Comments

  1. Charles Martel says

    Book, I wouldn’t pay abc that much mind. If he were to duke it out with you in real time, bereft of his beloved citations, you just know he’d be wearing his brown pants.

  2. says

    Bookworm: I thought Evan Sayet’s column on being a climate change skeptic was a good rebuttal to abc’s claim that I am an intellectual troglodyte, corrupting my child.

    Nothing Sayet said, most of which was scientifically irrelevant, undermines the strong scientific support for anthropogenic global warming. 

    This NOAA chart might help clarify matters. It shows data from a variety of sources, including satellite, balloon and ground-based instrumentation. 
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/globalwarming/ar4-fig-3-17.gif

    In particular, note that the lower troposphere is warming, as is the surface. Meanwhile, the stratosphere is cooling, the *signature* of greenhouse warming.

    Don’t worry about your child. If you love her, and are honest with her, she’ll remember that above all else (and that her mother is a bit eccentric ;) ). 

     

  3. Allen says

    Bookworm, I would suggest your daughter might have a potential for science. First, doubt is a prerequisite. Second, the doubt about the status quo is absolutely essential. Problem solving is the third leg of the stool.

    Have you considered Caltech? Or, at least one of the School of Mines? None of them do speculative knowledge.

  4. says

    I lost faith in man made-up global warming when I recalled the science class project I had to do in the 8th grade back in 1968 when the big scare was man made-up global cooling. More recently the argument fell apart when climate scientists admitted that when the temperatures didn’t fit the model or were unavailable, they would just make them up out of whole cloth.

    Claims of the all time hottest this or coldest that also added to my skepticism when I learned the records extended as far back as 1972, the year I graduated high school. My personal recollection of temps went back farther than that. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the hundreds of weather/climate stations across some of the coldest sections of Earth were shut down. Currently, there is not a single weather/climate data collection station north of the 80th parallel.

    When I was a kid, we had a big swimming pool and I would measure the summer temperatures daily. We also had a freezer full of meat, vegetables, and ice cream, but no thermometer inside. By my pool area temp readings alone the fried earthers would claim everything in the freezer was melted without ever looking inside. It’s like that joke about the drunk who dropped his keys late at night. He was diligently searching under a lightpole when a policeman asked where he’d lost the keys and the drunk points to a dark place. The cop asks why he’s looking under the lightpole and the drunk says, “Because there’s no light over there.” Why would anyone want to measure temperatures in the coldest regions of the planet when it’s so much nicer on Hawaiian beaches?

    http://www.energytribune.com//articles.cfm/6440/Is-It-Really-The-Warmest-Ever?

  5. JKB says

    I am just reading William Rosen’s ‘The Most Powerful Idea in the World.”  Promoted as about the invention of the steam engine, which it is, it is also much more.  The most powerful idea was that people could own their ideas and profit from them.  The steam engine, the whole industrial revolution, was driven by the simple idea that a person can profit from their ideas.  Without patents, the innovations would have been slow in coming if ever.

    Rosen states, “But scientific understanding didn’t progress by looking for truth; it did so by looking for mistakes.” 

    Science doesn’t progress by dialectic reasoning, nor consensus or appeals to “peer review.”  Science progresses by empirical testing and spirited competition where others seek to find the mistake or disprove the work in an open, transparent environment.

    More and more, I come back to what Bruce Schneier says about cryptography, Anyone can devise an encryption they can break.  What is hard is devising one, no one can break.  

    And of the story of the truck stuck in a tunnel with the fire department, the police, everyone trying to figure out how to extract it.  And excavation is obviously required.  A small boy rides up on his bike to see about the commotion.  Learning of the extraction problem, he asks, why not just let the air out of the tires? 

    The same goes for climate theory, it is easy for them to arrive at predictions they can’t see the flaws in.  Unfortunately, there seems to be a concerted effort to ensure no one lets the air out of their bubble.

  6. says

    Indigo Red: I lost faith in man made-up global warming when I recalled the science class project I had to do in the 8th grade back in 1968 when the big scare was man made-up global cooling. 

    It has nothing to do with faith, but data. Global cooling was caused by human-made aerosols, however, scientists quickly concluded that this effect would be overwhelmed by warming from the greenhouse effect. And this was back in the 1960’s. Climate science has advanced considerably since then. 

    Indigo Red: Currently, there is not a single weather/climate data collection station north of the 80th parallel.

    http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/gallery_np.html

  7. abc says

    Book,

    Evan Sayet makes a ton of misstatements in this article, many of which Z or I have debunked elsewhere.  Like all good warming skeptics, he doesn’t supply any authoritative sourcing and relies on this lack of support (not to mention his lack of scientific literacy) to make those many misstatements throughout the piece.  If he were a doctor or a lawyer, he’d be barred from his profession for this.  But since he is a non-expert, we should ignore the misstatements and just agree that he is ignorant about the issue.  And he does say as much in the piece, by noting that we laypersons need to rely on the experts. 

    But here’s the problem:  when 97% of experts in a subject area publish articles saying that AGW is real and a real risk, then that should be enough consensus to take action.  Afterall, if 97% of oncologists tell you to take Rituxan if you have certain markers in your blood signalling lymphoma, I will bet my house that you will follow that 97%.  But you, and apparently Sayet, do not follow that consensus when it comes to AGW.  And his article doesn’t really intelligently explain why.  If he admits that laypeople have to rely on experts, then he cannot go on and make a bunch of silly comments (that only non-experts believe) as though he is on the level with an expert and can speak authoritatively on the subject.  His argument fails, and so has that of every other skeptic here.  At the very least, Sayet, you or some other skeptic here ought to explain why you’ll take the Rituxan, as the vast majority of oncologists would advise, but you will not even admit that AGW is real and a real risk despite 97% of publishing climate experts have concluded.  I have been waiting days to hear an explanation for this hypocrisy.  And I continue to wait.  Sayet certainly hasn’t explained it, and I will not be holding my breath.

    Allen,

    Your comments about science are valid.  But it is the scientists studying global warming that are doing those things and showing those characteristics, while the skeptics are NOT following scientific method but merely insisting regardless of the facts and empirical analysis and quantitiative modelling that there is not a problem.  And merely examining the lack of empirical support supplied by the vast majority of skeptics cited here is clear proof of this.

    Also, you are correct that Caltech is a fine scientific institution of higher learning.  I happen to personally know one of the leading climate researchers there, and he is very concerned about global warming and dismayed at the lack of understanding and ignorance on the research amongst laypeople.  As a tenured professor there, he doesn’t do “speculative knowledge,” as you put it.  So I will accept your endorsement of the school and go with his reading of the facts over yours, Books, Sayet’s or any other skeptic that has blogged on this site. Fair enough??

  8. BrianE says

    Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up!

    “What may be the science story of the century is breaking this evening, as heavyweight US solar physicists announce that the Sun appears to be headed into a lengthy spell of low activity, which could mean that the Earth – far from facing a global warming problem – is actually headed into a mini Ice Age.”

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/14/ice_age/

  9. Charles Martel says

    “Also, you are correct that Caltech is a fine scientific institution of higher learning.  I happen to personally know one of the leading climate researchers there, and he is very concerned about global warming and dismayed at the lack of understanding and ignorance on the research amongst laypeople.” 

    The kid simply cannot go two threads without name dropping.

    Pathetic.

  10. Charles Martel says

    BrianE, this is terrible news! If the earth starts cooling, what will happen to the AGW industry? Thousands will be out of grants and work! The Goracle will have to recant without a Catholic inquisitor to make him!

    “You cursed brats! Look what you’ve done! We’re freezing, freezing! Oh, what a world ! What a world! Who would have thought good little physicists like you could destroy my perfect AGW!”

  11. says

    BrianE: Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up!

    The article suggests overall global cooling by linking information about the history of the previous Maunder Minimum with the recent findings. However, the results are quite the contrary. 

    “The current solar minimum has been so long and deep, it prompted some scientists to speculate that the sun might enter a long period with no sunspot activity at all, akin to the Maunder Minimum of the 17th century. This new result dispells those concerns.”
    http://science1.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2009/17jun_jetstream/
      
    Charles Martel
    : BrianE, this is terrible news! If the earth starts cooling, what will happen to the AGW industry?

    Climatologists have already projected that the effect will be minimal over the next century.
    http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2011/06/new-ice-age-dont-count-on-it.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news
     
    The Earth could also experience a supervolcano, which would cool the Earth temporarily. But over the long run, greenhouse gases will continue to warm the surface.
     

  12. BrianE says

    Zachriel, rather than dismissing this possibility, I would think those in the AGW camp that subscribe to the high end of the IPCC estimates would be praying we are entering a Maunder Minimum.

    Otherwise we’re doomed.

  13. says

    BrianE: Zachriel, rather than dismissing this possibility, I would think those in the AGW camp that subscribe to the high end of the IPCC estimates would be praying we are entering a Maunder Minimum.

    A prolonged solar cooling would certainly mitigate the problem over the short term, but the Sun would probably return to its normal cycle at some point. The problem would only be delayed, and the change would then be even more sudden, unless people used the interim to take effective actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, the point is probably academic as the expected solar cooling is not enough to make a large enough difference.

    By the way, you seem to be accepting of the so-called experts in their predictions about the complex behavior of what is essentially the Sun’s climate. Why is that?

  14. Mike Devx says

    Z-Team @ 14 : By the way, you seem to be accepting of the so-called experts in their predictions about the complex behavior of what is essentially the Sun’s climate. Why is that?

    Didn’t you know, Zach?  We all secretly work for Shell Oil.

  15. BrianE says

    By the way, you seem to be accepting of the so-called experts in their predictions about the complex behavior of what is essentially the Sun’s climate. Why is that?- Zachriel

    Because it’s a slow day at work.

    Personally, I would like it to be 4° warmer where I live. I’ve considered moving south, but this way I wouldn’t need to. I’m getting tired of the winters.

    Seriously, AGW might be correct. Call me a skeptic. If by 2020 we’ve seen the predictions substantiated, I’ll move to the convinced camp. I have no problem moving to nuclear as a hedge– but when you have greenies arguing against large hydro (which offers the lowest cost power) because it competes with their favorite renewable (in this case wind) it’s hard to take seriously.

    California has 7,000 Mw of potential hydro in-state that is being ignored since large hydro isn’t considered renewable. That makes me suspect the warmists aren’t serious about solving the problem, but more interested in turning the clock back 100 years.

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