of the world's most prestigious scientific journals. The peer-reviewed journal, first published in 1880 is circulated weekly and has a print subscriber base of around 130,000. Because institutional subscriptions and online access serve a larger audience, its estimated readership is one million people.
The major focus of the journal is publishing important original scientific research and research reviews, but Science also publishes science-related news, opinions on science policy and other matters of interest to scientists and others who are concerned with the wide implications of science and technology. Although most scientific journals focus on a specific field, Science and its rival Nature cover the full range of scientific disciplines. Science places special emphasis on biology and the life sciences because of the expansion of biotechnology and genetics over the past few decades. Science's impact factor for 2006 was 30.028 (as measured by Thomson ISI)."

* Environmental Politics
" Environmental Politics is concerned with four particular aspects of the study of environmental politics, with a primary, though not exclusive, focus on the industralised countries.
First, it examines the evolution of environmental movements and parties. Second, it provides analysis of the making and implementation of public policy in the area of the environment at international, national and local levels. Third, it carries comment on ideas generated by the various environmental movements and organisations, and by individual theorists. Fourth, it aims to cover the international environmental issues which are of increasing salience. Its coverage of the developing world does not reach beyond this to the affairs of individual countries, partly because of the journal's chosen focus and partly because of the number of existing journals dealing with development.
Environmental Politics is sensitive to the distinction between goals of conservation and of a radical reordering of political and social preferences, and aims to explore the interface between these goals, rather than to favour any one position in contemporary debates."

Environmental Politics is owned by Informa plc
"Informa plc is the leading provider of specialist information to the global academic & scientific, professional and commercial communities via publishing, events and performance improvement. is a new and expanding platform, initially hosting the following academic & scientific publications:
• All journals from Taylor & Francis, Routledge and Psychology Press
• Over 180 Informa Healthcare journals
• Selected encyclopedias (the former Dekker encyclopedia collection) from Taylor & Francis and Informa Healthcare
• All Taylor & Francis abstract databases
• More than 10,000 eBooks from Taylor & Francis, Routledge and Informa Healthcare"


- Science magazines:
* Discover Magazine

"Discover is a science magazine that publishes articles about science for a general audience. The monthly magazine was launched in October 1980 by Time Inc. It was sold to Family Media, the owners of Health, in 1987. Walt Disney Company bought the magazine when Family Media went out of business in 1991. In October 2005 Discover was sold to two media investment companies ... Discover was originally launched into a burgeoning market for science magazines aimed at educated non-professionals, intended to be somewhat easier to read than Scientific American but more detailed and science-oriented than magazines like Popular Science."
* Scientific American
"Scientific American (informally abbreviated to SciAm) is a popular science magazine, one of the oldest and most prestigious, published (first weekly and later monthly) since August 28, 1845, making it the oldest continuously published magazine in the United States. It brings articles about new and innovative research to the amateur and lay audience.
Scientific American had a monthly circulation of roughly 555,000 in the United States and 90,000 internationally as of December 2005. It is not a refereed scientific journal, such as Nature; rather, it is a forum where scientific theories and discoveries are explained to a broader audience. In the past scientists interested in fields outside their own areas of expertise made up the magazine's target audience. Now, however, the publication is aimed at educated general readers who are interested in scientific issues. The magazine American Scientist covers similar ground but at a level more suitable for the professional science audience, similar to the older style of Scientific American."

SciAm is owned by the Nature Publishing Group.
* New Scientist
"New Scientist is a weekly international science magazine and website covering recent developments in science and technology for a general English-speaking audience. Founded in 1956, it is published by Reed Business Information Ltd, a subsidiary of Reed Elsevier. New Scientist has maintained a website since 1996, publishing daily news. As well as covering current events and news from the scientific community, the magazine often features speculative articles, ranging from the technical to the philosophical.
It is not a peer-reviewed scientific journal, but it is read by both scientists and non-scientists, as a way of keeping track of developments outside their own fields of study or areas of interest. Some science articles in the general press are based on its contents"

* Seed Magazine
"Seed (subtitled Science Is Culture; originally Beneath the Surface) is a science magazine published bimonthly by Seed Media Group and distributed internationally. Each issue looks at big ideas in science, important issues at the intersection of science and society, and the people driving global science culture ... The magazine publishes original writing from scientists and science journalists. Scientists who have contributed recently to the magazine include: James D. Watson, Freeman Dyson, Lisa Randall, Martin Rees, Steven Pinker, E.O. Wilson, and Daniel Dennett ... Seed Media Group hosts more than seventy blogs concerning science and science-related issues at ScienceBlogs, including Pharyngula and The Scientific Activist."

- stephenschneider.stanford.edu/
That's the personal website of Stephen H. Schneider, Professor of Environmental Biology and Global Change (Professor by Courtesy in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering) at Stanford University, a Co-Director at the Center for Environment Science and Policy of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and a Senior Fellow in the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. He has served as a consultant to Federal Agencies and/or White House staff in the Nixon, Carter, Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama administrations.
His research includes modeling of the atmosphere, climate change, and "the relationship of biological systems to global climate change." He has helped draw public attention to the issue of climate change. He is the founder and editor of the journal Climatic Change. He has authored or co-authored over 450 scientific papers, proceedings, legislative testimonies, edited books and book chapters; some 140 book reviews, editorials, published newspaper and magazine interviews and popularizations. He was a Coordinating Lead Author in Working Group II IPCC TAR; and is currently a co-anchor of the Key Vulnerabilities Cross-Cutting Theme for the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).


- Sourcewatch
"SourceWatch (formerly Disinfopedia) is an internet site that is a collaborative project of the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). It was created by the CMD's research director, Sheldon Rampton. According to the project's website, it "aims to produce a directory of public relations firms, think tanks, industry-funded organizations and industry-friendly experts that work to influence public opinion and public policy on behalf of corporations, governments and special interests ... The sponsor of SourceWatch is the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), a nonprofit American-based news media research group founded in 1993 by environmentalist writer and political activist John Stauber. In addition to SourceWatch, CMD publishes PR Watch, a quarterly newsletter edited by Laura A. Miller. The creator of SourceWatch, Sheldon Rampton, is CMD's research director."

- Defendingscience.org
"The Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy examines the nature of science and how it is used and misused in government decision-making and legal proceedings. Through empirical research, conversations among scholars, and publications, SKAPP aims to enhance understanding of how knowledge is generated and interpreted. SKAPP promotes transparent decision-making, based on the best available science, to protect public health.
How and why science works may be difficult for non-scientists to understand. The aura around science and scientists - reflecting the power of scientific understanding and its complexity - creates opportunities for misunderstanding and misuse of scientific evidence. Indeed, failure on the part of decision-makers to understand the norms of science may lead to inaccurate conclusions and inappropriate applications of scientific results.
SKAPP is a project of the George Washington University School of Public Health and Heath Services.
Funding: Support for SKAPP is provided by the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, the Open Society Institute, and the Rockefeller Family Fund. Past support has been provided by the Common Benefit Trust, a fund established pursuant to a court order in the Silicone Gel Breast Implant Products Liability litigation; the Alice Hamilton Fund; and the Bauman Foundation. The opinions expressed on the DefendingScience.org website are ours alone. We do not provide our funders advance notice or the opportunity to review or approve the content of this site or any documents produced by the project."


I'll ask again, where are the environs or big bad government? As far as I can see, there are only publishing houses, private companies, universities, a media/PR watchdog, philanthropic foundations.

"However, if you do want to make it worth your time, here's a suggestion: pose one question or assertion to me at a time. Wait for my answer or follow up question. Then pose another.   Be sure that you understand what it is you are linking to and have read it.  If you haven't, don't bother.  Tomorrow, if TBG chooses to bless you with a response, he will."
We'll go at baby steps if you want.
First question: do you agree with the instrumental record (i.e. thermometers) that there's a statistical significant warming trend which goes as far as a century ago and that this trend has become strong in the last 30 years?

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#21) On July 08, 2009 at 12:59 AM, whereaminow (23.28) wrote:

lucas1985,  

We'll go at baby steps if you want.

Thank you. I don't have the time to sift through thousands of pages of pro global warming, anti-global warming data. I am a computer systems engineer by trade with hobbies economics and programming, How much more can you possibly ask of me?

First question: do you agree with the instrumental record (i.e. thermometers) that there's a statistical significant warming trend which goes as far as a century ago and that this trend has become strong in the last 30 years?

Here is former NASA scientist and Ph.D. Roy Spencer's analysis:

The last 30 years (graph included in link)

Over the last 30 years, the mean global temperature has increased by 0.04 degrees Celsius.  That's pretty small, right?

For these, he uses the "NOAA satellites that have been carrying instruments which measure the natural microwave thermal emissions from oxygen in the atmosphere. The signals that these microwave radiometers measure at different microwave frequencies are directly proportional to the temperature of different, deep layers of the atmosphere."

You'll have to explain to me what the difference is and why another method is definitely better than this. 

And just like stock market trends, it depends on where you start the analysis.

Here is another chart of the last 2000 years.

If one were to start the trend arbitrarily at 800 A.D., then the temperature has cooled by 0.5 degrees Celsius over the last 1200 years.  That would be a cooling trend.  If we start from the end of the Little Ice Age around 1700 A.D., the temperature has cooled 0.7 degrees.

What if we go back 300,000 years looking at temperature and CO2 levels?

We see two cycles with exactly the same spikes we see today, which are then followed by progressively cooler temperatures.

Are those spikes also caused by man made economic activity? How are those explained away?

So based on this evidence, I don't see any proof that global temperature is experiencing an unusual warming trend relative to historical patterns, either recent or ancient.

David in Qatar

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#22) On July 08, 2009 at 1:01 AM, whereaminow (23.28) wrote:

Correction:

If we start from the end of the Little Ice Age around 1700 A.D., the temperature has cooled 0.7 degrees

Should read:

If we start from the end of the Little Ice Age around 1700 A.D., the temperature has warmed 0.7 degrees

David in Qatar

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#23) On July 08, 2009 at 1:18 AM, whereaminow (23.28) wrote:

For those interested, there is another list here of the prominent scientists who have reservations about the global warming consensus.  The list includes university professors, government scientists, etc.

Here are 54 members of the American Physical Society that disagree with the Councils decision to endorse a man made global warming theory.

We could go on and on. Rather than copy and paste ad nauseum in an effort to prove a consensus that does not exist, I would rather you focused on trying to explain to me what you believe and know.

David in Qatar

 

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#24) On July 08, 2009 at 5:42 AM, whereaminow (23.28) wrote:

FleaBagger,

Your comment (#18) is something I have been working on for a while in hopes of a future blog post. But your comment was so excellent that I hope you expand it further with a blog of your own. It would be worth a lot to me and I would really enjoy it.

David in Qatar

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#25) On July 08, 2009 at 9:23 AM, farmnut1985 (31.25) wrote:

So if you believe in evolution as well as global warming, heres a theory:  so what if the world is warming and things go bad and most of the earths inhabitants and species end up dying.  It has happened before, and if evolution is true, then eventually there will be a whole new set of species to replace what was lost a few million years from now. 

I've also learned that just because and article comes from a reputable science journal, does not mean that it is true fact.  That is why they are research journals, it is research, based on a person's, I will repeat this, PERSON'S conclusions.  It is their interpretation of the data which when interpreted by someone else, could return different results.  Climate change goes with the weather, we don't control it.

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#26) On July 08, 2009 at 10:20 AM, tonylogan1 (28.24) wrote:

Far and away the bigger problem to be concerned with (if we must) is global cooling.

If the earth cools enough we will all die...Period.

If it warms, we may lose the statue of liberty, but we'll be growing food in the canadian tundra. 

I'll take higher sea levels and a better tan over inadequate food supply and imminent death.

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#27) On July 09, 2009 at 1:13 AM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@farmnut1985,
"So if you believe in evolution as well as global warming, heres a theory:  so what if the world is warming and things go bad and most of the earths inhabitants and species end up dying.  It has happened before, and if evolution is true, then eventually there will be a whole new set of species to replace what was lost a few million years from now."
Evolution is both a fact (see the fruit flies [1]) and a theory (better called the modern evolutionary synthesis [2, 3, 4]).
You're that big extinctions have happened before (e.g. the Permian–Triassic extinction event [5]) and then a new set of species appeared to fill the empty ecological niches [6]. However, now we have a specie that has self-awareness, a big brain, a superior sense of morality and the ability to think about the future. That specie is called Homo sapiens [7]. Don't you think that humans are worth saving? [8]

"I've also learned that just because and article comes from a reputable science journal, does not mean that it is true fact.  That is why they are research journals, it is research, based on a person's, I will repeat this, PERSON'S conclusions.  It is their interpretation of the data which when interpreted by someone else, could return different results"
Hmmm, that's how science works. First, your work has to go through peer-review [9] and then it goes through "extended peer-review" [10, 11] The best scientific ideas stand the test of time and the watchful eye of the scientific community. The science of climate change started in the 19th century [12] and it has become way stronger. Climate change skeptics have been fighting the growing consensus for at least 30 years and still haven't produced meaningful evidence other than exploiting the inherent uncertainties in every scientific discipline to manufacture doubt.

"Climate change goes with the weather, we don't control it."
Climate and weather are different phenomena occurring in different time spans. We don't control the climate but we influence it.

References:

1-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drosophila_melanogaster
2-  http://www.bio-medicine.org/biology-definition/Modern_evolutionary_synthesis/
3-  http://campus.udayton.edu/~hume/EvolSynth/evolsynth.htm
4-  http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/modern-synthesis.html
5-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permian%E2%80%93Triassic_extinction_event
6-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecological_niche
7-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human
8-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle
9-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_review
10- http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/01/peer-review-a-necessary-but-not-sufficient-condition/
11- http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/01/peer-review-ii/
12- http://www.aip.org/history/climate/

 

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#28) On July 09, 2009 at 1:19 AM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@tonylogan1,
"we'll be growing food in the canadian tundra."
Because the soil in the tundra [1] is as fertile as the prairies [2].

"I'll take higher sea levels and a better tan over inadequate food supply and imminent death"
Would you care to explain me what's the relationship between an enhanced greenhouse effect [3] and sun tanning [4]?
As to your concerns over the food supply, check:
"Climate change, which is taking place at a time of increasing demand for food, feed, fiber and fuel, has the potential to irreversibly damage the natural resource base on which agriculture depends. The relationship between climate change and agriculture is a two-way street; agriculture contributes to climate change in several major ways and climate change in general adversely affects agriculture.
In mid- to high latitude regions moderate local increases in temperature can have small beneficial impacts on crop yields; in low-latitude regions, such moderate temperature increases are likely to have negative yield effects. Some negative impacts are already visible in many parts of the world; additional warming will have increasingly negative impacts in all regions. Water scarcity and the timing of water availability will increasingly constrain production. Climate change will require a new look at water storage to cope with the impacts of more and extreme precipitation, higher intra- and inter-seasonal variations, and increased rates of evapotranspiration in all types of ecosystems. Extreme climate events (floods and droughts) are increasing and expected to amplify in frequency and severity and there are likely to be significant consequences in all regions for food and forestry production and food insecurity. There is a serious potential for future conflicts over habitable land and natural resources such as freshwater. Climate change is affecting the distribution of plants, invasive species, pests and disease vectors and the geographic range and incidence of many human, animal and plant diseases is likely to increase" [5]

References:

1-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelisols
2-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prairie
3-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect
4-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_tanning
5-  http://www.agassessment.org/docs/SR_Exec_Sum_280508_English.htm

 

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#29) On July 09, 2009 at 1:31 AM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@whereaminow,
"For those interested, there is another list here of the prominent scientists who have reservations about the global warming consensus.  The list includes university professors, government scientists, etc.
Here are 54 members of the American Physical Society that disagree with the Councils decision to endorse a man made global warming theory.
We could go on and on. Rather than copy and paste ad nauseum in an effort to prove a consensus that does not exist"

Since you bring the topic of the consensus, I'll step aside a little to address this point.
- First, consensus does not mean unanimity [1]. You can always find someone who disagree with something and dissent and skepticism are more than welcome in science. That said, if you disagree with something you better produce some evidence to back up your assertions or you'll be ignored. Science doesn't care about pet projects or random thoughts.
- Second, have you see the difference in numbers between those agreeing [2] with the consensus and the "skeptics" [3]? We're not talking about a small difference, we're talking about orders of magnitude.
- Third, have you seen the qualifications of the dissenters? Climate scientists are a minority with geologists (specially petroleum geologists) having a big representation. There's a survey performed by Peter Doran and Maggie Kendall Zimmerman at Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago of 3,146 Earth scientists agreeing with this view:
"Results were analyzed globally and by specialization. 96.2% of climatologists who are active in climate research believe that mean global temperatures have risen compared to pre-1800s levels, and 97.4% believe that human activity is a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures. Among all respondents, 90% agreed that temperatures have risen compared to pre-1800 levels, and 80% agreed that humans significantly influence the global temperature. Petroleum geologists and meteorologists were among the biggest doubters, with only 47 percent and 64 percent, respectively, believing in human involvement. A summary from the survey states that:
    "It seems that the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes.""
[4]
- Fourth, consensus means little in science but it's important in policy-making. A policymaker has to weight the best available evidence and draw policies on it. The consensus on climate change is high because it has stood the test of time, it has multiple lines of evidence including basic physical laws [5] and there's no significant evidence suggesting an alternative theory [6].
But enough about the consensus [7], let's go to the meat of the evidence.

References:

1-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unanimity
2-  http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/index.html
3-  http://650list.blogspot.com/
4-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change#Doran_and_Kendall_Zimmerman.2C_2009
5-  http://cce.890m.com/primer-and-history/
6-  http://cce.890m.com/solar-cosmic-rays/
7-  http://cce.890m.com/scientific-consensus/

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#30) On July 09, 2009 at 1:39 AM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

... ()continuation) ....
"And just like stock market trends, it depends on where you start the analysis."
That's cherry-picking. You can't generate a valid trend picking outliers or irrelevant time frames.
Why did I ask about a strong trend in the last 30 years?
- 30 years is the generally accepted timespan to analyze climate because it smooths out short-term weather variations.
"The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) requires the calculation of averages for consecutive periods of 30 years, with the latest covering the 1961-1990 period. However, many WMO members, including the UK, update their averages at the completion of each decade. Thirty years was chosen as a period long enough to eliminate year-to-year variations.
These averages help to describe the climate and are used as a base to which current conditions can be compared."
[1]
- The latest 30+ years is the period when a clear global warming signature has emerged after the "global dimming" [2] of the mid century.

"Here is former NASA scientist and Ph.D. Roy Spencer's analysis:
The last 30 years (graph included in link)
Over the last 30 years, the mean global temperature has increased by 0.04 degrees Celsius.  That's pretty small, right?
You'll have to explain to me what the difference is and why another method is definitely better than this."

From your link:
"Since 1979, NOAA satellites have been carrying instruments which measure the natural microwave thermal emissions from oxygen in the atmosphere. The signals that these microwave radiometers measure at different microwave frequencies are directly proportional to the temperature of different, deep layers of the atmosphere. Every month, John Christy and I update global temperature datasets that represent the piecing together of the temperature data from a total of eleven instruments flying on eleven different satellites over the years. As of 2008, our most stable instrument for this monitoring is the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU-A) flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite."
- 30 years is just one climate cycle, the instrumental record goes back to the 19th century.
- The satellite data was flawed:
* SkepticalScience
"From 1978, a series of satellites have measured atmospheric temperature in the troposphere and stratosphere. The data is spliced together and adjusted for time-dependent biases by the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), headed by John Christy and Roy Spencer. The initial results showed a warming trend of only 0.09°C per decade, well below the surface temperature trend of 0.17°C per decade. Climate models predict the troposphere should show greater warming than the surface.
In November 2005, Carl Mears and Frank Wentz at Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) performed an independent analysis of the satellite data. In the process, they found an algebraic error in the UAH analysis. With the correction made, the UAH trend was now 0.12°C per decade - larger but still less than the surface trend. However, RSS released their own results based on their data analysis - a trend of 0.19°C per decade.
Part of the discrepancy between UAH and RSS was the methods used to splice the data from different satellites together. However, the major source of discrepancy was the way they corrected for diurnal drift (Mears et al 2005). The satellites orbit the earth from pole to pole. The satellites possess no propulsion so slowly over time, the local equator crossing time (LECT) changes. This is exacerbated by decay of the satellites orbital height, dragged down by the thin atmosphere.
As a satellite's LECT changes, it takes readings at changing local times, allowing local diurnal cycle variations to appear as spurious trends (Christy et al 2000).
So where does that leave us? An "Executive Summary" by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, co-authored by John Christy of UAH concludes:
    "Previously reported discrepancies between the amount of warming near the surface and higher in the atmosphere have been used to challenge the reliability of climate models and the reality of human induced global warming. This significant discrepancy no longer exists because errors in the satellite and radiosonde data have been identified and corrected. While these data are consistent with the results from climate models at the global scale, discrepancies in the tropics remain to be resolved.
    This difference between models and observations may arise from errors that are common to all models, from errors in the observational data sets, or from a combination of these factors. The second explanation is favored, but the issue is still open."
In other words, according to UAH, satellite measurements match the models apart from in the tropics. This error is most likely due to data errors. According to RSS, satellites are in good agreement with models."
[3]
* RealClimate
"The key thing here is not simply the existence of this problem, but the change over time. It turns out that in the tropics the artificial boost in the early readings was just about equal, on average, to the increase in surface temperature over the 1979-97 period (the trend in solar heating bias was -0.16 K/decade averaged from 850-300 hPa). In other words, this effect by itself could explain why reported temperatures did not increase–the increases in actual air temperature were nearly balanced by decreases in the (uncorrected) heating of the instrument by the sun. This effect was large in the tropics because of heavy reliance on daytime data in previous climatologies, and because the daytime biases there changed the most. Correcting for this one effect does not bring trends into perfect agreement with those predicted based on the surface—they still fall slightly short in the tropics during the last two decades, and are too strong in the southern hemisphere extratropics when measured over the last four decades—but these remaining discrepancies are well within what would be expected based on other errors and the poor spatial sampling of the radiosonde network.
The most likely resolution of the “lapse-rate conundrum,” in my view anyway, is that both upper-air records gave the wrong result. The instrument problems uncovered by these papers indicate that there is no longer any compelling reason to conclude that anything strange has happened to lapse rates. From the point of view of the scientific method, the data do not contradict or demand rejection of the hypotheses embodied by models that predict moist-adiabatic lapse rates, so these hypotheses still stand on the basis of their documented successes elsewhere. Further work with the data may lead us to more confident trends, and who knows, they might again disagree to some extent with what models predict and send us back to the “drawing board.” But not at the present time
" [4]


* Images;


 

References:

1-  http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/averages/
2-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_dimming
3-  http://www.skepticalscience.com/satellite-measurements-warming-troposphere.htm
4-  http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/08/the-tropical-lapse-rate-quandary/

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#31) On July 09, 2009 at 1:47 AM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

... (continuation) ....
"Here is another chart of the last 2000 years.
If one were to start the trend arbitrarily at 800 A.D., then the temperature has cooled by 0.5 degrees Celsius over the last 1200 years.  That would be a cooling trend.  If we start from the end of the Little Ice Age around 1700 A.D., the temperature has cooled 0.7 degrees."

Well, the thermometer record only goes back to the 19th century. Going deeper into the past requires the uses of climate proxies [1, 2] and so we enter to paleoclimatology. The climate reconstructions [3, 4] show that the present warming trend is unprecedented for the past millennium, surpassing even the Medieval Climate Optimum [5]




"What if we go back 300,000 years looking at temperature and CO2 levels?
We see two cycles with exactly the same spikes we see today, which are then followed by progressively cooler temperatures.
Are those spikes also caused by man made economic activity? How are those explained away?
"
* SkepticalScience
"Does temperature rise cause CO2 rise or the other way around? A common misconception is that you can only have one or the other. In actuality, the answer is both.
Milankovitch cycles - how increased temperature causes CO2 rise
Looking over past climate change, scientists have observed a cycle of ice ages separated by brief warm periods called interglacials. This pattern is due to Milankovitch cycles - gradual, regular changes in the earth's orbit and axis. While there are several different cycles, the dominant climate signal is the 100,000 year eccentricity cycle as the Earth's orbit changes from a more circular to a more elliptical orbit (Petit 1999, Shackleton 2000).
The eccentricity cycle causes changes in insolation (incoming sunlight). When springtime insolation increases in the southern hemisphere, this coincides with rising temperatures in the south, retreating Antarctic sea ice and melting glaciers in the southern hemisphere (Shemesh 2002). As temperature rises, CO2 also rises but lags the warming by 800 to 1000 years (Monnin 2001, Caillon 2003, Stott 2007)."



"How does warming cause a rise in atmospheric CO2? As the oceans warm, the solubility of CO2 in water falls (Martin 2005). This causes the oceans to give up more CO2, emitting it into the atmosphere. The exact mechanism of how the deep ocean gives up its CO2 is not fully understood but believed to be related to vertical ocean mixing (Toggweiler 1999)"
[6]
So there you have it. The natural variability of the climate system (changes in solar isolation due to the Milankovitch cycles) causes warming and cooling. In the warming epoch, the oceans liberate stored CO2 to the atmosphere thus raising its concentration. In this way, CO2 acts as a feedback on the climate cycle which is not what we're seeing now. Currently, CO2 is acting as a force on the climate system and carrying it to a new dynamic equilibrium.

 

References:

1-  http://serc.carleton.edu/microbelife/topics/proxies/paleoclimate.html
2-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleothermometer
3-  http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/recons.html
4-  http://www.realclimate.org/wiki/index.php?title=The_hockey_stick_is_broken
5-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_Warm_Period
6-  http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-lags-temperature.htm

 

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#32) On July 09, 2009 at 1:58 AM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

... (continuation) ....
"So based on this evidence, I don't see any proof that global temperature is experiencing an unusual warming trend relative to historical patterns, either recent or ancient"

Based on this evidence, I see that the following claims are well supported by the weight of evidence:
- We've witnessed statistical significant warming on the past century and specially on the last climate cycle (30 years)
- This warming is unprecedented in at least the last millennium.
- The climate system has natural variability built-in with forcings and feedbacks.
- CO2 (a greenhouse gas) can act as a force or a feedback on the climate system.

What else do you want to know?
- The physics of the greenhouse effect [1, 2, 3]?
- How do we know that the excess CO2 comes from the burning of fossil fuels and not from, say, volcanoes [4, 5]?
- How high are the present levels of CO2 [6, 7, 8, 9]?
- Indirect measures of recent warming [10, 11, 12, 13, 14]?
- The predictive powers of AGW theory [15] and general circulation models (GCM) [16]?
- What does the IPCC [17] do?

 

References:

1-  http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/virtualmuseum/climatechange1/02_1.shtml
2-  http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/news/1726/venus-inferno-driven-greenhouse-effect
3-  http://chriscolose.wordpress.com/2008/03/10/physics-of-the-greenhouse-effect-pt-2/
4-  http://halgeranon.blogspot.com/2009/02/of-upward-slopes-and-isotopes.html
5-  http://halgeranon.blogspot.com/2009/04/of-upward-slopes-and-isotopes-2.html
6-  http://www.pnas.org/content/104/47/18866.abstract
7-  http://pubs.acs.org/cen/news/83/i48/8348notw1.html
8-  http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/antarctica/vostok/vostok_co2.html
9-  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5314592.stm
10- http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12394
11- http://www.scitizen.com/stories/Biodiversity/2007/03/Impacts-of-Climate-Change-on-the-European-Marine-and-Coastal-Environment/
12- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retreat_of_glaciers_since_1850
13- http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090220191837.htm
14- http://74.125.93.132/search?q=cache:lA0wG2vNdX4J:meteora.ucsd.edu/cap/lilac.pdf+early+onset+of+spring&cd=1&hl=es&ct=clnk&gl=ar
15- http://www.livescience.com/environment/070716_gw_notwrong.html
16- http://rabett.blogspot.com/2009/06/catastrophist-elizabeth-kolbert-has.html
17- http://www.ipcc.ch/ Report this comment
#33) On July 09, 2009 at 2:04 AM, tonylogan1 (28.24) wrote:

maybe imminent death would not be so bad...

although a nice ignore button sure would be nice...

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#34) On July 09, 2009 at 7:57 AM, whereaminow (23.28) wrote:

LOL, no I don't want an ignore button.  I want everybody to see that the only way the environmentalists can win the debate is by flooding people with so much information that it overwhelms the reader.

The funny thing about this is that Dr. Spencer's graph that I posted already includes the reconstructed formula and his datasets are available online for free if anyone wishes to re-check them.

Case closed.

David in Qatar

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#35) On July 09, 2009 at 8:42 AM, wrparks (64.20) wrote:

Statistically, there is definitely warming.  But, I come from a discipline of science where observations can be confirmed with experimental evidence, as opposed to climatology where the variables are too many, and the risks of randomized trials too great or they are technically impossible.  So, I find correlations and trends illustrative, but not convincing without experimental, statistically valid tests of hypotheses.  These may exist, but they never get brought up. 

Referencing post #30:  The charts at the bottom:  Global temperature & Surface and Sat temperature illustrate one of my qualms with the framing of the debate.  The charts frame of reference is too narrow in the second to determine anything, while the first one looks like a random fluctuation around the mean.  There is nothing convincing to me without longer time periods.  

Then, even worse is the Reconsturcted temperature graph in post 31 (the longer time periods mentiond above).  Note the non-standard, non-centered location of the zero point on the Y axis.  This graph is a blatant attempt at manipulation, since it forces the eye to see greater warming over the last 100 years, but upon examination, the warming is actually less since the scale is asymentrical. In fact, looking at the 1880-2000 range on the figure from post 30 and placing it on the 1000 year graph makes the dramatic increase shown on the small time frame graph to fit neatly into the normal fluctuation of the temperatures over the last 1000 years.

 These are my qualms with climatology.  I won't say the concensus is wrong, because most likely they are not.  The scientific underpinnings of the theory are sound.  It's when you try to make policy based on science that things go awry, and that is the point we are at now.  In order to make policy, you have to generate hysteria.  It appears to be working.

Just like Iraq, we are being told we must do something now, or the consequences will be horrible.  Something, anything, now!!!!!  Very seldom does anything good come of rushing to create a solution to a problem that we don't fully understand.  Like so many other mass hysteria episodes in history, I suspect this one too will pass, whether right or wrong, and life will continue and humans will adapt to whatever conditions we experience.  No doubt, thousands may starve and die.  But, thousands allready do that on a daily basis, and there has never been a solution to that.  If we lived in utopia, with everyone happy, change would be a bigger problem since it risks upsetting the balance.  But, millions already are miserable, and change may just shift the misery from one region to another.  Perhaps, it's our turn.

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#36) On July 09, 2009 at 3:13 PM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@whereaminow,
"I want everybody to see that the only way the environmentalists"
Ohh, the labeling began. Where did I state that I'm an environmentalist? Or you just called me an environmentalist because calling someone a liberal doesn't carry the same punch anymore? It seems that conservatives are running out of dirty words. The next time try to use pinko-ecofascist-marxist.

"win the debate is by flooding people with so much information that it overwhelms the reader."
I asked:
"First question: do you agree with the instrumental record (i.e. thermometers) that there's a statistical significant warming trend which goes as far as a century ago and that this trend has become strong in the last 30 years?"
And then you reframed the question jumping to satellite data, climate proxies, correlation between CO2 and temperature, consensus and such. Who is being dishonest here?
If you were honest you could have answered yes or no to my question with a brief explanation of why you agreed/disagreed. Then we would have debated about the quality of the instrumental record, its statistical significance, its correlation with other temperature records of the recent past. The next logical step would have been a basic introduction to climatology and the greenhouse effect.

"The funny thing about this is that Dr. Spencer's graph that I posted already includes the reconstructed formula"
Which, as I showed, doesn't disagree with the thermometer record: statistical significant warming has occurred.
On the other hand, we can cast doubt on the graphs and images posted on Roy Spencer's blog or even his scientific credibility which would be a pity since he's one of the few skeptics with credentials to show.

"his datasets are available online for free if anyone wishes to re-check them."
You can download and plot GISS data too.

"Case closed"
Ahh, the beauty of wishful thinking and subjective reality.
I have a picture of an UFO, this obviously proves that aliens do exist and the government is suppressing information.


@wrparks,
"Statistically, there is definitely warming.  But, I come from a discipline of science where observations can be confirmed with experimental evidence, as opposed to climatology where the variables are too many, and the risks of randomized trials too great or they are technically impossible.  So, I find correlations and trends illustrative, but not convincing without experimental, statistically valid tests of hypotheses.  These may exist, but they never get brought up."
Yes, science is uncertain and nuanced and climatology is no exception but there's a big difference between "there's a high likelihood that this is happening but we're not 100% sure" and "we don't/can't know anything so keep the party going on"
AGW was an interesting hypothesis back in the 70s. It had strong foundations on basic physics (the greenhouse effect) and we were observing Venus with its runaway warming which provided the first hint of experimental evidence on a planetary scale. But people said: "what are the predictions for Earth?" or "show me more physical evidence"
Climatologists made predictions backed by the basic physics and the first GCMs. Those predictions were correct:
"When Hansen began his modeling work, there were good theoretical reasons for believing that increasing CO2 levels would cause the world to warm, but little empirical evidence. Average global temperatures had risen in the nineteen thirties and forties; then they had declined in some regions, in the nineteen fifties and sixties. A few years into his project, Hansen concluded that a new pattern was about to emerge. In 1981, he became the director of GISS. In a paper published that year in Science, he forecast that the following decade would be unusually warm. (That turned out to be the case). In the same paper, he predicted that the nineteen nineties would be warmer still. (That also turned out to be true.) Finally he forecast that by the end of the twentieth century a global warming signal would emerge from the "noise" of natural climate variability. (This too proved to be correct.)
Later, Hansen became even more specific. In 1990, he bet a roomful of scientists that that year, or one of the following two, would be the warmest on record. (Within nine months, he had won the bet. ) In 1991, he predicted that, owing to the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, in the Philippines, average global temperatures would drop, and then, a few years later, recommence their upward climb, which was precisely what happened.

From early on, the significance of Hansen's insights was recognized by the scientific community. "The work that he did in the seventies, eighties and nineties was absolutely groundbreaking," Spencer Weart, a physicist turned historian who has studies the efforts to understand climate change told me. He added, "It does help to be right."
"I have a whole folder in my drawer labelled 'Canonical Papers,' Michael Oppenheimer, a climate scientist at Princeton, said. "About half of them are Jim's""


"Referencing post #30:  The charts at the bottom:  Global temperature & Surface and Sat temperature illustrate one of my qualms with the framing of the debate.  The charts frame of reference is too narrow in the second to determine anything, while the first one looks like a random fluctuation around the mean.  There is nothing convincing to me without longer time periods."
I agree, the satellite record is too short. Still, it already covers an entire climate cycle and it amazingly agrees with the thermometer record (with minor exceptions)
As for the uncertainties in the instrumental record: check.

"Then, even worse is the Reconsturcted temperature graph in post 31 (the longer time periods mentiond above).  Note the non-standard, non-centered location of the zero point on the Y axis.  This graph is a blatant attempt at manipulation, since it forces the eye to see greater warming over the last 100 years, but upon examination, the warming is actually less since the scale is asymentrical. In fact, looking at the 1880-2000 range on the figure from post 30 and placing it on the 1000 year graph makes the dramatic increase shown on the small time frame graph to fit neatly into the normal fluctuation of the temperatures over the last 1000 years."
Arguments over the statistical accuracy of the "hockey stick" have been addressed here, here and here. Or you can view a plethora of reconstructions and find faults in them.

"These are my qualms with climatology.  I won't say the concensus is wrong, because most likely they are not.  The scientific underpinnings of the theory are sound.  It's when you try to make policy based on science that things go awry, and that is the point we are at now.  In order to make policy, you have to generate hysteria.  It appears to be working."
The climate scientists are not the ones generating hysteria. However, there are valid reasons to generate hysteria.

"Just like Iraq, we are being told we must do something now, or the consequences will be horrible.  Something, anything, now!!!!!  Very seldom does anything good come of rushing to create a solution to a problem that we don't fully understand.  Like so many other mass hysteria episodes in history, I suspect this one too will pass, whether right or wrong, and life will continue and humans will adapt to whatever conditions we experience.  No doubt, thousands may starve and die.  But, thousands allready do that on a daily basis, and there has never been a solution to that.  If we lived in utopia, with everyone happy, change would be a bigger problem since it risks upsetting the balance.  But, millions already are miserable, and change may just shift the misery from one region to another.  Perhaps, it's our turn."
Aren't you being a little bit hyperbolic here?
Nobody has ever said that global warming is the only problem the world faces. But it has the peculiarity that it compounds already existing problems (tropical diseases, food security, water security) We don't need Utopia to solve climate change, just sensible policy. Also, who told you that solving AGW can't also solve other problems?

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#37) On July 09, 2009 at 3:39 PM, whereaminow (23.28) wrote:

lucas1985

You're right that I'm too harsh in dismissing you, but I asked you to explain it to me without posting to 20 links that I can't possibly follow up on, and you couldn't do it.

If I have the time, and it will be a while, I will attempt to follow up on every item that you have posted here.  It's not that your views are unimportant to me, but I have to prioritize.  I wanted a simple discussion that could be easily understood.  This is obviously not one.

David in Qatar

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#38) On July 09, 2009 at 4:56 PM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@whereaminow,
"I asked you to explain it to me without posting to 20 links that I can't possibly follow up on, and you couldn't do it."
Post #30 deals entirely with the recent temperature record. It contains only 2 graphs which show:
- The entire thermometers record.
- The correlation between instrumental record and satellite data with trend fitting.
It also contains only 4 links which explain:
- What climate is and how it's different from weather.
- One of the reasons (there are others) that explain why GW is not observed as a constantly upward trend.
- The "apparent" disconnections between satellites, radiosondes and thermometers.

"It's not that your views are unimportant to me, but I have to prioritize."
Those are not my views since I'm not a climate scientist. However I'm in agreement with them because:
- I trust scientists.
- I understand how science it's done.
- I have the necessary knowledge to understand most of the evidence.

"I wanted a simple discussion that could be easily understood.  This is obviously not one."
It really is simple. It gets messy only when you go very very deep (principal component analysis, model parameterizations, high order physics)
You could draw a conceptual map to see the relationship between lines of evidence:
- Warming, is it happening? > Instrumental and satellite record.
- Can we observe a warmer world? > Indirect measures of warming such as glaciers, wildlife, shifting weather patterns, etc.
- Warming in context, is this warming common in Earth's history? > Paleoclimatology and climate reconstructions.
- The physical basis, how the climate system works? > Solar variability, the oceans as buffers of the system, the greenhouse effect, the energy budget, forcings and feedbacks, dynamic equilibrium.
- Finding correlations between the physics and the observations, what's the most likely explanation for the observed warming? > An enhanced greenhouse effect fits neatly with observations.
- Why we have an enhanced greenhouse effect? > Measures of the concentration of greenhouse gases, specially CO2.
- Where does this excess CO2 comes from? > Measures of carbon isotopes and oxygen depletion.
- Putting all together, what are the predictions? AGW theory and GCMs explain neatly the GW fact and the experimental data.

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#39) On July 09, 2009 at 5:02 PM, ElCid16 (97.11) wrote:

I’m surprised that the blog author has become so frustrated with someone who is actually trying to make this an ad hominem argument.  Many blog comments are relatively worthless and don’t generate the thought or the time that lucas has put into this.  I don’t think that by adding references to his argument, or using ample data, lucas is making this more difficult to understand, only more credible.

From the original blog:

“5. The blog author excuses himself since it's obvious that none of the participants actually understands the evidence on either side, and any semblance of rational discussion left the building a long time ago.”

It seems to me that lucas definitely understands the evidence.

It’s not fun to lose a debate.  But it’s not cool to bail out claiming that you don’t have the time to rebut – especially when you wrote the blog.

Sorry if this seems harsh.  I was just enjoying the blog and comments, and was upset to see it end.

 

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#40) On July 09, 2009 at 5:50 PM, whereaminow (23.28) wrote:

dkilgour16,

If you have followed my work, you would know that lucas1985 does this on every post I have, regardless of the topic.  

Since he doesn't have a blog of his own, never makes stock picks, and spends 90% of his time on CAPS posting 20 paragraph comments on my blogs, it gets old.

I'll take his links into consideration this time, but that's only because he actually directly addressed something I posted this time.  It actually surprised me :)

David in Qatar

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#41) On July 09, 2009 at 6:20 PM, wrparks (64.20) wrote:

Lucas, do you actually work in science?  Your comment "I trust scientists", makes me wonder.  Science is seldom neat and tidy the way the public is taught it is.  It's messy, dirty, and contentious.  Understanding how science works in theory is completely different than in practice, since scientists are people.  And this has nothing to do with climatologists, vs chemists vs ......

AGW is a compelling story, since the lines of cause and effect are relatively clearly outlined.  The problem is that it is inherently untestable, due to the large number of variables (note that this is different from unconfirmable). 

Models only take us so far.  In climatology, the models are so complex that simiilations are typically limited to short runs due to computer limitations.  My analyses typically last 3 months for a complex data run, and I run about 10 million simulations in that time.  The difference is in the number of paramaters to be estimated.  More parameters make stronger conclusions (or smaller error), but take infinitely longer to complete the simulation.  Climate has many more paramaters in the model than my systems, and typically, in my estimates with millions of simulations, the margins of error are greater than the parameter estimates.  (Trust me, it's never pretty...)

Do I trust my results, while hedging my conclusions?  Yes, but they are not world altering, and if I'm wrong, it would be a footnote in an academic journal (if it were noticed at all).  This debate is world altering, in consequences and costs.  Sticking your head in the sand is foolish, but rushing to "save the world" is equally so.

Earlier you accused me of being hyperbolic.  I agree, I was hyperbolic.  But, the entire debate is about hyperbole, since both sides have an agenda.  You have to admit, those who are the biggest champions of AGW are typically more authoritarian (or nanny state, if you prefer) on economic and social issues. AGW also fits neatly into their political idealogy.  In the same way, the status quo fits neatly into the conservative idealogy.  Both sides have conflicts of interest which are irreconcileable, making them prone to presenting worst case scenarious as if they are also the most likely ones.  That's how politics works, and any solution to the problem must be political. 

I'd go further, but it's suppertime.

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#42) On July 09, 2009 at 7:34 PM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@whereaminow,
"If you have followed my work, you would know that lucas1985 does this on every post I have, regardless of the topic."
That's a half-truth. I do fact-checking on your blog entries fairly often but not every time.

"Since he doesn't have a blog of his own"
Are you saying that my comments would be more trustworthy if I had a blog? Where's the logic in that?

"never makes stock picks"
I'm not interested in the CAPS game but I do read some of the investing blogs hosted here. I'm fairly new to the investing world (6 years).
Again, are you saying that my opinions would be more interesting if I publish a DCF of a stock?

"and spends 90% of his time on CAPS posting 20 paragraph comments on my blogs, it gets old."
Since my English is rather rusty I think that some of my comments are longer than they should be. However, I want to convey my ideas with enough precision, good sources and a wide perspective.


@wrparks,
"Lucas, do you actually work in science?"  
Actually I work in science indirectly, check here (Spanish). I also do a bit of journalism.

"Your comment "I trust scientists", makes me wonder.""
How about this:
I trust the self-correcting power of science so I trust the work of scientists.

"It's messy, dirty, and contentious.  Understanding how science works in theory is completely different than in practice, since scientists are people."
I'm pretty much agree with this assertion. Science isn't value-free and scientists aren't amoral beings.

"AGW is a compelling story, since the lines of cause and effect are relatively clearly outlined.  The problem is that it is inherently untestable, due to the large number of variables (note that this is different from unconfirmable)."
Yep, we can't make a planetary-scale experiment to validate AGW. However, climatologists have a good grasp on the dynamics of the climate system thanks to chaos theory.

"Models only take us so far.  In climatology, the models are so complex that simulation are typically limited to short runs due to computer limitations.  My analyses typically last 3 months for a complex data run, and I run about 10 million simulations in that time.  The difference is in the number of paramaters to be estimated.  More parameters make stronger conclusions (or smaller error), but take infinitely longer to complete the simulation.  Climate has many more paramaters in the model than my systems, and typically, in my estimates with millions of simulations, the margins of error are greater than the parameter estimates.  (Trust me, it's never pretty...)"
Yep, numerical modeling has its limits. This is acknowledged by climate modelers. Even with the limits inherent in modeling, GCMs provide high confidence margins
"Climate models successfully reproduce the main features of the current climate (e.g. rainfall in the map below), the temperature changes over the last 100 years, the Holocene (6,000 years ago) and Last Glacial Maximum (21,000 years ago).
Current models enable us to attribute the causes of past climate change, and predict the main features of the future climate, with a high degree of confidence. We now need to develop the models to provide more regional detail of the impacts of climate change, and a more complete analysis of extreme events."


"Do I trust my results, while hedging my conclusions?  Yes, but they are not world altering, and if I'm wrong, it would be a footnote in an academic journal (if it were noticed at all)."
That's the correct approach. Show your confidence intervals, preserve nuance, hedge your bets, be sincene about "Black Swans"

"This debate is world altering, in consequences and costs."
There's a body of scholarship dealing with the intersection between economics and climate. Check here.
As you said, the consequences of AGW may be world altering even to the point of threatening civilization. That's why the "wait and see" approach can not be tolerated. We have to manage risk.

"But, the entire debate is about hyperbole, since both sides have an agenda."
That's why scientists cringe at the thought of political action. This (the involvement in communication, policy-making and activism) is a huge problem for science.

"You have to admit, those who are the biggest champions of AGW are typically more authoritarian (or nanny state, if you prefer) on economic and social issues. AGW also fits neatly into their political idealogy."
Yep, AGW is a big weapon for progressives (I'm one) and environmentalists. That said, the movement of environmentalism (which is not a rigid world-view) has progressed with the bases on facts. You can't say the same of conservatives.

"Both sides have conflicts of interest which are irreconcileable, making them prone to presenting worst case scenarious as if they are also the most likely ones."
The appeal to fear is used often in AGW policy-making.

"That's how politics works, and any solution to the problem must be political."
I agree. But these days politics can be described as looking like gridlocks. It's clear that the political system needs serious reform.

"I'd go further, but it's suppertime."
You're more than welcome.

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#43) On July 10, 2009 at 2:24 PM, whereaminow (23.28) wrote:

I found this and I think it's very appopriate to our discussion.

This is Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman:

What bothers me is that Feynman might be right, and that Progressives are using their science, which they refuse to attempt to empirically falsify, as a weapon to change the world as they see fit rather than as a search for scientific laws.

Yep, AGW is a big weapon for progressives (I'm one) and environmentalists.  - Lucas1985

I have a lot to think about.

David in Qatar

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#44) On July 10, 2009 at 3:28 PM, tonylogan1 (28.24) wrote:

great video david

 

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#45) On July 10, 2009 at 5:50 PM, angusthermopylae (39.93) wrote:

David,

I wish I could rec again because of that video!

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#46) On July 13, 2009 at 3:08 AM, jester112358 (28.88) wrote:

Great post, as always, David.  As a working research physical scientist, I agree with wrparks remarks regarding the significant uncertainty regarding global warming.  It is most likely we are in a natural long term warming cycle and that CO2 increases are a correlation, not a cause.  As pointed out, CO2 solubility decreases due to warming, and usually is a lagging indicator.   The current warming shown in one of the graphs above is due to  an increased solar flux and associated changes (natural precession) in tilt angle of the earth's axis.  The decreased angle of tilt, for example, significantly affects the amount of irradiance at the poles and thus magnifies ice melting observations.  Such periodic melting and freezing cycles are a natural part of earth climate change and as much as we humans egos don't like to admit it we can't control it.  One major volanic eruption,  and we'd likely see a mean global cooling of as much as 5-10 o in a decade!  (The putative cause of Europes mini ice age shown in one of the above T graphs)  This should be a much more significant worry-though again even politicians don't think they can control volanic activity via "cap and trade"! 

 One thing I'd like to add.  The satellite data (uncorrected) shows no change in global mean temperatures in the last two decades.  The thermometry data has been "back corrected" by systematically reducing temperatures in the earlier periods while increasing those obtained in the last two decades.  No satisfactory explanation for this correction has been given.  It is very suspecious!

 As an expert in non-linear dynamics and chaos I can say that any "theory" based upon these ideas which attempts to predict a final state fails to understand the most elementary aspect of a non-linear set of coupled equations:  namely, a very small change or perturbation in the initial parameters can have a enormous effect on the final state.  Hence, the famous quip regarding the effect of a butterfly flapping its wings on a cyclone in the midwest.  (Interesting, the other unpredictable system we CAPS members are always trying to predict, the capital markets, shares this non-linear behavior with the climate).  Both a fundamentally unpredictable because of their chaotic behavior.  

 Finally, I'd like to point out that journals like Nature and Science have the most politically influenced peer review imaginable.  The purpose of publication in such journals is to impress program managers and increase research funding.  This has a huge influence on scientific consensus-if you want the research $ to continue to flow you try to draw as much attention to yourself as possible.

 At the turn of the century the scientific consensus (perhaps 99% of all scientists) was that Newtonian mechanics was a fully refined, developed theory requiring no additions.  And then came a series of major problems leading to quantum mechanics and special and general relativity.  Scientific concensus is most often a contra-indicator-and the reason good scientists like Richard Feynmann are very skeptical.  Politicians, on the the other hand, are idiots and should butt out (Just my libertarian bias).

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