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The scientific method in 61 seconds

Thanks to Richard Feynman

h/t to Aussiute

UPDATE – an excellent comment about Feynman on vague unprovable theories

Kevin Marshall (Manicbeancounter)
October 9, 2014 at 3:52 am
In the same lecture, at around 5.10 here Feynman said something more relevent to the whole climate debate.

You cannot prove a vague theory wrong. If the guess that you make is poorly expressed and the method you have for computing the consequences is a little vague then ….. you see that the theory is good as it can’t be proved wrong. If the process of computing the consequences is indefinite, then with a little skill any experimental result can be made to look like an expected consequence.

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Rating: 9.7/10 (133 votes cast)
The scientific method in 61 seconds, 9.7 out of 10 based on 133 ratings

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/m6qso97

163 comments to The scientific method in 61 seconds

  • #
    ossqss

    Awesome, and correct too!

    Thanks for sharing it 》

    171

  • #
    Peter Miller

    I bet they don’t teach that in Climate Science 101.

    If they did, we probably wouldn’t be wasting almost $1.0 billion per day on trying to tackle a non-provident.

    220

    • #
      Peter Miller

      Non-provident?

      Non-problem!!!!

      40

    • #
      Fred

      No, but here’s what they DO teach:

      http://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2014/09/geoffrey/

      Not just at our expense, but for our own good of course.

      50

      • #
        aussiebear

        The article you’ve linked is the perfect example of what I was talking about in the previous thread! Those people who teach and preach Climate Change are Activists with scientific credentials.

        All they care about is their titles and labels so as to portray themselves as some expert. When you look at the educational content and quality of the course, you realise its shallow with very little science!

        Its a indoctrination course, involving easy tests that anyone can pass, and dressed with computer-game-style achievement trophies!

        No wonder why its offered as a free course! There is no tangible value to it!

        I only have one question: Did the Australian taxpayer fund this?

        50

    • #
      Brute

      I would argue that we might still be spending $1.0 billion per day on climate if these simple notions were taught to every one of these scientists.

      The difference, imo, is that there would be a great deal less certainty and a great deal more civility coming from those quarters.

      00

  • #
    Kevin Lohse

    Shared on FB.

    30

  • #

    In the same lecture, at around 5.10 here Feynman said something more relevent to the whole climate debate.

    You cannot prove a vague theory wrong. If the guess that you make is poorly expressed and the method you have for computing the consequences is a little vague then ….. you see that the theory is good as it can’t be proved wrong. If the process of computing the consequences is indefinite, then with a little skill any experimental result can be made to look like an expected consequence.

    542

    • #
      Mark

      Bloody phone! That negative vote is finger trouble…fully endorse this little gem of a video and agree. If the parameters of a theory are broad enough…black is white! Then, it really isn’t a theory…we used to play around with proofs at school
      1=0
      If 1*0=0
      And 0*0=0
      Therefore 1=0….1 and 0 aren’t variables but…kids being kids

      50

      • #

        Dividing by zero is naughty …

        Pointman

        80

        • #
          NielsZoo

          What, you have a problem with ∞ ? Is it better or worse than √-1 ? If you can’t divide by zero how are you going to prove that Unicorn flatulence can run the wind turbines when it’s too dark for the solar cells.

          70

          • #
            jorgekafkazar

            Obviously you’ve not been keeping up with the latest wrinkle in renewables: lunar cells!

            70

          • #
            Rereke Whakaaro

            I don’t have a problem with ∞, apart from there being to much of it around, these days

            It is, √-1 that gets a lot of people fazed, which is surprising, since we now have the “i” generation.

            This comment is excellent proof that engineers cannot make up jokes.

            60

          • #

            Is 1/0 infinity, a different infinity, undefined, negative infinity, a malformed emoticon?

            41

          • #
            James Bradley

            See that’s the problem with living inside an infinite universe, it is a closed system with no outside observers and anything is possible, however, on the plus side, you always know exactly where you are – right at the centre of it.

            80

            • #
              The Backslider

              See that’s the problem with living inside an infinite universe, it is a closed system

              If it’s infinite, how could it possibly be closed?

              10

              • #
                James Bradley

                Well then Backslider, tell me what’s on the outside of it?

                21

              • #
                Philip Shehan

                James, The problem is that we evolved in an apparently 3 dimensional world, that of our experience on our scales of distance. We have trouble imagining higher dimensions.

                A “closed” universe is one which is finite but unbounded.

                The three dimensional analogy is the surface of a sphere. It is finite, closed, but has no boundaries. It is as I said difficult to imagine the higher dimensional situation , thus the question ‘What is outside a finite universe?’ The thing is, you cannot get “outside” the universe and look back at it. It is an invalid question to ask.

                An open universe is infinite finite and bounded.

                In practice it boils down to whether there is enough mass in the universe to curve spacetime sufficiently to close it.

                This is linked to geometries. In the past it was assumed that Euclid’s geometry, “flat” and infinite, described the natural world.

                Then it was discovered that self-consistent non- Euclidean geometries existed. Some are “closed”. Some are open but not “flat”.

                The question then becomes “Which geometry actually describes space in our universe?”

                Current cosmological thinking is that our universe is in fact close to the Euclidean model, but that is by no means certain.

                21

              • #
                Philip Shehan

                I should add that Backslider is incorrect. A universe cannot be both closed and “infinite”.

                It can be open and unbounded, or closed and bounded.

                11

              • #
                Philip Shehan

                “An open universe is infinite finite and bounded.”

                Apologies for the sloppy edit.

                That should be: An open universe is infinite or unbounded.

                21

              • #
                Philip Shehan

                I might add that one of the reasons that the universe is believed to be as described by Euclid’s model is the recent observation that the distant galaxies are accelerating away from each other (and so from us) instead of slowing down. If there was enough mass in the universe so that they slowed down sufficiently to eventually stop and start moving back together ending in a big crunch, that would correspond to a closed universe.

                It is now thought that they are accelerating away due to “dark energy” which counteracts “gravity”. Even though the mass of the universe must now take into account the existence of “dark matter”, the acceleration away from each other means that they will never stop doing so and that the univrse will turn out to be flat and open.

                Brian Schmidt was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on this at The Australian National University.

                http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/2011/press.html

                12

              • #
                Philip Shehan

                Pardon me again.

                On re-reading Backslider’s post I think we are using the term “closed” in different senses.

                He is using closed in the sense that everything that is happening is happening inside it, there is nothing coming in from or going out of the universe. (Maybe not strictly true either, eg. things disappearing into black holes may end up in another universe.)

                I am using closed in the geometric sense, that is finite, as opposed to open or infinite.

                11

              • #
                James Bradley

                Phil,

                As usual I have enjoyed your replies.

                The information is actually useful to me.

                Over the years I have written and sold a number of spec fic stories to various publishers and your reply has clarified a particular continuity problem with a story that’s been sent back for a re-write.

                Many thanks.

                00

              • #
                Philip Shehan

                No problem James. I actually wrote a few essays back in the day on Non Euclidean geometries and Euclid’s fifth postulate, cosmology etc. It is a very interesting subject. I have a number of books on it. I sent one essay to Phillip Adams after I heard him talking to Paul davies. He wrote a very nice letter saying he tried to ring me about it.

                I see I misattributed the term “closed” to Backslider. You are using it in the thermodynamic sense, which is fine.

                More on our inability to visualise in higher dimensions. I once did a maths course in topology where these things are shown mathematically, but it is really difficult to imagine them. Sometimes you can make analogise like the hypercube which is the three dimensional Shadow of a four dimensional cube, like a wire three dimensional cube can cast a shodow on a piece of two dimensional paper. Then there is superstring theory which says this universe might actually have 11 (I think) dimensions. The others are kind of wrapped around our “normal ” dimensions on such a tiny scale that we do not notice them.

                In TV docos etc you will see the Big Bang shown thus. A black screen which people take to be empty space, then a explosion. The problem is that the Big Bang was not an explosion in empty space. There was no empty space before the Big Bang. The Big Bang was an explosion of space, the creation of space.

                The question of ‘What happened before the Big Bang?’ is a similar problem. There was no before. The Big Bang was the creation of time.

                Now there are some nuances to this. Our universe may be part of a multiverse. Various kinds of multiverses are postulated. And maybe there is some kind of ‘metatime’ outside our particular universe. “Brane” (membrane) theory says that multiple universes may be represented by the analogy of parallel sheets like paper separated in a “space” of some kind. Two sheets come into contact and the BB is the result. All very complicated and highly speculative as thus far we have no way of knowing whether such other universes exist or can ever be shown to exist so this may be forever in the realm of metaphysics rather than science. This is also an objection people make to string theory.

                That is what I was getting at when I said the universe may not be thermodynamically closed if stuff (mass/energy)can travel into other universes by (maybe) black holes or something else.

                Thinking about this stuff can do your head in.

                Can you tell me where your stuff is published? Is it easily available?

                11

              • #
                Philip Shehan

                PS Backslider, I would check on my interpretation of these matters before sending stuff off to the publisher, as I am a little rusty on the subject and have not checked up before writing this and my interpretation and analogies might be incorrect in some respects.

                11

              • #
                Philip Shehan

                PPS Sorry James, I addressed that last one to Backslider. It’s late and as I said, this stuff does my head in.

                Just googled Brane theory and there are a lot of entries on it. Like this one:

                http://www.space.com/18811-multiple-universes-5-theories.html

                Google will probably be able to tell you how much I got right or wrong in my of the top of my head discussion on the other things I discussed.

                11

              • #
                Philip Shehan

                PPPS (sorry mods for stringing this out) Also some very good stuff on youtube. This is a short one:

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL8b-pm7Wbs

                11

              • #
                Philip Shehan

                Won’t keep going on this forever but just to show we are no off topic, this is a short and interseting one in which Feynman’s cosmological ideas are discussed.

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y350oOiunf4

                Caroll makes a remark how not that long back many people thought the universe was closed and indeed when I wrote my essays, pre 1998 and dark energy, that is what I said.

                He also remarks on the anthropic principle, and the essay I wrote and sent Phillip Adams was because I disagreed with Paul Davies. It was about the argument from “fine tuning.” That is the physical constants of our universe are very very finely tuned to allow the universe and us to exist. This leads to the idea of a fine tuner. Which is why Davies got the Templeton Prize and a lot of money for pointing to a connection between science and religion.

                If there are an infinite number of possible universes, there must be one which the numbers are such as to allow our existence, so the fine tuner is unnecessary.

                00

            • #
              James Bradley

              Phil,

              Only ever sold in paperback, so no longer available.

              I know there’s three of my early short stories published here, now in the National Library Archives.

              Several others published in the US in various paperback anthologies.

              I’ve still got two sold in 2012 ready to go into print and one for resubmission.

              00

              • #
                Philip Shehan

                Thanks James

                Actually the discussion got me intersted and I was up late watching a couple of things on Youtube.

                This is a very good one combining a discussion of multiverses, dark energy, string theory, whether or not it’s science or metaphysics.

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bATyoYzlObY

                10

              • #
                James Bradley

                Thanks Phil,

                Doesn’t matter for my own purposes whether science or metaphysics, as long as my final construct has continuity and obeys the rules that I set.

                Much appreciated.

                00

        • #
          sophocles

          Is that naughty or noughty?

          If the latter, then it takes the solution to tally the Universe … :-)

          10

      • #
        sillyfilly

        These looney toon comments have made my day (Pointman is correct, as division by zero is algebraically undefined). Thus even the basics of algebra surpass the brightest minds of this site, no wonder their preposterous postulations on the validity of the scientific basis for AGW are so rightfully and successfully debunked.

        229

        • #
        • #
          the Griss

          It seems the very basics of arithmetic is all that the mind of the dopey donkey is capable of. !

          Any further thought or knowledge is beyond its limits.

          92

        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          Where has anybody suggested that division by zero is kosher? It is you that misunderstands the jokes, in your burning desire to find a handle upon which to hang a non-sequitur about the scientific basis for AGW.

          You really are not very good at this propaganda stuff, are you? Still, I suppose the effort gives you some feelings of self-righteousness, so it probably isn’t all bad.

          180

          • #
            the Griss

            Since when did any alarmist propagandist ever need to do anything to get a feeling of self-righteousness.

            “Self-righteousness” is their hole being,.. it is who they are.

            51

            • #
              James Bradley

              Is that like a black hole, Griss?

              41

              • #
                the Griss

                I was wondering if someone would pick up on the missing “w”… intentional this time. :-)

                The dopey donkey personifies empty-headedness.

                21

              • #
                Rereke Whakaaro

                Nice try Griss. But nobody thinks the missing “w” was intentional. ;-)

                30

              • #
                the Griss

                RW, that’s the benefit of being a chronically bad typist with a warped sense of humor.

                Nobody can be quite sure what is intentional, and what isn’t. ;-)

                21

              • #
                Heywood

                “Nice try Griss. But nobody thinks the missing “w” was intentional.”

                Freudian slip perhaps…

                20

        • #
          ExWarmist

          Hi sillyfilly.

          People are joking. Looks like you didn’t get it.

          80

          • #
            the Griss

            The rabid warmista donkey lacks an understanding of any sense of humour. :-)

            Yet is the epitome of self-satire and mockery.

            21

          • #
            David Jay

            Alarmists commonly seem to have a humor deficit. For example:

            Q: How many Alarmists does it take to change a light bulb?
            A: That’s not funny!!!

            50

        • #
          ExWarmist

          BTW sillyfilly,

          Can you prove that you are not a bot?

          60

        • #
          James Bradley

          A little nonsense now and then…

          or

          All propaganda and no fact makes Silly Filly an alarmist troll.

          41

        • #
          NielsZoo

          … but you’re OK with the unicorn flatulence?

          Dividing by zero is only undefined for REAL numbers because 0 does not have a multiplicative inverse. Note the mathematical statement that follows in my comment is not in the realm of real numbers either. Dividing by zero is allowed in extended complex planes (Reimann Spheres) which contain a point at ∞ as well as in limits using real numbers like the tangent of Π/2.

          40

    • #

      Continuing on the subject of vague theories getting any result, Feynman then goes on to say

      You are probably familiar with that in other fields. For example “A hates his mother”. The reason is, of course that she did not caress him or love him enough when he was a child.
      Actually, if you investigate you find out that, as a matter of fact, she did love him very much and everything was all right.
      Well then it was because she was over-indulgent. So by having a vague theory it is possible to get either result.

      I find a striking similarity with the idea that increased snowfall in the Northern Hemisphere in the last four or five years, or the recent increase in Antarctic sea ice, as consequence of anthropogenic global warming. It all stems from the very human trait to dress-up generalisations based on unfounded beliefs with a covering of superiority derived from scientism and agreement by self-proclaimed expert opinion.

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    • #
      Tim

      “…with a little skill any experimental result can be made to look like an expected consequence.”

      A little skill helps – but combine it with a multi-billion dollar budget and an army of mercenaries and you have a better chance.

      40

    • #
      Philip Shehan

      I also looked up the longer part on you tube.

      I note the part in response to those who keep demanding “proof” at 1:40 seconds in. Feynman discounts the idea of “proof” but goes on to say that it is scientific to to say what is more or less likely.

      On the balance evidence, scientists have concluded that AGW is real.

      [Phillip, surely after being here for 2 years, you know that this is false. You mean "certified climate scientists", but not "scientists" as a group for which there are no opinion polls en masse (plus it would still be an unscientific logical fallacy even if it were true). -- Jo]

      Also with regard to AGW being falsified by experiment or observation.

      I have written before about Copernicus’ model of the universe where the Earth orbitted the Sun and not vice versa. There were many observations subsequently made that “falsified” Copernicus model. But nobody said that the essential feature of Copernicus model, that the earth orbit’s the sun was wrong. Improvements were made over the centuries to accommodate anomalies in the observations.

      One of the improvements to the model which made it match better with observations was Newton’s system.

      Feynman gives a specific example of where theory did not match the facts and was as Feynman actually states, “wrong” (beginning at 4′ 05″). That is Newton’s system, yet it is still used.

      10

      • #
        Philip Shehan

        Ms Nova, I do not know that this is false.

        Skeptics may wish to assert otherwise, but scientists and scientific institutions generally (and I am tempted to say overwhelmingly)support the theory of AGW. I know that that skeptics don’t like it. A few weeks ago we had the chief scientist, the former head of a leading biomedical research institute (and my former boss) and a Nobel prize winner, and a younger scientific enterpeneur being bucketed mercilessly on skeptic sites for supporting AGW on a TV panel show. And for that matter I know the opinions of my scientific friends and colleagues on AGW. I cannot think of one who does not accept it.

        None of this means AGW must be correct, but I was quoting Feynman on scientists drawing conclusions on what they think more or less probable on the weight of evidence.

        00

        • #

          So you have no evidence at all to back up your assertion that “scientists” have reached a conclusion, other than self-selecting anecdotes, argument by fame, and your best unresearched guess? It fits with your lack of empirical evidence for the skill of models you assume are correct (eg you still have no data to back up the major feedback assumptions of IPCC favoured models). At least you are consistently unscientific.

          This blog regularly discusses opinion polls of sub groups of scientists (eg 64% of engineers and geoscientists think climate change is natural). It’s a major topic here. I also discuss the flaws of “associations” which make declarations from a committee of 6, rather than asking members (that’s about 99% of associations). Hence your ignorance of this topic suggests you are not reading this site with an open mind, nor seeking to learn, nor very good at reading and comprehension. You’ve been commenting here for two years without picking up even the basics? When you put forward comments like this one which is about a logical fallacy to start with, then poorly researched, and carelessly wrong as well, it’s no wonder that regular readers get frustrated with you, they are tired of cleaning up your mistakes. The comment is simply such a low standard it’s not worth publishing. Threads become about “correcting” Philip rather than about the topic as readers try (then give up) to get you up to speed on logic and reason and the scientific method. It’s a bore.

          10

  • #
    dp

    That is why they’re now adjusting raw data to match modeled expectations. There needs to be a trophy given out monthly for really stupid violations of science. The suggested motto leaves no doubt about why the winner is selected:

    “Science is hard – Let’s do it wrong”

    210

  • #

    May have been channelling Karl Popper? The origin of a conjecture doesn’t matter (guesses, hunches, whatever).

    But there is the same problem as with Popper? “…If it disagrees with experiment it’s wrong“. Plain and simple. But not so simple? The instruments might be wrong? The background theories that (taken with this conjecture) predict the result are wrong somewhere? All we know is that ‘something is rotten in the state of Denmark‘. But where are we to point the arrow that marks ‘falsified‘? Perhaps that is not a purely logical decision. This is the Quine/Duhem thing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duhem%E2%80%93Quine_thesis).

    So, up to a point. it is perhaps quite reasonable (i.e. scientific) for defenders of AGW to try to save appearances in the face of the pause. But only up to a point. Where is that point?

    40

  • #

    Re: Kevin Marshall (Manicbeancounter)

    Spot on the money when we consider the risble pseudo-scientific notion “climate change“! Verfied by anthing; falsified by nothing. How do they get away with it? (going back to Popper – he’d have had a fit!)

    80

    • #

      Feynman was the ultimate example of a practicing Popperian. He was constantly comparing real world observations with hypotheses. For a genius like Feynman that was not a problem. But for lesser geniuses, and ordinary people like me, when we do this we end up with guesses that are wrong or at least say less about the world than existing guesses. So most scientists fill out the implications of existing hypotheses – what Kuhn called normal science. This can end up defending the existing ideas against anomalies between the real world and theory. Kuhn’s observation was that eventually this would lead to a revolution, where a new and better hypothesis undermines the existing theories, and a scientific revolution takes place.
      What we have now is post normal science. A vague theory comes along that fits policy goals. Political activists get funding for this new science. Activists then block any attempts to explore anomalies between real world observations and hypotheses. So you get lots of busy little scientists fitting the real world into theory, and the real geniuses steering well clear.

      110

  • #
    Manfred

    ‘Real science’ isn’t really the issue. It is an intellectual and practical gold standard as depicted here.

    The issue instead lies with the ersatz science practiced by “climate science,” a postmodern progressive science that simultaneously engages with a toxic melange of the precautionary principle and politics.
    The ensuing mess is characterised as ‘saving the planet’

    160

    • #
      Uncle Gus

      I’ve often thought that there is a link between postmodernism (which I roundly despise) and the way that science is often done nowadays, but the idea that “Postmodern Science” is an actual thing… No, it just doesn’t fly. For one thing, if it was all the dead cool turkeys would be bigging it up as the best thing since sliced bread. Michael Mann would be namechecking it every other sentence.

      Don’t confuse an influence with a conspiracy.

      20

      • #
        Manfred

        Postmodern science does not lead to resolution of scientific questions but leaves them undecided by applying terms like ‘a definite maybe’. Consequently, the scientific discoveries are being replaced by the beliefs affected by worldview of scientist which are then effectively promulgated as statements of faith or scientific myth calling for public acceptance.

        50

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Never ascribe intelligent intent to actions that can be explained as sheer incompetence.

      170

    • #

      Manfred
      The wikipedia definition of the precautionary principle that you point to is interesting.

      The precautionary principle … states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is not harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking an action.

      Italics mine.
      The assumption is that “scientists” know about the correct policy and the unintended consequences. Has no one learnt from the twentieth century totalitarians – whether “scientific” Socialism, Communism (in various forms) or the thousand year Reich? They dismissed the harms of policy and tens of millions died as a consequence. The default position for anyone who cares about humanity is to robustly challenge any policy that aims to “save the world”, just as any medical practitioner would robustly challenge anyone who claimed to have invented a cure for cancer in their shed.

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      • #
        sillyfilly

        Wait while I consult the pixies in your garden. Such robust prose to alleviate your scientific ineptitude.
        [This response is typical of bot behaviour - please append something of worth to this comment to prove you are a real person] Fly

        021

        • #
          the Griss

          Those pixies are likely to be far more correct than yours ever will be.

          You seem to have a very large, wooded, ‘back yard’, with many hidden, dark, empty places.

          And your empty, soul-less mind is constantly searching for something imaginary to fill them.

          81

        • #
          ExWarmist

          I’m bagging credit for the idea that sillyfilly is a bot at 5:50 pm 6th Oct 2014.

          Unless someone has an earlier comment?

          Well… hey… when you live under a pseudonym it can be kinda hard to feel, I mean really feel “a claim to fame…”.

          ExWarmist Bot Discoverer

          70

        • #

          Sillyfilly
          Maybe you can show us your scientific brilliance by naming a single prophesy of the “scientific consensus” that is over 10 years old that is still standing.
          Some that are falsified by the evidence
          1. Rates of global warming will accelerate.
          2. Arctic sea will be ice-free by 2013.
          3. Hurricanes will get worse.
          4. English children will not know what snow looks like.
          5. The polar ice caps melting at an accelerating rate.
          6. Rate of sea level rise is accelerating.
          7. Up to 40% of the Amazon rainforest to disappear.
          8. Crop yields to fall by up to 50% by 2020 in some African Countries.
          More at Notrickszone.
          You have a great opportunity to show us climatology’s brilliance and my ineptitude. Seize it. Be bold and don’t just take pot shots from the sidelines.

          80

          • #
            ExWarmist

            If you listen carefully you can hear it…

            Just beyond the edge of the light…

            Hiding in the shadows…

            …Crickets…

            00

          • #
            Philip Shehan

            [Snip. OT- Jo]

            The prediction that rising CO2 levels would result in rising temperatures with short term variations due to “natural ” variation and forcings.

            This is the central proposition of AGW, commensurate with Copernicus central proposition that the earth orbits the sun and not vice versa.
            [The difference being that Copernicus had evidence. - Jo]

            That the increase in temperature with doubling of CO2 concentration would be between 1.5 and 4.5 C. is a quantitatve prediction and is still standing.

            [It is still standing, because nothing can falsify it? - Jo]

            As for Kevin’s “falsifications”. Many are not falsified or fully confirmed at this stage. Some are cherry picked “outlier” straw man statements to knock down. They do not represent the IPCC position.

            1. http://static.skepticalscience.com/pics/AMTI.png

            2. Straw man. The IPCC says by mid century.

            3. See AR5 2.6.3 Tropical Storms nnd 14.6.1 Tropical Cyclones

            http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/

            4. Give reference.

            5. True for the arctic, not true for the antarctic at present.

            6. Fig 3 a

            http://academics.eckerd.edu/instructor/hastindw/MS1410-001_FA08/handouts/2008SLRSustain.pdf

            7. Give reference.

            8. Give reference.

            The IPCC position is that the models are right and the data is biased. But if observations matter (Feynman eh?) the models are disproven. – Jo

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              ExWarmist

              Hi Philip,

              Not having time today to address all the points – I’ll just focus on one.

              The US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) collects the observational data on the extent of Arctic sea ice, delivering regular status bulletins. Its research scientist Dr Mark Serreze was asked to give one of the main lectures here at this year’s AGU Fall Meeting.

              Discussing the possibility for an open Arctic ocean in summer months, he told the meeting: “A few years ago, even I was thinking 2050, 2070, out beyond the year 2100, because that’s what our models were telling us. But as we’ve seen, the models aren’t fast enough right now; we are losing ice at a much more rapid rate.

              “My thinking on this is that 2030 is not an unreasonable date to be thinking of.”

              And later, to the BBC, Dr Serreze added: “I think Wieslaw is probably a little aggressive in his projections, simply because the luck of the draw means natural variability can kick in to give you a few years in which the ice loss is a little less than you’ve had in previous years. But Wieslaw is a smart guy and it would not surprise me if his projections came out.

              Former US Vice President Al Gore cited Professor Maslowski’s analysis on Monday in his acceptance speech at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo.

              Al Gore promoted the 2013 date based on Wieslaw Maslowski’s research at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. Yes – not the UN IPCC, but definently within the MMGW meme. As Al Gore is an authority promoting the belief in MMGW.

              Later in 2011 came the revision based on a “brand new Computer Model”.

              Scientists who predicted a few years ago that Arctic summers could be ice-free by 2013 now say summer sea ice will probably be gone in this decade.

              The original prediction, made in 2007, gained Wieslaw Maslowski’s team a deal of criticism from some of their peers.

              Now they are working with a new computer model – compiled partly in response to those criticisms – that produces a “best guess” date of 2016.

              Their work was unveiled at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) annual meeting.

              The new model is designed to replicate real-world interactions, or “couplings”, between the Arctic ocean, the atmosphere, the sea ice and rivers carrying freshwater into the sea.

              “In the past… we were just extrapolating into the future assuming that trends might persist as we’ve seen in recent times,” said Dr Maslowski, who works at Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

              “Now we’re trying to be more systematic, and we’ve developed a regional Arctic climate model that’s very similar to the global climate models participating in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessments,” he told BBC News.

              Now it’s to be 2016… ho hum… I wont be holding my breath.

              Just noting that the whole idea of an ice free Arctic has been quite popular in the 20th century.

              Just also noting that the act of crying wolf is not a standard part of the scientific process.

              And you wonder why the credibility of the Man Made Global Warming movement is in the toilet.

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              Philip
              The major reason my “falsifications” are not accepted by you or others is, as Feynman says,

              You cannot prove a vague theory wrong. If the guess that you make is poorly expressed and the method you have for computing the consequences is a little vague then ….. you see that the theory is good as it can’t be proved wrong.

              An example of why climatology is vague is your use of an sks graph to show that surface temperature warming is accelerating. The temperature series is some sort of combination of others, but reduces both the 1860-1880 warming and the 1880-1910 cooling to virtually nothing. It invalidates the trend graph.
              Sks website owner John Cook (following the UNIPCC) has tacitly admitted the pause in warming, by suddenly discovering that over 90% of the heat from greenhouse gases has gone into the ocean. After 25 years of saying the surface temperatures are a relevant measure, the world’s greatest experts on the subject suddenly realize that excess heat can warm the oceans instead of the air. I heard John Cook say this at a lecture he gave in Bristol last month. Also see AR5 WG1 Chapter 3 for the original.

              Philip, I agree with Jo. A little research will help you keep up. Then read a posting before commenting, and relate it to your own opinions. Feynman was not just an individual with his own opinions, but was a leading physicist (maybe in the top five of the last century) who practiced a Popperian philosophy of science. Youtube will give you a number of TV programs about him, with many interviews. He was a real enthusiast for discovering the world around him, and was extremely good at communicating his insights.

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      jorgekafkazar

      It’s not saving the planet, but enslaving it that is the goal.

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    turnedoutnice

    Feynman forgot the bit about executing those who dispute theory incompatible with experiment.

    And nowadays he’d spell is name Feynmann…….

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    lemiere jacques

    Well when science was not forced by exterior factors it was valid since science changed due to CO2 … it is not anymore.

    if feynman is so clever why is he dead????

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    Rereke Whakaaro

    if feynman is so clever why is he dead????

    He probably got bored to death, by those people who think that the latest scientific excuse for a social fad, is going to change the world.

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    TdeF

    There is another option when the results disagree with the prediction. Homogenize!

    The key is first to eliminate all data which disagree too greatly, large peaks and any inconvenient history. Replace awkward data with interpolated data drawn from records which fit, start time periods to create the right trends and check your results with people who agree with what you are doing and why. If any of this is questioned, speak from authority, hide the mechanisms, algorithms and computer code and generally belittle the questioner. Then get media support from people who are politically aligned to your objectives. If caught after all, destroy data, eliminate written records and emails, deny, obfuscate, belittle and if all else fails, agree to form an investigative committee from the same friends and take years to report. A whitewash is usually best. Then if all else fails, blame someone who has left the area, retired or died. Remember, all this is really in the interests of humanity, survival of the scientific species, jobs and ongoing funding.

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    Robert O

    Science is littered with failed hypotheses as well as many that had to be modified in the light of actual observation. However, in climate science we have two more principles: consensus of like minded scientists, 97% or whatever agree about it; and the precautionary principle, better do it anyhow in case you are wrong.

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      NielsZoo

      That should be “like minded individuals that present themselves as scientists” all evidence to the contrary. The Precautionary Principle has been hijacked by the Progressive Principle where those in government and NGO’s use that lack of science as an excuse to do things to us regardless of what any perceived or implied changes in the climate are our fault. The “consequences” of climate “science” are now mankind’s Sisyphus boulder… we’re getting rolled over and squashed no matter what the truth is while the Climateers and the Progressive hacks they work for sit on the top of the hill rolling rock after rock down the slope.

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    Safetyguy66

    Seems the ABS is also learning the dangers of adjustments to data that probably doesn’t require adjustment to be meaningful.

    “The ABS said that while compiling the September data it found that the normal seasonal pattern evident from July to September was not apparent, so it had decided to report the raw numbers instead.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/abs-backtracks-on-jobs-data-after-august-surge-20141008-10rtip.html#ixzz3FaeaR4sK

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    D o u g   C o t t o n  

     

    Correct science in 40 seconds
     

    Greenhouse gases don’t raise the surface temperature. They can only slow that portion of surface cooling which is itself by radiation. They have no effect on the minimum temperature (supported by the gravito-thermal effect) where cooling slows right down in the early pre-dawn hours. (Did you ever think about that?) Nor do they slow the rates of cooling by evaporation and convection.

    Now your problem is that you cannot explain the surface temperatures using the mean solar radiation of 161W/m^2 because even if all the Earth including the oceans were paved in black asphalt (emissivity 0.88) Stefan Boltzmann calculations give a temperature of minus thirty five Celsius, yes -35C.

    Radiation into a planet’s surface is not the primary determinant of the temperature of that surface: the gravito-thermal effect is.

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      We await your experimental study that backs this up and which tests the hundreds of years of observation and experimentation that you consider wrong, so that you have something new and relevant to write.

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        Peter Champness

        Which particular observations and experiments are you referring to GeeAye?

        I find Doug hard to understand. However he has been promoting the Thermo Gravitational theory of planetary atmospheric temperatures for a long time.

        As I understand it the Thermo Gravitational theory is an application of the Ideal Gas Law as applied to planetary atmospheres.

        Ross McLeod applied the Ideal Gas Laws to the planetary atmospheric temperatures as given by NASA for; Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. In each case the Ideal Gas Law gave a very close prediction of the observed temperature.
        http://www.principia-scientific.org/the-ideal-gas-law-the-planets-and-the-fraud-of-climate-science.html

        To my mind that is strong evidence in favour of the Thermo Gravitional theory.

        By comparison I am still looking for direct observational or empirical observations which support the Greenhouse theory. In fact the theory seems so vague it is difficult to find an agreed predicition which could be tested.

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          Peter Champness

          I meant direct experimental evidence or empirical oservations.

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          the Griss

          Well said Peter.

          I have often supported Doug in his theory.

          I prefer the wording that the atmospheric pressure gradient allows energy to be retained in the lower atmosphere.

          If one considers Venus as having a “very thick” atmosphere, it explains the fact that the surface temp on Venus varies very little even on the side away from the Sun.

          Then think of Earth’s atmosphere as being semi-tenuous, so we have a lot more variability.

          The atmosphere is always trying to reach an equilibrium state, but never can. Hence we get weather. !

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            great… let’s base science on your preference. As I said, let DG propose some tests and see where that heads. His main problem is a lack of evidence that the orthodoxy has a problem. I also think that repetition, like that of OKM, is just tedious and could be done by anyone.I also think that repetition, like that of OKM, is just tedious and could be done by anyone.I also think that repetition, like that of OKM, is just tedious and could be done by anyone.I also think that repetition, like that of OKM, is just tedious and could be done by anyone.

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        D o u g   C o t t o n  

        Gee Aye: An “experimental study” was published in my book last March, along with empirical evidence, which can be supported computationally, that the gravito-thermal effect is evident in the tropospheres of all planets with significant atmospheres. There is further evidence in abundance for the natural 1,000 year and 60 year cycles coming from your “hundreds of years of observation” and such evidence is documented on my earth-climate dot com website along with compelling correlation between Earth’s natural cycles and the inverted plot of the scalar sum of the angular momentum of the Sun and all planets. And I archived three years ago my predictions of continued slight cooling until at least the year 2027 because climate has nothing what-so-ever to do with carbon dioxide, and you cannot prove otherwise with valid physics. Indeed it is valid physics that climatologists meddle with and I can prove that to be the case quite easily from my 50 years or so experience in helping students understand physics and mathematics. Thermodynamics, my friend, is something you do not understand, especially the state of thermodynamic equilibrium with its associated density and temperature gradients in a gravitational field.

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          oh ok it is settled then. Obviously your experiments cut through and convinced all, especially independent examiners. My texts will make for nice bbq fuel and I’ll be seeking the sacking of academics throughout the world if they don’t accept your “data”.

          In the meantime I’ll continue to advocate the use of various absorption and emission spectra instruments as to not do so would bring much industry to a halt.

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            Peter C

            Ok I accept absorbtion spectroscopic measurements. Is that all you have?

            Has absorbtion of IR been shown to cause any warming?

            Can reflected energy cause warming?

            Just asking?

            I will accept if there is convincing evidence. But the argument that energy is intercepted does not necessarily mean that CO2 heats up. That is one of the missing steps.

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         D o u g    C o t t o n  

        Unless you can quantify the sensitivity to the greenhouse gas, water vapour which varies between about 1% and 4% in the lower troposphere (for example, quantify the sensitivity to each 1% increase within that range) then you don’t have the correct understanding of thermodynamics to even start to understand any sensitivity to carbon dioxide. Empirical evidence confirms the physics I present, namely that water vapour cools and does not warm by 10 degrees or more for each 1% as the IPCC would have you believe. You are all so gullible to believe this, because moist regions (with 4%) are obviously not 30 degrees hotter than dry regions with only 1% water vapour..

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          the Griss

          Doug, it is very obvious that water vapour and clouds are major cooling mechanisms.

          They allow for the faster bulk transfer of energy from the surface to the mid atmosphere.

          I like to use the analogy of water vapour being like a large heavily laden truck going up hill.

          Yes, it moves slower (which is why it sometimes seems warmer beneath clouds), but is carrying a big load.

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      I have seen Doug repeat this mantra about the gravito-thermal effect, or similar, multiple times, on several fora.

      He seems to believe that, by repeating it often enough, it will take on the aurora of a scientific principle. I have yet to see any discussion about empirical measurements, nor any support from any other theorist or researcher.

      He reminds me of a man with a placard.

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    Yes!

    But the really surreal thing is that this at all needs to be stated, to be restated, and spelled out for some …

    Even worse is that many among them don’t even understand this after it has been spelled out, or why at all it should matter.

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    After Jo’s quote of Feynman, he went on to say about taking “guesses”. As an illustration he recounted a conversation about flying saucers with a “Layman”.

    F : I don’t think there are flying saucers.
    L: Is it impossible that are not any flying saucers? Can you prove there are no flying saucers?
    F: No I can’t prove it’s impossible – it’s just very unlikely.
    L: You are very unscientific. If you can’t prove it’s impossible, then how can you say it is unlikely?
    It is only scientific to say what is more likely and less likely, and not to be able to prove to all the time what is possible and impossible.

    To define what he meant Feynman eventually said to the layman:-

    F: I mean from my knowledge of the world that I see around me, I think that it is much more likely that the reports of flying saucers are the results of the known irrational characteristics of terrestrial intelligence than the unknown rational efforts of extra-terrestrial intelligence.

    Similarly, from my own knowledge from years of studying the issue, I believe the forecasts of catastrophic global warming are the result of the known irrational outpourings of people with dogmatic beliefs, rather than the output resulting from the artificial and incomprehensible super-intelligence of computer models.

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      Safetyguy66

      Extremely well put Kevin

      While the geological records do give hints at previous “dramatic” climate movements happening over relatively short periods of time (hundred of years), that may serve to provide examples of times when climate shifts threatened species. The acknowledgement of those instances poses an even bigger problem for alarmists, in that those events happened in the absence of human influence.

      Generally speaking the climate moves in increments too small for us to measure and over periods too large for us to comprehend. The overwhelming evidence suggests the likelihood of catastrophic climate change in the next century to be so unlikely as to be able to be ruled out or ignored completely. To describe it as anything like the greatest threat facing mankind shows irrational fear, a lack of understanding of geological history and a complete lack of ability to weigh one issue against another.

      Fortunately the gen. pop. seems to have worked out at least the last part. While they remain concerned about climate change (mainly because they are instructed to on a daily basis), the vast majority do not rate it as even in the top 10 things they worry about. Which is probably about right, but maybe even still a little too high.

      I long for the day when people will be allowed to get back to enjoying life without the constant bleating of the fear mongers using this non issue for their political ends. Like I said yesterday, there is no demonstrable difference between climate alarmists and terrorists.

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        ExWarmist

        I long for the day when people will be allowed to get back to enjoying life without the constant bleating of the fear mongers using this non issue for their political ends. Like I said yesterday, there is no demonstrable difference between climate alarmists and terrorists.

        Unfortunately – there will always be “fear mongers” with a “non issue” for their political ends”

        Vigilance is necessary (although not sufficient) to maintain liberty.

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    FIN

    I see where that sheltered workshop of basket knitters, macrame weavers and commies, BHP Billiton, have come out and publicly supported the science of global warming and consider a carbon tax inevitable. Something is going on here, they are obviously in on the government grants schemes since the price of coal and iron ore plummeted.

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      Safetyguy66

      So let me get this straight. Your suggesting AGW is now confirmed (even though it was already settled) because BHP says so?

      Did you think AGW theory was wrong when BHP did too ?

      “It’s extremely concerning to see reports that Mr Abbott has backed out of meetings with the US Treasury Secretary and the heads of the IMF and World Bank because he can’t justify his rejection of the link between climate and economics. No wonder his only support is coming from the world’s 20th biggest polluter, BHP.”
      Christine Milne June 7 2014

      You source your science from some odd places.

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        Rereke Whakaaro

        Well done.

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        the Griss

        Look to what’s in it for BHP.

        Always follow the money angle.

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          RogueElement451

          “The receptivity of the masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan.”
          ― Adolf Hitler

          And that is why they keep shouting 97%.
          It is a highly effective strategy.

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    pat

    check out the pics of the “angels” backing the Renewable Energy Target (RET), outside electricity provider, AGL:

    9 Oct: Herald Sun: Monique Hore: ‘Climate angels’ stage protest outside AGL building
    PHOTO CAPTION: A group of self-dubbed “climate angels” have chained themselves to AGL’s offices in Spencer St.
    Protester Dr Liz Connor criticised AGL’s use of fossil fuel.
    “We are activists and mothers who run from pillar to post securing our children’s future but these companies are actively jeopardising these children’s well-being,” she said…
    2ND PHOTO CAPTION: (displaying placard – BACK THE RET)
    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/climate-angels-stage-protest-outside-agl-building/story-fni0fit3-1227084956382

    following downplays/ignores the impact of CAGW policies overall:

    9 Oct: SMH: Esther Han: Energy affordability complaints hits new high: Ombudsman
    Tens of thousands of families across NSW are being crippled by high energy prices, with mounting arrears, credit listings and disconnections, the Energy and Water Ombudsman says.
    The Ombudsman received a record 37,485 complaints in 2013-14, its annual report being released on Thursday shows, with half relating to billing and a quarter relating to affordability.
    “There’s been an increase in the number of people struggling and it’s very much to do with the higher prices for what is an essential service. People don’t have a choice,” Ombudsman Clare Petre said…
    Ms Petre said complaints surged, despite the levelling off of price hikes in July last year. The “long tails” of the huge hikes – largely driven by over-spending on poles and wires and, to a lesser extent, the carbon tax – in the previous four years were still having an impact on consumers…
    Affordability-related complaints surged by 28 per cent in the past year…
    The NSW chief executive of St Vincent de Paul, Michael Perusco, said reversing disconnections cost too much for most low-income families already laden with other bills and rent, resulting in homelessness.
    Last year the society handed out $5 million to cover energy costs for needy families – a 10 per cent increase on the previous year…
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/energy-affordability-complaints-hits-new-high-ombudsman-20141008-10rt4x.html

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      Michael P

      It’s surprising that they are allowed to continue in such stupidity. If I were the police I’ve have cut the chains and ordered them not to continue. If they wish to protest,so be it,but chaining yourself to someone else’s property should not be allowed,as a viable form of protest.

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Years ago, some protestors in London padlocked themselves to an iron fence in front of an Embassy. They then proceeded to swallow the padlock keys, to emphasize the point that they were staying.

      The people in the Embassy sent for a man with a diamond circular saw, a flatdeck truck, and a crane.

      The crane arrived, and put a strop through the fence, the man with the saw, cut through the ends of the fence, and the crane lifted the fence onto the truck. All this was done whilst ignoring the protestors, who suddenly realised that they either had to run very fast, or get on the truck with the fence. They chose the latter, and were driven away. This signaled the end of the protest, and we all went home.

      I am not sure what happened to the protestors, but the fence reappeared some days later.

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    Bernie Hutchins

    We often hear the question “If X were alive today, what would he/she say about CAGW?” If “X” were Feynman, to me there is little doubt that CAGW discussions would have been diminished to near zero. He would not have permitted them, and no one would dare such foolishness. The “grown-up in the room” effect.

    With regard to the clip, it is with pride that I note that I was in that Cornell audience.

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    pat

    not surprised. and all in the name of CAGW:

    9 Oct: Guardian: Terry Macalister: EU approves Hinkley Point nuclear power station as costs raise by £8bn
    EDF Energy overcomes last hurdle for Somerset plant which EC warns could cost over £24bn by the time it is completed in 2023
    The ruling was welcomed by ministers and the nuclear industry but Austria threatened legal action against it, while consumer champions said it could add more than £5bn a year to energy bills…
    British ministers see new nuclear reactors as important to provide low carbon energy when many old atomic and coal-fired stations are nearing the end of their lives…
    The subsidy arrangements guarantee the French electricity generator will obtain £92.50 per megawatt hour over the 35-year life of the Hinkley plant. This subsidy, twice the current price of electricity, will be paid out of customer bills and DECC claims it will represent a significant saving on alternatives such as gas, whose price is expected to rise even more sharply and which gives off significant carbon emissions…
    Nick Butler, a former No 10 energy adviser, said the whole subsidy arrangement was a mistake that would punish consumers and should be investigated by parliament’s public accounts committee. “The deal will go down in history, alongside the privatisation of the Royal Mail, as an example of the inability of the British government – ministers and civil servants alike – to negotiate complex commercial deals,” he wrote in a blog for the FT.com.
    Greenpeace said the EC move was a world record sellout to the nuclear industry at the expense of taxpayers and the environment…
    Horizon Nuclear Power, owned by Toshiba of Japan and which wants to build new stations at Wylfa in Wales and Oldbury in Gloucestershire, said the EC move was “a huge boost”.
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/08/hinkley-point-european-commission-nuclear-power-station-somerset

    8 Oct: Guardian: European Commission approves Hinkley Point nuclear subsidy deal
    Brussels gives go ahead to state subsidy scheme, that offers EDF Energy a set price for 35 years, clearing the way for first nuclear reactors to be built in Britain for almost 20 years
    Terry Macalister and Damian Carrington
    But the EC claimed that the decision had been made only after the financial arrangements put forward by the UK had been substantially modified to save cash for the British taxpayer…
    “These modifications will also achieve significant savings for UK taxpayers. On this basis and after a thorough investigation, the Commission can now conclude that the support is compatible with EU state aid rules.”
    There was little explanation from the EC on what exactly had been changed, argued critics…
    Commenting on the future for nuclear subsidies, Ed Davey, UK energy and climate change secretary, said: “All low carbon [power] at the moment, whether its nuclear, carbon capture and storage, offshore wind etc. is getting support. The question is can we reduce that support as quickly as possible and that is what the electricity market reform is designed to do.
    “Do I think it will go to zero [subsidies]? I don’t know, because I can’t tell the future. But what I do know is that, with the mechanism we’ve got, it will reduce the cost of supporting low-carbon, in all its different forms, to the lowest imaginable because we are bringing in competition in the market.
    “We are in the early stages of decarbonisation and taking a low-carbon option off the table now doesn’t look terribly clever.”
    EDF, in cooperation with the Chinese is at the forefront of plans to build new reactors, but other companies have also made clear they want to follow suit.
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/08/european-commission-approves-hinkley-point-nuclear-subsidy-deal

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      Carbon500

      “9 Oct: Guardian: Terry Macalister: EU approves Hinkley Point nuclear power station as costs raise by £8bn
      EDF Energy overcomes last hurdle for Somerset plant which EC warns could cost over £24bn by the time it is completed in 2023″
      Let’s look on the bright side – perhaps this is part of the 186,000,000,000 Euros the EU is proposing to spent on ‘mitigating climate change’ over the next few years?

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    tom0mason

    I believe in “Cargo Cult Science” by Richard Feynman he is talking about medical issues but it also holds for beliefs in climate science.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvfAtIJbatg

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      tom0mason

      Feynman laments that the kind of integrity he talks about isn’t baked into the science education system — which hardly comes as a surprise, given it’s largely a system premised on certitude at all costs and not on the very admission of ignorance that fuels science:

      This long history of learning how not to fool ourselves — of having utter scientific integrity — is, I’m sorry to say, something that we haven’t specifically included in any particular course that I know of. We just hope you’ve caught on by osmosis.

      The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.

      Feynman concludes beautifully, with his penchant for focusing the anecdotes of the specific into a masterful beam of the universal:

      I have just one wish for you — the good luck to be somewhere where you are free to maintain the kind of integrity I have described, and where you do not feel forced by a need to maintain your position in the organization, or financial support, or so on, to lose your integrity. May you have that freedom.

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    KuhnKat

    I believe he was talking about Quantum theory there. If they get an unexpected result they simply claim it is statistically possible so not a problem…

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

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      tom0mason

      I was going by memory as I can not play video on this old machine.
      Either way IIRC his ideas on “Cargo Cult Science” are still good today.

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    Say, you know how I think I just might have some expertise in one area where I add comments the most, and how when it comes to the Science, I’m still at the point of asking questions, because I really do want to try and understand, and when I do comment on the Science, I probably open myself up as being that proverbial novice.

    Well then, here’s another of those times where I’m going to ask what is probably a pretty stupid question.

    You know how we have the Equator, and what happens on each side of that Equator stays (pretty much) on that side of the Equator.

    So, they have their weather in the North, and we have our weather here in the South, and rarely does much of any major consequence cross that Equator ….. (Am I really correct in thinking that?)

    Soooooo, thinking along those lines, if nothing (in huge amounts) crosses the Equator, then if the bulk of CO2 emissions, and here, that’s around 95% Plus of them, and it might even be closer to 98/99% of them, well, if they are emitted in that Northern Hemisphere, and if (as we are told, ad infinitum) that CO2 is causing Climate Change/Disruption/Global warming/etc. then should not the warming be significantly larger, (and I mean really really larger as those emissions are 95% Plus) in the Northern Hemisphere than here in the Southern Hemisphere.

    Just asking, so please don’t flame me too much.

    Tony.

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      Graeme No.3

      Tony:
      there is atmospheric mixing so the CO2 level in the Southern Hemisphere only lags about 6 ppm behind the Northern zone.
      And as I type that I started to wonder whether that really is the case, given the number of dodgy, adjusted, homogenised figures that abound in Climatology. Indeed given the much greater area of cold water in the South available for CO2 absorption I am really wondering.

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      Rud Istvan

      Tony, Google illustrations of the Hadley cells, ITCZ, and equatorial trade winds. You will get a nice perspective on atmospheric mixing in three zones on each side of the equator. Given some time, atmospheric gasses can be considered well mixed via those processes.

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      Ceetee

      Good question Tony as seen by a fellow novice. If the missing heat is in the deep oceans and we here in the southern hemisphere have most of that how come we have record levels of ice?. By what mechanism does deep ocean heat create record Antarctic ice extent?.

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    Roy Hogue

    How true. You cannot prove a vague theory to be false. But you cannot prove it to be true either. So which is the better conclusion:

    The theory is true. :-(

    The theory is false. :-)

    This is how gurus, psychics, fortune tellers and the like have survived for as long as the human race has been around.

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    The problem with Feynman’s formulation of science is the vagueness of the starting point: a guess. A guess can be nothing but a random formulation with apparent precision but with no connection to reality – aka a wish. It can be the result of an unexamined subconscious integration of one’s past experience. It can also be the result of a careful conscious integration of a large amount of empirical data. Which is it?

    Then you have the problem of translating the guess into a series of experiments to test it. If the guess is nothing but a wish without foundation observation, the test will be malformed and impossible to interpret correctly. For example, I might have a wish to win at roulette by betting on red 13. My Experiment is there by formulated as a bet of a $1000 on red 13. Then, if I win, I will place $1000 on black 5. Then, if I lose, the interpretation is that my guess was correct.

    However, the original failure was not to take into account the CONTEXT of the original guess. It was a wish about something that is strictly a stochastic process. Meaning that it is impossible to know enough about the process to predict with precision and accuracy of any given trial beyond the ball will land someplace. Because of this lack of consideration of the necessary and sufficient context, the interpretation of the experimental result is seriously flawed.

    The error then compounds with the belief that something can be “good” in theory but “bad” in practice. Yet, the wish was not a theory about anything real. It was only a wish without recognition of the context of its application. The so called theory can be found to be “right” only by accident. As it was in my above sample.

    Contrast this with Newton’s “guess” of the laws of motion and mechanics. A massive amount of “practical” information had been accumulated by thousands of years of human experience. Add to that the epicycles theory of planetary motion and the Kepler simplification of the understanding of planetary motion. Newtons laws of motion applied to the problem of planetary motion got it right. That is except for the miniscule variation in the perturbation of the orbit of Mercury. Which was not known for many years thereafter until the ability to measure planetary orbits, based upon Newton’s laws, discovered it. Newton’s “guess” was extremely accurate and useful within a human context. It helped to create the industrial revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries.

    The bottom line is that for Feynman’s kind of guess to work with any degree of reliability it must be based upon a substantial amount of induction. Induction that has been crosschecked and validated over as wide of context as possible.

    I know. I must consider the black swan effect. However, the black swan effect enters in to the induction process by a fundamental failure to use the inductive process correctly. The primary error is to fail to make your statements of fact strictly coherent with your observation.

    For example, consider the presumptive statement that “All swans are white.” No. That is NOT the correct statement. The correct statement is: “All the creatures I have identified as being swans have been white.” The first statement is nothing but a guess: aka WAG. You don’t know any such thing. As a consequence, you are surprised when you see a black swan.

    What you do know that is a fact is the second statement. Then, when you see a black swan, you can question the relevance of the color of the feathers as being a fundamental part of being a swan or not. If it isn’t fundamental, then black swans or red or even green swans won’t be a problem. If it is, then the black swan is not a swan but is something else. How about calling it a “black swan”?

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    James Strom

    If Feynman had flown in the Starship Enterprise under Captain Kirk, he might have heard a line something like this: “I’d trust a guess from you, Mr. Feynman more than facts from most other people”. (Sorry, I wasn’t able to find the exact quote.)

    Feynman was oversimplifying matters when he said that scientific hypotheses originate in a guess. Some scientists, not only Feynman, but also the likes of Niels Bohr and John von Neumann, and others of course, made guesses that were much more likely to be true than guesses of others–learned guesses.

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      That Feynman was “oversimplifying” is a presumption (guess?) on your part. The evidence at hand is that his word “guess” was vague, indistinct, ambiguous. The best one can do is ask for clarification. Unfortunately, Feynman is not around to clarify his statement.

      I agree that it appears likely that a Feynman guess is a well educated one that is better than your average guess. However, more detail is required than “the remainder is left as an exercise for the student” or “it is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer.”

      An important question to ask and answer: “is there a method by which one’s “guesses” can be made more reliable and have a much higher chance of success than random events would suggest?” Yes there is but I would not call it guessing.

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      The ability of top physicists to guess well is down to their understanding of their field, and also building upon the known laws of physics. The best guesses are mostly on computing the consequences of a small difference from the known laws. Climatologists, on the other hand, seek to extrapolate a long way from very little and very uncertain data. The warming in the last century was around 0.7 degrees. Using AGW theory you could compute between 30% and 200% of that warming was human-caused. The forecast is for up to seven times that amount of warming this century. Forecasts are based nearly all on modelling, which in turn depends more on the biases of the modelers than on data and known laws.
      The problem becomes even pronounced with the alleged costs of unmitigated warming. If the UK Stern Review’s analysis is correct, the costs of unmitigated global warming could be over 100 times that experienced at the present time. (my reasoning here) The catastrophic global warming hypothesis is less reality-based than a Disney cartoon. This is why the short-term forecasts are nearly always wrong.

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        This is exactly why the word “guess” is totally the wrong word to use to name the starting action of creating a scientific hypothesis. It is a much too sloppy of a word to use in a case were precision and accuracy is a necessity. Very few people alive today do not have the context that Feynman nor his audience had to be able to distinguish between a Feynman quality guess and one by any current CAGW advocate. It is the difference between guessing the value of pi as being 3.14159265359 or somewhere between 2 and 4.

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          Oops: “Very few people alive today do not have” should not have “do not” in it. Sadly, I changed my thoughts in mid stream. It would really be nice to be able to edit one’s comments after posting.

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          Ted O'Brien.

          Lionel, to whom is Richard Feynman delivering this address? The vaguest pupil in the class perhaps? Expecting the rest to get the story right?

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            Yes but his words have been echoed ever since as the essence of scientific inquiry. Now we are left with only the word “guess” to work with and little of the context of that day in his class. The word “guess” has been largely stripped of all foundation in reality and represents any arbitrary statement by anyone based upon whim, wish, fantasy, and/or imagination. This makes his statement easily misinterpretable by anyone for any reason.

            I find language such as that unacceptable. Especially if your goal is to communicate with precision and accuracy. Now if your goal is to be misunderstood by as many people in as many different ways as possible, then “guess” serves as well or better than any other word. See the words of ANY modern day politician for examples of such highly misinterpretable language. They don’t say what they mean, they don’t mean what they say. Then if anything bad happens as a result of their words, they claim their words were taken out of context, misquoted, or misunderstood.

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            Bernie Hutchins

            I would venture to say that everyone there (in good part a community of physics professors/students, – and anyone who walked in – a public lecture series) understood that Feynman used a plain word (guess) to mean “educated hypothesis” or something like that, but the latter would not have gotten the laugh(!) and held attention as well. He knew how to communicate.

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              Modern climate science is no laughing matter. It uses words as weapons rather than tools of thought and communication. Miscommunication and misunderstanding is its primary tactic by which any statement can mean anything, everything, and nothing all at the same time. I don’t call this “communication?” Its consequence is the destruction of understanding, knowledge, communication, and, ultimately, civilization. THIS is the pay off from the use of words in the way you approve.

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                Bernie Hutchins

                Really Lionell – you do realize that Feynman gave his Messenger lectures back in 1964 – seven of them an hour each. His subsequent accomplishments additionally validate his style and substance. They were suitable for a general audience who returned evening after evening. I doubt that a single person there then was misled, and only you have missed the point here today. If you took the time to watch them, you would find then laced with welcome humor, as well as insight.

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    Ted O'Brien.

    An article by Karl Mathiesen in the Guardian, Friday 10 October 2014 02.29 AEST begins with: “While Arctic sea ice continues to decline, Antarctic levels are confounding the world’s most trusted climate models with record highs”.

    What are the criteria used to determine these world’s most trusted climate models?

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    Peter C

    I read one of Feynman’s books.

    His thesis was that photons are particles.

    Of course he had to explain the wave light properties of light so he set about it by representing his particles as little arrows which undergo inversions of direction and rotations when they arrive at interfaces such as the surface of a prism. In this way he was able to explain phenomena such as reflection, refraction and interference patterns.

    It was all quite complicated. In the end I thought to myself, isn’t it easier to consider that light has a dual nature, particle and wave? I also thought, do physicists actually know anything?

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    Ceetee

    Does anyone have an opinion about Lego dropping a petrochemical company (sorry forgot which one) because of a Greenpeace campaign?. The greatest toymaker in the world has waved a white flag in the face of PC bullying. In the face of such gutlessness is it any wonder that ISIS psychopaths can have such an open field. And yes, I believe there is a connection. We have lost our moral compass.

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      Matty

      Who presents the greater threat to society, Shell or self proclaimed arbiter of good causes Greenpeace ?

      Is it any wonder the decline in vertebrates among Westernised nations & do their politicians just reflect the societies they are becoming ?

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    Ceetee

    …not to mention our rational bottom line.

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    Dsystem

    Feynman’s comment about vague theories allowing conflicting outcomes applies perfectly to the theory of man made Climate Change. This theory explains both global warming and cooling, explains shrinking Arctic ice and increasing Antarctic ice, it causes more droughts and more floods, and so on.

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    The issue of the non-quantitative vagueness of “climate science” compared to any other branch of applied physics ( it is after all just a branch of applied physics ) is a major factor in my being sucked into the battle against this profoundly stupid absurdity .

    One of my slides in my presentation at Heartland Las Vegas makes the point with quotes a generation before Feynman : http://cosy.com/Science/AWGpptQuantRules.jpg .

    The subtitle of the newsletter I’m just getting out , http://cosy.com/y14/CoSyNL201410.html , is Show me your equations .

    WRT Feynman’s use of the word guess . I believe it was to emphasize that the outcome of an experiment is existentially unknown until the experiment is performed . If it’s not , then it is a demonstration of a known relationship rather than an experiment .

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      Bernie Hutchins

      Indeed one really should watch all seven one-hour lectures of Feynman’s Messenger series. The 61 seconds here was in Lecture 7. He and the audience were “old friends” at that point and appreciated humor combined with insight. Note as well that he continued the thread beyond the 61 seconds and at one point says “hy…guess”. That is, he started to say hypothesis. Earlier in his lectures (four) on symmetry he said “physicists delight themselves by using ordinary words for something else.” In fact today, we have particles that have not just mass and charge, but “strangeness”, “color”, and even – - – “charm”.

      The seven Messenger lectures (1964), especially the close of lecture 7, and his entire opus convince me that he would have disposed of the CAGW alarmist before breakfast!

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    mememine69

    Is science 99% sure the planet is in flat ? So prove that one climate scientist has ever said that the scientific method prevents them from being one hundred percent certain that we are doomed for certain to a CO2 CRISIS!

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