JoNova

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


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A big speech: Matt Ridley on scientific heresy and the temptations of confirmation bias

Another notch on the winners tally board. It’s a mark of the times that one of the most popular, well known and respected science commentators is willing to to put his reputation and effort into laying out such controversial science publicly, pulling no punches and in a potentially hostile environment. Compare this to the obituaries of “global warming” from believers.

Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist, spoke at an event by the RSA* in Edinburgh. Emails are coming in — it has hit a nerve — and it’s insightful to watch Matt stand in enemy territory, carefully finding common ground with the real scientists in the audience, the seekers of truth, before he launches his attack on the consensus position. According to Bishop Hill (aka Andrew Montford) the speech was well received.

I’ve selected key paragraphs, though ended up with a 2,400 word version. The full 4,000 word version is on Bishop Hill.

David* and I were fortunate enough to have a private lunch with Matt Ridley on his Australian tour, and it was a delight. Days like that are one of rewards for the hours of work unpaid. I usually don’t mention these kind of events — name-dropping is fun — but in this loaded underworld, opponents of the establishment are demonized so it’s usually a disadvantage to the other parties, and I keep a low profile. Such are the medieval rites and rules about being a heretic in our modern era.

At the time Matt expressed some concern about what happens to writers who speak about their skepticism, and I thought it wiser not to publicly mention that he had “consorted” with the despised deniers such as David and myself. Perhaps he was checking that climate skepticism made sense, perhaps that it’s advocates were sane, rational, and presentable in polite company. Anyway, it now appears that there can be no doubt about his position on the topic.

What makes this so worth reading is how well crafted his sequence of reasoning is, and how much research he has done to put this together. In unsensational considered tones, he explains what science is, and how the ever-present temptation of confirmation bias can easily convert scientists to the path of pseudoscience. It’s packed with wisdom, which is why, I guess, I started off meaning to select a few key quotes, and ended up with 60% of his speech (apologies if I haven’t always done justice to the flow).

Jo

 

—————————————————————————————

My topic today is scientific heresy

Matt Ridley

Alchemy by James Gillray

I have a soft spot for heresy. One of my ancestral relations, Nicholas Ridley* the Oxford martyr, was burned at the stake for heresy.  When are scientific heretics right and when are they mad? How do you tell the difference between science and pseudoscience?

Astronomy is a science; astrology is a pseudoscience.

Evolution is science; creationism is pseudoscience.

Chemistry is science; alchemy was pseudoscience.

Now comes one that gave me an epiphany. Crop circles*.

It was blindingly obvious to me that crop circles were likely to be man-made when I first starting investigating this phenomenon. I made some myself to prove it was easy to do. This was long before Doug Bower and Dave Chorley fessed up to having started the whole craze after a night at the pub.

Imagine my surprise then when I found I was the heretic and that serious journalists working not for tabloids but for Science Magazine, and for a Channel 4 documentary team, swallowed the argument of the cereologists that it was highly implausible that crop circles were all man-made.

So I learnt lesson number 1: the stunning gullibility of the media.

Put an “ology” after your pseudoscience and you can get journalists to be your propagandists.

A Channel 4 team did the obvious thing – they got a group of students to make some crop circles and then asked the cereologist if they were “genuine” or “hoaxed” – ie, man made. He assured them they could not have been made by people. So they told him they had been made the night before. The man was poleaxed. It made great television. Yet the producer, who later became a government minister under Tony Blair, ended the segment of the programme by taking the cereologist’s side: “of course, not all crop circles are hoaxes”. What? The same happened when Doug and Dave owned up*; everybody just went on believing. They still do.

Lesson number 2: debunking is like water off a duck’s back to pseudoscience.

 

Lesson number 3. We can all be both. Newton was an alchemist.

Like antisepsis, many scientific truths began as heresies and fought long battles for acceptance against entrenched establishment wisdom that now appears irrational: continental drift, for example. Barry Marshall* was not just ignored but vilified when he first argued that stomach ulcers are caused by a particular bacterium. Antacid drugs were very profitable for the drug industry. Eventually he won the Nobel prize.

That’s lesson number 4: the heretic is sometimes right.

What sustains pseudoscience is confirmation bias. We look for and welcome the evidence that fits our pet theory; we ignore or question the evidence that contradicts it. We all do this all the time.

Lesson no 5: keep a sharp eye out for confirmation bias in yourself and others.

There have been some very good books on this recently. Michael Shermer’s “The Believing Brain”, Dan Gardner’s “Future Babble” and Tim Harford’s “Adapt”* are explorations of the power of confirmation bias. And what I find most unsettling of all is Gardner’s conclusion that knowledge is no defence against it; indeed, the more you know, the more you fall for confirmation bias. Expertise gives you the tools to seek out the confirmations you need to buttress your beliefs.

Experts are worse at forecasting the future than non-experts.

Philip Tetlock did the definitive experiment. He gathered a sample of 284 experts – political scientists, economists and journalists – and harvested 27,450 different specific judgments from them about the future then waited to see if they came true. The results were terrible. The experts were no better than “a dart-throwing chimpanzee”.

 


“Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts”, said Richard Feynman.

 

 

Lesson 6. Never rely on the consensus of experts about the future

Experts are worth listening to about the past, but not the future. Futurology is pseudoscience.

Using these six lessons, I am now going to plunge into an issue on which almost all the experts are not only confident they can predict the future, but absolutely certain their opponents are pseudoscientists. It is an issue on which I am now a heretic. I think the establishment view is infested with pseudoscience. The issue is climate change.

Now before you all rush for the exits, and I know it is traditional to walk out on speakers who do not toe the line on climate at the RSA – I saw it happen to Bjorn Lomborg last year when he gave the Prince Philip lecture – let me be quite clear. I am not a “denier”. I fully accept that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, the climate has been warming and that man is very likely to be at least partly responsible.

So what’s the problem? The problem is that you can accept all the basic tenets of greenhouse physics and still conclude that the threat of a dangerously large warming is so improbable as to be negligible, while the threat of real harm from climate-mitigation policies is already so high as to be worrying, that the cure is proving far worse than the disease is ever likely to be. Or as I put it once, we may be putting a tourniquet round our necks to stop a nosebleed.

I also think the climate debate is a massive distraction from much more urgent environmental problems like invasive species and overfishing.

I was not always such a “lukewarmer”. In the mid 2000s one image in particular played a big role in making me abandon my doubts about dangerous man-made climate change: the hockey stick*. It clearly showed that something unprecedented was happening. I can remember where I first saw it at a conference and how I thought: aha, now there at last is some really clear data showing that today’s temperatures are unprecedented in both magnitude and rate of change – and it has been published in Nature magazine.

This had a big impact on me. This was the moment somebody told me they had made the crop circle the night before.

Yet it has been utterly debunked by the work of Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick. I urge you to read Andrew Montford’s careful and highly readable book The Hockey Stick Illusion*. Here is not the place to go into detail, but briefly the problem is both mathematical and empirical. The graph relies heavily on some flawed data – strip-bark tree rings from bristlecone pines — and on a particular method of principal component analysis, called short centering, that heavily weights any hockey-stick shaped sample at the expense of any other sample. When I say heavily – I mean 390 times.

This had a big impact on me. This was the moment somebody told me they had made the crop circle the night before.

 

Meanwhile, I see confirmation bias everywhere in the climate debate. Hurricane Katrina, Mount Kilimanjaro, the extinction of golden toads – all cited wrongly as evidence of climate change. A snowy December, the BBC lectures us, is “just weather”; a flood in Pakistan or a drought in Texas is “the sort of weather we can expect more of”. A theory so flexible it can rationalize any outcome is a pseudoscientific theory.

To see confirmation bias in action, you only have to read the climategate emails, documents that have undermined my faith in this country’s scientific institutions. It is bad enough that the emails unambiguously showed scientists plotting to cherry-pick data, subvert peer review, bully editors and evade freedom of information requests. What’s worse, to a science groupie like me, is that so much of the rest of the scientific community seemed OK with that. They essentially shrugged their shoulders and said, yeh, big deal, boys will be boys.

 

Nor is there even any theoretical support for a dangerous future. The central issue is “sensitivity”: the amount of warming that you can expect from a doubling of carbon dioxide levels. On this, there is something close to consensus – at first. It is 1.2 degrees centigrade. Here’s* how the IPCC put it in its latest report.

“In the idealised situation that the climate response to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 consisted of a uniform temperature change only, with no feedbacks operating…the global warming from GCMs would be around 1.2°C.” Paragraph 8.6.2.3.

Now the paragraph goes on to argue that large, net positive feedbacks, mostly from water vapour, are likely to amplify this. But whereas there is good consensus about the 1.2 C, there is absolutely no consensus about the net positive feedback, as the IPCC also admits. Water vapour forms clouds and whether clouds in practice amplify or dampen any greenhouse warming remains in doubt.

 

So to say there is a consensus about some global warming is true; to say there is a consensus about dangerous global warming is false.

The sensitivity of the climate could be a harmless 1.2C, half of which has already been experienced, or it could be less if feedbacks are negative or it could be more if feedbacks are positive. What does the empirical evidence say? Since 1960 we have had roughly one-third of a doubling, so we must have had almost half of the greenhouse warming expected from a doubling – that’s elementary arithmetic, given that the curve is agreed to be logarithmic. Yet if you believe the surface thermometers* (the red and green lines), we have had about 0.6C of warming in that time, at the rate of less than 0.13C per decade – somewhat less if you believe the satellite thermometers (the blue and purple lines).

So we are on track for 1.2C*.  We are on the blue line, not the red line*.

Remember Jim Hansen of NASA told us in 1988 to expect 2-4 degrees in 25 years. We are experiencing about one-tenth of that.

We are below even the zero-emission path expected by the IPCC in 1990*.

Ah, says the consensus, sulphur pollution has reduced the warming, delaying the impact, or the ocean has absorbed the extra heat. Neither of these post-hoc rationalisations fit the data: the southern hemisphere has warmed about half as fast as the northern* in the last 30 years, yet the majority of the sulphur emissions were in the northern hemisphere.

And ocean heat content has decelerated, if not flattened, in the past decade*.

By contrast, many heretical arguments seem to me to be paragons of science as it should be done: transparent, questioning and testable.

 

For instance, earlier this year, a tenacious British mathematician named Nic Lewis started looking into the question of sensitivity and found* that the only wholly empirical estimate of sensitivity cited by the IPCC had been put through an illegitimate statistical procedure which effectively fattened its tail on the upward end – it hugely increased the apparent probability of high warming at the expense of low warming.

When this is corrected, the theoretical probability of warming greater than 2.3C is very low indeed.

Yet even to say things like this is to commit heresy. To stand up and say, within a university or within the BBC, that you do not think global warming is dangerous gets you the sort of reaction that standing up in the Vatican and saying you don’t think God is good would get. Believe me, I have tried it.

Does it matter? Suppose I am right that much of what passes for mainstream climate science is now infested with pseudoscience, buttressed by a bad case of confirmation bias, reliant on wishful thinking, given a free pass by biased reporting and dogmatically intolerant of dissent. So what?

After all there’s pseudoscience and confirmation bias among the climate heretics too.

Well here’s why it matters.

At least astrologers have not driven millions of people into real hunger, perhaps killing 192,000 last year according to one conservative estimate, by diverting 5% of the world’s grain crop into motor fuel.

The alarmists have been handed power over our lives; the heretics have not. Remember Britain’s unilateral climate act is officially expected to cost the hard-pressed UK economy £18.3 billion a year for the next 39 years and achieve an unmeasurably small change in carbon dioxide levels.

At least* sceptics do not cover the hills of Scotland with useless, expensive, duke-subsidising wind turbines whose manufacture causes pollution in Inner Mongolia and which kill rare raptors such as this griffon vulture.

At least crop circle believers cannot almost double your electricity bills and increase fuel poverty while driving jobs to Asia, to support their fetish.

At least creationists have not persuaded the BBC that balanced reporting is no longer necessary.

At least homeopaths have not made expensive condensing boilers, which shut down in cold weather, compulsory, as John Prescott did in 2005.

At least astrologers have not driven millions of people into real hunger, perhaps killing 192,000 last year according to one conservative estimate, by diverting 5% of the world’s grain crop into motor fuel.

That’s why it matters. We’ve been asked to take some very painful cures. So we need to be sure the patient has a brain tumour rather than a nosebleed.

 

Handing the reins of power to pseudoscience has an unhappy history.

Remember eugenics. Around 1910 the vast majority of scientists and other intellectuals agreed that nationalizing reproductive decisions so as to stop poor, disabled and stupid people from having babies was not just a practical but a moral imperative of great urgency.

“There is now no reasonable excuse for refusing to face the fact,” said George Bernard Shaw*, “that nothing but a eugenics religion can save our civilization from the fate that has overtaken all previous civilizations.’’ By the skin of its teeth, mainly because of a brave Liberal MP called Josiah Wedgwood, Britain never handed legal power to the eugenics movement. Germany did.

By the skin of its teeth, mainly because of a brave Liberal MP called Josiah Wedgwood, Britain never handed legal power to the eugenics movement. Germany did.

Or remember Trofim Lysenko*, a pseudoscientific crank with a strange idea that crops could be trained to do what you wanted and that Mendelian genetics was bunk. His ideas became the official scientific religion of the Soviet Union and killed millions; his critics, such as the geneticist Nikolai Vavilov, ended up dead in prison.

Am I going too far in making these comparisons? I don’t think so. James Hansen of NASA says oil firm executives should be tried for crimes against humanity.  (Remember this is the man who is in charge of one of the supposedly impartial data sets about global temperatures.) John Beddington, Britain’s chief scientific adviser, said this year that just as we are “grossly intolerant of racism”, so we should also be “grossly intolerant of pseudoscience”, in which he included all forms of climate-change scepticism.

The irony of course is that much of the green movement began as heretical dissent. Greenpeace went from demanding that the orthodox view of genetically modified crops be challenged, and that the Royal Society was not to be trusted, to demanding that heresy on climate change be ignored and the Royal Society could not be wrong.

The remarkable thing about the heretics I have mentioned is that every single one is doing this in his or her spare time. They work for themselves, they earn a pittance from this work. There is no great fossil-fuel slush fund for sceptics.

Talking of Greenpeace, did you know that the collective annual budget of Greenpeace, WWF and Friends of the Earth was more than a billion dollars globally last year?

By contrast scientists and most mainstream journalists risk their careers if they take a skeptical line, so dogmatic is the consensus view. It is left to the blogosphere to keep the flame of heresy alive and do the investigative reporting the media has forgotten how to do. In America, Anthony Watts who crowd-sourced the errors in the siting of thermometers and runs wattsupwiththat.com;

In Canada, Steve McIntyre, the mathematician who bit by bit exposed the shocking story of the hockey stick and runs climateaudit.org.

Here in Britain, Andrew Montford, who dissected the shenanigans behind the climategate whitewash enquiries and runs bishop-hill.net.

In Australia, Joanne Nova, the former television science presenter who has pieced together the enormous sums of money that go to support vested interests in alarm, and runs joannenova.com.au.

The remarkable thing about the heretics I have mentioned is that every single one is doing this in his or her spare time. They work for themselves, they earn a pittance from this work. There is no great fossil-fuel slush fund for sceptics.

In conclusion, I’ve spent a lot of time on climate, but it could have been dietary fat, or nature and nurture. My argument is that like religion, science as an institution is and always has been plagued by the temptations of confirmation bias. With alarming ease it morphs into pseudoscience even – perhaps especially – in the hands of elite experts and especially when predicting the future and when there’s lavish funding at stake. It needs heretics.

*David is Dr David Evans, to whom I’m married.

** RSA are committed to “Ideas and actions for a 21st century enlightenment” but not, apparently, to letting people know what R.S.A stands for. They appear to be both Royal, and a Society, but I had to search through their governance minutes to even ascertain that. Curious.

Image: Aleichem, Alchemy by James Gillray

Matt Ridley’s Blog

Hat tip: Truthseeker, DJL, Baa Humbug, Anthony Watts, Geoff Sherrington, Jim Simpson.

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101 comments to A big speech: Matt Ridley on scientific heresy and the temptations of confirmation bias

  • #

    The full version is well worth reading. This has to be the most considered, most concise, and best argued statement for skepticism about climate science that I have read. The comments at Bishop Hill are excellent, including why climate action is NOT analogous to home insurance. Well done Jo. We’re getting somewhere.
    Ken


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    Phillip Bratby

    I’ve pdf’d it from Bishop Hill and will be sending copies to my MP and various other folk.


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      Popeye

      Me too – not that I’ll get a response from her – Michelle Rowland – Labor MP Greenway).

      But my/our day will come – at the latest around August 2013!

      Cheers,


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    bananabender

    Ironically enough Michael Shermer seem devoid of scepticism when it comes to AGW.


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    Truthseeker

    Hat tip from Jo! Now my blog life is complete … :)

    There is also a lively discussion about this speech going on at WUWT, including an Evolution vs Creationism argument.

    One of the commenters have their own blog which had this wonderful summary that debunks the whole CAGW argument with references and worked examples. Well worth a read.


    Typo fixed :-) JN


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  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    “How many drops of water, falling from the sky, does it take to make a rain-storm?’

    Just one, and then another one, and another, and another, …

    Thanks for posting this Jo.


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    Bush bunny

    Well done Jo and of course Matt. How long will our government and those overseas be falling over themselves when UK has announced they are cutting solar subsidies. We can’t afford it, only the manufacturers of these useless generators of power have made money, including the carbon traders who offer what. It’s a sham and con, and its about time the world woke up to this.


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    Orson

    A magnificent, bracing, thoughtful talk! Share and share it widely~


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    FrankC

    Have sent full article to everyone I know … who is still capable of rational thought.


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  • #
    Rick Bradford

    I don’t think we’ve won.

    Remember what Sun Tzu said: “Always leave the enemy a way out, never force the enemy to fight to the death.”

    The CAGW community has no way out — there’s too much gravy, too many jobs and too much ego already invested in keeping the scam alive.

    Even though their scientific credibility is shot, they have powerful allies, especially in the MSM. Only today, the Guardian posts a story entitled “Wild weather worsening due to climate change, IPCC confirms

    Won? Not yet, I’m afraid.


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      Lawrie

      The Russian Army under Marshal Zhukov gave the Germans a way out but still fought them to death. I have the feeling that there will be some “closet skeptics” deserting the warmist camp as soon as the reality of a cyclic cooling becomes too difficult to ignore or explain. Some politicians have declared their skeptic hand including the Canadian Foreign Minister who told the local press that Canada would not be having an ETS or tax neither would the US. The ALP are looking more like Robinson Crusoe every day; they just haven’t read the story.


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      Konrad

      Rick, I feel you raise a very important point. However it is not just the CAGW community that has no way out, it is also a vast number of politicians, journalists and activists who are going to go down with the hoax. A great number of fellow travellers have been hiding behind the same dying stalking horse. It is the internet will prevent them slinking away from the putrescent carcase to find new cover. I have often written that sceptics will never forgive and the internet will never forget. Those who denigrated, marginalised and vilified sceptics not only face a permanent record of their actions, but a record that can be instantly accessed globally by billions of individual citizens. This truly sets the CAGW hoax aside from other ideological or political failures of the past.

      I think many involved are partially aware of this, evidenced by the “crash or crash through” approach being taken by the federal Labor party. Greenpeace has recently been manoeuvring to capture media exposure for GM crops and rainforest plywood, anything but CAGW. Kevin Rudd accepted a quango position with the UN to look at biodiversity. President Obama talks of clean air and water rather than global warming. The Occupy movement seems a sorry attempt to offer the pathologically Left a new crutch. The rats are trying to leave their sinking ship, but the internet will staple their little paws to the deck.

      Sun Tzu may advise leaving a path of retreat but the internet takes this decision out of the hands of sceptics. While some may forgive, we cannot make the internet forget. We are indeed living in interesting times.


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      DavidH

      CAGW may soon be accepted more widely as debunked, but I wonder how much that will ultimately matter to many people. I brought up the subject with friends over the weekend and while they were somewhat willing to accept that maybe CO2 emissions wouldn’t result in dangerous warming, they were largely OK with the end-product of the carbon tax being that prices of non-renewables rising and the widespread introduction of alternative energy schemes. It got a bit hard to delve too deeply into things, as I could see I was touching a raw nerve, but I understood they felt we had to “do something” because oil is running out, still had worries about “not polluting with carbon”, strong aversion to any thought of nuclear energy and suspicious of CSG. In short, it sounded like the we’re-killing-the-planet-and-have-to-stop greenthink that is so pervasive.

      Beyond just opposing the senseless and wasteful “green” policies we’re seeing all around, there should be more than just saying “no”. It comes across as a do-nothing, head-in-the-sand approach to many who believe they are saving the world. I believe that prosperity, democracy and freedom will do more for the environment than the approach the CAGW brigade would have. It seems that’s what Matt Ridley’s “Rational Optimist” book is about – I must buy it!

      P.S. My first post under the new design; glad to see the post and preview buttons are better separated than before – something I (and several others) suggested to avoid accidentally posting draft comments … thanks Jo.


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      Bruce of Newcastle

      There is already a ready made Sun-Tzu style way out for policymakers and politicians, which is belatedly being taken by the UK Conservatives. Although much too late unfortunately. The way out is to use the GFC affected economy as an excuse to delay action due to cost and economic damage.

      Unfortunately Julia Gillard had this opportunity after the election and instead aggressively chose to go for the carbon tax. I said on this blog last year that all we needed was for action to be delayed until about 2013, by which time the solar minimum related cooling would be obvious enough to completely knock out any justification of ETS’s etc. But her haste to railroad this thing through is really unusual in light of the apathy in every other country, even noticeably in the EU. The Canadian excuse would be so easy – ie “we’ll move when the US does” or “we’ll move when China signs on”. I suspect I know why. But its clear now she will not succeed – I just wish we didn’t have to suffer this temporary hit so unnecessarily.


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    Lawrie

    Slowly, slowly. Water wears away rock, truth wears away scams. The cuts to feed in tariffs is not in response to political enlightenment but in response to outlandish electricity bills and very angry consumers. Those same angry consumers will kill the carbon tax at some time depending on when they get the chance to vote. In the meantime we can be thankful for the Novas and Ridleys who have the guts to dissent publicly egged on by heretical bloggers.

    Durban is coming up and I hope you all are praying for late frosts in that city in the next few weeks. It worked in Copenhagen and Cancun and the sun is still with us.


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    John

    Next step!

    Evolution is pseudoscience; Creationism is scepticism?


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    Llew Jones

    This is a tremendous critique of the “science” behind catastrophic global warming using the full spectrum of the science the alarmists rely on.

    There is another line of argument that comes from Murry Salby’s proposition that natural CO2 emissions overwhelm human emissions and thus temperature is the determinant of CO2 levels (this yet to be released research was featured in a previous Jo post). In the end this may prove just as devastating to alarmism as its sloppy science that is characterised by Ridley as pseudoscience.


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    Lee

    I find that the Author’s watershed moment was only the debunking of a single scientific paper a little disturbing, and quite revealing as to the level of rigour he (does not) apply to decision making.

    Yes, the original “hockey stick” study by Mann et al has been reviewed, and when its *methodology* was found faulty it was subsequently withdrawn (as per good scientific practice). What isn’t touched on by the author is the remainder of studies that have used improved methodologies on a ground-up approach to global data sets and drawn the similar conclusions as Mann’s original work did. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15373071

    I would suggest the commenters that precede me on this article are in fact guilty of the very confirmation bias this article discusses.


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      Phillip Bratby

      I wouldn’t recommend relying on Richard Black of the BBC for anything to do with science or “climate science”. See his latest false interpretation of “hide the decline” at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15538845
      Richard Black is the worst type of BBC alarmist.


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      Jaymez

      Lee you can’t have read Jo’s previous post. It is you who appears to have fallen for the confirmation bias. Our local paper, ‘The West Australian’ published a similar article to the BBC article you have cited. Here is my letter to them:

      Sceptics not proved wrong

      The article appearing in Tuesday’s ‘West Australian’ reporting on the recently released Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) study is an embarrassment to journalism. It uncritically repeated claims made by climate alarmists which are simply not true and certainly not supported by the study results. The article claimed that Climate Sceptics had been proved wrong simply because the BEST study showed that their temperature trend records since the 1800′s confirms other records which show an average global warming of 0.7 C per century. Or as they also state 1.0 C since 1950 taking a more selective period. The fact is I don’t know a single climate sceptic who does not acknowledge the world’s temperatures have risen slightly since the Little Ice Age. What science has not yet been able to show is how much of that warming is natural versus human induced.

      A lead scientist of the study, Professor Muller, is claimed to have been a climate sceptic which is patently untrue, something a basic Google check would uncover. Muller has always been a man made global warming alarmist.

      The ‘BEST’ study has simply confirmed the known long term warming trend. However, the study also confirms there has been no warming for the last 13 years which is contrary to the IPCC models which predict accelerated warming with increased CO2 emissions. For the record specialist statisticians have already pointed out some basic statistical flaws in the BEST study. Muller is yet to address these flaws because the study has not been formally peer reviewed. His senior co-researcher and climate scientist specialist Professor Judith Curry has completely disagreed with many of Dr Muller’s public statements which were reported in the ‘West’s’ article. The BEST study only looks at land temperatures and uses questioningly ‘adjusted’ temperature data. Most importantly, the study makes no observation about ocean surface temperatures which makes up 80% of the Earth’s surface, and even by Muller’s own admission the study makes no observation about the cause of global warming or how much of the warming may be totally natural versus man made something the IPCC is also yet to do.

      Interested readers can get a deeper analysis of the flaws in the study at http://joannenova.com.au/2011/11/best-statistics-show-hot-air-doesnt-rise-off-concrete/


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        Bulldust

        Right between the eyes Jaymez … here’s hoping the West has the cajones to publish your letter.

        To Lee:
        The reason the breaking of the Hockey Stick was so significant is because the IPCC had used it as it’s poster child for CAGW. It appears several times in the TAR (Third Assessment Report) of 2001 which can be found here:

        http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc_tar/

        Just go to report one (The Scientific Basis … hahahaha) and look at the Summary for Policymakers, and what do you see emblazoned right at the start? It appears several other times in the reports.

        When one uses dodgy studies such as these as a cornerstone for one’s arguments it brings the whole process of the IPCC and its supporters into question. The IPCC was ecstatic to use the Hocket Stick as proof that we are living in unprecdented times… hogwash, pure and simple.

        Not only that, the IPCC is so enamored with the Hockey Stick that another version appeared in a later report despite being throughly debunked at that stage. This one turned out to copied from Wikipedia and the reference was even wrong. Turned out the Wiki contributor disavowed the data saying they only drew the graph from someone else’s… and this is the best climate science on offer … apparently.

        They were quick to withdraw the graph after they realised they had become a laughing stock in sceptic circles, but it goes once again to the bias of the IPCC. They are very, very quick to adopt anything, repeat anything (especially grey literature), if it supports their case. This has been amply exposed by Laframboise’s recent book.

        So yes… the Hockey Stick was an eye-opener for many. Aparently not so much for you. As for your accusation of confirmation bias, we are all subject to it … it is human nature and something hard to resist. I resist it best when studying economic data, but even then I have to be wary. What commentators here would like to see most is an even-handed approach to the science which has become ridiculously partisan and tainted by the IPCC and its adherents.


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      The article is valid and so is your argument up until you read the following from the BEST report, which I add has not been peer reviewed.

      The bottom line from the Author “Human Component Of Global Warming May Be Somewhat Overstated” even after all that work trying to cloud the issue they cant find any warming caused by mankind. Even more dismal is the fact they can’t state by how much it is overstated. Pseudoscience at it best and most grand.

      The CAGW movement is dead join another club!

      Say YES to an election now !!


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    Martin Hall

    From http://www.thersa.org/about-us/what-we-do :
    “The RSA is the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce”

    It’s presumably one of those admirable British groups that emerged from the Enlightenment; they seem especially common in the northern manufacturing cities.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve known Matt Ridley since we were both teenagers. He has always been amusing, intelligent and humane; this lecture bears that out.


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    Geoff Sherrington

    Remember what Sun Tzu said: “Always leave the enemy a way out, never force the enemy to fight to the death.”

    Of all the recommendations, this is the one that most remains with me from Sun Tsu. It’s worth reading the paragraphs around it in the English reconstructions.

    Keep fighting. The battle has barely begun, despite huge confidence boosters like the Matt Ridley speech.


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    Kevin Moore

    http://www.daily.pk/charles-darwin-on-the-ouija-channel-15418/

    Charles Darwin On The Ouija Channel

    [snip - sorry for copyright reasons and off topic reasons. Fiction? No. --JN]

    (End of “Emperor of evolution has no clothes”, by Jim Pappas)

    Short URL: http://www.daily.pk/?p=15418

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      brc

      mods can we get a complete, blanket ban on evolution/creationism comments.

      The ‘report’ button doesn’t work which is why I am posting this here.

      There are plenty of avenues on the internet for these discussions, and a climate science post is not one of them. It does not add to the discussion and distinctly detracts from it, especially copy/paste monster like the one above.


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        kevin Moore

        My topic today is scientific heresy

        Matt Ridley

        I have a soft spot for heresy. One of my ancestral relations, Nicholas Ridley* the Oxford martyr, was burned at the stake for heresy. When are scientific heretics right and when are they mad? How do you tell the difference between science and pseudoscience?

        Astronomy is a science; astrology is a pseudoscience.

        Evolution is science; creationism is pseudoscience.

        Chemistry is science; alchemy was pseudoscience


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    Joe Lalonde

    Jo,

    I used to believe 100% in our experts and thought they were absolutely correct as they were my knowledge base and I took their findings with trust as reference.
    I found I had a unique talent in my current field and could problem solve and create solutions which generated never before seen structures and small products to create these different techniques.
    I challenged myself to go into a field totally foreign to see how good the old brain pan was and understand the problems they had and solve the problem. I chose power generation. I found through researching that the calculations for efficiency were far from actually being correct. There was no actual science in this field. Just trial and error. I created a different type of turbine that looked similar to a tank track with folding blades. I had some good advice that keeping it simple with less parts as this would probably be high maintenance, even though it was more efficient. Scrapped this and studied all the turbines and found the all created power the same way. What if I inverted the process as I realized that centrifugal force was the frictional enemy to the current turbines.
    Created an inverted turbine. Sent it to power companies and only one looked at it. I had a conference call with the engineers as to why they thought the design might be too delicate and how efficient the designation of 92% was the current belief. Okay I could accept this.
    I created charts on angles of deflections, studied everything on centrifugal force(very little there). I created a compression table on how centrifugal force changes with speed. I studied water in many ways from pressures to motion to density(saltwater).
    I found other things that were very interesting but never looked at or fluffed over by science. The science laws were incorrect to what I was finding and creating.
    Resubmitted this turbine design, slightly modified along with the charts of angles of deflection along with the density changes in motion. This time it went directly to the board of directors. Decision…wanted a proto-type built. So there it sits broken hearted on a shelf.

    Continued on studying and applying the knowledge from this to a new area…our planet.


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    Charles Bourbaki

    Kevin Moore, have a gold star. A masterpiece of topic relevance.


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      Truthseeker

      Kevin Moore’s effort is a mish-mash of very fuzzy thinking masked by an entertaining delivery. The creationist / design argument is always based around the argument of “the probability of x is so remote that it must be intelligent design”. They do some usually quite reasonable estimation of a very large denominator and say “see it cannot be anything else but intelligent design”. This argument is mathematically infantile as they never consider the population of events for which the relevant event belongs to which make up the numerator of the fraction which is always a much, much larger number than their denominator. So what starts off as being “utterly improbable” becomes a statistical population. It is true for this planet being the way it is, it is true for life existing and evolving and so on. What those who are followers of the intelligent design argument cannot handle is their utter insignificance to the universe at large and how unremarkable we really are. It is arrogance of, dare I say it, biblical proportions to think that we as a species have any importance at all within the incomprehensible vastness of the universe. Just get over yourselves.

      The only thing that the imperfection of our scientific understanding proves is that we do not know everything. Go figure.

      The only real freedom we have is to choose what to believe. Believe whatever you like and I will do the same.


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        Kevin Moore

        Question?

        In the very first cell (assuming that there was a “first” cell) what came first – the DNA or the protein? Of course, the protein that reads the DNA is itself coded for by the DNA. So, the protein could not be there first since its code or order is contained in the DNA that it decodes. Proteins would have to decode themselves before they could exist. So obviously, without the protein there first, the DNA would never be read and the protein would never be made. Likewise, the DNA could not have been there first since DNA is made and maintained by the proteins of the cell. Some popular theories about abiogenesis suggest that RNA probably evolved first and then DNA. But this doesn’t remove the problem. RNA still has to be decoded by very specific proteins that are themselves coded for by the information contained in the RNA. Obviously both DNA and/or RNA and the fully formed decoding protein system would have to be present at the same time in order for the system as a whole to work. There simply is no stepwise function-based selection process since natural selection isn’t even capable of working at this point in time.

        Just like the chicken and the egg paradox, it seems like the function of the most simple living cell is dependent upon all its parts being there in the proper order simultaneously. Some have referred to such systems as “irreducibly complex” in that if any one part is removed, the higher “emergent” function of the collective system vanishes. This apparent irreducibility of the living cell is found in the fact that DNA makes the proteins that make the DNA. Without either one of them, the other cannot be made or maintained. Since these molecules are the very basics of all life, it seems rather difficult to imagine a more primitive life form to evolve from. No one has been able to adequately propose what such a life form would have looked like or how it would have functioned. Certainly no such life form or pre-life form has been discovered. Even viruses and the like are dependent upon the existence of pre-established living cells to carry out their replication. They simply do not replicate by themselves. How then could the first cell have evolved from the non-living soup of the “primitive” prebiotic oceans?


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          Truthseeker

          Kevin, this is a well reasoned argument that still falls into a logical fallacy. Not being able to prove a proposition does not mean that it is false. Also not being able to disprove it does not mean it is true. Yes I know this cuts both ways in this discussion which is why it is ultimately a meaningless argument at our level of imperfect knowledge.

          If you want a more rigorous approach, let me direct you to Andrew McRae’s excellent comment at #23 and for a practical start to the whole process, you can go to this comment on WUWT.


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            kevin Moore

            Your “this comment” does not answer the question re where life came from or what it is,how its codes were devised or symbiosis.

            So answer the question.


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            Truthseeker

            So you want we to answer the question about the origin of life? No pressure then …

            Let me “Bing” that for you … oh look – 244,000,000 results. Knock yourself out.

            If I could answer that question I would have either a Nobel prize in molecular biology (a real Nobel prize not an Al Gore one) or I would have started a religion. Since I do not have the Nobel prize and I am too honest to start a religion I will have to pass and refer you back to my original comments about imperfect knowledge (a point you seemed to have missed entirely).

            The comment link was referring to biological nanotechnology which is dealing with the clay that makes the bricks that life can be built from. If you want to get all technical, go to Eric Drexler’s blog and debate the topic at the source.


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          kevin Moore

          Just to put a bit of humour into the subject -

          One day a group of scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him. The scientist walked up to God and said, “God, we’ve decided that we no longer need you. We’re to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don’t you just go on and get lost.

          God listened very patiently and kindly to the man. After the scientist was done talking, God said, “Very well, how about this? Let’s say we have a man-making contest.”
          To which the scientist replied, “Okay, great!”

          But God added, “Now, we’re going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam.”

          The scientist said, “Sure, no problem” and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt.

          God looked at him and said, “Oh, no. No, you have to go get your own dirt!”


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            Michael

            Exactly. Evolution has holes in it than Global warming if that’s possible,which have been supported by numerous scientists. The problem is that these scientists aren’t getting peer reviewed and the Evolutionists won’t settle down to debate on the issue,as they are scared of being caught out. There’s several excellent magazines which I subscribe to that totally debunk evolution on a regular basis. The best I find being Creation Magazine.

            “An intelligent design usually means an intelligent creator”


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            Truthseeker

            Michael, a circular argument does not prove anything. Just like Newtonian physics can explain the behaviour of large objects but not so good at the sub-atomic level, natural selection can be seen all around us and can be replicated time and again with bacteria in a laboratory but it does not explain the actual origin of life from base chemical combinations, but then Darwin, like Newton, was only explaining what he could see unaided. There is a lot about living organisms that are not designed, intelligently or otherwise. Imperfect knowledge proves nothing except there are things that are unknown.


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          Truthseeker

          Michael and Kevin, here is an excellent article that shows the Darwinian Evolution by natural selection is only part of the picture and that science needs to accept that more science is required without resorting to superstition (author’s terminology).


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    Nigel Julier

    Don’t agree the creation and evolution line. Evolution is still a theory and creationism can’t be dismissed with just a wave of the hand. I would have thought that climate change skeptics would not use the same tactics as the warmists do against something they don’t agree with. Obviously I am wrong.


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    Joanne, you are in rare company (not that it is a revelation)!

    An excellent speech and a welcome read. Yes, he puts the gun in the murderers hand. They have the power – whereas psuedoscience in the past has not held power. And that is the real danger.


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      Llew Jones

      That essentially is the difference between the consequences of a fervent belief in human induced CAGW and say a fervent belief in intelligent design or for that matter even evolution.

      Belief in the scientific credibility of the last two is unlikely to do much damage to anyone as far as we can tell(in this life anyway) but belief in the first has led to an activism from the believing (for want of a better word) scientific and political communities that is potentially destructive of the tremendous life style that those who live in industrialised and rapidly industrialising societies, like China, enjoy and are beginning to enjoy.

      If that were not the case most of us are unlikely to have taken any interest in AGW.

      The problem is that the climate scientists who have caught this “disease” are invariably fervent activists of the Green variety who have forced the more rational amongst us to examine the credibility of the conclusions, they claim to draw from science, and make a cost/benefit judgement.


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    Jaymez

    It is not surprising you had trouble editing this paper, Matt Ridley has wasted very few words in posting this well argued challenge to climate alarmists.

    “No doubt, there will be plenty of people thinking ‘what about x?’

    Well, if you have an x that persuades you that rapid and dangerous climate change is on the way, tell me about it.

    When I asked a senior government scientist this question, he replied with the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum. That is to say, a poorly understood hot episode, 55 million years ago, of uncertain duration, uncertain magnitude and uncertain cause.”

    It is about time our Government asked for the ‘x’ and examined it under judicial conditions.


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    janama

    Interesting speech and I’m glad it’s out there for others to read.

    Can’t say I agree with him on crop circles, homoeopathy and jet aircraft taking down the twin towers but I suppose that’s the whole purpose of his speech.


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    Andrew McRae

    Okay well not sure where all the nutters have come from. This place seemed so sane before, but over the last 2 months we’ve really had an influx of kooks, and I don’t mean the warmist believers. At least CAGW was couched in physical terms, it was actually amenable to scientific inquiry and testing. Creationism is an intuition which is untestable, so it cannot be dealt with scientifically. A USA Supreme Court has judged it to be an intuition and not scientific, and from what I’ve heard neither Behe nor Dembski has ever explained intelligent design in a scientifically testable way. Arguments from incredulity are about as far as it goes.

    Evolution
    People who doubt evolution by natural selection are flat-earthers.
    Just as it is impossible to continue to believe in a flat Earth when you have seen pictures of the round Earth from space, so too is it impossible to doubt evolution when it has been observed in E.coli in the lab and evidence of it abounds in your own body and in nature and in fossils. If you would like to believe that the God of your choice is cranking the handle of Evolution, go ahead, but that’s not science, that’s religion, and don’t try to sell me a ticket on your religious titanic.

    I.D.
    Of course evolution only purports to explain how species change over time and new species are formed. If you want to know how the original living cell appeared from chemical soup, keep looking, because nobody knows for sure. Even Dawkins on his most militant of days will still admit nobody knows for sure. These arguments about probability are prone to selection bias in how complex you want to define the microstates and macrostates components. You can make the probability anything you want by including or ignoring galaxies, degrees of freedom, blah blah. We don’t know. Nobody knows. How about: we’ll NEVER know. If life can be created from scratch in the lab, the fundies will just say, without observational evidence of course, that the real Earth was never as hospitable and well-prepared as the lab conditions. It is no sense in arguing with a fool because others may not know the difference.

    If you want to test intelligent design, how can you devise an experiment in which god is one of the required materials? If god is omnipresent, how do you make a control sample? Will god suffer any pain as a result of the experiment and which ethics committee will sign off on it? None that have poor lap times in the brimestone lake, that’s for sure. It’s all such a load of impenetrable nonsense.

    The Personal God Of The Cell
    Admittedly, the complexity of the cell is the only thing I’ve ever seen that has made me wonder if it was intelligently designed. It is so mind bogglingly complex. But then I notice how inefficient these designs are and how much baggage is left over from less capable mechanisms – as you would expect from evolution. For example, DNA cannot directly self-replicate, it relies on a bunch of cellular machinery to translate the DNA into RNA, then the RNA can be copied, then the copies have to be translated back to DNA. Why not just have self-reproducing DNA? I mean, you are a god aren’t you? The all-powerful intelligent designer? Humans design things in a modular way to save materials and lower the cost of new designs. Did Jahweh have a design budget? Does Allah continuously operate the cells of your body on a shoestring budget that meant reusing RNA was the only option he could afford? All praise the transdimensional tightarse.

    There is an all-powerful force that controls my destiny. Four of them actually: the strong nuclear force, the weak nucelar force, electromagnetism, and gravity.
    Church is a service in the most material sense of the word. They tell you what you want to hear, and I pay for it. Somehow religious freedom became a basic human right. But the freedom to choose who you marry or to stay single, and the freedom to choose a brand of car or to do without a car entirely are both choices not enshrined in the UN charter – in spite of such choices being of infinitely greater practical significance. When you’re 3 hours up the Bruce Highway and your Hyundai conks out you’ll wish you’d spent extra on a Honda, but does any Methodist on their death bed think of all the naughty fun they could have had if they’d… you know… shopped around?

    Spirituality
    If you want spirituality, talk to the Buddhists. They have the most scientific spiritual framework that I know about: there’s no gods involved, and you aren’t even expected to believe everything Buddha wrote, you’re expected to try it and see what works – AND he specifically said you can tailor his teachings over time so it’s not all carved in stone. If even that level of spirituality sounds like too much voodoo and reeks of commitment, perhaps spirits are more your thing and in that case I recommend Coruba rum and Baileys irish whiskey (but never together). An affogato with Baileys is easy to make and hence dessert is a First World Problem that is easily solved.

    Get In Line Buddy!
    Sorry, I think in any one month we can cope with only one gut-wrenching debate tearing down vast edifices of society at a time. There’s only so much a mere mortal can deal with at once. There’s only so much change that a system, such as society, can absorb without breaking. The ID crowd, the population Malthusians, resource cornucopians, new feminists, save the gay whale lobby, and the OWS/GIABO proles are all going to have to take a deli ticket and get in line, because the CAGW dragon is still breathing.


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      … not sure where all the nutters have come from …

      Unfortunately, it is the price of success – Joanne’s success and skill at getting her message across.

      This blog is now being mentioned in dispatches, and so will attract all of the slobbering tin-foil hat brigade, who are too incoherent to form an audience of their own.

      We have three choices: We can enter into “debate” with them, which they would relish; or we can ignore them, which they won’t notice because that is normality for them; or we can use humour to make them look silly (which may be fun for us, for a while) but which they also will not notice.

      Personally, I see them as a product of the discordancy created by government-sponsored propaganda that is produced by swastika wearing communist lesbians working for Goldman-Saks in collaboration with the Weird Wildlife Fund and Prince Charles wearing a dress, … and it is all a conspiracy, I tell you …


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        brc

        Yes, but surely there has to be a point where the blog comments are taken back to climate science and closely related topics?

        I know a hallmark of this blog has been a complete lack of censorship, but a change in the comments policy to exclude certain topics – ie creationism/evolution, 911 truthers, etc is required, to keep the discussions on-topic and to not alienate the non-nutters that still frequent here.

        Dissecting and debating points with AGW believers is one thing, but I can’t be bothered to try and debate off-topic cut/pastes that come from presumably trafficless off-topic sites, in the hope of legitimising their topics.

        The presence of some of the above comments will end up associating this blog with nutters in the minds of new visitors, which is not good for the central theme of the blog, or the the skeptics in general. Many reasonable people will think that skeptics are just a bunch of fruitcakes and weirdos, and I’m sad to say a quick visit to comments on this page would just confirm that. Which is a shame, because I think this speech is as important as the earlier Michael Crichton speeches of a similar nature, and the void of Michael Crichton has yet to be credibly filled.

        If it’s the editorial desire of the blog to open up all sorts of discussions and conspiracy theories – then fine, I’ll move on and find something else to read and contribute to. But I think a clear direction is needed and a modification in moderation policies. All that is needed is a and the message gets through pretty fast.

        (I agree that evolution/creationism arguments does not belong here.There many blogs and forums on the internet for that purpose)

        (Moderators are beginning to deal with this.And to make some moderation decisions to handle it) CTS

        SITE RULE: Since it was mentioned in the post, it’s fair to allow a bit of considered discussion on this thread, but not on other threads. One moderator is willing to help, but we don’t have the resources for that heated unending topic. — JN


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          Lee

          [snip- baseless namecalling]


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            Winston

            Lee
            If ignorance is bliss, you must be ecstatic.
            If the price one pays for questioning the status quo is the occasional outlandish opinion, then so be it. Thinking laterally and outside social conventions is exactly what has been responsible for most progress in human endeavour- witness Darwin, Newton, Copernicus, Tesla, Einstein, etc etc.

            People such as you hide behind social conformity because you are too lazy to scrutinise evidence critically for yourself. Climate science is in it’s infancy,and has large chunks of it’s knowledge base in the unknown category, and yet has the gall to consider itself above reproach, unquestionable and “settled”.

            People are entitled to their beliefs (no matter how off centre) and to have a forum to put them forth and to be judged either positively or negatively according to whether they have a valid argument or not.

            Clearly, you are only happy in the echo chamber of like minded individuals singing from the same hymn sheet, with no deviation from the meme to be tolerated. If that’s the case, by all means search out the knowledge bias of your own choosing, and happily content yourself in the shared delusion that confirms your belief system.

            I for one can quite happily cope with a multiplicity of varying opinions different to my own without feeling threatened in the slightest.


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            Lee

            Winston, I see your ad hominem, congratulations.

            Your accusations are unjust, as this site is simply the echo chamber you are looking for, as per the confirmation bias discussed in this very article. Do a little reading about Joanne’s purveying of pseudo-science and you too can become a critical thinker.

            1. http://www.desmogblog.com/skeptics-handbook-carbon-dioxide-climate-change
            2. http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/12/skeptics_handbook_not_novel_no.php


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            Winston

            Lie with dogs, get fleas

            this site is a magnet for tin-foil because of its tin-foil take on climate science.

            And thats not an ad hominem attack. Okey dokey. None so blind……………


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            Lee

            And thats not an ad hominem attack. Okey dokey.

            The references to tin-foil and nutters were started further up the chain by Rereke and in no way constitute a personal attack targeted at you. How am I supposed to know you would jump on the thread below me and identify yourself as one of Rereke’s tin-foil nutters and then call it ad-hominem? Sheesh. This is exactly the kind of behaviour Rereke was talking about, amusingly coming true via you.


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            Winston

            I believe your comment above was aimed at casting aspersions on Jo, her site, and all who are contributing comments on this site in toto. You took a comment directed toward a minority of posters, and broadened it into an all encompassing ad hom attack on anyone with the audacity to frequent this blog. It was a cheap shot, a sweeping statement without foundation, and you deserved the response you got. Simple.


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        • #

          brc, fair question. When I moderated this by myself I simply didn’t permit the topic of ID-v-evolution at all – I didn’t have time to keep that topic “scientific” as it almost always digresses into logical errors and unfalsifiable statements. I’ve asked the moderators if they have time (or an interest) in moderating the discussion of it. This is the only thread on this site where the word “creationism” was used in the body, hence it seems unfair to rule out any mention of it — at least in terms of what science is, and what the word heretic means. I think commentators have done a good job in replies. But I would prefer people discuss Ridley’s central ideas rather than a single one line comment which is not central to any of his arguments.

          Lee, do some research before you come spraying adverts for things you’ve swallowed that I’ve already debunked.
          Use the INDEX: DeSmog accidentally vindicates The Skeptics Handbook and
          Reply to Deltoid


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            Lee

            Credit where it’s due Jo for publishing challenging commenters – I’m surprised. Most sites that disagree with strong trends in peer reviewed science stifle dissenting discussion.

            Having said that, at a glance your listed rebuttals started out with circular logic (I said that amplification is how they’d debunk me, and when they did debunk me using amplification, I was right). Anyone can build an argument like that.

            I find it unsurprising that this is how you structure when this type of site reports on “ClimateGate” with such a gleeful tone: http://joannenova.com.au/2009/11/the-hacked-hadley-documents/

            …when in fact Vicky Pope subsequently revised the estimates upwards in light of subsequent fixes. I find it hard to believe that this laissez faire flip-flopping isn’t also picked up by your commenters, as they seem like a generally intelligent bunch.


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            Winston

            Credit where it’s due Jo for publishing challenging commenters – I’m surprised. Most sites that disagree with strong trends in peer reviewed science stifle dissenting discussion.

            Lee
            Credit to you for the first half of the above comment. Fair mindedness will get you everywhere, even if we disagree with you. However, the second half of the comment is actually the opposite of my experience in the blogosphere, where those sites critical of AGW have not edited any pro-AGW commenters, especially this site, which allowed one proponent to post several 100 mostly off topic comments in a 1-2 month period, opposing anything that was written out of sheer determination and bloody mindedness to detract from the comments herein. Contrast that with the experience of many who frequent here who have been abused at Skeptical Science or Real Climate for daring to raise a question against the established meme, not to mention the retrospective deletion of inconvenient comments, which I first noted whilst frequenting these sites. It was the down right abusive attitude of tin pot Napoleons like Gavin Schmidt that first gave me the inkling that all was not right with Climate Science, and that polemicist zeal has no place in rational scientific enquiry. The lack of rigour I noted in the quality of evidence relied upon by alarmists is the principle reason why this blog exists, and until they can honestly appraise this aspect of their area of science, no one will be prepared to give them the status of a “hard science” that they obviously crave. Don’t shoot the messenger, if the case is weak, it’s up to the presenter to make their case more effectively, not whinge when their evidence has been debunked, or when observational data failed to provide the predicted outcome expected by the hypothesis.


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            Lee, read the whole rebuttal. The fact that pro AGW name-calling commentators are so predictable that I can say in advance what they will say just shows how pathetic this “debate” is.

            Ha Ha. As for “This type of site” (whatever are you saying?) “reports in a gleeful tone”. OK, spot one gleeful phrase from the link.

            Who is Vicky Pope?

            Lee, you are wasting our time. Please lift your standards.


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      Tristan

      The only conspiracy theories allowed on this site are libertarian ones thank you very much.


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        Tristan, your confirmation bias means perhaps you haven’t noticed that this site mostly busts mindless “progressive” conspiracy theories like the one that nasty oil-polluters pay thousands of skeptics to “seed doubt” by quoting peer reviewed science to journalists who write logical errors.

        Watch out, your team throw the term “conspiracy theorist” out as a name-calling label of derision and a petty ad hom, but as usual, the names they throw apply to themselves.

        Try for some factual content in your comments OK?


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        Winston

        No one here is stopping you from floating any “conspiracy theory” you like, Tristan.
        By all means be my guest, fire away. Get it off your chest, Jo “allows” you to post anything you wish within reason, I’m sure. That’s the strength of the site. You only have to be prepared for people to shoot you down if you say something stupid or bizarre, otherwise you are free to make whatever statement you feel inclined to put forth.

        And, if you’re not a libertarian, Tristan, you should be. It’s only because you have grown up in a very protected environment within a stable democracy with substantial personal freedoms that allows you to so mockingly take it for granted. It may not always be so, Tristan. Don’t be so sure that power in the hands of an unscrupulous government couldn’t grind you or I into the dust if checks and balances weren’t in place to protect against such things. Recent history in other parts of the globe shows us how tenuous the grip on freedom can be if you don’t keep your eyes open and maintain a suitable degree of cynicism towards the motives of our lords and masters.


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        Tristan

        [snip... No posts on this site discuss "conspiracy theories" except they way it is used as a name-calling term. Stick to the Ridley speech. The thread becomes a discussion about the discussion. --JN]


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      Andrew McRae

      Okay I can see from subsequent discussion that I was probably walking a fine line with my little rant up there.
      It’s a bind because I can’t fend off views which I deem to be nutty about topics that have already been raised by the nutters in above comments without actually mentioning and addressing points about those same topics. So I can’t argue why they should be “off-topic” without also going off-topic myself.
      I note the favourable voting ratio on that comment and will interpret that as more of agreeance with my view rather than an endorsement of the topics themselves.

      I support editorial shepherding of topics, since there are many Internet haunts one can go to if one wishes to discuss the secret testing of fluoridation at Area 51 by the greys from the Reticula nebula. That is not because they are false, it’s because of the difficulty of recovering evidence of them, thus making vague emotional hand waving the only dish in the rhetorical buffet.

      May I suggest that there be two levels of “kosher” topic authorisation.
      Firstly, whatever Jo writes an article about, we can comment on the same.
      Secondly, there could be a general “whitelist” of preferred topics which can be commented about even on posts that are not about the same topic. (So you could put a CAGW-related comment in an article about banksters for example.)
      I think this would just be formalising historical behaviour.


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    amcoz

    And one of the most tireless alchemists was the bloke who (jointly) invented the calculus, dissected the optics, discovered the full force of gravity.


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    Robber

    A brilliant essay. Just love this piece: “The problem is that you can accept all the basic tenets of greenhouse physics and still conclude that the threat of a dangerously large warming is so improbable as to be negligible, while the threat of real harm from climate-mitigation policies is already so high as to be worrying, that the cure is proving far worse than the disease is ever likely to be. Or as I put it once, we may be putting a tourniquet round our necks to stop a nosebleed.”

    In Australia our minority government (no carbon tax under a government I lead) certainly seems keen on applying a tourniquet around our necks!


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    Terry

    Someone needs to email this to Paul Sheehan at the SMH, he has AGW skepital views and may help in the publishing of an excert. This deserves a wider audience and there’s no chance of the ABC touching it.


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    Tom

    The great (and often misrepresented) South Australian political reformer Don Dunstan once told me he never stopped questioning his own assumptions. That simple modus operandi (impressed on my young mind four decades ago over a 10-year mostly professional relationship with Dunstan) has been a guiding principal in my professional life ever since. It rings loudly in my ears now as I hear people arguing for “science” without evidence. I doubt my assumptions about issues like climate everyday; the only certainty I have is credible evidence. On climate, I see mostly an out-of-control technocratic elite on a fund-raising drive.


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    incoherent rambler

    Whilst Matt Ridley is another welcome voice against the AGW rollercoaster, there is no sign that the CAGW propagandists are losing the war.
    The increasing number of questioning media articles is balanced with an inundation of Pro CAGW articles in US and AU media. This is not helped by the retreat of our only national newspaper behind a paywall.

    Politically, in Australia, the UK and Europe we have LAWS that are in support of the CAGW hypothesis. The advent of these laws indicates which side of the CAGW argument is winning. As the current circumstances demonstrate, the truth will always lose against the majority belief in a democracy. The majority belief is controlled by media.

    We stand at the entry point to a new dark ages where pseudo-science rules over science. I predict a rough future for the heretics.


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      brc

      I prefer to see it the other way.

      In all wars that are lost, the losing generals or leaders proclaim victory right up until the tanks are rumbling down their street. The guy in Iraq protesting that the Americans had all been killed was the official media. The reality was somewhat different.

      The Australian is still pro-AGW, just anti carbon tax. I wouldn’t be worried about that. When the emperor has no clothes, it doesn’t all end with the proclamation of one boy. It takes several years of public snickering and pointing before the power-brokers finally concede the naked emperor. There might be a big breakthrough – a very public defection, maybe, some very smoking-gun evidence that can’t be refuted. Or it might just slowly ebb away. Imagine a world where Al Gore admits he has got it all wrong? You might laugh but there is a big prize for the first defection. In the sinking ship, there aren’t enough lifeboats before someone needs to take the blame.

      The opinion polls are a leading indicator of laws. The opinion poll trend is away from CAGW, and accelerating. It’s only a matter of time before the laws change to match. A cooling climate will accelerate this if one bad winter piles up a big death toll. These things take time – it took 10 years before any AGW laws were passed from the start of the scare. I expect it will take at least 10 years for the tide to completely recede on the laws as well.

      Julia Gillard is (and will be) the last leader trying a carbon tax on the populace. Everyone who doesn’t already have one has walked away from the idea. Europe is already complaining that nobody else is joining them, so what is the point. Any day now, they’ll have much bigger problems to worry about than a pointless and hopeless trading scheme. If the Euro cracks apart, I can’t see the trading scheme surviving it.

      Put it this way – come July next year when the carbon tax is supposed to come in. It’s supposed to run for a bit then join the international trading scheme. Can anyone point to an international trading scheme currently in operation? Sure, you can OTC trade permits with EU countries, but there is no organised scheme. Kyoto finishes next year, and there is no replacement or extension likely. Even without Tony Abbots input it’s destined to fail. It’s like saying we are going to join the international delegation for welcoming visiting aliens in two years time, when no current evidence suggests there will be any aliens visiting in two years time.


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    [...] This amazing piece of scientific clarity is now “going viral” around the world’s best scientific-method-based science blogs (no, many are not).              “Be of [...]


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    Mike

    It’s always been rough for heretics. Our whole society is built around conformity. If you don’t conform you are seen as being strange and quite often ostracised. Never mind that what people are conforming to doesn’t make rational sense. This is because most people either lack the will or the ability to think for themselves. They are the “go along to get along” variety and accept what authority figures say. People are not taught how to think for themselves. That is too dangerous for authority.


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      Mike, you are correct. Society is built on conformity. But man is by nature independent. Thus you get the conflict of the conformity of society, versus the individuality of man. That explains both the existence of heretics, and their shunning.


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    Craig Thomas

    Ridley says:

    “Remember Jim Hansen of NASA told us in 1988 to expect 2-4 degrees in 25 years”

    My answer is

    “No, I don’t think anybody remembers this factoid, probably due to it not being true”.

    Once again, we’re told to be “sceptical” and at the same time being asked to swallow nonsense.

    I’ll look forward to Ridley correcting his mistake.


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      Craig,

      It is true that he said it:

      Hansen: warming should have been 2-4 °F in the last decade

      From Steve Goddard with the actual newspaper report visible.From 1986 is this gem:

      LINK

      I found all this in less than two minutes on the internet.


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        Craig Thomas

        I don’t know why you are scouring the internet seeking confirmation bias….when all you have to do is go to the primary source: read Hansen’s 1988 paper which seems quite clear to me: he said that the temperature increase in a 15-year period would be 0.7 degrees.

        I’d say the “2-4 degrees” nonsense was invented by a confused person who mis-remembered having read that temperature sensitivity was estimated to be “2-4 degrees per CO2 doubling”.
        In fact, as you can see in the two inaccurate newspaper clippings you provide links to, the very next sentence is about Hansen explaining the effects of CO2 doubling by 2040. Pretty obvious that the journalist made a mistake in their notes.

        So….as far as SunsetTommy and Goddard are concerned – SCEPTICISM FAIL!

        The important question is this – Matt Ridley has made an untrue statement. Some people here are in denial as to the untruth of that statement – a good example of confirmation bias in action.

        Surely Matt Ridley will correct his mistake, at some point?


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      Here is another outlandish temperature prediction made my James Hansen.

      Hansen On TV 1988 : 9F warming by 2040

      Jimmy Hansen likes to make wild unsubstantiated far into the future temperature predictions.They come back to haunt him and people like you Craig Thomas.Who seems to be ignorant of it all.He has been wrong over and over now.

      Will you now concede that Hansen is not a reliable source for temperature data?


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        Craig Thomas

        It is accepted that a doubling in CO2 is possible by then, and it is accepted that a doubling in CO2 will entail a 1.5-4.5 degree temperature increase.

        I think most people (including Hansen) would agree that Hansen’s 1980′s estimate of sensitivity (4 degrees) was too high. This is why they tend to agree on 3 degrees these days.

        So, I don’t see what is so wrong with “5 degree warming by 2040″. It may prove to be wrong, but it is certainly not outlandish.
        What *is* outlandish, is your obsession with what was going on in this field 25 years ago. Why not discuss what the experts (including Hansen) are publishing right now?


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        Craig Thomas

        FFS!!! – I just followed your “Hansen On TV 1988″ link.

        It’s a work of science fiction.

        What on earth are you using a science fiction story as a reference for?


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          Martin Hall

          I don’t really care either way, but your comment surprised me, so I just looked at the reference; and I think you are badly mistaken.

          The book in question, by Gordon and Suzuki, is clearly not a work of science fiction. Rather, it is a work of prophesy, of warning.

          The segment quoted is a forecast of what climate conditions would be in 2040, if the prediction made by James Hansen in 1988 were to come true.

          The book may not have stated the prediction correctly – but that’s another matter.


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    This is where I stopped reading: “911 was an inside job.” I’m no conspiracy theorist but there is plenty of evidence to question the official line as being the facts.

    I’ve been doing alot of thinking about what the psuedo-science argument really is. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is an argument from authority. It’s saying that none of your research, and even you pursuit of truth, is valid. Now I don’t think that it is ever valid to use this argument to make a point. Ever. Either construct a valid critique of someone’s position, or move off.


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    Helen Armstrong

    Reading Matt Ridley’s ‘The Rational Optimist’ was an epiphany for me. I no longer fret about things like warming or fertilisers or roundupready cotton etc, because these things will help feed the world. And when something is needed, it is invented. Just as people 150 years ago could not concieve of the motor car, or a world with out mountains of horse pooh in the streets (why was there no union to protest at the loss of jobs in that industry – horse pooh sweepers and collectors-??) I also cannot conceive of what is to come. I trust to the coming generations to observe and adapt to whatever is dealt them. I do not trust that they will not have the smarts to do whatever is needed, and that this generation is smarter and has all the answers, because we actually don’t even know what the questions are or will be, or what other knowledge is to hand to deal with what ever. But one thing I know now that will also apply in the future and that is that I trust to capitalism to enable the worlds poor (shrinking with every year – now down to 900 million? – thanks to capitalism) to lift themselves out of poverty.

    So I too am a Rational Optimist, (is the alternative to be Malthusian?) and welcome any warming we might get, thanks to Matt. And thanks to you too Jo, because your work, Andrew Bolt, Bishop, Anthony and others also set me on the path.

    But most of all, hail to the Internet, without which I would only know that dished up by MSM.


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    Madjak

    I have to say that matts summary of the situation is one of the most concise, clear, well constructed summaries of the AGW matter I have read. If he was arguing the other way, I reckon I would have read it to the end anyway, and probably had a change of view to some extent.

    Many nods from me here. He has summarised many of my thoughts on this matter based on the information available to us today. He has prepared this in a way I could not.

    And he did it in a way which gave credence to people like Jo who have persisted in ensuring those without a voice were heard and understood. And that is a truly noble deed in every sense of the word.

    And to the warmists out there. You may be right, but you had better prove it without this resorting to the usual bluster, strawmen, precautionary principles and propoganda. Try reason, data and facts instead of spin, exaggeration and hubris. You might find some of us might even not be so numbed as to actually listen.

    We are still waiting.

    I for one, am proud to be a heretic. In fact, maybe I can get some t shirts made up…. ;)


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      Andrew McRae

      proud to be a heretic. In fact, maybe I can get some t shirts made up…

      It should be white or light coloured, with text on the front, and blackened wooden stake marks on the back.

      Soon Moda TV will have the latest catwalk footage from Climate Denier Fashion Week.
      They will feature mostly skivvies and overcoats, to protect against the snow storms caused by global warming, and the designs will have no hip pockets because after the carbon tax you won’t need to carry loose change anyway.
      It is a great chance for a sneak peek at the must-have items that fashionable climate deniers will NOT be seen wearing in public this season as they will insist the fashion sales prediction models are based on exaggerated parameters of positive social feedback.


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    bananabender

    I have to be negative and say that most climate “sceptics” have displayed remarkably little scepticism. The vast majority of “sceptical” argument has simply been an uncritical acceptance of AGW and arguing about the minutiae such as the statistical manipulation of the Hockey Stick. To use a Creationist analogy sceptics have been arguing about which of Adam’s ribs was used to make Eve


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    Warwick Payten

    A brilliant well balanced talk. The question of sensitivity related to feedbacks gets to the core of the current issues. The way that Bayesian statistics was applied by the IPCC to give the current sensitivity was completely wrong, it was excellent that he covered this point.

    Warwick


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    Luke Warmer

    The first part of Ridley’s talk is woefully trivial and misguided, missing the distinction between, amongst other things, – pre-science, science modified by evolution/revolution and pseudoscience (also known as Voodoo Science, Cargo Cult Science or Pathological Science (see Langmuir 1953 – http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~ken/Langmuir/langmuir.htm )

    Ridley is essentially implying that there are only two states for any argument – pseudoscience and science (or in other words right and wrong). Shame he didn’t try this with heliocentricity, Newton v. Einstein, plate tectonics, and so on. Even his mention of stress v. H. Pylori in peptic ulcers (Barry Marhsall) plays the old trick of making it the hero kicking against the pricks, rather than recognising the complex realities of the situation, confused by Bismuth’s role in treatments and culminating in a trial of the evidence from within the medical scientific community, all of which has been documented.

    Sadly, for all those cheering for Ridley here, at Bishop Hill and WUWT – this only provides confirmation of their own confirmation bias. (and probably my own etc. so on ad infinitum)
    Sorry but it has to be said. Ridley’s way out of his depth – a nice polemic but no real insight into how science really works.


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    Tristan

    Since 1960 we have had roughly one-third of a doubling, so we must have had almost half of the greenhouse warming expected from a doubling – that’s elementary arithmetic

    Almost as elementary is asking what timescale we expect to see climate sensitivity realised. Oh well.


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    bananabender

    The Marshall/Warren H. pylori ulcer hypothesis didn’t deserve a Nobel Prize. It was more a triumph of wishful thinking and pop culture over hard science. The majority of people in the world have H pylori in their stomachs but don’t have ulcers. Others (including myself) have had ulcers without an H pylori infection. The reality is far more nuanced.

    Barry Marshall did not get an ulcer from drinking H pylori – merely a severe stomach ache.


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    For those of us who like Matt Ridleys writings, I’d like to link to an article of his titled GAS AGAINST WIND in New Geography.

    We will find that what will finally kill off the Global Warming scam will be a realisation by our political leaders that those who take advantage of Shale Gas will prosper whilst those who pursue the “Clean Energy” meme will fall way way way behind, harming the prospects of their citizens.

    Enjoy the read.


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    JPeden

    “Confirmation bias”, from my pre-Postmodern Philosophy Major experience:

    Confirmation bias can simply be “begging the question”, in the sense of simply repeating the hypothesis over and over as a Mantra masquerading as a conclusion regardless of whatever else is said or alleged, which seems to be one of Climate Science’s most basic “methods” of confirmation bias. Thus we hear the same Mantra repeated over and over despite anything else which occurs in reality, despite logic, or despite what any study shows – even one of Climate Science’s own studies.

    Another familiar method used in Climate Science’s very practiced confirmation bias involves the logical fallacy of, “If A, therefore B. And B. Therefore A.” But Climate Science also then takes the latter to a manifestly absurd level by further claiming, “If A, therefore there could be B. There could be B. Therefore, A.”

    Of course, Climate Science’s confirmation bias almost always includes the good old Precautionary Principle’s infinite regress, the self-contradictory but mainly emotional pre-Enlightenment/Postnormal appeal to disasterizing panic. Therefore:

    Climate Change could be or is always bad and could be or is caused by the use of fossil fuel. Therefore, we must do something really stupid now, like effectively commit suicide or become enslaved by Totalitarians and their looting cohorts, before it’s too late! Or else we’re all gonna die!”

    By now it’s also a characteristic feature of Climate Science’s confirmation bias that its method always avoids real science’s falsification or evidence toward disproof of an hypothesis, in other words, by the logic, “If A, therefore B. Not B. Therefore, not A.”

    But how many more “not B’s” within empirical reality need to occur in order to complete Climate Science’s current perfect record of “not A”?

    The answer according to Climate Science’s method is that there will never be enough “not B’s” to make Climate Science give in to the disproof of its “hypotheses, “not A”. Because Climate Science’s main manifestation of confirmation bias involves its method of simply not letting its hypotheses be contradicted or falsified by any event in empirical reality whatsoever.

    As we know, there’s always some excuse or appeal made by the alleged Climate Scientists to “bad data” or to new or differently interpreted factors needed and invoked to “explain” the “not B’s”. Well, anyone can do that, and they often do! Such a method comprises one kind of “Conspiracy Theory”, the kind that can never be disproven.

    But the problem for Climate Science’s Conspiracy Theory, CO2 = CAGW, then is that its apparent hypotheses are not really statements about [empirical] reality, exactly because they are “consistent with” everything that happens – like just making any noise or not would be, or singing a song, or “predicting” any old Apocalypse would be. Therefore, its alleged hypotheses actually say nothing about reality, except that “Whatever happens, happens,” at best. But in practice it doesn’t really matter to Climate Science’s method whether anything happens which might bear on its ostensible hypotheses.

    Because as it turns out, Climate Science’s “hypotheses” only look like they are making statements about reality. And therefore, they are not actually confirming anything, except perhaps that Climate Science is nothing but a gigantic Propaganda Op..

    Therefore, all Propaganda Tactics are useable to the ends of Climate Science’s “confirmation bias”.


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    When we get done with the discussion about mid-century, it will have been conclusively
    found that all that CO2 we’ve put up there has helped greatly. The billions have been fed.
    The Chinese and the Indians, with all their one-a-week coal-burning plants, will be recognized
    for their “wisdom.”


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    Lawrie # 10 Billions of $$$ have being already spent, to prevent the non-existent GLOBAL warming. People go to jail for $1000 bucks. There is more students in universities studying the green propaganda; than for engineering, agronomy, all together.

    Tragically, most of the ”pretend Skeptics” are into ”sunspots / sun-flares = creating big ” back-door exits” for the Warmist. NASA is part of the Warmist camp – they can declare that is, or is no any sunspots = that’s what prevented the warming. Even though; if you learn about the self-regulation of temperature in the atmosphere – sunspots / sun-flare is ZERO AFFECT. ZERO, ZERO!!! If you have stomach for the real truth / proofs: http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com

    It’s not much, read every sentence – only that will make Warmist to admit publicly that they have being lying. Otherwise, as they went from Nuclear Winter into GLOBAL warming – they have the finances and the microphones – only real proofs are medicine for them. Sunspots and similar is exclusively, to blind the ignorant.


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    elsie

    This may be off topic but it does relate to the attachment of importance or ignorance that science gives to certain topics.

    At the present time in history AGW or climate change as pertaining to the environment has the upper hand. It interests the politicians, the media, special science groups and societies in general. It has been waning of late, thank goodness.

    But there is another established, far more threatening and ignored existential danger facing the environment and civilisation. That is, the real likelihood of an impact from a small asteroid or comet. If the 1910 impact had not hit remote Siberia but, say Germany, then millions may have been killed and human history would have changed. Few noticed this and few know of it today.

    Uniformitarianism vs Catastrophism has to be looked at more closely in the latter’s favour. Near Earth asteroids that pass closer than the Moon’s orbit are rare but have been seen in the recent past. Comets come from their trillions in the Oort belt outside the Solar System and can come from any angle at any time…not just from the Asteroid plane.

    Only very few comets like Halley’s are predictable. Most are not or are not yet been seen. USA scientists disregard large impacts in their thinking. The 1994 comet that hit Jupiter for all to see has slowly helped to change that idea.

    My point is that Greens, environmentalists, etc, won’t be able to do a darn thing about the environment or extinction of species if an impact could occur at any time…everyone thinks that they only happen every several millions of years, but smaller ones are more common. Probably, impacts account for more extinctions and climate changes than anything else.

    Money and research should be diverted to detecting these objects and perhaps devising ways to divert them. The movie “Asteroid’ was really closer to the real truth than was “An Inconvenient Truth.”


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      Tristan

      I thought more extinctions were caused by climate change than anything else. glacial periods etc. I expect 2nd on the list would be geothermal activity. ie deccan traps, supervolcanoes…


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    Matt Ridley has repackaged the Warmist crap, shrunk it a bit, and is dishing it as a pretend Skeptic. obviously he knows: people on the street think: if something can go wrong, better be safe than sorry. His 1,2 degrees warming in 100y is bigger lie, than Al Gore’s 5-6degrees!!! Manipulators as Matt Ridley are giving oxygen to the extremist. He knows that: nobody will ask him: maybe is going to be 1,4 degrees warming; how did you come up with your 1,2 degrees?! Shame, shame, shame!!!What Ridley is doing is mother of all lies.

    He is dignifying the Warmist lies, under false pretence. H2O + CO2 are not a GLOBAL warming gases. He didn’t bother to look on same latitude; one place with lots of H2O in the air, another with much less… desert has warmer days than good climate with plenty water in the air. Same goes for CO2; they intercept the heat high up – never to get to the ground.

    Ridley, get out of the city, out of the artificial climate; you can learn the correct way: look on the horizon and turn around 360degrees. From those exposed rocks, hot air goes up – 50m away colder air is falling down towards the swamp – another 50m to the left – hot air is going up from the roof and red brick farmhouse – hot air goes up from that red exposed soil to the sun – colder air is falling towards the river. When gets hotter – the vertical winds increase. On 15km radious – there is 1000 lines highway in both directions – the vertical winds increase as necessary.

    Similar as water flaw from the block of the engine to the radiator. The more you rev – the more heat engine produces, but the water pump speeds up also. Earth’s radiator can double in volume in split second; if necessary. You wouldn’t even know that oxygen and nitrogen, which are 998999ppm in the atmosphere can double in volume; that is equal to cooling the heat from two suns. Standing in nature – you can see 500km3 of air – every cubic kilometre has 1000 different temperatures… how many thermometers can you see there?! NOBODY KNOWS WHAT WAS LAST YEARS TEMPERATURE IN THE ATMOSPHERE, Ridley knows that in 100y will be warmer by 1,2degrees…???!!!! shame, shame, what grown up people can get reduced to… without blushing…

    O+N will not wait to get warmer by 1,2 degrees, before start expanding – they instantly expand accordingly, when warm by 0,0000001 degree. When the whole atmosphere warms up by 0,0000001 – it expands by 10m up extra. Do you know how much extra coldness can be redirected from there and equalize in a jiffy? If the whole atmosphere cannot warm up by 0,0000001, how can it warms up by 1,2 degrees? Because of characters like you, our prime minister is today legislating carbon tax in the senate. Playing smart arsse on millions of people’s expenses is a legal crime; it shouldn’t be!!! Go to my website, or apologise for misleading!!! http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com


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    [...] *Maybe the CSIRO should be spending more time reading this speech from Dr. Matt Ridley: A big speech: Matt Ridley on scientific heresy and the temptations of confirmation bias Advertisement Eco World Content From Across The Internet. Featured on EcoPressed Simple [...]


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    Andrew McRae

    By Tue 22 Nov we will know if Ridley’s speech is being managed the same as every other speaker presentation, or whether his speech is being censored by the RSA.

    Every other audio recording has appeared for download on the RSA site within a week of the event, regardless of whether the video is available. It has been 2.5 weeks already and the audio for events before and after Ridley’s are already available, but not his.

    Every other video has appeared within 3 weeks of recording, which for the Scientific Heresy lecture would make it due COB London time next Tuesday. No video of events after his have been published yet.

    They wouldn’t get away with malarkey like that, so I expect the video will appear by next Wednesday.
    So prepare tinfoil hats, possible conspiracy incoming. There’s the hypothesis. Test result due 23 Nov 2011 at 3am AEST.


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