JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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The skeptic who wasn’t

Supplement: Our Email exchange ……Ref: Skeptico on “Global Warming Denial”

What’s the most embarrassing thing that could happen to a skeptic? Could it be worse than being exposed for believing anything and everything a government committee (the IPCC) tells them?

“Science without debate is like business without competition and a trial without a defense. It’s a sham.”

Unfortunately some of the loudest skeptics are the part-time ones. They busy themselves ‘catching out astrologers’, but then suspend all their usual rules of logic to defend the largest scientific scam in history. Ironically, at the same time as the scammers plot to suck billions from citizens, pretenders like Skeptico arm themselves to the teeth to, wait for it… fight for “authority”.  (He actually does this—the unthinkable—he claims that argument by authority is legitimate in science. Holy-Cringeoli! Let’s bow to the bureaucrats.)

Here Skeptico responds to my emails by publicly trying to justify his belief in the AGW theory. In response, he steadily exposes himself for having faith, trust, and poor reasoning skills, he proves to be a ‘denier’ (of the need for empirical evidence), a name caller, as well as patronizing, and totally unaware of his religious faith to boot. All that, and his reading and comprehension is not so hot either. See the whole email exchange here.

To date, my questions for skeptico go unanswered:

Q 1/ Can you name a single piece of empirical evidence that man-made carbon raises temperatures?

(He needs post only one reference, but instead he throws the lazy-mega-link-pages back: the 800 page IPCC report, the 450 link index of Real Climate, a Wikipedia page with 250 links, and a link to a software developers blog, just in case I had time to follow the other 1,500 pages and I still hadn’t found any evidence. Thanks Skeptico. Probably most of these pages link in a circular jungle back to each other, and possibly, under all the links to links, somewhere there might be one paper that supports the AGW theory, but no one seems to be able to find it. This is argument from authority ad infinitum, or reason-by-exponential-repetition. Since Skeptico obviously hasn’t read all these links himself, presumably he takes them on faith…(sorry, ‘trust’). This is not a polite scientific response, it’s an attempt to bewilder.

Q 2/ Imagine that the new results since 2003 showed that AGW and the models were wrong. Are you happy to assume that the IPCC, Hansen, or Gore would announce that? (If there was a legitimate question about global warming science how do you expect it to be discussed in the public arena if people like you won’t even read those peer reviewed papers that disagree with your publicly held position?)

This is ‘thinking’?

The most devastating blow to his reputation as a thinker came in an unguarded moment when he described the process he went through to arrive at his current passionately held position. Here’s his critical thinking tool at work:

“I did try to follow the debate on both sides of this argument up to maybe four or five years ago, and the two things that convinced me it was real were (1) the utter complexity of the subject – how anyone who hasn’t studied this subject in detail as a PhD for many years thinks they can possibly understand it is beyond me, and (2) the thousands, possibly tens of thousands, of articles every year in peer reviewed scientific journals virtually all of them supporting the AGW hypothesis.”

So Skeptico admits he stopped looking into this years ago, and says that two things made up his mind, but surprisingly neither were arguments about radiation, temperatures or ice cores. To paraphrase: (1) It’s a complex confusing topic, and (2) there are thousands of peer reviewed articles. Heck… tens of thousands.

“Since when was not-understanding a topic, a reason to believe it?”

Ouch. Since when was not-understanding a topic, a reason to believe it? I’m confused so I’m convinced? And point two: if ”thousands of peer reviewed papers” exist —er, so, name ONE?

Skeptico admits it’s argument by authority, which should be a show-stopper for a skeptic, but instead he claims it’s ok. He tosses in a quote that essentially says “Argument by authority is alright if the expert is not a fake one.” Right. Of course.

Problem is, we don’t know which experts are the right ones until after we’ve got the evidence. In 1895 the esteemed Lord Kelvin, president of The Royal Society effectively said planes were impossible. In 1902 Professor Newcomb scientifically demonstrated with reason and maths that human powered flight couldn’t happen with present capabilities. Despite the proof-by-authority, two bicycle mechanics did it anyway the next year.

Plus, awkwardly, there are experts on the other side of this debate (like Richard Lindzen: MIT Professor, Harvard grad, 200 papers and books, and a lead author of one chapter of an IPCC report). Thus science by ‘authority’ becomes like a Big Brother episode, but only PhD’s and Profs can vote to evict a theory. Likewise, what’s the scorecard for scientific scrabble: 1 point for a bachelor, 3 for a PhD, 5 for a prof, and double for a degree in climate science? (And triple if it’s not. Cheers Al). But who keeps the tally?

If there is ever a “good” appeal to authority, it’s in law (a supreme court judge can overturn a lower court). Authority also works in tennis (don’t argue with the umpire). But in science it’s a fallacious lazy shortcut, and Skeptico’s quote (which relates to the Holocaust) doesn’t prove me wrong, nor overturn Aristotle. In the study of the natural world, instead of the legal world, the universe trumps expert opinion every time. Pope=0 Galileo=1.

Skeptico is down a hole but keeps digging. Look at this gem of unreason: “Denier Tactics”. Skeptico ascribes this list with great powers of prediction about the climate. It’s as if there is a proven natural law discovered by political science that overrides the need to get measurements. He says, if you “Employ denier tactics, you’re a denier.” This natural law could save us a lot of money. Think of all the experiments we won’t need to do. Does this Fusion Reactor work? Don’t test it—let’s look for denier tactics. The official Denier Tactics list is so all-encompassing, it pretty much wipes out scientific endeavour from here on. Apparently, I can’t quote peer reviewed references (because that’s cherry picking), I can’t point out that they still haven’t offered any evidence (because I’m being repetitious), and I can’t speak about the flaws in their arguments (because that’s been loudly debunked, by some expert blogger somewhere that Skeptico ‘trusts’). I also can’t set any goal posts for falsifiablity either, because that’ll be ‘moving them’ (Ironically, I’m just using the goal posts the AGW crowd set themselves ten years ago, and failed to meet). The AGW crowd are the ones moving goals. Now they aim so low, they’ve given up on actually scoring; they’re just hoping to stretch the error bars so far they include some of the data.

Oblivious to the obvious

All Skeptico had to do was back up his public attack on skeptics with evidence, or go silent and stick to topics he knows something about. Instead, this looks so bad for him, I’m wincing in sympathy. Yet he appears oblivious to the outrageous flaws in his thinking.

“Instead, this looks so bad for him, I’m wincing in sympathy.”

Skeptico: “Regarding AGW though, I have to say that your comment “there is no empirical evidence left that supports the theory that man made CO2 makes much difference to the climate” is a pretty impressive denial of reality.”

JoNova:with all due respect – Your comment here is pretty impressive claim of faith. Can you name a single paper…”

Skeptico:  Er, no, this is trust, not faith.

JoNova: Righto then. How is ‘trust’ different from ‘faith’, ‘hope’, and ‘belief’?

With a impressive display of false confidence, he goes public, and writes on his blog that he “trusts the scientific method”. Except that method—correct me if I’m wrong, requires that there actually BE a debate where people are encouraged to try to prove the idea wrong, to falsify it. In climate change, instead of getting an analysis, we’ve got name-calling. As a skeptic he ought to be outraged that the debate gets shut down by ad hominem attacks. Yet he uses  ‘denier’ or ‘denialist’ no less than 27 times in his blogged reply. (Twenty seven times!) That’s argumentum ad hominem, ad nauseum. Did he take his hypocrite pills this morning?

He claims I mistakenly equivocate ‘trust’ and ‘faith’, yet he equivocates the scientific method with a giant multinational committee—one set up to find ‘effects of CO2′. The IPCC is a political organization. If you trust the IPCC, you obviously have faith that if the science fell away they’d be honest about it. I can see the IPCC press release: “Good News; Research Shows CO2 Effect Is Insignificant. IPCC to Disband in Two Months.” Sure.

What drives the pseudosceptics like Skeptico who parrot bureaucrats?

Scan his site;  the topics he attacks are from a kind of “government approved list”, or are at least unpopular with mainstream committees: things like psychics, astrologers, the anti-vaccination crowd, and alternative medicine. The government and professional associations of doctors, dentists, and physicists may well be right about most of these issues, but it looks like he isn’t analyzing things for himself, he’s just adopting the views of a collective pool of bureaucrats. The only time he doesn’t agree with government per se, is if any minor official wants to bring in Intelligent Design. It’s a fair point to protest, but I’m struggling to see any sense here that Skeptico thinks for himself. I mean it’s hardly radical to support ‘evolution’.

In other words, everything Skeptico does, fits the mainstream consensus position. If you can find a committee, association or department to back a concept, Skeptico will hound your opponents—and do it for free. An unpaid lap-dog. A yap-hound for group-think.

He’s volunteering to attack scientists to help create big bucks for bankers and giant junkets for bureaucrats.

“Devotion to Deities versus the Cult of Consensus:
what’s the difference, it’s all a belief in a higher power.”

Predictably, he also attacks religion—kind of ironic given his own faith (sorry, ‘trust’). Possibly his big problem with organized religion is that it competes with his own disorganized one. Devotion to Deities versus the Cult of Consensus: what’s the difference, it’s all a belief in a higher power.

So in the end, it appears that what drives pseudosceptics might actually be their unfailing belief in authority and organizations, which explains why he’s gone so troppo on this one issue. It’s true our civilization owes a lot to the organizations that help revolutionary ideas roll forth and become mainstream. But any revolutionary scientific idea is anti-consensus by definition and not mainstream. So, at least on the climate, Skeptico is working against the very same mechanisms of debate and discussion that helped us build modern medicine, mass transit, and meteorology. He’s forgotten that the system to support is not the end result, but the process.

Science without debate is like business without competition, and law without a defense. It’s a sham.


Skeptico replies at comment #16.

Update: Aug 09 – Inconsistent spelling – “Sceptico” corrected to “Skeptico”.

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173 comments to The skeptic who wasn’t

  • #
    Ian

    This is a great article. I know what you mean about “catching out astrologers”. I used to subscribe to Skeptical Inquirer and, for a while, it was an entertaining read.

    Unfortunately they bought off on AGW lock, stock and barrel. Its easy game poking fun of bigfoot believers but for the real skeptical question of our time – global warming – SI took the easy (and quite honestly politically correct) route. They seemed to believe the skeptical position was one of being skeptical of those questioning global warming!

    Ian

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  • #
    Jim

    If appealing to authority appeals to some, why not refer them to Gulliver’s Travels?
    Swift puts scientists on an island of Laputia by themselves to show their detachment from reality, and to demonstrate their characteristics.
    One modernly resonating characteristic is an obsession with the end of the world so intense that they can’t even sleep. This is smack at odds with another characteristic – a distaste and contempt of data and facts like practical geometry (which means their houses are badly built. Another is their contempt for the opinions of anyone else – their own opinions are the ones that matter. Swift describes the misery brought to mankind that can be caused by those who act without foresight to think of possible consequences.
    True, he was popping away at scientists who were scarcely removed from necromancers, and aroma therapists, but underlying is the unthinking adulation of theories without facts.

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  • #

    Well, I certainly did not put myself through some logic or critical thinking test to validate my conclusions. But for what it’s worth, here are some salient points that brought me to a “tipping” point of becoming pro-active in the skeptic world.

    1. The fact that the historical record shows that temperature increases lead CO2 increases.

    2. The fact that the ancient past has experienced periods of incredibly high CO2, but with temperatures significantly lower than our current temperatures.

    3. The fact that in recent past, we have had warmer and cooler periods than the current “unprecedented” temperatures with little human CO2 emissions.

    4. The fact that climate models are still unable to predict with any accuracy (e.g., the non-predicted cooling trend since 2002).

    5. The fact that CO2 driving temperatures has an actual negative correlation over the last 10 years.

    6. The fact that both solar and ocean warming have much higher correlation with temperatures versus CO2.

    7. The fact that there is natural climate variation, which happens in well-documented cycles (i.e., we are in a warming cycle phase currently).

    I think a combination of the 7 points above make a pretty solid case for anyone to start questioning the “consensus” view. When one adds to this mix, the number of critical inputs that are marginalized, or not even included, in the climate models (PDO, ENSO, clouds, land-use, dust, etc) it becomes even harder to accept the output from these models as nothing more than idle speculation. Then, when you find out that the climate modelers are actually the same who maintain the temperature datasets and they’ve been known to adjust the temps to “enhance” the warming effect, one’s faith in climate science becomes very wobbly indeed. Finally, as one digs deeper into the background of what’s happening behind the scenes of the pro-warming climate scientist/publication camp, it becomes obvious that science and “authority” have severely failed us.

    I’ve slowly come to realize there is a politically dominated agenda pushing this incredibly weak climate science argument for man-made global warming on all of us. As a result, I became pro-active and created my own skeptic site. (My actions are an indication of a layperson becoming totally disgusted with the scientists and the authorities.)

    When I get questions about my skeptic orientation, I tell people to visit these two ‘pages’ and review.

    http://www.c3headlines.com/global-warming-quotes-climate-change-quotes.html

    http://www.c3headlines.com/quotes-from-global-warming-critics-skeptics-sceptics.html

    If they still have questions about my beliefs, then I know they haven’t read the quotes, and I’m probably dealing with a person who has been easily manipulated by Al Gore et al.

    Regarding Mr. Sceptico, he is not. He’s sipped the Kool-Aid and no matter the level of logic, critical thinking and actual evidence contrary to AGW, his heart, not mind, is with Big Al. That’s fine but the masquerading as a skeptic (sceptic) is not.

    C3H Editor

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  • #

    I once discussed with a woman from Minnesota.Who used my forums SITE FEEDBACK method of e-mailing her strange comments.

    She was given several links that should have at least slowed her eating from the loony AGW dish.She never would discuss anything deeper.Just make a few odd comments and that was good enough.

    I posted most of them in my forum in a thread.To expose how shallow an AGW beleiver can be.Along with my replies and a few others who read them as well.

    http://www.globalwarmingskeptics.info/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=268&p=1599#p1599

    Or if for some reason that link doesn’t work try this link to the same story
    http://www.globalwarmingskeptics.info/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=268

    Enjoy!

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  • #
    Anne-Kit Littler

    Argument by authority, groups and committees indeed:

    If we won’t join the group-think willingly, send in the psychologists to tinker with our mindset and behaviour so we can become right-thinking little puppets and do what our governments need us to do. Another (self-)interest group has jumped on the gravy train asking for more “involvement” (read: Funding).

    The AUSTRALIAN PSYCHOLOGICAL SOCIETY has a whole section on their website dealing with Climate Change and how they can help us change our wicked ways:
    http://www.psychology.org.au/community/topics/climate/

    It’s worth reading the documents in their entirety, and chilling reading it is indeed. The APS have certainly swallowed the propaganda hook, line and sinker and have chosen to become a part of it.

    Here are a few choice tidbits:

    “Common reactions to learning about environmental problems:

    It is common for people to experience a range of emotions and psychological reactions when faced with information about environmental threats and predictions of an uncertain future. People may feel ANXIOUS, SCARED, SAD, DEPRESSED, NUMB, HELPLESS and HOPELESS, frustrated or ANGRY.

    Sometimes, if the information is too unsettling and the solutions seem to difficult, people can cope by MINIMISING or DENYING that there is a problem, or AVOIDING thinking about the problems.

    Being sceptical about the problems is another way that people may react. The caution expressed by climate change sceptics could be a form of denial, where it involves minimising the weight of scientific evidence/consensus on the subject. Or it could indicate that they perceive the risks of change to be greater than the risks of not changing, for themselves or their interests.” (emphasis in original)

    (hmmm, “interests” …. Could this be a veiled dig at these notorious Big Oil shills, in the pay of the “polluters”??)

    And here’s one that made laugh out loud – check their list of resources for becoming “informed” (my comments in square brackets):

    “How to change your own behaviour: Become informed about problems and solutions.

    Books, news media, film and the Internet are good places for getting information about the problems [note how it’s assumed that there is a problem and what the problem is]. Some popular sources include The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery [would you trust a man who has been quoted as saying that the 20th Century was “carefree”?], A Big Fix by Ian Lowe, Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” [??? British High Court Judge has ruled this film to contain at least 9 major scientific errors], and websites from environmental groups. Friends can be a good source of information too, and can direct you to websites, books or magazines that they have found useful.”

    And then there’s this little gem of pompous self-importance:

    “Climate change has become a particularly salient focus and encapsulation of local and global natural environment concerns. These concerns relate to psychosocial and socioeconomic impacts on people as well as to multiple and synergistic human impacts on the natural environment, which are dramatically contributing to global warming. These environmental changes and impacts to and of the natural environment, and how they are appraised, understood, and addressed by individuals, agencies, societies, and ‘science’ constitute challenging and diverse theoretical, research, and policy domains in the social sciences, with PSYCHOLOGISTS PLAYING KEY ROLES, particularly with respect to problem analysis and effective risk communication and BEHAVIOUR CHANGE STRATEGIES …” (emphasis mine)

    Not sure why they put ‘science’ in inverted commas, by the way …

    Oh, Brave New World indeed!

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  • #
    Anne-Kit Littler

    I meant to include this in my comment on this quote above:

    “… Being sceptical about the problems is another way that people may react. The caution expressed by climate change sceptics could be a form of denial, where it involves minimising the weight of scientific evidence/consensus on the subject. Or it could indicate that they perceive the risks of change to be greater than the risks of not changing, for themselves or their interests.”

    Notice how they’ve “pegged” you either way? You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t, because if you disagree with them it’s just because you are “coping” with the stress of it all, and “we have a way of helping you overcome that, dear!”

    Chilling …

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  • #
    Paul Penrose

    It’s not about “denying” the “facts” of AGW. It’s about understanding that much of the “facts” are actually data sets that are subject to error bars, especially the results which are heavily dependent on statistical methods. The problem is that in most of the papers that support the AGW theory there are no stated error bars, or they are complete guesses like the IPCC summaries. This makes it impossible to evaluate the conclusions of these papers since you can’t know if the results are significant (in a statistical sense).

    So while it appears that the planet has warmed some in the last 100 years or so, my stand is that so far all of the key AGW papers have too much uncertainty for me to conclude how much the planet has warmed, why it has warmed, or what it will do in the future.

    It’s about this uncertainty, not denial; the AGW crowd has just not made it’s case.

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  • #
    Phillip Bratby

    Anne-Kit Littler:

    Scary indeed. If AGW doesn’t get you, BIG BROTHER will soon make you change your ways. Science has gone out the window.

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  • #

    “The fact that the historical record shows that temperature increases lead CO2 increases.”

    Yup thats my favorite one. Because in the entire recordable history of the world that is 100% true. the sticky part is….its not true anymore. Why, after millions of years of the same thing occuring over and over again, does the CO2 lagging temperature all of a sudden stop happening?

    [The lag hasn't stopped at all. Not unless you view the world through a hockey stick graph that is statistically inept, fraudulent, and contrary to the anecdotal evidence of the day. In a funny kind of 'coincidence' note that the lag is around 800 years, and oddly, things were warm 800 years ago and CO2 is rising now... (no I'm not seriously suggesting that humans are not putting out CO2 at the moment), I'm just pointing out that the pattern is not broken. The Hockey Stick has been debunked (Good summary here.).—JN]

    As for 2-7. Are you under the bizzare impression that climate scientists are somehow unaware of these very amateurish points of information? do you think that somehow they are skipping over solar cycles and the effects of the ocean in their models? Did they forget?

    [ Did they ever know? They don't allow for solar-magnetic effects in models, and they can't predict El Nino's. How can they 'forget' PDO's if they can't predict them? Are you under the bizarre impression that climate scientists can predict the climate? —JN]

    How is it possible that the pH of the ocean decreases with increasing temperature, when in every single era in the past the CO2 increase was due to CO2 leaving the ocean? (perhaps you dont know that CO2 concentration increases acidity, i.e. drops pH).

    [Direct quotes please. I don't know what you are referring too.—JN]

    So let me see if I get the gist of this post. We shouldn’t examine scientific data becuase it is all appeals to authority. Is that it?

    [ Read the Guide. Use direct quotes next time so you don't give us more examples of how poor your reading and comprehension is. Find a quote where any rational person could construe that I said anything like that.—JN]

    Is this a conspiracy site? Are you a 9/11 truthers also? If you have specific evidence that shows that scientist are somehow getting rich off of global warming, i’d like to see it. I sure don’t know any rich scientists.

    [I'll post on The Money involved soon. —JN]

    [ snip - please no more 'spiritual religion discussion', we discuss religious 'science' —JN]

    “In 1895 the esteemed Lord Kelvin, president of The Royal Society effectively said planes were impossible” and what was his evidence to say this?

    “In 1902 Professor Newcomb scientifically demonstrated with reason and maths that human powered flight couldn’t happen with present capabilities”
    and what were included in the assumptions for this proof?

    You dont see the problem here? There are lots of reasons to think CO2 and other poorly named GHGs are a problem. There is lots of evidence that temperatures are rising after CO2 is rising, for the first time ever.

    [ Argument by repetition doesn't make it logicially correct. Go on, find us some evidence, so far the only thing you've offered is a fraudulent graph.—JN]

    And what if we actually pull this off? What if we stop discussing this and actually find ways to get more power from the earth and sun that we currently can get from non-renewable fuels. What exactly have we lost? I have no idea which country I am talking to here, but we have huge economic and national security incentives to develop new methods by which to gain our energy. But instead you guys like to play the grumbly naysayers. For what?

    [So people in the third world can eat, use refrigerated vaccines, teach their kids to read with electric lights, and cook without smoking out the house. For starters... —JN]

    So you would rather wait……..

    [No. I would rather act for the right reasons. Policy by accident is a bad way to manage the world. Science is going to suffer enormously if real scientists don't stand up and be counted and point out the unscientific behavior on show by alarmists, bureaucrats, and do-gooders. —JN]

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  • #
    the chiggler

    “Science without debate is like business without competition, and law without a defense. It’s a sham.” Joanne, I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s just a shame that you don’t follow your own maxim and actually debate the points raised by your critics on the Skeptico blog.

    [Which points am I not debating? Another "Alarmist Tactic". This is an unsubstantiated claim...Oh wait a minute... you believe that not only do I need to debate things here, and show that Sceptico is unsceptical, unreasoned and illogical, but I need to go to his blog, and explain logic and reason to the hundreds who pop up there with some other googled claim. Come here and show us some evidence, or offer me some money to come tutor the mistaken—JN]

    Here’s a salutary tale for you Joanne, and anyone else tempted to the erroneous belief that your overweening pride in your ability to present a case against AGW is underpinned to the same degree by your knowledge of the science. Read and inwardly digest.

    [Yes outwardly digesting is messy—JN]

    In 1995, McArthur Wheeler walked into two Pittsburgh banks and robbed them in broad daylight, with no visible attempt at at disguise. He was arrested later that night, less than an hour after videotapes of him taken from surveillance cameras were broadcast on the 11 o’clock news. When police later showed him the surveillance tapes, Mr. Wheeler stared in incredulity. “But I wore the juice,” he mumbled. Apparently, Mr. Wheeler was under the impression that rubbing one’s face with lemon juice rendered it invisible to videotape cameras.

    [Right. So one guy somewhere was an idiot, therefore you are not? Don't try to advertise this in forums on reasoning. The cause and effect link here with the climate is tenuous. —JN]

    I bring the unfortunate affairs of Mr. Wheeler to your attention to make three points. The first two are noncontroversial. First, in many domains in life, success and satisfaction depend on knowledge, wisdom, or savvy in knowing which rules to follow and which strategies to pursue. This is true not only for committing crimes, but also for many tasks in the social and intellectual domains, such as promoting effective leadership, raising children, constructing a solid logical argument, or designing a rigorous psychological study. Second, people differ widely in the knowledge and strategies they apply with varying levels of success. Some of the knowledge and theories that people apply to their actions are sound and meet with favorable results. Others, like the lemon juice hypothesis of McArthur Wheeler, are imperfect at best and wrong-headed, incompetent, or dysfunctional at worst.

    Perhaps more controversial is the third point. When people are incompetent in the strategies they adopt to achieve success and satisfaction (as you are Joanne) [ You might convince more people if you could actually name a single point where I have been logically wrong —JN] they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it. Instead, like Mr. Wheeler, they are left with the mistaken impression that they are doing just fine. As Charles Darwin sagely noted over a century ago, “ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge”.

    More knowledge, less lemon juice please Joanne.

    [Ha. Ha. Thanks. Good self parody—JN]

    [As entertaining as it was chigger, you've had your one post with illogic and unreason. So you are warned, no more comments unless you can manage to provide evidence, AND claims that don't immediately fail basic reasoning. And real names get respect.—JN]

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  • #

    “Joanne has 15 years of experience in explaining science as a professional speaker, TV host, radio presenter and book author.”

    Oh… now I get it. You are Australia’s Ann Coulter. Never mind. Evidence means nothing to you. I’m sorry I even bothered.

    [spot the substantiated claim about 'evidence'-not? You may post again if you can make a logical point with some evidence—JN]

    [But shucks. That's one of the nicest things anyone has said. Ann Coulter? really!—JN]

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  • #
    Paul Penrose

    It’s interesting how nobody tries to contest my reasoned comments. I’m still waiting for someone to tell me why we should believe models that have not been verified and validated and report no error bars with their results. Or to explain why we should believe papers that use new, unproven statistical techniques to tease out very small trends in temperature data (which is also based on records that were never intended to record long-term climate trends). And finally, even if the world does warm by 3 to 5 degrees C, where is the proof that this will be only bad? I’ve seen a lot of scary claims, but all the reasoning behind them is third-grade hysterics at best.

    Whenever I hear all the cries of crisis it reminds me of the saying “Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant.”

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  • #

    How cute, my comments get personal attention, with comments, editing and deletion. so considerate to protect your flock.

    TS: “How is it possible that the pH of the ocean decreases with increasing temperature…”

    JN: “Direct quotes please. I don’t know what you are referring too (sic)”

    [Yes. I meant "quote me, or quote someone, direct" instead of creating a straw man. I didn't ask the question you quote above. Who did? —JN]

    really?
    really?
    Never heard of ocean acidification?
    I mean this is pretty basic stuff

    Its something we have measured with thousands of data points

    [Yes. I know about ocean acidification, but I couldn't understand your point. Who are you rebutting? —JN]

    “So people in the third world can eat, use refrigerated vaccines, teach their kids to read with electric lights, and cook without smoking out the house. For starters… —JN”

    Can you point to where anyone says we should pursue taming AGW in lieu of addressing third world needs? Besides, finding renewable energy sources is a key to helping with that. What is less expensive: installing decentralized power where needed, or running powerlines from a centralized power plant to tiny little villages? Are you saying that what we are doing now (i.e. not spending enough resources on making renewables work) is working? Is it truly a good plan to continue to rely on depletable resources? How is that helping the 3rd world? cripes, you dont even need power to keep vaccines refrigerated.

    [ How is the third world better off if electricity becomes more expensive and more unreliable? Some vaccines, and most medicines last longer in cold storage, so do enzymes, and food. If we were facing imminent drastic changes to sea-levels and storms, or droughts, sure pick the lesser evil and act. But there's no evidence co2 has any effect, so why kill any third world people to prevent an event based on nothing more than a committees unsubstantiated guess? This is like superstition?-JN]

    Its hilarious that you think that being compared to Ann Coulter is somehow good. Even here, she has finally been relegated to the fringes of relevance.

    BTW, that link you provided to try to discuss the lag [ the link was to discuss the hockey stick graph. If you read it you would know that. —JN]was not a good summary with respect to lag (but interesting nonetheless, never mind the fact that there are many more studies that add to the cumulative historic temperature data besides mann and A&W). Can you point to a place that shows that 800 years ago, there was a temperature rise so as to release this surge of CO2 we are seeing now? My link showed data for 1000 years, no lag. Its gone. so you say: I see a hockey stick, therefore I don’t believe it. Ok fine… which graph of historic global temperature would you like to use?

    [Use Greenland Ice core records. see fig 5 from memory, but it might be fig 6-10. And here's a link to lots of graphs showing the medieval warming period was real and matches the anecdotal historical records. —JN]

    Penrose:
    No one contests it because thats a total strawman, not “reasoned”. No one says you should “believe models that have not been verified and validated and report no error bars with their results”. However that’s simply not the case here. There is lots of verified evidence. (no JN, I should not have to give a whole lesson here about all the evidence readily available for AGW) [No, and you don't have to convince anyone that you know what that 'evidence' is either-JN] the absorption of CO2 has been measured and implemented in the models. The temperature of the atmosphere at various heights have been measured and verified. Thermohaline circulation has been measured and implemented. Solar irradiance is measured and implemented in models. fossil fuel consumption is measured, atmospheric CO2 concentrations are measured, and on and on and on. all this goes into models. Then they check to see if the physics based models (as opposed to statistical models) match historical data. If not, they research components of the physics, verifying coefficients, implementing new processes that were perhaps not captured (like volcanos, of AGHGs). for the most part coefficients arent just randomly assigned.

    All:
    I think there is a large level of ignorance with regard to how models are used and what we use them for. [deleted unsubstantiated insult]. When I use a model in engineering and it tells me that some part will flex by 1.047 cm, am I shocked when it is really 1.050? Of course not. As my measurements get better and my understanding of the physics involved get better, I can take my models out to more and more decimal places with greater and greater confidence.

    No one thinks that if a model predicts 4 degree rise in 100 years that we will definitely see 4 degrees in 100 years. We do not use models that way…[deleted unsubstantiated conjecture]. They know about all your complaints about error bars, uncaptured processes, and as time goes on the models get more and more accurate. The models now capture the cooling in the ’40s, that deniers like to harp on about, they capture the effects of volcanic eruptions, and so forth.

    …about missing a degree here, of missing a one year spike here and there is not useful. Its like me complaining that the weatherman predicted 20% chance rain, and it rained. The dreaded models are not statistical models, that don’t just take temp data and try to find a formula that makes a squiggly line. They try to understand the underlying physical processes involved.

    Is all of it verified? Is all of it validated? Heck No! Of course not. That doesnt make it useless, any more than my imprecise engineering models are useless. I can still use them to see see what will happen under various scenarios, without expecting the actual measurments to match precisely.

    climate modeling has been going on for over 30 years. Evey year components of the various models are beaten up and taken to task. This is good. When people question the way data is accumulated to insert into the models, that is good. It provides for better and better resolution. In 20 years our models will be unbelievably better than they are now. Should we wait until then to act? In 100 years our models will be even better. Should we wait to act until then? Should car companies not release cars until their models are 100% accurate? Of course not.

    As our models improve they have not reversed our concerns about warming. Can someone point to an activity from a AGW skeptic who has put together a physics based model that accurately (as opposed to precisely) describes temperature changes for the last 100 years, and shows cooling or no heating or for the next 100?

    That would be interesting to see.

    [the models and the theory have been falsified... the hot spot is missing. Anonymous Tech can't provide any evidence except for a graph that's been comprehensively debunked.—JN]

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    Paul,

    It’s not all that interesting. You parrot the standard denier nonsense and think you have make some keen scientific observation. We have heard it all before. There will never be enough “proof” for you, so fortunately we don’t need you to begin mitigation action on greenhouse gases.

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    Paul Penrose

    Mikatollah,
    Is that all you have is ad hom? Maybe you don’t have a valid rebuttal or maybe I just overwhelmed you with topics. I’ll make it easy:

    The warmer camp is making extraordinary claims, so where is the extraordinary proof?

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    Skeptico

    JN’s post is dishonest, fallacious, and ignores the actual rebuttals to her points in my actual post as well as in a comment replying to this post.  She is also a hypocrite.  For example, JN writes to TechSkeptic

    “Use direct quotes next time so you don’t give us more examples of how poor your reading and comprehension is.”

    And yet she writes about me:

    What’s the most embarrassing thing that could happen to a skeptic? Could it be worse than being exposed for believing anything and everything a government committee tells them?

    So I say, right back at ya.  The direct quote please, where I said that. Because otherwise you’re just making up an absurd position that you know I never took and are ridiculing that position.  I guess that would be easier than responding to what I actually wrote.  But it is fallacious – what we skeptics call a “straw man”.  Look it up.

    [ Sceptico - these examples are not comparible. tech wrote a paragraph that didn't make sense, he appeared to be asking me to justify something about a specific point 'someone' (me?) had claimed, but I couldn't tell who said it, or what context it came from, and I asked for a direct quote. My opinion of your belief in government was never written as a quote from you. Since it was my opinion, it stands (or falls) based on my arguments around it (ie most of that article). Prove me wrong, name a belief of yours that is not 'mainstream' consensus, government approved, or goes against what associations of scientists, or doctors say. -JN]

    Then JN writes:

    the models and the theory have been falsified… the hot spot is missing.

    Oh yes, this hilarious falsification of the whole of climate science with this one unpublished paper that I debunked in my post – a response that JN completely ignored.  As JN ignored my rebuttal to this silly, fallacy ridden post of JN’s.  Since we’re asking questions, here are a few for JN:

    [Err - psst Sceptico - I didn't ignore it, I answered it here. I didn't say it was peer reviewed. You keep saying that but go on, find that quote. I said the details and links were "here". At worst, it was ambiguous, and open to misinterpretation. But it's an irrelevant distraction, and you are still not discussing the evidence. And ahem... you 'debunked' the summary article? Since when was "denialist tactics" a form of valid rhetoric? You debunked nothing. - JN]

    1) Why do you make up silly straw men versions of my arguments and ridicule them, rather than addressing my actual points? [ see above- JN]

    2) A direct quote please to where I say I believe anything and everything on any topic?[ see above- JN]

    3) Please explain how describing denier “tactics” is an ad hominem.  Please reply to my comment where I explained that describing a tactic is criticizing the argument, not the arguer.  Don’t just repeat the already debunked arguments. [ You said it: “Employ denier tactics, you’re a denier.” What's not ad hom about that? JN]

    4) Explain please how using the ad hominem “The IPCC is a political organization” is a valid argument against the IPCC’s conclusions.[ Whether the IPCC is political or not, it doesn't matter what the IPCC says, it's not scientific proof, it's all argument by authority, it's the decree of a committee. ( I suppose you'll say that's wrong because you've 'debunked' argument-by-authority? Really. Cancel the Enlightenment. eh? ) My point is that the IPCC papers are not peer reviewed, they amount to the opinions of some people. It's still not proof. - JN]

    5) Explain please how reporting on lists of scientists supposedly supporting your position is a valid argument. [Did it. See the disclaimer - JN]

    6) Please explain why you keep referring to David Evans’s paper as being “peer reviewed”.[ I don't. I replied to this already here - JN]

    7) Please explain why all the links I provided in my rebuttal to that paper were wrong.

    Here Here
    Here
    Here
    Here
    Here
    Here
    Here
    Here
    Here
    Here

    Hint: saying that these are by Deltoid will not be considered a valid argument.  Rebut the arguments presented please.

    [Sceptico I would "rebut the arguments" but you are not presenting any, you're just throwing links, it's not clear you understand the content of these links at all. This is not an honest effort to provide evidence. I'll give you a point for Sherwood and Santer, because they are writing at the crux of the matter, but Sherwood et al, uses wind-shear instead of temperature sensors to measure temperatures and Santer, found statistical fog rather than the hot spot, and I've already, discussed both on this page and in the Skeptics Handbook (perhaps you could read it?). These guys did not 'find' the missing hot spot. They claim 'it might still be there'. That's as good as it gets. Otherwise, you've just thrown a long list of other peoples opinions at me. Really... you trust what these guys have all said? When I replied to say Deltoid, it's obvious that he doesn't understand what a 'fingerprint' pattern means, and can't form a logical construct that shows I was wrong anywhere. Sure, in a perfect world I'd have time to debunk every believer of AGW on every blog just for you. If you find the observable evidence, the empirical data and describe it. Then I'll consider your arguments. Heck, maybe you'll convince me I'm wrong? All it would take would be some reasonable evidence, explained briefly and linked, but please no more fallacious argument by authority. - JN]

    8) Please explain why your definition of a fallacious augment from authority differs from just about every other source on this subject.  For example:
    Nizkor: “a person who is a legitimate expert is more likely to be right than wrong when making considered claims within her area of expertise. In a sense, the claim is being accepted because it is reasonable to believe that the expert has tested the claim and found it to be reliable. So, if the expert has found it to be reliable, then it is reasonable to accept it as being true.”
    [ from your quote: "more likely to be right"... equals "could be wrong" - JN]
    Wikipedia: “Since we cannot have detailed knowledge of a great many topics, we must often rely on the judgments of those who do.”
    [We (who are lazy) let others look at the research. Instead, if we ask to see the data, the results, the observations, then we can trust our own judgment - JN]
    Skeptic wiki: “Argument by authority can sometimes be both appropriate and relevant, if the authority is in a position to offer an expert opinion on the question at hand.”

    bcskeptics: “X is probably true because Y says so, and he’s a legitimate authority on this topic.” – That’s critical thinking.
    [ Not in science it ain't :-) - JN]

    Rational Wiki:Argumentum ad verecundiam when correctly applied can be a valid appeal to authority, essentially it is an argument that requests judgement or input from a qualified or expert source.”

    [Sceptico, I already did explain why all these are wrong (on this page above). You've ignored it. All the justifications of argument by authority apply to legal discussions, or sporting events; they don't apply to science. That's what the Renaissance was about. Does the feather fall slower than the ball...? We could ask the bible, or ... drop them and see - JN]

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    Andrew Simpson

    Techskeptic:
    “When I use a model in engineering and it tells me that some part will flex by 1.047 cm, am I shocked when it is really 1.050? Of course not. As my measurements get better and my understanding of the physics involved get better, I can take my models out to more and more decimal places with greater and greater confidence.”

    Not a very good argument, Techskeptic. Alarmists wouldn’t be shocked if they got a reading of minus 1.050, such is the accuracy of climate models. In the world of AGW Alarmism, you simply adjust a few fudge-factors in the model and make the results follow the readings. Too easy!

    If I developed an engineering model with the accuracy and repeatabilty of the climate models, then I’d be expect to be sued when the wheels fell off my latest, computer modelled creation. (The court case would be interesting – “Yes, your Honour, in hindsight brakes would have been useful, but my computer model demonstrated that they wouldn’t be needed – although a couple of times they did, but I just ignored those”).

    I wouldn’t be so sceptical of AGW if the climate models predicted temperature with the degree of accuracy you give in your above example.

    Keep them coming though, Techskeptic. As an Australian, I admire the way you don’t give up and keep coming back for more. However, may I suggest you stop leading with your chin! :)

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    Sage

    “it is reasonable to believe that the expert has tested the claim and found it to be reliable”

    Not if the so-called expert is known to have adjusted the data to fit their foregone conclusions, as the likes of James Hansen and Michael Mann are known to have done.

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    Paul Penrose

    Jo,
    To be fair the General Circulation Models have never been disproved because they never represented any kind of “proof” in the first place since they have never been Validated and Verified. Software engineers have known for a long time that software of that complexity will always contain errors no matter how smart and capable the people are that wrote them. That’s why software V&V processes were created. I would never trust the output of any software for anything important unless it was properly Validated and Verified. This has never been done with the GCMs and is the reason that the output from them can’t be used as evidence or support for AGW theories.

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    MattB

    When you say they have never been verified or validated – can you reference that or is it just a hunch. Does peer review not count in some way…

    your comment “Software engineers have known for a long time that software of that complexity will always contain errors no matter how smart and capable the people are that wrote them.” implies that climate scientists do not know the same? why is this.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/11/faq-on-climate-models/langswitch_lang/en is a useful read – but of course those realclimate guys are part of the problem yeah?

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    MattB

    And Paul – I was going to have a go at your post 12… but it occurred to me it would be better to let Jo explain your errors in logic and science – even though you are a fellow sceptic. notably “even if the world does warm by 3 to 5 degrees C, where is the proof that this will be only bad?” – would not take Jo long to clear that one up in particular.

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    MattB

    “only be bad” of course being a totally unscientific term. Lets say I was a person who wanted the people of the earth to suffer greatly… well then indeed warming of 3-5 deg would be good for me.

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    Actually Matt, I’d rather stay out of this one. Since there is no evidence I’m aware of that suggests we need to worry about 3-5 degrees of warming I haven’t looked into it in great depth. Off the top of my head, I’d assume that a few degrees warmer could be partly bad, pretty similar, or slightly better. But 3 degrees cooler is without a doubt, worse. People starve.
    Both of you would need to offer more reasoning to convince me. But if I had to pick, and the solar astrophysics guys are right, in ten years time we may be wishing for a good 2 -3 degrees of warming.

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    Andrew Simpson

    Hi MattB.

    From what I’ve seen, people from both sides of the equation are very good at trying to pick holes in the other sides arguments, but nowhere have I seen any real solutions.

    There is a real “us v’s them” attitude in this and many other global warming blogs, where people pick the smallest part of an overall argument and twist it around to make the writer look like a fool. (But at least you are not as angry and condescending as other warmists on this blog!).

    Personally, I think Paul has a valid point. How do we know that 3 degrees isn’t going to be more beneficial? All we ever see is pictures of hurricanes, death, stock footage of displaced people crying, massive floods and starvation. We never see any benefits that may happen. Obviously it will depend on where and what latitude you live in the world, but “the other side” should at least be explored.

    We could argue all day at what percentage point of warming we would all drop dead at, but I digress. What I’d really like to for you (or anyone else for that matter), to provide some answers to some questions on the Australian Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that will be thrust upon us next year. (I have learnt from other sites that you are Australian and you appear to be well read, so I hope you have an opinion on this).

    1. How will Australia reduce it’s reliance on coal to meet our emissions and renewable energy targets? (Please don’t say solar, wind and natural gas – the first two items will never meet our base load, let alone the peak loads and natural gas still produces CO2 when burnt. I’d accept nuclear as an answer. But I doubt we’ll get that past big Kev).

    2. How will the ETS prevent heavy energy use industries (e.g. Aluminium refining, steel making, cement manufacturing, etc.), from packing up and moving to China, India or any other country that doesn’t have any carbon capping of its market? How will this benefit the environment?

    3. How will our ETS save the Great Barrier Reef, cute furry animals and our ski fields, etc. as trumpeted by our government in their mass media advertising?

    4. How will our ETS drop the world temperature by any amount?

    5. How will the ETS do anything good for our country? Full stop. (Apart from making us feel good and appear to be a good global citizen? I know there are ethical arguments about leading the world because we are a rich nation and all that sort of stuff, but there are also ethical arguments about India and China growing and polluting without bounds. There is also an ethical argument about keeping Australians working and above the poverty line and growing this country. I know this question is parochial and will cop some flack, but it is a valid question).

    6. I have no problem with reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. In fact I would applaud it. But replace it with what? What do you suggest?

    What I don’t like doing is losing our valuable industries, putting people out of work, beating my head against a wall, all for the sake of “feeling good” and maybe, just maybe, reducing the CO2 in the atmosphere by two fifths of stuff all.

    Let’s just say the science is settled. Why is there still so much research being done? Why can’t the thousands of peer reviewed scientist, instead of slapping each other on the back about the impending Armageddon, get out there and solve our energy problems? No, instead they are writing about the increasingly fanciful ways that we will meet our doom, as well as scoring cheap shots and name calling on the various climate blogs.

    I would love to hear some hard answers on removing Australia’s reliance on coal, not just fluffy, motherhood statements like solar or wind power. I would appreciate your comments.

    Regards,
    Andrew.

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    Prove me wrong, name a belief of yours that is not ‘mainstream’ consensus, government approved, or goes against what associations of scientists, or doctors say. -JN

    This is ridiculous.
    Do you really think that you need to disagree with a scientific consensus in order to be a “true” skeptic?

    ['Course Not. It is possible that most government scientific committee's world wide are right. Really. But if you believe them without knowing any evidence yourself, you hardly qualify as a 'sceptic'. — JN]

    There is a difference between blindly following authority and accepting the evidence that lead to the formation of the scientific consensus in the first place.

    [ What Evidence? O' you mean THE paper you can't seem to find? — JN]

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    Paul Penrose

    MattB,
    If the models were Validated and Verified there would be reports published along with the source code detailing this effort. It’s not my duty to prove that the models have not been Validated and Verified, it’s up to the people making the claims that the model output means something that have to produce the V&V reports. So far I’ve seen nothing.

    V&V is not some sort of ad hoc procedure, it is a documented, industry standard procedure. There is something called peer review too, but it’s much more comprehensive than the type of review done in the journals. The sad fact is that the source code for all the GCMs I’ve looked at is a spaghetti-code mess and is almost totally uncommented. If they had been properly reviewed, Validated, and Verified I can guarantee you that the code would be much, much cleaner.

    How do I know? I’ve been developing software for over 25 years for companies like IBM, Medtronic, and Lockheed-Martin. In fact if you go to the US patent website you will find my name as inventor on a Medtronic patent for an imbedded operating system for pacemakers. So trust me, I know about proper software design, review, and V&V. The people who wrote the GCMs don’t have a clue. So if you want to debate me further on the subject, bring it on.

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    Paul Penrose

    MattB,
    OK, now on 3-5 degrees of warming (over 100 years, BTW). James Hansen as said that this would “destroy creation”. Oh, yeah, that’s scientific. Al Gore tells us that the poles will melt and flood all the coastal areas, despite the fact that even in summer the average temperature in the antarctic is -20. We are also told that there will be more storms and they will be more violent, more droughts, more tropical diseases, etc. I actually saw one AGW supporter (a scientist I think, I’d have to look it up, but I don’t have the time now) who said that in 100 years the only habitable continent will be Antarctica! And for all these claims only the flimsiest of evidence is offered up; most is mere conjecture.

    What you don’t usually hear about from the AGW crowd is that almost all plant species show increased growth at higher CO2 concentrations. Warmer climate is just as likely to create longer growing seasons and at higher latitudes. More people worldwide die from cold weather than warm, by a large margin, so shorter warmer winters might reduce overall deaths. Pure speculation you say? No more than the the claims in my first paragraph. (Actually some of those are much less believable, like the total melting of the poles)

    The fact is that we really don’t know what the net effect of 3-5 degrees of warming will be, but that doesn’t seem to stop the AGW supports from making the most absurd catastrophic claims. So which one do you want to debate? How about the one about only Antarctica will be habitable in 100 years?

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    MattB

    So Jo at 23 – if there is no problem with warming, then what has the hotspot got to do with anything? All it would do is falsify something that didn’t matter anyway?

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    MattB

    I can’t possibly answer all that in my 30 mins a night Paul;) But you would not go wrong to read the IPCC reports about future scenarios with various temperature changes. Really all the science is there for all to see. I’m not fobbing you off to the IPCC on an authority argument… it is just where the science is. Try RealCLimate.com, Bravenewclimate.com (maybe .au), try that gristmill site. You can disagree with it or come up with counter science, but seriously there are massive reports that discuss this in detail that you’ll just have to read:)

    re: 26 I was genuinely asking can you back up that claim, or do I just trust you on it? Surely if it was a genuine problem someone somewhere would have some published science on it. My undergrad degree was H2O modelling (and technically I have a degree in astrophysics Jo;) People always accuse me of being sly when I reference my mates… but my best man is a PhD in fluids modelling, and he thinks AGW is a scam, so it is not like I can;t discuss this with people in the know and with a contrary opinion face to face.

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    MattB

    Andrew since you were friendly I’ll take apunt at yours with my last 10 mins…;)

    1) Tricky one isn’t it… personally I think that the technology will sort itself out with the correct market pressures, as opposed to the current market that totally favours coal. Renewables can play a really significant part in current capacity… but I’m sorry I can;t pick the tech winners. All I can say is as a species we’ve not been found wanting yet:) Nuclear has nowhere near the supplies to meaningfully replace coal for more than say 50-60 years… that is my major problem with it… I;ve posted links to Bravenewclimate on IFR technology that looks superb… and not all that experimental… The miserly use of fuel would have my consipiracy theory receptors tingling as to why the technology was abandoned 30 years ago despite being fully operational…

    2) well the proposed ETS gives them a whole heap of freebies simple as that. I’m quite in favour of a global cap… but yes at the end of the day other nations will want their slice of the pie. In case you;d not noticed nearly everything we used to do has gone to CHina already. I have no doubt in the future we will purchase from the international carbon market more permits than our per-capita level would require.

    3) OUr ETS will not save it. But if we don;t have our ETS they are screwed too. Our being involved in a global ETS is a requirement of global survival… if the rest get on board free loaders I’d imagine will be economically isolated.

    4) see 3

    5) look CHina and India will never accept a solution that means they get less energy than anyone else… why should they? I’d be very very very surprised if China’s per capita emissions are EVER higher than our own… in fact I’ll bet a grand on it if anyone is interested? Garnauts report suggests the ETS will not cripple us at all.. in fact it is quite a reasonable impost.

    6) Efficiency is the 1st hurdle. We waste oil we waste coal, because it is used like it is endless and literally wasted. I’ve never seen a genuine CO2 reduction plan at a business that does not make significant savings with a good rate of economic return. Again I can’t predict the technology winners… a bit like getting to the moon (unless you think that was rubbish) – they thanked the guys who said it could not be done:)

    So not only do I believe the science, I personally think that it is eminently achievable… which is where I worry about many sceptics… because I just don’t see any major negatives in capping CO2, but I see massive negatives to pumping it out with the possibility of frying the planet. And I see massive vested interests in not capping carbon – especially compared to the pittiful amounts that some AGW scientists stands to pocket out of it all.

    Am I the only person here who thinks this is well within our ability as a species to achieve?

    tick tick tick…

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    MattB

    Jo: “Off the top of my head, I’d assume that a few degrees warmer could be partly bad, pretty similar, or slightly better. ”

    Hmm… well at least your admitting you’re not working from a science position on this one;) Seriously Jo so now you doubt all the published science that says it will be bad, not just the science that says it is warming?

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    “But you would not go wrong to read the IPCC reports about future scenarios with various temperature changes. Really all the science is there for all to see.” “Try RealCLimate.com, Bravenewclimate.com (maybe .au), try that gristmill site.”

    Hey Matt, don’t you think it’s odd that anyone can find references to “lots of evidence” and the IPCC can produce 800 pages, but no one seems to able to find references to just one single study?

    Empirical evidence? The IPCC doesn’t name any. But good on you for trying to wade through the bureacrateze.

    Let me know if you spot that one mysterious study supporting AGW.
    You’d think that if realclimate, bravenewclimate, and gristoid et al ad infinitum, all linked to THAT study, it would google hit Rank Number 1.

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    MattB

    Hang on a tick Jo – the question from Paul specifically related to 3-5 degrees warming being bad, and I referred to IPCC regarding those temperature scenarios. Could also refer to Stern and Garnaut.

    [ Stern and Garnaut are economists right? They specialize in understanding something created out of thin air? Since when did they even ask questions about the science their forecasts were based on? — JN]

    DOn;t forget you need strategic strikes… not a scattergun approach wondering if warming is bad, if the hockey stick is broken etc… they don;t matter, the science is falsified regardless;)

    [ And ahem, no 'single paper' from you either eh? What was that about 'strategic'? — JN]

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    Rod Smith

    Paul Penrose is absolutely spot-on with his comments about V&V as pertains to models.

    Still, the most disturbing thing to me is the absolute folly of IPCC forecasting, er-a excuse me, projecting scenarios, of future climate with models that use only temperature as actual input.

    Anyone who thinks climate is solely defined by mean temperature, especially a global mean temperature, shouldn’t be allowed near a computer, not to mention sharp objects.

    Let me pose a scenario. Suppose the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff goes to a real, live, working Climatologist — not just some professor — and asks the following type of questions:

    We think we will have to invade country “A” sometime this June or July.

    1) Would June be better or worse than July to expect poor night visibility for say 3 days running to cover covert operations? Clouds are welcome, but not heavy pecip.

    2) Which month would be better in regards to ceilings above 5000 feet and visibility of at least 3 miles for close air support of beach landings?

    3) We would like surface winds of less than 20 knots, and need tides of less than four feet.

    4) Will the land area just to the interior of the beach generally be dry enough support tanks in excess of 60 tons, either in June or July?

    5-6-7-8 etc., etc.

    So the Climatologist goes over to a computer for a few minutes and comes back with the answer: “I don’t see any problem either month because the temperature should average between 70 and 73F the whole time.”

    Have I made my point?

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    Yup. You have made the point that you do not know the difference between meteorology and climatology. Good work. Grade School error.

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    Just so i understand this audience a little better. Perhaps some folks could answer these two questions:

    1)Is the theory of evolution a well supported theory that explains speciation on this planet?

    2)Are the evolutionary processes guided, by something other than random events and cumulative history?

    Maybe I can understand this group a little better if I understand the answer to those.

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    Rod Smith

    I beg your pardon TechSkeptic, but those are EXACTLY the types of questions that are asked of military Climo sections.

    If you want a forecast for tomorrow, or the day after, you talk to a weatherman. If you want an estimate for next July, or next year, or next winter, you ask a climatologist.

    You apparently missed my point entirely about climate not being wholly defined by temperature.

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    Andrew Simpson

    TechSkeptic #36.

    If it was up to AGW Alarmists, evolution would be guided by unreliable computer models.

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at by your question. I guess your mind is working on some higher, sanctimonious level than the poor old folk at this site. I’m guessing you are trying link us all to creationist/holocaust deniers/etc. etc..

    I can’t quite see how it will help profile this group, but here is a little info about me.

    I’m just an average person.

    I have an electrical engineering background. I write software, so can understand many of the problems associated with modelling. I understand energy flow, but I will never claim to be an climate expert.

    I believe the holocaust happened.

    I am not religious. I don’t practice religion..

    I think the theory of evolution is an acceptable theory. (I hope that’s an acceptable answer).

    I believe smoking tobacco gives you cancer. I lost both my grandfathers to smoking related illnesses.

    I believe AIDS eventually follows after you acquire the HIV virus.

    I don’t receive any funding from oil, coal, tobacco, liberal think tanks, etc.

    I believe in a cleaner, greener planet, but I don’t think CO2 is pollution. I drive a fuel efficient car. My house is energy efficient. Some days, I ride my bike to work. I don’t have airconditioning.

    I don’t like being told a debate is over, when clearly it isn’t. (If you are so convinced that the science is settled, why are you visiting sites like this? You should go back to one of your pro-warming blogs and continue to stroke each others ego’s).

    I hold serious doubts over the accuracy of the climate models. It appears I’m not alone. I don’t like staking my country’s future on non verified code, let alone non verified science.

    I would be happy to switch from fossil fuels, but I can’t see how it going to happen in the short term. How do you suggest we provide the energy for the world, Techskeptic? How about putting you mind to that, rather than trying to catch us out on a question about evolution. Evolution has got nothing to do with the climate change debate.

    I hate that industry and development will be stifled in Australia under our emissions trading scheme, while much larger polluters can carry on unchecked. Particularly when it’s based on science that is clearly not settled.

    I dislike the condescending tones of alarmists such as yourself.

    I dislike that climate change science has become a religion.

    I dislike reading about future predictions that are simply ridiculous and alarmist. Mr James Hansen and our Mr Tim Flannery are the best examples.

    I’m not much different to many people I know who are very sceptical. We are not raving crackpots. We are just ordinary people who question your point of view. Nothing more. Nothing less. No conspiracies. No reds-under-the-bed.

    Please use your time better than trying to “bait-a-sceptic”. I’m sure it will give you some street credibility in your circles, but it doesn’t really add to the debate.

    By the way, I also dislike the word “debunk”. But that’s a personal thing. :)

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    Jeez I only asked two yes or no questions. Can you quote something I said that was alarmist? Did I say the species would be wiped out? Gimme a break.

    Why do you assume that economy will be hurt by investing the renewable energy that will allow for more energy and a virtually endless supply of it. Every hour the Sun transmits enough eneryg to the planet to meet our power needs for a year. Of course we can’t capture but a small percentage of it, but thats all we need. Somehow, this will lead to a harmed economy? Gimme a break.

    [Why do you assume that we can suddenly change the source of 80% our energy without harming the economy? - JN]

    I too am an engineer (mechanical with a mechatronic concentration for MS and PhD). I too understand models and have written many for many processes. I am totally amazed when I see folks like these expecting a model to be perfect, and if it doesnt fit perfectly then it has been “falsified”. I dislike reading denialist blather about AGW as if there are only one or two studies.

    I dont receive any funding from government of climate groups, although I have worked in the energy field a number of times.

    I find it hilarious that you are asking how we switch from fosil fuels while at the same time joining the party of denialists that make that transition the hardest. There are a tremendous number of reasons, aside from AGW, to make alternative energy work. Drilling more, and raping national forests and leveling mountains is not the way to get off of fossil fuels. nor is continuing to get energy from countries that hate us, including both fossil fuel (35% of foreign oil burned in america comes from countries who hate us, nuclear fuel is not much better although we do get a chunk from Oz and Can) Investing in solar thermal, algae refineries, along with decentralizing power generation with wind and solar is a great way to get there. Was it overnight we went from steam to internal combustion? Of course not. It wont be over night to get to renewables either. But this conspiracy theory mongering doesn’t help.

    So we can get to work, get on the same team, or we can sit here and bitch about how there is a great big conspiracy of scientists who are trying to deceive the world. The goal is no different if there is global warming or not.

    As for “bait a denialist”, I’ll wait for a few more answers to tell you why I am asking.

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    If you want a forecast for tomorrow, or the day after, you talk to a weatherman. If you want an estimate for next July, or next year, or next winter, you ask a climatologist

    No, you do not ask a climatologist what is going to happen on a particular set of days in a few months. You do not ask a climatologist if its going to be foggy on one particular night. Just because its further in the future doesn’t mean you switch from meteorology to climatology.

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    Andrew Simpson

    Techskeptic #39.

    Settle petal.

    Your two questions were to provoke a response. A response you got. I’d be keen to know why you asked them in the first place.

    If you don’t like reading the “blather” on this site, go somewhere else. It’s not doing you any harm. Some of us are interested on what is being said here.

    When we get our first algae refinery base load power station here in Australia, I’ll be the first to go to the site of your choice and concede defeat, otherwise it’s coal for us for some number of years.

    In OZ, we have been playing around the edges on renewable energy, but there is nothing that will meet our base load requirements that’s not at least 20-30 years way.

    In that time, our heavy industries will move out of the country, with the CO2 emmissions occuring somewhere else. How is that helping the environment?

    This is a serious question – why don’t you turn your full attention to perfecting some of the technologies you describe above? Put your money where your mouth is. I’m sure you have plenty to offer. I would have a lot more respect for you doing that, than asking dumb, unrelated questions here.

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    Andrew Simpson

    Matt B.

    Thanks for your reply. I’ve just got a few comments. By the way, I’m glad you choose to spend your half hour on the computer with us.

    1. Very tricky. We will need to solve that problem eventually, but I’m not sure that it will happen before 2050, when things start turning nasty. I don’t think there is any knight in shining armour that will show up any time soon. There is a lot of talk about new technologies, but no one really taking it by the scruff of the neck. Agree IFR technology looks good, but realistically, with a minimum 10 year lag in this country for building base load power stations, I can’t see IFR taking off here for at least another 30 years. With reference to your comment about the miserly use of fuel – if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

    2. There needs to be a global cap for Australia’s ETS to be worth anything.

    3. I don’t hear the rest of the world worrying about the Great Barrier Reef. They all have their own mouths to feed, rooms to heat and cool, etc.

    4. Fair call.

    5. Keep your thousand bucks. It’s total emissions that count, not per capita. I’m not saying India and China should get less energy than anyone else. All I’m saying is their CO2 will swamp any reduction Australia makes, as well as eventually swamping any European and US reductions. They like using coal. I don’t have a problem with that (- remember I’m a sceptic). But I don’t see Hansen’s or Gore’s apocalyptic views being welcomed into China or India. It appears that we (developed countries) must do the penance.

    6. Agree, efficiency is the first hurdle, but that will only go so far. It’s a long road, with a short time frame, so I hope Kevin, Penny and Pete “Midnight Oil” Garrett are up to the task!!

    Maaaate, what are you doing? Trying to allude to me being a moon landing denier! I thought you were a reasonable alarmist, but you all seem to be tied to the one brush.

    I got caught by one of your mates by a trick question and I bared my soul in comment 30. Simply put, I don’t deny stuff. I forgot mention that I believe man landed on the moon. I don’t believe in UFO’s! If you have any more up your sleeve – I don’t deny them. I’m actually quite a well adjusted person.

    I’m not convinced on the science, but I’ll be happy to discuss/argue over a cold beer one day – even if you accuse me of being a moon landing denier! :)

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    Andrew Simpson

    MattB,

    Forgot one. Harold Holt. Drowned.

    (Non Australians may need to google that one).

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    MattB

    Jo – play ball – I’ve said before I’m not here to give you your single paper… but again the post above is about whether 305 deg warming would be bad.. not if it is going to happen due to CO2. Stern and Garnaut have looked at what those temps would mean to us, and based on the science of what will a 3-5 degree world look like… not just the science of if it was warming or not. Or are you also debunking a whole heap of science that says 3-5 degrees of warming will be pretty bad, as well as the science that says it is warming? The question is completely not related to providing 1 paper of evidence for warming.

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    MattB

    ABOVE – 3-5 NOT 305.

    And andrew thanks for your reply. But note I didn’t compare you to a moon landing denier… but was comparing to the people who said during development of the moon missions that it could not be done… Kennedy himself famously acknowledged that without sceptics the science may have been far less rigorous than it was, or far less determined. For the record it would not surprise me in the slightest to one day find out the moon landings were fake;)

    Look at Jo worrying if massively changing our energy will be economically bad… she clearly has a whole heap of opinions that support her climate scepticism. Why is there no one who thinks we can cope, thinks technology will find a way, but still thinks the science of AGW is rubbish – they should not be so mutually exclusive.

    [Matt, it's lucky I like you so much or I'd cut, hack and chop at the line "she has a whole heap of opinions that support her skepticism"...errr...havent you noticed it's kinda central to this whole blog,... my opinions support nothin' but conjecture. My scepticism on the other hand is supported by anything but opinions.— JN]

    [BTW: I do think techonology will "find a way", but that makes it sound like it will be pain free. And pain for us in the comfy first world, is nothing compared to pain of those who can't afford food for their children. Humans have been carbon powered for thousands of years. We built civilization on fossil fuels. It's a huge undertaking. It could take decades to wean us off them (and for what reason?). Let the governments and companies pour money into research, yes. Taxes, and worse, carbon credits, are too dangerous for words.— JN]

    1) Agree… which makes me especially sceptical about the lack of hotspot claim… it is just all too simple a falsification;)

    [ Ah Matt - so you're looking for the anti-Occams razor rule then?— JN]

    2) Absolutely – but if there is to be a global cap then we may as well be ready for it with a low level reduction scheme in place ready to rev up.

    3) I didn;t say anything about the Barrier reef?

    4) cheers:)

    5) hmmm – well of course it is total emissions – but how do you divvy it up? It is a useful comparison tool but clearly by supporting a global ETS I am quite comfortable with some countries ending up with higher per cap emissions than others… as other nations have chose not to buy or to sell.

    6) Efficiency makes sense regardless of AGW… it is crazy how we waste energy… especially liquid fossil fuels that are literally irreplacable for so many of our modern tasks but we waste them on letting families drive around cities like Perth:)

    [Agreed! But.... doesn't that efficiency apply to our legal and financial systems too? If we want to make energy use efficient, do we need to make laws based on poor reasoning, bad science, and no evidence; train lots of people in how to enforce them, and all while others spend just as much time figuring out how to bend them. That's hours of brain filled time that is going to waste. Could've been used to cure cancer. — JN]

    And then to wrap up… I repeat I didn;t call you a moon lander denialist but in this debate it is easy to misread things based on what you are expecting to hear;)

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    Skeptico

    Joanne Nova wrote:

    My opinion of your belief in government was never written as a quote from you.

    Oh please.  Joanne opens up her post (which is about me) with her “believing anything and everything a government committee tells them” line.  Of course it was never a direct quote – duh.  It couldn’t possibly be any kind of quote since it was not even close in any way to what my view actually is.  But it states clearly a position Joanne claims I take.  And it was a gross misrepresentation of my actual position.   Nothing like what I wrote.  Still, if that’s what Joanne thinks is a valid argument, she should keep that paragraph there – the fact that she has to manufacture ridiculous positions and assign them to me just shows how short she is of rebuttals to my actual arguments.

    Since it was my opinion, it stands (or falls) based on my arguments around it (ie most of that article). Prove me wrong, name a belief of yours that is not ‘mainstream’ consensus, government approved, or goes against what associations of scientists, or doctors say.

    There are numerous things wrong with this paragraph.  First, it’s not my job to disprove Joanne’s claim for her.  If she thinks I believe “anything and everything” it’s up to her to show that I do in fact believe in anything and everything.  Her claim.  She should back it up.  Of course, it is obvious to anyone that Joanne had been caught manufacturing an easily ridiculed position and assigning it to me.  She can’t back it up so she tries to claim I have to prove it wrong.  These are just tactics to try to make you forget that she made something up about me.

    But OK, just for laughs, why not?  A belief of mine that is not ‘mainstream’ consensus, government approved?  OK, I am an atheist and have a very low opinion of religion.  Oh yeah, Joanne tries to claim this doesn’t count somehow, but this is just double talk.  In the US atheists are the most reviled group there is, and it is virtually impossible right now for any atheist to get elected to any public office.   People have lost their jobs for it.  So anyway,that would be one.  For free I’ll give Joanne another one – I’m opposed to the drug war and favor legalization of all drugs for adults.  Show me the government list that supports this position.  (This should be fun.)  So there you are Joanne – proved you wrong twice.

    Third, even though I did prove Joanne wrong, the premise of her question makes no sense anyway.  She wrote that I believe “anything and everything”.  But even if I support a mainstream belief, that doesn’t mean I believe “anything and everything” about it.  For example, although I accept AGW, I think some of the more alarmist predictions may be exaggerated.  And some things are bound to be shown to be wrong as we learn more.  Even if you think that mainstream beliefs are more likely to be true, that doesn’t mean you will believe anything.  That’s just a non sequitur – it just doesn’t follow.

    And fourth, what is wrong with being mostly supportive of mainstream scientific opinion anyway?  Usually it’s more likely to be right than the opinions of non scientists.  Of course, this little tirade of Joanne’s against orthodoxy, the government etc really is not about me – it is really about Joanne Nova.  Unfortunately, Joanne’s determination to be anti establishment, anti government etc, has resulted in this flawed obsession she has with being the knowledgeable rebel and in proving the AGW establishment wrong.  Joanne casts herself in the role of the Wright brothers – brave souls who were right despite being laughed at.  Unfortunately Joanne is more like the Marx brothers – being laughed at (by anyone who knows anything about this subject), but irrelevant. 

    Regarding whether Joanne ever claimed that Evans’s paper was peer reviewed, she wrote:

    Err – psst Sceptico (sic) – I didn’t ignore it, I answered it here. I didn’t say it was peer reviewed. You keep saying that but go on, find that quote.

    OK.  From Joanne’s actual link in the quote right above, she quotes me, asking her:

    "So I’ll say to you, the same thing I would say to IDists, which is do some experiments, write up your data and submit papers to peer reviewed scientific journals," [My bold]

    Joanne replied

    I don’t need too. Others have done it already.

    Details and papers here.  [My bold]

    I ask for peer reviewed papers and Joanne writes “Others have done it already”, with a link.  Done “it”.  She claimed specifically that others had done what I asked for – “it” – which was peer reviewed papers, and she linked Evans’s paper.  So don’t tell me she wasn’t trying to say AGW had been falsified by a peer  reviewed paper that she then linked.  Although I’m glad she now admits it isn’t peer reviewed.  Not that that makes it wrong.  But the fact that she pretended it was peer reviewed tells us something about her basic honesty.

    [Or it could tell us about your reading and comprehension skills. I said "Details and papers", plural, then provided one link. It's pretty clear to anyone who can read, that one link cannot possible be plural papers unless the links I refer too were 'detailed' on that page. Which, hypocritically enough, is exactly what sceptico did when he replied to me--only I linked to a good description and a couple of papers, and he linked to well, all of real climate. — JN]

    I said the details and links were "here". At worst, it was ambiguous

    No, not ambiguous.  Not even slightly.  I ask for peer reviewed papers and Joanne replies “here”.  No ambiguity.  None.  Totally unambiguous.  Just dishonest.

    And ahem… you ‘debunked’ the summary article? Since when was "denialist tactics" a form of valid rhetoric? You debunked nothing

    I didn’t debunk the study by calling denialists tactics.  I debunked it with links to places that debunked the actual paper with evidence.  Read my post again. 

    You said it: “Employ denier tactics, you’re a denier.” What’s not ad hom about that? J

    Joanne is making the basic rookie mistake of thinking that an ad hom is an insult, or name calling.  It isn’t.  I’ll try and keep this simple.  If I say to someone “you’re an idiot, and so you’re wrong” that’s an ad hominem.  If I say “you’re wrong because________ [and show why he is wrong], and that means you’re an idiot”, that is not ad hominem.  It’s fallacious to use name calling to show someone is wrong; if the name calling is the conclusion of his being wrong, clearly it is not fallacious.  Rude, possibly.  But not fallacious.

    Saying someone employs denier tactics is the conclusion (not the premise) of examining their actual arguments.  It is pointing out the faulty tactics and arguments employed.  And if the tactics (ie the methods of arriving at the conclusion) are faulty then it is reasonable to conclude that the conclusion arrived using these faulty tactics might also be faulty.  The “denier” tag is just a definition – a denier uses denier tactics.  You can claim you don’t use denier tactics.  You can claim the tactics I described are not denier tactics.  But you can’t say “Employ denier tactics, you’re a denier” is ad hominem.

    [ EXACTLY. It's only an Ad Hom if you use it to reason. Quote Sceptico:
    "As I said, one reason I gave up with the global warming (so called) skeptics, was because of the denier tactics they clearly relied on." Ergo (for the second time) the quote shows Sceptico thinks that Denier Tactics is a reason to give up on one side of a scientific debate. Hahahahaha. It wouldn't matter if everyone who believed in gravity was clinically insane. Things would still fall down. As a form of assessing arguments 'tactics' fails. Really Sceptico, can't you just say, OK, I had a bad day, I stopped thinking. It's not that big a deal. Just delete all references to global warming on your blog. We'll go back to ignoring you. — JN]

    Whether the IPCC is political or not, it doesn’t matter what the IPCC says, it’s not scientific proof, it’s all argument by authority,

    That’s Joanne’s catch-all response yet again when she has nothing.  But it’s nonsense.  The IPCC reviews thousands of peer reviewed papers – and only those published in quality scientific journals.  Their conclusions are based on what they found in those papers.  That isn’t argument from authority, it’s argument from quality evidence.

    [O' right. Let's count the points of 'trust'. You 'trust' that all valid papers can get published in reasonable time is scientific literature. You trust that they considered all the papers. You 'trust' that either no one there has a vested interest, or that if they do, they'd be honest and conscientious enough to work against their own interests; you trust that governments would fund scientists on both sides of the debate equally; and you trust that the government appointee's who are non-scientists would not reword the scientists conclusions after the scientists have signed off. Yep. That's 'sceptical'. — JN]

    Sceptico (sic) I would "rebut the arguments" but you are not presenting any, you’re just throwing links, it’s not clear you understand the content of these links at all. This is not an honest effort to provide evidence.

    That’s a lame get out.  I explained more in my original blog post that Joanne obviously didn’t read.  Until Joanne Nova responds to the arguments presented in those links, and debunks them all, she hasn’t demonstrated she understands the rebuttals to her points. 

    [Of course. I am not worthy until I've debunked all 1500 links you provided. And you think my response was lame? I have debunked them, I wrote the sceptics handbook. No one can find significant holes, or provide the evidence I asked for. Debunked. — JN]

    I’ll give you a point for Sherwood and Santer, because they are writing at the crux of the matter, but Sherwood et al, uses wind-shear instead of temperature sensors to measure temperatures and Santer, found statistical fog rather than the hot spot, and I’ve already, discussed both on this page and in the Skeptics Handbook (perhaps you could read it?).

    Oh yes, I read that.  It included this gem:

    “How are greenhouse gases supposed to heat the planet if they don’t warm some air somewhere? Cooling the upper atmosphere makes for a lousy heat pump.”

    A “heat pump”?  It’s hard to take Joanne Nova seriously if she thinks that AGM works as a heat pump cooling the upper atmosphere.  As Deltoid wrote in reply:

    [S fails comprehension again. In that sentence I was exposing Deltoids dippy reasoning, not explaining how anything of importance worked. — JN]

    Oh dear. Nova doesn’t even know what the hot spot is. The hot spot is not just a region where it has warmed, but a region where it has warmed more than the surface. She makes the same error in her Handbook

    [ Yawn. Wiped the floor with this already. — JN]

    […]

    And she also doesn’t understand how greenhouse gases warm the surface. They don’t pump heat from the upper atmosphere to the surface. They trap heat in the lower atmosphere and hence cool the stratosphere.

    Which incidentally is an actual prediction of AGW – one that has been confirmed.

    Joanne continues:

    Really… you trust what these guys have all said? When I replied to say Deltoid, it’s obvious that he doesn’t understand what a ‘fingerprint’ pattern means, and can’t form a logical construct that shows I was wrong anywhere.

    No, Deltoid has actually shown that Joanne Nova doesn’t have a clue what she is talking about.  If Joanne Nova understood the basic science she might realize that.

    Sceptico, you hearby qualify as being too boring to be allowed to keep posting. I’ve debunked Deltoid, and presume you haven’t read it,… this is tedious to have to debunk him again on my own blog, because, surprise, you are too unoriginal to think up your own attacks and have to recycle dud ones. Who is dumber. He who concocts drivel, or he who copies it?
    http://joannenova.com.au/2009/01/03/reply-to-deltoid/

    Sure, in a perfect world I’d have time to debunk every believer of AGW on every blog just for you.

    LMAO.  And in a perfect world I’d have time to study the science of AGM and debate the fine details with the good people here.  Guess what – I don’t have the time either Joanne.  But since I don’t have the time I tend to trust instead the views of the experts in the field.  Which does not include someone who is merely working out her anti-government anti-consensus issues on her blog.  I guess we all spend the time where we find it most useful.

    [ "And in a perfect world I’d have time to study the science of AGM"... Case closed. Can't spell. Can't study, doesn't understand why the honorable thing to do when you know nothing is to be quiet... — JN]

    Some quick final points on why Joanne disagrees with virtually all sources on what actually makes a fallacious argument from authority.

    from your quote: "more likely to be right"… equals "could be wrong"

    Agreed.  Never said otherwise.  But still more likely to be right".

    Regarding the Wikipedia definition:

    We (who are lazy) let others look at the research. Instead, if we ask to see the data, the results, the observations, then we can trust our own judgment

    Total non sequitur.  This has absolutely nothing to say on whether the definition is right or not.

    Re bcskeptics’ definition:

    Not in science it ain’t

    Yes but Joanne Nova is not doing science.  Nor is David Evans.

    [Ahh yes. S redefines the worldview of science, trashing popper, aristotle, gallileo...and practically everyone who's an engineer. Of course. If we were doing science like him, we'd be obedient to scientific associations, UN committees, bureaucrats and banks. — JN]

    Sceptico (sic), I already did explain why all these are wrong (on this page above). You’ve ignored it. All the justifications of argument by authority apply to legal discussions, or sporting events;

    Joanne gave her flawed opinions on why they were wrong.  I have explained why she is wrong, with numerous citations to sources on logical fallacies, but Joanne just ignores anything that does not agree with her flawed understanding.  Joanne has demonstrated again and again she is clueless when it comes to logical fallacies.  She thinks ad hominem is name calling.  She thinks it’s OK to make up straw man positions and print them as a headline for her post as long as it’s “never written as a quote”.  She has read something about argument from authority and parrots it repeatedly without understanding what it means.  And this is the best the AGW “skeptics” have to offer?

    [Yes. Long live argument by authority as proof of argument by authority. — JN]

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    So Sceptico. Still haven’t got any evidence eh?

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    oof. The final death throws of a lost argument. Well that was fun. It was a nice try Ms. Coulter.

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    Lost? Says who? I’m thinking I should give the guy a break. Really, the holes are so obvious, do I even need to make mince meat of them (again)? I’m not that mean.

    Poor guy, he’s still clinging to his faith in government committees and inept bloggers. He repeats things by Deltoid that I’ve already wiped the floor with. He admits he hasn’t looked at the science, and then ouch, says, “I tend to trust instead the views of the experts in the field.”

    Somehow he thinks this disproves my summary that he parrots official lines?

    (Like seriously Sceptico – when you figure out that the government committee’s and mainstream media ‘consensus’ has left you high and dry, up-the-creek-without-a-paper, and that on some issues you actually have to think for yourself, you’re welcome to come back here and talk about the science…)

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    Rod Smith

    techskeptic: “No, you do not ask a climatologist what is going to happen on a particular set of days in a few months. You do not ask a climatologist if its going to be foggy on one particular night. Just because its further in the future doesn’t mean you switch from meteorology to climatology.”

    YES, you do ask, but you are correct about not asking about “a particular set of days.” I am sorry if that is what I implied.

    Frankly, I’m surprised you are not aware that working climatologists are asked such questions. I can’t imagine what you thought they were payed to do.

    The answers you get to your queries are a set of rough probabilities that your requirements can be met. And probably an opinion as to when during the specified window your conditions have a higher probability of occurring.

    This has absolutely nothing to do with weather forecasting, although it has everything to do a history of weather conditions. Weather and climatology are inextricably interlocked.

    I once had an acquaintance that ran such a shop who came up with a phrase that has stuck with me for decades. When some things went haywire he cautioned the folks that had tried to “correct” the problem with disastrous results, that it was futile to, “depend on serendipity when expertise is required.”

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    Andrew Simpson

    I think you alarmists need to go off and find a Unified Theory of Global Warming. You are all over the shop at the moment.

    It should be easy enough to do. The science is settled. There is no further debate.

    Pick a model, any model, and get it right. Make the code available to all. Verify it to some kind of international standard and measure how well it performs. Simple. It happens all the time out here in the real world.

    Disband the IPCC. They are a waste of space. (For a bunch of sceptics, you are all pretty gullible if you think they don’t have hidden agendas. The boss wants us all to stop eating meat for goodness sake! Guess what, he’s a vegetarian).

    Replace the IPCC with untainted scientists from the for and against groups (fat chance of that happening I think). For all your carry on, there are some very well qualified scientists who are sceptical. You can’t just brush them off.

    Have true peer reviewing – not just a couple of mates reviewing each others work. Listen to all points of view.

    Before outrageous claims are given to the media to scare the hell out of the great unwashed, have it checked and agreed to by the above committee before release.

    A bit of healthy scepticism never hurt anyone. (Which is quite ironic addressing sceptics!)

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    Paul Penrose

    MattB,
    Nice try, but the IPCC assessments are just summaries of the existing studies. The problem is that the section lead editors also happened to be the authors of the majority of the papers in that section. No potential biases there. Did you ever look at some of the condescending and arrogant responses by some of the lead authors to reviewers comments? Shameful really. So you’ll excuse me if I take a pass on science by politics.

    BTW, I ran down that reference that I couldn’t remember the other day. It was Sir David King, the science adviser to the UK government that said by 2100 Antarctica may be the only habitable continent on the planet. Just today James Lovelock announced that 80% of mankind will be killed by global warming and that the planet will stay hot for 100,000 years. Now those are just two recent examples of the kind of unsupported hyperbole that is being bandied about by AGW supporters. And these two are not just some bloggers, they are supposedly world recognized experts in climate science. Don’t even get me started on guys like James Hansen.

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    Paul Penrose

    Before anybody thinks that I just like to bash the models, I would like to point out that the GCMs were not written to produce 100 year projections to support the AGW theory. They were written as research tools which is why they have not been Validated and Verified. This does not change my opinion that you can’t put any weight on the projections, however. They just should have never been used for the purpose.

    Once you take the models out of the equation what do you have left?

    1.) A warming trend correlated with increasing CO2 concentrations.
    2.) Temperature reconstructions for pre-instrumental time periods showing that the current warming trend is unprecedented.

    I don’t think either of these is well supported either, but even if they were that’s just not enough to justify completely restructure our economies and reduce the average standard of living to third-world levels.

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    Andrew Simpson

    Oh, Sceptico & friend, I forgot to mention, there are a couple of priests in the United Kingdom who are asking their congregation to give up Carbon for Lent.

    Surely anyone who has a religious faith can’t have valid opinion about AGW?

    You better ring them up and let them know “the rules”.

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    Andrew Simpson

    Paul Penrose, comment #53.

    Thanks. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Regards,
    Andrew.

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    So Sceptico. Still haven’t got any evidence eh?

    What do you think the observed cooling of the upper stratosphere is then?

    Who appointed you as the ultimate arbiter of what is and what isn’t evidence?

    This is all just a silly game.

    If the “missing hotspot” is evidence against AGW then by any measure of consistency the observed cooling of the upper stratosphere is evidence for AGW.

    Yet you boldly claim that there is no evidence for AGW.

    If the “missing hotspot” falsifies AGW then by any measure of consistency the observed cooling of the upper stratosphere would falsify the “it’s the Sun stupid” theory.

    Yet I don’t here anything from you about the “it’s the Sun stupid” theory being falsified. This is the point about denialism. Denialists are not interested in being skeptical about the alternative hypotheses. They are primarily interested in casting doubt on the “orthodox” explanation.

    [ That's the thing about 'beliefism' - believers are only interested in being skeptical about the other hypothesis...— JN]

    It is a typical Denialist position. Appoint youself as the arbiter of science. Assert nothing yourself but demand that everybody else prove something to you. When evidence is presented then come up with ad hoc excuses for ignoring the evidence.

    [ It's a typical belief-ist position. Appoint yourself as arbiter of reason. When you offer inadequate evidence and we politely explain why it's flawed, you claim we're using 'denier tactics'. It's all unfair. Mummy he stole my evidence! You'll do anything except the reasonable, unfaultable strategy of politely admitting you were wrong. — JN]

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    Oh, Sceptico & friend, I forgot to mention, there are a couple of priests in the United Kingdom who are asking their congregation to give up Carbon for Lent.

    Where is Joanne’s list of logical fallacies now?

    [Not jumping at your beck and call, o inconsiderate, impolite one. — JN]

    Priests also ask their congregation to give up alcohol for Lent. Does this mean that scientists who warn about the negative health consequences from alcohol consumption are just religious acolytes?

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    Andrew Simpson

    Chris (comment #57),

    The following is a direct quote from Scepticos website on the “About this blog” website.

    “Everyone I meet seems to believe in some irrational nonsense. Anti-vaccination myths, alternative medicine, auras, astrology, ghosts, global consciousness, indigo children, psychics, psychokinesis, reincarnation, religion… the list is endless.”

    It is clear that Sceptico is sceptical of religion.

    His/her friend TechsSkeptic (read item #36) is trying to goad people into an argument on creation v’s evolution – effectively religion v’s science.

    The inference is that a person who is religious (i.e. believes in creation) cannot possibly reconcile their religion with the science of AGW.

    Yet we have a couple of priests, who presumably believe in creation, also advising their flock to reduce their carbon usage, implying that they also believe in the science. Which to Scepticos crowd, is irreconcilable.

    Yes, it is a logical fallacy and one that I have used to highlight the illogical argument used by alarmist to fob off sceptics/deniers as religious crackpots – or holocaust deniers – or in the employ of tobacco companies – or etc. etc. etc. blah blah blah.

    It is an argument that is often used by alarmists to discredit someone’s point of view.

    My point is that a persons religion is no reason to discount whether or not they trust or believe the science on AGW, or whether they have a valid point of view.

    You can’t judge a person by their beliefs. Please alarmists, leave your personal prejudices out of the AGW debate. It’s about the science, not the person.

    Please Joanne, add discrediting a scientist, or any persons point of view, on the basis of their religion (or gender, or skin coulour, or hair colour, or anything else), other than the science a logical fallacy.

    (The irony is that AGW is more like a religion than science now anyway!)

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    Which to Scepticos crowd, is irreconcilable.

    WTF?

    Is this supposed to represent logic and reason?

    Christianity and AGW are supposed to be irreconcilable? Who said that? Who are Skeptico’s crowd? Does he have a crowd?

    Your whole post is a mass of false premises combined with false logic.

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    Andrew Simpson

    Chris,

    Yes, it may be a tenuous link :)

    I also agree that Sceptico doesn’t have a crowd. A lot of his posts only have a few comments.

    Techsceptic is yet to answer what is the reason for the question in post 36 in a AGW sceptical blog.

    My point remains. You can’t judge a person or a group of people based on the answers to the question in post 36.

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    If Joanne wants some help to perfect her “show me the single paper with empirical evidence” rhetorical strategy here is some instruction from a Nobel laureate.

    Kary Mullis, Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry

    And before Joanne starts reaching for her bag of logical fallacies, I am not saying that just because Kary Mullis is wrong that it is logically necessary that she is too. I am saying that this strategy is empty rhetoric.

    Anyone can boldly claim that there is no evidence for something and demand that everybody else prove the contrary to them. All you have to do is make ad hoc excuses to ignore the evidence and simply repeat the initial assertion over and over again.

    [Paraphrased : Anybody can boldly claim there IS evidence for something and demand that everyone else believe them, pay thousands of dollars to support junkets, jobs, and delusions. All you have to do is make ad hoc excuses to ignore the holes in the evidence and simply repeat the intial assertion over and over. Right. Once again, the definitive discussion of tactics leaves us where we began. Lost.— JN]

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    Paul Penrose

    Chris,
    If you really want to argue semantics, then fine, yes, there is evidence of AGW. But as we all know, not all evidence is equal, and in this case all the evidence I’ve seen is much too uncertain to support the AGW theory, let alone the predictions of doom by the more ardent supporters. Before we roll back the industrial revolution I suggest that we need much, much better evidence than mere correlation, dodgy statistics, and unverified computer models.

    [ Paul, have you got a correlation of temp and co2 anywhere that's not based on a flawed graph? I've never seen one. As far as I know the only things that suggest that CO2 might be a problem are from the lab (absorption) and from computer models (opinions). The ice cores used to be a 'evidence' they had a correlation that counted, but not any more. The lab tests are not evidence that CO2 does something to the global temperature. - JN]

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    MattB

    Interestingly Paul Jo says there is NO evidence… so is there no evidence, or is there weak evidence? Hard to take Jo’s word on it as she has been wrong for the best part of 25 years even by her own standards.. hardly compelling character reference for the uber-sceptic. Or is it born-again sceptic. ;)

    [ MAtt, the only evidence that counts is empirical evidence, all the rest is weak, based on opinion, and likely to be trumped by the real stuff: observations. When I use the word 'evidence' usually I mean empirical evidence. Sure, there is a broader definition, but it doesn't help us solve the science. It just confuses people. Get unconfused... get scientific and try and find THAT paper that there are thousands of references too. - JN]

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    Andrew, #58 I agree. :-) you’re mistakenly giving Sceptico praise for being sceptical about religion, and he’s not sceptical in any sense of the word – he’s religiously-anti-religious (as you pointed out at the end). An Athiest ‘knows’ it’s all wrong. Whereas an Agnostic is a person who sits on the wall and says, maybe God exists, maybe he doesnt; “I’ll wait for the proof”. That’s a skeptic.

    (And as it happens, the master of magnetism, Michael Faraday was deeply religious, which just shows that trying to “figure out the climate” by assessing anyone’s spiritual status is like planting turnips and hoping to eat strawberries, but with less chance of success.)

    Athiests can be ‘religious’ in their belief that religion doesn’t exist (maybe they are by definition). Andrew is right. Stop flinging spiritual mud. This is not the place for a discussion of anyone’s spirituality. I don’t have to add anything to the Guidelines – it’s ad hom. It’s already a poor post.

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    Matt: When I spoke on the ABC radio about climate change it was in the late 1990′s, the lag became obvious in a series of papers from 1999-2003, and the missing hot spot from an analysis of data from 1979-1999. So the evidence changed after I stopped talking about it in public. I remained a quiet, sidelines ‘believer’ until 2007 when I was confronted with the graphs and information that I had never read in New Scientist or the mainstream media.

    I researched other areas after 2000. Being a silently in agreement with government stuff as a short cut is quite different from actively promoting their propaganda, which I have not done. No one can investigate every bureaucratic pronouncement.

    As Keynes said: When the facts change, I change my mind.
    What do you do Matt?

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    If you really want to argue semantics, then fine, yes, there is evidence of AGW. But as we all know, not all evidence is equal, and in this case all the evidence I’ve seen is much too uncertain to support the AGW theory, let alone the predictions of doom by the more ardent supporters.

    The problem is that two predictions and observations are treated completely differently by Joanne.

    She doesn’t think that stratospheric cooling is evidence and yet the “missing hotspot” is not just evidence but an outright falsification of AGW.

    Either the two are empirical evidence or they aren’t. You can’t pick and choose evidence according to your personal biases.

    [ I'm not picking and choosing. A fingerprint pattern must match the whole pattern. Read this again. (Keep reading, until you get it, repeat the word 'pattern' slowly if it helps). A half a fingerprint is only a complete match, if you 'believe'. - JN ]

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    I don’t have to add anything to the Guidelines – it’s ad hom. It’s already a poor post.

    Well stop accusing people who disagree with you of being religious.

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    Skeptico

    you’re mistakenly giving Sceptico (sic) praise for being sceptical about religion, and he’s not sceptical in any sense of the word – he’s religiously-anti-religious (as you pointed out at the end). An Athiest (sic) ‘knows’ it’s all wrong. Whereas an Agnostic is a person who sits on the wall and says, maybe God exists, maybe he doesnt; "I’ll wait for the proof". That’s a skeptic.

    You’re as clueless about atheism as you are about logical fallacies.  Atheism is just the lack of belief in God.  Atheists don’t “know” god doesn’t exist. 

    [OK Sceptico. Time to party. You can have that point - well, half of it. There are apparently weak and strong versions of atheism, so I'm right about some athiests, but not all. And I'll take it from you that you go with the weak one, so I hearby retract any suggestion that you are religious about religion, with my apologies.

    Sadly though, I can't even give you the whole clueless claim above, since you had to muck up what could have been your first absolutely clear one point win against me. You still seem to think you know something about logical fallacies. Who is without a clue? You haven't shown I've made a logical fallacy even once. And you're still boasting about your ability to reason, which is hard to believe, after using 'Denier tactics' as a form of rhetoric; admitting you believe AGW because it confuses you; trying to pretend that authority is OK in science; that 'trust' in opinions is scientific, and the list goes on... do you really want me to categorize your failures again? - JN ]

    Tell me Nova, are you capable of making an argument without resorting to beating up straw men?  (Rhetorical question really.)

    [Tell me Sceptico, are you capable of realizing how deluded you are about your own abilities to reason? - JN ]

    Athiests can be ‘religious’ in their belief that religion doesn’t exist

    That doesn’t make any sense even by your pathetic standards of logic.  Everyone knows religion exists.

    [You're quite right. It should read, "Athiests can be 'religious' in their belief that god doesn't exist" . Thanks.

    OK. That's good progress Sceptico - you've made one whole point now, and a half one. Coming right along. - JN]

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    MattB

    Yes Jo – Indeed when the facts change I change my mind:)

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    MattB

    “a person who is religious (i.e. believes in creation)” Andrew in Post 58.

    That is an interesting definition of religious…

    Are you sure the debate is not about literal creation by the way? ie seven days and all that claptrap.

    Also Jo Agnosticism is not equivalent to scepticism. Those agnostics will be waiting a long time for proof is all i can say.

    And lastly Jo in 65… but nearly all of your fellow sceptics have been contrarians way before you – the lag and the hotspot are simply new toys but they were always firmly anti the science.

    [ 1. Got any evidence about 'nearly all' of my fellow sceptics? ...didn't think so.]

    [ 2. I speak for me. Sure - as I said before - some sceptics are also religious - believers. So? -JN]

    Also you seem to not believe that CO2 can even raise temperatures regardless of feedbacks.

    [ Go quote me Matt, I think you are making stuff up. There is ample evidence in the Skeptics Handbook that I agree that CO2 raises temperature - the thing that matters is whether it's significant. -JN]

    with your quips about saturation etc.. well to me those claims are clearly anti-science, and actually unnecessary for your argument. Introducing them just harms your claims to true scepticism. It seems that although you want strategic strikes and not a scattergun approach, you actually agree with all the scattergun arguments as crazy as many of them are, and as evidenced by debate here you only have issue with pro-agw types who you think are mussying up the science, not the anti-agw types.

    [ Yes. I think I'll have to stop answering the dozens of irrelevant scattergun questions that keep popping up from people who don't know what's important and what's not. If I've got so bored at repeating the same thing over and over, and god-forbid, injected a flippant line that didn't include a disclaimer in it; Dang. - JN]

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    MattB

    Jo – one last thing… nearly every prominent sceptic has always been sceptical… so indeed when the facts changed they NEVER did. Have you ever asked them about Keynes?

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    MattB

    This is also why denier gets used… because in science a sceptic is a good thing – we should all be sceptical – AGW-sceptic covers people on both sides of the AGW debate.

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    Skeptico

    You haven’t shown I’ve made a logical fallacy even once.

    And that would be denial again.  Here are some, right off the top:

    Straw man right above with the “An Athiest (sic) ‘knows’ it’s all wrong” line.  You withdrew the point (thank you) but it was still a fallacy originally
    [Sigh. It was a correct statement. That it may not apply to you is another thing - JN]

    Straw man in your I believe “anything and everything” line. And I even answered your silly question and proved you wrong as you asked, even though I didn’t have to.
    [Cute the way you jump through hoops...- JN ]

    Oh yes, and “Prove me wrong, name a belief of yours that is not ‘mainstream’ consensus, government approved” is reversing the burden of proof.  Your claim, you back it up.
    [I did. See this post at the top of the page. - JN]

    Also, falsely claiming logical fallacies when they aren’t fallacies (ie completely misunderstanding what a fallacy actually is), including:
    Thinking that name calling is an ad hom.  I explained why it isn’t.  Basic newbie mistake.

    [ Quote Sceptico: "one reason I gave up with the global warming (so called) skeptics, was because of the denier tactics they clearly relied on. " Hence you use "denier tactics" to justify your beliefs. You use them as a form of reasoning. Essentially, 'Joanne (and all deniers) use Denier Tactics therefore they are wrong'. Ad Hom.— JN]

    And of course your favorite, the one you parrot repeatedly, which is argument from authority – which is not what you think it is. As I demonstrated with multiple citations but you “refuted” basically by saying”yes it is”.

    [Now we're up for 'delusional'. Sigh. Having trouble reading? I've answered this in the email to you, Then in more detail in the post above (look for the paragraph in large print with the word 'law',) and then in the comment 16 above. Your multiple citations to prove your point is essentially that you keep trying to prove "Argument By authority" is legitimate by using "Argument By Authority"? I'm the one who's used reasoning, and you're the one saying 'yes it is'— JN]

    And you’re still boasting about your ability to reason, which is hard to believe, after using ‘Denier tactics’ as a form of rhetoric;

    No, not rhetoric. “Denier tactics” is merely a description of how you debate.

    [Wrong. See a couple of paragraphs above for your own quote to disprove this. — JN]

    admitting you believe AGW because it confuses you; trying to pretend that authority is OK in science; that ‘trust’ in opinions is scientific, and the list goes on..

    [Sceptico - do you really want me to print your spectacularly embarrassing quote yet again? There's a point where it's kinder on yourself to say nothing. — JN]

    “Sceptico: I did try to follow the debate on both sides of this argument up to maybe four or five years ago, and the two things that convinced me it was real were (1) the utter complexity of the subject – how anyone who hasn’t studied this subject in detail as a PhD for many years thinks they can possibly understand it is beyond me, and (2) the thousands, possibly tens of thousands, of articles every year in peer reviewed scientific journals virtually all of them supporting the AGW hypothesis.”

    Another straw man.  I accept AGM because I accept that the experts probably know more about it than me.  Or you.

    [True, we both find the finer details confusing. The difference is, that's a reason for you to believe, and a reason for me not too. If someone can't give me a convincing explanation, I'm... not convinced. — JN]

    Then in response to my asking “are you capable of making an argument without resorting to beating up straw men?” you reply:

     Tell me Sceptico, are you capable of realizing how deluded you are about your own abilities to reason?

    Which is avoidance of the question.  Also it would be a Tu Quoque fallacy.  So on two counts I’ll take that as a “no” – you can’t argue without logical fallacies.

    [Since you haven't shown I've used a straw man it's all kinda pathetic. So I avoided answering a ...oh look... a loaded question and just reflected your own arrogance back at you. — JN]

    You’re quite right. It should read, "Athiests can be ‘religious’ in their belief that god doesn’t exist" . Thanks.

    Define “religious”. [ I did ]
    [Sceptico, If you want to discuss the climate I'm all ears, but frankly, if it isn't related to climate let's drop it? It's taking too much time for me to find where I've already debunked a line and repeat it.- JN]

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    Skeptico

    I just realized something else:

    Tell me Sceptico, are you capable of realizing how deluded you are about your own abilities to reason?

    …is a loaded question – A question with a false, disputed, or question-begging presupposition.   A bit like "Have you stopped beating your wife?"  It’s a yes/no question, there are only two direct answers:

    Yes – ie I am deluded but I do realize it

    No – ie I’m still deluded but don’t realize it.

    I’m losing count of your fallacies now.  Is that six? 

    [Since you used this fallacy before me, and I was just reflecting it back, I guess that nullifies that one eh?-JN]

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    You haven’t shown I’ve made a logical fallacy even once.

    No. He hasn’t managed to convince you that you have made a logical fallacy. These are two completely different things.

    [There are Rules of 'logic' according to Chris, and Rules of logic according to the rest of the world. These are two completely different things. — JN]

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    Paul Penrose

    Chris Noble,
    When I said that not all evidence is equal I was trying to avoid arguing about things like what the meaning of “evidence” is (shades of the definition of “is”), as this just distracts from the real conversation: what level of certainty can we place in this “evidence” and what level is required. As far as I’m concerned, Joanne is correct that software model outputs are not data or evidence in a strictly scientific sense, but I prefer not to waste time debating such a minor issue (compared to the larger questions I just raised).

    I want to go after the larger, and IMHO, more fundamental issues. For example, why argue about the whether a particular “fingerprint” predicted by the models have or have not been found when none of the model predictions can be trusted?

    Also, I must say that throwing ad homs around and using insulting language does not advance your arguments at all. Play the ball (or the debate), not the person.

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    When I said that not all evidence is equal I was trying to avoid arguing about things like what the meaning of “evidence” is (shades of the definition of “is”), as this just distracts from the real conversation: what level of certainty can we place in this “evidence” and what level is required.

    The Clintonesque definition of what “is” and what “isn’t” evidence is the whole debate.

    [ snip: Chris repeating stuff about me 'picking and choosing' - I don't and I've answered this already. See comment #66 — JN]

    Also, I must say that throwing ad homs around and using insulting language does not advance your arguments at all. Play the ball (or the debate), not the person.

    You seem to be as unclear about the ad hominem fallacy as Joanne. I am attacking her arguments and rhetoric. Which examples of ad hominems can you point out.

    Arguing that climate scientists are only interested in keeping their snouts in the taxpayers trough is an example of an ad hominem.

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    MattB

    [ Go quote me Matt, I think you are making stuff up. There is ample evidence in the Skeptics Handbook that I agree that CO2 raises temperature - the thing that matters is whether it's significant. -JN]

    well… if you agree that CO2 raises temperatures, and I assume you agree that CO2 concentrations are increasing, then surely you must agree that a lack of hotspot is resolved by Santer… either that or you don;t think the hotspot is a critical fingerprint of CO2 warming as there is more CO2 up there and you agree it causes warming?

    And hey every time I introduce a flippant line sceptics jump all over it;) I couldn’t even lighten things up with gags about cheerleaders without being frowned upon;)

    [Hear Hear. Yes let's lighten up. — JN]

    By your fellow sceptics I was talking about the good raving lord;)

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    MattB

    Jo – here is one example from the other skeptico thread

    you stated “CO2 IS a GHG, but whether it matters in the real world is a separate question. Just because it works in the lab…”

    now lab demonstrations are just about the basic effects of CO2… and you in this quote question whether CO2 does the same in the atmosphere. now ok you’ve clearly said it is a GHG, but only in the lab… which leads me to believe that you don’t think that increasing CO2 increases temperature by as much as lab work would suggest, which means you don;t think it even has the non-feedback-related basic effect. which I think is fair enough to be interpreted as you don;t think increased CO2 in the atmosphere raises temperatures. TO me if something does not raise temps in any significant way then it does not raise temperatures.

    [Think about that last sentence Matt. Do you really mean that? — JN]

    you have also posted this “IF there was some, any (!) evidence that man made CO2 affects the climate today.” meaning there is no evidence in your mind that CO2 raises temperatures… or that you think that raising temperatures does not affect the climate…

    [ No Matt, no one has provided a graph of CO2 and temp that has a forward correlation except a faulty error prone one that has been statistically, mathematically shown to be false. — JN]

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    cmb

    [snip comment about a previous snip that was snipped because IT was a repeat. ]

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    What is and isn’t evidence?

    In her “Skeptic’s Handbook” she uses a graph attributed to Archibald 2006. Exactly what revered journal “Archibald 2006″ appeared in is unclear as no reference is given.

    [ I hid the link in my Links And Source page. He was published in Energy and Environment.— JN]

    The graph shows the results from Archibald’s efforts at playing around with Modtran which is a computer model.

    Archibald and Nova use these results to argue that the warming from increasing the CO2 concentration is insignificant. [No I don't. Quote me direct. -JN] So the results from a computer model are fine if you want evidence against AGW but not vice versa. Note also that Archibald’s use of Modtran is contested by the scientist who hosts the web interface that Archibald used.
    My model, used for deception

    [That's the link where the guy who wrote the model says : "So Archibald is right on this score, clearly climate is more sensitive to CO2 when levels are lower." Then he goes on to attack Archibald for picking a low estimate of climate sensitivity from a peer reviewed paper that he happens to disagree with. It's a point to consider, but hardly a devastating critique. If you can point to any empirical evidence of where the Idso paper is wrong, that would have more weight. But in the end, it's still a log curve, even if you use a different sensitivity. — JN]

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    Paul Penrose

    Chris Noble,
    I probably should have addressed that last remark about ad homs and insults to posters like MattB. My apologies for making it look like I was directing that at you.

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    MattB

    “Posters like MattB.”?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    Seriously if I use them they are only ever in jest and clearly so. I’m a blinking definition of a nice-guy blog poster! Posters like me are a moderators dream!

    I may be slightly irreverent and annoying at times… I’ll confess to that.

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    [ I hid the link in my Links And Source page. He was published in Energy and Environment.— JN]

    I read the paper you cited.
    Neither the graph nor the data are in it.

    [ No. Sorry. My mistake. The Archibald 2006 paper is the Energy and Environment paper, but you're right, the graph comes from the non peer reviewed article below. I'll email David Archibald if you have a question about it. Since Co2 absorption is log-linear, the graph is merely showing basic physics, and the calculations come from Modtran.— JN]

    You are apparently referring to his “The Past and Future of Climate” from 2007. This document hasn’t even been through the version of peer review at Energy & Environment and appears to only exist on the internet.

    [No it's not peer reviewed, I saw it presented at the UNFCCC conference in Bali and asked to get a copy of the graph. — JN]

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    [ I'm not picking and choosing. A fingerprint pattern must match the whole pattern. Read this again. (Keep reading, until you get it, repeat the word 'pattern' slowly if it helps). A half a fingerprint is only a complete match, if you 'believe'. - JN ]

    Telling me to simply reread your false assertions over and over again is not a valid response.

    [No, evidently it doesn't matter if good reasoning jumps up and hits you, you won't 'get' it. Look at your response here. You haven't even tried to 'reason' to explain how I'm wrong. It hurts when you have to think eh?— JN]

    [ No- it's the fundamental point. For the third time, A fingerprint 'pattern' is more than one 'spot' — JN] [snip -Chris's repetition of illogical points. I don't have time to re-debunk the infinite array of illogical ill mannered diatribe that Chris can come up with - especially if he decides that every page I've ever linked to is prime target for him without paying me a cent or even being polite expects that I have to justify and give him a one on one tutorial. Come back when you have a good point that I haven't already debunked — JN]

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    [ snip irrelevent off thread comment. Oh Look - Chris, you've found one of the 400 pages I link to somewhere and since I apparently haven't commented on it, you think that its reasonable to attack things someone else has said and expect me to defend every item there as well? Save your comment for a relevant blog post. — JN]

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    MattB

    If the cops found half of someone’s fingerprint in my house after a break and enter, and for about 10 years everyone had been pointing at that person saying “he’s a crook”… well I hope they would try and nail him for sure.

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    Yeah, but Matt, if half your fingerprint matched the crook’s you’d hope the cops had better powers of reasoning, and knew that the other half of your fingerprint that didn’t match was the part that meant you were innocent. Look at “My reply to Deltoid” Cartoon. It’s a real analogy.

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    MattB

    you don;t watch enough cop shows Jo. anyway it is my house… that half of the fingerprint would be everywhere anyway;)

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    Yeah True. But you understand my point: whatever part of a fingerprint they have, must match in toto the same part of the suspects pattern?

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    I’ll email David Archibald if you have a question about it. Since Co2 absorption is log-linear, the graph is merely showing basic physics, and the calculations come from Modtran.

    The point is that you should have asked questions about the graph before you presented it as fact. I got it from this guy who presented it at a conference is not good enough. Where is your skepticism?

    [I did ask questions, and the answers all made sense. I've sat through hours of discussion about the stefan boltzman equation as people used it to show that climate sensitivities that are much lower than the IPCC's effort are not just possible, but likely, and that positive feedback may well turn out to be negative feedback due to cloud cover changes that work to cool the planet. In any case, I make a modest relevant point with this graph, and I'm guessing you can't find any holes in the log curve itself, or the concept that the CO2 we're a adding now makes less difference than the CO2 we've added before. — JN]

    The estimate of climate sensitivity that Archibald gets from Idso is unreasonably low. It is completely unphysical as it it is lower than the value of 0.21 K/W/m^2 from the Stefan-Blotzmann law for black-body radiation.

    The only way you can get a climate sensitivity less than 0.21 K/W/m^2 is if you implicitly assume unspecified negative forcings.

    [ David Archibald points out: "The Idso sensitivity is from observations of nature. That sensitivity was confirmed by the Spencer, Christy et al paper in GRL of October 2007 based on Aqua satellite data. They confirmed that the feedback is negative, and that the 1.0 degree Stefan-Boltzman number becomes 0.5 degrees in the real world due to increased cloud convection."— JN]

    If you are going to cherry pick a value that is not just dramatically lower than the values that are found in the vast majority of the literature but also completely unphysical then there is a responsibility to justify your claims.

    [The Climate sensitivity doesn't make much difference to the graph in any case. The logarithmic nature means that by the time you get to 380ppm, even if you double it, it's still 'stuff all' — JN]

    I’m still perplexed by your – computer models aren’t evidence (unless I want them to be) – attitude. It looks like just ad hoc excuses for ignoring what you don’t want to hear.

    [There's probably two orders of magnitude difference in complexity between climate models and the modtran model. And I'm not using that simple model to claim anything as wild as "You should rearrange the entire energy source of modern civilization." Indeed I'm not using that model to claim anything at all except that logarithmic curves mean the extra CO2 we put out now is less important than what has already been put out, and it's possible (note that word) that CO2 might not make much difference. So you use wildly complex models to try to prove something extraordinary, and I claim a simple model shows us something almost manifestly obvious. There's no comparison. If you are perplexed and it looks 'ad hoc', it's only because you don't know what you are talking about.— JN]

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    But you understand my point: whatever part of a fingerprint they have, must match in toto the same part of the suspects pattern?

    You can take an analogy so far but not further.

    In the real world of science it is more common than not that there are results that do not allow us to make a firm conclusion either way because there are uncertainties in both the experimental measurements and the theoretical calculations.

    [Ah Argumentum ad Uncertatium (Again). "Believe me because there are things I can't explain."— JN]

    In the real world of science it is also more common than not that some but not all predictions of a theory are verified. The idea that all predictions must be simultaneously verified is your own invention.

    [Ha ha ha ha ha. You didn't really mean to type that did you? I mean, we're not talking about 'all predictions' here, just the ones you want us to pay billions for, and without verifying? — JN]

    There will always be supporting, neutral, and contradictory evidence in the real world. You have to weigh all of the evidence for and against a theory.

    Your strawman version of science and evidence is just an ad hoc excuse to deny the evidence.

    [ What evidence. You never provide any? — JN]

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    [ What evidence. You never provide any? — JN]

    This is getting tedious.

    I know this game from interacting with other Denialists.

    It goes like this.
    Denialist: There is no evidence for A.
    Me: Here is some Evidence.
    Denialist: That isn’t evidence because of ad hoc excuse B.
    Me: Here is some more Evidence.
    Denialist: That isn’t evidence because of ad hoc excuse C.
    Ad infinitum
    I’ve given you cooling in the upper stratosphere which strongly points to AGW.
    Denying that this is evidence is – well denial.

    [Like I said last time this was raised, the cooling is also a part of the ozone depletion signature. Another repeat...— JN]


    [Oh Look Chris. I can play this game too.
    Me: Can you give me some, any, evidence to justify why you want my money?
    Denialist: Here are 1500 links (plus optional patronising insult).
    Me: I just want one, than you.
    Denialist: Here are links. (To papers I have already discussed eg Sherwood/Santer)
    ME: I point out good reasons why you need to be on drugs to 'believe' these papers.
    Denialist: Ignores reasoned discussion of how 'uncertainties' don't actually prove anything and offers another reason that is also false.
    ME: Repeats explanation of why it is false: like the time that he didn't understand what a 'pattern' meant, or that he hasn't read her post on 'religion'; the major difference between modtran and GCM; or that he doesn't understand the ozone signature,... etc, et al, ad infinitum.
    Denialist: Denies she has provided any good reasons, even though he can't think of any convincing reasons why she's wrong, except to throw out another false "strawman ambit claim", and instead writes an inane game about how predictable denialists are. (Thus proving his own point).
    ME: I can play that game too. (God we're stuck in an infinite loop....)
    — JN]

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    [Ah Argumentum ad Uncertatium (Again). "Believe me because there are things I can't explain."— JN]

    Hey. Let’s make up logical fallacies!

    [I did it just for you Chris. If you took your humor-pills you might have got it — JN]

    1) This is a straw man. I have never stated nor implied that anyone should believe me because there are things that I can’t explain. Why do you keep on misrepresenting my position?

    [ Who is misrepresenting anything. You said I couldn't use my analogy, quote "because there are uncertainties in both the experimental measurements and the theoretical calculations". You're giving me these lines Chris. Laying them out with big signs that say 'Kick Me'. If you were polite and gracious I might hold back. :-) — JN]

    2) You are the one who is boldly claiming that the “missing hotspot” falsifies AGW. I would agree that the evidence for the “hotspot” is weak but this does not logically translate into evidence for its absence. This a form of the Argumentum ad Ignorantium fallacy – asserting something is false because it is not proven to be true.

    [That would be NO. There was no sign of the hotspot. Not a glimpse. Right now, the statement "Climate Models correctly predicted the fingerprint of greenhouse gases in atmospheric temperatures from 1979-1999", stands as 'False'. Sure, they may improve in the future, but that's a different statement and a different prediction. Santer and Sherwood didn't find the missing hot spot. They found that if you stretch the errors bars far enough you can correctly say hot spot might be hidden in the 'uncertainties'. To accept the hot-spot exists, I have to accept that we can't measure temperatures! Hahahahahaha. I'm laughing at the insane idea that humans might not be able to measure temperatures accurately, but they can create some magical models using highly complex formula with masses of uncertainties, multiplied by estimates, and raised to the power of a good guess, and somehow you want me to believe that they work, instead??? I couldn't make this stuff up!— JN]

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    The Climate sensitivity doesn’t make much difference to the graph in any case. The logarithmic nature means that by the time you get to 380ppm, even if you double it, it’s still ‘stuff all’ — JN

    .

    Well that depends on what you call ‘stuff all’. You seem to think that a warming of 1-3 degrees is not significant and most likely beneficial.

    I’m not arguing with the logarithmic nature of the curve but the y axis scaling.

    If that was all you wanted to demonstrate then you could have presented the graph with the y-axis as W/m^2 which would be the direct output from modtran with no further assumptions.

    By cherry picking low values of the climate sensitivity and ignoring the many other studies which find a much higher value you are being deceptive.

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    <blockquote.Oh Look – Chris, you’ve found one of the 400 pages I link to somewhere and since I apparently haven’t commented on it, you think that its reasonable to attack things someone else has said and expect me to defend every item there as well?

    It wasn’t just a link. It was the reference you gave for the graph that you used in your handbook.
    It is your responsibility to verify the references that you use.

    [Chris, you're becoming a malicious poster. A Crank. (To use a word you'd be familiar with, but usually you're fighting them, not being one yourself. right?) Look at what you just suggested. It's mind bogglingly ridiculous. If I post a graph, I not only have to give you the original source it was used from but I'm expected to be on-call for you to explain and justify every detail written by someone else possibly to prove a point I have never publicly raised? — JN]

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    MattB

    Jo – yes of course if they found a whole fingerprint and half of it matched mine I’d be mighty peeved if I ended up in a cell… not that I agree still with the main thrust but I get your point here.

    And seriously, does anyone doubt the log relationship of CO2 and temp? I don;t get your point here.

    [ 11 people out of every 10 think a log is something that burns. Are you serious? — JN]

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    Skeptico

    Quote Sceptico: "one reason I gave up with the global warming (so called) skeptics, was because of the denier tactics they clearly relied on. "

    Yes – which describes the arguments they use – ie it’s not attacking the person.

    Hence you use "denier tactics" to justify your beliefs. You use them as a form of reasoning. Essentially,

    No, I don’t use use "denier tactics" to “justify” my “beliefs”.  I note the denier tactics, therefore I conclude the arguments presented are flawed.

    ‘Joanne (and all deniers) use Denier Tactics therefore they are wrong’. Ad Hom

    I’m not sure that is an actual quote from me as you imply.  Doesn’t sound right.  Where is it from, exactly?  You didn’t just manufacture a quote by me did you?  Yes you did – you just made up a quote.  If that isn’t a straw man, I don’t know what is.

    Regardless, the sentence structure is still not ad hom.  If you use fallacious tactics the argument is fallacious. You still don’t get that criticizing the tactics is not the same as criticizing the person do you?  If you still can’t see that (or more likely won’t see it – ie you’re denying the true definition of ad hom), then it’s hard to know what to say to you.  This is basic reasoning – fallacies 101. 

    I’ll try again. If I say to someone “you’re an denier, and so you’re wrong” that would be an ad hominem if that was all I said.  If I say “you’re wrong because you are using denier tactics (and show which denier tactics you’re using), and that means you’re a denier”, that is not ad hominem.  “You’re a denier” is the conclusion, not the premise.  It is the definition of what you are, based on what you do.  An insult is only an ad hom if the insult is all you say – ie if there is no rebuttal of the arguments you use.  If I discuss and refute your arguments, adding an insult cannot possibly be fallacious – adding the insult can not possibly negate the argument I have already given.  That should be obvious.  And calling someone a “denier” isn’t actually an insult per se anyway – it’s just a definition based on what you do.

    Now stop ignoring what I wrote, stop manufacturing quotes, and respond to that last paragraph or withdraw your silly “ad hom” bleats.

    Now we’re up for ‘delusional’. Sigh. Having trouble reading? I’ve answered this in the email to you, Then in more detail in the post above (look for the paragraph in large print with the word ‘law’,)

    Yes because using large print makes it true.  Lame.  Saw it.  And you merely repeated your assertion that a good appeal to authority would only be in law (or tennis,or whatever).  But you still ignored what I had written about experts, and you ignored the citations I provided that widen the definition.  So you’re just saying “yes it is”. 

    and then in the comment 16 above.

    And I refuted that in my comment 46 above – I wrote that your response was just a string of non sequiturs.  A complete rebuttal to your points.  So sure, you can claim you “answered” my points, but anyone can see I then answered your “answers”.  Try and keep up.

    Your multiple citations to prove your point is essentially that you keep trying to prove "Argument By authority" is legitimate by using "Argument By Authority"? I’m the one who’s used reasoning, and you’re the one saying ‘yes it is’—

    (Sigh.)  Providing a citation is not argument from authority.

    Wrong. See a couple of paragraphs above for your own quote to disprove this

    See my rebuttal. My quote does not prove your point – you just don’t understand what you’re reading.

    True, we both find the finer details confusing. The difference is, that’s a reason for you to believe, and a reason for me not too. If someone can’t give me a convincing explanation, I’m… not convinced. —

    You almost got it right there for a minute.  Yes, non experts cannot understand it as well as the experts.  But you think this means that you can say the experts are wrong.  You think you know more than actual scientists who work in this field, do research, write papers for peer reviewed journals etc.  You are even convinced you have falsified the whole of AGW with your flawed “hot spot” argument.  I just accept I don’t know more than the experts, and so think they are more likely to be right than someone who doesn’t work in the field.  They could be wrong of course, but are more likely to be right.

    Since you haven’t shown I’ve used a straw man it’s all kinda pathetic.

    (Sigh.)  More denial.  A summary of the straw man argument you presented is in the actual  comment you were replying to.  It’s right there a couple of paragraphs up.  Also in more detail in my comment #46.  Here it is again – the proof of your straw man argument – proof you made no attempt to refute:

    Joanne opens up her post (which is about me) with her “believing anything and everything a government committee tells them” line.  Of course it was never a direct quote – duh.  It couldn’t possibly be any kind of quote since it was not even close in any way to what my view actually is.  But it states clearly a position Joanne claims I take.  And it was a gross misrepresentation of my actual position.   Nothing like what I wrote.  Still, if that’s what Joanne thinks is a valid argument, she should keep that paragraph there – the fact that she has to manufacture ridiculous positions and assign them to me just shows how short she is of rebuttals to my actual arguments.

    If Joanne thinks I believe “anything and everything” it’s up to her to show that I do in fact believe in anything and everything.  Her claim.  She should back it up.  Of course, it is obvious to anyone that Joanne had been caught manufacturing an easily ridiculed position and assigning it to me.  She can’t back it up so she tries to claim I have to prove it wrong.  These are just tactics to try to make you forget that she made something up about me.

    And I go on to prove that I don’t believe anything and everything as you claimed in your straw man point.  But keep your straw man version up there.  Please do.  It continues to show that you cannot make an honest argument.

    Caught out again Joanne.  I’ve lost count now how many times I’ve pointed that out to you, and yet you haven’t refuted it.  You do know what a straw man argument is, right?

    So I avoided answering a …oh look… a loaded question and just reflected your own arrogance back at you

    No.  Yours was a loaded question / mine wasn’t.  I did explain that.  I’ll try one more time.  A loaded question is a question with a false, disputed, or question-begging presupposition.  For example, "Have you stopped beating your wife?"  It’s a yes/no question, there are only two direct answers:

    1) Yes, I have stopped beating my wife", which entails "I was beating my wife."

    2) "No, I haven’t stopped beating my wife", which entails "I am still beating my wife."

    Your question was in the same format.  It was, “Tell me Sceptico (sic), are you capable of realizing how deluded you are about your own abilities to reason?”  It’s a yes/no question, there are only two direct answers:

    1) Yes – ie I am admitting I am deluded

    2) No – ie I’m still deluded but don’t realize it.

    My question to you was “are you capable of making an argument without resorting to beating up straw men?”  You could easily answer this with “yes I am”.  No admission, implied or otherwise, that you use straw man arguments.  Of course, you would not be answering truthfully, but that is a different thing.

    Define “religious”. [ I did ]

    That definition refers to AGW believers.  How does it apply to how atheists lack a belief in God.  One last time to define what you mean. 

    Sceptico, If you want to discuss the climate I’m all ears, but frankly, if it isn’t related to climate let’s drop it? It’s taking too much time for me to find where I’ve already debunked a line and repeat it.-

    No, sorry, not acceptable.  You  brought up religion and criticized me for being an atheist implying this wasn’t skepticism either, that it is in fact religious, which weakens my case, or something.  You don’t get to bring up a subject and when refuted, say, already debunked it / off topic.  If you want to leave religion / atheism out of this then good – I never thought it had any relevance either.  But you are going to have to withdraw all your previous comments about atheism first.

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    Skeptico

    Chris Noble wrote:

    In the real world of science it is more common than not that there are results that do not allow us to make a firm conclusion either way because there are uncertainties in both the experimental measurements and the theoretical calculations.

    But Chris, you don’t understand.  If you are Joanne Nova you can debate by dictionary definition.  This is how it’s done.  You take the point you’re trying to disprove (in this case, a prediction of the climate models), call it a “fingerprint”, look up the dictionary definition of “fingerprint” as it relates to actual finger prints left at a crime scene, and now the climate models have to give results that would result in court convictions based on fingerprint evidence. 

    All this sophistry is designed to obscure reality, which is the fact that Santer et al showed there is no significant difference between the AGW models and the measurements.  (ie AGW is not “falsified” as Nova claims.)

    [Already answered here, http://joannenova.com.au/2008/10/30/not-found-the-hot-spot/ and http://joannenova.com.au/2009/01/03/even-gurus-of-warming-admit-the-hot-spot-went-missing/ - JN]

    I’ve given you cooling in the upper stratosphere which strongly points to AGW. Denying that this is evidence is – well denial.

    Exactly.  Here is some evidence – evidence that Nova claims doesn’t exist.  So why does she ignore this?  (Ozone.  Tell us it’s ozone Joanne, please.)

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    Andrew Simpson

    Dear Skeptico & friends,

    Have a read of this: Here

    (I hope I got the link right!)

    It’s from the ClimateAudit website and is titled “A Peek Behind the Curtain”

    If that doesn’t raise put a dot on your sceptical radar, then I don’t really see how you can call yourself a sceptic.

    Of particular interest is the comment by Ross McKitrick (comment 74) on the IPCC review process.

    (Sorry to divert people away from your site, Joanne, but I fell asleep half way through Skeptico’s post #98 and needed to liven things up! – any chance you could summarise it into 2,000 words or less, Skeptico? :) )

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    I’m laughing at the insane idea that humans might not be able to measure temperatures accurately…

    Go ahead laugh.

    Are you really claiming that there aren’t uncertainties in the experimental measurements of temperature in the troposphere? Are you really claiming that you don’t have to take these uncertainties into account when comparing experimental data with models?

    Ha ha ha.

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    Who is misrepresenting anything. You said I couldn’t use my analogy, quote “because there are uncertainties in both the experimental measurements and the theoretical calculations”.

    No. There are two separate issues here. Please don’t take bits and pieces from what I have said and contruct strawmen.

    1) Your reason for dismissing upper stratospheric cooling as evidence is based on your analogy which you have stretched beyond all validity. When people use the word ‘fingerprint’ as a metaphor for evidence they don’t mean that it is exactly like the print made by a finger. Don’t confuse an analogy with reality. Hey, there is even a logical fallacy about this. Weak Analogy

    2) The experimental data and the models of the “hotspot” are not inconsistent. In the real world both experimental measurements and models have uncertainties. There is nothing fallacious about pointing this out. In fact it is a common error to ignore the uncertainties and make false conclusions. Have you done any actual science lately?

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    You still haven’t answered my question about your missing skepticism towards the document that you link to. Are you only skeptical of the evil mainstream scientists?

    [ Yawn. Answered..# 81, #91 — JN]

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    [Like I said last time this was raised, the cooling is also a part of the ozone depletion signature. Another repeat...— JN]

    As I have stated repeatedly I am referring to cooling in the upper stratosphere which is not accounted for by ozone depletion.

    [ Go on provide a cite for that claim - JN]

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    Skeptico

    Chris, you are correct about cooling in the upper stratosphere being related to CO2. Ozone is a lower stratosphere signal. See Stratospheric cooling, fig 4.

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    Rod Smith

    Well now Skeptico, my take is that folks who use pseudonyms (look it up) are just trying to hide from public criticism. I think it is a form of ‘denial of responsibility.’ But I won’t bother you with that sort of thing — you would just probably deny it.

    A quick look at your blog reveals it seems almost entirely devoted to criticizing others about their lack of critical thinking, while pretending to be an expert at recognizing a world chock full of bumpkins. Wow! I am impressed. How many “cures” have you affected so far?

    It does seem a bit strange that you are somehow unable to de-bunk their assertions without casting aspersions on how poorly they think, how they are so easily deluded, and why their beliefs just can’t be supported by “facts” you dig up.

    But then I notice that much of your attack here focuses on trivia. For example, you quibble with the Joanne’s use of the word “empirical” while ignoring the thrust of her question. Just for your edification, empirical means based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic. But then, you surely knew that.

    So how about humoring and old guy who got a bit nauseous looking at your blog and come up with a simple answer to Joanne’s first question, which is: “Can you name a single piece of empirical evidence that man-made carbon raises temperatures?”

    If that question confuses you, let me restate it in my own words to eliminate the possibility confusion: “Please cite one instance where increases in the the temperature of the earth’s atmosphere was caused by human released CO2, and has been measured and documented.” Please DO NOT cite anyone’s blog nor some penny-ante lab experiment involving three cubic liters of air, nor for that matter the revered Scientist, Al Gore. And PLEASE don’t tell me to dig around in your blog — one visit was about all I can stomach.

    It is a simple question, don’t you think? Your blog notes that critical thinking is based on evidence — and says, “It’s the evidence that matters….” Please show me some form of evidence.

    Oh, one more thing. Computer programs are not evidence — I wrote them for a living for years, and they proved only that someone would pay me to write them.

    Having said all that, I actually expect some form of personal attack to my question — which I will ignore on the assumption that everyone can easily recognize it as a cop out. Anything else would be a waste of breath.

    Here is an interesting quote for you to ponder: “Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality.“ - Nikola Tesla, 1934

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    Paul Penrose

    Just so that people that read this blog have some idea what I’m talking about when I discuss “engineering” code (software) versus research codes, let me explain the standard for writing “engineering” quality code. This isn’t my standard, this is generally accepted practice in the industry, especially for important things like medical devices, avionics, etc., but is not limited to those areas.

    First we write requirements for the system we intend to model. These are high level descriptions of what the system is supposed to do. Generally implementation details are avoided at this point, however things like equations can be specified. This needs to be a complete set; if it’s not in the requirements the developers can’t put it in the code.

    Next a high level design is written. This describes the overall architecture of the system (design methodology, operating system, language, etc.), the organization of all the CSCIs and CSUs, and other high-level details. You should be able to trace all the requirements down to the CSCI level at least.

    Then a detailed design is written for each CSCI. This includes CSCI and CSU interfaces, data descriptions, machine-human interfaces, and detailed information on the algorithms for each CSU. Every requirement should be traceable to the individual CSUs and vice versa.

    The high level and detailed designs are then peer reviewed. This is part of the Validation effort to ensure that all requirements are covered in the design and that the system will perform all the tasks which are required. Missing and miss-specified requirements are often found here and fixed. Any issues discovered here must be addressed before the code can be written. Sometimes it’s necessary to revisit the high-level design and/or requirements and make changes there.

    Now the code can be written, however the developers must follow a coding standard which specifies things like variable and function naming schemes, internal documentation standards (headers on files and functions), do’s and do not’s of various language features, and even some style issues like how the code will be indented. This makes the code easier for other developers to read, which leads us to the next subject. All CSUs must compile cleanly without warnings before the developer can move to the next phase. Sometimes issues are discovered with the requirements and/or design at this point, and may require that step or steps to be revisited.

    All CSUs must be peer reviewed. These are formal reviews and are documented so that they can be examined later. Each reviewer looks at every line of code looking for compliance to the design and the coding standards. Any issues discovered here must be addressed before the code can be accepted for verification testing. Sometimes problems are discovered that require some or all of the previous steps to be revisited.

    Quite often unit testing takes place next. This usually consists of black-box testing of the individual CSUs by the developers. Sometimes problems found during this phase require that previous steps be revisited.

    Finally there is the verification testing which is done by a dedicated test group, but usually not the developers. In this phase the complete software system is tested to the requirements. Every requirement is decomposed into a series of tests that is designed to verify that the requirement is completely implemented and that there are no unexpected outputs. Usually there are not a lot of errors discovered at this level, but the ones that make it this far are usually very difficult to identify.

    Now contrast this with the way “research” software is developed.

    The code is written by different people, many times scientists and graduate students. No doubt they are experts in their fields, they are not software engineers and it shows. Every CSU is written in a different style, and even different languages over years potentially. Sometimes code is stolen from other projects and just jammed into the mix.

    Once it compiles without too many warnings, although some I’ve seen produce *hundreds* of warnings. (How many are actually serious and how many are no big deal, nobody really knows) Then the developers run the program with a subset of their data. If the output looks “wrong” they debug it and try again. The continue this process of running, debugging, looking at the output until it looks like what they expect. Then they declare victory and move on.

    OK that’s probably the worst case, but even “best practice” for research code falls well short of the engineering process I described above.

    Just to reiterate, there’s nothing wrong with research code, per se, however you have to be careful about the claims you make for the output.

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    What a dumb question. What one single experiment is there to show smoking causes cancer? What single experiment is there that shows evolution is real (although Lensky’s lab work was pretty definitive). All this says that you will remain a denialist until we can literally create an artificial climate somewhere (lol, even if we did, you’d then say “oh that was in a lab”, and then if we did it on a planet, you’d say “well that wasn’t on Earth”).

    Do you really not get this? Is this just an effect of denialism, you are looking for some impossible to perform experiment? Its an accumulation of evidence from CO2 and other GHGs absorption (measured, validated), solar insolence (measured, validated), water evaporation (measured, validated), aerosols (measured multiple times, validated, even after volcanic eruptions), land based and ocean based temperatures (measured every year with accuracy and precision improving every year), atmospheric temperature and dew point (measured every year), and a whole host of other things that I am probably leaving out.

    Its laughable to pretend that all these things are not real and can’t be used to build a bigger pictures. Thats like saying there is no way to simulate the performance of an aircraft. We do it all the time even though its an incredibly complex set of calculations.

    Then you think poisoning the well is a good form of debate. You are closing your ears if you hear anything that comes from your list of hated sources. So you stick you head in the sand and pretend to know better.

    Throughout this thread tons of evidence has been laid out. but it gets ignored (that is why when Ms. coulter said “So? no evidence?” I started laughing. It was pathetic, and why you have designated her high priestess of anything is beyond me.) But why did you bother to write anything? Its obvious why Ms. Coulter does it, denialism feeds her ego and probably pays the bills. But you?

    Not everything in science gets a Michelson Morely experiment, in fact, its relatively rare, and its getting rarer. The fact that you look at the output of the most common physics based models and think “not a good fit” says volumes about your expectations and understanding of science (and those volumes read like a Danielle Steele novel).

    your piddling on a computer somewhere hardly disqualifies the years of hard work that goes into these models. For all we know you were writing pornographic flash pop-ups.

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    “OK that’s probably the worst case, but even “best practice” for research code falls well short of the engineering process I described above.

    Just to reiterate, there’s nothing wrong with research code, per se, however you have to be careful about the claims you make for the output.”

    Your description of engineering code is good, but it really only matches best practices and practices generally used by companies with software of firmware departments. I work in a small firm, we have one programmer, and

    Regardless, what you are talking about is certainly an observation about the efficiency of code development and transference in research, not accuracy. Are there mistakes? Of course there are!

    Of course you have to be careful about the claims you make about the output of computer program, just like you have to be careful about the claims you make about any output of research, whether it be a computer program, an experiment, or even a mathematical proof.

    have a good night

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    Skeptico

    Rod Smith wrote:

    Well now Skeptico, my take is that folks who use pseudonyms (look it up) are just trying to hide from public criticism. I think it is a form of ‘denial of responsibility.’ But I won’t bother you with that sort of thing — you would just probably deny it.

    A quick look at your blog reveals it seems almost entirely devoted to criticizing others about their lack of critical thinking, while pretending to be an expert at recognizing a world chock full of bumpkins. Wow! I am impressed. How many “cures” have you affected so far?

    It does seem a bit strange that you are somehow unable to de-bunk their assertions without casting aspersions on how poorly they think, how they are so easily deluded, and why their beliefs just can’t be supported by “facts” you dig up.

    That was a waste of three paragraphs.  Hope it made you feel better.  I note you couldn’t point to anything I got wrong.  Also, please explain, how else would you respond when someone’s arguments are nothing but logical fallacies?  Fallacious logic means their conclusions don’t follow from their arguments, so why wouldn’t you just point out the logical fallacies?

    But then I notice that much of your attack here…

    Not attack. Defense of the attacks on me.  The fallacy ridden attack.  That Joanne Nova started, remember.  Try and keep up.

    …focuses on trivia. For example, you quibble with the Joanne’s use of the word “empirical”

    Really?  Please show me where I quibbled with the word “empirical”. 

    while ignoring the thrust of her question. Just for your edification, empirical means based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic. But then, you surely knew that.

    So how about humoring and old guy who got a bit nauseous looking at your blog and come up with a simple answer to Joanne’s first question, which is: “Can you name a single piece of empirical evidence that man-made carbon raises temperatures?”

    As Techskeptic wrote, that is a hopelessly naive question.  But since you insist, and this has been written several time in this thread already, the cooling of the upper stratosphere.  And no, that’s not due to ozone.

    [Yes Sceptico, still waiting for you to cite any evidence that it's not due to ozone, and here's the real kicker - even if it isn't all due to ozone, that doesn't prove it's due to carbon. Argument from Ignorance rears it's head again. Just because you can rule out other things proves nothing about carbon. For someone who points out logical errors, you sure make a lot of them yourself. - JN ]

    But in reality, as Techskeptic wrote:

    “Its an accumulation of evidence from CO2 and other GHGs absorption (measured, validated), solar insolence (measured, validated), water evaporation (measured, validated), aerosols (measured multiple times, validated, even after volcanic eruptions), land based and ocean based temperatures (measured every year with accuracy and precision improving every year), atmospheric temperature and dew point (measured every year), and a whole host of other things that I am probably leaving out.”

    If that question confuses you, let me restate it in my own words to eliminate the possibility confusion: “Please cite one instance where increases in the the temperature of the earth’s atmosphere was caused by human released CO2, and has been measured and documented.” Please DO NOT cite anyone’s blog nor some penny-ante lab experiment involving three cubic liters of air, nor for that matter the revered Scientist, Al Gore. And PLEASE don’t tell me to dig around in your blog — one visit was about all I can stomach.

    What the hell are you babbling on about?  “A lab experiment involving three cubic liters of air”?  Where did I even suggest such a thing?

    Having said all that, I actually expect some form of personal attack to my question — which I will ignore on the assumption that everyone can easily recognize it as a cop out. Anything else would be a waste of breath.

    No personal attacks.  Despite your many personal attacks on me.  Just rebuttals to your points.  And I’ll expect an apology from you for this accusation now you have read my response.

    [So Sceptico, I guess you'll be apologizing to me then for your ad hom attacks, made publicly after my private emails to you? - JN]

    Here is an interesting quote for you to ponder: “Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality.“ – Nikola Tesla, 1934

    And this is meant to demonstrate… what exactly?

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    Andrew Simpson

    Thanks for the insight Paul (Post #107).

    In an earlier post, (#53) you said that the climate models should not be used to predict temperatures many years into the future. I’d appreciate it if you could explain a bit more about what you meant by this.

    Thanks.

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    Andrew Simpson

    TechSkeptic # 108: “Do you really not get this? Is this just an effect of denialism, you are looking for some impossible to perform experiment? Its an accumulation of evidence from CO2 and other GHGs absorption (measured, validated), solar insolence (measured, validated), water evaporation (measured, validated), aerosols (measured multiple times, validated, even after volcanic eruptions), land based and ocean based temperatures (measured every year with accuracy and precision improving every year), atmospheric temperature and dew point (measured every year), and a whole host of other things that I am probably leaving out.”

    You left out:
    Positive feedback loops – Not measured. Not validated.
    GCM’s – Poor results. Definitely not validated.

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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Hahahahahahaha – this is priceless! TechSkeptic: ” ….. solar insolence ….” The old Sun’s getting a bit cheeky, is it? I am sure you meant to say “insolation”? Be careful posing as scientifically literate when you can’t even get the terminology right.

    Skeptico: You are getting tedious, mate. So you feel offended, sheesh, I think we all get that by now. Get over it! What gives you the right to be critical and arrogant on your own blog, yet you can’t handle criticism when it’s meted out to you by someone else? Joanne’s initial email to you was polite and inquisitive, so please don’t repeat your “but she started it!” screech; it belongs in kindergarten.

    (And to intercept your nitpicking: No, that wasn’t a direct quote, it was a paraphrase of “Not attack. Defense of the attacks on me. The fallacy ridden attack. That Joanne Nova started, remember.” from your post above.

    And for the record, I agree with Rod Smith’s take on people who use pseudonyms (that one’s for you too, TechSkeptic!)

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    Skeptico

    Anne-Kit Littler:

    Skeptico: You are getting tedious, mate. So you feel offended, sheesh, I think we all get that by now. Get over it! What gives you the right to be critical and arrogant on your own blog, yet you can’t handle criticism when it’s meted out to you by someone else?

    I’m not offended.  I’m just retrying to correct the incredibly poor standards of reasoning that exists on this blog.  Of course, some people are incapable of learning.  But I do what I can.

    Joanne’s initial email to you was polite and inquisitive, so please don’t repeat your “but she started it!” screech; it belongs in kindergarten.

    Don’t be silly, her email was a deliberate troll.  I only responded here when I saw my arguments were being grossly misrepresented. 

    [Yes. I, sceptico, can read minds. I know JoNova's motivations and what she was planning to do. And even though she wrote privately, she was misrepresenting me to ... herself. The Travesty! Posting it publicly as a blog was the obvious way to stop her misrepresenting me. Then I could do it myself. — JN]

    Seems to me like you’re the one who can’t handle criticism.

    And for the record, I agree with Rod Smith’s take on people who use pseudonyms (that one’s for you too, TechSkeptic!)

    What a devastating come back. I use a pseudonym.  Sheesh, you found me out.  What ever am I going to do now?  I guess that must mean everything I wrote was wrong then. Wow, thank you Anne-Kit Littler for putting me straight.  How can I possible respond to such a brilliant counter argument as that one.  You agree with Ron Smith’s take on people who use pseudonyms.  I’m gutted.  Just gutted.

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    MattB

    Would you guys find things more convincing if Skeptico actually changed his name to Skeptico legally?

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    Plonk

    Interesting, out there, we have a Skeptico who isn’t skeptic,a desmog blog that’s full of smog and a Real Climate that’s unreal. lol. No offence! at least there is a real debate here, without the posts being removed if the moderator (Jo) doesn’t agree. Keep up the good work Jo.
    By the way – Yes I probably am a plonk who is a plonker, but thankfully I still have the right to express an opinion. Many in the warmist camp would it appears like to stop that right!

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    Rod Smith

    Skeptico: Many thanks for all your ‘clever’ thoughts, but sheer noise, devoid of any real substance, does not pass for “critical” thinking, nor add to the discussion.

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    Andrew Simpson

    TechSkeptic Post #108:

    “your piddling on a computer somewhere hardly disqualifies the years of hard work that goes into these models. For all we know you were writing pornographic flash pop-ups.”

    Good argument, TechSkeptic. Typical Alarmist personal attack.

    TechSkeptic credibility = 0.

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    Andrew Simpson

    Matt B, post 115.

    “Unskeptico” would be a better choice.

    Or maybe a Conformist Warmist.

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    clearly you didn’t understand the argument. Well that’s your problem. Besides, please point to where I have described alarmist effects of AGW.

    Let me ask another question (since no one bothered to answer the first two, understandably).

    The standard denialist POV has it that the additional amount of CO2 put into the atmosphere by human activity is not enough to cause any effect. Another denialist complaint is that computer models are things to be fudged with no rhyme or reason as to how coefficients are determined.

    Therefore, it must be possible remove the terms that deal with AGHGs and fudge the coefficients of the remaining terms within realistic limits (i.e. solar insolation -ahem Ms. Littler excuse my typo- doesn’t get fudged to be 2000 W/m^2) and get equal or superior correlation to historical data as the current crop of physics based models currently have. Whew! that was a run on sentence! Is data from an effort like this available? If not, why not?

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    Skeptico

    Rod Smith wrote:

    Skeptico: Many thanks for all your ‘clever’ thoughts, but sheer noise, devoid of any real substance, does not pass for “critical” thinking, nor add to the discussion.

    Sheer noise, devoid of any real substance, does not pass for “critical” thinking, nor add to the discussion – you know what projection is, right?

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    Paul Penrose

    TechSkeptic,
    Unlike you I have always used my real name here. Look me up on the US patent website and you will find that I am one of four inventors listed for patent 6,584,356 which is owned by Medtronic. It is for an imbedded operating system for a pacemaker. Hardly a popup for porno. I’ve also worked for IBM, Cardiac Pacemakers, Boston Scientific, and Lockheed-Martin. You will notice that there are no web-porno companies in that list, so I’ll thank you to please stop trying to impugn my reputation with your slanderous remarks. Stop playing the person and play the ball.

    I have worked for smaller shops as well, and I can tell you that the process I outlined in my previous posting works just as well in those situations as well, although it is usually scaled down for smaller projects. For example, you can combine the requirements and design documents. Typically following this process results in much less debug time. I’ve known many developers that don’t use such a process and as a result they spend a lot of time in the debugger. I’m kind of proud that I don’t know the debugger very well because I debug in the design and review phases.

    But this is not about whether small shops making USB dongles or somesuch should be using these kind of quality processes. This is about whether complex climate models which are being used to drive public policy and advocate the virtual roll back of the industrial revolution (by some) should be developed using these “best practices” processes or not. I just don’t think that we can be making such momentous decisions based on unvalidated, unreviewed, and unverified software regardless of how smart the people are who wrote them. They are still humans and will make mistakes. I’ve worked with people that qualify as geniuses and they still make mistakes. In fact, they will be the first ones to admit that they are not infallible.

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    Paul Penrose

    Andrew,
    The problem with unvalidated and unverified software is that you know there are bugs in there, but you just don’t know where or what the effects will be. Many times in models such as we are discussing the bugs are subtle round-off and precision loss issues. This means that there is a good chance that small errors will accumulate over time as the model iterates the same processes over and over. This will corrupt the outputs more and more as the model moves forward in time. To make things worse the climate system is composed of many coupled, non-linear processes which make it naturally chaotic. The predictions for any chaotic system become less and less certain as you go forward in time. These two issues together mean the error bars for the model outputs could easily be far greater than the predictions themselves. Would you believe a result like +5 degrees C +/-10? In this case 10 could be almost any number you wish to guess, but at this point it’s just a guess. Nobody really knows. So, do you bet the farm on this result? I wouldn’t.

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    Ballantyne

    Can you name a single piece of empirical evidence that man-made carbon raises temperatures?

    He needs post only one reference

    You asked for a single piece of empirical evidence and got it. Now you complain you got what you asked for

    the 800 page IPCC report, the 450 link index of Real Climate, a Wikipedia page with 250 links, and a link to a software developers blog, just in case I had time to follow the other 1,500 pages and I still hadn’t found any evidence.

    So now you’re complaining Sceptico gave you too much. Make up your mind.

    Probably most of these pages link in a circular jungle back to each other

    And if you put together a list of climate-change-skeptical pages, they’d link to each other to. Which you seem to think is an argument against their vercacity.

    Sceptico admits it’s argument by authority

    The term you’re looking for is “argument from majority”. And he doesn’t use it – he just gave you some references you requested.

    You seem to think your presumption that he hasn’t read every article on every webpage he sends means he can’t possibly know what he’s talking about. Obviously you don’t apply the same strictures to yourself.

    It might be nice if you engaged with some of the actual issues, instead of going off on a “trust in science is like faith in religion” rant.

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    Lionell Griffith

    Paul Penrose,

    With over 40 years plus in the industry, I share part of your experience in developing reliable software. Especially as required in an environment were bugs can kill real living people. The interesting thing about research software is that all bugs do is kill papers and people’s reputations. Nothing serious. There is no significant loss in loosing one paper in hundreds thousands or the reputation of some parasitical researcher working on a questionable NIH grant.

    However, when the research quality code (even the best of breed) is used to set national and international policy its different. That results in the minute by minute control of the lives of everyone on earth. I its not merely minor paper or the reputation of some political hack at stake. Its the survival and thriving of every LIVING person on earth that is at stake. The engineering standard is an absolute minimum requirement. Unfortunately, the GW process is not meet even a credible research standard much less a standard that justifies the reversion of our technological society back to prior to the stone age.

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    Its the survival and thriving of every LIVING person on earth that is at stake

    Once again, can you remind me who are the alamrists and who are the deniers? It looks to me like the AGW deniers and the alarmists are one and the same.

    Can you show how investing in new, undepletable energy resources while working on making products and processes more efficient somehow leads to such doom and gloom? More available energy leads to better economy, not worse.

    Paul Penrose
    Unlike you I have always used my real name here.

    Well my name is Bill Gates, have you heard of me? What was your point again about knowing someones name with respect to the validity of their argument?

    How is it that you work for all those companies and make such cool stuff and use the word “imbedded operating system” instead of “embedded”. Be careful Ms Littler might get mad at you.

    All those companies and only 1 patent?!?!? What the hell? Seriously, while I am not Bill gates, I have worked for 3 companies and have 10 patents to my name, 2 of which I got from my own company and one in grad school, they span fuel cells, nanotech, a medical device and bottle filling. Yes I am proud of my patents as I am sure you are of yours, but that hardly qualifies me to write atmospheric models.

    Besides, since you and Mr. Simpson both missed the point of that snark, I’ll spell it out for you. Designing flash pop-ups or an embedded device to perform scheduling events is hardly the same thing as coming up with models for complex phenomena, verifying components of the models, and using them for scenario building. You are trying to equivocate “Computer programming” with “model development” which is like trying to say “using a hammer” is the same thing as “building a house”.

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    Once again, where are the physics based models, that ignore AGHGs, that match the historical temperature trends as well at the models that do? You deniers have been at this for 30 years. I thought it was just a matter of tweaking some coefficients to get the same answer?

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    Lionell Griffith

    TechSkeptic: More available energy leads to better economy, not worse.

    Yes but that is not the effect of “cap and trade”, nor “never drill here nor anywhere”, nor “no nukes forever”. We are not to be permitted to use the energy sources we have and know how to use. We must wait until the Brave New World of “alternative” energy is developed. But we can’t damn the rivers. We can’t build the windmills. We can spoil the beaches. Its mostly, we can’t. All based upon a total fantasy of some models that can’t predict tomorrow but are supposed to predict 100 years from now.

    Were is all this new energy? When? How? All I hear is “somehow”,”some when”, but “not here and not now”. We can’t use the land, we can’t use the sea, we can’t use the resources beneath the ground, we are not even allowed to use our own property without getting permission of some disconnected unaccountable government agency. Then, if by some stroke of magic we actually are able to produce some wealth, a major fraction is to be taken from us for the “public good”. A “public good” dictated by the same thugs who dictate all the other restrictions on our individual rights.

    This is a clear and present threat to the continuation and thriving of people on earth.

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    “All based upon a total fantasy of some models that can’t predict tomorrow but are supposed to predict 100 years from now. ”

    Wow, again with the complete lack of understanding the difference between meteorology and climatology, seems to be a common thread here.

    “We are not to be permitted to use the energy sources we have and know how to use”

    I’m sorry, can you point me to the proposal that says you can’t use what we have now? I use gas every day on my drive to work. My power comes 50% from coal. We have experienced no brownouts as we increase our energy supply from nukes and wind.

    “We must wait until the Brave New World of “alternative” energy is developed.”
    You are contradicting yourself, do we have to wait until alt energy is fully developed to use it? or are we limited in our use of current technology”? Which is it?

    “We can’t use the land, we can’t use the sea, we can’t use the resources beneath the ground, we are not even allowed to use our own property without getting permission of some disconnected unaccountable government agency.”

    Nonsense, ALL of the proposed methods of gaining renewable energy use land and sea. You can put up all the windmills you want on your property, and disconnect yourself from the grid altogether if you like. You can do this now. What’s the problem again?

    The thing you are trying (poorly) to bitch about is that we are going to be taxpayer spending money on developing energy sources that are renewable and that use less energy for a product or process. We will be developing both utility grade and decnetralized methods of power production. this will allow remote areas to generate their own power without having to run a pipe or cable. Somehow you consider all this as a bad thing. not sure why, either we can do it, or some other country will do it. I’d rather be a leader, you are welcome to buy my technology when gas gets too expensive.

    You are trying to bitch that a cap and trade system will somehow ruin the economy. Unfortunately for you, we (USA) have tried to use similar systems, like with sulfur dioxide, and have not been economically hurt by it, our economy has (had?) grown despite its use. The EU has been using it and their economy has not crapped out because of it (however apparently a cap and trade system provides no benefit in protection from stupid conservative economic decisions in country that lies across the ocean).

    “This is a clear and present threat to the continuation and thriving of people on earth.”

    And once again we see that the only alarmists here are the ones who continue to act as AGW denialsts.

    Where is all the energy? 1000 W/m2 from the sun, we just have to take it. More from wind, geo, etc. algae could provide 5000-15000 gallons of oil per acre per year. All that conservative zeal for competition and entrepreneurship is there waiting for you. Its there and its lifetime has spans of billions of years. Why not get on board and actually improve our energy supply instead of whining?

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    Lionell Griffith

    TechSkeptic,

    http://wizbangblog.com/content/2009/02/04/breaking-news-obama-administration-to-cancel-77-drilling-leases-in-utah.php
    http://www.care2.com/news/member/540414077/1044855

    Google: “coal power plant cancel” and get 1,540,000 hits
    Google: “nuclear power plant cancel” and get 324,000 hits

    Alternative oil production:

    US Oil consumption for transportation is 390 million gallons/day
    from: http://www.eia.doe.gov/basics/quickoil.html
    If the algae could provide pure motor fuel at 10,000 gallons per acre per year it would take 14,235,000 acres dedicated to the production of motor fuel PLUS a substantial amount of land for infrastructure.

    14,235,000 acres = 22242.187 mi² slightly less than the size of West Virgina.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_Refuge_drilling_controversy

    ANWR comprises 1,980,000 acres. Of that only 2,000 acres as a footprint for oil drilling is expected Yet even that small amount is to be banned.

    Google: “Obama ANWR ban” and get 48,700 hits.

    How then is a space 7000 times as large required to use algae production going to be “permitted”?

    Alternative electricity production:

    The power density of sun light falling on a perpendicular surface on a clear day is 1.4 kilowatt per square meter.

    The US production of electricity per year as of 2007 is 4.167 trillion kilowatt hours.

    Assuming 100% efficiency in conversion of sunlight to electricity and assuming the electricity produce can be stored with 100% efficiency and assuming the peak energy production can be maintained for 8 hours a day, a total of 372 billion square meters or 143,629 square miles (roughly the size of the state of Montana) of solar energy collectors would be required to product that much energy.

    A realistic conversion would be approximately 23% rather than 100%. If so, that would take over four Montana’s to generate that much electricity.

    Then we have the slight problem of storing the energy for the other 16 hours each day. Lets say we are willing to use high powered Lithium-ion batteries (cost is no object here). They fall in the range of 95 to 190 WATTS per kilogram. If we assume 200 watts per kilogram (5 kilograms per kilowatt) and only 1/2 the electricity produced will have to be stored for the dark 16 hours, only 10.4 TRILLION kilograms of batteries would be required.

    See: http://hypertextbook.com/facts/1998/ManicaPiputbundit.shtml

    Now how practical is producing the electricity we need from sun light?

    A very similar story applies to all the other so called alternative energy sources. The bottom line is they cannot possibly produce enough energy to do the job that modern technological civilization requires to be done. The ONLY alternative is either go back to pre-stone age living or use the energy resources we do have and use that until we develop fusion power.

    You can rant and rave all you like but you cannot violate the laws of nature. The Three Laws of Thermodynamics apply. Wishes, fantasy, commandments, dictates, and human laws are irrelevant noise by comparison.

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    I have no idea what you are trying to insinuate by mentioning number of hits for a search. Here search for this:

    Google: Lionell Griffith Dork – and get 15,400 hits.

    does that make you a dork?

    What the heck are you gonna do when we run out of oil? Your prediction is that we will go back to the stone ages. I’m not saying that this will happen tomorrow or even in 100 years, but it will eventually. So then we go to the stone ages? Or do we perhaps pursue the exact same avenue being proposed now? By doing it now, you prevent the economic damage the skyrocketing prices from short supply will cause. its pretty idiotic to just presume that our economies and people can’t exist without oil, don’t you think?

    Ok, so eventually we will have to figure out how to switch over.

    The rest of your post ignores a number of things:

    1) efficiency improvements in stored or captured energy to mechanical or electrical work, be it factories or cars.
    2) 14 million acres of land and sea for algae growth is nothing. You are saying we could power every vehicle we have now with 14 million acres of land? Perfect! That is a small fraction of the available land in nevada alone, never mind all the crop space for farmers in the mid west of america. That is a entrepreneurial endeavor that could benefit everyone! got some unused land? Grow some algae. Think of the pond development sales, the conversion equipment sales, the localization, and the carbon sinks. Good news!
    3) no one is talking about centralized algae growth or even centralized power generation. Sure there may be utility scale installations all around, but this is a good opportunity for everyone to contribute to the energy issues (which is why true net metering is required). So your alarmist whining about having to take over west virginia is just silly. You localize the grown and captured energy, that makes the whole power and energy generation process more efficient than taking it from countries who hate us.
    4) Do you think national forests should be maintained? Im just wondering. I like em. I like that we have places to go to. sadly, ANWR is hardly the only NF being tapped. They are dropping holes and roads all over wyoming. Its a disaster. http://www.sdsbt.org. you think its just a bunch of holes? roads, air pollution, erosion, lovely.
    5) you are right on one thing, its a small amount. Not large enough to affect the price of oil to any significant degree. How about you visit a few of the NFs where they are already drilling and see how nice and pristine they are.
    6)you rant on sunlight is just pretty downright dumb. no one said that all power should come from sunlight. Further there ARE solar solutions that can generate power into the night, its called solar thermal and they store the extra energy in salts as heat. that is just one solution and an old one at that. There are other solar thermal solutions that can convert biomass to fuels which can run turbines at night or get distributed for use in vehicles. So not only are there very good solar solutions, there are a number of other clean solutions like nukes (oh no! they require socialism to operate!), geo, and wind. Combined and along with gains in efficiency makes for an inexhaustable energy supply.
    7)You got your units screwed up when talking about batteries so that it is unintelligible. Li+ chemistry gets 300 WattHOURs per liter, what brings this down to sub 200 is the packaging, larger batteries, better energy density. There are other chemistries that are even higher. however you need not store solar energy as electrons, you can store it as heat (which is already done) or you can store it as hydrocarbons (or just hydrogen or syngas), which is being done.

    Basically your whole diatribe there is comes down to this: “We can’t do it now, so we shouldn’t do it” Its a head in the sand, recipe for economic cliff diving. You want to be a follower and have to buy stuff from other countries, well thats your perogative. I think its pathetic.

    Meanwhile Denmark is kicking our ass in wind power sales and GE is playing catchup. Japan and germany are kicking our ass in PV mfg, and GE is playing catch up (with a weird castable cell, that may work though).

    If this were the 1800′s you’d be bitching about how we should be using steam for everything because the water and wood is easier to get than digging up and refining oil. and its available now! How are you going to convert all those steam engines to ICEs in one day?

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    I just noticed I switched energy density units on you, you were attempting to use gravimetric and i switched to volumetric. I’m not sure which is more relevant, but I think neither of them really matter. No one is proposing that most of the extra energy get stored in batteries. Regardless, the units for energy are not watts, it’s watt-hours,

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    Paul Penrose

    TechSkeptic,
    You tried to impugn my professional reputation and since I use my real name and I am an independent contractor that could have serious consequences in the real world. So it was appropriate for me to correct that lie by providing evidence that I did indeed do the kind of work that I claimed. Congratulations on your patents; of course you can’t really prove it, so you’ll excuse me if I have some doubt considering your dishonest debating tactics. If all you can really critique me on is my spelling, I think that shows how shallow your arguments are.

    I should also point out that I worked for Medtronic for 6 years and they were the only company that I’ve contracted with that allowed contractors to be named on Patents. During that time I also worked on a large behavioral model of an entire chipset for an implantable defibrillator. This model was used by the firmware group to write, debug, and test their code on since it provided much better visibility than the actual hardware (which lagged the h/w design process by months anyway). Because of it’s importance in the firmware development cycle this model had to follow the same engineering process cycle as the firmware. The real hardware was validated primarily by running the netlist through Verilog. This produced detailed traces of internal states that we also compared our model against to make sure that it behaved exactly the same, down to the minimum time step that we were using (half the system clock).

    So if you would like to talk about models and discrete time simulators or how to write engineering quality code, let’s have at it. If you are only interested in trying to discredit me personally then I’ll take that as an admission of defeat.

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    I did not impugn or discredit anything. I didn’t say “I know you work for a porn factory”, I said “for all we know” you do. It wasn’t a lie, i didn’t make a claim. You simply overreacted and decided to not bother to understand the point. It doesn’t matter if you use your name or not, that’s your choice. No one has any knowledge that the guy sitting behind your computer is actually Paul Penrose, any more than they know the guy sitting behind my computer is Bill Gates. You could have picked the name out of a hat. That is one of the reasons I stay anonymous. It makes you have to focus on the arguments rather than trying to find out crap about me and try for some ad homs. The only dumb ad hom I have to fight, easily, is “well he’s anonymous therefore he is wrong” type crap. you can too. Its your choice.

    I can’t prove I have my patents any more than you can prove you are paul penrose, so we are even. however, I guess I am lucky to have worked in a number of startups that all tried to provide value by creating an IP boundary as large as possible.

    “large behavioral model of an entire chipset for an implantable defibrillator”

    you are again trying to equivocate the word “model”. when I make a spreadsheet on profit projections its a model. When I make a spreadsheet on performance predictions of some system using monte carlo simulations, that too is a model. These are not the same thing as a physics based model like FEA analysis or even kinematic modeling, much less atmospheric modeling.

    I totally believe you that your software management is effective. its also irrelevant, which was my point from the start.

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    Lionell Griffith

    techskeptic: Basically your whole diatribe there is comes down to this: “We can’t do it now, so we shouldn’t do it” Its a head in the sand, recipe for economic cliff diving. You want to be a follower and have to buy stuff from other countries, well thats your perogative. I think its pathetic.

    What you are evading is that we have a compounding of the following factors:

    1. The energy density and timing of sunlight is insufficient to power modern civilization today by any reasonable extrapolation of current technology.

    2. Wind, algae based oil, waves, wind, solar heat collection, photovoltaic, biomass, and hydrological sources have as their source of energy: sunlight.

    3. None of the methods of use of solar energy are anywhere near 100% efficient. By the time you capture, transform, store, transport, and consume, the net efficiency is not much higher than a few percent.

    Item 3 will vastly multiply the foot print of alternative energy sources. Add to that the likely an additional 50% to 80% of the capture area will be required for access, facilities, processing, transport,….

    If we can’t use the small foot print in ANWR, how are we going to be permitted to use the gigantic multiple foot prints of your so called alternative energies? Then if we can’t use our current high quality high density energy sources, we can’t even start to build the impossibly (partly because its prohibited) huge alternative energy sources.

    The result of prohibiting the use of carbon based energy AND of requiring only alternative (ie solar energy) be used is the stopping of modern technological civilization. The ONLY real alternative that will work is to continue to use our carbon based sources of energy and nuclear fission energy while working on inventing a nuclear fusion source of energy. The so called alternative sources of energy are capable of only of fringe application. At best, they could provide 10% or so of the required energy. Even then it would be at a totally uneconomic price – as we have already experienced.

    I don’t know about you but I live in a real world where goals can be met only by using the specific means necessary to achieve them. Wishes, fantasy, commandments, desires, and temper tantrums don’t impress the real world. This real world requires that one encompass a wide and deep context so that your decisions and actions will be coherent with it. Otherwise, your decisions and actions will fail to have your desired result.

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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Techskeptic, Denmark may be kicking your ass in terms of wind power sales, but that does not mean it is cost effective:

    “… Denmark [.....] early on provided huge subsidies for wind power, building thousands of inefficient turbines around the country from the 1980s onward. Today, it is often remarked that Denmark is providing every third terrestrial wind turbine in the world, creating billions in income and jobs.

    A few years ago, however, the Danish Economic Council conducted a full evaluation of the wind turbine industry, taking into account not only its beneficial effects on jobs and production, but also the subsidies that it receives. The net effect for Denmark was found to be a small cost, not benefit.

    Not surprisingly, the leading Danish wind producer is today urging strong action on climate change that would imply even more sales of wind turbines. The company sponsors the “Planet in Peril” show on CNN, which helps galvanize public pressure for action.

    The crucial point is that many green technologies are not cost-effective, at least not yet. If they were, we wouldn’t need to subsidize them.” (Bjorn Lomborg, Japan Times, Nov 2008)

    No one is saying here that we should not invest in R&D of alternative energy. What we are opposed to is taxing the use of fossil fuels based on unproven claims that their use causes dangerous warming of he earth’s atmosphere.

    Just a note on “peak oil” (quote from Wilfrid Beckerman: “A Poverty of Reason”

    “History is littered with predictions of imminent resource scarcity that have been subsequently falsified. Malthus’ predictions approximately two hundred years ago – that the world population would soon run out of food supplies – are probably the most famous. But more than two thousand years earlier Pericles in Ancient Greece made equally false predictions.

    There are two main reasons why past predictions of imminent exhaustion of minerals have proved wrong. First, they are invariably based on comparisons between existing known reserves and the rate at which they are being used up, indicating a misunderstanding of the meaning of reserves statistics. Second, they ignore the economic mechanisms that are set in motion when any resources becomes scarce.

    As regards the former point, the usual estimates of known reserves of raw materials (in the US, those published by the US Bureau of Mines) are conservative contingency forecasts made by the exploration companies, and they are related to a certain price and the existing state of technical knowledge: if the price is higher, more resources can be expoited commercially. In other words, the known reserves represent the reserves that have been worth finding, given the price and the prospects of demand and the costs of exploration. The existence of only fifty years’ supply of material X at current rates of utilization is no cause for concern for the simple reason that there is rarely any point in companies’ employing geologists to prospect for supplies to last humankind to the end of eternity. For example, is it seriously imagined that if there were already one thousand years of known and economically exploitable reserves of copper, any geologist would be employed in looking for new copper supplies?

    The main reason why we will never run out of any resource or even suffer seriously from any sudden reduction in its supply is that whenever demand for any particular material begins to run up against supply limitations, a wide variety of economic forces are set in motion to remedy the situation. These forces start with a rise in price, which, in turn leads to all sorts of secondary favourable feedbacks – notably a shift to substitutes, an increase in exploration, and technical progress that brings down the costs of exploration and refining and processing as well as the costs of the substitutes. In the longer run, of course, the relative prices of some of the materials in question may still rise, which will cause demand for them to contract gradually toward more and more highly valued uses. If, for example, coal were ever to become a very scarce commodity, its price would rise to the point where, like other scarce minerals like diamonds, it would only be used for jewelry or certain very special industrial applications. Key minerals disappear overnight only in science fiction stories. Meanwhile, in the short run, a growing shortage of any one product will stimulate recourse to substitutes.”

    Mind you, market forces (as explained above) will take care of this, we do NOT need enforced government subsidies, penalties and extra taxes!

    Current known reserves of coal, for example, amount to more than 1000 years supply at current rates of consumption, and natural gas to 500 years, AT THE MOMENT OF WRITING! And how many people believe that in one thousand years the world will still be using coal for energy? Could anyone at the start of the 20th century have imagined the world we have today, only 100 years later?

    The Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stones, the Iron Age didn’t end because we ran out of iron, the Bronze Age didn’t end because we ran out of bronze … No one had to tax or ban the use of horse and buggy at the start of the 20th century!

    The future is likely to be much more one of competition between renewable and nonrenewable energy sources. As technological change reduces the price of renewables, the monopoly power of fossil fuel producers will decline, leading to further long-term declines in real energy prices. Environmentalists may find it a sad irony, but for the rest of humanity one of the great benefits of lower-priced renewables could well be a fall in the price of fossil fuels.

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    Paul Penrose

    TechSkeptic,
    When I write something to someone on a blog like this I always ask myself if I would say it to their face. Your “for all I know” statement was, at the minimum, an thinly veiled insult, and could easily have been taken to imply incompetence, and you know it. But there’s no reason to argue it here, everybody who is reading this exchange can decide this for themselves.

    As far as identity goes I can actually prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that I am in fact who I say I am. If anybody would like such proof, just ask. I find that by not being anonymous it’s easier to separate out the posers from the honest debaters because the posers will go after the easy target, the person, instead of engaging in debating the substance of the argument.

    Hand-waving and dismissing someone’s points is also a common logical fallacy. I pointed out that using industry standard quality processes will reduce bugs in large software projects, regardless of the nature of the software. I then explained these processes to show what I was talking about and contrast this with the way the climate models were developed. It does not take a genius to realize that if you don’t rigorously reduce bugs in your software, you can’t have a lot of confidence in the outputs. When you questioned my qualifications (which is really just another logical fallacy) I even made attempts to show that I had developed large, complex software systems, including “models”.

    But you just dismissed everything. Doesn’t matter, you say. Irrelevant. You’ve never developed a climate model, so you don’t know what you are talking about. Sure. What many people don’t know is that software is software, for the most part. I’ve worked on video games, pacemakers, simulators, operating systems, terminal radar control systems, and network servers. And on every one of those projects I used much the same skills and techniques; a linked-list is a linked-list whether it’s a process table in an operating system or a list of targets on an air traffic controller’s station. It’s the same for shared memory, semaphores, and object classes. I can assure you that aside from the specific computational requirements and perhaps some unique algorithms, developing a GCM is not any different from developing a simulation of a complex computer chip or processing radar inputs for an air traffic control system. Just like building a modern concrete and steel building is fundamentally the same as building a bridge. So, unless you want try to explain how the processes that was used to develop the GCMs are superior to the processes I have outlined, I don’t think I have anything left to say to you.

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    DHMO

    Hi Paul

    I am a software developer/analyst working in large systems for the Australian Commonwealth Government. I have been working with computers since 1975. I have no problem with what you put in your comment about GCMs today. I consider them to be a waste of time. Unfortunately the ignorant give them credence. There are more computer models which are a problem beyond GCMs.

    Recently I read on the New Scientist site that we should believe GCMs are accurate because financial computer models had shown such competence in stock market predictions. A fallacy on many levels but now a joke. I suggested they pull the article since it was now obviously wrong.

    You have given some detail of why they are a fallacy but really the reasons are endless. They present a virtual reality of a future which really is an opinion by the creators fed through a very expensive chunk of electronics.

    Of course you will never convince the believer because this the bible of eco religion. So it is the same as telling a Catholic that the christian bible was written by an uneducated person and has no god given worth.

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    Ms. Littler,

    Yes this is a typical creationist tactic, present old reports that have answered as new info.

    Never mind the nice little quote mining you did.. Shall we look at the very next paragraph?

    “The standard reply is that green technologies seem more expensive only because the price of fossil fuels does not reflect their climate costs. That makes some sense. Given that fossil fuels contribute to global warming, standard economic theory suggests we should tax them according to their cumulative negative effects.

    and

    “After all, it is argued, Denmark has kept its CO2 emissions flat while enjoying 70% economic growth since 1981.”

    Never mind the fact that the article was about spending money on improving alternative energy efficiency rather than deploying current state technology. Which is not an either/or proposition. But nice try.

    No one is saying here that we should not invest in R&D of alternative energy. What we are opposed to is taxing the use of fossil fuels based on unproven claims that their use causes dangerous warming of he earth’s atmosphere.

    I’m sorry but that is exactly what most of the people here are proposing. You seem to be supporting the idea of research of new energy but not development. And again, like the creationist you stand by this bizarre assumption that global warming, or any scientific theory will be proven some day. Gravity, evolution, the laws of thermodynamics, relativity, etc etc are ALL unproven. However, for all of these there is an overwhelming amount of evidence that leads us in this direction. It is your desire to pretend that moving towards a sun based energy society will have negative effect, that carbon trading will lead to economic disaster, that models dont match historical data, despite the fact that all of these alarmist ideas have already been shown to be false (which is the whole mechanism behind science).

    As for the rest of your comment, I wont respond until you link to something that backs up any of your claims. for example,

    “Despite significant uncertainties in existing reserve estimates, it is clear that there is sufficient coal at current levels of production to meet anticipated needs through 2030. Looking further into the future, there is probably sufficient coal to meet the nation’s needs for more than 100 years at current rates of consumption. However it is not possible to confirm the often-quoted assertion that there is a sufficient supply of coal for the next 250 years.”

    Which comes from this document
    http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11977

    Where do you get 1000 years?

    As for peak oil. Its simple, do you think there is a mechanism that creates more NG, coal or oil? If not, then it is exhaustible. Period. I never said when, nor did I say we were at peak now. The point is that all the doom and gloom predictions about getting off oil apply at the end of the supply. So, will the end of the exhaustible supply spell doom and gloom or not? If not, then it applies now too. Getting off fossil fuels does not spell doom and gloom, it spells boom.

    I agree that market forces will make prices rise when supplies get low…duh. Does it also imbibe humanity with knowledge? Does it also make the poor and middle class suffer less as their income to energy needs ratio are far far smaller than rich people? I love when Coulteresqe talking heads like Nova here start to pretend like they have any worry about funds for vaccinations in third world countries when it is pure capitalistic policies that favor rich people.

    [ "Pure capitalism" is not where we give massive subsidies to rich countries for agricultural goods and deny the poor from earning a fair price for the industries that they depend on. This is not a failure of capitalism, but a failed attempt at capitalism. There is no free trade in agriculture, and the price of money is fixed by bureaucrats in central banks. Carbon credits will not be a 'free' market solution either, since bureaucrats will be involved in regulating every single aspect of how many will be for sale and who qualifies to 'earn' them. - JN]

    Its pretty typical of deniers to pretend that deregulated capitalism will get them out of anything, but as we can see from recent evidence, once again the poor and middle class suffer more than rich folks. sorry, but “capitalism fixes everything” is hardly a respectable position.

    Paul Penrose,

    It is only you who are all aflutter and choosing to go on and on about a comment for which you completely missed the point (and other points thereafter, even after having it spelled out for you) and decided to whine on and on about taking offense. You are right about one thing, there is no point in arguing it further, you can go simmer on your own.

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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Techskeptic: An unreferenced press release from the Danish Wind Power Association hardly counts as unbiased counter evidence.

    I get the 1000 years of coal reserves from Wilfred Beckerman “A Poverty of Reason”, p22 (ref. Anderson 1998b: 437, referring to data in Rogner 1997).

    Please read the excerpt quoted from Poverty of Reason again (or better still: read the whole book). It is obvious from your comments about peak oil that you didn’t understand Beckerman’s argument about exhaustibility of resources.

    It is interesting how you resort to snide sarcasm and references to world views, which I have to say is a common characteristic of bloggers your side of the fence. I really couldn’t care less if you think believing in creationism makes one an unreliable witness. As you say yourself, neither creationism nor evolution has been proven, so what gives you the moral high ground?

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    Wait a second, was I right earlier when I was asking a question about evolution? Is this audience comprised mostly of creationists? Evidence gives me the high ground, if you folks haven’t even gotten past evolution, or gravity for that matter, you are right, GW is hardly the place to start teaching how evidence is gathered and evaluated through the scientific method.

    I thought I might be discussing a subject with people who were not so cages by religious dogma. I guess I was wrong. If you will close your eyes and ears to evolution, why should anyone think you are capable of, or open to understanding anything else that goes against what your religious upbringing has told you?

    Besides there was nothing snide in the rest of my comment except for asking you to link to your claims (well, I did continue to make fun of Ms. Nova, but finding out about her upcoming travels to the heartland institute is what kept me going there).

    Be well.

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    Andrew Simpson

    A bit like the religious dogma of AGW, eh TechSkeptic?

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    Paul Penrose

    TechSkeptic,
    So now I’m just a whiner that can be dismissed with a wave of your hand, eh? You can’t address the substance of my argument so you just continue to insult me. I hope you don’t think that fools anybody. You are neither a “techie” nor a “skeptic” which means your handle is either ironic or moronic. I’ll let the readers of this exchange decide which. But personally I’m finished with you; I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent.

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    Andrew Simpson

    Paul,

    He doesn’t have time to address your arguments because he’s beating up a few acupunturists at the moment on his blog. Riveting stuff.

    Gaia is going to hell in a handbasket (according to techskeptic) and he’s beating up acupuncturists! (Give ‘em one for me, techskeptic!! That’ll learn them).

    Paul, you need to rememeber, techskeptic is a “seagull blogger”. He flies in, makes a lot of noise, sh!ts all over everything and flies off.

    If I was you, I wouldn’t waste my time. You have contributed far more than that disingenuous troll.

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    DHMO

    techskeptic does that mean you are skeptical of technical things? I know many skeptics since I am a member of a skeptic’s society. You appear to be not a skeptic but consumed by faith and in fact a follower without independant thought. Come on tell us who your priests are? Al Gore? Hansen? Mann?

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    [...] pm on March 19, 2009 | # | I thought I’d just mention Joanne Nova’s weird excuse for ignoring the evidence of man-made global warming provided by Skeptico : [cached: 1, [...]

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    Lionell Griffith

    The IPCC report is not evidence of AGW. It is a REPORT based upon the presumption of AGW. Evidence is something that a report can point to but, as in the case of the IPCC report, often does not.

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    Paul Penrose

    Lionell is correct, the self assigned task of the IPCC was to report on the amount of global warming to expect and the likely effects to the human population. So you can’t use that report as proof of AGW, since that would be circular reasoning no matter what you think of the contents. The other thing to remember is the the IPCC did not do any research of it’s own, it only reviewed existing literature.

    Now I have no problems with either of these two things, I’m just getting tired of people misrepresenting the IPCC and it’s report.

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    Lionel Griffith:

    The IPCC report is not evidence of AGW. It is a REPORT based upon the presumption of AGW.

    Paul Penrose:

    Lionell is correct,

    Wrong. Clearly you’ve not read the report, or you have read it but you’re lying about it.

    There’s an entire chapter in AR4 devoted to the detection and attribution of climate change (detection = how do we know it’s warming; attribution = how do we know how much of it due to what). There are subsections within the chapter which discuss the magnitude of anthropogenic influences. Let me know when you find those.

    bi

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    Lionell Griffith

    It is interesting to note that even the so called existing scientific literature is not evidence. They are only reports of what may or may not be evidence. The evidence is in the real world. A scientific report should expose sufficient information that a reader could, if its important, replicate the measurements and reproduce what was contained in the report. Then, if the report could not be replicated, the content of the report cannot be considered to be pointing to evidence. See the infamous hockey stick graph that supposedly “proved” AGW as a case in point.

    The key point is, evidence is real and not simply symbolic. Reports are collections of symbols that may or may not correlate with what is real. This is why for an hypothesis to be scientific, it must be testable. For it to be a scientific theory, the hypothesis must be tested and found consistent with what is real.

    I know this may be shocking to some but words don’t create the things they label. Yet this is one of the most common fallacies committed today: by simply changing the name of a thing, you change the thing. AGW mutates to “climate change” mutates to “the sky is falling” mutates to “we must stop living as modern human beings and return to the stone age”. Its noise mutating to noise mutating to still more noise. There is nothing real behind any of the noise but the consequences of acting upon it are very real.

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    [removed: poor reasoning and insults ]

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    Lionell Griffith

    techskeptic demonstrates that he believes words create reality.

    I ask what is evidence?

    techskeptic’s apparent answer to “What is evidence?” is “The scientific literature”. Then he goes off into a tangent about “the scientific method” which he seems to believe produces the scientific literature. As to what evidence actually is, he appears to have no clue.

    He appears to think scientific literature is evidence because its based upon the scientific literature. He assumes a test of scientific literature is passed if the scientific literature is consistent with the scientific literature. If you can replicate the scientific literature by comparing it to the scientific literature you have validated the evidence.

    That is at best a recursive circular argumentation from authority.

    I ask:

    Observation of what?

    Hypothesis based upon what?

    Test of what?

    Verification of what?

    Replication of what?

    The only “what” is reality. The scientific literature is true ONLY if its symbols corresponds to reality. That the scientific literature corresponds to itself proves nothing but that it corresponds to itself. It is by itself not evidence. At best it points to the evidence. Where? In reality.

    Re: Pluto

    Does calling a rock in the sky a “planet” make it a planet or not calling it a “planet” make it not a planet? Is not what it actually is the determinate of what it actually is rather than its name? I don’t care what you call a thing as long as the symbol used has a clear, consistent, and mutually understandable reference to the identity of the thing or class of things named.

    Pluto, in this instance, is the name of a rock in the sky. A planet is a name of a class of things in the sky. The only valid questions are: what are the common attributes of the class of things called planets and does Pluto have those attributes. If yes, Pluto is a planet. If not, Pluto is not a planet. End of quandary. This is quite simple as long as you keep clearly in mind that a name is a very different thing than the thing named. The name simply points to the thing named. The thing named is what it is without regard to its name.

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    LOL way to not read or understand a post (again). Good work.

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    Paul Penrose

    Frankbi,
    I took this right from the IPCC website:

    “The IPCC was established to provide the decision-makers and others interested in climate change with an objective source of information about climate change. The IPCC does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters. Its role is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the latest scientific, technical and socio-economic literature produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change, its observed and projected impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.”

    Notice it does not say anything about attempting to establish IF human-induced climate change is real; The IPCC is proceeding from the stand that it is real and is going on from there. Also notice that they admit that they are not doing any of their own research or collecting data. It is just a literature summary. Interestingly if you look at the lead authors of each section you will find that their own papers are the prominent ones that they rely most heavily on. How convenient.

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    Lionell Griffith

    TechSkeptic,

    Please note:

    Feinstein seeks block solar power from desert land: http://www.physorg.com/news156842404.html

    We can’t even use the sacred renewable solar power because some damn turtle might be insulted or the scenery in a vast waste land might be degraded.

    We can’t use our fossil fuel + we can’t use nuclear fuel + we can’t use solar power in any form = we can’t use energy -> the end of modern technological civilization.

    Without abundant high density energy, nothing much happens above a primitive stone age culture. That is not just an opinion nor a mistake of perspective. Its the Three Laws of Thermodynamics that will assure that is all that can happen. No amount of wishing, evading, demanding, passing of human laws, commandments, tantrums, or changing of names can change that fact.

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    Rob

    Slightly off point, but demonstrating the grip the IPCC has on the general public (based on the illusion of what the IPCC is and does), at least in New Zealand. A recent survey has shown that 87% of New Zealanders apparently believe that AGW is real and must be addressed (that’s a huge percentage; significantly more than the number who claim to be religious, by way of comparison).

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/environment/news/article.cfm?c_id=39&objectid=10563039

    The desire for urgent action is down due to the financial crisis but this is of little comfort. However, it does demonstrate that the public fervour for serious CO2 reduction might rapidly diminish if the costs become excessive.

    Bottom line, we New Zealander’s like to think we’re very “green”, even though the truth is quite different, and public understanding of science, like most modern societies, is very poor, so don’t look to us to lead the way out of the AGW fog.

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    Louis Hissink

    It took me some time but I finally found your blog :-) Let DE know please. :-)

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    Paul Penrose

    Oh Louis, how embarrassing. Don’t you just hate it when your fingers won’t do what your brain tells them?

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    Louis Hissink

    Paul,

    My fingers did exactly what my brain told them, and there is no embarrassment at my end. It relates to a conversation I had with DE last week.

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    Louis Hissink

    Oh, rats, it’s the automatic field filler – I really never look at that – hmm means refreshing all the cookies etc in the browser cache.

    Thanks Paul, though I noticed it after I framed my reply to the previous.

    And no, there still no embarrassment.

    Well, there is when emailers address me as Dr.Hissink and I don’t have a PhD.

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    Paul Penrose

    OK Louid.

    [ I've retrospectively changed Louid to Louis. Since he's using a real name, it seems only fair. - JN]

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    “Science without debate is like business without competition and a trial without a defense. It’s a sham.”
    That’s not really how science works. Science isn’t a debate; if the evidence points one way, that’s the way we go. But nice appeal to authority there by putting it in quotes. I Googled it, and apparently you wrote that, since it does not show up anywhere else.

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    Mr or Mrs MTGap,

    “if the evidence points one way, that’s the way we go.”

    And what happens if no one funds research that investigates evidence going the other way?

    We end up with monopoly science.

    If science is not a debate, what is it? A party political procedure where new theories need to be ‘approved’ before they can be discussed. As if.

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    Ironically religious persons would never make the mistake of assuming that mankind or its emissions is more powerful than natural causes (aka: God, Zeus, Mother Nature, etc.).

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    Fefnir

    It seems to me, Miss Nova, that instead retaliating, a traditional fight-or-flight reaction indicating fear or nervousness, you may want to consider an essential part of the process: being impartial and unbiased in the face of results. Skeptiko (note the spelling) was not merely ‘throwing links’, but using them as a dramatic device to demonstrate the wealth of evidence your claim disregarded by its assertion. I’m confident that if you simply stepped outside the confirmation bias at the heart of your evidence, you would see that all odds are stacked against you.

    Now, you have three feasible choices: one, you examine the numerous pieces of evidence presented and declare question 1 anwered, conceding your false evidence; two, you choose to disallow the evidence presented by way of false logic and your desire to be ‘right’, and you continue to make a mockery of the data that disproves you; or three, give credible sources and disprove those that contradict, or concede. In any scenario, your ad hominem posting has left you with a metaphorical black eye, and your insistence on denying proper questioning neccessary to the determination of factual data is, at the least, unprofessional.

    So basically, disprove or concede.

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    Fefnir

    Well, that’s rather unfortunate. I spelled ‘Sceptico’ wrong unintentionally while trying to hilight how misspellings of the name have abounded! Rather unfortunate indeed.

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    Unfortunately, you spelled it wrong again: it’s Skeptico.

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    G.S. Williams

    Hi,all,

    Just a small point on Sceptico or Skeptico. The spelling depends on whether you’re American or English.

    In American it’s, “SKeptico”; in English, “SCeptico”.

    Does that help? I hope so.

    G.S. Williams
    Howick,Manukau City, Auckland, New Zealand

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    Tel

    Its pretty typical of deniers to pretend that deregulated capitalism will get them out of anything, but as we can see from recent evidence, once again the poor and middle class suffer more than rich folks. sorry, but “capitalism fixes everything” is hardly a respectable position.

    If there were no benefits to being rich, then the entire concept of wealth would be meaningless. In effect your honest position is that everyone should be equal, and there should be no rich and poor.

    Although a superficially attractive concept, if people are unable to trade directly in material goods, they will trade in other currencies such as favours. You end up with a Blatnoy / Vornoy economy and all animals are equal, but some more equal than others. You might try to pass laws against this but even the illegality becomes a commodity open to trade.

    Of course, the various proposed Emission Trading Systems will inevitably also result in winners, losers, profits and losses. Let me assure you 100% that the middle class and poor will suffer more than rich folks under every scheme open for discussion.

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    Fefnir:
    I’ll take the fourth option, and ask you what the “numerous” pieces of evidence I supposedly ignore are.

    The only link that I haven’t gotten around to replying too is… Cooling of the upper stratosphere. Thanks for reminding me.

    It speculates about CO2 fingerprints in the upper stratosphere, but the empirical graphs are out-of-date, the page is not well written and doesn’t give any quantitative way of ascertaining how much cooling is due to ozone and how much to carbon. It asserts that carbon might do more cooling from 40-50km, but how much more? That was my point from the start… we can’t tell “how much”. This is conjecture.

    Saying that there is “some” indeterminate amount of stratospheric cooling possibly due to carbon isn’t that useful. This is not evidence to change economies, or predict major warming. We also know ozone levels were falling, and that there is no way to quantify and split the two effects in the stratosphere. Even doing it vaguely is fraught with problems. Ozone has at least three mechanisms for changing temperatures (UV absorption, Greenhouse gas absorption and emissions), all competing with each other at different altitudes. Its confounding. There is no evidence of catastrophic or even serious effects.

    Even if stratospheric cooling were solely due to CO2, and correlated well with CO2, that is not evidence that CO2 heats the planet.

    And it’s true, Sceptico should be “Skeptico” – In the UK and Australia we spell the word “Sceptic”. I’d been inconsistent, so I’ve fixed it. Thanks.

    BTW _ Anyone can throw up a list of 10 or 1500 links to “scientificky papers”. It would take me hours to read each paper (that the poster probably hasn’t read) and explain it and explain why it’s wrong or irrelevant, or been debunked. I don’t respond to this kind of dishonest lazy ambit claim. Timewaster. It’s only reasonable to expect that people who are polite and well informed could explain the empirical evidence that carbon causes major warming, and also provide a link to a paper or two to back up their statement.

    So, I guess you’ll be providing explanations and links to papers to back up your claim of “numerous” and “wealth” of empirical evidence, or conceding that your statement was baseless?

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    Intel

    Skeptico is only person that makes godamn sense.

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