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Lawyer busts climate science

This paper has become the zeitgeist. I’ve had countless emails, and I know it’s been mentioned on Pielke, then  by Solomon then Watts Up. Every self respecting skeptic will have looked at by this weekend, if not already. (Thanks to all the people who’ve emailed in the last three days).

My thoughts? For a long scientific review, it’s surprisingly well written, cuts to the core, and it’s a very unusual style of writing: No one is pushing anything, it’s not polarized or written to entertain, yet at the same time, it has compelling clarity. Johnston also exposes the rhetorical flaws in the reasoning and argument styles, which gives it a comprehensive punch.

I’m not used to reading official documents about the climate that are written to actually explain something. It’s 79 pages long, and distinctly lacks any cartoons, or even graphs, but surprisingly, astonishingly, it has sentences that are readable. There are no double barreled vagarisms designed to obscure the meaning while they recite a litany of key phrases, as if the answer is really hidden in there somewhere.  This document doesn’t finish off every other point with speculation that it might be worse than we thought. Even though, actually, as far as science goes, official climate science is worse than we thought. Damning with understated tones.

“Global Warming Advocacy Science: A Cross Examination”

Jason Scott Johnston, Professor and Director of the Program on Law, Environment and Economy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

First up, I’ll note that I was impressed that the problems with feedbacks gets the full explicit treatment (page 72). Johnstone has done an admirable job. The message is getting out. Otherwise, I’ll jump straight to the conclusions on policy which I found interesting. Johnston has put some thought into climate science per se. (I’ve added my summary headers in between the quotes).

III. Conclusion: Questioning the Established Science, and Developing a Suitably
Skeptical Rather than Faith-based Climate Policy

As a large number of climate scientists have stressed, such an understanding will come about only if theoretical and model-driven predictions are tested against actual observational evidence.

The most valuable lesson: It’s standard practice for scientists to ignore the results they don’t like.

Among the most surprising and yet standard practices is a tendency in establishment climate science to simply ignore published studies that develop and/or present evidence tending to disconfirm various predictions or assumptions of the
establishment view that increases in CO2 explain virtually all recent climate change.

The main problem is the variety of data sets which climate science advocates use to rebut studies by finding something from another data set.

Perhaps even more troubling, when establishment climate scientists do respond to studies supporting alternative hypotheses to the CO2 primacy view, they more often than not rely upon completely different observational datasets which they say confirm (or at least don’t disconfirm) climate model predictions. The point is important and worth further elucidation: while there are quite a large number of published papers reporting evidence that seems to disconfirm one or another climate model prediction, there is virtually no instance in which establishment climate scientists have taken such disconfirming evidence as an indication that the climate models may simply be wrong. Rather, in every important case, the establishment response is to question the reliability of the disconfirming evidence and then to find other evidence that is consistent with model predictions. Of course, the same point may be made of climate scientists who present the disconfirming studies: they tend to rely upon different datasets than do  establishment climate scientists. From either point of view, there seems to be a real problem for climate science: With many crucial, testable predictions – as for example the model prediction of differential tropical tropospheric versus surface warming – there is no indication that climate scientists are converging toward the use of standard observational datasets that they agree to be valid and reliable.

The debate will never end unless we sort out the datasets

Without such convergence, the predictions of climate models (and climate change  theories more generally) cannot be subject to empirical testing, for it will always be  possible for one side in any dispute to use one observational dataset and the other side to use some other observational dataset.

So lets fund the data sets, and not the big disconfirmed models

Hence perhaps the central policy implication of the cross-examination conducted above is a very concrete and yet perhaps surprising one: public funding for climate science should be concentrated on the development of better,
standardized observational datasets that achieve close to universal acceptance as valid and reliable. We should not be using public money to pay for faster and faster computers so that increasingly fine-grained climate models can be subjected to ever larger numbers of simulations until we have got the data to test whether the predictions of existing
models are confirmed (or not disconfirmed) by the evidence.

Trillions of dollars should not be wasted because of rhetorical tricks

As things now stand, the advocates representing the establishment climate science story broadcast (usually with color diagrams) the predictions of climate models as if they were the results of experiments – actual evidence. Alongside these multi-colored multi-century model-simulated time series come stories, anecdotes, and photos – such as the iconic stranded polar bear — dramatically illustrating climate change today. On this rhetorical strategy, the models are to be taken on faith, and the stories and photos as evidence of the models’ truth. Policy carrying potential costs in the trillions of dollars ought not to be based on stories and photos confirming faith in models, but rather on precise and replicable testing of the models’ predictions against solid observational data.

Read the full paper

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74 comments to Lawyer busts climate science

  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    Science doesn’t progress (and it isn’t science) without encouraging potential critics to tear apart hypotheses by observations – and to propose observations needed to render hypotheses false

    Astronomical data to support general relativity theory were gathered by the astronomer A S Eddington – and there was no one more qualified than Eddington to examine the observational evidence critically in light of any other interpretations of the observations. Eddington proposed (and dismissed, by analysis of the data) competing interpretations of the data that (undoubtedly) no one else would think of. In short, Eddington was his own best critic.

    Such days of conducting “science” are long gone, so far as the “climate” is concerned.

    [I regret to write that some of the "sceptics" are in the same boat. Witness Roy Spencer: "Anyone who rejects the 'greenhouse' effect of the atmosphere doesn't know what they're talking about." In this case Roy isn't paying any attention to what critics of the "greenhouse effect" actually reject]


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    janama

    Unfortunately all the usual suspects have emerged across the blogosphere with all the usual retorts – was it peer reviewed?, what does a lawyer know about climate science? he obviously has his own agenda, he offers no new science, etc. None of them will actually address the paper and it’s findings.


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  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    what does a lawyer know about climate science

    For one thing, they are accustomed to the application of methodologies (trials) designed for the purpose, of uncovering the truth.


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    papertiger

    janama: #2
    June 10th, 2010 at 2:46 am

    We currently have oh, 20 or more lawsuits against the EPA endangerment finding pending, plus an investigation of Michael Mann.

    So what do you think the Virginia Attorney General is reading nowadays?

    Let the usual suspects sit on their thumbs and spin.

    My peers, a jury of them, will be doing the reviewing this time.


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  • #
    Adolf Balik

    Yesterday, I read the last speech of EPA administrator Jackson:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/08/epas-action-jackson-on-the-resolution-of-disapproval/

    It was worthy of an extremist. She wants to cure US of its oil addiction. [snip...c'mon guys].


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  • #
    papertiger

    [snip. no personal attacks.]


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  • #
    Grant

    This from New Zealand

    This side of the ditch we have got zealots – this guy has even admitted he hasn’t looked into the science objectively – who are fighting a rear guard action.


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  • #
    Ross

    Grant @ 7. Gluckman is turning out to be Smith’s lapdog. The following is from him referring to the ETS

    “Anything we do as a nation will in itself have little impact on the climate. Our impact will be symbolic, moral and political”.

    Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of New Zealand


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  • #
    Louis Hissink

    This is all too familiar to me as pseudoscience – and JO it would be worthwhile to list Irving Langmuire’s criteria for pathological science as well. The reaction by the climate science establishment to counter criticism of the theory by pointing to “other” data which seems to confirm it, is a bell weather that it’s a flawed theory.

    Fred Hoyle summed it up last century as well – and it’s more or less that if many scientists, with enormous research funds, after a long time still are in disputation, then it’s probably because the problem is being studied with the wrong ideas. In other words they have grabbed the proverbial stick at the worng end.

    Also note the role mathematicians play in this – mathematicians are not scientists, but logicians, and highly skilled as well, but their approach is to prove an hypothesis, not disprove it.

    Mathematicians are not faced with the possibility that some time in the future someone will discover that 1 + 1 = 2 is false. But scientists are always aware that their theories are tentative and subject to change with new discoveries or improved knowledge.

    But when the mathematicians gain control of a science, it ceases to be a science but a technically sophisticated dogma.


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  • #

    Wow look at the lamestream media picking up on this, front page everywhere … not! Look at the quiet sun front page everywhere … not. Look at the Press Council defending fair reporting … not. Those is positions of power have utterly utterly failed us.


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    Amr

    Pretty sad for climate scientists to be admonished by lawyers. How humiliating for them .Great
    Amr


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    Brian G Valentine

    “Anything we do as a nation will in itself have little impact on the climate. Our impact will be symbolic, moral and political”.

    Regrettably, the same rationale can be applied to “suicide” as a solution to “Earthly overpopulation.”


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  • #
    Tel

    Anything we do as a nation will in itself have little impact on the climate. Our impact will be symbolic, moral and political.

    All completely true, but he never explains what it is symbolic of.


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  • #
    Speedy

    Ross @ 8

    If the government wants to do something that is symbolic, moral and polical – and doesn’t waste money, then why don’t they build infrastructure in Africa? At least there will be something to show for it.

    If they don’t, I’d advise you to make a symbolic, moral and political statement of your own by paying your taxes in Monopoly money.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Ross

    Well said Speedy @14 !!

    A main propoganda point from the Govt. in NZ is that we need to do it to keep our trading partners happy , esp. in Europe. I call that an very , very expensive trade promotion campaign.( especially when Europe as a market for our exports is declining rapidly )


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  • #

    Hey Tel, re “Anything we do as a nation will in itself have little impact on the climate. Our impact will be symbolic, moral and political.” and “All completely true, but he never explains what it is symbolic of.”

    It is symbolic of NZ National party being a good lapdog and following whatever the UN dictates. NZ gubmit not brave enough to actually LOOK carefully at the science… errr… or didn’t Nick Smith do that when he criticized Labor’s ETS policy a couple years ago? FLIP FLOP is not just a name for Jandals, Mr. Idiotic Nick Smith


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  • #

    What I would love to see is the lawyers examine the statistical evidence and the computer programming code. As critical as the computer code and its programming was to the CAGW argument you think they would have gotten beyond the sophomoric in their lame attempt to perpetrate the most brazen fraud ever conceived!

    The programmer who tried to “repair” the programming for years 2006 to 2009 said it best:

    “But what are all those monthly files? DON’T KNOW, UNDOCUMENTED. Wherever I look, there are data files, no info about what they are other than their names. And that’s useless …” (Page 17)
    - “It’s botch after botch after botch.” (18)

    - “The biggest immediate problem was the loss of an hour’s edits to the program, when the network died … no explanation from anyone, I hope it’s not a return to last year’s troubles … This surely is the worst project I’ve ever attempted. Eeeek.” (31)
    - “Oh, GOD, if I could start this project again and actually argue the case for junking the inherited program suite.” (37)
    - “… this should all have been rewritten from scratch a year ago!” (45)
    - “Am I the first person to attempt to get the CRU databases in working order?!!” (47)
    - “As far as I can see, this renders the (weather) station counts totally meaningless.” (57)
    - “COBAR AIRPORT AWS (data from an Australian weather station) cannot start in 1962, it didn’t open until 1993!” (71)
    - “What the hell is supposed to happen here? Oh yeah — there is no ’supposed,’ I can make it up. So I have : – )” (98)
    - “You can’t imagine what this has cost me — to actually allow the operator to assign false WMO (World Meteorological Organization) codes!! But what else is there in such situations? Especially when dealing with a ‘Master’ database of dubious provenance …” (98)
    - “So with a somewhat cynical shrug, I added the nuclear option — to match every WMO possible, and turn the rest into new stations … In other words what CRU usually do. It will allow bad databases to pass unnoticed, and good databases to become bad …” (98-9)
    - “OH F— THIS. It’s Sunday evening, I’ve worked all weekend, and just when I thought it was done, I’m hitting yet another problem that’s based on the hopeless state of our databases.” (241).
    - “This whole project is SUCH A MESS …” (266)

    I do not claim to know a lot about statistical analysis but Professor Wegman does. In fact, it is obvious that he was not impressed by the climate scientists’ grasp of elementary statistical methodology or analysis.

    Quotes from The Wegman Report

    MBH98 and MBH99 were found to be “somewhat obscure and incomplete” and the criticisms by McIntyre and McKitrick were found to be “valid and compelling.”

    The report claimed that the MBH method creates a hockey-stick shape even when supplied with random input data (Figure 4.4), and argues that the MBH method uses weather station data from 1902 to 1995 as a basis for calibrating other input data. “It is not clear that Dr. Mann and his associates even realized that their methodology was faulty at the time of writing the MBH paper. The net effect of the decentering is to preferentially choose the so-called hockey stick shapes.” (Section 4)

    The report found that MBH method creates a PC1 statistic dominated by bristlecone and foxtail pine tree ring series (closely related species). However there is evidence in the literature, that the use of the bristlecone pine series as a temperature proxy may not be valid (suppressing “warm period” in the hockey stick handle); and that bristlecones do exhibit CO2-fertilized growth over the last 150 years (enhancing warming in the hockey stick blade).

    It is noted that there is no evidence that Mann or any of the other authors in paleoclimatology studies have had significant interactions with mainstream statisticians.

    A social network of authorships in temperature reconstruction is described of at least 43 authors with direct ties to Mann by virtue of having coauthored papers with him. The findings from this analysis suggest that authors in the area of paleoclimate studies are closely connected and thus ‘independent studies’ may not be as independent as they might appear on the surface. Dr. Wegman stated this was a “hypothesis”, and “should be taken with a grain of salt.”[50]

    Many of the same proxies are reused in most of the “independent studies” so these “cannot really claim to be independent verifications.”[51]

    The paleoclimate community is relatively isolated; its members rely heavily on statistical methods but do not seem to interact with the statistical community. Sharing of research materials, data, and results was done haphazardly and begrudgingly.

    Overall, the committee believed that Mann’s assessments, that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year of the millennium, cannot be supported by his analysis.

    I have a dream! “We the jury, in the above entitled action, find (insert your favorite climate criminal’s name her) guilty of Fraud, Conspiracy, Perjury in Order to Falsely Obtain Public Funds, Misprision of a felony and contrary to the laws of this state the condemned is guilty of using marked cards. Therefore according to the powers invested in us, we sentence the accused here before us: (Insert Climate Criminal’s name here), and any other aliases he might have to hang by the neck until dead. God have mercy on his soul, proceed…”

    Okay, so I fell asleep watching The Good, The Bad And The Ugly! :) Unlike Al Gore, I do know the difference between fantasy and reality!


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  • #
    MattB

    Of course, every one knows you can’t trust scientists, but you can trust lawyers, especially as they are so well trained in statistics and physics.


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  • #
    Grant

    MattB @18

    I see you have read the paper thoroughly. I haven’t managed to as yet. But the bits I have read I notice that he seems to be relying on expert witness in statistics. I assume you must have got to the part where he introduces his own analysis of the statistical competence of the climate scientists. (Sarcasm intended).


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    allen mcmahon

    Of course, every one knows you can’t trust scientists, but you can trust lawyers, especially as they are so well trained in statistics and physics.

    When AGW scientists mediocre mathematicians mangle the physics and stasticts,when they manipulate data rather than attempt to interpret it, when they abandon scientific method in favor of political advocacy only those who are agenda driven or gullible would trust them.


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  • #

    MattB:
    June 10th, 2010 at 11:54 am
    Of course, every one knows you can’t trust scientists, but you can trust lawyers, especially as they are so well trained in statistics and physics.

    Gee wiz, Matt I thought you always trusted authority? In fact, you have stated in the past that you are more than happy to rely upon the “authority” of the climate scientists. Wow, what do you do when one “authority” contradicts another? Granted, lawyers are not scientists but they are trained to look at the facts in a LOGICAL manner. If only the scientists could do likewise. Then again, if the taxpayer funded gravy train were to come to a screeching halt they would have to get real jobs. Hmmm, maybe they could become ghost busters? After all, a recent poll shows that more people believe in haunted houses and ghosts then believe in global warming. Besides, they could claim a “consensus” that would be more difficult to disprove then the one about global warming which has been completely debunked.


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  • #
    Pete Hayes

    I would bet, MattB, that you have not even taken the time to check out the Professor!

    Let me help you…..

    “Jason Scott Johnston has published dozens of articles in American law journals, such as the Yale Law Journal,and in peer-reviewed economics journals, such as the Journal of Law, Economics and Organization. He is currently working on books about the law and economics, corporate environmentalism, global warming policy, and the comparative law and economics of environmental federalism. He has served on the Board of Directors of the American Law and Economics Association and on the National Science Foundation’s Law and Social Science grant review panel. He won Penn Law’s Robert A. Gorman Award for Teaching Excellence in 2003.”

    Do you want to compare qualifications with him?


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  • #

    This fits right in with my sense that anyone who pursues any topic from an impartial and informed position has a valuable contribution. A smart brain is a smart brain. Why the heck should a lawyer NOT be able to take on the arguments of both sides and come up with a reasoned statement he or she can back with references?

    There is no magical “science” brain that is only activated by a university degree in science. Indeed, based on the evidence, university science degrees seem to shut down rational inquiry in some topics.


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    Ross

    Here is someone else with an open mind. Note in particular the last few paras.

    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/debates/copenhagen_article/8979


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  • #
    papertiger

    Eddy Aruda: @ # 17
    June 10th, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Booyeah. That’s what I’m talkin about.
    Only wish I were as good at it as you.


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  • #

    Ross @ 24. Exactly if we got those left and right who looked at the science then we wouldn’t have appalling AGW policies. Good on this guy for speaking out.


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  • #
    Baa Humbug

    The title of the paper is..

    Global Warming Advocacy Science: a Cross Examination

    Does a lawyer need to be a doctor to cross examine a medical practitioner?
    Does a lawyer need to be an architect to cross examine a builder?
    Does a lawyer need to be a tradesman to cross examine a plumber?

    In recent Congressional hearings, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts stated that not a single peer-reviewed scientific paper contradicts the “consensus” view that increasing greenhouse gas emissions will lead to a “catastrophic” two degree Celsius increase in global mean temperatures.

    The paper shows that many peer-reviewed scientific papers DO contradict the “consensus” view.

    Scientists who have been leaders in the process of producing these Assessment Reports (“AR’s”) argue that they provide a “balanced perspective” on the “state of the art” in climate science, with the IPCC acting as a rigorous and “objective assessor” of what is known and unknown in climate science.

    The paper shows that the “AR’s” DO NOT provide a “balanced perspective” on the “state of the art” in climate science.

    In the legal and the policy literature on global warming, this view – which may be called the opinion of the climate establishment – is taken as a fixed, unalterable truth.

    The paper shows that the opinion of the climate establishment – is NOT a fixed, unalterable truth.

    Rather than worrying about whether to trust scientists or lawyers or mathematicians, one needs to read the paper, understand it, AND THEN make up his/her own mind.


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  • #
    MattB

    Lawyers get paid good money to stand up and argue in favour of their client. Funnily enough there is always another lawyer standing in the same room arguing the polar opposite.

    Lawyers don’t make decisions.. judges do.

    Also – in terms of reading the article or doing research on this particular lawyer… well the title says “Jason Scott Johnston, Professor and Director of the Program on Law, Environment and Economy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School” So I take that as being credible without having to read any further.

    I do hope he writes a similar paper busting fundamentalist skeptics.


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    MattB

    The bottom of the abstract:
    “* I am grateful to Cary Coglianese for extensive conversations and comments on an early draft, and to the
    participants in the September, 2008 Penn Law Faculty Retreat for very helpful discussion about this
    project. Especially helpful comments from David Henderson, Julia Mahoney, Ross McKitrick, Richard
    Lindzen, and Roger Pielke, Sr. have allowed me to correct errors in earlier drafts, but it is important to
    stress that no one except myself has any responsibility for the views expressed herein.”

    Hmm wow he really consulted with a lot of people here. Did he cross examine any scientists who would have told him very different than what the above say?

    You know most of them, but I was not familiar with Henderson but no surprise to find that:
    David henderson: “Henderson is prominent as a global warming skeptic and has been critical of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, particularly the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios, and the Stern Review of the economics of global warming. He has also published books that strongly criticize “corporate social responsibility”.


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    MattB

    Did anyone read this from the report:
    “My strategy in this paper is to adopt the approach that would be taken by a non-scientist attorney deposing global warming scientists serving as experts for the position that anthropogenic ghg emissions have caused recent global warming and must be halted if serious and seriously harmful future warming is to be prevented – what I have called above the established climate story.”

    So his strategy is to be a lawyer who is trying to argue against AGW in a trial. So he is duty bound as a lawyer to argue his case strong, and leave it to the other lawyer to try and beat him.

    Let me tell you, if a Jury only ever heard the defendant’s lawyer’s opinion no one would ever be found guilty of anything.


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    MattB

    As a local comparison for you Jo… Do you think Brian Burke would have gotten off if only the CCC had legal representation?


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    MattB

    “This is essentially to undertake precisely the kind of cross-examination to which American attorneys routinely subject hostile expert witnesses. This paper constitutes such a cross-examination.”

    Hmm so this is a cross-examination of expert witnesses… but we don;t actually get to see the expert witness responses? Hmm. Even mafia bosses have lawyers to cross examine experts you know?


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  • #
    MadJak

    Mattb,

    Stop bombing the thread please. It takes more clicks to skip past your comments.


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    MattB

    Bahh Humbug “The paper shows that the opinion of the climate establishment – is NOT a fixed, unalterable truth.”

    Bzzzt FAIL.

    What this paper does is shows how one may try to cross examine a witness in an attempt to convince a jury or judge that the opinion of the climate establishment – is NOT a fixed, unalterable truth.

    These are two very very different things.

    You guys do know what lawyers do don’t you? “Arguing a client’s case before a judge or jury in a court of law is the traditional province”


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    MattB

    Maybe you should read them MadJak as there is more sense than the 27 posts above them.


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    MattB

    Jo “I’m not used to reading official documents about the climate that are written to actually explain something.”

    It is not written to actually explain something… it is written as a hostile cross-examination of a hostile expert witness!!! Absolutely critical difference.


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  • #
    MattB

    Look at the references… easily and often debunkable same old same old skeptical clap trap. The “climate scientists” legal team would have a field day pulling this one to pieces.

    He does not even seem to understand what M&M’s criticism of the hockeystick is about.


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  • #
    Speedy

    Baa Humbug / Mad Jack

    To take the legal perspective a little further, we should remember that the accused (in this case, CO2) is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    Both in the legal and the scientific sense, the burden of proof remains with those who are claiming that the world is undergoing dangerous global warming and that mankind’s emissions are a significant part to play in it.

    The AGW advocates haven’t demonstrated that Global Warming of the late 20th century was man-made or dangerous. Case dismissed.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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  • #
    Scott

    What a brilliant paper achived two things – showed the AGW scam from a different perspective and got MattB dribbling down his chin again Ha Ha


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  • #
    MattB

    Lol scott I can;t win – I get chastised for a glib one-liner, and then chastised for a stunning and concise annihilation of the fawning over this paper.

    Note I think the paper is quite good, but I am pretty confident my lawyers have what it takes to brush it aside. My issue is that some* seem to confuse an even handed scientific assessment of the issue by a lawyer, with a lawyer acting as a cross-examiner of a hostile witness.

    * everyone here


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    MadJak

    Mattb,

    Maybe you should read them MadJak as there is more sense than the 27 posts above them.

    So you think that just because you disagree with what other peoples views are that it somehow gives you a warrant to bomb the thread?

    So why do you have to make multiple posts about it then? Why not one or two? It’s getting really boring trawling through your comments giving each one of them a thumbs down. I really don’t want to get arthritis in my finger at my young age. I’m too young I tell ya.

    Or is it that your masters over at the bp lobby group have told you top dominate the thread to try and kill it?

    and as for

    I am pretty confident my lawyers…

    I guess you must mean your mate Al Gore eh?


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    Baa Humbug

    Get your hand off yourself MattB. You say..

    Lawyers don’t make decisions.. judges do.

    Before posting your diatribe and addressing ME, did you read my end paragraph?

    Rather than worrying about whether to trust scientists or lawyers or mathematicians, one needs to read the paper, understand it, AND THEN make up his/her own mind.

    The case for the defence has been/is being put in many different fora.
    I’ve made my judgement as a juror, you’ve made yours. Funnily enough, I put as much weight on your judgement as I would to the opinions of a 12 year old. (I’m in a generous mood)


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    Wendy

    Oh my God “MattB” is experiencing a spack attack!

    Get some professional help before you blow a fuse!!


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    Fran

    Just for “MattB”.

    Being a GLOBAL WARMING SPIN DOCTOR himself I’m sure he will appreciate it!

    POLITICAL SPIN DOCTOR:-

    No matter what side of the AISLE you’re on, THIS is FUNNY and VERY telling! It just all depends on how you look at the same things.

    Judy Rudd an amateur genealogy researcher in southern Queensland’s, was doing some personal work on her own family tree. She discovered that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd great-great uncle, Remus Rudd, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Melbourne in 1889. Both Judy and Kevin Rudd share this common ancestor.

    The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows at the Melbourne Gaol:

    On the back of the picture Judy obtained during her research is this inscription: ‘Remus Rudd horse thief, sent to Melbourne Gaol 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the Melbourne-Geelong train six times. Caught by Victoria Police Force, convicted and hanged in 1889.’

    So Judy recently e-mailed Prime Minister Rudd for information about their great-great uncle. Remus Rudd:

    Believe it or not, Kevin Rudd’s staff sent back the following biographical sketch for her genealogy research:

    “Remus Rudd was famous in Victoria during the mid to late 1800s . His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Melbourne-Geelong Railroad.

    Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to government service, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad.

    In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the Victoria Police Force. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honour when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.”

    NOW That’s how it’s done, Folks!

    That’s real POLITICAL SPIN.


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    Annie

    To “MattB” I see you are STILL attempting to scare everybody with this global warming FRAUD.

    How are you CHILDREN feeling?

    God help them!

    Your unfounded FEARS are going to make your children SUICIDAL & MANIC DEPRESSIVE.
    That will be on your conscience.
    You are guilty of CHILD ABUSE and a DANGER to your children!

    It won’t be too long before we read about your family in the newspaper, just like this one…..

    Baby shot over global warming fears:-

    http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,20797,26793969-952,00.html?from=public_rss


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    Baa Humbug

    Fran: #44
    June 10th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Fran that is just priceless. You must send it to Andrew Bolt. It’s right up his alley. Got any links to this?


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    Baa Humbug

    Before anybody gets carried away about Remus Rudd…

    Brief Analysis
    The claims in the message are false. Kevin Rudd has no such ancestor and no such “political spin” reply was ever sent. In fact, the message is just one more version of an old joke that has been used to target several public figures in the United States and Canada. The condemned man shown in the gallows photograph, is Tom “Black Jack” Ketchum, a murderer and train robber who was hanged in Clayton, New Mexico in April 1901.

    Was funny though lol


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    janama

    thanks Eddy Aruda: @17

    I just returned from a barrage of sheep! you eased the frustration. – thanks.


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    MattB

    Yes Baa in #42 you’ve read one side of the argument which is totally one sided (as any good lawyer should be there is some other bloke paid to give the other side) and made up your mind.

    Annie thanks for your concern for my children:)


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    Baa Humbug

    MattB: #49
    June 10th, 2010 at 7:57 pm
    You’re such a foolish tryhard

    Yes Baa in #42 you’ve read one side of the argument which is totally one sided (as any good lawyer should be there is some other bloke paid to give the other side) and made up your mind.

    Do you never read man? Or is it just that you don’t comprehend?

    The case for the defence has been/is being put in many different fora.

    Having read that, you then make the stooooooooopid comment that I’ve read one side of the argument.
    You’re just not worth the effort. There’ll be no more replies from me


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    janama

    thanks Fran @ 44 – that’s made my day :) well apart from the 6 pack of Monkey Bay sauvignon blanc that arrived today. ;)


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    Keith H

    Fran @ 44. Just brilliant! I can now see the computer screen again after wiping away the tears of laughter. Apparently an oldie but a goodie and it would have been worthy and very representative of Rudd’s expensive team of spin doctors.

    By the way MattB at post numbers too numerous to mention, I’m still waiting for you (or any other AGW believer) to provide just one documented instance of any statistically significant climate change event for which CO2 or any other combination of minor greenhouse gases are solely responsible, and that could be not be explained by natural,cyclical variability.

    Simply provide that, and I’m sure we would then all understand why you put your faith in one or some of several “what if” scenarios provided by computer modelling, a suspect “science” at best, and continue to deny climate change is caused by natural, cyclical forces as has been the case since the Earth was formed.


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    MattB

    Keith – was that a planned seque for me to link to the most recent RealClimate article on attribution? Genius!

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/05/on-attribution/


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    [...] gratifying to see the essay by Johnston getting the attention it deserves (at WUWT and JoNova) after Pielke brought it to our attention. Johnston reviews many areas of climate science in 82 [...]


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    Waylander

    It may just be My natural cynisism but it looks to Me like the lawyers have been waiting patiently for the cash cow of global warming to get as plump and juicy as possible and are just now circling and appraising their prey before moving in to feed .

    Should be an interesting contest , bloated sacred cow V.S. rapacious predator .

    Normally I wouldn`t be on the side of the lawyers but I`ve had quite enough of the various CAGW shamans , having grown fat on My tax dollars ,now making shriller demands that I feed them and their bloody cow with the remaining slender contents of My wallet.

    P.S. ( Is it coincidence that a certain very plump and high ranking CAGW shaman`s asset protecting separation occurred when it did ?)


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    Brian G Valentine

    It must be hard to be Matt B

    If he posts on global warming websites, he is chiming in with the rest – and he is ignored

    If he posts on sceptical websites, everyone interprets what he writes as trolling with the same old warmist tripe – and he is ignored

    he can’t get respect from anybody


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    Gosh MattB,

    I actually read your one sided attacks against the lawyer.It was entertaining and sobering at the same time.You really must believe in personal attacks as valid criticism.

    However you seem to think qualifications is all that matters,thus you do not go past that level to point out flaws in the presentation itself.

    Attacking the person is heck of a lot easier than attacking the 29 page presentation.

    You are too lazy.


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    Mark

    If you don’t feed galahs they eventually go away.


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    Baa Humbug

    Mark: #59
    June 10th, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    If you don’t feed galahs they eventually go away.

    Hey I love galahs. They’re intelligent, cheeky, and a handfull.
    Oh well, 2 out of 3 for the resident lol


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    Baa Humbug

    MattB: #53
    June 10th, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Keith – was that a planned seque for me to link to the most recent RealClimate article on attribution? Genius!

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/05/on-attribution/

    Yep, genius alright. lets see what they say at Gods Own realclimate.

    But many of the events that have occurred in geologic history are singular, or perhaps they’ve occurred more frequently but we only have good observations from one manifestation – the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, the KT impact event, the 8.2 kyr event, the Little Ice Age

    Too bad they wouldn’t admit to the existence of the LIA in the 3rd assessment report. Flat T’s and flat CO2 levels until industrialisation came along.

    For instance, many people appear to (incorrectly) think that attribution is just based on a naive correlation of the global mean temperature, or that it is impossible to do unless a change is ‘unprecedented’

    “Warmest year/decade/summer/winter on record”…”unprecedented warming” yada yada yada for 2 decades, but now neither temps nor precedence is important to attribution?
    All I can say is “go copulate yourselves you morons”

    what is a required is a model of some sort that makes predictions for what should and should not have happened depending on some specific cause……The overriding requirement however is that the model must be predictive.

    Oh yeah? The models didn’t predict the cooling of the last 12 years. The models couldn’t replicate the Minoan, Roman or Medieval warming nor the Little Ice Age cooling. The models failed what is required. But the wags at realclimate don’t admit that do they?

    We can also apply some independent tests on the models to try and make sure that only the ‘good’ ones are used,

    Too bad that the IPCC REQUIRES that all models are given EQUAL WEIGHT due to political considerations. Yet more lies.

    What a waste of time it was reading that tripe at realclimate.


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    Henry chance

    MattB
    Do you know why the greenie weenies do not understand law?

    They have no clue on the “Rules of evidence”

    Joe Romm thinks his forecast of temps for 2050 is acceptible as both proof and legal evidence.

    The greenie weenies give us dirty data. It can’t be accepted as evidence. It is not clean. It is not protected. They lose the original data.


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    Brian G Valentine

    Joe Romm thinks his forecast of temps for 2050 is acceptible as both proof and legal evidence.

    Ha ha – consider climatologist/warmist Stephen Schneider of Stanford. Back in 1972 he described with complete conviction a coming man-made ice age – and gave projections of global temperatures out to the year 2100 – which he presented within a Celsius degree of certainty.

    Then around 1991 he reversed himself and presented global temperatures (based on what Hansen had said) that were nearly 10 degrees HIGHER in the year 2100 than what he projected in 1972 – again presented within a Celsius degree of certainty.

    Schneider would consider his projections “legal evidence.” Schneider would have done so in 1972 as well, but I suppose the question is, which Stephen Schneider are we supposed to believe?


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    Paul

    Well Brian, obviously Schneider was much older and wiser in 1991 than in 1972. We’re all allowed to learn from our mistakes, right? ;)

    Or maybe he just discovered that from a marketing perspective hot sells better than cold. Or perhaps the increasingly greater amount of public money available for climate science helped him to see the light and join the winning team. Possibly the fact that in 1972 the majority of the population went to school prior to the 60s and so hadn’t received the government indoctrination education that was inflicted upon an increasing majority of the populace establishment in later years, making them easier to manipulate helping them to better understand the sophisticated and nuanced observations of raging socialist professors climate scientists.

    I’m going for a wholistic approach here, not trying to tie myself down to just one determinant, any additional ideas would be welcome.


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    Brian G Valentine

    Ha ha – good point – to my knowledge, Socialist Worker’s political party in the USA never picked up “man-made ice age” as one of their pet causes

    But check out their favourite “cause” now


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    Fred

    Ha Ha Ha!

    I see this TROLL “MattB” has been OWNED BY THE LADIES!!

    What a classic!


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    Tel

    It may just be My natural cynisism but it looks to Me like the lawyers have been waiting patiently for the cash cow of global warming to get as plump and juicy as possible and are just now circling and appraising their prey before moving in to feed .

    Lawyers tend to benefit when the rest of society is at each other’s throats, and I think all would agree that the AGW debate has reached such a stage.

    However, before getting too wound up having a go at lawyers for sucking juice out of other people’s misery, might do well to think that the lawyers kept right out of the scene while this particular storm was brewing so you can’t blame the lawyers for making the mess… and maybe there is a chance they might clean it up.

    I recommend following MattB’s link above and carefully reading comment #33 a number of times. If you google the author’s name you will find that he is an engineer working in the defense industries, and if you read a few of his comments around other places you will pretty soon see that his attitude is that nothing he says could possibly be wrong and the only thing needed is enough brute force to beat his all-important message into everyone else.

    Think about that guy as your alternative choice, if you don’t like dealing with lawyers. The useful job the lawyers do when society is at each other’s throats is to step in and keep the majority of said throats intact.

    I’ve read about halfway through Jason Scott Johnston’s paper and he is very thorough, nearly all his references are from peer reviewed literature, a sizable fraction of the references are from the IPCC itself, and his arguments are logical and methodical. I would regard this as a very significant summary of the current state of our knowledge and it is just a summary because Johnston never pretends to fully understand nor present the science, he only makes a reference to various points and checks for consistency. It’s a hard slog to read from beginning to end, I strongly suspect that most people won’t bother.

    Lawyers don’t know much about science, they do know a lot about people and especially the way people present evasive or inconsistent stories. That’s the key issue that Johnston is hitting here.


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    Derek D

    This makes me sad. I am a scientist. And not the corporo-academic grant-seeking kind. Just a guy who cherishes the whole routine: testing, hypothesizing, refining, retesting, etc etc. And unlike most who spend their whole life “sciencing”, I have patents. Not wishy washy publications about “this correlates to this”, but honest-to-god assigned patents, the ultimate measure of discovery and bearing the burden of proof.

    So why does this make me sad? Because it didn’t even have to be written. It’s not some brilliant discourse from some higher-plane thinker. Every word of this analysis is obvious commonsense fact. What passes for science in this debate is the furthest pathetic thing from it. None of his points are profound. Anyone with a clear head and an IQ of 75 can see the contradictions. But what’s even sadder is that this paper is applicable to numerous fields of science. Einstein’s relativity is taught unquestioningly in every HS and College in the country, and it can be debunked not only mathematically, but by actual observation of things happening in our universe all the time. The same is true of the theory of Gravity, and even moreso to the gravitational model of the universe. They had to MAKE UP dark matter to account for the 75% error in that one. Now CERN has a multibillion dollar supercollider running day and night trying to see it. You can TAKE IT TO THE BANK that they never will. NEVER!!!!

    Science is too hard for people with blogging to do, Facefook pages to update, and smartphones for Twattering. The burden of scientific truth is too much for attention deficient, overindulged, rent seekers to be bothered with. Mankind’s trajectory of intellectual achievement has flipped to a downslope. Sorry to break the news to you all…


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    Brian G Valentine

    From your missive it is clear you are angry, Derek, but what is your point?

    Relativity theory by the way was never established on what it built up (“aufbau”) – but rather, the unnecessary hypothesis about spacetime that it removed.

    At or below the Planck length there are questions about Lorentz invariance – but from a continuum standpoint, “Lorentz invariance” defines spacetime.

    Anyway patents are nothing more than just that. I can, I assure you, “patent” a perpetual motion machine of the second kind – but I guarantee no one will infringe patent rights and make money from the idea.

    Patents are reviewed (mostly) by attorneys fixated upon “uniqueness” not “possibility”


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    Keith H

    MattB @ 53. Thanks for the link to the page for the gullible! It explains just what you and other AGW believers are prepared to swallow provided it is based on computer modelling.

    Gavin at (Un-)RealClimate lost me early with these statements so I haven’t bothered to look too closely at anything else in the article:-

    1. “The overriding requirement however is that the model must be predictive. It can’t just be a fit to the observations.”

    2. “Take the impact of the Pinatubo eruption in 1991. Examination of the temperature record over this period shows a slight cooling, peaking in 1992-1993, but these temperatures were certainly not ‘unprecedented’, nor did they exceed the bounds of observed variability, yet it is well accepted that the cooling was attributable to the eruption.”

    On “predicting”, expert IPCC reviewer DR.Vincent Gray explains it best in his excellent article “The Triumph of Doublespeak. How the IPCC Fools Most of the People All Of The Time.” Quote:-

    “FORECASTING AND PROJECTING

    The IPCC has abandoned any attempt to forecast future climate.

    The first draft of the 1995 Report had a Chapter 5 “Validation of Climate Models” as in the First Report. I pointed out that it was wrong since no climate model has ever been “validated”, and they did not even try to do so. They thereupon changed the word “Validation” to “Evaluation” no less than fifty times and have used it exclusively ever since.

    In addition, they do not use the word “prediction”. The models merely supply “projections”, which are the results of accepting the assumptions made by the models and by the “futures scenarios” which need to be used in association with the models to obtain the “projections”

    “Validation” is a term used by computer engineers to describe the rigorous testing process that is necessary before a computer-based model can be put to use. It must include successful prediction over the entire range of circumstances for which it is required, to an acceptable level of accuracy. Without this process it is impossible to find out whether the model is suitable for use or what levels of accuracy can be expected from it..

    The IPCC has never attempted this process, and they do not even discuss ways in which it may be carried out. As a result the models are worthless, and their possible inaccuracy is completely unknown. The IPCC has developed an elaborate procedure for covering up this deficiency which is well described in the IPCC document on “Guidance Notes for Lead Authors on Addressing Uncertainties” . .It includes attempts to “simulate” those past climate sequences where suitable adjustment of the uncertain parameters and equations in their models can be made to give an approximate “fit”, but they rely largely on the elaborate procedure for mobilizing the opinions of those who originate the models. Most of them depend financially on acceptance of the models, so their opinions are handicapped by their conflict of interest.”

    With regard to Mt.Pinatubo about which Gavin says “it is well accepted that the cooling” (of that period) “was attributable to the eruption”. Mt.Pinatubo erupted June 15th 1991, but after a relatively hot year world-wide in 1988 significant cooling began in 1989, dropping further in 1990 and continuing in the first half of 1991. How could the cooling in that period possibly be attributed to an eruption that hadn’t happened and who but AGW believers would so blindly accept such a statement?
    One redeeming feature is that at least Gavin says “but these temperatures were certainly not ‘unprecedented’, nor did they exceed the bounds of observed variability”. What a pity he doesn’t apply that same logic to the whole topic of climate change! As AGW sceptics, we do!

    Interestingly in Tasmania as just one example, what Gavin describes as a slight cooling averaged 1.2C degrees over all surface stations used by GHCN 1989 to 1992, which was when the “Great Dying of Thermometers” began and all the homogenising and other adjustments seem to have come into play.
    What is it that AGW believers are so concerned about? An alleged rise in global temperature in the range of 0.06 – 0.08C over the last 100 years? MattB, all it proves is that temperatures go up and down and climate changes in line with the natural, cyclical forces which abound in our Universe, as they have done since Time began and will continue to do so till the end of Time as we know it. I’ll continue to make up my own mind based on my own assessment of the wealth of information available on the Net and elsewhere. No doubt you will do the same. One thing I can tell you. I’ll never deny that natural forces and events are the primary and major forces of climate change.


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    Derek D

    Brian G, I made my point quite clearly. Amidst concocting your meaningless statements, you must have subconsciously blocked it out.

    The Lorentz equation holds that the speed of light is the speed limit for the universe. Yet one can observe particles ejected from supernova’s at many multiples of C any time they happen. Ridiculous. Replacing an unnecessary hypothesis with an untrue one may be how you choose to do things but I’d dare not call them science. Yet here you are defending relativity in relativity terms, when observationally we can prove the whole thing untrue. WHY? I can make up a bunch of mathematical relationships between zorts and korts. And from them I can explain any conceivable relationship between zorts and korts and back them up with the math. It doesn’t change the fact that IN THE REAL WORLD korts and zorts don’t exist. This is what has happened with Global Warming ‘science’ and this is what you are doing by explaining the patently false Lorentz equation to me in Lorentz equation terms. Science is living in a false box where everyone impresses each other with lofty lingo and new perspectives on things that are totally bogus. Nothing is PROVEN anymore. Just discussed and debated in terms of itself, even in direct denial of reality. This was my point, but you missed it because you were too busy trying to sound cool telling me something in someone else’s terms that is neither real nor relevant. Were we supposed to be enlightened?

    Where are your cool wisdoms about Dark Matter? Like something about how it must exist so that someone else’s made up equations can balance. Care to explain comet tails in the context of gravity or relativity? Light trailing matter doesn’t really fit with your cherished Lorentz equation does it? Your smugness belies the huge holes in what you consider gospel. Just like the rest of “the worlds top scientists”. Is that clearer for you…?


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    Brian G Valentine

    I personally don’t believe in “dark matter,” the concept was constructed to close a universe evidently closed at the inception if the “big bang” is to be believed; my own belief is, the signature of spacetime was symmetrical at the Universe’s inception with spacetime signature 2+2, which gives rise to an (archaic) fundamental constant, and that is where the apparent anomaly arises.

    This discussion is getting way out there and so I’m going to stick to discussion of AGW, which I am confident is completely wrong.

    Good morning!


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    Deuce

    Fair enough. I too agree Global Warming is bunk. And my point was and is that the reason that it is junk is because of a pattern of methodical errors and falsehoods that are happening across many scientific disciplines.

    That said I’m going to make a little of an example of you because you display this pattern of behavior that is common in the ongoing erosion of science. The exact same routine you’ll see over at RealClimate, or any of the many other ‘for scientists by scientists’ Global Warming propaganda sites. You blubber a few big words, change the subject frequently, then bail when you are met with questions you can’t answer. Your claims about Lorentz’s equation and space time are not YOUR ideas, they are co-opted from others who came before you. In fact nothing you have said is your own original idea. Even as you cast aspersions on my patents (which I assure you are on very real and sound), then mix it with some fanciful crap you CLAIM the ability to patent amidst many other claims that are neither true nor yours. Science is dying because it is full of posers doing exactly what you are doing. Clinging to the safety of the herd, and offering NOTHING but reiterations of that which justifies the existence of the herd. A FAR FAR cry from Galileo, Newton, or any others who, against the mocking of the herd, ACTUALLY PRODUCED SOMETHING BESIDES WORDS!

    You asked what my point was, then proceeded to illustrate it better than I could have ever hoped. Thanks!


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    Brian G Valentine

    Have a wonderful week, Derek.


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