JoNova

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Learn how not to reason at the University of Western Australia

Picasso-Brain-Strikes-the-Climate-Debate: Can't think. Can't reason.

Tomorrow night the University of Western Australia (UWA) is hosting Climate change scepticism under the spotlight”, where people who ought to know better are reverting to stone age reasoning. “Hail the Gods of Science!”  The shame, the shame, it’s my old university.

Australian Professorial Fellow Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, from UWA’s School of Psychology, will discuss the perils of ignoring consensus in science…

The UWA School of Science ought to be grovelling embarrassed. Any scientific professorial fellow ought to warn about the dangers of ignoring the empirical evidence, or the perils of missing the whistleblowers who point out logical flaws.

Can we add that up?

Let’s follow the reasoning on consensus science. How do you weight the scoring system?  Is one post-doc worth 3 honors students, or 5?  Do we dilute citation-value according to the number of authors on each paper? Does a Nobel peace prize winner trump a class of undergraduates? Quick, we need a committee to figure it out. I can feel the need for a emergency formation of the Scientific-Authority-Demarkation-Institute. UN based of course.

I have written many times about how Lewandowsky uses Argument from Authority ad nauseum along with ad hominems, and lightly seasoned with Argument from Ignorance. (Picasso Brain Syndrome is probably my choice pick.) I saw him speak at a similar venture in December, and he spent several minutes on a long rambling ad hom about John McLean. It’s worse than just being unbecoming. We should not tolerate this poor standard of reasoning in an undergraduate of science, let alone a teaching staff member.

The Witchdoctors have moved into the Faculty of Science (which is now BTW awkwardly known as Life and Physical Sciences).

Scientists one and all, it’s time we talk about the dangers of consensus.  The Truth, whatever it is, does not lie with qualifications, committees, or unmeasurable “esteem”.

The big problem for us is, how do we reclaim the universities? Can we shame them into picking up their standards?

BTW: I will be speaking in Narrogin tomorrow, and at UWA on Tuesday, so not much time for blogging…

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313 comments to Learn how not to reason at the University of Western Australia

  • #

    The whole situation has gotten Orwellian. It seems as if universities in the free world are beginning to resemble something out of the former Soviet Union. Whenever consensus is mistaken for science the truth becomes of secondary importance and is eclipsed by the pursuit of money, power and prestige. Fortunately, John Q. Public will not take kindly to his pocket being picked and the quality of his life being diminished. I just hope that when the backlash occurs that too much isn’t lost by the degree of its severity.


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    Adolf Balik

    Skeptics in the Czech Republic award prices for delusions. They reward them to various VIP who are famous with esoteric medicine, various mysteriologies, witchcraft and AGW proponents. May be science lovers in Australia should reward also similar prices to your national numerologists and climatologists.


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  • #
    Adolf Balik

    To Eddy Aruda 1:

    Well, I lived in a communist regime and it’s scary to me that you are right. :-(


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    Dave N

    Einstein once said that no amount of experimentation can ever prove him right; a single experiment can prove him wrong. Extrapolating this statement:

    A million scientists can agree on a hypothesis; it takes only one to prove them all wrong.

    And the “one” doesn’t even have to be a scientist. Unfortunately, scientists when they gain qualification, tend to lose all their humility.


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  • #
    Rereke Whaakaro

    Eddy Aruda: #1 and Adolf Balik: #3

    Yes, I have often said that the West did not win the Cold War – the Soviets lost it when their economy collapsed.

    But, perhaps I was wrong to think that. Perhaps the Berlin Wall coming down was a Communist tactic, and they are now winning the war by stealth?

    Ooo, now that is a scary thought!


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  • #
    C. Paul Barreira

    What to do? Abolish one-third of the current universities and privatise half the remainder. At the very least cut funding by no less than 60 per cent. (At the same time abolish the ABC and probably the CSIRO.) Got a problem: offer a prize to the one who solves it. Forget about corrupt institutions; encourage individual creativity and teaching.


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  • #
    Binny

    Science has always been like this.

    The noble men/women of science putting aside personal ambition and egos to let the chips of evidence fall where they may, is a fallacy; it has never existed in reality.

    I think it was a professor from Harvard (or a similar big university) who said “no one changes their position, science advances one funeral at a time.”

    The difference is [that] in the past, no one cared about a bunch of academics squabbling over some obscure theory.

    If they hadn’t started to try and tell the rest of the world how to live their lives, the spotlight [would] never have been shone on their petty squabbles and egotistical behaviour, and they would have been able to maintain the pretence of noble characters.


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  • #
    Lawrie

    The Christian religions were overthrown because they set limits on human behaviour. It didn’t help that post WW2 the West enjoyed immense prosperity and the need to pray for material things diminished. An Army Padre once told me that everyone is an atheist until someone starts shooting at them. When things are good no one worries too much about God. However it seems most people are spiritual and need some force outside themselves to serve. The environmental movement found that force in nature much like the Druids in times past. The new Druids are now the elite and occupy the positions of authority in our universities and public service. Others, notably politicians, see rewards for conforming to green faith hence their pursuit of the ridiculous notion that puny man can control the climate.

    Just this morning news came that the CSIRO are conducting a three day conference on AGW/CC and the expected disasterous effect on Australia. They were smart enough to hold it on the Gold Coast where it is warmer and they can see the effect of sea level rise. SARC.

    Meantime I like the suggestion of Adolf Balik to award prizes to the best AGW scare story of the week etc.

    Meanwhile I have sent MHR Rob Oakeshott an e-copy of David Archibalds “Solar Cycle 24″. I suggest that others may send the same to their Representatives. You can download a copy http://www.warwickhughes.com/agri/Solar_Arch_NY_Mar2_08.pdf


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  • #

    Binny: #7
    June 28th, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Good post Binny

    I think it was a professor from Harvard (or a similar big university) who said “no one changes their position, science advances one funeral at a time.”

    This time however, I think we’re in for mass burials


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  • #
    Patrick

    Well, Lewandowsky is after all a Professor of Psychology, which is hardly a discipline founded on and guided by empirical evidence. It’s like having a professor of Gender Studies discussing the validity of particle physics. Oh, wait.. that debate is actually occurring in Sweden.


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  • #
    Henry chance

    Looks like we have a majority that are not seeking truth.


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    Tide

    Let me get this straight. We have a professor from UWA’s School of Psychology discussing the perils of ignoring consensus in science? It would seem that the “consensus,” if any, is on the side of those who find grave fault with the so-called science. Indeed, there is peril in ignoring that consensus. Unfortunately, we do know where Lewandowsky imagines the peril.

    Methinks a personality from the School of Psychology would be better qualified to discuss the extracurricular activity of the “crazed sex poodle” who leads the alarmist movement. Inquiring minds would like to know whether Al Gore’s psychological stability has any bearing on his “scientific judgment” and consensus building skills.


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  • #
    jon garvey

    Jo, nice to meet you at David’s BBQ. I think my question will be on supression of freedom of speech and imposition of totalitarism and destruction of democracy.No doubt the Chancellor would be horrified about supression of freedoms being sponsored by his employees at his university.Your thoughts?


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  • #
    ppo74

    “…the perils of ignoring consensus in science…” really sounds like a mafia-like intimidation… very bad attitude to transmit to students and early career researchers who fight their way up applying for grants an funding… guys, you’re al warned!


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  • #
    Bulldust

    Patrick @ 10:

    Ironic – I have a niece in Sweden who did a PhD in gender studies… I wonder if she is incvolved in the particle physics debate.

    @ Jo:

    Has Professor Stephan Lewandowsky been invited to tomorrow’s presentation?


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    spangled drongo

    “no one changes their position, science advances one funeral at a time.”

    Binny,

    Sadly so. But even sadder, now you have it receding one funeral at a time what with the indoctrinated young versus the older sceptics.


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    Speedy

    Morning All.

    Temperature is measured in degrees KELVIN, named after the major physicist Lord Kelvin. He, obviously, was an authority. But authority can also be wrong. A quotation often attributed to him (in 1900) is:

    There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.

    There is some dispute whether it was originally said by him or by Albert Michelson – but there is no dispute that the authority was wrong.

    Science is not democratic. If the facts don’t over rule authority and consensus, then it’s not science.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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  • #
    pat

    why oh why does the Murdoch press keep the scam going? it’s easy to criticise ABC and Fairfax but, apart from Bolt’s blog, Murdoch media also plays an advocacy role most of the time:

    28 June: Herald-Sun: AAP: Dire climate change warning to Australia
    Co-chair of the three-day conference, and director of the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Jean Palutikof, said science tells us climate change is happening faster than we thought.
    Professor Palutikof warned the window to adapt and prepare is smaller than anticipated and said it is too late to mitigate our way out of the problem.
    The CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation Flagship Director Doctor Andew Ansh said the conference is the first to focus solely on practical adaptation measures.
    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/dire-climate-change-warning-to-australia/story-e6frf7jx-1225884994765

    (Scroll down) Prof. Jean Palutikof is Director of the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility at Griffith University. She took up the role in October 2008, having previously managed the production of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report for Working Group II (Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability), while based at the UK Met Office. Prior to joining the Met Office, she was a Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences, and Director of the Climatic Research Unit, at the University of East Anglia, UK, where she worked from 1979 to 2004…
    http://www.pia2009.com/speakers/national.php
    http://www.pia2009.com/speakers/national.php

    CAGW has destroyed academia.


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    Roy Hogue

    My late first wife worked for several years at the local Public Social Services Agency office. She regularly brought home interesting stories about how messed up the psychologists she worked around were and their crazy antics. The doctors needed doctors more than their patients did.

    When I went through my BS degree program a two semester course in psychology was a requirement. Frankly it scared me more than educated me. You can find someone out there with a degree and a license to practice who will tell you just about anything you want to hear.

    Shakespeare said, “Kill all the lawyers,” but perhaps it should have been kill all the psychologists.

    Well, I say that in jest obviously. But there’s no end of harm that they can and regularly do to unsuspecting patients and now the public at large because they have invaded our schools, hospitals, the halls of government and other institutions. The talk is now in some quarters that opposition to the Democrats grand plans for the country should be classified as a mental condition needing treatment. Thankfully that seems to have died off (hopefully not gone underground).


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  • #
    Rob

    Does a Nobel peace prize winner trump a class of undergraduates?

    God forbid! They might invite Al Gore & his cronies.
    How about a handful of qualified sceptics like yourself, Joanne, instead of the usual whitewash brigade?


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  • #

    Rereke Whaakaro:
    June 28th, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Yes, I have often said that the West did not win the Cold War – the Soviets lost it when their economy collapsed.
    But, perhaps I was wrong to think that. Perhaps the Berlin Wall coming down was a Communist tactic, and they are now winning the war by stealth?

    Rereke, I am always a little wiser from reading your thoughtful posts. I agree with your analogy. However, perhaps the cold “war” was another “battle” in the war for freedom and truth. We must always be vigilant against the enemies of liberty. The misanthropic greens will not rest until they are defeated or have us living under their green thumb (pun intended). CAGW is but a trojan horse. Tactics may change but the desired end result remains the same: subjugation of the masses and the acquisition of total power. We are fighting the battle against those of our generation who threaten our liberties as our ancestors have in the past and our descendants shall in the future.


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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Eddy @1,

    I fear that backlash a lot. The longer it takes to happen the more violent it may become.


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  • #
    Charles Bourbaki

    Speedy – “Temperature is measured in degrees KELVIN”.

    Physics legend has it that the unit of modesty is the Kan. The average human has a modesty of one Kan. Named after Robert Millikan (of oil droplet and electronic charge experimental fame) who apparently had very little of it. Perhaps justified as he did receive the Nobel Prize in physics.

    So how do we rate Prof Lewandowsky? Picokan perhaps?


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    Speedy

    Charles

    You would expect a scientist to be humbled by the perspective his or her understanding confers on them. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case – and especially for our “celebrities” like Professor Lew.

    In the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, there is an exquisite form of torture known as the “Total Perspective Vortex”. The pain comes from understanding how insignificant an individual is in the context of the Universe. Perhaps mankind could do with an education like this – Prof Lew especially!

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Bernd Felsche

    Nature doesn’t obey consensus or indulge in debate.

    Nature isn’t nice. It will kill al known life eventually. Nature kills every day. That is how it is. We cannot change that.

    Humans are of a species thatis especially vulnerable to nature. It is only our ability to alter our immediate environment that protects us against the steady onslaught of nature and delays our inevitable, individual submission to nature’s fatal embrace.

    There is no point arguing with nature. But our ability to defend against the myriad debilitating and deadly weapons of nature depends on understanding what nature does. Failing to recognize an enemy results in devastating defeat. Failing to process intelligence about an enemy contributes to losses and can lead to defeat.

    Surrender to nature is death.

    A defeat or surrender of the human species by nature will result in extinction. Not overnight but over several generations as they are progressively less-able to maintain and invent new ways of being killed by nature; by pestilence, cold, malnutrition, drowning or as a result of injury and a lack of effective medical treatment.

    We must continue to struggle against nature with the best weapon that we have; science. We must not allow the incompetent and misguided to take charge of that arsenal. Like all weapons, it can be turned against those who built it; resulting in self-destruction.


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  • #
    Luke Walker

    Seems like everyone is upsetting Jo. Dear me.


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  • #
    Pete H

    Psychology, a degree course for the mathematically challenged?


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  • #

    I think some here are being a little too hard on psychology and psychologists. There is a legimate role for a science describing how the human body/brain/mind system perceives and interacts with the world. It has many everyday uses in the design of machines, instrumentation, warning lights/signs/sirens etc where people interact with their creations.
    Correctly applied it results in machinery that is safer, easier and more pleasant and economical to operate.

    The late Ray Tauss at UWA was a proponent of the this type IIRC.

    Then there’s the mumbo-jumbo side of it. It really needs to be two fields.

    A quick look at Prof Lewandowsky’s research profile shows that he is about cognition and memory which would seem to be more in the first camp. Beats me where he’s coming from.


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    allen mcmahon

    Seems like everyone is upsetting Jo. Dear me.

    No Luke, just parasites jumping on the AGW bandwagon.


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  • #
    Speedy

    Arvo All

    One day, the AGW camp will make an interesting study for a professional pyschologist – e.g. the role of group think, use of authority figures, role of morality in decision making, dealing with conflict between logic and emotion etc.

    Why this pyschologist is attempting to sell himself as an advocate for a field that claims to be a “hard” science is a mystery.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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  • #

    @ Luke Walker #26

    Seems like everyone is upsetting Jo. Dear me

    It is okay Luke. I am here for you. Take some deep slow breaths and let go of whatever is bothering you. Be good to your inner child. Let go of your fears and step into the light. Everything is going to be fine. There is nothing to worry about a degree of warming. In fact, if the earth warms a little and the CO2 content continues to rise the world will be better, the biosphere will benefit and humans will prosper. Be positive and of good cheer.

    Now Luke, if we can help you just let us know and realize that we are here for you, my friend. WE want you to be well and if you need help it is available. Remember, all you have to do is ask. Stay motivated and enjoy the interglacial.


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  • #
    Len

    On page 6 of today’s West Australian Newspaper there is an article Climate Change welcomed back by Joseph Catanzaro. It goes

    A group of prominent WA academics have welcomed new Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s resolve to put climate change back on the national agenda. Professor Stephen Lewandowsky , who organised a climate forum at UWA tonight said most scinetists believed climate change was happening

    Most people do believe in the climate changing but do not believe in the the bull$hit about it being catastrophic caused by man. All the cockies around here know climate changes and it has nothing to do with man.


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  • #
    Speedy

    Eddy

    I see you’ve been taking the “Niceness” pills again…

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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  • #

    @ Speedy
    .

    Yes, it is a kinder, gentler Eddy. In fact, I intend to kill them with kindness! Roy Hogue has asked me to avoid ad hominem attacks, and I will try to do so. I do not wish to become that which I despise. After all, it isn’t as if I was a tenured professor at the CRU! ;)


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  • #
    Speedy

    Eddy

    Or an indentured (pyschology) Professor at UWA…


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  • #
    Adolf Balik

    To Speedy 30:

    I guess the AGW is a project of psychology, sociology and the other political correct disciplines much more then a natural science project. It addresses a doom archetype in us more then anything in the real external world.


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  • #
    Baa Humbug

    I will say that I too have been quite short tempered of late.
    And so I will join my mate Eddy in the self-proscribed sin-bin.
    Although it’s going to be difficult, Eddy and I will help each other get thru this transition to niceness.

    (hey Eddy, chuck a couple of niceness pills this way will ya mate) :)


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  • #
    Baa Humbug

    Luke Walker: #26
    June 28th, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Oh hey there Luke. How nice of you to join us again.

    I always look forward to your words of wisdom.

    May the force be with you ohh wise one


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    Baden

    IPCC “Consensus” on Solar Influence was Only One Solar Physicist who Agreed with Her Own Paper

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/06/ipcc-consensus-on-solar-influence-was.html

    It’s being called JUDITH GATE!

    Yet another example of this global warming SCAM!!


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  • #

    @ Baa Humbug #37

    I am going to be polite and nice. I am also going to correct any fallacies in their reasoning that I observe. Have you notice d how much more difficult it is to type once you have “put the gloves back on”?


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  • #

    Difficult? Dang near impossible mate. I have to fight the urge, just like giving up smokes.
    It got so bad, hands shaking, that I automatically gave you thumbs down at your posts #31 #34. First time ever I gave you thumbs down :(


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  • #
    J.Hansford

    Rereke Whaakaro:
    June 28th, 2010 at 7:44 am
    Eddy Aruda: #1 and Adolf Balik: #3

    Yes, I have often said that the West did not win the Cold War – the Soviets lost it when their economy collapsed.

    But, perhaps I was wrong to think that. Perhaps the Berlin Wall coming down was a Communist tactic, and they are now winning the war by stealth?

    I think you are right in some respects there Whaakaro. I also have thoughts along that line.

    It is not so much that the Soviet’s “economy” collapsed, but rather it was their people’s desire to HAVE an economy that brought down the Soviets.

    The Soviet Worker could no longer compete with the West. The West’s innovation and success was hand in glove with it’s free enterprise and free thinking…. The West’s employees are free to bargain their expertise. The Western individual is free to profit from their own enterprise. Capitalism works. The West prospers.

    The Wests military strength springs from the strength of the economic success of that free enterprise. The free thinking and innovation.

    Whereas the Soviet worker was no more than a vassal surf under tyranny, who had become adept at providing no more than was necessary…. In the end the tyrants realized that you could not Beat men into enterprise. The Soviet worker was ripe for revolution…. Oh, th’ irony.

    I think you are correct about communism trying to take over by stealth . The global movement for Socialism realized they where better off without the stigma of the Soviet experiment and its constant living reminder of tyranny and failure, and move on. They didn’t abandon Socialism or Communism… they only abandoned the Soviet Union…. For a little while.

    Because freely living in the West among us, the ideal of Socialism has never slipped from the minds of the Western “Progressive”, come Socialist…. They see our free enterprise system as a means to fund their Neo Socialism in it’s Western guise. Sustainable living is the catch cry.

    … But of course all they will achieve is the collapse of that economic system which sustains them as the enterprising individuals in it collapse, or do no more than is required…. Socialism can only thrive on other peoples productivity. Ultimately it tyrannizes those who would strive to be better.

    Well that’s my thoughts on it anyway….. As for Universities? They are no longer places of learning, they are becoming government funded places of socialist group think. People like Lewandowsky are rife within them.

    Academic excellence traded for Socialist mediocrity.


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  • #
    Bernd Felsche

    Luboš Motl has an article on how the system deals with dissent to ensure consensus.

    It’s not a huge step for Australia to have the likes of McCulloch, Lewandowsky and Oschmann to sit in judgement on a tribunal to prosecute, condemn and execute dissenters. They would happily do so “for the right reasons”.

    It makes them feel good. It makes them feel like they are in control. They aspire to the accolades of their fellow travellers and those who they worship. They are in the process of saving the world; no matter what it takes. A religious crusade.

    One cannot reason with them. They are fundamentally unreasonable; placing beliefs before observation and rational deduction.


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    Baden

    A politically INCORRECT look at the global warming FRAUD…….

    http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Global_warming

    THIS IS EXCELLENT!!


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  • #
    Bernd Felsche

    Adolf Balik #36:

    I agree that it’s the sense of doom. Something that “had” to be re-established in many after the rusting-through of the iron curtain. For a little while, it was possible for people (especially in Europe) to live without fear of a nuclear war. It was possible to hope for a future.

    But it didn’t take long for society’s cockroaches to move into the new premise; notably the “Green Movement” (something I’d rather not experience, personally).

    Fear is a useful thing to be able to control. It causes most people to stop thinking and to act irrationally. A constant pressure of fear can also be exploited when providing false relief; be they e.g. the payment of indulgences or carbon credits.

    Totalitarian governments don’t rule through power; they rule by manipulating fear.

    Unsurprising then that the statement that

    The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.

    instilled hope an aspirations in millions.


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  • #
    Rereke Whaakaro

    pat: #18

    Why oh why does the Murdoch press keep the scam going?

    Consider where Mr Murdoch invests his money (other than in Newspapers).

    He has a history of only investing in markets he can influence, and the news media is an excellent way of making politicians (and others) an “offer they can’t refuse”.

    Never believe that there is such a thing as editorial independence. The fourth estate is dead.

    Always follow the money …


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    J.Hansford

    Lawrie:
    June 28th, 2010 at 8:49 am
    The Christian religions were overthrown because they set limits on human behaviour…..

    Sorry Lawrie, I’m not knocking you, but just pointing something out… I don’t think Christianity has been “overthrown”… Diminished perhaps, but not overthrown.

    Also, when you look at the second part of your statement about setting limits on human behavior, doesn’t a valid question spring to mind…. Isn’t Human Behavior limited in all societies in some form?…. Laws govern society to curb the excesses of human behavior. So not just Christian religion. But everything social. All social events and contact has social etiquette and laws governing behaviour… Moderating and ensuring safety. When absent, there is chaos and conflict.

    Anyway that’s all I wished to point out. I agree with you when you say humans have a need to be spiritual and that environmentalism fills that void…. To which I add further…and is craftily manipulated by the Global Socialists for that very end… As a non humanist religion and worship of the world as a “living thing” complete with a doctine of Environmentalism and “sustainable living”.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Eddy Aruda: #21

    Thank you for the kind comment.

    We are fighting the battle against those of our generation who threaten our liberties as our ancestors have in the past and our descendants shall in the future.

    Yes we are …

    We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in the Universities we shall fight on the web, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the blogosphere, we shall defend the scientific method, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight with logic, we shall fight with wisdom, we shall fight the ad hominems and appeals to authority, we shall never surrender.

    With apologies to Winston Churchill.


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  • #
    Science Not Consensus

    Baden @ 44

    Baden, that’s one of the funniest things I have ever read! – thanks for the link.


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    Speedy

    Baden

    I likes it! Thanks.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    J.Hansford: #42

    … But of course all they will achieve is the collapse of that economic system which sustains them as the enterprising individuals in it collapse, or do no more than is required…. Socialism can only thrive on other peoples productivity. Ultimately it tyrannizes those who would strive to be better.

    When I was young, I had a reel-to-reel tape recorder, and I took it to bits to see how it worked. Of course, it never worked again.

    So I agree with you. The socialists have a hive mentality, where safety lies in belonging to a wider group, which always acts in concert. They cannot understand why or how an individual will take the risks associated with entrepreneurship, so they try to find ways to take the free market to bits to see how it works, and in the process ensure that it no longer does.

    In the end, if they succeed, we will all be the losers.


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    John Brookes

    Still, it is interesting just what makes people into nuts. Why do some people want a flat earth (I’m pretty sure it isn’t)? Why is it that Einstein and relativity sends some into an endless spiral of loopiness?

    Now I’m an evil person who would love to be on the AGW gravy train (but through lack of the necessary expertise have failed to secure a berth). I think the AGW mob are right. So from my point of view, I’m interested in what makes denialists cling to their battered and beaten cardboard cutout of a theory. From the denialist point of view, they wonder what has taken over the brains of the AGW proponents to make them so committed to their life destroying hypothesis.

    So if Prof Lewandowsky explores what makes otherwise sane individuals cling to beliefs about things which they are not qualified to fully understand, then it might be a very interesting discussion.


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    Scott

    Normally when people are backed into the supporting the wrong theory, in this case AGW, and proved wrong, they will cling to this scientifically inept idea until they are given an out. Why because they dont want to admit to being a fool.

    I figured the climategate emails gave them that chance to withdraw gracefully. so I can only assume that because they haven’t there must be some deep psychopathic tendency in the AGW camp.

    Sounds like something they could study in UWA’s School of Psychology.


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    Adolf Balik

    Rereke Whaakaro 5:

    It doesn’t matter whether the Red communism in Soviet Union has collapsed or Brown fascism in Germany has been defeated. The danger always lurks and always seeks its opportunity being as flexible and mutable like an influenza virus. What it couldn’t achieve in the Red and Brown form is under the siege of its Green form. As well as our immune system is always in battle with germs we must be in battle with potential dictators. Who tells us it is a plot theory represents psychological AIDS.


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    John Brookes

    Now Adolf, that is a really interesting idea!

    What if AGW was reality, but the action we would have to take to stop it was so anti human nature that stopping it was worse than letting it go?

    In other words, we might wipe ourselves out doing it (emitting CO2), but it would still be better than not doing it.

    Incidentally, one of the fun denialist arguments is that there is so little CO2 in the atmosphere that it couldn’t possibly cause warming. Then a bit later, that CO2 is vital to life. So sort it out, is there so little that it doesn’t matter, or is it absolutely vital for the survival of life on this planet?


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    cbp

    The big problem for us is, how do we reclaim the universities? Can we shame them into picking up their standards?

    Perhaps a coordinated FOI attack or maybe steal their personal mail, wire tap their phones, rifle through their garabage or follow their daughters home after school? As long as it’s For the Cause yeah?

    Or maybe you could start fixing the errors in your extraordinary claims and get things published?


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    John Brookes: #52 #55
    June 28th, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    What if AGW was reality, but the action we would have to take to stop it was so anti human nature that stopping it was worse than letting it go?

    Not possible John. The strongest human nature is that of survival. No amount of civilization will erase that.

    However, another human nature, the one that urges some people to “save” others, and the one that makes some people want to tell everybody else what to do could well be prominent in the AGW saga.

    So sort it out, is there so little that it doesn’t matter, or is it absolutely vital for the survival of life on this planet?

    Quite simple really. You are confusing two different roles of CO2.
    It is ABSOLUTELY VITAL for all life on this planet, and at least 3 times as much is desirable. Thats it’s role in life.
    When we consider it’s role in the earths climate, there is such a piddling amount of the stuff, it really doesn’t matter.

    By the way, you have used the word Denial once too many times. Please refrain from using that word on this site unless you can show what it is we are denying.


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    John Brookes: #52
    June 28th, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    So from my point of view, I’m interested in what makes denialists cling to their battered and beaten cardboard cutout of a theory. From the denialist point of view, they wonder what has taken over the brains of the AGW proponents to make them so committed to their life destroying hypothesis.

    I assume when you say denier, you mean sceptics right?
    We don’t have a theory that we cling to, that’s your side. In fact, what you have is a hypotheses that hasn’t advanced into a theory in over a hundred years despite the thousands working on it.

    And no, we’re not wondering what has taken over the brains of alarmists. We know what drives most human beings. Greed being one of the prominent ones, I’d say greed is what drives the likes of Jones Mann and Briffa et al. It’s the urgency to control peoples lives is what drives the green advocacy groups, and it’s the greed for money and power that drives the politicians who are pushing the AGW agenda.
    What politician wouldn’t want to be able to tax the very air we breath?

    But when it comes to the insignificant players in this saga, like you and me, there are those who like to be independent thinkers and decision makers, irregardless of their lack of money or power, then there are those who are natural followers who don’t mind being led by the nose, especially when they are told they are doing good for humanity.

    I know which camp I’m in. You may need to ask someone to tell you which camp you’re in. (hint: you are doing good for humanity)


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    Scott

    What if AGW was reality

    it isn’t so no problem – case solved


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    Adolf Balik

    John Brookes 55:

    There are environmentalists who believe in AGW as a fact but they tell the cure of AGW is worst then the AGW decease. They tell fight against it is harmful and source wastage. The sources should be used in adaptation, nuclear energy etc. See
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Skeptical_Environmentalist
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/9476j57g1t07vhn2/


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    george

    John B @ #55

    With respect, may I suggest that until you convince the population and governments of India and China (for a start) that there is a PROBABLE repeat PROBABLE likelyhood of AGW and thus facilitate the possibility of them coming on board in terms of actual, physical and verifiable emission reductions – only then is there any point in taking this discussion further to “settle” the science and derive a solution that actually works. An ETS will not fix any perceived problem in any meaningful way, may I add.

    I am very reticent to go down the road of, using an analogy, insuring a house paying a premium equivalent to its value (assuming I have the money, which itself is another analogy) just because someone says they are of the considered opinion that it is MOST LIKELY probable something bad will happen and the insurance premium is PROBABLY going to protect my stake in the residence.

    From everything I have read on both sides in the blogosphere the science is far from being settled, I`ll wait for something definitive rather than jump the gun on a “maybe” or a “likely” based on models incorporating assumptions, thank you very much…


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    cbp: #56
    June 28th, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    * Perhaps a coordinated FOI attack

    Perhaps do the right thing and have the data archived correctly

    * maybe steal their personal mail,

    Maybe emails sent/received at publicly funded institutions about subject matter that’s also publicly funded is not the same as “hey Keith, I had an affair. Regards Phil”.

    * wire tap their phones,

    We can do that? I’m glad you think sceptics have so much power and influence. If only you weren’t deluded.

    * rifle through their garabage

    Now that’s the first time I heard an alarmist call the IPCC 4th assessment report garbage. Congrats, you are correct.

    * follow their daughters home after school

    That is serious. Were the police called? What happened? Was it just paranoia maybe? Some people are susceptible to paranoia, they believe in all sorts of things. Like…like…like a little bit of essential trace gas is going to be doom for us all.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Baa Humbug: #58

    You are not insignificant, Baa.

    I tried to put together an old-style Eddy response (you know, the style before he caught “niceness”), but I don’t have the gift for it.

    But I do find one thing interesting: The trolls we have had on this site recently have all been “attacking” our hypothesis that AGW does not exist. Now that is kinda cute.

    John Brookes: If you happen to be watching, it is your hypothesis that we are questioning, it is your hypothesis that we are finding flaws in, it is the evidence of the last decade that is demonstrating that the models (that you rely on for “proof”) are flawed. As Baa says, we have no hypothesis, we need none, we have merely to show that your hypothesis is false, and we have done that, and will continue to do that, until the AGW scam is fully accepted for what it is – fraud.


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    Mark

    John Brooks:

    If you have sensible questions, just post them in a sensible manner you will get a sensible response in due course.

    Disingenuous manner in posting a question will be sussed out very quickly. You will still get a pertinent response but there may be some sarcasm with it.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    cbp: #56

    Perhaps a coordinated FOI attack or maybe steal their personal mail, wire tap their phones, rifle through their garabage or follow their daughters home after school? As long as it’s For the Cause yeah?
    Or maybe you could start fixing the errors in your extraordinary claims and get things published?

    Well well, “coordinated attack”, “wire tap”, “rifle through garabage” (sic), “it’s For the Cause”. That should have set of a few alarms at the NSA. I hope you are sitting behind a very secure proxy server friend, or you may be getting a knock on the door.

    Amateurs!


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    Mark

    OT

    Things getting nasty between Richard North and the moonbat.
    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/06/guardian.html


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    cbp

    @Rereke #65

    Actually in Australia we don’t have the NSA – we do have sarcasm though: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcasm

    But seriously, I think it’s a pity that JoNova would advocate ‘shame’ as a tactic in her crusade against science; just as I think coordinated FOI attacks, stealing of emails and other such things revered amongst her minions are below contempt. It’s why the CRU hack failed to impact on scientific opinion in any positive way, and I can’t see similar antagonistic strategies having much success either.

    The path to success is through establishing a consensus – that is, a consensus of independent research and evidence – not the strawman consensus that JoNova talks about.


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    george

    Mark @ #67

    The really interesting bit in Monbiot`s article is towards the end, re the convo with the editorial office;

    “We’re not going to make any comment on this story.”

    I said: “It seems to me that you’ve left Jonathan Leake to take the rap for this, when someone else at the Sunday Times was at fault.”

    “I’ve got no comment to make to you on anything.”

    This was delivered in a surprisingly aggressive tone, which suggested to me that I might have touched a nerve.


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    george

    cbp @ #68

    If you are attempting to elicit a response (as opposed to posting vitriol-laden rhetorical questions for the sake of it) may I strongly suggest you RE-read Mark`s post at #64 in relation to accepted posting guidelines on this forum.

    If you insist on maintaining your “style” then I suspect you are merely wasting our time, and we would be doing likewise in responding. In which case there are, no doubt, a multitude of other blogs where the m.o. you have utilised thus far would be more accepting of such a manner of discourse.

    Message ends.


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    Mark

    cbp:

    You can bang on all you like the way you like about the CRU emails but they are out there and show the main players in a very disreputable light. Who said they were “stolen”? they may have been leaked by one of the group who had a pang of conscience.

    Yet another tedious appeal for consensus. When will you ever learn that science is not done by consensus.

    Do you really admire people who make up data where none exists. Do you really think it’s proper for a tight group of people to write and review each other’s papers?

    Now, go with God; but go!


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    cbp: #68

    Actually in Australia we don’t have the NSA – we do have sarcasm though

    Oh really? And you think that Australia does not have an equivalent organisation? I know that New Zealand does, and New Zealand is much smaller than Australia. And do you think that they don’t all exchange information in real time? You are more of an amateur than I thought.

    Oh, and in case you haven’t been told before, Wikipepedia is not considered a credible reference source. You can thank your friend Mr William Connelly for that.

    But to more substantive matters:

    I think it’s a pity that JoNova would advocate ’shame’ as a tactic in her crusade against science

    You left a word out of your sentence. It is her crusade against appalling science. Actually it is against non-science, but let’s not quibble.

    I think coordinated FOI attacks, stealing of emails and other such things revered amongst her minions are below contempt.

    I am not sure you understand what FOI means (you may be parroting somebody else).

    It stands for “Freedom of Information”, and it is a principle that all UK government departments, and any other organisation that received government grants, must comply with by law. One person, asked for a copy of publicly funded material from the CRU. He may have made several requests for the same or different material as was his right under the law. The CRU prevaricated until such time as the timeframe for response had expired, and then claimed to have “lost” it – “the dog ate my homework” defence. Asking for something that you are entitled to is hardly an “attack”.

    And while we are on the subject of the law, implying that the release of emails from the CRU was organised by Joanne or people who respect her is libellous, and is therefore also against the law in most western countries. Would you care to defend yourself, and your reputation, by providing proof? No, I thought not.

    The path to success is through establishing a consensus of independent research and evidence

    Can you inform us of the time and process whereby science became decided by majority vote? Science has never been decided by consensus. Have you ever heard of the science of phrenology? I suggest you look it up, because it is an excellent model in the way that science becomes corrupted by large amounts of money available for research, producing bogus, but lucrative, results.

    And while we are on the subject, can you give us one, just one, piece of empirical evidence to support the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis. And by that, I don’t mean computer models – I use computer models, and they are totally invalid at prediction – and I don’t mean reports of “warming effects” unless you can show the mechanism that definitively links the cause to the effect, and shows that CO2 can be the only cause.

    Your turn.


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    Richard S Courtney

    John Brookes:

    At #55 you ask:

    What if AGW was reality, but the action we would have to take to stop it was so anti human nature that stopping it was worse than letting it go?

    Your question has two parts; i.e.
    (a) the reality of AGW
    and
    (b) the desirability of actions to inhibit AGW if it were true.

    I write to answer both parts.
    AGW is not true and the proposed actions to inhibit it would have worse effects than AGW could impose if it were true.
    The following expains this answer.

    It is known that discernible AGW is not a reality because its reality is denied by much empirical evidence (e.g.
    1.
    there has been no statistically discernible rise in global temperature for the most recent 15 years despite atmospheric CO2 concentration rising by ~4% during that time so the rise in the CO2 is observed to not be overwhelming other causes of the temperature change,
    2.
    changes to atmospheric CO2 concentration FOLLOW changes to global temperature at all – yes, all – temperatures, and a cause cannot follow its effect,
    3.
    there is no correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentration and global temperature but if one were directly causal of the other they would correlate,
    4.
    there is no correlation between anthropogenic emissions of CO2 and atmospheric CO2 concentration (unless the data are processed by a minimum of 5-year smoothing) but if one were directly causal of the other they would correlate,
    5.
    there is no correlation between anthropogenic emissions of CO2 and global temperature but if one were directly causal of the other they would correlate,
    6.
    the ‘hot spot’ predicted by the AGW hypothesis is absent,
    7 to n.
    etc.)

    And there is no empirical evidence that supports the AGW hypothesis; none, zilch, nada.

    Hence, according to all the normal rules of the scientific method, the AGW hypothesis is rejected by the empirical evidence.

    But, for the sake of argument, let us assume that the AGW hypothesis were true. Then, the effects of constraints on anthropogenic emissions (as proposed by e.g. the failed Kyoto Protocol, the still-born Copenhagen Accord, and the putative Mexico Agreement) would be far, far worse than anything that AGW could do.

    The policy of constraining CO2 emissions requires constraint of the use of fossil fuels and that constraint would kill millions – probably billions – of people.

    The use of fossil fuels has done more to benefit human kind than anything else since the invention of agriculture.

    Most of us would not be here if it were not for the use of fossil fuels because all human activity is enabled by energy supply and limited by material science.

    Energy supply enables the growing of crops, the making of tools and their use to mine for minerals, and to build, and to provide goods, and to provide services.

    Material Science limits what can be done with the energy. A steel plough share is better than a wooden one. Ability to etch silica permits the making of acceptably reliable computers. And so on.

    People die without energy and the ability to use it. They die because they lack food, or housing, or clothing to protect from the elements, or heating to survive cold, or cooling to survive heat, or medical provisions, or transport to move goods and services from where they are produced to where they are needed.

    And people who lack energy are poor so they die from pollution, too.

    For example, traffic pollution has been dramatically reduced by adoption of fossil fuels. On average each day in 1855 more than 50 tons of horse excrement was removed from only one street, Oxford Street in London. The mess, smell, insects and disease were awful everywhere. By 1900 every ceiling of every room in Britain had sticky paper hanging from it to catch the flies. Old buildings still have scrapers by their doors to remove some of the pollution from shoes before entering

    Affluence reduces pollution. Rich people can afford sewers, toilets, clean drinking water and clean air. Poor people have more important things they must spend all they have to get. So, people with wealth can afford to reduce pollution but others cannot. Pollution in North America and Europe was greater in 1900 than in 2000 despite much larger populations in 2000. And the pollution now experienced every day by billions who do not have the wealth of Americans and Europeans includes cooking in a mud hut using wood and dung as fuel when they cannot afford a chimney.

    The use of fossil fuels has provided that affluence for the developed world. The developing world needs the affluence provided by the development which is only possible at present by using fossil fuels.

    We gained our wealth and our population by means of that use.

    The energy supply increased immensely when the greater energy intensity in fossil fuels became available by use of the steam engine. Animal power, wind power and solar power were abandoned because the laws of physics do not allow them to provide as much energy as can be easily obtained from using fossil fuels.

    The greater energy supply enabled more people to live and the human population exploded. Our population has now reached about 6.6 billion and it is still rising. All estimates are that the human population will peak at about 9 billion people near the middle of this century.

    That additional more than 2 billion people in the next few decades needs additional energy supply to survive. The only methods to provide that additional energy supply at present are nuclear power and fossil fuels. And the use of nuclear power is limited because some activities are difficult to achieve by getting energy from the end of a wire.

    If you doubt this then I tell then I suggest that you ask a farmer what his production would be if he had to replace his tractor with a horse or a Sinclair C5.

    So, holding the use of fossil fuels at its present level would kill at least 2 billion people, mostly children. And reducing the use of fossil fuels would kill more millions, possibly billions.

    That is not an opinion. It is not a prediction. It is not a projection. It is a certain and undeniable fact. Holding the use of fossil fuels at their present levels would kill billions of people, mostly children. Reducing the use of fossil fuels would kill more millions or billions.

    Improving energy efficiency will not solve that because it has been known since the nineteenth century that improved energy efficiency increases energy use: as many subsequent studies have confirmed.

    Climate has always changed everywhere and always will: this has been known since the Bronze Age when it was pointed out to Pharaoh by Joseph (the one with the Technicolour Dreamcoat). Joseph told Pharaoh to prepare for the bad times when in the good times, and all sensible governments have adopted that policy throughout the thousands of years since then.

    That tried and tested policy is sensible because people merely complain at taxes in the good times, but they will revolt if they are short of food in the bad times.

    But AGW advocates claim we should abandon that policy and replace it with constraint of anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

    So, in a period of a few decades we have moved from the tried and tested climate policy that has stood the test of time since the Bronze Age, and attempts are being made to replace it with quasi-religious political madness which – if not stopped – will pale into insignificance the combined activities of Ghengis Khan, Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot.

    I hope this is an adequate answer to your question.

    Richard


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    Richard S Courtney

    John Brookes:

    At #73 I mistyped:

    2.
    changes to atmospheric CO2 concentration FOLLOW changes to global temperature at all – yes, all – temperatures, and a cause cannot follow its effect.

    I intended to write:
    2,
    changes to atmospheric CO2 concentration FOLLOW changes to global temperature at all – yes, all – time scales, and a cause cannot follow its effect.

    I apologise for this error.

    Richard


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    Charles Bourbaki

    Mark @ #66
    Ref George Monbiot’s article in the Grauniad – George has just responded to Richard North’s threat of legal action with -

    Dear Dr North,
    Go ahead, make my day.
    Yours Sincerely,
    Clint Monbiot

    Well almost, I’ve changed a name slightly. Dontcha love Climate Science.


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    Mark

    More good reading at Andrew Montford’s site (as usual):

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/6/28/the-sole-solar-paper.html

    There’s a link to a 2007 McKitrick paper on solar matters . It seems that Wang wrote a paper rubbishing the idea of the sun as a major climate player. The IPCC adopted this lunacy to the exclusion of other papers to the contrary. Just another variable they could exclude or minimise in the models.

    Could that be the same Wang who also wrote a paper about UHI where the figures from Chinese stations were so suspect that even a lead IPCC author expressed disgust?


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    Mark

    Richard.

    A truly nutty thought I admit, but are you aware of any papers exploring the possibility of CO2 dropping to life threatening low levels?


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Mark: #75

    Be careful, Wang is a very common Chinese name, and I would hate you to be Wong. :-)


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    Mark

    You’re in good form tonight RW!


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    Richard S Courtney

    Mark:

    At #77 you ask me:

    A truly nutty thought I admit, but are you aware of any papers exploring the possibility of CO2 dropping to life threatening low levels?

    Yes, I am but I dispute them. And I think it would be an error to distract this thread with discussion of that side-issue.

    My post at #73 (with corrigendum at #74) was a straight refutation of a question that I interpretted to have been presented for mischievous purposes. And I hope my answer was sufficient to have ‘put it to bed’.

    This thread is about ‘consensus as a replacement for thought’. It is not about atmospheric CO2. If you want my understanding of that then write to me personally and I will send you a copy of my paper presented to the First Heartland Conference (it summarises one of two papers on that subject that I co-authored with Dick Thoenes and Arthur Rorsch).

    Richard


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    Mark

    RSC:

    Thanks kindly for that offer but your summation will do. I also believe it’s not feasible but I just wondered if anybody had published on the subject.


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    Richard S Courtney: #73
    June 28th, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    BRAVO!!!!


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    Hey folks, those of you who wish to get a sceptics badge, go here

    Haven’t laughed so much in ages


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    Mark D.

    Rereke @ 48

    We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in the Universities we shall fight on the web, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the blogosphere, we shall defend the scientific method, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight with logic, we shall fight with wisdom, we shall fight the ad hominems and appeals to authority, we shall never surrender.

    I would vote for Jo to make this our official anthem!


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    As long as we are on the topic of “what if”: what if the alarmist’s goal is the extinction of mankind. Would their words and actions have to be any different from what they are? I think not.

    On understanding people: When a thought and action leads to a certain end and that end is repeatedly achieved in spite of words to the contrary, the achieved end is the intended one.

    Principle: An end does not justify it’s means, it requires it.

    Alternative 1: Effect follows its cause.

    Alternative 2: If you desire a particular end, choose your means carefully so that you can actually achieve that end.

    Alternative 3: Magic does not work in this universe so use actual knowledge, thought, skill, discipline, and effort.

    Alternative 4: Reason, Reality, and Logic. There is no other path that works except by accident. Since there are far more ways to be wrong than right, accident is not a good thing to rely upon.


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    Joe Veragio

    Meantime I like the suggestion of Adolf Balik to award prizes to the best AGW scare story of the week etc.

    Great idea. Perhaps it’s what Nobel Committee was thinking of.


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    G/Machine

    Professor
    How many convertees did you get at your
    “Trust us, we’re the government” service ?
    Not all that happy clapping and hugging gone to waste, surely.


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    Mark D.

    Re. Richard Courtney @ 73;

    To add emphasis to your point about low cost energy and world population; a sure method to slow population growth (birth rates) is to raise overall standards of living. It seems to me this can only happen with continued low cost energy.

    Interesting article on population: http://www.wilsonquarterly.com/article.cfm?aid=1408


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    wayne

    SUBJECT: “Carbon Tax” – signpost to the new dark age.

    The Carbon Sense Coalition today claimed that a carbon tax was the next likely battle in the long war on carbon.

    The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, said it was ominous that one of the first promises made by Australia’s new Prime Minister was:

    “If elected as Prime Minister I will re-prosecute the case for a carbon price at home and abroad.”

    Forbes added:

    “Big governments love carbon taxes. They promise a bountiful political dividend of tax receipts and green votes.

    “The tax harvest will feed the climate change industry, provide eternal corporate welfare for alternate energy speculators, and allow politicians to buy votes with handouts for favoured mendicants.

    “But a carbon tax will have zero beneficial effect on earth’s temperature.

    “Carbon taxes will be welcomed by the solar/wind lobby. But the world now has plenty of real experiments proving the inability of these follies to generate reliable power at reasonable cost – Spain, Portugal, Germany, Denmark and California.

    “But the slow learner governments of the world, UK, New Zealand and Australia, seem determined to punish their economies, their tax payers and their electricity consumers by repeating the same anti-carbon errors.

    “There are other feasible methods for generating reliable economic non-carbon electricity – nuclear power as in France, geo-thermal as in Iceland, and hydro as in Scandinavia. However none of these options will be available for Australia for at least a decade.

    “Carbon taxes will just depress the tourism, transport, steel, resource and cement industries and penalise every user of electricity in their homes, farms, factories and refineries.

    “Carbon Tax” should be Gillard-tined for the same reasons that the Wong Ration-N-Tax Scheme was chopped – it will have no climate benefits but it will destroy businesses, jobs and living standards.

    “Everyone knows that if you tax something, less of it will be produced.

    “Carbon produces the heat, light, food and transport for the modern world. A carbon tax will inevitably reduce the production of these essentials – it is a signpost on the road to a new dark age.

    Viv Forbes
    Chairman, The Carbon Sense Coalition

    Rosevale, Qld, Australia
    http://www.carbon-sense.com
    Phone 07 5464 0533
    Email: Info@carbon-sense.com


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    Jaded Cynic

    Mark 76
    I am but a simple interloper to the site, but how is the IPCC position defendable considering recent “Judithgate”?
    http://www.climatechangefraud.com/behind-the-science/7220-new-global-warming-scandal-consensus-on-sun-is-one-expert


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    cbp

    @george #69
    Well my first post was fairly sarcastic – I’m sorry, I didn’t realise there were Americans reading – won’t happen again.

    But my second post had a well thought out and reasoned appeal for a more responsible and scientific strategy than ‘shame’. Yet you seem to think that is against posting guidelines, which is kind of weird given this blog is basically a cesspool of defamation… but anyway, I admit that I haven’t read the posting guidelines and maybe they do contain a clause that all dissenting comments must be humourless and easily debunked.

    As for fishing for responses, usually I would take a lack of response as a good thing: it means people are probably taking comments to heart and thinking about them, rather than just blurting out whatever comes in to the head. Rereke at #72, for example, seems to have entirely missed the point of pretty much every line of my post. He responds to what he wants me to say, not what I actually say, which makes his reply completely nonsensical.


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    Mark

    Jaded Cynic:

    And I’m just another simple contributer to Jo’s blog. I believe I posted a link to your article a couple of days ago at another source. You’re not asking me to defend the IPCC I trust?


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    Mark

    Oh my Gawd. Steepest slope evah!

    In the wrong direction… for the warmista.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/28/sea-ice-news-11/


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    Colin Henderson

    Because scientific ideas are always moving forward, the consensus is always going to be behind the leading thinkers and therefore by default, passe.


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    Richard S Courtney

    cbp:

    At #91 you assert:

    this blog is basically a cesspool of defamation

    With respect, I think you have made an error by mistaking the blog to which you were posting. This is Jo Nova’s blog and, clearly, you intended to make your post at RealClimate or DeSmogBlog.

    I point this out because if you have not noticed your mistake then you will not have made your post where you intended.

    Richard


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    Bulldust

    cbp:

    Yes congratulations at insulting not only Jo, but presumably most bloggers who post here, whom you address as “her minions” which are “below contempt.”

    If you think you were being sarcastic and therefore witty in some way, then you dismally missed the mark. The alternative, and IMHO much more likely scenario, is that you are just another in the series of trolls we have been seeing here lately adding no value whatsoever.

    How about you try a refreshing approach, like… call me crazy perhaps, but arguing a point based on science, with a few reference links even.

    Nah who am I kidding… just flame away.


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  • #
    Richard S Courtney

    Mark D:

    At #88. Yes, you are right. Increased living standards are the only proven method to obtain long-term population decline (genocide and ‘one-child policies have been tried but have failed within short times).

    There are several reasons why affluence reduces birth rate but the most important is
    (a) the poor need offspring to care for them in times of disability and old-age and they need several offspring because thir poverty gives them high infant mortality rates, so they need large families,
    but
    (b) the rich have other means than off-spring to care for them in times of disability and old-age and raising children has financial cost, so they want small families.

    However, as I said at #80 this thread is not about population issues. I said there:

    This thread is about ‘consensus as a replacement for thought’.

    and

    And I think it would be an error to distract this thread with discussion of that side-issue.

    My post at #73 (with corrigendum at #74) was a straight refutation of a question that I interpretted to have been presented for mischievous purposes. And I hope my answer was sufficient to have ‘put it to bed’.

    Richard


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  • #

    @CBP

    At #91 you wrote

    But my second post had a well thought out and reasoned appeal for a more responsible and scientific strategy than ’shame’.

    Since your first post was # 56 I would surmise that you were referring to your post at #68.

    But seriously, I think it’s a pity that JoNova would advocate “shame” as a tactic in her crusade against science; just as I think coordinated FOI attacks, stealing of emails and other such things revered amongst her minions are below contempt. It’s why the CRU hack failed to impact on scientific opinion in any positive way, and I can’t see similar antagonistic strategies having much success either.
    The path to success is through establishing a consensus – that is, a consensus of independent research and evidence – not the strawman consensus that JoNova talks about.

    Your second post was not a “reasoned appeal” but a negative personal attack. A reasoned appeal would necessarily involve proposed solutions to the problem at hand. I saw none in your second post.

    You stated that Jo would advocate “shame as a tactic. Jo’s article contended, ” people who ought to know better are reverting to stone age reasoning.” That was the shame she was speaking of.She later continued, ” Any scientific professorial fellow ought to warn about the dangers of ignoring the empirical evidence.” And she is correct. You see, CBP, science is not done by consensus. That is a fallacy of logic known as the Bandwagon Fallacy. Just because a belief is popular does not mean that the belief is scientifically valid. History is replete with such examples. I for one am glad that a doctor no longer “bleeds” someone to treat a headache. Yet, years ago, it was the consensus. If the science were so settled the scientists would gladly release their information to see if it could be falsified. You may want to study a little about Karl Popper and the scientific method. Yet you claim a “coordinated FOI attack.” A request which is lawful is not an attack. In fact, the legislatures intent was to provide transparency in the process. This is an effective check against fraud and a means to obtain information that belongs in the public realm since the information itself was created at the expense of the taxpayer. If we the people paid for it, we have the right to see what we paid for, wouldn’t you agree?

    The evidence shows that the emails were released by a conscientious employee rather than stolen by a hacker. Do you have any evidence to support your claim? Your statement “.. and other such things revered amongst her minions are below contempt.” You engaged in an ad hominem fallacy in calling those who post here her minions. Also, what would these other such “things” be?

    You mentioned that the emails were an antagonistic strategy which “failed to impact on scientific opinion in any positive way”. That is you unsubstantiated opinion. I beg to differ. The whistleblower made the public aware of the greatest scientific fraud in history. The amount of taxpayer dollars that he saved from being squandered in the future as well as saving us from a cap and trade scheme that would have destroyed the world’s economy makes him worthy of our respect, admiration and gratitude.

    Your final statement, “The path to success is through establishing a consensus – that is, a consensus of independent research and evidence – not the strawman consensus that JoNova talks about” is non sequitur and a self evident contradiction. Allow me to explain. You are in favor of a consensus of independent researchers and evidence but you accuse Jo of using a straw man. Jo did not invent a consensus but merely commented on Lewndowsky’s announced intent to discuss the perils of ignoring consensus in science. Jo did not use a straw man. By accusing her of making an argument which she did not make you are the one who has employed a straw man. Oh, the irony! Perhaps you should google fallacies and learn a little about rhetoric. Then, come back with a logical argument about the science. It would be both welcomed and refreshing. I wish you good luck and success on your path to enlightenment, CBP!


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    Scott

    Cbp

    Can’t Bloody Pronounce – anything useful

    Caught Buying Pseudo – science

    Caught Being Psychotic

    Must be more…


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    Bulldust

    I see the climate change love in has started in the eastern states:

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/national/7481353/science-at-heart-of-climate-debate-wong/

    I love teh way Wong portrays Abbott as having torpedoed the “consensus” by himself. It must have been a very fragile thing is someone like Abbott could bring it down all by his lonesome.

    Good thing they didn’t have the conference over here in Perth… they would be freezing their arses off. Copenhopenhagendazs all over again had that been the case.

    Here’s teh conference link BTW:

    http://www.nccarf.edu.au/conference2010/


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    cbp: #91

    I am glad to see you have come back.

    In the first comment of yours, that I noticed (#56), you quoted the last line from Joanne’s post out of context. The preceding paragraphs made it clear why she asked, “Can we shame them into picking up their standards?”. One of the more significant sentences in her post, and one you choose to ignore, says:

    Lewandowsky uses Argument from Authority ad nauseum along with ad hominems, and lightly seasoned with Argument from Ignorance.

    Now, I assume you understand what those long words mean, and that you understand that Joanne is naming logical fallacies that no scientist worthy of a higher degree should ever use. It is shameful to use fallacious argument in the context of speaking for an institute of higher learning. And hence she was simply asking if it would be possible to shame them into going back to the use of reasoned logic in the conduct of discourse.

    So I assumed you were a troll, and I still have that impression, but am willing to be swayed by evidence to the contrary if you can provide it.

    But my second post had a well thought out and reasoned appeal for a more responsible and scientific strategy than ’shame’.

    I am quite convinced that your second post was probably the best you could manage. But you implied that Joanne was, “advocate[ing] ’shame’ as a tactic in her crusade against science”. Her crusade against science? What crusade against science?

    You are looking more troll-like by the minute – hence my response that she is, “against appalling science”, which is much closer to the truth!

    … this blog is basically a cesspool of defamation …

    Only when the trolls are abroad.

    Rereke at #72, for example, seems to have entirely missed the point of pretty much every line of my post. He responds to what he wants me to say, not what I actually say, which makes his reply completely nonsensical.

    Well, what can I say?

    You made just four salient points in #68. These were:
    1. “The crusade against science” comment (see above);
    2. co-ordinated FOI attacks;
    3.”stealing” of emails; and
    4. the idea of a consensus.

    I have addressed point 1.

    Point 2 was addressed by explaining that FOI is a legal requirement in the UK. I ignored your comment about “concerted attack”, because it is irrelevant if only one or two people are involved.

    Point 3 asserted that the emails were stolen, although there was no evidence of a break-in, physical or electronic, so I used the term “release” as a neutral term. I will admit that your accusation of theft meant I assumed that you were accusing Joanne of somehow orchestrating events.

    I addressed point 4 by asking you to comment on when “consensus” became a valid scientific method. Because it is not; and cannot be, because science progresses by scientists trying to disprove the work of others, and hence the established orthodoxy. Science thrives on scepticism – welcome to a place of true scientific discussion.

    And finally, I asked you for some empirical evidence that a) demonstrates the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis; b) that was not based on computer models; and c) is not dependent on unsubstantiated correlation.

    You have not provided that evidence.

    You might try looking in the Sceptics Handbook, downloadable from this site for free. You might find some interesting evidence in there. And all of us on this site would just love you to debunk it with real scientific argument (not the type that Lewandowsky regularly employs).


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    Bulldust

    What is interesting about the NCCARF conference is tha the whole discussion is now being framed in the context that AGW disasters are going to happen, and now it is a question of how to adapt to that change. They even have sessions framed around communicating the issue … i.e. how to be an effective advocate:

    http://www.nccarf.edu.au/conference2010/archives/259

    I bet those responses will be heavily moderated :)


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    Jaded Cynic

    Mark:92
    “defend the IPCC” … LOL! Thanks been a long day, needed the laugh. Sorry I missed previous post.


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    Roy Hogue

    As long as we are on the topic of “what if”: what if the alarmist’s goal is the extinction of mankind. Would their words and actions have to be any different from what they are? I think not.

    Lionell,

    That’s a very interesting question. I see two basically long-term incompatible goals: The environmental wing of AGW certainly wants to kill off millions if not billions of us. But at the same time they seem to believe that they can escape any harm and come out of it with their comfortable lifestyle intact. I don’t think they’ve really thought the thing through very carefully. The UN wants to become the government of the world, wielding an iron fist to keep everyone in line with their particular world view. I see no reason why they would want large numbers of people killed off although they must realize that many will die. My reasoning is simple — they’ll want as many people as possible to lord it over. I certainly would if I had that as my goal. I don’t think they’ve thought it through very carefully either.

    In the end these are not compatible goals and I expect a falling out between the environmental wing and the bruit force dictator wing of AGW. In the meantime, as I’ve said before, AGW is a political disease and politics does seem to make for strange bedfellows.

    I took a look at your web site and bookmarked it immediately for future reading!


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    cbp

    Thanks for replying Rereke, your response makes more sense now that it is not putting words into my mouth, yet you still fail to understand what I write.

    It is shameful to use fallacious argument in the context of speaking for an institute of higher learning. And hence she was simply asking if it would be possible to shame them into going back to the use of reasoned logic in the conduct of discourse.

    Firstly, Arguments from Authority are only fallacious if they are the sole basis for an argument. Argument from Authority is perfectly valid when supporting a larger argument however. Ad hominems, like what Scott #99 indulges in, are usually a waste of time, but can also be of interest and yourself and JoNova and myself for that matter are all happy to throw around an ad hominem or two just for laughs. Count the number of times you called me a troll – is it not ad hominem to call me a troll? Accusing someone of ad hominem in and of itself does not invalidate their argument.

    Secondly, thanks for addressing the actual point of my post – that “shame” is a dead-end tactic. Yes, I know what JoNova said, and I don’t think your reiteration clarifies anything. If someone has made a logical error, I would advocate “reasoning” with them, rather than “shaming” them. Please discuss.

    I addressed point 4 by asking you to comment on when “consensus” became a valid scientific method

    The problem here is that you failed to properly read what I said, which was: “The path to success is through establishing a consensus – that is, a consensus of independent research and evidence – not the strawman consensus that JoNova talks about.

    I’m not talking about a consensus of votes by university professors, am I? That is JoNova’s strawman. I am talking about a consensus of multiple lines of evidence (empirical evidence in addition to modeling, logic etc.) When there is a large degree of uncertainty, as there is in climate science, a consensus of evidence is most definitely very important. Yes it would be nice to have an overwhelmingly convincing piece of empirical evidence that proved all the universal truths about AGW, but that is not going to happen unless we invent time travel. So we go with what is second-best, which in this case means observing the fact that the majority of evidence, modeling and deductive reasoning points in the same direction.

    Finally, in regards to FOI, I think you are unaware of the coordinated attack executed by McIntyre’s mob on the CRU, in which dozens of FOI requests, many of them nonsensical (one numskull even submitted the template that McIntyre had provided), were sent over a period of a few days with the specific intent of causing damage to the CRU. And in regards to the stolen emails, I believe you are seriously confused but I don’t think that particular point is worth rehashing again. Suffice to say, that if they were stolen, then it would be a shameful act, no?

    @bulldust #96 says:

    Yes congratulations at insulting not only Jo, but presumably most bloggers who post here, whom you address as “her minions” which are “below contempt.”

    Congratulations on misquoting me.


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  • #

    Roy Hogue: referring to my post at 85

    I see two basically long-term incompatible goals: The environmental wing of AGW certainly wants to kill off millions if not billions of us. But at the same time they seem to believe that they can escape any harm and come out of it with their comfortable lifestyle intact.

    You are right. The two goals are incompatible. That is simply part of their war on reality. My comment about that from my post:

    On understanding people: When a thought and action leads to a certain end and that end is repeatedly achieved in spite of words to the contrary, the achieved end is the intended one.

    Look at their repeated results. There you will find their real intent. Their surface words and expressed motivation are nothing but verbal smoke screens to hide the truth from everyone including and especially from themselves. This is another part of their war on reality. Not only cannot they be honest with us, they can’t be honest with themselves. As I have said before, this is a war they cannot win. Our challenge is to discover how not to become collateral damage while they lose it.

    Welcome to my blog. The ideas and concepts presented are for the taking but they are not for free. You will have to work for it by reading, thinking about, and understanding the content. Rational discussion is welcomed.


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    cbp

    @Eddy Aruda #98

    A reasoned appeal would necessarily involve proposed solutions to the problem at hand. I saw none in your second post.

    Well then you obviously stopped reading my post when it came to the part that read “The path to success is…“.

    You see, CBP, science is not done by consensus. That is a fallacy of logic known as the Bandwagon Fallacy. Just because a belief is popular does not mean that the belief is scientifically valid.

    See my reply to Rereke at #105.

    But let me try and make it even clearer: consensus by a vote of qualified scientists is not a valid basis for arriving at a logical, scientific conclusions about AGW – that’s true, but no one is arguing that it is true, thus your strawman.

    Such a consensus (particularly if it is very strong, as it is with AGW), is certainly of interest to the layman or the policy-maker when they need to make a decision on a course of action. It is also of interest to the scientists who thinks “Well my results say xxx, and so does everyone else’s, so xxx is probably a valid result”.

    Note the distinction – in one case, your strawman case, consensus is used as the basis for a logical scientific argument.
    In the second case, consensus is used as supporting evidence when deciding a course of action, particularly in a situation where the complete truth is unknown or unattainable.
    Very different scenarios.

    So you can rabbit on all you like about the Bandwagon Fallacy but until you divest yourself of the straw in your shoes, noone is listening.


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    cbp:
    June 29th, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Firstly, Arguments from Authority are only fallacious if they are the sole basis for an argument. Argument from Authority is perfectly valid when supporting a larger argument however.

    Absolutely wrong. A legitimate appeal to authority is one where the legitimacy of the authority is not in doubt. An example of a legitimate appeal to authority would be a diagnosis from a doctor. However, if there is a legitimate dispute as to the authority in question (e.g. a doctor who lost his license for malpractice and incompetence) then an appeal to authority would be fallacious. The hypothesis of global warming is not “settled” science. Therefore, since AGW is disputed by a large number of scientists, an appeal to authority is illogical. The hypothesis of global warming has been falsified. Just because an argument is predicated on an appeal to authority in conjunction with a “larger” argument” does not make the argument valid. Your statement is also fallacious because it (a larger argument) is a sweeping generalization (Dicto simpliciter) and the statement in total is non sequitur (It does not follow.)


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Back on thread:

    Did anyone on Perth actually go to the University of WA public forum with Lewandowsky et al last night?

    I’m setting up the venue for tonight @ 5pm so would be good to know if we should expect some “opposition” there!


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Sorry, “in Perth” not “on Perth”, duh! :-(


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    wayne

    I know what CDP stands for!

    CBP === Caught Bullshitting People……….


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    cbp:
    June 29th, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Well then you obviously stopped reading my post when it came to the part that read “The path to success is…“.

    Actually, I did read your entire post. You wrote:

    The path to success is through establishing a consensus – that is, a consensus of independent research and evidence – not the strawman consensus that JoNova talks about.

    To which I replied at #98

    Your final statement, “The path to success is through establishing a consensus – that is, a consensus of independent research and evidence – not the strawman consensus that JoNova talks about” is non sequitur and a self evident contradiction. Allow me to explain…

    I then continued to show the fallacies underlying your argument. If you suffer from short term memory loss you may want to reread my post.

    You then continued at#107

    But let me try and make it even clearer: consensus by a vote of qualified scientists is not a valid basis for arriving at a logical, scientific conclusions about AGW – that’s true, but no one is arguing that it is true, thus your strawman.

    Yet at post #68 you wrote:

    The path to success is through establishing a consensus – that is, a consensus of independent research and evidence

    Do you even know what a straw man is? The two sentences prove that you have contradicted yourself.

    You wrote:

    Such a consensus (particularly if it is very strong, as it is with AGW), is certainly of interest to the layman or the policy-maker when they need to make a decision on a course of action. It is also of interest to the scientists who thinks “Well my results say xxx, and so does everyone else’s, so xxx is probably a valid result”.

    But you also said, ‘But let me try and make it even clearer: consensus by a vote of qualified scientists is not a valid basis for arriving at a logical, scientific conclusions about AGW – that’s true” You have clearly contradicted yourself. The correct course of action is to take no action until CAGW is proven. Since the theory has been falsified it cannot be true thus we need not take any action.

    Another contradiction.

    You then continued:

    Note the distinction – in one case, your strawman case, consensus is used as the basis for a logical scientific argument.
    In the second case, consensus is used as supporting evidence when deciding a course of action, particularly in a situation where the complete truth is unknown or unattainable.
    Very different scenarios.

    Regarding the distinction, see my post at 108. Also, it is obvious you do not know what the Bandwagon Fallacy is. Besides being non sequitur gibberish, you have committed another fallacy, begging the question (Petitio principii), because you offered no proof that the consensus is correct. Therefore what follows is unsubstantiated. Consensus is a fallacious appeal to authority. An appeal to authority is never the basis for a “logical scientific argument.” Your second case is illogical because it is founded on the same fallacious appeal to authority argument.

    The final paragraph of your post is irrelevant because it started with an ad hominem, followed with a non sequitur and finished with an assumption which is false.


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    cbp
    Firstly, Arguments from Authority are only fallacious if they are the sole basis for an argument. Argument from Authority is perfectly valid when supporting a larger argument however.

    Absolutely wrong. A legitimate appeal to authority is one where the legitimacy of the authority is not in doubt.

    Which I think goes to show why ad hominems are important, doesn’t it? But seriously, you are correct. Attacking someone for using Appeal to Authority, in-and-of-itself is not a valid counter-attack unless you explain why their authority is not an authority. This doesn’t appear to be the case with Rereke though when he said: “Joanne is naming logical fallacies that no scientist worthy of a higher degree should ever use“. But anyway, moot point.


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    Bulldust

    cbp:

    You seem to be trying to arrive at a new definition of the word consensus – ironically you seem to be failing to reach a consensus on that new definition :p I suggest researching the definition somewhat, and perhaps coming up with an alternative word for what you are seeking to express. Here is what the word means in English:

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/consensus

    As you can see there is plenty of debate on the critical points underpinning the AGW hypothesis (assuming it is accepted as such at this point), so I don’t see how you can state there is a general agreement about the science. There are, as yet, far too many unknowns.

    More importantly, as stated by others, science is not determined by consensus in any case. Two people looking at ths sky stating:

    Person 1: The sky is blue
    Person 2: The sky is red

    Would the reasonable consensus compromise be to say the sky is purple? Clearly not. The sky either is a colour or it is not that colour at a given place and point in time. It is not assessed as being something by a compromise or consensus type agreement to split differences.

    This is a big issue with the advocacy surrounding climate… the misuse of English words to imply something that they are not, and they are pet peeves of many a skeptic. Like Penny Wong saying Abbott is in denial about climate change… I mean really, the statement reveals her as a scientific illiterate or disingenuous politician, or perhaps both. No person in their right mind denies the climate changes, but “climate change” is now supposed to mean something different than the dictionary definition.


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    Bulldust

    For simple definitional things like (Appeal to Authority) this I don’t mind Wiki, despite their butchering of climate science articles:

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

    This is a good summary:

    1.Source A says that p is true.
    2.Source A is authoritative.
    3.Therefore, p is true.

    Clearly such a line of thought is fallacious. I don’t care who the authrotiy is… this is the mantra of the skeptic. I only care if the science is right or wrong. You saying some authority said “XYZ” is meaningless in science. Science don’t care who you is…


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    @ CBP #113

    You need to write with a little more clarity.

    You opined:

    Which I think goes to show why ad hominems are important, doesn’t it? But seriously, you are correct. Attacking someone for using Appeal to Authority, in-and-of-itself is not a valid counter-attack unless you explain why their authority is not an authority. This doesn’t appear to be the case with Rereke though when he said: “Joanne is naming logical fallacies that no scientist worthy of a higher degree should ever use“. But anyway, moot point.

    When you say ad hominems (at the man or against the man) are important, what do you mean, please clarify. The reason that their authority is not an authority? It is true that there are authorities, such as climatologist, who believe that the theory of global warming is correct. However, there are a substantial number of climatologists who believe that the hypothesis of global warming is false. Therefore, an appeal to a consensus is illogical. Science is not democracy where the truth is determined by majority vote. An appeal to an authority, such as the IPCC is fallacious. If you wish argue that IPCC’s position and your argument is based upon the science, that is fine. You are then talking about the science instead of basing an argument solely on the authority of the IPCC. Rereke is correct, scientists should not reason fallaciously. Instead, they should argue logically. Why would you mention a”moot point”?


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    Baa Humbug

    Interesting discussion about authority happening here.

    There are and have been lots of authorities about lots of subjects.
    e.g. Ford was an authority in production lines, lots of senior judges are authorities in law etc, an appeal to them about their subject matter is apt I would have thought.

    But an appeal to a person or group of persons about climate?
    I would have thought there is no such authority regarding climate.
    If someone can name an authority in climate, I’d like to know.
    (this is the role that the IPCC tried to undertake. They have proven conclusively that they are NOT an authority in climate. Any others?)


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    Speedy

    Bulldust

    It doesn’t matter who says it, 2 + 2 = 4.

    By a strange coincidence, George Orwell (in “1984″) said that

    Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four.

    Argument from authority involves a level of faith that is not consistent with good science. But this is exactly what the good Prof Lew is telling us we should do – follow the consensus.

    Cheers,

    Speedy.


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    Bulldust

    Mr Humbug:

    I would have thought the traditional authority to which to appeal regards the climate would be the gods. It was ever thus in human history. sacrifices were made to curry the favour with the relevant god or gods in charge of climate, harvests, virility etc…

    Nothing like dropping a few virgins into a volcano to ensure the crops don’t fail.


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    Bulldust

    Funny Speedy, when you say it like that, “follow the consensus”, the image that springs to mind* is a herd of sheep.

    * Interestingly I lack the ability to visualise things – never realised until more recently that this was not the norm. But I digress…


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    cbp

    @Eddy Aruda #116
    @Bulldust #114

    Sheesh. Look, everything is explained in my previous comments. Think about them some more, try to refrain from misquoting them or changing their meaning into your own strawman arguments. Try to see how one sentence gives meaning to the next. Dividing paragraphs up sentence by sentence, and then with them safely out-of-context, trying to logically destroy each of sentence on its own, is not a useful endeavour.

    For further practice, here’s an interesting article on consensus:
    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/02/27/global_warming_deniers/print.html


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    Tide

    cpb @113

    Attacking someone for using Appeal to Authority, in-and-of-itself is not a valid counter-attack unless you explain why their authority is not an authority.

    Oh, what silliness. In and of itself, appeal to authority neither proves nor disproves anything. Whether the claimed authority is or is not a “real” authority is irrelevant. The appeal to real or imagined authority is simply not logically valid, period.

    The fact that you consider the act of pointing out a fatal flaw in an argument to be an attack or a counterattack is telling. It means that you’ve already made up your mind on an issue and want to take the authority’s claim as acknowledgment or reinforcement of your personal feelings. You haven’t thought the matter through and take the criticism as a personal affront.

    My reply to any scientific claim is “Show me the data!” You would do well to adopt that position too. You may be disappointed, however, since there is no data proving AGW theory. I find it most lamentable that scientific standards have all but vanished in this age of “consensus.”


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    Bulldust

    cbp:

    Joe Romm now… I thought we were talking about appeals to authority, not appeals to advocates. Plus you keep throwing the strawman line at us, but I think it is you who are now clutching desperately at straws.

    I mean, really… Joe Romm…


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    Bulldust

    PS> cbp … I really do not want to look at your “arguments” more than I have to. It is giving me flashbacks of being a lecturer again and having to try and interpret student papers to see if any credit is due where the reasoning is so far off the reservation it is painful to read.


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    cbp

    @Tide #122
    I believe you missed the comma in my sentence and thus misapplied the term ‘in-and-of-itself’.
    Also, I don’t think you read the comment that I was responding to you. Thus most of what you said is irrelevant.

    Let me rephrase it for you:

    Appeal to Authority can be a perfectly valid supporting argument.
    However, there are many ways Appeal to Authority can be invalid: e.g., if the Authority is not an authority, as Eddy points out, or if the Appeal to Authority is the sole basis of a conclusion.
    That said, the statement “Your statement xxx is an Appeal to Authority, therefore your argument is false” is not logically sound.

    Arguments from Authority, just like a consensus, have an important place, particularly for the layman and policy makers.
    They should not be used as the basis for establishing absolute scientific truth.
    However they can be used as the basis for deciding a course of action if we suspect that absolute scientific truth is not readily obtainable, but want to avoid potentially disastrous consequences.

    Example: I awaken from unconsciousness after a car accident and suspect I might be bleeding internally. The doctor says “Take this injection, I’m a doctor”.
    Do I:
    a) try to establish absolute scientific truth in regards to whether I am actually bleeding, whether it will kill me, and if so whether the injection will help.
    b) trust the doctor and let him give me the shot

    (Please don’t answer this question, by the way, I’m certain some of you here are crazy enough to answer ‘A’, but everyone I know and I would answer ‘B’)

    Can I request you reproduce this comment in full if you are quoting me.
    Also, please refrain from going off-topic on lengthy rants about ClimateGate or Venus or anything – stick on the topic.


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    cbp

    @Bulldust

    Joe Romm now… I thought we were talking about appeals to authority, not appeals to advocates. Plus you keep throwing the strawman line at us, but I think it is you who are now clutching desperately at straws.
    I mean, really… Joe Romm…

    I thought ad hominem’s were ‘shameful’?


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    wayne

    SUBJECT: “Sustainable” Development’s Unsustainable Contradictions

    This is so true!

    BE VERY AFRAID WHEN THE “SUSTAINABILITY” WORD IS USED!

    http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=7380


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    Speedy

    Bulldust/Tide/Humbug

    BS is BS, no matter who says it. Even Professor Lewandowsky. Science is about facts, not celebrities.

    The Nuremburg Rallies were a pretty good example of consensus, Professor, yes?

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    cbp

    PS. I have accused some commenters here of holding a strawman position. Take a step back for a second and think to yourself “Is my argument a strawman? Is this really what people mean when they talk about the importance of ‘consensus’? Or does cbp maybe have a point?”

    PPS. I’m aware there’s a bonus apostrophe in my last comment :P


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    cbp

    Ah good, this thread has been Godwinned by Speedy, see you later.


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    Speedy

    Wayne @ 127

    An excellent link – thanks. It shows how bad politicians mis-use bad science and dodgey economics.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    MadJak

    Speedy@128,

    The Nuremburg Rallies were a pretty good example of consensus, Professor, yes?

    It looks like academics are a bit touchy about the fact that German Academia was right onboard with the whole Master race stupidity too at the time. People were even getting PHDs when their thesis was based on how inferior other races supposedly were.

    If course, whenever that comes up they run away bleating about godwins law. Maybe the parellels are just a little too uncomfortable?

    I can’t help but wonder how a German Academic in the 1930s got on asking for funding to prove that the Master Race was a false ideal based on flawed logic (much like another theory I could mention).


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    Speedy

    Madjak

    I’d say such an academic would get free board and lodgings, a special low protein diet and an attractive set of striped pyjama’s.

    The similarities to the calls of James (execute the deniers) Hansen are not really fair – but I bet that’s what he’s thinking!

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Wayne (#127), great article! It brought to mind this from a couple of years ago:

    British architect Austin Williams – http://www.futurecities.org.uk – promotes a human-centred approach to nature; challenges risk-aversion and the precautionary principle; believes that environmentalism is driving down social aspirations; criticises the use of politicised solutions to technical problems; encourages debate, argument, critical dialogue and freedom of expression, and fights for development instead of sustainable development. My kinda guy!!

    Deakin Lectures: Future Cities

    It’s an hour long, but Austin is on first, then you can fast-forward to comments about 00:40. Refreshing! (He was not popular with his Australian co-presenters …)


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    wayne

    AHH THAT WORD “CONSENSUS”……….

    When to Doubt a Scientific ‘Consensus’ :-

    http://american.com/archive/2010/march/when-to-doubt-a-scientific-consensus

    No Frakking Consensus ON GLOBAL WARMING SCAM:-

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.blogspot.com/

    No Frakking Consensus: Greenpeace AND THE GLOBAL WARMING FRAUD:-

    Founding director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change: ‘Time to ditch consensus’ :-

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/06/founding-director-of-the-tyndall-centre-for-climate-change-time-to-ditch-consensus/


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    Tel

    For what it’s worth, Sydney hit a record cold night last night with -3.8 degrees C recorded at Richmond RAAF base.

    Comparison temperatures for the same station:

    5.1 : 60 year mean-minimum for June
    3.6 : 60 year mean-minimum for July
    5.0 : 60 year mean-minimum for August
    4.6 : mean-minimum for first 29 days of June 2010
    −3.4 : Lowest temp 17 Jul 2007
    −2.9 : Lowest temp 19 Aug 2008
    −2.4 : Lowest temp 11 Jun 2009

    Note that 2008 holds the current record of “coldest winter for 10 years” but I strongly suspect 2010 will grab that title.

    Of course, it’s all statistically insignificant, because the trend is cooling. Extreme events only being significant when they show warming…


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    wayne

    Sorry for the missing link in the previous post….

    No Frakking Consensus: Greenpeace AND THE GLOBAL WARMING FRAUD:-

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.blogspot.com/search/label/Greenpeace


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    Scott

    Speedy

    130cbp:
    June 29th, 2010 at 5:39 pm
    Ah good, this thread has been Godwinned by Speedy, see you later.

    Mate if you got that Moron to leave, you are a hero!!

    P.S. from his favorite site wikipedia

    Moron (psychology), term for a person with a mental age between 8 and 12, and a common insult for a person considered stupid


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    Speedy

    Scott @ 138

    I believe the (ver un PC) ranking is

    Idiot
    Cretin
    Moron

    Perhaps we can slide troll in there somewhere?

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Do you think he rated as high as moron, Scott?


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    Speedy

    Scott

    I meant to mention it was verY un-PC. And that the morons are the smart guys in the room. Especially after the trolls arrived…

    BTW, I went to the Narrogin “Watts Up”. Excellent, but especially so to appreciate that the likes of Anthony Watts, David Archibald and Jo Nova are just so really genuine sincere people – I didn’t have to pay anything to shake their hand! And they were very engaging.

    Definitely worth the visit.

    Cheers,

    Speedy.


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    Scott

    Hi Speedy

    I missed the Melbourne meeting unfortunately, I work for myself which means I am at the whims of my clients.

    I got to see Monkton which was great when he was here earlier however I was really looking forward to meeting Anthony and hearing him speak.

    And any chance to say thanks to Jo after she helped my daughter with her VCE speech would have been fantastic.

    As for my posts I appologise to the clever people here, but sometimes you have to fight fire with fire as you will never win an argument with a moron.


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    Mark D.

    Tel @136

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png

    Time to start a new scary prediction? We might be at a tipping point after all……..how much longer before that ‘embedded ocean heat’ comes out?

    Can we get a consensus here?!


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    Speedy

    Scott

    I agree, Monckton was great, it’s a pity you didn’t get to meet these guys this time. Just remember though – there’s no such thing as a dumb question!

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Mark D.

    cbp @121

    I read your link to Mr. Romm. All I have to say is: if you read that kind of crap all the time no wonder you feel the way you do. Either become more critical of what you read, or stop torturing me through reciting what you read.

    If Romm is part of your “consensus group” then you are seriously going to have problems here. If fear is what drives your AGW soul then consider what propaganda has done for you personally. (also reflect on what argument from authority and espousing “consensus” really are; tools)

    P.S. Prior to your link, I had never heard of Romm. (I live in the US too).


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    allen mcmahon

    Jo, is getting trashed on other blogs due to the juvenile actions and bullying tactics of a few commentators here. The trolls are achieving exactly what they wanted. Jo has put an enormous amount of time and effort into developing this site so show some respect for her and comment responsibly.


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    Richard S Courtney

    Scott:

    At #142 you say:

    As for my posts I appologise to the clever people here, but sometimes you have to fight fire with fire as you will never win an argument with a moron.

    You have no need to apologise to anybody. And the problem is worse than you say.

    It is often – rightly – said that

    there is no point in wrestling with a greasy pig because you can’t win and the pig likes it.

    Richard


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    cbp

    @Mark D #145

    Haha, you obviously didn’t comprehend the article at all because… well, let me quote:

    In fact, science doesn’t work by consensus of opinion.

    Try reading the article again maybe.

    This is Romm speaking, and I agree with him. No one here seems to understand the distinction though: they continue to grip to their strawman arguments.

    Denialist just read something and they see one word like “consensus” or “Al Gore” and they run for their Skeptic’s Handbook or whatever and start spouting meaningless, irrelevant cliches, never stopping to understand what someone is really saying. And I’m not alone, by the way – that’s why Real Climate titled their post Consesus as the new heresy back in ’07.

    Anyways, you guys are having fun with your name calling, so I won’t disturb you with anymore, promise.


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    Mark

    http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/news/331848,summit-drops-clean-energy-pledge.html

    Greenies upset because the G20 meeting has backtracked on their wish list of economy destroying measures. It has to be good news.


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    Speedy

    Allen @ 146

    Point taken – Niceness pills all round. Fallback position is to ignore those cases where people are trying to provoke an emotional reaction instead of a logical debate.

    At the end of the day, THEY are the ones wanting to dismantle economies and civilisations, THEY are the ones who need to explain why.

    Cheers,

    Speedy.


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    Mark D.

    cbp, You are rather quick to assume that I didn’t read you or your link carefully (shame on you).

    where did I comment on consensus or run to the “handbook” in my reply to you @ 145?

    Additionally, I did not name call either, and I note with appreciation you use of “denialist” Thank you.

    If you are leaving; fine.

    If you stay, try asking and commenting on other than shallow circular analysis of what constitutes straw man, argument from authority and scientific consensus.


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    Mark D.

    Allen @ 146,

    I’d ask what blogs so that a defense could be mustered however I don’t want to provide them any more traffic than they deserve.

    I don’t think it is wise of them to trash Jo for permitting free speech on a blog. It is clear that Jo is not, has not been using extreme language.


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    Roy Hogue

    Welcome to my blog. The ideas and concepts presented are for the taking but they are not for free. You will have to work for it by reading, thinking about, and understanding the content. Rational discussion is welcomed.

    Lionell,

    I fully intend to take up your challenge. But serious reading will probably have to wait for the weekend.

    Roy


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    @CBP #148

    Joe Romm is a person with an opinion, good for him. If you are going to tall us that you believe in AGW because of an appeal to authority that is your decision. Would you please discuss the science, please!

    they continue to grip to their strawman arguments.

    A straw man argument is an argument that your opponent claims that you made that in fact you never made. It would be analogous to somebody “putting words in your mouth.” Could you please cite a straw man that any poster employed? If not, then your claim of a straw man is, in fact, a straw man.

    “And I’m not alone, by the way – that’s why Real Climate…”

    When you say you are not alone you have employed another fallacy, ad populum. Just because people believe something is true is not evidence but faith. You then cite realclimate. Realclimate is not evidence. Could you please cite independent third party evidence to support your argument.

    Calling a poster or a skeptic a denialist is pejorative and an ad hominem. If I were you, I would apologize because there is no quicker way to get locked out of this site then to start throwing around the term denier.

    Anyways, you guys are having fun with your name calling, so I won’t disturb you with anymore, promise.

    Thank you for stopping by and adding so much to the discussion of the topic at hand. Based upon your dazzling display of logic I wouldn’t be surprised if you were a professor at the CRU or UEA. Take care CBP! ;)


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    Here Eddy, let me wipe the honey dripping down your chin.

    (It’s difficult isn’t it mate? lol)

    I’m over at scepticalscience at mo, see what happens.


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    SpencerTracy

    Baa Humbug… I believe you will find that your perspectives are treated with a great deal more professionalism on the Skeptical Science blog that anyone here gives to an opposing perspective.


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    Richard S Courtney

    Spencer Tracy:

    At #156:

    You say:

    I believe you will find that your perspectives are treated with a great deal more professionalism on the Skeptical Science blog that anyone here gives to an opposing perspective.

    Please tell, what “opposing perspective”?

    Richard


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    Mark D.

    Spencer Tracy, @ 156

    I believe you will find that your perspectives are treated with a great deal more professionalism on the Skeptical Science blog that anyone here gives to an opposing perspective.

    Perhaps that is because they are “professional” bloggers? (our big oil funding dried up a while back…..)


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    SpencerTracy

    Mark D…. Last I looked Courtney worked with the Heritage Foundation and Aruda works for the Coal industry. I don’t think your funding is as dried up as you might think.


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    SpencerTracy

    Courtney… I believe Aruda’s comments that opened this thread pretty much sum up the inability of anyone here to objectively look at the science of climate change.


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    SpencerTracy

    Mark D…. And besides, professionalism in not a function of funding. It’s a matter of a respect for the capacity of people to disagree and discuss issues of importance.


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    Mark D.

    Spencer Tracey, OK right off, I don’t recall you posting here before. So now that you have come in on the offensive, how would you like to be treated? You haven’t made one comment towards or against AGW, or even on topic for this thread. How many insults shall we endure with your unsubstantiated insinuations?

    On the “other site” clearly at the bottom it says Ad Homs will be deleted. Are you about to say that this site is funded by the Heritage Foundation or some unnamed coal company?

    At the “other site” Some hay is being made over the “snake pit” here at Jo nova. What you don’t seem to appreciate is that this site relies pretty heavily on “free speech” not “moderated” speech. Do we have personalities? YES! Do we sometimes over-react to bad manners? Yes! Have we put up with substantial Trolling? YES! (Some of which I am sure was coordinated and very possibly professional.) Do we accomplish a skeptic look at your “settled science”? YES!

    Now do you have a substantive question or comment?


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    SpencerTracy: #156
    June 30th, 2010 at 3:13 am

    Baa Humbug… I believe you will find that your perspectives are treated with a great deal more professionalism on the Skeptical Science blog that anyone here gives to an opposing perspective.

    First time I’ve posted there so I make no judgement whatsoever.

    However I will say that some of the most offensive remarks are made in polite tones.

    Take your post at #159 for instance. You didn’t swear, yell, nor were you rude. But you were highly offensive to Richard and Eddy by your insinuation.

    Is that the standard of professionalism you are referring to?


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    SpencerTracy

    Baa Humbug… Why would they be offended by my insinuating that they are associated with their employers?


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    SpencerTracy: #164
    June 30th, 2010 at 3:52 am

    Baa Humbug… Why would they be offended by my insinuating that they are associated with their employers?

    You STATED their current/former employment, but you INSINUATED that this employment plays a part in their stated knowledge and opinions.


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    Richard S Courtney

    Spencer Tracy:

    At #159 you assert:

    Last I looked Courtney worked with the Heritage Foundation

    Prior to your mention of it, I had never heard of the Heritage Foundation. So, I have Googled it and have discovered it is a right-wing American think tank.

    As many on this blog know, I am not a right-wing American. Indeed, as many on this blog also know, I am a left-wing British socialist. So, the ad hom. you “heard” is very far from the truth.

    Is this untruth about me and the Heritage Foundation an example of the “opposing perspectives” that at #156 you said could be found on the “Skeptical Science blog”?
    If so, then I am not impressed.

    But, hey, why would you want come here and try to discuss the science of climate change while knowing that all the scientific evidence refutes the AGW hypothesis? You are surely right to have decided it is much better for you to present fabrications about people as a method to deflect attention away from discussion of that science.

    Richard


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    SpencerTracy

    I’ve been reading the comments here for several weeks and I’ve been quite frankly horrified. I’m, again, more specifically addressing the way that this thread was opened. The notion that there is some green form of communism that is going to take all the money out of the pockets of John Q Public is nothing short of lunacy. It establishes a poisonous atmosphere, which is obviously supported by the regulars on this site, where no substantive discussion can take place.

    I honestly thought that your comments on SkS were good, Baa Humbug. And people we endeavoring to answer those comments in a clear and polite manner. Quite the opposite of what happens on this site, you started a substantive discussion on climate change. No one there is calling you some crazy political extremist for having questions about the science.


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    SpencerTracy

    Richard S Courtney… If that is the case then I apologize. There is a Richard S Courtney listed on the Heritage Foundation website as a climate expert. And the same Richard S Courtney is discussed on several other climate blogs. If there are two Richard S Courtney’s then I have indeed made a mistake.


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    Richard S Courtney

    Spencer Tracy:

    At #168 you say:

    There is a Richard S Courtney listed on the Heritage Foundation website as a climate expert

    Please provide a link to that web site.

    Richard


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    Richard S Courtney

    Friends:

    This thread has been hijacked by a series of trolls who have attempted to deflect any serious discussion of the subject of this thread and/or of climate science.

    The trolls have used a variety of ploys most notably the ploy of making personal remarks, accusations, insinuations and a libel about me.

    I am not interesting and many must be bored by it. So, can we constrain discussion to the real matters at hand, please?

    Richard


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    Tide

    cbp @125:

    Example: I awaken from unconsciousness after a car accident and suspect I might be bleeding internally. The doctor says “Take this injection, I’m a doctor”.
    Do I:
    a) try to establish absolute scientific truth in regards to whether I am actually bleeding, whether it will kill me, and if so whether the injection will help.
    b) trust the doctor and let him give me the shot

    Rubbish. If I am bleeding internally, there will be direct physical evidence of that.

    A better analogy would be something like this. I’m hiking through the outback and some loony tune interrupts me announcing that his computer model shows the dust I am kicking up will cause emu extinction. I am then ordered to pay a hefty tax on my hiking boots and, in return, you promise not to hike in the outback. And I am expected to submit to this façade because the loon is an authority?

    Please don’t answer this question

    Oops! Too late. :)


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    SpencerTracy

    Richard S Courtney… My honest apologies if I falsely attributed you as being associated with what is a Libertarian think tank.

    So, this is not you? You’re not a coal industry guy? I’m fine if this is not you.

    “Courtney was a technical editor for CoalTrans International, which describes itself as the “web’s most comprehensive resource” on the coal industry. He was also a spokesperson for the British Association of Colliery Management, a coal industry union in the United Kingdom, and has written opinion papers expressing his concern over the loss of jobs in the coal industry as a result of the UK’s movement towards renewable energy.”


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    SpencerTracy: #167
    June 30th, 2010 at 4:02 am

    you started a substantive discussion on climate change. No one there is calling you some crazy political extremist for having questions about the science.

    And believe it or not, that’s what happens here. However, if I had commented at SkS about the blog operator and or the participants in a deragotory manner, i might expect a different welcome.

    example: this is from the PNAS thread by someone named LUKE

    Luke Walker:
    June 24th, 2010 at 8:40 am edit

    Rounding the sceptics up into gulags will be the next phase.

    Licence sceptics not guns.

    Some of us react negatively to that sort of thing and others counsel us to ignore it. You would have seen this if you had been following this blog for any length of time.


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    Mark D.

    With apologies, I promise not to take this Off Topic (except this one time).

    Spencer Tracy @ 167

    The notion that there is some green form of communism that is going to take all the money out of the pockets of John Q Public is nothing short of lunacy.

    How much time have you spent looking at this objectively?

    It establishes a poisonous atmosphere, which is obviously supported by the regulars on this site, where no substantive discussion can take place.

    You are entitled to your opinion about the atmosphere (I’ll refrain from cementing my thoughts about your skills at recognizing poison in any atmosphere). Certainly there are people here that are very concerned about who and what is behind AGW and the politics of it. To be clear though, Jo Nova is not going to shut you out for offering different political views where On Topic. I think it is safe to say most people here (regulars) are VERY concerned about carbon taxes and what those schemes will lead to (if allowed). I do not agree with your second half comment “no substantive” discussion can take place.


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    SpencerTracy

    Baa Humbug… I’m trying to let you know that everyone here is setting a tone that is poisonous. So, if “Luke” responded with a similar tone then, well, it’s fairly in keeping with what is said here on an ongoing basis. I don’t condone it on either side.

    My point here is, I’ve been reading the comments from both of these blogs for a while. This one is incredibly bitter and poisonous and should be moderated much better. When I read SkS I can actually read up on issues of science pertaining to climate from both sides of the issue. Here I get acrimony. There I can actually get information.


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    SpencerTracy

    Mark D… I would say that there are a lot of people on the side of AGW that also are against carbon taxes. This site, as I understand it, is about discussing the science of climate change. The issue of carbon taxes doesn’t affect the science of climate change.


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    SpencerTracy

    Richard S Courtney… Ah, here’s the profile I found before. It wasn’t the Heritage Foundation, it was the Heartland Institute. Not the same but related.

    Richard Courtney

    “In addition to research, the Heartland Institute features an Internet application called PolicyBot which serves as a clearinghouse for research from other conservative think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, the American Legislative Exchange Council, and Libertarian organization the Cato Institute.”

    “Oil companies have contributed to the Heartland Institute. ExxonMobil contributed a total of $560,000 between 1998 and 2005. This included $119,000 in 2005, ExxonMobil’s largest gift to Heartland in that period. Nearly 40% of funds from ExxonMobil were specifically designated for climate change projects.”

    Once again, if this is a different Richard S Courtney then you have my sincerest apology.


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    mick

    Spencer you are correct, for what it’s worth, that it’s lunacy to believe they will actually get the money out of John Q Public’s pockets. That’s not to say they won’t have a go at it, of course.

    If you do want to discuss global warming, perhaps call it by its original name & not the recent publicist’s and political term du jour – climate change. Climate change itself isn’t a scientific phenomonen, its a compendium of poisonous, authoritarian political idiocies taped to a loose stool of pseudo-science to give it a little extra weight when it’s thrown around the room. There’s no doubt in my mind, that even the official version of climate change tacitly acknowledges this via its citizen activities and engagedness outreach exercises. And to weave that into the original subject of the blog post – which is a(nother) thinly disguised attempt by the official position to employ a trick cyclist to convince the great unwashed the world is experiencing apocalyptic warming solely because of western man’s actions – I don’t need the weight of supposed authority from a trick cyclist trying to cut me out socially by calling me crazy if I don’t toe his line.


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    SpencerTracy

    Mick… I would note that the IPCC, which was founded in 1988 (22 years ago), stands for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    I don’t think it’s a new term.


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    mick

    Spencer, well, they haven’t managed to successfully change either the world’s or any other climate, so far as I can tell, in their 22 years on deck. And, if I may say so, pointing at the existence of a political panel to refute the notion that the words in their heading are not political is a trifle misguided.

    Perhaps this is where their ad men initially went wrong though, trying to scare the bejesus out of us all with a succession of names that don’t correspond with the product they’re pushing?


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    Mark D.

    Spencer T. @ 176

    I would say that there are a lot of people on the side of AGW that also are against carbon taxes.

    That is wonderful news!

    This site, as I understand it, is about discussing the science of climate change.

    Start at the home page: http://joannenova.com.au Have a look around. You’ll see that the topics vary quite a bit and often the discussions get into carbon taxes.

    The issue of carbon taxes doesn’t affect the science of climate change.

    Yes and No. If this were only about the science I wouldn’t spend nearly as much time on it. The fact is, the only reason this AGW is perilous is BECAUSE of the taxes proposed and the politics and policies proposed to “stop” AGW.


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    mick

    Spencer,

    additionally, I think we can both agree quite reasonably, regardless of where we stand on other matters, that the …climate change… that some people are professing to be het up about projections of, is at the warmish end of the scale. No one’s really worrying on my behalf about my health and safety should it get colder.


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    SpencerTracy

    Mick… The role of the IPCC is not to create any policies regarding climate. Their only role is to create a report every seven years about the current state on climate change. It is the role of individual governments to decide whether to do anything in response to the reports.

    The Working Group 1 report is about the physical science
    The Working Group 2 report is about Impact, Adaptation and Vulnerabilities
    The Working Group 3 report is about Mitigation


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    SpencerTracy

    Mark D… All the more reason to focus on the science rather than the politics. If the science of AGW is right then actions probably do need to be taken. If the science is wrong then those actions should probably be avoided. But get the science right. Don’t let politics muck it up.


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    Mark D.

    Spencer T. re. 184
    Then insist on funding all scientists doing climate research, even if they do not agree with AGW. That way you should be able to minimize the politics behind grants and funding.


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    SpencerTracy

    Mick… The issue of climate change, as I understand it, is about potential costs. If the projections are correct and the temperature continues to rise then there are going to be worldwide consequences (costs) on many fronts. That’s why it is so important to understand what is or is not happening.


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    mick

    Spencer,

    yes, I’m aware that the IPCC has an organisational structure and a mission statement. To hold the body as being apolitical, or unpoliticised – or non-political, however, would be optimistic to put it mildly. Their purpose is political.

    Even looking at the role of the three working groups, only one’s purpose could be charitably described as being strictly of a documentary nature. Impact, Adaptation, Vulnerability and Mitigation are all concerned with targeted and subjective appeals and strategies that are anthropomorphic in nature if I’m not mistaken. How can they not be political? The fear that many have is that the working group concerned with physical science has been cross-infected.


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    SpencerTracy

    Mark D… I know of Spencer, Christy, Svensmark, Lindzen, and a long list of other scientists that are currently publishing even though then don’t believe AGW is real.


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    SpencerTracy

    Mick… There in lies the rub. I think the organization is scientific.


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    mick

    Spencer,

    when you speak of the issue of global warming being about potential costs and consequences – this really does cut to the nub of the whole argument. And why many feel that the warmenising itself is merely held up as an article of faith for an entirely different proposition altogether. Many sceptics feel their sceptical bones creaking when discussion of the original premise is not only discouraged but actively banned in hasty pursuit of the political goals that are purportedly being sought in its name. Sceptics are as, or possibly more, concerned with the potential costs and consequences of the issue, and believe it is just as important to understand what is or is not happening. They also take such things as human nature into account when deciding whether a human appeal about the ending of the world as we know it should be given carte blanche – when it involves tithing a certain amount of resources to other humans to remove or ameliorate the threat. You must admit, this is a very, very old trick, Spencer. Though I must say, it’s also a good one, and tried and true – or it wouldn’t be a very, very old trick.

    Subjective ideas about what man should do, collectively or otherwise, are just that, subjective ideas. There is no science to them.


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    mick

    Spencer, as soon as the IPCC makes a direct recommendation on action, or indeed arranges its findings in a ways as to suggest a course or direction of action – it has stepped outside the borders of being strictly scientific. As far as I can see as a normal citizen. Science is still simply a structured formal method to arrive at a quantification of a physical property, is it not? At IPCC level, as indeed at any strategic or steering level, I would wager there is little actual science being done. Lots of editing & head tilting, perhaps. Scientists may be claiming a consensus, but whether it is simultaneously both consensual and scientific is …not so clear.


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    SpencerTracy

    Mick… But that is the stated purpose of the IPCC. The IPCC is not doing science. It is reporting on science for the benefit of governments to understand the issue. Of course they make recommendations. But they have no power over any government to do anything whatsoever in response to the reports.


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    @ Spencer Tracy

    I do not work in the coal industry. I work in the oil industry as a consultant and I help develop oil and gas prospects as well as squeeze the last remaining reserves out of oil and gas wells that are nearing the end of their economical life. Are you related to CBP or is CBP another screen name for you? The reason I ask is that neither one of you are capable of forming a cogent, lucid or viable argument. You both throw ad hominems around and then become indignant if someone reciprocates. You both are “gramatically” challenged and need to take a course in writing as well as one in logic and rhetoric. You sem to talk about anything but the topic except to throw ad hominems and state your negative opinions regarding the site, Jo Nova and those who post here.CBP’s last post was at 11:34 PM. Your first post followed at 3:13 AM Judging by your writning style I would be willing to bet that you are CBP!

    I don’t mind responding to your arguments if you would just make one! Instead we have had to endure comments such as:

    ” I believe you will find that your perspectives are treated with a great deal more professionalism on the Skeptical Science blog that anyone here gives to an opposing perspective…”
    “Last I looked Courtney worked with the Heritage Foundation and Aruda works for the Coal industry. I don’t think your funding is as dried up as you might think.”
    ” I believe Aruda’s comments that opened this thread pretty much sum up the inability of anyone here to objectively look at the science of climate change.”
    ” And besides, professionalism in not a function of funding. It’s a matter of a respect for the capacity of people to disagree and discuss issues of importance.”
    “I’ve been reading the comments here for several weeks and I’ve been quite frankly horrified.”
    “I’m trying to let you know that everyone here is setting a tone that is poisonous.”

    There were a few rays of hope:

    “This site, as I understand it, is about discussing the science of climate change.”
    “All the more reason to focus on the science rather than the politics.”

    So, Spencer Tracy/CBP, will you please make an intelligent argument and try and stay on topic?


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    mick

    Spencer, that’s what I thought – perhaps I misunderstood – in which sense did you previously use the adjective ‘scientific’ when you categorised the IPCC as a scientific organisation? Would that be in the accepted, common sense, or did you possibly only mean you think they approach things methodically?

    Any subjective recommendation can have no scientific weight placed upon it. Likewise, providing reports for political entities, especially policy reports, whether they’re scientific or not, can never carry the same authoritative yet simple weight of a genuine empirical result arrived at formally. It is a subjective appeal. Unfortunately, whether it is provided by scientists or not. It is a political tool, no more, no less.

    A science reporter is no scientist, and his reportage is no scientific undertaking. When he steps out & says what he recommends what should be done with things as they appear to stand, this is just talk! The IPCC is no scientific body. It provides centralised, subjective policy advice for political entities, funded and organised by those same political entities. It is a political advisor. Or a political advocate. The division between the two in this area has been blurred beyond reasonable distinction.


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    SpencerTracy

    Eddy Aruda… I got you and Courtney mixed up. He’s the coal guy and you’re the oil guy.
    [snip]

    And I am not CBP. Nor should that even matter.

    I’m glad to see that we agree that the focus should be on the science rather than politics. My whole reason for starting to post here was the fact that you opened this whole thread with comments suggesting that Universities are Orwellian. [snip]


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    SpencerTracy

    Mick… The lead authors for the IPCC reports are the leading experts in the field. I believe the IPCC is taking a scientific approach to the task with which they are charged.


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    Roy Hogue

    First we have Marion Morrison AKA John Wayne AKA The Energizer Bunny and also AKA quite obnoxious — so much so that he was banned by Joanne.

    Now we have SpencerTracy. It would seem that the dead are coming back to life. I will grant that those could be the real names of the respective visitors but I’m doubtful. Who will pop up next?

    We find it much easier to welcome those who post under their real names. I exclude from this those who have some business or personal reason that they don’t want to be identified when they post. Then there are those who just prefer to use a nickname and don’t hesitate to let people know who they are. But I have a lot of trouble excluding and excusing those who use an alias and then post irrelevant stuff, make what amounts to personal attacks, will assert something and then when asked to substantiate it by providing a source will not provide the source, contradict themselves from one post to the next and so-on.

    But to the point: There has sure been a lot of attention given to Richard Courtney lately, all in an effort to prove exactly what? Certainly nothing useful if I may be permitted to answer my own question. Even if oil companies were funding this site and even if Richard Courtney was on an oil company payroll — neither of which is true — there would be nothing wrong with that! So I have no choice but to conclude that an orchestrated effort is underway here to discredit both Richard and Joanne. It won’t work. And frankly, SpencerTracy, I find that to be exceedingly obnoxious.

    By the way — the science has been settled a long time ago already. There is no support in science for the AGW hypothesis. It’s as dead as the Dodo Bird. The current fight is all political.


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    Richard S Courtney

    Spencer Tracy:

    God alone knows what a personal comment about me has to do with the subject at hand, but you having made no comments about the subject at hand at #159 you asserted:

    Last I looked Courtney worked with the Heritage Foundation

    I disputed that I had any knowledge of that organisation, and at at #168 you replied saying:

    There is a Richard S Courtney listed on the Heritage Foundation website as a climate expert

    So, at #169 I asked you:

    Please provide a link to that web site.

    Then at #177 you replied saying;

    Ah, here’s the profile I found before. It wasn’t the Heritage Foundation, it was the Heartland Institute. Not the same but related.

    Not the same?!
    1.
    You attempted to deflect this thread with a completed irrelevant personal comment about me.
    2.
    I pointed out that the comment was not only irrelevant:
    it was a falsehood.
    3.
    You made a further falsehood in attempt to justify your first falsehood.
    4.
    Then you said something else (which is true) and attempt to justify it with the completely unfounded assertion that what you have now discovered (and is known to all regular readers of this blog) is “Not the same but related”.

    And in between this series of outrages you have had the gall to post a series of lectures to others about proper behaviour!

    Crawl back under your rock you malignant little troll, and try not to let the stench of you polute this blog again.

    Richard


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    mick

    Spencer, I may well be reading too much or too little into your argument, so forgive me if I do, but it appears to be becoming circular in nature. ie The opinion of the IPCC is correct because it is the authoritative body, and its authors are leading experts. Their experts arrive at the opinions that the IPCC proffers, which therefore makes the IPCC an authoritative body and its reports correct as they are written by their authors who are leading experts…

    ?

    The question is, can an individual – or body – truly indeed take a scientific approach to doing something that is not, or not wholly, scientific by nature, in the accepted sense of the word? And more importantly, does application of a formal scientific method to a non-scientific process necessarily lend that non-scientific process scientific weight or credence? I think, on the face of it, no – it is impossible. Unless the word ‘scientific’ is functioning as a sort of shorthand or talisman.


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    SpencerTracy

    Roy Hogue… Given the [snip][tone [do you mean your tone] of the discussions here I feel compelled to use a pseudonym. If the tone were different I would not.

    I will note that I have said nothing so far about Joanne Nova. Good or bad. I have also not said anything good or bad about Courtney or Aruda. I have only pointed out the industries they work in and their affiliations. Each reader can take from that what they wish. I don’t see how it discredits them unless you actually believe that it discredits them in some way.

    I would disagree with you about AGW.


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    Richard S Courtney

    Friends:

    There have been ridiculous claims made above that the IPCC is a scientific organisation. It is not.

    The IPCC is a political – not a scientific – organisation that exists to provide politicians with scientific information which can be used to justify actions politicians may want to take by using as justification for the actions the excuse of man-made global climate change. And the IPCC’s Reports are political tracts that provide the one-sided scientific information: they are given the appearance of scientific documents by presenting selected scientific information and misrepresentation of scientific data together with a sham that the contents of the Reports have been subjected to scientific peer review.

    I can provide complete demonstration of the above assertions, but there is liitle space for it here. So, I now merely provide the following and will provide as much additional evidence as people want if they ask for it.

    The IPCC’s Constitution says,

    The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.

    Humans do alter local climates; for example, the temperature of each city is warmer than its surrounding countryside. But the IPCC concerns itself with consideration of anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW) as a result of emissions of greenhouse gases (notably carbon dioxide, CO2) from human activities.

    And the above statement from the IPCC’s Constitution presumes that there is a “risk of human-induced climate change” (i.e. a risk of AGW) that has “potential impacts” which require “options for adaptation and mitigation”.

    Every statement in each published IPCC Report is approved by representatives of governments (i.e. representatives of politicians) prior to publication. So, each IPCC Report can be – and should be – understood to be presentation of evidence, arguments, and justification for that presumption of a “risk of human-induced climate change” (i.e. a risk of AGW) and the need for “options for adaptation and mitigation”.
    Indeed, the IPCC’s Constitution clearly requires the IPCC’s Reports be that.
    Richard


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    Tel

    The Sydney cold record was beaten again last night with -4.8 degrees C at Richmond RAAF Base (or -4.9 if you look at the dew point).

    That sea-ice chart does seem to show good correlation with Sydney winter temperatures, not entirely a shock.


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    SpencerTracy

    Richard S Courtney… Ah, so I committed a [snip] sin by confusing the Heritage Foundation with the Heartland Institute.

    [snip]


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    Richard S Courtney

    Spencer Tracy:

    At last in #203 you say something we can agree on when you assert of me:

    You really are a most unsavory fellow.

    Indeed I am, but I can console myself that I am nowhere near as “unsavoury” as you. And it is with sadness that I wonder how you cope.

    Now, what was it you said about ad homs.? Perhaps that was merely some of the execrable hypocrisy that all your posts here have displayed? Or was it another example of your falsehoods? As they say, interested parties want to know.

    Richard


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    SpencerTracy

    The IPCC could very well be producing reports that suggest that AGW is minimal and little is required in the way of mitigation, and be completely within their charter. If that is what the science was saying then that would be the report of the IPCC. The problem that arrises is that the science is saying that AGW is a serious concern. The reports are reflecting that. The political crisis that comes from this is due to the fact that our total global economy is based on carbon.


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    Speedy

    Richard

    Never argue [snip] – they bring you down to their own level and beat you at their own game! In the meantime, lets celebrate that we have reclaimed the science.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    SpencerTracy

    Arg… Still learning the controls here… Didn’t mean to quote those together.


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    Richard S Courtney

    Speedy:

    You make a good point at #206. I shall ignore the troll for the reason you state and, anyway, all his/her/its/their posts are attempts at distraction from reasoned argument.

    Richard


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    SpencerTracy

    Richard and Speedy… So, I guess my suspicions are confirmed. You guys don’t really want any discussion at all. You know that science is NOT on your side. Obfuscation is on your side.

    [and from this editor's perspective you are about to be put in the "sin bin". Fair warning!]


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    Roy Hogue

    SpencerTracy,

    Given the vitriolic tone of the discussions here I feel compelled to use a pseudonym. If the tone were different I would not.

    I will note that I have said nothing so far about Joanne Nova. Good or bad. I have also not said anything good or bad about Courtney or Aruda. I have only pointed out the industries they work in and their affiliations. Each reader can take from that what they wish. I don’t see how it discredits them unless you actually believe that it discredits them in some way.

    I will leave it to others to be the final judge of whether I’m correct or not. But I reply thus:

    Point 1. You would have absolutely nothing to fear from anyone who is a regular contributor here if you used your own name. I can imagine that you might have something to fear or think you have something to fear from someone else. But at face value your first paragraph is nonsense.

    Point 2. If anyone here thinks my assessment is wrong regarding Spencer’s second paragraph above, please speak up. I would read what he said the way I did even if I was asleep. I can see no other interpretation. And I do not believe it discredits them as I plainly said about what it would mean if they were supported directly by big oil. I do not throw my brain on the floor just because I begin typing something into the reply box on joannenova.com.au. You are too typical of the people who cry, “Big oil! Big oil! Big oil…” ad nauseam.


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    Richard S Courtney

    Spencer Tracy:

    Your the list of your falsehoods grows by the minure. At #210 you write:

    Richard and Speedy… So, I guess my suspicions are confirmed. You guys don’t really want any discussion at all. You know that science is NOT on your side. Obfuscation is on your side.

    Obfuscation?
    Your every post has been obfuscation. But anybody can see that my posts are precisely to the point. I would not bother to make them if ythey were not.

    The science is COMPLETELY on our side!
    Please see the list of points I presented at #73.
    Now, if you want to challenge any of the points listed there as 1 to 6 then please do and we can discuss science instead of the irrelevant ad homs. that you have chosen to peddle. (And as my stating “7 yo n” indicates, there is more empirical evidence that disproves AGW).

    But you prefer to try to obfuscae and deflect from discussion of anything to do with climate science in all your posts here. Personally, I prefer to discuss the science (and I think I know why you have chosen not to).

    In the extremely unlikely event that you do post something concerning climate science then I will consider responding. And if you post a challenge to any of the points listed 1 to 6 in my post at #73 then I will certainly discuss the merit of your challenge. But if you post any more of your nonsense then I shall take Speedy’s advice and ignore it.

    Richard


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    SpencerTracy

    Okay, Richard. I’ll bite.

    1.
    there has been no statistically discernible rise in global temperature for the most recent 15 years despite atmospheric CO2 concentration rising by ~4% during that time so the rise in the CO2 is observed to not be overwhelming other causes of the temperature change,

    Let use the UAH lower troposphere record that is up to date. Here is a chart showing that the trend for the time period you mention is absolutely “discernible.”

    You are, perhaps, looking to say that it’s not statistically significant (at the 95% confidence level). But that was as of the Phil Jones interview. We’ve had quite a few record high global temperature months since that interview, so you might want to check the math again for statistical significance.


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    SpencerTracy

    And the next one…

    2.
    changes to atmospheric CO2 concentration FOLLOW changes to global temperature at all – yes, all – temperatures, and a cause cannot follow its effect,

    This is the classic straw man. Yes. In the paleoclimate record CO2 follows temps. CO2 amplifies Milankovitch cycles. This is exactly how we understand the effect that CO2 has on the climate. The difference now is that we are the ones releasing CO2 into the atmosphere rather than orbital and other cycles.


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    SpencerTracy

    Richard… I’ll help you out a little. In the future I’d abandon the 1995 date. Stick with 1998 as your start point. As you know that was an extraordinarily strong El Nino year. That’s the only way your will be able to maintain this argument going forward. But of course you know that would be cherry picking.


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    SpencerTracy

    Richard… Your 3, 4 and 5 are just wrong. If you are expecting a direct, exact linear trend then you don’t understand the complexity of climate. You’re on thin ice with this one.

    [snip, put words in their mouths?]


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    SpencerTracy

    And finally…

    6.
    the ‘hot spot’ predicted by the AGW hypothesis is absent,

    This one is still new to me, so I’m not as familiar with it. The tropospheric hot spot is not a fingerprint of AGW. It should be the result of warming regardless of the mechanism.


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    Richard S Courtney

    Spencer Tracy:

    GISS, HadCRUt3, RSS and UAH all show no statistically significant trend in mean gobal temperature at 95% confidence limits for the most recent 15 years.

    As you say, a simple linear regression does show a trend (almost any time series does even when comparing random data), but the important point is that it is not statistically significant at 95% confidence:
    i.e. it means nothing.

    Indeed, HadCRUT3 shows a negative trend (i.e. cooling) over the most recent 15 years. That is not statistically significant at 95% confidence, either:
    i.e. it means nothing.

    So, if there has been global warming over the last 15 years it has been so little that it cannot be discerned at 95% confidence. And it would have been statistically significant at 95% confidence if it had been at the lowest rate the IPCC AR4 ‘projects’.

    Indeed, over the last 15 years the observed temperatures are even less than the IPCC projections for the case where emissions were held constant at the 2000 level. But the emissions have increased.

    In one of the Climategate emails dated 3-Jan-2009, Mike MacCracken wrote to Phil Jones, Folland and Chris saying:

    I think we have been too readily explaining the slow changes over past decade as a result of variability–that explanation is wearing thin. I would just suggest, as a backup to your prediction, that you also do some checking on the sulfate issue, just so you might have a quantified explanation in case the prediction is wrong. Otherwise, the Skeptics will be all over us–the world is really cooling, the models are no good, etc. And all this just as the US is about ready to get serious on the issue.

    We all, and you all in particular, need to be prepared.

    So, consider what the self-titled ‘Team’ were worried about.

    The IPCC AR4 ‘projected’ that it is “very unlikely” that warming would be less than 1.1 deg.C over the coming century, and said it is “very likely” that the rate of warming would be “2 deg.C per decade”.

    So, taking the lowest IPCC estimate of 1.1 deg.C rise this century, that implies a typical decadal rise of 0.11 deg.C per decade, or 0.17 deg.C over a typical 15 year period, and that would have been easilly discernible against the noise at 95% confidence.

    And the AGW hypothesis says that rise must happen because – according to that hypothesis – the factors that have kept climate within the narrow bounds of natural variability will be overwhelmed by AGW even if there were no increase to greenhouse gases emissions. But there has been an increase to greenhouse gas emissions, and if temperature has risen over the last 15 years then the rise has been so little that it cannot be detected at 95% confidence limits.

    Or, as I said,

    there has been no statistically discernible rise in global temperature for the most recent 15 years despite atmospheric CO2 concentration rising by ~4% during that time so the rise in the CO2 is observed to not be overwhelming other causes of the temperature change,

    Richard


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    Richard S Courtney

    Oops sorry, Of course I meant 0.2 deg.C per decade and not 22 deg.C per decade”.

    Sorry.

    Richard


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    Speedy

    Spencer & Richard

    It is obvious that Spencer is a very intelligent man, so I’m going to use this opportunity to ask him a science question that’s bugged me for a while. I actually asked Sam NC this a couple of days ago but he didn’t get back to me. Perhaps Spencer is more knowledgable.

    Assuming the following:
    1. Increased CO2 levels will significantly increase global temperatures.
    2. The oceans contain a significant tonnage of CO2. (About 50 times more than the atmosphere, actually.)
    3. The solubility of CO2 in water decreases as temperature increases. (This is a known thermodynamic property.)

    So we’ve only got one assumption that is flying in the breeze, which is assumption 1. Now. What happens if the earth gets a tiny bit warmer? (It might be from a change in ocean currents, variation in earth orbit, whatever, it doesn’t matter.)

    1. The earth gets warmer.
    2. The oceans get warmer.
    3. The oceans outgas some CO2 (as per “assumption” 3)
    4. The additional CO2 causes global warming (assumption 1)
    5. Go back to step 1.

    Scientific theories are a bit like balloons; just one prick and it’s busted. Spencer may refer to Richard and I as pricks, but it doesn’t change the fact that his theory is busted.

    Cheers,

    Speedy.


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    Richard S Courtney

    Spencer Tracy:

    You clearly did notread my corrigendum at #74.

    The point is that:

    2.
    changes to atmospheric CO2 concentration FOLLOW changes to global temperature at all – yes, all – time scales, and a cause cannot follow its effect,

    This is NOT a straw man. It covers everything, not only ice ages.

    The shortest time scale is of the order of months and depends on latitude. This has been shown by several and was first reported by Kuo, Lindberg and Thomson (Nature, 1991).

    The point is simply true and your response is pure arm waving.

    Richard


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    Richard S Courtney

    Spencer Tracy:

    You assert to me:

    Richard… Your 3, 4 and 5 are just wrong. If you are expecting a direct, exact linear trend then you don’t understand the complexity of climate. You’re on thin ice with this one. Even Lindzen, Spencer and Christy would roll their eyes and kick the dirt if asked to back you on these points.

    Say what?!

    I do NOT assume and do not state any linear trend.

    My points are factually correct and your response is plain arm waving. Please try to give an answer.

    Richard


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    Bulldust

    I am willing to take bets. cbp disappears and SpencerTracey suddenly appears carrying on in exactly the same way… i.e. no references of note, ad homs, and insults to the bloggers here. I am willing to bet both are being posted from the same IP address.

    Also taking side bets that these are trolls from Skeptical Science, especially given that they sent a couple of their newbs out to hand out pamphlets at the wonderful Watts presentation last night. Incidentally the pamphlets were a hit with the skeptics… we all need a good laugh from time to time.

    Thanks again to all the organisers that put on yesterday’s presentations and the presenters themselves.

    BTW I am curious what the link is between Skeptical Science and UWA, given that the UWA logo was printed on the back of the pamphlets. The only link I find to “Sketical Science” (exact search) is at the following page on UWA’s site:

    http://www.uwa.edu.au/climatescience

    Got to love the description under “featured scientist” Prof Lewandowsky:

    “Professor Stephan Lewandowsky is an Australian Professorial Fellow and cognitive scientist in the School of Psychology at UWA. His research focuses on the role of scepticism in memory updating and the distinction between scepticism and denial.”

    I am curuious why he is listed as a scientist under this banner given that he never publishes in the field:

    https://www.socrates.uwa.edu.au/Staff/StaffProfile.aspx?Person=StephanLewandowsky

    or here:

    http://www.psy.uwa.edu.au/Users%20web%20pages/cogscience/Publications_Main.htm

    Curious really… appeal to authority it certainly ain’t…


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    Speedy

    Richard

    There was some discussion a few days ago about what badge we sceptics could wear. Can I propose a bright shining needle, with a lead balloon descending in the background?

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Richard S Courtney

    Spencer Tracy:

    You wrongly assert:

    The tropospheric hot spot is not a fingerprint of AGW. It should be the result of warming regardless of the mechanism.

    But the IPCC AR4 says it is a fingerprint of AGW. If you want to dispute that then take your dispute up with the IPCC, not me.

    Anyway, your answer is daft.

    Either,
    (a) as you say, the ‘hot spot’ is induced by warming from any cause,
    or
    (b) as the IPCC says, the ‘hot spot’ is induced by warming from AGW.

    But the ‘hot spot’ is absent!

    And (b) is included in (a).
    So, which do you want to assert;
    1.
    There has been no global warming from any cause over the last 50 years?
    or
    2.
    There has been no global warming from AGW over the last 50 years?

    Your statement I quote here says there has been no global warming from any cause over the last 50 years. [correction added] ED

    Richard


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    Mark

    Folks,

    This dead actor clearly has nothing pertinent to contribute. He’s already stated that the IPCC has the “true” science, despite numerous instances where they have cited material from activist sources and ignored any evidence which contradicts the “religion”.

    Ignore him.


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    Richard S Courtney

    Mark:

    Thanks for that. It is nearly 3 am here now so I will take your advice and retire. The frequency of my recent typos. shows I need to. But I did not want to give the impression that I was willing to let those comments stand unchallenged.

    Richard


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    Speedy

    Mark

    You’re quite right. Did anyone bother going to see Lewandowsky last night? The “Watts Up” presentation would have been a better option, if what I saw at Narrogin on Monday is any indication. How was it?

    Cheers,

    Speedy.


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    “Spencer Tracy” @ #200:

    “I will note that I have said nothing so far about Joanne Nova. Good or bad. I have also not said anything good or bad about Courtney or Aruda. I have only pointed out the industries they work in and their affiliations. Each reader can take from that what they wish. I don’t see how it discredits them unless you actually believe that it discredits them in some way.”

    Then, why point it out?


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    John

    I see we have yet ANOTHER GREEN COMMUNIST in our midsts, this “SpencerTracy”!

    Yet another [snip I know it is tempting but please! ED]


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    Mark D.

    Continuing with this expose, why would “Spencer Tracy” choose the word discredit here?

    Are you surprised that this “revelation” is not quickly and discretely wiped away?

    There is nothing to discredit except your own phony reputation which, to that end, you have succeeded.

    The record will show that you were the aggressor, the antagonist, the vitriol spewer. Good job for your own team.


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    Speedy

    Seamus @ 231

    Good link – thanks! I didn’t realise that the politicians wrote the summary, then Ben Santer had to go and make sure that the “scientific” chapters matched the political reality. Unbeeeeleeevable!

    I may actually have some sympathy for the scientists who were duped (or bribed) into becoming little more than stage props for these political hacks in the IPCC. Except the fact is these ’scientists’ should have seen that there work was being manipulated and used under false premises.

    And they want us to follow this “consensus”? I don’t think so!

    Cheers,

    Speedy.


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    Seamus

    Some very interesting reading on the DESPICABLE IPCC……….

    IPCC too “politicised” to survive:-

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/ipcc_too_politicised_to_survive/

    Lead Author Admits Deleting Inconvenient Opinions From IPCC Report:-

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/exclusive-lead-author-admits-deleting-inconvenient-opinions-from-ipcc-report.html

    How Rudd stacks the IPCC :-

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/how_rudd_stacks_the_ipcc

    IPCC AR4 riddled with non peer reviewed WWF papers:-

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/24/the-scandal-deepens-ipcc-ar4-riddled-with-non-peer-reviewed-wwf-papers/

    Now it’s Greenpeace reports in the IPCC AR4:-

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/29/now-its-greenpeace-reports-cited-in-the-ipcc-ar4/

    IPCC’s latest source: what some blokes told some green student:-

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/ipccs_latest_source_what_some_blokes_told_some_green_student/

    The great IPCC scam: now it quotes a how-to-clean-boots guide :-

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/the_great_ipcc_scam_now_it_quotes_a_how_to_clean_boots_guide/

    IPCC’s “Africagate” blunder as told by Dr. Richard North :-

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/06/ipccs-latest-blunder-africagate-as-told-by-dr-richard-north/

    IPCC Gate Du Jour: Aussie Droughtgate :-

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/08/ipcc-gate-du-jour-aussie-droughtgate/

    Scientists say IPCC should be overhauled or scrapped:-

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/scientists-say-ipcc-should-be-overhauled-or-scrapped/story-e6frg6nf-1225828951315

    [Seamus, don't post more than three links at a time or you will be caught in the spam trap] ED


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    Roy Hogue

    Anne-Kit,

    Guile is this man’s stock-in-trade. He knows full well what he intends and who will see it as discrediting who. [snip]


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    Bulldust

    I ran into a chap last night (I believe he blogs here) who went to the Lewandowsky presentation. From what he said the majority of the questions raised by the crowd were of a skeptical nature. He wanted to raise a number of points but asked one in response to a graph that had been presented.

    Apparently one the presenters were trying to show how accurate Hansen’s predictions had been. Our chap had a laptop on hand and quickly ascertained that it was Hansen’s “scenario C” which had been presented as tracking well with the temperature series they had chosen (probably GISS).

    Our chap pointed out that this scenrio was based upon drastic action having been taken to reduce GHGs, which clearly has not happened in the last few decades.

    But this is all second hand – hopefully he will blog here to give his observations.


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    Bulldust

    Roy:

    I did what now? :D I thought it was mere speculation on my part… Jo would have to check IPs, but I certainly find the carryings on somewhat coincidental.

    [Bulldust, following up on your IP address check idea; you are not correct. However Spencer Tracy and another recent poster share the same e-mail address and IP. Administrators will decide her/his fate.] ED


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    Mark

    One of life’s great conundrums:

    We send our soldiers to Afghanistan to fight Taliban zealots. Struth! as if we don’t have the same battle with the same mentality here.

    “Stand and deliver, we don’t want just your money but your servitude forever”.


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    Roy Hogue

    Mark D.,

    I believe I first used the word discredit aimed at SpencerTracy (#197). So he probably just responded in kind. I think it was a quite accurate word to use.


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    Speedy

    Bulldust @ 234

    Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear…

    Our chap pointed out that this scenrio was based upon drastic action having been taken to reduce GHGs, which clearly has not happened in the last few decades.

    The all-knowing Professor was trying to tell porkies and got caught? It sounds like a salutory lesson in why we SHOULD be sceptical!

    Please congratulate the chap involved for his initiative and tell him I’ll buy him a beer when the opportunity arises…

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Seamus

    YOU KNOW THERE IS A SERIOUS ISSUE WITH THIS TREASONOUS UNITED NATIONS KYOTO PROTOCOL WHEN TERRORISTS SUPPORT IT!

    Osama Bin Laden Favors Kyoto Protocol, Environmentalism:-

    http://spectator.org/blog/2010/02/01/osama-bin-laden-favors-kyoto-p


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    Roy Hogue

    Bulldust,

    It’s a little too coincidental for me as you seem to have said yourself. However, if you disagree I’ll apologize and retract what I said. But it strikes me as good analysis of the situation. I note your smiley face!

    [please see the note to bulldust] ED


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    Seamus

    This is interesting…..

    Ice at the North Pole in 1958 and 1959 – not so thick:-

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/26/ice-at-the-north-pole-in-1958-not-so-thick/


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Richard S Courtney: #147

    It is often – rightly – said that
    there is no point in wrestling with a greasy pig because you can’t win and the pig likes it.

    The version that I know says;

    Do not try to teach your pig to sing – it wastes your time, and annoys the pig.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Richard S Courtney: #170

    Richard,

    I am primarily to blame for rising to the bait offered by cbp. For that I apologise.

    Although I have to admit, I did enjoy getting under his/her/its skin.


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    @ Bulldust

    Regarding CBP/Spencer Tracy, I was thinking the same thing (my post #193) It would appear that this is a coordinated attack. I am still going to “leave the gloves on” because I do not want to give them any ammunition. BTW, I always enjoy you posts. Thanks!


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    Jo,

    Maybe you could come up with a handbook on logic and rhetoric? Then, when a troll starts disrupting the site you could lock them out until they read the handbook as well as the rules for posting. They would have to past a test in order to be allowed back. Almost all of them wouldn’t comply with the requirements. Also, very few, if any, could pass the test as they probably do not posses the intelligence or acumen to do so.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    SpencerTracy: #172

    Excuse me butting in – I do it all the time, people expect it of me.

    But can you explain how somebody being connected with the coal industry, or any industry for that matter, has any relevance to their personal opinions and thus to the discussions on this blog?

    I have an interest in studying of the interconnectedness of governments, industry, NGO’s, and “names” (significant private individuals).

    And it is all connected, everything connects to everything else, it is just a matter of degree.

    Money flows through the network. Information flows through the network. Material (sometimes illicit) flows through the network.

    Most of the large environmental NGO’s receive donations from various charitable foundations. These foundations are usually fronted by another NGO “funding organisation” to provide a degree of legal separation required under US law (and sometimes for tax purposes).

    Donations are made (primarily for tax reasons) from all sorts of individuals and companies, including oil and other natural resource companies, to the charitable foundations, who then pass it on to the funding organisation that donates money to the environmental NGO.

    So, “Big Oil” and “Big Coal” and “Big Automotive” are all funding the environment movement.

    Sometimes the linkages are obvious, sometimes they are not, and sometimes they are deliberately hidden. If Eddy works for an energy resources company, at least he is up-front about it.

    If you happen to work for an academic institution, then you are probably funded by the energy industry as well. But that is really not significant. It is just the way the world works.


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    Eddy Aruda: @ 247: Maybe you [Jo] could come up with a handbook on logic and rhetoric?

    Until she has time to do it, try one or both of theses:

    The Nizkor Project
    A List Of Fallacious Arguments


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    @ Lionell Griffith

    Thanks, I was trying to find a way to force the trolls who have recently been frequenting this site to learn proper etiquette and to employ a logical argument. It is such a waste of time trying to reason with them. I always enjoy reading your posts. You have such an excellent grasp of the science and you have no problem expressing yourself in a manner that is easy to comprehend. The trolls, on the other hand, are not only terrible debaters but they write gibberish most of the time.


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    @ Lionell Griffith

    Thanks, the list of fallacies (second link) covers every fallacy I know and some I’ve never heard of including Argument by Gibberish.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Richard S Courtney: #201

    Every statement in each published IPCC Report is approved by representatives of governments (i.e. representatives of politicians) prior to publication.

    This is an interesting chicken and egg question.

    Do the representatives of governments (the bureaucrats) act under specific instructions from the politicians, or do the politicians “take guidance” from the bureaucrats?

    The evidence, on balance, would suggest the latter. Perhaps the source of “the consensus” is a bureaucratic edifice of smoke and mirrors.


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    Seamus

    SUBJECT: The Climate Scientists’ Register

    “We, the undersigned, having assessed the relevant scientific evidence, do not find convincing support for the hypothesis that human emissions of carbon dioxide are causing, or will in the foreseeable future cause, dangerous global warming.”

    READ MORE:-

    http://www.climatescienceinternational.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=289


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    Speedy

    On consensus…

    If the ABC were Relevant 2.

    Kerry: Bryan discusses the consensus behind the UN’s climate science with the President of the IPCC, John Clarke.

    Bryan: Professor Clarke, thanks for your time.

    John: Thank you Bryan.

    Bryan: There’s a lot of money riding on the UN’s interpretation of climate change and people are beginning to worry about the validity of some of the science. Have you any words of comfort for the people, Doctor Clarke?

    John: (Laughing gently). Now don’t you worry about that, Bryan. Don’t you worry about that at all. (Laughing gently.) We have the science well and truly under control.

    Bryan: So the science is sound then?

    John: The best that money can buy.

    Bryan: Perhaps you’d like to elaborate on this John.

    John: We have a consensus of science, Bryan. A whole herd. Ten thousand head of Western Whitecoats – every one watered, fed and paid for. Wormed and ticked, irrigated pasture and a nice big IPCC brand on their arse. You can’t argue with a consensus. Ten thousand scientists. Ten thousand voices…

    Bryan: And only one mind?

    John: Spot on Bryan! Only one mind and only one will! Consensus is a beautiful thing.

    Bryan: So the scientific community is in full agreement?

    John: All ten thousand of them Bryan. Nodding their little round heads to the point of concussion.

    Bryan: But what about the others? Those who would question whether CO2 has a significant effect on the climate?

    John: (Condescending.) Bryan, Bryan, Bryan. If they are asking those sorts of questions, then they aren’t scientists.

    Bryan: Can you define “Peer Review” for the viewers at home please?

    John: A pleasure. Peer Review is a critical part of the scientific process Bryan. It exposes the data, logic and assumptions underlying a given scientific theory to the light of day in front of friend and foe alike so that its true validity may be exposed and tested for the betterment of all mankind. Or something like that.

    Bryan: And do you consider that climate science is bound by the same codes, Your Lordship?

    John: I’d be bitterly disappointed if it were not so Bryan.

    Bryan: And we can take it that the IPCC adheres to strict scientific and ethical principles?

    John: On my honour.

    Bryan: So how do you subject your scientific papers to peer review, your Lordship?

    John: We have a pool of nearly ten thousand critics, Bryan. All fully qualified, wormed, ticked and branded.

    Bryan: Have any of your papers failed muster at the review stage, your omnipotence?

    John: They’re all very excellent papers Bryan.

    Bryan: Do you have to pull out the cattle prod at any stage?

    John: I think you’ll find that the Western Whitecoat is a particularly domesticated animal.

    Bryan: And do alternative viewpoints ever get published?

    John: Not in our journals Bryan.

    Bryan: So what is the cutting edge in climate science as we speak John?

    John: As you’d appreciate, Climate Science is a complex field and encompasses an extremely broad church. At the moment our energies are divided amongst four areas of intensive study.

    Bryan: And these are?

    John:
    1. It used to be cold.
    2. It’s a lot hotter now.
    3. It’s our fault.
    4. We’re all going to die.

    Bryan: I don’t suppose you’ve investigated alternative climate scenarios, perchance?

    John: Not much funding for that sort of thing, Bryan. No.

    Bryan: So at what stage do you think we should consider turning paying off the milkman and cancelling the papers, then?

    John: Without urgent and immediate action, Bryan, I’m afraid the consensus opinion gives humanity about ten years maximum. Possibly as low as five.

    Bryan: And when did you discover this?

    John: About 20 years ago Bryan. There’s a very well supported and totally undeniable consensus around that.

    Bryan: And if it were to all end in tears, John? Can you give us some hypothetical examples of Sociological and Anthropological Armageddon likely to arise from a failure to avert previously mentioned disaster?

    John: Perhaps you would like to contemplate, if you will, the good burghers of Tuvalu standing up to their collective hips in 500 gallons of Pacific Ocean #1 wet.

    Bryan: From rising sea levels.

    John: From rising sea levels.

    Bryan: Due to arctic melting.

    John: Due to arctic melting.

    Bryan: But surely the arctic is composed of sea ice? It’s all floating on the top, people park submarines underneath it all the time.

    John: Perhaps. But what, pray tell, becomes of that portion above the plimsol line once it’s all melted, dare I ask?

    Bryan: Nothing. It’s the Archimedes Principle.

    John: Archimedes?

    Bryan: Greek bloke. Had a bath. Discovered buoyancy. Yelled “Eureka” and did a lap of Athens in the raw.

    John: Thanks for the thought. Bet he doesn’t stand up to peer review. (Sniggers)

    Bryan: THE Archimedes Principle! “A body immersed in a fluid will float in that fluid if its mass is less than that of the fluid it displaces.” So the floating arctic ice is displacing its own mass of water. Whether it exists as ice or water, it still has the same mass, it still displaces the same volume and there’s no change in the volume of the ocean if it melts. Comprendi?

    John: No, thank you. But I do “comprendi” that Mr. Archimedes has never published anything in the peer reviewed literature in his life. And, between you and me, I don’t think he will in the future, either.

    Bryan: (Frustrated) OK. OK. Right. Look at that ice in your glass of water. (Points at desk.) That ice has been melting these last 10 minutes and the level in the glass is just the same as it was before. It doesn’t matter whether it melts or not – its still water! It still has the same mass, it still displaces the same volume and the waterline stays put. Don’t you understand? (The viewers might like to try one this at home – Ed.)

    John: I understand that this ice is not in the arctic and it will have no impact on sea level or the good burghers of Tuvalu. And I think you’ll find that Archimedes has been thoroughly debunked. The overwhelming consensus of 10,000 leading climate scientists will more than adequately demonstrate this.

    Bryan: (Getting agitated.) You can’t vote on truth – Archimedes Principle is a well known fact!

    John: You want facts Bryan? OK. Next time Archimedes meets 10,000 climate scientists in a dark alley after a night on the turps, Bryan, Mr. Archimedes will be in the market for another 32 teeth. That is a well known fact.

    Bryan: (Confused.) Er…

    John: Thirty Two being the traditional per capita allocation in the dental department Bryan. And Mr. Archimedes will have the opportunity to verify that fact personally unless he pulls his horns in pronto. Another well known fact for you. Archimedes is a confirmed right-wing climate change denier and a stooge on the payroll of the Multinationals and Big Oil.

    Bryan: (Very confused.) Who told you that?

    John: RealClimate.com. Tomorrow morning. Gotta go. (Leaves)

    Bryan: (Stunned. To camera.) Kevin? Ya there Kevin? Earth to Kevin… Earth to Kevin….


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Editors comment #236

    Ooo, this is interesting – please share …


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Eddy Aruda: #246

    You are such a hero.

    I admire your fortitude. :-)


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    Bulldust

    Rereke:

    Maybe we should start taking bets who it is :D


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    Speedy

    Rereke @ 256

    Looks like Eddy scores the Sherlock Holmes award for today…

    Of course, it could be just an innocent case of two individuals sharing a common email account and a common mind.

    I was going to insert something less than Christian at this point, but didn’t. :)

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Bulldust: #257

    Maybe we should start taking bets who it is …

    I reckon it is Rajendra Pachauri – in drag.


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    Speedy

    How to build a consensus – —“Judithgate”

    Breaking news on how the IPCC achieved a consensus on the “minor” influence of the sun in global warming. It appears that they used a single scientific paper, then nominated a co-author of that paper to verify it. Instant consensus! Link and quote from the article below:

    http://climaterealists.com/?id=5910

    Judith Lean and Claus Frohlich (authors of the single study noted above) “manipulated” the data. People who were in charge of the satellites and created the original graphs (the world’s best astrophysics: Doug Hoyt, Richard C. Willson), protested in vain against such manipulation.

    Wilson: “Fröhlich has made changes that are wrong …


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Speedy: #258

    … it could be just an innocent case of two individuals sharing a common email account and a common mind

    Yes, I agree, I mean, two people could just happen to have a common email account by accident. I doesn’t mean they actually know each other. Coincidences do happen, don’t they?


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    Tony

    Let’s get this word ‘consensus’ right first. The Oxford English Dictionary (concise version) says it means “Agreement of organs in effecting a purpose”, Passing Show says it means “the sympathetic agreement of different organs for a particular purpose”. So if it infers a deliberate agreement to achieve something, than you only need two people to have a consensus. So we have a consensus that AGW is nonsense and a consensus that AGW is theatening the planet. We are both right. Aye there’s the rub.


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    Speedy

    Tony

    Have a look at “Judithgate” and you’ll see where a consensus requires only one person! Who happened to be an author of the technical paper that formed the basis of the “consensus”.

    You’ve got to wonder about those guys at the IPCC.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    janama

    speed at 254

    F**kin brilliant!

    Thank you, for your time to create it.


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    Bob Malloy

    Speedy

    I look forward to reading your latest Brian, John piece in the morning, got to go to work.

    To all not debating the trolls with great style keep up the excellent work.


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    Speedy

    Jamama

    No thanks required, but I’m glad and thank you very much for enjoying it. I mainly do this because if I didn’t laugh at the stupidity of the AGW, I would cry – the rest is connecting with kindred souls.

    The Greens are such an easy target for ridicule; its amazing that Clarke and Dawe don’t catch on. After all, C&D seem to be pretty perceptive sort of people. The fact that amateurs like me can knock up the occasional replica so easily speaks volumes. What’s wrong with Clarke and Dawe? Apart from the fact they work for the government funded ABC? (So much for the idea that working for commercial TV was a compromise?)

    I’m playing with a couple of skits now. Just waiting for Jo to discuss Maldives/Tuvulu or Greens politics so that they’re reasonably on thread. Julia Gillard’s story is after that. Or maybe Albert Gore. It’s a target-rich environment…

    Are there any bods Jamama would like “Clarke and Dawe” have a piece of? I’m open to suggestions. Humbug had one commissioned earlier!

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AntiFarsas, AntiFarsas. AntiFarsas said: Currently reading href=http://joannenova.com.au/2010/06/learn-how-not-to-reason-at-the-university-of-western-australia/ [...]


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    SpencerTracy

    I’m going to try to [snip then do so] focus on what I was invited to comment on, which were Richard’s list of statements on climate change.

    So, Richard… #6. The Hot Spot.

    The tropospheric hot spot is expected to be found regardless of the source of warming. Do you agree with that? It is a function of the lapse rate. To put it simply, warmer air results in more moisture in the air. When the moisture condensed out in the upper troposphere it should release latent heat. That process should happen regardless of the source of warming.

    I would suggest that the saying the absence of the hot spot in the face of other lines of empirical evidence pointing to warming would be decidedly NOT skeptical. We have three satellite data sets that show warming. We have ground station measurements that agree with satellite readings. We have retreating glaciers. We have diminishing levels of arctic sea ice. We have the Greenland and west Antarctic ice sheet losing mass. We have clear evidence of species migration patterns changing. And 100′s of other clear lines of evidence of a warming climate.

    Now, either one of two things is going on. 1) The absence of the hot spot means there is no warming and all those other 100′s of lines of evidence are somehow wrong, or 2) The hot spot is much harder to pin down than expected.

    I know that the data coming in from the upper troposphere is very noisy, especially in the tropics where we expect to see the strongest warming. So, the skeptic in me says wait and see.


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    SpencerTracy

    Speedy @ #219….

    Ah, Speedy, my man… You are tip-toeing into modeling here, aren’t you? You would have to quantify all of these as well as a great many more factors to come up with something workable. I encourage you to keep working on this one.

    And with regards to the pin prick. Yes. One solid piece of evidence can bring down an entire theory. It’s the proverbial “precambrian rabbit” with evolution. Find me the fossil of a modern rabbit in precambrian rock and evolution is wrong.

    But what you can’t do is use what is not yet understood within an area of science to prove that it’s wrong. There are a great many aspects of evolution that are not yet understood. The gaps do not prove evolution is wrong any more than the gaps in global warming theory prove it is wrong.


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    SpencerTracy

    Richard… I’m glad that you agree that pretty much any data set you choose in the 15 year time scale is not going to be statistically significant at the 95% confidence level. I was taking exception to your use of the phrase “statistically discernible.” The warming in that time period is absolutely discernible, per the Phil Jones interview at a rate of 0.12C per decade. Once you get back into statistically significant data you invariably show warming.

    Remember again, at the time of the Phil Jones interview that question of 1995 to the present was carefully chosen because it was the point where statistical significance safely fails. We have had several more months of record high global temps since then. I need to take some time to see if statistical significance still fails a that same point.

    So, again, I’d be careful about relying on that start point.

    [Spencer Tracy, could you explain why you are posting under two names ?] ED


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    Speedy

    Spencer @ 269

    If you’ve got no idea, just say so. It saves a lot of time.

    Cheers,

    Speedy.


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    SpencerTracy

    To the ed… I’ll tell you. With comments on this very thread about “burying scientists” and people referring to me as “green communist” and given the overall tone of the discussions you would surely understand wanting to maintain some level of anonymity. I have a family with two small children. I know the people I’m talking with here are not the types to do anything awful. But with the level of anger that I witness here I prefer to not take chances that someone reading would take the situation to an extreme and “take matters into their own hands.” [snip] If anonymity can’t be allowed here then I will gracefully bow out. I honestly can’t expose my children to even a remote risk like this. If my kids were grown or I were younger I wouldn’t care.

    I do enjoy the conversation. I find it challenging and engaging.

    With your permission I would like to continue to post under this pseudonym if you would kindly remove your comment linking the two user names.

    [Your reasonable request is granted although I think your worry is misplaced. Tone it down please and you'll find people are quite happy to carry on a conversation in a normal tone.] ED.


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    Tel

    Spencer, I know exactly what you mean. You can well understand when you read comments like:

    We need to hit them where it hurts most, by any means necessary…

    and

    Let’s talk about what that mass civil disobedience is going to look like.

    and

    We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work.

    And we be many, but you be few.

    Of course, these comments come from Greenpeace and they have “peace” in their name. Presumable the peace and quiet you get after the war is over, that kind of peace.

    Then there’s Clive “suspension of democracy” Hamilton, who isn’t of himself all that scary (because he is such a prize fool) but the truly scary thing about Clive Hamilton is that there are people who take him seriously. The only rational conclusion is that our education system is breaking down, which has horrible implications for where we are headed as a people.

    All of this can be be summed up in one simple law:

    The less freedom citizens have, the more likely their government will kill them.

    I’m not making this up. Guns don’t kill people, Totalitarianism kills people, and any history book you care to name is gonna back me up on that one. Doesn’t matter whether it is religious totalitarianism, or Communist “some animals more equal than others” or the Fascist boot stamping on a human face for eternity. The ideology that a small group of people should decide that they need to rule to lives of a large group of people is fundamentally linked to murder on an industrial scale.

    Find out more on this topic be searching for “R J Rummel” and “power kills”.

    All the more reason to focus on the science rather than the politics. If the science of AGW is right then actions probably do need to be taken. If the science is wrong then those actions should probably be avoided. But get the science right. Don’t let politics muck it up.

    As a voter in a Democratic nation, with reasonable provision for free speech, I have no choice but to be involved in the politics. If my government does something stupid and it gets me hurt then I am personally responsible for allowing that to happen.

    I could move to a totalitarian nation where I have no meaningful vote, no ability to speak out, and thus no responsibility for the outcome, but then I would have no rights either and I would be nothing more than cattle. That’s not how I want to live my life.

    We could (and probably should) keep science and politics separate in our discussion. We cannot remove the politics completely. I didn’t ask to be taxed, it is put upon me by force, so I’m going to resist the taxes that I believe are stupid and unfair by speaking up against them and using my vote. I don’t feel comfortable with the idea that some grandma in my neighbourhood is likely to freeze to death this winter because she can’t afford heating (and I’ll just add that in New South Wales the price of electricity has just gone up again, after it went up last year, and both times by a much higher step than either wages or pensions, and 2008 was an unusually cold year and 2010 is a record-breaking cold year).

    Given that keeping people strictly on-topic for a blog is largely impossible, if you want to limit yourself to scientific discussions and ignore the politics that’s something you will just have to do in your own head and ignore the comments you are not interested in.

    Finally, if you want to argue that the current crop of Green policies are not fundamentally based in Socialism and Central Planning then you are going to need to present evidence for that, any then you yourself will be bringing politics to the discussion. Don’t think arbitrary assertions are going to work on that score either.


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    Bob Malloy

    SpencerTracy:

    If anonymity can’t be allowed here then I will gracefully bow out. I honestly can’t expose my children to even a remote risk like this. If my kids were grown or I were younger I wouldn’t care.

    Spencer as you see I post under my true name. You may say that’s alright by me, I’m posting amongst like minded people here,true.
    However people such as myself are less than welcome at ABC’s Drum Unleashed where the vitriol from some of their regulars make this site resemble worshipers at a catholic mass wishing all around them peace be with you.

    So Spencer, peace be with you and enjoy your day.

    P.S. BTW If the climate change cartel ever do decide to prosecute we sceptics for crimes against humanity, it’s me that will be in trouble not you. I admit my family are now adults, however I don’t believe I’d have any reservations in posting under my own name.


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    Bob Malloy

    Speedy:

    Your Brian, John piece was excellent as usual, thumbs up from me.


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    Seamus

    Australians should be aware of the types of policies that these GREEN COMMUNISTS (eg The Greens) support……

    The Greens support “One World Government”. So much for Australia’s Sovereignty!

    http://greens.org.au/node/776

    The Greens advocate the destruction of the Australian Coal Industry. Hope you don’t enjoy using electricity but love the COLD!

    http://greens.org.au/policies/climate-change-and-energy/climate-change-and-energy

    Australians must remember that a vote for The Greens IS a vote for Rudd/Labor and a vote for an ETS!


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    Mark D.

    Spencer Tracey,
    besides the salient comments Tel has made, you might take a long read into the twisted minds of the deep green AGW camp here at JoNova: http://joannenova.com.au/2010/01/hanson-barracking-for-lawless-destruction-and-the-end-of-civilization/

    Go ahead read all 200 + posts including several posts from Keith Farnish himself. This is your pro AGW camp Sir, I would like to hear what you think of Hanson after that.

    PS thank you editor(s) the snipping seems to be helping!


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    SpencerTracy

    Tel… To be quite honest, I would prefer to steer clear of the political issues. I think that is where both sides get so inflamed. For me this is a question of the interpretation of science. I don’t condone the negativity coming from either side. I have on numerous occasions on other sites told people on the side of AGW when they cross the line.

    As with my example of the precambrian rabbit earlier, I believe I am capable of believing either side of this debate given adequate evidence. I would totally abandon my belief that evolution is correct in the face of a precambrian rabbit. I’ve read a large number of papers on climate and am currently convinced that AGW is real. If someone here hands me a climatic precambrian rabbit then I will change my position.


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    SpencerTracy

    Oh, and to the ed… I greatly appreciate your understanding. I’ll try to keep it toned down.


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    SpencerTracy

    Mark D… Yeah, I’m really not interested in reading trash talk from either side. Both engage in it and I believe it’s the wrong way to approach any discussion. Rather than dwell on what divides us I would prefer to try and identify what unites us. In my heart of hearts I know there is common ground.


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    Mark D.

    Spencer, It is far worse than trash talk, and far more fearsome. You can pretend to ignore the politics but that would be denial. While you search for or wait for your climate grail, you need to educate yourself and know why there would be an interest to “fudge data” and mis-represent our present understanding of the climate and surrounding science.

    Too many of the AGW leading scientists pretend to have no bias. When you look a bit more carefully you begin to realize their true nature.

    If you can’t bring yourself to read the link above, I will not understand.


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    SpencerTracy

    Mark D… If it’s more than trash talk then it’s even more wrong and I condone it less. I don’t pretend there are not politics involved in the issue. But I think the science is more important. When I read the science I don’t see nearly as much seedy behavior as you do. Maybe that is because I have a little more faith in the scientific process to weed out bad science over time. Absolutely scientists are people and are influenced by their preconceived notions, but ultimately the science has to work. The pieces have to fit. Bad science falls away and better science takes it’s place.


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    SpencerTracy

    Mark D… Okay, you got the better of me. I broke down and read a bunch of the comments on that thread. I’ll tell you, a popular book when I was a 20-something was Edward Abby’s The Monkey Wrench Gang. You’ve probably heard of it. Even at the time I really didn’t like the idea that a person’s (or group’s) self defined purpose could be above the law. I don’t like it on the left. I don’t like it on the right. We are a nation of laws governing people. We have a great privilege in this time in history to have ways as individuals to influence and change our laws. It is intellectually lazy do try to circumvent that. I think that is what Keith Farnish is doing. I think Hansen stepped into it big time by lending his name to an endorsement of a book he had not yet read.

    That said, I do not believe acts of civil disobedience are wrong. Great and important leaps have been made in societies by the likes of MLK and Ghandi through non-violent civil disobedience. Keith Farnish is going a step too far in advocating Monkey Wrench Gang style actions.


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    mick

    Spencer, the problem with professing to wish to talk only of ‘the science’ is that your ‘the science’ has spent the last few decades thoroughly and incontrovertibly conflating politics with truth, or knowledge, and using every dirty political trick in the book to queer access to knowledge and reason in pursuit of a political goal. I’m not so sure your ‘the science’ can just slough off that old skin at the drop of a hat whilst still retaining exactly the same political goals as an integral part of its movement. The way I see it, if your ‘the science’ argument & its methods were incorrect in the past, no real validity exists for that same argument for change to be remade under a different set of premises now. If it was right in the past, then any change now invalidates it. ‘The science’ has spoken, as we are all fully aware. ‘The science’ considers non-believers dirty sinners to be either converted or to be disposed of. Changing the way you deliver the message or word does not change the substance. If ‘the science’ had had truth to deliver, there would have been no reason to corrupt it with lies in the first place. If you are genuinely interested in at least having the chance to get near a truth, you need to flee your present church as far as I can see. I would do that in any case as a matter of haste if the weight of being a member makes you fear for yours and your family’s lives. It means there is something seriously wrong.


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    Mark D.

    Spencer, Thank you. I can ask no more.

    You have included much thought and observation in your post at 284. I have children as you have mentioned you do. I worry, as you have mentioned you do too.

    In the time frame that Co2 could possibly have a serious impact, I’m certain that the world politics can (and will) do more harm. Co2 is a minor player. I may not convince you to pay any more attention to these matters (indeed I wish I didn’t need to) I hear you when you say: “I don’t like it on the left. I don’t like it on the right.”


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    Annie

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

    [snip] ED


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    Richard S Courtney

    Spencer Tracy:

    I have been travelling and now have only limited (an expensive) internet access until I return. But the list of your falsehoods grows and grows, and your post at #279 is so outrageous that it should not go unremarked.

    At #279 you assert:

    To be quite honest, I would prefer to steer clear of the political issues. I think that is where both sides get so inflamed. For me this is a question of the interpretation of science. I don’t condone the negativity coming from either side. I have on numerous occasions on other sites told people on the side of AGW when they cross the line.

    Say what!?
    Your first post on this blog was an attempt to deflect discussion from the science by presentation of an irrelevant falsehood about me and an irrelevance about Eddy. When I pointed out that your assertion about me was a falsehood you tried to justify it with another falsehood. When I challenged you to prove the second falsehood you admitted that your first post here was a falsehood but said you did not think it mattered.

    Then you persisted with a large number of posts that solely consisted of ad homs. and falsehoods.

    Eventually, I got you to address the science by forcing you to address the six statements of empirical evidence that I had posted on this blog.

    Your comment on my Point 1 was a demonstration of your ignorance of statistics.
    Your comment on my Point 2 was a demonstration of your ignorance of climate science.
    Your comment on my Points 3 to 5 was pure arm waving that consisted of a falsehood and a fallacious appeal to authority but did not address any of my points.
    Your comment on my Point 6 was an implied denial that the IPCC says the ‘hot spot’ is a fingerprint of warming from AGW (the IPCC does say that) and an assertion that demonstrates your complete inability to assess the meaning of what you say.

    I pointed out these errors of your comments on my points, and you have made some excuses that I shall address separately. But here I am writing to object to your having posted another 6 falsehoods in your post at #279: viz.
    1.
    “ To be quite honest”
    Your entire post is disingenuous, and none of your posts on this blog has exhibited any honesty.
    2.
    “I would prefer to steer clear of the political issues.”
    Your first post here was a falsehood that was a political assertion pertaining to two individuals who had posted here.
    3.
    “ I think that is where both sides get so inflamed.”
    Your posts here have been clearly intended to inflame.
    4.
    “ For me this is a question of the interpretation of science.”
    You did all you could to avoid discussion of the science. When forced to do it you revealed such ignorance of the science and lack of logical ability that you demonstrated your complete inability to interpret the science.
    5.
    “ I don’t condone the negativity coming from either side.”
    Your posts here have consisted almost entirely of ad homs., falsehoods and smears: that is “negativity” that you not only “condone” but also conduct,.
    6.
    “ I have on numerous occasions on other sites told people on the side of AGW when they cross the line.”
    Perhaps you have but such action on your part could only be disingenuous because you repeatedly “cross the line”.

    [snip]

    Richard


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    Richard S Courtney

    Spencer Tracy:

    At #268 you say to me:

    So, Richard… #6. The Hot Spot.
    The tropospheric hot spot is expected to be found regardless of the source of warming. Do you agree with that? It is a function of the lapse rate. To put it simply, warmer air results in more moisture in the air. When the moisture condensed out in the upper troposphere it should release latent heat. That process should happen regardless of the source of warming.
    I would suggest that the saying the absence of the hot spot in the face of other lines of empirical evidence pointing to warming would be decidedly NOT skeptical. We have three satellite data sets that show warming. We have ground station measurements that agree with satellite readings. We have retreating glaciers. We have diminishing levels of arctic sea ice. We have the Greenland and west Antarctic ice sheet losing mass. We have clear evidence of species migration patterns changing. And 100’s of other clear lines of evidence of a warming climate.
    Now, either one of two things is going on. 1) The absence of the hot spot means there is no warming and all those other 100’s of lines of evidence are somehow wrong, or 2) The hot spot is much harder to pin down than expected.
    I know that the data coming in from the upper troposphere is very noisy, especially in the tropics where we expect to see the strongest warming. So, the skeptic in me says wait and see.

    Firstly, you ask me:

    “The tropospheric hot spot is expected to be found regardless of the source of warming. Do you agree with that? It is a function of the lapse rate. To put it simply, warmer air results in more moisture in the air. When the moisture condensed out in the upper troposphere it should release latent heat. That process should happen regardless of the source of warming.”

    The IPCC and the CCSP each assert that different causes of warming cause different spatial patterns of warming throughout the atmosphere. They each show – from model studies – that the ‘hot spot’ is induced by AGW and NOT by other sources of warming. It consists of warming happening at ~10km altitude in the tropics at ~2.5 times the warming at the surface in the tropics. That elevated warming in the tropics has not happened. This is indicated for the last 50 years by radiosondes mounted on weather balloons and for since 1979 (when the first pertinent satellites were launched) by MSU mounted on satellites. The balloon and satellite data show good agreement.

    I have not claimed the IPCC should be believed: indeed, I have rejected that. But you have claimed the IPCC should be trusteds. Now you are claiming the IPCC should not be trusted when you do not like what it says.

    I have no view on whether the ‘hot spot’ is a result of only warming from AGW or is a result of any warming. That consideration is an irrelevance when the ‘hot spot’ has not happened. As I explained to you, in either case it proves there has been no AGW.

    And it can only be a political tactic to press for me to make a judgement on the irrelevance as to whether the ‘hot spot’ is a result of only warming from AGW or is a result of any warming. That political tactic is an intended distraction from the real issue which is that the absence of the ‘hot spot’ proves there has been no AGW.

    Then you say;

    “I would suggest that the saying the absence of the hot spot in the face of other lines of empirical evidence pointing to warming would be decidedly NOT skeptical. We have three satellite data sets that show warming. We have ground station measurements that agree with satellite readings. We have retreating glaciers. We have diminishing levels of arctic sea ice. We have the Greenland and west Antarctic ice sheet losing mass. We have clear evidence of species migration patterns changing. And 100’s of other clear lines of evidence of a warming climate.”

    I have no doubt that you would say that. Indeed, I would be willing to agree that you would say anything that supports AGW regardless of any evidence to the contrary.

    However, I have not asserted that there is evidence against there having been any warming: YOU ARE CLAIMING THERE IS EVIDENCE THAT THE ABSENCE OF THE ‘HOT SPOT’ IS EVIDENCE THAT THERE HAS BEEN NO GLOBAL WARMING FROM ANY CAUSE.
    I have not said that. You are saying it.

    Then you conclude with absolute rubbish: i.e.

    Now, either one of two things is going on. 1) The absence of the hot spot means there is no warming and all those other 100’s of lines of evidence are somehow wrong, or 2) The hot spot is much harder to pin down than expected.
    I know that the data coming in from the upper troposphere is very noisy, especially in the tropics where we expect to see the strongest warming. So, the skeptic in me says wait and see.

    Say what?!
    You completely ignore the fact that the IPCC and the CCSP say the ‘hot spot’ is a fingerprint for AGW. Inconvenient truths really are inconvenient, aren’t they?

    If the IPCC and the CCSP model studies are right then the absence of the ‘hot spot’ indicates that there is no AGW. Now, if you want to assert that the models are pure bunkum then I would agree, but that would give you a few other problems.

    The difficulty for you is that you are in a hole.

    If the model studies are right then the absence of the ‘hot spot’ indicates there has been no AGW.
    And if the IPCC is wrong about these model studies then there is no reason to agree anything the IPCC says about future AGW. Indeed, if the model studies are wrong then there is no reason of any kind to suspect there could be catastrophic AGW.

    But if (as you assert and the IPCC denies) the ‘hot spot’ is an indication of warming from any cause then its absence indicates there has been no AGW – indeed, no global warming from any cause – over the last 50 years. And, as you say, you do not want to agree that.

    So, you have chosen to assert that “the data coming in from the upper troposphere is very noisy, especially in the tropics where we expect to see the strongest warming”.
    But that is twaddle! Indeed, you used the UAH data es evidence in an earlier post. If the warming at altitude were 2.5 times greater than at the surface then this greater warming would be simply observed. It is measured by two independent methods (balloons and satellites) and they both show the warming at altitude is similar (indeed, slightly less) than at the surface. [correction inserted] ED

    And your justification for rejecting the clear empirical scientific evidence is, you say, “the skeptic in me says wait and see”. That is not skepticism: it is the superstitious denial of reality by a true believer who refuses to accept the scientific evidence which refutes his belief.

    If I were in a hole as deep as yours I would stop digging, pick up my shovel and run away.

    Richard


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    SpencerTracy

    Richard S Courtney…

    My point one actually suggests that I do have an understanding of statistics. I know what statistical significance is. I know that with data as noisy as global temperature you need to go out at least 17 to 20 years to achieve a p value of 0.05 or better. So, your use of 1995 to the present is, by your own admission, meaningless since it falls below that threshold. To get to statistical significance you have to go back further to at least 1992. Here is the same chart going that is raised to the level of statistical significance.

    Your actual words on the matter were that 1995 to the present show no “statistically discernible” warming. That is a whole different matter. “Discernible” would suggest a much lower standard of proof. And for that period the warming is absolutely discernible as can be evidenced from a simple trend line. My earlier chart of that period was actually slightly in error in that I missed the early months of 2010 in the data series. Here is the same chart with those added months. Again, remember, this is Spencer and Christy’s satellite data from the UAH. Easily statistically discernible.

    Your response to my second point is saying that I no understanding of climate science. Look, Richard, I know you’re a smart guy. Smarter than that. I would assume that you don’t reject that CO2 absorbs and reradiates infrared radiation. Right? That’s basic physics. I would assume that you don’t reject that Milankovitch cycles are understood to be the primary driver of climate changes over the past few million years. So, I would also assume that you can also agree that CO2 amplifies warming within the 800 year lag. These simple fact of paleoclimate do nothing to disprove AGW. On the contrary, they are how we understand how ACO2 effects our current climate.

    And 3 through 5… Read Lindzen 2009. Read any of the peer reviewed papers coming from the scientists who reject AGW. They are not saying that it’s not happening. They all readily admit there is a relationship between CO2 and temperature. They are all saying they believe climate sensitivity to CO2 is less than other estimates. If you want to stick with the science, that’s where the science stands. Saying that there is “no relationship” between CO2 and temperature is flat out wrong. I state that with my arms fully straight down at my sides.

    And on 6, the hot spot… You keep harping on the IPCC but you have to remember AR4 is from 2007 and is a report on the science leading up to that date. We are well past that. As I stated, I’m still getting up to speed on the tropospheric hot spot issue. I’m very curious how the hot spot is totally rejected in the face of Sherwood 2008.

    Like most other areas of science, climate is a very complex puzzle. Some of the data are surely wrong. Some are surely right. Most are currently pointing in the direction suggesting that AGW is real. The great thing about science is that it is self correcting. Even if a scientist produces data that is fudged or manipulated eventually it’s not going to fit the overall picture and will discarded in favor of evidence that does fit the broader picture.


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    SpencerTracy

    Richard says…

    If the model studies are right then the absence of the ‘hot spot’ indicates there has been no AGW.

    Actually, this is not accurate, Richard. If the models are right the absence of a hot spot would indicate there has been no warming. Period. As I stated above, we have multiple lines of evidence that there has been warming. We established this with our discussion of statistical significance. Therefore only two things can be occurring. a) There is no warming and all the other measurements showing warming are wrong, or b) The hot spot measurements are either wrong, incomplete or not fully understood.

    Remember, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.


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    Spencer Tracy,

    Let’s keep this simple.

    1. Do greenhouse gasses (esp. CO2) trap heat?
    2. If so, how long do they keep the heat to themselves?
    3. If forever, how can that trapped heat, heat the globe?
    4. If a very long time, how do we tell the difference between new trapped heat and old trapped heat?
    5. If they rid themselves of the so called trapped heat in a very short time, is it really trapped?
    6. If there is no such thing as trapped heat, how can there be greenhouse gasses and a greenhouse effect?

    Unless and until you can give objectively sustainable answers to these questions, there is no point addressing any other question with you about the AGW hypothesis by whatever name. Such an effort would the logical equivalent of discussing how many angels can dance on the head of a pen. You must first determine that there are actually angels, that they can in fact dance, and that you know how big they are before any discussion about that question has any meaning at all.

    Care to respond?


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    SpencerTracy

    Lionell Griffith…

    CO2 doesn’t “trap” heat. It absorbs and reradiates it. So, rather than IR reradiating out into space it remains in the troposphere. As a result the planet is acquiring more heat energy over time than it releases back into space making the planet warmer. This is what we call the “greenhouse effect” but the analogy to a greenhouse is flawed for exactly the reason you point out. Heat is not trapped. It is reradiated.


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    Spencer Tracy: CO2 doesn’t “trap” heat. It absorbs and reradiates it.

    Me: Then you deny the basic tenant of AGW. That’s good. I deny it too. CO2 cannot trap heat. Glad that is settled. That seems to be the end of the CO2 alarm doesn’t it? So there is no real point to the destruction of modern technological civilization to reduce CO2 emissions because CO2 is not the real problem.

    Spencer again: So, rather than IR reradiating out into space it remains in the troposphere.

    Me: I see. You hold that CO2 doesn’t “trap” heat but the troposphere does. Poof! There is that magic greenhouse again. Its just not CO2 that is doing it.

    Wait, there still may be a problem. You say the troposphere traps heat. The sky could be burning after all. I have a small, really microscopic, problem with that. According to you, the troposphere is hot and getting hotter. Space is cold. The Second Law of Thermodynamics dictates that heat transports from hot to cold without something very specific causing it not to be transported (eg. thermal insulation, heat pump, or other mechanism). I don’t see those things in the sky. Can you resolve the quandary? What is the mechanism that prevents the re-radiated heat from CO2 being radiated into space?


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    Felicity

    “Spencer Tracy”, keep this in mind as you pedal your global warming ALARM AND SCARE CAMPAIGN………

    Shocking UN Document Divulges Climate Cult Brainwashing:-

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/shocking-un-document-divulges-climate-cult-brainwashing.html

    Carbon Dioxide BRAINWASHING bedtime story:-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXdUW3-7Qyk&feature=player_embedded

    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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    Tel

    Therefore only two things can be occurring. a) There is no warming and all the other measurements showing warming are wrong, or b) The hot spot measurements are either wrong, incomplete or not fully understood.

    You don’t even consider for a moment that the models might be wrong.

    That is beyond sad.


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    Bob Malloy

    Felicity: @ 295:

    You posted the following link.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXdUW3-7Qyk&feature=player_embedded.

    I prefer this one.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BptZ7CXHziA&feature=related

    The fog cleared for me after a local radio station interviewed Bob Carter, until then I never gave it a second thought. I’m old enough and experienced enough not to believe every thing I hear on the media or read in newspapers, especially when they report only one side of such an important issue. As my mum often said only believe half of what you see and none of what you hear. If the science is so solid why don’t they debate the likes of Lindzen, Christy etc,etc. Instead they carry on like wimps as illustrated in the paper “Ross” links to at (20) at Jo’s latest post.

    http://www.cce-review.org/evidence/Letter_to_Sir_Muir_Russell_Climate%20Scientists_26%20May.pdf where they try to influence what is supposed to be an independent inquiry.


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    Richard S Courtney

    Spencer Tracy:

    I write in an attempt to escape from the loop of irrational assertions with which you are responding to all evidence and logical argument. I warn that what I am about to write will be very difficult for you and all other adherents to the cult of AGW to comprehend. But if you can grasp it then you will understand why several here regard members of your cult with even more contempt than you have stated about me.

    I – and others here – adhere to the scientific method. That method is about disproving things. All ideas are subjected to testing against observations of the real world. We call these observations empirical data. And we assess all empirical data for its accuracy, precision and reliability because we trust nothing. When empirical data disagrees with an idea then the idea is amended or – failing that – it is replaced by another idea.

    For us, an idea is ‘true’ in so far as it is supported by observation of the real world but it ceases to be ‘true’ when a new observation refutes it. And we keep looking for that new observation because we find a better ‘truth’ when an old ‘truth’ has been found to be false. In our jargon, we try to falsify everything. Indeed, anything that cannot be falsified is not ‘true’ according to the scientific method.

    So, many things are not capable of investigation by use of the scientific method. For example, belief in the existence – or otherwise – of God is not ‘true’ according to the scientific method because that existence or nonexistence – is not capable of falsification. Of course, that does not mean scientists cannot believe in the existence of God: I believe in His existence and most of the greatest scientists (e.g. Newton, Mendel, Faraday, etc.) have held such belief. But it does mean that this is one of the many subjects which cannot be investigated by use of the scientific method

    So, we try to prove nothing. And we try to disprove everything. Our activity is called the scientific method.

    And, as I said, our activity is not capable of investigating everything but its adoption at the time of the Enlightenment has resulted in the world of technological wonders in which we live. Those wonders include medical treatments that work, food to supply billions, goods and services in abundance, leisure and luxuries that nobody had in previous ages, methods of transportation that enable food, goods and services to be provided where they are needed, and the reduction of pollution in which people live to levels that were unimaginably low at the time of the Enlightenment.

    Given those rewards from adherence to the scientific method, we choose to use, support and defend that method.

    Hence, we value the scientific method. I recognise that you have great difficulty understanding why anybody would value and defend the scientific method, but we do. And, of course, that puts us in opposition to the cult of AGW which practices the antithesis of the scientific method; viz. pseudoscience.

    Pseudoscience is about proving things. It exists to support a belief and has many forms depending on the belief being supported. The cult of AGW is one of these forms. Other examples are astrology and palmistry. All such examples pretend that they are a form of science, and some have gained acceptance – albeit temporary – as being sciences with studies conducted in academia and research papers published in scientific journals. Pseudosciences that have obtained temporary acceptance as being science include eugenics, Lysenkoism and phrenology.

    The cult of AGW is very, very similar to that of eugenics a century ago.

    But, like eugenics, AGW is pure pseudoscience. And this was clearly demonstrated by one of AGW’s leading priests, Phil Jones, who – when asked to provide his source data – said;
    “Why should I let you have the data when all you want to do is find something wrong with it?”

    Of course, the assertion in Jones’ reply is correct because the activity of scientists is to “try to find something wrong” with anything they investigate.

    But a pseudoscience exists to promote an idea and not to falsify it. The cult of AGW exists to promote the idea of AGW. The undeniable fact that all – yes, ALL – available empirical data refutes AGW is of no interest to the cult. The empirical data falsifies AGW but falsification is only important to scientists and is irrelewvant to pseudoscientists.

    Indeed, the AGW cultists do not say any evidence that supports AGW because there is none. Instead, they do all the things you have done here.

    They assert the fact of the radiative physics which gives rise to the idea of AGW as though that fact were evidence for the ‘truth’ of the idea. Of course, this assertion is nonsense. Nobody disputes that physics but there is much empirical evidence that it cannot give rise to AGW (e.g. AGW is observed to be counteracted by the hydrological cycle).

    They slander, demean, and libel the infidels who dare to question their true faith in AGW because practitioners of a pseudoscience adhere to promotion of their belief so they feel compelled to destroy those who would question it.

    They cite something (e.g. the UAH time series) is ‘evidence’ when it can be used to support an assertion pro-AGW but claim that same information cannot be accepted (e.g. because it is “too noisy”) when it refutes an assertion of AGW.

    They spread falsehoods while saying things like “To be quite honest” and – in their terms – they are being honest because anything which promotes their belief is ‘true’ whether or not it accords with reality.

    They pretend that something (e.g. IPCC AR4) is undeniably right so cannot be challenged but deny that it says what it does when it does not support their view.

    They define things at will (e.g. peer review makes a publication right) and redefine them at will (e.g. only certain peer reviewed publications are right) depending on whether those things support their belief.

    So,Spencer Tracy, in conclusion, I can see no possibility of anything sound coming from my attempting discussion with you. I am constrained by my adherence to the scientific method and you have come here to promote the beliefs of your cult. I can no more disprove your superstitious belief than I can disprove a religious belief in the existence of God.

    But I can provide – and I have provided – the empirical data that shows AGW is not happening. And I can provide – and I have provided – the empirical data that shows AGW cannot happen to a discernible degree.

    Richard


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    From post #291:

    Actually, this is not accurate, Richard. If the models are right the absence of a hot spot would indicate there has been no warming.

    Your statement is misleading because the IPCC 2007 report specifically shows model’s indicating that GHG’s is expected to promote warming in tropical atmosphere (the “hot spot”).But not by Solar forcing and other forcing’s that are also listed.

    Take away the GHG’s believed effects and you have nothing.

    Since the “hot spot” has FAILED to show up as the IPCC believed it would.It is a strong indication that their modeling of the GHG’s effects must be wrong.No “hot spot”,no evidence that GHG’s are capable of creating big warming trends.

    Why can’t you guys just accept the obvious modeling failure’s and go on?


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    Richard S Courtney:
    July 2nd, 2010 at 11:19 pm
    Spencer Tracy:

    I warn that what I am about to write will be very difficult for you and all other adherents to the cult of AGW to comprehend. But if you can grasp it then you will understand why several here regard members of your cult with even more contempt than you have stated about me.

    I applaud such a straight forward, honest statement, and could not possibly agree more with Richard.

    With regards to “climate modelling”, an assumed (positive water vapour feedback) warming mechanism that can not be observed, that there is no experimental evidence for, combined with after the fact, admitted as invented cooling factors….
    Climate models are vitual reality, an invented / assumed, politically correct, and politically beneficial irrelevance
    (all their “projections” have been wrong so far)
    to the real world, and the real naturally variable climate reality, in which, we actually live.

    The present crop of “Global energy” budgets are bunkum, without proof of “back radiation”, and “all radiation is positive”.
    Both have been asserted, but definitive experiments (or even peer reviewed literature) for either are wholely absent.

    btw – Hypothesises make predictions, no hot spot is a failed (AGW) prediction. AGW is a failed hypothesis.
    No one has yet shown the “laboratory” physics of so called GHGs apply to the open, mixed (real world) atmosphere.
    Plenty have shown they do not apply – there are no AGW “physics”.

    AGW is a failed paradigm.


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    Ian P

    Errm don’t you think that the consensus logically follows from interpretation of the the empirical evidence? The consensus of ninety-odd percent of the world’s top climate and related scientists are making you all look like bleating fools.


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    Unfortunately for you, Ian P at #301
    the “consensus” could just as easily be from seeking to protect future funding.
    This is only aided by the ease of misinterpretting / representing what appears as empirical evidence,
    that is not actually empirical evidence. This has already been shown to be so easy in a field like climate science.
    ie, The Hockey Stick.

    and,
    90 odd % could well be protecting their own careers, rather the seeking the truth,
    especially if the truth was politically not benefical.

    Time will tell.
    (it already has)


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    From post # 301:

    Errm don’t you think that the consensus logically follows from interpretation of the the empirical evidence? The consensus of ninety-odd percent of the world’s top climate and related scientists are making you all look like bleating fools.

    WOW!

    I did not realize that argument from authority constitute evidence.

    No empirical evidence is needed since a consensus is in itself evidence.

    There does that make sense?

    Just following your example.


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    Ian P

    sunsettommy I said consensus follows from interpretation of the evidence, in other words, 97% percent of experts in the field (see recent stanford survey) have looked at the evidence and agree that manmade climate change is real. If 97+% of physicists agreed gravity was real wouldn’t you think it most likely was? If 97 out of 100 doctors told you that you had cancer would you say: “Preposterous! That’s argument from authority! I’m going to put my faith in the other 3.”


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    Richard S Courtney

    Ian P:

    Please try to think before posting things here.

    At #301 you ask:

    Errm don’t you think that the consensus logically follows from interpretation of the the empirical evidence?

    No! It does not!

    The consensus logically follows from where the money is available.

    Ms Nova provides a good summary of where the money is available in her article titled
    “We paid to find a crisis”
    and you can read it at
    http://joannenova.com.au/2009/12/we-paid-to-find-a-%e2%80%9ccrisis%e2%80%9d/

    Richard


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    Ian P: #304
    July 8th, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    I said consensus follows from interpretation of the evidence, in other words, 97% percent of experts in the field (see recent stanford survey) have looked at the evidence and agree that manmade climate change is real.

    The evidence you’re talking about is the output of computer models.
    There are many many scientists/researchers out there who are getting a once in a lifetime deal from AGW. Don’t be surprised when they don’t question the computer model assumptions.

    This is where you need to do your own research into the subject and formulate your own views. There is plenty of material in both sceptical and pro AGW sites.

    p.s. That Stanford survey, how was the question framed? If you were to ask bloggers here at Novas if man affects (changes) the climate, 97% would say yes. But if you follow that up with the question “how much does man change climate” then you’re at a whole new ball game.


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    Ian P

    The last two replies spell it out loud and clear: “it’s all a conspiracy”, “the scientists are being paid off” or “they are afraid of losing their funding” or something like that. C’mon guys, scientists don’t get paid that much, and they are mostly normal people like everyone else and have consciences or are you now going to claim 97% of expert climate scientists have no conscience? Because that what it sounds like.


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    Mark D.

    Ian P. @ various:

    It is clear that you are incapable of critical thinking. Your posts are a silly waste of time.

    The best you have is argument from authority and a lousy (laughable) poll that we have addressed many times already.

    Go away (trolls are not welcome)


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    Ian P

    Mark D: Appeal to authority is not always a fallacy. Take my example above, if 97 out of 100 doctors, who as experts in their field, told that you have cancer would you turn around and reject my information out of hand as merely an appeal to authority? An appeal to authority falls down when the authority is in question. The problem with most posters here is that they don’t accept climate scientists who believe in AGW have good intentions. (and yet non-AGW scientists somehow do have good intentions.) By implication they are attacking the scientists very integrity.
    This is my last post because I can see the pointlessness of trying to argue here.


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    Ian P

    Taking back what I said about last post, Mark D, are you a climate scientist? If not I assume you have to consult authorities? If you are I assume you have to consult authorities in areas you are not an expert in and I would assume that you accept their judgement, backed up with extra opinions or research if you aren’t satisfied. Not the same as appeal to authority is it? Or do we all have to do original research on everything to be satisfied that a overwhelmingly held position is likely the correct one?


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    Mark D.

    Ian P, You ask @ 310:

    ….Or do we all have to do original research on everything to be satisfied that a overwhelmingly held position is likely the correct one?

    One little sentence and you still couldn’t get away from Argument from Authority! I counter your comparison (97 out of 100 Dr’s) comparison this way: If 97 out of 100 said you have a full bladder (a natural condition) and we need to amputate at the waist. That would be more in comparison.

    Foremost; AGW is apparently NOT “overwhelmingly held” as you have asserted. The solution to the “problem Co2″ is like amputating for a full bladder.

    Further original research is not what is required. Instead I prefer hard evidence. (hard evidence does not include models nor inadequate measurements) A close second is reasonable scientific assumption (opinion) but not when it is hyped with tales of impending DOOM. Third, would be humble admission up front about what we DO NOT KNOW. Fourth, I don’t trust any scientist “political activist”.

    And you also say:

    The last two replies spell it out loud and clear: “it’s all a conspiracy”, “the scientists are being paid off” or “they are afraid of losing their funding” or something like that. C’mon guys, scientists don’t get paid that much, and they are mostly normal people like everyone else and have consciences

    You have made assumption upon incorrect assumption here.

    Do you think that a scientist that “doesn’t get paid that much” is vulnerable to taking the easy money that is available for AGW research? I agree most scientists are “normal people” and therefore apt to behave like most normal people i.e.; fall for propaganda, fall for greed, fall for protecting their status, fall for their ego etc. The history of science is full of examples of this. As to conspiracies, you’d be a true denialist if you cannot bring yourself to believe that conspiracies happen.

    Scientists “being paid off” (as in bribes) is a gross misrepresentation of any assertion or discussion that I’ve seen here.


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    Ian P,

    You need to drop the idea that a consensus of anything in science research will establish the truth.It is NOT a rational,or valid way to determine something that was originally conjectured to explain something.It can take just ONE person to prove everybody else wrong.

    Quoting a number of examples in just one field of research:

    In addition, let me remind you that the track record of the consensus is nothing to be proud of. Let’s review a few cases.

    In past centuries, the greatest killer of women was fever following childbirth. One woman in six died of this fever.

    In 1795, Alexander Gordon of Aberdeen suggested that the fevers were infectious processes, and he was able to cure them. The consensus said no.

    In 1843, Oliver Wendell Holmes claimed puerperal fever was contagious, and presented compelling evidence. The consensus said no.

    In 1849, Semmelweiss demonstrated that sanitary techniques virtually eliminated puerperal fever in hospitals under his management. The consensus said he was a Jew, ignored him, and dismissed him from his post. There was in fact no agreement on puerperal fever until the start of the twentieth century. Thus the consensus took one hundred and twenty five years to arrive at the right conclusion despite the efforts of the prominent “skeptics” around the world, skeptics who were demeaned and ignored. And despite the constant ongoing deaths of women.

    There is no shortage of other examples. In the 1920s in America, tens of thousands of people, mostly poor, were dying of a disease called pellagra. The consensus of scientists said it was infectious, and what was necessary was to find the “pellagra germ.” The US government asked a brilliant young investigator, Dr. Joseph Goldberger, to find the cause. Goldberger concluded that diet was the crucial factor. The consensus remained wedded to the germ theory.

    Goldberger demonstrated that he could induce the disease through diet. He demonstrated that the disease was not infectious by injecting the blood of a pellagra patient into himself, and his assistant. They and other volunteers swabbed their noses with swabs from pellagra patients, and swallowed capsules containing scabs from pellagra rashes in what were called “Goldberger’s filth parties.” Nobody contracted pellagra.

    The consensus continued to disagree with him. There was, in addition, a social factor-southern States disliked the idea of poor diet as the cause, because it meant that social reform was required. They continued to deny it until the 1920s. Result-despite a twentieth century epidemic, the consensus took years to see the light.

    Probably every schoolchild notices that South America and Africa seem to fit together rather snugly, and Alfred Wegener proposed, in 1912, that the continents had in fact drifted apart. The consensus sneered at continental drift for fifty years. The theory was most vigorously denied by the great names of geology-until 1961, when it began to seem as if the sea floors were spreading. The result: it took the consensus fifty years to acknowledge what any schoolchild sees.

    And shall we go on? The examples can be multiplied endlessly. Jenner and smallpox, Pasteur and germ theory. Saccharine, margarine, repressed memory, fiber and colon cancer, hormone replacement therapy. The list of consensus errors goes on and on.

    Finally, I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough.

    Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way.

    LINK

    Still not letting go of the worthless consensus angle?

    Look up J. Harlan Bretz on the Floods controversy.It took a few decades for the main geologist field to finally admit that this one time “heretic” was correct.

    The consensus has been wrong many times.


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    Mark D.

    Sunsettommy @ 312

    Very nice!

    I wish we had a way to “file” such excellent posts to be quickly linked to when necessary.

    My favorite line:

    Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough.

    SO TRUE!

    Thanks


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