Help wanted to understand a climate change post

I’ve been skeptical of climate change because (a) I think Al Gore’s an idiot; (b) the climate changers see everything in terms of climate change, which is nonsensical; (c) the Climate Gate emails indicated fraud and information suppression to advance the climate change narrative, suggesting that the actual facts do not advance that narrative; and (d) the manifest goal of those backing climate change is to transfer wealth from America to other nations and to downgrade the American standard of living.  I therefore wholeheartedly believe blogs such as Watts Up With That? when they put up posts challenging the climate change narrative.

The problem for me is that I’m not well-versed in science, and can easily be led down the primrose path.  So, while I have practical and ideological reasons for rejecting climate change, I can’t boast that I understand science well enough to add scientific reasons to my skeptical stance.

This gets me to the crux of this post.  One of my liberal Facebook friends, writing with a big “A-ha!”, linked to a blog post that claims to prove that climate change skeptics are cherry-picking data and are scientifically ignorant.  Since I’ve already admitted to scientific ignorance, I’m as incapable of analyzing this post, with which I disagree on principle, as I am of analyzing the Watts Up With That posts, with which I agree on principle.

So here’s the help I need from you:  Do those of you with better scientific chops than I have (that would be just about everyone) have any opinion on the relative merits of the post contending that climate change skeptics are arguing out of their rear orifice?

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  • jj

    I don’t think there’s much doubt that the climate is indeed changing – that’s what the climate does, and has been doing as a matter of cosmic routine since the atmosphere showed up.  Is the earth warming?  Yes, it is – and has been doing so steadily, for thousands of years since the last Ice Age departed – otherwise it wouldn’t have departed.  Change is the norm, change is what the climate does.
     
    The problem comes when we – some of us – take this perfectly observable change and decide that it’s (a) a problem, and (b) someone’s ‘fault.’  There is no ‘fault’ involved, the climatic is indeed changing, and it always has: that’s what it does, over time.
     
    And that’s the science: the climate changes.

  • http://furtheradventuresofindigored.blogspot.com/ Indigo Red

    Another good source is Kevin Hashemi’s blog Home Climate Analysis. His latest post from Ap4 is a conclusion of data and posts collected and presented since 2009. He goes into all kinds of tricks and data substitutions used by Warmers did goose their position such as using tree ring data before 1960, then without warning, changing to mechanical data collection after 1960 yet continuing to combine to two data sets. In 1972 earth orbit satellite data is added to that same mix diluting scientific veracity even further. 

    I like maps and Hasemi provides many maps. One in particular shows the distribution of weather stations from 1800 – 2000 and the decade they were operational. Weather stations, being largely a European interest, were found in the northern latitudes until the 1860s-80s when stations began going south into the tropical regions. Currently, the number of earth bound weather stations are in the moderate to hot temperature zones and almost none in the colder and polar regions.  http://www.hashemifamily.com/Kevan/Climate/Stations.gif 

    Also pointed out is the disappearance of earth bound stations since the 1970s when NASA started putting up satellites. Station disuse accelerated with the collapse of the USSR as the new countries were not in a position to maintain weather records and new state security. Many of the continuing stations that had been in rural areas when first placed are now in urban setting that produce their heat. There are photos of stations that are now adjacent to air conditioning exhausts, in the middle of blacktop asphalt parking lots, and one in the US is located at the tail end of jet engines as they sit idling before takeoff.

    Although the mercury thermometer was invented centuries ago, there was no way to calibrate them on an international scale and had +/- tolerances of several degrees F. With the addition of Celsius, things get even more confused and people today quote temperatures as rising by 1 or 2 degrees F when in fact it’s C, or vice versa. The same is true with sea levels being quoted as inches or centimeters when the numbers being used are the actually the other measure as if inches and centimeters are the same thing. We are not all using the same reference frame, but argue as if we are.

    Islands, it has been claimed, are sinking into the ocean. Kiribati Islanders have considered moving because there home sinking into the rising Pacific Ocean, however, the Warmers never bothered to include the fact the islanders had been mining away the mineral rich island for decades which might be causing the island to collapse in on itself. Islands sometimes do get smaller as the island of Britain did recently when a big chunk of the White Cliffs of Dover fell into the channel.

    One of the biggest problems in the debate is the word “ever.” An example is this past March is now being described as the warmest March ever when no one actually knows because the data only goes back 40 years and the data sets have been manipulated to suit whomever is doing the analysis or didn’t account for variables unknown then but known now. When Warmists say some thing is the hottest or coldest ever, they are not able to pin down the actual time frame for the measurements. They seem to assume that all people at all past times had the same equipment for recording climate and weather.

    Another is a problem NASA is beginning to realize – Earth doesn’t have “a” climate, it has weather while climate is highly localized because of geography. So we aren’t even talking about the same things when we debate Global Climate Change. Since the 1970s, NASA has been placing weather satellites in orbit and people have been using the data sets to prove Earth is warming. What NASA doesn’t make clear is that the measurements are not calibrated in any way with surface base thermometers. Instead they use their own on-board platinum thermometers calibrated to a lab reference reading before launch. Again, we’re not even talking the same language. 

    Dr Roy Spencer also has a good climate blog. He’s a climatologist and former NASA engineer. His data show that current weather variations are more a result of climate cycles than anything else.

  • http://furtheradventuresofindigored.blogspot.com/ Indigo Red

    Besides, Al Gore predicted New York City would be under water by 2012. It’s now 2012 and no flooding. Al Gore is an idiot.

  • Mike Devx

    No, it is NOT cherry picking. The year 1998 is chosen because it matches the sunspot cycle’s turning point. It was not chosen because it was an unusually warm year.  Yet I would cede the point anyway, since 1998 *was* an outlier year on warm temps statistically. The proper scientific argument relating to sunspots is to show a correlation THROUGH several cycles of sunspot activity, not just examine the latest Maunder minimum which began in 1998.  You’d rather correlate across several cycles of up-and-down activity; it is simply a much stronger scientific argument.

    In addition, the author of that post relies on GISS data to plot her graph points indicating that the earth *has* been warming from 2001-2009. The problem is that GISS data has been ‘remodeled’ – it’s not core data, it’s manipulated data. That very manipulation is what many skeptics call into question.

    Finally, the author retreats to the old 1880-2000 graph on world-wide temperatures.  If you looked at that graph, how much warming do you think would occur in the next 100 years?  Yet even the most alarmist of global warming-ists predict only a 2 degree rise in temps, at worst.  That graph is a plot of world-wide temperatures.  First, how could they possibly have a consistent set of world-wide data from the frickin’ year 1880!?!?!  The very idea is ludicrous.  They are manipulating data and extrapolating data points and doing all kinds of ‘merges’ of various plots; tree rings vs ice core samples vs this vs that… and it’s nothing more than another of their “models”.  But in this case, since it is set in the past, they’re claiming it to be truth but it is NOT truth.  It is in fact just another one of their models.

    Yet there is a core of truth to the author’s argument.  If the science truly were open and shut in either direction, there would be no debate.  The case would be closed, and it is not closed.  

    THEIR problem is that they want to spend trillions upon trillions of taxpayer dollars – seized from YOUR wallets – to combat a problem they have not, and cannot, prove.

    Therefore the burden of proof is on them.  Not on anyone else.  There is no burden of proof on anyone to prove them wrong; they must prove themselves right. To justify the seizure of all that taxpayer money from your wallets, THEY must prove THEIR case.   Do not let them get away with saying you have to prove yourself.

  • Mark

    You don’t have to read the post to understand it Bookworm. The author is either lying, or an idiot. Or probably both, being a leftist and all. He starts with a false premise: deniers say that it’s been cooling since 1998. That’s a big fat lie, because deniers say that it hasn’t been warming since 1998. Which is weird, because warmists have predicted that warming would continue to unsustainable levels. But that hasn’t happened, temperature has remained the roughly the same since 1998. Which is weird, because CO2 levels have increased, and CO2 is supposed to cause warming.

    So the conclusion is, as always: lefties are a bunch of crazy evil lying freaks, and a rational discussion is not possible with them. They can only be riduculed. They ARE crazy after all ;-)

  • Mark

    You don’t have to have any knowledge of science to know that one variable (CO2) cannot possibly control something as complex as the climate of an entire planet. Leftists are the dumbest people in the history of mankind, there’s no other way to put it. 

  • MorowbieJukes

    As Mikedevx noted, the GISS temperature data is compromised in many ways, and always compromised to indicate warming.  Anthony Watts has covered extensively the problems with the GISS temperature data measured from surface stations.
     
    There is a more reliable data set, atmospheric temperature readings from satellites, which started in 1979.  These temperatures actually show a slight decrease in atmospheric temperature over this time period.  To the best of my knowledge these satellites are not owned and operated by oil companies.  Also, I assume that if the globe is warming, the atmosphere would be too as well.
     
    The highest temperature recorded in the United States was around 134 degees F in 1913 in Death Valley and is still the record.  If the world was getting hotter, this reading on the extreme right edge of the bell curve would have fallen long ago as the mean of the curve shifted upward.  Remember, this is the hottest it’s been in 2000 years (Per Michael Mann and his criminally fraudulent ‘hockey stick’).
     
    The “warmists” fundamentally argue that the Earth’s environment is an ‘under-damped’ system, i.e., that tiny perturbations, in this case CO2,  cause very large changes in the climate.  The Earth has sustained massive perturbations in its past including things like VEI 7 and super-volcano eruptions, and once the dust has literally settled, the climate returns to its norm of that period.  Several VEI 7 eruptions would put more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in an instant that all of CO2 produced by all of mankind during his entire existence on Earth and yet the Earth hasn’t turned into Venus.  So the Earth, per God’s design, is actually an over-damped system that has permitted life to survive and flourish these past billion years or so despite these large perturbations.  (Interestingly, those perturbing events that seem to cause very large changes over a longer period are celestial in origin;  relatively close supernovae, the sun’s magnetosphere, large-object impacts)
     
     
     
     
     
     

  • Mark

    The left has been using fake science for a 100 years to advance their ideology. Which is logical, Karl Marx was a university professor after all. Universities and science is the origin of the left. That’s where all their ideas come from. Some other evil leftist who have caused massive harm to mankind: 
    1. John Maynard Keynes (the theory of government spending – see Obama and his spending)
    2. Charles Darwin (evolution is caused by natural selection – man is nothing but an animal)
    3. Jean Jacques Rousseau (the theory of the noble savage – see Avatar) 
    4. The Frankfurter school guys (critical theory, cultural Marxism, political correctness)
    5. Global warming fraud (CO2 causes global warming – quick let’s form a global socislist government) 

  • expat

    Book,
    I’m like you regarding the science: It is so complex that I’d have to spend all my time just to begin to get a grasp on it. There are many points raised, however, that make me think skepsis is warranted. Where I feel more secure is in finding most of the schemes advocated to prevent catastrophe to be pure BS. I support research into alternative energy sources. I support more efficient use of energy where possible, in the old fashioned sense of waste not, want not. But I won’t be bullied by a bunch of idiots to do things that make no sense. I don’t want to be forced to adapt unproven new technologies at great cost. And I won’t be told how much TP I need to clean my bottom. I don’t feel any need to debate temperature curves when I know for sure that high-speed rail will never meet the transportation needs in the Dakotas or the mountains of West Virginia. We don’t have to take on the whole AGW movement: we just have to point out its foolishness in areas we do know something about.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    To those who said that there’s a difference between AGW and climate change — thank you! I knew that, and that’s one of the most important points there is in this debate. Earth’s climate has been changing, sometimes aggressively so, since the day the earth came into being. The question is whether human activity changes it.

    To those of you who have noted that one can’t help but be suspicious of the “science” considering that all the solutions just “coincidentally” match perfectly with socialist goals going back decades — I agree. The problem with this fact (and it is a fact) is that it’s difficult to align it with posts that spout science, or at least scientific sounding jargon.

    To those of you who were kind enough to use plain English to explain what the core issues are, and the way in which the post to which I linked weasles around those issues — I really appreciate that.  

    To those of you who have pointed out that every single “solution” the socialists have put forward has failed, either because the solution made no difference to pollution or because it made no difference and went bankrupt, usually at taxpayer expense — excellent point!

    I wish the whole issue of AGW could be put to bed with this discussion at my blog.  False and/or manipulated science + socialist political ideology = lies.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — I have the smartest readers in the blogosphere.

  • SADIE

    They call it “mother” earth for a reason.
     
    Not every woman gets hot flashes as she goes through menopause and neither does every continent, either. To add to the “fun” science, the hot flashes (sunspot activity or inactivity) may very well affect the climate for some period of time as it did during the Mini Ice Age 1300 – 1870. Then again, literacy rates were low and they still burned women for being witches.
     
    That’s my scientific explanation and I am sticking to it. Glad I could help, Bookworm. ;)

  • http://furtheradventuresofindigored.blogspot.com/ Indigo Red

    Ultimately, BW, I don’t think there is a way to argue with fried-earthers with any real expectation of convince them of their error; only time will do that and those who do come to that realization will be embarrassed, contrite, and skeptical of future outlandish claims while others will bitterly cling to their outmoded ideas, congratulating themselves for their actions that forestalled planetary collapse. It’s an argument that cannot be won. We can, I believe, only retard any effort to prosecute expensive and wasteful solutions until the financial authorizing agents get tired of the game or realize the electorate has moved on to more immediate concerns like feeding their children – snail darters and exotic frogs be damned.

  • Danny Lemieux

    It’s called “projection”.

    The author actually cherry picks data in order to prove that it is the AGW climate change skeptics that are cherry-picking data. Go figure! Look on the very left (top-down) “y” axis of the graphic provided in the post and notice how small the temperature increments indicated are – this makes the “change” documented by the author look huge. In reality, the numbers indicated are very small and subject to high statistical error. This is highly misleading in itself.

    As MikeD pointed out, 1998 was chosen for reasons other than La Nina. Plus, La Nina and El Nino affect certain parts of the world, not the whole planet. So, while this winter’s La Nina translated into record warm winter weather in the central parts of North America, Central to Eastern Europe, Siberia and Alaska experienced record cold. Record cold was also experienced in parts of S. America and Australia. Thus, you can have a very warm La Nina period counterbalanced by record cold elsewhere.

    El Nino and La Nina have always been with us (the most interesting recent theory about La Nina is that it relates to massive underwater volcanic eruptions off the coast of Central and South America…I don’t think humankind has much influence over those events). A very similar La Nina cycle (very warm winter in North American, record cold in Eastern and Central Europe) occurred in 1944 – around the time of the Battle of the Bulge.

    In other words…they cherry-picked the data.

    We can talk more about this tomorrow over dinner!  

  • SADIE

    Danny, below my go to site for globull reading. I recommend clicking on “Poor Climate Science at Nasa”. A full page of contradictions from Hansen/NASA.

    http://www.real-science.com/
       

  • MacG

    Indigo, can you find a link to that Al Gore-New York underwater by 2012?
     
    Thanks

  • http://bkivey.wordpress.com/ bkivey

    My initial skepticism of ‘global warming’ was motivated by the messengers. The narrative has been pushed by people who have a near pathological hatred for liberty, individual choice, and capitalism. These folks will proselytize any position, on any subject, that allows them to demonize what in their view is an evil conspiracy of the more capable against the proletariat. It’s bullying by the mediocracy. It’s also their religion, and they use religious terminology (cf. ‘deniers’); an ironic twist for people who by and large scorn religion.
    So while my initial skepticism wasn’t technically rational, the evidence is clearly against the neopagans. We’ve had a couple of decades of observational evidence since the infamous ‘hockey stick’ graph was released in 1987, and like nearly everything else these folks have championed, they are dead wrong. It’s no stretch to say that the preponderance of evidence is clearly not in the warmist’s favor.
    The best site I’ve found documenting the massive failure of the global warming narrative is Real Science at http://www.real-science.com/.
     

  • donkatsu

    There are so many problems with the single causation theory of climate change, most of them discussed above.  Let me add a couple of additional ones.  The usable solar energy received by the earth (i.e., what runs the planet – wind, weather, photosynthesis, etc.) is approximately 1300 times greater than total hydrocarbon energy use on earth.  To pin all climate change on CO2 is to ignore the true scale of our open system.

    Second, the theory advanced by the Danish physicists relating changes in cloud formation, and hence, temperature, precipitation and climate, to solar cycles has been supported by research results at the European advanced research facility, CERN.  For some reason, the director of CERN told the researchers not to publicize these results, interrupts the narrative, I suppose.

  • SJBill

    Dear Bookie,

    Most involved in climate research are merely “stamp collecting,” choosing the data they need to obtain grant money and a following. The “tool” by which most generate their “data” is the model. Since all models are quite finite, they are flawed.

    From my quick observations, no islands have sunk; polar bears and penguins are thriving; the Mango Line still exists down at about Santa Barbara (and I truly wish to grow mangos in my back yard).

    True science involves experimentation, involving the proper design of experiments and the non-emotional interpretation of results. Everything I see on both side involves emotion and name calling. In that light, I see NO science being performed.

    And I am a scientist.

  • st1d

    1) The earth’s not a closed system.  We lose heat every second of every day.
    2) NASA’s seeing very similar temps increases on other planets, ergo, AGW is unlikely :)
    3) Scariest, but most honest ocean rise data/guesstimates are ~2cm (almost an inch) rise every 100 years.  Apparently AGW people are panicked because they move REALLY slowly (cough…Michael Moore is terrified…cough)
    4) Clouds reflect heat from sun.  More clouds, less heat.  Less heat, less clouds, more heat, etc.  Our clouds aren’t methane or other greenhouse gasses, they’re water, and water behaves very specifically at various temps and pressures.  If heat rises, clouds move upward, lowering the amount of sunlight interacting with the atmosphere.  When it’s colder, clouds lower, and more of the sun’s heat interacts with our air, raising the total heat.
    5) 70% of Earth’s surface is a huge carbon sink.  Carbon is a heavy element, more so CO2.  All else being equal, carbon will sink into the water and ground.  When we’re all starting to walk on graphite, it might be time to get concerned, but that’ll never happen.
    6) Comparing Earth to Venus is hogwash.  More CO2 means more, larger, and faster growing plants, which Venus doesn’t have, and Earth’s much farther away.  Methane and other greenhouse gases are minuscule in comparison.
    7) Estimates of Arctic/Antarctic areas melting and flooding earth to 60 meters are freakishly unrealistic.  Even clear, pressed ice contains significant amounts of air, and the non-arctic/antarctic areas are vastly larger (approximately 80% of Earth’s surface.  For oceans to rise to panicky AGW levels, the poles would have to be miles and miles thick with ice.  In reality, quite a bit of Antarctica is a dry desert (google image some pics).  Some say Antarctica would rise if the ice melted, and to some extent that’s true, but anyone with a clue about gyroscopes knows that it’s far more likely for the continent to mostly remain where it is, and possibly pull water in from the surrounding sea, or break apart if it rose quickly, causing even more water to flood the open “cracks” in the plate.
    8 ) There simply isn’t enough fossil fuel to make a difference.  Earth’s crust is 3-6 miles deep in the oceans, 20-30 miles deep on the continents.  The deepest mine is about 2 mi(gold/diamonds), deepest well, 6 miles, and all wells/mines combined are fairly small outputs, considering the surface area of the earth.  Multiply those by the volume of even 2 miles of biosphere, or 7 miles to the stratosphere, much less 60-200+ miles (depending on your definition of space),  and we MIGHT cause ourselves a problem if we dug everything up and burned it all at once.  Naturally, that’s assuming we developed the technology to get at those “near future” deposits, which range in the hundreds of years threshholds for oil, and thousands for natural gas and oil.
    9) Which brings us to a bigger problem for AGW & environmental folks.  There’s a limit to where “fossil fuel” can exist, even compensating for amazing and unlikely plate tectonics.  So something has to give.  Either the whole concept of fossil fuel is wrong (as some are beginning to concede w/natural gas), or there’s no way in heck there will be enough to appreciably affect the atmosphere at anything close to what we could hypothetically drill/mine if we went batshit crazy, and all 7 billion of us, with machines, started digging like hell. :)
    10) Cows farts are often blamed.  Well, cattle of all types, but at the same time, we’re supposedly destroying most of the other animals on an ongoing basis.  So if we’re so destructive to everything else, does it matter that we have a few cows, on balance?  Not to mention, if CO2 levels got too high, weaker animal/humans would perish, balancing the equation somewhat.  We have a lot of very sick, barely mobile people on this planet who can’t walk across a room without wheezing.  They’re also usually the largest consumers of those cows.
    11) There are so many other problems, as some have already mentioned, that this list could go on for a very long time, exploring each and every nuance of every scary scenario.  However, some things stand out.  The Sun went wild recently, and at least in the western hemisphere, we’ve had a very mild winter.  Where I am, we didn’t even dip into the -F’s much.  That said, the eastern hemisphere has been hammered, the southern hemisphere suffered through a very, very cold winter a few months ago (parts of S. America hadn’t seen cold like that since Europeans had arrived, and lots of animals, domestic and wild died), so declaring Global Warming based on the last 4-5 months is a stretch, at best.
    12) Oh, and while China and India have become the greatest consumers of fossil fuels presently, their temps are colder than ever.  Also, last time I checked, there hasn’t been a huge boom in car sales in the last few years (cars from 2007 are still rotting on the salty ocean docks in Asia), the building industry is in the toilet around the world, improvements in current technologies have reduced consumption on a per-item level (gas cars that match or exceed hybrids, electronics that use fractions of power their ancestors did), and the list goes on.  The largest increases have been in comparatively highly regulated regional power plants, which on the whole, produce far less CO2 than other fossil fuel burning engines. 
    So again, aside from “just trust us”, where’s the increase supposed to come from, aside from Al Gore and cohorts’ faces?  Remember, they become instant billionaires if “carbon trading” increases, so they have a lot to lose if people do even the slightest bit of research.
    13) Last bit of bummer news for the Evil Humans folks? You can put all 7 billion people on Australia, give them each 1/2 acre, and have room left over. As much as I enjoy doom, humanity is far too insignificant to cause any serious problems to earth. I defer to the late, great George Carlin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjmtSkl53h4 

  • socratease

    I don’t think you need to understand all the science any more than you need to understand automotive engineering to know your car won’t start.  If the “science” of global warming can’t produce results, in the form of accurate predictions of what nature is going to do or explanations of what we know it did, then whatever is in the black box must be wrong.  The Skeptic’s Handbook has details of the biggest failures of the predictions of global warming theories, the satellite global temperature monitors and the Argo floats are both showing that the warming the models predict continue to fail to materialize despite continuously increasing CO2 concentrations over more than a decade.

    For myself, the idea that the Earth’s climate systems have built-in positive feedback mechanisms that tend to amplify small inputs and drive the climate to extremes is dubious on its face.  If true, it seems to me that it would have led to a climate inhospitable to life long before humans could have evolved.  It’s an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary proof to be believed, and yet the data they’re basing the theory on is slim, statistical, and ambiguous when it’s not shoddy or fraudulent.  Add in their corruption of the scientific method, peer review, and non-falsifiable axioms and you have a recipe for disastrous changes to public policy.

  • SJBill

    I forgot to add the following: science should never follow consensus. “Most” can be and frequently are wrong. Healthy skepticism is a requirement of true science – science has no “deniers,” but should have questioners. Scientifiic knowledge always needs validation.

    And if Mr. Gore truly believes that sea levels are being adversely impacted by AGW and climate change, why did he recently purchase a huge oceanfront home south of Santa Barbara? Probably to stare danger straight in the face and to monitor evil oil rigs in the SB Channel.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Indigo Red: Al Gore got rich off of that prediction. Did you check how well his Green portfolio has been working out in this economy?

    So is Al Gore stupid because he intentionally lied to make himself rich? or is he stupid because he believed what he said, ended up being wrong, and still getting rich so he can use that power to crush the peasants and the weak in America?

     Is that really being stupid?

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    SJBill, no, I think he bought that property so he could line one wall of the house with plasma LCD screens so that when the sun comes up and shines through the walls made out of glass, he’ll have a miniature greenhouse in his home. By doing so, he thinks to contribute to warming and thus increase his bank account in Green mutual investments.

  • Allen

    Disclosure: I have conducted research in the science of states of matter at elevated temperatures and pressures for 25 years.

    The first thing I would note is that there really is no such thing as a climatologist, it is a broad mixture of backgrounds. I have noted that many people who are refuting the skeptics make the claim that only climatologists can truly understand the science. The idea that one cannot form a learned scientific opinion on climate change because one does not work in the disciplne is ludicrous. If this were the case then many of the people doing work in the field might also be excluded. Example: a geophysicist specializing in glaciology has a lot to say about climate change but might not consider herself a climatologist.

    Data, data, where are the data. I have also noted everyone claims that everyone else is “cherrypicking” the data. Of course they are. It’s called handling the data, it’s completely normal and to be expected. Data are often messy and sometimes appears to be incoherent. What is required is to often normalize the data in some coherent fashion to bring out a picture of what might be happening. There are three caveats though. First, the normalization must be prominently stated. Second, the normalization should be reasonable. Third, The normalization should be within existing theoretical underpinnings, or natural laws. In Bookworm’s link the author there appeared to be scandalized that someone chose a certain period for their normalization. So? Prof. Mann at Penn State chose a time period to normalize his data. Is one better than the other? Why?

    Finally, I would like to point out one thing about the scientific theory of global warming. The original theory was published by Svante Arrhenius in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 1905. Arrhenius posited that doubling of CO2 would cause a planetary temperature rise of 6 degrees Centigrade which would be sufficient to end the last ice age. It took me a quite small amount of time to reproduce his work and extend it to the present. Using his methods I could reproduce what has been published about CO2 caused warming. There is a cautionary tale there though. If that theory is true then no other work is really needed, just measure atmospheric CO2 and calculate the resultant temperature rise. I wonder how researchers in this field might respond if they were told, “yes we believe you and your services are no longer needed.” As a colleague of mine once cynically put it, “getting funding for scientific research is a cross between begging and prostitution.”

    I apologize in advance for being so long winded.

  • Choey

    More important than understanding the science is being able to discern when someone is trying to scam you.  It doesn’t matter if it’s some Nigerian e-mail spammer or some guy in a bar who wants to bet you that he can do something that seems impossible or a politicized scientist who is carefully wording and manipulating his “findings” to make sure he qualifies for that next big government grant.  A scam is a scam is a scam and all the elements of a scam are there for Mann-made global warming.  From cherry picking tree ring data (or claiming that tree rings are a proxy for climate temperature in the first place), to manipulating the data, to personally attacking other scientists who disagree, to corrupting the peer review process to hiding the decline, and much, much more. All of the elements of a scam are there and then some.

  • Mike Devx

    Allen 24: > I apologize in advance for being so long winded.

    Not long-winded at all, Allen. Admirably concise and succint for the points you wished to make, I think!

    > It’s called handling the data, it’s completely normal and to be expected. Data are often messy and sometimes appears to be incoherent. What is required is to often normalize the data in some coherent fashion to bring out a picture of what might be happening. There are three caveats though. [three caveats follow]

    I would add a fourth caveat: You (the modeling scientist) must retain and make available your source data. “You normalize the data in some coherent fashion”…  OK, I’ll accept that.  But you cannot force those who would duplicate your experiment to START with your normalized data.  Your normalizing model is part of your experiment. If a so-called scientist expected me to START with his normalized data, I would throw the probably-cheating, probably-deceitful bastard out on his ass.
     

  • RigelDog

    Ah, I have just the thing for you!  Am currently reading James Delingpole’s new book “Watermelons.”  One of his key themes is how a non-scientist such as himself (or you, or me) can still meaningfully evaluate the global warming/climate change issue.  He is a funny, logical, accessible writer.

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

     
    BW….all you have to do is read far enough to encounter this:
    “This is just like creationists who continually repeat the phony argument that “evolution violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics”, even though this is patently false. As has been pointed out many times, the Second Law only applies to closed systems. The earth is not a closed system since it receives energy from the sun.”
    and you KNOW who is “talking out of their rear orifice”!
     
    First, “evolution” may or may not violate the Second Law…..because “evolution” can be defined in a number of different ways, most of which are fully consistent with the Second Law, which says that entropy will increase, that is, things become disordered unless energy (guided by a program of some kind) is expended to stop and/or reverse the tendency to disorder.  You children’s bedrooms are a good example, as is your kitchen, the yard, etc.
     
    Second, despite my many problems with “creationists” (and I am one, myself), there is no question that the Second Law of Thermodynamics precludes the random generation of information…and life is dependent on information.  Waving your hands and pretending to solve this problem by saying “That’s only in a closed system – and the earth is getting energy from the sun.” is just BEYOND lame.
     
    Think about it — roadkill is open to energy from the sun, too.  Are we seriously to expect that if we had a million (billion, trillion, quadrillion, quintillion – you get the idea) dead possums with the sun shining on their bodies, that ONE of them might have entropy reversed and after a while get up and wander away? Please.  As I indicated earlier — in order to reverse entropy, you need a guidance program, and no one has ever seen, or even imagined and described in any useful detail, the steps needed to produce such a thing by means of random movement of particles.
     
    Again….think about it.  Wind is energy — if you have a big enough fan and blow it into the “open system” that is your child’s bedroom, how long would it take before the bed was made, the books were back in their proper places on the bookshelves, the toys were where they belonged, the toothpaste and toothbrush were in the drawer (or wherever), etc. etc. etc.?  Maybe a giant heat lamp would help…..?  No?  What about a stick of dynamite?  Hmmmmmm.  In fact, merely adding energy in an open system doesn’t solve the problem of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. 
     
    Can entropy be reversed without intelligent input to the program needed to guide the process?  I don’t know….we’ve never seen it, but that doesn’t prove anything.  All I know for sure is that when someone blows off a legitimate point with the kind of dismissive language used by that Skepticblog post, you know you’re not dealing with an honest seeker after truth.
     
     
     
     
     

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    I think the only thing we need to know about climate change is that evil people profit from it. That is it. It doesn’t really matter to me what is true, because even if climate change was true, evil people would get power to destroy humanity. If it wasn’t true, then evil people would get power to destroy humanity. In either situation, who benefits?

  • http://furtheradventuresofindigored.blogspot.com/ Indigo Red

    Ymarsakar said ~ “Indigo Red: Al Gore got rich off of that prediction. Did you check how well his Green portfolio has been working out in this economy?”

    Gore had to do something because the campaign against Bush nearly bankrupted him, his divorce forced him to sell a few of his homes, his Tennessee home burned as much fuel in a month as four average homes in a year, and fixing his drug addict son’s arrests was getting expensive. I knew absolutely Al was in it for the money when in 2010 he purchased a New York City condo near the ocean in a neighborhood that, by his own prediction, would be under forty feet of Atlantic blue.

    No, Al Gore is not stupid. That doesn’t mean he’s not an idiot, though. 

  • MacG

    Earl, you are right.  Information and metered energy is key.  This is why a painter curses when he kicks over  a can of paint (accidental energy) and it goes randomly all over the carpet that he did not cover rather than rejoicing that it went all over the wall missing the windows and trim where he was going to use intentional metered energy guided by his intelligence to apply the paint in such a fashion that he would get more work rather than being fired.
     
    Yes. I have a problem with run on sentences. :)
     
    Accidental energy is the random cosmic ray that strikes the DNA in such a fashion to ‘create’ a mutation.  Admittedly not all such strikes cause a beneficial mutation so it takes billions of years to get from some random chemicals without DNA (spilled paint) to morf into a human with 206 precisely fitted bones.  Of course this is after all of the chances that a planet that coalesced  from minerals and chemicals that were scattered by an explosion of the great mystery mass in the sky of unknown origin would happen to locate at the just the right distance from another happened-by-chance fission source of heat  and light to cool at the proper rate to allow the formation of land and water necessary for the aforementioned evolution of mere matter to man.
     
    First there was something that came from nothing located somewhere unknown,
    Then an explosion, oh my such erosion
    and that’s how we got our home. 
     
    The erosive force of entropy works against the life force so an open system is required to bring make up for the lost energy.  However the energy that sustains life aids the entropic force.  Which is why paint fades going from order to disorder, complex and organized on a molecular level to disorganized.  Even if the paint did get on the walls by chance will it happen again in 10 or so years as the paint fades and where does the new paint come from?
     
     

  • shirleyelizabeth

    I find it a point of interest that people that are so intent on pushing so much social change get so worked up over changes to the earth. The way I see it is that nothing can live and progress while stale. If there is no change, atrophy begins, and that is true for everything. The earth MUST change in one direction or another, species must come and go, forests and waters must move. It is how things progress.

  • Mike

    Go here and see all the global warming you’ll ever want to see. This was last March,2011.
    http://miketrani.com/gallery/v/March-2011-storm/?g2_enterAlbum=1
    I for one have had enough or all this baloney and everything else in the last three plus years. And not just global warming.
    Sorry I haven’t been visiting here very much but I am hooked on G+